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Chapter 19: Surviving Fates
‘“The Skyreach, majestic and decadent looms above Mt. Svaljer. Legend has it that its obsidian black walls cast no shadow, nay, is made of shadows itself. The central tower pierces the grey, perpetually overcast skies of Kshajlmeir. It was as if the air itself lies dead still as our Skyclimber inches toward it. The silence is so profound that each thrum of the ragnacore engine sounds as loud as thunder. I can’t help but shiver as I lay my eyes upon the fading ground far below us. Up in the sky, you really start to appreciate how vast, how endless the world is.
I must close my account, for now, for the wide black arches of the Skyreach beckon me. At night, perhaps by the warm fires, I might pen down my thoughts more, if I can withstand the thin air up here, that is.”
14th of Redleaf, 26th year of Silver Spring.’
— Last entry from the journal of Proghar Xiolptli, a beastfolk researcher considered foremost among the ruin researchers. Dated 15,495 A.C
A loud bang. Startled, I jumped up. The boat had hit a submerged rock, jolting me out of the hazy slumber. Fuck! Every part of my body was aflame with pain. Bones groaned when I moved. The boat was floating lazily around the rock it had hit. Its underside scraped against the rock while the eddies moved the boat.
Faeve was sprawled on the other side of the boat, her hands extending on both sides. I crawled towards her. Why is she…?
Her face was deathly, paler than an Elf’s skin could ever be. I touched her temple. Shit, she is burning up! I shook her frail body that was curled up in a tight ball. She didn’t reply. Even her breathing was rough and, I put my finger under her nose, Too hot! Her fever is really bad!
She shivered a bit as my skin touched hers, and mumbled in some unknown language in her sleep. Hmm? Her cheeks were wet.
Oh, fucking hell! Arin’s figure came to me in a flash. I…I saw her, she said she loved me… What, what just happened? How was Arin…I stared at Faeve’s slumbering face, something must have exhausted the elf too much, else how would she…don’t tell me—
Faeve…you acted as Arin to comfort me? I couldn’t imagine the pain she had to go through to keep her mind sane. My fevered mind must have been hallucinating and she…accepted it? The effort must have been enormous. Due to the connection—Faeve’s mind must have made her believe the love I felt was for her. It would have been agonising when I called out Arin’s name again and again; each time it would remind her that it wasn’t her I loved. Even if she hates me, the connection would make her think she is my loved one again and again and me calling Arin’s name would break that illusion just after.
I brushed my hands on her warm cheeks, I am no good with women, am I?
Water was rushing into the cracked hull. Fuck! The rock! The boat would sink fast. The shore lay before my eyes, still a bit far. We need to reach that shore.
I stood up in the boat. Pain lanced up my body. Fucking gifts always mess me up! I rolled over to the side, splashing into the water. The cold water made me shiver. I swam slowly to the front end of the boat. I unlashed a length of rope attached to it.
I can’t swim while carrying her on my back so…
I tied one end of the rope on the boat’s prow. Pungent water swirled into my mouth as I bit down on the other end. Yuck!
I started swimming slowly. The pain in my muscles seemed to have subsided in the frigid waters. The salty seas made careless inroads into my mouth. The white sandy shore loomed some distance away.
The boat glided behind me, every moment a little more of it sunk. Faster! Before it sinks totally. I swam harder, my breath misting up. The sands of the beach glittered in the scant light of dawn. Suddenly, I faltered. My body couldn’t take the abuse anymore. The muscles felt like it would tear apart. But I still swam on. I have to live!
My limbs were growing numb, as I took more and more water inside me. My teeth chattered from the cold. Fuck! the rope slipped out from between my teeth and splashed onto the water. I clambered to catch it as it floated away from me. I…I can’t hold on anymore.
I whistled loudly. Once, Twice…nothing happened. Of course, they won’t listen when I am weak. I swam on, every second a fight against losing consciousness. I took a sharp breath as something floated upwards in front of me.
A small grayish-black drifted towards me, water cascading out of its tiny scales.
A baby Great Sea Crezet! Little red eyes peered at me from the water. Its small head floated up with a shrill chatter. Will it be of any help? Its so…tiny that even its scales haven’t turned black. Then again, no strong Crezets will listen to me right now.
