Part One: The War Begins
Once, long ago, there was a war between dragons and unicorns. A black unicorn, her name long gone, declared war on the dragonfolk and their leader, Draco. I was very stunned to hear from my chief messenger, Faranth, the news that the black unicorn had declared war on the dragons.
"Faranth, have you any idea why they're doing this?" I asked her, hoping against hope that she would burst out laughing and say that I had finally fallen for one of her jokes. But she had a grave look on her face, and it was then that I realized that she was telling the truth.
"Draco, this is serious. There are no more jokes to be played now. I know no reason why she has declared war - then again, who would know her reasons?" She said, flexing her wings perplexively. The scales on my back flashed angrily at her words, and I told her to not tell anyone else about it until I gave her word to do so. Bowing, she turned and flew away, and looking after her I saw her breathe a great plume of fire in the sky, a sign of confusion and anger. Sighing, I turned back to my cave, staying awake almost the whole night, turning the matter over and over in my head. I finally realized that we would have to go to war.
In the morning, I gave my thought-speak call until she answered and came swooping downward. I could see that she had not gone into her cave to sleep, but had flown restlessly all night.
"Faranth, you shall tell everyone the matter and that we. . . we will go to war against the unicorns and pegasi. Fly high, Faranth, and give the call in thought-speak."
We were up in the clouds, where the unicorn and pegasi lived. But amidst all those horse-like creatures, were knights. I knew that unicorns had summoning powers, but there had to be at least 20 knights! A growl bubbled deep in my throat and a small puff of flame escaped my nostrils.
"I see you admire my knights," said the Black One, looking pleased.
"They are a great addition to your army," I said stiffly. "Yet I see that you, also, have taken notice of my archers, whom some of us have taken the liberty to find good archers who hate unicorns. A whole legion of unicorn-hating archers who willingly joined us. None have to be close up to kill - arrows fly far, far out of reach of those pathetic horns of yours." My scales rippled a dangerous red and I waved my tail in a gesture of contempt as the unicorn said quite coolly that no matter what, she was immortal (for black unicorns are immortal, and she is and will be the only immortal unicorn) and nothing could harm her. She did speak the truth, I knew. But then it hit me like a rock.
"You declared war on us knowing that nothing could stop you, so if you defeat us, you go to our caves and steal our eggs to be your future slaves!" I cried in rage. A great roar rose up from my army as the Black One replied,
"I cannot believe you could have guessed my plan, Draco. After all, I chose your race first because you take everything as a joke, and as a result, you have become more than slightly stupid. But when I raise your young, they will grow to be as wise as the unicorns."
"It has begun!" shouted the Black One. I leaped into the air before either army ever moved, and then, facing downward, out of my nose came fire onto their army. The archers, having found high perches on rocks before it began, let loose with a shower of arrows. Included with the fire and the arrows was a mist coming out of our mist-breathing dragons that had very fast wings, and were everywhere above the unicorn's army before I had flamed the enemy. They opened their mouths and as one let loose a misty fluid which did not let the black's army see anything for a few moments before it cleared. That gave my army an advantage, and they plunged into the opposing army, thinking that those frail-looking unicorns could not do as much harm as them - all they had to defend themselves with was a flimsy horn, and were exceptionally small, so they were of course much more weak, right?
Apparently not. Those darn unicorns could see through that mist perfectly well, and apparently that horn was not so flimsy - very accurate, to be precise. And they did have more than one way to protect themselves - with hooves and teeth, and when they rose on their hind legs they were quite tall. I snorted. Maybe this was going to be a fair war, after all.
As the mist cleared, I could see the slain dragons and unicorns, basic lumps of guts and blood and charred bodies lay everywhere. It was insane! Dragons had lived peaceful for thousands of years, and never in my family line had war arose, nor any of my ancestors seen such destruction. Madness! There was no natural instinct that rose beneath me - how could there be one? Nothing to help me, just my own scared mind. But even with these thoughts I knew I couldn't leave, for the entire war rested on my shoulders.
