Monday, September 30

Chapter 8

Lying there, Leon shakily held his shield up to embrace himself from an oncoming of amber blue flames. Once they ceased, he heard a familiar voice, but he couldn't make out who it was or what they had said. 

The dragon's middle set of claws dug into the stone, keeping her balance as she preened her front set, paying special attention to the freshly wounded meat before her. While she's distracted, Lyrist sprinted up her tail, and across her back. When he draw closer to the neck, he leaped through midair, screaming, "Throw me your sword Leon!" 

Leon finally understood what the voice said, and who it was. So with the very last ounce of his strength, he threw the sword towards him. 

Lyrist catches the sword by its hilt, then raises it sky high above his head. Slanting his ears back, leg lets out a battle cry, that seemed pretty similar to a cat trying to threaten off its larger enemies. As he fell, he brought down the sword, allowing the steel to penetrate deep in between where the scales separate. Slipping his hands off the hilt, he left it in place, before pushing off with his feet. 

Landing right down beside Leon's barely conscious body. Above them, great, leather wings snapped frantically in the air out of dismay. Slowly but surely, Lyrist pulled Leon away from the dragon to ensure he wouldn't get trampled to death. 

At the bottom of the slope, Fenix and Blazerine turned around when they overheard Leon's agonizing cry. Blazerine was about to make a move, but Fenix grabbed her by the back of her coat collar. It really didn't take him any effort to keep her from running off. 

"You're going to get yourself killed!" He harshly snapped at her. 

"You really think its right for Leon to throw his life away for us, just like that?" She exclaimed, "We can't just stand by and do nothing!" 

"There is no we." He said, after setting Fauna down. 

"What do you mean?" Her voice strained with distressed, "You think we're going to get in the way, don't you?"  

"That's exactly what I meant." He replied rather bluntly. 

Fauna grabbed a hold of Fenix by the arm and held on tightly, while she looked up at him, with those big brown eyes of hers; filled with nothing but concern. "Fredrick be careful." She quietly whispered. 

"I'll be alright." He smiled.

The smile was charming, a toe - curler that could make most girls blush, Fauna thought. Still she kept her composure at least long enough until Fenix was out of sight. 

Blazerine folded an over her chest and bit down on the nail of her thumb, trying to think whether or not they should go against Fenix's request. She kept the question to herself, waiting, hoping for someone or something to answer it for her. Then there it was; Fauna. 

A series of sensations shuddered through Blazerine. Ones she couldn't completely decipher from one or the other. Wrong, she thought.... It was one thing to go help the others, and it was another to walk straight into death's arms. But why was she hesitating now? After everything she had said to Fenix. She meant it, didn't she? Or was she just all talk? 

-----

Reaching the top; she stopped just inches from where Fauna stood, watching Fenix recklessly charged the dragon with his battle-ax. He let out a guttural blood-curdling scream, of primal fury, but then he went up, up, up, high into the air, trapped in those massive jaws. The dragon had tossed him up like a seabird would of have done to fish. 

Blazerine lips parted slightly in surprise, she didn't know how to deal with sadness and fear well, it always came out in anger or silence. It was really the only way she knew how to with these things. 

Fauna throat and mouth felt dry, and she tried to swallow, slowly blinking to clear away her cluttered thoughts, as involuntary shiver swept through her, which registered Fenix had been eaten alive.

Fenix fell through a dark tunnel, landing hard into what appears to be water, but wait no, it was way too warm, in fact, it was scorching hot, it was burning his skin. He was blind and deaf, except for the sound of churning, along with a steady bass drum of a pounding heart. In the back of his mind, a part of him was screaming for air, and he needed it fast. He was suffocating, clearly it wouldn't be long til he passes out, or in the worst case scenario; dies.

The dragon now took advantage of her unlimited sky. Flaring her wings, she rose up over the lands, before suddenly snapping them against her smooth hide nose. Pointing down, she plummeted towards the ground, only to narrow her wings in order to gain speed. She kept coming closer and closer for her next victim, Lyrist. 

Struck with shock; Fauna hair drains out to an ugly dark gray. 
Raising her arms slowly, causing masses of moisture in the area to be lifted upwards, into the atmosphere in mere seconds.  The air continues to rise, until it reaches even warmer air, and can rise no further. 

