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King of kings: Chapter 65"Careful …" Malefor mumbled to himself as he slowly cut the chunk of opal in front of him. It was one thing to raise the stone from the ground, another thing entirely to shape it. This was the ninth stone so far, and he still was not satisfied with the results.It seemed he had yet to truly master nature.He did not complain, however.The results would be worth the trouble.He meticulously stroked the stone with his paws, focusing on earth to cut it in as precise a way as possible. Suddenly, he felt the existence of something frightening inside the stone.A crack.He stopped immediately. But before he could focus on fixing it, the crack gave under the force of his claw, and began to widen. In the blink of an eye, it reached the outer layer of the stone, and the stone broke in half.Another stone ruined.Malefor closed his eyes, placing his paw on his forehead. He took in a deep breath and let it out slowly in the form of a frustrated grunt.At least a half an hour wasted …Now he had to start from scratch.Again.He shook his head, and summoned another opal. But before he could begin to work on shaping it, he noticed the many flaws of what he had made. The stone was filled with impurities. Its rough shape and little to no play of color signified just how poor the quality was.It would never work.The spell would deem it unfit.Any being with half a brain would."Tomorrow." He uttered in his mind as he opened a portal back to Darak-Vuh-Ze.Back in his room, he immediately went to bed. It took mere seconds for him to lose consciousness.***The purple dragon smiled, staring at the now polished gemstone in front of him. He was, at long last, pleased with the fruits of his labor.A piece of opal, milky white with intense play of color, oval in shape and as big as his paw.It would be worth a small fortune.Many merchants would kill for such a thing.But it was not for sale.Gold, coins, or other things it could be traded for, were all worthless to him. He could feed himself, and there was nothing he could buy.Not that he would be interested in such a petty action.It could grant him one thing, however.Ease of mind.That, was beyond the powers of any useless merchant.He picked up his notes, staring at them in awe. Some of the curses were as long as three pages, as lyrical and as intricately detailed as the poems of an absolute master.It had been nearly four years since he began to study curses. But was it enough?One mistake and it will have been a miscast.Unfortunately, there was only one way to find out.He began to chant the first curse, using the piece of opal as the catalyst. He tried his hardest to remain true to the poem, concentrating hard on both the text and its meaning, and singing loudly.It took him quite a few minutes to finish it. He took a break, filling his mouth with warm water and gurgling it to freshen his throat.Curses were … harder than they looked to the untrained eye.On to the next curse …He slowly lost track of time as he got lost in the vicissitudes of the tongue. He kept chanting curse after curse, taking small breaks in between, until he had reached the end of his notes.The jewel was now filled with many curses, as evident by its hardened structure.Hopefully, all his effort will pay off.He will find out.Tonight …***"Roohbidh." Malefor called as he stepped out of his room. almost instantly, the cleric appeared in front of him."What is it?""I have a request.""Let me guess." Roohbidh smiled. "You wish to see your sister?""Yes." Malefor answered, unfazed. He had gotten used to the necromancer knowing his next move."I will not stop you." The necromancer's smile widened. "All I can do is advise you against it."Malefor was shocked by that statement."Why?" He asked."She is a dragon of Warfang." Roohbidh simply said. "She's a noble, and in a position of power. She is unlikely to accept you, let alone welcome you.""You don't know her." Malefor retorted. "Ever since I was thirteen, she was always accepting of me, even when her pride led her to say she didn't.""As a teenager." Roohbidh hinted. "She had a more primitive understanding of the world. As your friend had claimed, she is far more sophisticated now.""I still want to see her." Malefor stubbornly said.The necromancer remained quiet. He only stared into the purple dragon's eyes, as if to assess his resolve."Very well then." He said. "The safest method, for you, is to see her in a dream.""Why?" A suspicious Malefor asked. "So you can manipulate it to suit your own ends?""I have no cause to separate you two." The undead being shrugged. "If anything, I will benefit from your positive relationship with your sister. Her accepting a dark mage as brother will help future conversions, once our overlord returns. I have not broken a single promise of mine, including my promise to leave her unharmed, and I have deliberately gone out of my ways to assist you with your demands. Why I have yet to earn your trust is a myth to me."Malefor eyed the necromancer suspiciously. It was true that he hadn't harmed Shaiath, or Mahayan, and he had saved their lives as well. But was he really to be trusted with such a sensitive occasion?One wrong sentence and his entire relationship with his sister would be over.To see her, face to face, would be the much more sensible option if the two weren't so far apart.Perhaps through Shaiath …No.Shaiath had enough troubles already. There was no need to risk his friend's life as well.As much as he hated to admit it, the necromancer's solution was the safest option.He would not be able to give her his gift now, but he could, later."Very well." Malefor conceded. "But I want absolute control over my words and actions in my dream.""As you wish.""I mean it." Malefor stated. "If I say or do something I did not intend, I will kill you the instant I wake up.""That will not be necessary." The necromancer smiled as he summoned another bowl of the strange blood. "You will command the dream. I will simply bring her spirit to your dream, and leave the rest to you."Sipping the disgusting liquid, Malefor felt his eyelids drop almost immediately. He was fast asleep before he even hit the bed.He opened his eyes to find himself in a room. it only took him a moment to realize this was his room back in Warfang.A carefree smile formed on his lips as he remembered his easier days.He ran to the window and opened it. The yard was as big, as vividly detailed and as magnificent as he remembered. It was empty, but no less beautiful.On to the next thing …He stared at his claws, wiggling them. They moved as expected."I want to see her." He uttered.He smiled even wider. He was, indeed, in control.He heard the familiar sound of the door opening. He closed his eyes, almost involuntarily, and simply listened, wanting to cherish this moment. He turned around and opened his eyes, witnessing the sight he'd longed for all these years.Standing in front of him, staring into his eyes, was Mahayan.He found himself overwhelmed by emotion. He was unable to speak. Every word he'd thought of had escaped his mind. His tongue would not cooperate, either. He could not even move.He was not alone in his feelings. His sister was also speechless. She was merely gazing deeply into his eyes, confused."M … M … Mahayan …" He managed to say a few seconds later."This is a dream." Mahayan stated as she looked at her surroundings. Her voice was quite similar to what Malefor remembered, but it was not identical. It had grown bitter, and much more powerful. The way she stood, the way she eyed the room and Malefor himself, the way she talked, all reeked of authority."Then why does it look so real?" She demanded, turning her gaze to the purple dragon. "This is more than a dream, is it not?"Malefor nodded."I brought you here." He lied. One mention of the necromancer and the rancid beast would kill her …"We are both dreaming." He continued. "But through magic, our dream is shared, and we can converse.""Dark magic …" She uttered, disapprovingly."Yes."An uneasy silence took over the room. It lasted longer than Malefor was comfortable with."Then there is nothing to discuss." She said as she shook her head."It was the safest way for us to meet." Malefor explained. "Other methods were far too dangerous.""What is it you wish to discuss?" She asked, dismissing Malefor's words.The purple dragon's eyes widened. He was not upset by her sense of supremacy, but by how cold she was towards him.She had never acted this way.Even when she was upset, she let out her feelings in the form of screaming at him. At times, she even beat him, hoping to return some of the pain he had caused her. He preferred to receive a hard slap to his face than to be so soullessly questioned why he was there.There was still some emotion in those slaps. They showed she still cared. She still loved him, even when she claimed otherwise.But this indifferent attitude …He had never experienced this.Was she truly that upset?Had she changed that much?He gulped.Had her feelings towards him changed?"I … I wanted to see you." He managed to say, cautiously. The more he tried not to admit it, the worse his feelings got.Roohbidh had advised him against seeing her.Was this the reason?"Why?" Mahayan asked."I missed you … so much.""I missed you too." Mahayan answered, as though talking about the weather. "But then I grew up, and realized my error.""Error?""Yes." She insisted. "You abandoned me.""What?" Malefor asked, confused."When I needed you most." She hissed. "Through exile. I always believed I could count on you to make life more tolerable."She shook her head."In whom had I put my trust." She scoffed. "The single most dangerous being in the empire, a dark mage capable of eluding the spears and even the guardians themselves for so long, the murderer of many and proud of it."Malefor's jaw had dropped before she could finish her sentence. He simply kept staring at her with wide eyes, unable to form a proper response. Mahayan said nothing else, staring back at him with eyes as passionate as those on a dead frog.He took in a breath, ready to explain his past actions. But even when he thought he was prepared, he stopped himself.It was useless to argue with her.The single most dangerous being in the empire …Where to begin correcting that …Such an ignorant claim was made with absolute certainty.Similar to Kesuf, when he had described dark mages …Not similar.Identical.If she had stated her true sentiments, no explanation would be enough to change her