The Eternity Core

Four races, four warriors and four mounts. One huge army that threatens to wipe everything out. What could be better?

P.S. There will be no mature content - but there will be scenes of violence. That's why I rated it yellow, but other than violence, there is nothing that you shouldn't read!!! ;) This isn't your average happy fantasy story for three year olds. This is a full blown war with a lot of crazy and awesome involved. Thanks for reading!!!!! XDXDXD
P.P.S. Only the first three chapters have been submitted as it was for Young Movellist 2013.

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3. 3 ~ Red

Let me tell you; facing Gold was not the best thing I'd done all day. Because my mentor, Gold, was the dragon of Decimus, king of Drakynor. He’d put me on a challenge course, where I’d faced spikes, fire, and being smashed against stone, and then gave me an option; go back into the first challenge, the stone maze (where air currents tried to smash me against stone), or to fight him. I’d chosen to fight him.I took a deep breath, as Gold stood patiently at the other end of the arena, waiting for the signal to start the fight. Great. I was fighting Gold. Oh, the joys. The signal to start would be when the dragon,standing equally distanced between us outside the ring, blasted flames into the air. In Drakynor, that was the signal to go, whether it was a mere race or a fight. The blue dragon standing between us looked between us. Red. Gold. Two friends, fighting each other. Oh, yippee. I couldn't wait.

The blue dragon launched her flames into the sky, and me and Gold surged forwards.

I was surprised at how fast Gold leaped forwards at me, but, then again, my own speed amazed me as I jumped towards my mentor with a hidden ferocity. Flames burst from his mouth; I found my own flames rushing forwards to greet them. A clash of fire, a burning fight of flames, filled the air as we flew, fire leaping from our jaws as we tried again and again to hit each other. My fear was replaced with excitement - I found myself actually //enjoying// myself! As if on some crazy impulse, I dived low, underneath the burst of flames sent forwards by Gold, and sent a massive burst of fire spinning at him. The flames hit my mentor, catching him completely by surprise, scorching his underbelly. Gold roared in pain, and, for a moment, my thoughts were tangled. I had injured him! Had I overdone it with the fire, had I taken this fight too far? Worry and guilt filled me, yet a lingering feeling of victory shadowed my mind. I had //actually// hit him! I had managed to scorch him before he had scorched me!

"Good move, Red." he winced, his voice edged with pain. "But... You should never give your opponent a chance to recover!"

With those words, he dived at me headfirst, his golden scales gleaming with a menacing light. Panic filled me, and, for a few precious seconds, I was paralyzed with fear. By the time instinct kicked in and told me to get a move on, Gold had already collided with me, pinning my to the floor. I thrashed, and tried to throw him off me, but it was almost impossible. At such a short range, I didn't want to burn him, either. We had made that agreement already - never to burn each other whilst we were face to face, and to try not to scratch or bite each other with too much force. And one more rule- It was Gold deciding at which point the winner of the fight had been proven. However, I trusted him with my life. This also included trusting him to make a fair judgement on the winner of a fight. Somehow, I managed to twist around, lashing him in the face with my wings. He snarled briefly, his grip on me loosening. I took the opertunity, kicking him away with my powerful back legs. Gold was sent stumbling back a little, giving me the perfect chance to strike. I head-butted him square in the chest, making sure all of my power went into it. Flying back, Gold roared in pain. But this time, I didn't let him recover, as I had done last time. I darted forwards, siezing his shoulders in my talons and taking him higher up into the sky, using my powerful wings to boost me. Pride filled my entire body - I wasn't loosing! I didn't even feel in excruciating pain!

However, my luck was never made to last. Which was annoying, since I had been doing so well. So close to victory, and yet so far.

