If mother had thought these men would need two days to make up their mind, she was completely wrong. The first evening came and went without any problems, the second night, mother and I both knew something was coming. The air was completely still, fog had moved in as soon as the sun and set. It was as if evil had settled over the valley. Mother and Jensen had retired to their third story room early. The twins were roaming about the house, doing who knows what. Aspen and I were sitting in my room, windows open and senses on full alert.
Everything that could have been prepared for our journey tomorrow had been done. We had early morning tickets on the rail heading north into Scotland. I knew a boat would have to come into play, at some point, but I also knew mother wanted to draw as little attention to ourselves as possible. This meant her private sailing yacht was out of the question. I honestly had no idea how we were going to find Zorgonus. As of now, he was only a voice in the back of my mind. I felt him growing more and more awake with each passing day. Mother was becoming frantic about getting under way, but I would have waited another day, if I had any say in it. Personally, I still had barely touched the sheer amount of information and memories Aspen had shared with me during our blending. I knew it may take me a lifetime to fully come to terms with it all, but I still wish we could wait. The most important question I could think of had still yet to be addressed by mother, Aspen or Anzurtashia. I felt, every time I asked another question, like the small annoying child who always wants more answers. I must admit this was the most exciting thing I had ever gone through. The only other question, I had been keeping to myself was the outcome of a plan Aspen and I were trying to create in the following six months. When Arthur returned, would I be put through hell to be broken? Would Aspen be able to protect me from his hand and will? None of these questions, of course, could be answered till the events took place, but that made all of this that much harder to endure.
Footsteps coming up to my attic made me jump, if only, just a little. I fully expected to be Jensen or mother, but as the steps came closer, they also sounded much heavier then either of the before mentioned. A man, one of the soldiers stopped in my doorway. He stood at perfect attention waiting for me to address him. Mother had told the yesterday where they could go freely in the house. the bedrooms were not amongst them. I knew everyone in the house could feel the tension in the air, this man was no different. They had introduced themselves last night, but with so many and all looking alike, it was hard to tell who this was.
“I must apologize, I do not know all your names, but you are welcome to enter sir.”
“Thank you Lady Alyse. I was sent to see if you have noticed anything. The young woman and man say it is never this quiet at night, and since your mother has turned in, we would like your opinion on the topic. Can your dragon sense anything out of the ordinary?”
I had to give it to them, they were most polite. I was not accustomed to being addressed as lady, but it had a nice ring to it. I felt within for advice and opinions from Aspen. We had both felt the disturbance in the air just moments before he arrived, but what had disturbed it, neither of us could tell for sure. We both agreed it was better to accompany him down stairs and tell Master Quill, he was the one we had been told was in charge. I turned away from the window and felt the shutter again, only this time much much stronger. Aspen only had a moment to warn me, and I the soldier. I shot across the room tackling him, the best I could to the floor. Above both our heads cracks of lightening arched through the open window. Aspen sent up the alarm to mother, and Anzurtashia, they would alert the rest, if they had not already heard and felt the blast. Both myself and the man, were held to the floor as more strikes ripped through the room. Two more men showed up at the door, both hold automatic weapons at the ready. Without thinking, I knew their guns were not going to be a match for the spells being cast at the house.
Aspen heard a call from Anzurtashia, and in less time then I thought possible, we were out the window, full size and hitting the ground in all direction with blue and purple flames. Two centuries burst into flames right next to the house. It was clear they had not been warned bout the presence of dragons, otherwise they would not have come so close to the house. The mixture between a scream and cry could be heard as mother and Anzurtashia came out behind us. She had not sprayed the world with flames, but I knew she only needed a target and the sky herself would soon burn. As it were, no others came out of the shadows, but then if I had just seen my friends killed by dragon’s fire, I may have second thoughts as well. She and Aspen rose high above the ground so they could survey the land around the house. Once they were both satisfied there was no other threat, they landed on the front lawn, next the the smoldering remains Aspen had killed. As we all retook human form, I realized I was now and forever responsible for the ending of a life. The feeling this gave me did not sit well and I found myself wondering through the house not fully knowing how to proceed.
Jensen and another of his soldiers rounded a corner and I almost ran into them. I had so many mixed feelings, but the truth of what we were about to set forth on, made me realize this will, most likely, be only the first of many deaths by our hands. Aspen choose to stay quiet, but I knew this was a problem I had to work out on my own.
