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About JujuTheDruid

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    Learning to draw and listening to music for story motivation :D also gaming but I can be shy about that.

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  1. JujuTheDruid

    Mother's Approval

    I can only manage a small squeak before Tobias kisses me. Kisses me! I haven’t been kissed in so long. Not since Viktor. Maybe it is because it has been so long or maybe it is because I am just desperate for affection, but I can't help but want to kiss back. I just can’t do it. I am in shock. Why would Tobias want to kiss me? He constantly calls me names and had tried to bring me down a few times. We have literally only just met almost three days ago. I do not know how or what I feel right now. So much has been happening that I am only left feeling confused, embarrassed, and a little...happy? I should not be happy. Tobias pulls back and looks down at me. I can feel my face burning up with embarrassment. “I-uh...um…w-why?” I just choke on my words and bring my hands up to cover my face. I can barely breathe. I am way too out of it to look at Tobias right now. I do not know what to say. I'm pretty sure if I tried talking right now, I would only make things worse for me. Already this is a disaster. “I don’t know” He says. There is a long pause before he talks again. “I’m sorry. I...I shouldn’t have done that. It will not happen again.” He moves to get off of me but then he goes flying backwards and lands hard on his back. “Damn right it won’t be happening again.” A familiar vibrating presence is here. It is Mother. “Do not hurt him!” I shout and stand, dusting off any snow stuck on me. “He did nothing wrong!” The air in front of me seems to go still. She has moved to stand in front of me. “You'd best watch your attitude.” Mother snarls, “He put himself onto you. I should have known you’d be stupid enough to just let it happen. No doubt that has been put into your stupid brain.” I feel my chest burning with anger. “Honestly it is disgusting." She goes on, "You are like some stray dog that follows when it gets even the smallest bit of affection. You leave without me for a day and you manage to get yourself into business that does not need your attention.” My anger then goes away. I should not be angry. She is just worried. I would be too I guess. I know from before that when she is worried, she says things she doesn’t mean to say. “I’m fine, Mother. Not a scratch on me!” I say calmly and open my arms for her to inspect. I doubt she will but I'll take anything to calm her down. I see Tobias just staring at me with wide eyes. “He did not hurt me or come onto me, Mother. It was just...just…” I don’t know what it was. I feel warmth surround me. Mother is hugging me. “The demon took you to that whore’s realm. What if I lost you? I would not have been able to do anything about it. Do you realize how easily he banished me? You were in danger that whole time.” I sigh. “I know, I know. Mother, Raiyo told me things, things that you should have told me long ago. Why didn’t you tell me about the moon god? Morgoren?” The warmth disappears. “Do not speak of that whore’s name.” A small pause, “You would believe everything he says so easily? Have you not learned from before?” “Would you continue to lie to me? If everything he said was true, you would just continue to act like nothing happened? That you aren’t married to the moon god, the one you tell me to hide from. I need answers, Mother. Please!” Tobias stands behind where Mother is and slowly makes his way to my side, careful not to run into Mother. I doubt he would honestly. I can practically feel her keeping an eye on Tobias. No doubt still angry about how she found us earlier. “I will tell you things that you needed to know, but you must come back with me to the Sanctuary.” I bite my lip at that. “I-uh, I can’t exactly do that right now.” “And why not?” I poke the ground with my toes. “I may or may not have agreed to help with all the humans that are dying.” “You made an agreement with the whore?” She practically yells the last two words. The ground vibrates from the force and snow falls from some snow covered trees. I grip onto Tobias’ arm, mostly for confidence, but also to make sure she doesn’t try to kill him. She wouldn’t try anything if I managed to stay close to him. Right? “It was not a bad agreement! I just want to help the world. You know that is what I want to do! How could I decline.” I can feel my voice whining and I want to kick myself for it. I am only met with a cold silence. I can tell she is still here however. The vibrations are still coming off from in front of me. Is this some kind of god thing? I felt them off of Raiyo as well. I glance at Tobias and see he is trying to keep a straight face. He must be terrified. I squeeze his arm to try and comfort him in some way. “I see.” She says after a long pause. “Just...be sure to hide from the moonlight. He will find you if it manages to touch you. Do you understand?” I give a nod. “I promise I will. I still need to know why I am hiding from him, Mother.” “I’ll tell you soon. Just not right now. I will find you in a few days. Please be careful out there, Lunarico.” Oh she said my full name. She’s being very serious right now. “I will, Mother. You be careful as well, alright?” I smile. The vibrations move to my right towards Tobias. I glance at Tobias and see he has managed to make a convincing face that acts as if nothing is bothering him. Soon however, his skin begins to pale and his eyes begin to widen in fear. Then Mother is gone. Everything is back to normal. No vibrations and the world does not feel as quiet as it was seconds ago. “She’s gone.” I whisper and step away from him. He lets out a shaky breath of air and kneels down onto the snow. “What did she tell you?” I ask. He just shakes his head. “It was nothing. Just the usual protective mother. I guess I was wrong to think she didn’t really care for you.” I smile at that and offer my hand for him to stand. He accepts it and stands in front of me. For a small moment, we just stare at each other. I can’t tell if we are both waiting for the other to make a move or maybe one of us wants to say something about what happened before Mother arrived. Tobias decides then that we should make are way to the small town that will be attacked. Perhaps that is for the best. ~~~ ~~~ It kind of hit me when the Gatekeeper used Luno's full name. Most have heard of that name, but he casually introduced himself as Luno that I just kind of forgot that Lunarico was his real name. I was very wrong to believe the Gatekeeper did not care for Luno. She only gave small threats, yet they were small threats from a goddess. They were mostly saying that I had better keep Luno safe and I had better not play with his heart. Of course I wouldn’t. It would be best not to push for or on that. Even if he has the sweetest smile or how precious it is that his little flowers turn a bright shade of pink when he is flustered over something as small as a kiss. I mean...it wasn’t small. It should not be small. I just...I...I do not know why I did it. It is not like me. I've barely met him and I just did that...thing. I feel bad mainly because I pushed myself onto him. It is not right of me. “I am sorry.” I say after a time. It has been a rather silent walk. That is all we seem to be having lately. Just long awkward silences. From what I have seen, I know he talks a lot. I saw him talking to all those animals. It makes me a little angry that I am the one who seems to be the cause of his silence. Luno looks up at me and smiles. “It’s fine.” His flowers slowly start to turn pink once again. “I just did not expect it is all.” I huff a laugh. “Yeah, me neither.” Another awkward silence. Gods this is painful. Surely he feels how weird it is too? Why can’t he just start talking to the snow or some shit? I would take anything to make him talk right now. I glance down at him briefly and see he has his eyes trained straight ahead of us. He does not even flinch as each step he takes is into deep snow. “Won’t you get frostbite?” I say, mildly concerned. He’s a fucking star. Of course he wouldn’t. Luno, again, puts on a smile before speaking. “Nope! I do not feel the chill so it does not affect me. You know I have a snowy habitat back at the Sanctuary, right? We kind of walked around in it for a good while.” I roll my eyes, “Yes I know, but I don’t want you getting yourself hurt over something as stupid as frostbite.” He just laughs at me. Laughs. “Frostbite is not stupid, and would it make you feel better if I found some clothes? Apparently my cloak is not enough for you.” “As a matter of fact, I would very much like it if you would get some clothes. Do you not realize how distracting it is? Not to mention just how unfit your little skirt is for our quest.” “Skirt?” He laughs loud and shakes his head. “Fine, since it bothers you so much, give me a moment.” He smiles as he walks away from me and hides behind a tree. “Nobody else has complained about my clothes! Who knew the big bad demon would be worried about my feet.” He calls out. “I don’t care about your stupid feet. Let them freeze if you so badly want to. By the way, none of your friends could speak english, you idiot.” He actually cackles at that. “Well you aren’t wrong.” I smile and give out a sigh. He’s annoying. Luno comes out but he is an entirely new outfit. It is...well, at least it is better than before. It only really is a short dark blue toga. At least his chest and stomach are covered. Why he feels the need to keep his thighs in view, I’ll never know, but something that really sticks out to me is his shoes. The type of shoes he decided to wear? Sandals. Fucking sandals. I glare at them. “Really? I said shoes. You know, to protect your feet from the snow!” I fold my arms and shake my head. This person is absolutely insane. Something catches my attention. A flash of white flies through the trees to our right. “Take it or leave it.” He giggles and walks past me. “The snow does not affect me. Just let it go!” The figure continues to fly fast through the trees. It is an Angel. It ignores our presence and makes its way towards...the town up ahead. I quickly place myself between Luno and the approaching Angel. I pull out my pistol and sword. “Stay behind me.” I say. I won’t let it try to trick us in any way. It could possibly be trying to distract us for an attack. Luno peeks around me to look at the Angel flying ahead of us. He then gives a sigh and then laughs. “It’s just an Angel.” He says. “Gods you scared me! They work with Mother so maybe we can ask them to help us with the town?” I shake my head. “They are not good, Luno. They kill to add to their numbers. Since it ignored us, I have a feeling that the town has already been hit.” At that Luno’s eyes go wide and he all of a sudden bolts for the town. I curse under my breath and quickly run after him. ~~~ ~~~ I stand in the middle of so many bodies. Children hugging their mothers and fathers, a few lovers huddled together, the few lone souls who just didn’t have anybody. Everyone was piled together in the middle of the town. Their animals were placed here as well. Even the cows. I feel my eyes watering at the sight of a baby that is far too pale who is nestled close to their mother’s chest. Tobias comes up behind me and rests a hand on my shoulder. “Don’t look any longer,” He says, “You can bring them back. We aren’t alone either.” I glance back at him and he nods to our left. Perched on the roofs of random homes and buildings, there are different demons covered in strange shadows. They are all standing and keeping watch. What would they be keeping watch of? “Come on, Luno. You will be safe. I’ll be right here to help you, alright?” He says while massaging his fingers into my shoulder. I just give a short nod. “Thank you.” Tobias back away from all the bodies and I just give it all one last look. A few questions run through my mind. What has done this? Why would this happen? These are innocent living beings. At least I hope. Just...why would someone want to do this? Round them all up together as if they are preparing food for dinner. It is wrong. Raiyo said that reverting the damage first would help. Is he hoping to weaken the source through this? I hope it works. I quickly wipe away any tears on my face and then fly up high into the air. From up here I can see that the sun is going to set soon. I need to find somewhere to hide after this. I see Tobias is sitting on the steps of someone’s home, staring up at me. I give a small wave. He waves back. I close my eyes and take deep breaths. I have to clear my head and try not think about all the death that is beneath me. Don’t think about all the troubles I have learned recently and definitely don’t think about the kiss with Tobias. As soon as I feel a nice peaceful silence, I open my eyes. The air around me has stopped moving. It waits for what I will do next. I cross my arms and hug them close to my chest. I feel a pulse beginning to grow inside me and then I reach one hand forward. With one finger, I trace a large circle that shines in the air. It creates a flat blurry shape with what looks like dark liquidy colors swirling around. I like to think it leads to another realm, but I know it just reveals what you are inside. I always just assumed that I was special thanks to Mother. Apparently it is only because I am a star. I guess that is a bit of a let down. I hope nobody stares at me when I go through it. It can burn your eyes and make you blind. One more deep breath to clear my thoughts again. Can’t have all these negative thoughts right now. It would only make this weaker. I must always give it my all. Especially if it is for a group of humans this big. I close my eyes and push my hand through, instantly a loud sound echoes into the sky and then light begins to shine beneath my eyelids. I keep pushing as a warmth begins to spread across my skin. It is a sweet warmth, like when you get a hug from someone tall and large. Those bear hugs. I love that feeling. I fly fully through the small portal and then the light grows even brighter. I can’t really see what is going on below me but I can tell from the sounds of groaning and cries of shock, that the magic is working. I smile and just keep myself like this for a good few more minutes. I want to make sure everyone has come back. Tobias said that their souls could be taken from Angels. They sound greedy and evil. Why would anyone make them sound so trustworthy? I want to say it is most likely Tobias is lying because he is a Demon and is therefore against the Angels, but he said he was an Angel once before. I am pretty sure he wouldn’t lie to me. He does not really seem to give off any vibes that he would. He can be rude but not a liar. Is that what the Demons circling us are looking out for? Angels? I guess I can be glad that Raiyo sent them. Strange how Demons seem to care more about humans than Angels. It is almost like they should switch their names. It would be more fitting. When about fifteen minutes has gone by, I pull myself back through the portal and then my body no longer glows or shines in any way. I rub my eyes and glance down at the people below. Tobias and all the demons have disappeared. All the townspeople are either struggling to stand or crying and hugging their families and loved ones. Most of the animals are running around in joy. They call out to each other, no doubt happy to see their own friends. I smile at the sight. Patches of grass and flowers have managed to sprout through the stone streets and vines cling to most rooftops now. I would apologize but obviously that would be dumb. I bet Tobias would still think I’d apologize for it! Speaking of Tobias, where is he? I fly away from the town and look around the edges of the woods. All I see is snow and trees with new green leaves. Oops! Poor things will die pretty quickly. As much as I wish they wouldn’t, that can’t exactly be helped. “Tobias?” I call out every now and then. He wouldn’t just leave me would he? I thought we were starting to become good friends. Sure we kissed and it made my lips feel all tingly, but I didn’t think it would scare him off. I frown when I start to think he really did leave, then a loud screech goes off in the distance. Enfi! I bolt through the air for my friend and end up finding something I didn’t really expect. Though I am happy for it. Enfi has Tobias pinned to the ground with her talons and pecks his head with her beak any time Tobias tries to push her off. I land on the snow and then both of them turn their heads to me at the same time. “So are you just going to stare or are you going to help me?” Tobias groans as he tries to force Enfi's talons off of him. He gives up and leans his head back into the snow. I laugh and make my way over to help him get her off.
  2. JujuTheDruid

    Tossing the Trash

    I quietly walk to my side of the bed. Tobias is already under the covers. He is reading a book. Kulu is wrapped around his neck. I smile at that. “You don’t look as scary with him sleeping on you!” I giggle. Tobias just lazily rolls his eyes, “I am a bit worried honestly. What if he just decides to choke me to death?” He pokes at Kulu’s little head and the little serpent's tongue ends up falling out of his mouth. I lean over to quickly push it back in and then pat Kulu’s little triangle head. “You’ll be fine. He only really likes strawberries. There is the chance that he’ll attack you if you try and hurt me, and I doubt you would survive it. So don't get on his bad side.” I smile and lay back onto my pillow. Tobias glares down at Kulu and then arches an eyebrow. “This little thing? He can’t even control himself.” I just shrug and embrace that super fluffy pillow. Mine are not at all this fluffy. “How are you feeling?” He asks. I just give a small sigh. I don’t know what I am feeling. Raiyo said it is fine to be lost and angry, but I don’t know who or what to be angry about. I am used to feeling lost honestly. I’ve always been kept in the dark about most things in the world. “I don’t know” I whisper. Should I be angry at Mother? Should I even call her that? I don’t have parents. I frown at that. If I don’t have parents, then what am I? Apparently I am a star but is this it? I didn’t even know stars were living beings. I feel so...weak compared to things like Mother or Raiyo. I guess that should feel normal. They are gods after all. I am not. I just happen to be the lucky one to get picked by the moon god. Morgoren. Not once has that name ever been mentioned. Now I hear it all the time from Raiyo. I am guessing Morgoren has left a bad mark with other gods. I could tell Raiyo gets a bit heated when he mentions the moon god. Perhaps I should try and talk to him? It makes me feel a little nervous just thinking about that, however. “Hey.” Tobias says gently, “If you want, I can hold you till you sleep. My mother used to do that before.” I blink at that. That is the nicest thing he’s ever said or offered. “Uh...don’t think this is some permanent thing. It only a one time thing so don’t get used to it.” He gives a glare but it melts away when I just hug him. “Thank you.” I smile. I haven’t had this in a long time. Sure I had all the creatures at home, but to be with someone that is somewhat like me? It is nice. Well, I guess I am like them. I am just a copy of a demon. Maybe that is bitter of me but that is what I am. As much as it bothers me. I do have one question about this though, “You have parents? I didn’t know Demons or Angels could have family.” Tobias frowns before he wraps one arm around me. I keep my head on his shoulder, careful not to lay on Kulu. “Well I was human once. Almost all of us were, except the gods of course. When humans die, they either become angels or soul food for the demons. I was human once upon a time. I even had a human family. I believe my family and I died from a war that ran into town? I don’t quite remember. Well, we became angels. We did good with our human lives.” “You were an Angel?” I ask, glancing at his horns. “Yes I was an Angel. I was for about...twenty years? So not long at all. I learned about them. Realized things that I didn’t like. Things were changing, rules that had been used to keep the peace. Eventually it got to the point that I would ignore my duties and then they cast me out. They cut my halo in two and then threw me out. I then turned into a demon. That is how most demons are made. If you aren’t in line with the angels, you are turned into a demon. Forced to work under a new master. The halo cut in half then turns into two horns that stick out of our heads.” I frown and run a finger against one of his horns. This is rather depressing. “It is fine, honestly. I am actually grateful for it. I finally have a leader that I am glad to work under.” He forces a small smile. It is weird seeing that on his face. “Raiyo?” I ask. He nods. “My uncle had also been turned into a demon long before I did, so I still have family I can count on.” Tobias leans his head back and stares at the ceiling. “Do you ever miss your parents?” I ask. I probably shouldn’t have asked. It might be a touchy subject. “Of course. Even if they shunned me.” He smirks and closes his eyes. It is just a long silence that I assume means it is time for bed. I am rather tired. I’ve learned so much and I just want to learn more. I am just a bit bitter that I didn’t learn any of this from Mother, however. “You know you aren’t useless right?” Tobias asks out of nowhere. “What?” “I mean you do...good things. You bring life. That’s more than anyone in this world can do. Not even the gods.” I can’t help but smile. How could I not? The big, bad demon is being nice and opening up to me. He just needed a friend! I laugh, “I knew you were a big softie.” He huffs, “No I’m not!” His face actually seems to turn a shade of pink. I giggle and close my eyes, “Yes, you so are.” “Idiot.” “Love bug.” ~~~ ~~~ “Anything else you wish to say? I’ve already made my decision.” Raiyo smiles down at the Incubus below him. Someone had brought the demon in chains because he was trying to get into a church full of human orphans. “N-no, m-my master!” The Incubus cries and his body continues to tremble in fear. “Good! It will make all of this faster for me.” Raiyo rises from his throne and seems to walk towards the Incubus. His feet never touch the ground however. Each step in the air leaves a small ripple of orange fire. The ripples vanish as he makes his next step. The Incubus is tall and only wears a loincloth. Giant, dark, red wings are tucked behind him. Raiyo reaches down and runs his fingers through the tall demon’s red hair and brushes his claws along their red-skinned cheek. “You should turn away.” Tobias whispers next to me. I do, and make sure I keep my eyes on Tobias’ armor, even if the screams of agony seem to call for my attention. When the screams grow louder, I close my eyes tight. The cries seem to last forever, all I hear is strange chanting from Raiyo and the smell of burning flesh. It is making me sick. Finally silence is back. I peek forward and only see a steaming pile of ash on the floor. Raiyo just turns with a wave of his cape and walks back to his throne. “Now,” Raiyo smiles and beckons us to stand in from of him, “Time for some more interesting business.” He is back in the clothing that covers the tattoos. Still very strange that he chooses to cover the pretty fire tattoos. “Forgive me, Raiyo,” Tobias starts, “but are we going to be doing anything about the human problem? Surely we must with powers like his,” He waves a hand towards me, “we could use his help.” Raiyo just rests one hand under his chin and drums the other on his armrest. I guess this is how I imagined royalty. Sitting on a throne and clearly full of themselves. The clinking of metal fills the air as he is thinking things through. How hard are those things? They just look like painted claws. Are they actually made of metal? Surely not. “I am aware of his powers, and I have thought about it.” Raiyo looks between the both of us, “but I do not want him doing things on his own. Morgoren could try and get to him, and we don’t want that now do we?” Tobias shakes his head. I frown. “Don’t I get a say in this?” I ask. Raiyo smirks and locks his creepy eyes onto mine. “Would you let all the humans die? Allow their souls to be taken against their will? Letting them join the angels would mean that all the remaining souls in the world, that includes all your ‘friends’ in your little Sanctuary, would be free for them to consume. Do you want that?” It is a challenge. He is saying these things but he already knows my answer. If I were to say no then it would just be me fighting my own ways. Of course I’d want to help. I just don’t like that he can smile while saying all of those things. How can one smile about everyone dying? It isn’t right. Maybe I was wrong about Raiyo. He isn’t good. Raiyo’s voice laughs in my head. “Such a loud thinker.” I just purse my lips and stay quiet. Raiyo turns to talk to Tobias, since I am pretty much already a guaranteed part of the plan. “Well this is actually quite simple,” Raiyo goes back to drumming his claws against the armrest, “you are just simply going to go to all the new areas of the world that are being damaged. Luno will then restore the life that was taken there, and then you will move on to the next spot.” Tobias seems to want to glare at Raiyo but he controls himself. “How is that going to fix anything? Shouldn’t we be going for the source of it all?” “Yes, yes we should be going for the source. We just can’t right now.” Raiyo lifts both hands in front of him, swirls of black smoke gather between his fingers and then they surge together into a flat shape. The smoke disappears and then there is a map in his hands. I am guessing it is a map of Thymestrys. The world covered into three colors. A small desert area in the north, a green forest area that covers most of the map, and at the very bottom of the map, there is white for snowy mountains. There are also strange black dots in random places, mostly in the green areas. It looks like black ink has been splattered across. “This map shows what areas have been affected by the plague.” Raiyo points out to different ink spots littered on the map. “Oh look!” He presses a claw to a spot in the mountains. A faint black circle looks like it is starting to form. “Looks like a new batch of humans are about to die.” Raiyo smirks while folding the map. “I would recommend making your way there now.” He hands the map to Tobias. I blink. “Were leaving right now?” I ask. I feel like we have only just got here. Raiyo nods and smiles, “I have things to tend to. I can’t have random demons and stars in my home while I am gone now can I?” I frown. “Oh don’t worry. I doubt we’ve seen the last of each other.” Raiyo stands. “Just don’t die and you’ll most likely see me again, especially if you stick with my dear Tobias.” Raiyo drags his claws against Tobias’ chest armor as he walks past us. We follow close behind him. “I have business with the Spirit Sailor so I will be placing you back into the mortal world.” Raiyo turns to us just as we reach a door. “Have you got everything you need?” He glances at Kulu wrapped around my neck and then up at my eyes. “And everyone?” I just nod and look at Tobias. I really want to get out of here. “Yes, I believe we have everything.” Tobias says and I see him take a shaky breath. Raiyo grins and then I see something I really didn’t want to see. He has very sharp fangs. I can't help but shiver at the sight of that. Not even Tobias has that. “Good!” Raiyo licks his lips and blows a kiss to us. A puff of smoke begins to fly towards us. It grows until it completely surrounds us. “Don't die out there!” Raiyo’s voice echoes into laughter. I grab onto Tobias’ arm. I can’t see anything. It hurts to keep my eyes open and the smell of smoke seems to fill my nostrils. It is awful. I hear air blowing around us and also what sounds like the popping of a dying fire. ~~~ ~~~ Gods I hate it when Raiyo makes me travel through...whatever this shit is. It starts out alright, just smoke carrying your body somewhere else into the world, but then it just starts getting bumpy and everything feels like it is spinning out of place, almost as if we are in little balls that are rolling around. I am almost certain Raiyo does this on purpose. I try to keep myself from running into Luno and hurting him. Honestly I really did try, but there is only so much I could do. Luno slams hard into my chest and I know it must have hurt him. He yelps and cries out from the rude transportation and I just have grit my teeth when he happens to knees me in the groin. One second we are rolling around and then the next we are dropped onto soft cold snow. Luno lands on me and I just can’t get up. I am a little out of breath and everything hurts. “What,” Luno says breathlessly, “was that?” He lifts his head up and his hair is just tossed around in every direction. He has a few bumps on his head from slamming into my armor multiple times. No doubt other parts of his body are also going to be sore later on. “That...would be Raiyo throwing us out of Enfierna.” I sigh and lean my head back into the snow. At least we could use the snow for all the bruising that we will no doubt have later on. Usually it is not so bad when you are by yourself, but damn...it still manages to hurt. The fact he used the same thing on the Gatekeeper almost makes me want to laugh honestly. Luno lifts himself up and glances up at the sky, his face wincing from whatever soreness he feels. I must say, seeing his dark skin in contrast with his hair, the sky, and his clothes...it is kind of pretty in a way. I quickly look away and shove him off immediately. Luno gives a small yelp before he falls face first into the snow. I push myself up and then sit back on my knees. The cold snow seems to reach past my armor and chill my skin. I glance at Luno and see he is back in his weird two piece skirt thing with jewelry everywhere. “How are you not cold?” I ask in bewilderment. He just shrugs his little shoulders and falls back to make a snow angel. I roll my eyes. Of course he would. “I just don’t think about the cold and then it doesn’t bother me. The same with the heat.” He says with a stupid cute smile on his face. I scoop up some snow and ball it up as best I can. I underhand the throw and it arches up into the sky before falling straight down onto his face. He gives a small shriek and then it dissolves into laughter. He pushes himself up and he has a smirk on his face. “No.” I glare, “No no! It was just a warning. You are just-” my eyes go wide. Luno lifts his arms and spins in place. Snow from the ground begins to rise and then they begin to form into perfect snowballs. They circle around him for a moment, he keeps his eyes on me with that wicked smile on his face. He pushes both his hands forward and about ten snowballs start flying straight for me. I bolt for safety. I even transform in the middle of a jump just to run faster. Luno’s laughter can be heard above me. I peek behind me and see he is flying in the air and has more snowballs circling around him. The cheater! I give a small roar as one snowball manages to hit me square on the back. I dodge and weave through the frozen trees and see something that I could use to help me. A tree has fallen over and leans against another dead tree. I run for them and glance back to make sure Luno is chasing me still. He is. I mentally laugh and quickly keep trying to dodge his attacks as I run for the trees. A few still manage to hit me. That can’t exactly be helped. I am pretty big in this form unfortunately. Who knew I would be annoyed at being gigantic for once. From a fucking snowball fight. Why am I doing this? We are supposed to be saving the world. Not playing in the snow like a bunch of childr- A snowball hits me on the back of my head. He is going to regret that! I shake my head to remove any snow stuck against me and run even faster for the trees. “You’re so fast!” Luno laughs behind me. Oh he is so going to get it. I don't care how much he compliments my tiger-form. I am finally at the two trees and then run straight for the fallen tree trunk. I glance behind me and see Luno is still chasing after me in the air, snowballs still raining down after me. I push myself off the tree and high into the air towards Luno. In the middle of the jump, I transform back into my normal form and grab for Luno. He gives a rather girly scream and I can’t help but grin as I manage to wrap my arms around him. We immediately start to drop down to the ground. The impact isn’t that bad honestly. The ground is completely covered in a few inches of snow. We roll around and then manage end up with me on top of him. I am careful not to crush him. Luno just giggles the whole time and he looks up at me with the sweetest smile. His cheeks are a little red from the cold, and possibly from hitting my armor from before. Flakes of snow are trapped in his already white hair and they are even stuck in his eyelashes. He looks so adorable. I just…I just want to… I lean down and cup his face with my hand before pressing my lips to his.
  3. JujuTheDruid

