6.46 Picking Sides [Origins]

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Indy was content to have Briella by his side. She wasn’t the princess the king to be was originally supposed to marry, but he was pleased. She was such an exotic beauty, bringing with her the knowledge of ancient elven traditions and culture. “What is it you are thinking, my love?” Briella asked softly, tracing a circle on Indy’s overcoat. “Please share your thoughts with me.”

 

“My brother is supposed to be receiving the Rite of Elora today,” Indy mumbled. “She is a goddess who has blessed our family. But Dragos is nowhere to be found. He has run off with that Sophina girl, I believe.”

 

“What?” Briella asked, astonished. “Why? Why would he do such a thing?”

 

“My brother resents that I will be king,” Indy said, shutting his eyes. “I do not understand why, as he is getting powers bestowed upon him by a goddess. Or rather, was. He isn’t going to show up.”

 

“Why don’t you go then?” Briella suggested. “If Elora blessed your family, why can’t you receive the Rite as well as the throne? It is clear that Dragos cares not for his kingdom.”

 

“Would you stand by me if I did?” Indy asked.

 

“Yes, of course,” Briella said. “No matter what happens, you have my support. Always.”

 

“Then I shall do as you ask. Just give me your best smile before I go and beg the favor of Elora.”

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Lavina ran a hand through her slightly greasy hair. She hadn’t the time to wash up after battle practice. Her mind was on something else entirely: the darkness. She had to stop it before it tore Timmy apart. “Lavina,” A gruff voice rang throughout the feast hall. She had known that voice quite well. Her always angry older cousin who insisted upon faulting all of Lavina’s actions as clan leader. “We need to talk.”

 

“Yes, Falkor. What is it?” Lavina asked, letting out an angry sigh. “What can I help you with?”

 

“What is this?” Falkor held up the ancient text that Lavina had asked Elisha about just a day earlier. It was strange seeing it here. She hadn’t brought it home. She had no reason to, she couldn’t understand the text. “Rather, why do you have ancient vampiric text? Where did you even find it? This is heresy.”

 

“Falkor, relax,” Lavina said. “There is an explanation for it.”

 

“No explanation is going to be good enough,” Falkor said, furrowing his brows. “The person who found it has a big mouth. The others know and they are not happy.”

 

“Please, don’t do this,” LAvina said, already knowing what Falkor would be saying next. “These are my people. I am their ruler.”

 

“The ruler who is supposed to hunt vampires, not  whatever the hell this is,” Falkor said angrily. “If you find vampiric artifacts you are to bring it before the elders of Clan Gray. You have kept it hidden, and it is suggests only one thing. Lavina, by decree of the majority, you will need to step down as leader of Clan Gray.”

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“You cannot do that!” Lavina cried. “As I said, these are my people. My family.”

 

“And yet they choose not to stand by your side,” Falkor said. “I wish to believe in you, but I cannot engage in such heresy. It will be my head on the pike next.”

 

“What does this mean then?” Lavina asked. “Who will be new leader? You? Will we be expected to leave?”

 

“I have always been next in line since you are unwed,” Falkor reminded her. “You must leave the village immediately. Timothy will stay locked up until something has been determined for him. Some people think his condition has to do with the vampires and they are full of hatred.”

 

“I will not leave without him!” Lavina cried. “We are to leave together.”

 

“If I were you, I’d do everything in my power to make sure he is not found to be involved with the vampires as you are. If his sickness is attributed to their magic, he will be executed immediately.”

 

“He is innocent!” Lavina balled her hands into fists. “You cannot and will not kill him. I won’t allow it. You will have to kill me first.”

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“Lavina, do not make this harder than it has to be. You will be executed as well if you put up a fight,” Falkor said. “This is something you should have thought about before aligning yourself with the enemy.”

 

“Aligning myself? No…you have wrong information,” Lavina said.

