The moon rose from the mountains, it was more of a disco ball than a crest now. The dim lights shone upon the arena, creating a faint spotlight in the center.
In the darkness stood a large shadow with a glint of blue to her scales, she crept into the prison and past the guards who were sleeping peacefully. She snuck past the cells with ease, hearing the loud snores of prisoners as she passed. It was Astaroth.
“Cielast?” she called around the cells, being cautious not to wake anyone up. “Cielast,” she repeated riskily, her voice louder this time.
The bright silver dragon rose her head groggily from her talons, blinking in the darkness. Astaroth stared directly into her eyes, holding something behind her back. Cielast screamed faintly, backing up against the wall.
“Shh,” she barked down into the bars, spreading her dark wings around the cell bars. “It’s Astaroth – I’m going to help you escape from this cell.”
Cielast stared intently, slowly taking her back off of the wall. “Astaroth? W-why?” she questioned up at the navy dragon, who shook her head with a frown.
“Don’t question it, just come on.” She took the keys from behind her back, being unable to see in the darkness as she tried to push the keys through the keyhole, missing and stabbing them in between the gap of the bars. It took her a few attempts before she finally managed to jab it into the keyhole and twist the key until she heard a click.
“Thank you,” Cielast sighed, relieved as she stared up at Astaroth in wonder. “Are you coming?”
“No, this is my home. I must stay here for my father,” she said sternly, opening the cell door as it squeaked. “Now come on, I don’t want anyone to find out about this or I’ll be dead.”
She nodded and got up, bolting out of the cell as Astaroth locked the door behind her. “Isn’t your father dead?” she asked, scratching the back of her head.
Astaroth bared her fangs with a hiss, “Just go.” She snarled and spread her wing towards the door.
Cielast quickly ran away and into the darkness of night. She then twirled up through the air and twisted downwards, heading into the forest. Astaroth smiled and put her claws on her hips, she had succeeded in saving an innocent life but one thought started to run through her mind: what if Azure found out?
It was early in the afternoon, where the sun was meeting its zenith in the center of the sky. Heatwaves drifted softly throughout the castle as Azure sat, a displeased expression upon his face.
“She did WHAT?” Azure roared, his voice being heard throughout the entire castle, he was furious.
“Uh... Um.” one of the guards before him gulped, stepping back nervously. “Uh...”
“Ugh,” he muttered in a less agitated tone, rolling his eyes. He had a look on his face that could kill. “Now, tell me how she was able to escape whilst there were active guards on the perimeter and a reason why I should allow you to live after that.”
The other guard opened his jaws to speak but closed them soon after. Cowering in front of the king, he stuttered, “I... I don’t know, sir. Um... We won’t do it again...”
Azure moved closer and the air got frigid, nearly unbearable. “Now let’s try that again and, this time, avalidreason why I shouldn’t just end both of your miserable lives here…” he snorted in disgust, his cold eyes staring deep into their souls.
The two guards glanced at each other with uneasy looks, tempted to just flee away. All went silent as their eyes widened.
From above, Astaroth was sitting on the empty cage that was swinging back and forth, parts of the ice still glued to the bars. She frowned upon both of the dragons who were quietly cowering in fear, shifting uncomfortably.
“All right,” Azure broke the silence, “If there is nothing you have to say anymore, time to show you the consequence of failure.” His voice got increasingly louder as he spoke, a furious glint in his eyes.
Astaroth winced and glanced away for a moment, feeling guilt and sadness. She knew she shouldn’t have let Cielast escape. It wasn’t worth it.
Azure took a step back and took a deep breath. He then unleashed freezing cold ice breath on the two guards with a snarl. His flames shot like bullets towards them, hitting upon their scales instantly.
The two were icy statues, expressions of fear frozen on their faces. She truly regretted everything now. Azure then moved forward to the former dragon ice statues, waiting for a moment as he studied them closely. Then, he shattered them with a swift tail slash.
Glancing at the other dragons that were present, he spat coldly, “This is just a reminder of the consequences to those who dare fail me.”
He then returned to his throne, glimpsing at all of them and then at the hallway. “Well, what are you waiting for? FIND HER,” he commanded and they all flooded out of the room in a hurry.
Astaroth wanted to admit what she had done but he’d kill her if so, Waves’ daughter or not. She gulped and sat petrified atop the cage. Her talons gripped the bars, curling around them with her eyes shut, not wanting to see the king below her. The chains rattled from above, alarming him of her presence.
