Cerra let Talia touch the ground first as they landed upon the top of a cliff miles away from the castle. Talia dropped the stolen sword she still had in her hand to the ground before her feet touched down.
Within moments they heard the whooshing sounds of Kel and Jade's wings as they came close behind, standing alongside them.
"Obviously, things didn't go well?" Kel questioned.
"Obviously not," Talia replied, brushing her skirts, "She means to have me locked away this time."
"She wouldn't dare," Jade scoffed.
"She would," Talia retorted, "As sure as she had a room full of guards grab my arms and drag me off."
"I believe it," Cerra cut in, "I adore your mother, Talia. Aurora is a fierce queen, but no one can argue that she has gone quite, well, mad. We remember what happened to Borra, not to mention Jeremy."
Talia turned her eyes down as she indeed remembered.
"What about Jeremy?" Kel sneered as his arms crossed over his chest, "At least he wasn't forced to be cast out by even his own kind."
"But still," Jade interjected, "A month in the dungeons is not easy, especially a human."
"And for what?" Cerra cut in again, "Teaching a child to use a sword?"
"Um, it was Borra who used swords," said Jade, "Jeremy just taught her to use sticks."
"He still got it easy, if you ask me," Kel grumbled.
"What say you, Princess?" Cerra asked, turning to Talia, whose eyes were still low. As she was focusing her thoughts, so too were her eyes focusing on the sword lying on the grass.
"My mother will never allow me to fight to rescue Maleficent under her watch," Talia finally spoke, tightening her fist around the sword's handle.
"If after sixteen years, she can't be convinced, that's obvious enough," Cerra quipped.
"So, what do you say we go for her ourselves?" Talia said as she held her sword erect at her side, smiling Cerra's way. Cerra shared the look and she clasped her hand with Talia's free hand.
"You know I'm always ready to ride anywhere with you any time," Cerra declared.
"This won't be another day of training behind my mother's back, you know," Talia had to remind her, as much as herself, "This will be dangerous. This will be real."
"She's exactly right," Jade spoke up, stepping forward, "We could be hurt, or killed, or worse."
"What do you mean by 'we'?" Cerra asked, her left brow perked up.
"As Talia just said," Jade continued, "It will be dangerous. You will need someone who knows herbs and how to heal and tend wounds."
"He does have a point," Cerra remarked, "And there is always strength in numbers."
"I don't want you risking yourself on my behalf," said Talia, "I couldn't bear it if any harm were befall you."
"It is my life to risk," said Jade, "You can't expect me to willingly stay behind while you two go and get yourselves hurt."
"That's why we're both going with you," Kel then stepped in, "Someone has to be there to cover your rears."
"I suppose there always is that one friend among the group who says they're only joining 'because you'll all get killed without me'," Cerra remarked, "And it's only fitting that it's you."
"And they're probably not wrong," said Talia, "And that's why they're coming with us."
For the smallest second, a look flashed through Cerra's eyes, a look of dread of the knowledge that it would not be just she and her together alone. But it passed just as suddenly and instead she was smiling in agreement.
"You are our Queen-to-be, after all," Cerra replied.
Then Jade spoke up again, "I think our first order of business is to worry about that," his finger was pointing to the horizon off the cliff's side in the direction of the castle. From there was coming a cloud of dark Fey swarming in their direction. From the ground below was swirling a cloud of dirt being kicked up by the horses of the King's royal guard also riding their way.
"First thing is," Kel spoke up, "We get Talia out of here."
Cerra was reaching for Jade. "You're coming with me," she told him.
"And what are we going to do?" he wondered.
"Distract them," she replied, and taking his hand, the two of them dove off the cliff's edge and were gliding towards the Fey horde.
Meanwhile, Kel was scooping Talia up in his arms and was flying through the trees, trying to keep low as he could to remain unable to follow.
And so the adventure begins