Cielast was out in the forest, not having second thoughts about her escape. Freedom was at her claws now, she was finally away from Azure and his goons. They were all in her past and it was her chance to remake her life.
Her talons sank into the ground and she smiled. It felt so good to be outside once again, feeling the fresh air pump through her lungs once again. Her freedom was what she valued most, but she didn’t know where to begin.
Where will I go?Cielast questioned herself internally. She had no home to go to, she was all alone with nobody to care for her. Her mind swirled and she looked down at the ground nervously, her talons shivering. It was only then that a thought crossed her mind, what if Azure found out about Astaroth letting her escape?
Then, Cielast had a brilliant idea and she smiled slightly, I could just go back to Paintra’s cave, right? She wouldn’t mind that, I hope.
She nodded to her thoughts and began to walk towards Flarius’ kingdom and backtrack her memories from there.
Her mind swirled as she walked through the leaves carefully, creeping past anything that looked alive. Occasionally, she’d see the dead corpse of a deer lying to the side and nibbled on it for a bit and went on her way.
She came across a river with a swift-moving current, the waters rushing by. Orange flashes whisked past her vision as the waters glittered in the sunlight that beat down upon them. Cielast smiled and dipped her talons into the waters, sipping from the stream happily. The little schools of fish swam past in a hurry, tiny silver flecks whizzing past her view.
She snapped up a few of them in her powerful jaws and they tried to flee from her huge fangs. She shook off some of the water droplets and continued to walk through the forest.
When she arrived at the cave, she collapsed tiredly, panting and looking up at the ceiling.
“Why hello there,” called a familiar voice and Paintra turned her back to face the wall, staring at Cielast blankly.
“Wow, you’ve sure grown,” She chuckled as Zyroth slipped into the cave through the entrance. Cielast opened her jaws to speak, but instead lied her head back down on the floor, slowly starting to drift off to sleep.
“It’s all right, you can have some rest for now. Tell me what happened when you awake,” Paintra informed, putting a soft deerskin cover over top of Cielast’s wounds.
When she awoke, she was greeted by Paintra’s kind smile as she gestured her talons down to her. “I thought you’d never wake up,” She joked and revealed Cielast’s partially healed wounds.
Zyroth was staring down at her sideways from the roof, his body twisted around to meet hers. Cielast blinked a few times, seeing his not-so-friendly glare and tilted her head.
“Why are you here?” he sneered suspiciously, crawling to the floor. His eyes were like a crocodile’s, a pale green that seemed to glow.
“I escaped from Azure and decided to come here. All of my friends and family are dead.” Cielast panted, seemingly out of breath as she rolled onto her side.
Paintra nodded understandingly and took the deerskin covers off of her, tossing them to the side. She put her talons against Cielast’s forehead softly with a friendly grin. “Ah, I see.” Her smile faded into a frown as she sat next to her patient with a sympathetic expression.
There was a moment of silence before Zyroth spoke, “We’ve found some scrolls you might be interested in and they could possibly help with getting your mother back.” Paintra nodded from beside him, tapping her talons together.
Cielast’s eyes glittered with excitement as she peered up into his dark eyes with a nod. “Really?”
“Indeed,” he said, crawling down the side of the wall and onto a pile of scrolls, tossing some of them to the side. It was a few moments later that he finally pulled an old-looking scroll out of the pile and tossed it back toward her.
Cielast caught it with her talons and tilted her head as she unraveled it.
Akurma Mountain’s Deathseeker
She began to read the scroll carefully, observing the scorch marks in the top left corner.
The Deathseeker was an artifact created by Suntrap who made it for his companion, Welkin, to revive him in case something went wrong and he died. When Echo had trapped him under the large pile of boulders under a mountain, the Deathseeker supposedly shattered and its pieces remain under Akurma Mountains. Legends say, this mysterious object may be able to fix itself in time.
The artifact is a dark gray oval with blood red rims and a purple center that resembles an eye. It is as big as a talon and practically unbreakable.
Cielast nodded and thought for a moment. If it’s true, I could bring back everyone who ever died because of Azure. I need to find it…
“Cielast, you’ve heard the story about Suntrap, right?” Paintra asked out of curiosity, tapping her talons against the cavern wall.
