Tarts

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Chapter Six

Chapter Six


Crying, yelling, agitated breathing. That’s what was predominant where ever I was now. It smelled like piss, sweat and blood, making me want to retch too. I hated it.

I tried to lift my head but was greeted with an aching body. I stayed on the hard, cold floor and decided to look around me to get my groundings.

To start this off, I was in this weird jail cell. Bars like a modern jail but a pebbled floor. The other walls were just more cell bars, easy to see person after person in each cell. The hallway in front of me looked like your normal prison floor and ceiling, little pillars in between each cell made of some brick to keep it looking less odd.

To my right, as I softly craned my neck, was a middle-aged woman. Thin, graying brown hair with sunken eyes. She smiled weakly at me but her eyes were sad. Little swirls of leaves that blossomed with clovers traced her eyes like eyeliner. The left was a brute of a man, the only weight he seemed to have was his muscles. Eyes that seemed to smile, hair as thick and brown as Griffin’s and a tattoo running up the side of ribs that looked like chains strangling his entire torso. It made me uncomfortable and the woman seemed friendlier to me.

I looked around and every room had the same cot, same toilet and nothing else. Someone must have just thrown me into the room because I was bleeding from my back, dried and crusted with a raging headache.

Rubbing my eyes with my knuckles, I slowly got up and pain shot through both of my legs, sore and aching. I quickly scattered to sit on the bed as a scream erupted from somewhere in the place, making my ears ache and I quickly put my hands over them while the woman looked at me, confused.

The hallway, which had sunlight pouring through it, seemed to turn in a circle which was odd. Why would a jail form a circle, a dome perhaps? That didn’t make much sense. And it seemed that it was morning. The others would be traveling by now.

There wasn’t anything for me to wash away the dried blood on my back which annoyed me. I wanted to change my shirt as well but obviously, I couldn’t do that. I had no idea what was going on and I wanted to know because I was worried about J and Sully and Griffin. And wished whoever was screaming would stop.

Would they look for me? I hoped they would. Although, Griffin might just want to go see his parents. That would make some sense, I guess.

A guard walked by, in what seemed to be armor made of steel that glinted in the sunlight. It had sharp strikes of red on the shoulder pads, where his ribs would be, legs and a splatter of blood red where his heart would be. This man looked stern, unforgiving.

I pretend to sleep as he walked by, hoping to not attract any attention. I didn’t want that, not at all.

“Hey, girlio, care to chat?” The woman asked, her voice as sweet as honey. And it didn’t sound mean, like that classic description of a mean girls voice would be.

I looked over at the woman who had now scooted her bed over to where mine was to sit down closer to me. Her smile was wide and teeth white. But I was curious, why not be using your form? Why wasn’t anyone?

“Yeah?” I asked, rubbing my sore legs muscles. I wished I had J or Diana, that would be great right now.

The woman smile widened at my answer. “I saw them drag you in, Trix and Dela. They work for Red. Bloody bastard, he is. Your back ok? You were passed out when they brought you in and didn’t seem to care if they hurt you.” She said, reaching her hands caringly through the bar as if wanting to comfort me.

I pulled back a bit as she moved toward me. She stopped, pulling her hand back as well.

“I’ll be fine. Don’t worry about it. Just an aching back and feeling like my entire body is raging with fire and itches…” I mumbled to her and went to massaging my other leg.

The man had turned around to face me at this point, curious. He watched as I massaged my legs, seemingly silent in his thoughts.

I coughed, my mouth dry and lips cracked. Water sounded great at the moment but I would have to wait for now.

“Hey, where am I?” I asked, looking up between the two of them. That I would like to know at least, pl-ease.

They both looked at me, baffled that I seemingly didn’t know where I was. Of course I didn’t, why would I? But they hadn't known that.

"You, you don’t know where you are? What do you mean? Everyone knows what Ripper is!” The woman said, baffled. The man said nothing as the woman continued to look flabbergasted.

