AU AT THE END FOR EXPLANATION FOR +YEAR HIATUS
Chapter 39 - Maninar
"I think a true artist does not excel at finding beauty. Nay, most people can do that with ease, but the true artists are those who find beauty in everything they find."
~Lady I'aríya, Lady of Ethereality
The One Who Sings of War leapt to her feet, "Brothers!"
Nameless started awake, yawning as One Who Kills hauled him up, the two following her gaze as they saw a lone rider yonder upon the hill.
"Who is it?" One Who Kills asked warily, his hand drifting to the great sword on his back.
"Friendly, worry not, brother, I think I know who it is," she murmured, watching as the figure came closer within a distance where they could make out his—no her—features.
Abruptly, One Who Kills fell on his knees, "Milady!"
One Who Sings of War followed suit, "Milady, your presence is most welcome."
The being who slightly resembled One Who Sings of War slid off her steed, smiling warmly, "Friends, it has been too long."
Her eyes fell upon him, a piercing color like a certain shade of the late day as the sun set.
"So. You are he who has been summoned."
Her voice was calculating where it had been warm moments before, as if she doubted something about him he didn't know.
Unsure what to do, he bowed his head, "I think so."
She nodded, "I am Lady Valkyra, one of the twelve. I was sent to guide you to the citadel."
"Your protection is much appreciated, milady," One Who Kills said.
She glanced at him, smiling slightly before it vanished as she looked back at Nameless, as if something about him bothered her immensely.
"Come, there is still much you must see."
That night, Valkyra watched the human slumber against his dragon, her mind still wondering why Hélos had chosen him. He was in love. That made him blind, weak, unable to make the best decisions should it hurt her, and she knew it.
She of all people would know it.
Her riding clothes felt so much more restricting compared to the dresses and cloaks she usually wore where her legs could move freely under the trails of the silken fabric, but that thought was completely irrelevant and she honestly didn't know where that had come from.
His underworld form had retained all of its earthly characteristics, powerful body, and handsome, yet there was something more primal about it beneath the world. More jagged, cruel, harsh, animalistic.
A distant memory tugged at the back of her mind, one she violently pushed aside.
"I doubt him."
One Who Sings of War looked over at the Primordial Lord curiously.
"Why, if I may ask, milady."
Valkyra sighed, shaking her head.
"He is blind."
The warrior looked at Nameless, her eyes gently taking him in.
"I do not."
The Lady of Light was slightly surprised.
One Who Sings of War held the beings gaze, smiling softly.
"His love does not make him weaker. No, his love is what keeps him human."
"Humans are not strong either."
"Nay, milady… I think they are stronger than many would see them as."
The primordial celestial being hesitated, once again looking over Nameless.
"I suppose all we may do now is pray that you are right."
Fireflies swirled around their camp.
Calélas quietly meditated, quite aware of Mistress Valnaia standing behind him, her eyes raking over him calculatingly.
"You seek something, mistress?"
"Nay, I am just intrigued by you, master elf."
Without a word, a gust of wind swept around the elven warrior, lifting him off the ground as he landed on his feet, turning towards her, hazel eyes glinting in the early morning sun.
"Were you not intrigued by me before?"
"I was more intimidated than intrigued, my lord."
Calélas chuckled, "Save your titles for Shur'tugal when he returns, mistress. I am simply Calélas of the Forests. Come, walk with me. I promise I do not bite like I might once have been able to."
Dathrys knelt swiftly with a clash of obsidian-black armor.
"Lord Hélos, my liege."
Death smiled at his captain, indicating for him to follow him.
"The words you have planted within Murtagh. You are doing well, Dathrys."
The fallen Bladelord inclined his head, "Milord."
Hélos paused slightly, hesitating before continuing walking.
"I still feel guilt within you, Dathrys. Much guilt. Doubt. Hatred of yourself. None of which belongs there."
He lowered his head, knowing all too well his commander knew all that went within his soul. The Lord of the Dead suffered none of the thoughts of the living and dying.
Or the guilty.
"You know, milord."
"As I should."
They strode along the high walls of the Ave Thar'atan Cadaré, watching as the skeleton warriors mixed with the humans, the fleshed beings too used to the macabre sight to care anymore.
"I know something that may help."
