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ATOM : Luna – II

Alnam observed the ceremony with a bitter air. His chest heaved, when Lorian stepped into the sacred circle, ready to become one with the woods; only for a small while, but it was enough for the protective forest to anoint him again. To give him all power again. Allow him to hold all the reins – again and again.

Alnam didn’t understand it, the only explanation was that the woods… liked Lorian’s nature. His hidden crimes. His reign that perhaps – only perhaps – was giving them enjoyment of a more twisted kind.

His eyes drifted at Nymre.

In long gone times he thought she was the most clever woman in this court. But at the same time, he thought that Lorian may be the perfect choice, a perfect king  – after all.

Now, he thought of Nymre either as a fool, who takes a monster to her bed. Or someone who simply enjoys it. The court changed so much through last years… and he… he stayed an autumnal lord, with all bad and good it was bringing. Winter was alien to him, too harsh and too cruel.

Autumnal lord in the palace of frozen dreams and nightmares covered with a thick pillow of snow.

Nymre… poor soul or a twisted creature that fed on his lover’s darkness? He would lean to both. She was more than meets the eye.

Lorian was always so beautiful… and under it, maws filled with blood. How could they not see it? His hatred, dull like old pain, drilled his soul through so many years that he didn’t recognize it anymore. It blended with him so tightly that it became him.

Making him hollow.

Lorian, smiling, took Nymre by the hand and led her to the ballroom, to start the celebration, which will end for many deep in the woods, in bedrooms, in corridors, hungrily relishing on each other, tasting the pleasures. And as always he will spend this time of freedom, with his memories.




When he met her in the corridor, some time ago… she was not the same woman he tried to ease during the same celebration. Who he wanted to love. No, who he loved; her strength, her innocent boldness, her resistance… and who he wanted to respect… all these feelings didn’t fade during last thirty years. Perhaps became even stronger, as he observed as she changed. From Lorian’s slave, she went through a long path. And he didn’t know anymore who she hated now. Who she wanted now. To whom she was leaning.

But not to him. And he wouldn’t dare to even talk to her about this, not knowing where her loyalty lays.

This was over, a fast, fleeting moment of pain and joy. Lorian did it masterfully, throwing him again into another pit filled with shadows.

“Alnam, my friend…”

The familiar voice. Alnam turned to it, to see a tan face of one of his strongest allies, Lord Kolerial Vern’ese. They fought together in two wars and both relied on each other for so long that he would never consider him less than a friend. In the court filled with deception and cruel games, Kolerial was an exception. He never plotted against anyone, planning their demise.

Which could not be said about his wife, whom Alnam didn’t trust from the beginning. A poor choice of usually very rational Vern’ese. Dark heart, hidden behind sharp beauty, she held the household in her talons like a wild shuldra.

“The ceremony was quite the sight, ” mused Kolerial, looking back at the disappearing court. They followed Lorian to the ballroom, among laughs and eager conversations; a promise of pure pleasure above them, like a heavy cloud, their auras shivering.

“I wonder how much of what the priests share with us, is truly the woods’ will,” said Alnam with a calm smile. He pondered about it for years already. Perhaps only he minded the blood on Lorian’s hands…

Kolerial gazed at him, then at the disappearing crowd. His face an undeciphered mask, showing pleased content, a mask, which Alnam knew very well.

Kolerial knew about Corvel. The only time he lowered his guard and – to not suffer alone – he shared his pain with someone from the outside.

Sometimes Alnam wondered if it was a good choice. But Kolerial never even tried to use it against him. Never played on his memories… like not a winter fae.

He was stoic like an autumnal child and that made Alnam like him. It was rare, in this castle of dark.

“Woods are a god,” said Vern’ese, with a slight amusement. “Maybe they love us, but it’s a twisted love.”

Alnam never tried to pull Kolerial on his side, to make him hate Lorian, just as he did. He knew that he preferred silent existence and hatred, real, blood-boiling hatred is alien to him. He had no reason to hate Lorian, he could not trust him, fear him, after all which he knew about him, but Alnam didn’t expect anything from him.

And it proved to work between them. His brother in arms stayed away from any court scheme, but was true enough to understand Alnam’s desperate pain.

Which still blossomed in him, after all these years.

Alnam didn’t expect him to bathe in it, and change his calm demeanor into a creature of vengeance. His own vengeance died a long time ago after all, with his not less desperate act in one of the New Lunar Years, thirty years ago. Lorian killed even that. And took Leira from him.

He breathed in air and exhaled loss.

“Will you again travel to Devlonmere tonight?” Kolerial’s eyes beamed with slight worry. He seemed to know his tendency to tear up the old wounds. In Devlomere, where it all started.

“No, not tonight. I still have duties to do, in Dal’coler” Alnam suddenly felt very tired. Duties of battles that were not his own. Duties connected with nations which already bowed before Lorian. He tried to perform them with as much strict finesse as he could.

“You should allow your subordinates to take some from your shoulders.”

“I can’t,” Alnam laughed bitterly. “I am too grown into the procedure. Devlonmere will wait. It always waits, after all.”

With its white walls, pallid sky and cruel mountains. Beautiful, raw and wild, a real winter tale, happening just before his eyes. He was its autumn lord, even before it took the white color, a copper and vermilion home of his youth, of his best memories… and his first love. Narlia, who loved autumn, but even more loved winter. Her lilac lips, a contrast for the white, either in autumn and in winter. Beautiful. Cruel in their truth-speaking way. Honest.

“Why are you tormenting yourself, traveling there? Here, you at least don’t see ghosts.”

“And here, I can at least do what soothes me the most” Alnam’s lips curved into a perfect smile.

Kolerial lifted his well-shaped brow.

“Play this charade. Isn’t it all we love most, me and Lorian?”

Play the charade. Something overwhelming. But taking his soul into place, where white walls were a safe harbor of good memories, and the bitter ones…

… were just perishing.

And he knew Lorian loved it too.

How could it not be a perfect end for himself? Losing in the charade, which he played for forty years. But he knew he would lose it one day. The thing was, how much he will take with him and how much it will belong to Lorian.

Maybe nothing.

Maybe all.

4 Comments on “ATOM : Luna – II”

  1. I like both Kolerial and Alnam.
    The best of friendships are forged by battles and hardenships, I guess. Hopefully they can stay true to each other without Lorian using their “weakness” against them.
    Nice chapter, I enjoyed it! <3

    1. Lorian has Kolerial in his grasp, already, it was him who’s wife he killed in the mirror chamber. This will be hard for all sides of this.

  2. I’m kind of “on the fence” with Alnam. ^^ The only time I didn’t like him was when he spoke to Leira in the corridors. Other than that, I think he’s such a sad and bitter and lonely man. =/ He looks like he lost everything. At least he has Kolerial. I really hope there’s no betrayal. But…we never know.
    Another great chapter!🖤😊

    1. I actually changed a lot the meeting with Leira 😉 Yes! That’s who Alnam is. I am glad it goes through. He is maybe an enemy to Lorian, but he has good reasons.
      Thank you, Juli!

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