After days of walking through the forest listening to his brother’s constant babbling complaints Crimson had had enough. “How hard do you think it will be if once we get to the next village if I publicly sell you off to the first wiling person that wants you?” He growled as he rounded on Nico. “Do you ever shut up?”
“It’s not my fault if these people are be leading us to our deaths,” Nico pouted a hurt look filled his eyes and Crimson knew it was because he’d never really ever yelled at Nico before.
Sighing Crimson took a deep breath. “They’re not trying to get us killed, Vayne and Arron are searching for their mate. Dominic was ordered to follow and help. He’s my mate, so where he goes, I’ll go.” Touching his brother’s arm he continued. “You can go back home if you want, I won’t force you to come with us. Dad’s the one who believes we’ll find your destiny along our travels.”
Nico did a whole body shiver before answering. “I can’t go by myself. Dad told you that I had to follow you.” He pointed to where Vayne, Arron and Dominic had stopped and were watching them. “If they were really interested in finding their Simian, then you think they would at least be heading in the right direction. Instead they’re just wandering around and getting us all lost, or worse, eaten by the Grimmask people. Can’t we just tell them which direction to go?”
“We’re going the right way.” Arron said menacingly as he strode towards them. “How is it you two always think you know everything? What makes you both so sure we’re headed in the wrong direction?”
Crimson stepped between his brother and the angered warrior. He felt Nico’s hands trembling as he held Crimson’s waist. Right now he didn’t know whether the trembling was caused by fright or anger. Knowing Nico the latter would be the right guess. His suspicion was confirmed when his brother stepped around him and stood toe to toe with Arron. Their size difference was almost laughable.
“I know all this because I’m not an idiot. Any fool knows where Tondran is taking Simian—if he believes Simian is the final great one Tondran wouldn’t have headed in this direction.” He gestured wildly in the direction they had been heading.
“If you are so smart then what direction would he have taken?”
Everyone watched and Crimson realised it was his turn to perform. He closed his eyes and turned in a circle, his arm held out in front of him. “Tondran went there. He’ll be taking the great one to monument of Mount Varnuse.”
Crimsons eyes flew open as Vayne snorted.
“Little one, Mount Varnuse is this way.” He pointed back in the direction they had originally been moving.
“Yes, Mount Varnuse is that way, but the monument isn’t actually at the base of the mountain. It was moved eons ago to Scarsian. It lies beneath the ruins of the original castle of our first kings.
What are you talking about, love? The castle of our kings is in the High City of Panthea—where King Quinlan now lives.” Dominic said as he stepped up beside Arron.
Crimson glared and slammed his hands down onto his hips in frustration. “I swear to the great ones that you people are as dumb as rocks. Did any of you even open the books you had in the years of learning? Everything I have been telling you is written down. It’s part of our histories.”
When it looked like no one—except for maybe Nico—knew what the hell he was talking about he started again slowly. Trying not to let his frustration get the better of him.
“In the age of the great ones; at the beginning of all known time, our king—Scarsian Varnuse Degart I, built his castle, it was near the small village that was of course named after the king himself. So if Tondran really knows just who he has in his hands he’ll be heading for the alter of Scarsian.”
When Arron turned towards Nico and spoke it made crimson see red. “Is he always like this? Does he believe the crap that’s coming out of his mouth?”
Crimson snapped slamming both palms into the centre of Arron’s chest, not that it even caused him to stumble. “Now you listen to me you big bone-head,” he fumed, “I along with my brother may complain a lot about walking through this damn forest. But do not—and I mean don’t ever—tell me I don’t know what I’m talking about when it comes into our histories. It’s something that’s been drummed into my head since I was a nestling. I know all of this because our grandmother believed in remembering where we all came from. Our ancestors, and our histories are important.”
Nico finally spoke. “Crim is right, Grandmother taught us everything. What he isn’t telling you is that Grandmother made Crim in particular learn everything to memory. She believed he was destined to be what our people would have once called The Queran—the mate of the first bird shifter’s descendant.”
“The who?” Arron sneered. Ï thought he was mated to Dominic. Are you telling me Dominic is a shifter?”
“No I’m not saying that at all. If Simian is a great one and he has two mates then is it not possible that Crim and Dominic also have another mate out there? Somewhere out there is the one person who’s a direct descended from Jaradeen Aarondyte. It’s said this descendent is the only one of all bird shifters who can take the form we were first gifted with. He’s the only one among us who can take the form of a crow.” Nico answered.
Crimson snorted. “It’s never going to happen because as much as I believe in the histories, I think that our bloodlines are too polluted for there to truly be a pure descendent. I honestly don’t need anyone other than Dominic.”
“What makes you so sure? Not that I’m saying I want to share you either.” Dominic asked.
Crimson blushed, “I believe if there was a true descendent still living, then I would feel them here.” He placed his hand over his aching heart. “If he’s our mate then you would feel it to.”
Thinking about the mate he would never have if his grandmother was right, hurt like a bitch. It was honestly better to focus on what he did have and not wish for more.