Well, before we start, I just want to thank xX Blood-Bond Xx and LightningBolt21 for the reviews. You both get cookies
*I do not own any of the characters that I stole from Julie Kagawa*
"So what should we do with her?" A tall thin Thornguard asked.
The two watched as the beautiful silver scaled, sapphire eyed dragon threw yet another guard across the camp. Almost the entire guard was bent on tying down and or freezing the beautiful monstrosity they had mistakenly captured and brought into their camp. No one could seem to figure out how they had mistaken a hostile dragon for a wyvern, but it was caught during a violent blizzard and sometimes mistakes were made.
"We'll have to kill it," the other more bulky guard replied. "What else can we do? Queen Mab will not be happy if she hears about this, and I think it is perfectly logical to think that it will be completely impossible to tame it."
As if in response, the legendary creature let out a terrifying sound, and whipped its tail across the floor resulting in a row of mangled guards who had gotten a little to close.
"We might have to call in a professional at this rate," the thin one stated. "Mab will not approve if half her guard is killed trying to kill one dragon."
The other one nodded and was about to respond when a beautiful young fey dressed in an elaborate midnight-blue gown appeared next to them. They simultaneously bowed despite their obvious surprise.
"Lady Reina," the bulky one greeted, "whatever may we do for you today?"
"I'm here on account of a dragon" her high almost musical voice calmly stated. The thin guard was about to speak but she put a hand up to stop him. "I wish to purchase one," she turned and pointed to the deadly silver monster, "that one in particular."
Both guards looked at each other unsure of what to do.
"Miss Reina I-," the bulky one started before he and his companion both halted in terrified shock as they saw that the girl had already decided to turn away and was headed fearlessly towards the monster.
Time seemed to stop as the dragon halted and looked straight toward the girl, but didn't make any move to attack. In response, Reina halted her approach, only the monsters tail length away from the creature itself. She smiled and curtsied.
"I am Reina of the Winter Court, and I would be honored if you would consider joining me as not just my mount, but as my friend."
No one dared moved as the dragon seemed to think over the offer, and the entire camp was frozen in shock as through its glare and the silence of the room, the monster slowly nodded.
The grove was timeless. Years would pass and absolutely nothing would change. Honestly, there were times that I doubted that anything would ever change. I always believed that the grove was my safe haven, that nothing could ever harm me there. It was a beautiful, unchangeable place. My own personal kingdom; my home.
Sometimes I think that it always will be.
I'm not sure if I mentioned this, but Titania would constantly spoil me with cloths, jewelry, and weapons. And I must point out that all of which I loved very much. And although she didn't act much like a mother, she was the closest I had to one.
Now I just want to take a quick second to point out that although beautiful, the grove wasn't exactly the most exciting place to spend years on end. While Titania would boss her servants around and cast punishments, I was often left bored out of my mind. Sometimes I would practice fighting, or work on my gymnastic skills, or try to strike up conversation with one of the servants , or talk with one of the few servants I had become friends with. Or when I was really bored I would occasionally star gaze, or practice using glamour, or climb trees, or apply my own makeup; just for fun.
Yeah, being the Summer Princess was a lot more boring than you might think.
But then there came the time when I started venturing out on my own a lot more, often without Titania's approval.
Dangerous? Completely. Stupid? Absolutely.
But still, it was completely worth it. Surprisingly though, this didn't anger the Summer Queen, and instead the more I was gone I felt that the more Titania favored and paid attention to me.
At first I believed that maybe Titania missed me while I was gone. So then when I would finally venture back, she could see how important I was to her and how much she cared. However, from experience I learned not to get my hopes up. I instead ended up figuring that she liked being alone and not having me around performing my own version of acrobatics and annoying her half the time. But still, I didn't mind the extra attention from my mother; I didn't mind at all.
However, with Titania's growing fondness of me came an even stronger dislike from Oberon. He looked at me as if he was seeing an Unseelie goblin, something that served no use except to make his life more miserable; something to be rid of soon as possible.
Although, as much as Titania was fond of me, she still couldn't be bothered with the chore of actually spending time with me. I learned everything I know from her servants; with the exception of glamour of course. Her servants taught me how to read, write, swim, dance, cook and bargain. They taught me how to be a proper and elegant princess, and a cunning and devious killer. They taught me to never promise and how to stretch the truth. They taught me how to use my size to my advantage, teaching me how to do cartwheels and back-flips, handstands and front-flips. They taught me everything I would need to know to survive.
Of course, all of my lessons were both planned and monitored by Titania. I also should mention that I took these lessons as a sign that she cared about my survival, so I happily obliged to whatever was asked of me. I would have destroyed earth itself if only it would impress my mother. I would have done anything to make the Summer Queen proud of me.
