"How does blood call to blood? Can I find my parents?" Elda asked.
"You might, I can teach you to find me," Jelen spoke softly.
"I would like that," Elda smiled up at him.
"Close your eyes, and concentrate on your heartbeat," Jelen instructed.
"Oh!" Elda exclaimed, her heartbeat became louder and it pulled her.
She opened her eyes and Jelen was gone. She felt the pull and tug of her heart. The blood in her veins tingled, and the tingle became stronger the closer she got to something. Something hiding behind a door. Jelen stepped out beaming. His joy felt so light to her. Then she heard a low hum. She turned confused. It was sad and crying, it needed help. The hum grew louder. Then it was a song, each note an individual pain. She put her hands to her ears trying to make it stop. Jelen had grabbed her in a panic and shook her. The song faded, and she felt his panic and concern.
"She sang to me." Elda cried as she leaned into Jelen's embrace, "She is hurt and needs me."
"Who sang to you?" Jelen was intensely worried now.
"Brecka," Elda said, "She says I have to come get her."
Jelen pulled away from Elda sharply, "Brecka, are you sure?"
Elda nodded, and Jelen swiftly stood and went into his dwelling. Elda felt something was wrong with what she said, though Jelen did not yell at her. Then she felt something, someone else. Jealousy? She turned and there stood Saido.
"So, she sings to you and not me." Saido felt different. Wrong.
Elda began to back away from him. She was frightened by his behavior.
"They tried to make me you, I was supposed to be you," Saido said with bitter acidity. Elda backed into a tree, and Saido cornered her there.
"They hurt her because I was not you. They hurt me. They made me," Saido looked as though he would cry, but the anger returned. Elda remained speechless and penned down.
Saido held a hand out to his side and spoke a word and the being that was coming to Elda's defense was ash. Elda gasped and cried out afraid. Then the smoke circled around her. And the tree was no longer at her back instead she was somewhere dark and cold. She shivered. Then she heard it again. The song she heard before. Someone held Brecka. Someone who could no longer hear her song. Someone who no longer felt her part in the world. Saido grabbed her hand in the dark, still angry, still sad. Still blaming her for something she never did but somehow caused. He dragged her deeper into the darkness. Her eyes adjusted and soon she could see the carved tunnels, the mosaics of monsters and dragons. Dwarven kings slaying horned beasts. Why was there no light?
"Here, mother. This is the child who hears Brecka," Saido said pushing her forward to a woman who was a bird, or a bird who was a woman. Elda could see both at once, or maybe she was both at once. The figure moved.
"My blood turns to sulfur, all have abandoned me." she croaked
The sword reached out from her hands with its voice. White and perfect and sad. Hurting. Lonely. Missing its purpose. Needing a purpose.
"I am here, mother," Saido spoke gently, sadly.
"I carried you, they forced me to carry you, but you're mine, not theirs." The woman spoke harshly, selfishly. Elda could feel the flinch in Saido, how it cut him to the bone like no knife could.
"I am yours, mother," Saido said, and Elda could feel his love and devotion that he gave to her, and she took it without gratitude. Like it was owed her.
"My brother never came. No one came. The boy, the mage, he took pity, though," The woman laughed. Her wrists and neck thick with scars.
"Mother, Brecka belongs to the child now, you must give her up." Saido felt such deep sorrows. Elda felt like she could drown in them.
"What do you know of the song," She screeched then softer, "The iron shields me, and it breaks me."
Elda felt as though her heart were breaking into a million pieces. Was it her heart or Saido's? She no longer could tell her own feelings from theirs. Elda stepped forward towards the woman bird and summoned a small ball of light and bid it float above them.
"You offer tricks for my heart." The woman spat, but her anger was subsiding and sliding into bitterness, "Brother never came."
"Mother," Saido plead.
"The shackles burned, always burned. Everything burned, everything burns." The woman stood and handed the white smooth wooden sword to Elda.
Then the woman shrunk back down to a balled up figure, holding onto bird and woman simultaneously. It made Elda's head ache to see her.
"Find your own way out to the door of this tunnel, the dwarves will see you to where Jelen can feel you and find you," And with that Elda felt Saido's utter dismissal of her. All that was left of him was sorrow and a need for his mother's acceptance and love.
She clasped the singing sword to her and walked to the door and pushed it open. As Saido had promised curious and frightened dwarves greeted her, and escorted her outside. The mountain was cold, snow was on the ground and the wind viciously nipped at her. Then she felt Jelen nearby with Xander. They were angry, confused, and worried. Then overwhelming relief when they saw her.
"I am so happy to see you!" Jelen cried.
"I know," Elda smiled, and the sword sang happily in her hands, "Brecka missed you too."
Jelen inhaled sharply, "Is she here, Delphina?"
"You can't see her, the iron will hurt you." A dwarf moved to stand resolute between Jelen and the entrance.
"Then I will be back, I promise," Jelen said fiercely.
"Saido knows," Elda frowned.