Prologue 3 - Friends Forever
She was obviously new to the pyramid. Lluvia told him Jarod found the girl in the jungle after a scouting session near the southern borders.
She looked malnourished, weak and was highly secretive. Why didn’t Jarod kill her? Goth didn’t really thought much about the question, mostly intrigued by the young female.
He began to follow her quietly, observing her every moves. She never did much, mostly cleaning her fur or hunting. She never spoke to anyone, except Jarod on small occasions. She seemed to have deep respect for the king, but at the same time Goth knew something was off about her.
It changed one day, when he was following her secretly, as she suddenly vanished, leaving the prince in confusion. He stopped, wondering where she went. He could already not smell her trace anymore, which was highly disturbing.
Then a mass landed on him, blocking him on a branch. Goth was ready to attack until his eyes fell on the female’s frame, her jaw tightening and her gaze frowning. She was holding his shoulders firmly, growling: ”Why do you keep following me?”
”Uh… uh, I… Uh.”
The prince didn’t know what to answer, stunned by her.
”I’m not dumb,” continued the female. ”I know you’ve been following me since the first day I arrived. What do you want?”
”I don’t know, I was just curious!” finally answered Goth, slightly stressed out.
The other finally released him, getting back up. She kept her eyes on him, unsure about his answer.
The prince got up in turn, tossing some dust off of him. He next coughed, trying to push the awkwardness away.
”… Look, I’m sorry I’ve been following you, okay?” he began. ”I’m not really good with getting to know other bats, please forgive me.”
”Didn’t your parents ever teach you not to be a creep?” asked the female in a bitter tone. ”As a prince, I suspected you to be more galant or something.”
”You know who I am?”
She rolled her eyes: ”Well, duh, I told you I’m not dumb. I saw you with the king and queen on several occasions. Goth, prince of the freaks.”
The male frowned, visibly not happy with this title.
”Hey, at least I’m not… not, uh- what’s your name?”
”Vera,” sighed the other.
”WELL, at least I’m not Vera the boring lady!” finished the prince with victory.
Vera was certainly not impressed, crossing her wings before her. She showed a fake smile.
”Oh, and I suppose I’m boring because…?”
She gestured him to explain himself, awaiting for his answer.
Goth already knew what to say:
”Well, first, you do nothing of your days, except maybe cleaning your fur or hunting. Sometimes you go talk to my dad, which is the most boring thing to do in my opinion. Oh and I never see you talk to or do any activities with others.”
”Congratulation, Goth, you just became as boring as me since you’ve been following me that much. You probably haven’t done many things since then, hmm?”
The prince stopped, a perplex look on his face. He then became thoughtful, finally seeing the truth in the female’s words.
Vera couldn’t help but laugh, amused by how easily she’d beaten the other at his little game. Goth soon showed a smile, happy to hear such a sound coming from her. He straigthened his stance, his royal pride surfacing up.
”Can we start over again?” he asked, still smiling. ”I feel like we’re both going the wrong way.”
The female looked back at him, calming her laughter. And it was with a toothy grin that she answered: ”No.”
She started to fly right away, leaving the prince dumbfounded for some seconds. He didn’t hesitate to get into the air in turn, following the other.
”Please? I didn’t mean to insult you or scare you,” he pleaded.
”I don’t hang out with the prince of freaks,” answered Vera firmly, suddenly shifting her flight, disappearing once again in dense vegetation.
The prince huffed, somehow amazed by her abilities. Looking where she vanished for some seconds, he finally decided to fly out towards the pyramid, knowing he would see her soon anyway.
That night he was coming back from hunting, taking all his time to appreciate the silence surrounding him. The moon was full and shining brightly over the pyramid, guiding the few bats flying around.
His serenity was soon crushed when he heard a faint sobbing, getting near the top of the building. He spotted a bat, a female, sitting alone and crying, obviously in distress. Goth recognized Vera, her petite form trembling and hunched over herself.
The prince did not hesitate to get to her, leaving a hand on her shoulder. The female gasped, turning around in fear. When she spotted Goth she instantly bared her fangs, trying to push him away.
"What do you want?" she snarled.
Goth frowned. “… You’re sad, what happened?”
"It’s none of your business, prince of the freaks! Leave me be."
"And what if I told you that you can trust me?"
Vera stopped, scanning the other with a perplexed glare. She finally huffed after a moment, suddenly relaxing her frame and brushing the top of her head with a hand.
The female closed her eyes with a sigh, finally folding her wings around her.
"… I miss my family," she finally said.
Goth got nearer, inviting her to sit near an edge with him.
"What happened, if I may ask…?"
The female’s head was hanging low, speaking softly this time:
"They were killed, all of them. … My mother, my father, my sister, everyone else from the colony. We never saw the threat coming, but I was the only one to escape."
"What was the threat?"
Vera sticked her eyes on the prince, hesitating. She shook her head with a small laugh.
"Oh whatever, it’s not important anymore. I do not wish to dwell into this pathetic story, if you don’t mind."
Goth lightly smiled, leaving a hand once again on her shoulder as a way to look friendlier.
