Caeirys (Prologue)

Several weeks ago, I experienced a dream that was as lively as they could be. The colors were bright and the places seemed real (although not familiar). The dream stuck with me for such a long while because of its amazing storyline, that I decided to write it; with a few additions here and there to spice it up. For example, the whole start of the story is made up. There were no ‘catowls’ in my dream (you will see what they are below). The woman that is spoken of below had a few different attributes but she was there. The golden dragon did not appear in my dream. Nonetheless; feel free to read on if you want a high fantasy story to enjoy. This is only the prologue so far.

Consider this a Christmas present, if you wish to. Thus; happy holidays and I hope you will enjoy this creation of mine.

Note: Caeirys is only the working title.

Prologue

In ancient tales, people spoke of creatures upon wings mightier than those of the strongest hunting birds. The might within claw and fang unmatched by any human sword. Courage and wisdom both untamed and illogical to simple minds of mankind. They became rulers. These kings and queens of their respectable realms were without throne and crown. They needed not royal gemstones to emphasize their place in the world. Their reigns were evident through their unwavering might. Their benevolence remained upon the tongue of many for centuries after. Names echoed within songs and were immortalized upon parchment. Mankind spoke of the dragons.

One such queen was what scholars would later refer to as a ‘Great Red’; a dragon of crimson scales and impeccable majesty. Her brilliance was unmatched by stars and the sun. She was a drop of vital essence against the daylight sky and a speck of mystery within the moon’s domain. A spectacular wingspan provided a canvas for dreams of the young and innocent to be painted upon. They saw patterns within them that inspired their feeble hearts. Caressing light as dim as clouded skies danced upon her scales. Countless small plates of armor covered her fearsome body in a coat of tiny shards that seemed to have descended from deadly roses themselves. Her horns and talons seemed to have been carved from a delicate stone of rosewood pigments and finely shaped by divine smiths. They were both fatal weapons as well as impeccable treasures for her physique. Beneath her tender lids lay bright irises of emerald hue within which existed a large black pupil that shone with wisdom and pride. This splendid collection of superior attributes made her an extraordinary specimen of her own species. She bore the name Caeirys; meaning ‘clarity of the sunrise’.

From her early age onwards, Caeirys placed her name within the minds of those she encountered and within the minds of those who heard tale of her ventures across the vast landscape. Throughout all her endeavors she remained true to both her titles. She was forever a Great Red but also a symbol of the rising sun. The allure of her legends was strong and never ceased after her final sighting.

Her tale begins with the flight of a lone dragon during a fall evening. This creature was armored in gold and covered in silver embellishment. Equally impressive were his talons within which he carried a red object. The oval object glowed with a soft intensity before dimming again. It was a slow pattern that seemed soothing. However the dragon carrying the soothing object felt not this way. In his heart he felt worry and a need for haste. His journey destined him for a large tower that stood within an abandoned valley. Few roamed to these reaches. Little was to be gained here. A mission that weighted on this dragon’s aged mind however had pushed him to pursue the destination.

Against a backdrop of golden and red abstractions he could see the looming tower. It’s grey walls were covered in an orange glow from the setting sun. He could feel the warmth of the large star upon his scales. It made him feel calmer yet also more persistent. He flapped his wings vigorously before gliding. The structure before him came nearer to him. The golden dragon leaned upon the currents to glide around the tower to the opposite end where he found an opening large enough for his own form. There he swooped in. After thrusting his wings forward to lessen the impact of his flight, did he land upon tender feet. His talons created a soft clicking sound as they connected with the stone earth below.

While he regained his posture from the landing, his silver eyes cast about. All he found within the vicinity was a creature that was both cat and owl. With the head and tail of a cat and the body, wings and claws of an owl, it was the perfect combination of the two. This particular catowl was draped beneath a blanket of white which made the piercing blue eyes seem all the more pure. The resembled lakes of clear water within a landscape of pure snow.

The dragon performed a brief nod towards the creature before parting his jaws and speaking to it. “Tuwven, I must speak with your lady.” His tone was deep and genuine. It was but a deep rumble; the product of both fatigue and age.

