Once Walked With Dragons

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Chapter Twenty Nine

Keara had been flying around on her own for the better part of the night. Her mind was full of questions and emotions she did not understand. As Salerra, hardly anything made any sense to her at all.

Below, the world had grown quiet. There was nothing to be seen, not even the twinkle of a camp fire. The folk in these parts had grown so afraid of the evils that lurk in the world that no one dared to set foot outside after dark. Keara knew it was her doing. She had created all this fear.


Stories were spreading in and around the castle. Most stories were of Keara; others were of demons or other supernatural beings.


The house of the Ravens was unnaturally quiet. The children were in their rooms, mostly keeping to themselves. The adults carried on with their everyday chores, trying to act as though nothing had changed.
Zarra was patrolling around the house, trying to keep the family as safe as her skills would allow her too.
‘How long are we going to carry on as though nothing has happened, Adin?’ Caitlyn asked, looking away from the window.
Adin continued to stare out the window; he wasn’t sure what to say. After all, there was nothing he could possibly say to makes things easier.
‘How long are we gonna sit here and do nothing?’ Caitlyn was getting somewhat impatient.
Adin looked away from the window. He took his wife’s hand and held it tightly with both hands, ‘There’s not much we can do, Caitlyn.’
Caitlyn opened her mouth, to protest, but Adin only continued, ‘This is not our fight.’
‘They are our children; of course it’s our fight.’ Caitlyn argued.
‘Two of our children are Dark Elves. Were.’ Adin rephrased, still unaware that Keara was alive, ‘Dark Elves have their pride; until Michael asks for our help, there’s nothing we can do.’
‘I don’t care; Michael will just have to swallow his pride and allow us to help him. He doesn’t have a choice; we’re his parents.’ Caitlyn protested.
‘Michael is a Dark Elf, Caitlyn. He is quite capable of preventing us from helping him, even without using force.’
Caitlyn wanted to argue with Adin’s statement, but she realized that it was true and protesting was futile. Even if her husband did agree to help their children; without Michael’s approval, they wouldn’t be of any use.


Back at the Haunted Castle; sitting by the window; enfolded in her own wings, Keara stared at all her markings, as well as the half-visible mark of the creature on her right forearm. Sometimes the mark would disappear and a different part of it would return. She knew there was a reason the mark seemed so incomplete, but unfortunately, that reason eluded her.
For a moment, the memory of someone who could provide her with that answer, flashed in her mind. A Dark Elven woman; but she could not remember her name.
Far below her; she watched the Shadows, scrambling around outside the castle walls; preparing their weapons for yet another rampage. She knew that what she was helping them do was wrong; but somehow, Crucis Salerra could not contemplate the evil it was spreading; it only realized its never-ending thirst for blood.
A Shadow looked up at her; Scander, the one who had killed her. He did not much care for Keara or the creature she had become. To him, she was just a waste of life-force. Though he tried to ignore her immense power, he still couldn’t forget about the degree of fear he had for her. Still, it did not prevent him from agitating her. His intentions for such agitation, was unclear; to the others it seemed to be deliberate annoyance. Perhaps he did it, because she reacted; as no one else would even attempt to stand up to him. But she didn’t fear him. She didn’t fear anyone, not even Sharzak.
Scander kept looking at her, then without warning, he flung a jagged edged spear in her direction. She had moved her leg out of the way on purpose, just before the spear dug into the window pane. She looked down at Scander, who still looked up at her with a haunting grin.
Keara kicked the spear from below, so it would break in half. The broken end spun in the air, landing in Keara’s hand. Then without a flinch, her hand became inflamed, setting fire to the broken spear. Keara didn’t even glance at it; she only flung it back to Scander, who flinched as the broken, burning spear landed between his feet. He looked up at Keara again, no longer grinning. She returned the look for a moment, then stood up and toppled out the window, and just before hitting the ground, opened her wings and swooped over the Shadows, kicking Scander in the back of the head just hard enough to annoy him. She flew off into the dusk and didn’t return until the sky was pitch-black.
Upon her return, she swooped in the front doors and sat down on one of the dark, wooden chandeliers. Strands of hair were draped over her face; her red eyes seemed dead; no expression showed on her face; the light of the burning candles dancing across her face, could not even give life to her emotionless expression. Sharzak looked up at her.
‘You’re just in time, Salerra.’
Keara didn’t respond, she made no effort to even look in his direction.
‘Something troubling you, Salerra?’ Sharzak asked, without any genuine concern.
She looked at him, but said nothing.
‘It’s time we leave.’ he said as he stood up and headed for the door.
Keara watched him as he passed below her; suddenly shuddering at his dark aura. A moment later, she dropped from the chandelier, landing on her feet quietly before following Sharzak outside.

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