on the snout, then slapped her with his tail. "To
the cave! We'll fight them in darkness. Fly!"
She yowled but followed him. She flew up and down, skirting the beams
of light. A bonedrake rose toward them, and the dragons' tails
lashed, knocking it down. The two dragons, burnt and howling, shot
toward the cliff wall. The cave entrance was just large enough to let
a single dragon fly inside. Cade entered first, and Amity followed
The cave delved into the rock, wide as a temple nave. They flew
deeper, leaving the sunlight behind, but found that light still shone
here. Countless azure beads glowed upon the black ceiling and walls.
Strands of light hung everywhere like lichen, illuminating black
stalagmites and stalactites. There were more lights here than stars
in the sky, Cade thought. The blue beads reflected in a stream that
coiled below into the depths.
he whispered in awe. "Glowworm homes. Millions of them."
about a million bonedrakes on our tail!" Amity cried, beating
her wings and flying deeper into the cave.
with her, Cade looked behind him and winced. The bonedrakes were
flying into the caves, jaws snapping. The lights in their ribcages
blazed out, overpowering the gentle blue glowworms.
"You led us to our grave, kid!" Amity shouted.
rounded a corner, skimming across the wall. Cade's scales brushed
against the cave, knocking down a stalactite. Glowworms rained from
the ceiling, little beads of gliding light. Amity growled, slammed
against the wall, and kept flying. Just as they made the turn, two
bonedrakes slammed into the curving wall, their bones shattering.
Stalactites plunged down, and one drove between the ribs of a
bonedrake and shattered its luminous heart. But several other
bonedrakes made the turn and kept flying in pursuit of the dragons.
Beams of light shot from their jaws.
and Amity dived. The beams shot over their heads, slammed into the
cave walls, and knocked down more limestone pillars. The dragons rose
higher, scraping against the ceiling. More glowworms fell.
ahead!" Cade cried.
barely made this turn too, cracking the wall. More bonedrakes slammed
into the rock and shattered, but others kept flying in pursuit.
the beams of light, Cade and Amity flew into a wide cavern, nearly as
wide and deep as the gorge outside. Hundreds of stalactites hung from
the ceiling, covered in blue glowworms.
burst into the chamber behind them.
wanted to kill bonedrakes?" Cade shouted to Amity. "Fly
with me! And whip your tail!"
rose to fly just under the stalactites, raised his tail like a
scorpion, and began whipping it around.
cracked and fell.
looked over his shoulder to see the falling stalactites slam into the
pursuing beasts, snapping their spines, shattering the glowing
essence within them. Amity laughed and flew with Cade, whipping her
tail around, shattering more stalactites. The stone daggers showered
down, wreathed in glowworms, to slam into the bonedrakes. More of the
undead creatures fell to the floor, impaling themselves on jutting
on, bonies!" Amity shouted, laughing as she flew, as more
bonedrakes kept emerging into this great, glowing cathedral in the
mountains. "Come on and chase me, you boney-arsed bastards!"
of the creatures kept emerging, screeching, the skeletal riders on
their backs crying out. The two dragons kept racing forward, tails
flailing, sending stalactites crashing down onto the undead. More and
more explosions rocked the cave as the bonedrakes collapsed, spilling
out their blazing light. With every blast, more stalactites crashed
down, only to kill more bonedrakes who in turn burst apart, creating
a chain reaction. The caves shook. Cracks raced along the walls. Soon
not only stalactites were falling but chunks of the ceiling. The
water churned below.
whole damn cave's collapsing!" said