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The Quest for Fire - Into the Mists - Chapter 39

by felistia


Zoltar told them everything, what had happened when the volcano erupted, how they’d needed a new home, how he’d found the Wisp Talon island. The only part he didn’t tell them was Nira. She was his secret. No one could know about her.

He went on to explain how he and the Shadow Talon chief had gone to the Ghost Talons, their little deal and how he and Sidious had been tasked with the job of retrieving the jewels and that the Wisp Talon island had been the first on their list. It had been supposed to be quick, but when he’d met them, things had gotten a lot more complicated. He stressed the part about how he’d wanted Sidious to leave them out of it, but that the Ghost Talon had wanted to use them to lure the Wisp Talons from the village.

“He wants to use us as bait!” Shiraku roared, her web frill bristling with fury, “I’d like to see him try.”

“Hush,” Felistia hissed gently, placing a paw down on the Sea Talon, “Let him finish.”

“I’m so sorry,” Zoltar apologized again, hoping against hopes that they’d understand, “I wanted to tell you for so long, but it was just too complicated. I was afraid I’d lose your friendship or that Sidious might punish you to spite me.”

“Well that doesn’t matter now does it?” Shiraku hissed, batting Felistia’s paw out the way, “He’s still going to go after us. You should have just left us alone in the first place and not planted your big scaly tail here.”

Zoltar looked at Felistia, pleading with his eyes for her to understand. ‘Please don’t be angry. I didn’t mean for this to happen. I can’t lose you now. You’re all I’ve got left.’

Felistia was staring at the floor as she ran one talon across a particular crack over and over again.

‘She’s not going to forgive me,’ Zoltar realized, his heart plummeting. It felt like his stomach had dropped out of his claws, the sinking feeling almost too much to bare.

Shiraku was staring at Felistia with a self-righteous look on her snout, like she’d known all along that he’d been lying.

A silence hung in the air, so thick it was suffocating.

‘What am I going to do now?’ Zoltar thought, his mind now a pit of despair. ‘I’m going to be alone again. Well…not completely. I’ll have Sidious.’

He flinched at the thought. What would Sidious say when he found out he’d told Felistia and Shiraku? It’s not like he could do anything to them now, but he was sure the Ghost Talon would be beyond furious.

‘At least I’ll have Emerald, I guess, for however long that lasts. EMERALD!’

He hadn’t told Felistia or Shiraku about her. He’d been going to yesterday, but had got caught up with Sidious. He had to tell them. The Wisp Talon knew where they lived. That put them in just as much danger as not knowing about Sidious.

‘But what if they hate me for it?’ he thought, before he realized that it didn’t matter. They were going to leave him anyway. Might as well make sure they were completely safe.

He sighed, his voice cutting through the silence as he confessed, “I was going to tell you this today anyway, so I guess it doesn’t matter what you think now.”

He kept his eyes locked on his talons the whole time, too afraid to look up at the two dragons in front of him, “A young Wisp Talon has been following me over the last few days. She seems friendly and means well at the moment, but somehow or another she managed to find the cave….Just thought I’d let you know.”

He looked away, his wings feeling limp along his back. That was it. There was no turning back now.

“See? Didn’t I tell you not to trust him,” Shiraku growled, shooting Zoltar a disgusted look, “Not only has he been lying to us, but now he’s given away our hiding place.”

She glared at Felistia for a moment, before snarling, “Well…aren’t you going to say something?”

The Ice Talon sucked in a slow breathe as if collecting her thoughts, before releasing it in a long sigh. Her eyes shimmered when she looked up as though she were supressing tears, the sadness in them a swirling pool of emptiness.

“I’m so sorry,” Zoltar murmured, wishing so badly for her to say it was okay. But she didn’t say anything. She just continued to stare at him with those broken eyes.

The long silence stretched out, interrupted only by the occasional snort from Shiraku.

When he couldn’t stand it any longer, Zoltar finally whispered, “I understand if you don’t want to see me again.”

“We don’t,” Shiraku snapped, shoving Felistia with her shoulder.

Felistia gave her a withered look, her spiked tail flicking slightly, before she turned to Zoltar, “I can understand where you’re coming from….but…”

She sighed again, “I have to agree with Shiraku. You should have told us or…gone on your way.”

Shiraku nodded vigorously, only stopping to glare at Zoltar.

“I’m afraid this is where we are going to have to part ways,” Felistia went on, looking as though she were wrestling with every word.