mind.Roohbidh had warned him of this.His pursuit of her sisterly love was a lost cause from the very beginning."If there is nothing else to discuss, get out." She commanded.A dejected Malefor nodded as he opened the window, ready to fly out and hopefully end this worst nightmare. But just before he left, he turned around."You're wrong." He said, stopping a leaving Mahayan in her tracks. She turned around, seemingly surprised."I have killed." Malefor continued. "I have lied, and I have used others to achieve my goals. But I am not proud of any of it."Mahayan kept staring at him. There was a hint of confusion in her eyes."I do not take any pride in murdering those who have sought my death." He almost yelled. "Nor is it my intent to pursue and end those who want me dead."He took a moment to calm his nerves. He himself was flabbergasted. Why was he so upset by her sister's words?Why had cold words set him, a being of unprecedented raw power and unique intellect, on fire?The answer immediately came to his mind.He was caught off guard.He did not expect to hear such things.Not from her, at least."But I am a dark mage." He stated, calmly. "That, I do take great pride in. I have stepped into a path of insight, the likes of which you will never find in any school Warfang has to offer."He let out a bitter chuckle. It was mixed with his immense anger."The single most dangerous being in the empire …" He hissed, his tone rising. "Meanwhile, Kesuf had convinced the two of us to spy on Shaiath. Using merely his words, he convinced the two of us to lie to our friend, an act he simply dismisses as necessary."The purple dragon exhaled heavily as he stared at his sister, her eyes wide in fear."He lied, cheated, and killed so many living creatures who were done with this ridiculous empire." He yelled, tears running freely on his cheeks. "And he never had a shred of a shadow of a doubt about the morality of his actions. He boasts the numbers, and wears robes decorated with tiny pieces of metal to indicate just how many lives he has ruined so far."He took in a deep breath, ready to continue his rant. But before he could, he stopped himself.It did not matter.Her mind was made up.He was only tiring himself, and ruining the image he had built of her even further.To her, he was the dark mage who had committed murder. Those words were enough. The details no longer mattered.How was he to convince such a dragon to embrace him?He himself was by no means humble when he'd met Vinaha for the first time, but he had at least tried not to judge him so harshly. He had even admitted to his own ignorance, to the point the high mage himself was in wonder of his doubtful nature.Not her.With such pride, such certainty of the truth she held, there was no need to continue this non-exchange.He shook his head slightly as he opened his wings and flew out the window as he began to sense his body more and more."Wait!" He heard Mahayan's weak voice from afar the instant before he found himself back in his room."I warned you it was not a good idea to see her." Roohbidh stated."Were you watching my dream?" An angry Malefor demanded."I did not need to." The cleric shook his head. "Your screams, your tears, and your current anger all lead me to the conclusion I had seen."Just then did Malefor realize his cheeks were wet. He turned around as he wiped them dry."Think of this as a learning experience." He heard the necromancer say. "The followers of Warfang are quick to abandon you. To trust them is foolish, no matter how close you think they were to you.""Get out." Malefor demanded.The odious host said nothing, but Malefor heard him abide by his wish, and leave the room.The purple dragon simply inhaled deeply, hoping to let out his sorrow.Of all the dragons who could have spat in his face, why her?How could she?The one dragon he always thought would understand him …The closest thing to a family member he'd ever had …If she had such a low view of him, she would most likely not accept the opal.All those wasted hours of work …"Not wasted." He uttered. For the first time, he had managed to create a fully functioning cursed object that would protect its holder from all sorts of harm. It could even hold spirits away.And he alone had made it without any help.The pursuit of knowledge was never a waste of time.He checked the time. He could sleep for another six or so hours before Roohbidh came to wake him up. However, he did not want to return to sleep so quickly. He wanted to distract his mind first.He summoned Zarakhan's book as he went to his desk, and continued reading."Any effort to crest the light of the sun with the essence of shadows will be met with failure, for it is the nature of light to kill shadows. The light's essence, its nature, its very being, must be formed in the dominion of shadows.""To study the light itself in the domain of shadows is to doom its inhabitants. I will not allow anyone to invite such a carnage to that realm until this corrosive power is under my complete command. Aside from being highly immoral, such an act is unnecessary. Our indirect efforts to command the stars have yielded fascinating result, not the least of which is the knowledge that the celestial lights can be tamed.""That is true even of the mighty sun herself.""While it is the most complex light of all, it is not beyond our reach. The necromancer deserved my trust. His genius has proven to be quite valuable to understanding the nature of sunlight. After a mere five decades, he has understood how it can be made to function within a dragon.""The dragon's spark must be made with the essence of the light.""Warfang …" The purple dragon thought. The knowledge was not hidden from the Virith, it seemed.Or perhaps, it was not hidden well enough.He continued reading."It is no easy task, however. The dragon spark is not naturally fit to host such a fearsome power. Not a single egg that has received the spells has survived.""So far.""I have confidence that, if given a few more decades, my trusty necromancers will overcome this issue, as well as any other troublesome details we may encounter along the way.""Including how I can command it."Malefor yawned. His mind was nearing the edges of its capabilities.He closed the book, sending it back to Convexity, before returning to bed.It did not take him long to fall asleep. He had many dreams that night. While he had forgotten their details by the next morning, they all had a mysterious black dragoness in them.
King of kings: Chapter 64"It is astounding how different beings perceive things. The shadows use a very particular word to describe the sun. Roughly translated, it means 'that which cruelly kills'. The word they use to describe sunlight can also be used for suffering. They are shadows, after all. It should not be a surprise.""What is a surprise to me is their willingness to conquer their greatest foe. Most of their questions are with regards to how dragons survive under the sun. They want to be able to roam the lands, free of the shackles of their depths, and of their reality.""They've inherited the curiosity of dragons, it seems.""If they weren't so easily killed by the sunlight, they would be roaming the lands by now. I wonder if that can change. The sun is, indeed, too intense for a shadow to survive under. They do not seem bothered by the lights of the three moons, however. Fortunately, I have an answer, thanks to the Virith whose weaker build betrayed them.""The sun was made by supremely ancient beings who no longer contact us. It was made to rid the realms of all that was dark. They did not know the measure of its strength, however. It was made too bright, and burned everything it set its eyes upon. To prevent further destruction, the moons were placed so as to obscure the sun's intensity.""It is in their nature.""The sun was put to rid the realms of darkness, whereas the moons were put to cast darkness, if only a temporary one.""Though this statement appears trivial, it is anything but. If the night were made eternal, then it would be possible for the shadows to traverse the land as they please. Of course, such a thing is hardly desirable. Other means must be used, so as not to demolish nature altogether.""I am in luck, yet again. Some of the Virith seem to have an ability to command sunlight itself. Though, they are not at all willing to share their secrets with me. Even under extreme torture, they did not break. It is understandable. This Virith art is quite potent, after all. I wonder just how powerful it is, if the Virith have gone to such lengths to prevent me from grasping it.""If they believe I will give in to ignorance, they are sorely mistaken. I have never surrendered, nor do I intend to. This delightful power will give me an outstanding edge, for it will allow me to fathom how the heavens themselves can change to fit the needs of the shadows. I demand this form of knowledge. No cost is too great.""I will not allow my invasion of this realm to be as useless as the realm itself.""Wow." Malefor exclaimed with wide eyes as he closed the book, sending it to Convexity.That last sentence …Useless …Was the defeat of the Virith not enough? It had assured that dragons, unlike many other less fortunate beings of the realms, would never be subjugated.No …It was not.Something else was required.That is, if the implication of the last sentence was to be believed.That was the real reason. The invasion of earth was never about the Virith, or preventing them from gathering their forces. It was simply a cover.It was always about Zarakhan's desire to learn miracles.That, and only that.Of course, the other progenitors would never have agreed to invade this realm if it were only for the survival of Zarakhan's shadows.Not survival, benefit.Not even that.It was for their pleasure.It was so they could roam the land free.There was nothing wrong with shadows being granted passage if they were harmless, but …An entire realm had been terrorized.Thousands of dragons had died.The sea-crawlers had been eradicated from the land.The Virith had been slaughtered to near annihilation.And for what?So the curiosity of the shadows could be satiated.So the curiosity of Zarakhan himself could be satiated.Did Roohbidh know about this? Did he approve?What about Vinaha?He was not sure about Roohbidh, but Vinaha did not.He would not be a worshipper of Zarakhan if he knew this.No one would …He shook his head. This act of the deep shadow was beyond selfish.To bring so much suffering, all so the inhabitants of one plain of existence could live with the dragons …What would it even bring?Why did it matter if the shadows could crawl on earth, as well as in their own domain?But if that were the case …If Zarakhan had truly caused such damage to this realm as well as the dragons, those who had given their lives for him, believing they were protecting their kind …Was his murder justified?He was beginning to understand why Tiraga and Darhig had refused to help him, and why Miragas had abandoned him.They no longer trusted him.His eyes widened as a terrifying thought ran through his mind.Such a being wanted to return.Not only that, he was actively helping Zarakhan."Calm yourself." He told himself as he took in a deep breath, exhaling slowly. Zarakhan would not return tomorrow. He had time to figure out how to prevent it, while making sure Roohbidh will have no chance to harm those he cared about.The necromancer's luck had to run out first.