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warning: this page may contain gore, mentions of death, and other things like that, if you are triggered by any of this, read at your own risk

disclaimer: when asbu calls cole "coal" this is not a typo, since this is in her pov i decided that i should spell his name as the type of rock since asbu wouldn't know any other spelling of it (by the way the names given to wu, lloyd, kai and zane are mostly off the top of my head with a mix of name generators)


prolouge

"asbu, step forward," said the mysterious, cloaked dragon, this dragon had been the one who had sent all of asbu's predecessors on their missions, and herself as well, asbu did as she was asked and pinned her eyes on the ground, "i have a mission ready for you, a member of the black wing has been spotted in the rainforest, a rainwing, their coordinates are on the scroll in front of you, your mission is simply to take them down," the cloaked dragon spoke, they slid a scroll in front of asbu and she picked it up, the cloaked dragon gestured for her to leave the room and asbu ran off with the scroll, then began reciting the code in her head, leave no traces, make no sound, if you are to succeed, you must never be found, walk in the shadows, stay out of sight, do all these, if you want to do things right, she repeated this over and over as she flew for the rainforest, she had no need to stop for supplies; she kept everything in the pouches all on a harness around her neck and chest, but nothing in any of those pouches could prepare her for what would come next

part 1: welcome to pyrrtala

chapter 1

asbu listened closely to the conversation she'd just stumbled onto, deciding what to do, "where are we?" said one, they were a skywing, for sure, what's shocking was they were an obvious firescales, how could a firescales get this deep into the jungle without setting everything on fire? the skywing was scarlet red with orange undersclales and cinnabar red wings, the others she found interesting; a seawing-rainwing hybrid with electric blue scales and darker wings streaked with teal in the shape of lightning bolts and pale teal underscales, a rainwing-leafwing-sandwing tribrid with emerald green scales, gold wings and pale gold underscales, a silver icewing and a white, red and purple rainwing, both of which asbu guessed were robotic, but they didn't look exactly like the one that fidget keeps going on about, then there was a wingless mudwing-nightwing, or maybe a melenistic mudwing? asbu wasn't sure, they were pitch black and looked mostly mudwing-like, but with a head like a nightwing's, the last one was a white icewing-rainwing with gold wings and pale gold underscales, they were the only one asbu could see that had anything on them, and that was a wicker hat in the shape of an-albeit very flat-cone, finally, asbu decided to come out of hiding, spinning a disc on her talon, just in case, "the rainforest kingdom," asbu said, she kept her eyes pinned on them, escpecially the wingless one, he might not have wings, but he's still part mudwing, he'll be the strongest of them, she thought, "who are you?" said the tribrid, "asbu, best-known assassin in the hives, you?" asbu replied, all of the dragons in front of her looked utterly confused, "ya know, 'the silent shadow'? the assassin that's secretly been killing off the black wing one by one?" now she'd got them even more confused, "what's the black wing?" the mudwing asked, now that caught asbu off guard, "you 7 aren't from around here, are you?" she asked, they'd have to know about the most infamous underground crime group in all of pyrrtala! that is unless...but no one's come back for the island! how could they have survived there? there was just 2 possibilities, another continent, or they came from..."appearently not at all," said the tribrid, "well, just for referance, what are your names?" asked asbu, doing the thing where she sat down and curled her tail in front of her talons while tilting her head to the side, "i'm lloyd, and that's kai," said the tribrid, pointing to the firescales, "jay," he pointed to the seawing-rainwing, "wu," he pointed to the icewing-rainwing, "zane," he pointed to the icewing, "pixel," he pointed to the rainwing, "and coal," he pointed at the mudwing, well those are some...outlandish names, guess we'll have to change them to keep our cover, asbu thought, "you 3, keep your names," she said, pointing to pixel, jay and coal, "but if we're gonna keep our cover, your 4 have to change yours for now," asbu continued, pointing to the other 4, she'd been planning out a couple names; "kai, your new name will be kindling," she said, hmmm, what about ice-rain names? huechera, maybe? "wu, your new name will be huechera," "lloyd, your name will be lupuna," "and zane, your name will be zinc," asbu finally finished, "wellll, what now?" asked jay, "well before we get to my hive, jewel hive, we have to stop at bloodworm hive, after taking down my last target i ran low on sandbox tree seeds," asbu replied, without another word she shot into the air, "but there's one teeny-tiny problem" said coal, "we don't know how to fly,"

