Book 1 Chapter 14: The Plans.
A Dull week passes by for Slyfer filled with nothing but training and waiting. The preparations for the tests are taking longer then expected to get done. Among all the other things that keep nagging at Slyfer is that Shree is still nowhere to be found. He had gone around camp asking but most of the dark elves did not appreciate an outsider among them and he was shunned most of the time.
Fira had sent several requests for him to go see her but he had ignored them.
Trisha spent most of her time with the Prince now. Not by choice since he basically follows her around like a love sick puppy. She had only once spoken to him and that was the first night after the meeting with the king.
She had said. “Slyfer I am sorry if it were not for me and Fira….” Slyfer had lifted his hand to stop her from continuing. “I was the one that hurt Fira to the extent that she could not travel. Yes you followed me for some dumb reason but I am also to blame for losing control.”She had simply nodded and left leaving him to his thoughts which were pretty dark. Slyfer suspected that the reason she kept away from him was because she felt guilty and also needed to sort out things with her inner tigers…..literally.
Every night left him restless and unable to sleep with thoughts on how to destroy Great Spear. This night was exactly the same.“I need to gather spies. I need to find out every little thing about the inner workings of the clan, no of all the clans. For that I will need gold and lots of it.” A Smile spreads across his face and he says aloud. “Gold is something I have a lot off, tomorrow I will go see my wagons.”
The next morning Slyfer is up early and like always he first heads to the training grounds. To his surprise the Prince is there as well clearly waiting for him. Slyfer nods. “Pathfinder to what do I owe the pleasure of your company.” The prince clearly irritated and his sarcasm draws his sword and starts training or to the untrained eye it would seem that way.
Slyfer lowers is voice. “Putting on a show for someone’s benefit?” Pathfinder nods. “You never know who is watching. My sister sent me. Se wishes to see you.” Slyfer draws is own sword and starts with the first stage of the sword dance. “I did not think that you listen to her.” Parthfinder chuckles. “That is a good assessment but when the wolves ask as well I have no choice but to obey.”Slyfer stays quiet. “They wish to know how you will restore the old ways of their race.” “That is not an easy question to answer besides how do I know I can trust you?” Pathfinder stops and turns to him. “Look, I know we started off on the wrong foot and we may not see each other eye to eye but I also want this.”
Weary for a trap Slyfer asks. “Why do you want it? Will that not mean that you will lose your power over the wolves? Once you take over the throne they will be part of your subjects with the old ways they will not or so I assume.”
Pathfinder smiles. “You are correct and wrong at the same time. You seem to forget that I am also a wolf.” The cogs in Slyfer’s mind start to turn. “You wish to become the leader of the wolves as well?” Pathfinder starts swinging again and Slyfer can’t help commenting. “You drop your guard before you lunge.” Pathfinder looks at Slyfer. “Your stance is too wide.” Slyfer nods and they both start laughing.
They both stop and turn to each other. Slyfer is the first to speak. “I will help you reach your goals if it is what the wolves wish but you have not asked what I want in return.” The Prince looks at his feet. “I know what you want. You want war. I agree with you, the black dragon will not stop in the West he will come for us sooner or later. It is best we start preparing now.”
“Then you will help me in my war efforts?” Pathfinder nods “If I am able I will help you. My father on the other hand he will need some convincing. It will be easier to convince him once I am leader of the wolves.”
“Who else knows of your abilities?” Asks Slyfer. “Me and my sister have kept it secret from my father but the elder of the healers also knows she was the one that found us after all.” Slyfer looks at his sword wile contemplating. “Do any of the wolves know?” Pathfinder shakes his head. “No, but I think Grey Main suspects something. He found the place where…. My sister found you.” A long silence follows this statement.
“I think we will need him on our side.” Pathfinder looks up in surprise. “Grey Main serves the Spear clan that will be impossible.”
“He does not serve them because it is his choice I take it?” Pathfinder once again shakes his head this time sadness etched on his face. “Before the wolves became our subjects they were ruled as a nation on their own. The ones that ruled them was Grey Main’s family. All of them were wiped out when the black wolves made a pact with my father to overthrow the old King of the wolves. Many died but the Grey Wolves were outnumbered seeing that his line would be destroyed the leader of the Grey’s gave up his life to spare the others.”
