Chapter 10-The Plan of the Past
The next day we flew back to the United Clan. It was more desolate than we had left it. Those who were not fighting left with the children to hide in a nearby cave. I was pleased to know that the United Clan would not be taken by a surprise attack. No. They would be ready.
We had received a message from the Jetlash’s falcon today. Rockstorm’s face was troubled.
“What is it?” I asked him.
“You want the good news first or the bad news first?” he groaned.
“Bad news,” replied Firesong.
“Ok, so Queen Starbreeze and General Red Blood are officially united in armies and even tied the knot to make the army stronger,” explained Rockstorm.
“Wait?! What? You mean they got married?” I gasped.
“I’m afraid so. I don’t know what we’re in store for. On top of that, the spies still don’t have the necklace nor the Dragonstone.”
“What’s the good news?” I asked hopefully.
“On the bright side, Queen Starbreeze isn’t coming to this battle. She’s staying at their headquarters,” sighed Rockstorm.
“Why? There’s got to be a catch,” insisted Firesong.
“She’s negotiating with Fire Clan. I heard they’re planning on enslaving the Fire Clan if they refuse her offer. Either way, they lose, her offer is secretly the same as enslavement. It’s simply a matter of how you look at it,”
“I bet I can guess her offer. Let’s see, you work for us, or we kill you?” I guessed.
“Yep,” replied Rockstorm gravely.
“We need to rescue Fire Clan,” declared Firesong.
Rockstorm and I wore shocked expressions on our faces.
“Why? After what they’ve done to you? Why should we save them? They’re evil,” argued Rockstorm.
“No, I think Firesong’s right, that’s very compassionate of you, Firesong,” I remarked.
“But what about the United Clan? We need to be here to protect them first. Then after the battle, we can go to Fire Clan,” stated Rockstorm.
“Yeah, let’s do that,” I agreed.
“Oh! I forgot to mention, she lets General Red Blood wear her magical necklace. Maybe that’s why they got married. So he could rightfully let him use her necklace?” mentioned Rockstorm.
“That’s it! This could work to our advantage!” exclaimed Firesong. “We could steal the necklace from Red Blood! We’ve fought him before. He’s not as powerful as Queen Starbreeze. The three of us could take him!”
“I bet he’ll have the Dragonstone with him as well,” I claimed.
“Hmm, yes, now we need a plan. How are we going to get close enough to steal his most valuable possessions?” questioned Rockstorm.
“What if we were invisible?” I suggested. “There’s invisibility potions we could drink,”
“But those are very expensive. After all, invisible plants are very hard to hide. Most people just stumble upon them,” countered Firesong.
“We’ll only buy one bottle then, but that means the effect will wear off quicker since it will be divided three ways. How much time do you think we’ll have, Firesong?” I hypothesized.
“An hour tops, I think,” she concluded.
“Ok, let’s see how much they cost,” I decided.
We walked over to the shop.
“The runes didn’t tell us how to defeat Queen Starbreeze. They only told us the past. On top of that, I think the three of us were chosen to take Queen Starbreeze’s place. I think we ought to go back sometime and read more runes,” I muttered to myself. “Maybe there’s deeper meanings to unlock? Maybe we can truly understand what the Dragonstone’s task is?”
“Well, it wouldn’t hurt to brainstorm,” suggested Firesong.
“Oh! How much of that did I say out loud?” I gasped.
“All of it,” she smiled.
Rockstorm nodded in agreement. I sighed.
“Maybe the Dragonstone’s task is to defeat Queen Starbreeze? Or help us do it? Or defeat both villains?” I proposed.
“Oh! Oh! I just got a great idea!” exclaimed Rockstorm.
“Well, we’re listening,” I replied.
“We unite, not fight, since we’re trying to unite Aranthalas again. What if we make them fight each other?” conveyed Rockstorm.
“Hmm, I like where this is going...do you have a plan?” asked Firesong.
“Is everything going according to plan?”
“Yes, your highness, we should reach them by early tomorrow,”
“Good work, General Plum. No doubt they’re after the Dragonstone and Queen Starbreeze’s necklace,” he affirmed.
