This is a sequel to my first story, Breaking Faith. This is set approximately one century after the ending of the last story.
If you want to read Breaking Faith, copy/paste this after the fanfiction URL: s/9273935/1/Breaking-Faith
If you haven't read that one, I'm doing my best to make sure this story covers up anything that could be unclear, but I strongly recommend reading it first. It makes the characters much more enjoyable.
Comments, questions, anything's welcome! Hope you all enjoy, as I'm going to have lots of fun writing it.
Nyela hadn't the slightest inkling as to what possessed her to investigate the strange noise outside her bedroom door. She'd already known what it was. Julian, her little brother, was always up to something, and this time it was no different. Her darling sibling had set up a booby trap at the foot of her door, and now she lay face-first on the floor outside her room, with both ankles constricted in twine and covered head-to-toe in icy water. It dripped off her soaked clothes and hair as her annoyance bubbled over into rage.
"JULIAN!" She screeched, scooting into an upright position and trying to untangle the rope from her legs. Her sopping magenta hair fell over her eyes and she angrily slicked it back behind her long, slender ears, grumbling to herself when she heard Julian's hearty laughter from his room across the hall.
Julian was training to be an engineer, and unfortunately for her, he was actually quite good at it. Rather than do anything useful, however, he used his talents to mess with his big sister. He'd somehow managed to set up a snare that connected to her door, and when she'd opened it, the device had activated and sent her sprawling as it wrapped the twine around both her ankles. And to make matters worse, he'd charmed a gigantic pail of water to hover over the door and wait until she'd activated the trap to pour its contents onto her head. A teenage engineer with the talents of a Mage. Look out, world. She swore sometimes he was a thousand times smarter than she, especially when it came to his engineering brain.
Julian was a unique kid, apparently, and so was she. Their father was a Night Elf, and their mother was a Blood Elf. Julian looked much more like Nyela's dad, although he'd inherited his mom's flaming red hair and his skin was paler. Nyela had taken after her father as well, save for her ears, which were smaller and more vertical than the usual Night Elves. Her pink hair shone almost so bright that it practically glowed any time light was directly cast upon it.
Although, right now, her locks seemed darker and duller due to the fact that her head was entirely soaked.
The rope lay in a tangled heap on the floor once she'd finally broken out of it, and she stood shakily, fuming and rubbing her elbows, both of which had been scuffed pretty badly when she'd fallen. She stomped to Julian's room with indignation, swinging his door open and looking like a half-drowned animal as her spiteful golden eyes searched for their prey. She finally focused on a mane of vivid crimson hair peeking out from underneath the bed, and moments later she had her teenage brother by the scruff and had pulled him out of his hiding spot. She glanced to her left at his bedside table and saw a half-full glass of water, so she reached out and grabbed it, dumping its contents onto Julian's head.
Sweet, sweet justice! She grinned to herself as he sputtered and blinked the water out of his eyes, peeling his soaked hair from his face.
"Agh! Nyela!" he whined, grimacing as she crossed her arms. His voice was just on the brink of maturing, and Nyela had to keep from laughing when it squeaked and then suddenly lowered, sounding almost like their father.
She gave him a scolding look. "Julian, how many times do I have to come in here and kick your ass before you learn not to keep doing that?"
Julian smirked impishly, folding his hands together innocently and sitting on the edge of his bed, having completely recovered from the water attack. "Keep doing what?"
Nyela almost had to laugh. "You know exactly what, Peabrain."
"Hey," he shrugged, frowning a fake frown with a smile staying in his eyes, "You're not allowed to call me that. Mom's orders. Don't want to shatter my fragile ego, big sis."
"Fragile?" Nyela actually did laugh now, unable to stay mad at her quirky little brother. His ego was the opposite of fragile. If anything, it was the size of an entire continent. "I don't think our mother will oppose me in keeping you in check."
"Yeah, maybe you'll keep me in check, but who keeps you in check?" He quirked a brow, smirking with a corner of his mouth. "Who watches the watchers? That'll be me." He reached out and flicked her nose, and she slapped his hand.
