Edit as of Aug 7 2019
Just a heads up, a lot of this has shit grammar
Like 'isnt' or 'hasnt' instead or isn't and hasn't. But in new chapters, latest chapters, expect that to greatly improve.
Sorry for if that's jarring to you guys for now. Also. Remember to rate and review.
Father's words made Lyle feel a certain sense of apprehension and fear but he schooled his heart to remain calm.
It wasnt easy.
"Father. . .What you said. Is it true? Those monsters from the tales, can someone really want to free them?" Lyle's voice was full of disbelief.
"The mage-kings. . ." Iris whispered fearfully, her eyes wide.
Of course she would be. Even Lyle himself, who prided himself on his strong heart, was scared.
The stories of the mage-kings, those devils, were too numerous. Their crimes unspeakable.
They killed and enslaved everything in their wake, not even the earth itself was safe.
The Elvhenan Queen, butchered in her own castle as her family watched, the Dwarven King's head paraded around his city's streets. The vile monstrosities they created that knew only how to kill, to torture, and nothing more.
Stories of how children were forced to eat the flesh of their families. . .
And many more, less cheerful endings resulting in broken spirits and unanswered cries. . .
They had liked to play with them, give them hope before smashing it to the floor, laughing all the while.
No wonder people would try summoning heroes from another planet. Anything to stop the mad reign of crazed those depraved kings.
If they were to be unleashed upon the world once more. . .
"Big brother. . . " Iris looked at him, twining her hand around his for comfort.
Her heart instantly calmed.
Lyle's, however, struggled to keep him in check. " Father, why would anyone want to unleash those things upon the planet? No, where are they even kept? Why didnt the previous generations of our family try to--"
"Destroy them? Not possible. At least not that I know of. As for why. . .I think that they believe the mage-kings can be controlled. Harnessed. Lyle, things have escalated quickly, too quickly. I held a lot of information from you during our last talk, as I thought there may be some listening in somehow. I couldnt be sure." He shook his head wearily. " If it werent for my injuries, if I had my old power, then I would feel able to protect our family from anything. But I cant.
Lyle, Iris, we cant let the mage-kings be found. Right now they are locked in a space existing untethered to this world but the location and entrance to access it may already have been found. We have long prepared for this and so we can move them to a new location quickly, but. . ." He paused.
And Lyle felt it, an unpleasantness in the air, a tension the until now had not been quite so noticeable.
"But. . .?" Lyle asked
". . .No, nothing. " Father finished.
And yet Lyle knew otherwise. He felt it in his bones, knew without doubt that father hid something from them. Some important detail that he feared would startle us.
" We all have to be there. A'daire should already be waiting, we should go too. Here, hold this, the both of you." Father presented a large, silver colored book.
"A'daire?" Lyle exclaimed, surprised at the mention of his name." But he--"
" Should be taking the day off and spending time with his wife? No, not today." Father told him.
"He's a. . .confidant of sorts. A trustworthy person that I was hesitant to involve in this."
Iris and Lyle were concerned, " Father, why do the two of us have to go with you as well?" Iris asked in trepidation.
"Im sorry, I cant answer that. Just. . .trust me. I wont let anything hurt you two, understand?
But we have to go. Here, hold onto the book firmly."
Lyle sent him a look, trying to determine what his father was thinking. But in the end he merely took his sister's hand and squeezed in reassurance.
Then the both of them looked at the book, hesitating. Finally, after a long moment, they took the book into their hands, a bit unsure.
They didnt know what to expect, really.
However they trusted their father. They believed he wouldnt do anything to hurt them.
Perhaps it was a bit foolish, but they did as requested. Lyle felt confident in his ability to at least protect Iris from any danger. And the mage-kings had to be moved before they were found.
They didnt know why they had to personally be there but in the end their sense of duty and trust in both their father and A'daire won.
As soon as their hands touched the silvery texture of the cover their vision went white.
The the three figures disappeared, as if they were never there at all..
" Melanie, be a dear and get us something to drink, will you?" Lady Grayborne--no, Alyssa, as she wanted to be called-- asked.
The girl smile and bowed elegantly. "Of course, my lady. I brewed some tea not long ago, still hot. Let me get you and Lady Cecelia a cup. "
Cecelia shook her head and smiled. The formality from her was unneeded. Her status as Lyle's personal maid, even friend, made her fairly unique. She was not treated as a mere servant.
Of course the Graybornes, from what Cecelia could tell, had always treated the servants a bit more like equals, unlike others of their standing.
Still, the girl insisted on addressing the parents with respect. Lyle, though she called him "young master", was treated with more affection. Cecelia supposed that was normal, given how she heard he helped her and her mother some years ago.
Cecelia had never met the mother but it was said she had already been given authority of the Grayborne family home's well-being when they were away.
Alyssa turned to her. " So, Cecelia, how have things been going between you and that son of mine?" She asked with a delicately raised brow.
Cecelia mind went blank for a split second. " Well. Very...well?"
