Eclipse of the Moon

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Chapter 17

“What?” Cielast yelped, the expression draining from her face like a waterfall. Her eyes immediately narrowed, tears lined her eye sockets with a hiss as she had the urge to lunge towards them in rage but she stayed still as a statue.

“Well, well, well. Isn’t this a pleasant surprise?” Azure cackled, tapping his talons together with an amused expression on his face.

Astaroth slowly veered around to behind the two, her fangs bared and talons clenched with what seemed like hatred. Her dark eyes narrowed, her unforgiving expression making Cielast tremble.

Cielast whimpered and balanced her gaze between them. Her heart was pounding in her chest as she gulped and glanced at the ground. She didn’t know what to think. Is Astaroth faking this to seem innocent? Will she kill Zyroth?

Zyroth had his back against Cielast’s as they both stared at their opponents. They were both truly afraid and still half surprised.

“Oh, if it isn’t Zyroth. Nice to see you again.” Azure growled, his beady eyes staring into his. “After killing your sons, I assumed that you’d end your miserable life in grief.”

His tail flicked up like a scorpion’s and Zyroth shook his head with a snarl. “You took so many innocent lives, you monster.” He said coldly, his wings slowly freezing like a stone.

Zyroth turned his head back to Cielast and whispered, “Go, you have to get the Deathseeker to revive your family. If you hurry, I can fend them off for you.”

Her eyes widened as she shook her head, memories thrashing through her skull. She tried to block them out and blurted, “I can’t just leave you here to die. Zyroth, come on, we can make it out of here, both of us.”

He shook his head sorely and pushed her away from Astaroth and Azure as they approached him dangerously. Tears trickled down his snout as he nodded with confidence and whispered, “Go…”

Cielast took off without taking a second glance, maybe she could revive him with the Deathseeker, but what if she could only revive one dragon? She’d die, too, if she stayed with Zyroth. It was worth a shot, she could save everything.

Her heart whimpered to go back, but she refused. Her head shook from left to right and she sobbed silently.I can’t go back.

Her wings beat as fast as possible as she swung her way through the breeze, her heart pumping twenty times a second. She tried to keep her mind straight, denying every feeling she felt. “I’m sorry,” her voice cracked with despair and she put her snout down, staring at the ground.

It will all be okay, if I make it to the Deathseeker, everything will be okay.She calmed down and took a few deep breaths, searching for a place to land.

Her eyes darted around the area as she raced into the cave, hearing a blood-curdling scream from the distance.

Taking one last look back, she could see Zyroth plummet to the ground beside Astaroth, his wings ripping in the force of the wind. She gulped and hid behind one of the boulders, panting tiredly.It’s all up to me now.

She gasped in horror and twisted around to get a good glance at the cave. Fresh air pumped through her lungs as she got off of the floor, a stabbing pain being driven through her chest. It didn’t feel good at all, knowing that everything could go wrong with one simple move.

Her eyes slowly surveyed the area around her, huge boulders blocking her sight down the cavern. She had to find the right one and get the Deathseeker, remembering what it looked like.A black amulet with purple lining… No, no, a dark gray amulet with red lining… Purple eye in the center… I’ll know it when I see it, there’s only one amulet after all.

She nodded to her thoughts and slowly peered into the darkness, taking a deep breath. She headed into the deep tunnels that seemed to wind upwards into spirals like a maze, the cave looked so big with so many pathways.

She shot a plume of flames down one of the tunnels, nothing was there. She crept down another and lit up the cave once more.Nothing, nothing and nothing. She checked each cavern slowly, taking the time to observe every little crevice.

Bats squeaked from above and came barrelling at her in a cloud, she brushed them away from her face with a snarl. The little creatures crowded her vision and she shot a burst of fire at them. They all hissed with disappointment and fled out of the caverns and into the baby blue sky.

She kept searching each individual path she could get through but instead found only a few boulders that blocked her path. With a discouraged hiss, she exited the cave. There were three more caverns to explore and she wasn’t looking forward to it.

Azure and Astaroth seemed to have fled back to the castle, so it was safe to explore around. Cielast slowly crept from the rocky ledge, scampering onto the boulders that fell down as she crawled. Her eyes were fixed on the ledge above her as she hopped from rock to rock.

She darted up and closed her wings to her sides, peeking into the next dark cave. She slowly peered into the vast shadowy tunnel and crept slowly. She had an eerie feeling about this cave as if something was watching her. Cielast’s horns perked up as she got onto four limbs and navigated her way through the halls.

There were no bats here, it was just her and the darkness. Her eyes began to dart around the emptiness until she saw something at the end of the tunnel. Her eyes widened and she squinted, observing what it seemed to be. A tiny bit of light was shed from the wall above a torch that glowed dimly through the vast cavern.

As Cielast approached, it seemed to be more than just one, there was a line of torches leading deep into the tunnels. She crept through, being cautious not to attract any unwanted attention. The same, eerie feeling washed over her scales and felt like slugs oozing into them.

Who put these torches here?She wondered, tapping her talon lightly against her chin. The torches led down a long hallway with what seemed to be a room at the end. She slowly stood upwards, her eyes squinting at the sight.

The little beams of light seemed to get brighter as they reached the end, where a large torch sat above a doorway. Cielast poked her head through, into a room of darkness.Is this a sacred temple for the Deathseeker?

