Chapter 15: Witherless Memories

Chapter 15: Witherless Memories

A Chapter by Sairek Ceareste





Sairek felt himself slowly coming awake. He was conscious, but didn't really make any effort to move for at least a couple minutes, where his head stirred a bit and he shifted slightly. He opened his eyes as he looked down. Cyial's head was still resting on his chest, but the other boy stirred a little too; rolling his head to look at Sairek.

"Did I wake you?" The Prince asked him. Cyial rolled his head slightly from side to side to signify a 'no'.

"I've been awake for a little while now." The demon child answered. Sairek looked and saw that Cyial was actually in fact wearing his robes again, although he did not wear the gloves, his shoes were on as well.

"You slept on my chest the whole night? I wouldn't think it was that comfortable. My chest muscles aren't that soft since they're toned." Sairek said.

"It may not be as fluffy as a pillow, but it is more comfortable." Cyial assured him.

"Eh?" Sairek let out with his left eyebrow raised. "How so?"

"It's the comfort of being with another person. That's why you didn't want to sleep alone, right?" Cyial asked him.

Sairek faintly smiled at that answer. It made sense to him. "Yes, I suppose that is the reason. Do you know what time it is?"

"No, but if I were to take a guess, I would say at least early in the morning, possibly sunrise. Maybe earlier." Cyial smiled a bit. "So I guess since you wanted to talk so badly the night before, we got a couple hours now before at least I should get up."

Sairek smiled faintly at that. "Good." He said, before the smile faded away. "I must ask first though, you didn't do anything off limits while I was asleep, did you?"

Cyial's smile faded. "I um... well, nothing like that... I may have kept you a little closer than what is considered normal, though..."

"Hm?" Sairek let out loud. "What do you mean by that?"

"Well, I hugged you for maybe 25 minutes while you was asleep before I fell asleep like that myself. When I woke up I was half laying on you, so I got off."

Well, at least the boy was honest. Sairek shrugged slightly.


"The dreams admittedly didn't help my urges keep down either." Cyial muttered.

"Dreams?" Sairek asked curiously.

"It wasn't anything bad..." Cyial muttered, as he lifted his right hand up. "I kept poking your chest."

"Poking... my chest..." Sairek repeated in a mutter.

Cyial gave a short nod.

Sairek sighed out. "Well Cyial, either your urges are very strange or I am just thinking of them in the strangest way possible."

"I could demonstrate if you--"

"No, that's quite alright. I don't really want to be poked, Cyial. Not with these wounds, anyways."

"Does me laying on your chest hurt you any?" Cyial soon asked.

"No, it's not like your head is laying where the wound is." Sairek assured him.

"It was warm," Cyial said with a soft smile. "The beat of your heart actually put me to sleep... usually I toss and turn when I sleep alone, although usually having my robe on makes it a bit uncomfortable, especially for my tail."

"Did you have trouble sleeping at the Inn?" Sairek asked him.

 

Cyial shrugged a little. "I was really worried about you and Nayleen leaving me, so that kind of kept me awake. Still, I didn't toss and turn like I usually do... Your presence Sairek... it comforts me a lot. The Abbot comforted me too in very much the same way when, but your comfort somehow is a bit... more... more um... I don't know how to put it to be honest. I just feel safe and at ease."


Sairek faintly sighed faintly at that as he spoke again. "You know, we're a lot more alike than I thought we were, Cyial." Sairek said, as he stared directly ahead of him. He felt Cyial's head shift slightly on his chest as the Acolyte looked up at him directly.

"How so?" Cyial asked him.

"I had a dream about one of my days back at the castle. It was kind of weird; just an average day at the castle. Well, that's all I've ever really dreamed about to be honest because it's really the only place I've been. But, it did make me realize a few things..."

"Like?" Cyial urged him on.

"I always felt alone... Even before mother passed away, I felt that... and I was right to have that feeling; I was alone... There was only a couple of people who even remotely understood how I felt. Actually, I think there was even really only one person to begin with; and that was my maid who I told you about at the Inn and last night. But even so, as much as she cared for me; she didn't care for me in a motherly way. She loved me of course, but she couldn't love me enough as my mother and father used to. It really was when mother died that everything that I cared for in my life just dissipated over time... My love for my father has diminished. I care for him, but it isn't the same kind of caring that was there before. Deep inside, there is a kind of hatred that I cannot explain. A type of frustration... perhaps I feel that way because I want to love him, but I can't open up to him because he refuses to understand me no matter how much I've tried."

Sairek closed his emerald eyes slowly, as he remembered back. "I became isolated from everything else... With the lack of love I felt, the lack of caring, and the way my father sheltered me from the rest of the world, I've become self-centered really fast... I was always not doing what I was told... Perhaps it isn't father misunderstanding me that is the problem... perhaps it is me misunderstanding father. Every opinion I've had against him, I didn't even think for a moment I could possibly be wrong."

