Is this a dream or is it real?

Psyche bolted upright, pearl chest heaving. He looked around, pink eyes wide in terror. He expected to find the Arcanist looming over him, toothy mouth open to devour him. To destroy him. To…

“Psyche?”

The Skydancer jolted before looking beside him. Curled around him was the much larger Nocturne, Pero. she watched him with nervous light green eyes.

“Are you okay?” she asked.

Psyche forced himself to settle down. “I’m fine.”

“That nightmare again?”

Psyche hated that she knew that. Hated that she shared an identical affliction. Two orphans, unwanted by the world, huddled together in the dark, telling one another their stories. Their nightmares.

The deities were supposed to be mighty and just. If that was true, why had they been abandoned here to Plague’s deadly domain? Everyone knew of the lethal plague creeping through this land. Why would the deities allow it, let alone allow unwanted hatchlings to be cast here to their doom?

Yet the Arcanist hadn’t come to save him. Nor had the Windsinger come to rescue Pero or Mafrea. Or the Lightweaver to help Siel.

They were left to the plague, left to die.

But Zone had rescued them, if only for a bit. The Skydancer had seen the graveyard. He knew the stories. Just before they were found, a massacre in a place called Scorched Forest had happened to this clan. Many were lost.

They could be next.

But this was the only safe refuge in a land of death and decay. It was sickening, how safe it felt. Even the leader of this clan was named Safe.

Yet it couldn’t be. Nothing here was.

“Want something to eat?” Pero offered.

“Anything that’ll keep me awake. I’m done sleeping for today,” Psyche decided.

Reality was frightening enough. He didn’t need nightmares making it worse.

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