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Chapter Fifteen: Flying Defenders

Posted on August 20, 2014 at 1:05 AM

After helping to pack up camp, Fanchon went to stand at Jerron’s grave. He noticed that the flowers were all withered and dried up. He left more flowers on Jerron’s grave before they continued their journey but noticed they seemed to immediately begin to wilt. He felt intense curiosity drawing him forward as he led the group directly south across the field of flowers to the forest on the other side. They came across where the land had risen up creating a cliff that grew as it went south.

“Up or down?” Tor asked as Fanchon came to a stop.

He knew the answer immediately.

“Down,” he replied and felt pleased.

He urged Midnight forward and the others followed. The cliff got taller as they went further south through the forest. They stopped at a stream that had carved a cascade in the cliff for lunch.

“I hope we find somewhere soon,” Aloysia commented as they sat down to eat.

Fanchon felt anticipation as he said, “I know we will.”

There were flashes of images in his mind; a tall dark mountain with a volcano at its heart, the mouth of a large cavern with a spring bubbling up next to it and rolling grassy hills. He shook his head.

“What’s wrong?” she asked.

“I keep seeing images, feeling emotions,” he said and felt surprise. “Like I’m sensing someone else’s thoughts.”

“I’ve noticed that much of this forest seems to be young trees,” Fallon said. I’ve noticed fallen logs that are charred as though there was a fire.”

Fanchon looked around and Fallon was right.

“I don’t like it,” Aloysia said in a worried tone. “How would you sense someone else’s thoughts and who are they?”

“What if they are luring us in by controlling you?” Tor asked. “Do you think we are in danger?”

“Who are you and why can I hear your thoughts?” Fanchon asked out loud. “What do you want with us?”

‘My name is Malvin,’ a deep voice replied in his mind. ‘I have heard your thoughts for several days now. You are searching for a home. I can help you and you can help me.’

“His name is Malvin and he knows we are searching for a home. He needs our help and will help us,” Fanchon said.

‘I promise no harm will come to you,’ Malvin said.

“Both Rollan and Ki-Mal told me some things that now make more sense. I will know for certain when I see Malvin,” Fanchon said.

“You’re certain about this aren’t you,” Aloysia stated more than asked and he nodded. “I trust you then.”

“I trust you too,” Fallon said.

“You’ve led us this far safely,” Tor said.

“And you found your uncle when I didn’t think it was possible,” Sarma added.

“Let’s find Malvin then,” Fanchon said and urged Midnight forward.

As they progressed farther south, the horse got increasingly restless as it sniffed the air. This worried Fanchon.

‘He can smell me and doesn’t know what the smell is coming from,’ Malvin’s voice said in Fanchon’s mind. ‘The other animals with you are nervous as well. I will try to reassure them that I mean no harm.’

Soon Midnight settled down. At last they came around the end of the cliff and could see a mountain through the trees.

“That mountain is what we’ve been looking for,” Fanchon said as he noticed the ground was sloping upward.

“How do you know?” Aloysia asked.

“I just know it,” he replied.

She shook her head. When they finally came out of the trees they were at the foot of mountain. The face was sheared off exposing a large cavern in the dark stone nearly at ground level. Lying in the mouth of the cavern was a creature that Fanchon had never seen before. It was large enough that the head was about as tall as he was followed by a long neck, powerful chest and forelegs. Each toe ended with a sharp claw. It was covered in scales and had wings folded against its body.

‘We call ourselves dragons,’ Malvin said.

“What is that and why would it need our help?” Aloysia asked.

He glanced at her and her paled face mirrored the panic in her voice.

“This is Malvin,” Fanchon said as he dismounted. “He says he is a dragon.”

“What can we do that he can’t?” Tor asked.

‘That is a bit harder to explain,’ Malvin said as he stood up and walked out of the cavern followed by another dragon. ‘This is my mate, Fae. We are the last two dragons. We have a clutch of eggs we have been guarding, but we have lost thirty seven eggs. Those died either in the egg from the icy winds of the cold season or because of predators that broke into the eggs. We have eight eggs that still live that will hatch soon. Without help they will die. They are incapable of feeding themselves until they can fly and hunt for food.’

“So you need us to feed your young,” Fanchon said. “I hardly dare ask what you eat.”

‘The cattle would suit our purposes.’

“They better not eat people,” Fallon said.

“Malvin said that they would eat the cattle. With a place to graze the cattle could be left to breed and establish a large herd,” Fanchon replied. “Is this the only opening to the cavern?”

‘No, there are many smaller tunnels that exit the mountain,’ Malvin responded. ‘Yes, covering this opening like that would protect the eggs from the wind and cold.’

 

Categories: Tales of Asculum