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-Chapter 2-

Days have blurred into weeks. Dai no longer thinks, she has let herself become numb. Killing isn't hard anymore, its a way to survive. Her stomach hollow, mud and blood are caked onto her face. Reality doesn't seem real anymore. All she sees is a hell created by a war that goes against humanity itself.

Time is irrelevant all that matters now is survival. How can she get through one more minute? Her thoughts merely consumed with living another moment longer. How she wishes she could go back in time when she was blissfully ignorant of all she's learned. Sometimes she wonders if she should just die and save herself from the pain and agony she feels now.

Every time she feels like it's time to die though, that man shows up with his draco, and a new sense of survival overtakes her, pushes her forward another step.

"Just give up Dai! Join us! Take your freedom!" She can hear the man shout at her as she runs from him, hurting her feet more as they blister and burn from the burning coals of the ground. She just shakes her head, what he offers isnt freedom. She freezes, or is it?

Is what he's offering really freedom? An escape from this pain? Can she live without having to survive. Dai glances up at the man and makes her decision. "I choose to join you!" she shouts, delirious from dehydration and lack of a substantial meal. Whether her choice is one of want or necessity she isn't sure, but regardless her mind is made up.

A huge smiles spreads across his face as the dragon he's riding lands and he holds his hand out for her. "Then come."

Hesitantly she takes his hand and mounts the dragon, sitting in front of him, her back to his chest.

She feels strange, light headed as they soar into the air. Her body so battered and worn she passes out, her head lolls forward and she falls into a pit of darkness, unable to keep her eyes open any longer.

Waking, she finds herself in a large comfy bed. Confused and disoriented she sits, looking around the room, then at herself. Her clothes are different. "I swear if he changed me, I'll-" she gets cut off by a soft laughter coming from the darkest corner of the room.

"My father would never defile a woman in such a manner. One of the maids completed the deed."

A glorious youth stands from his chair and steps into the light. His black hair falls into his face and his leather jacket and tight trousers show off toned muscles. His cobalt blue eyes seem to pierce into her very soul and she has to work hard on controlling her breathing. He is beautiful.

Blushing, she begins to stand, only to lose her balance and fall back into bed. Putting her hand to her head, she looks at him and smiles weakly. "Guess i'm still rather weak."

He laughs quietly, darkly. Dai holds her breath and stares at him completely transfixed. "It would seem that way." he gives her a dashing smile and she nearly passes out for a second time. "When you're feeling up to it father wants a word with you." he turns to leave.

"Wait!" she cries.

He pauses and glances over his shoulders eyebrow raised.

Dai blushes realizing she has nothing to say, she just wants him to stay. "Never mind." she mumbles completely humiliated.

He just flashes a dark smile and leaves the room. Standing slowly she realizes she has no idea where to go to meet up with his dad. She decides it's best to just wander, get a feel for the layout of where she is. She opens the door and her eyes get huge, seeing the size of the building she's in. If she tried to wander she knows she'd get lost. Leaning on the door she just stares, unsure what to do now.

"Mistress?" a timid voice whispers humbly next to her. She looks over and sees a small mousy woman in a long skirt and apron bowing politely. "The lord and master has requested I take you to his chambers when you were ready."

Dai blinks in surprise having never been treated in this manner before in her life but nods hesitantly. "very well. I am ready."

The maid smiles some, and without making eye contact leads her down the corridor and up a flight of stairs. Looking around Dai is amazed at the details in everything, for a castle built in the midst of war it's amazingly beautiful. Clearing her throat, the maid gestures for Dai to walk through two large doors, which swing open as Dai walks towards them.

She freezes. The man from before sits atop a large thrown, a wine glass held carelessly in his hand, swishing the red liquid until it comes dangerously close to spilling over. "so you have finally decided to join us." he smiles, but she realizes his smile pales in comparison to his son.

"Yes." she says simply, looking around her for a place to sit.

His smile suddenly disappears. The wine glass he was holding is smashed against the ground and he his taking long strides toward her. A slight squeak escapes from her mouth, taking a step back, away from him. Quickly, he reaches out and grips her wrist raising it high above her head. She just stares at him in confusion.

"I am not to be tested girl." he enunciates clearly, carefully "if I find that you are using me or my power, you will find out what hell really is." if looks could kill Dai would be pushing up daisies already.

She nods, understanding and he releases her, striding back to his throne while she rubs her wrist utterly confused.

"S-sir, may I ask where that came from?"

Looking at her, he smiles. "Just can't have you getting any ideas to deceive me." He tilts his head looking at her. "So, you're infatuated with my son are you?"

A crimson red spreads across her cheeks in embarrassment.

"I wouldn't say infatuated. We met less than five minutes ago." she stutters.

"And yet you are blushing scarlet and are having trouble speaking."

Dai ducks her head.

The man laughs loud and boisterous "Don't worry. He has this effect on all the women. I would be surprised if you weren't already madly in love with him."

"I am not in love with him!" but her outburst sounds weak, feeble even to her ears. The man just laughs harder.

She just looks away, reverting back to her old self, letting the numb feeling encompass her. She realizes she's letting herself get too comfortable. This territory is still too dangerous to let that happen. "I have no interest in your son." Her voice sounds hollow, empty.

The man gives her an odd look but let's it go. "I have brought you here to discuss the matters of your training."

