A/N: Okay, everyone, I hope you hadn't miss Kludd and the others too much, as we will return to our owls' friends, as well as figure out what Nix and the others are up to...if you haven't already... (P.S. We have officially broken the 100,000 words barrier!)
I do not own Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole, I only wish I did, for I would without hesitation make a sequel.
I do not own Through The Ghost or Shinedown.
bluecatcinema owns New Beginnings, Ruffled Feathers, Dark Feelings, and Worlds Apart.
Note: It is heavily recommended to read the abovementioned stories by bluecatcinema in order to understand parts of this story.
FeoranPride (a deviantartist) owns Nix, the grass owl, but TearfulFriend18 (Formerly Mic O'Malley) used it, so he deserved to be mentioned.
I own Samuel, the snowy owl, Skarmoris, the Sulawesi Masked Owl, and Biggs and Wedge, the barn owls, Alice, the Whiskered Screech Owl, LaRoche, the Elf Owl, and Pip, the Little Owl, as well as Harris Hawk the Red-Tailed Hawk, and Fatal the Golden Eagle, Zephyr the Barn Owl, Maurice the Sulawesi Masked Owl, as well as Nyra's parents, Solidor, another snowy owl.
Chapter Sixteen: Shattered Dreams
"Did you hide yourself away? Are you leaving through the ghost? Did you finally find a place above the shadows so the world will never know, the world never know you like I do..."
- a verse from Through the Ghost by Shinedown
Nyra instantly woke up with a start as she was shuddering, tears brimming her eyes from her dream, which turned out to be the eight years of her time as a Pure One. After giving a few deep breathes and wiping her eyes, she looks around to find herself still in the same cave within the Labyrinth Peaks along with Kludd and the five Guardians that were accompanying her, two of them, Soren and Ezylryb, she held personally responsible for the worst moment of her life. However, when she gazed upon the Guardians, she realized something, something she fail to see three nights ago, she was suppose to hate them and want to kill them on sight, but now...she felt nothing, no hate, no anger, just plain nothing...
She looked back at Kludd, who was still sleeping, as she sighed and smiled at the slumbering Barn Owl, ever since he returned to the Pure Ones with her mate's crown, she finally felt a bit of happiness in her life that she had lost that night of the battle. Sure, the scars from losing everyone else that meant the world to her were still burning, but when she was with Kludd, all the pain became inexistent...
Knowing that it was still early (in the afternoon), as she was about to return to sleep when she noticed that on the other end of the huddle, Gylfie, the small Elf Owl, was gone from her spot between Twilight and Digger. Growing concerned, she got up, without stirring everyone else, as she went to the mouth of the cave. The storm that had struck during their trek through the fog had now subsided, and there was a lighter fog and a gentle breeze that coursed through her feathers. Then she noticed Gylfie, just looking at the sun as it began to set, as if in deep thought. "Uh...Gylfie, what are you doing up?" Nyra enquired.
The female Elf Owl quickly snapped out of it as she turned around and sighed when it turned out to be the white Barn Owl, "Oh...Nyra...I couldn't sleep, you?" She asked back.
"Ugh...bad daymare." Nyra said, it wasn't a lie for the most part, the two years before Metalbeak's death wasn't the best time for her.
"I see..." Gylfie said, before an awkward silence, like the many ones before, ensued, as the two female owls just stood there, out on the outside ledge, just feeling the winds.
It was a few minutes before one of them spoke up, "I'm sorry..." Gylfie merely said.
"For what?" Nyra asked, mystified.
"You know, for shoving you in the waters back at the bog, getting all that black stuff on you." The Elf Owl explained.
Nyra let out a "oh," she honestly forgotten about what the young owl did to her. Sure she was mad back then, but given all that happened after that, she merely gotten over it, as she admitted, "It's fine, I suppose I was a bit too vain back there."
"Well, I guess it's partially my fault. I guess I still had my dislike for prissy owls since my spat with Otulissa a while back." Gylfie admitted as well.
"Really? From what I had seen, Otulissa and you were getting along quite fine." Nyra remarked, not bothered being called prissy.
Gylfie smirked, "It wasn't always like that, it all started when..." and she went on to explain to Nyra how she nearly got into a fight with Otulissa, both of them being punished to organize the archives, and then them finding a common ground when Soren was brought up, and how they learn to get along after that. "…And we were laughing while Soren fail to notice his wings fidgeting." She finished with a chuckle remembering that day, and Nyra herself was laughing as well.
Then Nyra realized that she was actually laughing, something she hadn't done ever since her first night as a Pure One...she liked it, as it gave her a good feeling, something she never thought she would ever feel again. When you look past the obvious 'she's a Guardian, you're a Pure One' problem and her attitude towards owls who gave a damn about their appearances, she was actually a nice owl to have a conversation with, an actual conversation. Sure there was Kludd, but as much as she loved him, he wasn't much of a talker except during the times he is contemplating.