“Since the wolf King surrendered to the Spear clan they got dominion over them. Only twenty Grey wolves are allowed to live at a time. A rule that serves to suppress any thought of rebellion from them. As a result the old ways were lost since the Grey wolves were the keepers of their lore and rules. Only a few of them now knows the magic and that is only very little.”
Slyfer thought he couldn’t hate the Spear clan even more but he thought wrong. “Prince this is what we will do.” He says with clenched teeth.
Later that morning Slyfer reaches the outskirts of the camp and the Salamandraco come into view along with Elyna and the guards given by Old Sun to guard the transport wagons.The wagons are pulled into a tight circle and guarded at each intersection with a sentry. The wagons to Slyfer’s surprise are made out of steel and not wood all accept for one. Slyfer recognizes it instantly.
He was in Alric’s mind when the dragon attacked the escort of that carriage. The black with the gold trimmings are unmistakable. Slyfer greets them all but only gets a greeting back from Elyna. “Have you had any trouble from them?” He says as he gestures towards the guards. “No they keep to themselves and I keep to myself.”
Aldowin comes around the furthest corner and is surprised to see his student. “Did not think I would see his sulkiness out of the tent this time of day. How can we help you?” Slyfer only gives his master a look that says a lot more than any words ever could. “I need gold master and lots of it.” Aldowin is once again surprised. “What on earth would you need gold for?”
Slyfer pulls him to one side. “We need to cultivate a network of spies within the ranks of the dark elf clans. We need to know what they are planning before they do it.” He pauses for a moment. “Especially the Spear clan.” Aldowin starts to laugh. “I knew you were young and naive but this is too much. Relax Slyfer I have already started with what you just suggested. One must always have spies in war especially political wars. If only I had known what Great Spear was planning I may have been able to save you from the thirty lashes.”
Aldowin deflates visibly and Slyfer realizes his Master is truly worried about him. “Can’t blame him. I am worried myself.”Aldowin quickly puts his mask on again. Whilst you are here would you like to see what’s inside? I have repacked most of the stuff but I am still sorting through it.”
Slyfer without realizing it heads for the black carriage first as if he is drawn to it. His heart starts to pound as he reaches for the latch. The voices in his head tells him to be careful. “There is something unnatural about this carriage. Have you been inside master?” Aldowin has a look of confusion on his face as he looks at the carriage and he answers in a monotone.
“No I have not but let’s look at the others. Yes the others are more interesting then this one don’t you think?”
Slyfer extends his consciousness towards the ominous carriage. To his surprise there is nothing. No there is something but it’s like it is sucking the life out of the world around it. A black hole within the world’s existence. The feeling makes Slyfers head spin and he pulls back into himself. “Do you know what is going on?” He inquires from the dragons.
“It is like the magic the Templars used in the final battle.” “So this is anti-magic.” Slyfer is filled with foreboding and anger as images of what it can do flashes through his mind but much to is disgust he is filled with curiosity as well. Putting his feelings aside Slyfer turns away and for an instant he feels someone’s eyes on him. But the feeling is gone as quickly as it came.
The rest of the day is spent taking stock and repacking all of the carriages. They also find some more clothes, armor and weapons. Slyfer is excited to find more of the round casings that go inside the fire stick. Thinking about what happened he unconsciously rubs his shoulder. The fire stick was given to the king as he requested and for some reason it nags at Slyfer. “I want it back.” Pulling his thoughts back to reality he follows his master to the next wagon.
The rest of the day is filled with tallying, checking and assessing everything inside the wagons. It is boring but it keeps away dark thoughts and has a calming effect on Slyfer. Even with the distraction his thoughts keep drifting towards flying, the sky. It nags at him. Until finally he sees the sun is going down. They get out of the last wagon that was to be checked however Slyfer has adequately named it the useless wagon since it is filled with clothes far too small and clearly made for a woman.
“The mark on this wagon is the same as the one on the black one.” He says more to himself than anyone else. Aldowin just nods as if Slyfer was commenting on the weather. Once again he turns his gaze towards the black wagon and he gets the same feeling he had before. He starts to take a step but is stopped by an announcement that the princess is coming. Taking a last look at the wagon he angles himself back to his original direction.
