The Revelation | By: Nicole Jakobsen | | Category: Short Story - Fantasy Bookmark and Share

The Revelation

Naturally, I am dismayed at Mother and Father's decision that I must remain behind when they depart at the morrow for Capital City. I did so wish I would have the opportunity to behold its splendour with them; however, they have decreed my tutor's examinations bear greater importance to my future than their sojourn to that marvel of architecture does and it would be far too large an imposition upon my tutor to bid her to accompany us on the journey. Therefore, Mother and Father say, I cannot go. How fortunate for my dear sister, Aurora, that she need not concern herself with such matters as examinations and tutors for a great number of years. At three months old, she need only worry about eating and sleeping! She shall certainly enjoy the ride to Capital City, swaddled in warm blankets and nestled in Mother's arms. I wonder how the sights she shall see there shall impress themselves upon her infant mind, or if she shall simply slumber through the entire experience...

Antania jumped in her chair as Illaden laid a bony hand on her shoulder, the diary from which she had been reading silently clumsily tumbling out of her hands and onto the floor with a clatter. "Beloved, you startled me! I thought you were still meditating," declared Antania, her gaze drifting upwards to behold the masked face of her husband, who was laughing heartily. "I ceased a few minutes ago and saw you reading that tripe. I thought you could use a decent fright. Why you find the musings of some fool so fascinating is beyond me. You should make better use of your reading time by studying my tomes, my dear," Illaden said while patting his wife gently on the head. "Dearest, as it is the diary of someone who lived in the past, perhaps it contains knowledge we could utilise to our benefit," Antania replied with a soft smile. "Arrrh, perhaps. Come, let us peruse this thing which captivates your interest so greatly together," replied Illaden while seating himself down in his high-backed, padded leather chair, a clawed hand patting his lap in indication to his wife to sit and join him. Quickly, Antania gathered up the diary from the floor and scurried over to her husband, nestling herself down onto his proffered lap with a small squeal of delight.

"Now then, my dear, read for me," said Illaden while stroking Antania's cheek softly with the tip of a finger. With that, she opened up the diary to the page at which she had last been reading and began, Illaden cutting her off here and there with mutters of "rubbish" as the text failed to capture his interest. It was only when she reached this passage that he allowed her to continue:

Mother and Father's funeral was held yesterday at dawn. I still cannot fathom that they are no longer amongst the living! To be slain outside the gates of Capital City for mere baubles whilst departing is no suitable death for such great and noble people! What manner of guards have they at that place when those of nobility cannot travel in safety? As for Aurora, she was not returned to me, either dead or alive. As my first decision as head of House Heloatis, I shall venture to Capital City myself to search for my sister. If she is deceased, then she deserves a proper funeral beside our parents; if she is alive, then she must be found and brought home to the estate. I do not know if I shall be successful in locating her, but I am obligated to attempt it nonetheless...

"Antania, enough! There is nothing here of value. Go and.. start to prepare dinner, yes...," stammered Illaden as the realisation of what his wife was reading began to rain down upon him. For now, his beloved was blissfully ignorant; the diary entries nothing more than fascinating fairytales to captivate her imagination. He would not, however, risk the very real possibility that she might come to notice. What would it do to her? She had, after all, lived her entire existence without this knowledge; did she genuinely require it now? How would her fragile mind cope? Surely, the one who raised her would have shared any pertinent information had it been necessary. No, he could not allow her to continue reading the diary; it was for her own good.

Once Antania obediently rose from his lap and glided into the kitchen to do as she was bidden, Illaden placed the diary across his lap and began running his bony fingertips across the letters written therein, scowling as the now glowing words of the next few entries mentioned nothing except the complaints of food while travelling, ill-equipped lodgings, and continual doleful pleas to parents now dead. After a half hour of skimming a seemingly endless bounty of worthless whining, he commenced reading this passage, which he took in word by word:

Three days spent searching in Capital City to no avail. Today, I rode to Brill. Upon lodging myself at the inn, I wandered out to the square to initiate my pursuit. There, in the arms of a Human man clad in the robes of a Magus, I saw her! Aurora is alive! There was no mistaking her tufts of ebon hair and delicate smile. But oh, what barbarous acts have befallen her! Her ears... I know not how, or why, but they no longer bear their former graceful length; they have been cropped to miniscule points! I approached this Human without haste and demanded he return my sister to me forthwith, yet he claims she is his daughter. I attempted to wrench Aurora from his grasp and several townspeople subdued me. At the morrow, I shall face Magistrate Sevren in regards to my assault on this Human and, Light willing, my claim to Aurora. Tonight, I spend incarcerated in a cell, listening to the voices of Mother and Father calling to me to bring my sister home.

