The Thunder Of Kiwea

The dragons of Kiwea are thinning out and she is the last onyx dragon in her Thunder. Jinda, her mate, is the Lord of dragons and red as blood. She wants to find more like her, but she's rather restricted with her duties. Is she really alone in the world, or just the only one for a while?

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8. Ch. 7

I turn South as we head for the place where the humans dwell, smoke rising in the distance from their man-made fires. I look to my left and right, finding Jinda and Lynx like immobile forces by my sides. As we get closer, I fly nearer to the ground while the others simply land, just as I asked. When I am just outside the tiny wooden barriers they use to keep the woodland creatures out, I land as well. As I approach the tiny hole in the barrier for the path they walk on, a female human hatchling sees me. She squeals and approaches me with her arms stretched out wide. I lean down and allow her to rub my snout and hum quietly as a grown human male walks out  smiling and calling out "Sophie!" His smile fades into a look of shock when he sees the girl-child. I look into his eyes as I send a message to him. "Your hatchling is beautiful. You should be very proud." He blinks a few times and then nods, speechless. "I am The Lady of the dragons and I am here to negotiate a peace agreement. Can you take me to your Lord?" He nods again as he watches his hatchling. I open my mouth and he gasps as I pick her up by the garment she wears and put her on my back, tucking my wings close to her so she won't fall. "Do not worry. I like her. She is the first human not to fear me or try to kill me." He looks so relieved that I fear he will pass out, but he just turns and leads me through the tiny gap in the barrier and through his town which, thankfully, has just enough room for me to pass through. As we walk, I suppose he finds his tongue because he asks, "Why are you trying to make peace?" I huff and smile as his hatchling squeals happily from between my shoulder blades. "We are very close to extinction and I am the last of my color. We wish to live." He nods and sighs, "But, you guys are always attacking us. Why should--" "We only attacked you because you began killing us! The first time a dragon and human met, the human tried to kill her. The dragon killed the male and we have been at war ever since." I growl and the hatchling on my back gasps before giggling, lightening my mood slightly. We reach a large structure and I finally notice that these are the only two humans I have seen so far. A sinking feeling creeps over me as I look around at the empty space. "Where are the rest of your kin?" I ask, watching as he backs away, abandoning the hatchling on my back. Another human, this one older, comes out with a bow and arrow aimed at my eye. I throw up my wings to shield myself, leaving the hatchling exposed on my back. Once the arrow has bounced off of my wing, I shift my wings and form a barrier around the hatchling as I reach out and snap his bow before I notice the army around me with the father off to the side crying. "I come to negotiate peace and this is how I am met?! With attempts at death and threatening one of your hatchlings lives?" They all flinch as I encompass the whole army and project my thoughts directly into their minds. The man in front of me looks onto my back where my wings are tented around the hatchling who is now crying. He motions with his hand and the army puts their weapons down, but I keep my wings tented. "I will let her go when I have spoken my piece and you have spoken yours. I wished to avoid this, but you have forced me." He frowns and changes his stance to one that looks slightly more comfortable. "And isn't it you, Lady, who started this war?" I growl and lean my face close to his. "Was I supposed to lay down and die for your rogue? I would not die so easily. He attacked me and yet I am to blame for starting this war?!" I watch as his face flushes pink, revealing his shame without having to resort to words. "And yet you went to war with us over a human you exiled; over one that betrayed you so badly that you could no longer trust him to live amongst you!" I let smoke roil from my nostrils as the fire in my blood warms. He backs up, coughing as he tries to wave the smoke away. "We didn't know how the fight--" "Because you never asked!" I snap my jaws and bare my teeth, watching as his hand reflexively reaches for the sharp pointy stick at his side. He sees my eyes on him and simply rests his hand on it, trying to appear relaxed as he motions to my nostrils. "Can you please stop that? It makes it hard to breathe." I force myself to calm down so that my nostrils stop belching smoke. "Now, can you let the child go? Please?" He asks. "Not until we have come to an agreement, whether for better or worse, about how our relations will proceed from