"Oh sweet gods." King gasped under his breath at the scene unfolding before them. Bodies littered the entrance of the town, and the scent of blood was heavy in the air. The camels came to an abrupt stop as they started to whine and rear up attempting to go no further.

Everyone jumped from the fretting animals and made their way into the town. It was even worse on the inside. Cries sang through the air in a chorus. Citizens, what were left of them, were scattered and the buildings laid in ruins around them. Bloodied bodies and limbs rested as stains on the ground. It was a total bloodbath.

"Okay, everyone separate and go find as many survivors as you can. Bring them back to the front so that we can get them to safety. We'll leave a few people behind to handle the evacuation. "King instructed in a strong tone. "Anything else is to be killed on sight. And make sure to stay in groups. Nobody should be alone out there. Understood?"

"Yes!" The lot shouted.

"Okay, let's roll out." King ordered and the troops disbanded. He in turn looked to his wife and Ariah with a dark expression.

They were in for a rough road.


intro: brick by boring brick, Paramore

37

Peek-a-boo


The park...

Sharmaine sat on a log bench watching the children rampaging along the play equipment. She counted her three then relaxed into the seat. It was a warm sunny day and the park was pretty crowded. Parents stood and sat around chatting.

The day played on for a while, so Shar spent the time meditating. She soon felt an instant presence and looked over her shoulder to see a figure hiding behind a tree. She got up and walked back to the person.

It was a tall man, but compared to Shar's height he was short. He was covered in a cloak as he tried being stealthy. Sharmaine smiled at him.

"Are we in the clear?" Dominque Stormwell asked.

Without the cloak, Domique had soft caramel brown skin with bright rose hair. His brown eyes were as wide as his pink lips and his pink beard made him seem older than he was. But it looked good to Sharmaine. She also loved that he wasn't intimidated by her height.

"Yes we're clear." Sharmaine answered.

Dominque let out a breath and sighed, "Good."

Shar let out a giggle. "You should relax a little, worry wart."

"You can never be too careful." Dominque mumbled out.

Shar rolled her eyes at the man. She understood why he was so cautious being outdoors with her. Dominque was a wizard of Wolf pack guild. Dove Clan's rival. Well, not by choice. The guild master, Chian is King's cousin, and the man holds a deep hatred for their dad for some reason. With that, his guild finds any and every reason to battle the Dove's on sight, no matter how many times they lost. Yet, Dominque was different and that is what drew Sharmaine to him. They had a forbidden love.

"But it's always good to see you." Dominque gushed out peering at Sharmaine.

"Awe, how sweet of you." Sharmaine said with a blush.

"How have you been?" He asked her.

"I've been okay. Just been a little stressed lately."

"From what?" Dominque asked, now in concern.

"I," Sharmaine started but suddenly froze up.

Everything suddenly went dark around Shar.

Soon she noticed three cloaked figures walking towards her. She readied herself to fight, but when they made it to her they just walked on passed. Her eyes followed them as they went away then her surroundings returned her back to the park. She came to finding Dominque grasping her shoulders with his hood off to show his worried face.

"What's wrong. Are you ok?" He asked.

"I'm fine. It was nothing. I'll go check on the children." Shar said then walked closer to the kids. She roamed her eyes around spotting two heads of purple, but one was missing. Now where was he?

"Waahhh," She heard a squeal and there was Triton running towards her with a face full of tears and snot.

When he ran up to her, she noticed he had sand dotting his face. The boy was still sniffling, rubbing his eyes to get the sand out.

Sharmaine grabbed his hands then, rubbed her dress across his face softly. She licked the clothed then rubbed his eyelids carefully. "Who did this do you?" She asked angrily.

"Did that boy do that to you Triton?" They heard Daisy ask as Lacey and her marched towards them.

"What boy?" Shar asked the twin.

"I had been watching this boy following Triton around all day. I knew he was up no good." The hot-headed young girl grumbled angry.

"Is everything alright?" Dominque said as he stepped to the group with his hood back on his head.

"Who the heck are you?" Daisy asked defensively.

