Deyan laid still, listening to the singing of the bugs throughout the grass. Though she was tired her body refused to give in. When she closed her eyes, nothing but those 7 long months of the siege flashed in her mind.

She tried to think of something else, anything else but all she knew was darkness. Itd be easier if this hunger went away, but it only intensified.

She felt Iriss warmth at her back shift away, as she turned in her sleep. It brought an unwanted cold to her.

Occasionally glancing at the wall shed see a guard pace back and forth. Wondering if they were as miserable as she.

For a moment the idea of sneaking in crossed her mind. There were several low points and areas with structural damage from the siege. It was more than possible to sneak in.

”Mina close your eyes. ” Iris said placing an arm around her. Deyan had thought she fell asleep. Iris had done this the other night as well. Comforting her to bring her to rest. Deyan placed a hand on her arm. ”Okay ” she whispered, closing her eyes.

It didn take long for sleep to find her, nor for her to start dreaming. Surrounded by walls of white light she sat in a room with the younger version of herself. A small mocha skinned girl, with large brown eyes and full soft lips. Her hair was pulled into two puffs removing all hair from her face.

She looked happy, and that was the sign of a dream to Deyan. She never could remember a time when she was happy, not even as a girl.

This dream was already starting off bad as the hunger followed her here, she hated it. She had grown acquainted with it so well as a child. She stared at her younger self for a moment who simply smiled back.

”Are you still hungry? ” said the girl, but the voice did not match her, nor did she move her lips. It was deep, and dark voice filled with malice and pain. ”Do you still desire to be fed? ” asked the same voice this time moving around the room.

”What are you waiting for a feast is before you. ” Deyan looked at her younger self in wide eyed confusion. ”Devour and grow in strength. ” suddenly young Deyan started to have tears run down her face while still maintaining the smile.

The white room began to grow dark, and images flashed of her taking her first life. ”We kill to become strong and feed off the weak. ” Deyan shook her head no, refusing the proposition. As she did young Deyan tilted her head to the side smile still wide.

”No well if you won eat. Then we will. ” Young Deyans eyes widen, and saliva began to run down her mouth. Deyan tried to move but she couldn ”Don please. ” she whimpered.

”But oh, we
e so very hungry, someone must be devoured. ”

Young Deyans mouth opened wide showing all her teeth as her mouth stretched to the limits of the room. Deyan began to panic and started sweating she yelled ”No! ” as the darkness began to envelop her closing in all around her. She let out another scream of the words, ”No ”, as she jumped up.

Iris was up and looking at her with concern as well as others that were nearby. ”Are you ok Mina? ” Deyan pulled the blanket over her shoulders nodding yes ”Just a bad dream. ” Her eyes dead and tired as she looked at the ground.

She had that dream many times before, and thought it was never going to comeback. She touched her stomach, hunger, that insatiable hunger that filled her belly. She hated it, and she was beginning to hate this mission, she preferred to be in combat.

At least then she had dreams of the dead, those seemed more manageable than the nightmares of her childhood. Iris came over and placed a hand on Deyans shoulder. Her tired eyes met Iris and a wave of relief came over her. ”Is everything ok baby? ”

Deyan could feel a desire to cry and bury herself in Iris bosom, but she restrained herself. The tears still fought at her eyes and made them sting allowing for a few small tears to break free, but she quickly wiped them away masking their existence ”Im ok maam I promise. ” she said with a weak smile.

Iris looked unconvinced but let it go. Deyan had the feeling that Iris was reading her like a book. Iris reached out a hand ”Come on lets get you freshened up so we can head to the gate. ”

After eating a small meal and washing her face at the pond where they were resting, Deyan felt slightly refreshed. She looked around at her surrounding, hoping today would be the day they finally got into the gate. The area they were at was all too familiar to Deyan, having spent so much time in the trenches just a few hundred meters away.

After a moment to fully get ready Deyan and Iris took the walk towards the gate.

As they neared the southern gate, called Protectors rest, a crowd was already there. The crowd was already doing the spectacle Deyan despised; begging and pleading to be let in, as Deyan and Iris made their way up to the front. Deyan still refused to whine and beg like a dog, and thankfully Iris never did so either.

The begging went on for a few more hours, when at about midday, the doors began to rumble. The crowd grew silent and tried to get out the way scurrying like roaches from the light. As the gate opened heavily armed guards blocked the path, only leaving a narrow opening.

That instance of joy was just as quickly stripped from her.

A checkpoint Deyan thought to herself. She had no way to identify that she belonged here.

Though born not far from the city of Acts she had been moved to the state of Wilam before she could even remember. She didn theyd let anyone in who wasn from the neighboring villages, and all Dorians had metal tags marking citizenship, which she didn have.

She thought about turning around when Iris grabbed her hand pulling her through the crowd ”I told the gate will open soon, lets go. ” For an older woman she was lively, and since she had been eating again, she was slowly regaining her strength.

As they neared the guards, Deyan began to get nervous not knowing what to do. She didn know why she assumed theyd just let everyone without checking who was entering the city.

It had only been 4 days since the 7-month siege had been lifted.

A man with a family just before them struggled to get in. The white-haired guard who was checking them was hassling the family particularly his wife and eldest daughter.

”Perhaps we can let you in for an exchange? ” this guard said as he eyed the wife. The husband stepped in front of his wife fist clenched. ”My name Saga Marrow, and Im a bowyer. No need for such rudeness and vulgarity. ” something about the man made Deyan stay on guard.

He spoke with a prideful yet soft voice, but the edge suggested murder. The sultry guard looked at him with warry eyes.

He was a tall, sturdy raven-haired man. With a full beard that gave him a roughness to him. ”A bowyer huh, think you can be of use to us? ” Saga bowed his head slightly ”My bows are imbued with the power of the wind itself. Theyll strengthen the might of this wall. ”

The guard looked at Saga for a moment. Then glanced at his family behind him, Saga once again stepped in his line of sight.

Deyan thought they were going to come to blows till another young-looking guard came up and said, ”The wall master said let him through. ” The sultry guard waved him off, allowing the family to pass through.

Deyan and Iris were next in line. As they approached the guard had an annoyed look on his face and Deyan feared that getting through the checkpoint had gotten more difficult.

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