Once we could see the back of the middle barn we dismounted off of Sebastian. Sebastian, then turned into a ball of light and flew directly into my arm. It didn’t hurt as badly as the first time that he had done that, but it still sent a tingly feeling up my left arm. I waited for a moment until he had settled down before Val and I stared out at the open landscape that came before the back of the barn. There wasn’t anyone around that I could visibly see, and the only people that I could sense were on the other side of the barn.
“Can you sense anybody?” I whispered to Val who was just behind me on my right. He was quiet for a moment before he responded.
“Not on this side of the barn but there’s at least 35 people all crowded around in front of this barn, maybe more,” Val replied in a whisper. “I just can’t tell exactly where they are.”
I nodded I slowly and carefully took a step out of the tree line and looked around. There was some tools left out by the garden but that was the only remanence that someone had been here recently. I sprinted across the open space until I reach the barn, then I turned around to face the forest with my back against the wall. I scanned the landscape again before motioning for Val to come over. I saw him glance around the landscape before sprinting across the open land and coming to stand right beside me with his back to the wall too. I nodded wants to him before beginning to shuffle along the wall. I paused at the corner of the barn. I put up my hand and signed Val to stop.
I peeked around the corner but I still couldn’t see any signs of life. However, I was able to hear more. Things weren’t sounding too good, especially when I heard the words torture and execution. I snuck around the corner and pause for a moment before signaling again for Val to follow me. We kept our backs plastered against the wall to minimize our chances of being spotted. Where was everybody? That’s when I heard a sickening thunk, and then another one and then another. It sounded like someone was getting pretty badly whacked around. I felt my gut twist into knots as I came to the corner of the barn. I crouch down low and peeked around the corner of the barn to see what was actually going on.
My eyes widened and I felt my mouth drop open when I saw what was really going on, on the other side of the barn. Avin was tied to a large wooden post and was getting punched and kicked by Mallon and Maverick. There was blood all over Avin, some blood was dripping from his head but the rest was of an unknown origin. Behind him in the corral with everyone else looking all bruised and battered but still alive. They were tied up around their wrists and sitting on the ground all squished together, but I couldn’t see Tray anywhere. I pulled back to get behind the wall before someone saw me. I couldn’t decide whether to be stunned or beyond furious.
“They’re here, and they are beating up Avin,” I muttered to Val when he crouched down beside me. “ Even Maverick and King Regalis are out there.”
“What?!” Val whispered startled. He carefully walked around me to take a peek around the corner himself. A couple minutes past before he came back and sat down beside me. “Shit, what the hell are we going to do now?”
I had no idea. My mind was drawing a blank and my vision was starting to go red. I was getting to be beyond pissed with this situation. No one gets to beat up my fiancé, and live.
“Those monsters that are guarding everyone else in the corral are most likely being controlled by Amavin,” I told Val quietly as I tried to concentrate on calming down. I wouldn’t do much for Avin and everyone else if I just ran out there in a blind Rage with no real plan. Then I thought suddenly occurred to me. I hadn’t seen Aquaphira tied up in the Corral either. Could she be up with Tray, or did something else happen to her?
“Ah, so if we take her down first there will be fewer people that we have to fight off,” Val finished for me, pulling me out of my train of thoughts. “But how are we going to be able to get to her when she’s surrounded by those goons?”
I thought it over for a moment. I looked around as I thought and noticed the door to the barn that was only a couple of feet away from us. I shuffled down the wall to the door and pulled on it and in an attempt get it open. But the door was locked and wouldn’t even budge when Val came to help me out. I ran a hand through my hair as I tried to think at what else I could do because even with our skills we were greatly outnumbered.
“I’m going to try the other side so stay here and stay out of sight,” I told Val as I started to shuffle around to the back of the barn again. “Wait for my signal before attacking.”
Without another word I slipped around the corner of the barn. I jogged briskly and quietly across the back expanse of the barn stopping only when I got close to the corner of the barn. I kept as close to the wall as I possibly could as I got closer and closer to the corner I carefully peeked around the corner not really expecting to see anyone. I guess that I really shouldn’t have been all that surprised when I spotted a big fearsome shadow creature guarding the door. I quickly ducked back behind the barn before it saw me. Well now what the heck was I going to do? I had to get him away from the door, and I’m sure that there was no way that he would just leave his post. I couldn’t just go out there and strike him down either, it would draw unwanted attention to me. But if I could draw him back here towards me then maybe I could get rid of him without drawing attention to myself, hopefully. How was I going to get his attention though?
