The Viper's Nest

Chapter 1

"Elva! What are you doing?" demanded the elder ex-leader of the serpiente palace guard to the young woman who leaned carefully perched against a wall. Ailbhe was a respected and admired man within the palace as well as Wyvern's Court. No one dared to question his judgment, minus the Diente of course. The man's white-blonde hair, so much like her own had begun to gray and dull in his old age, but the fire in his bright blue eyes never changed.

Slowly, the young woman pushed herself from the wall she had been resting and stood to face the man. "I have no idea what you're talking about, sir," she said cooly, raising a brow as well as a smirk that showed off her pointed teeth, one she knew the man hated. She enjoyed toying with him. It was the reason she was born.

"For what reason are you not out in the market with Ariston and the others? It is suppose to be a celebration!"

Elva sighed. Today marked the fortieth anniversary of the end of the great war between the serpiente and the avians. It was a day that had been celebrated for the last twenty. The event lasted the length between the original naming of the war's final ending, meaning the days in between Danica Sharade's naming of Naga of the serpiente and Zane Cobriana's naming of alistair to the Tuuli Thea.

It was a few days long and a tad to boring and outdrawn for Elva's liking, though she did enjoying seeing Wyvern's Court and the palace so full of bustle.

"I'm sorry, father, but I find it to be extremely over-done of an occasion. I mean, a day of celebration would be fine, but really? Everyone is down right sick with as much food and wine they have ingested by the end of it!" her expression was one of disgust. She couldn't understand why people liked putting themselves into a stupor for the celebration of peace.

Ailbhe sighed and shook his head, despite his daughter's disgust he was smiling. Age showed on his face. Back when the war had first ended and he was guard of Zane Cobriana, he had been so young and fresh from war, a strong man. Now, that youth was slightly depleated. Lines showed under his eyes, but even so there was a fire in them.

"You do not understand, young one," he said, coming forward and hugging his daughter lightly. Familiarity in the contact made Elva smile. Serpiente were use to touch and contact, they were also grown up around their parents and families. Her father of course hadn't really done this since she had grown. "Peace is a wonderful blessing. You were born with this peace and everyone is grateful not to have to mourn their family and friends who died in battle."

With a huff, Elva pulled away. "Father I understand that!" she protested, of course she did. "What I don't understand is why they'd make themselves sick...but I suppose it IS better than war."

Ailbhe smiled. "Good, now go meet with Ariston, I'm sure he is looking for you."

The very thought made Elva's heart speed up a bit as she imagined her Diente. Ariston Cobriana was the oldest son of Salem Cobriana and his mate Rosalind, the past Diente who succeeded Zane, the man who ended the war with his Naga Danca Sharade. The two had almost become legends by now and they were greatly respected.

With a small, nervous nod to her father, which made him laugh, Elva turned and headed to Wyvern's Court market, where the Diente was waiting.