 

“Then you must prove your loyalty,” Falkor replied gravely. “Bring us the head of Elisha Van Winkle. Then, we will be satisfied. You will have your position back as well as the faith of our people.”

 

Lavina shook with rage. “I..I cannot do that.”

 

“It is the only way,” Falkor said in a final matter. “Your brother will be spared, if so.”

 

‘Promise me then,” Lavina said. “Promise me he will not be touched until you hear back from me.”

 

“You have only a few days, I cannot offer more.” He frowned, walking away from Lavina. “You may not see him either. We do not want you telling him to do something irrational.”

 

“You can’t do that! We are family. Timmy is your family!” Lavina cried.

 

“I will watch him personally,” Falkor assured her. “For as long as I can.”

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Sophina let out an angry cry, crossing her arms over her chest. “I do NOT need a rest! We are almost there. Any more time spent will be a waste.”

 

“A waste?” Dionysus asked angrily. “In what world is resting a waste of time? Do NOT overdo it. You will do us no good passed out.”

 

“Ask Dragos, I’m sure he wants to keep moving.” Sophina threw her arms in the air. “Dragos, tell him.”

 

The pair was met with silence.Dionysus began to chuckle, his features softening when he noticed the man asleep on the ground behind them, using their bags as a pillow. “Yes, Dragos. Do tell me.”

 

“You suck!” Sophina exclaimed. “Ugh!”

 

“Hey now,” Dionysus said, reaching out to grab her arm. “No running off now. I can’t believe I got roped into chaperoning two royal children.”

 

“Chaperoning!? Who are you chaperoning? I’m doing fine on my own! I am NOT a child!”

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“You’re sure acting like one,” Dionysus said, sitting on the floor by Dragos’ curled up body. “Take a load off. We’ll get there when we get there.”

 

“What if the royal guard of Auguria or Halina find me?” Sophina asked quietly. “What then?”

 

“I won’t let you get captured again,” Dionysus said. “I owe you that much for letting Indy’s intentions slip my grasp. I want to apologize for that again.”

 

“Oh hush,” Sophina mumbled. “You owe me no apologies any longer. I get it, you didn’t mean to hurt me.”

 

“But I did hurt you,” Dionysus said. “No matter how many times I apologize, it won’t change a single thing. I put you in this position. I know there’s no use in harping on it, so I would just like to let you know that you will have my full support until I make things right.”

 

“You can start by holding my hand,” Sophina said quite boldly. “Will you do that for me?”

 

“Hold your hand?” Dionysus asked. “You would honor me with that?”

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“Don’t talk like that. We are of the same level now,” Sophina said, a blush tinting her cheeks. “I’ve just never held a man’s hand that…well…” She looked over at Dragos. “Must I say it?”

 

“That make your cheeks flame?” He mused, lying a hand on her cheek. “You don’t wish to love a man like me, so do not get too attached.”

 

“You do not get to choose that,” Sophina said. “I choose you. We have not known each other for very long, but I feel like I’ve known you for a lifetime. You see what the others don’t.” She inched closer to him. “Tell me again that I should ignore my instincts.”

 

“You should ignore your instincts,” He whispered, his lips a few centimeters from hers. “As I should ignore mine.”

 

Sophina locked lips with Dionysus’, her hands reaching out for his chest, and his for her face. The two kissed passionately, letting their pent up feelings guide their actions. “If I did what I was told, would I be out here right now?” Sophina whispered, as they pulled away.

 

“No, I suppose you wouldn’t,” Dionysus whispered back, a smile dancing on his lips. “May we try that again?”

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“Try it another time!” A woman cried, hands on her hips. She was frantic, body trembling. The two might have heard her approaching had they not been so enraptured in each other.

 

“Lavina?” Sophina asked breathlessly, her face heating up once again. “Are you okay?”

 

“No,” She replied, dropping to her knees beside the group. “What are you three doing here?”

 

“We were coming to see you and seek refuge,” Dionysus explained, not at all embarrassed that Lavina had caught him and Sophina kissing.

