Onyx Dreams Ch. 14bykitazkitten©
Chapter 14: Confrontations
***Author's Note: I just want to say a quick thank you to everyone who is enjoying this series but the biggest thank you goes to my co-writer smegger_29 who helps to bring Cyrus alive.***
Kennice yawned and snuggled closer to Cyrus. Soon the dawn would come and their magical barrier would fall. Then they would be at the mercy of Erykia and Rhys. She stifled a shudder. She was going to pay dearly for this one moment of passion but she truly didn't care. She would die with a smile on her face for she and Cyrus had finally had their one true desire fulfilled.
Softly Cyrus sighed, his dreams once more dark and shrouded in the sleepy mists of someone calling to him. The clouds rolled with thunder overhead, the sounds punctuated with the leathery swoop of something huge and dangerous. Quietly he shifted in his sleep, his face frowning as another loud roll of thunder was heard overhead. The skies lighting up with lightning crawling along the belly of the dark skies like a petting hand across the abdomen of a loyal beast.
Erykia and Rhys came running out of the hut. They had spent most of the night trying to figure out how to separate the two lovers permanently. The sound of thunder had sent them both outside.
"Damn it! Wake the boy up!" Erykia roared, her eyes on the sky.
Kennice gaped at them but then shook Cyrus. "Wake up, Cyrus! Wake up!" she shouted.
Cyrus stirred a little but did not awaken, his face still contorting and frowning as his dreams continued. Deep inside his mind, the locks Brenna had put on his memories were being eroded away by the new intruder. The onyx stone necklace had begun to glow against his pale flesh.
High above, in the dark skies, a high-pitched roar reverberated across the landscape, more piercing than that of the usual dragons. The villagers looked to the skies to see what the trouble was and were rewarded with a brief view of a belly as black as pitch. Taloned claws glinted in the lightning, the reflection however seemed to be absorbed by the sheer darkness of the scales on the belly of this sky beast.
Kennice's eyes widened. "Cyrus, please! Evil is coming! We must fight!" she cried.
"Rhys, grab the staffs, now!" Erykia ordered.
Rhys ran into the hut and came out with three staffs. Each had a hollowed out top in the shape of z circle. Within the circle was a different stone. Rhys handed the staff with the ruby to Erykia.
"Kennice, out of the circle now," Erykia growled just as the first ray of dawn hit the magical barrier and it vanished.
Kennice scrambled to her feet and opened her hand. She stared in shock when her staff flew from Rhys to her.
There was a moment of stunned silence. "Um," Kennice stammered but quickly shut up when Erykia shot her a quelling glance.
"If you have to hit him with a blast, do so. But that boy needs to wake up."
"I understand high priestess," Kennice said meekly and ran to Cyrus' side and shook him hard.
In the skies, the great dark body of the beast dipped above and below the skyline, in slow widening circles. The clouds above began to twist around in a wide swirl, the lightning itself seeming to contort to the shape that was forming. Another roar was heard and the wind began to pick up around the village. The centre of the swirl was directly above Kennice and Cyrus now, the winds pivoting on them like a wild dog leashed to a post. As the sky beast moved with faster, stronger movements, the winds picked up, throwing up dirt and loose vegetation. It seemed, however, that around Kennice and Cyrus, there was perfect calm, the eye of the storm.
Cyrus stirred as Kennice shook him hard, his eyes cracking open slightly. For a moment they had become like black dark pools that matched the scales on the sky beast that was soaring above them. Softly, one word escaped his lips, "Kaie..."
"No! She holds no sway here, dragon rider!" Kennice said firmly. "Cast her out! This is not the way. You belong to Brenna."
Cyrus shuddered and gripped the stone as the roar sliced through to his very core, unlocking that which had been hidden from him. He tried in vain to make a coherent thought form in his mind, but the invader had a firm grip upon him, forcing him to witness the endless procession of memories before his eyes.
The wind grew stronger and several villagers, who had come to check on the high priestess, had to fight to keep themselves upright. Above them, a funnel cloud began to snake down towards them, threatening to engulf the platform.
Desperately in his mind Cyrus spoke the only thing he could keep a firm grasp on. ~Brenna!~ His breathing was harsh now as he struggled to sit up, his muscles refusing to do as they were told as he resisted. They seemed to only want to work if he cooperated with the intruder in his mind and watched what was being shown to him.
