Chapter 2: All That Work… Ash

Chapter 2: All That Work…              Ash

(Wind. The sky is always so calm around the palace! Hey Shade, sure you want to join me?)

Ash flew like a creature that was born to it, which he was. In his dragon form Ash maintained his leanness but was graced with a long serpentine neck and tail covered all over in black scales with silver outlining. Silver horns in a crest at the base of the head and in triplets going down to the edge of his tail, and huge wide wings containing tints of sliver platinum combine to make a both regal and deadly visage.

Shade sat upon Ash’s back, (so you want to be with me this time? I wouldn’t mind you not being there when I am speaking to the dragon lords. I know how much they unnerve you.) Ash thought.

(NO!) He heard,(even if I could barely keep myself from leaping off your shoulder and killing all of them! I refuse to leave you alone with those creatures.)

Ash roared in laughter, “you wouldn’t have lasted long enough to kill even one of them without me! I’m the one who protects you from them remember.” they both laughed.

Ash and Shade share the exact same soul, to all’s dismay, both can sense not only what the other is feeling but also where both of them are anywhere they may go.

With a final roar Ash dove to the ground. Just before crashing he shifted back into his human form. Ash landed softly, he never understood why his ancestors were so reluctant to shift, being human was almost as fun as being a dragon, and far more convenient. Personally Ash found it to be the more comfortable of his two forms and only ever really uses his dragon form for travel.

Without missing a beat Shade shifted into his shoulder in time with Ash’s landing. (Ash, they’re to the west, I can smell them.)
 
“Thanks Shade, why do you think they’re masking their power?” Ash asked.

(We should go to the grove now Ash. They may just be waiting for us, but be careful… nothing about this feels right to me.)

Ash nodded to his companion. “Fine, but I hate these formal court cloths. I’m changing.”

Ash snapped his fingers and was covered in a black, hooded cloak. Under that were not his court clothes but a black shirt without buttons or adornments and grey pants that reached to his ankles. Covering his vitals were black scale armor with silver accenting, much like his own dragon scales, as well as gantlets and grieves of the same design. “And now for effect…” Ash winked at his furry companion and an elegant shoulder guard in the shape of the top of his dragon forms head appeared on his left side, with matching van-braces on his arms.

“Flexible, light, strong and protective, plus it looks really, really cool right? Those old lizards will wish there scales could manifest like mine”

Show off… he heard and they both laughed as they started toward the grove of the black moon.

“Well we’re here, so where the HELL are you all!” Aaron shouted, “we’ve been waiting THREE HOURS!”

Ash paced inside the grove, it was always his and Shade’s favorite place to think. There was no ground here, no grass or dirt at least, but the smooth black stone was strangely more comforting. The only things that stood out on it were two sets of identical runes, silver in a sea of black. Just like Ash’s scales or Shade’s fur. Ash knew this is where his father found him, he also know that this is where he and Shade became one soul with two bodies. Though there was also something else about this place, both Ash and Shade felt strong here…

“Ash!” Aaron looked up just in time to see his father fly past. “YOU HAVE BEEN REJECTED BY THE NINE!”

“What the hell?” Ash wondered “Dad? Dad… DAD COME BACK HERE!” Ash jumped into the sky. He was always able to jump high, at the age of three he got thirty feet in the air, but now he almost soared. It was almost like flying he thought.

(Remind me why I stopped doing this again? Shade? ) Aaron felt Shade respond, but could not hear her. (What?) Ash thought.

(I said because it messes with my COAT! I’m gonna look like a ball of fur now! You’ll be hearing about this for quite some time until I groom it back As-)

ASH BLACKWING” someone roared. Ash turned in the air just in time to see a large red dragon crash into him.

A giant red hand crashed all around him. Ash groaned in pain, and dark spots swam through his vision.

“Arrrgghh” Ash screamed as he tried to escape its crushing grip. “let go damn you! I am a Dragon Lord!” he shouted.

“Ha ha ha, that you are young Blackwing, that you are.”

Ash’s eyes widened in recognition at the voice. “Tobious? Dad’s friend from the council?” he asked in a soft voice.

“So, the weak one speaks. Yes I am Tobious the red. I shall ERASE the shame of the council before it can even join. I am your DEATH!” Tobious roared.

“Yeah, I don’t think I’ll die today, so thanks but no thanks.” Ash shifted into a dark mist slipped from the grip of the red claw and then moved up Tobious’ arm. Shade was only a few paces behind him be fore she jumped.

Then faster than Tobious could react, Ash shifted again into his human form. Ash conjured Dark Embrace, his mystic weapon, though this time in the form of a long jagged scythe, with a serrated top and bottom edge. He leaped into the air in front of the red dragon.

“I am Ash Blackwing, and I am the new THIRD DRAGON LORD!” he shouted as he brought down his scythe on Tobious’ left eye. Tobious screamed in pain and clawed at the ruins of his left eye.

(Ash do you hear that? It sounds like chanting…) Ash suddenly felt extremely weak. (Shade! I… I can’t…)and Ash faded. The last thing he saw was the black stone of the grove of the moon spiraling towards him…
        Shade
(Good luck in the mortal realms little Ash… Ha ha ha…)

Shade heard this at the same moment as she saw Ash fall. (Who are you?) she thought, (what do you want?) Shade saw Ash land, but instead of crashing Ash fell through the stone like it was mere water in a lake. Without a second thought she dropped towards the grove.

As Shade passed through the stone after her companion, one of her questions was answered. In a way that would haunt Shades mind for many weeks afterword, a massive presence brushed past her mental defenses easily. It answered as if multiple things were speaking. (In time one will be born. It will be revealed by the stone. It will Struggle. it will die…)

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