Disclaimer: I do not own the Hollow Kingdom trilogy.

EDIT: Hey folks! The sequel, Will O' Wisp and Goblin's Fire is out! Remember to look for it in the M-rated section, or just access it from my profile. Enjoy! :)

Yay! New chapter! It seems that two reviews was enough for me not to postpone the update. Speaking of which, a huge, cherry-wrapped thank you goes to BalletGirl98 and 8-trackwonderbot for your awesome reviews which came in a great time of need. Also thanks to for your story alert! And now, the story resumes. :)


Chapter Nineteen
Everything is Illuminated

The instant Nabusar dropped from the tree, he loosed an incapacitating spell, landing on her back. He pinned her arms and put his knife, which was similar to Marak's, at her throat. Amazingly, she still struggled, despite his extremely powerful magic.

He dug the knife in deeper, drawing blood, and growled in her ear, "Stop. Moving."

She stopped. He grinned. This was going to be fun. He touched some nearby sticks on the ground and turned them into rope using them to tie her wrists and ankles together, then blindfolded and gagged her. Then he dragged her up from the ground and tossed her over his shoulder. She struggled every minute or so, and tried to say something through the gag, but her protests went unheard. Or, more likely, ignored.

Nabusar headed for the cave where he had kept the landlady briefly. In the 1800s, in the time of Marak Catspaw and Aganir Ash, the elf King named "alone," a human named Miranda had been kept there while Catspaw and Ash had "negotiated."

He entered a small bedroom. It was sparsely furnished, but it served its purpose well enough. Nabusar dumped her on the bed and ripped off the gag and blindfold. He gripped her chin, digging into her cheeks with his claws, and leaned in close.

"Who are you? Or am I supposed to believe Ele'nura is your real name?" he sneered.

She spit in his face. He could feel her start to lose substance right beneath his hand, and quickly drew out his knife again, putting it to her neck.

"Can you become mist before I slit your throat?" he threatened.

Her eyes clouded even more for an instant, then she recovered her form and he felt her soft skin beneath his fingers. His expression grew smug with triumph for a moment.

"You'll find it a lot harder to escape from me than from those two fools you encountered a few days ago. If you try that again, I won't hesitate; I'll kill you where you stand. Now," he said, his voice dropping into a growl, "I repeat, who are you?"

She looked at him sullenly, saying nothing. He sighed and released her face, shoving her back down on the bed.

"Understand this, little girl," he said harshly. "You have been seen, trespassing on goblin land, and conspiring with the elves. To top it off, you are neither elf, goblin or human. Now, unless you tell me who you are and what business you have with the elves, I will view you as a threat to the safety of my King, and my race. Trust me, that is not, what you want. So what's it going to be, girl?"

"Screw you!" she cursed him. Her accent was strange and he couldn't quite place it. "What are you going to do, huh? Kill me? Nothing you do could be as bad as what has already happened to me!" Her voice was bitter.

His eyes narrowed, then he backhanded her, snapping her head to the side. Then he dragged her up by the hair, pulling her head back so she had to look him in the face. "Who. Are you?" he repeated again.

There was a trace of fear in her strange eyes, but she compressed her lips together and shook her head as best she could without pulling her hair. When his eyes glittered in rage and his hand came up, she flinched and squeezed her eyes shut. His hand didn't move.

Nabusar watched the lone tear track down her cheek and had the sudden realization that there were much easier ways to get information out of her. He closed his eyes and reached inside himself for the cold, ruthless practicality that had served him so well in the past. The King's new wife had touched him and somehow melted that ice, but he knew that if he could just regain it, this complicated situation would become child's play.

When he opened his eyes, he saw what a fool he had been to approached this problem in the way he had. Suddenly, a rather unique solution came to mind. Rapidly, he considered the pros and cons. The first one was obvious, but he had never cared about anyone enough for that to matter overmuch. She appeared to be strong and healthy, quite capable of fulfilling her most important function, should he decide he wanted to make use of it. He would be stuck with her, but that wasn't necessarily a bad thing. And who knows? This might even be fun.

