Ad'cero awoke on the beach of the northern corner of Demintrix, but would only find this out later. Mostly wet still, she could see Im'os nearby. Her body was weak, but being born of a Hearthan, she could move mountains. She steadied her arms on the wet sand and lifted her body. She audibly cracked her back in a few places as she stretched, but otherwise was fine, mind a few cuts and bruises.
Flipping her body over so she could sit upright, she took a few breaths and stared at the horizon. It was near night and she could already feel the cool breeze float along the sea's top. Im'os was breathing, she could tell from where she sat because of his chest leaping from time to time to catch some air.
After a few days in bed resting, Iniara was strong enough to walk around the room she stayed in. Derik had been very sweet and delivered her tea in the mornings and would open the blinds to her room and let her see the sun rise early over the horizon. He would stay with her all day, unless she napped in the afternoon and learned more about this strange woman that happened to appear on his land.
How old are you, Nara? Derik asked her on a day.
Oh, she paused and gazed down at her little china cup that contained
some vanilla tea,
I think about 224 seasons. I haven't been keeping track,
and I wasn't sure of my birth... so... she stopped there and returned
her gaze to Derik,
It never bothered me much exactly how old I was.
Merold walked into Iniara's bedroom and asked about breakfast,
have some nice eggs this morning, would you like that for breakfast this
Iniara was ready to reply, but a nerve struck her hard
What, Nara? Derik responded urgently.
My, my clothes, where are they?
They are torn and dirty, why would you want them back?
Let me see them! Bring them here to my bed! Immediately! she snarled.
Derik rushed out of the room and returned a moment later with Iniara's robe. He laid it on the bed in front of her and she frantically dug through her pockets.
No! she cried,
How could I have let this happen! Derik! When
you found me, did you see a black egg by chance? she asked desperately.
Worried and perplexed, Derik replied,
No, Nara. I did not see a thing
Her eyes filled with tears, something she had not felt in a long time.
Derik... she whimpered.
Please, I must find Eidea'col and soon.
I'm afraid she could be out there all alone.
Are you well enough?
Yes, I must find her! she pleaded.
Ok, I'll have my mother help you get dressed for the outside. But you
have to take it easy. I don't want to see you bed ridden for another week,
She brightened up slightly and hope filled her eyes as she nodded. Derik
had a way with words to make the situation seem all right. Merold knocked
at her door after Derik left and brought in a lovely violet robe with silver
I thought this might fancy your taste, Nara, she spoke
humbly and helped Iniara out of bed and sat her on a stool and began to
dress her. The robe fit wonderfully around her figure and hung loosely around
her lower arms but tight around her waist.
Merold then took her to a mirror and began to brush out Iniara's long silver
Oh, I use to have long hair just like this as a girl, Nara.
Iniara blushed; she always prepared her hair by herself in the past but allowed Merold to fix it for her. Merold painstakingly braided a few strands so that it would hang around Iniara's face. She also trimmed the edges of her hair so that it was all one length. To finish the style, she added a few daises to the top of each braid and scattered along individual strands.
This is an ancient style of hair decoration, Merold went on to explain.
On special celebrations or festivities, Daemenites would braid their
hair and stick newly bloomed flowers within the ties.
Daemenites? Iniara exclaimed.
Mm... yes, dear. That is what we are after all.
No, she asserted,
You must be mistaken. Daemenites are evil creatures
and powerless mongrels.
Well, I never heard such a distasteful expression of someone's heritage!
Heritage? I have no family! Iniara cried and stood.
Look at your body, Nara. You are the same as me. You are a Daemenite.
No, I have ice skin and cold eyes; never would I fall to abominations!
Iniara stood and faced the mirror, and in surprise noticed her skin a darker
teal and her eyes a calm blue.
What have you done to me?
What Iniara did not understand was the essence of the Daemenites, although
magic, consisted of the growth of plants. Conception of Daemenites is helped
by different plant structures. These plants become one with them; chlorophyll
being one aspect of a plant, when Daemenites are in the sun for periods
of time their skin turns to a natural, healthy deep teal. From her days
out on escapade and laid out on the beach, she must have developed what
human's would know as a
Nara? Derik yelled from outside as he opened the door.
ok? Mother, what happened?
