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Rated: 13+ · Chapter · Fantasy · #2203613
Official prologue for book 1 of my novel. pre-final needing review. Length of short story.
“I don’t trust them.”

The battle-armored red dragon whom was plated for war spoke blunt while gazing to another wearing nothing but a ruby bracelet. Sapphire eyes met cyan as the two looked upon each other.

“Sarenala you don’t trust anyone… You however are naught far should events go astray.”

Fierya replied as thoughts of excited anxiety filled her mind while she turned to overlook the open plains. High above the darkened night sky was the twin moons full and bright with gleaming stars that stretched the horizon. There was a light and warm wind that ruffled her medium-length mane which was neatly groomed from head to shoulders. In silence behind in what appeared to be a temporary camp laid ten Infernus clad in armor similar to Sarenala; each bearing the royal guard insignia to their left shoulder side. Each alert and quiet watching the two that spoke.

“And I won’t hesitate to take action should the need arise. …Go, before I decide to not let you.”

By the tone of Sarenala’s voice it was clear the distaste of the unfolding events this Fierya knew; regardless it had to be done. With a dip of her head, Fierya smiled soft before turning away towards the field.

“I will be back soon, worry naught.”

With assurance spoken she walked away from the encampment in which they laid claim for the night. Having chosen upon a small hillside from the north has given Sarenala some comfort to have a vantage point to watch overhead. The faintest glimpse of other encampments could be seen in each direction; from the south to the east and west. All were prepared for the night to arrive. It would be a bit of a walk to the center of the neutral grounds declared however Fierya had no complaint. A few minutes flight and keen eyesight away from all campgrounds was reasonable she thought to uphold a gathering of such importance. Arriving to the destination, she saw there to be small colored banners of plain color circling the directional compass, as if in place for seating arrangements. Facing northward was a ruby red banner standing only four feet. Upon examination Fierya saw it was painted-silk attached to a thin carved wooden post. The concluding thought of time well spent into this gathering was interrupted however as the sound of approaching paw-steps picked up to her ears. Gazing with anticipation, there seen momentarily from the south-east was the sight of a silvery dragon. Seen by the moon glow was thin golden-metal plating covered the joints of his massive thick feathery wings as he approached towards the silver banner. Fierya felt her heart pump a bit with excitement and nervousness, about to speak herself until the voice of the silvery one spoke out.

“Oh, hello and well met! You must be the Infernus dragonqueen? I am Silventen Airivin, Dragonlord of the Arius!”

Silventen introduced himself with a warm tone as metallic eyes gazed towards Fierya. Slowly seating herself comfortably, she replied in a shyer soft tone.

“I… am Fierya Skyheart… Privileged to meet you, Arius Dragonlord. You are whom arranged this eventful night of diplomacy?”

She questioned with curiosity as she reflected in thought the day not long ago the summoning for this night to meet with the other leaders.

“It is a pleasure to meet you Fierya! Indeed, I’ve spent all dawn preparing this as camps were starting to settle not far from here. I’ve sent only the best of the Arius to reach the elements and thankfully my summoning was heeded.”

A low contented sigh escaped Silventen as he slowly rolled his wing shoulders as if to ease the muscles. It was common knowledge that the Arius were the best and most frequent fliers however that must of meant they also got the most wing-sore. The thought caused a giggle to escape.

“Long flight?”

She couldn’t help but ask as well to pass some time. A slight grin crossed Silventen’s expression as she asked, nodding his head.

“Yes, it has been. Flying for long durations do that however I couldn’t imagine some of the travel times for the wingless. I sometimes feel bad.”

Reflecting on that thought, Fierya nodded silently. It was equal distance for most however it did wander her mind to those without wings having to traverse the land. It was necessary though for the invited to manage their own travel arrangements. Before a response could be uttered; a soft almost slippery gentle voice in half sarcasm spoke out.

“Wingless such as I, do you pity? It is not all that bad.”

There from the west approached a deep oceanic blue dragoness with smooth almost rubbery like hide over her body. Thin webbings between paws and frills along her neck between horns were clearly seen as she joined to settle down beside the westward blue banner. Fierya couldn’t help but feel uneased as the water element was present.

“Apologizes if any offense, none was meant but mere fact of thought. If we may await the rest, we can then formally introduce ourselves.”