The catowl spread his wings for a moment while changing his footing upon his perch; one of many connected to the walls for his convenience. “Aha.” he responded in a light voice. “Have you come to exchange your favor with her?” he wished to know.

Once again the dragon nodded. “I brought the Final One.” he replied.

Tuwven cast his bright blue eyes about to examine the entirety that the dragon before him was. His gaze stopped when he spotted the glowing object within the dragon’s talon. For a moment he sat still; his tail swaying from side to side. “You think…” he began while selecting his words carefully. Before he proceeded he raised his gaze once again to meet the unblinking silver eyes, “You are convinced that this is the Final One?” he informed.

With a tender gesture, the golden dragon placed the object upon the stone floor. “If not this one then who?” he answered with a sad tone.

“Very well.” Tuwven replied. He flicked his wings to carry himself into the air before floating effortlessly towards an opening within the wall beyond which lay darkness. Soon after this, the sound of flapping wings died out. What remained was the sound of the wind that blew by the tower.

The dragon waited with more impatience than he wished to hold. His talons remained around the glowing red object while it lay upon the floor. Through the connection with the surface of the object, the dragon felt the pulsing sensation of its glow. It resembled the beat of a heart. It throbbed with a gentle intensity. In unison with the evidence of this object’s life force, the golden creature sensed his own heart beating. With every beat that passed, he felt it weakening. While he had accepted his fate, he dared not depart this dimension without ensuring the safety of what little he could save; the last egg.

Several minutes passed before the door near the dark hole within the wall opened. It moved slowly and its hinges creaked as it did. The evening beams that flooded into the open space from beyond the tower engulfed the two figures the door now revealed.

One of the two was the white catowl who regained his perch rather quickly and sat there without a verbal word.

The second person was a woman. Dark eyes of wisdom and kindness were framed by a pale face that lay locked between dark curls of intertwined grey and black hues. She seemed slim beneath her cloak of splendid colors. Her entire body was decorated in small gemstones. A string of bright beads decorated her neck while rings of splendid colors lay around her wrists. Even her hair held small embellishments of varying colors. A small smile decorated her lips as she looked upon her guest. “Indyör.” she greeted him while performing a nod of acknowledgement.

“Minte.” replied the golden dragon while performing a nod of equal meaning.

The woman took several steps closer to the enormous beast before her. It was close enough for her to reach out and touch him. However she refrained from performing any such acts. Instead she merely held his gaze. “The fact that you have come means that the stars will be enriched soon.” she spoke in a deep yet warm voice.

“Correct.” the dragon responded. “My heart is giving out steadily. My heartstone shattered. Likewise did those of many of our kind.” he explained in a grave tone. He obtained a moment of silence before pushing the red object forward towards the robed woman of marvelous colors.

The woman raised her brows for a moment before kneeling down by the object to look upon it. After she had examined it briefly, she placed her hand upon it to feel the warmth of it and its tender glow. “An egg.” she acknowledged while casting her gaze upwards again.

The dragon nodded to her. “She is the only one left. Her egg was not found and destroyed and she does not have heartstones yet. Thus she could not be harmed that way. What is left of my heartstones is steadily withering away. I am not the only one. Every dragon lost their life. Before midnight…” His last words never came. He dared not speak them when he witnessed the change expression of the woman before him.

Tears had welled upon in her eyes as he spoke. From her cloak, she retrieved a silver object that fit perfectly in her two palms. It felt cold and fragile in her hands. “Oh, Indyör…” she whispered as she stared upon the object in her hands.

With cautious movements, the dragon sank through his legs to lay upon the hard floor beneath him to look upon the woman before him more intensely. “Please, Minte.” he murmured before he nudged the red egg with his nose. “Take care of her. Please take care of Caeirys.” his tone had become but a dim whisper.