There was a rumbling roar and Brenna came streaking in from the east. ~Leave my rider be!~ she challenged.
Kennice's head whipped up and she smiled. With Brenna here they had a chance.
"What do we do?" Rhys yelled over the raging winds to Erykia as he gripped his staff tightly.
"We wait!" Erykia hollered back.
The dark beast suddenly dipped very low. It was bigger than Brenna, and looked much more dangerous. ~I am Kaie!~ she roared and headed straight for the village in full fury at being interrupted. Her massive jaws opened wide and with an angry rumble, a pillar of flame erupted from her jaws. The flames were spread around the village in a tall wall, controlled by he will. Kaie swooped once more high into the sky, disappearing into the clouds, lightning striking her scales and traveling across them. Her tone was deep and full of menace, jealousy and rage. ~He does not belong with you Sister! I have shown him the truth that you have kept hidden from him and I will do what you do not have the courage to do. I will bring justice to those who have violated the ancient draconian laws.~
Suddenly she swooped down, her eyes focused on Erykia. ~Time for you to find out what happens to those who torment the future ruler of this world.~
Erykia only smiled pleasantly before saying, "Now."
Kennice grasped her staff with both hands and her amethyst stone glowed brilliantly. A strong beam of purple light lashed out. At the same time a blast of red came from Erykia's ruby and then blue from the sapphire in Rhys' stone. The three beams hit the intruding dragon then spiraled out to form a cage around her.
Kaie roared once more and surged her wings down with powerful strokes, forcing herself backwards. She opened her snout, letting loose another pillar of white hot flames directly at Erykia, the air rumbling as the particles were incinerated in it's fiery path.
"No!" Kennice shouted and flung up her hand. The white-hot flames died before reaching Erykia.
Then Brenna was there, spewing forth her own flame at Kaie. ~Go away! You have no hold here!~
Kaie's strong wings thudded once more, rising out of the path of Brenna's flame and returning a shot of her own at Brenna. ~You always were too naive Sister, you have kept things secret from your rider but now he knows the truth and has let me inside. All thanks to you!~ Her eyes glowed brightly and Cyrus shook his head a moment and looked at Erykia, seeing his chance.
Moving from the table, he held his arm out beside him. He called forth his bass blade, which hummed and sparkled brightly. Kaie had shown him more than hidden memories. She had shown him how to combine his powers. The blade was thrumming with the power of his rave rage that was focused intently on Erykia as he advanced towards her. "You did underestimate me, Erykia." He slashed at the staff in her hands aiming for and connecting with the gemstone.
The resulting explosion flung everyone backwards. Rhys crashed into the door of the hut with Erykia landing on top of him, her staff burnt and broken.
Brenna lost altitude and plummeted toward the ground.
Kennice was flung the farthest and crashed hard into the trees. She let out a shriek of agony when a tree branch slid through her back and out the right side of her chest, just missing her right lung. The pain was instant and excruciating. She coughed and felt blood on her lips. "Oh Cyrus," she whispered as a single tear slid down her cheek as she slumped over.
"NO!" Rhys came to his feet even as his whole body glowed blue. "You have broken the draconic/druidic pact. Her pain shall be yours!" He held up both hands and blue energy snaked out and lassoed all of Kaie's limbs, her neck and then her muzzle.
Erykia was watching even as she used her powers to send a call through the earth to Bogart and Henry who had responded and were on the way with other dragons to assist.
Dark thunderous laughter was heard as Kaie's eyes shined with evil. Cyrus began to rise from the rubble he had been flung into. His mind had become a hurricane of rage as he advanced on Rhys. His own eyes were still black pools of malice. The air around him was vibrating with the force of his powers.
Cyrus raised his bass blade once more, pointing it at Rhys. As he spoke, his voice held the combined strength of Kaie who used his mouth to speak. "You naive mortal, I hold no pact with druid scum like you. You have no idea of the power you have given this rider by tormenting him so. Your stupidity has done nothing but fuel the fire of this man's rage. You have condemned the world to darkness and have left yourself wide open."
"Then he can keep the power because it has just cost him the one mortal who did like him!" Rhys snarled at both dragon and Cyrus. He mocked Cyrus. "Kennice is dying because of you. I hope your bonding to this loathsome beast is worth it."
