It's been deceiving them ever since- the structure that the two Royal heirs were fixated upon. It was no crystal, but it assumed a form it knew would entice. The Princess gulped as she clung to her cousin’s arm, and feeling a little more reassured when he inched closer to her as well.
"The ring..." Her cousin Vandrake inquired gently, keeping a hawkish look at the haunting structure. "...are you wearing it?"
Suren carefully broke her staring match with the monstrosity to look down at her finger- the Jade Ring he crafted for her gleaming and humming with the prayer Vandrake infused. “Yes. It's still here.”
Vandrake's eyes softened at the words Suren considerately didn't say to him. Heard her doubts, fears and even regrets. “You are the strongest out of the two of us, Suren.” He reminded her, but upon seeing how doubt continued to linger in her eyes he quickly added, “When you use your sealing abilities, the ring will respond and increase your pressure and...by Vritra’s Will it is enough to bind the Jade Construct.”
Hearing the descriptive name of the behemoth made Suren shudder, yet also serving as her cue it was time to untangle herself from her cousin's protective side.
Vandrake drew out a long breath before he took Suren's hand into his own and started the horrifying stride towards the Construct they expected to place in shackles.
Even with their sealing ring in tow, neither of them could express word or tongue that this would successfully set the wayward timefield back. Jade Constructs were not prone to comply- holding their maker's thought, memory and emotion fixed inside a much more precarious field of time.
However, even such a thing as a Construct had an origin.
An origin that traced back to when the ancestors of Princess Suren- and those of her dear cousin and Duke to the South Kingdom Vandrake, were still the Galactic Serpent.
“...The kingdom better be grateful.”
Suren gulped as Vandrake muttered a few more vulgarities. Her cousin's mind was once again trapped in another cycle brimming with his own psychological misery, and she could only sympathize in silence from her position beside him.
Within his mutterings, Suren heard the severe weight the two of them have been compelled to convey since birth. A few, if not all of them, pushed upon their shoulders by generations now long time gone. And now, a potential calamity to their Kingdom had been added to that trouble.
No one had even bothered with this particular Jade Construct, a manifestation that once emerged caused alarm across the entire continent. No one, but the two cousins who had insisted to interfere. Vandrake especially, since this menace bordered his piece of the kingdom, and Suren - who saw Vandrake as her only ally in their family - wasted no time in wishing to aid him.
In those mere deliveries, Vandrake disdainfully had summed up both of their lives.
Suren Dragon Tongue, Princess of the Jade Kingdom. The tranquil, mild-mannered Princess whose agency and freedom of thought were stolen from her at birth.
And Vandrake Dragon Tongue, Duke of the Southern Kingdom. Quiet, enduring and viciously furious- the Duke who took the beatings of his mother as she 'formed him into shape' for her own longings. Not knowing he schemed a plan, a hope and a menacing desire to free his bloodline from the wreckings of the previous generations.
Suren shuddered as she remembered seeing the scars on her cousin's back, his scales having neglected to shield him from her aunt's onslaught.
The unexpected static murmur ringing in their ears suddenly cut Suren's musings off, and as the realization of their mistake settled in, green light burst from the Jade Construct in the far distance as Vandrake and Suren stared helplessly as their presence became noticed.
Vandrake cursed under his breath, realizing their pensive musings activated the Construct, and quickly turned to his cousin to have her stifle the nightmare before them- but his voice didn’t activate.
He tried to scream, but no sound came out of him. He quickly let go of Suren's hand and shook her shoulder, and upon seeing his widened eyes with both terror and fury mixed in them she tried asking him to clarify-
And realized that she couldn't speak no more either.
The Jade Construct silenced them both as its pressure fanned over the dead plains.
Thought. Memory. Emotion.
These were the domains the Primordial Dragon Vritra forged within his 99 fortresses as He bend them to shape the Sentient Mind. The third of the Creator Tetrad, the Genesis Trinity- those that were in charge of starting and ending the cycles of the universe.
Yet Vritra had a plan. He would not grant mortals His gift without it. And one day - true to His unspoken word and without wanring - He collected payment. By stealing the waters from the World's Bones sending every mortal to die in His Drought of Banes. Had the Hero Indra not risen to temporary godhood and slain Vritra, the world would still be at the mercy of the Drought.
But the Creator Tetrad's cycle had already been undone. And Vritra attempting to retake what was meant to be given set the world into a downward spiral.
The Jade Constructs were one such part of its descend.
