Vannifor remembered a time when his older sister Kholin had loved him and his parents. Kholin was ruthless, even when they were hatchlings. She laughed when others fell, even more so when others failed. But her immediate family was her treasure, one she was determined to protect with her life. An Imperial had once bullied him relentlessly, telling him he did not deserve his role as the future leader of their clan.
When he started advancing closer, Vannifor tried to run away, but his eyes were fixated on the looming threat, and he fell. Out of nowhere she came with her teeth bared and sunk them into the Imperial’s wing.
Nobody taunted him after that. Nobody played with him after that. Except Kholin.
When they were little, all that mattered was what they would play that day. But that was before she had turned hard and jealous, determined to prove she was strong enough to take the throne from him.
His parents didn’t know what to do. Deities help him, he didn’t know what to do either. She stared at him sometimes, with dark, unfathomable eyes. He could picture the thoughts running through her head. He stole what should have been mine…
Sometimes he tried to propose a joint rule. Always with hope in his voice, but she always refused, crushing his brief hope like a guttering candle. “We would be famed rulers, known throughout all of time if we ruled together, Kholi,” he said, forgetting momentarily that she insisted on being called by her full name now, and calling her by her childhood nickname.
Kholin ignored him.
“I’m gentle, soft, and naive and you’re strong...” he struggled to find more words that wouldn’t offend her. But the damage was done. “I’m what? Greedy, selfish, and callous?” she spat. “Forget about it, Vanni. I’ll always be stuck here, the [i]king’s[/i] second fiddle, no matter how hard I try to prove I’m better, no matter how hard I try to prove I’m worthy, they’ll always want you.”
She used his childhood nickname, and for a minute Vannifor was lulled into a sense of safety again.
But they were not hatchlings anymore.
And she would never come back, not exactly as she had been.
- Both Vannifor and Kholin were conceived before their parents' breed and gene changes
- Background was written by ladylilitu (#318564)
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