Frozen Waves – Chapter 5

Avocet pumped his wings hard, hurrying to get himself and Hydro as far from the murder site as possible. He looked down at the RainWing/SeaWing hybrid clutched in his talons, glancing to her now closed eyes. “Just what was that light?” He thought. “And why did she attack me?” His thoughts whirled around in his head until it began to hurt, and he landed to take a rest. They were far from the gorge where the bandits had been, but just ot be safe, Avocet hid the two of them in a cave nearby. He grabbed a few nearby sticks and breathed a small plume of fire, causing them to ignite and cast a small circle of light in the otherwise inky black cave. He looked at Hydro again, who was now laying on the cave floor. Her head was still slowly oozing blood, as was her back. A small section of the membrane on her wings was torn, but none of the injuries seemed like they’d inhibit her… At least, not for long.

 

Taking a deep breath, Avocet stood and limped over to the entrace of the cave, deciding to keep watch for the night and allow Hydro to rest. The sun had just finished setting on the horizion, and the sky was slowly growing darker as the three moons began to rise. Avocet sighed and sat down, his gaze pointed towards the sky as he began his watch.

 

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The next morning, Hydro awoke with a horrible headache. She managed to scramble to sit up, clutching the side of her head with her talons. Her back was sore, and her wings stung… In fact, pretty much her whole body ached in some way or another. “What… happened?” She mumbled. The sound of her voice startled Avocet, who turned around from his spot at the front of the cave and glared at her, his body tense and ready to react.

 

“Avocet? Are… you okay?” Hydro asked.

 

Avocet didn’t let down his guard, but tilted his head a bit. “I’m… fine. I should be asking you that, though.”

 

“Me? Why?” Hydro tried to stand and was painfully reminded of her wounds, grunting as her muscles burned in protest and she was forced to sit back down. “Oh… that.” She grumbled. “What even happened to us?”

 

“You mean… you don’t remember?” Avocet asked, his wings dropping a little bit as he stepped closer.

 

“I remember the bandits… and then hiding in the cave… and then nothing.” Hydro confessed. “Everything after that is just… blank. I don’t even know how we got here.”

 

“I carried you,” Avocet said. “After you attacked me.”

 

“WHAT?” Hydro exclaimed, her wings spreading in surprise despite her pain. “I attacked you?! When? Why?”

 

“Calm down, you’re gonna hurt yourself even more.” Avocet said. “When? During the fight against the bandits. Why? Well, i was hoping you could tell me that.”

 

“I don’t… remember much…” Hydro closed her eyes, digging through her head for any kind of clue. Her eyes suddenly shot open. “Nightwalker!” She exclaimed. Avocet tilted his head. “You said that before… What does it mean?”

 

“Its a name! A-A NightWing, I saw him in the cave. I remember seeing him for a moment before i forgot everything!”

 

“A NightWing… Well that’s certainly interesting. What did he look like?” Avocet pressed. Hydro closed her eyes again and concentrated.

 

“Dark purple… Glow-y looking spots along the edge of his white underbelly… white spikes and horns… AH!” She suddenly fell to her stomach as her head throbbed in pain. “T-Thats all I can remember right now…” She said sadly.

 

“No, no don’t worry. That’s enough for now, I’ll keep my eye out for this Nightwalker. Until then, you need to rest.”

 

“But Frigid! We need to get the herb before he dies!” Hydro protested, forcing herself to stand.

 

“And we can’t get anywhere with you injured!” Avocet growled. “You need to rest!”

 

Hydro sighed and sat down, grumbling quietly while her glowing scales flashed some very not nice words in Aquatic. Avocet, unable to understand the underwater language, just shook his head and looked out of the cave entrance once again. His eyes narrowed as he saw a faint shape on the rocks. A faint, dark purple shape.

 

“Hydro. Don’t panic… but I think we found your NightWing.”

