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The Quest for Fire - Touch the Sky - Chapter Nine

by felistia


A red haze had settled over the room by the time Zoltar neared the end of his story, the evening sun casting its crimson rays through the three windows.

“….and so now I’m waiting to see what the Queen thinks.” Zoltar finished, stretching his stiff wings, “I think she trusts me a little since she allowed me to see you two.”

Emerald sat on the rock platform on the left side of the room, her face wrinkled with thought.

Shiraku was pacing back and forth, her tail sweeping across the floor, thrusting out small clouds of dust with every brush of her tail.She was the first to speak, “So you just gave the Queen the diamonds, without bargaining or anything? You could have used them to get us out of here.”

Zoltar cringed. He’d hoped they’d be able to skip past that, “I recognize that it was a bad decision now that I look back on it, but you weren’t there. She seemed really angry about us trying to break in and I was worried she would hurt Felistia if I didn’t give her something to trust us. She is an Ice Talon after all.”

Shiraku shrugged her wings with a snort, but didn’t argue.

Zoltar glanced at Emerald. She was still staring at the floor, red, white, gold colors rippling over her scales. Zoltar knew that meant she was angry. At him, he wasn’t sure?

“What about you Emerald. Don’t you have something to say to this three mooned wonder of a pin head?” Shiraku barked, “Something about how he can’t get us into the middle of a war that doesn’t concern us?”

Emerald sighed, shifting her wings with a light flutter as she looked up, “I’m not going to disagree with you on that, but I do see why he did it. Remember me telling you about my situation with the Wisp Talons? How he’d prefer to try to find a peaceful agreement between his tribe and mine instead of going to war? Wouldn’t it have been easier for him to just let the Ghost Talons wipe us out? ”

Shiraku rolled her eyes and nodded.

“But he didn’t. That’s the sort of dragon he is. Now he’s in a position where he can help the Wind Talons, and the Ice Talons for that matter. And while I will admit that I don’t think it was the smartest decision, but I do admire him for it. It’s because of his compassion that I got off that island alive.” Emerald said, smiling warmly at Zoltar.

Zoltar felt himself relax. It was good to hear that Emerald was okay with his decision, even if she didn’t agree with it.

“Besides Shiraku, Zoltar clearly said that it was Felistia that suggested the idea. Your friend Felistia,” Emerald arched an eye crest and flashed her teeth teasingly.

Shiraku was about to respond when the click of the door opening interrupted her.

“Evening.”

Zoltar turned to see a Wind Talon guard walk into the room with a plate of slightly charred meat. The long scar streaking across his snout was hard to miss as it cut down from his left horn to the right side of his snout, narrowly missing his eyes.

He wondered for a moment if the dragon was a soldier, since palace guards generally didn’t receive wounds like that from escorting prisoners.

The Wind Talon closed the door behind him and strode over to a rock platform near one of the windows.

Zoltar could see the guard watching him and the others out the corner of his eye, his tail raised ever so slightly off the ground like a waiting snake.

“The Queen wishes for the Sea Talon and Wisp Talon to stay here for the night.” He said as he placed the food down, “If she requires anything else of you, you will hear from someone soon.”

With that, he turned and walked out the room, throwing a last distrustful glance over his shoulder as he closed the door.

“That was strange,” Emerald said, brushing up against Zoltar, “I’ve never seen him before.”

“Yah,” Zoltar nodded his head slowly, his eyes still fixed on where the Wind Talon had been.

“Who cares, let’s eat,” Shiraku said, grabbing one of the pieces of meat and stuffing it into her mouth with a slightly disgruntled growl.

“What’s with cooked meat around here?” she asked, before swallowing, “I’d kill to have a piece of fish or even raw meat for that matter.”

Zoltar rolled his eyes with a small huff. Trust Shiraku to focus on that now.

It must have been an hour or two after sundown when Zoltar saw the moons silver glint over the crest of the ring of mountain peaks.

The others had been asleep for over an hour already. Shiraku was stretched out over the rock platform, snoring contentedly. Emerald had chosen to perch on one of the windowsills, her silky purple wings bathed in the cool light of the moon as her soft breaths floated through the night air.

Zoltar stretched his stiff wings, the frost bitten scales complaining loudly at the movement. He examined one of his front paws, twisting it back and forth. It didn’t look as bad as it had a few days ago. The raw red tint to the scales had gone and some were regaining their glossy black sheen.

Hopeful by the improvement in his scales, Zoltar tried to build up the familiar heat in his chest, urging his fire to roar into life. Nothing happened.

He groaned. It had been a long shot. Even the spark left from a few days earlier seemed to have died out.

Sullenly, he lay down under the window, his wings tented over his body to provide a little extra warmth. With another sigh, he closed his eyes. Maybe he’d over done it and now his fire was lost forever.

