Chapter 26

The green dragon slowly drifted down. I jumped onto his back.

“You will not be in the middle of this, Amani.”

“I have to help. This is my fault. Now get back up there. Ryuu needs your help.” One of the elder dragons landed roughly on the ground. Three of the gypsies got to work. One shot him with an arrow and the other two stabbed him again, making sure they hit the flesh. Ladon watched as the dragon dissolved.

“You told them?”

“We needed help. I trust them, as much as I trust you. They will not harm their allies.”

“What about later?”

“I haven't gotten that far yet.” Without responding, he lifted off of the ground. I watched in awe as we soared through the clouds. The sounds of the villagers started to disappear, replaced with the crash of claws and scales. Ryuu and Sigurd twisted around in the sky, each trying to get behind the other.

Ladon and I watched from the side. They were both moving too fast for us to get in between them. As far as I could tell, neither one of them were hurt. Both danced around the skies, evading the other perfectly. Both of them were so involved in the fight, that they didn't notice us.

“What are we supposed to do,” I asked Ladon.

He sighed, “We have no choice, this is their fight. Let us see if we can help the other humans.” We descended back to the ground. Screams filled my ears. Fire was everywhere, on houses, farms, and even some people.

The village women scurried away from Ladon, terrified. He landed on the ground quietly and looked around. I did the same. There were no dragons in sight.

“Where did they go?”

One of the closer men spat on the ground, “They ran off. The deceiving creatures turned into humans and blended into the crowd. We are trying to find out which ones they are. It is not an easy process.” Ladon nodded.

“I will see what I can do. Try and put out those fires. My sister should be able to help.” He nodded slowly and backed away before running through the streets. Ladon closed his eyes and I slipped off of him. My feet touched solid ground. I grabbed the sword and tucked it into my belt, like Peter had told me to do when I didn't have another option, which I didn't.

I walked through the field until I found Tanith. Her eyes were glowing a pale green and water swirled around her. She noticed me and took a step back. I could tell she was exhausted.

“Anything I can do to help?”

“Sure, tell those people to relax some. They are scaring me. I am waiting for a pitchfork to be stabbed through my back. Not like it matters when I am in this form, I become as weak as a human.” I looked over and noticed it was Tommy's parents.

“Mr. and Mrs. Cratchet. I am sorry for your loss. And I know how hard it is to forgive something that reminds you of Tommy, but right now we all need to work together. I lost my sister to the dragon up there as well. I know how it feels.”

Mrs. Cratchet wiped her eyes and glanced at Tanith. She held her husband closer and nodded weakly. They both went over to help Tanith. I smiled slightly. Maybe, after this was over, dragons and humans could learn to trust each other. It was a stretch, but we could do it.

“Amani! Markus sent me to find you.” Billy ran down the street, breathing heavily.

“What's the matter?”

He pressed his hands against his knees, trying to catch his breath. “We found someone that is a dragon, but we can't tell if he is good or bad.”

“I am on it, why don't you stay here and help put out the fires?” He agreed looking relieved. I scurried through the streets, my sword bouncing on my hip with every step, reminding me of its presence.

Markus and Peter stood in a secluded corner. They both had weapons pointed at a woman. She had wide, frantic eyes. She seemed panicked.

“I swear, I am not a dragon. Please don't hurt me.” I walked up behind them, being sure to make noise so they knew I was behind them. I studied the woman closely. Her black hair was twisted into an elegant bun, and her dark green eyes held tears.

I nodded to Peter, “She is a dragon, but I don't know her.”

Peter took a step towards the woman. She held up her hands quickly. “Wait! Alright, I am a dragon, but I am not with the elders. Well, I was. You see, my husband is one of the elders. He dragged me along trying to get me to fight, Please, please don't hurt me. I am carrying a child.” Markus sheathed his sword.

“A moon ago, that would have made me kill you all the quicker. What should we do, Amani?”

I looked at the woman's frightened face. Her hands went automatically to her stomach. She wasn't lying about that. “You said your husband is an elder. How much do you know about what is going on?”

“I know a lot. I know that Sigurd is attacking the village because he wants you. When your parents turned his proposal down, he went crazy. Whenever the others were not looking, he would kill someone that he had found was close to you. Rat was his son. He was angry with you as well, and that is why he attacked. The elders were sick of humans judging them by what they were, so they joined Sigurd and Rat. They have been planning for a while. I am so sorry, I just didn't think anyone would believe me if I told them.” She slid to the ground, sobbing. In between breaths she would apologize over and over again. Markus gently grabbed her by the arm.

“Get up, we are going to hide you somwhere. While we are at it, maybe the other villagers should hide as well. Any suggestions Amani?”

I bit my lip, since when did anyone ask my opinion? Since I was the only one who knew even a little about the beasts that now strode through the village. “The forest. It is the safest place.”

Peter looked skeptical, “In a forest, where there is wood? Which is very flammable?”

“They are attacking the town right now. Stay near the river just in case it does catch on fire. Right now it is the best we have. We have forgotten how to fight back against the dragons. We will have to make do.” They sighed and hurried to guide everyone into the forest.

The End

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