In a world of eternal darkness, the light is slowly seeping in. It’s up to one particular winged warrior to save the Night.


5. Chapter 5

Chapter 5


The light is seeping in. A Dawn is coming upon the Night, and what happens when land u touch by sunlight in all of eternity is suddenly thrust under the sun's vicious rays? Everything and everyone on it dies.  

At the border, the sunlight is coming. The ground is dying as it comes, the light toxic, killing everything in its path, but no one notices. 

But it is not natural light that is coming. 


I awake to a black sky littered with stars. Pounding echoes through my head, a thudding pain ricocheting around my skull. 

As my senses slowly come back into focus I become aware of the forest around me, the sigh of the wind in the trees, the sharp scent of pine and soft fragrance of Moonflowers, and the sound of voices arguing. Male voices. 

"It is just an earthquake!" Shouts one.

"But there is no earthquakes on the Night side you idiot!" Another quickly fires back. 

I groan and haul myself to my aching feet, drawing the attention of the two boys. 

"What is it your arguing about?" I demand, carefully disguising the fear in my voice as anger. 

"The tremors that knocked us all unconscious a Cycle ago," Carson answers, with a not-so-subtle glare at Ryan. 

"I was out for a full Cycle?" I ask. I have never been knocked out before, and something about this doesn't feel right. 

"We all were," Ryan answers. Fear leaps within me, though I don't know why, and my magic stirs in turn. Every time I let it out it gets harder to control. And I am started to get annoyed with all this hiding anyways. I think it's about time the world saw what I could do. 

I unknowingly draw closer to Ryan, seeking him for comfort. I see hurt clear in Carson's eyes, but he doesn't say anything. He accepts my choice of Ryan over him, and my heart breaks for him. 

I strange look crosses Ryan's face, eyes glazing over, nose giving a little twitch, lips pulled tight and brows in confusion. I stare at him, seemingly lost in thought.

"Guys, I think we should go to the Divide." 


The light is his. It comes from him, paid for with his blood and drawn out from his soul. It infects the darkness, as he pushes it into the night. Soon, in a matter of months, or maybe less, the planet would be all light. All Day, and his blood will have paid for the deaths and destruction of all the Nightbloods, and mortal Night-siders, every creature that calls the darkness home.

He continues to bleed, saying the ancient words that turn his blood and pain into magic and power, creating light to destroy the darkness, to insure that Day will reign supreme, to put an end to the war by annihilating the opposing side. 

But he must stop soon, for he cannot bleed forever without dying. He must wait and rest, no matter how much it kills him, because magic can only be bought with one's own blood, by one's own self. And he doesn't plan on trusting his plan to anyone else yet, not when he's so close to succeeding. So, so, so, precariously, close. 


We go to the north of the Divide. The place where light meets dark. But something is different, the ground on he other side is more pebbly closer to the border, when before it had been entirely sand, dead and hot from the glaring sun. 

"It appears different here," I say, suspended in thought. 

"It is!" Ryan exclaims, and Carson at first shoots him a puzzled look before realization dawning on his face. I follow the direction of his gaze, and suddenly I see it. 

The rock, the large, nearly immovable rock that conceals the tunnels, is on the wrong side of the border. 

It's on the Day side. 

"How!?" I exclaim, flabbergasted. 

The light has moved. 

Who had moved it? The only logical explanation, which in itself wasn't exactly all that logical, is that powerful Bloodmagic is at work.

Moving light into the dark.

"I don't know…" Ryan says slowly, and Carson stares longingly at the light, as if imagining returning. But he can never, he survived the turbulence of crossing once, who knew what would happen if he tried to cross again. The memory of his scream echoes in my head, and fear grips me. What would happen if he tried to cross? Would I stop him?

Or would I let him?

I saved his life once, when I should have let him die, and he threw away that life to be with me, but he wasn't who I wanted. He had every right to return to that life, though trying would probably kill him. 

And what of the light? It couldn't be natural. How could it be possible? The whole planet is split in two, one half facing the sun, and lost forever in light, and the other facing away, suspended in darkness. The people who inhabited each side were perfectly adapted to leaving on that side, what would happen if the sides were to switch?

It wouldn't be good. 

"We need to stop this, whatever this is," I state, my voice grave. Am I being overdramatic? I think it's a pretty serious situation. Fear stirs deep inside me, arousing my magic. 

All of a sudden it hits me, if magic is doing this, magic would have to undo it. Right? It would be costly, whoever had done this had obviously been at it a while. We needed a solution that is fast and effective. Because undoing it would take twice as long as doing it. And twice as much blood to pay for it. 

