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Sanctuary

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The attraction was always there, ever since the first day they met in Agustria. Sigurd was left speechless by his beauty and grace and could only stand there slack jawed as he flitted about lightly on his feet, swift as the wind itself, fighting off Macbeth’s army easily with his wind tome. It didn’t look as much like fighting but more like a dance. He was smiling the entire time yet took this all quite seriously. The way he protected all those people was admirable, it was exactly what Sigurd did every day. He couldn’t take his eyes off him.

 

He helped him out after his sister Ethlyn whacked him back into reality, literally. “Keep your head here, not in the clouds!” She chastised. Sigurd drew Tyrfing and fought with all he had, back to back with the mysterious bard. It was not a long or hard fight and soon they were resting inside the tavern, upon the bard’s request. The people flooded inside and cheered, treating him as their savior. Sigurd did not blame them one bit.

 

“That was quite impressive…?”

 

“Please, call me Lewyn.” The bard said, his sweet smooth voice chiming like music. Sigurd smiled lopsidedly, rubbing the back of his head in embarrassment. He knew he was acting like a teenager with an awkward crush and he hated it. Damn…Eldie would so tease me about this…Sigurd thought.

 

“Well I’m-,”

 

“Sigurd, yes, I’m well aware. What do you think you are doing starting wars all over the place?”

 

“Oh, um, that. I’m trying to liberate the continent of evil rulers’ tyranny. I’m saving the people suffering.” He said honestly. Lewyn remained seated on the dark stone stage, thoughtful.

 

“Well then! Guess I will be joining you now!” He hopped up, holding out his hand. Sigurd grasped it tightly, quite surprised by how small and slim his hands were. He could only imagine them as they would strum the cords on his sitar.
Lewyn chuckled. “Alright Sigurd, you may let go now.”

 

Sigurd blushed, letting go quickly. He felt the butterflies in his stomach and his heart raced uncontrollably. He never felt this way towards Dierdre. She was beautiful like a fairy, yes, but he just could not return her feelings. Maybe this was why, because he was fated to meet the elegant bard Lewyn here. “This was fate.” Sigurd said aloud, not realizing until Lewyn laughed again.

 

“Fate you say? Yes…I suppose it is.” He had a mischievous smile.

 

“Not falling for me, now are you?” He joked lightheartedly. Damn! He’s onto me! Sigurd briefly panicked. “Woah I was just joking!” Lewyn said, his smile becoming increasingly more amused. He doubled over in laughter and Sigurd just stood there, mentally kicking himself, blushing heavily.

 

“Would you like to hear a tune?” He asked, tilting his head. Sigurd felt like a fish, the way he just kept gawking at Lewyn like he was the most gorgeous angel there were. Lewyn sat back down and picked up his sitar. He closed his eyes and played a sweet melody. Sigurd sat in front of him in absolute awe. It was the most beautiful thing he had ever heard. The music sounded…magical. He clapped, smiling brightly when Lewyn finished. Lewyn stood up to take a bow.

 

“What song was that?” Sigurd asked.

 

“An original.” Lewyn responded.

 

“Wow…”

 

“I could play more for you if you’d like.” Lewyn offered.

 

“Oh, that would be great!” They both smiled at each other while the rest of their army watched, all taking bets.


The doors to the tavern were torn open and huge white Pegasi in gold and silver armor came flooding in. The leader was a beautiful woman with long flowing green hair.
“My Prince! I have finally found you!”

 

Sigurd looked between her and Lewyn repeatedly, pointing to them both. “Yes…Hello Erinys…” Lewyn said, ducking his head down.

 

“I have been searching for you! I was sent to bring you back to Silesse!”

 

“Wait hold up! What is going on?!” Sigurd demanded, not ready to give up Lewyn quite yet.

 

“He is the Prince of our country Silesse. He disappeared years ago. You, Lord Sigurd, have had many rumors spread about you and your army. The messenger outside told me to give this letter to you.” She handed him a small sheet of tattered white paper.

 

Dear Sigurd,
Rumors have been spreading around the royal court of Belhalla that you, Quan, and Eldigan are conspiring against King Kurth of Belhalla, which is why you are hiding Prince Shannan of Issach. King Kurth has been assassinated and I fear it is no longer safe for you.
-Filat

“I’m sorry but I already read the note…Silesse is willing to grant you and your men sanctuary. I fear you don’t have much time left to make your decision.” Erinys said.


Sigurd knew he had to go, he could not risk the lives of his people when it was him, they were after. He accepted and they all rode Pegasi to the frozen wasteland of Silesse.
It was beautiful, if not dreadfully cold, with harsh winds whipping them across their face. The snow glistened in the morning sun, making it all look magical. The castle looked straight out of a fairy tale. It was overwhelmingly large, covered in ice and snow, giving off an intimidating appearance. When they landed Sigurd noticed Lewyn staying back.

 

“What’s wrong?” He asked him.

 

“I fled from my country like a coward…when my uncles fought over the throne…I thought the fighting would stop you see…but from the looks of it…” He motioned to their surroundings. Sigurd could see many villages burnt down and far too many shelters built for the now homeless.

 

“Well, you are back now. And I will not abandon you. I will help you just as you helped me back in Agustria.” Sigurd laid a hand on Lewyn’s shoulder in comfort.

 

“Thanks, but…This is my battle…”

 

“I am not going to leave you. Even if you try forcing me to.”

 

Lewyn groaned, rubbing his head. “You are a stubborn one, aren’t you?”

 

“I have been told.”


So together Lewyn and Sigurd were able to trick his two uncle’s army and fought them head on without any civilian casualties. Afterwards a huge celebration and festival was thrown to celebrate their victory, the end of the Silessian Civil War.
Music played while people danced. Lewyn was ever as graceful, moving as if he were floating, little green wind sylphs danced around him as well. The way he moved left Sigurd in awe, just like back at Agustria when he was fighting. It really was but a dance. Lewyn twirled about, his scarf flowing behind him. He was smiling with his eyes closed, moving about as if he were able to see clearly. Sigurd slowly approached him and stopped him. Lewyn opened his eyes and smiled back. Sigurd offered him his hand which he happily obliged.

 

Being of nobility Sigurd knew how to dance and kept up with Lewyn quite well, they twirled around together making Sigurd feel as if he too were floating. They never took their eyes off each other. The cold wind in his face did not bother him at the moment as he danced together with Lewyn. Holding his small dainty hand in his own and resting his other hand on his slim waist. When the dance slowed Sigurd could not help himself. He leaned in quickly to steal a kiss.
Lewyn first looked shocked, before resting one of his small cold hands on Sigurd’s face, kissing him back.

 

Then Lewyn laughed. “You really did fall for me?”

 

“Of course, I did. I have never seen anyone quite like you.”

 

“Oh?”

 

“I mean that in an entirely good way!” Sigurd waved his arms in apology. “You are most elegant, graceful, beautiful, alluring.”

 

“Woah hold up! Alluring?” Lewyn laughed again.


They left the party together to sit side by side on a bench in the snow-covered courtyard. Sigurd cleared the snow with his sleeve first before they sat. Lewyn hesitantly held Sigurd’s hand. “You can stay as long as you like in Silesse. My home is your home.”

 

“You can’t provide sanctuary forever.” Sigurd said.

 

“I will be willing to fight to keep you here and safe.” Lewyn said quite seriously.

 

Sigurd remained silent as he just held Lewyn’s hand. “I don’t need sanctuary here…” He said, blushing.

 

“No?”

 

“No, because you are my sanctuary…” Sigurd said. Lewyn looked shocked, blushing too.

 

“Well then…guess you are stuck with me now. I will remain by your side however long you wish to have me.”

 

“Forever?” Sigurd asked, pushing it.

 

“If you so desire.”

 

Sigurd knew who he wanted to spend his entire life with and would not let this opportunity pass. Taking out a small box he presented it to him. Inside was a silver ring that was in the Chalphy noble family as long as Sigurd could remember. His father gave him this ring, to one day present to his beloved. Sigurd knew his father would love Lewyn. He slid the ring onto his finger, since this ring was made for a woman it fit Lewyn’s slim finger perfectly.
“Lewyn…I know we have not known each other very long but I feel that we have known each other for an eternity…It was fate that the two of us met and I refuse to let you go. Prince Lewyn will you marry me? I swear to devote my life entirely to you and your complete utter happiness.”
Lewyn was stunned, and began crying, covering his mouth. “Sigurd…I have never been one for traditions…I would gladly marry you.” Lewyn threw his arms around Sigurd’s neck, kissing him passionately. He pulled back slightly, staring into his blue eyes.

 

“I love you.” Lewyn said.

 

“And I love you.” Sigurd said back.


 

Chapter Text


Now that Sigurd and Lewyn were engaged they had to tell Queen Rahna and then the rest of the army. Sigurd couldn’t stop himself from wearing a dopey grin, feeling giddy inside as he practically skipped through the front doors. Lewyn was slower, seeming lost in thoughts.

 

The Queen was sorting through various articles of fancy clothing, humming a cheerful tune. It vaguely reminded Sigurd of one of Lewyn’s songs. She heard his footsteps, turning to him with a pleasant smile. “Hello Sigurd. I hope you are enjoying your stay in our home.”

 

“Yes, it has been almost too good to be true. You and your people have been most kind to us and I can’t thank you enough.” Sigurd said.

 

“I couldn’t be happier, it’s thanks to you that my son is now home. I hope you will be a good influence on him.”

 

“Haha Lewyn isn’t so bad!”

 

“Really…my son can be quite troublesome so you can be honest.” She said, looking tired.

 

“He is a joy to have milady.” Sigurd was being quite honest. He greatly enjoyed every moment with Lewyn. Looking around he noticed that he hadn’t followed. Maybe he still was not ready to face his mother…Sigurd thought.

 

“Lewyn I see you lurking around the corner.” Queen Rahna called out, leaning back to look behind one of the stone pillars.

 

Lewyn sighed, revealing himself. “You always were able to find me…”

 

“I’m your mother, of course. Come here dear and take a look at the clothes I have acquired for you.”

 

“Eh? Mother there is no need-,”

 

“Your coronation ceremony! Or have you forgotten your duty as the next King of Silesse? The people have been waiting for so long for their King to return.”

 

Lewyn paled and turned a sickly color, holding his stomach. “I…am not quite ready or prepared at the moment…excuse me…” He ran out of the room and Sigurd could not just leave him in his time of need, chasing after him.

 

Lewyn tore through the back doors to the outside balcony, leaning over the edge overlooking the courtyard, gasping for breath. Sigurd approached slowly to not frighten him and put a hand on his back.

 

“She…wants me to be King Sigurd…I-I can’t. I could never rule my people justly…I would only be a burden and make them suffer further-,”

 

“That’s not true.” Sigurd said firmly.

 

“No? I am a coward who fled his country when it needed him the most. That is no ruler fit for a kingdom in dire need.”

 

Sigurd grabbed Lewyn’s shoulders tightly, turning him to face him. “You are a kind and passionate man. You cared so much for your people that fleeing was what you thought to be right. It was the wrong choice, but you were still thinking of your people first. You want them to be happy, to have good lives. You have the best intentions. That is what is most important in a King and ruler I believe. A man with a kind, just heart. Only you can be that kind of King Lewyn. I trust and believe in you wholeheartedly. And don’t go thinking you are alone either! I will be right by your side every step of the way to pick you up when you fall down. Do not hesitate to rely on me Lewyn.”

 

Lewyn became teary eyed. “Sigurd…” His voice cracked. Sigurd’s smile was so bright and radiant, like Lewyn’s own personal sun, lighting up in the darkness. “You-no-there is no way I can-,”

 

“Yes Lewyn. Trust me. I know a good person when I see one. Silesse couldn’t have a better Prince…a better King. You deserve it and will bring Silesse into a new age of prosperity.”

 

Lewyn fell to his knees, breaking down. Sigurd knelt beside him, petting his soft green hair. He knew it deep in his heart that Lewyn would make a great King. “You are wonderful Lewyn. You make everyone around you smile. You make an effort to lighten people’s moods. Your songs bring happiness and newfound inspiration, encouraging people to push on and fight back. Only you can do that Lewyn.”

 

Lewyn leaned his head against Sigurd’s chest, trying to get his breathing back under control. “Every step of the way Lewyn. I will be right here. You will see just how good of a King you will make.” Sigurd said softly.

 

Lewyn wiped his tears away with his sleeve and stood up shakily. “If I fail them-,”

 

“You won’t. Have more faith in yourself. Where is that confidant bard I met?”

 

“Sorry. He took a vacation at the moment.”

 

Sigurd smirked. “Well, tell him to come back.”

 

They entered the castle together and found Queen Rahna setting up dinner for the army. There was an array of different warm freshly baked breads and soup to go with it. Their friends were busy laughing and talking about mindless things. Lewyn coughed, getting everyone’s attention.

 

“I have an announcement to make.” He pointedly held Sigurd’s hand. “Sigurd and I are engaged to be married.” He said it so nonchalantly that it took a while to set in. Sigurd hoped it would go over well with everyone, hoping they would be for their happiness.

 

Then Lex whooped, standing up with his glass of red wine. “Then I say we have something to toast to!”

 

Sigurd silently sighed with relief, hoping the rest would follow suit. Ethlyn seemed the most unhappy. “And you didn’t bother telling me first?!”

 

Dierdre kept her gaze downcast. The rest had a mixture of different emotions showing. “Eldie always said you’d end up with someone that would completely catch us off guard, surprising us all.” Quan said, smiling.

 

Queen Rahna dropped the plate she was holding. “My son…is this true?” Sigurd couldn’t tell if she was going to cry or jump with joy. At this point it could be either.

 

“Yes, mother. I am in love with Sigurd and we are going to get married.” Lewyn stood tall, not shrinking back despite everyone’s gaze being upon him. Perhaps it was Sigurd’s presence that comforted him and put him at ease.

 

“If…that is what you want and will make you happy…I guess we have two ceremonies to prepare for.” She said slowly, her hands shaking.

 

Lewyn let go of Sigurd’s hand to hug his mother. “You did say Sigurd would be a good influence. Maybe he will keep me in line when I am King.”

 

Queen Rahna smiled. “Now you can’t run away again.”

 

Lewyn chuckled. “Of course not, mother.”

 

The most upset about this arrangement were Sylvia and Erinys. They both cried terribly. Sylvia clung to Lewyn helplessly as he tried dragging her off of his leg.

 

“You can’t! You love me!” She sobbed.

 

“When have I ever said that?” Lewyn responded with annoyance. “Calling you cute is not the same as saying I love you. I am to be wed tomorrow to Sigurd, and I hope you will behave yourself or I will have no choice but to have you removed.”

 

She let go, running off to who knows where.

 

All Sigurd ever wanted was to find true love, to get married, and then raise a happy loving family. Now he had to put an end to this war. For Lewyn’s sake and their future family’s. Sigurd was helped out by Quan who would be his best man at the wedding. They were able to have a specific wedding outfit tailored for him. A nice elegant white tailcoat over a black vest with a white cravat and white pants. Sigurd and Quan had brought Shannan along, whom Sigurd had always seen as a son and practically adopted him from the moment he met him and saved him. Shannan of course, would be participating in the wedding. He had the important role of ringbearer. He had an outfit tailored for him too. Shannan was so excited, beaming at Sigurd. His outfit matched Quan's, upon Sigurd's request. He just thought it'd be more adorable. Sigurd was all too nervous and excited for this wedding. 

 

Lewyn was helped by his mother who had been planning this day her whole life, much to Lewyn’s great embarrassment.

 

The whole courtyard was decorated with pink, blue and white flowers, all strewn about and tied to the benches and wedding arches. The benches were white as well, blending in with the snow on the ground. Sigurd had butterflies in his stomach and couldn’t contain his overwhelming anticipation. Quan laid a hand on his shoulder. “You will do fine. Remember if you are going to faint, I am here.”

 

“Thanks Quan…” He said sarcastically, now feeling even more nervous. Quan not understanding, nodded.

 

A nearby orchestra began playing music and all the people attending the wedding flowed in and took their seat. Sigurd stood by the altar, waiting for Lewyn to walk up the aisle.

 

When it happened, it took Sigurd’s breath away. He thought he was beautiful before…he needed another word for him now. Lewyn had his hair down, that was growing quite long by now. It was curled over his shoulder, done up quite fancily. He wore a long white robe that trailed behind him. There were small silver intricate designs etched onto it and it was lined with gold trimmings. Held up by the crook of his arms was a light blue shawl.

 

“Wow…” Sigurd breathed. That’s…my husband…He thought, smiling at him as he cried. In the front row seat in the audience Ethlyn cried, wiping her tears with her handkerchief.

 

The priest stood behind the altar. Shannan brought the rings up, on a dark blue velvet Silessian cushion. He knew the rings would be taken after the vows were said. Sigurd internally screamed, wanting to hug Shannan for how adorable he was. He really was growing up so much since the day he met him. The priest coughed, clearing his throat before beginning to recite from the book. “Today we are holding the marriage of Prince Lewyn of Silesse and Lord Sigurd Baldr Chalphy. Now, Sigurd you may start with your vows.”

 

“Prince Lewyn, from the moment I saw you it was love at first sight. I knew you were the one. I swear I will always protect you and love you and promise to love you and cherish you for all eternity.” Sigurd picked up one of the rings and gently slipped it onto Lewyn's slim finger.

 

“Lewyn, you may proceed.” The priest said.

 

“Sigurd, I never knew that I would fall for you. But there was something about you that intrigued me and pulled me in. You swooped in like a knight in shining armor and completely stole my heart. I promise to never leave you or run away, I will always love you and put you first.” Lewyn said, taking the other ring and put it on Sigurd's finger. They both smiled at each other lovingly, their eyes conveying all they wanted to say.

 

“If anyone has a reason these two should not be married, speak now or forever hold your peace.”

 

“Lewyn loves me!” Sylvia wailed, standing up in the aisle.

 

Lewyn motioned to the guards and they promptly escorted her out as she screamed behind her at Lewyn.

 

“If there are no other disruptions then the betrothed may now kiss.” The priest said.

 

Sigurd held Lewyn’s hands and gazed into his eyes lovingly, leaning in and kissing him softly. The audience cheered and flower petals were thrown, scattering all around them and some landed in Lewyn’s hair. Sigurd laughed, picking them out one by one.

 

Lewyn and Sigurd were the first to dance together to celebrate their marriage. Afterwards Erinys approached Lewyn, still crying. She tried staying strong and Lewyn was kind and understanding enough to hug her. “C-congratulations.” She said shakily.

 

He danced with her second, still cherishing their friendship. Sigurd danced with his sister Ethlyn, who too, was crying still. “My brother I cannot believe you are married now…”

 

Sigurd kissed her on her cheek. “I still love you too, don’t worry.” He laughed.

 

Ethlyn looked shocked then puffed her cheeks. “I-I am not worried about that!”

 

He continued laughing, enjoying messing with her. She lightly whacked his arm.

 

Sigurd made sure after he danced with Ethlyn, to dance with Shannan. He must have been taught at some point, surprisingly keeping up. He looked so handsome and Sigurd hoped, when he had a son one day, that he would be as handsome as Shannan. He knew Shannan would be the best role model.

They partook of the wedding foods; the cake was exceptionally good. It was a grand five level vanilla marble cake with fluffy white frosting decorated with blue and pink flowers all over it. Lewyn took a forkful, feeding it to Sigurd, catching him off guard. His face was completely flushed, Lewyn couldn’t help but laugh. He made an effort to smear some frosting on his face which started a war between him and his husband.

 

“You asked for it!” Sigurd laughed, attacking Lewyn back. They both clung onto each other, dying of laughter.

 


It was a very joyous occasion that everyone enjoyed, especially since they have been in war for so long. This was a nice break from the fighting, just able to be with friends, celebrating something happy together. They retired for the night as newlyweds, Sigurd carried Lewyn bridal style into their now shared room. They enjoyed each other’s presence throughout the night, consummating the marriage.

The next morning Lewyn’s coronation ceremony would be held.


Sigurd helped dress him like a Silessian King. He wore a long blue cape lined with white fur and a different long robe. This one was royal blue with golden trimmings around it. A golden hair accessory was used to tie his hair over his shoulder.

They gathered together in the throne room. Sigurd was nearby Lewyn, watching him walk up to the priest who stood with the crown and a book in his hands. Sigurd couldn’t help but think how regal Lewyn looked and acted. He was beyond sophisticated, and definitely worthy of the throne. He stared at him in absolute admiration, so proud of how far he has come.

“By the power vested in me I now crown you King Lewyn of Silesse.” The priest said, placing the crown upon Lewyn’s head. Sigurd clapped, smiling brightly at him. He looked uneasy up there but masked it well, where only Sigurd would have been able to tell his true feelings suppressed. He made eye contact, trying to reassure him without any words. Lewyn gave a slight nod, understanding. Sigurd knew he would be the greatest King Silesse has ever had and couldn’t wait to start their future together, the rest of their lives had begun.


 

Chapter Text


It seemed while they were in Silesse, practically a vacation at this point, everyone was hooking up and it was the perfect time to, within that year there were many babies born. Shannan was excited to see all the new babies, happy to not be the youngest child anymore. He grew attached to all of them and loved helping out with them.

Erinyes was helped to move on by a man in the army Sigurd knew very well, Naoise. He was a knight Sigurd had trained together and fought side by side with. He had a very strong sense of honor and refused to leave Erinys alone, feeling her sorrow. They bonded instantaneously, and he swore to be her personal knight, protecting her until the end. Her and Naoise had a daughter named Phee and a son Vinn.

