“Ah you can hear the sound of monotony singing through the brush of the jungle.” Hunter’s strong voice broke through her mind making her roan eyes lift to watch the splendour of green moving back and forth over well… nothing but jungle. He broadened the lingering smile to reveal teeth behind his lips as an expert hand was drawn out to push aside one of the massively oversized fern leaves aside. Eyes of simplistic gloss widened when she seen the majestic white building standing out before pulled aside fern leaf. “Sitra Temple, gem of the jungle.” Hunter chided lightly before a pronounced hum came from his mouth; “Seems Mistress Rera has the entire first class of novices out and about in the front of the temple, looks like she is taking little chance with her guest’s today.”
“I don’t know why she would be worried,” Wyllow muttered, “She’s a dragon, I doubt many would willingly go up against her.”
Hunter chuckled gently as he ushered them forward through the open glade of the jungle, letting the depths of it all fade behind them. “A guardian is a true icon Wyllow, but any temple can still be brought down. Even Mistress Rera can be taken from her spot in the guardianship though it is very difficult. A mere ecchial can dethrone her if they can persuade the bestial guard to align with them.”
Everything went over her head. Well at least most of it. She knew what a Bestial guard was but the mere understanding that even a ecchial or even an archon could over throw that of a draglynn was completely… mind blowing. Word’s evaded her for the moment so she would simply give Hunter a nod saying she understood but other than that she was prompt to stay close on his heels.
Eyes watched, scoured and others spoke in muttered disgruntle curses as the three of them strode through the compound of the temple. Hunter lead them up the smooth cascading stairs of the glorious carved temple into the mouth of the holy architecture.
He didn’t have to bring them in far as the strong –now almost humanoid looking- guardian was standing before the entrance to the temple. Mistress Rera was intimidating in both forms.
“I hear you have already sent out for the Grand Master Blacksmith,” Rera ignored her and Khondis; eyes of pink trying to bore through Hunter though he never faltered. “Trying to impress me with your diligence Hunter?”
“Perhaps Mistress Rera, or I am just trying to keep you from worrying and fretting the smaller details.”
She scoffed at the master, arms dropping from their perches stated over her breasts as Wyllow cringed efficiently when the Guardian peered over her and then to Khondis. “If you were truly trying to keep my mind from worry and fretting Hunter, you wouldn’t have saved the chaos ecchials life with that of a woman.” Rera rolled her lip upwards to reveal long fangs in her short squared muzzle. “I’d prefer to have you hung from the gallows rather having your blood still giving you life in your veins.”

Khondis scoffed and growled as he followed distantly behind Hunter and Wyllow, he could feel his stomach turning with anger at all the lies at hand, they were both a bunch of liars. Did Wyllow already forget what kind of capabilities Hunter had? He could tell a lie from a million miles away, he could detect the slightest hint of a change in an aura.
Massaging his temples he listened to the relatively silent jungle. The smell of blood and all the disturbingly loud noises must have frightened away much of the life around. As he opened his eyes it unveiled a large white pillar, almost as if it was a beacon in the giant depths of the jungle. Rolling his eyes as Wyllow and Hunter continued to blabber on about overthrowing the Temple, he only wondered who would possibly want to? The amount of power wasn’t worth having to listen to the Mistress of Casbael, you’d be no better off.
This wasn’t the first Temple he had been to, on the island of Loki, where he had grown up, there was a Temple in the center of the small island. Fond memories were drowned in recent events, and the Temple became a place of hatred for him. This Temple only reminded him of that day…
His thoughts had been pierced by the sound of a coarse voice. He had zoned out of Wyllow’s and Hunter’s conversation until Rera stood in their way of the Temple. He had hardly taken notice to the massive amount of people around the Temple. He had subconsciously put blinders on, it was the only thing he could do from opening his mouth up until this point, not that their conversation had been worth adding to.
Looking around intricate marble slabs opened up to the temple. It was surprisingly open, there was very little in the way of doorways or windows. The climate wasn’t much different compared to Loki, but it looked as though it had been built to allow the elements in.
As Rera threatened his life, he felt somewhat immune to her nature. Rolling his eyes he just looked over to Wyllow and Hunter.
“Really, ain’t my fault Mistress,” He pointed to the two counterparts. “They are the stupid ones doing all this, no matter how you look at it, I’m a prisoner here. I’m just doing a job as far as I see it, so don’t get hissy at me.” Khondis raised an eyebrow. “I think you’ll agree that your Master is diligent in the sense that he crosses all his t’s and dots his i’s, I somehow got wound up in his tight little web he finds amusement in. Convince him I should be dead and you can have your wish. But otherwise, tell me your…” He stopped and took in a deep breath. “Damnit…” he muttered. “Tell me what the hell I’m doing here, and I’ll be happy to get out of your life.” Combing his hand through his hair he winced. He instantly felt like he became a pawn in the scheme of Casbael.
