Book 1 Chapter 13: An Understanding.
This time it is Trisha’s turn to burst out. “Why is there so much secrecy surrounding you. So many secrets, so many unknowns you cannot blame us for wanting to find out it is not only out of curiosity but out of duty to our people!”
Slyfer picks a stick up and breaks it. “I am not here to hurt you only to hurt those who would enslave all our races. I also have a duty but it goes far beyond any one race. The secrets around me are meant for protection. Do I not have a right to privacy and protection what gives you the right to want to know what I am?”
Fira chirps in this time speaking to the both of them. “We stand on the brink of war we cannot have unknowns.” Slyfer starts to laugh but one of bitterness. He stands up and walks over bending down in front of them blue eyes boring right into their very existence. “The brink of war? Oh no, no we are going to have a war there is no brink it is inevitable. I will wage a war and you will help me and those that do not will be against me. You two and the others like you are going to help me or die that is my destiny my purpose! You so dearly want to know what I am. I am the bringer of war the end of the black dragon and if you won’t help me I will be the end of you!”
The two of them are shocked and silent. Fira is the first to break the silence. “You cannot expect us to follow you blindly.” “I do not expect you to. I have already proven myself to her…. Ancestors” He gestures towards Trisha. “I must win the trust of yours as well. If you let me I will speak to the wolves inside your mind.” “How did you know?”
“How I know is of no consequence I assume your brother holds the same power as you?” Fira looks away answering his question with her silence. Slyfer shakes his head while walking back to the fire. “How I will prove myself I do not know I just know that I have to for the sake of all the races.”
“Let us speak to him.” Booms the voices inside Fira’s mind. “How?” We will speak through you just let go of your mind.”She is silent for a while. “I do not like this. What if he is a traitor?” “Do you truly believe that he is? We watched him as he tended to you healed you he could have killed you then at any time he wanted.”
“Fine.” Slyfer is just about to take a bite of the meat when he feels a great presence. He immediately reaches for his sword and steels his mind the dragons help him as well. “You are well trained.” Slyfer smiles but does not relax his guard. “You are the wolves I assume.”
“You assume correctly whelp says a rougher voice.” Slyfer is filled with anger but not his own. “Watch your tongue wolf or it will be removed.” The wolves are silent for a while. Slyfer grows impatient. “So to what do I owe this conversation?”
“You wished to know what you can do to prove yourself.” Slyfer nods unconsciously. “Yes I do.”
“There is only one thing that you can do. The great wolves have lost most of their power this is mainly because they have been influenced by the politics of the dark elves, they have lost the old ways. We wish for you to bring this back to them to remind them of what they once were. We wish for you to replace their leader.”
“For that I need to know who their leader is and what the old ways were like. Will you open your minds and show me?” They are silent once again. “We will show you young one.”“Then I will do as you ask. But first I must make it out of here alive with Fira and Trisha.” “Then it is agreed?” “Yes it is I swear on my name.” The dragons inside Slyfer go crazy at this. Swearing on your name is apparently a big deal to them. “We have one more question.”“You can ask however I will choose to answer or not.” “What is the girl called Trisha. We need to know if we can trust her.”
“What she is, is her own business you will find out when she is ready.”
With that the wolves fade and Slyfer is dragged back to reality. Fira stares at him wide eyed and Trisha can’t decide who to look at and it makes her head seem like it is on a swivel. Slyfer smiles. “Let’s eat!”
The next morning Slyfer is up early and starts working on a make-shift stretcher to carry Fira in. Trisha makes breakfast or gathers breakfast by gathering fruits and anything edible. Just before sunrise Slyfer disappears. Trisha impatient and ready to go follows his tracks and finds him on the edge of a cliff looking at the sunrise.
She is struck by the longing on his face. She turns to what he is looking at and gasps. The sun rising behind the cliffs cast the forest under it into a luminescent glow the rays reflecting through the mist makes you almost think you can touch them. A river stretches from one side of the scenery to the next disappearing around a cliff after making a sharp bend. “Have you ever seen such a site Kitty cat?” Says Slyfer without turning, in a boyish voice.