Sairek let out a deep sigh, and was quiet for a few seconds, trailing off. ".....I cannot believe at how much of a brat I have become..."

"You, selfish?" Cyial questioned quietly. "But that doesn't make any sense Sairek, you've done so much for me in just two days..."

Water was beginning to form in Sairek's eyes now. "Cyial; it wasn't just for you, it was for me also... The pain I felt when mother died... the isolation... it hurts... it hurts so damn much... I at least still have father... You only have the Abbot, and that is it... I thought I was the only person in the world who was like that. I thought I was the most lonely person in the world, and the most misunderstood... But when I saw you, I knew I couldn't just do nothing... I can't fathom the pain you have to deal with, Cyial."

"No, Sairek. You are the one who is more hurt than I am..."

"But how?..." The Prince questioned him quietly.

"The few things I do have, I am very grateful for, Sairek. Those at least make me happy. The things you have been grateful for, such as your mother, your parents love... they've been taken from you."

"I didn't know my parents. I don't know if they are good and bad, and yes, that hurts... but... I think it hurts even more to know you parents, to be able to love them, and have one taken away from you, and not even know why..."

Cyial looked away slightly from Sairek. "As for my parents... I honestly cannot feel bad for a loss on something I never had in the first place... For all I know, I could just be an accidental birth. I am an incubus after all, that wouldn't be surprising. That is how I used to think, and thinking about it made me feel nothing but worse. You taught me to be who I am, not what I am Sairek. I always thought the other way around. Even if I am an accident, I should still be who I want to be, regardless of that. You may not see it, but you still think that old fashioned way that I used to. I only stopped thinking of myself that way yesterday morning."

"...I... do...?" Sairek questioned slowly. Cyial nodded.

"You say you are a Prince, and that you must act as a Prince should, but why? Why must you act as a Prince, Sairek?"

"People expect me to--" Sairek began.

"That is exactly what I mean." Cyial interupted him before he could finish. "Do not be 'Prince Sairek'; just be yourself. You don't have to do what anyone expects you to do. Aren't you the one who decides to make that choice?"

"No, I don't have that choice..." Sairek muttered as he shook his head slowly. "I am fated to lead this kingdom, sooner or later because people expect me to. Those are the 'rules'. As soon as my old man passes away. I will be given the crown and expected to lead. There is no escaping that fate, because I was born with royal blood... If I do not take the throne, then it is going to cause complete chaos. The way this world runs is more flawed than the moon being a perfect sphere; it's full of dents and pockets on the surface."

Saireks' eyes opened half way. Water was still in them. "...I hate it..." he muttered sourly. "Being a king is not what I want... It's what everyone else believes I have to just because I was the son of a king, that I too must be king later... What kind of belief is that? But if I say no, the people will not understand. People fear things that they do not understand; like you Cyial. People fear you because they do not understand you... If I were to decline the throne, the entire kingdom will be in an uproar about what to do. People are unable to take care of themselves because they are either lazy, or just unable to comprehend everything and they disagree with each other. Disagreement creates conflict. Conflict creates war. People are constantly arguing over worthless ideals; no two people can agree with each other about how to do something most of the time. They need someone to say what is what so disputes will be a bare minimum... even still, we get a lot of hate mail or terrible suggestions to the castle. The way we try to rule is for the fairness and safety for as many people as possible. But there is no way we can fix the balance between the rich and the poor. It's just impossible."

Sairek shook his head and sighed. "I care about other people... but not that much. Not enough to want to lead anyone... I don't want the authority to rule hundreds and thousands of lives. How can I rule when I object the very notion of it as much so as I do? The responsibility is just too great. If I make a mistake... then all of the blood goes on to my hands." Sairek lightly gritted his teeth, the very thought of such a thing was visible in scaring him. "There's nothing I can do... My nobility binds me.... I'll be honest... I'll be very scared when my father passes away... It doesn't matter how old I am; even if he passed away today, I would become king instantly. I am the only one to take on the line now. That is how the rules are set. It does not matter how young I am; how much I have yet to live for, any hopes and dreams I may yet have, I am never too old to become king. I am expected to even find a love soon already so that way the relationship between me and my love will blossom and mature so that when I reach of age to have the ability the birth a child, the next heir can be born early as possible incase anything were to happen to me prematurely. There is nobody next in line at the moment after me. I'm the last one."

 

Sairek sank his head down as he placed his hands over his head as Cyial looked at him sadly while he listened. "They want me to conceive a male child so he may suffer the same thing I am going through too? And I will have to act as my father is doing to me? I can't possibly do such a thing like that! It goes against everything I believe in, but the entire world says my thoughts are wrong! What can I do?"

