Summary: Edgar gets more than he bargains for when he gives Rydia her birthday present: an old lamp with an ancient eidolon inside. Diablos/Rydia/Edgar; warnings posted per chapter
It was an old, dusty thing, covered with tarnish and what looked to be rust. Rydia stared at it, the dull surface making the color of her hair seem dirty in her distorted reflection. She took a small breath, blowing away some dust with a gentle puff of wind. The tiny particles invaded her nostrils, making her sneeze. A white handkerchief was dangled over her petite shoulder, offered by her attentive husband. She took it, looking back briefly to smile at the blonde, then wiped her nose with one swipe of the cloth.
There was a bit of spittle on the lamp from her sneeze, so she took a few seconds to wipe it off, rubbing the antique lamp carefully. It wasn’t like anything she’d ever seen before. It was shaped like a small teapot with a longer spout. She shook it, but heard nothing clattering around inside. It was empty. After removing the lid to peek into the interior darkness, she replaced the top, then looked back at her husband expectantly. “What is it, exactly?” she asked.
“It’s a lamp,” the handsome king responded with a grin.
She blinked, alternating her gaze between him and the lamp. It didn’t seem all that extraordinary. “…Oh.”
Seeing her disappointment, Edgar’s grin widened slightly as he leaned down to whisper in her ear. “Legend says there’s an eidolon trapped inside.”
The Queen’s green eyes sparkled with excitement. “Really!?” She could feel her magical senses tingling as she held the lamp in her hands. She was a little sorry she’d shaken it. She hoped that whatever it was wouldn’t be miffed when she finally got it out of there.
“How do I get it out?” she wanted to know.
Edgar chuckled, running his fingers through her curls. She was gorgeous when she was happy, and he hadn’t seen her happy in a long time.
“I’ll give you the spell,” he promised, his Prussian blue eyes twinkling with mirth, “but you have to do something for me first.”
She frowned at him. “Edgar, no.”
“What?” he said with mock innocence. “I was just going to ask you to dance.”
“There’s no music,” she reminded him with a bit of a glare.
He smiled again, this time a bit more devilishly. “We can make our own.”
Several hours and one hickey later, Rydia found herself alone with her new present and a scroll that had been given to her by her husband. The words were in the language of Espers and eidolons, and so only a mage could read it. She could feel her stomach fluttering with anticipation. She hadn’t seen another eidolon in so long, and to potentially unlock an ancient one was the most exciting thing she could think of at the moment. She wondered what type it was, and what magical powers it had.
There was no doubt in her mind that the legend was real. In this world legends were reality, especially magical legends. There were so many adventures to be had if you had a mage and you knew where to look. Edgar and Sabin were lucky enough to have married women with magical powers, so they had all kinds of magical adventures waiting for them. Rydia never thought about circumstances were she didn’t use her magical prowess to liven up their lives – or save them.
But none of that was on her mind right now. All she could think about was unleashing the legendary eidolon from the tarnished old prison she held in her hand. She sat it down on the floor in front of her and took a few steps back just in case it was bigger than she anticipated. Then she started reading aloud off of the scroll that was given to her.
It was the longest spell she’d ever read. Some of the words were so old she stumbled over trying to pronounce them, but the magic wasn’t affected by her inability to read words that hadn’t been used in thousands of years. As she read the lamp turned black. It shook, trembling from the power she was pouring into it. It rattled around, lifting itself into the air as smoke began to pour out of it. It was thick, black and bordered with magenta lighting. Every sentence made it thicker, blacker and denser. The black mage was finding it hard to breathe, let alone read the words off the scroll to finish the spell.
Still, she persisted. She would not allow herself to quit now that she was so close to finishing. The last few words were strangled out, barely audible. Her green eyes were watering, her lungs burning, rebelling against the lack of oxygen in the room. Her last thoughts were that she should have performed the spell outside. If she weren’t so worried about privacy, she would have done just that.
