The Eternity Core

Four races, four warriors and four mounts. One huge army that threatens to wipe everything out. What could be better?

P.S. There will be no mature content - but there will be scenes of violence. That's why I rated it yellow, but other than violence, there is nothing that you shouldn't read!!! ;) This isn't your average happy fantasy story for three year olds. This is a full blown war with a lot of crazy and awesome involved. Thanks for reading!!!!! XDXDXD
P.P.S. Only the first three chapters have been submitted as it was for Young Movellist 2013.

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1. 1 ~ Frostbite

The worst day of my life was most certainly the day when one of my best friends died, the day everything I knew apart from one boy, was turned to ashes. Destroyed. Wiped out. Gone. Gone forever.

It started as any other normal day should. With me, Sapphyre, and Carnelian. We were in the forest near our village when it happened. Happy. Innocent. Innocent but not unarmed. Back then, I was but a young skycat. My wings could only carry me for a few minutes at best, and I was hardly big enough for a fully grown Lithralyden to ride. But Sapphyre and Carnelian were not fully grown, and they both could mount me and ride me for at least an hour, before my legs began to tire from the strain. At the time, they were just seven, so young and yet so well trained for the war with the other kingdoms. When they were adults, they would fight for Lithralyde. That path had already been chosen for them by the village leader. This was their one day off, and it was going well. Until their home was destroyed. But, at the time, when I was running through the forest, my snowy white coat glinting in the brief patches of sunlight that managed to find their way through the trees, they were laughing, and nothing could have been better.

My paws passed across the woodland ground, littered with the leaves that autumn brought down from the trees. They barely made a sound, at least, I don't think they did - I was listening to the sweet sound of the youngling's laughter, and nothing else. Carnelian rode at the front, his hands curled firmly around my glorious white fur. His touch was gentle and firm, reassuring as well. A good master, this I knew as well as I knew myself. Behind him was Sapphyre. She had an arm wrapped around his waist, trusting him to keep her seated on my back. The other hand was resting gently on my back, as calming as Carnelian's. I treated them as I would my own cubs. If needed, I knew I would trade my life for theirs. It would be an easy decision to make - the bonds between us would not allow me to make any other choice. I was almost at our destination, though running free through the forest was fun, far more fun than the training I endured alongside them six days a week. Finally, I slowed down - we were almost there. The sunlight flittering down between the remaining leaves seemed to be dancing happily, as if it were joyful at something.

And then, suddenly, I burst out into the open sunlight. Temporarily blinded, I winced under the bright rays of light. My midnight blue eyes, the same colour as the eyes of my riders, glinted happily as I managed to recover my sight. The leaves under my paws slowly melted away to grass; soft, springy, and covered in dew from the night before. Flicking my paws, I snorted happily, glancing around at the riders behind me, who were still excited from the dash through the forest. They love it when I run fast, especially through the forest, the forest they had played in all their lives. The forest that would be gone tomorrow.

Padding across the meadow, I wondered which of the two would be my rider in the wars to come - the wars with the other three kingdoms. It's what we were training for. The war that had lasted years, centuries before I was even born. Perhaps, if I was lucky, I would be permitted to have two riders. Luck, however, wasn't one of my personal friends. It would probably make sure that I could only have one as a rider. However, I pushed that thought out of my mind. Another nine years before they could even join the Lithralyden army. Right then, we were having fun, not considering the future.

I finally reached the end of the meadow, halting briefly at the foot of a hill. I opened up my wings, turning my head and snorting a warning to my riders. They looked at me in surprised glee. I was going to fly! Both clung on tightly to my fur, grinning with excitement and anticipation. They loved it when I took to the skies, and I only did it once a week, and only in their companionship, when I passed to the top of this hill. To them, flight was better than running. The sky was their friend. It was far better than the ground - there were no restrictions in flight. Delighted cries rung out through the air as I kicked my powerful back legs, launching myself up into the air. Instantly, the call of the free wind invited me to fly. Beating my wings confidently, I rose upwards, boosting myself forwards. Uncontrolled laughter came from my riders as I swooped upwards, my legs tucked beneath my body. Today, I would try something new, I decided. I growled a warning, then, without looking back, I folded my wings and dived.

