The silver dragon began to come to but as he did so, something was amiss. He could no longer feel Arin pressed up against his side so he prompted to open his eyes. What poured into his vision confused and startled him. He was no longer beneath the forested canopy with high branches and green leaves but under something much more sinister. The sky was eclipsed in black and the ground was not grassy nor was it covered in freshly fallen leaves. Instead, hard tiny rocks that had been ground down into grains the size smaller than a flea by the wind. "Sand?" He thought bewildered and this strange environment. "Why is there sand?”
Getting up, the silver dragons paws sank into the tan substance. Taking a step forward to free himself from its rocky grip, he looked around at his surroundings only to become even more confused. He spotted trees to his left but when his vision cleared entirely, he realized something was wrong with them. The leaves were not green but pitch black and withering. Shaking his head in vain to try and forget what he saw, he looked to his right and the sight didn't help his predicament in the slightest. It was an ocean but it wasn't blue and inviting like what he remembered they should be from when he was a human. But bright red and seemed to be sucking in all the light.
"Should it be like that?" He thought as he walked to the crimson ocean that didn't so much as ripple when he dipped a claw into it. It was thick and unlike what water was in the slightest. Lifting the claw to examine the substance that stuck to it, he gazed at it until he came to a revelation which in turn, made his blood run cold. Suppressing a shiver, he breathed out quietly speaking his thought.
Conor placed his paw down and snapped his head back to the withering trees. He ran to it gouging deep groves into the sad as he went. He plucked a leaf and it disintegrated almost as soon as it was usurped from the tree. Conor watched the leaf particles blow away on a nonexistent wind from his paw. He plucked another one and the same thing happened. Putting his paw down and turning back to the sea of blood he walked back to where he had awakened and sat back on his haunches in deep thought. He absentmindedly gazed up at the sun or what he thought was the sun when he heard a distant voice. The lone word it spoke was unintelligible but he thought the sound of it familiar. It came again a moment later albeit louder this time. The word was somewhat distinguishable now. But it didn't sound as just a word, more like a name.
"Conor" he heard the voice say and he looked at the crimson ocean.
"Conor" It said again as well as it growing in strength. His head snapped toward the stricken forest.
CONOR!! The voice yelled into his hear and his eyes snapped open as he sprang to his paws.
Conors reaction and quick movements caused Arin onto topple over onto her side making her yelp in surprise. "Arin!" He exclaimed as he helped her back to her paws and then lay down on his stomach breathing hard. He looked around absorbing the scenery of the tall oak trees along with the leaves and grass. "What happened?" Conor said passing the question into thin air after a moment not expecting an answer.
"We were wondering the same thing," said the golden yellow dragoness at his side. Kiki nodded in affirmation. "You were kind of squirming in your sleep kind of like you were having a bad dream. You were beginning to worry us." She continued when he looked from Kiki to her. Shutting his eyes and Taking a deep breath to calm his breathing down, Conor decided to tell them his dream.
"It was... strange." He trailed off looking up at the sun. A moment later he was looking into Arins light green eyes. "I woke up without you or Kiki or what I assumed was awake at the time. I wasn't in the forest anymore but on a beach covered with the finest grain sand I had ever seen. When I began to look around, I saw that the sky was black as well as the sun but that wasn't even the strangest part. There were trees that had pitch black leaves that when I touched them, they disintegrated into nothing upon my paw." He stretched his paw out expecting to see it covered with the black ashy residue from the leaf but it was shining with the bright silver of his scales. "Another thing was that there was an ocean, but it wasn't water that filled it, it was..." he cut himself off looking at the ground and Arin couldn't hold in the question.
"Filled with what?" She asked fearing what it could be based on the way he stopped himself.
"Blood." Conor said looking back at Arin in a small voice. She gasped and took a step back in shock, not expecting him to supply such an answer. "That's, that's crazy." She said trying to comprehend what he said.
"I'm still trying to understand it myself." Conor replied and then looked at Kiki. She hadn't spoken a word. "What do you think?" He asked her.
"That sounds like a very strange and scary dream." She said looking at him nervously fidgeting. A thought struck her like a slap to the face though she thought it odd in a way. "Are you an oracle dragon?" She asked. Conor just tilted his head at her in confusion so she continued. "They are known to see vague glimpses into the future." After a moment, Conor slowly nodded his head in slight understanding but didn't say anything because up until now, he didn't know that dragons could have any kind of power at all. Well except for possibly breathing fire, he'd read about is somewhere when he was a human. "Didn't dragons have some kind of fire bladder or something in which when forced up through the throat and mouth caused great gouts of flame?" He pondered this but didn't speak it aloud.
