The waves of the sea crashed against the sand of the beach. The full moon shone brightly upon the earth illuminating it. A lone island visible to planes up above was thick with the forest and loud with the call of night creatures.
A step, then two, then three, till she fell. Long raven hair covered the exposed back of an unidentified female who laid spineless against the sand. Her face covered but you could see the rose of thorns tattoo largely imprinted on her right shoulder.
Discomforted, she turns on her back and a large amount of water escapes her mouth and nose. Her red silk is torn and lays haphazardly on her petite body. She heaves and then inhales a large amount of air.
"Bloody hell". Comes her raspy voice. Rare ruby eyes scan the environment before looking towards the full moon. A grimace followed by a glare at the source of light up above,
"You failed." She mutters before walking towards the direction of the woods like it was her home. Her strides were confident and her eyes were red enough to send a wolf scrambling for the hills.
The owls hooted, the wolves howled and the insects crawled, yet this woman sat under a large tree totally unperturbed. Her eyes were closed and her breath even that is until...
In a flurry, she moved from her spot, narrowly missing the spear lunged her way. Now in a sturdy position, she eyed her attacker.
A man covered only by a loin cloth approached her like she was a wild animal. She stayed, eyes on his movements.
"Who are you?" His voice was deep and showed no tinge of softness. From his stance and agility, she could tell he was a leader which meant he had people.
Her eyes glanced briefly behind him and caught the sight of a lad hiding behind a tree. The agitated hiss of the man before her told her all she needed to know. This man was protecting family.
"I bring no harm. I encountered a shipwreck and found myself here by some miracle."
The man didn't look convinced. "What is your name?"
"Petal. Petal of the Nines."
At the mention of her clan, the man visibly tensed as though he expected her to attack.
"I don't feed on flesh." She told him even though she doubted that it would alleviate his worry.
"Tell that to the dogs." He spat, "Nines are known for their cruelty and disloyal nature. You are no different."
"Okay. I accept. Then I better be on my way." She turned to leave but was stopped by a pained groan. It wasn't from her attacker but the young lad behind him. By the thin smell of copper, she could tell he had been wounded.
The man had abandoned her to tend to his offspring. All traces of the murderer before her vanished into thin air and replaced with a tender father.
"Hold on Bloom. I'll get you a cure." He cooed.
Petal decided to be of help. She slowly advanced to the duo who immediately tensed. The man was already full spirited and ready to rip her to pieces, his lighted blue orbs said as much.
"I have a cure."
"Don't you dare come any further." The man spat, his eyes vicious. Petal ignored him and focused on the wounded lad who had a deep cut just beneath the ribs.
"He will die. Let me help." She said again.
"It's none of your business. What would you do anyway? This is what happened when we came across your kind. Leave!"
Petal's heart broke for the poor kid that laid barely alive in the arms of his father. She could turn and leave but the young one would not be spared.
"Let me heal him," she got down on her knees before them, "please. If I as much as do anything out of line, you can have my head."
"Pa...pa" the young one called out
The man looked down at his child and back to the untrustworthy stranger. His heart tore in two but as a father, he'd risk his life– even give it– to spare his child this much pain. So he nodded but still kept his gaze firm on her.
Petal heaved a sigh of relief. He did not let prejudice cloud his vision. She reached for a leaf and then began to cast a spell. The moon up above seemed to bleed before the leaf transformed into a flower. The man recognized it as the plant of Loe. The life giving flower. Astonished, he watched this stranger feed his child the plant and minutes later, the wound closed up and color returned to the cheeks of his little boy.
"There we go." She said, lovingly petting the boy on his head. After, she turned to the man who looked at her like he'd found a rare treasure but was still skeptical of what it was.
"I require your assistance," She begun, "I can tell that you habor hatred for my kind and so do I. I have been on a quest to put an end to the cruelty of King Tham of the Nines. My mother, passed on Queen of the Soars gave me this task."
The man looked at her like she'd grown eight heads.
"How can a Queen of Soars give birth to a Nine?"
"My mother had a love affair with Tham's brother. The same one he murdered. I am a product of that affair. Half Nine, Half Soar. My warriors were all murdered by Tham's assassins. I was able to escape and found this place. Please. Help me."
Nines were known for their night vision and Soars for their healing ability. Her eyes gave the identity of a Nine and the healing testified she was indeed a Soar. But he couldn't trust her.
"I don't even know you. How would I just jump at what you've said? I have kept my people safe for years away from Tham and his take over regime. You think I would put all that on the line for you? A stranger?"
"I have a plan. I still have resources. I just want a commander."
"And what gives you the idea that I am one?"
"Your strength. Your ferocity. Your bravado."
"Woman, I am not helping you. Thanks for the antidote."
With that said, The man turned and left with his son safely tucked in his arms. Petal watched him go and didn't bother stopping him. Yes she helped him but she did so from her heart. He wasn't obliged to pay back.
With a sigh of regret, she got to her feet and moved to her former position under the tree. The spear now her companion.
Her eyelids drooped with sleep. She was exhausted and hungry. Maybe she should sleep for a while...
The snap of a twig immediately sharpened her senses. On her feet, she expertly held the spear in the direction of the sound.
"You seem to know the way of weapons." The familiar voice said.
"You..." She was a bit surprised.
"Yes. Me. I brought food." With that, the man from earlier presented a feast to her which she devoured within seconds.
While she relaxed for her food to digest, he spoke...
"I am Viko. A native of the Brawns."
"Yes. I could tell. Your features are all human."
"Ever since the Nines takeover and humans declared food, I and my people hid here. By some miracle we were never discovered. Until now..."
There was a moment of silence.
Petal was now dumbstruck. "What changed your mind?"
"My people. If we don't end this, sooner or later we'd be found. I mean you have and so did the villain that hurt my son."
"Thank you". Petal said grateful
"Let's get you to meet my people shall we?"
He stood and offered her a hand, she took it. And right there, by the light of the moon, a beautiful friendship blossomed amidst the chaos. A friendship that would later grow to something...more.