Fira reaches the ring of wagons along with her huge procession. It is obvious that she is still in pain but she hides it well her anger however is clear for all to see. Slyfer nods refusing to bow. “Princess I am happy to see that you are up and about once again but should you not be in bed?” Fira glowers at Slyfer . “Indeed I should but due to your obvious refusal of answering my summons I have had no choice but to come out here.”
“I apologise but as I said to your messengers, I have been busy.” A familiar pig face appears next to her. “How dare you! Too busy for the princess! Why the- Silence!” Interrupts Fira. Singing Spears’s eyes are filled with hate as he locks his jaw almost biting his own tongue off in the process. Slyfer ignores the gaze and keeps his eyes locked on Fira. “By the moons she is as beautiful as ever.” The sun setting casts her hair into a fiery blaze around her features.
He inspects her neck line without meaning to and catches himself. Blushing he says. “So princess. What has brought you here out of your sick bed?” She lifts her chin and he sees that she is afraid. “Afraid of what?” She gestures at all the people. “Things we cannot discuss in public of course. Will you join us at the court feast tonight?” Slyfer wants to decline immediately but Aldowin’s rather obvious elbow in his ribs changes his mind.
“Since you have come in your rather regretful state who am I to refuse such a beautiful woman?” The words come out before he can stop it and he is surprised at it himself. “I sense Malgrobin in that statement.” Fira’s obvious pleasure at hearing the words makes her gasp for breath which once again draws Slyfer’s eyes to her neck line. Syfer looks up this time with eyes turned purple. “I will see you this evening then?”
“Indeed, see you then.” She huffs and turns her mount ever so slowly to avoid any unnecessary movement. Despite what is to come Slyfer can’t wait for the feast. Singing Spear is the last to turn around. Slyfer moves in an instant dulling his light and muffling his feet he reaches Singing Spear to everyone looking It seems as though Slyfer has disappeared and reappeared again behind Singing Spear.
Slyfer slides his finger across Singing Spears neck and whispers. “Dead.” Singing Spear’s Body goes rigid and he starts to sweat. Slyfer starts to laugh silently. “Don’t piss yourself Piggy when it comes to that you will die a lot slower and a lot more painfully.” Aloud Slyfer says “You dropped this by accident.” As he holds a gold coin in front of Singing Spear. “Can’t have you losing your allowance.”
Singing Spear takes it and stalks off without a word leaving Slyfer behind and disappearing into the crowd. Aldowin soon joins Slyfer. “You test your luck they are not enemies you can take lightly.” Slyfer turns on his heel suddenly feeling impatient with the whole situation. “Let’s just get ready for tonight.”
The feast is smaller than the previous ones had been with only royalty and important officials attending the food however is still as plentiful as before smelling more and more delicious by the second Slyfer is invited to sit at the kings table along with his companions. To his surprise the Spear clan is nowhere to be seen. Approaching the table he greets stoically avoiding the King’s eyes. The table is filled with an audible silence as they eat and it only progresses as the night goes by. Till the king decides to break the silence.
“I sense that you are angry with me?” The remark is not pointed at anyone but said to the table in general. Nobody replies. “I decreed the punishment not as myself but as the King do you not understand a King is as much the subject of his people as they are his subjects. If I had not done it I would have been accused of favoritism.” Fira is about to say something to the King but Slyfer stops her with his own comment.
“I understand your reasoning my Lord and I have accepted it but please do not expect me to pretend that nothing is wrong. I am going to be tied to a pole a beaten by a pig.” The King grunts. “You should watch what you say. Pigs they may be but powerful pigs all the same. We need them if we are to fight a war.” Aldowin nods obviously agreeing with the king. “Can you trust them?” The King starts to chuckle. “I am a King? Who can I trust I am not a fool to put much stock in it? We may be united but even now power struggles are going on and all this standing is not doing the situation any good either.”
