Oracle was cornered. Maliketh pinned her down with his animus strength. His evil smile appeared as he laughed at her. "You are weak, Oracle. No one can kill me! Not while I'm an animus!" Maliketh tossed her aside as she weakly stood.
I can...do this, Oracle firmly thought. With all her strength, Oracle swiped her talons across Maliketh's chest. He shrieked and hissed at her. Oracle breathed heavily as she limped toward the SkyWing Palace's broken window.
"HA!" Maliketh shouted at her, "you think a little scratch will stop me and my army? Face it, Oracle! Pyrrhia's lost to my power. No dragon, not even another animus, can change that."
Oracle's breath rasped at the thought of Maliketh's words. She closed her eyes for a moment. No, Oracle thought to herself. Images began flashing through her head. Visions. She smiled as she opened her eyes. "You're right, Maliketh. No dragon will stop you," Oracle's voice scratched her throat.
Maliketh stopped smiling and frowned at her. "What by the three moons do you mean?" he asked harshly.
Oracle scooted closer to the window, remembering the vision she had just foreseen. "The Hero will stop you." She spread her wings and clenched her wounded leg as she spoke the words:
- "The Hero will speak of dragon tongues,
- Wings of Sky will come for you.
- The Hero will fly with the Chosen ones,
- Wings of Mud are after you.
- One from each will bring the peace,
- Wings of Sand will hunt for you.
- The Hero is from those who'll cease,
- Wings of Rain will poison you.
- When all the kingdoms live in fear,
- Wings of the Sea will challenge you.
- When every dragon has shed a tear,
- Wings of Ice shall battle you.
- The Chosen ones will stick together,
- Wings of Night will haunt you.
- They'll end the animus war forever,
- The Hero is coming to kill you."
Maliketh stared at Oracle with both fear and anger. He hissed, "You...you made that up!" he stammered.
"Did I Maliketh? Did I?!" Oracle said, fiercely.
Maliketh breathed in deep with anger. "Y-Yes you did!" Maliketh waved his talon at a shield and flung it towards Oracle. She fell out the window, but Oracle's wings lifted off into the smokey air.
"You will know justice, Maliketh. And you will heed my words." Oracle flew off, leaving Maliketh to ponder.
Oracle stared at the SkyWing Kingdom now burning. Maliketh's invincible army of DeathWings had destroyed a once mighty tribe. Maliketh had killed Queen Scarlet and imprisoned her daughter. He had taken over the Sky Kingdom with his animus powers. Just imagine what Maliketh will do to all of Pyrrhia.
A tear trickled down Oracle's scar on her face. She had to make things right. What did I ever do to make Maliketh hate me so much? I thought we were friends. We had grown up together from best friends to...well I guess he was more than a friend as we grew up. I loved him and he just....how could he...
Oracle shook her head to focus. I guess not anymore, she thought. This is a real prophecy, Oracle thought, and I'll make sure it happens. For all of Pyrrhia's sake.
Oracle arrived at the cave entrance where the boulder stood in the way. With her remaining strength, Oracle shoved it slowly to the side. Exhausted from the journey, she collapsed on the hard stone floor. Her eyes were closed when Oracle heard a surprised gasp from a familiar voice. "Oracle!" screamed Capaill. The SeaWing immediately grabbed Oracle's snout and examined her wounds. "Gator! Quick get me some water and bring Nazca!" Oracle could only hear her surroundings. Gator had rushed out and grabbed some water, along with Nazca entering the room. "Here," Oracle heard Gator hand a bucket of splashing water to Capaill.
Capaill opened Oracles' jaws and let water trickle down her throat. "Oracle, what happened? What's going on? Oracle!" Capaill kept screaming her name. It's all my fault, that's what happened, Oracle thought.
With her throat no longer dry, Oracle managed to breathe: "Mal-Maliketh...he...he-"
"What? What happened?!" Capaill kept panicking.
Oracle managed a few more words, "he...won." Oracle fell into a deep sleep as Nazca's SandWing scales wrapped around her wounded leg.
Oracle woke up, surrounded by sand. A nice, white bandage wrapped around her leg. She coughed and Capaill, Gator, Nazca, and Lori were all around her. "Are you alright, Oracle?" Nazca asked nicely. Capaill gave her some more water.
"Tell us everything you can. Don't leave out any details," exclaimed Lori. Oracle then started her story from when Maliketh and his army attacked to her fight with him and the prophecy.
The cave was silent for a few moments until Gator started to speak, "Well, if your prophecy is real, then it has to come true." Everyone began to nod with him.
Lori bursted, "Right! Oracle, when you're all well, write down your prophecy and we'll study it. What is it your prophecy was called?"
"The Hero Prophecy, and I had a vision before I told it to Maliketh," Oracle replied.
They all stared at her, "What was it?" Nazca asked.
Oracle took a breath in, "The prophecy involves....a-" They waited for her to say.
"What, Oracle, what?" Capaill asked.
Oracle gulped, praying the prophecy was true, but this wasn't, "-a...scavenger."
Dragons. It's always dragons. No surprise, either. Dragons dominated Pyrrhia. You can't go 3 feet out of my village without seeing a trace of dragons. Scorches, claw marks, dead animals, even dead dragons occasionally. Not that there was anything wrong with dragons. I love dragons, I think they're beautiful creatures, but sometimes I fear them for my life.
Viseria was only three when she saw her first dragon up close, but she remembered it, vividly. A Desert dragon sat on the hill, staring at our village. It wasn't causing any harm, but it's eyes were full of black anger. She was frightened at the sight of it, until two Water dragons came to the Desert dragon; one small and green, the other was larger and green with black spirals. Other dragons normally didn't meet together. Normal dragons anyway.
Now Viseria was eighteen years old. A skilled bowswomen with light brown hair that she often kept up in a bun and lovely, soft hazel eyes. She often wore her long sleeved white shirt with a thick brown leather vest and a short tan brown skirt with her long white pants and small leather boots. Everyone in the village had some sort of weapon, even the children. Viseria often wondered what her life would be like without weapons or dragons.
Viseria blinked back into focus. The flocks are under attack! Wake up! she fiercley thought to herself. She quickly grabbed her sword, firmly and ran outside. Viseria jumped onto her horse, Helch, and kicked him into a gallop, toward the sheep fields.
She could see the flames beginning to spread around the field. Either Sky dragons, Swamp dragons, or Desert dragons. In an impossible matter, possibly a Black dragon. They came to the entrance, which now burned, when Helch reared at the first sight of a massive, black wing wacking the hut next to them. Viseria stared in both fear and awe.
