*Hey again friends!! Here’s a family fluffy Rayllum short for you all to chime in the holiday season! Enjoy and thanks for all the love and support!
The world had certainly changed once the Dragon Prince was reunited with his Queen mother. With the dark army horde fought off and the threat from Viren overtaking the world vanquished, the human kingdoms and Xadia could look towards rebuilding their future. It was a future that seemed brighter than ever before and one that hopeful hearts like the king of Katolis hoped would be a future forged together. With the aid of a council, both Xadian and human, King Ezran inspired to lead the charge on unification and peace throughout their lands. It was a task that would not be easy and would take years and years of hard labor, but finally they were beginning to see the fruits of their hard work pay off.
If one roamed the streets of Katolis it was no longer uncommon to see humans and elves trading and exchanging. Children played together with little issues and relationships were beginning to flourish with more acceptance. It was a sight that warmed hearts, but there were unfortunately some that still resisted change. Pockets of stern-minded, opinionated individuals within both sides still existed and try as they might, they refused to move. These people didn’t discourage others though, people like the King, Prince, etc. still celebrated the culture change. Peace and unity was not an overnight objective and there would always be resistance to change.
When Callum looked into the eyes of his daughter however, he saw that change as more than worth it. Bubbling bundle of joy Sarai was worth every single struggle that could come his way due to her parentage. The first known elf/human halfling in hundreds of years, her arrival was not planned, but once she arrived, her place was never disputed. The youngling was the spitting image of her mother with mixes of her father. As she grew up, she grew up with her mother’s unique beauty and her father’s emotional temperament in place. She was gifted in both combat and magic and adored her family. She grew up both in Xadia and Katolis, with a love and respect for both. She was a beautiful physical depiction of what the union of the two worlds could be; one that they hoped would pave the way for others like her.
“Are you sure you should be up there?” came an uneasy voice from below.
A young boy stood shyly under a large Xadian tree in the courtyard of the palace grounds. His blue eyes scanned the area around them anxiously.
A head popped hanging upside down from a branch. “Oh come on Felix, it’ll be an adventure! Haven’t you ever wanted to roam the village without our parents for once?”
The figure hanging upside down had wavy white hair tied up in a long braid with strands of hair framing her face and small horns poking out of the top of her head. Her green eyes shone with mischief and excitement and her purple markings curled with the smile on her face. She was not one to stay inside for too long and with her parents being kept busy with ambassador business, she had grown anxious within the walls of the palace. So anxious that she dragged her younger cousin, the prince, out with the intention of sneaking out into the village outside the palace gates to explore for themselves.
Felix was definitely the more careful of the two. He had heard from his father’s recent meeting that there was a group of ruffians nearby causing issues and harassing Xadians who traveled through the human kingdoms. The group was full of hateful individuals who believed that humans were far more superior to Elves and the magical creatures of Xadia; ultimately they wanted them out. Felix knew he wasn’t supposed to have heard those things, but now that he knew this he feared for his own cousin…
“Sarai… I don’t think that’s a good idea. What if we run into some bad people?” He said, clutching his stuffed Glowtoad plush.
She huffed, “Bad people in Katolis? Felix, I think we’re fine. Now come on, don’t leave me hanging literally.”
The boy sighed and began to climb the limbs of the tree, praying nothing bad would happen to them.
“Okay so maybe there are some bad people in Katolis.”
Sarai and the prince stood, backs against a stone wall as a young man with dark hair and eyes began to pin them in.
Their journey had until recently been without any issues and the two had enjoyed getting to meet new people and see the village outside their walls in a new light. One thing they couldn’t avoid while out was the attention Sarai drew to herself. Her half-and-half appearance drew curious looks from people still and it might have been what led them to where they are now.
While they walked, they hadn’t noticed a spiteful young man following them until he was on them. The man sneered at Sarai and had even spat on the floor by her feet.
“Disgusting halfbreed. You shouldn’t exist! Your parents had no shame.” He said with venom spewing from every word he said, looking her up and down with disdain.
Felix gasped. How could someone say such a horrible thing about his cousin and family? His aunt Rayla and Uncle Callum were some of his very favorite people in the world. They were basically heroes in his eyes along with his father. They had helped bring peace to Katolis so how could anyone think so low of them?
Sarai scoffed, “You don’t know what you’re talking about. If you think your words hurt me, then you are sadly mistaken. I know who I am and I don’t need someone like you telling me otherwise.”
The man shook in anger, “You watch your mouth mutt. You have nothing to be proud of. And your parents: the step-prince and his animal of an elven wife are nothing.”
It was in that moment that Sarai’s usually emotional/sensible side lost the battle. Within the blink of an eye she had jumped into the air, kicking the man in his chest hard. The man hit the ground roughly and his fall attracted the attention of some people passing by. She may have only been 12, but she was a force to be reckoned with especially when angered; it ran in her blood.
She stood over the man as Felix cowarded behind her, with her foot shoved into his chest keeping him down, “I said you don’t know what you’re talking about and I meant it. Keep my parents out of your mouth and learn some respect. You won’t get rid of people like me so get used to it.”
The young man’s face grew red with anger and embarrassment. “Why you littl-”
“Hey! What’s going on here?” came a new voice from behind.
Sarai’s hardened green eyes flinched and then looked up to be face-to-face with a pair of eyes the same shade as her’s. Prince Callum stood at the entrance of the alleyway, arms crossed. Just behind him, stood his heavily pregnant wife, Rayla, wearing an expression on her face that could kill pointed at the man on the floor.
She gulped, “Hi dad…mom… I didn’t know you guys were home yet…” Pushing her foot off the man’s chest.
Her parents looked at her with a look that meant she was probably in trouble.
“I told you we shouldn’t have left.” Felix said, clutching Sarai’s waist.
“But dad you should’ve heard the things he said! H-He really said those stupid things! …How can someone be so cruel…?” Sarai trailed off, the anger in her dimming.
She sat down with a thump by her father, who just watched his daughter fume. When mad, she was her mother, but when she calmed down or cried it was like looking at a mirror he couldn’t deny. Sarai sat with her head down and her hands clenched in her lap. Her hands shook lightly and soon he heard small sobs.
He reached over and pulled her close. “Oh honey… it’s okay. You know, sometimes people are just cruel. Sometimes no matter how kind you are or who they are, they choose to be unkind and say unkind things. Both me and your mom have seen and heard it before too. It hurts sometimes what they say, but you know what always got us through it?”
She sniffed, “Mom beating them up?”
Callum stifled a laugh at the mental image, “No, not that… at least not always… What always got us through it was the love we have for each other and those around us and reminding ourselves of who we were.”
Sarai sniffled again and looked up at her dad. He was always so wise and kind to her and all those around. She saw every day examples of how much he loved her mother and her.
“Really?” she said.
He nodded, “Really.”
As she lunged to hug him she closed her eyes. She was grateful for having such a soul as his as her father. As she opened her eyes to her mother resting peacefully in their large bed with her hands encasing her swollen belly, she was thankful that her little brother or sister would also grow up with all the love and support that she had been given by both parents. They were really lucky.