Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening/Night(whichever one it is in your part of the world),
Hi! I'm here to leave a quick review!!
First Impression: This was a lovely little story. I can definitely see where this seems to be connected some part of a larger narrative to some extent but even on its own as just a short story its a pretty solid piece and I did enjoy it.
Anyway let's get right to it,
Nightshade flicked her tail idly as she watched the party unfold. She wasn’t in her usual hunting spot nor in her tree house home by the lake. Tonight, she was crouched in the thick tangle of leaves and small branches at the end of one of the limbs of the great tree in the tree wing village. Tonight, one of the moons was full and so the tree wings were having a party.
Nightshade had been spying on them ever since the last of the sun’s rays faded into darkness, and now the lonely full moon had risen over the treetops bathing the tree in soft silver light. The glow of the forest below made the moon’s soft light seem dim in comparison, and under the branches of the great tree there was barely any light at all. Except for the warm orange glow coming from the door in front of her.
Nightshade knew that her black scales would blend in perfectly with the shadows and anyone entering or leaving the party would be unable to see even the soft glow of her violet eyes.
Well this is an interesting place to start off here. Nightshade trying to just spy on a entire party. Unfortunately I don't have quite enough context to know whether Nightshade is meant to be the good one or the evil one or if this is more of a grey situation, but besides that, this is a lovely little place to open here. Nice bit of tension, and plenty of questions being asked immediately, all of which is great to see.
The glow from inside changed into a myriad of colors as the party got into full swing. Nightshade sighed.
She didn’t often come back but when she did it was usually because she had nothing else to do or needed something she could easily ‘borrow’ from the villagers. She did enjoy staying hidden and secretly watching the daily life of the other tree wings in the village, and even though she wouldn’t admit it to herself, she was always hoping to see Ceiba.
Even years later she still hoped deep down that he cared for her. She knew she had changed a lot after meeting Nara, Lupita and a few other people she could call friends (though she would probably get mad if anyone ever told them she thought of them that way). They’d taught her a lot and even though she wouldn’t admit it, she kind of liked the dragon she was now.
Ooooh this is already getting quite spicy here. It seems we're going to pretty quickly at least get hints for all of those questions that were created up at the very start. That certainly sounds very promising there. Already adding more and more layers to the mystery.
Because of this she had also changed what she planned to do if she ever did meet Ceiba. After she was banished she’d always dreamed of sneaking into the tree wing village, hypnotising Ceiba again, and taking him away to live with her. Making him forget all the pain she had caused him and forcing him into a happy life with her.
There was still a part of her that wanted that. It would be so much easier that way after all. But now whenever she imagined seeing Ceiba’s adorably handsome face all she wanted to do was say she was sorry and ask for his forgiveness. She couldn’t help picturing him in those last moments before she was taken away, and his broken hearted face of betrayal.
But even if she did regret what she’d done, she still enjoyed using her powers on other creatures.
It still sent a thrill through her from snout to tail every time her spirals appeared in some creature’s eyes as their mouth curls into a goofy grin. Even if they were going to be her meal she felt it only right to relieve them of their fear and pain before the end. As for those she wasn’t going to eat she still enjoyed playing with them, and so long as she didn’t do anything Nara defined as ‘inappropriate’ with them, Nightshade could play with them as she pleased.
Well okay we're sliding in some sort of grey area from the looks of things. At any rate, Nightshade from just the little bit that we've seen of her so far really looks like a very intriguing character. I can't wait to find out more about her.
Nightshade realised that at some point Nara (and Lupita though it annoyed her to admit it) had become her moral guides. However, Nightshade was still young (for an adult dragon) and enjoyed pushing the boundaries every now and then. For example, catching and hypnotising humans or dragonewts.
No one had necessarily told her that she couldn’t hypnotise and play with them for a night or two after all. Besides, intelligent creatures were so much more fun to hypnotise. Just thinking about how she would lure them in with her tail or eyes and whisper soft encouragement as they fell into her trance, sent shivers all the way from her snout to her tail.
In fact, tonight she was hoping to steal on of the tree wing’s guests for a bit.
Earlier that evening she had been watching the bustle of the village as they prepared for the party tonight and, to her surprise, a small group of humans and dragonewts came out of the great tree accompanied by four or five very strange dragons. It looked like they were being given a tour by a male tree wing she hadn’t cared to identify. One of those humans or dragonewts would surely be fun to play around with for a while.
Well yup that definitely seems like Nightshade has some slightly questionable hobbies although perhaps there is some sort of moral code that she does seem to have a want to follow, so we can't quite jump to a conclusion immediately.
From her place hidden in the leaves she could see through one of the carved doors and into the heart of the tree where the party was happening. Every once in a while she’d catch a glimpse of one of the strange dragons or their human pets.
Or friends maybe?
Nightshade wasn’t sure how other dragons saw humans or even dragonewts for that matter. Maybe they were just the dragon’s pets that they had brought with them.
