Birth of the Aetherverse – Chapter 4 (Serial Story)

Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 | Chapter 3 | Chapter 4 | Chapter 5 | Chapter 6 | Chapter 7 | Chapter 8 | Chapter 9 | Chapter 10 | Chapter 11 | Chapter 12

Chapter 4: The Gate and the Fox go to Atlantis

I barely had time to move out of the way as a spear flew by my head. I desperately wanted to look back at where it landed, but I had to close the gate.

The gate was the size of an elephant standing on its hind legs; it would let in an army very quickly. I did the only thing I could think of and ripped the entire structure out of the Fay Realms and tossed it into the Aether.

The Aether is a place of pure chaos and magic. If something, or someone, isn’t protected while inside, it will devour them and leave nothing but memories behind.

I turned back and found the fox, skewered by the spear. She whimpered gently as the spear dissolved around her. The realm’s deep hate for metal was still strong even all these years after the first civil war. 

I saw the life flowing out of her and my heart ached. There was nothing I could do to save her. Even my magic had limits.

Peaseblosson looked at the fox and cried. They picked up the fragile body and said, “I have nothing but a Fay’s magic left in me, but I give it all to you so that you can heal. Please live.”

My sibling’s last shreds of power flowed into the fox and mingled with the creature’s own magic. The result was a core of magic more powerful than any I’d seen.

Falling to the ground, the two breathed heavily, but they were alive.

“I feel weak,” said Peaseblossom.

“Thank you,” replied the fox. Her voice was soft and sweet, but with an authority that demanded attention.

As I watched, the fox grew into a beautiful woman. Her colouring was simpler as a human. Her skin was a tan colour that was almost orange, while her hair was black as the night without stars. 

Despite my age, I was a young fool at the time and thought I fell in love at that instant. I know now that I fell in love with her every day we were together.

My mouth opened and closed like a fish gasping for air and both of them, thankfully, ignored me.

“I will never forget what you did for me,” the fox said.

Smiling wanly, Peaseblosson said, “It was the least I could do. You released me from the burdens of being a Fay Lord. Now I can go live amongst the Humans.”

“You mean Everworld?” I asked.

The fox laughed and said, “For those of us that have walked the Deep Realms, time is just a direction to walk in. You must meet the humans. They are interesting.”

“What do we call you?” asked Peaseblossom.

The fox waited and said, “Call me Randi… Randi Peaseblossom. If that’s acceptable.”

“Yes. I would like that. Now I think I’d like to settle in Atlantis.”

As we walked towards the middle of the forest that was the Deep Realms, I felt something strange. I looked at where the gate had been and saw that there was a thin spot where the gate had punched a hole between universes.

I did my best to patch it, but it would require returning and repairing it every couple of centuries.

Atlantis was a wonder. A place of human imagination and power. Humans, I learned, were from Earth and had apparently taken over after the dinosaurs. They were very similar to us and those who had made their home in Everworld. It leads me to believe that there is some force at work shaping sentience. 

Somehow, humans had learned to harness the powers of magic so efficiently that they’d carved out a new realm adjacent to Earth, which they called Atlantis. They understood magic in ways me and my family had never considered. 

Peaseblossom joined the great world and became a musician. Although they no longer had any magic, their music was amazing.

“How long do you plan on spending here?” asked Randi one day as we walked the markets of Atlantis. We’d been sharing a small apartment with Peaseblossom and we were both learning about the Atlanteans. It was a calm life and honestly, I was happy. We had masked our magical signatures to look like simple Fay. I didn’t want to get involved with the royals or court.

The smell of food was heavy in the air with cumin, cinnamon, and silphium. My stomach grumbled and I didn’t know how to answer the question. I tried to be cool, but stuttered, “I was having a nice time here with you and this place is lovely I… I…” I shrugged.

She laughed and rolled her eyes before saying, “I have a bad feeling something is going to happen.”

No sooner had she said it than trumpets roared over the market and a cryer announced, “Lord Oberon, Lady Titania, and their son Melchior. Rulers of the Fay Realms.

I hoped to not be noticed, but of course Oberon saw us in the markets and loudy called to me, “Brother, join us. We go to see the greatest magic in Atlantis. They say it’s the work of the gods but I don’t remember making it.” He laughed at his own joke. 

Randi and I climbed aboard their chariot and I nodded to Titania and tried not to shudder at the sight of Melchior. Although still a young teen, he exuded power in the same way an uncontrolled brushfire did. From a distance he was beautiful, up close he was terrifying.

“What is this magic?” Randi asked.

“And who are you?” Oberon asked, lechery oozing out of him.

“This is Lady Randi Peaseblossom,” I said to him, a little petulance and defensiveness creeping into my voice. Using the name of one of the original five was a way of saying you were a descendant of theirs.

Putting a gentle hand on mine, Randi said, “I’m Robin’s girlfriend. Although I haven’t told him that yet.” 

My brother roared with laughter and Randi winked at me. My heart then tried to match the beat of a hummingbird’s and I missed a large part of the conversation.

It wasn’t until I heard the word “gate” that I came back to the conversation fully. I was going to ask the nature of this gate when we came up to it.

I recognized the magical signature immediately. Somehow, the gate I’d tossed into the Aether and that should have been destroyed by the raw power was sitting on a hillside in Atlantis. Worse, there were the hundreds of smaller versions created by the Atlanteans.

Read Chapter 5

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