Skyward (Re-Write)

Zena, newly created from an explosion of fire that burned down a good bit of forest. Tries to discover who she is and why she is called a "Guardian". With god like powers she has to learn to control them or otherwise it would surely mean death. Not only to her, but to the people she has grown to love.

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4. Chapter 4

They weren’t lying when they promised to teach her. Maybe they were even too good at keeping her promise. The very next day after she had joined Kai had woke her up bright and early to teach her simple things about her powers. She just wanted to sleep honestly but Kai wasn’t having it. He was dead set on teaching her, even if she was bound to her bed with a broken leg and wing.

Zena healed remarkably quick. Inhumanly quick at that. In only a few days her leg was good as new and her wing had healed even quicker than that. Looking her over you couldn’t tell that she had even been hurt at all. Tvorca had explained to her that Guardian’s did tend to heal at alarmingly fast speeds and it was part of their immortality.

That was another cool fact. They were immortal. Well… Not entirely. If they never got attacked and kept themselves fed and drank water they could live forever. They could still starve and get hurt and even die if enough damage was inflicted on them though. Then there was the next thing Tvorca had explained to her. They could reincarnate; if they did starve or die in one way or another they would be reborn sooner or later in the same sort of way they were created in. He did warn her though that this did not mean that they could be careless and just try to die to see if they could come back and they shouldn’t hurt themselves just to see how fast it healed them. Dying meant that you might have to wait several years, maybe even a hundred until they could be recreated again. She thought this was groundbreaking but also eye opening just how powerful they really were. Zena counted herself as blessed that she was chosen to be created as a Guardian. She did not take this gift for granted and lived the way any normal person would.

Day in and day out though after she had healed Anil or Kai would wake her up at the very crack of dawn to either train her on survival or her powers. Everyday it seemed like she learned something new. How to use her basic powers, how to summon it to other parts of your body to help you in fights, and even how to form the fire in ways that could launch different attacks. Anil taught her how to fish, making a fishing pole out of almost nothing. He even taught her how to make her first long bow which became her first ever weapon. He was hard on her, but no more than he needed to be to make her stronger.

Her body, which was once mostly water weight and fat turned to slight muscle and her fat burned away. Sure, she did have a little bit of curves and she still had some fat on her but that was just a part of how she was made. She was by no means ripped or decorated in prominent muscles like Tvorca was, but she could keep up with them now. She wasn’t slowing them down or having to make frequent stops to take a break to eat or sleep. They never took a break anymore than they needed to now and she really started to feel like one of them. Not only that, but it was almost like she had known them their whole life. They treated her as one of them and as part of their makeshift family, not excluding her, and acting as though she had been created with them.

Kai taught her more about her fire powers that she possessed and how to use it. He was very patient, even if it took days to learn something new. That was what separated him from Anil, he was more relaxed and never scolded her even when she really deserved it or misused her powers. She noticed how it bothered Anil a lot too. When he would train her he would tell her how Kai needed to be more serious about training if she wanted to get better faster. Kai also would never make lessons last the whole day like Anil. He took a few hours here and there to show her new things and train her but otherwise he just went on walks with her or talked and hung out.

Zena got closer to Kai much easier than Anil and she guessed it was just because of their personalities. Kai was much more talkative and relaxed, only becoming serious when he really needed to. He was easy to embarrass, Zena noted almost right away. And Kai would get angry when he got embarrassed which she only thought was funny. She learned that he was older than Anil by ten years which in their time was only about a year in comparison to normal people.

Anil was much more secured and calculated. He seemed more closed off unlike Kai who seemed to be like an open book once you got to be his friend more. Anil would also go off on his own sometimes too, and with her curiosity Zena followed him one time. He had caught her almost instantly though as she was not hard to hear before he taught her how to stay quiet in the woods and not to sound like a wild stampede running wild. She found that he liked to leave to think about life and whatever was on his mind. He would fly or climb up into trees and hang out there for hours if he wanted. He was patient. Very, very patient. She had joined him a couple of times after begging him and she experienced just how peaceful the forest could be when you were quiet and just watching and listening.

