calm sea during golden hour



Vienna runs into a rather charming half human-half Siren being, befriends him, and finds information about Elliot she'd rather not know...


dihaan k

8/20/20235 min read

Damn, what was this?

He seemed to be a Siren, but looked vaguely human? Pale white skin, vantablack wavy hair, and striking emerald irises…the boy had irises?! A killer fit, navy cape, pressed slacks and black dress shirt with boots. A Blue Badge was pinned to his front, slightly wayward.

He lowered his arm with the bow in hand, brows narrowing in bewilderment and shock. The arrow in the other hand dropped to the grass and he shook his head disbelievingly.

“Miss…Vienna Alcestis?”

“A dead person, if you were more accurate!” Vienna snapped, scared out of her wits, plucking the arrow from the tree. It was razor-sharp, tree sap oozed from the crevice it had made in the truck of the plant. She didn’t mean to snap, but the sudden fright had made her quite touchy.

“I’m dreadfully sorry, Miss!” The Siren said, bowing swiftly. Vienna thought he was just showing respect (her being inter-dimensional and all), but his fingers groped around on the grass to pick up his arrow, his eyes seemingly still lowered. The cheek! Not that she thought she should deserve utmost respect, it was rather hilarious how he showed her one thing and did another.

Vienna laughed before she could stop herself.

“Your arrow’s on your left, not your right.” Vienna said, grinning.

The guard looked up quickly, having located his arrow and jammed it in his pocket. “I really didn’t mean to shoot you. I thought you were an intruder… and Doyenne’s really touchy about her vineyard.” He shook his head, rolling his eyes.

“Nah, it’s alright.” Vienna said. “Vienna Alcestis. Uh…inter-dimensional guest. Here to save Niflheim.”

“Dimitri Alexei. Blue Badge.” The Guard said, extending his hand.

Vienna shook it and raised an eyebrow. “If you’re a Blue Badge you’re not supposed to be out in the Vineyards. You’re supposed to be guarding the Royals?”

“Well, that was my job initially. I’m supposed to be guarding Prince Elliot- you know, brunette angsty guy with the good looks?” Dimitri rolled his eyes again and Vienna couldn’t help laughing. That sounded so much like Elliot. “Yeah, that guy, he told me he didn’t need security. A bit cocky, if you ask me.”

“Yeah, I know the Prince. That sounds a lot like him.” Vienna said.

“You aren’t going to snitch, are you?” Dimitri asked, leaning against a tree. “That would probably get me fired. Or thrown out. I’m already an anomaly here.”

“About that…” Vienna said hesitatingly. “You’re not a human, are you? Or a Siren?”

Dimitri grinned, or rather, bared his (fangs???). “Always comes down to this. Yeah, you know the Parcae, right? Decima, Morta, Nona? Decima’s my older step-sister. Our Syndicate married a human woman and I’m her son. He came to Niflheim though, before dying. I never knew him much and neither did Decima- weird sort of fellow. My mother raised me for a couple of years but I came back to Niflheim eventually- when Decima found out about me. Always come back to our roots, eh?”

“That’s intriguing.” Vienna said. She had come to the vineyards for a bit of alone time, but conversation with Dimitri was quite entertaining.

“Yeah, totally gets me millions of friends.” Dimitri said sarcastically. “I’m the guy people tell you to keep away from. There aren’t any mixed Siren-Humans in Niflheim, don’t you know.”

“Well, you can count me as a friend.” Vienna said, pityingly. Dimitri was just like her little brother- in the case that none of them had any friends. “And I have a few people I can introduce you to.”

“Oh?” Dimitri raised his eyebrows, standing up straight and grinning. “That’d be quite nice. And thanks for the talk, miss Vienna.”

Vienna smiled. “Call me Vienna.”

Dimitri grinned, popped off a salute, and with a whoosh, he was gone.

What a character, thought Vienna. Weird, that was for sure, but kind of, she didn’t know, intriguing?

She shook her head and resumed her stroll along the vineyards. She had met all sorts of weirdos in Niflheim, and all of them, it seemed, had backstories that pieced together somehow. Elswyth, Elliot and Eleanora, poverty-stricken orphans, teleported to Niflheim (perhaps brought here against their will), now rulers here. Dimitri and Decima, siblings, one half-human, both suspecting Elliot. Elswyth, the ignorant older sister, always disdainful of Elliot. Eleanora, Elliot’s twin herself, thinking him an idiot. Somehow, it always came down to Elliot. Who was he?

Lost in her thoughts, Vienna had strolled down to the very end of the vineyards, the winds flowing through her dark hair, making it whip around. The morning had turned cold, and the grey clouds had covered the sky. The end of the vineyards was the beginning to a series of small hills, all covered with rough grass and dots of flowers. She examined these for a while, thinking of home and her family- how worried they must be. She stopped at the very last hill, which was quite in the ordinary. Vienna thought she could sit there a while and just think up what she should do next, and while she was climbing up the steep hill, a handful of grass suddenly tore and sent her tumbling.

“Ouch, what-”

Vienna looked around hastily, embarrassed, and stood up, brushing the grass off her culottes jumpsuit bottom and peering angrily at the part where the grass had tore off. Now that it had fallen off, the beginnings of an electronic screen was quite clearly seen under the dirt. It was like those safe screens- those which needed passcodes to open. There was a small metal hatch underneath, one which a human could easily squeeze into. A small card read: KEEP OFF- BELONGS TO ELLIOT. E. MISTRAL.

“Well, well, well,” thought Vienna satisfactorily. “If I haven’t got dirt on the very person everyone seems to suspect.”

She tried a few number combinations and then pondered more.

Let’s see…if I was a Prince who names everything after himself what would my secret hill escape password be?”

After a few minutes, Vienna finally decided and typed in: 3lliot. 3. M1stral.

Welcome back, Elliot Elias Mistral.

Vienna fist pumped the air. “YES GO IT GIRLBOSS.”

The hatch slowly retreated to reveal a dim room which slowly lit up as light after light turned on. It was… it resembled a wine cellar?

No, a wine cellar minus all the wine bottles. Instead, it was decked out with dozens of types of shotguns, rifles and swords. Maps of some country- probably Niflheim? A lot of red tacks, red string pointing to different bits of the country. Pieces of paper pinned to the walls. Vienna examined a few- they were in Latin and had the phrases ‘Lunae Regnum’ and ‘Sol Dynastia’ repeated over and over again. A large map was tacked to a table and scribbles were written all over.

Lunae Regnum here…the castle for Sol Dynastia…make sure to confirm ignition…Nora must understand and relate…make Elswyth absorb what she’s done to us…locals are expendable.

This was quite alarming, even if Vienna didn’t understand what all of it meant.

Should she keep it to herself or tell Elswyth?

Both had cons. For Elliot, she had just begun her friendship with him, and her imaginings of her, Elliot, Lyss, Eleanora and Zinnia hanging out together in the castle would be popped rudely. Elliot would be furious with her, and it would be back to day one. Lyss would probably take her cousin’s side, and Eleanora would too, most probably, and where would she be?

And Elswyth, Elswyth would probably be even harsher on Elliot and Eleanora and make their life hell. No parents, a horrible older sister, Vienna could imagine how they felt. She would probably be rewarded but was it worth it?

No, better to keep it to herself.

After all, she had kept secrets before.