Not a Sky dragon, a Swamp dragon, a Desert dragon, or a Black dragon. The dragon was black, but it didn't fit the same image of the Black dragon in her head. It's body was like a ghost, its bones were visible, it had a long thin tail, and the most terrifying of all these features, its large red eyes staring into her soul.
"What is that?" Viseria asked herself, but her father next to her was listening.
"I have no idea, but it must be killed. On me!" he shouted at the men. They circled behind him in a attack position.
This is suicide. We don't know what it is, or any of its weaknesses. I'd rather save the flocks, Viseria decided. She kicked Helch towards the field and without hesitation, jumped over the fence, towards the herd of sheep. Viseria was rather shocked to see Sky dragons grabbing the sheep instead of the strange, devil dragons.
Devil dragons...Viseria thought...maybe that's what I'll call them. A Sky dragon landed on the green grass and began to scatter the sheep that the shepard was trying to herd to the barn. As much as she hated to, Viseria leaped off her horse and swung her sword at the red beast. It moved its wing to swing her back, but her blade sliced at its wing muscle. It shrieked in pain and started to back away.
"YOOOWW!! That hurt, scavenger! Just stay back and let me get my job done!" said a loud male voice.
Viseria was stunned so much she couldn't move. The voice came from the moving mouth of the dragon. "Did...did you say something?" Viseria asked the Sky dragon. Then the Sky dragon stood dead in his place, holding the same look Viseria had when she heard the voice.
"Did you just...talk to me?" he asked with a puzzled expression.
Once again, Viseria's eyes popped. She lowered her sword to talk back. "Y-Yes. And your...attaking our flock. Stay back or I'll do what I most regret!" Viseria raised her sword, in case he decided to slash her.
The Sky dragon still stared at her, motionless. He finally spoke, "what do you most regret?"
Viseria blinked and stared into his eyes, looking nervous. "Killing dragons."
The Sky dragon turned his head, upward. An eerie shriek split through the wind that hurt her ears. Viseria turned to see the Devil dragon diving towards her. She was so scared of what it might do that Viseria stood still, wanting to move so badly.
"LOOK OUT!!!" shouted the Sky dragon. A massive claw riped Viseria from her position of fear and tossed her aside. When Viseria opened her eyes, the Sky dragon was breathing fire all over the Devil dragon. It let out another ear-ripping roar and then flew off, scorched.
Viseria couldn't believe what she just witnessed. That Sky dragon just saved my life from that thing. Why? she wondered. The Sky dragon growled at the other Devil dragons ahead and turned towards Viseria.
"Why did you do that?" Viseria asked, putting her sword away.
He coughed and stared at her with caring eyes, "If you are who I think you are, you'd be nothing if you were dead." The Sky dragon smiled.
Viseria smiled back, "I'm....Viseria, by the way. What's your name?" she asked gently.
"Cor of the Skywings," Cor bowed his neck, "at your service." Viseria smiled again. She then blinked into focus, realizing her father was right behind Cor. He was getting ready to strike.
Viseria gasped, "Cor! You have to go, now!" Cor took her message, clearly. He lifted off, just in time before her father sliced his scales. He stopped in the air before flying off.
"Meet me at the rainforest tomorrow. We'll talk then," Cor shouted. Viseria nodded with a grin and then Cor took off, being trailed by Devil dragons.
Viseria finally relaxed as her father walked up to her. "You...you okay, Viseria?" he asked.
She took a deep breath, "Yeah I-I'm fine. Nothing that won't heal."
"Are you sure? That Sky dragon got real close," he said, staring at the direction which Cor flew.
"Yes, I'm sure, Father. No blood as far as I can see," Viseria examined her body to make sure she was right.
He grinned lightly. "Good. Now bring Helch back and then we can help clean up this mess," he said.
Some small fires still burned around the field. Viseria immediantly grabbed Helch by the riens and pulled him home. She wrapped her arms around his icy white neck and went away, thinking.
How could I understand what Cor was saying? How could he understand me? What did he mean, "if you are who I think you are?" Why did he save me? There were some many questions in her head that she knew she couldn't answer.
Well, I guess I'll ask Cor tomorrow at the rainforest. I'll tell Father I'm going hunting. No problem. But there was still a problem. The Devil dragons had flown after Cor. Viseria wondered if he would be alright.
I do hope so, she thought to herself, this is a great discovery I've made. Not only could Cor understand me, but I could understand him. And I hope this talent will gain other dragons' trust.
Cor raced through the wind, trying his best to lose the Deathwings that trailed him. He was hardly in focus as he flew. I can't believe it! I found the Hero! Of all the dragons in Pyrrhia, I found her! I can't wait to tell everyone! Cor looked back to see about five or six Deathwings following him. But first, I have to lose these Deathwings.
They were flying through the lower mountains of Jade Mountain. The cave was a few miles from there. I know these mountains better than they do. I'll lose them in the sharp slopes, Cor thought to himself. So Cor dove towards the mountains. Cor could already see the sharp turns that he would use. He swiftly twisted in a circle and used his wings to fight the winds. One Deathwing knocked into the stone wall. One down, four more to go. He repeated the sharp turn trick and lost another one, but Cor could see that the last two were experienced in the slopes.
Cor frowned and then something flashed in his mind. This was his favorite thing to do. So he went for it. Cor used his powerful wings to lift him up higher and faster. The two Deathwings tried to catch up with him. Cor flew higher and higher until he reached the clouds. When he blew past them, he let go of his wings and began to free fall. The Deathwings were surprised to see him. As he flew towards them, Cor let out his fire into the first and the second Deathwing. They began to shriek in pain, falling to their deaths.
Cor sighed in relief and spread his wings again. As swift as he could, Cor began his peaceful trip back home.
Cor finally arrived at the cave entrance. He scanned the area before moving the boulder away. He moved the boulder back into place. No one will believe me, but this is too amazing! Oracle will be so happy. Suddenly, a familiar voice broke into his thoughts.
"Cor! Where in all of Pyrrhia have you been?!" Sunrise yelled, the Wings of Sand. "Do you know how long you've been gone?"
"Whoa, okay. Take it easy, Sunrise. I was out hunting and then I had a run in with the Deathwings-" before Cor could finish, another voice broke in.
"WHAT?!" screamed Capaill. The Seawing ran up to Cor and began examining his body. "Are you hurt? Were you followed?" she said, nervously grasping her Talons of Peace necklace.
"I'm fine, Capaill. Just a wing cut, that's all," he shouted so everyone could hear him.
"Here, let me fix that," Nazca came with her healing supplies and examined his wound.