After a while, Titania finally came to the conclusion that I could not rely on glamour alone to defend myself. And of course this conclusion had not come without reason. And it was only natural that her decision had come from my own reckless stupidity. What else was to be expected?
Now let's see, where to start…
Well, for starters, I had traded my dresses for knee-high black boots, black pants, a gray shirt and a back jacket as I wandered deep into the forest in order to work on improving the power of my glamour; without hurting anyone in the process. Never having the need to travel so deep into the forest before, I was unaware of how dangerous it could become. I also wasn't exactly sure where Summer territory ended, so when I managed to grab a vine and swing across the river I thought nothing of it. At the time I had no idea that I had just crossed into the Wyldwood.
The Wyldwood was a dark and terrifying jungle of sorts. It had trees that seemed to go on forever, and a mist that always covered the ground. It was also the home of countless terrifying creatures that preyed on the unsuspecting and unlucky. These creatures wouldn't just jump out and attack you either; they would lure you in and do unthinkable things to you. But still, curiosity got the best of me, so I continued trudging forward.
Just when I had been about to stop walking, I found myself stumble into a camp of sorts. There were about six mud huts scattered around a large fire pit. Around the camp short ugly creatures were scattered around fighting, arguing, or gnawing on bones which came in all shapes and sizes.
The creatures were not unlike anything I had seen before. After living with Titania, there were few Summer creatures that I hadn't laid eyes on.
They were short, probably only two or three feet; as humans call their measurements, high. They had knotted yellow-green skin, round and bulging noses, and large and pointed ears. Their clothing was tattered, and they carried sharp spears made of bone in their long yellow claws. With cruel faces, beady eyes and mouths full of broken, jagged teeth I instantly knew I was in trouble. These creatures were known as Goblins, I knew because every once in a while someone would bring one in that had come too close to the grove. They were usually used as play things for Titania.
Although the most horrifying attribute of the camp were the cages. They were sporadically placed around the camp and made of sharp thorn bushes. Each one sat in a dried pool of blood, all unoccupied except for two. In one cage sat a red furred satyr who was being prodded with the spears of several Goblins.
But what really broke my heart even more was the condition of the large cat who occupied the other cage.
It had long gray fur which was knotted and matted with blood, and yellow-golden eyes that seemed to be half-closed, yet staring directly at me. I recognized it as a Caith Sith; a creature that lived for favors and was known to unexpectedly vanish. At first I thought it looked bored, its eyes half lidded, the complete opposite of the terrified satyr. But as I silently made my way behind a mud hut and closer to the cage; I realized that its eyes were split between pain and a chilling emptiness. It was close to death; I knew that much. And I also knew that if I didn't get the caith sith out of that cage he would be dead before nightfall.
I'm going to take a second to mention that caith siths are often seen as greedy and dangerous creatures. They will refuse to do anything for you unless you give them something in return. And their price is often quite high. Not that I would know… it's not like I bargain or anything….
I would have loved to see Titania's reaction if she had heard that I had risked my life for a caith sith. Maybe one day I'll tell her, or maybe some things are better left unsaid. Either way, I will never forget that cat's face as I kneeled next to its cage and told it I was there to help.
I saw hope in its golden-yellow eyes; and even if it was a small amount, it was still there. And that was enough for me; I was determined to get it out of there.
I closed my eyes and went back to all of the practices with Titania on summer glamour and tried to feel the vines with my mind like she said. I had no knife, no sword, no weapon, just my glamour. And my glamour was my only chance of freeing the cat; I had to force the thorn filled plants to bend away from each other to create an opening big enough for the cat.
It took time, something I didn't have much of at that point, especially after I heard large footsteps approaching the camp Which only meant one thing; the goblin leader. The goblin leader, much like the other goblins, was ruthless, and disgusting. But unlike the other goblins it had a larger size and actual intelligence; although still not too much of it. I was lucky as it was that I hadn't been spotted by the other goblins yet, if I was to stay there when the goblin leader returned, I would be discovered in a heartbeat.
I think it was my determination mixed with my fear that made my glamour stronger. Because just as I heard the footsteps about to breach the wall of trees and into the camp I felt the pulse of the vines in front of me; and yanked them apart with imaginary hands. It was no sooner that the cat managed to limp out that the goblin leader entered the camp and looked straight at me.
I saw all pairs of eyes turn towards me and before they could even move I had scooped up the caith sith, ignoring his claws and protests; and was running.
Running to me was like breathing, it was natural, effortless, and I didn't need to think about it. My very being craved the exhilaration of dodging tree by tree as I raced the wind I could control. As for flying? There were times I believed I could.