Nightshade shrugged. Either way, she didn’t really care how other dragons saw them. If they weren’t her friends, they were her toys.
Well that's an interesting choice of words there. I think that does support the little detail that was slipped in about how Nightshade was quite a young dragon even though she also happens to be an adult.
They are not toys! They are intelligent beings, and you must treat them equally. Nara’s voice popped into her head. Ever since the moon festival she’d started hearing Nara’s voice in her head whenever she knew (in no small part because of Nara) what she was doing was wrong.
“Bla, bla, bla.” Nightshade muttered, ignoring the comment. It wasn’t like she was hunting them for food, and she didn’t really want to befriend them either. She had enough visitors already now that the beast men started dropping by every now and then.
All she wanted was to draw one human or dragonewt in, away from the party where no one would notice, then wrap them up and take them home to play for a bit. She’d drop them off near the village boarder the next night after she’d had her fun.
Well that does seem to pretty much explain all of her intentions quite plainly there. I think you've gone and done a quite solid job of just outlining it all very clearly without exactly trying to skew the opinion of how good or bad Nightshade happens to be. We also are getting a very clear sense of this being in the point of view of Nightshade given all the thoughts we see.
Then Nightshade saw her chance. One of the girls, a dragonewt, was looking in her direction. Slowly she let her eyes begin to glow. The colors just barely brighter than the lights of the party. She saw the girl stop and narrow her eyes. Nightshade smiled and blinked. The glow stopped and the girl looked confused, probably wondering if she’d just imagined it.
Then Nightshade brought up her tail and let the tip glow. Pulsating slightly with beautiful colors as she slowly swayed it back and forth in front of her. She watched with excitement and satisfaction as the girl leaned towards her as her legs carried her closer and closer. Soon she had left the main crowed and came up to the door.
Nightshade could make out her face clearly now. Her eyes were drooping slightly, and her mouth was already relaxed as she came closer and closer. Nightshade drew her tail towards her so that it was periodically obscured by the leaves. A sad look crossed the girls face and she crossed the threshold of the door and walked quickly out onto the branch. Desperate to reach the pretty light before it escaped her.
Ooooh well as terrifying as it is to think of a human just getting lured away like that, it is really interesting to see sort of from the perspective of a mysterious light in the dark luring people away. That's not a point of view that you see too often and I think you do a wonderful job here.
Nightshade trailed her tail as far back as she could. Leading the girl closer and closer until she was just about within reach.
The girl reached out her hand, leaning towards her. Nightshade could see the glazed look in her eyes that said her mind was already entering a light trance. So open and trusting as she focused on nothing but the pretty light.
“Felicia! What are you doing?” A voice called from the entrance to the tree. Nightshade cursed in her mind and shut off the glow of her tail. She now noticed a young boy, one of the other members of the group, standing in the doorway.
The girl, who’s name she now knew was Felicia, blinked and looked back at the boy. Her hand which had been reaching forward so trustingly jerked back as she did so. She must have felt something was wrong.
Ooooh okay. Well this is interesting. Something actually interrupting what appeared like it was going to be a fully foolproof plan there. I love that little detail. Its rare to see plans like this get interrupted but this now adds an extra little dimension to see how Nightshade will respond to this.
Shaking her head, she stood up straight as she came to her senses. Then she glanced back into the dense leaves where Nightshade was hiding. Looking for some hint of the light which had led her out here, but it was gone, as if she’d only imagined it. Shaking her head once more she turned back to the boy.
“Sorry Jarid. I just thought I saw something.” Felicia replied.
“Ok. Just be careful. We don’t know what kinds of dangers await here yet. But if you need a break from all the excitement I get it. Take all the time you need.”
The boy gave her a kind and slightly sad smile. Then he turned around and waved over his shoulder as he went back inside.
Felica sighed and glanced out into the jungle one last time before turning to go back inside.
Oh dear, that doesn't seem like it will end well for poor Felicia. As much as for the moment Felicia was broken out of her little spell, leaving her just outside means Nightshade must have a backup plan now to snatch up the still very much alone human.
Nightshade growled slightly in frustration. That dragonewt girl had been less than a claw length out of reach! Was she going to lose her new toy after getting so close?
Then she had an idea. Slowly she gathered her tail below Felica, just out of sight.
“Purrrrrruummmmm.” Nightshade purred softly.
Felica turned once more and peered out into the trees below.
Nightshade Let the spirals under her wings glow creating just enough of a light to intrigue Felicia without revealing her presence. Felicia took a few steps closer and paused. Probably unsure whether to keep going.
As she considered her options, Nightshade quickly curled her tail around the unsuspecting dragonewt while being careful not to touch and accidentally alert her.
Oh here we go. Things are at work yet again and it seems Felicia is definitely getting trapped this time. She's certainly a bit too close there to be able to get away now even if someone manages to interrupt although perhaps Nightshade wouldn't steal her away if someone was present to see it.