Cor blocked her away. "Please, Nazca, let me finish. I have really good news for everyone," he said. Soon everyone, except for Oracle and Nightfury, the Wings of Night, gathered around to listen to Cor's story. Grebe, the Wing of Mud, and Prisma, the Wings of Rain, sat closest, peering curiously for my words. Thilden, the Wings of Ice, and Liplora, the Wings of Sea, both focused on my eyes, as if to see if Cor would blink or not. Cor continued:
"So, I ran into the Deathwings, so I pretended to be one of their Skywing soldiers and help them raid a scavenger den. I was faking the raid on the scavengers, when a female one attacked me. And...." Cor swallowed, "...and I heard what she said. Every word. And she understood me. I think...I think I found the Hero." Cor stopped, waiting to see how everyone reacted.
Everyone gasped happily. Prisma turned into a rosy pink and Grebe jumped into the air, cheering. Sunrise, Thilden, and Liplora joined in.
"WAHOOOO! The Hero! The Hero! You found the Hero!" screamed Grebe.
"Oh, we have to tell Oracle and Nightfury when they get back," replied Liplora.
Cor frowned, "Wait...what'd mean 'when they get back?'" Cor asked Liplora.
"They went to go find you, because you were gone so long," Thilden answered.
Cor's eyes widened. They can't survive on their own. Oracle barely gets out of the cave, so does Nightfury. He opened his mouth to speak, but nothing came out. He then turned toward the cave entrance.
"Where do you think you're going, now?" Capaill barged.
Cor turned with a serious look. "I got to go find them. Deathwings are everywhere. I can't just let them die!" Cor jumped at his own words, as did everyone else. They all stared for long moments, too startled to speak. He then thought how they might manage without him.
Well...Oracle is the oldest out of all of us. She has more experience with battles. She might manage. And Nighfury...well Nightfury might be the best fighter out of all of us. He's very sneaky and clever and has the best ambushes at night.
Cor still felt uncomfortable of letting them look for him alone. Especially since the Deathwings were probably also looking for him. Then he stared deep into Capaill's eyes.
"I'm going. And you..." Cor turned toward Liplora, her eyes wide, "you're coming too."
Oracle focused her eyes on everything she could see. Any sign of Cor's red scales would surely brighten her day. Nightfury and her were searching through the mountains near the Skywing Kingdom. Or how it is most likely called now-a-days, the Deathwing Territory. Ever since Maliketh took over the Skywings, their kingdom was nothing more than a Deathwing spawn.
Black, curved dots appeared in the distance. Oracle swerved downward, into the mountain shadows. Nightfury quickly followed her. Oracle's claws scrapped across the dirt to catch herself in the dark part of the rocky wall. Nightfury quickly calmed and formed into a dark blob. Oracle did it slower, since she was older and growing weak in state. She kept her eyes on the passing squadron of Deathwings, swiftly flying towards the Skywing Kingdom.
Nightfury's bright yellow eyes were tranced on the Deathwings until they disappeared into the distance. He took a small breath in and turned to Oracle. "We have to go back, Oracle. Cor could be anywhere in Pyrrhia and we can't keep searching for him. We have to trust that he'll just go back to the cave," his deep and serious voice spoke every word Oracle needed to hear.
It took a moment to cave into her scales, but she nodded. "Alright. But if he isn't back by sunrise tomorrow, we'll search for him again," Oracle stated. Nightfury simply nodded and spread his wings to fly back.
"Cor," Liplora shouted, "lets go back. If Oracle couldn't find you, she'd come back. It's too dangerous out here."
"Which is exactly why we're looking for them," Cor firmly stated. Liplora looked down and sighed in frustration.
Cor and Liplora were traveling through the mountains near the Skywing Kingdom. They looked in every ridge and corner of the rock shadows. They found nothing. Only shadows.
Liplora kept looking in every direction. Being this close to the territory of Maliketh and his Deathwings was extremely dangerous. They could run into a patrol any minute. Cor wasn't as cautious though. He was more determined to find Oracle and Nightfury then to worry about any Deathwings.
As they came to a sharp turn, Cor and Liplora were unaware of what lied in front of them. They both looked in seperate directions when they collided into a rough force. Both blinked for a moment, and then they found what they were looking for.
Cor and Liplora ran into Oracle and Nightfury.
"Cor!" Oracle happily said. She turned her gaze to Liplora and her smile faded to a frown of surprise. "Liplora?" she protested angrily.
"Uh, hi," Liplora said nervously while she twiddled her talons.
"We've been looking for you everywhere," Nightfury said to Cor.
"Same here," Cor replied.
"Oh, you two are in so much trouble," Oracle exclaimed. Then her ear twitched and her eyes grew wide. She raised her nose in the air and sniffed. Oracle gasped.
Without warning, Oracle and then Nightfury pushed Cor and Liplora down, preventing a large blast of black venom shot at them. A loud hiss echoed through the air. Deathwings. Five or six came out of the mountain shadows and swooped in to attack.
"Great," Cor complained. He let out a jet of flames over the face of a Deathwing. Liplora dodged another shot of venom from a Deathwing's claws and turned her head, targeting the Deathwing's neck. She dove underneath the next blast of venom and snapped her jaws around the killing artery in the neck, spraying blood out the sides. Oracle moved her claws around and swiped at the Deathwings pursueing her. Her old age didn't help in a fight. Nightfury flew around in a fast speed, making the two other Deathwings dizzy. He then shot a large jet of flames down at the two.
Oracle managed to take down one of the Deathwings, but the other, injured, head-butted its head into Oracle's chest in the last attempt to take her down. Oracle growled as the Deathwing's horn cut down her neck, leaving a dark red mark. She quickly shot a small flame at the Deathwing's face, letting it fall to the ground.
Cor turned to see Oracle clutching her wound. He caught her in his forearms and lifted her up from falling. "We gotta get out of here!" Cor shouted at Liplora and Nightfury. Both turned and nodded, ready to fly. Liplora took the other side of Oracle and began to fly back home.
Nightfury began to follow behind. Then he stopped. His eye twitched in irritation, and a little bit of a feeling crept up his spine. He turned his head and looked down at the mountain shadow. Nightfury squinted and looked very carefully at any of the details of the dark. Nothing moved inside.
"Nightfury! Come on, lets go!" Cor's voice shouted from the distance. Nightfury softly growled and turned back to follow.
In the shadows, red eyes glowed open, full of determination and stealth.
It was a few hours before sunrise. Viseria slowly walked down the small hall of her house with a lantern in hand. A slight breeze blew through the air, making the flame inside the lantern flicker. Her breath was soft and quiet. If her father and mother found out she was sneaking out, they would hand her to the next dragon that flew by.