Separating her arms, she forces the air to spread out underneath her command. The water droplets coalesce into larger and heavier droplets, which freeze to become ice particles. Once they began to melt, one by one, they eventually fell as the rain.

Lyrist strayed from Leon, not wanting him to be caught in the middle of the hunt. He broke off into a run, then looked back, making sure the dragon was still coming his way. When she was close enough to grab him, he leaped aside out of the way. 

The dragon extended her wings, allowing them to fill with the air, just before she slammed straight into the earth; instead she soars slowly and gracefully over the land at greater speeds. She returned for a second round, becoming completely soaked by the rain.

Fauna cupped her hands tightly; creating a booming sound, which is produced by the expanding of rapid air, along with the path of an electrical discharge of lightning. And it strikes the sword stuck in the dragon’s neck, making the metal of the sword be used as a lightning rod to intensify the force. The embedded jewels absorbed the power in a resonating glimmer, to later reflect a spectrum of light across the land. It was quite a sight for not only them, but also for all the town folks of Ansell Fiore. 

Repeatedly, the lighting struck until the dragon lets out her very last breath of fire then it fell down with a loud thud. Fauna soon collapses right after from overexerting herself.

Lyrist knew this wasn't the time to be mourning over Fenix's death. They need to act quickly or else he may not be the only casualty.

He turned to Blazerine and shouted, "Hurry, you need to take off Leon's leggings and I'll hold him -" 

His train of thought was cut off by a noise, which could only be described as crackling. He knew somewhere in that cavern there were sharp little-boned snouts, desperately gnawing the pieces of shell away, in hopes of escaping the confinement of their egg. 

"W-what?" Blazerine frowned, "That sounded exactly like something Fenix would say." 

"His wound needs to be addressed before we can move him." He explained, "It's very fortunate he has gotten away with such a minor injury." 

"Minor injury?" Blazerine repeated, "Just by the look of that. I'm afraid to ask what you think a major injury would be." 

"If the dragon had bitten down any harder, he would not have only lost his leg, but surely he would have died right on the spot." He said. 

Leon fell in and out of consciousness, over and over again, because the pain is building rapidly, after losing his battle adrenaline.  

"D-damn dragon..." He uttered once he felt a burning sensation, not only from the wound, but also from the metal fragments of chainmail lodged in there.

"Ready?" Lyrist asked Blazerine, before he pinned Leon to the wall to prevent him from thrashing around if needed.

"No not really...." Blazerine whined. And the more she hesitated, the more irritated Leon had become. 

"Just get on with it!" Leon grunted angrily, trying his best to bear the pain. 

'What else could he say?' Blazerine thought. He was pissed beyond reason and his anger was tangible, yet heavy, almost as if it could invade the very air you breathe. 

She struggled with the embarrassment of removing only the parts of chainmail, that are loose around his lower regions. When she was done, Lyrist switched positions with her. 

Leon took a few deep breaths, all the while his eyes focused upon somewhere else, rather than the gruesome leg he bore. And without warning, Lyrist gently, but slowly, moved his fingers inside the wound, until he suspects a piece has been found. Then he examined it closely to make sure it was metal instead of flesh. When he's a hundred percent sure, he carefully pulled it free. 

A part of Leon screamed that he should let go, so he no longer could feel any more pain. Then another part of him screamed again, about how he shouldn't be thinking of such cowardly thoughts. But there's always a part of him, which whispered, 'You can't leave this world, unless you find out why your father had left mother behind; to die alone.' No matter how hard he pushed it further back, for some reason it always managed to make itself heard. And he hated it with a passion. 

"You think you can find all of them?" Blazerine asked.

"Surprisingly they aren't too hard to find." Lyrist replied, "It might be because their color isn't red." 

Every so often he had to use his nails to dig out the ones, that were too embedded in Leon's flesh. 

"Yeah...." She muttered disgustingly, and looked away, not really wanting to watch any longer. 

Lyrist's ears started to twitch continuously, for he could hear somebody being torn from limb to limb. Momentarily he lifted his head and looked back towards the cavern.

Then he said, "Blazerine go get Leon's sword." 

She cocked an eyebrow in response, indicating a what and why are these words coming out of his mouth. 

"The dragons new offspring's are feasting upon a child in the cavern. I can hear him...." He paused only to listen more attentively for further details, before he continued on, "His father is trying to intervene, but he is no swordsman, he is merely just a farmer."

