It took me a while to figure out everything but flying upward. I climbed and fell through the air multiple times, falling far enough for Kai to shout in my head out of fear, but I always caught myself -- at least my wings did. Eventually, I managed to figure out how to fly in every direction, while it was choppy and awkward, but the entire thing had begun to draw a crowd. The Prince was unable to disperse them without proving rumours true, and could only watch as guards and citizens began gathering in the streets. I jerked to the left as I lost my concentration, focused on watching the tiny people gather down below.
Storm-Cloud! Kai scolded in my brain, you mustn't lose focus! You're fighting against your own natural control.
What does that even mean?! I hissed, curling my fists until I steadied myself.
Let the Darkblood take control. You never had problems with being Lightblood because you allowed yourself to fully enter the Lightblood realm of being. Now you need to cross over to Darkblood. Have you flown before?
Not like this, I admitted, but I have. Dmitri was training me, and at one point, I had no choice but to go upward to dodge his attack. The wings did it for me.
A wave of satisfaction came from Kai. If you let yourself trust those abilities, they will protect you. The skill is written in your blood, Storm-Cloud. You can do this.
I counted my breath, calming my heart as I steadied out its rhythm. If Kai, a dragon, believed I could fly, then I would too.
Alright. Fine. Darkblood, here I come.
Hoping Kai would save me if I fell too far, I tilted my head back until I felt a warm ray of sun, giving me peace, before I felt myself go limp. I relaxed, giving up my stiff control over my own person, and began to fall back toward the ground, my wings flattening at my sides. Where fear should've been, I felt a strange sense of right. Something had begun to change in me, and I felt the cold pressure that was Darkblood in my veins fade, but the form remained. I was back at my regular blood state, and when I reached for my Lightblood, I found that it was already alive and working. They were going hand in hand, acting as one.
Gray One. Cursedblood. Not Lightblood or Darkblood. Both, all at once.
The realization struck deep within my soul, awakening a harmony between my power. Without having to force them to, my wings responded to my will, flaring out to catch me mid fall. I twisted, turning back upright as the crowd below gasped.
Whatever you did, Kai thought to me, was the right thing.
His thoughts made me grin as I shot into the air, flying like it had been natural all my life. I soared, gliding with ease as I headed for the forest. Elijah's voice berated the edges of my subconscious, easily blocked out as I focused on the wind zipping by my ears.
And as I flew alone, I felt no fear.
This is just the beginning.
It was a while before my feet finally touched the ground again, legs crumpling as blood rushed to them. I was a ways from the edge of the forest, collapsed in between trees as the adrenaline faded. Kai and Elijah were far from my mind, and I was solely focused on getting through the trees to find my brother. Waiting for my head to stop spinning, I pushed myself up, unsure of how to get rid of my physical Darkblood attributes now that the two sides were a mixture.
They might keep me safe if I'm going into Darkblood territory, I decided, leaving my wings by my side. The horns kept twigs from hitting my face, and my tail swept the ground around me as I began walking. It was quiet beside the chirping of birds and animals going about their day, unbothered by my presence. Leaves brushed by my feet, tickling my ankles as I moved through thick trees. A deer poked its head from the trees, doe eyes watching me innocently as I froze, afraid of scaring it off. As if the animal didn't even see me as a human, it waltzed toward me, nuzzling my hand before continuing past. It left me gaping, staring even when the animal was long gone.
Animals didn't hate us Darkbloods, but they ran from Lightbloods.
What does that say about the two halves of one species?
I shuddered, generating a scrap of confidence as I strode through the trees. Minutes passed before I was suddenly spat out into a clear area. Far away, on the other side of the clearing, the forest continued on, but here, a firepit and sitting logs were abandoned. My senses pricked as I walked toward it, hearing sharpening as I focused on the woods around me. Pain began in my bottom lip where my fangs had sharpened, drawing blood as I faked inspecting the pit. A breeze blew by my face and I sniffed, picking up an unfamiliat scent. Not Lightblood, not animal or food. Another person, someone watching me in all my winged glory.
They moved, inching toward the break in the trees, and I whirled around.
Whoever was there, froze, probably spotting the blood dripping down from my mouth. I was a horned, winged demon, and as far as I knew, no Darkblood or Lightblood had ever looked as I did.
Finally, a single woman stepped out of the trees. Black markings traveled up her arms, the brand of a clan or family. Her eyes were golden, her hair a matching, vibrant colour as she stood watching me.
"Who are you?" The woman asked, her voice deeper than most's. She crossed her arms, moving with a liquid grace unfamiliar to me. "I'm not here to play around."
"I'm here to find someone," I answered, carefully pronouncing my words to avoid a fang lisp. "Can you help me?"
Glaring, the woman reached into a holster on her hip, drawing three small blades. "Listen, lady. This isn't Lightblood territory where you can waltz in and they'll find your kitty cat. No, this is the place they don't watch. Darkbloods live in this forest."
My heart pounded in my chest as my lead continued to grow. "Darkbloods don't scare me."
Her lips twisted into a cruel smile and she lifted a brow. "Oh? Well, why don't we test that out..."
I watched as the woman laughed, shrinking in size as she began to transform. The golden eyes made sense as my mind screamed her Darkblood type at me; werewolf. Those who's demonic taint allowed them to become powerful, deadly wolves. It took her no less than ten seconds to become a full grown wolf, standing well above a normal wolf's height. She leapt at me, claws and teeth flashing in the sunlight.
Smirking, I felt my wings close around me in an unbreakable cocoon. The second the werewolf's claws sunk into them, they flared out, jerking her shoulders apart before she was thrown to one side, the holes in my wings closing rapidly. I hissed, tail flicking back and forth, watching the wolf shake herself as she stood back up, limping as pain radiated from her shoulders.
A strange sense nagged at the back of my brain, but I was too focused on fighting to note my confusion. The wolf straightened up, growling as she charged at me. I snorted, spinning around as she grew near. While my wings kept me safe, spikes as sharp as the horns on my head popped out of my reptilian tail, striking the wolf across the face as it swung with me. Blood poured down her face, one spike narrowly missing her eye. The woman changed back instantly, her human clothes somehow remaining intact.
Perhaps it's a special material, I thought, listening to her cry out in pain as she stood up as a human. Even from here, I could see swelling in her hips and around her shoulders, with puncture wounds traveling from one of her temples down to her collar. Blood matted her hair, and I was briefly horrified by what I did in a mere few minutes.
I was not raised to inflict pain so easily, so I nearly vomitted when I saw blood dripping down her face. The werewolf, however, grinned.
"Tell me who you're looking for."