chapter 2

now that definately put up a red flag for asbu, at least the pre-glory rainwings taught their dragonets how to glide! "but, we do know something called cyclon-do," said jay, just like that he jumped into the air and went up higher and higher, surrounded by something asbu had never seen; a transluscent blue ball cupped in a cone-ish shape, that had a thin point but swooped up into a wide rim, soon the others did the same; kindling's was red, lupuna's was green, and zinc's was white, soon their wings were flapping and they were flying in a way where they wouldn't draw the eyes of everyone they flew over, all except coal, who had know wings, huechera, and pixel, the latter 2 who didn't know this cyclon-do thing, "ok, that makes things easier," said asbu, she then assigned who would carry who, she would carry coal (since his scales blended in with her's) lupuna would carry huechera, and zinc would carry pixel, "alright, now that we have everyone, we can head for bloodworm hive!" said asbu, and they flew northwest to the hive kingdom, the scenery was much different in the air since pyrrhia and pantala collided; the continents were now more dragon-like than before, linked by land through their "tails" and "snouts" like they're nuzzling with their tails intertwined, the arrangement of things also was different; now the poison jungle and the rainforest are connected, the kingdom of sand and the hive kingdom are right next to each other, the icewings live in the northernmost part of the sky kingdom, the sea kingdom streaches across the entire ocean, the mud kingdom is relatively in the same place, and, off in the distance, there was a...strange island, all who go there never return, dragons have seen dragons with 6 legs flying from it, dragons that look like skywings, but in all sorts of colors from the dullest greys to highlighter yellow, and that can vanish into thin air, some have 4 wings, some have 2, some have rounded, mudwing-like snouts with tusks or spikes jutting out of their mouth, some have pointed silkwing wings, some have no horns, but one thing has been consistant; they fit no description known to dragon kind, asbu snapped up into attention as lupuna began to speak, "so, what is this place called?" he asked, "there's no official name yet, but i like to call it 'pyrrtala'" asbu replied, everyone looked at her weird, "what, that's all i could think of," said asbu, "ooooook," said coal, "but wait what's that up ahead?" asked kindling, "that, my friend, is our first stop; the misty wood," asbu replied, the misty wood; an alpine forest packed with all sorts of critters never found anywhere else, it looks alien at night; shrouded in mist with everything in it glowing in some way; even the trees themselves, "you guys seriously didn't think we could make it to bloodworm hive in one day, did you?" said asbu, before anyone had the chance to say anything, asbu dove down, so what, she could sometimes be a bit of a show-of, but she lived by a philosphy; to learn how to do something, watch the experts first, she did a triple barrel roll then pulled back up, grabbed jay's tail, and dove back down, the wind whistling in her ears blocking out all other noise, she was just about to hit the forest floor when she made a sharp turn straight forward and, with the flick of her tail, shot up into the canopy and landed on a stone pillar, "how, did, you, just, do that," panted jay, coal to shook to speak, "the best way to learn something is to watch the experts first," she said, before flying off and getting the others

chapter 3

a few hours later, when the sun started to set, the group made it to the great cliff, the only entrance to the misty wood, "now, remember, everyone, if you get lost and see a blue light in front of you, follow it, not yellow, not white, blue," she said, then dove off into the misty abyss, coal clinging onto her for dear life, she stopped just above the group and landed on all 4s in the long, blue-tinted grass, there was a chill in the air and the sun didn't reach the forest now, as asbu looked around, she saw glowing mushrooms in every notch in the trees and on every fallen branch or log, vines hanging off tree branches; it reminded her of when she was a dragonet, the others landed behind her soon enough, "so on the way here you never finished; what are the powers of the tribes around here?" said lupuna, "oh, well for silkwings they can shoot silk from their wrists and sometimes their tail, occasionally it comes out on fire, that's called flamesilk, they also go the first 6 years of their lives wingless and silkless, and hivewings-my tribe-have different powers depending on the dragon, some have retractable stingers in their wrists, some can shoot acid from their tail, some have poisonous teeth or claws, some can make a smell that will drive any dragon within a mile of them run away, some can shoot a liquid that hardens into wax from their tails-i think we retained that from beetlewings-oh and not to mention the poison can either kill you or paralyze you, but our queen, queen abispa, can mind-control any of her subjects at any time, but she mostly does it when say, a hive catches on fire, but most dragons don't have any special powers," asbu explained, "so say something happens to a hive while we're here, she could just jump into your head at any time?" jay asked, oh...thought asbu, she'd never really considered that, "erm, maybe?" she said, then jay made a face that just said, "perfect," they continued without saying anything, the asbu realized something; at some point she must've split off from the others, ok, asbu, calm down, just wander around calling out random names until you see a bright blue light in front of you, you've been through this before, you can survive it again, right? asbu thought, she subconsiously slid out her wrist stingers as she trudged on, oh, why did coal have to jump off after we landed? why? asbu thought, she continued calling out names, but no lights appeared, y'know, abispa, if you decide to jump into my head while the others and i are here, now would be the perfect opportunity! she thought, half hoping that would happen and she'd get out of this mess, she decided to rest for a bit; wandering around while trying to find someone isn't gonna help them if their also trying to find you, then she realized something; somehow she'd wandered into a spot she remembered the most clearly about when she got lost here as a dragonet, she went into a cluster of brambles; the way she'd gone that led her to stumble into lanterntail, then turned left, the way lanterntail had led her, and after a bit more walking, she stumbled across 4 other dragons; the first was a light brown mudwing with brownish-red underscales and red-orange wings, the second was a tan sandwing with sandy underscales and grey wings, they wore a thin, green scarf tied around their neck, the 3rd was an amber orange hivewing/skywing hybrid with bright tangerine wings and pale orange underscales, the last one was pine green with bright lime green underscales and dark brown wings that were draped down, they bore large antlers, a black cloak, and, most notably, a lantern at the end of her tail, then, as asbu looked down, she saw the fact their legs faded into nothing where their talons would be and they were translucent, this dragon was, most definatly, lanterntail