The King takes a bite of food then continues. “When an army moves it has purpose but when it is standing still all sorts of problems start to develop but that is the worries of the King and I will not bother you with it.” Slyfer hungry to learn and interested does not want to let it go. “What is the main problem at the moment?” The king raises a questioning eyebrow. “I plan to lead men one day for that I must learn don’t you agree my lord.” Pathfinder only grunts and nods. “The main problem for any army is always food. The longer you stay in one place the scarcer it gets you would not think it is so because of what we have here but we are running low this is all just for show to keep the high ranking officials happy.”
“The merchants are keeping us alive if they think we are experiencing problems they will pull out along with their money.” Slyfer only nods taking it in Fira also is listening while the Prince is whispering in Trisha’s ear not at all interested in the conversation. “Who is in charge of the hunting at the moment.” The wolves of course since they can travel far distances and carry a lot more of course the clans take turns in traveling with them.” Syfer thinks for a while. “I would like to go with them on such an expedition.”
The word hunting had caught the Princes’ attention immediately.“I plan on going tomorrow to hunt a great steer a group has been spotted not far from us the wolves have been tracking them.” Excitement on his face he gestures to Slyfer. “You can come with me I wish to see your hunting skills. What do you think father?” “To hunt prey of that magnitude you will need the grey wolves and they do not go anywhere without the Spear clan. No it will not be possible.” Slyfer and Fira exchange looks and a plan starts to form.
“Surely the spear clan would not mind lending the wolves to the King and his children such a thing would be an honor.” The prince catches on. “Yes father. It has been forever since we have gone hunting together! You must come as well. Imagine hunting the great deer! What a tale it would make to tell the lords in court at Atlantia they will be so envious.” The King’s eyes take on a greedy gleam but soon turns back to their brooding selves. “No. I know what you are trying to do and it is not going to work!”
Fira leans in and takes her father’s hand. “Please father just for a day or two we have not spent any time together lately.” Aldowin is quick to see whats going on. “I have been wondering how a dark elf would hunt but it seems I will be forced to watch amateurs or perhaps you are not one too knowledgeable about such things?”
The king in anger turns to Aldowin. “Gah high elf as if you could beat me with your dainty limbs you are better at playing harps I would wager.” Slyfer seizes the chance. “Then its settled a contest between the king and the sword master Aldowin the one that hunts the biggest deer will get one thousand gold pieces!” The king jumps up in excitement. “It’s a deal!”
Before he can retract his words Aldowin does the same. “I will make the arrangements father.” Says Pathfinder. Despite himself Syfer already feels the excitement boiling inside him.”
The next morning a contingent of about three hundred leave the confines of the camp by then the news of the wager had spread through the ranks and the men were there to see them off shouting words of encouragement at the king. Slyfer standing to one side with Aldowin is approached by Grey Main.
“Has your hunting partner been chosen yet.” Slyfer dumbfounded only shakes his head. “Then I will be your hunting partner for this trip if you want?” Slyfer is surprised at the prospect and bows his head. “It would be an honor.” The female wolf that always seems to be with Grey main approaches Aldowin and they go through the same ritual. To Slyfer’s dismay Singing Spear and his older bigger uglier brother will also be joining in the hunt. They are already mounted on Jet black wolves Next to their father.
Grey Main follows Slyfer’s gaze.”They are well suited don’t you think the sons of the betrayer of wolves and the offspring of a pig to ride them. Trisha as always is with the Prince or he with her Elyna decided to stay behind and watch over the wagons despite himself Slyfer pitied her so far out of place so far from her own people.
Slyfer’s thoughts are broken by Old Sun’svoice. “I see you have a partner and a good one at that.” Grey Main bows his head in acknowledgment. Slyfer smiles at the old man. “Will you be joining us.” The old man smiles back. “Of course I will also have my hand in this wager. You have caused quite a stir in the ranks young man I wish to see how it plays out.
With the blow of a horn elves start to dart in all directions mounting wolves and doing last minute checks on the equipment . Grey Main lays flat on the ground. “Get on quickly we are about to depart.” Slyfer does not have to be asked twice and he gets on. The group starts out five minutes afterwards with another call of the horn. High ranking dark elves lead the front continuously calling out to hold ranks the dust the group is kicking up despite the grass is stifling.