 

image2 (5)

Art by A Flame That Is Amber on Art Enhancers Amino

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Nightwalker sat quietly upon the rocks, looking at the faint light from the smoldering flames inside the cave. The NightWing narrowed his eyes as he heard Hydro’s grunts of pain, then ducked down as the SkyWing she was with looked out of the cave. Their eyes met for a moment before he turned and leapt off of the stones, letting the wind catch his wings as he flew off.

 

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Avocet hissed as Nightwalker flew away, his eyes narrowed into slits.

 

“Where?!” Hydro asked, looking outside.

 

“He just flew off.” Avocet growled. “He’s obviously following us. We need to be careful.” Avocet looked over at the sunrise, just making its way above the canyons. “Come on, we need to go.”

 

“But i thought you said i needed rest?” Hydro questioned.

 

“Not anymore. If Nightwalker is following us, we need to make as much progress as we can before he can do something to you again. Come on!”

 

Carefully standing, Hydro limped her way out of the cave behind Avocet and spread her wings. She cringed as pain shot through them, shaking it off as she took a slight running start and took off. The two dragons then forced their battered bodies up and out of the canyon, into the light of the rising sun.

 

“Which way to the Rainforest Kingdom?” Hydro asked Avocet, finding it easier to keep up with him now that he was flying slowly from his wounds.

 

“Just north, this way,” Avocet sait, pointing with a talon. The two adjusted their course a little, flying parallel to the sun. After a short time, the faint outlines of trees became visible in the distance and the canyons below them gave way to rocks and grass.

 

“There is is!” Avocet said, pointing forward. Hydro nodded silently, a chill creeping down her spine. “Back to the rainforest… Oh, what have I gotten myself into…”

 

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The sun was reaching its zenith in the sky as the duo made it to the edge of the rainforest. The chill down Hydro’s spine returned with a vengeance, and she swooped down to land on the grass. Avocet noticed immediately and landed beside her, glancing at her quizzically.

 

“You alright, Hydro?” He asked. Hydro didn’t respond, her eyes wide as her vision faded, replaced with an image from just a few weeks ago.

 

“Your fault! You’re the reason he’s dead!”

 

“N-No, it’s not like that! I didn’t mean to, I just wanted to swim and-”

 

“SILENCE! You will not be allowed to make excuses for this! Guards, take her away!”

 

Hydro watched helplessly as the guards swooped in, grabbing her arms and pulling her away.

 

“Moons help me, Hydro, if i see so much as a scale of yours in this forest again, I will kill you myself!”

 

“No! Mom, please! Don’t do this!”

 

Her pleas fell on deaf ears as she was forcefully dragged from the luxurious room and out in to the forest. Dragons stopped and stared, seeing the young dragonet being carried away by the heavily armed royal guards.

 

One bright green one in particular took action.

 

Flying up, the bright green dragonet turned herself invisible and tapped the shoulder of one of the guards. He turned and looked but, seeing nothing, shrugged and turned back to Hydro. Then he felt a tap again. And again. And again.

 

After almost a dozen taps, the guard roared and whipped around, his claws lashing out blindly and managing to strike the green dragonet in the face. Her disguise faltered as she fell a bit, but she regained her balance and stared at Hydro wide eyed.

 

“Now Hydro, run!”

 

Hydro wasted no time, prying herself from the second guard’s grip and flying away as fast as she could. The second guard looked between her and the green dragonet, then turned to help his comrade surround the green one.

 

“BAMBOO!!” Hydro screeched, turning back to help.

 

“Don’t worry about me, I’ll be fine!” Bamboo cried. “Just go!”

 

Her sentiment of being fine was ruined as the guards tackled her, scratching another wound on her nose to match the one on her cheek from before. Hydro’s eyes stung as tears welled up, but she heeded Bamboo’s words, turning around and flying away from her best friend in the world.

 

“Hydro… HYDRO!!” Avocet roared, shaking Hydro’s shoulders. Hydro blinked, stumbling back and sitting down. She stared at the trees wide eyed, seeming to shrink as they towered over her.

 

“What’s gotten into you?” Avocet asked, sitting in front of her.

 

“Um… M-My back and wings really hurt?” Hydro said unconvincingly. “A-And we need to rest for the rest of the day now.”

