Anasa, Araju, Braeku, Bron, Gymara, Mali, and Silver Bolt are copyright to Silver Bolt.
Serine is copyright to Serine Hatake and all are not to be used without either of our permission.
Based loosely around the Disney Classic, The Lion King.
Questions, comments, abuse and praise to firstname.lastname@example.org
This is sort of a continuation of Two Worlds alone but still with editorial help from Serine Hatake
The snow swirled under the beats from his muscular wings as he softly landed in the ankle deep white blanket next to the Elder’s mountain.
It was cold on his talons but it didn’t bother him anymore. He flicked his long white mane out of his eyes and folded his midnight-black wings along his back and began walking.
“Now Flyer,” Bræku’s voice came from around the corner of the mountain of rock in front of him.
“You have but a handful of heartbeats to explain exactly why you shouldn’t become to the death penalty. And pray that your excuse does not fall upon deaf ears.”
Bræku was using Flyer tongue and Araju could tell from the mind of the Flyer before him, that Mali had caught the Flyer who they had been tracking for the past two moons.
He walked towards the cliff face; he needed not to even look anymore, he had done it too many times to count, and launched himself into the air and landed in the entrance that belonged to the Elders cave.
The cave was too big to hold only the three current Elders, it was big enough to hold six, including Mali, there were five Elders before his generation.
The cave had two advantages, it couldn’t been seen from the air, thanks to the centuries old trees which surrounded the entrance, and you could only see it from the ground if you had your nose pressed against the rock face directly below it.
Araju walked up to the Throne, it wasn’t really a throne, considering no one ever came in here bar the Elders, but was a slab of rock higher than the ground and was big enough for four Flyers to lie along it and it ran to the back of the cave. He was just about to sit down when he heard the sharp clink of talons hitting the rock.
‘That’s what I get for not paying attention’ he thought exasperated.
[• • • •]
“Alright, see yas later” He said cheerfully.
“Bye guys!” Serine said happily, watching as Bron and Anasa made their leave. For some reason, a picture of the Cliff walls came forth in her mind, and then when she started to think about WHY she thought of them, the reason vanished, so she let it go.
When the two Flyers were a smudge in the distance, they turned from the recently melted, now flowing waterfall and slowly headed for their cave.
“Hey SB?” Serine asked, deep in thought.
“Yes Serenity, oops sorry Serine” Silver said, “I was thinking about your family and your name, personally I would much like to call you Serenity, but of course that’s up to you.” He smiled cheerfully.
“Umm I’ll think about it.” She laughed, “That’s funny, because I was thinking of them too. Anyway, I was thinking-”
“-Gee I couldn’t tell…” Silver butted in with a laugh.
“Oh Ha Ha. I was thinking, and I know that Araju won’t change his mind, but what if one of the others orders Mali to-”
“-Stop, stop,” Silver said, understanding where she was heading.
He stepped closer to her and draped one wing over her body. Using the other, he moved a low hanging branch out of the way so she could get past. “Thank you.” she smiled.
“Your welcome. But there is no need to worry about Mali, once an order has been commanded, the only way to; I guess un-order it is for all, or at least majority of the Elders to agree to change it.” He looked down at her, but she was still deep in thought.
“But what if Gymara and Bræku decide to change it? And send Mali to go kill them?” she asked, when they cleared the tree line and started towards the cave.
“Don’t worry my Little One.” He said, to which he received a light shove from her body. He chuckled and continued, “Even if Gymara does want your family eradicated, He will have to hold an inquiry into it, and Bræku will find out that you haven’t told any of our secrets to your family, or rather Araju will, you know” He cut himself off with a quick grin at Serine’s raised eyebrow
“Now I know why they always sent out Araju to get the truth from people, thanks to what he can do.” Silver laughed “At which point…somehow… they will get the truth out of them, and they will find out that you didn’t tell them anything more, so Bræku will side with Araju and against Gymara, so see? No worrying needed.” He smiled and looked down at her eyebrows, which were back into a scrunched up ‘in thought’ look. So he gave them a lick.
“Oh, geez, you startled me!” she giggled, coming back to herself.
“Good, at least now you’re not worrying.” She simply turned and stuck out her tongue at him. He laughed as she nuzzled into his chest as they arrived at the mouth of the cave. Silver took his wing back and Serine broke the nuzzle and walked a little into the cave, when she couldn’t feel Silver close to her, she turned back, and flicked her half mane out of her eyes. “What are you doing?” She asked, for he stopped at the mouth of the cave.
“Don’t worry,” he said, to which a question formed in her mind, and almost made it to her lips before Silver whipped open his wings, “I’ll be back, real quick.”
[• • • •]
Gymara’s gunna be pissed Bræku said in his mind walking up to Araju.
“Yeah tough for him” Araju verbally replied smiling at Bræku and lying down on the throne.
Compared to both Gymara and Araju, Elder Braeku was what could be called almost natural in appearance. He had a dark golden, practically brown fur, his mane was a deep red almost garnet in colour and his feathers for both his wings and tail were the exact same shade as his fur; the only bright colour on him was his eyes, a light sky blue.
“How did the interrogation go?” Araju asked with a raised eyebrow.
“He spat at me, so I ordered Mali to get rid of him. The murdering beast.” Braeku glared at the ground as he slowly walked towards the Throne.
“How many did he confirm he killed?” Araju asked, to him Braeku looked tired, as if he hadn’t slept the night before.
“Seven.” He said still looking down and shaking his head.
“Seven? Gymara, Mali and I found eleven of the cublings bodies” Araju countered slightly angry at the murderer.
“I know that, and when I asked him about them, he shut right up, and somehow managed to block his mind from me.” Braeku looked at Araju seeing on his face exactly what he expected, sheer dumb surprise.
“What? How did he manage that?” Wait, how did he KNOW to do that?” Araju glanced off towards the wall thinking of a way that someone could do and know that.