The Princess was tucked behind Vandrake's back as the Duke of Serpents calculated their chances now that this nameless behemoth came for their throats. Whatever the Jade Construct was arranging unveiled neither its plan nor its motivation. Nor…
...its creator’s intent.
Their voices being silent was part of that intent, and with no other choice Suren gulped and tapped Vandrake's shoulder blades to pull his attention. Her cousin turned his head at her, then blinked when he sensed it immediately.
He felt the draw of Suren's pathokinesis nipping at his mind’s borders.
Her pathokinetic tendrils felt rushed and untidy, and less kind than what he was used to what his cousin usually crafted.
Princess Suren wasn't the sort to actually powerfully utilize her pathokinesis on anybody- however in the present circumstance she nudged him a bit more urgently for consent to enter his mind. Banged the door, really.
Which Vandrake opened without overthinking it. Suren was welcome, always.
Whispers entered his psyche, hers, and Vandrake closed his eyes as he listened to her within his Mind's Eye.
"It has no name. Why it won't give us it's name?"
He felt her leave his psyche as fast as she entered, having no desire to overstay her welcome in such a personal space. Yet her inquiry echoed in his mind for some time longer, and it made Vandrake's spine run cold.
Opening his eyes, and blinking a couple of times to clear his vision, Vandrake met his cousin's gaze. Her multi-coloured eyes had been staring at him sharply, and upon seeing lucidity return to her cousin's eyes, Suren tipped her head at the Jade Construct next.
Vandrake stared at the nameless Construct, horrified he didn't realize sooner it indeed had not unveiled its name yet. All Jade Constructs were leftovers from a Vritra's - their people - psyche. Thoughts, memory and emotion tangled together in a field of time born from within their minds. The name of a Jade Construct was like saying the kind of grudge one holds against the world, and always revealed by the time field itself by blasting its name loudly into your mind. The Sentient Mind working in its metaphysical ways, truly.
The Jade King, Suren's father and his uncle, merely called this unknown entity the Jade Veins. If nothing else, it was but a simple way to name a landmark, except that this landmark served to be the rampaging pathokinetic remains of a nameless Vritra.
"Why won't it give us it's name?"
Suren's question stood on the verge of haunting him, because no Jade Construct emerged into the world without revealing it's name into the psyche of all its spectators. For within a Construct's name sat its creator's will weaponized.
The Duke frowned as he clasped Suren's hand in his own staring at the glowing ring on her finger. He checked the prayer and protocols he weaved inside the ring- triple-checked if it still matched Suren's deconstruction sealing network.
And as he did so, he listed in his head the other Constructs he did knew the name of.
The Ambiance of Nehru. The Dance of Behah. The Opera of Preeti.
However, this one? The one that had allowed itself to be flung in obscurity?
The Jade Veins?
Suren gasped felt Vandrake's pathokinesis slip into her mind effortlessly, and was given...a drawing?
With no time to waste, Suren quickly closed her eyes and saw her seal's design being echoed by her cousin.
Her brow knitted together upon seeing the unobtrusive changes to the lines and shapes. Vandrake was relaying a suggestion to her network, asking her if this might be stronger option.
Suren examined the seal in her Mind's Eye, testing and assimilating it in thousands of simulations in a matter of mere seconds.
"It will work." She confirmed, but before her cousin would leave her psyche, she left him with another thought. "Yet why would it go as far as to seal off our voice?"
"You'd think it would be afraid of us speaking. I seldom say anything that hurts anybody."
Suren gave her cousin a look, even as the static in their ears increased and Vandrake resisted the urge to pout at her sharp stare. "Alright fine, I devour more often than not, but if you would humor me on your point?"
And the Princess blinked once, her eyes becoming solemn enough it gave Vandrake the shivers. "Taking away sound is far too specific of an attack strategy. Whomever died here, does not want to hear the words of...anyone. Or perhaps only a certain someone."
Whatever- no, whomever this Construct belonged to, they knew how to handle themselves. Built an entire campaign of a thought-out grudge to stifle anyone coming near it, the Jade Construct neatly unveiling it many knives as it prepared for the kill.
But so too did it launch something that sealed the grand speech of those from the Dragon Tongue clan and current Royal family- whom according to legends if they were to speak would make the Nightmares kneel.
The Jade Princess worriedly tugged Vandrake's sleeve as she tried to make him see the danger.
And judging from Vandrake's morbid expression, he realized as well- they had walked right into the trap laid out for them.