chapter 4

"why, hello again, asbu, i wasn't expecting 2 groups in one day" said lanterntail, she always had a calming yet eerie voice, normal at the start, but it had a distorted echo to it, "well, you might end up picking 3, if you find the group i was taking to jewel hive," now, that got the sandwing's attention, "were one of them named lloyd?" she asked, "erm, yes," asbu replied, "you must find them, that's my son!" said the sandwing, running off, lanterntail sighed and followed, holding her tail over her head like a scorpion about to strike, she made the look that said she was using her leafspeak, "misako! you're going the wrong way!" called lanterntail, the sandwing-who's name was, appearently, misako-came running back, "how do you know that?" she asked, "i'm a leafspeak, the trees say your son and his group are this way," said lanterntail, calm as ever, and the group headed to where lanterntail said the others were, "so, who are you?" asbu asked the mudwing, "the name's dareth, the brown ninja," he said, well he seems, interesting, asbu thought, "oh, and i'm skylar," said the hive/sky, "why do you and all of these new dragons that've been showing up all over the place have such strange names?" asbu asked, trying to sound calm but sounding more like she was loosing her mind, "we're from a place called ninjago, far from here, but when we got here, it-it felt and looked like the ground was falling out from under us," skylar said, asbu stared into skylar's eyes, "wow, that must've been crazy," asbu said, they stared in silence for a bit before they heard a yelp come up from ahead, "lloyd! it's you!" said misako, running towards asbu's other group, "mom!?" said a bright green dragon who had become a blur in the fog, lanterntail stood on her hind legs and flapped her unusually large wings, clearing away the fog to reveal the other 6; zinc, kindling, huechara, jay, coal, and pixel, "see, i told you she didn't fly off without us!" said jay, holding his talon out at asbu, "well then! where did those..erm...pointy things come from?" he asked as soon as he looked down at asbu's talons, "oh, i forgot to tell you, i'm one of the wrist-stinger hivewings," asbu replied, sliding her wrist stingers back in, they headed to the pool of stars, the only non-misting area in the misty wood, then asbu was tasked with assigning more names; skylar would be swarm, dareth would be duckweed, and misako would be mirage, "so, asbu, on the way here you mentioned you've been to this place before; when was that?" asked lupuna, the green sandwing tilted his head, which was lit by the fire the group was laying around which, interesting enough, had turned blue, "oh, it was when i was a young dragonet; i was shaken by seeing the first mass hive mind and had run off, settling in a cave by the ocean, but then i was caught in a storm and blown out to sea, i landed where i thought was the west coast of pantala-but when i looked over, i realized i wasn't on pantala at all-there were trees as far as the eye could see, not the trees you'd find in the poison jungle, but ones i had never seen before at the time, ones i couldn't even dream of, right then and there i knew i had stumbled onto my sister's mother's home continent; pyrrhia, i ran inland, thousands of legends playing out through my head, dragons with fire in their scales, dragons who could shoot fire and ice from their mouths, dragons that could breathe underwater and had scales that could glow like the sun, dragons with scales that could change into any color imaginable and could shoot obsidian black acid from their fangs, but the most amazing one of all was that there were dragons like clearsight, with wings like the night sky and some with the powers to see thousands upon thousands of years into the future, the power to read minds, or both, but soon, i was spotted by a dragon that bore the colors of fire, with 2 bat-like wings wide as this cave, she landed in front of me, her wing-claws touching the ground and the 4 prongs of their wings reaching up into the sky, the first one was a bright red, decorated with golden chainmail armor and with rubies emmbedded under her eyes, 'why hello, dragonet,' she'd said to me, pacing around me with her dagger-sharp, amber eyes fixed on by black as night scales and 4, blade-like wings, 'what do you want!?' i snapped back, 'oh ho ho, feisty little one, aren'tcha? you'd fit just perfectly in my arena! but sadly, burn would probably want you stuffed up in her little weirdling tower,' she replied, unphased by me, that's when i took my chance; i jumped onto her back, grabbing her neck in my talons and placing my wrists in the exact spot where i could puncture 2 sides of her windpipe and-with a strike of luck-tear the main artery in her neck, "let me go, and i'll spare your life, fire dragon,' i said, 'that would be skywing and, would you really kill a queen?' she said, 'if you have an arena that takes 3-year-old dragonets as fighters, meaning you're corrupt, yes, yes i would, and you'd be surprised about what i can do,' i said to her, then took my talon off her neck to show her my wrist stingers, 'ok, ok, i guess,' she said, with that i leapt into the air and flew off into the mountains, 'but i'll be back for you; just you wait!' she said, then after a bit of flying i decided to stop here, but eventually couldn't find my way out and that's when lanterntail found me," asbu explained, then, after a bit of debating how violent little asbu was, they hit the hay

