My steady breathing deepens with each intake. Exhaling a stream of warm air bellowing out like the breath of a monster. It slides around me the only thing keeping my cheeks from losing feeling like the rest of my body has. I can't even touch the fiery power that use to dwell deep in the bit of my belly, it's too cold and getting colder by the second. Head bobbing, eyes flickering up and down, I can feel the sweet kiss of sleep. It's said that when freezing you warm up suddenly and pass out. I fear that the warmth is coming quicker than anticipated. Fighting hard against sleep, it's even more difficult since I'm numb with intense boredom. The endless days and nights have stopped, and there's no sensation of time passing me by. Just the freezing cold, and empty darkness.
Shifting my neck upwards, I can feel everything moving along with it. My back, legs, and arms all scream with the sudden shock of movement. Bones groaning and sliding painfully in their frozen joints. It feels unnatural like swimming through oil, not made any easier by the substance that has me trapped.
Bronze metallic brown wood shifts as I move, fleshy and bark-like, biting my flesh like thousands of ants. It groans a touch, then slips even further over my own skin, like a cursed armor. Unrelenting, and determined to absorb me.
The prison I find myself in has a name. We call it, The Tree of Life. It's a wickedly evil plant that has taken over most of my body. I can't feel my torso, or half my chest because of the liquidated solid bark.
A fresh breeze suddenly whips into a frenzy around me, drawing my blue raven hair to the side. Metallic green leaves rustle hypnotically in a dance that reflects the light given off from the solemn silver moon above. Its rays softly floating down the small hole high above caress my cheeks in motherly tenderness. I lean upwards wanting to reach out and touch the moon like I did when I flew the sky above... It's the only constant I have here, it vanishes to appears day after day. It will be the only thing that will continue until these painful weeks, turn to torturous months, then lengthy years, and endless decades. Until my nearly immortal body becomes fodder for this damn tree.
I snort, crazy laughter bubbling up my chest and into the crackling air. It is an irony! A complete catastrophe that an immortal is being eaten by The Tree of Life! For it created my own creators.
According to myths, The Tree of Life was created by the Gods and Goddesses who were born with their immortality and had nothing to entertain themselves but the constant fighting and bickering between them all. For some strange reason, they cannot individually create a life because of the ruling of One God. But, it doesn't say that they all couldn't put forth their energies to create something. With the idea of a Goddess, she invoked the will of the other gods and gave birth to a magical entity that was to create balance in all the worlds. So the gods used their flesh to create suns and the goddess's planets. The main goddess, thus birthed a seed for each of them to plant in the goddess's soil and bloom in the light of the gods. it became known as The Tree of Life.
The Tree settled upon the planets thus birthing her own life. The First Mortals, plants. However, the plants were unable to reproduce on their own, so to help them bloom the Tree created the Second Mortals, insects. With the two mortals now born, they flourished and spread to all sides of their planets.
There became a problem, for there was chaos between the two Mortals, no balance, and the two had war with one another. That is when the Third mortals were born, Herbivores and Insectivores. Deer for trees and high brush, rabbits for grass and flowers, anteaters for ants. Once again balance took place until another problem arose. The First and Second mortals could not reproduce fast enough to compete with the steadily multiplying Third Mortals. To bring about balance, the Tree devoured the Third Mortals to create their second self. From deer, wolves were born. Snakes and birds for mice and rabbits. She even created decomposers to help with the cycle of life and death. These were the Fourth Mortals. With all Four Mortals, true peace and harmony were created.
What the gods could not predict was evolution, and with evolution came even greater predators. The First sentient Mortals, The Fifth. Born simple and unfulfilled the fifth Mortals blossomed and as time went became more and more powerful until they developed emotions and thoughts.
From their thoughts and emotions, powerful creatures called Nieuros were born. Not from the Tree of Life but from the Mortals whose powerful emotions brought their births. And from the Nieuros arose those called Immortal. It's just ironic. The gods created the Tree, who created the Mortals who birthed us, Immortals. It's a creation cycle, with an immortal being stuck and absorbed by the very first. I wonder what creation of life will be built by my death? What sort of balance will this tree decide will have to occur?
The word sinks heavy claws deep into my heart. Can I truly just let myself die here? Do I wish to die before my revenge is fulfilled? I have too much to do, too much to accomplish. I have to stay alive, I have to find a way out of here!