Her eyes turn back to him. “No I can’t say that I have.” “Can’t decide if I like him or hate him.” He turns to her with his best smile. “It reminds me of home. How I wish I was back there and to think I wanted to leave it so badly.” As he says it the smile fades and he turns to his usual self. “Let’s go.”As they near the camp Slyfer suddenly stops and draws his sword slowly. Trisha is on his heels. “What’s wrong?” “There is someone in the camp with Fira and we are surrounded. Grey Main I know you are out there you can come out!”
A few paces in front of them the forest shimmers as if out of focus and then turns to fur and claws. “What gave me away? I was well hidden my presence as well.” Slyfer smiles. “Trade secret. Are you here to help us or kill me?” The wolf circles them cautiously. “A little bit of both as you can imagine the Prince and his father are very worried. What are the chances that you, the Princess and the strange girl behind you all disappear at once?”
“Slyfer sheaves his sword. It is a strange coincidence indeed shall we go to Fira and find out what she has to say?” The wolf keeps circling until he is behind them. “After you Slyfer.” “Why thank you Gray Main.” “I can already see him eating me.” As they walk more wolves appear some shimmering but most don’t.
To Slyfer’s surprise only those with silver mains can shimmer the others cannot. “Your pack used to be the leaders weren’t they?” The wolf stops for a brief second surprised. “Yes we were.” Slyfer thinks for a while. “What happened?” Slyfer can sense the irritation in the wolf at his questions. “A sore subject it seems.”
Around 30 wolves surround them as they enter the camp Fira is still on the ground but she is now being tended by healers from the dark elves. They remind him of vultures circling their pray cackling and gesturing with the long black robes flapping around them. One of them with gold woven into his robe is the only one that watches quietly saying only a few words now and then.
With his mind Slyfer quickly contacts Fira. “Are you okay and what have you told them?” He can sense her pain and irritation caused by the doctors before she masks herself off from him. “I am fine and I told them I went for a moonlight stroll and fell. You and Trisha were hunting and you found me.”
“Really, a stroll?” “I couldn’t think of anything else at the time.” Slyfer half chuckles to himself. “It will have to do I guess.” Slyfer relays the story they are going with to Trisha who only nods. “I am surprised I thought she would hang me out to dry.”
Trisha is about to reply when a familiar voice pipes up behind him. “So the traitor has been found! What shall we do with you then?” Instant anger fills Slyfer up but to his surprise there is sharpness to it focused and clean. “I have changed once again.” You are Singing Pear I believe.” Its little brother pig. “Its Singing Spear! Traitor! Arrest him or better yet kill him!” “You assume much to call me a traitor and even more to think that you can kill me.” Slyfer turns his gaze to Grey main. “Is he the leader on this mission?”
The wolf turns to Singing Spear and projects aloud. “No he is not. The Prince is.” Slyfer walks over to the fire where he stored the rest of his meat ignoring the gawking Singing Spear. “Are you hungry Grey main? It’s not much but it was too much for me.” The wolf eats the leftovers with one gulp after smelling it tentatively. Gray Main looks at Slyfer. “Are you trying to buy favors?” Slyfer crouches down hands on his knees in front of the wolf. “Is it working?”
The wolf also sits down although it is still twice the height that Slyfer is causing him to look down. “That depends on what you want. I am duty bound you must understand this before asking the favor.” Slyfer nods. “That’s understandable however I must ask to who you are bound by duty, the wolves the dark elves or both if so who comes first.”
“You ask a difficult question. My heart says the wolves but my promise says the dark elves. Soon it will be the same for you if you are adopted.” Slyfer thinks for a while pondering over what the wolf had said. “Can you tell me about the old ways of the wolves?”
