CHAPTER FIVE HUNDRED and FIFTY-ONE
When he turned, a woman he’d never seen before was moving into the smithy. Ares was looking at the newcomer in the way a lion looks at a lamb ready for the slaughter. His clear delight at having a new human to destroy was written all over his face.
“Is there something I can do for you?” Nelson asked.
“Guy?” the woman asked, in heavily accented French. “You must be Guy because you look …”
“I go by Nelson,” he said. “Who are you?”
“I am your aunt,” the woman said. “Your father’s sister, Martine. Your aunt.”
Remembering that someone relative from the order was due in Denver, Nelson raised an eyebrow at her. He gauged her to be a few years older than his father. Her hair was cut short. She was a few inches shorter than Nelson but had a strong, wiry look. Her eyes were ice blue.
“What can I do for you?” Nelson asked.
He picked up the sword. She opened her mouth and then gasped.
“Is that?” Martine asked. “The ‘Fairy Princess.’”
Nelson looked down at the blade.
“And if it is?” Nelson asked.
“It’s … legendary,” Martine’s strong hand went to her chest. “I … It’s so beautiful. Incredible detailing. My god, the “Fairy Princess’ actually exists!”
As if she couldn’t stop herself, she reached out for the sword.
“Don’t touch!” Nelson said, quickly rotating the blade away from her.
Her hand brushed the hilt of the sword, and Nelson groaned.
Mari appeared. She was wearing her modern full fairy armor. She held a traditional long bow with an arrow ready and pointed at Martine’s head.
“You touched my sword,” Mari said.
Martine gasped and jumped back. Mari checked the room for intruders. When she got to him, Ares gave her a little wave. She shook her head at him and stashed her bow. She sneered at Martine and went to Nelson.
“Is this human bothering you?” Mari asked.
“She appears to be a relative,” Nelson said with a shrug.
Mari whipped a long curved blade from her belt.
“I’ll gut her for you,” Mari said.
“Whoa, Mari!” Nelson said. “Take it down a few notches.”
Mari mouthed the words and looked at him in confusion.
“We’ve talked about this,” Nelson said.
“Sorry, I forgot,” Mari said, and tucked the blade away.
She held her hand out.
“Princess Marigold of Queen Fand’s Queendom,” Mari said. “Isle of Man.”
“A fairy?” Martine gasped and stepped back.
“Oh now, you have to let me gut her,” Mari said.
Nelson tapped the blade against the table. A high pitched bell-like sound rang from the blade. Martine stopped moving. Ares started laughing hysterically. Mari looked at Nelson.
“I have no idea why she’s here,” Nelson said.
With her knife out, Mari walked around the woman.
“She wishes to kill you,” Mari said. “Some business about the ‘order.’ Why don’t you let me …?”
“No,” Nelson said.
“You are no fun,” Mari said.
“Says one who doesn’t every clean up her messes,” Nelson said.
Mari looked at little guilty but nodded.
Nelson pointed to Ares, and demanded, “Stop it.”
“The little fairy is hilarious,” Ares said.
Mari sniffed at the God. Nelson stopped the blade from ringing. Mari was putting her blade back when Martine took a breath.
“What just happened?” Martine said.
“Nothing,” Nelson said.
“You consort with fairies?” Martine asked.
Denver Cereal continues tomorrow…
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