This is the fifth and final part of my novelette The Great Kasdran and the Fairy Queen that I have posted here and on Wattpad on Sundays. There is adventure, action, some drama, and a bit of romance against a mythological, legendary backdrop.
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The Great Kasdran and the Fairy Queen – Part 5
The Great Kasdran touched a salient root of the Primal Tree. He could sense its roots going as far and deep as the cold Night Lands. He could feel it breathe, and it was breathing fast for the threat to its life was growing. Though the Sword Sorcerer was far away from the trunk of the Tree, its branches were incredibly long. He ran over the roots that rose up like hills, and came near the first branches and its fruits.
He looked up and saw oranges, apples, mangos, and many kinds of cherries. They were too high above him. He resorted to magic, and pulled an apple down to his hands. The apple was gorgeous, big and red.
“You might think twice before doing what you seem to be willing to do,” said a high-pitched voice from somewhere around.
“And what do I seem to be willing to do, invisible stranger?”
“I am not invisible, I am right here,” the little voice replied. “I cannot be seen if I do not wish to. And you seem to be about to eat this apple.”
“That is curious. I think I have heard your voice before…”
“You did, but do not change the subject. You should not eat this apple or any fruit from the Primal Tree. These fruits are cursed.”
“The Curse of Desire, I have been told. I know it.”
“Then why eat if you know it will claim your life?”
“I shall. It is for a purpose greater than me or you. I shall do it to save this world, to save us all.”
“You cannot know if it is greater than me since you do not know who I am. And you cannot know if you will succeed, can you?”
“I can only hope for it, and this hope is enough for me.”
“You are quite the believer. You hope too much for your sake. Does your mother know what you are doing? I will tell her!”
“I hope she does, wherever she is. Wait… I remember your voice. You were talking to the maidens of the Queen’s court. You are the Lizard King, the King-of-a-Thousand-Faces!”
“You took too long to remember me. You are not eating well, young man.”
The Lizard King suddenly appeared close to the Great Kasdran. He was just over the next root.
“You are a chameleon,” the Sword Sorcerer said. “That is why you possess a thousand faces, you can change your colors as you like and hide from sight.”
“Yes, I can,” the Lizard King replied, bored. “But, as much as I like talking about myself, this conversation is not about me rather than about you eating this apple. Do not do it.”
“I appreciate your concern, Your Grace. I am truly honored. Yet I shall, and I can linger here no more.”
The Great Kasdran began eating the apple.
“You fool!” the Lizard King pitied him. “You cannot face the evilness that spreads on this world by eating a dozen fruits of the Primal Tree for you shall be consumed long before you can accomplish anything.”
“Yet I can, Your Grace,” Kasdran said. He ate six more apples one after another. He never tasted anything more delightful. “I am sorry to disturb you, and I shall warn you to remain here for a battle never seen in this world shall commence. Farewell!”
The Great Kasdran felt his body tremble; shivers went down his spine; he was cold and warm. He felt like he possessed all the power that ever was. He was the Sun itself – and he would burn down all Evil in the Fae World.
He commanded the winds and flew away. The Lizard King thought he was a lost man that was going to his death.
From an altar afar, three angels watched still.
* * *
Lord Eudalos retreated from the twilight zone, for the hordes of Yllysh and demons were too numerous and too strong. The Syllanthari were holding their defenses around the Mountain of Clouds, as the Queen ordered. Fire ravaged the once green fields; smoke and dark clouds prevailed in the sky. Hundreds of fallen Syllanthari were left behind in the lost battlefields, and the enemies were forcing them up the Mountain of Clouds.
The demons were giant winged creatures of ashen body and skin that burned reddish when furious. Many horns – yellow, white, red, gray, and blue – protruded from their heads, elbows, and knees. Fire was their friend, constantly covering their enormous bodies; Fear was their ultimate weapon.
After the fall of Vyanlystr the Vile, the Yllysh inducted another leader who championed them in the battlefront. He was dueling Lord Eudalos amidst the chaos of blades and battlecries; scythe against spear, dark against light.
The Fairy Queen returned to the Mountain of Clouds with Azinvarsh, and her voice from the sky rose above the sounds of the fight, “Lord Eudalos, I am here!”
Her words reached the Warden of the Skies and awoke his dormant force, for his hope was restored. Lord Eudalos made his spear go through the Yllysh leader’s body, breaking armor and bones. Despite the fallen leader, another would soon take charge.
“Your Highness, I gave you all the time I could! We shall turn the tides on our favor fast, otherwise we shall perish!”
“Have you seen Kasdran, the human?”
“No, Your Highness!”
