Fer had tears dripping down her face as she fell into silence. I pulled a handkerchief out of my pocket and handed it to her. She took it and I looked away. Fer needed a moment.
“You must think I’m a disappointment. That I shouldn’t be worthy of being called the greatest legend.”
“No, you’re wrong. Listening to you now made me see you in a new light, that even you can feel. I think you’re now more worthy of that title.” I turned back to look at her. Her head was resting on her knees, arms wrapped around her legs.
“Don’t flatter me please.” She turned to look at me. Dried streaks of tears cover her face. “I’m a mess, crying over someone who is long dead.”
“I’m not flattering you. The fact that you can feel and be hurt like anyone else, makes you more legendary. The difference between you and a normal person, is that you can get back up. Maybe not in the right way, but you eager to learn.”
We were both silent, staring into each other’s eyes, before Fer smiled sadly. “You have her eyes you know. Every time I look into them, I see a bit of her in you.”
I didn’t need to ask who because I already knew, my eyes reminded her of Rosabella. “Why did you agree to let me come?”
“Because you make me angry, confused, happy, sad, things most Fae are immune to.” She laid down on the ground looking up at the sky. “You make me feel, like she did and while I hate it because it makes me weak to feel these things, but it’s like a drug. I keep wanting more. I want to keep feeling these emotions that make humans human. I don’t want to turn cold like Fae have.”
“Can I ask you something? Something personal.”
“Yes.” She kept looking at the sky. “But only if I get to ask you something.”
I was silence for some time, wondering where this was going to go before I finally answered. “Okay.”
Fer closed her eyes as if preparing for pain. “So, what do you want to know?”
“The scars on your back, I want to know what happened.”
Fer flinched at the words. “It was a long time ago. My Fae gift began to manifest and my body was too weak to hold it. So, my mother” she spat the word. “decided that it needed a way to get out. She grabbed my dagger…”
She removed a small iron dagger from her belt and handed it to me. “And cut two lines down my back. It was only afterwards that I found out eating golden apples helped reduce my Fae gift.”
“Then why not heal the wounds with your magic?”
“That’s two questions, Cal.” She looked at me. “Didn’t they teach you how to count when you lived in the palace.”
I flinched, gripping my cup tightly. No one was meant to know about my past. I remember when she told me about knowing my secret, I didn’t realise it was this much. “So, you know that much.”
Fer must have sensed she had hit a nerve. “Forget what I said. I didn’t mean to bring it up. Let’s just do question for question, okay.”
I nodded my head and she turned to look back at the sky. “So, was it hard leaving, knowing they would never properly accept you.”
“Yeah, it was.” I sighed. It had been eight years since I left, but the memory was still clear as day. “But as every year goes by it gets a little bit easier.”
“The wounds remind me of my weakness. A way of reminding me that no matter how powerful I am, or how many monsters I kill, I can still get hurt. That my body is still weak.” She sighed. “It also helps my magic flow easier, letting the excess leave, without be being in pain all the time. Especially when I don’t have golden apples around to eat.”
“When did you realise you would be more happy leaving?”
“I was around eighteen. The hardest thing I guess being truthful to myself. It’s still hard to be. But I didn’t want to pretend anymore.” I chugged the rest of the ale down, letting it drown out the pain of the memories.
“Cal, I have a confession to make.” Fer looked at me sitting up suddenly. “I haven’t been completely honest with you.”
I dropped the empty cup. My head was staring to spin a bit and I began regretting chugging the ale. It was really strong and I’d never been good with alcohol. “What do you mean you haven’t been honest with me? Did you forget that you’re Fae, making it impossible to lie.”
“Yes, I can’t lie.” Fer whined. “But I can hide the truth or a part of it. Did you forget, if a Fae can lie to themselves, they can tell a lie.”
“Remember, when I told Janus that I was never going back to the Human realm.” I nodded my head. I’d been meaning to ask about that. “Well, the reason I said that was because this adventure, well, it may be my last.”
“What.” I stood up and immediately regretted it. The world was tilting and became blurry. “Are you dying?”
Fer stood up, grabbing me to stop me from falling over. “No, but this adventure just might kill me.”
“What do you mean? You’re…” I slurred, suddenly thinking back to when I saw Fer reading the book. But before I could say anything more, I blacked out.