10. Fairies and Blood

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Athena slapped herself inwardly for letting her guard down as she was guided deeper into the woods. "Who are you?" The grip on the blade near her throat tightened.

"You aren't in any position to ask me questions, little lady. Just shut up and walk. And don't try to get away using your little tricks. I know what you are capable of." He replied.

Damn it.

"Have you been watching me, creep?" her question was answered with a slight nick at her throat. She grew more annoyed and threw her head back, hitting his head which caused him to loosen his hold on her. Drawing out her blades, she held it in front of her, ready to attack. From the corner of her eye, Athena saw children popping out from among the bushes and trees, adults passing by stopping to look at them. Their eyes glowed red from within the darkness, but their bodies shone softly from the inside. They always seemed to be covered in a mist of black that moved with them.

Observe your surroundings. Don't let your guard down again.

"Who are you and what do you want with me?"

"I am Matthew, and I am the Fairy General. You have trespassed upon our land, Princess, and according to our ways, you have to be taken to the King."

"If it was the King you wanted to take me to, you should have just told me." she replied, rolling her eyes, but putting down her blades."

"You, being a wolf shouldn't have been able to cross the river. None of the wolves do. And now that you did so, the King demands your presence, for which I wish you luck."

"All right. Lead the way, but I am not going to let you hold me captive."

"I cannot do that. Protocols, Princess," he said clicking his tongue in disapproval.

"Well, you don't have a choice. I am sure I can end you right here and now if I have to," she said, shrugging.

"Let me see you try," he replied, but moved the blade away from her throat anyway. "Come." He said, leading the way to a tunnel, hidden behind some bushes. The fairies just stood around and stared at her as she entered the tunnel into the dark pathway. They kept walking until they reached two large doors, guarded by sentries. It was covered in vines and flowers and bathed in the warm sunlight, which Athena thought impossible since she knew they were underground, but loved anyway.

"Welcome, Daughter of the Wolves," a voice boomed through the long courtroom drenched in darkness as they entered it. It was only illuminated by two red lights at the very end of the room casting an eerie glow on everything in the room. Matthew bowed slightly and moved away from her."I am terribly sorry about the way you were brought in but I hope you understand why we did what we did."

Athena looked ahead into the darkness, trying to find the source of the voice. "I'm right here, Wolfborn." The voice said again as suddenly the darkness fell away and light filled the room. Through squinted eyes, she saw a man with red eyes walking towards her. "You look a lot like your father indeed, he was a good friend of the fairies. We hope you will be as well. We do not ask for much except for living alongside with everyone in peace."

"And is that why you bring me here like this?" she asked, voicing her annoyance. She scrutinized the fairy before her and noticed that he looked beautiful, despite his red eyes. His auburn hair complemented his eyes while his body seemed to shine from the inside, like the rest of his people.

"Protocols." He said, shrugging.

"Why? If you were friends with the King before, why not just come meet me or send word? And why are you despised by the other races?"

"You came here first before I could do either. Besides, You crossed the river. The only other person who could do that was your father since the river is coated with Wolfsbane, something poisonous to your kind."

That was why Ryder was puzzled!

"And as to why we are despised by the all the other races, we are seen as untrustworthy. Everyone believes that we aided the rise of King Ragnor Lore.

His casual talk was getting on Athena's nerves, and she knew he was well aware of that when he smirked. "And what is to prove that you didn't aide him, King of Fairies?"

"I would prefer if you called me Nebulas. Names are a matter of great importance, wolfling, and it would do you well to remember that."

"So tell me, Nebulas."

"We have nothing that can prove that, but then I would like to show you why my people are innocent."

Nebulas held out his hand for her, waiting for her to take it, but when he realized that she wouldn't he put it down.

"I would like to show you our city, pup. Come with me." Athena grunted a reply as she followed him.

'Athena! Where are you?' Ryder's voice boomed through her head causing her to wince slightly.

'I am fine, Ryder. I am with King Nebulas, I will be back in a while.'

'Be careful around him! Try not to fall for his pretentious acts!' Ryder replied worriedly.

'I think he is not the only one I should worry about.' She said and cut him off again, not entirely sure when she opened her link.

Nebulas took her to one of the windows overlooking his city and said, "look, Athena. This is what we are, were and will be, or maybe even more if the world outside accepted us for who we are and not look down upon us. We help all of you every time you come to us with one problem or another, and all we do ask any of the races from up above is to accept us. Let us fight with you, eat with you, and rest with you. We are a prideful race, similar to the elves even if they won't admit the same."

Athena looked out to the picturesque landscape laid out in front of her. Houses were built into rocks and trees, and the city scattered with little lamps. It looked like the night sky but on land, and she finding herself longing for this place she never knew and a peace she had never felt before now.

"You may be more than eager to help, there is a reason why the races despise you. I will give you the benefit of the doubt and let it slide, but that doesn't mean I will trust you just yet. And while I have heard in tales of old that Elves and Fairies don't lie, it doesn't mean that your people say exactly what they mean."

Nebulas regarded her in silence as his eyes glowed a little more.

"I will accept your request to fight alongside us on three conditions; One, your want to be accepted will be your cost and I will make sure the world will accept you. Two, no half-truths, from you or your people. And three, you will help me and only me unless I say so, however necessary, be it by healing or giving advice." Athena said, turning to the King, not sure if he would accept. She hoped that all the stories her father told her had at least a hint of truth in them.

"We shall accept your conditions as long as you keep your side of the deal." He replied, touching her wrist softly as he passed by, burning a tiny mark onto her arm. "Take her back, Matthew." He walked back into the throne room, dissipating with every step and filling the room with darkness once more.

"Shall we, Princess?" Matthew asked while Athena stole a glance at the beautiful city one last time.

"Let's. You seem like a nice Fairy. How old are you, Matthew?"

"I am older than you think, but a lot younger than many of us here, seventy summers, to be exact. I am a lot like you Athena." she looked at him quizzically as she followed him out.

"I am what everyone calls an abomination as I do not belong to one particular race, but honestly, I think that's what makes us a lot more powerful than the races themselves."

"While I do not know about being an abomination, I still agree with you." She said, scrunching up her face a little. "But we are who we are, and people shouldn't fear us. And we should teach them not to fear us."

A small voice whispered as they walked away from the throne room, just loud enough for her to hear.

"You belong with us."

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