(Blazerine; Does he think they'll come after us next? They got to be small, right..? I mean they're newborns after all.  Wait maybe we should-)

"Fauna isn't going to be any help to us~ right now." He argued, still eagerly working away.

She broke out into nothing but sheer panic. "W-what are we going to do then?" She shouted. 

"I've got to get his wound closed soon or else he might lose this leg. But I cannot do it, unless I've removed all the metal pieces first." He sighed, "You're going to have to defend us until I am done." 

"M-me!? Are you serious? This is a joke right?" She cried while nervously pacing back and forth.

"There's no other choice I'm afraid... Our lives are in your hands now." He left it there at that.

Blazerine didn't have anymore time to go over the situation, because she can hear them coming. Immediately she took off for the sword, without a second thought.

Involuntarily she tightened her jaw, causing her to accidentally grind her teeth together. At this very moment everything felt hazy. And her mind was spinning out of control. She felt sick, not just emotionally but physically from lack of sleep. 'Where is the sword? Where is it?' She thought, then she remembered. 

Her eyes shifted to the dragon as she picked up her pace. She huffed with her mouth forming a slightly oh shape. 

"Am I strong enough?" The words spilled from her throat, "Strong enough to pull this bastard out?" 

The question buzzed around her ears, almost like it wasn't said from her own lips. Regardless she strode forward, until she reached the dragon, and climbed up along the side of its neck. Although it was a weird feeling, considering she is climbing Fenix's tomb literally. Picturing it, made her stomach sickly twist even more.

Now in both grasping hands, she yanked, not once, not twice, but three times, and it was no good. The sword wouldn't budge for her at all. 

"I-I''m not strong enough." She forced the words out in almost a mutter. 

Angrily she gripped the sword once more. "I can't give up!" She breathed, barely above a whisper, but definitely audible.

As she pulled, she yelled. The yell was shrill and commanding.
It even took Blazerine a second to realize that she had been the one who produced the sound. Harder, and harder she pulled, causing her face to flushed with restrain. Incredibly the sword slid free. She did it! Excitedly she hopped down from the dragon and made her way to the entrance of the cavern. She had the sword, but now what? She was no swordsman.... 

She looked down at the very sword she held. It was no ordinary sword though, it was Leon's, it was his sword. Suddenly the thought of him clouds her mind. Then she remembered... back in Abbey Fields. Closing her eyes momentarily, she visualized Leon behind her, instructing her every move. 

The dragon's offspring appeared to be a bunch of overgrown lizards; due to their lack of wings and scales. The beasts lunged at her, having no fear of a woman wielding a sword. 

As instructed Blazerine stood her ground, then dodged at the right second, bringing her sword down to the hatchling, cutting its head off in one clean swoop. 

Everything around Leon was silent, until a screaming battle cry had awoken him. Followed by a combination of two sounds, roughage leather being torn apart, along with a noise that reminded him of a fresh melon, having something driven into it. Slightly his eyes open long enough to catch a small glimpse of hatchling's decapitated head roll on over. It stopped just inches away from his leg.

Blazerine watched some of the hatchling's animals instincts kicked in. Immediately they fled for their fallen brother and started to feast on his flesh. She was disgusted by the sight at first, but right after it was replaced with confidence, for it was her first kill. 

She met the rest of the little devils on her battlefield, and wildly slash left, then right, cutting each beast who came forth swiftly down. She could feel her breath and heartbeat quickening from every swipe. 

Out of nowhere, one managed to leap at her, ready to bite her face off, but she instinctively reacted by throwing a punch, which knocked it clear over onto its back. Before it even thought about getting back up, she immediately stabbed it in the heart. 

But she was not through yet. There was still couple more to go. With her last strength, she continued the onslaught by moving from one side to the other, while swinging her sword, like that of a dancer. 

One appeared in front of her, hissing like a cat trying to protect itself from a dog. Ignoring the threat, she kicked it down to the ground, then chopped off its head. 

The remaining began to circle her. She was trapped. What was she going to do now? Standing still, she stood there, trying to steady her breathing in order to concentrate for the last stand. Then something inside of her had just snapped. Somehow it felt familiar, but whatever it was, it felt good, really good. As her rage grew so did her strength, if she could produce fire, it would be coiling around her, like a viper ready to strike its prey. 