“Thank you!” Shiraku roared, tossing her paws in the air. She marched over to the cave entrance, threw out her wings and gave Felistia a come-on-already look, before leaping through the opening.

Zoltar continued to stare at his talons. He couldn’t believe this was happening. He knew it had been the right decision to tell them, but it still didn’t make this any easier. It was over. What he’d feared from the beginning was here. He was going to be alone again.

“I’m sorry,” Felistia said gently, laying her paw on his for a fleeting moment, “But I think it’s for the best. We all have complicated pasts. Sometimes it’s better for us continue with our futures alone.”

Zoltar turned his head away, afraid that if he looked at her he might completely break down. It was all he could do to keep the tears from streaming down his snout.

“I’m so sorry,” he managed, clinching his talons in the effort to keep his voice from shaking, “I didn’t mean for this to happen you know?”

“I know,” Felistia whispered, giving his paw a squeeze before moving towards the cave opening, “Sometimes life doesn’t go as planned, but we must still keep fighting, okay?”

Zoltar nodded slowly, stifling a sniffle as she passed.

Felistia paused when she reached the entrance. Glancing behind her, she murmured, “I wish you the best of luck, Zoltar. I hope you find happiness someday.”

There was a rush of wind, the flurry of wing beats and she was gone.


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Sat May 07, 2022 1:59 pm
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MailicedeNamedy wrote a review...



Hi felistia,

Mailice here with a short review! :D

OK, so that was a pretty quick chapter, and I'm glad that we didn't get to hear everything from Zoltar right away, but that you gave us a short summary there to show Felistia and Shiraku's reactions as quickly as possible.

At the same time, I'm surprised how a possible escalation by the two characters were shown in a slight resentment and breakdown. It leaves a stronger and also more painful goodbye than a possible argument. Especially Felistia surprised me positively there, which I think is very good for her personality (even though I think she might still want to meet secretly with Zoltar).

I found it well-staged and especially good that you continued to implement Zoltar's thoughts to portray it. It shows step by step his inner disintegration in his own thought-world and suddenly it also seems as if he no longer has anything of a future when he thinks of Sidious.

‘At least I’ll have Emerald, I guess, for however long that lasts. EMERALD!’


Here, for example, I think it's really great how you make Zoltar jump from one branch to the next to show his kind of dependency because he just doesn't have a future anymore and also can't find a way to go on his own. I think that this is also crucial for Zoltar, it shows once again that he has relied too much on others in recent times, and in my opinion this makes him look very much like a child.

She sighed again, “I have to agree with Shiraku. You should have told us or…gone on your way.”


That was a moment I didn't expect at the beginning and yet I like how Felistia takes the position here and also the responsibility that Zoltar has to leave after it was her who invited him to move in with them. I think that's a very good contrast we have here of the two characters, they're both moving towards a good personality, just in opposite directions.

One other thing that struck me.

‘What am I going to do now?’ Zoltar thought, his mind now a pit of despair. ‘I’m going to be alone again. Well…not completely. I’ll have Sidious.’


I don't know why, but I found this part a bit more humorous than I thought, but actually it's not funny because it shows the desperation Zoltar has inside him.

In summary, I think it's a really great chapter, even if I now feel a bit like it was quite short.

Have fun writing!

Mailice




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Mon Apr 25, 2022 9:45 pm
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SalisRuinen wrote a review...



Hey! Salis here with a review!!

What happened here was bound to happen eventually, I guess, but it was still painful. The way you described Zoltar's experience as he confessed everything was great. He's been my favorite of the group for a while now, but this chapter solidified his position at the top. The more I read about him, the more sides of the character I discover and the more I'm interested in him.

Showing the difference between Shikaru and Felistia in terms of handling the truth was also genius. It goes to show how their relationships with Zoltar differ and to what extent that affects their opinion of him. After reading this, I'm not certain who was hurt more by what happened – Zoltar or Felistia.

The good thing is the protagonist will still have Emerald with him, but I feel like that won't be enough to fill the hole from Shiraku and especially Felistia's absence. I had actually imagined a scenario where Emerald was introduced to those two and all of them stayed together for at least a while, but I guess that was too happy of an ending.

Can the rift between Zoltar and Shikaru and Felistia be repaired? I can't say for sure. I hope so. It definitely won't be easy, but they were a really great trio and it would be sad if this is the last we'll see from them as a group.

Thanks for the great chapter! Keep at it!!





A poet is, before anything else, a person who is passionately in love with language.
— W.H. Auden