“No, I only figured out about this world a few days ago. Getting used to it…” I told her and sat back up. Irritation flared through me but I knew that that was not going to be helpful at this moment.

She looked at me, surprised but didn’t press anything. “There’s a spell cast that blocks our forms. That’s why no one is using them to get out. They drain us. Force us to fight. We’ve fought twice but I don’t know how much longer… we have to get back to… to…” But she trailed off, staring at the man who smiled grimly back at her.

I wanted to say something but then a guard entered my cell. Her face was pointy, eyes set and covered in scars. Hairs on my arms rose and neck, my skin feeling that weird hotness and stickiness. Taking a deep breath, I looked the woman in the eyes.

She didn’t say or do anything, just walked over and tied my hands behind my back, pushing me out of the cell and to the left of the dome like prison. We passed others, all of them staring at me. I heard a man a few cells away, cursing Red for now taking students, children even.

She turned me through a set of doors and into a large open dust bowl. She untied my hands and told me to stay right there while the other person was brought into the arena.

Arena.

My blood ran cold at that word. I was going to have fight someone, wasn’t I? I could hardly walk at the moment but either they didn’t came or didn’t know. I was willing to bet that it was both.

Looking around, I realized there were people in the seats. Hundreds of people. None of them had tattoos all over their body. All of them seemed to have smaller ones on arms or legs, face and necks.

Trix or Dela said something about full metas. Maybe those were people who had tattoo all over their bodies? It did seem odd, now that I thought about, how some people only had on tattoo and others had some all over.

They were cheering loudly as I stood their, all excited for something that I had no clue how to do. Some wore clean suits, others battered t-shirts and beanies with ripped sweatshirts. People of all shapes were here, for one thing and one thing only.

I think I knew one of the reasons why Red wanted to dominate the land. The people who weren’t covered in tattoos like me were being discriminated. And I’m guessing most people agreed with whatever he had told them.

I shut my eyes, breathing and tried to listen to some of the things the people were saying. A man with a rather high pitched voice was saying how my tattoos were rather odd. A lady agreed with him, saying that scales were rather uncommon and were part of the Warren family but she doubted I was Jesse’s child. One of them, anyways.

I snapped my head in her direction, curious as to how she knew about my father but I glared at her. Being my father’s daughter was something I cherished, even if he wasn’t here to know that anymore. Her sunflower eyes met mine and they got round in fear.

She whispered something along the lines of Jesus save her and turned to the man who yelled vulgar things in my directions but someone in front of him was more baffled by the fact that I had heard them.

The man stopped, realizing what the person in front of him had said and he looked at me, unsure of what to say now. I just smiled and sat down, waiting.

Sitting down was not a smart idea.

A man dressed in full steel armor came walking through the door on the other side, chainmail with strips of leather. The armor seemed to spark ideas from medieval video games and actual Knights of Templar.

He carried a greatsword that sparkled in the sunlight streaming through and I could hear his ragged breathing. He was roasting alive in there, that was for sure.

The crowd roared to life when they saw him, chanting for him to win. He had no name, from what I could gather as a large group of people close to me were discussing what his name could be, that no one actually knew.

And then he charged at me, the girl sitting on the ground.

My eyes widened and I jumped out of the way, blood pounding in my ears. I rolled across the floor, trying to remember what I had learned in those years in gym that seemed so long ago. My legs sparked with pain as I bolted across the wide area, people booing all over as my skin got hotter and the itchiness on my back got worse. The Templar, yeah, I think that works, was charging toward me again, two large chain spiked balls in his hands and he threw one at me, missing just barely as the greatsword shimmered on his back.

Then I felt something grab my ankle and yank me to the ground, cutting me as my face slammed into the dust, spreading it about. Templar was above me, pinning me to the ground as I tried to wiggle about. His breathing was labored, short and slow. I could see his eyes through small slits in the suit, bloodshot, wide and dry.

