The Flight of The Draykes
Alessia woke up once but I managed to convince her to go back to sleep and I took watch for what I felt was the rest of the night and part of the day.
We didn’t dare use the light stone because we were afraid that the feeble light would attract whatever and whoever was in these tunnels with us.
So with my natural night vision, I stood guard until Sia woke and stretched herself, seeming more like a cat than before.
Grinning, she turned around to face me before her face fell as memories of the night before hit her.
Face drooping now, She said, “Sleep, It’s my turn to keep watch now,” and holding up a hand, she forestalled any arguments that I might have made.
I nodded and made myself comfortable against the wall before drifting slowly off to sleep.
I don’t normally dream but this time, I did.
I dreamt of fire being spat at me by a creature, I dreamt of myself roaring in defiance and agony as the fire did nothing to me, but the claws of the creature raked my skin.
I recalled tumbling off the cliff, for I was standing and fighting with the creature on it, and I could feel the panic course through me before suddenly, I was flying...flying into a cave where it was warm and comfortable.
Head tilting forward, I would’ve fallen down and woken myself if Sia hadn’t gently supported my head and laid it on her shoulder, sitting down beside me.
I was oblivious of course to this, lost as I was in more and more bizarre dreams where only the most primal emotions existed.
But gradually, the dreams faded away and my breath deepened until I began snoring at which point Sia who was staring blankly off into space looked at my head and idly thought of pinching my nose.
When my eyes opened, I felt more refreshed than I had in a very long time and sniffing, I smelt the scent of honeysuckle and...apple blossom?
Bemused, I turned my head upward only to gaze into the eyes of Sia who was staring right back at me.
Blushing, I scrambled back before regaining my wits around me.
Then I blushed even harder as I saw the circle of drool I had left on Sia’s shoulder.
“Sorry,” I stammered out.
Glancing at her shoulder, Sia looked at me and stuck out her tongue, “You owe me a new outfit now!”
“What? I only drooled on your shoulder! How is that equal to a new outfit!” I complained.
“Your drool stinks! You stink! Altogether, you made me stink too!”
“But I smelt a really good smell. It smelt like honeysuckle and apple blossom,” I murmured.
Blushing, Sia glared at me before saying in a small voice, “That’s the smell of my perfume…”
Without thinking I said, “It smells really good!”
Before I turned as red as Sia was.
Both of us turned our heads away as silence fell but it was a comfortable silence.
I broke it by saying, “Sia...I was thinking. Why does Harold hate me so much?”
“Why do you ask that now?”
I frowned as I said, “It doesn’t make sense. Firstly, he’s just a common brute but his uncles and cousins were part of the forces of Alastor. Why? Won’t his relatives be part of the forces of us Draykes? Then why would they attack me?”
Sia thoughtfully looked at me before casting a look downwards.
When she looked up again, her gaze was distant.
She spoke slowly, “In the battle of Pyrrhia, do you know how many people the Draykes lost?”
“7000 men and women,” I replied quickly.
“Correct. Two of those 7000 were Harold’s parents. I’m sure his relatives also lost many of their loved ones in the battle.”
I paled as realization struck me.
I paled further as I asked tentatively, “Sia...what about your parents?”
“They didn’t die in the battle of Pyrrhia if that’s what you’re asking,” said Sia with a faraway lost expression on her face.
“Then?” I ventured carefully.
“Not now Faust. I don’t want to talk about them now. Please?” She said as she looked at me with wet eyes.
Nodding frantically, I cursed myself for being an insensitive idiot and moved in to hug her tightly, a hug that she accepted without a murmur.
We stayed together like that for a long time, drawing comfort from each other's presence.
Finally, we separated as my stomach gave off an almighty gurgle.
As we sprang apart, I ruefully looked at her before patting my stomach.
She grinned back at me.
But then the two of us froze.
Immediately, we went into battle stance.
Sia in front with her shield and sword, me hiding in the shadow of her back with my gauntlets and dagger at the ready.
Tensed, we waited as the footsteps grew closer.
Before a Lightstone sailed through the air and landed at our feet.
Vision blurring from the soft light, we frantically squinted our eyes only to find the tip of a sword inches away from Sia’s face.
“Lesson for today. Keep a source of light nearby or else you will be blinded by the enemy if he has a light.”
Relieved, me and Sia let our guards down and relaxed.
Only to be swept off our feet and fall, only to be caught and steadied by a hand holding onto our clothes each.
“Lesson 2 for today. Never let your guards down.”
Then chuckling, our Teacher said, “but you can let your guards down for now since I’m here.”
Smiling ruefully, Sia and I relaxed further before quietly asking Teacher the news from outside.
Becoming serious, Teacher frowned and said, “The area near the fort is crawling with soldiers. Luckily this passage is far away from their patrol areas and our meeting point is not far away from the exit.”
Cautioning us, he continued, “We don’t know what will greet us at the meeting point in the next few days, so even if you see someone familiar - don’t jump out in a rush. Wait! Do you understand?”
“Next few days?”
“Indeed, I went and checked the place but nobody has reached it, so we’ll wait for another day or two before making our way south.”
“Why south?” I asked.
“Because your father’s brother has his viscounty in the south.”
Vaguely, I remembered seeing my uncle, Jacob Drayke two years back, though the memory was very fuzzy.
I remember him being uncomfortable and saying that the sea suits him better than being on land.
But I remember little else.
Apart from his smile. A big smile that would split his face apart and reached his eyes, crinkling them.
Nodding, I whispered, “So we wait at the meeting point and two days later, we move to my uncle’s viscounty?”
“That’s the gist of it, yes. But it all depends on factors. But knowing them, They shouldn’t have much trouble…” Said Teacher cryptically.
“Now let’s get moving,” He said, standing back up.
Only to sit back down as my stomach rumbled again.
Blushing, I quickly took out food from the supplies that Sir Leonidas had given us and began to eat at my usual pace before slowing down and asking, “Teacher, how much of the supplies are left?”
Blinking his eyes, He replied, “For myself, 1 year of supplies. With you in the equation, perhaps 1 day at best.”
Slowing down my pace of eating further, I unwillingly put away the supplies after Sia and Teacher had their fill.
Springing up, I felt new energy fill me up!
Seeing to everyone and making sure that everybody was ready, we finally moved onwards to the meeting spot which was a cave far away from the fort, that was camouflaged and hard to find.
It had a tunnel leading further inside which branched off in three directions.
It was the last part of the labyrinth, Sir Leonidas told us.
The night was falling again and a day had almost passed between my fight with Deianira and our eventual escape.
Silently, we crouched down in one of the tunnels while waiting for the arrival of our people.
My thoughts flying to each one of my loved ones, they finally landed upon the one person who I hadn’t seen all this while.
My brother, Aaron Drayke.
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