Alert: Gifs, better watched on a computer
Start of Volume 2 Arc 3
Arc 2 was short, and no lol I have no set amount of Vol.2 yet XD, but I can tell you Arc 3 should be a pretty DECENT ride, but let’s start off with some prologue/epilogue emotions shall we 😉
Credit to Livvielove for Kit’s dialogue and reactions!
(Had this on loop I did, can’t confirm it’s a perfect fit though)
No one’s POV
It was bustling with energy.
The Dragons losing their den had been a tragedy and several had been lost in the process, but their merging with the Stonebridge rebellion had boosted morale.
Previously only composed of weak supernaturals whose strength was in the many, they now had several individuals equipped with powerful magical tattoos. Most notably, however, they now had Aleccas with them permanently.
Aleccas Keeper had already been going back and forth between Stonebridge and Ridgevalley before the attack. Little didn’t know who he was – the impressive Keeper prince who had appeared out of nowhere in a time of need , and made sure everyone knew his name.
He was instrumental and his usefulness endless, and for the last year he did his best to give out help in as many places as he could manage.
There were endless rumors circling about him. The more religious folk claimed the Grim Reaper had seen their plight and created Aleccas from pure magic to aid them. Others believe the Hans had created him with their experiments and he was fighting against his creators.
The ones who asked him discovered he was the Keeper Prince. The heir of the Keeper family from 200 years ago. Somehow, the true story sounded more ridiculous than the rest. Aleccas Keeper had fought in the famous Witch War. He’d gotten trapped in the magical anomaly resulting from it. Then, 200 years later, for reasons unknown he’d appeared unharmed and unconscious in the crater.
He was discovered by a Hans team from the left continent and subsequently captured.
That was a story Aleccas didn’t repeat much, and if he did he kept it short. The Hans had found him, captured him, examined him and Atris, but he had escaped. That was all anyone needed to know, and that’s all anyone wanted to know. It fed into their idolization of him. The grand Keeper witch, powerful enough to escape the Hans on his own, come to help them survive this difficult time.
They didn’t need to know that Aleccas had gotten help. He hadn’t escaped on his own. More so…he hadn’t been awake, really, for the escape itself. He’d been on whatever drugs the Hans were feeding him to keep him down. He only remembered bits and pieces…
“Nah nevermind, he still looks drunk.”
“Are ye sure? That could just be his normal face ye know.”
They were two to help him out, a woman and a man. A strong woman with a voice that had instantly made him feel calm – though that could’ve been the numbing drugs. They had their faces covered so he couldn’t identify them, and his memories were blurry, but her eyes…She had intense green eyes and one part of his memories he’d have a hard time trying to forget.
“Here’s Atris back, as promised. Take care of him, will ye? Ye should be safe here for a while to rest up.”
He would look for them at first. Anyone who had a touch of green in her eyes had him doing a double take, but none had that specific shade, coloring, and intensity…There was just one close call. A performer he’d seen in the Talent Troupe, but the lights were dim and she had a mask on.
He’d tried to see her again several times to confirm in proper lighting, but no matter how many times he’d gone to the Talent Troupe, he hadn’t seen the yellow performer again. He was seriously thinking he might’ve just imagined the entire thing in the end, as she hadn’t given him any indication of recognizing him.
He fed some fruits to Atris as the latter happily fluttered about the small room. The dragon was as happy as Aleccas to get some time off.
While it was quite flattering to be so idolized and sought after, it was exhausting too. Particularly for Atris, who spent most of the day teleporting people here and there – that is until Aleccas would find an empty room for both to take a breather in.
Things were especially hectic right now, as the Stonebridge rebellion was high on their victory on the Cloverfield lab. The sky was the limit and there was no time to waste!
Aleccas felt a tingle in his arm then and looked down in time to see the contract spell he’d made with Nikolas break.
The terms of the contract required that Aleccas teach Niko, and that Niko help him perform a witch trial on Xavier. Since it wasn’t fulfilled, the only way it could break is if it was impossible to complete. If, for example, one of the people involved in it was dead.
