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The After War
My black raven wings moved against the wind as I sat on a cliff over looking what was left of Athlena. I kicked my feet as they dangled in empty space, thinking. The war between Athlena and Somania didn’t leave much of the beauty of Athlena left.The scorched land of my home looked back at me sadly. I knew this would happen. I knew Athlena would eventually fall and Somania would take advantage of that. And who listened. No one. No one except-no, don’t think of that. It’s too soon.
I watched the sunrise quietly. Thinking I ran my fingers through my long black hair. This was all over wasn’t it. No of course it wasn’t. Even though both we were destroyed in the war and we went our separate ways, it wasn’t over yet. Somania would come back for us. Come back for me.
Pain pulsed through my wing as the white bandages on it turned crimson. I cursed under my breath. It was supposed to be healed by now, but I guess that’s what happens when a Acutite gets cut by demon glass. I wonder how many Acutites were left. Only one now and that was me. And thats why the Somanians wanted me, but they couldn’t have me. Maybe there were some Acutites left. I had to find out.
I stood up wincing as I put pressure on my bad leg. Since I couldn’t fly I turned around and walked. Walked down the tall cliff into the dark forest beneath it. I hated this feeling. The feeling of not knowing. Not knowing what was going to happen next. What events would take its course. If he was here he would know-no, still not thinking about it. Would Athlena stay in rubbles or come out from the ruins? Would Somania take over finally?
I had to find another Acutite. But with all these Hecates roaming over the lands I doubt it will be easy. I couldn’t fight this alone. Even though I didn’t know what I was fighting. In mid thought there was a rustle in the bushes. I spun facing the source of the sound pulling a dagger from my waist.
“Well isn’t it the Acutite princess, Blythe.” I let out a breath, it was just Madix. My guardian of sorts. Every royal Acutite is assigned a guardian. My guardian in particular was an annoying Darkfaery. Which meant he was mean and he liked to play tricks on me. A lot. I glared into his black eyes and expected his usual stupid grin, but instead I received a smile, a sad smile.
“What do you want Madix?” I asked putting away my dagger.
“I am your guardian aren’t I? How are you?” He looked better with a mischievous grin. The whole sympathy thing wasn’t working for him.
“Fine,” I said a little to aggressively. “I mean...”
“Don’t worry we’ll find him,” he assured me messing up my hair with his hand. I slapped his hand away then quickly fixed my hair.
“I’m the only one left Madix,” I sighed. “He’s... gone. My family’s gone. The Hecates are taking over Athlena and Somania is just sitting back and waiting for us to fall again. All the Athlenians are dying. Innocent humans who don’t have any idea what happened. The Acutites are supposed to protect the humans, but how can they if I’m the only one left. And don’t say to ask the Acutites in Somania they’re the ones who sent the Hecates to Athlena.
“Blythe,” Madix said sounding like he was about to give her a pep talk, “Acutites are angels, Hecates are demons. Angels always win even if there is only one against thousands. And plus you have me.” I couldn’t help but smile at his effort, but that didn’t change anything.
“I’m still only one girl. How about the Faery Courts? Will they help?” Madix shook his head slowly letting his black hair fall over his eyes. I let out a frustrated grunt and kicked a tree, but instantly regretted it when pain shot up my good leg. “I can’t protect all of Athlena myself. But the Athlenians are counting on me. I have to try.”
“That’s the spirit,” cheered Madix. “Where are we headed to?”
She thinks I’m dead, I thought sadly. After the explosion I had woke up with my hands and wings bound, eyes covered and had been put into what I’m was guessing was a box, then thrown into a carriage. I ended up in a place that smelled strongly of blood.
“What’s this,” grunted a deep voice kicking me in the stomach where I had been stabbed. I groaned and curled in a ball as if doing it would protect me.
“The Acutite you asked for,” answered another voice, but this voice was shaky like he was afraid of the deeper voice. A giant hand grasped the place where my wings met in between my shoulder blades and yanked me up in the air so that the tips of my toes barely brushed the ground.
“Idiot!” bellowed the voice as the hand tossed me to the side making me land on my wings painfully. “You brought the wrong Acutite!” There was a thump and a whimper as the big voice hit the little voices owner. “I asked for the girl! The princess. Not some dirty peasant.” I held my breath at the mention of Blythe. What did they want with her?
“I’m sorry Sir,” whimpered the small voice. “The princess was out of my reach. But-”
“What am I supposed to do with him?” Asked the deep voice obviously angry. “I need the Acutite princess.”
“Dispose of him.”
“Sir listen to me.” Then the big voice was quiet. The little voice started to whisper something to the big voice and I strained his ears to try and here what they were saying, but I couldn’t make out what they were whispering.
