23.A Problem with Masters and Flying.23
Kai, in all his glory, landed on my rooftop gracefully, claws digging into the surface as he skidded to a stop. Waves of happiness from both of us flooded the telepathic connection we had, and it was almost enough to distract me from the shouting below. Travis, Shade, Andrew and Elijah had spotted the dragon as he moved, and were aware that he had come for me since Elijah had recieved the thought-bomb as well. I scrambled onto Kai's back, urgently speaking in his mind.
I'll explain everything once we get into the forest, but we need to get away from the Prince.
Kai hesitated, muscles tensing and freezing in their spots. I can't do that, Cloud. He's my master.
I cursed in my head, trying to keep it to myself, and slid down his leg. My hands shook as I turned to him, lost as to what I was doing.
If you can't get me out of this, what do I do? I asked him, wringing my hands together. The second I went back to the castle, I'd be punished for disobeying, but I had to return at some point. It was just the matter of whether or not I'd find my brother or not first. Kai's eyes, those that looked cold at first glance, searched my face, finding desperation and sadness in my own eyes. He sighed, smoke curling from his nostrils, and peeked over into the alley where the boys were bickering nearby on their horses.
You don't have much time, Storm-Cloud, Kai pointed out, his thoughts filled with the gravity of the situation, and I know you don't trust yourself to do the right thing. I can feel it every time you switch from Light to Dark -- you don't know which side is the true, honorable one. He bent, brushing his forehead against mine without hitting me with his horns. But trust me, you cannot do any wrong, my dear. You have been given the gift to choose any path and find what is right, and you are not the person to hurt others.
He snorted, blowing sparks in my face.
I trust you and your gut, Storm-Cloud.
What is it that you wish to do?
I clenched my teeth together until my jaw hurt, fighting panic and tears. Exhaling slowly to calm my thumping heart, I reached up to scratch between Kai's scales as I rested my forehead on his snout.
I have wings, too, I said, ignoring the nerves that were causing me to twitch. And if I can control them, I can escape without forcing you to cause yourself pain.
Flying when you've never flown is dangerous, Storm-Cloud! You'll fall and die, the dragon warned, stepping in my path with his legs that were thicker than I was. The twitching stopped as I glanced up at him, the sun blinding me momentarily before I focused on his scaly, kind face.
"I have to try," I croaked, throwing myself into his leg. My arms wrapped around it, hugging it so tightly I nearly pulled him over.
Master or not... if you fall, I will run to catch you, dear Storm-Cloud.
I smiled, my confidence rising as Kai stepped back, allowing me to stride to the edge of the roof. The feeling of blood in my veins, normally the same temperature as the rest of me, began to drop as I took careful steps toward the edge, my heart pounding. Kai remained vigil as he watched me go, and sent me waves of reassurance as wings began to tear through my shirt, fangs pierced my lip, horns added weight to my head, and a tail curled around my leg. Black feathers of my own angel's wings brushed against my arms as I stood on the edge, staring down at the ground. From up here, it was enough to make my knees knock together in fear.
Do it for Terrance, I told myself, pulling my eyes away from the drop. Instead, I looked toward the luscious forest and blinding sun.
I could do it. These wings were made to fly.
Taking a deep breath, I glanced over my shoulder to smile at Kai.
Be safe. I may be gone a while if I don't find him right away.
The dragon tossed his head from side to side, showing it made no difference to him.
I'll be waiting for your thoughts, Storm-Cloud. Now fly.
Nodding, I squared my shoulders, reaching out with my mind to the new parts of my body. The tail kept itself curled securely around my leg, and I maneuvered my jaw so that the fangs rested comfortably on my bottom lip. Then, I flapped my wings, earning myself a weak movement in them.
Want to play difficult?
Fine. I'll make you work.
Gulping, I stepped off the roof, feeling myself plummet down the side of the building. As I fell, my entire being was focused on spurring my wings into movement that should be almost natural. They froze midair before one extended, causing me to fall on a tilt. The feathers of the right one, the one still close to me, brushed the ground before it also fell into my control, the two of them stretching out and slowing me to a halt before they began to flap, continuing to pound until I was rising above the streets and shops. Kai, as well as the boys, called to me as I ascended into the sky, Kai's thoughts positive while the boys were outraged. As a Darkblood, my senses were also improved, and I could hear the people below whispering as a girl with black wings, horns and a tail rose into the air.
I laughed as the breeze sweeped by, carrying me with it as I soared.
Let them gossip.
For once, I don't mind being a halfling.