The small beast swam towards me. I made a wide loop out of the rope and gave the baby crezet half of it. It bit down on the rope and started pulling the boat with me.
Beast and man strode through the water side by side, like the ancient times. The load became a bit lighter, but it was still too much for my weak body.
We reached hip-deep waters when the Crezet left, unable to swim any deeper towards the land. It chattered loudly as it turned and swam back into the deep. My legs folded as I stared at it, unable to take even a single step forward.
I fell forward into the water. Water cold as ice rushed up into my mouth. This…this is probably the end. I lost consciousness as my lungs filled up.
Something tugged at my arms. Then, with enormous force it dragged me towards the beach, the boat in tow. I looked up in my hazy stupor and saw—a hand, fair as snow drag me. The sand was rough beneath my knees. The coarse grains scraped by skin, the saltwater made it sting. The woman with the fair hands dragged me without care, my mouth fell inside the water again, this time, some sand crept in with the water. I spat out wet sand, my cough a wheeze.
I looked up again at the woman with slender hips. The black gown she wore clung to her form, wet with the sea water. She turned back towards me.
A sharp face that reminded me of katanas was staring into my eyes. A grimace crept up her alluring lips, “It is trouble keeping you alive, mortal”.
Astria tucked her flowing black hair behind her ears as she pulled me towards the white sandy beach.
The exhaustion took me over as I saw the scenery darken before me.
A soft rustle woke me up. The insides of my head throbbed like a dwarf hammering away at it. The room was sweltering. Where am I again?
I opened my eyes. Soft light played on the rocky ceilings. Small crystals jutting out from the walls glittered. A howling noise swept through the cave occasionally. Wind?
A flash of light caught my eye. Faeve sat beside a small fire. The wood crackled and threw firelight dancing on her bare skin. Her snow white skin had turned a flushed crimson due to the heat. A light sheen of sweat coated her entire body.
The cave we were in wasn’t very big, just a hole in the wall. A very small patch of dark sky peeked out from where the cave had bent and formed this room. I tried to sit up. Oh my…
My body was on fire…or so it felt. My muscles screamed in agony as I tried to sit up. I didn’t relent and stood up, taking shaky steps towards a corner of the cave. I need my clothes!
The cool night air played on my bare skin, sending a chill down my spine, making the hair on my skin stood on its end. I took wobbling steps towards my clothes hung up on a stick near the fire.
That actually meant that I had to face Faeve. Ever since I forced through the connection, I was aware of her presence, more than ever. It served to make us much stronger during the battle with the Spire-Master, but right now…fucking bother.
I was aware of her heartbeat that spread through me in a steady rhythm. Her breaths fell like a soft sigh as if she was right next to me. I was even feeling the heat that rolled off her skin. More than that, after synching during the fight…I could sense some of the feelings itself. Before it was just vague emotions but now they were much more distinct.
Faeve stirred a bit. She had nodded off in front of the fire.
But…even more than that…something unexpected had happened due to the synch. I wanted Faeve. I stared at her naked form, the contours of her body was in sharp contrast to the firelight. Her thin red lips parted in a slight sigh in the midst of her slumber.
Yes, her. I want her. I want her under me, moaning. I want to make her mine while I took everything she is. She is mine! I will ma—
I slapped myself on the back of my head. Dangerous thoughts. My skin tingled from a strange sensation. I was drawn to her inexplicably. Well, not exactly inexplicable, she is pretty and naked but that’s not the point. Something was making me feel this way. Eerie thoughts swirled in my mind. It was as if she was made for me, she existed for my sake.
Faeve jolted up, her green eyes dilated. She glanced around fitfully, in a haze. Her hands slowly reached down to…oh shit!! She was touching herself, as a soft moan escaped her lips.
I made a huge noise by slapping my hands against each other. The sound reverberated in the cave, making a loud boom. Faeve jolted again and somersaulted in a fluid motion away from me. Her eyes were sharp as she took a crouching pose. Her daggers were in her hands, pointed at me. When did she pick those up? So fast!
She glared at me and then…blinked. She spoke in a tensed voice, “I thought I heard some loud noise”.
“Yeah, it was me”, I said while I tried not to look at her, “now stop playing Assassin’s Creed and sit down”.
