The first step was to get everyone out of the elements. The wind was harsh and the rain came in waves on and off from the closeness to the waterfront. When the angels first arrived in Carningli, they were overwhelmed with emotions. Lilith had fallen and that seemed to be the top priority of the elders. But the others were looking at the future of the people.
Looking at the future to many meant to look to the sky. The trees at Carningli had stood for thousands of years untouched by the hands of any creature other than the birds and beasts that occupied the forest. So, the angels took a page from the book of beasts and began crafting their homes far up in the canopy above as well. Before too long, their homes were hidden high above the line of sight from the ground and too low in the canopy to be seen from the sky.
The people worked together as one to build a home for everyone amongst the trees. Aryian and Calypso couldn’t be more grateful than they were when they were presented with the first home to be completed. They took their daughter, her mate Saeth, and Lisee up into the home where they all watched over Lilith hoping for some sign that life still remained within her.
The ragged breathing and twitching eyes of one that slept was all that they could gain from watching Lilith. Everything else that they tried was somehow blocked. With a frustrated and defeated sigh, Calypso made her way out onto the balcony alone. She couldn’t stand being helpless, not in regards to herself, let alone in regards to her own daughter. Her mind cursed the father for being so harsh in his punishments as a gentle arm wrapped around her waist.
“She will come back to us,” Aryian sighed as they looked down at the forest below.
“I hope you are right.” Calypso replied quietly.
“She got our people home safely. They seem to be content here.” He offered up as a bit of hope.
“Yes, they do.” She replied looking across the trees to the home that Bree and Cairn shared.
She let out another heavy sigh, “Maybe we need help.”
He looked at her with curiosity, “What do you mean?”
Calypso pointed across the trees. Aryian looked to see Kyrian as she emerged from her home and looked out from the porch. Her large red wings stuck out like a beacon amongst the feathers of the others. He shook his head and let out a huff.
“Absolutely not, there’s no way I’m intrusting the well being of our daughter to those creatures.” He protested quite loudly.
“Those creatures just happen to be my mate and your daughter’s chosen.” Lisee replied appearing behind them. “Your wife might have a point.”
“Kyrian’s father knows everything there is to know about the father, the angels, and the daemons.” Calypso replied. “And, we did promise to return for your mate as soon as our people were safe.”
“Yes, you did. I’m not asking you to put your faith in them, or for you to put the people at risk. But, perhaps if we go to them they might be able to shed some light on what is going on with your daughter.” Lisee stated.
“I’m not leaving her here.” Saeth stated appearing behind them in the doorway.
“You’re not taking her to them.” Aryian growled.
“Enough already,” Calypso howled as she waved Kyrian over to them. “We’re all going. Gather the elders. We won’t be going alone.”
Defeated, Aryian made his way across the tree line. He stopped first at Cairn’s and then made his way to Osef and Fahre. As Kyrian and Bree joined Lisee and Calypso on the porch they began to wonder what the fuss was about. Aryian had been brief just stating that Calypso required their attention. When he returned with Osef, Fahre, and Cairn she decided it was time to speak.
“It’s been decided. We are taking Lilith to find Adrian. Lisee and Saeth will accompany us to seek out Verdin.” Calypso stated.
“Have you completely lost your mind Caly?” Kyrian hissed. “There is no way this won’t turn out bad.”
“You watch your tone.” Osef demanded. “If this is what the queen asks of us then it is what we will do.”
“My father is not a monster and I have reason to believe yours isn’t either.” Saeth replied. “I believe they have retreated to Caerfyrddin. At least that’s what I have sensed the past few days.”
“I need you to go with us Kyrian. This is a major step and if we’re wrong we’re all in danger. I believe Lisee and Saeth that they can help my daughter. Now I’m asking you all to trust me.” Calypso stated.
“What do you need us to do Caly?” Bree asked confidently.
“I need you and Cairn to stay here. If we’re wrong, and we don’t return, I need to know that the people will be taken care of. I can’t imagine anyone more qualified than you two.” Calypso smiled warmly. “As for the rest of us, we leave as soon as everyone is prepared. This is going to take a lot of power and strength. I need you all to guide and protect us.”
“You have us,” Fahre replied with confidence. “I am ready.”
“As am I,” Osef stated.
“I’m still not convinced this isn’t the craziest thing I’ve ever heard. But I will go.” Kyrian replied.
“Thank you,” Calypso smiled.
“Alright, my love, you win. We’re going.” Aryian chuckled.
Saeth disappeared inside the house. When he reappeared he held Lilith in his arms. She was still completely out, not appearing any different than when she first went down. He held her tenderly and protectively as he looked at the others.
“We will watch over the people. Be safe and come home soon.” Bree said.
Calypso nodded and took Aryian by the hand. Osef and Fahre embraced Lisee as the energy built. They stepped forward guarding Saeth and Lilith with their bodies. As they circled around the two children they slowly faded away. When there was nothing left to see but the house Bree and Cairn returned to their home and prayed to the father for their safe return.
Verdin was certain he had found the answer. It had been within him all along. The power didn’t come from just the angels. Nor did it come from the daemons. It certainly wasn’t the father or his prayers would not have gone unanswered. That only left one conclusion. As Adrian joined him at the edge of the mountain it was all too clear.
Before Verdin could voice his opinion to Adrian they realized they were no longer alone. A burst of power erupted from behind them. They turned slowly, certain that they would be standing before Ashie. What they saw instead shocked them even more. Kyrian stood at the front of the herd. Behind her Osef and Fahre stood solidly hands on their weapons. They were closely followed behind by Calypso and Aryian.
They guarded someone yet unseen. But Adrian didn’t need to see anymore. His hands touched his face as he wanted to weep.
