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The fog clung to the buildings so tightly that it makes navigating the streets near impossible. But that doesn’t deter Sen from finding the building she needs. Being fey has its advantages. Walking down one of the alleys on the far end of the street she takes a look at a paper, that has words that are written in another language, and then crumples it up and throws in a nearby trashcan.
She ducks into a small building that smells strongly and of smoke and alcohol making her gag for second but she quickly regains her composure. There are maybe twenty to thirty people in the small building. Sen searches for one particular person and after a moment of searching she spots him near the back of the room. She walks to the table and notices a dark glass that he’s tapping absentmindedly. Great, thinks Sen, I catch him on the night he is drunk, of course.
She slides into the chair opposite of him and his eyes lazily meet hers, “Yes, m’ lady?” he said, his voice slurred.
Sen rolls her eyes, “You would be Kayden, I presume?” I ask leaning in a little.
“Your presumption is correct. Would can I do for you?” Kayden says looking bored.
I drop my voice so that no one else will overhear, “I heard that you were looking for the lost king, is that correct?” Sen asks and Kayden rolls his eyes and nods, “Then I want join you. I can be an asset.” Sen says trying to keep her poker face up, to hide her excitement.
“This isn’t a little game, you may as well be on your way.” Kayden says tipping his chair back dangerously far. Sen just sits there to prove that she isn’t leaving.
Kayden raises an eyebrow and gives Sen a lopsided grin, “If it isn’t a game then what is it, exactly, to you?” Sen glares and begins to speak but Kayden holds up a hand, “No, I can get this. Are you one of those adrenaline addicts? Out for revenge with the trolls?” he pauses to think and then his features sober up, “You lost someone didn’t you?”
Sen flinches for a split second, “Yes I did. My friend died two weeks ago because I wasn’t…I wasn’t fast enough. I need to start over.”
Kayden’s features cloud over for a moment, “So you have something to prove? That isn’t what I need.” Kayden lets out an exaggerated sigh, takes a swig from his cup, and then says, “Let me give you a brief back story.”
“See in the legend of the Dungeon War, against the trolls, there were three participating faerie groups. But there was actually four, the Warrior race.” Kayden says getting a far away look, “The Warriors were more cautious and strategic then the others so they didn’t openly join the battle. So the Light, Dark, and Mystic faeries went into battle without the Warriors. The Warrior king, Amani, sent out scouts to keep an eye on the battle. When the scouts returned they reported about how outnumbered the others were. Kali Upanga, leader of the trolls, was spotted making his way to the Chamber room, which contained the mysterious Bronze Chalice.”
“Amani sent his warriors into the battle which helped to even the scales.” Kayden continues, “And then, King Amani himself went to where Upanga was. They fought as hard as they could and in the end Amani won. But he had fallen for a last desperate trap of Upanga’s. He found himself in the Chamber room, and once you enter you can’t leave unless you drink from the Chalice. And so he did just that. He and the Chalice were gone by time the faeries and trolls had stopped fighting.”
“But the Warrior king was a very important person who held powers that only he could use.” Kayden says, “If times ever got desperate he could turn humans into fey, so that fey don’t die out. And as I’m sure you can tell, that’s exactly what going on. Our numbers have decreased till there are less than ten thousand. I need to find him.”
Kayden looks at her as if expecting that Sen may back out or say ‘Never mind’ but she just stares back at him.
“Okay, well at least you’re serious.” Kayden says cocking his head slightly, “We will travel a lot. You will have to deal with me for almost twenty-four a day, which I hear is one of the best ways of tortures.” Kayden says winking.
“I want to help. Just tell me where to go, what to do.” Sen says feeling hopeful.
Kayden puts his cup down and is silent for a minute. He’s considering my offer, think Sen hopefully.
He shake’s his head quickly, “I’m going home.” Kayden says and the light that was in Sen’s eyes vanishes. Kayden stands up and begins to walk away but as he passes Sen’s chair he leans down.
“See you here tomorrow at seven.” He says his eyes completely clear and his voice crisp. He walks out of the building and Sen reaches for his cup. It is half full with water. Her reflection shines back her and she feels the hope and excitement bubble up at the thought of a new start.