Silventen rumbled out having spoken while the watery dragoness glanced over Fierya with curiosity. Only a dip of head was signaled for acknowledgement as silence awkwardly crept in the night. It was out of respect that they had but wait for everyone to arrive. The silence did not last long. Momentarily following was slight rumbling vibrations upon the very earth itself from the east as an earthy brown heavily scale-plated dragon approached. No wings upon his back as jagged rough scales flowed down his body. He spoke no words as he sat in position of the brown banner eastward while his gaze watched along the watery dragoness with distaste. One by one they came. From the north-west arrived an icy-cyan dragoness with her wings already folded. with strides of pride in her walk forth with her head held high. Fierya snorted upon the sight of the icy ones’ display however commented nothing for she knew the act would die down soon enough. That was five out of nine she thought. The silence was a mutual acknowledgement of awaiting everyone before proceeding with any conversations. That however didn’t stop the glances between with opinionated feelings. From opposite directions the sound of flapping was heard approaching from the southwest and northeast. Landing moments apart was a forest green scaled dragoness and a golden bright dragon whom both took their respective positions in the now crudely formed circle. Shifting in place to get comfortable, Fierya gazed along the gathered dragons. The tension only seemed to grow as silence continued.

“Where is she…”

Silventen finally broke the silence remarking low in wonder, his gaze towards the south.

“Mayhaps the Abyssius will not show?”

The watery dragoness questioned in concern with a tilt of her head.

“It wouldn’t surprise me if the Dragonqueen decided against coming despite this declared diplomatic emergency. Typical of the shadow to hide.”

The golden dragon retorted with a low snort. Fierya couldn’t help but voice in positive tune her own thought.

“There is reason perhaps she is but delayed?”

Before there was an answer it was thus heard wings from the south approaching. The thud of landing nearby lightly vibrated the ground as the gathered dragons all gazed to see the shadowy dragon step closer. Silventen sighed contently.

“Ah, Dragonqueen Shafa—”

His voice cut short as there was noticed the deep jagged plate-scales of a male along with vivid ruby eyes that quietly scanned the surrounding. With wings folded the dragon stood a distance from the gathering. A wave of shock hit the nerve of all as for not only was he not whom they were expecting but also what was present so boldly visible attached to a custom chest armor plating. There center-socketed was a pulsating twilight hued gem that radiated a powerful air.

“He… carries the Shadow-Diamond! How bold is that to wander with what we protect most sacred!”

The icy dragon exclaimed in shocked awe as the rest stared upon the black dragon with a mix of silent expressions. Only then did Silventen stand to speak up.

“I… take it you are here on behalf of Dragonqueen Shafadea? Forgive the confusion and shock but by duty sacred why by Azuren do you bring so open with you the gem?”

Taking a deep breath, the black dragon exhaled sharply, rumbling low. There was a pain in his eyes as he gazed to all before looking straight to Silventen. Clearly by expression he was anticipating a need of explanation.

“I am Highborne Dragonlord Skulblaken Abysiax, forth generation. I represent the Abyssius… What is left of it. My mother is dead, and I carry the element to protect it with my life than left in ruins unguarded.”

As those last words were uttered, a piercing gaze of venomous hatred was shot to the golden dragon. A quiet before the storm as the claim took the gathered dragons with shock and disbelief.

“Dead...? How!? My envoy did report devastating territorial damage, but I could scarcely have imagined this.”

Silventen asked with seeming genuine concern though a sharp retort was given in response while holding the glare to the golden dragon.

“Why don’t you ask Glyasial what happened… His kin think it so righteous to lay claw upon innocence and cause destruction in their views of purity.”

As Skulblaken accused Glyasial; he rose and growled lowly.

“You accuse me and the Diveneous as danger to innocence? Watch your tongue with what you know not the whole. The last encounter we had was well over a hundred fifty years ago.”

It was defensive by the tone. That did not ease Skulblaken as he then laughed deep and low; a pained rumble of laughter while his claws gouged the earth with tension. It was a struggle to keep calm as pain and sorrow filled his eyes as if verged to tear up, yet he refrained.

“Say what you will murderer… However… the point of this acclaimed gathering is not for me or you but a matter of supposed urgency so may we start already?”

There was discomfort and impatience in Skulblaken’s tone as he slowly eased himself to sit where he stood a short distance away. Silventen while still risen, spoke out before any other remarks could be made.

“Yes, let us begin formally with introductions. We will start with the Vienous going around the circle since Skulblaken has started us.”

The green dragon bowed her head, rising momentarily to speak out.

“I am Vythia Forthia, Dragonqueen of the Vienous.”

Seating herself, one by one in clockwise rotation of the circle the others followed suit to introduce.

“Aquria Sircia, Dragonqueen of the Aquarius.”

“Icyeira Shivria, Dragonqueen of the Glaecius!”

The gathered dragons looked to Fierya in expectation and curiosity as she thus rose, heart thudded in nervous excitement.

“I am Fierya Skyheart… Dragonqueen of the Infernus.”

“Glyasial Divenial, Dragonlord of the Diveneous.”

“…Vrokarth Sanvalx… Dragonlord of the Erathus.”

All seated, they turned their gaze to Silventen who rose to speak.

