-1Note: ….you know what. Never mind. Here's chapter two - _-.
It was hard to picture anyone with Lezard's history and general way of thinking having a family. But lo and behold, that was Lorenta's ingenious plan all along.
"I never imagined Lezard would have a mother…" Lenneth commented as the chariot crossed over Bifrost into the familiar Elvin woods on Midgard. She had always just assumed he had crawled out from a rock or had been raised by wolves or something equally disturbing. "And you're sure she can help?"
"I've never met a more a more ingenious witch. If anyone could help figure this out, You Majesty, I assure you, it is Madalaine."
"And how exactly do you know her?" Freya, who wouldn't think of letting her All-Mother go off traipsing around Midgard with that louse alone, asked. She couldn't help but notice how Lorenta said 'witch', rather than sorceress.
"An old classmate. We were best friends back when I was alive." Lorenta smiled as gazed out of the window of the chariot. "Back before she met that louse." she added. Even Lenneth couldn't help but be taken aback by the sheer bite in her voice. The All-Mother and Freya both silently decided not to push the issue.
"How much longer is it to Lady Madalaine's?" Freya asked. Lorenta seemed to snap out of her bitterness in an instant.
"Forgive me, Her Highnesses. I did not mean to dampen the mood so, especially with Her Majesty so weak." The elder woman bowed her head. "It should only be another half hour, if that, Lady Freya."
Lenneth merely nodded at her apology. As strange as it sounded, Lenneth was starting feel better with every mile. The blankets that Lady Eir and her workers had wrapped her in were beginning to stifle, rather than keep her cozy as they had done back when they had first began they're journey. She had tried to loosen them without Freya noticing, much to Lorenta's amusement, but the fertility goddess quickly took notice of the loosened blankets and quickly bundled her back up, refusing to adhere to the All-Mother's protest with anything other than the command to 'quit being so stubborn.'
When Lezard had received word of the designated rendezvous point, he wanted to vomit to say the least. He could almost hear his sister's irritating voice now, teasing him like she always did, from the time he had gotten his glasses, to when he had gotten expelled from the academy. Most would think it were because she were older, which wasn't the case because Lezard was, in fact, older by a whole five minutes. It was simply because, the necromancer decided, she was an asshole.
But all that aside, Lezard gathered his wits and stepped into the manor in which he had grown up, the (technically) oldest and only boy out of three children.
"Welcome home, Master Lezard. How is this fine morning finding you?" Jonas, the butler, had grown frail and withered, as most men do. But the necromancer still regarded him as an old friend. Being the only other male in the house, Jonas, in his younger years, often played outdoors with Lezard when he was small, when his sister and Morgan only wanted to play dress-up with their dolls and his mother's make-up.
"He is not well, Jonas. See to it that he is quickly put to bed and fed until our guests arrive." Morgan, of course, felt the need to accompany him to his old home, chatting his ear off about this or that. He couldn't fault her though, she merely wanted to help.
"Yes, Miss. I'll escort the you Master to his bedchambers. You may come back to the Manor at a later time." Without waiting for a response, Jonas placed a hand on Lezard's back, gently helping the young man up the stairway through the hallway to his bedroom.
"Thank you, Jonas. You are a lifesaver." Lezard heaved a sigh of relief.
"Not a problem, young master. It's obvious that girl is beginning to wear you down. You seem almost as week as me." Heaving a sigh, Lezard nearly collapsed on his oversized bed. He felt slightly better, but not much. The ride into town with Morgan didn't help. "Now, what seems to be wrong with you?"
"That I don't know. I went to a festival in Hai-Lan, and came home ill. I just feel so weak, so Morgan has been helping out around the Tower."
"You must be ill if you're keeping that girl around you're home, young master."
"Yes, it would seem so."
"So this is where Lezard grew up?" Lenneth couldn't help but admire the extravagant manor. There were countless rooms, and the windows glinted in the sunlight, almost invitingly. The goddess got a very warm vibe just looking at it.
"Yes. This is Valeth Manor, one of Madalaine's many inherited assets from her husband's passing, and where the children grew up." Freya's eyes widened, almost comically, at the mention of children.
"Children? As in there's more than one of that monster running around?" Lorenta couldn't help but laugh.
"Lezard actually has two sisters: one twin and one younger. Just don't let her hear you say such things, Milady. My dear friend is very protective of her children."
"Your Majesty? How are you feeling?" Freya placed a hand on her dear friend's arm. Lenneth hesitated before answering.
"Quite fine actually."
"Are you sure? You could barely move last night."
"I'm sure. It's strange, but the closer we got to the manor, the better I felt." Freya and Lorenta both eyed her curiously, as though she had gone completely insane. How could one go from virtually immobile to perfectly fine in the span of a night?
"Perhaps we should still see Lady Madalaine. Maybe there's something to this that we're missing." Freya suggested. Something about all of this just seemed too peculiar.
"And it would be such a shame to waste a trip." Lorenta commented. She had a point, getting to Flenceburg from Asgard was not an easy journey.
"Ah, you three must be our guests. Please, come, the Lady is waiting in the drawing room."
The inside was as luxurious as the outside. The foyer was laced in ornate gold molding and crimson velvet, the halls were lined with seemingly ancient paintings of Lezard's grim face relatives, and finally there was the drawing room.
"Milady, the All-Mother, Lady Freya, and Lady Lorenta." The butler opened the sturdy oak wood door, revealing a surprisingly cozy little room. A plush crimson couch was seated in the center, in front of an unlit fireplace. On the couch sat a woman no older than Lorenta, tending to her embroidery. She didn't even look up from her task, but her lips were curled into a sweet smile.
