Sixty-nine

Sixty-nine

A Chapter by Isemay

Syreilla returned to her chamber feeling light. It felt as if everything were falling into its proper place. She had a home here, Uncle didn’t seem to have any intention of forcing her to see or speak to Vezar, she was going to be permitted to have guests… Looking around she frowned, where would she put guests? The large balcony would do for her uncles but… 


Her bed was the only piece of furniture in the main room, even if she wanted to stay indoors, and she liked it that way. The balconies were empty and shadeless for now but she wanted to take more time and thought to make her garden. She glanced up at her trees. There were no birds to disturb yet. With careful thought, Syr made a sturdy stair of tree roots clinging to the side of the tower, leading up to the trees. 


They needed to be taller, and there would need to be a place to sit. Four sections of curved low-backed benches making a small circle in the shaded middle beneath the trees. It didn’t seem quite right. She could always add a table but… a table would mean food and drink and there was none of that here.


Climbing up a nearby tree, Syr settled comfortably into the fork and studied the circle. Perhaps she should leave it this way for now and change it later when she had decided what she wanted. This way there were at least seats.


“Syreilla?” A familiar voice came from below and she dropped from her tree to hurry down.


“Cyran?” She broke into a grin on seeing him next to Hevtos. “Uncle, the two of you have met?”


“We have, I-” Cyran stopped as Hevtos put a hand on his shoulder.


“There is a matter of importance that must be spoken of, dear one. For the first time since our,” her uncle paused, “quarrel my brother has agreed to speak to me and to your grandmother. Young Cyran has not fully come into himself but this will be an event to shape and strengthen him.”


Syreilla studied them both feeling a little baffled, and inclined her head, “I wish you luck cousin, do you need something from me?”


“Uncle Odos said that Grandfather would like for you to join us.”


She could feel her brow arching and Hevtos smiled faintly, reassuring her, “If you wish to join us I will keep you safe from him, my Golden Rook. I intend to bring your uncles as well.”


“I don’t see the point in going. Cyran and Master Odos will be allowed to visit with me, if Grandmother wanted to visit I would hope she would be allowed.” She received a warm smile and a nod from Hevtos. “There’s nothing to gain from going and seeing me would put him in a foul mood. If the old man asked for me to come he’s probably planning to try and convince me to apologize to his father or to have me agree to some lie that I feel badly about it, or that I spoke of some remorse to get him out of hot water.”


“Your father lies but he also tells the truth more than I expected.” Cyran gave her a rueful smile. “You promised to let me learn from you and-” He stopped as she winced and held up her hand. 


“I do apologize for letting myself get pulled away. I should have insisted they bring you into the mine once I arrived. The only excuse I have is that I was tired and I wasn’t thinking as clearly as I should have been. Can you forgive me for that? I will honor my word if you still want an education from me.”


“There’s nothing to forgive, Syreilla. I’ve learned things in places I never expected to learn them since we were parted. You began my education and I thank you for it. I hope as my cousin, and as my friend, I can come to you if I need something?”


She gave him a warm smile and dipped her head, “You can, Cyran. Always. I’ll be glad to help you as much as I can.” 


“You should remember to visit Kwes, I can’t condone theft but he was heartbroken that he didn’t have the chance to work with you.” He smiled shyly, “And if I could impose on you, perhaps you’ll come to this gathering and give your family the chance to surprise you?”


Narrowing her eyes, she tried to suppress an answering smile, “Cyran, I’m aware my family can surprise me, but surprises usually aren’t pleasant.” 


“They can be dear one.” Hevtos glanced up at the ceiling, “Do you still want birds?”


“I do, Uncle. They may have to share the space with guests. I love my balconies but there’s no shade and I want to think and consider my garden carefully…”


“You will find a way to make your home suit you in time.”


“Can I show you both the roof?”


“I’d like to see the balconies. Perhaps I can offer advice on your garden?” Cyran peered around her and she waved for them to follow. 


°°°°°°°°°°


Syr let Cyran lead her into the chamber against her better judgement. She glanced around at the carved walls and frowned at the cracked table. 


“This feels like a place I don’t want to be.”


“The last time it was used a great deal of unpleasantness occurred.” Hevtos entered the chamber with two hairless men, both of which seemed unnaturally angular. 


One of the men gave her a peculiarly wide smile, “My niece doesn’t recognize me.”


“Uncle Zhetra?”


He laughed and shook his head.


“Uncle…” Cyran looked shocked.


“Our other uncles, Zhetrahmihethrah and Vezjahehdhethrah.”


“You can say my name!” Zhetrahmihethrah grinned at her again.


