I'm still alive here! Finally I finished writing part two after I submitted part 1 nearly three years ago lol. Thought I'd get back into some writing practice. I'm going to be doing it a lot more in future. Please leave a review and tell me what you think!
"Young dragon, you never cease to amaze me."
"We never lost hope that you would return. Ignitus made sure of that."
"I should have come back sooner. I let you all down. But that won't happen again."
"Spyro, you've done more than anyone could expect of a dragon your age. What matters now is that you are here, and what's more, you've returned with your companions."
"Well, it's not like I've really had a choice in the matter, seeing as how we're stuck together."
"Interesting, this device is foreign to me. Mason, what do you make of this?"
"Never have I seen such a thing. It has the mark of evil."
"Likely crafted by Malefor himself. I fear we shall not be able to remove it."
"What! But there has to be a way!"
"How can we fight back if we're made to fight like this?"
"Spyro, Cynder, you have done well to get this far despite this. Do not view this change as a hindrance, but allow it to be a reminder of the bond you two share. Your destinies are now intertwined. And that thought is a hopeful one."
Some hours later…
Dusk slowly fell upon the Dragon City, the rising smoke and dust from ruined buildings, and the nearby belt of fire created an unusual red glow that reflected off the stone-made structures of the city. There was still much commotion throughout the city as its citizens attempted to clean up the mess from the attack earlier that day. The sounds of moles, dragons, and cheetahs alike worked to move away the rubble and repair defences while others carried the injured to nearby infirmaries, who were already overwhelmed with wounded patients.
Spyro and Cynder, as well as the guardians, had joined to help out in their efforts, despite just defeating the giant earth golem. But after spending the next several hours helping tend to those in need, the guardians had been requested to meet with city officials in the council chambers.
Giving them a chance to catch their breaths for more than a second, Spyro and Cynder began to pace their way through some rather peaceful streets, the guardians following closely behind them. Cynder had her head tilted up to study the surrounding buildings, structures made of smooth limestone cut perfectly to shape, she hadn't seen in similar size since she inhabited her old lair, a memory she quickly repressed into the back of her mind with a shake of her head.
Spyro on the other hand observed the ground below him, his paws walking over smooth cobblestone, each organised to be as even with each other as possible. The young dragons couldn't help but admire such a stunning design for a city, or at least the sections that hadn't been destroyed. It was something neither of them had seen in their lifetime.
And yet Spyro had only just learned such a city like this existed barely a day ago, making him wonder why none of the guardians brought it up previously after flying all over the islands to rescue them from Cynder. Perhaps they didn't think it was important at the time, or maybe they thought Warfang had been overrun by Malefor's forces while they were captured, Spyro realised, answering his own dilemma.
The two dragons were both so distracted by their own thoughts, that Cynder failed to notice a group of moles that ran out in front of her as they appeared from around a corner. She knocked one of them right over as it bumped against her chest, almost startling Spyro into an attack position as he was suddenly pulled from his daydreaming.
"Oh god I'm so sorry!" Cynder blurted out, stumbling back in shock realising what she'd just done.
"Watch it will ya!" the mole yelled back, standing up and giving Cynder an angry glare as he scurried down the street to catch up with his mole counterparts.
Cynder stood there dumbstruck, unsure if she wanted to go give the mole a mouthful for his bad attitude. Instead she just sighed, knowing it wasn't worth picking a fight over, not here, not now. It was her fault for not watching where she was going anyway.
The guardians had stopped behind them both and watched the brief debacle unfold. They all looked at each other in puzzlement. "Perhaps it's best we send these young heroes to get some rest for the night" said Volteer, finally breaking the awkward silence.
"I'm fine…just taking all this in" Cynder responded, partially lying about that first bit. In truth she wanted to cover herself with her wings and hide for a year. Neither she nor Spyro had slept since leaving Avalar the previous day and she was beginning to feel the fatigue catch up with her. She glanced across at Spyro who was still standing next to her, staring back at her with obvious pity in his eyes. Despite the tiredness that was also starting to show in his eyes, Cynder could tell there was still that fire of determination in him to keep going. He always had it no matter how dire the situation. Or at least, he always seemed to have it when around her…
"No, Cyril is right" Ignitus said. "You two have done more than enough. You need to save up your strength for whatever we decide to do next."
Now it was Spyro's turn to sigh. Even he couldn't argue with Ignitus with how droopy his eyes suddenly felt. "It might not be a bad idea Cynder" he said, "Come on."
Spyro suddenly brushed one of his wings against hers, catching Cynder by surprise as he started to walk off again. She glanced uneasily at him, unsure of what the gesture meant. He did it once before back at the old dragon temple when she caught Sparx badmouthing her, and it managed to subdue her anger.