“Neither the phalanges of angels?”
“Neither, Your Highness! No aid came to us yet! Will any?”
The Queen did not answer. Kasdran had failed. The angels would not heed the battle; the war would be over soon, they all would die, and the Kingdom would be lost forever. These were the last days of the Syllanthari and the forces of light in the Fae World.
“Your Highness,” Lord Eudalos called, “you shall depart from this world and live! Your army shall obey whatever order you deliver! If that is your will, we shall die fighting for our home!”
The Fairy Queen was possessed by hopelessness. She would not abandon his Kingdom, not ever. And she saw no chance of victory whatsoever for the dark forces were just too much. The doom of her kind was unavoidable.
“My Queen,” said Azinvarsh, changing the direction of his flight, “look at the sky over there!”
There was a comet coming across the sky, sucking the dark clouds and smoke behind it. It was not so big, but quite fast. In fact, so fast that it collided to the ground near the Mountain of Clouds and no one had time to react.
The comet fell in the center of the Yllysh and Infernal forces. However, most strangely, neither flames nor black fume came from the crater – only light. A man stepped out of the crater. He was the comet. Darkness and fire and smoke made way to him.
He was the Great Kasdran. The Fairy King’s sword shone amidst the dark army as well as Kasdran’s own old blade. The winds twisted around him and he flew to meet the demonic creatures with both swords in his hands.
“That can be no mere mortal man,” Lord Eudalos said. “That is the power of the Primal Tree!”
The swords of the Sword Sorcerer met the demons. Fire and ashes and roars burst from the tornado of destruction that the Great Kasdran became. He slayed every demon that came close and hunted down all he put his eyes on. He tore wings, arms, and heads. No demon could match him.
The Great Kasdran turned the demons’ fear against themselves. A few remaining infernal creatures fled for they knew that man could not be outdone unless by a larger force.
“They shall return in greater number and malice,” declared Azinvarsh. “And that man will not last much longer.”
The Fairy Queen was admired by the prowess of Kasdran, but she reckoned the wisdom of the King of Birds. She did not know what to do for there was no cure to the Curse of Desire, and as much as she would want it otherwise – and despite of Kasdran’s unconceivable power – she knew the gates to the Infernal Dominions could not be sealed or undone without celestial means.
So the battle of Syllanthari and Yllysh raged on. The Army of Light pushed the dark Fae away from the Mountain of Clouds, but their advance went not much further. The Yllysh were more wrathful than ever.
The Great Kasdran finished his battle in the sky and looked down at the Fae armies. His skin was inflaming, and a tempest was about to emerge from within his body. He feared his end was nigh.
The Great Kasdran took a deep breath and his voice echoed across all lands, “Halt the fight!”
The Fae hesitated for a moment, but soon resumed the strife. The Sword Sorcerer became mad and let erupt the tempest he was holding in. He shone like a star of fire and released violent lightning that struck the earth below. He opened his arms and the land under the feet of the Fae was severed in a great abyss. Some fell, but most of the Syllanthari and Yllysh armies were put apart, each on a side of the chasm.
The Great Kasdran shouted like a thousand thunders, “I am Kasdran, the lightning storm! Recede or be destroyed!”
The fight was halted at last, yet only for fear. All Fae were afraid the Sword Sorcerer and his unleashed fury – even the Queen. That was not what she had in mind when she left him at Angels’ Dwelling.
“You are both part of this world. You shall not murder each other, but coexist. Just as Day and Night; as Fire and Water. Vanquish your hatred, for the same roots run through Night and Day Lands alike. If one Faekind dies, so does the Primal Tree and the world with it. Yllysh and Syllanthari and all Fae need one another…”
All of a sudden, the Great Kasdran fell from the sky. He was not afire anymore. He was weak and in pain – he was dying.
“Go to him, Azinvarsh!” the Fairy Queen ordered, and they went down. She kneeled by his side and tried to touch him, but burned her hand. She could not hold her tears off. “I wish I could save you, my brave Kasdran… I wish I had not burdened you as our savior in any way, so you could leave this cruel, dying world, and return home alive… I much regret my decisions…”
A warm breeze blew in the battlefield. The clouds were unmade and the sun reached the Day Lands again. An ethereal voice came from above, “Regret not, Queen of the Fae.”
An angel in blue and red garments descended upon the Fae along with Alynna in his arms and a whole celestial phalange. The Sorceress of the Court was unconscious and exposed many sores, but was alive.
“Kasdran convinced us,” the angel said. “We are heeding his appeal. We are going to battle for the Fae World.”
The celestial forces flew westwards to face the battalions of demons that were coming on.
