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The Twilight Sentinels: ALL THE ROUGH DRAFTS~

 
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Abaila



Joined: 16 Aug 2010
Posts: 2761
Location: It's yours my friend, as long as you have rupees.

PostPosted: Tue Aug 17, 2010 4:30 am    Post subject: The Twilight Sentinels: ALL THE ROUGH DRAFTS~ Reply with quote

NOTES:
-The Twilight Sentinels: Song of Red Fire is a book I attempted to write in middleschool between the years 2009 and 2011. I lost interest in 2012. This thread contains all the stuff I wrote for my little (well, not-so-little) book. I just decided to dump it all here since I never finished it, LOL! Razz
-I might come back and do a rewrite of the entire thing since I have such an attachment to these old characters. No promises though.
-I'll be posting two versions of it: I will merge everything I posted here into one big post and then separate the second rough draft by chapter because it's the one that I went along with and actually finished. Actually, I'm not entirely sure which came first, because I rewrote this story a lot!
-This story can get pretty bloody. Nothing inappropriate, though. Smile
-Post all your comments here please: http://www.owlpages.info/fantasy/viewtopic.php?p=118309#118309


Last edited by Abaila on Sun Sep 17, 2017 10:29 am; edited 9 times in total
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Abaila



Joined: 16 Aug 2010
Posts: 2761
Location: It's yours my friend, as long as you have rupees.

PostPosted: Wed Aug 18, 2010 7:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ROUGH VERSION #1


Prologue
Where there are good omens, there are bad ones. When there is evil, there is good. And there is a place where legends are truth...
...That place is Dras'smyre...

~*~

A pure white wolf howled at an eclipse, her white fur shining like silver. A green comet bled across the sky, showering Lyrarmid with eerie green light.

As eerily silent as it was, however, all was not well. Yra, the white wolf, smelt the egg of a Greater Sooty Owl. And it was... alone. Yet no one seemed to notice. Snow Leopards slept on the driest rock they could find, Owls were out hunting, snakes were hiding and asleep for the winter. And yet... This egg was abandoned. The egg of an owl. And it was cold. There was no way that its parents were out hunting, and Yra thought they would be wise enough to stay away from a tavern-tree while raising children. But maybe not. Although it was the nature of owls to be rebelient, this was just foolish.

"Katatsu in Darkbaen help me!," swore Yra. Darkbaen was Hell, and Katatsu was god of fire. It made sense, but was still a swear. And a bloody common one, at that. Wait... I know one who will take care of the owlet..., Yra thought.

"ITA!," called Yra. A stubby Short Eared Owl fluttered down from the top of a fir tree. "There is an owl's egg up there. Take care of it," Yra said softly. Ita looked puzzled. "It is in the hollow of the great pine," said Yra. Ita flew off to the great pine that Yra had pointed to with her muzzle.

Rising gently upon a thermal, Ita flew towards the great pine, her strawbery feathers rustling gently through the cold winds that flew through the rare thermals, so cold that Ita's hollow bones were panged with effort to stay on track to the great pine, and not let the wind turn her back to her former hollow. And finally, Ita reached the great pine, and was amazed to see that moss grew in long, dark strands of green, unharmed by the cold winds and snow. But she was even more amazed to see the egg cracking. Just as the moon came back from its time as a shadow, the owl was completely out. And Ita named her.

"I shall name you Twil'lya. Twi'lya for the moon..."



Chapter One: Burning
Months had passed, Twil'lya had fledged. And the danger had grown as time passed. The moon was full, shining brilliantly over the rocky land of Lyrarmid, orange as firelings, little lizards who were related to dragons, and unlike wyverns, they had no wings and could breath fire even better than dragons, for they needed the defense. In the peaceful dark sky, silver stars shone brightly. And although the summer night was peaceful and quaint, all was going to burn like the fires in Darkbaen.

Twil'lya perched on a branch outside her new hollow, next to her caretaker's. Although it was smaller, it was just as cozy, if not more.

Twil'lya was an odd Greater Sooty Owl. Her face was pure white, although it had been thought of as impossable to find a Greater Sooty with a pure white face. She was also a shy one, rather timid, and unlike alot of owls, she was not very rebeliant.

Twil'lya began to smell an odd stench. This is not good, Twil'lya thought. Most owls had little sense of smell, some even had none at all. So rarely would any owl smell something, no matter how much one had been around smoke, they probably would not have recognised this stench.

Yra ran out of seemingly nowhere, through the thick grove of trees near Twil'ya's hollow. Surprising Twil'ya, she jumped high, trying to hang onto a branch that snapped out of her paws. "Twil'lya! Get out of here! There's a fire!," she barked from the mossy ground covered in firelings.

Twil'lya tryed to take off as fast as she could without making a racket while bursting out of the needles. But she couln't take off! Something held her in place. Twil'lya looked around frantically, but all she could see... was smoke. Dread filled Twil'ya's heart and gizzard as she saw a red-orange aura take on the tree she stood on. At least she thought it was an aura. But it wasn't. It was fire, something Twil'lya hadn't seen in her entire life.

Twil'lya felt a pain come through her hollow bones. Fire burned on the river. On water, which Twil'lya had heard would take out fires. But as soon as Twil'lya began struggling to exscape again, something knocked into the back of her head. As Twil'lya became unconcious, she fell of her perch, falling to her doom. But she didn't die. All the fire had gone out the moment she had passed out.

~*~

Demons of smoke swarmed through the sky, turning it pure black laced with streaks of violet, covering it with clouds.

Another Greater Sooty Owl stood on the top of a rock. He wanted to help the young girl that had fallen from the branch. But he musn't. He had to catch a demon while he could, or his master would be angry...


Demons swarmed around the young Greater Sooty. They formed a cluster around him, trapping him. And one possesed him.

A scream tore through the forest like an arrow, waking Twil'lya up. Her head felt numb, but otherwise, Twil'lya felt fine. Until she stood up. That was when the pain began to prickle through out Twil'lya's leg. Another scream came, forced. Loud. And painful. Then loud panting, low and scary, and when Twil'lya flew over, her leg nearly freezing her movements, red steam rose from the ashes surrounding what she thought to be an owl of the genus Tytonidae. She was correct, but she doubted herself greatly, not knowing what this thing was. How could a tyto make such a deep noise? Many of them could only make shrill, high noises ranging from a hiss to an unearthly scream, but how could one make such a thrumming, painful sound?

"Get-away-before- I'LL KILL YOU!!!," a terrifying voice hissed loudly and deeply. Whatever is controlling him could cause a GLANKING EARTHQUAKE, and on top of that, it would kill me, Twil'lya thought. Glank was a rather vulgar way of saying "stupid", but Twil'lya didn't care, and often wondered why certain words were considered vulgar.

A soft, wet sound rose from the place where the owl stood, which Twil'lya now recognised as a Greater Sooty Owl, making her wince. If you could imagine a grotesque sound, multiply it by three, and see your reaction. That is how most owls and any creature who can hear much better than you would feel.

