Have you ever wondered what kind of person your sibling would be when they grew old enough to think for themselves? I imagined it all the time with Jackson. Its kinda funny though, because he became the person I imagined.
Undying light that shown out over everyone.
Yes it was true, he was not pure. But who is in this world forsaken by the gods? He was still a light among darkness, and for that I look back fondly at his memory.
It is painful, but in a good way.
Rey slipped his journal back into his sack and dug his heals into his travel horse, riding quickly to catch up to his companions. While writing he had found he had fell behind a little, and they were more than a few yards ahead.
"She was two forests over, and across a plain." Rentham said to Lilith, the two riding side by side. "I saw her in a valley, and she was helping a wounded fawn."
"Well, let us hope she likes visitors than." The warrior smiled and looked at the trees, feeling the warm sun at her back. "I know I wouldn't."
"Well, that just takes a few things off my mind." They grey skinned man said sarcastically, looking down at the trail with hatred. "Its not that I think she will welcome us, I know she won't. I just hope she doesn't kill us before we have a chance to speak."
In the back of the crowd, bringing up the flank, sat Jaden, two swords drawn in agitation. He was hearing things; twigs snapping, small screams, the rustling of bushes.
The voice trailed off in his ear, making his head twitch a little.
"Uh, Rentham!" He called, pulling his horse to a stop.
"What?" The fallen king stopped as well as turned around, staring back at him.
"Somethings . . . wrong." Jaden hunched over, putting a hand on his face. "I am hearing things!"
"What things?" The gray skinned man jumped from his horse and went to him, slight concern written on his face.
"They are calling, and breaking twigs, rustling bushes-" He cried out and both hands clutched his head. "They are getting louder! They won't stop!"
"What in the name of the Abyss?" Lilith snapped, looking around at the forest. "Rentham, he is right, only they are as silent as a sunset. I can here them too."
"Why are they so loud to me!?" Jaden shrieked.
"Here, I'll help." Rey jumped off his horse and came over to them, saying a few quiet words and laying a hand on the assassins shoulder. Suddenly Jaden fell into a deep sleep, slumping over his horse without another movement.
"I hope he can't hear them in his dreams." The dark warlock said and went back to his mighty steed, Rentham doing as well.
"Drusilla, lead Jadens horse!" Their leader shouted at her, making her jump a little. She took the reins of the white beast and pulled it along side, hoping she wouldn't have to get off her own ride if her slumbering companion fell off of his.
"Rentham, I fear that something is in these woods." Lilith said, riding up beside him once again. "I don't know what Jaden heard, but I heard something scuffling in the bushes. I heard many things in the forest around us, and I do not think it is friendly."
"Tell the others to keep ready, we don't want any incidents before we get to the plains." Rentham replied.
Lilith turned around and shouted to the companions what the fallen king had told her. Everyone was quiet anyway, there was no reason to talk to each other, not when the potential danger of being attacked was at large.
One never knew what were in the woods . . .
Suddenly there was a high pitched screech from behind, making their horses jump into the air and gallop deeper into the woods.
"Whoa!" Rentham shouted, yanking on the reins as his beast ran blindly through the trees. Suddenly there was five strange beings in front of him, growling and hissing like giant cats.
They looked as if they were human, only they had the ears, claws and tail of a cat, and their eyes were deep black diamonds among amber crystal. They were like nothing he had ever seen before.
"Secure his beast and tie him up!" The leader cat person shouted, his ears and hair a deep black, as well as his claws and tail. "Bring them to Master and we shall see what we shall do with him."
"Who in the Abyss are you!?" Rentham shouted, right before he was grabbed.
"None of your business. Take him away." The man-cat crouched down on the rock he was sitting on, a smile cracking his lips and showing a row of jagged, cat-like teeth. "You have no idea who I am, and I don't think it matters right now . . ." His voice trailed off into a growl, amusement fueling his dark voice.
"But you will soon find out."
