The Chronicles of Valana Volume 1: Shadowlands

by AB

Chapter 9

War comes to Valana

"Attack Aer'andil's exposed flank with your dagger while Lucas attacks Norion with runes of fear and paralysis. Lucas, after you cast those runes waste no time in attack ing Norion with both training swords, go for his right leg. He always favour s it." Merol told them in hushed whispers.

It had been an interesting eleven months for them all. They all trained daily without days off or excuse s. The High-King had arranged for a tutor to come from Dol'Adur so that the twins could continue their training and another from Dol Anro to continue Micraal's training. It was as if Merol and Feldon wanted to break them, or at least that is how it felt to Aer'andil and Lucas. It was not an unpleasant time though for the boys. Lucas, Aer'andil, the twins and Norion, along with Tha'ala seemed to be inseparable. When they were not in some kind of lesson or training, one would usually find them together having fun. E xcept for those hours hours, that Aer'andil wanted to be alone with Norion, Tha'ala or both.

This was the first day that Merol had asked Micraal's tutor that Micraal be allowed to train with them.

Feldon was talking to Norion and Aer'andil a few meters away.

"Look out for Micraal's daggers. Although I think, Merol will have Lucas against you so watch for i m obilisation runes. Norion, I want you to concentrate on providing support for Aer'andil with your longsword and defensive magic. Aer'andil, take out Micraal as fast as you can. He is not as agile as you are and will not be able to deflect your bow attacks. Then both of you can take on Lucas and his dual blades."

Norion and Aer'andil nodded and high-fived. It was something Aer'andil had taught Norion, his own little souvenir from Earth culture.

They all stepped inside the training ring.

"Begin." Merol said and leaned back on a column. The training area was a large rectangular shape, Aer'andil guessed it was as big as a European football field, with columns leading to arched vaults but lacking a ceiling. The reason for this being that magic exercised and trained here would probably end up destroying the ceiling no matter what wards were placed to protect it.

Inside the colonnade the training area was divided into three main sections. The first section was for practicing ranged weapons, like bows. Targets were set at increasing distances and carved quivers on the left and right of each placement for both left and right-handed users.

A few meters down was an area for close combat training with a wooden enclosure to separate it from the other two areas. Further along there was a circular smaller wooden baluster with a gate opening to separate those in training from those watching outside.

The third area was the largest of the three. It had its own inner circular colonnade with stands made of wood and marble. Ivy grew and covered most of the columns almost making a ceiling and providing cover from the sun.

The third area was for magic training as well as mixed practices and fights.

Feldon placed a shield ward around the practice ring so that any magic fired by the four would not straYoutside the ring.

Norion lost no time and his hands and lips began weaving spells of protection for both him and Aer'andil, while Aer'andil sent a ball of fire towards Lucas. The fireball bounced off him a few meters away and impacted onto the ground.

Lucas grinned making Aer'andil poke his tongue out at his best friend.

Micraal leaped at Aer'andil slashing away with his training daggers.

Aer'andil had no problem avoiding and dodging them as his elven speed and agility by far outclassed Micraal's. He avoided one more and let loose an arrow with a paralysis enchantment cast on it. The arrow hit Micraal on the elbow but paralysis did not set in. Micraal yelped and tried to hit him on his knee.

Meanwhile, Norion was casting one protective barrier after another with Lucas demolishing them as fast as he could cast them with a smug look on his face. Norion did not look scared or phased in any way.

Aer'andil threw another fireball at Micraal who did not even bother to step aside as the fireball dissipated before even reaching him.

"They have placed wards around them, Speaker ones, against fire magic. Use another branch of magic. T hey will not be expecting that from you, creature of fire." His spirit spoke in his mind. Listening to his spirit caused a moment's distraction and Micraal landed a hit on his stomach. He doubled over from the pain and grasped at his belly stepping backwards so that Micraal would not land another blow.

Norion saw it from the corner of his eye and instantly turned to cast a healing spell to remove the pain.

Lucas grinned and with a sweep of his swords, took Norion's legs from under him causing him to yell and fall on his back.

Aer'andil saw Lucas r a ise his swords above his head as to land a blow on Norion's exposed flanks or head and he snapped.

His eyes flashing pure white he yelled, "Salath'erin!" An invisible wall made of air hit Micraal sending him flying back a dozen meters or so before landing weirdly on his stomach.

Standing up he saw a stranger, a teenage human boy dressed in fine clothing walk in and sit in one of the stands behind Merol and Feldon but it only registered in his mind. He lost no time as he spoke again.

"Gogonedranalath." An arrow made of pure white energy materialised in his hand. He placed it with lightning speed to his bow and aimed at Lucas.

Feldon shot up from his stand looking worried but before he could say anything, Aer'andil fired. Lucas had no time to react or change his attack as his swing at Norion's head had already begun to descend.

The arrow caught him on the ribs and he scream ed in pain as his tattoos glowed red for a time making him drop his swords and clutch at them.

Aer'andil ran to Norion and hugged him protectively.

Norion giggled and pushed him back gently. "I had him where I wanted him silly!"

"Uhhh…you were flat on your back and his sword was descending on your pretty head!" Aer'andil protested.

Norion pointed to the sky above their heads. Aer'andil tilted his head up to see a cage of energy levitating there.