“Hmmm,” Azure said, raising an eyebrow. “Astaroth, you look troubled. Is something wrong?”
“No, no, not at all.” she lied, sounding as convincing as possible as she peered down at him. Her heart was now racing as she shook her head.
Azure nodded, talking to himself. “I’ll have to send an agent to find out who the one responsible for this is…” he mumbled.
Her face turned pale,I have to get out of here quickly before they uncover any evidence. She gulped silently and glanced from left to right.I can’t leave... my father told me to stay here and protect the kingdom...
Azure tapped his talons against the side of his throne with a huff, then glared into the hallways. “Castien,” he shouted loudly, his voice bouncing off the walls.
It was moments before a large, red dragon slithered out from behind a corner, blinking up at Azure with his dark narrowed eyes. Azure coughed and stared down at him.
“I have a task for you to do,” he informed, gesturing his talons. “As you might know, a dragon by the name of Cielast escaped last night. I want you to find the culprit who let her escape and bring them to me.”
Astaroth slowly crippled, draping her wings over her head with a silent sob.This can’t be happening.
Castien nodded and saluted to Azure, then left the room with a smirk. He was one of the best tracker dragons in the kingdom and had excellent abilities to find culprits.
She panicked, screaming internally.This can’t be real, I didn’t free her. She couldn’t have, it was betrayal and she swore she’d be loyal towards her king. Her mind was spinning in circles as she glanced down at him.
“Uh,” she whispered in a hurry, seemingly out of breath. “I have to go real quick, I’m sorry.” She then slithered away and deep into the hallways, which only made him more suspicious.
He narrowed his eyes keenly, wondering if she had done it, but Astaroth wouldn’t betray her king, would she?
Azure grasped the side of his throne angrily and spit a plume of icy flames into the air. His eyes scanned the hallway, growling impatiently.
As Astaroth bolted through the hallways, she came across Castien who was sneaking around. Her wings flared as she halted immediately, her talons skidding across the stone floor. She hoped that he didn’t see her, he’d just get suspicious.
His wings crumpled as he raised a brow. “Hmm? Astaroth, is that you? Why are you in such a hurry?” he asked suspiciously, whipping himself around to stare at her blankly.
“Uh, I was just going to get some fresh air. It’s really hot in here, don’t you agree?” Astaroth attempted to slow her breath, her tail swaying from left to right nervously.
He leaned closer to her and observed the look in her eyes. They darted around to avoid eye contact as Castien huffed. He hissed at her deeply and tapped his talons together.
“You’re acting quite strange, is anything wrong?” they both paused and Castien growled, “Was ityou?”
Her face went pale as she shook her head furiously. “N-no, I wouldn’t betray him. I swear I wouldn’t,it wasn’t me.” She exclaimed in a hurry, her heart pounding nervously in her chest.
“Don’t try to fool me, I know that look in your eyes. Itwasyou, you numbskull. You thought you were sneaky, didn’t you?” his talons extended as he attempted to topple her over.
She took a deep breath and grabbed him by the neck, her talons grappling around his throat. “You’re not going to be able to tell anyone about this or I’ll end you,” She threatened, tightening her grip.
He wriggled around in her talons, pulling his waist up to coil his tail around her arm. He attempted to strangle her, but she smashed his tail into the ground. They both glared at each other deeply, knowing the truth behind the escape.
Her eyes darted around the hallway as she tried to cautiously take him away from the hallway so she wouldn’t be seen. He attempted to roar, but his voice was cut off by her talons. She glared sharply into his obsidian eyes, her grip tightening.
“You are not to tell anyone about this,” she repeated, piercing his scales as a single bead of blood rolled down onto her talons. He attempted to scream, but she muffled his voice and slammed him into the ground, dragging him across the stone painfully.
He struggled in her grasp, blood being left in a trail behind him. She roughly bit his arm, her fangs piercing through his scales like a knife through hot butter.
He yanked her talons from his snout and screamed as loud as possible before having his mouth covered once again. Her eyes stared angrily into his eyes as she slammed him into the ground repeatedly before he finally got free, backing up.
They both shook off the crimson red blood on their scales and grappled each other daringly. They both had their talons against each other’s necks. Time seemed to go into slow-motion and the two heard the clanking of talons echoed through the hallway.
There, stood the large blue dragon who glanced at both of them in frustration, his talons outstretched. It was Azure.