    Chapter Ten

  4. JujuTheDruid

    Soul Filled Answers

    The demon, Yezmo, must have remembered he was supposed to take us to our room first, because he came running down the stairs, two at a time and waved for us to follow. Clearly he wanted to get in bed with Raiyo as soon as possible. Luno stands at the same time that I do and then we follow him. Yezmo would make loud grunts and sighs, wanting to yell at us to hurry up so he can get to his booty call. I saw the look on Raiyo’s face before he went up the stairs. Yezmo is in for a big surprise. I must say that I didn’t expect this from Luno. He doesn’t really have parents. He is a star. A literal star. They are the purest things. Possibly even more so than an Angel. Well, obviously more than an Angel. Angels are the worst. They constantly try to bring souls to their side. They thrive on it. It’s disgusting. So many humans die to causes that Angels create. Yet the humans think they are their saviors. Idiots. It got rather interesting when the gatekeeper decided to take a visit. I was a bit scared that maybe there would be a clashing between the two gods. Thankfully, Raiyo banished her quickly. I could practically feel the heat of her anger through the stone castle’s wall. Thank the gods Raiyo didn't feel like fighting. I wouldn't be surprised if he managed to kill her. Well, obviously he's win. He can't die! It also helps that Raiyo just happens to be one of the most powerful gods in Thymestrys. I wonder how Luno feels. He isn’t really supposed to be here. He is supposed to be high in the sky with his countless brothers and sisters. It must be weird to learn that you have been brought down and chopped away into the shape of Raiyo. All that, simply because the moon god wanted a toy to fuck. It’s disturbing. Apparently he was also meant to be a weapon? I can’t really imagine him as such. He brings life. How does one change his very nature? I guess it is good that the gatekeeper had intervened. Yet, why would she take care of him? He looks like Raiyo, or as least related to him. Sure, he has the white hair with flowers, or his pretty eyes are the brightest silver that they almost appear white, even his skin is a little darker, but he still looks like the god her husband had an affair with. Wouldn’t that hurt her more than anything? I glance over at Luno next to me and see he is staring at the ground as we walk. He has his hand on my arm to guide him. I can imagine he is having a bit of an existential crisis at the moment. Of course his life has meaning. Has he not seen what he has done already? He has brought back life! That is possibly the best thing anyone can do in this world. Surely he must see that? I’ll have to ask him when we reach the room...that only has one bed. I roll my eyes to myself. Raiyo sure has a funny way of messing with things he shouldn’t. Yezmo pushes open a wooden door. “You will be staying here.” He says before he starts walking back where we came from. “I do not know how long the king wishes for you all to stay.” He continues walking until he rounds a corner and is gone. Headed straight for Raiyo’s room. Luno finds the restroom and immediately locks himself in there. After a moment, I hear water running. I guess a bath will do him good. I could use one too. I don’t really sit on anything because I don’t want it to get dirty. I don’t really know if Raiyo would care for it, I am sure he has people who clear around for him. Always best to keep it safe here. I really don’t want to stay here in Enfierna honestly, but we haven’t slept in about a day. Luno said I should have slept or taken a nap before we left, but it felt weird. He was doing work, though he was only waving his hands around, and I was just sitting in his little shack watching him. It felt wrong. I pace around in circles and when I walk past the bathroom door, I hear soft crying. Dammit. What am I supposed to say? I’ve never been good with...others. I feel a strange pull to comfort him. I just don’t know what to say. I could barely handle him when I made him cry. The guilt was excruciating. I take a deep breath and knock on the door. Instantly I hear the crying come to a stop and water can be heard splashing around. “J-Just a minute!” Luno calls out, his voice a little shaky. I step back from the door and just stand in the middle of the room. I scratch near the bases on my horns and just awkwardly wait for Luno to come out. The sound of glass breaking comes from the other side and I immediately reach for the door. It opens just as my hand brushes on the doorknob. Luno looks up at me but immediately ducks his head to hide his face. His curls sit around his face and it looks pretty cute. A thick little blanket of snow. Interesting how it is the exact opposite of Raiyo’s black hair. Luno walks past me with a black robe. I don’t like seeing him in that honestly. It is almost like I am looking at Raiyo. It creeps me out a little. Thank the gods his white hair helps to fight the image. “I accidentally broke a little mirror.” Luno says. He walks towards the bed and pulls the covers off of one side to crawl in. “I already set up a fresh bath of water. I warmed it up too.” I nod my thanks and turn to the bathroom. As I close the door, I take one peek at Luno and see his swollen red eyes. I frown before turning to clean myself. I ease my armor off and set it up on a small bench that sits next to the bathtub. I see a broken pile of what must have been a handheld mirror. Well, if we die, I can blame Luno. The water is nice and warm. I give a sigh as I sink down into it. I lean my head back and just close my eyes. I must say, it’s a little too quiet. I’ve constantly been around creatures and Luno. Luno usually doesn’t shut up and just constantly keeps talking, even if I don’t respond at all. I do not know if he does that for himself or if he thinks he is helping me in some way. At first I found it annoying, but now...it feels strange not hearing anything. He’s just quiet. Before, when I would wash myself, he would just talk to himself or his friends. I don't like it at all. Speaking of his friends, I am pretty sure we left the phoenix on accident. The feathered serpent around his neck is still there. I have a feeling that when we get back, the bird will be rather cross with me. I need to speak to Raiyo tomorrow. I need him to help us stop whatever force is killing the world. Surely his little messengers would have found something by now. This has been happening for quite a few years now. So many humans have died to some random plague-like thing. It has attracted the Angels and their numbers continue to grow because of it. It must be stopped. I wash my hair and grab a sponge to scrub on my horns. Luno does not seem very afraid of me. I find that a bit strange. Usually everyone freaks out and thinks I am going to curse or kill them. Of course I wouldn’t. Unless there was a reason to. I guess he didn’t really know what a demon looked like, which is weird. His mother, the Gatekeeper, had kept him in the dark. Simply because he was a star who was shaped into a form that resembled Raiyo? There must be something else behind all that. Gods wouldn’t be so petty and do their own thing such as that. They usually go for a more dramatic flair with their troubles. When I finish with the bath, I quickly dry off and brush my teeth. While I don’t really know what to say, I remember my own mother would just lay with me. I doubt it would be wise to hold Luno till he falls asleep, but I could always ask if he wants to. I don’t really mind. He just shouldn’t get used to it. It will be a one time thing and nothing more. When all is done in the bathroom, I open the door to the bedroom. I find the bed is empty. Well, Kulu the snake is there, but Luno is missing. I sigh and sit next to the snake. It’s tongue is hanging out of its mouth. That is...interesting. It might be dead actually. I poke the snake’s head and he blinks up at me. Ok so it isn’t dead. I look up at the door that leads out to the hallway. I can already guess Luno is making his way to Raiyo. No doubt with more questions. Perhaps I should leave him be? He has to come back to sleep after all. Plus, I have a feeling he is going to see something he shouldn’t. Something that even I shouldn't. Raiyo does some sketchy things and I don't want to get involved. ~~~ ~~~ “Just follow this hallway until you find a great set of golden doors.” The demoness says with her finger pointed to a dark hallway. “You can’t miss it.” She walks down the stairs and goes back to her spot. I take a deep breath and begin my walk through the dark castle. It is a lot darker in this area. Where Tobias and I are staying, it is filled with white marble. Here there is black marble, but there is also small strings of orange that glitter their way through it. I pull my robe tighter around me. Black wisps constantly fly around and past me. I guess I could always just follow them if I were to get lost. They all lead to Raiyo. They must know when to leave Raiyo alone since only one had visited during that...disturbing talk. It is a very strange feeling, knowing you are just a clone. I feel...I feel...I don’t know how I feel. My mind is telling me that I should be angry or sad. Maybe both? My heart is telling me that it doesn’t matter. I have done things that Raiyo hasn’t. He hasn’t done what I have right? He can’t bring life or control great degrees of magic as I can. Can he? What if I am just telling myself these things just to make myself feel better? Lies made just so that I can feel like everything is alright and everything is normal. No. Everything is not normal and everything is not alright. I have been cheated of information that I should have learned long ago. I should have learned what I was and why I was created as soon as Mother was able to tell me. I am not some child. Why? Why would she deny me all of this? Would this all not be considered important? I know I think it is. I just learned I was made because the moon god had wanted to do...things to me, simply because he was denied Raiyo. Why did he have to choose me? Out of the millions of stars in the sky, why did I have to be the one burdened with this? I feel cheated. Yes, cheated. What if I am missing out on life as a star. What even is that like? They don’t really move. Well there are the shooting stars but still. That's a rarity. Perhaps I am not missing out on much. Right? A moaning sound distracts me from my thoughts as I near the gold trimmed wooden doors. I frown and quietly rest my ear to the door. I hear chanting and a low moaning sound. It sounds like someone is dying. Does Raiyo need my help? I knock on the door and wait for an answer. At first there isn’t an answer, the chanting keeps going. I knock again. The chanting pauses, “Come in!” Raiyo calls, he sounds a bit breathless. I push open the door and see something I really did not want to see. Raiyo has even less clothes than before, only sitting with his underwear on and a robe that hangs off his shoulders, barely covering anything at all. The giant demon from before, Yezmo, is hovering over him. Raiyo’s black claws are digging into his chin, they are glowing at the tips bright orange. Where they are digging into Yezmo’s face, there are scary black lines underneath his skin. They pulse towards Raiyo’s magic and then Raiyo leans close to Yezmo’s face. “Your soul is mine, Hetachep meclia brun marr.” Raiyo’s voice echoes like a thousand whispers. Yezmo’s skin begins to pale into a light grey. His once muscled body turns into a shriveled up mess of skin too tight on bones. Yezmo lets out one final breath of life and then he disappears into ash. Before it can fall onto Raiyo’s skin, it flares up like paper falling into a flame. Smoke added to Raiyo's body. Raiyo’s gives a sigh of satisfaction and moves to stand. I step back. Where his clothing from before had covered up in strange ways, it becomes clear that he was indeed hiding something. There are tattoos all over his body. Thousands of small symbols are all over his arms and hands. All except the thumbs. There are some over the area of his heart, a place below his ribs, a large curve that is below his belly button and more curling upwards along his stomach. More are all over his legs until it reaches his upper thighs. Raiyo seems to realize I am looking at them all since he turns in a slow circle. His back is fully covered in markings as well. They are not at all normal tattoos. They seem to be alive! They burn a bright orange glow. It is almost like a living fire is forever flaring under his skin. Embers flickering under his flesh. Random pulses of life seem to ripple through them as bright yellow heat flies through the lines. It’s beautiful. Why would he ever want to hide it? “Since you got a good look,” Raiyo turns to me with sly smile and runs his claws over the middle of his robe, over his stomach. The rope really doesn't hide anything. “Do you mind telling me why you interrupted my meal?” I shiver before giving a small nod. All of a sudden it has become hard to keep eye contact with him again. “Come,” He says, motioning to a couch sitting by a fireplace, “would you be so kind as to lend me your hand?” I nod and hold out my hand. He takes it and he seems to give a genuine smile at the touch. Strange. Raiyo leads me to sit and I just stare at the fire as he slowly drags his fingers against my hand. We don’t really say anything. I can thankfully tell he isn’t staring at me this time. I guess he is waiting for me to start talking? I don’t really know how to start. There are so many questions. I just feel so...lost and useless. “You are not.” Raiyo’s voice says in my head. I peek over at him and see he is gazing into the fire. He has a smile on his face. “It is fine to be lost. Angry even. I know I was when I learned about you.” I jerk my head to the side. “You can stop that now.” Raiyo laughs, the echoes seem to reach into my mind. He speaks out loud, “Call it a habit then. It isn’t everyday I get to peek into a star’s mind.” I jerk my hand away from his claws and keep my eyes on the floor. “Why...Why would Mother keep all this from me?” I ask. Raiyo leans back and drums his fingers on the armrest. “Well, as you can see, I am not Taisla, so I don't have a perfect answer. Though I do have experience with her, which you clearly lack. To put it simply, Taisla is a bitch.” My eyes go wide at that. “She does whatever she wants, whenever she wants. She gets into everyone’s business, she causes mayhem for others. Taisla likes to keep others in the dark. It is her way of being the one who holds the cards.” I frown at that. It doesn’t really give me answers. “Yes I am aware that isn’t that answer you want. Unfortunately, that is the best answer I can give you. She is a god. Like all gods,” He gestures to himself, “We tend to do what we please. It isn’t great, even I try to keep to myself, but Taisla and Morgoren...those are the worst. “ “That is my father right?” I whisper. Raiyo’s eyes seem to burn brighter. “Absolutely not. Neither of them are your parents. Morgoren took you from your home and made you into something that would have done more damage than good. Thankfully that stupid couple are constantly at each other's throats, otherwise you would be a weapon used to bring destruction into the world.” “A weapon? What kind of weapon?” I feel my hands shaking and quickly hug myself to keep them still. “I do not know, but I am glad Taisla managed to stop it in time, even if she is a gigantic bitch.” Raiyo says. He seems a little lost in thought after that. His mask seems to disappear for a moment. For once I don’t see just a god, but someone who is in a world that they are trying to keep safe. Yes, Raiyo is good. Kind of. The memory of Raiyo eating that demon’s soul flares back into my memories. I shiver and hug myself even tighter. “I do it because it makes me feel again. Yezmo was causing more damage than anything to the humans. It wasn’t in vain.” Raiyo says. The mask has returned and his fiery gaze turns to me. “You think too loud.” “What do you think about this? About me?” I ask, a bit concerned for my safety. I don’t want to possibly get on bad terms with him. I find him interesting, in a creepy kind of way. “I find you as a living compliment, it is not everyday that sleeping with a god manages to make them crazy enough to create a clone.” Raiyo chuckles to himself and turns back to the fireplace. “You should return to Tobias, Luno. We will speak more tomorrow. I have a task that would work deliciously with your powers.” He grins at the word deliciously and I can't help but shiver. I squeak and give a nod. I quickly stand and make my leave. I wanted to ask more, but he had asked me to leave. Just as I open the door to my bedroom, a thought sparks into my mind. He had said my name. Raiyo already knew my name.
  5. JujuTheDruid