Twil'lya looked to where she had heard the sounds. She looked away as quickly as she could, and tryed to take off, her leg hurting even more. But something in her gizzard, something heavier than iron, kept her there. What she had seen was a vole, alive, its intestines torn out, while the owl tickled it with a feather plucked from the left side of it's body. Twil'lya looked up, but the horror increased even more when she saw that half of the owl's face had been torn off, and the eye shone violet with fear, while it cried tears of thick, bright red blood, which meant that he was poisened by something.

Twil'lya shivered as a cold tingling went up her spine. "A-are you...p-possesed?," wimpered Twil'lya. "Y-Nooooo I am not. Do not be a fooool," growled the beast, who seemed to swell and darken, while his greasy, glossy feathers suddenly grew raggy, long, and beautiful. Midna almost expected his neck to become longer, and to grow horns, then his eyes would glow red, but the only thing that changed were his feathers and size. He almost resembled a gar'ra, which is a demon that looks like a cross in between a magpie, owl, and Horned Snake. "Ay'ya," swore Twil'lya under the little breath that she had. "Now run befoooore I torture yuoooo, too," hissed the demon in a voice that would give anyone nightmares till the day they died. He is possesed, I do not care what he says, Twil'lya thought. She flew away, her wings feeling stiffer than a book.

Later, the next night, Twil'lya woke up, feeling stiff. She stood up to see if she really had broken her leg, and this had all happened, as she slept in the most stable hollow she could find, away from the raccoons, away from any other predators. Twil'lya felt a major pain as she tested her legs, so large, that it came up to her head and made her dizzy. "So it did happen...," she whispered softly. "The owl was possesed... Why did I let this happen... Why didn't I kill him while his soul could still be freed...," Twil'lya asked herself. She flew out of the leafless tree that had been charred on the outside. An eerie feeling arose as Twil'lya landed by the dirty river. All that was left of the beautiful Nile river was gone. It used to reach high up in the rocky, v-shaped valley, and it used to be dark blue and clear enough to see a reflection, but now it was but a tiny, brown, muddy stream. All the firelings were gone, where, nobody could know, as they were native to coniferous forests, and this burn seemed to reach across the whole forest of Lyrarmid. Thick pads of clover, and rocks covered in bushy, green, curly moss were now just crispy, brown pads of toasted plants. Twil'lya looked up, and saw how much water the river had lost. Secret passages long hidden by the water were now just hollows of rock, exposed to the world. These had been for the army of Lyrarmid, which was gravely needed, though they had long ago disappeared. Someday they would come back, when the ignorant king realizes the damage he let come upon this forest, Twil'lya thought. The sky was gray and foggy, a sign of the rain, what the forest needed. But it was polluted by ash, and it would take more than a moon for the forest to become green again, and for the king to realize the pain inflicted upon the forest. It would take as much as 16 moons at minimum, a full year. And that was only as much time as needed for the trees to begin sprouting up again.

Twil'lya sighed, the wind ruffling her feathers and musty brown weeds on the rocky hill. It's the only water here, I might as well, Twilya thought, dipping her beak into the muddy stream. She then took off, only now realizing that it was daytime. Oh well, I'll just have to befriend the ravens and crows I come across, she thought. Ravens, crows, and owls didn't usually get along. Ravens and crows would call flocks, while owls would have to fly for their lives. Otherwise, the owls would be scarred or mortally wounded. At night, however, owls could kill the crows, but not the ravens, who were much larger than most owls. But Twil'lya didn't care. Owls caused the problems, anyway, being too rebeliant to just give the crows or ravens their prey.

So Twil'lya took off, gliding up out of the ancient canyon formed by what used to be the river in the valley. She looked down, tears dripping from her wet facial disk. So this is what has become of my home, she thought angrily. A white owl glided quickly through the soft tempests that laced through the thermals that were cooling from the water filled clouds. She seemed panicked, so Twil'lya flew as quickly as she could to the owl. The white owl dove at Twil'lya, mistaking her for a gar'ra from the back. "HAAAI!," she screamed in a low thrum, diving towards Twil'lya like a hawk instead of an owl. She scraped Twil'lya's back, cutting deep, but not deep enough to scar her. Twil'lya looked back at the huge owl. Her front feathers were seemingly dipped in a shallow pool of ink, and black curves marked her wings. Twil'lya puffed out her feathers, and took the pose of an angry owl. She was defenseless now, all she could do was use her naturally sharp talons, but this owl bore battle talons, ancient but sharp and deadly. Twil'lya swatted the great white owl across her face and shouted "Who are you!?" The white owl pinned her down like a mouse and said,"My name is Exondus of the forest of Bluebell. Yours?" "Twil'lya of the forest of Lyrarmid. This burnt forest that was once my home." Exondus got off Twil'lya, leaving small scrapes through the feathers on Twil'lya's breast. "Where are you headed to? I was told to guard this area. But I admit that I despise my master, and would do anything to get away from her. If I simply disobey her, she'll take out her wip and smack me across the eyes. But if you're going somewhere, she'll allow me to escort you along the way, and I'll be able to exscape, since she doesn't do well to keep track of these things." "I'm going to Dras'smyre," Twil'lya said suddenly, surprising herself. "Then I'll go with you! It is a long and grueling journey, anyway, but I have a friend who can help and lives in the Dry Bay of Morak." "Morak?," Twil'lya asked. "A high dessert close enough to the sea to have a bay. Once we get there, we'll go to a tavern-tree and look at a map to find Dras'smyre. The map-writers there are the best in the world, although their maps are expensive, and I suggest we buy one. But we need not worry, I've got plenty of seeds in my pouch," said Exondus, holding up a vole-skin pouch filled to the brim with the painted seeds that birds used as money. Their colors indicated how much each were worth, as the seeders painted them. Orange was worth one seed, green was ten, blue was fifty, and red was a hundred, which was alot of seeds.

So the two owls took off, flying towards Morak. It would be precisely two weeks, four days, six hours, fourty-six minutes, and ten seconds before they reached their destination.


Chapter Two: Through Nikala Forest
Exondus and Twil'lya lighted down when the sun rose again to rest. They had just reached the outskirts of Lyrarmid, but Twil'lya had one more thing to do before she would leave. When the night came, she would have to leave a mark that she had been there, so that she would be remembered if she never came back. Although Twil'lya didn't quite care, she still wanted to be remembered by Ita. So the next night, she flew to the closest, least burnt area she could find. And she dropped one of her primaries on the ground. The birds that had flight could tell who's feathers were who's, so this was the usual gift they left. A tear dropped down Twil'lya's face, remembering a friend who had been killed by a racoon. His family had left a feather here, but it had become burnt by the fire. The cruel fire that had changed Twil'lya's life...

Twil'lya flew back, trying to stop her tears. "I'm ready," she said in a soft tone. "Then let's go before my master finds us," Exondus whispered. Twil'lya did not feel like talking; this was a moment in life where there were no words. So Exondus and Twil'lya flew off, away from the scorched bruise of a forest that Lyrarmid was now.