Sylvia was easier to deal with. She would fall for any man who payed even the slightest attention to her. Alec, Naoise’s best friend, was who she ended up falling for in the end. He would not leave her alone since the day he met her back in Agustria. He flirted with her, who flirted right back. He couldn’t stop with the complements, paying them to her every day and never ceased to make her swoon. He loved to watch her dance and by then she was over Lewyn, loving and adoring the bountiful attention she received from Alec. The pair of them also had a son and daughter. The girl was named Lene and the boy, Alex. Sylvia insisted on naming the boy after his father and that was how they chose that name. They were accidental, both Alec and Sylvia, not expecting children. Both were too active in their intimate lives, and honestly should have expected this to happen. Right after they were born Sylvia was already expecting another child. They decided on the name Coirpre if it was another son.

Everyone knew that Azelle would end up with Tailtiu. They were childhood friends after all. Despite how much she teased him, that was only her way of showing her love. Azelle was just so blind that he never noticed until his best friend Lex wouldn’t shut up about it, teasing him relentlessly. It took that to make Azelle realize his true feelings, returning Tailtiu’s love. They had twins, Arthur and Tinny.

Jamke and Adean have been dating right from the day he saved her from the prison and from marrying Gandolf, his older brother. It was love at first sight. Sigurd understood all too well, having fallen for Lewyn the same way. Now that they were in Silesse, able to have down time with no immediate threat, they settled down to have a family. Jamke and Adean had a girl named Lana and a boy Lester.

Ayra and Lex were the same way. He was the only man strong enough to stand a chance fighting against her. She was intrigued and fell in love. Was really tsundere about it, but everyone knew how she felt, even Lex. With his kind words and strong personality, she gave in, screaming she loved him in his face before running off. He found her and confessed, it didn’t take them long to get the baby fever happening, having babies of their own. They also had twins, Larcei and Ulster. Shannan was simply ecstatic.

Lachesis was still heartbroken over Eldigan’s death. Ethlyn refused to leave her friend alone and she also helped hook her up with Finn in the process. Quan’s squire was about Lachesis’ age and was very noble. He cared for her, making sure she ate and walked around. With his undying kindness she fell for him in due time. It took months but gradually they all witnessed it happen. Lewyn helped set the mood by playing some romantic music on his lyre. Sigurd knew he was only teasing them and had to drag his husband away. Lachesis and Finn had a boy and girl, Diarmuid and Nanna.

Brigid was different from the rest of the girls. She was wilder, and free spirited. Staying back, more away from the group she learned she had a lot in common with Chulainn from Issach. He was more of a loner, having been living in the Issachian countryside he was more into the wilderness than inside a building. Brigid and Chulainn had many quiet talks together outside, enjoying the wildlife. Soon love began blossoming. He was very soft and kindhearted, despite his harsh exterior. He was the perfect man for Brigid. They had a girl named Patty and a boy Febail.

Deirdre tragically was kidnapped by the dark sorcerer Manfroy and was likely held captive in Grannvale. They received news that she had married Duke Arvis. Sigurd had hoped she was happy. He knew he currently was very happy in his marriage and only wished the best for her. He hoped she would have children like everyone else was.

Ethlyn, of course, had another child with Quan. It was a boy this time and she named him Leif. Sigurd knew if his sister could keep having Quan’s babies, she would. Altena was excited to have a baby brother and played with him. Ethlyn and Quan were very happy, enjoying their big happy family.

She nagged Sigurd and Lewyn every day. “C’mon, when are you two going to have some?!” She continued pestering, day after day.

“At ease my dear sister.” Lewyn answered, wrapping an arm around her shoulders. There was that knowing, mischievous smirk of his again. “I have the blood of Forseti and the holy crusader Ced. And our dear Sigurd here has the blood of the holy crusader Baldr. Do you catch my drift? We are different from any other, we are special! Chosen by the gods!” He extended an arm dramatically, while the other was to his chest.

Ethlyn blinked. “Eh?”

Sigurd knew she found his husband ridiculous. He often at times, did too. It was never a dull moment with Lewyn around. Lewyn had continued spouting that nonsense until a couple weeks later, it happened. Sigurd and Lewyn were curled up in each other’s arms in bed when they heard the cry of a baby. Sigurd woke up, grabbing Tyrfing out of instinct, before realizing it was just a baby. He sighed, setting down his sword. “Make the baby stop…” Lewyn groaned, putting a pillow over his head.

Sigurd carefully got out of bed, sneaking around the room as if to investigate. Right underneath the window that was open was three baskets. Each held a baby. Wait…Babies?! Sigurd internally exclaimed. He did not believe his eyes and had wondered if he were still asleep. Sure enough, there were indeed babies. Three boys, one had blue hair while the other two had green hair. Sigurd lifted the blue haired one up, looking him thoroughly over, turning him over in his hands, examining every part of him as if he were some unique specimen. He was swaddled in white cloth. Sigurd undid the cloth and saw the mark of Baldr on his left thigh. He wrapped him back up and checked the other two. One of them had the mark of Ced and the other was blessed, or cursed, with both.

Excitedly Sigurd frantically shook Lewyn. “Lewyn, Lewyn, Lewyn!” Sigurd couldn’t stop grinning.

“Whaaat…” Lewyn groaned grumpily.

Sigurd shoved the baby in his face. “Woah! What are you doing with Erinys’ kid?!” Lewyn startled, jolted upright. He looked quite funny with his hair in complete disarray. Now that it was tremendously long, it got messy more often. Especially since when they sleep together at night, Lewyn always opted to sleep on Sigurd’s muscled chest.

“It isn’t! You were right! These are ours Lewyn!! Look at that!” Sigurd said in an excited whisper.

“I…look Sigurd…I was only being optimistic. I know our blood is special and all…But I never would have thought this special! By the gods Sigurd! We have babies!” Lewyn took the green haired one from Sigurd’s hands and made a funny face at him. Sigurd smiled lovingly at him, completely satisfied with their life. They now had a family.

“Wait…what will we name them?” Sigurd asked.

“Ced.” Lewyn responded instantaneously.

“Like…the crusader?”

“Would you rather Seti?”

“I’ll take Ced.” Sigurd chose, not wanting to have his son named after a god. That just sounded like a bad omen.

“What about you Sigurd?” Lewyn asked, still making faces at Ced. The baby was delighted, giggling and drooling.

“Seliph…” Sigurd said fondly, holding the blue haired one close.

“What a beautiful name…I could write a song about it~!” Lewyn joked, lying back down on the bed with Ced against his chest.

“Well I’m sure he will be. I believe he will take after your beautiful looks Lewyn.” Sigurd said.

“Oh, stop! You’re making me blush!” Lewyn laughed. Then they both turned to the one with two marks on him.

“Well. What about him? He has your green hair as well. So, I believe it should be your choice.” Sigurd knew if Lewyn was that unoriginal with Ced then he could only imagine what he would name the other one. He prayed not Forseti or Seti.

“Lugh.” Lewyn said with a knowing obnoxious smirk.

“Lewyn…” Sigurd sighed.

“Lugh~!” Lewyn insisted with a singsong voice. Sigurd had no choice but to give in. His husband was just too persuasive, always getting his way.

“You’re lucky I love you.” Sigurd said, kissing his cheek. They decided to stay in bed that morning, holding the babies and speaking softly to each other. Sigurd prayed these peaceful days would last.


 

Chapter Text


It was no wonder that everyone had developed baby fever. You could not escape the babies no matter where you turned. Around ever corner there was a baby or two. The cries echoed throughout Silesse castle, driving the father’s practically insane. Shannan and Oifey were the first to crack.

“Uuurrrgh I can’t take anymore crying babies!” Shannan yelled, pulling at his hair. Oifey remained curled up on the floor in a corner, hugging his knees, crying.

“What?! You’re crying again?!” Shannan stood in front of him with his hands on his hips, staring in disbelief.

“The-the babies.” Oifey hiccupped. “They-they won’t stop crying!”

“That is why we are going to get out of here.” Shannan said with a smirk, crouching down in front of him. Taking Oifey they crept around the castle, avoiding any of the mother’s who might ask them to help take care of the babies again. They were almost at the back door when Shannan bolted, slamming into Sigurd’s chest.

Oof!” Shannan grunted, rubbing his head. Sigurd’s chest might as well be a brick wall! There was something different about Sigurd, Shannan noticed. He seemed to glow, and no, not that kind of glow like he had from his wedding night. Then he saw it, in Sigurd’s arms was a baby.

“A baby?!” Shannan exclaimed. He thought this was impossible! There was no way Sigurd could have a baby!

“Meet Seliph!” Sigurd said gleefully, holding the tiny blue haired baby out to Shannan. He scrunched up his nose, not sure what to exactly do, opting to stare at the baby incredulously. Sigurd laughed.

“Hold out your arms like this.” He positioned Shannan’s arms. “And you hold him, like this.” Sigurd carefully placed Seliph into Shannan’s arms securely nestled into them.

The baby had very bright blue eyes and a huge toothless smile. He wiggled his legs and arms, reaching up towards Shannan. Shannan’s heart skipped a beat. He loved the other babies and all, sure, they were cute. But none of them ever looked at him like Seliph was looking at him now. He felt like this one was special. “H-hello Seliph.” Shannan said in a cooing voice.

“Goo!” Seliph responded. Shannan giggled and cuddled Seliph closer. He felt an overwhelming sense to protect him. He would keep him safe, no matter the cost.

Sigurd laughed. “Look, Shannan! He likes you!”

Shannan smiled. “He does, doesn’t he?” Shannan felt an immediate attachment to this child. “I’m gonna train him how to use swords!”

“I’m sure you will be a great teacher.” Sigurd ruffled Shannan’s hair.

“So yeah, Sigurd? How…did you get a baby anyway?” Shannan asked.

“I…woke up?” Sigurd said, looking just as confused as Shannan.

“Woke…up?” Shannan repeated.

“Yeah…kind of…Poof? They were there?” Sigurd really couldn’t explain it, having no idea himself. Lewyn was praying ever since they got married for children. Sigurd let him pray and believe it would come true, despite having his own doubts. This really did seem like an impossible thing. He still did not quite know how it had happened but gave thanks to the gods. Maybe Lewyn had some sort of direct communication to the gods? The Silessian’s did devoutly worship the wind god Forseti. They praised him, sung songs to him, everything they did was for their god. They were so religious that it did not surprise Sigurd if Forseti really did bless them with these babies.

“Sigurd, it seems we have missed something.” Lewyn’s sweet voice said. Sigurd’s heart always leaped upon hearing him utter words. He especially loved the way his name sounded, rolling off Lewyn’s tongue like that. It was always almost sing-song like, mischievous sounding. It always brought color to Sigurd’s cheeks and he yearned to hear Lewyn sing more.

“What is it dear?” Sigurd asked, looking over to his husband. Lewyn was in a light blue silk robe hugging his body, accentuating his figure nicely, his hair was freshly washed, curly and fluffy braided over his shoulder. Sigurd could smell the scent of Lewyn’s personal floral shampoo wafting from his hair and wanted nothing more than to bury his face into it. He felt intoxicated by it, wearing a ditzy grin.

Lewyn was amused, snickering. “What’s with that grin? Am I that entrancing?”

“Yes.” Sigurd answered immediately. Shannan stuck his tongue out is disgust, scrunching his face up.

“Sir Sigurd is in love, it’s a good thing Shannan.” Oifey said, fully supportive of Sigurd’s love life.

“I just don’t like the mushy gushy stuff.” Shannan said, walking off with baby Seliph.

“W-wait Shannan! That’s Sir Sigurd’s son!” Oifey ran after him.

Sigurd found it harmless, completely trusting Shannan. When they were gone, he turned his attention back to Lewyn. Lewyn stood there with a hand on his hip, staring at a fancy piece of paper. It almost looked holographic, shimmering in the light. Sigurd leaned over his shoulder, looking at what was written. It was definitely in an ancient tongue but could not place which one. The words were written in very fine ink, probably used with a very fine tipped brush, creating such a beautiful piece of calligraphy. Sigurd was in awe, never seeing something so beautiful in his life.

“So, honey, what is this?” Sigurd asked.

“Well. If you payed more attention. It was in Seliph’s basket, underneath the cloth that was in it. I believe this is a letter from the gods, explaining how it was that we got these babies.” Lewyn mused, still looking over the paper. Sigurd gently took it, even the material felt holographic, soft and flimsy, a tingly feeling went through his fingertips as he touched it.

“What…does it say?”

“Well, Sigurd. If you bothered reading history books and ancient tomes of the like, you would be able to make out most of it. Did you seriously neglect your studies?” Lewyn tsked, shaking his head.

No, Sigurd never really was one for studying. Back in the academy he attended he ditched the books and kept to the sword. Sure, it angered the professors, but Sigurd honestly had no interest in book smarts. He would much rather use action rather than thought and logic. Words never stopped wars, action did. Or so he had believed, completely neglecting his studies.

Lewyn sighed, rubbing his head. “Sigurd, Sigurd, Sigurd…” He groaned, seeing Sigurd’s blank stare. It looked as if nothing even went on in his head half of the time. “Listen closely or I will have you pick up some books here and learn and study it for yourself. It is said that this is the language of the gods. Some old ancient writings have been found on some deep hidden cave walls. Studied it was determined that it was no other language ever before seen. Scholars have tried deciphering it and only got so far. Matching some words with pictures they were able to come to some conclusions. Here in Silesse, some of the same writings have been found. Matching them up we concluded, this word,” Lewyn pointed to one. “Is Forseti. And this one,” Lewyn pointed to a much smaller word. “Is holy.” “And this one.” Lewyn pointed to a bigger word. “Means Children.” Taking the paper back Lewyn continued. “So, what I take from this is. Forseti has blessed us with children because of the holy blood we possess. You must be able to pass on the ability to wield Tyrfing and pass on your Baldr blood. I need to pass on my blood of Forseti and Ced and the ability to wield the tome Forseti. The gods must have seen the utmost importance of that and therefore did something about it. They blessed us with children that possess both of our holy bloods.”

“Wow, Lewyn!” Sigurd hugged him tightly. “You’re so smart!” Sigurd kissed him.

Lewyn smiled. “Yes, of course, being heir to the throne Erinys made sure I did my studies. I actually care about being smart and will make sure our children take after me and not end up a dolt like you.” Lewyn joked, smiling playfully. Sigurd laughed, kissing him again. They knew they had to break this news to everyone and planned to do it as soon as possible. He knew Ethlyn would be just ecstatic about having nephews. Taking Lewyn’s hand they went to gather their friends in the living room. Sigurd prayed they would be able to give their children a happy life, living and growing up in peaceful Silesse.


 

Chapter Text


During the now present peaceful time in Silesse the couples were all able to raise their families. Sigurd was right about the reaction Ethlyn would have. She squealed, picking up Seliph in delight, raising him in front of her face. “Oh, look at you! Aren’t you the cutest patootie in the world?! Yes, you are! Look at your chubby cheeks!” She poked Seliph’s cheeks repeatedly, cooing at him. Seliph began tearing up and started wailing. Becoming overprotective Sigurd took his baby back, rocking him in his arms.

“Look what you did.” Lewyn bit at her, taking Seliph from Sigurd since the rocking wasn’t working. Lewyn had the magic touch, a mother’s touch, Sigurd thought lovingly. As Lewyn gently swayed side to side with Seliph he began singing a Silessian lullaby he knew from when he was a child. Sigurd recognized it, having heard Lewyn play it on several occasions. He could feel the emotion in his voice and could tell that this song meant a lot to him and was very important. Sigurd watched on fondly, seeing how calm and relaxed Seliph became, until he fell asleep. Lewyn took Seliph back into their bedroom and placed him in the new crib with his other two brothers.

They returned to the living room where everyone was seated at. Most were on the sofas, drinking hot cocoa, or red wine. In front of the sofa was a long stout glass table that was set up with a game of chess. Azelle and Lex were currently in a match against each other, Sigurd could not tell who was winning. Sylvia was putting on a show for the others who were not as interested in the game of chess. Ethlyn was back to taking care of Leif together with Lachesis and her baby. Sigurd took the empty spot next to the girls, smiling at Leif.

“It’s your uncle Sigurd.” Ethlyn said, playing with Leif’s tiny hands.

“I’m sure Leif will be best friends with his cousins.” Sigurd said with certainty.

“Of course. I still cannot believe that I have nephews! How exactly?”

Sigurd scratched his head thoughtfully, thinking. “Long story short…Lewyn and I, our blood is far too special to not have any heirs to inherit our blood, and the ability to wield Tyrfing and Forseti. The gods did not want their bloodline dying out I guess…so we were blessed with these precious little children.” Sigurd said, hoping that he said it right.

“Guess the gods aren’t too selfish after all. The fact that they blessed you with children…” Ethlyn said.

“I say we raise a toast!” Lex piped out of nowhere, taking Azelle’s queen in the process.

“NOO!” Azelle wailed, pulling his hair in frustration.

“HaHA!” Lex laughed triumphantly, waving the queen in Azelle’s face.

Azelle looked down, defeated. Sigurd got up to crouch down next to him and looked over the board carefully. “Look…By taking your queen he’s left his king unguarded…you can check him by moving your rook, forcing him to move…there.” Sigurd pointed. “Then move your bishop down…checking him again. You will have him cornered and it’s checkmate.” Sigurd whispered, then ruffled Azelle’s hair.

“Hey, hey, hey! No colluding! I call foul!” Lex accused.

Azelle did just that and as Sigurd said, was able to checkmate him. Lex stood up abruptly. “Wait! Nooo Azelle whyyy?!”

“You said we should toast right? How about, to Sigurd’s new family and my victory?” Azelle smirked, knowing it would irk Lex.

“To Sigurd and Azelle!” Tailtiu joined it, clinking her glass against Azelle’s. Sigurd laughed, seeing how irritated Lex got, arguing with his best friend. This was the perfect life, right here and now.


Sadly though, that would soon change. They were only able to spend just about two years in Silesse happily, two years until the war was made present again and they would have to fight for everyone’s safety.


 

Chapter Text


Ethlyn and Quan had received a letter from home in Leonster, that Quan’s father had fallen ill. Feeling like he needed to be by his side he set off ahead of Sigurd to be by his father’s side and to take care of him. Sigurd understood and only wished for their safe return. It felt so quiet and empty without his sister constantly teasing him in one way or another. He loved Ethlyn dearly and couldn’t help but feel like something was amiss.

“I feel a great darkness…” Lewyn said to him one night. They were outside Silesse castle, on the roof laying on a fleece blanket, staring up at the sky. The stars were especially bright that night, twinkling like tiny fireflies in the sky. Sigurd felt like they were so close he could reach out and grab them. The moon was full that night, towering over them almost intimidatingly. Sigurd found that funny, the moon being intimidating. The sky itself was like a vast emptiness of black, stretching on forever. Sigurd felt like that emptiness could just up and swallow him whole. What is with me? Sigurd wondered. Recalling Lewyn speaking he snapped himself out of his strange thoughts.

Sigurd rolled over to face him. Lewyn kept his gaze glued to the sky, his expression grim. “It’s the wind…the wind has been silent as of late…”

Sigurd knew that Lewyn spoke with the wind so knew that this was something very bad indeed. He held Lewyn close, rubbing his back. “Whatever it is, we will face together.”

Lewyn nestled his face in the crook of Sigurd’s neck. “Hmm…yes…I suppose you are right…I just do not like the silence at all…”

Lewyn was right to be afraid.


 

The way to Leonster was a safe trip. Ethlyn and Quan were able to take care of his father and while there they received a letter from Sigurd. It mentioned meeting up with them from the south, heading to Belhalla. That Arvis would be throwing a celebration for their victory. He believed that Sigurd and his army was innocent and wanted to congratulate them. Quan did not know what to think but Sigurd was planning to go. Arvis and Sigurd had known each other since they were young children. Sigurd was there for Arvis when his father committed suicide and his mother ran away. All alone he had no one. Sigurd was the nicest person Quan knew. They also attended Belhalla Academy together, their friendship thriving and growing stronger. Sigurd stood up for Arvis when he was picked on by other knights and never once judged him. Quan and Eldigan were always wary of Arvis, he was known to set people on fire. The reasons were justified but Quan still made sure to take care around him.

On the way back through the Yied desert was where things went awry. They stood no chance in the desert on horseback and Ethlyn had her three-year-old daughter Altena with her. Quan had not realized that his wife had brought their daughter. In the distance they saw Thracian Dragon Knights. The Thracian’s were known for the long-lasting hatred for Leonster, wanting to conquer the Manster District for themselves. The Thracians were greedy and violent, the most barbaric of peoples. The knights were rapidly approaching, giving them almost no time at all to react. Quan quickly turned to Finn. “Finn! Take Leif and go back to Leonster! It’s safest there go!” Finn in a hurry left Quan and Ethlyn. She tried going after Finn, but it was already too late, the dragons had them surrounded. Their massive heavy wings beating blew up the sand, creating a sandstorm around them. Neither Quan nor Ethlyn had any sort of visibility, clearly outnumbered and outmatched. Quan used his arm to cover his eyes, trying to lock on to at least one target.

King Travant was leading them and laughed, seeing how pathetic they were and how useless they would be here. “Hand over the Gaybolg!”

Travant motioned for his knights to attack and bring him the weapon. Being attacked from all sides and adding the poor visibility Quan stood no chance. Quan attempted to fight back the knights. He was only able to hold them off for so long. While Quan was distracted fighting the knights, other remaining knights went after Ethlyn.

“Quan!” Ethlyn cried, seeing her husband get stabbed. She was even more outmatched, prioritizing her daughter’s safety. She blocked the first attack with her sword but another one came from behind, knocking her off her horse. Altena screamed. Distracted by her screaming daughter, the other knights swiftly took care of her as well.

