Chapter 13:

Chapter 13. Night Time’s Whispers

Legacy of the Forgotten

I watched as the the King got up from his seat and slowly walked down the golden steps of his throne, before walking to the left opening on the left side of the room. He then looked at us spoke to Avorion simply asked in a more upbeat tone. 

"Do you think that you and everyone else will be able to handle a bit of heat in their food? I know you can handle just by your demeanor alone, but I'm more concerned for them."

Avorion looked to us and gave a affirming nod to the King of and replied with confidence in his voice. 

"Your Majesty, I think we'll be able to handle it just fine."

The King gave out a hardy laugh, with his son right be him as they both led us to the dining hall that was behind the throne room and entrance to the castle. We all followed the foreign Ruler as we walked down this path, I couldn't help but notice the difference in the material that was used for this part of the castle cause unlike the throne room. This part of the castle was made with stone as the pattern of the walls reminded me of the walls back at home.  seeing portraits of the Kings that came before . The walls were decorated with an assortment of items like weapons, paints and other novelty things,  which I assumed these things were treasures of the previous Kings.

The closer we got to the banquet hall, the more I couldn't help but think back to when I was much younger. Though it's mostly a foggy haze I remembered when mother me allowed to enter the dining halls for the first time. I was so shocked by the sheer volume of noise that emitted from that room. I couldn't stand it at first but then seeing everyone there having a good time, it made the pain barrable for a time. Sure enough before I knew it, the noise didn't bother me anymore.  It made me so happy to be around others for the first time, as it beat the silent evenings where I ate alone in my room. Alone with howling winds and faint echoes of the towns people below to keep me company. Needless to say, I was feeling excited to have a nice meal with the company of Avorion and the others.  

However upon our arrival to the dining hall, I was shocked to see that the King and his son ate alone in a room that couldn't be any bigger then maybe fourteen width by eighteen length.  The room was covered in fine red fabrics with a golden outline on the walls. 

The King of Fire laughed as if he sensed my bewilderment, before walking to his chair on the far left of the table and stood beside it with his arm resting upon the top of it . His eyes rested on me as he said in a cocky tone.  

"I can tell that your bewildered at the fact I don't eat with my subordinates, so I'll make it crystal clear for you my esteemed guest.

His gave turned into one of malice and contempt as he spoke again. 

"I don't allow myself to be bothered by the company of those I deem lesser than myself or my lineage, unless it's under special circumstances like today. In fact if it we-"

"That's enough Surt, your point has been made. So can we please just eat our food in peace."

Said an echoing voice, cutting off the King Surt. King Surt just takes a deep breath and replied to the voice in his native tongue. After which a older man in a cloak walked out a door on the room's right which was probably the kitchen considering the room with briefly filled with the smell of this land's cuisines. The man's appearance was very similar to Surt except for the lack of facial hair. Another minor difference was  mixture of grey and black in older gentlemen's long hair. The older gentlemen began to talk with King Surt in their native tongue. So I looked to Avorion with a look of confusion, but he said in a quiet tone. 

"They're just arguing able table manners, nothing to be concerned about."

The older man finally clapped his hands together and let out a enthusiastic laugh before looking over to me. I grew nervous for a moment but unlike King Surt's eyes that were filled a pity and contempt. This man looking at me had nothing but pure compassion, as he spoke to me as if I were one of his own.

"Now than, I'm sure you all had a long journey. So why don't we get some food in you?"

He chuckled for a minute before reaching his hand over to Avorion's and gives him a hand shake before going on to give everyone else in our one as well.  Meanwhile Surt and his son both sat down at their spots at the table, with the Prince's spot being to the right of his father. Whom was sitting at the end of the left side of the table, the older man then waved us to come sit before taking his spot at the end of the right side of the table. I walked to the left side of the table near the wall, taking my seat beside the Prince, with Avorion sitting between me and the older man. Navis sat across from me with Alcides sitting to her left and Jeremy to her right. A few moments later a couple of female servants wearing long red dresses came out of the door the older man did just a few moments prior, holding golden trays with plates full of food. I couldn't advert my eyes from the vast spread that was on my plate. I saw some things that looked similar to what we'd eat back home, which made me just more excited to eat it all. King Surt then lowered his head along with his son and the older gentlemen, before speaking in their foreign tongue in unison. Luckily Avorion signaled to me and the others to lower our heads and repeat after him before saying.

"Bless the flame bestowed upon us by the Light."

We all repeated what he said with older man then telling us to dig in. I saw on my plate that there was a few hefty cuts of some sort of meat that was pink on the inside, along side that was something I recognized. Pair up with the meat was some finely sliced potatoes, except these were covered in unfamiliar spices that made them a more fiery color, unlike how it was prepared back home with oil and herbs. The last thing to be paired with the meat and potatoes was a little pile of these small white tree looking things that were lightly covered in a orangish sauce. 

I started to dig my food and was met with a surprising heat in the flavor. It wasn't too bad at first but gradually got worse the more I ate, it was as if my throat was catching fire. Avorion and the others although not feeling the heat as much as I was, laughed at my discomfort for a moment. The older gentleman smiled as he clapped his hands together to summon one of their servants to pour me some water. Immediately chugged down the glass as it got rid of the heat that was in my throat. This cycle of me eating and cooling off my throat continued until I finished my plate. I was so stuffed but Avorion told to stay awake, as the old man wished speak with the to of us after King Surt escorted everyone else to their rooms. 