Nikala was much different than the forests that Twil'lya had seen. She'd only seen pines and yews, nothing else. But this was a forest where apple trees blossomed, and oak trees stood tall. It was nothing like any forest Twil'lya had ever seen. She drew her wings up to come into a glide. "We have a long way to go...," Exondus sighed. The night would soon end, and the two owls lighted down to an old, wise oak.

Twil'lya sighed and walked onto the branch of the tall oak. She felt the thermals and eddies weave themselves through the night. She felt terrible. Terrible for leaving all of those who loved her. Not that there were many... And terrible for letting the demon posses the owl. But she must not worry. She must leave the past... but she couldn't. The memories stuck in her head, like the binding of a book. Twil'lya looked up at the sky. She gazed at a constellation of two owls killing each other. Then she looked at one where an owl and a crow hugged. The sight warmed her. Too bad life's more complicated than that..., Twil'lya thought. The morning twilight felt peaceful and cold, though it was Gria, or Summer. Twil'lya flew down to a pond nearby. She flew back to the branch and looked up again. The stars began to fade, a sign that the sun was going to rise soon. Twil'lya turned around. She walked into the hollow and fell asleep on the pads of stringy, thin moss. Her dream was wonderful, a place where there was no evil. Twil'lya finally felt... happy...

~*~

Suddenly, Twil'lya woke up, oddly well rested. She turned away from the wall she faced. An odd owl stood, tall and eerie, in front of her. "Greetings foolish little girl," he whispered. The warm, dry hollow suddenly felt like a dungeon, damp, moldy, and bloodstained...

"Who are you?," Twil'lya hissed, backing against the wall of the hollow. The strange owl didn't speak. Then Twil'lya noticed the white owl had strange blue eyes. What is he?, Twil'lya thought as a shiver went down her spine. The owl looked down, and Twi'lya jumped when she saw that his eyes moved. "I once had a name, but now I do not. Call me Hen Owl if you must give me a name." Twil'lya narrowed her eyes. She held back her anger so much that her feathers were pressed hard against her body. She straitened up to her impressive full height. "And why are you here?," she growled. "My master sent me to kill you," Hen Owl said in a surprisingly emotionless and calm voice.

Suddenly, Exondus awoke and ruffled her feathers angrily. "Don't you dare lay a talon on that owl," she thrummed. "Exondus, no. He wants to fight? Then let us fight."

Twil'lya took a rough old branch off the ground in her talons. Though it made her bleed a little, that only satisfied her, for that meant this branch was the best weapon she could find. Exondus, however, had her sharp, heavy SLT battle talons. SLT stood for 'Sharp Large Talons', and the reason they were labeled were so that one could tell the size.

Hen Owl slid eerily over to the opening of the hollow. "I'm killing you here," he hissed terribly. Twil'lya stabbed at his stomach. Hen Owl dodged silently, not a single sound coming from his talons. Twil'lya stabbed again and again until she was in front of the opening. She bursted out of the hollow and rose to the sun in the rosy morning sky. Hen Owl sped faster than a falcon to meet Twil'lya, a strange white aura chasing him. Exondus came last, readying her heavy SLT's, ready for a kill. She was trained, and Twil'lya was not, so Hen Owl stabbed at Twil'lya first, scraping her back and trying to get at the spot where her gizzard was.

Twil'lya hissed and stabbed at Hen Owl's head. It hit and left a scratch, but Twil'lya was horrified to see that no blood came, and the flesh materialized back onto the owl's head.

Exondus flew straight at Hen Owl and shoved her way forth, raising her talons. Exondus was flying upside down by the timeshe reached Hen Owl. She scraped his stomach and left deep marks, but again, just like his head, the flesh rematerialized. Twil'lya dove at his back and shoved her branch through it. But again, the flesh rematerialized. Hen Owl did not even gasp, he instead started jabbing at Twil'lya and Exondus angrily. "GO!," Exondus shouted. The two owls lowered themselves to the point where they had to dodge the trees. Soon Twil'lya's talons skimmed a lake they had just reached. Exondus looked above and tried to keep watch from below the tree on a small pile of land. Once she thought the sky was clear, she joined Twil'lya, chasing her from afar with excellent vision. They had never flown so hard in their lives.

Finally, sometime in the afternoon, they found a nest they could rest in, a pile of stringy, bright green moss in the treetop of an apple tree. Even though it didn't feel secure, the two stayed. They didn't care that it shook with the few thermals that blew through the day, which felt like a dessert in the heat. Alas, it was not, and if it wasn't, then Twil'lya could only imagine the heat that Morak would bear.

The two rested as much as they could, and overslept till about midnight. They woke slowly, not wanting to get up, for the muscles in their wings were sore. Yet, they did, for they must get to Morak as fast as they could.

The pain slowed down their journey, but soon enough they reached a small pond. The two were hungry and stiff, and neither felt like doing it, but the two tried to hunt. When Twil'lya heard no nearby prey besides fish, Exondus groaned and dove down into the small pond, coming out with a trout. "Yes, we were too tired to actually go hunting, so you nagged me to catch a fish," Exondus teased Twil'lya.

The fish was hard to swallow, because of the scales, but the meat tasted fairly good, though it felt too soft for Twil'lya.

The owls continued flying until they reached the scraggly, thinly-mossed border between Nikala and Morak. They had finally reached the land of the map-writers.


Exondus and Twil'lya had finally reached Morak. They glided on the thermals to a huge cactus standing alone, by itself on a rock protruding from Dry Bay. That was where the famous map-writers of Morak lived, a huge cactus filled with elaborate, twisting halls and covered in silohotsus, rooms woven from reeds that hung from the branches of a tavern-tree, or in this case, a tavern-cactus. There were also bridges that went from silohotsu to silohotsu, there for injured owls who couldn't fly. "Don't act afraid," Exondus told Twil'lya. "Drunken Great Grays can get terribly crazy. Once, one threw a cup of iketa at my head when I was nervous, and my feathers were stained red for weeks," Exondus said. Twil'lya tried not to act afraid, but the howls of laughter coming from huge Blakiston Fish Owls was enough to give Twil'lya a burning in her gizzard that warned of a scream waiting to be called. Twil'lya followed Exondus to the counter woven of reads. "Tea, please.," she said, then asked Twil'lya if she wanted anything. Twil'lya shook her head, but Exondus insisted that she have a small cup of ikata, a type of wine made from the fruit of cacti. Twil'lya sighed and said yes. Exondus put two green seeds on the counter and waited until the Malaysia Owl returned with two cups in his wings. Twil'lya was almost concerned that he would drop them, and was clueless as to why he couldn't carry the cups in his talons and fly over to put them on the counter for them.