Felica sighed as if resigning to leave the glow a mystery and turned to go inside.
Suddenly something sprang up around her and wrapped her tight, pinning her arms to her sides and covering her mouth before she even had time to scream. The constriction and fear made her eyes widen as she was turned around to face a pair of bright glowing eyes.
The soothing waves of purple, blue and violet washed away her panicked and scrambled thoughts. At first she was scared but now she felt safe for some reason. Relief washed over her, and she sighed once more as she relaxed into the comforting pools of color before her.
“You needed a break from all the excitement didn’t you Felicia. Why don’t you just relax and let yourself feel good for a while. Yessss. Just like that,” Nightshade whispered.
Ooooh well that is positively terrifying indeed to see although at some point you do have a tiny, tiny bit of happiness at seeing Nightshade's plan come to fruition. Its a bit of mental gymnastics on that particular one.
She loved the way Felicia’s face went from frightened to confused and then slowly softened as her spirals calmed her mind.
There was barely any resistance at all. Felicia was relaxing more and more as Nightshade pulled her into the bushes and closer to her eyes. Soon Felicia was completely limp and relaxed, though her mind still needed some persuading to completely fall.
This was not the place to do that though. She could have her fun back at her home where she didn’t have to worry about being interrupted.
“Mmmm. Pretty… so, hmmmm, relaxing. Safe. Warm. Tight.” Felicia mumbled through Nightshade’s tail. Nightshade smiled at the cute little dragonewt as she blinked the colors out of her eyes.
Well the more this goes on thought it does tend to get more and more terrifying as we see the mental power of Nightshade just fully overwhelming Felicia and making her completely forget the potential danger of it all.
“It feels nice doesn’t it? Now just let those eyes close and you’ll find that the colors remain. Relaxing you and making you feel so warm and safe. Wrapped so tight and secure in my tail.” Nightshade whispered.
Felicia looked sad for a moment as the colors faded from Nightshade’s eyes but when she closed hers she smiled. The glow of the spirals in her own eyes lit up her eyelids almost as if to remind her of the pretty colors.
“Yessss” She sighed as she went limp once more.
Well it seems like that's final moment there when Felicia just fully succumbs to it all. Certainly a terrifying one there but at the same time you again feel slightly happy for Nightshade having done what she wanted to do successfully. Well let's see where this is going.
Nightshade nodded and quickly untangled herself from the branches of the great tree before launching into the night sky.
She made her way down into the jungle and raced through the branches, making sure to keep Felicia safe in her tail so she wouldn’t bump into anything and wake from her light trance.
By the time she had reached her tree house Felicia’s trance had mostly worn off, and she had instead fallen into a light sleep. Nightshade checked on her as she landed on her tree house’s platform entrance and smiled at the peaceful look on her face. Then she entered and laid down on her pillow to admire her catch. Nightshade uncurled her tail from around Felicia and held her gently in her talons.
Well despite whatever all the terror of the way that Felicia was subdued and taken away there it does seem like Nightshade is going to some pretty decent lengths there to be sure the Felicia won't be harmed in any way at all.
She was still quite young for a dragonewt and hadn’t developed the small horns some adult dragonewts had. Her clothes were also different from any dragonewt Nightshade had seen before. They seemed to be made of some kind of woven animal hair and were very dirty and worn. She must have been on quite the long journey. She also had a metal helmet with a green gem set into the forehead strapped to her head.
Besides her garments she had the small wings that marked her as a dragonewt hidden under her clothes. That must be uncomfortable. Most dragonewt females wore a simple bra or cut holes in the backs of their clothes so as not to restrict their wings.
Nightshade turned her over so she could see her back causing Felicia to groan in her sleep. Nightshade lifted her clothes to reveal the small wings on her back and gasped softly.
Well this is quite the scenario there. We're learning a lot about this other species and exactly what they're like and what they do. I think this is a lovely touch for us to work with, just to get a good idea of exactly what it is that we're witnessing and what we should expect from Felicia when she wakes up eventually.
Her wings were crumpled and pale. They looked shriveled, like a dragon who had spent a week in water without letting their wings dry and recover. (not that she’d ever seen such a thing. No dragon was that foolish)
What happened to her wings?! Has she been laying on them her whole life? Even if she is a dragonewt and can’t use them to fly, it is a matter of pride that we take care of our wings properly. Nightshade thought. Then she had an idea.
What if she used her hypnosis to teach this dragonewt to properly car for her wings? But she quickly dismissed the thought as she could already hear Nara’s scolding. Maybe once she hypnotised her again to play with her she’d at least remove the hard helmet and clothes restricting the poor girl’s wings.
Felicia groaned and stretched as she slowly started to wake up.