Quan collapsed on the ground, his head hitting it harshly. His vision blurred and his body felt numb. Travant approached him with a confidant stride, snatching up the Gaybolg, holding it above his head triumphantly. He stared down at their unconscious bodies, a cruel smile on his face. Their blood soaked the pale sand, gaping wounds showing on their bodies. He was about to jab them with his spear Gungnir but suddenly noticed the cry of a little girl. Left by the bag Ethlyn was holding was a small girl. Travant thought ahead. He could raise this girl as his own and have her fight for him using the Gaybolg. Travant himself, could not wield it not being of Njorun blood. He scoffed at Ethlyn and Quan’s bodies before taking his army and descending to the skies, returning to Thracia.


 

When Sigurd and his army left for Belhalla they noticed Quan and Ethlyn hadn’t met up with them and became very worried. Lewyn looked up to the sky. “The wind…It’s mourning…” Right then Sigurd knew he had to listen to Lewyn and what the wind was telling him. He turned to Oifey and Shannan who jumped, not liking the look on Sigurd’s face. He handed Shannan Seliph, who gasped, understanding what Sigurd was going to do. “Papa…” Seliph cried, reaching his chubby little hands out. Sigurd held it and smiled sadly at him.

“Sigurd no!” Shannan tried protesting. Oifey started crying.

“It will be only for precautions. To ensure the children’s safety.” Sigurd said, handing him two baby pouches with Ced and Lugh. Ayra nodded, understanding, giving Oifey her two children.

“No way Ayra!” Lex started.

“We stay together.” She was firm. He couldn’t say no.

That was when Adean made her choice as well. She kissed her husband Jamke, tears falling down her cheeks. “I will watch over our children, and Shannan and Oifey. Meet me afterwards okay?”

Jamke held her close, crying. “Adean…you know I love you…ever since I first laid eyes on you inside my brothers’ cell. Please, do not make this seem like our last goodbye…”

Lewyn and Sigurd said their last goodbyes to their children and Sigurd ruffled Shannan’s hair. “Now be good. Head to Issach where you will most likely be safe. Like Adean said, we will meet up with you guys there right after we finish the last of business.”

“I-I will…promise you’ll come back!” Shannan cried, knowing he had to stay strong, but Sigurd was just like a father to him and losing him was unthinkable.

“Of course, now you have to stay strong.” Sigurd patted his head.

“Yeah!!” Shannan had a new sense of resolve and they waved goodbye to Sigurd and the rest, heading in the opposite direction.

“You gave him a false sense of security…” Lewyn chastised.

“I…know…but if it keeps him moving…why is it so bad?”

Lewyn sighed, hating the way Sigurd thought at times. He could be so shortsighted.


 

Without the fear of losing their children they continued to Belhalla. Along the way in the desert they came across scattered dead bodies, Sigurd’s blood ran cold. He recognized those knights that went to protect his sister and Quan. Immediately they all went to check the bodies, no pulse, long cold. He found Ethlyn’s bag half buried in the sand but did not see his sister or Quan. There was so much carnage and bloodshed, decapitated bodies lying about, mostly concealed under the recent blow of sand it made Sigurd feel sick.

“This…might have been what the wind was warning us about…” Lewyn muttered.

Sigurd didn’t want to think about it. Too many good people had died here. His sister nowhere to be found. He stared blankly at the horrific scene before him, his heart pounding in his throat. All he could see was Ethlyn, smiling at him, encouraging him, Ethlyn, scared of thunderstorms at night, huddling close to him as he comforted her, taking her under their blanket fort, telling stories until they would fall sleep, Ethlyn, marrying Quan, so excited to wear her wedding dress, Ethlyn-

He felt a soft hand slide into his own. He jumped from the contact, frightened out of his reminiscent thoughts. Lewyn wore a grim expression, consoling him with his comforting touch, giving him a look that read ‘I’m here’. Sigurd squeezed his hand back, trying desperately to not break down. His best friend Quan, he could not lose him like he had lost Eldie. They knew each other as young children, first attending Belhalla Academy. They made a promise to always be there for each other, to stand by each other’s side. They were inseparable, Sigurd could not lose either of them. He did not realize he had started crying, his body shaking, threatening to collapse. “Where…wh-where is Altena?” Sigurd asked in a tiny voice, it cracked.

Lewyn threw his arms around Sigurd, holding his head against his chest tightly. All in that moment all at once Sigurd just broke, letting it all out. He sobbed against Lewyn’s chest, breaking down. Lewyn just held him, pressing his cheek against Sigurd’s head, rubbing his back. They did not know how much time had passed, how long they were standing there, unmoving. The rest of the army felt lost as well, not knowing what to do or say in this kind of situation. But just seeing their strong courageous leader broken down, broke all of their hearts.


It was nightfall when finally, Sigurd began calming down, unmoving against Lewyn’s chest still. Lewyn began humming the Silessian Lullaby to Sigurd, absentmindedly running his fingers through his short blue hair. More time passed by. The bugs came out in the desert at this time of night, buzzing in their ears. The humidity overwhelmingly unbearable, making their clothes stick to their skin and sand stick to that. Small creatures emerged from their holes, seeking their prey. Azelle had lit a fire with his fire magic and the army all sat around it solemnly. Quietly they spoke amongst themselves, telling each other their memories of Ethlyn and Quan. It made Azelle’s heart ache, knowing some of his dearest friends had lost their family. It made him think of his older brother, his last remaining family, back in Belhalla. As much as he feared him, he knew deep down that Arvis really did love him, just had a hard time expressing it. Sigurd had told him that back at the academy. Sigurd could tell how Arvis felt, understanding him pretty well. Azelle had no idea how he did it but did. Maybe it was because Sigurd had such a great people person personality. He could make anyone into an ally and proved that during the war. After all, Ayra was their enemy at first but Sigurd could tell that she was different and saved her along with her little cousin Shannan. Grannvale was enemies of Issach, they were at war with each other. Sigurd was so noble, a true natural born leader. He was the only reason they got this far in the war, stopped so many countries from leading by tyranny. Sigurd put an end to the peoples suffering, quelling all the conspirators. Everyone turned to Sigurd’s side and chose to stand behind him. Azelle was so glad his brother felt the same.

The next morning at the first sign of the sun in the sky they set off for the rest of the journey to Belhalla. Sigurd remained silent the whole rest of the trip, not a smile on his face. No one spoke, really. The silence was awkward, no one was used to it. There was always someone cracking a joke or two or were bickering about something. Not even Ayra and Lex bickered, or Azelle and Lex. It was far too uncomfortable, and they hoped to reach the capital soon. About a day and a half’s more trip it took when they finally caught sight of the main castle. It stood out with its tall white spires. The tips were a light green, reflecting off of the sun. The white tiles on the roof glistened brightly, flags blew in the fresh soft wind. Lewyn stopped before they reached the tall metal menacing gate leading into the capital.

“What’s the matter?” Erinys asked, stopping as well. It was her duty to protect him and stay by his side so that was what she would do. Naoise as her husband, stopped beside his wife.

“The winds…have become silent again…I have a very bad feeling. Keep your guards up.” He warned. Sigurd kept his gaze forward, facing on strong.

By the gate to greet them was Duke Arvis. He embraced Azelle tightly, but Sigurd could tell he was hiding something. There was definitely something off. It was the way Arvis set his face, the slight crease in his brow and his hair was not as neat as it usually was. He took much pride in his hair and appearance, doing beauty skin routines daily. Sigurd teased him about that during their days in the academy but Arvis just scoffed, claiming, “At least I will be the one appearing forever twenty.” Which by now, yes, he has proved that those skin care routines were definitely working. He didn’t look a day over twenty despite being past that.

He turned to look at them all, a look of fear evident in his eyes. “Do you need help unpacking? I’m sure your trip has been a long treacherous one.” Arvis said, keeping his gaze locked onto Sigurd.

Sigurd taking the hint, followed him past their group, standing beside the long brick wall, far enough back that no one would overhear them. “Sigurd listen to me very closely. I have been a great fool and was tricked, manipulated by Manfroy and for that I can never atone for…I should have killed him when I had the chance but-,” Arvis explained in a hushed whisper, completely breathless.

“Arvis, Arvis, breathe. Explain what has happened. Slowly. From the beginning.”

Arvis took a deep breath. “I have been greatly deceived. I fear…It is too late. I swore no harm would come to Manfroy or the Loptous Sect. But…I should have killed him. He has rallied all of his forces of dark sorcerers, all Loptous worshippers. It is far worse than I ever expected. I am no longer needed to him. I have fulfilled what he needed me for-I was such a fool.” Arvis slammed his fist into the brick wall, tearing open his skin. Sigurd grabbed his hand before he could damage himself further.

“What has happened?!”

“Deirdre…my…” Arvis squeezed his eyes shut, clenching his fists. He gritted his teeth together, looking positively disgusted with himself.

“What…?” Sigurd asked, leaning in closer to him.

“I-I can’t. You’ll condemn me you’ll!”

Never. You have been and always will be one of my best friends. There is nothing you could ever say or do that will change that. Manfroy’s plan?”

“Yes…He wanted to resurrect the Loptous Sect. Resurrect him. By…using my blood…and Deirdre’s…” Arvis said slowly, starting to cry.

What?! So…that must mean…” Sigurd slowly pieced it together.

“Yes Sigurd…My sister…the daughter of Cigyun my mother…I’m disgusting I’m-!”

Sigurd held him close, petting his hair. “No Arvis you aren’t. This seems to have been a plan put into motion a long time ago. I’m sure there was nothing you could have done. Look, we will take care of Manfroy-,”

“You’ll die!” Arvis cried, clutching Sigurd’s shoulders tightly. Sigurd could see the intense fear in his eyes. Just how powerful was Manfroy? Sigurd couldn’t let that man run rampant, resurrecting Loptous or any more of their crazy cult. That was beyond insanity.

“Then I will go down fighting for my just cause.” Sigurd said, determined, his will unbending.

Arvis looked downwards. “Then…afterwards if you are successful…I have one condition…”

“What is it?”

“Let me rule over all the nations. Under my leadership and rule I will build a world of peace, without conflict or suffering. For the good of the world…”

Sigurd looked unsure, scratching his head. “Well I kind of took care of all the Duke’s and King’s of the ruling nations so…?”

“Exactly. They are all gone but me. There is also you…but if you try standing in my way of building a peaceful world, of ending inequity for all-,” Arvis warned, fire lighting on his palm, showing him just how serious he was. Sigurd raised his arms in surrender.

“Okay, okay Arvis calm down! I see no reason why you can’t. But what about King Azmur?”

“He…has passed…his time came, and he passed the crown onto me.”

“Then it is rightfully yours. I will not take that from you. I married Lewyn by the way. So, I will be living in Silesse by his side.”

“Fair enough. I’m sorry Sigurd but I cannot help you in this battle…” Arvis said regretfully.

“Don’t worry. We can handle this. Stay hidden where it is safe.” Sigurd told him. Arvis felt so relieved, not having told anyone this yet. He still felt very responsible for the chaos that was about to ensue. He felt like he should still pay for his crimes. He slid to the ground, burying his face in his hands.

Sigurd reported back to his group and briefly filled them in. They continued to give him their support, staying by his side to fight what would be their final battle.


 

Chapter Text


Sigurd lead his army through the gates into the capital Belhalla. Inside was already a battle zone. All the civilians were fleeing for their lives as Manfroy’s dark sorcerers struck them down by their powerful dark magic. They screamed as the dark purple flames struck them, rendering their bodies spasming on the ground, bleeding from their eyes, nose, ears, and mouth. Sigurd was horrified, never seeing this kind of magic before. Something else caught his attention, running around that was far worse and far more fearsome.

 

It was completely black and vaguely human, six feet tall, hunched over. Its arms were longer than its gangly body with fearsome sharp claws curved inwards. Its legs were bent so its body was more to the ground, resembling an animal more than a human. It had no face, only a black hood covering its head and gleaming red eyes like small orbs. It twisted its head around 360 degrees, staring right at Sigurd, targeting him. He drew Tyrfing, attacking it head on. It was inhumanly fast, dodging his swings with ease, slashing his side with its grewsome claws. While the adrenaline was pumping through his veins, he vaguely felt it. Ayra and Lex aided him immediately, swinging their sword and axe at it. Ayra landed a clean blow at its torso, blackish purple smoke spewing from the wound into the air, swirling around them. Sigurd watched with awe as the wound bubbled, sealing up as if it was never harmed.

 

“What the hell?!” Ayra yelled, bracing herself.

 

Lex shielded her with his axe Helswath as the creature struck at them. Helswath was big enough that it didn’t land the hit and Lex retaliated, his axe coming down on its head, splitting its skull open and cutting all the way down its torso. It released an ear screeching squeal, the same blackish purple color goo dripping out from the lethal blow Lex dealt. They panted, all staring down at the creature, laying dead torn open on the ground.

 

“The fricken hell was that?!” Lex exclaimed, wiping the goo off of his hands onto his thick black pants.

 

“Why was it my axe could harm it but Ayra’s sword couldn’t?” Lex asked them. They all remained silent, wondering the exact same thing.

 

Behind them they heard a different voice respond. “I have tried digging up as much research as I could into these creatures and their origin.”

 

Sigurd turned to see Arvis, who said he would not participate in this battle. “Arvis! But you said-,”

 

“Yes, I know what I said. But I cannot show cowardice when my people are out here being slaughtered like cattle.” He spoke with venom. “I know this. It is some very ancient dark magic that was founded by Loptous. These creatures seem to be some sort of necromancy. Only holy weapons are able to harm them, therefore kill them. Dark sorcerers that are powerful enough seem to be able to successfully perform such magic, forfeiting their soul in the process, using that as the lifeforce for the creature. It does not seem to have any mind, only seeking to destroy every life form. Its senses are sharper than any I have ever seen. I cannot let you handle my mess alone. It is my fault that this is happening, and I intend to take full responsibility.” Arvis said.

 

Sigurd patted Arvis’ shoulder. “Glad to have you with us buddy! Welcome aboard!”

 

Arvis smirked, quite amused, laughing and shaking his head like Sigurd was the most ridiculous person around. “What are we…back at the academy? I haven’t heard you talk like that since our senior year there!”

 

Sigurd laughed along with him, wrapping an arm around his shoulders, giving him a half hug. “I say we devise a quick plan. Okay listen up everyone!” Sigurd stepped up on the fountain in the center square, his hands on his hips, facing his army. “Since Arvis has said the only way to defeat those monsters is by using a holy weapon we need to split up! One holy weapon wilder per group! Belhalla is a massive place ya hear? It’s easy to get lost and we need to cover as much ground as we can in the shortest amount of time, saving as many people as we can! With our numbers we can split up into five groups! Group one will be Lachesis, Alec, and me, we will be taking the inside of the castle. Group two will be Erinys and Naoise who will go with Lewyn, taking the courtyard in the back! Group three, Ayra, Sylvia with Lex, taking the center square here! Group four, Jamke, Chulainn with Brigid, taking to the streets to round up as many civilians as you can! And lastly group five, Azelle and Tailtiu who will go with Arvis, also take to the streets! Remember, only holy weapons can harm those creatures!”

 

Everyone gave a firm nod, agreeing with Sigurd’s course of action. The five groups paired up with their leader, some not so willingly. Sylvia threw a fit, hating that she would be separated from her husband Alec.

 

“That’s totally no fair! No fair!” She stomped her foot on the ground, glaring up at Sigurd.

 

“Look Sylvia, I know how you feel. But right now, I need you to help Ayra and Lex okay? I must be separated from my husband too, so I understand. But we have to find and kill all those evil sorcerers threatening humanity. If they aren’t stopped…we will be in eternal war.” He put his hand on her shoulder reasurringly.

 

“Okay fiiine.” She groaned, rolling her eyes. She stood on her tip toes, kissing Alec goodbye. “Now you be good!” She told him.

 

“If you are~ I will have something s-p-e-c-i-a-l for youuu~!” She swayed her hips, winking at him. He smiled, becoming fired up, fist pumping the air.

 

“Alright! Gotta go kill all those baddies for my wife!”

 

Sylvia giggled, waving goodbye flirtatiously.

 

Sigurd hugged Lewyn tightly, squeezing him so tightly he knew that he might suffocate him. He didn’t want to let him go, also afraid, it could be his last. Lewyn gently hugged Sigurd back, petting his hair.

 

“I know Sigurd…I know…” He whispered.

 

Sigurd looked into his eyes, already becoming teary eyed and kissed him deeply and passionately, treating it as if it would be their last. Lewyn hooked his arms around Sigurd’s neck, kissing him back with just as much force. Sigurd tangled his fingers into Lewyn’s long hair, pulling on it slightly. Lewyn gasped and Sigurd took the opportunity to stick his tongue into his mouth. Lewyn leaned against Sigurd’s body, moaning into his mouth.

 

Everyone who was still present gawked. Lex coughed roughly. Ayra fought off some soldiers that fought for Manfroy. Lex turned his attention from Sigurd, helping his wife. Sylvia distracted them with her sex appeal then stabbed them with her daggers. “Sigurd not the time! Reconvene with Lewyn after we’re all done here!” Lex shouted over his shoulder. Sigurd reluctantly pulled away from Lewyn, staring at each other breathlessly. Both of their faces were flushed, aching for more.

 

Lewyn gave him a mischievous smile. “How about I give you something special afterwards hm~?” Lewyn looked at him seductively and Sigurd unconsciously licked his lips. Lewyn giggled, waving bye, leaving with his group.

 

Sigurd felt invigorated, motioning to his group to move out. They charged out towards the castle and all Sigurd could do was hope for Manfroy to be there so he could finish him off for good. Sigurd prayed this would all end well for his final battle, freeing the world from his evil forever. Today, it all ended here.


 

Chapter Text


They stormed the castle, immediately getting bombarded by Velthomer mages and soldiers. There were not as many of the Loptous Sect or those necromantic creatures. Sigurd, Alec, and Lachesis all fought with everything they had. The castle was in shambles, torn up banners, the rugs bloodied and dead bodies laying about. The fresh red blood stained the pristine white tile floors, smearing across it as some dying bodies tried moving. Sigurd still could not feel his previous wound and did not know how bad it actually was. Considering no one had brought it up he figured, not that bad.

The three of them stayed together, back to back as they fought off as many that came at them. Lachesis stayed more to the back to attack any of the ones lagging behind. Sigurd’s blood was pumping, the adrenaline running through his veins. He cleanly ran Tyrfing through a soldier that tried landing a hit on Lachesis. She panted, sweating terribly. “Thank you…”

They moved quickly through the castle, clearing out as many enemies as they could. Sigurd made sure they were not separated. When they reached a narrow hallway one of those creatures came charging out of a room, tossing a dead body from its mouth. It slammed against a wall nearby them, making Lachesis scream. Sigurd made sure to stand guard in front of his friends, attacking it. It moved almost like liquid, sliding to the floor and scurrying on all fours like an animal. Sigurd whirled around trying to keep up with it and aim correctly. He brought his sword down hard, but it had already moved from that spot, Sigurd’s sword only managed to slice wallpaper off the wall. Alec remained in front of Lachesis, protecting her. She screamed again, but didn’t back down, already committed to killing it.

“You can’t harm it! Just stay out of the way! No, second thought. We already cleared half the castle! Go clear the rest! I will meet up with you guys after I finish dealing with this!” Sigurd ordered them. They looked reluctant but nodded, hurrying to the other side of the castle they hadn’t cleared yet. Sigurd raised his sword again, attacking the creature who roared, leaping at him. It landed against his chest, digging its claws into him and slammed him onto the floor, lashing its fangs at him. He kept it away, pushing it back with his blade. He gritted his teeth, not expecting it to be this strong. It took a lot of effort, but he finally had pushed it far enough back that he took his sword out from under it and stabbed it through its chest. It screeched, thrashing about and Sigurd quickly got up, not letting it escape, decapitating it. He stood there panting and trying to catch his breath. He hoped there weren’t that many of these left.


 

Chapter Text


Lewyn sprinted around the castle to the back courtyard. It was unsettlingly desolate save for one man, standing proudly from a high perch, watching all the chaos and madness unfold right before him. That dark blood red cloak and shiteating grin Lewyn would recognize anywhere. Manfroy…He thought, the wind screaming to him about the immense danger he was in. This man is the one who caused this all. He was the one controlling the Loptous Sect, controlling the necromantic beasts. Lewyn could not let anyone down, let any more die. This had to end here and now. Slowly and confidently he approached Manfroy, Forseti in hand. He couldn’t drag Erinys or her husband Naoise into this. He turned to them with a stern expression.

“No matter what happens. No matter what you hear. Do not turn around. Keep the enemies back away from me while I deal with Manfroy.”

Erinys gasped, her hands flying to her mouth, tears filling her eyes. “But my Prince!! I-I mean my King!! My Lord!!”

He hugged her briefly and tightly. “Erinys my dear...I am counting on you understand? If you let me down or fail me-,”

“No!! Never!!” She raised her spear, prepared for immediate combat.

Lewyn smiled, proud of her and how far she has come. “That’s my girl.” He kissed her on her cheek, and she tried holding back those tears, gripping her spear tightly. Naoise gripped Lewyn’s shoulder and nodded, encouraging him. “You watch over Erinys now, you hear?” He told him. Lewyn was not at all confidant he would be able to take down Manfroy or even make it out of this alive. But he had to try. He couldn’t run away like a coward anymore. Those days had ended.

He quickly walked over to Manfroy and the dark sorcerer laughed. “Oh, it’s you. Divine wielder of Forseti! I have been waiting for you! You will make the perfect sacrifice to my dark god Loptous! Now, you think you are any match for me?!” Manfroy cast a dark magic spell at Lewyn who easily reflected it with his wind magic. He summoned all the strength of Forseti, a whirlwind swirling around him. He controlled it and projected it at Manfroy. The dark sorcerer was thrown backwards, landing on his back. Lewyn smirked, conjuring up another wind spell.