With a streak of humor amidst her annoyance, Nyela rolled her eyes. Julian was a whole three years younger than her, but sometimes his snarky attitude and quick wit made her forget that he was only sixteen.
"Just don't do it again, okay?" she shook her head and turned to go, taking the door handle.
"Can't promise anything," he laughed, chucking a crumpled paper ball at her head.
She ducked in time but sent him a scathing glare before closing his door behind her. The floor outside her room was covered in water, as was the rope that had imprisoned her. With a sly smirk she burst back into Julian's room, grabbed his favorite shirt from his closet against his protests, and sprinted out to the mess, throwing the shirt into the water and using it to soak it all up.
Julian was very unhappy, but Nyela didn't care one bit. The little twerp deserved it - well, not little, he'd inherited his father's height as well and was easily a foot taller than her - but that was beside the point.
When that had all been cleaned up and Nyela had changed into a set of dry clothes, she left her room and went to seek out some dinner. As she reached the base floor of the tree, she saw her closest friend Lily out the front door.
Nyela waved at her as she exited the building and made her way to one of the campfires on the other end of the orchard. That orchard, nearly 100 years old, had been founded by none other than Nyela's own father and his Druid tribe. The king at the time had allowed them to turn the northern forest into the Druids' haven. Now, it held all sorts of various classes of Night Elves, along with a conglomerate of other races who'd trickled in over the years.
Lily, who spoke with a few other elves, paused and glanced over at Nyela, then jogged over to her, lacing their elbows together as they walked along the thin dirt path, striding underneath the dark shade of the tall fruit trees that successfully blocked out the harsh sunlight. Lily was two years younger than Nyela, but they'd been friends since Nyela could remember.
"Hey girl!" Lily chirped, grinning her wide, innocent grin and flipping her long blue hair from her face. "Interesting new style you've got going. It's... different."
Nyela giggled, shaking out her wet hair in an attempt to get it to dry faster. "It's not by choice."
"Julian?" Lily guessed, and Nyela nodded.
"Gotta love your brother," Lily smiled.
"I think you meant to say 'loathe,'" Nyela joked as they reached their destination. There was usually someone here cooking, and most of the time, Nyela could get away with mooching a little bit off of them. It's not like food was scarce or anything, but she disliked cooking, and if anyone else was willing to do it for her, she'd shamelessly accept.
To her delight, she saw her parents at one of the fires, frying a pan of fish fillets. She smelled spices and pepper and lemon in the air, and her mouth began to water as she skipped over next to them.
They were sitting beside one another on a large bench-like log, and Nyela chose to interrupt whatever they were saying to each other by waltzing in and squeezing herself in between them, plopping down practically on top of them before they managed to scoot over to give her enough space.
"Nice of you to join us," her Blood Elf mother laughed almost sarcastically at her as Lily walked up as well and sat on the opposite side of the fire.
Nyela shrugged. "You guys looked lonely, and I thought it fit to grace you with my presence."
Her father grinned, glancing across Nyela at his wife, "Norivana, we raised a noble child. Who else would go out of their way to help such lonely souls as ourselves?"
"So proud!" her mother shook her head, "Brings tears to my eyes."
"Oh shush," Nyela nudged both of them with her elbows and then picked up a metal spatula, scooping one of the fillets onto a plate for herself. Her dad scooped out three more and offered one to Lily.
Lily shook her head, smiling her genuine, sweet smile, "No thanks, Mr. Silverpaw. I've already had my supper."
Lucian gave her a nod, but then sighed with an edge of laughter, "For the last time, Lily, you can call me Lucian." He then glanced at Nyela, smirking. "I don't know why all your friends keep calling me that."
Nyela shrugged silently. She decided it was best to keep it to herself that the real reason her friends call her father that was because she'd ordered them to. They'd used the term 'DILF' far too much for her comfort, so she had given them an ultimatum: either quit calling him by his first name while they bat their lashes and swoon, or they weren't allowed to come see her, and as such, couldn't see her father. He was her dad, for crying out loud, and it made her more than uncomfortable when they'd sit there and gush over him like he was some sort of hot celebrity.