Cyial frowned in sympathy at Sairek. "What do you think your father feels?"

Sairek let out a weak smile. "Well, he isn't too happy about his advisors suggesting I have sex at the age of twelve or thirteen of someone my age or younger..." The smile soon faded. "He wants me to at least wait until I grow into an adult... the advisers believe like I do that I may still have the same disease mother had, just no symptoms have shown yet, but there is a chance that I may not be long for life. It too has been in the back of my mind... Still, I look for a cure... there has to be a way to catch the disease, my mother somehow caught it and I was in her womb as she was dying from it. How could I not catch it too? But... I don't know how my father feels anymore anymore... Had we been closer together like we had before mother died, I would probably know but I just don't know for sure... we are too separated now. It's not a son and father relationship anymore. It's just a show now to cover our true emotions from the publics' eyes..."

Sairek shook his head, closing his eyes for a moment as his knuckles rose up to get the water out of his eyes. He then shifted as he pushed himself up more on the bed, which prompted Cyial to finally lift his head from Sairek's chest. The Prince slowly ran his hands through his hair in bitter frustration. "And for all I know, my mother may have gotten the disease from Yggdrasil... perhaps it is the very same thing that may be killing Yggdrasil slowly, if Nayleen is right about it wilting... and if that disease was created by someone, then someone would have killed my mother...!"

 

Sairek soon felt Cyials' arms wrap around his bare body tightly into a hug. He was surprised at first. He made no effort to move. And then like a dam breaking the rest of his emotions soon began to flood out. He closed his eyes as uncontrollable tears began to flow from his eyes and roll down his cheeks. He was making this journey for so many reasons for himself, mostly to find out what happened to his mother. But he believed he was running away from all of his responsibilities all at the same time. But despite running away, he could not get away from them, no matter where or how far he retreated away from the castle. He was a Prince. That was a fact. It would remain forever, even through death he would be remembered as Prince. Someone who will and has to take on the world on his own shoulders for the burden of everyone else. The thoughts only made the tears rush out all the harder. Eventually he submitted to them and pressed his face against Cyial's shoulder into his thick robes and began to sob softly.

 

Cyial kept him in the firm embrace. Sairek didn't know how long he cried against Cyial's shoulder. It could have had been minutes, or maybe as long as half an hour. Eventually though Sairek managed to grab a small hold of himself. He managed to stop the sobbing and slowly pulled himself away as he stared at the demon Acolyte for a few moments before finally managing to speak.

 

"Cyial... I... why did you...?" He began, but trailed off.

 

Cyial gave a slow shrug. "I don't know. It just felt like the right thing to do..." he said quietly as if he was unsure if it actually was. But he soon gave a small smile. "...It did help... right...?"

 

Sairek nodded slowly. "...Yes, yes it did... thank you..." He was quiet, staring at at the blankets for a few seconds before saying "I want to see mothers' grave now..."

Cyial's smile faded away as a look of concern showed into his eyes. "But you are supposed to stay in bed until the--"

"I don't care Cyial." Sairek told him in a firm tone. "I want to see my mom now... I need to see her..."

Cyial let out a soft sigh, as he shifted himself up on the bed to be beside Sairek. His right hand rose up and held Sairek's right shoulder softly.

"But Sairek -- you have no clothes to wear, they're getting dried right now. Don't tell me you plan to walk around the monastery with bandages on and just in your undergarments." The Acolyte tried to reason with him. "It may be early morning but it is still quite busy almost always except on resting days and late into the night... Somebody will be sure to see you."

"I will if I must." Sairek said staring ahead. "If you don't want to show me where it is I will wander around the entire monastery. I want to see my mother!"

With that, Sairek began pushing himself out of bed.

"Wait, wait. Stop, Sairek...!" Cyial said in a light panic. The Prince stopped with a sigh, as his head turned to stare at Cyial. A glare that told the Acolyte he better get on with what he was going to say.

"Just... take the blanket with you at least. Ugh... if I follow you while you look around like that, I may get kicked out of the monastery despite what the Abbot says..."

"Why?" Sairek questioned, softening up a little.

"The urges, Sairek..." Cyial explained with a sigh. "People know about them. It's not a secret. It wouldn't be the first time other people have suspected me for doing bad acts against others around my age... If they think I'm doing something with you specifically though... being removed from the monastery may be the least of my worries..."

"That doesn't matter. You didn't try anything with me and I will say it as such. It doesn't matter how bad they could want you gone; you stay as long as I am here. They can argue with it all they want, but it's my word that goes. If they do anything to you while I'm gone, then I will strip them of their title and reinstate yours..."

