[Chapter Twenty Nine]
It hadn’t even been an hour before Rykal and the satyr had passed out. The satyr was sprawled out on Rykal’s carelessly spread wings like some sort of bed whilst the dragon shifter himself slept with his arms and legs out like a star. Olivia smiled at how childlike they looked as Ava and she prepared for their own sleep.
“Ah, hunger must feed,” Ava gasped and Olivia knew what she meant and didn’t dare to look.
Even though she cringed, the smile remained as she moved the sack near the small tent. Ava handed out two blankets to Olivia and walked over to the two sleeping drunks and draped a brown wool blanket over them. Olivia chuckled in which Ava flashed back a smile.
The girl spread out the first black blanket on the ground before laying the second green one on top. Next, she took off her grey sweater and rolled it up into a pillow. She held it under her arm whilst crawling between the two blankets and propping the ‘pillow’. Olivia glanced at the witch as she laid down and the witch simply snapped her fingers. Before the girl could react, the witch shrunk. Her clothes slowly fell with her until it was an empty pile. Olivia shot up, eyes wide in shock and a cat came roaming out of the clothes pile. Olivia gaped at the black cat, noticing purple ears and paws with a few streaks through the shiny black fur. The cat looked at her with bright orange eyes and tilted its head.
“You’re a cat?!” Olivia exclaimed.
The cat winked at her. Olivia didn’t need to ask again when the cheekiness gave it away. Ava meowed and strolled over to Olivia. The girl laid down and Ava nudged her hand. Olivia looked at her weirdly.
“What?” Ava nudged Olivia’s hand with her head again and Olivia blinked at her. “Do you honestly want me to pet you?”
Ava sat down, her tail thumping on the ground. Olivia sighed before holding up her hand and scratching underneath Ava’s chin. She started purring and leaned into Olivia’s hand. The girl continued petting the cat and looked up. Nothing, in particular, came to mind but gazing at the moon and stars was peaceful. Some music rang from the village, a few overly loud shouts and cheers with some flashing lights came from all over. Olivia paid no attention to it as Ava curled into a ball with Olivia’s hand on top of her. Ava’s fur was soft like a feather and the girl was amazed at the purple streaks running through the black.
Her sleep was quiet and relaxing. She didn’t dream about anything but darkness and it was comforting. The warmth from her blankets and air was surrounding her and she felt so much at peace that being woken by a buzz in her neck was disturbing. The buzzing intensified and Olivia groaned and turned around. She opened her eyes for a brief second before closing them again. The buzzing was frantically tingling in her neck and Olivia heard a small curse above her. Immediately, Olivia tensed and realized she’d seen black boots in her vision.
She didn’t know what to do but she couldn’t let whoever was above her think they had the upper hand. She shot her eyes open and suddenly stood up. She was greeted with a man with pointy ears, fair skin, and silver hair tied into a low ponytail. The man looked at her with pale blue eyes that widened and Olivia noticed a small scar on his cheek. She looked down and saw a blade in his hand and her neck gave her the warnings that he was planning a strike for her neck.
Olivia stepped back and the man pointed the blade at her. “Don’t move, girl. Or I’ll cut you,”
She held up her hands. “What do you want?”
The man narrowed his eyes, bangs of silver hair falling beside his jawline. “Don’t speak!”
From behind her, there was a loud groan and Olivia turned back to see Rykal beginning to toss. She needed to stall the man a little longer until Rykal woke up. It would be the only way to turn the tables before someone got hurt.
The man looked around her before catching sight of something and stepped forward. “Move,”
Olivia held her ground and gave him a stern look. She didn’t answer.
The man gritted his teeth and stormed up to her. He pressed the sharp edge of the blade against her throat and glared at her. “Move. Or I’ll start cutting,”
Olivia narrowed her eyes, blocking out the buzzing rapidly flushing through her entire neck. “You’re the one with the knife. I move and you’ll start cutting either way. You said don’t move or you’ll cut me. Now you’re saying to move or you’ll cut me. You’re giving mixed signals here,”
She was trying to sound as intelligent as she could to stall the man as long as she could before Rykal woke. Or someone. Truth was, she was afraid that the man would take it further than she thought and end up cutting her right open. The thought made her stomach twist unpleasantly. The man glared at her before shoving her to the side. She cried out on purpose, acting hurt and feeble, but accidentally landed on top of the sleeping cat.