“Cant we move out of this?” Grey main answers by veering through the other wolves dodging and weaving agilely until they are running on the outside of the main body. Looking at the group of elves and wolves in ranks Slyfer gets the chills. “What a scary site.” He mutters to himself. Grey main grunts in acknowledgment. “Indeed. But wait till you see them in battle! Fully armored I cannot imagine anything fiercer!” “Bah this one is too young to remember the dragons.” The pace picks up until they are running flat out Slyfer keeps quiet to save Grey Main from having to split his attention.
It’s not long before a small party of elves and wolves comes into view. “Scouts.” Is all Grey main says. The main body reaches the party before Slyfer does and he decides to keep his distance. “I don’t want to stick out.” Two riders break off and head for him and Grey Main. They come to a halt. “Old Sun requests your presence.” says the stone faced dark elf and without waiting for a reply they head back.
Grey Main starts to follow and something like a sigh escapes the wolf. Sensing something is wrong Slyfer asks. “Is something wrong?” Grey Main is quiet for two heart beats and then replies. “I think we are in trouble.” Slyfer confused doesn’t say anything and decides to wait and see. He decides his plan to not stand out is an utter failure since the entire small army is now looking at them.
“What did I do now?” They arrive with all eyes on them. Old Sun, along with other top ranking officials approach them first. Old Sun comes to a halt with his mount and gives Slyfer a withering look. “Do you think you are special?” The question catches Slyfer off guard but before he can answer. “Well you are not! What makes you think that you are allowed to break ranks. This is an army, we are not out here to take an morning stroll!”
Anger starts to flare and Slyfer clenches his fists and bites his lip to control it. “You will stay in rank and as punishment you will stay in the rear.” Slyfer does not understand at first but soon catches on. “The dust. I have to stay in the dust.” “Is that understood?” Slyfer nods. “Understood.” Slyfer knows this once again is a test and also a show for the other elves. “He wants to show the others that I am not being cuddled or protected.”
The thought dampens his anger a little and he lets go. “May I go now…. Sir.” Old Sun nods and smiles again. “Not yet I need to introduce you to my daughter.” Upon hearing this a dark elves steps out dressed in scout gear all black with a hood over her hair and a mask over her mouth and nose. In the center of her chest is the Night Wolf Emblem embellished in silver. One of her shoulder pads are green,on her hip is a short sword and next to it a brace of strangely shaped knives. Slyfer can’t see much of her but she is very short and thin even for dark elf standards. “This is Jade commander of the green hawk scouts and if you are successful in your trials she will be your step sister.” Grey Main kneels down and Slyfer dismounts.
Their eyes meet and to his surprise they are purple. Slyfer bows the way he was taught by Aldowin. “First impressions are important. Or so I was taught.” As he bows he keeps his eyes on hers. They betray nothing. “Nice to meet you Commander.” She only nods, turns around and looks at her father. “May I make a request lord Sun?” Old Sun only nods despite his stony face he is still betraying his curiosity. “I wish for the new cadet to join my group in this expedition.”
“PPPfff when did I become a new cadet?” “I cannot change what i said now. Today he will ride in the back tomorrow he may join you.”
She stands at attention and shouts. “Understood!” Then as if nothing happened joins the ranks. Old Sun turns to Slyfer.”Dismissed ensure the same thing does not happen again.” “Yes Sir.” With that the scolding is over and Old Sun moves to join the King and other officials who are avidly discussing what seems to be a map.
Slyfer heads for the back of the body of elves and wolves. “Sorry Slyfer I should have known better.” Syfer gives Grey Main a pat. “Don’t worry about it. I have a feeling that would have happened regardless of what we did. Old Sun needed to make a point.”
Grey Main is silent until they reach their destination. “I think we are going to split up in groups. That is what they were discussing.” Slyfer thinks it over. “It would make sense if we did this is a contest after all.”
Not long afterwards a message gets passed down the ranks and Slyfer is pushed into position by and old Elf. “Good day Cadet and welcome to the runts of the litter I am Lieutenant Colden and will be in charge of you today. Just stay in formation and follow me then we should get along real well. They start moving and its long long before Slyfer is surrounded by stifling dust once again. The group starts to split in three with the contingent Slyfer is with splitting to the left.
