I was enjoying my nature walk with Phil. We talked about little things here and there, trying to get to know each other a bit more. It was fun as we chatted and laughed.
Until finally, a young elven lady came rushing toward us in a hurry. She was waving her hand over her head, sweating, and in fright. I didn’t know what was going on to make her so scared.
With a huffing and puffing the elven lady stopped in front of us, her head hung down, trying to catch her breath.
“Is everything alright?” I asked a bit concerned.
The elven lady held up her hand, telling us to give her a moment. She was finally able to stand up a bit more straighter, allowing her to catch her breath. “I have dire news. A large army is heading straight toward this village and straight toward the Tree of Life.”
“What?!” I squeaked. An army was coming straight toward the village. “How big?”
“Over ten thousand and we believe the Hydra is awake.”
I gaped. This was very bad. I don’t know how the elves were going to handle such a large army that was coming straight to destroy them. They didn’t even really have a wall for protection.
“Wait, you don’t mean the Legendary Hydra? Right?”
I couldn’t believe my ears. What was wrong with my aunt!? She was just constantly summoning Legendary creatures one after another. Did she truly wanted to rule this world or destroy it? I couldn’t help but think she wanted to annhilate everything.
“We must leave now and head straight to the city.” The elven lady said in a hurry that told her that she didn’t have time to say anymore.
I nodded, understanding what she wanted to do. The elven lady turned around and dashed back into the forest, going back toward the village.
Both Phil and I followed behind. For someone who looked tired, she was easily outpacing us. Phil and I was close behind.
We made it back to the village. The elven people were moving around in a hurry, taking what they can. The elders of the village were shouting and directing the people toward the Tree of Life. Panic wa sin the air as the people scurried to their destination.
Guinevere flagged Phil and I. His face twisted into fear and worry. He stopped in front of us.
“Berry, would you be able to fly the children to safety?” Guinvevre asked.
“How many are we talking about and where?” I quickly asked.
“Our kind don’t produce many children because of our long life span. Right now, at most we have ten.” Guinevere reached over and grabbed my hand. “Please, they are our treasures.”
“Understood. I’ll help you carry out the children.”
“Thank you.” A large sighed of relief blossomed out of his lips. She then turned around and waved down the children that were huddled together by their parents.
I knew what I needed to do. Stepping back, I willed myself to change. The bone started to crack, causing my body to ache and groan. Changing shapes from human to a dragon was fast. My muscles groaned and elongated, causing my leg, arms, neck, and even tail started to change drastically from my body.
My horn that was small changed into a long horn that would swoop back behind my eyes. Feathery wings mixed with a webbed wing could be seen appearing behind, showing off the grandeur of a dragon. I could feel my whole body enlarging, becoming bigger and bigger passing a three story building.
Everything looked tiny from my perspective. My eyes focused, trying to catch every little detail that I could see. My vision was like a hawk, taking in every little movement without a headache.
Guinevere had brought over a group of eleven children. They gasped in awe and shock, looking up at me. Some squealed in fear as they hid behind their parents.
“Come on children.” Guinevere waved them forward. “We need to leave this village now.”
“But, what about our parents?” One of the younger children asked with concern, tilting her head toward the Guinevere.
“They will be behind you guys, but first your safety is our priority.”
Guinever hushed her. She was the first one to be picked up as her curiosity wouldn’t have stopped asking questions.
I walked over. Crouching down as low as I could. The elves were already moving toward me with large straps of ropes, blankets and things that I was wondering how they were going to strap them on me. At the rate it was going, I was a bit afraid that they would put a house on my back.
“Um…” I looked at Guinevere, hoping that she got the clue that they were setting quite a bit of things on my back. I could feel the weight started to stack. “Is all this stuff necessary?” I asked in concern.
The better question was could I fly out of here with all these things on my back, the children and the others that came with me.
“Don’t worry. We will place and weightless spell on the baggages.” Guinevere said with assurance. We only put the necessary things like food, clothes, and some artifacts. Other than that, it shouldn’t weight you down.”
“Okay.” I was getting a bit uncomfortable squatting like a cat for awhile now.
Coco, Moca, and Tart was already beside me. They were assisting as best as they could.
The elves were finally done. I could feel my back sinking in, while my belly touching the very ground. I had enough strength to get up without problem, but flight was a different issue.
Guinevere, who had the girl child in his hand, raised up the hand that he wasn’t in use. She closed his eyes, whispering some strange words that I couldn’t quite understand. They were fast and gibberish, but my whole body was tingling with magic. I swung my large head toward her, eyes becoming wide.
The magical energy around Guinevere was becoming powerful as it spun around him like angry bees ready to strike forward. When he opened up his eyes, she pointed his fingers at me. For a moment, I thought I heard hot sizzling like sound followed quickly by a swish and a pop. I wondered what that sound was, but the sudden lightness made me realize how much lighter my back feel.
Guinevere lowered his hand, he headed straight toward me. His hand on the girl’s hip, pushing him up. The eleven girl pushed himself up.
Phil jumped up, grabbing the side of the rope. He pulled himself up to help with the other children. He even helped tied them down.