Lily was the exception. Nyela had actually told Lily that she didn't have to call him "Mr. Silverpaw", but Lily went along with it anyway; she'd felt that if she didn't, it'd seem unfair to Nyela's other friends.
Her father spoke up, "Excited for tonight?"
As her always overly-bubbly self, Lily grinned happily and practically danced in her seat. "Yes!" she cheered, clapping her hands together. Nyela smiled too and nodded.
It was predicted that tonight, on the longest night of the year as well as the full red moon, there was to be a meteor shower. Nyela and Lily had prepared the perfect spot to watch it, and they were planning on not sleeping at all tonight. There was a clearing in the trees right next to the main hollow tree in which the elves stayed, and the two of them had dragged out all their bedding and whatnot to create their own little campsite where they could lie down on their pillows and watch the sky.
Lucian stood and went to fetch another log for the fire, and Norivana gave her a nudge after Nyela had finished eating, "You two had better get settled in soon. It's almost dark out."
"The shower isn't supposed to start until almost midnight," Lily commented, "But you're right."
Nyela hopped up and brushed the dirt off her pants that had accumulated there, glancing up at the orange sky. "We've got a good four hours or so."
Her dad returned with the log as she spoke, and he tossed it onto the flames with a loud crackle before he stretched widely and yawned. "Night, Ny," he said Nyela's pet name and gave her a big hug, kissing her forehead and then waving at Lily before he rejoined his wife by the fire.
Nyela then followed after Lily to their campsite. Right now, pretty much all it looked like was a gigantic pile of pillows and blankets, but honestly that's what they were going for. Neither of them were sticklers for order, and they'd much rather just flop down onto a big fluffy bed rather than have their own separate spaces all set out neatly.
Lily took off in a mini-sprint and jumped, sailing through the air and landing in the pile of bedding in a 'poof'. Nyela started laughing loudly and did the same, bouncing into the downy pillows. She glanced up at the sky, which was an almost blood-red color due to the setting sun. The tops of the trees were glazed in warm light, and through the opening of the leaves shone a hazy beam onto the bark of the large tree structure.
Nyela realized the fading light was currently shining straight onto a strange anomaly in the wood of the tree, an anomaly she'd been captivated with ever since she was a toddler. A male face, seemingly Night Elf, jutted out of the bark, practically sculpted from the wood itself. Along with that, if one would stand far enough away, they would realize it wasn't just a face but an entire body of a man. She had once asked her parents about it, but neither of them had given her a direct answer. Either that or she just wasn't able to remember it. Both options were probable.
Lily caught her staring at it and shook her shoulder. "You know, Branneth told me a chant that - he claims - if you say it three times, the man in the wood will come to life and kill you at the foot of your bed."
Nyela laughed. "Yeah, well, Bran's full of shit." A moment passed, and her curiosity got the best of her. "...What's the chant?"
Lily gave her a quirky smirk. She sat up straight.
"Rise demon, oh demon, for your time has come,
From the wood and the earth, to my words you'll succumb,
Of the flesh you will be, no longer a tree,
You will wake from your slumber and come back to me."
Nyela just regarded Lily with a completely dull, unimpressed stare. "Lily... That is ridiculous; not only the idea, but the chant itself. And who the heck says he's a demon? I think he's more like a protector. Like the ancients in Darnassus."
Lily gave her a smug look. "If you're not afraid to say it, then say it."
Nyela scoffed. "Fine." She opened her mouth to speak, but then forgot the words. "What are the words again?"
Lily repeated herself a few times until Nyela knew what to say, and the two of them sat up straight, staring at the tree bark, which had now lost the glow of the flaming setting sunlight and was enveloped in a darker shadow, which for some reason began to give Nyela chills. She shuddered and Lily glanced over at her.