Manfroy scowled. His magic growing ever stronger. “Do you know why I am doing this? To wipe out the remainders of the people you all consider “holy men of light”! Do you know what they have done? When I was but a child living with my family under the Yied Shrine we were told to never go outside. But one day we all did and what awaited us were them. The people of the village who actively persecuted us Loptous worshippers! They said, “We will tie up and burn your children alive just as you did to ours” Of course, my parents were not spared either. I watched as we all were lit aflame, watched as they all burned and died. I still do not know how I managed to escape. But ever since then I swore to bring about redemption upon this world! For Lord Loptous! We must build our world of repose once again!”

As Manfroy shouted, the wind howled in Lewyn’s ears. He closed his eyes, clutching his heart. He could feel such deep sorrow, hatred, resentment…As if it were his own and began crying.

“If that brought you such pain and sorrow! Why repeat it?!” Lewyn demanded.

Manfroy simply laughed. “The same sorrow will only be repeated…so why not just repeat it all? The truth will not heal my wounds. There is no other way but to continue the cycle.” Manfroy said.

Lewyn just stared at him, wide eyed and teary eyed. Why…no…This…cannot happen! I will not let it! But…how can I stop it…Lewyn fell to his knees, couldn’t stop himself from crying. While Lewyn was in a vulnerable weakened state Manfroy released the magic, he was conjuring up and it blasted into Lewyn, slamming right into his chest. He flew through the air and landed onto the cobblestones with a sickening thud. Pain resonated throughout his body, his vision becoming hazy. He focused on breathing, surprised he still could after receiving a blow like that.

“Just as I would expect from a decendant of Forseti.” Manfroy said, slowly stalking up to him. “You still draw breath after receiving my attack. But really…what a kind person you are.” He said mockingly. “You were crying. For me perhaps? As a token of my gratitude…Allow me to put you out of your misery…” Manfroy lifted his hand over Lewyn, a dark purple energy swirling around him and het let it loose at point blank range, tearing open Lewyn’s chest. He gasped, lying there in a dark pool of his own blood, his body spasming. He choked on his own blood, trying desperately to roll over onto his stomach. No! I can’t die here! There is still so much more to do! I cannot leave this crooked world the way it is! I cannot leave Sigurd alone! Or Ced, or Seliph, or Lugh! To grow up without one of their fathers! All the ones I love! I-Promised Sigurd-I would see him again! He focused desperately on those thoughts, trying to coherently piece them together.

Already his hearing was fading out, sounds becoming more distant. But he could have sworn he heard frantic running footsteps and despite his body already becoming numb and losing feeling, he felt his body be lifted up, cold wet tears falling onto his face. Each breath was becoming harder and harder to take. “Lew-n” He heard. Sigurd maybe? Lewyn’s hand was shaky as he tried putting all his force and willpower into lifting it, it rested on Sigurd’ cheek, smearing blood onto it. That was definitely his well-defined jaw, Lewyn smirked, feeling so very tired.

“Sig…rd.” He barely gasped out.

“Lewyn please! Stay with me! You’ll! You’ll be alright!” Sigurd was fooling himself. Lewyn knew very well he was dying, that there was no way he survived getting hit by Manfroy’s magic twice.

“Love…you…” Lewyn just barely forced himself to gasp before his hand fell to his side, closing his eyes for the final time. Sigurd threw his head back and screamed, you could just hear all the sorrow and anguish in that one scream. He clutched his body closely, his blood soaking into Sigurd’s clothes. He cradled him, rocking back and forth.

Erinys felt the disconnect from Lewyn and feared to turn around, hearing Sigurd’s cry told her everything she needed to know. She fell to her knees, dropping her spear. Naoise took her place, protecting her as he fought off the remainder enemies.

A bright blinding light emerged from Forseti that laid beside Lewyn’s body a brilliant winged being clothed in a glowing gold came forth. It blasted a very powerful holy magic spell at Manfroy, dispelling him from the area then it dimmed and disappeared back inside Forseti. They all blinked, wondering just what that was.

As they stood there, Sigurd glued to Lewyn’s body and Erinys and Naoise not knowing what the hell just happened or went on, her grief momentarily stunned into shock, the battle continued roaring in Belhalla.


 

 

Chapter Text


Lex wielding his scared axe Helswath with all the power he could muster, took down every enemy that came his way, with his wife Ayra by his side. She took out the smaller, weaker enemies, mostly foot soldiers, while he concentrated on the necromantic creatures. They were one hell a tough problem. But nothing he could not handle himself. Sylvia continued her dancing, alluring the human soldiers and mages with her sex appeal, showing off as much skin as she could without stripping. The human males gawked at her, stopping their fighting, nudging each other, snickering perversely. She approached them, strutting, keeping her alluring gaze on them and motioned for them to come closer with her finger. That was Ayra’s moment to sneak up behind them, swiftly decapitating them. Her sword was a holy sword, given to her by the lady in the lake that Lex swore was a goddess. It was the sharpest sword that could cut through practically anything with utter ease. Sylvia grimaced as the heads rolled on the ground.

“Ewww…” She whined, clinging behind Lex. “Gross! Lex!” She clung to him tighter while he was still in the process of dispatching his foes. She squealed when his axe came too close to her, striking the creature who roared, targeting Sylvia. Ayra shoved her out of the way, getting directly struck across her back. She fell to the ground, heaving. Blood dripped from her mouth and Lex tried not to panic, to keep it together. While it was distracted, he swiftly was able to take its head, turning the rest of the body to goo and smoke. Sylvia cried. “Oh, no! I’m so sorry! I had no idea!” She shifted from foot to foot, covering her mouth. Lex tried holding his anger inwards, his eyebrow twitching. Ayra had gotten hurt on her behalf because she wanted to mess around. As always, she never took anything seriously. It seriously pissed him the hell off.

“Why don’t you help instead of standing there?!” He snapped. He tore off his sleeve, wrapping it around her back but it wasn’t enough, she was still bleeding too heavily. Sylvia remained crying, not knowing what to do.

Lex resorted to cutting off an entire pant leg, providing enough material to appropriately cover the wound. He tied it tightly, using it like a tourniquet. She should be fine, but he had to get her some medical help ASAP. He picked her up, hating to leave the battle, to leave Sigurd and Azelle his best friend. But his wife was just as important-no…more important since they had children in Issach waiting for them. And Shannan, his nephew who expected to see his Auntie Ayra again. Lex quickly rushed out, Sylvia stared after them, not realizing what was going on, then hurried after them.

“Waaait! You can’t just leave meee!” She whined, catching up to Lex, skipping beside him, her pigtails swaying.

As long as she did not hinder him in any way, he did not care whether she came with or not. “Hang in there Ayra.” Lex said, kissing her forehead.


 

Chapter Text


It was beyond a horrific sight for Brigid, seeing all the civilians chased out of their houses, then promptly being run through by a sword or set on fire by their magic. Brigid aimed her holy bow Yewfelle, drew the string back and fired multiple arrows at the soldiers, dropping them all dead. Jamke and Chulainn rushed over to the surviving remaining civilians and helped them to safety. Brigid remained to check inside the ransacked houses. Inside was just as bad as outside. The tables were over turned, chairs lying broken on the ground, cabinets discarded of their contents, broken glass and sofas torn open. Brigid gingerly stepped around the glass and broken bottles, her feet crunching on some that couldn’t be avoided. It looked like a typhoon had hit inside the house. Those people that had done this were truly monsters. She thought, checking every nook and cranny to make sure no one was hiding. Checking inside the rooms next her stomach felt sick. It appeared like a family was hiding inside the room together and were all killed, lying together on the floor, their blood soaking into the floorboards. A mother, father, and a small child still holding their teddy bear. Brigid gripped her bow hard enough, if it were some normal bow, would have snapped. She picked up a torn-up blanket and carefully covered up the bodies with it and put her hands together in prayer, hoping their souls would find peace and happiness in the afterlife.

Exiting the house, she checked each and every one, the next just as bad as the first, no survivors were left. She wanted to kill these men that had done this, if she could even call them that. Those were no men, men kill each other in war, not target innocents that cannot even fight back. They were nothing but dogs. Brigid gritted her teeth, still gripping her bow all too hard. She made quick work, checking all the houses in this part of Belhalla. There was no luck, it was a complete and utter massacre. As she reached the end, coming to a dead end at a tall brick wall with houses on either side she stopped, hearing rapid footsteps approaching. She raised her bow, pulling it back, prepared to shoot when Jamke and Chulainn rounded the corner. Chulainn raised his ahnds and Jamke backed up quickly, startled.

“Woah, woah, woah honey!” Chulainn said.

Brigid sighed, lowering her bow. “Your report?” She asked.

“No survivors ma’am. But we did help the ones that had already escaped their houses and were trying to flee. We escorted them out of the capital and told them to make for the Yied.” Jamke said.

“Also, the ones that tried fleeing were found, hiding in boxes and barrels in some alleyways. I was able to help the children, carried them to safety.” Chulainn added. Brigid sighed, running her hand through her long golden hair. At least all was not lost. She was relieved to know some had survived.

“Over there!” A man with a gruff voice shouted, a small army came charging towards them. Chlainn took the front while Brigid and Jamke stood back to fire their bows. Thankfully they were only foot soldiers, as they were about to fire, a large beast charged through their ranks, ripping and tearing apart their bodies as it did so. Their screams of agony and terror, one Brigid would never forget.

It was one of those necromantic creatures, she noted. “You can’t harm it!” She shouted, already firing Yewfelle. Her arrows of divine light hitting it, burning holes into its flesh where the arrows imbedded.

“And Adean would never forgive me if I let something bad happen to her precious sister.” Jamke added, shooting the creature anyway.

Chulainn was determined as well, slashing at the enemy. It easily knocked him aside, slamming him into the brick wall, rendering him unconscious. “Tch. Damn it.” Jamke said.

Brigid knew she was stuck with two stubborn men and all she could do was protect them the best she could. Without someone protecting her she found it very hard to get in any more shots with her bow. She needed distance. The creature moved in quickly, aiming for her. Holding an arrow, she intended to stab it as it grew closer.

Its jaws were opened wide, revealing razor sharp multiple rows of shark-like teeth. It was like something out of those horror novels, she used to be fond of as a child. She closed her eyes tightly, was prepared to at least go down with a fight, even if it was no where close to being fair. Jamke stayed by her side stubbornly, she knew even if she yelled at him, he would refuse to listen. Damn men.

As she was prepared to fight for her life, her prayers were answered. The creature was set on fire, becoming a blazing inferno. The flames shot sky high into a point, almost appearing as a flaming sword. It howled as it was burnt to cinders. Nothing was left of it. Such power…! Brigid thought, knowing immediately that was the power of a holy weapon. On the other side of the alleyway stood Duke Arvis with Azelle and Tailtiu. She ran over to Brigid, hugging her. Brigid was still not used to being accepted so easily, having once been a merciless pirate. But Tailtiu was so soft and kind hearted that she accepted almost everyone.

Arvis lowered Valflame then went to check on Chulainn. He merely sustained some head damage. “He’ll live.” Arvis said.

“Thank you…” Brigid breathed, sucking in a deep breath. “I’m glad you are on our side” She said. She couldn’t even begin to imagine having Arvis as an enemy with his power he got from Valflame. That hellfire was beyond over powered, as if it was fire coming straight from Salamander the fire god himself. Arvis might as well be a god with that kind of power.

Arvis chuckled, smiling. Azelle still looked nervous. “Brother…”

“As the leader of the new world of course I will protect my people. I cannot abandon them to be slaughtered like cattle. You as well, are my beloved vassals.”

“Excuse me?!” Brigid stood tall and upright with her hands on her hips, staring defiantly into Arvis’ intimidating eyes. He did not back down either, staring at her.

“C’mon Arvis…” Azelle complained, tugging his big brothers’ sleeve. “Not everyone will become your vassals…”

“As the ruler of all-,” Arvis started, opening his arms up wide, to show the world was his.

Brigid pulled Arvis’ cheek, her patience wearing thin. She wore an annoyed smirk, her eyebrow twitching. “Now, you listen here. You may think you are some hot shot but guess what? You aren’t. Like hell I’d let some fancy pants tell me what to do!”

Arvis glared at her, a full-blown fight about to ensue. Tailtiu and Azelle both grabbed them, pulling them away from each other, before things turned violent. “Look! We are all on the same side here! Let’s not fight each other and focus on the real enemy!” Tailtiu said. Reluctantly Arvis and Brigid agreed, still glaring at each other.

Together as a large group they scouted out the rest of the villages in Belhalla. Coming to a fork in the road they split up into two separate groups again, planning to meet Sigurd inside the castle afterwards. Brigid sure hoped everything was going alright with the others, praying for the least amount of casualties.


 

Chapter Text


Arvis obliterated every enemy that was in sight, soldier, mage, or one of those necromantic creatures. Striding down the streets he extended his arm, casting fire magic. Azelle was able to keep up, almost as well. His fire magic was much weaker not having a holy weapon, but Arvis was still very impressed with his little brother. This was almost too easy. Arvis thought, chuckling. He had far too much pride and an extremely high ego. He saw all others as far beneath him, seeing himself as the more superior being. There was none who could stop him, this Arvis believed.

The enemies cried in agony as they were burnt to ash. The creatures wailing just as much, Arvis’ hellfire consuming all. Azelle and Tailtiu were on his heels, taking out whatever they could that Arvis did not already. There was movement above him on top of one of the houses. Hearing footsteps and the rustling of clothes Arvis turned around then craned his neck up, seeing a small group of Loptyrian’s, led by Manfroy front and center. “You have fulfilled your duty. But I am afraid I have no more use for you. Your Fjalar blood runs too strong through you, what a shame.” Manfroy said, raising his hand. A dark purplish-blue circle appeared around Manfroy, encircling his body with its aura, gathering at his hand. Arvis’ eyes widened, and he did not have enough time to react, having not foreseen this and was too careless. “And the others are just as useless. Kill them.” Manfroy said, pointing to Azelle and Tailtiu.

The other mages gathered their magic energy as well, aiming for Tailtiu and Azelle. He held her close, already beginning to cast his fire spell. The Loptyrian’s were too prepared and far too powerful, greatly outnumbering them. The minor Loptyrian’s shot the spells at Azelle and Tailtiu. Arvis, as Azelle’s big brother who always swore to protect him, jumped in the way, taking the brunt of the spell. The dark magic tore through his black coat, scorching his skin with its blaze. He had his arms spread out, completely shielding the two of them. Azelle stared in horror, not able to comprehend what just took place. Manfroy cackled, his spell just about finished charging. Arvis saw red, his vision blurry. Must protect Azelle, Tailtiu. Can’t, die. Arvis thought, his legs shaking. Hundreds of lacerations were across his back from the dark magic, having torn into his skin like a jagged object. He was glad to be facing towards Azelle, so he did not have to see the damage dealt.

Suddenly Azelle and Tailtiu were looking past Arvis’ head, upwards towards the sky. He did not have the energy or willpower to look but did wonder what made their eyes widen like that. It was as if they saw something not of this world.

A dark blue and black portal appeared in the sky, swirling about like a wormhole and a tall slender man with a lithe build came flying out, his arm outstretched. He held tightly a green book and a green aura began surrounding him. He quickly cast an extremely powerful wind spell, creating a tornado on the roof where the Loptyrian’s stood. Manfroy clicked his tongue and teleported out of there before he could get hit. The young man’s eyes glowed a bright green, he levitated off of the ground, the winds swirling around him. His long purple striped scarf flapped in the gust of wind. His long green hair in a braid over his shoulder being blown. His overall appearance made him look ethereal. Azelle and Tailtiu both briefly thought it was Lewyn, but this young man wore a purple tunic and scarf and his face was a lot softer and more feminine. A large green silhouette of a dragon appeared from his body, stretching its wings and power unlike any they have ever seen obliterated the Loptyrian’s. It tore them limb from limb, leaving a bloody mess in its wake.

Slowly he levitated back to the ground, landing behind Arvis. He wrapped his arms around him, catching him as he collapsed. Arvis was unconscious so he gathered him up in his arms, not caring about the bloody mess he would leave on his pristine expensive clothes. “Wh-what…?” Tailtiu started. The young man turned to her.

“Not now. I will explain later. Right now, we need Arvis to get immediate medical attention or he will die.” The book he previously used was tucked in his white belt around his waist and Azelle stared at it, trying to make out what tome it was he used that caused such…power. It was almost as if it were the direct power from a god. Briefly Azelle mistook it for Forseti, having a similar appearance, but he knew that wasn’t right. There was only one of each holy weapon and Lewyn had Forseti on him. Azelle would never question again, whether or not Arvis loved him and cared for him. He proved himself right then against those mages. Azelle did not want to lose his brother, his heart pounding. He never told him he loved him. He never apologized for how he treated him.

“Can I at least have your name so I can thank you?” Azelle asked. The young man did not turn around, staring down at the cobblestone path.

“You may call me…Sety.” He said.

For…seti? Azelle thought. Maybe he really was a god. In that case…he would have a tome like Forseti or even Forseti itself. Azelle had so many questions but chased after him into the castle, trying to keep up and not get left behind.


 

Chapter Text


Taking temporary shelter inside Belhalla castle, Sety laid Arvis down on a semi salvageable red and gold rug, it had seen better days, now battle torn and caked in blood. Sety made quick work of his wounds, his hands moving with complete expertise, leaving Azelle and Tailtiu gaping at him, impressed. Sety held out his hand, waiting to be handed medical supplied. Azelle blinked before realizing his implications, rushing off to grab supplies from a shelf. There wasn’t much but it would have to do. Sety sutured up his many wounds, cleaning them while he went. From the immense blood lose, Azelle feared his brother would not make it. Without looking up, still avidly tending to Arvis Sety responded to the boy behind him.

“Yes, he will most assuredly make it, fear not. Or I would have had no reason to even come here…” He muttered. That just left Azelle and Tailtiu with more questions than before. It only took him relatively an hour before he finished, standing up.

“Go out back. Sigurd will need you two.” He said as if he already had insight to what took place.

They blinked, staring as if they wanted to say something before nodding and hurrying off. Sety sighed, looking down at Arvis who lay unconscious. “You better make it, or I will drag you out of Hell myself…” He shook his head.


Azelle and Tailtiu rushed out back like Sety said to and found a sight they were not expecting and Azelle felt sick. Taitiu gasped, burying her face in Azelle’s chest. They were aware of the possibility that not all of them would make it in this war but never actually believed it or were even prepared to face it. So, when they say Sigurd clutching Lewyn’s mangled body they could do nothing but stare in horror. Ethlyn, Quan, Altena, now Lewyn. All they could see is the bard smiling at everyone, lifting their spirits with his playful joyous music, grabbing the grumpy ones and serious ones to dance. After he would cheer them up, he always would dance with Sigurd, the both of them grinning at one another with such joy. Lewyn would always make people smile, cheer them up, encourage them. Lewyn was always just so, pleasant. No one hated him, it was the exact opposite, everyone loved him. Even the people of Silesse. They praised their King. They lifted him up high on a pedestal. He had captured everyone’s hearts and things would never be the same without him.

Azelle couldn’t move. His legs wouldn’t let him. His whole body felt cold and numb and before he noticed, he was already crying. He remembered Lewyn all those times, trying to get him to realize his feelings for Tailtiu. He was always mischievous about it, but it was all in good nature. He tried setting them up many times, but it all resulted in failure in one way or another. But Lewyn never gave up. He supported Azelle’s happiness and only wanted the best for him. He even schemed with Lex on multiple occasions to set up Azelle with Tailtiu. Those always bombed the hardest. They all got a good laugh in the end. Tailtiu was smart and caught on what the guys were trying to do and ended up asking Azelle herself. She was the one who confessed and Azelle, knowing how he felt by then, confessed too. That never would have happened if it wasn’t for Lewyn and his divine intervention. Azelle even named Lewyn the godfather of Arthur and Tinny. His legs shook and he fell to the ground, crying harder. Lewyn would never watch his own children grow up. And the gods gifted him with children no less! This was so wrong, this was never supposed to happen. Sigurd was now widowed, no husband and had to raise his children alone. Azelle would make sure to be there for him, to help him as he needed it. He would not abandon his friend.


Erinys was hugging Sigurd, Naoise did not know how to deal with this, too shocked to say anything. He did not know Lewyn very well but knew him to be precious to his wife Erinys. And he was always so bright to be around. He was overall very pleasant. Erinys had finally gotten her prince back, her King and now he was just taken from them again, this time for good. She blamed herself, she shouldn’t have listened to him, she should have been by his side to protect him like her duty was to do. She failed. She failed as an Angelic Knight of Silesse. She failed as his friend. She sobbed, not knowing how she could go on. There was no one to serve. Sigurd was only Silessian royalty by marriage. Now that Lewyn was dead, he would not get to keep the throne. One of Lewyn’s children though, would be heir to the throne. But they were just infants. Erinys foresaw Silesse descending into darkness once more.


Sigurd did not want to let go of Lewyn, to accept his beautiful graceful bard to be gone. He couldn’t. Just that morning they were together, smiling and kissing, reassuring each other that they would see each other again. Sigurd blamed himself. He never should have let his husband go off to war alone. He should have remained by his side like a spouse should always do. They should have been fighting together not separately. If he were there Lewyn wouldn’t be dead. If he were there, he would still have him in his arms, alive, warm. Sigurd could not accept this, would not accept this. “Lewyn…wake up…” He said hoarsely, gently rubbing his soft cold cheek. With his eyes closed Sigurd could just see him sleeping. Just like he saw every night and woke up to every morning. Sigurd was an early riser but Lewyn liked his sleep. “Lewyn…” Sigurd said again.

Erinys cried more. “Sigurd, please, stop…” She whispered, begged.

“No! Lewyn is not gone!” Sigurd yelled, holding him closer.

“Sigurd…I understand this is very hard…But you can’t hold on to him forever. You have to let him go.” Naoise tried saying, laying his hand on his shoulder.

Sigurd jerked away from him. “No! It’s you who doesn’t understand! Lewyn…he! He is right here!” Sigurd looked broken, sounded broken. It just made it all the more, worse.


