“No.” Titus said. “Don’t apologize Kyrea. What happens to you is a part of you. As I said before, I far rather learn these things from you, than from your books, as eager as I am to read them all. I was just worried for you, but don’t you worry about me.” He winked at her with a happy grin.
He had pictured everything she was saying, imagined it all as she told him. It all made sense that it would happen that way, and yet he never would have considered it before. He simply had not conceived the change that the vampire royals went through every day. In fact, he had not realized that they were essentially mortal humans by day. That all must explain the purpose of Kyrea’s gigantic guardian, though they seemed to share a loving bond.
That train of thought brought another question to mind. “Where is Drannis?” Titus asked, having thought of the friendly giant for the first time since Kyrea’s return. “You two seemed so attached; I’m surprise to see you without him.”
She was happy to see he had grasped what she was trying to explain. Of course, a mind so brilliant as his would have. And she smiled again, her blue orbs softening when he mention Drannis, her loving giant of a guardian.
“Drannis is with his wife and son today.” She stated with the warmest of tones in her voice. “I gave him the day off, to his most aggressive augment.” She laughed, for a moment. “You’re wondering about our relationship.” She stated again, definitely not a question, she could tell by the way he though before he spoke about the man.
Kyrea situated herself again, sitting up further now. “It happened over five hundred years ago now, I would suppose.” She began. “I came upon a village, mostly burned to the ground during one of the wars.” She went on. “I had though everyone to be dead, but I heard a small cry form somewhere beneath a pile of rubble and moved to it, after quite a bit of digging I found a small child, male.” She went on. “There wasn’t anyone I could have taken him to, no one I’d have trusted him with at the time and so, brought him to my home.” She told him, her eyes moving far away as she remembered the night like it was yesterday. “I named him Tannis, and he grew up knowing all there was to know about me, what I was and where he’d come form. Ultimately of course, it had been his decision, his idea to stay with me, guard me when the sun was up.” She smiled. “Long story short, his line as guarded me every since, and Drannis trains his son now, to do the same for when he passes on. Drannis in short, is like a son to me in a sense. I love that family, it is, so far as I am concerned, my family.” She finished and then sighed as she turned her eyes back to Titus once more.
“Oh, and he only agreed to spend time with them, if I promised him something and I hope I can perhaps call on you for an escort home later?” She asked, raising a brow and giving him a sort of hopeful look.
“Of course I will see you home young lady.” Titus replied, rejecting the thought it may ever have been in question. “Drannis was right to demand it too, though the dark ages of the mages are gone, there are vile aspects to this world yet and that darkness is on the rise.”
He thought of the behemoth of a man with a family, and couldn’t help but wonder a number of things. “Does Drannis talk at home?” he asked first, having never heard the silent guardian speak. “It must make an awkward home life if he doesn’t. Or is it just me that scares his voice away?” he mused good heartedly.
“Does the line birth one son each generation?” he asked, wondering on family logistics. “Is every son typically so large?” he continued his query of her guardian friend.
Kyrea smiled at him. Often times it took people by surprise that her gigantic guardian who never spoke, had a family. Though he might not look so intelligent or to even be the family type, he really was guite a gentle man.
“Drannis has never spoken to anyone so far as I know it, perhaps though, he just doesn’t need to speak, we seem to be able to communicate just fine without words, so I would imagine it would be the same way with Lilly and their son.” She told him, her blue orbs never once leaving his face as she spoke. “Yes, his line seems always to have produced a son, and only one.” She then told him. “I have never really gave it much thought, it is just the way it has always been.” She continued and then smiled wider. “He truly is an amazing piece of work, for a human.” She shook her head and then continued. “I remember when Lilly first started showing up, but that’s another story, I digress.” She shook her head again as if to bring herself back to the present. “As in answer to the question of size.” She started and then smiled yet more. “No, they have come in all sizes, I would think though that his size might come from the fact that Tannis had grown to be a very large man. I have nothing before him to compare to, nor do I have lineage to trace any further back than he.” She finished, her eyes growing soft at the mention of Tannis.
Kyrea then moved to the edge of his bed and hung her lags over and placed her feet on the floor so that she was sitting, facing him. “Thank you Titus.” She said simply as she stood, placing a hand on his shoulder, allowing it to slide from that place as she moved behind him and toward one of the windows. She stepped in front of that window silently she stood there for a few moments, wrapping her arms around herself as she looked out at the daylight.
“Well that is a wonderful story.” Titus expressed with a warm smile as he thought of the bond Kyrea must have with every member of that family. He figured it must be terribly sad in one way to lose such a close friend so many times over as the generations of guardian sons passed. It must also though, be terribly rewarding and satisfying to see every generation born and to love every one of them as they grow.
“You truly needn’t thank me Kyrea.” Titus continued warmly as he stood and walked to the window to meet her. “You’ve given my life a renewed vigor and satisfaction. After so long of discouraging dissatisfaction from the disappointments within my order as well as in the world as a whole, I finally see a ray of light shining through the dark.”
