“So explain to me again how my Necryx isn’t real?”
Druid Krieger sighed. Lord Dallyah was not pleased to be woken up in the literal middle of the night, and was even less pleased to have to comprehend a lecture on genetic magic.
“Well, to put it simply, Lord Dallyah, the PG sorcerers find these divine dragons and make genetic copies of them. Not exact clones, per say, they each have their own individual personalities, but by appearance they are exactly the same. The eggs the druids obtain for you are copies of the originals.”
“Does it happen often that the original dragon seeks out its copies?”
“This, honestly, is the first time I’ve heard of this. If that’s why it’s even here.”
Dally glared at the Druid. “He. Not ‘it’.” Dally strode into the Training Hall where her Necryx and his rider waited. Timur climbed onto the beasts back and helped Dally up behind him. They then took off toward the end of the base where the original Necryx was sighted.
Stormryder carefully climbed the back of the empty perch and crouched as low to the ground as possible. She saw her undead quarry on the island below. She had no idea whose base she was on, but Necryx had been drawn to it like a pirate entranced by a mermaid song. Before she could raise her bow to take aim, she heard approaching wings and quickly scrambled down the side of the perch to the island below. She crouched down into the shadow of the perch and watched as a copy of her prey swooped down from overhead.
Dally landed her Necryx clone and she and Timur dismounted. She motioned silently for Timur to stay put. She stared at the “real” Necryx, who roared and stomped his feet. She heard something in his voice that she was sure no one else did, and started towards him.
Stormryder stepped cautiously from the shadow of the perch and raised her arms. “I am Stormryder of the Elemental Beasts,” she announced. “I apologize for trespassing, but I followed this beast here with the intention of killing him. Again.”
“I am Dragon Lord Dallyah. This is my base. You will not kill this dragon unless I say so.”
Stormryder smiled. “I’ve heard of you. You understand these beasts. You talk to them.”
Dallyah nodded. “Yes, and I’d like to try to talk to this one.” She looked over at the Beast and said, “Although if this does not go the way I’ve planned, please kill one of us.”
Stormryder nodded, and Dally approached Necryx with her right hand extended in front of her, palm facing the sky. The dragon growled and its red eyes began to glow.
“Shhhhh…” she sounded as she slowly took a step. “No one is going to hurt you. Not again.” She took another step, which yielded another growl. “Shhhh…” she breathed, stepping forward again.
Stormryder watched as Dally stepped and shushed, slowly, and to her amazement the closer Dally got, the calmer Necryx became. “It’s ok boy,” the Dragon Lord cooed, reaching slowly to stroke his neck. The moment she touched Necryx, a beam of light shot from her hand into his neck, then across the island to the cloned dragon. The clone slowly dissolved into dust, which swirled around inside the beam of light for a few seconds, then shot into Necryx. A silver glow covered the dragon and Dallyah, creating a bond between the two. The glow faded quickly, and once it had Necryx turned and unexpectedly licked Dallyah, covering her in blood and slime.
“Thanks buddy,” she said softly, “but EW!”
“What was that?” Stormryder and Timur said in unison.
Dally shrugged. “I have no idea. But I bet Druid Krieger will have plenty.”
“I have hunted this beast my entire adult life,” Stormryder said slowly. “I do not know what I shall do now.”
“Do you like dragons, in general?” Dally asked.
Stormryder nodded. “Other than this one,” she replied with a laugh.
A brilliant smile slowly crossed Dally’s face.
“How would you like a job?”
Stormryder smiled. “I’d like that. But do me a favor? Call me Oksana.”