The Darkest One - Book 1: Bringer of Night - Part Two
A roar echoed around Terror Mountain.
Desiree landed with elegant grace and Seth slowly dismounted. The faerie turned to him. “What was that?” she wondered.
Seth looked cautiously around and whispered, “The Bringer of Night. It’s killing my tribe!”
The dark faerie pursed her lips, and then hissed, “You can come if you must, but stay behind me.”
She stepped into the cavern. The silence engulfed her. The only sound heard was that of tiny Seth’s claws against the ice floor as he trailed along behind her. The dark faerie paused and waited. Any second now... She could feel the slight tremors the beast’s weight gave off. It was getting closer. She braced herself, spreading her huge bat-like wings for impact.
“Seth, I need you to take shelter. I don’t want you to get hurt,” she said.
The Christmas Bori nodded and ducked behind a stalagmite. Blam! The Bringer burst through the opposite wall and bellowed at the top of his lungs. Desiree’s fists alit with blue flames. She raised her arms and blasted the beast. Its indignant call thundered passed them. The dark faerie shot again, the magic fire forcing him up against the wall.
Seth ducked away from the scene before him. He had to find his family. He had to get everyone out of here. He hurried through the cave and quickly found them, running in terror from the now distracted monster. “Get out!” he shouted.
No one heard him.
Desiree blasted the beast over and over again. It was no use! This thing was too strong! It fought back with such brutality, that it overwhelmed the faerie and sent her spinning across the ice. The Bringer lifted his mallet-like fist and slammed it against her. The dark faerie cried out in pain.
Seth watched as the leader of his tribe began to perform a spell. He raised his arms. “No!” the tiny Bori yelled. “You don’t have to do that! Get out! It’s been distra...”
He froze as a cry echoed through the cave. The faerie! He turned to run back. Crash! A rumble and a flash of lightning lit up the cave. Seth was knocked off his feet and sent sprawling as the spell was completed. Seth dogged as hundreds of pointed stalactites fell from the ceiling and pierced the floor, and then everything went still. The Bori pushed himself up and stared. His entire tribe, every last one of them... was frozen. The boy rose to his feet and stepped forward, his whole body quaking with shock, horror, and loneliness. He reached a paw out and grasped his father’s frozen paw. Not a single soul in that cave moved. To save the tribe, his leader had frozen everyone... all, that is, except Seth.
Desiree shrieked again as the beast beat down on her. Her wing tore and tears cascaded down her cheeks. Where had this thing come from? How had it achieved such strength?
Seth moved without thinking. He broke a large stalagmite and smashed it against the back of the Bringer’s massive head. The heavy icicle shattered into millions of tiny pieces and the monster crumpled and fell in a heap. The Bori then knelt and pulled Desiree to her feet.
“You... you just saved me,” she gasped.
Seth sniffed and wiped his eyes. He felt empty like a boulder had knocked a hole through his stomach. Desiree knelt at his side.
“Did you find them?” she panted.
Seth bowed his head and nodded.
The faerie understood. “I’m sorry. Do you have any family elsewhere I can leave you with?”
He shook his head.
The dark faerie thought for a while. She couldn’t just leave him here and the only other alternative was the Pound. She couldn’t leave him in there. That would be awful! “You can always stay with me,” she decided. “I don’t mind. Would you like to?”
Seth stared up at her young face. She was a dark faerie. He’d been desperate when he’d asked her for her help. Why should he even consider such a thing? But, she’d been the only one to try to save his family. She helped him out of the stream, tried to get help, and when no one else would, she alone stood up against a monster to defend a family she’d never known.
He nodded and hugged her, tears spilling over his eyelids. The faerie gently picked him up and stroked his back. “Don’t worry, Seth,” she whispered. “I’ll take care of you.”
Desiree strode outside and looked up at the sky. There was Kreludor, meaning she was facing north. She needed to go south. She turned and spread her wings, Seth cuddling in her arms. She beat them up and down, lifting off the ground, and then sank back down in agony.
Seth gasped. “Your wing!”
“It’s fine,” she answered flatly.
“But you’re hurt!”
She bit her lip. She wouldn’t be able to fly, but if they didn’t fly, it might take a long time to reach the city. But what choice did she have? “Seth, we’ll have to walk. I don’t think I can fly.”
He nodded and climbed down. “Where are we going to go?”
“To Altador. You can stay in my room, okay?”
He nodded again and followed her down the steep mountainside. Desiree opened her wings to keep her balance, but the Bori, being a mountain-dweller, padded easily along behind her. She sighed. It’d be a long way home.
Seth watched the tall faerie struggle against the incline, wishing he could help her. Maybe someday he’d find a way to repay her.
The Bringer growled and shook his head. A large bump was forming on the back of his head where the ice had struck him. He got up and grunted. Where did they go? He looked over at the frozen Bori tribe. He couldn’t do anything with those now. He sniffed and grinned, exposing his tusks even more. They’d been here not too long ago, that Bori and the faerie. He could follow their scent.
He grunted once more and stormed over to the cave entrance, sniffing out their trail.
Desiree froze as she heard a bellow behind her. Seth stopped and watched her. They both went white. The faerie grabbed the Bori and took off into the sky. Her wings beat as fast they could, but sharp pains shot through her with each movement. Sweat trickled down her brow as she recognized the thunderous stomps of the Bringer of Night.
Seth panicked when he saw the Bringer charging after them. He held tighter to Desiree and whimpered a little.
The faerie gasped. She was losing altitude! They’d either crash or be ripped apart by the Bringer. She pumped her wings in a futile attempt to stay airborne. She screeched as she fell a few feet, then lost control altogether and fell into the treetops. The branches and leaves smacked against her as she tumbled toward the ground. Desiree felt the wind knock out of her before she felt the pain. She got up and checked on the small being in her arms.
“Seth, are you okay?” she asked.
He gave a shaky nod. Poor thing. He’d probably never desire to fly again. She took a deep breath and ran through the underbrush. The sound of the beast’s pounding was still audible behind them. Her heart pounded and her breathing came short and hard as she bounded forward. Seth held tight, willing himself not to be sick after that crash landing. He wished he were home.
Desiree dashed as fast as she could, but the Bringer’s thudding footsteps grew steadily closer. Suddenly it stopped. The dark faerie paused and listened, then went ridged as hot, sticky breath blew down her spine. She turned and there was the Bringer of Night. She screamed and tried to run, but the massive creature pounded her against the earth. She rolled over and dogged a blow from its fist. Seth whimpered. The Bringer roared and struck again. Desiree once again dogged him and rose to her feet. Setting the Bori at her feet, her hands then lit with flames. Wham! Wham! Balls of blue fire hit the beast head on, landing right in its face.
It growled and pushed her up against a tree. Desiree gasped and tried a different spell. Dark violet rays emanated from her palms. The Bringer grew dizzy and toppled over. Desiree grabbed Seth and ran. She had to get distance between them. She just had to! No, wait! She skidded to a halt and looked back. The Bringer was waking. Her eyes widened as she watched him. Come on, she thought. Just a little closer! It leaped forward and the dark faerie took her chance. A blue force shield rippled off her fingers and contained the monster.
Seth stared as the Bringer sniffed and pushed against the barrier. Nothing happened.
“I’ll get someone to pick him up,” the dark faerie murmured. “For now I'd better get you home.”
To be continued...