I looked back at him as he raised two fist punching me square in the jaw. Pain spread through me as I cried out trying to push him off. I could feel the panic spread and I wasn’t staying calm. The icky warmth was at its peak now and I needed to get up. I needed to get up.

Blood ran down from my nose, most likely broken from his multiple blows. It wrapped itself around my nostrils and bridge, crystallizing. Thank god for subconscious thoughts because I would not have thought of doing that to keep it from changing position.

Templar gasped, whispering impossible and I kicked him off me before he could get in another blow. I ran, ripping my necklace off and my sleek bow formed easily in my hands as pain rippled through me. As I held in a scream, I drew back the drawstring, a dark red arrow forming and I launched it at Templar, missing him drastically.

He laughed at my poor marksmanship, throwing another ball chain at me and missing. I dashed to the right and let a scream out as what felt like razor blades ripped through my skin between my shoulder blades. The same pain happened on right where my spine would end and what felt like sharp, fire soaked swords pierced through my head. My entire body ached but I kept running, ignoring the pain while trying to trip and not realizing what had happened.

I didn’t hear the gasps from the crowd, the few outcries of a first transformation being put into the ring. All I could think was run as the weight on my back began to lift a little and it felt strained and my running speed increased.

Taking my bow I ripped it in seperate directions and was left with two razor sharp daggers that seemed as quiet as mouse. Maybe even quieter.

I whipped around, shoving the daggers forward but realized the man was just standing still, staring at me with his helmet off. Straw blonde hair and sad, sad eyes.

“Please,” He whispered. “Please end me. I have been here for months. Please.” He begged, chains limp at his sides. He was crying freely as the crowd booed.

I didn’t want to kill him. I couldn’t. Killing a person was downright chaotic. Evil. Dastardly. All of those words and more.

Templar looked at me silently, his eyes saying things that he couldn’t. The crowd roared at the fact that nothing was happening. Upset beyond belief. I watched as they all got angry and guards came out, Templar begging them to end him.

The guards obliged.

I didn’t watch. But I could hear his sigh of relief. But the sound of sword through flesh…

Then they turned to me. They all stared for a second, unsure of what to do. I was as confused as them. I didn’t know what was going on or why people had gone completely silent now.

Then one guard stepped forward, yanking my arms behind my back and tied them up tight enough that some of my skin ripped off. I didn’t try to fight him. I had grown so tired and I didn’t know why.

But the man, as he walked me back and the angry crowd roared with upheaval, he said that my father was a dastardly man. He didn’t know what he was doing marrying a human. That I was an abomination and he would make sure that my next fight wasn’t as easy.

He shoved me in my cell and I whipped around, kicking him as hard as I could in the stomach. The man reeled over for a second, recovered and got back up. He walked away, saying nothing.

“My father did nothing wrong!” I screamed at the top of my lungs, pain throbbing through my nose as the blood around it start slowly moving it to rest it into the correct position.

I ran my hands through my hair, irritated and realized that something that was a deep black with small silvery dots cover parts of my arm muscles. Traced up hands and covered my fingers.

“Well, I’ll be. I could hear the cheering but didn’t know what it was for. So your Jesse’s child. The one people have been buzzing about. He’s famous here, for good and bad reasons.” The woman said, the biggest smile on her face. The man chuckled and grinned at me. He seemed like a quiet person but terrifying as well.

“It’s good to see you again, Nayleth. Been what, eighteen years since I last saw you. Only a year old then. My, do you have your fathers hair and eyes. But your form… dragon, no doubt but the black scales, who knows.” She said and I just looked at her, confused on how she knew my father.

I began to shake as I realized what had happened. I had practically caused a mans death. His life to be taken to God knows where. And it was my fault. By the looks of this place they wouldn’t respect the body either.

I sat down, wondering why it was so difficult to get comfortable as the feeling of a mans death washed over me. I just about jumped and smashed my head on the ceiling when I realized why I couldn’t get comfortable.

Wings. Large, muscular wings draped along my back. They looked like the night sky with a tail that swished about like a cat’s. Looking at my hands, a few of my fingers now had small talons where the nails would be.

