Saturday, February 16, 2013

Xander {Part 6}

When he had heard of the purity shield surrounding Voronwë he had assumed it was invisible, or even just a metaphor. But as they stood in front of it, he was rather surprised.
It looked like the blue orb which had protected him against the shadow soldiers and the dragon, but larger, much larger. It hummed softly, like a soft beat of a hummingbird's wings.
Bly nodded, and slipped her hand into his, and she reached for Adonis' as well. "Can you feel it? Inside? Just being this close to it is peaceful"
Xander closed his eyes, and nodded, "'s comforting"
Adonis sighed, "ok. Yay. Purity shield. Big deal. Can we PLEASE keep going?"
Bly smiled at him, "of course" she stepped forward, and stood inches from the barrier, Xander and Adonis exchanged confused looks, and Bly stepped forward. The shield allowed her through, flowing like water around her.
She turned, and said something, but they couldn't hear any noise, so she beckoned to them. "It's our turn" Xander had barely said the words when Adonis stepped forward, and passed through it.
They were both watching him, Bly smiling and Adonis tapping his foot.
'What if I can't get through, what if I'm held back? Bly will probably cease talking to me. Is anyone truly pure, though? If I fail, I might as well go live in a cave. It's-' his thoughts were interrupted by Bly, she had come back to his side, and she smiled and held his hand.
"Xander, stop doubting yourself" her voice was soft and gentle, "no one is truly pure and good, Xander. We've all done bad things in our life, some more than others. To Yahweh, all wrong is equal, but what you have done doesn't matter. Your heart does" she gently laid her hand on his cheek. "Forget your past for a moment, Xander. Forget all of what you have done. Can you look into your heart, and tell me, and yourself, that there is no malicious thoughts in your soul? Do you plan on harming those inside this barrier? Can you say your heart is deformed by darkness?"
He put his hand against hers, "no, I have none of that"
She smiled and nodded, "you love Yahweh, or Great Lord, or whatever the races call him, his name matters not. Do you not?"
Xander nodded, "yes"
"Than, that is what matters" she quickly kisses his cheek, and took his hand, walking back towards the barrier with him.
'She just....Bly just....'
Despite the excitement of her quick kiss and entering the Purity shield, he couldn't miss seeing Adonis pretend to gag from inside.
As he stepped through it, he felt a peace like no other, it was almost comparable to a Mother's embrace when you are a child. But a thousand times more so.
And then he was through, and Adonis was already running ahead, "ok, come on you two sweet hearts, I can't sit around all day listening to mushy stuff"
Bly blushed and looked down bashfully. "I...I knew you could do it, Xander"
He took her hand, and raised it to his lips, "but not without you"
Which, not surprisingly, did very little to rid her face of the furious blush.
Adonis' frustrated moan brought them back, "Seriously, come on!"
They continued on through the wooded land, and it wasn't long before Xander noticed Bly was getting jumpy. She was constantly glancing behind them, and would halt at every noise she heard or thought she heard.
"Bly? Are you alright?" He fell in step behind her, putting his hand over his sword's sheath just in case.
She nodded, "yes, I'm fine. I'm just waiting to be ambushed"
"Ambushed?!?!" Adonis' shout surely alerted anyone within hearing range, and both Bly and Xander shushed him.
Speaking softly, Xander asked, "ambushed? Aren't we safe in the shield?"
Bly nodded, and glanced over her shoulder "oh yes. We're perfectly safe. It's not an enemy who will ambush us, but the scouts"
She nodded, "yes. They guard these woods. I once made a dare, though a very stupid dare, that I could get into Voronwë without them knowing. I haven't yet. To make it worse, Thalion, my brother, is head of the's his personal endeavor to catch me each and every time I come home"
Xander had to keep from gawking. Bly? Making a dare? It seemed rather out of character for her.
At that precise moment, three arrows whizz we through the air, and landed at Bly's feet.
"And you won't, though, I know you'll keep trying" an Elf with close cropped dark hair and dressed in a mottled assortment of greens and browns seemed to materialize on Xander's right, nearly causing him to fall down in surprise.
"Thalion! You missed my feet by two inches!" Bly's words were a reprimand, but she laughed, and practically bowled her brother over in a hug.
Adonis and Xander were left to stand awkwardly as the siblings hugged and exchanged excited jabber in Elvish.
"What did you do with Tenzin, sister?"
Thalion switched to the common language, and looked around at their small group.
Bly's eyes lowered, "that is a tale I only desire to speak of once, so can it wait until I speak to the council, Brother?"