Just then I heard the crunch of dirt as it was stepped on the sound was coming from just around the corner of the barn. Something was coming towards me, and I had a really bad feeling that it was the shadow creature that had been guarding the door. I slid the sort out of my left arm, trying to be as quiet as possible so that I wouldn’t alert the creature. I raised the sword up so that it was next to my head. I tried to keep my breathing slow and quiet as I grip the sword with both of my hands. The creature took another step and now I could see the curved claws coming off his foot. I swallowed hard and raise my sword up a little bit higher, preparing to bring it down on the creature the moment it turned the corner suddenly the foot wasn’t there anymore I swung on Instinct and felt warm sticky liquid Splash on to my face. Half a second later the creature was standing in front of me. Well half of the creature was the other half was on the ground behind his lower torso. I touched the torso of the creature with the tip of my blade and it fell back turning into a pile of black goop. Ew. I stepped carefully around the goop pile that used to be a body, and looked around the corner again. Nobody else was around.
I shuffled along the walls of the door of the barn. I scanned the landscape once more to make sure that there wasn’t anyone around. Then I turned around and pulled open the large sliding wooden door. I only pulled it open just enough for me to slide through, before shutting it again. I looked around the inside of the Healer barn, and at first glance it didn’t look like there was anyone in there. But all of the windows were boarded up on the inside. Could this have been where they had made their stand?
I smelt the wet wood, blood, and a slightly charred meat scent. I took a step forward into the barn and instantly felt the ground squish and slosh under my feet. I swallowed the bile that rose in my throat and just kept telling myself not to look down. I could hear the muffled talking coming from the other side of the wall to my left two female voices and one elderly male voice. That was most definitely the king, Regalis, Sally and Amavin. Were there seriously no survivors or escapees left? Had they really killed all of the ones that had put up the biggest fight against them? I know that this was stupid but I needed to know if there was someone else in here, and I don’t think that I could make it through the whole Barn without throwing up.
“Hello? Is anyone still alive?” I called into the seemingly unending darkness. I was trying to be as quiet as possible while still making sound that my voice carried to the end of the barn. At first there was nothing, and I felt stupid for thinking that there would really be anyone left alive in here. But when I turned around to exit the barn I heard a low moan coming from one of the first two stalls. My heart jumped in my chest as I slowly turn towards where the noise had come from.
“Hello?” I whispered a bit louder in the direction of where the noise have come from.
“Lucy?” the voice sounded scratchy and like it had been overused. The voice is definitely that of a female and it sounded like it was actually coming from the third stall on the left. I walked over to the door trying to ignore the squishing of the ground under my feet. I also had to stifle a scream, and a gag when I stepped on a severed hand that I hadn’t noticed was on the ground. I quickly scampered over to the door trying desperately not to throw up as a smell got worse the further I went into the barn. I looked over the door of the stall and saw about four bodies all piled up in the center of the stall. The bodies were so badly decomposed and gruesome that I couldn’t hold back any longer. Once my body had seized purging its contents, I went back to the stall and open the door. I looked around the stall but couldn’t see where Aquaphira was.
“Where are you?” I whispered as I took a step inside the stall. I heard something slowly move around at the back corner of the stall. It was too dark for me to see who it was that was moving towards me. I popped out one sword and held it with both of my hands up beside my head, and waited. It crawled forward into a sliver of light that was coming through the cracks in the boarded AB windows I lowered my sword and close the distance between us, when I saw who it was.
“Well you look like you’ve seen better days,” I commented jokingly trying to lighten the mood as they looked Aquaphira over in the dim light. She chuckled darkly for a moment before wincing and clutching at her sides.
“Take it easy, now let me see what the damage is,” I told Aquaphira suddenly becoming serious at the sight of her in pain. I was in complete doctor mode now. It looked like she had managed to heal a good fraction of the wounds herself, but there was still a lot of damage left that had to be fixed. There was no way that I was going to be able to heal all of them but perhaps just enough so that she could stand with Val and I. I was starting to get a bit fatigued when I thought that Aquaphira would be okay to run or fight if need be.
“Tray, where’s Tray? They brought him in here too,” Aquaphira applied sounding rather frantic as she walked out of her stall and practically ran over to a stall that was opposite to where we were and only one cell away from the door that I had come through. I rushed over to the stall that she had disappeared into, making sure that I didn’t slip or trip over anything that was on the ground. I swear if they had hurt Tray I was not going to be merciful when I got to them. When I looked into the stall I saw ography are glancing around frantically.