"What are we going to do?" Asks Carson, though he doesn't appear to scared about what this means, the light doesn't scare him like it does us raised in darkness, evolved to live without sunlight, to be able to see in the dark. 

"I will inform the Nightbloods of this, and they will get the most powerful Bloodmagics to figure out a way to stop and reverse the changes," I suggest, ensure what else to do. 

"Why don't you live with the Nightbloods?" Carson asks, completely off-topic.

"Because it's easier to keep secrets if I stay separate," I answer, voice ringing low and ominous, telling him not to bring it up again. 

"Have you ever loved any of the Nightbloods?" He asks bluntly. 

"I've loved my parents, if that's what you mean," I answer, my voice betraying my anger even though I keep my face impassive.

"You know what I mean, have you ever loved any of them like you love..." a pause, and flash of pain across his face, "Ryan?"

"There was one," I choke out, ensure as to why we are discussing this. Ryan picks up on my discomfort and turns on Carson.

"Hey leave her alone, it's clear she doesn't want to talk about this!" 

"Stay out of this!" 

"I can stand up for myself Ryan!" My voice is drowned out by the anger buzzing in the ears of the two boys. 

"Who was it Estrie, who?" Carson snarls, strange malice clouding his normally easygoing features. 

"None of your business," I find myself slipping into a deadly calm, all other thoughts vanishing from my mind but how dare he. 

"I don't care if it is or not, tell me," something inside me snaps, the long built up tension of keeping my magic balled up, outrage and fury all mix together into a deadly cocktail. 

"I have felt love before yes, but it ended when his life ended," sorrow flashes over me, but as I know to well, sorrow is oil that needs just the tiniest spark of anger to light it ablaze. And I have plenty of sparks. 

"And yet you feel love again? For no one other than him?" He says, venom directed at Ryan dripping for his normally honey-sweet voice.

"What's gotten into you, man?" Ryan demands, anger flaring within him as well. 

And then whatever last strand held my sanity snaps. 

White hot energy erupts around me, knocking both Ryan and Carson back in the violent outburst. Ryan sways on his feet as if barely clinging to consciousness, and Carson is knocked back around five feet, stopping just at the edge of the tree line, sending gravel flying. 

Carson lets out a little whimper, before he slips into unconsciousness. Ryan sways on his feet before collapsing as well. Leaving just me standing, alone, gazing at the approaching light. 

At the approaching death. 


He saw them when they came. The Nightblood girl with her slender horns and black wings, the mortal boy and the familiar face, the Day-sider who had disappeared. 

He rests now, unable to bleed anymore. He must wait, let his strength return. Pain is power, blood is magic, but time is strength. 

He must wait to continue his strike. He has bought all the magic he can for now. 

So he continues to bide his time, waiting until he is strong again, strong enough to resume. 


Carson slowly returns to consciousness, with great gaps in his memory and rage burning deep within him. 

The last thing he can remember is sunlight, but he doesn't know where it comes from. The memory of darkness also stirs within him, as well as several other small fragments. 

His memories have been fading away for days now, feeding an anger growing within him. But it wasn't just anger that  blossoming in him. There  something else, something much less natural. 

The memories fade and grow, fragments and pieces swirling about in his grasp. He grabs at one here, one there, trying to focus, but only ever gets snapshots, small glimpses.

A face, female and beautiful, eyes dark silver, hair dark as night and swirling like a river between to slender horns, long and straight with only slight curves like impala horns. 

Dark wings flapping through a sky sparkling with stars, silhouetted by the light from twin moons.

Another face, distinctly male, with sapphire streaked bale silver eyes rimmed with dark kohl. Another memory stirs with this one, an emotion not a face.

Anger. Red hot and burning, a blaze hotter than the desert sky. But something else to. Twinges of jealousy. Flickering images of him and the first face, gazing at each other with passion and secrets in their eyes. 

Than the world slips into focus and he sees the face of the girl in real life, eyes like steel burning into him.

"Hello," he says, dazed and confused, numbed by amnesia. 

"You are so stupid!" She exclaims, anger flaring off of her.


"Why'd you have to press me like that, Carson?" She demands, the heat of anger fading out into the deadly chill of rage.

"What?" He repeats. At least I know my name now...

"Asking me those questions! Who did you think you were!?" 

"I'm not sure," he answers carefully, honestly unsure of who he is.

"Well I am pretty close to throwing you out of the cliff and letting you fall, would you like to give me a reason why I shouldn't?" She challenges. 

