Lewis wondered why he was on the grass when he woke up, he thought he was still in the freezing city park and had somehow managed to fall off his bench. He looked up and saw Gruth standing over him, narrowing his eyes.
"Get up, boy" Gruth nudged Lewis with his toe.
"Why?" Lewis grumbled.
"Sethrin wants to speak with you"
Gruth turned and started walking towards the forest nearby, Lewis stood up, stretched and then yawned- he looked up at the night sky and realised how unfamiliar it looked, when suddenly he noticed the Ruby Moon and he froze.
"What's that?" Lewis pointed to the red moon and Gruth looked back at him and then up at the Ruby Moon in a slightly impatient way "It's called the Ruby Moon, the title of the thing says it all, don't you think?"
For a few moments Lewis was transfixed with the glaring, red moon and he gazed at it, marvelling at its distinct beauty. Gruth became even more impatient
"Lewis, we need to go"
"Alright" Lewis glanced at the Ruby Moon once more and reluctantly started to follow Gruth to wherever he was going. "Where are we going anyway?" Lewis asked as he ran to catch up with Gruth.
Gruth sighed "Didn't I just tell you? We're going to see Sethrin"
"The leader of the Resistance, weren't you listening earlier!?" Gruth retorted, irritated. "You're going to be an embarrassment at this meeting, I can tell"
"Sorry, I forgot. If you hadn't noticed I've just found out about my family, who I am and believe it or not it is possible to slightly overlook one Diash name when that happens. Why don't you shut up and start paying me some respect!"
Gruth turned round and glared at him "Don't talk to me like that, half-breed"
"And you can stop calling me that too!" Lewis stepped forward until he was close to Gruth. "Surely if you want to fight the Ery then you don't want to take on their attitude as well. If you call me half-breed you're stooping to an Ery level...what do you want to do next, Gruth? Put me in a cage to shut me up, and then what?"
"SILENCE!" Gruth became infuriated, the echo reached the edge of the silent meadow "You have no clue, no idea what the Diash have been through, so don't you start accusing us of being like the Ery, when your impertinence and Ery stupidity is blocking your human view!"
Lewis remained silent at from this point, although he didn't particularly want to- they walked together, both burning with anger towards one another until they eventually reached a clearing in the middle of the woods.
The clearing was filled with about 10 more female and male Diash, each white skinned and staring towards their talking dark haired leader, although the leader's hair had some grey flecks in it. As soon as Gruth and Lewis arrived there was an instant hush and the leader turned round to face Gruth and Lewis.
"Hello" Sethrin stepped forward and stared at Lewis for a few moments. "I'm Sethrin- and you are Gruth I presume?"
Lewis frowned, perplexed "No, I'm Lewis...he's Gruth"
"Oh I know..." Seth paused and looked at Lewis for a few moments "I just thought that was your name too..." Seth looked over at a Diash with light brown hair "I thought Elizabeth called him Gruth..."
"So did I" the brown-haired Diash replied.
Seth looked back at Lewis and for a few moments all the Diash' eyes were on him, taking in every inch of his appearance.
"Sorry..." Seth told Lewis, a slight smile on his lips. "We haven't seen anything remotely human in these parts for 17 years; most of these Diash have never even seen a human..."
"Oh no, it's fine" Lewis smiled politely. "I'm just glad I don't look that much like an Ery"
Seth looked Lewis up and down again "Well you have the height, the hair of course, but your eyes..." Seth grinned. "You have eyes identical to Elizabeth's"
Lewis smiled back, deciding he liked the leader of the Resistance and Seth pointed to a log nearby for him and Gruth to sit on, Gruth sat down miserably, hoping that Lewis would be trained by someone like Bresh or Jasp although Jasp had children of his own; he hoped Seth wouldn't pick him.
"1000 years, brothers and sisters!" Seth walked to the middle of the circle. "1000 years of oppression, slavery and lack of freedom for our siblings in Thenra" There was a pause as Seth bowed his head "17 years ago on this day Ruan wreaked terrible vengeance on Thenra, and killed many of the slaves. We managed to save 15 from one town and 5 from the others, other slaves from the towns nearest the Ery civilians were mostly killed, their houses razed to the ground and the other slaves were beaten and tortured... all for a punishment aimed at us" Seth paused again, looking round at the admiring faces of his Resistance "Tonight, it ends. Tonight a half-pure creature comes to us and has agreed to help us fight against his half-brother!"
