The Loneliest Traid

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  • Published: 2 Apr 2017
  • Updated: 13 May 2017
  • Status: Complete
Love and death and war and Gods and blood and magic and dancing and rest and revenge and kings and fate.
Don't worry, within these three stories you'll know yourself,
And I will put you back together again.

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61. A Chapter In Which All Is Good - Part Two

“I was going to find it.” Gomez said.

    “Did you really think that it would bring me back to you?”

    He tossed his apple core into the long grass by Onyx’s snout, “I have never felt so at home since the death of my aunt and uncle.  I will always love my siblings, most are very different to me, accustomed to the royal life I wasn’t raised on.  With you, I felt as though I had a friend, more than family by blood.  It took me until then to realise that I never had someone like that before in my entire life.”

    “But it’s a Godly spell, is that worth wasting?”

    “Not if it meant I could find you.  I had no one else, and I couldn’t imagine letting you go without apologising at least once for what I lead you into.”

    “But you never found it?  We met by chance?”

    “Yes, I was going to find it when I stowed away during the war, but-”

    “There I was.”

    They smiled to each other.  It was colder now, the rims of their islands frozen where it hit the water, and moving into walk ways of ice designed by the finest artists we know.  Gomez moved his hand through the water until a lilypad sprouted, and turned to frost.

    “I love the autumn.”

    “I’ve noticed,” Chene laughed, picking the fishbones clean.

    “Snow brings with it misfortune and depressions.  Summer has expectations so high, it means little more than living for the day, which does little to justify the good in each day.  But autumn… I love where the leaves curl into colour and glow in their death with honour and admirations, and see there?  Even so close to Mavors, even with the wilting flowers, it’s bright in early sunsets and no one wants more than to watch the change.”

    “You’re some man for one man, Gomez.”

    He sat back, not realising that he had leaned forward to stare at the slow pace of the outside world that he was so taken to, “Thank you, Chene.”

    “I have never thought about what season I cared for, I was inside most days.  I suppose that I liked the rain in autumn, so that we stayed cool during practice, but that was as much care as I gave it up until now.”

    “I remember how it was when I was young, my aunt - Pái was her name, his was Disii - would paint the woods like this, and now I know them brush stroke through brush stroke, no matter how much it changed each year.  It’s around now that I miss home the most.”

    “Maybe some day after all this,” Chene said, “We can go into the woods far from Mavros where there’s no green or black left and watch it change?”

    Gomez smiled until his eyes vanished into his face and his ears glowed like polished quartz, “We should do that, I think.  And for now?  Would you like to find the spell with me?”

    Chene looked out into Mavros that coughed at nightfall and expanded with the deeds and sins committed within, “Anything to stop this mindless war.”

    “You say that, but you always struck me as fond of those battles.” he ignored the taunts for speaking their words.  The dream felt more and more real to Gomez each day, the water on his hand now a painful reminder.

    He rested his head in his hands, “It used to be the only place where I belonged.  They always need someone willing to die for their own cause, after all.  This darkness isn’t preferable, but it made me see that maybe there’s more than constant fighting.  Have you never wanted to be someone new?”

    Gomez smiled, knowing, “Of course.”

    “You must have, Rilae.”

    He swallowed hard, the name a ringing bell in his chest where a heart should be.

    Chene sat up, “What’s wrong?”

    The secret was not a comfortable one to find its way onto one’s tongue.  As soon as it was there, it dug its nails in and there was little you could do but accept that this was now what you lived with, and worse still, it did not turn cold in the air as most secrets do, but instead stayed burning, and questioning to a past once thought to be transparent.

    “I always forget how Rilae sounds to me.  It’s not even a call for me, just… It’s not me.”

    “You can change.”

    “But I didn’t,” Gomez winced at the harshness in his own tone, “I was always meant to be who I am now.”

    “And Rilae, he…”

    Gomez sighed, the hot air too much, and yet, something he was long since now willing to face, “She was not who I was.”

    Chene closed his mouth as soon as it opened, “I’m sorry, Gomez, I didn’t know.”

    He moved to lean against Chene’s shoulder, “I am the youngest son of Dyrad, Elvish King of the West.”

    “You are,” he said, smoothing Gomez’s fingers that cut into his palms, and as he did, he let go of the chains that held him under, “And you never fail to amaze me, but I’m sure you know that.”

    “Will you find the spell with me?”

    “You don’t need to ask.”

 

    They left for Mavros, finding themselves on a road worn by hooves of something more than a horse, more than man.  They ducked between pillar and post, hiding from stray fae and cyclops that wandered the paths.  Although they seemed to care very little for the shadows of the two, and chose to keep running ahead as if looking for something lost.  

    “The war as come too far,” Gomez cursed.

    “You said there was a map?”

    “A woman, a witch who knows the exact waterfall in which the realm is hidden.  Less than a day's walk.” they were whispering to each other, shushing as soon as a centaur crossed their path.  He looked at the men, their horse, and their terrified faces.

    “You are soldiers,” he said.  He was twice their size, his face covered in hair from his ears and trailing across his back and chest.

    Neither spoke first.

    “You’ve started this war.  It is raging into the Southern parts of Mavros, we are dying.  It is your fault.”

    “We will end it,” Gomez said, stepping up the body of the creature.  He stepped back, his hooves clicking like a timer, Gomez so small in his presence, “We will fight with you, we will stop this for our people and for yours.”

    “You?” he laughed, booming like cannons, “You are so tiny.”

    The creature slipped from Chene, a man with talons for hands hanging on his back in the shade of magic.  Within Mavros, his body was strong, and his mind was weak.

    The centaur smirked, “I know your kind already.  Tiny boy might stand a chance.  I have no business with you anyway, but I do suggest that you wisen up.  There is nothing this way for a million miles still.”

    “There isn’t a market place?”

    He craned his neck to look at Gomez, “If you paid for information within Mavros, the information is not true.”

    Gomez said no more.

    “But let it be said that you should turn back.  The war is sooner to reach here that the other coast outside the border, and if you are a wizard such as you are, your skin will be the first to warm their trophies.  Safe travels, men, and next time don’t support their battles enough to sew their badges, it means that our death is one with your winnings, and your death, shall be ours.”

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