chapter 5

she was in a dark room, she called for help, but not even she could hear her voice, all she could hear was dragons whispering around her, "doom is coming on wings black as night," they whispered, their voices quick, high-pitched, and worrying, "flames in blood will start the fight, new and old must unite, they must find the seventh sun, or the final worlds left shall be gone," the voices faded into hisses, she found herself surrounded by dragons from all tribes with their wings covered in ink, then the largest one reached their talon out, she wanted to close her eyes, look away from her demise, but there was no escape, every muscle in her body was frozen, she felt talons around her neck, she felt the pain as dagger-sharp claws dug into her windpipe, but as she died, no one heard her screams, and it wasn't her life flashing before her eyes; flames engulfing everything, dragons from all tribes with wings black as the deepest parts of the sea, swooping down and throwing fleeing dragons into the flames... asbu sprang up, throwing off her blankets, it was just a dream, nothing more, she thought, the sun had just risen, asbu glanced at her sun dial, yep, 7 am, she thought, then picked up a pot and wooden spoon and started banging them together, "WAKEY WAKEY MOUSE-BRAINS IT'S AWAKE TIME!" she yelled at the top of her lungs, "ugh, why are you waking us up now!?" said jay, stumbling up, "if we want to make it to bloodworm hive as quick as we can, we'll need to start the flight as early as we can," asbu replied, then took off, the others reluctantly following, "so this bloodworm hive place, what exactly is it?" asked duckweed from jay's back, "it's the tallest of the 9 hives and the most shady, a runner-up for the scorpion den, during wasp's rule, it was the harshest to silkwings, and it's packed with black wing members, a lot of the missions i've gone on have been to there, and it's right next door to my home hive; jewel hive, as well as princess aha's favorite hive; mantis hive," asbu answered, "missions? what do you mean, missions? are you a spy?" duckweed continued to ask, "nope, assassin," asbu replied, "oooh, so that explains why your pouches are so full of pointy objects!" duckweed said, "you were looking through my pouches!?" asbu exclaimed, "what? i was just curious about what you were carrying around," duckweed replied, asbu humphed and they continued flying for a few more hours, "why didn't we stay there for breakfast? i'm hungry," asked coal from extremely close to asbu's ear, duckweed nodded in agreement, classic mudwings, asbu thought. "fine, we'll land," they circled down, asbu glanced at her sun dial again, noon!? already!? at least we're halfway there, if we don't make it there by nightfall we can always stop at the sandwing palace, it's a good thing i'm friends with the sandwing queen, asbu thought, when she and the others landed, she looked around, "so, who want's to join me hunting!" she asked, coal and duckweed raised their talons instantly, then jay, "alright, come on!" asbu said and they went off into the woods, "so, what exactly are we looking for?" asked jay, "stags, rams, if you could catch any fish then that'd be great, too," asbu said before running off, soon enough she came back to the clearing with a ram, 5 fish, and a couple berries because why not? everyone took their picks and they sat down to eat, "you guys wanna hear the legend of nameless?" asbu asked, all of them, mouthes packed with food, looked up and nodded, "once, there was a skywing animus without a name, they sought godhood and revenge for being outcast from their tribe, they cast all identity away and the unhinged animus changed themself to look more fitting for them, they gave themself the most powerful traits of all the tribes, they gave themself the venom and tail of a sandwing, the grace and wings of a skywing, the star flecks of a nightwing, the fire breath of many dragons combined, the serrated talons and frostbreath of an icewing, the glowing scales of a seawing, the venom and color-changing scales of a rainwing, the fireproof scales of a mudwing, and the 4 wings of a pantalan dragon, as well as a 2nd pair of talons, they're immortal, with no possible way to die, they can read minds, they became what darkstalker is to the icewing and nightwing tribes to the skywings, but, the perfect counter for an animus gone mad with a god coplex was another animus, or moreover, a team of them, the animi banished nameless to a deserted island and sank it, legend has it that the sunken animus has built a sunken city out of the dragons that have flown over, turning them into tiles or bricks," asbu finished, leaving the group awestruck, "so, asbu," duckweed said after a bit, "yeah?" asbu replied, "you said you were an assassin, well, where's that slit on your tail from?" he asked, pointing to the tip of asbu's tail, "oh, that, that's from my first mission, when i was 3-" "YOU WERE 3 WHEN YOU STARTED THIS WHOLE ASSASSIN THING!?" exclaimed jay, shook, "yep, that;s the age my father started, too, and his mother, and her father, and his mother, and-you get it," everyone stared before they all finished eating and flew off