The silence began to drag on and Kiki's gaze on Conor began making him start to feel uncomfortable. "We should probably go find something to eat" He said breaking the almost tangible silence that had fallen between the three of them.
"Yeah, I'm starving." Kiki said while looking up at the big silver dragon in front of her. The three of them stood still for a moment longer before Conor started giving directions. "Arin, could you go and re-kindle the fire while I go hunting my sweet?" he said smiling at her. Smiling back, she gave a slight nod and a peck on the cheek and moved off to find some fire wood; Kiki following behind. Conor looked after the pair before walking off into the forest in the opposite direction.
Conor tilted his head up and sniffed the air along with tasting it with his tongue just to try it out. It had occurred to him that he was a warm blooded reptile but he didn't know a reptile could be warm blooded; he concluded that he'd ask Arin if she knew anything about it sometime later.
After a couple short paces later he stumbled upon a clearing in the forest and checked to make sure the breeze was still blowing toward him; it was. And with just his luck, he spotted a fairly stocky buck grazing in the middle of it. A six point buck, He thought crouching low to the ground and tip-pawing to the edge of the clearing careful not to step on a twig. It had been what he was tracking for the last couple of minutes. "Now let's see if I can catch it." He thought just before springing into action.
"So what was that future seeing thing you were talking about earlier?" Arin asked the little crimson dragoness just to her left while she picked up a fairly large stick off the ground. She was balancing awkwardly on her hind paws. "You mean oracle dragons?" Kiki asked placing a small stick on top of the collection in her paws. "Yes," Was Arins grunt as she crouched down again to gather another stick.
"Well I believe that he is an oracle dragon, you know, the type that can see into the future." Kiki said without a seconds thought. Arin just stared at her blankly. She had heard what Kiki said earlier but she didn't think much of it. "But I'm not sure why he hasn't come out and just said that he is or not." Kiki said shaking her head. "I've never seen a dragon of his color before and it doesn't make any sense, my parents told me stories about them but I had never seen one before." She said and then looked at Arin "But buy just looking at you, I know that you can wield lightning" Kiki said as she began walking back to the camp site. Arin followed after with countless thoughts churning through her skill.
"Wait," Arin said walking next to the red. "So what you're saying is that I can use electricity and that Conor can see into the future?" She said falling off back into thought.
"That's pretty much exactly what I said," Kiki said looking up at Arin confused. "You do know you can use an element right? I mean what dragon doesn't know that? I can use the fire element." Kiki said smiling as she remembered the first time she used her flame.
" Apparently this dragon," Arin thought not knowing how to feel with the sudden revelation. "But I guess I'll just have to see to believe." She concluded. "Could you show me later?" Arin asked slowly, trying to calm the swarming thoughts in her mind.
"I don't see the harm in it so sure, why not. I could even start the fire instead of you using sticks like the last time." Kiki answered picking up her pace slightly with a smile. Arin blushed slightly at the comment.
When the two of them made it back, Arin took the sticks and proceeded to arrange them on top of the ashes from the previous one they had. "All right," Kiki squeaked excitedly "Stand back, I don't want to burn you" Arin followed her advice and took a few paces away from the up righted fire wood and looked at the crimson dragoness. Arin watched Kiki open her mouth. She didn't really expect anything but what she saw made that thought explode into thin air. Kiki sent out a whoosh of flames effectively lighting the dry timber. Arin just stared at the now alighted logs and singed grass blades wide eyed.
"Arin, Arin? Hello? Anybody in there," Kiki was saying while waving her paw in front of Arins snout. "Ancestors to Arin," Kiki went on again and after that she finally awoke from her stupor. The golden yellow dragoness released a breath and looked down at Kiki.
"If... if you can really use the... The fire element, then that must mean," Arin trailed off into a frenzied mash of uncontrollable thoughts. "That must mean I really can use electricity." She concluded sitting back on her haunches.
"Or maybe one of the other ones, but it's most likely electricity." Kiki said. Before she could say anything else, they heard a rustling in the bushes near the edge of the clearing and turned their heads to see what it was affectively ending the conversation.
Conor popped out from the foliage surrounding him with the buck he had spotted earlier. He stopped dragging it and removed his mouth from the carcass so he could speak. "Arin, could you help me with this?" He asked and then went back to dragging it. Arin, snapped out of her revere and jogged over to the silver to help him drag it over to the fire. While Conor was gutting the deer carcass in preparation to cook the meet, Arin decided to pick the conversation up where they had left off.