F R O M • C H I L D H O O D ‘ S • H O U R
It felt good to stretch his wings. His black skin ached as it spanned the length of his muscles. His tail unfurled, nearly touching the ground with its pointed tip. He hovered for a moment as he took in his surroundings. He couldn’t see anything but smoke and stone. The smoke would clear as the magic faded, and the stone seemed solid enough. He placed himself on the floor, the cool, hard surface sending shivers up his thick, monstrous calves.
One step forward found him kicking something soft. He grunted, sniffing as he bent down to see what he’d run into. All he could see at first was black and green, making him snort through his large nostrils. He would have mistaken it for fabric but as he picked it up to move it out of the way he realized it was human. He pressed his nose to the cloth surrounding her, snorting at the familiarity of the smell. “Mage,” he grumbled. A female mage, in fact. She must have been the one that freed him.
He couldn’t risk revealing himself to anyone else. His appearance wasn’t exactly welcoming. He wished he could find a mirror to see how long his horns had gotten. He knew his claws needed to be trimmed. He was a demon, after all. And he would be anything his new mistress would wake up screaming.
“Need to put instructions on the lamp,” he muttered, looking around for somewhere to place the girl. “Only use my lamp in open spaces.” The smoke was clearing, but too slow for his liking. He shuffled around the room, his claws scraping the wall, trying to locate a window to open. He finally found one. Shifting the girl into one arm he unlocked the window and opened it.
He kept her near the window so that she could get clean oxygen into her lungs. He wanted to make sure that she was OK. The last time he was freed like this the mage that freed him suffocated, and he was blamed for his death. He hadn’t been out for hundreds of years. He wondered what the world was like now. Probably not quite as understanding as he would like. Even his own people weren’t empathetic towards his situation.
He caught his reflection in the glass of the window. His horns were longer than he wanted them to be. His teeth were feral and sharp, his skin shiny and black, like well polished leather. His muscles were stiff, but hadn’t suffered in his state of hibernation. They were highlighted by a ghoulish magenta color that transitioned into black in the creepiest gradient imaginable. He was still as fear-inspiring as he remembered.
Not that staring into his reflection made him feel better, but he had nothing else to do. Outside he could see nothing but sand and some guards. At the sight of other humans he ducked his head back inside so that he wouldn’t be seen. It felt good to breathe fresh air and be free but he wasn’t expecting his freedom to last for longer than a few minutes. He was cursed.
The little limp creature in his arm started to stir. He looked down at her, snorting as he started to notice how ridiculously sweet she smelled. She was a young human, no older than 21. A fledgling really. “Figures,” he grumbled, watching her moan. “I’m saddled with a child.”
She was sun-kissed and green, warm and petite. She had the most vibrant green eyes he’d ever seen in his life. He’d never seen that shade before either. As she opened them and stared into his demonic yellow orbs he braced himself for her ear-peircing screech.
It never came.
“You’ve got horns,” she noticed, attempting to sit up. “Like Ifrit.”
Ifrit? He narrowed his eyes at her. “How do you know that name?” he demanded of her.
She didn’t seem rattled by his change in mood either. Or with him. She looked him over carefully, then asked to be put down. He did so as carefully as he could, reminding himself that humans were especially fragile. He didn’t want to break her and ruin his chances at freedom, however brief it was.
“He’s one of my eidolons,” she announced. “Like Shiva and the Sylph.”
“You’re…a summoner.” He growled, pleased, his tail trailing back and forth across the floor.
Her bright eyes got even wider. “You know summoners?”
“When I was but your age I was imprisoned by one,” he snorted.
“Why?” she wanted to know.
“For a crime I committed,” was his response.
“You are curious,” he noticed. He tried not to show how pleased he was, but he could feel his tongue twitching in his mouth, aching to lick his leathery lips. Perhaps he could manipulate her into letting him stay out a little longer.