Twil'lya grabbed her cup in her left talon and followed Exondus until they found a silhotsu labeled "Dus'sai" in Dras'smyrian, language of this land. Exondus and Twil'lya landed on the perch outside the silhotsu. They stepped inside, to find a tall, handsome Bay Owl. He drew a map of the Far North, and, noticing Exondus, he said ,"Welcome, Exondus. Who is it you brought with you?" "I'm Twil'lya of the forest of Lyrarmid," Twil'lya introduced herself. "Nice to meet you. I am Dus'sai of Faaro," the Bay Owl introduced himself. "Dus'sai, we need to buy a map. How much for a large, detailed one that includes Dras'smyr?," asked Exondus. "Two hundred and fifty three," Dus'sai said. Exondus pulled out the proper amount of seeds from her pouch. "Here. Also, would you like to come with us to Dra'ssmyr?," Exondus asked, clearly trying to get Dussai to come for his extremely accurate maps. "Thank you. And yes, I'd like to come. I'm bored here, and I feel that my life is being wasted." "Then we're off to Dras'smyr, now! Let us fly before the night is over!," Twil'lya yelled happily.
And so they were off, three of an unlikely parliament.


Chapter Three: Owl Effigies
Twil'lya, Exondus, and Dus'sai grew tired as they flew over the Dras'smyrian Sea. Their wings began to ice over as they reached a rocky outcropping of light purple spires. Finally a place to rest, but where can we land? This island is filled with tall, deathly spires, and there seems to be no hollows..., Twil'lya thought. She spotted a hollow near the base of a spire, and it was also close to the sea. The light purple chipped off near the hollow, and inside was black shale. The purple casing was coral.

Twil'lya dove slowly and carefully to the hollow opening. Exondus and Dussai followed closely. Twil'lya worried that the hollow would be dangerous, however, they landed safely in the hollow. Nothing came forth. But the opening was dank and wet, and it reeked the stench of dried seaweed. So Exondus, Dus'sai, and Twil'lya slowly walked deeper into the cave. Twil'lya swore she saw a small owl burning out of the corner of her eye. But that... was a ghost of a live owl effigy. Not an apparition, as Twil'lya had thought. She hadn't eaten for two days, infact. One could not blame her for thinking that it was an apparition.

Soon, they came across something dreadful and terrifying. Three owls were burning. One was a Greater Sooty Owl with a face painted white, one was a Snowy that looked just like Exondus, and another was a Bay Owl who was almost identical to Dus'sai. All of them had blank stares, terrifying and emotionless.

All all Twil'lya, Exondus, and Dus'sai could do was stand and stare. A dripping noise came from above. The three looked up and saw nothing but blood, falling from the ceiling of the cave. Once it landed, Twil'lya saw it light on fire. Pure red fire that soon took over the cave. "Get out," Dus'sai said calmly, his deep, ruff voice thrumming through the cave. So all three owls took off, ready for any danger. They flew out of the cave as quickly as they could, panicking that they would burn, along with the terrifying, emotionless effigies. As soon as the three burst out of the cave, they took off angrily, spiring towards the top of the spiky outcropping. They had expected danger, but not a rugged Barn Owl zipping towards them, electrified. "GO BEFORE HE GETS YOU TOO!!," the Barn owl screamed. Suddenly, a familiar figure burst out of the dark clouds and grabbed the Barn Owl by one talon, forcing him onto a spire. With a burst of blood, the Barn Owl was forced to be pierced hard through the heart. "A reminder of why nobody resists me," a rough growl came from behind Twil'lya, Exondus, and Dus'sai. Recognizing the voice, Twil'lya turned around sharply, faster than a hunting snake.

Syrus hovered behind them. He now had a beautiful, intricate half-mask covering the right side of his face, where it had been torn...

Twil'lya broke a coral spike off of the rocky outcropping. She turned her head to Exondus and Dus'sai. "Go," she said calmly. As Syrus flew up the spires, Twil'lya followed. Suddenly, the stormcloud above pierced her with cold. She began to tremble- not with cold, but fear- as she and Syrus rose high above the cloud.

"Why are you here?," growled Twil'lya angrily. Syrus kept quiet. "I asked WHY?!," Twil'lya hissed angrily. Syrus again stayed silent. "Are you possesed?," Twil'lya said in a low tone.

"Yes...indeed, he is. I let him say only what he should...," a demonic voice uttered terrifyingly.

"Let go or I kill the boy," Twil'lya said.

"No, Twil'lya... it is not that simple...," Syrus said in a surprisingly light voice. A flash of red blinded Twil'lya. She saw a gash running down Syrus's wing. He no longer flew, but stood. He stood on air, his head hanging. A malicious voice hissed.

"If he dies, you die, too...," it forced its way through Syrus's beak. Twil'lya was speechless. To help the boy, she must kill him. Yet... if she killed him, she would die too... Whether her soul would still exist is the one thing that worried her. And yet... the world depended on her. If she didn't kill Syrus, the demon would make him her puppet. A puppet of meat... The thought made Twil'lya tremble. She stilled her wings and let herself fall until she reached a stone hollow where she saw Dus'sai standing. Then she flapped them once, gliding gently passed Dus'sai and into the hollow. "Tonight we need to fly to Dras'smyr. If we don't, I'll have to do something... dreadful...," she said, feeling ridiculous. And so they slept... But a nightmare came. One... of what would happen if Twil'lya died now...

~*~

A breeze blew through Twi'lya's feathers. She awoke from the ground and opened her eyes. She saw Exondus in a corner, crying, her sobbing hoarse and gruff, as if she's been doing this for hours. "Exondus?" Twil'lya stepped forward towards the owl. "Exondus?," Twil'lya again asked. Exondus abruptly turned her head to Twil'lya and moved her beak as if to say "WHAT?!" But nothing came. Twil'lya looked into her eyes and saw her eyes as empty and black; nothing in the eye-sockets of her skull. Twil'lya gasped, her voice little, though it echoed through the dark realm. Twil'lya turned to what she thought was Dus'sai. All she saw was a huge graceful demon- a gar'ra to be specific. He turned his head to Twil'lya, and she saw deep, mournful eyes. Twil'lya asked him to talk, but all he did was shake his head sorrowfully. Even when he moved his beak as if to make a sound, nothing came. Suddenly, just as Twil'lya turned away to look for others, she heard a painful, sorrowful voice. "Why did you do this to me?," Dus'sai hissed. The voice sent cold pangs through Twil'lya's gizzard, and threatened her to throw a pellet up. She shook with fear as she turned to Yra, who was the worst of them all...

Her face was painful and steely. Yra's eyes were sickeningly sad and shocked. Tears ran down her face and threatened to soak Twil'lya if she didn't move. But once the tears reached her, nothing got wet. Yra was in a terrible shape, her ribs stuck far out, her white fur thin and scraggly, gray skin showing through the thin fur. Yra didn't even seem to notice Twil'lya. Instead, her sides heaved, and she threatened to fall over if any wind came. "Yra?," Twil'lya asked gingerly, silently. Yra didn't answer; instead, a voice seemed to come from the back of her mind. "Why did I let this happen? What will become of this world without the girl... she is the only one who can save us... How beautiful her soul glows among a weary, torn world..." Twil'lya was stuck. Her bones felt too cold to move one bit.