***"Excellent workout." Roohbidh stated."Thank you." Malefor panted as he began healing his injuries, including a large hole in his wing."Enough practice for the day." Roohbidh continued."This is earlier than usual." Malefor commented."I have important news." Roohbidh answered, gesturing the purple dragon to sit down. "The Virith will arrive here in three days.""Humph." Malefor scoffed. With all the studies and his other concerns, he had forgotten about that thing.He wanted it to arrive so he could exact revenge. At the very least, he'd be rid of the cursed being. But …He'd be lying if he said he felt no fear.It was powerful. It had ended his life with a single hit.Of course, it was the tree that had killed him, but its attack had been powerful enough to send Malefor flying into it.He'd trained hard after that, but would it be enough?"You must not falter." Roohbidh warned. "It is more than capable of killing you, as you well know. It is very possible for you to die in this encounter, and I may be unable to resurrect you this time."Malefor nodded. He had no intention of underestimating his opponent.No mercy this time.Every single attack would have to be delivered in as harmful a way as he possibly could.The fight had to end as quickly as possible.Not just that, the fight had to go smoothly, like an elaborate dance. A good strategy was needed.The best.The Virith needed only one hit …He'd have to be equally as lethal …"And remember, you are not to use Convexity." Roohbidh stated."Why not?" A surprised Malefor asked."It is our only remaining link to understanding how miracles function in a living body." Roohbidh answered. "If it is turned to ashes, nothing will be left for me to study. Use your other attacks.""How am I supposed to win, then?" Malefor asked. "All of my powers are fused with Convexity. I'll have to avoid using my spark altogether.""If your attack does not disintegrate the body entirely, it is safe for you to use." A calm Roohbidh said. "A missing limb will not hinder my study. A pile of ashes, does. That's the difference.""I see." Malefor mumbled. If other attacks could be used, he knew a few ways to end the fiend.And he'd have his shield."It would be best for you to rest until it arrives." Roohbidh continued, giving a slight smile. "You must be in peak condition if you are to survive."The dragon began to walk towards his room, in deep thought.The abyss of the dead …A place where the souls went to rest …Where memories went to die …Where feelings did not exist …If he died, he'd be stuck in that place for an eternity.He would never find out if Shaiath succeeded in his quest.He would never talk to his sister again.He would never kill Roohbidh."All the more reason to fight perfectly." He thought.A single mistake could cost him his life.He had to make sure none were made.A heavy task, indeed. But there was no choice."I will not fail!" He uttered, his voice echoing through the hallways."I will not fail." He said, lowering his voice a bit."I will not fail." He whispered to himself, his eyes wide in fear.***The skies above Darak-Vuh-Ze were the same regardless of the changes the outside world experienced. No matter what happened, they were cloudy, stormy, and mysterious. The poisonous air no longer gave Malefor headaches, but it was still far from pleasant. It reeked of rot and decay, even from the top of the highest tower, where he was sitting.He eyed the surroundings, waiting for any sign of an intruder from all sides. He had been sitting here for a good long while. It was tiresome, but necessary.The Virith was close.He had to remain vigilant, so as not to be surprised by the vile, murderous beast.He would not allow it to kill the only dragon of Convexity.With the cowardly necromancer safely tucked in the castle, it all fell on his shoulders to protect himself, as well as his dreams.He closed his eyes for just a second, giving them a short break. Staring at the strange lighting of the heavens above for so long had taken its toll on them.He'd open them in a few seconds …But even with his eyes closed, he could not ignore the bright light in the distance.A light?He quickly opened his eyes, focusing on the approaching orb of the golden light.Golden light …"It's time." He mumbled under his breath as he opened his wings and began to fly towards the Virith, summoning his shield. He began to see more details of his foe the closer he got.The Virith hadn't changed at all. It was as hideous as the day it had fought him. It had no sign of any injuries, as though it had never gotten into a fight. It was carrying its infamous rod in its right hand. The only difference was the glowing bed of golden light it was seemingly leaning on. It resembled a flat circle at an angle, with rays of the light piercing through its borders like sharp spears. The flying beast screamed in rage as it saw Malefor fly towards him.The dragon roared back, focusing on his first attack.The Virith started the fight, aiming its rod at Malefor and blasting a powerful wave of the light at him. Malefor simply dodged it by rolling to the side. The beast followed Malefor's movement, continuing to blast the burning light at him.He increased the pressure of wind under his wings, rising above the Virith and turning towards it. The creature did not anticipate this move, which gave the purple dragon enough time to attack.Malefor shot a long, powerful, sharp beam of iron directly at the enemy's face. His attack barely missed, scratching the animal's cheek and passing through the light. The pain distracted the Virith, and it touched its cheek by instinct.A strange move, for a warrior …Taking advantage of its momentary distraction, Malefor coated his right wing in the black flame, using wind and lightning to close the distance. The beast noticed at the last second, and dodged out of the way, narrowly avoiding certain death.It let out its fear in the form of a frustrated scream and six arrows of the golden light. While they didn't seem to have been aimed for him at first glance, the purple dragon realized his mistake when all six swiftly trailed him. He dodged one by rolling to the right, but the arrow did not simply give up. It continued to follow Malefor even after being led astray.This would not do.He turned around, facing the arrows. He shot an earth missile at one. The two attacks came into contact with another. The arrow blew up the missile, but in doing so, it dissipated as well.He shot another missile at the second arrow, the one closest to him.Another arrow went useless.And another after that.The fifth arrow hit his shield, creating a deafening screech and tearing a rather big hole in it.As he was about to deal with the final arrow, he saw movement from the corner of his eyes. Letting out another hate-filled scream, the Virith had blasted another half a dozen arrows at him.Despite the seriousness of his position, Malefor could not help but wonder.Why did this creature hate him so?It did not matter.At least, not now.Malefor summoned a gargantuan bolt of purple lightning from the skies. The light, as well as the sound, alerted the Virith, and it dodged the attack. It was, however, unprepared for Malefor's branching the lightning, and was hit in the chest. The branch was not as powerful as the main attack, and it failed to kill its intended target. It screeched in pain and fear as it plummeted towards the ground.The purple dragon focused on ice as he summoned a hail, making each piece of ice as sharp as his claws and as big as his paw. The blades of ice rained down upon the Virith, which had just recuperated from Malefor's last attack.It would have died, were it not for its shield.The purple dragon looked closely. The ice, having been fused with Convexity, was tearing the blue shield to pieces, similar to how his shield had been damaged by the arrows.He charged a bolt of lightning in his mouth, using the elemental power to fly towards his enemy, maintaining his height advantage. He unleashed the bolt when he was directly above the Virith. The blast hit its target in the blink of an eye. Its raw power, mixed with the corrosive purple light, made quick work of the creature's shield, shattering it like glass. But before he could go in for the kill, a loud screech from behind distracted Malefor.The seven arrows of light …He'd been hit by three of them so far, and his shield had large gaps where they had hit. He had to summon it again. And he would, the moment it had disposed of the other four arrows.He disposed of one arrow by blasting it with an iron rod, dodging left and right to avoid the others. He could hear the Virith scream with each arrow Malefor rendered useless.The bitter roars of an enraged being …Suddenly, the sky began to emit a golden color.This was not a fresh sight, nor was it a reassuring one …The hail of heavenly arrows during his fight with Teis …The purple dragon, using both wind and lightning, escaped the onslaught of arrows following him. He managed to spot his enemy to his right, and shot five fire bursts at it. The creature dodged them all. It was taken off guard when the flames expanded.Malefor listened to the music of the creature's pain as it screamed through the fires that engulfed its body.This being deserved the pain.Not only had it killed him, it had followed him around half the continent, with the intention of killing him again.It deserved to die …But why did it have such a vendetta against Malefor?The purple dragon saw another blast of the golden light from above. Similar to last time, he used his lightning and wind to escape the attack. But this time, he flew towards the