 

"That excuse won't fly Sairek... Incubus' have been known for charming and seduction, much like that soldier had said, despite how untrue the statement was. People won't just necessarily believe you just because you are the Prince...

 

"...Then I will make them believe me, one way or another. That said, bringing the blanket is not a bad idea..."

Cyial pulled himself off of the bed. Sairek himself stood up out of the bed as well and pulled the blanket over his back, wrapping it around himself. It lightly dragged on the floor as he moved when Cyial walked forwards towards the door, opening it up for Sairek to walk through first, which the Prince did. Cyial closed the door gently as he walked through himself. The Acolyte looked around the halls, as if to see if anyone was around, but it was completely empty. Many people probably didn't come around these parts, at least that was Sairek's hope.


"This way." Cyial motioned him as he walked quickly ahead. It forced Sairek to follow just as fast or be left behind. The stone floor felt cold on his bare feet, which sent chills up the rest of his body despite the thick blanket wrapped around the rest of his body. Cyial's footsteps were fast but quiet. Sairek's made practically no noise with only his bare feet tapping against the cold stone floor.

"...Will you get in trouble for this?" Sairek questioned in a whisper. He didn't want the child to come with him if he would get in trouble. "Why can't you just tell me where it is?"

"No; I just don't want anyone to see and then have to try and explain why you are like what you are... And I don't really know what to say if anyone asks... As I've said, people will suspect the urges are making me do this... not that the urges would even make me want to do anything remotely close to this..." Cyial whispered in response.

"Then I will speak. But if you are that worried, just tell me where it is, and I will go alone."

Cyial shook his head. "No, not after what you did to stick up for me last night... this is nothing for what you risked for me. Just follow."

Cyial lead Sairek down many hall ways and through a few different rooms, always keeping a lookout to see if anyone was there. There was one room where Cyial had to turn back from because there were people inside, so the two had to take a small detour around. Eventually Sairek watched Cyial stop at a door and then turned towards the Prince.


"Here is where all the kings and queens of the kingdom lay... Sairek, your mother is in here; but it wouldn't be just your mother..." Cyial whispered, trailing off quietly.

"Not just my mother? What do you mean?" Sairek then realized what he meant just as he spoke the question out, but Cyial had begun speaking already.

"Your grandparents, your great grandparents, and your great great grandparents... They also rest in here, Sairek." Cyial informed him in a low voice.

"...I haven't met my grandparents, or my great grandparents before they passed away... There is not much respect I can give them compared to my mother, unfortunately... besides, I know they lived long peaceful lives. They both had no regrets when each of them passed away."

Cyial slowly nodded, as he pushed one of the two doors open for Sairek to walk on through. The Prince took slow steps while dragging his blanket into the room, which rather then a stone floor, was actually filled with lush grass. The feeling it had on his feet was a welcoming change. Sairek glanced up and realized it was an interior section of the Monastery that was outside, but closed in by the walls of the building. Sairek walked among the middle of two gravestones on each side. On the fifth to his right was a single gravestone. That was where his mother lay. The space beside her would be for his father, no doubt, whenever he may pass away. It sent chills up Saireks' spine. The spot where your body will rest when you die already being chosen for you. Saireks' own grave would lay just beyond his mothers' and fathers' graves, and whomever Sairek came to choose as a wife would lay next to him.

Sairek walked in front of his mothers' gravestone and knelt down in front of it, eyes wandering the inscription that was on it.

"...Queen Melina..." he whispered quietly, as Cyial slowly stepped beside him to look down at the gravestone and the Prince kneeling down beside it.

"...I'm sorry mom; I don't have the jewel you gave to me on me right now..." Sairek muttered quietly. He was then silent for nearly a full minute as he stared at the stone before moving his head to look up at Cyial.

"...Is it... alright if I stay here for a while?"

"Well, there's no limit to how long anybody can stay, Sairek... But Nayleen or the Abbot will be wondering where you--" Cyial began.

"I think Nayleen will know. I already explained to him my mothers' body lay at the monastery. It's been nearly six years since I've been able to visit her." Sairek tried to reassure him.


"Damn straight I will."

 


Sairek and Cyial nearly jumped, as Nayleen stood at the doorway. She was holding all of Sairek's clothes folded up, with his boots and gloves and even his staff on top. She walked over when the two of them noticed her. She came to the opposite side of where Cyial was, and looked at the tombstone, kneeling down beside Sairek as she handed his clothes to him, which he took slowly.

 

"See, if you just waited a little while like Cyial probably asked you to do, you wouldn't have had to drag that shoddy blanket around and your damn underwear around the monastery! Honestly, after nearly six years of not seeing your mother, looking like THAT is how you wish to greet her? She deserves way more respect than that!"