She stepped next to the front door and grabbed her quiver of arrows and bow. She slung her bow across her back and slowly walked across the house to the back door. She tightened her jaw as she carefully turned the door knob, hearing a slight creak in the wood. She let out a small breath of relief as she opened up the door to the small pasture for the horses.
Viseria lifted up the lantern slightly, revealing Helch and Jax their two horses. Helch was personally hers, but her mother also used him. He was the smooth white one with a light grey mane and tail. Jax was her father’s horse, a dark bay with a white stripe down his head. Helch nickered in the dark. Viseria put her finger to her lips. She didn’t think he could understand what she meant, but Helch remained quiet from there on.
After grabbing the saddle and bridle, Viseria mounted Helch quietly and pushed her calf to his side. Helch began to slowly move through the edge of the village, as quiet as you can ever get a horse. All they could hear was the wind and the morning crickets. The sun began to rise in the distance, soon the roosters would wake up the village.
Once they had made it through without making any noise, Viseria clicked her tongue and lead Helch into a canter. She could reach the rainforest possibly before noon.
Viseria’s stomach swirled with excitement. She was meeting with a dragon that she could speak to. This was the adventure of a life-time. She couldn’t wait to arrive and become the first human to be friends with a dragon.
“Cor! I can’t believe you would do something like that!” Oracle’s old, but strong voice shouted.
“I-I know! And I’m sorry, but listen-”
“I never should have let you go out. I should have sent Thilden or...or Nightfury….”
Cor was trying to calm Oracle down from him missing, but he needed to talk. “Oracle! I found the Hero,” he said quickly while Oracle was speaking.
She immediately froze where she was. Her jang hung with surprise and her breath stopped as well. “Wh-What? What did you say?”
Cor sighed and closed his eyes to relax. “When I was helping the Deathwings raid the scavenger den, I found a scavenger who could talk to me. I could understand her. So...I figured she had to be the Hero.”
Oracle gasped with happiness and grabbed her mouth to stop her from either crying or screaming with joy. Off to the side, Nightfury smiled slightly and nodded at Cor.“That’s….that’s amazing! Where is she?” she quickly said with enthusiasm.
The happiness on Cor’s face melted into a confused frown. “Uh...she’s still at her den.”
“Oh moons,” Nightfury sighed to the side.
“What?! You left her there?” Oracle panicked. She lifted up her wing and whacked Cor in the face.
“Ow!” Cor rubbed his face. “Hey, what’s the big deal? I figured she’d be safer there. Besides, I was being chased by Deathwings anyway.”
“She would have been much safer here. She’ll be a target to Maliketh now. He’ll do whatever it takes to disrupt destiny. She’s in danger now…”
Nightfury stepped up the conversation. “Allow me and Cor to retrieve her. You know where she is, right?” he suggested and asked.
“Well I told her to meet me at the edge of the rainforest yesterday...which means that she could be waiting for me now!” Cor realized. He shifted uneasily and then rushed to the stone door. “Come on, Nightfury! We don’t know if any Deathwings could know where she is.”
On the other side of the stone door, a Deathwing soldier hissed with pleasure and speedily started heading back to the Skywing kingdom.
Deathwing soldiers lined up across the Skywing Kingdom, unable to let anything in or out. One Deathwing had just arrived from his scouting trip. He did everything he could to clear a path to Maliketh. “My lord,” the Deathwing’s vile voice said out of breath. “I have very good news.”
Maliketh stood looking out a newly made window at the highest tower, gazing over his wasteland. “And what news might that be?” his deep and echoing voice asked, still facing out the window.
“I have discovered two locations to your liking.”
Maliketh finally turned his body at the scout, doing his hardest to look more superior than everything else. The Deathwing ducked his head lower to make sure he didn’t meet his eyes. “Pray tell, scout,” he asked.
The scout gulped and breathed sharply. “ I have found the Talons of Peace camp and I know where to find the Hero from the Nightwing’s prophecy-”
Maliketh raised a sword with his animus powers and held it at the Deathwing's throat without effort. "What?! Where?" Maliketh ordered.
The scout swallowed hard. "Th-The Hero...is at the edge of the rainforest as we s-speak," he nervously stuttered.
"And?" Maliketh raised the sword even closer to the Deathwing's throat.
"And...and the Talons of Peace camp is the cave Under the Mountain," the scout finally said. He held his breath nervously, his skin barely touching the cold Nightwing blade.
Maliketh hissed with satisfaction. He brought the sword back to his scabbard and the Deathwing let out his held in air. "Well done, scout," Maliketh said calmly. But as he drew in close, Maliketh's voice became deeper, crueler, and his eyes turned blood red.
"In return for your information, you may keep your breath."
The Deathwing ducked his head and did his hardest not to look any more nervous than he was.
"Now go," Maliketh's eyes and voice returning to normal. The Deathwing bowed slightly and sprinted for the door. Maliketh pointed at the Deathwing General, Korath, to begin preparations.
"Korath, gather two groups of Deathwings. Send one to the cave Under the Mountain and send the other to the edge of the rainforest," Maliketh ordered.
Korath stood upright and fingered his general sword. "Anything else, my lord?" he asked with a cruel desire.
"Just find the Talons...and kill that Hero."
From behind the shadows, bright yellow eyes squinted in fear. Lori had to warn the others.
Helch's hooves stomped impatiently on the wet rainforest floor. Less than a league inside the edge of the rainforest sent warning chills down Viseria's spine. She had heard stories about the Forest dragons. Some detailing that they could shout venom at intruders. She wasn't very pleased with the idea of waiting in the rainforest when something like a jaguar, a snake, or a venom-spitting dragon could come out of the humid shadows.
It seemed like over an hour had past side Viseria got there waiting for the Sky dragon, Cor. She was drinking must of her water that she packed and hardly focused on saving some for the return journey. Beads of sweat formed on her forehead every moment she sat underneath Helch's shadow.
Where could he be? Viseria thought anxiously. Did Cor forget about me? Was it a dream that I woke up from this morning? It has been a day since he told me to meet him at the edge of the rainforest where they could talk. Where has he gone to?
As Viseria thought this, gusts of wind brushed through the undergrove. Helch stomped his hooves around again and started to nicker nervously. Viseria looked up to see a red shadow fall down from the sky.
"You came!" Viseria heard an excited voice call, "you actually came!" It was Cor. He landed next to her on the ground, while another shadow draped over the area. He wasn't alone.
At first, Viseria was incredibly happy to see Cor. Then the dark dragon came down on the ground, and she didn't know what to think. She looked at the large Dark dragon nervously while tying Helch's reins to a branch.
