The Fates decided the knight will name the elf 'Dawn'. See the results here.
My heart is melting. You’re sticking with Dawn? Your sentimentality is endearing, Fates, but you do understand what this means, don’t you? No? Well… Um... Ahem... Maybe you should have been paying better attention then. I am not about to do your work for you.
Still trapped in his own memories, the knight gazes at the elven child. An odd feeling of certainty gnaws at the Eternal Knight as he looks upon her. “Your Majesty, allow me to suggest a name fitting for your humble servant and a weapon that will bring your enemies to their knees,” he says.
“Dawn,” Ren says.
“Hmm… how poetic, Ren,” says the emperor doubtfully, shaking his head with distaste.
“Your Majesty, she represents the dawning of a new era. Your command is her will and she will deliver the imperial order to where there was only chaos. She’s a symbol of a new beginning.”
The emperor’s expression has become more thoughtful: “Hmm, yes, yes… You may be correct, my brother. She shall be the morning sun that casts my righteous light upon my enemies. Mother always said you had a way with words — perhaps too much so. She shall be named Dawn.”
Cato observes the exchange with curiosity. “I didn’t imagine your brother a secret poet, my lord. I suppose we all have skeletons in our cupboards.” Her lips curl in a teasing smile before resuming her matter of fact tone. “Dawn it is then. I will adjust her lessons so she believes it’s her birth name. Fortunately, the new name won’t interfere with any trigger words, so I shouldn’t have any difficulties there.”
“Elaborate, sentinel Cato,” the emperor orders.
“Well, I can’t give her access to her full powers all the time — that would be foolish. Instead, I have imprinted into her mind three trigger words that will make her react in a predictable way. The first one,” she drops her voice, making sure Dawn wouldn’t hear her, “is ‘rolaa-rolaa-rolaa’. It’s a reference to the ancient language of the Rhu-titans, and will make her dance. Besides being funny, I used it as the proof I needed to test and validate my hypothesis.”
“The others?” asks the Emperor.
“They are dangerous, my lord.”
The emperor takes a step toward Cato, his face close to hers. The knight notices her leaning back slightly before composing herself and facing his brother. “I order you to tell us, sentinel Cato,” the emperor commands. “Unless you think your emperor is not intelligent enough to handle this with sensitivity, I urge you to share all you know.”
“Of course,” says the sentinel smoothly. “But perhaps not here? In the hall, away from the experiment.”
The emperor nods with dignity and leads the way. Once away from Dawn, Cato says, “The second trigger word is ‘salva-aiga-alvarin’. In case she ever acts out of order or is under threat of annihilation from our enemies, it will teleport her back to this very dungeon.”
The emperor nods. “Very well. The first one — the dancing — is a simple testing method, the second one is used for containment to teleport her back, which makes the third one something with an offensive edge? Am I correct?”
“Right again, my lord. She can, of course, tap into the magic herself — otherwise her backstory as a battlemage wouldn’t be believable, but when she hears the words ‘dola-boalit-enamin’ she will unleash a massive magical explosion that will burn your enemies like the sun itself,” she looks warily at Ren. “Truly fitting to her new name.”
“Will it survive the explosion or will you have to restart your experiment with another subject?”
“Honestly, I do not know, my lord. If she does, then the question is how many of those explosions we can create before burning through her stored magic. If she doesn’t, we know our weapon’s limits and can begin mass-producing new elf-vessels. Either way, your empire will be stronger for it.”
The emperor smiles and for the first time, he doesn’t seem to smell the dank odor of the dungeon.
The Eternal Knight feels himself being pulled back from the memory, returning to himself, to Dawn’s tear-stained face, to the demon arm’s control. The world around him starts moving, the sounds are coming back, and he knows he has only one chance to say a trigger word.
No more manipulation of the space-time continuum. We are back in the present and we have an important decision to make. So, without further ado...
Option 1: The Eternal Knight shouts ‘rolaa-rolaa-rolaa’, triggering Dawn to dance.
Option 2: The Eternal Knight shouts ‘salva-aiga-alvarin’, triggering Dawn to teleport.
Option 3: The Eternal Knight shouts ‘dola-boalit-enamin’, triggering Dawn to explode.
We made it to chapter 30! We're stunned by what has become of this experimental story and how far it's got. There were so many times you've thrown us a curveball and sent Ren and Dawn into danger, completely ignoring the 'plot' we were devising. Multiple times you didn't name things 'Bob', valiantly fighting off all the internet trolls who would've loved it. And you made us fall in love with an elven girl who doesn't deserve the hard life she's had.
Honestly, we're not sure how the story will end, but we do know we're grateful for the journey we've had with you all.
See you next week!
Kaya & Silver