Zoltar stared up into the sparkling heavens, studying the swirling cobalt galaxies and deep iris purple cosmoses. The night air was as sharp as steel and bitterly cold. Zoltar tucked his snout under his wing, hoping it would fight off the icy wind battering against his scales. It provided little comfort. Sighing, he tried to drift off to sleep, but his thoughts kept spinning around and around in his head.
Emerald’s soft snores vibrated through his body as he burrowed in closer for warmth. He was careful not to get to close to Shiraku, whose claws were twitching like mad. Her eyes trembled as she slept and every now and then she would let out an indignant snarl.
Zoltar forced himself to slow his thinking and forget the doubts and fears preventing him from resting. Felistia and the rest had been asleep for over three hours already and by now the two moons had rising high into the dark sky, their silver light glittering off the snowflakes drifting through the air. Slowly, but surely sleep overcame his thoughts and consciousness faded into blackness as the world faded from Zoltar’s mind.
The blizzard howled, tugging at Zoltar’s wings like a pack of wild wolves as he fought to make his way towards the shadowy figure of the ice talon’s palace ahead. Digging his claws into the hard icy ground he slowly inched forward, squeezing his eyes shut to block out the jagged shards of snow spiking through the air.
Suddenly the shape of the palace disappeared in a sudden burst of white snow leaving swirling nothingness. Zoltar whirled in a panic, 'Where had it gone?' He needed to get there to save Emerald and Shiraku. They could die of hypothermia if they were trapped in the ice talon prison. He had to rescue them.
Out of nowhere a silver bullet slammed him to the ground, making his head spin as it hit the hard ice.
Growling, Zoltar rolled away from his attacker and jumped to his paws, extending his ebony wings to full height, so that they billowed in the wind like the sails of a ghost ship. He stopped in surprise. Felistia was standing in front of him, her dagger like teeth bared and her spiked tail lashing violently.
“What are you doing?” Zoltar asked bewildered, still poised to attack if Felistia tried anything.
“I will not let you steal the Ice Diamond. It belongs to my people, not a scum sucking shadow talon like you,” Felistia snarled in a cold voice full of anguish.
“But you were banished … you hate the queen. Why are you doing this?” Zoltar pleaded, his head whirling.
“The queen will reward me well for bringing in a potential threat, maybe even allow me back my place in the ice talon tribe,” Felistia growled, baring her sharp, white teeth in an evil smile.
“I thought you were my friend,” Zoltar hissed angrily, raising his barbed tail, ready to strike her down. He glared at Felistia, pain burning in his amethyst eyes and like the faint whisper of a frozen lake he hissed, “but I guess you are just like any other dragon that’s ever hurt me. I should have known better.”
“They all think that,” Felistia smirked and with a fearsome roar she lunched towards Zoltar, her immense wings spread.
Zoltar leapt to the side and stabbed out violently with his barbed tail. The poisonous barb missed by a few centimetres as Felistia rolled to the left, jumped up and sent a burst of blue ice breath at him. Zoltar dropped to the ground, throwing his obsidian wings over his head as the stream of ice charged over his back spicks. Roaring in pain he lashed out blindly with his dagger like claws. He struck the Felistia on her long tail, leaving a bleeding gash. The ice talon snarled, springing back from Zoltar’s dagger like talons. She twisted her tail round to inspect the slash. Bright red blood streamed from the gash.
“I am going to make you pay for that shadow talon,” Felistia hissed, her voice loaded with toxic venom, “I don’t need you alive for me to claim my reward.”
“How could you Felistia? I trusted you and this is how you repay me? I could have left you on that island to be killed, but I didn’t,” Zoltar cried, ducking Felistia’s violent swipes.
“Things change. I told you ice talons weren't to be trusted and this is what you get for being so naïve. I mean seriously! Wisp talons and shadow talons living together? What world are you living in?” Felistia barked, tripping Zoltar with her tail.
“I want a better world, where all dragon species can live in peace and there are no wars,” Zoltar roared as Felistia leapt on top of him, pinning him to the cold ground, “I battle my entire tribe the whole time to try and bring peace. Suffering serpent’s eggs I even came on this whole craze journey to try and stop a war, but if this is how you dragons outside of the shadow lands want it then, let there be war. All my life I thought the shadow talons were the brutal ones, but now I see differently. You are all the same!” Zoltar roared as he fought to keep back the tears, “You are all deceitful snakes with wings.”
“That’s what dragons are,” Felistia hissed as she drew back her head and with a roar of triumph sent a jet of ice breath crashing down on Zoltar’s head.