"You are not the only one who knows how to do compact magic. I'm older than you and I can protect myself." Norion told him caressing his hand.

Aer'andil blushed and scratched his cheek feeling embarrassed.

They heard Lucas sigh behind them and turned to see him. "That is good and all but why did you have to cause us pain? We are only practi c ing, I wouldn't actually have hurt him." He said, his voice revealing a slight hurt in it.

"I'm sorry…I just get so emotional when it comes to protecting those I love and care about, especially Norion and Tha'ala…they are my Aru'vil." Aer'andil responded, his cheeks acquiring a slight pink hue.

They all heard laughter from behind Merol and Feldon who also turned to see the source of the laughter.

It was the teenage human boy from before. He was laughing as if he had heard the best joke of them all.

Norion and Aer'andil did not seem as pleased or amused.

Merol and Feldon looked more curious and disapproving than anything.

"Something we can help you with?" Aer'andil asked as he got up and dusted off his clothes.

"You can't possibly know love at such a young age. We are teenagers, it is an age to be carefree and fuck, not love." He said with abundant arrogance.

Aer'andil's look changed from neutral displeasure to outright anger. He spoke with authority that neither his friends, n or mentor s, were accustomed to.

"Do not presume to know us human, for although we may look alike, we are not. You may take that arrogance of yours to those who would be stupid enough to care for it. I do not."

All laughter and joy vanished from the youth's face as he shot up clenching his fists. "You think yourself better than me you brat?" He spat angrily at Aer'andil.

"Think? No. Know, yes." Aer'andil said looking straight at his eyes. Norion could feel the hair on the back of his neck stand erect as the space around him and Aer'andil pulsated with magical energy.

"Prove it, you brat!"

"Step in then and chose the weapon with which you will lose." Aer'andil replied calm and looking relaxed.

Micraal, looking very gloom, and Lucas left the training ring.

"Are you sure?" Norion asked him concerned.

"Yes." He said. Norion nodded and gave him a soft kiss on the cheek and le ft the ring.

The unknown boy removed a flail and a short-sword from his belt. Aer'andil grinned.

"Begin." Feldon said.

Just as the boy raised the flail above his head and made a move to run towards him, Aer'andil whispered something, hitting his leg on the ground.

The ground beneath the boy's feet liquefied, swallowing him up to his knees, before solidifying again trapping him in.

Then Aer'andil whispered something else and a torrent of water materialised from thin air. E manating from Aer'andil's hands and directed at the teenager it kept gushing out until the boy had no choice but to either, let go of his weapons or drown. Not that Aer'andil would have let him drown but the point was clear.

"Too slow." He said and turned to Feldon.

"I've had enough for one day." He walked out of the ring and taking Norion by his hand, started walking away.

"Lucas, Micraal, dig him out." Merol said while trying his best to contain himself and not laugh.

Feldon rose and caught up with the departing duo and caught Aer'andil's elbow, halting him.

"When…how did you learn compound magic?" He asked looking amused and intrigued.

"From a poem." Aer'andil said and they started walking again.

"You are becoming more of an Elf every day." Norion told him looking both proud and mischievous.

Aer'andil giggled before giving his cheek a kiss as they walked away. "Thanks.".

"You are so…sweet and cute. I am lucky to have found you." Norion whispered in to his ear.

Aer'andil paused midstride and looked at Norion before impulsively hugging him close and giving him a peck on his silky lips.

"I love you. I want you to know that…sooner or later I'll have to go again for some time…even though I don't want to." Aer'andil whined, pouting his lips.

"I know, but someone has to stop Zah Dah and you and Lucas are the only ones who can." Norion told him, looking sad.

"Not so. You are interpretations, not choices." Aer'andil's spirit spoke in his mind.

He ignored it. Smiling, he took Norion's hand and led them to one of the smaller secluded pools in the forest for a swim.

Swimming though was not what they did. The seclusion of the pool meant that they could snog and grope all they wanted while in the warm water.

"We should head back." Norion managed to speak after a good chunk of time spent kissing.

"Aaaww why? It is not even noon yet."

"Come on, there's something I want us to do before your father calls the war council."

"Shit…that's today?" Aer'andil furrowed his eye brows, irritated. That meant that his date of departure was earlier than he hoped.

"Yes, I saw the K ings and their entourages arrive earlier today. Come on." Norion said and got up.

"Oh…I hoped we would have more time…" Aer'andil said with a pouty sad look.

Norion hugged him and whispered in his ear. "You'll be back, okay! You'll be back and we will have all the time in the world, all three of us, you and your parents. But you…you must do this now."

Aer'andil hugged him back. "I know…" His voice trailed off.

"Come on silly head, I want us to do this before the war council." Norion told him and grabbing him by the wrist he started walking fast. Aer'andil could only smile and ogle Norion's swaying buttocks.

He blushed at the knowledge that he was currently sporting a very healthy and growing erection. He tried to rearrange himself as Norion began walking faster.

They arrived at Glinthala's gates. Norion led him to an outcrop by the cliff's edge. There, atop an almost vertical cliff that hung down to the sea's surface, there was a single elm tree. Its golden brown leaves swaying in the sea breeze.

