By: Aaron E. Smith

Chendrelle brought her awareness outward again to see the surrounding Fey shielding their eyes from the pulse of Simeon�s Qelltalis. Most of them took wing as if he were about to explode, Nettamion included. The ring devolved to chaos. Chendrelle smiled wide and kneeled again upon his chest, watching as the toxin poured from his wounds. She gently pulled out the tiny arrows that still remained and tossed them away.

Simeon�s chest heaved as he took deep, steady breaths, the gouts of power within him beginning to grow stronger. Soon, the light of Simeon�s Qelltalis no longer frightened the gathering Fey, but rather had a calming effect upon them. As it came to its final, searing end, the surrounding Fey sat mesmerized, staring wide-eyed at the unusual human and the sister that sat smiling upon his chest.

Chendrelle looked upon Simeon as the light of his Qelltalis faded away. He was not conscience yet, but the toxin had been purged from his body. She felt his breathing slow, his flesh spent from the effort she drew from him. He had given her everything he had. As Chendrelle scanned the faces upon her, she silently hoped that it was enough.

Nettamion landed upon the ground before Chendrelle and took a long puzzled look at Simeon. �How is this possible Sun-Daughter?� Nettamion asked, watching the last of the toxin bleed from his wounds.

�I know not how,� she replied. �But I believe I know why.�

Nettamion leveled an even gaze to her and asked, �Why then?�

Chendrelle scanned the faces of her sisters, whose expressions were more respectful than before. �I feel he was brought to us to make amends for the past.�

�Amends to whom, Chendrelle, the weak-fleshed mortals who came before him?� Nettamion spat. �They would have served no greater purpose to us than they already have. Either in death, or life, they are not worthy of our amends. Nor is this one,� she added pointing at Simeon.

Nettamion flew close to Chendrelle and landed beside Simeon. She raised her clawed hands to Chendrelle�s face and whispered quietly to her. �Your determination is admirable sister. He IS a powerful human, but I fear his power has deceived you. We cannot allow this opportunity to pass us by. This human must be interred to the wood. Let us use his Qelltalis to fend off the deterioration of our home. It will be the best use for him� you will see.�

Chendrelle�s face became flush as she darted above Nettamion in a rage. �He is not meant for our use! They never were,� she bellowed. �We have painted ourselves victims for thousands of years, claiming to be violated by the one thing that could ever heal us, the only gift we would ever need. They are but children� can�t you see? They were given to us to nurture, to teach the ways of our world and they in turn would lead us into the next. That is why we slowly die. We have destroyed our greatest gift, our children.�

Nettamion�s face grew dark. �You speak madness sister.�

�Madness has been upon us from the beginning,� Chendrelle said. �Our protector sits as a prisoner in his own cold-iron shell, screaming to the heavens for death as we straddle the line between serving his transgressions, and our own. While hundreds of mortals have come to us, only to be sent to their deaths to save our queen, or be bled of their Qeltallis to slow the inevitable destruction of our wood.�

Chendrelle humbled herself then, bowing her head as she finished, �And now we have our greatest wish granted, yet we would easily cast it aside. It is just that the Nameless curse us so.�

Chendrelle looked across the gathering to Tahletha, who nodded her support as the council erupted into disorder. A storm of vile curses flew from the mouths of the Fey as the mention of the ancient beings left Chendrelle�s lips. Some of them took flight, buzzing around in angry circles above her head, while others hurled amplified words of disgust her way. She sat numb amid the din of the shrieking protests made against her, hoping her words would bring some sense of enlightenment to them� eventually.

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