Virith, summoning his shield anew.He ignored the screeching sounds of his shield getting hit by a few of the arrows, and instead focused on engulfing his entire body in the black flame. The Virith was scared, as evident by its frantic movement.Malefor slashed at the Virith's head with his claw. The beast dodged, and prepared for another attack while Malefor's back was turned.A move Malefor had accounted for.The purple dragon created a strong gust of wind in front of his left wing and another one behind his right. The sudden current turned him around, and he faced his foe in an instant, blasting an iron rod at it.The Virith's eyes widened in shock. It tried to dodge. However, before it could, the rod reached its target.Malefor's attack was far too powerful for the ugly creature's soft body, and it tore through its stomach, sending it plummeting towards the earth once more. The Virith didn't even have time to scream in pain.He watched as the two halves of the Virith's body hit the ground, painting it red with its blood. he continued to watch, waiting for the beast to return to battle.But it couldn't.Malefor had thrown him far beyond the gates of this realm.Or so it seemed …A few minutes passed.No movement from either half.Malefor let out a victorious roar, as loud as he could.He had done it!He had defeated the Virith!It wasn't even a hard battle. He had simply used more powerful attacks, and the beast had fallen before him!How he had grown …He began to descend, landing next to his foe's upper body. He checked it, finding no signs of life.Its thick, ooze-like blood was slowly pouring out of its body, painting the ground.Thick?Ooze?Wait …Was that how the Hariyola were created? By filling their dead bodies with Virith blood?He checked the lifeless face of his fallen enemy. The beast did not even have time to close its eyes. The eyes were wide in pain and fear, and its face showed signs of both in great amounts.Most likely, similar to his face when he'd died …Malefor found himself grimacing slightly. The satisfaction of revenge was being replaced by another sentiment.Confusion."Huh …" Malefor let out. Why had this creature tried so hard and travelled so far, just to find him? Aside from the color of his scales, what was it about him that warranted such vigilance?How did it even know Malefor was still alive?It did not know it was coming towards its own defeat. What higher purpose did it have in mind?What would it gain with Malefor gone?What was worth risking its life for?"Well done!" He heard the familiar voice of the necromancer say. "Lord Zarakhan will be most pleased with you once he hears of our efforts.""You mean mine." Malefor corrected."My effort to fully grasp miracles, your assistance in all its forms, and our dedication as a whole." Roohbidh explained. "Your reward will, without a doubt, exceed your wildest imaginations.""Swell." Malefor stated, walking back to his room."Today, you may rest." He heard the necromancer say. "Tomorrow, your training will continue. Your next opponent will not be so easy.""Ughh …" Malefor groaned under his breath.He never considered Roohbidh courageous. But to hide behind his scales to advance his own selfish, murderous goals …"A mindset based on use." He reminded himself. To the cleric, Malefor was just a tool. Even if he tried to act friendly or helpful, the purple dragon would never believe him.Guardian Aethir had pretended to be both.And so had the other guardians …Except, maybe, guardian Vadha.His feelings did not seem forced.He seemed … more genuine, more truthful.Kesuf …The worst of them all …They all had the same mindset. They had suddenly left him the instant they decided he would be useful in a different way than the one they'd had in mind.He had to stay completely within the lines, or suffer the consequences.That was the case with both Warfang and Roohbidh.Neither was to be trusted.They were both the same, equally as nauseating.He quickly went to his room, locking the door and lighting the fireplace. He summoned Zarakhan's book, and continued to read it in the safety of his shield."I regret to announce my utter failure. The sun was never meant to be tamed. Not by dragons, that is.""The art of glowing sun, which in the tongue of Virith is referred to as 'miracles', is impossible for a dragon to cast. It is not in our nature. Similar to how it is possible for only dragons to cast our spells, we cannot use this art.""But what makes it an exception to the rule?""To say it is not in our nature is an unsatisfying answer. I need to know specifically why our nature has such a flaw. We have mastered their arts. We have expanded the limits of the Virith. Why does this particular art elude us?""Perhaps even ancient deities feared our growth.""There may yet be a glimmer of hope, however. A follower of mine, a necromancer, has claimed that he might be able to fix that. He is young, and a visionary, not unlike myself. However, I find it hard to trust him with that claim.""Perhaps I am mistaken. I will give him all that he needs to complete his research, if only to relieve myself of the pain of ignorance.""If he, or anyone else for that matter, can tame that art in a way that allows me to use it, then he will earn my absolute trust, and become most dear to me.""It is my sincere wish that he is not mistaken.""How interesting …" Malefor thought. The description of the necromancer was quite familiar …Too particular …But what about the massacre of Kobuta-Valiya?The disciple of lord Yahki?Perhaps the two weren't the same. Or perhaps Roohbidh had massacred them all, taking refuge in the now lifeless temple.The book had stated that there were no signs of life.Roohbidh was not alive now.Perhaps he did not belong to the realm of the living then, either.Quite possible …Malefor smiled.The pieces of his dilemma were starting to make sense …But just what bigger picture did they speak of?
Spyro, Son of the Ape King - Chapter 9Time for food had come, as the big ape and the two dragons were now sitting around a table that had been prepared for them. Some nice food brought, served in leaves in the place of plates. The menu consisted in fried cream-bellied mantises, spiced with pludia grass and swamp tea leaves, a wonderful first course; followed by a smoked meat of alpine rattlesnake with sweet vines on the side. Some nice lagople juice to drink in bowls, and a huge bowl of heart cashews for dessert, courtesy of the harvesters, who made sure to separate the best ones for Gaul and, by extension, Spyro. "They were really rude to Aerea." Spyro said to his father in between bites, "She was helping them and they just acted as if she was getting in their way. I guess they were envious of her skills. Dad, you had to see, she was so amazing using her wind element. It was just like in the stories that you told me about the wind dragons that flapped their winds and created winds strong like those of a hurricane." "Sounds like it was truly amazing." Gaul said, as he took bites of his food. It was mostly picking it up with his hands and taking it to his mouth to eat, while Spyro ate it with gusto with great bites. Meanwhile, Aerea was looking at the food that was bring to her, and she looked as if she was still trying to figure out if that was edible or not. It was clear that she was not use to eat bugs or snakes. At least, not the same way that Spyro and his father surely were. The fried bugs remained in front of her, staring back at her with their dead bug eyes, and the pieces of the snake looked like the snake itself had been cut in half, both haves had been skinned and then dipped in spices and smoke. The strange, lilac-colored vine that was right by the side of it looked a bit strange too, as the dragoness had never seen anything like it where she lived. This food all looked quite strange to her. It smelled really good, though. "The food is really good, Miss Aerea." Gaul said as he looked at the dragoness, who looked back at him surprised. "You should really try. When eating the mantis, you should start with the head. It is the crunchiest part, and don't worry about the snake, they completely removed all parts that had poison, and even if they didn't the sweet vines can neutralize most natural poisons, not to mention that they go really good with snake meat." He took a bite out of his food, while Aerea looked at him, before she looked back at her food. It was so different from the food that she was used to having. Still, so was most of the food that she had been eating in the past week that she had been staying with Spyro as his guest, and most of it proved quite good. So, the dragoness decided to give it a try, as she (awkwardly) picked up one of the fried bugs and (very hesitantly) took a bit on the head of the thing. She never imagined that a bug could be so delicious. She was soon eating them with gusto, just like the other two. "Yeah, I just want to say how much I am appreciating being here, guys." Sparx said, looking at the three as he was on the table as well. "Really nice of you to eat bugs with a bug on the table. Very thoughtful." "Oh, quit being dramatic." Spyro said to him, "These bugs are not sentient like you dragonflies, besides, they taste really good." "And don't you eat butterflies?" Aerea asked, and Sparx said nothing, just looking at her as she took another bite. "Oh, by Yo! I never knew that bugs could taste so good! I'll want these fried mantises more often!" She continued to eat, and Sparx looked at her eating. After a few moments, he started licking his chops. Then, he lunged at the nearest leaf that had mantises and took one of them. "Here, I am becoming a cannibal. You guys happy?" He asked, before he started to bite at the fried mantis, all under the eyes of everyone else. "Hey! These guys taste just like orange butterflies!" Sparx said, and he started eating more voraciously, causing Spyro to laugh at him and Gaul to chuckle. Aerea, on her end, didn't really looked at the dragonfly, as she had soon found out that seeing him eat was a sure way to make her lose part of her appetite, and she didn't wanted that, not when she just found out how good these things tasted. She soon was also trying the snake and the vines, and she found out that these things really did tasted great together. The savory taste of the snake somewhat harmonized with slightly sweet taste of these lilac vines. The vine was a bit chewy, but it did went along great with the soft snake meat. This was really proving to be a great meal. All the while, Spyro was talking