Norion sat on the ground between two tree roots that were thicker than their waists and lowered his legs, patting at them with his hand as he retrieved a flute from inside his clothes.

Aer'andil sat on the ground besides him, placed his legs on one of the roots, his feet dangling on the other side of it and his head i n Norion's lap.

Norion smiled and placed the flute to his lips. He started to play a slow, almost sad tune that carried off with the wind.

Soon enough Aer'andil dozed off into a meditative state.

"What did you mean before?" He asked his spirit. "What did you mean? We are interpretations and not choices?"

"You were chosen by your parents based on interpretations of a speech of something that came before by those who came after those that came after it."

"So we were chosen?"


"You always speak in riddles and you never make sense."

"Maybe I speak in a way that you interpret as riddles. What if you chose an action based on your interpretation of my riddles?"


"Ah. I can feel it. The beginning of understanding."

"I don't think I know what I understand."


"But how can I understand it, if I don't know it?"

"How can you know it, if you don't understand it?"

"You're making my headache."

"No. You are doing that, I have no physical control over you."

"You are playing with semantics."

"And you are playing with time you do not have. You are still trying to find ways to learn who it is. You are wasting time you do not have."

"If the spirits and the Aeternae are as powerful as everyone believes, why can you not…" He was interrupted.

"We are not one. And it would violate, and thus break, Glothoin's pact."

"You mean that book in the House of Memories?

"That is the recording of it. You can read it, but you do not know that you can or understand that you know. The pact is the action. The recording is the aid in time that has passed since the action. You need to understand both and know that you do."

"So…why? Why is he…it doing this? All this war and suffering…is it like. the wars of humans? Does he want land and wealth?"

"No. To o base a desire. It wants more it aims higher."

"You could just tell me…"

"No. I would break the pact and to open the Gathlail Aeternae is to open doom upon all the W orld."

"Gathlail…gates…Aeternae…spirit world or planes ? T o open the gates to the planes of the spirits is to open doom ? I t makes little sense, you can't open doom…you can cause it…" He was interrupted again.

"Good line of thinking but what if doom in different languages means different things?"

"What…" This time he was interrupted as Norion shook his shoulder gently.

"Hey, S unshine, looks like you dozed off…" He told him smiling and bending over he gave him a peck on his nose.

Aer'andil batted his eyelids, getting used to the light. "Yeah…I was having a…conversation of sorts with my spirit…are all spirits like it I wonder?"

"Oh spirits can be….weird but they can also give sound advice…if you can interpret correctly what they tell you." Norion snickered. "But it is amazing that you can do this at such a young age…I can't…most, if not all Elves, can't until much, much later."

"Really? Dunno…I've been able to ever since Lucas and I came back to Valana…maybe because we left and came back from another pla…world?"

"No…well, I don't know but I think it may have to do more on your lineage than anything else." Norion replied, caressing his hair and cheeks.

"I don't know…it's not bad is it?" Aer'andil asked shrugging his shoulders.

"No. J ust surprising is all." Norion assured him.

"Oh hey guys…your father sent me to fetch you…been looking all over for you two for like an hour. T hey're waiting for us in the war room…." Lucas spoke panting. He must have been running.

Aer'andil sighed and got up. He gave his hand to Norion and help ed him up. "Already…? Well I guess we should go…" It was obvious to both Norion and Lucas that Aer'andil was unhappy and that he did not want to leave this place.

Lucas could not fault him really. Unlike Eri'Adar and the world of humans, Gel'anr and the E lven isles were an isolated paradise. He had been worried at first, before arriving at Qazameria but then as the days and weeks rolled by he had begun to like it. T he calm, not having to worry about raider attacks or other human cities attacking you. Gel'anr of course was even better as his friends were there. Still even in Gel'anr with the twins and Marco, and even Micraal who somehow had become cuter throughout the year, he still felt like something was missing from him. From his life. Lucas could not quite put his finger on it but something was missing. He felt like he wanted to fly or feel rumbling in his heart and between his feet, like the Earth moving beneath him. A sense of complete freedom.

He shook his head and lead Marco and Norion to the war room doors. Liandras waited for them there.

The twins, Merol and Feldon stood to either side of him. Micraal was also there.

Liandras was not wearing his usual regal robes, instead he wore padded leather armour with a helmet that looked like metal vines with a visor that was open now. On top of the helmet, a crown of elderflowers and pine tree bark stood with the sparrow, Gel'anr's emblem, on the front with wings spread open, ready to fly. On his left hip was a sword in its sheath. Aer'andil could not see the sword's blade but he could tell from the grip, cross-guard and pommel that it would be exceptional. The Cross-guard was shaped like vines, with flowers crisscrossing with in the leaves. The grip was made in a honeycomb pattern with embedded hole-like shapes where the fingers would go. Finally, the pommel had a pair of sp read wings that looked like an eagle's wings, and from them strips of blue and white silk h u ng. On each of the feathers of the metal wings, there were carved elven words and runes that glowed even in the daylight.

"Son, Norion will have to wait here." He said.

"No. He can come inside or I can tell him after but one way or another he's learning what we say in there." Aer'andil said and crossed his hands in front of his chest pouting.

Liandras opened his mouth to speak but closed it just as fast and turned his head to Feldon for support.

