FAETED LOVERS (10 Chapters) – C. Swallow

Faeted Lovers -·=»‡«=·- Chapter 9 -·=»‡«=·-
This was the best day and turning out to be the best night of my life so far. It was so exciting compared to what I was used to! Although we were all exhausted, Vlaric, Vladimir, Missy and I, were not only safe in Doven Falls. We were free to explore for the night.
This was due to Rexion being held up in Hawkeye with a sudden illness, Missy could see this through her Mind’s Eye. So, we had an entire night to do as we pleased before we worked out how to explain away the fact we were alive to Rex and the Nightingale Army when they eventually arrived in Doven Falls later, possibly tomorrow night.
However, that was a problem for another day.

“Look at them dance!” I giggle to Missy, far too drunk, as Vlaric and Vladimir jump around the massive balcony with the other town’s folk that served us all plentiful free food. Everyone who lived in Doven Falls were genuinely sweet and generous with full hearts.
The entire town lies nestled in deep forest, along a beautiful river that flows at the base of grey cliff boulders with a cute waterfall embedded into the rocks, flowing from higher ground. It’s like a tree top town, with the trees apart of the homes which lie at the bottom and slowly extend up.
It’s paradise, hidden from the rest of the comparably bland and formal world I had known. Although, to be fair, I had not known anything outside the City of Bird Song, so who was I to say this was paradise? However, even if there were greater places beyond, it sure felt like a small utopia all on its own.
Missy and I were being fed whatever we wanted while Vlaric and Vladimir seemed to be… a part of something greater. People knew them. Missy commented on it with a hint of mystery in her eyes.

If they really were princes, or past royalty as 10 and 7 year old boys, perhaps people from that time still knew their faces and secretly celebrated a forbidden kingdom’s doomed rule.
I still wasn’t sure how powerful these Eioth people were if they lost a war, but I was, deep down… feeling full of tumultuous existential questions.
Part of me remembered the way my murdered parents had run a small farm. They made cheese and honey. They were extremely gentle and I think they were believers in Eioth.
They were alive before what I know now as the Brethren, came and slaughtered any followers of the faith my parents followed… I didn’t know why this perfect happiness was killed away from so much of my world. I didn’t understand.
I’m thinking about the Eioth faith now from the particular pattern of vines on the ceiling.  It likened to the shape of a peanut, a fat rounded curve, a thin middle and a smaller round end. It was a sign that the people of Doven Falls were in fact Eioth believers.
I understand that that is why Vlaric and Vladimir were so celebrated.
It was intoxicating watching it happen, and not because of the ale. The power they had here was a little hint of what they could have. Of what we all could have.
I didn’t know much about the core things Vlaric and Vlad wanted to fight for, but I had a strong desire to fight for them and by their side.
I look over to see Missy’s black hair being braided by the Inn’s father’s daughters while mine is being threaded with flowers.

“…I actually do have a sixth sense…” Missy whispers to one of the daughters and she asks her more about it, while a girl on my side pokes my shoulder while threading through the flowers.
“What about you, flame?” she asks, “Do you have any powers?”
“Oh, no,” I shrug, “Unless you consider being a rebellious little shit a power, then… maybe. But I can cry on a whim. That’s true of me. Oh and… also… why did you call me flame?”
“…haven’t you heard it before? It’s a common nickname for people with such dark red hair,” the girl smirks as she retells her story which provides me with some knowledge, “…it means you have a wild soul… and possible blood connections to the Falcon blood line –”

Just as her story starts, her voice gets drowned out. I can’t hear her when the band starts a song that apparently everyone knows the lines to.
Everyone starts singing while stamping their feet.
Missy and I lean into each other, not recognising the lyrics but listening and taking in the absolute joy being spread as they share their love together… “…she who kisses the ground…. then shares the sound… all around and around… he who passes the crown… then takes the crown… all around and around!”
Apparently this song is funny because everyone is laughing when they sing.
It’s… mischievous.
And by the third and loudest round, as the feeling of belief rises, something happens…
… the flames in the lanterns dim and the air starts to warm.

