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   Chapter 13

The Woodlands By EJBowman Characters: 13131

Updated: 2017-12-22 12:02

Dacen was ecstatic when he found a nice, black jerkin with golden buttons to go over top of his tunic. Daefortis, who had no care for the human clothing he had collected over the years, allowed his apprentice access to all of it—the old faun had no idea how much the hybrid enjoyed dressing up. Dacen’s nox elf upbringing had made him this way.

Under these circumstances, Dacen was not just dressing up for the fun of it but, rather, procrastinating. He had healed the vampiress corpse, but with Daefortis breathing down his neck, he was unable to revive her. It was as if his body rejected spectators when it came to performing such dark spells. Even he himself was not a spectator to his revival procedure—as he blacked out last time it happened.

Both he and his master sensed that his ‘darker half’ did not want witnesses, but Daefortis desperately wanted to see how the resurrection worked. Perhaps he wanted to witness it so he could try and do it himself, however that would not be the case if his darker side had any say in the matter.

I’m unintentionally working against him, he thought while opening up a chest of boots. I must attempt to revive the vampiress while he is absent… but how do I do that? My dark half isn’t something I can turn on and off.

Once he was happy with his new style—although it was not much of a change as it was still primarily black—he grabbed a plain dress and headed to where the vampiress’ corpse was being kept. Her bloodied clothing had been discarded while he was fixing her body, and he did not want her to get the wrong idea if he did manage to revive her.

He knew that Daefortis was resting, as it was the middle of the night, and that was a good thing. For the moment, his plan was to try and resurrect the vampiress and then quickly wake his master once he had done so. It was the only way he could both prove to Daefortis that he had revived the vampiress and receive his chance to see his mother again.

Although he did want his second reward, the overwhelming desire he had felt originally had faded after he let his thoughts about his mother stew. He desperately wanted to see her, but it was very possible that she did not want to see him. She had lived her life thinking he was dead, so to suddenly appear could bring up horrific memories. The last thing he wanted to do was cause her more pain, that was for sure, so he had spent the nights following their first encounter carefully planning how he would act during their next encounter.

Perhaps she will understand I’m no monster if I kill the man who attacked her… my father, he considered. No. Killing him would likely only make her fear me more until she gets to know me… if she wants to get to know me.

By the time he reached morgue, he had come to the conclusion his mother hated him and would not want to meet him. It was a fair enough assumption since she had left him in the forest to die.

I should be the one who does not want this reunion, he realised. After all, she basically tried to kill me.

No. Despite everything, he could not bear his mother any ill. All he felt was sympathy for her and that would not change even if her encounter with his father had been consensual. She clearly had not wanted him… but maybe things had changed? Probably one of her biggest fears was raising a child as a single mother, but now he was fully-grown and independent.

Or maybe she feared that I’d grow into a faun like my father… unless she didn’t know father was a faun.

He removed the thoughts from his mind while dressing the vampiress’ corpse in the plain dress. Overthinking would get him nowhere. He could not predict how his mother would react to learning who he was.

Revive the vampiress first, he reminded himself.

The smell of the morgue was enough to bring him back into reality. Both vampire corpses were currently being held in what Daefortis called ‘the crypt’. They were both disp

let out a laugh.

“Well, I guess we’ll know who’s right soon enough.” He stood up to shake her hand. “Farewell, Mistress. It’s been a pleasure as always.”

“Your sarcasm will see you turned into moth someday,” she warned him while wearing a smile.

The old faun sat back down once Taonhi Chay closed the door.

Am I going mad? Is a stupid mutt driving me insane?

Deep down, he knew Taonhi Chay was right. His curiosity would get him killed. Did Dacen’s necromantic abilities really matter all that much? No. It was possible that Daemonis had placed the four hybrids on Efenta to overthrow the fauns, but it was also possible that there was a degree of randomness to their existence, and there was no grand plan laid out for them.

Four hybrids being born across the world, all within weeks of each other, is not random, the old Master assured himself. But their existence doesn’t spell the end of faunkind.

I want solid answers.

“Father of Fauns,” he began formally clasping his hands together and closing his eyes, “you have given us no explanation for the existence of the hybrids. I seek to discover the answer by means of killing one of their mothers to unleash their dark side. If you object, then please give me a sign.”

I look more ridiculous than humans when they pray to Bakadeus, he realised before quickly parting his hands. There was proper ritual for trying to communicate with the Father of Fauns. The problem was that Daemonis had not responded to any attempts to contact him in recent times. Fauns were in the dark, and that was proven most by Daefortis trying a human way communicating with the deities.

“You force my hand,” he muttered while standing up. He doubted that the Father could hear him, let alone be listening in the first place, yet he chose to speak as though he was standing in the same room: “Mongrels are an insult to our race, and perhaps that was your goal: to insult us. Perhaps you have chosen them to be your new disciples and severed all ties with us. No matter, I still demand answers and I will get them.”

The old faun clopped over to the bookshelf and ran his finger across the spines until he found the book he was looking for. Ad Corca Dissalute: a book of manipulation spells. Grabbing the book, he turned to go back to his desk but hesitated. Instead, he reached for a book of charms and brought it back to the desk as well.

Perhaps the simplest option would be to try and cast a spell on Dacen himself and force his darker half out, he pondered while flicking through the manipulation spellbook. No. As human as he may be, he is not feeble-minded.

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