“And I am Silventen Airivin, Dragonlord of the Arius. We unfortunately couldn’t reach the Electraeus to join us, so we will make do with the majority of us. I first thank you all for the time to heed this gathering amidst times of mistrust and hostility… But I do assure it is indeed urgent of a matter.”

Fierya listened with full attentive focus as did the rest of the dragons, clearly wondering expressions seen as then the voice of Vythia spoke out.

“What could be great of need that must bring us all amidst the war we be in to each one self?”

Nodding to herself, Fierya pondered her thoughts knowing that the great elemental war was still in effect and trust with each other was at an all-time low. The fact that all of the leaders gathered today was historical and a chance she thought; a chance of trust rising.

“I assure you all what brought the urgency is well worth due, for you see it is not each one of us who should be threatened by each other but a threat we have overlooked that upon investigations of mine kin realize the start of our war was by this very threat I bring up this night!”

Low murmuring amongst each of the dragons echoed out before Icyeira spoke out in question.

“And what threat is this we all overlook?”

Silence followed the question as all attention focused on Silventen… Awaiting his answer as if the weight of their time and patience rested on his answer.

“In short… Humans. You all know the Arius for our research and flight and we have over the years took an interest and watch in the creatures whom roam and threaten us, be it the wildkin or the savages in their warcamps. In light of this studious view we have acknowledged these humans were not native to our lands. Since the Dragonbounds fall we have only blamed each other for trusting them yet never have we looked beyond the sights of our disputes!”

Silventen paused and looked amongst the gathered dragons who listened with full focus. It was Vrokarth who spoke during the pause.

“Nuisances they have been… digging and taking the stone and metals of the ground. For what known not.”

That statement only rose more words to rise from the others as Vythia spoke out.

“I can relate the annoyance for the forests’ weep their trees cut more often than most creatures… The humans … built dwellings of settlement close to Vienous territory.”

This only started more banter as the dragons discussed amongst each other though uncertainty seemed to follow as none could see yet how more than a nuisance the humans were but a threat? This very question echoed out as Skulblaken growled out.

“While they are numerous and testing boundaries… How are these smaller creatures a threat to us?”

Silventen raised his wings as if a queue to silence the banter, calling out.

“Everyone! To answer Skulblaken I have brought an object along explanation…”

Stepping off to the side, Silventen walked off the distance only to seemingly pick up an object with his maw that was laying in the grass… bringing back what appeared to be a large ballista bolt of pure metal. The tip was razor-bladed sharp of an arrow while the shaft was hallowed metal. Slowly he placed it within the middle of the circle for all to see, remarking out.

“This… was used by humans whom launched it from some… creation at one of my kin during flights and studies of their settlement to the center of the land here. By grace it missed and was collected for examination. They attacked us with no declaration or warning.”

Quiet murmurs escaped the dragons who examined and looked at the bolt. Only did the Vrokarth step closer to lay a paw upon the shaft, feeling down the metal as he rumbled deep and low. His affinity to the earth element risen curiosity as he thus spoke out.

“…Hallowed steel molded by fire and craft… Dug from the earth gathered and purified. They use the earth as a weapon… As equal their settlements.”

Releasing his paw, Vrokarth sat back though seemed thoughtful with annoyance crossing his muzzle. Everyone grew silent as Aquria then spoke out in question.

“So they attack us on sight, what do you propose that needs bring us all together? Easily can we defend ourselves.”

The statement was true enough as the others’ nodded their heads. It was simple enough to defend oneself they believed. Silventen took a moment to collect his words to be spoken, before then with a deep breath, spoke.

“While true one can defend, the point be that we are not each others’ enemy! Humans by their own actions have caused our war to start… henceforth we should not be fighting one another! It is why I hereby propose an end to the elemental war by diplomacy… In hopes by to start by allowing a chosen ambassador from each ones’ own to travel to the other territories to learn and make peace!”

It was the bold declaration of intent. The matter of urgency and proposal that would require each leader to agree upon. Shocked expressions crossed the maws of the others as most shook their heads. Only a few seemed to quietly nod. Skulblaken however growled out shaking his head as he stood up speaking aloud defensively.

“No! I do not want any to step paw nor wing in what belongs to the Abyssius, especially any Diveneous! Ambassador or not none is welcomed… My home is not for visitation.”

The rejection caused surprised expressions to gaze to Skulblaken. Gazes he averted to look upon.

“Skulblaken… Do you think you are the only hesitant and untrusting? Why must you deny what can be the end of pointless battle amongst each of us kin? I, for one want this war and hostility amongst us all to end! To work together and enjoy what we have! Is that too much to hope for?”

The gathered dragons now held their gaze to Fierya as she spoke out gazing to Skulblaken, cyan eyes meeting ruby red ones. She challenged him by her words. Before Skulblaken replied, the watery tone of Aquria spoke out.