I should also mention that it also helps that I can use the wind to help boost my speed, make me fast enough to escape almost any enemy if I wanted to. However, my pride usually gets the best of me, the part that says to never run from a fight. But of course, all things have their exceptions.
Despite the added weight from the large cat I was carrying, my head start and speed was way too much for the short stubby legs of the goblins. They also lacked the intelligence to track someone. And not to mention they can't swim; so it was only natural that I was totally safe by the time I managed to swim across the river while a soaking wet cat dug its claws into one of my arms. But still, even though I knew all of this at the time from Titania's lessons, I still didn't stop until I reached the outside of the grove. I stopped at the hedge that separated me from where I lived, and sat down exhausted. It wasn't until I put the caith sith down did the numbness in my body start to fade and I felt a stabbing pain in my back. I reached behind me almost screamed when I felt the end of a goblins spear coming out of my upper back. I remembered how goblins were known to poison there spears, but then I remembered the idiocy of them all and figured they didn't have the brain to fully poison every spear. I also figured that they wouldn't know how to fully poison something.
So, as for the verdict? There was about a third percent chance that I was poisoned and would never live to see tomorrow, a third percent chance that I was slightly poisoned and would probably just need immediate and incredibly painful medical care, or a third of a chance that I wasn't poisoned at all and goblins were in fact, idiots.
I was so caught up in my thoughts that literally consumed my entire suddenly-annoyingly-foggy mind that it wasn't until I heard it speak did I remember the cat.
"I hope you are not planning on taking me into the Summer Court." The cat had said. For a cat, his voice was clearly of the male gender. He spoke in an almost infuriating calmness that had almost reminded me of how Titania would sometimes talk. Although, even through the clam I could hear the pain in his voice as he had strained to tilt his head to groom some of the blood out of his fur. The deed had clearly been a lost cause though considering he couldn't sit because of his broken back leg; so he had lain down on his side and attempted to lift his head up to clean his fur. His dire state had made me momentarily push my spear problem to the back of my mind. Besides, at this point it was pretty much numb anyway. I knew I should have been worried, but I couldn't exactly remember why.
"Do you have another name caith sith?" I asked as I searched around for any plant that could help with the healing, occasionally stumbling.
"Answer my question and I might answer yours"
"You have a lot of nerve cat." I sighed "Fine. No, I was not planning on taking you into the court," at least I didn't think I was…"happy?"
"Well I have been stuck in a cage, been probed with spears, and I can no longer move my back leg." He retorted. "So, to answer your question, no girl, I am not happy."
This cat was really testing my patience. And my mind considering his annoying arrogance was really giving me a headache.
"You're irritating, you know that?"
He snorted; which I figured was the cat equivalent of a chuckle.
"Not the first time I have heard that." He purred "Some call me Devil's Cat, or more simply Cat Sith. Then others prefer to call me Grimalkin."
"Laufeia of the Summer Court," I curtsied, almost falling in the process, and put on my best smile, "at your service."
The annoying fur-ball of a cat pondered this for a while, and I wondered for a second whether or not he thought I was bright enough to know my own name. Finally after one last long look at me, he finally nodded as if convinced of something. I would have asked what was going on in that furry head of his, although quite frankly I didn't really care. I simply figured it was a cat thing; that or a goblin had clonked him on the head.
"The daughter of the Summer Queen, that is not," he started as if he actually made any sense." Yes I have heard of you; the Princess of Spring. You look like Winter but hail from Summer."
At this point it was increasingly difficult to concentrate on his words, and I literally had to stop and rub and blink my eyes as the cat seemed to morph into two, then back to one. "You... must have me… confused with someone… else," I struggled to get out, "I have no idea what you're talking about," I finished in a rush. The Princess of Spring? Correction: I'm pretty sure this fur-ball was dropped on the head, repeatedly, by a wyvern. There was no such thing… was there?
"I am a cat." He replied, as if that explained anything, or even made sense. "Now I am tired, so how about you go get that spear taken care of that is obviously poisoned, and bring me some food when you return."
It was then that I finally lost it. I'm not sure if it was from the strangeness of it all, the cat's absolute nonsense, or the fact that I was loosing blood and there was a strong chance that I was poisoned; but everything suddenly seemed hilarious. Well... sort of. You see, on the outside I was completely giddy, unable to stop my laughter; however, on the inside I was completely terrified as everything began to grow blurry, my entire body was numb and on fire at the same time, and everything in the area seemed to have tripled. When my world was finally consumed by blackness I could only think of one lesson learned, and that was too never underestimate your enemy.
In this case, turns out that Goblins were not complete idiots.
Well, that's it for chapter 2
I'm curious, what do you think of Laufeia so far?
And this chapter was originally longer ,but I decided to split it into two because it was like 10 pages on word lol