“Why?” she asked, arching her eyebrows. “An assassin must always be ready for da—”, her voice faltered when she tried to buckle her daggers. Her eyes travelled down towards her naked body.
“That’s why”, I said, sighing, “I don’t want to see you naked right now”.
Our clothes were still wet from the sea voyage. Faeve had gathered a few sticks and brambles to light the fire and hung our clothes to dry them.
We sat opposite each other, the fire between us. Cold sea wind blew into the cave in a gust, making us shiver. Faeve rubbed her hands and held them near the fire. She trembled…and held my gaze on herself.
She grabbed the dagger she had embedded on the ground, “Your thoughts…are disgusting. I do not have a problem if you stare at my naked body but I can not condone your beastly thoughts”.
But she just tried to fap herself when I woke her up.
Faeve’s mouth went up in a snarl as she read my thoughts, “That is because you forced the connection in, you mongrel. Just like an Aivern, using an Urvan-ere as you please, you son of a krumper. Now your arousal effects me!”
Fuck this connection!
I stayed silent for a bit, staring at the fire. It crackled, sending sparks flying. With a sigh, I opened my mouth, “You know as well as I do, we needed that connection at that time. Could we have fought without that?”
She frowned, her nose crinkled, “Nay. But, you just took control of both my mind and body”. She hugged herself and stared at the fire, “You’re violating my mind, Eridan”.
She is right. What I did does amount to raping her mind.
“You consented, though. At that moment I understood your thoughts, I know you let the connection happen at that time”, I spoke. What am I doing? Making excuses for myself?
She played with her dagger, her eyes cast down, “There was no choice right then, humankin. Either get killed by the monster or get…owned by you”. She spat out the last words, brimming with hate.
Owned? What does she mean?
What the! Something touched my leg and went scampering. Oh, just a skitterbug.
I had stood up in my surprise. Faeve looked up at me. I traced her line of sight…she is trying to avoid looking at my crotch! I chuckled inside.
Her jaws hardened when she realised what I was thinking, “Beast! You are the reason for this. The connection makes me wa—”
My legs buckled as I toppled forward. Faeve’s eyes went wide. She jumped with feline grace and caught my falling body. She held me with her hands, my nose centimetres from the cave floor.
“Thanks”, I sputtered, “now can you stop fondling my balls?”
She took a quick breath, as her face twitched, inches from my face.
“I am getting a hard-on, you see”, I offered helpfully.
She flung me on down the cave floor, tearing her hands away. I felt cold anger and hatred flow into me from her mind.
I rolled over. The dust and sand on the floor now caked my face. I faced Faeve, “That spectacularly defeated the purpose”.
Faeve now sat behind me, her hands roving over my back. AP flowed from her fingers into my body. Muscles and skin knit on their own, an unnerving tingle ran through my body.
The fire crackled loudly as a sudden gust of wind blew through the cave. The wind picked up sand from the beach and blew it in. I rubbed at my eyes to dislodge the sand.
Faeve’s soft palms shivered while treating me. Her slender fingers traced patterns on my back, again and again. I curled my fingers into a fist and then unclenched them, the action making my bones creak.
How long can I go on like this?My body is already at its limit every time I fight.
Faeve’s lithe fingers stopped moving for a second. Her breath fell upon my skin in a soft sigh. I could feel her momentary fear. Okay, it is time for that.
“Faeve”, I said in a low voice, “time for some answers”.
She flinched when I called her. After a beat, her hands continued their healing.
“What makes you think you deserve any, Aivern?” she asked in a quiet tone. Her teeth gnashed against each other. Her seething rage flowed into me.
“Because you are my Urvan-ere”, I spoke up.
She was eerie quiet before her voice whipped out, “Just because you are an Aive—”
“We need to work together if we are to remain alive”, I sighed, “that’s what I mean when I said that”.
She removed her hands from my body, her breath regained its steady, comforting beat.
“What do you want to know?”
“I know less than John Snow, so…pretty much everything, Faeve”, I said, “about the connection, you and the Aiverns”.
“Who’s John Snow?” she asked, her voice reverberated in the cave.
“Someone who knew nothing”, I said.
She just sighed, “I never get human jokes”. Faeve took a big breath, “Ask”.
“What is the purpose of the connection?” I asked, “I know I have asked this before but recent events…seem to indicate there is more than you are telling me, Sin-Faeve”.