 

“That is not an option,” Lavina explained. “It is a very long story but my people have cast me out. They believe I am working with the vampires. They think that is why Timmy is sick!”

 

“What of him?” Dionysus asked. “Where is he now? How is he doing?”

 

“My cousin, Falkor, will not let me see him! He does not want to fight with the others. Falkor says that he will keep Timmy safe for a few days until I can return to him with Elisha’s head. Which I cannot do.”

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“Pardon me for interrupting,” Sophina said, lifting a finger. “But has that not been your goal all along? To eliminate Elisha?”

 

“I can’t do that anymore,” Lavina said. “He’s looking into why Timmy is the way he is. There may be a way to cure his sickness and the vampires are the key.”

 

“But if you do not kill Elisha, how will you get Timmy’s safe return?” Sophina asked, placing a hand to her heart. “We cannot let them harm him! He does not deserve to die because of his affliction.”

 

“There is a way,” Dionysus said. “Only one woman can help. Elora, the divine. Except, the only way to reach her is through the priestess, Dahlia, and she will not call upon Elora unless Dragos is to receive the Rite.”

 

“If Dahlia calls upon Elora to preform the rite, can Dragos talk to her when she is awoken? We can appeal to her,” Sophina said. “She may be able to help us all.”

 

“I’m not sure that she would help someone who wants to deflect her blessing,” Dionysus said. “Or if Dragos is willing to help us.”

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“He will listen to you,” Sophina cried. “Please Dio. I promised Timmy a tale of my journey and how can I deliver that to him if his clan executes him? I am not too unlike him either. Both of our homes have given up on us. I am able to be on the run, he is not.”

 

“The only other option is to break into my village and take Timmy by force, but I worry his condition will not allow for a long journey.” Lavina said. “Oh, please Dionysus. Timmy adores you.”

 

Dionysus nodded. “I will ask Dragos when he awakens but do not expect anything. This plan damns him to either a cursed life, or a life with a blessing he does not wish to have. Elora may not be so apt to give it to him anymore either. He did stand her up.”

 

“We need to think positively,” Sophina said. “We have to talk to this Dahlia woman, get her to conjure Elora and then beg for her favor.” Sophina bowed her head to Lavina. “For your hospitality to me, I will not stop until I know the two of you are safe and sound.”

 

“Thank you,” Lavina said. “I am sorry to have intruded on your moment. I just do not have anywhere else to go or anyone else to turn to.”

 

“We are here for you,” Dionysus said. “You may travel and stay with us. It’s not much of a camp, but it should work. Rest, and then in the morning we can begin our travel back to Auguria.”

 

“We can take shifts,” Lavina assured him. “I am a warrior as well. No use in us all being tired.” Lavina patted Sophina’s hand. “You get some sleep. Timmy would kill me if I didn’t take care of you.”

2 thoughts on “6.46 Picking Sides [Origins]

  1. Falkor doesn’t strike me as very trustworthy. If he’s next in line for Lavina’s position, who says he isn’t the one who turned her people against her?
    And I don’t trust Indy. Not one tiny bit.

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  2. I have a feeling that it’s Indy’s fault that things go really bad with the Divine. I mean sure Briella encouraged him but he didn’t have to listen to her and he didn’t need to be greedy in wanting both the kingdom and the divine’s blessing. I don’t trust Falkor. He may say he will ‘protect’ Timmy but I have a feeling Timmy wouldn’t need protecting if it weren’t for him. Someone had to turn the people against Lavina and I think that’s him. Plus I have a feeling Altiere planted the book to get rid of Elisha. Falkor’s thinking is faulty. Someone worse will probably take Elisha’s place and that someone may not have any restraints whatsoever in regards to humans. Humans like him is why there can’t be peace. Nope don’t like him at all! I hope they can save Timmy but I’m not so sure about Dragos going back 😦

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