The First Confrontation

Ch.15

I threw my bag over Bubbles and put my sword around my waist. The whole mountain was in an uproar as everyone prepared to leave for Vinelic. I scanned the crowd looking for a flash of fiery red hair in the mist of the brown. Finally I found it and flew Bubbles up in the air towards the spot of red.

"Zepi!" I called out.

The red-haired boy looked up.

"Need a ride?" I asked.

"That would be great!" Zepi replied and jumped onto Bubbles.

Zepi's OrangeWing, Bezel, followed us.

James flew up beside us on his RedWing, Lightflash.

"Follow me!" James yelled over the crowd.

The Oaklurin rebels immediately flew up behind James, Zepi, and I. We started at a slow pace towards Vinelic and kept a steady height right above the trees. Just a couple minutes out we ran into trouble in the form of a Skyreon army patrol. As soon as we saw them they flew up in the sky.

"Follow?" I asked James.

"Yeah, you and Zepi can take them out," James replied.

A second later Zepi had jumped off Bubbles onto Bezels back and we fly up higher into the sky. I spotted them and immediately knew one had gone off for reinforcements and the others were following the Oaklurein rebels.

Zepi interrupted my thoughts, "You want to go after the one that went off and I can take the other three?"

"Sure," I replied and pushed Bubbles harder in the direction that the one probably went.

I found him after only a couple minutes of searching. I readied my bow and let go of the needle sharp arrow. It hit its target and the Skyreon warrior fell through the air. A minute later I found Zepi, who had already taken care of the other three, and we soared back to the other rebels.

"Got em'?" Cinder asked when we flew past her.

I gave her a little nod and she gave me a thumbs up. My smile immediately disappeared when I heard the screams in the back of the crowd. I spun around and my jaw dropped open. Behind us was an army of about three-hundred Skyreon soldiers.

James ordered the attack and I drew out my sword and flew Bubbles into the battle. I meant up with two Skyreon soldiers and immediately sent them falling to their deaths. I scanned the battle field and estimated that there were about two hundred Oaklurein rebels. Another Skyreon soldier flew at me and I could tell that this one was more skillful than the others. He flew at me again with his sword outstretched. I pulled Bubbles down and prepared to go on the offense. I readied my sword and flew after him. Instead of fleeing, like I had planned, he turned and charged at me. Immediately we were flying side-by-side locked in a sword battle. He swung his sword at my head and I ducked just in time and kicked him in the shin. He yelled in pain and then stabbed Bubbles. I found myself flying through the air as I tried to hang onto the dead PurpleWing.

Just as I thought I was going to die I found myself on top of an OrangeWing. I looked up into the riders face. Clearly she wasn't a Skyreon warrior, but a Crassion girl. I could tell she was a seasoned warrior, but her weapons weren't government issued.

I struggled to breath and just managed to mutter one word, "Rebel?"

"Yes, my name is Sandi," I heard her say before I slipped into unconscious.

Just a second after Felicia fell…

"No!" Zepi screamed.

He looked into the face of the person who sent Felicia to her death. His jaw hung open when he saw who it was.

"Just who I wanted to see," the Skyreon warrior snickered.

"Crowu," Zepi hissed.

"Prince Crowu, Zepi," the Skyreon warrior hissed.

"Why are you here?" Zepi demanded with fiery rage in his eyes.

"Actually, Zepi, I think a better question would be 'why is a traitor on my land?'" Crowu sneered.

Zepi drew out his sword, "I may be a traitor to you, but I think that it would be a complement. At least I'm not allowing people to die of starvation for the sake of ruling the world."

Crowu drew out his sword and swung it at his brother.

Zepi blocked Crowu's sword with his own and pushed Bezel away from the rest of the rebels and Skyreon soldiers. Crowu followed his brother and Zepi steered Bezel to the ground and jumped off. Crowu copied him.

"If you want a fight, we're going to fight one-on-one," Zepi snorted and prepared his stance.

"Fine, if that is what you want we shall have a duel," Crowu nodded with a frown.

Both boys were instantly locked into a sword battle. Crowu immediately took the offense, leaving Zepi to take the defense. Steel hit steel and gray eyes lit up with fire. Zepi finally made his move and knocked Crowu's sword out of his hand.

"Surrender or die," Zepi demanded as he pinned Crowu to the ground.

"I… shall… never… surrender!" Crowu gasped for air.

Zepi raised his sword to do the final blow, but stopped midway.

"Blood cannot kill blood," Zepi whispered and ran back into the forest.

Right after Felicia passed out:

Sandi secured the girl onto Evening's back and commanded the Crassion rebels to attack the Skyreon soldiers. She starred at the girl that had fallen out of the sky. She didn't appear to be hurt and Sandi concluded that she had passed out from the impact of the fall. Whoever she was, Sandi didn't know. Sandi steered Evening to the forest floor and dropped the girl off there. She opened up her canteen and poured the icy cold water over the girl's head. The girl's eyes blinked open.

"What happened?" the girl asked.

"You passed out from the fall. What's your name?" Sandi asked.

"Felicia… Find Zepi," the girl said before passing out again.

Sandi stiffened at the words the girl said. She knew the name Zepi, he was her best friend, Issama's, brother. Sandi immediately hopped onto Evening and went to do what Felicia had told her.

Just after Zepi ran off into the forest:

Zepi could feel the brambles tearing against his legs, but nothing stopped him. He realized he could have put an end to all this misery by just finishing his brother, but something stopped him. Even more, was the crushing realization that his brother had probably sent Felicia to her death. He slowed down to catch his breath and slowly realized that running away wasn't the answer. He whistled and Bezel soared through the tree tops. Zepi jumped onto Bezel's back and steered him in the direction of the fighting. He caught a glimpse of orange and immedantly recognized the OrangeWing soaring above him by the golden bracelets around its legs. His sister had given her best friend those bracelets to accessorize her OrangeWing, Evening.

Zepi pushed Bezel out of the trees and called out, "Sandi?"

The girl on top of Evening looked down at Zepi and immediately steered the OrangeWing down to Bezel.

"Zepi! I was looking all over for you! I caught a girl whose PurpleWing was killed. She mentioned you before she passed out. She said her name was… something that started with a 'fel,' I forget now." Sandi shrugged.

Zepi's heart soared, "Could it possibly be… Felicia?"

"Yeah, that was it, who is she?" Sandi asked.

Zepi smiled, "I'll tell you later, right now all I'm concerned with is if she is safe. Where did you leave her?"

"On the forest floor, I had to find you," Sandi replied.

"Ok, we better hurry before someone else finds her," Zepi pushed Bezel faster.