“I couldn’t work it out, so all the better Mali will get rid of him.”
Looking back at Braeku he replied “So his sentence was Death.”
“Obviously, but I told Mali to make it a quick one.” Araju gave a dark chuckle
“He won’t. You should now that by now. Seriously I think we need to hold another Trial, this Jaarru is getting a bit beyond a joke. I think he is in love with killing Flyers, he’s almost as bad as the Flyer he is killing now.”
“Yeah, except we order him to do it.” Braeku looked away slowly shaking his head.
“That’s my point.”
Bræku sat down on his section of the throne, about two body widths away from Araju and looked back at him expectantly.
“What?” Araju said a slight laugh in his voice.
“What’s your excuse?”
“For what?” Araju asked, sensing that this was what Bræku had been waiting to talk about.
“You know what I’m talking about, keeping the lioness and Silver Bolt alive.”
Araju felt Bræku’s mind twinge a little when he said Silver’s name, but he didn’t think anything of it.
“I couldn’t let that Devil, in every sense of the word, Mali loose on them, I know them too well and I just couldn’t do it. So I basically adjusted their punishments so they were still actually punishments, but that they could still live”
Bræku just shook his head, “You know you’re not supposed to get attached to any other Flyers like that, for this very reason.”
They both knew the threat not said wouldn’t come forth, no matter how true the words were.
Araju sensed a mind coming closer; he looked at it for half a second before quickly withdrawing from it.
“Uhh Mali’s on his way here, and he’s done what you ordered, although there is something else he’s done too” Araju sighed, disgusted at the present Angel of Death’s sadistic mind.
“What do you mean?” Bræku asked looking at Araju.
“Ask him yourself” Araju said, nodding in the direction of the entrance.
Mali had landed as quietly as a shadow in the cave. Nothing of his entrance gave away his presence. Not his wings folding down his back. Not his eagle talons and lion claws hitting the stone, nothing. Homage to his training from the previous Mali to become a true definition of Death.
Even Braeku’s practically precognition hearing didn’t hear his entrance.
Though despite all the training they give, no one yet could stop Araju feeling the presence of another’s mind.
[• • • •]
“So what did you want us for?” Anasa asked, watching Silver land on the cliff walls in front of them.
“Yeah man, we couldn’t get much from what Serine’s mind screamed, only the image of the Cliff walls-”
“-So we guessed that you wanted us to wait for you here.” Anasa finished, smiling.
“Yeah thanks guys, I know that you both want to get out, and give us a bit of space, and believe me I’m eternally grateful for it-”
“Forget it man-” Bron cut in.
“-Yeah that’s what friends are for.” Anasa finished with a smile.
“Yeah I know, but I need you to do something for me, is that alright?”
“Of course you know that.” Anasa said shaking her head slightly; Bron’s only answer was a bass laugh.
“True, but this may take a few days, like a week or a bit…”
They only looked at him expectantly.
“Okay okay, Serine is a little, well a lot, worried about the Elders changing dad’s orders and send Death after her-”
“Bræku won’t agree.” Bron butted in sitting down with a smile, and he started cleaning one of his talons.
“Yeah, besides, they know no more than any other Landie.” Anasa said sitting down as well.
“I know that, and so does she, but what I’m worried about, as we all know only too well, that this Mali is rather sadistic, and more blood thirsty than any Flyer, well any animal I know and I’m worried that he might just go looking for them” Silver had angst in his voice as he looking out towards Cassandra’s pride lands. “What I’m asking of you two, is would you be able to keep an eye on Serine’s family members just in case Mali does show up? I don’t want you two to engage him without me, so I know it’s a waste of time me sending you for this, but it will just put my heart in a safer place knowing they have some form of protection, even though I reckon that Saphira could give Mali a run for his money, even with his extra skills and strength.
If you could stay there for a few days, you know maybe four or five, but try not to let the rest of the pride see you, obviously. You can let Cassandra, Saphira and Buru know you are there.”
Finishing on one claw, moving on to the next Bron asked, “Do you want us to keep up a line of sight visual, or just check on them a few times a day?”
“Well for the first few days you get there, could you just keep up a line of sight? It would just make me feel so much better.” Silver said, turning back to smile at his friends.
“Alright Bro.” Bron said, finishing his cleaning, and standing up.
“No problem Boltz, we’ll go now.” Anasa said.
“Catch ya when we’re back.” Bron said. After softly head butting Silver, he opened his wings and jumped off the Cliff walls, got about ten feet in the air and waited for Anasa. She walked over to Silver, gave him a quick neck rub then opened her own pair of heavenly white wings and joined Bron.
“See ya guys. Fly safe and true.” Silver said watching them fly away.
[• • • •]
“Elder Bræku, Elder Araju” Mali said, bowing before them properly, bending all the way to the ground.
The Angel of Death was a fearsome sight, he stood a varying head and a bit taller than all three Elders. His fur was a dark deep grey with very similar but more bluish wings and his eagle legs, instead of being a light tan were a dark grey black with scars all over them, the most noticeable of which was a full set of fangs bite mark on his right thigh. He had a short bright orange mane which he kept short himself and vibrant, and as he almost always held his face in a evil grin, demonic orange eyes.
“Mali” Bræku acknowledged him with a slight bow. Araju just nodded once politely.
Only then did Araju and Bræku notice that he was completely soaked with water and that blood was slowly dripping from Mali’s muzzle onto the ground.
“What did you DO to him?” Both Elders asked him, using Flyer tongue.
“Well,” he said looking from one Elder to the other with a grin, “I WAS going to make it quick, as you ordered Elder Bræku, but when I dragged him down to the edge of the creek he tried to jump me, hit me a few times too, and then took off running. So I caught him with a tackle into the deep creek and sliced both sides of his neck with my talons and held him underwater. I guess only Fish can make gills work. All well. When he stopped thrashing about and eventually drowned, I dragged his body out of the creek, and disposed of him over the back of Nisei, where no one goes.” He finished, grinning manically.
