War of the Spirits

Saphira is the future leader of the isolated mountain village Natallian. However, just as she left to being her training, an incident takes place in the naboring town that changes her course of life forever

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16. Chapter 16

Saphira fell asleep as Troy carried her out of the forest, only making it half way through. The series of events had left her completely exhausted, not to mention her lack of proper sleep once again. When she woke up, she was back in the room where the Shadow Knights had placed her when she had been injured by the Chimera. She felt a lot more energized after a surprisingly good rest, moving into a sitting position. As she did, she noticed that there was something was on the edge of her bed. She looked over and noticed that Erik was sleeping on the side of the bed. She nearly jumped out of the bed, a slight blush on her cheeks.

"He's came in here a little while ago to see if you were awake," Flarenix explained, Saphira looking closer at his face. She noticed that there were some dark circles under his eyes, and his expression seemed more peaceful than it had been the last few times she had seen him. "He's apparently been on edge since the incident in Katil, probably because you suddenly vanished for seven straight days,"

'So he thought that happened because he asked me to help him?' She asked, Erik moving slightly and caught her off guard. He grunted slightly as he slowly moved his head up from the bed. He rubbed his eyes slightly, looking like a small child. Saphira let herself smile a little, a small laugh escaping her. 'He is a little cute like this.' Erik reacted to her laugh and looked over at her, his eyes still tired.

"You're awake," he yawned, Saphira moving the blanket off her so she could get out of the bed. "How are you feeling?"

"Better than I did before. What about you? You've got dark circles under your eyes," she asked, Erik moving so he was sitting on the bed instead of the floor. "I overheard Zack and May talk about how you've been 'under the weather',"

"That's one way of putting it. But it doesn't matter for right now," he said, moving so he was sitting on the bed instead of the floor. Saphira did know what had been going on thanks to Flarenix, but she wanted him to tell her personally. "Commander Henry wanted to have a word with you as soon as you woke up," he said getting up from the bed and walking towards the door. Saphira let out a small sigh and followed him out of the room. The two made their way down the hall, Saphira trying to memorize her surroundings in case she got lost. They soon arrived at a large room, a large group of people stood in their way and nearly pushed them down. Erik moved her to the side in time, and didn't seem fazed by them at all.

"Does that happen a lot?" Saphira asked, Erik just giving her a cheeky grin. He leads her into the room again, Saphira looking around to try and see what kind of organization this place was. But Erik pulled her along before she even had a chance to actually see anything of note. They went up a long flight of stair, leading to a platform that hung above the rest of the room. When they reached the top, Zack, May and Henry standing at the top.

"Saphira, we do not have much time. So I will keep this brief," Henry said without letting her got used to the completely unusual surroundings at all. "We are about to launch the plan to heal the King and bring General Paul down from power. We know that it will not be easy, so I will not be reckless when attacking his army," he explained, Saphira agreeing that he should cautious. But was now really the best time to start this plan?

"We are already getting the troops ready, so it will not take more than a day before they are ready to leave," Zack said, his voice sounding more chilling than it did in the past. "So if you need any more rest, you get the rest of the day," Saphira did want some time to herself, some time to think about what she was actually supposed to do after all of this. Just as she was about to leave, Henry tapped her lightly on the shoulder.

"May I have a moment of your time, Saphira? There is something I wish to speak with you about," he said, Saphira giving him a small nod. The Lieutenants left them so they could talk in peace, Saphira making herself comfortable. "Your role in this attack will be very different from the soldiers. You will have to fight against General Paul by yourself as you acquaintance, Shadow, cures His Highness," he told her, Saphira agreeing with his logic. While Zack was stronger than her, he was better at taking care of large groups of enemies compared to her. Not only that, but if Zack attacked him, then it would be possible for the other Captains in the Army to put all of the blame on the Shadow Knights. But if she dealt with him, then there would be less problems.