 

Avocet narrowed his eyes, but sighed. “Fine… Anywhere safe around here to stay?”

 

Hydro thought for a moment before her eyes lit up. “Ooh, I know! Follow me.” She said, quietly slinking into the rainforest She led Avocet on a winding path between the trees before they came out at a singular, massive one. “Up here,” She said, spreading her wings and turning invisible. She quickly flew up into the canopy of the massive tree and landed on a large platform woven of vines and branches. Just in front of her was a small building made up of a mix of mud, leaves, wood, and vines.

 

“Its… a little shoddy, but it should be good shelter for the night.” Hydro smiled. Avocet looked at it, his eyes narrowing. “What… is it?”

 

“Its a treehouse! My best friend Bamboo and I built it before I… back when we were kids.” She corrected herself, hoping Avocet didnt catch it. If he did, he made no sign of it, instead entering the treehouse and looking around.

 

“Should be big enough for us. It’ll work for the night.” He looked out as he saw the sun was only just past the mid day point. “I’ll grab some food, you rest.” He said, beginning to walk outside.

 

“Don’t get any sloths!” Hydro yelled out. Avocet turned and looked at her, confused.”RainWings consider them pets and friends. Killing one is highly frowned upon, and eating one is even worse.” Hydro explained, Avocet nodded and spread his wings, taking off and skimming the treetops before vanishing into the distance. Hydro sighed and layed her head down, looking out the door. Her eyes slowly drifted closed…

 

Until something seemed to cover the light. Opening an eye lazily, Hydro mumbled “Back already, Avocet?”

 

“Not quite.” A familiar voice said. Hydro’s eyes shot open as she sat up, staring fearfully at the NightWing at the door.

 

“N-Nightwalker?!” She exclaimed. Nightwalker’s eyes widened. “You know my name?”

 

“I… Um… Yes?” Hydro said, suddenly realizing she had no idea how she’d learned it.

 

“Hydro, don’t be afraid.” Nightwalker stepped into the treehouse, and Hydro cowered away.

 

“S-Stay away from me!” Hydro hissed, glaring at him.

 

“Hydro, I’m not going to hurt you. I just want to talk.” Nightwalker said, fully walking into the treehouse. He was smaller than an average dragon, around Hydro’s size, and didn’t take up too much room. “Please, hear me out.”

 

“Why would I listen to you?” Hydro spat, growling.

 

“Because I’m your brother.”

 

Hydro’s world came to a screeching halt. “W-What? A-Are you insane? I don’t have any siblings!”

 

“You have me. Your half-brother.” Nightwalker insisted.

 

“You’re crazy! Get away from me!” Hydro screeched, leaping at him and pinning him down. “You leave me and Avocet alone! An IceWing’s life is on the line here, and I’m not letting some insane dragon be the reason he dies!”

 

“Please, Hydro, calm down.” Nightwalker said, a hint of fear in his voice. “Be rational here-”

 

“RATIONAL?” Hydro roared. “‘Be rational’, says the dragon that attacked me and then followed me claiming to be my brother!”

 

“Half-brother.” Nightwalker corrected. Hydro was just about to respond when suddenly she felt… something grab her. She looked over and saw a yellow light wrapping around her, and suddenly she was gently lifted off of Nightwalker and held on the floor. Hydro looked up and saw a similar yellow light wrapped around Nightwalker’s talons.

 

“Y-You’re an… an…”

 

“An Animus dragon, yes.” Nightwalker said.

 

“But… Animus dragons haven’t existed in centuries!” Hydro protested.

 

“Not true. The dragonets of destiny met at least two on their journey. They’re just well kept secrets.” Nightwalker sighed, sitting down. “Hydro, I won’t lie to you. Yes, it was me who attacked you in the cave. I hypnotized you to attack the dragons outside of the cave. I didn’t think anything of you, just another trespasser that those idiotic bandits couldn’t handle without my magic. When I hypnotized you, though… I saw into your mind. Hydro, I saw our dad. Current is your dad and mine.”