The entire war rested on my shoulders? What if I made a mistake? Ordered the wrong command? What if - just don't fly there and think, Draco. I told myself. This is war - who cares what position you're in? Just get in the fight, you're the biggest and the leader and they need you! Which pretty much set me straight. I turned around, and saw a pegasus, horn pointed downward, going toward a dragon! Me myself could do nothing, but could warn the gray dragon. So I used thought-speak.
*GRAY DRAGON, LOOK! A PEGASUS HAS ITS HORN DIRECTED RIGHT TOWARD YOUR HEART, SO TAKE THIS WARNING AND ESCAPE TO THE SKY IN 2 SECONDS SO THE PEGASUS WILL CRASH AND DIE.*
And he took to the sky in two seconds, making the pegasus crash and die. That was basically what I did, and breathing plumes of fire into the sky where the pegasus were.
War had been going on for days and days now, and I had become recognized as the greatest warrior of all the dragons. There was one time especially that made my name and another's ring about the camp where we stayed. I had dangerously risked my life (in more ways than one) to save my best friend, Kadith. A pegasus had been aimed straight toward her heart, going down in mid-dive, while at the same time a knight had his lance pointed at her throat.
(HELP ME!) She cried. I quickly summoned a royal blue dragon to help me help her, but there being no time for words, I flashed my scales in a split second, but in that second a thousand colors had been showed in a pattern that only dragons can interpret. He rose up in the air to help me assist Kadith. I took care of the knight while he took care of the pegasus. We were heroes!
Also, there were lots of other things that I did (of course not without the help of other dragons - well, most of the time). But the thing that I remembered the most was of childhood memories, at night when the stars were so clear and peaceful . . .
"Draco, I really must say that you should play fair, not cheat! Really, how many times do I have to say this?" Scolded our teacher, Orlith. We were in the middle of a game called 'Talon to Tail', a game where you challenge each other to a fighting match (no one gets hurt, though). It was part of our learning in school, so when we grew up we would know how to fight for homes (caves), and also for better wing maneuvering and tail control, because dragons have blades on our tails. I can say that this is part of school that I really enjoy. I had challenged Arista, a golden female, even though I knew that she was the best fighter that there ever was - even Orlith feared her! Before we began, I flashed my scales a million different colors, dazzling and confusing her. When she was recovering from the brightness, I took that opportunity and thrust my tail forward, pressing it against her neck. She gave me a dirty look, and I laughed. It was then that Orlith scolded me - I always found some way to cheat.
Still laughing, I took my tail away from Arista's throat. Bad move. As soon as it was removed, Arista shot out her tail and hit both sides of my face with the flat side of the blade, struck out with her claws and stopped them a millimeter from cutting out my heart, and snapped her jaws in my face. Then, she grabbed my wings in her talons and ripped them just enough so that I could fly, but made sure to give me pain for the wrong. She leaped into the air and circled high, laughing in my head as she circled:
*WELL THEN, DRACO, I SEE THAT YOU NEED A BIT MORE PRACTICE THAN ME - YOU CAN'T EVEN USE COMMON SENSE, AND ALTHOUGH THIS IS PRACTICE FOR FUTURE NEEDS, TREAT IT LIKE THE REAL THING. ALSO, YOU MIGHT WANT TO TRY TO USE COMMON TACTICS INSTEAD OF TRICKS AND ILLUSIONS. HA HA! I CAN SEE THAT IN THE FUTURE YOU WON'T BE A GOOD FIGHTER AT ALL 'CAUSE YOU CAN'T EVEN USE ANY GOOD . . . WELL, ANYTHING! HA HA HAAAAAA HHHAHAHAAHAHAAAAAAAAAHAAA . . .*
"Shutup Arista," I muttered angrily. "What do you know? Someday, maybe in my time, war will arise and I will be the leading general, the best fighter of all the dragons!" That one I remembered especially well, but I knew that what I said may have been mere hope at the time, but in a couple years that bluff was becoming true . . .
