The Dragonstone Defenders Series, Book 2: Tides Turn, Heat Rises, Rocks Fall

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Chapter 9-Berry Picking

“So Wildsky, have you found the plant yet?” I asked.

“No, it likes to grow in the sun and it grows in a grove. Oooo! Some seem to have a mind of their own!” he chuckled.

“Oh,” I sighed.

It was almost noon. Wilsky had told us that he wanted to get some other herbs and plants while we were here. While he was at it, he wanted to get some flowers for his sister Swiftstreak. Rockstorm agreed with that idea.

After another hour, he exclaimed: “We’re here!”

“Finally,” muttered Rockstorm.

I sighed happily in agreement.

There was a grove in the jungle where a large variety of special plants grew.

“Are they all edible?” I asked.

“No, some just apply to the skin,” replied Wildsky as he picked the leaves.

I was certain he was from Plant Clan.

“Here we go,” smiled Wildsky as he picked the plant that makes you fall asleep. “It’s called Drousnoxia,”

It looked like it had fangs. Sure enough, inside of its petals were green spots with purple lining, but on the outside the petals it was orange. It looked like a large tulip. I flew up to map the grove so the trio could come here in the future. I noticed we weren’t that far from the Enchanted Volcano. When I landed, I noticed a weird looking bush. It’s leafy stems were like octopus tentacles and the berries looked like tiny, purple pumpkins. I picked one and tasted it, surprisingly, it had no flavor or scent!

“Ah! Don’t eat that!” screamed Wildsky.

“Why not?” I was startled, but I soon found out.

The plant came to life and its leaves wrapped around me. It had a strong grip and I began to suffocate. Rockstorm created a boulder and smashed the plant. It’s leaves went limp around me and I was free.

“Thanks,” I sighed with relief.

“What are friends for?” shrugged Rockstorm as he smiled.

“Careful, some plants here are very dangerous, like that Octophora Dentura. Some plants can even turn you into something you’re not,” he said in a dangerous voice.

“Really?” Rockstorm asked Wildsky curiously.

“Nope! Just kidding!” laughed Wildsky.

I rolled my eyes at Rockstorm. He chuckled. We collected plants for an hour more, then finished with more than thirty different species. Unfortunately, I had eaten more than seven types of berries and now both my arms were limb, my lips had blue spots on them, and my stomach felt awful. I had to rest, and Wildsky knew of a plant to make me feel better. So we rested in the shade and drank our water while he searched for the plant.

“You know,” observed Rockstorm as he studied my map, “We’re near the Enchanted Volcano, maybe we should show Wildsky? It would be good for the spies to know.”

“Why? They won’t be able to open the door,” I responded.

“Yeah, but if we show Wildsky the runes and hieroglyphics, he’ll tell his siblings and they’ll believe us more and want to help us out. I know Swiftstreak has her doubts about this mission, maybe Jetlash does too? Besides, it’s the least we can do since he came with us to gather the special herbs,”

“If you say so,”

After about ten minutes, he returned with two similar looking plants in his hands.

“So, I don’t know which plant does it. I always get these two confused. After all, they look pretty similar. So I figured Geyser could try both just in case. Sound good?”

“What if I get another bad side effect from whichever plant doesn’t heal me?” I questioned.

“Well...that’s possible, you see, I don’t know what the other one does. Yet I know that it won’t kill you, so it’s worth a try,”

“Well, down the hatch, I guess,”

I took a bite of the first one. I still felt sick, but what was worse, was that my head now hurt.

“Nope,” I groaned.

“Oh sorry, here’s this one then,” Wildsky replied.

I ate it and seconds later I felt back to normal.

“That was the one!” I smiled.

“Great! I’ll make a note of that,” replied Wildsky jotting it down.

“Shall we go to the Enchanted Volcano?” suggested Rockstorm.

“You mean it! Yes! I’d love to go!” exclaimed Wildsky.

After about half an hour we arrived at the Enchanted Volcano.

“Wow!” breathed Wildsky, “This place is incredible!”

“Just wait until you see the inside,” laughed Rockstorm at the sight of Wildsky’s surprised face.

“What?! We get to go inside?!”

“Wait! I just remembered, we don’t have Firesong, so we won’t be able open the door,” I sighed.

“Oh no! I forgot too, sorry Wildsky, maybe another time?”

“Ok, well, at least I got to see the outside. Say, can you guys read the runes on the walls?”

“Well, no, we’re looking into how to read them,” admitted Rockstorm.

“Wait! You guys! I can read them!” I gasped.

“What?! What does that one say?” pointed Wildsky.

They were the runes next to the door. I read to him the first prophecy. We searched for more runes to read and I read them all. It was amazing!

“That’s crazy! I wonder how Geyser can do that all of a sudden?” mused Wildsky.

“I have no idea,” I sighed.

“Hmm, I’m thinking back through what we all went through...can’t find anything unusual, except Geyser eating all those weird plants!” stated Rockstorm.