“I doubt he’s dead.” He said to Atris. The dragon tilted its head, sensing Aleccas’ doubt. “But we better check.”
Atris effortlessly teleported Aleccas to Nikolas, needing nothing to find him via the astral layer.
“He looks fine to me.” Aleccas said before he looked at what had clearly captured everyone’s attention. His blood froze as he saw the huge visible black fog rising up from what used to be the Talent Troupe tent.
“Oh.” It was all he could say.
There was little doubt for him, that was a curse, and a huge one. There could be no survivors.
Nikolas glanced at Aleccas, the reality of what was happening sinking in. “The Talent Troupe…” He managed to say, but found no point in saying the rest.
Atris gave him a gentle wing flap and Niko gave a weak smile in response.
Everyone…everyone in the Talent Troupe was dead.
That meant his dad.
And that also meant everyone who had ever come close to family for Kit.
Mouse looked up at Kit, waiting for some indication of what was going on. Waiting to see if their worst fears were true.
Had everyone they’d ever known…
Everyone they’d come back home to…
Joked around with, teased, helped, loved like you would love a family…
The shock of it, the simple idea, hit Kit like a sack of bricks. Her breath was violently taken from her, and her legs refused to support her weight anymore.
She took in small sharp breaths, her eyes glued on the moving black mass.
The faces of everyone who had formed a home for her, who had given her hope in a home, were flashing before her eyes before melting into a puddle of-
Her knees officially gave out and she sunk to the ground.
Gravity dragged her down and she let out short contained cry, the shock trying to claw out of her chest.
Disbelief started to gnaw at her. It couldn’t be. They couldn’t have all died so fast.
Mouse followed suit, dropping to the ground and catching Kit’s eye.
Kit got to her feet, her heart still hammering, wanting desperately not to believe what had happened.
“Stay back.” She told Mouse in an unsteady voice. Mouse nodded as Kit’s legs did their best to hold her weight.
Kit took a few shaky steps towards the tent. “God, no.” Her voice broke and her vision tunneled again to only see one thing.
That black mass.
There was only one person responsible for this.
Her feet found stability and her steps increased in speed.
They had a goal now.
Aleccas, who hadn’t wanted to interfere, had no intention of letting someone willingly charge into a deadly cloud of curses.
“What ‘as she done?!” She shouted painfully, her voice aching with emotion.
Aleccas took a few steps forwards. “Hey, hey, let’s not get too close.” He tried to warn, but he was completely ignored.
“What ‘as she done?!” She shouted again, louder, her strides grew wider and faster with a renewed determination. “No!” She declared, as if the one word would be enough to reverse the fault that woman had done.
Aleccas tossed his staff to the side and rushed to her side.
He placed his arm in front of her as a weak obstacle, just a warning.
She cared nothing for it. Eyes still glued on the deadly mass, she shoved his arm away. “No! Stop! They’re in there! They’re in there! Stop!” She shouted as he refused to let his arm be pushed away.
She shoved him with enough force that he needed to place his entire body in front of her. He tried to stare in her eyes, to ground her, but there was only one place that kept her attention.
“It’s too late!” He shouted back, to drown out her protests.
She continued to push him away and he held her shoulders to stop her from going on this suicidal rampage.
“They’re gone, it’s too late for them. Don’t join them.” He repeated and he narrowly avoided getting his eyes clawed out.
“Let me go! They need me! Let me go!” She achingly shouted again, still trying to get him out of the way. With her strength he wouldn’t be able to hold her back for long.
Out of options, Aleccas wrapped his arms entirely around her.
The hug took her by surprise and she still attempted to resist, but her struggles were weaker.
“There’s nothing you can do. It’s too late.” Aleccas said in a lower voice, his grip as strong as he could make it.
Her knees buckled then, and her strength left her again. “Let me go… I… I wasn’t there… they needed me there! I should’ve been there! I should’ve been there…”
Her demands became sobs, heart-wrenching gasps as she finally gave in. Her vision blurred from the acceptance and gravity tugged at her again.
