Dawning Skye -
Chapter 75: Mistaken Identity
Skye’s heart pounded in her chest as she and Tidas closed the distance between them and Klaus. He collapsed to his knees a few feet away from them, out of exhaustion. He was bleeding from his arm and head quite badly, and he was gasping for air. Skye hopped down off of her horse to heal him as Tidas asked what had happened.
Taking large breaths, Klaus explained as quickly and clearly as he could: “General Zas and I were out in the woods training, and this giant dog, wolf-thing, came at us! It’s covered in woods and moss and the like, but it’s teeth.. General Zas called it a Barghest, and told me to run for help. I tried to help the general instead, but it was so fast; too fast for a human.. The general tried to keep it away from me, but it hit me with it’s tail... I swear it broke a rib or two..Gods, just it’s damn tail! I don’t know what happened after that.. All I know is he ordered me to run..”
“Yer lucky; it cracked two, but they didn’t break. Ye be fine, so don’t fret,” the princess smiled and spoke to Klaus like a mother trying to soothe a child.
Skye then looked up to Tidas while she finished healing Klaus and said, “I’ll finish in a moment, and then we’ll ride. If ye take off without me, the general might die.”
Tidas understood Skye’s meaning. If Klaus was this badly wounded with only one hit, Zas might need immediate healing. Which meant Tidas would have to fight while Klaus guarded Skye and the general. He didn’t like that Klaus had to ride with Skye, but it didn’t matter. Zas was in real trouble, and the prince knew time was of the essence.
Skye’s brain raced as they road towards the woods just outside of Dragonhorn. It was only a mile or so away, leaving little time to come up with a plan. Tidas simply told Klaus that no matter what; Skye’s safety was his priority. She’d tried to argue and say he should help with the Barghest instead. The prince quickly explained that Klaus would also be guarding the injured Zas. She knew his argument was the logical one, but she didn’t like it.
Skye had seen Tidas speed around her, but she’d never actually seen him fight. Everyone called him a Pillar; a rank reserved for the three strongest individuals in the kingdom. But she had no firsthand knowledge of his combat abilities, and despised not knowing all the variables to a problem. Additionally, Zas is a Pillar. He was having problems, and he was a giant compared to anyone. The entire situation just didn’t sound or feel right to her..
Skye’s main issue was the Barghest itself. It sounded larger than normal, and the fact that it wasn’t completely black had bothered her greatly. Barghests were supposed to be solid black with red, black, or yellow eyes; depending on the type. Even if it had been covered in brush, the black would’ve been the most prominent part.
Following her instincts, Skye asked Klaus what color he would say it was. Confused about the question, he thought a few moments before he answered; “Due to everything it was covered in, I’d say green.”
“Did ye see any black fur at all?!” Skye yelled over the wind that whipped past them at their breakneck speed.
“No, not that I recall! To be honest; it looked like a giant wolf made out of woods!” Klaus yelled back as they neared their targeted area.
“What are you thinking, Skye?!” Tidas yelled just before they began to slow down.
Bringing the horses to a halt, Skye jumped from her horse as she replied; “Ima not so sure it’s a Barghest..”
Tidas and Klaus stared at Skye, waiting for her to elaborate when a loud roar came from the woods. Tidas and Klaus both knew it was Zas; they’d heard it before. Tidas in the field, and Klaus during his training. He was grateful Ronnie had still been with his little sister when the beast attacked. ‘The idiot probably would’ve tried to make it one of his companions, and gotten himself killed.’ The thought brought a wry smile to Klaus’ lips as the group began to run towards the monstrous sounds.
As the three ran further into the woods, broken branches and crushed brush became rapidly common. Entire trees were knocked over or broken, sending a cold shiver throughout Skye’s body. She couldn’t believe the amount of damage, and asked Klaus if it was like that before.
“The beginning of it was the general and me, from training. But all of this; this is from them,” Klaus pointed at the downed trees that blurred as they ran past.
As the group kept running, the sounds became louder, and they could see the bright, flaming colors that Zhengs were known for. His tail swished about as he locked his hands onto the Barghest’s massive paws. It looked as though the forest had come alive to fight a living flame. They snarled at each other; baring their fangs at out of hostility.
Tidas wanted to run straight in, but Skye yanked on his arm hard to stop him and told him: “That’s NOT a Barghest!”
“Then what is it?!” Klaus asked in an almost shrill voice.
Noticing the new humans, the creature broke it’s hold with Zas. It used it’s weight and strength to knock the general backwards, sending him flying into a tree. It turned and snarled at the newcomers, dripping drool from it’s long, pointed fangs.
Skye watched as the drool hit the ground. A moment later, a small plant began to grow where it’d hit. A pretty purple flower bloomed at the creature’s feet, causing a grin to spread across the princess’ face.