Everyone notices and they sing a bit louder.
It’s almost terrifying as the atmosphere changes, but these people who understand seem to hunger for something to happen.
Everyone stamps their feet even louder and then the flames completely disappear.
…and a different glow appears.
I lean into Missy’s ear and ask her, “…is this a trick or something?”
She doesn’t answer in words but she grabs my hand, too scared to say anything else.
Everyone in the Inn falls silent except for some gasps of excited awe as the vine symbol above our head, seems to breathe out an ashy silver magic that gives off light.
It’s shifting to gold and turning into a shape, an obvious crown… it’s hovering still between two young men in the air above them.
Real princes.
Vladimir is reaching for it and Vlaric is staring at it in awe, smirking. I think I even see their ears growing points.
But no, it must be a trick of the eye.
They are both totally at ease, however, which confuses me.

Then, just as quickly as the shape of the crown appears, it wisps away to nothing and the lights all burn back to life.
It’s over; swift as it occurred, the magic is gone.
Everyone cheers… then they simply continue to drink and dance and sing.
No one cares something literally insane just happened.
Missy turns to me and shrugs.
I lean into her for comfort, feeling shaken with the strange phenomenon that just occurred.
Not long after, I notice Vlaric and Vladimir getting a bit loose on their feet, leaning into each other also.
They stumble back over to our table in the centre of the Doven Inn and they reach for more ale.
“I don’t think so!” Missy pulls the jug back, although she’s smiling, “You’ve had enough.”
“Yeah… probably…” Vladimir digs the heels of his hands into his eyes, sighing deeply and low in a groan and a growl.
Vlaric is still leaning into Vlad’s side, he shuffles back and tries to kick his feet onto the table but ends up teetering back so far he falls off the bench completely.
We all hear the thump and even as Vladimir grabs Vlaric’s scruff and hauls him back up, I can’t help laughing loudly about it.
Missy is shaking her head, wiggling her finger at both of them.
It’s very sweet watching Vladimir help Vlaric back onto the seat, but now Vlaric’s blue drunken gaze is focused on me.
“You think it’s funny?” Vlaric asks, lightly… too lightly, “That I fell off my chair…? Yeah? So funny…”

“You’re so clumsy,” I point out, “…because you’re drunk.”

“No. Maybe I’m clumsy,” Vlaric leans forward, his elbow on the table and his finger wagging back and forth, “Maybe. I’m. Clumsy. Because I missed every lesson I was meant to attend about royal manners… and now I’m a lousey piece of shit prince. Why do you think I read so much…?”
“Handsome and lousey… with pointed ears too?” I hiccup on a breath and smile… until I realise Vlaric’s lost his.
“…what did you say?” Vlaric asks, fairly serious.
Even Vladimir is frozen in his seat, staring at me in confusion.
“You had pointed ears –” I repeat but get cut off.
Vlaric stands dramatically, shushing me while he hobbles to my side, slipping down, he puts an arm around my waist and leans into my ear, “…please watch what you say, Monaaaa…”
I really shouldn’t… I really should just listen… but -!
“You did! You had pointed ears! Pointed ears! P-” I can’t help myself.

I clearly have a problem.
Vlaric’s hand simply rises from my waist, his arm winds around my shoulder and he shuts my mouth with his large sword hand.
“I don’t… I don’t have…” Vlaric hisses the start of something, seemingly playful, but then he glares at Vladimir for help.
I hadn’t noticed Vladimir coming to stand by Vlaric, holding out a hand to me.

“Let’s go -”
“To bed?” Vlaric tries to finish the question.
Vladimir shakes his head.
“…for a walk in the forest,” Vladimir encourages Missy and I to stand with a sparkle in his eye. A literal sparkle.
I nod enthusiastically even though Vlaric’s hand is still on my mouth.
“…why is that, Vladimir?” Vlaric asks, a bit more quietly… a bit more menacing.
He doesn’t approve.
“We’re in Doven Falls,” Vladimir points out the obvious, “It’ll only get worse from this point on into all the Faedom towns with Rexion’s army. It will be impossible to hide it forever, Vlaric. We simply can’t continue to pretend otherwise…”
“I don’t like it when you speak so much,” Vlaric growls at Vlad but finally unhands my mouth while begrudgingly agreeing as he stands, “Fine. Vlad. But I’m leading.”
“No way, I will!” Vladimir and Vlaric proceed to bicker like little old ladies while Missy stands and pulls me with her.
“…I’m so intrigued,” Missy bites her bottom lip, “We’re about to see something really cool.”
“You think?” I grin, “Let’s go, before they change their minds.”

“True, I have a feeling they would never do this sober,” Missy laughs as we slide out from the table to follow them, hand in hand so we don’t get lost in the crowd, “…they may not even remember any of this when they wake up tomorrow morning.”
True. And that was probably a good thing.
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