Tales of the Fay

Chapter Fourth


In Which Kiko Confronts Chance About Her Fay Heritage, And Kiana Plots Adrianna's Destruction.

Kiko ran as quickly as she could, stopping only to avoid collisions. I have to get to Chance, she thought, I have to know if what I think is true!

She pulled open the door of the girl's bathroom and ran right into her target. Chance's eyes were wide with terror, and looked golden rather than their normal forest green. Her hands were shaking, and her usually short nails were long and curved. "Kiko," she whispered, "where did you get the information for your report?" The chocolate-skinned girl started. "My father's study…he has an entire library of mythology and other stuff like that…"

Chance shook her head.

"Don't lie to me, Kiko. It isn't mythology, and you know it. The library may contain other myths, but your father has very cleverly disguised an entire collection of works that he will one day be killed for. The current queen has many agents, and any humans who know of the Fay are in grave, grave danger. Kiko, where did your father get those books?"

Kiko swallowed and slid along the wall to the tiled floor.

"I don't know. My dad never said. But a lot of them are really, really old, and still have notices of sale inside them. Chance, you aren't the only strange one. My dad…well, you'll have to meet him. It's important. He…he knows who you are. Before I even met you. And I've read some of his diary entries that are on display in my grandmother's house, and he knew your parents."

Chance dropped to the floor beside her with a thump.



"How long have you known, Kiko? I mean, abut my people and everything. And when did you find out about what…what…"


"WHAT I am?"

Kiko sighed. "Well, I always had access to my dad's library. It's vast, Chance, just absolutely insane. There's every book from the past five centuries there, and the library is like that closet in that book we read in English – you know, about the lion?"

"The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. C. . It's a classic."

"Yeah, that. Well, it's immense and it never seems to end. But the house still looks the same from the outside – small and pretty plain. But it literally has every book publiched in the last five centuries in it, and I've seen the list to prove it. He has an entire computer dedicated to the library – he needs a ton of memory to store all the data on all those books."

"So…how does this fit in with you knowing all this stuff about me and my people?"

"Easily. Among his collection are books published by houses with weird names. Books that don't have publishers. I always just assumed that they were really old, and that the publishing houses were just odd back then. Those weird books, though, I noticed around the time that I was 12, that they were all about things that I had always considered to be mythology. Faeries, pixies, elves…but, unlike a lot of mythology from throughout the centuries, this stuff had strange views on them. Revolutionary. Weird. But I still considered them mythology. My dad encouraged me, and I read them a lot. I did projects, and writing assignments, and am one of the only experts in what I now know to be real Fay lore."

Chance just stared.

Kiko grimaced, and went on.

"So, since you came to the school, I've been watching you. At first I thought it coincidence, or my overactive imagination, that you were so much like the beings I had read about. But what really solidified it was…well, two things. One, your report on pixies. Two, your reaction to my report on Changelings. Everything just fell into place. But, Chance…if my father's been hiding the contents of his library from me for all these years –"

"To keep you safe, Kiko!"

" – Then what else don't I know? What about all those bills of sale?"

Chance chuckled wryly. "So, there are some things that you don't know. My guess is that your father probably put a spell on the books that he didn't want you to find – books about the Chosen Ones."

Kiko raised her eyebrow. "What the hell? Chosen Ones? Good grief, Chance! You make this sound like some sort of religious, mystical…cult!"

"Hey, all I know is what I'm told. The Fay have different names for things than your race. We call you the Lesser. Pixies, Faeries, and Sprites are the Fay. The Elves are the Higher. Hell, we even spell ourselves different! You spell us the f-a-i-r-i-e-s. We spell us the f-a-e-r-i-e-s."

"So…Chosen Ones? What would they be in Lesser?"

"Amoto. That's your language. Chosen Ones…well, that's the direct translation of imalkae dravis, which is the Faedae word. We also call them the knoven, the once-mortal. They're transitive, they used to be of the Lesser, but were gifted by the Higher or by powerful Fay with immortality like ours. They can have children, eat, sleep…everything normal mortals can do. But they live as long as we do – which is forever, unless killed by disease or weapon. Well, and poison."

"Sounds like something out of Tolkien."

"He was a once-mortal who went back, that's how he knew so much about us and our ways. Particularly the elves – it was the woman he married who gifted him. It's usually given when the mortal had rendered the Fay a great service. It takes a lot of power, though. She was an elf who gave up her powers to gift him, because she couldn't any other way – no service rendered except their mutual love. Anyways, when she died, and he discovered that his life forever would not be with her, he went before the high council and had the gift revoked. It was the last time a mortyal stood before the council – even the Fearies have no interaction with it anymore. The Elves pretty much cut off contact with everyone, just like the Sprites."

"So, these Chosen Ones – immortals?"

"Pretty much."

"But…oh, crap. My dad was gifted. Does that mean I'm immortal, too?"