chapter 6

the sun had just gone down and shapes of the hives were in view, they were so close, asbu could hear the hustle and bustle of jewel hive, everything should be fine, but asbu had a strange feeling; it was the one she always got before she was hive-minded, usually a few hours, the group landed in front of the entrance where there were 4 guards, all of which with eyes blank white, it gave her chills, knowing that the queen was watching all of these gates at all times, it obviously set the others on edge, too, asbu looked behind her and saw most of them on their haunches, trying to crawl under the guards' sight line, they make it in safely and wander around, "so, where are we gonna stay?" asked kindling, who, on the flight there, had found out the hard way he was a firescales, "there's an inn not far from here, but first, we have to stop somewhere," asbu replied, by the name of clearsight, asbu, you know how risky this is! bringing them over to that shady wasp of a leafwing, asbu thought, she and the others walked on in silence until they reached a market stall with a dark green leafwing with dark brown spots and wings with pale green underscales, he had multiple scars, one peeking out from under the eyepatch he wore over his left eye, "ah, asbu, back again?" he said, glancing at the others behind her, zinc and pixel in particual, "12 sandbox seeds," asbu said, rolling her eyes, "well then, that'll cost ya, 80 scales, unless..." he reached a talon towards zinc, to which asbu responded by whipping the leafwing on he wrist with her tail, drawing blood, she slid the scales over and took the crate, "did you just-" started kindling and coal once they were out of earshot of the leafwing, "yes i did, even though that clearsight-forsaken camel dung-licking blobfish is going to charge me more next time," asbu answered, fluffing up her 4 blade-like wings with pride, "so what was with the guards back there?" kindling asked, "oh, that's what it looks like when a dragon get's hive-minded, don't worry, the queen has shifts set up, 4 guards for each door during the day, 4 different guards for each door during the night, this place is the 2nd most heavily-guarded hive in the entire hive kingdom and has the most measures controlling what goes in and what goes out, as well as where it's going, and who's taking it, now, c'mon," asbu said before bolting off, kindling close behind, his talons leaving half-melted wax talonprints in the ground, soon, they made it to the inn, "room or rooms for 11, please," asbu said, the dragon at the counter sat with their wide eyes fixed on the mix-matched group, "o-ok," they said, leading them up to the top level where there were 4 rooms right next to each other, asbu would go with zinc and pixel, coal, jay and duckweed would go with each other, swarm, kindling and lupuna would go with each other, and mirage and huechara would be alone, the pastel silkwing walked off and asbu, zinc, and pixel entered their room, asbu coiled up in her bed, all of the sudden realizing how tired she was, holy mother of clearsight, those guys are a handful, she thought, asbu slid out her wrist stingers and tail stinger just in case; she had a strange feeling something was going to come through that window, suddenly, she heard suspicious noises coming from the room to the right of her's, not the someone's-being-attacked kind of noises, other noises, so asbu decided to leave it be, it sounded like a lot of dragons talking over each other, like, 20, she also heard glass clinking, wood clattering, and metallic shinks, like metal poles being rubbed against each other, unable to fall asleep, asbu snuck out, seeing the other 2 were asleep, and went into a next-door training yard, she dug through her pouches, pulled out a few shurikens, a throwing knife, a few poison-laced smoke bombs, and a blow dart, and took her place, she crouched into a pouncing pose, grabbed the knife, and jumped into the air, did a backflip, and cut off a horn on the hay dummy; a skywing model, "wow, i didn't know you could do that," said someone from the back gate, asbu jumped, but it was just jay; "you came out here, too?" she said, surprised, "yep, i couldn't stand the racket that whoever was staying in the room next to your's, zane and pixel's room was making, so i came out here," jay replied, it was an unusually chilly and quiet night on the savannah, jay pulled a pair of nunchucks off the racks and took a pose asbu had never seen before, then did something asbu had never seen before; he flipped over and started spinning around, what surrounded him looked like a small tornado made of blue lightning, then he roundhouse kicked the dummy over the wall, "how did you-" asbu started, "you've never seen spinjitzu before?" jay said, "never even heard of it," asbu replied, without warning, jay picked her up and did his "spinjitzu" thing again, it was interesting, a blur of bright blue and pale violet spinning around her, stray bits of lightning shooting out every which way, then they stopped, asbu falling on her back on the grassy training ground, i've gotta get them to teach me that, asbu thought, "hey, do you feel that?" asbu asked, she felt a tingling in the back of her mind, "get out of there!" it seemed to whisper, then, the feeling stopped, just before the horizon lit up with flames, just before the the explosions filled asbu's ears, just before spike-covered seed pods flew all across bloodworm hive, BANG!

