Losis smiled down at his baby siblings, Chemi and Tryp. He was so happy not to be the youngest in the lair anymore.

And best of all, those two wouldn’t be the youngest for long either! Leth and Lymph’s nest hatched tomorrow and Winse and sis’ nest would hatch in four days!

Losis was happy to see so many babies around the lair. Or would be when they came. But he was happy right now, too. He’d just be even happier when there were more babies.

Though he was the youngest, he certainly didn’t look the youngest. If you didn’t know him beyond his size, you’d think Losis was in charge of the lair. He was 19M, a meter larger than Winse was now. It was amazing, how quickly such a young Guardian grew.

Winse was mildly annoyed by this. When he’d gotten bigger than his adopted father, it had been a grand day of internal celebration for the Shadow-born dragon.

And now, in the span of a week since becoming an adult, Losis was suddenly much bigger.

Winse didn’t know who to curse for this. He didn’t believe in deities anymore. Maybe he’d just curse the sky.

…Or maybe he’d just forget about it.

So Losis was bigger. So what? Bigger didn’t mean better. Losis still had a hard time in the wilderness, as any beginner did. His large size just made him a bigger target.

That made Winse feel better.

So did resting by the nest he had made. The hissing goo housed one slimy green egg. Betes had been hoping for five. Winse was just happy to have a child on the way. He didn’t care how many. Even one was good enough.

Now he needed to ensure the child lived. If there was a way to evade the plague, to keep it from taking a life, then Winse was going to find out how and use it. He refused to lose his firstborn child to something that had taken the lives of four other hatchlings.

His child would survive. They would be strong, like he was.

They had to be.

Needed to be.



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