"So Kiki, tell me more about this element thing."
"And that is how I learned how to use my flame" Kiki said after demonstrating it to Conor who was skeptical at first.
After the deer had been thoroughly gutted, roasted and feasted upon by the three hungry dragons, Arin decided it was time to try and use her element of lightning or at least that's what Kiki presumed it to be.
"All right," Kiki said once she was standing in front of Arin. "Do exactly the same thing I did earlier." Arin, bringing forth the fresh memories from the crimsons earlier demonstration, spread her four legs out and leaned forward slightly and straitened her neck. Thinking that she looked entirely ridiculous in this pose, she started to search for her 'core' or her center containing the magical energy within her chest. Easier said than done, she thought after a few moments of searching.
A few failed attempts and frustrated grunts later, Arin was all but ready to give up finding her magical core and call it a day; thinking she didn't have one. But just as she was about to start making her way to sit down, she felt this sudden surge of power within her chest. Her eyes went wide, instinct took over and she braced herself. A bolt of lightning exploded from her maw with a small pop and collided with a nearby tree. The tree not ready for the immense serge of power, exploded into an infinite number of small wood chips and leaves, peppering everything within a twenty foot radius.
"And now comes the fun part, control". Kiki said picking the bits and pieces of splintered wood out of her scales. But her statement fell on deaf ears.
Arin stood agape at what she had just done, albeit panting from the exertion, not comprehending what Kiki said in the slightest. "Wow" she said at first in a small voice. And then her brain caught up with the rest of the world. "Oh my gosh! Did you see that?" Arin exclaimed excitedly bouncing from one side to the other without realizing. She was doing a little jig.
"Yes," Conor said poking his foliage strewn head out from a bush. His horns had stabbed a few leaves and were now stuck to them. Without thinking about it, he rushed to the nearest cover to him in which was a leafy bush with pink and gold flowers and dove into it when Arin managed to bring forth the bolt. "Yes I did," he said with a sigh of relief. "Where did that come from? I've never been scared of lightning before." He thought pondering the question as he walked towards her happily dancing form.
As Conor walked slowly toward her, she decided to close the gap with a few bounds of her own toward him. She ended up bumping noses with his silver snout in an attempt to kiss him. They both rebounded and fell flat on their rumps at that. Each likewise rubbing their nose with a paw; Arin now perplexed with the pain completely forgot her grand achievement for a few moments. Her expression made Conor laugh and soon she was laughing with him.
"I don't mean to interrupt but what are you two laughing at?" Kiki asked with her head tilted to the side in confusion.
The Pair looked at her and burst into more bouts of laughter, tears beginning to rim their eyes. "Wait, what were we laughing about?" Arin asked a small amount of time later when their laughs had settled down to light chuckles.
"Honestly, I have no idea anymore," Conor said with a grin still on his face. Kiki had settled down on her belly to watch the Silver and yellow pair with interest.
With contented sighs, they pulled themselves back together and sat down next to one another enjoying each other's company.
A short while later Conor stood up and stretched in what he thought was an awkward stretch but it got the job done. "We should probably get moving if we are to somehow find Kikis missing parents." He said looking at the stricken dragoness in question. She nodded her agreement.
And so it was, the trio took wing from the clearing they were in on slightly wobbly wings. Since Kiki wouldn't likely be able to fly on her own for a number of months or even a couple years in the future, she rode between Conors wings on his back. Not wanting to forget his bag, he asked Arin to grab it. She put both straps on one foreleg and slung it across her back making sure it fit snugly in between her shoulder blades.
After they were up in the air, Conor suggested that they follow the river saying that they were more likely to find a town if they followed it. It also provided a constant source of fresh water and food.
"Oh how I love it up here in the clouds," Kiki said once she had managed to crawl herself enough up Conors neck so she could put her mouth next to his ear. Her moving shifted his balance and he almost flipped upside down but he managed to keep himself right-side up by angling his tail more towards the ground and his wings up for more lift. "I am inclined to agree," Conor said rolling his eyes from the earth beneath him to the small red scaled snout to his right. For that was all he could see of her, the tip of her nose; it made him laugh. A deep rumbling sound that shook his entire body from the vibrations his vocal cords made. Kiki smiled.
"My parents used to do this with me when we had to go places or when I managed to coax my dad into it." Kiki said with a smile at the fond memories. Her forearms, hind legs and tail that she was using to hold onto his neck tightened and a tear fell from here eye to be wiped away by the wind before it could reach her cheek souring the mood slightly.
