After completely razing the port town of Rik’In, two hundred temple knights made their way towards the siege taking place on the capital city of La’Gun. At their head was a man of inhuman beauty and grace. His luxurious white uniform with golden trimmed lapels and embroidery gave him a majestic look, and together with his beautiful appearance, would have any look upon him with awe.
At least until he opened his mouth.
This world is disgusting and the Humans that reside here, mere livestock! Oh why, dear goddess, did you send me to this goddess forsaken place!? Even the air is disgusting, there’s so little Mana. No wonder the magic these Humans use is so archaic and limited!
The Fae-like man was absorbed in his thoughts as he rode on his horse.
Every now and then he would glance at one of the humans with a condescending look and snort while insulting them in every way possible. The temple knights could do nothing but grit their teeth and bear it, pretending not to hear the horrible things they were called.
They were given explicit orders not to antagonize this strange man and even though he wasn’t Human, they were expected to revere him as some kind of saint. They couldn’t understand it, but this was an order from the leader of their faith and to disobey their oath would mean death. .
And so, they kept their mouths shut.
“My Lord, we are nearing the siege lines now and we have already been spotted by the Jaspelian scouts.” One of the temple knights reported.
“It’s about time! Finally! Perhaps soon I can complete the mission given to me by the goddess and then I will be able to return to the Woods of Argandale! How I miss my glorious homeland. If only I could lay my eyes upon it for even a moment. I could wash the filth of this place from my sight.”
Of course the temple knight had no idea what this man was talking about. Many of the things he said were incomprehensible to them, for many of the things he talked about did not exist within their world.
The long eared man called a stop to the marching temple knights and they awaited the messenger from the Jaspelian camp. He didn’t care much for the company of Humans, but he was quite fond of animals. While waiting for the messenger to arrive, he stroked the horse he rode on and whispered in its ear.
His words seemed to have a calming affect on the horse who was certainly much happier than the temple knights were. The knights were even forced to remain quiet the entire march and any who spoke would be punished severely.
They waited only a short time before the Jaspelian messenger arrived and gave his greetings.
“The king of Jaspel gives his greetings to the emissary of the Reginar Homen Empire. He welcomes you to his command tent, please follow me and I will escort you!”
“Hmph… So be it. Then lead the way.”
Without any escort, he followed the messenger and eventually reached the large siege encampment which had surrounded the capital city. Towards the western edge of the encampment was an enormous tent, much larger than any the soldiers or officers used.
It was here that the king of Jaspel and his commanders were heatedly discussing their battle strategy. Noticing the visitor who had just entered their command tent, they briefly ended their discussion and all eyes fell on the guest from the Empire.
He walked into the tent as if he were entering a pigsty and showed none of the proper respect that should be given royalty, but the king of Jaspel only regard his guest with caution and remained silent.
One of the officers near the entrance to the tent sneered in anger at the disrespect shown their king and approached the emissary of the Empire.
“You dare show such disrespect to our king!”
The officer moved forward to grab the shoulder of the emissary and force him to bow, but before he could even put his thoughts to action, he was suddenly silenced and he fell to the floor dead.
Those in the tent gasped. They hadn’t even seen how the man had been killed. They only saw the emissary slowly sheathe an impossibly thin blade.
“A Human dares attempt to teach me manners? You aren’t fit to lick the dirt off my boots. I am an Aelfyr, and it is you Humans who should be bowing down to me!”
None of the other officers made a move to approach the emissary. They couldn’t even understand exactly what they had witnessed and before any other casualties happened, the king spoke.
“Welcome emissary, I apologize for my officers lack of decorum. Certainly, we can’t expect you to be familiar with our customs. I am King Arnalf Rodolfo Ere Di Jaspel, may I know your name?”
The Aelfyr smiled wickedly at the king and even his wicked smile exuded a certain grace.
“I am Glafandal and as per your agreement with the Empire, I am here to provide support in helping you end the siege.”
A terrifying murderous aura enveloped all those in the room and they thanked the Divinities that this being was not here for them. They all shrank back in fear away from this inhuman man.
His aura faded as if it had never existed to begin with and the king and his officers in the tent heaved a sigh of relief.
“But first… I will need a bath and some time to relax, perhaps in a few days.”
Glafandal’s words caught everyone in the tent by surprise and before anyone could respond he had already left as if he had never been there.
“What… your highness, what exactly is going on?” One of the officers asked.
“Despite his strange peculiarities, he was sent by the Empire to help us end the siege.” Replied the king.
“Your majesty, how exactly are two hundred temple knights and that strange man going to end the siege? I could feel his power… but even still…”
“Have patience, we will know in time.”
Even the king didn’t know exactly how Glafandal would end the siege, but he wasn’t about to show the others his uncertainty.
Meanwhile Glafandal made his way towards where the temple knights were setting up camp within the larger encampment.
“The Mana in this world is too sparse, it’s giving me a headache… He is getting closer now, soon I will be able to leave this cursed place. Hurry along now Fayde, destiny awaits!”