The man walking with Jensen was yet another I did not know a name for, but also held himself in a most professional manor. They stopped just this side of the pool door and waited for me to pass. I felt I should say something, but then came a smell I could not ignore. Mother shouted across the house and her command was felt!
“DOWN, EVERY ONE DOWN!”
The first surge of energy was enough to completely remove the southern most wall of the first floor. There were no cries of pain from any in the house, though that only meant there were still the same amount to hurt and kill with the next blow. The second blow did not tear the house down, but it penetrated the solid portion and hit all those within. The energy was old, dirty and sad. I would not have believed that energy could have feelings, but this energy had exactly that. I felt as if my heart were breaking and there was nothing I could do to defend myself or those I cared for. The very energy making me feel this way only intensified then more and more. There had to be a way to combat this, but I knew nothing of it. Aspen was in as much pain as the rest of us, but before she would lie down an quit, she would find the energy to strike. I felt her anger building within me, before I knew how to stop it. The smell I had encountered before the first blast finally hit a memory and brought fear to every limb of my person. I had only smelled it once, as a small child, it was not a smell only for ones nose, but for ones soul. I had sensed it in a small home, owned by an ancient monk.
In a home on the other side of the world, mother had wanted me to see how an ancient society of shamans’ lived. High in the foothills of the Himalaya’s a small sect of monks, had held on to past forms of ancient magics, thought by the rest of the world to be long forgotten. Kinds of magic that could mend, but mostly do things worse then kill. Enter ones mind, heart, body and life. Tear apart choices. Tear apart ones ability to make clear decisions. When the spells were cast, you would seem to see and feel events, that may or may not be going on around you. An explosion, that should cripple all those around you, but only leave you still in one piece to see more. Pain may cut through your body, but you will never find a cut in your flesh. Spells to hurt every part of you, but not actually kill you. Torture magic it had been called, and though I had never understood why anyone would want to keep such spells alive, mother had only said, all people have reasons for keeping the past alive.
It had taken many months for me to understand what I had been shown, but in the end, a simple incantation would set your mind free of such spells and all that goes along with them. The incantation had been a mixture of several dead tongues, those tongues being of the most difficult to master. One of the monks, had taken great time to make sure I would never forget it. In the end, I could recite it, even if they held me in the most painful of situations; mentally, physically or anything else.
The spell had almost over come me when the incantation hit my mind. Jensen, the soldier and I were all pinned to the ground. I looked to the other two men and realized by their reactions, they were suffering form other delusions, other then mine. I felt within me, pulled on old knowledge and spoke clearly. As the last word escaped my lips, I remembered the other part of the breaking spell. Aspen was much faster then I, but on a sharp corner, She forced me to slice open my right hand, dripping fresh personal blood over my lips as the words fell. Instantly, the house was one piece again. No broken walls, not pain, no delusions. The two men near me looked around in disbelief and then Jensen smiled and nodded in my direction. The soldier was still stunned by the moment, but he stood up tall, and offered me a hand to my feet. A hand I took gladly. Mother, the twins and the other soldiers all came into the main hall around the same moment. Everyone but mother was still confused as to how the house had come back together, but mother only walked to me, smiled and wrapped her hands around my shoulders tightly.
“I have always wondered if that trip to the Trinity monks was a waste, that was till a few moments ago. I am so proud of you Alyse. How did you know?”
“I felt it, I saw the destruction, felt the pain and something told me it was not real. Thank Aspen as well, she remembered the other part of the spell, the part I had almost forgotten.”
“On that note beloved, I think it is past time we all slip out the cellar door to the back woods. The mages outside are not going to be fooled for long, we really need to get going!”
It was clear everyone in the room had been allowed to hear her, not only mother and I. I could feel the breaking spell weakening, and with it the delusions trying to reenter our minds. Aspen was trying to prepare me for her to take control, though I was not going to argue, if she did. I knew mother’s Anzurtashia was preparing her for the same. With Jensen taking the lead, mother and I then the twins, followed by the party of soldiers. When we got to the bottom of the cellar, I saw more weapons then I had ever seen in one place. The men took up their gear, fell into a line behind us, all but one standing with Jensen. Mother was quick to mention one final warning before the doors to the outside were opened.