“Sin?” she asked, surprise colouring her voice, “since when are you so polite towards me, humankin?”
“Can’t help it. I wanted to sound like a hard-boiled detective interrogating a beautiful mysterious woman”, I shrugged. “Please continue, Sin-Faeve. Time is running out”, I said in a grave tone. First releasing a Kraken and now interrogating like a detective! At least I get to fulfil some wishes.
Faeve’s voice snapped me out of fantasy land. Well, to another fantasy land. “The Tree of Life has mysterious magic that it cannot impart directly to its chosen people, the Aiverns. Even though regular Elves can use magic, it is nowhere as potent as the one the Tree wields. I have said this before, but the Tree extends its bloodline through Elvish women, giving birth to us, the Urvan-ere, daughters of the Tree”.
“It can birth daughters but not create warriors?”
“Yes, the Tree can not birth Aiverns on its own. The reason, however, is not known. Mayhaps the Elders know, but it is not spoken of”, her tone was grave.
“Has anyone ever told you how formal and weird you sound when you speak of your people?” I said, “I mean, hell, you sound like a different person”.
Faeve sighed, “You focus on the weird things, Eridan. I usually speak like that”. She seemed to hesitate to say something, “But it all changed when I met you”.
My eyebrows shot up. Yikes, is she going all Mills and Boons on me?
She slapped the back of my head lightly, “I can feel what you just thought. Even if I didn’t understand, I know it was nothing flattering”.
“Okay, okay. Please continue”.
“The daughters of the Tree are like conduits. When an Aivern defeats an Urvan-ere and forms the contract, they gain access to the Tree’s magic, using the Urvan-ere as an intermediary”.
I kept silent, urging her to continue. The sea outside the cave roared like a hungry beast, occasionally drowning her voice.
“Magic…is about reforming the Voice of the Universe, or Aurora Particles as humans call it. When you cast magic, you reform the Voice to your tune and make it perform your wishes. Each magic is the imprint of the caster’s desire”, she paused, “do you know what it means?”
“Except that you Elves speak round and round but never get to the point?” I splayed my hands, “No, surprise me”.
A flash of murderous intent flowed into me from her. Oh well.
“Urvan-ere and Aiverns are two separate entities, their desires and thoughts are different. Since the magic from the Tree flows through the Urvan-ere…her mind has the chance to effect it. If her Aivern’s desire is different from hers, the magic won’t take effect and scatter. Worst case, it will wreck havoc in their own bodies and kill them. Just like when AP goes out of control in a caster’s body”.
Don’t tell me…
“That is why the Tree uses the connection to force the Urvan-ere’s mind into submission to the Aivern’s. So that she can be used just as a tool…” her voice trailed off.
I whirled around. She hugged herself while she shook like a leaf, “Our life is over when we make a contract. The connection forces us to obey the Aivern, making our minds and body, his. He can order us to do anything and, if the connection is strong enough, we have to obey”.
Her eyes like deep green lakes wavered with water, “Nay, when the connection reaches that stage, we have no free will left. We don’t even want to disobey. Just like a slave, we follow our masters, the Aivern we contracted with”.
“Faeve…” my heart felt like it was being hammered, my throat dried up as intense terror assaulted my senses, “calm down”. Dear god, this girl was carrying this much burden? Now I know why is she so terrified of me!
She flinched, her eyes trailed water, “I do not want to die! Nay, I do not want to stop existing! The connection would erase who I am…and make me just a toy for you to play with. If I kill you…no, I don’t even have this choice”.
I touched her shoulders, “Faeve, list—”
She flung my arms away, scrambling away from me, “Don’t…don’t touch me!” She whimpered, looking down. Her hands clenched the dust on the cave floor. The sand beneath her grew wet.
Faeve shook as she continued talking, “Every time I heal you, the connection broadens. I can feel you more and more, I can see your memories. Your emotions, your desires…they resonate with me. I feel like I want to fulfil them…like have to offer you everything”.
She trembled each time words escaped her lips. Her cheeks had flushed crimson. Terror and pain flowed into me unabated. It was like some giant was pummeling my guts with its fist.
“But I can sense your feelings to. Not very clearly, but I can”, I offered. Shit, I didn’t know how much I tormented this girl.
