Book I Chapter 7 : Stargazer
The viper lifted its flat head, tasting the air slowly as its companions waited.
"Thank you-- I fear to think what may have become of me in that place," it sighed at last. "So this is the world of Matter..."
"A tiny portion of it, at any rate. We're outside of the city of Gier-- my favorite human city, really," Nefirian said with a faint smile.
"I'm fond of humans. They've got heart, and some of the most fascinating dreams I've ever lived."
The snake scrunched its nose. "All I can smell is smog and rust."
"Mmm, yes. They are fiercely successful in the world of science and engineering, which is dear to my heart. It comes naturally to them like magic to we fae. Er, or most fae. I'm no magician, despite what my village expected of me...
But they pay for their talent with a bit of short-sightedness when it comes to long-term effects of their devices. And brief lives."
"Seems like a good way to keep them from causing too much damage," the viper hissed.
They breed like rabbits, and tend to pass legacies down so their children can continue their work," Nef laughed.
"This city has existed for roughly two hundred years, and the lands around it and its sister up the road are already afflicted. Poor Kelanwill have his work cut out for him."
Milord, whispered one of the Iicarn through the mind-link they shared with the Dreamwaker.
It pointed to a large bird flying in from over Gier, headed straight for them.
Here he comes.
"...well, Achare, it would seem our conversation is being cut short," Nefirian sighed, ripping an aetherhole open before them with his sharp nails.
"My servants will lead you to Laps-Lucienne; make yourself at home. I'll be by once I've been scolded soundly." The chubby Chapter grinned impishly.
The Iicarn crowded into the aetherhole, followed by the giant snake, who peered through from the other side.
"Thank you again, dreamfather. I will be more cautious in the future," she hissed.
"You needn't thank me-- I'll have to look into exactly what we're dealing with. But for now, shoo, or I'll really be in for it," Nef laughed, scooping up a handful of the miraplasm dripping from the aetherhole and using it to seal the gash shut, shaking his hand clean just as the great golden eagle came to a landing before him.
"What manner of trickery are you up to tonight, Nefirian?" Kelan's voice was abrasive as he glowered down from atop the bird.
"I'm not certain what you mean," Nef murmured innocently, refusing to make eye contact.
But Kelan only narrowed his odd eyes. "Iicarn, in Gier? Opening portals into the dream and leaving miraplasm everywhere? This isn't like you at all, and it's making it rather difficult for me to overlook the fact that one of your mutants killed a Flarion yesturday."
His tone softened. "Gods damnit, Nefirian. She was still young."
The red-haired faerie glanced down at his belly, absently wondering what his feet looked like.
"I'm not sure what happened or why my Iicarn are so far from home, but I'm sorry for your loss. You know I wouldn't go out of my way to make trouble for you... especially with your... affliction."
Kelan pursed his lips; the freckle-faced bastard wasn't even trying to lie convincingly.
"You're making trouble for me right now.
I had to go through Gier and burn away all of the miraplasm your pets left everywhere before someone blundered into it and mutated.
I don't know what it is you're up to, but I'd appreciate it if you'd go back to playing doctor on your own turf. Leave these people out of it."
Nef finally glanced up.
Finding the eagle staring fiercely down at him, he crossed his eyes and stuck his tongue out at her while Kelan wasn't looking. "Yes, sir."
"Stop mocking me. I'm serious."
"When aren't you?"
Kelan grabbed the reins, and the eagle spread her wings, still scowling at the little Chapter. "I can't deal with you right now.
Clean up your act. It's bad enough your Mirajin is causing trouble on its own."
As the Flamekeeper's mount took wing, Nefirian slipped his hands in his pockets and smirked, eyeing a nearby rock.
"Oh, Kelan. You act like you know everything," he murmured as the rock began to float as if held by an invisible hand.
Next Chapter: Book I Chapter VIII
Category: Book I | Story