Year 783 Octavus, day 2 of the fifth month of Auonus
A winged beast soared in the sky, the white scales shimmered as it descended at the sound of a dark whistled from the dark-skinned rider riding on its back. Trolls fled over the snow-covered land as the dragon aimed for the targets. A sharp whistled echoed, making the dragon send out a burst of white frost from its mouth, hitting the target’s left side before landing clumsily on the ground.
The rider turned around, taking down the hood on the large, white fur coat. The obsidian eyes peered at the target as the wind caught his long white hair. The man allowed himself a frown as he watched all the targets, most of them were untouched and only a few of them showed any signs of being hit.
“Rial Caraid, your dragon’s aim is getting better,” said a large troll who was one of the who was unfazed among them. The greyish skin was covered in scars while the two large under fangs almost reached his eyes. He showed the cultural rings of the trolls with a thick fur coat to protect him from the eternal winter of Eitir.
“My dragon's aim is fine. It’s mine that needs training,” replied Akana trying to keep his emotions in check. They flared up as he breathed in, allowing his dragon fire to warm his body. A necessary ability that allowed him to fly the ice dragon.
Naga rustled his scales, clearly satisfied with his achievements though Akana was not nearly as satisfied with the missed targets. Akana climbed down the dragon, allowing Tug to help him. “Shouldn’t you be with my husband? I don’t think I need a general at the moment.”
Tug just grunted, having no intention of giving Akana an answer. Not that he needed one. There was no need for a general at the moment at all. The last couple of weeks since he had ended his first year, they have given him an official surname, A Baeldraegan, and Sidastir has amused himself with trying to create an ice sculpture of Akana. Something that was a tradition among the ice elves. The main hall was adorned with ice sculptures of all the previous Rials and their Rial Caraids.
Of course, Sidastir tried to hide his pastime and failing miserably. Akana just allowed him some dignity and pretended like he didn’t know to keep the peace.
“You have gotten better, only three trolls were hit this time,” Tug said, clearly trying to comfort Akana but failed to notice the glare sent his way.
“It is passable, at least for traveling from the school to the capital for the Trinetournament,” Akana muttered. After much consideration, it would take days in a wagon to go from Virtus Scolaris to the capital of Relevium, Parcis. It would take only hours on a dragon and if it was something Akana liked, it was efficient. Though he cared not for flying, he detested having to use his dragonfire, as his kind normally has no magic. When they allowed themselves to siphon mana and use magic, they get a burst of emotions and since they normally don’t have them it often led to some embarrassing situation.
Not to mention his inner self, his brother Sen, who comes out sometimes to wreak havoc. No, it was far better to avoid magic. Not that it was an easy thing to do. With a grimace, Akana started to walk towards the sleigh.
Akana massaged his stiff body as he entered the sleigh taking him to the giant gates of Eighpalas. The city had been lit up by sunstones which guided him up the stairs when he exited the slay to walk up to them. The ice palace stood in the centrum of the city. A large building shape like pointy ice pillars towering over all the other buildings. All made of icemagic and all abandon since long ago.
It had been a year ago since he had arrived in Eitir to become the Rial of Eitir’s ward in the school Virtus Scolaris. Only to become the consort, Rial Caraid, to Sidastir who had changed the original plan when he noticed that Akana was immune to his ice magic.
A sigh escaped Akana at the thought of the incident as he had originally had no interest in marrying the temperamental king who solely had experience in war and loss.
But a year later, Akana wandered up the streets of the Eighpalas to see his husband who without a doubt needed him.
Sidastir glared at the monstrosity in front of him and was speechless. He had no idea if he should be amused, terrified, or angry.
“What, if I might ask, is that suppose to be?” he asked and closed his sky blue eyes while he rubbing his temples.
The troll in front of him made exaggerated gestured at his creation like he was hunting away birds.
“It’s our Rial Caraid,” rumbled the troll with so large voice that his large gut tremored. If the troll hadn’t been at least two head taller than Sidastir and built like a wall Sidastir would have hit him.
It was an old tradition to have ice sculptures made of the Rial and their royal consorts. Naturally, he had order one made of Akana after they had married but he hadn’t considered that the ice elves were the creators of said sculptures. None was left except himself and the task fell onto the trolls since the fairies were too small to create a sculpture. Sidastir grimaced as he sincerely regretted his request.
“Does that look like Akana?” asked Sidastir. Each word lingered while he tried to hold back the desire to throw an ice brick at the troll.
“Rial Caraid wasn’t here to be a model so I used my wife instead,” the troll said proudly while waving at his wife who looked delighted.
Sidastir groaned and pulled at his long, white hair. If his snow-colored skin could shift color then it would red. The sculpture was of a female troll with a harness and a frying pan in hand. At the sculpture’s base the words, Akana the burned, had been carved.
“How in inferno’s name do I explain this to Akana?” though Sidastir in despair.
“Why have you written the burned?”
“Because of his black skin which he got after being burned by the sun in his homeland,” said the troll who still gave attention to his wife. Sidastir grabbed onto the troll and pulled down his face, leveled with his own.
“I’d hope that I don’t need to explain that he was born with black skin. Just as the rest of the Auons were born with the same skin color. Just like Ice elves have white skin and trolls have grey. It is not because of the sun, you damn amadan!” hissed Sidastir between clenched teeth. “Removed the monstrosity before Akana spot it and start over!”
Sidastir stormed off with angry steps. King of fools. That is what he is.
Sidastir halted in front of the gate to the Ice palace and looked out over the city. He couldn’t help but felt a rush of pain in his chest. His loss was old but the scars still ached. He still missed his people. The last of the Ice elves of Eitir was a title he didn’t carry with pride.