"I don't know!" He exclaims, frustration building inside of him. She reaches forward as if to hit him—or worse, but he catches her wrist in his hand. With the contact memories materialize. Painful memories. 

But not his memories. 

They were the girls, and Carson is momentarily frozen by confusion. But suddenly it hits him and he pulls away, eager to escape the contact. But the stolen memories do not fade, and he's first to feel everything she is feeling.


A shock travels up my arm when he touches my wrist. The pain of remembering is terrible, but it is all that I can think of. 

He is a Nightblood too. With loose black hair, shockingly blue eyes, as if crafted from that small lick of icy ultramarine at the centre of a flame, sometimes rimmed with thick kohl, sometimes bare, always warm, despite their cold colour. 

His name had been Seres. He had had the strangest wings, not black but with blue-silver feathers, matching his invigorating eyes. His horns had been thin and nearly straight, twisting slightly outwards in graceful curve. He had been sweet, strong and fierce. Always giving people what they deserved, kind to kind people and cruel to those who were cruel. 

But he had died. 

It had been sudden, in battle with a rogue band of Switchbloods who had originated on the Day side and were trying to destroy the Night from within. Foolish, but they still tried.

Who had caused his death is unknown, but the entire party had been slaughtered, so revenge is not a pressing urge. 

He had been stabbed directly through the heart, and though I tried to save him, I didn't have the herbal or magical knowledge to do so, and it probably wouldn't have worked anyways.

I missed him, every single day, but I couldn't bring him back. 

But I could move on, I could love again. It doesn't feel like I am betraying him when I am with Ryan, it feels like I am finally doing what he'd want me to be doing. Moving on. 

But when Carson had forced me to talk about him, the wound had been ripped open anew. And all the sorrow, rage and grief I had been feeling spilled out. 

I realize my eyes are watering, but I can't appear to stop it. The sorrow wants to spill over, and so the tears fall. 

I am shocked to see Carson's eyes glossy with tears too. How could he possibly no what I am feeling? 

"I am sorry," he whispers, though I don't know what he's apologizing for. Is he apologizing for my loss of Seres? Or for how he talked to me last Cycle?

"For what?" I ask, my voice hoarse and so quiet I am unsure if he hears 

"For everything. For what happened to you, for making you relive it," he answers, quiet, his voice trembling.

"I don't want to lose you as a friend, I need you, just not in a romantic way," I whisper, almost unable to get the words out. My voice is shaking, tears dribbling down my cheeks in a slow trickle. 

"I don't want to lose you either, but I do wish there is something more between us," he answers, voice thick with hope.

"There is enough. We do have something... just not that..." 

"I know..."

"Me too." 

Carson pulls himself gracelessly to his feet. Confusion crosses his face. 

"Where are we?" He asks, gazing at the cascading waterfall, spilling into the brilliant pool, alight from glowing bacteria. 

"You don't know?" I return, confused. He shakes his head. "The caves. In the Onyx Mountains. Where you've been staying for the past five Cycles."

"Okay," he replies, "and what's your name?"

"Estrie...? Why can't you remember these things?" I respond.

"I don't know! I can't remember anything! Just glimpses, fragments!"

"Are you okay?"

"I don't know. What's my name?"

"Your name is Carson," I answer, concern building inside of me. Either he has some serious amnesia, or something else is incredibly wrong. 

"How did I get here?" 

"I carried you."

"From where?" 

"The area near the Divide, where you fell unconscious."

And we go back and forth like this, him asking me questions he should know the answers to, me answering so mounting concern. 

I yearn for when Ryan returns. He is out hunting, leaving me to babysit Carson. I willingly complied, not wanting to risk Ryan murdering him while he's unconscious.

We have decided to make the caverns our "home base," I am after fetching two more coats and a lot more blankets, as well as an abundance of weapons to defend, and the tools necessary for Bloodmagic.

It is a complicated art. First one must bleed, using a ceremonial knife to slice open a cut, and let their blood drain out into a bowl to match the knife, and to complete the ceremony say the ancient words that turn the blood into magic, ready to be shaped. 

It is a deadly art. 

Hours pass, and the Crossover ends, the Return beginning, and exhaustion pulls at me. Carson has already out cold, snoring ever do slightly from his cot, which is positioned near a large, black, boulder, tumbled from the cave wall. Mine is placed near the pool, and Ryan's is next to mine. 

"When will he get back here?" I muse to myself, tired of waiting for Ryan's return. Hunger claws at me from the pit of my stomach. 