"What took you so long?" she asked. "And who's your friend?" Viseria pointed at the Dark dragon.
Cor turned his head at the Dark dragon, who was standing regal before the very earth. "Oh...well first we had some difficulties getting here, and this is Nightfury," Cor explained. Nightfury bowed his head towards Viseria, which surprised Viseria.
"Uh...hi Nightfury," Viseria waved awkwardly. "So Cor, you said you would explain everything to me if I came here. Could you please spill it?"
Cor's smile faded down to the ground. "Did I now? Well uh...it's a little difficult to explain..." he mumbled to himself.
"Would you like me to explain it?" Nightfury asked Cor seriously. Cor looked at him and nodded. Nightfury leaned in closer to Viseria and sniffed her.
"No no, I got this." Cor tried to sound a bit braver than Nightfury, but that was a challenge in on itself.
"I see you have a weapon of some sort," Nightfury observed.
"Oh, this is a bow." Viseria grabbed her bow and showed it to him. "It's a range weapon, and I use arrows to shoot things from a distance." She took an arrow from her quiver and pulled her bowstring back, shooting at a banana. She ran over, picked it up, and ate it.
"Wow!" Cor exclaimed, "I didn't know scavengers were smart enough to craft their own weapons. Then again, we don't know much bout them."
"Scavengers? Are you talking about me? Is that what you call us?" Viseria asked.
"Well...yes." Cor shrugged. "What do you call us?"
"I'll tell you later. Could you please explain things first?"
"Oh, right, um..." Cor hesitated and looked to Nightfury awkwardly. "Should we tell her the whole story?" he whispered.
"Try to sum it up. We'll tell her later," said Nightfury.
Cor took a deep breath. "Viseria...there was a prophecy that talked about a scavenger that could speak to dragons and that scavenger helped us win the war- somehow -and that should be you."
Viseria starred blankly into Cor's dark red eyes with a slightly shocked expression. "I'm...in a prophecy?" she wondered. "You guys have prophecies?!"
"Yeah, our mentor is a Nightwing that can have visions of-" Cor stopped when he caught Nightfury raising his brow at him. "Anyways, you're important so we'd like you to come with us."
Viseria thought for a moment about a foretelling dragon (apparently a Nightwing?), but then got anxious when Cor mentioned her coming with them. It would be amazing, what about Father and Mother?
"You want me to come now? I can't."
"Why not? Like I said, you're important." Cor fidgeted, afraid that Viseria wouldn't come.
"I have a family. I can't leave them behind. I'll come if you let me bring them too," she stated.
Cor once again looked to Nightfury for reassurance, but he simply shrugged and spoke to her. "Alright, we'll let you bring them if you can convince them to otherwise," explained Nightfury. "You're, of course, the only scavenger who can understand us. We'll take you close by to your den and then we'll wait for you. Does that sound good to you?"
Viseria nodded. "Sounds pretty good. Cor knows where it is. You should probably take me near the mountain so they don't see you two and freak out. Oh, and please be gentle with my horse. Helch is brave, but he's never been carried by a dragon before." And I've never riden a dragon before. Ooh this is gonna be exciting!
"Great! I'll get your horse!" Cor said, sounding excited as well.
"You can ride with me," Nightfury offered. He laid down and outstretched his foreleg. Viseria climbed up his enormous, black scales and rested in between his back spines.
"Hold on tight. This'll be a fast flight," warned Nightfury. As he got up and spread his wings, Viseria quickly wrapped her arms around his neck (even though her arms weren't long enough). And they took flight.
A shadowed Deathwing gave one other a toothy grin and watched as the dragons took off for the scavenger's den with it an its steed.
"Alright, we'll wait here and watch for you," Cor said to the little scavenger as she mounted her horse.
"I'll be back, I promise," Viseria reassured with a grin. She hadn't been this excited before. She clicked her tongue an pushed at Helch's side for him to start riding from the mountain slope back to her village.
Gracious stars! Flying is the most wonderful feeling in the world! Riding on a dragon is WAY better than riding a horse (don't worry Helch, your irreplaceable). But how graceful Cor and Nightfury were. How beautifully smooth it was to be in the sky on Nightfury's back. Oh my- how fast we were going!
Viseria continued oo think about the most amazing experience of her life as she rode across the plains at the sight of home. She finally rode onto the main road, where chickens were waiting for her to arrive and then run off with a SQWUAK! Everyone was out doing something busy today. Most of the men were working on the reconstruction of houses and field fences after the Devil dragon attack from the other day. She could even see some wounded villagers being taken to the village medic. But even in the worst of times, Viseria saw the children play and laugh and every towns person smile.
Even when we're surrounded by dragons, we keep a good face for a brighter future. Seeing everyone looking well and hopeful made her smile too.
Viseria approached her home and tied Helch next to the water and hay manger just outside the doors. She ran inside with happiness on her face.
"Mother! Father! You're not gonna believe what happened!" she shouted.
"I can't believe you went out on your own!" her father's voice came through the kitchen. "Why in the world would you think to do that without my permission?!" His normally calm face was white from fear. Viseria's mother soon came out with a basket of laundry in her hands.
"I'm sorry, truly, but I felt it was important," Viseria tried to explain without giving too much information away.
" More important than your mother's heart? Which almost went up in flames after we saw you gone," her mother sassed, putting the basket down with frustration.
"What were you doing that was so important it couldn't be inside the village safety?" Father asked.
"Well, you see-"
Viseria was cut off by a sudden scream coming from outside. Father almost rolled his eyes as he grabbed his sword. Mother's eyes filled with terror, walking back to the kitchen window. Viseria walked out and looked up seeing two silhouettes: one red, one black.
Oh dear. They said they would wait. Now everyone will try to attack them.
"Viseria!" she heard Cor call out. "Viseria, we have to go! Right now!" He was in complete panic like everyone else. Both the dragons landed in between the house alleys and the streets. She could see men getting ready to attack them.
"I told you, Cor! Not without my parents!" Viseria shouted in frustration.
"Viseria? What are you-" Father began to say.
"There's no time!" Cor's voice overlapped. "The Deathwings, they're-
" Get down!" roared Nightfury. He slammed Cor to the ground as a cloud of green came bounding down, igniting the house behind them.
Viseria jerked her head around. Deathwings..oh no those Devil dragons!
Over a dozen of those wicked creatures flew down and began spraying the village with black rain. Terrible screams echoed through the land of terrified people. Arrows began to fly at the Deathwings, most hitting but hardly anything critical. There were too many shadows in the sky, a situation that seemed hopeless. Viseria pulled out her bow and loaded on an arrow. She spotted a Deathwing sweeping across in a straight line. Aiming for it, she let the arrow loose. The Deathwing shrieked and toppled to the ground, hopefully dead.