Ooooh well let's see how this is going to go. That immediately thickened the plot so much because clearly Felicia has been through some things in her life judging from the state of those wings and it looks like Nightshade has enough concern to want to help out in some way or the other.
Nightshade laid her down on the pillow as Felica woke, watching with a soft smile. Watching creatures wake up after being hypnotised for the first time always felt like watching a newborn (a puppy or kitten) waking up.
“Huh? Where?” Felicia groaned sitting up and looking around. Her eyes were completely back to normal as she gazed around the dark room.
At first she didn’t notice the dark scales surrounding her. Then she noticed Nightshade’s bright violet eyes and reeled back.
“Wait! Don’t eat me! I’m not food!” She cried in dragon.
Well this was simultaneously the most adorable part so far with how Nightshade seems to treat this experience and the most terrifying part with how Felicia is treating it with all that pure terror.
Nightshade smiled. The tree wings spoke both dragon and human after living alongside dragonewts for so long, but most dragons probably didn’t. At least that’s what she thought anyway. For that matter she thought most humans didn’t speak dragon either.
“Don’t worry little dragonewt. I don’t want to eat you. Just play with you,” Nightshade said, in human. Felicia relaxed slightly with a nervous laugh.
“Oh, well, I guess that’s good.”
“Yes. I think our first game should be one to help you relax. You must be quite tense from all this nervousness. An easy game to take your mind off your worries should be perfect. The rules are simple. It’s a staring contest. The first one to look away from the other’s eyes looses.” Nightshade said happily with a bright smile as she closed her eyes.
Well that seems like a pretty simple game. Not exactly the sinister plots you expect from a being performing a kidnapping like that but well let's see if this builds to anything dangerous or if we're going to see almost a bit of a mother daughter situation here.
“Um…” Felicia started but Nightshade quickly interrupted her.
“Just stare as long as you can and don’t look away. That should be easy for you.”
“Great! Begin in three, two, one, Stare.” Nightshade said opening her eyes to reveal the spirals already flowing through them.
Felica also stared in a slight panic, but her expression quickly became one of confusion, then realisation and amazement. For a moment she simply stared into Nightshade’s eyes her questions forgotten.
This time however Nightshade was in no rush to put her under and kept her spirals slow and steady. This allowed Felicia to remember her earlier questions after a moment though her body had already relaxed, and she had lost her earlier nervous stammer.
Oooh okay, that does seem to have been more sinister than I thought. Nightshade was trying to hypnotize Felicia again although this time it appears there's concern here and Nightshade is stopping to think of Felicia before Nightshade just launches into whatever fun she was planning on having.
“Oh, right. I… wanted to ask you something…” She began. Pausing as she tried to think of her question even as it became harder and harder to do so.
“What is it little dragonewt?” Nightshade prompted. Felicia jerked slightly as she woke slightly from the trance she was falling into.
“What kind of dragon are you? Your eyes… so beautiful. A tree wing…? Your scales…” She trailed off again as she focused once more on the spirals. Her head starting to do small circles as she fell deeper.
“I am a tree wing little dragonewt. My scales are indeed unique. However, my eyes are just as mesmerising as any other. Far more entrancing even. That’s why it’s so relaxing to stare into them. I’ve heard that the deeper you stare the more beautiful they become,” Nightshade encouraged, leaning down slightly to make it easier for Felica to stare.
Well okay, that does sound like a truthful answer at least even though it also seem very in line with actually getting Felicia back into a proper full trance anyway. Let's see how this continues.
After a few moments Nightshade continued.
“Now that I’ve answered your question can you answer one of mine?”
“Yes… of course…” Felicia answered slowly.
“Good. Now, why do you hide your wings? It must hurt to keep them trapped in your clothes.” Nightshade asked sympathetically.
She knew it was wrong to ask Felicia questions while under her spell, but this was for her own good. Right?
“I can’t let anyone know… I have to be normal… human… it hurts…” Felica groaned sadly as her body shook slightly and tears welled up in her eyes.
Well here we go. As Nightshade does acknowledge this definitely isn't the greatest way to get this particular bit of information but Nightshade seems to be having a genuine reaction to it all and poor Felicia definitely seems like she needs a bit of comfort and to be away from whoever she was with earlier.
“You don’t have to be human with me.” Nightshade hushed comfortingly as she sped up the spirals in her eyes.
“You are safe and sound with me. Just look in my eyes and see the truth. That you are free to relax, without worry or sadness. Free from all the concerns of life. Just relax and let go of all of that. Let my spirals wash away all your troublesome thoughts. Simply float on the river of bliss as you let go of everything else.”
Felicia looked like a lost child who’d been hurt and was being comforted by their mother. Her teary, slowly spiraling eyes looked hopefully into Nightshade’s and accepted the comfort she found there. Her mind swept away on the tide of bliss and comfort she desired so badly. The spirals in her eyes sped up and her face relaxed, but Nightshade wasn’t done.
