Chapter 18 | Fairy of the Tower
There was a time when the Imperial Princes often visited Haerford Castle. During those times, a rumor of a green-haired fairy dancing in the halls became famous. At the same time, Aleksi was a growing boy who carted a baby he considered his sister. The boys grew to know each other well enough.
The castle was the home of fiery dragons, not faeries. Only two names could easily fit the bill for the Fairy of Haerford. However, one was much too old for any of the princes, and the other was much too unaware of her beauty to notice the rumors.
When both left and only a baby with the same green hair remained, the rumor gradually died while the princes slowly stopped visiting Haerford. In its place, the story of Asena grew, however, she was a secret kept by the duchy.
Many years later, the tower where the beauties had stayed became Yelisey West Wing, where the Wolf and her brother, the Howling Wind, resided.
"Will Evren mind if I rearranged some of her things?" Rusen rummaged through his side of the room on the highest floor. "I wouldn't want to mess with it for when she returns."
"If she returns."
Rusen gave his sister a quizzical look. Had it come from him, it would've been funny. Coming from his no-joke sister, not that she understood jokes, to begin with, it sounded all too ominous. Unfortunately, Asena was never one for social cues. Between the three of them, Evren was the most normal.
Thankfully too, as she was quite the favorite of the Duchess when she was still alive. Evren had been her student and would've been until her coming of age had the Duchess not passed so soon. Under the will of the late Duchess, Evren and her two siblings were given equal opportunities as the Damyanov siblings. The five children grew up side by side in the same manner as Aleksi growing up with the royal family, an honor forged by the long-standing friendships between mothers and fathers.
Evren's portion of the room remained untouched as Rusen tidied up a bit. Her area of the tower was unoccupied for some time while she roamed around the duchy as a healer. When Denica became old enough, she took over the duties Evren had once been privileged of managing the affairs only the lady of the duchy could touch.
In Evren, Denica sought the pieces of her mother she never had the chance to meet.
The three Spiros siblings were quite different from one another. Evren grew up with the influence of the Duchess and her mother, becoming graceful and elegant. On the other hand, it could be said, Asena was the opposite. Though she wasn't rowdy or excitable, her curiosity and slow emotional development were perfectly synced with chaos. Furthermore, her chaotic nature fueled Rusen's actual excitable personality. Thankfully, Rusen understood social cues far better than his older sister could ever comprehend, even if she were to read a library's worth of explanation.
Nevertheless, Yelisey West Wing was the birthplace of many creative things the children crafted. Most importantly, it was where Asena realized the full potential of her curious mind.
"What are you looking at, Yeon-Hyeon?"
A short androgynous wearing a button-down shirt paired with tight shorts and a cape was walking alongside a much taller person. Their companion was at least over two heads tall, with his short hair and blue eyes dead giveaways. Plus, the gems embedded on the back of the companion's left hand distinguished him, apart from his siblings.
Yeon-Hyeon's blue eyes remained glued to the familiar sight up above.
"Kamil," he said softly, afraid to disturb an invisible force that helped pull together the sight before him, "this is where I saw my first love."
Kamil stifled a laugh. "I heard a mad scientist lives there."
"You're mistaken." The second prince frowned, visibly offended. "She is like a fairy in a meadow just as the light emerges from the darkness. The mad scientist is a man."
Again, Kamil held back their laugh.
"And where is this first love of yours, Yeon-Hhyeon? I don't see you with a ring."
Yeon-Hyeon's frown deepened. "Once I became old enough, the doors to this castle closed..." Catching himself, he snapped away from the tower. "The late duchess passed away soon after, making visiting something of the past."
The knights around the prince began to count on their fingers.
"You were five..." Kamil was the first to break their counting. "Hey. Don't tell me you volunteered to assist Prince Egbert so you could see her."
"Of course not. I didn't even think the Duke would travel to the Capital just to get the news directly from Father. I had thought he would stay with his precious only daughter."
"Instead," another voice added, "we find that both Dragon siblings weren't even here."
"What was the place they came from again?"
"The island of Hempholme."
"A fucking island."
"Why would they risk going there during this time?"
Rusen could hear mumbles as he turned a corner in the tower.
"Looks like one of the princes is here. Be careful not to catch his attention." He warned his sister.
Asena nodded, half dazed from her long slumber as she followed her brother towards another room.
"Yo." One of the knights flapped his hands about while another completed his thoughts aloud.
"Is she the beauty you speak of?" A man resembling the prince in handsomeness pointed at the figure coming down the tower.
The distinctive green hair that Yeon-Hyeon remembered glistened under the light piercing through the open windows. A smile formed unconsciously as feelings from his youth unburied themselves. Yes, that was her.
Rusen felt a ticklish and annoying sense that he was being watched. He snuck a peek and saw the indistinguishable expression on the prince and his entourage. It certainly was spine-tingling.
"Is there a problem?" Asena tried to look past her brother's shoulder.
He instinctively blocked her way. "Just felt goosebumps, is all," he quickly answered.
"Any updates on Jojo? I made a request-"
"Õekene," her brother's low voice softened, "she had another outburst."
Asena's expression didn't change. "She's dead then."
He nodded, quietly standing beside his sister with his hand awkwardly up in the air, "I'm sorry. I know you cared about her."
"Cared?" Her brow raised in a manner she'd never felt before.
But the feeling didn't linger.
Certainly, Asena had felt all sorts of emotions new to her, but she couldn't remember them now. Only the words associated with them remained.
"Yes, I suppose that is the right word."
Rusen observed his sister and felt it was a shame that she had reverted away from emotions.
It took the remaining walk to the front of Asena's laboratory for her to analyze her thoughts.
Rusen tilted his head, a little confused.
"How did she... pass away?"
He could tell that she was trying to speak with a kinder tone.
"No one could contain the outburst. You were still recovering, in and out of consciousness."
Together, they stepped into the room, lighting it with Rusen's magic. The room instantly livened. The bookshelves glistened against the bleeding lights through the curtains. It was as organized as she last left it.
She walked over to the windows and opened them up.
Her green hair was rarely ever not in a braid, but lifting her arms was still inconvenient. She was never one to have a personal maid. As a result, it flowed as soon as the windows let in a breeze.
Yeon-Hyeon felt like he was falling in love all over again. He'd never, not once, seen her face til now, and it was better than he imagined. His green-haired fairy of Yelisey West Wing Tower.