"Bold words from the daughter of a traitorous king... Does the courage to manipulate run within thy line?"

A sharp jab drove into Fierya's heart. She feared this would come forth mentioned. Low mutters from others rumbled out.

"I am naught a manipulator... Only one whom cares in desire for peace yet gained."

She retorted softly with a growl in tone.

“If you understood the pain I’ve endured with my home, you too would surely not allow anyone to come upon what little is left of your own… would you?”

Skulblaken retorted low and then looked to Silventen.

“As much peace sounds agreeable to me, I merely want none staying in my home.”

Fierya bit her lip in thoughtful expression. She didn’t know what happened between the shadow and light but clearly accusations against the Diveneous has been declared openly. That and the mistrusting opinions biased upon her did not help the situation nor her mood. Her heart beat was quickened. The rejection of the Diveneous from Skulblaken stirred a reaction from Glyasial as he stood. His voice declared aloud.

“No right minded Diveneous would want to bother with the Abyssius nor Infernus! Wasting time with those who treat us as enemy and who conspired together! And who knows with the rest of you... I would not trust the Infernus. You all know what happened between HER--”

He pointed a claw at Fierya, looking into her eyes hostility as he resumed.

"Her father both recent and with the breach of the sacred laws crossing blood with the Abyssius! The Ex-queen, HIS--"

He then pointed a paw at Skulblaken.

"His own mother! And now, the children of two traitorous law breaching leaders are here amongst us to discuss matters of peace?!"

Tension flared between the three. Fierya's eyes hardened as her temper rose. Her heart thudded with rage building. How dare she thought. She did not know anything about her father's past aside from rumors.

"Heed mine own words... I was naught even a year when mine father left in so called betrayal. Mine mother slain yes. How can thy hold me as if the sins of his belong to me? Past is as such... I am naught my father. His actions do not steer my path led here today. Equally could I assume such for Skulblaken."

Her cyan eyes almost burned like a wildfire glaring to Glyasial. A final remark spoke.

"Dare to accuse that of past behaviors... Surely thus thy can speak why Skulblaken hates you by own actions declared."

Silence momentarily deafened all. Skulblaken's hardened expression softened as he gazed to Fierya with subtle appreciation before affixing attention to the golden dragon as he spoke his own mind.

“I have every right to declare your kin the bane of mine. This you know. You’ve stated lies and accuse others for deeds not their own. If not for diplomacy I would strike at you myself here and now… But heed this… Peace will never be with monsters’ who slaughter young merciless as too families.”

Glyasial was taken aback as if confused and uncertain how to respond. The accusation of such a title, bane; was a harsh strike to pride. Almost as if cornered from the two, he shook his head and exhaled a deep breath. Recollecting himself, he looked to Skulblaken.

“You both have childish minds to act if innocent yourselves before the others. You accuse the whole of the Diveneous as monsters, yet we are the light that stopped the monsters hiding in the shadows. We retaliated to the crimes. Retribution had its due and you should be thankful to be alive.”

The declaration took the crowd by surprise. Silventen himself spoke out in bewilderment.

“Dragonlord.. Glyasial; you admit claim to the devastation to territory and death of Dragonqueen Shafadea? How… How intense was this attack?”

Skulblaken was trembling, as if struggling to contain himself as his words rasped out in a snarl.

“W…What… Crimes… Did my kin cause… to deserve the horrors… the slaughter… Tell me! What was so devastating to have retaliation on such scale!”

Claws gripped the ground from Glyasial. Body tense. Ready for a fight.

“Full onslaught by the might of the Diveneous army. From reports nothing was spared. I did not order the annihilation itself but it has happened.”

He then looked into Skulblaken’s eyes and in denial mocked out.

“I’d tell you to ask your mother what crimes… Yet she is beyond the living so you yourself say. No confirmation of the death of Shafadea was reported by us if it’s any comfort.”

The other elementals were standing with alert and tension. Not speaking but watching closely. The meeting turned dangerous with revelations of territorial assault. Something not done for countless years.

“Are you maddened?! Throughout the great war nothing as devastating as this has happened for the sake of our sacred duty to protect the balance! One cannot just simply eradicate an element for acclaimed crimes no matter how it is viewed!”

Skulblaken muttered out low and heard.

“…Mothers. Children… young. Old. None was spared… I witnessed it all. Nothing is left. No one has returned. A hundred years and half passed and the territory lay ruined without life but my own. This. Is why I am protective of what remains home.”

Low growls escaped the other leaders as Vythia commented in disgust.

“Sickening… War plagues life but innocence to the claw?”

With all eyes upon Glyasial, there was clear despise in the eyes whom watched.

“Think what you all will. What is done is done. The Diveneous uphold our laws and ways and it matters’ not what outside elements feel upon our action. I do not stand in favor of allowing territorial visitations either. Mind ones’ own affairs will assure no engagement with my kingdom and its forces.”