The King’s men head straight and the pigs head to the right. The dust lessons but is still enough to cause discomfort the rest of the day continues in a monotone of wolves’ paws hitting the ground and Slyfer gets lost in it. Lowering his head and pulling his shirt over his mouth and nose he decides to trust everything to Grey Main. Three hours pass before a command to come to a halt is called.
With wolves panting and men cursing in the dust they stop to rest. Slyfer’s mouth and throat burns with thirst. Taking out his water-skin he dismounts from Grey Main. “Open your jaws.” The wolf surprised and wary takes a step back bumping into another dismounted elf. “Oi watch what you are doing wolf!” Slyfer starts to laugh. “Listen my throat is dry and hurting so I can’t imagine how you must feel so open it.” Grey Main finally does as he is told revealing rows of sharp teeth.
Slyfer looks over the wolf’s snout. “Please don’t close them, I rather like my hand.” Grey main lets out what must be a laugh for a wolf. Careful not to spill any Slyfer pours water down the wolf’s throat and then dabs is nose with it as per Grey Mains request. The wolf sneezes uncontrollably for a few seconds but it helps for the dust. “Well now that I am full of wolf snot how do you feel?” Grey Main laughs again. “It is better thank you. I think you have made an impression on my kind.”
“Huh?” Slyfer turns around to find all the wolves staring at them. “Did I do something wrong again.” Grey Main shakes his head. “No you just treated one of us better than we ever have been.” “Its normal to look after your friend first then yourself especially if that friend is your transportation.” They both start laughing at this remark. What Grey Main said bothers Slyfer and he takes a good look around. Dark elves drink heartily but offer nothing to their mounts. “I will have to change this somehow.”
Thay start moving again while Slyfer ponders the problem and a way to fix it. “By the time they stop again Slyfer has the start of an idea but no way to implement it. The sun is starting to set and the men set up camp a smaller version of the main camp but just as effective. A Large tent is being erected in the middle. “Guess that is where Old Sun will be sleeping tonight.” Grey Main rolling on the grass to try and get all the dust of off his fur only grunts confirmation.
Slyfer takes a few gold coins out of his pocket and heads for Lieutenant Colden. Grey Main soon starts to follow. “Permission to take a stroll sir?” Colden looks him over. “What a sorry state you are.” Slyfer looks down and finds that he is so full of dust he looks brown in the fading light. Touching his face he can feel the grit sticking to it. All of a sudden he becomes very aware of his discomfort. Sighing he shrugs. “Nothing I can do about it now. Do I have permission sir.”
After inquiring where the stroll will be taking his latest cadet Slyfer gets the permission. “Be back before supper Cadet Blime will be cooking it tastes terrible but you will need food to carry you through tomorrow.” Moving through camp Slyfer offers a gold coin to any who may have spare leather for him. The news of what he is doing soon spreads and elves from all over brings him leather till he has enough and he has to send the rest away after requesting cloth. Elves bring old shirts blankets and every piece of cloth they can find but Slyfer only takes it after asking Grey Main to comment on the smell. “I think that elf was carrying something dead in that piece of cloth or maybe he is dead either way don’t take it.”
It takes about an hour to gather everything he needs and he finally gets his cloth from a female elf. “It smells like baked cookies.” Slyfer smells it whilst chuckling then asks. “You like it then?” Grey Main laughs as well. “Yes but it reminds me of how hungry I am!” “Well I can’t do much about that.”
They just reach Lieutenant Colden when a messenger arrives. “Slyfer has been summoned by Commander Jade.” Colden is about to answer when Slyfer replies. “Would her highness mind if I eat first?” The men around him laugh but the messenger only narrows his eyes. “COMMANDER Jade has offered to give you supper in case you had such a reply.” “Then I have no choice do I? May I have permission to leave Lieutenant Colden?”
“Aye, permission granted.” Slyfer nods his thanks. “Please tell cadet Blime I am sorry but I will not be able to taste his awful food.” The elves laugh again and one pipes up. “Don’t worry that just means there is more awful food for the rest of us.” Slyfer starts to follow the messenger and Grey main lays down. “What are you doing?” “I was not invited.” “Who cares you are my companion where I go you go.” The last part Slyfer says aloud so that the messenger can hear as well. He is obviously not amused but says nothing.