“Yeah,” Cielast nodded. “When you were fetching the scroll back when I first came here, I had read the story.”
Paintra smiled and stared deeply into Cielast’s bright eyes. “You can do this,” she peered back at Zyroth who was perched up on a fallen log. “Zyroth, you’ll be able to help her, won’t you?”
The dragon snapped to attention and glanced left to right with a nod. “What? Oh, ehm... yes, sure.”
Cielast nodded and approached the entrance. The refreshing air pulsed through her lungs as she prepared, Pyra may actually be able to be revived.
Zyroth and she spread their wings and darted into the skies, whirling peacefully.
“So, tell me, who has died and who lived? There seemed to be a war at Flarius’ castle.” He asked, tilting his head towards her.
“Flarius fled from us and I had to kill Jade, his daughter, in an arena...” Cielast sighed, “She apparently envied me and never wanted to be friends...”
He frowned, feeling sympathetic for her. “It’s a tough world out there, I’m lucky I have Paintra to guide me through. I’d be dead if it wasn’t for her.”
“Oh,” she responded simply.
“Yeah, she protected me from quite a few enemies back when we were hatchlings. You never knew about the war on two fronts, did you?”
She shook her head. “It was against Zenith, Rhainys and another dragon... Supposedly one of Azure’s parents. Waves slaughtered them both and took their castles by force, it was truly tragic. Paintra stayed by my side all the way through, protecting me from any dangers that’d occur.” he said, narrowing his eyes.
“I hate Waves so very much.” he continued bitterly, clenching his talons tight.
“I don’t see how Azure could live with him as a murderer, I mean... He killed his parents, that’s horrible.” Zyroth hissed, having flashbacks through his mind.
“I agree, I would never befriend him after he killed my mother.” Cielast sobbed, listening closely.
“Murdering is certainly horrible, my sons were murdered. One of them was named Draikius and the other was Sicrith. They both had a hatchling each, one was small and his scales were the color of copper and the other was rather large with scarlet scales. Draikius took care of both as Sicrith had died long ago. Azure was murdered and took the scarlet hatchling as a prisoner, the other escaped into the woods.” He sighed with a frown.
They both remained silent for a while, only the loud sounds of their wings beating could be heard.
The mountains could be seen in the faint distance, fog swallowing the snowy tips. They certainly looked large for mountains and looked as if they were large, rocky wings.
“I’m sorry for your losses,” she said softly, staring at him anxiously. His wings slowly fluttered through the air as he twisted his body downwards and into the trees. She followed close behind, navigating her way through the snarling branches above.
The leaves whisked past her, tickling her snout as she passed. Zyroth sped up ahead, whirling around to create a pathway of which she could follow. The twigs scraped his wings, slivers wiggling their way in between his scales.
The scenery below them was filled with the bright shades of purples and blues, all shifting into rainbows. The streams rushed past them, their sight blocked by the thick layers of leaves.
With a grunt, he tilted himself upwards and spun out of the tree. The mountains were just up ahead, they just had to make it a bit farther. Cielast closed her wings tightly around herself and sped past him, laughing triumphantly.
He snickered to himself and cut through the wind with ease, twisting his whole body to duck under her. Zyroth flapped his wings effortlessly and flew backward.
The fog in front of her was closing in on them slowly, the trees fading into the distance. The terrain was rockier than before, the plants all disappearing behind them.
“Is that it?” she asked, squinting at the tall rock formations, then back at Zyroth who nodded, pointing forwards with his talon. They both zipped forward like lightning, twisting back and forth in zig zags.
“Are you ready?” she asked, following him close behind and silhouetting through the air.
He smiled, “Of course, let’s do this.” He narrowed his eyes towards the huge mountains and sped up. It took her a while to catch up to him this time as he was an adult and one of the fastest fliers she had ever met.
“Slow down,” she shouted up to him, her wings slowly closing to her sides tiredly. He slowed to a stop, but he didn’t look too happy anymore. There was an expression on his face as if he had seen a ghost.
“What is it?” she asked, stopping and observing him. He was petrified to the bone as he gulped and slowly lowered himself.
Cielast looked ahead of her, only to see two huge blue figures hovering through the air, blocking their path. Zyroth and she both glanced at each other and then at the two ahead of them. Astaroth and Azure.