They hold watch over The Beast.
It came from within The Gleam.
The Tide Churns [cont’d]
‘Pride?!’ Lysandra sends, wishing she could spit. ‘He stayed for your sake, Hilaetos, he was trying to warn you! To save you! Little did the gull know, ‘twas he who needed saving from you.’
The Sea Hawk draws his head back a feather’s width upon receiving this thought. He makes no other moves. Snow begins to pile on the ice, has long been piling on dry land. More terrible shrieks explode from across The Basin and the Sea Hawk can’t help but point his leering stare that way. The pair eagles don’t take their eyes off him.
‘He was a good gull,’ Hilaetos finally sends, his tone of thought laced with a certain twang of regret that brings a hard quease to the stomachs of the pair eagles. ‘As good as a Bird of Lake could be, anyway. He’d have done well to flee this keep along with the sick vulture flock; I cannot and will not be held responsible for the consequences of his self-righteous actions.’
This time Lysandra leaps, and Lysander does not stop her. Hilaetos flaps quickly and dodges death by a stroke of great timing and nothing else. The bald eagle manages to graze one of his legs though, and when she lands, she tastes the fresh blood on her talon. It tastes of scales and the flesh of lakebreathers, the blood of one who eats well while those around him starve.
‘We both saw this coming and did nothing to stop it,’ Lysander sends, preparing to leap. ‘For that we shall pay dearly… but first you will be made to suffer, Sea Hawk!’
‘I think not, pair eagles,’ as he spans his eagle’s wings. It is now Lysandra who holds her partner back, and thank goodness she does; three, four, even five red-tailed hawks they could take on without a problem, but the flock which dives from above and surrounds Hilaetos is much greater in number than five. The pair eagles would die to avenge Choridae after what the poor gull’s been through, without hesitation, with joy in their eyes, damnit… but they would rather live to fight with him another day.
No, they won’t take down the Sea Hawk, nor will they take out any more of his dastardly little cohorts, not those with the evil red tails nor the one perched beside Hilaetos, the one with the scarlet plumage adorning his shoulders. There will be no more bloodshed under these dark storm-clouds – so long as all the gulls have already been slain, that is. Both bald eagles shudder at the thought.
‘We will leave The Basin, Hilaetos. The Sticks is yours to share with the Red Hawk Flock, as you so clearly prefer it that way,’ sends Lysander, his beak clenched so tightly the keratin threatens to crack. ‘But I must know one thing first, so long as you would send it – why? Why have you forsaken the vultures, why have you forsaken the gulls, why have you forsaken us, Lord Hilaetos? We who have perched by you since the day we flocked to The Sticks?’
The many hawks trade amused glances, their eyes lit and cheerful with sparks of humor and victory. For a long moment the Sea Hawk sends nothing, merely looks down at this pair of bald eagles he once risked his own flecked plumage to save. Why has he forsaken them? Better yet, why does he allow himself to believe their lies, to receive their false blame?
‘Nobird evicted you from this kingdom, pair eagles – the hawks have–… well, the hawks had qualms with the gulls, as all Birds of Prey have with all Birds of Lake. You two forsook yourselves with your gross and unprovoked mauling of your fellow Birds of Prey. Now, begone! And feel fortunate for being given the chance, before my new flock and I change our minds and strike you down where you perch.’
The pair of bald eagles need no further convincing – they’ve known the Sea Hawk was a great many branches shy of a proper nest, yes, they’ve known it true for many shinecycles now, but they never thought it would come to this. They never thought the fool capable of flapping so low, but as one may say: The tide churns, the wind blows, and the seasons always change.
The pair eagles flap wing and leave The Basin behind. The channel closes as they swoop low under the giants’ footbridge and cross into The Northern Leg. Behind them, a Sea Hawk’s victory shriek is drowned out by a demonic chorus of hotblooded kee-awws. The awful shrill pitch of the Red Hawk Flock’s cry brings cracks to the ice below.
This has been the end of the third subchapter of the third chapter of The Monksville Chronicles. Here is everything you need to know about it:
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