Glafandal’s wicked and arrogant laugh was carried along the wind.
Fayde opened his eyes slowly. He was alone in his bed and the light was dim. Grogginess hit him and he rubbed his eyes as his mind gained focus once more.
“What happened…” He muttered to himself.
Fayde looked around and seeing no one in the vicinity, he rose from his bed and struggled to his feet. He attempted to call out but his throat was extremely dry and his voice wouldn’t respond the way he wanted it to. He could only force out a few words in a low whisper.
‘I need some water’
Currently that was all Fayde could think of and he wobbled his way forward in search of some water to drink.
As he moved the thick hide covering that acted as a door, some of his servants noticed him and jumped in surprise. One of them quickly ran towards another part of the yurt while the other ran over to help support Fayde as he walked.
“Water…” He forced out and the servant called out for other servants to hear.
She was unwilling to leave Fayde to walk alone. One of the other Rej’Gan soon came with a cup of water which Fayde greedily drank as he was helped into a seated position on a cushion. Fieral rushed into the area of the yurt where Fayde was seated with a look of relief on her face.
‘I must have worried a lot of people, just how long was I out?’ He thought.
Before he had finished his drink and could speak, several worried people entered. Among them were all of his companions.
“Why do all of you look like someone died?” Were Fayde’s first words and he chuckled at his own joke.
“Fayde…” Mouthed his wives almost as one and they ran over to him, all except for Allein who stood back.
They practically jumped onto him and he almost fell back, but the servants by his side supported him so he didn’t fall.
“How long was I sleeping for you guys to be this worried?”
“You’ve been sleeping for weeks! We have almost reached the forest bordering the kingdom..” Reia replied.
The only explanation he could think of as the cause for this was the use of his new ability, ‘Aetherius Aeternum’. The strain on his body must have been too great, or perhaps he wasn’t yet powerful enough to use it without causing harm to his body.
“It’s fine, you are awake now… we were so worried…” Laila was practically in tears.
Fayde looked around the room and saw Accadeas holding himself back, Tris was there too. Then his eyes met Allein and lingered there for a moment. Allein didn’t approach and she looked uncomfortable as if she didn’t know how she should act, but concern was on her face.
After what seemed like an eternity to Allein, Fayde took his eyes off of her and addressed Reia.
“You say we are almost at the border of the kingdom?”
“Good, it’s about time we arrived. Everything begins now, doesn’t it. Accadeas, crossing through the forest will be troublesome. We will have to move slowly through, but I want to send an advance force to secure the town of Enrain first. We can use the town as a base of operations for our invasion. Prepare about three thousand warriors, I will lead them myself.”
Accadeas nodded in agreement and left the yurt to prepare.
“I want to talk with Allein.. Alone. Don’t worry I am fine now, I won’t take long, okay?”
Even though Reia and Laila were worried and didn’t want to leave his side, they didn’t say anything more and left with everyone else. Only Allein and Fayde remained.
Allein wasn’t certain of what she should do and so she uncomfortably stood in the same spot a good distance from where Fayde was sitting.
“Come closer Allein, sit.”
She complied without saying anything and moved closer.
“I know you saw what happened at that time, the conscient of your father.”
Allein nodded awkwardly, but her eyes were filled with sadness.
“We have all been fools, manipulated by the ‘Void’. You should know that now.”
“Yes.” She replied in a whisper.
Fayde sighed and couldn’t bring himself to look at her dejected form.
“No matter the circumstances, we all make choices and sometimes those choices aren’t good ones. That doesn’t change the responsibility we must face for making them. You broke my trust, do you understand? What you did.. It could have ended me, I might have been taken over by a fragment of the ‘Void’s’ consciousness and ceased to be. I understand your reasons and I know that it isn’t entirely your fault, but I can’t bring myself to forgive you so easily.”
Allein listened patiently and as Fayde spoke, her heart and mind were struck repeatedly as if she were being pounded by a hammer. But, she had already steeled herself knowing full well that this would most likely happen.
Fayde watched her from the corner of his eye and he could see her hopelessness and while it grieved him, he continued.
“Allein…. You betrayed me, do you understand? My heart just isn’t ready yet to forgive you…. “
This time Fayde resolved himself and took her head in his hands so that their eyes would meet and so that she couldn’t turn away.
“I haven’t stopped loving you Allein, but I can’t bring myself to forgive you either… I can’t trust you fully… but it doesn’t mean that I never will again, do you understand what I’m saying?”
Tears glistened on Allein’s face and she did her best to nod while choking up and looking into Fayde’s eyes.
“I never expected that you would forgive me so easily…”
Fayde released his hold on her and even though Allein was crying, she also felt relieved. If Fayde had forgiven her just like that, she would not have been able to forgive herself because she felt she wouldn’t truly be worthy of such forgiveness.
“Thank you Fayde…”
She knew he was giving her a chance, a chance she didn’t deserve.
‘I promise Fayde, I will earn your trust and my place at your side.’ She thought with newfound determination.
Fayde, seeing her visible change, was satisfied in his heart.