Llewellyn tilted his head back to a point that I could hear him speak. "Where do you want me to drop you off, Your Highness?" he asked.
I grinned. There was no point in telling him yet again that there was no need to use my Elven title on the island. He insisted on using it anyway, out of respect for me.
“Thalion and I discussed my role in the battle last night, and we agreed that I would stay back, up on the cliffs. I've been practicing my telekinetic abilities, and I have a pretty good range now. I can pluck any evil critter out of the air, and plunge it into the salty brine of the ocean, where I can hold it down till it drowns. It's a slow process I admit, but I'm up for it."
I could hear Llewelyn's loud chuckle waft back to me on the wind, which brought something else back with it - the smell of brimstone, the shouts of fury, and the unmistakable aura of death! I pulled myself further up the dragon's neck, so that I could see what was happening above the rhythmic flapping of his wings. What I saw, terrified me to the very marrow of my bones.
Shanahan the wicked wizard, stood on the shore in full sorcerer's robes and regalia. I thought the pointed hat was a bit much, but the man never did have much taste. He held his twisted staff above his head and shouted incantations into the sun, as it rose slowly over the ocean. The island's army stood in formation on the sand, complacent and steady as they waited for the enemy to appear.
A rift appeared in the air several hundred feet above the water. It was small at first, but it widened like the hungry snout of a shark as it rushed in for the kill. The sound behind the hole in the sky was deafening. A huge creature of indeterminate origin flew through first. It had black twisted wings whose size had been increased with what looked like the contents of Frankenstein's gruesome footlocker of body parts.
It screeched and pummeled the air all around it, as though it was having a seizure of some sort. As the gap in the barrier widened, more creatures joined the first one, who was obviously their leader. Something about the lead creature bothered me, then it hit me. Its aura was familiar to me. Oh no .. oh noooooo ... it was Ash! I didn't know what to do. Llewellyn suddenly made a swift turn toward the cliffs that nearly threw me off his back. I hung on tight, and screamed in his ear.
"Don't take me to the cliffs, I can see better from up here. You can protect me with your dragon fire, and I can slow the onslaught somewhat with my telekinesis. Please Llewellyn," I pleaded. He tilted his head back at me.
"I can't, my princess. I've got to get you out of danger," he shouted, then continued on toward the cliffs. Just then Galen joined us, with Thalion on his back. He flew up beside us.
"If I'm going to die, I want to die near you. I don't want to stay in the back and worry about what's happening to you. Please, my beloved, let me make this stand against evil by your side. I'm as well trained as you are," I told Thalion through our mental link. Tears streamed down my face as I reached out to him.
"If I say no, you'll only come after me. It makes sense that we'll both be stronger as a team," he agreed.
I looked back to the breach in the island's barrier. Van Helsing's forces must have arrived on the other side in some sort of airborne vessel. Whoever released the creatures into the breach in midair, obviously didn't realize that some of the evil horde couldn't fly. It would have been hilarious watching several ugly things fall straight down, if it wasn't for the fact that there were many more behind that could fly.
Ash was in the forefront, but his behaviour was irrational. The creatures that surrounded him for guidance were flung away from him. Some were thrown with such force that they fell into the ocean. He appeared to be on some mission of his own. I feared he might be trying to find Morgan. Thalion threw some sort of spell at him that made him hang stationary above the land, but it didn't last long. Thalion knew through my telepathic link with him that the creature was Ash.
He flew inland, away from the shore and the cliffs. Most of the horde that were able to get through the breach, stayed to fight off the barrage of fiery arrows that were headed their way. I worried about Morgan, but I knew Ash wouldn't kill her, he couldn't. There was still a thread of love in his aura, and I knew it all belonged to Morgan.
My thoughts of following him to protect Morgan was taken out of my hands when a segment of Van Helsing's forces branched off and headed toward the cliffs, where we were. Thalion and I on our dragon steeds were caught up in an aerial battle that was as exciting as it was potentially lethal. Thalion had just enough time to perform a spell that wound strands of magically treated ropes around each of us to bind us safely to our mounts.
Through the smoke and noise of clashing teeth and dragons' roar, I fought back with all that was in me. At one point I warned Thalion through our link, that I was going to fly right at the cliffs, then pull straight up as we approached. He followed my lead and our dragons obeyed us if if they too were part of our mental link. We flew straight up, minutes away from crashing, but the creatures behind us where neither as smart or as lucky. At least a hundred of them crashed into the granite bluffs, one after the other. If the stone walls of the cliffs didn't kill them, the fall to the ground below finished them off.
And so the battle for all that was good and right in life, continued ...