"The earth will heal her wounds, she has power enough now. But as for you...your filthy hands will never touch her again!" The voice held a note of strain to it as if Cyrus was fighting Kaie's grip on his body and soul. He narrowed his eyes and swung his blade, bringing it round once more in a horrific slash aimed for Rhys' wrists. Kaie let out two lines of flames from her nostrils, heading straight for Erykia.
Both lines of flames were doused when huge water balls were hurled from the sky as several different colored dragons led by Bogart and Henry appeared in the air above them.
"You were banished before, Kaie, for your evil ways. You will leave now or be forced out," Henry stated loudly and clearly as a ruby scaled dragon landed and let Erykia climb up on it. A sapphire one did the same for Rhys.
Brenna had joined her father's side and her eyes were full of sadness as she looked at Kaie.
Kaie roared and glared at Henry as she rose once more, free of Rhys' abilities. ~Once again you come too late, old man. Your time will come soon but for now, I shall let the bond between Cyrus and my sister fester.~
Cyrus was beginning to regain more control as Kaie moved farther away from him. His voice sounded like his own this time but still strained. "No....leave me be...beast of my nightmares. No one, not even an 800 ton dragon has the right to try and control me." His eyes glowed when he grasped the knowledge within her mind. It was foolhardy and a desperate attempt on his part to free himself from her grip. With his newfound knowledge, he rose off the ground a little, the skies flashed brightly with lightning and the power of the secrets he had learned from her flowed through him like adrenaline. For a brief moment he saw the world through her eyes, saw her connections to Brenna, Bogart and Henry. He witnessed thousands of years of evil and murder, and witnessed lastly, the murder of Henry's wife.
The shout that erupted from him shook the earth with the intensity it brought. The energy of the skies crashed down through his body, arching upwards towards Kaie as he thrust his hand out in front of him. "BEGONE DEMON! Haunt my dreams NO MORE!"
Kaie howled as the lightning struck her squarely in the chest. She knew he had power in him but this was like nothing she had ever dreamed of. She had to stop this now before he did her serious harm. She mentally roared at him, temporarily overpowering his mortal mind. The energy faded and he collapsed to the ground unconscious as she tore the knowledge of ages from his mind, leaving him with no memory of how he had accessed such power. Flapping her wings, she quickly flew off towards the north, leaving a cloud of darkness behind her, retreat being her only option. She had done what she had planned. The bond between Cyrus and Brenna was damaged. But now she knew that he was the one she sought. The one who would change the world.
Rhys directed the dragon he was on toward the trees. They hovered at eye level. "Kennice? Kennice, talk to me."
"Rhys?" her voice was very faint. She was floating in a sea of mind numbing pain. "Help...me."
"I'm coming to get you. Then Erykia can heal you."
"Ok." She didn't care. She wanted the pain to stop.
The sapphire dragon moved closer and with an agile leap Rhys landed on the branch across from Kennice. Carefully he made his way over to her and accessed the situation. "Kennice, I'm going to have to break the branch and then slide you forward."
"Ok." Her eyes were glazed as she moved once again toward unconsciousness.
"Stay with me, Ke," he ordered using her nickname. With a strong jerk, he snapped the top half of the branch.
She moaned but made no other movement.
"I'm going to move you forward." He saw her faint nod and then he pulled her forward. She yelped and slumped over, unconscious at last from the blood loss.
Brenna landed next to Cyrus and nudged him gently. ~Cyrus?~ her tone was full of worry.
Cyrus was unconscious on the ground and flopped over on to his back like a rag doll when Brenna nudged him. There was nothing but an echo in return to Brenna's question, the silence falling around his mind like a thick quilt. After several minutes, there were soft whispers in his mind, the various different parts of his personality were slowly returning and filling up the void of his mind. Quietly he whispered hoarsely, his body now smelling strongly of singed hair and flesh. ~Ow...~
Bogart had landed and Henry hobbled over to Cyrus. He waited a moment to see if Cyrus would open his eyes. When the young man didn't move, Henry slapped him and growled, "Get up boy."
Cyrus' head was rocked hard to the side and his eyes cracked open slowly, his breathing low and soft, his body felt like it had been beaten with a bullwhip and his mind felt like it had been drowned by too much alcohol. He tried to rise, or to say something angry at Henry, but his energy reserves were so depleted he barely managed a pathetic attempt to get up a couple of inches before his muscles gave out, his voice abandoning him.