The mentioning of the ears cemented the validity of his assumptions. Illaden had allowed himself the luxury of beholding his wife's beauty on a few rare occasions by summoning an Eye of Kilrogg through which to view her, and though it never struck him as odd that her ears merely came to tiny points which poked out slightly from her hair, he had wondered on those occasions if the cause had been decomposition. Now, he knew it was not. "Yet why," he mused to himself, "did the person responsible for this not remove the points entirely? Hmmm.. perhaps he could not without causing deformity..." As for the reason, he knew that well enough; to make her appearance as Human as possible. "A shame he did not succeed, yes," thought Illaden, as he recalled Antania's shattered recollections of her youth and how even those tiny points caused her to be the subject of so much ridicule. What surprised him most of all was that the diary's author was allowed to live after trying to take Antania. "If it had been me," he thought, "I would have decimated her where she stood for her crime."

His curiosity now piqued, Illaden continued on to the next entry, his shattered face bearing an amused grin behind his mask as he read:

That Magistrate Sevren must be in league with the Magus! Lies! Lies! The Magistrate states that this Human has adopted my sister and presented documents to the effect. They must be fabrications! To think that this town leader would not listen to me, Lady Eliana Helioatis, in matters of her own sister, who is the last heir to our house! These Humans are unreasonable creatures! I was also ordered to pay fifty pieces of gold in recompense for the assault and told to depart from the town immediately. Such indignation! I will have Aurora returned to me; I must! I shall return to Capital City and formulate a strategy...

"Bah!" shouted Illaden, "they should have executed that fool!" Antania, hearing her husband's outburst, strode out from the kitchen, calling, "Beloved, what is the matter?" "Nothing, my dear, nothing at all," he replied in a slightly unsteady voice, "it is merely the creator of one of these spells in this tome; he should have been executed for this spell as it cannot possibly work. Do not worry yourself, my dear; go back to your cooking." Antania giggled softly to herself and thought, "All that over a silly little spell! He does overdo it at times. Perhaps I shall serve him a double bourbon with dessert!" She returned to the kitchen, where a bundle of carrots awaited her ministrations. Once Illaden heard her peeling and chopping again, he began reading anew in the diary, eager to discover what would transpire next.

Two weeks I have bided my time and two weeks I have spent listening to the baleful cries of Mother and Father demanding me to retrieve their daughter from the clutches of that wretched Human whilst they stand beside me, observing my every movement! Yes, Mother.. Yes, Father.. tonight will be the night I ride forth into Brill and attempt to regain your precious daughter...

Illaden paused for a moment as his fingertips danced over the next entry. "Odd," he thought, "the handwriting has changed. It has become nearly illegible." With a snarl on his broken face, he slid his fingers with exceptional slowness along the words, taking each letter one at a time, hoping this would result in a more legible text. As he read, he began to understand why this particular entry was written in such a hasty, sloppy hand.

Failure. Mother, Father, mocking me.. the attempt.. a failure...could not.. could not stab him...WORDS...he said WORDS...twisting WORDS... falling.. I fell... skin... sores... agony... bleeding... WORDS...still hear them...the WORDS...Mother...Father.. screaming... WORDS... agony... Mother... Father... I am coming...

Illaden scanned the rest of the diary with the tips of his clawed fingers and found no further entries. A wide grin formed upon his twisted lips as he muttered to himself, "A fitting ending to a wretch such as her." Just then, he heard Antania call from the dining room, "Beloved, dinner is ready!" With a chuckle, he rose from his chair and tossed the diary into the roaring fire in the fireplace, standing momentarily to listen to the popping and crackling of the paper as it burned. "Now, she will never know of you, Elf Eliana. It is how it always was and how it shall always be," he hissed to the fireplace before a hearty, bellowing laugh erupted forth from the depths of his throat. With that, he turned and strode to the dining room to meet his dear wife and the feast he knew she had prepared for him, feeling content down to the core of his being. Preventing his wife from ever knowing that aspect of her past, after all, was the right thing to do.

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