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"Rightful owner of this land?" Zane repeated slowly, as if he misunderstood. "So you attack the people it was sold to and not the ones who sold it?"

Faler's smirk turned into a sneer. "I also have a debt with the Cobriana. Your great grandfather banished my sick great grandfather from the city, forbade him from receiving medical assistance from your doctors. He died shortly after and ever since it has been a family grudge." Other wolves around him matched the sneer on Faler's face, obviously carrying the same hatred. "Your family killed a great leader!" The others around him yelled out in agreement and Zane held back a comment that was sure to get them killed

Rei silently worked against his ropes around his wrists. If he could manage to release himself, he could free Zane and they would make it out of here before Faler decided to continue with his plan.

Zane kept his rage inside cool. This was the great army that wanted war? It was a battalion with a grudge, an idiotic grudge at that. "So you find it necessary to kill my men, threaten my people and lay siege on us?"

Faler crouched down and stuck his face close to Zane's. "Might as well weed out all the pests while I am at it." He stood back up and nodded to another man. "They need food and water, but don't fill them up. I want them weak." The man nodded and spat at them before turning and leaving the crowd.

"What do you plan on doing to us?" Rei growled, finding his reserve slipping. The rope was too tight, it would take to much yanking and pulling that it would be obvious.

Faler stopped and looked at him. "I am going to make an example out of you."

Ulyesses coiled into the bushes, trying to remain out of sight. Sorrell was in the trees and not even Ulyesses could tell where. They had made it to water and had no encounters, until they smelt cooking meat. Quietly they made it to a camp and what they found was shocking.

A little over a dozen were wandering around in both fur and skin, some making weapons or sparring. When Ulyesses got a closer look, he noticed that two men were tied to posts driven into the ground. And they were the Diente and the command of the Royal Flight. When Aiden noticed, he and Ulyesses looked at the other and seemed to read each other's mind. They were going to take down the small camp and free the Diente and Andreios.

But there was only one issue with that and that was wolves had a very keen sense of smell. Before approaching the outskirts of the camp both had to roll in mud and make the smell more natural. Wolves avoided natural snakes and birds unless they were hungry and by the looks of it, they were in no need of food.

Ulyesses slithered out of the bush and back into the tree line making it quite a while before shifting back and finding his swords again. Its hard to sneak around with clanging weapons, so Sorrell found a tree with a hole in it and bushes that were too thick to see through. Aiden soon emerged and both men hurried back farther away from the camp, waiting for night time. Of course the wolves would be scouting it at night but it was easier to take out a few at once then all of them.

That was their plan. The wolves found that they all separated and picked off the weakest first before going for the kill. It made Ulyesses angry that they even thought of this plan. It could be the end of them.

"Their security is pretty poor. They are just moving around, not paying attention to their surroundings." Aiden shook his wings and stretched them. "It should be easy."

"Don't be fooled. Wolves have excellent hearing and smell. This is not a nation we are facing, just some rogues with some ideas on how things should be. The fact of the matter is though, that they took out all those camps so easily while there is so few of them. They must have mastered the element of surprise."

Aiden's face darkened as he remembered finding the bodies of his men. More families to return bodies too, more friends to morn. "You're right."

Ulyesses looked at the stash of hidden weapons they had been carrying. Araie would be very handy right now with her talents with the bow, but since she was obviously not there, he would have to find another way. "Are you good with a bow or throwing knives?"

Aiden shrugged and nodded to the bush where the rest of the weapons were hidden. "Bow more so than knives. Why?"

Ulyesses looked back to where the camp was and then studied the tree line. Aiden looked at where Ulyesses's kept his eyes and then suddenly knew what he was thinking. "How many do you think we can kill?"