The hatchlings, no those damn demons were circling her, but she dare not to make a move yet. Then it felt as if time had slowed down, the moment when they launched themselves at her. Gripping the hilt tighter, she swung, cutting the nearest one in half. Blood sprayed from the blow, splattering mostly her face. She kept slashing swiftly, left, right, left, back in angles, knowing her life, no their lives depended on the steel she wields. 

One, two, and three were cut down like flies, from beheading and torso's slices. Unexpectedly the very last one managed to sink its teeth into her arm, but it too met its fate with a penetrating stab through the neck. 

Then finally it was over... She stood there, bathed in blood, and breathing heavily from the heated battle. Luckily she had gotten away with just a light wound on her arm. 

Lyrist moved about, preparing a fire, in order to heat up Leon's sword, so he could seal his wound shut. 

Blazerine didn't say a single word. She figured it probably would be best not to disrupt him. Instead she approached Fauna, shuddering in her sleep. 

"Fredrick!" She cried out sharply, snapping wide awake. Sitting up, she felt her heart pounding. 

"He's not...he can't be." She gasped, "It's all a dream. It has to be." 
Her expression was deep contorted with a crippling fear. And her gray eyes were widening with dilated pupils.

Blazerine couldn't bare to watch Fauna cry. Slowly she walked away, but stopped when she saw somebody, somebody named Fenix. He was standing there drenched in blood, from head to toe. 

Her jaw dropped opened, gawking in surprise. "But how did you...?" She asked. 

"You don't even wanna know." Fenix chuckled. 

Fauna scrambled to her feet, the second she heard his voice. She ran straight to him, as her icy blue hair melted away to a passionate pink. Filth, blood, or even guts, wouldn't stop her from leaping into the arms of the man she loved. 

Fenix felt something... He wasn't sure what it was at first, but then he realized it was Fauna's heart beating against his chest. He smiled, knowing her heart was beating only for his. Even if it belonged to another, as a man he couldn't denied her feelings any longer. He leaned in closer, tugging at her chin, and parted his lips, before stealing a kiss. 

"Well... I'm going to see..." Blazerine paused in mid-sentence to rub the back of her head slightly. "Yeah if Lyrist needs any help. So... yeah..." It's at least the excuse she was going with to get out of there. 

Heading over to Lyrist, she noticed him holding Leon's sword over the fire, letting it become hot, but not hot enough for the metal to glow red or white. 

"Blazerine I will be needing your assistance." He declared. 

She rubbed her groggy eyes, then did a quick check-up of her current condition. Health; bones unbroken, cuts, bruises, one opened wound. Energy, almost gone. Afterwards she said, "Alright tell me what I need to do." 

"The belt, put it in his mouth." He instructed. 

Blazerine snatched the belt, and laid the midsection of it inside of Leon's mouth. She didn't even have to ask what it was for. She already knows, it'll be the only thing that'll prevent Leon from biting his own tongue off. It's obvious what she's has to do next. So she climbed over on top of Leon and sat on his plated chest. 

"This should be enough weight to keep him down." She thought out loud. 

The muscles in Leon's body tightened up, and his nostrils flared as Lyrist pressed the burning metal against his wound. He did two second spurts, to avoid burning any of the healthy tissue that's left. 

Throughout all the pain, throughout all the screams, he grabbed Blazerine's hand and held on. Although his gauntlet hurt, she held on too. 

Blazerine's felt a twinge in the air. It was a strange kind of niggling in the back of her neck, that wouldn't go away, no matter how much she tried to ignore it. Maybe there was something wrong, because something felt different. It's a feeling she simply couldn't put her finger on it. 

'People probably react or feel differently when something like this is going on.' She thought to herself. 

Once the cauterize was done, Leon slumped back against the ground with a deep sigh of relief. And Blazerine removed herself by crumbling down beside him. 

"Once we return to town." Lyrist began to say, "I'll give you a tiny dosage of the sleepy lily, so you can rest comfortably."

"Isn't that stuff too dangerous to be carrying around?" Blazerine frowned slightly. 

"Only if its used incorrectly." He explained. 

"You were going to secretly drug her..." Leon irritably muttered.

"And then have your way with her?" Fenix butted in. 

Blazerine blurted out, "W-w-what?!" 

"Why didn't I think of that?" Fenix sighed heavily. 

"Maybe it's because you don't have to with someone like me." Fauna winked roguishly and pulled him in for another kiss. 

