10 A PICNIC IN THE MOONLIGH
Evening time, Dixen Palace
After a few hours, Jason managed to get the first stage right. He practised again till he felt it was good enough. The only thing he needed was someone to spar with to test the effectiveness of the stage.
"Oh, you got it right?" A voice asked from behind and he looked to see Xunia and the five queens he was familiar with floating down into the garden. He did the ceremonial bow to greet her.
"Yes, my Queen"
"And I see someone has been teaching you proper etiquette" he smiled and nodded.
"That's wonderful. If you don't mind, I'll like to spar with you. Don't worry, I'll restrict my powers to your level so you won't get hurt too much" she suggested, smiling.
He pondered for a while, weighing the pros and cons before agreeing. She snapped her fingers and her dress changed to light training clothes. They were teleported back to the training room.
Jason saw that the seats were filled with the queens and other dignitaries in the palace and a transparent some separated the fighting ground and the audience stands.
"Shall we begin?" She asked and he nodded. There was a distance of 7 meters between them. They began at the same time.
'DARKNESS UPON THE EARTH, DARK VINES!'
'LIGHT OF THE EARTH, WORLD LIGHT!'
At that moment, black vines and a double edged spear shot out from the ground, clashing with each other. Xunia stood still with a calm expression while Jason was sweating a lot because the fight was draining his energy reserves.
The spear managed to stand it's ground with the vines for a few minutes before it was snapped into two by the vines and they proceeded to capture Jason, squeezing him till his shouts if agony could be heard throughout the hall. The queens watched the spectacle with conflicted emotions.
Xunia stepped on one of the vines that took her closer to Jason who was still being squeezed by the vines in mid air.
"Always remember Jason, your enemy will never hesitate to kill you" she said before releasing him and setting him to the ground. He had already passed out.
She disappeared with the other queens, leaving Josephine in charge of Jason. A few hours later, after being tended to and treated, he woke up to see Xunia beside his bed, reading a book. While he was angry that she tortured him, he knew that he agreed to the spar and if it was a real life situation, he would've died. So he was grateful in a way.
"Your body is very weak. Seriously, I restricted my power level to a level below yours and I still beat you. I'm beginning to have serious issues with how you were raised" she commented not taking her eyes off her book.
"Well, my physique is not that great and my body constitution according to my pack was useless so there was no need to train me. My father attempted to but he was gradually drawn away by the work load on him" Jason said with a bitter smile.
Her cold eyes were on him in an instant glaring at him. It was then he realised that his alpha may have known about his original body constitution and talents. His alpha must have done something to stunt his growth and make sure he was stuck in the same level for his whole life.
"Did you know?" He asked and she nodded. His hands balled into fists and he took steady breaths to calm himself.
"There are a lot of things you don't know about your pack Jason. In due time, I will tell you but you have to promise me you would be patient. What is going on in your pack has been going on for a hundred years now and you can't change anything at your level" She said and he nodded.
"Good. Tonight is going to be what humans call a full moon so to make it up to you for trashing you up today, we'll be having a night picnic. I'm going to send Astara to bring you to the location a few hours from now. So rest well and get ready. We'll also be having history lessons" She said and disappeared.
Jason looked at the chair she just occupied in shock and he slowly smiled. He got up from his bed, took a light shower and proceeded to meditate. He wanted to replenish his soul power as much as possible before their night picnic.
After meditating for two hours, he took another shower and went to the library. There, he met the other queens who bombarded him with questions as soon as they saw him. He patiently explained to them everything that occurred after he awoke which sent them into a screaming frenzy. Luckily, the library had no librarian.
They fawned over him and bickered which made him run out of there with a flustered expression. When he got back to his room, he saw Astara there waiting to take him to the location. He followed her into the forest to a clearing and they waited for Xunia to show up. The ambiance there was perfect, and the full moon glowed brightly in the sky.
He halted his train of thought there. The faery realm doesn't have a moon.
"Indeed, it doesn't. That is not a moon" the druid queen's voice came from behind him.
"Sorry, was I thinking out loud and disturbing you?" He asked, wincing.
"No, you were not my lord. It just wasn't hard to deduce what you were thinking. Your face can be very obvious" she replied, floating to his side. That's right. Druids didn't have the power of telepathy like most faeries and this particular queen chose to float instead of walk. She didn't even fly as her wings were folded behind her back.
"What is it then?" he asked, pointing to the supposed moon.
"That is a constellation. It has a planet called Orikson in the middle and has stars floating around it. That planet is like a gateway to the central realm. It's more like a port.
Orikson is a glowing planet and when our light star or sun is in full glow, it reflects on it and then it becomes what humans call a full moon. It holds no special qualities for wolves but for fairies and druids, our power is either weakened or heightened. The reason you see it as a moon is because you're an earth wolf. Look closer and you'll see the true form of the Orikson fulei star" Astara explained.
He readjusted his vision as she said and saw the star in its true form and man was it beautiful. It was exactly as Astara explained it.