Titus stood next to Kyrea and looked out the window with her. “I see bad things moving through this world Kyrea.” He continued, solemnly then as he thought. “And this time I don’t have armies of ambitious men and women at my side striving to fight against them. The world has grown comfortable in the absence of the darkness that once ruled it, and there is no more passion left, or very little anyways, to save it.”
Kyrea heard him walk over and she smiled a soft smile and after he was finished talking, she looked up at him with that same smile on her lips. Though she didn’t look up at him for too long before returning her gaze back out the window once again. Her smile faded at the thought of darkness moving through the world again. She was no stranger to dark times, though never could she imagine the times of the dark wizards, well she could imagine, but not truly know.
“Yes, I know things have began a spiral toward the dark, this I feel in my very bones every waking night.” She told him, a shiver passing through her slightly and she tightened the grip about her own body. “Time does grow short I fear I must agree and something, something I can’t quite put a finger on is indeed on its way.” She finished and took a deep breath.
Kyrea then suddenly hopped backwards her arms unfolding and put on a smile. “On to other things much more pleasant for now though.” She smiled brightly up at him. “Where is that table I do hope it hasn’t lost its way on the long journey up here.” She said then with a mock worried expression on her face.
“Yes, on to that.” Titus replied with a smile as he turned. “It should be on its way, but my mages are not in the suggested shape to be doing this. It takes them far too long every time.”
He started walking towards the stairs down the tower and stopped at the top. “How about we go see how far they’ve gotten?” he asked with a smile. “I called for a very large desk.” With a wink, Titus smirked and started down the stairs.
“I may have them bring another,” he added with a devious grin as he paced downward, “just to make them struggle. They need the exercise anyways, obviously.” It wouldn’t be until they reached the sixty ninth floor that they would find four straggly men with a desk wider than the stair so it had to be carried sideways, and twice as long. They all four were sweating and gave Titus a tired stare as he approached.
“You all wouldn’t be struggling so much if you weren’t so hesitant to climb these stairs past the fourth floor all the time.” Titus told them with a chuckle.
“You just like to make strain.” Complained one of the men, half jokingly.
“I like to make you try.” Replied Titus as he stopped and stood on the landing above them.
Kyrea turned and followed Titus out of his door and down the flights of stairs, the entire time, her eyes moving over spines and reading titles, once more, taking from time to time a volume from the lines, by the time they had reached the sixty ninth floor she had yet another four books held against her chest, her bright blue orbs shining brilliantly about as she saw the four other Mages struggling to bring her desk up.
“You know Titus, come to think on it, I could have managed that thing last night on my way up.” She whispered to him, not wanting the others to hear, though she barely held in a giggle at the thought of their struggle over what would have been nothing more than a simple task for her vampire form. “Course, I suppose it is a little late to be thinking about hat now.” She assed with a wink towards him.
Kyrea stood just behind Titus and then wondered why it was they weren’t using nay of their magic to bring it along easier either, or perhaps Titus forbade it, wanting them to put the physical effort forth for their own good. He seemed to be the sort who would have had that reasoning behind him.
Titus leaned his ear closer to Kyrea to listen to her whisper. Smiling as she mused, Titus nodded and looked back down to the four men. “She could have done this on her own you know.” He told them in a jokingly condescending tone. “But she won’t, because I said so.” He added with a smirk. “How does that make you boys feel? Huh? You’re each bigger than she is, should you really be complaining?”
“This would be faster if you let me use force.” One of them replied tiredly.
“Absolutely not.” Titus replied sternly. “You would blow all these books around and tear the pages.” He waved his hands around and pointed fingers at the shelves as he spoke.
“I’m sure I could handle it.” The man replied, rolling his eyes. “Or you could do this yourself. You could have lifted it straight up outside the tower and lowered it from the roof.”
“Where’s the fun in that?” the master mage replied with another smirk. “You don’t put enough effort into your studies for me to trust your wind in the spiraling turbine this tower would be to force power, and you need the exercise anyways, look at you.”
Kyrea stood still behind Titus her books clutched to her chest in her usual loving manner as she watched and listened to the other Mages, as well as Titus. She shook her head when he commented to them about her ability to have brought that table up herself and looked down at herself and what must have been going through their minds at hat time, certain not a one of them knew what she truly was.
As they advanced upwards a bit, she took a step backwards and caught sight of another tomb and absently added it to her the rest of her treasures. She wasn’t about to come between him and his Mages and so, she just calmly stood and listened, and watched the sight, her eyes though the entire time sparking with mirth at each of Tituss’ comments and he couldn’t’ have chosen a better lot than the ones here she figured. Each of them looked as though they hadn’t lifted anything heavier than perhaps a good sized tankard of ale.
