Dragon Witch: Shadow of the Past

Leila tries to live her life as normal as possible- well, normal for her kind. Her past is rocky, but she has found friends she considers family and is finally forgetting and moving on from the weird past she had. However, when a mysterious warlord appears and her realm's arch nemesis somehow gets inside their borders, Leila is forced to remember the horrific events that torment her and must get down to the bottom of this mystery. However, things are not always as they seem, and there are more forces she did not expect coming; particularly the Great Malevolent Dragon, Abraxas.

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4. Ambush at Shadow Mountain

Using one of the portals that Deszo created- as was common amongst Shadow Keepers, they could manipulate shadows as well create portals with them- Leila found herself in a dark dank cave. She created a fireball to light her way, much to the dismay of some of her companions. "Really?" A female Shadow Keeper with dirty blonde hair called Lea demanded.

"I don't have your Mole eyes," Leila grumbled. "I'm used to a star filled sky and plenty of room to run around."

"You came here," Lea replied irritably. "Get used to it."

Leila rolled her eyes, wondering when Khila was coming.

"Never again!"Khila gasped, as she popped out next to Leila. "I feel as if Seraphina dived straight down a hundred leagues!"

Leila chuckled tapping her friend's shoulder, and creating a tiny fireball to create a dim light so her friend could read her lips. "Can you at least see?"

"A little bit," Khila admitted. Since Khila was Water, she was able to dive into the deepest depths of any body of water and still be able to see in some of the darkest parts.

"You're my guide, then," Leila said, grabbing Khila's shoulders with her free hand.

"Really?"

"Hey, if we were in the forest, I'd be able to handle myself just fine. We're in the caves!"

Khila rolled her eyes and started walking, and Leila extinguished her flame. They walked until they reached a large cavern that had some sunlight peeking through, giving Leila a way to see.

Most of the party separated after they reached the cavern, but Deszo continued walking to another Cavern, that looked more like a sleeping chamber. There was a large bed at the far right corner, with a small pool that seemed to be fed by the a stream that come from somewhere outside; and it was cold, much to Leila's dismay.

"What is it that you two seek?" Deszo asked, sitting down on his bed.

Leila and Khila sat down on a couple of rock that were sticking up from the ground. "We want to know if the secret entrance to the mountain has been breached," Leila replied, it was too dark for her to sign, and Deszo probably didn't want a fireball light.

"Why would it have been?" Deszo asked calmly. His face was impassive, but she couldn't read what his body language said. She'd ask Khila later.

"Because Camelot mysteriously got past the mountain," Leila replied. "I know for a fact that King Arthur despises our kind- so flying is out of the question; and the mountain is too steep for one person to climb- let alone an entire army."

"As far as I know," Deszo said, still in the stoic tone of his. "The entrance has not been breached for thousands of years. If it had been breached, I'm sure you would've known about it."

Leila wasn't sure she entirely believed him, but she wasn't going to ask Khila in front of him if he was lying. "Okay," she said, standing up to leave. Khila followed suit and followed Leila as Deszo led them out.

He created a portal that would take them to the surface. "Really?" Khila groaned. "Is there no way out besides those?"

"Only if you want to walk a few hours to the entrance," Deszo replied.

"We'll take the portal," Leila said, shoving Khila through.

"Hey!" Khila cried as she fell through.

Leila followed after her. It was almost like being shot out of a slingshot, except you slowed down when you reach the other side. She'd prefer flying any day. As she came out the other side into the light, she was momentarily blinded; but, her instincts kicked in when her battle precognition went full blown, and an arrow nicked her arm. "Dragon spawn!" She hissed, scrabbling to get out of the range of fire. Her telekinesis temporarily protected her as she reached a small rock pile, right where Khila was hiding.

Khila had her knives ready, she was just waiting for a chance as more and more arrows were shot their way. "Who are they?" Leila asked, deflecting an arrow that was about to hit them.

"I don't know," Khila replied. "Arrows started flying; I started running- and before you ask if I heard them or recognize their voices, there's a reason why you call me that horrid nickname."

"Hey, you told me that was okay!" Leila countered, deciding to get creative. "Liber acri gaudet equo mea!"

She combined two streams of flame, and a large horse made of fire appeared, leaving a trail of flame behind him as he galloped to where their attackers were. Screams could be heard as the horse trampled them, or they were caught in the flames. A moment later, two shadows flew overhead, landing on the mountain, and fire streamed across the sky in warning; disintegrating all flying arrows headed toward the friends. You need to learn to call me when you're in a tight spot, Christina said through their bond.

Can't always rely on you, Leila replied, peeking out from behind a rock, and nearly getting her eye shot out. Especially with arrows flying.

