This story is a fiction.
Any likeness with people or places existing or having existed would be purely fortuitous.


Troubled times will arise, leading nobles in a bottomless chasm, and sparing no nation.
[…]
They will come from another earth, swayed by their destiny. With them the old lineages will be reborn and then the ancestral magic will spread like a purifying fire.

Assylians' prophecies anthology
Unknown authors


Prologue – All for all

Minos of Que Ina looked older than ever sitting in the heavy cherry-wood armchair. Sweeping the manuscript he had cherished like a lover with a backhand, he took his temples between his thumb and forefinger, looking one more time for another solution. The white was taking some advance on the black of his hair and only the smooth features of his face reminded that he was only twenty nine winters. He slid his fingers over the light pointy tip of his ear, marker of the démènes; his people, who were undergoing one of the biggest crisis since the pre-Bestanians conflicts.

A displeasing cackle tore him out of his thinking. He still took his time to raise his eyes toward his cousin with shaggy hair. Elimenia of Emelad had once been a beautiful young lady, her brown strands done in a myriad of thin braids that would float in the summer evening breeze of Que Ina. She was married a long time ago, but her husband had died in a war against the Nemeri, the big south nation. She had given birth to a son two years later and that had put an end to what was remaining of her sanity. Since then, she was assigned to the king's service himself and to the queen's, who was none other than Minos' sister, more to look after her than to cheer her up.

Cad took a lot from his mother, He had the same oak-wood colored hair and those soft amber eyes that she was throwing dagger at Minos with right this moment, holding his ice blue stare. Great Lord! He hated his eyes as pale as the fog on the Cimerial's summit.

"Your brother-in-law, the king, is waiting for you!" She threw at him bitterly.

Where had gone the beautiful young lady who had dried his child tears when he had lost his father?

"Alright. I'll join him in a minute. Would you be kind enough to announce my visit to him?"

Elimenia made do with a disdainful sigh and turned her back on him while exiting the room quickly.

Minos' look lingered on Ira's Library one more time. He was regretting that more than half his parchments were in Que Ina, the city placed under the control of his family and that his mother was still directing with wisdom, despite her great age. He got up as smoothly as his illness was enabling him; a not so well known illness that was eroding his tendons and was distorting his articulations. Bringing back the scroll he had sent to the wooden floor casually, he one last time contemplated the broken wax seal that was still holding the stag skin the week before.

Taking the bone stick that helped him walking, he went out and directed himself toward his brother-in-laws' apartments. What he was about to do wasn't pleasing.

Bre of Ira, with ebony eyes and hair where relatively small white strands were standing, his age taken in account, was sitting on a heavy clothed dark red padded couch. He clipped a small porcelain bird into the elaborated hairdo of his wife sitting on a stool, a little below him.

N/A: There shouldn't be seen in this gesture any sort of inferiority sign but only a practical aspect: Indeed, for démènes, it is custom that a man take care of the hairdo of his wife!

Iliena of Que Ina was still very beautiful despite her forty-three summers, the skin, fair and soft was still tensed on the angular features with high cheekbones of her face and her hair wasn't counting as much white strands as her brother's. Her amber eyes, the same as her cousin's landed on Minos with an infinite tenderness when he got in their private apartments. It was difficult to believe that she was fourteen years older than her brother when one would compare them to each-other. And despite the jokes that had risen about Minos' origins because of his eyes, they had always gotten along perfectly.

The King of Assylis raised his eyes toward his most precious advisor. He had always considered the poor-healthed young man with a lot of consideration because far from taking refuge in gloom because of his illness, he had used his free time to consult books and scholars and was all by himself making up for a library that was three times worth his palace's one.

"Your Majesty. My dear sister." Minos declaimed while half-bowing.
"Come on, not that here my friend!" The king exclaimed. "Come sit near me. There is no need for the formal language either; no one will come to disturb us."
"Thank you your Majesty."

Minos pulled a stool and sat down a few steps away from the king. Informal or not, the discussion had to stay secret. Minos and the king had already lengthily discussed about the subject, so the first one directly came to the point.

"I'm sorry my brother. I failed to the task you had given to me."

The king kept silent for a few seconds before replying:

"I see. Thus, there is no other solution… However, what can an inhabitant of a foreign region know about the ancestral magic of our people?"
"Not from another region, my king. From another world."
"Is that land that away from us?"
"In a way, yes, and in another, no."
"Stop with your roundabout means! I can see that you discovered something interesting!"

This retort lifted a smile to Minos' face. The tone of the king was snappy but was still showing the curiosity that was born in him. Bre of Ira was well-known for the coldness of his retorts and for the patience that he was usually proving. Which was showing well how extraordinary were the times they were in.

"I'm afraid that I know only few things about that matter. But it seems that it's possible to communicate with that other world through the dream world. I have myself made acquaintance with a…" Minos looked for the right word. "Person inhabiting that world."
"Brother," Iliena cut. "How do you know that it wasn't a simple dream?"

The creaking sound of the apartment's door's hinges got them to look away.

"Please forgive my lateness, your Highnesses! I only came back to the palace. The news from the frontline aren't good. Someone is sapping the troupes' moral."

The man who had just come in wasn't a démène. Despite that, Akaran was probably one of the most precious men of the kingdom after the king and Minos. His belonging to the common human kind made him the best spy that the court could afford to investigate on the frontline. Even though he was too tall to pass for a Nemerian.

In his turn, Akaran pulled a stool in order to close the circle that was bringing them together.

"Great Lord, you arrived just on time. But we'll postpone the news from the front until later. It seems that Minos has found some new information on the case you know about." The king told him.
"Then I'll listen." The spy replied with a wheedling smile that was splitting his face.

Minos pondered how many women and men he had dragged out information just with his smile. Then, he carried on:

"Sister, I can guaranty you that those aren't simple dreams. The universe, you see, is too malleable. In addition to the very conscience of the dream, objects there change according to your thoughtful will. The sensations that you perceive are too far real. See!"

He pulled up the large sleeve with a measured gesture, uncovering a thin still crusted scar. Iliena dulled suppressed a gasp.

"This one I got thanks to a hindrance during our last meeting."
"By all the spirits!" Akaran breathed.
"Your Majesty," Minos carried on gravely. "I've looked for a long time in texts, in every prophecy that I could find on present time. Each, your Majesty, and every one of them! Confirm that salvation cannot come from our world."
"This doesn't tell us how to get those heroes to come." The king commented.
"In fact, it happens that I have in my possession a new book of spells."
"A book of spells!" Iliena exclaimed. "I thought that all those devil's breed had been burnt with their hoaxers!"

Minos has a sad laugh.

"Iliena, my dear sister, the spirits and the Great Lord will certainly forgive us this opportune omission since it was stored in your place!"
"Oh!" She huffed, outraged.
"Calm down my sister! This spell book describes how to save our country from a shellacking and a major scale economic unsettling."

Iliena darkened while puffing out her cheeks, sign that Minos recognized as the undisclosed defeat of his sister. He exchanged an understanding smile with Bre.

"Your Majesty, will you allow me to use this old knowledge to save our people?"
"Since there's no other alternative."

Minos made do with a nod to show his gratitude. It was with a distracted ear that he listened to the frontline's news Akaran bought back. He knew that he should have paid it more attention because Cad and the prince Em, his nephew and the future king of Assylis, were directing the operations there. But his spirit was way more attracted to someone whose eyes were strangely similar to his owns.