Sairek stared at Nayleen stunned. "Well.. I... but..." he didn't even know where to begin. Nayleen was quite seriously right. She crossed her arms staring at Sairek, waiting for him to come up with an excuse.

 

"But... I didn't know my clothes would be ready in only a few minutes..."

 

Was that the best he could do?

 

"Is that the best excuse you got?" Nayleen sighed.

 

"Cyial said that my clothes were most likely wet from being washed and--"

 

"...And I was going to say that they would be ready in just a few more minutes... It does not take long to dry clothes with magic..." Cyial mumbled as if embarrassed. "But you insisted on going immediately."

 

"...I'm sorry..." Sairek mumbled ashamed. "Had I known it was only a few minutes then I wouldn't have..."

Nayleen shrugged and then grabbed onto the back of Cyial's robe "Come on. We're disturbing his alone time. Let's go."

Cyial hesitated a little bit, but soon nodded, standing up on his feet. The two walked off from Sairek without even saying another, and the Prince said nothing in return. He just turned his head to stare at the tombstone; seemingly in a completely different world.






"Shouldn't he be in bed...?" Nayleen asked Cyial quietly. The Acolyte just shrugged.

 

"I think so, but Father Abbot says that he may actually be fine already. Hearing from what you two have done, like that battle with the giant slime, I thought it'd be best for him to get some extra rest. As much as having Ethereal recover damage parts of your body is all well and good, it doesn't rest the body at all. In fact, It puts more strain on it..."

 

Cyial closed his red eyes as he seemed to be lost in thought for a moment. "In the end, you know just as well as I that we cannot blame Sairek for wanting to see her gravestone so badly, right? The fact he didn't even as so much as mention it to either of us by the time we got here shows he has great restraint. But restraints are not invincible. This may be for the best. If he stresses and grieves over not seeing her, he won't rest at all. It will just stress him even greater."

 

"I am very worried about him..." Nayleen admitted and sighed quietly, as the two of them walked away from the door, no particular destination in mind, other than just leaving Sairek for now.

"Still, he should be in bed... Despite what your Abbot said. He doesn't know half of what Sairek has been through within the past few days..." Nayleen muttered. "His father forced him to do something ridiculous for the village, and then he got punished for leaving the castle for a few hours, which caused him to stay up all night. And then he because of me, he decided to run away from the castle, which I came and helped him get out of there. He only got a couple hours worth of sleep in a rather uncomfortable forest, which he was not used to sleeping anywhere in the wilderness at all. Then to top it off his father's men attacked us to test Sairek to see if he was able to survive on his own, and Sairek had enough of a beating from that. We had a mug attempt on us on the first day, the second day was that slime when we had met you." Nayleen soon threw her arms up into the air. "And to finally top it all off, he carries all the supplies in that gem of his which requires mental concentration all the time! And I thought I was hard at work!"

"Hmm... Well, I think it will be alright..." Cyial reassured her. "...Sairek won't be moving much for probably a long time in there. He won't be overexerting his body at all."

Nayleen frowned, looking at the door as they walked away. "...You're probably right... I don't know Sairek very much, but..." She shook her head. "Well, anyways... we shouldn't idle; we're here for today, but we're maybe out of here by tomorrow, although to be honest for at least Sairek's sake, we stay here for another day. So while we wait for him to finish his visit, wanna help me visit the library to look up more books for Sairek to look through?"

Cyial unveiled his tail from within his robe which flicked as he listened to Nayleen. "Yes, I suppose I can help you with that. I would normally have duties today but I am sure Father Abbot will understand and know that I am trying to help you two out, most likely my duties today will be covered by someone else. I will need to go and get my own book first though from my room."


Nayleen cocked her head. "Why do you carry that book everywhere?"


"Father Abbot gave it to me."


"But... what is it? I mean like, what are the contents of the book, or whatever?" Nayleen asked, and then quickly slid in: "I mean, if it's not personal or anything. If it is then I don't mean to intrude."


Cyial let out a childish giggle when she started to become flustered for no reason. "Nayleen, don't be silly. I carry it because Father Abbot gave it to me. The contents of the book are an entirely different matter. It's a spell book."


"...Spell book?" Nayleen questioned curiously. "I'm not an expert of magic, nor do I mean to be rude, but I thought demons could not use magic, Cyial? Not our worlds' magic anyways."


"Demons banished to your world cannot, no. Not most of the time anyways."


"But you can?"


"Yes, I can... I was not banished from the underworld to your world. I was born in this world as a demon, though I do not know who my parents are. But because I was born in this world, I've received Yggdrasil's blessing. Demon's as you know become weakened when exposed to Ethereal here. It renders them rather weak, although we can build up a tolerance of it over an extended period of time, by the time most do though, we've already outlived most of our lives and any power we may have had before is all gone if next to non-existent. However, me receiving Yggdrasil's blessing... it doesn't stop Ethereal from hurting and prevents me from casting any magic my race may have, but it does allow me to cast magic using the Ether in the air. And being exposed to it since I was born, I've already grown a rather good tolerance of it. Being exposed to large quantities like that pool Sairek was in however..."


