Here's that other chapter... PlEAS! REWIEW!

The Fate of Lestelia

The pain was unbearable. It originated in the prince's side and swept like wave down through his body. It was so hard to hear, and to see what lay not five feet from him. It was the pain that was blocking his vision, that and the mere severity of the wound that had been dealt. His head throbbed like it was being used as a drum and dots of light flickered across his vision.

How had it happened? That morning he had been fine, as healthy as ever, and now his life was rapidly slipping away. It had all occurred so fast; the search, finding Anye, and then the blade, the horrid blade that was plunged through his body and drawn from him in attempt to take his life with it. But now he did not think of how his injury had come to pass, his thoughts dwelled on the pain, and finding a way to fight it.

He could see none; he could grasp no way to escape the terrible, terrible pain that he was caused to endure. His body sweated and shook from it until more blood poured from the lethal wound. He knew he had to fight it; not only the pain, but the wound that was trying so desperately to steal his life away from him like a thief in the night.

Roan could still see the yellowish red eyes and the fanged teeth of the Lybane that he so desperately fought to protect his city. There had been hundreds, yet only one stood out: the one that had sent him to this darkness. Every part of that particular shifter seemed so vivid in his clouded mind, but especially his blade. It was not so crudely made as all of blades of the shifters were, but it looked as though some one had put carefully work into it. Into either side of the hilt were carved two menacing dragons spitting out fire from their fang filled mouth. The dragon's eyes were of a single black stone that seemed to have their own gaze. The blade itself was long and cold and bore on it an inscription in crude runes that could be read by few. Roan remembered the symbols well, though he himself could not read them.

The scene was played out in his mind over and over as if his mind was telling him that if he saw it enough, he could change what happened. But no matter how many times he saw it there was no changing the tragic way in which it was played. The pain was still there, the wound was still there, and the hurt of losing Anye was still there, as vivid as ever.

Anye. He had hardly though about her, if one could call his mind's constant wonder and incapability to stay on one topic thoughts. Now he remembered her face as he held her close one last time. He saw her timid smile as he promised her his return. Well he had returned, and she had been taken. Fate was cruel.

The struggle continued. Though it had been merely minutes since the incident it seemed to Roan like eternities. The wound was winning him over slowly. And though he was strong and kept fighting, he knew that he couldn't fight much longer. Even with the aid that he received from Rayna, who was slaving tirelessly to save him from the darkness, he was fading.

Rayna was bent over Roan who lie in his bed, tossing his head from side to side as if being haunted back a nightmare that cease to end.

The instant he had collapsed, Neal had caught him and had bourn him over to the nearest bed, which happened to be Rayna's. The princess had uncovered the slash to his side then, and she cursed male pride with all of her heart. Was it so hard to seek help?

His once cold skin was now clammy, indicating a growing fever. On top of the fever was the wound, which wouldn't stop bleeding, mostly due to the short spasms that Roan had when she put too much pressure on his side. Rayna hated to see he brother in so much pain, and hated even more the idea of giving up on him because of her inability to watch him suffer, but she knew that if he was to have any chance of survival at all the bleeding wound have to stop on way or another.

"Neal!" she called impatiently as the prince was just returning from the herb room to fetch the healing leaves that she had requested.

"Here are your leaves," he said as he entered the bedroom. "Are you sure you know what you're doing?"

"Yes, for the most part. But if I didn't we wouldn't have other choice now, would we?" she replied. Rayna snatched the leaves from him and shuffled over to a cauldron the she had asked Neal to fill moments after they arrived at the palace. The pot that now held water was boiling over the fireplace that was giving off more heat than the princess would have liked; it would not help when she turned her attention to his fever. She threw the leaves in and then put a firm hand on Neal who was waiting for his next assignment.

"Neal, I have to explain this quickly, so keep up," she started and was about to continued before she was interrupted by a moan emitted from the High Prince. Neal tried to go to him, but Rayna's grip on his arm did not lessen. "Neal, I need you to understand me. There is no way to heal him without causing him pain. And I know this hurts you to see him like this as it hurts me, but-"

"Ray, what are you asking of me?" he cut her off. Her let go of his arm and sighed, but never removed her gazed from him.

"I need you to hold him down so that I can put enough pressure on the wound so it'll stop bleeding," she explained, knowing that Neal would not want to cause his brother more pain then was necessary, which was exactly what he said thereafter.

"This is necessary, I assure you," Rayna said reassuringly. "Will you help me- will you help him?"

Neal forced a smile, it was obviously a fake smile, yet it was a smile none the less. "It doesn't look like I have a choice now, do I?"

Rayna didn't smile back, but nodded once and told him to take a side on the bed. "Don't let go, lest you want me to have to start all over." Neal nodded and placed a firm hand on Roan's arm.

Ready.

Roan felt a searing pain run straight down his side. What was happening to him? All other pains he had felt before were just aches compared to what he felt now. Something was pressing down on him; someone was trying to crush him until death's grasp was inescapable. He tried to move away from this force that was pushing on his chest, but another force stopped him. This new force was not painful, but it would not let him escape his torture. Roan had not the strength to resist both.

