By the time Shadow returned to his listening spot the sun was beginning to set. He quickly listened for their minds and found all the dragonets were back in their cave. Most of them were doing homework or laying around but Hailstorm was reading a book on one of his favorite subjects. Ice Wings.
The book was written by a Sand Wing on a series of stone tablets which made no sense to Hailstorm. Why wouldn’t the Ice Wings write about themselves instead of letting someone else write it. Then again maybe they had but didn’t share it with anyone. But that option didn’t make sense to him either. Wasn’t the whole point of writing things down to share them with other dragons? That’s part of what made books, and the knowledge contained within them, so fascinating to Hailstorm. You could write an idea or piece of information down one time and hundreds of other dragons could read it. Even dragons who lived long after you died!
Regardless, this Sand Wing seemed to know very little about what the Ice Wings actually DID in their day to day lives. Most of the book was about how Ice Wings were supposed to love science and collected knowledge from all over to hoard it for themselves. They lived high on top of mountains where it was cold, and the sky was clear. Apparently the air was harder to breathe the higher you went but Ice Wings were fine.
Another aspect of their culture was that they loved to study the stars, and from that study came prophecies. They came in cryptic messages and always fit what eventually happened (though Tempest said it was just good guessing and making the prophecy vague enough that anything would fit). Hailstorm didn’t know how the stars predicted the future, but he was sure it was backed up with logic and reason somehow.
The writer went on to say that ice wing cities were massive intricate structures made of ice that were built on a massive chunk of ice called a glacier in the highest and coldest mountains on the continent. They also…
“Dragonets line up!” Quake boomed as he entered the room, tearing Hailstorm from his reading.
Shadow would have sworn he could hear the Sand Wing soldier’s commanding roar even from above ground. Shadow could feel all the guardians had entered the room and the dragonets quickly gathered in a line before them and sat down to listen.
“Thank you Quake.” Shear said respectfully (and much more quietly) before turning to the dragonets.
“We have come to let you know that we will be having a visitor tomorrow. We have recently received a message that informed us of a Flame Wing that has been sent from Queen Sear to determine if the prophecy dragonet of the Flame Wings will be safe here.”
“So, you’d better be on your best behaviour, or I’ll kick every one of your tails!” Surge added.
This knowledge sent a wave of emotions through the dragonets. Not only did this mean that they would be meeting a dragon from outside the cave for the first time, but it also confirmed that Shadow’s message was true.
Shear sighed patiently at Surge’s outburst.
“We need to make a good impression so that she will let this dragonet join us. So please act politely to our guest. I’m sure you will like him when he arrives.”
“Humph. Of course they will. He’s going to be part of their group for the prophecy after all.” Quake said dismissively.
“And what happens if we don’t like him?” Tempest challenged. Shadow could feel all the guardians’ annoyance, but before they could speak Aurora answered.
“What do you mean? Of course we’ll like him. He’s a dragonet just like us. He was chosen by the prophesy too so he’s probably very nice just like us.” She said pleasantly.
Tempest was a bit annoyed that Aurora was agreeing with the guardians but she also realised that antagonising the guardians further wasn’t going to help her or her friends. Hailstorm and Boulder both let out mental sighs of relief as the guardians’ growls subsided.
“I’m sure you will all get along just fine.” Shear said kindly. “Just remember to clean up after yourselves especially well tomorrow so that everything looks clean and tidy when the flame wing arrives.”
“Get to sleep early as well. We don’t have room for dopy dragonets. Understand?” Quake warned.
“Yes sir.” The dragonets all sighed.
“Hmph.” Quake snorted as he left.
If these dragonets mess this up and prevent us from gathering all the dragonets for the prophecy I’m going to loose it! Surge thought as she walked away as well.
Shear waited until the other guardians were gone and whispered to the dragonets.
“This dragonet was raised by one of the temple guardians who work with the Wings of Protection. In case you forgot, it was the temple guardians who were tasked with bringing your eggs here. Unfortunately, queen Sear of the flame wings refused to allow a Flame Wing egg to be raised by other tribes outside of their capital city. In the end the Wings of Protection struck a deal that he would be watched over by the temple guardian until he joined you. So he may have been given special treatment and expect certain privileges that he won’t get here. I hope he can adapt but you might have to deal with a bit of complaining. Just be open and try not to treat him too harshly when he arrives ok?”
“Don’t worry. I’ll be sure to mess with him just as much as everyone else.” Gale joked.
“And I’ll make sure he’s caught up on all our lessons.” Hailstorm added, which made all the dragonets groan before they all broke our laughing. Shear giggled a bit as well.
“Well good. Have a good night’s rest dragonets. You’ll need all your energy for tomorrow.” Shear said as she turned to go.
“Goodnight Shear.” Gale, Hailstorm and Aurora called while they all waved goodnight.
“Goodnight everyone.” Shadow whispered as it hit him once more just how lonely he felt without Jarid around. The flight back to his cave felt lonelier and colder than it had in a while. He wished Jarid would come back soon so that he had someone to say goodnight to him.
He shook himself as he landed in dragon valley, his tail smacked into a tree and he winced. He chuckled to himself.
Ironic isn’t it? You only seem to carelessly stub your toe or hit a tree with your tail when you’re already feeling down. I guess there are some things I could be excited about though. The Flame Wing is coming tomorrow. I can’t wait to see what they look like and think about. Shadow thought to himself.
Unfortunately he just couldn’t seem to get himself excited about anything. With a sigh he laid down. It felt like there was a weight on his heart that just wouldn’t go away. Perhaps it was because of all the bad things that had happened to the dragonets that day. Or maybe he was just lonely after missing Jarid for three months.
Shadow sighed. Placing those thoughts aside he should probably get to sleep early too. There was no telling what would happen tomorrow, and he wanted to be awake for all of it. He couldn’t help feeling a bit cold in his loneliness and hugged himself with his tail as he spread his wings over himself.
His thoughts turned to his mother as he sought some way to comfort himself. She had lived a wonderful life and her memories lived on in both Jarid and Shadow’s minds. Shadow tried remembering some of her memories now as he fell asleep. She had enjoyed the company of many friends while she was growing up. He closed his eyes as he thought of some of the memories she had shared of them…