Gylfie was about feeling the same way about Nyra, she never thought she could actually have a good chat with a Pure One, and to say the least, it was nice to actually have another female she can relate to (Otulissa, she didn't exactly clicked with yet). But a looming thought enter her head, as she then asked with a questioning look, "So...who's Surtr?"
The white Barn Owl instantly stopped chuckling as she then donned a half-surprised and half-questioning look, "What?"
"How could she know..." Nyra said in her mind, as the bad feeling in her gizzard returned.
"Sorry, but when I woke up, unable to sleep, I couldn't help but noticed you were tossing in your sleep, and you kept moaning the name 'Surtr'..." Gylfie explained, but she then noticed the pained look in her eyes as she then added, feeling a bit guilty "But, if it is too painful to answer, I won't bother you on it..."
Nyra slightly smiled at the Elf Owl's sincerity, but it didn't make the bad feeling go away. However, as she looked at the Elf Owl, she began to ponder. Even though she still didn't trust the Guardians, she felt that she could trust the Elf Owl as well as the others, with the exception of Soren and Ezylryb, as she still felt unsure about those two, especially with Soren's attitude towards her throughout the journey.
"Metalbeak..." Nyra merely stated.
"Huh?" Gylfie asked, a little confused.
"Surtr was Metalbeak's old name when I had first met him. After the Battle of the Ice Claws, he was given the very helm that Kludd now wore, and he changed his name to fit the metal beak he now worn." Nyra explained.
This shocked Gylfie, she never once thought that Metalbeak would actually have a previous birthname, but as she watched the sad expression on the queen's face, she could tell that the name meant a lot to her, and now, she was feeling guilty. Three nights ago, she was rejoicing in Metalbeak's defeat, because he was going to take over the entire owl kingdom, but not once had she thought that he could be like any other owl...
"Glaux...I am so sorry...I didn't think he meant that much to you...but..." Gylfie stammered, but she knew there was no way to justify her and her friends to the queen, as she merely sighed, "he needed to be stopped..." as she close her eyes, preparing to be struck by Nyra...but it never came, as she open her eyes to find Nyra just standing there with a blank expression.
"To tell you the truth, I agree with you..." The white Barn Owl said with a sad smile, as she look at the sunset, "Ever since that battle, Surtr was never himself, and when he received that crown, he became an entirely different owl, the owl you knew today as Metalbeak...but he wasn't always like that." Nyra sighed, "There was once a time he actually smiled, and would think twice before taking an owl's life, no matter who that owl was..."
The Elf Owl was astonished that the one that got angry over her feathers getting dirty was now so somber, as she then said, "He sounded like a nice owl, I wish we would have met him...how did you two met anyway?"
Nyra smirked at Gylfie's compliment, and knowing that it wouldn't hurt to tell her, all she said was, "Well, it all started eight years ago..."
As the white Barn Owl told the Elf Owl her story, Kludd, the once king of the Pure Ones, was now moving a little, as his dream carried out...
'Kludd and Nyra were back in St. Aegolius, within the throne room, as both of them were staring at each other with lovestruck eyes...for once, there was nothing to interfere with this moment...no soldiers...no Guardians...no Skarmoris...just him and the beautiful angel that stood in front of him, and soon they were up close as Nyra gave him a loving smile as they were about to meet their beaks as Kludd close his eyes and prepare to savor the moment...'
"Kludd." A male voice called, prompting Kludd to open his eyes and see that in Nyra's place, was none other than Samuel, the snowy owl that foresaw the entire chain of events, just standing there.
Annoyed that his moment with Nyra was not only foiled for the third time, but this time in his dreams, "Oh, for glaux sake, you haunt me in real life and now you must haunt me in my dreams?"
The snowy owl gave a smirk and said, "I apologize, but you weren't exactly alone, and I really only needed to talk to you, so this was the only way of communicating."
This didn't change his angered expression as he then asked, "Just what are you? When we first met, you instantly appeared out of nowhere, then you disappear, as if you were never there, no one seemed to have seen you come in…just, what in hagsmire do you want from me?!" He finished with an exasperated moan.
Samuel sighed as he donned a concerned look; "I am here to have a talk with you regarding your brother..."
"Soren? What about him? Why don't you answer my questions?" Kludd demanded.
"You are heading down a very dark path, Kludd, if you keep pushing your brother and your family away, you will succumb to the darkness..." Samuel warned.
"WHAT?! What happen to 'they will vanquish the darkness that fell upon the land, and the king will realize what his heart truly desires?' Are you meaning to tell me that you are wrong?" Kludd asked in a suspicious tone.
"No, Kludd...but you can't spend the rest of your life hating your brother...remember the wonderful memories you had with him. Remember!" Samuel demanded with a stern voice.
