Dragons Rising

Dragons Rising by Daniel Arenson Page A

Book: Dragons Rising by Daniel Arenson Read Free Book Online
Authors: Daniel Arenson
Amity.
    Cade
pointed his claws ahead. "Keep flying! I see daylight."
    The
sunlight was distant, almost invisible in the glare of the
bonedrakes, but Cade kept pumping his wings, shooting forward. He
whipped his tail a few more times, knocking down more stalactites.
The whole ceiling began crumbling behind him. When he glanced back,
he saw the cave imploding, raining down onto the bonedrakes. Every
second, another rock crushed another skeleton, shoving the creature
down toward the floor.
    Cade
looked forward. He saw it there--an exit into another gorge. He
smelled the fresh air and saw the pines. He beat his wings. He was
almost there.
    The
exit began to crumble, the walls cracking around it.
    Cade
and Amity roared and shot forward.
    The
cave gave a last groan, and then the walls crashed down.
    Two
dragons plowed through a hailstorm of boulders and burst out into the
gorge.
    Their
wings beat, and they shot skyward, leaving the gorge into open sky.
When they stared down, they saw the cliff crumble. A landslide of
boulders and pines drove down into the chasm. The forest sank,
sinkholes greedily swallowing trees and hills, burying the bonedrakes
within. Dust flew in a cloud, then settled back upon a silent land.
    The
two dragons glided above, covered in scrapes and bruises, bleeding
from many cuts.
    "I
killed more than you, kid," Amity said. "I counted."
    Cade
ignored her, flew past the gorge, and landed on a hill between pines.
There he released his magic, fell to his knees, and stared down at
the gorge. A new visitor to this land would not have noticed any
destruction. Within moments, the landscape had rearranged itself into
a new formation, and the birds sang again.
    Cade
lowered his head.
    Amity
flew down, a red dragon wreathed in smoke, and released her magic
too. She landed on her feet beside Cade and mussed his hair.
    "What's
wrong, kid?"
    He
kept staring at the landscape. His wounds ached but worse was the
pain inside him. "The cave. All those beautiful formations of
stone. All those glowworms--millions of them. An ancient cathedral
full of light, a kingdom as glorious as Requiem . . . gone."
    Amity
raised an eyebrow. "Cade! Did you get hit too hard on the head?
It was a cave full of worms. Worms , kid."
    He
nodded. "I know. But they were beautiful. And we killed them. We
killed them all."
    She
nodded. "And all the bonedrakes too. I'd say the tradeoff was
worth it." She tugged him. "Stand up! Stand up and look at
me."
    Cade
rose to his feet and turned toward her. Amity stared at him, covered
in dust and specks of blood.
    "I'm looking," he said.
    "What
do you see?"
    "A
crazy woman who almost died with me."
    Amity
nodded. "I would have died. Without you, I'd have died in some
roadside battle, killing one or two bonedrakes before they took me
down. But I'm alive now. Thanks to . . well, thanks to you. I'm only
going to admit this once, so soak it up now. You're all right, kid.
You killed some worms, yes, but you also saved my arse. Maybe that'll
comfort you." She growled. "Unless you like the worms
better."
    He
sighed. "All right, Amity. Your arse is worth more than worms."
    "Gosh,
but don't you know how to make a girl feel special!" She rolled
her eyes, then sighed and grabbed him. She squeezed him in a crushing
embrace, then pinched his cheek. "Now will you stop moping?"
    His
legs crumbled as surely as the cave. He landed on the ground and lay
on his back. "I'm going to lie down for a bit. Everything
hurts."
    Amity
lay down at his side, pressing against him. The pine branches swayed
above, and birds sang. Only a lingering chill filled the air, then
faded as the sun rose higher. Amity was soon snoring softly, but
exhausted as he was, Cade could not fall asleep.
    Those
things were hunting Vir Requis, he thought and shivered. Did
they find the others? Korvin and Fidelity and Domi?
    He
closed his eyes, shivered, and prayed to the stars to look after his
friends.

 
 
FIDELITY

    At
dawn, Fidelity and Korvin beheld the

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