It has been a busy week, and I hope all of you have had a chilled one. When we last left our troupe, they finally learned who Adiran really was. Let's see how that develops!
“I could have told you that.” Came a new voice.
Magna looked up and saw a stranger get to his feet. For a moment, she had no idea who it was, but then it dawned on her.
“In the flesh, but not for long if we stay here. This is the other side, a realm where spirits gather, and that stunt Adiran pulled likely alerted everything within miles of our location. We need to go. Now!”
Magna desperately needed answers but knew she’d get nothing as long as her uncle, no, her brother was unconscious. She looked at Mortis and asked, “Can you carry him?”
Derric and Helga picked up what supplies they had been left with before Mortis carried Adiran in his arms as if he were a babe.
“You’ll have to be our sword if anything comes our way.” The revenant said to the Princess as he indicated the blade he had been carrying.
Magna didn’t even hesitate to pick up the blade that her father had once yielded. It was her birthright. She turned to her armour, wondering if they had time for her to get dressed.
“The armour will follow wherever you go.” Said Mortis as he bent down to whisper a word in her ear.
“I can’t do magic!” she spluttered.
“You blood begs to differ.” Mortis straightened.
Derric had already set out toward a small copse of trees and didn’t seem to be waiting for anyone. Everyone seemed to be following him, except for Magna. She looked at the pile of her armour, sighed, and muttered the word Mortis had used. Within an instant, the armour strapped itself to her as if fitted by a page.
“I told you.” Stated Mortis as he continued to follow Derric.
Adiran had been having nightmares when he suddenly awoke with fright as a tentacled hand reached for his face. He sat bolt up gasping for breath with tears running down his face.
Magna, I never should have left you like that.
He sank his head into his hands and wept like a child. It had been decades since he had last thought of his sister. She had given up everything to give him the life he had now, and he had abandoned her to become a monstrosity.
He recognised the voice of his niece, no, sister and his heart broke. For years he had managed to keep his feelings about her secret by avoiding her or treating her coldly, but the close he got to him the more difficult it was becoming.
“Are you in pain?”
He sensed the girl come to sit at his side and he didn’t dare to look at her. He wiped at his tears hurriedly and concentrated his view on the fire burning not too far away. He was cold. At first, he thought it was his age, but he quickly realised he had been disrobed and his chest tightly bound.
“You have a few broken ribs. Helga helped me bide them. The others have gone hunting. They left me to look after you once Mortis laid a spell of protection.”
Desperately, Adiran reached blindly for something to cover the scar across his chest.
“Adiran, talk to me.” Said Magna softly.
There was no harshness in her voice now. There was something else, something Adiran couldn’t put his finger on. He found what felt like his robe and threw it over his shoulders before pulling it tightly to his frame.
The shock of hearing someone call him by his true name made the tears flow once more. All the walls against his emotions he had spent decades constructing were slowly crumbling away. He couldn’t afford to have his emotions rule him now. He needed to make them understand why he was here, why the secrecy was needed, why-
Magna wrapped her arms around his chest and hugged him tightly, breaking the last of the defences he was struggling to keep in place. His tears turned into sobs as he clutched at the twin sister that had been born in a different time and place to his own. He sobbed until he thought he couldn’t even more, and then he sobbed some more. Through it all, Magna held him, filled with confusion and dread at what he could possibly reveal. It took a while for Adiran to be calm enough for him to say anything.
He took a deep breath and patted the top of Magna’s head, then said, “I’m okay now.”
She sat back and he saw tears in her eyes. She must be terrified, and he didn’t know how much he should tell her. If she knew his real name, then what else did she know?
“How did you know?”
Magna lay a hand on his chest and said, “I know the wound my birth twin got, it’s not as large as yours, but it's in the same region. How did you survive?”
“Father saved me. With his dying breath, he pulled the dagger away before it could be plunged into my body. The wound was extensive, and I spent a long time recovering, but most of my soul remained intact.”
“Your brother was attacked with a soul knife. It’s meant to sever the link between the body and soul. Your brother’s soul is wandering this plane of existence. When I was attacked, only part of my soul was harvested.”
“Did you get it back?”
He shook his head, “No.”
“Is that why you are here?”
He saw anger flash across her eyes and continued, “It’s not that I can’t tell you, it’s that I don’t know how to explain it so you can understand it.”
He reached for her face as more tears gathered in his, “No one was supposed to find out. That was the deal I made with our grandparents. I was raised with our father…”
“That’s why you never inherited the throne despite being older.”
“Yes, our father was none the wiser, and our grandparents ensured it stayed that way.”
“So, who else knew?”
Adiran rubbed at his eyes and sighed, “I had to tell Mother. She needed to understand the importance of shielding Adrian’s body until I could get his soul back.”
“Did she take it well?”
Adiran half grinned and Magna immediately saw her brother in him. She wondered why it had taken her so long to see it.
“She took it the way Mother always receives bad news. Stoically.”
“Why are you here?”
Adiran was dreading this question, so he took a deep breath and tried to get his thoughts organised.
Once again I am throwing @zakludick into the deep end. Have fun bud!
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