“Oh he is, is he?” said the big voice in a way that made my skin crawl. “Well never mind then. I know exactly what to do with him.” I felt a needle in my arm and my thoughts started to get fuzzy.
I need to get out of here, I thought. I need to find her. Then my thoughts went blank.
“Somania?” Madix asked surprised. “You want to go to the very place where the people who want you dead live?”
“How else are we supposed to defeat them, but not right away,” I said starting to make a mental plan. “First, we need to stop by the castle or, whats left of it.” I added sadly. Quickly of shook away the thoughts of my deceased family and resumed making my plan. “I need moral support and I know just where to find it.”
“Wait your not thinking,” asked Madix cautiously.
“Yes, I’m going to find Aumber,” I sighed wondering if I was making the right choice or if I completely lost it. Aumber, the crazy, handsome, witch that I’ve known since I was little. Also my ex-lover, whom I have some grudges held against, but was the only person I knew would still be alive and might be willing to help me.
“Are you sure?” Madix asked knowing full well what risk we were taking.
“No, but what other choice do we have?” Aumber was dangerous and wasn’t quite in his right mind. He is unpredictable and mysterious, I guess that’s why I ever courted him. “And since I can’t fly yet,” I looked up at Madix pleadingly, “can you flash us there?”
“Fine,” sighed Madix, “but just this once princess.” Madix put a hand around my arm then flashed us into a vortex.
As soon as we landed I wanted to scream and run away. The castle, my home, was ashes. What used to be thousands of acres of beautiful Acutite land was now gone. Tears threatened at the brim of my eyes and something lodged itself in my throat. Madix placed a sympathetic hand on my shoulder, but I shook it off. Rubbing tears from my eyes I refocused.
“We need to find Aumber,” I whispered, cursing at how my voice was shaky.
“Did I hear my name,” said a familiar high, dark, creepy voice that used to give me butterflies, but now just sent unwanted chills down my back. Slowly I turned around to see Aumber. His tall, skinny figure, wrapped in a torn silver and black cloak, stood looking down at me, beautiful yellow cat eyes opened wide studying me behind white shaggy hair and looked like it never met a comb. His handsome face twisted into a evil smile of sorts. I could feel his power dangerous and scary, to this day it gives me a rush of adrenaline, but I ignored it to focus at the task at hand.
“Aumber I need your help,” I said holding my head high. A bony, pale hand reached up to touch my face, I flinched and Madix took a step closer to me, but the hand caressed my cheek going up running its fingers through my hair, then holding a piece of hair out playing with it.
Aumber stared at the piece of hair in his hand for a while then spoke. “My darling Blythe,” he nearly sang returning his yellow cat eyes to look into mine. “What brings you back to me?”
“In case you haven’t noticed,” I said smacking his hand away from my hair, “everyone’s dead and I need help to Athlena defeat Somania.”
“Why is this my problem?”
“It’s- it’s not,” I stuttered. “I just need help. I can’t do this myself.”
Aumber took a deep breath, insane eyes not leaving my. “I’ll help you.”
“What’s the catch?” I knew him to well to know that he didn’t want something in return. Then he laughed, an insane, high-pitched, wild laugh that shook the ground.
“Beautiful Blythe, you are almost to smart for me.” He came dangerously close, face centimeters from mine. His breath was hot and smelled of spice. “In return I want...” Then he disappeared. Without a sound or a sign. Then there was a shift of the air. “You,” Aumber whispered in my ear from behind.
I jumped swinging at Aumber and my face got hot with anger. “This is no time to play games Aumber!”
“Your right my dear, your right,” nodded Aumber floating down from a tall pile of ruble he retreated up to when I swung at him. “At the moment I cannot decide what the price will be for my assistance, so I will choose when my debt is filled.” I eyed him cautiously weighing my options. Aumber laughed loudly again, I will never get used to it. “Don’t worry precious it won’t be of any harm to your person or your mind.”
I thought for a second then nodded. “Alright.” We shook hands and the familiar click in the back of my mind sounded as I made the deal official.
Since I needed to fly to get where we were going, I had Aumber heal my wounds. As he did that, me and Madix sat down and revised my plan.
“So that’s it then,” I asked Madix after going over the plan.
“Yup I think its a good plan,” said Madix standing up.
I twisted my head to look at Aumber who was hidden by the yellow glow of his magic. “You almost done there Aumber?”
“Yes my lovely,” answered Aumber. I really hated how he called me things like, “my lovely”.
“Right then lets go.”