Gold seemed to use my own strength against me, his tail wrapping around my belly,twisting me in mid-air and sending me crashing down towards the boulders beneath us. Funny, actually. I had been meaning to use that exact action against him, and yet he had stolen my idea and made it his own - to gain height and then slam me downwards, into the boulders. Much appreciated, Gold. Much appreciated. My body hit the rocks, and pain coursed through me. I roared in pain, my entire back seeming to be aching like crazy. My left wing, I was slightly aware, was crumpled and broken, as was my left shoulder. Right. Don't injure the opponent too much. Well, nice to see that Gold was sticking to his own rules. My eyes widened as I saw him, streaking towards me from the sky, ready to smash my body even further into the ground. I winced, readying myself for the defeat that I knew had come. But somehow, just somehow, as my eyes closed and my mind played through Gold, telling me I'd failed, I managed to roll over to my right, just at the last second. Gold's body passed right beside me, slamming into the rock where I'd just been laying. I stood on shaky legs, looking at my mentor with wide eyes. He... He wasn't moving!

"Gold!" I cried frantically. "GOLD!"

Suddenly, my own injuries became forgotten. I was at my mentor's side within a matter of seconds, seeing if he was still breathing. With eyes as wide as the very sun, I looked upon him. And then, in a relieving moment, he groaned, moving his head to look at me.

"Are you okay?" I asked urgently, letting my injuries take me as I sunk to the ground.

"Apart from a few bruises..." he muttered, "Then yes. I am okay. And Red... I declare you the winner."

As he said that, a smile broke out onto his face. I lay there for a moment, dumbfounded. Taking in what he had said, a look of shock crept onto his face. I had won. I had actually won.

I, Red, had beaten Gold. Gold, king of dragons...

The news about the phantoms had come as a shock to me. What was even more surprising was that Gold and Decimus... They had chosen me. //Me.// They hadn't picked a dragon raised from the royal family, they hadn't picked Gold, they had picked //me//. It made me so proud, so happy, so //honoured//. It was all that I could think about as I ate the feast. Yes, I //had// been intending on being a grump and annoying Gold and Decimus, but after they had chosen me to be in the Eternity Core, I no longer wanted to. Instead, I wanted to bathe in joy, and make the most of the fact that I was extremely happy. It didn't happen often, so why not make the most of it?

After defeating Red, (a feat which I would never let him live down, or myself forget) I had been taken into some sort of underground chamber, beneath the royal palace of Drakynor. There, Decimus and Gold had told me that I was to be in the Eternity Core, bearing a young Drakynaal into Akaten, and helping them to destroy the leader of the phantoms, as well as his mount. They had told me that Elder, the leader of the few surviving Lithralydens, would choose the Drakynaal herself, reading the stars to decide upon them. To me, reading the stars was aimless. Who needed fortune telling, when you could just decide the path of fate by fighting? Apparently, that wasn't Elder's view on things. But I didn't mind - so long as she picked me a strong, powerful Drakynaal, it would be fine. Besides, whilst I was eating my feast with Gold and Decimus, I wasn't really focusing on the thought of Elder's star-reading; I was too busy eating and being proud of myself. After all, it's not every day that your mentor chooses you, out of all the dragons in Drakynor, to save the entire kingdom. Even //if// that happens to be the same mentor who dumped you in the middle of a deadly, horrible challenge course and told you to live. Gold, I decided right there and then, was epic, despite all his mean traits. He was the best mentor a dragon could ever have.

The next day, I stood, facing the crowd of young Drakynaals entering the grand hall. They had been called from every village, every town, every remote cottage, in Drakynor. The rules were simple: if you were aged ten to seventeen, you had to come to the palace. Those who lived far away had been offered dragons to take them. Sometimes, I spotted dragons with as many as fifteen young Drakynaals riding them. Sure, the dragons were huge, but I'd hate to have that many kids riding me... They must be so annoying, writhing around all the time to turn and speak to their friend. I, as a fact, did not like younglings riding me. If a young, energetic Drakynaal was chosen, then I didn't know how in Drakynor they'd stay alive riding me. I might suddenly feel the urge to flip my body upside down mid-flight when their grip on the reins loosened... In other words, I'd throw them from my back if they started to annoy me. After all, who wants an annoying-as-hell rider?