"Before they notice? Maybe three or five, but with their numbers, that is a good count. What I want to do is take out two guards silently, then make a distraction while some one goes in there and releases the Diente and Andreios, then we can make it back to the palace and warn the other flight and guard members." Ulyesses looked at the little knives that were used for throwing. They were traditional serpiente throwing knives and had intricate designs of serpents weaved around the edges. When he did metal work after retiring from the guard he made the carvings deep. The reasons why they needed to be deep was to hold poison when it was spinning in the air. Sometimes the poison slipped off the knife when it spun to fast and having a smooth surface didn't help. And by the multi-colored sheen, this knife had lots of poison on it. They only had to knick them to kill.

"That is a good idea. I agree but we need to decide who will do it." Aiden eyed Ulyesses. He shifted into a snake, which was easier to hide.

Ulyesses smirked and raised his eye brows. "Well the one who frees the Diente must be fast, be able to quietly get in and out." Like he would go into the camp. He was to big and he didn't want to take that big of a risk.

Aiden nodded agreeing with Ulyesses. "Very fast."

Ulyesses kept his eyes on Aiden, his smirk widening slightly. "And one who can fly out."

"Yes- wait, Ulyesses you can't fly." Aiden frowned and then wanted to hit himself on the head. He was talking about him! He felt like an idiot but then he turned a glare on the large man. "I am not going into the camp. That is suicide."

"I have a baby on the way." Ulyesses tossed out at Aiden, making the raven twitch. Of course he would say that and now Aiden felt obligated to go. But then again he wasn't as talented with the bow. He had always been more talented on the ground, despite his race who usually preferred taking flight and attacking from the air with bows. "Sadira would have your tail feathers if she found you were a coward and made me do this scary, ludicrous mission."

Oh, Aiden wanted to hit him, but he knew that Ulyesses was kidding, even though it wasn't all that funny. "Fine, but you need to make those hits as fast as you can and make sure that they are gone before sending me in. We need a signal."

"Yes, I will just yell that you go." Ulyesses rolled his eyes. "Just stay with me and fly into the camp as soon as they are heading this way. Don't shift till you hit ground." He looked back were the small line of smoke rose from the trees. "I have a feeling, this might be more serious than we thought."

Sadira had been out for a while and to Araie it seemed like days. Night had passed and now day was in its peak. The heat from outside was now wafting inside and sweat ran down in between her breasts. Her red hair was still curling in crazy patterns as she had yet to brush it. She wouldn't leave those doors. Nacola and Danica took turns retrieving food and clean clothes and their absence was brief.

Araie could feel her body's needs starting in on her. She struggled to keep her eyes open and her stomach clenched and ached with its emptiness. Soon, she told herself, soon the doctor would come out to say that Sadira and the baby was alright. She made her perch on a long seat by a window and to keep her awake she kept looking down at the market, watching the people go about their day as if there was not another war to worry about. But that was how it was. You pretended everything was fine and then others would follow and life would proceed. In her home, her mother used to rise at dawn to pray and then clean Ulyesses's bed as if he was coming home that night.

"Araie, you need to eat." She felt some one sit next to her and to her relief it was Irene. In her hands was a slice of warm bread with honey and a cup of mint tea, which was Araie's preferred breakfast. Araie felt the pang of hunger and she sighed, giving in. "And you need to brush your hair." Irene patted a curl that was sticking out of her head, trying to tame it.

"It's no use, so don't try." Araie took the bread and tea graciously and sighed when she sipped the sweat mint tea. She could see at the bottom that there was those sugar crystals that her mother used to use. It reminded her of when Sadira came to her home and she had enjoyed the hibiscus sugar. She pushed a stray curl out of her face. "I can't leave, not yet."

"Araie it could be another day before any one comes out of that door." Danica had returned in time to hear Irene urging the young girl and joined her. "I know you don't want to but you need to sleep and to be honest, a bath." She sighed and looked at the door. "I know how you feel. That is my little sister in there."

Araie smelt her hair and wrinkled her nose. It was true. But she promised Sadira she wouldn't leave her. "Not yet..." She sighed. "I promised her I wouldn't leave her."

