At the edge of the great forest of the East, a single owl perched and looked out onto the expansive plains on which the humans dwelt. Any other day, one might have dismissed this as an ordinary owl. Today however, this owl stood out as fairly peculiar. It seemed to be the only animal in several miles that had not fled this area. As for the reason the other animals of the forest and the plains had steered clear of this area, it was the green serpentine scaled beast lazily levitating itself with powerful magic as it passed around a region of the forest.
Lord Indirniri. He may be only a low rank among the fey dragons, but even one among the lower ranks of these children of Basmu have immense power. These serpent-like dragons are particularly attuned to magic and nothing like the more bestial lizard-like dragons of Musmahhu who are more reliant on their physical strength and barely even have the magic to remain airborne.
But, a lesser dragon was still a lesser dragon. It was why this lord Indirniri had been assigned the duty of converting one of these smaller elven groves into a fortress to form a defensive line against the demons who had been rising from the heaven scar.
As lord Indirniri had been deployed to the village, Sagle had been assigned to temporarily oversee this lesser dragon as he took the initial steps toward first contact and fortification of this village. He had taken the form of this owl and ridden atop one of the horns protruding from the head of the lesser fey dragon.
What he had seen since leaving on this mission for Queen Oren had left Sagle feeling he was looking at a creature every bit as stupid as one of the human kings he was often forced to interact with and even pretend to be a subordinate of. It left him feeling glad that this time he did not have to pretend to support such a string of complete failures.
Starting off, the lesser dragon noble had failed to secure the cooperation of a simple nymph. Even if it was on the verge of a transformation into a dryad and seemed abnormally opinionated, it was an embarrassment for a dragon noble of this forest to be so backed into a corner by a simple tree spirit.
It seemed the entire mess started when the lesser lord had heard of the situation in the village upon arrival. It had been recently attacked by dark elves, and all the members of the village were tense. When he had asked if there was a reason for the attack, everyone knew exactly what he had been implying. He grew angry when all the villagers refused to answer him and accused them of hiding a grey elf.
Sagle could not believe such a foolish short-sighted move. While it was fairly clear this was the correct conclusion, if he had only looked a little closer it should have been clear they were frightened into silence by some other party that they feared even more than the fey dragon. There could only be one force in a village this size they would fear that much.
Sure enough, the implied hostility toward grey elves incited the nymph the villagers had been too afraid to offend. It would have nothing to do with him from that point forward. And with this, the dragon noble had failed the mission he had been given within the same hour he had arrived at the village.
Of course, he would not stand for this embarrassment. He pressed the villagers for information. Threatened several of them. All the while, this estranged the nymph even more. Said something about how someone named Levin would hate it if they let these threats to the village continue, and Rolwen and Asaren would not like them to ever work with someone like that. This began the demands for lord Indirniri to leave.
Eventually, one member of the village gave them the information they were searching for. It turned out it was not just one grey elf that was being protected by this village. There were two. Not only that though, something that had especially caught lord Indirniri’s attention was that the birth mates of these two grey elves were incredibly powerful, and that two years ago the nursery tree had not even supported a nymph at all. All of this growth in the nymph had taken place over the course of only two years since those two humans had arrived.
What’s more, when it was heard that an envoy from the queen would be sent the village magus and an apprentice had fled with all four young children.
At this point, Sagle recommended the four children be returned to the village safely. It was clear this nymph was highly protective of them. Anyone with training in how a nymph developed would be able to see what was going on here. A tree spirit grew from the spirit energy and mana from those who fed it. This shaped the personality of the spirit.
Normally, the tree spirits were fed by hundreds of people before they gained sentience and the ability to communicate. This would make them more accommodating and far more friendly to the people of the village. However, this tree spirit had been fed by only this pair of humans and grew rapidly over the space of two years. As the birth mates of these two grey elves, they likely felt a strong attachment to the grey elves as well. All of this would be reflected in the personality of the tree spirit, and it would also explain why the tree spirit was so much more opinionated compared to normal.
It is clear this tree spirit would not take well to any of the children being harmed in any way. However, lord Indirniri had made the decision that this nymph was impossible to reconcile with and this village should be abandoned. Furthermore, he decided to fully eliminate any option for reconciliation by declaring that the only way to protect the village is to present the bodies of the grey elves.