“Remember, you all saw my daughter and I take form yesterday, do not hesitate to run if you feel your life is in danger, we will guard you from above and behind if need be. Lets go Jensen!”
With that and no other mention the door was opened and we all filled out. There was a thick fog laying about the grounds, and black figures in full length robes almost floating here and there. I focused again, right as Aspen and Anzurtashia took control. The figures were the beginnings of new spell forming in our minds. Aspen took to the air, and turned to look back towards the front of the house. The fog was still present, but only one figure stuck out in the grey mass. This one wore a red robe, not black, and the mist all around it seemed to almost burn with red, orange and yellow light. Anzurtashia and mother were only half changed, hard to describe, but mother was still the voice, while the body was now completely dragon. The soldiers had spread out, so not one of them could affect harm on the others stood they be hit or attacked. I could still hear mothers voice, but it was starting to mix with that of her dragon.
“Hold to your minds now people, this will only last as long as we are in a certain proximity of the house.”
The last few words changed from the voice I long knew, to the rumblings of an ancient dragon. One in the same, now bettering the odds of the outcome of our current situation. As if two dragons on the wind was not enough of a hint for whom ever was attacking us to notice a change, the front area of the house burst into a mixture of dark red and violet purple. Flame pushed almost as high as we now flew. the air was still cool, but we could both feel the up flowing heat from the burst below. The men with Jensen were now at a dead run, with Jensen in the lead. He twisted and turned even after they were in the densest part of the wood. I had never been allowed out this way, mother had always forbade it, but I was sure there had to be good reasons for it. As we followed from above, I swore I knew this area, and that we were nowhere near an open water source, but on the distant horizon, coming high over the trees, I saw the twinkle of water, and a massive ship anchored in a harbor. I thought we would be safe once we broke from the cover of trees and had an open run to the harbor, but no such luck.
As the trees started to fade off I saw Anzurtashia lose a breath of flames and roast two more mages, who had been waiting for us to come clear. The soldiers opened fire in the direction of the last mage, but every shot that should have hit true, only passed through, un-harming the mage. Anzurtashia’s energy was fading, and I could only now see, I had no control to make an attack of our own. I could not believe Aspen would allow this mage to go untouched, but a cry from far above, gave me faith of another kind. A small, but very fast green blur cam falling through the clouds above, nearly hitting us on its way down. Not as precise on its shots, as its flight, it released a burst of flame, that covered the mage, the ground and came close to killing Jensen and then unite with him. They had ceased to fire a shot, but all were now concentrated on the new addition to those of us on flight. Aspen came to land and rest, allowing my true self to stand on the ground once again. Anzurtashia did likewise with mother and together we waited for this green blur to make another move. Wether it be with us or against us, I could not tell, but mother was smiling, and that was always a good sign.
The small green dragon landed, only meters away, and as Aspen and Anzurtashia had done alike, it shifted to a young man. Tall, long black hair and rather skinny in nature. His eyes matched that of the dragon he was just moments ago. He did not speak, but only started to walk in the direction of the ship I had seen from above. the backside of him brought about an erotic sensation, much mores then his front had. He was tall and thin, but had a nice ass, strong legs and the majority of his black hair was braided behind his shoulders. I knew I should be focused on the task at hand, but sex had her way of making me want no matter the situation or location. Mother walked up behind me, patting my right shoulder as she passed. She chuckled and spoke softly.
“I know where your mind is my dear, but try to remember we are being chased. So if you are getting the nerve to have one of your bouts, remember he may look nice, and may even do the things you want, but you know nothing about him, not yet at any rate.”
“Why else would he help us, if he were not here to aid us? Is that not enough reason to trust him?”
“In a normal world, maybe, but in the world you now find yourself a part of, never trust anyone before you have the opportunity to speak with them face to face. Only then will their eyes revel the true intentions and nature of a beast, or person.”
A soldier had walked up behind us and seemed overly concerned about us following an unknown. Mother ignored him, that was till Jensen joined us and spoke out on the same topic.
“Lady Filthaven, do you know this new dragon walker or are we just to trust him based on his willingness to aid us? I mean no disrespect ma’am, but we have one injured man, and a good distance to walk before we reach the ship, if that is where you are heading us. Please say something. I have always trusted you, but this night has left me with a sense of dread, and I simply can not afford any more ill happenings this night. It was I who sought out the men who now follow and openly mean to protect us, should they too not have any insight to the possible outcomes of the night?”