Taking a deep breath, I draw forth my anger, slowly so very slowly I tear my arm out of its prison. Each movement is more painful than the next until my hand slips through the tar. Prying my fingers apart, a rush of adrenaline flushes through me and I rip my shoulder free. If it was this easy, then I'd have already left... The hard part is about to start.
With the freedom of my arm, the wood begins to groan in this haunting melody. Water shaking, pellets of ice shooting forward as roots rise from deep within the crystalline pond. Bark ripple and shiver, teeth digging deeper into my flesh drawing blood. I tug my other arm watching as branches shoot upwards digging into the rock walls, forcing boulders to fall and splash heavily into the water below. Waves slice cold whips across my legs, branches scratching my cheeks. I howl, screaming at the tree, fighting tooth and nail.
Fire blooms in my right hand, scorching leaves. My left is still simi-stuck so I fight off the branches with only my fire. The tree's ferocity increases, leaves sharpening and spinning like razor blades.
I chuckle, "Come at me you Fri-num Tree!"
Ash piles below me, but the branches keep coming, roots spinning up the trunk and trapping my lower half further and further into the Tree's guts. Until I am covered, my hand slowly forces back into it's cold-core.
I scream! Roar! Howl! Fighting and twisting and hissing but there's nothing I can do. Bleeding, and tired I fall back heavily breathing. Sharp pain strikes ruthlessly in my back. I tore my old wounds, two lumps beside my shoulder blades where my wings were torn from my body.
Anger fills my veins, the memory of the pain and anguish rippling through my mind. Claws twitch in frustration. I remember every single emotion I felt during that time of dishonor.
Phantom raven blue feathers slowly fall around me, landing delicately into the crystalline lake. Old screams vibrate, swords clashing against steel, arrows sinking into the soil. All around me, the sounds of a battlefield. Red eyes look down at me, hands covered in blood... My blood. A smirk, savage and wide...
I will not rest until I get my revenge...
I will take away his freedom, as he took my own.
Freedom... Head slumping forward, I watch the glistening blue water dance below like flames, stiller than death, yet more alive than the world above singing in their crackling voices. Metallic roots far below have risen up to my knees keeping a solid yet faint pressure to keep my body near the damn Trees. With the strong roots so close, if I fight back too soon, they will just shove me into the tree's core in no time. I have no choice but to wait until they settle down, then renew my struggle.
Hope flickers in and out, like the moon being covered by hungry clouds. I never would have gotten i this mess, if I had noticed the trap sooner. If I was only smarter, stronger... I never would have lost my wings... nor my freedom. If I was only better than everyone else like I am supposed to be...
Mother warned me I was too naive for my own good. I trust too much, allowing my emotions to rule over my head. I need to be calm, a baron of thoughts and ideas. Play word games so no one knows what is going on in my head. I have to be cruel, vicious, like a snake... I have to be a true Shyrian, or I will be killed... If I am not already dead.
A flash of lantern light glowing in the distant cave draws me to it like a moth to flames. Within the dome-shaped caverns, there's only one dry spot in the entire place, a dark brown sandy beach littered with large rocks covered in moss, and glowing blue mushrooms. Opening up to the beach are two entrances, like gaping maws. The one on the right glows eerily of light, the fire coming closer and closer crackling and snarking.
Two dark figures shift to view, one a long slick cloaked figure and the other a short misshapen monstrosity.
Panic builds like a boulder rumbling down my throat and landing heavily on my chest unmoving and growling larger. I snarl, only to cut myself off. I cannot show weakness in front of him, I have to maintain self-control. Anger is a weakness. I have to be a Shyrian!!!
Light moves slowly in the calm palms of the tall man, his long strides confident and sure like he himself is the ruler of time. Shoulders straight and relaxed, they speak of untold years of confidence and might. Just inches from the lake, he lowers the candle handing it off to the misshapen beast beside him. I still cannot see them, it's been so long since I have seen the light that my eyes are clouded from sight... still I can sense the smirk.
The man leans forward, the moon's rays almost touching his nose. When he laughs it's this smooth velvet sound like the voice of a bird. He brushes back his smooth delicate oil-black hair, which flutters down like wings. With a quick expert flick of his wrist, he flips his hair over his shoulder smirking.
Cheeks warming, I bit my cheeks to avoid growling. He's taunting me... When a foe flicks their hair it's a sign of confidence, and the fact I cannot flick my own hair back at him... I close my eyes tight, calm... he is only trying to rail me up. Don't let him get to you.
