Chapter 4: Nawe

Peace in a dark world is not even worth thinking about as an imaginary ideal in a fantastical perfect utopia. Peace, given any thought, will grow from a small kernel of light to a glimmer of hope to a full blown dream. To be an idealist in a dark world is dangerous. You upset the wrong people with your hope, you die. You think all are peaceful, you die. You defy norms and to promote peace become a pacifist and do not fight, you die. Do not become an idealist in a dark world.

She ran. She could hear the shadow following her, so she sped up to full speed. It didn‘t take long until she believed herself free from her pursuer. She ducked into a familiar doorway. It was unlocked as usual and she thanked the owner of the house silently. He was a kindly old Arbe Chimera who tended to help those less fortunate than himself. His house was a sanctuary.

She climbed the house to its sixth floor where she knocked on a door. The kindly old Chimera opened the door letting her in. She entered and collapsed in relief.

“Hello Nawe“, she greeted with cheer she didn‘t feel. He didn‘t indicate offence, merely turned to go rummage in his things coming back with a small piece of bread. He handed it to her with silence. She gave him a grateful glance before consuming the bread rapidly. Nawe watched her eat.

Arbe had the fur and ears of bears, their eyes round and dark. The features were quite human with the exception of the nose. They did not have manes like the Atnan, but had finer fur many of them tended to style like humans do with their hair. Arbe had wings similar to the Atnan and had no tails.

Nawe was white from his clawed feet to the tips of his wings. He had red only on the tips of his ears. Even Nawe’s eyes were light grey instead of black or brown as was more common. He was a descendant of the Abyad of Arbe (abyad = white) , the only one of the Thnashar. They were rare and thought to be extinct as Nawe kept away view and was only known by those who knew of the sanctuary.

Trust was a rare commodity the most valuable of all.

Alktyra finished and then stretched her wings and other extremities languidly like a cat animal on a hot afternoon on the savannah. Nawe saw this and gestured for her to follow. She understood his silent request and followed him through dingy corridors into a room made to resemble a den with synthetic furs strewn across the floor. Some were gathered into nest-like piles.

The room was occupied. Alktyra could see a wing cover a form in one of the far corners of the vast bedroom. It was sleeping. Alktyra glanced at the Arbe next to her inquiringly. He simply shook his head. A tired one.

There was one nest sequestered from the others, a pile of antique furs made of the real animals that the Chimera descended from.

These were treasures of the Alwa (rulers) of the Chimera, sacred pieces of heritage that no one with any sense would touch. The Fahaqia they were called, thought to be holy, only to be touched by the Naqy of Atnan and the Alwa, believed to curse anybody else who dared. They were one of the last marks of respect left. The Fahaqia were priceless.

As Alktyra sunk into the furs, their familiar scent enveloped her into dreams of a happy childhood. They were the last ones that helped her remember her parents as if their very beings were infused into the furs. Sleeping in them she would see memories from her own life, but also of the Alwa before, all the way to Alwara’a Thania and Alwakarh Alwal, as if the fur contained them like a supernatural vessel. It could have been her own imagination bringing the stories she had been taught of her ancestors to life. Either way, they were comforting and helped her to keep the will to live.

*****

When Alktyra woke, she was more rested than she had been in a while. Well, since she had last visited Nawe’s sanctuary. This time she wast the only one in the room.

She wandered to Nawe’s main room only to find the other Chimera devouring a rare strip of juicy meat. He glanced up quickly when he heard her enter only to return his full focus on the meat. Alktyra’s stomach grumbled.

As if equipped with a sixth sense, Nawe appeared carrying a tray full of delicious foods. Alktyra had not seen such a luxurious sight since well before the death of her mother and father.

“Nawe, where did you get all of this?!” she questioned with amazement. The Arbe shrugged nonchalantly setting the tray down and indicating it was free to take some. She did not hesitate, neither did the other Chimera.

Her immediate needs being satisfied, Alktyra had time to observe the Chimera. She had never seen one like him. She was surprised to find that his scales were silver with a polished shine. He had a magnificent mane of a similar silver sheen. His wings were gradient, beginning in an almost black grey and brightening to the tips into a pure white. His eyes were a most unusual blue. His claws gleamed with sharpness and good care. He wore black pants and a black vest both which were notably not old and ragged, unlike her own attire. He was most clearly a high-born Atnan.

Alktyra finished her food and sent a look of burning questions to Nawe who nodded and got up. Follow me. She did, leaving the stranger in the room alone.

“Who is he?” she asked as soon as she thought they were alone enough. Nawe sighed heavily and looked away. He then broke his silence.

“He is Alqamar an’Asrar.”

“Why is this significant?” she wondered as Nawe only ever had broken his silence once before in her presence during their long acquaintanceship.

“He is here to kill you”, Nawe revealed.

“What?!” Alktyra exclaimed. Nawe refused to meet her eyes seemingly ashamed as the truth of what he had said dawned on her and she saw the door open to reveal the Chimera, Alqamar, smirking at her.

Trust is a rare commodity the most valuable of all. To be an idealist in a dark world is dangerous. You promote peace and do not fight, you die. There are very few who will voluntarily die when threatened.

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