Author's note – Hi guys! Hope you're having a fantastic week! So I wanted to clarify ages and try not to make all of your heads implode because of temporal mechanics, because mine did. As I picture it in my head the ages of the Arkynsons are: Andrei – 17-18, Arman – 13-15, Alek – 10-12, Liya – 7-9, while I have Thor at 13-15 and Loki 10-12 in age.
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For the first few months Alesa did not call her council to help Amaliya with her gifts but let her recover from what happened. It was after these months that Frigga and Thor had come to visit Loki and the Princess. There had been enough time that passed it was safe for at least the Queen of Asgard and the eldest Odinson to visit Alfheim.
Thor joined Loki and Liya in the garden. Amaliya and the younger Odinson were ecstatic to see Thor. They tore off through the fields after each other raucous and joyful laughter filled the air. It made the two Queens smile.
"She seems to be faring well Alesa," Frigga noted as they sat in the canopy covered alcove where they could watch the children.
"She is, very well, I believe that is all thanks to Loki. They have hardly left one another's side. Amaliya hasn't had any episodes of her abilities over reaching or causing her pain. I have not had my council convene as of yet. I was hoping that with her companion that I wouldn't have to," the hope in her voice that Odin would let Loki stay with her longer. It would break Liya's heart and Loki's to pull him away from her now.
Frigga looked in the direction of where the children should be but did not see them, she only heard laughter and plenty of it. "It seems that we can spare Loki for a little while longer," Frigga smiled but it dropped slightly, "However we all knew that Loki staying with Amaliya was temporary. She will have to stay here alone until Arkyn calls her home."
Alesa nodded, "I know and I am not looking forward to either of those days, short as they may be. Amaliya has been such a pleasant addition to my home. Loki as well. The love they feel for one another radiates outward and affects those around them. It's an extraordinary thing." Alesa told Frigga in hopes she would convince Odin that he should stay with her until it's time for her to come home.
"I will talk to Odin," the Queen of Asgard said, "I will let you know what he decides."
"Faradei," Alesa called.
"Yes my Queen," the tall blonde Elf answered coming into view.
"Could you keep an eye on the children please, I have a feeling they might wander."
Faradei bowed, "Yes my Queen."
"Loki," Thor said playfully, "it's just the woods, we can defeat anything we find in there."
"Queen Alesa has told us we need a guard to go into the forest," Amaliya said in small voice.
"Amaliya," Thor walked to the Princess, "Loki and I will protect you with our lives if needed. Come now, I'm sure there are many adventures hidden in the forest."
Liya and Loki looked at one another and he grinned at her. All of Liya's reservations melted away following the Odinsons into the trees. The forest was dark, the sun barely made it through the thick canopy of trees. Sparse rays of golden light were spread few and far between. The air was thicker than the canopy and the smell was so different than the garden. It was earthy like fresh turned soil, it was also heavy.
Thor led the way followed by Loki holding Liya's hand leading her where they were going. The trio stepped carefully to not disturb anything that might actually cause them harm. They simply just wanted to explore beyond the boundaries of the expansive gardens. It was quiet. Hardly any birds or animal noises were heard as they traveled deeper into the woods.
Liya pulled Loki to a stop, "Perhaps we should go back," she said looking over her shoulder as if something was stalking them.
"Liya," Loki pulled the girl into him, "you have nothing fret Thor and I will protect you. Come on my Dove, just a bit further."
Loki kissed her lightly and Liya nodded following the younger Odinson much closer this time. The further they went into the forest the more silent and darker it became. Once the woods were welcoming and bright now there was this feeling of everything they were touching and seeing was forbidden. They walked another few yards before the sunlight piercing the canopy disappeared completely. The air turned cold and it was dark. Nothing could be heard but the breathing of the three royal children.
"Thor," Loki ventured quietly, "I agree with Liya, we should go."
"Nonsense brother," Thor turned to the Princess, "Can you perform that fire spell?"
Liya nodded, "But we don't have torches," she told him.
"We have torches all around us Liya," he grinned going to a small tree with a low hanging branch.
Before Thor could break off the branch an arrow hit it causing the Prince to jump back. The trio looked up into the trees to see shining eyes staring down at them. The one that shot the arrow jumped down from the tree that hid him.
"You are not to be here," he said in strong voice that echoed around the trio.
"We were just leaving," Loki said pulling Amaliya behind him. "Apologies fair Elf," he bowed giving Liya an opportunity to see through to the meadow that was hidden from sight just moments ago.
"Loki," she whispered, "look," her voice was awed.
There shining in the dark of the forest was an open meadow that reflected a brilliant white light. The light dimmed revealing a herd of unicorns.
Liya looked at the Elf and his stern expression melted, "Yes Princess they are what they appear." He held out his hand for Amaliya she took it with no hesitation, "I am Faradei," he said, his voice was still strong but no longer stern, "Queen Alesa thought the Princes might convince you to go further than allowed," he looked at the Odinsons, "I told her I would watch after you and your company if that should happen."
Faradei walked her into the bright meadow followed by the Princes flanked by a few of Faradei's fellow sentries. In the bright light of the meadow Amaliya got a good look at Faradei. He looked like all the other Light Elves she had encountered. White hair, pointed ears, and incredibly fair. His bright blue eyes were lighter than the sky. His clothes were dark green like the forest around him but he did have thin layer of armor underneath his tunic. He carried a full quiver of arrows and his bow was stowed on his back as well.
The Elf led her to the edge pushing her further into the meadow. He held back Loki and Thor letting the Princess approach the unicorns alone. Both Odinsons marveled at the treasure they had found, it was truly a sight. Unicorns were not common and they had heard tale of them but rarely believed stories of such creatures on other realms.
One of the pure creatures noticed Amaliya creeping up slowly to it. As if on cue the unicorn headed toward her just a slowly. It was a young male unicorn, its silvery white coat shimmered and reflected a rainbow, his mane and tale fluttered in the light breeze. The beast nickered as it put its muzzle underneath the Princess' hand. Liya smiled at the contact feeling the soft hair beneath her hand moving her hand to the base of the horn. It was pearlescent white it reflected light making it prismatic. The horn was hard as Uru. The animal gave a soft whinny as Liya placed her arms around his neck. The welcoming embrace of both princess and creature was a bonding of the two.
"You will need a name my beautiful friend," she whispered to the unicorn. She let go of his neck to study his face, "Hmm," she thought carefully as she gazed upon him, "you are bright and stunning, friendly and full of love," she said circling the unicorn before coming face to face with him again, "I shall name you Olvir," she told him and Olvir nodded his head.
Faradei approached the Princess from behind, "He is yours now Amaliya, you may visit him any time you wish."
"Thank you Faradei," she turned throwing her arms around the Elf.
"Come let us take you and the Odinsons back to Queen Alesa." Faradei picked up the slight princess carrying her back to the gardens with the Odinsons in tow.
Author's note – Thank you all for reading, I truly appreciate it. I would love to hear from all of you!