Author: Saphira Rose

Chapter 4
Dragon Cave

“What? Is there anything there, Corla? Are you okay?” Nahrea tweeted at me.

“No- It’s Dragon Cave. And it’s so sparkly!” I answered. After I said this, I heard Moon come up to me, and as soon she saw the epic cave, she almost fainted. I didn’t blame her, because the cave was almost as dazzling as a star, and that was without the sun illuminating it! In what seemed like a star fallen to lay happily in the cave! what with all the glittering gems on the mountain

”Uh, guys, just a warning, Eva already knows this, but I am very attracted to shiny things so I might try and take…” Moon had tried to say, but before she could finish, we all heard a tremendous whistling sound, so I roared as if scaring something away and hugged my companions close with my wing to pretend to be alone.

“Hello, fellow dragon.” said a Vipertooth dragon. “I thought I heard some other animals around here. Notice any?"

”That I did, but I scared the vermin away.” I replied, keeping my cool.

”Keep an eye out for me then, and by the way, my name is Venomfang, call me if you need me.I will be on shift for the next five hours so maybe after this we can talk, because I don’t think I have seen you before.” said Venomfang, flying up and landing on a jutted out rock above the entrance. I pretended to be flying, but really I was covering my travel companions as we walked in the cave. We turned down a couple tunnels, then finally, we stopped, assuming we were safe.

    I finally let go of them, and they started to protest until I covered their mouths and told them quickly what had happened.

”Is that really true?“ whispered Nahrea, shivering.

”Yes,” I replied. ” So we’ll have to be careful and lay low."

”And be honest,” said a strange voice.

”What, who’s there?“ said Eva in a worried voice.

”Don’t worry,” said the voice again. I started a small fire in the back of my throat, just in case, and saw, to my surprise, a small weasel.

”What in the name of...!” barked Moon. “Oops, too loud.” She added, whispering. Just then, a looming snake ate the weasel and slithered away.

“Uuh, I hate snakes.“ shuddered Nahrea.

”Of course you hate snakes, bird brain, you’re a bird, and snakes. Eat. BIRDS.” growled Eva. “LIKE I WILL SOMEDAY BECAUSE YOU’RE THE STUPIDEST CREATURE IN THE UNIVERSE!” Nahrea tried to ignore that last comment, but still shivered at the thought of being eaten. I probably would’ve, too.

“Greetings, creatures. What are a fox, a wolf, and a bird doing in this cave?” The snake said coming back after swallowing the weasel whole. Nahrea shivered with fear and cowered on my neck.

“What is a snake doing in this cave?” Eva shot back. I know Dire Wolves aren’t as smart as normal wolves, but did she have to do that to a possibly poisonous snake?

“Good one, wolf. I just lived here until those awful dragons,” the snake then noticed me and what he said, and took back his last point, “No offense,” He said, directed at me.

         “None taken, I know that some dragons can be terrible.” I said sympathetically.

“As I was saying, I lived in this cave until some dragons came in and said they would hide something in the cave. I think it was called... the Dragonst… Dragonst- something...”

“The Dragonstar?! It must be the Dragonstar! So this is the right cave!” Eva barked happily. “Thank you, er…”

“The name’s Elkalo. And you’re welcome."

“And I’m Eva, But really, can you lead us to the Dragonstar?” Eva barked quickly, not even asking if the snake knew where it was or who the snake is, as she was obviously too excited to ask these things.

    “Uh, … maybe?” replied the snake. “I can’t get past all the guards though.”            ”Guards, what guards?” Eva asked Elkalo.

“Well, I can tell you that I know it’s straight down this path, then at a turn, there’s I dragon I wouldn’t dare cross myself, but suit yourselves.”

“Oh, thank you, thank you so much! We’ll see you when we’re heading out of the cave! Hopefully.” As the snake slithered back into its hole it also , Eva ran off towards the supposed dragon.

“Wait!” I roared.

“Why? The Dragonstar is so near! We can save Master!”

“There’s a dragon there, and you’re not even supposed to be in Dragon Cave!” “Fine,” Eva growled, and reluctantly hid under my wing.

“Now who’s a bird-brain?” Nahrea jeered.

“You disgrace to animals… You dumb, stupid excuse for a rat, let alone a cardinal..”

“Shh…” I whispered to them.

“Fellow dragon, have you come to seek the Dragonstar?” A Flaming Serpent Dragon questioned.

“Yes, do you know where the sacred orb lies?”

“Very well, if you are true of heart, you shall find what you seek. Now, I must go.” He disappeared suddenly. I didn’t know that kind of dragon can do that, I thought. Eva peeked out of my wing and said, “Well, what are we waiting for? Let’s find the Dragonstar!” I lifted my wings so everyone could come out from under me, and I heard Moon gasp.

“It’s - It’s so shiny…” Moon rubbed her face against a big ruby. “Moon, I know how much you love shiny things, but we need to save Master. Focus.” Eva, after saying this, looked stunned for a couple of seconds, then started running towards a little opening.

“Eva, wait up!” I ran after her, and saw something amazing. “The Dragonstar…” It magically floated into Eva’s Serpent necklace, as we had come to call it, and we all heard a little *click* as it - well, clicked into the necklace. Eva was just staring down at it, in shock from actually finding it. I walked over to her and took a good look at it myself.

“Wow… It’s so colorful…“ I said in awe.

