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“My lord…” She cleared her throat. He didn’t budge. “My lord, you’re going to suffer summer sickness if you sleep in the heat here.” She put her bucket by her feet, debating if she should kneel down and touch him. “My lord.”

His breath was smooth and even. He was far away in his dreams. Laurel almost felt bad as she got onto her knees and reached out. “Lord Saeran.” She whispered, hoping to wake him gently. Her hand made contact with his shoulder, giving him a tiny shake. “Lord Saeran.”

He moved far too quickly for her to react. His hand shot out like from a bow and clamped around her neck. She took a sharp breath inward, the lack of air she could take in as Saeran’s grip grew tighter. Her own hands grabbed around his wrist as she made a gurgling sound. Saeran’s eyes were empty as she beat at his hand. She kicked her legs out, knocking her bucket over. Nothing was getting to him as her world started to fade at the edges. She could feel spit eking from the corner of her lips as she tried to make words.

“Sae….ran….”

Laurel’s world went dark.

The Siren Meets the Sarooth

This is the next chapter following The Daughter of the Laurel Tree.

Small terms that may be unclear since I haven’t posted the prologue chapters yet: Siren – a large half bird half human creature tamed by the Daliquor. They are considered incredibly exotic, and a symbol of human’s ability to triumph over the Melyion as the original siren, which all siren were born from, was his wife. Siren goods are rare and expensive, and masquerading as a siren is usually reserved for a woman of extreme noble rank, toting herself as ‘exotic’.

Sarooth – a panther like creature with deep, black fur. Inhabits most forestland but are masters of stealth. Are incredibly strong and considered ‘noble’ creatures.

Laurel was no stranger to the drink, however, she was a stranger to wine. She drank the glass in a single gulp. It dulled the pain that lingered in her chest. She shuffled awkwardly, trying not to trip in her heeled shoes, back to a maid to dispose of this glass and gain another. This one she held for a moment.

Her eyes scanned the room in their haze. Hundreds of people, thousands maybe, all dressed in elegance, clad in masks. She looked down at the deep green dress she was wearing, the sleeves that hid the scars on her arms of the same color, she could even see the hellish shoe peeking out under the bellowed skirt. She didn’t feel like herself. The dress was made of such fine materials, things she could have never afforded, it made her uncomfort worse.

Five days prior. Ryo had come with materials for her, only to find her in hysterics over her father’s body. She could barely form a sentence as she stammered through her tears. Ryo assured her he would take care of everything.

The Daughter of the Laurel Tree

Here’s a small background: I’ve been writing a bunch in the same ‘universe’. They all come from the same origin story, which I’ll post eventually when I feel content with the fine tuned details. It’s quite hard to create an entire world, lore and all, and then pack it all into ONE deal. The ideas just kept spewing, so, I expanded

This portion is the beginning of ‘Sapphire and Jade’, a story that focuses on the Calinthian Kingdom. It introduces one of the main characters. There shouldn’t be too much lore-heavy stuff going on here since it is an intro chapter and very much one of the first bits I’ve ever written in this universe, so it’s low on the lore scale. Balor and Musa are the big two gods, often spoken about in curse or praise.

She was born of Rosel, a great Calinthian weapon smith and a simple seamstress. Her mother died in childbirth. She had four children who were born cold, and the one that filled the room with her screams took her last breath with her. As her father cursed the loss of his wife, he celebrated the birth of his only child. A daughter he named in her honor, of the fragrant trees that left the air around the tiny cottage faintly sweet, a blue eyed child named Laurel.

Rosel did not know how to be a proper father to his only child, but with time he did the best he could. Her lullabies were the sound of his hammering, she learned to walk around molten metals, she even learned to speak from the brash customers who appeared at his door. For all this, Laurel loved him so. But, as she aged, so did he. By the time she turned ten years old, the great Rosel was nearly seventy, and his body was simply tired. His hands moved like they worked in gloves of thick syrup. The once rhythmic beats of his hammer became further and further spaced apart and lost their strength.

His tiny daughter came to him one day as he rubbed the oil of her namesake on his hands, relieving the burns his weakened hands suffered. She asked him what she could do to help him. Rosel told her to go to school, to become strong and smart.