Elder stood at the grand golden gates to the hall, holding peoples palms and determining whether or not they should pass or not. The hall may be big enough for ten-thousand Drakynaals, but every youngling in the entire kingdom? No. Even the grand hall wasn't//that/ big. Meaning that Elder would have to stand at the gates, and, by looking at people's palms, decide if they should enter or not. Seriously though, how in Drakynor could she tell if Drakynaals were worthy enough to enter just by feeling their palm? It seemed stupid. Especially since most of them could very well have traveled across the entire kingdom just to be turned away. 'Oh, hey, I know you've just come across the entire kingdom, but, put as politely as possible... Go away! You've just wasted your entire life crossing the kingdom, but who really cares?'

Well, the Drakynaals who got turned away probably would. I mean, I know that I'm not exactly the calmest of dragons, but I figured that even the most peaceful Drakynaals would be annoyed at this. As a sweet looking Drakynaal girl was turned away, I saw the irritance in her eyes as Elder just waved her away. She stormed off, looking pretyanoyed. Then again, wouldn't anyone, if that had happened to them? And then, striding in through the gates, came the one that I knew I wanted as my rider. He was tall, strong, powerful.

"Your name?" Elder asked in her strange, all-knowing voice. And, when he answered, his voice rung out through the entire hall, echoing through my ears.

"Maximus." he spoke strongly. "My name is Maximus."

Although I //had// heard him the first time, it was reassuring to hear the power in his speech, knowing that the stars would surely choose this one. He was tall, and muscular in build. He had the body of a full-grown Drakynaal, with extra muscles and strength. Like all Drakynaals, he had a tail; thick and filled with force; his Drakynaal teeth were gleaming and sharp; his horns were bulky and strong. And then... His scales. All Drakynaals have the ability to turn their skin into scales, giving them an edge in battle where their armour provides weak spots. Maximus had scales of a dark, warlike purple. They caught the light of the chandeliers as Elder put her hand out to feel his palm. Most of the Drakynaals had not walked in with their scales showing, but Maximus seemed to fit so perfectly with his scales that it was almost scary. Elder nodded, letting him walk into the hall. He didn't speak, just strode confidently into the hall. Well, if the stars chose anyone else other than Maximus, then they would have me to answer to. And trust me when I say - nobody would want to answer to Red, apprentice of Gold. The Drakynaal boy stood near the front of the crowd, catching my eye. I was perching on a podium to the left of the raised platform that Gold and Decimus sat on, ready to speak to the possible recruits. I gave him a slight nod to show his that I had acknowledged his presence, and to show him that he was going to be my rider. At this gesture, he smirked slightly, grinning at me with gleaming fangs. Yes. Maximus was definitely the one. As more and more Drakynaals were turned away and let in, I became bored. I mean, what sense is there in putting a hyper-active dragon on a poduim abd telling him to wait there for hours on end? I looked across to Gold. Being the dragon of the Drakynaal king, he'd grown used to all the sitting still. But me? No way in Drakynor. I snorted with impatience, catching Gold's eye. He just looked at me with a with a sarcastic glint on his face, as if to say, '//can you not sit still for ONE minute?//

At this look, I rolled my eyes. After all, it wasn't like it was //my// choice to be sitting here, was it? Sighing, I moved again, my tail flicking slightly as I repositioned myself. Seriously, had the younglings //still// not all got there? I was getting unbelievably bored, and I was strongly fighting the urge to spread my wings and take a nice little fly around the hall, to stretch my stiff limbs. If they took any longer to arrive, then I decided that I might as well give up on being in the Eternity Core - I'd have grown a beard by the time every youngling had arrived. On the bright side, however, the hall //was// filling up. It was almost full of Drakynaals, actually. About a hundred more, and it we should be able to start... In the meantime, I began to daydream about vicotories I'd be winning with Maximus as my rider. It would be great...

After what seemed like a lifetime, (which it probably actually was) Elder eventually made her way up onto the stage beside Gold and Decimus. Her mount, a skycat, was staying at the Infinity Glade. Apparently, it was due to it's age; the skycat's youth had long since passed, and his age was taking it's toll on him. Elder, however, was fit to go between Fendaryss, Wolveria and Drakynaal to judge the members of the Eternity Core, meaning that she appeared upon stage without a mount standing beside her. Poor skycat, I thought, looking at her. Not only was he too old to travel, but he had to put up with that crazy lady speaking a load of star reading rubbish all the time!

