Chapter 22

“You want us to go up to the dragon castle and rescue Jasmine?” Peter looked at the Elder.

“Yes, if Amani really is with the dragons, you are the few that could possibly convince her to let Jasmine go.” Peter nodded grimly. His eyes showed determination.

“What do you want us to do about Amani,” Stryker stood off to the side.

The Elder stood up, “For now, I think we will leave her alone. She has not caused anyone harm. We will not punish an innocent person.

“That's not what you said at first,” Peter muttered.

“At first, we were being controlled by our panic. We are much calmer now. Watch your tongue Peter, it will get you into trouble. Who taught you to speak out of turn like that.

For the first time that day, Peter smiled, “Only from the best. Being friends with Amani has it's consequences.” The elder nodded, showing off a small smile himself. The village trouble maker had been a soft spot for him, as for everyone. Amani was a person that everyone could love, even a dragon.

“We will leave now. That should get us back in two or three days time.” Everyone agreed with Stryker. They packed the basics and set off into the forest. It would be an easy journey, but no one was sure what they would find at the end. Time was of the essence.

Amani's POV

“Wow this place is so cool! I wish I could have came with you the first time,” I giggled at Jasmine's wide eyes. Every little thing amazed her. Coda was her favorite, as she kept reminding me.

“I bet you do. I need to talk to Ryuu and Ladon, why don't you go play with Coda?” She looked sad.

“I will come and play with you, that way you won't be alone,” I turned around to face Tanith.

Jasmine's eyes turned to face her, “Are you a dragon too?”

Tanith hesitated, “Yes I am.”

“Then you must be the purple one Mani mentioned on the way up here. She said you were very nice. It's nice to meet you. I am Jasmine.” Tanith relaxed and smiled at the bubbly girl. They continued talking all the way to the fields. I was currently on the other side of the castle grounds, under the orange tree. I grabbed a few of the oranges that I could reach and walked back towards the castle.

Ryuu and Ladon were walking around outside. It was a warm day, and no one wanted to waste the warmth falling to the ground. Ryuu was in his dragon form, but Ladon was in his human one. I picked an orange out of my arm and tossed it towards the resting body.

He snatched it out of the air at the last second. Looking at what had been thrown. When he noticed what it was, he gave me a crooked smile.

“I was just thinking about that day actually. Last night's flight wasn't so bad, was it? Oh, and how did Jasmine take to sleeping here last night?”

“I guess not, I still prefer the ground though. Much more steady. She was excited, it took me forever to get her to sleep. Very different from the way I acted.”

“If you are the one flying, it is as steady as ground. Now are you ready? We are going to show you some of the local dragons in human form to see if you recognize any of them.” I nodded at Ryuu and closed my eyes, bracing myself. The images always left me a little dizzy.

I could feel hands rest against my shoulders, assuming they were Ladon's, I let my body relax even more. Colors swirled in my head. They came together to show a man, about twelve, with chestnut colored hair. I shook my head no, and the next image appeared. It was again a negative.

“Ryuu, I think that is enough. She probably needs to take a break.” I had gone through about twenty images, none of them seemed even the least bit familiar. I opened my eyes to see Ryuu right in front of me. His black and red hair moved slightly in the wind. I let out a scream and took a step back.

His eyes glittered in amusement. “Is something the matter?”

“No, I just wasn't ready for that. I thought it was Ladon who was doing the images. And I haven't seen your human form as much as Ladon's.”

Ladon shrugged, “He is better at it than I am, and the human form makes it easier to control.” Ryuu shook his head.

“You are as jumpy as a rabbit.”

I scowled at him, “I am not. You just surprised me.” I sighed and looked around. Trying to concentrate on people I had met. How could you tell if someone was a dragon? They didn't seem any different. And I couldn't think of anyone who would be angry. The only person that had ever been angry with me was that man that came to ask for my hand in marriage.

I gasped, that's it. He had to be a dragon. That was why he was being so secretive. It made perfect sense. I looked at Ryuu, he was watching me with confusion.

“Are you h-”

“I know who it is,” I cut in. “I think it could be him anyways. Do you remember that man I told you about? The one that asked for me to marry him? But my parents denied him because he wouldn't tell them anything about himself? I think that is who it is. Is there some way you could look through my memory and find out what he looks like?”

“Ryuu tilted his head to the side, concentrating. “It could be him. Are you sure about me going through your memory? Memories are very personal items.”

“I don't care! He is hurting the people I care about. You can do whatever you want as long as he is stopped!” Ryuu laughed at my anger.

“Very well, close your eyes and concentrate on the memory. It will make it easier for me to find.” I nodded and did what he said. The man's appearance slowly entered my head. He had almost silver hair, and his eyes were black. Almost like that boy's. What was his name again? Rat, the eyes matched, even in the coldness. Rat's were just younger.

Maybe Rat was a dragon too. I shook my head slightly and concentrated on the image again. Ryuu placed his hands against my face, his forehead pressed against my own. Memories started to appear as Ryuu went through them.

The End

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