Dathrys spun as he saw a glowing aura of light, something that was unnatural in the burning lands of the dead.
The Lady of Wisdom smiled slightly, yet it held warmth immeasurable.
Death bowed, "Sister Viru."
The violet-clad primordial looked over Dathrys' practically prostrate form, a small, tiny laugh ringing out from her lips.
"Captain Dathrys, come walk with me."
Dathrys knew little of the twelve primordial lords and ladies, but he knew Lady Wisdom's words were most revered, even more so than Lord Anau'il in all his majesty and power. Lord Hélos always spoke of how the greatest of their order tended to be headstrong, but how even he would defer to the wisdom of Lady Viru, and now he stood within her presence.
"Hélos told me of your soul, friend. He asked me to help you let go of your guilt and end your spirit's pain and suffering."
"Milady, I am honored," he said, doing his best not to stammer.
She laughed again, "Dathrys, do not be afraid. I was once a human like you, not much has changed. Tell me. What lies in your heart?"
He did a double take, unsure how to proceed.
"You already know all, my lady."
"You will find more solace should you say the words yourself," she instructed.
She watched him carefully as he took a deep, shuddering breath.
"I killed her."
"Killed who?" she asked, gently sitting him down on a bench.
"Délanaval. Bladesinger… No, Náonin."
She could read his eyes all too clearly.
The half-blood meant much to him. Enough that he would say her true name, her earthly name, and then the name his heart knew her by, correcting himself.
Then something interesting happened.
Everything went blank.
"I… I do not know, milady," he whispered. "It is as if that part of my mind is blank. I remember kissing her. Then running my sword through her chest and leaving her to die… Why?... I do not know…"
She took his arm, unlatching the armor with a swift flick of her fingers, running her slender fingers down his bare forearm.
Her brows furrowed.
"Néu kiyan anas. Ner'ílen."
A snake, glowing orange like the sunset shimmered on his skin.
"Naûth'ra," she hissed.
Another word and a swipe of her hand, the symbol shattered on his arm, the glowing shards dissipating into smoke.
"Come with me."
Valkyra pulled Nameless onto the ledge, nodding as he smiled his thanks. She indicated for him to move towards the left, the part-man, mostly-elf edging towards the landing between the cliffs, carefully sticking himself to the wall of rock.
One Who Sings of War leapt up the side, hauling herself up with her powerful arms, keen eyes sweeping over the Spirit Passage. It was known to be crawling with unsavory animals, but more worrying than the animals were the malevolent spirits that inhabited the area, hence the name of the pass.
"I feel something, sister."
She glanced over at Nameless, noticing his distant gaze as he stared into the pass, her mind instantly racing to come up with some explanation that would appease his curious mind.
The Lady of Light held up her hand, walking up beside him.
"Go. They call for you. We cannot help you. This is something you must learn on your own, my child."
One Who Sings of War opened her mouth, but a powerful glare from the Primordial silenced her.
She knew the mistress was right.
Lady Valkyra was always right.
Nameless nodded, leaping down the short cleft with ease, landing in a cloud of dust.
"Follow him, sky queen," One Who Sings of War said to the dragoness, the serpentine creature flying after him without a moment's hesitation.
It was a cold place. Wind blew around him and the chill struck through his soul, as if made up of something other than just molecules of air.
His whole being shivered from the inside out.
His head snapped up as he looked around him desperately.
He knew that voice.
He knew that voice so well that his heart leapt at the sound of it calling to him even if he didn't know who or what it was.
"Where are you?" he called, turning about.
"Who are you?" he yelled, trying to find the source of the voice. "Answer me, please!"
Calélas sat cross-legged in the tall-grass, Evilan asleep in his powerful arms as the elf watched the birds bathe in the shallows of Leona Lake, other waterfowl and wild animals congregating in mutual peace as they came to the water.
"Nature is at peace with itself," he said softly, Valnaia standing beside him, arms crossed, body taut and ready to spring. "The animals, prey and predator, understand each other's needs. They do not use treaties or words, yet the two can come to the same water and drink contentedly without fear. Hunter and the hunted, they both drink side by side. And yet you, the greatest of the beasts here, are more worried and fearful than all of them combined."
The Hand looked at him with surprise, ready to spit out a retort until she saw the calm smile on his face, somehow draining all the spite out of her.