Silently the woman started to weep. No sound occurred yet the tears were evident upon her cheeks. They shone in the evening light from the setting sun. With a quick yet tender motion, she placed the silver object by her side and reached out to the head of the golden dragon. She wrapped her arms around it as best as her small form would allow while laying her head and torso against him. The tears dripped from her cheeks onto his impeccable scales. They glided down before reaching the stone below.

Indyör partially closed his eyes as he watched her cry while he still heard the dimming bat of his heart. “Please…” he pleaded one las time while attempting not to allow his voice to tremble. He did not want her to know how faint his heart had become.

The woman separated herself from him and nodded to him. She whipped her tears with her sleeve to allow herself more clear sight. “Yes.” she spoke in a shuttering voice. “I promise.” she added to give him more assurance.

For a few seconds, Indyör did nothing but hum pleasantly. While he did, his eyes fell shut.

“Indyör.” the woman’s voice spoke. It pulled him from his overwhelming thoughts and exhaustion. He opened his eyes and looked upon her. She had grabbed the red egg and held it within her arms; clenched against her very body to keep it safe.

With tired movements, Indyör raised himself back onto his feet. He looked upon the small woman for what would be the last time. He dared not blink; afraid that he would not have any more seconds after he did. He wished to savor the moment. “Farewell, angel.” he whispered in a soft whisper as his eyes became sad yet peaceful. It was clear to him that this was the final words he’d ever say. He reached his head forward and touched the woman upon her forehead with his snout.

“Go.” she whispered in response while she still kept her eyes on him and her arms tightly around the egg.

Indyör backed away; returning the way he came. Before he reached the edge from where he would depart, he turned. He spread his wings; opening them far and wide. Before departing, he looked back one last time to the woman who stood behind him; watching him with large, sad eyes. He granted her one final nod before he made his final leap and committed himself to the last few flaps he would ever perform. As he jumped from the tower, the golden sunlight engulfed him and he made haste to disappear from the sight of the tower.

She watched him flap once, twice, three times. After this he vanished beyond her view. Feeling the desire to follow him, she rushed forward to the edge of the ledge from where Indyör had leaped. Her eyes darted about throughout the sky to try to catch one final glimpse of him. Before she managed to spot him however, a sound caressed her ear drums. A loud crack occurred; as if a glass object had shattered into pieces. The sound caused Minte’s heart to skip several beats. She turned around slowly; hesitant as if reluctant to find what truth would await her there.

Her eyes fell upon where the silver orb had lain. What remained of it now were but shards. Witnessing this caused renewed tears to paint dark trails upon her cheeks. She knew then. Indyör, the only one she ever loved, was dead.

Preview: A Nameless Tale of a Tainted Body

Hello kind internet readers! Greetings from a small nation in Europe come to you all. Has October been good to you? Ours has been quite turbulent. It has been either terribly cold or warm and sunny. I suspect the weather has bipolar disorder. I’ll keep my eye on it and advise it a therapist if so.

Anyways, I thought I should share another ‘sneak peek’ with you! This story has not a title yet. Sorry for that. But it has a prologue that I’m quite proud of and I hope that you will like to read it as well. Here it is!

Prologue

            With sword in hand she stood. The look in her eyes gave emphasis to her stance of defense. She would protect her kingdom, her body and everything her life contained. It was not for the wellness of this life of hers, for that she had lost many times before. There was no freedom in it and she was prepared to give that up, should she be able to protect the people of her kingdom in doing so.

            Upon her head rested a crown with five gemstones imbedded within its gold; a diamond, an amethyst, a ruby, an emerald and a sapphire. Her blue eyes sparkled like the summer sky, lit by the brightest sun to ever burn within the universe. Gleam like the sunbeams her hair did. Her skin was light yet fair. But none of such fairness was to be found upon her face. She displayed not a form of it. Her eyes contained anger and hate towards the person before her. “Scum!” she hissed.

            The man before her laughed coldly at her single word. “I?” he questioned, tapping the flat side of his blade against his shield. “Not I, Queen.” he denied. His laugh echoed once more throughout the dimly lit room. Torches spread their bright beams across the room; painting the floor and walls in gold. Their dance was one unknown to mankind.