I was snapped out of my thoughts by the sound of Decimus's voice.

"Younglings of Drakynaal," he called out. "Every one of you is here today for the same reason. And that reason is one of great importance. Whichever one of you who is chosen shall be accompanying Red to Akaten, to destroy the leader of the phantoms, not to mention his mount! It will be a perilous journey, you all know that. But Red is a strong dragon, and you must not be afraid, for he will aid you strongly through your journey." Decimus spoke, pausing for effect. Watching Maximus, I saw the glint in his eyes at the mention of peril, and great importance. He already knew that he'd be one of the eight responsible for the fate of our entire region.

"Now," Decimus continiued, "Elder shall now consult the stars, to decide which of you shall be chosen. Her descision is final; there shall be no arguments to her choice. Is this understood?" He asked, causing the entire hall of Drakynaal younglings to nod. Maximus just gave a simple nod of his head. Good. Short, simple, and without any mysteries and confusing habits. Elder walked slowly out of the rear exit, leaving through a small door at the other side of the stage. From here, I knew that Gold would take her outside, to the top of the tallest tower of the palace. There, she would consult the stars. If the stars didn't choose Maximus to be my rider, then I would personally have to beat up each one of them, until they changed their minds. After she had left, Decimus spoke again.

"Remember, do not be disapointed if you are not chosen; do not fear if you are. And always remember, it is not just you who shall be responsible. There are eight of you taking on this challenge. Togther, I know that you shall triumph." the Drakynaal king reassured them. Boldly, a girl at the front raised her hand. She looked about fifteen, though I couldn't really tell.

"King Decimus," she said. "Do I //have// to take Red? I mean, his scales do look //awfully// plain, you know? Why can I not take my darling dragon? His scales are a shiny bronze colour, much more flashy that //those//."

As she spoke, she gestured to me as if I were nothing more than a rat she might find in her garden. I found myself leaping from the poduim, launching myself to face her. How //dare// she? What did she know about 'pretty scales', huh? My scales were perfectly fine! I'd almost died to get to that podium, and I wasn't going to be treated like mere dirt. Opening my jaws, I gave out the most fearsome roar I could muster, sending out the terrifying sound from my jaws as loud as I possibly could. The girl dropped the courage she'd had earlier, and screamed, running from the hall.

"Wimp," I heard Maximus mutter, and I knew that I liked him even more. Looking smugly back to Decimus, I knew that he wouldn't be impressed, but, at that particular moment, I didn't really give a damn. Instead of yelling at me, the Drakynaal king just commented,

"And that is why you don't want to get on Red's bad side."

I bowed my head in a mocking gesture to the audience of young Drakynaals, before returning to my post beside the stage. It was at that paticular moment that Elder returned, with Gold at her heels. They took their place on the stage, oblivious to the events that had just taken place. Well, it wasn't as if I could just let that snobby kid insult me, was it? I was //named// for my scales, and I wasn't having her offend them right after I'd cleaned them!

"The Drakynaal whom the stars have chosen," Elder spoke slowly, and I coukd just imagine Maximus's name coming from her lips.

"Is Lux. Lux, son of Fabia."            

I found my heart speeding up. What? Had I heard right? Looking at Maximus's confused face, I knew that I had not. And then, from the middle of the hall, a boy rose to his feet, getting off the chair that he'd been sitting on, and pushing it back with one hand. His eyes seemed to glow a golden colour, imprinting themselves onto my mind like a curse. My jaw dropped. What? How could he be the one? He looked barely fourteen! He didn't look strong, he didn't look powerful, and he //certainly// wasn't Maximus! His hair was pure white, as white as freshly fallen snow. Snow, however, was not going to help - Maximus was! He looked so thin, as well, with no muscle on him at all. His tail, like mine, was long, thin, and snaking, with a diamond-head to it. But, without the force of a strong and bulky Drakynaal, I found myself automatically deciding that it wouldn't be as effectiva as Maximus's. His horns were long, slightly curved and thin, looking extremely spindly compared to that of Maximus. His face bore no expression; his gold eyes burned but they showed no feeling, no emotion. It seemed pretty scary.

