“Then why did my gr- the king and queen tell me there was no solution?” Nerues demanded, managing to keep his tone level. At this, Thassa sighed and requested Yati, clearly his assistant, fetch tea from the kitchen. Once she was gone, the man explained, “I am a priest, young Nereus. As such, I have learned old ways that have been long forgotten.. or are strongly avoided. In this case, it is the latter. Your mother’s departure all those years ago remains sour in the rulers’ stomachs. They cannot bear giving you a gift only possible because of her treason against them. They are her parents after all.”
Nereus was still a moment, processing the information. The mention of his mother threw him off guard. He wanted to ask a hundred questions about his mom, if this man knew her, what she had been like when she was younger, and, most importantly, if he knew where he could find her. At the same time, he wanted to know none of those things, especially the last one.
“Does your offer have a price?” he asked instead. Thassa’s eyes instantly lit up as he realized the boy was going to accept his proposal.
“I will have to perform a spell for the transformation to take place. I must warn you that it will not be painless,” he informed his client. When Nereus showed no sign of backing out, Thassa went on, “I want two things, young Nereus. The first is a favor. You will owe me one, and must answer to it whenever I ask.”
“Done,” Nereus agreed without hesitation. It was the least he could have done in return for such a miracle. Just then, Yati returned with a tray of cups that somehow steamed in the water along with a plate of sand dollar biscuits. She set down a cup before either male and the plate between them. Thassa took a biscuit and dipped it into his warm tea, taking a bit before finalizing his offer. Nereus supposed the performance was to add suspense and wondered if the priest was aware that he was already impossibly eager. Thassa finally set down his cup and food and leveled his gaze on the boy, instantly very serious.
“Nereus, I want you to give me your mortality.”
Nereus stared at the priest a long moment. He was only able to blink after an eternity. “Is that even possible?”
“Of course!” Thassa confirmed, “You terminal life is a gift to a spirit. It is only possible through your human heritage. You will be able to keep your human form, but the one you have now will stop aging.” His voice lowered just enough for Nereus to recognize the warning through his own astonishment, “You will be able to live forever. But you must realize that there is a reason your mortality is so valuable.”
“I understand,” the boy assured, finally regaining his grasp on the situation. The path he was taking would be dangerous and excruciating, but it would allow him a chance at an eternity with Babylon. He was unsure of how she would react to the information, but nothing could be worse than him being unable to ever be with her again. He would be able to keep both bodies, despite the lies told to him. And so he accepted the man’s deal.
AND SCENE! THANK YOUFOR READING!