"Viseria!" Father called. "Get inside, to the bunker, there's too !any of them!" He ushered her to follow, but she stayed put.
"Wait, Father! We can escape now!" He didn't hear her and ran inside, grabbing his mother by the hand.
"VISERIA!" Nightfury's voice boomed as he swooped down and slid across the dirt with her under his wings.
Nightfury lifted his wings up. Viseria shook her head and nervously looked back to where the loud noise came from.
It was her home, completely engulfed in Deathwing fire, with her parents still inside.
"No! NOOOO!!" Viseria cried out. She tried to fight out of Nightfury's claws, but there was no use.
"Come on, we have to go!" Nightfury said, staring at the house with sorrow.
A familiar whinny rang through the poion-filled air. Helch. He was still alive, but tied up next to the destroyed house.
"Cor! My horse!" Viseria shouted to the red dragon.
"Got him!" Now let's get out of here!"
Nightfury thrusted into the air at lightning speed, followed by Cor. Viseria turned her head to see her village shrinking into the smoking distance. Her eyes began to burn with tears.
They're gone. Father...Mother...Jax. The whole village is gone! My home is GONE!
Sobs bled out, but were whisked away in the wind. If anyone was lucky enough, they could have his in their bunkers before anyone got hurt. A small glimmer of hope went up in the back of her head thatthat her parents had made it to the bunker in time. But she saw them jut before the house went up. Unless they were Nightfury- fast, they had no chance.
No chance...oh no chance! Viseria put her hands to her face and wept. The whole way to the dragons' home, she kept thinking about those she had lost...and those she was going to kill.
"Shouldn't they be back by now?" Prisma impatiently asked Oracle.
The Nightwing mentor tapped her claws against the rocks. "Well, yes, but who knows what has brought delay."
Thilden stepped into the light after pacing around forever. "Wouldn't you be able to tell what kept them in delay? I mean, you can see the future. Why didn't a vision about them pop up in your head?"
"I may be able to have visions," Oracle sighed with a little impatience. "And I may have told a prophecy, but that doesn't mean that those things come to me when it's convenient."
A small knock at the boulder lifted up everyone's ears. "Oh their back. Phew!" Sunrise said. Gater went to the boulder and easily moved it aside. Pale green scales enter. Not Nightfury or Cor at all. It was Lori, drenched in fear.
"Lori?!" Capaill exclaimed. "What're you doing here? You only come unless...oh no." She shivered and clutched her Talons of Peace necklace.
Lori quickly swallowed the water Gator gave her. "Maliketh he...he somehow found out about our hideout and is sending Deathwings her right now!"
Capaill gasped heavily, Prisma turned green as well, Grebe and Sunrise stared at each other in fear, Oracle's stomach twisted around unnaturally.
"And they found out about the Hero and are sending after him two!" Lori finished, grabbing her snout. Thilden squeezed his talons nervously, Liplora beat her head against a rock, Gator and Nazca twined their tails together.
There's no hope, Oracle thought, feeling defeated. Maliketh will win. This prophecy was not worth the lives of these good dragons.
Oracle took in a shaky breath. "Then we must leave before they find us here."
"But where can we go? There is no where else to go," Capaill whimpered out.
"There is one place we should be safe," Oracle answered. "Very few Talons know it. Luckily, I told Nightfury where it is. He'll know what to do when he doesn't find us here."
"So wait, we're leaving without them?" Grebe questioned with worry.
"We have no choice, they're on their way." Oracle put a wing around Grebe's shoulder. "Quickly! Grab only what we need. Lori, keep a look out and stay hidden," she ordered everyone. All the Talons of Peace nodded and went to collect their needs. Lori slipped past the boulder and Gator closed it partway. "The Seven," Oracle addressed to the prophecy dragons "If you have any sentimental value in these tunnels, say your goodbyes. Prisma, Liplora, if you wish to keep your pets, then make sure they are taken care of." The Seven split up and ran to their tunnels.
"Gator," she whispered to the big friendly Mudwing. "No matter what happens, protect the Seven at all cost." Gator looked into her eyes with concern, but nodded and brushed his wings with hers.
"Nothing else matters," he said to her, and ran off.
Oracle was left alone in the central cave. Nothing but her and her thoughts. A tiny pain in the back of her head kept coming back. She closed her eyes and all became new color. The colors faded to a familiar setting. The Skywing Place, surrounded by red and black walls. In the center of the throne room, Maliketh stood proudly in his dark domain, his eyes red as blood. At the other side of the room, the Seven lined up perfectly with defiant expressions. In the center was Nightfury with a female scavenger on his back. She had a brave look about her with skills of a warrior hidden inside her. This was definatly the Hero. And in her paws there was a strange box looking object with a glow and a symbol.
She had seen that symbol before...
"Oracle!" a voice shouted. The vision split apart with a headache and all the cave walls returned. Lori was there. staring into her eyes.
"Oracle, the Deathwings are here!"
And the cave entrance was ripped open by a massive explosion, and deadly and pleased Deathwing soldiers appeared.
Oracle was blown back against the mountain wall from the explosion. Lori jumped back to her with a hiss, becoming red and black; classic war colors. Gator came around the corner with anger.
"Gator, the river is red," Oracle urgently whispered. He nodded and quickly darted down the tunnels before the Deathwings saw him.
A tall, more muscled Deathwing came in first. His dragon skull over his face was carved with detailed scales and had small spear heads attached to the top of his claws.
"Hello there, you must be Oracle," he said with calm smile.
"And you must be Korath," Oracle replied as she got back up.
"Oh good, You've heard of me. Well then this should be easier. Though I don't think you've heard of my daughter." He opened his wings and let a smaller, grey Deathwing with a black stripe down her back enter. She had the most wicked smile from ear to ear.
"My daughter is such a big fan of the Talons of Peace. So big that she could just kill every single one of you," Korath teased. He put his wing on his daughter's shoulder. "Make me proud, Ambarta."
"Of course I will," she replied. Ambarta showed her teeth and let out a loud hiss. Five more Deathwing soldiers walked in. Suddenly, Ambarta pounced at Oracle.
Oracle swiped her wing claw into Ambarta's head, knocking her out and buying some time. One Deathwing went for Lori and ended up with venom in the eyes. A death howl echoed in the mountain. Gator ran back in with a roar and immediatly grabbed a Deathwing by the horns and slammed htheir head into the rock, shattering the skull. Their bigwings was ridiculously strong.