Ava woke up with a shriek and glared at Olivia momentarily before her gaze flickered to the stranger inside the small text as he tore it down. She hissed at the man to which he sneered back. Ava ran to Rykal and the satyr, clever to not reveal herself as Olivia stood up.
The man rummaged through the text using the sack Rykal and Olivia had been using and shoved in all the things he thought were of worth. He’d just came out when the satyr came running up to the man and tackled him. They fell to the floor and the satyr was on top, throwing a punch or two before the man kicked him off and took a jab at his arm. The satyr yelled in pain and backed off and Olivia went running to Rykal.
“Don’t move!” screamed the man.
Olivia groaned under her breath and held up her hands again, slowly turning to face the man. He stormed up to her, she noticed a limp in his stride and took note of it. He went behind her, grabbed her arm and pressed the blade against her neck again. It was then when Rykal had woken up and as soon as his gaze met hers, his eyes went red. The blue glow around him seeped into a crimson red and Rykal tilted his head like a wild animal.
Olivia froze. Her blood ran cold. A horrible shiver tingled her spine and Olivia couldn’t help the shaky breath slipping past her lips. The fear she felt blew right through her, twisting her stomach inside out, forming a lump impossible to swallow, and forming tears under her eyes. The aura around him, it was so dark and powerful it stopped everyone. The man gasped, not hiding his heavy breathing but it was Olivia that couldn’t look anywhere else but Rykal. She was afraid that if she broke eye contact something would happen.
Tears freely fell from her eyes as Olivia staggered to her feet. Her body quivered with unimaginable fear spreading throughout her. She hadn’t felt anything so dark and so horrible in her life. Rykal snarled and stirred relentlessly, the eerie red glow darkening and darkening by the second.
She remembered how scared she was, how deadset she wanted to run away. But it wouldn’t happen again. Rykal shuffled forward and the man yanked Olivia’s hair down to face him, pressing the blade right against her throat. If she swallowed it’d cut her. Her head was forced up and Rykal growled faintly yet it sent Olivia’s heart hammering painfully against her rib cage.
“Stay back! All of you, or I’ll cut her! Stay back!” he screamed, pointing the blade mainly at Rykal.
Rykal only looked at him with a gaze that didn’t look remotely angry. He remained stoic. He shuffled closer before a group of armored men came running up the situation. Olivia turned alongside the man as the newcomers drew their swords. The one in front held up their hands.
“Elf, lower the blade and let the girl go,” said a feminine voice.
Too late. Olivia was shoved forward. She fell to the ground as a choking sound filled the air. The girl snapped her head back to see Rykal holding the man high up, his hand tightly around the man’s neck. The man wheezed and coughed, struggling against Rykal’s power. Olivia sprang to her feet and grabbed hold of Rykal’s arm. Sparks fluttered between the two as the dragon shifter’s eyes shot to hers. She did her best not to cower away and swallowed the fear rising in her throat.
“Let him go, Rykal. Please, let him go,” Olivia pleaded.
Rykal tilted his head at her with a blank expression. Gently, Olivia pushed his arm down and he didn’t fight against her. Olivia softly smiled at him, he blinked at her, and he set the man down. Olivia rubbed his arm softly before crouching down to the man. She reached out to him as he coughed and gasped, rubbing his neck and didn’t see her. When she touched him he jerked back. His fearful gaze met hers and for some strange reason she didn’t see a threatening man with a blade, she saw a scared boy trying to survive in the cruel world.