If a wolf could look surprised Slyfer guessed it would be the way Grey Main looked at that moment. “It is a sad tale and we are forbidden to talk about it. If you wish to know you must ask the elders. I caution you they do not take kindly to strangers especially our King.” He says the word as if it is a curse.
“I will respect your wishes Grey Main.” The wolf grunts. “You are different than the other two legs.” Slyfer gets up and pats the wolf on his shoulder. “You have no idea my friend.” They both start laughing but its cut short by an announcement that the Prince had arrived. With a face that reflects noting but anger. Singing Spear is by his side in an instant.
“We found the traitor my Prince!”
“Shut up fool what he is has not been determined yet. Get out of my site! You!” He points at Slyfer “Come here. We are going to have a few words.” Slyfer ignores the way Pathfinder spoke to him but the dragons inside him don’t. “We should rip his head off. That death would be too quick. Maybe we should burn him. No, no the smell of burning dark elf is terrible.”
“Old ones I am trying to think please calm down besides he is a wolf as well and a Prince we do not need the dark elves as enemies even if I want to punch a hole in his face.” The dragons go quiet and then. “Punch a hole in his face! Why did we not think of that?” Slyfer rolls his eyes as they continue to think of ways to best kill the Prince.
“What is it you wish to talk about Pathfinder.” Slyfer keeps his voice even trying to keep from bursting out in laughter due to a particularly interesting comment one of the dragons made. “What happened? They have relayed to me what my sister said but that hardly sounds like the truth.”
“What your sister said is part of the truth. Just know I only came out here to hunt and get away from all this.” Slyfer gestures around him at the dark elves and wolves. Pathfinder is about to object when Slyfer holds up his hand. “If you do not believe me or your sister please ask those that live inside you.”
Pathfinder goes bone white with shock and surprise. “I underestimated you. What and who are you?” Pathfinders hand drifts toward his sword handle. “That’s not necessary I am not an enemy.” Pathfinder’s face screws up with surprise. “You were a lot more hot headed when I met you. What has changed?”
“I spent a few days in the woods with two pretty girls.” Pathfinder goes even whiter with anger this time. “If you so much as touched my sister I will- “But I didn’t touch her. Are we finished? If he goes any whiter he will become transparent.”
“Yes we are done for now. My father will also want to know what happened.” Slyfer shrugs non-committedly. “Just ask your sister.” With a glare the Prince stalks past then half turns. “Oh don’t you worry I will get everything out of her.”
Trisha sitting off to one side also gets interrogated. “I wonder where the fairies are?”
“Vinx! Vinx are you there?” Slyfer calls out with his mind. Its clear some of the wolves hear him as well by the way they cringe. The healer with the gold in his robes, Pathfinder,Fira and Trisha do the same. “Did you have to do that so loud?” Shouts Pathfinder, from his sister’s side. “The fairies are being held captive in the camp along with all of your companions.”
Slyfer steps toward the Prince. “Control, control, control, the hell with control!” Slyfer’s eyes go red and his aura explodes. Into its normal state. Trisha is by Slyfer’s side in the next second. “Slyfer don’t!” All he does is look at her and then back at the Prince who now stands frozen. “I am sorry Pathfinder did I hear you correctly. They are held captive?”
Pathfinder finds his words. “Yes, they are your companions, when you disappeared along with my sister it was the obvious choice.” Slyfer can feel the wolves inching closer along with dark elves to restrain or kill him if he tries anything.
Before the Prince can tell them to back-off a wolf lunges at Slyfer but he is stopped by Grey Main. “Do you want to die he is beyond your abilities!” He then turns to Slyfer.
“No one is hurt Slyfer they all went willingly saying that you are innocent. Stop this madness.” The aura implodes and becomes what the others are used to. But Slyfer’s eyes only simmer down to the color of hot coals. “I accept your word Grey Main but if we get there and any one of them are hurt, I will hold you responsible.”
