BIC//: Ulfang merely rose to his feet and looked at all the friends he had made over this adventure. "Well, like I always say, why not go out with a bang?" The wolf said jumping off the tower. As a couple of the the spectators stared in awe, Ulfang merely smiled as his entire being collided with the ground. However, instead of a massive bone crunch or the spray of crimson, a blast of wind came from the impact point. The true Ulfang had already scaled down the tower. "Well, where to now? Perhaps I should train some more on my abilities." The wolf said creating three orbs, one of fire, one of lightning, and one of wind as he tossed these playfully in one hand.
"Thank you your majesty,"Sir Justice said as he bowed before King Thorn. Turning around he walked past the long line of impatient nobles who were waiting to congratulate the new king.
Winding his way across the grounds, the coyote found the rose garden behind the Crystal Hold. The garden was truly magnificent, containing roses of white, red, pink, orange, and yellow all grown into expertly shaped bushes or creeping trellises. Spying a bare spot in a bed of white roses the knight knelt and began to dig a hole with his bare paws. When it was deep enough he reverently laid the collar and dagger into the earth. After much debate he also added his gauntlets and the cursed gems that they held. With Silveen gone he could no longer control their power properly. Besides, he thought, they were very dangerous and perhaps it was best if he left them here where no one would look.
Reaching into the pouch on his belt, Justice lastly withdrew a ring. It was beautiful silver band topped by an emerald. He had it with him the night that Silveen had betrayed him and revealed her true self to him. The night which he had meant to propose to the girl whose eyes matched the green of the stone. Justice allowed the ring to slide off the open palm of his hand and into the hole. He then gathered the dirt and buried the final traces of his greatest enemy who was also his greatest love.
"Goodbye Silvy," he sighed as he rose to his feet.
Absent-mindfully he ran his thumb over the pommel of his father's rapier. He was suddenly struck with a vision so intense that he heard his own heart pound in his ears. He saw an ancient stone door. In the middle of the door was the royal crest of Lefaun, surrounding it was each crest of the seven clans of Lefaun. Each symbol blazed with a magnificent light except for that of the coyote clan.
"......return...." spoke a voice that sounded like the whisper of the sea air through the leaves. ".....RETURN......"
"Lefaun is calling," Justice whispered.
Snapping back to reality the coyote turned immediately towards the sea. He charged away from the castle and towards the harbor, compelled by a force that was beyond his control. Upon reaching the water, he paused long enough to glance back one last time.
"Goodbye my friends. May we meet again in peaceful times."
And with that the coyote stowed away upon a passing ship and headed for the open ocean and home to Lefaun.
She sighed, and her ears folded down with it. Though facing away, she could still hear the festivities. She was on a window overlooking the garden far on the other side of the castle, far from the castle, from the people...
One wing, one tail. But the tail was more important, as it was a second chance. A time to be 'alive' until it was time to go. And she was just fine with that.
(He didn’t really die…) She mused atop the balcony. (People you know never really do.) She knew the friend she once played with in the forest was somewhere in there, perhaps irretrievable, or in bits and pieces, but there.
(What makes a bad deed bad? If someone does something bad for a noble purpose, could you really call it evil?)
(...I guess that’s what life’s for, right? Making judgments about these things for yourself?)
Her mind returned to the more troubling subject it had started with. The familiar feeling of adventure beckoning, of taking on the world by herself, by herself--It was back. She liked being alone. The wind at her shoulders... None of these crowds to worry about, to please. It was where she could embrace her sense of self, truly. And it was wonderful, wasn't it? ...wasn't it?
No. It was misery, and she didn't want to put her finger on why. But, these sort of things haunt.
It was misery, because her reasoning wouldn't listen to her heart. And the only reason she hadn't already taken off and made a new beginning for herself, was because she simply couldn't. leave. it. behind.
What was 'it'? It was people, who for the very first time in her life, did not judge her. People who welcomed her with open arms, welcomed her sense of self as if it were their own. People who opened their hearts, at the terrible, terrible risk of breaking them. 'It' was people who truly cared. Friends. A family. Home.
(Our woes were different, but we all had to endure the same struggle to find our way. In the end, all of us have the same story...)
(They opened their hearts. What a ridiculous thing to do...)
Well, she'd have to make up her mind, now or never.
"They wouldn't remember me anyways." She mumbled. She got up and prepared to leap down, through the gardens and out of sight...