“Kyrian, you’re alright.” Adrian said in a moment of relief.
“Father,” She replied coldly.
Their reunion would have to wait. Lisee could contain her excitement no more. She pushed past the others, nearly knocking Kyrian over. She leapt up into Verdin’s arms as he swung her around in excitement.
“My god I never thought I’d see you again.” She whispered in his ear.
He showered her with kisses as he replied, “I’m afraid to ask what brings you to me now.”
“I wanted you to meet our son.” She smiled as he placed her feet back on the ground.
“We need your help father.” Kyrian said as she stepped aside.
Saeth stepped forward holding Lilith close to his chest. As he looked upon his father for the first time he wasn’t sure if he wanted to smile or weep. There wasn’t much time for either emotion at the moment. Adrian rushed him and placed his hand on Lilith’s forehead.
He pulled away quite suddenly as worry appeared on his face, “Let’s get her inside.”
Saeth nodded and followed Adrian without question. Kyrian folded her arms across her chest not as eager to follow along. Verdin kept his arm around Lisee as Osef and Fahre continued to guard Calypso and Aryian. They all moved forward into the main building and up the stairwell. They took the first room available. Saeth laid Lilith down refusing to leave her side for even the moment, picking up her hand gently.
“I need to know everything.” Adrian stated addressing the others.
“I don’t know where to begin.” Aryian sighed deeply.
“We grew up overnight. It was the will of the father that our powers be combined. I didn’t know that using that much power would hurt her.” Saeth replied with his back still turned away from the others.
“That really is our son.” Verdin huffed, still not quite believing it.
“It’s been some journey from Uffern to Carningli but I assure you, that is our son. What he speaks is true. Both the children grew up overnight and we never would have made Carningli without it.” Lisee replied.
“Has she gone through the ceremony yet?” Adrian asked.
“Absolutely not,” Calypso growled harshly.
Kyrian started to laugh, “Well, one thing is for certain. We need to treat her dehydration and malnutrition. She might not be awake but she still needs sustenance or she’s just going to fade away.”
“Good to see you still know your basics.” Adrian smiled.
“We’ll address our issues later. Right now, the princess needs our full attention.” Kyrian replied calling forth the supplies she needed.
Calypso watched helplessly as Kyrian pushed Saeth to the side. She and Adrian forced a long tube down her throat and then proceeded to feed her liquids through it. Lilith didn’t seem to even notice, not stirring one moment from any of it. She couldn’t bring herself to watch any more. She turned away and let them do their job.
“Verdin, we need Devyn here. If anyone can get into her mind and see what’s going on its him.” Adrian said.
Kyrian finished feeding Lilith and removed the tube as she replied, “Devyn came with you?”
“I’ll be back as quickly as I can.” Verdin replied not wanting to know what the odd look on Adrian’s face would turn into.
Lisee and Verdin disappeared back down the stairs. Osef and Fahre stood one on each side of the door, leaning against the frame. At first glance, this band of daemons seemed to be more than helpful. But after all of the trauma they had already experienced they weren’t all that eager to relax. Adrian had tortured their family. Now, if he failed to save Lilith they would all too happily return the favor.
Sensing the tension Aryian stepped forward, “Perhaps we should all give them some space to work.”
Osef snorted, “If you insist.”
“Come my love, you need to rest.” Aryian said as he put his arm around her.
She nodded and went along as his voice carried across the room, “Saeth?”
“I’m not leaving her.” Saeth insisted.
“He’s not in the way.” Kyrian replied softly.
Aryian nodded and led the others away down the hall. When he had Calypso resting comfortably, he, Osef, and Fahre quietly made their way outside. Verdin and Lisee returned with the other man that barely appeared to be any older than Kyrian. They watched quietly as they passed them by and made their way inside.
“I am not sure I can accept this arrangement.” Fahre stated.
“I understand your reservations my friend.” Aryian replied. “Calypso wants our daughter back, whatever the cost. Let us see what our brethren can accomplish.”
“Yes, we will see if they really are pennant for their sins.” Osef replied. “If not, I guarantee they will be.”
Verdin and Devyn made their way back into the room. Kyrian was turning away from Lilith cleaning up the mess she had made. When she saw Devyn, she stopped mid step and dropped everything in her hands. His arms opened wide as she raced across the room and jumped into them.
“I never thought I’d see you again.” Kyrian wept.
“My dear Kyri,” He said kissing her tenderly. “You’re even more beautiful than I remember.”
Adrian cleared his throat loudly, “The girl on the bed is the Lucifary heir. Can you see what is going on within her?”
Devyn kissed Kyrian again before replying, “I can try.”
“Now would be nice.” Adrian growled in obvious disapproval of the situation.
“Yes sir,” Devyn replied reluctantly releasing Kyrian.
He moved slowly across the room addressing Saeth cautiously, “May I?”
Saeth nodded and moved out of the way. Devyn took Lilith by the hand and closed his eyes. Saeth could feel the strength of the man before him and quietly backed away. Verdin was there with a long awaited embrace. He pulled his son close and hugged him tightly.
“My boy, you’ve grown up on me.” Verdin said warmly.
“Father,” Saeth wept.
“We’ll get her back son. I promise you.” Verdin stated.
“Thank you.” Saeth whispered.
Devyn quickly waved Saeth back, “Come here.”
“What is it?” Saeth asked excitedly.
“She’s still here but she won’t let me in. Maybe she will let you in.” Devyn stated. “Take my hand.”
Saeth took Devyn by the hand. He could feel the push as he was gently dragged away from his own mind. The last physical thing he could recall was the transfer of his hand to Lilith’s hand. Then everything around him turned black.