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This Cruel Pain – II

Corvel never felt so lost in any place. Dal’coler was dark, overwhelming and monumental – traits he wasn’t accustomed with. Devlonmere was different, light, sun licking white curtains and entering white walls behind white curtains. His family was bound with the white, since he remembered. White – like snow. Like winter. Even if his father seemed to hold autumn in his heart, also since he remembered. Corvel never knew king Marnsul, a companion to his father, good one. Yet Marnsul gave life, when the forest chose his son.

Corvel Devlon – his name meant that he had lord’s status, yet he never grasped the subtleties of commanding, acting like the world belonged to him. Self-confidence. He grew up in a secluded place, where he was loved. Adored, without needing to give orders.  He was aware this kind of upbringing is not common among High Fae. Most of fey didn’t bond with their children that much. He knew his family was unique.

But Corvel wanted to taste life in the palace. Far from safety. Far from the warmth of his manor. Something dark bloomed in his heart for some time. His father would say that he grew up, that his claws became sharper. He thought that he needed the change to see how others live. Compare, drown in night, and return. Maybe bolder.

Father always was telling him that love can command just as well as fear. Even illusion of love. Even a lie.  But among High Fae fear-inducing was more respected. That, Corvel wanted to see as well.

Darkness was… tempting. Somehow… less polished to shine, but beaming with timeless power. Father said once that it was the matter of time that blossomed in him. Corvel was as much wanting it, as he was afraid.

But the want was stronger.

When he at last traversed the dark and shadowed passages of Dal’coler, he felt the ages in them. Whispering ghosts of the blood which was spilled here through ages. It spoke about power, relentless, hungry and unstoppable. Every young fae would be moved.

And Corvel was very moved.

Each of the stones here had its own history. He would love to know each one of them.

The lesser fairy with black wings and antlers growing from her thick copper hair led him through a richly ornamented corridor; the scenes carved on walls depicted things which Corvel didn’t see well and couldn’t decipher their meaning. As the fey stated at the beginning – they were aiming the private quarters of the lords. Far from the throne room, but placed in a circle around the royal chambers. Corvel stopped to admire the art and spatial build of the capital, even expressing his curiosity a few times. The fairy’s voice was melodic and silent, when she explained to him with a low tone, that she was ordered to show him his rooms and only that. By the king. And his order had to be fulfilled in every detail.

“Why is my father not with us?” he tried to sound as commanding as he was able.

“Your father was invited for a supper with King Lorian, my lord” the fairy smiled meekly. But Corvel could swear that he saw a wild gleam in her burgundy eyes.

“Will he visit me here… or?”

“Please forgive me for my impertinence, my lord. But I do not know. I am only a messenger.”

This sounded reasonable.

“I was accepted to the court. How will my day look from now on?” he was really curious.

“How you wish, my lord. You still don’t have duties in the palace, so your day will be filled with pleasures. You can do whatever you want. Whatever your heart desires.”

The possibilities… that sounded a bit… frightening. He didn’t know anyone here, yet he was given a free hand in everything. Possibly he could get to know other lords, with time. But they were winter fae, and he was raised as an autumn child. How will they react to him?

How will the lords and ladies react to his lack of sophistication?

Maybe they have books here. For sure they have. But then, he doubted many High Fae here liked to read.

“Can you send someone to my room?”

“A woman?” her eyes gleamed.

“Someone who can show me around here, that is.”

“Of course. But allow me graciously to give you advice, my lord. Do not ask servants if they can do something for you. Other lords…’ ‘ she shook her head, her copper hair falling on her forehead, in a very wild way. “Command. You have the right to do so.”

That sounded like the advice his father would give him. Something, which would allow him to not sound like an autumnal child in the winter court. Alnam knew how to command. He led armies to battle. He many times did this against his own beliefs, because he had to. But he knew how to lead faeries, who always were more selfish than loyal. He could be ruthless if needed.

Corvel still didn’t have that in him. But he hoped that it would bloom in him, just like he imagined in Devlonmere. He wanted power, he wanted darkness, even against his own nature. He wanted to be like Alnam, yes.

He wanted to be like Lorian Ain’Dal.

He heard about the power of the king. He possessed rare shadow magic and it was so strong. Stronger than in any other winter king. When he met him, he felt it, pushing under his skin.