Kludd's face lightened a little as he did remember, but his pride stood and his deep-rooted hatred still burned as he then muttered, "All I remember now is the shadow...Soren's shadow...the same damn shadow I been stuck in for years..."
"Kludd..." Samuel began to say.
"NO! I am sick of you messing with my life! I chose this life for myself, and my destiny is to defeat Soren once and for all and rule all of the owl kingdoms, that is what my heart truly desires!" Kludd screamed at him.
"Kludd, please...think of everyone who loves you, your family, your ma, your da, your sister, Mrs. P, and Soren would give anything to have you back." Samuel pleaded.
"I am...but my only family is Nyra and the Pure Ones...and nothing...I repeat, nothing is ever going to change that, now leave me be..." Kludd said sadly as he turned his back on him.
Samuel looked at Kludd with sadness as he then said, "As you wish...Lord Metalbeak..." The Barn Owl noticed the name and turned around, only to be blinded by a powerful light...
Kludd wakes up, startled, as he found himself back in the cave with the others and merely sighed. Then he felt something was missing, as he then looked to his right and noticed that his queen was gone. He quickly got up and was about to panic when he heard her voice from outside the cave, thus giving him relief...however, he was curious as to what she doing out there and who she was talking to, and started to inch towards the mouth of the cave...
"...And that brings us back to now." Nyra said, after telling Gylfie the story about Surtr, and the Elf Owl was slightly in tears from it.
"Glaux...that is so awful, I can't believe how Surtr could change so much..." Gylfie squeaked out.
"Yes...for so long I had hated the Guardians for what they done to him, but now...I don't know..." Nyra said.
"Don't know what?" Gylfie asked.
"I am suppose to hate you all yet, I'm suppose to want to kill Soren when I see him...now...I feel nothing...what is wrong with me?" Nyra asked while being a bit stupefied.
Gylfie was quite pondered by this as well, but she felt that she had an answer... "Maybe nothing is wrong, maybe you had found something to live for other than vengeance..." She suggested.
Nyra looked at her and then thought about the one who had came to her in her darkest hour...Kludd, "My glaux...you're right. Had not Kludd return to the Pure Ones...I may have killed myself trying to destroy the Guardians all by myself...but he came and…now, I no longer feel so...empty."
"Well maybe it is because Kludd and Surtr both shares a few similarities, they are both strong-willed owls, born with leadership skills, and both cares a lot about you." Gylfie pointed out, "I know I shouldn't say this for Soren's sake...but Kludd is lucky to have you."
Nyra smiled, but then the mention of Soren got her thinking, "Does Soren really hold me responsible for Kludd joining the Pure Ones?"
Gylfie sadly nodded, "Yes...he believes that you made him into a completely different owl, and as you had seen the night back in the bog...well, you can tell the rest."
The queen didn't know what to say to this, but what Gylfie just said made her thought the same thing, "What if he is right?" She asked.
"What do you mean?" Gylfie asked.
"What if what happened to Surtr is happening to Kludd, what if he is becoming a monster?" Nyra asked with full concern.
"Nyra, don't think that. What happened to Surtr was beyond all words horrible, but Kludd loves you, and the last thing he would want to do is hurt you." The Elf Owl reassured her.
As much as Nyra wanted to believe those words, the thought was still there, in the year Kludd had became Metalbeak, he hardly smiles, except in her presence, and he had shown a lot of hate towards Soren…and despites them working together back at the ravine, she could sense a lot of one-sided animosity between the two from Kludd. He may still love her, but what if his heart was becoming as black as Surtr's was, and the events that lead to Surtr's death repeats itself? Nyra was on the brink of despair when she lost her first love, and she knew that she wouldn't be able to take it if Kludd died as well…
Gylfie could see that Nyra was conflicted about what she said, and continue, "No offense to Surtr, but Kludd is nothing like Metalbeak, they may have both been scarred and hold deep grudges, but I know deep down that Kludd's heart is good, and he wouldn't want to see harm done upon anyone he cares about…"
Those words touched Nyra, as she then looked back at Gylfie, and those troubling thoughts seem to have faded away; for how long, she wasn't sure, but she knew that the Elf Owl was right. "…Thank you, Gylfie. You know, if you haven't tried standing for yourself, I believe you would have made a good Pure One." She smirked.
"Thank you…I guess," Gylfie thanked, a little unsure, as she then felt a little chilly, "We should head back inside, and get more rest…"
"Quite right, Gylfie." Nyra nodded.
Unbeknownst to the two, Kludd was listening in on the conversation; unfortunately, the snores that Twilight was making made it a little difficult to hear parts of it. All that he was deciphering was that Nyra was talking to Gylfie (he notice her not being in her spot between Digger and Twilight) about something, and he heard the name 'Surtr', although he didn't know whom he was.