“Do you think they know we’re coming?” asked a lower ranking general.
“Yes, you fool! Didn’t you see the girl from Fire Clan dart down the gravelly hill?! She reported to the others! I’m certain of it! This is why we’re using the caves to sneak up on them. We’ll enter through the cave near their clan and storm down into the clan and attack them from behind! They’ll never see us coming until it’s too late! Mwa-ha-ha-ha-ha! Mwa-ha-ha-ha-hey! Laugh with me!”
“Sorry, my lord, I didn’t know I was allowed to,” bowed General Plum.
“As second in command to the second in command, I permit you to laugh evilly with me every time I do, but let me have the first laugh. Then you can join in after me. Understand general? These are key concepts to understand if you truly want to be an evil leader. After all, I wouldn’t be nearly as evil if I didn’t have an evil laugh,” explained Red Blood.
Then they broke out into a loud, roaring, evil laugh. It could be heard echoing throughout the Plains. Yet Red Blood had other issues on his mind. If he won this battle, Queen Starbreeze would give him a throne of his own. Yes, he was married to a queen, but that didn’t make him a king. Not in her eyes. He had to prove himself first. Soon, if all went according to plan, he would have control of the world, sitting beside his queen. Then all would bow down to him, fear him, and serve him. If all went according to plan, Queen Starbeeze would crown him King of the Stars. King Red Blood, now that had a nice ring to it!
Meanwhile, the prisoners who refused to go to the United Trio and had joined Red Blood instead, wouldn’t be enslaved to Starbreeze. They would be first class warriors and be ranked into higher positions than those who were forced to join them. After all, being enslaved by a fallen goddess was no easy task. Anyone eight and older had to work. They were divided into groups of working: farming, smithery, cooking, and serving the Queen of destruction and chaos. Those who were too old or sick to work...would die.
Yet Red Blood had wanted Firesong to get away, because then the United Clan would know of his coming and fear him. In addition, they would hide the women, children, elderly, and disabled would be sent to the cave near the United Clan. That’s where they were going to sneak up and capture the women and children and use them for slaves. The rest would die, then no one would warn the others that Red Blood and his army would attack by a different route. It was the perfect plot!
Alright, here’s the Invisibility potion,” I showed Firesong and Rockstorm.
“It looks like an empty bottle, are you sure they didn’t trick us?” inquired Rockstorm.
I pulled the cork out and stuck my finger in. I touched something wet and took my finger out and cork it again. I licked my finger, the concoction tasted sugary.
“Yep, that’s the invisibility potion for you,” I concluded.
“We should return to our hiding spot for when General Red Blood and his army gets here. He should be here tomorrow so we should train,” stated Firesong.
So we flew to our hiding spot. We hadn’t been training for long when a strange woman flew up to us. I saw her hair had lost its color, glow, and no longer waved on its own. Her eyes had lost their previous color and were gray, as well as her hair. Her wings drooped and looked like withered leaves. The flowers that grew naturally on Plant Clan citizens’ hair had died and fallen off. I could tell by observing her dried up stems and leafy hair, that she had grown irises out of her hair. It appeared she was from Plant Clan.
“Can we help you?” I asked her.
“My heroes!” she beamed. Then, seeing the question in our faces, she added, “Oh right, sorry! Hello! My name is Iris. And you are the Chosen Three! I flew all this way to warn you of General Red Blood’s plan of attack!”
“Uh, pleased to meet you, Iris. How did you escape?” responded Rockstorm.
“This young man dressed in black came and helped me escape last night. He looked like a spy. He told me to come here and warn you three,” she explained.
“Ah. And your name sounds like you’re from Plant Clan, yet you don’t look like you’re from Plant Clan. Why is that?” commented Firesong.
“Yes, I was one of the prisoners you freed a while back. I chose to join General Red Blood, but many of us were sadly mistaken. Living conditions are terrible! Those who realized the mistake tried to go back, but it was too late! As a consequence, our powers were stripped away. I now am no longer a first class warrior. So I have escaped and will join your clan in the fight,”
I studied her, I could tell she was telling the truth.
