By the time Remus and I got back from retrieving the Lokrium a few people were already going about their daily chores or taking the time to work on some poem or song. I headed to my dad's to get Dragonbane from under my bed. It had been a habit of mine to keep it there ever since I got it back not long after my grandfather died. Once I had Dragonbane I went to Grenwick to ask him a favour. When Grenwick noticed us he looked a little sad. Though I didn't blame him. Everyone gets over deaths in their own time.
"How may I help you boys?"
"I...have a favour to ask of you Grenwick." I handed him Dragonbane.
"Ah, I thought this may be the reason for your visit. So you have the other item needed?"
I nodded, turned to Remus and silently held out my hand. Remus gave me the Lokrium and I turned back to Grenwick.
"Here is the Lokrium needed. It should be enough but if you ever need more, I know where to find it."
Grenwick nodded. "It should be more than enough. You may be lucky if I'll be able to make you anything else with any remaining Lokrium once I'm done with sword. I'll work on this as soon as I can. I'll let you know once it's done."
I nodded. "Thank you Grenwick."
With that both Remus and I left the forge.
A month went by of which was spent preparing for the battle. Grenwick had finished working on Dragonbane and had already given it to me. He had also made a necklace with the remaining Lokrium to help bring me good luck. Other weapons were made for those who wanted them, food was organised and saved in case the battle went longer than expected, a cave was ready and waiting for the children and for those who could not fight and Abigail had received help with collecting herbs. Everyone could feel that it was almost time. We didn't know when things would start but we knew it was close. In the past few days a clearing, of which was located not far from the village but far enough to be out of sight from prying eyes, was prepared for having any of the injured transported to during the battle for medical attention. I had sat down with Remus and my father to choose who would help Abigail and who would look after the children and those unable to fight while they were in the cave. Remus volunteered to look after those who would be staying in the cave and chose Sarah to help him. A few others that I hadn't met were chosen to help Abigail with giving medical attention and a few small groups of three were chosen to transport the injured to the clearing.
There were days where I felt like yelling and screaming at people and just giving up but then I would always wake up the next day with more determination than the day before. Remus was always there if I needed help or if I needed to calm down. I tried not to lash out at him because I knew that it was a difficult time for everyone and it wasn't the best time for us to be fighting with the ones we love. We had people posted around the village to keep an eye out for any signs of our enemy. I also noticed that everyone seemed to become on edge as each day passed by. The day before those incapable of fighting were taken to the cave, Remus spent some time with me. He told me that he would do what he could to protect them as best as he could. He promised me that he wouldn't get himself killed or hurt. We both hugged and gave each other one last kiss before Remus went off to pack any last minute things.
A few days had passed since Remus and Sarah had gone off to the cave with those who weren't going to be fighting. I was lying on my bed with Dragonbane next to me. I then heard the floorboards in my room creak quietly. I stood up and pulled Dragonbane out of the sheathe within a matter of seconds. I had the sword pointed towards the door and standing there was the one person I didn't want to see.
"Bartholomew. What the hell are you doing here?"
He laughed and took a step towards me. I didn't move an inch.
"Still not happy to see me I take it?" He smiled. "I just wanted a bit of bonding time with my nephew one last time. I'll even tell Jane how well you are…once I'm done with you."
He took another step towards me still smiling like a lunatic.
"Don't you dare mention Aunty Jane, she wouldn't even want to be near you. Not after all that you've done."
I could tell I had angered Bartholomew.
"Dad….come home quickly, Bartholomew is here."
"I'll be there as soon as I can. Don't hesitate to kill him. He's one of them."
Bartholomew took another step towards me, leaving only an inch between him and Dragonbane.
"Careful what you say you little prick. I hope you're dead by the time we're done with you. I've never liked you ever since the day your mother brought you to my doorstep."
"I've never liked you either and I would be careful where you stand you creep."
Dragonbane's blade burst into flame and I took a swing at Bartholomew's neck but stopped short as he used telekinesis to stop himself from being decapitated. He started smiling again.
"It's not going to be that easy Tobias."