Thalion nodded, "of course, of course. Though, I have another question...."
The elf strode to stand in front of Xander, and he realized just how tall the elf was. He towered above him by a good couple of inches.
"This man, human, I see...his aurora colors...Bly, tell me you see this"
Xander looked between the two, and Bly moved to stand beside her brother. "Yes...interesting. Very interesting..." Her eyes traveled back to the sword he carried, and she suddenly smiled. "Oh, it's nothing, I'm sure. If something was wrong I'm sure I would have sensed it before now" but he saw something behind her smile, and his suspicions didn't die away.
Bly's brother turned toward Adonis, "Dragon, I see, have a human mother"
Adonis' scowled and crossed his arms, "how would you know I have a human mother? Maybe my father is the human"
Thalion shook his head, smiling, "You haven't spent much time at Drago Montagna either, Or you would understand why a female dragon mating with a human male is unlikely"
Adonis' scowl grew, "Awfully interesting. You speak as if you know more about my race than I do"
Thalion shrugged, "I spent 200 years with them, learning their customs, often the hard way. Dragons are nothing like elves, but are a intriguing race all the same. Their bravery and loyalty is rivaled only by our dwarfish friends" the tall elf frowned slightly, "but I lost what I was trying to say. Allow me to return to it. She Dragons are just as strong and powerful as their male counterparts. In comparison, humans are weak. It's natural for a woman to desire protection by her spouse. However, should a dragoness fall in love and be coupled with a man, she would be his protection. And she would easily out strength him. Does my point come across clear, Adonis Magnus Born?"
It all made sense to Xander, and he had to refrain from laughing at Adonis' expression.
"M-my name? How did you...?"
Bly stepped forward now. "Oh, that's simple. I told him your name"
Adonis nodded, "but I didn't tell anyone who my Father was"
Thalion laughed, "I spent 200 years among your kind. I might have become good friends with a particular dragon Ruler who you greatly resemble"
Adonis was speechless for what seemed was truly the first time, and Xander didn't know whether that was a good thing, or bad.
"Come" Thalion put one arm around Xander and Adonis' shoulder as if they had been friends all their lives, and gestured down the path they had been walking. "Ahead of you, oh honoured guests, is, in our opinion, the greatest and most beautiful city to dwell upon this land we call home"


Thalion was not speaking in jest when he said Voronwë was a beautiful city. It was built around a waterfall that led to the calm Väneesë (Vahn-nee-say) bay. The city's main buildings were located near the waterfall, while homes and shops spread out a bit more. It made Aragathia look like a child's toy set in size.
As he stared in wonder at it all, Xander had no words for the shear size and beauty the city beheld. But while it was a huge city, nature seemed to spring up everywhere. As if the Elvish people built their legendary city amongst the trees and land, not tearing anything down to build their homes and buildings. In fact, a few old, ancient trees had been, what appeared to be carved (though, Bly instructed him that they had not been carved, but sung to. The tree was very much alive) for homes.
"It's beautiful" he had lost count over how many times he had said it, and he really didn't care. He could repeat it for years, and still not get his point across.
Bly giggled, "are you stunned by my hometown, Captain Bolivar?"
"Stunned, Bly, is an acceptable word. As well as "awed" and many others"
Adonis and Thalion had hurried off to gather the needed medicines, and The two, talking animatedly, came back while Bly was still giving Xander a tour of her home.
The elf and dragon's chatter stopped as they approached and Adonis crossed his arms. "I'm heading back" he had a messenger back slung over his shoulder, and the smell of herbs followed him.
Xander nodded, understanding and Bly hugged the half dragon. "Stay safe, and give our best to Nairi. I truly would like to come back immediately for her, but I have so much work to do here"
Adonis nodded, and pulled away from her hug, "yeah, sure" he nodded at Xander, "keep from getting too mushy, ok?"
Both of them didn't exactly how to respond to that, which seemed to be the response Adonis wanted.
He left them standing baffled and bashful.
While they stood there, Xander speechless and Bly a brilliant shade of pink, Thalion spoke.
"That Adonis, he reminds me of Magnus" the Tall Elf watched as Adonis disappeared into the tree cover.
"Though, perhaps a bit more hot tempered. But when one has been through what he has been through, a hot temper is very easily cultured"
Xander tore his eyes from the city to look at Bly's brother. Amazing how little resemblance they bore. Thalion was dark haired and tan, tall, and well built. While his sister Bly was colored like cream and honey. Her blue eyes, petite frame and silky golden hair gave her an almost pixie look.
