He smirked and shook his head, as if amused by her ignorance.
"On Roshar, there's a saying." He looked at her, and suddenly his face was dead serious. "Shardbearers can't hold ground."
The tail shot out, knocking him down. The creature raised it's tails, and prepared to kill him, mandibles clacking.
Far in the sky, Dark Phoenix still surveyed the city. She hadn't moved, just flapped in place. Her gaze sometimes zoned in on something. She had watched a battle on a rooftop, a Minotaur slaughter it's way through minor soldiers, a trap with a forcefield.
A mouse getting eaten by a cat.
All entertained her equally, none holding her attention for long. For she was a creature of the air, a god among ants, and the affairs of the mortals was something far beneath her. But then she heard something. She recognized a scream with the small part of her that retained any human feelings, words, memory. But why had this intrigued her? What about this scream, out of the thousands of howling voices in the city, crying for mothers, crying in rage, crying out of fear, had gotten her attention? There didn't seem to be anything special about the voice. When the scream came again, she zeroed in on the voice, her incredible eyesight moving perfectly to the source.
It was... a teenage boy? She felt confusion. Why would a teenage boy hold her attention? Nothing seemed special about him.
Inquisitive, she sent a mindlink to him, figuring out who he was. He had spikes. That might explain it, but plenty of those within the city had spikes. The spikes didn't affect his voice. Then she noticed something. Deep within her, a small voice was building. It was tiny, and she barely heard it. But it was there.
And it was screaming.
She shook her head, snorting a burst of her dark fire and literally cooking a nearby turkeyparrotbatthing. She raised her wings, and flapped up, then toward the scene, determined to get rid of this strange boy who was interfering with her mind. As she finished this thought, the screaming got louder, to the point it was giving her a pounding headache. This made her all the more determined, which made the headache worse, which, in turn, made her even more determined.
Then, a building or two away, she pulled up short. Her mind had finally picked out what this strange scream was saying. It was a name, a human name.
Her body shook, sparks flying out around her. The name triggered something within her. She no longer wanted to kill the handsome... her thoughts trailed off. What was happening to her? A human? Attractive? She snorted again, and prepared to put an end to whatever he was doing.
But this time, the scream changed to words again, a chant.
Don't kill him don't kill him don't kill him
She shook her head, purple-red mist eyes moving in and out of focus. She watched as the scorlionmanbat raised it's tail to strike him down. It looked like her problem had been solved for her. The tails began moving, but the chant began again.
Save him save him save him
She shook her head, trying to clear it.
And then it came back to her. She had loved this human, wanted to be with him, been scared that she wouldn't be loved by him.
She was going to save him.
The Manticorus moved. It's tails flashed forward towards Mike, so fast they were blurs in the air. And then, inches from him, the tails stopped. Or, rather, stopped existing. The ends had been burnt off. It howled in pain, stepping backward over it's tail, falling. In the air in front of Mike was a Phoenix. A giant, black Phoenix. It stared at the Manticorus, and for the first time, the Manticorus knew true fear.
When it moved, the Manticorus whimpered.
When it struck, the Manticorus accepted it's fate.
Bellatrix dropped to the ground in front of the charred corpse, it's tails burnt off, it's wings full of burnt holes, its face a bubbling mess of black cracks.
She wore no clothes, and knelt in front of Mike. Her hair had no highlights left, and was only white. Her gray mark was visible on her arm. Something had changed though. Her back now had a tattoo. Curled wings, made of fire, pitch black.
Her violet eyes looked at Mike, and tears ran down her face.
Her lips moved silently, no sound coming out, mouthing I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry.
Then, naked, exhausted, afraid, Bellatrix collapsed on the ground, unaware of the world