The Final Piece. [chapter I]

c h a p t e r  i

The icy wind bit at my cheeks as I rode Southward along the well-marked path. Irinithia was a vast continent. It would take seven days time to get to my destination. No one was to know about this little expedition of mine. Not even my father knew where I was, though, he knew very well of what I was about to do. The Polar War was raging on and our numbers were dwindling to a scarce amount. With winter inbound, there were very few options for my Court to take. But it was I, my father's second in command, that brought the idea to the table. 


12343001092?profile=RESIZE_710x"What if... I bring the Halo back?" I had been pacing behind my father as he leaned the bear paws of what were to be his hands upon the round table. It was littered with maps, pinned with little colored flags all over the continent it had shown. He had called in the meeting with the General, myself, and a few of the front linemen who were stationed as heads of the training camps throughout the Aerithium fleet. Though, there was little for them to do since... Our numbers had ceased to increase. My thumbnail was being gnawed on between my teeth when I paused to see all eyes had been pinned towards me. I pulled my nail from my mouth and clasped my hands low in front of me. A stoic stance my mother had taught me. Hands gracefully clasped just under your navel, chin up, shoulders back, unreadable expressions. Talk softly but be heard. I stared back at them with pale grey eyes, waiting for a counterargument, but none emerged.

The silence finally broke when my father said, "Even if we were able to... access the pieces of the Diadem... Who would wield it?" I sucked in a breath before I spoke, waiting for another voice to pitch in. Again, none came...

"I will." my tone was matter-of-factly. There was to be no uncertainty around my father. If I second-guessed every decision I'd ever made, I would not be his second in command. He whipped his head towards me, fire in his eyes,

"Absolutely not." and there it was. I exhaled through my nose and scowled. Not childlike, but cold enough that it was almost offensive. My father, Lord of Aerithium, had a very unique bond with his seventhborn. All his sons had fought in this wretched war, but all had perished. He had three daughters: Kindreth, Mary, and myself. Both Kin & Mar had been betrothed to the sons of the Solista and Fonsulon Courts. Neither ever dared to get even one finger dirty in their existence. Proper, educated, and radiant women. Me on the other hand... growing up the seventh child, I was almost always forgotten, due to being the lowest on the totem pole. So I never found my tutors interesting. I found other more creative ways to bid my time. I learned how to fight, fish, hunt, and most importantly, talk. Not due to illiteracy, I learned to talk politics. Enough that my father had me sit in on his meetings even though I was never allowed to speak. But afterward, he and I would always discuss in detail on how to manage tactics and build alliances. That's how my sisters got married. So we had both the Western and Harboring Courts in our corner. Heimstra on the otherhand...

That was why we were at war. 

"I know where all the pieces are, I know how to weld it back together, and I know that I can overcome the power within it." I paused, staring ferociously into my father's steel hues. That was the one trait I'd received from him. Other than that, I was a spitting image of my Lunadian mother. Stark platinum hair, fair skin, and slender build. I had my hair pulled into a braid, starting from my hairline down past my shoulder blades. It sat just above the sword that strapped across my back. My leathers had been made special for me due to my size. I was half the height and about a third of the width of my father. He was a brute, a man with soul and purpose. He was an intimidating man, some would say with cold steel eyes. But all I saw was warmth and pride within those hues. 

"You don't know that. No one's seen that kind of magic in a dozen millennia. I am not risking my second in command to that kind of--"

"Kind of what? Danger? We don't know if it is dangerous! But what I do know is that that Diadem can end this war." This eight-year war. I had watched my father wither away slowly. It was taking its toll on everyone, especially him. 


Everyone grew quiet, watching the stare-down between the Lord and his second. His youngest daughter. I bore my steel hues into his, my boiling temper had also been passed down. I could feel it in my blood. Heat rising. Enough was enough. I exhaled roughly before shaking my head and shoved past him with my shoulder, he didn't move an inch. I grabbed my sachel from a wooden stool in the corner of the tent and started towards the entrance. I was going to find that damned crown. 

Thundering footsteps followed, gaining on me as I headed towards the stables. A rough hand gripped my shoulder and spun me around. It was Demitri. The third front lineman that was in the meeting. He was tall and built. Puberty had done him well. He had filled out since the last time I'd seen him. His chestnut hair was slick with sweat like he had been training before our meeting. He wore the same leathers as myself, though I had a black band around my left arm, indicating rank. It was subtle, but well-known to our fleet what it represented. My father also had the band, but within the deep black was a silver line cutting across it. Demitri bore his eyes into mine with what I could tell was anxiety. I knew that since we were kids he followed my every footstep. Knew that he'd never stood a chance. Though I never did mind. He was one of the only people that gave me a lick of attention as a child. His deep brown eyes clung to my steels. Almost desperate, "Let me go. Stay, help your father. Please, I can't watch you do this alone." His voice was deeper than I remembered and I swallowed hard. I gave him the same look, though with a little more defiance. I wasn't going to let a subordinate do the daunting task I had volunteered for. Especially not him. But I knew if I had asked anyone in this camp to go instead, they'd do it in a heartbeat. Even though I was female in an all-male fleet, I was respected.

I exhaled through my nose before turning my body into his, my hands went to the sides of his face before planting my lips to his. His hands immediately rested on my waist, pulling me in returning one long and slow. I pulled my head away and stared at him, memorizing the lines and contours of his face. His brows furrowed, knowing my next move. I kissed him one more time, more swiftly than the last, and pulled myself away, not saying a word. I hopped on my horse, white mane similar to my hair, and strode off Eastward never looking back. I couldn't risk buckling and agreeing with him. I knew he wouldn't have let me go if I hadn't done what I did. Even if it was a little for me as well.


It's the third year of my search. I had checked in with my father every time I found a piece, making sure that they were somewhere not all together until I had each and every one. The last thing we needed was for me to be captured with all of the pieces. Mighty convenient. My mare galloped through the forest, hooves thundering, chest heaving as her breath frosted from her flared nostrils. She was one of the fastest horses in the fleet, naming her the title of Primis; meaning First in Latin. I slowed, gathering my surroundings. It has started snowing about three days ago, making the trails a bit hard to follow. This was Heimstra's territory. They held the final piece. 

Upon slowing, Primis staggard, not wanting to move forward as if an invisible wall had been placed in front of her. My heart skittered. We're here.

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