What foolish pride. The dragon just couldn’t stand the idea he had failed and found the idea of compromise distasteful. It reminded Sagle so much of a child throwing a temper tantrum. But, he had grown used to such foolishness watching the pitiable humans over the centuries as he blended in among them.
Ultimately, his mission was only to advise. He thought it was foolish to end the lives of these grey elf children, but he had to admit this dragon had a point that they needed to act quickly as they were already on the move. Thus, lord Indirniri was permitted to wait at the area where they would most likely arrive if they went directly from the village. When the magus with the children did not arrive at the estimated time it would take them, Sagle stayed to watch the area while the lesser lord left to recruit some great fairies for a search party at the capital.
It still did not sit right with Sagle. This kind of hasty action was the folly of humans, it was not the careful consideration that had allowed the fey to reign supreme in this world even overshadowing the dragons of Basmu and Musmahhu.
Sagle closed his eyes as he struggled once again with the idea of overruling this whole hasty project. All they truly need to do is to have someone find and follow the magus and observe the situation. A decision could be left for later. It truly is only the pride of this lesser dragon that has them pushed into any form of urgency.
As he mused, Sagle detected two brilliant sources of power. He recognized the unique flavor of one of them. It was a man who had been introduced to him as an outworlder. A being who was claimed to be from another world. He was a strange man who had the appearance of a Jin who, for some strange reason, had the wings of a faerie. It was told to him that it was, in fact, the other way around. That he was a great faerie who for some reason had the appearance of a Jin, and that they were certain of it because the man had appeared together with several other newly born great faeries of a more normal appearance, as well as two who for some reason had the appearance of children and claimed to have been siblings in the past life they lived.
All of these new faeries were outworlders, and they all seemed bizarre. The chief trait the lot shared among them is that every one of them were born with a spiritual power that could rival a true dragon and all claimed to have had the previous life in a world very different from this one. One more thing is that due to the short four years they had spent in this life none of them had learned the language of the elves yet and could only communicate in the speech of the court.
The question is who the other one with this man was. Sagle did not remember any of the other fairies brought along being quite to that level. The man was not as powerful as the outworlder or even that lesser dragon lord Indirniri but he did seem to at least have a power such that he could have refused a mission of this sort had he wanted to. Sagle was certain the outworlder was the only powerful fey who volunteered for this foolish mission. Had he somehow missed such an individual?
The two approached lord Indirniri and floated down. Because the outworlder was with him, the mystery fey used the courtly speech to address the dragon.
‘Lord Indirniri, we have made contact with the grey elves and have obtained information that leads us to the conclusion it is not advisable to be disposing of them hastily.’ He said.
The dragon lord let out a low growl as he turned to face the two fey. ‘And what information would THAT be?’ He asked.
‘Those children are not normal grey elves. They have memories of the past life as would a fairy, and both have a great deal of power and incredibly potent magic. I believe both to have been incredibly powerful and talented mages in the previous life. All the damage which you see to my armor was done by only one of the girls. She also took my arm, which is the reason for the missing sleeve. The other has incredible healing magic, which is the reason my arm was restored. They seem a sort that would make a horrible enemy but a highly beneficial asset to have allied to the kingdom. I was asked to deliver a message. They only wish to live and train to maturity among the Hidan. They will regard a calling off of pursuit as an intent to cease hostilities and open the possibility of future negotiation.’
‘WHAT! A mere elf dares to deliver an ultimatum to threaten me?’ Lord Indirniri growled. ‘You look to be in a pathetic state! That dark elf child truly caused that much damage to you? And what was it YOU were doing when this occurred?’ Lord Indirniri turned that gaze over to the outworlder.
‘Nothing, I wasn’t there.’ The outworlder said in a tone so disrespectful you could almost hear the smirk behind it.
‘You…’ Lord Indirniri growled at the outworlder. Sagle understood that the outworlders were often lacking in courtly etiquette, but in this case it had gone a little beyond just that. It was also only too clear that the outworlder was blatantly lying. However, there was nothing the lesser dragon lord could do in this situation.
Sensing his place to enter the conversation, Sagle decided to take the new added support to the stance he had believed correct in this situation and flew over to enter the fray.
‘That is enough lord Indirniri. I wish to hear a full report from these two of the power possessed by these grey elves. It has become clear this is no longer a place for your pride to play any factor in the decision making process.’