Hope everyone is having a wonderful Friday so far. I know I am. I just need to catch up to 18000 words on NaNo by tonight so I’m on track. Let’s see what I can do in three hours of free time!
“Thank you, father,” Migaru told him.
“I have a feast planned tonight for you, if you want it.”
She shook her head. “No thanks. I don’t want to be treated any different than the rest of Fire.”
He nodded slowly, understanding. “Very well. Will you at least dine with me in the mountain tonight?”
She smiled. “Of course. Don’t I always?”
“True,” he said. “I just thought you might have wanted to spend the night with that friend, Rifoe, of yours.” They left the room, doors closing behind them. “Do you remember the way back?” he asked, ignorant of her blush.
“I paid attention on the way here.”
Inferno ruffled her blonde hair a moment before stopping, remembering that she wasn’t as young as she once had been. “My little Fire. Always seeing everything. I could never hide anything from you.” He turned to meet her gaze. “I’ll see you tonight then? I need to head to the library and resume the meetings that I put off.” Inferno sighed with a shake of his head. “Apparently, someone’s field was gotten into by another’s Pferden and, well, I’m sure you can image where it went from there. And I seem to be the only one who can solve it.”
Of course,” she told him, seeing the dismissal for what it was. A quick smile to her dad, she walked past Inferno, retracing her steps until she reached the main hall again. From there, it was quite easy to find her way back out into the sun.
The blast of cooler air hit her like a hammer when she stepped outside. It was a welcome change from the temperatures inside the mountain. She remembered her promise to Rifoe and made her way through the houses to find him.
“Rif!” She shouted up to his room. “You there?”
His head poked out of the second story window. “Heyla! I’ll be right down!”
She moved out of the way. If Rifoe said he was going to be right down, there was only one way he would do that. He leapt out of the window a second later, using a blast of his Fire Aspect at the last possible second to slow his controlled fall to a stop. “You’re going to kill yourself doing that one of these days, Rif.”
“Afraid, lady Ficis?”
She punched him in the arm. “You wish. And don’t call me that. We’ve been friends since, what, we were born? I don’t need you calling me lady.”
“But you are one,” he pointed out. “And I’m still just a Fireling.”
“Only until next week. Don’t make me hit you again.”
“Fine. I’ll just keep calling you Mig then,” he said impishly.
“You do that, and you die.” There was a polite, yet evil smirk on her face. “Anyway, what did you need me for then?”
“Birthing day present. And it’s part Day of Power present too,” he told her. He reached into the pouch on his belt and pulled out something wrapped in a piece of red cloth. A moment of hesitation occurred before he nearly shoved it at her. “Uh, here.”
Migaru took it and carefully unwrapped it. Laying on the cloth was a silver ring with the two stones of Fire inset in it: ruby and obsidian. “It’s beautiful! Where did you get it?”
“My secret. Does it fit?”
She slipped it on her right hand and nodded. “Perfectly.”
“Great. Then my work here is done.”Migaru reached out and pulled Rifoe into a hug before he could leave.
“Necking in the woods?” came a scornful voice from behind them. She felt Rifoe stiffen within her arms and let go to see who had spoken.
“Oh, Fire’s tongue. Why did it have to be him…” Rifoe said quietly.
“Go away, Urien,” Migaru told him.
“Says the Air Child,” he said, voice full of hate.
“Take that back” Rifoe demanded. “That’s something that could get you killed around here!”
“Rif,” Migaru said warningly. She placed a hand on his shoulder and held him back from fighting the Fireling. The insult had hurt her too, but she wasn’t going to show that it had gotten to her. “Urien, I suggest you leave now.”
“Or what? You’ll throw embers at me? That’s all you could think about doing with your powers.”
Migaru closed her eyes and clenched her fists in an attempt to control her temper. “As lady Ficis, I order you to leave.”
“Revhia,” he spat at her, turning to go.
Rifoe leapt onto his back, bringing him down. He began to attack the other, little regard for his own self. “Take that back! You’re the Revhia here, not Mig!”
“Revhia doesn’t even look like us! Why, by Fire, should I treat her like she is? Besides, it’s not like I’m the only one who thinks it.”
“Because I am Fire,” Migaru declared. She pulled out her obsidian tube holding Living Flame and held it out. “I am lady Ficis of Fire. Lord
Inferno is my father and I am a keeper of Living Flame. I choose to make this known. Until such time when Rifoe is a lord, he is under my protection. If you or any harm him, you will answer to me.”
Urien glared at her, but fell silent. He stalked back into the village and when he was gone, Migaru and Rifoe looked at one another. “He’ll be back,” Rifoe said quietly.
She nodded. “I know. But by then, you’ll be a lord and he will still be a Fireling.”
“But only for a year. Then what?”