CHLOE and Jucel stood at the front in either sides of Kieran Lornn. Lady Terra and her attendants had every women and children hidden underground with water serving as their roof. The earth was the Lornn Tribe's territory and so she figured it would be safer for them if they would be surrounded by a foreign element for protection which, in turn, was Chloe Rein's water element.
Chloe stared far beyond the walls using her special eyesight and she could see the third branch already gathered a few yards away from the walls.
"They have large mudballs with them," Chloe informed Kieran.
Kieran just nodded his head, as if he was expecting such attacks. "They are trying to break through the walls with it." He then gave them a small smile. "Sadly, they might not be able to use it anymore."
He shot his arms out, palms outstretched and facing the ground. Chloe watched in amazement as the walls began to change form and turned into mud, melting into a pool of wet earth and
THE ride back to Krystalline Academy was silent. Jucel was leaning against Chloe's shoulder, sound asleep. The brunette was wide awake, gazing at the window as the carriage entered the border of the Helengrein town.Getting a glimpse of the town where she grew up lashes at her like one of Jucel's wind whips. She missed the place more than she thought, craning her neck to look over the Helengrein town market which signified as the entrance to the place. She could also see the Melenōs Fortress looming ahead.Chloe was gazing at it almost longingly until the carriage took a soft left turn and the view of the Helengrein town was fast concealed behind the woods. Her rising shoulder dropped enough to stir up Jucel. Thankfully, it wasn't enough to wake the silver-haired best friend of hers.The carriage jerked slightly and she had to hold onto the edge of the window with both hands. Because of Chloe's sudden movements, Jucel was thrown to the other side. It didn't seem to
"MOTHER." Chloe was perplexed and her inner core seemed to twist inside her. Whether Dana was excited to see her friends, she didn't say anything.What were they doing here, and why were they together with the Knight of the Wild Beast?The silhouettes moved down the banister and went closer to her sitting position.Seemingly reading her mind, Faline Liu crouched in front of her. "We were nearby and Tara sensed your presence here. We came to visit you."Chloe stood up and hugged Faline tightly. Tears were brimming at the edge of her eyes. "I missed you, Mē.""I felt jealous here," Iwaoka pouted.Chloe laughed softly and pulled away from Faline. "Of course, I missed you too, Zē," she said before transferring to Iwaoka. He already had his arms open and soon, he, his wife and their foster daughter were hugging tightly."Why are you here?" Chloe asked as soon as they settled at the edge of the terrace. Tara climbed on the banister and sat there.<
WHEN the sun was at high noon the next day, Faline came back from her intense training with Iwaoka and went directly to the dining hall of the Krystalline Palace's barracks.She had just sat down at the table and was pouring herself a cup of tea when her uncle hobbled into the room. Perhaps, her uncle had once been considered a handsome man.However, aged scars were marred across his face and neck. One of his eyes had been gouged out; the gaping hole hidden by bandages. The other eye was clouded and nearly unseeing. He was a veteran of war and though he was now not fighting, he was one of those who adviced the King.“Hello, Ūryi.”“Faline," he curtly greeted as he slowly lowered himself into a chair.Without a word, Faline poured a second cup of tea and placed it within her uncle’s reach. He took a few shaky sips before setting it back on the table. A couple of servants filed into the room to bring lunch and then left with a bow.Her uncle broke t
FALINE could see the uncertain stares of the Krysts gave her as she walked through the Krystalline army camp. She tried ignored them.The Krysts' uncertainty of having a female high general - and a very young, at the age of seventeen at that - in their midst was just one of their doubts at this moment. The other was the presence of the tribe members chosen by the high general herself to accompany her and lead the battalion of Krysts against their foes. Faline understood their squeamishness.But that wasn't relevant at the moment. The blue-eyed Water Kryst was focused on her only destination: General Dana Rein's tent and command tent.The guards bowed at her, stepping aside as Faline pushed open the fabric and stepped inside. The red-haired young general, and the rest of the chosen Knights were gathered around the table in the middle of the room in discussion about strategy."Faline," Iwaoka greeted with his warm smile, "How was Ailene Ricca?""Eri
FALINE took a deep breath when Eric spoke up. "What if... What if we lose?"A wild glint lit Faline's blue eyes that gleamed with iridescence as she glanced at Eric. The Krysts around them involuntarily flinched seeing it but Eric met her glaze with understanding as fire flared in his sky blue eyes. It just occured to Faline that they were both blonde and they both had blue eyes.They were both considered weaklings. She tore her gaze from Eric and looked back at General Dana's figure who was already wreaking havoc with both her sword and her Blood Element."There's no option here but to fight."“I see why Dana chose you," Eric chirped cheerfully. “You will surely turn the tides of this battle.”Faline blinked in surprise as her blood rushed through her and made her face flush with heat. Whatever she had expected that was not it. She unconsciously fidgeted with the hem of her sleeve.“Sh-shut up."Eric laughed, bringing him out of his n
LEVI had managed to gather the nine Knights of Shaula for a group training that afternoon. Faline had never left the training grounds after he invited her over and just lurked around where she wouldn't be seen by the new recruits so they could concentrate.The Lightning Kryst was cranky in training, she observed. He would shout at the idling trainees. Thus, he was intimidating to the point that Faline wondered if she would survive he rtraining with him.They grouped into three. Levi decided to personally train with Eric and Faline first. The three of them were gathered in a private grassy area of the palace garden tucked away by large bushes.With a practice sword on her hand, Faline watched intently as Levi demonstrated the basic sword stance and strike. The position of his arms and feet, his center of gravity, and which muscles were being used were all noted. The Lightning Kryst finished the demonstration and glanced at his two companions who were gawking at him.
FALINE spent the rest of her days in the Krystalline palace grounds, training nonstop under Levi and, sometimes under Hunter Lornn. She hadn't seen General Dana since then, and the Knights of Shaula, particularly Iwaoka, Siri, Ailene, Levi, and Hunter were busy training newly recruits. Faline could see who the strongest among the Knights when it comes to face-to-face combat, just by looking at the tight schedule her companions had.Astora, her Halequin, grew into a fine young eagle. It would stay by her side but sometimes, it would disappear. Faline had a hard time looking for that adventurous Halequin and so she planned to let him be.Only to find out one night that Astora was with General Dana.Faline was strolling the large garden of the Palace at the side of the northern wing when she heard a familiar squawk. She quickly followed the sound and to her astonishment, Dana was there standing under the light of the moon without her usual armor. She was wearing white
"HOW are you doing?" Faline asked Iwaoka as soon as she pushed the tent's opening canvas aside and stepped in. She found him staring at the ceiling of the tent, looking so deep in thought.He turned his head to her and smiled. "I'm fine. Just being burdened with these splints," he answered. His voice was raspy.Faline set down the food tray beside his bed and proceeded to help him sit up. Iwaoka was heavier than before so she struggled. Even so, she managed to sit him up. Iwaoka chuckled under his breath but he didn't say anything."The men decided to scout the perimeter before going back here," Faline said, talking about their fellow Knights. "General Dana seemed missing. But there's nothing to worry about, I guess."Iwaoka nodded his head. Faline began to feed her childhood friend and they were silent for a little moment. He was staring at her, she knew that, but she couldn't bring herself to look at his eyes."Fal," Iwaoka called.She looked at