Legend of Akhra (Chapter 3) by Nimble Ginelle Quinn
Chapter three: Cassandra is coming
I awoke, lying on my side in the world of white, but it wasn’t exactly white anymore. The world was now an open meadow surrounded by woodlands. Above my head, the sky was a stormy yellow-gray color, like when there is a thunderstorm. There wasn’t any lightning or rain, or the roar of thunder. There was a strong wind, but not any sort of precipitation at all.
A minute later, Whistletone flew in, landing in front of me. She seemed brave and worried at the same time, or maybe that was just her surroundings, I can’t quite tell.
I heard everything, she growled. The Shadow Thief boy likes you, doesn’t he?
“Really, you too?!” I cried, feeling embarrassed. “I know he likes me, but does everyone have to bother me about it?”
Whistletone smiled down at me. The automaton doesn’t know, however. He will soon enough.
I narrowed my eyes. “Well that’s just great, like I really want that to happen.”
It will be fine, do not worry child, she assured me. By the way, do you like my home? This is where I truly live. This is in Neona Skyway, on a small oasis in Soren.
I looked around my surroundings. “It’s quite nice, actually. Even though the sky is stormy in color, and there’s a strong wind, it’s pretty peaceful.”
Whistletone smiled, and then knelt on the ground. Would you like a ride? We can talk as I fly around.
I grinned back at her. “Ok, but I’m only going to remember this in a dream.”
I climbed onto her broad shoulders. She had to at least be 20 feet or bigger in height. Her shoulders and wings were probably half a mile long, or a little shorter. Once I was in position, she rose up, and with a flap of her leaf-like wings, she flew into the air.
I do have something to tell you, Whistletone growled as we soared through the air. Cassandra is coming with her submarines, and she’s going to try and kidnap you and influence the others, especially Nigel. You will have to save him, because when he refuses, Cassandra tries to grab him.
“How should I do that?” I asked her. “I’m no pirate or hero.”
Whistletone thought for a moment. I believe there is a small airship on one of the towers. Your dragon Shade will help you reach it if you call to him. He’ll save the others for you, too.
“That’s good, so I only have to save Nigel,” I said, and then froze. “Oh no, I have to save him. Great, he’ll just like me even more. I really don’t want that to happen, but ok, I will save him if I have to.”
Whistletone flapped her wings and rose higher into the sky. I may help out too, if I feel like it. I can’t join you, but I might send another spell to assist you.
“Well, just don’t make it another meteor storm, ok?” I begged her. “Send something possibly alive that will help me, can you?”
She sighed. I suppose so, if it’ll be much of a help. I might send an old friend of yours to assist you.
“What do you mean by that?” I asked.
I mean someone you know who is strong enough to help you, she said. Or two friends of yours, I am not too certain. In the meantime, you should worry about your friends. Plus, the morning is coming. I should land now.
Whistletone dove down through the clouds and flew into the oasis. I hope you have a good night, though, with you and your friends. Especially the Shadow Thief boy, she added with a wink.
I groaned and rolled my eyes. “Yeah, yeah, I get the message. You don’t need to remind me.”
I hopped off her back, and she leapt into the air and glided off. The oasis dissolved into a world of color, and a portal opened up. Rather than stand and wait for it to suck me in, I jumped in, shielding my eyes from the bright light.
I woke up to find Gwen standing on me, licking my face. I laughed and shoved the little dragon off, and she happily chirped.
“Did you have a good sleep, Gwen?” I asked the little dragon. She gave a happy growl and sat on my bed while I got dressed. The fort had tons of different clothes, and I picked out a pirate-like dress. Gwen sniffed the closet and yanked out a pearl necklace. I put it on her neck and the two of us walked into the kitchen.
In the kitchen, a few Lumineers were eating oatmeal and chatting, but the place was mostly empty. I got myself some oatmeal and a flying fish fillet for Gwen. As we sat and ate, Victor and Paolina approached our table.
“I heard the Shadow Thief by the name of Nigel likes you,” Victor told me.
I almost fell out of my seat. “Who told you that he likes me?!”
“Puma told us,” Paolina piped up.
I rolled my eyes. “Well, that figures,” I mumbled. “He did invite the two of us to hang out with him and his friends tonight.”
Victor smiled, although his smile was more of a grin or a smirk. “It should be a great experience for you. Nigel and you could become great friends and allies.”
“Nigel isn’t my boyfriend, and he probably won’t be,” I moaned. “Just please don’t let Puma spread that around. It would be super embarrassing if the Lumineers knew that too.”
Victor looked over at the few Lumineers, but they didn’t seem to be listening at all. “Do not worry, Miss Quinn, we will alert Puma,” he assured me.
The two headed out of the kitchen. Paolina said something to Victor and he looked back at me, smiling. I mumbled and rested my head on my arms.
Gwen chirped and licked my face. “It’ll be okay mistress,” she chirped.
I almost fell out of my seat again. “Whoa, Gwen, you can talk?!” I exclaimed. The Lumineers looked up from their conversation and stared at us, and I lowered my voice. “Gwen, when did you learn to talk?”
Gwen preened one of her wings. “We Blue Sky dragons already know how to talk, we just have to be taught our first words, and then we learn the rest. Shade secretly taught me and the others. It’s not too scary, is it?”
I smiled, sitting up straight. “Actually, it’s pretty darn awesome. It wouldn’t be a bad thing if I told the other group members, would it?”
Gwen ruffled her wings, even after she just preened one of them. “It is perfectly ok, but I’d probably tell Shade first. Not that he’d really care, but it would probably be better to let him know firsthand.”
I smiled again. “Should we let them know now?”
Gwen was the one to smile this time. “They’ve probably already did. Most likely sometime this morning, I think.”
I finished my oatmeal and stood up. “Well, we should probably go find Puma Laveer now.” I said. The two of us left the kitchen and walked out into the courtyard. The sun gleamed brightly overhead, and a large fleet of airships sailed over our heads.
“I think I see her over there,” Gwen chirped. To our right, Puma, wearing a vest and skirt, was talking with Nigel, Aura, and Harriet. We raced over, and Puma grinned at me.
“Hey Alex, good to see you’re awake,” Puma growled. “So, you need anything important?”
“Well,” I began, “For one, Gwen can talk.”
“Seriously?” Harriet exclaimed, looking at Gwen. “Well then, little dragon, say something!”
“I am a runt but I don’t care! I am a mighty little dragon!” Gwen sang, dancing and hopping around on the ground. “I am the darn cutest little dragon you’ll ever see!”
“That is pretty awesome,” Aura said, actually smiling probably for the first time.
Gwen smiled, flapping her little wings. Nigel turned to me and examined my dress. “Nice outfit,” he commented, smiling at my outfit.
I looked down at my pirate dress. “It’s pretty nice, isn’t it? The Lumineers have a lot of outfits to choose from.”
He grinned. “Hey, are you ready for tonight? We’re going on a tour of the towers tonight. You two won’t need anything, we’ve got everything covered.”
“Yeah, we will be fine,” I told him. “We don’t need to be wearing anything in particular, do we?”
“Really, all you need are boots,” he assured me. “Wear whatever you like.”
Puma put her hand on my shoulder. “Hey, we should wear our ball gowns!” she exclaimed.
I tried to protest, but Nigel clapped his hands. “Perfect!” he said. “See you guys tonight!” He and the other Shadow Thieves left, leaving Puma, Gwen, and I standing alone by the wall.
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