Weaving Moonlight

The first in the Tales of Terrahgonia series.
Lux Robertson has a destiny.
Prince Stefan wishes to shape his own.
Jamie Cooper just wants to belong.
What do these three teens have in common? They all have a legacy to uphold. But to do this means braving a war against the tyrannical false queen of Terrahgoina, a mystical land long ago forgotten by mortals. But with hidden secrets and traitors in their midst, they may not survive to save the kingdom.

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20. Flying Without Wings

Author Note: So... the chapter name is part of the lyrics to a song. Sue me. Apologies for my irregular updates lately. I am still in the middle of my exams so I can't make any promises about the next update.

Updated Tuesday 3rd June 2014

Lux flailed in the air as she descended about 20ft. With no one else in sight, she thought she would die, or at the very least, break several bones. Halfway down her descent, she felt someone catch her. She stared into bright blue eyes.

            “Pietro.” Lux sighed in relief.

”The one and only!” a voice called out— but Pietro hadn’t moved his lips. Lux heard a whinny and realised she was on a horse.

Pietro placed her in front and she got a better view. The horse was blue with a black mane, but the most surprising thing was that it appeared to be galloping in the air. Lux looked below and saw the wave of water it raced on.

“How are we doing this?” Lux asked.

“We sure are the dream team, Pietro and I.” It was that voice again. It was definitely male, but it wasn’t coming from Pietro.

“Where is that coming from?”

“Vittali at your service,” it replied. That did little to ease her tension.

“Pietro!” A voice called out from behind.

A giant eagle-headed beast flew in from of them with large wings attached to its golden body. Riding the griffin was Quinlan and a girl who held onto him for dear life.

“Yolanda’s forces are gaining on us! We need to get to my palace.”

“Pietro says he’s right ahead of you,” that voice yelled. “Last one there’s a rotten egg!”

Lux had to hold on tight as the horse galloped faster, as if on turbo speed. It dawned on her that perhaps Vittali was the horse. Stranger things had happened.

Looking behind her, Lux saw what appeared to be black horses pulling chariot riders. There were also futuristic looking hover crafts, but whilst they may have looked like something out of a sci-fi movie, they were very real, and so too were the armed riders.

“Hold on tight, Guardian,” Vittali whinnied.

Vittali descended a little bit in order to avoid a volley of arrows, causing Lux’s stomach to heave in protest. Below them were many well lit buildings and houses. Several townspeople pointed at the sky at Lux and the others. Lux felt strange about being someone’s spectacle.

“Pietro, why don’t you show them who’s boss?” Vittali asked. Lux turned to see Pietro create a bow and arrow out of water, and then freeze the arrow solid. “I think you’ll need a bit more fire power,” Vittali suggested.

Pietro’s weapon melted and turned into a big crossbow. With an ecstatic grin on his face, he fired. The weapon fired a lot more rapidly than Lux would have expected and he hit several chariot riders and their horses. Unfortunately, the arrows whizzed through some of the horses.

“Maras— those slippery bastard!” Vittali snorted.

Lux finally turned again towards the front. Above her, she saw Quinlan fly towards his attackers, throwing orbs of pure darkness. “The traitorous Maras are mine,” he announced. “The Unseelie deal with their own.”

The red-eyed horses neighed and whinnied in what seemed like fear. Pietro continued aiming at the knights and a few more plummeted to the ground.

“Bon Voyage!” Vittali shouted. “Woah, Pietro!”

Lux turned her back to the front and screamed when she saw the skyscraper they were heading towards. Before she could do anything, they crashed through the glass. Employees on the night shift scrambled away from their workstation to avoid the flood of water and the horse galloping on it. Glass shattered everywhere and Lux felt it cut her in several places. Her arm seared in pain and she saw blood covering it[WM1] . Just before they hit the glass at the other side of the building, Lux let out a starburst, shattering the glass before Vittali hit it.

“Nice once,” he neighed.

Unfortunately, at the other side of the building, two charioteers waited for them. Out of nowhere, a volley of black energy balls attacked them and the Maras collapsed. Quinlan waited for them for a moment before riding on ahead. After flying for a few minutes with no activity, a dozen more charioteers with Maras appeared.

“By the gods!” Vittali snorted.

“How can you even see them?” Lux asked. “They’re behind us.”

“I can see what Pietro sees,” he replied. That explained why he was so good at avoiding attacks from the flank.

In the centre of the enemy charioteers was a brutish man with a long beard. He proclaimed a battle cry— “For Terrahgonia!”— and unexpectedly, a round of guns exploded out of large guns. Lux saw Pietro hurtle down and she was filled with panic.

“Pietro!” she exclaimed in unison with Vittali.

When the flow of water ceased, she too began a descent with Vittali. Who would save her now?

Lux barely heard herself scream above the rush of the air but she felt her throat go hoarse. Above her, she vaguely saw the griffin fly overheard and a figure jump off. Soon enough, she found the Unseelie king next to her, falling by her side. His dark eyes were wide in shock but his face was set in determination. Black mist extended from his hands and wrapped itself around Lux and Vittali, becoming solid.

“I’m going to slow down your descent but you’re going to have to trust me,” he instructed.

 Had it been any other time, and she would have given him a snarky retort but this was life and death and he was her only hope. Lux nodded in agreement.

“I call upon the harpies, Celaeno and Aello!”

Lux heard the squawking and screeching before dozens of silhouetted flying creatures descended through a black hole. She sense her fall slow down and turned to see Quinlan with a relieved expression.

“What happened?” Lux asked.