“It’s no Barghest, it’s a Cu Sith!” Skye practically yelled in realization.
“What’s a Cu Sith?!” the two asked earnestly in unison.
“It’s a guardian Fae! They protect woods they claim as their own. Ye probably pissed it off with yer training.. Ye were destroying it’s home,” Skye explained as she marveled at the enchanting creature before her.
“I don’t care what it is; if it’s a threat, it dies!” Zas yelled as he got up and readily himself to charge at the beast.
The Cu Sith had stopped growling when Skye mentioned it’s name. She wasn’t sure if it understood her completely, but she felt that it could sense she wasn’t a threat to it. When Zas bent down like he was going to rush it, Skye ran over to stand between him and the Cu Sith.
Klaus attempted to lunge to grab Skye, but Tidas stopped him. He was focused on the Cu Sith’s reaction, which had become almost docile as Skye ran over to it. It was like the creature knew Skye was there to help. To take over the problem. He wasn’t sure what to make of it, but knew that Klaus would worsen the problem if he attacked or followed.
In a sharp, hard tone that made everyone but the Cu Sith jump, Tidas yelled; “Stop, Zas! That’s an Order!”
The general glared at Tidas a moment before sighing in defeat. The prince was the Commander; if he said to stop, then Zas had no choice. He still believed the creature to be a threat as he powered down. He had noticed it smelled nothing like other black dogs he’d fought, but the hostility it’d radiated was exactly like a Barghest’s. So he’d assumed it was just dirty from being in the woods.
“How did you know what it was?” Zas asked Skye after a moment to cool down.
“I’ve read extensively on Fae; all Fae. I’ve always particularly liked the guardian types. That’s how I knew what ye were as well, once ye told me yer name, so to speak,” Skye replied as she turned to face the Cu Sith.
Tidas didn’t like how close she was, but he didn’t move. He didn’t want the creature to view him as a threat, and lash out at Skye. Klaus could see how tense the prince was, and wished he could help. But he’d decided to follow the prince’s lead in whatever he did. Whatever orders Tidas would given him, he was willing to die to carry them out. But it all became a moot point as Skye started scratching the Cu Sith’s head like a puppy.
“Ye just got mad because the mean man and overgrown kitty wrecked yer home, didn’t ye?” Skye spoke in a light, melodious voice to the Cu Sith.
“Overgrown Kitty?!” Zas bellowed in indignation.
Tidas and Klaus began to laugh hard at Skye’s quip. Zas was a feline type Fae, so the insult was a little too spot on for the general’s liking. He snarled slightly as he flicked his ears in annoyance. Skye laughed at his reaction, but apologized right away. Zas accepted it; admitting it was a good jab, and that she’ll fit in nicely in the RMC. Tidas glowered at Zas for the comment, prompting the general to smile back cockily.
Skye pet the Cu Sith a moment before speaking to it; “Ima sorry my friends wrecked yer home, but I may be able to help. At least with the trees. Will ye forgive my friends and continue to leave the people of Dragonhorn in peace, if I help ye?”
The Cu Sith stared at Skye a moment before nodding it’s head at her. The exchange brought expressions of shock and awe to the faces of the other three. Tidas smiled in spite of himself at his wife. She’d nearly given him a heart attack when she ran out in front of the beast. But at the same time, the calm the Fae had expressed at his wife had been unmistakable.
The terrible feeling in the prince’s gut heightened a moment in intensity. It was like another step was taken in a direction he didn’t want to go in. And it all centered around Skye.. Which terrified him to no end.
Skye walked around the forest with the Cu Sith at her side as she healed the trees with her Earth magic. She imagined what the tree had looked like before it was damaged, then funneled her magic into the tree. It was a beautiful sight to Tidas. Skye looked like a goddess of nature; healing the land with her touch. The Cu Sith wagged his tail and followed Skye like an overgrown puppy as she fixed his home.
Once she’d finished all the trees, Skye noticed the Cu Sith was hurt. She’d been shocked to see the general was nearly perfect, except for a possible concussion. The Cu Sith hadn’t wanted to hurt Zas. Most likely due to him being a guardian Fae as well. Albeit an uneducated one when it came to other Fae.
The Cu Sith sat patiently as Skye healed a large gash on it’s arm. It looked slightly charred; like the creature had been burned. When Skye asked how the Cu Sith had gotten it, Zas pointed to where his horn was supposed to be. Skye’d just seen the magical horn that appeared whenever he used his full power. It made sense that the wound came from there.
After Skye finished healing the Cu Sith, it nuzzled her as a thank you, then bowed deeply to her. Tidas, Zas, and Klaus’ jaws dropped at the sight of it. It wasn’t like a simple thank you; it held more reverence than that. As the giant beast lifted it’s head, it took one more look at the four, then disappeared into the darkening woods.
This chapter upload first at Read Novel Daily
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