All of that seemed nice and all but what really made an impact on her was what Tvorca taught her. She had been dying to learn it since the second day at their camp and hated being on bed rest because of it. She wanted to learn how to use her wings to fly. To lift her body from the ground and above the forest and fly over the treetops. He taught her how to use those big wings to even help fight or defend in fights too which she thought wouldn’t be possible. The training was rough and she fell more times then she could count on her fingers. Zena figured that she probably had bruised everything she could bruise on her body. Even when Tvorca told her she wasn’t ready to fly yet she ignored him and broke a few ribs in the process.

Zena was determined though and after long and painful days of trying, she finally learned how to fly above the trees and feel clouds on her fingertips. Nothing would be more beautiful than the sights she saw up there.

She could soar over the tree’s of the forest that she once could only walk through. She now was able to gaze at the ground below her and in the distance, see the looming mountains rise from the ground like giants asserting their existence.If she so dared, and she did, she could watch the sunset from the air or a high tree. In some cases, even though it gave both Anil and Kai a heart attack, she could free fall from the sky towards the hard earth and feel the rush of her heart and mind.

“Hellooo? Zena?” Anil called to her calmly with a hint of annoyance. She had forgotten that he had woken her up this morning for a reason. She must have spaced out while they were eating breakfast which she did often. Zena was not a morning person and would never be. She could stay up all night if she wanted to though, giving her the teased nickname of a night owl.

“Huh? Yeah? What’s up?” She gave an embarrassed smile as a small blush creeped onto her face.

“I was saying that we need to try to hunt today and we need to check the traps we set last night.” He repeated with a slight eye roll.

Always so moody when I don’t listen are we not? Zena thought in her head. They did have to go out today though even if she thought he was being cranky. The food they had was running low and they still had some time to go before they reached what Zena would call her new home. They had already been traveling around a month now too and something about them traveling a month to get to her made Zena feel important somehow. Like she really was part of their family.

“Oh.. yeah, okay. How much longer until we get to our home?” She inquired. For the last few days, both Anil and Kai were hyping her up to the new home she would be living in and their excitement was contagious. She had dreams about what it might look like and where she would stay. What other Guardian’s lived there besides Tvorca, Anil, and Kai? What did those people look like?

“Only a few days at most. I would rather not be starving when we get there though.” Anil stated as he grabbed his plate and then her’s and gently tossed them into a bucket filled with water and soap.

“Shouldn’t we wait till Tvorca and Kai wake up before he leave?” She wondered aloud. That was one big rule with all of them. Don’t take off without first telling someone where you are going. Zena had to admit, it was sound logic even if it was annoying at times.

“No, it is fine I told Tvorca last night. He couldn’t sleep at all for some reason so him and Kai will most likely sleep in today.” He grabbed his bag and threw it over a shoulder before slipping his hand into the other strap. Zena already had her hand out to catch as he also tossed her bag towards her. It was simple and brown, not carrying anything more than what she needed. She had wire and a net and some hooks for fishing all nestled inside and more supplies for making traps and fishing poles. They both grabbed their own bows and Anil handed her one of his knives to borrow while they were out. Zena examined the knife in her hand for a moment, taking in the runes that covered its handle and blade. She loved how it always kept a slight glow to it when she held it. It was always faint but still interestingly beautiful. She had previously noted how some of the marking on the blade also matched those that covered Anil’s skin and she wondered if maybe they glowed too.

They both nodded to one another, giving the slight notice that it was time to go before heading out into the woods.

“You know, you don’t always have to have one of us go out hunting with you now and you don’t have to wait till Kai is awake before you leave anywhere.” Anil commented with a slightly raised eyebrow. He had been telling her that a lot lately and recently adding in the part about Kai too. Zena smiled,

“Maybe I like waiting for Kai to get up. Maybe I like talking to him.” She scoffed sarcastically with a grin. She looked over to him to see if he was mad at her tone but he wasn’t looking at her. “Do you have a problem with that?” She teased.

