Author's Note – This is it! Finally! After, what…four years? Ick… Here is the end of "Angel of Silk"! It's short, but hold a good deal of information. I actually remembered to add in a little bit of information that I'd forgotten earlier! That just proves I spent WAY too much time away from this story, cause I did forget a lot of stuff. Finale, yes…no more stories involving Aeslynn, Lonryo, and their children. I think I've drained this world dry…for the moment. My mind will always find some little thing for all my stories to be "what if this had happened" or some such. But, that doesn't mean I'm not writing other stories. Though it's not a romance, which might not appeal to many of you that read these stories, I have posted (or, rather, reposted) "Revelations in Twilight", that way all of you that are interested can go immediately to the new story. And that also means that I have to get to working on the rest of the story and figuring out how to redo some things. Anyways, enjoy!!
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Finale – Shall we Say…
Zeruoder had been right about the war not continuing much longer, but it was not due to the news of the queen's death. What bards would later declare was every djinn in the kingdom (though, in truth, it was not) appeared and surrounded the army of dragons when they, reluctantly, started their second attack on Oshlay. Not a single one of the enemy forces remained long upon seeing that many djinn. Rumor had it that Anarisa had quite the interesting party that night in her shop to celebrate the victory. No one was quite sure how all those djinn could fit in such a little building, though.
Upankil, who had totally missed Xaria on her way to face the queen, arrived at Mount Atkomaryn with over a dozen other dragons, most of which were blue dragons, like himself. Though he expected to find the place in shambles after the wyvern attack, he was shocked to see there was only minor damage. The few draltevs that were still there, as many had rushed off to help others, shared in Upankil's shock, though they were wondering why there was a band of dragons attacking them now. Though both sides got geared up for a huge fight, one of the more eccentric of the members of their order appeared in the courtyard, did the same spell Lonryo had done decades before, and the dragons vanished. Laughing like the madman he was, he disappeared back into the depths of the sect's libraries, leaving his fellows stunned.
The Council intervened at Milanysh Palace a short time after Sanytcha's death and a diamond dragon was placed to protect King Zeruoder until things were settled and new treaties were formed. (Xaria still stayed, though, having quickly formed a friendship with the king.) Upon the new king's insistence, the Council did agree that he could choose another to take the throne and they would reinstate him as a member of the Dracocian Council. Along with the new treaty that was drawn up, Zeruoder drew up more laws and abolished old ones which he hoped would remain in effect once he turned over the throne.
In a move that stunned every dragon that heard about it, Zeruoder named his eldest brother, Dunovagh, the new king. There was no controversy over the appointment, though. The army actually backed the decision with more gusto than anyone would have imagined. Even though dragons enjoyed long lived monarchs, Dunovagh being in the middle of his life did not seem to worry the rest of the black dragons. Upon the appointment, he sent Zeruoder off to the Dracocian Council to officially restart the associations with them. Xaria also left at this time, along with the diamond dragon that had seen to the peaceful transition at the end of the war and the change of monarchs.
And though the war was over, the scars were going to last forever. The scars upon one sorcerer were so great, in fact, that a special visitor came to see him. Gwymir was not in the mood for company, but could not refuse his visitor. Turning him away would have been like revoking his position as an Evancean. Their conversation mainly revolved around Argenfon…
"I did everything in my power to save him but he would not listen to his intuition!" Gwymir was furious, more furious than his guest – who had known him since childhood – had ever known him to have been. "If he had just…"
"But, he only had two choices – just two. And as wholly and completely as he was against locating the Scepter of Dragons, it was the Ruby Sword that would be his destiny."
"Olzhiyah…" The seer-sorcerer turned to the djinni. He was seated in one of the chairs by the table the tea tray sat on. He was wearing a new green and white outfit which he had proudly shown his host, saying he was amazed at Anarisa's abilities. "It is not that… It is…" Gwymir sighed deeply and went to his chair, collapsing into it. "If he had just listened to what he truly felt he should have done, then everything would have turned out better." Gwymir pulled out a flask and poured some strong liquor into his tea cup. "Wiser than his grandfather my arse."
The djinni started to protest but decided against it. "You still blame yourself…"
"Damn right I do." He stopped just a moment before he took a sip of his now highly alcoholic tea and sighed. "If I hadn't succeeded in calling him to me…"
"He would not have had that joy he knew before his death. He would have never seen his angel again, and you know it. That's why…" The djinni sighed, looking down for a moment then back at his old friend. "All our actions always have consequences, you know that. Most seers cannot see the outcome of their actions clearly. That is why powerful seers, like yourself, seclude themselves up in their homes and rarely venture out into the world. They are all scared of themselves."
"How true!" He drained his teacup quickly and set it rather hard on the saucer. "This just proves to me, more, why that is!"
Olzhiyah bowed his head, mildly frustrated. "The Scepter is safe again, though, that should be important."
"Only for a few thousand years. Then the new keys will be born and this damnable war will be renewed."
"And the djinn will be there to keep it safe still."
Gwymir laughed, making himself another cup of alcoholic tea. "And luckily I won't be. That way I won't mess with the order of things."
The djinni shook his head. "You're being far too hard on yourself, Gwymir."
"I swore to myself to keep Argenfon away from the Ruby Sword! I failed!"
Olzhiyah leaned closer to his host and took the teacup out of his hands. In its place, he left a shining, silvery pool of something. In the liquid was a picture of Argenfon, happy with his angel in his arms. The seer sighed, staring at it.