He was just about to turn around to enter the palace when he heard a familiar voice which made his heart soar. He turned around and felt how earlier pain and loneliness dripped off him like water to be replaced by warmth as he saw his husband approach.
Sidastir awaited his husband with open arms and enjoyed the feeling of Akana’s lips against his. He allowed his hands to skitter down his husband’s back to more private parts when Akana pinched his hand and pouted in malcontent.
“Can you at least give the appearance of being a restrained ruler or do I have to forbid physical contact with you in public?”
Sidastir gave him a mischievous smirk. “What is the purpose of accompanying your husband in public places if not to do scandalous acts in secret?”
A grimace escaped him followed by a burst of laughter when Akana pinched him harder. He wanted to tease his dear consort more but held back the impulse and merely gestured for Akana to enter the ice palace first. A gestured Akana acknowledge by entering first giving Sidastir a nice view of his backside.
Sidastir made a mental note to give his consort some attention later as they entered a large hall adorned with colossal windows that stretched toward the arched ceiling. The windows were decorated with vines and from the vines, sunstones hung to light up the hall. The entire palace was made of ice and the windows were frosted. To Sidastir it was home, but for foreigners, it had a strange beauty.
Naturally, magic had been used to ensure that the Ice palace would hold but Sidastir remembered that his people had a saying that when the Ice palace melted the time of the ice elves had passed. It was ironic then that the palace had survived the wheel of time while the elves of Eitir had not.
His general followed his Rial Caraid’s steps without even gracing Sidastir with a glance. Tug was no chieftain since no respectable chieftain would ever leave the mountain but Tug had followed Sidastir who had waged war against the Domor and he had survived. Few others could claim the same. Not even Sidastir’s own people could claim so. Now, Tug protected the Ice palace while the Rial and his consort were gone.
A fairy glowed in a blue light from Tug’s shoulder. She was a constant annoyance in Sidastir’s life. Her shrill voice cut through the air like a knife and Sidastir could only assume that the fairies' horrid voices were because of their small size.
Madin flew closer and Sidastir had to fight the impulse to wave her off like a fly when she flew in front of his face. Her wide, little face was adorned with a wide smile filled with sharp teeth. The eyes were black without pupil or irised while the wings were that of a dragonfly. The buzzing sound annoyed Sidastir to no end.
Fairies were far off from the mythical beauties the fairytales speak of in Relevium and Patricalum but few fairies lived outside the Nordic countries. They wanted a cold climate and thick forest. Not the open fields that adorned Relevium and Patricalum.
“Messages has arrived. I let the fairies bring them to your office,” said Madin, and Sidastir grimaced when his ears ached from the sound of her screeching voice.
Akana merely nodded in response. Sometimes Sidastir wondered if he wasn’t able to handle the voices of the fairies because of his pointy elven ears since Akana didn’t seem affected by the sounds the fairies make. Though Akana also had an unrivalled restraint so there might be a risk that he just was far better at hiding his pain and irritation than Sidastir.
“I appreciate your diligence. Tug, be so kind and look after Naga. He is making life difficult for your warriors,” said Akana and turned towards Tug who grunted a reply before walking out of the hall without even acknowledging Sidastir.
Lately, Tug has listened to Akana’s every command while he ignores Sidastir. It wasn’t something that bothered Sidastir though since he had assumed it had to do with the trolls’ culture. In war, the men are in charge but in the home, the women's word was law and Akana most likely falls under the latter as he was the royal consort.
Sidastir led Akana up the plentiful stairs towards the royal quarters located at the central tower which also was the highest. There was a reason why none of the previous Rials and their family was bulky. It was simply impossible when running up and down all these stairs.
They arrived at last to the top where the Rials chamber was in the middle. As they entered they were met by a large living room with couches and a fireplace. To the right was an office with a library and to the left was a bathroom and a large bedroom. Straight forward was a balcony with a view over the entire city. The room was adorned with beautiful light blue and silver curtains that gave life to an otherwise frosted background.
The blue fire in the fireplace lit up the entire apartment and Akana removed his coat. He didn’t really need it since the dragonfire kept him warm. Sidastir suspected that Akana was just fond of the thick layer of fur that reminded them of the furs on their large bed. He knew with certainty that Akana felt relaxed when enwrapped in the large pelts in their bedroom.
Sidastir followed Akana into the library. The two desks in the middle of the library were currently filled with papers and letters. Akana immediately walked up to his desk and started to peruse the letter. Sometimes he threw a letter over to Sidastirs desk.
He peered over the desk, the letters were for him. Most were ball invitations that he has ignored for a long time. Some for his friend Magnus Ferrum and the co-leader of the Furies. A title that once had been Sidastir before he has given it to Akana who had used his friend Ceva Le Gu to invite students from Consilium to join the Furies. A move that most likely was to conquer the Consilium from the Nobilior who has ruled the political curriculum the past 50 years.
Despite Akana’s competence, Sidastir couldn’t help but to worry about leaving him alone in the school considering the last year’s incident, but his consort had asked him to join the Trinetournament. A competition to choose a new Mayin. A title Sidastir didn’t want, mostly because the Mayin has protected his seat for the last 500 years. He won’t give it up easily, but Sidastir couldn’t refuse his consort who wanted to join the politicians gathering for the Trinetournament and needed an excuse to join the celebrations. Besides, the thought of him and Akana wandering Parcis, the capital of Relevium, did send a pleasant shiver through Sidastirs spine and he looked forward to it.