Before the Fall

Fanfiction of When the World Falls to Darkness by DragonSoulJess.

The fall has begun. alliances are being formed, and guardians are being rounded up. In a small outpost called Ryoko, a small number of guardians still fight for their freedom.

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26. Reunion

 

“Kylora?” she whispered.

Kylora let out a soft breath. Her chest hurt where Hylla had cut at her, and her throat burned where the collar had been, but at the moment she didn’t care. Hylla was alive. She recognized her.

“It’s me,” Kylora replied softly.

Hylla stared up at her, and her wolf eyes filled with pain. “Kylora, I didn’t mean to- I didn’t- I’m so-” She couldn’t even form a full sentence.

“Shh,” Kylora whispered. “It’s okay. It’s all right. You’re going to be fine. I’m here. We’re together now. I won’t let the humans hurt you again.”

Her words seemed to relax Hylla. Some of the tension went out of her shoulders. Kylora lifted her clawed foot, and let Hylla stand. That was when Kylora saw Ash.

She’d been so caught up in her sister that she hadn’t remembered that Ash was still there. He was lying on the ground, his chest slashed up. Blood pooled around him- far too much blood.

ASH!” Kylora screamed.  She ran to his side, closely followed by Hylla. She shrunk down to her humanoid form and knelt next to him, gripping his hand like she had with Miel. She had no idea what to do. She was no healer.

Ash’s eyes opened. They were glazed over with pain, but he smiled drunkenly at her. “Hi beautiful…”

Hylla made a quiet gagging sound next to Kylora, which she ignored. She was too busy being relieved that he was conscious and talking.

“Ash, can you walk?” she glanced at his bloody chest, and then looked away again. “No, you obviously can’t. Hold on. I’ll carry you.”

“Don’t worry about me…” his other hand flopped vaguely in what might have been a conciliatory gesture. “Guardians… we heal… fast.” He glanced at Hylla, eyes narrowing. “This… the wolf who tried to kill me?”

“I’m sorry,” Hylla whispered.

Kylora reached out and placed her other hand on Hylla’s head. Why hadn’t she transformed back into human? But now wasn’t the time wonder that.

“Hylla, this is Ash, my… friend,” she said awkwardly. “Ash, this is Hylla. She’s my sister.”

“You both hit really hard…” Ash murmured. “You’ve got some sharp claws, Hylla.”

“I-” Hylla began.

“Don’t apologize. Just don’t try to rip me open again and we’ll get along great.” He let out a wheezing breath, and his eyes focused on Kylora again. “You look like… you’re glowing,” he muttered. “You’re so shiny…”

Hylla made another gagging sound.

“You’re dazed from pain,” Kylora replied. “Hold on. We’ll get you out of here.”

“Assuming they let us,” Hylla muttered.

Kylora looked up, registering the humans for the first time. They were giving the three of them murderous looks and drawing their weapons. Already a few were jumping into the arena, heading towards Kylora and Ash.

“I’ll handle this,” Hylla growled. “You get Ash.” She bounded away towards the humans, who hesitated and backed up. Hylla didn’t give them a chance to retreat. Kylora wasn’t squeamish, but she had to look away. The savage cruelty that Hylla dispatched the humans with was just too unnatural for her. She scooped Ash up into her arms, heedless of the blood. She stumbled towards Hylla, who was at her side in a flash.

    “We’re going to have to fly,” Hylla muttered. “Can you carry Ash?”

    Kylora didn’t answer. She was too stunned by her sister’s transformation. When they had parted, Hylla had been softer and more gentle, pleased to sit back and let Kylora make the decisions. Now she was the one taking charge.

    “Hylla… you’ve changed,” she whispered.

    “I know that,” Hylla replied sadly. “We’ll talk more once we get out of here.”

    “We have to get Miel,” Kylora insisted.

    Hylla’s eyes lit up. “She’s alive?”

    “For now.”

    Hylla frowned. Then she stiffened, and looked Kylora in the eyes. “We’ll have to split up. I’ll get Miel. You get Ash out of here.”

    “No,” Kylora said instantly. “You don’t even know where she is. You’ll get yourself killed.”

    “I can find her,” Hylla replied calmly. “You can fly. Get Ash out of here. I’ll meet you.”
    Kylora gritted her teeth. “I almost lost you once, Hylla. I can’t do that again.”

    “It’ll be fine,” Hylla smiled. “I’ll meet you at the cave.”

    She bolted away before Kylora could even protest. Kylora watched her go in disbelief. Then she transformed back into a dragon. Resisting the urge to unleash her fire and flame broil all these humans, she locked her claw around Ash’s body and took to the sky.

 

    It was close to nightfall when Hylla arrived at the cave. Miel was draped across her back, and she lay down, letting the angel slide to the ground. Seeing the angel so weak and helpless brought tears to Kylora’s eyes. Miel had always been a source of stability for her, and now she was spending all her energy just to stay awake.     

    When Kylora knelt next to Miel, her eyes were open. She looked up at Kylora with a little smile.

    “I take it we all survived?” Her voice was surprisingly clear.

    “We’re all here,” Kylora agreed. Just being able to say those words felt wonderful. She was back with her sister and her best friend. Could things be much better?

    Miel’s eyes flicked to Ash. “Who’s that one?”

    “Ash. He’s… my friend.”

    A little smile touched Miel’s face. “He’s cute.”

    Kylora’s face flushed red. “Miel…”

    “I’m just saying!” Miel laughed, but it quickly turned into a weak cough.

    Kylora felt a surge of guilt. “Miel… what can I do to help you? I’m no healer.”

    Miel closed her eyes, letting out a soft breath. “There… might be someone who can help us,” she said reluctantly. “I have… a sister. She’s… very powerful. If anyone could heal me and your boy, she could.”

    “That sounds good,” Hylla said quietly. “What’s the catch?”

    “You’d have to… meet her to understand,” Miel murmured.

    “That doesn’t matter,” Kylora replied firmly. “Just tell me how to find her.”

    “Further… towards angel territory.” Miel’s voice was shaking, gradually becoming weaker and weaker. “Small… small hut. Outside of the city. She likes to live alone.”

    “Good enough.” Kylora stood. “No time to lose. Hylla, are you good to run tonight?”

    Hylla smiled grimly. “I’ll run all night if you ask me to.”

    Kylora nodded. “Then let’s go. We’ve got a long trip ahead of us.”

 

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