“Now that you know you are safe you don’t have to hide anymore. Take off the cloth that is hurting your wings. Let your wings be free just as you are free.”
Well you can certainly see that mother daughter angel coming into play there to some degree because Nightshade genuinely seems to have some care in her and even thought this appears to be a preamble to whatever fun Nightshade wants to have Felicia does seem like she will get at least some sort of benefit.
Felicia nodded and pulled her top over her head. Or at least, she tried to. Her helmet was in the way, so she quickly removed the helmet and let it clang to the ground. Then she removed her top leaving herself wearing only a thin and worn bra. Felica sighed and smiled as she looked back into Nightshade’s eyes and stretched her small wings with a slight grimace.
“That’s better. Now you’re completely free. All that’s left is to finish our game. Then you’ll be ready to play my new pet.” Nightshade smiled happily.
Felica smiled too. She was so happy Nightshade was happy.
“To finish this game all you must do is surrender to me. Just let your mind sleep while your body falls into complete bliss. Stare deeply into my eyes and let your mind rest. Let it sleep. Deep sleep. Your eyes are open, but your mind is asleep. That’s it. Your mind is now… asleep.” Nightshade cooed as Felica’s body stiffened gently. Her eyes widened with spirals now flowing through them constantly. Her smile was as wide as could be for a moment before relaxing into a goofy grin.
Well it looks like Nightshade did however end whatever little comforting situation was going on and dived fully into getting Felicia under her control to play with. Well let's see exactly what this playing is going to end up being like.
Nightshade chuckled. She absolutely loved that look.
Then, as she was admiring her new pet she heard the sound of wingbeats rapidly approaching. She quickly wrapped her new pet in her tail just in case.
“Sleep now Felicia. Close your eyes and fall into a deep, peaceful sleep.”
Felicia nodded and her eyes quickly drooped before closing as her smiled softened into one of bliss as she fell deeply asleep. Nightshade nodded at her confirming she was safely secured in her tail before turning to the door.
Nightshade couldn’t imagine how a dragon could have found her home or what they might want but if they were coming for her that meant she had something they wanted. Probably her new pet, but she wasn’t about to simply give her back.
Not yet at least.
Ooooh the plot very much thickens ere. Right as Nightshade is about to get towards whatever she was planning we're being interrupted. Now the question of course is if perhaps these new arrivals are going to be sort of the heroes in this equation to save Felicia.
It sounded like two dragons landed on the platform outside but only one rushed to the door and peered inside.
In the light of the moon, it was easy to see what kind of dragon they were. The slightly blue light reflected off the shiny silver scales of the female tree wing. Even though Nightshade would not have been impressed by most female tree wings, this one was little more than a dragonet!
She was just over half Nightshade’s size and from the look of her scales she hadn’t taken care of herself at all. Compared with the lustrous shine of most female tree wings her scales were dull and rough. Like they had been battered by stone, rough winds and rain her whole life.
“Give me back my friend evil dragon!” The little dragonet roared in fury. She certainly didn’t sound like the other silver tongued female tree wings. They hated dirtying their claws and instead they had always crafted cutting insults to wound her instead. But this tiny little dragon barely half her size seemed ready for a fight with tooth and claw.
Oh this is once again in that half adorable, half terrifying territory because it is amazing to see that clearly perhaps Felicia's younger sister or a friend of some sort has come all this way to try and save Felicia while at the same time Nightshade looking so nonchalant makes it clear this is also one of those scenes where a heroine is facing off some impossible odds against an evil monster to save her friend.
It was almost amusing.
“Come now. That’s a little harsh don’t you think?” Nightshade replied in a superior tone.
The little dragonet looked around for a moment as her eyes adjusted to the dim light inside the tree house. Then she made eye contact and her eyes widened in fright. Nightshade was a bit bigger than most tree wing females her age, and her long tail only added to that impression. Then the little dragonet noticed Felicia curled up in Nightshade’s tail.
“Felicia! Don’t worry, I’m going to get you out of here.” The little dragonet called. But Felicia didn’t answer.
“Felicia?” The dragonet whispered nervously.
Oh I have a feeling this is going to tell us properly exactly what sort of intentions Nightshade might have here. From the looks of things Nightshade is going down the villain playblook of answers despite all the genuine care being showed in patches earlier.
Nightshade chuckled with a sinister smile. She enjoyed the look of fear on the little female tree wing’s face. It felt like some kind of justice for all the insults and suffering the other female tree wings had caused her.
“Don’t worry about your friend. She’s perfectly happy right now. In fact. I think she prefers to be here. Isn’t that right?” Nightshade asked, turning to Felicia who sighed contentedly as she felt Nightshade’s tail flex around her.
The little dragonet looked confused, and Nightshade smiled as an idea formed in her mind.
Why not play with them both and erase their memories before sending them on their way? Then the little dragonet gets her friend back and neither of them report her whereabouts to the other tree wings. Then they could both get what they wanted.