Feldon chuckled. "Don't look at me, you may be my High-King, my friend, I' d go into battle happily and sacrifice my life for you if you but ask, but he has inherited your stubbornness, your passion and it is quite and utterly pointless to try and change that mind of his once it's been made."

Liandras turned again to face his son and shook his head, chuckling. "Very well, then follow me all of you, but first you forgot this in the palace when you left." He told his son and gave him a circlet-crown. "The elm-crown of Elcidral should always be on the head of the crown prince of Gel'anr." Aer'andil took the crown made from Elm bark and dandelion flowers and put it on his head. The flowers instantly blossomed and begun to glow with a dim silver light.

They followed him inside the room. The war room was a circular one with a round table in the middle. The room and the table were fashioned and carved in the same manner that the rest of Glinthala was.

Two guards wearing the armour and crest of the Gel'anr honour guard opened the doors for them and then closed them shut behind them.

Inside the room, a variety of men stood waiting around the table. He recognised King Lados of Qazameria. He too, was clad in armour, a crown of wild rosemary flowers and birch tree bark on his head. He had no sword but a huge longbow lay across his shoulder, a quiver hanging on each side of his waist.

Next to him was another E lven king. This one also had armour on but also lots of furs on the back of his shoulders and on his waist. A huge w arhammer hang from his back. He wore a crown of wolf's bane flowers and wild rose bark.

Next to him was another Elf with armour on. This Elf was a hulk ing creature towering above most of the others in the room with wrists as thick as Aer'andil's biceps and a heavy beard. He bore no weapon and wore a crown of thorn bush flowers and maple tree bark.

Standing next to him was an Elf king that wore almost no armour. I nstead, he looked to have hair everywhere on his body that was not covered by clothes. A long thin sword hung from his left hip, a crown of jasmine flowers and olive-tree bark crown lay on his head.

Standing next to them was a king of M en clad in armour with a dog carved on his breastplate. He also wore a helmet with a large looking dog sculpture on it and some feathers on top. A sword hung on his right hip.

Next to him stood another human king, t his one wearing light armour and a helmet with a magnificent looking lion head on the top. Feathers f ell down from the back of his head and a m ace and flail h ung from his side.

The man next to him wore only plain leather clothes, no helmet or crown but he had a griffon embroidered on the leather. A woman wearing cotton clothes stood next to him with roses on her torso.

Next to her were four kings, all wearing thick armour. One had a crown with a sea hawk on it, another had a wheat emblem on his helmet, the third had a horse and the final bore the emblem of a pig.

Next to the king with the lion emblem on his crown was the teenage boy from earlier looking very smug indeed.

"Kings of Elves and Men, I welcome you to this war council dedicated to the start of the war effort against the… K ingdom of Zah Dah and the danger it poses to us all." Liandras said making a small bow. Then starting from King Lados and looking at his son, he introduced them.

"I think you already know King Lados of Qazameria, K ing of the H orse Elves. Next to him, we have King Boden of Dol'Anro, K ing of the W olf Elves. Next to him King Hodrelth of Gel'Glidorn, K ing of the B ear Elves. The f inal king of the Elves is King Nisal of Dol'Adur, K ing of the R abbit Elves. Of the Kings of M en, K ing Locifar of Batorn, King Roden Malais of Rodenia and his son, crown prince Segaru Malais, the emissaries from Dara and Qadon, then the K ings of Lavonia, Fadr, Udelon and Odrel. Kings of Elves and Men, this is Aer'andil my son, and heir." He said finally turning his head back to the table.

Before anyone else could speak there was a gasp originating from the boy, "You are the crown prince of all Elves?" He said sounding completely astonished.

"Yes." Aer'andil replied, shrugging his shoulders, sounding as if he had been asked if the weather was good.

"Why did you not tell me earlier?" Now the boy sounded arrogant and angry.

"You did not ask, you just ran your mouth off about things you know not." Aer'andil responded beginning to get angry, when he felt a hand on his shoulder, Norion's. He took a deep breath and tried to calm down.

The boy's father slapped him on the back of his head. "Excuse my son, he has a quick temper and not enough life outside the palace, I am afraid his ego is larger than he is."

Aer'andil mimicked his father's bow.

Liandras chuckled, "I am sure that your son, Prince Segaru Malais bears no ill will to anyone here." He said looking straight into the boy's eyes. His eyes laughed not and Segaru actually whimpered and averted his eyes.

Redonia's king chuckled. "Your Highness, I see you have met my son?" He asked Aer'andil.

Aer'andil looked to his left and right, " O h…me? Highness…I guess I'm still not used to that. Y eah, we sort of met earlier…it was an…earthly experience." He said looking at Segaru who had lost his smug look.

Feldon coughed trying to stifle a chuckle.

"I am afraid I must start this council with unhappy news. Eri'Adar could not send an emissary and their K ing, I hear, is ill…but we will come to that later. Yaria has officially joined Zah Dah. What does Dara and Fadr have to say?" Liandras spoke and turned his head to the two emissaries.

Dara's emissary bowed before speaking. "My L iege, I am afraid that Dara will not be sending any troops to the joint army. Not unless the civil war that plagues us is resolved for the L oyalists' side. If the side of the Usurper Nikora wins then, they will probably join Zah Dah." At that, Merol snapped his head and clenched his fists until they went white.