“However, if Queen Starbreeze dies, my powers will return,” she mentioned.
“But she’s immortal, how can that happen?” I asked.
Dawnleaf drew closer and practically whispered in her grave tone,“She can’t die a natural death, but if someone were to stage an accident…”
“All squadrons to positions!” ordered an officer. “Plant squadron! You are NOT guarding the Desert Plains! Now get over here and defend the clan!”
“Nice ladies! Nice! Keep practicing!” smiled a lieutenant.
“Ice Squadron G, you need to wear camouflage if you’re going to patrol these Plains….there you go,” added another officer.
It was the day of the battle. The United Clan was readying into positions to attack.
“Are you feeling scared?” inquired Rockstorm.
“No way! We’ve fought in a battle before! Besides, now we have our true potential unlocked AND we can turn into dragons!”
“Oh yeah!” cheered Rockstorm.
There was an awkward silence.
“But really, Gey, I feel like you have something on your mind. Care to share?”
“Well, it’s just, have you ever wondered if Queen Starbreeeze can turn into a dragon too?”
“Huh? Well, it crossed my mind. After all, she does have dragon wings. Why?”
“ ’Cuz it would make things really difficult in a fight,”
“We don’t have to battle her today, she’s not coming,” then switching to a lady’s accent he added: “I don’t like getting my hands dirty, even though I live in a cave, which is very dirty, but I just don’t want to move off my stone throne. It would be a tiring journey. Oh and I’m smarter than everyone else!”
“Yes, that is a very accurate description of her!” I chuckled.
“Geyser! Rockstorm!” called Firesong flying over to us.
“You just missed Rockstorm talking like Starbreeze, it was hilarious!” I laughed.
“Who me?” Rockstorm asked in his lady-like voice.
I stifled a wave of laughter.
“You guys! Remember!” reminded Firesong. “The potions only last an hour for each of us! The army will be here any minute! So use your time wisely.”
“I am the queen of the cave, don’t tell me what to do!” Rockstorm responded in his Starbreeze voice.
“Hey! You three! Into positions!” called an officer.
“Alright you two, let’s do this!” I smiled as I put my hand out.
Firesong and Rockstorm put their hands on mine.
“Ok,” I began, “Uh, 1, 2, 3--”
“Go United Trio!!!” we cheered.
We split up. It was less than ten minutes before I could hear the Red Army trekking up the cave. I could hear Red Blood shouting orders. Then I heard his surprised yell.
“What?! Where are the women and children?! Where are the sick, old, and disabled? I was sure they--AH!”
Thanks to Iris, we had come prepared. Many of our squadrons were waiting for his arrival. We had moved everyone out of the cave and moved them to the hills in the Desert Plains.
Since the Red Army had nowhere to go, we were planning on stopping them right there. Yet Red Blood turned into a dragon and cleared a path through the cave. We had squadrons ready, yet the tides suddenly turned and favored the enemy’s side. It wasn’t the fact that the Red Army was making its way into the United Clan. Instead it was the fact that Red Blood was using Starbreeze’s necklace to win the war. Her necklace allowed the user to use telekinesis and that was exactly what Red Blood was doing. His eyes glowed purple as he used the necklace to take chunks of Snow Peak Mountain and throw them at the United Clan. Smoke and fire dotted the clan and filled the sky. The three of us turned into dragons. I saw Rockstorm disappear. He was already using his portion of the potion.
“Go Rockstorm!” I cheered silently.
I noticed there were giants in the Red Army. I guess Queen Starbreeze created giants for the war. One of the giants saw me.
“Oi! You! Stand still!” he bellowed as he rushed at me swinging his club.
I looked him in the eyes and roared: “Oh no you don’t!”
I picked him up by the belt with my teeth and flung him in the air and caught him again with my teeth.
“Ah! What yar tryin’ tuh der to me her?” he screamed.
“If you join our side, I won’t kill you,” I mumbled to him.