However, Kludd's heart froze when he heard Nyra said, "What if Kludd is becoming a monster?"
The Barn Owl backed away a bit (thus not hearing Gylfie's response to that question), as he was shocked, did Nyra, the one of two owls that ever truly believe in him, the one he loves, actually think of him as a monster? Sure, he held great resentment towards Soren, and sure, he was willing to have a few Guardians killed if Soren hadn't fought him, and he had thoughts of killing him…but did that really characterize him as a monster?
Kludd decided to listen a little more to see if maybe he heard wrong, but his timing couldn't have been so bad, as he heard Gylfie said, "He is nothing like Metalbeak," and the Barn Owl was more devastated by that statement that he shrunk away before hearing more of what Gylfie said.
"Nothing like Metalbeak? What did that small fry mean?" Kludd thought, but before he could think anymore, he heard footsteps and noticed that the two females were coming in, so he quickly took his spot back next to Soren and quickly closed his eyes to preserve the allusion that he was still sleeping.
Nyra and Gylfie walked in to find the males still sleeping, so with a nod 'good morn', Gylfie returned to her spot next to Digger, and Nyra went to her spot next to Kludd, and as she was about to return to sleep, she gave one last glance at Kludd and merely smiled, how could she ever think that he would become as cruel as Metalbeak, that was just preposterous. So, she laid her head back on Kludd's shoulder and sighed with content as she returned to dreamland once more.
However, Kludd's mind was now befuddled, Nyra couldn't possibly had meant what she said...she had not once been bothered by any of his actions...unless she only acted that way because she feared him...what if his relationship with her had been based on nothing but fear? This thought was causing his heart to hurt, Nyra was the only female that Kludd had ever actually fell in love with, and was the one that always had faith in him...what if that was a lie as well? Kludd looked at Nyra who was resting her head on his shoulder once more, and he merely pushed all these terrible thoughts out of his head, and tried to get more sleep...
Soren, on the other hand, was now tossing as his dream began to bother him...
'Soren awoke to find himself in the middle of a peculiar room laced with pillars surrounding the area (Guess where), as he looked around. It's seems like he was alone, as the winds blew through the openings...however, when Soren tried to move, he couldn't. This surprised him was he suddenly start struggling but it was as if two invisible beings had their claws on his wings, and then without his consent, his body was turned toward his right, as he was now faced with a tip of a sword. This shocked Soren a bit...but who was holding the blade was what truly made his heart stop...his brother Kludd was holding it at him. There was a few things different with him though, the first one being that he was no longer donning Metalbeak's helmet, and his eyes...there were that of blood red and was filled with anger...and searing pain. "Kludd, please don't do this…I'm sorry…" Soren pleaded, but he didn't know exactly what he was sorry for, but it had a bit of a effect on Kludd, as his red eyes dimmed back to his normal eyes as he merely said, "So am I..." as he raised the sword and Soren braced for the pain as he thrust the sword forward...'
Soren gasped and jumped forward as his back was now against the opposite wall, and was heavily panting. "Oh glaux...oh glaux...why did that feel so real?" Like the dream from the night he reunited with Kludd, it gave him the same strange feeling within his gizzard. Except the past dreams he been having were good ones of him and Kludd being together, serving as fellow Guardians, but this dream was far from good, it was an utter daymare...
The young Barn Owl looked back at his brother, who was sleeping with Nyra resting on his shoulder, and merely sighed, for three nights he had been trying to think of a way to finally bring him home where he belongs, but now here they were, hours from confronting the very owl that began this whole series of events, and Kludd still strongly believe the same beliefs he had when they met again in the burning forest of Beaks. He didn't know what to do, if they succeeded in beating this 'Skarmoris', not only will Kludd return to the life of a Pure One, but he would have to tell his parents that their son is now the leaders of the despicable Pure Ones…
"Soren? Is everything alright, lad?" Soren looked to his right to find Ezylryb now awake, and with a look of concern.
Soren sighed as he said, "Bad daymare, that's all."
However, the Lyze didn't buy it, "Really? The way you just woke up just now sounded like more than a daymare." He said, with a raised brow.
"Well, I don't know what to say, all it was is nothing but a silly dream…" Soren lied, not willing to go into it.
"Silly? Now you are sounding like Kludd…I reckon that's what your dream been about?" The Screech Owl enquired.
The Barn Owl, knowing that he had saw through his lie, nodded, "Yes…"
"Want to talk about it? You know, somewhere with less ears?" Ezylryb asked, while gesturing to their sleeping friends and comrades. Soren gave a nod as they both got up and went back outside…
Soon, the two Guardians were now outside as the sun was partially halfway hidden within the horizon, signaling that it wasn't long before the other owls would be waking up soon.
"So…" Ezylryb began, "What had been troubling you lately in your dreams?"
"Well…it is kind of complicated, not to mention absurd…" Soren explained.