Suddenly everyone cheered and looked towards Lewis, who went bright-red at the attention and cringed slightly
"Tonight, we will see what his Ery magic is capable of!" Seth beckoned for Lewis to stand up and he stayed glued to the seat, suddenly terrified. Gruth kicked him in the shin
"Get up!" He hissed.
"But I haven't agreed to anything..."
"GET UP!" Gruth hissed louder and Lewis decided his decision had obviously been made for him, silence fell as he slowly and unsurely walked over to the middle of the circle where Seth stood, it must have been comical to the group to see a half-Ery towering over their leader.
Seth moved in closer and whispered "Have you ever made anything unexpected happen? Ever thought of something that instantly made your surroundings change somehow?"
"Erm..." Lewis faltered, he thought back to 13 years ago to when he was 4 years old. He was at his 6th foster house at that point and everything was going perfectly well, that was until he heard the tap dripping water nearby and he concentrated on it hard, wondering what it would be like to manipulate it, to make it rush through the house at his will. The next thing he knew the sink and the pipes throughout the house unexpectedly exploded and gallons of water rushed through the house and washed him and everything else out of it, he learnt to swim at the same time. "There was an issue with a house of mine when I somehow managed to flood it without physically doing anything..." Lewis chuckled at the memory and every Diash stared at him shocked.
"You're laughing at it? Was anyone hurt?" Sethrin asked, intrigued by Lewis' reaction.
Lewis shook his head, suddenly silent with fear of offence "No...just surprised that half the house was underwater..."
Sethrin calmed his expression and the other Diash did the same "Think of water again, Lewis. See what happens"
"I...I can't do it again, it was a fluke last time...a fluke...I can assure you there's no magic in my blood" Lewis smiled politely and started backing away from the middle of the circle, Gruth stood up and pushed him back
"Just try it, boy- you never know!" He told him sternly.
Lewis sighed and closed his eyes; he was very self-conscious standing in the middle of a circle of creatures he barely knew. He let his mind relax as he thought of the rhythmic tapping of the water hitting the metal sink, he thought about himself controlling it, making it have swift, graceful movements through the air towards where they were all sitting, just a few drops. Lewis opened his eyes, he heard a noise - he looked around to see where the loud rushing had come from and saw that all the Diash were climbing up trees nearby, Gruth grabbed him by the collar and pulled him up a tree. Lewis noticed what this sudden fuss was about; he heard the rush and then saw the humungous wave of water head right through the clearing over the fire and towards Seth, who was still standing there quite calmly.
"He's going to drown!" Lewis shouted over the roar of the magic water. "No seriously...he can't just stand there, he'll drown!"
Gruth put his finger to his lips and pointed at Seth, Seth stared at the water in a slightly defiant way and smiled, Lewis listened carefully as he shouted.
"Heretorney be ka aqumaie!" Inches before the water hit his face it froze and started to rapidly reverse, back through the clearing to the river it had come from, as soon as Sethrin had finished speaking the words Lewis felt something uncomfortably stir in his blood, he supposed it was adrenalin. Lewis stared in shock; he looked up at Gruth on the branch above him
"What did he say?" Lewis enquired, curiously.
"I'm not sure...I think he said something like, retrieve...no....return to the water or something. Unfortunately my ancient Diash isn't that good" Gruth replied, he looked down at Lewis' blank face "Ancient Diash is infected with magic, you need to say the right words with the right intonation at the right time- only a select few know them perfectly, like Sethrin for example"
The Diash and Lewis climbed down and Seth walked over to Lewis smiling a bluish-grin "Your magic is powerful for a half-breed's, Lewis, for someone who should only have half the magic"
"Why should that help against the Ery though?" Lewis asked.
"Ery magic is aggressive; they don't have much defence magic. Most Ancient Diash words are laced with defensive magic which is good if you are facing one Ery knight, but not good if you are facing a whole army of them. The Ery have never been attacked before, if we have your brand of destructive magic we have a chance against them- do you understand?"
Lewis nodded "I think so"
After a while of people congratulating Lewis on his use of Ery magic they all left.
"Is the meeting over?" Lewis asked.
"Well, wouldn't you say it's made clear by the sight of people leaving?" Gruth replied sarcastically.