    Meeting Royalty

    The Spirit Sailor has stopped rowing the boat and is now letting us slowly drift in the open water. I believe it is almost time to teleport. “Why are we slowing down?” Luno says next to me. He lifts his head from my shoulder and glances up at me before turning to let his hand trail in the water. He hasn’t said much for awhile. I guess just thinking about all that we talked about. He seemed really confused. A bit strange that the Gatekeeper of the Heavens would keep Luno in the dark. Gods thrive on sharing information. They love to share it with others to seem like they know better and all. Why wouldn’t she tell Luno a thing? Especially about her husband. Or even the one who slept with her husband. I personally don’t see why the Gatekeeper got angry at Raiyo. Sure, he is the god of persuasion and seduction, but the moon god has clearly been unfaithful to the Gatekeeper for thousands of years. “We are about to make our way to Enfierna.” I say and glance behind us at the Spirit. He gives a nod. It is always best to make sure he is taking you to the right realm. It would be pretty bad if we somehow found ourselves at heaven’s gates. I would bet that the Gatekeeper would be very cross to learn that her son is trying to meet Raiyo of all people. “Then why are we slowing down?” Luno asks. I just sigh. So many questions. Can’t he save them for when he meets Raiyo? “We are going to teleport. Enfierna is Raiyo’s realm. He owns it.” I say through gritted teeth. Honestly, Luno’s voice is starting to annoy me. “Now can you just shut up for two seconds?” Luno bites his lip and the flowers in his hair start to turn red. I am pretty sure they change color based on his mood. For instance, they may be red because he is angry. He is too damn nice to do anything about it however. Apparently he took my words seriously because two seconds later, he says, “Would he try to kill me?” I just laugh at that. “Honestly? I don’t know. I doubt it. I could try to tell him not to if you want.” I smile down at him. Then I remember something. “You should know something about demons however. They all have titles. Well, some do anyway. Raiyo is one of them. He takes it very seriously. All the Archdemons are considered Princes. While Raiyo is supposed to be call a Prince, everyone considers him a king.” Luno’s brow furrow, “Why is that? I thought the moon god was the king?” “Well,” I start as the water below us begins to foam with bubbles, “nobody really thinks of him as a king. He never does anything for us, doesn’t even tell us what to do. Raiyo however, he does everything. He cares for us, gives us rules, pretty much keeps the peace. The fact he was the first demon created is also a big part. We all consider him the true king of demons” Luno nods in understanding and glances over the boat. “I guess the moon god can’t really do anything about it since Raiyo can’t die right?” “Yup,” I say and the water begins to rise and surround the boat in a giant bubble. Luno leans back against me, almost as if he is scared. I just roll my eyes. You’d think someone with this much power wouldn’t be so scared of such things. The Son of the Gatekeeper of the Heavens. I didn’t even know gods could have children. I am pretty sure they can’t. He doesn’t look like the moon god. I’ve never seen the Gatekeeper but I have a feeling he doesn’t look like her either. It is strange. He looks so much like...it doesn’t make any sense. The bubble begins to lower us into the water and the light from above begins to slip away. Soon we are surrounded by the darkness that lurks at the bottom of the sea. “This is scary.” Luno whispers. I sigh and wrap my arm around his shoulders. Anything to shut him up. He pulls his cloak tighter against him. The bubble begins to shine and change into a bright orange color. Almost like liquid fire. It soon shines enough that you can’t see past the bubble. Flakes begins to peel off of it and then we begin to rise. The boat jets upwards and just as the last of the bubble’s flakes fly away, we breach the surface of what looks like a black sea. The sky is no longer blue with the sun, but it is orange. No light source can be found. The sky always looks like this. There are the few dark clouds that roll around but none seem to be out today. In the giant black sea, there is only one island. A giant island that holds a castle in the middle of it. Lights can be seen from the many windows that scatter around the walls. Black wisps fly out of them and some return from wherever they were in the world, they carry information. Whispers to give to Raiyo. He says that most are prayers or cries from his followers in the human world. “Does he know we are coming? Wouldn’t it be rude if we just let ourselves in?” Luno whispers. “You can stop whispering, and yes I am pretty sure he knows we are here now. This is his home. I wouldn’t doubt that he senses that we are here already.” I say and keep my eyes on the castle. We reach a small dock. As soon as we hop off, the Spirit Sailor gives a small nod and then turns to leave. He keeps his eyes on the castle for a few moments before the boat sinks into the water. There is a clear path that leads straight to the castle. On either side of the path are naked white trees. Their branches curl close to the path but never pass over. There are large thorns that cover the trunks and black wisps weave their way around them. We walk along the path at a bit of a slow pace, Luno is walking far too slow. I am not exactly complaining. This place creeps my out as well. Luno keeps a grip on my arm as a wisp flies a little too close to him. It lingers in front of us for a moment before it darts towards the castle. No doubt to tell Raiyo that we are on our way. “Those things are creepy.” Luno whispers. I guess I shouldn’t get onto him for whispering again. “What do I say when I greet him? I know I can’t just say it like I am speaking to a normal person.” “Oh you don’t have to worry about that. While we consider him the king of demons, he prefers to keep it pretty casual. Not many listen to that, but you can say whatever. Just don’t be mean obviously. Otherwise you won’t survive this little trip.” Luno’s face seems to pale at that. Yeah I don’t blame him. At least I’ve met Raiyo a few times. Working under my uncle has led me to join him in meetings that happen to include the King of Demons. I know when my uncle was explaining things for my first meeting with Raiyo, I just about threw up from being so nervous. The last time I saw Raiyo was about fifty years ago. He is an interesting god. Just a bit intimidating. The path is completely empty. A light fog has begun to form. The branches on either side of us scratch and clap together as the wind dances through them. “I’m scared.” Luno says, his grip on my arm just tightens even more. I try and wrestle my arm away, “I know.” Is all I say in response. I don’t really know how to comfort this person. It is strange seeing him so scared. I’ve only seen him happy and then that brief moment where I made him cry. That...that made me feel pretty awful. I don’t know why honestly. I’ve literally only just met him. The cool air passes through my hair. I shiver a bit and look down to see that Luno doesn’t seem cold at all. Sure he has the cloak but it is a bit chilly. He has his stomach and chest out so he should be feeling the cold. ~~~ ~~~ A black wisp darts in front of me and I give a small shriek and freeze. Tobias just snorts and moves a hand to my back to push my forward. “Relax. That’s all you need to do. Relax.” He says. I try to even out my breathes but we are right at the front entrance of the castle. It is gigantic and beautiful. It also looks scary. There is just a constant wave of black wisps that fly in and out of all the windows. They make is creepier than it should be. Gargoyles are perched on some corners of the castle. All windows are lit in a orange glow that must have candles. At the very tip top of the castle, a dark cloud swirls around. “Just stick close to me.” Tobias says before grabbing my hand and pushing open the front door. Inside is so much more different. While it was dark and gloomy outside, inside it is bright and colorful. A large chandelier hangs above us. Diamonds seem to glitter from the lights. There aren’t any candles. Just strange balls of white light. A gigantic fireplace is to our left and bright red furniture surrounds it. It all is trimmed with wood painted gold. Paintings of deserts and forests cover the walls here. A giant marble stairway sits in front of us. It even goes past the ceiling. A woman with horns on her head walks in front of us. She is a demon. I would imagine everyone here is a demon. “Our king will be down in a moment to greet you, Lord Anyaste.” She gives a small bow before turning to stand at the side of the bottom of the stairs. “Lord Anyaste?” I give a small giggle. Mostly to try calm my nerves. He gives a loud sigh. “I just knew you were going to say something about it,” Tobias says, “Not now.” Footsteps are soon heard from above us. I turn my gaze to the stairs and feel my heart pounding in my ears. A gigantic man with skin as black as night starts thumping his way down the stairs. He wears silver armor and a black bear’s fur as a cape. I have to bite my lip to not say anything. The man has a giant sword strapped to his back. He has horns that are covered in a shiny silver metal. There are scars all over his face and his eyes are a deep shade of red. Greying hair spreads around him like a lion’s mane and falls onto his shoulders. He looks angry. “Is that him?” I whisper to Tobias. “Nope,” he says in a normal voice, not at all trying to keep quiet, “that’s him.” I turn back to the stairs and see another person behind the giant demon. They...they kind of look like me? The other person has tan skin but not as dark as mine. His hair is as black as night and not a mess of curls. He has long bangs that covers one eye. Their hair isn’t really curly but it is slightly wavy. Their hair is medium length on the sides but it doesn’t touch their shoulders. His eyes are scary. I’ve never seen eyes like those. Not even on animals. What should be whites in his eyes they are instead black. His irises are a bright orange that literally glows. His pupils are a dark yellow color. Though you can’t really tell if he has pupils. It kind of blends with the orange. His face isn’t as full as mine. His cheekbones are a little sharper and the nose is a little smaller. The outfit is...interesting. It is completely made of black leather. He wears a weird top that covers his shoulders, arms, and chest. It covers four fingers on each hand but leaves his thumbs in the open. He has black claws. I shiver just looking at them. The outfit has a cape that looks to be made of black smoke? It’s weirdly pretty in a way. It just swirls around behind him, completely covering his back. His stomach and sides are out in the open. No scars or anything seem to touch his skin. Well, at least I think so. There are straps of the black leather that are in random places. I have a feeling they aren’t very random. One large strap rises from his left hip bone and connects to the bottom of the top part of the outfit. Another goes along the bottom right of where his ribs would be. He wears boots that reach high into his thighs. Though, he doesn’t really wear pants. Just black leather underwear? The straps that cover parts of his stomach are attached to it. It’s an interesting outfit. I can imagine that for some, it would tempt to want to do things. I glance at Tobias and see he looks to be a bit entranced. Is it weird to be attracted to this person as well? Even if he somewhat looks like me. Surely some kind of magic is giving me these thoughts. The big thing about Raiyo that sticks out to me, is that he doesn’t have horns. A demon without horns seems very weird. While the giant demon from before just stomped he way down the stairs, Raiyo holds himself more gracefully. He stands tall, even if he is rather short, and he keeps his head held high. Though, somehow his hips seem to move in a way that I can’t tell if he’s doing it on purpose or not. I can see Tobias likes how he’s walking. As he gets closer, I notice his hair seems to move a bit on it’s own. Almost like it is underwater. Whenever one flies upwards, it almost looks like it starts to disappear into small trails of smoke. “Why hello there, handsome.” Raiyo purrs and walks up to Tobias. He pulls Tobias down by the top of his armor and kisses him full on the mouth. Tobias kisses him back, though he looks a bit strained while doing so. I think he is under Raiyo’s spell. I just stare in shock. Raiyo steps back and laughs to himself. His voice almost sounds like there is another talking underneath it. It echoes even when he laughs. The giant demon from before is standing at the base of the stares and he gives a loud huff. Raiyo doesn’t even glance back as he openly looks Tobias up and down. “Oh calm down, Yezmo. You just had your fun.” I feel my nose wrinkle a bit in disgust at that. Finally Raiyo looks at me. He doesn’t seem to make a reaction. I thought he would. We kind of look like we are related. He just gives a sly smile and I swear I hear chuckling in my head. “Well, may I ask why Taisla’s creation is here?” Raiyo motions for the area by the fireplace. I swear his eyes burn bright as he mentions that name. Is that the Mother’s name? I’ve never heard it before. It doesn’t sound like it would be Mother’s name. Then again, I never really thought of what her name could be. We take our seats. I sit close to Tobias, and Raiyo sits on a couch all to himself. Well, he mostly lays on it. Raiyo’s eyes seem to burn into me yet he constantly has a smile that just screams that he knows more than I do. I just pull myself closer to Tobias. He doesn’t push me away thankfully. “Do you not see it?” Tobias says, motioning towards me. “Yes I see it.” Raiyo replies, eyes never leaving me. “Well? You don’t have anything to say about it? Not even questioning why it is possible?” Raiyo drums his claws along the top of the couch. The noise just puts me on edge. “Oh I know how it is possible. I even know how it happened.” Oh I see. He just wants to play it along for dramatic effect. “Our good friend, Morgoren, must have had quite the night with me long ago.” Raiyo smirks and a wisp flies in and hovers by his ear. He continues to talk, “The question is, do you want to know how you were born?” I just frown and try not to look directly at him. No matter where I look though, I can still feel his gaze burning into my soul. I’ve never really questioned how I was born. I’ve seen plenty of animals bring life into the world. I just assumed that it was the same with Mother. Is that not how it works? I give a small nod and I swear I can tell that Raiyo has a evil smile. He doesn’t start however. I glance up and see he has stood and is moving to a window. I glance out but see nothing. I then feel it. Mother. “Oh well speak of the bitch! It’s the beautiful Taisla. What are the odds?” Raiyo leans on one foot and keeps a hand on his hip. “Since you finally decided to stop hiding in your son’s shadow, would you like to tell him how he was made, or shall I?” There is venom in his words. Mother’s voice then speaks, “You will tell him nothing, whore!” Her voice is just as deadly as his. “He isn’t ready.” Wait...he can see Mother? “I believe he is, he looks just of age already. Don’t you think?” He glances at me and I see his sly smile is still there. I bet Mother must hate that smile. “Let me in. I shall take him home at this instant.” She says. I blink and look at Tobias. He looks absolutely terrified. I am scared too. I don't really want to talk, even if she clearly sees me. “Oh please. He isn’t some child. Now, since you clearly won’t be telling him anything, you will leave. Send Morgoren my love!” Raiyo blows a kiss to the window and smoke escapes his lips. It passes through the glass and it surrounds what looks to be the shape of a woman. Instantly the smoke burns bright like embers and then the figure is gone. Raiyo walks back to his seat and keeps his eyes on me. “I’ll just give you the fast version, because I don’t really feel like talking too much. You both interrupted some business that I was tending to.” He rolls his eyes. It looks so weird with his fire eyes that burn in darkness. “Basically, you don’t really have parents. You are a star, or...were a star.” He pauses for a bit, before he nods to himself and continues on, “your creator was the moon god, Morgoren. He spent a lovely night with me,” He waves his hand at himself and gives a smile and winks, “and after your bitch of a ‘Mother’ found out, she pretty much cursed me to be unable to die.” He summons a knife made of smoke and without warning, stabs it into his head. It doesn’t really hit. It seems to sink through air. As if nothing is there. The area that should be affected by the blade, instead turns into black smoke. He throws the knife over his shoulder and continues talking, it almost hit the giant demon. “Well, Morgoren decided, if he couldn’t have me, he’d make his own version to keep for himself. So he took a star from the sky, that would be you, and tried to carve it up. He tried to shape it to look just like me then give you life. Clearly he couldn’t get it perfect.” Raiyo gestures towards his hair. “From what I know, he also wanted to turn you into a weapon. Taisla happened to find his little experiment,” he waves a hand at me, “and she tried to corrupt it. No doubt angry that it managed to look somewhat like me.” He rolls his eyes but still smiles nonetheless. “Taisla managed to make you the opposite of what he wanted. Not at all a weapon, but instead you have become this...beacon of life. The star’s energy, your energy, provides life. Something Morgoren does not like. If I were you, I would use that power as much as I can. It gives a nice ‘fuck you’ to the old bastard.” Raiyo smirks and leans back in his couch. “Yezmo.” Raiyo says, his voice echoing throughout the castle. The giant demon enters the room immediately. “Set up a room for the both of them. Only one bed.” He smirks at Tobias. He then blinks and glances at me. “I don’t believe I ever got your name.” I am about to say it but he just waves a hand at me. “Eh, it doesn’t really matter. I doubt we will ever speak again after you leave.” Raiyo moves to stand and begins to walk to the stairs, his hips seem to roll with each step. “You however,” he points to the giant demon, “are free to accompany me to my chambers.” He starts to walk up the stairs but then his body dissolves into smoke. A grainy black swirl of darkness begins to float up the stairs. He disappears from our sights. The giant demon practically runs up the stairs. “Well,” Tobias says after a moment, “That wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be honestly.”
  6. JujuTheDruid

    Off We Go

    It was a long time ago Mother had said. It was not your fault She said. I find that pretty hard to believe in all honesty. When I woke up this morning, I found Tobias staring at me with a strange expression on his face. I had asked what it was, I even washed my face just in case Avric accidentally slobbered all over me. He’s done that plenty of times before. Tobias would just shake his head and say it was nothing. He hasn’t really made a move to leave. I am not sure why, but I am not going to complain about it. Sure he is quiet, but at least it is someone that can talk back to me, even if he is a bit rude. I was about halfway through feeding everyone, that I remembered I wanted to ask the mystery man some questions. Tobias has been following me at a fair distance. Just watching me make the rounds of feeding all the creatures in the Sanctuary. Might as well try asking now. “So…” I start with a smile to myself, “are you a human by chance?” I don’t turn to wait for his answer. I don’t even think I will get an answer in all honesty. When I am met with a much too long silence, I glance back at him. He only has one eyebrow raised and when he catches my eyes, he says, “Is it not obvious?” He knocks on one of his horns. I just shrug. “Is that supposed to mean something?” I give a shy smile. I have a feeling it is going to be obvious and I’ll look like a bigger idiot to him. Tobias just rolls his eyes and crosses his arms. “I’m a demon, dumbass.” I don’t know why, but I kind of just...freeze. I’ve never met a demon before. He looks so normal. Sure he has horns but I just thought that maybe he was either a demigod, a deformed human, or some special spirit. He sighs and turns his glare to the ground, perhaps thinking that keeping eye contact will disturb me, “What, have you never heard of a demon before? You get all these creatures and spirits in your special Sanctuary, have the most power I’ve ever seen a human control, and you don’t know what a demon looks like.” He just laughs to himself after saying the last sentence. It isn’t a joyful laugh, it sounds more like he’s mocking me. “Mother never told me what you all looked like.” I just mumble, “I only saw one village when I left the Sanctuary.” Then I remember the shadow things that were chasing us, “and I guess the things that chased us was a first too. I didn’t really get a good look at them. Were they demons too?” Tobias just nods and then moves to sit on a stone. A few birds immediately fly over to sit on his shoulders, he immediately bats them away. With a small growl of frustration he speaks. “Well your Mother needs to teach you a thing or two. I am getting a feeling that she has been hiding you here for her own good. Not yours.” I can’t help but give a small gasp. I’ve never heard anyone speak about Mother in such a way. I may get a bit...rebellious, but I don’t push far enough that it would be disrespectful. “Where is your Mother anyway? You have talked about her a few times, shouldn’t she be here with you? Clearly she wouldn’t want a demon like me, anywhere near you. Or does she?” He smirks. “Do not talk about her that way.” I feel myself glare. She has kept me safe for all these years, I am not going to let some demon speak of her like this. “She has helped me, survive for all these years. Not only me, but all these creatures too.” Tobias’ smirk is gone, instead there seems to be shock. I am not sure why, I am pretty sure I wasn’t being rude. I hope I wasn’t. “Sorry if I was mean.” I quickly say. He just shakes his head. “Do...do you happen to be related to someone named Raiyo?” He asks. I just shake my head slowly, “Um, nope. I am very much an only child.” Well, didn't expect the conversation to go in this direction. He bites his lip before standing and walking towards me slowly, I quickly back away. His glare returns, “I am not going to hurt you, I am just checking something.” He stands in front of me and just seems to search my face. The more and more that he keeps searching, the more he seems to become confused. “Are you sure?” He randomly asks after searching for who knows what. “Yeah I am very sure.” I say with one eyebrow raised. “Wait! Don't move. Keep your eyebrow like that,” He says and I do as he says, “Now give me a smirk. One that says you know something I don't.” A bit confused, I try and do as he says, he brushes his fingers through my bangs and tries to moves them to hang a little over my left eye. They quickly just curl back to their place. “Holy shit.” He whispers. “What?” I ask, perhaps a bit too loud, I am a bit scared now. “We should go.” He says and turns around for the shack, “We need to speak to someone.” “Go?” I can’t help but laugh. “I am not going out there! It’s scary and dangerous.” Tobias stops moving and I almost run into his back. He turns to me and glares once again. “If it is so dangerous, then why were you out there earlier?” He says and then turns to walk again. “You saw how it looked! I needed to fix it!” I shout and run to walk next to him. “Shouldn’t you be angry that I did that? I fixed the destruction of that land.” He frowns and glances at me, “why would I be angry about that? You even fixed-” He stops and seems to think for a moment. He just sighs, shakes his head, and continues to walk on. “Do you even know what is going on out there? The world is dying. I could honestly just ask my acquaintance what is happening, but I really don’t want to see him right now.” We reach my home and he starts to pack up his things. There isn’t much really, he only got out a few things to clean himself up. “You are talking about Raiyo?” I ask. It is probably a dumb question. He just nods and then turns to me. “I may be a demon, but we do not want the world to wither away. I saw you bring back the life that was sucked away in that forest, sure that was man-made, but there are so many places in the world that could use your abilities.” I bite my lip at that. I really would like to help honestly, but I don't want to leave this place. It is scary out there. Yet another voice is telling me to just go. Don't stay trapped in this small heaven. It isn't real. “Can...can you keep me safe out there?” I ask and wrap my arms around myself. He just gives me a look that says ‘really?’ “I do not use my magic to hurt people, I have sworn against it and so I will never hurt anyone or anything.” Then he says what Mother says. “Well, that’s a waste.” I would lie if I said it hurts. I feel the same about it. It is a waste. I wish someone else had it. I wait for him to give an answer. With a loud sigh, “Fine, I’ll ‘protect’ you.” He mimics quotation marks with his fingers. “You better keep me alive at least.” “Of course I would. I mean...I’d try to at least.” I bounce on my toes. Everything in my mind is telling me to not get excited about this. It keeps trying to think about Viktor and Monie. It especially keeps trying to remember the village people. Speaking of, I wonder if Tobias knows of the village. “Have you ever been to a village called Varen?” I ask. I guess a small part of me still kind of cares for them. Sure they hated me, but I hope they at least are doing well. “Varen? I don’t think I’ve ever heard of it.” He says before looking me up and down. “Do you happen to own any clothes? I seriously doubt you will want to wear that.” I frown before looking down. “What’s wrong with it?” I ask while pulling on my silver belly chain. “It is a bit...revealing. I mean, Raiyo kind of dresses the same way, but I doubt you’d want anyone else seeing you that way.” I purse my lips, “I mean...I also own a cloak?” I ask more than state. I don’t really own clothes. He just sighs before nodding. “Whatever. Since it is daytime, we should wait for tomorrow morning.” I just shake my head. “It’s actually nighttime outside. It’s the opposite in here so I know when I am allowed to go out there, if I ever do.” He just gives me a confused look. “Why would you do that? You scared of the dark?” He asks. “No! Mother just says I am supposed to hide from the moon. Apparently the moon is a mean god.” I whisper the last sentence as if the moon god would be able to hear me. “Yes well,” He grunts, “You’re not wrong. Sadly, he is the demon king. Who is your mother anyway?” “She’s the gatekeeper of the heavens.” I say with a shrug. He stops moving. “Ok,” He gives a small squeak. He clears his throat, “We really need to speak to Raiyo. I guess we’ll leave when it’s sundown here.” I give a nod and then we wait. Well, Tobias waits. I decide to make a bunch of food to last for the creatures. They have food in their habitats, but I am making more food just to be safe. I do not know how long I will be gone this time. ~~~ ~~~ We are back on the beach. Right where we met. “This is so romantic!” I tease and poke Tobias’ arm. He just rolls his eyes and reaches into one of the many pockets hidden in his armor. He pulls out a gold coin and then throws it out into the water. It rings in the air like a tiny bell. It skips on the surface twice before it sinks into the water. After about five minutes, nothing has happened. “What are we doing? Why did you throw that gold coin? I thought we were going to go see Raiyo.” I flop onto the sand and dig my toes into it. The sun has risen past the horizon now and we are just sitting here waiting for who knows what. Tobias sighs and sits next to me. “Must be busy today. Now, can you please, shut the fuck up?” He gives a fake smile and then turns back to the water. I just roll my eyes and tug on Kulu around my neck. Yeah I couldn’t leave my favorites behind this time. Enfi is flying around doing whatever she likes to do. Scouting. Apparently she couldn’t scout out a mean demon. Finally, something seems to happen. The wind starts to pickup and the waves in the water begin to become more violent. I reach out to the waves to make sure they aren’t angry and see they are their usual enthusiastic selves. I guess they don’t mind what is happening to them. I stand and wipe off any sand on my cloak and hands. I dip my feet into the water and the float next to Tobias, finally at eye level with him. I might as well keep myself as clean as I can. I don't have shoes, nor do I want them. A couple of feet away from the beach, the water begins to have white, foamy bubbles reach the surface. A dark shadow begins to form under the water and then a giant geyser erupts. A boat painted black breaks past the surface and a flag with a strange orange symbol is waving in the air. The symbol holds a wolf head surrounded by two curving vines on either side of it. As soon as the water calms, the boat moves towards us and sits on the sand. A large hooded man stands with an oar in his hands. He looks like those pirates I’ve seen in those books Mother found for me. The only difference would be that he’s wearing a black hood. I do see bright yellow eyes under the hood. We quickly step onto the boat and then I see he has a wolf’s head. A regular human body but he has a wolf’s head. It morphs into his neck and then the fur changes into pale skin. It is tanned a bit, no doubt from the man's time in the ocean. It is pretty….interesting, and a bit creepy. He glances at me and his eyes go wide. He stares at me for a few moments before shaking his head and turning to Tobias. “Your destination?” He says to Tobias. He has a very deep voice, it sounds very tired as well. “Enfierna.” He says to the pirate wolfman. Not really seeming to think twice about the deformed person in front of us. When Tobias says the name, the wolfman almost seems to give a sad look, instantly it disappears. I have a feeling that place is scary. With a nod, the wolfman turns to the back of the boat and soon we are set for the water on the horizon. I am guessing we are going to the shadow of an island in the distance. “So, who is Raiyo?” I ask. I have only heard his name, but nothing of what he is. “I am surprised your Mother didn’t tell you about him out of anything in this world. Well, He’s uh...a bit interesting,” Tobias says,.The wolfman behind us chuckles. “Raiyo is a god but he is also an Archdemon. One of the first demons created.” I frown at that. If he is a god, that means the humans worship him. They would also be worshiping a demon. “Yes, that means humans worship a demon as well.” He smirks. I blink in surprise. How did he know I was thinking that? “A bunch of humans worship him and they know he is a demon. He is considered the god of a few things. Seduction, Persuasion, and Vengeance.” I give a weird look at that. It is a bit of a weird combination. I would get persuasion and seduction, but vengeance? “Like some gods, Raiyo answers the prayers and calls of his followers. Most of them are women, prostitutes, or poor. He has a huge soft spot for victims of assault.” The more I hear about him, the more I wonder how this god is possibly a demon. He seems pretty nice to me. “He doesn’t seem bad at all. How is he considered a demon at all?” I ask. “Well, he is an Archdemon, and so that means he isn't exactly, good.” Tobias says with a roll of his eyes, “Raiyo is more of a loose cannon. He does as he wants and pleases. I know he seduced the moon god and slept with him...while the moon god was already married to your mother.” At that my eyes go wide. I didn’t know my mother was the moon god’s lover. “Yeah it was pretty bad. Raiyo started a small war with that. All he did was laugh it off and carry on like it was nothing, even if there was a war of angels and demons.” “Why didn’t they punish him for it?” I ask. “Well, when Raiyo was created, your mother decided to make him completely immortal, he is the only one that is that way. Angels, Demons, and Gods may be able to live forever, but we can all still die. Raiyo is the only one who will forever live. Since she did that, what was the point on trying anything against him?” “Well, that doesn’t seem so bad. It would mean you get to enjoy the world more.” I frown. I would want the one who hurt my mother to suffer more than just living forever. It doesn’t seem like a fair trade at all. “Oh that wasn’t all she did. She made it so that he can’t feel a thing. You could touch his cheek and he wouldn’t feel it. He can’t taste anything, smell anything, he can only look on with his eyes and ears. Watching and listening while everyone enjoys the small things in life, like drinking a small sip of water. Just imagine that. Living forever and not being able to feel a thing.” I do try and imagine it, and I don’t like it. I am not sure if Raiyo is deserving of that in all honesty. Nobody would be. Why can’t everyone just be happy and live in peace together? This all just gives me a headache. Gods should be setting an example. Not causing troubles to themselves and others. I shiver and pull the cloak tighter around me. I glance at the wolfman, and see a sad expression on his face again. I see why he is like that now. I would be sad too if I were to think about the god that can’t feel anything. I guess that explains where Mother goes when she doesn’t talk to me. She is either with her husband or she is at the gates of heaven. If what Tobias says is true, then I would imagine the gates were quite busy right now. I wonder why she hasn't asked me to help her. One thing sticks out to me out of all this. Why would Mother tell me to hide from the moon if she is married to the moon god? It doesn’t make any sense. “Well this is weird.” Tobias says. I look up at him and raise my eyebrows. “You aren’t as talkative as you usually are. I like this change.” He gives a cocky grin. I roll my eyes with a smile, “I am just thinking. My Mother tells me to hide from the moon god, yet she is married to him. Why would she do that?” He wraps his arm around my shoulders but seems to realize was he is doing and jerks it away. “Uh-um...I was wondering that too,” He sits up more and turns his gaze to the water in front of us, “Then I remembered, the moon god is a huge asshole.” My eyes just about bug out of my head. “Oh relax, it’s daytime.” He waves it off and keeps talking, “he has a history of causing some serious damage. Have you ever heard of The Tragedy of Yinx?” I nod my head. Yes I have heard of that story. Mother told me about the God of darkness, and the Evil God who killed a young man named Yinx, destroyed half a city, and just gave a bad name to the gods. I guess Mother didn’t want to tell me about the moon god and so she changed the name to ‘evil god’. If she thinks he is evil, why would she marry him? “Yeah well there is that as an example. He has also started many wars with the humans. The old god also tends to try and get more power.” He frowns before turning to me, “maybe it is just me, but I have a feeling that the world’s life force being sucked away also has something to do with him.” I give a small nod and turn to the water. I even lean my head on Tobias’ shoulder. He doesn’t shrug me off. So many things to think about. I wish I could talk to Mother right now. I have so many questions. These are all questions of things I learned from a random demon, things Mother should have told me long ago. Perhaps this Raiyo will have answers for me? If he has a history with my Mother, then surely he knows something.
  7. JujuTheDruid