She looked up at me, her hands wiped her cheeks, “Yes. But that is just the effect of magic from the Tree of Life. As I said, Aivern’s are our masters. Our bodies serve as extra pairs of eyes and ears for them in battle. And…after that, as objects of their lust”.
“So you are telling me…”
“When the connection manifests itself fully, an Aivern can use his Urvan-ere’s senses as his own, without the consequences. If an Aivern dies, most of the time his Urvan-ere also dies because all his pain and feelings flow into her. But an Urven-ere…it does not matter what happens to her, her Aivern does not feel her pain or emotions”, her voice has regained its usual emotionless tone as if nothing happened.
I chewed my lips. The firelight played along the cave walls, throwing twisted shadows everywhere. The sea crashed on the beach in its singular effort.
I talked slowly, “Are there no female Aiverns? Because from your words, all Urvan-ere seem to be daughters”.
She fidgeted with her fingers, “Yes. There are. But they are very few in number. Females who prefer company of other females have become Aiverns. But almost all the Aiverns are male. The Tree produces only daughters to contract with the Aiverns”.
“Why is that?” I asked. The wind is starting to get colder. Aren’t the clothes dry yet?
“Have you seen a Grilnder?” she asked, her voice quavering, “they are monsters with a lure shaped like a beautiful female attached to their heads. When the targets are besotted with the lure and come close…the monster eats it”.
“Yeah, almost got killed by one in the Prologue”, I said shrugging.
She flashed a tight-lipped smile as her voice quaked, “We, Urvan-ere are the lures that the Tree of Life use”.
A dull aching sadness spread through me, from the girl with deep-green eyes. Oh my god, don’t tell me…
“Even among the Elves, every Urvan-ere is exceptionally beautiful. They are extremely desirable. The Tree uses the Urvan-ere to trap the Aiverns. Like an insect eating plant, the Aiverns can never escape the Tree if they are besotted with its daughters. The Tree considers mostly males eligible to become Aiverns, so it uses our bodies to entice them”.
Seven fucking hells. That tree is a fucking magical pimp!
“It is also the same reason why the Tree makes us the servant of the Aiverns. The contract makes us feel the same emotions and memories as the Aiverns to mould our minds to…the Aivern’s desires. Our minds are made bereft of free will to turn us into sex slaves that will bind them to the Tree”, she gazed at somewhere afar, “Nay, being a sex-slave is better fate than to be what we become, mere puppets in the hands of the Aiverns, divested of any free will”.
Her sadness hit me like a tidal wave. I stared at her eyes that swam with tears. How can she live like this, knowing she is just a tool to be used? I couldn’t speak. This living, knowing that she might be forced to become a slave to someone’s perversions…no, worse than that, she is in constant fear that I will swallow her mind, and strip away everything that makes her. Her fear kept lapping at me like sea-waves.
Her eyes widened. She took a sharp breath, her body shivered, “Do not pity me, Humankin. That is what I hate most”.
“No, I was thinking how you are trying to claim that you are one of the prettiest women around”, I spread my palms, “so vain, Sin-Faeve”.
A loose smile played on her lips. Her body relaxed visibly as a sigh escaped her, “It is useless to lie to me, Aivern. I can read your mind”.
She got up, and walked with an odd grace, “It is time we wear our clothes. I do not feel safe with you looking at me like a hungry Kivala”.
While she threw me my pants, she grinned, “You may lie all you want, but I can sense your excitement when you stare at me”.
I smiled back at her. That’s right, laughing at out fates is the only way we can live.
While we put on our clothes, I kept glancing at Faeve’s skin, glistening in the firelight. She turned away, sensing my gaze through the connection.
“Faeve?” I called out.
“Hmm?” she jerked as if electrocuted. What is she flustered about?
“When you meant it’s my fault that you are talking differently…”
She didn’t turn back at me, but her shoulders stiffened, “Yes. That is what I meant by slowly moulding to the mind of the Aivern. My speech is already changing to sound like yours”. She continued buckling her dagger belts, “we need to get to the Mountain of Trees quickly before you swallow the rest of my mind”.
“How long till I lose my magic?” I asked her.
She froze. After some time, she replied, “I don’t know. But it can’t be very far away”.
