Ayda sat quietly on the bed, breathing deeply. He once again concentrated on his body and the sliver of magic connecting him to it. Flying quickly through the thread, he could tell he had greatly weakened the god, but he still persisted on wearing his body. He felt the thrum of another cord drawn tightly, and siphoning off the god's power. Was that even possible? To steal a god's power? Who would be capable of that? He touched the dark tendril tentatively with his mind. He felt sick, more than sick, corrupted. Then he heard reverberate inside his head, 'I know you are there'. Ayda drew back shocked. He lost hold of his body recoiling out of the meditation landing on the cabin floor he shook his head clear but still felt unwell. He heard arguing coming from the next building. He went to investigate.
"We will rally to your cause, but first you must keep your word," Zvarra said narrowing her eyes at a statuesque man, "You need an army but we don't have one without him."
"She isn't ready," He said.
"Then make her ready," Zvarra stood up from her seat and walked out.
"She is painfully blunt," Ayda said amused. The man sitting at the table looked up at him but said nothing.
"Wait, I know you," Ayda sat now in front of the tall figure, "You left us to our fate. Before you had anything in this world it could take from you."
"I must be going," The man said then rose to stand. Tranquil and elegant. Ayda squinted to look closer at him.
"King of the Fae," Ayda rose and made a mocking half-bow, "what draws you out of Sid Hayef?"
Jelen stopped mid motion and looked at him. Ayda could see him searching his face for anything familiar.
"I did not look like this on the Great Crossing," Ayda smiled but his eyes remained hard, "So now you come begging for an army to save something dear to you? When you did not answer our calls, hear our cries?"
"We were weakened greatly in the war, we had nothing to answer with," Jelen's face became cloudy as though the memories he touched were painful still.
"You had magic we needed. You could help staunch the corruption!" Ayda raised his voice clearly upset.
"We can not step foot on corrupted lands, we can not survive a corrupted touch held too long, death is anathema to us, our destruction," Jelen looked just as angry, "Asking us to combat death himself would be suicide. I would not make my people choose death after losing so much fighting dragon kind."
"You were selfish," Ayda crossed his arms.
"And you are a boy," Jelen sneered as he swiftly walked away from him.
Ayda followed him out into the middle of the small town and could see how everyone stared at them. Jelen split open to the in between and disappeared in a ripple that shimmered. Ayda returned to his small cabin. He sat again on the bed's edge.
"You have a quiet storm in you," A familiar alto voice purred. Ayda turned to see Ekari, one of the Elaa guards.
"I was upset," Ayda stumbled over his words.
"I was impressed," Ekari caressed his cheek and smiled. Ayda blushed, "Not everyone would dare dress down the King of the Fae."
"I wouldn't say..." Ayda did not get to continue.
"Perhaps Zvarra dismissed you too quickly," Ekari spoke over him.
She moved closer to Ayda. A flash of silver tore through the door landing on Ekari and holding her down. The two hissed at each other, then Zvarra allowed Ekari to get to her feet. With another hiss, Ekari stumbled quickly out the door.
"Why do you let these wounds persist?" She turned on Ayda looking hurt and lost, then she became hard and angry, "You left me. You made me this thing for eternity and left me. I have watched everyone die. And when you come back you are mortal."
Zvarra wiped her face, touching tenderly the scratches from Ekari.
"I had no idea," Ayda stuttered. He wanted to comfort her, to hold her, but he bit his lip and just looked at her, vulnerable and upset.
"You did, but you were selfish too," Zvarra said and walked from the cabin slamming the door shut.
Her words stung. She was right. They were all selfish. Dragons and Fae. Stupid and selfish. They could not afford to be so divided against the necromancers again. He moved about the cabin and gathered the things he had brought with him. He slung the bag over his shoulder so that it was behind him. He decided to go meet up with his family. If Jelen needed them, he would do his best then to provide a tribe of warriors. Ayda walked to the wood wall. He saw Zvarra watching him. He smiled in her direction but she had already moved off and vanished from sight again. He deactivated the wood panel with a whispered word and opened it to step through the gap and felt it spring to life again behind him. He opened a port to where his tribe was last camped just to see the trampled trail of horses and people heading up the mountain. He sighed and resigned himself to trudging after them in the crushed snow. He looked down at what was the old camp and was in awe of how quickly they had broke camp even when he had helped do it a dozen times. He turned and steadily walked the path made by the passing of his tribe.