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  • Home > Samantha Young > The Tale of Lunarmorte > Blood Solstice (Page 46)     
  • Blood Solstice(The Tale of Lunarmorte #3)(46) by Samantha Young
  • She gave a huff of laughter that caught on a sob. “Then I guess I should tell you I’m terrified.”

    Snuggling her close, Lucien kissed her softly on the cheek and rested his head next to hers. “Me too.”

    32 – Pistols at Dawn

    Unlike human battlegrounds where terrain and weather could determine the outcome, the supernatural battlefield was perfect. The chosen spot was a massive beach with towering sand dunes to Caia’s left. To the right the tide remained out and would do so for the entire length of the fight due to a spell that had been cast on it by the Daylights. The sand beneath her feet only looked like sand; she didn’t feel the familiar sinking of her feet into the grains. Instead, the ground was compact and smooth, as was the entire beach. A dome-like barrier had been suspended over the area to shield the supernaturals from human view. To prevent humans from wandering onto the beach and banging up against the barrier, another spell clouded the atmosphere, a spell to muddle the human brain temporarily so that any thought to approaching the beach was quashed, and replaced with one to go and get some ice cream or something to that mundane end. The weather was still and perfect. Not too hot, not too cold. And although the water could be heard lapping in the distance, its spray didn’t come anywhere near them.

    Caia’s stomach was in knots. She was sickly white with fear and anxiety, just as the rest of the pack was. Her heart was pounding so hard and fast she was constantly fighting the need to be sick, or pass out. The build up to battle had been excruciating. It had taken hours for the Daylights and Midnights to arrive, and now finally the Council had announced it was time.

    Across the beach – at some 3,000 yards in the distance – stood the assembled Midnights. Their battle lines were a fair mirror image of the Daylights own. In a crescent-shaped line stood five different divisions of Midnights. From left to right, the first two consisted of daemons, the third and fourth of faeries in the shape of big cats and large vultures; and in the fifth stood magiks. Behind that line was another crescent made up of four more divisions. Behind the daemons stood more faeries (all big cats) and guarding Orina Beketov and the Council, who led from the very back, were two blocks of magiks, and the fourth block of magiks guarded at the back of the faeries and magiks in front.

    The Daylights stood in the same crescent formation. Up front from the left in the first two divisions stood faeries in the shape of big cats (when Caia had enquired about the choice, Saffron had shrugged and told them that faeries tended to have an affinity for them and felt stronger as a feline), panthers, leopards, tigers you name it and they were it, purring and growling and bussing up against one another with affection and encouragement. Vampyres made up the third division center in line and the last two all lykans. Guarding the lykans from behind were magiks. The second division of the second line was made up of more vampyres, who along with the third branch of magiks, stood to defend the Council who led from the back. The fourth on the far left was made up of magiks who waited behind the faeries in front.

    Yeah, they were already to go alright, Caia exhaled slowly.

    “Caia,” Alfred’s voice echoed through the lines by the use of a spell. “It’s time.”

    Everyone had attempted to talk her out of speaking with the Midnights, telling her that it would make a target of her. But as they would already recognize her as soon as she got close enough because of the gods little IM, Caia decided to go ahead with it. Trying to ignore her trembling nerves she looked to Lucien, who even in wolf form managed to throw her a bolstering look. She stepped forward from her front line among the lykans. Caia strode with determination, her shoulders pulled back, her head held high, her face devoid of expression.

    Standing at the half-way point between the two Covens, and utilizing the nifty speaker spell Penelope had taught her, Caia addressed the Midnights, surprising herself with the maturity and authority that rang in her words. “I am Caia Ribeiro. The gods have seen fit to tell you who I am and what I have done. I have given the trace magik back to the gods, freeing us all from Galen’s revenge. Without the trace, I believe we can begin to build a road to peace.”

    She heard the snickers and the roars of outrage and denial among the Midnights. She hadn’t expected anything else. They hated her and her kind.

    “You don’t believe me but it’s already begun. I am half-Midnight and yet I stand and fight with Daylights, I stand and fight with two other Midnights who are willing to die for us.”

    “And they will!” Someone screamed out at her in the distance.

    Ignoring the sickness that roar encouraged, Caia forced herself on. “You don’t believe our world can exist in peace but the trace that bound us to the war is gone. And after today… so will the war itself be!”

    War cries of support and growls of anticipation battled against roars of hate and disdain. Caia turned her back on the Midnights, showing them she was unafraid of them, and walked ‘calmly’ back to her spot on the front line. Her insides felt as if they had all snapped apart.

    Lucien nudged her leg and she ran her hands through his pelt in thanks.