The threat was clear and passive. Silventen took a deep breath and stepping more center of the circle addressed to all in hopes to divert the tension.

“Glyasial, Skulblaken, Fierya. Everyone… We are not here to fight one another and accuse. Please. I know emotions are strong and the desire for revenge burns however this is not a trialing court for one another. As regretful and horrifying all past may had been, We are gathered tonight in trust of safety with a purpose. To see the greater good moving forth in a new unity along with awareness of a current threat to us all. It would sadden the hope and effort set forth tonight to discuss as leaders. Not enemies. Hold the tongue of accusations as tonight is not the night for war.”

Silventen took a breath in attempt to ease his own subtle trembling. He feared the safety of all should the hostility get any further. Skulblaken’s own trembling steadied as he was breathing deep yet stable. If not for the silvery tongue of the Arius… blows would likely been already laid.

“Let us see where we stand. Those in favour of peace, please raise your paw and declare. This is our chance to secure the safety of our future and our children.”

He was hopeful. Silventen felt his own heart beat strong as he saw the gathered dragons gazing to one another while holding silent. Not long did it take for Fierya to be the first to raise her paw.

“I believe in peace. Take what you will of our kin but the Infernus welcomes it.”

A smile crossed Silventen. Vythia then rose her paw to show the nature dragons were willing.

“As do the Vienous. Tread the forests careful with pure intent and none shall be harmed.”

With head high and a slight taunting grin, Icyeria spoke with sarcasm gazing to Fierya.

“…if the Infernus don’t come all heated… The Glaecius are willing too. Expect cold. And natural slides of ice.”

That remark made Fierya snort yet she refrained from comment. Lastly, Silventen himself raised his paw.

“The Arius welcome those who wish to learn and desire peace.”

It was Aquaria, Vrokarth, Glyasial and –

“…Don’t expect to see much but ruin and destruction. I don’t like visitors to meddle. See for yourself but I wish only to have peace.”

Skulblaken said with eyes lowered but his paw raised. Both Fierya and Silventen were surprised for the change of mind from the shadow leader.

“Consider our homes willing and welcome to you Dragonlord Skulblaken.”

Silventen spoke in attempting comfort before turning his gaze to the others.

“I cannot force you three to change your mind however it gives insight that the hostile no trespassing is in effect as well for the non-present Electraeus. If in time a change of heart happens… It would be most welcomed.”

Glyaisal snorted yet spoke passive.

“The Diveneous needs none but itself. We have what we need. Outsiders remain unwelcome.”

Vrokarth spoke in his deep low rumble.

“…Tentative. Erathus do not care. No threat to us. No threat to you. Visit and be ignored. Endanger… You will be as the stone. Silenced.”

As the last to defend herself, Aquria proclaimed simply.

“Our territory is under a depths of the sea that most would struggle holding breath to even reach the air-filled tunnels of our cavern network. Drown at your leisure.”

It seemed as if progression has been made. History in the making. Time seemed to be passing as slowly in the distance the sunrise peaked the faint horizon.

“Now… If there is any—"

Before Silventen could finish his statement, a weak and fragile voice wailed in quiet lament throughout the dwindling dark.

“Someone… Anyone…”

It was the voice of a human. Dead silence overcame each of the dragons as they looked in the direction of the untranslated voice. The meetings’ location was isolated far from any human village to where no trader nor travelers would go. It was unimaginable for a pathless wanderer to chance upon their obscured location however by chance or fate, one did. Moments passed by… It was silent for mere minutes before than coughing was heard in the distance close by along with the sound of staggering footsteps. There in plain sight approaching in blinded direction with pained effort was a female human. She wore tattered and torn mud-stained linen clothing, her feet bare with a gaze of blue eyes unseeing. Wounds of all sorts of scratches and scrapes covered her body as if she had been torn by branches and bramble. She looked no older than her thirties with long brown hair and average frame. The dragons watched her, half expecting her to approach. Instead where she stood and trembled, she collapsed, speaking with ragged gasps for breath.

“Please… If any… hearted soul… is near…”

Each word that was uttered became more wisped and subtle of a soft, relinquishing tone. Her back was laid upon the soft grass with blinded gaze to the stars with a hazed dreamy look. As she exhaled her breath, she whispered low yet dimly heard to the dragons.

“…My precious…Korvian…”

As her words faded in the wind, her body was still with arms wrapped around her chest seeming to hold something loosely bundled in cloth and clothing. It was with uncertain assumption that the female human had not been aware of the dragons’ ahead that sat grouped. Nor likely any sight by the brief examination of her gaze. It was as if she had wandered blindly in the wilds of rough terrain for some time pleading unheard for help. Help that never came before here and now she fell. There was a pause in speech and action amidst the dragons.