"Soren, we are Guardians, allied with the king and queen of the Pure Ones, I highly doubt that your dreams could be any more absurd than that." Ezylryb doubted.
"He got a point, you know…" Soren's mind told him.
"I guess you're right…" The Barn Owl agreed, as he then explained, "For the past few months when I last saw Kludd, I have been having these weird dreams about him…"
"Weird funny or weird strange?" Ezylryb asked.
"I guess you could say weird strange, as these dreams all had Kludd and I together, and the weirdest thing was that Kludd had the helm of a Guardian…" Soren said, a little awkward explaining it.
"Really?" Ezylryb said, slightly shocked by this revelation.
"Yes, and he was actually smiling…something that I hadn't seen him do so much since we were both young owlets." The younger owl explained.
"You think that these dreams may be pertinent?" The Lyze of Keil asked.
"Well, it has to mean something? Why else would I keep having these dreams?" Soren pointed out.
"That is an excellent question…" Ezylryb admitted while thinking a bit, "Repeated dreams…dear glaux, could it be? Can he actually…" But Ezylryb held that thought as he asked, "What about the dream you just have? The one that seemed to have you startled?"
The Barn Owl hesitated, he was unsure if he actually wanted to tell him of this disturbing dream, but judging by his mentor's determined look, he had to tell him, "I was alone in this chamber…I don't know where it was, but I was unable to move. Then all of the sudden, I was turned towards my right, and I saw him…"
"Who?" Ezylryb asked with a bit of intrigue.
"…Kludd…he was holding a sword to my chest, and his eyes…they were an awful red…I begged him to not do it…but he did…I woke up before I felt the blade puncture my heart." Soren shakily explained, as this was upsetting him.
The Whiskered Screech Owl had a look of concern as he saw his apprentice was now shuddering, the dream he described sounded disturbing, but what was more upsetting was what it meant.
Soren looked at his mentor and then demanded, "What? Do you know what this could mean? Tell me!"
"Keep it down, lad, do you want to wake everyone else up?" Lyze whispered, as he then explained with a hint of doubt in his voice, "There is one explanation for these dreams, including that one…but I doubt if it is even possible…"
"What? What?" Soren asked, anxious to figure out the meaning of these dreams.
Ezylryb sighed as he then said, "I believe you possess the ability of starsight…"
Meanwhile, in the midst of the Sea of Hoolemere, three owls were making their way through the slightly perturbed waves, the three owls in question were none other than Nix, the grass owl, followed by the two bumbling Long Eared Owls Jatt and Jutt, as earlier, Skarmoris sent them on a retrieval mission…who they were retrieving, it would soon be revealed…
As the silhouette of the Great Tree of Ga'Hoole was in view, Nix merely chuckled, "Well, there it is, boys, the so-called holy lands of the Guardians…"
Jatt gave a concerned look as they flew, "Do we have to go in there? That place, I heard, was crawling with Guardians!"
His cousin Jutt agreed, "Yeah, I also heard that they don't take kindly to us Pure Ones…"
Nix groaned as he then turned around (while flying a bit backwards), "That is why we aren't going through the front door, if that scout is correct, we can sneak into the library and get what we need."
"Library? What is in a library that is so important that Skarmoris sent us? There's nothing but books!" Jutt pointed out.
"You idiot, it is not what's in the library we are after, it is who in the library we are taking. Now enough groveling and more flying!" Nix snarled in annoyance as he and the two cousins flew towards Ga'Hoole…
As the Pure Ones made their way to the library, Eglantine and her family were busy in the same place, as Eglantine was listening to her father Noctus reading another book about the Guardians, while Marella and Mrs. Plithiver were watching.
"And so, the Guardians triumphed over those dastardly hawk bandits and they were able to retrieve the lost artifact, and returned home in victory…the end." Noctus finished with a smile, prompting a clap from Eglantine.
"Yay! Can we hear some more?" Eglantine cheered ecstatically.
"Now, Eglantine, you don't want to hear all of them, or you would run out of new stories to listen to." Marella explained, but nonetheless amused by her daughter's enthusiasm.
"Naw-uh, Soren and the others always have stories to tell whenever he comes back from a mission, making it impass…imposs…" Eglantine tried to point out, but getting stuck on the last word.
"Impossible, dear…but I do agree with you." Mrs. P corrected, with a smile.
However, the mention of Soren prompted all of them to frown in silence, it had been three nights since they had bid him and his friends a safe journey, as well as the two Pure Ones that had come to them in need of help.
Eglantine then asked, "Ma…Da…do you think Soren can beat this bad guy?"
Noctus and Marella shared unsure glances, sure they had complete faith that Soren and his friends could beat whoever it was that taken over the Pure Ones, but there was still a mist of uncertainty, as not only did they not know who that owl was, but there were Pure Ones traveling with them, and Noctus still had trouble trusting that they would not harm them. But he knew that he couldn't say such thing to his daughter...