When the girl cracked her eyes open, suspicious when the expected blow didn't come, she saw his sky-blue eyes staring at her intensely. As she watched, the harsh line of his lips softened. Then he grinned, his hair lighting up to match the light in his eyes. In that moment, she couldn't decide whether she was scared... or intrigued.


Goblin Kings' Chronicles

In the year of Marak Silverhand and Aganir Melam-Anun, the elf King named Bright Heavens,

September 13, 2011

It is near dawn on the night of the full moon, and the Kingdom is in uproar.

The elf King having set an ambush for me so enraged the my subjects that I had to use my power as King to order them not to burn down the forest. Damn pyromaniacs.

Then, to top it off, Aganir came pounding on the door less than an hour after we parted ways at the truce circle. He started whining about some girl named Ele'nura who he accused me of kidnapping her and forcing her to marry one of my "grotesque, cave-dwelling freaks." I told him that he could go **** himself, and that even if I had taken her, it was absolutely my right since she had been caught on goblin land not five days ago.

He cheerfully responded in kind, before he informed me that it wasn't my right at all, owing to fact that she was not an elf, and thus not subject to the same laws. At my doubting expression and loudly voiced threats to toss him out if he didn't stop spouting nonsense, he elaborated. Apparently, the girl was neither elf, goblin, or human, but a race that there has been no recorded mention of apart from myth and legend. She was a fairy.

Her name was Lauchysng, and he confessed that she had come to him for help a little over a month ago. The help was not for her, but for her people, who were in grave danger, she said. Aganir, being the practical King that he is, demanded some help from her in return. She must help him find a wife, by masquerading as the landlady at the Hall, where she would make note of any pretty newcomers and endeavor to keep them there until nighttime when he could go there himself and decide whether or not they were suitable. At this point in his story, I raised my brows and his face took on a reddish tint before he continued his story.

As it so happened, the first girl that the fairy had noted was Jamie. She had sent word through an elf stationed near the Hall, but he had been delayed when I returned a supposedly "emotionally scarred" elf girl. He should be glad I returned her at all. I'm beginning not to be.

After that lost opportunity, nothing more had happened apart from all the elves being furious with the fairy for not keeping the girl there until Aganir could take her. But then came the full moon, when her deal with the elves was finally up, and she would get the help she had asked for. But alas, the elf who was supposed to meet her at the border had had to deal with some humans who had somehow gotten past the elf border, and thus was late to the rendezvous. When he had finally gotten there, he had found nothing but smashed undergrowth and a few drops of blood.

Aganir concluded his dubious narrative and proceeded to demand that I give the fairy back so he could fulfill his end of the bargain and give her the help she had requested. I repeated my earlier sentiments, and stressed that if I had to make him leave, he wouldn't like what followed.

After a few aggressive reassurances that I wasn't lying when I confirmed that the fairy was not in my possession, he finally left. Frankly, I was quite insulted that he would dare accuse a goblin of dishonesty.

It was fortunate that he left then or I would have been proven the liar after all, for it was only 10 minutes later that Nabusar returned, with the fairy and his knife at her throat. When I informed him of all that had occurred (a brief version, at his behest), he was silent for a moment, and stared at the fairy, who in turn tried to spit in his face. Then he smiled, watching her face pale, and told me that he had a favor to ask of me, pleaded with me not to question it, but know that it was truly his heart's desire. Well, he didn't phrase it exactly like that, but that's the gist of it.

At his fervent urging, I finally agreed. And that is how I came to perform the most important of my kingly duties, and create the first recorded marriage between goblin and fairy. Poor fairy.

-Marak Silverhand, goblin King

edited by Sheddura, chief advisor

Fin


That is all.