this day forward." He shakes his head, but does not disagree further. "How do you suggest we end this,eh? We just forget that this war ever happened and put it behind us?" His eyes are blazing when he looks into my eyes and I growl quietly. "What's done is done, human. We cannot go back and bring back our loved ones who died, though I often wish we could. However, you have a choice. The dragons have come together as a cohesive whole and are ready to attack at any given moment. You would stand little chance against us. Or... we can negotiate peace. It is your choice." He looks at me with a mixture of admiration, hatred, and understanding. "Let the child go and you will have your answer." I narrowed my eyes and slowly let my wings fall to the sides, making a surface for her to slide down. The second the child touched the ground, she walked to her father, looking back at me and waving. I smile and look back at the leader of the humans. He stands in a ready stance, fear radiating off his skin like heat off of a fire. "I speak for my people when I say that you are wise and smart. However, I do not know what we will do yet. Give us the day and the night to think on it and come back on the morrow." I nod and back up a little, picking my wings up then suddenly down, throwing myself into the sky. I hear a shout from below and look down to find one lone human aiming a bow at me. I quicken the beat of my wings as I hear the twang of the string releasing its projectile, but in vain. It hits my left wing joint and I feel my muscles clench in reaction. I roar as my wing ceases to function and I plummet towards the humans again. The man who fired the arrow suddenly realizes his mistake and he, along with everyone nearby, runs to avoid getting crushed. I hear the beating of wings, but know that they will never reach me in time. It is only when I near the ground that I see the hatchling running towards me. I flap my left wing and attempt to change direction, but it is too late for that. I crash into the ground and skid for a few seconds before I feel myself roll over a home and come to a stop. I wince as I realize the arrow in my joint was ripped out, tearing a bigger hole into the tender flesh. I look around for the hatchling and find her in a heap beside the path of destruction my body had wrought. I quickly get to my feet and rush over to her, nudging her limp body with my muzzle until I can see her face. There is blood gushing from a cut on her face and dirt all over her, but she seems to be breathing. I rush to piece together an incantation and soon begin speaking the words aloud, breaking the rule about not talking aloud in front of humans. I mumble quickly and infuse the words with as much magic as I can muster. I hear wing-beats and feel the Earth shake as Jinda and Lynx land next to me. I watch as the hatchling's eyes flutter and open, her face no longer bleeding as she looks up at me with confusion. I sigh in relief and look around, thankful to see that none of the humans were not close enough to hear me. A squeal grabs my attention as the hatchling grabs hold of my right foreleg. I lean down and tuck her in the hollow between my jaw and neck, thankful that I could save her. It is only then that I realize Jinda has healed my wing while Lynx is growling at anyone who comes too close. The human who shot me has been captured and, after depositing the hatchling on Jinda's back, I walk over to thrust my face in his. He cries out and I narrow my eyes to slits before snapping my jaws, silencing him in seconds. I turn my head and look closer at the area I landed in. I suddenly notice that there are bodies lying everywhere, broken, bloody, and lifeless. I turn back to the human responsible and huff air onto his face. "Why did you do this? I am no more hurt than I was when I took off and dozens of your kin have died... One of your hatchlings is now fatherless and almost died as a result of your madness." He looks at me and whispers, "I had to try. If I killed you, then your race of beasts would be lost and we could prevail." I smile toothily and blink very slowly. "My race would have prevailed without me. As it is, it seems they will prevail with me." The leader rushes over and bows before me, suddenly humble. "Please, forgive us. He does not represent our choices!" I nod slowly. "What will be done with him?" He looks at the man with sullen eyes. "He will be killed, for such is the way of our people. He betrayed us." I huff and once again look back to the man who tried to kill me. "How will you die?" I ask, curious to the ways of man. "I will be killed by way of beheading." His face drains of color as he says the word, going almost white before the people holding him lead him away. "I have come to a decision." The leader of the humans says, recapturing my attention. "We will have peace."

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