"Of course, sweetheart, good always triumph over evil, it's the bad guys that should be worried." Noctus reassured while hugging his daughter.
"Oh, I wouldn't be so sure..." A sinister voice smarmed, shocking everyone to look behind them to reveal none other than Nix, with a dark look.
Marella and Mrs. P showed look of fear, along with Eglantine who was now clutching her father's feathers, as Noctus, a bit intimidated, but not frightened, merely asked sternly, "Who are you?"
"Geez, where are my manners? I am Nix, general of the Pure Ones army, and I just so happen to be acquainted with your son Kludd..." Nix sneered, as he began pacing around the family.
This shocked Noctus that he was faced with a Pure One but even more when he mentioned Kludd, "What...how do you know my son?!" He demanded.
"Well, we were both in the Pure Ones academy, not to mention fellow comrades..." Nix evilly smirked.
"What?! Are you insinuating that my eldest son would join the likes of you? No way, he is dead because of you!" Noctus screeched as he kept eye contact with him.
"Dead?" Nix asked, a little confused, "He doesn't know? How...oh glaux, that Soren never told him...things had just gotten sweeter..." He thought with a dark smile.
Eglantine saw the expression and was nonetheless frightened, "Da, I'm scared..." she said to her father.
"Don't worry, dear, I will take care of this, you go with your mother..." Noctus reassured as he pushed her towards her mother and Mrs. P, and they quickly grasped each other, as Noctus then accused, "Yes, you monsters killed him!"
Nix sadistically smirked, "Oh, don't blame us, blame your son for being a pitiful waste of existence that should of have his egg crushed before he was born."
This angered Noctus, "Don't you dare talk of him like that!" he screeched as he then charged and knocked him to the ground, "RUN! Get the Guardians!" he screamed to his family.
Taking heed of the male Barn Owl immediately, Marella, Mrs. P, and Eglantine quickly ran towards the door leading out of the library, when all of the sudden, two loud owls drop down in front of them, them being Jatt and Jutt.
"Going somewhere?" Jatt asked.
"Yeah, they were going to get the Guardians!" Jutt dumbly remarked, prompting Jatt to groan.
"I know that! It was just an expression! Now let's round these pretty girls up!" Jatt suggested, as they both menacingly approached the females.
"Oh, dear..." Mrs. P nervously enquired as the two brutes were closing in, as they ran the opposite direction.
But the two owls were too fast, as they closed in on them and Jatt grabbed Marella and Eglantine, while Jutt grabbed Mrs. P.
"LET US GO! YOU RUFFIANS!" Mrs. P hissed, as she struggled to slip out of Jutt's grasp
"You shut up or I have my cousin here kill the owlet!" Jutt threatened, as he gestured to Jatt, as he tightened his grip on the owlet, prompting a pained gasp for her, thus shutting the elderly snake up.
Noctus was busy holding Nix down, but the grass owl wouldn't have any of it, as he then pounded him in the gizzard and push him off, and mocked, "What, did I hurt poor daddy's feeling? Well I would be hurt knowing how much of a failure Kludd was..."
"Enough!" Noctus snarled, not willing to let this owl insult his eldest son's memories, as he swung his right talon at him, but Nix merely caught it, and then he swung Noctus into a nearby bookcase, as he crumbled to the ground.
"That's must be masculating for you, being defeated by a owl much younger than you." Nix insulted as he grabbed Noctus's throat, "Well, you can thank Lord Skarmoris for that..."
"Lord...Skarmoris?" Noctus asked, not recognizing the name, as Nix's talon clutched his throat tighter.
"The new king of the Pure Ones, and aspiring ruler of all the owl kingdoms. He gifted me and others like me with glaux-like strength and speed, and unmatched by any other owls. So to say the least, we will be treated no less than Glaux himself" The grass owl explained.
Then Jatt and Jutt flew in with the two female Barn Owls and the black mamba (The wikia say that Mrs. P is a black mamba, so that is how it will be, comprende?) in talons, and Jatt said, "We got them, Nix, let's get out of here!"
Nix sniggered darkly as he look back at Noctus, "So here's how it will play out, Skarmoris had cordially invited you four to his humble abode atop the almighty Pillar of Supremacy, and we are serving as your personal escort. So, if you dare try to fight me, I will kill your family..."
The male Barn Owl quickly glanced at his family, as the two cousins who were holding them captive, gave him darkly serious looks, as Noctus then gave Nix a fierce glare, "You aren't going to win, not you or Skarmoris, my son and his friends are coming...and they will stop you and any owls like you..."
"Oh, please, there are no other owls like me..." The general smiled with malice.
"There are always owls like you." Noctus muttered. (Avengers reference!)