With that he turns and walks into the forest headed towards the dark elf army. The Prince lets out a breath. “Grey Main take your pack and accompany him.” Turning to Trisha who is looking at the forest where Slyfer disappeared. “What was that?” Turning to him she says. “That was the beast.”
Aldowin paces up and down frustration and anger basically exploding out of him. “How many days has it been that boy. I will kill him I will strangle the stupid out of him. I will cut of his legs so he can’t go anywhere anymore I will-“Is he at it again?” Asks Vinx to Elyna. Elyna rolls her eyes. “He never stopped. How can you fairies sleep with him going on and on about what he is going to do to Slyfer?”
“Like I have told Slyfer many times. Fairies have skills. We should never have agreed to come here in the first place its soooo booooring….. I know let’s leave!” Elena snorts. “And just how do you think you are going to leave this prison.” Vinx flies in a loop and giggles. “I told you fairies have skills.”
A bustle of movement draws them to the entrance of their prison which consists of a steel cage with a tent put up over it to keep the fairies in. The cage and tent itself is just for show however around them is a constant guard of men and wolves and not in small number either.Aldowin can hear guards running and shouting outside the tent. “Blast it what is going on!” One of the gaurds outside comes in arrogance clearly in his bearing. “They have caught the traitor high elf and he is back in camp. We will make him pay for kidnapping the Princess.”
Before he knows it Aldowin has him by the scruff of his neck. “You touch him you die!” The dark elf tries to move out of Aldowins’ grip but he is caught like a fly in a spider’s web.Aldowin lets go of his grip and the dark elf staggers back and disappears behind the wall of the tent. The sword master turns to the fairy. “What was your plan for getting out of here?”
“That won’t be necessary master.” Aldowin turns around with a look of disbelief which then turns into relief. The look of Relief turns to one so angry that Slyfer takes a step back away from the cage. “Slyfer you, you, you, youuu!” Slyfer holds up his hands. “It wasn’t my fault Master I swear.” Aldowin starts pacing and Slyfer knows a lecture is about to begin. Slyfer turns to the guard. “Well don’t just stand there who has the key?” The guard still standing rigid as if at attention with the spear next to him does not say anything.
“Fine then.” Calling on magic Slyfer takes two bars in his hands and melts them away. “Let’s go master we have some catching up to do.” As they come out of the tent a call goes up that the Prince has arrived. They make for the tent that was allocated to them but are stopped by a short dark elf sent by the king.
“The king summons you to his court umm Lord SLyfer.” Slyfer looks at his master and the others. “Can we bathe and dress in more appropriate garb?” The elf is taken back by the Slyfer’s courteousness along with all the others around them. “I will carry the message to the King however you must remain guarded.” Slyfer nods. I understand Grey Main and his pack will stay with us. Will that put you at ease?”
“Yes thank you Sir.” Slyfer turns around to an astounded Aldowin. “Shall we go Master?” Before he can answer Slyfer starts walking. Aldowin quickly catches up and leans closer to whisper in Slyfer’s ear. “What happened you have changed?” “I am not allowed to tell him of the others.” Slyfer uses the walk as an excuse not to talk while he thinks of a story to make up.
“When they reach the tent Grey Main and his pack surround it and they head inside. The small dark elf as always is inside waiting for them. The silence is broken immediately by Vinx who can’t hold it in any longer. But Slyfer holds up is hand. Gesturing at the dark elf to come closer. “Please forgive me I never asked your name.”
She looks surprised and about to cry. “My… my name is Selica.”
“Nice to meet you Silica would you mind fetching us water to so that we can bathe?” She blushes and nods vigorously. “I will do it immediately my Lord.” Before Slyfer can say thank you she rushes out.
Slyfer quickly seals the tent with wind magic so that no one can listen in. “Something feels different with my magic.” Aldowin is pacing again.
