Chapter 8

Chapter 8

A Chapter by Strigoikillerr




Not surprisingly, Zame knew exactly where she was going after we left the Pixie Oasis. Or at least, that’s what she told me. “We are a day off course, but at least we are in the Uncharted.” She muttered as she continued to walk briskly through the gray, murky forest.

The Uncharted was not a place that I enjoyed. There were creatures here that made kelpies and ogres look like puny play things. Often, I would hear a terrifying screech and then the pitiful squeal of something being eaten or mauled to death. Those were the worst. It was hard not to envision the natural course of predator and prey when it was all around you. I tried not to focus on my surroundings too much.

“So the blood stone,” I started to say, recalling the awful sensation of being squeezed to death. “It’s like a portal?”

Shh. Keep your voice down.” She snapped. “They’re not exactly legal. And to answer your question, yes and no.” She muttered vaguely. I could tell that she didn’t really want to talk about it.

“How so?” I pressed, eager for more information about the thing that almost killed me.

“It’s more complicated than that.” She said slowly, glancing around the forest warily. “The stone has different functions, depending on the user. They were supposed to teleport us to the Human Portal. But for whatever reason, the stupid thing didn’t work.” She growled angrily. I thought about what she said, realizing a shocking truth.

“Wait, you’ve had the ability to transport us to the Human Portal this entire time?” I asked incredulously. Zame shrugged, not caring.

“Of course. Not that it really mattered.”

“Well why didn’t we use them sooner?” We could have avoided this troublesome, long journey in the first place.

“I know I’m setting a bad example here for you, but those things are extremely hard to come by, Princess. I’m not about to waste them on something trivial like your needs. The River Guardian was an exception. He probably would have killed us both if I hadn’t have given him some form of payment. And Zephyr’s son complicated things.” Her violet irises narrowed.

“What do you mean?”

“He was tracking you. I had no choice but to use my last stones to get away from him. He wouldn’t have stopped hunting you.”

I paused, taking in her words and their meaning. Twice Zame had given up something precious and valuable to her in order to save my life. I knew I’d have to eventually repay her actions with the mysterious favor she had asked of me, but it seemed well worth it.

“Well, thank you again for saving me.” I told her softly. She let out a bitter laugh.

“And again, I didn’t do it for you.” She reminded me in a neutral voice. I could see the sides of her lips curl up into a small smile. It was hardly noticeable, but it was there. I saw it. “Prince Roman knew you, you know.” Zame suddenly said. I paused, processing this.

“Of course he did. He was hunting me.” I told her, confused by her statement. Zame usually didn’t state the obvious too often. That was my job.

“No. He knew you. Before I slammed a rock into his skull, I saw clear recognition on his face. It was the only reason that he hesitated in killing you.”

I paused, considering her words. Was that why he stopped? It all happened so fast; it was hard to process any clear detail of that situation. He had his arm raised, sword in hand, intent on killing me. And then he looked at me, really looked at me, and his expression turned astonished. He had dropped his sword. I remember the loud clattering noise it made as his icy blue eyes held my gaze.

Was it recognition? I’ve never seen Prince Roman before in my entire life, let alone any drow before Zame. He couldn’t have known me. And even if he did, simple recognition was not a driving force to stop from killing someone.

“That’s impossible.” I told her. Zame shook her head.

“Roman doesn’t falter. Trust me, I know. He doesn’t freeze in his attacks, and he is rarely caught off guard. Seeing you, it was like he saw a ghost or something. I don’t know how else to explain it. Either way, that hesitation let me sneak up on the smug b*****d.” She grinned, and I could imagine she felt pretty good about that fact.


We continued our travels to reach the Human Portal. I’ve noticed this before, but the Uncharted was a strange, strange place. Ohrog was dark and mysterious, but it was somehow consistent with its dark and twisted ways. Unlike Ohrog, the Uncharted appeared to have no pattern whatsoever. A few places that we crossed appeared to be just as captivating and enchanting as the Pixie Oasis, full of crystalline blues, mystifying lavenders, and sharp emerald colors throughout our surroundings, but those would quickly fade into something else entirely. Sometimes we would see a simple gray, murky forest"which seemed to be the major geological feature of the Uncharted, and other times we would encounter bitterly cold temperatures full of snow and harsh winds. Other places we crossed smelled badly and the land appeared to be broken and dead. The ground was pale and cracked, allowing deathly steam to vent through creating a ghastly scent Zame called sulfur.

All of these bizarre places were so close to each other; it was hardly a gradual transition. I didn’t understand how such a thing could occur. The climates were so different, yet so close together. It was baffling, I must admit.

