Sixty-seven

Sixty-seven

A Chapter by Isemay

Hevtos stepped back into the Rook’s chamber with a curious smile. He’d been looking forward to seeing the changes she’d made. Pausing a moment, he admired what she’d done in the chamber. Tree roots, the warm golden color of her bed snaked down the black walls and the ceiling looked like the underside of an uprooted tree. It gave the impression of being both under the ground and above it with the open balconies.


Loud laughter rang into the chamber and he followed it out, down a short flight of stairs to the open, enlarged balcony. 


“Landing is the most important part, little bird.” Zhetrahmihethrah was curled on the balcony grinning at Syreilla.


“But it was the least fun!”


The dragon began to laugh again and the half-elf grinned impishly, perched on the balustrade.


“You’ve met your niece, my Golden Rook, Zhetrahmihethrah.”


“Did she truly leap from my cursed uncle’s walls with your stone, Father?” 


“She did. If she were not a goddess she would have died on my doorstep, she struck with such force.” 


“I told you! Flying was wonderful until I landed, Uncle.” 


The dragon laughed again. “You fell, little bird!” Spreading his dark blue iridescent wings in the imitation of sunlight for her to see he teased, “You need a pair of these to do it properly.”


“I’ll see if I can steal some the next time I go out.” She laughed and leaned back as if she would go over the edge backwards as he swiped at her with a wing.


Hevtos stepped forward with concern but the half-elf popped back up grinning, utterly unafraid.


“Thieves can be useful, Uncle Zhetra!”


“Thieves can be eaten, little bird!”


She folded her arms and looked as if she were pouting and Hevtos shook his head, “Syreilla, you have been asked for. You promised to return Bone White’s stone?” 


“I did.” The Rook leapt down from her perch and trotted over with a rueful smile. “It would have been nice to see him again if I were still on good terms with him.” She turned back to the dragon lounging on her balcony, “I hope you’ll visit me again, Uncle Zhetra. You’re welcome any time you like.”


“Zhetrahmihethrah.” He corrected her gently, stretching his wings again. “When you can say it properly I may take you flying.”


Syreilla grinned broadly and dipped into a theatrical bow, “Zhetrahmy Ethrah.”


“Close, little bird.” With a grin he heaved himself up and turned to leap from the balcony. 


“You find his name so difficult?” Hevtos escorted her from the chamber with a frown.


“No, Uncle, I want a firm promise that he’ll take me flying before I say it properly.” She gave him a mischievous smile, “I like him. He said you promised to make the land he flies over more like the land of the living years ago.”


“I try to give my sons enough to content them, but my power has been limited by my brother for some time.”


“Would it help to combine things?”


He noticed the almost innocent smile on her face and arched a brow.


“I just mean that the reward, that horrible blank-faced sunshine room, is fairly large and if you changed a few things in it you might consider letting him fly over it like his own Kingdom of people to-”


“I remember your conversation with Odos, my Golden Rook.” He tried not to smile at her. “Now that I have the ability to do more again, I may allow you to make suggestions. The thought of making my sons the rulers of realms of eternal rest and reward has some appeal.” Giving up and smiling at her wide-eyed innocent expression, he added, “As does allowing you to judge those who come to me with your name on their lips.”


She made a delighted sound and embraced him. 


“Come. Bone White is waiting.”


Syreilla composed herself and gave a nod. “I think I remember where Finwion opened the door.”


“I will open it, Syreilla, but from the doorstep.”


“Yes, Uncle.”


Outside, when he opened the door, he watched her tilt her chin up and put on a serious expression before stepping through. Following, he found her looking curiously at an excitedly gesturing Finwion. Her head tilted to one side and then the other and the elf began to laugh and flap bent arms like wings.


“Are you trying to provoke my Golden Rook?” Hevtos frowned at the elven god of wits, mischief and madness.


“I’m fond of him, Uncle, it’s difficult to provoke me when I’m fond of you. And I’m glad enough he didn't get into much trouble that I’m not sour about the teasing.” She gave the elf a mischievous smile and he held out his arms as if asking for an embrace.


“She’s mine, Finwion. If I will not return my Golden Rook to her father, I will not give her to you.”


Wrinkling her nose, Syreilla leaned to whisper loudly to the elf, “I’ve just gotten my own room, I'm not giving that up. It has a nest bed!”


The elf beamed at her.


“I will give you some birds for the nests you built on your roof, my Golden Rook. I will find some that are lovely.”


“I wanted rooks too, Uncle. I like song birds, but the room felt so empty… Rooks are clever birds that like company.”


“Ah.” He smiled at the hopefulness of her suggestion but it faded as the elf put his head on Syreilla’s shoulder and smiled blissfully. 


Before he could chide again, the sound of stone rubbing against stone drew his attention to the shore of the black lake. His Rook stepped closer to his side as if she were nervous. Finwion sighed, turning to face the approaching figure.


“Hevtos. It has been some time since I had the pleasure of seeing you on my shore.” 


“It was always a pleasure to visit with you, Nimphon. This is a new vessel?” He gestured toward the stone boat. “A boat of stone?”


“Your Golden Rook brought it to me. Dwarves are clever, if only they could be civil.”


Syreilla began tilting her head and Hevtos gave her a cautioning glance. The girl dipped her head and inched closer.


“You have no need to be nervous, speak, Rook.”


“Dwarves are usually impolite because elves are first. I get along with dwarves well.”