Nonetheless, she followed on closely to the purple dragon. She kept her attention on where she was going this time as they continued walking to their destination near the centre of Warfang, arriving some minutes later at a bottom of a short flight of stairs which led up to the massive wooden doors of what looked to be one of the tallest towers in the city, with a long spire at the top. Somehow it appeared unharmed among many other towers throughout the city that had been damaged.
They all started up the stairs, Ignitus proceeding to lead in front, doing the honours and pushing open the big heavy wooden doors.
Inside was a massive lobby, big enough to fit a hundred adult dragons easily, with another three rows on top. Spyro and Cynder marvelled at the great hall. It made the training room at the Dragon Temple look miniscule in comparison.
As they walked inside, their talons tapped against the smooth marble surface under their paws that seemed to cover the walls and ceiling as well. A long rectangular table made of smooth white marble laid out in front of them, with four adult sized podiums on each side with cushions. On the other side of the table was a short corridor that led to a winding staircase, lit by lanterns.
The doors closed behind them with an echoing thud as the guardians walked in too. Despite being requested to attend the council chambers, Spyro observed the place was surprisingly empty with not a single other dragon in sight. Perhaps they were elsewhere in the building, which wouldn't surprise the purple dragon given its size.
"Now this is fancy" Cynder remarked before Spyro could ask about it.
Volteer decided to seize the opportunity to give another one of his baffling lectures. "It's one of the oldest structures in Warfang, built by the likes of dragons and moles some millennia ago who wanted to preserve peace throughout the realms. That was long before Malefor of course. Now it's where we guardians and officials coordinate the war effort."
"Alright Volteer" Cyril said cutting off the electric guardian before he could continue, giving him a nudge on the shoulder. "I doubt these two are much interested in the city's history."
At that same time, Spyro and Cynder regarded each other with a shrug of their wings.
"Come with me you two" Ignitus said breaking the awkward conversation, assuring Volteer would keep his maw shut for a bit. He pointed his head towards the corridor on the other side of the table. "I'll show you where you'll be staying."
"Wait, what about Sparx?" Spyro said.
"We'll send for him. We know he couldn't survive without you" Terrador stepped in, rolling his eyes at his last remark.
"Thank you Terrador" the purple dragon smiled.
The earth guardian nodded, "Now go get some rest, both of you."
Spyro and Cynder nodded, following Ignitus to the corridor, then up the spiralling stairs for what seemed like an eternity, occasionally passing a door and lamps that hung from the ascending stairwell. They eventually reached a flat platform with an arched shaped wooden door.
"Now I feel like I'm in a fancy prison being escorted to my cell" Cynder said, panting slightly from the tedious climb.
"Far from it young dragon" Ignitus chuckled. "This was my home for many years before I was assigned to the temple."
"Is this…" Spyro began to utter.
Ignitus nodded. "Yes. It's my private chamber. This will be your living quarters for the night."
Ignitus opened the old creaky door, revealing a rather spacious but dark room inside. A red carpet was sprawled out along every inch of the floor. A large pile of blankets had been set up in the corner not far from the adjacent window which provided the only source of light in the room. Against the opposite wall was a desk sized for a fully grown dragon. On each side of the desk stood shelves that were completely overstuffed with books and scrolls.
Ignitus stepped aside and Spyro walked in slowly, studying his surroundings, Cynder following behind him. In the middle of the ceiling high above them were multiple lanterns on a spoke, dangling low enough that Spyro reared up on his hind legs and gave a small burst of flame to each one of them, lighting up the room in its entirety.
Suddenly everything in the room seemed more colourful and grand. The roof and walls of stone appeared just as smooth as they did shiny. Above the desk that was littered with scrolls and pens, was the symbol of fire carved out of some kind of rock that hung from a lanyard, clearly too small to fix around Ignitus's neck. Spyro glanced at it curiously, wondering if it was given to him at a younger age, possibly when he was announced guardian of fire.
"You really don't mind?" Cynder asked, prowling around one of the bookshelves before Spyro had a chance to inquire about it.
Ignitus smiled. "I think it's the least you two deserve. Besides, Terrador is more than happy to accommodate me."
Cynder couldn't help but somewhat feel the guilt she always felt when someone actually treated her with some decency, feeling like she didn't deserve it. But she quickly brushed that feeling aside despite her tiredness. Apart from Spyro, Ignitus and the other guardians had done what they could to make her feel like she was more than just the dark master's former minion, she reminded herself.
Cynder let out an audible yawn and made her way over to the pile of blankets and rested herself down on top them, stretching out her front legs. She couldn't remember the last time she slept on something that wasn't hard ground or dirt. "I could get used to this" she said calmly.
Ignitus couldn't help but tug a smile on the side of his mouth. "Anytime Cynder."
Spyro walked back over to Ignitus as the fire guardian sat on his haunches just inside the doorway. "It's perfect Ignitus. Thank you" he said sincerely.
