“We’re done for today, Ōval,” Maron said as he walked away from his throne, his legs trembling as he did.
“Are you sure, your grace? I should remain by your side until the moment of your sleep,” Ōval stated as he joined his king, walking out from the throne room.
“I’m sure,” Maron said and coughed. It felt like a thousand knives would have stabbed his throat, while other thousand were stabbing his mouth. Ōval glanced at him with worry in his shining yellow eyes. Maron stopped, pressed his hand against his chest and kept coughing; he sounded like a dog dying.
“My king?” Ōval called out. Maron waved his other hand to him to calm him down, for he couldn’t speak, until the moment a spray of blood spilled from his throat, flying onto the white stone floor. They both stared at the blood before Ōval gazed at his king.
“I’m an old man, Ōval,” he started as he cleaned his face with the piece of cloth Ōval gave to him, “My days are coming to an end… and I haven’t even won the war,” he grunted and continued walking down towards his room, Ōval following him.
“Don’t say such things, my king,” he said with a stuttering voice, “you still have many years left and I’m sure you’ll be able to end the war during your days,” Maron glanced at him and rested his hand on Ōval’s shoulder.
“You’ve always been filled with such respect and hope for my family. I admire you, more than you know,” he then turned around and opened the vast wooden door in front of him, leaving Ōval standing alone as his words echoed in his mind. Ōval then walked to the doorway and glanced inside. Maron poured himself some wine and called one of his servants to throw more wood into the fire. For a moment, he didn’t even notice Ōval at the door.
“Are you sure I’m free to leave?” Ōval asked. Maron looked at him and nodded. He then sat down on the large chair, covered with white fur. He cursed in silence and poured himself some more wine. Ōval remained at the door with his eyes wide open. He moved forth as if he had something to say, before deciding to forget it and leave. He bowed to his king, fixed his posture and walked away, keeping his hand on the handle of his blade.
He made his way out from the main part of the castle. He crossed the bridge that connected the different parts of the castle and made his way to the lower part, where his home was. Though he never saw it as a home. He rarely spent time there, for he was always by his king’s side, but the rare times he went there, he was filled with disgust and grief. He then stood before a two-story house, with stone walls and wooden roof; it was his home and his prison. It was perfect with its condition, for it was rarely used. The white stones were clear as the moon and all the windows had kept their shape. Many would kill to live in a house like this, yet in Valnorian standards, his house was barely good enough.
He opened the door and walked inside the dark room. There was no furniture on the first floor; only a white carpet and jars of water. He walked upstairs, the wooden stairs creaking as he did. The second floor was even darker than the first, but it was still more lively. There were chairs here and there and tables in front of them. There were many wooden shelves, filled with books and scrolls. As he saw the books, his eyes began to smile and his body relaxed a bit. He had spent countless years reading and studying the world. He studied the magic, gods, and most importantly, the human kingdoms and their traditions. Though he was an outsider, he had grown to see humans as his people; the family he never had.
He moved to the other side of the room, where a stone table stood. with a few candles resting on it. He brought his hands to the candles and in a flash, they began burning with warmth and joy. The table was covered with a blue and white sheet, where the Valnorian sigil was printed; the Starwing. He unsheathed his blade and rested it on the table. It was an old blade, older than he. It was the work of the Vaaltar smiths, his ancestors. His blade was an extension of his soul and all the battles he had fought, had taken a form on the blade, creation a story worth over a thousand years. The stories were carved onto the blade in a tongue of his people and all the other decorations lifted the blade’s worth even more. Its handle was golden and highlighted with silver. In the middle of the handle was a beautiful yellow crystal, which gave the blade strength, or so he was told all those years ago.
The king had one of Vaaltar blades too. The blade had been used by the first king, Valnor and he had given it to his son, who gave it to his son until the blade arrived to Maron. Though he never knew the Vaaltar, he felt proud while wielding the blade. Just seeing his kind’s work made something shine in his soul. It was hope. Hope of there being others like him, waiting for him to show himself; but after three thousand years, he had lost his hope. Valnorian family was his family now and he desired nothing more than to serve them with dignity and honor. So far, he had been successful.
He left the blade alone and walked downstairs. He drank some water and ate some stew, before resting down and falling asleep. Tomorrow was an important day, for he is meant to meet the new member of the Valnorian court, Zylron.
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