Surprisingly everyone was getting tired after they finished their food, which made the older gentleman to tell King Surt to escorted them to their rooms. The Prince left the room on his own, my guess to his reasoning for leaving was due to the fact he wouldn't be able to understand our conversation so there was no reason for him to stay. After he left the room the older man slowly got up from his seat and looked to Avorion and me before speaking. 

"Why don't we get some fresh air eh?"

He then walked us back out through the throne room and through the opening on the other side of the room.  We followed the man up the spiral stair case off the side of the main one, I guess it's because this one lead directly to the top of the castle by the time we were done climbing it. Once we stepped onto the roof, something happened as I looked up at the night sky. 

Honestly, I was captivated for a moment as I looked upon the many little lights that laid about in the darkened sky. It was like nothing else I experienced up till that point, yet despite not knowing anything about them; I felt that they were truly beautiful. I was simply awestricken, as I stood at the top of castle, with the gentle warm breeze passing me by. 

Avorion and the old man watched from a distance as such wonder is hardly found. Both of them felt that it'd be a shame to ruin something so sparsely found,  and choice to converse amongst each other to get a better handle on things.  

"My apologies for the improper introduction, I wanted to wait till we were alone to talk as to avoid topics with my son at the dinner table. Surely you understand?"

Avorion crossing his arms and giving a slight nod, before replying to the older gentleman. 

"So who exactly are you then?"

Avorion said curiously.

"My name is Haco, I'm technically the true ruler of this kingdom but I'm getting to old to really focus on the minor ins and outs of this place. So that's why I let my son Surt be in charge, incase you were wondering."

Avorion looked a bit surprised by the reveal of the elder Lord of fire said, and attempted to bow out of respect. However Haco put his hand on Avorion's shoulder to stop him from doing a gesture that had long lost meaning to him.

"Please don't, I didn't reveal myself to show dominance, I did it out of curtesy. "

Avorion took a breath and nodded a bit as he took his helmet off for the first time in what seemed like ages revealing a more tired man underneath.

"My name is Avorion, and I was the leader of the King's Stride. I have nothing left but to keep a promise to my Lord and make sure that Prince Alexon is strong enough to be on his own one day."

The old King chuckled a bit before smiling.

"I already knew that. Your inner flame speaks for itself Avorion, but there's a curtain that I can vaguely see through unlike Surt. Though I admit your flame is a bit dimmer then those of your companions, but I also sense you haven't had a moment grieve."

Avorion was bit shocked at Haco's words, but deep down he new that the old King was right. A lone tear did escaped the corner of his left eye as he tried to not think about it all, ultimately proving the King right.

"That's none of my business though, so tell me of the boy's father. Did the King of Fortis Gelu dying with honor, or did his heart grow black with the corruption that he sealed under his kingdom?"

Avorion took a deep breath, and said reluctantly. 

"I was shamefully unable to be there in my Lord's final moments, but after spending so many years with that man...I know he went out on his own terms."

The old man smiled contently as if a heavy weight on his heart was lifted. 

"So tell me Avorion, how far along did you get Prince Axelon's training before…you know.”

Avorion took a deep breath, as there was finally something positive to talk about. His voice seemed bit more cheerful as he replied to the question.

The Prince came quite far in his training actually, however our kingdom fell before he was able to learn about Soul Forge.”

Was it due to a lack of skill?”

The man asked curiously.

Avorion shook his head and replied.

Not at all, he’s quite ingenious at times, though those times may be few and far between. I felt that his heart was unbalanced over our travels, and knowing that his father placed such a heavy burden on him. You can't really blame his heart for being so...confused. Even as we speak I can feel the pain in him that may take some time to heal. Until then, I don't know if he'll be able to manifest his Soul Forge is to without having  balance within himself.”

After a while, the King told us that we should probably head in for the night. Avorion seconded the man's words and proceed to walk behind the Haco with me being last in line. The King showed us to our separate rooms before walking down the dimly lit hallway.  I looked to Avorion as he patted my back and told me to get some rest. 

"Y-yeah sure thing."

I walked into my room that was only lit up by a small candle on a desk with a mirror on it. I closed the door behind me before parting my hair behind my ears so I can get a good look at myself. 

"If only they knew how much harder this training to find balance would be."  

I said softly to myself before taking a seat at the desk to look into the mirror. I stared at the mirror to look into my eyes first, seeing that their amber color was unchanged brought relief to myself. Unlike my sclera's within my eyes, sure the left one was still pure white, but the right one had a hint of black at the edges. I choose to not think about it, before focusing on my hairless face in the mirror. 

"Still nothing..."

I stated in a depressed tone before looking at unkempt blonde hair tucked behind my ears. My hair had become frizzy due to the heat of his land, but at least it was in a sense decent looking. I then gently untucked the pouch from my side and placed the deep blue gem my mother made for me on the desk. The cold feeling it brought to my hands reminded me so much of home, even if the cold winds didn't affect me. I smile for a moment before leaving the desk, to strip down and lay in the bed. The gem seemingly brought a cool feeling to room which helped me fall asleep much quicker.