Waking from an uncomfortable slumber was something Sean never got accustomed to. The return of sensation to his numbed body was like a thousand spikes nudging him beneath his skin.
His eyelid was crusted and vast. Even his bones had turned against him, stabbing him mercilessly when he went to sit or lie down. The screeching of the bird greyed in his nerve and the sun smarted his eyes.
But that was bad about it. He seized a tentative sniff. The scent of the fresh morning air, the calming dewy smell of morning makes him smile. He then cracks his jaws and stretches his arms.
"Wake up everyone," he said, fighting the urged to sleep back but he knew they need to keep moving and find the Fae Warrior for an answer.
"We have a long day ahead of us" He added. The sunrise radiated off swans like cloud and the rising air breezes buoyed him. It was his first far-venture in the Grassland and he felt gloriously fascinated. He was curious to see what adventure lies ahead.
The ground was enormous and the early sun was clouding his vision as his two companions had started to keep their bearing. He watched her longingly when the silhouette of her hair against the morning light and make her magical in his eyes. But today wasn't a day to be self-conscious, as she tied it up behind her head and in its messiness, it was even more desirable to Sean.
The chirping of the birds gives rise to calmness in his mind, a soothing melody, a natural lullaby. The journey passes, the grassland morning scenery; a tincture of the morning lingers, like dew upon leaves, a gift of freshness as they travel north when unexpectedly.
"We're here" Catherine announced their arrival.
"Where?" Nathan replied annoyingly glancing at the place with just an ancient battered tree visible with its vines running the woods covering its pathway from the distance.
She then added, ignoring Nathan's innocent complaint "Fae Warrior of the North, open thy mist so thy humble friend could enter" she mumbled slowly as she saw the Garlands.
The Garlands were often made of marsh Fae Flowers and hung over the doors of most Fae's house to protect their home from the invader and safeguard their Fae horses from being ridden to exhaustion by a Rogue Fae's in the night.
Fae Flowers were spread over windowsills and hung above the door-posts of the house for protection. The Fae could mist their house and could vanish at will and remain invisible to others as long as they pleased.
And carrying a four-leafed clover would allow Catherine to see the fairies. Catherine peeked closer, studying the texture of the trees and vines, and drew in a sharp breath as she then bows her head. She could sense moss and the breath of trees, bark, and bugs acknowledging her presence.
The moment Catherine touch her clover the misted house of Fae's suddenly appeared and an un-lady-like scream of one of the sisters can be heard in the distance. Miah opens the door widely with a genuine smile. She grins back and Catherine can feel the enthusiasm radiating out from her stronger than a hundred-watt bulb.
Nathan and Sean's shocked faces were perceptible as an air-splitting scream broke their surprise. Nathan's eyebrow raises and starts to speak more animatedly than he has in years as he watched them bickering with each other.
Miah's bouncing up and down on the balls of her feet like a frantic child and rubbing her hands hugging Catherine as her life depended on it.
"Well piss on you... Chabs!" Prestiney lost patience with herself running after Miah.
"You're just bitter I got the Prophecy Coin," Miah responded in a humorous manner that brought a small smile to her face. Hiding behind Catherine.
"Who bloody care if you are the coin keeper, no one care!" scoffed Prestiney.
The conversation developed into the furious and vicious round of name-calling, which like picking at an old wound, was not without fulfillment. But as the insults fizzled out, a dull heaviness sets in.
When they'd notice that Catherine wasn't alone they suddenly stopped. Pristine gave a little squeak and hugged Catherine once more, clearly enjoying the sight of her human Friend, happy to welcome the guess as she led them inside.
"What the hell was that?" Sean asked in awed.
"Well, for the second there I thought your Fae friend was like Tinker Bell, but I'm wrong..so wrong," Nathan added in dismayed.
The Fae Warrior had no wings and neither were they small. Nathan thought they rather look like the Amazonian warrior, unlike the Hollywood version he'd expected and they were more humanlike but also had a natural sunny glow and neon-yellow hair the bright hue of a newborn petal. With a small smile on his face, he went to check the fae's modest abode or not so modest.
Once they were inside the house, Sean notices that every surface seemed to have a yellow honey-colored nostalgic shine, the little stairs shaping on the walls and the ten-foot ceiling, the pattern in the golden wood floor, and even the windows. It was gilded in Gold!
Sean tried not to gape at the luxury. It was no myth that Fae loved gold. They plastered it on everything they owned. His internal pondering was hindered by Catherine's voice, smooth and deep, "Wait here".