“And what ever that is, Mistress, be sure Wyllow doesn’t have any special treatment, she needs to toughen up some. I made a promise to her that she’s going to learn how to fight whether she likes it or not, and I know you’re very adept at solving that issue.” He folded his arms, raising an eyebrow.

Eyeing the cocky chaos ecchial, Rera tightened her brow before she let out a snort of a laugh when Wyllow gasped outright to hearing Khondis telling Rera to toughen her up.
“Just because I am adept at solving that issue, that doesn’t mean I will dark skin.” Rera pointed to Wyllow, “At least I know this child hasn’t been a royal pain in a couple guardian’s asses like yourself. She works for Casbael already and she will receive her own punishment at her own master’s hands.” Rera stated clearly though it did little to relieve Wyllow. She didn’t know who was worse, Roris or Rera.
Crossing her arms over her bust; Wyllow chewed absently on her bottom lip
deciding not to say much to the moment. She already knew that Mistress Rera knew very
little about her that was the truth and what wasn’t. It wasn’t like she had much of a past that was pleasant and Roris took careful detail not to disclose it all. For reasons she didn’t honestly know but then again she didn’t want to think about it either.
“Hunter seeing as you enjoy making the puppets dance to your symphony; perhaps it may be wise for you to go and attend to the third rank novices.” It wasn’t a question rather a demand.
“The third rank,” Hunter scrunched up his nose, “Suppose that would be my so called punishment.”
Her hand opened to reveal the thick yellow scaly palm; “Unless you wish to tend to the quarters of all the ladies and work close with the maids. It is your choice Master.”
He made a point of a finger, “Third Rank most certainly. Shall I keep a vigilant ear for the arrival of Roris?” Rera deep pinkish gaze furrowed further as Hunter shrugged casually before making a grand over dramatic bow to the guardian. “As you wish Mistress.”
Tightening the tail of his ponytail, Wyllow kept her attention focused to Hunter until he dispersed into the distance and out of sight leaving her, Khondis and Rera alone. Alone with a woman who was more beast than mortal… one that could eat them for breakfast without a single thought.
“Alright children since Hunter has done a magnificent job of making sure I can’t put a hand to either of you without Scarlet finding out one way or another; I think it would be wise to at least figure out what the hell use Khondis could be for Casbael. Hell if Grey can be useful I suppose anyone could be.”
“Grey?” she muttered with a press of her hand to her bottom lip. The name was foreign to her in truth.
“Darkian,” Rera corrected at hearing her mumbling. “I don’t feel that half pint is worth his title, so just calling him by his name is enough for me. I’d easily extend the same courtesy to that of Guardian Hunter as well, but seeing as she is a higher rank of a guardian than myself, it would be ill manners.” History lesson in the making. Flicking the strong tail behind her firm body, Rera motioned for them both to stay tight and close as she began to lead them through the open temple. It was easily much like a coliseum rather than a temple. It was wide open letting the breeze of the jungle rush through with a whistle and call all the while still keeping the regal beauty of a holy place. She could only wonder if all the temples were built like this or if they all were different.
Letting nervous fingers crawl along her hands, Wyllow tossed a brief curious gaze to that of Khondis before she flicked her ears upright at the clearing of Rera’s throat.
“You proclaimed that none of this is your fault Khondis,” she shook her long neck making the thick frills rock back and forth. “I’d like to honestly know how you don’t think any of this is your fault. While I don’t agree with the idea that you should work for Casbael and perhaps you may be correct in the assumption that none of that is your fault, you constantly bring the bounty on your head up to a high toll- therefore bringing not just my attention but the fellow attention of Guardian West to you, I certainly believe that is your fault. That weapon you have-” Rera turned enough to let her eyes fall over her shoulder, “Is nothing but a plague and yet you are so smitten to holding onto it. That again is your fault, you could easily relinquish it to Casbael and return to your little grotto of a tribe in Loki. Fall back to the call of the Amazon queen and forget this all happened.” She smirked darkly, “But who knows how well that would work right? I don’t know the details of your banishment from the Chaos Empire, but I do understand that you aren’t welcome there.”
Wyllow raised a brow as she allowed a peeking glance to the man. Hunter already said he was a chaos ecchial but hearing that he may have been banished from his own home… it may explain his bitter attitude. “It seems to be no matter what you do Khondis, Casbael is always going to be looming over you or now in this case, controlling you? If you are honestly earnest in perhaps returning to Loki, I am surprised you haven’t tried dealing with Casbael already. Do you know that the Amazon Queen is a blood relation to one of our guardians? You could always have begged forgiveness, sucked up your pride to give that cursed blade away and maybe you would have received enough pity to be allowed back into your little niche.” Rera waved it aside, “But then again that isn’t what we are here to discuss is it? Seems if my memory recalls correctly, Hunter stated that the apprentice blacksmith has control of your life.”
“I-” Wyllow shook her head, “Mistress I honestly did not do anything like that! As I said back in Iokil Village, having him-” she pointed to Khondis, “Tied to me is like having a rabid dog. I know I’d be killed or bitten in the end! I already said that to Lord Hunter and I have no idea why he was trying to pull the wool over your eyes.”
