Born Immortal Chapter 40

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Astyr stood in her bedroom waiting for her mother to give her the okay to go downstairs. There was a gentle buzz coming from the patio area made up of the murmured conversations of all the guests who had come for her sixteenth birthday. The number of attendees far exceeded the number of people that Astyr actually knew but recent events and the reappearance of Arianna had brought visitors to the Falkor’s mansion in droves.

The first order of business was Menha. Tyr was adamant about having her tried and brought to justice quickly; he was concerned about possible rescue attempts by Isis. It should have been fairly straightforward but, like most things that involved high-ranking people of power, it wasn’t.

Queen Elianna insisted that as the crime committed was against an Alfar Royal only the Alfar judicial council had jurisdiction in the case. It was a sound argument but Tyr refused to agree to any plan that involved Menha, and especially Arianna, traveling. He argued that Menha was Aesir and could not therefore be tried by any judicial board that didn’t include some members of the Aesir Council of Elders.

The final compromise agreed to by both sides involved the case being heard by both the Alfar judicial council and the Aesir Council of Elders, minus Tyr because of his personal ties to the victim, at the suddenly popular Falkor home. In order to avoid suspicions over the large gathering, the trial had been scheduled for the day before Astyr’s birthday so that her party would be the cover story for the large crowd.

Of course, that meant that the large crowd was waiting downstairs for Astyr to come down and go through the ceremony that marked the beginning of her body’s regeneration process. Astyr was feeling so nervous that she could barely hear anything around her over the rush of blood pounding through her veins.

The last couple of weeks had been bad enough.

It was normal for their species to experience difficulties with managing their energy levels in the short period just before the regeneration process started, but for Astyr it had been a truly harrowing experience. Her energy levels had been completely out of her control. If she stood too close to a window, her body would absorb so much radiation from the sunlight that she would soon be giving off sparks. Even taking a hot shower caused her problems. The energy from the heat would go straight through her skin. She had no control over the process so her only recourse was to avoid sources of power as much as possible.

The only time she had actively sought to absorb energy was when she was being given lessons. Missing school had given her plenty of time to spend with her parents and they had taken over the job of teaching her about her abilities from Laure and Grima. Tyr and Arianna were having a great time teaching their daughter as much as they could; it was impossible to make up for all the time they had lost, but they were doing their best to create a vast well of new family memories to draw from.

Tyr showed Astyr a few things that he had learned over the years, like how to use energy to push off from the ground so that he could make impossibly high jumps and how to add energy to a punch so that it dramatically increased the power of his hit. Arianna, meanwhile, taught Astyr a few of tricks that had nothing to do with fighting. The things that Astyr learned from her mother fell into two main categories; healing, at which Arianna was highly skilled, and a group of tricks that Astyr liked to think of as ‘the feminine arts’. Those included making her eyelashes grow suddenly to impossible lengths so that she could flutter them prettily and suffusing the air around her with a subtle glow.

Both Tyr and Hakon voiced objections to that line of instruction but it was Elianna, surprisingly, who insisted that Astyr should learn those things. Her reasons had nothing to do with matters of the heart, however; but diplomacy. Elianna felt that a female royal should be able to use any weapon in her arsenal to rule, and that Astyr would be much better served to begin learning that right away. That reasoning made Astyr very uneasy; she simply couldn’t wrap her mind around the fact that she was second in line for a throne.

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