I started shaking again but worse. I took a deep breath, unsure of what to do. This was my form. A dragon. Like my Uncle. Maybe even my father.

The woman had said that my form was a dragon and I guess it was. But why would my father be widely known? That I needed to know as well. And she had met me when I was a baby?

I whipped around, looking at her as she smiled. I could hear a slight chuckle from the man in the other cell. “How did you know my father?” I asked her, the weight of my wings feeling odd on my back.

She looked surprised but her face relax. “We were good friends when we went to Edendale, Nayleth. He never told you about this world before he…?” But she drifted off, recomposing herself. “Nevertheless, how did you end up here?”

But I looked at her, having no idea who she was and I wanted to know before I continued anything else. Didn’t matter if she knew my father, I still needed to know who she was before I kept talking.

“Who are you? Then I’ll talk.” I shot back and was surprised when the man spoke up.

“Ace and Blitz Griffin. General’s of Quintis Larain’s army. Top performer’s that have been fighting since the start. Since Jesse started the whole thing.” He said, his voice eerily similar to Griffin’s. But these were his parents, these two sad, wonder-struck adults.

I ran a few fingers over a patch of scales along my arms, them feeling soft. Surprising if you were to look at fish or snakes. Griffin’s parents were right in front of me and they were traveling toward the Mako plains to go meet them.

“Griffin’s parents. Horrid timing really, as he’s going to the Mako plains to meet you.” I said snidely, laying on my stomach and my wings flopped about, I unsure of how to use them properly. They were extra weight at the moment, for real people.

Their eyes went wide and the man stood up quickly, his head almost hitting the ceiling. He gripped the bars of his cell tightly to where his knuckles were turning white.

“Griffin’s here? In Neo? You know him?” He rushed out, staring at me with a sense of hope that I had to bet he hadn’t had in a long time.

“Hey, Ace, leave the girl be. We can find him on our own. But Mako plains… they’ve been trying to get in here for a week or two but haven’t been able to. The next battle is a three versus three. If we get chosen maybe we can make it out…” Blitz said, her voice trailing off into thought.

Ace was still staring at me as I figured out how to stretch my wings although my tail still seemed to have a mind of its own as it was waving about in a calm manner even though I felt the exact opposite of that.

Blitz was sitting on her bed in thought and I was just left to sit alone and look around. There was few people who kept talking about me but I didn’t pay too much mind to it. Whatever they were saying, I really didn’t care.

Guards were walking by with food and water, you know, that necessary stuff to live. No big deal people, not at all. When the guard came by my cell to give me my food his eyes went wide at me, a girl laying on a bed with her wings stretching in different directions.

He quickly set the food and water down on the floor and practically ran away with a tail tucked between his legs. I couldn’t help but laugh. I really wasn’t that scary people, c’mon. You’re seriously scared of nineteen year old?

I got up, stretching out my back with a loud crack. The pain in my legs was seering at this point but I ignored it, hoping I could get out of here to get some help with J. Maybe getting some medication to care with our individual selves would be a good idea for the future.

The food was basically those horrible school lunches which rather amused me. I ate it nonetheless, as my stomach was burning at this point and I need something to keep me occupied from the pain in my legs and nose which, at this point, was at its normal position and seemed to be healing. Maybe? I dunno, man.

As I ate, the other two just ignored their food, completely lost in their thoughts.

“You know,” I said, swallowing a mouthful of so-called mash potatoes and waved my hand around that held a fork. “I bet Auggie’s gonna be pissed at himself when he realizes what’s happened. Griffin,’ll be fine. Seems a bit cocky though.” I stated, munching on some more potato. I felt rather relaxed at the moment, now that I had some time to breath everything in and not be fighting someone to the death.

The man though… my gut wrenched and I didn’t feel hungry anymore. I chugged the water that I was given, glad to solve my parched throat in the least but knew that no more food was going to enter my stomach anytime soon.