    A rumbling sounded in the distance as a first wave of daemons began moving as one towards the Daylights.

    “Faeries!” Alfred cried from the back. “Take out those daemons!”

    A thundering exploded in Caia’s ears as the faeries leapt forward as one. Their large paws pounded into the ground propelling them forward at awesome speed, their muzzles drawn back, their eyes focused on their enemy. Caia’s heart raced in her chest knowing Saffron was among them.

    “Magiks on the left flank move forward.”

    The awe of the beauty of the faeries race across the beach, the blur of colors, momentarily made Caia forget what their goal was. And then, as she had known they would, three hundred yards from their target the leading faeries, many of whom were leopards, shifted as smoothly and as wondrously as a waterfall. The ground shook under their feet and what sounded like trumpeters deafened Caia as they turned from graceful feline into over-sized elephants and massive rhinoceros’ with lethal tusks. A cry rose among the Midnights but they weren’t quick enough to defend the daemons who were crushed beneath their feet. Some of them managed to scamper out of the way and attempted to clamber onto the shapeshifters to pierce them with their weapons. They were merely shaken off and trampled underfoot. Behind those faeries leapt those still in cat form. They launched around the mass of bodies and huge mammals to attack the Midnight faeries behind the daemons.

    An order rose from the Midnight Council and faeries in the front line moved into help while the magiks that had stood to the far right closed ranks, covering the gap made in the line.

    She watched on in horror as screams and whines rent the air as cats fought cats, and vultures whooped onto elephants and rhino’s, pecking at their eyes to blind them. Even from her position she could see blood flowing in the sand.

    “Vampyres!” Alfred bellowed. “Front and second line! Move forward!”

    As the vampyres sped off in a blur of movement, led by Reuben, Caia felt the earth behind her tremble as the magiks who had guarded at the back of her closed in, in front of the Council. The vampyres were in among the battle in no time and the urge to throw up grew greater as she watched the mass of struggling bodies. Most of the elephants and rhinos had disappeared in the crowds. Caia assumed they were either wounded or found fighting as a cat more efficient. When the magiks guarding the Midnights front line suddenly moved in on the battle sparks of fire and cascades of water crashed through the air onto the scene. Caia felt the change in the atmosphere as air magiks began to fight; she watched as huge rocks came out nowhere and crushed the Daylights underneath them as earth magiks triumphed.

    It all seemed like moments but Caia knew she had been standing shivering with terror for a long time.

    “Lykans!” Alfred screamed. “Take out those magiks!”

    As the wolves rushed across the sand Caia morphed instantly into her own wolf self and ran with them. The sand didn’t kick up around them as they sprinted and the ground acted as a wonderful springboard for their flight. The air rushed by in fragile lightness and Caia realized just how perfect the spellcasters had made this terrain for them. As lykans collided into the fold, tearing magiks who screamed in outrage, gore and body parts flying, clamping jaws on necks sending spurts of blood splattering, Caia changed. Instantly she had to put up a shield as rocks and earth shattered against it. She caught the eye of the magik who had targeted her and narrowed her eyes, flooding his lungs with water. He gasped and fell to the floor. At that she turned, pulling witches and warlocks off of lykans and faeries with her magik, dousing vampyres who had been set on fire, rescuing faeries by sending up shields. She was battered and targeted, exhausted by her need to defend not only herself but others, while being on the offensive at the same time.

    Magik came out of nowhere and Caia felt her lungs squeeze as they filled with water. She fell to her knees, grasping at her throat as a woman approached her with victory in her eyes. There was a blur of movement and suddenly the water dissipated and she could breathe. Reuben stood before her with the woman’s head in his hands, her body already decomposing on the sand.

    “You’re welcome.” He grinned and then was off into the fight at warp speed.

    Her eyes took in a sight she would never forget. The ground swam with blood and pieces of supernaturals. Insides spilled out onto the sand, limp hands trailing into the gore. Blank eyes of Daylights and Midnights alike looked up at her as she stumbled over their bodies. The noise of the battle grew muffled as she dove in front of a tiger, a bolt of fire heading towards it. Her water hit the fire and the magik cancelled out. The tiger growled and sprang at the attacking warlock, its claws slicing Caia’s arm as it swiped at the enemy. Caia hissed back a growl at the stinging agony and looked down at the bleeding, oozing claw marks on her arms. Caia turned as the warlock’s muffled screams reached her ears. She couldn’t imagine how painful his death had been if a ‘scratch’ like this hurt so badly. Dazed, Caia morphed her hand into wolf and back and then spun around. Immediately her heart exploded in her chest.

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