When Vohne woke up, Cibelle had already left the warmth of their night-nest. Rubbing his palm over his eyelids, chasing the last remnant of sleepiness away, he wondered how he could have not noticed her getting out of bed.
From the bedroom, he could hear a constant murmur, coming from the kitchen. Listening closer, he couldn’t understand what was being said, but it seemed like Claudius was lecturing Cibelle. Or simply talking to himself, since he couldn’t hear his better half adding anything to the monologue.
Walking to the door, Vohne paused and peeked out of the room. Claudius was sitting at the table, his speech paced with the almost rhytmic ballet of his spoon, waltzing from the oatmeal bowl in front of him, to his wrinkled lips. Cibelle sat in front of him, her breakfast still untouched, visibly drinking the words of the elderly man. Something about the scene made Vohne uneasy.
Somehow, even this close, he couldn’t understand what Claudius was saying. The man’s voice was clear and loud, but the words, though somewhat familiar, made no sense. What mysterious tongue was he speaking, that Cibelle seemed to understand? Since when did she speak an ancient language? And why hadn’t she told him before?
Vohne pushed the door open, and walked into the kitchen.
Although Cibelle looked kind of guilty, all he could see in the old man’s gaze was a certain annoyance. His look went from him back to Cibelle, he added a couple of sentences, that only they understood, and went quiet, giving his full attention to his oatmeal bowl.
Cibelle stood up, and nervously prepared her Lover’s breakfast. The heavy silence in the room worried Vohne, but he couldn’t speak a word.
The three of them ate quietly.
Before he could even ask what was going on, Claudius stood up and asked Vohne to follow him outside. The old man picked his walking stick as he passed the front door, and led the young man toward the forest.
Although he could easily outrun Claudius, or have the upper hand if they ever fought, he suddenly felt intimidated by the old man walking in front of him. Vohne couldn’t tell what scared him, besides the conversation he had caught them in the midddle of.
He and Cibelle had had their share of struggles, but they had always lived a peaceful, simple life together. That was about to end, he just knew it. Just like back in the house, he wanted to ask Claudius what had just happened, but his lips seemed sealed. He just watched the old man’s steps along the trail and noticed how flowers blossomed and turned his way as he passed them by.
When he finally halted, and faced Vohne, something in his face had changed.
My presence here is not fortuitous, Vohne.
The words resonated in Vohne’s head, and he felt an urge to run back to Cibelle. But his body was numbed. Paralized from head to toes. Distress taking over, obviously facing a man far more powerful than he could have imagined, he tried sending the thought to Cibelle, that she needed to leave home right away and save herself.
Don’t be silly, young friend! I will not harm Cibelle, nor will I harm you. I came here, on behalf of the Elders, to help you two. I already told her, and now I need your blind trust. I have to take her with me to prepare her… And you will not stand in my way. Please, make this easier for the three of us. Don’t force me to deprive you from a goodbye kiss.
“Help us”, “take Cibelle away”, “prepare her”?? What was this all about? Suddenly, he understood. He had known it, but he wanted it to be just a whim. So hard. It couldn’t be, it shouldn’t be… They didn’t need this!
Cibelle was The One.
Claudius smirked, obviously still reading everyone of Vohne’s thoughts.
To read the previous episodes of Cibelle & Vohne’s adventures, click here.