It was the most exhilarating thing ever. The air streamed against me, trying to push me backwards. My wings were pressed tightly against my body, my ears pushed flat against my head. I could only just hear the screams of excitement that came from Carnelian and Sapphyre - the air that streamed against me was almost deafening, and blocked out almost everything else. My eyes were wide with excitement; an excitement that engulfed me as if I were a tiny fish in a vast ocean. Engulfed me so much, that when the ground was almost upon us, I only realised at the last second. Roaring in alarm, I instantly spread my wings, jerking my body upwards. My back leg skimmed the ground, grazing it as it scraped against the ground. But I had done it! Swerving out of control, I crash-landed on the ground, skidding at least a few metres before coming to a stop. I let my head flop to the ground, trembling with adrenaline. I had done it. Indeed, I had lost control at the end, but I had done a successful dive, and pulled up at the last second. I turn my head, still shaking. Both my riders are stunned. Stunned but amazed, and I knew that they had enjoyed it. Carnelian was the first to speak.

"Wow." he muttered. "That was amazing!"

He dismounted, and then collapsed on the grass beside me.

"You are the best skycat ever." Sapphyre stated, rolling onto the grass between me and Carnelian. For what seemed like a long time, but was probably a mere few minutes, we looked contentedly at the clouds, in what seemed to be a companionable and happy silence. Then, I finally realised that I had green grass stains all over me, and my foot that had scraped the ground was bleeding slightly. Deciding to ignore it, I shut my eyes, Sapphyre's warmth soothing against me. She snuggled against my fur.

"Carnelian," she asked slowly, "We will always stay friends, no matter what, right? And you too, Frostbite. We'll always be friends, won't we?"

"Always." Carnelian replied instantly, and I gave a simple nod of my head and a snort of agreement. "We're going to be friends forever. Even if one of us dies, we'll still be friends." he confirmed, speaking strongly. I turned my head to look at them, opening my eyes. Carnelian had pale orange-red skin, with eyes of an intelligent midnight blue. His hair was jet black, the colour of the darkest night. Sapphyre had golden-blonde hair, and her skin was a pale blue. She was pretty, and like me and Carnelian, she had midnight blue eyes. Their tails were long and never-still, similar to my white panther tail. Both were tall and athletic, very fast and good at training. It was as if battle was a second nature to them - especially if they fought alongside. I you were to add me to that team, then they would fight even better. As I had always said, courage is stronger than cruelty. Willpower is stronger than muscle, but friends are stronger than both. We were a team, we always would be.

"Agreed." Sapphyre replied happily. I gave a nod of my head to show my approval, then looked back to the clouds. White, like me. Me, a pure white panther, a winged white panther. A skycat - the mount of the Lithralydens. Only, at the moment, I was covered with green grass-stains, and my coat wasn't quite as snowy as it had been this morning. I breathed deeply, enjoying every second of it.

And that was when I heard it.

The scream, faint, far away and coming from... our village. Scrambling to my feet, I snarled urgently. Both my riders stood, alarmed at my sudden movement. I growled desperately, my eyes darting over to the direction of the village.

"What is it?" Sapphyre asked. "Something from the village?"

I nodded.

"An attack?" Carnelian said, his voice high pitched with worry. I nodded again. Worry crossed his face, fear as well. Trying to keep my own fear hidden from view, I flick my tail and spread my wings. What was happening? What sort of an attack was it? Sapphyre scrambled on my back, telling me to fly, to see what it was. I opened my wings and boosted myself upwards. Carnelian stood on the ground below, and I knew, without looking down, that he'd be making sure he had all his arrows ready. Rising upwards as fast as I could, I looked over the trees. And then, I saw it. The attackers. Not Drakynaals, not Wolvarians, not even Fendariens.

The phantoms - the feared race from the distant kingdom of Akaten.

Far worse than either three of the other races. The phantoms would kill everything, everything and everyone. A huge tsunami of fear washed over me, engulfing me in fear. The excitement of the previous morning was gone; in its place was a black pit of terror.

"No..." Sapphyre whimpered, her fingers clenching tightly around my fur. I shook my head as she looked away, and I knew there were tears in her eyes. The phantoms. Only ever heard of in myths told by village elders. They would kill whatever they found. They would kill us all. I darted back down towards Carnelian, knowing that no warrior could save the village.

"What is it?" he asked, dread in his voice. My paws touched the ground, and Sapphyre slid off my back. There were tears in her eyes.

"The phantoms." she said, her voice weak from fear. "The phantoms are here."

"No..." he whispered. "We have to back, we have to help and-"

"We can't!" Sapphyre interrupted, and I knew she was right. "We'll die! They're the phantoms. We'll be useless against them! We can't save a village from phantoms, Carnelian!" she protested, her eyes shining both from tears and the desperate fear that drove her to the same conclusion as me: Run.

