Orphic Phantasia

32: Acceptance

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They slipped out of Emily’s room. It was early enough that no one was awake; the House of Himeros did not do six o’clock in the morning. Upstairs, they found a feast of uneaten food scattered about the kitchen. It looked like Lysander and Angelo had thrown another of their impromptu parties. One day, Emily would actually show up to one as promised. In the meantime, she stole a buttered roll and loaded it with bacon. Dante chose to peck at a bowl of cereal.

“Just because we’re of the bloodline, doesn’t mean we don’t have to eat,” she told him, thrusting a roll his way. By the time they left, he had taken about two bites out of it.

They were about to step into the forest when Emily felt a tickle of acknowledgement as a familiar breeze brushed over her.

“I hear you had an engaging evening,” said Himeros. The young elemental sat at the edge of the stream, teasing nearby water lilies with his slender fingers. “You are glowing.”

Dante shifted beside her, hands buried in his cloak pockets. “I heard you returned to your world,” she said. “Was it something to do with the Court?”

“I was invited,” he replied. “Princess Titania Teigr herself escorted me as far as an elemental of my stature can step. I must admit, things are far worse than I imagined. There is barely a soul left among the Sidhe who is not attending the trial. It has enraptured the attention of our entire world. I would have stayed there myself, had young Lysander not summoned me back. Has he told you of what happened whilst you sealed yourselves away?”

“No,” said Emily. “What happened?”

“We had an uninvited guest.”

Emily felt her flesh pimple with dread. “But I thought nobody could find this place unless someone invited them?”

“Not everyone is susceptible to the words woven into the forest,” Himeros replied, a hint of childish curiosity on his almond face. “In this instance, I do not believe our guest was even aware that they were there.”

Emily glanced at Dante, saw the recognition in his eyes. That night, six years ago, Pleiades had passed through the spells of the Donara without disturbing a single thread. “Do you know who this person was?” she asked Himeros.

The faerie shook his head. “I admit that I could hardly perceive him, and he was certainly ignorant of my good self. What little I know I owe to Lysander. He confronted our guest with a frown I would have never expected from such a mischievous spirit.”

“And?”

“He was looking for you,” Himeros replied. “Lysander told him you were not here, and he left.”

“I assume everyone forgot he was here after that?” Emily was hoping that was the case. Another creep with a magic crystal was preferable to the alternative.

“Oh no, he left quite the impression, I can assure you! Well, for all but myself, of course. Believe me, had he carried the magic of the Sidhe upon his person, even I, a lowly elemental, would have noticed it.”

“Then who was he?”

“I believe the term Lysander used was ‘G-Man’.”

Chapter 32 End

Orphic Phantasia on

Before anyone asks, no, that isn’t a Half Life reference :p Make of it what you will.

Meanwhile, we’ve an interlude starring a certain al-Hakim brother next week, and then it’s on to Episode Five!

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