I don't understand, son. She does not want to accept that she is a Daemenite.
Ah! Don't say that Merold! Iniara wailed.
Nara, let me take you outside, maybe being locked inside has done some
adverse affects on your health. Derik quickly led her outside and ushered
her along the sandy path to the beach.
By Aille, what happened Nara? Derik questioned.
I can't think, I must find my Eidea'col! Iniara whimpered though
Shh, shh... Derik brushed away the falling tears from her cheeks.
She sniffled and eventually calmed herself.
There now, Nara. Now we can
search for your egg since you are calm again. He made a silly grin that
made Iniara chuckle.
A chuckle? Iniara thought. What has happened to me?
Derik led her down to the beach by the arm.
So, what is this egg, Nara?
She waited to gather her thoughts then responded,
A child for me to
take care of, she smiled.
Well, actually a Bishel Dragon, or a soon to be dragon I suppose. If
I ever find the egg... She sighed and continued,
I traveled to the
Bishen Realm to gather this egg to foster, and it would be a shame to lose
it after all this.
True, but what did you have to do to gain trust and gather this egg?
I had to prove my worth. The leader of the clan I fostered from was
a real tough character. It didn't seem like he wanted me to have the egg
I can't believe that, Derik stopped and turned Iniara to face him,
from what I see in you, you would be an excellent mother.
She flushed at his comment. Only days before she would have given his word
a second thought.
I would like to believe that, Derik.
They made their way down to the beach and Derik showed her where he found
It was later in the day and the tide was out. You were laying on
your back and beaten up. Heh, he stopped,
I couldn't believe my eyes
when I saw you.
Iniara bent her head and didn't say anything, but she smiled inside. Derik began to speak again but a loud cracking noise came from nearby.
What was that? Iniara exclaimed.
I don't know... it sounded like something broke...
The two moved to a little patch of sea grass and heard the sound again.
There! I heard it again! Brushing away some of the reeds Iniara whimpered,
Eidea'col! My egg... it's broke!
Are you sure it is your egg?
Positive, she wept,
the same exact pattern and everything-
Wait, Derik interrupted,
I don't think she's dead, I think she
The two stared as a claw stretched out of the hole in the egg. Iniara gripped at Derik's sleeve as she witnessed Eidea'col's birth. First, two clawed feet punctured the edge and wriggled out. After a momentary rest, Eidea'col began to move again and a dark tail whipped itself out and broke more of the shell. A large crack grew along one side and a clawed wing soon followed to break out. Soon, Eidea'col poked her tightly closed eyes out of the hole and used her horns to pry open the container more. She stopped for a little while and took a few breaths.
C'mon Eidea'col, you can do it! Break that shell!
soon started again and finally released her second wing and began to pull
herself from the shell and out into the air. Iniara ran to her side.
I've found you! Iniara picked her up and held her to the sky. Eidea'col
easily fit into her palm and rested there soundlessly.
spoke as she held Eidea'col up,
She has the color of your hair, she
Wow, I've never seen such a heavily armored tail before...
Yes... I can already tell she will be a fighter. The coldness in
Iniara crept out of her for a time being but Derik quickly grabbed her and
spun her around.
What a happy day! And with the Moon Festival happening in a few days,
you can show her off to everyone!
Everyone? gulped Iniara. She hardly felt like meeting new people.
She had been so use to her court in Litor that she forgot how to be hospitable,
if she had been hospitable ever in her life.
Oh yes, the entire tribe will be attending. There will be so much food
and games and music- a truly fun time!
Ah... I see... she stopped speaking and gazed along
the horizon. After a long while she asked,
I never found out your age...
Oh, I suppose around my 206th season.
Ah, she acknowledged,
How is it that you have lived so long?
Long? I'm still merely a child to a Daemenite.
Iniara stared blankly out into the sea,
Yes, Daemenites usually live to 700 seasons.
She gulped hard and crumbled at her knees to the ground,
Yes, some more!
Her eyebrows quivered and her lips did not stay steady.
A child... only
but a child.