Aleccas followed her to the ground, his arms still tight around her. He wouldn’t be letting go anytime soon.
He held her as she lived the loss, tugging at his collar and his own emotions.
It had been so easy to become desensitized. It wasn’t that long ago that he’d also gone from having a home to it getting destroyed in the blink of an eye. It was out of their control.
He blinked rapidly as her sobs started to calm, fighting sudden tears of his own.
She pulled away slightly, dropping her head down into her hands as one last shaky breath made its way out.
She rubbed her face, willing the emotions back into a box. She’d lived what she needed to, it was time to move.
He waited patiently, keeping only a light grip around her now. There wasn’t any rush, while the curse was growing it was far away still. She could take all the time she needed, it wasn’t a luxury many had.
Her breathing returned to normal and she blindly stared at the buckles on his jacket as she tied up the rest of her feelings. “What’s done is done.” She mumbled to herself with a nod. A reminder to get it together, to get up, that she had been a fool to believe she could have anything as sweet as a home.
She got up, seeming to only fully notice him then as she bumped into him trying to get to her feet.
He opened his mouth to offer some reassuring words, anything really, but the woman he’d only seen at odd angles so far looked up, and stared him straight on.
The words barely made it to his throat.
It felt like someone had dumped a bucket of cold water on him.
Kit frowned, confused at his speechless gaze, and he felt he should say something, or at the very least stop staring.
But he couldn’t, he was stuck on her gaze, slowly processing it, indulging in it.
It was those eyes. It was the right tint of green with that hint of yellow.
She was the woman who saved him.
Still frowning Kit turned her back to him to talk to the two minors. “We can’t stay in this vicinity for long. It might keep spreading.” She warned them, wiping at her face one last time. “We should keep heading west. If we keep a good pace we can hit Rustmeadow by sundown.”
Aleccas slowly came back down to reality at that. “Sundown?”
She turned to him and he spotted her eyes again. “Atris and I can have you all there in a few seconds. Trust me, it’s a lot quicker than walking.” He said.
“Aye, quicker maybe, but is it safe?” She asked skeptically.
Aleccas fought the smile trying to claw its way on his face. It was her.
“I trust Atris with my life and more.” He stated without hesitation. Atris chirped from his spot. “He’s never failed me once, and he won’t fail this time.”
Kit’s face slowly softened and she turned back to the two kids in her care. She nodded towards Niko with a hum.
“What do you think, lad? Is it safe?”
The question surprised Niko. It shouldn’t have but it did. Kit was asking for his opinion, and he hadn’t expected it in the least.
“Atris has teleported hundreds of people, me included more than once.” Nikolas nodded. “It’s definitely safe. It’s a solid option.”
She nodded with an emotionally heavy sigh. She turned to Mouse. “Alright, what do you think, Mouse?”
Mouse got up to stand with Kit and after a quick glance at the baby dragon and Aleccas, Mouse gripped Kit’s hand and nodded.
Mouse was fine with it…as long Kit held Mouse’s hand through it.
Kit did one better, pulling Mouse into a tight side hug.
“Well if the lad trusts ye, and Mouse is ok with it, then we’ll take ye up on your offer.” Kit said.
Aleccas had picked up his staff and was about to call Atris over when she added one last word.
This time he grinned, quite pleased. He couldn’t think of anyone else who’d ever said that to him and Atris. It was all taken for granted.
He went to reply, when Atris cut him off with some happy chirps towards Kit before flying towards him.
“Yes that’s true, she was talking to you, not me.” Aleccas snorted. “It’ll be our pleasure to get you all to Rustmeadow.” He motioned for Niko to join in to make a circle. “Come on in, you know the drill.”
The five formed a circle and disappeared with a few wing flaps.
The fog of curses continued to grow slowly, pooling out like a wave into the surrounding area.
That was just one more sign piled up on hundreds.
There are greater dangers than a group of greedy and sadistic organizations.
The kind that were poking holes in now.