Leila knew Christina was rolling her eyes, but didn't care. Suddenly, screams came from the thickets; where the galloping stallion was nowhere near.

"Get out of here while you still can," a voice called from the mountain. Shadows suddenly appeared on the ground, and grew larger and larger until Shadow Dragons popped out of them. The colors ranging from black to other dark colors such as deep violet and more. "Retreat!" Someone cried in the trees. Leila recognized the voice as the commander's from the day before.

"What in the flames is Camelot doing here?!" Leila hissed to no one in particular.

When the army- or what was left of the army- was gone, and the flames were doused by Seraphina, Deszo came to where the girls were hiding. "They're gone," he said. "But, you should stay here for the night."

"How do we know you won't kill us?" Khila demanded.

"If I wanted to kill you," Deszo replied smoothly, "I would have when you first arrived."

Khila tapped Leila's shoulder and started signing. I don't trust him, he's hiding something.

So he was lying? Leila signed back.

Not entirely, Khila replied. Something about his body language, though, was slightly off.

We both have weapons and dragons, Leila pointed out. Plus, we both know what will happen if he so much as lays a wrong hand on me.

I thought you hated pulling rank?

Only when it's absolutely necessary do I pull rank, and you know it.

Khila rolled her eyes and sighed. "Fine," she said glaring at Deszo. "But, if you try to hurt us, I'll make a stew out of you and the rest of your buddies."

Leila couldn't help but stifle a laugh. Deszo, on the other hand, was not impressed; but, he let it be. "There's a small cavern not too far ahead where you can rest. You'll be able to see the stars."

"Thanks," Leila replied, still eyeing him closely. She still didn't fully trust him; people with Shadow powers were commonly associated with thieves and other dangerous things. The dragons were the worst and considered the most dangerous out of all the dragons. However, her mother had taught her to not assume, but try to get to know the person- unless her danger sense was going off, then take out her weapons and either run or fight. Her danger sense was not going off around Deszo, so she figured she'd take his word- for now…

🐉🐉🐉

Leila ran through the mists, chasing a figure that had been in her dreams for awhile now. The figure once again disappeared into thin air, and Leila was left wondering who the flame it was and why they were invading her dreams.

Suddenly, someone tapped her shoulder. She turned, grabbing the dagger in her thigh; only to see a boy with dirty blonde hair, blue eyes and a dusting of freckles on his face standing there. "Draco!" She gasped, hugging him tightly.

"Squishing…" Draco gasped, trying to get out of Leila's embrace. Leila let go after a moment. "It's good to see you too, Sis."

"What are you doing here?" Leila asked. She rarely ever saw Draco in her dreams. Mostly the figure that haunted her dreams.

"You'll see," Draco said, walking away and motioning for Leila to follow. She gladly did, and heard a very familiar voice.

"Sweet dreams, Little Lily,

Time to go sleep.

I will come to you, Little Lily

We'll meet by the stream."

Leila gasped, and saw the stream just up ahead, and standing there was a tall- close to her height- beautiful woman with long flowing brown hair that was also slightly curly. "Rothmé!" She cried happily in Dragon Tongue, racing over to embrace her mother.

The woman chuckled and hugged her back. "Hello, Sweet Lily," she said, letting her go.

"What are you doing here?" Leila asked as she backed up a bit.

"You never did like things sugar coated," the woman said, shaking her head a bit. "I've come to warn you about the problems you've been having with Camelot. They didn't get in by flying nor by the tunnel."

"Thanks, mom," Leila said with a small smile, "but I've already figured that out. So how did they come."

"A powerful sorceress," her mother replied. "She's-" the woman was cut off as a twig snapped.

Leila turned and saw someone in the shadows. She caught his eye and realized who it was. "Deszo!" She hissed, grabbing her dagger.

Her mother stopped her, though. "Don't," she said. "If you kill him in here, you could possibly kill him for real."

Leila continued to glare at the young man for a moment longer, then sighed. As she turned around, though, her mother, along with her brother, had disappeared. "No," she whispered, looking around frantically. "No, no, no, no, no… Rothmé! Rothmé!"

Leila gasped as she woke up. She sat up and looked around. It was still the middle of the night, and she had no idea why the Shadow Keepers' leader was in her dreams… or why her mother had left so abruptly.

Shaking her head, she sighed and stood up. Khila stirred next to her, and Leila hoped that she wouldn't wake up. After a moment, she continued to walk out of the cave and into the grassy clearing.

A familiar miniature red dragon appeared, purring eagerly. Leila chuckled and held out her hand to land on. "Hey, Pip," she said happily. She always loved it when he showed up out of the blue.

"I thought mingons didn't have any loyalties?" A new voice called, making her whirl as she snatched up her dagger from her thigh. Turns out, it was only Deszo.

