Hi guys! I'm sorry for the long wait. I've been experiencing difficulties with this story, mainly because it's hard to write from Embyr's point of view. I'm used to writing about characters who are happy and brave and kind and all that normal stuff. But that gets a little old, so now we have this! I love it, but it's hard to know what to put next. But here's the chapter! As always, read and review!

Rain of Embers

Chapter 2

Anger surged through Embyr as she galloped through the forest. How could anyone ignore her like that? It didn't matter that she was a curse. She was still far more powerful than most dragons.

Whatever. She didn't care. All that mattered was that she was finally alone. Free to do as she pleased. She could take care of herself. After all, she was a purple dragon.

This knowledge empowered Embyr to run her claws down the rough, normally unyielding bark of a tree. The bark squealed in protest, but it soon fell under Embyr's claws. Dark satisfaction stormed through her mind. She was strong, she was powerful, she could destroy.

She twisted from the ancient tree and leapt upwards, her silvery talons glinting in the filtered sunlight. Embyr let her powerful hind legs carry her from the leafy litter on the ground to a bush. She prepared to spring again, but her legs tangled in the gnarled bush's branches. They dragged her into the bush's sharply pointed leaves. Embyr struggled to free at least her head and then thrashed from the bush's clutches.

Disgruntled, Embyr turned to remove the stinging leaves from her scales. They stuck fast between her glittering, shifting scales, making removal impossible. Embyr sighed and worked steadily until each thorn-sharp leaf was gone.

I can't even defeat a bush, Embyr complained inwardly. She began to lope off again, in the opposite direction of the peaceful glade where her parents lived.

It wasn't long before hunger clawed through Embyr's hardened defenses. She grimaced and searched through the air's scents for one that resembled prey.

In a forest, all the scents mingle. They dance among one another, sometimes flowing together and then twirling away. They are one mass, one unity, or thousands of individuals ever pushing for the sunlight. But a dragon's nose is powerful enough to detect and single out the scents that they desire, and make sense of the drifting, mingling dance through the sky.

Embyr detected many prey scents, so many warm, living scents that entranced her grumbling stomach. She followed the trail of one rabbit; it had made its leisurely way through here not long ago. It was a game to track and capture the prey. Its slow, muddled brain told it only to flee, never mind the fact that Embyr was much faster than it was.

Embyr ran slowly after the rabbit, sending it into a frenzied panic as she remained just behind it for much longer than necessary. She finally pounced and dispatched it with one swift motion. The tender, fresh meat felt so good and savory on her tongue that she devoured it in a few gulps. It had felt good to be in control, to have some power over something instead of always being shamed and controlled by parents who worked so hard to keep her from the world's prying eyes.

Embyr licked her lips and sat down, resting quietly in the forest. She sighed, knowing that she would have to find a place to rest soon. She was completely relaxed until a strange prickling crawled up the back if her neck. She sprang to her paws and growled loudly. Chilling laughter trickled from the trees, and that was enough for Embyr. She launched into action as the monkeys did, as the cruel monkeys threw the net around her, tangling and tripping her. She hissed in fury, but her untrained limbs could not do anything against the battle-hardened creatures who had captured her.

"Ha, puny dragon," the leader laughed as he stepped from his warriors. "You were easy prey for the monkeys." He tugged on her muzzle, eliciting a snap from Embyr. He stepped back smoothly. "Kill her," he commanded simply and his warriors rushed forward. Terror filled Embyr's heart as she realized this was it. But she squared her shoulders bravely and faced them with a snarl.

Flames erupted into the clearing, scorching the monkeys. Those who had escaped the fire fled in terror, leaving Embyr in the net. All except the leader. He was staring coldly at a huge male dragon who drew himself up with fierce pride. The dragon was blood red, and he was obviously the source of the flames. The monkey rushed his opponent, but the dragon simply hissed and a stream of flames jetted from his maw, turning the monkey to ashes, then crystals. The crystals flew towards Embyr, filling her with energy and health. The red dragon turned, looking at her curiously, but he kept his silence. He swiftly untied her, and Embyr tumbled out with a bump.

Embyr glared at him, not feeling the gratitude she knew she should. "Thanks," she muttered shortly. The red dragon kept his face a stone mask. "I'm Embyr," she prompted with a scowl. The dragon nodded slowly, the faintest smile touching his features.

"I am Indicir," he said. "Hello, little Embyr."

"Not little!" Embyr spat, her temper rising. "Purple. Just purple."

"I noticed," Indicir rumbled in laughter. "The next purple dragon."

"I'm a miracle," Embyr hissed dryly.

"Exactly," Indicir said warmly, looking deep into her eyes. "But you don't understand that, do you? Does it really matter when you came? It matters only who you are". His expression was fierce, as if it was pertinent that she understood him.

Embyr shook her head. "I wish I had never been born." Indicir shook his head gravely.

"Here," he said gently. "Follow me, and I'll prove to you just how wrong you are." Indicir walked away smoothly, beckoning for her to follow. Embyr sighed and then hesitantly followed the strange old dragon.

He picked his way through the forest surprisingly quickly. Embyr struggled to keep up, glaring at Indicir, at the ground, at the world. Why did this have to have to be so hard?

"Stop here," Indicir commanded abruptly and Embyr slid to a stop, almost crashing into him. He scuffed his paw into a boulder, muttering a few senseless words, and suddenly a tunnel dropped open before their paws. "Follow me," Indicir growled. "This leads to the Temple, the very same one where your father trained." Embyr was amazed, despite herself. A thrill ran through her.

Indicir led her through the tunnels, moving completely by instinct in the pressing blindness. Embyr followed reluctantly, urged on by an overpowering sense of higher destiny. Then the two dragons were out of the tunnel, and into the light, and the temple. The temple rose gloriously above them, majestic and unconquerable. "Come," Indicir said, his voice loud in the echoing silence. Embyr walked behind him, marveling. He stopped at a huge, beautiful door, and with more words it creaked open. Embyr stepped inside, stopped dead by the enormous dragon statue rising out of the earth. Indicir let out a roar, flaming several torches to life.

"Your turn," he said, gazing into her eyes encouragingly. "Let the fire within you out, and into the world."