The woman laughed, a charming one that made one feel at easy in its warmth. "Is that a question, dear? You dont have to hold back, I've long known about your intentions towards him. Of course, I never encouraged it due to him being with your sister but now I dont have any reservations. I always liked you more anyway."
Cecelia's mouth made a small O of surprise. "You.._You knew?" Her voice was almost forced out.
"Dear, it isnt that hard to miss. Well, maybe for Lyle himself, but that's only beause he has only ever thought of you as a potential sister-in-law. And he isn't the type to have such thoughts to the sister of a girl he is seeing. But for me its plain as day." She gave a small smirk. " So, I take it you haven't said anything to him? Because unless you do he will never see you as a woman, more of a close friend or some such thing. My boy isn't all that dense but he would never think of you as a love interest on his own. And he, right now, wouldn't suspect you even think of him in that way either."
Melanie came in, holding a silver tray upon which sat two porcelain cups.
" Here you are. Enjoy."
"Thank you my dear." Alyssa took a cup and brought it up to her lips.
Cecelia followed suit, blowing lightly on the still hot liquid before taking a small sip here and there.
The drink was not one she had known the like of. It was a peculiar sweetness mixed with an almost fruity aftertaste which made her feel warm and unusually comfortable. There was a delightful, heady fragrance that caused her head spin oh-so-subtly.
For a second she felt as if she was floating, her mind slightly fuzzing.
Melanie stayed by her side, smiling a bit rigidly... for some reason Cecelia found the entire thing very odd.
"You know, Cecelia, " The older woman began suddenly. " I wouldn't mind helping you get together with my son. Afterall, I do like you and he needs a good woman by his side in the days to come. But first we have to discuss something."
She rose, smiling kindly at her. " I know that your father wants to use my son to strengthen the future generations of his family. I know the abilities of the Alderton line have been weakening, and my son, given his bloodline along with his own natural abilities which still lie in slumber, is perfect to solve that problem." She laughed.
"But people like your father who would use him in that way to make stronger, more capable warriors, have been popping up more lately. They want him for his body, to have him pass down his abilities to his children. Did you know that several rather suspicious "nobles" have come to see him recently? They even brought some pretty young ladies for him to see, hoping they would catch his eye.
All dressed up, wearing perfume that dulls the mind. I had one captured, you know." Her smile grew.
Cecelia's mind only vaguely registered the words, but her growing sense of wrongness spread.
What was wrong with her. . .?
She shook her head but it didnt help, the movement only seeming to tire her instead.
" You may not believe this, but before I married my husband, the Bathory clan--my own family--used me to collect information from their enemies. I don't have magic talent, it skipped my generation. But I did inherit a rather valuable power passed down from one of my ancestors; I can forcefully extract information from a person's mind. A handy little ability. As you can guess, such a thing was highly prized. The number of people I left with broken minds. . . Well, it numbered in the hundreds at the very least."
The woman's voice was light, casual, as if such a thing were of entirely no consequence.
" So, after I interrogated the girl I learned that your father and a few others covet Lyle for his bloodline. They think that the Graybornes are a mere noble family with a bit more influence than others, they have no idea of our real strength. They think that if they work together they can use that son of mine to breed an entire generation of superior mages and Knights."
Melanie broke in, looking at Cecelia doubtfully. "My lady, are you sure this is necess--?"
" Of course i'm sure, dear girl. You of all people know that we can't allow Lyle to mix with people like that. We can't take the chance that this girl may be leading his astray. She does have feelings for him, i'm fairly certain, but she could still pose a threat to him. I have to be sure."
They began talking about her as if she wasnt there, igniting her anger.
But in her current state the feeling was muted, unable to take complete shape.
The maid wrung her hands at that, looking resigned. " Yes, my lady. I understand."
She looked at Cecelia apologetically, averting her eyes
"Of course you do, dear. You would never risk letting harm come to him, would you? That's why I like you so much, always so caring of that son of mine. It's sweet. " The woman said, looking at the girl with a small, vague smile.
Meanwhile Cecelia found that her body felt incredibly weak and her thoughts were slow.
Her breathing turned rougher and the world spun out of control.
She felt her consciousness fading, everything going dark. She had to fight in order to keep awake.
It was only now that she reacted, her mind ringing with far-off alarm bells. Cecelia stood bolt upright, her legs hitting the table and knocking over the rest of her poisoned drink, the reddish liquid making a mess everywhere.
She nearly fell over but a warm embrace stopped her just in time.
Alyssa was looking at her with a soft, motherly gaze and cooed " Almost gone, I see. Ah, before you go to sleep, let me assure you that I will be very careful to not allow your mind to become broken. Your are, after all, a person important to him. I and my husband will deal with those arrogant fools later, but for now I have to make sure you are not involved with them. You understand, right?"
She raised her hand as she was speaking, a hand in that was aglow, surrounded by an emerald green light that was almost flame-like.
A hand that, as she spoke, she slowly pushed into the girl's chest, the palm sliding seamlessly into the girl's body.
Before the last word was uttered Cecelia's mind had already slipped into darkness.