Ignitus scoffed, "You have no idea. I got so used to calling the Dragon Temple home. Coming back here just doesn't compare anymore."
Spyro reached his shoulder around the fire guardian and held him in a hugging embrace. Ignitus gently put his paw over Spyro's back, holding the embrace for a moment. Cynder forced herself not to giggle at the two dragons.
"Now get some rest both of you" Ignitus said pulling away from the hug, nodding at the dragons.
Spyro nodded back. "You too Ignitus" he said as the fire guardian closed the door behind him and headed off back down the stairwell.
Spyro turned around and walked over to Cynder who gave another long yawn, clearly too tired for cheesy departures. He stared out the window in front of him. The sun had well and truly set now, smoke and dust still lingering in the air that draped over the city.
"I hope Sparx knows where we are" Cynder said tiredly with some slight sarcasm in her voice.
"He'll find us. I swear he has this sixth sense of knowing where to find me. He was always good at it when we played hide and seek" Spyro said.
"Maybe you were just bad at hiding, being a massive purple dragonfly and all."
Spyro gave an amused chuckle. "That's probably true. But still, someone will let him know we're here"
"And the last thing he wants to do is leave you alone with me."
Spyro's smile faded slightly. He knew Sparx was just trying to push Cynder's buttons as he did with almost everyone he met, but it still made him wish his brother would cut it out sometimes.
Cynder took notice of the purple dragon's uneasiness. "Don't worry Spyro. I know you two are inseparable. No one could ever come between that, no matter how small he is compared to you."
The purple dragon sighed. "He makes up for it with his words unfortunately"
Cynder rolled her eyes, unable to argue that point and let out another yawn. She sighed deeply and closed her eyes. "Well, it really seems you two were raised well."
Spyro yawned as well and huddled down next to Cynder on the same pile of blankets, resting his head on his front paws. "I hope my parents are okay" he wondered, suddenly heavy with guilt for not even thinking about his mother and father. It had been years now since he last saw them.
"They're far from any of this. I'm sure they're safe" Cynder barely managed to whisper as she finally gave in to her exhaustion.
Spyro sighed deeply, trying to take comfort in that thought. But his eyes had closed before he could worry anymore, and he drifted off into a deep sleep next to the dragoness he would do anything to keep safe.
Cynder was briefly woken by the sound of soft mumbling, but quickly drifted off back to sleep as the noise subsided. But a moment later a similar noise woke her up again, enough that she remembered where she was, and could feel her aching muscles as she laid there. She reluctantly opened her eyes and stared around the room just as the noise stopped again. The lanterns had died out leaving the room in a bluish glow, illuminated from the starry night outside. Her eyes then gazed over to the purple dragon in front of her, who was still clearly in a deep sleep as his sides rose and fell slowly.
Cynder couldn't help but keep her stare on the purple dragon, her eyes fluttering sleepily. This was probably the most peaceful she'd seem him sleep, which she did a lot back at the old temple when the memories of her past would keep her awake at night. At first she'd always go for a walk, but then gradually stayed with Spyro as his soundless sleeping helped her rest again. Sparx would occasionally murmur in his sleep, but it was still better compared to the guardians who snored like old apes.
"If you're going to keep staring at him like that, I'm gonna have to smack you on that snout of yours"
Cynder nearly jumped out of her scales, but caught herself once she recognised the voice, reassured by the faint yellow glow she saw behind a pillow next to her.
"Hey woah relax. Just kidding" Sparx said revealing himself from his hiding spot, waving his hands above his head in an attempt to prove his innocence.
Cynder blinked at the dragonfly, wondering how long Sparx had been there. Did he see her staring at Spyro that whole time? Was he the mysterious voice that woke her from her much needed sleep? She suddenly felt very tempted to smother Sparx with the pillow and go back to sleep. "I see you found us" she whispered, intentionally sounding disappointed.
Sparx shrugged. "I overhead a mole grouching about some black dragon running into him, and that the guardians might've been with her heading to this building or something blah blah blah. So I snuck around the building and here you were. I gotta say though Cynder, you snore louder than Terrador."
"I do not!" Cynder whispered harshly. "And you could've been quieter yourself, waking me up with that babbling mouth of yours."
"Aww. Did I disturb your private time with my brother?" Sparx mocked.
"For your information, we haven't slept in days" Cynder hissed, more irritated by the thought that she could be waken up so easily, by a lousy dragonfly of all things, no matter how exhausted she was. "And what are you talking about?"
"Come on Cynder. I see the way you look at him. You're taking quite the shine to my brother."
"Excuse me?" Cynder hushed at Sparx with a raised voice. She turned and saw Spyro fidgeting in his sleep. She held her breath praying to the ancestors that he didn't wake up. Thankfully he settled down again.
