Waking up with a grunt, Cielast’s scales felt weird and oddly fake. She rose to her talons, blinking around at the prison cell. The sun was already out and smoldering down onto her scales. She sneezed and shook her head, glancing over in all directions until she met the door which was swung open.
Creeping out the door, she cautiously looked from left to right. There was roaring outside, out towards where the arena was. Her horns perked up as she tilted her head, slowly slipping towards the entrance.
To her horror, there was a large crowd chanting outside with Waves and Azure both sitting atop thrones at the very end.
“Well,” Azure shouted through a speaker, “You’re just in time, Cielast.” her vision started to become faint and returned again soon after, but it was strange and was almost as if it were the surface of the mirror, rippling through her mind.
Two dragons were pacing in front of each other in a large arena, Pyra and Jade. Her eyes widened as she sprinted towards them with a howl of agony, bumping into the bars of a cage.
“NO!” she roared furiously up at Azure who was cackling triumphantly with Waves by his side, a proud expression stretched across his face.
“Please no…” Cielast whimpered in a softer tone, her wings drooping to her sides as she held the bars in front of her, pleading to be let out and take Pyra’s place.
Her mind swirled around in thought as her eyes narrowed, “Let the fight begin!” Waves roared, standing up and clapping his talons together. Cielast gave him an evil glare and glanced away but her head was mysteriously getting pulled to watch the fight.
Jade leaped at Pyra, enraged as she tore open her scales, they fell to the ground like puzzle pieces. She shook her head, this couldn’t be happening. Cielast gulped as Pyra slammed Jade down into the ground and dragged her back against the sand.
During the battle, Cielast’s vision started to ripple more until she was unable to see ahead of her. She closed her eyes for a moment, taking a few deep breaths. She was trying to stay calm, but it was next to impossible. Her mother was alive after all, but she was about to be killed again.
When she opened her eyes next, her vision was like a camera zooming through the clouds all the way from the castle which seemed to be empty at the time.
It swept through the clouds and through the huge trees, swooping left and right through caverns. It went past Flarius’ battlefield which was littered with dead corpses and it went to Akurma Mountains.
“Huh?” she questioned, not being able to control where she went. The view zoomed into a strange looking cavern with torches spanning across the walls as her vision got dimmer. Inside, there was a maze of tunnels which the camera navigated its way through until it met a large room with a dragon who was tied down with various large chains.
The dragon looked weak and tired and possibly dead. He was copper in color, similar to how Hydrax was but it was deeper. He was hanging restlessly from the chains as if he had previously given up. He was so thin, his ribs were bursting from his chest.
Then, suddenly, the dragon’s head tilted upwards to stare straight at her and his eyes burst open. They were a deep purple that seemed to swirl and seemed mysteriously innocent and trustworthy.
“Help me,” the words slithered from his mouth as everything froze for a few moments before it started to backtrack all the way to the prison once again. Cielast’s vision faded to a blinding white before everything was silent.
It was moments before she woke up again, but this time, her scales were back to normal and the door was closed shut. Cielast took a few deep breaths before it came to her attention that it was all just a dream.
None of it was real,Cielast promised herself with a sigh as she glanced around the cell nervously. What was that last dream all about, though? It seemed all so strange to be just a dream because she hadn’t seen that dragon before.
She sat in thought for a few moments, trying to figure out who said dragon was. They didn’t seem familiar at all – It just seemed as if it were an anonymous dragon but that couldn’t be possible. All faces that are seen in dreams have been seen in reality. She was perplexed as she huffed.
She stared up at the bars ahead of her, seeing Azure standing at the entrance who didn’t look very pleased. He frowned at her but it soon shifted into a grin.
“I hope you enjoy your stay for all of an eternity in that small cramped cell…” he snorted, “Oh and by the way, that was an interesting artifact you carried. Very interesting indeed.”
She had her eyes now fixed on the rim anxiously, so you did take it…
He chuckled to himself, before leaning closer against the bars with his tongue slithering in and out of his mouth. “I was going through some old scrolls I found in the archives to see what it is. Not that it mattered to you, you won’t see it again either way.” He snorted in amusement and tapped his talons against the bars.
She narrowed her eyes and launched herself at him, failing miserably and sliding down the bars and back to the floor. She growled at him, observing his deep purple eyes that shimmered in the dim sunrays. He glared right back at her, pulling himself closer to taunt her.
Cielast swung her tail to the side with a growl, “You know, this plan’s going to backfire.” She hissed.
“Oh, is it now?” Azure asked with an evil glint in his eyes.
“Of course, what do you expect?” she spat back at him, “It’ssurelygoing to fail horribly by the end of it. Perhaps you’ll even end up dead.”
“Even if it would fail, I am not afraid to die… Unlike you.” He said, moving rapidly forward and making her flinch.
She rolled her eyes and lowered herself down to the ground with a snarl. “I wonder what “thrilling” way you’re going to kill me,” she said sarcastically, her eyes were darting around the room frantically.
“Oh, I’ve got something in store for you… The same fate your mother was going to go through until she escaped,” he hissed at her threateningly. “Tomorrow you will fight against one of the prisoners, but for now, that is of no importance….