"Stupid, stupid boy." Henry turned when he heard Rhys approach. He hobbled over to him. "Lay her back in the fertility circle. We must save her."
Rhys quickly placed her there and tore open her shift to reveal the gaping hole of her wound.
"Brenna, come to me," Henry called.
Brenna landed next to Henry. "Breathe on her sweet dragon. Breathe on her your healing breath." Brenna opened her mouth and white smoke billowed out and covered Kennice's body. Brenna closed her mouth and backed away.
Kennice whimpered when the smoke touched her but then the whimpers quickly escalated into screams. Rhys had to hold her down as her body began convulsing.
"Do something!" he demanded of Henry.
"We are doing something. She will be alright in a few moments," Henry assured the distraught young man.
Rhys looked ill but he watched in appalled fascination as the dragon's magic worked to save his betrothed's life. He made a silent vow to the powers of the universe that he would do whatever he had to for Kennice's heart to soften toward him. He wanted her to want him. Ever since he had first laid eyes on her, something about her had appealed to him. It had been a blow to his ego to know that some upstart, some raging freak had managed to win her heart. Well now he would be her hero and maybe, just maybe, things would change. He blinked and realized that Kennice's screams had tapered off. The white smoke was gone as well.
Henry checked Kennice's pulse and now healed wound. "Kennice, dear one, can you hear me?"
"Yes. Next time we decide to battle evil can we please be in a field?" she joked quietly as Rhys helped her sit up. She was so exhausted she just leaned against him, not thinking how it looked. She just wanted to be held.
Cyrus lay where he was for a few minutes letting his body work up the energy to tell him how much pain he was in. Gradually, after what seemed like forever to him, he managed to roll over on to his stomach and push up on to all fours. His chest was heaving now with exhaustion and his movements were sluggish from the fatigue that had welled up from such a harsh mental burden to suddenly take on. Only the most experienced druids were supposed to know how to enter the mind of a dragon, the reason being because they had decades, sometimes even centuries of experience to back their attempts. Cyrus was lucky to even be breathing never mind moving and thinking. It was then as he tried to sit up that the memories from Kaie hit. He doubled over and began vomiting from the distressing, gruesome images. His body convulsed till he had not the strength to continue. He couldn't get them from his mind, the endless procession of murder, violence and death. So much suffering and pain. It was all beginning to make his blood boil.
Erykia looked at Cyrus. "You are disgusting. I hope now Kennice will see the light and leave this foolish notion of you being the one for her," she stated contemptuously.
Cyrus managed a harsh glare at Erykia, feeling the adrenaline start to fill his veins. A low growl was heard as he slowly rose, giving her a look that said he knew something she didn't. "Do you have any idea how much knowledge was left in my head when that demon left hmm? How much knowledge of our traditions, cultures and laws were left?"
"Doesn't matter whelp. I have you where I need you and that's away from her."
Cyrus chuckled softly and stared at Erykia with a penetrating glance that went straight to her soul. He tapped his temple. "I see your childhood Erykia. I see your family, your betrayals. I see your plans to double cross Rhys too." He didn't know if any of his statements were true. He was gambling on the fact that Erykia would know that Kaie had given him a lot of knowledge. He was going to play that fact as much as possible even though he no longer possessed any of it.
Erykia gave him a haughty stare. "Is that so? Then tell me about my family, little man."
He raised an eyebrow. She was calling his bluff and he had nothing. All he could do was wing it and simply pass it off as the future if it was wrong. "I know your mother aided in your training. She had to. There's no way that someone could become as twisted, heartless and less loved as you without family turning their backs. I can just see it now, the beatings, and the emotional torment. Just like you do to Kennice. That's why you do it to her because you can't do it to your mother. You only pick on people weaker than you, trying to dig up some self-respect from that pit of despair your training cast you into."
Erykia's laugh was sinister. "Oh, you are convincing but sadly very wrong. But I will tell you this. All of my family and relatives are druids. I am not the first to sit in one of the high offices. That's why I know your kind. Always bringing chaos and problems that need not be. I hope you enjoy being alone for that is the direction you are headed. You've let evil darken your mind and taint your heart. The two females that you so value will be lost to you because you can't even control yourself."