 

Hydro was struck silent, and Nightwalker continued.

 

“You knew my name because our minds linked. When i saw we shared she same dad, I was so shocked that i wanted to learn more. I linked our minds and tried to limit the information flow from mine to yours. Obviously, my name got to you, but that’s it. Hydro, I really am your half-brother.”

 

Hydro processed the information for a moment. “Then… what about your mother?”

 

“Starseeker was her name.” Nightwalker said. “It was about two years before you were born. Dad was out adventuring…

 

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A deep green SeaWing flew low over the ocean, his talons skimming the surface of the waves. Dark spots were scattered on the underside of his wings, and his back was lined with white spikes. His blue eyes looked up at the faint line of smoke he was following, tracing all the way to a distant island.

 

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Art by A Flame That Is Amber on Art Enhancers Amino

As he was approaching the island, he was suddenly tackled out of the sky by a black blurr. A roar of pain escaped his jaw as he plunged into the water. He opened his eyes and looked, seeing the black dragon that had tackled him begin to climb back to the surface.

 

“Hey!” The SeaWing flashed in aquatic, despite knowing the NightWing couldn’t understand the language.

 

The NightWing, of course, ignored his lights, escaping to the surface and hovering over the water. The SeaWing burst from the waves with a splash, looking at the NightWing with a slight pout. “What was that for?”

 

The NightWing scoffed. “Our home.” She pointed to the island. “Only NightWings are allowed. You are not a NightWing.”

 

“Says who?” The SeaWing grinned. “I can be a NightWing if I want.”

 

The NightWing shook her head. “Go away, SeaWing. Your kind aren’t welcome here.”

 

“The ocean belongs to the SeaWings you know.” The SeaWing argued. “Besides, what’s to stop me from just approaching the island underwater?”

 

The NightWing stopped and sighed. “Look, I don’t know who you are, but-”

“Current.” The SeaWing smiled. “My name is Current.”

 

“Okay Current, I don’t-”

 

“Ah ah ah, you have to tell me your name now.” Current interrupted again.

 

“No.” The NightWing said flatly. “Current, leave.” She demanded.

 

“Not until you tell me your name.” Current grinned again. The NightWing sighed and relented.

 

“Starseeker. My name is Starseeker.” She finally announced. “Now can you leave?”

 

“Hmmm… Okay.” Current said with a smirk. “But you have to meet me back here tomorrow.”

 

“What?!” Starseeker exclaimed. “Why in moon’s name would i do that?”

 

“Cause.” Current said with a shrug, providing no extra explanation. “See you here tomorrow!” With that, Current dove into the water and vanished into the waves.

 

Starseeker shook her head and turned, flying back to the island. “Stupid SeaWing… Like I’d meet him back here again.”

 

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“Starseeker did end up meeting him there again. And again, and again.” Nightwalker said. “And eventually, they had me.”

 

Hydro sighed, looking at her talons. “So… You really are my half-brother?”

 

Nightwalker nodded. “Yeah. I am.”

 

Hydro sighed. “Alright… I…. I need a moment to process this.” She said honestly. “And Avocet may come back any moment. It’s best if you leave for now and we talk later.”

 

“Hold on,” Nightwalker grabbed Hydro’s talon, examining the bracelet on it made of seashells.

 

“What? That?” Hydro looked at the bracelet as well. “My friend Bamboo made it for me when we were kids.”

 

Nightwalker closed his eyes and gently touched the single pearl on the bracelet. After a few moments, he pulled his talon away.

 

“Touch that pearl with a talon and think something, and I’ll hear it. If you need help, I’ll come.”

 

Hydro looked between Nightwalker and her bracelet for a moment before nodding. “O-Okay… thanks Nightwalker.”

 

“Just call me Night,” Nightwalker smiled.

 

“Okay. Night.” Hydro said, half-heartedly returning the smile. “Alright, go, before Avocet comes back.” She said. Night nodded and turned around, diving out of the treehouse and vanishing into the canopy of the rainforest.

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