"Of course! … Actually, I’d be more than happy to help you change your mind."
"You don’t think I’m boring anymore?"
"Oh I said you were boring! … But I never really thought it, that’s different."
Vera showed a crooked smile, amused.
"You really are the prince of the freaks," she teased, lightly punching his shoulder.
A full year already went by since they first met and, frankly, it felt like nothing. It was like they knew eachothers since forever, playing tricks over other bats or any animals in the jungle, bantering over stupid things or simply laughing like two old friends…
Goth never felt such at ease with someone and, to say the truth, he couldn’t stop himself from falling for the female. Over the year she became as beautiful as a rare flower, her flight graceful and her will strong. Many times he wanted to ask her if she wanted to become his mate, but his fear always kept him at bay, scared for her reaction.
But this time he would not hesitate.
He asked her to meet him at one usual spot they liked to go in the jungle, near the pyramid, at sunset.
The prince got there in advance, stressed out and walking in circles. Oh was it the right thing to do? … Of course! It had to be!
The sound of her voice made him jump, his eyes widening. Vera was, as usual, pretty and well-groomed, a smile showing on her face. Goth gulped, getting near her and holding her hands with care.
"I, uh, hi! … Uh, I- I have something to tell you," he blabbered.
"I have somehing to say too, ain’t that a crazy coincidence?!" announced Vera with a small laugh.
Oh. Goth looked perplexed.
"… Go first," he commanded, unsure.
"I met with your father today and he told me I’ll be training as a spy! I begin tomorrow, I can’t believe it! This will be so fun!"
Goth’s ears suddenly lowered, somehow saddened by such news. The female frowned, wondering what was the matter.
"… What’s wrong?" she began. "Are you okay?"
"You do realize that by becoming a spy, we won’t be able to see eachothers much now…."
"Well, I know the training lasts at least a year and then I start right off onto missions… We’ll probably be able to see eachothers then."
”… I don’t know, a spy’s life seems to be pretty occupied.”
He released her hands, turning away, which only confused Vera more. She could feel his discomfort and sadness, which brought her to walk towards the prince and leave a hand on his shoulder.
”Goth … why are you reacting like this? You wanted to tell me something, what is it? … You’re scaring me.”
The male slightly jumped at that remark, looking back at Vera. He let out a long sigh, rubbing the back of his neck.
”It’s not important anymore,” he said.
”Well it’s important for me!”
”Stop asking!” hissed the prince. ”You’re becoming a spy, what I wish for doesn’t matter anymore.”
”Would you stop being a cry-baby for two seconds? Telling me won’t kill,” replied Vera with slight anger.
Goth suddenly grabbed her wrist, growling and showing his fangs.
”I wanted you to become my mate, Vera!” he said harshly. ”But now my father had to ruin it all by letting you become a spy!”
The female was silent, her eyes wide open.
”… You- you wanted me what?” she commented, her voice almost a whisper.
The other didn’t take time to reply, suddenly bringing Vera to him and kissing her. Vera’s eyes were still wide open, trying to realize what was happening. She suddenly pushed herself away from the prince, gasping for air.
Goth could see how scared and surprised she was, which brought him to realize what he just did. His ears lowered again, his eyes always planted on her.
”… Vera, I’m sorry, I-”
”No. I’m sorry,” she cut. ”… I can’t accept your proposal. Becoming a spy is a huge opportunity for me and I won’t let that go.”
”I … see.”
”But that doesn’t mean we can stop being friends, right?” added Vera, approching Goth once again. ”You mean a lot to me, Goth. You were always there for me and for that I am forever grateful. Please, don’t hate me now after all we’ve been through…”
The male wanted to keep a straight face, but his features soon left place for worry.
”You’re right,” he agreed with a saddened voice. ”… I was just so angry, especially at my father. He always took things away from me. First my childhood friend, Hell, next my cousin Flora … and now you. I just don’t want to lose you.”
Vera couldn’t hide her small smile, leaving a hand on his cheek.
”Then I have a gift, if you swear to do me a favor right after.”
Goth showed half of a smile: ”Okay?”
The female suddenly approached his right ear, tearing a small part in its upper part with her claws. The prince let out a yelp, backing away when the deed was done.
”Why did you do that?” he let out in confusion.
”Do the same to me, same place,” she said without any explanation.
Seeing how serious she was, Goth knew she wasn’t joking. He came towards the female, judging where she had marked him. And with one swift move, teared the top of her ear, getting no sound of discomfort out of her.
Both bats slighlty bleeding, Vera gave no care as she took both male’s hands, locking her eyes in his.
”Wherever I am, wherever you are, we are now linked. You won’t lose me, Goth. We are friends forever, may this mark remind you so.
The female stopped him by leaving a kiss on his cheek, next showing a smile.
”Time flies fast, prince of freaks, we’ll see eachothers very soon, I promise.”
And right after that she got away, flying towards the pyramid and never looking back. Goth couldn’t move, prefering to muse about what just happened.
Soon…. Soon seemed like forever to him.