"Arrgghhh!" I cried as the older male's tail hit home - right on my left leg, crippling me. So I leapt up into the air, taking the older male by surprise. I rose about four hundred feet, and yet the other one did not follow, just looked up at me. I wanted to fight. I wanted to taste blood in my mouth. So I gave a war-cry, flashing my scales to let him know that I had claimed the cave as mine. I began to fly toward the cave entrance. Suddenly it was as if something had gone off in the male's head. He roared a challenge, and I defiantly cried one back. He came at me like a rocket, while I calmly floated around in the air, waiting for his attack.
Before he came close enough, I had made it look obvious that I was going to slash him with my talons, but at the last moment whipped my tail around, flashing my scales bright, blinding colors. Dazzled (I'm usually black), he did not see my tail until it was too late. It trimmed his talons and cut short the tail scythe, then I pressed it against his neck.
*I HAVE WON. DO YOU WISH TO BE KILLED, OR DO YOU WANT TO LIVE TO SEE THE LIGHT OF ANOTHER DAY?* I asked casually. (I had learned that thought-speak is better than regular speech in a fight.) Slowly he nodded. Still pressing my tail to his throat, I warned him that if he even moved, I would kill him - if my tail even twitched, his head would go rolling. I swooped around, taking his wings in my talons. At that moment he decided to try to bite my throat. I twitched. Letting go of his wings, I got the pleasure of seeing his body go down with his head. I went into a steep dive, right above him. Spreading my wings about ten feet from the ground, I soared above, watching his body splatter against some sharp rocks. Laughing, I marked the cave as mine - for the rest of my life, that would be my home (I had made sure to take the biggest and best cave).
I made the cave a nice place to live, actually - a fair place to house a female and the family I was going to have. I made it especially impressive so that she would be very, very pleased with it. Then, that done, I took off in search of a female.
I didn't have to fly very far, actually. I saw her, a strange look on her face - I had never seen that look on a female's face. Her scales rippled pleasingly as she watched a large chestnut male walking toward her, three other dead males behind it. Suddenly I knew who the male and the female were! The chestnut was the king of all dragons, Ruatha, and if one was to kill Ruatha, that dragon would be the next king, and if a female were to marry Ruatha, she would be queen. and the female was -
*HA HA! SO, ANOTHER FOOL WHO THINKS HE CAN DEFEAT ME. HO HO! I AM THE BEST FIGHTER OF ALL MALE DRAGONS - ARISTA IS THE ONLY DRAGON THAT IS BETTER THAN ME. I HAVE LEARNED THAT FROM PAST EXPERIENCE. COME HERE, BOY, AND SHOW ME WHAT YOU'RE MADE OF! HA!*
*YOU HAVE GROWN OLD AND FEEBLE, RUATHA, AND THAT FIGHTING SKILL BY WHICH YOU WON KINGSHIP BY HAS BEEN EBBING AWAY FOR THE PAST FEW DECADES. SO, LET'S SEE HOW GOOD YOU ARE AT CHALLENGING A YOUNG ONE! MY NAME IS DRACO. YOU WILL NOT HAVE TIME TO FORGET THAT NAME, RUATHA.*
*WE SHALL SEE, SMALL ONE. WE SHALL SEE.*
I dove. But this time, there was fear. Fear of getting killed. Not the certainty that I was going to win, pronto. But there was want, to - to get the female, to claim her as mine (for she was the best female that ever was), to become king over dragons. That was what drove me forward - the greediness of getting the best of everything. I wisely decided not to tell the disgraced king that the dragon I fought and killed was his son - and that the cave that I had claimed was his cave that his family tree always had, because his family, from the start, was always king because they were the best fighters of all other families. Except for Arista. She was the best fighter, even better than Ruatha's family tree. That was why he wanted her to be in his line.
Like his son, I made it obvious that I was going to attack with my talons. I raked them forward, extending them far out in front of me. Then I opened my mouth, showing off hundreds of needle-sharp teeth.
*I ALMOST HAD THE THOUGHT THAT YOU WOULD BE A LITTLE LESS OBVIOUS ABOUT HOW YOU WERE GOING TO ATTACK ME, DRACO. THEN AGAIN, YOU'RE AN AMETURE. WHO WOULD THINK THAT YOU WOULD KNOW?* Then he laughed a cold, dark laugh. I just kept diving toward him. I was about to flash, but I had to do one more thing. I moved slightly to the right, going at an angle so the sun hit me just right. At first, I showed dark colors, with bits and pieces of enough messages to keep him interested. Then, I switched to the most blinding colors of all, putting them in the effective pattern that I had improved over time to perfection. He was blinded. It turned out, too, that he used sight the most in a fight.