“Berry! Phil!” Cathy waved over her head, rushing in heavy breath. Not to far away from her was Stryd, running behind her with heavy footsteps.
I looked over.
Cathy hair was a bit dishelved as if she was in a fight. THere were streaks of smudge on her cheeks. I wondered what she had met to be in such a hurry. Even Stryd was battered up a bit.
“You guys have finally made it back. Where were you guys?” I asked, I haven’t seen them around for awhile, making me wonder what they have been doing.
“We don’t have much time. I was off scouting and saw the army that are heading toward us. We need to leave now.” Cathay said with a serious tone of voice.
I snaked my head back, checking how many children were strapped in. There were one last elven child left and Guinevere was handing him up to Phil. Phil grabbed him, bringing him up. His hand quickly moved, strapping the child in place.
When he was finished, he looked at me and nodded. Telling me that everything was ready for us to leave.
Stryd was trying to climb up onto my back, but his stocky legs weren’t gripping the side of my scales very well to get the boost that he needed. I had to give him a light boost, which he was finally able to get himself up. He let out a loud grunt. The thought of flying again made him frown, but he kept such words in himself.
Cathay did a running jump onto my elbow and then hopped up gracefully. She sat down, strapping herself with the rope.
“Wait for us!” Gorum and Khor, the two dwarves, were running toward me. “Take us with you!”
At the rate this was going, I felt like I was taking a whole village on my back. I didn’t even know if I even have space.
I opened my mouth to say something, but stopped. Maybe they could be of help. All, I know is that we needed to go now and who knew what dangerous journey we would run into and I needed quite a bit of hand, protecting the kids. There weren’t much I could do without throwing everyone off my back.
“Fine. Get on quickly.” I said, waiting for them to climb up.
Khor was the first one to grab the side of the leather straps. He pulled himself up, quite nimbly that I was a bit surprised that they could move so fast. Even Gorum got up without much problems, but it wasn’t like the elf. They did have some trouble, but it wasn’t as bad.
“We all set?” I asked. My wings spread open wide. I could feel the soft breeze rushing underneath my wings, already pulling me up.
“Yes.” Phil called out.
Guinevere looked up at me. He shouted, “please protect our hope!”
“I will.” With a hard flap, I could feel my feet slightly leaving off the ground. I continually to flap harder and harder, the push upward wasn’t always the easiest, but the strength of my wings made up for the climb.
It didn’t take long for me to get airborne. The children screamed in surprise as the wind hit against their tiny body. I couldn’t help but excitedly push higher and higher. Eventually, the screams went silent.
I was excited that I was back high up in the air. The freedom to fly anywhere I wanted and nobody stopping me brought euphoric feeling. Even when things were heavy with urgency, such feelings couldn’t be easily forgotten and calmed my mind.
The higher I flew up in the sky, the better I had of where I needed to go. I had seen in a distance a large oak tree that seem to even touch the skies. Such an ancient and large tree was hard not to miss.
“We need to go to the tree of life.” Kathy said with a serious tone of voice. “From the village to the tree it takes a good five day travel on foot, but hopefully we could get there by the end of the day.”
I was a bit taken aback at how long it would take to get to the Tree of Life. The sheer size of the tree could be seen from this far. I had to wonder how small I would feel when I finally arrived.
A strong blow of wind blew past me, carrying me higher into the sky. But at the same time, my nose widen from a familiar scent. I could smell something burning. I turned my head around to look over my shoulder.
Off in the distance, the trees were burning. Multiple large column of black smoke could be seen with fire ravaging the forest. My eyes narrowed, trying to catch any movements for the cause of this forest fire.
What I saw made me gritted my teeth. There were an army of orcs, wearing black metal armor. Half of their body were covered in it in certain spots, but the rest showed off their green and brown skin. They had a natural thick skin, which also protected them.
Was this my aunt’s army or the Titan’s I don’t know and didn’t want to find out. There were other strange creatures creating havoc on the forest floors. Thousands of animals burst out of the forest, fluttering away to get away. Animals scurried away in panic, running away not to get eaten, crushed, or burnt alive.
A low growl rumbled in my stomach, startling the children. A few hiccuped and shivered, wondering if they were going to be thrown over at how scary I was looking.
“Hey!” Kathy yelled, smacking me on the neck. “You’re scaring the kids!”
I blinked a few times, wondering what she meant. My glare was directed at her.
“Did I do something wrong? Are you thinking about killing me?”
Kathy words startled me. I didn’t think I was giving such a scary expression.
“Sorry.” I tried to loosen up my expression. “I couldn’t help it.”
“Why? What do you mean?” Kathy was wondering what had caused such a sour mood.
Phil spoke, tapping Kathy on the shoulder. He then pointed in the direction that I was looking at as I hung in the air for a moment.
Kathy turned. A loud gasp escaped her lips. Her face fell into horror, realizing how bad this was. To see her beloved forest burning as far as the eye could see brought anger, tears, and a burst of livid magical energy arond her.
Phil had to hold onto her shoulder, squeezing it to remind her to calm down. “Calm down. There are children here.” His voice was a lull.