            She released a hiss once more while closing her eyes to slits as thin as blades that glared at the man before her. “If one’s body is tainted, one’s heart can still be fair. The truth within the heart matters.” she answered in a bitter tone. “Lord Metrias, I had thought of you as a loyal knight of the Five Gems. What sort of man betrays his country in such a way? Have you no pride?” The words rang from wall to wall and held immense power. As she spoke her final questions, she slightly raised the slim blade she held.

            “Pride? Why must one have pride if one knows better of rule than those in order?” he replied in a seemingly fascinated way. It was obviously false. In contradiction to her, he lowered his blade several inches. “Your tainted body can create nothing but evil and despair within our kingdom. The king might not know, but he soon will, Queen Ailathí.” He, Lord Metrias, rolled her name upon his tongue with the taste of hate upon his lips.

            “Speak not my name!” Ailathí bellowed. Her voice echoed; followed by the ringing of her heels upon the gleaming floor as she launched herself towards Metrias. The blade she held reflected every torch’s flame as she sped towards her opponent. With seeming ease, she swung her blade forward towards his throat.

            Metrias frowned and lifted his blade to block her movements. His blade was long and slender and within its pommel rested a diamond; the sign of his status as the highest member of the Five Gems; an order of five knights that lived for the protection of the kingdom.

            In an attempt to knock her off her feet, Lord Metrias shoved his shield forward with incredible force towards her shoulder. Yet Ailathí’s speed saved her as she jumped back; moving away only inches from the shield before tilting her wrist and knocking the shield up with the pommel of her sword. It allowed her an opening and she took full use of it. In an attempt to damage his chest, Ailathí delivered several consecutive blows towards his ribs before pouncing back for safety.

            “You might be fast, Queen, but you can not damage me. I earned the Diamond Gem title for a reason.” Metrias answered while grinning widely.

            His attempts to mock her and draw her near were in vain. “Every foe, Lord Metrias, has a weakness.” Ailathí knew while studying his body to detect an opening or weak spot. So far, the only advantages she identified would be her speed and stealth. Yet if he was able to catch her, his strength would easily crush her. He was skilled in the art of swordplay, for he had fought in many wars of the kingdom at the south border during battles against their foreign enemies.

            “All but the strongest of the kingdom, Queen Ailathí.” Lord Metrias answered, while lifting his blade to challenge her into combat. “And soon, this kingdom will be mine. King Lial will vanish from the throne and you with him, Queen. Unless you decide to serve at my side, that is.” he spoke.

            “I’d never. I’m loyal to only my king and beloved husband Lial. None but him can desire command of me and achieve it.” Ailathí answered in a dimmed and slowed tone. Though the words were hoarsely spoken, they contained nothing but truth. She gripped the handle of her blade tighter while she raised it up slowly before her body. Her gaze lay upon Metrias and the cross guard of her blade. “I would rather die.” she concluded, before pushing her body forward with a mighty leap and lunging towards her opponent’s heart with her blade.

            Aware that she was tempting him to knock her sword up with his blade so she was able to cut his throat in the process, Metrias answered her blow by blocking with his shield and slicing his sword in a downward direction to attempt to cut the woman before him.

            After letting herself fall to the ground, Ailathí made herself roll to the side while sending her blade upwards in a flowing motion. Her slim, razor-sharp blade cut through his sleeves and cut a portion of his skin; drawing blood. Though Ailathí had hoped to cut his muscles so he had difficulty lifting his shield against her, she was satisfied with the result nevertheless. The moment that her blade passed through his defense caught Metrias off guard so Ailathí was able to move back to a safe distance.

            Lord Metrias gritted his teeth angrily while glaring at her. “The rumors are true then, Queen Ailathí. You are more a warrior than a girl.” he growled to her. “They say you are skilled with a blade and I see it. Well then, I must not go easy on you, I see.” he decided.

            Ailathí growled and rolled her eyes slowly. “Rumors are called so for a reason.” she answered. “My name is only a word and power only a tool and a sword is a way.” she determined.