"It depends. If he chose to have almost immortality, the incredibly long life span could pass on to his descendants. What's your dad's name? I researched the once-mortals for my sister's library a while ago."

"Kobi Boyeth."

Chance's eyes went gold with terror.

"Kiko…your father…oh my! Oh my goodness! Oh, met esenth Tairyoku honem tri mi drogh! (Oh, the essence Tairyoku moment this me preserve.)"

"What? What did my father do? Chance, your eyes are gold! And you're invoking Tairyoku's essence! WHAT DID MY FATHER DO?!"

Chance continued to babble in Fay, rocking back and forth, her feathers growing in ridges on her arms. She let out a scream, and continued to fire thought-speak out into the air as her moth and nose morphed into a beak.

"Chance!" Kiko yelled, "You can;'t transform in here!"

The young Fay continued to change, writhing on the floor with silent cries. Suddenly her eyes snapped open, green as forest hills, ringed in their perpetual black, and she shifted back to her human form. Breathing heavily, she looked at Kiko, who clung to the sink in terror.

"Kiko," she rasped, "I'm so, so sorry. It's just…the essence learning…it's triggered in the mind by certain words. Your father's name is one of them."

"But what did he do? Who was he? Who is he? If he was that horrible, why was he gifted?"

"Same reason as Tolkien. Love. Tairyoku…well…immortality was a bit of a consolation prize for him, because he was in love with her, and she chose to marry someone else. A Higher, most think. But, either way…he was a great emperor, and his name was Thotmes. Known as the Third. No one has ever found the body of one of Egypt's most powerful Pharaohs, and this is why. Kiko, your father…when Tairyoku told him that he could have everlasting life or nothing, he chose the prolonged life. And he was purported to have financed the blade that killed her. He has always been an enemy of the Dynasty, and most think that he had a part in the Violent Revolution, when Kuriyami overthre Junketsu. He helped kill thousands of my people, and changed the way we live and interact with everything. All because of a love forsaken."

"Oh, my…"

"In his travels in our empire, he probably stocked up on his library. We love books. He…though…well…he's redeemed himself in the eyes of the High Houses, at leats partially. He harboured Taori, when she fled the Empire after the Violent Revolution. For that, we forgive him for much of his evil, for she was, and still is, our last hope. More books probably came with her, for she had the biggest collection in the Empire and her books vanished as mysteriously as she did. And the spell that allows such an endless loibrary in such a small house was probably hers. I can't believe that you're father is Thot- Kobi Boyeth! Oh, my goodness…"

The room was brown. She loved brown. And black, but black was a colour her cousin reserved for herself. So, the room was brown. Dark brown. With thick velvet curtains in a colour akin to honey. The floor was marble, as was all the palace – black marble veined in gold and green. It was always cold, but that didn't matter to her. She kept a mat rolled in the corner in case it ever got too cold to stand comfortably on the floor. She had never used it. The room was unfurnished but for a pallet in the corner and an ornate cast-iron hook on the east wall. It was interesting, the human term "cast iron". They thought it meant that the iron has been molded. The Fay knew differently. It was iron with spells, originally, to make it beautiful. Cast iron. The pallet was brown, too, and almost melted into the wall. Camouflage was important.

She'd never used a bed of any kind. She slept on the floor. The cold floor, where she currently sat, long legs crossed. The cold air wrapped itself around her naked body, warmed only by the huge candle in front of her. Brown and gold. With a flame infused with scent spells, the essences of pine and pungent desert rose. She stared into that intoxicating flame, letting it overwhelm her. This was the way she thought best. Her tunic and leggings on the cast iron hook, her boots on the floor beneath, her bow and arrows in their quiver on the pallet along with her dagger, her candle lit. Here, she sat to ponder her duty.

She pulled her long brown hair up into a twist, securing it with pins. She slowly allowed herself to morph fangs, and she lost control of her body. Always this happened. That's why the door was locked. Tightly. And spell-cast, what few spells were existent in the Empire today, what few a ¾ Fay could muster up the strength to do. She sank deeper into oblivion, her eyes now unblinkingly staring into the flickering flame.

So. In order to kill my cousin, I must remain within her presence. In order to remain within her presence, I must kill the only faerie who can possibly help me. What a dilemma. Ha. I should be laughing. The paradox…it must be untangled, or vengeance can never be mine.

As she allowed her mind to wander on dark paths, her body was in spasms on the floor. She was fluctuating, her form wavering between wolverine and human. At times, her normally small red wings would blossom; at others, they would stretch to fill the small room. She writhed silently, her eyes still eerily open. A claw smashed into the candle, knocking it over. As it went out, the spasms ceased, and Kiana's blue eyes closed.

A/N: Heh...betcha thought I died, ne? Nopers, didn't, and am back with a slightly shorter-than-usual chapter...just 'cause there's a lot that happens, so it needs to be absorbed...heh, or maybe just because I'm lazy. Review...