“Ooh! Did you find something shiny? Can I have it?” Moon leaped over to us.

“Awesome!” Moon just stared at the orb for a few seconds of silence. “Now can you give it to me?”

“NO!” Eva and I shouted in unison.

“Aw, come on! You’re just hoarding the good stuff for yourself!” Moon pouted.

“Moon, this is the Dragonstar. It’s what we need to save Master.” Eva said sympathetically.

“Well, can I have it when you’re done?”

“Maybe, but we need to see if it actually works first. Now let’s work on getting back to Master and saving her!” Eva howled happily.

”Okay, fine… But can you still get me something?”

“Okay, Moon,” I said prying a small gem out of the cave wall and melting off the rest of the stone with my fire. “Here, but be careful, it might be a bit hot,” I noted, carefully handing Moon the ruby.

“It’s so shiny...”

“Guys, come on here get under my wing. Ow! Eva quit your nonsensical jumping and scratching.” I complained, readjusting so that Nahrea and Moon were under one wing and Eva under the other.

”Okay. NOW SHUT UP STUPID LITTLE EXCUSE FOR A CARDINAL!” Eva growled from under my wing.

”You’re not being too quiet yourself!” Nahrea replied indignantly. I heard another growl coming from under my wing but no one spoke.

    “I thought I heard something.” said a deep voice

    “Oh, come on! No one has broken in since Shoran.” The dragon who said this had a growl in his throat as he said the name.

“Why would anyone try to now?” replied another voice. I quickly darted out. What about the other dragon? He didn’t do anything to stop me!

I sprinted past some niches in the wall that looked like they had once held flame. Then, all of a sudden, I started to feel extreme heat. What is that? I suddenly saw a ball of light shoot up into the tunnel. behind it I saw part of... A volcano? THIS PLACE IS A VOLCANO!?!? Then, I realized there was no ball of fire. It was a magma dragon. A magma dragon heading straight for me, Nahrea, Moon, Eva, and the Dragonstar.

We’re surely doomed, I thought, but then it started swinging around its head, as if looking for something.

“I know you’re there.” It said in a deep, gravely voice. I my scales were the opposite color of the wall, so if the magma dragon couldn’t see well, he still could see me.

I couldn’t move - my feet were rooted to the ground. I felt Eva’s snout pressing against my wing, and I heard her say something but I couldn’t understand what it was.

“If you don't show yourselves, I will spit lava through the whole tunnel. I am warning you.” said the lava dragon again. It was then that I found my voice.

“Sir, we are not here for trouble. We are simply lost.”I said trembling.

“Well let out the others. I assume you are not alone?” I hesitated, but then said,

“Yes, sir.” and spread my wings. A snarling, ferocious Eva leapt out and started to stalk towards the dragon.

“EVA, STOP IT!” I roared. ”If not for me for Galaxy.”

She immediately stopped.

“Why should we trust him?” She snarled.

“This not a matter of if you trust me,” The dragon said matter-of-factly. ”It is if you want to keep your life. And you can call me Shoran. Now follow me, or burn to cinders. I don’t care.”

We all followed Shoran, some more reluctant than others, and when he started to fly over the volcano Eva started grumbling again.

“How are we supposed to get across?” Eva challenged.

“Get on your dragon friend’s back.” He said. I felt Eva and Moon climb on my back  as Nahrea started hovering above me. I pushed off away from the tunnel and started weaving in between the bursts of lava.

“WOAH! WATCH IT CORLA!” yelped Moon when I felt her sliding down to my tail.

“SORRY!” I shouted through the sound of the lava and the pounding of my heart.

When we finally reached the other side everyone jumped off my back and onto the smooth, black stone.

“OH COME ON!” I heard Moon say. When I looked back, I saw that Moon had singed her belly fur when she slid down to my tail.

“Better you than me!” Eva teased.

I looked ahead of me and saw Shoran stomping away and quickly followed. Then I saw what was beyond him.

“EVA GRAB MOON!” I said as I saw a full cave made out of amethyst. But it was too late. Moon was already running as fast as her paws would take her towards the gleaming gem. She started biting an amethyst and trying to rip it out of the wall.

“That won’t do any good.” said Shoran coolly. ”Trust me, I’ve tried myself.”

“GRRRRRRRRRR!” she growled when Eva tried to pull her away. I walked over, grabbed her, and pulled her towards me as she struggled to keep a hold of the amethyst.

“Moon, you are gonna have to manage.” I sighed, holding the struggling Moon. I looked towards the strange new dragon, Shoran, I thought. Hopefully he won’t be trouble like the guards said…

    “Well now, as you guys are probably still tired from climbing the mountain I will let you rest until you are ready to go on.” Sharon dipped his head. “Unless, of course, you want to continue and get out of this cave as soon as possible, which might be wise.”

    “I vote for the second option. We need to get back to Master! We can save her!” Eva faltered, continuing, “We don’t even know if she’s… if she’s…” The Dire Wolf trailed off sadly, knowing everybody could finish her sentence for her.

    “You’ve come for the Dragonstar to save someone, And you managed to get it? Well, then, I suppose you should start worrying about YOURSELVES a bit more!” Shoran roared as if alerting someone. The mountain started shaking. A hydra emerged from the depths of the cave, seemingly starving. It had four heads and all of them looked like they had gone mad from starvation.



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