            Yet in answer to this, Lord Metrias let out an echoing laugh that bounced off of every wall within the large hall they occupied. “Power, a tool? A sword, only a way? You have it the other way around, Queen. I had thought better of a wise, old woman such as yourself; considering what you are.” he answered then. “No, the sword is the tool that achieves the way of power. And power is what I desire. Power over this kingdom and possibly over the eternal witch. Does that not sound appealing, Ailathí?” A grin possessed his face as he mocked her.

            His words struck a sensitive spot and Ailathí was caught in anger for a moment. Yet she quickly managed to clear her mind. “It does not; one bit. You would not use your power the correct way. You’d only desire wealth, immortality and fame. Yet it would all be false; deceit. Nothing you receive is permanent. We all lose it once we die.” she claimed in a light tone.

            “Not everyone does.” Lord Metrias answered. “Witches do not die, correct? They can be beheaded, have their heart pierced or hold an arrow through their skulls. Yet they can heal; from anything. Nothing can kill them. Does that make every materialistic thing permanent? Eternity is what I desire.” he bellowed.

            While she swung her sword through the air in a display of her disgust towards his words, Ailathí yelled, “Eternity is wrong! Living forever is a nightmare. Healing from everything can let one die and then live again; repeatedly. It is horrifying!”

            “I doubt it.” Lord Metrias grinned. He too swung his sword to challenge her. “Why do you not prove it to me then?” he questioned. Before he received an answer, he jumped towards her and let his sword move down; slicing through the air effortlessly.

            Ailathí ducked under his blade and stabbed at his gut with the tip of her weapon. She struck him, but soon found the side of his shield knocking her away from him. She found the impact sending her sideways for several yards. As she scrambled back to her feet, she found Metrias rushing after her in an attempt to take advantage of the moment. Yet as he neared her, Ailathí swung her sword upwards and sliced through the mail of his hauberk and into his gut and cutting towards the edge of his ribcage. Blood dripped down towards Ailathí while she rolled away and regained her footing.

            Lord Metrias grew more furious with her. For a moment he hid behind his shield to examine the wounds she had inflicted. Ailathí moved around him like a wolf; ready to pounce should she find it convenient. Yet he left no opening for her and thus she remained defensive till he would lower his shield. Every muscle within her tensed and all her senses were on alert.

            “No lady would desire to be so deadly.” Lord Metrias claimed while he lowered his shield to glare at her.

            “I am no lady.” Ailathí simply answered; predicting his next words to be directed at her powers. These were the powers that no one ever wished for. Never had she asked for them, yet she had received them. It was life’s cruel way of toying with the living. It laughed as some of them unwillingly had to commit to what life gave them. The one thing she wanted was out of reach due to these powers.

            Slightly she shook her head to rid of the painful feelings that she had harbored for many years. Instead she found Metrias approaching her; coming dangerously close. Thus she jumped back swiftly.

            “That I know, Queen, that I know. You are female but no lady. You are a queen but not a mistress of the humans. You never could be. Fate dislikes whom you are, obviously. It is such a shame.” Lord Metrias answered slowly while he watched her jump back from his looming form; exactly as he planned.

            Ailathí raised her free hand to tap the crown that rested upon her head. “I wear this for that reason though.” she objected; unwilling to let him judge her so darkly.

            Lord Metrias heaved his blade slightly; allowing an opening. “Yet…” he wished to proceed, but Ailathí launched towards him and rammed the flat side of her blade against his side; breaking one of his ribs through the impact of her sword upon his mail. It was more than he had anticipated, and so he let his blade rush down. Ailathí dashed sideways and so the sword only cut a portion of her light blonde hair.

            Following this attack, Ailathí danced forward for a moment while slashing at the wrist of his sword hand before retreating again. It had become a game for her. He was willing to allow openings for her because he underestimated her. The strength within his muscles was impeccable due to many years of experience.