"We can help. Please." he begged, looking to us in turn. "We can't just leave them to die. If you won't come, then I'll go on my own. Come if you want, please, come with me. But I will not run. Please, Sapphyre. Please, Frostbite. Please."

I found myself charging back through the woods, with Sapphyre wiping away tears of dread, and with Carnelian staying silent, trying desperately not to burst into tears. Indeed, we could help, but surely we would die trying? Would it not be better to run? Fear was not letting go, it was going to stay and cling firmly to me as if it had no choice. And I hated it. Hated it with all my heart and soul. The fact that I, who dreamed of joining the Lithralyden army alongside my greatest friends, had wanted to flee. But phantoms? They were ruthless. And, judging from the growing number of screams and the growing sense of dread, there were many of them. Yet, I could not let Carnelian go alone. And Sapphyre, I knew, would not allow it either.

"Thanks." Carnelian whispered, his voice a choked sob. "You didn't have to come, but you did. I... I can't repay you. You are the best friends I could ever have."

His words rung around in my head. He was scared. He was terrified. But he came. He was brave, a courage that inspired me.

"Remember?" Sapphyre answered with a voice that made her sound both vulnerable and strong. "We stick together."

And with that, we broke free of the forest, and plunged head first into battle.

Roaring with the deepest and most terrifying sound I could make, I leaped at the first phantom. Up close, they were even more terrifying, but I could not turn back now. Their eyes were more evil than the darkest, most malicious, deepest pits of hell; their fingers were long, bony and carved, and their ghostly bodies, clad in robes that seemed the same, glowing green colour as their actual bodies, were tall and spindly. Yet, they withheld an extreme amount of power and strength. My own words echoed into my head, trying to encourage me in the face of death itself. Courage is stronger than cruelty. Willpower is stronger than muscle, but friends are stronger than both. Arrows and knives flashed before me, embedding themselves into phantoms all around me. The arrows; from Carnelian, and the knives; from Sapphyre. Each knife and arrow found it's mark. Phantoms were easy to kill, but their supreme numbers were overwhelming; there must have been at least thirty to each of the villagers in their army - and not all of the villagers knew how to fight. I leaped through them, slashing at any who dared to cross my path of destruction; any who dared to oppose me. My silver claws became arcs of death and destruction. I was only briefly aware of the pain in my shoulder, before Carnelian stopped shooting for a precious second to pull out a spear that had become lodged deep into my flesh. Red blood was leaking from the wound, trickling down my white fur and staining it red. I winced in pain, but could not afford to stop slashing and tearing at the phantoms. Instead, I gave a soft growl of appreciation. Carnelian threw his bow over his back, and drew his katana, cleaving through any foes to my right.

"Sapphyre, take the left!" he called out.

"Sure." she replied, unsheathing her poleaxe and taking on any opponents who came near to my left. The strategy was good - to charge through their ranks with Carnelian on the right, Sapphyre on the left, and with me just taking on any in front. But it was not enough. I realised that instead of my one spear wound on my shoulder, I had many more. The smell of my own blood filled my nose. And Carnelian and Sapphyre were probably injured, too. All around me, screams entered my ears, the sound of dying, painful screams of agony and anguish. Pain was all I felt. The pain that came from my wounds, and the pain of the knowledge that this entire place would fall to the phantoms. The taste of my own blood was fresh in my mouth, and the only things I saw was death, suffering, and destruction. A five year old grasped desperately at my tail, screaming for help. Screaming that he couldn't find his mother. I glanced back at him. And, in that second I did, a lethal sabre erupted though his chest. The young Lithralyden fell to the floor, coughing up blood in his last seconds of life.

And, in that second, he was dead.

Anger rushed through me. They had killed an innocent, too young to even wield a sword? I turned, my overwhelming rage swallowing my fear. They cannot slaughter one so young. They simply cannot! A dived at the phantom who had killed him, claws flashing in front of my eyes. Indeed, my claws were deadly weapons, more lethal than any sword. Somehow, they cleaved through the creature's shield, splitting it in two as if it were made of nothing but air. I leaped at the phantom's neck, breaking it between my fangs. A sickening crunch sounded through my ears. And then, the snap of it's neck was lost among the screaming. Eyes wide, I charged forwards again, and, as I roared, something happened which I never thought would.

A freezing blizzard.

The ice and snow burst out of my jaws as I roared, covering the enemies in front of me. It froze them solid, covering them with a sheet of pure ice. I gasped. I had... Created ice? Surprise rippled through me, surprise and pride, too. Very few skycats could use elemental powers. I had never before suspected...

