Taken from the latest writing….
Rusha spread his wings in landing position, allowing a glimpse of creamy underside. The clearing was empty, save for Chronicles and several clan members standing on the outskirts. The White Wing leader spread his talons upon contacting ground, landing on all fours in a thrash of flying dirt and grass. Rising to a standing position, he turned with the grace of a skilled warrior in order to block an oncoming attack.
From the corner of his eye, he could see hand movements from the surrounding Healers. Knowing it was they who controlled the illusionistic humans popping up from the ground, he felt confident the excercise would help his people better handle humans in combat.
An explosion of dirt thrust upward from the earth, taking shape as it rose on two legs. None of the excess dirt thrown about had time to settle, for it quickly collected together to add form. More of these dirt humans surrounded the leader. A wing sliced through as he turned in a circle to decapitate from waist up. Dirt spewed everywhere, only to rejoin and create another body. The Lo-ans’rel were good, he realized. Too good.
A pair of hands caught and held his wings, halting another spin attack. Another grabbed his arms and held them back. When a kick to the back of his knee forced him in a kneeling position, he began to reconsider their strength in numbers. Individuals could be dealt with, but a group could mean problems.
Rusha pursed his lips together, letting a series of high-pitched whistles echo throughout the woods. A Wing’s vocal chords were designed for intense calls, something humans could never hope to create on their own. The calls could be heard for several miles, though mostly territorial. Now, he used the same to summon help.
It was the moment his people had been waiting for. At his signal, they dived from the surrounding treetops over the group of earthen figures. Unlike humans, the harpies wore no clothing. White feathers covered their tender areas, a protection against sharp bark while climbing tress, and now in a training session. Though usually adorning a golden robe, Rusha had thrown it off earlier in the heat of combat.
A slash of talons cut through an arm holding him. With his wing free, he used it to knock another from the opposite side before signaling for his kind back to the skies.
“Dive and fly!” had been the plan, devised by Chronicles himself. The Lo-ans’rel leader held Rusha’s garment patiently until the White Wing’s return to the outskirts. While he still gave orders to his people in training, he took back the robe and slipped it on.
“Would you like for me to hold it during REAL combat?” Chronicles mused.
“If you’re so sure humans will fight like this,” Rusha returned.
“This is only speculation,” Chronicles replied, continuing to watch the fray. He made a gesture that turned a few of the earthen beings toward a wave of oncoming harpies. “Speed is your ally. Be swift, and your attacks may garner no casualties. The key is keeping human eyes to the sky. That way they don’t anticipate anything striking from the ground.”
“Or up from it, at least,” Rusha murmured. “I’m sure these could produce a fair amount of damage.”
Chronicles held back a smile. “Don’t test me.” He leveled his hand, producing a javelin for one of the earth figures to hurl.
“Watch it!” Rusha shouted. He held his breath as the javelin hit a harpy square in the chest, though it mostly broke apart rather than puncture. The surprised Wing lost momentum in the attack, hurtling into some of the others. Tangled wings slammed into the ground, halting training until the group recovered and returned to the sky.
“You want your people to be prepared against ANY attack,” Chronicles warned, seeing a look of disgust on the leader’s feathered face. “That’s the purpose of this.”
“My purpose is to free my kind from human enslavement,” Rusha commented with sullen attitude. “That is the main reason I’m agreeing to this.”
“And a second reason would be your other son?”
Rusha bit his tongue. He knew what the Healer meant by OTHER. It had been some time since he had last seen Corrigan. The Black Wing had left to find his captured mother with the help of a human mage.
To be continued….
This one is going to be a fun chapter! After I finish this scene, it’s going back to the main character and sea dealings! Creature cove, here we go!