“Anyways, I thought I may come by and bring you a present, let’s say, it was one of the closest things you’ve had.” He threw a piece of meat into the cell, it seemed to be in an advanced state of decay. “Perhaps it was the closest thing to you ever, even before you escaped.” He shrugged and stared at it sideways.
She gritted her fangs and launched herself at the bars again, scratching her talons against the bars helplessly. “What’s wrong? I thought you would like to see her again… Even if it’s only a rotting part of her.” He cackled slightly as she peered down towards the piece of flesh in horror.Mother…
“It’s also a slight reminder of what happens to the ones trying to escape from here. I know you’re angry, “boohoo, he made my mother fight to the death.” You never even considered that the only reason I did that is to give your miserable existence a reason to exist. Think about it, you have nothing left, your mother is dead and Flarius left you to die. Anyone you knew and was dear to you got obliterated. I gave your life a purpose, you exist only to entertain now. Heh, even if you do escape, you have no one to go to. Nowhere to hide, no family, no friends, no nothing. I am the nightmare that will haunt you forever.” He barked a laugh.
Cielast paced the cell angrily, sobbing silently to herself as she glared at him in a blind rage.
“You should have seen her face, the agony she’s been through, the tears she cried. The terror in her eyes and lastly the screams, oh the screams… You should have heard them.”
She winced at the pain her mother would have gone through and whimpered loudly. “No…” she muttered to herself, refusing to believe the truth.
“Ahahah and if she knew that all her efforts to save you were for nothing… You will stay here whether you like it or not, making the death of your mother pointless.” He paused and glanced towards the exit before continuing, “but I have important stuff to do, enjoy your stay in eternal prison.” He laughed to himself as he trotted out of the prison with joy, several guards locked the prison doors and stared down at her in shame.
She collapsed to the ground, shivering in anger. He was more than right, everything she ever had was gone and it was because of him. She sniffled and cried in sorrow, everyone I’ve ever cherished... they’re all dead. I’m helpless.
Azure sat in his throne, feeling pleased with himself as he smirked deviously. He had accomplished one of his highest goals and that was all that mattered. He tapped his talons against the side of his throne and peered down the hallways.
“Astaroth,” he called and a deep blue dragon slithered down from the ceiling towards him, noticing that he was very pleased with himself. “I’d like you to make an announcement that tomorrow I will put two prisoners into a battle to the death again, to spark up some interest because it’s rather boring here. Our emotionally distressed Cielast and a random prisoner. You get to choose.” He grinned up at her with an amused cackle.
Astaroth gave him an uneasy look.What did Cielast do? She doesn’t seem so bad.Cielast had been tortured all her life and never was able to feel safe, her family was dead. Astaroth gulped and stuck to the thought for a moment before nodding,
“All right,” she responded, stepping out of the room and walking down the hallway.
“Hm, it’s going to be just like old times.” Azure snorted and sat back in his throne comfortably as he stared upwards.
Hanging from the roof from a cord within a cage kept as a prisoner was Jade, who was swinging back and forth with a grumble. She blinked and stared down at him sideways. “Huh,” she mumbled, holding onto the metal cord as she swung herself upwards, spinning helplessly.
He observed her for a while before smirking once again and tapping his talons together, glancing down the hall. “Astaroth, come back here for a second.” He shouted and looked up at Jade once more. She eyed him up and down, confused as to what he was thinking.
A few moments later Astaroth appeared in the doorway, “Hmm? Did you call my name?” she asked, slipping into the room and staring at him.
“I just had afantasticidea,” he announced with a grin, “How about tomorrow, Cielast will fight against Flarius’ daughter, Jade, who is hanging above me. It would be rather amusing.”
Astaroth nodded slowly, taking a glance up at the green snake-like dragon that was as still as a statue. She seemed afraid and terrified as soon as she realized what the king had said.
Jade’s eyes widened and the good in her soul jerked awake inside of her. “I… I can’t, I wouldn’t.” she barked down at him although she appeared to be hesitant about her statements.
“Too bad. If you don’t, I will kill both of you with one swift ice breath.” He shrugged as Jade swung the squeaky cord back and forth with a hiss.
“SILENCE!” Azure bellowed, freezing the cage solid but leaving Jade mostly unharmed. She crossed her arms stubbornly, spitting out a droplet of venom onto the ice. It splattered and slowly seeped into the frozen ice. Its green color oozed down the side of the blue surface, burning its way into the cold interior.
He glared sharply at her and coughed. “Change of plans, Astaroth, tell everyone now. It will begin immediately,” He laughed lightly as Jade rolled her eyes and tried to crack through the ice with her talons.
“Take Jade and Cielast’s cages to the battle arena at once,” he snapped, clearly annoyed with Jade.
Jade’s eyes widened as she growled down at the guards who attempted to unhook her cage from the roof. They then brought it low to the ground, where Azure gestured his talons towards her with a grin as she was carried out into the hallways towards a large gate.
“You writhing imbecile!” she howled as she was taken away.
“Hmm… We’ll see how things change in a few minutes.” He sneered and got off of his throne and proceeded to follow them into the darkness.