Roan could feel death getter closer and closer with every movement and ever burst of newfound agony. It was a miracle that he was even still semiconscious; many lesser men would have already given in the the void that waited for them behind death's door. But the prince continued to fight with as much strength as he had left, which wasn't much.

The pressure did not go away. In fact, it increased. Roan loosed a cry that he could no longer control. How could he survive such a grievous wound and the pain that came with it? How could he hold on to the light that was quickly fading and would inevitably go out?

He could not. Not without help.

Rayna held down what was now a blood soaked cloth over roan's chest for nearly five minutes before she gently ease up on her force. To her relief the blood flow had slowed considerably, but still did not stop. Neal looked at her with a questioning gaze, asking if he could let go. Rayna met his eyes quickly and nodded, then turned back to her whimpering oldest brother. She put a hand on his brow and felt the heat radiating off of his body even before she touched him. She knew that if the wound or the pain didn't claim his life, then the fever would.

"Neal, take a fresh cloth and soak it in the cauldron," Rayna told her youngest brother before he hastily grabbed the closest useable cloth to him. The linen soaked up water quickly as it only took seconds for Neal to return to the bedside with a dripping cloth. Rayna took it and gingerly place it over Roan's wound. "This should help me clean this and stop it from getting infected. If all goes well our brother should survive; the blade did not reach any vital organs. What worries me is what this fever shall do to him; already it is claiming his life."

Neal realized that what the woman said was true; Roan's face was covered in sweat and his breathing even harder than before.

Rayna took another fresh cloth and soaked it in the wash pan on the dresser. The water was crisp and cool and she hoped would help lower Roan's suffering.

The High Prince had left the world of consciousness behind sometime ago and was now trapped inside his wandering mind. He saw nightmares that he had long ago come back to haunt him in what seemed like never ending dreams, but that was not all that he saw. He saw visions of things he had never seen before; death and destruction were everywhere, and he felt so powerless to stop it

Now he was running, or felt like he was running, from the Pentylar, the dark dragons of the South, that he had been told of in a childhood story and had feared since then. The dragon was a black as night with the exception of its pale green eyes and blood colored fangs that longed to tear apart flesh. Its wings were that the size of at least three horses long and had thin fingers with spikes at the tips. The thin membrane that was stretched across the wings was nearly see-through. It was all in all an evil horrifying creature. Roan had no horse on which to flee, only his own legs, which were not carrying him as fast as he would have liked to move.

The Pentylar's razor sharp teeth were stained red from a previous dinner, and were now looking to bit into desert. Its wings were spread out and ready to take to the sky if necessary, though the creature knew that it was not. It seemed amused by the human that that tried so desperately to escape its claws. All the while Roan was still running, stumbling over every rock, across a terrain that refused to change, trying to escape the nightmare that was now feeling more like reality.

"You cannot run. Your fate is sealed," the Pentylar hissed past a forked tongue. Just then Roan's stride faltered and he tumble to the ground, unable to move. He was pinned to the ground, looking straight up at the monster that prepared to devour him. The prince struggle to get lose of his invisible bonds, but something held him, pinned him in place. He quickly realized that it was the dragon's claws that were pinning his shoulders to the dirt. "Now you must dieā€¦" It said as it tightened the grip of its claws on the prince.

The prince screamed as he felt the claws dig into his flesh. The Pentylar loosed a blood curling shriek before opening its jaws and diving down with its neck to finish off his prey. Just before Roan was sure he would die, an arrow shot from behind flew and embedded itself in the monster's side. It screamed again and then flew away as another arrow whizzed by its wing.

Roan was stunned to see that the wielder of the bow was Rayna. She was cloaked in a dark green and had a sword at her side. "Rayna," Roan cried as he went to embraced her. The hug didn't last long as Roan realized that his sister wasn't speaking. "Are you alright?" he asked.

Rayna nodded and then but both hands on his bleeding shoulders. Roan saw her lips move quickly and then felt a sensation like he had never heard of before. He shivered and lost his balance. Rayna steadied him.

After the moment was over Roan rubbed a hand over his right shoulder: The blood was still there, but the wound was gone without even a scar. He was speechless, and evidently so was Rayna who still had not said a word. Instead of speaking the princess gestured to him to look around. What the prince saw made him sick:

There were bodies everywhere, that of men, women, and child. Even infants lay dead in their mother's arms. Their wounds were that of fang, claw, sword and arrow, and some had no wounds, but were killed by some magic or poison. As the images began to develop further, Roan could tell that he was standing in a small village, not much unlike Tymenthra. But Tymenthra was still standing, and this village was burned down.

Ashes were scattered everywhere as a result of that which was once a blazing inferno. The entire scene was nauseating. "Who has done this?" Roan asked Rayna with as much of his voice as he could collect. She grabbed his hand and led him through the village and to the other side where was waiting for then three horses; one was Arrow, one was Nightstorm, and the other was Tornic, and chestnut colored horse that bore Neal who sat waiting for his brother and sister to join him.

