"This is so boring." Valenthia muttered to herself, letting her eyes slowly rove over the barren land.
The only sound that could be heard was the clicking of her boots on the rocky terrain.
Valenthia walked over to a large boulder and sat down, straightening her trenchcoat. "Why did I ever let the Matriarch talk me into this..." She sighed. "I should have at least brought Calenth for company." Her head jerked up suddenly as a demonic presence made itself known, though it was still too far away to identify what it was.
As she stood, a smirk curled her lips. She reached a hand down slowly, resting it on the hilt of her sword.
The presence quickly became stronger and closer.
Valenthia's body tensed, ready to spring into action. "C'mon...."
Just as the presence felt as if it was upon her, it disappeared.
"What in Hell?" she muttered angrily. "It's gone...just like that." She sighed, allowing the tension to melt from her body.
Just as she was getting ready to sit back down, she was grabbed from behind by a strong pair of arms.
Valenthia clenched her jaw, cursing herself for letting down her guard.
"Looks like I've caught myself a pretty little dragonette." a male voice purred gruffly in her ear.
Valenthia looked down to examine who had hold of her. She instantly realized who it was by the emerald green scales tinged with a unique blend of violet and red. Ahh...'course it's him... "Dragoness not dragonette." she corrected sharply, placing a hand on his arm.
The dragonoid chuckled. "Oh, but you're my little dragonette."
"Oh, I'm sure you can think that all you want but..." She elbowed him in the gut - causing him to loosen his hold - and took hold of both his arms to hurl him over her shoulder. She smiled down at the dragonoid, clad in his usual attire of a tunic, knee-length pants and long boots, and flipped her hair teasingly. "I belong to no one."
"Hehe...you never change."
"And you never learn."
He laughed, then coughed. "Oh, just help me up. That toss pulled something in my back."
"You're such a baby." Valenthia said as she walking away.
"Come back, I'm not kidding!" he called to her.
Valenthia rolled her eyes and turned around. "Fine, fine." She walked up to him, extending her hand.
"Thanks, sweetie." he said, taking the hand offered.
As she started to pull him up, he suddenly dropped back down, causing her to fall on top of him.
"Calenth, you jerk! You did that on purpose!" she cried, hitting his chest with her fist.
He winced from the hit, then smiled and wrapped his arms around her. "Chill out, honey."
"You're such a joker, Calenth." Valenthia said, shaking her head.
"Ahh, you like it!"
Calenth leaned up and kissed her forehead. As he pulled away, a trail of wispy smoke clung to his lips from the dragoness' cold scales. "Ack, cold."
Valenthia giggled as she watched him press his lips together to warm them. "Sorry."
"Yeah, it has to be, cause you kissed my forehead, and you know how cold I am."
"Yeah you're just as cold on the inside as the outside." he said with a smirk.
Valenthia rolled her eyes. "Well, I am an ice dragoness."
Calenth readjusted Valenthia as he sat up. "And I'm an earth-type."
The dragoness crossed her legs. "Well, you gonna get up or not?"
"Oh, but I wanna sit here just like this for awhile." he whined, hugging her close.
Valenthia wormed out of his grip. "No thank you. You're prickly."
"Aw. But I was gonna warm ya up."
"Or prick me half to death."
"But you can't even feel them cause of your scales."
"You don't know that."
"I...sure I do!"
Valenthia rolled her eyes and walked away from him.
Calenth watched her for a few moments, then hurried after her."H-hey! Wait for me!"
The pair patrolled through the rest of the territory, exchanging banters and details of recent fights they participated in.
Before they knew it, they had arrived at the Abyssal Pit, a large hole leading to a deeper part of Hell that the Zhugoth Clan avoided. It was home to the dreaded Magma Serpents, large beasts of pure fire.
Calenth's brow furrowed. "Man, I hate being here."
Valenthia laughed. "Why is that?"
"Those damned serpents! They give me the creeps."
"Oh, I doubt they're that bad. Why don't we go look?"
"Haha, as if you could survive in intense heat for as long as I can! You're just a cold-blooded lizard!"
Valenthia's eyes flashed dangerously and she growled. "I can too! I am not some mere cold-blooded lizard! I am an ice dragoness!" With a great huff she strode off towards the entrance of the Pit.
Calenth's eyes grew wide. "W-wait! I didn't mean for you to actually go down there!"
Valenthia did not reply as she stopped at the entrance.
It was a long winding slope, fire hissing and spitting as it climbed up the sides, licking at the cracked stone.
The ice dragoness could already feel the heat on her scales. The normal coat of ice was beginning to melt, steam escaping in small wisps to curl about her body.
Calenth grabbed her by the arm. "No, I'm not letting you go down there. You'll get yourself killed!"
"You're just scared."
"Yeah, I am!"
Valenthia rolled her eyes and pulled her arm away. "Fine, I won't go. You big sissy."
Calenth sighed with relief and took hold of her elbow. "Come on."
