Darkest Star, Brightest Shadow

There are some times in life where even the brightest of stars can become so dark and corrupt, that they are unstoppable. It is at this time of peril that a nobody, an insignificant little shadow, must step up to face the enemy. Umbra. Umbra must step up, and become the brightest of all shadows...

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11. Healers hands

Aquila dived into the lake, kicking his legs to propell himself downwards. He had to hurry. Umbra was in danger. He could drown. The water was deep, and too dark to see well. Aquila could only make out a silhouette that was probably Umbra. Hopefully, it was. Aquila dived down after him, chasing the air bubbles that Umbra was releasing. Aquila finally reached Umbra, but he was running out of breath. Struggling to keep himself from taking in a breath, Aquila wrapped an arm under Umbra's and arms, then kicking to launch himself upwards. He had to breath. Otherwise, he'd probably end up fainting. Aquila dragged his friend upwards, not able to tell where the surface was. His face was red from holding his breath. And then, Aquila could bear it no longer. He opened his mouth a friction of a centimetre, and water came in. Big mistake. Screaming for air, Aquila kicked harder at the water, desperate for the surface. Umbra seemed to grow heavier in Aquila's arms. Invisible hands of water seemed to be trying to drag them down, drowning them in the unescapable water. And then, a hand seemed to appear from nowhere. Aquila grabbed at it in frantic fear, gasping in air as it pulled him to the surface. The hand that had pulled him up was trembling with weakness; it could hardly even help Aquila out of the water. As his head burst out into thin air, the hand let go, to exhausted to hold on. Aquila gasped for air, then dragged Umbra to the shore, which was so close that Aquila just had to reach out and push his friend's limp body ashore. Coughing and spluttering, Aquila then clambered onto the lake bank himself, looking around to see the owner of the hand. The assassin was sitting there, panting for breath and clutching her shoulder.

"Ugh... Sit Umbra up..." the girl instructed in a feeble voice, letting herself flop down into the mud. Aquila, too surprised and out of breath to speak, obeyed. How had the girl been able to get up? How had she even be able to follow them? How did she even find them? As Aquila slid a hand behind his friend's back and pushed his body up, Umbra started coughing and spitting out water. His eyes flashed open, wide and terrified. Umbra started gasping in air.

"You... Thanks, Aquila." Umbra spoke, still gulping in air. Aquila grinned at him, then turned to look at the girl. Umbra gasped when he saw her. How...?

"How did you get here?" Aquila asked, his voice still shaky from being underwater. The girl looked wearily at them both, as if deciding something. Then, she spoke,

"The healer. Which of you is the healer?" Umbra looked at her, confused. Aquila looked away, seemingly guilty. The assassin smiled at him.

"So you're the healer? Very impressive." the assassin spoke, her voice clear yet somehow dark and mysterious. Aquila seemed to find sudden interest in his boots.

"I... Yeah. I didn't even realise I'd used my healing power." he said guiltily, his voice small and tiny.

"What are you guys talking about? I don't get it." Umbra said, his eyes still showing bewilderment.

"Can we go back to that clearing first? I'd prefer to explain sitting down." Aquila admitted. The assassin nodded, as did Umbra. The boys helped the assassin to her feet, and she let them loop an arm under her shoulders to help her hobble along. As they returned, Umbra felt his mind wandering. What was this 'healing power' they spoke of? Was Aquila hiding talents as well? Umbra continiued to glance at the assassin and his friend. The assassin; because he felt drawn to her for some reason, and Aquila; because of the guilty look on his face. Finally, with the assassin wincing every two steps but not saying a thing, they reached the clearing. Both of them helped the girl into the shelter, letting her sit against the oak tree. Then, they joined her, Umbra looking into her gorgeous eyes.

"Thanks." she said, when they were both sitting. "I... You... You saved my life. For that, I thank you." she spoke, bowing her head in gratitide. Then she looked to Umbra, smiling at him.

"And you... You are extremely skilled, Umbra. But I saw that you had a wound on your chest. As he explains, Aquila should heal it."

"Yeah, well, we were just repaying the favour. You were amazing when you took on all the goblins." Umbra said. "Besides, you need healing more than me."

"I have been trained to sustain pain all my life." the girl retorted. "You were not. Oh, and my name is Thorn, by the way. I have decided that I'll trust you, and give you my name. I never usually trust people, but you're... special." she explained. Umbra blushed. She was an assassin, whose trust was harder to earn than most other things in life. Yet... she trusted him? He found himself smiling wider. Aquila introduced himself, Silver and Umbra, then started to explain the healing power...

 

"When I was a little kid, Silver got himself injured. This farmer attacked him with a sword, and cut a shallow wound into his side. I don't know why, but I just held my hands above his wound, and it somehow healed. I passed out, as healing takes a load of my energy. Since then, I've always been able to heal people - or animals. But I don't like telling people about it. No human ever found out before... I only told you guys." Aquila finished. Thorn just nodded, like she already knew. But Umbra was looking at Aquila in surprise.

"You have magical healing powers?" he asked. Thorn, with still-painful wounds, interrupted and spoke for Aquila.

"Yeah. He does. Now, Aquila, show him and heal him. And Umbra, don't tell me that I need healing more than you. Just shut up and let him heal you." the assassin ordered, her eyes seeming kind but also strict and unforgiving. Umbra, although not sharing her thoughts on who should be healed first, obeyed her, and wisely sat still for Aquila to heal him. His friend raised his hands over his chest, closing his eyes and breathing deeply. Aquila's hands started emitting a strange but glorious green light. Thorn sat back and watched as Aquila's trembling hands, held over Umbra's chest, concentrated all their power into the scar. Umbra felt a sharp pain, and then... nothing. Thorn grabbed Aquila's body as he passed out, crumpling to the ground after using so much of his power. Umbra's wound had healed, he realised, opening his shirt from the slash mark that had been torn into it. No scar.

"He... He did it." Umbra muttered. "He healed me."

 

The gaurdian. A fearsome creature, much like a griffin but with dragon-shaped wings instead. It has a body covered in glorious colours of fur that seem to represent fire - oranges, reds, yellows. A glorious golden mane, simalar to that of the proudest lion, hangs magestically round the creatures neck, only this mane seems to glow gold. Long, sharp claws of a golden-bronze colour, are the same shade as it's fangs. The gaurdian has a thrashing panther-like tail, and a sleek build. I cannot help but breathe in with awe. The gaurdian is truly magnificent! It opens it's jaws to speak, and I cannot help but shy away a little.

"You are brave to challenge me. Or perhaps just foolish. But your wounds shall hinder you. The second you set wing or claw in this arena, your injuries shall all be healed. I shall decide when you have defeaten me, or... when I have defeaten you. Now, fly into the arena... If you dare."

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