*GOOD-BYE, RUATHA. YOU HAVE DISGRACED YOUR ANCESTORS BY LETTING ME BE KING.* I whipped my tail forward, but instead of killing him right away, I decided to see what a dragon was like in a fight without his tail. So, I landed the blow right at the base of his tail, making him cry in pain. I also noticed that the female took pleasure in all of this, making some sort of purring sound. She took pleasure in the fact that all this was over her.
Ruatha looked kind of angry, and said some words I didn't even know existed. But with enough provoking and teasing, he fought. And I learned, from that day forward, that a dragon without a tail is basically like being a human that has both arms and legs broken, and has to defend himself from being killed. After he was dead, I turned to the female. But she was not there! After all that, after all the hard work (and she had also seemed to take pleasure in the fact that all this was over her), she was not there! Muttering to myself, I turned around to see the golden female, bent over Ruatha's neck, draining the very blood from him. When she finished, she did the same to all the other dead dragons, and when she was finished she turned to look at me. Her scales had now turned to a pleasing reddish hue with her green emerald eyes sparkling in the misty air of the mountains. Then, she leaped to the air, flying at what seemed to be impossible speed - that was what the blood was for!
To give her speed in the flight!
Suddenly, without me really knowing it, I was up into the air after her - going after Arista, the greatest fighter there ever was. A weird urge swept me up, and I suddenly only knew one thing - to catch her. Then I saw her, a mere twenty to thirty feet above me. I had to get to her, I just had to. I was catching up . . .
Me and Arista had a happy family of five dragonets, four of which were females.
P ' lier, the only boy in our children, complained to me about having girls surround him all the time. I just laughed, and told him he was lucky that he wasn't born in my clutch of eggs . . .
Anyway, in a couple of months they all grew up and moved to their own separate caves - that is, free caves for nestling. In a couple of years, when he passed school, P ' lier would fight and get his own big, roomy cave, prepare it, and look for a female. But that was years to come. Anyway, me and Arista stayed together for life, as was the custom, until death. Death came all to suddenly, though, when Arista struck ill from a fatal disease called Bowiei Acanthurus. I could not believe my ears when I heard that she had the disease - it was gone! No dragon had ever gotten that disease for hundreds of years. But there was also some expectation that I felt. It surprised me to think that I had somehow been expecting this. A king, two thousand years ago, had gotten the disease, and he was the best fighter in the whole dragon country. He had slain over sixty dragons, taken over the continent, and no one dare oppose him. Then, at the height of his youth and at the highest of his
skills, he mysteriously got the disease. That happened several other times before or after that, all at the prime of youth and the best fighter. But I did not spend time wondering over this. I had to be with Arista. She needed me!
When she was lying on the cave floor, weak from exhaustion, I never left her side - not to nibble on the tempting greenery below or to sip the quiet bubbling stream below our cave. No, for fifty-eight hours I stayed right by her side, singing silly childhood songs together, talking about old times. But I could never get over the fact that she looked so frail and delicate - not the strong, life-loving dragon I had seen all my life. But I did not see change or weakness in one part of her, and that was her soul. She would always be saying things like, 'Draco, quit fussing over me. I'll be fine. Go outside and get some fresh air. Put that tail and those wings into good use, it'll do you a world 'o good.' But even with these attitudes, I could see that she was glad that I was there. After she was gone, I flat-out refused to go on a mating flight the rest of my life.
Part Two: The Truth Revealed
I fell asleep with these wondering thoughts each night. This night was no different. The next day, we made ready for war again. I rose and gave the trumpet for everyone to arise. Kadith flew up to me, and asked me what the plan was for today so she could tell everyone else (Faranth had died only recently). I snarled that there were no plans for today. We should just fight, see what the day would bring. Confused at my rash behavior, she did not ask questions but bowed and flew away.