“That’s it! The plants! I bet one of those gave me the ability to read runes,” I decided.

“But reading runes isn’t exactly something that a plant can give,” countered Wildsky, “If it was, shouldn’t I have known?”

“Why? Are you saying you’re from Plant Clan, Wildsky?” I demanded.

“What?! No way! It’s just, I can’t think of which plant could have given you that ability, I wonder how long the effect lasts?”

“Carrots can make you see better, maybe a certain plant can give you certain language reading abilities?” suggested Rockstorm with a laugh.

“If it does, it’s definitely a magical plant, that I’m certain,” replied Wildsky.

“Well, maybe we can read a book about magical plant properties, but right now, we need to make camp, the sun’s setting, we should make dinner,” chose Rockstorm.

So we camped by the door of the Enchanted Volcano andate dinner and slept by the light of the lavafall.

The next day, I awoke at around eight in the morning to someone nudging me awake.

“Mom, no, it can’t be time for school yet…” I muttered.

“Gey, I’m not your mom. We need to get back to the United Clan, quickly, because General Red Blood is going to attack!”

I was wide awake now. I sat bolt upright.

“Wha-wha-what?! General Red Blood? Attack?” I gasped.

It was Firesong, she looked grave.

“How’d you find us?” I asked her.

“Saw your smoke from the campfire trailing,”

“Aww dew drops! I thought I put that out!”

Rockstorm woke up. “Who--What? Firesong?! What the--”

“Rock, we need to go back to the United Clan and warn them that they’re going to be attacked!” Firesong said hurriedly.

“But what about Wildsky?”

“He needs to fly back to the hideout and give the pants to Swiftstreak!”

After waking up Wildsky, having a quick breakfast, Wildsky flew to his hideout.

On the way to the United Clan, Firesong caught us up on what had happened yesterday. I told her about the plant discovery.

When we got there, we told the chieftains and chieftainesses of the attack and to get ready. They wasted no time and preparations were made. With two days until the battle, we thought that it would be handy to read the runes in case they should give us a clue as to how to win the battle. He borrowed a magical plants book and read until we found the plant. Turns out, it was the other plants Wildsky had given me before I ate the plant that healed me. I was called Lingua Pronomicus. It looked similar to the plant called Remedium Bulbdroxima. The only difference was that Remedium Bulbdroxima had a yellow stem. Since you only eat the leaves of the plant, you can’t compare them to notice any differences. Lingua Pronomicus has a side effect of a headache since your brain is suddenly taking in a load of information to read any language. The headache lasts for as long as the reading ability does: five hours. However, the Redemium Bulbdroxima can counter the headache. Simply eat an entire leaf of Lingua Pronomicus, then eat an entire leaf of Redemium Bulbdroxima, then you’re set. That’s exactly what we did. That day, we returned to the Enchanted Volcano and went inside to read more of its runes. We began at the beginning:

The Robed Ruler was named Rantalacas in ancient times. He created Aranthalas out of love. He had six sons and six daughters. Rantalacas sent his six sons to start the clans and have them guide the people onto the right path. By being sent to the world of Aranthalas, they became mortal and died at each of their appointed times. When the world began, all clans were allied and served each other in harmony. The six daughters took care of Aranthalas. The eldest daughter, Sunstar, took care of the sun and made it rise and set. The second, Moonstar, did the same with the moon. Timestar, made time pass and counted it. She keeps a record of everything that has and will come to pass. Seasonstar controlled the seasons. Starwind controlled the weather. Then the youngest, Starsong, possessed the most important power among all of her sisters. She was in charge of bringing harmony to Aranthalas. Yet she disregarded her job as something meaningless. She wanted more than this, she wanted more power. Yet the person with the most power was her father, Rantalacas so she desired to rule the world and overthrow Rantalacas. Yet Rantalacas put an end to this. He took away her powers and she was locked in a cell to protect Aranthalas from further destruction. Starsong changed her name to Starbreeze. The only way she could be set free, was if she changed her wicked ways, someone unlocked the portal with the Dragonstone, or someone gave up their soul to her. No one names their child with ‘star’ because the star symbolizes royalty of the supernatural Rantalacas and his descendants. While Starbreeze was imprisoned, she still was able to connect to Aranthalas. Starbreeze favored Fire Clan’s fiery spirit and toyed with their minds. She made the Fire Clan think they were the highest clan in the world. This lead to divisions and clans slowly broke apart. Starbreeze was behind the War of Endless Death. If she continues to travel down this path, Aranthalas will destroy itself, unless harmony is brought back to this world. --Timestar

“Wow!” I exclaimed. “So she’s probably toying with General Red Blood’s mind too!”

“That’s scary, I wonder why my mind wasn’t toyed with?” inquired Firesong.

“Probably because the Dragonstone or Rantalacas wanted to spare you because of this mission. Think about it, if no one from Fire Clan was in this trio, more people would be thinking badly of Fire Clan,” mused Rockstorm.

“Yeah, maybe you’re right,” agreed Firesong.

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