            Because her blow had slightly altered the course of his blade, Lord Metrias was unable to answer her attack. So he decided to study her for several moments. He knew she was light and could easily be knocked over. Yet she was quick; too quick for him to equal. Thus he decided to use another technique to achieve victory. As he decided upon his plan of action, he glared at her. “The king will discover, Queen, what you truly are. And that is not a queen of humans. The king will know and he will laugh because of it.”

            Ailathí grunted; unable to believe him. “Lial will never laugh at such despair.” she denied.

            “Not Lial, Queen.” Lord Metrias replied while slowly shaking his head. “His crown and throne alike will be mine when the kingdom comes to believe that the two of you are dead. I will give them proof of it.” he promised with a slight nod.

            His confidence scared Ailathí and she began to fear for Lial’s life. She wondered if Metrias had already been able to conquer her husband and was now planning to do the same to her. This moment of doubt changed the tide of the battle. Lord Metrias lunged forward and carried his blade to her throat. He cut through her flesh; letting blood spill out.

            The agonizing pain of nearly losing her head rushed through Ailathí’s body and made her collapse to the floor. Blood spilled from her throat to the floor; painting it in crimson. It flowed down to her clothes and stained them in an equal color. A pool of blood collected around her on the floor while she sat on her knees; coughing heavily. Her crown had fallen and now lay before her; unattended to. Everything within Ailathí was hurting. Every nerve tingled with horrifying sensations. Her vision was a blur of what was near her. Her head spun of dizziness. Then she felt rough hands upon her shoulders and a knee beneath her chin. Both the hands upon her shoulders and the knee beneath her head, pushed her back; making her collapse onto her back.

            Then she gazed into his eyes; Lord Metrias’ furious, angry stare. It caused her whole body to revolt against her mind and her free will aimed to remain. She wished to scream, but no sound came due to her severed vocal cords. Her body combined the physical pain and the pain of his stare plummeting into hers. Then his words came; the words she had feared he knew. Those words left not a single chance for her. They echoed in her mind as he spoke; before she fainted due to exhaustion and the loss of blood. His words kept ringing for several seconds more before she fully lost connection to the various locations within her mind.

 

First Look

In this blog from a person I consider a fellow writer, she asked our feedback on whether we’d keep reading after the first page. I liked that idea. It is important to know that the first part of a story pulls the attention of potential readers. For that reason, I present to you the prologue to my story titled Nivitera’s Promise. Opinions and feedback is much appreciated. Enjoy!

Note: I do not guarantee this will be the actual, final draft of the prologue but it is this so far.

Prologue

            Darkness lay draped across the landscape. A lonesome, blue moon hung in the sky; unaccompanied by its yellow counterpart. The moon was full; casting a bright blue glow across the landscape and painting the world in a sense of winter wonder. Snow glittered like diamonds as the moonlight caressed it. The silence of the night was deafening. Treetops of tall pines swayed about from the winter wind, yet made no sound for they held no leaves. No birds dared sit within the bare trees. The winter cold formed too great a hazard for any living thing.

            However one mortal soul dared to venture. Through the snow treaded a lone wolf. His coat resembled the midnight sky; a near black with a hint of deep blue intertwined into his fur. Yet this was not the only shade of blue within the creature’s pelt. Ripples of icy blue engulfed his being; moving like waves across his body and wrapping him in an aura of pale hues. Equal in color was the wolf’s left eye. The identity of the right eye was unknown for it remained vastly closed for reasons still unknown.

            As the creature strolled through the snow, the cold air rushed by his body. His fur lay flat and his ears lay back. His head remained low as he moved through the frozen crystals upon the earth. His paw prints trailed behind him as he moved onwards; his vast dedication pushing him to the very limits of his capabilities.

            The wolf moved in a straight line; heading for what loomed above the horizon far ahead of him. Dark towers reached into the sky; attempting to brush against the distant suns that twinkled in the night sky; a blanket of deep blue.

            The towers that the wolf’s eye beheld were those of the Cavantian palace where the ruler of the kingdom sat on her throne undisturbed. Yet he had vowed that this fake royal blood would spill greatly, even if it would cost him his own life.