"Arista, Arista, where are you?" I whispered. I'd had the most horrid dream . . .
We flew to the fighting grounds, me in the lead, Kadith at my side. She decided she wanted to know what was wrong, so she sent me a private thought-speak.
*DRACO, WHAT'S BOTHERING YOU? YOU KNOW THAT I'M ALWAYS HERE FOR YOU, AND I HAVE AND WILL ALWAYS REMAIN LOYAL TO YOU. I'LL NEVER TELL A SOUL. BUT, WELL, IF YOU DON'T THAT'S FINE. I'LL ALWAYS BE HERE WHEN YOU WANT TO TELL ME.*
*WILL YOU? WILL YOU ALWAYS BE HERE, KADITH? HOW DO YOU KNOW THAT? HOW DO I KNOW THAT YOU WILL NEVER JUST DISAPPEAR LIKE - * Right then I shut up. She was speechless. She didn't think that I would still be mourning for Arista after all these years. We flew silently the rest of the way.
"Ah, look, here is Draco's pathetic army. Quite a shame, really. Not much more of them left, so, alas, not as much fun left. Oh, well. Creatures die, but I shall never feel the cold grip of death as he beckons me to come join him. Not even God himself can put me in the hands of death."
"I would not be saying these things about God. He gave you that power - "
"And it backfired on the poor fool."
" - And he is fully able to put you where you belong."
"No, I have more power than God the Almighty himself!"
"I would not boast or brag, Black One. He can hear you."
"Ha! Do not try to suck up to him. Only poor fools try to gain the help of the Lord."
"Mark my words, unicorn. You shall be destroyed, put into the fire pit of hell and suffer the consequences that he will afflict on you. It is not my job to punish you. You know fully well that the immortality that you have now isn't even close to what he has. You haven't even taken a step towards being as powerful as him."
"Bah! You know, I get tired of this - all talk and no excitement. I have grown tiresome in this foolish war. Let us dispose of this waste that stands before us."
With a roar they plunged into our army. I glared at the unicorns. There had to be some way to destroy them! I heard a roar beside me, and there before me was a dragon, chest spurting blood. But then I saw a thing that I had never seen before. The Black One
stepped calmly up to the carcass of the dragon. Then she put her two front hooves on him. Then - I don't really know how to explain this - The Black One seemed to have something going up its legs, then go into the rest of its body. She seemed to grow a bit larger as the thing moved around inside her, then she went back to the normal size. Then I saw something in her eyes that frightened and astonished me. They had lost the fire in them that the Black One always seemed to have. For a couple seconds I thought I saw - but no, it could not be. Almost as if forced, she turned her head, and locked eyes with mine. I felt a wave of emotion swell up inside of me. I found I couldn't breathe. Then she looked as if she wanted to speak. I swear I saw some sort of struggle inside of her, as if the something had taken control and the unicorn was trying to take back control.
"Draco - " That single word broke my heart. I did not know what happened to me, what made me do that. But all of a sudden, as I saw the real merciless unicorn, I went mad. I leaped at him, talons outstretched, flame streaming out of my mouth. I did not care what she did to me, if I died, but suddenly I had to do something to that creature. But as I got the pleasure of seeing her eyes widen with surprise, then to my intense horror, delight, I was knocked down by Kadith. She had seen me about to do that from the air, (dragons have very good eyesight) and knew that I was about to kill myself, and had come hurtling down, knocking me down just in time. We bounced a couple times, then was still. She broke the silence, standing over me like a tower.
*DRACO, WHAT HAS GOTTEN INTO YOU? YOU LOOKED LIKE YOU WERE ON A SUICIDE MISSION!*
Something took over me. I don't know what. All of a sudden I snapped at her, trying to crush her throat. My tail thrashed as I tried to reach her heart. She gave a cry of horror and leaped into the air, going higher and higher until she was just a speck of dust against the glaring sunlight. I did not even notice. All I knew was that I had to follow the black unicorn. As I leaped into the air, trying to locate her by scent, I finally found her. I saw her leap from the edge of the cloud and plummet downward. Then, even though I know that she was immortal and could do anything, I saw her rise up on a pair of dragon wings!