 "I see... so you can easily label what kind of demon is what, yes? What banished here between one who was born here, right?" Nayleen asked.


"Yes," Cyial answered.


"But, why do you need the book? You're going to spell cast inside the library?" Nayleen questioned.


"Sometimes the Ethereal builds up too much in my body and I need to exhaust a few spells just to drop the levels of it down again so it doesn't burn too painfully..." Cyial said in a bit of a hushed tone. "...It wouldn't be the first time somebody took the book out of my room, it took a couple of weeks to find it again. The pain had started getting unbearable... I don't want to have to feel like that again..."






Sairek's head snapped up as he heard the door creak open. He stood up and turned around; the blanket falling from his back from the action. The boy hadn't bothered to get dressed yet; too lost in his own thoughts. The door opened and Sairek softened just a little bit when he saw it was the Abbot.

He didn't say anything, as the Abbot closed the door gently behind him and walked forwards between the gravestones. He went all the way up to standing beside Sairek looking down at the Prince. His hands were behind his back the entire time.

"How long have you been in here for?" The Abbot asked Sairek, who looked away from him and back to his mother's grave.

"...I don't know... my mind says only ten minutes... but my body says a couple hours at least... Perhaps I may have fallen into a light sleep staring at her for too long..." He muttered in a dry tone and then sighed. He closed his eyes, seating himself back down again. "...I wonder if it's possible that mother somehow got infected with the disease by the tree itself... If it is wilting... it may be from the same thing that killed my mother. It has to be contagious somehow... how else could she have gotten it...?"

"If the tree is wilting, then it would not matter in the long run if it can't be fixed, would it not?" The Abbot questioned.

"When you put it that way, I guess it wouldn't... but then I wouldn't want to get anyone involved. There would be more casualties. Even if the entire world were to be destroyed soon after. There's always hope until it is indeed too late..."

 

"Perhaps it may indeed be your fault, but would it matter if they wanted to go with you anyways? Do you still think it would be your fault?"

 

"I don’t know. There would still be more casualties."

 

"Cyial has told me that you asked him to go with you, but that you want him to only decide on his own. That way the decision isn’t forced, correct?"

 

"...Right....."

 

"Then it is decided; Cyial shall be going with you tomorrow."

 

"...Is that alright? It is his decision?"

 

"It is; he told me that he wanted to go. He isn’t going to be the only one either."

 

"What do you mean?" Sairek asked in stale, but curious tone.

 

"I shall be joining as well, although I will be separate from the group."

 

"Wait a minute; you too?" Sairek let out in surprise. "But why?"

 

"Protecting the tree is part of my responsibility, Sairek. As it is for all monasteries across the world, despite what kingdom they may reside in. Even if the entire world was at a war with one another, the monasteries remain neutral. Our responsibility is only to protect the tree, and we all work together for that goal. If there is a problem with it, then I must go. However, I will be going my own way."

 

"Why? I don’t see why you can’t come with us, if you are planning to go to Yggdrasil as well."

 

"You see, while you three will be trying to reach Yggdrasil as fast as possible, I am but a wee too aged to keep up with you children. I will be slowing you down. So, despite my speed, I will be doing my best to gather up information, in case you three cannot solve it by the time I do reach the tree, we may know what to do. Essentially, it's a back up plan. Probably not a very good one I admit, but it is better than no back up plan at all. At least this way you two will be able to get on your way without hopefully having to be distracted with research, much like you came here for in the first place."

 

"...But you are the leader of the Monastery, who will run it while you are gone?" Sairek asked in a quiet tone.

 

"Ah, I go on errands all the time." The Abbot said, waving his hand as if to whisk the issue away before putting it behind his back again. "This 'errand' will just be a bit longer than the others. Everything will be in order. Normally I would have trouble with that because of Cyial and what he is, but since he will not remain in the Monastery during this trip, everything should be just fine. And, if we are lucky, the tree will be doing just fine too and we all got afraid for nothing. Or at the very least, the situation can be remedied."

 

"...Thank you..." Sairek said in a quiet voice.

 

The Abbot pulled his right arm from behind his back, and ruffled Sairek’s hair a little bit. The motion made the Prince blush a bit and he shrank back slightly when the Abbot pulled away. "You are a courageous young lad; just like what your father was back in the day. Your mother would indeed be so proud of you."

 

"Yes... yes she would be..." Sairek said, although his voice broke a little mid-way through. He closed his eyes to fight tears that were welling up inside.