"No way! He can't be... He can't be the chosen one. Even Red knows this. Right... Right Red?" Maximus said urgently, pushing back his chair so hard that it fell backwards. I nodded instantly, agreeing. The boy in the middle, Lux, just laughed. But it was a cold laugh, and it almost scared me. I swore that I could have spent months trying to burn stars alive for choosing that weakling, but, presently, I was trying to ensure that it was Maximus as my rider, and not Lux.

"I'm afraid that we can't-" Decimus started, but was cut off by Lux. By the weakling.

"Oh, yes we can. Tell you what, Big guy, me and you, we'll have a little fight tomorrow. A fight to the death, sound good? You can pick the weapon, and the winner is in the Eternity Core. Deal?" he smiled slowly, almost in a phsychopathic way. Why in Drakynor would he let Maximus pick the weapon, let alone //fight him to the death//? Did he have a deathwish?

"Oh, you have yourself a deal." Maximus snarled, already beginning to get competitive. "You're on. And the weapon... I choose mace."

It was in the afternoon that I found myself standing at the edge of the arena, watching as Lux and Maximus glared at each other. Well, it was more Maximus glaring at Lux, actually. Lux just seemed to be standing there, letting the mace rest on the sandy floor of the arena, as if he couldn't carry the weight of it. Thinking about it, he probably couldn't. I still couldn't believe that he'd been mad enough to challenge Maximus. He didn't stand a chance! And, however much I wanted Maximus to win so that he could be my rider, I couldn't help but pity the weakling. Taking a deep breath, I prepeared myself for the start of the fight - which I would be beggining by blasting fire into the air. Giving one last glance to the two enemies, I let my flames leap from my mouth.

The fight had begun.

Maximus surged forwards, charging at Lux with all the force he could muster. So much power! How could the stars have chosen anybody but him? Lux stood there, unmoving. I gasped as he dropped the mace, letting it fall to the floor. What was he //doing//? Why in Drakynor would he just stand there? At least if he wanted to die, he should try to go down //fighting//! Unphased by the huge bulk stampeding towards him, Lux just tensed himself, his knees slightly bent and ready to move. But why had he just dropped the mace? He couldn't fight without it, even if it //was// too heavy for him! Maximus threw himself forwards the last few paces, and I found my eyes snapping shut. I had been waiting for the sickening crunch of Lux's bones as Maximus crushed his skull, but the crunch never came. I managed to open my eyes, to find that Lux had ducked under the mace as if he had nothing to worry about. Maximus swept again with his mace; this time, aiming at Lux's thighs so that ducking would be much harder. Instead, Lux sprung upwards, jumping cleanly over the mace. How had he done that? How had he so very easily avoided death as if this were something he did every day, as it were nothing more than a casual greeting? The older Drakynaal suddenly surged forwards, bringing his mace down like it was an arc of mass destruction. It was at that point that I knew Lux, despite his quick reactions and agility, was doomed. But no. He dived forwards, rolling perfectly between Maximus's legs, and springing back to his feet in a split second. How in Drakynor had he done that without even a scratch? Leaning in closer towards the fight, I found myself fascinated by the two of them. But did I still want Maximus to win? The truth: I had no idea. He was strong, yes, but Lux was extremely fast, and looked pretty skilled. But he hadn't actually //injured Maximus, had he? I, for once, found myself extremely confused. And trust me - that's not something I say a lot.

Maximus had, by the time I'd refocused on the fight, still unsure, grabbed the mace that Lux had dropped. He rushed forwards, then, seemingly out of the blue, threw the mace at Lux. The younger Drakynaal threw himself down, and, for once, I saw surprise on his face as he hit the floor. The mace hit the wall behind Lux, leaving a pretty big dent there. Hate to be the maintainence after those two had been fighting.

