FRIENDS, BEAR WITH ME. I HAVE TO JUMP 15 YEARS INTO THE FUTURE as the rest of the book takes place from the time Domiarn is 31 to the time he is 39. It should be self-explanatory, but if you have questions, you can PM me!
Chapter 12 The Premonition
The most extraordinary thing about love is that you do not question your feelings for someone until others start doing that.
Kallitris and I are coming back from a walk, or rather, a fly. His sense of adventure always takes us to the most unexpected places. We’re coming back from a trip to a mountain in a Kardiren range. That’s about two weeks by horse. We flew over vast, breathtaking landscapes, we saw deep forests and rivers, glistening in valleys.
My charming lover’s strong wings took us around all of that in about three hours. He is fast and beautiful, and he will never grow old. It’s been fifteen years since our first encounter when he saved my life. I’m thirty one now, and Kallitris has not changed a bit. He had evolved to have a lifespan of over forty million years.
I’m weightless in his powerful arms, as he lands on one of half-destroyed towers of an abandoned castle, and puts me on my feet only to grab me again for a passionate kiss.
“Gotta go!” I look into his eyes one more time, and they change color to dark purple.
Kallitris smiles and jumps off the tower, disappearing in the darkness.
I move a wooden door that covers a hole, get in, down the stairs, and into the hall. This castle was built by my paternal grandfather, Duguar Gidealis, and I moved here when I realized that my father will never let me be who I am.
“Moved” sounds very fancy. Rather, at sixteen years old I picked up my books and a few belongings, and walked away with restless Natakruna in tow. She was crying and swearing to dear God, that she does not need to be paid to serve me, and that bread and water is all she’ll ever ask for.
This castle about a mile away from Deikeren used to be very strong and imposing, but ravages of time left very little of its former grandeur. And yes, the ghosts. What a cliché! Yet, makes it interesting. However ghosts are not the only ones angry with the world today.
“You’re late!” A young man walks down the hall towards me in a rather menacing way.
“I’m sorry, Iris, we got lost on the way!”
Iris, my elegant and adorable husband, is not amused. He knows I was with Kallitris, and he hates him. He wonders about what I have found in one of the most dangerous and aggressive creatures in the whole Coma Berenices galaxy, and how can I ever be in love with such an outcast.
Baron Iris Leo knew what he was getting into when he married me. It’s too late now.
“Like hell you got lost! You were making out!” The young man paces there and back, upset and distraught.
“There is only one question in our painful love triangle – is it still cheating if you kiss another species?” I smile, and want to make up.
“You’re playing with fire, Demi, and I do not want to be there when it burns you!” Iris sighs helplessly, and takes my hand. He is genuinely concerned for my well being, whether I want it or not. “We have a visitor with unpleasant and disturbing news.”
Like we ever get any other news here.
I walk down the stairs to the first floor, and there she is, dressed in an odd, worn out garment with a long, dusty cloak. She smiles silently and I feel nervous, because she knows. She knows everything about Iris Leo, and my whole life. There is a necklace with a rose on her neck. She belongs to our secret order. The order of the Red Rose.
This woman is as disturbed, as she is mysterious with her long, gray hair strewn around her skinny, emaciated body.
“Henessada! Glad to see you!” I greet and hug her. “What brings you in this dark hour?”
“The hour is indeed dark. Darker than the soul of the devil you’re dating, that is.”
“Oh, come on!”
I lead her upstairs. My old friend follows, deep in thought. Or, she is just scanning her surroundings, using her unexplainable ability to see and feel everything.
Ever since that accidental encounter in Deikeren my path with Henessada and Midlandori Liatris had crossed again, and got tied in a knot.
Tired of my father’s tyranny I decided to earn my own living, went to the North, and discovered vast copper ore deposits in a province of Northern Geimtuk. As easy as it was to find the ore, it had to be developed to make any money.
This is where I met Midlandori, who turned out to be the owner of most of the land containing the deposits. Henessada was his faithful servant, friend, and prophet. Her wisdom allowed us not to fight, but to divide up the land, and become commercial and political partners, instead of enemies. We created The Northern Alliance, and successfully held our ground against many other powers, including the ever expanding interests of the king himself.
What she needs from me today is insane. Only a person, chased by sinister shadows of things to come can be desperate enough to even bring it up.
The night is cold. We sit by the fire. The old woman looks at the flames for a long time, unable to start talking, saturated with fear she hasn’t known in her whole life.
The fear seeps into me, giving a glimpse of the visions that brought her here.
“I know how much you hate this country that had condemned you for what you are. So you may be the wrong guy to ask for help. But I really have no one else to turn to. I mean, powerful enough to make any difference in a big battle.”
“Powerful? Sada, I only have three hundred soldiers, most of whom have turned from warriors into hopeless drunks, as they have nothing else to do, but round up villagers to work on my copper mines every now and then.”
“I’m not talking about your cursed mercenaries. I’m talking about your grandfather’s spaceship.”
I gasp. I knew she was going to ask for it, and I’m still shocked at this crazy witch.
“It’s a stuff of misty legends!” I say, hoping she’d take back her insane request.
The flame from the fireplace reflects on Henessada’s face, creating grotesque shadows, while she does not take her gaze off of me.
“Allright! It was a scientific mission! Ari had no weapons on board! It won’t help you in a battle!”
“I know that. I’m not after the weapons.”
“Then what are you after?! And even if it would help you, I don’t know where it is! My mother had vanished, and never told me where her father hid the ship!”
“Now we’re talking!” Sada’s face lights up with a victorious smile, as if she is casting off a heavy weight she carried ever since she started having visions of a massive armada coming towards our western shores.
I have no idea as to why she’s so happy, and how she thinks I‘ve just helped her. But apparently my answer had dispelled the tension that tormented her for so long.
Iris walks out of our bedroom with a grin.
“Finally I get to see the ship!” He says, shaking his head in disbelief.
There is a knock on the window.
Baron Leo walks up and opens the lock with a screeching sound.
Kallitris’s head appears just above the window sill.
“Can I talk to Domiarn?”
“Can you have enough courtesy to knock on the door instead? And would you like to join us for dinner?” Iris gets sarcastic, eyeing Kallitris’s huge fluttering wings with hatred.
“Oh, I don’t want to put you out!” My lover forces a smile that looks weird on his wrinkly face, usually devoid of expression.
“The only thing to put out here is the fire of our quarrels because of you!!” Leo snaps.
“You have quarrels for dinner?” Kallitris pulls himself higher above the window sill, looking around for me.
“For breakfast, too.” I approach the window “Please excuse my husband, he has a short fuse!”
“It’s Earth, middle ages! There are no fuses, Demi!” Kallitris is suddenly annoyed.
Iris’s eyes flash with anger, and he shuts the window right in front of my friend’s face.
“If I see him here again…” He hisses to me.
“What a circus!” Mumbles Sada, hiding a smile “Astonishing. I’ve never seen a sheirer before. Demi, why does this massive intergalactic powerhouse want to be your friend?”
I wish I knew that!