The guards marched up to them, Rykal watching them sharply as two of the three hoisted the man up and held him by the arms and shoulders. The man kept his head low, the armored group lead him away from the girl and dragon shifter as the female leader came up to Olivia. Rykal stood right behind her and Olivia sent him a stern gaze. Rykal blinked at her with a tilted head before his deep shade of red reverted back to a bright blue. He stepped back with a groan, wincing from a forming headache and went to the tent.
“Thank you, for letting him live,” the woman said, Olivia noticing her yellow eyes peeking from inside the helmet.
Olivia nodded and looked at the man, he was looking at her before the one following behind shoved his head forward.
“What’s going to happen to him?” Olivia asked.
The woman sighed and scratched the back of her neck before looking over her shoulder to the group leaving the field. “Sentenced to punishment at the pole,”
“The pole?” Olivia whispered, her own experiences with the pole playing through her mind.
“Yes. He needs to be punished for his crimes. And no one is willing to bail him out,”
Olivia glanced at the man before looking at the woman. “How old is he?”
The woman paused. “Roughly twenty maybe? Who’s knows,”
“How much?” Olivia asked without hesitation.
“I’m sorry?” the woman gave her a confused gaze.
“How much to bail him out?” Olivia clarified.
Behind her, someone spat out a liquid and the woman glanced behind Olivia. “Even if you did, I don’t think your friends will agree with you,”
Olivia glanced behind her to see the dragon shifter, the satyr, and the cat looking at her dumbfounded. She ignored them and looked at the woman again. “I’ll be responsible for him,” Olivia responded. “So how much?”
The woman frowned at her. “Twenty-nine gold coins. But you’re wasting —”
The woman sighed before her yellow eyes went blank for a few seconds. Olivia figured she and the others were lycans and were mind linking one another; no doubt about how foolish she was being. The girl went to the sack beside the tent where Rykal was and when she got there, Rykal’s hand shot out and caught her outstretched arm.
“What the demons are you doing?” he growled at her. “He almost killed you!”
“You saw a killer and a thief, I saw someone different,” Olivia replied.
“But nothing, Rykal,” Olivia finished and left with twenty-nine golden coins in hand.
They were so shiny and clean that Olivia didn’t want to give them away at all. But looking at the man with a freshly forming black eye made her shove the coins into the woman’s sack. She counted them before nodding at the two lycans. They roughly shoved the man forward and the man went staggering over his feet. He sent a glare at the lycans but remained behind Olivia. She gave a nod to the woman and turned around.
“You’re making a mistake,” the woman called out. “That elf will betray you before you even know it. Why do you think he’s wanted?”
Olivia was looking at the man who turned his head away with a scoff. Olivia looked down for a moment before continuing to walk to her group. The woman groaned before she and her own group ran off in inhumane speed. Olivia paid no attention and looked at the man. He didn’t say anything at first.
“You’re an elf then?”
“She’s right,” the man cut in. “You are making a mistake,”
Rykal scoffed. “Great. Then we should say you tried to kill Olivia again and get our coins back,”
The man sent a glare at Rykal as did Olivia. “No, we will not, Rykal,”
Rykal stared at her in bewilderment. “You can’t possibly consider actually allowing the filth to walk free!”
Olivia crossed her arms. “I never said he’ll be walking freely,”
The cat stood up and walked behind the tree and emerged as the witch. The man gasped and he stepped back. Olivia was amazed but it soon vanished with the oddly cold glower twisting Ava’s features. She snapped her fingers and the man cried out. Olivia turned around to see a gnarly cut slicing through his skin. Green liquid dripped from his arm as he stifled a scream, burning daggers at Ava.
Ava only scoffed and waved him off. “What comes around, goes around,”
Olivia was confused by her words until the witch started tending to the satyr’s bleeding arm and realized what she meant. Revenge. Olivia looked at Rykal who only turned and walked away. She sighed, part of her didn’t like what he did but she swallowed the little lump in her throat. She walked up to the man who watched her accusingly and Olivia moved her arm behind his back. She led him to the tent but he was hesitant and the girl had to use force to push him forward. She then sat him down, crouched in front of him, and began tending to his wounds.