Bræku just shook his head already used to, yet still sick of this sort of behavior from the younger Flyer, as Mali started cleaning his muzzle.
“You sadistic animal. You were ordered to remove his life force quickly. Why didn’t you do as your Elder commanded?”
“I have already told you Elder, he attacked me and then tried to flee, so under the regulations laid down by the Elders of the Past, ‘If any animal attacks or attempts to inflict damage to either myself the Angel of Death, or any previous, current or future Elder the Angel of Death may use whatever force he deems necessary to remove that danger.” He quoted, smiling evilly.
“You play that Regulation rule more than all past Angel’s of Death combined.” Araju said, disgusted again.
“I’m sorry Elder, but what does that have to do with me? It’s not MY fault the whole world is slowly going crazy.”
“That’s a lie and you know it!” Araju yelled standing up to glare at the larger Flyer before him. Mali just sneered with a satisfied grin as Bræku started, “Calm yourself Araju, don’t get into a mess over him. He will hold his tongue soon enough, I can Hear Gymara, he is not far off, and he sounds as if he is very angry. Don’t ask me how he found out.” Mali snickered quietly but both heard him.
“YOU TOLD HIM! What the HECK for?” Araju fired up again and stormed over to where Mali was standing. Mali didn’t even flinch as Araju got right in his face and had a full teeth snarl on his face.
“Personally I didn’t like your punishment, so I talked to Master Elder Gymara about your judgment to administer punishments when you’re… emotionally conflicted towards a certain group of Flyers and a lioness.”
“Don’t you DARE question my Judgment-”
“Araju! Quiet down Gymara’s close enough for you to hear him now, and to hear you.” Bræku said, trying to calm the younger Flyer.
“I –ah- they need you to be calm when you’re talking with Gymara about why you kept them alive.”
Neither Elder nor Angel had moved an inch, both glaring into each other’s eyes. Araju’s a calming storm, and Mali’s a sign of getting caught doing something he shouldn’t have, but unable to get into trouble for it.
“You’re SO lucky Bræku is here Jaarru.”
“My Name is Mali!” he said angrily, the threat that he’d never voice clearly evident in his eyes.
“You are no longer Mali in my eyes, He at least had judgment, but you, your just a sadistic murdering Landie!”
“Araju.” Bræku said, slipping into the Flyer tongue. For neither Mali nor Araju were using it, for there were no words for the foul language they were using, or at least that Araju was using. “Calm down, come. Sit back down Gymara’s almost at the bottom of the cave.”
It was so tempting to spit in Mali’s smug face that it took all of Araju’s patience to stop him.
“Humph” was all he did and he returned to his side of the throne. Keeping his smug grin, Mali walked up to Bræku’s side and took his place beside the throne.
Don’t get the wrong impression Araju heard Bræku’s mind say. I’m not taking your side in this argument, but Silver Bolt’s. If it’s any consolation I am glad you didn’t order death for them.
Araju looked out the corner of his eye but Bræku hadn’t moved an inch and his expression was bored.
You’re getting good at this Araju said, putting it into Bræku’s head, using Bræku’s mind voice to say it.
I’ve been practicing.
Are you sure Jaarru can’t hear you? Araju asked slightly looking towards Mali.
Positive. Bræku answered his voice quite smug.
Not that it would matter Araju challenged. For you’re just talking to yourself anyway, and you know what they say ‘the voices in your head are not your friends.’
Yes mother Bræku said with laughter the dominant emotion behind the thought.
[• • • •]
“Serine?” Silver asked, landing in front of the cave. He couldn’t hear nor smell her, and got frantic Darn it, there’s no way Mali could have got her, I would be able to smell him if he was here, I was only gone for ten minutes max. He dropped his nose to the ground and started to smell for her scent, her scent was all around the cave entrance as was Bron’s Anasa’s and his own, the pair of theirs led away from the cave leading to different locations, but he only found two that were hers alone, and were fresh. One led to the roof of the cave.
She must have come up here last night, huh she usually wakes me by accident when she gets up, she must have been awake for a while before she got up. He jumped down and followed the other one.
Well it’s a good thing I can’t smell Mali anywhere here. He said to himself as he walked away from his home.
He broke free of the tree line, and could see Serine down lying on the tree bridge that she helped Silver make not that long ago. Wow. It’s hasn’t even been one moon since we did that he chuckled to himself and took flight, heading straight towards her, even though the trail went another direction.
Serine saw Silver leave the tree line and take flight, heading towards her, so she hopped up and walked back to solid land.
“Greetings Little One.” He said as he landed in front of her.
“Greetings yourself Angel” She said and nuzzled his chest.
“Hey, I’m not just any Angel,” he said, flashing her, his half grin, “I’m your Angel. As you are mine.” She turned her head up and kissed him.
“You know I love ya right?” She said when they broke apart.
“No I don’t think you do, I think you’ll have to prove it again.” he said jokingly and lent down and passionately kissed her again. “Yep I think you do now,” he laughed making her just roll her eyes. “Do you know that I adore and love you?” He asked dipping his head to her height.
She flashed a mischievous grin and asked, “Well, will I get another kiss if I say I’m not quite sure?” He kissed her again before answering with a shrug.
“Why don’t you try?” He said grinning.
“Okay then, prove it.” She said, and the memory of the Blue Gorge flashed through her head, she tried not to let Silver see, but failed.
“Okay then.” Silver said smiling at the memory. He placed his talons under her front legs and opened his wings and silently lifted the two of them off the ground, he got around ten feet still with Serine at talons reach.
“I know you’re strong, but doesn’t this trouble you?” She asked grinning.
“The reward is better.” He said, looking her up and down.
“Stop it,” she said shyly, “Just kiss me already.”
