“Ah-hah,” Azure said while sitting on his throne, his tail coiled around the back of it. “I just had a brilliant idea.”
A sly grin grew across Azure’s face as shadows shrouded around him, bringing him to another realm. His ghostly figure hung above Cielast who was desperately trying to explain something to a human. The small, pathetic creature poked at her with blade and she leaped backwards, shaking her head.
“Stop stabbing me,” she growled, her words seeming like nothing but blathering to the oblivious human. “I’m trying to explain...”
Azure’s smile grew as he descended, greeting her in a chilling voice. “Hello again, Cielast.”
She paused, her muscles tensing up, and slowly regarded him with terrified eyes. Cielast squeaked, “A-Azure...?”
“I’m taking you back to our realm for a small task I have planned for you,” he stared down at her with dead eyes, making her tremble as a shadowy claw descended from the tree and grabbed her.
“T-that crown...” she gulped, looking at his head. “I-it’s so powerful.”
“This crown is your worst nightmare,” he sneered with a distorted cackle. “It gives me the power of a demi-god which I plan on using to bring order to my kingdom.”
She glanced at him with wide eyes and whispered, her voice trembling. “Y-Yuko...”
The two were then transported to the dragon realm in the middle of the citadel, appearing before Hydrax. Startled, he fell backwards and looked at Azure with a confused expression.
“Why is she back?” he asked.
“I had an excellent idea,” he sneered before glancing at Cielast who appeared distressed and anxious to hear. “I plan on putting her in a fight to the death with her son in the arena.”
“No!” Cielast screamed, wriggling in the shadow claw’s grasp with tears running down her cheeks. “No, no, no. Y-you can’t, you couldn’t... M-monster...”
“Oh, stop with the compliments,” he smirked and turned towards Hydrax. “Put her in the dungeon for now, the fight will be tomorrow at noon.”
Cielast’s eyes welled with more tears and she fought against the claw, writhing desperately. Hydrax approached her, being scratched across the snout with her sharp talons. He winced and held her by her wings, drawing blood from beneath her scales.
She kept roaring and slamming her back against the copper dragon as they walked down the hallway. Azure, pleased with himself, sat back on his throne.
The next afternoon, dragons were packed in the arena, filling the rows of seats. They threw gold pieces into the sand, cheering loudly.
“Welcome everyone!” Hydrax shouted to the crowd, slipping out of the gates. He twisted himself around to catch a glimpse of everyone and smiled as they cheered louder, “We have our special guest, Cielast, here today to fight with us with the returning of Azure. Yet this time, the battle is very special... She will be fighting against Yuko, her very own son.”
The clapping of talons grew louder as he finished his sentence. Hydrax lifted himself up to the top of the arena, high in the skies and pointed towards the two sides of the arena. “Now, are we ready...? Fight!”
The two gates slowly rose, creaking loudly, and Cielast slipped from under the gate. Yuko, at the other end, ran towards his mother and jumped into her arms. Through blurry vision, she glanced down at her son, unable to control her emotions.
“Y-Yuko...” she whispered softly, holding onto him tightly. “It’s going to be all right, little one...”
Her son wriggled and buried his head in her shoulder, weeping in confusion and fear. She sniffled, knowing that one of them had to die today.
He’d have to live in this world all alone if I left him... She admitted to herself, fighting that side of her mind. No, I’m not going to k-kill my son... although it’d prevent further suffering.
“What do I do?” she cried before realizing she’d said it aloud, but in that moment she didn’t care. Cielast brought her son even closer to her, crying over his shoulder. “I’m s-so sorry my sweet, momma loves you so much...”
The crowd watched intently from around them before a wave of shouts started to become louder among the dragons.
“Death, death, death.” They shouted demandingly and Cielast thought they were all monsters. She turned towards them angrily, her claws trembling with fear and confusion.
Yuko hid behind her for protection and she broke into furious sobs, pointing to Azure accusingly. “You’re a worthless monster, that’s all you are. I hate you, I hate you...”
The mother collapsed in the golden sands, crying as hard as she could. “I hate you, A-Azure...”
Cielast turned towards her son again and picked him up in her arms, sharing her last embrace with him. “I’m s-so sorry...”