Anil’s head turned quickly around to stare at her hard. His face was flushed and slightly red in the cheeks.

“No! I don’t have a problem! What’s your problem?” He barked nut realized his tone and lowered it. Zena giggled. She had always liked teasing all of them. She was convinced that she was a natural at starting mischief and how she was good at making jokes of almost everything. She knew how to get a rise out of him almost instantly after they became more acquainted and knew where most of his buttons were. Anil hated her for it. She loved herself for it.

“Me? I don’t have a problem. But you? I think you’re jealous that I’ll be better friends with him than you!” She accused with a grin that was wicked.

His face changed and his body language diffused. She watched as his body shook slightly as he chuckled at her.  She may know how to get a rise out of him but he never let her make him explode or lose his cool. He ruffled her hair roughly with his free hand. She hissed at the contact and recoiled from him to fix her hair again.

“You’re too innocent, Zena,” Anil started, “You always act like you know what is going on but sometimes you are more than clueless to so much still.” He chuckled again.

He said that a lot to her; that she was too innocent. She didn’t understand what he meant by that though. What did he mean by her not knowing what was going on? Why did he always say she was too nice for her own good? She guessed that in some ways he was right about that though. They were all older than her by a good bit; and with being created not that long ago, the world was all new to her.

Zena stopped with her playful attitude and shrugged before looking down at her boots as they walked. Now and then, she would catch him looking over at her with a slightly worried look. She ignored the look and him though. Even if she was the most innocent Guardian to ever live like Anil claimed she still didn’t like being called that.

“Hey, you know I didn’t mean what I said in a bad way.” Anil apologized as he rubbed the back of his neck. “I’m sorry.”

Zena was not going to give in that easily though, that wasn’t like her. She was like a wild mustang that refused to be broken by any rider that tried and in a way, she loved that about herself. She looked away from him as they got to the first trap that they had set the night before and made a ‘hmp’ noise at him as she crossed her arms on her chest. He shook his head and let out a sigh that was intended towards her as he bent down to check the trap.

“Nothing, damn.” He cursed under his breath. “Zena, go check the traps we set near the creek will you? I’ll check the traps near the clearing.” Anil asked her and she nodded without a word to him. Even if they had work to do she could be mad while doing it. She turned away from him, and with an upturned nose, walked towards the creek.

“And stop being a baby! I said I was sorry!” He called out.

“I’m not a baby!” She barked back at.

In truth, Zena really was not that mad. She just liked how Kai and Anil acted when she was ‘mad’ at them. She had no reason to ever be actually mad at them though, they had saved her life and given her a place to call home. Nothing that they had done to upset her would could trump the kindness they showed her that day.

In a short amount of time, she had reached the creek and took a moment to listen to the babbling of the fresh spring water hit the rocks and edges of the creek. It was soothing, relaxing her whole body and making her even feel a bit sleepy. Nature was indeed something to behold, she noted. The way it’s calming sounds could lull you to a peaceful sleep and how the colors it showed told a story older than time. Or how it’s unforgiving nature could also end your life with a snap of a finger if you weren’t careful. She reached the first trap and bent down to check it; only to find it empty.

Nothing. Again. That was weird, even if the first one they checked together had nothing in it usually the second would have more promise. Or at least a sign that something tried to get at it. She reset the trap and moved it a bit to make it more attractive to any nearby wildlife that would want to get the food inside.

As she worked on the trap she found herself wondering about what her new home would look like. They made it sound as though she had her own house and she wondered if it would be big or small. Would it be made out of logs to make a log cabin or metal? Maybe it was brick? What would her room look like? Would it feel like home?

She moved on and checked the next trap as she came to it.

Nothing.

She reset and moved on to the next.

Nothing.

Nothing.

Nothing.

At this point Zena was getting frustrated. Never in the time that Anil had taught her how to make traps and took her out to check them had she gotten nothing.