No, really, that's the end. This story be done. :) I worked especially hard and ignored my important homework just so I could finish it for you guys. Thank you so much to all my awesome reviewers, who, despite my complaints, are too many to name. Also, another giant thank you to BalletGirl98 who cured my writer's block, and gave me someone to spoil all the twists with. ;)

Okay, news about the sequel. Odds are, it will be soon, unless (god forbid) there are extenuating circumstances, like finals. Just a warning, it will be rated M, probably just for borderline (possibly full-on) explicit stuff and to give me the freedom to use bad language, which I have sorely missed. ;P Also, there might be some more of Nabusar mistreating Lauchysng. I'm going to be branching out more into the kind of stuff I like to read, which often involves elements such as spousal abuse, so be warned. Dun like, dun read. Also, when I post it, it won't show up unless you search specifically for M-rated fics, or access it from my profile. For those of you who haven't yet realized it, the sequel will be about Nabusar and Lauchysng. It's probably going to head away from the Hollow Kingdom story and get more into my own ideas (which are awesome, thank you very much).

Well, I suppose you're all due some behind-the-scenes confessions. If you're interested, that is. Where to start...

I actually didn't think of the twist about the landlady being the fairy and all that until I wrote chapter 12, so if there are plotholes where I had problems making it work with the earlier chapters, I do humbly beg your pardon. Luckily, there weren't actually very many problems with that. Like, with the landlady acting all weird in the beginning, it's like I was foreshadowing perfectly for a twist I hadn't even conceived of at the time. But, I did know that Nabusar was getting a fairy bride almost from the first. I've had that idea for a long time.

Speaking of the landlady, I have absolutely no idea where the real one is. Honest. There's some sort of changeling magic going on there, but I haven't even begun to plot out the limits of Lauchysng's powers. Basically, they're whatever is convenient for me at the time, whether that is beating the crap out of Nabusar or vice versa.

Oh yeah, and I deeply apologize for not making Charm into a more important character. Honestly, I just forgot all about him. I suppose if Marak had been an idiot and let Jamie come to the meeting with him (oh, come on! He's not that stupid!) then Charm might have been useful, but other than that, Jamie hasn't really been in very much danger.

And that dream, where Jamie gets burned at the stake. Her grandparents' ancestors could very well have been avid witch-hunters. Just sayin'... Wouldn't put it past them...

As for the title, Fearful Love and Silver Succession... Well, the "fearful love" part actually came from Marak's mother's fear of him and love his father. The "silver succession" is Marak Silverhand succeeding his father on the throne. Sorry, I wrote the first chapter in like 20 minutes and had to come up with a quick title... The sequel has a much cooler title (I think).

Let's see, character origins...

Marak Silverhand: He's been around for a long time, although I can't remember whether it was Fall 2010 or Spring or Summer 2011 that I thought him up. All I know is that I was walking to the library and got really bored, so I imagined that Marak Silverhand came up and kidnapped me. I had a detailed description, but nothing else, so he stayed as fun, but not writeable, idea until I decided to take part in the August Writing Challenge, whereupon I stared at the keyboard until I got a random idea and ran with it.

Jamie Anne Brookes: She is based a moderate amount off of me, although I would never act so silly. First of all, my parents are certainly not that rich, and I'm not that spoiled (I hope). Originally, she was going to be going to grad school in Cambridge, meaning she would have started college around 14, like me. Yes, I started college at 14, and no, I'm not going to elaborate. And no, I'm not a genius. I'm also not a chemical engineering major. That was just a random (and very profitable) career I thought of. Her looks are also based just a bit off me. Just a bit. I had trouble handling this character, which is why she just kind of dissolved into ridiculous silliness towards the end. Honestly, she needed a lot more time to fight and be mad at Marak, but I wanted to get to the action, so I took a shortcut.