Oh dear well that line about fear does kind of cement the villain plan unfortunately, so it seems Nightshade does have some sort of evil intention after all besides just the whole having fun angle. Now it seems this poor friend of Felicia's is getting subjected to this as well and well let's see what this playing is going to end up being.
Even the little Nara in her head barely protested. She wasn’t harming or manipulating them after all. How bad could a little hypnosis be?
“How about this little dragonet. Let’s make a small bet. I’ll let your friend and you leave if you can beat me in a staring contest. But if you fail, you must stay here and let me play with you until I say you can go.”
The little dragonet looked nervous, but she took one glance at her friend and came to a decision.
“All right then. I accep-”
“Wait! Aurora. Don’t make a deal with her.” A young male tree wing voice called out suddenly.
Ooooh okay more wrenches being thrown into the works. Well this is certainly building up quite nicely isn't it. Once again Nightshade thinks she's all ready to sit down and quietly execute her evil plan but something has come up to suggest otherwise and now let's see how this will complicate matters.
Nightshade froze. She recognised that voice.
Her whole body went cold, and it suddenly felt like her heart was going to explode. She peered anxiously out the door. Waiting for the dragon who had spoken to step into view.
Then he walked out boldly. Standing in full view with the bright light of the moon illuminating him from behind, and suddenly Nightshade felt like the whole world stopped.
“Ceiba.” Nightshade whispered.
She was filled with so many feelings and emotions she didn’t even know where to start. She looked at his face and her heart leapt. She looked in his eyes and was crushed by guilt. She looked at his wings and longed for them to wrap around her. She looked at his scales and felt empty. His tail reminded her of the day they met.
Ooooh well the little reference to a random Ceiba comes back. I was wondering when that would come into play. Well, this is certainly going to complicate matters a whole lot. However Nightshade reacts to this will definitely define if she stays on that villainous side.
Then she realised he must have heard her try to trick this young dragon into falling into her spell and felt overwhelmed by shame. How could she have even considered hypnotising a dragon again?
A dragon. A young, female, tree wing that had brought Ceiba with her.
Nightshade glared at the little, adorably cute dragonet and suddenly all she felt was jealousy.
“Hello, Nightshade.” Ceiba said cautiously. He seemed wary of her. Though he also had a strange sad look that Nightshade couldn’t understand.
Not that it mattered. He’d obviously moved on and found a new mate.
Well it looks like despite all the sadness and other emotions clearly swirling all through Nightshade there we're also seeing that Nightshade choses very much to just latch onto the jealousy in that moment and embrace that which is going to probably lead to some comments Nightshade regrets.
“Hello Ceiba. Who’s your new friend?” Nightshade asked bitterly.
“My name is Aurora. I’m one of the dragonets of prophecy and Felicia is also a part of the prophecy so you have to give her back.” Aurora stated determinedly. Nightshade shrugged.
“I don’t care about a stupid prophecy. If you didn’t want your pet being taken you should have watched them more carefully. Now she’s mine and if you want her back you’ll have to give me something I want in return.”
“Please give her friend back Nightshade.” Ceiba pleaded, but Nightshade didn’t want to give that mate stealing little dragonet anything. And Ceiba asking for her only made Nightshade want to refuse even more.
Well yup we can definitely all of those ugly emotions kicking into high gear there, which as understandable as they are, will definitely end up just reflecting quite badly on Nightshade because this is clearly going to end up with a bit of an argument and possible a fight.
“I’ll let her go when I’m done with her. If you want her back now I’ll need something in exchange.” Nightshade said firmly.
Aurora glanced looked around and reached up to a small leather strap around her horns. It had a green gem that looked very similar to the one in Felicia’s helmet, but she hesitated. Nightshade didn’t need jewels anyway, but she couldn’t wait to refuse whatever she offered just to see the look on her face. It served her right for stealing Ceiba away from her.
“What about me?” Ceiba asked.
Nightshade and Aurora stood shocked for a moment.
“I’ll trade places with Aurora’s friend. Just let them go and you can have me for as long as you like.”
Oh well it looks like Ceiba is about to make a bit of a noble sacrifice there. I wasn't expecting to see something quite like that. Now the question is going to be how evil Nightshade is going to end up being when it comes to this particular offer.
Nightshade couldn’t believe it. Even if the entire tree wing tribe came to free him the next day, having even one more night with Ceiba was worth everything she owned and more. Yet at the same time she felt a pang of jealousy that he was only doing this for that dragonet. Aurora raised her talon but before could protest Nightshade agreed.
“I will accept your offer. But you are worth far more than a simple pet. Please ask for anything else and I’ll give it to you as well. I’ll give you anything you want… even me,” She whispered, so quietly neither Ceiba nor Aurora heard her.
Ceiba thought for a moment. Then he glanced at Aurora and back to Nightshade.