"You allowed him that. But his fate was his to decide. No one else could choose it for him," he laughed lightly, "no matter how hard you tried to the contrary."
The Evancean sorcerer bowed his head, closing his eyes. "I suppose you're right."
"I say that it is right." He gave his old friend a stern look when he lifted his head back up. "You helped them both along, what with planting happy little dreams in their head." The djinni grinned. "You gave them both this moment before they died. I would think that would give you some pride."
Gwymir gave the elemental being a sharp look. "How'd you know about that?!"
"I just knew." Olzhiyah took the silvery liquid from his friend's hands. "Be glad it is the only lasting tragedy of the war. You miss the joy that is now in the place of the war while you sit here moping."
The seer said nothing.
"You still have the Silver One to watch over." The djinni stood – well, you could not really say that, as that he had no true legs. "She still has some things yet to fulfill, even if her brother's prophecies are at an end."
Not waiting for his friend to reply, he disappeared. After a moment, Gwymir reached back and took up his teacup again and drank the contents rather quickly. Olzhiyah might be right, he thought, but he still had a right to grieve for Argenfon's death – and Tiazi's. He still felt completely responsible. But…there was still happiness left. Aeslynn and Lonryo were wellsprings of happiness and they would continue pouring it forth, even in light of the tragedy.
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Though Argenfon's death affected Gwymir greatly, it was nothing compared to that which his parents felt. Norestes did not even wait for his injuries to fully heal before he had Xaria provide him with the best directions she could and then set about going to collect her brother's body. When he had arrived in Oshlay with Argenfon, Aeslynn had wept for hours in her mate's arms. Lonryo was too deeply affected by his son's death to express his emotions, even though Aeslynn could still feel them within him. She cried tears for him as well. She felt a bit betrayed by her gift of prophecy, for she had not foreseen his death. The diamond dragon that was still tending to her said her body was still recovering and seeing his death might have caused her even more stress than she needed.
A few days later, Lonryo's younger sister, Khaira, came to officially relieve her brother of his duties as guardian of the valley since he would no longer be able to fulfill the requirements the position demanded due to his injury. Lonryo announced to the town the change and there was a great regret among them at seeing their guardian leaving them after he had served them for so long. But, in his heart, he knew that it would probably be better now that he was leaving. They would not be threatened anymore if there were still more events that might unfold and bring danger to him and his family.
Lonryo and his family were then escorted to the Mansion of Clouds by the gold dragon that had healed the family after the attack. They were welcomed heartily by nearly the entire population of the Mansion. And Ginfe, who had stayed with his parents since his arrival, asked Lomahna, in front of everyone gathered to greet his family, if she would be his life's mate. Though she was thoroughly embarrassed at his choice of locations to ask (such things were usually done in private) she did accept. The planning of their mating ceremony began that day, which gave Lonryo something to focus on other than his injury, which he had done a lot since the day it happened.
Time passed and the kingdom recovered from what had been expected to be a far greater war than it had been. The royal homes that had been attacked were rebuilt, as were the schools of magic. Oshlay was rebuilt – by the djinn, no less. But once that was done, they disappeared back into the recesses of memory. Lonryo was allowed to continue being the representative of the cloud dragon royal family on the Council (though he had to learn to ride phalerea dragons to travel back and forth). He got to meet Zeruoder, whom he had heard a lot about from Xaria. It seemed they had formed quite a friendship while she had been at Milanysh Palace. He found the black dragon prince was the most amazingly peace oriented member of his kind he had ever met and the two princes also formed a strong friendship.
It also happened that, though it would turn out to be her last child, Aeslynn bore a daughter, that her foresight had shown her would turn out to be a great healer. What shocked everyone was that the child had the same soul as the one she had lost (now years before) when she was attacked. Though Aeslynn gave her daughter the same name she had received for her to begin with – Anali – her eagerness to be born to her parents earned her the nickname Erohiam, which meant "determined soul". She would always prefer Anali, though.
Everything was back to being as normal as it could be. Xaria was back studying her draltevine magic (though her curriculum had expanded to include light and dark magics, which she proved exceptional at). Aeslynn was doing what she had always done best – raising her children and drawing (though, much to Anarisa's disappointment, her former apprentice now lived too far away to make regular visits to help her). Ginfe and Lomahna had quickly had children of their own (which made Aeslynn feel like she was getting old – being a grandmother and all, even if she did have her own young daughter to raise still). And Lonryo helped to keep the with the Dracocian Council's drive to keep peace firmly in place in the kingdom, though it was the most peaceful it had been before Aeslynn had been born almost eighty years before.
So, in the end, I suppose we shall say that everything went as "happily ever after" as reality can allow it to be.
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To my reviewer –
destroX – I'm glad you think I'm getting better. Trust me, if you could see what I see when revising one of my older stories (one I wrote in high school – that was like 8 years ago!) you'd see just how much I've truly improved. LOL But, yes, I do plan to keep posting stories. I posted the first chapter of "Revelations in Twilight" tonight as well, as stated in my author's note. If a non-romantic story interests you, please, do read it.
MysteriousStranger – You didn't breathe through most of the fight in the last chapter? ::blinks:: And here I thought that was the crappiest fight scene I've ever done! I hardly put any detail into it at all. Well, just proves that I truly am my worst critic, I suppose. Yeah, I'm not planning to do any more stories, hence "Finale". And, yes, I would like to get these published, but…well…that'd take a lot of editing for "Dragon's Gift" and "Black Nightmares", and I don't think I'm up for that right now, though I do plan to getting to revising the first soon.