“Master calm down. Fira and Trisha followed me when I went to go hunting… to get away for a while.” The last part he puts in for Elyna’s benefit. A knowing look passes between the two and Slyfer shakes his head lightly. “a Shower of relief washes over Aldowin and he sits down. “While Fira was following me she fell and hurt herself. I found and helped her shortly after that Trisha found us and also helped me. We could not move her and that is why we were gone for so long.”
“I should have stopped myself from hurting her so badly I should have-“ O stop it you did not know it was her.”
“I knew, deep inside me I sensed it there is no excuse I was a monster.”
Slyfer gets drawn back to the present when Selica returns.
After his bath Slyfer puts the black shirt and white pants on since the black pants is basically ruined now. He thought of asking Vinx to fix it again but last time it left her so exhausted he didn’t want to burden her with it. Slyfer looks into the water at his reflection and sighs.
“Old ones? I need to know more. Why do I feel that it is so important to connect with the others like me? I feel lost without direction and to top it all off. I behaved like a monster again.”
“We can not give you all the answers you seek but what we can tell you is that the power you hold is stronger than even we anticipated when you…. Act out it is because you lose control of this power. Not all of us are sane many have been broken by the anger we held in our previous life and since we are connected to you our feelings seep into you. Only you can control it we cannot.”
“What about the others? Does the same thing happen to them?”
The voices are silent for a while. “We don’t know even though you are similar in the way you speak to the ancients. You are still different in many ways young one.”
“What ways! I don’t understand what am I?”
The voices turn into a cacophony of sounds as they start to argue.After a few seconds they finally subside. “We are not allowed to tell you. But what we will tell you is that the changes you feel are because another one of us has fused with you.” The voices start to fade and Slyfer feels like he can explode with frustration.
“Slyfer are you ready?” Its Aldowins voice on the other side of the partition and it pulls Slyfer out of his thoughts. “Yes just give me a minute.”
Cleaned and fresh the companions head towards the main tent. Everyone who came with Slyfer is there all except for Trisha. Whom he had not seen since that morning. As they walk Slyfer tries to make small talk with Grey Main but the conversation soon dies. Vinx is also quiet for once. Another thing weighing on Slyfer’s mind is the whereabouts of Shcree she had not been locked up with the rest since she is an animal.
When Slyfer had asked Aldowin he also had no idea. “Should have left her on the mountain.” They reach the tent and Grey Main takes his leave along with the rest of his pack. “I will contact you soon Grey Main. We must talk.” The wolf does not answer but simply lowers his head like a nod and walks off.
The hall is empty except for the king and elders. Their expressions are unreadable and their eyes are cold as they follow Slyfer while he makes his way to the front of the hall. The party stops and all are quiet. Slyfer gets impatient. “You have called us here for a reason other than staring at me I assume?”
The King finally smiles but a fat pompous Elder on his right pipes up. “You were not given permission to speak outsider!” The exertion has him red in the face and huffing for air. He has small beady eyes like a pig. “His face looks familiar. He looks like Singing Spear. So that is why he can get away with so much. Daddy is on the council.”
Old Sun sitting on the left of the king is about to say something when the king lifts is hands for silence. “He does not know our customs Great Spear calm down.” The red face goes redder with anger at the King’s words.
“That is right he does not know anything of our customs yet you want to adopt him.” Old Sun slams his hands down on the table. “If you had a problem with it you should have said something at the ceremony. It is too late now.” The fat man smiles and Slyfer cant help but think that Old Sun walked right into a trap.
“I did object but no one would listen. I suggest we cancel the adoption in light of what has happened.” Aldowin speaks this time. “Please inform us as well what has happened?”
Great Spear smiles again. “He wanted to be asked that question.” He draws out the silence to and then drops his words like hammer blows. “Slyfer, this outsider kidnapped the Princess is it not obvious! My son who was one of the brave elves that caught this beast told me everything! There is no need to wait for the Prince or Princess since I heard it first hand from my son.”