“Seriously?” She hissed under her breath in anger. How were they going to explain to Kai and Tvorca that all the traps that she had set had caught nothing. She was ashamed in herself for not placing the traps in a better spot or not putting good enough bait into them. She didn’t even bother resetting this trap either as it felt useless.

Grumbling curses she kicked the ground under her which sent grass and dirt flying into the brush of the woods. She heard a squirrel protest in the sudden noises nearby and she got even more upset that it was so close by but it never even went into the traps. Nature was something to behold, but man could it be stupid.

She didn’t even enjoy her walk back to the first trap like she normally did either. She would have to try extra hard while hunting now and that meant she would be out a lot longer than she wanted to be today.

She looked up and saw Anil wave to her from their meeting spot and she examined him closely. From the looks of it, he hadn’t caught anything either and something in her pulled at her instincts. That was a wrong sight to see, Anil was a master at trapping in her eyes and the fact he caught nothing was also like seeing a deer walk on two legs. Kai was going to be furious, she thought.

“Did you get anything?” Anil asked with confusion clearly in his tone. His whole face showed confusion to be accurate and a slight amount of disappointment that we caught nothing too.

She lifted her hands in the air and waved them around a little, “Does it look like I caught anything?” She spat, still a little angry in herself.

“It was just a question. I’m guessing you’re still mad at me?” Anil commented as he put his hands up in a sort of defensive way.

His face changed suddenly but Zena was already talking,

“No, I got nothing. And another thing-” She started before Anil cut her off.

“Zena, hold on.” Anil interrupted as he seemed to look past her.

“I don’t even like Kai like that! He’s just my friend and I wouldn’t steal him from-”

“Zena, I said shut up.” Anil warned in a growl. She stopped in her tracks. Anil never talked to her in that way. Something was wrong that she couldn’t sense but he could. She felt naked suddenly, like the whole forest was watching her but she couldn’t see from where. She was scared and confused as her eyes became wider and she looked at Anil like a lost child.

“Anil?” Zena whispered as she got next to him. She wanted to know what to do. She needed to hear it from him.

“Hush, Zena. Get low and get behind me right now.” He commanded in a whisper. She listened to him and did as he asked. She watched carefully from behind his wings and now she really felt like a scared, lost child. Anil examined his surroundings with his grey eyes that now looked piercing and like they could see through the trees. It was the same look a tiger gave its prey as it hid in the brush of the jungle.

Then, she heard it too. Quiet, but still noticeable if you really tried to listen. In a flash Anil had thrown his boomerang at the sound. He was so quick that she never even saw him take it out of his backpack. The boomerang planted itself in a tree nearby with a ‘thunk’ and a scared gasp and yell followed.

“Stay here.” Anil told her but Zena was already on her feet with him.

“I’m coming with.” She proclaimed. It was her fault for leading whatever to them and she intended to see who or what it was.

“No, I don’t want you getting hurt.” Anil stated with a serious look to his face.

“How do you expect me to get any better at fighting or ever expect me to know what to do in an actual situation if you never let me try?” She protested. Anil paused for a moment, clenching his fists and gritting his teeth like he was fighting within himself.

“Alright, fine.” He breathed, “But stay behind me, got it?”

She didn’t let him see it but she was beaming. He had never let her do anything dangerous before and now he was actually giving her a chance. The new responsibilities she felt made Zena feel even more important than ever.

“You got it.” Zena bubbled happily. Anil sighed, being that he usually was serious and calculated he found her over eagerness and optimism exhausting at times.

They walked low to the ground, Zena almost stepping on the back of Anil’s boots as she followed him closely. It seemed like time was moving in slow motion and that they would never reach the place that the boomerang landed. The brush finally cleared for them and Anil stopped abruptly, making Zena bump into him. She couldn’t see what he must have saw at first so she moved to look over his shoulder for a better view. The boomerang had buried itself into a tree that laid before them and as her eyes scanned more she realized another thing. Something she never expected to find when they reached the tree.

A girl with white wings was also stuck behind the boomerang.

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