Chapter 39

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Julia wiped the blood from Kindle's face as she weeped openly. She was crouched in the crater that had been the impact site of Kindle's fall. The broken and crumpled form was still. Her wings were shattered, one arm was bent backward in a way that an arm should never go. Her eyes were closed with bruises all over her body.

"She's dead!" Julia cried out.

Phyte and Julia had been searching for over an hour. Popping in and out of the Fairy Kingdom - looking in buildings, dungeons, and finally the courtyard. Julia felt her already low energy ebb even further. She felt weak in a way she had never felt before. Using her magic was getting harder and harder. It was all she could do to transport to this final destination. 

She picked up Kindle's still form and held her close to her chest, weeping.

"Wait, Julia. Look." Phyte pressed close and touched Kindle's face gently. Her eyes fluttered for a moment.

"She's - !" Julia was about to exclaim when Phyte pressed a finger to her lips. 

"Let me hold her." He said quietly, urgently.

Carefully, Julia extended her arms with the crumpled Fairy.

Phyte was a Dragon, and as a Dragon - a Prince even - he had access to magic beyond even what human Mages could even imagine. As a young Dragon Phyte had always had an affinity for the Healing Arts. Something that was very useful around other Dragons that seemed only intent upon biting, slashing, and gouging. He had saved his siblings on many occasions after some particular squabble, or Traditional battle. 

Nothing had prepared him, however, for the patient set before him on this dusty, open ground. This Fairy was like nothing Phyte had ever seen. He had heard of the FairyKnights, but had never encountered one, or knew beyond just the basics that they were bonded and transformed into Dragons with Fairy form. 

It was this Dragon resilience, this desire for life, that was the only sliver of hope that was keeping this little creature alive.

Phyte knew that if he didn't act right now, and act with great power, that this Kindle was going to die. 

He reached deep within himself. On the outside, Julia saw his eyes grow a deeper red, and began to glow. His hands passed over Kindle gently. Adjusting a bone here, closing a wound there. Julia dared not speak, but placed a hand upon Phyte's shoulder. Willing whatever power she had left into his magic.

For a brief moment, Phyte came out of his healing trance to look at Julia briefly, and bared his teeth with determination. His energy renewed, he redoubled his efforts. 

Light motes began to surround Kindle. Almost sickening sounds of bones resetting, muscles torn and bleeding reforming.  Kindle's wings were the last to see healing. They grew straight and true, though noticeably smaller than before.

The light grew intense for another moment, Phyte's face pinched with concentration, then he gasped and fell over.

"Phyte! Are you ok?" Julia grabbed his shoulders and helped him back up to a sitting position.

He dismissed her concerns with a weary wave of his hand.

"It's not me we should be concerned about. I've never poured that much energy into healing before. You really are a force of nature, Julia." He chuckled weakly.

They cast their gaze at Kindle. 

She seemed whole once again, though still curled in a fetal position. Julia gently gathered her up once again and held her to her chest.

"Kindle. Kindle." Julia whispered, "Wake up. Oh wake up my dear Kindle!"

"Uuuungh" Kindle moaned.

Her eyes fluttered open.

"Where am I? What was that red dragon in my dreams? What - !"

In an instant Kindle burst from Julia's arms.  Her wings buzzed angrily and her fists were raised defensively.

"Whoah there, little Dragon" Phyte called with a half smile. "You are quite the fighter"

"Who are you? The Queen! Oh the Fairies! Why am I alive? Rath!" Kindle spun around, looking desperately for something, then scooped up Cirrus from the bloody, dusty earth.

"Kindle, it's me, Julia" Julia said calmly. She held back a sob.

Eyes widening in recognition, Kindle dropped the sword and buzzed in to hug Julia's neck. They both began crying.

Carefully, Phyte retrieved Cirrus, Kindle's sword. 

"Elven design. What an intriguing - "

Moving faster than even Julia could see, Kindle flew back and snatched her sword from Phtye's grasp.

"Who are you! What did you do to me? I saw you! I saw you in my dreams!" Kindle brandished the sword inches from Phtye's surprised visage.

"Hello, Dragon Kindle. I am your humble servant, and healer. I am Prince Phtye of the Dragon Kingdom," Phyte nodded gently, carefully avoiding the quivering tip of the sword Kindle held outward.

Gasping, Kindle looked back and forth between Julia and Phyte. Her mind racing. Suddenly, her face collapsed in worry and terror.

"The Fairies! Rath is back! He's alive and possessed the Queen of the Fairies. He's used the Queens Rite to turn them into Cursed Fairies. We have to go! Now!" She started to fly off.

Within moments as she tore into the sky, a huge Dragon appeared behind her. It was all gold and red. It zoomed past her and intercepted her carefully.

A puff of smoke clouded Kindle's vision and she paused.

Screaming "Get out of the way! I have to stop Rath! I have to kill him! He killed Kael! He has cursed my people! ARRRRHHHH!" Her eyes rolled back into her head, and she began to fall like a stone. Cirrus fell from her hand.

"Phyte! Save her!" Julia called from Phtye's back.

"No worries" He growled. "I'm actually getting pretty good at this"

Phtye went into a power dive.

Ah breathless heartbeat later, he carefully turned up under Kindle and Julia caught both the FairyKnight and Cirrus with deft hands.

"Did you hear her, Phyte? The Queen of the Fairies? Possessed by Rath?" Julia cried.

"I did. Do you have the power for one more transport, Child of the Earth? I think we must return to the Human Kingdom"

Biting her lip, and holding the unconscious Kindle close to her chest, Julia nodded. Cirrus was in her other hand, and the blade was cutting into her palm. Unaware or unwilling to let go, Julia closed her eyes and they vanished in the darkening sky.

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