“The harpies are here to pay a debt to me.”

Looking up, Lux saw that a harpy was carrying Quinlan by his arms with its talons.

“Celaeno, set us down on the ground please.” Quinlan said.

Lux held on tight to Vittali as the harpy flapped its wings. They weren’t quite falling but the drop was still bewildering.

“Vittali, what happened to Pietro?” Lux asked.

“He was hit by either a bullet or an arrow but then Quinlan and the griffin caught him,” Vittali replied. “I don’t see anything through him right now so he’s probably blacked out.”

When Vittali hit the ground, Lux felt her body jolt. Nothing could have prepared her for that. Vittali hit the ground running, passing by several Terrahgonians who jumped out of the way in the street. There were many nice [WM2] looking cottages here and a few small shops but it was clear that they were outside the main city now[WM3] . Vittali’s hooves clattered on the cobbled streets and the adrenaline in Lux’s body did not dampen very much not that they were on the ground.

The shadows that had clung to Lux and Vittali receded and Lux saw Quinlan rise up in the air with the harpy. In the dark it was difficult to make out its features but Lux saw that it was as large as a man with talons for feet and wings for arms, but a woman’s face.

“Quinlan!” Lux yelled. She didn’t want to be alone. She didn’t know how to ride a horse or protect herself against any possible attackers.

“Relax, princess!” he shouted back. “The harpies are covering us.”

When Quinlan was out of view, Lux felt alone. At least she wasn’t being attacked.

“Vittali, do you know where you’re going?” she asked.

“I sure do. Those harpies sound like they’re having a good time.” It was true that despite the fact that they harpies were 40 or 50ft above them, she could still hear their screeching.

When Vittali reached the field, Lux saw two harpies collapse from the sky. Just before they hit the ground, they dissipated into smoke, wiped from existence. Lux looked up and saw two knights on flying hovercrafts, guns firing towards them.

“Shield us!” Vittali screamed.

Lux blasted towards the bullets with a starburst.

But Vittali asked for a shield! I don’t know how to do that.

Lux cursed herself but continued blasting. She saw a harpy attack one of the knights, talons at the ready. The knight fell from his craft with a scream but the hovercraft kept going, perhaps manned by another man.

More bullets cascaded down and Lux struggled to keep up the starburst attacks. Vittali cried out a neigh, followed by a torrent of swearing, before collapsing on the field. Lux flew in the air before hitting the ground with loud snap as she landed on her left arm. She cried out in pain, tears already flowing. Above her, she saw one of the hovercrafts plummeting to the ground.

Lux rushed beside Vittali who lay on the field with his eyes closed.

“Vittali!” she screamed. “Vittali wake up.”

The horse opened its bright green eye.

“Am I dead?” he asked.

“No. We need to get to safety.”

“Can’t go anymore. Leave me.”

“No!” Lux yelled. She couldn’t let anyone else die tonight. Richard may have chosen to be a sacrifice, but Lux wished she could have saved Roland and wished she had protected her father, and Pietro. Vittali would not die tonight.

Lux felt a tugging at her chest that grew into a burning sensation. In her right hand, a bright orb of light grew and she touched Vittali with it. Instantly, the horse transformed into a humanoid creature with horse ears. Lux didn’t have time to register what she was seeing. She dragged Vittali on his feet, thankful he was wearing a pair of trousers. He stumbled when he took his third step, forcing Lux to forget her broken arm long enough to support him.

“The die Zwischen is not so far off,” he said. “They won’t dare to cross the border.”

Lux heard bullets ricochet behind her and turned to see the other hovercraft gaining on them.

“We’ll never make it. Leave me,” Vittali insisted even as Lux forced him to hobble onwards.

“Never.”

Lux turned around to face their attacker and built up as much energy as she could muster into the next attack. A huge starburst— bigger than any she had made before, and several times larger than her head— expanded out of her hand. She fired at the hovercraft and saw one of the knights jump from the craft before it was hit. Lux collapsed on her knees, exhausted from the attack. Her vision became distorted and as Vittali yelled at her to stay awake, his voice became muffled, as if she was underwater. Water sprayed on her face and she came to, seeing those bright green eyes on her.

“Come on. We’re almost there,” he said.

Lux blinked several times but could not find the strength to stand up. Behind, she heard a thud and the sound of running feet.

“What happened?” It took a while to register Quinlan’s voice.

“She saved me,” Vittali replied.

“Your job was to protect her,” Quinlan scolded. The Unseelie king pushed Vittali aside, and he fell on the grass with a groan. “You would do well to know your place, Glashtyn.”

Quinlan scooped Lux up in his arms, walking away from the injured creature. Lux had little energy but was able to thump her head over Quinlan’s arm.

“Don’t leave him,” she whispered.

Quinlan scoffed, but set her down on the ground. He whistled, using his fingers, and a harpy landed beside them moments later.

“Take the Glashtyn to my palace, unharmed,” the Unseelie king ordered. The harpy squawked a response before grabbing Vittali’s arms with its talons and rose to the air. “I hope you’re happy,” Quinlan said. Lux only nodded.

He grabbed Lux up into his arms again before breaking into a brisk run. Lux accidently bit her tongue from the speed and the adrenaline pushed away any thoughts of sleep. It was difficult to see a great deal with her face buried in Quinlan’s chest. The run was a long one but they eventually slowed down. By this time Lux was dizzy.

“Your king commands you to open this gate!” Quinlan ordered. Lux bent her neck to see the gate being opened and looked up to see Quinlan met her gaze. “Welcome back to my palace.”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

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