"He's my friend. He's a good guy." Sharmaine spoke up.

"It's ok. I'm ok." Triton mumbled out with a sniffle.

"You're sure?" Sharmaine asked the kid who just nodded then snuggled in-between her neck. She picked him up. "Ok, let's go."

Daisy gave the park a last look. She spotted the boy running around with a smile. She squinted her eyes with a cheeky smirk and lifted her finger. A small vine rope rose up through the ground and trip the boy as he ran across. He landed headfirst, getting a face full of dirt. The boy lifted up with a cry as dirt and blood marred his skin.

Daisy chuckled slyly then turned to catch up with the rest.


At the guild...

Rockie stepped out into the backyard and took a breath as the sunrays tickled his skin. He missed being outdoors. Being on punishment definitely had him appreciating the small things in life.

After basking in the day, Rockie took a look around trying to decide what to start with first. He spotted Baytah Dude off to the side, swinging his sword against a tree. Each swing seemed powerful, but the sword barely chipped the wood.

Baytah let out a furious roar, he sporadically started hammering his sword at the tree with curses on his tongue. Rockie laughed at the frustrated teen and stepped over to him.

"Don't you think you might break it like that?" Rockie asked slyly.

Baytah stopped with a huff and turned to the boy. "Oh, hello Rockie. Care to train with me?" Baytah asked.

Rockie nodded, "Sure, why not?" He said and started stretching his body.

Baytah returned to striking at the tree.

"Ya know, there's something I've always wanted to ask you." Rockie spoke up.

"Hmm?" Baytah hummed, looking to the boy.

"Why do you try to be something you suck at?"

"Gah!" Baytah gasped out in shock with his jaw dropped. "What do you mean, I suck at it?!"

"Just what I said." Rockie said, shrugging his shoulders and giving Baytah Dude a pointed look. "You're just a pretender."

"How am I pretending because being a knight is my path?" Baytah asked confused by the conversation. He and Rockie rarely spoke. The boy was younger than him and they didn't really have anything in common.

"That's the problem. If being a knight was something you took seriously, we wouldn't be talking right now. You'd be out there saving the world with dad. You're pretending cause ya suck." Rockie said giving the older teen a playful wink.

Baytah clicked his teeth then turned his head with a pout. "What do you know? You don't know me."

"Please, Baytah." Rockie mocked rolling his eyes. "Well, I do know that when we were younger, you used to get teased because your true gift is that you can talk to animals." Rockie told the knight. "I honestly think that's cool, but I'm betting that the reason you started this whole knight act was so they could stop calling you a pansy." Rockie chimed. In a way, he was only kidding around, yet his words must've resonated to Baytah.

"You're right," Baytah spoke up. "I did want the ridicules to stop, but you're wrong about my intentions. Everyone is so useful to the guild. They have a job to do and does it well. I just wanted to be useful like everyone for once. I can only understand animals, it's not like I can actually control them. At last, with this sword, I can stand tall and prove myself of the guild's name and honor." Baytah enthused striking a pose with his sword. "I can finally make the guild proud."

Rockie chuckled with an honest smile. "Now that's talking like a knight. So, let's back up that talk with some training. You need the practice. I know I do." The kid stated as he balled his fist.

Electricity sparked over his hands as he beamed at Baytah with a giddy expression. "Whadya say Baytah? Wanna train for real?"

Baytah nodded.

Berlim's outlet...

Sharmaine and Dominque walked on the walkway with the kids playing as they followed behind them. They were doing a little window shopping, well mostly Dominque was telling Sharmaine of all the ways he would spoil her. He stopped at a store selling jewelry. In the window were a few pieces put on display.

Dominque pointed out the necklace. "One day, I will be able to get those for you and watch you flaunt them to the public unbashful. You deserve that and so much more." The man spoke softly.

Shar blushed with a bewildered face. "Dom, that is so sweet." She murmured almost speechless, then turned her head with a sudden mood change. "I'm sorry that I ruined our date. It's just, there's a lot going on with the guild and I'm responsible for the kids." The lady rambled out in defense.