“Yes ma’am.” he said and lent in and kissed her.
“Do you know what I can hear?” Silver asked after the kiss
“…I can’t hear anything…” She said looking around.
“I can hear your heart. And do you know what I hear when I hear your heart?” He asked looking deep into her different blue coloured eyes.
“Oh shut up!” she softly chuckled and kissed him again.
“I was being serious you know.” He said smiling.
“Yes I know you’re always serious about this sort of thing, aren’t you?”
“Haha. So what’s with the walk, you know you scarred me half to death, I thought Mali had got you.” He said as he tucked her in close to his body, the beats from his wings softy covering them with cool air under the hot sun.
“I’m sorry,” she said, nuzzling him again, “I just didn’t feel like sitting in the cave, I felt like a walk.” she said talking into his chest.
“So where did you go? Your scent went a different direction…”
“Oh I was going to go sit on that hill over there,” She pointed towards the hill on the other side of the creek. “But I got thirsty and when I was drinking, the running water was so relaxing I came down here and to lay on the log bridge we built and was going over and over the few hours I got to spend with my mother.”
“Do you want to experience it again? Just like the first time?”
“You can do that?” She asked suddenly really excited.
“Yep just think of her again, and I’ll make it happen.”
[• • • •]
Araju could hear Gymara’s mind at the bottom of the cave and started to actually pay attention to it, because, unlike what Bræku had said, Gymara didn’t sound angry. Almost every animal Araju had ever delved into the mind of, when they were angry, had difficulties putting together coherent sentences, but for Gymara, he seemed calm, or if Araju had to put a word to it, decided.
Nothing good could come from this revelation, and Araju let out a small sigh. “Uh oh.” He said, sitting up a little straighter and turning his head off to the side.
Bræku and Mali both turned to look at Araju with confused eyes. Mali’s mind started asking questions and thinking of the worst possible reasons behind Araju’s little exclamation.
Araju blocked out Mali’s mind by concentrating on Bræku’s, which was a little closer to the truth. Bræku must have seen the memory behind the words.
I’m glad Jaarru never got taught how to do this Araju said to both himself and Bræku’s.
As do I Araju’s mind said. He shot a look at Bræku and could see him smirking a little, before his expression turned almost bored again.
“Araju.” Gymara said in a firm tone before landing in the cave. “What exactly were you thinking when you voiced the punishments for the Flyer and Lioness. He broke one of the main laws, and I believe he, along with Flyers Bron and Anasa, took the lioness to see her family recently, is that correct?”
“Sorry?” Bræku put in, “I wasn’t aware of that.” He looked at Araju with a confused look.
“Mali that is what you told me, isn’t it?” Gymara said once he landed and started walking towards the throne, looking over at him through his fierce dark red eyes.
The Master Elder Flyer stood slightly taller than the other two at full height, which he liked to point out a lot. He had golden brown fur with tanned eagle legs, and a dull grey almost full adult mane with, in the sun light brown in the dark chocolate brown feathers on both wings and tail.“That you and Elder Araju ran into them coming from the outside, and that you indeed found them on the outside?”
“Yes Master Elder, that is indeed correct.” He said standing up walking up to Gymara and bowing before him. “As I’m sure Elder Araju will confirm momentarily.”
“Yes that is correct.” Araju confirmed looking slightly angry at Mali.
“I’m sure Elder Araju will also confirm,” Mali said, turning his head to smirk at him a little, “That I had found only the lioness, and the Flyers Silver Bolt and Anasa, for Bron had left the group in an attempt to flank me.”
“That was only cautionary!” Araju explained, in a rather angry tone, “Because they know just how sadistic you actually are. Besides they weren’t flanking you, they had Bron leave the group so that you would underestimate them, so at least one of them would make it out alive if you did attack.” Araju was letting his temper flare now, “They told me of a few of the different stories that they had witnessed you do under your highly regarded ‘self defense’ they told me when Bræku had called you off.”
“Oh how convenient,” Mali snapped back, “For all we know you could be lying!” Mali’s little outburst was enough to send Araju over the pinpoint edge his patience was sitting on. The Elders knew what Araju would do, but Mali only saw what he did do.
Araju slipped off the pinpoint edge that quick he didn’t even think, so Gymara or Bræku didn’t have a chance of stopping him. From his sitting position Araju used his wings to launch himself with enough force to slam into the much larger Flyer and send them both to the ground. Araju managed one swipe across Mali’s chest, leaving two deep cuts, before the larger and better fighter simple threw the Elder off without hurting him, and rolled over sideways, using a wing to push himself up onto his feet. By then Gymara and Bræku had both launched themselves between the two and now stood there stopping them.
[• • • •]
“You miss her don’t you?” he asked, after she had viewed the memory twice. They were back on the ground and were just sitting next to the water, Silver had a claw in it swirling it around interrupting the current.
“More than anything. When can we go back to see them?”
“Just as soon as all the Elders convene and discuss our punishments but don’t worry, they won’t change it that much, maybe like a few more moons, but that’s all.”
“That’s good I suppose. Hey where were Bron and Anasa going?” She asked, watching him play with the water.
“I don’t actually know, but I know they were leaving to give us some time together.” He grinned and kissed her.
“Well, where did you go?”
“Ah nowhere.” He theatrically gave a shifty eyes expression.
“Yeah right, now I really want to know where you went!”
“You don’t really want to know.”
“I DO! Tell me…please?” She looked up at him with a really cute and sad face
Quickly deciding on the most obvious lie he replied “Fine I went to relieve myself.” He grinned at her attempt to undermine him with cuteness.
“Oh…” she giggled, “Now what was so hard about that?”
“What did you want to know about that for?” He said laughing softly.
“I don’t, not really, but you did make me curious, what with the shifty eyes and all.” she smiled.
“Sorry. So what do you want to do now? Go get some food?”