"What do you think you're doing?"
"Just come on." he said, pulling her arm.
She frowned but allowed him to lead her away from the Pit. She was inwardly relieved at Calenth having stopped her. The thought of the flames made her cringe.
He lead her across the craggy terrain, still holding on to her arm.
They arrived at a tall, stout rock formation jutting out of the side of a wall.
"What are we doing here?"
"You'll see." He lightly tapped the side of the formation.
Valenthia watched, unamused. "I don't know what in Hell you think you're doing but we should..." she trailed off as the formation began to waver.
Silently, it faded from view to reveal a hole just big enough for either one if they were crouched.
Calenth grinned proudly and gestured her to go in.
Valenthia gave him a shove before kneeling to look into the hole.
The opening was dark but she could see a faint light farther in. Curious, she crawled on her hands and knees into the hole.
Calenth followed, giggling. "This is a wonderful view."
A slap to the face with her tail was the only retort from the dragoness.
The pair crawled through the semi-dark for several minutes. The air in the tunnel was slowly dropping in temperature the farther they ventured.
Valenthia could see her breath rising from her nostrils. Perplexed, she questioned Calenth. "Where exactly are we going?"
"Have to wait and see!"
Valenthia rolled her eyes. "You and your games."
A strange pale blue light grew brighter as they neared their unknown destination. It quickly became a more vibrant glow, pulsing gently with magic.
Valenthia could barely see the end of the tunnel directly in front of her. She cautiously poked out her head and gasped.
Before her were shards of ice jutting from the walls of a spacious room with one large crystal, hanging down from the ceiling to nearly touch the floor. The entire room was lit by the crystal, which was filled with swirling colors of blue and silver.
Valenthia quickly wriggled her way out of the hole to stand so that she could better view the crystal. Calenth popped out behind her, pushing on her leg to move her so that he could stand as well.
"Ain't it beautiful? Just like you!"
She did not take notice of the compliment. "What is it?"
"I don't know, actually. I found this place one time when I was rooting around to find something about Dracoser. I saw a tiny creature tap the rock and crawl in here. I waited for it to leave before investigating."
As he spoke, Valenthia drew nearer to the pulsing object, mesmerized. A sudden urge came over the dragoness, and she reached out and placed a hand on the crystal.
It vibrated and thrummed against her palm, almost as if it knew it was being touched. A sudden flash of light caused both dragonoids to shield their eyes.
As quickly as it had happened, the light faded. When the pair pulled away their hands, they were astonished to see an egg at Valenthia's feet.
It was the size of a large bowl, etched with granules of ice and similar in colors to the crystal.
"Wh-what is that?" Calenth managed to ask after a moment.
Valenthia knelt down and placed a claw to it. "I...I think it's a dragon egg. Not as in the same as you and I...but a dragonette."
"How can you tell?"
"I don't know...but something tells me that is what it is." She picked up the egg gently, cradling it against her chest. A smile suddenly crept across her features. Somehow a feeling of happiness was radiating from the egg.
Calenth scratched his scaly forehead with his claws in confusion. "I don't get it. Does that crystal thing birth dragonettes?"
"No, I think it was holding on to it. It protects the eggs until it deems someone fit or the parent returns to reclaim the egg. That way, they cannot be harmed."
Both looked around when they heard a sudden cracking sound.
Valenthia's eyes widened when she felt the egg rocking violently in her arms. "I-I think it's hatching!"
"That means we're parents!" Calenth exclaimed happily, coming up beside Valenthia to drape an arm across her shoulder.
She shot him a threatening look. "No!"
His face fell. "Aww..."
The pair watched as the cracks grew more numerous and wider until a small beak poked through one.
The casing fell away as the beak continued to poke through different weak spots on the egg. Finally a small head showed through; transparent blue scaly skin covering the skull.
It surveyed the room slowly, then up at the dragonoids. Bright eyes growing wide, it squealed and hid back inside the egg.
Valenthia cooed coaxingly until the tiny creature decided to show its head again. "There there, we won't hurt you."
It looked up at them and blinked bright blue eyes. "Safe?" it squeaked.
"Yes. You're safe."
Calenth grinned. "Yep, safest you'll ever be, squirt. We're the best fighters of the Zhugoth clan!"
Valenthia slapped the side of his leg with her tail. "Stop that!"
"Ow! Just the truth!"
The small creature looked from one to the other, seemingly relieved. "Zhugoth good. Safe place for me," It pushed the top of the egg off, revealing the rest of its body, which was also of a transparent blue hide that showed its skeleton beneath, still covered in a sticky film. It bore no limbs, only a pair of transparent blue wings and a tail. "Must go now, not safe to stay here long. Mean creatures try to eat us."
Valenthia and Calenth looked at each other. "Good idea."
The dragonette slithered up onto Valenthia's shoulder and coiled itself around her neck. "Can go now."
After disposing of the empty egg shell under a small ice pile, the three made their way out of the cave to return to their home.
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