chapter 7

"quick! go!" asbu said, she had only a few seconds before abispa set off the hive mind on everyone in this hive and the surrounding ones, possibly the entire tribe, knowing how paranoid she was, jay camoflaged just as asbu felt the spines on her back quiver, asbu had practiced something for a long time, it was basically knocking herself out, but less painful, then blackness, but something stepped out of the shadows, it was a wingless hivewing with 6, sandwing-like eyes and 4 legs, they had a rounded tail and black scales with orange-red underscales and 4 long, white, sabertooth tiger-like fangs, "hello, asbu," they said, or specifically, she, "who are you?" asbu asked, the dragoness looked unphased, "oh, me? my mistress told me to hide that for now, i'm using a disguise," she explained, "why are you here?" asbu asked, "i'm here to tell you something; this bombing is only the beginning," the hybrid said, before fading off into the darkness "wait! what do you mean!?"asbu said, before, bam, she was back in bloodworm hive, laying on the ground, on the opposite side from where the inn was, she looked over, seeing something that made her jump; it was 2 bodies shielding an egg, one was a normal hive/silk, but the other was exactly as the dragons coming from the island were described, the egg was an obsidian black with a red-orange spatter on the top, cracks spidered along the egg, there was a difference between damage cracks and pipping cracks, and these were pipping cracks for sure, asbu stuck a claw into the egg and pulled off tiny, brittle pieces,, from inside she saw the same dragon she'd just seen, but much, much smaller, and without the extra pair of legs, "whelp, guess i'm your mom now!" asbu said, at that she pulled the little-albeit wet-dragonet out of their egg and put them onto her back, then set off for the inn, but not before bumping into...someone..."oh! hey, asbu!" said a voice asbu instantly recognized; it was her wife, mullerian, "oh! uh...hey...hehe," asbu said akwardly, "why is there a dragonet on your back?" mullerian asked, half-jokingly, "just found them over there, the parents weren't around the egg and there were 2 bodies around it as if they were trying to shield it so i just guessed their parents were dead so we're kinda sorta moms now?" asbu said, mullerian was surprised by this but accepted it with a shrug, "ok then!" mullerian said, "and there's a few people i want you to meet," asbu said, then motioned for mullerian to follow her, they continued walking for an hour before finally finding jay, kindling, and coal digging through rubble, "where are the others?" asbu asked, "went off to find help for one of the survivors we found, said her name was 'mooneyes,'" kindling said, burning up splintered-off planks of wood, however, they found no one else in that pile, that's when jay decided to point out the dragonet, "hey, where'd you get them?" he asked, pointing a talon at her, "oh? i found her egg near 2 bodies, since she hatched right then and there, i just thought 'ok you're my daughter now' so here we are!" asbu said, "and who's this...?" coal asked, pointing a talon at mullerian, "oh, i was kinda hesitant to tell you guys this but...she's my wife," asbu admitted, scratching the back of her head, while kindling stood there, jaw hanging open, coal silently slid jay a pile of scales, making it obvious the 2 had betted on whether or not asbu was lesbian, asbu smirked, "that's right!" she said, rising her tail into the air and waving it with pride, "whelp, why not go find the others?" suggested coal, then, after another half an hour of walking across the the hive, they found a medical tent where zinc, lupuna, huechara, pixel, misako, swarm, ad duckweed were waiting outside, along with 2 others asbu didn't recognize, one was an ice/sky with a cloak that had a hood like the head of a fox, their wings were bright red and they had unusually long front fangs, like those of a rainwing, they had a black icewing crest and bright red markings around their eyes, they had white scales with pale red underscales, the one next to them was burly, like a mudwing, but with skywing-like wings and an unusually large head and short tail, "i see we've gained 4 now," asbu said, approaching them, "oh! i was just telling them about you! akita, kataru, this is asbu, asbu, this is akita and kataru," lupuna said, asbu nodded her head in acknowledgement of the 2, however, akita continued to stare at her with suspicion, asbu noticed akita had 3 tails, all tipped in bright red, and fur instead of scales, kataru also had fur, but only one tail, laying on the bed with their head up was a dark blue nightwing with 4 wings and moth-like antennae, their eyes were silver with white pupils that looked fogged over, they had a pale blue teardrop scale swirled with darker blue, like swaths of mist, her underscales were pale violet and her wings and antennae were a bright blue-purple, their horns were pure, polished white and curved back slightly before swooping up in a gentle hook-like shape, "ah, i know this one," the nightwing said, they-who was obviously a she-stood up, keeping her back left leg slightly above the ground, asbu noticed the leg had a nasty gash in it, "asbu, it's been a while, hasn't it?" the dragoness said, this dragoness was definatly mooneyes, she waved her antennae, "you've grown quite a bit," she remarked, her tone lighthearted and joking, "yep," asbu said, twitching the the tip of her tail, there was a bit of a pause, "so, why were you here?" asbu asked mooneyes, "oh, i was looking for you, i wanted to tell you; the first planet on the clock has stopped," mooneyes said, "wait, we're thinking the same clock here, right? the one that the first alinged one built that counts down until their successor will hatch?" asbu said, slightly panicked, if she was right, this would mean they were close to the hatching of a god, mooneyes simply nodded, "yes, that one," she said, at that, asbu walked away, shoved her head into a pile of collapsed treestuff and wax, and screeched, she didn't know how long she did it for, but she eventually stopped and walked back over to the group, "anywho..." lupuna said, "either have her explain it or wait 'till morning because i'm too tired to explain that legend," asbu said, then, the coiled up on the ground and was out pretty much instantly