I wasn’t going to kill him either way, but he didn’t know that.
“Oi ain’t doin’ nothin’!” he yelled.
“I dropped him but caught him again before he hit the ground.
“Whoa! That was clarse!” sighed the giant.
“That was a warning! I’ll drop you again if you say no, and next time, I won’t catch you,”
“Imagine yourself falling...will you go split or will you go splat?” I threatened.
I hoped that if I sounded tough and menacing I would fool him.
“Oi! O’ll roight! I’ll der it!” he agreed.
I set him on the ground. Firesong caught onto what I was doing. Soon, we had a small portion of giants fighting on our side. Time flew and before I knew it, Rockstorm had joined us again.
“Rock! Glad you survived! Did you get it?” I asked.
“No,” he groaned.
“My turn!” decided Firesong.
I told Rockstorm of the giant converting plan. I had knocked loads of giants unconscious if they were stubborn and didn’t join. Firesong soon disappeared. Rockstorm and I used our powers to stop rocks from hitting the United Clan.
After a while, Firesong returned.
“Sorry Gey, it’s up to you now,” she said sadly.
“Alright, you two distract him,” I decided.
We flew up after I drank the potion. I got behind Red Blood. Rockstorm and Firesong combined their powers into a lava-slushy substance and shot it at him. He deflected it with his wings and protected the necklace. It was hanging on one of his teeth.
As I snuck up behind him, I saw the necklace glow purple, yet Red Blood’s eyes weren’t glowing purple. Did that mean that the necklace could work on its own? Suddenly, a purple light encased me, though I was still invisible, but the light surrounding me wasn’t. It slammed me head first onto the ground into a group of stalagmites. Dust and rocks flew and fell on me, but I barely noticed, because I had a terrible headache. Then the necklace picked me up and moved me towards General Red Blood. His eyes glowed purple, that meant he was using it now. He brought me face to face with him.
“Well, well, well, the last of the trio. Come to steal my necklace have you?” rumbled Red Blood.
“How’d you know I was here?” I demanded.
The necklace can see and sense things I can’t, but even if it couldn’t, I knew you were here the whole time.”
“Well, you know what I can sense? Your name Red Blood is a bit redundant. I mean, Red Blood? Really? Why not red torpedo or red fury?”
“I changed my name to Red Blood to signify the blood that will be split in my wake. I plan on having Aranthalas drown in its own blood at my hands,” he replied gravely.
“That’s just dark! And keep telling yourself that, because last I checked, I haven’t seen any rivers of blood yet!” I spat.
“Aren’t you the cheeky one today?” he chuckled darkly.
He was about to blast me with a mouth load of fire. If he made direct contact with me, I’d be done for since I was extremely weak against fire. I struggled to escape this telekinetic bind. Suddenly, Rockstorm came up and gave Red Blood the nastiest bite I’d ever seen. Blood oozed out and it distracted Red Blood for enough time to gash his mouth and knock the necklace out. I was freed.
“Thanks Rock!” I called.
“Sure thing!” muttered Rockstorm as he wrestled Red Blood.
Firesong wrapped her slender dragon body around Red Blood’s neck, trying to choke him. I noticed that when Red Blood couldn’t focus, he couldn’t control his necklace. His eyes stopped glowing purple. What I realized was that we had fallen back into fighting Red Blood.
“Guys! Stop! Remember? We don’t fight, we unite! Just distract him!” I called out.
Firesong and Rockstorm stopped. Red Blood had snatched up the necklace again and Firesong blew fire on the necklace. Red Blood swiped at her and clawed her in the ribs. She was sent whirling to the ground with the wind knocked out of her. Seeing the concern on my face, she croaked:
“Don’t worry about me, stop him!”
I didn’t have much time left until the potion wore off.
“You little children! Do you really think I haven’t known you would try to take this necklace from me?” roared Red Blood. “It’s a good thing I didn’t bring the Dragonstone then, you would have tried to take it too. Now, this is going to be your last battle!”
Using the necklace he picked Rockstorm and I up.
“Say good-bye to everything you love!” he threatened.