Arin flew beside them with a smile on her muzzle; content to try and pick up bits and pieces of their conversation. She decided to not to join with her own words.
Conor felt her tightened grip loosen slightly "You know, Kiki isn't actually my name, but a shortened version of it." She said.
"Really?" He responded back turning his head to the right just enough so he could see her eyes. His eye brow ridges rose with interest.
"Uh-huh," she sounded back. "It's Kikilia, but I like being called by my nickname better."
"In that case, it is nice to finally get to meet for you for real Kikilia." Conor said with the corners of his mouth pulling up in a small grin. They settled for silence as he flew on following the river. Kikilia eventually shimmied down Conors neck and settle back between his wing joints for the remainder of the flight.
After some time of flying and the ever growing lone mountain on the horizon, Arin said to start looking for a clearing to land in because her wings had started to ache. She said the soreness that the practice they did the previous day had never left her. Conor felling likewise the same but didn't admit to it. He noted that the sun was almost at the horizon line meaning it would be getting dark soon.
They found a small cozy one along the river not long after they began their search. Conor noted there was sand on the bank of the river where it meandered through the clearing. They began their decent with Conor landing first using an unknown instinct to touch down softly. He stuck the ground with his tail first while pumping his wings and settled down with a soft thump. Arin did likewise the same just with more grace and fluidity. She didn't take Conors bag off. Conor crouched down laying flat on his stomach and Kiki slid down his back the base of his tail and jumped off, landing with a thud.
"All right, Arin, Kiki can you both gather some wood and start a fire to ward off the cold the night brings? I'm going to head out and catch us a deer from a heard I saw not to far back."
"You know Conor; I don't need a fire to keep warm as long as you're here with me." Arin said while smiling lovingly at him remembering some of the words she overheard while flying and the deep sound he made. She couldn't place why but she loved that low rumbling sound. "Where did that come from?" Arin thought a moment later. Conors cheeks turned a brilliant shade of red. He responded with a short kiss from his snout tip to her snout tip.
Kiki made a little coughing noise that attracted their attention "Yes sweetie?" Arin said in a motherly tone That Conor didn't know she possessed.
"Are we going to gather firewood or not?" She said with a hint of embarrassment in her voice. "Mom and dad used to do that." She thought to herself with a pang of sadness striking her heart.
After Conor had left to hunt for game and she with Kiki had gathered the fire wood, Kiki lighting the pile with here fire element, Arin felt around in her chest for the core she found earlier. I was still there and pulsing with unbound energy. She sighed in relief. A thought struck her, "is it possible to manipulate this energy with maybe... my han - err paws?" She lifted her head off of her paws from her resting position and looked at them. Kiki noticing the movement turned her head to investigate what she was up to.
Arin concentrated on her paws. At first nothing happened but then what was this? A spark; It was most definitely a spark. She concentrated harder and a small spark of electricity jumped from her right forepaw to the ground.
As Arin worked on controlling her powers; Kiki stood mouth agape. "Didn't she say that she didn't even know she had an element? The way she acted earlier, there's just no way." She thought. "What she's doing takes years of experience even for the avid users who want to know everything they can do with the element they poses. This is crazy." Kiki continued the ramble on in her thoughts as Arin experimented. She settled down back on her tummy laying her head on her forepaws to watch Arin.
Arin had just managed to conjure a floating ball of electricity between her to front paws; she had sat up upon her haunches so she could practice better, when Kiki interrupted her experimentation. Arin was so engrossed with the ball that when the red spoke it startled her. The floating eclectic ball of lightning shot strait up into the air and exploded into a shower of golden sparks. A concussive shockwave quickly followed.
"How are you doing that?" Kiki said ignoring the accidental firework." From what my parents have told me, it takes years to gain the control necessary to even remotely do that. Heck, some dragons don't ever manage to do what you just did. And not to mention you didn't even know you had an element. And you just started doing it out of nowhere like you're a pro or something" Kiki said disgruntled.
Arin finally realizing it was just her small red friend sighed in relief. "I don't think I can answer you that," Arin said thinking over what she said. "But it is true, I didn't know I had an element earlier but what's to say that me being older doesn't mean I don't have control of my power if I put my mind to it?"
"You didn't answer my main question, how did you do that?" Kiki said putting emphasis on the sentence.
"Um..." Arin trailed off thinking. "I... err, I just wanted to see if I could use my element in a different kind of way and then that started happening." She summoned a ball of lightning like it was nothing more than pulling a tree up by its roots to put emphasis on her words.
