Chapter Five: Cats and Thread

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When the sailors from the GLORIA landed, one of their newer crew members made the mistake of following their curiosity to examine the swirling sands on the beach. Cirrus came out of his trance and eyed the young phelan somnus, dropping the wind and sand of his camouflage as he did so. 

He looked to be a young noble. There were no marks of the experience of hard labor or servitude on him. It was the only reason Cirrus didn’t strike the teenager down when he unsheathed his sword against him in what looked to be a genuine challenge. His Ancient was incapable of striking a somnus, unless they proved to be an immediate threat to his current size. It was one of the creation Laws of Aragmoth; as Ancients and Eminor had been returned to life on the new Aster to protect souls—not destroy them. Every soul, even those of their enemies, was what infused their larger forms with enough energy to exist outside of the spiritual. Despite the kid being old enough to have learned this, he still gave a genuine pose as a threat to him.

He might have found a new victim from the GLORIA to taunt yet.

Cirrus swiped at the kid, which sent the somnus falling backwards. His warning strike had missed his chest by inches. This was proving fun already, as the somnus was fast.

“Easy there kid, we don’t want to piss that one off.”

I was just starting to have fun too, Cirrus thought to himself as the older phelan somnus lifted the teenager back onto his feet and led him away.

“Get a hold of your kid!” Quinn shouted.

“It’s fine—no harm done!”

Cirrus stood up and let his aeri unleash a rush of wind against the sand, covering them in it to further illustrate his lack of patience for phelan. They learned quick, as they didn’t so much as give a look back. 

He was more interested in their Awl, anyway. He would kill it one day. Sadly, it wouldn’t be today, as Gloria walked over to him and paid him the respect of a curtsey. In her hand, she carried what was not the usual bottle of chardonnay she offered on her landings.

“Please accept this as thanks for allowing us to take what we need from your lands.”

“Am I to assume that the one with the chardonnay on his breath is responsible?”

Bit ways away now, the phelan somnus hiccuped with a combination of fear and drunkenness as he shoved off the overly brave kid away from the camp. Nobles were never shoved anywhere.

Gloria seemed to think on it a moment, before piecing together the truth for herself in her mind.

“It will do,” Cirrus said as he unsomned in a rush of white mist, and took the sling with the bottle from her. He didn’t drink, but the alcohol had a cooling effect on his father’s temper. It was an accidental discovery on the General’s part, when Dyaus had a bottle of chardonnay thrown at him, from Gloria.

Gloria blushed red and pondered him for a while, instead of returning to her crew. Her cheeks were almost dark enough to match her hair.

“Are you alright?”

“Yes, sorry… I will leave you in peace now.”

Cirrus looked at the bottle and pondered whether she gave it to him as a peace offering, or simply to see his human-like form. As he looked over at the pluma consort watching them from behind his sad-carved mask, it became clear it was the latter. To remind the Awl of his place, he took his necklace off and waved it back and forth by his hand.

It angered Delare, though he was nearly flawless in hiding it without the need of a mask. Gold was richly woven with memory Thread and knowledge. Knowledge that all this Awl’s skills would never be able to reach or take from him. On Delare’s Continent, he was like a demigod to the populous. On the Torian, it was the dragons who dealt out absolute Fate. Delare took off his mask and let his green eyes glare at Cirrus for a while.

When Cirrus got bored of him, he somned back into his dragon form to mind other things.

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