Slyfer bows is head drawing everyone’s attention. “I must apologize to you elder Great Spear I did not realize Singing Spear was your son.” The fat elf puffs up with his own self-importance as he hears the words. It reminds Slyfer of a bullfrog but then Slyfer continues. “I have called Singing Spear many names and awful things. I did not realize I missed on calling him a liar as well. Please accept my apology I will correct my mistake as soon as I see him again.”
Old Sun bursts out laughing along with some of the other Elders . “I will not stand for this!” Great Spear leaps to his feet in outrage nearly toppling the table over with his belly. Slyfer steps forward. “I too will not stand for being falsely accused if the Prince and Princess does not collaborate with my story I will accept any punishment the elders deem necessary but until then I will not hold my tongue while you and your son spew lies about me!”
This time it is the King’s turn to get on his feet. “Order. I will have order Great Spear you accuse the boy of not knowing our ways yet you do not follow them yourself! Sit down or I will have you flogged. And you!” He points at Slyfer. “Do not think you can do as you wish in my court. You will receive twenty lashes for your disrespect and the mere fact that you snuck out of camp will increase it to thirty! It will be the Spear clan that carries out the punishment since it is them that you disrespected.”
Slyfer caught off guard has nothing to say. Nor can anything he says change what has been decreed. Old Sun lifts his hand to speak and receives a nod from the King. But before he can speak the king warns him. “Do not try to change my mind this is also your fault for encouraging the boy.” Old Sun shakes his head. I do not wish to try and change your mind only to find out when the sentence will be carried out.”
The King sits down.” It will be done tomorrow.” Old Sun raises his hand once again. “Can we move it until after he has done the tests he will need to be in top condition if he is to compete fairly?” The King thinks about it for a while. “Fine we will wait until after the test. But know this it will be carried out whether he passes or not and that is final!”
Slyfer can still hardly believe it as Old Sun and the king discuss what is to be done with him. “
So they wish to punish me for speaking out. What kind of world is this? Are men not allowed to speak freely? What did I do wrong?”His thoughts are broken by the entrance of the Prince with Trisha by his side. It nags at him but Slyfer lets it go right at this moment he doesn’t care what happens. Fira follows soon afterward carried by four slaves. Their eyes meet and he simply nods.
What follows after is the Prince’s tale of how they tracked and found Slyfer what they found at the camp and the events that followed. Then they ask Fira who is still in pain and her story is just as she told Slyfer it would be even though it is embarrassing. Suspicion is clearly etched on everyone’s faces but they have no choice but to accept what was said. The King once again raises his hand for silence. “It is clear to me that Slyfer did not do any of the things that he was suspected of. He will not be punished for Fira’s condition. Are there any other questions?” All keep quiet accept for a tall dark elf woman sitting on the far side of the table.
She has long silver hair and is dressed in the same garb as the healers were. Her voice rings with kindness as she asks. “Young man. Is it true that you are the one that healed Fira?” Slyfer nods still dumbfounded about what is going to happen to him. “Where did you learn to heal? I examined her wounds myself and it was done perfectly even some of our best trained healers could not have done it better.”
Slyfer bows. “I thank you for the compliment my Lady but where I learned it I cannot say.” Her hazel eyes close as she thinks and then turns to the king. “If he fails Old Sun’s tests my clan will adopt him. I will also personally see to his healing after he has received the thirty lashes.” An audible gasp escapes Trisha’s mouth and Fira rounds on her father.
“He is innocent! Why do you punish him?” The King simply ignores her. “You are all dismissed.” Before they leave Great Spear catches Slyfer’s eyes. He bows exaggeratedly and smiles. Slyfer once again feels the anger inside him and without looking he knows his eyes have gone red. Great Spear turns around and is just about to exit the tent when Slyfer enters his mind.
“You may feel satisfied but know this for every lash I receive I will make you and your family suffer. Your clan will fall from the king’s grace and under the heel of clan Night wolf.” Great Spear is about to shout out but when he turns around Slyfer is gone and only he is left standing inside the tent.