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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20. Leaving Elteras

Once they were in the skies, Umbra felt free again. Lazarus's parents were cruel, arrogant and stupid. He despised them.

"I'll take Silver to my friend's tree. She'll look after him better than any other in this city." Lazarus told Aquila, flying Sundance up towards the guest's quarters. Zephyr's powerful wings were barely beating - the storm phoenix seemed to glide on the air. Thorn put a hand on Umbra's shoulder.

"Nice speech back their." she told him as Zephyr landed on the branch of the guest's quarters. "I have to say; I'm impressed." She told him as he slid off the phoenix's back. Thorn jumped down after him.

"You did a good job yourself." Umbra replied. "That was halarious when you dumped the tapestry on them. And when you coughed food all 0ver the table? That was so funny." The Protector smiled at the assassin. Thorn smiled and nodded, her eyes glistening in the moonlight. Lazarus clambered down the ladder, Carnelian beside him.

"Wait here." Lazarus told them. "I'm just getting the supplies. Although... Actually, Thorn, take Aquila, Silver and Umbra to the tamer's. She'll look after Silver, and she'll have mounts for you and Aquila." the elven prince told them, then adding, "Oh, and she'll have saddles for you."

"I'll be fine riding with Umbra, but we'll get Aquila's mount and the saddles." Thorn replied, remounting Zephyr. Umbra felt his cheeks flush with pride. Thorn liked to fly with him? She didn't want her own mount? This small thought made Umbra want to laugh out loud, despite the fact that the king and queen would probably soon send gaurds to prevent them from leaving.

"Right. Thanks Thorn." Lazarus replied, as Aquila scrambled onto Inferno's back, as they needed another mount to carry Sundance's saddle, and of course, Inferno's saddle itself. Zephyr beat his wings for a boost, lifting himself softly from the branch. Inferno leaped into the skies after them, Aquila gripping onto his mane. Thorn told them to fly higher, until they were ahead of the tamer's house. They soared effortlessly over the main city, before the assassin stopped them just over a clearing, with many elven shelters for all sorts of creatures and mounts. Zephyr dived, filling every one of Umbra's bones with joy. Thorn laughed behind him, adding to the sheer thrill of the moment. Zephyr landed softly on the grass in the clearing, Inferno dropping silently to the ground beside him.

"You must be Laz's friends?" a female voice, thick with excitement, asked. Umbra nodded, seeing a female elf of about thirty standing in the clearing, with a snow white winged wolf standing beside her. A mass of blonde hair covered the elf's shoulders, and deep blue eyes looked at them with happiness. The white wolf snorted softly in greeting, her wings fluttering with excitement. Zephyr bent down for Umbra and Thorn to jump off. Both of them leaped gracefully from the storm phoenixes back, with Aquila joining them. Umbra noticed his friend's eyes flicking to the winged wolf. Aquila loved wolves. This magnificent white creature was no exception.

"Yes. We're here to collect a mount for Aquila and the saddles." Umbra smiled at her. "But we're kind of in a hurry." The elf nodded, and gestured to the white winged wolf, who was already wearing an icy-blue saddle.

"Well then, the saddles are inside that tree there, and about the mount? Well, she's called Blizzard, and she's standing right there. Don't worry about the wolf, Silver; he'll be fine. But you make sure you look after Blizzard. She's a good mount, one of the finest I've ever tamed." the elf said to Aquila, somehow sensing that he was the one in need of a mount. He looked at the winged wolf, Blizzard.

"You mean...?" he asked, his eyes filling with delight. Silver stood faithfully by his side.

"Yes." the elf replied. "She's all yours. I'll let you get used to her while me and your friends get the saddles. Make sure you've said goodbye to Silver, as you might want to get a move on. Your friend said you're in a hurry." she said to him. Aquila nodded, looking from Silver to Blizzard, wondering whether to be happy or sad. Umbra hoped he'd be okay saying his farewells to Silver. The wolf was his best friend - could he really part with him now? Sure it would only be a while, but... Umbra left the thought as he followed the elf over to one of her hollowed-out trees. Zephyr and Inferno came along too, and Thorn, as she usually did, stayed by Umbra's side.

 

Soon, the three found themselves waving a goodbye to the tamer - as well as Silver. Aquila, riding Blizzard, seemed to have tears in his eyes. But at least it was only for a few weeks, while they recruited more members. Thorn and Umbra were riding a double-seated saddle, which the tamer had found hidden at the back of her tree, covered in dust. It had been designed for a griffin, but it was a perfect fit. Umbra glanced down at the elves beneath them, all of them ruled by idiots. The Potector felt sorry for them. He really did - to be ruled by elves such as Lazarus's parents would be pretty much torture. Zephyr landed softly on the branch, his talons softly padding down on the wooden surface. The elven prince and their leader were waiting there. Umbra and Thorn dismounted, then took their share of the provisions and items, putting them carefully in the saddlebags. They took a small amount of clothing, as well as bedding and clothing. Everyone else was prepearing to leave, wanting to spend longer in Elteras, if only it were ruled by differnet elves. Carnelain came over to Umbra and Thorn when he'd finished packing Inferno's saddlebags.

"You were both good in the argument, guys. I'm proud of you. I still can't believe we're already leaving Elteras. It's going to be a hard journey, especially for you, Umbra. We'll go to the land of the dark angels first, then the dwarven lands, and finish with the fearies. Sound good?" Carnelian smiled. Both nodded, before Mounting Zephyr for the last time that day. They would be flying straight through the night. No break. No stopping. But Umbra liked flying. Especially with Thorn. He just didn't like dark angels...

 

As we fly through the night, I see imaged of dark angels in my mind. They are an ancient and corrupt race, whose minds are consumed by a dark evil. They have wings, simalar to the wings of angels, but their wings are as black as the night. They live in the iscolated South of the kingdom, and they will attack anyone who gets in their way. Even their own. But there is a legend that there is one who will have a mind of his own. Who will not try to kill all they see, who does not walk around their land trying to slaughter because they are mindless. And he, the one from legend, is the one we are going to find.

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