Needing to do something, I exit the chamber. I focus on the feeling of the cold stone of the cave floor pressing into the bottoms of my bare feet. It is a good distraction, but something inside me wants out. I grab some of my throwing knives and head off into a side chamber, setting up a target with some old scraps of fabric that had been laying around. 

I drop the knives on a fallen boulder. The side-chamber is small, but high. You could easily fit three or four people in here. The makeshift target is hung over a high boulder, sitting, ready to be hit. 

I throw a couple of rounds of knives, always getting dead-centre or a bit off. But it isn't satisfying. I work out my anger, all the fury and rage pooled in my core, but there is something more that needs release. 

I lay down my knives, and to my own surprise summon up the magic within me. 

White hot energy springs up in the air, a flare of heat, and I compact it down into a rough sphere. 

I aim towards the target, and let the sphere fly. To my surprise, it sails over, nipping the edge and leaving faint scorch marks. 

I toss another ball, this time coming closer. Scorch marks appear along the target. I toss sphere after sphere, coming closer to the centre each time. The palms of my hands are raw from the heat of it, and the target begins to look burnt and tattered, hanging in blackened strips. 

But I keep going, lost in a haze. It feels good, release. Before I only let my magic out when my anger built up, now I am letting loose for the first time without emotional turmoil.

Eventually the target is destroyed, and I begin blasting the rock behind it. Distant memories half-surface, secrets begging to be discovered. But they were locked away, and my frustration builds, along with confusion. 

How come I could do this when no other Nightblood could? What made me so special? And what were those forgotten memories begging to surface?

Finally, exhausted, I relent. The target is now a pile of ash, scorch marks staining the dark stone of the cave wall. 

Heavy footsteps draw my attention. I turn to see Ryan, looking a bit worse for the wear, standing in the entranceway to the side-cavern. 

His kohl is smudged and smeared, his hair messy. Plain black clothes stained with bright brown streaks of mud and torn in places, blood soaking the left shoulder. 

"Are you okay?" I ask, my eyes pinned on his injured shoulder. 

"I don't know," he answers, before he collapses. I rush forward and catch him before his head hits the hard rock of the cave wall, supporting his slumped shape like he's weightless. 

I turn and investigate his unmoving body, to find he is merely unconscious. Relief washes over me. I'm not ready to watch another person I love die. 

I lift him up like a baby and carry him back to the main chamber, laying him on his cot next to the water. 

"What happened to him?" Carson demands with a sneer in his voice. His earlier amnesia appears to have evaporated, replaced with strange malice. 

"I don't know!" I respond, anger and hear mixing into a strange new emotion deep in the pit of my stomach. 

"Maybe he's in a coma?" Carson suggests, and I swear I hear a hint of hopefulness in his voice, buried under fake remorse. 

"No!" I fire back, refusing to believe in the worst for once. 

Suddenly an idea hits me, based on an old legend about he pool and the stream it feeds. 

According to old tales, the pool has healing properties. It is said that one time, after a great battle, a Nightblood returned to his mate bleeding and broken. 

He was near death, so his mate, a young mortal woman of the Magu tribe, brought him to this pool. She created a spell to heal, but before she could save him the Nightblood died, his blood spilling silver over the black stone floor. The Magu girl still put the spell into place, paying for it with the blood of her dead love. As the blood drained into the pool, it transferred the magic to the water, and she watched as the water began to glow, bright blue. 

If the legend is true, the water had healing properties. 

The need to test this theory blossoms inside me, and I grab one of the daggers hanging from my belt, grimacing from pain as I slice a narrow cut down my palm. 

I watch as silver blood trickles down my arm, and I move in a bowl to catch it instead of wasting magic. Gruesome, but required. 

I thrust my hand into the water, watching as the blue liquid sloshes around it, a pleasant sensation traveling up the length of the cut. I pull my hand out in amazement gaping at my now healed hand. Not even a scar remains, not the least hint of an injury. That didn't make the story true, but it did mean the water did heal. 

At least physical wounds. Who knew if it would help Ryan or not. 

"Get out!" I shout to Carson, a sting to my voice. But urgency blocks out politeness.

"Why?" He demands, even more of a sting carried by his voice. 

"Because I'm about to remove Ryan's clothes to treat his injuries and I don't think you'd like to see him naked!"

A blush travels up Carson's cheeks, and I marvel at home much he now looks like a true Night-sider. His tan has faded, revealing skin pale as any Nightblood's. His pale gold hair appears almost silver, gleaming in the near-darkness. His green eyes now appear more blue, like the glowing waters of the pool. 

