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-Maiden Elf-

The night on the elven lands were warmer than those of the northern countries worldwide. Warmer clothes and thicker blankets were objects used only by the sick ones. But some cold wind blows could be felt by the inhabitants of the hidden town.

Anael and the others were sleeping in a larger hut, with the best cots available. While all of them were sleeping, Kimi couldn’t sleep at all. Instead, he had some doubts on his mind, and he knew to whom he had to talk in order to solve those questions in his mind.

The blonde left his hut, and went on the search of Bielarus’. His soft steps were heard by the desired person, who came almost instantaneously to him.

“You were supposed to be sleeping, Ice Guardian.” She said, serious. “I assume that you have some important stuff to talk about. What is it?”

“Everything.” He replied with the same tone of voice. “How’s life been going down here? And this war, who started? And… Are you still mad at me?”

“One question at time…” Bielarus answered, approaching Kimi. “Well, life here has changed since you ran away. You know, our traditions remain the same – isolated from surface, living from these blue leaves grown only here along with other products, crafting our own weapons and tools, match making the younger ones and celebrating the marriage of the older ones…” She closed her eyes and smiled. “About the matchmaking… I’m one of those who had ignored the rules. I paid a price, but it was totally worth it. You know, I simply love Cody, and I cannot imagine my life without him…”

Kimi smiled at his friend. She was far happier than some years ago. The northern elves lived in this isolation for several millenniums and that seemed far away from any changes. Even so, their community lived in perfect harmony and self-sustainability, with everything they needed.

“About the war…” Bielarus continued, with the same triumphant countenance she showed before. “It began some months ago, when El completed twenty five years… He seemed to be even more careless as the days came by… He was thinking on some projects to integrate us with the surface civilizations, which, in my opinion, is a total waste of time – see, we wouldn’t fit in their patterns of ‘civilization’ and ‘economic development’. But El seemed to not care to our negative replies. He attempted to make some connections with the upper world, but he protested and blocked the easier accesses, which caused the death of several civilians. That was the limit for us, and we had to declare war against El. Since then, I am commanding the Resistance forces alongside Cody. I hope we can find someone more suitable to reign over us, since El cannot do so.”

“I see…” Kimi said with a discrete smile “But did you guys tried to solve this in a more diplomatic way? I mean, I understand that El’s motives might have not been the best, but that was no reason for you to begin a riot…”

“I’m surprised you say that.” Bielarus replied with anger “For a person whose brother was killed by the same man we talk about here, you seem to defend him instead of defending your people! Are you some kind of a spy in his behalf?” She grabbed a dagger and placed its blade near Kimi’s jugular vein, giving him some unpleasant sensations. “Because if you are, then you can say goodbye to your life!”

“I’m no betrayal!” He replied, removing the dagger from his neck. “I was just asking. I see that you are still angry at me. I know that, according to our traditions, I was supposed to be chosen your groom after my brother’s death, but I was already designed to marry someone else! It is not that I didn’t like you, but I had no choice! I wouldn’t do that to Arja – the one who was assigned to be my spouse.”

“I knew you’d use this issue against me.” Bielarus replied, surprisingly calmer “I preferred this way. Of course, at that time I was ten to eleven years old, and for me traditions meant everything. So, when you said no to our possible marriage, I got pretty devastated. I had nothing against you, Kimi, I really hadn’t. But I nurtured some anger for this kind of ‘heart breaking’ you did at me. But when I med Cody… Things changed… And I’m exultant that things turned out this way. For this, I really owe you.” She started to walk away from him. “Get some rest” She said, with a mischievous smile “Tomorrow is going to be a busy day. Be prepared for war.”

***

The next day, the troops were organized and ordered to attack the left gates of the Fortress, which seemed to be less protected against invasions. Anael and the others were placed on different troops, which would attack at a predetermined order. Altagracia and Kaiser were at the first wave, followed by Thalas, Anael and Maya and finally for Melchior and Kimi.

“Here’s our plan” Cody announced solemnly “You guys are going to focus your attacks on the left gates of the Fortress. Our goal is to enter and force El to surrender. We chose these entrances for they are the less guarded ones. Also, some guards were bribed by us in order to ease our way into El’s chambers. The first troop is going to act like a battering ram – you guys have to bring these gates down. The others will protect them and make sure that all the guards are either captured or killed. Any doubts?”

Since no one answered this part, Cody assumed that everything was fine indeed. The elves started to sing freedom hymns and other provoking songs in order to elevate their moral, so they’d be prepared to face the battle that was about to come.

Five vortexes were open to release the troops. The elves came out in dozens and headed straight to the Fortress, following Cody and Bielarus’ plan. They came with the fourth troop, which was there to scout the wounded ones back to the headquarters. Excluding that function, they were merely representative troops.

