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A note from Elven

Because certain someone bugged about it :P

It was like an endless dream. I saw all those moments I had gone through, all those battles. I saw faces, almost as if it was a gallery of my past.

But finally, it all ended; I opened my eyes. My body was tired, heavy, still weak; but my mind was clear and rested. I tried to move slightly but immediately realized that there was something heavy on my stomach, or more like someone, resting against my chest. And as I raised my head to take a peek, I saw Aldrynte’s red hair looking back at me. She was hugging me, warm blanket over both of us.

I let my head fall once more, looking at the ceiling. It was a familiar ceiling. It was the very same I saw when I woke up the very first time in the white castle. I smirked. It meant I was still alive and the old god had kept their promise.

I raised my hand, touching gently Aldrynte’s hair. I was expecting her to wake up, but she stayed still.

So much of her talk about being aware of everything even when she was sleeping, I thought. But I couldn’t help but keep up the smirk. So she had lied to stay close to me. Or perhaps her senses had dulled? No, impossible.

Finally, I heard a small moan from her. It seems caressing her for a short while has finally alerted her. “Are you here again, father?” Aldrynte murmured, finally raising her head slightly.

“No, it’s just me!” I whispered, trying to sound casual, which failed. I hadn't used my voice for ages, so it was only natural that my voice was croaky. "Oops," I added.

Aldrynte stared at me, eyes wide open. Immediately, tears began to appear at the edge of her eyes, as she rose up and leaned slightly towards me.

“Am I dreaming?” Aldrynte asked, one hand covering her eyes, trying to clear some tears.

“You’re making it sound worse than it is,” I said, keeping up my smile. But at that point, I still had no idea.

Aldrynte leaned forward, even more, reaching out her hands. I raised my own until we hugged. “You took your stupid time, didn’t you?” she mumbled, face pushed against my chest. She raised her head and kissed me. The kiss was a salty one — but I had missed it. And all her other smells made it up. But my mind was elsewhere.

“Hey, you’re in shock! What’s going on? How long was I out?” I asked the questions I've been putting off. I finally got myself seated, while Aldrynte tried to clear her tears.

“You’ve been off 6 months and 15 days,” she responded, looking at me. “And we thought you were never going to wake up,” she added.

“What? How come?”

“There was no magical essence in you. None. Or at least nobody managed to feel any. Seeing that you're awake though...”

“But you never felt any of it in the first place?”

Aldrynte shook her head. “Every human has some kind of essence. Even if they can’t use any. You had none. The last inspection was done yesterday and you still had none. They all thought you were on fumes and they were preparing us for the worst.”

I sighed. I had an idea why it could’ve been so. And honestly, I felt slightly terrified. “There might be a reason for that.”

“Yeah?”

“I’ll tell you about it later, when there are others too, like your father.”

“Eh?” Aldrynte said, eyes squinting.

“Trust me, you want your father to be there. Even though, I do feel bad that I have to depend on him once more. But for now, can’t we just celebrate that I woke up? I need to get up to date with everything. I’m slightly shocked myself that I’ve been out for that long.”

“You got us really worried. Some of us gave up on you, you know?" But as she said that, she looked away, obviously hiding something or didn't mean to say it.

I laughed, weakly. “Then I know who I can depend on,” I said, grinning. “Where’s Alice?” I asked after a short pause.

Aldrynte sighed. That made me realize that her previous announcement and my question were connected.

“Aldrynte, tell me. It's fine, I can take it," I said, calmly. But I was only calm visibly. I was slightly panicking inside, but it was the rationality that was keeping me in balance.

“A lot happened after you went into… coma. I guess I can give you more proper details later, but… Alice has left the capital. And, well, I can’t blame her.”

I let my head fall back against the pillow. “Okay, where?”

“Well, there were many who saw who she was. They wanted to kill her, but thanks to the fact that she was in your party and with few people protecting her, she was left alone. She stayed with you for the first two months, but finally left to the east, towards her… one-half of her species.”

“Shadowbeast's Trap, huh? After hearing how things looked, I can't blame her.” I turned to look at Aldrynte. "Why did you stay?"

She chuckled and shrugged her shoulders. “Waiting a few years alone is nothing. In the end, I’m a dragon. The timeframe works differently for me. Plus, I really didn't...”

I shook my head. “You still stayed by my side. And for that, I’ll thank you!” I leaned forward to give her one more kiss. She happily kissed me back, hands landing over my shoulders.

There was a moment of silence as we looked at each other. “Should we let others know?” I mumbled.

“I can’t believe you’re…”

"…alive?” I finished her sentence. I nodded. “I can’t die yet. After all, the world depends on me,” I said cockily, grinning as well. Aldrynte smiled as well.

"I'll send out the message and gather the council and some others. Is there anyone specific you want there as well? I can send the message."

I thought for a moment. "Get your father. That should be about it. This matter can't wait for too long."

Aldrynte nodded. "Take your time. No need to hurry!" She stood up and walked towards the exit, throwing one look back at me.

"I love you, my hero," she said, blushing slightly, and leaving straight after.

"Damn, that's hot," I murmured. It seemed that Aldrynte finally started showing parts of her she normally would try to hide.

As I tried to stand up, I could feel my every muscle resisting. I felt weak. That’s what the body does to you when you’re asleep for half a year. Everything I did took some time. And I had even more worries than that — body strength I can work back since there’s probably wizards who have powers for that, but my powers were a different matter. I saw my hero's emblem next to my bad, resting on the nightstand. I touched it and closed my eyes. "Please work," I murmured, trying to make it lit up. As I opened my eyes once more, I saw no light there.

I cursed. Was the sorcerer life over for me as well? Or was it just a new type of power that I had to relearn? Maybe I had been out for so long that I had forgotten how to do it?

At least I had created an illusion of being strong. Nobody can doubt the fact that I had defeated a shadow demon. There were too many witnesses But nobody had to know that after all of that, I might've turned completely powerless. If anything, my recovery might create even more noise.

But for now, I had to go back to the old ways — faking my own strength and pretending to be someone I'm not.

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A note from Elven

While I am working on the last act, I don't really edit it that much so I can later adjust some details (last act is very important).

But some of my regulars are asking a new year present, so here you go :).

 

HAPPY NEW YEAR, EVERYONE!

 

PS: You can read the next chapter's rough drafts at my patreon if you're one Wink.


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About the author

Elven

  • Matthew E. Damson

Bio: I'm someone whose pen-name is Matthew E. Damson. Some others know me as Elven. I'm also known as elf, elfie, elves, pointy ears, and some more. To be honest, I have no idea why they call me other names, but they create nicknames, not me.

You can read my stuff and shorts at reddit.com/r/Elven

If you like my stuff, I'd really appreciate if you'd become patreon or perhaps show your supports with any other means ^^. Or show it via comments, discussing the story and sharing your thoughts.

I'm not the best at grammar, but I try to fight against it with a better story-writing.

Cheers, and thank you each and one of you who support me and my writing in any way! You have no idea how much it matters to me!

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