“I will investigate.”

Glyasial broke the silence as the first to step forth slowly with caution. Unchallenged by the others, they only watched as he approached the fallen woman. Lowering his muzzle to sniff along the humans’ body he examined… snorting as a sickening tainted smell was upon the body.

“Hrm… She’s dead. The accursed corruption has tolled its affliction upon her, with death ending her sorrowed suffering.”

He announced momentarily as the realization that some unknown infection has claimed the woman’s life. About to turn to walk back, there was a slight movement that caught Glyasial’s corner of vision.

“What is this..?”

He whispered low to himself as the others’ watched him prod with muzzle along the human’s body. None moved as they observed.

“What is it Glyasial? Does life still bloom upon the dead?”

Vythia spoke out with curious concern as was by her element of nature to hold some concerned care for almost all life. It took Glyasial a moment to respond however as he did, his tone was hesitant.

“The human perished with corruption inflicted upon… In what methods I know naught. Though she carries wrapped a hatchling of hers… free of any taint.”

A child. The woman had with her a child that stirred and started to cry. Glyasial overlooked the child briefly before stepping away back towards the gathering. Once closer, Skulblaken remarked out in a challenging cold tone towards the golden dragon.

“Then why don’t you do what your kin excels at and save it from nature’s course, ending its’ misery? End the child with your claws.”

A challenging mockery of tone was firmly audible in the words as he stared into the eyes of Glyasial. Eyes that pierced like daggers right back into Skulblaken’s blood-red ones.

“I nor any of my kin are one to bring unnecessary harm for we do not act in sheer violence… Unlike what the Abyssius did… true to their darkness and ways until the last. You.”

The statement was calm yet harsh as an emotional cord struck within Skulblaken. His eyes flashed sorrow near tears before hardening with anger… and with such anger then followed a deep low snarl vibrating his throat. Seconds after came a threatening roar as his temper peaked with malice.

“Insolence! For all any know survivors may be roaming and come upon a day we will be stronger of a shadow that can engulf the light! You are not pure! You will be held accountable the blood of the Abyssius by your kin! This… I vow.”

The promise of vengeance hardly seemed to phase Glyasial as he looked into Skulblaken’s eyes. An almost unnatural disrespect and lack of any care.

“And what can the lone feeble surviving child acting leader do against a power beyond his reckoning? Such child that traverses the lands with the shadow-diamond socketed to a chest plate for all to see.”

Stepping up almost face to face, Skulblaken remarked coldly.

“Such child has endured and furfilling his duty protecting the element that had not for my actions escaping with it… Would had been in the hands of your kin.”

With a low whisper, Glyasial sneered.

“In our care the shadow-diamond would never be at risk again. You escaped fate once Skulblaken…”

Leaning in to whisper only for his ears to hear, he spoke.

“…But how long can you hold onto that luck? Nothing is as it seems… One day you’ll know the truth… Be it upon the dawn you die.”

Pulling away he stepped back as Skulblaken just glared and tensed…his body like a coiled spring under pressure. No words were uttered. Fierya saw this in his form. Everything happened almost too fast. She chose to act. Let loose of his anger, Skulblaken roared out with a lunge however with his back turned… Fierya herself lunged forth without warning. Her teeth closed around the tip length of the abyssal black leathery hide. The bite was held as her teeth sank in; tasting drips of blood coating her tongue. The quick action stopped Skulblaken mid-lunge as he yelped out sharply. Salt to the wound she knew it was sensitive at the tail tip for any dragon.

“ARGHH..! My tail! You damned Infernal wyrm of horrid whelps! How dare you--”

Skulblaken roared out in a nerve-stricken pain after insulting her with immature words. He didn’t care how it may have sounded in front of everyone. Preparing to retaliate and confront, he spun around to face Fierya with his tail now curled protectively around his body. A snarl and low growl vibrated. Before another word could be uttered in
confrontation, just as he turned to face the dragonqueen of fire, all he saw was a paw, coming fast and hard.

Smack.

No slash. The sound of Fierya’s strong, tender soft paw hitting against Skulblaken’s cheek of smooth hide was quite loud. The vibrant echo caused birds to fly away from the trees in the nearby distance. Neither response nor retaliation came from Skulblaken. Only dumbfounded and dazed look streaked across his muzzle as he found himself flat on his rump on the ground. Shocked, speechless expressions crossed upon the watching dragons, including Silventen as they were unsure how to react. Glyasial himself snorted while standing where he was, muttering under his breath.

“Pathetic… inches from giving me a reason to end you myself in retaliation yet protected by the fire.”