Milsheddura: He was just the character I made up to be the adviser. Originally, he was supposed to be a lot more demonic in appearance and also have a devilish temper. :P But I had to make him more animal-like and then Nabusar kind of usurped his personality, so he became the always-patient, borderline comedic relief character.

Nabusar: Again, he was just the character I made up to be the military commander, but at some point, I decided that he just had to have his own story. As I wrote more, I just fell more in love with the character, until he was in danger of usurping Marak's place as main character. Whether that's a good thing or a bad thing is for you to decide. Oh, and I just remembered, he was originally going to be less than five feet tall, but then I realized that I just couldn't stand to write a hero who was that short. In case you hadn't noticed, I prefer really tall guys. Like Marak, who's about seven feet tall.

Tabucal: Okay, there's a pretty big secret about him. When I first said he might be a part of the plot twist, what I meant was that he would be a major bad guy. That armband of his originally had elf writing on it, which I would had subtly told you by having Jamie notice that the symbols were different than the ones Marak had on his cloak. Tabucal would have inherited it from one of his ancestors, I guess, and he was going to be a traitor. I scrapped that idea when I realized the the goblins are physically incapable of disobeying their King. But I was still fond of him, so he got a second appearance.

Karukeenu: He's just Tabucal's sidekick, so he could have someone to be on patrol with. But by his name (Short Justice) you can surmise that he is one kickass guard.

Aganir Melam-Anun: Not much to say about him. I was kind of intending to develop him more, but the big plot reveal didn't turn out as good as I'd hoped. He might be in the sequel though.

Igira: Just an elf girl I made up for that random interlude that just popped into my head for no reason. Although, she was briefly going to be Nabusar's wife, until I realized that, 1) I didn't want Nabusar to be a pedophile and 2) with 1) a given, I didn't want the sequel to be set that many years ahead.

Lauchysng/Ele'nura: I'm debating on how much to tell you about her. I do want to save a lot for the sequel, but there are a few things you can know. First of all, her name is Welsh. Also, in case none of you thought to search on google for Cwmwl Tylwyth Teg, it means Cloud Fairies in Welsh. Tylwyth Teg is the Welsh name for fairies, and I added the Cwmwl part. It's pronounced KOO-mool TEEL-weeth Teg (like peg). Lauchysng is pronounced lye-KEE-sing. It comes from the Welsh words "golau (GOHL-eye) uchod (EE-kod) and which mean "light above". The "light above" thing is kind of a reference to the Will O' the Wisp theory (another hint that she's a fairy). The reason I came up with Ele'nura was mainly because the name is similar to Helen (Richardson), the landlady. It was weird logic, but it worked in my head somehow. Oh yeah, and she isn't blind. Her eyes just look like that because she's a Cloud Fairy.

And CeCe, sorry she's not more sassy. ;) She's not exactly in her element here, and I do so enjoy when bad guys win. Yes, Nabusar is being pretty evil. I just wanted to give him some more... villainous qualities. :D Everyone can feel free to flame me in the reviews about that bitchslap. :P I know, I know, I'm not being serious enough about this, but seriously, if you saw the books I read... This is kiddy stuff here. Just check out Sweet Savage Love by Rosemary Rogers and you'll know what I'm talking about (or don't, 'cause that's a pretty adult book). *sigh* I've probably just alienated about 90% of my audience...

Well, to the remaining 10%... That's about all the behind-the-scenes secrets I can think of at the moment. If you think of anything else you're curious about, let me know in a review.

Speaking of which... Now's your last chance to leave a nice, long, detailed review to let me know how much you appreciated my story. You just can't know how much reviews mean to me. The feeling is both inexplicable and intoxicating and I appreciate every one of you who has reviewed my story for giving me that awesome feeling of being appreciated. :)

And with that heartwarming soliloquy, I bid you adieu. Until the sequel! Keep an eye on my profile so you'll know when I post it. Also, if you ask me nicely in a signed review, I'll PM you when I post it, so you'll know first thing. See ya! :)