"So then all you did was concentrate on what you wanted to do with it and it worked?" Kiki said trying to wrap her mind around the concept.
"Yeah, it wasn't that hard." Arin said playing with the ball, tossing it from paw to paw, she summoned two more and started to juggle them but it wasn't really juggling when she thought about it, she was controlling them with her mind.
Before Kiki could come up with a reply, Conor burst from the tree cover looking this way and that for danger or some kind of distress. He settled down when he noticed both Kiki and Arins confused expressions and he made his thoughts verbal. "The explosion in the sky, the boom, what was that?" He asked glancing back and forth between the two.
Kiki pointed with a claw at Arin who in turn gained a sheepish expression. "I was experimenting with my element and Kiki scared me." She said pointing back at Kiki whose claw fell wiggling back and forth pointing at the ground. Conor likewise glanced at her then back at Arin.
"Show me." Conor said visibly relaxing when he finally realized they weren't in danger. Arin summoned a ball of electricity and Conor stood stunned and amazed at what she was dong. Not only could she shoot lightning from her face but control it in any manner she wanted. It astounded him. "Does that mean I also have an element? Kiki said I could be an oracle dragon but she wasn't sure. Hmm." Conor thought. They both kept looking at him, waiting for him to say something. "Well" Conor paused for the briefest of moments. "As long as you're not hurt; I'll be back in a little bit. I dropped my kill and ran here as fast as my legs could carry me when you set off that... that" He was at a loss for words "Firework?" Arin supplied. "Yeah, firework." Conor repeated.
"Well go on, don't just stand there. Go and retrieve your forgotten kill." Arin said with a sly smirk and a wink. Conor wasn't sure whether to be angry or embarrassed. He chose the latter and walked off to retrieve his prize.
They gutted and roasted the meat when he made it back to their makeshift camp. They ate there fill and quickly fell asleep. Arin sidled up next to Conor with her side leaning up against his with Kiki likewise with Arin. Conor put a wing over them and then after looking around, listening to the night sounds of crickets and the water running down river nearby, he settled his head down. "Since when did I become this paranoid with our safety?" He thought to himself as he let his dreams take over.
The morning went relatively uneventful. Conor didn't have another crazy dream but the one from the previous night still lingered in the back of his mind. After dining on a breakfast of fresh fish and clean water from the river, they set out on a path following the glistening current. They decided to walk instead of fly for the moment. Arins wing joints and shoulders were still sore. Conor didn't admit to it but his were as well.
"How much further do you think we are going to have to go until we see another dragon or even a town?" The little red dragoness said after a few hours of walking.
"I really don't know. Maybe another day's travel or a week; I'm not sure," Conor replied as he walked.
As they walked, Conor began to gain the feeling that someone or something was watching them. He put it off as his mind playing tricks on him. But the longer they walked, Kiki and Arin talking about something to do with draconic fashion, the more unsettled he became.
Arin finally noted his nervousness though he attempted to keep it as concealed as possible as to not alarm them. "What's wrong Conor?" She said apparently not sharing his unsettlement.
He walked up next to her and whispered in her ear. "I think we're being followed." her eyes went wide but she didn't do anything out of the ordinary or what he thought was ordinary in this form. Kiki tried to listen in but gave up when they said nothing further and started exploring the bushes around the area. It's didn't seem to here like they'd be moving anytime soon.
As she continued to explore, Conor and Arin watched her as well as their surroundings listening for anything out of place.
"That's some sense you've got there silver." a voice unknown to the three dragons said. They in turn spun towards the voice. Kiki was really the only one who had to spin because Conor and Arin were looking at her in which was where the voice came from originally. Kiki started backing up towards the pair slowly and Conor started slowly walking without quick jerks towards Kiki, ready to spring into action in case someone or thing tried to attack her.
A dragon with muted brown scales, grey horns and an underbelly that looked like tarnished silver with hints of green in it walked slowly out from a pair of dark green bushes he had been hiding in.
"Who are you" said the mystery dragon in a deep almost baritone voice. "And what are you doing here?" He said sloshing out the last word ferociously. Conor quickly leaped in front of Kiki when the mystery dragon threw out his last word in the manner that he did.