My father ran into the room and glared at my uncle
"Bartholomew." He said it as if it were some kind of curse. "Toby, go and meet everyone else in the centre of the village. Things will be starting soon."
Lowering my arm I sheathed Dragonbane and slowly walked around my uncle and father. I let both Abigail and Remus know that the battle was about to start. As I headed towards the centre of the village I noticed people were already waiting. Some had weapons in hand while those who were going to change in their animal forms were empty handed. Once everyone had arrived we all waited for any sign of the Solamian's. People were murmuring to one another but nothing above a whisper, everyone alert. It wasn't long before we could hear them and soon enough we saw the first lot through the trees. Those who decided to change began to do so. I had unsheathed Dragonbane and held at the ready for the oncoming wave of the demonic creeps. Within seconds the two tribes merged in a mad frenzy and it wasn't long until I had my fair share of kills.
Hours had passed since the battle had started and the sun started to set. I crouched hidden away from the main battle. I had started to wonder where Solomon was as he hadn't shown up straight away. I then heard a deafening roar from above. My dad then contacted me.
"Toby, that would be Solomon. He's your main focus no, do what you can to eliminate him and end this battle. I don't think we can last much longer. I'm still dealing with Bartholomew. He's a deceptive, cunning and slippery."
I changed into my griffin form and was up in the air within moments. What I saw was almost shocking. Solomon was a huge, fearsome red dragon with glowing eyes that seemed to pierce through you. He was too busy watching over the battle while searching for a spot to land. I tried to get closer just as he began to land no matter what was crushed beneath him. I flew towards him and landed behind him before quickly changing back to my human form. I held Dragonbane at the ready and started moving closer to Solomon, keeping an eye on his tail. I decided to first strike his tail and I swung Dragonbane at a spot on Solomon's tail that was within arm's reach. Dragonbane burst into flames just before it made contact with Solomon's tail and as it made contact Solomon roared in pain. Dragonbane didn't completely cut through his tail so I had trouble getting Dragonbane free. He turned to try and get a better look at me and I was flung away with the movement of his tail. The breath was knocked out of me and I lay on the ground trying to recover. Solomon then spoke, his voice rumbling through me.
"So you are the one who thinks that they can save their stupid little tribe. I'm sorry to say but your time has come to an end."
He took a swipe at me with a clawed foot. I tried to roll out of the way and felt one of his claws tear through clothing and flesh. I cried out in pain and held a hand to the wound on my arm. I got up with some effort. He then lunged forward snapping his jaws at me and I dodged while trying to get behind him so I could get Dragonbane that was still lodged in his tail. I decided to then take the opportunity of climbing onto his head and slide down his neck and onto his back. I jumped onto his tail and got as close as I could to Dragonbane. He started flicking his tail like an annoyed cat. I reached out to grab Dragonbane and just as my hand touched its hilt, Solomon's tail flicked to one side, flinging me through the air. Dragonbane came free and I kept a tight grip on it while I flew through the air and hit a tree trunk. I slowly stood up while Solomon turned to face me He opened his jaw and let out a jet of blue flame. I held out Dragonbane hoping against hope that it would be able to shield me from Solomon's fire.
Just as it seemed the jet of flame was going to engulf me it parted and didn't touch me. The heat was almost unbearable. As the flame died down I started to run towards Solomon and jumped, landed on the tip of his nose and took another leap. I swung my sword-arm back and aimed for the top of his skull. I thrust Dragonbane into his skull as I landed and he roared in pain. He tried to shake me off with what strength he could muster but it was slowly ebbing from him. Dragonbane's blade burst into flame while it was embedded in Solomon's skull. I could feel it relying on my energy to sustain the powerful flame. Solomon roared even louder, it was almost an animalistic scream. I gathered as much of my strength that I could and pushed as hard as I could onto Dragonbane's hilt in order to try and dig Dragonbane further into Solomon's skull and poured as much of my energy into the sword's flame making it as intense as possible. Solomon became quite and I felt his body start to drop to the ground. I then knew that Solomon was dead. I pulled Dragonbane out of his skull and jumped to the ground. As I looked back at Solomon's body it started to glow and Xavier appeared above. Slowly Solomon's glowing body began to fade as a stream of soft white light entered Xavier's body. He landed and seeing my confusion, Xavier looked at me and spoke.