Neither said anything about my remark but I could feel some of their tension toward me and just general anxiety wash away as I chartered a bit about their son. They told me they didn’t want to leave him. But they had too. No family left to take care of him and two generals to watch over a baby? Not convenient.

As time passed, I soon started messing around with my wings. I didn’t have much space but I soon figured out how to stretch them out enough in the rather cramped space so that I could at least try to get used to the weight they put on my back.

The spell cast on this place didn’t seem to reverse the effects of my form and I wondered why. And how come they didn’t take me out to the floor to change back? I didn’t have a way of getting out of here anyways. My Bloodletting wasn’t going to work and the only reason it seemed to working might have been because it had started in the area and wanted to finished, like a Spotify song.

I heard the dribble of rain outside and its smell started to permeate the prison known as Ripper. A place that seemed horrid in its own right. But how to get out was the true question and that was what I need to know. How to get out was what I really needed to know.

I snapped my head up as the rain pattered the roof of the area. A guard came by again, three of them. Ace and Blitz both got up, protective stances but soon let themselves be tied. Then the same women from before tied up me and took the three of us out to the arena.

My hands began to shake as the sound of the man’s flesh been slaughtered replayed in my ears. It made my stomach sick and regretted eating in the first place as we shuffled out to the arena.

I didn’t know what Ace and Blitz could do but I remembered someone saying that they had wonderful luck. I guess their luck wasn’t with them if they ended up in here then.

The crowd roared to life when they saw Ace and Blitz but quiet when they saw me and I flared my wings, happy to have figured out how to have done that. It was fun to flare them, show them off.

My necklace was cool against my skin and the blood around my nose was still as glossy as ever. My legs felt a bit better since I had an hour or two to relax. My back was still sore and I could feel the blood sticky against my skin but it would be manageable.

I heard Ace take a deep breath and then just sigh. How was he not freaking out? I know he had fought two battles already but still. I was about to frick-frackin’ scream my lungs out and he was just standing there!

“I have a plan. But we need to break that glass ceiling.” Ace muttered, nodding up toward the giant glass dome above us. Huh, never noticed that before. Guess I was too busy not dying.

I nodded my head slightly and saw three other people in front of us. All of them seemed drained of energy. Of everything. I could see faint outlines of tattoos all over them. Full metas. And apparently, they were supposed to be stronger than most.

“Hey, if we don’t get out of this,” I said, ripping off my necklace. The bow shined brightly and I could hear a chuckle come from Ace, followed by a jab at Snow. “It was great meeting you two idiots.” And I ripped my bow apart, launching forward and before I knew it, my wings propelled me forward, startling the woman that I attacked.

Her eyes went wide and I paused, holding her down with one of my hands and a dagger to her throat. Could I really hurt someone? I know there’s a war going on and such but still…

I took the dagger and stabbed her legs, pausing after the first one as her scream ripped through the arena and my ears ached from it. I did it to immobilize her but what if it stopped her from walking for the rest of her life? I hoped it would keep her at bay but… Her screams though, I knew those wouldn’t leave my ears for a long while. I looked at her, whispering sorry. She smiled grimly at me, saying it was ok.

Her response shocked me as I turned around to Ace’s arms covered in dark, steel chains. They crackled with something unknown and I watched as he jumped forward, slashing them at the man in front of him, a long cut settling into the dirt. The cut began to grow deeper and soon this glowing gold wisp leaked out of it. Ace jumped toward it, the gold wisp wrapping around his legs and helping get farther across the arena to catch up to the man that was running from him.

Fear was clear in this man’s breathing and pulse. He was terrified of Ace. And then he caught up to him, lashing the chains toward him and yanked the man and he yelped in pain. Ace pulled the chain tighter and the man gasped as I could see the gold wisp crawl up and around, go through his mouth and nostrils, eyes and ears. Soon he was gasping, like he couldn’t breath but smiled slightly and crumpled to the ground as Ace rolled up the chains.