The others only watched between Skulblaken and Fierya with given space and silence. A faint but well obvious flushed rosy-pink paw mark brightened upon Skulblaken’s face after the bitch-slap Fierya smacked into him. It was quite noticeable which did not help him during the dark hours of night. Naturally the dark allowed Skulblaken to blend with the shadows… however now not only was his presence by the twins’ moonlight; he now had an all too noticeable warm colored bruise.

“I will naught stand nor sit to watch you be foolish to attack the Diveneous giving reason for war and blood here upon this night! Stop and think for once as thy are naught a lonely shunned juvenile in need to prove anything before the others!”

As Fierya spoke aloud, she slowly stepped to Skulblaken’s side; who was still sat down in silent shock. Leaning down closer to him, she whispered in a sweet, almost loving yet threatening tone so that only he could hear.

“Though If you ever call silly names upon me again, dear Skulblaken, wither around others or naught; I will personally with own paws, make you a pink bright dragon with slaps aplenty. Think about it before you try to do something stupid.”

None else heard the words Fierya uttered upon his ear alone.

“I… Hrrh… He… Accuse this… I am done before blood indeed spills…”

Suddenly with no warning after words spoken, Skulblaken lunged upwards leaping into the air. Flapping his wings hard with haste to gain altitude, he roared loud with mixed humiliation and hatred. Steering southward he flew away from them all without looking back. Fierya grinned to herself despite her risen temper, hiding it in as she whispers audibly into the air, so the others heard.

“Bye Skulblaken! Nice meeting you too!”

Glyasial stepped back to the circle, leaving the child to cry as if it was just another animal.

“That was quite a display… Fierya. And now in cowardice he departs.”

That was the last straw. Her anger peaked as her eyes practically glowed in burning fire. Stepping up to Glyasial, she snarled out as her own paw swung to smack him across the maw.

“AND YOU. Whom have been naught but a self-righteous over-glorifying ignorant disrespecting piece of scale that needs learn to humble and see the efforts of peace so blown away by your dignified worthless tail!”

Taking the blow to his cheek with a sturdy stance, he gazed with a cold expression hardened in his eyes. No words responded yet with swift speed, the golden dragon lunged and tackled over Fierya, his paw gripping around her throat with claws firm.

“Do you have a death wish? Assault upon the Dragonlord of the Diveneous. Punishable by death.”

The paw tightened around her throat as she gasped and choked in vained struggles. His strength was clearly overwhelming upon the lightweight female.

“Glyasial! Release her! Or justice will be swift upon your kin united!”

Glyasial held his grip, glancing to Silventen who demanded the release. The others were staring with judgement and observation.

“Nature has wrath. Do not tempt life.”

Vythia spoke in defense.

“As does the chills of the ice that can freeze and shatter. Release her.”

Icyeria spoke in defense of her nemesis element.

“…The earth will soak more with blood in the sands should you soak blood here now.”

The low rumble of Vrokarth spoke. All of the elementals seemed to threaten the safety of not just Glyasial, but his home territory.

“She attacked me. I was only retaliating as within my rights.”

He remarked as his claws eased but still held Fierya down. Her heart was pounding, her ears tucked and eyes nearly watered. Shivering in fear, her gaze glanced northward as the silhouette was seen lunging into the air approaching.

“Glyasial, from the sounds of it you risk war and territorial assault to your home from not one but several elements dare you lay harm to Fierya. You declared hostile responsibility for the Abyssius; you are the only unwilling throughout to have peace. You are displaying a threat to all here witnessed. I won’t ask again. Let her go before –”

A roar echoed out as in plated golden armor, Sarenala came tackling into Glyasial knocking him off Fierya, wrestling with the leader for a moment before hopping off him.

“You dare lay pinned my queen and hold in danger?! King or not… I will rip your throat out if you even THINK of taking a single step closer!”

Glyasial was caught off guard being knocked off, rolling himself up he tensed and snarled at Sarenala.

“You assault a Dragonlord and threaten as well intrude on a gathering above your rank…”

Sarenala smirked a wild look, body ready for a fight as she laughed.

“I don’t give a flap or yelp who you are but you just became a royal pain in the rear. I am High-general Sarenala Pouncila, and you will not lay pinned my queen. Begone!”

Glyasial looked to Sarenala, then to Fierya and the rest as if this intrusion was welcomed. When nothing was said in his defense, he grimaced with anger glaring to both Infernus.

“Sarenala… I know your lineage. Feralius. Very well. This meeting is done. When next we meet… You best pray it is not at your territory door with a force able to kill.”

He turned and walked a few steps before lunging into the air to fly away into the distance. To Fierya’s surprise… No guard or intervention came from the Diveneous encampment… That though didn’t make her feel better as she shivered.

“…Sarenala, I apologize you had to intervene but thank you. The loyal bonds of kin need be strong to overcome unsettling times.”

Silventen addressed dipping his head as she looked at him.