“Not quite yet princess,” growled the deepest voice I have heard in my life. Aumber let out a small yelp then disappeared. Just like him to disappear in the mist of trouble. I turned around, hand going to my waist, and faced the largest Hecate I have ever seen in my life. The familiar battered wings of a Hecate hung behind him. It always baffled me how they flew with wings that were so thin and had so many holes and rips in them. Skin as white as paper, as if its never met the sun. Narrow, dark eyes glared down at me, like he was trying to murder me with a stare.
“What do you want?” Madix asked moving to step in front of me unsheathing his sword.
“I would like to talk to the princess about a certain someone,” he said it like it was an order not taking his eyes off mine.
“Well then, speak.” It was times like these I was glad for Madix. I couldn’t face a Hecate this big on my own. He looked like he was the leader.
“I’m sure you know the name Landon.” At the mention of his name my heart sped and my thoughts scrambled.
“Yes,” I managed to croak out. “He’s dead.”
It was then the Hecate grinned. A wide crazy grin spread across his face, if I didn’t know better I would have said it was Aumber’s grin. It scared me. “As a matter of fact princess, the boy is not dead.” And that was it. My knees gave out at the news. He’s alive? How could he be?
“No,” I whispered to myself then said it again louder. “No. How could he have survive? I saw him in the explosion. There’s no way...”
I could feel Madix grow extremely angry. “I’m going to have to ask you to leave. Or I could kill you. Either way works for me.”
“I’m afraid that won’t be necessary.” The giant Hecate whistled and then thousands upon thousands of Hecates flew into view. Where had they been hiding? “If the princess wants proof that her lover is alive then we”ll take her to him.”
Slowly I stood up taking out my dagger. “I’d prefer to escort the princess myself, thank you very much.” Aumber appeared back at my side, yellow magic sparkling at his fingertips. And we launched into battle.
I woke up with a warm body next to me. Oh thank god, it was all just a dream. I’m home with Landon sleeping besides me, the war never happened. But then I tried to get up and I couldn’t move. My hands were tied and so were my wings. No it wasn’t a dream. I could steal feel a warm body next to me. Who was it? I pried my eyes open and only saw black. Where my eyes covered too? No they were adjusting. Could it be?
Landon laid right next to me. He was bloody and bruised, but it was all him. I almost cried out in joy, but I remembered where I might be. Landon’s eyes were covered I couldn’t tell if he was awake or not.
“Landon,” I whispered hoping no one was there hiding in the darkness. When there was no answer a dreaded thought entered my mind. What if he was dead. “Landon,” I whispered again a little louder nudging him a bit. “I it’s me. Wake up please.” Those annoying tears threatened to spill from my eyes again. “Please be alive, Landon.” I nudged him harder and he woke up with a snort.
“I’m awake, please don’t kill me,” He pleaded. I giggled a little, giddy with the fact that Landon, the love of my life was alive and I wasn’t the last Acutite.
“Landon, it’s me.” His head moved to the source of sound even though his eyes couldn’t see.
“Blythe.” It came out as a desperate whisper as if he thought it was a dream.
“Yes it’s me,” I replied. This time the tears spilled across my cheeks. “It’s really me.” I began to laugh and a smile split across his lips. I scooted awkwardly closer and placed my lips against his so he could know it really was me. We sat there for a while. Laughing and smiling crazy, thinking it was to good to be true. But we had to get out of here first. We still had to save Athlena.
“We have to get out of here,” I whispered to him.
“I know,” he agreed, “but how?”
“I think I could be of assistance,” said a high-pitched insane voice off in the darkness.
“Aumber,” I yelped with joy. I’ve never been so happy to hear his crazed voice. The next second our binds were gone and Landon and I were standing hugging each other. Half crying, half laughing overflowing with happiness.
Quickly I wiped my tears and focused on what needed to be done. “Thank you Aumber,” I said to him. “Would you mind if you supplied some light?”
“Not at all princess.” Then there was a glowing yellow orb in the palm of his hand filling the whole room with light. Then I wished he hadn’t turned on a light. The small square room was covered in dead bodies and bloody body parts. The only spot where you could see the floor was where Landon and I were laying. It took me a second to stop myself from hurling all over Landon.
“There’s a door,” Landon pointed out leading me out of the death chamber. Outside the door was a spiral staircase that seemed to ascend forever. Landon and I unfurled our wings and kicked off the ground flying up the stairs. We met Aumber at the top of the stairs and then a thought occurred to me.
“Aumber, where’s Madix?” I’m not sure I wanted to know. Aumber’s crazy smile vanished. He lowered his gaze.
“Madix said it was an honor being your guardian,” Aumber said solemnly. Slowly, I nodded accepting the news, I didn’t have the luxury to morn over my guardian. As annoying as he was, I still cared for him.
“Let’s go,” urged Landon.