“No thank you not yet. Hey! Let’s go back to the blue water gorge again, I like that place!”
“Any other reason besides that’s where we first kissed?”
“Yes…plenty……I just…can’t tell you why at the moment.” she laughed.
“Of course not. Hahaha okay jump on.” He said lying down to let her jump on.
When she was comfortable, Silver asked, “Hey did you know that that’s where I first met Bron and Anasa?” He turned his head to look at her.
“No I didn’t.” She laughed, suddenly she thought of something “Hey then that’s where you gave Anasa her scar right?”
“Sort of we were just on the outskirts of the gorge itself, wait, how did you know that? I can’t remember telling you.”
“She told me on the way back here, I was supposed to smack you for that, but I don’t really feel like hitting you at the moment.”
“Oh good, because I don’t think I’d be able to bare the sheer force of your smacking.” He joked.
“Oh haha!” Serine laughed as Silver launched into the air and started for the gorge.
[• • • •]
Araju snarled deeply when Mali threw him off, he crouched slightly and raised one talloned claw up beside his head, ready to fight.
“Calm yourself Araju!” Gymara yelled from over Bræku’s back, for Gymara was the closest in size to Mali.
“Master Elder, this is unnecessary” Mali said, “I can hold my temper in order.”
“Shut up Mali.” All three said in unison, Araju’s mildly more commanding then the rest. Mali just smirked and shut up.
“Araju, step down man,” Bræku said, “Calm yourself.” He placed a claw on his shoulder.
After a while, Araju’s breathing slowed and he stood back up straight again.
“Araju can we trust you to keep your cool?” Gymara asked.
“Yes Gymara.” Araju answered in Flyer tongue. “My only order is that Mali no longer speaks unless he is asked a direct question.”
“Seconded” Bræku said, slipping into the Flyer tongue as well.
“Agreed. Mali?” Gymara asked
Mali just nodded his agreement. Araju calmed down and walked to the mouth of the cave, so he could get away from Mali’s mind a bit. He was glad to hear a wince of pain come from Mali due to the cuts on his chest, but he didn’t try to clean it or anything, he just walked back to his spot next to the throne and sat down. He didn’t dare raise a talon at Araju, otherwise he would have three to fight, and would more than definitely loose, despite his training. Bræku followed him to the throne but Gymara stayed standing, looking out at Araju.
“Mali. Where you being serious about the possibility of Elder Araju lying-”
“Gymara you only need to glance at my mind or Bræku’s to-” Araju quickly cut in only to be cut off himself.
“Quiet Araju. Mali if you were indeed being serious you know you need substantial evidence if you wish to put this accusation to us, the Elders. Now do you have the evidence?”
“…No Master Elder I do not. But if I may?” Mali said as sincere as possible.
“You may.” Gymara nodded.
“It was a stupid accusation to make and I wasn’t thinking straight. I’m sorry to cause this turmoil.” He said, smirking towards Araju during the apology.
“That is fine Mali, but you know the seriousness of an accusation directed towards an Elder. In the future don’t voice it unless you have hard evidence.” Gymara said, reminding and reinforcing it.
“Yes Master Elder.”
[• • • •]
Silver landed silently in the cool blue shallows, right where the spring started, the small air bubbles the only thing other then Silver himself disrupting the perfect water.
“That feels nice.” Silver said moving his toes and talons around, letting the cool water work its way between them. Serine jumped off his back and splashed water everywhere.
“Is it just me, or is it getting hotter in the Valley then it has been?” She asked, before bending down to lap up the cool refreshment.
“Yes actually, it has been getting hotter and hotter, so it must be the middle of the dry season outside.”
“Yeah but what does that have to do with anything, it snows in here, even when it is the dry season outside, not to mention the drought that half the world almost is in.” she signaled with her head for Silver to follow, and made her way down the gorge into the shadows of the walls.
“Yeah that’s true, the drought must be harsh out there for it to affect in here like this.” He said, walking along in the ankle deep water.
“Last season was worse out there…”
They walked along in silence for a little bit, Serine watching in amusement as Silver periodically dipped each regime into the water, disrupting the bow waves his legs were making.
Without meaning to, more out of habit then anything, Silver strained his mind to listen to what ever Serine was thinking, only to find that he couldn’t hear her at all.
“Can you tell me what you’re thinking?” He looked up when she stopped walking.
“..What?” she asked incredulously, “You mean you can’t hear me?”
“Yep, you are getting better at being quiet now days.”
She just laughed “Well…” she started, but now that she was thinking incoherently Silver could hear where her mind was heading, but she still wasn’t anywhere near as loud as when he first met her.
And being able to hear her change of pace gave him the advantage again, so he walked over to her and draped a wing over her body as she asked “…So how long did Bron and Anasa give us to be alone?” she was trying to be subtle about it, but failed miserably. Before answering he started lightly kissing her.
“As long-as needed I’m sure” he said in his most gentle velvet soft voice, punctuating each couple of words with small kisses, moving from her mouth down to her neck.
“I haven’t heard you use that tone of voice in a while…” she said shivering a little as Silver finished the kisses at the black band around her neck and turned and came back up, “Not since you first brought me back here.”
“Has it really been that long?” He asked, not slowing on the kisses, “Well then I promise to use it more often then.” He flashed his half grin and nuzzled her.
“Serine, I have noticed with your kind, there is not many, but still a fairly large amount, that has something completely different to the rest of your kind, like some will have off coloured fur,” She quickly drew back her head to stare at Silver, hurt clear in her eyes. Reassuring her he continued, “Not that there is anything wrong with that, it’s not what I meant, then there are others, like yourself that have seem to pick up trinkets such as the bands around your neck, tail and paw, then there are some, even rarer still, which have odd shaped, and incorrectly shaped I might add, runes on different parts of their body, like on your leg there, I was just simply wondering where and how you came across these weird things, I have seen other animals, well If you can call them that, that have these things as well, they look like monkeys and baboons and gorillas, if you know what any of those things are, but they have no fur, only small amounts around the face and head and they are more primitive then any animal I’ve ever seen.”