    Varen, the Village of Thorns

    Many Years Ago I have finally decided to leave the Sanctuary. Mother was completely against it but somehow, I was able to pass through her enchantments and walk through the portal. I didn’t really feel anything fighting against me. Perhaps a small part of her wanted me to go out to explore the world as well? I decided to leave Enfi and Kulu. I promised I would be back after a few weeks. I just really want to see what is out there. I packed a big pouch full of blueberries and then walked off. Mother made me a cloak for my birthday. It was lined with fur. Fur! That isn’t right at all! I tried to politely decline the gift and she just ignored me for the rest of the day. I decided that if she wanted to ignore me, then I want to be able to explore what is out there. Mother had said that it is scary out there. She had said that humans are mean and smelly, that they do not approve of magic or anything new. Mother would always end every argument with a simple line, they wouldn’t understand. I refuse to believe they would be as dumb as she thinks they are. It gets very boring in the Sanctuary. Don’t get me wrong, I love all my friends in the Sanctuary, but I want to meet a human! I want to speak to someone who would be able to speak back. Mother is just invisible so it isn’t the same at all. I am in a nice green forest where the trees just tower into the sky. Birds are singing their sweet songs, and I smile. I am not sure why, but the air out here feels more...fresh. It is probably just me being stupid, but it does feel different. More open. More free. Now, where does one go to find humans? I could always try to fly around and find a village or city, but I doubt anyone would be happy to see that. Not to mention, I doubt I could control the air much right now. I am still training. I had said that I don’t believe humans are dumb, but I didn’t say I’d ignore Mother’s warnings. If they really don’t like magic, then I will try to not use any when I find them. What if one of them gets hurt? I know how to heal rather easily. I guess that would be a bad idea too, though. I decide to follow a river. Humans would try to stick to water wouldn’t they? I reach over the edge to hover my fingers above the running water. It doesn’t respond. It ignores me and continues to quickly flow onward. I frown. Strange. Water is usually nice and happy. This river is stubborn and mean. I wonder why it is acting this way. I guess that means no swimming. Before walking on, I grab a few berries and drop them into the water as an offering. Any little bit helps. I follow along the river and decide to pick up a few flowers I might want to grow back at the sanctuary. I can easily keep them alive for the weeks to come before I head back. I stick them into my berry pouch and decide to instead offer the berries to any passing animals. I could find something else to eat here. I could always just grow them instantly from nothing, but I want to try and keep away from magic for as long as possible. I guess that was a bit too much to ask for. I glance behind me and see that a small herd of animals are trailing behind me. I smile. “Hello everyone! Just passing through!” I wave and turn to keep on walking. Every time I glance back, the group just seems to grow. There are so many deer here, it is a bit insane. A couple of beavers, a bunch of squirrels, and one black bear. Birds fly from tree to tree above me. I just shake my head and snort. Crazy things. I don’t know why they are following me. Is it because of the berries? I glance around me for any signs of humans, I don’t see anything fur-less so I guess it is safe. I kneel down and wave my hands over a patch of grass between two trees. Five bushes begin to grow and sprout. The berries begin to form as small red dots and then soon they turn into blue ones. I quickly grab a handful for myself and then continue to walk on. I am about to pop a berry into my mouth when the animals begin to scatter. I glance behind me as they scatter into the forest. I frown before turning to face forward once again. I freeze when I see them. It is...a human! A man. He’s tall, has yellow hair, and brown eyes. Wide brown eyes. Oh, he’s staring at me in shock. Did he see the animals or the bushes? “Uh...hello!” I give a shy smile and wave my hand. The man just blinks before turning his gaze to the bushes. He points at them before squinting his eyes, “Are you some kind of angel?” He says. I laugh and shake my head. Not quite. “No, I’m not.” I smile and slowly walk towards him. “Would you like some? They were for all the animals but I am sure they wouldn’t mind sharing with you.” I offer a few berries from my hand. He reaches a hand out carefully before plucking one from me. He pops it into his mouth and as soon as he swallows, he gives a brilliant smile. “They are very good! My sister would definitely love some.” He grins before he starts to blush, “Uh, if you don’t mind.” I quickly start grabbing berries off a bush. “No, no! Take all you need! Do you have something I can put these in?” I ask and lift a handful for him. He opens a small leather pouch that is attached to his belt. “Perfect!” I beam and then move to stuff as many blueberries as I can into the little pouch. As soon as a berry pops and begins to make a mess, we stop. “My name is Viktor!” He says before holding his hand out to me. I just stare at it before lifting an eyebrow. “My name is Lunarico.” I smile but keep an eye on the hand. “What are you doing?” He laughs before dropping his hand, “It is a greeting? Where are you even from?" I shrug in answer and he smirks, "We hold hands and then shake them. Also I take it your parents blessed you with the name of the demigod, eh?” I just smile and nod. “Something like that.” I hold my hand out. “I want to try it.” He flashes a warm smile before grabbing my hand gently. “It is awfully nice to meet you, Lunarico.” He lifts my hand and then kisses the top of it. I tilt my head to the side in confusion. “What did you just do?” I ask. Viktor’s face begins to flush red and then he clears his throat, “Uh...M-my ma used to say that I should do that when I meet someone pretty.” I can’t help but blush at that and laugh. “Well, you’re awfully sweet, Viktor.” ~~~ ~~~ “Welcome to Varen!” Viktor keeps his hand on my lower back and urges me along the small village. It’s pretty nice here. There are only a handful of buildings that are close together in a tight circle. Then they begin to spread out in the trees like a spiraling spider’s web. The people were pretty nice I guess. They didn’t really trust me, not that I can blame them. I would be nervous too if someone was randomly in my home. I get a few disapproving looks when they see my outfit. I don’t really see what is wrong with it. It isn’t cold. It’s actually pretty warm here. I would very much like to go for a swim, but the river isn’t happy so that is never a good idea. “Now, you must meet Monie. I bet she will love the little flowers over your ears.” He grins and reaches out to touch one. As soon as he rubs on it, I have to bite my tongue. Nobody has ever done that. I didn’t even know I could feel something like that! Then he decides to pull on it! I...should not be feeling this sensation. Oh gods. “Huh, you must have them tangled in your hair.” He, thankfully, turns forward and continues to walk. I try to hide the blush that has spread across my face. “Uh, y-yeah! Yeah of course!” I manage and try not to think about his hand on my back. We walk past a few houses until there are a bunch of trees that surround us. “Where are we going?” I ask, a bit confused. We pretty much just left the village. “Home!” He grins and keeps walking. “It is a bit further away from everyone. It’s fine though. We have two neighbors.” We continue walking on a path that is framed by long strips of wood that have different carvings put into them. We've reached a small group of homes. They have large logs used for the walls and roof. They are all pretty tall. Definitely a lot bigger than my little home. There are three wooden houses. All are lined up with the path. The one at the very end is where Viktor leads me. The house has potted plants hanging below the windows. Between the two windows, is the door. It is painted green. It has a carving of a bear family. Two adult bears and two little cubs. Viktor doesn’t even knock on the door, he just pushes it open and walks inside. I debate on if I should really stay. I have only just met the man and he’s leading me to his house. Sure, it’s to deliver berries to his little sister but maybe this isn’t a great idea. Squealing comes from inside and then bare feet running across the wooden floors can be heard. “Viktor!” A little girl with long golden hair rounds a corner and sprints right for Viktor. He leans down and scoops her up with a mock groan. “Monie! You are so heavy! I came to make you heavier.” He grins and pecks her cheek. She gives a bright smile and then moves her eyes to me. “Monie, this is Lunarico,” Viktor makes the introductions, “Lunarico, this is Monica, but she goes by Monie.” He beams when he talks about his sister. It’s very cute! “Lunarico?” Monie tests the name. “Can I call you Luna?” She grins. I can’t help but laugh. “I would prefer Luno in all honestly.” I smile and then gasp. “Give her the gift!” I motion for the little leather pouch on his hip. Viktor sets Monie down and then fumbles with the buckle. “Oh! I could always, uh," I start but immediately stop. I was going to offer to put bushes next to their house, but I don’t want them to be scared. “Always what?” Monie asks. “Um...I could-” I fumble with my words before Viktor cuts in. “We could plant some bushes behind the house!” He grins and turns to wink at me. I blush and drop my gaze to the floor. “Yay! I love blueberries!” Monie beams before running past us and out the door. “I’m going to see Ivern and Crolia!” She shouts before dashing off. There is a small silence as Viktor and I just stand by the door. Then he breaks it. He places a hand on my shoulder, “Do not worry about your magic. We are not against it.” I look up at him to make sure he isn't lying. He wouldn’t just lie to me would he? “Are you sure?” I give a shy smile. It is a bit strange being a bit scared to show my magic. None of the creatures in the Sanctuary seem to dislike it. “One hundred percent!” He smiles and pushes me out the door. We walk along his house and decide to put the bushes on the side that keeps it hidden from the neighbors. I wave my hand over the grass and feel Viktor leaning over me to watch closely. I smile to myself and let the magic do it’s thing. As soon as the berries turn blue, I pop one off and eat it. Viktor does the same. Then he starts to pop another and then another. “You know, I wouldn’t mind seeing more of your magic.” He says around a mouthful of berries. I laugh before eating another berry. “Perhaps away from the eyes of others?” I smile. He nods frantically and grins, his teeth stained from the berry juice. I giggle and quickly move to show him things further upstream, away from the village. ~~ ~~ Two Weeks Later “I’m sorry.” Viktor frowns and rubs my cheek lightly. I just sigh and let him press the wet rag against the bruise. A little boy threw a rock at me. No doubt his parents have told him things about me. Somehow the village learned of my magic. I guess someone spotted me while I was demonstrating to Viktor. They weren’t so trusting from me before, but now...now they scold Viktor and Monie for allowing me to stay in their home. They keep saying that magic is demonic and that I am most likely courted with a demon. I don’t even know what a demon looks like. I know I am not a demon. They are just scared, I think. I have offered to leave multiple times, but Viktor just tries to tell me that if I leave, he and Monie will leave with me. Monie was more than happy with the idea. As soon as word got around that I could use magic, Monie practically begged me to show her if it was true. How could I say no to her sweet little face? I give a small smile. “Maybe a kiss will make it better.” I ask and pretend to pout. Of course, I am rewarded for it. Viktor first kisses the bruise and then pecks my lips. “Of course it will.” He laughs and runs the back of his fingers lightly against the flowers over my left ear. I shiver at the touch and rest my head against his shoulder. Yeah it is a bit hard to just leave. “We should leave this place,” Viktor says as he wraps his arm around my shoulders, “We can move somewhere nice in the woods all on our own!” He pauses, “like a family!” I smile at the thought, but then I can’t just let them drop everything here. They have a nice home here in Varen. A sturdy home and friends all around them. Human friends. Ones that can talk back. “We can be a family here.” I whisper, “I am pretty sure they will get over me eventually.” His arm tightens around me. “I do not want to see you get hurt. They threw a rock at you, Luno. A rock!” “It was just a little kid,” I shrug his arm off and move to the kitchen. “Want something?” I don’t really know how to make any food honestly. I just want this conversation to end already. Viktor wraps his arms around from behind me. “I want you to be safe. What if they try to do something worse? I wouldn’t be able to live with myself.” I sigh and turn in his arms. He stares down into my eyes. He has pretty brown eyes. I swear they almost have flakes of gold when they are caught in the light. “It was just a little boy. He threw a rock. The most that the other villagers ever do, is call me names or corner me to stay away from their homes.” I pat his cheek and smile. “I’ll be fine. I have you and Monie. You both are just two pretty flowers in a bush made of thorns.” He scoffs at that but smiles. “Yet you are the one with flowers attached to your head.” He pokes at one of them. “Hey!” I swat at his arm but laugh. “What were you even going to make? You can’t cook even if your life depended on it.” He pats me on the butt and pushes me away so that he can make dinner. ~~ ~~ “Please!” Monie sings and pulls on my hand. I just laugh and finally let her pull me to the woods. Viktor is helping the old couple next door by chopping wood. Apparently they needed wood even in the middle of the summer. I was watching him chop the wood. He had his shirt off and he was...sweaty...but of course Monie needs me. The princess comes first after all. We walk along the river and away from the village. The river seems to have gotten taller and runs a lot faster. I don’t even have to hold my hand over it to know I will be ignored once again. It is angry. I still do not understand why. Maybe it is always angry? “Now,” Monie says behind me, “I want to see some magic!” I laugh and shake my head. “What do you wish to see, my queen?” I give a dramatic bow and she just pushes against me with a giggle. “I want to see you speak to the animals!” She smiles, her eyes practically glittering. This, this I can happily do. “Well, I don’t ask them to come out for me,” I stand and look around us, “they come at their own choice. I don’t think any want to see me right now, however.” Strange, there aren’t any signs of life anywhere. I over into the water for any fish. Nothing. I frown but quickly paste on a smile when I glance back at Monie. “Would you like to ask for something else?” I ask. Monie puts her hand on her hip and thinks for a moment. “Can you create a flower of out thin air?” She asks, one eyebrow raised and smirks. Oh the little girl thinks she’s being tricky. “Oh, I don’t know,” I fake a sigh and kneel in front of her. I motion for her to hold her hand below mine. She places her hand under my fist and I just think of yellow daisy. I feel the soft petals in my hand and then I open my fist. A single daisy pops into Monie’s open palm. She gives a loud laugh of both shock and awe and I can’t help but laugh with her. ~~ ~~ Two Days Later “It’s ok, Luno.” Viktor squeezes me with his arms and just kisses the top of my head. “I am sure it was an accident. She is definitely in a better place.” His voice shakes and I can tell he is mostly talking to himself right now. We cry together on the small bed. How could this happen? Monie is gone. The village people say she was swept away from the river. They said she was trying to copy me and use demon magic. I know they are just trying to blame somebody, but I can’t help but feel like it is my fault. The truth, based on one of her friends, is that she had tried to hop through some stones to get to the other side of the river. They were too wet and she had slipped. Monie was instantly swept away. Drowned. There wasn't a body to be found. It’s my fault. We were playing the other day and I had risked crossing with the stones. The water must have risen enough to make them slippery. Now she is gone. Monie is gone. I try to stop crying, Viktor needs me more than I need him. Monie was his little sister. I wipe away any snot or tears and pull him down to rest on my chest. That must have been what he needed because he began to cry even harder. His cries only make me feel worse. He holds onto me tight. I just close my eyes and let my tears silently fall. Somehow I must have taken a small nap. Viktor is still on top of me. He is no longer crying but is just staring at the wall next to us. I gently squeeze him. “You’re awake.” He says, not really asking. I just silently nod, a little too numb to talk. There is a brief pause of silence before he moves to stand. “I’m going to go get some firewood, ok? It's a bit chilly in here tonight.” He says and brushes some hair away from my eyes. I nod again. “I’ll be back.” He sniffs, kisses me, and then leaves the house. I curl up onto my side. I don’t really want to think, maybe I should just go back to sleep. If I can. I don’t sleep, I hear shouting outside the house. I sit up and then I smell smoke. I frown and move to the window. It is a bit dark so I don’t really see anything. I jump as a villager’s face pops up. He has an mean look and he is holding a torch. “Child killer!” I hear pounding on the front door. “Demon!” “The demon has started a fire!” Voices shout all around the house and I back into a corner and hide on the bed. I cover my ears to block out the shouting and keep my eyes on the door. Then I see smoke coming in through the cracks. I frown and run to open the door. Fire. Fire is everywhere! It is on the curtains, the kitchen, the furniture, and it has spread to the walls. How did this even start? They said I did it but I didn’t do this. Did I? I was just trying to sleep. “He will die!” A voice shouts with glee. I shut the bedroom door and run back to the window. They have been boarded up. I try to push on them but they will not budge! “Help!” I shout. “Please! Somebody help me!” Surely someone in this village doesn’t think I am a demon! I don’t want to die! Nobody is listening to me. Every time I hit the boards, they just hit the other side and cackle. I feel tears falling down my cheeks and I push myself into a corner. I hug my knees to myself and close my eyes. I never should have come here. I should have stayed in the Sanctuary. Mother was right. I start to chant the last sentence. Mother was right. Banging on the window grabs my attention for a second, “You dead yet?” A woman’s voice yells. I just close my eyes and cover my ears. I am going to die here. I just keep crying and wait for the fires to breach my door. “Luno!” I hear a voice shout. “Luno, where are you?” It’s Viktor! I hear coughing from outside the bedroom door and then it is kicked open. Smoke practically pours into the room and Viktor’s handsome face is shining with sweat. He spots me in the corner and quickly runs to hug me. “Oh, thank the gods!” He cries and then lifts me up. He carries me out of the room and then he rushes for the open front door. They had tried to board me in! An ax is on the ground. Viktor had to chop his way in. The flames tickle at my toes and the warmth they bring scares me. It isn’t a good warmth. It will burn me. The sound of wood cracking above us causes Viktor to freeze for a second. The second was all it took. Viktor immediately starts to sprint for the door again, the sound of wood breaking fills my ears and then Viktor throws me forward. I only catch a glimpse of his face before a part of the roof collapses right on top of him. I land hard on my back and head. I groan from the impact but quickly try to stand to run back into the house. I only see his hand sticking out before the entire roof collapses in on itself. I sink to my knees, and stare at the burning house. There isn’t any shouting anymore. The people have all gone quiet. Not for long, unfortunately. “He killed Viktor as well.” Voices begin to murmur. “The demon killed them both!” “Figures. Demons would be immune to fire, a shame it killed Viktor.” My hands begin to shake and I slowly stand to face them. I just feel a hot pulse in my chest and I do not know what it is. I continue to rise and soon I realize I am flying. All the villagers look at me in horror. I feel my magic coming to life and my body begins to glow. I...I...I want to hurt them all. I will hurt them all. I let the magic take control and the dark forest begins to brighten as if the sun is shining off of me. The villagers began to scream and claw at their faces. Their screams of agony almost was enough to satisfy me. It isn’t enough. I want them to feel my pain. “Stop.” A voice sternly whispers in my head. “Do not do this, Lunarico.” It’s Mother. “I go by Luno.” I grit out. “Luno...stop this now. You do not want to murder all these people.” Her voice says, almost like it is right in my ear. I do not know why, but when she says murder, it stops me. I blink around and the village’s cries make me stop. The light that my body was giving off dies down, and the forest is dark once again. I keep to the air. The villagers are all gasping for breath on the forest floor. They whimper and cower in fear. I quickly back away. “This is not me,” I whisper to myself and shake my head frantically. “I never wanted to hurt anybody. It isn’t right.” “I know, Luno.” Mother says, “In time, I will tell you what has happened. Now, let us go back to the Sanctuary.” With one last glance at the house that belonged to Viktor and Monie, I nod and close my eyes for a moment. I’m so sorry.
  8. JujuTheDruid