"Oh Come on Bones be nice, they obviously don't look like they want to cause trouble. They even have a little one so show some compassion for once in your life." came a voice from a dragoness who stepped out from behind a bush as well and walked up to the dragon she called Bones. 'Bones' as dignified by the light blue dragoness with a sky blue underside beside him gained an unhappy look and turned his head away from her. "Don't mind my brother. He isn't very kind to strangers around here. Oh! Where are my manners? I'm Jasmine but you can call my Jazzy and this dragon here is Lloyd but you should just call him Bones," said the dragon that identified herself as Jazzy. "He doesn't like the name mum and pap gave him, he says the old one was belittling to him and his new name is more fitting to his element." She finished to the brown dragons ire.
Kiki looked at Conor like the world was on fire and bolted to Arin where she hid behind one of the golden yellow dragonesses forelegs underneath her belly; occasionally peeking her little head from behind Arins leg to steal a glimpse of the two newcomers. She noted the Gold flecks like little suns scattered all over the light blue dragoness's wings which opened for a few moments and closed when she looked at the brown dragon called Bones.
"It is nice to make your acquaintance," Conor said slowly. His eyes glanced from Bones to her for a brief moment.
"Pleasures all mine." Jazzy said too flippantly for Conors tastes. "I'm sure you three are tired from your journey from wherever you came from. Am I correct?" She paused, took a breath and kept going. "From the way you were coming, you must have been traveling for a while; there aren't many settlements from that direction." Jazzy said turning her head to look at the direction they had come. "Oh! I know, you can come with us and rest for a while. We have a cave not too far from here even of foot." She said happily bouncing up and down once.
"Settlements?" Conor said perking up. Arin cut him off before he could begin questioning her.
"Yes, we are travel weary and would love to have a place to rest out of the weather," Arin said in a singsong tone right back to Jazzy all the while glaring at Conor waiting for him to attempt to challenge her with her decision. He sighed and didn't say anything; she had that look on her face again.
"Come. Come, let us chat while we are on our way to the cave" Jazzy said glaring at Bones who finally relented. Kiki who was hiding underneath Arin came bounding to the energetic light blue dragoness. Jazzy brought her head down so it was almost at eye level with the fiery little red. "And who might you be little one?" Without stopping, Jazzy looked up at Conor and Arin. "I'm sure you two are very proud of your daughter, she's nice and healthy for her age. Those wings and horns, they'll be coming in very nicely." She said poking Kikis wings with her snout and then the top of the head.
Something clicked on in Arin at that moment in time. "Oh no, no, she isn't our offspring, her parents mysteriously vanished and she found us. We are helping find them and all the while she is staying with us as we traveled." Arin said walking over next to Kiki and Jazzy.
"Pity, she's such a fine specimen for our kind, I wonder why her parents just left her." Jazzy said. Arin was going to correct her but the sky blue continued. "No matter, let us be off." She turned and started walking away. Bones followed her on command and so did Kiki, Conor was hesitant at first but Arins smile and his desire to protect the little red ruled out any of his doubts and followed.
Arin caught back up to Jazzy as they were walking and struck the conversation back up but made sure everyone could here."I'm Arin, The little one is Kiki and that big silver over there is Conor." Arin finished saying with a loving look at him. He blushed ever so slightly trying to hide it by coughing. Bones picked up on it and snickered. Conor shot a glare at him.
"It's nice to finally have your names." Bones said with a gruff smile still snickering at Conor. Jazzy made a face at him and he stopped abruptly.
As the three of them followed jazzy and Bones to their cave, they spoke in idle chatter and small talk to pass the time. Respectively, both Conor and Arin came to a silent agreement not to speak about them being humans but could each use varied truths from their past. Conors bag still slung across Arins back being the only exception, he had told them it was a gift and things could be stored in it for easy traveling which was the truth. Neither of the two asked any more questions at that.
Bones turned out to not be as Conor originally expected, he lightened up and became less hostile towards him after they had exchanged a few words with each other. He just put up a rough tuff exterior when needed. Kiki, being the fiery little red that she is, used her boundless energy chasing butterflies and sniffing flowers she hadn't seen before. "The innocence of youth." Conor thought observing the little dragoness sniffing at a bee hive on a low hanging branch and got stung on the nose. Arin had to pluck the stinger out by pinching her claws together somewhat awkwardly over it. Kiki lit the hive on fire out of respite for her now puffy little nose.
"So Conor." Jazzy said after their chuckles faded from Kikis antics.
"What's up?" He answered back looking at the sky blue in question.
"What type of element do you control? I've never seen a grey, no, silver scaled dragon before you showed up. I've heard long past rumors of them having the ability to do some spectacular things but they're so rare no one really knows." Jazzy said.