part 2: wander

chapter 8

when asbu woke up, the sun was barely peeking over the horizon, there was a strong wind, unusual for the savannah, even during the wet season, then asbu looked over and saw a strange figure walking through the ruined hive, they were a pale yellow sandwing with icewing wings, their horns hooked around their head in the outline of half a heart, they had a sandwing sail with spines running down the sides of their neck but ending at their shoulders, they wore a grey mask over their face, the mask had a black ring around both eyes that flowed off into a semi-circle around the tip of their snout, but behind the nose-horn, their tail was tipped with backwards-pointing spikes, they wore a black cloak and had a bronze pryamid necklace on a gold chain, their underscales were pure white and their horns, spines, and spikes were tan with an orange tint, turning amber at the tip, their sail and wings were pale brownish-yellow, their mask only hid the top of their face, exposing their bottom jaw and where their head meets their neck, below their mask, asbu could only see their glowing, pale gold eyes, curled in their tail was an acacia wood staff with a curved tip, like a fishing hook, inside the curve are fang-like spikes, the dragon noticed asbu and their eyes seemingly locked, asbu noticed the dragon was translucent, like fogged glass, their talons hovered over the ground, and they had no shadow, that's when she decided to make a bold move, asbu walked towards them, the dragon stayed in place, their ears and-at least, asbu thought-eyes still locked on her, she lowered her wings and set her ears off to the side, attempting to look non-threatening, but not taking off her pouches, just in case, slowly, the strange dragon raised their head and lowered their tail, "hello?" asbu said, about 2 tails away from them, the dragon continued to stare, "what is your name?" asbu asked, "wander," the dragon-or, moreover, dragoness-answered, their voice was like lanterntail's, but higher-pitched and without the nightwing accent, "why are you here?" asbu asked, wander shrugged, "i'm a wanderer, hence my name," she said, "do you know anything about what happened here?" asbu asked, wander nodded, "i saw a shady-looking sandwing with a black cloak planting a couple dragonflame cacti around the hive, i tried to mess with them but they just shrugged everything off, when i tried my powers i fired a blast of wind at their cloak and saw a tattoo on their shoulder, looked like the black sillhoette of 2 wings" she said, shifting her wings over, "so this was the black wing!" asbu said, smacking her tail on the ground hard enough to get a grunt from coal, wait a sec...if wander's a ghost, like i think she is, then she can disappear and reappear at will, so then that means she can be a spy! asbu realized, after quite a few hours of explaining her plan to wander, she heard lupuna starting to wake up, "kai, gimme back my sandwich..." he mumbled, just as wander was about to say something, asbu tried to put her talon around wander's snout, but it ended up going through instead, "i wanna see where this is going," asbu whispered to her, over their traveling together, asbu had noticed that everyone except her slept entirely sprawled out, out of them, jay, kindling, and duckweed slept on their side, and lupuna constantly tossed and turned, after 5 minutes or so, lupuna's eyes flickered open, he stood up instantly, a bit spooked (author's note: no pun intended) by wander, seeing the obvious instantly, oh clearsight, asbu thought, remembering why, let's just say that lupuna...er...got into some serious lion dung with a ghost, wander reared up, hind legs folded