Derik brought her and Eidea'col back to his home that day and Iniara began to use her motherly instincts to care for the little wyrm. She saw that Merold coward when she entered the house again. Usually a common action when she entered any hall in Litor, she didn't quite expect it from her, and for once in her life felt that she needed to apologize.
Merold, Iniara commented softly,
I am, she paused and looked
to Eidea'col who had crumpled into a little ball in her hands and fell asleep,
I am sorry for the way I acted earlier. I did not mean to attack you
the way I did.
Say nothing more, she assured,
You have been through a lot,
she reached out and lightly held Iniara's arm,
We have a festival to
plan for now. She gazed lovingly down at Eidea'col and lightly stroked
the back of her spine with the tip of her index finger.
What is this festival that you speak of?
Ah, Merold acknowledged,
The greatest of them all. This is when
the moon makes its travel in the highest part of the sky. If the sky is
clear, it predicts health and happiness in the new year. Iniara continued
to nod, trying to understand its importance.
Heh, Nara, no need to nod
your head off! I can see you don't care much. No matter, you will meet our
tribe and become one of family. She smiled at Iniara warmly and glanced
at Derik who was standing, nervously, by.
Family? Iniara stared down at Eidea'col, who still seemed pretty
tired from her cracking of the egg.
Hmm, You don't seem like the little
demon I expected you to be, heheh, she thought.
Nara? Derik called,
Can you come over here please?
Iniara nodded and placed Eidea'col in a little basket Merold had laying
What is it that you wanted, Derik?
Do you remember whenever you first told us your name, Iniara, right?
Yes, I remember everything so well since I've been with you, she
smiled but greeted a serious glare from Derik.
You can't tell anyone that is your real name.
But why? Is this why you call me Nara?
Yes, in the simplest answer. About 250 seasons ago,
a strange prediction was concocted.
A child of ice will be born under
the festival moon from ivy. Her impish king will stow her away and 200 seasons
later return her to her home, which will bring upon the end of the Daemenite
reign. Ah, not words for word, but you get the idea, eh?
Wait, what are you trying to tell me?
What was said to happen was that someone was to steal the child during
the Moon Festival, and one year, he stopped and scanned the room, Merold
had luckily walked away and resumed with his voice in a whisper.
year a terrible devil emerged and killed a great deal of people. Legend
says he must have known about the powers Daemenites consist of when born
under a full moon, and he wanted a child to manipulate to his own. That's
my only deduction.
No one found the girl named... Iniara. Many did not want to believe
that a child had been stolen, it had never happened before, but no great
evil had ever plagued the Daemenites without the people being able to control
it. Seemingly embarrassed, they counted her among those dead. He bowed
ice girl. The child had been born with
elegant blue skin. Can you see where this is going, Nara? I'm afraid you'll
be attacked if someone finds out your real name.
Iniara turned her head, Im'os?
But why aren't you attacking me.
Derik didn't expect that question, but paused and lightly replied,
I saw you lying on the beach, you seemed defenseless, like you needed protection.
Me... she scoffed,
need protection? HIGHLY unlikely! and
narrowed her eyes at Derik.
Dejected, Derik ruffled his eyebrows,
Would you have preferred that
I left you to freeze on the beach at night?
Hah! I lived in Litor all my life. I, the Ice Empress of Litor created
that Ice! Do you dare challenge me to survive in that again?
Derik's eyes widened,
You are the child of ice? he backed away.
I always thought the prophecy was concocted, he snarled at his upper
And all this time you wanted to kill me?
Iniara weakened; no longer had she felt the frozen spirit inside her control
Derik, wait, she pleaded with him,
I can be different.
Never once have I wanted to attack anyone since I arrived here... in...
in your Daemenite land. Please, you have to believe me, don't throw me out,
I am defenseless... now. She fell to her knees and stared at Derik from
His expression softened and he bent down to the ground to lift Iniara up.
Nara... I believe you, the way you've talked to me is sincere, and I
can't help but... he stopped and just looked at Iniara.
Derik? Merold called from the kitchen, as they were in the gathering
room of the small house,
Can you milk the cows and clean up a bit before
Of course, mother. Would you like to join me, Nara?
Sure, she replied wearily, she had never done such menial jobs before.