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Chapter 9

I didn’t get to sleep that night. My mind wouldn’t shut up, and there was no one there to help me shut it up. So I suffered through the night. When I got up the next morning I had no energy at all, but forced myself to get up. Maybe food would help, but I doubt it.

I changed into my usual clothes, jogging pants and a t-shirt, slipping on my shoes as I exited my room. I ran into Camden on the way down to the dining hall, and he said, “You look like shit.”

I rolled my eyes, a small smile peeking through, “Just what every girl wants to hear, Cam.”

“Of course,” he smiled and put his arm around my shoulders, pulling me to him, “What are friends for?”

“Beating up?” I guessed. “Insulting?”

“Good guess,” Camden said. “But no. Friends are for you to lean on.”

We went from goofing around to serious talk. I looked up at Camden, and said, “I know.”

He knew I was trying to be more open with him, as one of my friends. But it was hard for me to trust because the times I have it’s backfired on me, and I’ve only gotten hurt, both emotionally and physically.

Camden smiled at me, and I half smiled back. Then we had a comfortable, silent walk to the dining hall. I was so grateful for Camden. He really was my best friend. So was Kalama, course, and I’m really thankful that I found people who accepted me for myself. My weird humor, and competitive ways. My cold facade that they see through. I was happy that I had come here to find them, even if I could never see Isabelle or Ezra again.

Isabelle, and Ezra were dead.

That though dulled my mood, but I didn’t let it show. When we arrived at the dining hall I saw that Iris was already seated, but it didn’t look like Storm was there. I shrugged my shoulders, and went to get breakfast. They had french toast. French toast was one of my favourite foods. I got four pieces and drenched all four in syrup, adding strawberries on the side. I really loved strawberries too.

When we approached Iris, Camden asked, “Where’s Storm?”

She looked up from her food, and said, “He came early for breakfast, and finished just as I entered. It was unusual to see Storm up so early, but he went to his room afterwards.”

Camden nodded, and looked surprised, “Storm was up early? That’s a first.”

I sat down, and started digging in, Camden following suit. Once we were done we grabbed our stuff from our rooms, and headed to our respective classes.

At lunch the alarm started. Everyone startled, and most started towards the safe rooms. Camden, and Iris were with me, so we all started running towards the armoury. But not before I shoved the last bite of cake into my mouth.

As we were running I started tunneling into my power, since I was much more comfortable now with all the practice since I came back. When we did get to the armoury all of the teachers were there getting weapons, and we joined them. I grabbed two long, thin swords that were light enough for me, a belt of knives, and two daggers, grabbing the sheaths as well. I strapped up, and headed toward the battle. This time I had an advantage. I could fly.

I stopped for a minute right before I entered the onslaught of the battle. I summoned the wings before I took off into the air. And I tested out the way you could move, the vantage points, everything while flying. At first, I started attacking the creatures the archers had kept at bay. Instead of going for killing blows I tried to incapacitate with blows to their wings. If they couldn’t fly, they couldn’t fight.

I was going through one by one until I was teamed up on. Three came at me at the same time. I tried to get their wings, but eventually I had to settle for heads and hearts, as much as I didn’t want to. Once all the creatures in the air were dealt with I searched the field. I saw that one person was protecting the Infirmary. Storm. And he was getting overwhelmed. He couldn’t keep it up for much longer.

I flew over to him, landing behind the three who were tag teaming him. I sliced two down, and Storm got the last. I nodded towards him. Even if I was mad at him I had his back. Also, we were a deadly team.

He nodded back. Then we fought. To protect the injured.

The creatures fell, from injuries, which seemed to have gone out to everyone since Storm was only incapacitating. But the fell until they started retreating. They regrouped just past the treeline, and we regrouped in front of the Academy. Before we could chase them out a young man in armour came out. We pointed our weapons at him, but he paused halfway between put two groups. He called out, “I would like to talk. Please send a representative out. Only one.”

I looked at everyone, and before anyone could make a decision I said, “I’m going.”

I was covered in blood, wearing jogging pants, and a t-shirt that had no back, with enormous wings. I was quite the sight. When I met him, standing five feet away from him, my hands on my sheathed swords.

“Hello, my name is Shade,” he started. “I’m the general of this army, and I would like to negotiate a deal.”

“What kind of deal?” I asked.

“An eye for an eye in the way,” he replied. “Give us one of your Chosen, and I’ll never attack this place again. Just one of the Chosen, and we’ll stop attacking the Academy.”

“You and what army?” I asked.

He gestured and said, “This army.”

Creatures came out from hiding places. There were at least ten thousand or more. All of different species, and all dark with a few light scattered with in.

“I could demolish your army with one sweep of my hand,” Or at least I hoped I could since I had never tried it. “Leave now before I rescind my offer to let you leave.”

He smirked, and said, “Very well. I’ll be back soon. Solanna sends her regards. You look so much like her.”

He was on first name basis with her. So he was important. “Leave. Now.” I repeated, my wings flaring in warning.

He turned and joined his army. Then in a blink of the eye they were gone. I turned, my wings still burning. Everyone was staring at me in amazement, and I walked back towards them. Iris came up to me and hissed, “I can’t believe you stole my position. I’m the leader I should have gone up there.”

“Yes, but I was more suited to it,” I retorted. “Symbols have power.” I gestured to my wings. “We have to get more creatures on our side anyway.”

Storm pushed through, and asked, “What did he want?”

“He wanted one of us,” I replied. “And then he’d stop attacking the Academy. He was lying. He was fidgeting too much to be telling the truth.”

He nodded, and everyone started heading back to the Academy. A few Guards split off from our group and headed towards the spot where the army disappeared. Probably to make sure they were gone.

I turned back around, and saw that Iris was glaring at me. She could glare all she wanted. She would never intimidate me. And, leaders don’t dictate. She said that to me, and now she wants to? What happened to those ideals?

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