Thalion coughed, regaining Xander's attention, and put a hand on Xander's shoulder, "You are a decent man, Xander. I'm glad my sister met you" Bly looked as if she might faint from embarrassment, but her brother quickly hugged her. "I'll be heading off with Adonis. I'd like to see for myself the matters of Incantevole, and its not safe to go through Tawarthion alone" he tugged a strand of hair over her shoulder and smiled, "remember, don't let this fellow slip out of your grasp, Bly. I'd like a brother in law like him"
Thalion seemed on the verge of laughter, while Bly had her head ducked, her hair being like a curtain to her blushing face.
"Before I leave, I've been instructed to tell you, Xander Bolivar, the council has set aside time tomorrow to speak with both you and my sister. Until then, though, I suggest you visit the stables on the east side. Two creatures of great interest came into the city, bearing luggage that seems to be yours and Bly's"
"Ah!" Xander had been worried about how long it would take their horses to get here, but he had trusted Ciar and Rudy exclusively. "That must be Ciar and Rudy, our horses. There should be a third horse, Adonis'. Did she make it as well?"
Thalion looked humored but remained silent.
"What?" Xander looked towards Bly as her face lit up. She grabbed his hand and started off at a run towards the stables Thalion had told them of.
"Hurry Xander! I had forgotten all about the effects of the purity shield!" She pulled him along after bidding Thalion farewell, and watching her brother follow after Adonis swiftly. In short time they reached an elaborate building that smelled of fresh straw and horses.
She swung the door open, and light flooded out.
Thirty pairs of equine heads peered out of their stalls at them. For the most part, Xander saw White horses. It must be a Elvish preference. They all seemed to be of extremely good stock. Finally curved necks, glossy hides, bright eyes, and no biting on the stall doors. Unlike Aragathia's horses, where all their Calvary animals had their forelocks cut, the manes and tails of the Elvish horses hung long but free from tangles.
They found the Revelin Mare in her own stall, between a huge black stallion and white mare. It looked small, and tired compared to the Elvish horses, but neighed happily when it saw Xander and Bly.
"Rest easy girl. You've earned it" he patted her nose, and looked back over the rows of horses they had passed.
"I don't see Ciar or Rudy. Where are they? Did we get the wrong directions? Did they move them?"
Bly only smiled wider. "If my hunch is correct, than Rudy wouldn't have fit in a normal stall"
"Fit? What do you mean?"
Bly only tugged on his arm, and pulled him through another door.
"We keep the pregnant mares, or newly born goals with their Mother's in here"
The room was lined with five larger stalls, easily fitting two or three full grown horses.
He recognized Rudy's happy neigh, along with Ciar's, but he didn't believe his eyes.
Rudy had two powerful wings tucked at his side, brown and tipped with black feathers that matched his dark mane and tail.
"R-Rudy! My boy!" He was speechless as the Pegasus nosed his jacket, looking for treats.
Bly called his name, and he glanced behind him, where she had slipped into Ciar's stall. A black, pointed horn rose from the Unicorn Mare's forehead, parting her forelock.
He stared in shock between the two horses, or, the Unicorn and Pegasus.
"H-how?" He realized he sounded like a simpleton, and Rudy neighed as if to laugh at him.
Bly smiled wider, and patted Ciar's neck. "Remember, I had told you the Purity shield heals any wound, bodily or emotionally. I had forgotten about Ciar and Rudy, until Thalion spoke of them. Than I remembered. It has returned their horn and wings to our valiant steeds. And, I dare say, they understand every word we speak. Who knows, once Dragons were thought to be just beasts, until they unlocked their human forms" Ciar tossed her head in what seemed a nod, and Xander stroked Rudy's nose. "So, my laddie. You have your wings back" he had no words other than that. He heard Bly unlatching Ciar's door, and the unicorn mare clip clopped behind Xander, where she nudged his shoulder. "And you, your horn..." It rose from her crown like a majestic crown, and all the stories of the magical properties of the Unicorn's horn came back to his mind.
"I suppose, they'll want to stay here, wouldn't they?"
Rudy took that moment to gently bite Xander's shoulder as Ciar pushed him with her nose. And Bly fell into peals of laughter. "I don't think they will hear a word of them staying in Voronwë. Missing all the fun and danger"
Xander rubbed his shoulder and stepped aside as Ciar lifted Rudy's door latch and entered his stall.
"Huh. You could've made your point through without injuring my shoulder, Rudy"
Both of the beasts tossed their heads and neighed.
Intelligence indeed.