The small Queen was quite enjoying this, he was right, this was much more pleasant than their earlier thoughts. “What do you think of this one?” Kyrea then asked Titus as she plucked a volume the size of all the other four she already had in her tiny grasp on Celesta’s history and backgrounds of the past Royalties.
“It’s a substandard rendition of the lives in palace.” Titus said shaking his head as he glanced at the book she had picked. “That thing is filled with incomplete assessments and ill chosen analogies; way too much filler and not enough real substance on what made the rulers of Celesta who they were.”
One of the mages looked up at Titus with an offended look upon his face and shook his head. “Why?” the man asked, disgruntled. “Just why?”
“I was kidding.” Titus said as he looked over at Kyrea. “Really I was.” He looked back down at the mage and raised a brow assuredly.
“The book is a wonderful look into the inner most workings of the palace Celesta. Jordan spent all his spare academic time through two hundred years researching the topic and interviewing members of the royal family and their entourage in order to accumulate a proper history for one comprehensive volume on the matter. It was a great feat, and in fact the work that had him recognized as an accomplished scholar.” Titus patted Jordan’s back as he passed and gave him a warm reassuring smile.
Kyrea laughed at that point. Oh how she had found herself liking this man even more day by day. It was far more than just his brilliant mind in matter concerning magic and history, or his ability to relate to her in ways no one had ever done before, but as well, the way he treated those Mages under his watch. He might have been ruthless, in a manner of speaking, making them carry that thing all the way up those stairs, but they seemed to not really have any real complaints either, more just talk and complaining for sake of complaining she figured than anything. Titus was also very quick witted and had a wonderful sense of humor as well as compassion and even a slight bit of a mischievous steak in him as well, truly, a well rounded individual.
“Ok then.” She started and then smiled at the one named Jordan. “I suppose I shall just have to be the final judge on that point then.” She stated quite firmly with a wink at Titus.
Her arms were now very loaded and even had she wanted she couldn’t have taken any others. He was right though the day before, it was very hard to restrain ones self along these shelves. It was almost as the tombs themselves were speaking to one as he or she made their way past them.
Titus stepped aside to allow the men to pass with the enormous desk onto the next flight of stairs. After taking a look at the books in Kyrea’s arms, Titus took them from her to free her arms to more volumes. “We’ll probably need you to bring another one of those up for us tomorrow.” He said, looking up at the men as he held back a laugh, and even the smile that would betray the humor, though he actually was serious.
“You’ve got to be kidding.” Exclaimed two of them simultaneously as all four of them looked at each other and the sweat that was dripping from all their faces.
“She may just be as avid a reader as I.” Titus explained, trying to convey the seriousness in their need for more desk space.
“That’s not possible.” Insisted another of them as he looked down at Titus.
Titus looked at Kyrea and shrugged.
“You have twelve of these up there already.” Jordan complained. “Thirteen with this one included. How many books can you read at once?”
“I have a hard time concentrating.” Shrugged Titus.
“Can’t you put them back on the shelf?” asked another of them. “You have shelves up there too you know.”
“No.” he replied simply. “I would lose my place.”
“Book marks?” exclaimed one of them.
Through several floors the four men tried arguing their way out of carrying another desk up the hundred flights of stairs. All the while, Titus amused himself by maintaining the need for another desk. “Maybe more.” He added, letting the men see his joking smirk as they peered down at him in dismay to his last comment.
Kyrea let him take the books from her hands and as he was explaining her thirst for knowledge reaching his own, she was busying herself plucking another volume from the self, and then one more. She was doing her best to keep from laughing, though she was certain the small smile she held on her lips told volumes of her amusement at what was going on around her as she happily made a few more choices.
The Little Queen looked up at the men carrying the table and gave them an innocent enough look as she drew yet another book from its resting place. Somewhere near the seventieth floor.
“Oh and lets not forget that one sometimes needs to counter check happenings through history with other volumes of the same subject to ensure a proper understanding of said time, as not any one work can be so total in all its glory as it stands. Times change, and peoples ideas vary on different points.” She noted to the comment on returning the books.
She just had to back Titus in what he was telling these others, though she knew she didn’t have to, she just had to.
Titus continued to tease the four mages all the way up to the hundredth floor, periodically involving Kyrea in the fun as they climbed. When they reached the hundredth floor and put the desk down on its legs, it slid on its own to the vacant space across the room.
“See?” exclaimed one man, exasperated. “Why couldn’t you have done that from the start?”
“Because then you all wouldn’t have had the opportunity to carry it up the stairs for me.” Answered Titus with a smile.
The four of them all shook their heads and wiped the sweat from their faces, then turned to walk back down the steps. “So another one tomorrow, yeah?” Titus finished, smirking with his back turned to the four mages.
“Are you really serious?” Jordan asked as he stopped and looked back up the stairs.
“Of course I am.” Titus replied, holding his right arm out to direct the mage’s attention to another vacant spot on the floor.