    Proper Introductions?

    Why must that dragon be so smart? I mean obviously he can’t exactly talk back to me, but he pretty much did. I can somewhat figure out what his little sounds mean and he decided to ignore me for running from the human with the horns on his head. It’s not my fault he looks scary. This whole time I thought I was talking to a spirit. I wanted to blame mother for allowing a human to get in here. What if he tries to hurt me? I immediately made that thought go away. Mother is strange but she keeps watch of all gateways into the Sanctuary. If he wanted to do harm, she would have kept him from getting past the portal. The man is tall and wide. Scary muscles and even scarier clothes. He constantly has an angry look on his face. I hope I haven’t offended him. He has the prettiest blue eyes I have ever seen. They are just so bright and it makes me think of the skies. I love the sky. The man also has strange horns in his hair. They are dark and scaly looking. I think they might actually be attached to his head. It’s the same horns that were on the tiger. Well...of course they are. He is the tiger. His skin is pale and has bright pink scars all over his face. They slip under his leather armor. I believe his whole body is the same. Then again, his arm doesn’t have any scarring. It isn't covered by any armor but I won't judge! His hair is a dark brown that is choppy and swept backwards. His bangs would probably hang over his eyes but he keeps a bandana wrapped around his forehead on to keep them up and off his face. He won’t tell me his stupid name! “Please?” I lean forward on the bed and pout, “I told you mine when I first met you!” “Yeah well, you were stupid to do so.” He crosses his arms and continues to glare at me. “You’re mean.” I frown. His gaze goes up to my hair and then he sighs. “Fine,” He rolls his eyes, “It’s Tobias.” “Oh! That’s a nice name!” I smile. He just snorts, “Yeah I bet it is.” He rolls his eyes and look out towards the autumn trees. “Well Tobias,” I get up to stand in front of him. I have to look up. He’s a bit of a tall one. “It is very nice to meet you!" I extend my hand. I think humans still greet each other this way. I hope so or this will just be awkward. He squints his eyes at me almost like he thinks I am going to do anything. He ignores the handshake. Ok then. “Now, I can heal your leg, and then you should leave.” I give a tight smile. He makes me nervous. He just raises an eyebrow at me. “What if I want to stay? You going to hurt me?” He teases. I wrinkle my nose. “Why would I do that?” I walk back to the bed and sit cross-legged. “If I am healing you then I wouldn’t want to hurt you.” He looks at me as if I am some annoying child before shaking his head. “You are the stupidest person I’ve ever met.” He says. I just purse my lips. “You are just going to let me,” He points to himself, “a stranger, stay in your house? What if I were to attack you?” I have thought about that. Plenty of times since seeing him shape-shift. “If you were going to attack me, wouldn’t you have done it by now?” I cross my arms and raise an eyebrow. I feel my eyes starting to water. Dammit! Why am I acting so weak? He lifts his hand as if he is about to say something but he just opens and closes his mouth for a second. His eyes widen all of a sudden and he pulls an evil grin. “Oh yeah? What if I decided to tell other people about this place? I know plenty of people who would just love to get their claws on a place like this.” He smirks motions his hand out to everything behind him. I don’t say anything for a moment. Just sit there and start trembling with fear. “Why would you do that?” my voice shakes. I lift my arm to wipe at my eyes. “C-can you please leave now?” Stop crying Luno! Tobias stands in shock, almost as if he is surprised I am crying. That probably is the reason in all honesty. Gods I am an embarrassment. Enfi flies down from her nail and lands on my knee. She leans forward to rub her head against my cheek. I push her away gently. “I’m fine, Enfi.” I sniff. She chirps before turning to Tobias. Her wings begin to spread and fire begins to bloom on them. I quickly grab her and hug her to my chest. “No, Enfi! Do not hurt him.” I manage to calm her down but she hisses at Tobias before flying back to her nail. Tobias looks a bit scared. I guess that serves him right. “Please leave.” I whisper. I turn away from him and just stare out my window. A few of the creatures are hurrying to their homes. Mother is supposed to make it night time soon. Why did she allow this man to come into the Sanctuary? He clearly doesn’t have good intentions. I don’t hear his boots move to leave. He is just standing behind me in silence. “Please don’t tell anyone about this place.” I say over my shoulder but don’t really look at him. “It’s the only place that is safe for everyone here.” I feel a tear fall and wipe at it furiously. My first interaction with a person in years and I am crying? I guess I have a good reason but still. I am acting weak. Mother will definitely say so later. I wouldn't really blame her. “I…” He whispers, “I wasn’t actually going to tell anyone anything.” I turn to look at him. “Promise?” I frown. He sighs before nodding. “I promise,” He says before he catches my eye, then he shakes his head. “You really shouldn’t just trust random people that you meet.” His glare returns. I just shrug. “I haven’t met anyone in forever.” I poke at the blankets that cover the bed. The sky behind Tobias begins to slowly fade it’s yellows and blues until fades into a purple and then it slips into a pretty dark blue. Thousands of stars pop in and then they twinkle. Not a cloud in the sky. Where clouds once were over the winter section, instead is an aurora of colors that wave around in the sky. Greens and pinks light begin to dance together. Tobias turns to look at the sky. There was a hint of a frown when the sky changed but when the lights in the sky came out to play, it vanished. He finally looks at me again. His expression is no longer the glare but instead it is something more warm. Almost friendly. I smile at him. He blinks before the glare is back again and he turns his gaze to the floor. “I wouldn’t mind any of that healing.” I bounce out of bed and grin. “Ok! Just lay down on the bed.” Tobias steps back when I move towards him but he quickly dodges to go to sit on the bed. “It’s just my knee and down.” He says before kicking his boots off and rolling his pants up. I was right about there being scarring everywhere. Strange how there is not a single one on his arm. Perhaps that is his best arm? I could always lie to myself and say he got those scars from tripping into a thorny bush but I am not stupid, as much as he apparently thinks I am. He is a warrior. A scary warrior with horns. He was right about there being fresh scars from his knee and down to his foot. A zigzag of scary red lines travel around his leg. It is kind of pretty but I know how he got the scarring so it makes my stomach feel all queasy. I open my hands and just concentrate on things that make me happy. Avric’s cuddles, Setunya’s clumsy messes in the Sanctuary, and I shouldn’t forget cute Kulu with his numb tongue. Poor thing has never had control of it. No matter what I do, I just can’t seem to bring the feeling back to him. It is probably bad that I think it is the cutest thing ever. The thoughts brings the magic to life and then my hands begin to glow. It is a soft yellow light that I make sure warms whoever I am healing. As soon as I bring my hands to Tobias’ leg, he gives a sigh of satisfaction. Well at least I know my healing still works on humans quite well! “What is this place?” He says around a moan. I can’t help but giggle at that. He gives me another of his glares that immediately makes me shut up and keep my eyes on his injury. “It is a Sanctuary. Like I said. Multiple times today.” I smile to myself. And he said I was the dumb one. “I know that, idiot.” He grunts as my hands fidget a bit, the magic cuts out for a second. I quickly whisper my apology and he continues talking. “I was asking what kind of place this is. Why are there so many creatures here and why are you here? Are you alone?” I purse my lips before talking. “That’s a lot of questions.” I say before glancing up. He just rolls his eyes and wait for an explanation. “Why do I have to tell you anything about me?” I turn back to his stupid leg. Tobias doesn’t say anything. Just a small awkward silence. I try to stay silent. Honestly I do. I just hate not talking when there is someone other than me in the room. I get bored so fast and I almost always have someone to talk to. None of them ever complain. Well, not in my face at least. “It’s just a place for creatures that want to hide from the real world.” I say and smile at my progress. I am just halfway done now. “I pretty much offer them safety and then they stay with me. Spirit creatures usually try to find their way to me. I think the animals spread news about my Sanctuary!” I grin and glance up at Tobias. He is just staring over my head. I wait for him to say anything but he doesn’t so I continue. “I am just like all of them I guess. I want to hide from whatever is out there.” He looks down at me finally. “I...used to want to go out there. I did go out, actually. Mother told me it would be a bad idea. I just wanted to meet other people, you know?” I glance down and see I have finished. I lean back and pull a pillow to hug. “So what made you decide to stay here?” Tobias says as he inspects his leg. With a nod he turns back to me, waiting for my answer. I bite my lip, “I...well, I met people. Some very, very mean people.” I reach a hand up and pull on the curls hanging over my forehead. “I also met two nice ones. They are... or...were-” I frown at the memory. Well, memories. Memories of Viktor fill my mind. He was just the absolute sweetest. He was a small flower that was hidden in a bush full of thorns. He and his little sister, Monie. Little Monie. Just a small bundle of sunshine. I loved them. I still do, even if I am sure they would not care for me now. I wouldn't blame them for it either. I haven’t thought of them in a long time. I miss them greatly. I also feel the guilt beginning to grow again. I killed them. I hurt them too much. All because of me being...well, me. If I had just stayed in the Sanctuary then I never would have ruined their lives. Mother says it wasn’t my fault but I do not believe her. I know it was my fault. I felt the anger that was boiling inside of me. It had wanted to erupt. It did lost control. Never again. I will never make that mistake again. Now that I am thinking about it, I wonder what the village people are even doing. No doubt they are celebrating everyday since I’ve been gone. They hated me. They had called me a demon and wanted me dead. I am not a demon. At least, I like to think I am not. Maybe those past deeds were demon-like. I sure felt like a demon. Do demons even have feelings? I doubt that they do. Maybe they are just- “Luno?” Tobias’ voice cuts into my brain. I blink twice before looking up. “Yes? Do you need more healing?” I paste on a smile and move to sit on the bed. The wooden floor was hurting my legs a bit. Tobias looks at me, or glares rather, for a few seconds before shaking his head. “Are you fine in the head? You are possibly the strangest person I think I’ve ever met.” I grin at that. “I am happy to take that title then! Now, would you like something to eat? Drink? Are you sleepy? You can sleep on the bed if you want.” He raises an eyebrow at that. “On your bed, eh? Wouldn’t that be weird if we shared a bed?” I just give a small confused smile. “Of course not! In fact, my bedmates should be on their way.” I smile and glance behind me. Sure enough, I see a few creatures making their way over here. Avric is sprinting faster than anyone. The big old sweetie! I glance back at Tobias and see his eyes widen in fear. I can’t help but snort at that before turning to bring some blankets out from under the bed. ~~ ~~ I decided to let Tobias take the bed with everyone. Much too crowded, and I usually love the cuddle party. Avric can’t really fit on the bed but just sits with his back against a wall. I decided to sleep on his furry lap. Kulu and the horse sprites decided to join me. Avric’s belly pushes on my head with each deep breath he takes. I would probably laugh and end up tickling him to have a tickle war with him but instead I don’t feel so happy right now. I haven’t thought of that little village. Varen was its name. Of course I could never forget that name. It has burned into the back of my mind, constantly there if I ever think of Viktor and Monie. I swear if I close my eyes, I just hear echoes of their laughter. Then I would see their faces. They both had blonde hair and brown eyes. Freckles were absolutely everywhere. Every time I think of them, I just see their smiles. They never seemed sad when they were around me. I know that they were happy even before I met them, yet even with the other village people sending us dirty looks, they still smiled. Of course, thinking of them just makes me think of their faces burning away like paper. I frown and turn to look out the window behind Arvic. I can’t really move because I have Horse Sprites resting on my stomach and legs. I rub my fingers along one's head and they squeak in their sleep. I smile before turning back to the window. The stars twinkle, but I know that is not at all how real stars twinkle. I barely remember seeing them before, but they don’t twinkle. They just kind of...shine. I love watching the stars. They get to forever fly in the sky. I wish I could do that. Flying makes me happy. Yeah that should work. I should just think about flying. I close my eyes and pretend Arvic’s breathing is the wind rushing against my face. It’s a bit smelly but hey, it doesn’t kill the vision. No never mind. This isn’t working anymore. All I see when I close my eyes is smoke, fire, and Viktor. I open my eyes again and glance at the bundle of creatures on the bed. The polar bears have decided to join me tonight. Well, I guess join Tobias tonight. A baby cub has decided to curl under Tobias’ arm. I smile at the sight. Tobias doesn’t glare when he is sleeping. For once, he doesn’t look quite as scary. Maybe even handsome. I just don’t understand why he has horns. They make him look scary. Why would you want to scare anyone when we can all just have little cuddlefests like this? Arvic snorts in his sleep and a small bit of snot begins to drip down his nose and into his mouth. His tusks keep his bottom lip open so he is just eating his snot. I cover my mouth with my hand to not wake him from giggling. It wakes Kulu, however. He lifts his head from my chest and looks up at me with his small black eyes then tries to stick his tongue out. It flies out and swipes onto his eyeball. I can’t help but snort. After helping push his tongue back into his mouth, I move Kulu to wrap around my neck. He loves sleeping there. I think it’s because my neck is warm? Once he sleeps there, nothing can wake him. Pretty sure if it weren't for me, he'd be dead. I don't blame him. He can't help that he is so helpless. He falls asleep and I turn back to the bed. Tobias’ hand is slowly scratching the little cub’s fur. Oh my gods! So cute! I guess the big scary man is a softie after all. I really shouldn’t let his rudeness mess with me. It is probably all an act to scare people off. Hmm, I will just treat this as a game then. I will try and get Tobias to like me! I am sure he could use a friend. It must be lonely just walking around out there by yourself. Why was he out there anyway? I frown at that. He isn’t a spirit animal so obviously he wasn’t trying to get to me. Yet, he did come out to me. Perhaps it was just a chance encounter? I doubt it honestly. You don’t just meet random humans that can turn into pretty white tigers. What if he is like me and just isn’t human. I have heard of werewolves, but those are just human’s who made a bad deal. Maybe Tobias is a human who made a good deal? Not that werewolves are bad! Well...I’ve never met one so to me they aren’t that bad. I’ll just have to ask him tomorrow. That is, if he will even answer my questions. He’s a weird one. I glance down at Kulu and see he has fallen asleep with his tongue over his eye again. Silly snake. I pull it off gently and try to go back to sleep against Arvic’s warm fur.
  9. JujuTheDruid

