The orange glow of dawn shone through the gap in the curtains of Ella’s room, illuminating a strip of her ivory complexion, right over her eye. She awoke immediately. Sighing and stretching out her limbs, she buried her face in the linens of her pillow for a second before quietly springing out of bed. Her years of practice and training allowed her to move around silently, so she was in no danger of waking her parents as she got dressed and slipped downstairs. She grabbed one of the goblets from the small kitchen cupboard and pulled on her thick leather boots before quietly exiting through the back, gently closing the back door behind her without a squeak. Once she was out, there was no stopping her. It was still dark outside but the sun was starting to escape the protective barrier, which was, in this case, the high peaks of the mountains. Ella ran down the hills at a ferocious speed, her feet barely making a thud as they touched the cold morning earth. She ran until she reached the old well, stopping and setting her goblet on the stones. It wasn’t the well her whole village used to get their water supply, but an abandoned one she had discovered a few weeks back. Ever since, she had been going to this place to get her morning drink, not only because the water tasted a bit better, but because it was the one thing she alone knew about, which made it her and Arin’s (of course) special place.
She pulled the rope, drawing the wooden bucket back up to the surface and setting it on the low stonewalls. She dipped her cup into the clear solution and took a long drink, endorsing her dry throat with the cold, pure water. When she had satisfied her thirst, she patted her face and neck with some of the water, shaking off droplets from her hand. She lowered the bucket back into the depths of the well, then spun around and placed two fingers in her mouth, letting out a long but quick breath, which resulted in her signature whistle. Two seconds later, the heavy beating of wings echoed throughout the mountains, and another two later a large, glorious, magical creature appeared before her, gentle smoke pouring from his nostrils. There was no need for words between Ella and her dragon, Arin. Instead, she immediately sprang onto his back, hugging him with her legs and holding onto the steal-like scaled of his neck. And just like that, they were off. Gliding together through the tops of the mountains, Ella never felt more wild and free.
The wind caused a frozen sensation to tingle over Ella’s wet skin, and soon enough it had dried off. Her long hair whipped backwards in the wind and she closed her eyes, taking in deep breathes and really smelling the dewy scent of the mountains. After about twenty minutes, Arin had started to circle down into a flat clearing surrounded by mountains, a little too close to the forest for Ella’s taste, but the dragon seemed to have it’s mind set, which meant that there would be no debate. She climbed off his back and spun around a couple of times, checking the area for anything suspicious. Arin had already made himself at home, settling down on a patch of grass and stretching out his body, making him seem even huger than what he already was, which was pretty damn big seeing as he was an especially large dragon. Ella smiled at her majestic partner and made her way over towards him, curling up next to his neck and lying on her back, allowing herself to stare at the clouds and see if she could make out any steps. They lay there for what seemed to be forever, watching the morning creep in further every second until the sky was a pale blue. They were in perfect harmony, until all of a sudden Arin sprung to his huge feet and looked around alarmingly, smoke blowing out of his nostrils. Automatically, Ella draw her petrifying sword from her belt and pointed it in the direction of the noise. “Who goes there?!” she voiced confidently, although on the inside she had never been more terrified.
Melody was a Siren, through and through. There was no doubt that she loved the way she was, the people she was surrounded with. Her people, her father, her brother, all the Sirens around her. They were her people, and Melody was proud of them beyond comprehension. She was proud to be the Princess of the Sirens. Lately however, with the amount of time she spent out of the water and actually on land, one would assume she was no longer one belonging to the water. It had been days ago that she’d actually spent her entire day in the water, in the underwater kingdom that the Adens ruled. Lately, Melody would be out of the water before anyone could notice, and would trade her natural tail for legs, treading over the grassy and mossy patches of the forest. One would almost mistake her for an Elf if she kept this up. She wasn’t afraid of running into people that could possibly harm her - the few times she had ran into people, they’d been more than friendly to her and hadn’t even displayed the slightest bit of hostility towards her, despite them being two different species, set out to hate each other.
She’d given up on spotting Gale at all, as she hadn’t seen him since the Summer Feast. From experience she knew that he was not one to sit inside as well, and he had spent a lot of time in the forests, which is why she’d been able to - well, for a lack of better word - spy on him the way she had been doing before the happenings of the Summer Feast. “It’s not important,” Melody mumbled, addressing no one but herself as she let her bare feet trail the now somewhat familiar paths of the forest. “He’s not important. Not anymore,” she repeated, her voice more determined than before. He had made no effort to apologize or to at least explain his rude behaviour, and so she refused to spend any more of her valuable time thinking about it. Laughing at the irony, Melody thought, ‘And now you’re talking to yourself, too. Doing well, Mel.’ It wasn’t the first time that she basically scolded herself, as it was something her brother often teased her about, but never had something occupied her mind like this had, and quite frankly she was sick of it.
Suddenly, Melody halted in her tracks, glancing around with slight suspicion. Something was different in the forest, or near the clearing. She couldn’t quite put her finger on it, but it was not in the same state the forest was usually in when she visited. Her guard up, Melody moved forward slightly, ready to run if she’d see someone with the means to harm her, but the person she stumbled upon - the situation she stumbled upon - left her completely speechless and apparently, without the ability to actually move. In front of her was a woman she’d never seen before, but most importantly, a dragon. Melody stared at it, her eyes widened with fear as she contemplated what to do. If she’d move, the thing would probably eat her for breakfast. She only had her voice left to reason with the woman, and so Melody moved her glance towards the woman instead, her voice shaky. “I-I mean no harm,” she uttered out, slowly moving her hands in front of her in a defensive manner. “Please.”
Adrenaline coursed through Ella’s veins as she stared at the frantic looking brunette who stood right in front of her. The girl’s surrendering stance gave Ella the upper hand but not once did she doubt that perhaps this was just an act. And all of a sudden, a million thoughts came flooding into Ella’s mind, consisting of both the worst and best case scenarios. She was alarmed by the presence of this girl… she definitely did not look like she was from around the area, nor did she look like she even knew her way around. Who was she? How did she get here? She was’t an elf… or a fae. Ella could sense other creatures when they were present, but this girl did not belong in either category. She certainly wasn’t human, either, for if she was Ella would have either sliced her into thirds or fled in the opposite direction long ago. She looked harmless, but Ella knew better. The legends and fireside stories she had inherited from her Elders had given her enough paranoia and wisdom to know better. She wasn’t going to let this one go by so easily.
However, before she could do anything, Arin let out a deadly screech, then began to stamp his front quarters violently against the ground before pushing himself up and rearing, spreading out his massive wings. He threw his head backwards and blew out a great flame, illuminating the sky with fire, he was truly a scary sight for anyone which didn’t know him. Ella only had a second to act before he devoured the poor girl, unless she had some trick up her sleeve which could repel a dragon, otherwise she was hopeless. Arin landed back on on all his legs and charged his neck towards Melody, horns first, and would have hit her were it not for Ella. She immediately jumped in his way, stood as straight as she could and stared into his deep amber eyes, causing him to halt instantly. They stared at each other for a long while, then he backed off, folding in his wings and lowering his head like an obedient puppy.
Ella hadn’t forgotten about the visitor. She spun around at an unbelievable speed and pointed the tip of her sword a centimeter away from the girl’s neck, reflecting the light of the sun using it’s surface straight at her face. “Identify yourself.” She demanded, then slowly paced a circle around the girl, inspecting every inch of her and weighting her options, never one lowering her weapon, her leather boots slowly connecting with the firm ground yet remaining soundless; she might as well have been a ghost.