They started to leave the clearing, but Seth stopped them "Gruth!" He called. Gruth sighed exasperatedly and walked over to his leader
"Your job is to teach Lewis to control his magic better...I don't think it would work if Lewis uses all his energy on large pieces of magic at a time"
Gruth narrowed his eyes at Sethrin "But...I'm not an Ery, I don't know how the magic works- how will I teach him if I don't know?"
"You will find a way: undercover work in Thenra might be a good idea." Seth assured him. "Lewis is patient and wise like a human, he will learn"
Gruth got frustrated then "All I've seen of him so far is the Ery fury and constant annoying stupidity the Ery knights have. Although you say he has his mother's eyes he definitely does not have his mother's heart...and that is a fact!" Gruth shot Lewis a cold, dark look and stormed out of the clearing. Lewis looked after him, angry then suddenly he became sad and sat down on a log nearby, he sighed.
"Gruth really doesn't like me, does he?"
Sethrin and a blonde, quiet, handsome Diash from the meeting sat down nearby and offered him some food. He was, besides Vita the best-looking Diash out of all the ones Lewis had seen yet, apart from the distinct blue line down his white face. Lewis instantly envied his handsomeness as he surveyed him.
"It's not your fault, Lewis. It's the fact he's angry at himself, angry at himself for losing Elizabeth" Seth reassured him.
"Why should he be?" Lewis asked, confused.
Seth paused for a few moments "I'm not sure whether I should be telling you this but...but, Gruth and your mother were falling in love when she died"
Lewis looked up at him taken-aback "Oh" He simply said.
"It's not only that either. When Gruth was 9 and Vita was an infant, Warrain - an evil Ery knight - broke into their house and killed both of their parents. Warrain and his son made him watch his parents die, horrifically - then they started to burn the house around their heads. Gruth grabbed Vita and escaped to Kalemoors, where a young Roduri baby-sitter called Amora found them a house. Vita never knew her parents, and as a result would jump in to the heart of the Caves of the Undead for Gruth. Gruth somehow thought it was his fault that his parents died and although he tends to overlook it, he's done well in bringing Vita up. Once he'd settled into Kalemoors he was moderately happy, until the day Elizabeth's soul was imprinted and he's been cold and angry ever since. But believe me, Gruth will like you in time - I suppose it's the fact you have her eyes, and every time he looks at them he's reminded of the last time he saw Elizabeth, when he searched for her in the darkest bits of the void between Earth and Beory" Seth shook his head "Cold, lifeless, blue eyes..."
Lewis paused for a few moments, trying to understand "Why did Warrain destroy Gruth's parents?" He asked.
"They did that frequently when Ruan was on the throne, not because he ordered them to do it, just because they knew he wouldn't stop them. It was even worse after we rescued you and Elizabeth; the houses were burnt with tiny Dian still inside, the children of our race..." Seth looked at the blonde, quiet Diash and smiled.
"Although, if that hadn't had happened I wouldn't have gained a son. Lewis...this is Bresh, I rescued him, unconscious from the burning rubble of his mother's house"
"I still have the scar from an Ery blade" Bresh added, and pointed to the long blue ragged line down his face, it contrasted with his white skin. "I was 13 at the time..." Bresh suddenly quietened and looked at the floor, his face pained slightly.
Seth patted him on the shoulder sadly, and there were a few moments of utter silence, apart from the odd howl from the east.
"You can hear the Quopes hunting on the edge of the Eternal Forest, calling to each other..." Bresh muttered, breaking the silence.
Lewis listened "They're wolves?"
Seth stood up and so did Bresh "Wolves? What are wolves?" he asked.
"Carnivorous creatures on Earth" Lewis replied. "You know...predators" Bresh and Seth's expressions went blank, "They're like the Ery, but less evil...they follow their instinct rather than their thirst for power"
Seth nodded and beckoned for Lewis to walk out of the clearing "Come on, we'll walk you back to Gruth's" he smiled in a friendly way and the three of them started walking together.
Lewis liked this silence, it was a comfortable silence with the other Diash, rather than an awkward silence followed by a sarcastic, slightly irritated insult towards the fact he was half-human. Lewis decided to think of Vita instead, there was something different about her to other girls. At school, he had never had an interest in them. Vita was beautiful though, not classically humanly beautiful, but gorgeous in a diverse way. Lewis shrugged to himself trying to forget his feelings for the moment.