    Luno's Sanctuary

    He has little flowers in his hair. I never noticed that before. They are all a dark blue. It isn't exactly a flower crown. I do not know how they are staying in his hair at all honestly. I try and look into the mage’s eyes but only see worry and a hint of frustration. Well that can’t be good. “Do you think you can walk?” He asks. I push up on my front legs and then carefully try to stand on my back ones. It seems fine. There is a small bit of pain but I think I can manage. Hmm...why would demons be after this mage? Surely they would know not to chase after humans. They were covered in shadows as well. Raiyo. I will have to talk to him about this, but I really don’t want to. He is pretty...scary. Yes, scary. The mages sees that I can walk and removes his cloak from my back. “Forgive me if it gets chilly, though I think you will be fine.” He gives a bright smile. “I will heal you better when we are safe.” He walks into the dark cave’s depths. Surely he can’t see in here. I can thanks to my form’s eyesight, but surely a mere human can’t. Perhaps he has used this cave for quite some time. I keep close to his side. Not exactly sure why. I just feel the need to protect this mortal. I’ve never met him before yet my instincts are telling me that I must. It’s...weird. The mage is powerful so why do I feel like I must protect him? I risked my life from Raiyo’s minions, or ‘pets’ as he calls them. As soon as I heard any danger, my mind instantly wanted to protect the mage. Luno. That is his name. He is very weird. Obviously an animal person. Luno is way too nice. I do not like it, nor trust it. I do not even know where we are going. Something about a Sanctuary. I know I sure as hell never heard of this. So far it only looks like a regular cave. It has a chill in the air and it feels damp. The only light source is from the phoenix perched on Luno’s shoulder. It emits a faint orange glow. It doesn’t really light up anything. “Would you happen to know what those things were?” Luno asks. “I’ve never seen something like that. They were scary. I wonder why they would try to hurt us. I didn’t think anyone would be mad about bringing back the forest. Maybe it was the humans? They tend to do things that nobody should d-” I just block him out. He talks way too much. I mentally roll my eyes. Much too bubbly. I have been injured and he just wants to ramble on and on. At this rate, I might die from a headache. A smell of pine reaches my nose. I sniff again and it is getting stronger. Is this a tunnel? Well that is pretty convenient I guess. However, I don’t remember there being any pine trees in the forest before. “Oh, you smell that?” Luno giggles beside me. “Welcome to my Sanctuary!” The air grows colder and Luno skips his way ahead of me. Skips. Maybe I should turn back and claw my way out of the stone wall. A small fluff of white falls in front of me. Then another follows after. Then more. Is it...snow? The further I walk, the more snowflakes begins to drop. The top of the cave has disappeared and then a cloudy sky is there to replace it. Without looking, my front paw sinks into cold snow. I stay completely still. Am I seeing things? The area around me has turned into a snowy land with snow covered trees everywhere. A few animals are here. A small polar bear family is together and playing in the snow. A gigantic white elk with horns that branch high over its head turns to look at me. It does not even seem afraid of me. “Don’t get lost, cutie!” Luno’s voice shouts ahead of me. I sprint after him, a little bit out of fear. Surely he is the most real thing here. I am going completely insane. Luno’s laughter carries in the air, I follow it and soon find myself with a interesting image. Luno is completely tangled in the arms of a giant white furred monster. It’s bottom lip is pushed out with giant tusks, the creature’s eyes glow a bright yellow and it has four brown horns that stick out of the top of it’s head. It is hugging Luno. A scary monstrous beast is hugging Luno. “Stop!” Luno yells but he just dissolves into laughter. “I have to help my tiger friend!” The giant makes a low rumbling sound and then slowly lowers Luno back to the snow covered ground. “Oh don’t be so sad. We can play another time!” Luno turns his gaze to me. “This is Avric.” He grins and pats the white beast’s leg. “He’s a yeti! A creature of the cold but he has the warmest heart.” Luno hugs Avric’s hairy hand and then pats it before turning to leave. I quickly follow. We pass by a gigantic frozen lake. Luno only glances at it for a second before continuing on. A faint blue glow swims under the ice but it disappears almost as soon as I saw it. I run after Luno. I will not be ashamed to say that I am a bit scared right now. As we continue on whatever direction Luno is going, I notice that to our left is a woodsy area that is completely free of any snow. Instead the trees are covered in beautiful red, orange, and brown leaves. They fall from trees but almost as soon as they reach the ground, they reappear back in the branches, only to fall again. The sky seems cut off. Behind it is sunny. It is very strange. Clouds hang low over the winter area. It is perfectly sectioned off. Small rodents dash around the trees and even stop to watch us pass. Well, mostly Luno. The ground shakes as somethings starts to sprint towards us. A flicker of white weaves around the fall trees. It is almost half the height of the trees and it is coming our direction. I immediately put myself between whatever is coming and Luno. I ready myself into a battle stance. Luno just giggles and walks around me. I keep my eyes on him, for any possible danger. The white blur has finally reached the edge of the fall area to gaze into our snowy one. It is a gigantic wolf. It’s fur is completely white but the very top of it’s head and back are green. Almost like moss is growing on its fur. “Well hello there, pretty lady!” Luno reaches out with his hands. The wolf lowers its head and allows Luno to pet her snout. “You haven’t knocked over any trees while I’ve been gone have you?” He asks. The wolf just huffs through its nose and Luno just snorts. “I’ll fix it tomorrow. I am a bit busy right now.” He pats her nose and then turns back to me. “You don’t have to be afraid, handsome.” He winks at me and runs his fingers through the fur on my neck. I like when he calls me handsome. ‘Cutie’ sounds like he’s calling me a child. “This place is a safe haven for all you spirits!” Ah, he thinks I am an animal spirit. Well, I have a feeling he won’t be happy to learn that is not true at all. I rub my head against his side and he continues to walk on. I would much rather we walk in the fall area. Surely he is freezing in his ‘clothing.’ Yet he keeps walking barefoot in the snow, as if he doesn’t feel a thing. As we continue walking on, a strange small group of creatures flies towards us. They look like little ponies, expect they have wings and have long bits of seaweed attached to their legs. Also they about the size of my hand. “Oh!” Luno yelps as they all leap onto him. I quickly come up behind me to make sure he isn’t hurt but he is just laughing around in the snow as the flying seaweed ponies pepper him with...kisses. Kisses. Surely I am dreaming. Perhaps those demons have knocked me out with their magic. Luno has um...nice thighs. No! Stop it. That is improper. It isn't my fault he is wearing an outfit that makes it easy to see that shit. Luno manages to get up and then scoops up a handful of snow. “Ready?” He smiles and then throws the ball of snow into the air. The flying ponies fly after the ball and before they reach it, it explodes into bits of pink petals. They ponies scream and start trying to eat the falling petals. Um, the fuck? I watch the ponies massacre the petals before realizing Luno has already walked on. I sprint after him. The ponies freak me out. Not to mention the snow turning into flowers. “That’s my home.” Luno points forward to a small shack that is surrounded by a small river with stepping stones on the water. Huh, I expected more from a powerful mage. You’d think he’d go for grand. I look past the small shack and then I see the grand. Behind the shack is another two areas. There is an open field with flowers completely covering the ground. Colorful flowers are like a blanket and cover just about every inch of the floor. There are small trees here and there. I swear I see a forest troll standing with a bunch of birds making nests in his mossy hair. Oh! The moss wolf is there again. She just tackled the troll. The area next to that is filled with water. Further in is a beach and then a rocky cliff. On top of the cliff is a woodsy area. The woods drop down and then begin to curve its way into the snowy area. I see a giant griffin staring at us from a nest closest to the winter area. There seems to be a visible line between all four areas. It is almost as if it is cut off perfectly. The grass between the fall trees and flower field are separated by a thin brown line of dirt. I am going to assume that is the same for everything else. “You are free to stay wherever you like. Just absolutely no killing of others.” Luno turns to me with a stern look. It is washed away almost instantly with a smile as he scratches my chin. Oh my gods. I quickly shake my head to bat his hand away. Luno just giggles and turns to leap onto the flat stones that dot the small circle of water surrounding his shack. I am not sure if I am supposed to follow or not. “Come on!” Luno shouts with a wave of his hand. “I need to heal your burns.” Oh, right. All of this made me forget I had been hit. It honestly doesn’t hurt at all. If he wants to heal the scarring then who am I to stop him. The shack is pretty small, there is one wall completely knocked open. Lavender flowers and vines cover most of what is on the outside and the roof. The roof is a bit broken. Two giant holes are there. A gigantic bed fills about half the shack. Why he would need such a thing, I don’t know. There is a small bathtub that sits out in the open. Not at all separated. What is separated however, is the toilet. It hides in a small closet sided room. Thank the gods. It would be weird to just use the restroom in front of all these spirits and wildlife. The missing wall doesn’t leave any privacy whatsoever. There is a small area that I think is a kitchen area. I mean...it looks more like a block of wood with some old dried leaves on it. This spot seems rather sad compared to everything else. “You are free to stay here if you want, Enfi and Kulu both stay here.” Luno turns his shoulder and Enfi the phoenix, flies off to a long nail sticking out of the wood above the bed. Luno then lifts his blue scarf off, except it is not at all a scarf. It is a snake. A winged snake. “This is Kulu. He’s my little water spirit who loves to sleep around my neck.” Luno allows Kulu to flick his tongue against his cheek. With a giggle, Luno lifts his arm. Kulu spreads his bright blue feathered wings. He has two sets of wings. One near his head and another around his tail. Kulu starts flapping and then darts for the ‘kitchen.’ He rolls himself up in a roll and then pokes his head out enough for his eyes to peek on us. His tongue hangs out like a dogs. “Come.” Luno pats the bed. “Just lay down here and give me a minute. It should heal fast.” I guess I can see why the bed is huge now. I really don’t want to just stay in this form. I need to be able to talk. I have so many questions. I mentally take a deep breath and close my eyes. A warmth fills my chest and then I feel the ripple of change surge through my body. ~~ ~~ Well, that did not go as planned. Luno’s smile immediately disappeared. It was just awkward as we stared at each other. The small flowers in his hair actually turned orange. It was a little worrying. Without a word, Luno got up and left. He went walking to the winter area. I, of course, decided to follow. I do not exactly trust being here alone. Also, Luno forgot his cloak. I quickly wrapped it with my arm and morphed back into my animal form. It’s too cold in there. Plus, I am pretty sure that form would please Luno more. It is a bit ridiculous that he reacted that way. I would have thought that since he seemed to love every living thing, he wouldn’t mind seeing me. I guess I was wrong. I guess humans will hate on demons no matter what. I quickly follow Luno’s scent in the snow. It’s a pretty strong floral scent and something else that makes me think of perfume. Not a crazy amount, but it is faintly there under the flowery smell. I find Luno standing in front of the ice covered lake. In a way not to disturb him, I hide behind a bush with red berries. On either side of me, there are two tall pine trees. Surely Luno can’t see me from here. Luno slowly steps out onto the ice with his bare feet. Seriously, he isn't wearing a shirt or pants. How the hell isn’t he freezing to death? Luno continues to walk and then I see flashes of blue under the surface. A low humming sound comes from beneath the ice. Luno doesn’t even seem scared at all so I guess he is ok. A large black figure is outlined under the ice. It swims below Luno and there are small blue lights on it. A giant fish? A moaning sound comes from the creature and it swims in large circles, it circles around the edge of the lake. Luno waves his hand around him and then the ice melts in a perfect circle. It doesn’t melt all the ice in the lake, but enough for whatever is down there to pop through. He doesn’t sink into the water below, but he hovers about an inch above it. The creature’s shadow circles back to Luno and they seem to start...dancing. Luno almost looks like he’s ice skating in a circle of water. He turns to skate backwards. He starts to make motions with his arms and hands. The water in front of him slowly begins to rise. The shadow of the creature starts to follow Luno and it also slowly begins to rise, as if Luno is lifting it. No longer ‘skating’, Luno starts to lift into the air, the water with him as he goes higher and higher. The shadow breaks past the water's surface and then my heart stops. The creature uses the water to breathe. On its long neck are gills. It’s skin is wet and shiny. Dark blue scales cover it completely. I has a snout like a dog but no lips to cover it’s teeth. It’s razor sharp teeth. It is a dragon. It’s wings finally break the surface. They stretch wide and almost reach past the lake’s edges. Beautiful glistening blue wings. Small blue lights are glowing on the edges of each wing. A small night sky on each one. Why is there a dragon here? They were some of the most powerful beings in this world, and there is just one randomly here. I thought they had all gone extinct. Luno is hovering in the air in front of the dragon’s head. The balls on this idiot must be fucking massive. The dragon leans forward and closes it eyes. Luno leans his head down and...did he just kiss the dragon’s nose? “Goodnight, Big guy!” I see Luno beam. The dragon huffs and warm air flares from its nose. It can be seen thanks to the cold. Luno giggles as the cloud hits him in the face. “Aww, I love you too!” Luno rubs the dragon’s chin. The water dragon turns its gaze to my direction. I stop breathing. Luno turns as well. I hear him sigh and then he starts whispering to the blue monster. I hear soft rumblings and then some growling. It leaves me a bit worried. Luno wouldn’t send a dragon after me would he? I look at the bubble of water surrounding its neck. No it can’t leave the water. At least I think it can’t. I do not exactly want to find out. The dragon huffs and turns it’s head to me. I hear Luno scoff and see him cross his arms. He is pouting like a child. To a dragon. Those demons must have really done a number to me. “Fine.” Luno sighs. He leans to kiss the dragon’s bony cheek. It is still staring at me. “Sweet dreams!” Luno’s smile is back. The dragon huffs another cloud at Luno before it retreats back into the water. Luno waves his hand over the water and it freezes over once again. I walk out of my hiding spot, though it did absolute shit for stealth. Luno floats down in front of me, his arms are crossed. “So,” He says, “Are you going to tell me what you are?” He looks down and kicks at the snow a bit. I desperately want him out of the cold first honestly. I lift my paw and show him the cloak wrapped around my arm. I doubt it would be enough to help him but apparently he doesn’t need it. “Thank you.” He gives a small smile. “Let’s go back to my house.” He doesn’t put the cloak on.
  10. JujuTheDruid

    Blues meet Greys

    I can barely see the sky now. Green leaves cover almost everything above me. It is both amazing and terrifying. What kind of mage is powerful enough to do this? I do not know of anyone that can bring back life. Perhaps a god could but I haven’t ever heard of such a thing happening. I mean...look at this place. Surely a god would have done this to the countless other parts of the world that are in the same condition. Or...were. Birds fly from one tree to the other. Small rodents chase each other on the new grown grass. The smell of decay is gone and is replaced by the sweet smell of small yellow flowers. It is beautiful here. A bit thick in the foliage but still beautiful. I swing my new arm around and whenever I can, I run it against tree trucks and any bushes and leaves that are close. I never thought I would have this feeling again. I will forever be grateful for this mysterious mage. Behind me, there is a small baby deer. Their white spots betray them in the green bush. It is watching me closely before another deer comes up behind it. It is the mother. They wouldn’t happen to be the bodies I found earlier would they? The power of resurrection. Where has this person been all this time? Gods knows Thymestrys needs that power. Bringing the souls back to the humans. They are falling as if there is a plague. Could this finally be the answer? I pick off a flower that has twisted itself around the trunk of a tree. The yellow petals are soft on my new fingers and I smile. Healing injuries and bringing back missing limbs. The wonders this person could do for others. Then I frown. No doubt people would take advantage of it. Well, they would try too at least. After seeing the colorful display before, they could defend themselves easily. A mage with that power could easily fight off any foe that comes their way. A loud screech fills the skies. I wince at the pitch but it isn’t terrible. It’s some bird. A damn loud bird. Perhaps that one could have stayed dead. A gust of wind covers the tops of the trees, the sunlight that spills through the leaves tints red. What follows after is a little unexpected. It’s laughter. It trails away in front of me but it was in the sky. I keep moving forward. I would very much like to meet this mystery person, to personally thank them for healing me. I doubt they meant to but still, the fact it happened, it deserves my thanks. While I am considered immortal to humans, someone of this power no doubt would feel conceited. I wouldn’t even be cross with them for it. If I had that much power I would too. I just have to prepare for whatever could come from their mouth. Hmm, there is the chance that they may try to attack me. I could just run away easily. Sure they could fly but I could easily just teleport away and head home. I should tell my uncle of this discovery. A being who can bring back life. It’s amazing and it is the answer we needed. A rabbit sprints between my legs and I chuckle to myself. The animals here are rather enthusiastic. Not that I blame them. I would too if I were brought back from the dead. The sound of fire snarling in the air reaches my ears. I freeze expecting trouble. Instead I hear more laughter. The sound is young. I was imagining an old mage with the experience this power would bring. Apparently not. Another screech fills the air and more wind pushes on the trees above. A shout of glee then follows. What in the world is going on up there? I reach down and untie my boots. It is a lot easier to do with two hands. I smile at that but then more laughter fills the air. Frowning, I turn to a tree spiraling with branches. I make sure my weight can be held and then start to climb. I find two birds singing to each other on a branch. They are in the middle of creating a new nest. Good for them. I almost reach the top when one of the birds flies up and in front of me. They tilt their head to the side as they hover in front of my face. I smirk and continue to climb. Just as I am about to poke my head over the canopy, the sound of wind passing over my head causing me to duck for cover. Thank the gods I did. If I hadn’t my head would have been hit clean off from...a fire bird? It’s a phoenix! Why would that be doing here? It flies off into the distance towards the ocean before turning back over to the land. It is circling around. Then I see something. I squint my eyes and I swear I see someone riding it! It gets closer and closer. I lower my head to keep hidden and then just as the giant phoenix passes over me, it jets high into the sky. Another shout of joy fills the air. Then the person falls off the Phoenix. My eyes go wide and immediately start thinking of what I should do. Before the person even hits the trees, they spread their hands and then they are flying. The man is about ten feet away from me and is hovering in the air. He doesn’t even have wings! His back is to me and he is staring up into the sky looking for the phoenix. He isn’t really wearing much clothes. I almost envy him for it because it is unbelievably hot here. I have a feeling this person was born in the sun and stays out in it everyday. The mage has the softest and smoothest tan skin I have ever seen. He wears a lot of silver jewelry. Silver armlets that snake around like vines. Rings on three fingers of each hand, each with different colored jewels. A belly chain and thigh chains , and finally, he has two anklets on his right leg. Silver jewelry fucking everywhere! Gods. His only articles of clothing is a bright blue scarf, and two strips of grey cloth that cover between the front and back of his legs, covering his intimate area.. Though, they don’t really go down far. The front reaches his knees and the back reaches the middle of the back of his thighs. They don’t really cover anything really. Not even the outside of his thighs. Thankfully I see that he at least is wearing some kind of underwear. It would be extremely awkward to get a flash of ass before I even met this mage. His hair is white. Not even a little grey. Flat out white. It is just a bed of curly hair that seems to have a mind of its own. It isn’t too long to reach his shoulders but it isn’t too short. It is a huge difference from his skin. It is a bit surprising. It that it’s natural color? Surely not. If it weren’t for the smooth skin on his body, I would assume they were elderly. The fact their laughter and shouting sounds young is also a thing. “Enfi!” The mage shouts. Yeah much too young to be elderly. He finally turns his head in my direction and I just about fall out of the tree. His eyes are the brightest grey I have ever seen. I swear they are almost white. He looks at though he could be in his twenties. Yet there is something about his face. It seems...familiar. I know I have never seen this person in my life yet I still have the feeling as though I have. A screech comes from behind me and then the phoenix flaps its bright red wings to get closer to the mage. “We must go soon.” The mage speaks again. He has reached a hand out and is now petting the phoenix. It’s disturbing seeing a powerful creature acting like a pet for a human. “It will be getting dark soon.” The gigantic phoenix chirps and they both fly off towards the beach. I duck down and carefully try to get off the tree. As soon as I reach the ground, I take a deep breath. I haven’t changed into my other form in so long. I know it wouldn’t hurt, it never does, but I am still nervous. What if it does not work? That is a bit of a stupid question. Of course it will. Just look at everything around me. I wiggle my fingers and then let out a shaky breath. I drop to the ground onto my hands and knees. I close my eyes and just think about the blood under my skin. Do not think about the dirt you feel under your new hand. Nor the way you feel the breeze brush against your arm. Don’t even think about the pretty mage that is on the beach. Soon, a warmth fills my chest and it begins to spread throughout my body. A tingling sensation that I haven’t felt in years begins to spread everywhere and my body begins to grow. ~~ ~~ Enfi trails behind me, no doubt keeping an eye out for any danger. I always tell her to calm down. If anyone is going to make sure I am safe, it would be Mother. I reach for my cloak on the sand and dust off whatever is there. As soon as it rests on my shoulders, a twig cracking in the woods grabs my attention. Deep in the bushes, I see a pair of glowing blue eyes. They aren’t exactly able to hide with eyes like that. “You can come out!” I smile and hold my hand out to them. The thing in the shadows does not move. I decide to walk towards it instead. Enfi screeches above me. I ignore her. If this creature in the shadows was going to harm me, Mother would have done something about it by now. I sit on my knees and keep a hand in front of me to beckon the creature forward. I don’t mind the sand. “You have nothing to be afraid of.” I smile. A grumbling noise comes from the bush with eyes and then soon, a white paw is brought forward, then it is followed by three others. It’s a tiger? No, it has strange horns on its head. Did someone put horns on this head? It could be natural to its body. It looks a bit scary. Oh wait! It could be a spirit creature, like Enfi! Spirit creatures are just wandering spirits. They always try and find their ways to me. All in different shapes and forms. I am certain this is one of those. They want safety and I will happily give them that. It’s not a tiger I’ve seen before. I mean I have heard of white tigers with black stripes but seeing one up close...it’s beautiful. It is also, gigantic. I have met several tigers and I know they are not at all this large. It is a little unsettling but I know it will not harm me. “Hello!” I grin and stand back on my feet. Oh wow! He is a good few feet taller than me. “I’m Luno. Is it ok if I touch you?” I ask and slowly lift my hand. Fingers spread open. The tiger spirit makes a soft rumbling sound and bows it’s head to my hand. It’s fur is unbelievably soft and I can’t help but scratch a bit. The spirit gives a low chuff and tries to headbutt me. I giggle and almost fall backwards. “Careful there!” I laugh and the beast lifts one paw. I grab it, though it is very heavy. “Nice to meet you too, cutie!” I smile and step back. Yes I think the spirit will be quite happy at the Sanctuary. Enfi screeches above me and then she lands on the sand behind me. She then shrinks down to a size that allows her to perch on my shoulder. I take pride in believing it is one of her favorite places to be. She quickly flies to her spot and then looks up at the tiger with me. She chirps and rubs the feathers on her head, against my cheek. I giggle and brush her away. I glance up at the tiger. “Would you come with me to the sanctuary?” I ask. The tiger simply chuffs again and leans down to rub their giant head against my chest. I take that as a yes. “Follow me then!” I smile and turn to the woods. The tiger stays close at my side. Enfi will occasionally fly up to scout around. She likes to stretch her wings whenever she can. The destruction of this place has been reborn and it is so nice to see all these creatures playing around. They have their homes and lives back. They deserved it. It is not their fault others decided to use their land for a battleground. I frown at the thought of humans. They only bring bad thoughts. I find everyone that isn’t an animal, is a piece of garbage. Just...well, not all of them of course. The tiger rubs against my side and I smile. I run my fingers through the fur on his side and his ears wiggle around. This spirit is such a sweetie. Another bird has decided to take Enfi’s place. The little bird has pretty white and brown feathers. In its mouth is a single twig. Lucky for them, Enfi isn't here right now. She's get onto the poor bird so fast. “Do you wish to make a nest on my shoulder?” I ask with a smirk. “I’m afraid that spot is taken.” The bird drops the twig when he chirps up at me. I laugh and bend down to pick it up for him. When it is firmly back in his beck, he flies off. The tiger moans behind me. I glance back and see it’s eyes were on me and then they turn to keep walking ahead of me. If I had known better, I could have swore it rolled their eyes at me. I skip my way back next to them and we walk in a small silence...that I cannot keep. “You’re are going to love it at the Sanctuary!” I say and keep one hand in its warm fur. “I am sure we will find just the place for you. Especially if your fur means what I think it does anyway.” I keep talking and the tiger keeps its head straight ahead of us. I really want to know if it is a girl or boy. I stop talking and glance behind and down. I guess thanks to the spirit being so tall, I can easily say it is a him. The tiger freezes, his eyes are straight on me. “Sorry,” I blush, “that was rude.” The spirit huffs and turns to keep walking. I glance at the sky and bite my lip. I do not know if we should keep walking. The sky has gotten darker and the clouds are starting to turn orange. “You wouldn’t happen to mind running would you?” I ask. The tiger turns and watches me. “I’m not allowed to be out when the sun is down.” I glance down and poke my toes into the ground. I feel like a child with a curfew. The tiger chuffs and lowers itself to the ground. “Oh! Oh no, you don’t have to do that. I can fly next to you.” I smile and lift myself about two feet off the ground. The tiger does not move. Well, he’s a stubborn one isn’t he. I won’t say no to that. Riding a tiger sounds fun! Without a word, I hover over the tiger’s back and then lower myself to properly sit on his back. Oh my gods. His fur is so warm! I can’t help but lean down to rub my face into his extra soft white neck. I wonder if we could be best friends. I would love to be able to have him with me outside of the Sanctuary. If he would be fine with it of course. It will be entirely his decision. I create a orb of air that traps a few leaves. It floats in front of us and slowly moves forward. “Just follow that.” I say before holding onto the fur of his neck, ”It will lead us straight home.” The tiger doesn’t make a sound and starts running after the swirling leaves. I can't help but feel like I am playing fetch with a giant kitten! The wind blows in my air and I can’t help but laugh. I would try and lift my hands in the air but I am a bit too scared to let go. A crackling sound comes from our left and the tiger immediately turns to the right. I try to glance behind us but only see dark shadows weaving fast around the branches in the trees. What are those things? “We have to get to the Sanctuary!” I shout forward. “We will be safe there!” I have to create another swirling of leaves for the tiger to follow. I keep both hands on the fur of his neck to keep myself from being thrown off. A sizzling sound fills the air and then a pop goes off. A flash of blue lands next to the tiger’s feet and where it landed, steam rolls into the air. I glance back and see one of the shadows’ arms are glowing blue. Electricity crackles along their arm before they point a sharp finger straight at us. The line of electricity almost hits the tiger before he leaps over a small river. I torn my gaze to what it is in front of us and see the entrance of the cave is close. “That is the entrance!” I point out the triangle entrance that is framed by two pillars of stone.The tiger turns his movement and sprints straight for the entrance. Another flash of blue and then the tiger growls and fumbles on his feet. I shriek and bury my face into the spirit’s neck. The spirit continues to run for the entrance and as soon as we pass the entrance, he slips on his front paws. With a cry, I am lurched forward and flip into the air and land hard on my back. I groan from landing on hard stone and turn to the entrance. The shadows are just about to jump through the opening after us but with a jerk of my fist, a stone wall rises from the ground and the entrance is covered. They could probably destroy it but if we move further inside, they will not ever find us again. I turn to the tiger. They are laying on their side and breathing hard. I rush over to him and quickly run my hand’s over the burned fur of his back legs. “Give me a moment,” I remove my cloak and lay it over his back. “I will heal you and then we can move on to safety,” I say before my palms glow their soft yellow light. The sweet spirit groans at the soft healing magic.
  11. JujuTheDruid