Her question made his hearts skip a beat; he had been avoiding the question whenever Kiki asked it like the plague. "Well" he trailed off at a complete loss for words. "Okay there's no way I'll be able to make it out of this without disappointing them in some way". He thought before finally deciding to reveal the truth. But before he could say anything, Arin jumped into the conversation and what she said made the metaphorical storm cloud above his head explode with lightning.
"Yeah, I'd also like to know what element you posses." The golden dragoness said. Conor felt like burying his head in the dirt.
"Wait, you don't know what element he has Arin?" Jazzy said questioning Arin. She just shrugged.
"Well he doesn't even know what element he possesses." His golden companion said; Conor shot her any annoyed look. Before Jazzy could respond, the silver injected himself into the conversation. "To my chagrin, Arin is right. I don't know what I posses." He said. Bones wasn't sure to laugh or pity the other male so he looked on with a stony face devoid of all emotion.
"Well that's strange. I've never known a dragon that hadn't learned his element by your age." Jazzy said pondering what she said. "Do you know what your spirit core is?"
Now it was Conors turn to be confused "Spirit core?" Conor question back.
"You know, where you element derives from, the powerful feeling you have in your chest all the time." Jazzy continued.
"No, I've never felt it." Conor said lying a little bit. He didn't want them to know he had only been a dragon for just a few days.
Finding his words, Bones joined "It must be something to do with him being silver." He said bobbing his brown horned head up and down a few times. "Maybe all of those rumors were wrong. Maybe he doesn't have an element at all." He concluded.
Conor gained a crest fallen look. But as quickly as it came, it was gone. He'd overcome any challenge thrown his way before he was a dragon and he wouldn't stop now.
"Arin" Conor said looking at the golden yellow. He fell back a few steps lagging behind Jazzy and Bones. Arin quickly catching on to his intentions moved to his side so they could speak in private. "You know, I haven't even tried to use my element yet." He said with mixed emotions. The more he thought about not having one, the more downcast he became even with his past resolve.
"The more I let this get to my head, the more painful it gets." Conor said with a hushed voice.
"Then why don't you go ahead and give it a try. I did and look at what I accomplished in one day." She said sending a spark of electricity up her horns. The current staying connected to each of her two horns until it reached the tip and dispersed. She pecked him on the cheek in the form of a brief kiss. "You'll never know unless you try. I believe in you so why don't you believe in yourself?" Conor was left speechless. He'd never been encouraged to do anything in his life by anyone but himself or when people were yelling at him to do something. That thought unsettled him. Just thinking it took him being turned into a dragon to finally receive encouragement from someone is almost life shattering. "Almost life shattering." He thought. His face broke into a small smile once again. He rubbed the side of his cheek with hers affectionately. "She let out that purring sound again". He thought. The sound of it made him happy. He then noted the two sibling stealing glances back at them as they talked and Kiki was busying herself trying to reach a caterpillar cocoon attached to the end of a low branch on one of the oaks. Her tail was wrapped around the branch keeping her steady. She let out a small triumphant yip when she managed to grab it in her jaws.
When Jazzy saw the way Conor and Arin rubbed their cheeks together she smiled and turned back to Bones. "I told you so." She said with a smirk. Bones just grunted in acknowledgment. He had lost their little bet.
"You know your constant blabbering gets annoying sometimes." Bones said a few moments later stomping on the earth beneath him heavily and making the ground shake slightly.
"And that's the way I intend to keep it." she said with an evil grin. Bones rolled his eyes and kept walking.
"Should I give it a try?" Conor asked Arin more for himself than his partner.
"I don't see why not." She said encouraging him again.
He remembered what Kiki had told and showed Arin about summoning forth her element the previous day. Or well that's what he hopped at least. He stopped walking and Arin did likewise. Bones and Jazzy, keeping a constant eye on the pair, noticed there sudden halt and stopped as well. "Well here goes nothing." Conor thought. He braced himself, spreading all four paws out in likewise directions away from his body. He then began his search for that so called spirit core. Arin apparently had one and so did Kiki, they could use the elemental magic so why couldn't he. He opened his mouth aiming at a tree to his right. When Conor opened his mouth only then did Kiki notice what he was trying to do. She sat down on the branch with the cocoon uncrushed in her mouth.
Conor felt around in his chest for the core and was rewarded with a surge of energy. He tried to bring it forth but nothing happened. Or so he thought. Nothing had shot from his maw to strike the unlucky tree but he felt like energy was seeping out of him without knowing why. He let his stance relax and the energy flow slowed. After he was standing up strait, he noticed Arin do a double take. Wondering why and decided to ask her about it but he wasn't able to because someone else threw a question in the air just before he could.