Blazerine buried her face halfway down the collar of her trench coat and whined, "Oh god... I think I'm going to be sick." Then she said, "Not to change the subject and all, but why were you chasing after that guy in the first place Lyrist?" 

Lyrist glanced towards the cavern's entrance, before he replied, "The sword he stole was my father's." 

"How is that possible?" Blazerine wondered, "Wouldn't that mean Gallet encountered the very same man who made a deal with your father?" 

"Perhaps...." Lyrist mentioned with uncertainty.  

"How that sword found its way into Gallet's hands. Lyrist cannot keep it. We have to return it. It's stolen merchandise after all." Leon explained. 

Fenix couldn't help but laugh. "The guy saved your life. The least you could do is let him have his father's sword. You're not the only with daddy issues you know." 

"It doesn't matter if I agree or not. They will arrest him." Leon painfully uttered. 

"Don't worry mister kitty." Fenix said, "We'll figure something out. Let's just get him back to town."

-------

At the Ironclad Fenix is seen sitting there, surrounded by almost everybody in the tavern. Those who weren't had their ears pried wide open for his tale.

"I jumped into the dragon's mouth." Fenix began.

"Really?!" Fauna frightfully gasped out of excitement. Her hair was just a pink mesh of wub be dub. She was literally eating the words right out of Fenix's hand. 

In the background; Blazerine mumbled, "That's not how I remembered it." 


Fenix continued on by saying, "I landed in a dark moist pit full of churning acids. My skin heated up, burning, but I sat through it like a champ. Although it hurt... I waited as the sticky walls drew in closer, and closer!" 

"Then what happened!?" Fauna squealed. 

(Blazerine; What does she mean by that? She was there too.)

Briefly the waitress stopped by their table and set down three mugs of apple cider. They were a bit dumbfounded, because none of them remember ordering any. 

"Free cider for our heroes tonight!" The bartender cheered. 

Fenix raised his mug thankfully back at the bartender, before turning back to his comrades. He saw Blazerine staring idly at the beverages on the table. "What are waiting for? Apple cider is really good gal!" With that said, he gulp quite a bit of it down.

Blazerine doesn't remember ever having any sort of liquor after the 'accident'. There were many occasions when Haven made an effort to get her to consume some. Well, considering her nick name; Blazerine is a popular brand name of alcohol from where she's from. Maybe it would help her come to terms with who she once was. But today isn't the day she actually wanted to find out though.

She started to stand up, but Fenix intervene by pushing her shoulders down, forcing her to stay in place. 

"Leo told me you were the one who made a mess out of em hatch-lings. I'm not going to let you leave without celebrating your first victory. You've become a warrior Blazerine!" The very next thing that come out of Fenix's mouth was, "Now drink up!"

Blazerine gripped the mug tightly, then raised it to her mouth to take a sip. The small amount turned out to be quite a mouthful thanks to Fenix. He tilt the mug forward to force her to drink more than she intended to. Most of it ends up splashing all over her coat. Although she's not very fond of the idea to drink. She did however acquire a taste for it, and wanted more.

Fenix ruffled her hair up, before he returned to finish his tale. While he did, she drank a little more, which soon had become some, then it became a lot. However she wasn't drinking alone. Fauna too was enjoying herself as well. 

Blazerine watched the strawberry blonde; Fauna lean right over the table, and slurped playfully from her mug. When she lifted her head, her lips curved upward in a smile. 

She started having an outburst of a giggle fit. Mostly because she was amused by the drunken Blazerine. She kept talking with random pauses during their conversation.  Almost like if she was trying to gather her thoughts in mid sentence. 

Blazerine felt like she lost control of her tongue for a second and her brain just went utterly blank of everything. She hiccup here and there, followed by sluggish body movements.

"Blaze, Blaze." Fenix nudged her several times, trying to get her attention. 

"Yo...." She responded rather late. 

"Tell them." He said.

"Tell them what?" She asked.

"Tell them how you defeated all those hatch-lings by yourself." He insisted. 

She licked her lips, before placing an elbow out onto the table, and leaned her head against her hand. "If I must..." She mumbled in an uninterested, impassive tone of voice. 

"I was scared." She began, "Although I wouldn't ever admit it to myself. I mean, I wasn't scared of dying, you know? I was scared at the thought of being left alone." 

"I hear that." A man interrupted. 