When he met him…



Face hidden behind the raven mask, which was almost blending with her skin. A nonchalant smile on her lips, like everything around her, was boring to her. Her aura was so similar to his own, light, but strong. He felt that she had more power in her small finger than he in his whole body.

Perfect temptation. Perfect trap.

And he fell into it, willingly.

Lady Nymre, the king’s consort.

Oh, he heard about her too. But nothing prepared him for seeing her.

She was allure incarnate.

And she belonged to the king of Ain’asel.

His chances were nonexistent. Trying anything, he would doom himself.


Alnam watched as Lorian lifted the cup with wine and sipped from it slowly, his dark eyes set on him above the rim. Nymre was sitting between them, like a dam between their mutual dislike. Alnam always thought that Nymre was clever, but vain. Intelligent but very selfish, A fae woman in every aspect. Someone who he always had to take into consideration, while traveling to Dal’coler.

Lorian was aware of that. Nymre was not his weakness, though. She was his weapon, just as she was his lover.

Corvel made a bad first impression, yes. Nymre seemed lazily amused by his attention, He hoped Lorian thought the same. It would be unfortunate, if Corvel became a sliver, which he would want to remove. Given that he thought of Alnam as a bother, it would be a good excuse to send Corvel back to Devlonmere, without giving him a chance.

“So…” the cup was put on the table and Lorian smiled. A slight mock behind it, yet not enough to call it an offense. “The young boy wants to taste the flavors of Dal’coler.”

“He is here exactly for that, Your Majesty. My son is not used to life on the court, though. He is very young.”

Lorian’s smile cracked into something darker.

“Many young fae are not ready. But the circumstances make them willingly open before possibilities.”

Alnam’s brow drifted higher.

“Corvel is very excited, my lord. I do not ask for special favors for him, though.”

“Oh, but he will get them,” Lorian’s gaze slid over Alnam slowly. “A son of my father’s most trusted companion must receive… my most special attention.”

“I hope this won’t bother Your Majesty” Alnam’s serious expression hid his thought inside his head, where no one could gaze into.

“On the contrary! I will adore to offer him the right treatment.”

Nymre’s piercing eyes laid on Alnam. He could swear she tried to dig into his mind and pull his thoughts out.

“Your son is very fine,” she mused. “And he has a taste for beautiful things.”

Lorian sipped the wine again.

“He will see many beautiful things here. But he must be aware that some of them hide claws and sharp teeth. A predatory plants in disguise.” his eyes gleamed with stars. “As you know well.”

Nymre took a small piece of meat on the fork. A small droplet of blood fell from the morsel, just on the plate.

“I can promise you that I will keep a watchful eye on your son” Lorian tapped the surface of the table with his fingers. “And do not allow him to fall prey to dangers of Dal’coler. That is the least I can do to my loyal general.”

Alnam was sure that it was true.

Lorian may not like him, but he would not harm Corvel, just to prove his point. He was not petty, cruel, yes, but not petty. At least that he knew well.

Why did he feel that it all went wrong?

“Is life in Devlonmere treating you well?” Lorian seemed to offer him real attention on the subject. “Narlia… it was too long since I had delight to see her.”

“Narlia perceives pleasures of solitude very personally. They soothe her soul… just as mine.”

“We all sometimes long for loneliness… even if surrounded by miracles and beautiful nightmares.”

Nymre chuckled silently, kindly… but enjoying these words, like she knew some dangerous secrets. Lorian and Nymre… the shadows over Ain’asel… yet never step too far, never crossing boundaries. Deadly. And unpredictable.

His own skills will be very useful here. Lorian looked amused by Corvel’s purity.

And maybe, he involuntarily helps him to grow a stronger spine.

2 Comments on “This Cruel Pain – II”

  1. I was curious and came to read it straight away. haha So…is it bad for me to say that I’m starting to really like Alnam? Corvel looks so cute and innocent. Poor boy. 😦
    Good chapter again, Lorian! 🖤

    1. All people seem to like Alnam 😀 He is a fave of Darkenaz even :>
      Corvel was not meant to die. Even Lorian didn’t plan it to end like so.
      Thank you, Juli! Glad you enjoy 😀

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