This is chapter 9 of my webnovel, The Elementals: Song of Spirit. If you’re on the wrong chapter, or are just starting to read, click here for the linked table of contents. And happy reading! ~ JR
The Spirit of an Elf
“There is no way I’m going to that stupid feast!” Ellen fumed. She held Rose in her lap tight – her only remaining sibling.
Romin sighed. “But Mistress, you must! I told you, as a show of solidarity between … ”
Ellen laughed angrily. “A show of solidarity? Are you kidding me? What kind of solidarity did Hephaestus show when he threw Mae in prison? If anything, I should be waging war on his dwarven butt!”
“The Earth-Lord is not a dwarf …” Romin began.
“Whatever,” Ellen retorted. “You missed my point. As far as I’m concerned, he is my enemy until he releases my sister.” The girl looked down at Rose and sighed. “And so is my traitor of a brother.”
Romin walked up to Ellen and touched her shoulder gently. “Mistress, Sir Quinn is no traitor. He couldn’t help what he did any more than Princess Kat was able to stop herself from jumping into the ocean in the Aether Plane.”
Ellen batted his hand away and buried her face into Rose’s downy baby hair. “Go away. Have your feast. I don’t care anymore,” she mumbled, her voice teary. “You and your stupid elemental junk. Go away. You ruined my family.”
Romin sighed. “If that is how you feel, Mistress, then that is how it will be. But the Enchantress … ”
“Stays with me.” Ellen glared up at the elf, sniffing back tears. “I won’t let you take her away, too.”
“I did not take anyone away, away, Mistress,” the elf replied, frustrated. “If you would but listen to me … ”
“I already did that,” Ellen retorted. “It was a mistake. I won’t make that mistake again.”
“Are you and the Enchantress not hungry?” Romin pleaded. “The food promises to be wonderful.”
Ellen continued to glare. “Yeah we’re a little hungry. I bet Mae’s hungry too,” she said pointedly.
The elf saw a chance in her tone. “I am sure she is, Mistress,” he said. “And if you’ll but come with me to the feast, I am certain you can persuade the Earth-Lord to give her some food. Maybe even to let her go.”
“I’m pretty sure the only one that can do that is Quinn,” Ellen’s voice was bitter. “And for some reason I doubt he’d be willing.”
“You can ask,” Romin said quietly. “It may be the only way to get your family back, Mistress.”
Ellen sniffed, her face once more buried in her sister’s hair. She said nothing.
“Where’s Quinn?” Rose asked suddenly. “Where’s Kat and Mae?”
Ellen stroked her baby sister’s hair, sniffing back tears again. “They’re around, Rose.”
“But where?” Rose whined.
Ellen looked at Romin, anger in her eyes. “He made them go away,” she answered.
To Ellen’s surprise, Rose giggled. She looked down at her sister, confused.
“Mansy didn’t make them go,” Rose said. “Mansy is my friend! Silly Ellen!”
“She has always insisted on calling me that,” Romin said, smiling down at the toddler. “Even though I keep telling her I’m not human.”
Ellen looked at Romin, then back at Rose. “What do you mean, ‘always’? We just met you.”
“You did, yes Mistress. As did the Sorceress and the Princess and Sir Quinn. But that is not so for the Enchantress,” Romin’s voice was quiet with meaning.
Ellen looked up at the elf again, understanding dawning on her face. “You’ve been with Rose before! That’s how you knew about us and Mom!”
Romin nodded. “We feared she would still be very young when it was time to bring you all back, and she had much more to learn. So I have visited the Enchantress many times since she was born, training her.”
“But… why?” Ellen asked. “I heard you tell Poseidon and Hephaestus that you’re bringing us to our people so we can be trained. So shouldn’t it be one of Rose’s people that trains ..?” the girl’s eyes grew wide. “Wait… you’re one of her people, aren’t you Romin?”
The elf nodded.
“But why didn’t you tell us that then?” Ellen asked, exasperated.
Romin raised an eyebrow. “Would it have made a difference, Mistress?”
