Chapter 30: Prepare For The Onslaught
“Do you have any idea how we are going to get past your guards? If a prisoner is freed after we leave the room they will know it is us.” Ra’venna tells him. Helios paces back and forth in front of the fireplace.
“Could you knock out a couple guards?” He questions. She raises an eyebrow.
“I’m going to pretend you did not just ask me such a stupid question.” She replies, offended. He rolls his eyes.
“We can scale down the balcony and enter that way, but there are guards.” He elaborates.
“I can do that.” She agrees. “Let’s go. Night time is wasting.” Ra’venna pulls her cloak on and clasps it shut.
Helios removes his robe and throws it on the bed. It is followed by his shirt. Ra’venna blushes and looks away. She hears him pull his katana from his bedside table. She looks back up. Fire emerges from his back in two swirling cyclones. It dissipates to reveal his considerable wingspan.
Ra’venna walks up to him. She stares him directly in the eye and reaches out to touch his red, scaled wings. He doesn’t move away. Ra’venna runs her hand over the garnet scales. Her eyes widen upon finding that despite their rough appearance they are smooth. She runs her hand up the leathery inside and up to the curved horn emerging from the wing’s fold. He groans and throws his head back. Ra’venna smirks and trails her finger back down the edge of his wing.
Helios growls and grasps her cheek. He pulls her to him, capturing her lips in a bruising kiss. He slams her against the post of the bed. Ra’venna buries a hand in his hair and the other clings to his bare arm. Helios pulls away long enough to steal a breath before retaking her lips. She tightens her grip on his arm. The heat of their bond is raging. Ra’venna pulls away, breathless. Helios releases her and steps away.
“I’ll remember that for later.” Ra’venna says, smirking. Her lips are still pulsing from Helios’s bruising kiss. He looks away, guilty. She rolls her eyes and places a hand on his bare chest right over the black ink dragon. “I’m not fragile Helios. I won’t break.” She runs a hand through her hair and pulls up her hood. “As much as I would like to continue this, we have a prisoner to free.”
Helios bends down to retrieve his dropped katana. He pulls open the window door and glances over the balcony rail. There are two guards, one on either side of the door. Ra’venna scans the area. She sees only the two guards. “Stay here.” She whispers to Helios. He nods.
Ra’venna slings her legs over the balcony side and drops down to the ground. She lands with only a swish of her cloak. The guards don’t turn. Ra’venna sneaks across the ground. With her cloak wrapped around her she looks like a moving shadow. She reappears behind the nearest guard. She grabs his head and slams it into the other guard’s head. They both fall to the ground senseless.
She hears the beating of wings and watches as Helios lands. “Well done.” He compliments. Ra’venna scoffs.
“I don’t need your approval.” She retorts. He holds up his hands in surrender.
“Apologies, my love.” He purrs. He brushes past her into the palace.
Helios leads her down into the South Wing. They avoid the guards by sliding into empty rooms and down opposite hallways. Helios summons a fireball. It hovers in front of them as a light as they travel down the stairway. Helios spots a group of guards gambling at a table in front of the dungeons. Helios extinguishes the light and pushes Ra’venna against the wall.
“Four guards.” He whispers. She nods. She gently pushes Helios off of her.
She creeps down the stairs, pausing just at the end of it. She summons a small orb of her power. It splits into four streams and travels to the guards. In the faint light of the dungeon it looks like moving shadows. The power plunges into the back of their necks. They freeze. Their faces become deathly pale as their energy is drained. It travels up the Nether and into Ra’venna. She keeps on pulling until their faces start to turn blue. The guards fall off the chairs to the stone floor. She closes her hand and the Nether dissipates. Their energy flushes through her, causing her purple eyes to glow for a moment.
Helios runs down the stairs. “Are you alright?” He questions, not entirely sure what he witnessed. She nods.
“Fine. Let’s go.” She rises from the shadows concealing her.
She grabs the torch from the wall and they head down the dungeon. “How exactly are you planning on finding the rebel?” Ra’venna questions, glancing behind her.
“Easy.” He replies with a smirk. Before she can ask what he means, he slams the blade of his katana against the metal bars of an empty cage. The loud noise is followed by rustling from the filled cells lining both sides. “Alright, listen up. Which one of you is the rebel from the Children of Tevata?” Helios shouts. His voice ricochets off the walls. Ra’venna throws her hands up in disbelief.