Danica closed her eyes. She was just as worried as the red haired girl was. Even her mother, who had to go lay down, was abnormally tense. What if Sadira didn't pull through? The Shardae line would suffer, Danica and her mother would suffer. Ulyesses would go mad and possibly kill himself from losing another mate.

Suddenly the doors opened and an elderly avian nurse slipped out from the crack between the doors, her small body not moving very fast. Another followed and she was a serpiente, with jeweled eyes that were like blue diamonds and hair as white as milk. Both worked on the princess all night and their faces held no inclination on what was about to be said.

Danica stood and both women bowed their heads as if they were twins and in sync. Araie remained by Irene in her chair, anxiously awaiting the news she was so desperate to hear. Was her brother's child alright? Was Sadira alright? She could feel her heart trying to jump out of her chest and the fear washing over her.

"My Tuuli Thea," The avian nurse, a sparrow, spoke first. Her voice was shaky and soft and Danica had to lean closer to hear her. "The princess is alright."

Danica almost fell over with relief and fought to keep her composure. "Thank the skies."

"Her child tore at her and made her bleed inside. The child shifted and ripped the princess's womb. This is uncommon, but not unheard of in serpent women. If she was a serpiente her body would have handled it." The serpent nurse explained. Her voice was more solid and her hands seemed strong and rough as she clasped them together.

"What of the child?" Danica kept her reserve in tack. She was so grateful that her sister was to live and doing alright, but the other life was now a concern.

The avian nurse bowed her head and Araie felt her heart drop. She kept her breathing even. She hadn't said anything yet...no need to be upset, she told herself. Irene held her hand tightly and watched as Danica's eyes portrayed what everyone was thinking. The baby was in trouble, or worse...

"A healty baby girl has been born. Mara Shardae Opries. She must remain with us until she is well enough to stay with her mother. She came to early. She is a miracle child though. Considering the circumstances, she should not have survived." The serpent nurse said. "She is very small and if she makes it through tonight, then the Shardae family will have another princess."

"Now excuse us milady, we must tend to the child now." The avian nurse said, nodding to the other. They both bowed again and returned behind the doors, closing it gently.

Araie could have lept for joy. Sadira alive and Mara had survived a stressful birth. She now had to pray that her little niece would pull through once again and make it another night. Her brother will weep when he finds out.

Her brother's first child was now in the world.

Sadira looked over at her small daughter. She was bundled comfortably in soft blankets and settled in a tiny little bed, her pink face relaxed and smooth. Sadira felt tears fall from her eyes and she wiped them away and smiled. She almost didn't make it and now that Sadira was fixed and the baby being a miracle child, Sadira could only feel excitement and longing to hold her infant daughter.

She was everything she had hoped for and more. Her little head was covered in thick red hair and her nose had a few freckles on it. To Sadira's dismay, she had her eyes and not Ulyesses's piercing blue, but she got over that quickly when she found that Mara defiantly had her father's scowl.

Sadira's body was sore and her mind was flooding with thoughts. She could not wait for Ulyesses to meet his daughter and to be reunited with her mate. She could see Ulyesses holding Mara in his arms and melting to the sight of her sweet face and Mara's little fingers gripping his large ones. Oh, how her heart ached for him and how anxious she was to know if he was still alive or not. With all the terrible news they had been receiving, it was possible that Mara would never meet her father.

No I mustn't think that way, he will come back to us. He is to stubborn to die.

"My sweet baby, I want to hold you very badly, but I can't. When you get better I will spend all my time with you." Sadira whispered softly and Mara's head rolled slightly toward her, her little nose scrunching. "Your father will be more than happy to meet you." Sadira teared up. "He'll come back to us, I promise."

Sorry this is so short guys. I am getting ready to be an aunt myself and life is so busy. But here you go and I told you guys that Sadira was not going to die!