"How did you do that?" Asked the little red striding up to him in awe; she had this look in her eye that he'd never seen before directed towards him.
Everyone waited for him to say something after that, Kiki had voiced the question buzzing in all of their heads. "Um, do what?" Conor said back to the red dragoness.
"Your, head... your body," She trailed off thinking. "It was like you didn't move at all but your head was higher than when it was before and same with your legs. They went from bent to strait in the blink of an eye." She finished.
"No way," said Jazzy eyeballing Conor with a new interest. Bones thwacked her on the back of her head snapping her back to reality. She shot him a glare but didn't do anything.
"No way what?" Conor said more confused than he'd been before. What had he done that perplexed them into staring at him like he just unveiled that he was a human?
Jazzy didn't know how to word what was running threw her mind in what seemed like the first time in her life, she always had something to say. Bones quickly picked up on it so he spoke instead. They were practically thinking the same thing. Everyone was, save for Kiki and Arin. "You're a time master... you can control time itself." He said, with an admiration he never knew he had. He was astounded with himself for feeling the way he is towards this silver male but how could he help it. He could control the very thing that everything lived by.
Arin and Kiki now looked at him in awe.
Conor finally grasping the concept he heard made a startled noise, somewhere between a yip and roar. He startled Arin who was standing next to him. The way she jumped a few inches into the air would have been comical had it not been for the situation he was in.
"Do it again." Jazzy finally said snapping out of her revelry. "If what Bones has just said is true, do what you just did again but move somewhere else like over by that bush." She pointed at a withered looking brown spiked bush covered in dead leaves. He did as commanded not willing to make any attempt at refusing. "Like I would have anyway," he thought.
Conor concentrated on his core but didn't open his mouth this time. He noticed everything coming to a standstill. The leaves ceased to move in the pleasant breeze and no one's chests where rising and falling with breath anymore. It scared him for only the briefest of moments. He steeled his nerves and walked over to the bush concentrating on that ever flowing energy flowing from his chest to the rest of his body. No one's head or gaze moved to follow him as he walked. Once he made it to the bush he let go of the power he had grasped. The power negated its flow a small portion rushed from his body back to his chest and he felt vertigo take hold of his head for a moment. While he was shaking his head, he heard a collective gasp from the four others he was with.
"Well that settles it," Arin said walking over to him and kissing him on the cheek. Conor wasn't ready for the intimate action and stood frozen in shock. "Your really are a time dragon." In her excitement she summoned a small ball of electricity in between her paws after leaning back on her haunches and standing up on her hind legs. The next thing Conor knew was that the crackling ball was racing up into the sky and exploded with a shower of sparks. The boom following soon after.
"So you're the one who did that yesterday." Bones said looking up in the air watching as the sparks shot out in rapid directions but came nowhere near the trees canopy. "That's how we found you three the previous day." He concluded with a nod from Jazzy.
They began walking in the direction of the cave again albeit everyone included in the conversation this time and not sectioned off in pairs. The focus of most of it was on Conor which unsettled him a little. He never liked being in the limelight.
"We're almost there, it's just up this hill," Jazzy said striding ahead of the others. Once everyone had made it to the cave mouth, she ushered her guests inside.
"This is much better than being outside," Arin said looking up at the cave ceiling.
"It is indeed. When the wind howls and blows like the ancients roaring their battle cries, none of the rain or wind ever enters past the opening." She said matter-of-factly.
Conor didn't know why but he felt extremely tired and sought out a place to take a nap. He found one near the entrance of the cave just out of sight from prying eyes. Arin questioned him why he was tired but he wasn't able to say though Jazzy was. "When a dragon uses up a substantial amount of energy, it can leave them fatigued like you're experiencing now. Though why you are so tired after such a short display I cannot say. I don't know anything about your active power to form a valid judgment." She said pausing long enough to take a deep breath. "You probably need the rest anyways, it's nearing dusk and we'll be out hunting for game." She looked at Bones who was standing at the front of the cave waiting for her.
"Okay," Arin said with a nod settling down next to Conor noticing that he was almost asleep. Arin removed the bag and placed it in front of her. The bag had a new hole in it from one of her horns but there was nothing she could do about it. She just hoped Conor wouldn't get mad at her.
Conor vaguely remembered her lying down next to him and noticed Kiki exploring the cave, Arin watching her the whole time. Whatever thoughts he had flowed out of his brain as he succumbed to the sweat embrace of sleep.