"DUCK!" Carnelian screamed. I threw myself to the floor, just as a volley of throwing weapons, such as arrows, spears, axes and knives, sliced through the air over my head. An arrow cut through my ear, cutting a hole into it. I snarled deeply in pain, the hearing in my left ear going fuzzy. I could feel the warm, sticky blood in my ear, but there was no time to hesitate. Before another fleet of weapons could come at us again, I sprung up, whirling around and spraying freezing ice everywhere. Already, the action seemed natural; it were as if I had been wielding the powers of ice for years. Without waiting to find out if any were unfrozen, Sapphyre and Carnelian launched knives and arrows at the frozen group of phantoms. I charged forwards, snapping and clawing at any who seemed to still be alive. Without warning, Carnelian was thrown off my back, pulled away by a phantom. In the second that I turned, I saw the phantom smashing the hilt of his sword against Carnelian's head.

He crumpled.

Crumpled to the floor, limp, and... and unmoving.

"CARNELIAN!" Sapphyre screamed. A high pitched snarl burst from my mouth as Sapphyre's knife struck it's neck. But it was too late. Carnelian... He couldn't be gone. Tears welled in my eyes. My best friend. Carnelian. He couldn't. He just couldn't be gone. An axe struck my hind leg, but I didn't care. I no longer cared for the other screaming people around me. I no longer cared that they were dying. None of them amounted to Carnelian. Reaching his side, I desperately crouched beside him, licking his face to try and awaken him. No movement. His breath was cold. Sapphyre threw herself from my back, grabbing our friend in her arms and putting her head against his chest.

He groaned weakly.

"He's alive!" she yelled happily, eyes suddenly reclaiming their spark of intelligence and joy. I sighed heavily in relief. He was alive. He was still breathing. Suddenly, spears. They flew upon us from all directions, raining upon us like death, trying to crush the little relief we had just gained. I instinctively threw myself over Sapphyre and Carnelian. Several spears were embedded into my body, piercing my shoulder, wings, my back, and grazing my neck. This time, the pain was unbearable. Worse than any other pain that any of the other weapons had brought me. Because this pain, like the spears, was all over. I snarled in pain, the agony arching through me. Pulling myself off my riders, I weakly tossed my head to tell them to mount. For a brief second, Sapphyre hesitated - she knew that I was injured, and that her and Carnelian would slow me down. But then, she decided that I wouldn't give in, and, throwing Carnelian over my back, mounted. I spread my wings and tried to fly, but I found that I couldn't. Instead, I weakly ran forwards. I needed a healer. But I couldn't.

"Head for the edge of the village. You can't carry us all through this fight without collapsing every two seconds! We need to leave!" Sapphyre spoke urgently. I didn't hesitate - I knew she was right. I needed to get them out of here. Springing forwards and running as fast as my tired legs would carry me, I charged, trying to ignore the pain, through the swarming phantoms. My entire body seemed to be trembling in pain, my legs weak already.

"Left!" Sapphyre yelled, and I weakly turned into a side alley, to exhausted to argue with her. Indeed, I was a mighty creature, but I could not carry on with a pain like this. I found myself running through a small alley that was free of phantoms. And that was when I realised - that very alley was the place where Sapphyre and Carnelian had been brought up. The orphanage, run by the witch of a woman that the parentless Lithralyden younglings had to live with, was right before me.

It was deserted.

Pushing open the door with my nose and ignoring the pain, I looked inside. Dread instantly filled my heart. Bodies littered the floor, younglings that Sapphyre and Carnelian had known for their whole lives. Everything else had been terrifying, mortifying, but this... This was far worse, far worse indeed. Tears swelled in my eyes. Why did life have to be so painfully cruel? Sapphyre slid from my back, looking around in horror and shock.

"They're all... gone." she muttered, wide eyed. Her tail drooped sorrowfully.

"No..." Carnelian croaked from my back, and I suddenly realised that he was awake. Too tired to stay standing, I collapsed. Carnelian was too injured to move from my back; he stayed there as I panted on the floor. Sapphyre turned back to face us.

"When we leave the village," she whispered slowly, "The phantoms will follow us. I'll make my last stand on the hill. Don't argue with me." she said to us, her eyes deadly serious. I snarled in protest. She couldn't die for our escape. She just couldn't.

"You can't." Carnelian argued in a weak voice.

"I can." Sapphyre replied confidently. "Because I'm pretty much already dead."