She hushed when she heard Dominque let out a chuckle.

"Calm down, Shar. You didn't ruin anything. I'm having a great time, kids and all." The man assured her.

Sharmaine let out a light giggle which drastically turned into a groan as another vision attacked her. She tried to mask her discomfort, but Dominque's eyes were too sharp.

"Are you alright?" He asked.

"Yes, I'm fine." Shar answered taking in a breath.

"You've been saying that all day, yet you don't look fine." Dominque argued back.

However, Sharmaine just walked off choosing to ignore him. The kids and man followed behind her.

They walked on for a bit, and after the kids hustled some toys and candy from Dom, they decided to head on home.

Sharmaine tried hard to hide the pain from the visions, but it soon became too much. She stopped and bent over, gasping for breath as she gagged on air.

"Shar!""What's wrong?" The kids shouted in a frenzy as they panicked over the lady. Dom softly rubbed her back.

"What did you do?" Daisy asked the man angrily.

"I didn't do anything." He said back in disgust.

Shar's head was pounding, and her body felt as if it was splitting in half. Everything was spinning, and blinking, and blurring. She felt like she was about to faint. She could hear the distant voices of the children crying over her, but she couldn't say anything. She tried to anyway and went to lift her head up when she froze at the sight. Out in the distance amongst the crowd of people were three cloaked figures walking, same from her visions.

Everything that Shar was feeling suddenly stopped, giving her mind a chance to clear up. She eyed the figures who'd been taunting her all day with a questioning look. Who were these people and why was she seeing visions of them? It couldn't be good.

"Do you see them?" She asked Dominque as she pointed out the figures. She just wanted to make double sure that they weren't a mirage.

"Um, yep. What about them?" The man asked.

"Just being cautious. I've been having visions of them all day and I don't know why." Sharmaine revealed sheepishly.

"I hope it's good visions." Dominque said hopeful.

Her silence gave him her answer. "I'm going to find out."

"Wait Shar!" Dom let out and grabbed her hand.

"Let go." Shar growled out.

"Are you sure?" Dom asked practically pleading.

"How can I be sure if I don't try." Sharmaine stated. "Just watch the children for me."

Boom

A loud crash went off in the distance, then screams followed. The citizens ran away from the area. Sharmaine and Dominque ran towards the chaos. There they spotted two of the three figures destroying the shops around them.

Shar ran to the people. Dom turned to the children.

"Get somewhere safe." He instructed, then ran off behind Shar unsheathing a sword.

Sharmaine aimed her hand on a nearby trashcan and willed it to slam into one of the people. The person let out a groan and stumbled aside stunned. She watched as the other person slowly turn and spotted her. The cowl shrouded her face in shadows, but Shar could make out a pair of eyes. Her body instantly went still as she froze in place. Then everything began vibrating around her, yet it all honed down to those eyes, before it went dark. Like someone turned the lights off.

Shar couldn't see anything. She couldn't feel nothing. It felt as if she was cut off from reality. Another premonition? No, this felt wrong and dangerous.

Terrified

Soon the world around her came back and her eyes bulged as she gasped at the sight. She wasn't in Berlim. Tents surrounded her, most of them lit ablaze. People ran around in terror from the human poachers slashing them down.

No, she knew this place. She knew this place.

home

She found that she could move and started to step back, but a sudden bump knocked her off her feet. She hit the ground, which hurt. Once, she looked down at what was under her feet, she jerked back when realizing it was a body. Her chest began constricting as fear set in and she panicked. Feeling something wet under her palms, she looked down and saw them dripping in red.

She let out a piercing scream. Her head felt like someone was digging in it. It hurt. She continued screaming.

Dominque ran up to Sharmaine, who stood there screaming staring at her hands. He shook her trying to wake her up, but it was like she was too far gone. She looked really scared.

"Shar, snap out of it." He urged to the crying lady.

He turned to the people and aimed his sword.

The eyes, blinked as they told the other one, "We found him." Then they vanished.

... brain break ...