They head straight for the tent in the center of the camp and soon reach it. They are told to wait by the guards consisting of two elves and two wolves. Smells of food on cooking fires are in the air and Grey Main is struggling to keep his saliva from spilling out of his jaws. “By the moons I am hungry.” Grey Main is about to comment when the messenger speaks. “Slyfer may enter but the wolf must stay outside.”
Slyfer steps closer to the messenger and peers down on him. “My partner’s name is Grey Mane and I will not eat until he does.” The messenger sighs in frustration. “My ladies orders are to- Look I understand you have orders but while we ride the day away the wolves do all the work they deserve to be thought of first. I am not a cadet in this army so I do not know why I am treated as such. I have accepted the punishment that was given to me since it was just but I will not accept miss treatment of my friend and companion on this expedition!”
The messenger disappears once again without a word and soon appears with two other elves. One carrying meat the other a bucket of water. They set it down in front of Grey Main to the astonishment of the other two Wolves. Slyfer is then ushered inside and he accepts thanking the elves and messenger. When Slyfer has gone in. The two wolves on guard duty can’t help but ask. “Who is the strange one Grey wolf?”
Grey Main answers between swallows. “Did you not hear? He is my friend and companion.”
Slyfer is guided between a long hallway and then past a makeshift doorway guarded by two elves. The drapes are pulled aside and before Slyfer enters he can already smell the food. Once inside he takes a look around. The room is undercoated and bland compared to other tents he has seen. He is then guided to a small table in the center which is very close to the ground surrounded by four pillows on the table is the origin of the wonderful smells. Before he knows it he is left alone and he takes another look around then sends out his consciousness and a smile creeps over his face.
Nothing inside the tent gives away an inkling of Jade’s personality.
Slyfer decides to remain standing until she reveals herself which happens to be right at that moment. She is dressed in comfortable sleeping clothes. Short green pants that show of her graceful legs with a long matching shirt. Her height and appearance almost makes her look childlike. To his surprise she has grass green hair tied in a high ponytail.
She takes in his appearance with her purple eyes but does not comment.
“I apologize for my appearance I did not have an opportunity to bathe.” She nods and gestures at the table. Slyfer moves the pillow away and sits on the ground not wanting to get dust on them. She does not show any sign of noticing.
They sit with an awkward silence till she breaks it. “So you are to be my step brother.” “It seems so.” She looks at him again. “Well don’t just sit there, eat.” She picks a grape and pops it in her mouth. “Do you know anything about tracking?” “Yes I do.” She is quiet again while they eat. Í hear you can do magic, is that true?” “It is true.” “How many people are in this room?”
“There are five.” A look of surprise crosses her face. “Can you tell who they are?” Slyfer nods. “Only the ones I have met before. Is this some sort of game?” She looks at him seriousness etched on her face. “No it was a test however you failed there are only four people.” Slyfer smiles. “I think you are mistaken there are four I know and one that I do not. However if I do not know him and you also don’t then- It’s a spy she finishes.” He nods. “Act normal so that we do not alarm him.” She cocks her head. “You know it’s a him?” She lifts one of her eyebrows and Slyfer smiles. “I am listening to his thoughts…He thinks you look attractive and wishes to- Please do not continue that sentence. “He is from the spear clan sent by the little brother.”
“That fool what does he hope to accomplish by spying on me?” “Rest assured he is not here for you but me.” She looks surprised at this. Slyfer shrugs. “A lot has happened your father should inform you about.” She only nods. “What will you do?” Syfer takes another bite. “Wait for him to make his move.” She waits for him to elaborate but he does not. “Very well I will leave it to you.” Slyfer smiles and despite his appearance Jade seems to be effected by it since she smiles back. “Thank you for trusting me.”
“Will your father and the others not join us I feel awkward.” She looks at him and whispers. “Don’t worry I feel awkward as well I am a simple scout all this- she gestures around herself –is not my type of thing.” Slyfer takes a grape. “I think there is a lot more to the GREAT COMMANDER JADE then that you should as well.” For a few seconds her steely composure breaks down and she looks like the young girl she appears to be. But a few seconds is all Slyfer gets out of it.