“I don’t care for this political nonsense of dispute nor wish to involve beyond my duty. The threat is gone, so I will await my queen. Best of days.”

She gave a stern glare to Fierya before walking off with a few glances back.

“Blessed be a protective support… You are lucky to have and that no blood was spilled tonight…”

Icyeria spoke soft looking in concern as the adrenaline fueled the night. Fierya was still shaken having been caught vulnerable… Had Sarenala not intervened she feared the worse. As promised her childhood friend always had her back. Silventen stepped forth and taking a deep breath to calm his own racing heart, proclaimed.

“I thank you all for the trust to come here and willingness to answer the summoning for diplomacy. It has been an honor to speak with you all at least this once and to make such progression with the future. Despite the… hostility and crisis averted… We can look towards a brighter dawn. With Skulblaken and Glyasial already parted, there is little more to accomplish tonight.”

He bowed his head as Fierya then glanced to each one, whispering in a soft shaken but sincere voice.

“…Thank thy all for defending me. Truth I did strike with nay claw, I value the support.”

Aquria grinned faintly to herself as she responded.

“In fairness he deserved it coming. A slap however doesn’t equal to a death sentence. Let alone to a female underwhelming in strength compared.”

It was comforting in some form that the other elementals saw it justified. Silventen however took voice in parting words.

“The night is upon its end… And a journey home for us all awaits. May we all meet in brighter days unified with the wars past us. Until such day… Best of wishes for home and kin.”

With the dismissal given they all stood. One by one the others left after a bow of head. Fierya was the last remaining alongside Silventen as he gave her a soft smile.

“Honored to have met you, Fierya. May one day our shared view of peace be made reality. The Infernus are welcomed amongst Arius.”

He spoke soft gentle turning to leave her there alone.

“As is the Arius amongst us.”

She whispered into the air. With a low sigh, she stretched her cramped and sore wings as she stood in preparation for the walk back to the small encampment Sarenala awaited. There would definitely be questions to discuss for the few days journey home. She was just about to depart when the feeble crying nearby started again. It had been silent for the duration of the hostility of events. The crying stopped her in place. It took only a moment for her to remember and realize it came from the female human’s corpse.

“A mother she was…With a young now abandoned to die…Why bring thy child to fall with you? I would naught have done so in such ail suffering...”

She mumbled towards the fallen woman with a soft snort in disgust. That disgust shifted then into debated thought. The others all left with little to no regards for the child still there. As if some lesser animal to be claimed by nature. The child was obviously going to die if deserted and untended in this dislocated place. Just that thought made Fierya feels sick to her stomach.

“I won’t let an innocent young die… Neither mine nor one abandoned. I am better than the rest of the elements…”

It was decided. Slowly approaching the body, she saw there loosely in limp hands cradled in cloth wrapping the child. A young boy with light blue eyes. He appeared less than few months over just a year old. It took a moment for Fierya to recall the name the biological mother spoke.

“There there, Korvian… I’m here little one… Mum is here…”

It sounded unique to Fierya. The name was suiting. The thought came to mind that it would be more meaningful to start referring herself to the child as his mother. She knew that no human nor dragon naturally could understand each other; with the exception of the descendants from the dragonbound order centuries past now fallen. The ancient order now was just a legend. One Fierya believed as explanation for her own gift to hear the words of man. Rumors were told how her family lineage entwined with the fallen order… Yet beyond rumors was accusations upon her father that led the fall. That very betrayal contributed to the elemental war Fierya feared deep down. Lost momentarily in reflection, she was taken by surprise when the child stopped crying upon the soft voice spoken. Gazing upwards at Fierya, the boy stared with silent awe. Was it that he heard her voice instead of a growl like all the other humans? It puzzled her and left with only speculations. Just who was his parents? It didn’t matter at this point. All the better for teaching should he be able to listen. With a soft smile she lowered her neck to carefully pick up the child with the cloth in her maw to gently carry while starting then to hum sweetly and soothing for him. With a secure and gentle hold she walked steadily northward back to the encampment where Sarenala awaited. Regardless of what the feral general may think, her mind was made up. No matter how any Infernus may react the decision became final. Her lips curved into a short smirk in thought while mentally preparing how to address her guards on the way home. Upon approach to the encampment the silent guards were on alert standing. They gazed in surprise. One opened a maw as if to inquire why a human child bundled was carried. No words came out. Not with the confident glare in her eyes that dared to challenge them to question their queen. Sarenala herself almost seemed to groan as if knowing all too well the personality of her childhood friend. Only one word was uttered.

“…Truly?”

Spoken as if already known what Fierya intended to do. To bring home the human child. The concern was obvious as Fierya did not know how to raise a human like a human would. So thus it would be. She would teach him as a dragon’s child.

“Yes. Truly.”

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