I cried out, but the unicorn didn't even look back. She stayed aloft on the air, using the wind currents to help her. Suddenly she shot upwards on a thermal. I was on the thermal in a second. I didn't know anything - my conscious mind was gone. I just had to follow her. But I almost felt as if a soul was summoning me to follow her . . .
The flight took hours, but I didn't even notice the time. I just kept the Black One in sight, making almost no noise on my powerful wings.
Finally I saw some cliffs lining the coast of a small island. Hmmm . . . I had never been here. Odd. Ah, oh well. Who cared? Suddenly I realized that I could think. I was in no powerful grip anymore, no being had me in his grasp!
Surprise took me over when I saw the night-colored unicorn dive under the sea. I had no problem with that, because dragons loved the water and can hold their breath for hours on end. I dove under the surface of the sea, breaking the shining barrier between sea and sky. My water lids came over immediately, and then I could see. The Black One went as deep as the bottom, then to my surprise, she opened a rock with her horn. She was about to go through it, but then she suddenly whisked around, looking for any danger. My instinct took me over at once. See, dragons are like chameleons, able to change colors to match their background. So my scales changed at once, making me invisible. But we are like an improved version of chameleon, so to add the rest of the disguise, my scales looked like they were rippling like the waves.
Satisfied, the dark horse went into the hole. I quickly followed. We seemed to swim forever, and finally we began to go upward. Then we emerged, after what must have been forty-five minutes, onto an underwater island. (I guess that must sound weird, but you'll just have to hang onto the idea of an underwater island.) Anyway, as soon as we got onto dry land I made sure to get a real good breath of air, because it is very tiresome to have to hold your breath for at least three hours. The first thing I noticed was that we were in a vast cave, and I was barely able to see the roof, even with eyes that were twenty times better than an hawk's (that's pretty good eyesight). Anyway, the second thing that I noticed was that of a vast array of gold and scarlet chests, each as large as about a normal jewelry box.
It was to these chests I was drawn. And, again, I felt my conscious mind slip away and I was again in the grip of something all too-powerful. But to get to the chests, I would have to let my identity be known. She saw me, all right.
"what!? after all that secrecy, all that time underwater (surely only an immortal can go through there), you found me!? How, how did you . . ."
"Ha! I guess that you don't know everything about us. We dragons can hold our breaths for a large amount of hours, and we are chameleon-like, able to change colors to match our surrounding and create movement, like wave ripples." I was surprised to find out that as soon as the unicorn began to speak, the spiritual hold let go.
"Alas, I'm afraid I'll have to kill you. But, before I do so, I have decided to let you know - well, you'll know it when I tell you. But, anyway, I will tell you everything. My whole life you will know, and I have decided to tell you so the agony of truth will be in your heart when you die. But first, I must compliment on your abilities - you have more abilities than I had ever imagined your kind to have. But now, onto my story.
Karkadann (for that was her name) was born eight thousand years ago. She was born as a white unicorn, like any other. Her parents, whom, like all other unicorns at that time, were just beginning to understand magic and their ways. So, of course they were afraid and deeply shocked when, about a couple weeks disappeared into thin air. She went without knowing it, for then was her first, but when she reappeared she was about a mile in the air. But, unfortunately, there was a thing called gravity, so, of course, she fell like a stone toward the waiting ground. But then all of a sudden she saw a white, misty, see-through dragon rising slowly upward, spiraling toward the sky directly below her.
Karkadann whinnied in fear. The dragon frightened her, and of course so did the ground. But the misty dragon never looked up, only kept going slowly upward. The pony fell, finally, onto the spirit's back. Then, all of a sudden, the dragon roared in fear. Without knowing it, Karkadann was basically drinking up the soul into her with his hooves. In a couple of seconds the dragon was within him. The poor unicorn fell again, but this time, she felt another conscious being's personality rise within her. The dragon, being unable to go into paradise, was now within her. But she had no time to notice the dragon. The ground was, like, right there. She had all of herself concentrated on that ground. Then suddenly, she was just floating on air and staying on one level of the air. What the . . . When Karkadann looked behind her, she saw two huge wings extending from her spine. But she did not panic. Instead, she concentrated all of her will on her home. Then, she was home. She could no longer feel
the dragon's presence (but it was still in her) and the wings were gone. But now Karkadann was not so snow white anymore. She was a bit darker than normal unicorns.