Ellen thought about that. On one hand, if the elf had told them in the beginning that their sister was also an elf, they’d probably have laughed at him. But on the other hand, it wasn’t that farfetched, considering that Romin himself existed in the first place. And if they had been convinced he told the truth, they may have gone with him willingly and maybe the puking sensation when he shrunk them wouldn’t have been so bad, if they had known it was coming. Maybe it wouldn’t even have happened! Of course, in the grand scheme of things, that wasn’t really a big deal anyway, so…
In the end, all Ellen could do was shrug.
“I don’t really know.”
Romin nodded. “I was charged with bringing The Elementals to their home planes. The Enchantress will come with me to the Psyche Plane when all others have been delivered. Your knowing that she was to come with me was no more important to that end than your knowing where you were to go.”
Ellen shook her head. “Then why did you tell me?”
Romin smiled down at Rose, patting her on the head gently. “Because, Mistress, I had hoped that if you knew of my connection with your beloved sister,” he looked up at Ellen, his slanted, purple eyes open and honest, “that you could more easily trust me.”
Ellen kissed Rose’s head again. “I asked you, when we left, if we would be OK,” she whispered.
“And I did not give you a guarantee,” Romin reminded her. “But your siblings are all still alive and healthy, and for the most part, what was supposed to happen has happened.”
“By ‘for the most part’ you mean Mae’s being arrested.” It was not a question.
Romin nodded. “I do not know what is going on with the Fire-Born, that they would threaten the Earth-Born children so,” the elf said, openly disturbed.
“You said Quinn’s not a traitor,” Ellen said, tears brimming in her eyes once more. “How? I need to know… so I can stop being so mad at him.”
“Do you remember how Princess Kathleen dove into the waters in the Aether Plane?”
Ellen nodded. “That was weird. And she completely ignored us when we called to her. It was like she forgot we existed.”
“That, Mistress, is a very good description of what happened.” He held up a hand to silence Ellen’s angry protest. “No, she did not forget you. Rather, at the moment, her elemental pull was far stronger than the familial pull of her siblings in her heart. She remembered you, she heard you… she simply did not care.”
Ellen shook her head. “But how could some mermaid-filled ocean in a pirate-infested fairy world be more important than her siblings? That’s ridiculous!”
Romin chuckled. “Not a fairy world, Mistress …”
“Whatever. Just answer me? Please? How could she just stop caring?”
“The same way that Sir Quinn stopped caring when he came here, which is why he betrayed the Sorceress. The same way that you will stop caring considering when you reach the Aerie Plane. The elemental pull to your spirits is too great.” The elf held up a finger. “But, the force of the pull is only a side effect of being away for so very long, and it will fade by the time you must face Adams together as one. You will be loyal to each-other once more, then.”
“Yeah. About this Adams guy … ” Ellen started.
“Mistress, please. As I said, I have already said too much already,” the elf pleaded. “Please, just come with me to the feast? It may be that you can talk with Lord Hephaestus and Sir Quinn and get the Sorceress released.” Romin shook his head. “As a matter of fact, you doing so is the only way I can see it happening at all.”
“But can’t we just go to the Pyre Plane and ..?”
“And what, Mistress? Start a war that is already on the verge of breaking loose by telling the Fire-Born that the Earth-Lord has their Elemental in chains?”
Ellen sighed. “OK, fine. You make a good case.” She eyed the elf. “But I can’t tell you I trust you, Romin. I’m sorry. It’s hard to trust someone who isn’t entirely truthful with you. Even if it’s for your own good.”
Romin nodded. “You are wise, Mistress. I have known you would be.”
A thought struck the girl as she stood, taking Rose’s hand in her own. “So, Kat’s a mermaid, Quinn’s a dwarf and Rose is an elf. What are Mae and me then?”
The elf gave her a withering look.
“You can’t tell.” Ellen said with a sigh. “OK, allright. Let’s get this over with so we can find out then.” She walked to the door that the elf held open for her. “Come to think of it, I’m a more than a little hungry, after all.”
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