"Is this how it ends?" That voice drifted in the form of a whisper.
That voice. She only had to glance back to see that he was standing over her shoulder.
"You're trying too hard to not be surprised." He laughed, not moving from her ear. "are you even gonna say goodbye?"
She turned back to face the dark horizon again before her. It might be the last time she would see his face...
"The world awaits me, Reign. Even looking back would be foolish. I bid you and all of your friends..." Your friends. It did not sound right.
"Don't turn away." He sighed, resting his head on her shoulder.
"What's the point in staying?"
"What's the point in going?" He softly retorted.
"There is nothing here left for me, can't you see that?" She moved to gently lift him. "The world needs me, and I must serve."
"And I at the very least need you as well." He held onto her waist. "Do something for yourself for once, Wing." as soon as the words left his lips...
He touched her cheek and turned her head towards him...he kissed her, lips then backed off. "The choice is yours, but you need to know..."
"...I love you and I want, at the very least, to go with you."
"Reign..." She stepped forwards, and then, ran into his arms... "I....."
"It just won't cut sir," the young rabbit grunted as he hacked at the thorny vine with a machete.
"No luck here either sir," panted a calico tom from across the garden as he swung an axe.
"Grrrrrrrrrrr," growled Mr. Vander, the head groundskeeper of Castle Briar, as he squatted down to look at the wretched invader. The old ocelot pushed the spectacles back up his muzzle as he glared at one of the unopened buds.
It had been a week since King Thorn's coronation. Shortly afterward, Vander he had noticed the strange plant beginning to sprout between the white roses which he had planted many years ago. In all his travels to procure rare and beautiful plants for the royal gardens Vander had never seen it’s like. Although it appeared to be a variety of rose, the vine was unusually thick and colored a deep myrtle green with wickedly sharp, grey thorns. Scattered along the length of each vine were dark violet rose buds none of which had yet bloomed.
Although the ocelot had originally been fascinated by the bush, its vines had grown to such lengths that they now reached every corner of the garden and had begun to entangle themselves with every other plant they encountered. Soon the garden would be completely overrun. To make matters worse, nothing that the landscaping crew had tried to destroy the bush or inhibit its growth had worked. It seemed nigh indestructible.
“Very well,” Mr. Vander said as he sneered at the bush. “We shall simply have to dig it up by its roots and starve it to death. Get the shovels.”
As the landscapers began to dig around the base of the plant, the ground beneath them suddenly began to shift and tremble. The landscapers fell down and began to scramble away as something resembling a giant rose bud slowly rose from the soil. They were so struck with awe at the large, pulsing rose-head that they did not notice as the furthermost roses in the garden began to wilt and die. The wave of death swept inward toward the giant rose bud as if it were drawing the life of the garden into itself. It was then that the violet rose-buds began to bloom on the vine. The air was suddenly filled with an overpoweringly sweet and strangely spicy aroma, like a combination of roses, cinnamon, and cloves. The giant rose bud seemed to shudder before it too began to unwind, the smell growing stronger with the spread of each petal.
“Mmmmmmmm! ” moaned a figure that rose slowly from the folds of the giant blossom, her arms stretched upward as if awakening from a long sleep. Mr. Vander and the landscapers looked up in slack-jawed wonder at the beautiful mare that stepped out of the center of the flower. She wore a form-fitting black breast plate which bore the engraving of a rose at its center. She also wore two black bracer’s, each bearing a gem, one azure, the other crimson. Her legs were mostly covered by a long violet skirt which was split up to the hip on one side, allowing her to walk forward gracefully. An ornate carved dagger hung at her side from a silken sash which had been twisted into rope-like belt.
“I’m alive,” the mare smirked at the speechless men on the ground before her. Reaching up, she ran one hand luxuriously from her ribs, over her waist and past her hip. “And in the flesh.”
Looking at her hand the mare spied a silver, emerald-crowned ring on her finger. Her eyes lit up with mischievous delight and awe.
“Oh, Justice. It’s beautiful,” she whispered before turning to exit the gardens, leaving the flabbergasted Mr. Vander and his gardening force behind. She quickly made her way out of the castle, overpowering only three guards before finally spotting the harbor in the distance.
“Don’t wory my love, I’ll find you,” she crooned as she slowly walked towards the ships. “And when I do, I swear that nothing shall ever come between us again.”
She firmly gripped the handle of her dagger. “And may the gods have pity on whosoever tries.”