"Karkadann, where have you been? How have you done that, my daughter? And why are you darker?" Then her father realized that she must have more magic in her than all other unicorns.
The years passed. Karkadann, now pitch black because of all the dragon souls in her. She had only begun to realize that she was the only being that could see souls, and of course land on them. She had, by now, grown accustom to her rapid disappearing and growing wings. Suddenly, she realized that whenever a dragon died, she would be immediately summoned to it whether she liked it or not.
One day she finally had enough dragon souls so that she would become immortal. When she had finally gotten her last soul, she all of a sudden had this strange feeling. Suddenly, a cloud of light exploded from her horn, spreading around her body and enveloping her. She tried to stay awake, but that feeling! Too much power . . .
When Karkadann awoke, she was lying on her side in an unfamiliar area. She was very frightened, because she was still very young. But something inside her stopped Karkadann from getting too frightened. She stood up, then sniffed the air. It reminded her of the sea, and if she listened closely she could hear the boiling surf crash against the shore. Looking up, Karkadann could see that she was in a vast cave, but where? Where am I? How can I get back home? Suddenly, she just knew. The little unicorn didn't know how she knew, but she did. She was many miles under the sea under a small, hidden island that none but her knew about.
How can I possibly know these things? She asked herself. Then, just like the location pointer, she heard an answer. It's because you're immortal. The souls have made you the only immortal unicorn there will be and ever was. Karkadann knew that this was true. But if she could remember correctly, being immortal meant . . . Forever life! The ability to do anything that she wanted or to make anything appear! Well, that just made things a whole lot different. The whole world suddenly had a different view to the midnight unicorn. She suddenly wanted to be bigger. She was. She suddenly wanted to have a place to put the dragon souls that lurked inside her. A trio of chests appeared on a small sandy part of the cave. Walking slowly over to it, she lowered her horn and deposited the souls into it. Suddenly she was, well, full again. Able to fill up on souls again, and yet even with them not inside Karkadann, she was still black and immortal.
The dragons inside the chests were still basically inside of her, it was just that they weren't. (If you know what I mean.) Anyway, she realized that the more fighting dragons she had inside her, the better at fighting she would be. Suddenly a thought struck her.
"I can create deaths so that I can have the best fighters!" She cried. And then she wanted all of the best fighters that there ever was. She wanted them, so she went forward in time, and kept going and going forward in time until she decided to stay in one time place that she liked. She now had all the best fighting dragons of all inside her, except one. In her time, she had found a fatal disease that over took the best of the fighters . . .
"And now, Draco, would you like to know who lies in this box? (Karkadann had finished her story by now.) Would you like to know who lies alone in this small box, which soul? Ha! I shall tell you, Draco, and soon you will join her. Would you like to know how your pretty wife got the disease? It didn't really seem to fit in, did it, my warrior? Brave one, your wife was poisoned by me. I purposely dragged it out so that you would have to see her in pain for so long, instead of having her die in a couple minutes. Fool, have you not realized that I loved it, seeing you twist up in pain as you watched by helplessly as your wife was put through every measure of pain possible, especially the end? Well, I must say that it was the best performance I have ever seen. You have been the best listener I have ever had. Well, I guess that I must sadly say goodbye.
"Anyway, let's see how good a fighter you are in the end. Come here and show me how you fight for your wife. Let's see how loyal you are to her."
I had been thinking about what she was saying, and what her nature was. I pinpointed how I was going to defeat her.
"Well, here goes nothing." I muttered to myself. I had made sure that I had kept myself carefully angerless during the whole time (But even though, a little sadness crept in despite my best efforts.). I now knew how I was going to defeat her. It would be hard, but it was my only chance. I had to try it, or the whole draconic race was threatened.