            As he moved through the glistening snow, his paws moved at an even trot while his tail swayed behind him from side to side. As he moved, one small object upon his right paw danced in unison with his body. Here he carried a ring of gold that laid wrapped around his toe. Upon this ring laid the symbol of a white star. The color of the star was equally pale as the snow but seemed blue due to the moonlight.

            Yet to the magnificently breathtaking object, the wolf did not tend. He remained vast in achieving his goal. Bare trees moved on by as the wolf followed the trail he had dedicated himself to. As he ever so steadily approached his goal, he found the looming towers of the palace more intimidating. The very tips reached high enough to vanish and blend into the darkness above. Thus the true size of the colossal building could not be comprehended.

            At one point the wolf halted. He found himself at the foot of a steep hill atop which sat the enormous stone palace. The wolf observed the building with his left eye; scanning the structure closely. When he was content, he bounded onwards. He sped silently and made his way up the hill with surprising ease. Upon arriving at the palace entrance, he found the door shut, as he had observed from the distance. So he dashed onwards, heading left towards a large window.

            One would not think to attempt entering through this window for it lay up high. But the wolf held no hesitation. As he prepared himself to leap towards the window, the waves of blue upon his pelt increased in frequency; running ever faster across his body. Gusts of wind began to fling themselves around his body. Then the wolf ran and pushed himself into the air with his powerful legs. The strength of his own body and the wind that enveloped his entirety brought him high into the air and sent him straight towards the open window. The air whistled by his flat ears as he soared. Like a well-aimed arrow, he flew through the window. His paws extended forwards and he caught himself on all fours. He made several steps forward due to the impact of his extended leap. While he did so, the violent airflow around him subsided to their usual calm routine.

            Then the wolf oriented himself. He glanced from side to side. His eye rolled about slowly to examine his surroundings while his nose sought for his goal. He found himself surrounded by grey walls; distorted only by the flicker of flames within wall-mounted torches. He judged the interior to be quite boring and senseless.

            After he had redirected his attention to his goal, he dashed to his right to follow the scent that he had been following for the longest time now. Among the smell he followed, he also sensed several other scents. He identified them to be those of other humanoids that inhabited the building. Soldiers or guards he considered unlikely. The unjust ruler had no need for an army of flesh and blood. This was quite a challenge in many instances, however now the situation was deemed positive for the wolf.

            Without tending to the nature of his surroundings, the wolf dashed through the castle; following but one trail. Doors that blocked his way he had no tolerance for. He brought them down with a leap that became enhanced by the winds surrounding his body. The force the air created made the wolf many times stronger than anyone would judge from his form. Though he looked powerful, his true power lay in finding allegiance with the wind.

            As his paws swiftly carried him, the scent in the air became stronger. It burned within his nostrils and though the memories that accompanied this smell disgusted him, he dared not stop. Bloodshed he desired.

            The hinges of the door clattered as the large wooden door cracked into pieces and swung inwards due to the force of the wolf’s leap towards it. Splinters and stray wood scattered about; covering the floor before the wolf in sharp edges. Several nails rolled about. Yet the wolf himself did not move. Only his eye rolled from side to side till he spotted his target.

            At the far end of the room sat a lady upon a large chair. The fabric of the chair was elegantly decorated with elaborate patterns. The color of the throne outdid the attire of the woman who sat upon it. Her hair was a deep shade; black one would guess. Strands of violet randomly appeared within her hair; their intervals unidentified. Her large, grey eyes stared. The many shades within her irises blended about to create a stormy cloud within her very eyes. Her face was pale, however its hue was no match for the pale snow that lay beyond the walls of the palace. The woman’s lips were thin. Her mouth and entire face displayed an expression of seriousness. Her neck was wrapped with a choker with an imbedded jewel at the front. The woman’s bare shoulders were covered with several strands of her hair. They curled about at the tips and created a nearly playful look. Sleeves started at her upper arms and ran all the way down to her wrists. The fabric lay tightly around her body; fully displaying the shape of her limbs. The sleeves were a dark grey. Some might consider the color black. A sweetheart neckline introduced the tunic that the woman wore. This particular fabric reached to her hips where it lay against her body undisturbed. The piece was grey; a lighter shade than her sleeves yet still dark enough to be considered a sinister color. Beneath this, the woman wore a tight black legging that once more exposed the nature of her limbs. Her long legs reached down into boots that started at her ankle. The shoes held a heel and the toes were pointed and sharp.

