Sun Quest Part 1
Part 53 of Quest
(Picks up where Nightmares’ Quest Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4 left off.
After Undreal defeated the Nightmares, she, Henneth, Chero and Anasril received a visit from the Sun Twins, Solara and Solan. Solara offered Undreal a bargain to regain some of her lost humanity and then another god showed up. )
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Lion of the sun
winged beast-man, father of twins
a golden rocket.
“We’ve got incoming–” Chero announced from his post on the window sill.
“Go, you must go now.” Solara pointed to the door where two Groundlings now stood framed. Elyoasa had returned with the wet nurse, whose services they needed to pacify the crying baby on Undreal’s lap.
Solara’s twin, the equally blinding Solan, must have slipped outside while the bargain was struck because his golden head was missing from the folks clustered by the window. His voice floated in on a breeze.
“You’re overreacting, father. If you’d just let me ex–” Solan’s voice cut out as a roar shook the cottage, rattling the knick knacks lining the shelves. It cut across the baby’s wail and silenced him; he buried his face in Undreal’s chest, his little fingers twining in her dress.
Elyoasa laid a hand over her heart; her eyes went saucer-wide but despite her three foot stature, she stood firm. This was her home and no bellowing godling could drive her from it.
“You have to go, now, please–” Solara’s gold eyes begged Undreal to get up and move out and she did.
Chero and Anasril buzzed past her, their butterfly wings a blur as they sailed over Elyoasa’s and the wet nurse’s heads. On her way past, Undreal commandeered the wet nurse and steered her out of the room, down a short corridor past bedrooms and out into bright sunshine.
Sun burns out darkness
roots out evil with its light
no shadow untouched
Undreal screamed as the light touched her skin and backed up into the house; she bit her lip to keep further screams penned where they couldn’t upset the baby in her arms. He was upset enough and hungry. No need to tip the scales of misery any further.
“What is it?” Henneth asked from behind her.
Undreal shook her head and edged further into the room away from the sun streaming in through diamond window panes. “The sun–I can’t…”
The baby let loose a wail; fat tears cascaded down his cheeks. Everyone froze as the roar cut off in the middle of the baby’s sharp cry.
“Take him and go,” she held the baby out to Henneth. “I’ll follow after the sunsets.” When dark things like her could skulk about in safety.
“How will you know where to go?”
Undreal blinked; she had no answer for that one.
“How did you follow us before?” Anasril asked, buzzing over she hovered in front of the baby’s face. Not so close that her blue wings came within reach but close enough to distract him. Chero followed, his black wings a similar blur behind him.
“I rode in Henneth’s shadow.”
They all looked at Undreal waiting for some explanation about why she couldn’t repeat that trick. She had none but fear.
Ride in the shadows
carried by mortals death-bound
a leech on their life
What if she couldn’t control the drain? Henneth would have to carry her; she couldn’t fit any of the members of their parties’ shadows. He was an old man past his prime. What if riding his shadow killed him?
Last time the sun had been lower, evening’d been closer and they had run through thick forest offering tons of deep shade. She had not needed to bond so closely to his shadow that time. Her gaze bounced to the subterranean village hidden in this cavern; its neat cottages sized for folks under four feet in height and to the sunlight bullying its way through the occulus where the crystal globe suspended below it magnified it. Rainbows drenched the cave walls with color. This time she would have to stay very close or the sun would cook her.
Her eyes sought the baby as if drawn their by his will. He had quieted now that the wet nurse had him, though she looked about to tip over. She stood a couple inches over three feet and topped the baby by a little more than a head. She held the baby’s shoulders and he kind of leaned against her; the odd positioning seemed to work. He wasn’t crying, just making sucking sounds.
His pink lips drank in another mother’s milk to fill his empty belly. Who was this child and why had his mother abandoned him? Now wasn’t the time to worry about one orphaned babe who still needed a name. Henneth would have to carry him; he was the only other full sized adult in their party. Both Chero and Anasril were a little less than half the baby’s height. Hen didn’t look happy about since the baby weighed close to twenty pounds.
“Well, well, well, what have we here?” a basso profundo roared as a being so luminous he blinded everyone strode around the side of the cottage towing a smaller, leaner copy of himself. Solan had hold of his father’s wrist and his gold heels dug into the earth but his full weight couldn’t halt the Sun God, Raithen.
Undreal screamed as the full force of his aura slammed into her, cooking her in her skin. Could she regenerate from ashes?
Mane of burnished gold
eyes like fiery yellow orbs
light swelled around him.
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