"Training?" she looks at him skeptically.

"Yes training. You can't live under my good graces without giving me something in return. I can sense your power and it is unbelievably strong. I wish to tap into this energy and see if it can be used for good."

Dai has her doubts that this side is the good side, but decides not to press the issue seeing as she would probably be killed if she pointed such a thing out.

"So, what kind of training are we talking about?"

"Oh, the fun kind." He smiles at her frown.

"What the hell...?"

He smiles wider. "Oh and my son, Ren, is going to be the one training you."

"What?!" Is all she's able to squeak out.

"I thought you would appreciate that." He places a hand to his temple suddenly very tired. "Chasing you across our lands has taken its toll on me, I'm not the man I once was. You may take your leave." He gestures with his hand and a butler scurries over and ushers Dai out of the room.

"What the hell was that?!" she asks herself completely flabbergasted.

Confused and fairly tired herself, she follows the butler back to her room. Before she could thank the butler, though, he had already disappeared. She goes in and sits on her bed, looking out the window. There's so much destruction outside, beyond the fence that was built around the castle. You can see where holes were blown into the wall, the feeble attempts of the human race trying to stop the creatures takeover. Inside the fence, everything is green, there's even some flowers growing. A look of disgust flashes across Dai's face. How could anyone think this was okay? Studying her, Ren steps out from the shadows. "Do you hate our kind that much?" Jumping from her spot, she turns quickly reaching for the gun that's no longer at her side. Face growing red as she realizes who is standing before her, she can only utter inaudible babble.

"Why do you keep doing that?!" she squeals, backing up until she hits the window. "It was weird the first time, but now it's just plain creepy!"

Ren cocks his head to the side.

"Have you nothing better to do than stand in the shadows of a young girl's room and say something disturbing when she thinks she is alone?"

He walks to her leaning over so his hands are on the wall above her head. "Of course." he smiles revealing two rows of perfect teeth.

Dai doesn't know what to do. He is invading her space and she can't bring herself to feel disgusted. "You should leave." she whispers looking away though it is nearly impossible.

Ren's smile fades and he steps back. "Fine." he says obviously angry, striding purposefully out of her room and slamming the door so hard the walls shake.

Slightly shaking, she slides down the wall and hugs her knees to her chest. She puts her head on her knees. She hasn't felt so flushed and terrified at the same time since this war had started. Leaning her head back against the wall, she watches the ceiling as though it's the most interesting thing she's ever seen.

Which it is. Why is it spinning? Startled, she stands. This is a mistake. The room tilt's dangerously and she stumbles, falling hard against the side of her bed. Stunned and bruised her body curls into the fetal position and she rocks back and forth her hands clutching her head.

"Listen. Listen." a voice whispers, a voice in her head.

"Go away!" she moans.

"Listen. Listen." Slowly she rolls onto her back, releasing her head. Looking up at the spinning ceiling, the shapes shift. The image of the ceiling disappears and changes into a foggy scene. She can barely make out the shapes forming. "What is it?" She whispers.

Shades of deep blue and bright orange began to mix in with already present grey. She became disoriented, her head throbbing, eyes aching. What is happening? What is she seeing?

Just as shapes start to form a knock on the door sends her out of the dream state she was in. Looking around she realizes she is still sitting on the floor, leaning up against the wall. Slowly standing, swaying a bit as she walks to the door, she opens it slowly. Dizziness takes over before she can see who is standing before her and her legs give out, sending her collapsing to the floor.

She wakes for a second time in a very comfy bed, Ren sitting in the corner studying her.

"My father seems to think you are incredibly powerful."

She puts a hand on her head to try and stop the spinning. "And what do you think?" she asks through gritted teeth.

"I think he is mistaken." Ren stands and begins to pace.

Groaning slightly, Dai sits. "And why do you think that?"
He looks at her. "Look at you. Do I need to say more?"

"Yes."

"You are incompetent! You are weak! You can barely stand!"

Angry now she yells back in defiance "I was wandering around for days starving and dehydrated with no hope of survival! I should be allowed a chance to rest!"

Taken slightly aback he just looks away, still mad at being turned down earlier. "Whatever."

"Wow, that's the best you can-" looking at him the room begins to spin again, everything around him spinning, leaving him standing there. "Look. Look." says the voice in her head.

"Dai?" Ren hurries to her side, his expression almost concerned. His hand touches her arm and the spinning stops. "What's wrong?"

She shakes her head to rid herself of the bizarre feeling. "Nothing." she pauses, thinking. "Nothing, I'm fine."

A deep frown set on his face, he looks her over. "I'll have the medic come look you over."

"honestly, dont worry about it."

"No I insist. Father would surely beat me of you were in less then perfect condition."

Dai snorts. "What a bastard."

Ren's expression is dangerous. "Never talk about my father that way."

"Okay! Calm down. I didn't mean it."

"My father is a brilliant man, Dai. Don't ever forget it."

"He chose me, there's gotta be some madness in that mind."

He seems slightly amused at this comment. "Well you finally got one thing right."

She smiles some, laying back. Breathing heavy, she closes her eyes to suppress the dizzy feeling.

"Listen. Look." Ren whispers.

Dai sits bolt upright. "What did you say?" she breathes, not sure she heard him right.

"Nothing." He laughs and exits the room.

She lays back down her mind whirling with millions of questions and no answers.