In which, Manon finds out she’s pregnant.
I hope you enjoy!
Word Count: 4469
Manon found out on a stormy day in a dirty farmhouse while searching out the last of the ilken that had managed to escape the war with Erawan a good twelve years ago. Twelve years of rebuilding countries, establishing borders, rekindling old alliances, and forming new ones.
With Wind Cleaver in one hand and her iron nails poised to strike on the other, Manon had paused when the ilken she had been hunting sniffed the air, those sunken dark eyes narrowing in recognition, and perhaps some deep-sense of regret. “You,” the monster had muttered, the killing intent being suppressed from a seemingly supernatural force, something above the darkness within it.
Manon had paused.
“You carry a witchling.”
The witch couldn’t know if the creature spoke truth, but the tone of voice, the posture the ilken had taken, the way it had lowered its unnatural claws. The storm outside pounded against the worn wooden boards, the thundering as heavy as the one echoing in Manon’s heart. Her hand trembled as the ilken tilted its head, the enlarged nostrils sniffing again.
“Yes,” it breathed, “your belly will begin to grow soon, perhaps already.”
The thud was soft in comparison to the sound outside, to the sound in Manon’s head. The white-haired witch stared at the beheaded corpse for an indefinite amount of time, water, dirt, and blood dripping from her flying leathers. Did the ilken speak the truth? Another question rose above that one. Why would it lie?
The witch swallowed back the flurry of inexplicable emotions coursing through her, morphing into the cool ice her sentinels were used too. “We’re done here,” she told Asterin as the blonde looked over her shoulder.
“The whole area is clear,” Manon was told, “we’re good to move on.”
The Queen nodded, cleaning Wing Cleaver on the old hay on the ground, before stepping toward the outside. “Hey.” Manon didn’t turn, but she felt Asterin near. “Is everything alright?”
Manon didn’t speak immediately, but she made no move to leave either. “The ilken spoke to me,” she admitted.
They both watched the rain. “What did it say?”
Manon shifted her blade, if only for something to do, something to tie her to this realm, to keep her grounded. “Do you believe their sense of smell to be as good as the Fae’s?”
She didn’t look at Asterin, couldn’t bare to see the possible realization on her beautiful, wild face. “In what sense?”
The Queen shook her head and though her Second knew she was hiding something, Asterin did not question. Soon they were both riding atop their wyverns and only when Manon was high up in the sky and sure none of her sentinels were watching…did she touch over the spot on her stomach.