“Could you please help her control her hypnosis? She needs help and no one in the village has more experience than you.”
Well, okay this is going down some slightly different tangents for the moment. That does make things a little bit more interesting again because we do seem to be looking at Nightshade having yet more conflicting emotions about this whole ordeal.
Nightshade felt like her head was going to explode as her heart was torn to shreds.
“Why? Why do you care so much about this dragonet? Do you just fall for the least shiny tree wing around? Why? Why, when I offer you everything I have, do you want to give it to her?!” Nightshade cried desperately.
She couldn’t hold back the tears pouring down her face and her whole body trembled with grief. It felt like her scales were being torn off and her chest was constricting itself while a hole was punctured in her gut.
She just couldn’t understand. Why had he betrayed her like this? Had he truly never loved her in the first place? Did he hate her so much that he would come just to torture her for what she’d done?
Hmm well it looks like Nightshade is making quite a few assumptions there that don't appear to be true on the surface. You can certainly see quite how bad it looks from Nightshade's own point of view but you have to wonder what might truly be the well truth here.
Her head was such a confused mess she could barely even think, and her heart was far worse. She couldn’t control her own shaking limbs and her eyes burned as she stared into the eyes of the only dragon she’d ever loved. Desperately seeking some kind of answer for all her pain.
Ceiba reeled back shocked, and Aurora looked very confused.
“Nightshade. You…” He paused as the words seemed to get caught in his throat. Then he quickly continued.
“Were not, um… Aurora just arrived here and with the other dragonets of prophecy. I was told to help them however I could. Then she told me her friend had been stolen and that her friend’s mind felt fuzzy, sleepy and full of euphoria. I knew it had to be you, so I brought her here to get her friend back, but I…” He paused again as tears formed in his own eyes.
Well okay...okay, it seems whatever tangled messes have been formed here are actually coming to light there in some capacity. There's no telling where this goes but it looks like just maybe there's a chance this doesn't just end with everything going horribly wrong.
“I couldn’t bring myself to face you. Everyone told me that I had to move on, but I couldn’t. They said you were just using me and never actually cared about me. I wanted to come talk to you so many times, but I just couldn’t find the courage. I was too afraid of what the other tree wings thought… Just like you said I did.” Ceiba’s face fell, looking ashamed. Then he raised his teary eyes and stared back into Nightshade’s.
“Nightshade… I-I’m so sorry.”
It felt like somehow the world had stopped spinning and everything made sense again. Nightshade was still trembling. Her heart was so afraid this was a trick. So afraid of being broken again. Yet all she felt was compassion for Ceiba. She knew that before meeting Nara she never could have understood what these emotions meant, but now…
Ohhh well it appears that this time somehow Ceiba has found whatever right words to say here and suddenly Nightshade has also heard exactly what she needed to hear and things are perhaps now instead tending towards something more of a happier ending.
Nightshade stretched out one talon and cupped Ceiba’s face as she felt compassion, empathy and love flowing through her whole body.
“Oh, Ceiba. I’m the one who should be sorry. You are the bravest and kindest tree wing in the whole world. I broke your trust and your heart. I am so sorry. But you don’t have to worry about my affection. You always were, and always will be the only dragon I could ever love.” She whispered reverently.
Then she pulled Ceiba into a hug as they both wrapped their wings around each other and cried. Ceiba collapsed into Nightshade’s embrace, clutching her fiercely.
“I don’t care if you were manipulating me. I’ll fall for you for the rest of my life. So please, use your hypnosis on me again. Make me yours once more. I love you Nightshade.” Ceiba whispered, so quietly Aurora couldn’t hear, and so full of love Nightshade felt like she’d been blown away. Her heart about to burst from the warm, filling love emanating from Ceiba.
Oh well that definitely wasn't exactly where I was expecting it to go but as a fan of the happiest of endings, well I have absolutely no grounds whatsoever to be complaining and I am loving the direction this is currently headed in.
Nightshade pulled back and looked deeply into Ceiba’s eyes. She saw Ceiba surrender to her as he relaxed and gazed expectantly into her eyes.
In that moment Nightshade wanted so badly to let her eyes blossom with colors so she could see her colors in Ceiba’s eyes once more. It’s what she’d desperately wanted ever since she had been banished… and yet. She just couldn’t.
The moment he’d told her he loved her. Without any hypnosis or lies. Her heart had been filled in a way that she’d never felt before.
This was true love. Not the kind of forced love she had taken from him before. That love had given her pleasure on the surface, but it had never truly fulfilled her like this. Now she finally understood what Nara had said about love from someone she was controlling not being true love.
Now she could love Ceiba the right way. She wasn’t Nightshade the hypnosis dragon who controlled everyone anymore. Now, she was Nightshade the tree wing who loved Ceiba with all her heart.
