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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 27th day of Awakening, Yr 23
The Neopian Times Week 76 > Continuing Series > Dragonmist: Part Seven

Dragonmist: Part Seven

by jenjen26785

Untitled Document No quickly had he said this than Saf and Angel had both leapt to their feet and were galloping round the corner and towards the fight scene. A few pets and owners were running away from the action. A few were staying around to watch, creating an irregular oval around the fight scene.

     Pushing through the crowds, they braced themselves, preparing for the worst, and were met with an … erm … unusual sight. With their back to them stood a green Kougress with no stripes. Yep. You heard me correctly. No stripes. Only spots. But she wasn't a spotted Kougress! Just a Green Kougress with spots instead of stripes. Her mellow face was creased into a scowl as she faced her opponent, and Angel thought she saw something bright glitter near her front left paw.

     The monster was standing further into the shadows, the dappled light streaming through the leaves in the trees. His eyes became elliptical, narrowing on the Kougress as he squared her up for a fight. His soft, golden fur and feathers glistened in health. His beak was chipped and worn with battles. His wings were covered in one of those Emerald Eyrie Wing Guards, so it was difficult to distinguish any specific markings like there were on the beak.

     The so-called 'monster' was just an Eyrie.

     It was an odd sight. A glass-green Kougress with spots instead of stripes being confronted by an enormous red Eyrie, obviously prepared for a fight. Though inaudible, their expressions relayed the scene - the Kougress, even though her eyes showed a slight flicker of aggression, was keeping her cool as she spoke to the Eyrie, her lip curled in a persuasive tone. The Eyrie was listening hard to what she was saying, but since his eyes conveyed no change of emotion, he wasn't taking any of it in.

     Just as it looked like they were about to come to a compromise, the Eyrie gritted his teeth (or beak?), snorted and circled the Kougress. This was as much as Angel could bear. She stepped casually forward, speaking in hushed tone through her beak, before Saf had a chance to grapple her arm and stop her.

     "Do I detect a fight, people?"

     "Yes!" said the Eyrie. "I am willing to fight. I will fight and beat anyone who gets in my way!"

     The Kougress looked alarmed. "No. No. Certainly not!" she spoke quickly and breathlessly. "Fighting is certainly not the way to compromise issues, is it Aren?"

     She spoke the last four syllables through gritted teeth, glaring at the Eyrie who fluffed up his feathers defensively.

     "Then you two know each other?"

     "No! Never seen the guy before in my life!"

     The Eyrie simply shook his head.

     "Well then, I'm sure you wouldn't mind settling your differences in private. You're scaring people away."

     The Eyrie muttered something that sounded chillingly like 'That's the point.'

     "Yes mam! Yes of course! Sorry to cause any angst." With a gasp of relief, the Green Kougress leaped overhead and darted away into the jungle.

     The Eyrie turned to look at Angel with the ferocity of a lion that has just lost its prey. Already she could see the cogs working in his head, trying desperately to think of what to do next. Then, like a bolt of lightning in his eyes, the idea came to him.

     "You scared?"

     Angel raised an eyebrow. "Why should I be?"

     " 'Why should I be? Why should I be?' " he mocked. "Why should you be? Because I could rip you into a thousand pieces before you even had a chance to blink. I would run circles round you. Weakling."

     She winced, but kept her cool and turned away. "I don't have to listen to this."

     But then he muttered one last insult as Angel turned to walk towards Safyre in the crowds: "Darkgon."

     She stopped. The pupils in her eyes constricted at an astonishing rate. A memory swirled around in her mind. A memory of dark, shadowy faces. Of eyes glinting in malice. Of mocking laughter as their faces closed in on her still, tiny form …

     Before she knew what she was doing, she was standing several metres away from the edge of the crowd, panting heavily. The Red Eyrie was silent. Turning, she saw him lying on his back in the dirt. Her heart skipped a beat. What had she just done? She panicked, padding over to him.

     There was a groan, and he wrenched himself to his feet and shook his head, nursing a throbbing cheek. He then sat up solemnly on his haunches and inspected the wing guard.