Eventually the rest of their group met up with them, witnessing the horrific sight before them.  “By the gods…” Brigid breathed, her hand raising over her chest.

“This…is a joke?” Jamke said, not wanting to believe it either.

Chulainn bowed his head in prayer.

They all remembered Lewyn like the rest did. He was a delight to be around, one of the nicest, most caring individuals. There was no way the gods would be so cruel as to take him from the world. “He was just too good for the world…” Brigid said, leaning against Chulainn. She wanted to cry but the tears would not come.


Lachesis and Alec were the last to join up, having taken out the rest of the enemies inside the castle. Lachesis gasped, her hands flying to cover her mouth. She knew what it was like to lose the one you loved the most, having lost her dear Eldie. She wanted to die, she tried dying, she wouldn’t eat, refused to go outside. It was hell, especially for her friends having to see her like that, just slowly degrading. Alec did not know how to react, staring in silence.


Lex, Ayra, and Sylvia were not present so the ones not thinking about Lewyn wondered if something bad could have happened to them too. “I’ll go look for them.” Jamke volunteered. Alec went with him, worried for his wife Sylvia.

Erinys gathered herself, standing upright. “We…must take our King back to Silesse…he deserves to be buried there…”

“I will wait for the others to get back and will inform them.” Brigid said. They agreed to the plan, most of the group splitting up to head to Silesse first for the funeral.


Time felt like it was at a standstill for Sigurd, refusing to let go of Lewyn still while on the boat, heading to Silesse. It was a long journey through the dangerous frozen waters of Silesse but finally they made it there and Sigurd was forced to pick up Lewyn once more. He was brought before Queen Rahna and she screamed, crying terribly. Her heart broke, leaving her in a deathly ill state. Erinys stayed by her side to care for her. Sigurd along with the other Angelic Knights of Silesse started preparing the funeral rites. Sigurd was not used to Silessian custom, and culture, never participating in one before. He was hoping to experience one by Lewyn’s side, together. Not experiencing one for Lewyn.

First the Angelic Knights washed Lewyn’s hands and feet in water and fragrant perfumes. Then they washed his hair, brushing it out to look as perfect as when he was living. Finally, they clothed him in a long white silk robe, made from the finest of materials. After that was on him, they adorned him with many jewelries. The last final step, they shrouded him in a white veil. He looked stunning, positively breathtaking and beautiful. Which made Sigurd believe even more, he couldn’t be dead. There was no way. He was right there, as beautiful as ever. He was sleeping. He couldn’t be dead. Sigurd was in denial. A firm, hardcore denial. No one could make him accept or believe otherwise.

Lewyn was lifted up and put in a Phra Kot Thong Yai. It was the highest ranking Kot, reserved for only the King and the highest-ranking royal family members. It was just like a coffin just far more elaborate, Sigurd noticed, comparing it to Grannvalian funerary customs. It was more like a small house, made of gold and decorated with many intricate designs. The Kot was taken to the throne hall to remain for 100 days, for the people to mourn and continue their daily rites. Sigurd’s friends let him mourn, he stayed on the ground in front of the Kot, crying. Around him incense was burned.

Queen Rahna passed away a week later, her overwhelming grief taking her. Sigurd felt as if he would wither away too and die. He wanted to join Lewyn, to not be left alone, to live without him. His shoulders shook, having cried almost endlessly for a week, there was no tears left, yet his body wracked with incomprehensible sorrow. It shook as if he were still crying, but no tears would come. He sobbed, falling over onto the floor, staring blankly at the Kot that held his husband. My Lewyn…My precious bard…Sigurd thought hopelessly. He could see Lewyn’s smile, hear his music, see him dancing around, playing with his wind Sylphs, he could just…see him. Having spent every day with him ever since that day he met him in Agustria. Lewyn was his everything, his love, his sun, his sanctuary. Now, Lewyn was gone. And Sigurd’s world turned dark.


 

Chapter Text


Darkness. There was only darkness.

Death. That was what he awaited.

Emptiness. There was nothing left.

On, and on, and on, a never-ending cycle.

Darkness, Death, Emptiness.

Would it ever end?

No.

Light was gone.

Life has ended.

Love, no more.


 

 

Everyone felt it. No one knew what to say. Of course, they all loved him, but he was not how they had ever seen him. He was no longer, bright, positive, or cheerful. They all debated what to do, what to say. No one could come up with anything. Whenever someone got the nerve to, he just seemed to look worse, and the retreated, back to not knowing what to do. It wasn’t as if they didn’t love him. It was the exact opposite. They had just never seen him like this, never knew he could get like this. He was human too, yes. But they all had always envisioned him as their reliable, strong, courageous leader. Invincible with a heart of solid gold. They felt lost, he wasn’t even a sliver of the same man they knew, they followed, they fought with and laughed with. He was only a hollow shell now.


 

Jamke and Alec had found where Lex, Ayra and Sylvia had gone. Since the Issachian warrior had gotten injured she was taken to a nearby village and found a healer that took care of her. They brought them up to date with the transpiring events and they were shocked, too stunned to say anything. They planned to go to Silesse and check on Sigurd for themselves. It was worse than they had heard or imagined. Sigurd lay there, lifeless, his eyes sunken and void of any emotion, cheeks hollow, body far too slim. He had neglected eating at all and had been fasting for almost a month now. Soon, they feared, his body would wither away to nothing. It pissed Ayra off. Sure, he had just faced a tragedy, but it was not as if he had lost his entire family. He still had his children, Lugh, Ced, and Seliph, back in Issach with Shannan, Oifey, and Adean. There was no need to be pitying himself like this. Ayra thought. He couldn’t let himself die. He couldn’t leave his children like that. Not without both of their parents. She stormed off, heading back to Issach, to retrieve Sigurd’s children.

She returned the next morning being helped by Lex to carry the little ones. First handing them off to him she approached Sigurd, slapping him hard. His eyes briefly widened, before becoming lifeless again. “Get a hold of yourself! You are still a father! Not just to your own children but Lewyn’s as well! So, stand up, suck it up, and be a damn father!” She screamed. Those words had finally, broken through to him. His eyes swelled up with tears and he gathered himself, standing up unsteadily, having not stood for days. He walked forward stiffly, his body sagging, slumped over, arms dangling almost looking zombie like. Seliph’s eyes widened with fear and he began wailing. Ced and Lugh both getting emotional too. Sigurd instantly stood upright, fixing his entire posture almost like magic, or a flip of a switch.

“Daddy’s here. Daddy’s here. Shh…” He held his arms out, being handed Seliph first. Just looking into his three-year old’s eyes, he could see the resemblance to Lewyn. He had the same round, almost effeminate look. He took Sigurd’s blue hair, but definitely took Lewyn’s overall appearance. He could already tell, looking at the other two how different they would be. Ced was already taking Sigurd’s general handsome appearance. He was more boyish looking already, he could tell he’d be a handsome boy. Lugh was even more effeminate than either of his siblings, with the softest looking face and round doe eyes. He had blue eyes like Seliph. Ced was the only one with green eyes.

Seliph calmed down once he was being cradled in Sigurd’s arms.


 

Everyone was watching with awe and utter astonishment. “Ayra is a goddess…” Azelle whispered.

“Or a witch…” Lex added, scratching his head.

“Or a sorceress!” Tailtiu joined in. The three of them debated just what Ayra could be when while they were intently discussing, she snuck up behind them with her hand on her hips, angry with them. She scowled down upon them and just from her heated gaze they could feel the immense ominous emotion directed at them. They laughed, slowly looking around to meet her gaze and briefly screamed before getting her boot.

“I am not a witch you, insolent halfwit’s!”

“Ow, ow, ow! Why am I getting the Ayra boot treatment?! I called you a goddess!” Azelle cried, holding his head.

“Because you were conspiring with that bonehead!” She continued yelling, pointing accusingly at Lex. He just laughed it off, loving his wife so much. Neither Azelle nor Tailtiu could understand the sentiment at all…


 

Sigurd was able to cradle all three of his toddlers in his arms at once, cooing at them. They reminded him of Lewyn so much, bringing fresh tears and pain to his heart. He cuddled them, holding them close. “Daddy loves you…Daddy loves you so so much…” He whispered.

“Pa…pa…” Seliph slowly said, patting his cheek with his tiny chubby hand.

Sigurd looked up. “What…what did you say?” He almost thought he had imagined it.

“Pa…pa!” Seliph said, continuing to pat. Overjoyed he cuddled him even tighter, rocking him back and forth. His other siblings blinked, not understanding. Lugh made noises with his mouth, drooling and Ced flapped his arms. Sigurd did not mind. They would start speaking on their own time. There was no rush. But just hearing his son call him Papa…Brought such joy and pain to his heart. He would never know Lewyn, never call him anything. Sigurd would never know whether or not he would be Papa too, or Dada, or even Mama. He really would have loved to hear him be called Mama. Lewyn really did act so motherly…So soft, tender, caring. Sigurd cried more. The pain was still too much, too fresh, feeling like the wound was freshly torn open again, revealing the deep bloody gash that would never be able to heal. Whenever he felt like it would try, it would just get torn open again. It was a never-ending nightmare, Sigurd would never wake up. He loved his children and would never leave them. But still, a world without his husband, without his light, his life, his love, he was nothing. There was nothing to fill that hole in his heart. It would never truly heal. “I love you so much…my sweet babies…” Sigurd continued whispering to them. They could only fill so much of the void, the rest was what Lewyn filled, now taken away, leaving a huge gaping hole. “Papa will never leave you…” And he wouldn’t. No matter what was thrown his way.


 

 

Chapter Text


The real question now that had remained on Taitiu and Azelle’s mind was still, Sety. He had vaguely let on that he knew more than what he let on. He made Arvis’ life sound almost essential. The curiosity and distrust he had got the better of him and he prepared to head straight back to Velthomer. How could he trust a man who was so secretive? He even implied that Sety wasn’t even his real name!

Belhalla, the state it was left in, was currently uninhabitable. So Azelle knew his brother would be living back home, in Velthomer. He quickly packed some few essentials, kissing his wife Tailtiu goodbye. She wanted to come with him, but he insisted that it was safer for her to be here, or in Issach with their children. She was teary eyed with concern but couldn’t stop him. He took the first boat out.


Arriving in Velthomer within a days’ time he found his brother’s manor easily. It was by far the fanciest manor any Duke or Duchess had. His brother was a proud man. He inherited the manor from their father though so Azelle honestly didn’t blame Arvis for owning such manor. It just so happened to suit him well. He pushed open the heavy metal doors and looked around nervously. It was night time, all the torches were put out, so it was eerily dark. It made Azelle think of those horror stories his brother used to read to him as a kid. “Now don’t end up like them okay?” He would always add with a teasing mischievous smile at the end. Azelle swallowed hard, slowly creeping inside. The doors swung shut hard behind him, the clanging echoing off the empty walls. He jumped, almost screaming. He clutched his fire tome to his chest, feeling really uneasy. Hesitantly he walked into the foyer, glancing left and right. The moon shone in through the vast windows but to Azelle, it just became even more creepy. He could see the long stairs leading upstairs, also lit by the silvery light of the moon. He could see the carpet especially lit up, almost unnaturally. He took a step, then another. They are all sleeping…Azelle tried reasoning. No one would be up at this insane hour…He scurried quickly up the stairs, his heart pounding in his chest. Turning a corner quickly he ran into a person, they seemed to almost appear out of nowhere. Azelle jumped, letting out a startled scream.

“Don’t you know…naughty boys shouldn’t be up at this hour…” Sety chastised, his hands on his hips.

Azelle slumped forward, breathing in deeply. “Sety…God it was only you…Gave me a heart attack!”

“Now. Why are you here? Up at this hour no less.” Sety looked genuinely curious, his eyes having that certain…. spark that Lewyn’s always had. It made his heart clench. Lewyn…. Not a day went by that they didn’t miss him terribly.

“Well…to see you actually.”

Sety smirked, placing a hand on his chest in mock exaggerated flattery. “Wow…I must be quite popular…I’m flattered…really…But I believe you are…a bit young for me…” He winked.

“H-hey! I am not a kid! I am married and have two kids of my own!”

“Children having children? Since when did that start happening?” Sety continued joking, holding back a laugh. He enjoyed riling up people, getting a kick out of it. Azelle’s face turned red, puffing his cheeks and stomped his foot, about to retaliate again. Sety held up a hand. “Relax, relax.” Grabbing his arm gently he led him into the lounge where a fire was lit in the brick fireplace. He sat on the floor in front of it, staring into its roaring flames, crackling against the wood. Azelle sat down beside him, watching him closely. He had that lost in thought expression Lewyn also got when he was far away.

“Curious isn’t it…our lives are like that of a flame…burning so brightly and fiery…just to eb able to be snuffed out in an instant…” Sety mused, snapping his fingers.

He even had thoughts like Lewyn…Azelle wondered…could he be…? “Are you…” Azelle started, not knowing if he should finish that thought.

“Hm?” Sety turned to look at him, his bangs falling over one eye. “C’mon…who do you think I am? Didn’t I tell you…I’m Sety.” There was that smirk and mischievous glint again. He was messing with him! Azelle thought.

“R-right…Um…About what you said before we left…That if my brother did not make it…you would have had no reason to come here? And knowing about Sigurd! That Lewyn died! How would you have known?!” Azelle leaned closer with every word, dying to be told what was going on.

Sety laughed, holding up a hand. “Calm down…I fear you have come all this way for nothing…I cannot tell you quite yet. All the pieces have not been set into motion yet…”

“What?” That sounded…ominous.

“Arvis has a key part to play. That is all I can say.” Sety said, staring into the flames.

Azelle suddenly greatly feared for their future and what Sety was implying was going to happen. He did not like it one bit. He felt like there was some impending doom set upon them…closing in and waiting to strike at the perfect moment.


 

Chapter Text


Receiving no answers from Sety, Azelle left back to Silesse to rendezvous with his wife Tailtiu and their children Arthur and Tinny. She thought it to be best to live in Freege back in Grannvale, her home village.

Slowly everyone in their group became disconnected, going their separate ways with their family. Sigurd remained in Silesse with Erinys and Naoise with his children Seliph, Ced, and Lugh and Erinys’ children Phee and Vinn. Sigurd still could not let go of Lewyn, thinking of him every moment and telling his children many stories of their father. Erinys no longer had a lord to protect and just opted to be a mother and wife, raising her kids to ride Pegasi, strangely accepting her son Vinn as well. Pegasi were known to favor women and only allow them to ride but for some reason or another the rare black Pegasus that was birthed from two white Pegasi allowed Vinn to ride. They contemplated the reasoning to lie within the specific rare Pegasus himself. He was the only Pegasus to ever be seen with that color. They were only ever white. It was quite a strange perception.

Ayra and Lex remained in Issach with Shannan and Oifey and their children the twins, Larcei and Ulster. They lived in a hidden village Tirnagog. They farmed and trained them how to fight, to always be prepared for the one day they may have to be forced to take up arms

Adean once reconciled with her husband Jamke left to Verdane with their children Lana and Lester. Jamke was King of Verdane after all and could not afford to have his kingdom fall into destruction again like before when the war had first started. He would keep it as peaceful as he could, praying this was the end of the dark era of the Loptyrian’s.

Lachesis met up with Finn in Leonster to raise their children Nanna and Diarmuid and also Quan and Ethlyn’s son Leif. It was hard, living without Ethlyn and Quan but they had to remain strong and did the best they could. Lachesis taught Nanna how to be a healer while Finn taught Diarmuid how to fight and ride a horse. Years after brigands pilfered their village they resided in and Finn fought them, being one of the few that knew how to, to protect his family. His children were only around five years of age. He was injured severely, and Lachesis was mildly injured in her attempt to protect the children. They wandered into a place called Fiana where a woman named Eyvel came to their help, taking them in and giving them shelter and food. Lachesis sent a letter to Sigurd, telling him of their circumstance. He offered help but they refused, already being tended to.

Sylvia and Alec left to Agustria to raise their family, but no one knows quite what happened, losing touch with the both of them. They stopped replying to their letters and one could only guess a tragedy had befallen them. They prayed their children Lene and her twin Alex and the newborn Coirpre was alright, but no one knew for sure. If abandoned one could only guess they would end up in an orphanage to be raised, no life for young children. No one knew what happened to Eldigan’s son Ares either, losing touch with his wife Grahyne as well.

Brigid seemed to have disappeared all together with her husband Chulainn and their children Patty and Febail. According to Finn he believed the woman he met Eyvel to be Brigid but retaining no memory from before. There were many speculations on their many friends.

Erinys got sick and passed away not five years later, leaving her family behind. Sigurd was forced to flee Silesse after being oppressed by the imperial army. He wondered just what Arvis was thinking, maybe he just wanted to conquer everything. Not knowing he fled to Issach to live in Tirnagog with Ayra and her family. By that time, he had almost lost all contact with his friends he fought together with.

But one day he received a very strange letter from someone named Sety. He recalled Azelle mentioning such a strange man. You believe ones lost remain that way but is not. Lost is simply that way. A lone hidden village in Yied is where you must go, where lost can once again be found.

-Sety

Sigurd found that most odd and wondered if it was a hoax. It reminded him of the mysterious way Lewyn used to talk, making his heart hurt like a fresh wound. He left his children in Ayra, Lex, Naoise, Shannan and Oifey’s care while he decided to make that trip to Yied to find the meaning of that letter. He did not know what to expect, unable to make heads or tails from it. What he found there he did not expect or even consider to even be possible.


 

Chapter Text


The Yied was scorching hot, breads of sweat rolled down his cheek. His vision was hazy due to the heat, making mirages appear before him. His mouth was parched, and his water long run out. Desperately he tried hitting his canteen to release at least a drop. His movement was sluggish, and his legs threatened to buckle. He blinked his dry eyes and put his hand over his eyes to shield them from the sun, he squinted hard, seeing an alluring beautiful shimmering oasis. Just like the several other times he saw the same oasis.

“Wa…ter…” Sigurd choked out, picking up his movements and charging forth to it. He held his arms out, wanting to embrace the sweet cold water that awaited and dove forward, landing face first into the hot grainy sand. It burned his skin, far too hot from days in the sun. But at the moment he could not find a care. No food, no water, his legs were tired and sore, his skin far too sunburnt, and no one to encourage him on. Lewyn…I’m coming for you…Sigurd thought as he closed his eyes, his senses shutting down.

When he came to again, he was inside a beige tent, a cold cup of water next to him and fresh clean clothes on his body. He blinked, wondering if this was heaven. He did not see Lewyn, so he thought against that idea. But there was no way he survived.  Next to him sat a beautiful woman with long flowing pink hair and a kind motherly expression. Her pink eyes showed much concern. He dabbed his face with a cold wet cloth. He smiled dumbly at her and she stifled laughter. “Welcome back you.” She said with a joking voice.

“Where…am I…?” He did not recognize his own voice, having gone too long without water. She pushed the cold glass at him, and he took eager gulps, the cold liquid cleansing his parched throat. She even tended to him like a mother. It was such a familiar feeling he had not felt since his sister Ethlyn took care of him.

“A village in the Yied. I too did not think the desert to be inhabited but it is. They miraculously survive here and even have a water source. It is truly wonderous.” She said.

“I’m…Yied?”

She giggled, covering her mouth. “Yes, silly. But I did not expect that to be your first question.”

“No?” Sigurd could not think of any other question he might ask. “Your name?” He decided, guessing that was quite rude to not ask the name of the person who saved his life.

“I should slap you right now…” She had a very scary menacing look on her face that made Sigurd jolt upright in the soft white bed. That look could kill.

“Slapping strangers is quite rude!” He squeaked.

Strangers?!” She screamed and leapt upon him, hitting him repeatedly.

“Ow ow ow! Stop it! Stop it!” He tried fending her off but she was like a beast.

While she was attacking him, another man entered the room. He wore a simple white shirt and beige pants. He had short brown hair and sun kissed skin. When Sigurd laid eyes on him he was stunned.

It was like literally seeing a ghost. He gently moved the woman off of him and slowly got out of bed, walking over to him and put his hands on his face. “Five years…” Sigurd said.

The man smiled back, putting his hands over Sigurd’s. “It’s been a while…old friend.” Quan said.

Sigurd wrapped his arms around him tightly, his heart swelling. He sobbed, letting out all his grief he felt when he thought his friend had died. Behind him the woman threw a tantrum.

“Hey! What about me?! God for nothing big brother! And I am the one who always took care of you! What do I get?! Forgotten!” She threw her arms up in exasperation.

“My god…Ethlyn?!” He whirled around to face the beautiful woman who helped him. She had her cheeks puffed and she angrily stomped her foot. Sigurd was beyond relieved. He was speechless, delighted, happy did not even cut the emotions he felt. He swept her up into his arms and twirled around with her, crying and holding her tightly.

“Stupid idiot…” She cried, wiping her tears.

After they finished rejoicing, they sat together on the bed, exchanging stories. Sigurd told them about Lewyn’s death and about their friends and other children. They mourned, and after Sigurd finished, they told him their story. About how when Travant and his men attacked them they were only severely injured and left for dead, supposed were dead. They do not know what happened to Altena, their daughter and were saved by the people of this village. They owed them their lives and offered what they could in return, protecting it from the Thracian’s who wished to pillage it. Not having anyone so experienced before, they were a tremendous help. Life savers, actually. They have not lost a life since coming.

Sigurd did not know what to say. He was so happy to have them back, thinking the letter Sety wrote was right. He wondered how he knew. How did he know about Quan and Ethlyn? It peaked his curiosity and he planned to stop by Grannvale before going back home to Tirnagog. They wanted to stay with Sigurd, reconcile with Finn and Leif too but could not leave this village, owing these people their lives. Quan planned on writing to Finn to tell them they were alive, maybe they could visit here instead. Sigurd wished to spend more time with Ethlyn and his best friend Quan but now he had many questions, all for Sety the mysterious wind mage. He hugged them both tightly, not wanting to let go and promised to return to see them, with his children next time. They deserved to see their nephews. He bid them goodbye and left for Grannvale to confront Sety, hoping to get further than Azelle had.