Edowain sat on her smaller, dilapidated throne with a bear skin around her shoulders, looking at the meeting over her nose. Over the past year, she had come accustomed to the Witch Hunters lives, and it was now pleasurable to know that she was above them.
They were almost even of lesser value to her now.
"Edowain, my darling, would you please go fetch that map that was in my room I had out a few days ago?" Tiranous asked, walking back and fourth across the hall as his commanders talked among themselves, looking down at a scroll.
"I would prefer to send one of them, since they are accustomed to jobs as this." She replied proudly, her lips twisted a little in disgust.
"I said go get the map, your highness, and if you do not, than I do not see a reason for you to fight beside my side in the on coming battle." Tiranous closed the scroll and walked over to her, squinting his eyes. "You will do as you are told."
"And what if I don't want to?"
"I don't know, what will you do? You would be killed here, and you can't even think about running back to your husband." He laughed a little.
"Oh but I could." She got right in his face. "He doesn't know a thing that has transpired here." Now it was her turn to laugh.
"Than I would kill you before you set a foot out of this castle." He replied.
"But I won't, I won't betray the one I love." Her face softened and her almond eyes shown in their sockets, framed by lovely golden hair. Tiranous smiled and kissed her before going off to get the map himself, giving her a side long stare as he left the room, a stupid grin on his face.
"Ugh." Edowain sputtered. "He disgusts me." She whispered and sat upon her throne once again, wiping her mouth. "But he won't last long. I won't have to deal with him for too much longer, I just have to be patient." She smiled than, resting her head against the back of her chair.
Rey awoke on a white bed with delicate sheets and soft velvet curtains. It reminded him a little of his own bed, only his was much larger than this.
Upon sitting up, he found that most of his clothes had been taken from him, such as his boots, shirt and overcoat. He didn't like this, for his weapons were gone as well, which meant he would have to come up with a spell on a seconds notice. That was not a very effective plan anyway, he had to find something he could use in close quarters combat.
A hand slowly wrapped around one of the velvet curtains and moved it slowly, an unfamiliar face appearing. "Good morning sir-"
Rey shouted and jumped at her, both hands wrapping around her throat and squeezing.
"Who are you!? What do you want and why am I here!?" He demanded, rage splattered plainly on his face as he choked her harder and harder.
"Please . . ." She gasped, her voice barely even a whisper. He slowly retracted, relaxing his two slender palms around her neck just in case she decided to get out from under him. He wasn't quite ready to let her go.
"Why am I here?" He whispered, his face barely an inch from hers.
"You and your friends were taken prisoner, but after Leo found out you were magic users, he let you stay as our guests." She gasped, staring up at him with sheer and utter terror.
Rey looked up and around the room, seeing it decorated nicely with a washing bowl on a night stand as well as strange paintings and nice furniture. He nodded slightly and slowly got off of her, standing up shakily at the sudden rush of adrenaline.
"You will have your breakfast served to you in three minutes-"
"Where are my clothes?" Rey interjected, making the cat girl sigh for a second.
She shoved a bundle of clothes into his arms. "These are much better than your old ones. Besides, they smell better too. We got rid of your disgusting apparel as soon as you crossed our boarders."
"What do you mean by that?" Rey growled as she passed, looking down at the finely sewn clothes and smelling them. It was true, they did smell better, like soap and fresh spring water. He started to get absorbed in the sent, and just sat there, breathing in the essence of them.
The cat girl smiled a little, obviously amused. "I expect you to wash, and get into them in two minutes. Hurry." She turned around, her thin, periwinkle skirt flapping around her ankles as she exited the room. Her tail was fluffy, cream colored and beautiful, like her ears, and it made him stare at the door for a few moments even after she was gone.
He would have to gain some more info on this place. It was like nothing he had ever heard of or seen before.
Rentham walked down the long hallway with one of the tall cat people, neither saying a word. They really had nothing to say, and they liked it that way.
Besides, small talk made him sick.
