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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12. No escape

Soon, even the assassin was asleep. Umbra, however, could not force his eyes to shut closed. He was still wide awake, seemingly unable to sleep. Eventually, Umbra got up and walked out of the shelter, despite how comforting Thorn's face was. Thorn. A worthy name of the assassin, so fitting and well-suited to her. Umbra looked up through the leaves to look at the stars. How had he even got here? Right. He'd been sent to find his bag. It took him a while to remember, but when he did, he wondered if he'd ever leave this forrest. He'd never see his family again... Pushing those thoughts away, Umbra recalled the second nightmare. Was it real? How did the warrior know he had even been there? Sighing, Umbra found a tree to climb. It didn't take him long to find one with a comfortable looking branch to sit on. It would probably be cold up there, trying to sleep, but Umbra hardly cared about the cold when he was stuck in a forrest which held goblins. Great. The perfect place to be trapped. Pulling himself up into the branches of the tree, Umbra climbed higher and higher. Eventually, he reached the very top of the tree. The forrest looked amazing from here! Looking all around him, Umbra took in the sight of trees, stretching far across the land. And then, to his right, from where they'd come from, he saw a shimmering blue wall of energy. Hardly visible, but it was there. A barrier of energy that stopped them escaping the nightmares that were the goblins. Umbra ignored the barrier after just one thought, and concentrated on the beauty of the forrest. Every tree seemed alive, leaves rustling softly in the breeze. He could hear animals moving in the forrest below him, and wondered where Silver was. Aquila had sent him to look for a gap in the barrier, but it was probably for nothing. The barrier looked unescapable. Yawning, Umbra decided that he was finally feeling sleepy. Clambering slowly down from the tree, the boy wondered where the assassin came from and how she knew his name. But ah well... She was sleeping now. He would ask her in the morning. Umbra settled down in the shelter he'd made, curling up to fit inside. Sleep took him like a predator it's prey.

 

Stretching his arms out, Umbra yawned contentedly and rubbed his eyes. Slowly, Umbra sat up. Which is when he realised: he had awoken to find his friends gone. Scrambling up, Umbra glanced around the shelter. Nobody. Umbra swiftly dashed out of the shelter, his eyes darting around the clearing for traces of his friends. The sun, not at all low in the sky, was shining light on the clearing, lighting it up.

"Aquila? Thorn?" he called with a hint of anxiety in his voice. And then, with a higher level of urgency in his tone, he yelled out,

"AQUILA! THORN!" As Umbra sprinted forwards to look for his friends, he didn't notice the shadow following him, running with silence and ease. Umbra opened his mouth to call out again, but a firm hand clasped over his mouth, turning his voice to quiet, muffled cries. Umbra thrashed out, trying desperately to free himself.

"Shut up!" the assassin's voice hissed in his ear. "Do you WANT the goblins to hear us?" Umbra instantly ceased his squirming, slumping to the floor in relief. Thorn released her grip, letting Umbra turn to look at her as she stepped back a pace. Umbra turned, breathing heavily from shock. Thorn's face was lit up by the sunlight, highlighting her intense and amazing eyes. A few strands of jet black hair fell past her hood, glinting with the light. She looked beautiful, Umbra decided, standing strong in the light.

"Aquila healed you?" Umbra guessed, looking at the assassin's bloodstained clothing. She nodded.

"Yeah. He did. Started last night, finished this morning. Your friend is an amazing healer. I couldn't believe that he'd closed my wounds in less that twenty four hours. Anyway, you're up late. Slept half the morning." Thorn replied. Umbra nodded, muttering a 'sorry' to Thorn. Thorn just shrugged in acceptance, and spoke again.

"Tonight, I will tell you the reason I was sent here. But for now, I wish to start your training."

"Training?" Umbra asked. Questions flashed through his mind. Training? Why did she have to train him? He looked queeryingly at Thorn.

"Yes," the assassin replied with a sly smile. "Training. All shall be explained tonight. But you and your friend, for now, shall train. I have sent him back to the cave where the goblins locked him up to retrieve his weapons. He'll be back soon with his sword and bow. But for now, you shall wait for him to return." Thorn told Umbra, a mischeivious glint in her eyes.

"Okay." Umbra agreed, following her over to the edge of the clearing where a fallen tree was lying. She sat down, and flicked a strand of hair out of her eye.

"Sit." she spoke the single command. Umbra sat, and looked at her.

"Thanks for yesterday." she spoke. "I know I said it last night, but I wanted to say it again."

"I told you already, Thorn. Without you. I'd be dead anyway. If you hadn't protected me - and Aquila - we'd be dead, and you would never have been injured." Umbra replied.

"Yeah, well, you should probably thank Carnelian. I'll tell you who he is tonight. He sent me here. Without him, I'd never have saved you." She smiled. "But anyway... Enough of this discussion. Your friend is almost back - I can hear him approach. Ready your sword, for your first lesson is on swordplay." Thorn told him, drawring two ninjato. She looked at Umbra, watching as he swiftly leaped up from the log and unsheathed his sword.

"I am ready."

 

The second I reach the arena, my body starts to glow with a golden aura. My wounds and burn are suddenly stinging with a sharp and terrible pain. And then, the pain stops. A newfound energy seeps into my bones, my wounds completely recovering as I cry out in joy.

"You are ready?" asks the gaurdian. Taking a deep breath, I nod. And he dives at me. I dart away, my quick reactions and amazing speed saving me again. Turning swiftly, I fire a tornado blast at the gaurdian, sending him wheeling. Not waiting for the gaurdian to recover, I dive in again, digging my claws into the creature's back. Retaliating with a blast of flames, the gaurdian roars at me. The fire scorches my body, making me scream in pain. Letting my crazy power consume my body, I let lightning flow through my veins - literally. My entire form is glowing with electricity. I slam my body into the gaurdian, hearing him screeching in pain. The gaurdian's jaws suddenly clamp onto my wing, causing the electricity that runs through me to fade. The gaurdian tosses me with his mighty jaws, throwing me to the ground. He dives after me, and pins my body to the ground, flames already held within his jaws. I know this is it. He has won...

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