Well that's a nice little moment. It seems through all of the layers of everything that happened earlier we've finally come to a moment where Nightshade genuinely seems to have reached towards the side of the good and chosen to actually stay there.
“No, Ceiba. I don’t want to control you anymore. I love you. And if you love me too, then you are already mine. I want to let you love me. I can’t take that choice away from you again.”
Nightshade stroked Ceiba’s surprised cheek. Looking into his kind green eyes.
She had never noticed how much she loved the vibrant green of his eyes. So full of life and compassion. Looking into them now she couldn’t help but smile as warmth spread through her chest. It felt like she was falling for this handsome dragon all over again.
Ceiba blushed as they simply stared into each other’s eyes for what felt like an eternity. And it might have been if someone hadn’t interrupted them.
“Um… What’s going on?” Aurora asked, still very confused about everything that had happened.
Well you can't help but love a beautiful little moment like that and of course when there are small children nearby there's no way you can expect that moment to play out in full without being interrupted in precisely the manner it just was.
Ceiba and Nightshade both blushed and quickly untangled themselves.
“Oh. Right. Sorry.” Ceiba apologised. “We were just… clearing up a misunderstanding.”
“Yes, I thought… well, it doesn’t matter now. Let’s get back to the issue of your friend, and… what was the other thing?” Nightshade asked awkwardly.
Aurora shifted uncomfortably.
“I… I need help controlling my powers. I keep accidentally controlling other dragons when I get emotional. I… I killed an Ice wing. He… he was going to hurt my friends. He locked us up and said he was going to torture us for his experiments and that he didn’t care if we survived or not. That’s when I… I told him to kill himself.”
Aurora started shaking and her eyes had a haunted look.
Oh well that immediately took an entirely different tone for a moment. That definitely sounds like a long complicated and very haunting story that absolutely needs to be addressed pretty carefully.
“I didn’t mean to use my powers. I was just really afraid he’d hurt my friends. He…” She shook herself and looked at Nightshade.
“I can’t let these powers hurt anyone else. All they’ve ever done is force other dragons to do things they didn’t want to do. I hate manipulating other dragons like that.” Aurora said shaking with fear, sadness, disgust, and a few other emotions Nightshade couldn’t tell.
Nightshade cringed a little, considering how she had never felt any qualms about using her powers to control others. In fact, she still enjoyed it. It wasn’t all bad though. Perhaps she should explain the good parts of their powers.
“Well, the fact that you don’t want to manipulate them is a good start. Knowing not to misuse our powers is essential. But there are good things you can use them for too. Basically, we can use hypnosis on creatures who look into our eyes, but I’ll explain that more in detail later. For now, what you need to know is that it relaxes their mind and allows you to place a suggestion or command in their mind. But you don’t have to command them to do anything at all. You can just help them let their mind relax and have a good time. It feels really good to be hypnotised after all.”
Oooh well that's certainly an interesting little clash in outlook there. I feel like Aurora would be a great influence for Nightshade to be a bit more careful with her powers while at the same time Nightshade will of course help Aurora with dealing with said powers.
“It didn’t look to me like the dragons I used my powers on enjoyed it. What does it feel like? And how do you use your hypnosis without commanding someone to do something?
Nightshade tried to think of some way of explaining it. Then she had an idea. Not only would it give Aurora some good experience, but it would allow her to have some alone time with Ceiba.
“Well Aurora. I think the best way for you to understand how to hypnotise someone is to experience it for yourself. It really helps if you can describe to the person you’re hypnotising what exactly they should be feeling as they relax.”
Okay well it looks like Nightshade is going to end up getting to hypnotize Aurora after all, although it is hard to say precisely how that's going to play out in this now very different context.
Aurora looked at her nervously, but Nightshade waved her talon dismissively.
“Don’t worry. I’m only going to help you fall asleep that’s all. Just like your friend here.” Nightshade finished, gesturing to Felicia who was still laying on Nightshade’s tail with a blissful smile while she slept.
Aurora glanced at Ceiba who nodded. Then Aurora took a deep breath and nodded to Nightshade.
“Alright teacher. I’m ready.”
Nightshade smiled gently.
“No need to be so nervous Aurora. Just relax. Your job is simple,” Nightshade said casually.
So casually that Aurora almost missed the moment Nightshade’s eyes filled with beautiful spirals.
“Just, look… into… my eyes.”
Okayy well that was a fun point to end on. A little bit of teaching appearing to have started off there and its definitely a very interesting vibe for us as well, just this feeling of perhaps a better future for everything in that particular scene.
Aaaaand that's it for this one.
Overall: Overall I think you've got yourself a very intriguing little tale here. Nightshade definitely seems like a very complex character and its really intriguing to see her experience all of this. Even though she clearly has made mistakes you still end up rooting for her to some degree and by the end we reach a lovely point there. I think that endings quite solid too in terms of what it seems to almost just promise for the future to come.
As always remember to take what you think was helpful and forget the rest.