Arslan's vision was blurry, and his throat burned as if a mini sun had taken up residency. He coughed and gasped for any moisture. His blurry vision made it nearly impossible to find anything. Finding a pond or a puddle of water would be equally as likely as running into a monster that could rip him apart, limb from limb. He gripped at the ground around him, frantically. Well, at least one thing was for sure, the grass wasn't dead, meaning he wasn't in that strange dimension anymore. He could feel that they contained a small amount of water as he squeezed large clumps in his hands. In desperation, he began stuffing his mouth with the green plants.
"How unbecoming. My king, eating foliage like a savage," said a familiar voice.
Arslan's voice was raspy and coarse, but he managed to speak weakly, "E-Estelletoria?"
The blob in his vision did somewhat resemble the bee-girl, rather the blonde coloration of her hair was similar enough to make the inference.
The blob started to make some movements as she got closer to Arslan's face, "Oh, Darling. This is…Interesting?" Arslan could feel a hand gingerly caress the side of his face. "Here," she said. He could feel a thick liquid press up against his lips; he didn't need a second to think before he started to drink the sweet liquid. The sugary taste coated his esophagus and made the burn much more bearable. Possibly as a side effect, his vision also was clearing up. It did not take him long to finish the sweet drink.
His pain subsided, and his vision was as good as it was before. He could finally see, it seemed he was still within the forest, but the types the trees indicated that he was much deeper in, as they were much taller as they had to compete for sunlight. But more importantly, was that his savior was, in fact, Estelletoria. Perhaps it must've been the sun starting to set and began bleeding past the trunks, or it was another side effect, but a heavenly glow wrapped her body, refracting from her wings, she was as beautiful as a pixie or even an angel. He got off his hands and knees and hugged the woman. The suddenness of affection surprised her, and she let out a yelp. "Thank you so much, Estelle,"
She smiled and began using her wings to float, the moment she was let go. She pressed a hand to her breasts and closed her eyes, "It's only natural for an empress to make sure her empire is fine." She opened her eyes the moment after she said that, giving Arslan a wink. "Emperor included."
Arslan wiped the side of his mouth and inspected the thick liquid, it could have been honey, but it didn't have the same appearance, it was more white and opaque than clear and gold. He tasted his finger, it did have somewhat of the same taste, but it was also different, somehow much sweeter. "What is this?" he asked.
"Nectar." She said plainly.
Arslan stared at her, hoping that there was going to be some continuation, but to his displeasure, she didn't. "And how did you find me? If I remember your hive is at least ten miles from here."
"That's the crazy thing," She frankly said. "I was on my way back to the hive when I saw this massive aura presence, I came to investigate and saw you out here dying."
Arslan suddenly yelled and gripped the side of his head; his brain immediately began throbbing in pain, he involuntarily made faces as the feeling steadily increased in intensity.
Estelletoria this time wasn't startled, but instead flew around him, eyeing up his whole body, squinting as she studied the aura around him. "No wonder you're yelling in pain. Your aura is incredibly unstable. Is it like…trying to fight itself? I can't even explain it." She stopped flying and gracefully landed. She sat down on a nearby boulder. She swirled her finger around him in a circle "So, then how did you manage to do…this to your magic? Tell Momma Estelletoria!" She crossed her legs and cocked her head.
"It's an extremely long story," Arslan sighed in exhaustion. "I'd rather tell everyone at once," he looked around once again at his surroundings and had to ask. "Mandilyn and Avelyn around?"
"No, they went off to the school, something about a fire or invasion or something." Estelletoria mentioned in a matter of fact way, "I couldn't join them. I have a few kids I can't leave alone."
Arslan was hit with multiple emotions at once, fear, anger, joy, and quite a few he couldn't explain. But his first response came out as "Kids?" But, he shook that thought away, he'd be able to ask her about that later. "Can you get me there quick?!"
She got up from the rock she was sitting on, "I can, but I can't guarantee I'd be much help in combat."
Arslan adjusted his hood, and a new design appeared. The usual eye was being surrounded by several glowing runes that were reminiscent of the unknown language. "I just need to get there."
A soldier struggled within Avelyn's grip as she busted down the door to the rooftop. The duo was greeted with several airships floating around the horizon except for one, the mother ship docked on the side of the building. The soldier kicked and screamed, cursing at her in the process. Eventually, he got exactly what he wanted… just, not in the way that he wanted. Avelyn threw him off the rooftop; he screamed for several seconds, increasingly getting further and further from the girls until he no longer could be heard.
Arden clapped slowly on the furthest side of the building. Mandilyn stared at him with extreme hatred and unyielding prejudice. He laughed and spoke. You girls never cease to be the center of my amazement." He smiled, then continued, "I love it! Shame Arslan isn't with you, really hoping he was."
Mandilyn snarled and shouted, "Why? So you can fill his heads with lies again and betray him!?"
Arden was slightly appalled. "Lies?" He rhetorically asked. "Do you mean my daughter?"
Mandilyn crossed her arms. "Of course, I do! Not once did you provide a means that she existed."
Arden's tone turned grim and solemn as he spoke. "I would never lie about MY daughter. She was a saint, beautiful, kind she wanted what was the best for everyone, and I'll miss her for as long as I breathe."
Mandilyn slowly uncrossed her limbs. "Wait…do you mean that she died?"
Arden's anger became very apparent as he raised his voice, pointing at Mandilyn. "Yes, she passed away while your 'master' spent his time idling about for a week." Arden turned around and leaned over the railing. Far off in the distance, the carnage was still rampaging. The airships were continuing their aerial bombardments. His former colleagues laid face down in the streets and soldiers were marching through, executing any prisoners they contained. "She was an angel taken from me, I'll watch the world burn for killing her."
Mandilyn silently looked to Avelyn, the two agreed on one thing. Arden lost it and needed to be put down. Mandilyn gripped her glaive and shouted, "You're insane!"
Arden started to laugh. "Inconceivable rage might look like that to you so, I guess you're right. Won't change a thing though."
Mandilyn got close to the ground, on all fours then jumped. In just a few seconds she was already within striking distance. She shouted, "It will change if you die!" The moment she landed, she tucked and rolled readying her glaive the moment she was able to regain her balance.
However, it did not connect. A heavily armored woman blocked her. The blade was embedded in between the brown scales. "I told ya not interfere, didn't I, lass?" She grabbed the shaft of the glaive with Mandilyn still holding onto the other side.
"Oh no," Mandilyn muttered under her breath.
The pangolin girl removed the blade from her scales and launched Mandilyn clear across the rooftop. If it wasn't for the fact that Avelyn caught her, she might've gone over the side.
Avelyn helped Mandilyn up to her feet and began cracking her knuckles. "I got it, Bucktooth, take care of that old man for me."