The two came to the entrance of Master Leo's palace and slowly pushed the heavy doors open, Rentham staring inside with wonder. The whole place was made out of large, twisted oaks, and precious stones and metal were carved into the wood, making it look as magnificent as any kings palace.
"Come, sit down." The large man said at the other end of the table, which was placed in the direct center of the room. "I must discuss something with you, leader to leader."
Rentham stood in the doorway for a moment, hesitatingly walking to the chair at the end of the table and sitting down. The legs of the large thing made a loud screeching noise as they moved along the floor, making the fallen king cringe a little.
"I must know everything." Leo said, his golden eyes intense.
"What do you mean by-"
Leo stood up, planting his hands on the table and bearing down on the gray skinned man. He had slightly tanned skin with fiery red hair and two small lion ears poking out of it. His tail was in deed a lions, and his claws were long and threatening. Rentham had no more doubts why he was their master, not anymore. It was a given. The lion man was a powerful, natural leader for obvious reasons, even his voice rang with athority.
Leo replied one last time, letting his voice echo in the large corridor and dig itself into Renthams soul.
Lilith walked casually around in the Place of the Edoheths, which was the name of the cat city, and also their race. They were the Edoheths, as she was told by the maid who came to wake her up, and was sent out among the strange people, telling her a guide would follow shortly.
This conserned her greatly. Why were these people so friendly to magic users? She hadn't seen any magic among them as of yet, and all she noticed was a few strange items sold at the market, nothing else out of the ordinary.
No magic, not even a flicker of enchanted flame to light a pipe.
"Stranger!" A strange voice called behind her, making her whip around in surprise.
Before her stood a rather tall, but slender Ethoheth. He had deep auburn eyes that studied her intently behind his stark white hair, nothing in his hands except his lethal claws.
"Yes?" She replied, wondering what he needed. Maybe this was the guide?
"You think you can just walk in here and pretend everyone welcomes you?" He growled, his two white ears going flat as a hiss rolled off of his tongue and out from between his pointed teeth.
"No, but that is what I was told to do." She pursed her lips, not liking his tone. Beings like him were usually close minded and haughty, thinking they could rule better than their king.
"Well, I am telling you you can't." He smiled, his cat fangs glinting in the light.
"What are you going to do about it?" Lilith challenged, people in the market starting to go quiet around them.
"Oh I don't know." He licked his lips and got into a ready position, one she recognized very well. A cat put all four paws together to get ready to pounce, bobbing its head up and down to study the distance and gauge how much power they needed. He was doing the exact same thing, and it was a dead give away.
"I must warn you. I have been trained to be a dragon slayer before I could say my first word." Lilith didn't have a weapon; she would have to find something, and fast. A dragon slayer has the ability to pick up whatever is within sight and use it to destroy her attacker, and the market place was like a playground.
A child in a candy store.
He jumped, roaring like a tiger as his claws extended towards her. She dodged his long body and grabbed a walking stick from one of the vendors, dancing around behind him and getting ready for his next move.
"Come at me." She challenged, a grin spreading across her face. It had been a long time since she had been in a fight, one on one. It was exhilarating, almost enchanting, and she was more than ready to do it.
"Kalkira, please!" A voice cried from the crowd, a rather small, white Edoheth running up beside what looked like her brother, the tall challenger of the warrior woman. "Leave her alone. Master Leo has welcomed her, we must trust him-"
"I am done trusting that fool!" He hissed, throwing her arm off of him and running at Lilith once again. She side stepped again and swung her walking stick at the back of his left knee, crushing his footing and sending his face to meet the dirt.
"Eat my fist you arrogant idiot!" The warrior woman shouted and punched his jaw. He retaliated with a swift claw at her shoulder, cutting through her thick clothing, provided by her maid, and digging deep into her skin.
Lilith roared in anger and rage, bringing her foot down at his head. Fortunate for him he rolled out of the way and got back to his feet, hissing at her. She wound up her arm and than threw the stick at him, the Edoheth not expecting the move and unable to move out of the way before it struck him in the jaw. He cried out in pain and fell to the ground, already having it hurt from her punch.