"Tobias, Solomon had always been a part of me and while the two of us had our own forms, our own bodies, he was slowly taking my strength. I needed someone like you to defeat him not just for the safety of your race along with the humans but for mine too. If Solomon wasn't defeated I would have faded away and Solomon would have stayed to create chaos and torture others for his own pleasure. He would have wiped out the whole human race before turning to his own race and killing them off one by one. After that I wouldn't know what he would do. But now I must leave you. Both your father and your tribe need you. So when your time comes I shall see you once more."
Xavier then flew off into the night and with a white glow he vanished. I wiped Dragonbane clean of blood on the grass and sheathed it, slinging the sword across my back. I went back towards the centre of the village and I noticed the ground was covered in all the black dust that had once been the members of the Solamian tribe, though I suspected that there were still a few survivors. Grenwick approached me with sorrow in his eyes.
"Tobias, you should come."
He led me to Abigail's house where she was tending to someone on one of the only occupied spare beds. She looked up as we entered.
"Good, you're here. All the others that are injured are being taken care of by Samantha, Kyle and Violet. Tobias, you better tell Remus and Sarah they can come back with those that are in the cave. I haven't had the time to do so myself as I've been so busy with the injured."
I told Remus that the battle was over and everything was safe. I then realised who was lying on the spare bed. His leg had been cut off from the knee and was bandaged. He also had scratches and bruises on his face and he looked feverish.
"No, no, no, no, no, this can't be happening, this can't be happening. Will he be alright?"
Abigail looked at me and I could see some worry and what I thought was sorrow in her eyes.
"I…I don't know Tobias." Her voice trembled and a tear ran down her cheek. "I really don't know if he'll recover. He has a high fever and there's an unknown poison in his bloodstream. I don't know how to stop it."
I looked at my father's pale face. He looked at me and placed a hand on my shoulder.
"You…..look….so much….like me…." His voice was faint. "I know…you'll do…well. You'll be…a great…chief."
And within moments he was gone. I could see his life in his eyes just leave. I felt numb. Empty. Remus entered Abigail's house.
"Everyone is back safely…" His voice trailed off as he looked over at me and saw who was lying on the bed. "Is he….?"
He didn't even have to finish the question before Abigail answered it with a nod. Remus knelt down beside me and put an arm around my shoulders just as he had when my grandfather had died. But this time, I didn't push him away. I didn't yell at him or hit him or anything. I just leaned up against him and cried. Someone else entered Abigail's house but they were politely sent out. I could tell that Remus had started to cry as well as he kissed me on my forehead. He tried to comfort me as best as he could. Abigail then told us she needed to prepare his body for his funeral and helped me up. Remus wrapped an arm around my torso and walked out of the house supporting me as much as he could. My knees felt too weak to hold me up properly. I stumbled a little and almost tripped as we headed for the door. Remus opened it and led me outside. We had only gone a few feet before I fell to my knees. I was filled with so much grief and sorrow that I cried like there was no tomorrow. Tears dropped to the ground, glistening in the pale moonlight. Remus hugged me as he continued to cry himself. Sarah came upon us and asked what was wrong. I was still in too much grief to reply and so Remus answered.
"His father…..Lysander….he passed away just a few moments ago."
Sarah knelt down in front of me placing a hand on my face and wiping away the tears. She gently lifted my face so she could look me in the eye.
"Tobias, your father was just as great as your grandfather. He was a kind guy with a great sense of humour. You can't fill his shoes but I know you will be just as good and just as great. You have Remus for support and for any help you may need and I'm sure he's a great partner. I can tell that he loves you just as much as you love him." Sarah started crying. "You're unfortunate to lose both your grandfather and father in such a short time."
I then noticed that there were other members of the tribe standing behind Sarah. I don't know if any of them heard what Sarah had said but at the moment I didn't care. One of the females started singing, her voice full of grief and sorrow. Slowly others started to join her and time seemed to slow down as everybody expressed their sorrow and grief at the loss of another great life through the song.