"Enough of your damn drabble, back to the Pillar of Supremacy we fly!" Nix ordered as he then clutched the father as they began walking towards the hole they made in the roof.
However, just as they were about to take flight, two certain owls were walking right in front of them, those owls were none other then LaRoche and Pip. Earlier, after cleaning up the wrecked chandelier that LaRoche had worked on for months, he and Pip had been in the library looking for proof that the owl's feather that he found in the main hall belong to none other than Kludd himself, and after a night full of work, they found it.
"Well, Pip, my friend, we have done it, we had successfully prove that this feather is without a doubt..." LaRoche smiled before he stopped and look to his right to find Soren's parents, nursemaid, and sister in grasps of three owls who were equally surprised to find two Guardians in the library. "Egad! Pure Ones!" He screeched, as he took battle stance and ordered, "Stay where you are!"
Nix's surprise was replaced with bewilderment by the Elf Owl's demand, "Excuse me? Do you actually think that a small owl like you alone have the authority to tell us three bigger owls what to do?"
"What do you mean alone? I have my comrade..." LaRoche corrected as he gestured to his left, only to find Pip not there, as he then heard shaking from the urn next to him, "Oh, boy..."
This prompted Nix and the others to laugh darkly, as the general then placed Noctus down (after issuing a 'move and your family dies' threat) as he approached the Elf Owl with dark intent, and soon, he was staring down the Guardian.
Not willing to be intimidated, LaRoche screeched, "Enough! You Pure Ones are beneath me! I am a Guardian, you dull creatures, and I will not be bullied by..."
Before LaRoche could finish that thought, Nix grabs him by the leg and slams him around on the ground making a few indents, and finishing with a powerful slam making a crater in the floor, leaving the Elf Owl in pain.
"Puny Guardian..." Nix mutters as he returned to the horrified Noctus and grabs him, and with a nod, he and the cousins took off with Soren and Kludd's family in tow through the hole, fulfilling what Skarmoris had set them out to do...while LaRoche let out a weak groan... (Another Avengers reference!)
As all of that went down in Ga'Hoole, Soren was now flabbergasted by what Ezylryb said, "I believe you possess the ability of starsight…"
"What? You mean, my dreams could be visions of the future?" Soren asked, of course he knew the answer, because he remembered Samuel, the snowy owl that had visited him the night he reunited with Kludd, saying that he had the ability of starsight, but still, it was hard to believe.
"I am not sure, as far as I am concerned, starsight is nothing but a legend." Ezylryb explained.
Soren was unable to said anything, but then he started shaking his head, "No...if that is so, that means my brother...is going to kill me?"
"Soren, you shouldn't think that..." The old owl scolded.
"Why not? I have been trying to reach out to Kludd for the last three nights, but nothing I did brought him to his senses, not even our favortie childhood story worked." The Barn Owl bitterly remarked.
However, the Screech Owl suggested, "Maybe it is best that you let him go...he has no intention of leaving the Pure Ones...if anything, he is more determined to reclaim his throne..."
"What?!" Soren nearly screamed, but didn't since the others were still sleeping, "You are telling me to let Kludd stay with that woman, and give up? There is no way in hagsmire am I ever going to do that, he is my BROTHER!" Soren snarled, not caring who it was he was talking to.
Ezylryb was taken aback by his anger, but he retorted with a bit of his own, "Now you listen here, you are asking Kludd to choose between his love and his family, you should know what he would pick in a landslide...the fact you are expecting him to abandon everything for you is just plain selfish.
"Selfish?" Soren repeated in disbelief, as he angrily asked, "I am the selfish one? Let me ask you this: Is it selfish of me for refusing to give up on my brother when others probably have? Is it selfish of me for wanting to give Eglantine her eldest brother back? It is selfish of me for wanting him to actually be my best owl at my own wedding? And is it selfish of me for wanting to see the smile of my parents when they have their eldest son back instead of anquish OF SEEING THE DAMN MONSTER KLUDD HAVE BECOME?!" Soren screamed at him with sheer anger, as the word 'Monster' repeated throughout the valley.
Everything was silence, as Soren was shuddering, and Ezylryb was astonished. The old owl had never in his life seen his apprentice so angry and upset, normally he would have scolded him for speaking to him with such disrespect, but seeing the pain in his eyes, all he could do was...embrace him.
The Barn Owl was a bit surprised by this, but as Ezylryb held his wings around him, his anger was replaced with sadness as he started to cry, as he said between sobs, "All I want...is my brother back...am I so wrong for wanting that?"
Lyze merely shook his head, "No, lad...you're not...no one should ever have to be in your position...I wish with all my heart that your brother would come back with us..." He meant it, Kludd would make an exceptional Guardian, and he would do anything to help him become one...
They stood there for a few minutes, as Ezylryb let Soren let out all his anguish, as the winds blew through the Labyrinth Peaks. They probably would have stand there longer hadn't a simple "Uh...guys?" haven't shook them out of it.