    A Star's Element

    The World of Thymestrys is a wondrous place. A place where Angels and Demons collide, and where Gods decide to play. When the humans begin to disappear, can Luno and the help of others save them?
  12. JujuTheDruid

    Starshine's Last Breath

    It is just silent as the orange glow of Ember disappears. I can’t even move. I reach a hand forward but only feel the cool air of Earth. I flinch as cheering and clapping erupts all around me. Cries of joy are heard from everyone and laughing spreads around. I almost want to yell at them. It would do no good. Mekaias would have most likely gotten mad if I were to do so. I fall to my knees where the portal was placed. A line of grass has been burnt black, a small flame still stands between my knees before the night air blows it out. I concentrate only on the bond that connects me to Mekaias. I can feel everything. Strong emotions fill my head. Fear is a big one. Pain is another. Frustration is even there. I feel my eyes begin to water as spikes of pain continue to grow in my chest and spread to my body. I...I don’t even know if the destruction of the city will take him before his own powers do. He is so tired, yet I feel that he is fighting back. Why? Why must he allow himself to experience more pain? A hand rests on my shoulder and I look up to see Remy and Remy standing behind me. The sound of grass being stepped is next to me and then I find Alicia sitting next to me, her hand on my arm. I turn my gaze to the patch of burnt ground in front of me. I lift my hand to my chest. The pain is almost unbearable. I can’t even imagine what Mekaias is going through. The last look he gave me. I will never be able to make it disappear from my mind. He looked...ready. As if he had accepted this. I realize now that I am stupid to not have realized it earlier. Of course he is ready. The things he has gone through...anyone would probably want to die when the chance was given. I just have to live with the fact that I did not do enough to keep him safe. I screwed up and look where it got him. My hatred for myself soon is overpowered by another feeling. There is a deeply warm feeling of love. The fear has disappeared and the pain no longer bothers me. Surely he hasn’t gone yet? Is he looking into the face of death at this moment? Is he having his life flash before his eyes? Why would he feel love when he is about to die? Tears begin to fall and I squint my eyes shut. I brace myself. I am waiting for it. When I no longer feel anything in the bond. When I will feel that empty presence in my mind that just lets me know that my life is missing what it needs most. I knew of some Metonians who have lost their soulmate. Some even lost them before they could have met them. They said it isn’t so bad since they never got to meet them. Deep down, you could tell in their eyes. They knew they were missing something special and it hurt them. Metonians who lost their soulmates after meeting them...I don’t want that. Yet it’s coming. Still I feel Mekaias in the bond. How is he still alive? Surely he should have been gone by now. This isn’t something I am missing is it? Do we keep the last emotion of our soulmates? Nobody ever said such a thing was true. I bite my lip hard and then I stand. A thought comes into my mind. “Remelia, or Alicia, I need one of you to bring a truck.” I say and run for the woods. ~~ ~~ The portal closes and I fall onto my knees. I take deep breaths and clench my fists. Why does everything hurt? I didn’t even hold either of those things open for long. I turn to the building behind me. Somehow it is perfectly free of any damage. Surely it won’t be safe for long. I push myself off the ground and as soon as I take a step forward, I fall again. I groan in frustration and look over my shoulder. Mostly checking to make sure everyone has crossed. I would hate to have anyone else here with me. A small stone falls next to my leg and I look up. A sharp rock is shaking on the ceiling and then it begins to fall. I roll as far away as I can and then cover my face with my arms. The ground shakes from the impact and then sharp shards of stone hit my arms. I barely even feel them but I feel blood begin to spill. I turn them over and see cuts scattered everywhere. I huff out a breath and I try to stand again. Fuck it. I pant as I walk to the edge of stairways. With a deep breath, I throw myself with my back to the air. Instantly the suit comes to life and I have to try and steady myself. I run into the wall of a house below and I grunt from the impact. I grip onto it and look back at the large building up top. I want to be up there if I am going to die here. One last view of the place before it is gone. With a whine, I push with my legs off the wall and angle myself for the roof. The suit carries me for a good awhile but then it starts to beep. Shit. It desperately needs to charge. The suit begins to drift downwards and I reach my hands up in time before the suit turns off completely. I grab onto the edge of the roof and try to pull myself over. I groan loud as I hook my foot over the edge and heave myself over. I roll onto my back and breathe hard. I rest my hand on my chest. It feels so tight there. As if everything is being squeezed and rearranged. I lay my head to the side and watch the city crumbling to pieces. Another piece of the ring in the sky falls down into the marketplace and then a loud groaning starts. I can’t take my eyes off of it. It is terrifying. Maybe I can make this easier for me. I try to move my arm but the pain causes me to cry out and give up on that idea. The groaning grows louder and then a snarl of lava erupts from down under the bridge. My eyes go wide as it splashes everywhere and then the ground seems to split into pieces. Some rise and some sink down. About a few hundred feet under, is hot lava. It bubbles as buildings, cars, and pieces of the bridge are swallowed. The way the ground lifts and sinks reminds me of what an ocean would look like. It is almost pretty in a way. Maybe I can be at peace with this. I close my eyes and just listen to the sounds. The sounds begin to grow quieter and quieter. The darkness behind my eyelids soothe me from the destruction. ~~ ~~ “Where are we going?” Alicia asks. She practically fought Remelia for the wheel. Remelia was a little shocked by that but decided to let her have it. “Just drive straight that way through the forest.” I say pointing the direction that was behind our old house. I decided to look around it since we haven’t been there in a long time. Everything seemed untouched aside from Remelia and Remy’s room. That is, until I went into my room.Well it was for the most part, untouched. I saw that the picture of our squad was gone. I was guessing that Firelight took it away. Possibly to hide it from Mekaias. “No, I am pretty sure he found it himself and took it.” She told me. She was looking around my room. I am guessing with a look of guilt, especially when she saw the tons of bottles on the ground. Yeah...not my best moment. I am glad he took it. Maybe that was the only reason we stayed alive in that last mission. Though, if that meant that I would lose Mekaias soon, I don't if I wish he actually did kill me. Out here in the forest, you can still hear the cheers of the aliens and Firelight who were saved by Mekaias. He did an incredible thing. Anyone could see that and he deserved recognition for it. I will make sure of it. Alicia is careful as she drives around tall trees, sometimes it seems like she’ll hit one of them but she is deeply concentrated on getting to our destination fast. “Where exactly are we going?” Remelia asks the question that Alicia asked earlier. I really should just say what it is. I don’t know why even now I feel like I should keep it from them. They have to go in there with me after all. I just wanted it to only be Mekaias and I’s special place. “A cave. It is um...our cave.” I look down at the floor of the truck. She nods before turning back to the front. “He will be there. I am sure of it!” Alicia tries to lighten the mood, and I am grateful for it, but I really don’t want to get my hopes up for nothing. This is more of a ‘last chance’ decision. I close my eyes and just wait till we get to the open field. When Alicia is there, then I will open my eyes. Every time I blink I just see the look on his face when he looks up scared. The pain and tiredness in his eyes. I hurts me to think about it. It is a constant reminder that I have failed him and that I keep failing him. ~~ ~~ I jerk awake as a loud booming sound goes off nearby. I look over and see that the city is...no longer a city. There are so many pieces of the ground that have shifted into the air. They look like those pictures of oceans that I’ve seen online. The water is frozen in the air, forever locked in place. These will not stay locked in place, however. They will sink down into the lava below soon. It has risen a lot higher since I last looked. It has gotten a lot hotter in here because of it. I tug on the zippers of my suit and try and take it off. It’s far too hot for that. With a lot of pained effort, it is finally off. I toss it over the edge. It belonged to Firelight anyway. Wearing it was almost as bad as my tattoos. I run my finger over my cheek. It doesn’t hurt to move as much as before. Though, being so damn tired for nothing is a huge factor in this. The small rest was nice I guess. Just not at all enough. Using my legs however, is a big 'no thanks.' Just trying to kick the suit off was agony. I almost wanted to just keep the pants on, but I do not want to die with any Firelight colors on me. I frown after realizing something. I never asked if my tattoos bothered Norian. I just assumed they were normal to him. After being on Earth, I know it isn’t normal at all. They don’t have the slave tattoos that Utrio has. I guess it is not going to matter now. I turn onto my side but doing that hurts much more than laying on my back so I just decide to keep as I was before. The ground near the bridge entrance begins to tremble. Cracks begins to form and then they begin to sink into the ground. I guess it is finally coming. I’ve been waiting almost eleven years for this. It was bound to happen. I just keep my eyes on the ground as it falls, it creeps closer and closer every second. I can barely keep my eyes open right now. I don’t exactly want to sleep through this. Maybe the fall will finally overcome the pain that I am feeling now. I already feel like I am being burned alive, maybe a little lava can do the trick. I move my arm slowly over the edge. For what reason, I don’t know. Just felt like something to do. I lose vision of where the ground is sinking and wait for it. Cracking echoes below me and then the building starts to shake. I give a small smile as my eyes before to water. I don’t know if Norian would ever be able to tell, but he really did give me the safest time in my life. Constantly running and hiding all my life, being used and tortured for so long. That small period of time with him was the best time in my life. I will forever be thankful for it. The building groans and the sound of it splitting goes off behind my head and then my body is sliding over the edge. Everything seems to slow at this moment. The fall should be fast but I feel like I am slowly floating down. The lava below is glowing orange and red. It is a lot farther down than I realized. I hope Norian heard me before the portal closed. He should know that I really did love him. I would hate if he felt like this was his fault. It wasn’t. If anything, it was my fault. I chose to stay by and trust George when I just had a feeling that there was something wrong with him. I even chose to go after him alone. It’s my fault that I am here. Promising me that I will be safe is just not something someone can make. Not if I am the one looking for trouble. My body slowly turns away from the lava and then I am looking at the sky. I can barely see the hole in the sky. I bite through the pain of moving my limbs and reach for my necklace. I snatch it off my neck and pull the piece of Norian’s horn out. I kiss it and then hold it tight in my hands and keep it close to my chest. I then close my eyes, waiting for the end. Instead, I feel a scorching pain on my ear, that causes me to cry out but then I feel cold air. I open my eyes before I run straight into a dark rocky wall. Instantly my vision goes dark. ~~ ~~ “Did you hear that?” I ask when we reach the cave entrance. The girls nod and look at each other. I don’t even care to turn my flashlight on, I sprint past the entrance and make my way through. Years of coming here has made it easy to know my way around in the dark. I finally reach the open part of the cave and then my heart just about stops. On the ground is Mekaias. His legs are submerged in the small pool of water. He isn’t wearing any clothes, aside from his underwear. I run over to him and see that a bit of the top of one ear is missing. Where it once was is just steam coming off it. Cuts are all over his arms and the color in his skin isn’t the rich brown it should be. It's paled from lack of blood. I press a finger to his neck and then rest my ear to his chest. He’s alive! I hear rocks being kicked around as footsteps run into the area. It’s Alicia and Remelia. “He’s alive!” I grin but then I realize he desperately needs help. “Remelia, we need to get to the regeneration room.” She nods and immediately turns with Alicia trailing after her. Alicia does stop for a second to make sure I don’t need any help, but I pick up Mekaias as if he weighs nothing. I keep my arms under his knees and his back. He starts to move a bit in my arms. “Hey.” I whisper and feel tears begin to fall. He tries to lift his head up but then I feel a huge amount of pain erupts in my head. It is like I am burning from the inside. I just about drop him as I fall to my knees. I refuse to let him go and just shake my head through the pain. Alicia hurries to my side and helps me to stand. Slowly but surely, we make it to the back of the truck. I hop on and cradle Mekaias in my arms. Mekaias barely moves his head and then I see pretty purple eyes looking up at me. He can barely manage to open them and it has me scared. “Hey there, Starshine.” I say and lean down to kiss his forehead. He keeps one hand to his chest and closes his eyes from the touch. As soon as he closes his eyes, his head starts to roll back. “No, no, no. Mekaias.” I am careful not to shout in fear and try to shake him to keep him awake. “You have to stay awake ok?” I say and run my hand against his cheek. I just know if he closes those pretty eyes that he will be gone. He is hanging on by a thin thread of life right now. I can feel it and it is terrifying. “It hurts.” He whines, his voice is raspy and he chokes on his words. He coughs a bit into my chest and then I see blood on my shirt. He doesn’t seem to notice and tries to close his eyes again. “I know, baby. I know” I gently lift his head up higher to wake him and he groans from the movement. “You just gotta stay awake for a little longer, I promise.” I try to ignore the pain I am feeling in my head but fuck does it hurt. His breathing starts to get shaky and then he looks up at me again. “Can you sing for me?” He whispers before he winces. A pain spikes in my chest. I try not to show any pain as well but he sees it anyway. “Am I hurting you?” “No! No.” I shake my head and hug him close. “I...I don’t know what to sing.” “The song from before. When you found me in the shower.” I frown at the memory of that. Seeing him seconds away from harming himself. Yeah I remember exactly what he was talking about. “It’s not really a song though. It just a small tune my mother would sing to me and my siblings if we were having a tantrum.” I huff a small laugh and he smiles. He doesn’t say anything and I assume that is his way of telling me to start. I hope the truck isn’t too loud. All I can do is hum it. I start humming and he tries to push himself closer to my chest. I pull him closer to me and continue. I kiss his head and glance down to see he has my horn piece in his hand. I close my eyes and let myself into the song. My mother used to say it is about how two soulmates travel long and far to get together. I guess that fits perfectly for this. Though I have heard that it means other stories. I think I'll just accept my mother's story. The song lasts long enough that we are finally parked in front of the old main building. “We’re here, Starshine!” I grin and look down at him. He doesn’t move. My grin disappears immediately. “Mekaias?” I try and shake him awake but his head just falls back onto my arm. I keep trying to shake him awake and then run my hand against his cheek. “Come on, Mekaias! Stay with me. Please!” I get up and run straight inside. I check the elevator to see if it works. It will take forever for it to get up here. I run for the stairs and keep Mekaias tight in my arms. As soon as I’ve gone down six floors down, I burst through the door with my back, Remelia and Alicia on my heels. I turn to the regen room and immediately shoulder my way through the door. I move to the center of the room and Remelia closes the door behind me. Almost instantly the blue lights are turned on. I sit on the ground with Mekaias held tight in my arms. “Come on, baby! You can do this.” I brush his hair off his face and rock him back and forth. I keep him close to my chest and keep my eyes closed. Praying to whatever god is out there to help my Mekaias. I need him with me. I can’t just lose him after coming this close! When about five minutes go by, I just break down and bury my face into his hair. I cry and keep him close to me. He just won’t move. Why won’t he move? I kiss his forehead over and over. I am not even sure if that will even work. Something has to work right? What the fuck am I supposed to do? I grip onto his arm tight and lift it to kiss his hands. “I’m so sorry!” I keep whispering that over and over. His hand flops onto his stomach when I hold it too gently. I hold it tight and keep his hand to my cheek. I let out a long shaky breath and close my eyes. I did this. I screwed up. I fucking killed my soulmate. “Should we turn it off?” Alicia says behind the window. I don’t hear Remelia’s response. A groan under me makes me freeze. I glance down and see a pained expression on Mekaias’ face. “Norian?” He whispers and then slowly opens his eyes. “You’re hurting me.” He squints up at me before wiggling his fingers against my cheek and tries to pull it away. I huff a small laugh before leaning down and kissing him all over his perfect face. “I love you.” I chant over and over, as if it’s a hymn of my life. He smiles against the assault and reaches out with both hands to hold my face. “I love you too.” He pulls me down to his lips. I gladly kiss him back. As soon as he pulls back, he says, “Can we possibly retire or something? I don’t think I can handle this life for much longer.” I chuckle and kiss him again. “Anything for you, Starshine.” “Thank you, yun Undaegon.”
  13. JujuTheDruid

    Bombs Away

    Is it strange I cry when I first made the playlist for the story and then again when I WROTE the chapter?
  14. JujuTheDruid