“Well first of about the bands,-” She started before Silver grabbed her under her front legs again and started to lift off the ground.
“Hold on tell me up here first, the suns going to start descending soon and I wanted to show you the view last time, but I forgot.”
“Okay cool let’s go!”
With one beat from his wings they were off, and by the time he had raised his wings for another down beat his hind legs landed on the top of the wall.
As soon as his back paws where on the solid rock, much to Serine’s amazement, he did the first thing she never expected him to, he tripped over and had to spin chuck Serine so she would land on all fours as Silver landed smack bang on his face.
“That’s a first!” she managed to get out between laughs. She landed facing away from him, and by the time the laughs had subsided and she had turned she looked at Silver. He was standing again, but his facial expression was that of pain.
“Are you alright?” She asked walking over close to him. “What’s wrong?”
“Shush for a minute.” was all he said.
[• • • •]
“Araju. Are you calm now?” Gymara asked, looking out towards him.
“Better, but if you plan to enjoy the rest of the day, don’t delve into my mind, for I can’t be held responsible for what you come back out like.”
He chuckled “That’s fine Araju now please present to both Bræku and myself the exact reasons behind not sentencing the lioness Serine and Flyer Silver Bolt to the fate that breaking our main law brings. But, as you know, make sure you do not drivel on insignificant details.”
“Okay.” Araju sighed. He drew one more deep breath, and returned to his spot on the throne and launched into the proper proceedings.
“Elders Gymara and Bræku, both of Elder status before my inheritance of the title. This is my defense. Let me start in the past. As you both know it was me who was assigned a decade just gone to inform all Flyers old enough to fly over the great cliffs of this Valley, of the Laws and Lore of our ancient kept history. You both know that it was I who saw to all three Flyers Bron, Anasa and Silver Bolt. From then on the three have always kept good friends, even through our almost solitary nature. And from then on, had insisted on calling me father or dad. Now before you interrupt, yes I will admit it, I took a liking to the three because unlike ourselves, for we are the only ones privileged enough, they don’t know their parentage and I felt rather sorry and sad for them seeing their obvious attachment to me, even if they themselves could not see it. Now I felt a little proud and happy to let them call me dad, because as you are aware of, I do not have a mate, and therefore no cublings of my own.
Now jumping back to present times, when I learned that Silver had befriended a lioness, at first I was annoyed that she wasn’t a Flyer and the possibility of our Lore and the secret of the Valley getting out, but then I was glad for he had found someone to share his heart with. Even if he didn’t know it at the time. Now when Jaarru, Mali” he quickly adjusted himself “and myself had run into them returning from outside, I had told Mali not to reveal that they had gone to see her family, albeit in a roundabout manner, the order was still clear. Oh besides, when I first dived into her mind and found the memory of when they first met, she indeed did not know that her family members were still alive, and they her, so to take her from them so soon after being reunited was so cruel and evil I just couldn’t do it. And don’t worry, for I checked with the whole four for confirmation, but her family knows no more about us than any other Land animal. They just know that wherever she is, she is being watched over by angels.”
“If I may Master Elder?” Mali asked quickly, whilst Araju took a breath.
“You may Mali, what do you have to add to Araju’s speech?” Gymara said turning back towards and taking his place on the throne, once he sat down, all three turned so they could all see each other, and Mali was behind Braeku as he spoke.
“On the contrary actually, ones such as yourselves could reason these facts into one of the family members realizing that we are actually not descended beings and would realize that the lioness and her ‘angels’ would have to be somewhere so they actually start to seek us out.” Mali said getting excited and standing up, “At which point they may happen across our Valley walls and try to get in, or maybe harm a fellow flier into letting the knowledge slip from his mouth. So I suggest that you allow me to stop that from happening.” He was slowly walking back and forth, unable to sit still whilst death was running through his head.
“And just how the Hell-”
“Quiet Araju.” Gymara and Bræku said “Mali,” Bræku continued, “Indeed you are correct about your observations,” Araju turned his glare from Mali to Bræku, appalled at him for taking Death’s side so quickly. “But with your suggestion, I’m sorry but all Elders present will agree that your course of action is too conclusive originating from mere guesswork. So the answer is no. Until such time that one of the lioness’ family members actually finds us here or threatens another into revealing the location, we will not allow you to carry out your suggested request.”
Araju smiled, happy that Mali hadn’t got his way. Araju was almost convinced that Mali could almost talk his way into, or out of any situation before it resulted in violence. Even when most of the resulting violence was from Mali anyway.
“Araju.” Gymara said again, standing upon his throne, “Is that all you have to tell us?”
“Yes Gymara that is everything. If you wish to collaborate what I have said, you can look into my mind, you won’t come out changed, for I’m calmer now.”
“That is not needed Araju, for one I believe you, and I can almost simply hear your mind telling the truth.”
“Good so, are the punishments I administered adequate?” Araju asked, getting giddy with happiness.
“Yes,” Gymara replied, both Bræku and Araju broke out into full faced grins and Mali scowled. “…For the lioness, but not for Silver Bolt. Everything you said covered the lioness’ defense but nothing explained why he did bring her into the Valley to begin with, or if he was allowed.”
“…What?” Araju said, his happiness gone like a strong southerly through a gorge. “She, to both their knowledge, didn’t have a family, and from what I got from both their minds, was that she was recently exiled so she also had no place to go, and from what I can guess, for Silver never actually thought it, considering he rarely leaves the Valley, he could offer her a home.” Gymara just grinned.
“That still doesn’t excuse him from at the least telling us, and at the most seeking permission, for under very special circumstances; we may have agreed to let her stay here.”