Zame and I continued traveling in mostly silence. I tried to ignore my surroundings as best as I could, just in case I heard the grizzly sounds of something being eaten alive, but it was hard to ignore the strange geological features of the Uncharted. They were too bizarre to avoid notice.

As I glanced over at a field with giant, oversized, spotted mushrooms, I noticed idly that Zame had stopped. I stopped walking too, absorbed by the giant fungi.

Something hard slammed into my chest, knocking the breath out of me. “Oomph!” I gasped as I fell to the ground. I hunched over, holding my torso with my hand, stunned to see Zame standing in front of me, face impassive. “What are you doing?” I asked her warily. Zame had spun around quickly and had kicked the area above my chest with impressive speed and force.

Fear spiked through me as a thought crossed my mind. The darkling was finally going to reveal her true nature. Drow were not to be trusted and hated high elves. I was surprised she went this long without turning on me. Still, her betrayal hurt. I was really starting to grow fond of Zame. “I thought we were … well, not close … but I just didn’t think … I thought that maybe we were…” I couldn’t keep the hurt out of my voice.

“Friends?” Zame supplied dryly. I narrowed my eyes toward the dark elf, trying to look indifferent to her words. Truthfully, I was aggravated with myself. I’ve known the whole time that Zame wasn’t helping me from the good of her heart. She was doing me a favor, one I’d have to return as well. She was interested in me, but not for my personality. She was helping me in spite of the Darkling Queen.

I didn’t answer her, but nodded curtly.

“That was your first lesson, Princess.” She told me. “And you failed.” Puzzled, I glanced towards her, searching for answers, but her face betrayed nothing.

“Excuse me?” I asked, not following.

“You have complete and utter faith in me. You didn’t even respond to my attack, because it was the last thing you would expect from a friend.” She said darkly. She bent down and held her hand out toward me. A hint of a genuine smile played on her lips as I grasped her hand tightly. “Rule number one. Do not trust anyone.” She smirked as she helped me stand back up.

“That’s for sure.” I muttered under my breath. I didn’t think Zame heard me.

“You wanted me to teach you how to defend yourself, am I right?” Her hands were on her hips as she raised a black eyebrow, studying me. I swallowed. I had asked her to do that. Somehow, I didn’t think the lessons would be painful. I wanted to learn how to avoid pain, not endure it.

“Yes.” I said slowly.

“Good.” She seemed pleased. She spun on her heels and continued walking. My eyes followed her movements sharply. “I mean it. You must always be prepared to take action against someone. Even someone you have known your whole life. Friends, family. It doesn’t matter. They can turn on you in a heartbeat.”

I nodded, her words coming too close to home for comfort. I didn’t want to believe that what she was saying could be true. I didn’t want to think about my loving parents abruptly disowning me and looking down at me with hatred. If they, Aelrah, or anyone knew I had magi blood, they’d drive a dagger through my heart without blinking.

I suddenly saw movement up ahead, blurring fast with speed. I was ready for her this time, though. As soon as Zame decided to turn around, my arms were up defensively around my chest. Of course, I was defending the upper part of my body, not realizing that her intentions were something lower.

Zame slung her leg around me and knocked into the back of my ankles, making me lose my balance and stumble. I wasn’t completely off-guard, I knew an assault was coming, and I righted myself before I fell straight on my rear.

“Very good, Princess.” She told me, an approving glint in her eyes.

“You still tripped me.”

“Of course I did. I’ve had years of training over you.” She snapped. “But, you reacted this time.” She gestured towards my body with her hand. “And because of that, the hit you took wasn’t nearly as bad as it could have been. Awareness can be the difference between life or death. Remember that.”

And on it went. My own personal defensive training from a rogue, drow warrior. Despite her snarky attitude, Zame was actually a pretty good teacher. She seemed impressed by my ability to quickly absorb the information she gave. Because of her teachings, I was always on my guard. She was relentless with her surprise attacks, forcing me to follow her every move. I’d study her carefully, watching her body for any signs of a subtle shift or twitch. After a while, my eyes would occasionally dart all around me, looking everywhere, not just her. Without even meaning to, I’d study my surroundings, listening to sounds and searching for any threats.

I had to admit, although my body ached and I'd probably have a few bruises tomorrow, I actually felt like I was learning a lot from Zame. All of moves were defensive maneuvers; she never taught me anything offensive. She never explained how to attack someone head on. She insisted that I didn’t need to learn those moves. If something was out to get me, I needed to dodge and run away.

“And that’s how you do a barrel chest flip.” Zame told me, after demonstrating on of the fancier defensive maneuvers. “You probably won’t ever do this one. It just looks badass.”

