“There had been another death.”
“Who was it this time?” All was silent in the forest; everything was waiting for an answer.
“A boy, from your human’s village.” The elder looked at Ryuu, watching his expression.
Ryuu‘s eyes narrowed into slits, “That makes three deaths so far,” He growled. The dragon should have been found by now. Why can’t anyone sense it?
The elder shifted, “That would make four, actually. A dragon was found dead last night, by our cave. He was found the same way as the humans, scratch marks across the body but nothing eaten. Not even vultures will touch them.” Ryuu roared at the elder. He paced back and forth in the small clearing. All of the other dragons could feel his anger, it was almost paralyzing.
“They must have something in common. The first death was the girl’s sister. We should start with her.”
The elder looked up sharply, “You know the rules, Ryuu. The girl is not allowed to know. Besides, she does not trust you. How do you think she will take the information? Didn’t she already try to run away once? What makes you think it will not happen again? What if she tells the other humans?”
“Do not talk down to me,” Ryuu roared. “I understand the problems, but if they are related to her, she might be able to help. Is our secret really worth the lives? Are we not supposed to be helping them?”
The silver dragon bowed his head, “I am not doing this just to keep the secret. Once the humans find out, there will be many more deaths. Of both our kind, and theirs. Your human must be fully trusted before you tell her. Do not take this lightly.” The dragon leapt off the ground and flew away, barely making a stir in the nearby forest.
Once the silver dragon was gone, a green dragon turned to Ryuu, “Do you really think Amani would tell anyone?”
The red dragon turned, “I do not know, but soon we may have no other choice. For now we will continue to do what we are doing. I do not wish to tell her without the elder’s approval, there would be many consequences if we do.”
“Bow down before princess Amani.” I laughed at Coda and Ladon. Ladon was bowing while trying to push Coda’s head down. He had even weaved together some branches to make a crown. It lay on top of my head perfectly.
I bowed to them, “Thank you, my subjects. You may now rise.” Ladon stood up and pulled the bear closer. He was going to show me around the castle so I would not get lost again. We were at the very top of the castle. I could see the whole mountain from atop the castle. The grounds were bigger than I had originally thought. The castle was surrounded by forests, meadows, tall grass, and even a desert covered area. I had asked how it could have so many different terrains.
Ladon shrugged, “Dragon magic. It does some cool things.” Turning back around, a flash of purple caught my eye. A dragon was chasing something above the forest.
“What is she chasing?”
He turned to watch her, “I would assume a bird.”
Startled, I looked at Ladon, “Why would she be chasing a bird?”
He laughed and I sent him a scowl, “Chasing birds helps to enhance their agility. Birds are so small make three or four twists before a dragon can make one.” I turned back to look, the dragon barely missed any twists the bird took to escape.
Ladon smiled, “All of the dragons here are ton the top in agility. Ryuu is the best, he rarely ever misses.”
Coda suddenly stood up on his hind legs and roared at Ladon. He stood up and roared right back
“You wanna go? We will go.” He tackled the bear and they started rolling around. Once, Coda almost fell off the edge of the castle, but Ladon managed to stop him.
It was an hour before they finished their fight. Ladon sent me a sheepish smile and apologized.
He continued the tour; we went to the east side of the grounds and explored the meadows. They were full of flowers. All the different species were fighting for space. Some of the flowers had grown so tall they went to my knees.
My stomach growled. I wrapped my hands around my waist in embarrassment. A blush heated up my face.
“I guess that means you are hungry. Come on, Ryuu should be eating by now.” I followed behind as he led to the castle.
“There had been another death.”