"I think I'll be able to do that," she said, Henry giving her a smile in gratitude. "But let me make this clear: I'm not killing him," When she added that, Henry's smile formed into a small frown instead. Saphira had gotten this far without any blood being shed on her part, and she's been trying to prevent as much bloodshed as possible. She wasn't about to throw all of that out the window right at the end. Henry let out a small sigh after a while, muttering something to himself.

"I suppose Misa would prefer it that way," Saphira's eyes shot wide open when she heard her mother's name from Henry. The Commander seemed to have noticed that she heard him, and moved a bit closer to her. "Your mother was a former acquaintance of mine, as is your father. The last time I saw her was to warn her of an attack on your village,"

"Right before her death," Saphira said quietly, Henry nodding. "Then you know who attacked us?" The Commander looking away when she asked that, meaning that he did know but didn't want to tell her. "Please, at least let me know,"

"Do you promise that you won't seek out revenge if I do?" he asked her, Saphira nodding without hesitation. If she wanted revenge, she would've followed Nate's idea and personally sought out the one who killed her mother. But she knew that fighting for revenge isn't a way to live. "The one who lead the attack was General Paul himself, and he was also the one who took your mother's life," he told her, Saphira narrowing her eyes. It wasn't as shocking as she thought it would be. Maybe because she had already heard of General Paul's previous actions. "There was suspicions that your village was trying to overthrow the Kings rule, with their sudden eagerness to be free from the Royal Army. All Paul had to do was tell that rumor to the King, and His Highness allowed the General to attack the village. However, he was not allowed to kill. But because of how isolated the village was, His Highness never heard of what General Paul actually did,"

"So because of a rumor, my mother died?" Saphira asked, feeling herself becoming more and more agitated. Henry nodded, not telling her much else. His explanation was vague, and she could tell that there was something else that he wasn't telling her. But she also knew that if she heard more, she wouldn't be able to keep her head clear. "I'm going to go and clear my head," she said as she got up, not letting Henry get another word in before she went back to the room. Luckily, the main room wasn't too far from her own, so she was able to find her way quite easily. As soon as she entered, she laid herself down on the bed and stared up at the ceiling. "Guess it's soon coming to an end," she said aloud, a small sigh escaping her. "I wonder what's going to happen once this is finally over?"

"That is something we'll have to see when the time comes. With any luck, the ones that thought they were unjustifiably judged will get a second chance," Flarenix said, Saphira nodding in agreement. "But our first priority is General Paul. No matter how peaceful the King might be, if Paul is still the General, it'll only be a matter of time before something like this happens again,"

"I won't kill him," Saphira interrupted her Spirit, feeling a bit agitated by what Flarenix was proposing.

"Nor would I want you to.  There are other ways to keep a man out of power," Flarenix reassured her, Saphira not saying anything this time. "But we'll think about that when the time comes. Just like we always do," Saphira couldn't help but laugh a bit at Flarenix's words. She hadn't really realized it, but a lot of their actions were last minute choices. Even how she got involved in this was at the last second. "But there is something that's bugging me a little,"

"What's that?" Saphira asked, not sure what the dragon was talking about.

"Remember that image you saw of yourself in Faith's mirror?" Flarenix started, Saphira carefully nodding. "She said that the reflection you saw of yourself was when you had become 'the Hero' or whatever she said. You were badly injured and a complete mess in that picture. In fact, you looked like you were dead," Flarenix trailed off and didn't finish what she was going to say. But Saphira had a rough idea of what was concerning the Spirit now.

"You're worried about what will happen to me as I try to end this war?" Flarenix nodded, Saphira rolling over to her right side and had her head on her arm. "It's not going to be an easy fight, that much I know. So getting beaten up like that might be inevitable,"

"I just hope it doesn't end worse," Flarenix muttered, Saphira staying silent. While she did see herself alive in the reflection, it didn't mean she would be alive when the time came. Flarenix let out a loud yawn, Saphira smiling slightly. It wasn't often she heard Flarenix yawn, as her Spirit always fell asleep after her. "Well, we should at least get some rest. I'm tired of you passing out due to exhaustion,"

"That makes two of us," Saphira agreed, making herself a bit more comfortable. She closed her eyes and felt herself drift into sleep. She could hear the sound of footsteps outside of her room, but she ignored them and feel asleep.

