The Darwin Chronicles, Book Three: The Blackfire Meadows

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Chapter 16

"Shadow serpents!" Someone was shouting. "Shadow serpents!"

Emmett's eyes flew open and he threw on his armor and ran outside. Sure enough, the monsters were terrorizing the monsters, withering the grass and flowers. He ran in to attack among the chaos, meeting a Ciis worker in battle. He quickly defeated them and started running to the next one.

"Emmett!" Amy found him amid the chaos and grabbed his hand. Strength flowed through him and he found himself transforming into a phoenix again. Further along the battle field, Kevin was busy fighting members of the Ciis. Amy soared along next to him.

There's a lot. I'll take the ones that a lot of people are near. If you do, you might hit them. Okay? She shouted in his mind.

Right!

He fired a clumsy fireball towards a lone serpent. It barely hit it, almost missing. Luckily it managed to hit the tail and consume the beast. Further away, Amy was quickly taking down the other serpents.

"There! Legends!" He heard Wen shout. before Emmett could warn her, Amy was pierced by an arrow. She fell to the ground, morphing back, the arrow embedded in her ankle. Emmett realized that now he was using his own energy. He truly was a Legend now. Amy looked up at him.

You're on your own now. I can't transform, I don't know what happened!

Determination coursed through Emmett as he carefully fired fireball after fireball at the frightful creatures. Pain pierced his wing and he tumbled to the ground, turning back into a human. He landed with a painful WHUMP.

He could see the fear in his fellow troop's eyes when they realized that their Legends could not help them this time. Except-

He saw Amy lock eyes with Wen, who shrieked and dropped his weapons, grabbing his head.

"What-what?" He said, confused. An icy blue aura surrounded both Legend and torturer, and slowly Wen changed into a phoenix. He flew up gracefully into the air and started sending fireballs at his own side. His followers shouted and started to scatter as the shadow serpents disintegrated. They were retreating, regrouping as they ran. The blue auras grew brighter as Wen was shot by an arrow fatally in the gut, and he fell to the ground, burning up in flames. When he landed, on the ground was a baby phoenix.

"What-what happened?" Emmett panted, pulling the arrow out of his arm, wincing.

"I took control of him. But he was dying, so I felt sorry for him and held the connection until he died, although I shared his pain."

"So how did that save him?"

"You do know what happens to a phoenix when they die, right? I go up in flames and are reborn within the ashes? Wen was not a Legend. If I had broken the contact, he would have turned back into a human and died. If a human dies as a phoenix, they are reborn as a phoenix, with no memory of their previous life. Almost as if they are newly hatched. Come here, you." She carefully picked up the baby bird.

"You're going to keep him?"

She nodded. "It would be useful to have an actual phoenix on our side. It isn't Wen anymore at all."

"What do you mean?"

"As I said. Completely new life. Phoenixes are gender-less. I'll name it..." She thought for a second. "Auraflame. After the beauty and the ferocity of a phoenix."

Kevin, who was now quite big, bigger than Emmett, nudged Emmett. Your arm.

Yeah. I know. He patted Kevin's muzzle and walked to Tiger's Cave to get healed.

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