"Wait!" I swallowed hard. "I summoned fire with my blood, if I'm not a wyrm then what the bloody hell am I?"

Kappu nodded his head at Nisvārtha, "That ceases to be my problem and remains the concern of Leader Shade. Now get out of my city."

I huffed, "What about my friends?"

"The wyvern assaulted one of my Generals, he must be punished for his crime. The thief will be executed at dawn. The serpent whore resisted arrest and as punishment will be sold." A sick smile stretched the already thin lips of the warlord. "There is a fair chance she will end up in a brothel, so I doubt her lifestyle will change much."

"Are you mad?" I demanded, my temper starting to bubble. "What makes you think that?"

Warlord Kappu chuckled. "Everyone knows that serpents are murderers and whores. They can't help it. Disgusting creatures."

A growl slid through my teeth, "You don't know them, and you certainly don't know my friends. Let them go."

"Ha! Foolish fledgling," Warlord Kappu stood up and walked down the steps of the dais to stand before me, tall like an overdressed broomstick. "Do you have any idea who I am?"

I snorted, "Oh, aye. You're a slimy bastard who only cares about himself."

"Watch your tongue, girl." Kantantra spat at me from beside the throne.

"Shove it up your arse, Pig-face." I threw back at him before glaring up at Kappu again. "Release them."

I felt a hand on my arm, and my head whipped around to meet Nisvārtha's eyes. His face was stern and filled with warning, but his eyes held fear.

Kappu laughed, "Oh, I do enjoy your spirit! Perhaps I will keep you after all, as entertainment with your sharp tongue and fascinating speech."

Every word out of his mouth was like dousing the rage in my belly with gasoline. The pain in my bones was worsening, beginning to burn, specifically in my back. Each breath was painful, and ragged. Something was wrong with me, but I was too angry to care.

"This palace," I said, shoving away from Nisvārtha, "Your fancy throne room, your daft rules? It's a sham. Shoddily put together too. You're a coward, I can smell it. You surround yourself with fat, happy followers and pretty women, but where is this twin your daughter has? Is it a brother? Where is your twin? I doubt you would allow anyone to see men stronger than you. Bloody coward, afraid of your own people who no doubt would strike you down the instant they realized that you are a spineless worm."

Warlord Kappu sneered but wouldn't meet my eyes. "Get out! You are banished from my city."

"Not without my friends!" I roared.

"You will never see your friends again, Fledgling brat!" he snapped. "Do you hear me? Never! They committed crimes against me! Insulted me! The only reason you aren't dead where you stand, pathetic child, is because I would rather my city burn to the ground than have your remains anywhere in my clan. So get out!"

There was a moment of silence before a sickening snap split the air, followed by my scream of pain. I fell to my knees, hunched over in agony as the bones in my back snapped and split.

"What is she doing?" Kappu's panicked voice demanded. "Stop her! Somebody do something!"

"Shut up, Kappu." Nisvārtha snapped.

I didn't have any extra time to ponder that as two blades of pain sunk themselves into my shoulder blades, drawing out another bloodcurdling scream from my throat. My heart was pounding, my head was on fire, and every bone in my body was in agony.

"Impossible," somebody breathed, but I couldn't tell who. I opened my eyes as the pain lessened and my body began to hum with something I had never felt before. Power. Spreading out of my hands and over the floor was a bright golden light, on my back I could feel new muscles and something else....two somethings to be precise, both attached to my back at the shoulder blades.

I looked over my shoulder to see Suruli and Nisvārtha staring at me with different looks of shock and horror. On my back was a pair of wings, beautiful and feathered. Each feather started as a pale white gold color at the base and blended into a brighter gold at the tip.

I stood up, my wings stretching into a thirty foot wingspan. The golden light was spreading from my hands and feet, over the floor and up the walls.

I looked at Warlord Kappu, who was currently trembling in his chair, mumbling and whimpering incoherently as his pale green eyes stared at me in fear.

I smirked, "Perhaps you didn't hear me." I stepped forward, earning a squeak of terror from the cowering warlord. "I am not leaving without my friends," my voice was calm and deadly. "Tell me where they are and pray to your gods that I find them without a scratch because if I do, if you or your imbecilic men have harmed a single hair on any of their heads....I will return for you, and you won't like it."

"H-h-here," he tossed a heavy iron key at me which hit the floor with a harsh clang. "That key will open every cell in the dungeons. Go down the corridor, turn right, third hall on your right has stairs down to the dungeon at the end. Just go, I beg you."

I picked up the key and turned around, folding my wings against my back, and walked past a stunned phoenix and drake.

"When you've finished gawking and picked your chins off the floor, you might as well follow me." I muttered and pushed through the doors.

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