"Scared?" Lily asked, no longer smug, her face actually showing a bit of fear itself. Lily wasn't prideful; she didn't mind showing people exactly how she was feeling.
Nyela tensed a little, lying through her teeth, "Nah, course not. Let's do this."
They decided locking hands would make it seem more realistic for some reason, and Nyela focused on the face, thinking that if this actually worked, she'd be both frightened and thrilled. At least, up until the man showed up at the foot of her bed and killed her.
Their voices blended together as they spoke. When nothing happened, Nyela shrugged lightly. "Meh. Too bad, I was really wanting to see my murderer in the flesh."
Lily laughed, "We won't know if it works or not until tomorrow morning. We'll either be dead or alive."
"That's comforting," Nyela said sarcastically and shifted a little, squirming and forcing her fear back into the depths of her mind, refusing to let it surface. In a world where more-or-less anything is possible, doing something like this was a legitimate risk, and Nyela was beginning to feel dumb for being so reckless.
In an attempt to get their minds off of what they'd just done, Lily and Nyela chatted for a while about various topics, such as when they were planning to go through the Emerald Dream and finish their Druid training. They spoke for nearly two hours until, as if in synchronization, they both at the same time blurted out, "I'm hungry."
With a laugh, they stood and decided to head into the Dwarven District to pick up something at the Golden Keg before everything closed for the night. Nyela dashed upstairs to grab her coin satchel and a backpack to carry everything home, and then they left.
Because they were set up just in the northern end of Stormwind, it was only about a fifteen-minute walk before they reached the tavern.
It was loud and full of drunk people of all shapes and sizes. With a bit of difficulty, they pushed their way through the crowd of loud, jeering, cheering people and reached the bartenders. One of the bartenders and Nyela's favorite, Hartmann, gave her a friendly wave. Hartmann was probably in his mid thirties, a tall, burly man with long dark locks and bright blue intelligent eyes. He was a great friend and treated the girls like little siblings, as they'd known him since they were very young. He leaned across the counter to be able to hear them.
"Hey girls!" he practically had to shout, "What brings ya here tonight? Need a pint?"
"Not tonight, Hartmann," Nyela smiled, "Just some food. We're going to watch the meteor shower and we don't want to starve to death before we even get the chance to see it." She winked.
His brows arched a little and he nodded his head, "Ooh, exciting. Alright, let me put in your order. Be right back." With that he had turned and gone into the storage room.
Nyela and Lily leaned lazily against the counter while they waited for Hartmann to get their order. By now, they didn't even need to tell him what they wanted; every time, it was burgers and Cinnamon Crisp.
The chef, a big, burly man nicknamed 'Grizzly', made the best burgers around, as well as his own creation which he called 'Cinnamon Crisp', which was more or less the most possible sugar one can fit into a single dessert without giving its consumer a heart attack. To make it, Grizzly would whip up some donut batter, fry it in brown sugar and molasses, and once it had a nice layer of crunch, he'd dip it (still hot) into steaming caramel, and finally top it off in a cinnamon-sugar medley. Nyela and Lily had actually been his guinea pigs/test group when he originally created it, and since then, they hadn't come to the tavern one single time without buying an order of Cinnamon Crisps.
Lily glanced over at the kitchens, as if that would somehow speed up the cooking process of their food. "I hope we don't miss the shower," she said quietly, and Nyela just waved her hand dismissively.
"Nah, we've got a few hours. Don't worry."
Lily shrugged and glanced around, and her eyes paused and widened a little in disgust. "Uh, Nyela," she grimaced, and Nyela turned to look at what Lily was seeing.
Three men were making a beeline for the two girls, stumbling slightly in their stupor and laughing loudly. They were humans, somewhat young, but came off as kind of shady. They were groomed almost too well for comfort, their hair probably holding so much styling product that you could break diamonds with a single strand. They wore pristine clothes and walked with a pretentious air.
Nyela made a face and turned back toward the bar, hoping that if she ignored the men, they'd disappear. But that was out of the picture when she felt a stumpy finger thump itself on her shoulder. Tensing her shoulder in annoyance, Nyela turned around and gave the men an expectant look.
