6. Anomalies

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The wind swirled about us as Blaze and I rode through Starfall, my arms wrapped tight around his muscular frame. The vibrant wildflowers that dotted the landscape swayed gently in the breeze, their sweet fragrance filling my senses with a sense of freedom.

"We're almost there," Blaze said through the communication device in my helmet. "We have to stop at Adventure Acre to speak to Vega about lunar venom."

"Who's Vega?"

"She's an alchemist who specialises in the properties of the moon," Blaze explained. "We need her help to get more information on the poison."

My breath caught in my throat as we entered Blaze's domain. The beauty of the landscape was overwhelming, with lush forests, rugged mountains, and rushing rivers teeming with life in every direction. Unicorns, griffins, and dragons-mythical creatures roamed freely, adding an air of magic to the scene. But despite the wildness of the land, quaint towns and bustling villages thrived. Farmers tended crops, artisans crafted wares, and children played in the fields.

Blaze parked his motorcycle outside a wooden lodge nestled in the heart of the forest, and I could see it was a hub of activity. He removed his helmet, revealing his dishevelled hair and warm smile.

"Welcome to my humble abode," he said, leading me into the lodge.

Inside, the wooden walls were lined with shelves brimming with books, and the furniture was all made of dark, polished wood. The air smelled of pine and cedar, and the fireplace crackled merrily.

Noticing my awe, Blaze let out a small chuckle. "To be honest, I say 'my' home, but really, it's shared with friends and close advisors."

"You don't have your own house?" I raised an eyebrow, surprised by this revelation.

From what I had gathered about Starfall from Zephyr, Zodiacs valued their privacy and were accustomed to having help. Yet, no guards or staff were present in the lodge, just a group of people lounging around in a relaxed atmosphere.

Blaze shook his head. "Why should I? Adventure Acre has a strong sense of community, and I don't buy into the hierarchical nonsense that the rest of the Council follows. I trust these people with my life." His eyes sparkled as he gestured around. "Besides, each level serves a different purpose. We have private spaces, but we generally spend most of our time together in the common areas."

My heart swelled with admiration for Blaze, and I found myself feeling grateful to be in his presence.

He waved to the kitchen and dining area where people chattered and moved about, genuine camaraderie between the individuals who called this place home.

But terror coursed through my veins, remembering that I was among this huge crowd while a wanted fugitive, even if glamoured.


"Don't worry, Dimples," he reassured me, sensing my hesitation. "My friends are all trustworthy and loyal."

A woman with long ebony hair elegantly woven into a tight braid caught my attention. "Blaze!" she bellowed, her strides radiating both power and elegance as she approached. "You're back earlier than expected! Who's your friend?"

"Ly, this is... um..." Blaze faltered, clearly struggling to come up with a fake name for me.

"Aurora," I interjected, extending my hand.

Her smile broadened, and she clasped my hand tightly. "Nice to meet you. I'm Lyra, but you can call me Ly. I've earned the title of Blaze's substitute whenever he's off gallivanting." She chuckled.

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