"So, Astara, when the star is in full glow, what does it do to you?" He asked, subtly checking for any difference about her. He only noticed that she looked extremely tired and was drifting closer to the ground than she ever did.
"It both weakens and strengthens me because I'm the druid queen not only in charge of Xunia's forest but all the forests in this realm, so when the star is in full rotation, it affects me a whole lot. At a time like this, I turn into a willow tree and Xunia looks after me till the rotation has passed. That means I'll be joining you two on this date, sorry" She said tiredly.
"No, it's not a problem. But, why are you so tired then?"
"I'm controlling my powers. If I just leave them be, half of the forests would over grow, the other half would die, and I would shrivel up" she replied, a sleepy yawn escaping her.
"I must go to sleep soon, what is taking your mate so long?" she asked, looking around the trees surrounding us.
A group of druids emerged from the thick trees with some baskets and dropped them on the basket. Another group draped a blanket over their queen and two groups flew off. Then, a huge silver wolf, which looked like the one that captured him on his first day there, emerged from the trees. The wolf was so big, if he were standing, it would have been bigger than him by five feet and he was 6 feet tall.
The wolf transformed into his mate, the alpha queen. She scratched her ear and then walked to them, a black dog trailing after her. Unlike wolves in the human realm, wolves in the faery realm had more animal like features. Like pointed furry ears, elongated canines, claws and furry feet. This was their neutral form.
Her long dark silver locks fluttered in the wind and her piercing grey eyes inspected them both.
"Se keastro ma sende la fendrut meaya?" (what took you so long?) The druid queen uttered in her tongue, narrowing her eyes at Xunia.
"I had to arrange somethings and Sterix got lost again" Xunia answered, shrugging.
"Honestly, that familiar is more like a dumb dog!"
"Hey! Don't insult my familiar, he's still recovering. Where's yours anyways?" Astara smirked and whistled. It was a loud whistle that made him cover his ears. An owl landed on her shoulder and bowed at her. Xunia simply glared at both of them.
"Excuse me for interrupting your scuffle but what is a familiar, why is a dog with you and why does Astara have a pet Owl that bows to her?" He asked, feeling very confused.
"Oh, story time, I almost forgot. I'll explain later. Right now, both me and Aposterus have to help the druid queen with her transformation" Xunia replied and he nodded.
"Sontare verus de rele escule mastr shenter" (I thought you weren't coming, I was losing hope) the druid queen said, giving Xunia a sad smile.
"No! are you crazy? I would never abandon any of my subjects or a friend for that matter. That been said, rest my friend, your transformation is beginning" Xunia replied.
"Aposterus" Xunia summoned and the owl came to rest in the abdomen of the druid queen, which was slowly opening like a mud vortex.
"Sterix" Xunia called and the dog, which suddenly developed blue glowing marks along its body, ran around the druid queen. Atara closed her eyes and her face faded away. Her limbs elongated and Xunia pulled her to the ground where her elongated feet immediately sunk into.
The druid queen began to resemble a tree with each passing second and he watched in awe. Then, Xunia's dog threw a ball of blue light from its mouth and the transformation was complete. Beside Xunia, stood a huge willow tree, with an owl seemingly carved in the trunk. The willow seemed to move with the gentle breeze, which sounded more like whispers.
Xunia pressed a gentle kiss to the tree saying, "Rest easy my friend" and turned to me.
"That was so confusing and yet, I am in awe" he commented, grinning wildly.
"Yeah" she replied absentmindedly.
"Hey, Xunia, what's wrong?" he asked in concern. The alpha queen suddenly looked pale.
"Can you hold me for a bit?" she asked instead, and he complied. He held her for a few minutes before he heard it. The sounds of her sobs. The mighty alpha queen was crying.
He rocked her gently and ran his hand through her hair. By experience, he knew how to comfort she-wolves and it worked well on Xunia. Her voice drifted into his thoughts.
"This is the seventh rotation of her life. Normally, she'd go to earth, but she preferred to stay here. She may not survive it Jason. I don't know what to do anymore" she cried.
"Hey, it's alright, she'll be alright. The druid queen is powerful in her own element and I know she can withstand the power of the rotation just fine" he said comforting her.
"Really?" she asked, peering into my eyes with her glassy grey orbs. Even when crying, she still looked exceptionally beautiful.
"Really" I confirmed, and she gave me a small, albeit cute smile. I thought my heart exploded for a minute.
"Well, I promised you a date and a date you shall get. I spent all day preparing potions for Astara's transformation, feeding it to Sterix and preparing our picnic" she said, her sorrow depleting.
"Where is your dog anyways?" I asked, looking around for him.
"Firstly, he's not a dog, he's a familiar. Second, I thought you would be more comfortable if it was just both of us, so I sent him away. he's close by should we need any help" she replied, setting out the picnic. I watched her mesmerized.
"Why a picnic at night?" he mused, still watching her.
"The night is more peaceful and romantic tha
n the day. Night picnics are more common in the faery realm than in the day" she replied, finally done.
