From her cold, frozen eyes, she saw a sight that could only be described as a painting done in poor taste. The sky she saw was a dark shade of grey, and the snow falling around her might as well have been little pieces of ash.
She noticed the smoke below her coming out of the chimneys of her “houses.”
Every so often she would hear gunshots in the distance. Whether or not those gunshots signaled the death of another person was unclear from her position.
In an environment like this, it’s no wonder people acted foolishly.
The sounds of cannon fire thundered the surrounding area. Perhaps yet another gate was broken through.
She didn’t know what was happening— Not now, not ever. She was always being kept in the dark.
But, she thought perhaps there was meaning in her presence. What meaning was there though? No matter how much she thought about it, she couldn’t find an answer. She wondered why she was so fixated on this anyway.
“It’s almost time to go,” a tall guy with an almost majestic white hair said from behind. “Those militants will be here at the inlet soon. We can’t stay here long.”
The girl stopped and turned around. His eyes were sharp as if they were always constantly on the prowl, but something about them gave her the impression that they were also on the lifeless side with nothing left in the world able to spark life into them.
To the girl, he was different than any soldier, noble, or anyone else.
“Got it,” replied the girl, running up to him The aviation clothes she so clearly wasn’t used to wearing rubbed against her shoulders and knees uncomfortably while she ran.
“We have to do this properly. Don’t forget our friends are risking their lives just to buy us time.”
Despite the gravity of his words, he said them like just another day at the office.
He was once known as “The White Wing” before coming to this country. While everyone else addressed the girl like the royalty she was, he treated her like a friend.
After all, the girl was just that— a girl. She painfully knew how powerless she was and unable to do anything meaningful. Like everyone else, she felt compelled to put on an air of importance to seem useful and necessary.
On the other hand, he didn’t need to do such a thing. That’s why he was different.
“Can we really cross that wall alive?”
The “wall” was a huge, ever persistent magnetic cloud that surrounded this country, and they only had one airplane to cross it.
Thunderstorms reigned supreme inside the wall, so all they could do was pray that they wouldn’t take down their airplane. In addition, they had to use push their internal compasses to the limit since it was pitch black inside.
“Are you afraid?” he asked.
She shook her head.
“Then are you doubting me on this?”
She shook her head once again. “I’m just curious, that’s all,” she replied. “Nothing else.”
“Well,” he chuckled. “I don’t know whether we can. If we’re lucky, yes. If not— no. But we had to cross that to come here, didn’t we? If we did it once, we can do it again.”
He glanced at his white airplane floating in the inlet. He apparently called his plane “Sirius,” named after the country he used to live in. She had no interest in planes, but knew this because she had asked about it once.
“If you don’t think I can do it, I don’t mind staying here…” he said softly. “It’s obviously up to you. It’s possible we could get killed by the militants, but it’s more likely we’ll be locked up. If that’s what you want to do, I’m down for it..”
She didn’t know whether he said that out of pity, or just said that to gauge her reaction. After all, she never had a choice to begin with— she never had to choose.
“Weren’t you ordered to take me out of this country?”
“Yes, I was,” he answered.
“Then follow it. You don’t have to care about what I want.”
He glanced at her and nodded.
“Are you scared?” she asked.
He narrowed his eyes. ” Scared? Me?”
“I’ve heard of your piloting skills, but a plane’s wings are fragile. Even the greatest pilot in the world couldn’t get through that with skills and technique alone… As you said, if our luck runs out, we’re dead. Aren’t you scared of that?”
He chuckled once again. “Just curious, huh?”
“Then I’ll make myself clear— I did say we’re dead if we weren’t lucky, but that was a lie. I’m not afraid because the sky will not betray me. I’m more worried about losing faith in the sky.”
She wondered if the sky, or anything in this world, really was all that welcoming. As of now she was fleeing from her brother who had betrayed them by taking her parents and setting fire to her country. Just like her brother, the sky was responsible for the deaths of many people.
While she hadn’t been very trusting of her brother, she had no reason to doubt him either. She was well aware that many people tried to use her for their own gain, but had quickly realized that she couldn’t really do much about it. Back in the day she thought her brother wasn’t part of that group, but now she knew better.
She shook her head. It didn’t matter in the past, didn’t matter now, and would not matter in the future.
Being nothing but a doll that was manipulated by others, she would live if they told her to live, and die if they told her to die.
She didn’t care if they told her to stay in the country as well, but there were people who wanted her to leave the country and live on. Perhaps she still had worth as a doll.
That’s why she was going to leave this country… There was no way around it.
The sky lit up in a red haze as a thunderstorm far away had begun.
He looked at that sky. His eyes this time around wasn’t the cold, lifeless eyes he had before, but were now almost glistening at the sight.
“The Azure Dragons began their diversion. Now’s the perfect time to go.”
She felt like he was talking to himself and not to her. In the midst of this bloody battle, he almost looked like he was enjoying himself.
“Time to go see the world,” he said.