 

"Your mother wouldn’t want you to be mourning her all day. You should get dressed and go back to your friends. They’ve been doing research without you. They need their leader to help pull them through."

 

"Leader...?" Sairek muttered quietly. "...I’m no leader... I’m just a spoiled brat who is too stubborn to back down from his beliefs."

 

"Nonsense. A leader protects his or her friends and from what I can tell, that is exactly what you have done so far. Nayleen told me about how your father tested you when she tried to argue to me that you should be staying in bed, resting. You did your best to save her from that man that held her captive. And when someone threatened Cyial in this very Monastery, you gladly and valiantly I may add, jumped right in front of the danger and fought hard and well to keep that man from harming Cyial as best as you could, even as so much as betting your life on the line; because you don’t want your friends to be hurt. That does not make you a brat Master Apprentice. And sometimes being stubborn is a good quality, not a bad one." The Abbot smiled a little. "For example; I’m too stubborn to let Cyial released from this monastery despite what everyone else says; because I believe just like you, that he is the same as everyone else on the inside. That he is a good individual who only wants what is best for other people despite what they may think of him. He just has a different shell than what we normally see."

 

Sairek was silent for a few moments, as the Abbot’s face softened up. He spoke again. "What did you feel when you threw yourself in front of that man’s blow to protect Cyial? How did you feel at that moment when you was battling him?"

 

"I don’t know... I didn’t even think about it, I just acted as if it was instinct to do so..." Sairek admitted. "But after I stared in his eyes when he had me against the wall, I felt enraged... I felt fury about the injustice dealt to Cyial and I personally... That is why I accepted the duel; I wanted to right the wrongs committed. I didn’t fight just for Cyial’s sake; I fought to show that everyone was thinking about everything in the wrong perspective. I don’t think I am right... I know I am right... I don’t regret what I did, even if it means I have to suffer a severe punishment later by my father... If I don’t stand up for what I believe for, then I can’t possibly be king... I don’t care about kingship... but if I ignored it I couldn't call myself human either..."


Sairek sighed and re-opened his eyes slowly. "Why do I even struggle to keep the qualities of a good king, when I don’t care? I don’t understand it..."

 

"The good qualities a king should have, are the very same qualities a civilian should have. Respect, responsibility, discipline... these are just some of the basic qualities we should have and attain. You’re not doing what you do in the name of being a good king; you do what you do because you have a good heart; you are a good person. That is why your mother would be so proud of you. You stand up for what you believe in, not even for yourself, but for the good of life itself."

 

Sairek listened to the Abbot and nodded several seconds later slowly. After a couple moments of silence, he finally slowly turned himself around and bent down to pick up his pants. He stared at them for a few moments, before he reached one leg inside. Then the other, slowly pulling them up.

 

The Abbot smiled a little as he watched Sairek slowly beginning to dress himself. "I shall join you again outside." He said, as he slowly began walking back to the door. Sairek watched him go and when he heard the click from the door signifying it was shut, he let out a small sigh. He starred one last time back at the tombstone, before reaching down for his blue shirt and pulled it over his head.


After a few minutes, Sairek was fully dressed and held his staff in his right hand. He reached down to the jewel in his left, lifting it up slightly from his hood. He knelt down to one knee, still holding the jewel out in the palm of his hand.

 

"I am the Omega... I am the wind... I am the fire... I am the water... and I am the earth... I am life..." He whispered quietly.

 

"Your favorite line from the Passage, mother..."

 

He pushed himself back up on to two feet and gave one last look to the grave, before slowly turning away. He didn’t even use his staff as a walking stick. He held it off of the ground as he walked towards the door. He slowly opened it, stepping through. As the Abbot had said, he was standing outside waiting for Sairek. The Princes' eyes had a new kind of sharpness to them.

 

"Let’s go find out how to save our world." Sairek said; a new kind of determination was in his voice.

 

"Yes, as you say Master Apprentice. The two are in the library. Please follow me." The Abbot said and lead the way, Sairek following close behind.



 

The Abbot opened the door to the library for Sairek. The child walked through, as Cyial and Nayleen emerged behind a bookcase behind where the tables were.

 

“Hey! You’re back!” Nayleen shouted excitedly, as she ran over, and tackled Sairek to the ground. The Prince let out a breathless grunt as his back hit the floor.

 

“W-What the…? Why are--?” Sairek began startled.

 

“You were totally completely different person in there! I thought we lost you! Seriously! You tone of voice was so depressing and just all like; 'Yeah... okay, whatever...'!”

 

“O-Okay…? But I never--” Sairek tried to start.

 

“If you ever begin acting like that again, then I will have to personally -- gwah!”

