All Night Long: Chapter Eight Of “The Crystal Ship”

The Feyini. Firstborn. Their name would later be distorted into Fey. Faerie. Fairy. Elf. Gnome. Goblin. Knocker.

They would become mythologized. Turned into kindly beings. Evil beings. Disconnected beings, aloof from the fates of man. Caretakers of the earth and forests.

But they were not any of these. Craftsmen, yes. Healers, yes. But aloof, no. Nor earth or forest beings.

Simply, they were the healers. Most talented of the ‘Firstborn’ races. They also had the most diversity in appearances. The Fallen among them became the Bendil and the Grimil.

Now, I am faced with a task I may not be able to complete. I have not moved the group for days. They needed rest. And besides. There are too many wolf packs out of late. Cannot risk their lives on a bet of finding safer houses.

I go out of an evening to see if I can find a messenger of some sort to carry a message. No one. Not even a changeling. Then, on the third night, I have luck. A small mouse crawls up to my leg and taps on it. I look down.

I bend down. It looks up at me. “I was sent by Grady. He wants an update.”

I smile despite myself. “alright.”

The mouse snickers when it realizes that I have smiled. “Oh. The disguise. It was the only way I could get through the enemy lines unnoticed.” It grows into Thayrn.

I look at him. “Don’t worry. They are all asleep.”

He smiles. “What news do you have?”

I look toward the river. “I met with Anubil. He said that a witness who was able to escape from the Crystal Ship described his captors as Feyini. If his witness account is right, this may be tougher than I thought.”

He looks down. “Damn. Ok. I will take the message back to Grady. We will have to discuss what to do from there. Maybe we can find a small band of Feyini that is on our side to come and help you. I don’t know what Grady will do, though.”

I look at him. “Don’t worry about me. I will figure something out. Somehow. Maybe it won’t be as tough as I think.”

He looks me in the eye. “Do not underestimate the Feyini. They have power far beyond any other race.”

I look down. “I do not underestimate any foe, Thayrn. I just don’t want to overestimate their abilities. Either way, I set myself up to fail. And they win.”

He smiles. “True.” He turns away and begins to leave but turns and walks back to me as I extend my hand. “I should get your message to Grady before the enemy notices us out here talking.”

I shake his hand. “Thanks.” I walk back into the house where all are still sleeping.

***

Day breaks and I am still pondering everything. I am not happy about the Feyini situation. It presents a whole new dilemma. New problems. New Questions.

They are endowed with elder powers. The Fallen may be able to kill me. Or they might cause me an illness without any cure…worse than the vampirism I already have. The possibilities are endless.

But I must face them. Even now. I must if I am to save these humans who have put their trust in me. There is no other way.

Sara wakes and I take her aside. “It is time for me to begin teaching you how to defend yourself. Are you ready?”

She nods. “Yes.”

I smile. “Good. Because I may need your help soon. And you are the only one in this group I trust.”

She is shocked. “Really?”

I nod. “Yes. Now. We need to find some place away from the others where we can do your lessons. But after we eat.”

The lady who has become our camp cook brings our food over to us. I eat, even though I do not need to. I do so to keep the rest from getting too curious as to what I really am. I suppose that it would taste really good if I were still human.

After our repast, We go in search of a place where we can spar without interference. And we find it. A shed stands behind the house where we are resting as a group. Empty, it is perfect for what we are about to do. I draw one of my swords and hand it to her.

Her eyes grow big with surprise. “Wow! Where did you get That?”

I smile. “It was given to me by someone very special. Now take the handle. I will draw my other sword. And we will spar. I will be easy on you at first. But will build with each new lesson. I want to make sure you are at about the same level as me. Just in case.”

She smiles back at me. “Ok.”

I begin. “First lesson. Never misuse your weapon. Be good to it and it will be good to you. Lesson two. Never point it at anyone unless you are sparring or defending yourself. Lesson three. Stance.

“Legs slightly apart to give a good strong base. Since this is a short sword, it only demands one hand to wield it. The other hand can hold another weapon. Knife. Broken glass. Sword. spear. Whatever you have.”

I spend the rest of the morning instructing her on how to spar. By the end of the morning, she is fencing well. Parry. Thrust. Block. Jab. Slash. Back stroke. Fore stroke.

We pause for lunch and I put the swords away as we walk to the house. After lunch, we return to my teaching her. By evening, she has gotten a good grasp on swordplay. At the end of the day, I teach her how to whittle makeshift spears. And make her own metal or stone weapons.

I only hope that I can count on her when I need her help. It would be a terrible thing to do all this training only to have her betray my trust. But I must give her the benefit of the doubt. I must trust her until she breaks that trust.

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