The next morning, Erik had come in and awoken her. It was barely dawn, and Saphira wasn't used to waking up this early. Even when she was back in her village. Erik had also left before she had a chance to complain, Saphira only groaning as she forced herself out of bed. She noticed that there was a small window at the end of her bed. She went over and looked outside, seeing the Shadow Knight troops standing and preparing themselves for the march.

"Looks like it's time end this," Saphira said to herself as she grabbed her bag and left her room. She saw a few of the last members running down the hall, Saphira quickly following them so she would be able to get outside. Once out of the building, she began to search for the top officers, seeing all three Lieutenants with Commander Henry. She walked over to them and made eye contact with Henry as she got closer.

"You have arrived. From what Erik told me when he came to escort you, it seemed you would take longer," Henry teased, Saphira giving Erik a cold look. The young Lieutenant only smirked at her, as if he was trying to provoke her. "Are you prepared to leave?" Henry spoke up once again, Saphira moving her attention from Erik to the Commander.

"As ready as I'll ever be," Saphira said, Henry nodding as he leads her towards the rest of the troop. As they approached them, all of the men turned to look at them, her especially.

"Listen to me, my good men. This woman will fight alongside us as we finally put an end to the suffering caused by this war," he introduced her, most of them looking at her with skeptical looks. Most likely because they didn't know exactly who she was. Henry had told her that he would only tell his closest about her. "It's time to bring down the poison that hides among the Royal Army, and bring peace to Savia and all of her people!" The speech wasn't long, nor anything particularly special. But all of the men roared in agreement. Saphira felt anxious at their enthusiasm, wondering if she really did make the right call.

"Is something wrong? You seem more worried now that you did yesterday," Erik's voice made her turn to look at him, Saphira just shaking her head. If they became a problem after this war, it would be her responsibility to take care of it. Erik didn't ask her again, so the two quickly went to catch up to them and went to where May and Zach were.

"Are you two done flirting already?" May threw the comment at them from out of nowhere, so neither of them had anything to say in response right away. "Aw, did I fluster the love birds?"

"It isn't like that, May. For the hundredth time," Erik sighed, Saphira honestly surprise May was able to think about that at this point in time. "Have both of you been informed of how we're going to attack,"

"Yes. You, me and May are attacking first with a small fraction of the men. As we get rid of the first wave of soldiers, Commander Henry and the rest of the troop enter and begin distracting the army from the Kings chambers while 'her' acquaintance takes care of his business," Zack briefly summarizing the plan. Saphira felt a bit of spite from him towards her, but she elected to ignore it. The last thing she wanted was to get on his bad side.

"And while we're doing all the dirty work, Little Miss Hero is going to take all the credit and take out General Paul," May added, Saphira stopping in her tracks at the last part. She knew that she was going to take care of Paul, that wasn't the surprise. But the way May had said it left her with a big feeling of guilt. She didn't like the feeling of taking the prize for what someone else does. Even if it wasn't true.

"Do not try and make her feel guilty, Lieutenant May. You have a bad habit of manipulating people to your liking," Zack said out of the blue, catching all of them off guard. May began to argue with Zack while Erik tried to calm both of them down.

"This is certainly an odd bunch," Flarenix snickered, Saphira feeling a bit more at ease now. But she was still worried about the influence Henry had over his men. One move in the wrong direction, and they might become the biggest problem. "I don't think you have to worry about that for now. The man seems quite contented just with getting the peace he wants. So we can leave that thought alone for now,"

'Let's hope we can keep it out as well. I don't want a second war.' Saphira thought, continuing to follow them towards their destination.

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