Rera snorted with a muffled chuckle, “He is a very good man who does enjoy controlling the situation. Fine Master, terrible con artist. I may have not ever directly dealt with you Wyllow, but I know much about you from Roris. I highly doubted you’d honestly risk your own neck for that of a dark skin ecchial.”
She shook her head, “I like my head honestly but that doesn’t mean I…” she sighed some, “I did unshackle Khondis when the fighting began, so I did already go against a law of Casbael.” Her dragon eyes narrowed, “All I wanted to do was nothing more than at least try and convince you Mistress that Khondis –albeit completely smug and infuriating irritating- didn’t deserved to be strung up by a noose. Though I am losing the entire reason to why I was trying.” She admitted.
Claws on her feet clicked against the smooth marble of the floor while the tail of the large lizard swung in a metronome rock behind as she turned to face them both directly. “You admit to unshackling the accused and let me ask even if you are feeling a little lost in translation; would you still be willing to offer a voice in a feeble attempt to keep his head attached to his neck? You must realize that Khondis is not just an everyday criminal. Casbael doesn’t deal with such meagre matters that is for the guards of the land to handle.” She swept a hand out before Khondis, making her eyes of roan watch very carefully. “The man you are trying to extend a bit of kindness to has murdered more than his fair share of people. I’d almost say he is nearly as bad a demoil himself. He is much more of a threat to the civilians of Flycoren because he carries that blade, but that doesn’t mean now if he were to release his hold on the foul weapon that he should be spared. He has shown clearly that he is capable to rend one’s life without a single bit of remorse.” Rera flared her nostrils as her tone stayed rather calm for the proclaimed fiery guardian. “Why I’d even venture he would still attempt to slay you even if you did save him from the task of losing his head.” Rera turned to that of Khondis, “Wouldn’t you Khondis?”
Wyllow worried her bottom lip as she was feeling the words of the guardian. It was clear they didn’t get along but having the holy deity openly ask such a question… she was terrified to hear the answer. Cause she already feared the truthful answer.

Khondis looked at Rera through his bangs. He just kept a strong gaze on her as she waited for his response. It was extremely annoying that they were talking about him as if he wasn’t present, but to go to far as to say he was a threat to every living thing was a bound out of their scope. But he knew that’s how people saw him, he had used it to keep his solitude for so many years already, he was beginning to believe it himself.
“I appreciate that it concerns you little to talk about me as if I weren’t present…” Khondis murmured almost so quietly that no one would have been able to hear him. “But if you think that I feel as though I don’t have remorse, then you know less than I thought Mistress… Killing is not my hobby, I’m sorry to say. Not that I’d expect anyone, not even Wyllow, to care about why I’m doing what I’m doing. I hate being out here, day after day fighting for my life. But I’ll be damned, if I give up this sword, I’ll never…” He stopped. “I don’t even know why I’m trying to defend myself.” Khondis raised his hands up in the air and turned away from Wyllow and Rera. Slowly bringing his hands down he took in a deep breath.
“This is such a pain in my ass…” He shook his head. “I’ve only killed those who opposed me, and unfortunately civilians got in the way. I didn’t want that to happen, but if I were to give in, many more lives could be lost. Casbael may want this sword, but what you don’t get Rera… Casbael may be all powerful, but part of that power is also corrupt. It’s what got me out here, on the run, and I wish I could explain…” Khondis clenched a fist. “You were right about one thing, this sword is a plague on this land, but I’m now part of that plague. Unless I learn to wield this weapon, not only will people continue to die, but it’s going to end up in the wrong hands and my life will be far beyond forfeit, but if you want to see a real monster…” Khondis paused.
“I can’t promise I won’t hurt Wyllow…” He scrunched his nose as he looked at her. “But I won’t do it on purpose. I don’t know how in the hell I ended up with her all the way in a Casbael Temple, but obviously I’m not ever going to be out of the eyes of Casbael, as you’ve been so kind to state Mistress… But that isn’t going to stop me from mastering this blade.” Khondis pulled the sword from his sheath. The metal rang loud and clear through the stone temple. Silence befell the Temple as Rera rolled her eyes some.
“There is a saying about actions speaking louder than words. I do think you should consider that before you go off playing on me that anything you’ve done is free of the consequences.” Rera tapped her claw on the tip of Tondris, making Khondis’ eyes dart up to her.
“Then make me pay. Choose what you will, if I’m going to be a damned slave to you I’m not afraid to prove it. I may be a giant asshole, but it’s because no one has yet to show me reason to respect them…” Khondis paused and looked at Wyllow. “She’s probably the closest person to do anything nice for me, I have no idea why, and obviously she doesn’t either! But if she’s going to be stuck with me, and being a part of Casbael is going to help prevent… worse things from happening,” Khondis sighed. “Damnit, Wyllow, now you’ve got me confused to hell. Roris plucked me out of thin air to help you get these things to build some weapon, and somehow gets me accepting being in Casbael.

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