The Fight Begins
“Sierra, are you telling me you’ve woken up in here, in a room like this after the Land of Dragoon?” Elvan asked, after she heard my story.
“And, it seems so have you,” I added. “I’m glad we are together, but we need to find a way to get out of here. I’m afraid, I can’t do this alone, anymore. I’m too weak, and I’m at the verge of despair.”
“Sierra,” Elvan said, her face very serious. “This will sound nuts, but I’ve been on earth, and so have you. In fact, I’m pretty sure, you are still there. I’ve seen you, I’ve talked to you. Sweetie, I don’t know how this happened, but there are two of you.”
Elvan had lost it, was she even aware of what she was saying. I doubted it. Lack of water and food, must have pushed her towards delirium. This was bad. I pushed her towards bed as I got up. “You should rest,” I urged her. “I’ll give you some water, which is pretty much the only available thing in here.”
As she was drinking water heartily, she started at it again. “I’ve been in your grandmother’s body, up until now. Probably, that’s why I was unconscious in here. I don’t know how I’ve traveled back and forth, and why and how I’m here now, but am I glad to be back in this body, as starved as it might be,” she said, touching her knees, and bending them, like they belonged to a toy. “Oh, what a joy not to feel your bones ache.”
She looked to be herself, and without the influence of a fever.
“Oh, shit...Dante,” she exclaimed, slapping her forehead lightly. “He’ll be devastated, the fool. Damn, now I have to worry over him! My poor Dante...”
“Elvan, you are not yourself,” I denied her words.
“Really, then how do I know you have only 1/3rd of your heart, at least over there?”
“No, that can’t be true,” I protested. But, then how did I explain my weakness, and exhaustion all the time? But, then again, it could merely be starvation. I simply didn’t know anymore. Still, all her words were too far-fetched, too extreme to take for granted.
“And, there is more, I know that Baran is also your mate, and now helping the Drakons. And, the Drakons have shifted, too. But, the madness will be returning. There is so much to tell, but believe me I’m not making any of this up. You were, I mean your duplicate on earth was looking for the rest of her heart, hmm...it makes me wonder whether the piece of heart she had been looking for lies in you.”
A look of shock flashed across Elvan’s eyes, as if it suddenly dawned on her, and she suddenly rose on both feet, clenched her fists and started shaking them in front of my face. “You can’t fool me! I should have known. You are the witch, damn it,” she said landing a solid punch on my face. I yelped in agony, holding my fast swelling jaw, and rolled on the ground before she could punch me again.
“Stop it, are you crazy?” I yelled, holding my jaw. It hurt damn badly. “If I were the witch, would I be imprisoning myself here with you, starving myself to death, and taking this punch from you so easily? Think for god’s sake, look at my bloodied hands, they are unrecognizable, just because I’m spending every hour, carving a solid wall, trying to get out,” I said, trying to move my jaw. Shit, this was the last straw. I just wanted to find myself on earth, to see Seth, and this torture to end. “I don’t know what’s going on, but believe me I’m not the witch.”
“Okay, I see your point, I’m sorry,” Elvan said, throwing up her hands. “But, whatever this is, it’s the witch’s doing, that’s for sure.”
I felt my jaw swell, and knew it would be a long night with the pain. “We need to finish the carving of the wall, that’s how I made it to your room. I’m halfway through. That’s our only hope, right now, unless you can find a way to open that door,” I said.
Elvan looked at the tunnel I’ve been carving, crawled on her knees to see more, and then asked, “Got it, just tell me what to do.”
I didn’t believe her gibberish words, but it didn’t matter. We needed to find a way out, and for that her physical strength would suffice. Dealing with her mental illness could wait.
We’d gone straight to the hospital, Sierra, her parents, and I. Sierra’s shoulders were shaking, she was crying, her tears were like bullets to my heart. I held her tightly as she poured her heart out. We didn’t know what this meant for Elvan, but one thing was certain, her grandma wasn’t coming back. Dante was yet another inconsolable soul, his eyes were transfixed on the wall as he tried to control his pain. I sympathized with his pain, there was nothing like losing a mate, and though he held onto hope that Elvan was still alive somewhere, there was always the possibility that she was dead, and he was suffering. He walked out like a robot, not talking, not displaying any emotions. It was like he was emptied inside out, living through it all without any comprehension, and feeling. When Sierra went to talk to his father in the corner, I followed Dante out.