He looked at me as the woman at my feet just watched, propped up on the palm of her hands. Ace looked from me to her but didn’t say anything. He nodded grimly at me and we both went over to help Blitz.

I was surprised though. Neither of the two had even tried to fight back. They were either too scared of Ace and Blitz, or had given up on most anything all together. It was heartbreaking, really. To give up just like that…

The last person alive was an old man. The one that had cursed Red for putting me in here. He saw me and his ocean colored eyes went wide. But he looked at Ace and Blitz with a sort of envy. Maybe it was proudness. Either way, he didn’t back down from this fight.

He tapped his watch that rested on his left wrist and he soon had a giant sledgehammer, whirring saw blades on either side that sparked with fire. He launched forward and parts of him became cyborgish. An arm that melted in with the hammer, two legs that could run faster than a normal man.

Smashing the hammer on the ground, a shockwave was sent through the ground and we all tumbled to it. Blitz was the first to get up from the blow, the clovers around her eyes soon real. A masquerade mask of clovers and they curled around to make a small crown in her hair. She plucked one off as she cracked her knuckles and two gauntlets formed around her hands from her rings. The clover rested in the middle of the right gauntlet, the greyish steel clashing with the green of the clover and dark green emerald that lined it as well.

The man stopped for a second, startled at Blitz but continued on, jumping high into the air and launching a few small knives at me.

I yelped, jumped up and soon found my wings pumping to keep me from falling. They ached like all hell from this new experience but I was grateful for it. The crowd roared with excitement. The girl with dragon scales was doing something, for once.

Putting my daggers back to have my bow, I drew back the drawstring, careful to line it up with my cheek. I remembered Merida teaching me that, at least.

The knives had missed me and the woman was just watching from the edge of the arena now, two guards watching over her incase she tried to do something. She smiled at me from the ground and I almost faltered, my wings picking me back up from it.

I kept my bow drawn as the dark red arrow stayed in place. Ace and Blitz were wearing the man down but he was a full meta, that was for sure. He was lasting pretty long against the two of them. I don’t count, I have yet to be helpful.

Ace had said something about the glass. Did he mean break it? That didn’t seem to hard. Then again, they most likely had thought of that when making this place.

I watched as the man launched miniature rockets at Griffin’s parents but Blitz practically launched herself off of Ace’s back, socking the man in his jaw. He faltered but retailed by landing a crushing blow with one of his cyborg legs. I heard the crunch a few bones and it made me recoil, my wings faltering and I tumbled to the ground with a loud thunk.

Carefully getting back up I saw as the Ace went to use his chains he wrapped them around the man’s waist and around the arm that held the giantass war hammer.

“Nayleth!” He yelled, straining as the man fought back against the chains that were starting to melt his weapon. “Run and grab!”

I looked from him to the man, faltering. What did he…? Ohhh. Got it.

Pumping my legs before the guards could realize what we were doing, I jumped, still not used to the weight of my wings and yanked the hammer upward, detaching it from the mechanical part of the man’s arm. Ace wrapped the chains around it, throwing it as if it was shot put and it crashed into the glass above, small, glittering shards of it cascading down. He wiped a chain and managed to hook it onto a small chink. He yanked himself up and Blitz clung to a part of the chain as well.

Shit. I still didn’t have a hang of my wings.

Looking around the crowd was trying to get over to stop me from leaving. The man was baffled by what we had just done and the guards were swarming toward me. Panic spread through me and I ran, flapping my wings like a distraught baby bird.

“C’mon, girlie!” Ace yelled down, ushering me up. “You got it once before!”

“Not as easy as it looks, you meathead!” I retorted back and soon just took my bow, pulling back the draw string and praying that thinking of a grapple arrow would work.

I shot the arrow, a sharp thunk as it attached to a chunk of glass with a string behind it. A small rope of the weird red color was around my waist and I was soon jerked forward, relatively close to the opening.