to his dad about all that had happened while he was away. He spoke about his training, about the things that he had seen on his walks, about how things had been ever since Aerea had come along, and he even made some commentaries on the inside of the owlbear's cave, with the many glowing gemstones that there were inside of there. He even showed Gaul the one that he had rescued from inside there, and that he had kept ever since. "Indeed, it is a beautiful gem." Gaul said, as he looked at the curious thing that now seemed to have become a dear possession of the young purple dragon. The ape looked at it with great interest before he gave it back to Spyro, "You better keep a good eye on this. I could be valuable." And so the talk continued, all the while Aerea remained watching the two while they all ate. She saw how the purple dragon spoke to the massive ape of all that had been happening lately, no matter how big or small, and the ape would hear it with interest, before saying something back that would either make the purple dragon blush, laugh or beam with pride. She just continued to look and, at some point, it almost seemed that she had forgotten all about her food. "Are you satisfied, young Aerea?" Gaul asked, snapping the dragoness out of her thoughts. "W-what? Oh, y-yes, I am. I mean, kinda." She said, looking at her nearly finished food. "Yeah, I guess I'll only have one of the heart cashews as dessert." She picked up one, and soon she was eating. After a few moments, however, she talked to the two. "You two seem very close." She said, not really thinking on what she was speaking, and the two looked at her, what prompted her to look away, somewhat embarrassed, she was about to apologize, when Spyro said: "Well, of course we are close." He said, as if this was something obvious. "After all, he is my dad." "Y-yeah, but..." Aerea said, looking at him, "With the war and all, he probably has to focus a lot in it and you might stay away from each other for a long time, right?" Gaul was the one who answered this time. "Indeed, I have my responsibility due to the war." Gaul said, looking back at the gray dragoness. "But that does not means that I'll neglect Spyro. I come back as often as I can, and I make sure that I'll spend the available time that I have with him, at any moment that I have it." "He is always there when I really need him." Spyro said, looking at his father with admiration. "And he is always supporting me. Once he stopped a meeting with other generals right in the middle of it only to check on my when he heard that I had been stung by a scorpion. It was a false lotus scorpion, the kind that doesn't have any venom, but dad stopped everything juts to come check on me and be sure that I was okay." Spyro really sounded like he admired his dad for that, and he truly did. "That is how all dads should be." There was a silence following these words, and Aerea looked at him. For a moment, Spyro even wondered if he had said something wrong, for the dragoness now looked sad. Really sad. "Yeah... you are right." She said, looking down. "Dads should be like that..." More silence followed this, as Spyro looked at both Sparx and his dad, as if asking "what did I do wrong?" to both of them, and hoping that one of them would answer. "So, I hope you have enjoyed the food, Aerea." Gaul said, the dragoness looked back at him and nodded. "Yes, sir." She said, "It was delicious. It was the best meal I had ever since I left the Dragon Realms. It was so good." She sounded sincere as she said that, and then she added: "So different from what I thought that the meals of apes would be." She said that in a low voice, and it seemed that she was talking to herself and not to them. However, Spyro had picked up what she said, and it peaked his curiosity. "What did you thought an ape's meal would be like?" He asked, and she looked at him, once more making him think that he might have said something wrong. However, this was not sad like the other, but it seemed to be... what was that? Fear? Embarrassment? Guilt? "I..." Aerea said, and it seemed that she was trying to decide if she should or not tell them what was going through her head now. "I... heard some things about apes and their meals... back in the dragon lands." "What, that they eat with their feet?" Spyro asked, "Because I've seen a few of them doing that, but most of them don't do that, it is anti-hygienic." "W-well, they told me that too." Aerea said, and she looked at them, "Just as that they eat their own young, and their own poop." She said, and Spyro looked at her, "And that they liked to drink the blood of the enemies that they defeated in battle." Spyro looked at her with a disgusted expression. Sparx was more neutral, but he still said: "Ew." "That's ridiculous!" Spyro finally said, looking at her, "No ape that I ever met did any of that." She flinched a bit at his tune, what made the purple dragon regret having spoken like that to her, however, the dragoness soon was trying to justify herself: "I-it's just what they have told me about the apes back on the Dragon Realms." She said, "They... they say a lot of things about the apes. And not only about how they eat." "They say that the apes like to torture little animals to pass their time, and that they use the bones of their fallen enemies to make jewelry." She spoke, "They say that they live in the trees and like to leave captured dragons tied into vines and hanging for several hours before they finish them off by carving them up alive. And then they eat their guts and drink their blood, and laugh while they do that." "They don't do any of that!" Spyro said, sounding outraged. "They never did and they would never do! Not even Kallag would go that far!" Aerea flinched a little more, and she looked away. "This is part of the war." Gaul said, now causing everyone to look at him. His expression was serious, but it was serene. "Dad?" Spyro asked, and the big ape soon was talking once more to the ones on the table. "In wars, it is very important to make yourself look like the good guy to your own people." Gaul said to them, "To make your cause seems correct and righteous, so your citizens will be by your side, even if you are doing wrong things." "But you don't do wrong things." Spyro said, "You don't have to look like the good guy, because you are a good guy." "Wars are never simple, Spyro." The big ape told the dragon, "Wars always involve much more than who is right and who is wrong. They involve interests. They involve conflicting ideologies, and sometimes it is hard for the ones involved to actually say who is right and who is wrong. Sometimes, even the ones who are fighting for the right cause will seem wrong to their enemies, either that or they will be made to look wrong, in order to favor the other side." Spyro looked at his father, and the ape continued to explain: "It is common in wars for the leader and his army to be depicted as paragons of moral, and for the causes that they fight for to be described as righteous and in the interest of the people as a whole." He said, "Also, it is not uncommon for them to depict their enemies and opposers as being evil. Malefor has always been keen on using both of these tactics. He presents himself as a noble leader for his people and paints all the ones who oppose him as evil. It is actually no surprise that he would be depicting apes as cruel and merciless, once we are the ones who oppose him the most." He sighed. "Most of the dragons have never even met an ape before in their lives, and they all know that we live in the forests. It must not be hard for Malefor to convince them that we are a bunch of brainless savages." Gaul said. Neither of the two dragons said a thing, and Gaul looked at Aerea. "I bet that you have also heard quite a few things about me, haven't you?" He asked, in a very friendly tune. At this moment, Aerea looked at him, and then she looked down. "What is it?" Spyro said, looking at the gray dragoness. "What do they say about dad?" Aerea hesitated, as it seemed that she was unwilling to share what she knew. However, she saw herself with little choice with a direct question like that. So, the dragoness soon was speaking: "You are right, Malefor really does preaches how his causes are noble for all dragon kind, and he demonizes all of the ones who oppose him." Aerea said, and the others looked at her. "The apes in particular... and their king." Spyro looked at her, and he could already feel outrage raising in anticipation, already imaging the kinds of lies that they told about his father. Gaul, on his end, had more of a neutral expression. "He, and all of the others, say that Gaul is a monster." She said, "The biggest, cruelest and most violent ape who has ever lived. They say that he often kills his own subordinates when they fail with him even once or question his orders. That he tortures captured dragons until madness and then has them placed on stakes and watches as they bleed to death , and that he later drinks their blood. That he destroys dragon eggs and then eats the unborn dragons as a delicacy. All these shorts of things. I once heard my father say that, if you are about to be captured by Gaul, then you better try to kill yourself as fast as you can, because if you live, Gaul would torture you for fun so much that you would be begging for death, and then he would laugh at you and just keep torturing you." Spyro is shocked for a few moments; however, it is soon giving away to outrage. "None of that is true!" The young dragon nearly roared. "Dad wouldn't-! He would never-! He doesn't even-! How can they think that he would-!? That is all crap!" "Spyro!" Gaul said, causing the young dragon to look at him, "Language, please." "But this is all lie!" Spyro said, looking at his father. "You would never do any of these things! You never killed or tortured anyone! You are not like that!" "I know." The ape said to the purple dragon, "This is propaganda. Malefor is selling me to his people as a monster so he can keep selling his image a righteous and noble king who will guide dragon kind to 'their rightful place'." "Yeah, he never stops saying that." Aerea said under her breath, the others on the table looked at her, and then she added: "Well, according to what I heard. I mean, everyone in the kingdom speaks of how Malefor has helped the kingdom improve, but everyone seems to forget how much he controls everything that happens in the kingdom, and how much he taxes everyone to have more funds for the