    Bombs Away

    “Stop smiling at me like that.” Tanner glares at me with a giant metal blade in his hand. Well...his metal hand. It’s a gigantic metal suit that has made him taller and I guess it should be more menacing and scary. Oh but I am not scared at all. I am excited. I have been wanting this moment for so long. I walk slowly towards him. Each step leaves behind a burning footprint of violet energy. I am not even really controlling it right now. It’s just burning off of me like it knows how angry I am. Every time I take a step forward, Tanner takes a step back. The look on his face. I can just feel how scared he is of me right now. I love that feeling. I want to make it last. I glance to my right and see the chaos of Bridgehome. It would be Firelight who would murder themselves. At least it is one way to weaken them. Tanner seems to think that is his moment to attack. He lunges forward and swipes with the metal blade. I bend backwards and the blades almost cuts the beads out of my hair. Oh if he cuts them off...I will make sure his pain lasts for a long time. I summon a longstaff and swipe out in front of me. A fiery blade forms on the end and it cuts at the metal plating on his chest. He stumbles back and grabs the longstaff from my hands. He is a lot stronger than me, especially with this suit. Tanner tries to use my own staff against me but it just disappears into the air before he can even try. He growls and swipes at me again. I dodge but then his other hand punches out and I go flying. I grit my teeth and move my body in the air to land on my feet. I jump forward and teleport. I come up behind him and summon a blade to drive it deep into his shoulder. He shouts in pain and tries to pull it out of his shoulder. When he tries to grab it, it only burns his hand. The metal around his fingers glow orange and he flaps his hand to try and cool it. I smirk and summon another blade. I walk in front of him and shove it into his other shoulder. He breathes hard through his nose and kicks his foot out. I sidestep it and quickly rest my hand over his chest and crotch. They burn violet and he screams into the air. He falls to his knees and groans. I summon two blades and stab them through the back of his legs, pinning him to the ground. He tries to bite his tongue in hopes of not screaming again. He looks up at me and his eyes shine. “Y-you really don’t want to kill me, Alentian.” He says. I grin and run my claws over his cheek. He shivers and tries to move his head away. “Oh but I really do.” I press into his cheek hard and the claw on my thumb causes his cheek to bleed. Red blood spills onto my hand and I wipe it off in his hair. He is shaking so hard. I love it. “Believe me.” He starts, “You really really don’t want to kill me. You wouldn’t want to be the murderer of thousands of lives would you?” His chin trembles as he tries to manage a smile. “I don’t know if you can count or not, but you only count as one life.” I drag my finger along the side of his face and he screams as my magic burns across the cut I made before. He tries to close his eyes, but I shake him out of it. “You will not keep your eyes closed during this.” I growl, before I hover my fingers over his eyes. He immediately keeps his eyes wide open after that. I glance to my right and see that our side is starting to win. That’s good. Hopefully Firelight will die with him. “You killed my mother, Mariinyoso.” I say and stare into his eyes. “You even killed Kane.” I place both of my hands on both sides of his head. “Now,” He starts shaking under my hands but keeps his eyes on me. The fear in his eyes is delicious. “Now you will die to me.” Energy surges through my hands and into his skin. The places that my hands touch glow purple and he begins to scream loud. Louder than even before. The glow begins to slowly spread. It covers his entire head and continues to flow into his body. The metal of the suit hides the body but I know it is spreading. The blades disappear as the power begins to spread. The holes left behind glow from the energy that is spreading inside him. I move away both hands and instead grab him by the chin with one. Somehow he weighs as nothing now. I lift him up with ease. He tries to grab my hand with both of his but it honestly only feels like air blowing against my skin. I turn to the battle area next to us. It has grown rather quiet. I am greeted to something I didn’t expect to see. Both sides have stopped and are staring at me. I can even see Norian and the squad watching. They all hold looks of shock or terror. Perhaps I have pushed it for long enough. I turn to Tanner who is still screaming. I pull him close enough to whisper in his ear. “Say hello to Talemo for me, Mariinyoso.” I throw him in the air and he slowly floats upwards, the energy in his body glows brighter and brighter until he explodes. It’s not a loud or big explosion. His body instead has burned into nothing. Wisps of purple energy flares out of him. Even the smallest pieces that could have been him have burned into the air with the energy carrying it away. A wave of his blood almost remains but even that manages to burn into nothing. It is an aura of red and purple. I almost feel bad. Not necessarily for killing him, but because he died in a rather beautiful way. Disintegrating into colors. The aura disappears into the air and then it is just silent. Instantly everyone below starts moving. White sleeves moves their cars from the entrance, some even have their tires screech as they hurry down the bridge. Cries of terror fill the air. I look on in confusion. Why is everyone reacting this way? I understand killing Tanner but I am pretty sure they are overreacting a little. The ground begins to shake beneath my feet. I frown and look towards the entrance. The trembling grows louder and then distant shouting begins to fill the air. Then I see them. The people of Ember are running up here. Why? I look towards Norian and see he is ordering the slaves around. Making them stand in groups by the trucks. What’s happening? I see the rest of the squad doing the same, Alicia included. I don’t see Tony and Dozer in the massive crowd of slaves. No one has even tried or bothered coming up the two flights of stairs with me. Did...did I do something wrong? ~~ ~~ “You sure this was a good idea?” I ask Alicia. She had any remaining captains available send a distress signal to the people below Bridgehome. We wanted all the people to be together for what may possibly be the end of them. It’s a bit of a gruesome thought but there isn’t really much to do for them. I...I don’t even know if we are all going to make it. Mekaias has killed Tanner already though, so why haven’t any explosions gone off yet? I frown at realizing this. Could he have been bluffing the whole time? It seems like it. As if on cue, a loud explosion sounds off back at the base with the execution circle. It echos around the city and the orange aliens all scream in fear. More explosions begin to go off that can’t be seen. I look up and around us but see no damage has been done. Smoke begins to rise, far away on the bridge. More explosions sound off and the ground begins to shake as the bombs grow louder. The bridge entrance then explodes in a large orange fire and then the sound of the bridge collapsing rises. The ground just will not stop shaking as the bridge crashes down to the marketplace and homes below. Then it is silent, aside from the cries and screams from the families around me. “We should move them to higher ground.” I shout. I point towards Mekaias, who is just standing there staring at everything. I will get to him as soon as I have this organized to Alicia's wishes. I want them all to have their moments together as much as I want my final moments with my soulmate. Alicia starts shouting at the top of her lungs to try and move the orange aliens to up the stairs. An explosion erupts high above us. I look up and see the ring of metal in the sky has exploded. Another explosion goes off on the other side of the ring, that one far bigger than the one before. A giant dark hole fills the metal ring and then bright red and orange lava begins to slowly spill over the other side of the city. Oh god. I never really thought I’d die to lava. I look for Mekaias but see he still hasn’t moved. I need to be with him. I move forward and beckon what looks like two families, to come with me. A woman hugs a crying child to her chest and she has wet tears running down her eyes. I almost forget to breathe as everything starts to hit me but I swallow hard and turn to keep moving. So many people are going to die. Even children. It sends a shiver down my spine. An explosion goes off behind us. A tall building begins to groan as it starts to tilt right over me and my group. My eyes go wide in horror and I do the only thing I think is right. I rush to the woman and her child, another little boy hides in front of the mother. I lean over them and push the rocks on my back and far out as I can. The family beneath me cowers and leans against me for cover. I squeeze my eyes shut and just wait for it all to end. Mentally chanting how much I love Mekaias. The ending and pain doesn’t come. Gasps of shock surround me and I glance above me. The building seems to slide down what looks like a purple force field that has energy swimming around it. It isn’t too bright or strong enough in color for you not to see through it. Definitely stronger than the shields Mekaias has used before. I look towards the the top of the double stairways and see Mekaias with both hands held high in the air. They glow a bright violet and I swear I see that his arms are shaking. More explosions erupt above us and giant boulders begins to fall from the top of the city. They fall onto the force field but instead break into tiny pieces before sliding off the force field and to the ground outside. “No.” I whisper to myself. Mekaias should not be using that much power. It could kill him! Everyone around us screams as more rocks fall above us and bombs erupt outside the force field. Lava continues to fall on the other side of the city. It is trailing down the base and into the city below the bridge. What is the point of this? It is only delaying the inevitable. I know it’s bad but I do not want Mekaias hurting himself anymore than he already has. I look back at him and see that his eyes...they...they are glowing. Bright purple light is shining from his eyes. One hand stops glowing and the other starts to glow brighter. The movement of power seems to hurt him as I see him fall onto one knee. I bite my lip in worry and try to move the family towards him. They do not budge. They simply keep staring at him. Mekaias takes a deep breath as he slowly manages to stand once again. His other hand begins to glow and he throws it out to his right. A giant portal erupts about twenty feet next to him. He keeps one hand on the force field and the other on the portal, keeping it open. “Hurry! Get inside!” Remelia shouts behind me. Instantly, hundreds of bodies begin running for the two stairways in hopes of getting through the portal. Their desperation for safety is so strong that even their small bodies are managing to push me up the stairs against my will. I immediately allow them to do so. I need to get to Mekaias. The closer we get to him the more power I can feel coming off of him. Everything feels as if it is vibrating and it only grows the higher and higher I get up the stairs. I look to the portal, trying to see where he could possibly be dropping us off. It’s our base. Our old base. His first base. I almost smile at that, but the floor shakes hard as a giant scrap of metal has fallen. I glance up and see that a large piece of the ring has fallen off. It has landed right in the middle of where the bridge once stood. I glance at Mekaias now that I am much closer. He has his brow furrowed in concentration and...he’s bleeding. He is bleeding through his nose. A steady flow of blood continues to fall and land on the floor beneath him. A puddle has begun to form. I immediately try and make my move to get to him. I try and push to the side of the crowd but instead I am being pushed back instead. We have reached the top of the stairs and immediately I am pushed towards the portal. “No! No, wait!” I shout at the people around me but they just keep pushing. They aren’t even looking at me. They have their sights on the portal and they just will not stop pushing me. I reach my hand in Mekaias’ direction but then I feel cold air surround me. I look up and see the night sky of Earth. I look around me and see the large crowd of orange aliens and Firelight standing far from the portal and waiting for everyone to come through. Remy and Remelia are standing at the edges of the portal, staring into it. Alicia soon walks in with Tony and Dozer by her sides. It never seems to end. People just keep pushing through. I manage to push myself past them to rush to Remelia’s side. I try and reach into the portal to run back in but instead I am met with a solid wall. I press against it over and over. “It’s a one sided portal.” Remelia says, her gaze never leaving the scary glow of orange that is Ember. It is so strange seeing the difference of this side to the other. Here it is in the coolness of night with the moon shining down on us, it is quiet. On the other side, rocks rain from the ceiling, lava continues to fall and fill up the city, and it is loud. The sounds of the other side of the portal echo into the Earth’s sky. “What do we do?” I ask. I keep my eyes on Mekaias. I can see he is struggling. His chest rises and falls fast and his arms shake. His glowing eyes aren’t as open as they can be. He is tired. He is using far too much energy and it is killing him. “We can’t do anything.” She says. She sounds as if she is hypnotized. She does not take her eyes off the destruction of the planet in front of us. The orange light shines on her skin in an eerie way. “He’s dying” I can almost hear the whine in my voice. I could care less about that. I can practically feel the life draining from him. It’s hurting him and he needs to stop. “He’s saving lives.” Remelia turns to me. Her eyes are shining with unshed tears. “He’s doing what any of us would do as well.” I look back at Mekaias and frown. I look to the crowd and see the end of the line. “He can make it. I know he can. He’s strong.” I say say to myself and nod. I keep my eyes on the last person climbing the stairs. The crowd seem to move even slower now. Some even trip and fall and I just about pull my hair out in frustration. An especially loud sound goes off in the portal and a large metal piece of the ring falls directly on top of the force field. Energy seems to ripple on the force field and I swear I see a crack begin to form on top. Mekaias’ body slides backwards from the force of the scrap of metal hitting his force field. He still manages to keep standing. Finally the last person has crossed the portal. I rush to stand in front of it and rest my hands on it. Mekaias doesn’t even make a move for us. His concentration is only on whatever is in front of him. “Mekaias!” I shout, not even knowing if he can hear me from this side. His ears perk up and he slowly turns to head to look over his shoulder. I wave him with one hand to come to the portal and keep another in front of me in hopes that he can grab onto it. Slowly he turns, his face contorted in pain. He takes one step forward and seems to try and plant his foot in place before trying to move the other. Another boulder lands hard on the force field and his body slides backwards on his feet. I feel a spike of pain in my chest and I know it isn’t mine. Cracks start to fill up on the force field and flakes of it seem to break off and disappear into the air. Then I see lava begin to spill through. He’s been holding back lava this whole time? Mekaias starts to walk towards me again. This time a little faster. His eyes are no longer glowing and he just looks so tired. His eyes are barely open yet they shine with tears. He stumbles on his feet and falls onto one knee, he barely catches himself but continues to keep both of his hands up and glowing. “Come on, Starshine!” I shout for him, “You can do it!” Mekaias warily lifts his head. When he looks at me, he gives a tired smile before pushing himself onto his feet again. He starts walking and with his hand raised in my direction for the portal, it almost feels as if he is reaching for me. I try to reach out for him but my hand doesn’t go through the portal. Another boulder falls and pain spikes into my chest again, stronger than before. Mekaias doesn’t even flinch, instead he turns his nose to wipe on his shoulder, the blood doesn’t stop flowing. He looks above me and his eyes go wide. I glance behind but see nothing. A large shard of stone falls a few feet in front of the portal and then lava splashes down on top of it. It starts to flow straight for the portal and then another stone shard lands in front of me. I look up at Mekaias, past the lava and he gives a sad smile. His lips move to say something but the sound of rocks hitting the ground drowns him out. Then he closes his eyes and lowers his hands. The portal disappears.
  15. JujuTheDruid

    Ride or Die

    I grab onto the high bar that sits behind the driver and passenger seats. The vehicle we have taken doesn’t have a roof and what should be the trunk is instead a platform with a machine gun connected on top of it. Remelia immediately fought Remy off for it. Remy sits next to me with a rifle given to him by Dozer, he constantly looks back and gives an evil eye to his sister. Alicia and Norian are the ones in front. Alicia is driving and Norian is on the passenger side. I chose to sit right behind him obviously. Dozer and Tony decided to take two cycles out and are sitting by both sides of the truck, waiting for the go ahead. Bridgehome is set directly across from us. A long bridge is connected to the giant base of Firelight. Bridgehome is mainly for the one’s too old to work or for any families of any Firelight members. Below Bridgehome is the marketplace. I hope everyone has managed to hide themselves. It may become too dangerous for them. I pray my friend that gave me Lucain’s bead is safe. I haven’t seen her in forever so I can only hope. “We ready?” Alicia calls out. Everyone checks their things. We took ammo and weapons from any Firelight that had surrendered to us. Norian told me to use two small guns as much as I can. We tried seeing how I’d work with a bigger gun but that was just a mess and I almost shot Remy. I tried to fight back about using them but he doesn’t want me to hurt myself with using my magic too much. I agreed even though I really didn’t want to. Alicia said that Tanner flew over to Bridgehome so we are going to steal his ship as soon as I kill him. Everyone calls out they are ready and then the hum of the engine turning on fills my ears. The cycles sound more like a low purr. Before we can manage to drive out of the garage, a few groups of Firelight with white sleeves pile onto other vehicles. We turn back to the road and immediately drive off. Alicia pushes the truck to drive as fast as it can. I lift my arms in the air and scream with excitement. I know we are headed after someone to kill, but driving at the top speed on a long open road? This is so fun! I hear a chuckles all around me and then Remy copies me and lifts his arms into the air as well. The wind blows my ears back and my hair goes wild. The two slips of hair with beads and cloth swing beside my face and smack me every now and then. I just huff in annoyance and try to hold them back. I hear a laugh in front of me and I look up to see Norian peeking behind his shoulder. I smile and stand to lean forward to rest my arms on the beam to watch his handsome face more closely. He blushes and tries to push me back to sit down in my seat but I ignore him. "I'm so in love with you." I smile and his blush only grows. I giggle and run my fingers against his horn. A gunshot goes off in the distance and behind us the sound of glass breaking goes off. A driver was shot through the glass and the car turns off the marked road and runs right into the wall of the bridge. I glance forward and another shot goes off. I summon a shield around the front of the truck and the bullet is deflected. Ahead on the road, a bunch of trucks and cycles start driving ahead of us. Loads of Firelight in grey uniforms are seen. All the drivers have someone else with a weapon trained on us. Dozer and Tony drive ahead of us and so does anyone else with a cycle on our side. The sides of the cycle’s open up and small guns point ahead of them. They start firing at the vehicles in front of us. The ones being shot at duck down for cover and sparks fly from bullets hitting metal. A few vehicles have their tires shot at and we pass them quickly. However the one’s behind us manage to throw a grenade beneath the enemy vehicles as they pass. The bridge shakes from the bombs and we continue driving forward. They start raining us with gunfire and we all duck down to avoid being hit. Norian hands me a strange arm brace and motions for me to hand it to Remelia. I lift my hand to pass it to her and as she grabs it, a bullet grazes my wrist. I hiss through my teeth and grip where I was shot. Norian immediately reaches around to try and inspect it. I push his hand away. “I’ll be fine!” I shout. He frowns and nods before I peek back at Remelia. She has placed the brace on top of the machine gun and a bright green shield stands in front of her. She no longer hides for cover and starts shooting at anyone ahead of us. She shoots the tires out from behind a cycle and it flips forward and then it continues to flip around before launching high into the air and over the bridge. My eyes widen and I reach forward to grab Alicia’s shoulder. “The people live under the bridge! We need to make sure they don’t get hurt!” I yell forward and she nods. She moves one hand from the wheel to press her finger to her headset and then speaks into it, a bit too quiet for me to hear over Remelia’s gunfire. A loud roaring sound goes off below us and then two helicopters fly up from under the bridge. They hover ahead of us and continue to keep a pace that matches ours. I lift my two guns and try and shoot towards one helicopter. The bullets only ricochet off the metal and doesn’t do any damage to them. Not even a dent. Doors on the sides open and then about eight Firelight jump out. Before they are even ten feet off the ground, they start to float in the air. They have jetpacks. Everyone tries to fire at them but they dodge around too fast. They shoot their guns and bullets rain all around above us. “I can get them.” I say before standing on my seat. I put one foot on the beam. Norian glances behind me and when he sees what I’m doing, his eyes just about bug out of his head. I push off the beam and jump high into the air. I lean back into a small flip and as soon as my back is to the sky, my backpack opens up and four metal ‘wings’ stretch out and then they hum to life. Instantly I am floating and then I jerk myself forward and start flying ahead of the truck. While I hate Firelight, I am very grateful they decided to give me these. I used them on my last mission to get to the squad easier. Bullets rain from the other Firelight members in jet packs and I weave myself around their gunfire. I pull the two guns out and aim them ahead of me and open fire. They must not have been expecting someone else to fly in the skies with them because they don’t really seem to dodge in time. The three die before the others start flying around to make it harder to kill them. I dodge around in the air from any gunfire and shoot whenever they make the mistake of flying in a straight line. It’s a bit tricky having to remember which way is up and to dodge from any gunfire from the trucks below. Remelia shoots towards a helicopter behind me and somehow manages to shoot the man I was chasing in the head. I give a small shrug before flying towards the helicopter she was aiming at. I fly in through the side door and one pilot, without looking at me, pulls out a gun and aims where I was standing. Too bad he didn’t look because I wasn’t there anymore. I grab his arm and pull it back against the metal panel behind him. His arm snaps backwards and he screams loud into the air. He loses control of the helicopter and I immediately dash out the side door and into the air. The helicopter spirals down to the bridge and lands right onto a truck and the blades slice through a cyclist that happened to be driving far too close. An explosion goes off behind me and one of our own has exploded. A final man in a jet pack has a grenade launcher in his hands and is already trying to aim for another. I immediately turn and tackle him in the air. The force of running into his armor hurts me a bit but I grab my gun and press it under his chin before pulling the trigger. A shower of warm blood goes up and around me and I have to wipe my left eye because too much landed on my forehead and it was beginning to slide into my eye. Everyone has managed to get a little too far from me and I immediately jerk forward to catch up. I catch up to the main truck and gunfire from the last helicopter begins to rain on my squad. I summon a shield over and then aim my hand towards the helicopter. It’s spinning blades begin to glow purple and then start to burn a bright orange before they melt on top of the helicopter. Instantly it falls to the bridge and rolls around before stopping in the middle of the road. Beeping from my backpack sounds off and I drop down onto the truck and slip back into my chair. Remy and Norian look at me with wide eyes. I shrug and sheepishly grin. Remelia handles the last of the trucks with her giant machine gun. We arrive into Bridgehome and even more Firelight is there to greet us. ~~ ~~ Well...Mekaias’ wish came true. He can fly. It was pretty amazing to watch. I need one of those suits for myself honestly. Bridgehome is set into two sections. The top is where the people live and the bottom section is a sort of stairway that leads further down into what looks like a marketplace. It appears to be empty except I see a few orange aliens sprinting from house to house. Are they slaves? I wouldn’t doubt that being a thing. Firelight isn’t so great with working with anyone who isn’t human. Then again, some are helping us right now. At the top section, we can see a bunch of armored cars that are parked and being used for cover. As soon as they we get close enough, they open fire. Remelia immediately fires back and Alicia reaches down to grab a box by her feet. It’s a metal box with a yellow button on the top. She presses it, parks the truck in place, and tosses the box in front of us. Before it hits the ground, a tall yellow shield erupts and covers about the same height of the truck. “Our ride should be safe,” Alicia unbuckles her seatbelt and pulls out her pistol. “Mekaias, Tanner is supposed to up there in that top building.” She points past the shield and up to a large building. It looks like it could be a library. It’s a bit on higher ground compared to everything else here. There are two sets of stairs in front of it that weave around and up to the entrance. As she points the entrance out, a tall machine walks out of the double doors. It looks like it is a giant android but I’ve never seen that before. “That’s him right there!” Alicia shouts. So he has decided to wear a suit. Interesting. Does he really think that will be enough to stop us? If Mekaias can melt the metal off a spinning propeller then how would that metal suit work? I look over at Mekaias and see his eyes burning with rage. I reach a hand over and squeeze his shoulder. He blinks before reaching up to grip onto my hand. He turns to me and gives a small smile before turning to look back at Tanner. “We are going to do this together, alright?” I say and he gives a small nod, not taking his eyes off of Tanner. “So how are we going to do this?” I ask. “Like this!” Remy grins before lifting a giant rocket launcher onto his shoulder and aims at the cars packed together in front of us. The rocket flies out and everything seems to go quiet before a loud snarl of fire erupts and cars fly high into the air. Screams fly from ahead of us and shouts of panic rise. Instantly, our side begins to shoot at anyone who comes out of the smoke and fire. This time nobody tries to surrender. They run out of the fire as if it’s the most important thing in the world. They shoot at us and their numbers grow as more begin running our way. I jump out of the truck and keep behind the shield to keep safe. I raise my gun and shoot at anyone who gets close. Anyone who gets close to our side dies fast thanks to Remelia. Remy is perched in the truck and aiming with his rifle, taking out anyone who is shooting from long range as well. I peek behind him but see that Mekaias is missing. I feel my blood run cold and turn forward trying to find him. I don’t see him by any of the other vehicles on our side and not anywhere in the war zone in front of us. I turn to the left and then I see him. He is jumping from rooftop to rooftop and headed straight for Tanner. Shit! “He’s running for Tanner!” I shout. I hear Alicia curse behind me and she calls into her headset. “Mekaias is running for Tanner, Tony. Do you think you can help him with Tanner?” I barely hear his response but I hear another voice begin to speak in the headset. Alicia nods and then her face goes pale. “What?” I say and turn to her. “What’s wrong?” She holds a finger up and keeps listening to whatever is being said in her headset. She finally looks up at me and then up at the opening in the sky. Her hands start to shake and so I reach out and gently grab her hands. “Just tell me what’s happening.” I say as calm as I can. I peek over at Mekaias and see he is about two rooftops away now. “B-bombs.” She says and stares past me and straight at Tanner. I frown and look at him. He isn’t holding a switch or anything. “Mekaias can’t kill him! We’ll all die!” She almost whispers. What does she mean? I reach for her headset and she doesn’t fight back when I take it off. I bring it to my ear and speak. “What’s happening? Alicia is freaking out. What did you tell her?” A woman’s voice comes in, “Tanner has bombs set up around Ember. If his heart stops then everything blows up. Whatever you do, do not kill him!” “You tell us this now? Why the hell didn’t you say this before?” I shout. “Nobody told us that you all decided to just rush in there and attack!” She shouts back. I look for Mekaias but see he is missing. Tanner is facing something on his left. I have a feeling he’s looking at Mekaias. “Shit.” I say. “What do we do? I have a feeling we won’t be able to stop it in time.” “All our aircraft’s can barely hold more than six people. There will have to be people who will have to be sacrificed.” She says that all like it’s nothing and it sounds insane in my ears. “We only have about ten aircrafts. Eleven if you count the one Tanner took.” How the hell do we handle this? Even the people on our side alone is more than sixty. All those people that are down below the bridge. I bite my lip but then static fills my ears. I frown. “Hello?” I curse and hand the headset back to Alicia. She seems to have calmed down a little but not by much. She looks past me and immediately starts shaking all over again. I follow her gaze and then I see Mekaias standing before Tanner with his hands glowing. Wisps of violet energy radiate off his body.

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