“Then it was just ‘bang’ and everyone jumped!” Va’il and Mai’ou were sitting at the table eating supper, and Va’il was explaining everything he had seen when the king made his entrance.
“It exploded into a million pieces that shimmered different colors. There were fireworks of many sizes and colors. They were loud and exciting. My heart was beating so hard. You should have seen it. Why didn’t you Mum?”
“Even on Saturday, I work. Big day for me in business as well. I was selling to every hungry carnivore looking for a bite while watching the festivities. I may not have seen the celebrations myself, but I was celebrating in my own way. We’re going to be eating for a long time without problem thanks to Fidel,” Mai’ou said.
“You mean King Fidel. You can’t be casual with royalty Mum. Oh, and there were also flags. See mine? ‘Mai lo fa.’ What does that mean?” Va’il asked.
“‘Mai’ is day, ‘lo’ is king, ‘fa’ is forever. It’s a motto in old Fervish. It’s similar to ‘long live the king,’ but the exact meaning has been lost. I think it’s supposed to mean: The king of today will last forever,” Mai’ou explained, “but you should know all those words at least. Have you been paying attention in language?”
“Yes Mum, it’s next year that we start learning the old words. But, that meaning is strange. It’s impossible for the king of today to last forever. Isn’t that lying?”
“Va’il, this is different. It’s respectful even though it might seem strange. Many things are strange but done anyways when it comes to nobles. Even you knew that the king has to be addressed with a title. It’s like that.”
“Well, okay. But those words, they sound like names. Day is ‘mai’? So does that mean your name means something? What about mine?” Va’il asked, his eyes shining with anticipation and eagerness.
“Silly, you know you’re ‘va,’ meaning silver, ‘il,’ meaning together. Silver because of your hair, together because that’s what we will always be!”
“But what about you? Day? Day… what?” Va’il asked.
“Divine day is the meaning of my name. My father called me that because I was the last of his children, and the only girl. He had always wanted a girl. After four boys, he thought it was a divine day when I was born. Haven’t I told you before?” Mai’ou asked.
“Hmm, maybe I forgot. I’m not that old after all. Or I didn’t understand before. It happens from time to time, I think.”
“The books were true after all,” Mai’ou mumbled to herself. She didn’t expect Va’il to hear her.
“Books? What do you mean?”
“I… well no, I don’t have to hide it from you. You know you’re different from other children,” she said cautiously.
“Yeah, I’m a half. But I don’t mind, because I love you. But father, I won’t forgive,” Va’il said spitefully. Mai’ou was troubled for a moment, but decided to continue with what she was saying instead of talking about the emotional subject.
“Well, as a half you get traits from both species. Within a single species, your traits are normally a selective mix from both parents. With a half, there isn’t the same kind of easy mix, since we have entirely different traits from humans. Oh, and humans are the only ones who can have children with almost all the other species. They aren’t limited by family,” she said.
“Family? What’s that have to do with it?”
“Family type, like how both lionel and the felis are similar to each other in many ways. They can have halfs as well, but no lionel can have a child with a hare because they belong to different families. Humans are the only exception.”
“Why?” Va’il asked.
“I’m not sure, really. Humans are prideful, intelligent, and resourceful. They can do just about anything well on their own without needing to specialize, unlike some. The legends say that humans were the last of the sentient creatures to arise on our world of Fervi. As the last, they have a special status among all other creatures. We all have our different traits and specialties. The intelligence of the swine, the impulsive quickness of the hare, the extremely light body of the avian, the agility of the felis, and more, all are special features. Humans have nothing special in terms of physical features. In fact, they have many disadvantages compared to us. Strength, senses, and even lifespan, compared to a lupus. The humans noticed this, and were very troubled by it. They wanted something worthy of their special status. That special status is the power of all creatures, in a way. They can have children with most of the sentient creatures.”
“But how?” Va’il asked.
“Because that’s just how the world is, depending on if you want to believe and how you want to interpret each legend. This is all just that, legend. There are more outlandish legends that don’t follow the mainstream thought, like one about a single human fathering all the sentient creatures. There is nothing really concrete to prove what happened in the past. The who and the why are missing from history. There isn’t much written about halfs, because humans have always resented their ability. What has been written about halfs is that they have both advantages and disadvantages in all their traits. You’ve noticed one already: your hearing. It’s better than a human’s is, but in exchange, you sometimes won’t understand the words said to you. It’s supposed to be common among halfs that are from creatures with good hearing. Don’t worry, it shouldn’t happen often.”
“Oh, okay, I think I know now a few more times it has happened. This morning when Kelin woke me up, he said something to me that I couldn’t understand. I thought he said a name so I asked who. And then he yelled at me saying ‘your mom!’ Then I got him all flustered. He really likes you, Mum,” Va’il said with a laugh.
“Yes, I heard this morning. That boy, he is just so funny. Well, he is a lupus after all. We are known to grow up too fast and live too long. I’m still young, and in another few years he will be in the same age bracket as me. What do you think Va’il; do you want Kelin to end up being your new father?” She was teasing him, but Va’il’s mouth was hanging open in shock. “Your food is falling out.”
“No, no! Not Kelin! You’re joking, right? Please be joking!” he said.
“Well, it looks like Kelin and I both love teasing you. Of course not, silly child. Although, I think we would get along really well when playing jokes on you. Now, are you going to finish that?” Va’il breathed a sigh of relief at his mother’s words, and kept eating his supper. The day had been long, and their exchange had taken out the last of Va’il’s energy. Within a few minutes, he was too tired to get up from his chair. Mai’ou picked him up and carried him to his bed. He mumbled something about celebrations as she tucked him into the bed. She covered the candle-torch with a container to extinguish the light in the room. She closed Va’il’s door and went back to the kitchen to clean up their small mess.
She smiled as she cleaned the utensils. That boy, she thought, is just like his father. Rash and inquisitive at times, but still always happy and calming. She sighed at the thought of the boy’s father, and the problems he had caused by having a child with her.
“He won’t ever come back, will he? That man, ridiculous. At least he’s doing well. I’m sorry, your son hates you. You probably deserve it though.” She shook her head and finished the last of her washing. She then went to the window in her room.
Outside was a picturesque scene, the blue moon over the castle. Sendes was a large moon, and it made the entire castle glow with its blue light. Inside were people and things Mai’ou had no desire to see, but to look upon was another story. She and many others that night were staring in the direction of the castle, for one reason or another. Inside there was only one person who could see the king. The woman who had blue hair was on the minds of all the people. Who was she? Why did she leave her kingdom? Was she a gift to the king, known for being a man who loved beautiful women?
It was rumored that the king hadn’t had a tryst in a while, but rumors were never trustworthy. Even Mai’ou had heard of Aoi by the end of the day, but there wasn’t much to learn from baseless rumors. There wasn’t much worry of a scandal like with other politicians, but instead the people were hoping the king would at least have a child. There was no queen, no daughter, no son, no parents, or other relatives. The line of the kings was unbroken in the nation of Rising, not just out of tradition, but need. It wasn’t fully understood why, but everyone respected the white hair that belonged singly to the royal line. No insurrection in history had proven to work against the line of kings. Some were good, some were bad, but none ever truly ruined the nation beyond repair. Even in times of despair and ruin, King Fidel’s ancestors had proven that they could rebuild even from nothing. It might have also been another legend, but history told tales of absolute obedience to royal edicts written by the kings of Rising. Everything accumulated in a motto associated with the kings of Rising: The Right of the Ruler.