I threw Kai a dirty look, aware that the situation was bad since I currently had six guards pointing their swords at me, and an uncontrollable feeling of ice in my veins that was supplying me with Darkblood magic. I floundered, unable to form words as I felt a heavy pressure in my head, on my back and on my tailbone, as well as pain as something dug into my bottom lip. It appeared as if something changed physically as well as internally when I went from regular human to Darkblood, while using Lightblood magic seemed much simpler for me.
"I-I didn't mean for t-this to happen," I spat, glancing from royal to royal. "One of the vials had--"
"She drank Darkblood!" Gene cried, furiously pointing at me. "And survived! She is one of them!"
I watched as Kyra's golden eyes narrowed at me and smoked drifted from her mouth. Kai noticed it as well, and began growling at her. Their voices rang through my mind as they began to argue.
Don't touch her! Kai yelled at her, headbutting the larger dragon. Kyra snapped at him, sparks shooting from her throat. She is Darkblood, you imbecile! We have to kill her!
Kai, his eyes wild with anger, snapped back at her, teeth nearly clamping down on her face. She is no more Darkblood than you and I! She will not harm the royals!
Kyra, using her weight, pinned Kai's head to the doorway. The humans who couldn't hear them, everyone beside Elijah and I, looked afraid as she snarled at him, flames licking at his cheek. You have lost your place, cripple. Perhaps you belong in the grave as well.
Kai roared, throwing her off, and I knew that they were fighting as something crashed in the hallway. I would've guessed that someone would go to stop them, but everyone was focused on me.
"We need to help Kai!" I shrieked, taking a step forward. I lurched back as a guard lunged for me, sword narrowly missing my abdomen. Something curled around my leg as I hissed like a cat, the sound relatively on point. I frowned, looking down at my leg. A black scaly tail, much like a dragon's, was wrapped around my leg.
Oh my god I have a tail, I thought, panicking as something black flashed in my peripheral vision. I twisted, gasping at the black feathery wings, like dyed angel wings, sprouting from my back.
No wonder they think I'm a demon, I thought, feeling for the pressure on my head. My fingers brushed against something hard like bone, and I ran my hands along it.
Horns. Horns were sprouting from my hairline, probably a similar dark colour to my wings and tail. My hands went to my mouth, finding two sharp fangs among my upper teeth.
I looked at the Queen, helpless. She looked worried as well, unable to call off the guards without exposing my secret.
Then, a different male voice appeared in my mind.
I froze, eyes passing to the Prince. Elijah?
It worked, he thought back, a smile appearing on his face. I was worried the power copy wouldn't work with you.
I don't know what to do, Elijah. I can't turn this off.
Just do the opposite of whatever you did to call on your Darkblood, he told me, holding his mother's hand. The guards were frozen, waiting for the Queen's command, while also focused on the dragons fighting outside. Gene watched his fellow warriors as if they were stupid, continuing to scream at them.
I exhaled, eyes shutting.
I don't want the fire of Lightblood, or the ice of Darkblood. Let the power go, I thought, imagining the magic of either blood resting calmly in my bloodstream. Slowly, I felt the tingles throughout my body.
Calm down. You are neither, and both. Calm down. Find yourself, the powerless part of you.
My breath came in slow beats, and a memory of my family came to mind. My mother was conveniently away during the time of the memory, meaning it was just my brothers and father there. It caused me to smile, and I felt the horns slowly retracting as well as my fangs.
After that came the memory Kai shared with me of his sister. Her scales were a lovely sky blue, and her eyes were silver like a fine necklace. The bond between them from centuries ago caused me to relax enough for the ice in my veins to melt, and to be replaced by the feeling of regular human blood. The tail was gone soon after.
Then came the wings. The largest part of my Darkblood half, apparently. It took much more effort to put those away, to calm down enough while several weapons were pointed my way.
But it happened. The wings disappeared and my eyes shot open, spotting the twin smiles on the faces of the Queen and Prince. The guards, unsure of what happened, slowly sheathed their swords, and Gene's cries had faded.
"Kai needs help," I blurted, breaking the silence. The guards glanced from me to the Prince, who motioned for them to go to the dragons. They complied, prepared to get a little burnt while separating the two. A wave of gratitude flowed from Kai to me, and I nearly collapsed with relief. My knees buckled, and I felt myself go limp, but before I hit the ground, there were delicate hands wrapped around my arms, holding me up.
"Cloud," the Queen said gently, her voice reminding me of flashes of memories from when I was a baby. "Please stand up."
Collecting what little energy I had left, I gathered my legs underneath me and pushed myself to standing, leaning on one of the undisturbed tables. I met the Queen's sad blue eyes and felt a wave of guilt.
"I am so sorry, Your Grace. He was testing the limit of my Lightblood power and accidentally gave me another dose of Darkblood. He realized it soon after and tried to kill me," I explained; watching as the Prince went to help Gene up. They hobbled toward us, but the guard refused to approach me.
"I have every right to kill a Darkblood monster," Gene spat, "how dare you come into this castle like you are our ally!"
I winced, looking down at the tablecloth. The last bit of the story hung on the tip of my tongue, and I spat it out in shame.
"I figured out the difference between the two powers and have some control over it now. But to find out how Darkblood magic worked in comparison to Lightblood magic, I did something that turned me into... whatever that was."
A gentle hand covered mine, and I met the eyes of the Prince. He smiled at me, eyes sympathetic. "Cloud, it's rather simple," he told me, meaning the form. "Darkbloods' demon blood makes them something other than human. Witches, vampires, sirens, spirits, everything else. Your Darkblood half must be giving you that form."
"She's a demon?!" Gene shouted, flying at me. The Prince side stepped, putting himself in between us, causing the man to back down.
"Yes. Partially. It looks like she's some sort of tainted angel, at least when she is using her Darkblood. Otherwise, she is a normal Lightblood just like us, Gene. She's here to train and get help to find her brother, who was taken by Darkbloods, and then she will be pledging herself to the Queen. She is a friend."
The Prince's words left nothing up for discussion, and he turned to his mother, disregarding Gene's sputters. "I think we should let everyone working in the castle know who Cloud is, but refrain from spreading it to the citizens. For now. It may make things easier."
The Queen nodded, her eyes searching my face before she patted my shoulder, turning to the door. Gene, throwing a glare my way, scrambled after her as she left. Outside, I could hear the guards scolding the two dragons. Sighing, I pulled myself up straight, rolling out my shoulders.
"Cloud," Elijah said, grabbing my attention. I gave it to him, focusing on his blue eyes.
He sighed. "Don't worry about what happened here. Just keep your head down and make sure you and Kai stay out of trouble. We'll protect you, and I can guarantee that my mother has already sent scouts to find Terrance."
My face lit up. "Really?!"
He smiled this time, nodding as my excitement grew. Without thinking, I began to cheer, and laughed like a young girl.
When I focused again, I noticed a look in the Prince's eyes that I hadn't seen before. Blushing, I turned my face away.
"I'll be on my way," the Prince forced, almost rushing to the door.
And as he passed through it, I smiled.