Both Soren and Ezylryb turned to find everyone else awake and all with concerned looks on their face, except Kludd, whose expression was merely blank. Then the owner of the voice, Digger, asked, "What is going on? We all heard Soren yell something...and we find you two...hugging?"
The two owls were embarrassed as they both let go of each other, as Ezylryb then explained, "It's nothing important, Soren and I were just having a heart-to-heart talk before we went off into battle."
"Well that was awfully kind of you," Nyra complimented, "And here I thought you weren't a hugger."
Ezylryb gave a minor glare as he then said, "Ha-ha, sometimes a comrade and friend is in need of an embrace, especially in their time of need..." as he looked at Soren, who gave him a sad smile.
"I wish Soren came to me for advice," Twilight muttered, "I could of given him musical encouragement..."
"Yeah, and wake everyone else with that racket in the process..." Digger quipped, prompting laughs from everyone else, and a glare from Twilight, but nothing from Kludd.
Gylfie merely smiled at her crush as she then said to Ezylryb, "Well, sir, this is it..."
"Indeed...tonight's the night we fly off to the true nesting grounds of the Pure Ones, the Pillar of Supremacy, where it all ends..." Ezylryb merely declared, "I just want to say, whether we triumph over this 'Skarmoris' or glaux forbid that we fail, it was an honor serving with each and one of you." He finished with a smile at everyone, especially at Nyra and Kludd, the former returning a smile as well, while Kludd merely stood there, still donning the blank expression.
"To the sky, we fly!" He bellowed, as he took flight, followed by Digger and Twilight, then Nyra and Gylfie.
Before Soren took to the sky, he looked at Kludd, as he noticed Kludd's expression hadn't changed for the past couple minutes, as he then asked him, "Brother? Are you all right? You look a bit out of sorts...
Kludd merely muttered without looking at him, "I am just fine..." as he spread his wings and went to the sky, leaving Soren, a bit concerned about his new attitude, to follow him.
However, Kludd was not alright, as a few minutes earlier, while trying to get back to sleep, he noticed Soren talking to Ezylryb about something and then going to the mouth of the cave. A bit intrigued, he carefully placed Nyra's head so that she didn't fall over and merely snuck to his way towards the entrance as he did with Nyra and Gylfie earlier as he tried to listen in on them, however, Twilight's snores made it next to impossible to hear anything...
But then he heard the angry words of his brother that would make Kludd's heart freeze... "THE DAMN MONSTER KLUDD HAVE BECOME!"
He was in sheer distraught when he heard those words, he was already perturbed and unable to sleep when he overheard Nyra called him a monster behind his back and Gylfie saying that he is nothing like Metalbeak...but to hear it from his own brother...it seemed to have wounded him the most. Was that how everyone saw him? Nothing but a heartless monster that have no business existing in this world?
Kludd couldn't believe it, yet when he heard those words, he felt his heart finally break (figuratively, of course) as he felt truly alone, he had pushed away his family so he could become ruler of the Pure Ones, who ended up betraying him for Skarmoris, he had donned Metalbeak's helm in hopes of honoring him, only to be labeled a monster by the one he love and his own brother, the one whose opinion he thought he didn't care about, the one who had never given up on him...until now...
All that was left now was him...just him and the cruel unforgiving world, never to be loved again...so be it, if they don't want him, he doesn't need them. All that was left for him now was his goal...to defeat Skarmoris, take back his throne, to defeat the Guardians, to rule the owl kingdoms, and to defeat his younger brother once and for all...these very goals cycled around in his head, as he flew off towards what he believe was his ultimate destiny...
A/N: Whew, another chapter done and it hadn't been a week since my last update! Here we have Nyra and Gylfie finally seeing eye to eye, the return of our favorite starseer Samuel, as well as learning something new about Soren (although I think you guys knew that he had starsight when I mention it in chapter 8), and we figure out that Skarmoris had Nix and the two cousins owlnap our two brothers' family, thus the plot thickens. We also have a bit of miscommunications with Kludd, as well as angst from Soren. I hope I didn't make Nyra and Soren OOC, but I was trying to give Nyra a bit of an epiphany and emphasize how much Soren treasured his relationship with Kludd. However, when I ended this chapter, a lot of questions arised: Will Nyra see the light? Will Soren's recent dream come to fruition? Will Kludd be able to change his destiny before it's too late? Was Soren truly selfish for wanting his brother back? What does Skarmoris have planned for our heroes? Will I stop asking all these questions? The answer to the last one is yes...but to find all the answers to the other questions, stay tuned for the next chapter, which is the beginning of the end of Between Brothers. READ AND REVIEW! (Note: Do you guys like the song verses at the beginning of the chapter? I am planning on doing that all the way to the end)
Artworks stuff is appreciated...