“Well then, if that’s your belief on the matter, that’s fine. But what should I have punished him with then?” Araju asked, as Gymara turned and slowly started to walk off the throne. Araju looked at Bræku sitting across from him, he hadn’t said anything, and he looked shocked, like he was on the verge of tears.
“Death.” Gymara said shocking both the other Elders due to the tone of his voice.
Gymara started walking towards the cave mouth and looked at Mali, still sitting there, now with a huge smirk on his face. “Mali. I Master Elder Gymara of the Flyers, command you to remove the Flyer called Silver Bolt’s life force fully and completely from his body and mind. However you deem necessary.” Mali laughed slightly and hopped up.
“NO!” Araju yelled standing up and flaring his wings, “I object to that command under the pretence that the sentence is too harsh!”
Gymara and Mali stopped walking and turned to look at Araju. “Oh?” Gymara almost laughed, “And what do you have in evidence to prove otherwise?”
“I, uh, well that is, it’s simply too harsh a punishment, when all he was trying to do was share his home with a half-fellow member of his kind, proving that we, the Flyers, are caring and kind, and not simply cold hearted tyrants! That we are indeed as gentle and kind as the Angels we pretend to be!”
“Yes.” Gymara smirked, and let both Bræku and Araju saw his mind for the briefest of a second, and they both realized, that not only was he prepared for such a statement, but he had the entire time been prepared to issue Silver’s Death, he had only pretended to care about the Lioness in an attempt to hide his intentions from everyone. Mali included. Araju suddenly realized why his mind had sounded so decided before. But all three of the Elders knew that they couldn’t prove Gymara’s deception verbally.
“Yes,” Gymara said again, “Don’t you just love the Ancient Laws? Hahaha, but you are indeed right Araju, for he is a fine example of what we, the Flyers should be like. But if we were to be that generous to every single other exiled Lion or, any animal for that matter, and let them all in, this place would no longer belong to the fliers of this earth, and I don’t know about you, but the birds wouldn’t like us too much for that, and then we would lose our privilege to this Valley of Heaven. Besides, he broke the law we hold most sacred above all others, and the only punishment is death. But of course you may object to it. So what do you say Bræku? After what the two of us have put forward, do you have anything to add, and what is your siding?” Araju folded his wings away properly as they both looked at Braeku swiftly lick a tear away.
“I’m so sorry Araju, and you too Silver Bolt.” He added softly to himself, “But Gymara puts forth a strong argument, and unfortunately your argument Araju was against a High Law and it just wasn’t strong enough. So I’m sorry, and believe me, I hate myself more then you know, but I must side with Gymara on this for I too don’t have a strong enough argument worth voicing.”
Araju stood there shocked and looking from Bræku’s sad almost crying face, to Gymara’s almost smirking grin then to Mali’s grin of pure glee towards the outcome.
“Sorry Araju.” Gymara said, his grin getting bigger. “Bræku has denied your objection, so the order stays intact.”
“You’re wrong Bræku.” Araju said as he shielded his mind. His statement making Gymara and Mali stop and turn towards Araju again.
“You do have something to help Silver Bolt with.” Araju stepped off the throne, slightly opening and lowering his wings, shifting his eyes from Bræku to Gymara.
“Yeah? What’s that Araju?” Gymara said slightly laughing, “Please tell.”
“Well for one, you have your mind.” Mali and Gymara both openly started laughing and Bræku looked at Araju, lost for the meaning.
“What do you mean?” He asked, but Araju just ignored him and took another step towards Mali and Gymara. Placing him in perfect pounce distance.
“And for two.” Araju said, crouching suddenly and launched into a low dive-glide, in mid air he yelled, “You have your TALONS!”
No one had anticipated Araju’s attack, thanks to his shielded mind. Bræku dove forward to grab him, but missed and sprawled out on the ground.
Mali made the biggest mistake, for he thought that Araju had dived for Gymara, so Mali moved right where Araju had anticipated and Mali rammed his shoulder right into Gymara, making him hit the ground and roll to the wall. By the time Mali had turned back Araju swiped down, still in mid flight, aiming for his face.
Two of Araju’s talons connected with his face, right above his right eye, and sliced their way down through his face and down his nose.
He tore half his talons length of flesh and muscle from Deaths face. Mali dropped to the ground roaring from the pain. As he passed over him Araju kicked him under his jaw in the throat with his back paw, but didn’t expect Mali’s sheer physical resistance and it forced him to land on his back and he stumbled a little before he took off running for the cave mouth.
Gymara and Bræku were both on their feet and were in pursuit when Araju kicked Mali, so his stumbled landing gave them a few meters to catch up. “Araju! Please don’t do this.” Bræku said from behind Gymara.
“We will stop you with extreme force if you do not stop right now!” Gymara yelled, almost growling just as Araju stepped out of the cave and dropped from view. Unfortunately Gymara guessed his plan and, putting on a burst of speed, dove from the cave, and caught Araju around the waist as he was ascending.
Araju had planned to drop from the cave a few feet then take off into the air, hopefully making Gymara and Bræku think he dropped to the ground, but as he got high enough, his peripheral vision caught Gymara in mid jump, aimed right where Araju was going, there was nothing he could do as Gymara slammed into him around the waist, knocking him off course. They twirled around in the air until Gymara managed to wrap his longer legs around Araju’s off shaped folded wings and they began falling towards the ground, from this height, they both knew neither would get hurt.
“You will stop fighting Araju, NOW!” Gymara yelled.
When they were but a few feet off the ground Araju yelled “Sorry but my answer is THIS!”he slammed his right hind paw into Gymara’s crotch. He yelped in pain and let go of the smaller Flyer, they both landed up the right way, and without looking back Araju took off running and launched into the air. Gymara was yelling profanities at him, and then in Flyer tongue he added, “You WILL pay for that Araju I PROMISE you that!”