"I'm no warrior..." She continued, "I don't know what I am anymore, but either way. I fought those little bastards. I kept swinging, and swinging my sword, from left to right. I even lofted off some heads, and stabbed one in the heart. Then all of a suddenly Fenix crawled out of the dragon's ass."

"He was all like h-heeey Blazerine where's yer boobs?" She imitated Fenix's voice horribly. 

"And I was like... I- I - I don't know." She slurred. 

"Then Fenix said," She paused only to deepen her voice again, "Well maybe its because you spent too much time developing yo brain, instead of yer body, unlike Fauna." 

Fenix stared deeply into that blushing face of hers; eyes half closed with a slightly crooked mouth hanging half way open. She was shit plaster drunk, but it didn't faze her enough to quit. Although he was shocked that a woman enjoyed drinking as much as he did. But the only problem with that is, she couldn't handle liquor like he could, considering he pretty much has been drinking since the cradle. He kept eyeing critically, wondering if it was a good idea for her to have another drink. 

"They're the most dysfunctional group of heroes I've ever met." A drunkard hiccup with a laugh. 

The troublesome thought lingered in Fenix's head. So he swiped away Blazerine's drink, and poured it down his own throat. Then he shooed everyone away from his table. 

"Alright story time over." He announced.  

Blazerine sunk down in her seat, while whining, "H-h-h-heeeeey! I wasn't finished with that!" 

"You've had enough." He told her, although he couldn't believe such words were coming out of his mouth right now, because he's usually the one trying to get the gals to drink until they drop. 

"Yer telling me to stop drinking. You of all people." She busted out laughing, followed by the clapping of her hands. 

Fauna giggled, before taking another sip of cider, but Fenix snatched it away and chugged the rest of its contents down. 

"You too, I mean it." Fenix sternly said, after he wiped his mouth off with his forearm. 

Fauna glared at him at all of a suddenly. Almost like she wanted to wrap her arms around his throat and squeeze the life out of him. Surprisingly she laughed it off by slugging Fenix as hard as she could in the arm. 

"Oh, Fredrick you're such a kidder." She smiled. 

"You know what's really funny?" Blazerine obnoxiously butted in, "He's not really who you think he is. He's - he's only pretending to be your husband, because you're fucking.... crazy~" 

Fenix's eyes kept switching between the girls, all the while his thoughts were growing darker and darker by the second.

Fauna's expression morphed to confusion momentarily. Then she pursed her lips and went " Hmm...." 

Blazerine leaned in closer to say, "Don't play dumb. Why don't you think he let you help out with the dragon?"

"With all that power you have... why wouldn't he? " She hiccupped, "It's because he doesn't trust you. He doesn't know you, let alone love you. The whole amnesia story isn't true, HA! Yer just like me. Yer just a worthless whittle bitty dog, that's got tricked into following these idiots around." 

Then she yanked the bracelet of falsity off, and tossed it over onto the table." Here..." She said, "Take back yer life. Don't be a prisoner like - like me." 

Upon finishing her statement, a single flame quickly swipes over the table, eating away a thin layer of the wood. However it perished as fast as it came, leaving a mark skewed in the wood. 

Fenix moved behind Blazerine and placed his hand upon her shoulder. He gripped it firmly, trying to indicate she should keep that trap of hers shut. 

"Is this true?" Fauna asked. The bottom strands of her hair were slowly, but surely starting to ignite into flames. 

Fenix froze in place, when he heard the question. Although he never could bring himself around to answer it. He really didn't have the heart to. 

The only thing he managed to say was, "I'm going to take Blaze upstairs. Hopefully Leo will know what do with her." 

Fauna kept staring intensively, without saying a word. 

Fenix helped Blazerine out of her seat, and mentioned "Alright let's go see Leo." 

"Whothishleoperson?" Her words tumbled out in a rush of distinguishable syllables. 

Unable to keep her balance any longer, she ends up falling against Fenix's chest. In reaction, he wrapped an arm her waist, to prevent her from falling down. Then slowly he guided her over to the stairs, since she could barely walk straight at this point. Once they reached the stairs, he decided to carry her the rest of the way to Leon's room. 

At his door; Blazerine complained about it being too hot. To Fenix's surprise, she was beginning to strip herself of clothing, by trying to yank her coat off. As much as Fenix would enjoy this, Fauna scares him. So he quickly opened the door, and pushed Blazerine right inside. 

