In part 2: Virginia and Titana choked on the sickening fumes of melted flesh and smoky village huts. Jade village was no more after the legend of hell’s angel had touch it with her fiery breath. Fearful and in doubt. Titana and his master went forth towards the northern caves, in search of death and mystery:
About an hour out of the remains of Jade village, Titana and Virginia stopped for a drink of water at Xelia lake. Xelia lake was an impressive source of life for much of West Country which stretched all the way from the fringes of Jade towards the border of Masecareno and the fringes northern caves, their destination. Most of the water was crystal and smooth, with an exception of some murky swamps at the border. Despite the ash and mud that littered the air following the hell’s angel visit to Jade village, Xelia lake was magically serene and cool. It mirrored everything that touch the air over its surface, and splashed about calmly, this way and that.
Without hesitation Virginia slumped off of Titana’s heaving back and buried her face into the cool water. It felt heavenly on her sweltering cheeks and filled her mouth with magical bursts of quenching relief. Without lifting her face she gulped another three mouthfuls and forced them through her body, cooling the nerves which pulsated with memories of Jade village. After an eternity of having her head submerged in the calming lake, she came up for air and looked up to a patient and content Titana standing calmly over her.
“Aren’t you going to have a drink?” She thought.
“Possibly. But somebody’s got to watch while you’re blinded in the water.” replied Titana.
“Oh stop!” Snapped Virgina. “I needed it badly. Besides, we’re still miles from the caves. What kind of dragon that big could sneak up on me in such a short time?”
“Well, she seemed to get it right with Jade village back there”, retorted Titana.
Virginia ignored his logic and looked down for her reflection. Her auburn, now littered with ash, stuck to her face and rested calmly over her forehead. She watched as beads of water dripped over her eyes and ran down her cheeks. The natural rosy colour that gently kissed her face and nestled around her olive green eyes, had now mixed with a sticky black residue and had started running down towards her upper lip. She cupped some water and vigorously splashed it all over to remove what she imagined the charred remains of the people in Jade village. When she was satisfied she moved to her hands and scrubbed them till her pale complexion returned. The blackened cuffs of her robe would have to stay that way.
Throughout her avid cleansing, Virginia failed to notice that Titana had disappeared. When she eventually felt that he was missing, she looked around with a slight panic, darting about in search for the silver shadow, but he was nowhere in the immediate smoky vicinity. The area was misty so he could have been close.
“Where are you?!” Thought Virginia, almost screaming.
“Behind you.” A calm and collected Titana responded. “You need to see something”.
Curious and still slightly jittery by his sudden disappearance, she followed him without question. Titana led her along the water’s edge towards a mound of mud and grass that rested between a piece of drift wood and a pile of boulders. They slowly made their way around the moldy log of wood towards the back of the dirt mound. Nestled against the soft grass, a small pair of feet led Virginia’s eyes to the small body of a young child, still alive. His feet, knees, hands, arms, face, and once golden hair had all been painted grey by the air on the outskirts of Jade village. His pale blue eyes, although fearful, gazed curiously at Virginia, who met his look with one of concern and shock.
“What’s your name, boy?” She spoke aloud this time.
“Boy, do you have a name?”
Still no answer.
“Are you from over there?” Virginia pointed towards the direction of Jade village. The young one’s eyes followed her gesture and returned to her face with a look of fearful acknowledgement. The pain in his eyes led Virginia to ask the next inevitably disastrous question.
“Where is your family?”
The child’s gaze became stern and he began to weep. His lower lip trembled as salty tears burned through the tarred layer of ash on his face. A few snorting words escaped his mouth.
“Flapping. Flapping. Wind and fire. Fire.” His voice wheezed up and a convulsion of noises left his throat. An uncontrollable series of coughs had the boy holding his face between the tears, catching the blood which had left his lungs, poisoned by the fumes of Jades angel from hell.