My scales began to flash pleasing colors. I erased all sadness, anger, etc. from my mind and smiled. I yawned, curled up into a little ball, tail in my mouth, and fell asleep still smiling (dragons can force sleep) and dreamed happy dreams (dragons, when forcing sleep, can also control dreams). I dreamed happy memories of Arista and Faranth and our children, their hatching and their first steps into the world. I dreamed childhood memories, and of the sea and water, for I love the almost more than anything else. But suddenly, I fell truly asleep. But being that my last memories were of water, I dreamed of water.
I was with a pod of dolphins, leaping and playing with them. I laughed, doing a spiral into the air. Then we were traveling, and I used my great wings to steer and my beautiful tail to move me forward. I was as fast as the dolphins, and the beautiful ocean world was ours, all ours. I saw a female give birth to a newborn calf, and she placed it onto my wing so I could lift the newborn up to get its first breath of air. I helped herd a pod of fish to the rest of the pod. And in the night, when the rest of the school of my dolphin friends were asleep, I raised my head slowly out of the water, and began to croon a song of peace, softly, lightly. Then my tail flicked absent-mindedly out of the water, making a small yet beautiful splash of water. Then, I went out of the water, and flew above the pod, securing any dangers.
I was on a beautiful tropical island, and everything was at peace. Then, a milk white unicorn came up to me and began to polish his horn on my flank with ease - there was no fear. I breathed a great ball of fire into the sky, and nothing was afraid, nothing was hurt by the flame. The unicorn now lay beside me, resting itself against me.
I awoke. The unicorn was dead, for she couldn't handle peace and beauty, especially between dragons and unicorns. Then a brilliant burst of light came from her horn. Each ball of light came to rest on one of the boxes. Then, to my astonishment, I saw the chests open, one by one, and the souls come out. They all gathered at the top of the cave, then looked down. But not at me. They were looking at the only two unopened chests, the one with all the souls that Karkadann had killed herself for their fighting skills that he loathed to posses, and the box where my dear Arista.
Another burst of sparks came from her horn, and the chest with the dead that Karkadann herself killed for their skills opened. But instead of souls that came out, there were flesh-and-blood dragons that came out. Then, the dark horses' horn came off, and a case with a chain around it was put in the air beside it. Then the horn was put on the soft cushion in it, and the pendulum snapped shut. Then, directed by magic, it slowly came down and rested over my head. Then the chain went around my neck, tightened just enough so that I was able to breathe but could not take it off ever again. Then the dragon spirits took a piece out of each one and put them together like a puzzle. All together, they made one whole dragon which was the exact same size as me. He drifted slowly down to me, then entered my body. I felt a different personality rise beneath me, but this one was kind and generous and full of anything and everything good.
Then I knew that I had power, but not immortality, for I had whisked it away (it was to good to be true; no creature should have the key to it, no matter what her intentions) and then, although it was gone, I had the power of peace. I bulged in rejoice, and all the other dragons joined me. Then the spirits went away, and I sent the live ones back to their time so they would not die of the fatal disease. Then, finally all alone, I slowly went up to the unopened chest. I whisked it open and then Arista stood before me, all the most surprised. Of course she asked a dozen questions, and I answered them all in the time-space travel, because we were traveling to the time before she caught the disease.
I was glad to know that someone other than me knew about the journey.
Three Months Later . . .
"Now we shall celebrate, in honor of king Draco and Queen Arista!" Shouts went up into the room.
"And our specially honored guests, the duke of Unicornithia and the princess of Alantra, Moonstone and Wind Blossom!" More cheers to the now flushing unicorns.
I think I should go back a little. When me and Arista were traveling through time, I had to rewrite part of history - I had to rewrite Karkadann's birth. If he wasn't born, then the whole war would never have happened and all the spirits would never be trapped and the fighters would never have died and, most important, the pendulum was off me forever.
Anyway, even without my powers I associated with the unicorns and we were at peace for the rest of time. Working together, we had become more and had built magnificent cities. We were celebrating the crowning of the duke and the princess and the finishing of the cities Unicornithia and Alantra, two unicorn cities. From that day onward, unicorns and dragons had a very special bond - the bond of peace.