"How old is Vita?" Lewis asked. To his surprise, Bresh turned round and answered him suddenly
"Oh" Lewis suddenly surprised himself by feeling disappointed, she was too old, too mature to ever be with him. What was he worth anyway? He would probably always be alone, especially now when he was the only one of his kind on both planets.
"Why?" Bresh asked, sounding slightly suspicious.
"Oh...no reason" Lewis had always been a terrible liar, but although Bresh raised his eyebrows even more suspiciously, he stopped pursuing the matter, much to Lewis' relief, he really didn't need Vita knowing he had a crush on her - not after he'd only known her for a day.
Lewis walked into the house and Vita ran forward and hugged him "How was the meeting?" She asked warmly and grinned.
Lewis was momentarily stunned by this rush of affection "Uhm..." he faltered, still seeing the glow of Vita's bluish grin every time he blinked.
Gruth was sitting at the kitchen table "He did some magic, we have to train him...Seth was acting arrogant as usual"
"How's Bresh?" Vita asked casually "Does he still want to marry me?" She walked away from Lewis and went to do the washing up, Lewis felt a rush of adrenaline as he remembered Bresh' suspicious face.
"Probably, he was acting as he always did, humble and silent. Look, Vita - why don't you marry him, he's 30 years old and still healthy..."
"But I don't love him" Vita replied sharply, shooting Gruth a warning look.
"But you're 28!" Gruth replied. "You should have got married traditionally at the age of 17"
Vita turned round and stared at him with annoyance "Did you?"
Gruth sighed as though he had had this conversation a million times "At the age of 17 there was no one that I wanted to marry"
Vita scoffed, but suddenly stopped talking as she noticed that Lewis was still in the room "Oh, sorry Lewis you must be tired"
Lewis yawned and shook his head "No, I'm fine"
Vita chuckled and shook her head doubtingly "I'll make up your bed" she glanced at him once more before walking out of the room.
Lewis sat down at the kitchen table and tried to muster a casual tone "So...Vita's going to marry Bresh, huh?"
Gruth looked up at him with distrustful eyes "Well, he's her best friend and he loves her. Why?"
"But will she marry him?" Lewis raised his eyebrows, his heart thumping as he tried to sound normal.
"Probably not...she's stubborn enough not to. Why are you asking me this?"
Lewis looked down at the table and went red "No reason" he said quickly.
Gruth surveyed him some more and then quietly replied "Elizabeth did that when she was embarrassed, too"
Lewis glanced up at him, nervously and then looked away again, Gruth had a slightly triumphant smile on his lips "We begin training early tomorrow, Lewis. Please try hard to do what I say won't you? You don't want to end up dead before the battles have even started..."
"I'll listen" Lewis shrugged, still not missing the worryingly smug grin Gruth was shooting him.
Suddenly Vita walked in again and Gruth stared at Lewis, watching him. Lewis went red again and Gruth grinned triumphantly and chuckled.
"What are you laughing at, Gruth?" Vita asked, oblivious to Lewis' embarrassment.
Lewis looked at Gruth apprehensively, almost pleading with him "Oh nothing" Gruth lied, breaking eye contact with Lewis.
Lewis nodded to him and stood up, Vita pointed to his bedroom chattering happily
"We've always had a spare room but we've only ever let Bresh sleep in it. It can be your room now, Lewis" She grinned.
Lewis smiled back and looked at his new room, he liked it better than the old ones, although the room was small and it was made of wood like the rest of the house he still seemed to feel more at home there than at any other foster home he'd been in.
"Sleep well, Lewis" Vita grinned at him and pulled him in for another hug. Lewis stood there, towering over her for a few seconds as she hugged him, and then he hugged her back. He'd never hugged anyone before.
"Goodnight" He whispered quietly as Vita left. Lewis shook his head and looked at his bed, he took his t-shirt off and threw it in the corner of his new room before jumping onto the bed and letting his head collapse onto the pillow. It had been a very strange day - it occurred to Lewis that he was talking a lot more on Beory than he had done on Earth. He had also found out about his family, no matter how evil and twisted his dad and brother was. Lewis looked up at the wooden ceiling for a while, pondering and wondering as he drifted off into a deep sleep.