Chapter 7

Ladon hurried to the gate where Ryuu and Tanith were already waiting. They were looking at the bottom of the mountain. I glanced down as well to see a man from the village. I couldn't guess who he was from this distance.

As the man came closer, my heart sped up. Fear consumed me as my mind raced through the possibilities of his being here. They might have found me innocent, or another death occurred. Maybe they regretted sending me to the dragons. They could have even-

"What have you come here for human," Ryuu said. A roar started in his throat. The man looked up with wide eyes, as did I. It was Peter's older brother, Markus. He traveled around most of the time and didn't stay in town for very long. He must have come the day of my trial.

"I have come to see if the witch child is still alive." Ladon and Coda hid me from Markus's prying eyes. I looked for any emotion showing in those eyes, of course, none was there. It was against our rules to feel, or at least shown, about a witch. If someone showed any emotion about a witch at all, they were accused as well.

Even if he did care about me, I would never know. My heart sped up again. This time though, it was from sadness instead of hope. That hope had become bruised and slaughtered by the expressionless mask worn by my best friend's brother.

"You are mistaken human, no witch dwells near this area."

Markus finally noticed me, "that girl is the witch. Why hasn't she died yet? Did she make a deal for her life? Perhaps another death for the village below?"

"She is no witch. We dragons know witches better than most. She is a normal human girl. She has not died because I see no good reason for her death yet." Markus bowed to the dragon before turning back around.

"Very well, I will inform the village of her lively status." After Markus went back to the village, I walked around the castle's grounds. I was surprised that Ryuu told them I wasn't a witch. Did that mean I really wasn't, or was he protecting me for some reason? I watched a giant shadow crawl over me.

"Dragons also do not lie. It is against our code."

"Dragons have a code of honor? I thought only knights had those."

Ryuu snorted, "Who do you think the knights took it from?" I thoughts about the question.

"I don't know, I guess I assumed they just made it up. That is very interesting. Would you tell me more about dragons?"

I heard a yawn, "maybe another day. I am tired right now. I will leave you with this, dragons are nocturnal by nature but we can switch back and forth as easily as humans do." I thanked Ryuu and continued my walk while he went to take a nap. I continued walking around until it started raining. The sky turned a dark grey and it started to post. There was no warning from the rain. By the time I made it back to the house, I was completely soaked.

Ladon opened the door with a smirk, "didn't see the clouds?"

"There were no clouds!" He let me in and I was standing in the living room dripping water onto the carpet. He shook his head and said that if I stayed here long enough I would start to understand the weather patterns.

I hurried to my room and changed into a dry dress; Tanith had given me some of hers. As I was wringing out my hair, a bright flash lit up the room. Peering g out the window I noticed the rain was coming down even faster. Thunder shook the house as I peered out the window in amazement. It hadn't rained for a while, our town was about to ban all fire, and now it was raining hard enough the river would flood surrounding farms. Another flash came and I here the door open.

"You are the first girl I have ever seen not jump when thunder comes, even Tanith gets scared. Instead, you are staring out the window like an excited puppy.” I laughed at Ladon and turned back to the window. Thunder had never scared me. Sure, it was loud, but that was made it interesting. The patter of rain on the ground accompanied by a boom of thunder was the perfect lullaby for me. While everyone in the village hurried to make sure nothing was destroyed by the rain, I was sleeping up in the hay with the chickens, sometimes Peter too. He never slept too much but was fascinated by the sounds.

Ladon’s face turned blank for a moment before sending me a worried look. He told me to stay in the house and hurried out into the rain. I watched him from the window; he was headed for the castle. I wondered what could have been so important he had to run out into the rain. After an hour, I gave up waiting for him and turned to my bed. I think it was time for a nap of my own.

***

You don't think she should be told. Another child was found dead; doesn't the girl have a right to know?" Three dragons sat restless in the deepest part if a forest. Beside them lay a body of a child, around ten. It had four deep scratches along the length of its body. The child lived three villages over from where Amani lived.

"It has the same marks the girl described when explaining what happened to her sister, maybe she should be told," the purple dragon looked at the child again before turning away; her head swam whenever she looked at the body.

"Do you think she really needs more to bother her? Why don’t we try to figure out who caused this first? It was obviously a dragon, but what dragon would kill a human for no reason at all? It wasn't even eaten. No dragon owns this land either." A mighty red dragon glared around the forest. It was his job to protect the nearby villages and he had already let two humans die from a rebel dragon. He couldn't understand why he didn't notice the bodies earlier, or the dragon that was here before them. He roared in frustration before another dragon, silver with age, came into the opening.

"Now is not the time to be careless. The last one killed was a girl, this one a boy. They have never talked, or met one another. I cannot find any connection between them. Someone must be killing randomly."

The red dragon shook his head, it didn't feel right. There had to be a reason. He just had to find it.

"Do not get personally involved in this one Ryuu. I understand you feel like this is your fault but none of the elders felt the presence of a dragon either. Something is wrong. There was nothing you could do to stop it. Just focus on trying to find a connection. We can predict the killing easier then." Ryuu nodded at the silver dragon and flew off. Two dragons followed silently behind him.

The End

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