"Once upon a time, while Darkbloods and Lightbloods lived in clans before the wars began and a kingdom built on oppresion was formed. Dragons worked like pack mules, Darkbloods and Lightbloods could've been enslaved to each other... It was a strange balance that both sides could agree with.
Since the two sides were not at each other's throats, there was the rare yet possible chance that a Lightblood and Darkblood could get along. That is what happened with Joseph and Gavin, the two who created Cursedbloods. These two became best friends, and to reconcile their two tribes in hopes that they could stay friends, the two began experiments."
Rebecca paused in her haunting story. The werewolf had been slowly moving around the circle, her voice traveling despite the low tone.
"They were unsuccessful until one day, Gavin met a girl. She was gifted with a self-healing ability that protected her from the effects of the other blood. At first, she became a powerful hybrid. But slowly, as they kept giving her more doses, her gift began to weaken. The doses were overpowering her.
To save her, Gavin was prepared to call it off. However, Joseph was drunk off the pleasure of having a break through. He refused to stop, and kidnapped the girl from her clan.
This led to the beginning of the ageless war. Gavin's clan fought to save the girl, and Joseph's clan fought to protect their experiments.
However, both sides lost. Joseph and the Darkbloods were pushed into hiding, dominated by the Lightbloods. Gavin and his clan found their stolen member, but not alive."
Rebecca paused, swallowing before she slipped into her spot, eyes on the fire.
"That short part of a long, legendary story holds the curse of mixed-blood people. They were never the true Gray Ones, and their blood led to their demise.
"But today, we have found a true Gray One. One who may truly hold the power to undo what the creators of a fake mixed blood started. This, this is the meaning and story of the Cursedbloods."
A thought hit me, but I refused to let it through.
Silence. Suffocating, heavy in the air. My brother leaned into me, seeking comfort in my warmth. My form was hidden, tucked away. I probably didn't look like much, but deep down I knew that the story had been for me.
A lucky gift and an unpleasant situation had given me this curse.
And if it wasn't for the brother currently leaning on me, I probably would've stayed with the Darkbloods to avoid the Gray War.
That girl in the hall. The phantom.
Could she be Gavin's lost clan mate? Or maybe something more to him?
Exhaling, I watched as Sven got to his feet. He held a large mug of something that was probably alcohol, but still held on to his balance and intimidating aura.
"This curse may be still affecting us to this day. Another phase of war may be waiting for us.
"But, if our existence is for nothing, then we will at least be certain that they were something for Cloud, the true Gray One!"
People began to chant a pledge, causing my heart to pump.
They wanted to be loyal to me. This small piece of Darkblood population.
I was already, secretly, loyal to the Queen.
What do I do?
My hands shook as I gently pushed myself up off the log, making sure Terrance could balance himself as I faced the many Darkbloods staring at me. The fire danced in front of me, heat radiating off of it. It reminded me of the difference in bloods, though that had eventually disappeared for me.
"You all know that I didn't know any of this before today. I'm still unsure of what I'm supposed to do from this point forward. Tonight, I will return my brother to our home. But then, I must go to the Lightblood Queen's castle. When I was still unsure of who I was not too long ago, I made a mistake of hastily pledging myself to her," I confessed, looking away from their solemn eyes. I stared into the fire, choking on guilt.
"And I'm sorry for that," I continued, my voice breaking partway through. "But I know now that my loyalty does not lie with her. It lies with both of you. And I will do what I can to make sure that the war will stop, even if it means going back to our ways as tribes."
I sighed, my shoulders slumping forward, unsure if they would simply kill me here and now, or lock both my brother and I up. They could probably attack him before my form comes back to protect us.
A hand slipped in mine, squeezing gently. It was one of the deaf girls, her face painted with a childish smile. Her sister sat on the logs, watching us with sad eyes. My best guess was that someone had signed them the news.
Another smaller hand grabbed my free one. It was the young boy who'd got me out of my state of panic earlier. He, someone who'd heard my words firsthand, kept a firm grip on my fingers, a determined look in his eye.
"My Mum taught me that people make mistakes and do bad things, but it doesn't mean they meant to. She forgives me when I break something by accident because she knows I didn't know what I was doing. So we're going to do the same for you, Miss Cloud," he told me, never faltering in his words. We held eye contact, even as tears began to fall from mine out of relief. The two children smiled at their fellow Darkbloods before scampering to their seats, letting Sven take their place.
"Sit," he ordered, "and enjoy yourself. You and your brother will be escorted back once the feast is over."
"Thank you," I whispered as he led me to my spot next to Terrance, pulling the blanket around my shoulders like a loving father.
Sven smiled as if he could hear my thoughts, which was a possibility, and patted my head affectionately.
"It's my pleasure, Cloud."