Korath rolled his eyes at Gator and stepped toward him with his claws closed into a fist. He punched his spear head gauntlet into Gator's side. He growled in pain and backed away after swinging his tail across Korath's face.
Another Deathwing came for Oracle with his mouth open and ready to gas her. She was quick to react and blew her flames into his face. The soldiers throat burst into smoke and was thrown back.
"Lori, the river is red!" Oracle shouted to the Rainwing, who was clawing at one more Deathwing's neck. She quickly followed behind Oracle and wounded Gator.
Ambarta shook herself awake with a ferocious snarl. "I'm not leaving without a Talon dead in my claws!" She darted down the tunnel.
"Did you get the Seven down the river?" Oracle asked Gator as they ran.
"They should have. I ran back before I could make sure," he answered. They all ran down to the river where only Capaill, Sunrise and Prisma waited.
"Are the others out?" Oracle anxiously asked.
"Yes, but we had to make sure you made it safely," Capaill answered, shaking uncontrollably.
"We won't be for long. That crazy bloodthirsty dragonet is on her way," Lori recalled Ambarta that was chasing them.
"Aaha!" Ambarta's voice jumped into the cave. She barred her teeth and had her claws out, but hadn't attacked yet. "Who would like to go first? How 'bout you Mudwing? Your brutal strength is so annoying for a peaceful dragon."
She suddenly jumped forward to Gator, venom starting to shoot out her first talons. But instead of hitting Gator, the black liquid hit Capaill, who jumped in front and made herself a shield for her friend.
"Capaill!" Sunrise and Gator screamed simultaneously. "Oh! We got ourselves a hero among cowards!" Ambarta said with pleasure.
Capaill groaned behind her teeth. "I was a coward...but not anymore," she managed to say.
"Congratulations! You saved the day!" Ambarta said sarcastically. She shoved each of her talons into Capaill's chest and let her venom flow inside the poor Seawing's body. The only sound Capaill made was the whimpers of blood clogging up her throat and dripping out her mouth. Her chest turned from blue to red.
Lori pounced forward angrily. "I don't think so, Rainwing!" said Ambarta. A small ball of green gas shot forward at Lori's neck, a tiny bit going up her nose. She tumbled into the river, gripping at her neck and coughing immensely.
"No! Lori!" Prisma shrieked and ran to her mentor.
"Enough!" Oracle ordered while trying to hold Gator back. "Get out of here, all of you!" Sunrise shivered while helping Prisma get Lori out. "Gator! No matter what happens, remember?!" Oracle shouted at the Mudwing. He struggled to get out of her arms, but stopped when he processed his leader's words. He gritted his teeth together and jumped into the river.
"You can't win you know," Ambarta hissed. "Your friends are dying left and right. And I've seen your escape. They'll catch you and kill." She chuckled looking down at Capaill dead in her claws, just like she vowed.
Oracle glared at her as she stepped back to the river. "Who said you saw us escape?" she taunted. Oracle then let out a breath of fire above Ambarta's head to the cave ceiling. Stalagtites came falling down. Ambarta jumped away before any could hit her, which gave Oralce the oppurtunity to torch the entrance. She torched the whole area around her to create smoke.
"No! Get back here, Nightwing!" Ambarta said angrily.
"Not a chance, Deathwing!" Oracle called out. She quickly dove into the river while the smoke blocked her escape. When she reached the other side, she set fire to the rocks above and shoved more over the river flowing out of the mountain. Everyone was waiting.
"Alright, let's go now!" she said.
"Where's Capaill? Liplora noticed her fellow Seawing missing.
"NOW!" Oracle pressed. She turned away from Liplora's gaze, not wanting to meet hers or anyone's gaze. She flew out and took the lead, east. Their destination was not that direction, but she hoped to fool the Deathwings.
Maybe that murderous Ambarta is right. Maybe we can't win. Already one good dragon has lost her life to fulfill this cursed prophecy. Will more follow?
"Good work, Ambarta," Korath approved his daughter. The bloodied Seawing was perfectly dead.
"Ooh, a necklace," Ambarta noticed the dragon talon arounf the Seawing's neck. She took it off the corpse. "I think I'll keep it as a nice dead Talons of Peace souvenir." She put the necklace on her neck with a smile.
Korath patted Ambarta's shoulder. Sure, she let the others get away, but the Rainwing she had gased would surely suffer.
Maliketh will not be happy, but at least Ambarta is, thought the Deathwing General. If the Nightwing Lord found out about his care for Ambarta, she would surely be led into more serious battles. She was ruthless, but not that well trained.
"Any injuries?" Korath casually asked his daughter.
"Other than a whack in the head from that blasted Nightwing, nope," Ambarta delightedly replied.
"Good. Let's get back and report to Maliketh," said Korath. He turned away from the cave that smelled of smoke and charred flesh.
"You want to tell him his adversaries escaped?" Ambarta asked, confused on how that was a good idea.
"No. That one Talon is dead and that the Hero is no more."
The surviving Talons of Peace and the Chosen ones were encirled around a pond. Lori was still gagging up her lungs from the Deathwing gas. She had a burning red gash on the top of her neck that Nazca dressed with herbs and a bandage. All the rest were asleep except for Sunrise and Gator, who were keeping wacth.
"Do you think Lori will be okay?" Sunrise asked quietly.
Gator let out a short sigh through his nose. "I don't know. Deathwing breath is deadly enough if it touches your scales. It's even worse if you breath it in. All I can say is I don't think she'll be doing anymore spying for a while."
Sunrise darted her eyes at two of the moons, only half full. She tried to think of something to say that would distract him. "Do...do you think that Nightfury, Cor...and the Hero will find us?"
"I don't doubt it," Gator said. "They're smart dragons and Nightfury is a good tracker. They'll find us and we'll be alright." The last sentence was almost mumbled.
He's doubting this will work, Sunrise thought about Gator's response. He's losing faith in the prophecy...in the Hero.
An image of the Deathwing's claws shooting into Capaill's chest flashed in her mind. Sunrise winced as she remembered the blood gushing out of her. Who could blame him from doubting?
"What's wrong?" Gator concernedly asked. He put his wing close to her. He must've noticed her reaction.
"Nothing, it's just...nothing." She didn't want to bring it up. Capaill was Gator's best friend and he promised to protect her from the violence of this war. And then she gave up her own life to protect him, dying in one of the most violent ways possible.
Gator brought his tail close to hers. "I know," he said thoughtfully.
Sunrise came closer and snuggled underneath his massive wing. "She didn't deserve it," she gently spoke.