"Thank you, Jonas. Please, see them in." Jonas motioned for the three women to enter before standing, almost as if on guard, at the door, awaiting his next command. "Jonas, if you would be so kind, alert my son that I know that he's here and it pains me that he hasn't come down to see his poor old mother." Madalaine laughed, as did Jonas as he bowed and exited the drawing room.
Madalaine finally rose her eyes from her stitching, and Lenneth nearly gasped at how beautiful she was. Her inky black hair was traced with grey, and tied in a tight bun on the top of her head. Behind he half-moon glasses, an exact math of Lezard's violet eyes shone with a sort of innocence that the goddess had only seen children possess. Madalaine's smile was lined with age, but still sweet all the same. All in all, Madalaine Valeth was the personification of classic beauty.
"Lori, it has been too long." the lady of the house rose from her seat, her height just barely reaching all of 5'5".
"Maddy, I've missed you so. How are your girls?" Lorenta asked as Madalaine pulled her into a tight hug.
"Still as restless as ever. But, Kitty is getting to be that age, and you know Eva will never change." the widow Valeth place a this hand to her cheek as Lorenta laughed. Lenneth and Freya were at a complete loss.
"Maddy, this is the All-Mother, and the Her Highness Freya." Madalaine's eyes widened as though she had suddenly come to her senses.
"Please forgive me, Your Highnesses. Pardon my rudeness. Please, have a seat." Lenneth and Freya took a seat on the plush velvet sofa, and Lorenta and Madalaine occupied the armchairs on either side.
"Lori explained to me your tough situation, You Majesty, but if I may be so bold, you look the picture of good health. Have you no need of my services after all?"
"That is the thing, Lady Madalaine-"
"As you wish. Maddy, we would still like to research this further. It just seems so strange that such an illness would afflict both your boy and myself, not to mention that in just a few hours time has come to pass."
"I see." Madalaine looked thoughtful. "I do see your point, Your Majesty, and I will do what I can to put your mind at ease. However there is not much I can do without seeing the symptoms first hand. It would also help if I spoke to my son."
Almost as if on cue, Lezard strode through the door, looking as healthy as ever.
"I thought you said he was bed-ridden and weak?" Lenneth exclaimed, mostly out of confusion. Freya looked as though she were too shocked for words, as though Lezard has busted into the room completely nude.
"Her Majesty. Lovely as always."
"Lezard." Lenneth plastered on a fake smile. "Obnoxious as always." Madalaine laughed from her place by the couch, and before anyone could utter another word, Lezard hurried over to her.
"Mother. I'm sorry I didn't stop in to say hello. I was feeling a bit under the weather." the necromancer placed a kiss on his mother's cheek, and Madalaine beamed.
"It's quite alright dear. Lori has told me everything." she motioned to Lorenta, sitting opposite her, and much to Lenneth's surprise, he had the decency to look slightly ashamed. 'Maybe he has changed." she thought to herself.
"I see. In any case, I'm feeling much better. I'd imagine it would be because my beloved has come to see me." He shot a sly smirk in Lenneth's direction.
"Lezard, behave. Her Majesty has come seeking my aid and I won't have you scaring her off." She did her best to be stern, and Lezard listened, backing off with nothing more than a smile, as though he had said nothing at all. "Now what is this illness that is plaguing you two, hm?"
"I wish I knew mother, and hopefully it won't happen again."
"Hm. Perhaps you two should tell me exactly what happened when you had first gotten sick."
The stories were, of course, similar. They met at the festival, came home, and collapsed and had been bed-ridden up until a few minutes before they're arrival to the manor.
"I see. Did you do any…strenuous activity while at the festival?"
"Mother!" Lezard implored as Lenneth blushed and turned away.
"Please forgive me, Your Majesty, but perhaps you have contracted something…unsavory." Freya gasped at the thought, and Lorenta began to worry her lip, hoping that Lenneth would deem such a thing untrue.
"Maddy, assure you. Nothing of the sort happened. We watched the fireworks together with that idiot girl and I went on my way." Lezard nodded in agreement.
"I see." Madalaine looked concerned, but didn't voice any of her thoughts. "I'm afraid I will have to look further into this. Maybe it is not an illness we are dealing with." There was an uneasy silence until Jonas gently rapped at the door.
"Lunch is served, Milady. I have taken the liberty of making extra for out guests"
"Thank you, Jonas. We will be down shortly." Madalaine rose from her seat and smoothed out the delicate silk of her dress. "I implore that you three stay, at least until we can get this whole mess sorted out. For now, please, join my family for lunch. Lezard, I trust you will be joining us as well?"
"Good. Then let us go."
"My dear, I think I have this all figured out." Morgan sat impatiently in the drawing room of her own family's home, not far from Valeth Manor.
"I know it's that fucking curse, I just don't know why. I was there too, wouldn't he have needed to be with me as well?" the young mage gripped a teacup made of fine bone china in her hand, almost tight enough to crush it under her small fists.
"It's not as simple as that." the voice replied from the dark corner of the sitting room. "You will understand everything in due time."
"Don't forget you're promise to me. You promised he would be mine." Morgan took one more sip of tea before slamming the poor cup down on the oak coffee table.
"I know what I promised dear. And you will get what I promised you." The being in the shadows reached out and fingered the fiery red gem resting against Morgan décolleté.
"Just make sure you don't forget what you promised me in return."
Hopefully this chapter was better than the last. I just started the new Valkyrie Profile game, and it's totally kicking my ass, but it got me back in my writing mood.
BTW, since I know it's going to come up. I don't have the time to just sit and write something. Seriously. Between work, college, a boyfriend, family, friends who are constantly demanding my time, not to mention trying to move out so I'm not 19 and letting my mommy take care of me, a lot of shit gets lost. Writing and ideas are one of them. I'll update when I can, and if I can't, I'm greatly sorry.