     From the awed crowd, Saf was looking at her with an expression twisted: both shocked and impressed. Saf's pet Snarhook Ambron squealed a long and enthusiastic squeal, presumably cheering her on. She felt her own paw throb. Looking down, the corner was torn slightly. Did she do that? She didn't think she was capable of that…

     The Eyrie, meanwhile, stood back onto his four feet and looked her dead in the eye from a distance. "Very good," he said. "Very good indeed. But I bet I can better that."

     Without warning he bounded towards her; wings splayed, claws outstretched and with an overwrought glimmer in his glare. This sight triggered something in Angel's mind. The muscles in her legs tensed, and she leaped several feet into the air at the last possible moment as the Eyrie bolted down the glade towards her, and sailed over him, landing neatly behind him as he ground to a halt. Had it not been so serious, the situation would have been almost comical.

     He tried again, bowling towards her with the force of an enraged bull, but she gracefully but fiercely skipped to the side. The whole rush gave her a thrill she had never understood before, though she'd heard people talk of it. Like Rincham, for instance. He always talked of the thrill of the fight. Angel had only been in the Battledome a few times, and it had been against pitiful opponents like the Chia Clown and Pant Devil. She hadn't enjoyed it. But this! This was a real challenge. She felt the adrenaline pumping through her body, urging her on.

     The enraged Eyrie roared and twisted right round to faces her, slivers of light trickling craftily through the branches of the trees. The sun reappeared from behind the clouds, illuminating the area for a second. He blinked. His eyes were drawn to something behind Angel.

     Hah! she thought, He's trying to trick me into turning round! No chance.

     She stood her ground.

     The Eyrie's eyes were now wide and unblinking. He pulled out of another charge, spun around and face Angel again. But the sun had disappeared behind the clouds again. He shook his head with confusion and stood his ground.

     Big mistake. Angel had already spread her wings and was bolting straight towards him with the force of a small steam train. Her focus remained on the Eyrie - the one that had called her a 'Darkgon' - examining any possible area of weakness. Ah hah! The wing guard bore a remarkable jagged fracture. She could just… no. This wasn't her talking. She would never do that! What was going on?

     All she had to do was dig her heels into the hard, crisp earth and… too late! TOO LATE!! She scrabbled madly, her enormous feet scraping the ground for a footing, and crashed into the Eyrie.

     When the dust finally cleared, Angel was left sprawled across a nearby tree root, a little worse for wear. The Eyrie looked more stunned than hurt - his brown eyes seemed to have never blinked in a while, and were becoming dewy and glistening. The cracked wing guard lay in shards across the floor.

     But what happened next, I don't think anyone could have prepared for. Angel shook her head free of dust and turned back to him. Her eyes rolled lazily to the top of her head as she kept her beak down, trying to focus in on her foe … and then something caught her eye. She blinked, clearing her mind, whilst the other Eyrie stared back in an identical expression of bewilderment. Then her heart skipped a few beats. It couldn't…

     But before she had a chance to debate what she saw with her knowledge of what couldn't possibly exist, he got up and left. Well, ran. He ran as fast as his legs could carry him without even stopping to collect the ruined pieces of the wing guard, and left Angel wearing a look that… well… stunned doesn't even describe it.

     That Eyrie.

     His wings.

     They were…

     … silver-tipped…

To be continued...

Author's Note:

Like a grin on a miser, no one ever saw that coming… find out what impact this could make on Angel's life in the next issue.

I love to know the audience's opinions on my stories, so if you have any compliments, criticisms, whatnot, send 'em on in!

Previous Episodes

Dragonmist: Part One

Dragonmist: Part Two

Dragonmist: Part Three

Dragonmist: Part Four

Dragonmist: Part Five

Dragonmist: Part Six

Dragonmist: Part Eight

Dragonmist: Part Nine

Dragonmist: Part Ten

Dragonmist: Part Eleven

Dragonmist: Part Twelve

Dragonmist: Part Thirteen

Dragonmist: Part Fourteen

Dragonmist: Part Fifteen

Dragonmist: Part Sixteen

Dragonmist: Part Seventeen

Dragonmist: Part Seventeen

Dragonmist: Part Eighteen

Dragonmist: Part Nineteen

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