The squeal of the door opening sliced through Zoltar’s sleep like a talon cutting through water.

He leapt to his paw, on instinct attempting to shoot a warning shot at the intruder, only to hack up a cloud of black smoke.

“Charming,” The young guard from the day before said as he walked into the room, waving away the smoke with one wing.

“Sorry,” Zoltar apologized with a final cough.

“Just be happy that you don’t have fire or that would have been a much more serious incident,” The Wind Talon hissed, closing the door.

He glanced at Emerald and Shiraku, only to jump back a step. Shiraku was still dead to the world, but Emerald was lying with her head on her paws, her deep blue eyes staring straight at the guard with clear disdain.

Even Zoltar flinched after seeing her. She hadn’t made a sound.

Shaking his head, he frowned. It had took him a moment register what the guard had said. How did he know about his lack of fire?

“Anyway,” the Wind Talons eyes lingered on Emerald before he turned back to face Zoltar, “The Queen wishes to see you, now.”


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Mon Oct 05, 2020 1:51 am
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JabberHut wrote a review...



HELLO AGAIN!!

So the first thing I noticed was that we get a slight indication of Emerald and Shiraku having bonded a bit in prison. Emerald had talked to Shiraku apparently about what Zoltar did for her and their tribes, and while we don't really get much more into that, even just this little bit tells me the two at least talked to each other during that time. Their reputation level with each other is at least friendly! XD

Speaking of, Emerald's defense of Zoltar was unexpected but really sweet. It was honestly such a heart-warming moment for the two of them. I don't know if the conversation really progressed naturally to me, which is why Emerald defending Zoltar was a surprise moment for me. Usually when someone speaks so defensively, it's because there was an aggressor initially. Shiraku wasn't really picking a fight, though. She was merely clarifying, albeit shocked and disapprovingly, that Zoltar had given the queen those diamonds. Even when she asked Emerald for her opinion... I don't know, maybe it's just me. It was like they were making too much drama out of Zoltar's story. What did Shiraku really expect to happen? Maybe they were just being immature/ignorant about it and I'm too reasonable? XD

I do know I am 100% loving the fact that Shiraku wants to remain third party and not get involved with this war. This is super consistent, imo, with her character. She has quite a history, that much is clear, but the fact that she remains outcast and prefers learning how to fend for herself with Felistia tells me she never has any intention of returning home. She would much rather keep out of conflict and keep to herself and her feelings, so staying out of a war of this calibre seems absolutely what she would want to do. Now the fact that she's super adamant about it intrigues me SO much. Shame on me for forgetting the details of her past, but I would love to see some insight into why she has such strong feelings about staying out of conflict.

I also picked up on Emerald's counter argument after defending Zoltar, saying that Felistia was Shiraku's friend. She kinda spat this out like Shiraku should care more about this, but Shiraku and Felistia were kind of at an understanding to survive together, rather than a treasured friendship. At least, as far as I'm aware. So maybe Emerald didn't pick up on this?

AHHHHHHHHHHHH OKAY HOW DOES HE KNOW HE HAS NO FIRE?????? omg I don't even know what this means. Wind Talons know things about Shadow Talons maybe?? Zoltar didn't tell this to Emerald and Shiraku, did he? I assumed he didn't, but if he did, maybe the guard overheard them?! Maybe Wind Talons are just knowledgable in other dragons' anatomies, powers, etc??

And why does the queen wish for the prisoners to spend the night with Zoltar in his guest room!? Is that the queen extending an olive branch, showing a sign of peace with Zoltar?! Like she believes his story now?! Or does she have something else in mind, throwing them all in the same room together?

SO MANY QUESTIONS




felistia says...


Thank you again for another review. So many insights that will make the story so much better when I get edit it. Thank you so much. It's really helpful.



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Wed Sep 23, 2020 5:00 am
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ChrisCalaid wrote a review...



Hi, @felistia! I'm here for a quick review.
This is truly a lovely piece of writing, though I have not reviewed the other parts of this story I have not doubt all of them has the beauty of it's own. The characters are very interesting and they have quite unique and likable name, Zoltar and Emerald. I have no idea whether the names have a role here but I love them. It is really a beautiful story and I think you did a amazing job on creating the army. I really enjoy reading this story, and it's wonderful to hear the dialogues between Zoltar and Emerald.


I love reading this story and I would love to read more of your writing!

Thank you for writing this!
You made my day!

Keep on writing!

Best wishes,
Chris

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Tue Sep 22, 2020 2:16 pm
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HarryHardy wrote a review...



Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening/Night(whichever one it is in your part of the world),

Hi! I'm back for another one!!