up under her, and held up her front legs and tossed her staff to the side, flattened back her spines, and retracted her tail spikes, "no need to get aggressive here!" she said, her wings flared out as well and her tail haphazardly plopped on the ground, a sign of submissiveness, but lupuna didn't see that, he kept his stinger poised, ready to strike if wander decided to attack, "um, lupuna....she's being submissive," asbu pointed out, lupuna turned his head to her, tail still tense, "how do you know that?" he asked, "haphazardly-flopped tail," asbu replied, flicking her own at the unusually long, whip-thin noodle that trailed from the space between wander's hind legs, "oh..." lupuna said, curling his tail into a spring-like coil that was of a rainwing, the 2 akwardly sat there, standing at each other, wander had sat back down but kept well away from lupuna, they sat in quiet until the others eventually woke up, each one as surprised at the sight of wander as the last, "so, after all that's settled, we go to jewel hive!" asbu said, finally, after all this chaos, back home

chapter 9

"see that off in the distance? that's jewel hive," asbu said as they flew, coal was, once again, seated on her back, the low hum of her beating wings had lulled him to sleep, and mullerian flew at her side, "wow, it looks pretty busy," kindling said, "that's normal for jewel hive, unorganized, open, it's why i chose to live there; perfect place for an assassin like myself to go around under my targets' noses," asbu replied, asbu heard muffled wingbeats and saw a wing of kiricartq in the distance, they were obviously domestic ones because of their wide coloring, but there was something behind them, something that seemed off, but asbu couldn't really put her talon on it, then it clicked; the thing behind them looked like a cheetah, but with forelegs like a peregrine falcon's talons and a head like that of a peregrine falcon as well, beside it was a small creature asbu couldn't see any features on, but it was around rabbit-sized, she turned her attention away from the wing and at the hive in front of her, jewel hive was close already, as asbu could now see the things sold in the tents, and it was everything from sunhats and carpets to animus-touched jewelery and a stage with a rainwing-like dragoness with a hivewing forehead horn, wings, and build; thin-waisted with a large, stocky chest that gave them a sleek and agile look, smoke curled out of her nostrils and asbu could see the dragoness's horns; thicker than a normal skywing's, but wavier that a hivewing's, the only things she wore were chest pouches like asbu's, but a lighter brown, pouches stopping midway down her prehensile tail, light, lime green underscales, mango orange mainscales, and harvest gold wings and frills streaked with a dark, pine green, her eye ridges and spines were a mahogany red and her horns were a dark brown, sheathed at her side was a gleaming, iron machete with a black, leather hilt, in her left talon was a bronze katana with a very flat, dome-like, jade shape cupping around the hilt, "hey, that sword look familiar to you guys?" kindling said, he nodded his head at the blade, "yeah, you guys thinking what i'm thinking?" lupuna said, "sword of destiny?" jay guessed, they all nodded, "what's the sword of destiny?" asbu, mooneyes, akita, wander, and kataru said all at once, "it's a sword from the cloud realm, it can predict your enemy's next move as long as you hold it," lupuna explained, "lemme guess, you guys got into some lion dung with that, too?" asbu asked, she wasn't at all surprised when all 5 of them nodded at the same time

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