What was that just now? It felt like…she was hiding something…
“Faeve”, I stared into her eyes, “what are you hiding from me?”
She averted her eyes, not speaking, “nothing I would tell an Aivern”.
“Faeve”, I raised my voice. What is this girl hiding?
“Do not pry”, she spat out in an ice-cold voice.
Irrational hate rose inside me. How dare she! She is mine how can she—
Faeve’s eyes widened. Her mouth opened up in a snarl. She closed the distance between us in a flash, her dagger drawn.
I roared, the cave rang with my voice. Faeve flinched. I swept her feet with a savage kick, making her stumble. I fell on top of her, my hands pinned her shoulders. Her dagger raised a shrill note as it scratched ineffectively on the cave floor. I looked in her rage filled eyes.
Her porcelain skin was flushed from the fire. Heat rolled off her lithe body in waves. My mouth went up in a snarl.
Her mind sent waves of terror and anguish to mine. Waves of hatred hit my senses like a tangible wave.
Your rage, so…delectable.
I brought my mouth down near hers. Her breath was hot upon mine. I glanced at her slender nape, my eyes travelled— a reddish bite mark marred her alabaster shoulder. It was where I had bit her last night, isn’t it?
A deep sigh escaped my lips. I stared at her again. Her eyes swam with pain. Her skin was turning bluish where I held her. She struggled frantically.
“Faeve”, I called her name softly.
She took a sharp breath but didn’t relent her struggles.
“Faeve”, I called her again as if her name was some mantra to calm down a beast.
She looked up at me with a glazed expression. She licked her lips like a cat, bumping her hips against mine. Her crotch pressed up against me as if to urge me to penetrate her.
Shit! When did I get hard?!
“Faeve”, I called her name again.
She jerked violently under me. Her eyes regained their sharp, cold look and met mine with surprise. She felt my erection against her and her mouth twisted.
“Calm down”, I spoke while looking into her eyes, “and tell me what is going on between us”.
“Get off me first”, she spoke in a cold tone, “you krumper in heat”.
Faeve rubbed her arms where I had held her, “Somaru curse, you are always doing this, Eridan. Do you intend to break me?”
She sounds…weird, doesn’t she?
She talked in a low voice, “The real power of the connection between an Aivern and Urvan-ere is unleashed when they…copulate. The power flows from the Tree to the Aivern during the act, and even the Urvan-ere gains some power”.
Bloody fucking hell. Now I know what this Tree’s deal is! It is distributing magic via Ancient Circuits! That’s why it tries to get the Urvan-eres fuck their Aiverns! To invoke the Life Magic and hence, the Magic Exchange!
She kept rambling on as if to dispel what had transpired between us moments ago, “So, the Tree influences its daughters. It makes us want to seduce our Aiverns”. She kept rubbing at where I had touched her, “ Every time I heal you, the connections broadens and after that…it makes me want to…lie with you”.
I gave a deep sigh, “So just now…”
“Yes, The Tree is using the connection to make you feel the same way. When you held me down…” she trailed off, “it made me want to obey your every wish, give myself up to you. It felt like it would be good to even be taken by you”.
She looked down, her voice quavered. Little trembles wracked her body.
Waves of nausea mixed with arousal hit me from her words…No, her mind. The connection is dangerous. But I can’t ask her to stop healing. That’s the only way I can…
Faeve took a sharp breath. Her eyes sharpened. She looked at me like she was staring at something filthy as she read my mind through the connection, “Every Aivern! You just think of me as a tool, you maggot spawn! You are just like that krumper, You…you”.
She was trembling, her knuckles had gone white. Her breath fell ragged, “You are just a lowly…”
“Faeve”, I thundered. She flinched and shrunk back a bit.
I looked into her eyes and drew up close to her. She pressed her dagger on my heart. I gripped the blade of the dagger and pressed. Skin split and blood trickled down my fist.
“You talk as if I wanted this contract. In case you didn’t notice, I do not like controlling another person”, my own voice gain a strange timbre, “do you think you’re the only person getting hurt by this? You can read my mind. Do you realise what I am going through? It’s not just you! Do you know what the Gift of Knowledge does? In exchange of knowledge, it chips at my emotions. I know how to perfectly use my sword to strike but I can’t feel the pain…of killing a person. Do you know how hard it is for me to hold on to myself?”