Something skidded up the side of the wall with a low hiss as two golden eyes stared down at her blankly. It appeared to be a dragon that had faint gray scales with red polka dots stretched through them.

“Hello?” she called up to the dragon, but it just clambered up further and watched from above. She gulped and looked forward, only to see a faint yellow dragon with its head down. It seemed to be chained up, its eyes sealed shut but it was breathing.

“Uh,” she swallowed hard and fixed her eyes on the dragon who appeared to be weakened. The dragon appeared to be small, but larger than Hydrax. He had two horns jutting from his head and spikes lining down his spine which were nailed into a wooden plate behind him.

They stood in silence for a moment as Cielast observed its little slim body that was similar to Jade’s build but a bit bulkier. Its tail had a sharp spear-like tip on the end that was chained to the board as well. He had a battle-scarred snout of which a scrape dragged down to his neck where it appeared to be an old slit wound.

His fangs were jagged and large, similar to a vampire’s with some of them missing. He had a slight overbite with his fangs pointing inwards. His appearance was intimidating and Cielast didn’t dare to move a step forward.

“It seems as though someone had wandered into my cave. Who goes there?”his voice was crisp and clear as if he was talking directly to her. Her horns spiked up and she backed away with a whimper.

Who is he? The guardian of the Deathseeker?The thoughts scrambled her mind as she stared directly into his eyes of which were closed. He seemed to be blind, which would explain why he didn’t know what she was.

“Hello?”his voice cracked with despair and his snout tilted forward. He leaned towards the hallway, being held back by the chains. They rattled beneath his talons as he sniffed the air.

“H-hi.” She whispered softly, her voice barely echoing off the sides of the wall. She slunk to the ground, slowly backing up as his closed eyes narrowed.

“Don’t be afraid, I won’t harm you,”He assured, almost as if he was picking the thoughts out of her head. She gulped as her heart began to beat even faster.

A silence began to cave in on them. Thoughts raced through Cielast’s mind as she crept closer to the exit, hoping he wouldn’t notice. Her eyes shut tight as she breathed deeply.

He leaned closer to her as if he was observing every single movement. It terrified her to the core and she felt in danger, her legs trembling as she tucked her wings behind her back.

She coiled her tail around herself and muttered something under her breath.What if he’s dangerous? Or even a necromancer? That’d explain why he could sense her fear and detect her movements with his eyes closed.

He took a deep breath and swayed his trapped tail from side to side, the chains rattling against the board. His large, torn wings spread weakly beneath the weight of the wood, the bones seemingly cracked.

He sighed deeply, his nostrils flaring. He had an expression of pain across his face as if he had been trapped under this mountain for a millennia.

“Are we just going to sit in silence for an eternity?”he asked, his talons extending. It seemed as though he was about to break out of his prison in an instant. She kept her distance, her talons kept close to herself.

“Now, tell me why you’re here.”He leaned forwards to hear her better, his shoulders raised.

She whimpered quietly and spoke, “I… I was just trying to find an artifact.”

His brow raised as his forked, black tongue slithered from his mouth like a serpent.“Oh? Which one?”

“T-the Deathseeker…” she admitted, slowly backing away with her tail coiled around herself frightfully. She could swear his eyes were slowly opening and they seemed to give off a dim light.

“I know exactly where that is.”He nodded, his tail flicking up like a scorpion’s, but it was weighed down from the chains he had. The dim lights of his eyes suddenly vanished as his eyes closed once again.

Cielast’s feelings were bubbling and her eyes stared in desperation,can I trust him? I mean, I guess it’s my only choice to bring my mother back… the other caves are empty…

“W-will you tell me?” she asked, expecting that he’d deny it and keep its location a secret.

He took this thought into consideration and his brow raised again,“Hmm… Under one condition.”

She listened closely, approaching his board on all four legs, she observed his every move and he did the same. “W-what?”

“Set me free from these chains, my dear Cielast. I will show you its location and we can defeat Azure once and for all.”His voice echoed through her skull and she gasped and backed up against the wall.

What? How does he know my name?That was just creepy, she couldn’t trust him at all. “How do you know who I am?!” she barked at him furiously, her eyes narrowing.

“I can speak to the dead… Now, if you want to bring your mother back to life, I plead you to break these chains.”He held out his talons in front of him with a convincing grin, his shoulders shrugging.

Cielast took a deep breath and nodded slowly.This is my only chance at getting my mother back.

“All right,” She exhaled and approached him swiftly, her wing brushing against his. Her talons extended as she slashed her claws against the metal chains and they clanked, clattering to the floor.

She backed away slowly as the ground rumbled beneath them. Everything went silent for a few moment as she stared at him blankly. Nothing seemed to happen for a while and she felt as if she had done all this for nothing.

The dragon cackled a distorted laugh and shook off the rest of the chains, seemingly growing larger.

Fins sprouted from his back and horns started to jut from his head, spikes lining down his back. She gasped and fell to the ground, backing up to the wall, an expression of fear washing over her.

“Heh, do you have any idea of what you just did?”he scoffed and his talons extended, sending a large roar throughout the cavern.

His eyes then snapped open, a dim red light bouncing off the walls. He laughed like a maniac again and pushed his talons deep into the stone, leaving large claw marks. His eye sockets flared with large purple flames as a devious grin awoke from his face.

Cielast crept close to the wall, her heart roaring against her chest as she was short of breath. T-the poem... it’s real...

Suntrap was free… and it was all because of her.

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