She twisted her body to show us a wound, lifting her shirt so we'd see it clearly. A single knife wound in her side. It looked painful, but it couldn't kill her. Unless...

"It's poisoned. With deathglare venom. It kills you slowly within five days. And there is no cure. Do you think I'd rather die fighting, or die like a coward, hiding in the shadows with my friends dead? Because the second option seems clearly obvious to me. I've told you both before, I want to die a hero. I told you, if I was ever on the brink of death, I wouldn't waste my life and die peacefully. I'd take down a load of our enemies with me. This is what I'm doing now, to save my friends. You can't escape fast enough, Frostbite. You're too injured, and Carnelian is too weak to fight. But if you let me fight them, you will live, you will heal. The poison's already in my blood; I have no chance now. I want to die fighting on that hill. Our special hill." she spoke, her voice passionate as she talked. I listened in dread, in silence. I couldn't let her die, but I couldn't let Carnelian die either. My eyes were bewildered, distraught. This was the first time in my life that I had ever been truly unsure of what to do. My sides heaved, and I knew that everything she'd said was the truth. Yet I hated it. How I despised it and loathed it with all my heart. But surely... I couldn't let Sapphyre die alone? I whined pathetically, unsure.

"Frostbite..." Carnelian spoke slowly, voice still quiet from the injury. "Let her do it." he said in a weak tone. Both I and Sapphyre looked at him in surprise. Clearly, Sapphyre had expected that to convince him would be difficult. Far more difficult than this.

"I don't like it." he muttered, "But if it were me poisoned, Sapphyre..." Carnelian coughed weakly. "Then... I'd want Frostbite to take you away while I fought... But... But you would never agree, and you would want to stay and fight with me, on the hill. And I want to stay and fight with you, on the hill. We'll all fight, together. We're a team. I... I said to let you do it, but... I never said alone. Please let us stay." he begged. We listened to him, entranced by his words.

"But-" Sapphyre started. I cut her off with a growl.

"Fine." she sighed. "We'll all fight. But, if any of us have to die, it's me. I'm going to die in battle. You understand this, don't you? If you had deathglare venom running through you, then you'd want to die in a blaze of glory, right? Not curled up, whimpering and hallucinating. I refuse to die like that. You guys understand that, right?" she asked us, looking first to Carnelian and then to me. I looked deep into her eyes, trying desperately not to fall apart and howl in sorrow. Sapphyre did not deserve that. She did not deserve me to break down when it was her, fated to die, and not me. Gladly would I trade our positions. Gladly would I let myself die, and let her live. But I could not. I could not change fate. How I wish I could... But I could not.

"I understand." Carnelian spoke solemnly. His eyes were tearing up, but he, like me, knew that he had to hold it together for Sapphyre. I nodded slowly, my breath cold.

"Good. Thanks for understanding." Sapphyre replied, smiling briefly at us. "Now, we should probably stay here for a while, to gain energy. They'll find us soon, and, when they do, we need to have enough energy to run to the hill." she advised me. I considered it for a minute - there was probably no way that Carnelian could even lift a sword. He needed rest. And I needed to get those spears out of my back. But Sapphyre... All the time she spent here would make her weaker from the poison. But she'd never get to the hill if we didn't rest. I nodded my head. For now, we would spend a few precious hours resting. And then, it was the final stand.

After breathing cold ice on everyone’s wounds to numb the pain, I curled up with Carnelian and Sapphyre. My disgrace and guilt to fail Sapphyre was still fresh in my mind, but I wanted to spend these last few minutes with her being happy. My tail brushed gently against Sapphyre's blue skin as we sat, in companionable silence. For a few minutes, nobody spoke. Carnelian finally broke the silence with a few treasured words.

"When we fight, I promise that we'll go down fighting like the best warriors of Lithralyde. We'll take out so many phantoms that they'll be uncountable." he whispered quietly, his hand clasping hers as if to try and hang on to her, to prevent death from snatching her as if she were a worm and death the un-killable bird of prey.. I snorted softly in agreement, nuzzling them both with my nose. So cruel. Why was life so cruel? Why could death not claim me? Why her? Why Sapphyre, the one I had sworn to protect? I pulled a wing over them both, engulfing them in long, smooth feathers from my snowy wing. Neither seemed to care that it was blood-stained.

"When we go down? It's just me who'll be dying today, Carnelian. Promise me you'll try to live. Both of you. Promise me." she insisted. I sighed deeply in sorrow. I could try to live, but I was only staying in this cruel world for Carnelian. Otherwise, I would stay by Sapphyre's side and die fighting. But that was not my priority. Carnelian was - I could not let death claim him as it was claiming Sapphyre.