"If that were to happen Batorn will have no choice but to break off from the main army and liberate…" Batorn's K ing started speaking but was interrupted by Merol whose eyes shot daggers.

"That will not be required, and Dara needs not Batorn's…"liberty". The civil war will soon be over." He said. His voice left no room for rebuttals or further conversation.

"My L iege, " Fadr's emissary spoke. "Fadr will not be joining the war on any side, in any way. We will remain neutral and negotiate with who so ever wins for our crops." His statement made Lavonia's King snicker.

"Yes…we all know of Fadr and your "negotiations"." He said, his voice dripping with sarcasm and venom.

"Fadr needs to make a stand; this is no war over petty grievances or land." Nisal replied.

"My L ord, I am not authorised to make any further negotiations or discussions at this time." The emissary replied.

"You may…" Liandras started talking but Aer'andil held on his wrist to stop him.

"Father…" He started knowing he had everyone's eyes on him. He swallowed and spoke without hesitation. "If I am not mistaken, Fadr relies heavily on trade from Redonia for its wheat, yes?"

"Yes. You are correct…" Liandras started before grinning and looking at Redonia's King who grinned as well.

"If Fadr does not send their troops to assist in this war effort, then Redonia will be…required to look for trade elsewhere after the war is won." He said. "I am sure that both the nobles, that the trade makes rich and fat, and the peasants it feeds will be most unhappy with this decision by their King."

The emissary bowed and left. Liandras looked over to his son with a huge grin on his face, making no effort to hide his pride. He winked and turned to the K ings.

"There is much to say but I will start with this. Do I have your allegiance on the war effort? Do I have your armies?" Liandras asked when the emissaries of Dara and Fadr had left.

The Elven Kings spoke first in one voice. "Thel evil Anasol-Thalin! Thel evi Naial! Oal Vothi Cendal la'ari! Oal Vothi Cendal Kerun!"

Aer'andil and Lucas had no problem understanding that they had sworn their fealty to the High-King, and their armies to the cause. Their exact words translated to, "For the High-King! For the Elves! You have our fealty! You have our armies!"

The f irst of the K ings of M en spoke, the King of Udelon. "You have my fealty and that of all of Udelon to the war. You have our armies." Then one by one, the remaining K ings gave the same oath.

After the oaths had been given, they sat around the table. On it, a map of Valana lay with several ches s pieces on it.

"High-King Liandras, do your scouts have any reports from the realm of Eri'Adar? Our…scouts have brought back some very… strange accounts. Flying lizards and green creatures." The King of Redonia spoke.

"I am afraid that the reports are not exaggerated. The west of the countryside is plagued by strange, new flying lizards that breathe fire and towering new creatures of green skin. A lthough there are variations, some have dark brown skin, some with horns, some without that speak no language we can understand and kill and pillage all in their path."

"I…we, me and Lucas, know the lizards…from tales of legends from…the place we were in…we call them dragons." Aer'andil said looking back and forth from Lucas to his father.

"Is there any weakness to be found on them? We have lost a scout or two with them." Liandras asked him.

"Yes, their underbelly, they have no scales there…and their neck and eyes…if you can strike them."

"And what of the other species?" The K ing of Lavonia asked.

"I have suspicions…but no…nothing." Aer'andil said.

For the next five hours, they talked of the plans, contingencies, of the role and positions of each army, logistics, signals and supply routes.

"In a month we take up positions between the rivers Lavor and Astorn, in the Lavor's gauntlet with Lavonia's fortifications we will face Zah Dah's main army. Lavonia's multiple layers of fortifications should aid us in holding it back until Dara's and Eri'Adar's armies come…and Fadr's, if they send their army." Liandras said. "You leave tomorrow at dawn." He said to his son, Lucas, the twins, Merol, Feldon and Micraal.

"Your Highness, if I m ight make one request ? " Redonia's king inquired.

"Make your request, and I will consider it." Liandras said.

"I would ask that my son goes with your son, Lucas, Merol and the rest." He said crossing his hands on his chest.

"No!" Segaru and Aer'andil said at precisely the same time making Feldon, and some of the others chuckle.

"Well, if nothing else I see your father's request has made you two agree on something." Liandras said to Segaru.

He closed his eyes and rubbed on his chin for some moments before opening them.

"I see no reason not to, it may even come in useful…I will grant this request from you Roden Malais."

"Do I have no say in this? I wish to go back to Redonia, not in some quest in the countryside." Segaru said exasperated.

"No, you have become too pampered, too accustomed to the luxuries of the palace. I think this will do you good and I am not asking. You have become too arrogant and that can be the downfall of a leader. It is done now so p ack your things. T omorrow you leave with them." Roden said firmly and left the room.

Segaru and Aer'andil both groaned, ste a ling an angry glance at each other.

"Come on, let's go." Norion told him holding his fingers in his.

Walking outside he saw Tha'ala in the distance. He turned to Norion.

"There's something I want to say to Tha'ala but…later on…I have a poem for you." He said biting his lower lip and blushing profusely.

Norion blushed too and nodded, "I too, have a poem for you. I'll see you later." He told him and giving him a peck on the lips he left.