"And they'll all forget you eventually as the world perishes under my reign," a demonic voice growled. Twil'lya felt herself dematerialize, and fell through a hole. She felt like the wind had been knocked straight out of her lungs, and threatened to choke her. She screamed with all her might, and suddenly awoke...


Chapter Four: Yra's Worry
Yra ran through the remains of Lyrarmid. She sniffed the air to find Twil'lya's scent. Yra followed the trail of scent and found her way into Nikala by nightfall. Though the trail was far above her and worn of age, Yra could still smell enough to follow it. She felt a warm breeze ruffle her shedding fur, sending it flying in thin white clumps. Yra felt hunger gnaw at her stomach. She wanted to hunt one of the elk that flee through the forest at her sight, but she couldn't. There were no others, and without at least two others, she couldn't hunt safely. She rubbed her front paws against a matt of old leaves and moss, leaving her scent. The reason she rubbed paws was because wolves have scent glands in between their talons. Now no other animal with acute smell would cross her path. Yra found a bay rabbit and gave chase to the quick, sharp-senced rabbit. His pelt was beautiful; it shown with black highlights. Finally, just as Yra was about to change her mind and catch a neaby possom, she came close enough to do damage. So she struck the rabbit's neck and brought him to her matt of leaves and moss. Soon the rest of her journey was over, too monotonous and boring to write about.

~*~

Yra came to a dead end at Marrak. She was hungry, but her hunger was subdued as she saw a dun rabbit with blue eyes that didn't move, even when her paw landed right in front of him. He sniffed the air, his pink nose twitching, his creamy left ear turning to listen to a sound in its direction. "Who are you and why do you not move?," Yra asked. The rabbit looked up, as if he had just noticed her. "I am here to aware you of your hidden power. You, dear wolf, have the ability to grow wings and fly, for your origins are those of the Guardians of Auralum. I can tell you need to find it, however, for I am aware of how you are worried for your friend," the rabbit said. "How to I grow the wings?," Yra asked. "Find out yourself. If I tell you, your power won't work. And before you leave, my name is Iiorokue," he said. Every last bit was true, except for the telling part. The only reason the rabbit had lied was to motivate the wolf to find her power, for she was too bossy and curious to survive long in the lands of Dras'smyr.

~*~

Yra began to worry herself sick. She felt as if she would never find her flight, as if she would never get to follow Twil'lya and her friends to Dras'smyr to save them. She sighed and turned around. Yra walked around to the chunk of Earth that hung over the rock she stood on. The tall tavern-cactus stood on it, proud and huge. She found a bare patch on the bottom of the huge tree, and knocked her muzzle on the rough bark three times as she usually did. The door opened, revealing a chamber so big that it could fit eleven elephants. The whole cactus was much bigger on the inside than the outside. It had been enhanced by the magic of Koruko and Firytio, two wizards who had been tired, so they created this place. They were the reason that the creators of all tavern-trees made the inside bigger, for they could fit the wolves, owls, cats, and others who needed to rest. The bartender, a Southern Hawk Owl with a scar the shape of an x on his forehead, gestured for Yra to come in. She slipped through the large hole and into the hollow cactus. An Elf Owl, small and vulnerable, weak and thin, perched in a scraggly nest of dead leaves. He shook with cold, not being able to pay for a silhotsu. Yra walked away to the small, deep pond dug into the ground for water. She asked for a cup, for her paws were too awkward to carry one here, and she worried that her sharp teeth would scar the wood, making little tears appear. The cup was brought over and dipped into the water for Yra. She took a few laps from it and felt a shiver go through her body, the cactus cold and breezy due to the drunken Great Gray Owls, who were there to stay. Yra walked to the small, shivering Elf Owl and lay down. She looked down at the poor thing and saw that hopelessnes filled his eyes.

"They say that there is no poor or rich," he whispered, his voice suprizingly mature for his size.

"Indeed," Yra replied, wanting to fetch the poor one a silhotsu. Yra felt as if the strap at her neck holding a large amount of seeds was choking her. How she wished that money was not needed to trade things. Things that, more often than not, were useless. That's why she never really bothered to trade for seeds.

"Do you want a room?," Yra asked. The Elf Owl looked up at her, his delicate face shining with curiosity.

"Yes, but before... What is your name? Mine is Falikune," he said gently. Yra was stricken by is name. Why, you might ask? Fali was the Dras'smyrian word for "dirt" and kune was the word for "poor". "I-I am Yra of Lyrarmid," Yra introduced herself. She bowed her head and gave the Elf Owl her whole pouch, not even hesitating. She didn't even look back, and if she did, it was to see if Falikune was still there. She trotted quickly out of the mudhole that was the tavern-cactus, hope coursing through her veins. It was to the point where she ran to the point, and she sprouted wings! Flexing them, stretching them so that the primaries stuck out individually, Yra flapped them, sending a wave of wind across the sea. Finally, she took off and flew as quickly as she could. As large as her wings were, it only made Yra's journey faster. She pumped her wings so hard that she reached the shrowded reef in just two hours. Since it was night, Yra glided gently into the hollow. She landed, and this was the first time she had looked at her wings. They were those of a Snowy Owl, pure white except for black curves among the feathers. She then found the driest mat of seaweed so she could rest. Finally, her journey was nearly over. But it wasn't completely over...


~*~

Twil'lya followed Dussai when he flew out of the hollow. She ducked her head to look at the sea in the deep night sky. She sighed and asked a question, Exondus following closely behind them. "When do you think we'll reach Dras'smyr? It has already been a month. Autumn has almost come," she said calmly. Just as she flew maybe a foot away, she saw a stormcloud rise upon the horizon, soon covering the land in darkness. As Exondus, Twil'lya, and Dussai flew forward, their wings began to ice over and started to be pummeled by heavy, thick rain. Still, the three flew on, their wings stiff and cold.

Finally, hours later, the rain softened slightly. Dussai, Exondus, and Twil'lya lighted down on a rock that stood from the ocean, tall and proud. Since there were no hollows or groundscrapes on the rock where the three stood, they looked hard across the sea, and found a long island with six trees, bent and tall, all with spacey hollows. Twil'lya, Exondus, and Dussai flew to the rock. Just as they were about to land, however... A giant crash shook the sea and a great beast rose from the endless water! He reared his head towards the owls, his jaw open and panting.

A giant sea serpent had come to kill the owls. They flew up towards the sky, their aching wings beginning to freeze in the clouds. Suddenly, the sea serpent raised his tail, and wrapped his tail around all three. He took them lower and released them, and all he did-surprisingly- was tell a riddle. A riddle that any creature in the Fal'lyan province would know!

"Who was he that ruled Dras'smyr long ago in the Time of the Legends?," he asked, his mouth gaping seemingly endlessly. "Dras'siku," all three of the owls answered in unison. Little did they know that he asked to keep out the evil, who never bothered to learn the legends, which were completely true, and somehow were never exaggerated.