He exits the chamber with the last bit of dignity he can manage, and I get to work removing Ryan's clothes. 

Once his shirt is out of the way I see the full extent of damage to his shoulder, marvelling at the glistening crimson of his blood. Unlike Nightbloods, mortals bleed red, no matter which side they're from. But Nightbloods bleed bright silver, while Daybloods bleed a red-gold colour. 

I soak some excess fabric with water from the pool, and use it to clean up his shoulder, washing away the blood caked on to it, some dried and brownish-black, some fresh and scarlet, smelling faintly of copper.

I search him for other injuries, but other than a few minor cuts and bruises, he is otherwise unscathed. I strip him from his black shorts, leaving him in just his underwear, before I awkwardly carry him into the pool. I lean him against the edge. 

The water is warm and vibrant teal in colour, illuminated. It starts of shallow before it gradually slopes down before falling away entirely. I position Ryan on a ledge, supported by the sloping walls. 

I begin to strip down myself into just my undergarment and slip into the pool, at first trying to keep my wings from getting wet but I can't help but giving up and letting them soak through. 

The water is warm and cold at the same time. It is comfortable soothing. It cools the parts of me that were warm and sticky but warms my fingertips and toes which were ice-cold. I feel warm sensation across my body, as the healing works it's magic and fixes up all my old cuts and bruises. 

Ryan still does not awake. I watch as his shoulder slowly heals, flesh regrowing where it had been destroyed, and as his bumps and bruises and scrapes and scratches start to fade. 

All of a sudden his eyes open, and his navy streaked silver pupils send chills down my spine as they meet my own eyes like darkened silver. 

The first thing he does is take in his surroundings. His lack of shirt and pants, and my own. A blush creeps up my ghostly pale skin, setting it all on bright fire. 

"Where are my pants?" He demands, though he doesn't appear to embarrassed. 

"Over there," I gesture to them by angling my head, "I had to take them off so they wouldn't get wet."

"Oh," he answers, clearly uncomfortable with the fact I undressed him. 

I look at him, for the first time tonight without concern or fear, and I definitely like what I see. He is lithe but muscular, arms tightly coiled with muscle, shoulders not wide but still athletic looking, his chest well defined and sprinkled with bits of glowing water, his shoulders and upper torso above water. 

"Yeah..." I respond, lowering my gaze then raising it again to meet his enchanting eyes. "What happened to you?" 

He grimaces. "I was attacked,"

"By what?" 

"I'm not sure..." he answers, expression switching from carefully neutral to perplexed. 

"Was it a human attacker or an animal?" I inquire.

"Human... sort of," 

"Sort of?" 

"It seemed like a humanoid shape, but when it attacked it was all animal," I shiver. There is only three creatures who walked the border between human and animal, the monstrous and vicious Greyskins, the winged and horned Nightbloods, and a third group. 

Known as Creatures, these things appear human, with small animalistic accessories, such as, claws or tails or wings. And of course, they think animal too. They are viscous and will attack unprovoked, their mindset one-hundred percent animal, despite any human aspects. 

Their origin is unknown, but the legend goes that when the Night was young, when the first inhabitants first lived, they experimented with all kinds of magic. 

That is how they discovered the effective method of Bloodmagic, paying the price for each drop. But as the legend goes, some people didn't tried to cheat the system, and instead sacrificed animals and bought it with the animals blood. This had grave consequences, binding the souls of the slain animals to those attempting to escape the rules, altering them in appearance and in mind. 

Was it a Creature that attacked Ryan? I don't know. It could have been Greyskin, or another animal that just seemed human in the gloom.

I glance at his shoulder, and marvel at how it has healed. 

Barely a trace of scar tissue remains, just faint lacerations of pale silver across his even paler skin, barely visible. I stare up into his face, which reflects the glow of the healing pool, lighting his eyes on fire, making the silver glow and the blue streaks appear even more vibrant. 

He follows my gaze, and his eyes widen in surprise, shocked to see himself healed already. I expect him to make a comment on it. 

"I brought supplies," he states instead, and I chuckle. It's not like he was just magically healed by glowing water or anything. 

"What supplies?" I ask, and with that we exit the pool, Ryan clambering out with grace, but myself struggling to haul my sodden wings out of the water, crippling dots of glowing liquid all over the cave floor. 

"Should I put on some clothes?" Ryan asks, attempting to dry himself off by shaking vigorously. 

"It's up to you," I respond with a sly smile. For a moment, I can pretend I have no worries. 

But Carson suddenly bursts into the chamber, out of breath and ragged looking. 

"They're attacking!" He shouts. 


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