"How dare you!" Lilith shouted, grabbing him by his shirt caller and hoisting him up above the ground. "How dare you think you can fight me and so much as touch me!" She screamed, her eyes a raging blaze of flames. They promised all manner of pain, of anguish and torture, an endless pit of destruction. Kalkira stared into them and slowly began to see what he was dealing with. He eventually turned away, shutting his eyes and trying to forget the vision from the warrior woman.
She was something else entirely.
"That's right punk, look away." She said through clenched teeth, her face barely an inch from his. "You can't bear to look into the eyes of someone who has seen horrors beyond your imagining. You are but a fly that buzzes past my face, an annoying insect no one really cares about. This fight was the same way, annoying and unimportant! You are a small, incompetent little boy, and you need to learn somethings before you go challenging those who have been to the Abyss and back!"
"Please lady, have mercy on him." The small girl approached, her ears flopped down in her white hair. She was a timid creature, reminding her of that Druid they had run into a while ago, and held a manor of innocence that was hard to come by in this world. She would do as she asked, killing her friend in front of her would kill that timid creature, and such things have to be protected.
Slowly, Lilith set Kalkira down, unclenching her hands and looking him right in the eye before he could depart. "I will not tell your king of this, and if you keep it a secret, which I know you will, so will I."
He turned away and started to walk down the street.
"Kalkira!" Lilith shouted one last time, making him pause to listen, but not turn. "If I ever have this happen again, I will kill you, right in front of her."
His auburn eyes looked to the young, innocent girl and suddenly his face softened. He than looked at Lilith and slowly nodded, agreeing that he would never have this happen again. "Peace, come." Kalkira said, starting to walk once again. The white Edoheth skipped over to him, both walking quickly away without another look at the warrior woman.
"Peace. Very fitting name." Lilith grinned a little as everyone went back to their shopping. "I hope you live long little one. The world could use more people like you."
"Yes, it could."
She turned around once again and saw another Edoheth, only he was not as tall as Kalkira. He had soft gray hair and ears, and his tail was striped with white and black, short haired and beautiful.
"Peace is a very special little girl." He looked past her and at the two walking away. "They are the Snow Children, and have been through immense pain in their short life time. Peace has managed to stay inside a realm of innocence, her brother Kalkira making sure of that. Unfortunately he didn't survive as she did, and receded into a life of solitude and depression, taking on his sisters share to protect her."
"That is very noble of him." Lilith replied, placing her hands on her hips. "He doesn't like visitors though."
"No he does not. Every time someone new comes in the Place of the Edoheths, that is one more person he needs to protect his little sister from." He finally turned to her and stuck out his hand. "My name is Steven."
"Lilith." She shook his hand heartily and smiled a little.
"Yes, your maid told me of that." He scratched one of his rather large ears and moved his soft gray hair out of his eyes, letting her see the chocolate brown that stood out in his rather light appearance.
Reminding her of Jackson, her fallen little brother. Lilith closed her eyes as dread washed over her. Every time he would look at her now, every time they would lock their eyes, she would see Jackson.
See him blowing into tiny bits to save them as they left him there, alone, to die solitary. He never lived a full life, never married, never was given the love he deserved.
The love he gave back in ten fold.
"Are you alright?" The guide asked, concern washing over his face as her eyes snapped open once again.
"Oh yes, just a memory . . ." She sucked in her breath and let it out slowly, pushing the thought into the back of her head. She would try to suppress it at least until sun down. When the sun was set, no one would see her tears.
"Well anyway, I will be your guide for the remainder of your stay. I hope you enjoy it too, we will be doing a lot of things I think you will find entertaining . . ." His voice trailed off as they walked down the market, the sounds nothing but echos to Liliths deaf ears. The horror of Just a memory . . . repeating over and over again in her mind.
Jackson was not just a memory.