"What?" she asked bluntly, folding her arms and standing up to her full height, which was sadly only the exact same height as them.
The man who had tapped her shoulder was giving her what he thought was probably bedroom eyes, but it was coming off as more 'constipated' and 'sweaty'.
"I jus-... I just wanted to say," he slurred loudly, glancing his intoxicated eyes over at one of his buddies before he continued, and Nyela could smell the strong bourbon on his suffocating breath as he burped loudly, "I just wanted to say that my friends - (hiccup!) - that my friends and I have chosen you two as the lucky - (hiccup!) - lucky winners of the night." He raked his eyes way too obviously over Nyela and Lily, then grinned widely, holding his arms out wide, palms turned upward as if presenting himself as a prize.
Nyela gave Lily a pathetic look before taking in a deep breath and raising her brows. "Oh?" she asked, cocking her head and glancing between the three men, "I don't think we want to be the lucky winners... Nor do we want to know what we've won. That's too bad, isn't it?"
The man blinked a few times, furrowing his brow and trying to focus his eyes on Nyela, "W-what?" he slurred.
"She means we're sorry but we've got somewhere to be tonight and we're not interested," Lily spoke up, giving the men a cordial smile before looking away, a silent dismissal.
Nyela just gave the man a single nod that read, 'You heard her', and she turned back around too, facing the bar and shaking her head in a mixture of annoyance and bewilderment.
A hand this time planted itself onto Nyela's shoulder with more force, and she whipped back around, glaring into the drunken man's eyes. She reached up and grabbed his wrist, forcing her elf claws into his skin and giving him a stern stare.
"Don't. Touch. Me." She growled at him, then released his hand forcefully, chucking it back at him and glancing between the three guys, all the while holding her glare.
"Nyela," Lily murmured warningly and tensed up a little, knowing full well that if it came to it, Nyela wouldn't think twice to turn this into a full-blown brawl. The fiery hybrid elf was a force to be reckoned with when it came to her dignity.
The man who now had a nice set of puncture marks on his wrist began to sneer. "That wasn't very nice," he slurred as he gripped a hand on his injured wrist, which was beginning to bleed a little, "Is that any way to treat a noble?"
"It's a way to treat anyone who lays their hands on me," Nyela retorted, frowning at the man and pursing her lips.
"What's got her panties in a knot?" the guy turned and scoffed at one of his friends who shrugged and made a face. The man then looked back at Nyela, "You're way too uptight, elf." He reached a hand up and made to touch her hair, but she flinched away. He smirked, "My boys and I know a few techniques to help you… relax." The other men began laughing and Nyela let out a cold, hard bark of a laugh.
"Must be hard going through life under the delusion that you're worth even a second of anyone's time," Nyela shook her head in mock sympathy.
The man blinked again and his cocky disposition changed into blunt rage as he tensed his shoulders and dropped his smile. "Now listen here," he growled and Nyela gave him a look of absolute disinterest as he wagged a finger at her. "Don't you think you can insult me like that and get away with it, bitch."
Hartmann had walked back through the door with just enough time to hear the man's final sentence. He set their order on the counter and stormed around the bar, grabbing the young man by the shirt collar and yanking him to attention. Hartmann was a very big man in general, and compared to these lightweights he was a hulk.
Hartmann's voice boomed out over the loud chatter in the bar, "You watch what you say about my girls, kid." The man gulped and shook his head quickly as Hartmann continued, seething through his teeth, "Get the hell out."
He chucked the guy backward, shoving him into his two buddies, and the three of them muttered curses and shuffled out of the bar. Nyela let out a sigh and raised her brows, giving Hartmann a smile, "Thanks."
He smiled affectionately and patted both girls on the shoulders with his broad hands, "Anyone else gives you two trouble and I got your back, okay?"
"We know," Lily smiled brightly, "Don't know what we'd do without you."