"I promise. We... we promise, Sapphyre. We'll try as hard as we can."

"Thank you."

"It's not you who should be doing the thanking. It's my fault that any of this happened. We should have run... We should have gone, and you wouldn't be dying." Carnelian whispered miserably, tears starting to roll down his cheeks. "We... We'd all be safe now, if only I hadn't been so stupid. I'm so sorry, I'm so, so sorry. You'd be okay now, if if..." Carnelian was sobbing now, crying openly and hiding no tears. "And I shouldn't have ever told you to come. I can't forgive myself, but... But you'd be okay, you'd be okay.." he sobbed, burying his head in between my fur and Sapphyre's shoulder. He was still muttering, but his words were unintelligible through his tears. I made a whimpering sound, both to share my sorrow with him, and to comfort him. His tears were warm on my fur, comforting in a strange way. Me and Sapphyre sat, silent, for a minute while Carnelian let out his sadness. A lump in my throat told me to shed my own tears, but I couldn't. Sapphyre couldn't deal with both of us. Especially now that she had not long to live.

"It's not your fault, Carnelian. You were the one who wanted to come and to fight, you were brave, braver than me. I'd rather die honourably than live with the guilt and the shame. You've done me a favour." she smiled at him, wiping away the tears as he looked up. I breathed deeply. I couldn't cry. I couldn't. I wouldn't let her down more than I had already."

"It... It's not my fault?" he asked wearily, sniffing, and still letting a few tears roll down his cheeks. Just a few. They splashed onto my side, running down my fur and adding to the blood spilt on the orphanage floor. Blood. Tears. Poison. Pain. The destruction of all I knew. This was most certainly the worst day of my entire life.

"No." Sapphyre replied gently. "It's the phantom's fault. They were the ones who killed me, weren't they? Besides, it's like I said. You saved me from the guilt and the shame of abandonment. You saved both of us, me and Frostbite. Don't ever blame yourself, Carnelian. Please, promise me you won't blame yourself." she told him softly. He nodded, sniffing. I could hear the emotion in their voices as they talked. It wasn't the first time I found myself wishing that I could speak their language so that I could comfort them. Perhaps though, my warm fur, my gentle snorts and sorrowful whimpers were comfort enough. In the silence that followed, I noticed that the screams were growing less. They had almost finished the huge on-slaughter - soon they would scout out buildings that might hold survivors. Survivors like us. Which meant that we would have to move - soon. It was Sapphyre who finally voiced my thoughts.

"We've had over an hour to rest. Are you all ready?" She asked. I gave a short nod. The ice that covered my wounds had numbed the pain, enough for me to fight well enough for a short while at least.

"I'm as ready as I'll ever be." Carnelian sighed. At this, Sapphyre gave a small laugh.

"I'm taking it that you're not all too ready, then?"

"No. My head's still groggy, but, thanks to Frostbite, my head's feeling a little better." He told us. At the mention of my name, he threw a grateful sideways glance at me. I snorted as if to tell him that it was nothing.

"Yeah, your new elemental powers are great, Frostbite." Sapphyre smiled. I tossed my head in acknowledgement. I hadn't exactly been considering my powers - Sapphyre was far more important to me than any powers. I could have all the power in the world, and I would trade it for her. It wasn't fair...

The screams were not coming as often, now. Meaning that the phantoms had started scouting out the buildings. I stood nervously, testing my strength. I could stand. Carnelian and Sapphyre stood as well, their eyes defiant in the face of death. They, like me, managed to stay upright without any major problems. My ears twitched as I detected something. A noise. Outside.

Phantoms.

Tossing my head desperately, I indicated that they mount me. Indeed, I wasn't sure if I was even strong enough yet, but we had to leave... Sapphyre's last stand was to be on the hill, not here. Luckily, both of my riders understood. They scrambled onto my back, Carnelian, as always, seated at the front, and Sapphyre sat behind him. And, as the first phantom opened the door, it found a knife embedded in it's throat.

I charged through the doorway, leaping over the dead body of the phantom.

"Come on!" Carnelian yelled as loud as he could, his voice filled with rage.

"Fight us!" Sapphyre screamed, trying to draw phantoms in to follow us. I roared - a roar that carried itself through the entire village, tempting any phantoms to follow us. And, with our provoking shouts and cries to call our enemies to follow, I fled into the woods.

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