Sparx smiled deceitfully and crossed his arms, hovering next to the dragoness. "Bound by a chain and forced to bond like best friends. How cute."
"I wouldn't be here if I wasn't attached to this stupid chain" Cynder muttered under her breath. The chain was not physically visible when the two dragons were in close proximity, but she could still feel its presence clamping around her neck.
"Then where else would you be? Were you planning on leaving my poor brother on his own again to fight off the big evil apes?"
Cynder opened her mouth to retort, but nothing came out. She turned to the purple dragon who was still fast asleep. His back leg twitched and he let out a slight huff.
"That's not what I meant" she struggled to speak out, the dragonfly's question hitting her like a blow to the stomach.
She felt the guilt building inside her for even thinking she could do that to Spyro again. Because of her actions the first time round, they were encased in crystal for three years, allowing Malefor to rise and wreak havoc throughout the realms without Spyro to stop him. It was just another ordeal she felt responsible for…
Sparx observed her carefully, sensing some internal conflict. Cynder expected him to come out with some witty remark, but it never came.
"He hasn't complained about that chain once you know" was all the dragonfly said, now sounding unusually concerned.
For a moment there was silence. Cynder had to think about it, but reluctantly knew Sparx was right, though she would never admit it to his face.
"He doesn't complain about anything Sparx" she said, hoping that would throw the dragonfly off. She was still tired and her body ached. And the remorse she was feeling only added to the strain. She rested her head away from the dragonfly and closed her eyes, hoping that would be the end of it. Of course, it was not.
"All that effort he went through to save your tail and you don't think it means anything? I've never seen my brother so determined" said Sparx mockingly.
"He did it from the good of his heart. That's what he always does" Cynder grumbled.
"Pfff fine, be that way" the dragonfly spat. "But you can't hide your feelings from him forever. The earlier you tell him-"
"Sparx?" whispered a voice.
Cynder and Sparx turned their heads to the sound of the voice to see Spyro with his eye lids half open as he stared at his brother.
"Oh, hey bro. Miss me?" said Sparx, making somewhat of an attempt to sound cheerful.
"Glad you found us" Spyro said, letting out a yawn.
"Yeah well, thanks for coming back for me!" Sparx stated sarcastically. "How was I supposed to find you in this giant stone maze?"
"They didn't really give us a choice" Spyro rolled his eyes. "Terrador said he'd send for you. Also what were you saying about telling me something?"
"Nothing" Cynder quickly interjected. "Sparx was just saying he encountered that stupid mole from earlier who said we were here, and he was just about to go to sleep. Right Sparx?"
Spyro stared, and to Cynder's relief, didn't ask any more questions, clearly too tired to care. Although he wondered why Cynder had said it so abruptly.
The purple dragon turned his head up and looked outside, frowning when he noticed it was still early in the night. "Well, now that we're all acquainted, how about we get some more rest?"
"Yes, goodnight Sparx" said Cynder, resting her head and shutting her eyes again.
Spyro did the same. "Goodnight" he whispered, shifting his head slightly until he was comfortable.
Sparx raised his hands up, utterly puzzled at the bad tempered dragoness, and just as much so at his clueless brother, who seemed perfectly casual about him being absent until now and in an instant was back to sleep when the dragonfly had so much more to say. It was almost like Spyro enjoyed the alone time with his evil girlfriend in denial.
"Sensitive much?" he scorned inaudibly at her, or so he thought, as he went to rest beside his brother.
Sparx hadn't reacted in time to see it, but Cynder opened one eye slightly. She sneakily raised up her tail, and with a swift flick she smacked the dragonfly with the flat side of her tail spade. Sparx went tumbling in mid-air to the opposite side of the room with a yelp, catching his balance before he struck the wall. Straight away he stared harshly at the dragoness and was about to unleash some colourful language, but stopped himself when he saw Spyro was already dozed off.
Despite wanting to give Cynder a peace of his mind, he decided he had the decency not to wake his brother again. So he rested down next to him, grumbled to himself, and slowly let his own tiredness drag him into sleep.
As Sparx settled down, Cynder kept her eyes closed, but grinned mischievously to herself. Indeed, Spyro had gone to great lengths to remove her from harm, but that was who he was. If it had been any other dragon, he would've done the same thing, surely? Sparx was obviously trying to agitate her for the millionth time, and unfortunately, she fell for it. Whatever the dragonfly was trying to get at, she knew it wasn't true. Yes, Spyro was her friend, but that was all he was ever going to be. It doesn't mean anything special to be teamed up with someone. What was so great about herself anyway? Besides being able to fight, what could she ever offer him?
Cynder's grin faded as her anguish crept back in her mind, but now was not the time to be kept awake by such thoughts. The dragoness let out a sigh, and before she knew it, fell into a deep slumber, next to the one dragon at least she knew she could trust.