war. Did you know that dragons who openly badmouthed him would either disappear or die on very suspect circumstances, like some strange accident on their home or an unexplained suicide? I mean, how can a dragon accidentally fall on a spear twenty times?" The two said nothing in return, and Aerea simply looked away, before she continued: "Not to mention that he is always demanding that more and more dragons at the age of fighting join his army to help in the war. They don't have a choice, you know? Refusing is seen as betrayal and punished as a crime." Silence followed these words, as everyone took in what the dragoness had just said to them. "Man." Sparx said, "No wonder I hear of so many dragons packing their bags and leaving the place in the dead of night." "Yeah." Aerea said, "Trying your chances out here is better than remaining in that tyrant's shadow." Spyro looked in between the two as he took in all that he just heard, and he didn't liked it in the least. How could Malefor spread such lies? Okay, it made sense, considering what Gaul had just said, but this was unacceptable! Gaul would never do any of these things! He was not a monster! Malefor was the monster! He was the one who wanted to destroy and enslave everyone else! Gaul was the good guy in this story! To think that the guys in Dragon Land actually thought that he was evil... "I am sorry." Aerea's voice suddenly broke Spyro out of his reflection, and he looked at the gray dragoness, who had her head down, as if in shame. "For what?" Gaul asked, and she soon was saying: "For believing these stories." She said, and it was clear that she regretted having believed in them. "They kept telling me such things about apes and about you ever since I could remember, in those rhymes, in the sleep stories, in the books, I guess I just took what they told me and never questioned it." She rose her head to look at him. "But, now I see that none of these stories are true. That maybe none of the stories that they told me about the non-dragons are true." She bowed her head once more. "I am sorry that I ever believed in such things." She sounded sincere as she said that, and it really seemed that she regretted having believed in the stories that they told her since she was a hatchling. Everyone in the table could easily see that. After a few moments of silence, Gaul was the one who spoke: "It's alright." Aerea slowly rose her head, and she saw that Gaul was giving her a kind smile. "You never met an ape before, so you clearly had no way of knowing if the things that they told you were truth or not." Gaul said, and Aerea looked back at him. "B-but I should have suspected." She said, "I should have suspected that he was telling everyone this to justify why they should kill the apes and show them no mercy. I should not have let him..." "Malefor is manipulative." Gaul said, cutting her off as he rose his hand. "He might be cruel and ruthless, but he knows how to be charming and how to control the masses. If he didn't, he wouldn't have been able to remain in the position of ruler, even with all of his power. He only managed to remain as king for so long because he knows how to influence and fool the dragons into thinking that he is right. It is no surprise that you ended up being convinced by his words as well." "But I am..." she tried to say, but Gaul once more cut her off. "You are a runaway now." He said, looking at her. "You realized the wrongs on Malefor's ways and you decided to leave. At the very least, this is what I presume." Aerea looked at him in the eyes, and she nodded. "Yeah, I started to see what he was doing, and I realized that there was no way that what he was doing was right, no matter what he said." The dragoness said, "I realized that I had no choice but to leave while I still could." Gaul looked at her for a few moments, and he nodded. "You are welcome here in our village, for as long as you need." He said, and the dragoness looked back at him, "You will have all the shelter and protection that you may require. I'll see to that myself." "Thank you." Aerea said, "You are so generous." "Hey, you saved my son's life." Gaul said, "This is the very least I can do for you." He had a smile on his face, and the dragoness could not see a single shadow on his face. She didn't saw anything that would indicate that any of the things that she heard about the king of apes could be truth in any sense. Once more, she felt ashamed of having believed in the stories. Soon, someone was coming. The ape approached Gaul was whispered something on his ear. The king nodded. "Tell them I'll be going soon." The ape bowed and rushed away, and Gaul looked at the two dragons. "Well, the good food is certainly an advantage of being called a king." Gaul said, getting up, "Still, it has some drawbacks, like when you need to have an urgent meeting with your generals to discuss a lot of important matters regarding a war just after you have returned from a campaign." The two dragons looked back at him, and he said: "I'll be busy for the rest of the day. You two are free to go around the village or to stay on the rut, as you want." He said, looking back at the two, "Just make sure that you kids have a lot of fun, okay?" "Yes, sir." Spyro said, making a salute to the big ape, who smiled back, although he did said: "Don't you think that this means you are not in trouble, young man." He said to the purple dragon, "We will have a more serious conversation on this later. No go have fun, you two." He said, and the two dragons were soon leaving, the dragonfly coming right after them. Gaul smiled at them, before sighing and turning his mind to the more serious things at hand in there. He needed to speak to the generals about their behavior with the other tribes. ***** Spyro loved to have his father at the village for many reasons. Because he was always willing to listen to him. Because he never looked at him the way that most other apes did. Because he was always there to help him anytime he had some kind of problem, no matter how big or small it could seem. Another thing that Spyro liked very much was, when his dad was on the village, his bodyguards didn't kept following him around all the time. The guys all followed him around while Gaul was away in a campaign, however, when he was at the village, they often left him alone and gave him more privacy. Spyro had the theory that this was because they thought that he would be less inclined to try and pulling out any kind of misbehavior while his dad was around. After all, any teenager would feel disinclined to try and do things that they shouldn't do it their parents were around to hear about it. They weren't completely wrong... What Spyro knew was that his dad did not insisted for him to have his bodyguards with himself while he was around the village, only when he was away doing something else. Anyway, with his dad in the village, this meant that his nannies would not be following him everywhere. In other words, Spyro and his friends had all the freedom they could have to go around the village without anyone tailing them all the time. This was all that a teenager like Spyro could want. Soon he and his two friends were going around the village and seeing all that they couldn't see when the bodyguards were near them. Spyro took them to some places that only he knew, like a water pond hidden among the rocks near a cliff, and a small road that lead to a clearing filled with delicious berries (which Spyro ensured them that were not poisonous, for he had learned about these specific berries from one of the many botanic books that his dad had brought him). They also went around the village, with Aerea taking this chance to take to the skies and survey the area from above, while Spyro and Sparx followed from bellow. Well, Spyro was the lower of the three, as Sparx could still fly in the air several feet above the purple dragons head. That was a moment when the purple dragon really wished that he could be up there with both of them. He really was thinking of holding onto Aerea's promise of teaching him how to fly. The villagers, in their turn, were not very keen on having Spyro run around the village without his bodyguards with him. They probably thought that he would try something now that there was no one with him all the time to rein him in. Also, some of them were nervous for having yet another dragon on the village, one that was flying right over their heads and that could probably strike them from up there if she wanted to. However, today, it seemed that the villagers were actually not giving that much attention to the purple dragon, and not even to the other, strange dragon that was on the village. Today, they had other things to focus on. Gaul and his army had come back to the village. This meant that the soldiers who had gone with Gaul to the battle were coming back to their families, reuniting with them after a long absence. Husbands reunited with their spouses. Fathers reunited with their chimps. Everyone was having a good meeting with the loved ones that they left behind in order to protect these very same loved ones. And that was happening right on the day of the harvest. What could make such a day more special to this village? Of course, in such joyous circumstances, it was no surprise that the village would be in the mood for a celebration. A great dinner table was prepared, with everyone in the village cooperating for it, bringing several types of food in for the upcoming great feast. Also, there was a great space being prepared for recreations and for dancing, along with a great bonfire that they would soon be lighting up to illuminate the celebration. This was all made to prepare for the night, which was quickly approaching, and soon, Sparx noticed it. "Yeah, getting dark already guys." The bug said, turning to both of them. "I gotta go back to my swamp now. See you tomorrow." He said, and Spyro and Aerea both waved at him as he departed, flying across the darkening sky in direction to the swamp, saying that he should go soon, "before it got so dark that he would get lost in there and be eaten by one of these strange plants". As he left, Spyro chuckled. "He just doesn't wants his parents to star yelling at him again for being late to help cleaning his house." Spyro said, looking at Aerea. "He still lives with his parents, by the way." "Yeah, I figured that out." The dragoness said, "He does sounds like a bit of a momma's boy." "Yeah, I think the same thing." Spyro said, "But, I don't say