Chapter 7: New Relations

AN: I finally have time to write! So, someone asked me since the previous chapter is about Bell falling for Beau, if that means that I found someone new. Just in case anyone else was wondering about this... no, I don't. I am still as single as a pringle, it is next to impossible for me to get a boyfriend now since I am not particularly desirable. Besides, I am way more careful now in terms of choosing my special someone. My previous relationship was quite one sided, which I putted in more effort than he did in terms of communication. This is quite important since we are from different places, with me from Hong Kong and him from Moscow. Well, sorry for the ranting and let's get into the story.

'Hey!' Athena shouted after someone took her meat from her.

'Shut up, I did the most work in weapon producing tonight.' he said after he swallowed all of her meal.

'Chad, I did most of your work!' she shot back.

'Evidence?' asked Chad loudly. 'Who did the most work?' the barn owl shouted to the table next to him.

'You!' they said in unison.

'See?' Chad teased.

Athena gave him an angry stare and pushed him away with her wing.

'What do you think you are doing to my daughter?' growled a voice from behind.

Chad and Athena turned around.

A light brown figure swooped through the air and her talon scratched the surface of Chad's chest.

'Ow! Argh!' he screamed.

'Thanks mum.' She said.

'No problem, it was barely a stratch. I have never heard of a faker cry than that.' she replied before one of her feathers shedded. 'Not sure if it is going to grow back.' she sighed.

It had almost been half a year in the camp, what used to be browns and ambers of Otulissa's feathers became light brown.

Athena sighed as well, she used to be chubby and fluffy. But now, she looked like a twig with withered leafs.

Later in the night, a sooty owl led the siblings out from the weapon making room to somewhere else.

The place they were led to looked like a steep basin. In less than a minute, Sir. Oliver himself spiraled down into the centre of the basin.

'Everyone, listen closely.' said Sir. Oliver.

Everyone in there turned their heads to him. 'The Prince decided to announce that he will have a new mate, so he wanted to let everyone in the empire know. He will be throwing a party a fortnight later, all of you were invited to help.' said Sir. Oliver.

'Yeah right, invite.' thought Athena 'It's not like we were forced to do it...'

'All of you must do your best and we will send all of you there at sunset tomorrow.' he said.

The sunset of the next day soon came. As the sun was crawling down, Andrew and his siblings were directed by an owl to a large cage with ten eagle owls on top of it.

The trio were shoved to a corner. As other inmates were cramming in, Andrew's talons and beak were scratched by the rust of the iron bars, making his talons even more chipped than they already were.

It took a day to arrive at the place. After the cage landed, the front gate was opened by one of the eagle owls.

Before the gate was fully opened, owls began rushing out. When all of them were finally out of the cage, the three of them began to gasp for air.

Antony looked down at his talons and noticed that there was blood and a bit of down attatched to it. But he did not feel any pain, he turned his head and saw that a small owl was stomped, with it's intestines still hanging out.

'My word!' he exclaimed in terror.

'Oh goodness!' Andrew and Athena exclaimed in unison.

Soon, the cage was being taken away along with the stomped owl.

As the moon began to rise, a hagsfiend divided the owls into different factions to preform different tasks.

The three of them were all responsible for decoration, and so was Bess.

As soon as they were in their place, Antony noticed that the grass owl that he had a crush on was in the same faction.

'Too bad that I now look like some nobody... she will never notice me.' sighed Antony as he stared at his reflection on the puddle of water, his spots which looked like the stars in a clear summer night just a few months ago looked like snowballs tainted by mud, meanwhile his originally big and muscular build became scrawny.

Andrew putted his wings on the shoulders of his siblings and said 'Welcome to the lonely club, right Athena?' he smirked and began to churr hysterically.

Athena shoved Andrew away and said 'Andrew! I am not joining you little club, not in a million years!'

'Come on, sister... when was the last time someone was interested in you?' teased Andrew.

'Uh a year and a half?' she said.

'Yeah, that's right. Join us now.' said Andrew with an unsettling friendly tone to his voice.

'What?! They are using bells of all things for decoration?' gasped Bess 'I thought that they are setting up for a happy event, not singing someone to glaumora.'

The triplings couldn't help but laugh a bit.

As they were hanging up the decorations, a soft voice was crying for help. 'Ah! I'm stuck!' the voice cried.

Antony quickly located where the voice came from and flew to the direction.

When he saw the owner of the soft voice, she was tangled with the line of ornaments, some were even on her neck.

He managed to get some of it off her. 'A little help here!' he yelled.

Andrew quickly flew there to help as another owl came as well.

'Stand back!' she shouted on the top of her lungs and quickly untied her.

'Thank you, Caroline.' she said as she was getting the rest of the string off her.

'No problem, Ria.' replied Caroline.

'And thank you... Antony?' Ria said in suprise.

'How do you know me?' asked Antony.

'Come on, you have been invited in quite a few social events. Along with Andrew, the one standing next to you and wait... where is Athena?' said Caroline confidently.

'I'm here!' yelled Athena.

'Wait a second, how did you recognize us?' asked Andrew. 'We look so different now.'

'Well, it's not that different, and still as charming.' she cooed.

'Well, thanks Caroline.' said Andrew shyly.

'Oh, have we not properly introduced ourselves yet? My name is Caroline and this is my cousin Ria. We came from Ambala.' said Caroline politely.

'Hey, Athena! Come here!' shouted Andrew.

Soon, she was with her brothers.

'I am Andrew, this is my younger sister Athena and this is my younger brother Antony.' said Andrew.

'Hey! Get back to work!' scolded a barn owl as she tossed a piece of hot metal without warning at them.

They flew as far as they could from the metal but Andrew and Athena were burnt on their legs.

'Good Glaux! Ah!' they exclaimed in pain as the scent of smoked feathers fill the air.

Soon, the two of them crash landed on the ground.

'You two stay here.' said Ria calmly. 'Caroline, you stay here and look after them while me and Antony go and fetch some water and leaves.'

'Okay.' agreed Caroline.

Ria and Antony took two of the buckets that were on the side and headed off to a small lake.

'Why are you doing this?' asked Antony.

'To heal them.' she answered simply. 'Oh look! The lake is over there!'

They headed off to the lake and Ria took some water with her bucket.

'Pick some bigger leafs off that tree and rinse them with water.' instructed Ria.

Antony picked a few leafs along with a purple flower.

'I have something for you.' said Antony and placed the flower on her head carefully. 'Here, it fits you perfectly.'

'Thank you.' she said shyly and churred a little bit. 'Have you washed the leafs?'

He quickly rinsed them briefly 'All done.'

'Good.' she said and they flew back to the others.

Ria was taking care of their wounds when Bess came.

'What happened?' asked Bess.

'Some maniac decided to throw hot metal at us, when you thought things wouldn't get any worse...' sighed Athena.

'Well, in all this time being a rebel, I learnt that facing these things makes you stronger and wiser. You are going to make it.' said Bess.

Athena was quite suprised, she knew that Bess was an optimistic owl but she never knew that she would say something so... inspirational.