“I can! I was trying to wait until you’d given a firm promise to take me flying before I let you know I could.” She gave him an impish grin and he laughed, shoving his brother’s shoulder.


“I told you! She’s-” he stopped abruptly as Atos entered with Odos and Imos both.


“You bring them in my presence?” Atos scowled and Syr saw the flames flicker in his eyes.


“They are my sons and you have wronged them.” Zyulla stepped into the chamber with her head held high.


“Mother.” Vezjahehdhethrah stepped forward with his hand outstretched and Zyulla clasped it before pulling him into a tearful embrace. 


Syr put herself between the embracing pair and Atos as his lip curled, meeting his glare with her own. 


“You wish to-”


“Father.” Odos turned away to press a hand into the angry god’s shoulder. “My Rook only respects kindness. I warned you not to expect much from your granddaughter after the way she was treated.”


“My granddaughter should be at your side not on his.”


“I stand with those who love me.” Syr stretched and rolled her shoulders back remaining defiantly in place.


“You stand with those who don’t know you.” Imos narrowed his eyes. “Have you told them of the stone you gave to the dwarves? The one they call Syreilla’s Eye?”


“Brother.” Odos scowled. “That’s enough.”


“I didn't give it to them, it was what Hammersworn’s youngest inherited after you had her murdered. What about it?” She tilted her head slightly.


“Vezjahehdhethrah’s stone was stolen and carved-”


She heard a furious hiss of breath behind her.


“-and that circlet that you gave them was a part-”


The wail of fury and the blow from behind came at the same time. Syr hit the table and then rolled onto it coming to her feet.


“Uncle, because he provoked you I won’t take that personally. Don’t do it twice.”


“YOU GAVE MY STONE TO DWARVES?!”


“I didn't know it was yours, it belonged to Syreilla Hammersworn. It was her son’s inheritance. That’s why they call it Syreilla’s Eye.”


“You will take it back.” Hevtos frowned.


“No, Uncle. I don’t steal from dwarves and he needs it. With it he can-”


“IT IS NOT YOURS TO GIVE!” Vezjahehdhethrah lunged at her legs and she leapt out of the way.


“Uncle Hevtos offered to give me a stone, Uncle Vezjahehdhethrah, I will give it to you-”


He roared in fury once more and Imos laughed, “Once you have a stone that is your stone. He cannot take yours. He can only-”


“Something can be arranged. Father can choose to give him another,” Odos interrupted him. “Everyone should calm and-”


“Why would I relent? That he had one at all is too much to be bourne. If he could not keep it and it was taken and carved-”


“I WILL HAVE RESTITUTION! I WILL HAVE SYREILLA’S EYE!”


The agony on his face, resonating with the fury in his voice wrenched at her. Exhaling, she nodded and crouched down to look him in the eye.


“And that will be enough?”


He blinked at her.


“I don’t steal from dwarves and I cannot retrieve that stone, but I can give you Syreilla’s eye.”


“Rook…” Odos’ tone was cautioning.


“It would be just.” Vezjahehdhethrah’s anger was fading. “But I don’t believe you would-”


Syr gave him a faint smile as she drew out her boot knife. “You can rely on a Rook.”


She pressed the tip of the blade to the corner of her eye and heard the shout from Odos that she be stopped while Imos scoffed that she wouldn’t remove her own eye. What happened next felt utterly surreal, as if her eye obeyed her intent, popping out without being punctured. Syr severed it with the knife and offered it to Vezjahehdhethrah. 


“Syreilla’s eye for Syreilla’s Eye.”


He took it with a stunned look on his face. “Syreilla…” 


Hevtos helped her from the table and she gave him a rueful smile, “I can do my job with one eye, just as well, Uncle.”


When she turned her head, she saw Odos covering his face and his shoulders shook as if he were weeping. Atos wore a stunned look much like Vezjahehdhethrah’s. Imos looked terrified.


“I can burn your temples just as well with only one eye, too.”


Imos stepped back and vanished.


“I will…” Atos cleared his throat. “I will give you a new stone, Vezjahehdhethrah. In exchange, you will give me Syreilla’s eye, she has purchased your carved stone from you.”


“What will you do with it?” The dragon in vaguely human form cupped the eye in his hands, “I won’t allow her to be harmed more. She’s just a child.”


“I will put the gift of power that should have gone into her stone into her eye and replace it.” He held out his hand.


Odos lifted his head and gave his father a grateful look as he wiped away his tears.


Syr frowned and studied his face as best she could. “Why?”


Both Atos and Odos looked at her in surprise.


