“Only a dead female; another of the beasts set her aflame. There is no way to get close enough to salvage anything.”
“Damn. Blow the entrance then, we don’t need dragon fire to spread and the corpse will be burning for a millennia for all we know.”
Gold eyes watched from the darkness of the forest as the group of hunters discussed what was to be done. It took a few moments of arguing before they all left to get what they’d need to destroy the cave and keep the dragon fire in.
Once he was sure they were gone, the small dragon hopped down from his branch high in canopy and bared his fangs in the direction that they had left in. They were fools. Resourceful fools, but fools nonetheless. Not all the dragons doubted the might of the hunters; he’d seen too many die and too many nests raided to doubt them.
His scales, though a deep midnight black to the eye, acted as a prism as the light hit them. The rainbow of colors reflected off the trees and into the darkness of the cave. The dragon’s eyes slid shut as a dark smoke rolled off his body, covering him and spreading through the small clearing as he grew in size.
In the span of a few moments, he had gone from the size of a mountain lion to higher than the trees when he stood. It was one of the unique powers of his breed; just as the greens could command the earth and the water dragons could blend flawlessly with their habitats. His was a breed of magic and shadows, making them a very much sought after prize.
The entrance to the cave barely fit his bulk but he squeezed in and approached the burning form of his mate. She had chosen this end. Those hunters had gotten too close and were becoming too bold. Neither of them wanted to die but they also could not join in the migration.
His scales protected him from the flames as he looked over her. Her body was curled into a circle and nestled in the middle was their clutch of eggs. It wasn’t that long ago that they could’ve lived in peace and cared for their eggs the normal way until they hatched. Because of the hunts and the dying out of their race, they had to resort to this; sacrificing herself so that their young would have the heat they needed to incubate for however long it took.
Their kind did not hatch quickly. Often it took millennia and others, only a few hundred years. Time would tell but they had not had the time to properly watch. Because of the danger and knowing that the hunters would not be able to brave the magic fires, she had curled herself around the nest and set herself aflame.
Lingering was dangerous but he couldn’t help but stay. Dragons did not mate for life but she had done what no other would do for her young. He’d seen females abandon nests with the thought that they would survive to see another clutch born. But each egg smashed was a loss, another step closer to their kind being eradicated. And all for sport and profit.
His eyes glittered with anger as he tore himself away and another plume of black smoke filled the cave as he shrunk down to hide in the trees yet again. The hunters would return soon and he had promised that he would not be caught in the fray. They would unknowingly blow the entrance and protect the precious clutch. Eggs and mother would be hidden from the world but he would not forget.
Protecting them from afar was all he was going to be able to do. He would not migrate, not until the eggs had hatched, but he was going to have to find a safer place to hide. The land was full of violence and war but it was also a place of power and magic; perfect for him. Nevertheless, if at all possible, he would have to find an accomplice. Staying alone was doable, risky, but doable and he would prefer to have some company.
A running leap got him high enough to reach the lower branches of a large oak and his wings propelled him higher and through the trees. He wouldn’t go far, just find a place in which he could tempt someone, preferably and elf or a faerie, to come to him. Just one, strong youth with a fire in their heart to match the one he left burning behind him was all he needed.
Little did he know the fates had already set in motion for him to meet his partner; a black haired, blue eyed faerie, desperate to save the only family that he cared for.
Meh, I’m a little iffy on this one but it needed to get up.
Next Creature: Chinese Dragon