 

Chapter Text


You could hear the loud laughter and excited squeal from little children as they chased each other around the dining hall, ducking under the dark oak table, almost bumping their heads on the top as they scurried to the other side and continued chasing each other. The girl had long lavender hair and wore a short white dress with white puffy pants. The boy chasing her had long fiery red hair wearing a child sized red and black tailcoat over a black shirt and black pants. The mother and father watched with a concerned gaze a parent has when their children are doing something potentially dangerous. They sat at the table, drinking their rich foreign tea along with their guest that has stayed with them now, for eight years. “Be careful Julia, Julius.” Arvis warned, tempted to get up to ensure their safety.

Dierdre laid her hand on his shoulder trying to reassure him. He sighed, running his hand through his long curly red hair. She giggled. “It’s alright Arvis. They are children.”

“Yes, children who would be much safer playing outside.” He stressed.

Now Sety giggled. “Kids! The monster is gonna get you! Rawr!” Sety spoke in a deep growling voice, raising his arms up in a monster-like way, chasing Julia and Julius. They screamed, pushing each other as they scurried towards the back door, pushing it open to the grand Velthomer Royal Garden. Sety purposefully stomped slower than them after them, around the garden. Arvis smiled, grateful to have Sety, for him to be that parent-like figure while he was not around to. He could not always be there for them, being quite busy.

Arvis went back and forth between both castles, taking care of the people in both cities. He was recently elected as Emperor, the very first Jugdral had ever had. With more work and more priorities, he had almost no time to rest with his family, taking care of all the people of his Empire. His rule was unbending with an iron fist, he had excessive control over the Empire, needing the fear and strength he showed to keep them all under control. Under his rule there was no more wars, no more conquests, no one tried seeking power or invaded kingdoms anymore. He was a stern but very kind ruler who would do whatever it took to achieve his goals. He focused on the plan he’s always had, for an ideal world safe and inequitable for all. For the first time there was peace. For the first time the people could all live in tranquility, without fear of being oppressed or driven into poverty and war. Arvis was a kind and just Emperor.

Wanting to join his family he left outside to the garden. The sun was bright and warm, with very few wispy white clouds in the vast blue sky. He was overdressed for the outside but could not help that, always needing to be in Emperor attire. Julia and Julius tackled Sety who overexaggerated, falling into the grass, groaning like he was being killed. They giggled and laid across his torso, smiling at him. “You got me! Aaaaughhh!”

They squealed with delight, hugging him tightly. It warmed Arvis’ heart to see them so taken to Sety. His children deserved to be loved and treated well. “Papa Papa!” They called, looking at him with expectation. Arvis laughed, shaking his head, unable to say no to them. He sat down next to Sety in the grass. Julia crawled off of Sety and onto Arvis’ lap. He wrapped his arms around her, kissing the top of her head. She giggled and cuddled up against his chest. Arvis never thought he would ever feel this happy, actually having a family, people that loved him. It was everything he ever wanted and more. All his life he was alone. As a child he had a mother who loved him, but his father was abusive and unfaithful. She left him for a man who actually loved her and in his fit of rage and jealousy he committed suicide in front of Arvis, drinking poison and dying in a pool of blood. Arvis was only seven. He was left alone to take the title of Duke of Velthomer raising his infant brother Azelle, who still does not like him much, being too afraid of him. He never sees Azelle, never was able to have that close brotherly relationship he so badly wanted. Arvis was always alone in his too spacious castle, no family, no friends. He had Sigurd, but he was off at war for years, leaving Arvis unable to see him. He had not come in to contact with him since the Battle at Belhalla. He occasionally wrote letters but from the sounds of it, Sigurd was having trouble going through his grief. Arvis was not the best person to offer emotional support, having always been socially awkward. So, he opted to continue keeping in contact through letters. But ever since Deirdre came in to his life, he was loved, he was happy. She gave him a family, family that loved him and cared for him, all Arvis has ever wanted his whole life.

He was jolted out of his thoughts when Julia put a pink flower crown on his head, giggling, clasping her hands together in glee. He smiled, petting her head affectionately. Julius too, had made a flower crown, from blue flowers, and put it on Sety’s head. Sety laughed, smiling at the kids and Arvis. Arvis slowly smiled back, feeling elated and light inside. He was, finally, truly happy. He even thought that he could call Sety, a friend.

“You’re lookin good Arvis.” He heard a different voice say. He turned around to see Sigurd walk out of the back door, joining him and Sety in the grass. “Deirdre said I could find you out here.” He huffed as he sat down, crossing his legs together.

“Sigurd?! I…was just thinking about you actually…” Arvis said, wondering if this was fate.

Sigurd laughed. “Were you now? Sorry I haven’t been able to visit. Things…have still been kind of hectic…”

Arvis understood, knowing that losing his husband Lewyn must be very hard. He could not imagine losing the one you love and prayed for Deirdre’s safety each day. As long as he was in power, he would keep her safe, he would protect her. “So, obviously you have not come here to simply catch up.” Arvis said, lifting Julia off of his lap. “Go on. Go with your brother and play with your mother inside for right now. Papa has to talk to the grown-ups.” She pouted and kissed him on his cheek before grabbing Julius’ hand and running back inside.

Once the kids were out of sight Sigurd’s expression turned grave. “Sety has been with you for five years now. What do you know about him exactly?”

Sety giggled, covering his mouth. “Oh, Sigurd!” He said playfully, hitting his shoulder lightly with his hand. “If you are that curious about me then just ask! I’m not shy…” He winked, wearing a mischievous grin. All signs of Lewyn just rung in Sigurd’s head it was almost uncanny. He was so…Lewyn…but not.

“Fine then. Sety…tell me where you came from.”

Sety leaned side to side, his hand on his cheek in mock consideration. “Oh…I dunno… I really can’t say!” He giggled.

Sigurd felt his left eye twitch. Yes, he was far more mischievous than Lewyn ever was. “Oh, alright! As you can tell by my completely all-natural green hair…Silesse!” He clapped his hands together.

“Then how have I never seen you before?” Sigurd asked.

“Ah, ah, ah…” Sety closed his eyes, waggling his finger. “You got your one honest answer.”

“But you said!” Sigurd leaned forward.

Nothing! I know! Isn’t that great?!” Sety hopped onto the balls of his feet, rocking back, holding his knees.

Sigurd could already envision the Cheshire cat from a book he and Ethlyn used to read and like from Alice in Wonderland. Sety was definitely the Cheshire cat. “Arvis! You next!”

Arvis looked bewildered, having no idea what was going on. “Choose wiiisely~” Sety sang.

“Why…have you come to live with me? To stay in my household?” He carefully asked.

“Ooooh nice! Good question indeed! To answer your one honest question…To simply guide you. Or…protect you of sorts. To make sure everything goes the way it should, so our world does not fall in to darkness and chaos…” He said ominously. Sigurd and Arvis both gapoed at him. Sety gasped dramatically, his hand flying to cover his mouth.

“Oops…Heehee!” He giggled playfully after.

“You know so much! How is it that you do?! About Ethlyn and Quan being alive! About Lewyn…Azelle roughly told me about you…About that you came here for a reason? For Arvis and would have no reason to have come if he died. That he plays a “key part”.” Sigurd said.

“Oooh so many questions! But…Sorry! Can’t go stepping on any butterflies now! Or give you guys any spoilers!” Sety exploded in a fit of laughter. Sigurd had never wanted to choke someone so badly in his life. Sety got on his last nerves. “Oops! I’ve gone and got Sigurd all maaad now.” He spoke in a baby sounding voice, pouting.

“Sety, that is enough.” Arvis said calmly but sternly. Sety immediately shut up. Sigurd wondered just what Arvis had over him? It was like he held an invisible leash…or a shocker to just buzz when he acts up.

“Yeah, yeah. I know. Sorry. I don’t mean any harm. I just like playing~!”

They both glared at him and he sighed. “Honestly I cannot tell you anything more. You just have to keep living your lives and let things play out the way they are supposed to. I…cannot change things…That would impact the world as a whole you see…Butterflies. I saved Arvis’ life. That should be enough to guarantee light and hope for the future.” Sety said.

“The world?” Sigurd asked.

“The future?” Arvis parroted as well.

“C’mon you two! Bunch of little parakeets! K-kaw! K-chirp!” Sety giggled.

Sigurd gave up. There was no stopping him being naturally this carefree and playful. It just seemed to be his nature. But he did think about what he said. He saved Arvis’ life…so did that mean that he knew he was going to die? If then…Sigurd thought about it too hard, hurting his head. It just gave him a splitting migraine. Impact the world…Guarantee light and hope for the future…It was…almost as if…he spoke from experience.

“Sety…are you here to help us? Are you our ally?” Sigurd asked.

“Why else would I be here? If I wasn’t, I’d have let Arvis here die and would join up with Manfroy and chant to Loptous. But I’m not a loon! I have nothing but good intentions. I am here to guide you all…Sigurd. You mustn’t take part in any conflict. Stay out of it, it will not be your fight. Give Tyrfing to Seliph when he is of age. That is my guiding words. If you are indeed smart and know what’s best, you will heed my words.” Sety said.

“You…know about Seliph?” Sigurd leaned forward. He had never spoken of his son before and knew he had never met Sety. He’d have remembered someone with that sort of odd memorable personality and Lewyn-like appearance.

“Why, yes, I do. Also, Ced, and Lugh…” Sety counted off on his fingers.

“What about me?” Arvis asked, hoping for some guiding advice as well.

“I…I’m sorry. I must let things play out the way they should…the way they must. I will be right there by your side. I promise I will be right there, never to leave you.” Sety said, laying his hand on Arvis’ shoulder. He felt a shudder run up his spine, hearing such foreboding words. His skin suddenly felt cold and clammy despite the sun shining directly on him and his black clothes.

“N-no! Y-you must tell me! What shall I do?!” Arvis grabbed Sety’s shoulders, gazing at him with a look of lunacy.

“Well…If you want a word of advice…spend as much time with your family as you can. You are a wonderful father and husband. Dierdre is quite lucky to have you.” Sety said.

Arvis almost fell backwards. He felt as if his world was about to turn upside down. “How long…” He asked in a small voice.

“Ten years.” Sety said.

Ten years was all he had left to spend with his family, to be happy with them until things were set to go awry.


 

Chapter Text


Sigurd returned to Tirnagog to continue training and preparing Seliph, Ced, and Lugh for the potential danger, the potential war sitting on the horizon. By now, Oifey and Shannan were old enough to help raise and train the kids as well. They helped Larcei and Ulster along with Ayra and Lex. Sigurd and the others did not mind helping Naoise out either with his kids, being a single father now that Erinys passed away. Phee and Vinn were harder for them to train and help, both being Pegasus Knights, wielding spears. But they all did their best anyway, just feeling bad that they couldn’t train them to their full potential.

Sigurd taught Seliph to wield Tyrfing, after hearing Sety say it was essential he knew. Ced and Lugh both preferred tomes, wanting the wind tome like their deceased father. Sigurd told them stories of Lewyn every day, of how great he was and how he loved them so much. That he was the kindest person around that loved to make people smile and laugh. He told them how he loved playing music and had the talent for every kind of instrument. Lewyn played music for everyone, including his children and husband. Seliph, Ced, and Lugh were inspired and sought to learn how to play music like their father. Lugh had the natural talent for it, picking up the sitar, lyre, fife and piano easily. It took Seliph and Ced a lot more practicing, squeaking a lot on the instruments. Ced stuck with learning one instrument, the fife and Seliph stuck with learning the lyre. Lugh helped his siblings the best he could since it came as natural as breathing to him.

All three siblings were quite different than one another. Seliph was bright and outgoing with a strong sense of justice and loved helping out wherever he could. Ced was quiet and more withdrawn, keeping out of group activities and preferring to be by himself, studying or watching the world around him. Lugh was aloof and too easygoing, having not a care in the world. He was often found on the roof of the house they stayed in, playing music and looking to the stars. You could say he was the most like Lewyn, a dreamer. He could sing, and dance, and played music. Seliph often joined in, either singing along with him, or dancing together with him. Ced preferred to simply play music for them to dance to or sing to. Larcei and Ulster were as rambunctious as Lugh and Seliph, so they enjoyed dancing to the music too. Phee and Vinn were content to clap along to the beat. Shannan and Oifey enjoyed watching the carefree children have fun, sitting back with the adults, drinking some ale.

The adults rarely interacted closely to the kids when they were having fun like this together. They thought it would be better if they were by themselves, bonding without old adults like them ruining their fun. Seliph though, would not let his father just sit back and would grab his hands, pulling him to the center of the room, where it was cleared from tables and chairs to leave enough room to dance. Sigurd laughed, dancing with Seliph. Seeing his family so happy, enjoying themselves, put a smile on Ced’s face. Larcei did the same, grabbing Shannan. “Woah, woah! H-hey Larcei!” Shannan tried protesting. She held his hands, trying to get him to go along with the dance. Soon he too, was smiling and danced with her.

These days were peaceful and tranquil. It made Sigurd forget about the warning Sety had given them. Maybe he was wrong. Maybe they would continue on like this, happy and carefree. After all, there was no more war, no more violence and suffering. Emperor Arvis had succeeded in making the world a better place free from persecution and discrimination.

Sigurd could not believe that all this, was going to come to an end in only years’ time. He prayed to Naga and Baldr that the children would be safe, that they would be able to combat this successfully. He prayed his sister and brother in law would remain safe too. If anything came up or started, he would go immediately to Quan and Ethlyn. They promised each other and made an oath to be there for each other and to protect one another. He trusted them and relied on them as much as he knew they relied on him. Please, let all this just pass over, let there be no threat and keep the children as they were, only children.

Larcei screamed and laughed as Seliph chased her with his practice sword. Ulster and Ced were watching from a stump, talking quietly and carving small wood animals. Lugh danced about in the grass, twirling and fluttering around Phee and Vinn who were tending to their Pegasi. They were only children. Sigurd’s heart ached and felt an immense amount of dread creep in. There was no way he would let anything tarnish their innocence.


 

Chapter Text


Five years had passed for Arvis, since Sety’s warning. Julius and Julia were thirteen years old and were as close as when they were eight. Nothing has seemed out of the ordinary except for Sety’s unknown presence. Arvis felt as if he could trust him and named him his royal advisor. Sety graciously accepted his title and aided Arvis with his vast intelligence and deep insight. Sety also doubled as acting as Arvis’ retainer, never leaving his side and taking care of him as a retainer would. He helped pick out his clothes, dress him, prepare his bath, prepare and serve him his meals and brew and serve his tea, and his favorite of all duties, brushing Arvis’ long silky crimson hair that always appeared so beautifully and perfectly curled, flowing down his back and over his shoulders. Sety’s heart always skipped a beat when seeing him walk so gracefully, his long hair flowing behind him. Sety was always so tempted to…reach out and grab it, to hold it to his face and breathe in the sweet scent of roses and cherry blossoms. Under the guise of being his retainer and maintaining his Emperor image, he got away with tending to his hair, brushing it every morning, and every time he finished with his bath. He was an absolute beauty to gaze upon. Sety winced, feeling a slight guilt. He knew he had ulterior motives to coming here, to saving Arvis. His deepest, most intense desire was entirely selfish and only benefitted himself and not the good of all.

He carefully slid the brush through Arvis’ hair, feeling the extremely soft texture of it as he did so. The Emperor was sitting in his chair in his room in front of his fancy golden vanity. He watched with interest on how attentive Sety was with his routine ministrations. His touch was so gentle, he never pulled even when there was a slight tangle in his hair. Sety would carefully pour water onto that particular section and then proceed to run the brush through, pulling ever so gently. Arvis appreciated it and wondered why it was that he did not mind Sety touching his hair. He was very proud of it and never let anyone touch it no matter who they were. Why was it, Sety was allowed to? Because he was his retainer and royal advisor? This just being one of his duties to perform for his Lord? Arvis honestly did not know and it greatly perplexed him. He honestly did not want Sety to stop, the feeling of his hand in his hair felt so nice. What am I thinking? Arvis shook his head, not knowing what was up with him. He felt oddly close to Sety, as if he could even entrust his life to him, which he could. Sety saved his life after all when he fought Manfroy at the Battle of Belhalla.

Arvis closed his eyes, smiling contentedly. Sety too, smiled, his heart fluttering happily. His stomach did flips, and his appetite now lost. He could not think of enough wonderful things about Arvis, his appearance and personality both. He only ever had good intentions and ideals. Sety never wanted him to be alone or ever feel that way again. He would be his emotional support and his guiding breeze. “My Lord you are looking quite beauteous today.” Sety said, running his fingers through those silky locks.

“Heh…Your flattery is unnecessary Sety…” Arvis said, smirking.

“My Lord! It is absolutely necessary!”

Arvis laughed light heartedly. “Thank you…Sety.”

Sety’s heart did another flip and he smiled brightly, cherishing each and every moment he had with Arvis. “You promised Julius and Julia today did you not?” Sety reminded him.

“Ah, you are right. What would I do without you?” Arvis stood up and headed out to the courtyard to meet up with his children. It was another pleasant day with the wind blowing softly through his hair, caressing his face. The sun shined brightly down on him, making him shed his heavy black coat, laying it down on the cool concrete bench near the doors. Julius and Julia were crouched down on the rust colored cobblestones near the silver fountain with its sparkling clear water, being poured out by a statue of the nude goddess Naga from her ceramic jug. They were poking at a small red and black snake. Arvis had always been fond of those creatures and it seemed the kids were too. Julius picked it up and it stuck its small pink tongue out. He squealed and shoved it in Julia’s face. She giggled and copied it. Arvis smiled fondly. Nearby standing by the lush bushes blooming with small red berries stood another boy and girl Julius and Julia’s age. The boy had short black hair and the girl had long lavender hair in a side ponytail. Arvis smiled their way, waving them over. The girl gasped, having been found out and the boy stood protectively in front of her.

“It’s alright. Would you like to join us again today?” Arvis offered. Often these two wanted to join in Arvis’ magic training with his children. The boy was Reinhardt and the girl Ishtar. They both were quite talented mages and got along well with Julius and Julia. They nodded and ran over to stand beside the twins. Julius smiled shyly at Ishtar, holding his tome to his chest. She blushed, blinking and smiled back, waving.

“Now who wants to learn some magic?” Sety asked in an excited tone, crouching down in front of them with his hands on his knees. All four of the kids raised their hands, Julia jumped up and down, her eyes shining with keen interest.

Gathering their magical energy, they were able to concentrate it enough to cast their magic spells. Julia cast a strong light beam, Julius cast a small inferno most akin to Arvis’ magic fire potential, Reinhardt cast a mini lightning bolt that merely grazed the concrete bench and Ishtar turned the sky dark, a mini thunder storm raging. Sety clapped, quite impressed with their great magical potential. Arvis was so proud of them all, and even saw Ishtar and Reinhardt as his own children.

“Why don’t you use your tome?” Ishtar asked, pointing to the green tome tucked in Sety’s belt. The other kids nodded, agreeing with her. Arvis noticed the girl was right. He had never seen Sety ever take out his tome to use it. It basically served as decoration only. Arvis always used Valflame to demonstrate magic to the kids, Sety only guided and instructed, or used wind magic without a tome.

“Well…” Sety scratched his head, unable to provide an answer. The kids waited patiently.

“Can we see it?” Julia asked.

“No…There is no need to use it nor show it.” Sety said.

“But Papa shows us Valflame all the time!” Julius said.

“Pleeease Sety?” Julia begged.

“Please Uncle Sety?” Julius joined.

Sety sighed, running his hand through his long green hair. “Ugh, fiiine!” He twirled around, swift as a breeze, in one smooth motion he brandished the tome, holding it out in a dramatic showy way, his other arm bent by his head. He took a gallant fighting stance and concentrated. A very powerful wind began swirling around him, blowing his hair wildly, his purple tunic and baggy white pants flapping in the strong wind. He levitated a couple feet from the ground, the tome now floating in front of him. He closed his eyes, throwing his arm out in front of him, projecting the magic in that direction. The kids watched in awe and wonder as a violent gale tore through the land, ripping up the ground and tearing off branches from trees, sending leaves and foliage their way. The kids giggled as the wind died down, becoming gentle as it reached them. It was soft and caressing to them, loving like a mother’s touch. Arvis too, stood in awe and reverence. That was no ordinary magic, that power was that akin to a god’s. It was a god’s might. Men did not hold the power of a god. Not unless they were directly related to one or possessed the blood of a mighty crusader and their sacred weapon. Arvis, wielding Valflame, did have the power of a god. And he only ever saw that sort of power once before, witnessing Lewyn in battle with Forseti.

He eyed the tome and scrutinized it. His eyes widened. There was no mistaking it. That was the exact same tome that he was just thinking of. The divine tome, Forseti, unmistakable, was in Sety’s possession. Which could only mean one thing…Either this really was the god Forseti, or Lewyn had been resurrected by some miracle, and stood here now with him. But then again…if it was, he would have said something to Sigurd five years ago. He did not act towards Sigurd like Lewyn would have. Which made Arvis conclude…Holy Hell this was the great divine dragon god Forseti in the flesh. As a god, Arvis knew they could take on a human form, it would explain a lot actually. His tremendous power, the ability to use magic to its full potential without the use of a tome, having the divine tome Forseti in his possession, his mischievous nature, all of it. Arvis suddenly had the urge to bow down respectfully before him. He knew the kids would wonder why though, him being their Uncle Sety. The probably did not notice anything off at all. To them he was their friend, their Uncle. He played with them and took care of them. Arvis could not believe his eyes, and fully took in his beautiful elegant form. Never before had he seen such a beautiful man, not counting Lewyn or himself. Truly, Sety was the most gorgeous being he had ever witnessed. He had dark long eyelashes, perfect flawless skin, clear blue eyes, long flowing beautiful hair. He was just…perfect. The kind of music he produced too, sounded like it came from the heavens. He played music many a times for Arvis and the children. They all enjoyed it quite a lot. It was peaceful and soothing to the ear. A god, Arvis has been living with a god. That also explained how he knew so much, knew it before it happened. Everything now became so clear to Arvis.