“He doesn’t like me, he certainly doesn’t love me, why would he do that?”


“You will be able to see more clearly once it is returned to you.” Zyulla looked as tearful as Odos as she reached out and touched Syr’s cheek. “What you gave your uncle was more powerful than any sigil.”


“His stone shouldn’t have been taken and carved, I had to give him something of equal value. It wasn’t my fault but it fell to me to pay for it. You can rely on a Rook. I don’t shirk my responsibilities.”


“Vezjahehdhethrah…” Atos closed his fist and eyes and after a moment, opened both, in his palm lay a gem the size of her eye, a shimmering golden brown and streaked with black, it bore a vague resemblance to an eye itself. “I will not cause her harm.”


With a glance to his father for reassurance, the dragon rounded the table and traded the eye for the stone. Atos placed his free hand over it and closed his eyes again.


“Syreilla the Rook, come here.”


Warily, she made her way around the table until she was standing next to Odos.


“You provoked me and stole from me and you believe my just anger is proof I bear no love for you.” He lifted his hand and crooked a finger for her to come closer. “You are mistaken. I am your grandfather, no matter what you’ve done. I would have you understand.” 


Syr stepped forward and he took hold of her face, pressing the eye back into place. She shuddered and blinked. For a moment it was too bright as if she were wearing the circlet or the stone Odos had lent and then it became more normal. Looking at Atos, however, he looked anything but. The god had a flickering corona of flame surrounding him.


“This belongs to you. I am still angry with you, Syreilla, and I will be, but you are loved. I would have you call me Grandfather, despite our quarrels.”


Tilting her head she studied him carefully, taking note of the way that one eye now saw things differently than the other. He was angry, she could see it, but he was hurt and he did care.


“I can do that, Grandfather.”


“Why did you steal from me? Your father says you weren’t intended to.”


“I upset a friend. To help him I needed to give back one of the stones I’d borrowed, and-”


“Stolen.”


“They’ll get them back eventually. Probably.” She glanced at Hevtos who was smiling faintly. “I could either collect all of the stones and leave my friend in a bad position or I could go get yours.”


“How did you know where I keep it?” He scowled.


“You’re not as clever as you think, Grandfather. How many towers had a giant crystal dome? It looked like the most likely place and once I came close enough I could feel the stone inside.”


His left eye twitched.


“Master Odos’ eye does that sometimes too.” She gave him an impish grin.


“Usually when you’ve done something clever that I want to scold you for but I can’t quite bring myself to.” Odos sighed.


“How do you not shake the child until her skull rattles?” 


“When I’ve really annoyed him he says I take after you.” Syr put on a wide smile as one of her uncles stifled a laugh. 


Atos looked unamused.


“My Golden Rook…” Hevtos was still smiling faintly as she trotted back to his side, taking note of the peculiar emanation of darkness like a night sky around him. “I love her dearly but she tends to provoke.”


“She and I stole Zhetrahmihethrah’s stone from the treasury in Vreya, Uncle.” Odos sounded amused, “I’ll buy her out of your service if you’ll let me.”


“The stone isn’t yours to bargain with.” Hevtos fixed him with a displeased look and Syr turned to tilt her head at him.


“I’m free to come and go as I please, Master Odos. I choose to stay with Uncle as long as I can do that. I enjoy having tasks and he suggested I might be set to hunting down and stealing back as many of my uncles’ treasures as I can find. You can give Uncle Zhetra his stone back or I can come get it.” She gave him a wide smile, “I do still owe you for making the Magpie so upset with me, I might browse your library while I’m there.”


He laughed and folded his arms, the air around him shimmering like a mirage. “I would enjoy seeing you try, my home has cleverer traps than Isca’s temple, little rook.” Odos waved his hand as Zhetrahmihethrah stepped forward “I’ll bring it to you, brother. I don’t like to part with things unless I can get something for them and I cherish that stone egg for the memory of stealing it with my daughter.”


“Why did you keep it from me?” Zhetrahmihethrah frowned. “You could have returned it.”


“When you had your stone you returned to the land of the living. I never liked seeing you hunted and harmed. I kept it and you safe.”


The dragons both gave him sour looks.


“We should discuss the matter at hand.” Atos lifted his hand and chairs appeared. “Your sons and mine can leave, Hevtos, as can Syreilla. Cyran will remain to observe.”


“If you bring Uncle Zhetra’s stone, you can come in and sit with us, old man.” Syr offered an impish grin as Odos laughed and waved his hand.


“I’ll meet you at the doorstep.”



© 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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A Chapter by Isemay


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A Chapter by Isemay


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A Chapter by Isemay