that aloud very much. At least not when he is around. When I do, he shots back that I am a daddy's boy." Aerea chuckled at this, and Spyro could feel himself blushing. Luckily, he was able to diverge her attention from the subject by saying that maybe they could sneak around the party, which she accepted. Spyro was pretty sure that he and Aerea would not really be welcome into the celebration. Even though they couldn't really stop Spyro from taking part in it if he wanted (not with Gaul on the village to hear about it), Spyro had long found out that worse than being left out of a party was to be in there when no one wanted your presence. Still, Spyro soon found out that he could have just as much fun by being near the party and away from everyone's side. It was almost as if the purple dragon was making a celebration all by himself. Of course, this time he was not really all by himself. This time he had some nice company. Female company, it was to be added. Soon she and Spyro were in a certain spot, as the day got darker. It was close enough so they could pretty much see and hear what was going on in the celebration, however, it was also far enough that none of the apes would notice their presence and start being rude to them until they decided to leave. To Spyro, it was a perfect spot. They could smell the delicious smell of the food, and it made their mouths water. And their stomach grumble. "Maybe we can snaek in with no one noticing." Spyro said, already planning on how he would sneak into the table. That was a disadvantage of being purple, you stood on the background. However, that was when Aerea surprised him once more. "Hold up, I have an idea." She said, and soon she was standing in there and making a few movements with her wings. Soon, a small hurricane was forming on the ground. It was very small, and the wind that formed it was so clear that the thing was practically invisible to the naked eye. Soon, Aerea was making a movement, and she was sending the small hurricane forward. It was a matter of minutes before the hurricane would come back at them, carrying some food inside itself. Mostly it were small snacks, like some friend mantis and also some toasted heart cashew seeds. The kind of thing that can vanish from the table without anyone truly noticing. "Cool." Spyro said, feeling glad for having the food. This was not stealing. Not at all. Stealing was when you took something that belonged exclusively to another person. It was a celebration. Everyone who wanted could go in there and take all of the food they wanted, it was free for all. They had all of the right to eat the food as anyone else. They simply were getting the food from a distance, you know, without being there in person. The food was good, and the two young dragons were eating their fill, with the extra hurricane to pick up some juice. It was basically a spiraling wind that picked up the liquid and floated with it back to them as it spiraled inside of it. They had to drink it straight from the hurricane, but it was as good as if they were taking it from a bowl. To Spyro, it was an amazing experience. The celebration was continuing, with the apes now playing games and forming groups to talk to each other. That was something that Spyro and Aerea could do by themselves, as they found out that they had a lot to talk about. They talked mostly about their shared interests, and about the things that they could do on the following days. Spyro was excited to have his first flying lessons with Aerea, while the dragoness didn't really looked forward into going into a stroll around the border of the swamp where Sparx lived. However, one subject that they didn't spoke was Aerea's past or her family. It seemed that something about the subject really made her uncomfortable. "I'd really just leave all of that behind." The gray dragoness said to the purple dragon, and Spyro accepted her words, thinking that she must have gone through a lot before leaving the Dragon Realms. Soon, however, his mind was distract from this by the familiar sound of music. He could recognize well the sound of the aslexo's strings. The percussion that was achieved by beating the bailtu. All of that accompanied by the sound of two teawe pipes. All of that was strung together to form a melody with a fast pace and a very upbeat vibe to it. "Great, the music started." Spyro said. Aerea rose her head, looking at the scene in the distance, and she was able to make out the apes at the distance playing their instruments. They looked quite strange to the dragoness, but they did made music alright. "That sounds really good." She said, and Spyro was already bobbing his head up and down at the rhythm of the beat. He was not the only one that was getting on the rhythm, for it was just a matter of time before the apes into the celebration were all getting into the center of the area, and they were all starting to move in it, as Aerea was able to see from a distance. "Is that a dance?" She asked, seeing the fast, wild and yet graceful movements of the apes. "It sure is." Spyro said, getting more and more on the rhythm of the music. "That is sembla, a very traditional form of dance that all apes know." "It looks difficult." She said, looking at how the apes moved, made swings, wide gestures with their limbs, and some of them even made mortal backflips as they stood in there, all of them following the rhythm of the music. "It is not that much, actually." Spyro said to her. "It is all about letting your body go as free as possible. You just go crazy and let your instincts guide you. The very word 'sembla' comes from the old ape dialect, and it means 'craziness'." "Well, it certainly looks like craziness." The dragoness said, seeing how these apes were going wild with their more and more daring dance moves. Some of them just dropped to the ground as they tried to make a move, only to get back up and once more start dancing as if nothing had happened, and everything was all part of the script. It looked like these creatures didn't had a single worry or care in the world. "Yeah, the trick to it is to go wild without looking stupid." Spyro said, "And, even if you end up looking stupid, you just gotta not care about it at all. After all, you are doing that to have fun and to celebrate at something." Aerea nodded as she continued to look at the apes that danced in a way that nearly seemed frenetic. She was amazed at how they didn't bumped on each other as they danced like crazy. It did seemed that they were all having fun. "So, wanna try it?" Spyro said, and Aerea looked at him. "It is pretty easy once you get going." The gray dragoness was hesitant, but she ended up accepting to try to dance. The purple dragon was soon making a demonstration to her of his own version of sembla. "Can you really dance it?" She asked the purple dragon, who was getting ready to start. "Isn't it only for two-legged creatures, like the apes?" "Apes are very adaptive." Spyro said to her, "And so are their arts. Be them martial or a dance, the arts of the apes are made to be very easy to adapt to your own style or, as I came to find out, your own body type. You just have to get the gist, find the style that works for you and... go for it!" With this, Spyro soon started to dance. It was as frenetic as what the apes were doing. The difference was just that the dragon danced in a way that four-legged creatures like him could easily manage. Still, the style was pretty much what it seemed to be for the rest of the apes, a form of carefree, managed madness of pure movement on the rhythm of the music. "See? It is not hard." Spyro said, as he continued to dance, and he made three backflips, looking at the dragoness as now he was standing on his front-legs as he moved his legs and tail into the air as if they were the end of a whip. Aerea only looked at him. "Not hard?" Aerea said, looking at him, and the purple dragon looked back at her. "Oh, come on. Just give it a try." Spyro said, going back to all fours and looking at her. "Look, it is not very hard. Just start by sweeping your limps into the ground or into the air as wide as you can. Do it as if you are trying to stretch your body and swipe. Just like this." Spyro demonstrated what he was saying, and Aerea looked at him. It seemed simple enough. The gray dragoness was soon imitating the purple dragon, doing these movements, while Spyro kept encouraging her to keep dancing. He showed her more and more complex moves, and she repeated them the best she could. It took a few minutes for her to realize that these were not actual dance moves. Sembla was the kind of dance that didn't had actual routines or practiced steps. It was all about letting yourself lose and let your body go with the flow, being as crazy and free as it wanted to be. That was what sembla was about, and the gray dragoness was soon getting quite into it, along with the purple dragon. Spyro was used to dance by himself during celebrations, as he would stay from far and listen to the music, just going along with it. After all, it was his own party. Nothing wrong with dancing sembla by yourself in the case you had no one else to dance with (or in case you were the kind of creature that others would rather not dance with). However, Sembla was the kind of dance that you could dance with someone else. Spyro simply never had a partner to dance before. Of course, that changed on that night. Soon the two dragons had dwelled into their own improvised form of dancing. They would sway and skip around each other, and at some points, they would get really close, nearly rubbing themselves at each other as they danced along. Of course, Aerea was still a bit awkward with all of that, once she had just now started to learn sembla, and it take a while before you could dance it with the same skill as Spyro or the apes. However, the gray dragoness was showing that she was truly getting in the hang of things. She was now starting to get into it, and once you got into it, it became easy. All she needed was Spyro's guidance, his encouragement and the little correction when she made something that could actually be consider a mistake, like moving her limbs in a way that they could cause a sprain. The two dragons now were dancing together at the sound of the apes' traditional music, moving their bodies at the rhythm of their dance, and they both looked like they were having a lot of fun with this. Spyro would do handstands and mortal backflips, while Aerea would move her body with the grace