He pulled his attention away from the grandness to find Catherine smirking at him. He flushed with embarrassment. Maybe his wide-eyed stare hadn't been so reasonable. He then pulled and hustled himself.
He had been a millionaire, for heaven's sake. Certainly, a slight bit of--grandeur shouldn't turn him into an ogling fool.
Catherine disappeared into the room and shut the door behind her. The cousins stood in the vast living room, silent, none finding the need to make chitchat. After a few minutes, Catherine emerged "The food is ready."
In the kitchen, Cheena cracked open the homemade clay oven to survey her honey bread rolls. Sniffing deeply, she let the yeasty-rich fill her lungs.
"Why!... you always got to check those lovely rolls fifteen times a minute?" Asked Catherine glancing at the flavorful rolls. She nestled a large bowl in the crook of her arm as she slung the contents around with a wooden spoon.
"Hey old friend, you afraid somebody's going to steal 'em?"
"You wouldn't have to look so frequently if you knew how to read a sundial," Catherine said. Smiling and teasing.
"I don't need a sundial, one glance at the plump forms pulsing over the coals and I knew my rolls were ready to be eaten" She replied. using her yellow apron as a hot cloth, she pulled the pan from the oven and lowered it onto the cooling tray.
"Look a little raw if you ask me" Catherin grimaced playfully teasing her.
"Ha! I knew you were just jealous because I made the fairest bread and pastries in the Grassland."
"That, I agree" She replied scanning the goodness in front of her trying not to let her know how hungry she was.
As if Cheena hadn't known that, she had made different piping tasty porridges, teas, biscuits,s, and stews for her recent visitors as the morning coolness had set to warn them of the incoming battle.
Cheena never comprehended dying would be extraordinary. She hoped it didn't happen to her anytime soon; she wouldn't be able to afford it. Luckily her kind siblings had personally assured her not to worry about such a thing.
As they enjoy their breakfast, they discussed the upcoming war. The Second Grassland War.
"When the First Prophecy Coin has reached its 'Mark' in the Cold Mountain, the Fae of the South has seen to have attacked with the Fae of the North breaking the treaty," Cheena added, with a spoon in her hands oozing with deliciously looking sauce she'd been stewing in the kitchen.
"Alton Lothbrok the son of the Fae South Leader had seen to have broken the treaty and that action had made a motion to start the Grassland War all over again," Cheena exclaimed while everyone was enjoying their food.
Ten years back, The First Grassland War was fought between the Fae of the North and the Fae of the South as a result of border disputes and ambitious expansionism of both the belligerent parties. The war ended with the signing of the Treaty of the Coins. During the War, The Fae Warrior of the North fought to keep their land.
The three Fae sisters made a particularly notable contribution during the conflict, and indeed earned them Prophecy Coin Keeper Award and it was made to protect the prophecy coin from reaching into the wrong hands.
Cheena the eldest sister was like a mother to them, praises their achievements, she was a very sensitive and soft-hearted Fae that takes care of their well-being. An unmarried Fae who had inherited the position of head of the family, with all the tasks and rights associated with the position. She exercised all the rights afforded to as ahead.
After the battle, she was heralded for her ferocity. She was easily distinguishable from the male on the battlefield by her long flowing blond hair.
Miah on the other hand was a Famous Fae Warrior known from the Grassland War and has earned to be the Second Prophecy Coin Keeper, gifted in the spiritual realm of the afterlife. Her hair had bleached to a lighter shade of gold; not evenly, but in streaks, leaving warm caramels in-between against her honeyed skin.
She allegedly took up arms and armor and fought in a battle alongside men during the war without a single rest.
Her bravery earned her the nickname "Miah the Shield-Maiden of Grassland" as she was often seen with a shield and a sword wherever she goes. Her shield was her primary personal defense. It was built of planked wood, and cut in the shape of a circle. In the center was a rounded, convex piece of iron bolted to the front of the shield to repel the enemy's blows. The sword was both the favored weapon and treasured possession of a Miah.
Pristine was the youngest of the Fae Sister, Her frame was slight in an athletic way, not weak, just lean and muscular. and yet she was the smallest, the wittiest of them, with short brown hair and a slim body a strong Fae Warrior and a force to be reckoned with. She has always fought in the shield-wall alongside Miah. Although fate has pulled her apart from being the Coin Keeper, it seems that the gods must have a plan to bring them back together in the battle where they belong.
During the War the Fae of the North defended their land, losing many warriors. The sisters fought side by side and a strong bond had improved. Unlike the others, These legendary Fae Warrior marched onto the battlefield alongside their male.