Aer'andil smiled and then ran to catch Tha'ala. "Tha'ala, wait!" He said walking fast for the last few meters.

She turned to see him and smiled her hair settling over her shoulders.

"I have something…well I want to do…uhm…ehh…come with me?" He asked her stuttering nervously and reached out his hand to take hers.

Taking her by the hand he led her out of the city to the highest clifftop above the palace. There, a few months ago he had found a cave while exploring. It was remote and had a complete view of the whole city. The cave was surrounded by tall pine trees except for the side facing the cliff face so they would not be overheard or worse, seen.

Aer'andil removed a blanket from a satchel and spread it on the moist, mossy ground, on top of the fallen leaves.

He knelt on one end of it and motioned for Tha'ala to sit on the other end.

The ceremony had begun. He had asked his father about it a few days ago wanting to know details, since this time there would not be two boys but a girl and a boy and he wanted to get it right. As much of as he could, he really did love Tha'ala and did not want to do or say something wrong during this that would end their relationship before it started.

"Sit on one end of the ceremonial blanket. If she sits on the other end, she at least agrees to it at first." His father had told him.

She kne lt down and then settled herself s itting cross-legged. The sun was setting golden red behind the city, sinking in to the sea, giving way to the darkness of night.

He made eye contact with her sparkling eyes and she bit her lower lip breathing unevenly. She was just as nervous about this as he was.

"Give her a few moments to decide if she really wants this, if she does not leave then it is all but finished. You still need to show her, in your own way, what you love about her, do not show only one thing and neglect another. Think from your deepest desires and most profound feelings before deciding what to touch and when. Then, give her enough time to reciprocate in kind before moving. Do not be hasty take your time. This is as much about building trust as you two telling each other through it all, that you want to be together."

He took a deep breath and without breaking eye contact, he caressed her head from her forehead to one side just above her ear, before caressing lower to her cheek and then her lips. He paused there.

She smiled, that was good, then stretching out her hand she echoed the movements he had made on her, also touching his eyelids.

He ran his fingers down her delicate neck and shak i ly over her pert small-melon sized breasts. He stopped right under them.

She couldn't stop a giggle before moving her hands to his neck, then his biceps and then from just above his armpits to his torso.

He traced his hands to her belly and made two or three circular movements between her belly and navel looking at her intently but with a warm, mesmerising look. Then, just as gently and slowly as he could he moved lower and lower still until his now visibly shaking hand covered the area just below her pubic moun d. He could actually feel his cheeks burn. She jump ed in surprise but did not try to get away or in any way show displeasure or disagreement.

She settled again, allowing Aer'andil to traverse his hands over her thighs to her buttocks. There he gave them a gentle squeeze and paused allowing her to take her turn.

She reciprocated his movements but did not pause on his belly. Instead, she squeezed rather purposefully on his ball s a ck. Now Aer'andil was almost sure that his cheeks emitted fire from how intense he felt the burning of his face. Then, she traversed over his round thighs to his buttocks.

"After you are both done with showing to each other which parts of each other you love, there's only two things left to be done. One right away, the other after taking as much time as you both need. A kiss and a poem to the other demonstrating with it what you value in each other."

He leaned in slowly, more confident now. She leaned in as well and with both their eyes closed their lips touched. It was not the first time, but to both it felt as if the world outside their cave had completely vanished. They felt as if they were the only two p eople in the world, all of it built to house their love.

Aer'andil broke the kiss returning them both to reality and moving his lips closer to her ear he whispered to her.

"Anth'alo endalin, Anth'alo methalii."

She hugged him with her hands linked behind his neck and spoke the same words back to him.

Tha'ala pulled back after a few moments. "After you return from your journey, after ending this threat we will exchange our poems and…join in perpetual love." She told him. It was not a question.

Aer'andil swallowed and nodded. "Yes." He whispered. She leaned forward again placing another kiss on his lips only this time he opened his mouth pushing against her teeth with his tongue, until she parted them and allowed him access. This was their first true kiss of passion. They kissed and they kissed with Aer'andil caressing her cheek.

She broke the kiss with a strand of saliva joining them.

He smiled and whispered. "Thilo anoli bethli'inl'lantel."

The strand of saliva transformed into very fine beads of water and vapour. Before they could fall to the ground he whispered, "Wala horintil" and they formed a circle like a mirror.

He touched his side of the magical water mirror and thought of Tha'ala and Norion. Their portraits formed, faded in the water mirror. He looked at her.

"What I love most in the world. What I cannot live without." He said. She hugged him so impulsively and with such force, that they fell backwards on the blanket and fallen leaves.

Aer'andil turned them around, well aware that her legs were wrapped around his waist, and gazed into her pools of infinite beauty. Her eyes now sparkling even more intense ly, as the vanishing light of the sun gave way to the rising silver light of the moon and it all reflected in them.

He looked sad even though something very loving, sweet and merry had occurred.

"What are you doing?" She asked him, he knew somehow that she was not referring to the position they had assumed after falling back on their backs.

"I am going into war and darkness, and I want to save in my mind's eye one last moment of incredible beauty and pure innocence." He told her and pinched her nose making her giggle.