“Papa…” Julius tugged at Arvis’ sleeve.

“Yes? What is it?”

“Will I be able to do magic like Uncle Sety?” He asked, an innocent expression on his face.

“With enough practice, of course you will.” Arvis reassured him, ruffling his red hair.

Julius giggled. “What about big brother Saias? I never see him anymore…I miss him teaching me magic…and playing with me…”

Arvis realized he was right. It had been almost seven years now that he hadn’t seen his son Saias, that Julius and Julia hadn’t seen their big brother. Saias had decided from a young age to pursue the life of a holy man, now attending Priest Academy. Living with a bunch of priests, he was not able to come back home to visit until it was complete. He missed his son, and most of all, his siblings missed him. It broke Arvis’ heart and wished that Saias did not want that life at times. He could not, and did not, want to stop him from achieving his dream, so let him depart to follow his heart. But now, he wondered if it really was the best choice.

“I know…I’m sure that he misses you too…” Arvis patted Julius’ head.

Arvis hoped that his training would conclude soon, at least a couple more years. He wanted him to see his siblings before the fated time that Sety foretold. Only five more years…Arvis thought, still dreading and praying it would not come. He sent letters to Sigurd often, wanting the update on the situation with him and insight on what was happening. Sigurd told him every time that it was the same as always, peaceful and nothing out of the ordinary. Sigurd kept in touch with Quan and Ethlyn too and relayed their information to Arvis. Even where they were, nothing out of the ordinary, nothing wrong at all. Nothing had changed. Part of him felt relief, the other knew that when it did happen, it would be quick and sudden, changing the world and situation in one drastic way. Only five more years…


 

Chapter Text


So it was, five years later as Sety foretold, that everything took a sharp turn straight into hell. Julius and Julia were eighteen, Arvis had been reigning as supreme Emperor for eighteen years, the world in absolute peace. Saias was the young age of twenty-two and had completed his Priest training three years back, now officially a priest. He now lived with his family in the capital Belhalla. Julius and Julia were so excited to have their big brother back home and cried, waiting for his carriage to arrive with great anxiousness and jumped inside the carriage once it pulled up, not even waiting for Saias to get out first. Saias had grown and matured greatly, Arvis barely recognized him as the same kid that was shy and nervous. He now exuded regal authority, and great intelligence and insight, coming off as more competent than Sety, the young royal advisor was equal in those areas but never came off that way, only seeming far too aloof and playful.

Saias did not trust Sety. He interrogated him for five straight hours. Sety had decided to play a game with Saias, not giving him any straight answers and darting around the questions, as if he were the one chasing him. Sety was the real one in control, as always. Arvis tried reassuring his son that Sety was one to be trusted, but he could not change his sons mind. He felt as if there was something off about him, something he was not telling them. He feared the worst from Sety and followed him like a tracker. Arvis knew as long as Saias kept acting like this towards Sety, Sety would continue merely playing with him.

Ishtar and Reinhardt were as close to Julius and Julia as they were when they were kids. They still came around to spend time with them, and train with them. Arvis and Sety still provided training sessions with them all. Now that Ishtar was becoming more of a woman, she opted to spend more time with Arvis’ wife Deirdre. The two of them would sit outside by the patio at a fancy white porcelain table, drinking tea and eating small cakes. They discussed more ladylike things and began going separate ways than the boys. Julius watched Ishtar from afar, hoping to see her and spend time with her but not knowing what to say, or what to do. He could only watch and yearn. Ishtar had begun noticing him and blushed, waving elegantly at him. Julius would run away. Now Ishtar knew she would have to be the one to approach Julius. He was just so shy and nervous, he would never be able to approach her boldly. She needed to be the one to take initiative is she wanted to spend time with him and hope to get him to open up more. She always enjoyed being with him ever since they were children. She found him with his twin sister Julia often. Taking the first move, Ishtar took a deep breath and smoothed out the bottom of her long white dress with black flowers. Her small white heels clicked on the stone pathway leading to where Julius sat on a bench in the courtyard with Julia. His sister noticed Ishtar first and giggled, seeing that she was going to make a move. Julius was confused and turned to where his sister was looking. Seeing Ishtar standing in the sunlight, the bright rays reflecting off of her lavender hair making it appear to be shimmering and semi translucent. Her dress was so beautiful, the back of it being longer than the front where it ended just past her knees. Her sleeves hung off of her pale shoulders. She held her hands together in front of her nervously.

“Julius…I was wondering if you would like to…have lunch together?” She asked, tucking a strand of hair behind her ear and tilting her head to the side, smiling.

Julius’ whole face turned bright red and he couldn’t find the words to respond. She found him adorable and prayed he would always keep this innocence and purity. He was always so kind and sweet, caring for each and every person around him. If someone was in need he would jump to help. He would take baskets and bags from people and carry it to their house and even tended to people’s gardens. It wasn’t as if it was even a burden, Julius enjoyed helping people. Ishtar couldn’t help but fall for him. So, there they sat together outside a new café. It had outdoor seating where they currently sat, overlooking a lake below. The white table had an umbrella over it in the center of the table. It provided them with shade from the bright sun. There were ducks and geese swimming about with their babies behind them, teaching them to swim and eat. Julius and Ishtar watched with keen interest, drinking their sweet aromatic tea. Ishtar leaned against her hand, staring at Julius. He was so cute, his eyes shining while he watched the birds. Julius noticed her staring and turned to face her.

“Hm? Hehehe Ishtar! You keep staring at me! Silly!” He giggled.

She adored him. She would never leave his side and would always be there for him. “Please…never change Julius…” She told him.

“What? Now that’s funny! Why would I change? Especially when I have such great friends and family! And you!” He leaned over his crossed arms on the table towards her. She blushed, pointing to herself.

“Wh-what? Me?!”

Julius giggled again. “Yes, you! Silly Ishtar!”


They both laughed, her heart felt warm when with him. They had idle chatter and he walked her home to where she lived in Freege. In the thunder tribe they lived in small huts made from dense bamboo, other foliage and wood. She waved bye to Julius and slowly went inside. She hoped to not run into her mother who was known for her cruel heartless nature. She mistreated those around her including her own family. She sought power and flaunted it often, killing many innocents. Safely reaching her room she flopped on her bed and covered her face with her purple pillow and screamed into it, rolling around on her bed. Her cousin Tinny, hearing Ishtar was back, came running into her room and hopped on the bed next to her. “Ishtar! Is it true?! You had a date with Julius?!”

Ishtar hugged her cousin tightly. “Yes! He’s just wonderful Tinn!” Excitedly she told her all about Julius and how kind he always was, to her included. Tinny sighed, laying on her stomach on the bed with her face in her hands, kicking her legs back and forth.

“Wow! He sounds dreamy! I hope I can have a guy as great as that one day!”

Ishtar joined her. “Of course, you will! I’m sure he will be princely and charming!”

The two girls sighed.


Julius skipped on home, humming a song he heard Sety play most often. He stopped to admire the flowers on the side of the road and couldn’t be happier. He always enjoyed his time with Ishtar, she made his heart flutter when she smiled at him or when she was near. He found Julia in the garden, where she usually was. He sat beside her on the white canopy swing, holding her hand. “Julia! Ishtar is so pretty…And she asked me to lunch! It was so great…” He sighed dreamily. Julia giggled.

“It seems you like her quite a bit!”

“Mhm! I do!” Julius nodded.

Julia was so happy for him, he deserved to be happy and feel like this. Her brother was special, and she would always love him. The sun began going down when they realized they had been talking for hours. Deirdre came outside, standing on the back porch with a pan of freshly baked bread in her arms. “Julius! Julia! Please come inside now and join us for dinner!”

The twins raced each other back inside and even ran through the halls, slipping on the red and gold rug underneath them. They laughed and skidded to a halt when Saias stood in the doorway to the dining room. He had his arms crossed, glaring at their misbehavior.

“Heh…Hi Saias!” Julius said, rubbing the back of his head.

Julia clung onto his arm, smiling at Saias. “Hi big brother!” She said innocently.

Saias remained un-budged. “Do not misbehave as if you were children…You are the imperial prince and princess. You must behave yourselves.”

“Aww…but we were just having fun!” Julius pouted.

“Please big bro…We didn’t mean any harm…” Julia pouted too, looking up at Saias with her big doe eyes. He glared for a couple seconds more then caved in, sighing deeply.

“Okay, okay…Just don’t do it again! Mother has made a very wonderful dinner for us to enjoy. Peacefully.”

As Julius walked past Saias he muttered, “Yeah, tell that to Sety…” Julia giggled too, leaning against Julius’ arm. Saias grew weary, putting up with these children despite being eighteen they acted like they were still twelve. It perplexed him. But Arvis and Deirdre did not mind it and Sety only egged them on even more, encouraging their bad behavior.

Saias sat down at the table, beside Sety. Julius, Julia and Deirdre sat in front of them and Arvis sat at the head of the table. Tonight, Deirdre cooked and marinated roast beef with warm bread, cooked potatoes and carrots. Julius puffed his cheeks, pushing back the vegetables. Julia took interest, taking his vegetables for herself. Arvis sighed, knowing how picky his children could be. It took the children awhile to cut through the meat and Julia ate it in small pieces while Julius just stabbed the first piece, biting into it. Sety had his tome laid out on the table opened up, playing beautiful calming music. He had that mischievous glint in his eyes but kept to himself. Which was definitely odd to say the least, Sety was never quiet. No one questioned it.

Dinner concluded without much said, and Julius ran off to his room, hoping to sleep as soon as he could so he could wake up to see Ishtar again. Which is exactly what happened, the next day.


Ishtar was in the market place, buying some bread and fruits. Julius spotted her in a long dark purple dress and his heart skipped a beat. It was quite form fitting enunciating her elegant figure. He felt really hot all of a sudden and his skin turned clammy. What do I say to her?! Do I just…approach her?! But she’s so beautiful! Hi, Ishtar? Do you, um, would you like to…uh…go out w-with m-me? He thought. She turned from the fruit stand to face him, her lavender eyes widened with surprise. Julius tilted his head, confused. He had thought that…right?

“Ju-Julius…I-I would love to…” She whispered, blushing.

“Wh-whaaat?!” Julius exclaimed, his heart hammering, his entire face flushed a deep red. “You mean…I said that…out loud?!”

She giggled. “Why, yes Julius…You did.” She moved the basket to one arm so she could link the other with Julius’. He felt like he would die, just drop dead at any given moment. He was dying from embarrassment, sure that he said that in his head. But with Ishtar so close…it felt like a real date. They wandered around the market place together, looking at all the different stalls. They came across an accessory stall. It had many types of handmade jewelry and thin stylish scarves. Julius saw her looking at the pretty sparkling hair clips and decided to buy her one. He picked out which one screamed, Ishtar, at him. It was a silver butterfly hair clip with dark purple gems in its wings. He also picked her out a light purple scarf to go with it and would go with just about any outfit.

He blushed, handing them to her. She gawked at him, unable to believe what was happening. “O-oh. Wait…Let me put them on you…” He realized and put the clip in place in her hair and gently wrapped the scarf around her neck. Tears filled her eyes and she smiled so brightly and so sweetly that Julius began crying too. She hugged him tightly, burying her face in his chest. He held her in his arms, around her slim body. I think…I love Ishtar…Julius thought to himself.

“Oh, Julius…You didn’t have to get me anything…” She said to him.

“I wanted to Ishtar! You deserve to be treated like…a princess! I want to adorn you in the finest gems and cloths!”

She kissed him on his cheek, leaving him a blushing mess. “Thank you…my sweet Julius…” She gave him a loving look, her eyes staring into his. He held her hand and they took a walk back to the castle Julius lived in.

“Could we make another stop?” He asked her. She could never say no to him.

“Of course.”

She left her basket on a bench and Julius took her to the royal garden he visited and loved. They stooped down together to stare at and admire the flowers, gently cupping them, admiring their beauty. “Wow Julius…they are so pretty…”

“Almost as pretty as you…” He accidentally slipped, blushing when he realized what he just said. She blushed too, and giggled, leaning against him.

“Thank you…Julius…”

They walked around the garden taking in all its beauty and sat in the center of the grove of flowers. He made her a flower crown of white flowers, putting it on her head. She made him a purple flower crown, putting it on his head. They both giggled and blushed, gazing at each other lovingly. From the door Arvis, Deirdre and Sety watched with fondness. From the very top window in a dark room stood a tall hunched figure, peaking through the dark curtains, laughing to himself.

Julius walked Ishtar back to Freege and kissed her on her cheek. “I…really enjoyed today Ishtar.” He said, nervously.

“I really enjoyed it too Julius.” She kissed him on his cheek again before waving goodbye, hurrying inside before her mother would get home.


The same as the day before, Julius skipped on home, humming a song Sety would always play. Swirling above him was dark purple clouds and lots of smoke. He stared in horror, afraid of thunder storms and ran inside. In the castle it was just as dark as it became outside. He lit a small flame on his hand and his breathing increased. He looked around, not seeing his family.

“Julia? Mother? Father? Saias? Sety” Upstairs he heard creaking of the floorboards and the sound of something rustling. It freaked him out and sent shivers down his spine. “Julia?” He squeaked. “Anyone?”

There was a low chuckle and he saw a shadow dart by, shaped like a human. He jumped and ran without knowing where to he was running. Down the hall he tried navigating, feeling the presence follow him. He tripped when reaching the stairs, scrambling up them as quick as he could. There was an overwhelming sense of dread, and the presence of death. Upstairs he continued running, trying to scream but nothing came out of his mouth. He was chased into a room that was always boarded off. For once, the door was open. It swung shut with a loud creak and followed by a bang. He cowered on the ground, his hands covering his head. “Ishtar…save me…” He cried. He knew she was safe in Freege but wanted nothing more than her light happy comforting presence, to hold him and keep him safe. The dark figured was hunched over him, cackling with a crackly voice.

“Please…leave me alone…”

“Oh, boy. When I am done with you, you will be a god. No one will turn you down and the entire world will be yours.” The voice spoke, sounding like a very old man who has been through a lot.

“No…but I don’t want that…Please….” Julius cowered with fear.

The man shoved a thick heavy tome into his lap and Julius screamed, falling backwards. All of a sudden there was an intense sharp pain that coursed through his body, making it feel hot and tingly. He howled, clutching his head with his nails, digging into his skin. He drew blood but it wasn’t enough to stop the overwhelming pain. His body began spasming on the ground, his arms and legs twitching and thrashing in weird odd directions they shouldn’t move in. He arched his back, letting out a pained scream, the intense agony increasing. It felt like molten lava was being coursed through his veins, burning him from the inside out. Blood began seeping out from his eyes, ears, nose and mouth. He stopped breathing, his chest contorting and squeezing, making him unable to take any more breaths, he lay there choking and clutching his throat. His nails tore open what he clawed at, blood dripping through his finger. Hid body did another gruesome spasm and his mind blanked out, memories fading of Ishtar, smiling at him, holding his arm, going on dates, of Julia, holding his hand, racing against him wherever they went, of sitting together in the garden, his father smiling at him, patting his head, teaching him magic, of Sety teaching him magic, playing with him in the garden, playing music to him, and finally of his mother with her warm smile and homemade meals. All became black nothingness and he didn’t feel anything at all.


All through the castle there was a malicious presence felt. Sety’s heart ached, knowing very well what was going on. He couldn’t change it as much as he wanted to and stayed back, watching from afar. Arvis rounded up his family, hugging Julia and Deirdre, a look of madness on his face. “Where’s Julius?!”

Julia sobbed. “I-I think I heard him upstairs he-,” As she spoke Julius slowly and purposefully stalked downstairs, his head cocked to the side a deranged smile on his face.

“Oh Julia~? My dear beloved sister come out and play~.” He cooed with this sickly-sweet voice. It made all their bodies turn ice cold and chills shot up them. His eyes were crazed, and he hardly resembled timid, sweet, kind Julius at all.

Deirdre put Julia behind her, already chanting a spell. “Mother, Mother please…what…” Julia frantically whispered. Deirdre was crying and she cupped her face, kissing her forehead.

“I love you my sweet daughter…Be good now okay…” She kissed her forehead again.

“Oh, Mother!” Julius laughed, holding his arms out. “Seems you are just too eager to die…” A dark purple magic pentagram appeared beneath Julius, dark purple waves encircling him. He concentrated the energy at his finger tips and shot them at Deirdre. It blasted her to the side, slamming against one of the cement pillars, cracking it. Where the magic hit her back had torn it open completely, able to see the bone and exposed tissue, blood pouring out of the immense fatal wound.

Arvis stood in shock and horror, his whole world falling apart right before his eyes. He felt frozen to the ground, unable to say or do anything. Julius was ready to turn his attention to Julia but where she was before, was now gone. Not a trace could be found. Julius huffed. “Oh, how troublesome. That whore must have hidden her from me. But now…I must find and kill the wielder of Tyrfing…”

Arvis swallowed hard, his throat completely dry. “Ju-Julius…wh-why are you doing this?”

Julius brushed back his bangs, his eyes still holding that insanity look to them. “Why…because anyone with the blood of Naga can kill me. Tyrfing being blessed by Naga also has that ability. So, to secure my immortality I must rid the world of any and all Naga descendants. My dear mother…what a shame! Haha!”

Arvis felt utterly sick. All in a span of minutes he lost his wife, daughter and son. This was no longer Julius. He did not know what happened, but Julius was gone and replaced with…This evil spawn of some sort. The back of his mind screamed, Loptous. He knew Manfroy was aiming for that ultimately. But they had no idea where he was. Julius had the mark of Loptous on his forehead the day he was born as well. Arvis and Deirdre, both possessing the blood of Loptous could ultimately resurrect the dark god. The dark god Loptous, could have control over Julius and Arvis could not stop it. He collapsed to his knees, sobbing into his hands.

Julius held his hands behind his back, walking around his father, eyeing him thoughtfully. “I still have great use for you…Father…But now…Belhalla castle is mine and I need an army…and top generals to serve me…Oh what fun this is going to be! Aren’t you just excited?!” Julius laughed. Arvis shook, unable to process or comprehend the extent of the situation or what had just occurred. He felt like his whole life was torn apart. Julius, with his madness was probably seeking chaos, death, destruction and domination. He would not let that happen. He would go to Tirnagog and warn Sigurd personally. Seliph needed to be protected. They needed to get out and find another place to hide. Arvis would leave first thing when Julius left to Belhalla. This was far worse than he could have ever imagined.


 

Chapter Text


“Haah!” Seliph charged at Shannan who blocked easily, smirking at the young man.

“Is that all you’ve got?” He taunted him.

Seliph glared at him, swinging again, to which Shannan was again, quick to block. “You have to pay attention to your foes movements! Watch their body language and don’t give in to your anger and desire to win! Make eye contact and watch even the slightest movement! A twitch of the arm or leg hinting on the direction they will move in!” Shannan instructed.

Seliph was panting heavily, they had been at this for over an hour. Larcei sat on the front porch of their small wooden house they lived in and sipped her fresh squeezed lemonade Oifey had made for them. Despite his appearance and uptight personality Oifey was quite the cook, the best hand in the kitchen actually. He made the tastiest dishes and his lemonade was killer as Larcei put it.

“Concentrate Seliph!” Sigurd ordered, he hadn’t been sparing or training with him as much, knowing he needed to learn other techniques and battle strategies aside from what he knew. He wanted Seliph to be pushed to his full potential and to be trained as many different ways as he could to maximize his skill.

Beads of sweat trickled down Seliph’s forehead, down his face. Shannan sheathed his sword. “Alright, go take a break.”

Seliph sighed with relief, sheathing Tyrfing that his father insisted he keep. He trotted over to Larcei who handed out her lemonade to him. He gladly took it, taking eager swigs of it. “H-hey slow down! You’re drinking it all!” She yelled, trying to get it back. “Meanie!” She snatched the empty glass from him, glaring at it.

He wiped his forehead with his sleeve and patted Larcei’s head. “Thanks for that!” He said, smiling. She stomped her foot, shouting at him, while he laughed.

Shannan sat beside Sigurd. “They really get along, don’t they?” He laughed.

“Indeed.” Sigurd agreed.

“Do you really think he’s ready though?” Shannan asked.

“We’ve done all that we could…We just have to pray it was enough…A child having to face war and battle though…nothing will ever make him ready for that…” Sigurd sadly said, closing his eyes.

Shannan nodded silently. They knew it had been five years. They expected any day now to face what awaited them. No one had any idea what it would be or what to exactly prepare for. They could just pass on what they knew and hope for the best.

“You owe me another lemonade!” Larcei continued.

“Get yourself another lemonade!” Seliph retorted.

She grabbed him in a headlock, Seliph still laughing. “How do you like that?! Huh?!”

Watching them with great interest from his perch in a tree beside the pair was Seliph’s brother Lugh. He chuckled and decided to make his move, hoping down gracefully, landing on Larcei’s back.

“Aaaaugh! Get the monkey off of me!” She yelled twirling around in circles. He clung on, laughing gleefully.