“So Slyfer to us you are a stranger before I can accept you as my step brother would you mind answering some questions?” Slyfer sighs and is immediately on his guard. “You can ask and I will answer what I can.” Try as he might he can’t keep the steel out of his voice. “Where did you grow up?” The feeling of frustration leaves him as he remembers the floating mountains and a smile crosses his face. “I grew up in the mountains inside a small secluded valley, a true paradise with no seasons but spring there is always fruit to eat and a fresh river runs right through the middle. It is unbelievable to think I was in such a paradise only a few months ago. I wish to go back someday when everything is over.”
“When everything is over?” Slyfer tares himself from his memories and looks at Jade with such intensity that she can’t help but look away. “The war… When the war is over.” She sighs. “You wish for war that much?” Slyfer takes her hand in his which gives her a fright. “Jade, there will be war weather I want it or not how old are you?” She is at a loss for words and then replies. “I am forty-eight….. still young .” The last part she adds defensively.
Slyfer lets go. “That is very young indeed but still older than me.” Slyfer teases and then with a serious note. “Have you been taught what happened one hundred years ago?” Old Sun enters the room. “I think that is enough for one night.” Slyfer looks at him and then her. “You have not told her have you? The way things used to be. Have you even taught the other young elves?” Old Sun hardens his expression. “What we teach our young has nothing to do with you whelp. You will speak to me with respect.”
“Control, control must keep control.” The voices erupt in Slyfer’s mind like a volcano the anger spills out flooding him with memories of what happened and then as if he is there he sees the dark elves signing the treaty and watching over them, the white dragon. Slyfer’s hands start to bleed as he clenches them to keep control.
“Please old ones calm down! I cannot take this, please give me a chance to speak!” The feeling dies down but only by a little. Slyfer opens his eyes to see Jade and four others with swords pointed at him. The anger wells up again . Slyfer’s blood red eyes focus on Old Sun. “Did you forget the promises you made that day?”
Old Sun takes a step closer. “Now is not the time to talk about this.” Slyfer shrugs but still struggles to keep control. He takes a few breaths to calm himself.“There will never be a proper time Old Sun but just as it is not my business what you teach your children it is my business what I choose to speak of. You abandoned the dragons and wood elves to their fate perhaps your people deserve the same.” The next person to step out the leader of their healers. “Both of you please calm down.”
Slyfer nods to her out of respect but he does not lower his guard. She steps past Jade still holding her sword. “That will not be necessary Jade.” Reluctantly she lowers her sword but keeps her eyes trained on Slyfer. The elf has something calming about her even the dragons start to relax and with them calming down Slyfer suddenly feels empty and sadness envelopes him.
She looks at Slyfer directly in his eyes. “We realize what happened was a tragedy and that it was wrong. The clans were on the brink of war for years afterward the Sun and Nirn’s leaders at the time were executed.” Nirn is the family that runs the Healers. Like Sun is the family that runs the Night wolf. Slyfer looks at Old Sun but the old elf gives away nothing. “What is said tonight can never leave this tent.”
Slyfer holds up his hand and lowering his voice says. “We are being spied on.” Old Sun only nods. “Then we will speak of this another time but please remember talking openly about it will cause nothing but trouble for you and anyone you tell it to. I do not know what or who you are but Lady Nirn told us about you long before your arrival.” “So she is the one that Alric speaks to.” She smiles at Slyfer. “I also do not know what or who you are but I know who supports you.” Looking at Jade and Old Sun she says. “If he dies by our hand dark elves will be wiped out of existence please take care in how he is treated.”
Old Sun looks at Slyfer with curiosity but does not say anything. “It is late and tomorrow you will be scouting with my daughter. It may have been a rough start but please try and work together.” Looking at both of them in turn he says. “Your future depends on it.”
The next morning Slyfer is up early and in a daze he had not slept much and now felt the effects of it. Grey Main however…. “Why are you so happy this morning?” Grey Main looks at Slyfer. “How can you not be it’s a going to be a great and interesting day.” Slyfer sighs. “You are obviously a morning person or wolf to be exact one thing you are right about though is that it’s going to be interesting!”
“Time to start with my plans.”