I yelped as the redness around my waist grew tighter and I was almost smacked against the glass but I saw a rather muscular arm reach around and yank what he could of the red part.

Ace set me on the roof as the crowd below had poured into the arena itself. “I can’t believe that worked. They forgot a weapon enchantment! Of all things! And I guess they forgot that the glass ceiling was here in the first place.” He said to no one in particular.

Blitz wiggled her fingers about in her gauntlets, the clover in the middle now just ashes. She smiled at it, blowing them into the wind that gusted by. She stretched, already looking better now that we were in the open with fresh air. Where the man had hit her, her ribcage, didn’t even seem sore.

“Surprised you didn’t couldn’t get a good go of your wings, but I’d guess it’s like being a baby bird. Takes time. Although, you did get it there for a minute when you were scared. I reckon you could glide down from here at least? I noticed you stretching earlier.” Blitz told me and I nodded, looking down.

This building was hidden above the freakin’ clouds. That explained why no one really tried to escape, let alone find this place to rescue people. The outside was rather prim and proper, with bushes of marigolds and a neat cobble pathway. A large hole was in the glass dome now but I could hear someone that seemed of authority ordering someone to get up there and grab us.

Fear ran through my veins at the thought of going back in there and I slide down what I could of the dome, not thinking about looking over the edge. I heard Ace yell for me but I just tumbled through the clouds as they brushed over me, cool and wet.

I spread eagle like I had seen people do with skydiving. My hair whipped around but my wings flared in response to me spreading myself like a skydiver and I was launched up and almost tumbled about.

A loud clunk sounded against rough stone and I looked over as I glided slowly about the small tower, back and forth. Ace had attached a part of the chain to the side of the tower and was effing scaling it while Blitz was sliding down it.

I softly glided along near them, scared to go to far if I lost a hold of what I was doing. Ace seemed a little clunky with scaling down the chain, especially once he had no land to actually scales against but he soon Tangled his way down and Blitz just kinda, went down like a fireman. It was quite amusing but I could tell why those two were Generals in the first place.

Besides not daring to mess with my wings too much, I took the time to check out the scales along my arms and legs and my tail. It really was quite magnificent. But people were saying how the black scales were really odd. And I mean, I guess they were?

I had two small talons where my fingernails should have been and they glinted in the sunlight. I assumed not much time had passed, maybe a day. I just didn’t know where I was which was, you know, a major issue.

By this time, my bow was back to a necklace and I wondered just how many people knew about my father, or who he was. Or if anyone really knew him at all, and that included me. Everyone has secrets but what matters is if the secrets are worth being secrets.

And I hoped Griffin and J and Sully weren’t too worried. I actually just hoped they were looking for me but I didn’t have much hope their. I knew Griffin wanted to find his parents, and I was just a silly girl who worked at the local bakery cafe.

A gust of wind push me upward and I was starting to get annoyed. I was rising more than I was falling so I changed my wings a bit and was soon diving toward toward the ground at a very high speed.

Soon I hit the ground, tumbling about and managed to get a good sized cut on my arm but that was fine. It would be ok for now, as long as I kept it from being infected.

The sun was low in the sky at this point, late evening perhaps. So, not a complete day had passed yet, thank goodness. Looking around, I realized that few trees were scattered about. In fact, we were more or so surrounded by blueish green grass that spanned for miles. I could hear crickets chirping and the small bark of a fox but otherwise, it was rather peaceful in a way. A good break for my ears too.

As I relaxed, I realized the my tail was wrapped around my leg. Weird.

Ace and Blitz had climbed down now, all of the chains slithering away and back toward Ace. He seemed tired, strained from climbing down but honestly, who wouldn’t? Blitz stretched again, looking up. She smiled, muttering something about how they wouldn’t come down until other fights were finished.

They turned to me and walked on over and to my surprise, gave me a hug. I tensed up but soon relaxed, trying to find a comfortable way to position my wings as they were getting in the way.