She used her hands to turn him around and on to his side facing the city and then sat sideways on her knees next to him.

She closed her eyes, a tear streaking down her cheek and beg a n to sing. A more beautiful voice, more melodic, Aer'andil had not previously heard.

Farewell love of my heart,

farewell reason of my existence,

walk where you must my heart,

and come back my existence.

Farewell my love, walk back to me,

farewell my soul, come back to me,

let my love guide you in all the dark places where you must walk,

let the stars guide us back to each other's gaze my soul.

Come back to me my love, my heart, my soul, my existence.

Farewell love of my heart,

farewell reason of my existence,

walk where you must my heart,

and come back my existence.

Farewell my love, walk back to me,

farewell my soul, come back to me,

let my love guide you in all the dark places where you must walk,

let the stars guide us back to each other's gaze my soul.

Come back to me my love, my heart, my soul, my existence.

Her voice trailed and faded.

Wiping a tear or two from his cheeks, he turned round and sat up.

"You have the voice of an angel and my soul in yours." He told her.

They got up and walked to gether to the royal palace.

He walked to his room, well their room now as Norion had hardly spent one night in his room, and found him there wearing his nightwear. He was sitting on the bed's edge, clearly waiting for him. He smiled at him when he saw him come in the room.

Aer'andil put on his nightwear and sat next to Norion. He told him of what had transpired between him and Tha'ala, well most of it. He left the song out as a private moment between him and Tha'ala.

"I am happy for you, and us, that she agreed to love you the same way we love each other, and that you love her." Norion told him.

"I have something for you, w ell, two things actually. I have a poem and if you accept it…I have something else to give you… the most precious thing I have to give." Aer'andil told him.

Norion nodded.

Aer'andil pushed his legs under his body and faced Norion completely. He was even more nervous than before with Tha'ala, not so much for the poem, but for what would follow if Norion accepted it, and he accepted Norion's.

"Life of my life, I shall ever try to keep my body pure, knowing that thy living touch is upon all my limbs.

I shall ever try to keep all untruths out from my thoughts, knowing that thou art that truth which has kindled the light of reason in my mind.

I shall ever try to drive all evils away from my heart and keep my love in flower, knowing that thou hast thy seat in the inmost shrine of my heart.

And it shall be my endeavour to reveal thee in my actions, knowing it is thy power gives me strength to act."

Norion did not immediately speak but it was obvious that the poem, even if he did not entirely comprehend it all at that time, had touched him and moved him.

He swallowed and spoke in turn.

"Art thou abroad on this stormy night on thy journey of love, my friend? The sky groans like one in despair.

I have no sleep tonight. Ever and again I open my door and look out on the darkness, my friend!

I can see nothing before me. I wonder where lies thy path!

By what dim shore of the ink-black forest, through what mazy depth of gloom art thou threading thy course to come to me, my friend?"

Aer'andil held his hands on his chest as if hugging someone. Even though he as well, could not fully understand as of yet, the meaning of Norion's poem he knew, in the deepest parts of his soul, he knew beyond any doubt that Norion and Tha'ala where his true love s, his companions in this life and any other.

"I love you." They said almost simultaneously.

They giggled. Norion placed a hand on Aer'andil's cheek and drew him in to a kiss.

Smooth lips brushed against silky one s. Soft moans escaped through now battling tongues. Hands explor ed known crevices and surfaces.

Aer'andil felt Norion's supple, smooth skin under his hands as he removed garment after garment from his upper body, with Norion doing much the same. The k iss br oke with a groan as garments needed to pass over their heads and land on the floor. M ouths then locked back together, like hungry animals ravaging their prey.

Aer'andil kissed Norion's cheek and then nibbled his neck gently before going lower to play his tongue around, over and with Norion's now stimulated nipples, bringing them to erection.

Norion moaned and held his head in his hands, playing with his long hair.

Aer'andil spent a good amount of time toying with Norion's nipples with his mouth, and his ballsack and boyhood with his hands before moving lower and lower and lower. He moved teasingly slow until he felt the now very erect and eager member touch his chin.

He looked up, giving it a lick to see Norion take a r a gged breath of air. They were both sweating and the scent coming from both of them was heav y and intense. P heromones releas ed in to the air driving both of them insane with want for release. They had different plans this night though other than a simple release of lust t his night was special, as they would seal their love to each other.

Aer'andil took it all in his mouth and started suckling on it while playing with the taut balls, his own dick as hard as it could get.

He bobbled up and down on it slowly not wanting to take Norion over the edge. Norion moaned and groaned. Instinct drove him to try to fuck his way deeper into his love's mouth, holding on to his head for dear life.

Aer'andil removed it from his mouth and took in one of Norion's testicles, suckling on that for a time before switching it for the other one.

"Oh….ugh…by the spirits…." Norion whimpered and moaned in complete bliss. In the year that had gone by, they had learned all of each other's pleasure buttons. Well almost all, one region remained almost unexplored by anything else other than tongue and fingers. Today, that would change for them both.

Aer'andil sucked on Norion's dick again, running his tongue all over it as he created sucking suction with his cheeks and mouth. He stopped just as he felt Norion's pride swell inside him. He smiled at the flushed, inquiring face staring down at him and spreading the lithe legs wider, open he teased his tongue over Norion's most precious of treasures.