 

Sairek was relieved when he saw Cyial tug Nayleen off of him. He let out a sigh as he sat up straight on the floor.

 

“Nayleen, you’re being a little childish…” Cyial began. But then his face winced as he apparently realized he probably shouldn't have said that out loud.

 

“No I’m not! I was seriously worried! Am I not allowed to worry?!” She countered in a raised voice.

 

“…Worry a little less, please?” Sairek mumbled. Nayleen stood straight up and leaned over towards Sairek in an almost menacing way. The Prince shrank back a little.

 

“Worry a little less?! Sorry bub, not gonna happen! First you go get yourself completely hurt, then you go off and go inside your own mind and were acting completely weird! Every little situation we've been in already, you've gotten yourself hurt every single time too!”

 

“S…Sorry?”


"...But he can't help if someone or something attacks him..." Cyial muttered quietly to her.

 

“Hmph!” She let out, ignoring Cyial completely. The Acolyte sighed.

 

Nayleen pulled back and placed her hands on hips. She soon grinned. “Don’t worry, I got a suitable punishment just for you!”

 

“What? Punishment!? Forget it.” Sairek let out.

 

Nayleen turned around, and marched off behind the bookcases. Cyial watched for a few seconds.

 

“Come and help me here Cyial!” Nayleen's voice called from behind the shelf.

 

The demon boy winced slightly and glanced at Sairek apologetically. He hurried off behind the book case. Sairek and the Abbot looked at each other before turning back, seeing Nayleen and Cyial carrying an armful stacks of books. Nayleen soon dumped them on top of Sairek, who let out a small 'oof!' at the weight as he was half buried under the books. He shook his head a little and stared at them all, his skin becoming a little pale; it worsened when Cyial placed down his pile beside Nayleen's own pile, which collapsed as Sairek pulled himself away.

 

“You… want me to read all of these…?” Sairek muttered in a dry tone.

 

“These books use way too big of words for me to understand. So that leaves it up to you and Cyial!”

 

Cyial closed his eyes as Sairek looked at him. The demon looked almost embarrassed.

 

“It’s been like this since I’ve been in the cemetery?” Sairek asked Cyial in a mutter.

 

The Acolyte nodded slightly with his eyes still closed.

 

“You have my sympathy, Cyial. I'm sorry for giving you such a responsibility of baby-sitting her."

 

The Acolyte mumbled back too quietly to hear, due to Nayleen shouting over him.

 

What did you say?!” Nayleen shrieked, staring at Sairek.

 

“N-Nothing! Honest!” Sairek stammered quickly as he crawled back a few inches as much as he could with half a pile of books still on top of him. Nayleen crossed her arms over her chest, grinning.

 

“Yeah, that’s what I thought! Time for you boys to get to work! I’ve done all of the lifting around here, time for you boys to do something for once!” She said in a raised voice, as she leaned over Sairek again. “Got it?!”

 

“Y-Yes… ma’am…”

 

Cyial quickly retreated over to Sairek’s side, as Nayleen stomped off away, going behind the book case again, but she walked off somewhere else other than the table much to Sairek and Cyial's relief.

 

“…Nayleen is very violent and hyper when she’s angry…” Cyial whispered quietly. "I don't think she likes books very much..."


"I thought she did when she began trying to research about me..." Sairek mumbled.


"She did what?" Cyial asked curiously.

 

“Nevermind, it's nothing really important. I’m sorry I had to make you put up with this, had I known…” Sairek grumbled.

 

“I’m sorry that you will have to deal with the worst of it.” Cyial answered back.

 

Sairek let out a wince.“…Yeah….. About that…”

 

“Good luck.” Cyial said in a manner of statement.

 

“I’m going to need it...”

 

 

 

 



© 2013 Sairek Ceareste


Author's Note

Sairek Ceareste
Chapter last edited on: January 27th, 2013

Changelog:

- Some typo corrections

- Dialogue in this chapter has almost been completely redone and changed. Only some bits remain the same [and note that this chapter is made almost entirely out of dialogue]

- Haven't been able to fix the faded text, but I was able to make it all slightly faded so it at least looks consistent rather than it switching back and forth for the entire chapter.

- Chapter named change from "White Memories" to "Witherless Memories" (Just makes more sense, albeit Saireks' mother did wear lots of white, this hasn't been mentioned at all in the story as of yet, so this makes more sense to new readers).

Changelog [January 30th, 2012]:

- Increased the conversation length between Cyial and Sairek when they woke up by several paragraphs.

- Tweaked a few descriptions, sentences, and may some grammatical changes/tweaks

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Added on October 25, 2011
Last Updated on January 27, 2013
Tags: The, Ethereal, Elixer, Fantasy, Action, Adventure, Romance, Mystery, The Ethereal Elixer
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