We were gathered at campus, for the meeting that was planned long before all had gone sour. I felt hollow and calm one minute, and extremely enraged the second. Elvan was gone, I would not hear her voice, touch her, talk to her. I didn’t know whether she was alive, somewhere far away, alone and scared. I could not even deal with the idea that she wasn’t. I would happily embrace madness, and death in that case.
The Drakons were gathering, not all of them. There were only a select group of Drakons who were invited to this meeting, knowing about its hour and location. The others were at the headquarters.
I sawhimamong the Drakons, though he was under subterfuge, and nodded in a subtle gesture. Nobody else had noticed the greeting, just as it was supposed to be. Secrecy was of utmost importance. He bowed down his head, trying to keep a low key profile until the meeting started.
“Thank you for coming here,” Seth said. “I have you gathered here today for something tremendously important. We have news that the neutralizers are gathering a large force, recruiting humans, turning them into one of them. Unfortunately, the Drakon madness will be returning, some of us are losing our mates, right this minute. Every day, we allow the neutralizers to get away, one of us is destined to be alone, live in the dark, and be enslaved by madness. Each one you will be assigned to gather information on the neutralizers, and then we’ll act on what we know.”
I stood up, impatient, unable to wait any longer. The fury had gotten hold of me again, I would use it, let myself be consumed by it. I started letting it all out, words spilling from my lips, as if they were breathing, living monsters.
“I have lost my mate tonight, and more of you will lose yours. You know why?” I asked, addressing the small crowd, almost bending in pain with the memory of what I was forcing myself to remember. “Because what we learned was too little, too late. It will be late for you, too. Your mates will be turned, and you will go mad, I will go mad because The Prince of Drakons has failed me, he will fail you, too, if not today, then tomorrow.
The room was hushed to a complete stillness. The faces were uncertain, and scared of the unknown, of what they feared was coming. “My brother is incompetent. Is that the kind of leader you want, I ask you?“I shouted, feeling my whole face turn red with fury.
There was an uproar in the room, Drakons talking to one another, whispers flowing like little dust particles, playing on the doubts, and confusions slowly taking root in their heads.
“Are you crazy, what you are saying is treason,” Cayman shouted. “The only reason you are still alive is because he has not given me the order to kill you yet. Say the word, and I’ll do it,” he said, turning to Seth.
“There will be no killing today. This is the last thing I want. This is not Rawonia, and I will do my best to prevent another episode of what we went through there. We don’t want Drakons killing Drakons. I won’t have it. My brother is in pain, this is his grief speaking, nothing else,” Seth claimed. “Dante, I am very sorry,” he said. “But, you better leave,” he said turning around.
That was it, my cue to act. I took out the dagger tucked in my boot. Everything happened too fast to even to recount afterwards. Within seconds, my dagger was flying in air, to find itself deeply dug in Seth’s chest where his heart lay. My aim had been perfect, my timing precise. There was blood, and more blood. I couldn’t help it, but I laughed. Seth gasped, looking at the knife in his chest, his face reflected a deep shock, his eyes opened wide, his fists clenched in a last attempt to hold on to life. “Sierra,” he said, and then fell on the ground.
“Now, you know what it means to lose one’s heart, brother,” I yelled.
“Get him,” I heard Cayman shout. His hand which pulled out the dagger was painted in blood, he pressed his finger to feel a pulse. “Oh my God, the King is dead,” he roared in anguish.
I looked back, uncertain of what exactly happened, but I didn’t have a second to lose. I ran before they had a chance to stop me, I shifted and was soon soaring in the air.
One Drakon stood up calmly within that commotion, and walked outside, his pace neither hurried, nor slow. “That was entertaining, and unexpected,” he murmured. “But, I think he’s just created a fucking alternative universe,” he muttered. He barely made it to see Dante’s dragon in air disappear from sight. And, he smiled, his eyes shining with hope.