"I know." Gator swallowed to hold back on choking up.
After a moment of silence, Sunrise perfked up with a light in the back of her mind. "I know what we should do," she said. Gator turned his head to her with curious eyes.
Sunrise finished. "We'll give her what she deserves: justice."
Nightfury and Cor flew with no sense of rush. They continued to fly home from the scavenger den. Soon the sky grew dark and they stopped to rest. Viseria hadn't said a word since the Deathwing attack. She went to her horse for comfort and stayed with him the rest of the night.
They stayed ina grove covered largely by trees with only a small opening of skylight coming through. Viseria was cold and requested a fire. Although Nightfury advised against it, they still made a small flame for her. Throughout the evening, Viseria mainly stared into the flickering heat with her dragon-like, strangely colored eyes. Inside them,Nightfury could see sorrow, grief, and a reflection of her den being destroyed.
Even though the Hero spoke very little, she still listened to the two dragons explaining everything to her; about the prophecy and about their life as dragons. Cor managed to talk her to sleep while explaining details on each dragon tribe.
He felt pity for her. Nightfury had never felt the pain of lost loved ones. His egg was hatched in the cave without his parents, although Oracle had explained that their eggs were all given instead of stolen. "When this war is over-" Oracle had said to them when they were dragonets, "-we shall take you to your families and you can live out the rest of your days, if you so choose." Nightfury did not know what he'd choose. The war was all his life was for.
The new Talons of Peace had learned from the mistakes of those who raised the dragonets of destiny. They did not raise Nightfury and the others with force or confinement, but rather gentle will and allowance of seeing the world, as well as learning everything they could.
Oracle told Nightfury that she had met the Rainwing/Nighwing queen, Glory. "Her dragonet years were what she explained as a prison. She was never treated kindly because of her circumstance as a replacement. Then again, none of them were treated so kindly," she had told him.
When the Talons of Peace reformed, the dragon who came in where not as angry or violent. In fact, they were the very opposite of that. Capaill was always twitching at any mention of violence, other than Nazca who was used to it. Gator was always gentle with them but could smash their heads in without looking, if he so desired. He, Oracle, and Lori were all skilled fighters, but never encouraged mistreatment or abuse with the Seven.
Thinking about those he grew up with made Nightfury smile in the dark. He glanced down at the sleeping Hero and a slight fear of loss waved over him.
I might understand what she feels like soon, he thought. Hopefully it will never come to that. Not while I'm still around to protect them.
At dawn, Nightfury awoke early. He sniffed out some prey and slipped away his companions slept. The forest they were in was filled with dense shadows. Perfect for an ambush predator like himself. He slithered around the trees, stopping to listen to movement before continuing on the hunt. A small rustle of a bush grabbed his attention, but he caught the sight of something to his left.
Nightfury shadowed his scales and remained still. A wild boar was digging in the ground for roots. It hadn't seen the dark dragon approaching it yet. The boar wandered carelessly closer to Nightfury. With a loud whoosh! he swiftly snatched the boar into his claws and killed it before it could squeel.
When Nightfury csme back, Cor was stretching awake, but Viseria was not with her horse.
"Cor! Where's Viseria?" he asked with a small snarl.
The Skywing yawned and switched to panic. He spun around frantically, nearly whacking Nightfury with his tail. "I-I don't know," he admitted.
"Relax, I'm right here," a small voice called out from the forest. Viseria walked back into the grove from the forest with a bloodied arrow and a dead rabbit in her hands.
"You can hunt?" Nightfury said, a little surprised.
"Of course I can. In my village, we're all taught to hunt. I figured you went hunting so I thought I'd just catch my own meal." Viseria set the rabbit down next to her snuffed out fireplace. "Um...could you-" She pointed at it as a request for more fire.
"Oh, here," Cor kindly did as she asked.
Viseria pulled out a small sword-looking thing and began to cut at the rabbit's fur and peeling it off cleanly. Nightfury meanwhile tore the boar in half and offered one half to Cor while he ate the other half.
"How come you cut off the fur?" asked Cor, a little curious.
"It's called skinning a rabbit," she explained. "We don't eat the fur; all we want is the meat. The fur of animals we ise to make clothes and bags." She brought out her bag that seemed to be made completely of golden rabbit fur. When she had finished skinning the rabbit, she put an arrow through it and hung it over the fire.
"That's impressive," Nightfury nodded to the scavenger. "Dragons can make things like that all the time. I didn't think any other animals could."
Well we always thought that because you guys are technically animals, you weren't smart enough to build palaces or make tapestries." Viseria chuckled. The two species didn't know each ther at all.
Viseria's rabbit was cooked and she ate it up while the two dragons did the same to their boar. She fed her horse and snatched water from a creek before they were ready to take off to the cave.
They continued to fly to the cave and didn’t catch sight of the mountain until early noon.
Wait...something’s not right. Nightfury could smell something unpleasant. And then the view of the cave entrance came in.
It was completely blown apart.
Nightfury dashed down as quick as possible, fear overwhelming him. Did Maliketh find out about their location?
“Oh no,” Cor said above a whisper.
“What happened here?” said Viseria with concern.
Nightfury didn’t answer. He was already cautiously walking into the mountain. The entrance cave was littered with four Deathwing bodies. All had clear signs of who had killed them. They escaped. Good. Nightfury tried to calm down.
“Oh my,” he heard Viseria exclaim. “Everyone must hate these Deathwings.”
“Moons yes, we do,” Cor answered with a smile. His smile died when he caught a whiff of a scent. So did Nightfury. Smoke, coming from the tunnels.
He tracked the scorched scent back to the river cave. He entrance was blackened from fire. He took a breath in before stepping through. It was let out in replacement of a shocked gasp. There was another body, but it wasn’t a Deathwing.
It was Capaill.
Her chest was horribly gored with talon marks. The whole front of her was red and brown from dried blood. Inside the talon marks was black; she must’ve been killed by venom. Nightfury hesitantly examined her face. It tore his heart out by the fact that even though blood stained her mouth, she looked like she was in peaceful sleep.
Cor and Viseria stood behind with the same shocked expressions. The Hero gasped, obviously horrified. The Skywing looked like he was about to cry. He walked over and touched her head, his face crestfallen.
“Where’s her necklace?” he observed.
“Her murderer must’ve taken it,” Nightfury angrily said.
“I...I didn’t find anything else. They must’ve escaped back here,” Cor nodded at the river. “But where could they have gone?”
There’s only one place Oracle would take them. “I know where,” Nightfury stated. “We have to find them. We don’t know if they’re safe. Maliketh found this place, which means that more than ever, we’re in danger.”