            Yet all these features were hardly worth noting. What one would most likely observe about this woman would be the metal chain around her waist that lay rested upon her wide hips. Connected to this belt were many small knives. Some held the purpose of being thrown while others could be held to be used in combat. Besides these weapons, the woman carried two blades upon her back.

            Though her blades were sharp, the eyes of this woman were likewise piercing. She gazed upon the being that had so rudely introduced himself into her presence. The two exchanged looks for a second before one of them dared to move.

            It was the wolf who then adjusted his limbs and paced inwards. He stepped beyond the wood and the nails and moved forwards towards the woman. His eye was unblinking and he kept it upon the woman before him. This was the one who had left the scent. This was the target he had longed to behold. This body was one he wished to see bleed and suffer.

            Several meters from her, he halted and then blinked once. Steadily he curled up his lips and exposed his jaws. The whiteness of his fangs glittered within the dark of his pelt. Then he moved them and he spoke. His voice was deep. The sound produced resembled that of one whom had experienced much and had endured these experiences due to a deep hatred he felt. This was true. In his heart, the wolf despised this woman. The feelings he knew so well now flowed into his words as he slowly spoke the woman’s name, “Licia.” The word was but a murmur but it rang clear within his ears and hers alike.

            The woman raised but an eyebrow. She uncrossed the legs she had held crossed earlier. The left had lain across the right yet now they stood side by side. Her heel had made a soft clicking noise as it had made contact with the flooring. “And whom might you be?” she addressed the wolf. Licia’s voice was sweet and soft. One could declare her innocent due to such a soft sound.

            The wolf blinked once more. Then he asked her, “You ask the name of your murderer?”

            Then Licia tilted her head and a small smile pulled at the corners of her lips. “There is that chance.” she simply answered. Then she released a laugh; a gentle but cold giggle that rang throughout the chamber. Yet the sound ended abruptly as her eyes rolled about and detected an object she hadn’t expected to see.

            She waved her hand in a circle. “My, my.” she hummed then. “I did not think to find an audience with such a figure such as yourself.” she pronounced.

            The wolf growled, “My status has little to do with my goal. I may be the king of the Wind Warriors; a son of wind controlling wolves, yet you may still die to my claws.”

            For a moment Licia smiled before she rose from where she had sat. “You amuse me.” she simply stated. “As do many of your brethren. I have known one. He was a friend many ages ago. A kind soul…” she explained.

            Still the wolf growled. He replied to her, “How a wretched being such as you made a friend is a mysterious happening; likewise is the occurrence that you obtained Vi’s favor.”

            “Mhm.” hummed Licia. “You object?” she asked then.

            The wolf did not answer her. He simply gazed at her and began to pace closer to her. His head he lowered and his ears he pushed back.

            Licia understood his gestures. “Hmpf.” she sniffed before swiftly moving her left hand to reach to the two swords upon her back and holding both in but one hand. “You challenge destiny, I see. We shall indulge then.” she proclaimed.

            The winds about the wolf’s body erupted then as he prepared to engage in battle with her. A whistling sound appeared within his ears as the winds lashed and whipped about. The growl in his throat kept rolling. Yet they seemed to freeze then as he closed his left eye and focused for a single moment. Then as he prepared to reopen it, the right eyelid joined. Behind the lid lay an icy blue entity that was without a pupil. It seemed to stare into nothingness. Yet upon the eye opening, the winds about the wolf’s body became larger and stronger. “Well then.” he simply stated. Then the two engaged in battle. That night indeed blood was shed. But the crimson pool that spilled belonged to one and one alone.