I had to give it to him, he had never been one to question mother, but the events this night had never been on the table either. Mother stopped walking as did the young man ahead of us. He did not turn to face us, but he did slightly turn his head, as if to listen to mothers words. But it was not mother who spoke, it was him.
“Rest all your fears, followers and family to Anzurtashia. She requested aid, and I am only the first to arrive. I mean none of you harm, and yes the ship on the water will be your transportation, just as soon as we arrive. I think you all should know, the red robed mage back at the estate is no longer in pursuit of you, but I doubt seriously, this is over. Not even for the night. Annabella, I will be aloft should need me again this night, you only have to call.”
And without a turn, he jumped and changed back to the small green dragon he had been before he landed. Jensen could only shrug in my direction. the men did not seem to take this as any kind of god news, but mother actually laughed out loud, as if there was no more danger that may overhear her. The sound of her laugh was something more then I had heard in a very long time. Now knowing her true nature, not only that of a stubborn human only, but that of a dragon of ole’ as well. The laughter had to prompt something, but the moment I no longer wanted the answer is made a call from far behind us. Mother and I turned to face the threat together. The men and Jensen moved forward, hoping to reach the shore before it could catch up with us.
Mother and I stood our ground, but the green streak shot across the sky making a sound, no mortal would never dare to challenge. A small group of men and women alike broke cover from the forest far behind us, but this was not what I feared the most. The creature standing behind them was one I had never even seen in the old tales. It had the head of a massive serpent, the body of a lizard and the tail of a spiked dragon. Although mother and I now had another dragon to fly besides us in battle, I was not convinced we could master this new foe. It was twice the size of Anzurtashia and myself, but more than that, it did not seem at all taken back by our presence. I turned my sight from it to mother and the green flash moved across the sky again. He came to land right behind us, retook his human form and smiled. He and mother knew something I did not, but we were all about o find out.
“Is there even a name for that thing, or am I just to call it thing?”
“A name Alyse, do you truly want to name the creature about to try to kill us all? Would your time and attention not be better spent on looking for possible weaknesses? Elson, what do you think of her need for a name?”
“I would generally agree with your daughter, not only about wanting the name of that thing, but also the possible chance to see who comes out on top, should we get out of this alive. Though, Alyse I am flattered that you think I have a nice ass, yours is most luscious as well. What do you say love, kill the beast, forget the name and fuck every part of the other till nightfall tomorrow?”
“Now your talking about things that truly matter. Elson, is it, well Elson, I say we find a way to kill that thing and then you sir, will be below me for some time to come.”
“Really now, so sure of yourself are you?”
“Both of you may want to focus on the threat that is now very close at hand, PLEASE!”
It was clear we three were out matched for this new threat. Though the idea of having a new playmate to share a bed with, was more then enough to chance dying over this night. Besides what else were we going to do, it was not like we could call the police and hope for the best. Mother was shaking her head as Elson and I kept making sexual glances at each other. Impending death, yes. Impending torture, most likely. Possible hours of amazing sex, I could only hope so. We found out, with the first strike it was the tail that was going to be the death of us all. Mother, Elson and I all launched ourselves into the air, we could only hope to hit it with as much dragon fire as possible. The first wave of flames brought the creature down a few notches, but did not kill it. It only walked out of the flames, more angry then it had been before.
By the third attack by we three, my energy was more than fading. Thought of a good fuck, all but gone from my mind, Aspen lost control for only a moment, but it was far too long. A shadow of spikes flew at us from its tail, and the fighters who had only now begun their attack. One such spike caught our back right paw, and the pain, as if burning in a pool of acid, brought us to the ground. It had never occurred to me, that the dragon part of me would only fade should it be put on the ground during a fight, but I was now in human form again, running for the boat, while mother and Elson continued to showed the creature and warriors from above, but mother was the next to get struck with a poison spike, and fall to the earth. Mother was worse off then I had been, now only limping in my direction. Elson dove and twisted upwards staying just out of reach giving us time for a possible escape. It would seem my hopes for a good morning of sex were going out in flames. Mother fell into my arms as she reached my position. I feared to look at her, but then a small set of words gave me new hope.
“They are coming!”