She stared at me, her eyes wide. Her hand holding the dagger shivered continuously.
I didn’t relent, “Every time I kill, I lose a little part of myself. I know how it feels to be controlled by someone else”.
My face was now just inches from hers. Her red lips trembled as my breath fell hot on her cheeks. I still held the dagger’s blade in my hand, “We knew from the start that we were going to use each other. I need more power…to strike back at those who made my life a living hell. For that, I am willing to a lot of things. So…”.
I breathed her in as I took a sharp breath, “Let me use you, Faeve. Til we reach the Tree, become my Urvan-ere and I, in turn, will become your Aivern. After that, we both are free”.
She let her hands drop from the dagger, sighing. her hands hung beside her. She mumbled, “Even now, the connection is making me feel aroused. It makes me want to throw myself at your feet. But…I won’t relent”.
A small grin crept onto my face, “Every time you feel that, just remember you hate me”.
She rested against my hand that still held her neck. Looking up towards the dark ceiling, she whispered, “And you? Don’t you hate me for this contract?”
I let my hand unclench from the dagger. It fell to the ground with a sharp chink, “Thank you, Faeve”.
“Why?” she turned her face to look at me, “I trapped you”.
“For being Arin in that boat. Even if it was for a little while. Thank you”.
She went still. Her breath caught in her throat, “You were the one who made me do it. That immense pain, that loneliness…how do you stand it, Eridan?”.
“I don’t have a choice. I can mourn her, but I can’t stop living. I seek revenge, not for her, but for myself. If I let that go…what will become of me?”
She stared at me, her body trembling. She leant forward and hugged me, her head resting on my chest, “I was so afraid…those few moments, it was as if I was Arin…you wished it so strongly for me to be her…it felt like the love you felt was for me”.
Her small body trembled like a leaf. My clothes became soaked with her tears as she sobbed, “So much pain, so much love…I can’t stand it. Even now, you feel so strongly for her, I can’t take it. The connection makes me feel I am the one you love but…it is her”.
“Remember, Faeve. I cut your hair, I bound you to me. I can enslave you at any moment. I almost raped you.Hold on to that hate. Remember that we don’t love each other. We never will”.
She went still for a while like a marionette cut of it strings, “Why do you want me to hate you so strongly, Eridan?”
I was silent for a while before I replied with a sigh, “Because, your love is misguided, Faeve. It’s just the Tree”.
“Yes…it is just the Tree”. she mumbled.
“Sometimes, hate is the only redemption. How can you love me when I hate myself?” my voice drifted in the small cave, “Besides, I am not good at taking care of people”.
She pulled my bleeding hand inside her small palms, “Let me heal this, humankin”.
As small green light enveloped my hand and hers, I felt a strange warmth emanating from our hands.
I grinned a bit, “besides, you know I like doing Elf-twins with a rough tree branch”.
Her eyebrows arched as she stared at me, “Your jokes…are beginning to make sense”.
The fire crackled happily at one corner of the cave as the sea howled its song.
(Extra)Whispers of the Two
“You are useless”, Faeve snickered.
“Yes, you say that a lot”. Rigel sighed as he oiled his sword, “what is it this time?”
“So many people read your story, but so few people follow or rate, let alone leave a review”, Faeve flicked her flaxen hair. “It’s not very complicated. They would just have to go to this page and scroll down a little and click on the stars. Following is even simpler, they have to hit the “add to list” button on this page”, Faeve shook her fingers at me, “It’s obvious. You are responsible for this”.
“What? How am I responsible for this!” Rigel thundered, “You! You should provide some fanservice, blush or shake your booty or something”.
“We are not that kind of a story”, Faeve chewed her lips, “that might be the reason for low comments and reviews”.
Rigel and Faeve both sighed, their heads hung low.
“Should we…go mainstream?”, Rigel asked.
Faeve shuddered, “I don’t know”. Her eyes brightened up, “maybe I should be the MC from now on”.
Rigel blinked. “Fuck no!”
So what do you guys think of this chapter? The Tree seems to be very manipulative and plays plain dirty. Treating their daughters like a honey trap…what do you think the Elves will be like?
Edited by Luciferia
chan . You should go check out her fiction too, it’s pretty dope!
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