“What a genius plan.” She remarks. He shrugs.
“We are on a time constraint.” He tells her.
“I am.” A strong feminine voice calls. Helios looks at her as if to say ‘I told you so’. Ra’venna growls and storms down the hallways. She ignores the calls and pleas of the prisoners and focuses on finding the source of the claim.
“You’re the rebel?” She questions, stopping in front of the cell. The Nymph woman nods.
“I am.” She confirms, pride oozing from her voice.
“What’s your name?” Helios demands.
“Helike, prince.” She sneers. She spits at him. Ra’venna laughs.
“I like her.” Helios glares at her and wipes the spit off his cheek.
“Is this what you wanted to do to me when we met?” He inquires. She shakes her head.
“No, I wanted to slit your throat.” She replies, smiling.
“Good to know we got past that.” He remarks.
He turns back to the Nymph, who appears confused and wary. She appears young, but physical age can be deceitful on Tevata. She has silver hair, indicating her power is ice, and silver eyes. Her hair consists of small, thick curls. Intertwined in them are different colored flowers. Vines grow from her wrists and wrap around her forearms. The same vines grow from her ankles and wraps up her legs. Growing from the vines are a collection of navy blue, deep red, and bright pink flowers.
The Nymph is clothed in a deep v-neck dress that barely covers her rear. It is made from forked, dark green leaves sewn together. Loose strands of leaves dangle to just above her knees. The dress is held up by thin straps that rise up her shoulders and down her back. Her feet are covered in leaf slippers tied together with a thin, leather string that wraps around her ankle.
“Listen closely we do not have much time.” He instructs. Helike scoffs and turns away the Dragon Prince.
“I do not answer to you.” She spats. Helios sighs.
“I know that.” He pauses and glances down. “Hear me out and then you can make your own decision.” She turns back to him, intrigued.
“Duke Citagi was murdered by The Children of Tevata. My parents are sending The Forsaken to eliminate them. My brother has a spy in the rebellion. I don’t know who. I’m going to set you free. Return to wherever the Children hide and warn them. Tell whoever is the leader that this is a sign of my goodwill. Tell him that I am not my family and I will need his help to stop my parents and my brother.” Helike’s eyes widen.
“By the Mother.” She utters, surprised. “Why? You are the Silver Prince. This is to betray your empire, your destiny. Why do you care?” She asks. Her voice is soft and genuinely curious.
“I am not my family. I have seen what their action causes. Someone I care deeply about is in the rebellion. I sent her there to create an alliance with the them. They are also my only chance at bringing down my family.” He tells her.
“You have a spy within our ranks?” She growls.
“She’s not a spy. At least not in the same way my brother’s is. I have not had any contact with her and I haven’t asked her to gather information to be used against the Children.” He argues.
“We don’t have the time for this. The Forsaken will be gone by first light. Are you going to help or not?” Ra’venna demands. They don’t have the time for life stories.
“I will go.” Helike agrees. Helios sighs relived.
“Thank you. Back away.” He orders. The Nymph steps back from the cell door. He goes to claw off the lock, but Ra’venna catches his hand.
“Allow me.” She smirks. She grabs ahold of the lock and releases her power into it. The power erodes through the lock until there is nothing left of it. Ra’venna pulls her hand away and Helios yanks open the door.
“Run. There’s a tunnel at the end of the hall behind the Dragon painting. The tunnel will take you out of the palace to the river. They’ll be a ship waiting for you there. Don’t stop until you reach the Children. And...tell Amsyn to be careful and that I miss her.” Ra’venna feels a flare of jealousy come through her. Helios glances back at her. He felt it as well.
“I will. Thank you.” She nods at the prince and bolts away from them. Her soft steps echoing through the hall.
Helios reaches around and wraps one arm around her waist, his heated hand resting just below her wings. “Amsyn is like a sister to me. I love her as such.” Ra’venna growls and tries to pull away. Helios tightens his grip on her waist. “But you, you are my love. I love you. You do not need to be jealous.” He places a lingering kiss to her temple. She blushes out of shame. Helios chuckles and kisses her cheek before releasing her waist.
She grabs ahold of his wrist as he moves to pass her. “If she fails it will be a massacre and all we’ve done will be for nothing.”
“Then pray she does not fail.”