What a beautiful lie, such a perfect denial

Geri tore through another basilisk, red and green magic swirling around his violet frame. His rogue’s mask hid his expression but the warring emotions in his red eyes betrayed him.

The Skydancer was angry.

Why? Why was he out here? Why was he back in this blood-soaked place?

Woodland Path. Killer of dragons. Stealer of lives. The bane of their clan’s existence.

Yet here he was, battling for his life again. Alongside him was his brother Rabi and Flin, the Ice flight Mirror who had joined them months back. They battled relentlessly, gathering food and resources.

A song and dance that both he and Flin hated with a passion.

Only a short time ago, Flin’s precious mate Histo had been slain here. The beautiful glittering Wildclaw had been double-teamed and had not survived. Seeing his body had made Flin fall into the same dark pit of despair that had swallowed Geri after his mate Kemia had died in Scorched Forest weeks ago.

Yet here they both were, back at this old song and dance again. Battling for survival, for strength, for the resources to keep their clan alive.

Though their clan now numbered fifty, with more on the way from the nests incubating at home, they had lost others recently beyond Histo. Siel, the lovely Tundra, and Pero, the majestic Nocturne, had both fallen during their past forays into the wilderness.

Siel had been too cocky. She had demanded to go into Woodland Path rather than the assigned Training Fields, to prove herself to Winse, her crush. The young Tundra had lost her life in the effort.

It was Pero that was shocking to lose.

The gorgeous young Nocturne had died in a place that the clan had grown to view as a safe refuge to fight–Training Fields. Slain by the strike of two Crimson Emperors, her death had been a stab in the heart to many dragons in the clan. Her death shook their faith and confidence.

Evening Training Fields was no longer safe. Each wilderness venue now had blood spilled in it.

But Woodland Path, second only to the nesting grounds in the lair, was the worst offender of all.

Geri spat more concentrated magic, blowing a burnt strangler away with the force of it. Near him, Flin unleashed a barrage of ice chunks. Rabi circled nearby, the Spiral lashing out with deadly claws as he slowly gathered magic for himself.

Geri could not help but feel reinvigorated, renewed. This act of killing brought fresh energy pouring into him. Gone was the dark pit of despair. It was now replaced with a deep sea of anger. Anger that only fighting and killing could appease.

Flin, she understood this. The poison-skinned Mirror felt it too. They were kindred spirits, born of loss and reborn through murder.

Perhaps one day, she and Geri would join together. Surely Kemia and Histo would not mind?

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