Araju turned and flew as fast as his 23 foot wing span would beat towards Silver’s cave…
[• • • •]
The moment Silver’s back paws had landed on the rock, he felt something he had never felt before, it was as if something had grabbed a hold of his brain and was squeezing it and wouldn’t let go.
SILVER! Araju’s mind voice exploded in his head don’t ask how this is happening, it will and is only slowing me down, tell me, where are you and Serine?
Blue Waters, got it. Tell Bron and – good their not there that’s one good thing I suppose. Araju’s voice was strained as if he was hurt or flying or even running as fast as he could.
I’m flying and stop thinking it’s hard enough as it is.
STOP! Silver said in his head. How do you know all this before I even think it?
I get it from your brain before it’s turned into anything recognizable. Araju answered, getting really annoyed. And yes you are awake, and no you’re not insane, I have complete control over your mind, don’t ask how. Araju said just as the question formed in his mind I’ll tell you later, if there even is a later. Now stop asking questions and just tell Serine to run and hide, to help with her loud mind – oh good she’s getting quieter, why? Because Gymara and Jaarru-Mali and myself are on the way to you as fast as, why is because-. Araju’s connection with Silver broke. Silver shook out his adolescent mane, trying to clear his head Serine asked, “What’s wrong?”
“Shush for a minute.” was all he said, concentrating on the conversation with Araju.
Once he had gone over it again, he looked up at Serine gave her a deep kiss and started, “I’m sorry Serine, but don’t ask any questions, you’re going to have to run, go anywhere but where I have taken you and hide, and don’t come out ‘till only a memory of you and myself play in your head okay?”
“But why? What’s wrong?” She asked, hesitating.
“It’s too late Silver.” Araju yelled, still in the air and still ten feet away. He was flying at such a fast pace, that even when he turned his wings to brake, he landed on the rock face on all claws and talons and slid about five feet, leaving evident dips in the rock.
“Too late for what? You didn’t tell me!” Silver asked walking up to Araju with Serine right next to him.
Araju turned and was scanning the sky and ground for any trace of any other Flyers.
Turning his head slightly, but never taking his eyes away from the view he said, “Gymara has ordered Mali to kill you Silver, there was no defense either myself or Bræku could put up to cancel the order. Both Bræku and myself thought he was after Serine and her family, just like you lot, but he was after you Silver, and our defense was enough to protect Serine and her family, but I’m sorry, not you.” He was still scanning the skies, getting more frantic as the time dragged on.
“So then why are you here and not them?” Silver asked, Serine still at a loss for words.
“I whacked Mali across the eyes, so he won’t be flying straight for a while,” he raised his left talons and showed the pair the blood and fur that was still there. “and kicked Gymara between the legs during a mid air fight.” Araju said turning away from his scanning to look at Silver sadly.
“Okay then, well how much time have we got do you reckon?”
“Not long enough!” A deep voice boomed across the skies. Mali’s voice sounded as if he was in pain.
“Drat!” Araju said, turning to face Mali as he landed hard enough on the rock for sparks to fly from his razor sharp talons. “Mali your not to carry out your order, Gymara isn’t here and must be here to issue out the command in the presence of the condemned.” Araju was using everything he could in order to stall Mali to try and get away from a fight.
“You’re present,” Mali sneered, “And at the moment you’re still an Elder and that’s enough.”
Mali had three half-inch deep cuts in his face with a slow but constant flowing current of blood trailing from them, down his face and neck, down his right leg and onto the ground. One cut ran about three centimeters from the outside of his right eye, another right next to his eye, making it bulge a little with blood, and the third running down the inside of his eye making his eyebrow stay lopsided inwards. The cuts ran down his face from above his eyes, going down his nose. A chunk of his nose was actually missing and there was a lot of blood running into his mouth, there was gore and pus showing where the rest of his nose should have been. When Mali sneered, the blood from his nose had run into his mouth and was staining his teeth, making him look truly demonic.
“No.” Araju replied, standing in front of Silver and Serine opening his wings. “Gymara has to issue it personally and as you had pointed out, I’m still an Elder, and so if you don’t wait for him, I will strip you of your Status for ignoring a direct order and preceding schedule Jaarru.” Araju knew that he liked his job better than anything, and would not do anything openly to strip himself of that privilege.
“I TOLD you to never call me that, my name’s MALI!” He said with malice in his voice.
“Jaarru?” Serine asked Silver quietly.
“His real name.” He answered her, giving her a quick nuzzle.
“…Don’t tempt me Elder, I already owe you one for my face, and the second that Gymara strips you of your status, I will have your dead body broken in my mouth before your brain can comprehend the words Gymara spoke.” His face was beginning to get extremely bloody and Silver half hoped that he would bleed out before it came down to a fight.
“That’s where you’re wrong Mali, for I will never raise my claws at you once my status is stripped, and once that happens, anything that I have done as an Elder is also stripped from me. So I will not even think about hitting you, and like I have said, you won’t compromise your position as the Elder’s Death. And it’ll never happen if I’m stripped of the Elder status.”
“When, not if,” Mali promised, “For believe me you will once you witness just exactly what I do to your ‘kid’ Silver Bolt. And the Landie too, cause I’m positive that she will attack me out of blind fury, and both of their deaths will convince both you and the other two to attack me, and once I’m done, there will be none of you filth left.”
Silver got angry then and walked level with Araju, pushing his wing down out of his face, “I guess you think I will succumb to my punishment right?” he continued in Flyer tongue, “I promise you Jaarru, acting as current Mali, that I will fight as hard as possible against you and your so called un beatable strength. I will not die kneeling before a Tyrant like you, begging for death. That I promise you.”
Mali laughed and turned to see Gymara slowing flying towards them.
Braeku was slowly making his way towards them.
“Well I’m sorry Silver Bolt and you too Elder Araju, but it would look like your luck has run out…”