I knew this was dangerous. If I wasn’t fast enough, my soul would be ripped from my body. But I knew I had the speed. Prepare yourself, Percy Alexander Reagan Arthrezhia! I mocked in my head. You’re about to see what I’ve really learned in the past year. I closed my eyes and concentrated on the black wind I could feel forming. To give me a better sense of height and speed, I slipped off my shoes while Percy created his bow from the sky. Letting loose the energy the wind summoned within me, I let part of my soul free within the black wind. I opened my eyes.
Percy’s lips were moving, but I couldn’t hear his words over the chant of the bit of my soul in the wind. It repeated words in Latin, over and over.
That piece of my soul is not actually part of me. It’s connected to my soul, but the memories and thoughts are from a separate being. That’s why it’s the easiest to separate from the rest of my soul. And why it knows Latin.
He raised his bow, a shimmering red arrow set to fly. I only had seconds.
The chanting ceased, and I felt the piece of my soul reconnect. The black wind shaped itself into two smoky, intangible wings. He pulled the string taut. I felt a warm pressure on my shoulder blades. He lined his arrow perfectly with my heart. I flexed my wing muscles.
Into the air I flew. I watched as Percy’s arrow shot just below my bare feet. After it passed me, it shimmered like the stars and faded into mist, before it reappeared in Percy’s hand.
“Wings!?” Percy shouted, baffled. “You can… fly?!”
I smiled. I loved showing off my beautiful wings. But in this world, they were much less beautiful. With this thought, I realized I hadn’t checked my head yet. I reached up. My fingers brushed small fuzzy ocelot (cheetah like animal) ears. I sighed, relieved. If my ears weren’t completely formed, then my sense of direction while flying was completely topsy-turvy. It was sort of like having vertigo.
“Yep!” I grinned. “And I didn’t walk, run, gallop, or skip anywhere!” I spun around triumphantly.
“You’re a dirty cheater, you know that?” he shouted angrily. I resisted the urge to drop my jaw.
“I’m the cheater? Percy, you forced me to fight you in a world that you rule! How is that not cheating?”
“It’s not cheating,” a regal, nasal woman’s voice said from… well, everywhere. “Because he’s not really the ruler of this world.”
Shimmering in silver, the color of power in this world, my least favorite person in any world glowed into existence. “R-Rebecca,” Percy stuttered. He fell to his shaking knee, bowing his head. I rolled my eyes.
The Witch of Edellhinge ignored his worshipping form and stared at me with cold silver eyes. “Arabella,” she announced, her voice twined with the sky. “You’ve learned quite a bit.”
“And you’ve learned nothing! My name’s Mara, for crying out loud!” I replied angrily. I flapped to the ground, and allowed the black energy to dissipate. I couldn’t afford to be in the air while facing the Queen of the Arthrezhian Sky.
“Mara is the name of a human child, not a demon warrior.” I gritted my teeth.
“I don’t believe in your stupid religion! I’m no different than I was before that whole ‘awakening ceremony’ thing! Just because I’m a little bit stronger… I still love the same people! I haven’t turned evil!” I shouted.
“You have no idea how much more powerful you truly are, do you?” Rebecca asked, smiling at me like I was a humorous disobedient child. “Obviously not, because with great power comes great responsibility. And with great responsibility comes great wisdom.”
“Oh, screw you!” I yelled. Percy gasped, shocked. I rolled my eyes. “You’re just a cowardly bully! Hiding in the world where you can’t lose! Baiting me here so you’d be guaranteed to win!” I shouted. Tears fell freely from my eyes. They were clear, like one would expect, until they touched the ground. Then they sizzled and turned black.
I stared down, wondering why everything was black for me in this world. But I was wrong. It wasn’t me. A dark abyss opened up in the ground.
I looked up, expecting Rebecca to be smirking. I could only imagine that this was a plan of hers.
But, again, I was wrong. Rebecca’s silver eyes were wide and shocked. She took an uncertain step backward; her silver-blonde hair flew forward and hid her face for a few moments. When I could see her again, she looked torn between disbelief and outrage.
I stared into the giant hole, where a column of black smoky wind, like a giant tornado, spun upwards before it disappeared into the bloody sky. I gasped. I’d seen that move before, by… But I couldn’t bring myself to think it. I forced the notion out of my head. It wasn’t worth the pain.
But if it wasn’t… him, and it wasn’t Rebecca, then who could it be?