"W-why do you ask?," Dus'sai whispered in his deep, yet soft voice.

"The evil never bothered to learn our past so as to never make the same mistakes again," the serpent answered simply. He allowed the owls to fly to the island.

Twil'lya swore that she saw serpents twist through the air and go to a world of the heavens. Their wings twisted, intricate folds and feathers. She turned away, thinking it was a hallucination due to the lack of food. She felt the hunger gnawing at her stomach now, threatening to hurt Twil'lya physically. Still, she lighted down on the soft, moss-covered island where the six trees stood graceful and bent. She could lie down and sleep in the soft, velvety moss face-down and be perfectly fine with it. However, she didn't, as she had to go hunting.

She found a small, clear pond and took a drink, noticing for the first time that the sky was blue and pure, clouds rimming the land. Unlike the land around it, it was graceful and silent, neat and waiting. Twil'lya didn't feel even slightly out of place. Dus'sai looked around and asked himself ,"What is this place? I must put it on our map."

Exondus dove into the pond and came out with a fish. She came to Twil'lya and offered her the bass. "No," Twil'lya said. "By the way, the water is quite warm. If we ever need to, this is the perfect place to learn to swim." Though this land was heavenly, and there was far too much to see to list, the owls slept in the front hollow, and then decided to leave the next day. As they woke, yawning, stretching, looking at the soft violet sky, they noticed something. Unlike it had been the night before, the island had floated to a location where giant green mountains sprouted up, scraping the clouds that the owls could see. They flew out, knowing that if they didn't, this island could take them to the Foxhead Iceberg, and frozen land where the only experimental and famous blacksmith lived; Miyuka. However, Neither Exondus, Dussai, nor Twil'lya needed helmets or weapons of high degree; all they needed now was to get to Dras'smyr, now the only safe place they could trust.

So the three owls flew high, spiring up and gliding until they reached the other side, then they dove down so that the scarce air did not choke them. The reason was because these mountains scraped the atmosphere, and none of them had enough experience to stay above for long, if they did, they would perchance die of air deprivation.

So the three glided on until they found a circle of seven great trees; a water spring shot up hot, moist steam, making the air warm and comfortable. Exondus, Twil'lya, and Dussai flew down to this circle, for it was where the libraries, royal hollows, and hollows for trading stood straight and tall. They were thick and large, so big that anything could fit inside easily; even a thick grove of about twenty two trees. Twil'lya, Exondus, and Dussai stood outside the hollow where the king, Shakii, and queen, Layora lived. Since the hollow had a door, Dussai knocked three times with his talons. The king came to open the door, but they were a species long extinct...


Chapter Five: The Laughing Owls
The king was a Laughing Owl. He greeted the three young owls and invited them into his hollow. King Shakii, who was a Laughing Owl, who lived on a legend.

"Surprised?," he asked quietly in his calm voice. "Yes, indeed, Laughing Owls are extinct in your world, but not here." Queen Layora stepped out of her hollow, which blended in with the moss-covered walls.

"You have arrived? We've been expecting you...," Layora said quietly, a warm smile on her face. Suddenly, a bang came next to the hollow. Dus'sai sensed the presence of an enemy- no average enemy, though. She was a Bald Eagle who used to be his best friend until something dreadful happened. She had fallen in a pit while battling with rogue crows above. Her soul melded with the smoke of Darkbaen- thick, white, and it has the ability to turn you into a demon yourself.

"Don't go outside while I'm gone," Dus'sai said suspiciously. He stepped outside the hollow and let the moss curtains fall back. The owls on the inside pulled them tight, and tied the straps.

"Hello, old friend," the Bald Eagle's voice rang maliciously. "You are no friend of mine. But you are a demon, which means I have all rights to kill you," Dus'sai said calmly, letting his feathers blow with the winds. The Bald Eagle did not respond; instead, she took to the sky, her rough, ragged feathers slithering through the sky quietly.

Dus'sai lowered his head and grabbed a branch. He let out a loud bark that shook the sky and rose so high he could hardly breath. But then, he dove straight at Saiu'una's head. The Bald Eagle reared her blood-stained head and scraped Dus'sai's left leg, leaving a long gash. Her eerie beauty frightened Dus'sai; she was beautiful, but she was also ugly. How could this be? Dus'sai was left in a daze as he hovered in the thinning, crisp air of the first Autumn night of the year.

Dus'sai, finally waking up from his daze, rose up and dove at Saiu'una. He scraped her eyes with his left talon and dropped the useless branch. Blood poured from the cuts, but she could still see. She tore his leg off completely and hissed in a melody lost in time. Duas'sai seemed to freeze, along with Saiu'una, and she hissed again. The trance ended, and they finally began the fight again.

Dus'sai slashed at Saiu'una's wings, and hit the right one hard enough to scar. She finally flew off, but before the battle ended, she slashed at Dus'sai's breast and left a mark in the shape of a heart. In that very moment, Dus'sai couldn't be more confused.

Does she love me, or does she hate me?, he asked himself, flying off. He glided into the royal hollow, and, seeing the expressions on the other owls looked at how his left leg had been torn off. He saw remnants of bone hanging from the thigh. On those were strips of meat, and chunks of muscles hung off of the bone remnants.

"Heal me, please," he whispered. Layora immediately came to his aid. She went into her hollow and grabbed a wooden cup. She dipped the cup into the pool of water that had been carved into the floor of the hollow. She left it on a smoothly carved table and went to grab two bowls of medicine, one at a time; a thick green ointment, and a thin bruise-colored liquid. Layora grabbed gauze and left it by her supplies. She dipped her talon into the thick green paste and rubbed it onto the remnants of Dus'sai's leg, and his thigh. Then, she grabbed a knife and said ,"Tell me if this hurts," sawing at his leg. Dus'sai shook his head, and the sawing soon ended. Layora dipped the gauze in the bowl of thin bruise-colored liquid and left it there as she washed Dus'sai's left leg. She then took the gauze out and wrapped it so that it covered his severed limb. No pain remained, and Layora said that disease was unlikely.

"You are welcome to go now," King Shakii said gently. "You get to choose where you live in this forest. All I must say is that the rule shall be clear- never, ever should you dare venturing into the Shaddoken side. It contains an ever-growing forest, and if you sleep in one of the hollows, it could grow in. Sleeping perched on the branches will cause rash, and nest would be the best choice if it were allowed."

Twil'lya wondered why he told them this. It was forbidden, so wouldn't that give the owls ideas? Oh, well, Twil'lya thought. She took off along with Dus'sai and Exondus. They found a large, majestic fir tree and decided that the hollow inside was a good one. They slept there and wondered what might await them the next day-might they be punished for waking up late? For it was seven of the sun, a time in the morning when nothing nocturnal would even think of taking a step outdoors.

The three owls rested and awaited the exiting new day eagerly.