"Fenix…?" Leon arose from dead sleep. He wasn't sure how to react to the sudden intrusion. 

"She's your problem for now. I have bigger things to deal with." Fenix announced before he left, slamming the door shut behind him. 

Having not been paying attention to Blazerine's face, Leon didn't immediately know she was crying as she stumbled around his room. 

She stopped only to look at his equipment in the furthest corner. 

"I took a life. I took those - those baby dragon's lives away." She sobbed,  "Even if they aren't human, a life is a life, you know? I bet you've taken more lives than I have, or ever~ will have." 

'It wasn't far from the truth.' He thought to himself, 'But there was no way of running away from death, pun intended. It always came back to you one way or another. With the manifestation of God himself, it's the same principle. He always took lives that were meant to be taken. And we as humans have taken the lives of those who give us no other choice.' 

"Are you feeling alright?" He asked, "Your voice sound different than usual." 

"My voice? Nothing's wrong with my voice. I sound perfectly fine in my voice." She sniffled.  

'She must be drunk.' He thought. 'She's probably been floating a boat, in a sea of happiness, not too long ago, but the very moment she hit a rough current, Fenix abandoned ship. 

"Don't cry." He said, "You're the reason why I'm still here." He tried to sound soothing as possible. Although it came out a bit awkward, because he's not exactly used to doing this sort of thing.  

He wasn't really sure what to think next, when she stagger on over, and crawled into bed with him. There was a strange sensation burning at the back of his head. Awareness pricked at him, fuzzy as it was uncertain. What was he to be aware of? Surely it solely has something to do with Blazerine clinging onto him. And yet, the sensation had not abated. It only strengthened, in fact, the closer she got to him. Reaching out, he caught one of the two tears running down her cheeks. 

"If you keep clinging to me like this... People are going to get the wrong impression about us. And I might just let them." He joked, knowing his words have fallen on numb ears.  

She started to lean in closer, about to kiss him. His expression was never quite one to alter dramatically, regardless of what he felt inside, but this time it did. It felt like every fiber in his body had been breached, and his mind was beginning to race between logic and possibilities. 

Her lips inched closer, and closer, until she unexpectedly passes out cold. 'Thank god.' He thought before he readjusted her body to a more comfortable position. 

After she's tucked in, he ruffled her hair playfully, then asked, "Loving and protecting someone are two different things, aren't they?" The question lingered in the air for quite some time. 

Laying his head back, he watched Blazerine slept beside him. "That's the second time you've cried in front of me." He told her, "And you're always wearing that head visor if yours, even while you sleep. Is it because you don't ever feel safe? Or are you hiding something? Like a scar or a burn perhaps?" 

'Well, there's only one way to find out.' He thought to himself. 

Slowly he edge a hand toward's her face. His thumb brushed beneath the frame as his digits smeared the front of the lens. When he was about to lift the visor, somebody loud and obnoxious came busting in through the door. Of course he knew, it was nobody other than Fenix. Quickly he snatched his hand away, before Fenix noticed what he was doing. 

"What is it?" He calmly asked. 

"How can I put this?" Fenix hesitated slightly. "Um... well Blazerine pissed Fauna off, and now I can't find her anywhere." 

Leon nearly loses his composer. "What do you mean she's gone?!" He bellowed. 

"She's gone, POOF!" Fenix threw his arms up. "And it's all because Blazerine told Fauna the truth." 

"As long as we have the bracelet -" Leon began. 

"That's just the kicker, she has the bracelet too." Fenix interrupted.

Leon threw his head back on the bed out of dismay. "Great, just great. You really had to pick this day, of all days to screw up!"

"ME!?" Fenix cried, "I'm not the one who told Fauna she should take back her life. Blazerine did, not me! It's her fault, not MINE!" 

"Says the guy who let them get drunk in the first place." Leon snarled.

Fenix harshly pulled Blazerine out of bed, then slung her over one of his shoulders. 

"I'm not takin' all the blame for this." He declared, "She's the reason why were in this mess. Conscious or unconscious, she's going to help find Fauna." 

"Have you gone mad?!" Leon screamed at the top of his lungs, "Put her down, right, this instance!" 

At this very moment, he tried to getting up. His brow furrowed in strain from all the pain in his leg. He was in no condition to move, let alone go after them. 

"God help you if something happens to her!" He threatened, "I'll kill you!" 





© Tiffany Ann Adkins 2015 - 2019