Sun Quest Part 2
Part 56 of Quest
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She was shadow’s kin
burned in sun’s fire to ashes
dead until re-spawned.
A baby cried. Little fingers patted Undreal’s face and bathed her in fat tears that soothed. The Sun God’s aura backed down to a low simmer but energy still roiled under the surface. Undreal blinked up at Solara who stood before her father palm out to stop him.
Undreal put her arms around the baby whose tears had brought relief and he blinked sleepy eyes at her. His thumb crept towards his mouth and he yawned. Too much excitement for the not-yet-tot who still needed a name. He cracked an a golden eye open as that thought passed through her mind letting her know that names ranked low on his list of priorities. Who was this child that at times seemed to understand more than a babe should? She eased to a sit, glad to let that subject go for now.
“I have a bargain with this one,” Solara said.
Sun Goddess stood firm
a reed in an inferno
she did not waver.
Her brother let go of his father’s arm and joined her, arms crossed as they waited for a response. Raithen, the Sun God, did not fall down in a fit of apoplexy despite the red tinge creeping over his tan skin and the steam wafting off his golden head. He kept his face impassive hiding his reaction to his daughter’s interference.
“You have a bargain with that dark thing?” he pointed a shaking, luminous finger at Undreal who fought the urge to curl in on herself and hide. His clipped words held back a lion’s roar. “She’s Undeem!”
Raithen said it as if Undreal were an unclean thing. Worst of all, she was what his sneer proclaimed her–a thing of darkness and feral hunger. The baby shook his head and his free hand clutched her sleeve.
“Look within father, she’s more than she seems.”
Solan kept his peace, letting his twin do the talking and bear the lion’s share of the blame for this fiasco. He stood firm when his father approached and passed him by.
Raithen appeared to be mulling his daughter’s words over. When the full force of his gaze fell on Undreal, she did shrink back. His fiery eyes scorched her but only for a moment as they dropped to the baby in her arms. The baby met his gaze and offered a smile that made the Sun God shake his head and mutter something Undreal didn’t catch. He patted the child on the head and that made the boy’s smile widen.
“So she’s Undeem, so what?” Chero said into the deadlock. “She saved our lives and that makes her a friend.”
At one-seventh the height of the Sun God, the winged youth didn’t look at all cowed. He’d grown up hard somewhere that wasn’t Shayari; his wide leg stance on the window sill and take no crap attitude made that quite clear. To have black wings spangled with silver, he must have been born in lands loyal to the Moon Court. Behind him, Shayarin-bred, Anasril, peered around him. Her bright coloring and butterfly wings marked her as Sun Court and her eyes were wide and fearful.
Court designations meant something only to the god-born. So the glance Raithen flicked in Chero’s direction that attempted to scorch him, couldn’t.
like moths, light attracted him
made his eyes glitter
like sun-struck smokey quartz gems
unharmed by the Sun God’s glare.
Slanted eyes darkened
silver lines scored irises
his eyes drank in light.
He stood firm, all dozen inches of him, showing no strain from the Sun God’s burning gaze.
Friend he’d called her and it warmed her heart. Undreal gathered her wits and skirts and rose. Time to defend herself. Her friends had taken enough heat on her behalf, especially Chero, as Anasril’s white knuckle grip on his arm made plain. Time to divert attention from him before his brashness got him into trouble.
Henneth helped her; he had moved to stand near her in the confusion. His old eyes had lost some of their shock at seeing a deity he had never thought much about up close and in person. The baby clung to her making his preferences clear; he didn’t want to be handed off to the only other full sized adult in their party.
Raithen dipped his chin after another tense moment ending the impasse. Was that approval in his eyes?
“You call her friend and yet her people will hunt you come nightfall.” Raithen shook his massive head.
His golden mane swung
strands trapped sunlight falling through
Unreal squared her shoulders and drew herself up to her full height. “I can conceal them.” All night she’d spent figuring a way to do that after dispatching the Nightmares and every minute spent arguing with a godling put her plan in jeopardy. “We have to go, now, or my plan won’t work.”
The Sun God extended a hand to either side and fire leapt from his fingers. It raced like happy hounds encircling the underground village in leaping light. Then his gaze focused on the baby, who scowled at him and shook a little fist in outrage.
“You still haven’t convinced me to let you go.”
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