Then, he proceeded to lick it as if it were the most delicious dish in Gel'anr. He lashed his tongue up and down the puckered hole and prodded it without remorse while playing with Norion's play-stick. Norion made a fucking motion with his hips and contracting his hole, it opened enough for Aer'andil's tongue to penetrate it. Norion let out a guttural groan and grasped at Aer'andil's hair tighter, trying to bring him closer and deeper.

Aer'andil ate at it for a while before pushing back. B ut b efore Norion could protest at the empty feeling, Aer'andil had mounted his legs on his shoulders effectively bending him in half. Norion did not look surprised. He nodded. Aer'andil lined up his metal-hard cock with Norion's back entrance and started gently pushing in. It was not easy, he kept pushing and shoving but it kept going astray. Norion tried relaxing. After a little more effort and with a final grunt and a shove, Aer'andil's joystick penetrated Norion's outer sphincter.

Norion cried out in pain and held on to his lover's neck tightly. Aer'andil froze there with his dickhead inside Norion's lovehole not moving, waiting for Norion to relax and tell him to continue.

Norion's breathing calmed down some and Aer'andil felt his boyhole relax and somehow, even without spoken words, he knew that Norion was ready.

He shoved gently a bit more and felt his dick swallowed up more by the incredibly tight, warm orifice. He had never felt so incredibly good and alive before in his life. It was like a thousand small fingers squeezing down on his rigid member. It took all of his concentration not to blow right then, and there.

He kept pushing deeper with Norion whimpering and moaning, contra cting his hole around the impaling invader unsure of if he was actually trying to expel him or swallow him in greedily.

Aer'andil felt their skin touch and he knew he was all in. Their breath ing came fast and irregular and beads of perspiration covered their skin. The air grew heavy with the scent of lovemaking.

Aer'andil leaned in, bending Norion more and started kissing him passionately as he pulled back and then shoved in, all in. They both moaned, hands roaming everywhere their reach allowed feeling, sensing. S ensation overwhelm ed their young mind s.

A few strokes of his pelvis later, Aer'andil felt his dick exit from its heavenly confines. But with a quick jab, aided with a hand, he reinserted himself inside Norion. A few repeats of that later, he managed to build a good fucking rhythm in and out, in and out. Norion's moans had changed as well, from ones of pain to a mixture of pain and absolute bliss, almost mewing like a kitten.

They felt it. The slow b uilding and Norion knew that he had to stop it or they would both blow. If that happened, he would not have enough stamina for what he wanted to do. With a cat-like movement, he toppled Aer'andil, now effectively riding him. It caught Aer'andil by surprise.

"Not yet. We're finishing together, but not yet." He heard Norion whisper i n his ear and then Norion was licking his way down to his nipples. He could not, not groan in disappoint ment as he had been so close to cumming but Norion's ministrations to his sensitive nipples felt so good, and soon he surrendered to Norion ministrations.

Norion did not spend as much time there before moving down, faster than Aer'andil had, and sucking his rigid member in to his mouth. He gave it a good suck but he knew that if he did what Aer'andil had done to him, he would blow in his mouth so he travelled lower licking and kissing until his tongue was lapping at Aer'andil's boyhole.

Norion pulled back and looking at Aer'andil's flushed eager face, he took Aer'andil's legs by the ankles and lifted them to his shoulders.

"Pleaseee…." Aer'andil moaned shoving his hips forward teasing Norion's dick between his butt cheeks.

Norion moved his hands to Aer'andil's thighs and lean ing in dropp ed his weight on his love. He used one hand to line it up and then kept pushing in while holding on to his thighs until Aer'andil's hole's resistance gave way, and Norion felt his dick enter the warm lovehole.

They both whimpered. Aer'andil tr ied his best not to crYout in pain, holding on to Norion's hips, his nails digging in to Norion's skin.

Norion did not behave as Aer'andil had. Instead of waiting there, he pushed himself wholly in to his love's sweet hole and waited there, buried to the hilt inside Aer'andil.

It took Aer'andil some time to relax but he did, and hugged Norion across his neck drawing him in to a kiss. Norion knew without words that Aer'andil was ready and he started to fuck him slowly and ever so gently until they were both moaning loudly and moving their hips back and forth. Norion trying each time to bury himself deeper and deeper in Aer'andil's love-chute and Aer'andil trying to match Norion's thrusts, wanting this feeling of complete fullness to never end.

It felt like it would last for an eternity but a few short minutes later Aer'andil exploded, covering the space between their bodies with his sticky, warm drops of liquid. His orgasm had his anus clutching and contra c ting on Norion's invading member, adding additional pressure on it. Norion let out a scream of pure bliss and with one final thrust, he deposited his strands of boy-butter inside Aer'andil's grasping insides.

He collapsed spent on Aer'andil, and only had strength enough to cover them with the bed sheets before falling asleep. Aer'andil took some time to recover and steady his breathing, all the while caressing Norion's back and cheeks ever so softly before falling asleep.

They were now joined together for a lifetime, and when this whole affair with Zah Dah ended, he would join with Tha'ala. The prospect both excited and scared him but it would happen. He knew he loved her and that she loved him and now only time separated them from joining. Cruel time that passes.

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