and dexterity that a wind dragon could have. Sometimes they would be side by side, sometimes they would be moving so close to each other that they snouts would almost touch, looking into each other's eyes as they had a hind-leg and a tail stretched in direction to the sky. It was all going with the rhythm of the music, which was getting more and more intense. That was how sembla went. You followed the music and let your body go free. Of course, this meant that, if the music got faster, you would go faster to match it. That was another thing that Spyro instructed Aerea into, and the gray dragoness followed his instructions well. Maybe a bit too well. When the music reached its climax, Aerea was so into it that she was barely thinking of what she was doing anymore and, when Spyro jumped to make another mortal, she instinctively tried one as well. Of course, that was when things got complicated, for the two dragons bumped into each other in the air and collapsed into the ground, tangling on each other. They were a mess of legs and wings as they tried to get back up, only for them to end up one on top of the other, both panting and looking into each other's eyes. For a moment, the world seemed forgotten. Even the sound of the clapping and cheering of the apes to the end of the music seemed something very far away from them. For a long moment, they stayed like that, with Aerea on top of Spyro, and the purple dragon was looking up at her as she looked back on his eyes. They both then looked away, both blushing. "S-sorry." Aerea said, to which Spyro answered: "I-it's okay. Stumbling around and bumping into others is part of learning how to dance sembla." He spoke, before looking back at her. "Actually, you were doing surprisingly well for a starter. You managed to do some very cool moves before we ended up like this." "Yeah... well, I had a really good teacher." She said, looking back at Spyro. "Yeah, and you fell on him while dancing." Spyro said, "And he might be a bit bruised tomorrow, but that's fine. He will try to stand a little farther away during next lesson." "And I'll try not to go for the hardest things like I did today, teacher." Aerea said back, and the two dragons laughed at this. They were once more looking into each other's eyes. In that moment, it was as if everything around them was forgotten, and they only focused on each other. Spyro had never had so much fun at a celebration before. He really liked the fact that Aerea was there with him. She was really fun and Spyro really liked being around her. With her around, Spyro felt like he didn't needed to care about all of the apes who rejected him and didn't appreciated him. He didn't meet many people who could make him feel like the rest of the world didn't mattered. In fact, the only ones that made him feel like that were his father, who always cared about him; and his friend Sparx, who always made him smile and laugh. Guess he could now add Aerea to that list. He really liked the fact that she was there with him, and he felt like he could forget everything about everyone else. However, this was not as simple as Spyro would like. "It is just an absurd, you know?" A familiar voice broke them out of their thoughts. A voice that they preferred not to have to hear in a moment like that. Kallag was walking nearby. Two other soldiers were with the crimson ape, both smaller than him but bulky and strong-looking nonetheless. "Gaul is one of the best warriors and strategists that I've ever met, and I'll not deny that his decisions have helped us many times." The crimson ape said to the two other apes, "But sometimes he just cannot make the best decision. He lets his emotions get too much on his way of thinking. Especially when it comes to that little scaly pipsqueak that he calls his son." The crimson ape sounded like he was ranting, and the two apes listened, as well as the two dragons. Luckily, the apes didn't saw the dragons, once they had tumbled and ended up behind a set of vases. They were hide from their sight, but they could still hear to everything they were saying. The two dragons just remained low, on the same position that they were, as they didn't made a sound and listened to what was being said. "I mean, accepting a foreign dragoness into the village?" Kallag said, "Someone who could very well be a spy for Malefor's forces, and who could pose a threat to everyone in here? I mean, I can almost understand why keeping the purple dragon, once Gaul has already trained him, but a strange dragoness? And he didn't even considered putting her imprisoned with the other dragons!" Spyro remained silent as he heard that, although he did wanted to say something. "Trained him"? What, they thought that Spyro was a pet or some wild beast to be trained? Aerea also didn't seemed happy that Kallag was still thinking of imprisoning her. "Yeah, I can hardly believe that as well." One of the other apes said, "And I heard that it was the purple dragon himself who brought that dragoness here. He is actually bringing his kind to the hidden village now." "Yes, he is." Kallag said; the resentment was clear on his voice. "Of course that sooner or later he would start favoring his own kind, even after Gaul domesticated him. It is like I've been saying for years; we cannot trust someone like him." Spyro flinched as he heard that. Once more, he could not avoid the sting that came from such words, even when they came from someone like Kallag, who had had absolutely no respect for. The crimson ape sighed, "Well, I guess that all of my warnings fell on deaf ears all this time." The two other apes agreed with him, and the second ape said: "Yeah, I don't feel comfortable with that dragoness running loose on the village. I mean, I already feel uncomfortable with these dragons in chains on prison. By the way, what Gaul will do with them?" Kallag scoffed, "What else? He is going to free them, like he does every time." The other apes didn't liked to hear that. "This is too dangerous." One of the apes said, "With so many dragons being freed after being brought here, it is only a matter of time before they start to get a clue of where the village is." "They probably laugh at us." The other one said, "They laugh at us for letting them live while they would kill our kind without hesitation. Those monsters torture and kill our kind once they are taken prisoners and we don't do anything to them. I don't like this." "Yeah, me neither." Kallag said, and he paused for a moment, before he turned back to the other apes. "You know what?" He asked, looking at both with them with a smirk. "What about this time we don't let them go free?" The two dragons tensed as they heard that, while the two apes looked at the crimson one, who was smiling at them. "The dragons are currently chained and wearing these collars that suppress their elemental powers." Kallag said to the two, "They are now incapable of defending themselves. With a few more apes and good weapons, it would be like shooting arrows at wingless ducks." The two shared a look. "But... wouldn't Gaul be mad if we did this?" "What? Being mad at us for having no choice but to kill the dragons after they had attempted to escape, and we happened to be close to intercept them as they were trying to escape from the village and go back to the army to reveal our location and put all of us in danger?" Kallag said, and the two apes looked back at him. "If we all agree in our story, I am sure we can convince Gaul." Kallag said, "I've seen these two who Gaul put to guard the dragons, and they were drinking their butts off. By now, I doubt that they are even conscious. It would be very easy for everyone to assume that they slept on point and let the dragons sneak past them. Maybe we could even convince them to agree with the story, if this would keep them out of trouble for drinking and sleeping on duty." He looked at the two. "So, you two want to do something about those winged lizards?" The two apes looked at him, and they both nodded, what made Kallag's smile widen. "You go and gather a few more soldiers." He said to one of the apes, before turning to the other. "You and I are going to get some weapons, really sharp ones. Dragon hide is thick. We all meet in front of the prison in twenty minutes." With this, the three apes went their way, all of them ready to go ahead with their business. None of them noticed that, just behind a couple vases, were two young dragons who had horrified expressions with what they had juts heard.
Writing Commissions Open!Decided to refresh my commission info! Here you go: Examples of my work: ( 1, 2, 3 ) I also have this tumblr account specifically for my writings.As you can see, I am capable of doing both short stories and multiple-chapter stories. :) I am very flexible in general.Fandoms I am most familiar with:Dragon AgeMass EffectAssassin's CreedWitcherAmnesiaOkamiDisneyTransformers (specify universe)Historical fictionLOTR/the Hobbit/The SilmarillionGoTHarry PotterPercy JacksonTwilightWarriorsSilent HillSupernaturalATLA/ATLKHetaliaPokemon/DigimonStar TrekStar WarsMLPThe LabyrinthLovecraftian horrorMortal KombatMarvel/DCUSteven UniverseFNAFLeague of LegendsDon't StarveKingdom HeartsSonic the HedgehogFinal Fantasy (VII/VIII/X)Dragon Ball ZBleachFullmetal AlchemistSailor MoonTomb RaiderDnDSkyrimOverwatchResident EvilAlienPredator (franchise)Fire EmblemDoki Doki Literature Club!Yu-Gi-Oh!And if you don’t see a fandom here you can ask me and I will tell you if I know it or not! I didn’t list them all here.Things I will write:Your OCs/Self-insertsLGBT+NSFWOriginal Fiction (as long as enough information is provided)AngstFluffHorror/CreepypastasCrossovers (If I know the series)HeadcanonsTorture/GoreBDSMOmegaverseAUsRape/DubconTentacles/AliensVampires/Werewolves/Monsters etc.Furries/Anthro (both SFW and NSFW)Fetishes (please specify so I can see whether I’m okay with it or not)If I haven’t mentioned anything that you wish to know feel free to ask as well!Things I will NOT write:Pedophilia/UnderageDD/LG (Daddies/Mommies and littles)Vore/CannibalismInflationWatersports/ScatBestialityNecrophiliaEven if I haven't mentioned something, there are still things I may still not like and will not write it.Prices:Short and simple! 1 USD for every 100 words, which I think is pretty fair. I take payments through PayPal. PLEASE NOTE that I have every right to reject a commission, even if it fits my rules.Send me a note if you have an offer! :)...
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