He chuckled as he gave them their bag of snacks. "Better get going, girls. You don't want to miss the meteors, plus I've got a full bar to deal with."
Nyela nodded with a smile and hopped off the bar stool. Lily joined her, and they said their goodbyes, paid, and left. They took their time walking back through the empty Stormwind streets, laughing and joking with each other. As they walked down the steps into the northern forest, the elves' orchard could be seen a ways off ahead, standing like a tall dark shadow against the mountains behind it.
A shuffle behind them caught Nyela's attention and she glanced behind her, only to be greeted with an unsettling sight. The three men they'd met earlier, along with two more, were about thirty yards back, following them with conviction.
"Lily," she warned, tapping Lily's forearm and readjusting the straps on her own backpack, "let's go faster."
Lily looked at Nyela in confusion, and then glanced behind them. Her eyes widened and she nodded, and both sped up their pace, glancing behind them a few times. When the men also sped up, Nyela's entire spine tingled in alarm, and the both of them broke into a sprint, running straight for the safety of their home. Generally, no one but the tribe ventured into that dark forest; it apparently seemed too frightening for most everyone else, so hopefully once their pursuers saw that they were running straight into it, they'd stop following.
Nyela and Lily reached their campsite, panting and out of breath from the run, and at first they didn't see the men. Relieved, Nyela turned away just as Lily reached out and grabbed her arm in fear, pointing back at the way they'd come. Nyela turned around to get a nice face-full of drunks.
"Fancy meeting you again," she said sarcastically, burying her fear and trying to come off as confident as possible. The men were standing between the girls and the door to the tall tree, and all the other elves had gone to bed by now, so there was no one else around to come to their aid.
The one she'd gotten into it with earlier stepped forward toward her, cocking one brow. It seemed some of his drunkenness had worn off, but none of his negativity. "I don't like being humiliated," the man seethed, and Nyela took a half step back away from him, now letting her edginess get the best of her.
"We didn't do anything," Lily argued back.
Nyela nodded. "If you want retribution go find Hartmann. I'm sure he'd like to push you around a little more, seeing as it was so easy the first time."
That was a bad choice of words. The man snaked a hand out and grabbed Nyela by the forearm, then shoved her backwards toward the tree, and she stumbled and tripped, catching her hand on the bark and drawing blood. She let out a sharp cry, mostly of surprise and partially because she'd slammed straight into the wooden sculpture of the man that protruded from the bark.
Before she could react, she felt a strange tugging sensation in her gut that traveled up into her spine and her neck, then down her shoulder and finally into the wound on her hand. In partial awe and forgetting her current situation, she stared at her hand as it glowed slightly, starting to knit itself back together. She recognized it as a spell, seeing as she'd seen her father perform his Druid spells countless times, but that wasn't the weird part. The weird part of it was that she hadn't had any training yet, and she'd never summoned a spell before. But here she was, healing herself, completely against her will.
As the spell continued to pulse in her hand, she braced that same hand against the tree bark where she'd hit it, leaning and turning her head back to glare at the man who'd shoved her. He had a cold look on his face and was now focused on Lily, who looked like a trapped animal.
Once her spell had finished a half-second later, Nyela, on impulse, grabbed her bag, jamming her hands inside and retrieving a dagger her mother had given her a while back. She held it up and advanced toward their attackers, waving it around and baring her sharp teeth. Lily joined her side again as the men stared at the weapon, caught off-guard at first. Nyela knew that five people against a two girls and a knife wasn't exactly the best of odds, but she had to try it. If the two could get them to back up far enough, they could retreat into the tree and get help.
It looked like her plan was doomed though as the men recovered and began to step forward. Mid-step, however, they paused suddenly, eyes widening in fear. The one in front began blubbering, shaking and stumbling backwards, and the others followed his lead.
Nyela pursed her lips in confusion, glancing over at Lily, who had the same bewildered look as her. There was no way an elf with a knife was that scary, right?
Finally, though, the man got one word out and turned tail and sprinted away, shoving over one of his buddies in the process.
The one word he'd screamed: