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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6. Chapter 6

The day had went by slowly. With having no training to do today, and the plans to go hunting being canceled because of obvious reasons, she didn’t have much to pass the time. She had to entertain herself somehow. First, she decided to go fishing. As soon as she had grabbed her pole and bag Anil popped his head out of his tent and decided to tag along. They did fish together sometimes but Zena knew it was more than that today. He wanted to tag along because he wanted to try to convince her to pick him.

She accepted his offer of coming with and they set off to the creek together. Anil making subtle comments about how he was always the best at watching her back if he was to trail her when she met with Sneh.

Not surprisingly, when they did start fishing they hardly got a nibble. They both knew that it wasn’t the right time to be fishing and that made it even more clear that Anil came out with her to talk; he wasn’t expecting to catch anything.

Once she grew tired of that she told Anil she wanted to do something else and he asked if she wanted him to tag along and she declined. Zena was already tired of listening to what Anil had to say about Sneh and him buttering Zena up with kind words.

She needed to do her chores since she had nothing to do and she sure as hell was not going to get yelled at by Tvorca again for not washing her clothes and doing what was needed around camp. She grabbed her clothes which sat in an unorganized dirty pile near her bed and she found that she couldn’t carry all of them.

“Dammit.” She muttered to herself as clothes kept falling out of her hands and she couldn’t keep a good grasp on anything.

“Do you need some help?” Kai asked as he popped his head into her tent and she dropped the rest of the clothes from being startled by his entrance. She wanted to say no. That she got it and didn’t need help but she also didn’t want to make to trips to do laundry.

“Uh, yeah… Could you help me?” She asked him and he entered her tent and scooped up a handful of clothes into his arms.

“Not a problem, Ze.” Kai smiled, “You know I’m always happy to help you.” He added.

She chuckled to herself, he was always happy to help her unless it involved chores. Which he hated, and was not happy about doing at all. But here he was trying to get in good with her before dinner. They walked down to the creek together and Kai commented on how he thought they worked really well as a ‘team’ and how they both understood each other well.

What he said was true, they did get along great almost all of the time. It was very rare that they ever argued or didn’t see eye to eye. They also were a good team when it came to training and practice fighting. She wouldn’t let that cloud her mindset of letting Kai and Anil bicker though.

“Yeah we are a pretty good team.” She agreed.

“Exactly, that’s why I should go with you later on to meet Sneh. I could have your back a lot better than Anil would.” Kai boasted. Zena rolled her eyes,

“But he would know how to handle her better than you since he has met her before.” Zena added and now it was Kai’s turn to roll his eyes.

“Yeah, I guess if you want to think about it that way.” He grumbled. As they both washed her clothes she couldn’t help but giggle as Kai looked more than unhappy to be doing chores. Yet, he was still doing them nonetheless just to appease her.

Once they were done Zena thanked him for helping her out and when he tried to stay even after she dismissed him saying she was kind of tired and wanted to sleep. When they got back and she went into her tent she did admittedly eavesdrop on the two boys bickering amongst themselves about who deserved to go more. Despite their efforts to sway her one way or another they still were trying to make the other back down. She smiled, her plan to make them choose had worked exactly how she wanted it to.

Now the time was almost here and she really did need to figure out who she was going to take with. Zena knew that both boys were stubborn and would not back down making the decision fall back onto her. She left her tent once she could smell dinner getting done and as she made her plate Tvorca spoke up.

“So, Zena, have you decided who is coming with you?” He asked, “Since I don’t think that Kai or Anil have come to a decision.” He gestured over to them. They both had eyes on her and also at times, would stare daggers at one another.

To be truthful, she really did not know who she wanted to bring with her. She had thought about each of their strengths and what each would be expected to do if they came along and it was more or less even. It was a really hard choice as she knew that whoever she didn’t pick would no doubt be a little hurt.

“Yeah, I think I know who.” Zena spoke up finally. Anil and Kai both seemed to shift their focus on her instead of their food.

“I think Anil should come with me.” She finally decided. He had already seen Sneh and interacted with her. He was also quick to come up with reasonings if she did end up catching him trailing Zena. Though Kai would have been the best choice if she needed protection, he did tend to stumble over himself when in a sticky situation. Anil also could be almost invisible with his surroundings if he really needed to be and plus, he didn’t keep Zena on as tight of a leash as Kai did. Anil was protective like a brother but Kai was way worse. He never seemed to try his hardest when they did practice fighting in fear of hurting her and never really trying to do anything to upset her. Kai was protective like a big brother finding out his little sister was dating a bad guy. With Anil coming with, he would be with her in a way, but would never jump to her aid unless it was a last resort sort of situation. Whereas Kai, would probably jump to her aid if Sneh coughed or sneezed wrong.

“Yes!” Anil shouted, pumping a fist in the air.

“Really?” Kai questioned with obvious disappointment in his eyes.

“It was a random choice.” Zena told him which was halfway true.

“Don’t be hard on yourself, Zena. Kai will get over it.” Tvorca told her. This made her feel more comforted in her choice somehow. Then again, a lot of things Tvorca said comforted her in a way a father would. She understood now why Kai looked up to him as a dad.

“Maybe.” Kai started, “Or maybe I will hold it against you until the end of time.”

“You won’t. You like me too much.” Zena smiled and stuck her tongue out at him. He huffed and rolled his eyes, only giving her reassurance that he would forgive her.

If he really was serious he would have said something mean or hurtful towards her to show he really was upset. He didn’t though and she knew that she was right in thinking he would forgive her. She had messed up a lot in the month she had been with them and Kai had always forgave her eventually. It never seemed to take long for him to come back around either.

“We should go now. It is probably best to not keep her waiting.” Anil spoke up and Zena nodded in agreement. Sneh would be there soon and would no doubt be unhappy if she took too long. That being if she even decided to show up, Zena noted. For all they knew, she could have already taken their food and be long gone from anywhere near here.

Tvorca waved goodbye as he sat down next to the fire. Kai got up and ran towards them, giving Anil a hug and good luck before turning to embrace Zena. As his arms wrapped around her, pulling her close he brought his lips close to her ear.

“If you need any sort of help make sure to give off a signal or something so I can come help you.” He whispered.

“Thank you, I will.” Zena whispered back as he let her out of his arms.

She waved to both of them and slung her bag over her shoulders. She also made sure to secure one of Anil’s blades into her hilt on her belt. She let her fingers linger on the handle a tad longer, sending a silent plea that she would not have to use it.

“You ready?” Anil asked as he looked her over and readjusted her strap on her backpack.

“As ready as I’ll ever be.” She replied.

“Alright good to hear it. Remember, I’ll be a few yards behind you in case anything happens.” He told her before giving her a pat on the shoulder.

“Got it.” Zena nodded and started her walk into the woods and towards the place she would be meeting Sneh.

*****

She had to be nervous. How else could she explain why the walk there seemed much longer than before? Not having Anil or Kai around to talk or joke with was making the journey a lot more lonely too. Zena also noted how she felt hot and cold at the same time and her palms were clammy. She wondered how far away Anil was and if he could tell she nervous too. If he could, he sure made to attempt to stop her or make it known that he was there.

She finally reached the meet up point and her wings seemed to open and close in a way that told her that she was also filled with anticipation.

“Sneh?” Zena called out. Not loudly, but enough to make sure that Sneh knew she was there.

“I’m here.” Sneh called back and seemed to appear out of nowhere a bit further down. She was down a hill and closer to the creek and Zena tried to smile as warmly as she could, making her way towards Sneh. Zena wondered if Sneh could hear her heartbeat as it thumped loudly in her ears.

“You’re nervous.” Sneh assessed as Zena got closer to her.

“Yeah, I am.” She admitted, knowing it would be pointless to lie to her when Sneh could already tell.

“That’s comforting.” Sneh added idely. She brought the bag of food out in a bag that was slung behind her shoulder and dropped it on the ground for Zena to take.

“How is me being nervous comforting to you?” Zena inquired.

“Because that means you don’t intend to do anything bad to me. And if you do, you’re not confident enough to do it.” Sneh stated, “Or you’re scared of me.”

Zena felt insulted by her words, “I’m not scared of you! And I am confident! I’m always confident, just nervous is all.” She huffed in response.

Sneh chuckled lightly and smiled, “How long ago were you created?” She asked, changing the subject.

Zena, still a bit perturbed over the previous statement Sneh had said, was caught a bit off guard by the sudden question and topic change. “Uh, about a month ago. Why?” She asked.

“Just wondering how long you had been traveling with your ‘group’” Sneh stated putting a bit of emphasis on the word group. Sneh gestured again to the bag of food as if to tell Zena to take it. Zena bent down cautiously and opened the bag. She kept good to her word it seemed, inside the bag was fresh cleaned and wrapped up meat that could last them way longer than they even needed.

Zena nodded, “Thank you. Though I feel as though you did not just come here to meet with me about food. I feel like you have something else on your mind.” She assessed.

Sneh only smiled again, “For being created only a month or so ago you sure are alright at analysing situations.” She started, “Yes, there was more I had planned than just to bring you your food back.” She leaned up against a tree and seemed to let her body relax more. She wasn’t scared of Zena and she was not doubtful of anything going wrong in the least. This comforted her, as she knew for now that she would not have to fight Sneh. It also made her think that Sneh thought she was weak; which she was certainly not.

“Part of the reason I agreed to meet with you was because obviously since your group took you in, they would probably also accept me in too.” She told Zena.

Zena nodded and had a feeling there was something more to what Sneh was saying than just joining the group. She had a feeling she might be here for awhile but she was not about to let her guard down as she slung the bag of food over her shoulder.

“I thought there was more to you wanting to meet too. It would have been a lot more safer for you to just leave the bag here for me to get by myself.” Zena noted.

“Exactly,” She agreed, “Like I was saying though, since you have only been on the planet for about a month you probably were taken in by them right away. Tell me, do you trust the people you are with?”

“What do you mean?” Zena questioned her. She had no idea where she was going with this, but, she didn’t like it already.

“I’m meaning, do you think the group you are in are trustworthy? I could tell right away you were newly created by how you stayed behind your friend when you both approached me. You gave off the sense of being childlike and innocent.”

“I’m not innocent.” Zena mumbled in annoyance. Not only did her family call her innocent, but now a total stranger was calling her the same thing too.

“See? You’re acting like a child over a small assessment I made.” Sneh pointed out. Zena felt her face get hot in embarrassment that she just proved Sneh’s point without even meaning to.

“What I am trying to get at is that when you were first created it was probably easy for you to join them seeing as you most likely felt alone and isolated during your first time in the world.” Sneh explained, “Which is not a bad thing, I’m sure we all felt that way at first too. I know I did. So being that way, do you think your group means well or do you think that they are trouble and have bad intentions?” Sneh raised an eyebrow at her as she waited for Zena’s response.

She took a moment to think about Sneh’s words and really sift through all her points and questions. They were similar to her own thoughts when she first met Anil and Kai. She did not trust them in the slightest and was hesitant on staying there longer than she needed to.

On the other hand, she was also correct in her evaluation of Zena feeling alone and joining them more willingly because she felt isolated to herself and joining them meant family. But did that mean she trusted them too much? Was it that she was blinded by loneliness and embraced by the thought of human interaction that left her unable to see their true intentions? Zena didn’t know meeting with Sneh meant that she would have to totally reevaluate everything that she had grown to know and love up to this point.

No.

No, Zena knew better than that. She was not blind, she had never been. Though she may be innocent to others she knew her heart was true. She knew Anil, Kai, and Tvorca better than that. They would never hurt her. They were her family and she was not about to betray them over petty what-if’s.

“They are good and true.” Zena spoke up, a bit of anger in her voice. How dare Sneh offend her by making her doubt what she had grown to know and love.

“They would not deceive me or even think about hurting me. The only people they would ever bring harm to are those who try to hurt anyone in our group.” Zena said, not noticing her tone was getting louder as she spoke, “The fact that you can even stand there and say otherwise when you know nothing about them makes me feel nothing short of angry and insulted.” She also didn’t notice until she had finished that her fist was clenched and fire absorbed it. It rested idly around her fist, flickering at the ends. Waiting for her move, waiting on her call if she needed to use it.

She noted how her fire was something like the people she had come to call her family. Unwavering and true, always there for her when she needed it.

Sneh looked Zena over for a moment and then nodded. “Your dedication to your group speaks volumes to me. Alright, then I would be honored to join your group. I see now you would give your life up for them because you know they would do the same for you.” Sneh told her. “I already had a feeling this meeting would end well so I packed up my camp. Would you do me the honors of bringing me back with you?” Sneh asked.

Zena was still mad. And her protectiveness came forward like a lioness protecting her pride. She was created in the month of leo for a reason mind you.

“It’s not my place to say if you can or cannot join but if you try anything when we get there know I will protect my group at all costs.” Zena warned.

“I would expect nothing less,” Sneh nodded, “Alright, let's go.”

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