The Fey Bride of Elfland
It did bring Chamorrick and me relief in seeing the door open. Finding Lasotherral to be the one that did it had us breathe deep in feeling things were not all bad. She did not look to my half-brother, or the trays, we carried, but after acting as if searching for something, she opened the door fully so she could step out.
"Prince Kevin, your wife is not with you?"
"No, dear Lasotherral, as it was feared her presence would keep you in your room."
Softly, she admitted, "Yes, it would. I should have known she was of that type." Lasotherral turned to Chamorrick to say, "I should have realized back at the beginning that I would be encountering fey of that type."
He replied, "What type, fair Lasotherral?"
"Those of this creation. My time has passed. I cannot stand before them."
"Cannot stand before them?"
Berliat suddenly moved up, put a hand on Chamorrick's shoulder, then whispered, "Keep her focus on you."
He momentarily looked to his father's advisor to ask, "Me?" Strength then came to his voice as he declared, "Yes, me!" He turned to set his gaze on the lady as he said, "I did not come to have you stand before them, but me. I want you to be my wife. I want you to share my life, bare my children, and experience my love and the love of our family. Let me rule my land. Yes, you will be there at my side, but allow yourself to be seen through me."
She replied, "I don't know if I can be happy with such a life."
I wanted to help my half-brother, but could not find anything to say. Looking to Berliat, I however saw him in a silent pose with his hand to his mouth. I had watched things about Castle Firrenire to know that he was thinking, but I felt that Chamorrick needed immediate help. I thus searched my own mind for something to say. What I however thought was the worse option, but felt to help my half-brother I might be able to make it work.
"Dear Lasotherral, would resolving your presence with the fey of this creation satisfy you? If my wife could see you as something that was a part of her life, her existence, and you could hold your head up to her and others, would you then be willing to accept Chamorrick?"
She looked to me to ask, "A bargain?"
That was what I feared, so I quickly retorted, "No! By the gods, no. That is one thing that does not exist between me and Rabbit. There is no bargain. I did not fight for her and she did not trick me. We are husband and wife without any rules or regulations between us, except the standard love and devotion of a married couple. That is what I want to exist between you and Chamorrick. Can you do that? Will you be willing to do that? If we can resolve your status among those of this creation, will you accept your place as establishing children of this creation with Chamorrick?"
"That is a great thing to ask."
"Really? Are you going to say that the love and devotion for a man to his wife, or a wife to her husband, is a little thing? Are you going to propose that your sacrifice to such a state is greater than any other person who submits to a matrimonial vow?"
There was a moment of silence. I felt Berliat come behind me, but he did not speak. As I think we all hoped, the silence was broken by Lasotherral.
"Yes, under those conditions I will submit to advancing my relationship with Prince Chamorrick."
I believe that we all sighed with relief at those words. From the sounds that issued from my half-brother, I suspected that he had not even breathed. I felt Berliat pat me on the back. I saw a smile come to Lasotherral's face, as if she understood the expressions on our faces. I heard the tray Chamorrick held rattle, and in assuring that it stayed steady I believe he found some words to say.
"Are you hungry, Dear Lasotherral?"
"No, but I will join you for supper. A cup of tea might be appreciated, if you will share it with me."
Berliat took over. He helped shuffle things between the trays Chamorrick and I carried. In the end I carried a tray holding the pot of tea, some cups, and a few pastries. Berliat moved off carrying the other tray loaded with everything else.
A soldier directed us to a parlor. As we entered, he moved to light the fireplace. Chamorrick politely escorted Lasotherral to a seat while I set things up so I could pour us some tea. As I settled with the potential couple, the soldier left closing the doors of the parlor behind him.
As the lady took a sip, Chamorrick started the conversation. "Let me say, Lasotherral, that I do not consider your conditions as hopeless. While you were absent, I had the advice of my father, one of his advisors which you earlier saw with us, and Kevin's wonderful wife. Things were said that offer me hope that I will be able to meet those conditions."
"Then I will allow myself to feel hope as well. I have been alone for so long."
I believe that Chamorrick took a sip of tea to hide his smile. It still showed, but not as wide. After a period of silence, I saw him down the rest of the liquid in his cup as if needing the strength for his next statement.
"Since you have allowed me the prospect of sharing a life with you, and have allowed that we might share some tea, could I chance advancing our conversations? Maybe not to the point of us speaking of a potential life together, but maybe simple things to allow us to begin to know more of each other?"