After the awkward hug, Ace looked around and grinned. He pointed to a column of smoke just to the north. “That’s camp. Our men were no doubt searching. C’mon, we’ll get you some clean clothes and bandage you up. Mako plains parts off from the Bushwork forests, so the school ain’t too far but we might be able to get Bren to make things go a bit faster.” He told me, with a side grin. Now I knew where Griffin got that grin from, at least. And his quietness toward new people, now that I thought about it.

“Oh, really? Huh, I wonder if they arrived yet. But thank you, for the help. Really.” I told them and stretched my wings that had begun to ache. The sun felt nice, fresh sun. Not stuck-in-a-prison-sun. No, no, not that sun.

The blood on my nose had leaked a bit but it was still gleaming in the sunlight as Ace lead the way toward their camp. As the smoke got closer, so did voices and the smell of food that made my stomach rumble.

I could tell that they were both tired but if they had wounds or bruised bones, they weren’t showing that. And I don’t think that’s a good thing but if they aren’t injured then it’s a good thing?

The plains seemed rather empty but the grass was a few inches tall, waving in the wind. There weren’t any creatures to see at the moment but I took that as a safe sign. So far, creatures didn’t seem like a safe option.

Soon, we were walking through the camp and I could see the soldiers face light up as if they were toddlers on Christmas morning. They rejoiced shouting and hooting, smiling. Glad to have the leaders back, as a General from a different regiment had filled in from what I heard a short, stocky woman say.

As they wandered over to the medical tent, many people were whispering about me, that much I could tell. Look at the scales, look at her wings, the tail and her eyes. Over and over, the same things and I knew I would have to ask how to retract my form if didn’t want.... That.

The nurse was rather friendly, not asking what had happened to us. He cleaned, stitched and bandaged what he needed while being happy we had no broken bones or had fractured anything. He was rather intrigued with the blood around my nose, asking to touch it. I said no, just to be safe and he obliged.

He winked at me in a friendly way when he noticed me and my odd self standing off to the side as he tended to Griffin’s parents. His eyes looked electric blue, with an eerie white and black. They reminded me of an x-ray.

As he worked on my neck where a few cuts were, the man had a difficult time clean off some of the blood because of the scales. Apparently, they were excellent at keeping things in and out so that was nice.

After I was cleaned up and fed, given some new clothes, Ace and Blitz walked me around the camp and it wasn’t much really, rows and rows of tents mostly. Every few lines there was a medical tent set up. It wasn’t like modern warfare but I guess there was a reason for that somewhere.

Soon they lead me to their tent, where it was rather warm for, you know, a tent. I decided to sit on one of the chairs off in the corner, glad to have something to lean my back against beside a cold, rough wall and draped my wings across the back as if they were a coat and it actually didn’t work too bad.

Ace and Blitz were both just laying on the soft ground, staring at the ceiling. They seemed lost in some thought but soon a man with dazzling pink eyes came running up.

“Generals! There’s three students here, claiming they need help to find a girl named Nayleth! I’m a terribly sorry for the intrusion, as you just got back but-” And Blitz held up a hand to stop the man from talking. He noticed me and just about yelped in surprise. I smiled at him and left it at that.

They both got up from the ground and looked at me with raised eyebrows. I held up my hands in defense, not promising it was my friends. Friends, right? We’ll go with that, won’t we?

Ace quickly gave Blitz a tight hug and I noticed he had some tears in his eyes. Oh, how I hoped it was the three idiots because I didn’t want to see the pain in that man’s face. Not again.

We quickly made it through the hordes of soldiers training and we left at the entrance of the tents and I saw a nervous, blonde haired girl and surrounded by roses, a boy with dark brown hair looking pale and a boy with blonde hair, tinted with blue.

Sully saw me and his eyes went wide but he smiled so widely that I couldn’t help but get a little giddy. He practically tackled J over in her awed expression and hugged me tightly.

“You’re ok,” He said into my shoulder. “Thank goodness.” And hugged me tighter as I tried to remember when I had a hug like that.

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