First Impression: This was a lovely chapter as always. I love the little hints that you scattered all throughout this story. It gives me sooo many ideas about where this story may be going and I'm really excited to see if my guesses will be correct. The guards in this one have also been really well written. I feel like I've said this a million times already but I just cannot get over how much attention you've paid to detail when showing that the Wind Talons are a race that is losing a war but are also somehow still very humane in their dealings with other dragons.

Anyway let's get right to it,

A red haze had settled over the room by the time Zoltar neared the end of his story, the evening sun casting its crimson rays through the three windows.


Ahh a classic establishing shot. Its still nice to see even though here the level of description is much lesser.

“….and so now I’m waiting to see what the Queen thinks.” Zoltar finished, stretching his stiff wings, “I think she trusts me a little since she allowed me to see you two.”


Or she could be manipulating you...just saying Zoltar...you can never be too sure with this plot.

Shiraku was pacing back and forth, her tail sweeping across the floor, thrusting out small clouds of dust with every brush of her tail.She was the first to speak, “So you just gave the Queen the diamonds, without bargaining or anything? You could have used them to get us out of here.”


I think you missed a space there.

Zoltar cringed. He’d hoped they’d be able to skip past that, “I recognize that it was a bad decision now that I look back on it, but you weren’t there. She seemed really angry about us trying to break in and I was worried she would hurt Felistia if I didn’t give her something to trust us. She is an Ice Talon after all.”


That's definitely a good argument. Honestly I felt like Zoltar made the best decision that he could considering the situation that he was in and I never actually thought about the bargaining part when I read that which means that scene was written really, really well.

Zoltar glanced at Emerald. She was still staring at the floor, red, white, gold colors rippling over her scales. Zoltar knew that meant she was angry. At him, he wasn’t sure?


Its probably not you Zoltar.

“What about you Emerald. Don’t you have something to say to this three mooned wonder of a pin head?” Shiraku barked, “Something about how he can’t get us into the middle of a war that doesn’t concern us?”


Oh that insult is so Shiraku that I just had to make an excited squeal at this point. I love just how much life and personality your characters have. :)

“But he didn’t. That’s the sort of dragon he is. Now he’s in a position where he can help the Wind Talons, and the Ice Talons for that matter. And while I will admit that I don’t think it was the smartest decision, but I do admire him for it. It’s because of his compassion that I got off that island alive.” Emerald said, smiling warmly at Zoltar.


Aww...that was a sweet thing to say. And of course this is why we all love Zoltar.

Zoltar turned to see a Wind Talon guard walk into the room with a plate of slightly charred meat. The long scar streaking across his snout was hard to miss as it cut down from his left horn to the right side of his snout, narrowly missing his eyes.


Lovely description there for that dragon. Definitely helps continue the idea of how badly the Wind Talons are faring in this war.

“The Queen wishes for the Sea Talon and Wisp Talon to stay here for the night.” He said as he placed the food down, “If she requires anything else of you, you will hear from someone soon.”


That was nice of her...or was it?

“What’s with cooked meat around here?” she asked, before swallowing, “I’d kill to have a piece of fish or even raw meat for that matter.”

Zoltar rolled his eyes with a small huff. Trust Shiraku to focus on that now.


Food is very important Zoltar. I'm with Shiraku on this one.

The others had been asleep for over an hour already. Shiraku was stretched out over the rock platform, snoring contentedly. Emerald had chosen to perch on one of the windowsills, her silky purple wings bathed in the cool light of the moon as her soft breaths floated through the night air.


Ahh another wonderful bit of description that does a great job of letting us know exactly where they are in relation to each other which is very helpful to visualize how this scene plays out.

Hopeful by the improvement in his scales, Zoltar tried to build up the familiar heat in his chest, urging his fire to roar into life. Nothing happened.


Oh no...come on Zoltar. You'll be fine. Don't give up like that.

"Just be happy that you don’t have fire or that would have been a much more serious incident,” The Wind Talon hissed, closing the door.


Well you can't blame him for being jumpy.

“Anyway,” the Wind Talons eyes lingered on Emerald before he turned back to face Zoltar, “The Queen wishes to see you, now.”


Oooh great cliffhanger there for the ending!

Aaaaand that's it for this one.

Overall: Overall its a lovely addition to this wonderful story and I can't wait for more of it to come out. I'm really loving having Emerald and Shiraku back and I hope we get the entire gang back together soon. The plot looks like its getting out of this prison sequence and now heading towards whatever is coming next and I AM EXCITED. Waiting patiently...

As always remember to take what you think was helpful and forget the rest.

Stay Safe
Harry

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felistia says...


Thank you again for another review. :D I'll write the next chapter as soon as possible.

I tried to give the guards more life in this part of the story. I realized after looking back on the previous book that the Ice Talon kingdoms side character really felt wooden. They had a story too and so I tried to improve upon that now. I'll fix the previous wooden characters in editing. :D




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