Chapter 35:


The Scorned

As soon as Selene closed her eyes, she fell asleep and began her loud snoring with a smile on her face.

I enjoyed the sight of Selene being happy, but I soon grew restless. Looking for something to do, I slowly stepped out of the tent, taking special care not to wake Selene.

I had to raise a hand to my face, shielding my eyes from the sudden light. Once my eyes had adjusted, I looked around but saw absolutely nothing. They called this the Deadly Desert, but as Selene had said, the only thing that was going to kill us was boredom. I hesitated outside of the tent, unsure of what my next step should be. I figured we would be close to the castle and wanted to check it out, but I also didn't want to leave Selene.

In the end, I decided that I would sprint ahead for a bit to see if I could learn anything about the castle and its inhabitants. I gave Selene one last check to make sure that she was sleeping soundly, then took off.

Using all of my speed, the castle came into view in no time, and it was a sight to be seen. The Deadly Desert came to an abrupt end, and a massive castle sat at the edge of a cliff. Behind the castle looked to be an ocean that went on as far as I could see. I thought that it was an interesting place for a town, but then again, they could clearly see any threats. I slowly took a few steps forward, but something made me stop.

It was hard to explain, but it felt as if someone or something was watching me. I scanned the area, but there was nothing that I was able to see. I took a few more steps forward, but I could not shake the feeling of something being off. Something about this was making me uneasy, so I decided to stop where I was.

With nothing else to do, I sat in the sand and stared at the castle, waiting to see if anything would happen. I could make out the form of guards on top of the castle walls, but they all seemed oblivious to my presence. They were all patrolling in full armor. I assumed that they had caught wind of the Prince's impending attack.

After what felt like hours of nothing, I got to my feet, annoyed that I couldn't figure out what was causing my unease, when something finally caught my eye. A man and a woman were with the soldiers on the castle walls, but they were not dressed for battle. They wore no armor and didn't have any weapons. The soldiers walked past them, so they were used to their presence. The thing that really confused me, though, was that they were staring right at me. I was sure that I was far enough away so that anyone normal wouldn't be able to notice me. Yet they clearly knew I was here, even if the guards couldn't see me.

The duo continued to stare at me as if expecting me to make a move. I was curious if the pair knew I could also see them. I slowly raised my arm in the air and gave them a wave. The man looked surprised that I could see them, while the woman didn't seem to care. The man quickly began barking orders to the guards, sending them in motion. That was all I needed to see, and I began to run back to Selene.

I made it back to her tent in no time and was happy to see that Selene was still sleeping peacefully. I quietly sat on the sand next to her and thought about what I had just seen. The man and woman on the wall were clearly different, and they also seemed to rank higher than the soldiers. They knew that we were coming. So if we were going to do battle with them, they would be someone Selene and I must be wary of.

Eventually, I was snapped from my thoughts as Selene began to stir next to me. She let out a content sigh and stretched out her wings. I gave her the benefit of the doubt that she forgot she had them out because one slapped me across my face. Though I had to admit, there was always a chance she did it on purpose.

With sleep heavy in her eyes, she asked, "I can feel your confusion. What's going on?" I stared at her for a moment, then shook my head and responded, "Sorry, I am still getting used to you being able to feel my emotions. To answer your question, I was bored, so I ran to check out the castle. Everything was normal, but I felt like someone was watching me. There was a man and a woman on top of the castle wall, and they were able to spot me, even though the other guards couldn't. There was no way that they could be normal humans. If we attack, we need to be wary of them."

Selene stared at me for a moment, then slowly smiled and said, "Sounds like we finally found someone worth our time. That just made this whole trip worth it by itself." I let out a long sigh. I had known she was going to say something like this. She ignored everything I had said about being careful and only listened to the part she wanted to.

I stared at Selene and said, "I know you want to fight, be we need to take this slowly. We don't know what we are up against. I am going to ask that we meet back up with the main army. If it comes to fighting, we can see what they do first." Selene looked like she wanted to argue but mumbled out, "I want you to know that if you had told me what we were doing, I would have argued. But you asked, so I will agree."

With a smile, I replied, "I appreciate your cooperation. Just know that we are getting closer to your fun. Now let's go find our fearless leader."