"I am a Hand of Death. Death is never calm."
He chuckled, shaking his head, holding out a hand.
"Come, sit by me."
She glanced at the hand, scoffed, but settled in the grass beside him, her eyes almost glaring out at the lake.
"Mistress, be calm. Can you not sense the serenity around you?"
"Serenity is a lie."
"Serenity is the only truth."
Her gaze softened.
"There's something terrifying about the peace."
"Like something will come shattering the gentleness of your surroundings without a moment notice? Like the peace will never last?"
"Something along those lines, but in my case, with a lot more curses and a lot less eloquence, milord," she smirked.
A blast of wind crashed into her stomach, knocking the breath out of her lungs and tossing her back into the grass.
"Now, while you're catching your breath, do enjoy the sky. It is exceptionally beautiful today, I don't believe I've seen such a lovely lavender over my long lifetime."
Before she could protest, a vine wrapped around her mouth, Calélas shaking a finger admonishingly as if he were her father.
"No arguing. Enjoy."
She tapped the vines, her touch withering the magic in them as she internally sighed, looking up at the bland colours she knew too well.
"I don't see it."
He laughed, "Of course you don't mistress. For one who is called a Hand of Death, it will be hard to celebrate life. But we will get there. You will see one day."
Translation: Maninar (title) – Memories
Néu kiyan anas. Ner'ílen (dreamwraith tongue/divine) – You hide much. Unveil.
AU: First off, I am awfully apologetic for my yearlong plus hiatus. Also, I have to mention in the past year I have picked up typing and writing in British English for some reason and found it a lot more comfortable so before I get questions I felt like I should clear that up. Other than that, I've been exceptionally busy with my Junior year, which is basically the most important year to get into college for me, so it's mostly been homework, projects, tests, essays, and disgusting stuff of the like, so I am awfully sorry for the long time it took for me to write out this chapter. I honestly have so much more I want to do with this story so I'm going to spend a lot more time with this story and develop the plot and go deeper into detail about the Primordials and Nameless. I have not given up on this story but it will take me a lot of time getting it out of my head and onto my computer. Thank you so so so much for everyone who kept reading this story and for repetitively reminding me I should finish this story. It takes a lot of motivation for me to write these days as school has sucked any effort out of me, so I truly appreciate everyone's support. Thank you again, I'll be continually writing this summer, peace, everyone enjoy your vacations :) I promise I will have an actual new chapter out as soon as possible.
Firestar3271 - Good work. c:
Thank you :)
Guest - Dude this is the best fanfiction,I have ever read, saying that I think you need to hurry the story along and possible even add a sequel
Haha, there probably will not be a sequel even though I have one planned out already to be honest. The length and effort it took for me to write this story is and was draining and I'm not sure I can dedicate much time but we'll see, otherwise, thank you :)
Guest - I personally think, instead of Arya you should have aelwyn be eragon"s love interest, she is a much better character, and way sexier. Then again it's your story
Aelwyn is not really a love interest, her character is just flirtatious and I do not plan on furthering their relationship to anything beyond friendship.
Naiden - the deal with this hand of death group is stupid. Completely unrealistic considering how she has power that rivals Galbortix even though he has the Eldunari. Honestly, that power is unbelievable.
i honestly like this story, until this mistriss stuff started happening.
as each chapter goes by, i find myself wanting to just quit reading this story all together. I don't know why you felt the need to add this Sarissa character, because to me, your story went downhill ever since she was introduced.
Sarissa, in my opinion, was and is crucial to forging Eragon's character into what I want it to be for the rest of my story. It also has given him a fighting edge and taught him more than he ever could have with simply being with elves. Also, it matured him a lot faster than in the original cycle did and gave a much more viable explanation for a quick maturation of character. I'm sorry you had issues with Sarissa and the Hands of Death, but I will explain why their powers can rival Galbatorix later as well, so with their relatively new appearance, please do give me some time to develop their abilities and history.
Guest - Please please post another chapter. This is the best fanfiction ever and I want to read more! It has literally been the best book ever and it almost brought teasers to my eyes to see it stopped mid-story. Please post another chapter
Praise Allah I have posted a chapter
Guest - I have to ask, are you going to keep the this story going or what.
Hell yeah I am, I put way too much time into this abomination to give up on it now