Rayna let go of his arm and mounted Arrow. Roan, after a moment of hesitation, did the same with Nightstorm. Quicker than Roan thought possible they were speeding over plains and deserts, mountains and valleys, and past places where the prince had never before been. "Where are we going?" he asked desperately to his brother and sister on either side of him, but he received no answer in return. Instead they rose on for what seemed like hours until they came upon a mighty city, smaller than Corveca, but beautiful all the same. Things flew by like they were simply specks of dust as rode into the city with the gates closing behind them.

Roan was trying figure everything out when he was suddenly in a small room with Neal; Rayna was nowhere to be found. He knew not where the horses had gone, or where he was for that matter. He was as thoroughly confused as he was when Rayna refused to speak to him. "Neal, I'm begging you, tell me what this is, where we are!"

At first Roan thought that his younger brother would not answer him and was about to go mad when Neal spoke:

"We are where you will lead us, Roan. We will follow you to the end."

This confused the prince even more when he heard screaming outside of the small room, which he was figuring out was a room in an inn. Neal too had become alert to the creaming and was headed for the door. Roan followed close behind.

The streets of the city were crawling with Lybane that were burning, killing, and destroying as is their nature. Roan was horrified as he stood, frozen in shock. Everything was so real, yet it seemed so distant and far away, like he was watching the action from another place.

Then in his thoughts he remembered Rayna and how she was not in the room with himself and Neal. "Neal! Where is Rayna?" he stopped as he realized that Neal was no longer beside him. Roan's mind was racing. He knew not if this was still a nightmare or if he had somewhere entered a world of a dangerous reality to which there was no escape.

Roan's first instinct was to run and to find his family, but before he could move a step he found himself being surrounded by Lybane in a clearing in the city. He was in Arrow's saddle with Rayna standing between the Lybane and himself. The shifters were closing in.

"Rayna, get on!' he called while holding out his hand to her. She looked at it as if she so wanting to take it and ride away to safety, but she didn't join him in the saddle. The ring of the Lybane was tightening.

"I am sorry, Roan," she said as she drew her sword. Roan was terrified when he realized what she was doing. He could not leave her there alone to fight off the many shifters that would surely kill her. He resolved to help her and was get out of the saddle when he felt a firm hand on his thigh. It was Rayna telling him to stay on the horse.

"Rayna, don't you dare stay here. Don't you dare leave me," Roan threatened though in his heart he was desperate. He held his hand out farther. Why was she doing this?

"I love you, brother," she said, tears spilling from her eyes. She would not come.

"Rayna!" Roan screamed at her, not willing to let her throw her life away. She looked at him one last time and then commanded the mare.

"Fly now, Arrow." Arrow reared and then sprinted forward, jumping over the Lybane that tried to close her in.

"Rayna!" Roan screamed to his sister who was disappearing as the circle of Lybane was sealed. Arrow stopped just before the gates. With a look back it seemed to Roan that every Lybane in the city had gathering in the clearing around Rayna. She was now far away, but Roan could still see her as clearly as he could when she was up close. He could see her wavy black hair and her soft face and her tearstained cheeks. She sheathed her sword in defeat and mouthed one word to him before she fell to her knees and Roan could see her no more: Go.

Tears were pouring down the prince's face as Arrow led him out of the city and onto an open plain. Roan did not even notice that Neal had joined him. Why hadn't Rayna taken his hand? Why had she thrown her life away when there was still hope? But none of it mattered now; she was lost.

The next thing Roan knew he was in a cave, cloaked in black as not to attract unfriendly eyes. On either side of him were Neal and another man that he failed to recognize. They were running towards something, someone, two people. One was kneeling on the floor and the other loomed above the former brandishing a dagger. The image was almost surreal.

Everything was completely sudden: the dagger fell and pierced the one that was kneeling; the one that had wielded the dagger vanished with a dark word, and Roan found himself rushing towards the one that was pierced and bleeding on the floor. He heart that was pounding harder and harder suddenly stopped as he saw that the one on the floor had wavy, black hair: Rayna. He dove for her and held her in him arms, tears streaming down his face. He did not know if she was alive, but he cried for her anyway.

A bright light flashed before his eyes and Roan found himself atop a high cliff, so high that he could see all of Lestelia from Corveca to the great Southern Mountains themselves. He didn't know where he was, but he was still on the ground, cradling his dying sister. Roan felt a hand on his shoulder and looked up to find Neal, beckoning for him to go to the edge of the cliff.

Roan didn't know why he did it, but he let Rayna go and walked ever so slowly towards the edge to gaze down at what was to be his kingdom.

It was barren, it was desolate, and it was dead. There were hardly any trees left in the great forests and those that were left were burning. Lybane roamed freely about the landscape doing whatever they pleased. And the most horrifying part of it all was the people that he saw far below:

They were in chains, men, women, and children were slaves. They were being whipped and tortured and forced to do some evil will. These were his people, the people that the prince swore to protect. The great kingdom of Lestelia had fallen.

The dream ended, and Amirroan was plummeting into darkness.