Altagracia and Kaiser gave the elves the command to attack, and so they did. Waves of fiery arrows were fired by the three hundred elves from that wave, and that was enough to catch the guards’ attention. They came out from the Fortress’ top walls as crawling creatures; some were defeated before reaching the ground; others periled by the elven attack. This gate was about to yield. That was the perfect time for Anael’s crowd to enter in the arena. The Elite Dragon flew over the area, being followed by the other elves. He started to throw lightning bolts at the guards to protect the others, especially his little sister, whose light powers had been increasing day after day.

“They are retreating!” Kaiser announced, while punching some guards near him “We may succeed!”
The gate was burning stronger and stronger as the fiery arrows hit its wood. The walls were crowded with guards, who either died or fled from the battlefield. For the courageous ones, that was the opportunity to attenuate the invasion and warn the Emperor about the attempt of conquest of the Fortress.

The gate crumbled; the burning wood was scattered under the gate’s arch. The troops entered in the marble corridors ready for war. The guards that once were at the top of walls rapidly came downstairs to block the intruders. Anael slayed some of them, preventing wounds on Altagracia, which started to heal the nearer soldiers, who were already injured.

Suddenly, however, most of the soldiers continued their way into the Fortress, leaving Altagracia behind. Even her brother did not notice that he left his most loved human being behind.
In a matter of seconds, Altagracia found herself alone, and she could hear steps from the other way of the corridor, indicating the presence of more soldiers.

‘I have to run away’ she thought, a bit scared ‘But to where?’ She tried to hide behind some green marble pillars as the steps became louder and louder. Then, she found out that there were more than twenty guards in that room, just waiting for some rebel elf to appear there and get killed. She held her breath and closed her eyes, trying to figure something out as the guards walked on the floor.

“Look what I had found here!” One guard screamed to the others when he spotted Altagracia “A human child! She looks so cute! I bet the Emperor will love her company!”

Altagracia throwed some light beans against her aggressor and tried to run away. While she did that, the other guards followed her instantaneously, and she started to cry in despair as she begged for help. Even though she was strong enough to bring more than five of these guards down, she was too scared to do so.
Then, she heard the sound of falling bodies. She looked back and found out that Kaiser heard her pleas for help and came all the way back just to make sure she would be okay. However, he spotted more guards coming for them.

“I think that maybe forty or fifty elven guards are coming for us…” He said, approaching from Altagracia. “I’ll take you back to your brother, okay? Don’t cry, everything will be just…”

His sentence was rudely interrupted by a poisoned arrow who hit him right on his shoulder, and he started to feel the effects immediately. He grabbed Altagracia’s hand and tried to run away, but more arrows were coming. One of those hit Altagracia’s back and she fell on the ground consciousness. Kaiser still had forces to carry Altagracia on his arms and run, and he tried to do so, but other two arrows hit his calfs and made it impossible to walk. He fell on the ground in a position that would protect Altagracia from the impact. The elves that attacked them surrounded the two Blue Moon Knights and carried them away from that corridor.

***

When they woke up, they were locked in an elven prison. Altagracia was holding Kaiser with all the strength she still had. The poison was killing her, and something on its formula had made her unable to heal both herself and Kaiser, who was also feeling weaker and weaker.

“I’m scared, Kai” Altagracia said, letting her tears roll over her face “I want my brother here…”

“I know” He said with a weak tone of voice. “But don’t worry. I’ll find a way to get us out of here. I bet Anael and the others are already looking for us. You can be sure of this…”

***

“Where the hell is my sister?!” Anael asked desperately “She was supposed to arrive with us! I was protecting her…” Tears fell from his face “It was not supposed to happen…” He knelt on the ground, desperate “Where is she?! Where is she?...”

“She may be dead right now…” Bielarus said indifferently.
Those words were enough to enrage Anael, who ran towards Bielarus and pulled her collar.“Don’t you ever repeat those awful words again!” He screamed to Bielarus. “She is not dead! She must be lost somewhere, and if you won’t help me finding her, I’ll do that myself!”

“Calm down, Anael” Thalas intervened, afraid that Anael could do something that we’d regret “I believe in you – Altagracia may be lost -, but we have to use our reason instead of rage. We have to think on a plan to save her…”

“And Kaiser.” Kimi announced, equally desperate “He also vanished, and he was in the same troop Altagracia was.”

“They may have been caught that time when we rushed on the corridors…” Melchior recalled on a thoughtful countenance. “Don’t worry, friend” He said to Anael, who was crying “We will find your little sister, I promise. But we have to hurry, because she might be on an unpleasant situation…”

Bielarus stepped away from that scene. This kind of reaction was unusual for her – Altagracia was a soldier like all the others, and if she was left behind, then she could be considered dead, for Bielarus wouldn’t come back to rescue any rebel. They took a vow of continuing the mission even if their companions were left behind. But that girl seemed too important for that. So important that all of the Blue Moon Knights were willing to risk their own lives to save Altagracia’s…

To Be Continued…

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