~*~

The next day came, and Twil'lya awoke to a knock by the hollow entrance. She felt a wind rush in as she realised that no one was there. She looked down to the ground and saw the head of a beautiful Laughing Owl. She just stood there, and turned to face Twil'lya. Her face was a masterpeice, a beautiful painting. She blinked, her long eyelashes particularly noticable. Her eyes closed, and she opened them sharply, smiling. Her eyes were not soft golden-orange, but a hard red, like a gar'ra's eyes.

The Laughing Owl stood up and her pupils instantly became tiny black dots. She laughed in a mocking way and suddenly dashed to Twil'lya. She could have torn through Twil'lya's stomach, but she went straight through Twil'lya. Laughter like the sound of bells rang out behind her. Twil'lya turned suddenly. She saw the beautiful Laughing Owl standing behind her.

Everything was beautiful about her besides her eyes, her hideous eyes. The pupils were small, drawn back, puny black dots in a sea of blood. She smiled even bigger and her laughter no longer sounded like the tinkling of bells, but the bray of a diseased donkey. The minute it had started, it ended and became the beautiful sound once again.

Twil'lya backed to the entrance of the hollow and saw Dus'sai and Exondus suddenly awaken. They hissed and clacked their beaks at the Laughing Owl. "WHO ARE YOU?!," screamed Twil'lya so loud that no one else could have possibly heard anything else. Not even the loud and sloppy unsheathing of a splintered sword.

"I am known only as Neves. Dare you fight me?," she said in a sickeningly sweet voice, like trapping a bee in honey... Neves... Seven backwards... seven was the number of death.

"You're an allusion. You're fake and horrible. You're the hideous owl of death. Vain fool," Dus'sai hissed angrily. He spread his right talons wide enough for an instant kill. He reached Neves's neck, gripping his only talon around her neck.

"It won't be so easy, honey. I'm no fool, left-leg loss," she taunted in her sugary voice. Neves threw Dus'sai against the wall and smiled erratically. She laughed mockingly and grabbed Exondus by her legs, throwing her out the hollow. Exondus spread her wings and twisted forward to save herself from the fall.

Twil'lya, now even more angered, took flight and led Neves outside of the hollow. She twisted gracefully through the air and dove towards Neves, grabbing the scruff of her neck to scrape her on the ground as she lowered into a swift glide.

Neves bit her right leg, and Twil'lya instantly dropped the monstrous, beautiful beast into a pond. Neves wasn't dead though. Twil'lya saw her rise from the pond and take off. She flew towards her friends.

"Are you all okay?," she asked, quivering in fear. Exondus brushed off her skinned left leg. Dus'sai wasn't hurt at all.

"No. At least, not enough to do damage to us ourselves." Twil'lya and the others flew off to find the circle of trees that was the library and the royal hollow.

Meanwhile, Yra was flying towards the lost ship-like island...


Chapter Six: Lost and Nearly Dead
Yra flew as hard as she could, pumping her white wings nearly every three seconds. If she could sweat, she would be dripping.

When will I get there?, she asked herself, panting as she flew.

Yra tried to glide, but was even too tired to hold her wings up for just a minute. Finally, she reached an island. The serpent was not there, though... the one Yra had heard of during her travels with her pack. She glared on the island, peering down at the mossy, soft grass, and the bent-over trees. She landed in the realm and felt her eyelids droop. Would she live? Yra started to wonder if it was so. She felt her soul tug away from her body...

~*~

A dragon under the water gripped the serpent for his life. Like Yra, he did not know if he would die. But he fought the serpent, for this was his element. He was a Japan Dragon. His pure white fur turned to scales- all but his pure black mane. He raised his talons and struck at the giant sea serpent, sinking his long claws into the scaly flesh. A hiss echoed throughout the water, even making its way to the surface, right in front of one white wolf resting on an island...

~*~

Yra woke up suddenly. She tilted her ears back, hearing a shreiking noise. Gasping, she trotted over to the edge of the island, seeing her reflection. Her wings were gone. She couldn't fly. All she could do was wait... wait until that feeling came back.

What more can I give?, Yra asked herself, feeling confusion wave over her thoughts. She looked deeper into the water and saw wings materialize. Yra was even more confused, now. Did strong emotion trigger the wings? Perhaps so. But only someone else could help, in a realm undiscovered by most. But even Yra didn't know where it was, though it is a wolf legend, it is a very hard place to find.

Yra again focused on the scream. What had it been? Where was the serpent? Had it... died? A shake lurched Yra forward, and she fell into the water, her wings suddenly dematerializing. Yra barked as she felt her white fur being tugged into the water. She tried to swim, but nothing helped. Yra was simply tugged into the watery realm where the dragon fought, unknowingly harming the guard to Dras'smyr. Before Yra was pulled completely into the water, she saw two serpents twisting in the air, flying to a realm in a taunting ritual. They were free... Yra was not...

~*~

The dragon gave the ending blow. The serpent was dead. No longer did it struggle for life. The dragon had been promised freedom for killing the serpent- but his master had been wrong. The stressed bond between Auralum-or heaven- and he had been broken now. The dragon let out a painful roar. He returned to his earth form, a white tiger. The white tiger loped over to the tree he slept by when rest was needed. Night never really ended in this realm... and so the animals rested only when they needed to.

~*~

Yra woke up, not believing that she was alive. She had been pulled into the water! How could she be alive? Yet it was so. But the realm she woke up in was not earthly. Black particles floated in the air, blue roses grew simply anywhere; dark green moss curtains floated off the ground in forests. Trees grew in the water, and oddly enough, everything had this dark blue-green taint to it.

Yra looked up. She saw a crescent moon, even though the moon was full and far from a crescent last time Yra had checked- seven days ago. Not enough for the moon to be this thin. Yra sighed and began exploring the realm. Seeing a Snow Tiger under a large oak, she walked over, slowly and cautiously, for a tiger could kill her with one swat of its talons.

"Hello?," asked Yra quietly. The white tiger opened its eyes slowly. Seeing her, he said,"Who are you? I am Fayo..."

"Why should I tell you?," asked Yra, a lipless smirk on her face. Fayo sighed. Yra noticed a Japan Dragon-shaped mark on his neck. "You are a dragon?," she asked, watching him stand up, a huge, graceful wild cat.

"I told you my name and so I expect you to tell me yours," said Fayo, ignoring Yra's question about him being a dragon.

"Fine, I'm Yra."

"Thank you. Now... how did you get here?," asked the Snow Tiger.

"I-I don't know... I just fell off the island and came here...," answered Yra.

"Ah, I see... you heard my horrid accident? And you fell, I expect? Understandable... but please don't even attempt at killing me... I'm very sorry for what has happened, but... eh... I killed the serpent...," confessed Fayo, wincing at his own words. The guardians of Dras'smyr had gone... forever, and it was all Fayo's falt.

He lowered his head, feeling a wave of regret roll over his mind. "...You can go now... I think I'll lay here and wait...," sighed Fayo in a low voice. He never told Yra what he was waiting for. But the one simple word was death. And it was not so. Something would eventually happen that he'd have to help with, or fight. But Fayo did not know what. He just lay there and did not explain how Yra was supposed to exit this strange realm.