“Please, save him!” the Fairy Queen asked the angel. “I possess no power to accomplish such deed, but I beg the Celestial Will to do whatever is possible within its reach! Please, save Kasdran!”
“Yet you do, Queen of the Fae,” the angel replied. “It is the same power Kasdran found inside himself and in your world. The power that made this young human woman endure at the gates of Hell.”
The angel laid Alynna on the ground beside Kadran gently, and then touched his forehead. The light the angel shed soothed the young man’s suffering. He was cured, and his mind slid into the realm of dreams.
“Whilst there is love, there is hope,” the angel said. “And no greater power is known in the whole Creation.”
* * *
The Great Kasdran entered the hall with Alynna by his side. They had rested, and the wounds closed. The scars of the War of Tears, however, would remain unseen on them as well as on every being of the Fae World.
“Your Highness,” said Alynna, “I present myself and the Sword Sorcerer after our due rest as we were told.”
The Fairy Queen rose from her throne. She wore a black dress and her hair matched its color for she was mourning the dead Fae. She said, “I am glad to see you both well. I am very grateful for all you two had done in the recent past for me and for my Kingdom, especially in the matters that resulted in the truce between Syllanthari and Yllysh, and thus in the end of the War of Tears. Hence I nominate you, Alynna, the Counselor of the Court. I possess no greater honor to bestow upon you.”
“I thank you very much, Your Highness,” Alynna started, “I…”
“I am not finished, Alynna,” the Queen said, and Alynna went silent. “I shall express my gratitude towards you, Kasdran, once again. However, I cannot imagine what might suit you or what you might wish for that I could give you. So please, tell me. Whatever is in my reach, I shall give you.”
“I appreciate your gratitude, Your Highness,” the Great Kasdran said. “What I ask is within your reach. I ask you release Alynna from her duties in the court, whatever they might be, so that I can leave this world alongside her as we have decided.”
The Fairy Queen hesitated. She asked, “Do you understand I just nominated her my Counselor?”
“I do. I also understand she would have declined if Your Highness had let her speak. Hence, unless your court works somewhat like a prison, Your Highness shall respect both her free-will and my request. That is what I wish for.”
The Queen’s hair turned to red. She did not raise her voice, but the intonation in her words resembled the ire in her heart, “That is the acknowledgement I receive after all I did for you, Alynna. I just made you Counselor, an honor few Fae were granted and many died hoping for, and you dare to decline.”
“You only did it in order to keep me close hoping that Kasdran would stay,” Alynna said. “You would get rid of me sooner or later, just as you tried at the gates of the Infernal Dominions.”
“Enough! Depart now! Go away, Sword Sorcerer, and take your lover with you! You both shall never return to my Kingdom or I shall claim your lives! Be gone!”
Kasdran and Alynna left the Palace of the Queen. When they came down the Mountain of Clouds, a maiden of the court approached. She delivered the Sword Sorcerer a bag, and said, “The Lizard King sends his regards.”
The maiden went away. Alynna asked about the contents of the bag.
“Some things I asked Your Lizardness swearing I would never make personal use of,” Kasdran said, handing her the bag. She opened it and saw five apples from the Primal Tree. Alynna was dazed. Kasdran said, “Worry not, my love, for he told me that, unlike the apples of my world, these are not perishable.”
The look on Alynna’s face changed.
“What is it?” Kasdran asked. “I mean it, I shall not eat them, but they might be of some use in the future.”
“That is not it,” she said. “You never called me ‘my love’ before.”
“Shall I not?”
“Absolutely,” and she kissed him most passionately. She hoped the Queen would be observing them now from her Palace.
“Henceforth,” Kasdran said, “this matter is definitely settled. Well, it seems we found our portal.”
The Great Kasdran indicated a rainbow northwards, and pondered, “I believe Bompius is quite worried about me by now.”
“Who is Bompius?”
“My henchman. Quite a good lad; eats a lot. I guess I shall hide this bag from him for his own good.”
“I did not know you had a henchman. What more should I know before crossing that portal with you?”
“That there is a Fae tower waiting for me out there. I mean, for us, if you want…”
The Great Kasdran held Alynna’s hand and they walked towards the rainbow. A gentle rain started to fall. The fields around them were recovering fast from the harms of the war.
“I know little of your world, Kasdran… Are you certain all will be fine?”
“No,” he answered, “but I shall ever be with you. Does that make any difference?”
“It does,” she smiled. “Until the end?”
And thus they returned to the human world, leaving behind a peaceful land with the Fae, but a sorrowful, broken heart with the Fairy Queen.
Thank you for reading. See you later!