"They don't," Leila replied, putting the dagger back into the sheath. "Not generally, anyway." Pipsqueak hissed at Deszo. "Hey!" She scolded, tapping his nose in a reprimanding way. "Be nice." Pipsqueak made a hissing sound, glaring at Deszo. "Want me to burn your favorite berry bush again?"

Pip bowed his head in surrender, but he kept an eye on the boy.

"I'm guessing he doesn't like me," Deszo said, slowly walking toward them.

"Nah, how could you tell?" Leila asked sarcastically, still stroking the spine of the mingon.

Deszo shook his head. "I'm not as bad as you think I am."

"And how would you know what I'm thinking?" Leila asked, giving him a look.

"I would've thought you would have realized that sooner, Lily."

Leila swiftly grabbed the dagger on her thigh and lunged at Deszo, ready to slit his throat. "How do you know my nickname?" She demanded.

"Same way I knew your name in the first place," Deszo replied calmly.

"Right, you're a telepath," Leila grumbled, taking a step back and looking back down at Pipsqueak, who was now on her shoulder as she put the dagger back in the sheath. "Explains how you entered my dreams. The question is why?"

"I didn't enter your dreams," Deszo said, a bit confused. A ghost of a smirk was on his face, though. "Maybe you were dreaming about me?"

"Not in that one," Leila said shaking her head. "I've had it too many times. Plus, you didn't appear until the last bit."

"I swear, Sweet Lily," Deszo replied, the smirk growing before getting serious. "I did not enter your dreams. I entered your mind when we first met to find out who you were and why you were here."

"If you even speak about the details you found out with those brief moments inside my mind, I'll make sure you suffer immensely. Also, don't ever call me that nickname again. Unless you want to lead the Shadow Keepers with a charred arm."

"I promise," Deszo said, stepping a bit closer. "Although, I'm wondering what it is you're hiding."

"I'm not hiding anything," Leila said, stroking Pipsqueak, who had jumped down to her arms; Pipsqueak glared at Deszo, hissing in warning.

"Those defenses of yours say otherwise," Deszo replied, crossing his arms. "What is it you're afraid that I'm going to find out?"

Leila rolled her eyes and turned away. She didn't have to explain anything. Her secrets were hers alone. The only people she would probably tell were two of her friends: Khila for the most part; and a Snow Fairy named Lily. She gasped as Deszo popped up in front of her. "Kliftron," Leila cursed. "Do you always do that?"

"Only when I don't get answers," Deszo replied. "Do I have to search your mind?"

"Try it, and your body will burn," she said, walking past him again and into the trees. Taking a deep breath, she continued deeper in. Pipsqueak looked at her sympathetically, and crawled up onto her shoulder, nudging her cheek.

Leila smiled. "Thanks," she whispered.

You sure you don't want me to light him up? Pipsqueak purred.

"I can handle him, Pip," she said. "He just needs to learn what keep out of my mind means."

They continued walking for a few more minutes, when her Danger sense went off. She started looking around as Pipsqueak jumped off her shoulder and started flying around. A moment later, the wind was knocked out of her as someone jumped out of the bushes behind her, bowling her over. Leila grabbed the dagger once again, but it was knocked out of her hand, and her wrist was pinned. She struggled to get her legs under her attacker, but he stabbed her leg, causing her to cry out in pain.

Her attacker took off his helmet, and she recognized him as Sir Gwaine, one of the Knights of the infamous round table. "We've been after you for awhile," Gwaine smirked. "Imagine what my reward would be if I bring him the woman who tried seduce his father?"

"Wrong woman," Leila said angrily, trying to access her powers. Gwaine landed a blow across her face, making her cry out in pain, and losing her concentration. Pipsqueak came in with flame coming out of his mouth. Gwaine lifted a dagger with one hand, and slice through part of Pip's wing, striking part of his body. "PIP!" Leila screamed, watching Pip land on his side. Anger scorched through her veins, and she used her telekinesis to throw off Gwaine. Standing up, she flicked her palms open and fireballs appeared, as well as her markings. "You're going to wish you'd never been born."

Gwaine got up and smirked. "Did you really think I would've attacked you alone?"

Leila gasped as someone hit her over the head, making her collapse; but she was still conscious. "Say hello to the Devil when you're in Hell, Demon!" Gwaine's accomplice said.

Leila was sure she would feel a quick stab; instead, she heard two cries of pain, and a third person approach. "Did chivalry die in Camelot?" A male voice asked. Leila recognized it as Deszo's.

"This doesn't concern you," Gwaine growled. "Leave and we won't kill you."

"You underestimate my abilities," Deszo said, and both men started crying out in pain. Leila didn't know what he was doing, and she didn't really care, as she gave into the darkness.

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