Without warning, Maximus's purple tail siezed Lux by his ankle, tossing him high up into the air, and throwing him into the stone walls of the arena. I gasped as he hit the wall, crumpling instantly before it. Ouch. That one //had// to hurt. Another show of Maximus's power, I guess... As Lux made a slight groaning sound, putting a hand to his head as if in great pain, Maximus dashed forwards, keen to keep his sudden lucky streak. Was Lux even able to fight? With my heart beating faster every second, I couldn't help but realise that this was my fault. If I hadn't authorised the fight, then Lux wouldn't be on the door of death! Killing phantoms, well, that was fine, but Drakynaals? No - I didn't want to kill Drakynaals, even if not directly!

As he closed in on Lux, Maximus wrapped his tail slowly, and very deliberately, around Lux's throat. He lifted him from the ground so antagonisingly slowly that it made me cringe. It was at that moment that I realised that Maximus would make a point of Lux's death. He wouldn't let him die swiftly, he would make it as slow and as painful as he could. A cruel smile crossed his face as he spoke, very leisurely and sluggardly.

"Your death will be most amusing - slow, painful, entertaining... Next time, Lux... You probably shouldn't let me choose the weapon we use. You shouldn't even challenge me in the first place. Oh... I forgot. Silly me... There won't BE a next time!" He laughed cruelly. I watched through wide eyes. Surely, even Maximus couldn't be //that// cruel? Lux was only fourteen! And, suddenly, when Lux was on the verge of death, when he was loosing this fight, I wanted him to win. Bit too late for that now, Red. Bit too late for that now.

"No," Lux spat through gritted teeth. "There //won't// be a next time."

And, with those few words, he opened his mouth, sinking his needle-like fangs deep into Maximus's tail. The older Drakynaal screamed in agony, his grip tightening due to the pain. Clearly, Lux had decided that the time for winding up his opponent was over. It was time to fight - literally. His tail whipped around, lashing at Maximus's legs, his sharp diamond tail-head slicing open the older's left leg. Maximus fell, screaming in rage, dragging Lux with him. Lux slashed at Maximus's tail with his own, finally freeing himself from the stronger Drakynaal's grip. I breathed a sigh of relief as Lux gasped for air. He was going to win! Lux could do this! Tossing his head, Lux closed his eyes and let his scales cover his body. He hadn't even entered the arena showing his Drakynaal scales - yet another advantage for Maximus! And, as the scales covered his entire body, I realised that they were red. Red like mine - exactly the same shade, the same shape! We were so similar, after all... All that time I'd been rooting for Maximus, when Lux was the one truly meant to be my rider. I probably sound like Elder, but I didn't really mind. Lux could win! He could live! The boy sprung forwards, snarling viciously at Maximus. The older of the two, suddenly desperate for some winning strategy, threw the mace at Lux. But desperation had clouded his judgement of aim, and the mace went flying far to the left of Lux. And, within that second, Lux was the one with the advantage. He leaped towards his enemy, easily ducking under a wild punch and evading a kick.

"No!" Maximus screamed, as Lux's tail lashed around his legs, pulling him over with one sharp, swift movement. There were tears streaming down his face, making his purple scales seem less magnificent that the previous day. It was all I could do to prevent myself from launching myself into the air and putting on a celebratory display or fire for Lux.

"What was that about killing me slowly?" asked Lux mockingly, putting a foot to Maximus's chest, showing that he was completely at his mercy. His diamond-headed tail was dangerously close to Maximus's throat.

"No! No, please! I'm begging you! Don't do it slowly! End me swiftly, please!" Maximus sobbed, fear running wild in his eyes.

"Oh, I'll let you live. Despite the fact you have no heart, I'm giving you mercy. And remember this failure, Maximus. Now go, before I change my mind." he growled, moving his foot to let Maximus go. The prurple scaled Drakynaal, much to my amusement, scrambled to his feet and fled, without even thanking Lux for the mercy he had spared. It was good that Lux had won. How in Drakynor had my judgement been that clouded?

"Hey, Red!" Lux called to me, a smile for the first time entering his face. And it wasn't a cold smile; it was a warm, welcoming smile that he gave to me as our eyes met. Then, as if reading my mind,

"You still want to murder those stars?"

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