“It does.” I agreed with her, watching her fierce, lithe movements slice through the air.

“That’s it for today. We should reach the Human Portal by tomorrow. We’ll rest here for the night.”

“Thank goodness.” I said, almost out of breath. All of the dodging maneuvers had exhausted me. I paused, taking the time to stretch my arms and legs, thankful for the ability to rest.

Zame pulled out a blanket from her bag and laid it on the ground. “You can sleep first. You look like you’re two seconds from passing out.”

I chuckled as I headed towards the makeshift bed. “I feel like it.”

Zame suddenly reared back her fist, and I flinched. I held my arms protectively over my face. I studied the angle of her throw, knowing it would hit me square in the nose if my arms weren’t blocking it. But, she didn’t punch me; she let her arms slowly drop to her sides.

“Just checking.” She winked. “You’re not so bad for a high elf.” I smiled, looking at the silver elf in front of me. Her violet irises were warm and … happy? Was Zame happy?

“Neither are you.” I told her. “For, um, a drow.” I unnecessarily clarified.

Zame rolled her eyes and gestured towards the brown blanket on the floor. “Go to sleep, Princess.” She sighed, and an annoyed yet amused expression crossed her face. “I’ll wake you up when it’s time for you to take watch.”

I gladly obeyed, feeling immensely tired. I plopped down on the ground, feeling my fatigue consume my body.

It was the first time that I saw a spark of fondness in Zame’s eyes. I didn’t know if she would actually consider me a friend, but it was definitely heading in that direction. I didn’t have many friends back in Azrain besides Aelrah.

I really didn’t have anyone else back home that I would even consider a friend. Sure there were girls my age who I hung out with from time to time, but they were there mainly because of my status. They were eager to share some of the wealthy perks of being a royal. They loved being with the Princess of Azrain, not Aurelia.

My older sister had been without a doubt my very best friend. After her death, I didn’t want to get close with anyone. Aelrah and I have been friends since I was a child, so that friendship didn’t change. But after my sister died, I didn’t actively try to find new ones. No one could replace my sister, and I didn’t want to try to.

I pushed thoughts of Iris away and closed my eyes. Before I knew it, I was welcomed with a sweet, blissful unconsciousness.



I couldn’t breathe. Something was pressing down hard against my neck, making it impossible to inhale. My eyelids fluttered open, and I tried to scream. I couldn’t make any sound except a pathetic choking noise. My fingers went straight to the strong hands around my throat, and I pulled with all my might, trying to make them let go.

“Why the f**k didn’t you tell me?” A voice growled. My eyes slowly came to focus on a violet, murderous, piercing gaze. Zame squeezed harder on my neck.

What?” I managed to rasp out. Zame let go of my neck, only to move to my shoulders to shake me. The back of my head rattled and bumped against the ground. “What are you taking about?” I demanded.

Was this another one of her ‘tests’? If so, I sincerely thought that her methods were insane. This was beyond instruction. This was agonizing torture that had no purpose. Of course I wouldn’t be able to defend myself; I was asleep!

Zame released me, and I scrambled to my feet. She suddenly shoved me forward once I was righted, and I stumbled backwards. I looked her levelly in the eyes. The drow was trembling with fury. Her silver hands were clinched in a tight fist by her sides and were turning white by her knuckles. She was breathing hard and fast. I’ve never seen anyone so angry before.

“Why didn’t you tell me?” Zame demanded again, shoving me backwards once more. Would she stop with the shoving?

“Tell you what?” I asked her angrily as I tried to shove her back. She dodged my movements without seeming to think about it.

“You know what I’m talking about!” She roared at the top of her lungs. “You’re a f*****g magi elf!”




© 2012 Strigoikillerr


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GAAAAH! I was flipping out (internally) as I read this. XD Super-special-awesome chapter!! ^_^

KERP WRITING!!!!! ;)

Posted 9 Years Ago


Strigoikillerr

9 Years Ago

Hahaha.. that's awesome!! ^^ I'll post another chapter tonight. Thanks for reading!! :D
InsanityWriter

9 Years Ago

Yay!!!!! ^_^

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Added on November 19, 2012
Last Updated on December 2, 2012
Tags: elves, fantasy, ohrog, elfish, drow, darkling, high elf, Pixie


Author

Strigoikillerr
Strigoikillerr

NC



About
Let's see, my name is Emily. I'm 22 and love all things fantasy. Faeries, elves, mermaids, vampires, and nymphs are my favorite mythical beings. I've read too many urban fantasy novels to count, a.. more..

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A Chapter by Strigoikillerr


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A Chapter by Strigoikillerr