Ced and Ulster stayed back as they normally did, sharpening spear heads to attach to wooden poles. They knew the warning from Sety was five years so they were going to be prepared for it and make as many weapons beforehand as they could. Ulster could wield both a sword like his mother and an axe like his father. Ced preferred magic like his late father, having the magic potential for it. Lugh too, preferred magic but could take up a sword in dire situations. He kept daggers hidden in his boots in cases of emergencies. Sigurd made sure to teach all of his children the sword, even if they did not want to wield one as their primary weapon. Seliph took after Sigurd in that regard, he could only use a sword and did not care much for magic. He did not have the concentration for it. No mage was around to teach him it either, Ced and Lugh having self-taught themselves. Great magic potential flowing through their veins. Lugh used wind magic ever since he was a small child. “The wind speaks to me!” He would say. It broke Sigurd’s heart, reminding him so much of his husband Lewyn. Those were the same words he spoke. The wind sylphs were very attracted to him too, flocking to him whenever he played music. Now, Lugh was almost the spitting image of him, with long hair in a braid over his shoulder tied with a red bow. He instead wore purple instead of Lewyn’s usual blue. Seliph and Ced both wore blue though, taking after Lewyn and Sigurd.

Now that they were all eighteen, Sigurd could really see who took after whom. Seliph really did take all of Lewyn’s looks, having a really pretty feminine face, he only took Sigurd’s eye color and hair color. Ced took after Sigurd in appearance, looking really handsome instead, just with Lewyn’s green eyes and hair. Now Lugh, was an enigma. He was very pretty and feminine like Lewyn, having his hair color too, but with blue eyes like Sigurd. He was carefree and playful, always a smile on his face. But when he knew and decided to be serious, he was. And then you saw that Sigurd really was his other parent, resembling him a lot. That is why Sigurd saw him as an enigma.

Larcei and Ulster both took after their mother, looking like a pureblooded Issachian. They had black hair and purple eyes. Shannan could pass off as their brother except he wasn’t. He supposed that Ulster took Lex’s handsome appearance. He looked very masculine like Lex did. He just wasn’t near as teasing as his father. He was more serious like his mother. Larcei on the other hand…took Lex’s teasing playful nature.

Phee and Vinn both took Erinys’ beautiful appearance. Phee only had short hair and Vinn wore his long and in a French braid. Naoise preferred them to look more like his wife, remembering her every day he looked at his kids. Sigurd knew how it felt to lose your beloved spouse, loving and missing Lewyn so terribly every day.

He wondered how the other kids were, and how much they resembled their parents. He knew Leif would look exactly like Quan, he could tell when he was only a kid. He regretfully thought of Altena too, and how she would have been. Ethlyn and Quan were both still devastated over the loss of their daughter. She would have been twenty by now. Sigurd often thought about Ares too and how he was. He wondered if he greatly resembled Eldie by now. His dream was still for Seliph, Leif, and Ares to be the best of friends, the trio just like Sigurd was with Quan and Eldigan.

Sigurd dreamt of those days, long ago together back at the academy. They would fight over who could win over the most girls. All in good fun, nothing serious. Sigurd did not date or find the one until that day in Agustria. He could still vividly see him, flitting about lightly on his feet, twirling around, wielding the wind, using to his advantage against his foes. He had a playful smirk, and almost danced around the enemies. He was the most beautiful person Sigurd had ever seen. “Lewyn…” He muttered, burying his face in his hands again, his heart aching.

Shannan rubbed his back, knowing he felt this pain every day. Every day without his beloved husband. His significant other. His soul mate. Lewyn and Sigurd had completed each other and now that one was gone, it was as if half of Sigurd’s heart was gone too. There would always be that emptiness inside of him. Nothing would ever change or replace that. He dreamt of him, often. He could almost feel his warmth beside him, envision him curled up by his side. He could see his bright smile, head tilted to the side cutely. Seliph and Lugh’s smile mirroring Lewyn’s identically. It ached. Sigurd’s heart ached and he had to hold back his tears and cherish and hold their children tight. It pained him looking at them who resembled Lewyn so much, but it wasn’t fair to them if he went on ignoring them for his own pain he felt. Why was fate so cruel…the first person he ever loved…so perfect for him…as if they were fated for each other…just to get taken away. Sigurd clutched his shirt over his heart tightly, gritting his teeth. He couldn’t show his children this, they couldn’t see he was still hurting, it would affect them too much.


Suddenly Shannan stood up abruptly, his posture changing to that of offensive, reaching for his sword. Sigurd too did the same, not knowing what was coming. Coming up the hill through the dark green forest he could see two black hooded figures, but under one hood was long fiery red hair and he slowly relaxed, knowing that hair anywhere. But that mustn’t be good, Sigurd realized, knowing what this must mean.

Arvis approached with his partner, Sigurd could see long green hair braided over a shoulder and at first his heart leaped, Lewyn had kept his that way, but he soon realized it was only Sety, despite their uncanny similarities. “Arvis.” Sigurd bowed, acknowledging him as the ruling Emperor.

“At ease Sigurd. My title does not apply.” Arvis’ eyes looked hollow, Sigurd knew that look. It matched his own after all. They saw the void, they held emptiness. What horror could have possibly happened? Sigurd wanted to shout, to scream. He was so afraid of what he would hear, what Seliph would have to inevitably face.

“Arvis…” Sigurd started.

“Sit down Sigurd. I have much to inform you…”

With shaky legs Sigurd and Shannan sat back down on the porch. Arvis sat on a tree stump in front of them, Sety stood off to the side. The story was far too much to handle, no one was prepared for what was told.

“Listen very closely Sigurd. I am in danger from just being here alone…but I had to warn you. You need to get out. Manfroy had gotten ahold…of Julius…I am afraid that…he’s gone…Replaced by a monster. He claimed that the only way to kill him is if they had the blood of Naga. Your sword was forged by Naga herself, being the only other way to kill him. He has already killed my wife Deirdre, shielding Julia…” Arvis wore a pained expression as he said that. Sigurd knew he recognized the pain and emptiness in his eyes, knew it resembled his own. Dierdre…Sigurd thought, shocked to hear that she was murdered. She was so kind and gentle… Sigurd embraced Arvis tightly, rubbing his back. Arvis held back tears, wanting so terribly to just…break down.

“Arvis…it’s okay to cry…” Sigurd spoke softly. “You just lost your wife, yet you came here to warn us…You do not know where your daughter went and your son…Arvis.” Sigurd continued. Arvis had his eyes closed tightly, gripping the back of Sigurd’s shirt desperately. He felt wet tears hit his shirt and he just held him even tighter. Sigurd pressed his cheek against Arvis’ head, holding on to him so tightly as if by his hold alone he would be able to hold him together, keep him from breaking.


They stayed like that for what felt like hours. Sety stayed off to the side, his arms crossed, looking at them with discontent. He knew Sigurd was only trying to help but also knew how close they were, and now they both had lost their spouse. Sety did not want to make a wrong move, had to tread carefully, one wrong step and he could lose Arvis forever. He had to be his emotional support, could not lose him to Sigurd. “My Lord…” Sety muttered, running his fingers through Arvis’ long curly red hair.

Arvis looked away slowly, towards Sety. He looked absolutely beautiful like that. Tear stained face, a look of complete vulnerability. Eyes shimmering from the tears. Sety grabbed Arvis’ arms gently, pulling him back, off of Sigurd. He let himself be pulled along like that almost like a doll, or a small child. “It’s okay…” Sety murmured to him, crouching down in front of him. He wrapped his arms around his shoulders, one hand resting on the back of his head, pulling him close. He pulled him against his shoulder and held him. Looking over Arvis he could see the questioning look Sigurd was giving him and he smirked. Sigurd looked between the two of them and seemed to piece things together, a look of ‘oh’ on his face, his mouth open in an O shape.

“Sety…” Arvis muttered. “Did you…know what was going to happen? Is that why…you weren’t there when Julius…when Julius…” Arvis couldn’t bring himself to finish. Sety just softly shushed him, rocking him back and forth.

“Arvis…If I could have stopped it…prevented what happened…I would have…But by doing so…Would have changed the entire future…Maybe for the worse…I…cannot let Loptous win again…” He quietly said the last part.


Arvis knew deep inside that Sety was right but he just couldn’t accept it when he knew it was going to happen and could have stopped it. Rationally he understood. But emotionally, he couldn’t. All in the span of an hour he had lost his entire family. All he had ever wanted in life. He loved them. He still had Sety, sure, but that was it now. He felt…empty…He just wanted his life to go back to the way it was before.

“I’m so sorry…You of all people do not deserve what has just happened to you…And for that you have my deepest regrets and apologies…” Sety said, his words and eyes sincere. Arvis just wanted to close his eyes, sleep and forget all that just happened. He wanted to never wake up, to never have to go on with his life the way it now was.

“Arvis. What are we to do? To prepare for?” Shannan asked, standing up again with a stern expression.

“For Julius. He will hunt down Seliph and Julia. He will kill them. No matter what it takes, or who he will sacrifice. He already showed that just trying to get to Julia. He lacks any sort of compassion. I fear he will cause destruction and chaos…Killing any and all he can. Burning this world to the ground and bringing all to their knees. Prepare for war Shannan of Issach. But not just any war…I fear…this will be the second Holy War…” Arvis said, his words laying heavily on Sigurd and Shannan. Little did they know, the children were curious and nosy, hiding behind crates, listening in on their conversation.


 

Chapter Text


             The children felt their blood run cold and they all glanced at each other, not sure if they heard the adults right. Seliph in particular suddenly felt shaky and nauseous. Larcei swallowed hard, looking down at Seliph where she leaned over him to spy on the adults. “It’s…not true…” She squeaked.

            Seliph wished it weren’t true but knew of the warning the stranger called Sety gave. He forewarned them of a catastrophe that was destined to come. It was what their parents had been training them for all these years, why he was given Tyrfing to wield. He still did not feel worthy enough, or even ready to successfully wield it but his father had insisted. “I’m…being hunted…” Seliph slowly said, the realization slowly sinking in. That would mean his whole family, his friends, they were all in great imminent danger.

            Looking back, he saw the adults stand up and afraid they would come their way the children all scrambled quickly, Seliph tripped over Larcei and she tried shoving him back. Ulster stepped on Ced who was crouched on the ground, tripping as well and he tried catching him, both falling over ungracefully. Lugh leaned against the wall, chuckling at their mess. Phee and Vinn were both unsure if they should be spying on the adults and both stayed back, watching from afar.

            Was that Sety? Seliph wondered, his curiosity getting the better of him. The stranger with Arvis wore a long black cloak, his hood up, concealing his face. But Seliph could still see long green hair in a braid over one shoulder, tied with a red ribbon. Seliph crept around the buildings wall, darting behind crates stacked. He peeked out and, staring intently at Sety. You were almost named that. He recalled his father telling him, sharing all the ridiculous names that his other father had come up with. Seliph snorted, there really was someone that ridiculous to go through with naming their son that! He was glad his other father had common sense to talk him out of naming them something like Sety. Seliph immediately shut up when he noticed blue eyes staring back at him with keen interest. He gasped, hiding once more.

            “It seems we have a little nosy child on our hands. Don’t you know naughty boys get punished?” Sety called out with a light tone.

            “What?” Sigurd asked, walking over to where he knew, Seliph would be hiding. He looked up sheepishly at his father, giving him a small wave.

            “Heheh…Hi Dad…” Seliph said. Sigurd sighed, his angry look dissipating into something more…tired.

            He dragged Seliph out and sat him down on the porch he previously was sitting on. “Your son is taking after you more I see.” Arvis said.

            Sigurd laughed. “Unfortunately…Lewyn and I both have that trait in us…” Sigurd said.

            Arvis hummed. “I did not know Lewyn very well. But if he had caught your interest like that, I’m sure he was someone special.”

            Seliph fidgeted, looking down at his hands. He was not used to other people talking about his late father. Even his Dad never spoke of him very often. Slight comments here and there, like when it came to their musical talents, but nothing much. He knew it must be because he just missed him so much. Seliph understood that and even though he did not know his father, he missed him as much as his Dad did. There was an ache in his heart and a longing for him, to know him, to have him with him, to play music to him. He could almost envision him from the adult’s explanation and description of him. He was very beautiful and fair as a maiden. His hair was very long and green, like Lugh and Ced’s. He kept it maintained always, appearing very beautiful. He styled it similar to how Lugh did his, from what he’s heard from his Dad. Seliph wished so badly, that he had gotten to meet him.

            “Yes…He was an exceptional person…” Sigurd said, that sadness returning to his eyes.

            “I’m so sorry for your loss.” Arvis said, bowing his head.

            “As am I…” Sigurd replied.

            Both adults sat there in somber silence. Then his Dad spoke up again. “Oh, Seliph. You have not formally met Emperor Arvis or Sety yet have you?”

            Seliph shook his head. He had heard many stories of Emperor Arvis that he felt as if he had already known him. He knew he was a kind man, yet greatly feared for his great magical abilities, and commanding presence. His Dad had told him though that he is not as scary as the rumors make him out to be. That he is simply very misunderstood and has a hard time socializing with others, quite an awkward man. He knew the Emperor had to be a nice person though, being friends with his Dad and all. “How did you two become friends? Meet each other?” Seliph asked. He had always wondered but never actually asked. Instead he came up with many head scenarios. His Dad, swooping in on horseback to save Arvis who was in distress. Or Arvis was kidnapped and his Dad had set off on a journey to save him and bring him back. They seemed like two polar opposites, so it was hard for Seliph to envision them as friends.

            Sigurd scratched the back of his head, glancing over at Arvis who stared off into the trees. “Well…” Sigurd started.

            “The boy is curious…” Arvis sighed. “I do not blame him since you as his father are friends with the Emperor.”

            “Quite strange to him yeah…” Sigurd nodded.

            “To answer your question since you have a right to know…Sigurd and I met at my father’s funeral. At that time, I was only seven and had just lost my mother as well. Being handed the title Duke spontaneously, I was overwhelmed, to say the least. But Sigurd reached out to me that day. He…was there when I really needed someone…” Arvis muttered, his eyes holding such despair, such broken feelings. Sigurd stood by his side, wrapping an arm around his shoulders, bringing him close.

            “I could never abandon you. I will never abandon you.” Sigurd said with unbending determination.

            “Neither will I.” Sety added.

            That story made a lot of sense. Seliph thought. Meeting at a young age when titles did not yet matter, and at such a crucial time for Arvis. It was no wonder they were so close now. To have a lifelong best friend like that…He hoped that he would remain that way with his friends now.

            “Then…who is Sety exactly?” Seliph asked.

            Sety hummed with sarcastic wonder. “Hmmm just who am I?” He smirked and Seliph stood there gawking, having no words to say. He had heard stories of Sety but could not imagine there being such a man.

            “My royal advisor.” Arvis said proudly.

            “Who is he? Where did he come from? Why is he here?” Seliph asked, finding him incredibly mysterious.

            “Actually…we don’t know.” Sigurd said.

            “Apparently he comes from Silesse. He is here to save our world from the chaos and destruction that Loptous will bring.” Arvis said, getting the gist of why he’s here.

            “That’s right~.” Sety sang, clinging onto Arvis’ arm. “But there are some perks that comes with me being here~.” He winked at Arvis and his face turned scarlet.

            “Wh-what are you implying?!”

            Sety merely shrugged. “I dunnooo~.” His smirk was teasing and playful and Seliph got the idea that he was almost never serious. He seemed…flaky. But getting another look at his face he just seemed…familiar somehow. Sety never looked at him directly so Seliph shrugged it off as him just being Silessian. They all looked similar in one way or another. Like Phee and Vinn. They were both very pretty, with green hair.

            Shannan stood up, looking serious and determined. “Then I mustn’t wait any longer. If death and impending chaos is upon us, I must be prepared to risk my life to save everyone else’s.”

            “What do you mean?” Sigurd asked.

            “That I must now journey to the Yied Desert to find Balmung. The Issachian sacred weapon used by my ancestor the crusader Odo.”

            Sigurd nodded. “That sounds like a very solid plan…I too must journey there. I need to catch up with Quan and Ethlyn and fill them in, in person on the situation now. All that Arvis has divulged to us.”

            Seliph’s heart skipped a beat and he grew pale. “W-wait…you all are leaving?” He couldn’t imagine his Dad and Shannan both departing. So suddenly too.

            Sigurd patted his son’s head. “I have trained you for 12 years of your life, since you were six years old. I know you are ready to face what will be thrown at you. It is not as if I am leaving you forever. I will return.”

            “B-but Dad…Could you at least leave tomorrow morning?” Seliph begged.

            Sigurd’s eyes softened. He knew Seliph feared about losing him and did not blame him. After all he lived every day without his other father. “Alright son…” Sigurd gave in. Then he turned to Sety and Arvis. “You two should at least stay the night as well. Leave at daybreak.”

            Arvis nodded, agreeing with him. Sety stared at the both of them, knowing the great chemistry that was between them. And they both were still in mourning. He was not ready to lose Arvis to Sigurd. But the two of them seemed awfully close…Sigurd still had his arm around Arvis’ slim shoulders, their eyes meeting. It made Sety’s stomach turn.

           


Sigurd lead them all inside the house they stayed in. It was a small, simple wooden house. The small functional kitchen was off to the left side, thin beige curtains covering the two small windows over the counter near the sink. To the right was the dining room, a long rickety wooden table was there that seated six people and off to the side was a round wooden table that seated four more. Under the tables were faded green rugs, fraying at the edges. To the back was a hallway, sunlight coming in through the windows of the bedrooms on either side. It was kind of cramped at times, too snug even, but it was home, and they wouldn’t have it any other way.

            “I’m sorry your Imperial Highness if this isn’t up to par with what you are used to.” Sigurd chuckled.

            Arvis waved his hand as if that was unimportant. “There’s a roof and a bed, I’ll be fine. The housing is the least of my worries. I will be lucky to still be alive.”

            Sigurd’s gaze dropped. That was right. Arvis could have seriously died if Julius felt like it. He may still die, shall Julius will it so. It honestly scared Sigurd senseless. He lost his husband, thought he lost his sister and best friend years ago, and now might actually lose his other best friend Arvis. “Ah, I…am sorry.” Sigurd said.

            Arvis reached up, resting his hand on Sigurd’s cheek. “It is alright. I am alive and here now. And I won’t lay over and die so easily.”

            Sigurd smiled sadly. “Yeah…of course not.” But the sounds of Julius’s magic seemed…otherworldly. Something man did not possess.

            “Sorry we don’t have enough rooms.” Sigurd said. “Most here share a room. Or take the living room if you exit the dining room.”

            “Share a room?” Arvis asked incredulously.

            “Yeah…sorry ‘bout that…Shannan and Oifey share a room. Ayra and Lex share a room. Seliph and Lugh share a room. Ced and Ulster share a room. Larcei and Phee share a room. Naoise and Vinn share a room-.”

            “What about you?” Arvis asked.

            “Ah…me…Heheh…” He laughed nervously.

            “Of course.” Arvis rolled his eyes.

            “It just so happened out that way!” Sigurd protested.

            “We have two extra though?” Sety pointed out. Sigurd put his hand to his mouth in thought.

            “It’s only common curtesy to put my guests in the bedroom. I can take the mat in the living room.” Sigurd said.

            Arvis smiled. “You are a good host.” They were led down the hall to the last room on the left.

            “Do not hesitate to find me and wake me up, come anything.” Sigurd said.

            “Oh, don’t worry. I won’t.” Arvis smirked. Sigurd laughed.

            He closed the door after going through it and Sigurd went to tuck Seliph into bed. No matter how old he got, he always was there for him, to tuck him in at night. Seliph’s room was small, with two beds on either side of the room and a small window above each bed. Lugh was already asleep, facing the wall. Sigurd ruffled his hair fondly, then bent down to kiss his hair. Seliph crawled into bed and Sigurd grabbed the thin blue blanket, pulling it over him and kissed the top of his head. “Goodnight Seliph…Lugh…” He added even though his other son was already asleep.

            Seliph smiled sleepily. “G’night Dad…”

            Sigurd slowly closed his door and sighed, feeling especially exhausted and walked towards the living room where he would be sleeping that night. His heavy footsteps creaked along the rickety floorboards. He ran a hand through his now pretty long hair. He knew he should get it cut soon but was always too busy helping out with the children. The living room was dark, aside from the curtains open, letting in the silvery moon’s rays. It illuminated the green mat laying on the floor to sleep on. He discarded his shirt and sat down, laying back with his arms behind his head, staring at the ceiling. A part of him thought this was all happening too fast, despite being warned by Sety that it would happen. He was not ready to go back to war, for his son to go back to war. He didn’t want to let Arvis go back to Grannvale where he could potentially be killed. Where he would constantly remain in imminent danger. Sigurd furrowed his brow. He did not want to let him go. He wanted to keep him by his side with his army where he could be protected. But this was Arvis who needed no protecting. Besides, he knew he had Sety with him. Sety had proven to be quite skilled and capable. He trusted him with Arvis to keep him safe.

            Sigurd remembered when it was his job to keep Arvis safe. All through their childhood he was always acting as his knight, protecting him from kids that sought to harm him. He even protected him throughout their academy days. The teenage knights were never nice and Arvis had been target more than once. He was always their number one target, being withdrawn, quiet, a bookworm, and socially awkward. Sigurd though always protected him. Often times due to class differences he could not be there to save him in time and regretted it terribly. Arvis never blamed him and he was glad for that, but still wished that he could have. But he was always there to kick the other knight’s ass and to bandage Arvis up. Being caught off guard, or moments when he was most vulnerable, Arvis did not have the upper hand. The only time he could fight back sufficiently was when he saw the knights coming. The older they got, the cockier the knights became. The injuries were worse, but Arvis fought back with just as much, adequately burning them. Sometimes though, Valflame was just too powerful and Arvis went overboard. Sigurd, Quan, and Eldigan all blamed the knights, that they had it coming and should have learned by then to not mess with Arvis. What Sigurd wouldn’t give to be back at the academy again, before the war ever started, with his friends when life was simple, easy. Sigurd sighed, knowing he would dream that night of those days.