Yra felt pity and a deep burning in her heart for the regretful Snow Tiger in front of her. Wings spread out on her withers from smoke. She raised them, and without looking back, she flew out of the realm...


~*~

Twil'lya stepped out of the hollow. She saw the moon rising, but did not wake her friends. She decided, just once, to break a rule. But the problem was... it was the most major rule in any rulebook: never fly into the Shaddoken Side.

Sneaking into the armory- the old Hawk Owl who guarded it had fallen asleep with two pairs of SDB battle talons in his talons. 'SDB' stood for "Small double-edged battle talons". The armorer seemed to be getting an order of battle talons for two Elf Owls ready.

Twil'lya was careful not to step or bump into anything that would make noise; not that there was much. All armor had been covered with a thick moss tarp, same with all the weapons. This area served for both since the War of Irin, a time where speed was necessary, and when double-edged battle-talons and swords had been invented, along with breast plates. These had been necessary because Irin's soldiers only used one-bladed swords, and always stabbed at the heart. This had caused most of the warriors and guardians to die, weakening the Dras'smyrian army so much that only about fifty owls remained. And out of those, the only royalty who had lived were the king and his daughter.

Twil'lya grabbed a copper helmet. These too had been invented in the War of Irin, for iron was too heavy for any owl to fight faster than those ones. She also grabbed a fire scimitar- a scimitar with a jewel in the hilt that was carved so one could stuff embers into the weapon and plug it again- thus it being named the fire scimitar. Twil'lya did not take a lather beast plate, for it would just get in the way of her fighting skills. She smiled, ready to take off, but stole just one more thing: a game bag. These were given to the warriors so that they could hunt and gather enough to eat if they were stranded underground- another occurance in the War of Irin.

Twil'lya laid the helmet gently onto her head, feeling the heavy armor rest silently on her thick feathers. She found talon-guards already with battle-talons on the tips of the foot piece. Twil'lya often wondered why they had called the leg-piece talon-guard as well when it was on the leg. She just put on the war gear and slung the game-bag around her neck, taking off into the brand new night. She glided silently on the old thermals of the day, not knowing what was ahead, but expecting something unrealistic and dangerous. But it was stupid. Would that really happen? She could only find out by flying ahead.


Chapter Seven: The Shaddok Side
[size=14]Twil'lya reached the shadows and began to regret doing this. But she flew on. Feeling wind shiver itself through her feathers, she flew on and felt the misty clouds spray her facial disks with crystals of ice. Twil'lya jumped as she heard lightening crackle behind her. She narrowed her eyes and pressed on, getting less and less surprised each time the lightening crackled. She pressed on into the windy clouds and fluffed her feathers up, the down underneath warming her.

Crows with violet eyes that flashed red flew through the sky, shrieking in loud caws that shook Twil'lya's soul, but still she pressed on into the darkness. Suddenly, a crow above cawed and came down, its demented sounds richeting off of Twil'lya's soul.

Why are they attacking me like this?, Twil'lya asked. She wasn't stealing their food. She wasn't harming their murder. They seemed... possessed... Perhaps they were, but Twil'lya flew deeper into the black pit that was the Shaddok side. She felt her feathers give a sharp ruffle, bending backwards off of her back while a few flew straight off of her. What's happening?!, Twil'lya asked herself, bewildered. She widened her eyes and felt herself fall into a void, and suddenly... she was in a forest. A forest. A peaceful forest where bluebirds chirped and rabbits hopped. But this was an illusion, and Twil'lya knew it.

This realm, it plays with your mind. It tells you everything is all right, and it lures you in until you sleep in a hollow and get eaten by a tree, Twil'lya thought. She narrowed her eyes. Bringing her scimitar out, she slashed into a tall proud oak tree. As soon as the metal was brought out of the wood, it grew and left a lump.

All of these trees are identical... what shall I do?!, Twil'lya asked herself repeatedly. She glided down from the branch of a tree and perched on a stone, something steady, something that wouldn't grow and eat her up, wouldn't betray her. She just sat there and thought...

~*~

Exondus perched on the branch of the old fir tree and said aloud ,"Where's Twil'lya... why isn't she here?" Dus'sai walked over silently, and scraped his talons on the branch, bringing Exondus's attention to him.

"I think she's somewhere... different than here. I cannot explain it, it's... odd, eerie, spiritual..." Exondus backed up.

"Stay here. There's something I need to see about." Dus'sai took off into the dark sky, gliding on the new eddies of Autumn. He closed his eyes for a moment, then opened them again. He glided down to a rock, shoved between the crook of two roots of a tree. There was an intricate pattern on this rock, one unrecognizable to those who do not know of the spirit world. He pricked his first talon and watched the scarce blood flow from the middle of his talon. He grimaced at the pain, but it was necessary to have this ritual work. He closed his eyes and dragged his talon over the rock in another pattern that fit into the outer pattern. He stepped onto the rock and opened his eyes, and yet closed them once again. But no longer was it a black emptiness. It was a blank white canvas that stretched out in front of him. He stepped into that canvas as a spirit owl, but did not like what he saw when he stepped into the blank.

It was Twil'lya breaking the rules. She'd stepped into the Shaddok side. She'd fallen into the nameless forest, the one where any living being could scarcely exist. The animals whom lived there lied because they had to. They lied to feed the trees' anger...

~*~

Twil'lya saw a root crawl up to the rock, and jumped as she felt the smooth vine creep over her talons. She took off and hovered above the rock. But that was not enough. The vines took off and entangled into a tree. Though the tree did not have a mouth, nor did it have eyes to see, it spoke. Spoke to Twil'lya.

"Who are you to defy nature? Who are you to defy our rage?" Twil'lya opened her eyes wide and backed off, flying into a tree. Bark wriggled over her wings and sealed. She was stuck. But Twil'lya had her scimitar, and so she defied the tree once again.

"Who am I to argue with a TREE?!," she shouted, sawing her scimitar into the lush tree's flesh. It just kept growing back over, but did not kill her. Didn't even make her breath struggle. The tree's breath blew onto Twil'lya, bringing a strong scent of blood and gore. But it was so strong, even Twil'lya could smell it. An owl who smells a strong scent of blood and gore. She narrowed her eyes.

"You're a murderer, you know that?"

"I am aware of this."

"You don't act like it."

"Because I'm a tree."

"Does that matter?"

"Very much."

"But you do not live."

"Yes I do."

"How so?"

"I have blood."

"What blood?"

"It is called sap, ignorant fool."

"Then where are your organs?"

"I am all organs."

Twil'lya felt a half-digested pellet rise up in her gizzard. She began to writhe, but did not show her disgust.

"Are you aware of the torture you've given to the land of Dras'smyr?"

"Yes, very much so."

"Don't you wish to stop it?"

"No."


Last edited by Abaila on Sun Sep 17, 2017 12:15 pm; edited 9 times in total
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