Kathy breathed in deep. She closed her eyes. She squeezed her hand into a fist. Eventually, she let out the breath that she was holding. Her demeanor changed.
I knew how she felt. The nasty lingering feeling of anger was bubbling inside of me as well. Keeping it under control was hard and to see such a beautiful place being burned down was terrible. It was as if the forest was screaming in pain and I could feel it.
I wanted to go back, but I couldn’t. The trembling children were glued to my back and having them there when I fought was more of a liability. Plus, I didn’t want to put them in harms way. I promised to take them to safety.
Turning around was hard, but I had too.
With great effort, the rumbling sizzling feeling of anger rumbled through my heart and shot through my body. A blood must be paid.
I glared forward, trying to not to look back.
The childrens silently cried as a few burst into tears. Their bellow of despair made me cringe. It took all of me to steel my heart as I flew.
Each flapping wings brought a tremor of anger. The growing pain of lost and despair was heavy in the air.
I didn’t know how I ended back at the major elven city. With a thump, he landed with a heavy heart and mind. The dragon in me was screaming for revenge.
A group of eleven warriors rushed over when they saw me. They noticed the elven children were on my back as they shouted in hurry to bring more soldiers to assit. One-by-one the elven children slid down as they were caught by a solider.
The others slide off as well.
The two dwarves kissed the ground a few times, happy to see solid ground.
Phil leaned over. “We should go talk with the others.” He patted my neck.
“Why? We already have a problem as it is. We should go and destroy these bastards for what they have done.” I hissed. My tongue flickered out. All I was seeing was red. The thought of these children future and their family being destroyed infuriated me even more.
“Yes, but we need a plan. We can’t just jump into this without taking a moment to get the forces ready.” Phil tried to bring reason into my mind. It wasn’t easy, especially because of the raging emotions that kept berating my heart.
“Berry.” Phil soften his voice, trying to console her. “Calm down.”
I took a moment to listen to his calm voice. It wasnt’ easy, especially because the raging torrent of emotions was trying to even overcome my mind. I had to focus. Focus on his deep voice that continued to call my name over and over again.
With a deep breath, I held it in my lungs. Counting down to zero, I let all the shroud of darkness in my mind go. I was better than this. I wasn’t a animal that would purely act on rage. Oh no, I was a dragon.
“What do you have in mind?” I spoke out a lot calmly than I thought.
“A few things.” Phil suggested, “But the most important part is for you to calm down so you can focus. An angry person going into battle is the worst thing to do. All you will become is a crazed dragon.”
I sighed. He was right.
“If you want to bring justice, stay calm Berry.”
“I know.” I groaned.
“Then you know what to do.”
I took another deep sigh.
“Come.” Phil slid down. He patted his hand a couple of time on her legs. “Are you going to change?”
I shook my head. I didn’t want too. I was still heated, but was strangely calm.
“Okay,” Phil didn’t say anything further.
I followed Phil, walking through the trees house and heading straight toward elven hall. The elven people quickly walked out of their homes, wondering what was going on. Especially to see her in her dragon form as it was not usually to see.
Iaewinth came running out when she saw us coming.
“What happened?!” Iaewinth panted, her eyes becoming wide.
“There has been an attack at the nearest village. In less than a few days, they would be here.”
“Are you sure?” Iaewinth asked in shock.
“Why would I be lying?” Phil rolled his eyes.
“We need to move now.” I spoke, my head lowered, looking down at Iaewinth. “The army is coming and they won’t stop at the elven village.”
Iaewinth winced, realizing what I meant. Her body became straighter, looking in the direction that we had arrived from. “We’ll get the council started right this moment. I assure you we will be ready for war by night fall.”
“That’s not enough time.” I snapped. “The number of eleven villages that are around will be taken over, would you kill them off as well?”
Iaewinth frowned. “We will move when its time.” She turned around, heading straight back into the council hall.
I clicked my tongue, annoyed at her reply.
Phil stood in front of me from advancing forward. He shook his head. “You should go rest.”
“Berry, listen to me.” Phil stood up straighter. “We will go to battle when you are at a clamer state of mind.” He promised her.
I snarled. “The elven council will take days.” Staying here was not an option. I was itching to fight.
“Possibly, but did you forget what I said?”
I glared. “Yes, I remember.”
“Excatly.” Phil stated, “pratice that while you wait. I’ll be back.” He looked at me for a moment, making sure that I understood what I said.
“Fine.” I snapped away.
Phil nodded. He walked away quickly, heading into the council hall.
I sighed and made my way toward the nearest tree. Away from the constant chatter of the elven residents and soldiers. They gazed up at her with awe and fright, nobody taking a step forward to talk with her.
I didn’t mind that. Honestly, I wanted them away.
With a thump, I sat down, curling my tail around my body like a cat.
Anytime someone brave enough tried to approach me, i snorted a blast of smoke out of my nose, scaring them.
I closed my eyes.
Letting the angry emotions to simmer, but I did not forget. I knew that sooner or later, I would have to change my anger and redirect to the source that destroyed the children’s home and family.