Nimphon looked mildly amused and held out his hand, “My stone?”


The half-elf looked to him for guidance and Hevtos offered her the stone. She took it with a curt nod and advanced toward Nimphon as if she expected some sort of punishment. 


As he took the stone from her, Nimphon smiled faintly, “You expect me to be angry with you?”


“Yes.” Syreilla squared her shoulders and tilted her chin up but the elf smiled.


“He explained to me the provocation from Rielle. What you did you should not have done, and I must remove my approval, but it is not so great a thing that it should end friendships. You believed Finwion would turn on you and let you take all of the blame?”


Her head tilted, “Yes,” her tone was baffled that he hadn’t.


Taking hold of her chin, Nimphon peered into her eyes with a growing frown. “Chide her father. He has let her take the blame for his own actions. If he would do such things how can she trust others not to.”


“I have done so and I will do so again. He is a poor father, I wished to speak with you of another matter as well, Nimphon. You have an elf among your dead-”


“I know the one you speak of. I saw the damage done to her and knew where it had come from, Hevtos. He damaged many.”


“I stopped him.” Syreilla’s chin went back up. “I didn’t know there were gods who would see some kind of justice given so I tried to do it myself.”


Nimphon’s smile returned, “I would expect nothing less from a young goddess of vengeance. But chide him three times, Hevtos, for encouraging her ignorance. Though, if he had not, she would be nesting in Finwion’s trees.”


At that the large-eyed elf began wagging his finger at someone approaching.


“You want to chide me but don’t speak my name?” Odos sounded amused. “I want my Rook back, Uncle.”


“Syreilla the Rook belongs to me.” Hevtos turned to give his nephew a cool look, “I have come to love her and I will protect her tender heart as you have not done. My Golden Rook has a home and family who will not abandon her.”


“I do not abandon my fledglings, I give them room to-” Odos stopped speaking with a surprised look as Syreilla ducked under Hevtos’ arm.


He smiled faintly down at the half-elf, who was looking up at him adoringly, feeling almost as surprised as her father looked. 


“It’s my choice, isn’t it, Uncle?”


“You came to me willingly, if you asked me to release you…” It would be bitter if she chose to leave and difficult to untangle her from his plans. His smile faded. 


“I’m happy where I am, Uncle. As long as I can come and go when I need to, I’ll return home to you.”


“You may, as long as you use the door properly. I will have enough tasks to keep you occupied and content, my Golden Rook. I’ve noticed how much you enjoy purpose.”


He couldn’t help but answer her delighted smile with one of his own.


“Syreilla the Rook.” Nimphon sounded pleased. “I would enjoy hearing the tales of you using the doors improperly.”


“I’m known for finding creative ways into places if the easy ways have been secured.” She grinned broadly at Finwion who was giving her a sceptical look. “It’s true! Go ask the Magpie!”


“I could tell him of how you escaped the chamber my father had built to punish me when I was young, a feat I couldn’t manage, and stole his stone from a room he thought impenetrable.” Odos smiled faintly. “Not even I expected you to leap from the wall to escape and I was the one who trained you.”


Finwion gasped and gestured for her to tell the tale, but Syreilla just grinned and flapped her arms mockingly as the elf had earlier, sending him into a laughing fit.


“You flew?” Nimphon looked at her with surprise.


“I did, and very well too, until I hit the ground.” She gave Bone White an impish grin and Finwion doubled over, sobbing with laughter.


The white-haired elf looked baffled and Hevtos smiled, shaking his head, “She dove from his wall and opened the door at the ground. My Golden Rook struck on my doorstep. If she were mortal she would not have survived it.”


Finwion looked at her with surprise, and gestured to the ground.


“I wasn’t sure how far away I needed to get before I opened the door, so I waited until the last possible moment.” She laughed as his mouth dropped open and he began hopping in place.


“She’s always been fearless.” Odos sounded proud but Syreilla’s smile faded as she turned to look at him.


“No, Master Odos. It's just that the things I’m afraid of have never included death.” Her face softened as Odos looked away with a pained expression. “I have you to thank for my education, when I find something that frightens me now, I drown it in dragon’s fire.”


“I wish you would call me ‘Father’, Syreilla, I wanted you to be returned so that I could try to be a better one. Uncle said you believed I abandoned you and I swear to you I didn’t. I had to step away so that I could talk my father into being calm and releasing you but when we returned…”


Hevtos smiled as the half-elf looked to him for guidance again. “He may visit your part of my home if you wish to invite him, but he is not to roam freely, and he must enter and leave through the threshold, as you must.”


She broke into a wide smile, “Thank you, Uncle.” Turning back to Odos she looked almost shy, “If you wanted to visit.”


“Yes! If it can be permitted I may bring Cyran. He’s chosen to become a god of mediation and healing, he may be helpful.”


“He may come to my doorstep and I will consider it.” Hevtos turned to take his leave from Nimphon and saw the approving smile cross the white-haired elf’s face as he inclined his head and turned to go back to the stone boat.



© 2021 Isemay


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Added on February 3, 2021
Last Updated on February 3, 2021
Tags: thief, dwarf, elf, dragon, gods

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Isemay
Isemay

Germany



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Spent some time away from here but I've come back to peek in and post again! Review my writing and I will gladly return the favor! I love reading other people's stories, and I try to review hone.. more..

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One One

A Chapter by Isemay


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A Chapter by Isemay


Three Three

A Chapter by Isemay