“H-he’s not here,” Aquaphira whispered to me as her shoulders droop. However she kept her eyes on the floor and wouldn’t look at me. I took a step towards Aquaphira to comfort her and also so that she wouldn’t see the tears in my eyes. I had really gotten attached to the little guy and I know that Avin had too. I was even considering taking him in since I was pretty sure that he didn’t have any other family left, if it was all right with him and Avin but now I wasn’t even going to get the chance to ask him. I could feel the tears sting my eyes but a noise from above made disrupted my melancholy attitude. I whipped my head up to see what he caused the noise. A small pair of golden eyes stared back at me. And I watch for a second I could see small flames flicker in the person’s eyes. Is that a pulling out my sword, like I probably should have in that situation, I reached my arms out towards the creature I knew those eyes I caught him as he jumped down from the ceiling beam that he was crouched on.
“Miss Lucy, is that really you?” Tray asked as he looked up into my face. His voice sounded scratchy and phlegmy like he might have had a bad cold. But I knew better than that. His voice sounded like that from something much worse than a cold, and much more violent. I could feel my body start to burn of the thought of what they could have done to torture a young boy like Tray. I had to calm down though before I accidentally burned tray. I was going to get my revenge on them soon enough, and I was going to make them pay for everything that they have done. But I was curious; why would they be doing this to their own people?
I knew why Sally was doing it, considering how pissed off she was with me in the dungeon Mallon was very hateful towards anyone that wasn’t on his side, or from his country. That could be his reason. Amavin was Mallon’s fuck buddy so she would probably do whatever he asked her to do. I just don’t understand why the King was doing this. That was still one part of my memory that was missing. What could drive a man who has everything to do something so horrid against his own people. There had to be something that I was missing. I glanced down at the bay in my arms, and smiled as best as I could under the circumstances
“Yes, it is, Tray,” I told him as I rubbed my nose against his, “and I promise that I will never leave you alone, again.”
“Okay,” Tray reply as quietly as he snuggles into my arms, but sitting up again almost instantly. “Did you find Miss Aqua?”
I looked over to Aquaphira and Tray followed my gaze. He jumped out of my arms and ran excitedly over to Aquaphira. Aquaphira practically broke down right there on the spot.
“Oh, thank goodness, you’re alright,” Aquaphira whispered fiercely as she held him tightly, in her arms. Even though I couldn’t see all that great with the little amount of light that was in the barn I could have sworn that I saw Aquaphira crying.
“Are you okay Miss Aqua?” Tray ask as he pulled back a bit from the hug to look up at her face. He was such the sweetest boy in the whole world.
“Yes, yes, I’m fine,” Aquafina chuckled as she hugs him again, we were quickly brought back to reality by the second of an agonizing scream coming from the front of the barn.
“We need to move now,” I whispered as I got up and walked quickly over to the barn door. I waited until they were both behind me before I pulled open the door a crack. When I made sure that no one was around I pushed the door open further and slid along the wall until there was about two feet between us and being spotted.
“Tray, need you to do me a huge favor, okay?” I whispered to him as I knelt down to face him. He nodded cautiously and waited, but I could see in his eyes that he was nervous about what I was going to ask him. “I need you to change and go over to Avin, and get him loose.”
“I was hoping that you wouldn’t say that,” Tray murmured but crouched down anyway, preparing to transform I assumed.
“Change? What do you mean change?” Aquaphira ask confused, as she glanced between the two of us, Tray gave me a scared pleading look.
“It’ll be okay, I promise,” I told him as I looked him in the eyes to reassure him. I knew in my heart that they were already too much in love with him to hate him for the shape that he could take. Tray nodded and quickly changed into his fox form, standing at the ready. When I looked up to Aquaphira her mouth was hanging open in her skin on her face had lost a bit of its rosy color. But she didn’t say a word and I was relieved for that.
“Sebastian will create a distraction while taking out the shadow creatures around the corner. You hear that big guy?” I asked as I look down on my arms. They heated up for a second but then the heat traveled up my arm to the back of my shoulder where Sebastian’s head popped out from underneath my shirt, he gave me a quick nod and went to stand next to Tray.
“When Sebastian creates the distraction that’s when you go out to Avin, Tray. Then Aquaphira and I will go after Maverick, Sally and a Amavin. That was on the other side and he’s going to take Mallon. All right everybody know what to do?” I asked as I glanced to Aquaphira, Sebastian, and then to Tray. They all nodded with grim expressions on their faces. “Then let’s get to it.”