"A little birdy told you liked chocolate, so I made a chocolate themed picnic. Nice right?" she asked, grinning.
"Are you kidding? You are amazing. I would kidnap you if I could. Damn woman, you know how to make a man's dreams come true" I exclaimed, devouring every single pastry with my eyes.
"So, you're saying you don't object to us mating and getting married?" She asked with a teasing smile. She found a way to trap him and render him speechless, like always. She laughed and passed him a piece of chocolate cake.
"So, Jason, what do you want to know first?"
"Tell me about familiars"
"Hmm, okay. You remember the tale of the Judges I told you? He nodded affirmative.
"Well, Judges select different creatures from all four realms as vessels for their power. Since they have a lot of it, they channel it through creatures, to set a balance on the realms.
The judges are divided into light court and dark court. They are not like opposites, they just prefer to distribute themselves that way. My patron judges are Power; which comes with pride, strength and skills, Darkness; because I'm a part dragon and Spirit; because I possess my ancestor's blessings"
"Wait, so you mean you have three patron Judges?"
"Yup but Spirit is a lesser Judge"
"Is that common and what is a lesser Judge?"
"Yes, it is most common. When more than one judge finds a vessel suitable, they can channel their power into that vessel. It is however uncommon to have only one patron and it can kill a vessel to have more than five patrons. A lesser Judge is one that is not part of the original 12 Judges. They are called Elders and they are four in number"
"So, what does this have to do with familiars?"
"I was getting to that part. Familiars are animals infused with judges' powers when all other animals are normal. So, when a familiar has the same patron judges as you and your soul matches, it's yours"
"How come I'm only seeing familiars for the first time?"
"Oh, you see them alright. You just assumed that this castle has a zoo, that's all" she replied, snickering.
"Hey! In my defense, it looked more like a zoo because of all the exotic animals that were there. I used to think you have a thing for exotic animals"
"Well, I only have one familiar, an Umbiok, the one you people call dog"
"it does look like a dog"
"It's not a dog. It's not from the faery realm or the human realm. It's from the third realm; Asterilyx" she replied, annoyed.
"Okay fine, I'm sorry. Do you know anything about my familiar?"
"Nope. Only you can know that. But bear in mind that Judges don't give us our powers, they just give us a little extra"
"Okay. What would happen if a creature had only one patron, like me?"
"That would mean the creature can concentrate both the patron's powers and its own powers in a very pure form. Such creatures are very powerful. The lesser your patron judges, the more power you have" she explained shrugging.
"Wow, the realm of the faeries is more amazing than what I have heard or read" He said in awe. "Yeah, but it's also very dangerous. Especially in these times" she said, with a solemn face. Jason knew she was uncomfortable talking on this topic so he changed it.
"Hey, the other queens told me this realm doesn't have simple moons and stars. Could you tell me more about it" He said, looking at the constellation. Xunia noticed it and couldn't help but pinch his cheeks.
"That's okay. So how many suns and moons do you have?"
"We have 5 light stars that you can call suns that brighten up our days, the ones you see every morning and we have 7 constellations for the night. First we have the Letheria star, Steriel and Zendric constellation. They belong to the sky dwellers, the angies.
Second we have the Sunal star and Reducx Constellation. They belong to the fairies. Then you have the Zurima star and Lennox constellation belonging to the Sirens. The Vaeria star, Sielena and Vomareo constellation belonging to both Vampires and Weries. Finally, the Ombroma star, Vietrel and Manar constellation belonging to the underwaild.
We have exceptional stars like the Orikson fullei star which is both a constellation and a star. It's what humans call an eclipse. Because we have all these different stars and constellation, we have a different calender. We have 15 months in a year, 35 to 41 days in a month and 39 hours in a day. 70 minutes in an hour and 30 seconds in a minute" she explained, watching him.
"Wow, that is so cool. I have to admit, the concept of having more than one sun and moon is intriguing" he remarked, staring at the constellation.
"Stars and constellations Jason" she corrected.
"I apologise. To be honest, it would take some getting used to. The difference between the two realms is so vast that I'm lost most of the time here" he admitted, scratching his ears.
"I mean, I have wolf ears, a snout which is totally cool, my canines are longer and sharper and I can't count how many times I have stabbed my lips with them while in my neutral form" he continued making her chuckle at him.
"I realized I haven't had the time to properly apologise to you about forcefully bringing you to my Queendom and forcing you to stay. It was improper for me but I had to do it. You would become Luna King one day and it seemed to me from the first time I met you that you knew nothing about royalty and how dangerous it could be. I'm truly sorry" She apologized with her head down and ears flat.
"It's okay. I forgave you a month ago. I realized you weren't as scary as you seemed to be from afar and you're my soul mate, you won't hurt me. Besides, you have really cool escorts. Who knew the other queens were a bunch of gossipers" he said chuckling. She stared at him, thoroughly amused. He had no idea faery women were a lot different from human women. He was really a naive little Werie.