Beside the Shyrian, the stumbling rocking beast traveling with him fell forwards into the light. He went headfirst into the sand, his brown rags falling forward lumping around his ugly neck, revealing a hair ugly ass. I stare hard at the creature, a sudden urge to just grab its neck and squeeze it to death, overcoming me.
The thing shakes free from the sand, staggering upwards, clutching the brown dress with hairy callused hands. He bows down pitifully trying to brush off the remaining sand from his head. He's a short creature, barely reaching the top of the shortest boulder in the room. His sandy head has this slimy oil that oozes from their kind and is several times too large for the size of its body. He blinks one small blue eye and one overly large green eye settled upon his flat ugly face with wrinkles and slime dropping like sweat. Had he not such a ludicrously largemouth, there would have been nothing but those eyes and wrinkles to see. He opens his mouth revealing his last three rotten teeth, sneezing then his overly large nose dripping with green snot. He uses his tongue to catch the green snot before it falls down. Licking it up with a disgusting slurping sound.
It's unsurprising that he's such a disgusting beast. He is a slave, and a slave only follows their master's orders. It's always disgusted me that this man always kept several of these beasts with him at all times.
The man finally speaks, "Hello brother.." His words slide over my skin like venom. I glare at him, wishing to break free just long enough to break his fucking neck. He moves a hand, his words following, echoing around unnaturally bouncing and bouncing until the darkness swallows them up. "Are you not happy to see me?" He smirks, his voice is cold like ice. He is a commander, and his words are used to bring Shyrians to his knees. He has led millions of armies into war standing tall and true.
Crow is his name... and I admit, he is the finest Shyrian I have ever met. He has always been the smartest, boldest, and strongest of our generation. He never had to put forth an effort to be exceptional. Just like our Sister whom he allied himself... It took them both to bring me down. And only because Father stole my freedom and pride...
I give my brother a blank look, as close to a snarl as I can get without appearing weak. I speak softly, my voice devoid of all emotions, "What respectful Shyrian stoops so low as to trick another with a pathetic trick."
Crow laughs darkly, looming over the lake, his black eyes bearing down on me. It takes all my courage and discipline not to start growling and cursing. If I show any weakness, he will take advantage of it.
A test of wills...
He turns halfway to the beast, his voice empty, "Bring it here."
Not waiting for the beast, he spins back to me stepping forward to greet the moonbeams. He burns like a savage god. His dark hair is black flames crusading down his back to the tips of his heels. He brushes it again revealing his pale white face, a reflection of the moon's purity. Clean, passionless, and cold. Like the moon took a chunk of its flesh and brought it forth to our mother, who proceeded to carve Crow's face from the rock. Every curve line is a perfect art. From his strong nose and thin lips to that smug tilt of his head. Even his snow-white teeth are perfect. Any imperfection found became perfection just because it sat on his face. He smugly lifts his head up at me, black eyes burning low embers. Even so far away he looms over me. This warrior... he's even given me the honor of dressing in his traditional Shyrian armor.
Armor made from the darkest and strongest of metal available. A shadow of shadows, deep enough the reaper of death could see his reflection. As he rolls his shoulder blades, the pieces shift and change. They were specially designed to make actual faces that look in pain. There are spikes coming out of the smooth armor, making it impossible to grapple him without getting wounded. Slung on his back are a shield and spear.
It is said that the first two Shyrians born were actually twin brothers, who in their anger and resentment fought for the crown. When twins are born, they have the same soul which makes them develop this need to dominate and kill the other. It's why twins are rare, and when they do appear. They sooner or later kill each other.
Kiro Leburn Goldheart, is just a normal girl from Earth. When all of a sudden she is plagued by nightmares of silver trees and rusty chains. Her entire life is swept away from under her, forced to follow a prophecy. Telling her to seek out ten orbs to awaken a god of old, in order to prevent a catastrophe to end the world. All she wants is to get back home, but can she survive a journey filled with ancient magic, powerful immortals, and strange glowing beasts that seek her life? Or will she die before she can get back home to her family and freinds?
Hello Everyone! I have this story posted on Wattpad as Tealeaf and have submitted my work on RoyalRoad.Com under LittleTeaLeaf! I will most likely update my Tapas account ahead of the other two :). I hope anyone who reads my story enjoys the adventures to come!