She replied, "I do not see why we cannot advance to the point of being friends. If there is one thing that attracts me to you, is the friendships you seem to have with both your half-brother and Princess Queanay."
"Enjoy your time with Kevin, as soon enough I will be ordering his execution."
I saw the lady smile to me, then she spoke as if understanding the jest. "What he did was risky, but I believe it was required. You would do well to keep your half-brother as your confidant."
"Then I shall. Have you enjoyed your room?"
I was used to sudden changes in topic due to my wife, but Lasotherral seemed shocked by it. "My room?"
"Yes. I mean, you had been living in a cave. Now you have the luxuries of a castle around you. Does the change suit you?"
"Oh, I guess it could. My problem is that I do not know what is around me. I believe that Queen Bessinadar has sought to serve me as she knew best. I however do not know what to ask for. My life in the cave has been one of seclusion. I have found some things to work for me, but the range of possibilities has never been sought. I believe once I understood what was available, I could find myself more than satisfied."
I felt Chamorrick would then break down into simple chatter asking about her idea of the things around us. He however wisely did not. He started probing Lasotherral concerning the world she had been born into.
What she described did not sound weird, but bleak. I clearly gained that it had not been a complete creation. There was not the great wealth of life. In fact, it sounded like there was no life at all. There were some basic components, but none of the animals, plants, or even firm principles establishing a complete reality. In a way, her cave had more to offer than her original existence. At least on the volcano she could leave and seek out things to help her, entertain her, or simply offer her hope. In her original life she just had her purpose, and the man who had originally sought to make her whole. Hearing again of his death, I found myself understanding her distress in that I could not imagine her having any other options.
I had to ask, "Lasotherral, what were you waiting for?" I saw her eyes look to mine, so knew to explain. "I do not gain that you were waiting for Chamorrick, or another man. Thus, what were you waiting for?"
"I don't know. Anger drove me and drove me. Regaining my sanity, I found myself with the pure elves. I guess that I was waiting for some sign that I also had a presence in this creation. The earth was remade, but the pure elves around me had enough purpose to continue. The air, well, I never felt comfortable in the air. Even in the fumes of the volcano I felt no peace. The old rock from deep below would excite the pure elves with me, but the gases that came with the ancient rock pleased me not at all. What is around me is not only of this creation, but this creation permeates it with its smells, odors, simply its presence. I guess the same was true of what came out the volcano. While old earth came up, the air had been filtered, altered, saturated with the essence of this creation."
"So, a life with Chamorrick?"
"Will give me a purpose if nothing else. However, I can see that there is good around me. I also see that there is friendship and happiness. Not anger. As strong and forceful as your words, and even Charmorrick's words, have been, there has not been anger in them. I thus feel that a good path is being offered to me. That is what has me feeling that I can accept this life. It will not take me to the horrors that I felt before. I will not be alone, and I will not need to cry out with desperation. That is something that I do not want."
I felt that she had said enough, but she kept on speaking. "That is what the cave offered me, no return. There was nothing there to be taken from me. Once my anger passed, once I had passed that emotion from my essence, I found myself depressed with the lack of everything. There was a peace there. Not a good peace. Not something I want to go back to, but a foundation that I knew could not be pulled from me. That again is what I see in this step you are desiring to have me take. Even should Chamorrick fall, not that I would ever think long on the topic, I see the presence of others that could be there for me, to comfort me, and guide me in ways that will keep my life productive."
Hoping to lighten the mood, I quipped, "I guess that is why you had me saved from execution."
"Yes, Kevin, as I can tell that you are good friend, husband, and member of the family. I feel that I could possibly feel as much of a loss in you as I will in that of Chamorrick, again not that I desire to spend long in thinking of either topic."
Chamorrick said, "I told Kevin when he came to settle with Rabbit and be my advisor that I had known about him from an early age. I have since learned that I really did not. I knew that he existed, but I really did not know who he was."
I furthered the thought. "Rabbit says the same thing of me. She said that our father could have given her to a bad man. When she was first commanded to be my wife, I was quite young and it was impossible to know the type of man I would become. She however is pleased with who I have become, although I partially blame her for having me grow up as I did."
Lasotherral said, "She glowed. You cannot understand how I saw your wife, Kevin. She is an amazing creature. You should be glad to have her. I do not doubt that she is proud of you as well, but you need to be ever elated to have her."
"That I am."
There are many issues left to handle.