I'm not dead! I've just been really busy lately, mostly reading some amazing stories that many of you might know. Anyway, who's ready for my longest chapter yet? 7,364 words, that's a lot for me! Enjoy.

Chapter 9

The dragons stood around Cynder's book in disbelief. The former Queen of Conquer would really have been a queen one day. Ignitus, having known her lineage from the time she was brought to the temple, was smiling at the younger dragon's expressions.

"It's about time I told you, Cynder." The old dragon started. "Your parents came to the temple with your egg and asked us to protect you. They said they would have done it themselves but the apes were focusing on their city of Kaylis at the time. Eclipse had been a close friend of mine when we were younger, but we eventually lost contact with him. Up until I became the Chronicler, I thought the apes succeeded and that he was dead, thank the ancestors I was wrong. I took your egg in with the others and a few weeks later, the apes raided on the temple. You already know the rest."

"So they're still alive?" Cynder asked. Ignitus calmly nodded. Cynder, however, was too excited to sit still. The black dragoness was mentally bouncing off the walls at the thought of meeting the family she never knew.

"Why wait until now to tell us about all of this?" Spyro asked.

"I was going to tell her anyway, but now seemed like a good time since you all need a safer place to stay. The first day in Avalar and you already had the dark army find you. It won't be long before they attack again. I have already sent word to Terrador, Prowlus, and Eclipse about my plan and they all agreed, but I didn't tell Eclipse you were coming personally Cynder. You can tell them yourself. That way you won't have a horde of citizens swarming you on sight. Spyro however…" The group turned to Spyro. "Every dragon in the city would run up to meet the legendary purple dragon, so if you want to go unnoticed, we need something to make his scales black to look like those of a shadow dragon."

"Like what?" the purple dragon asked. "My scales are too bright. Even if I had something over them, you could still see some purple."

"Maybe, but there have been a few times when the color of your scales turned black naturally."

"What are you talking about?" Spyro stopped for a second and let his words sink in. "No! There is no way I'm doing that ever again! I never want to use that power! When I do, I lose control! You were watching the fight in Avalar, you saw what I did!"

"You destroyed them all-"

"And then I almost attacked my friends!"

"That wasn't you. It was convexity's influence. When you transform, you have complete mastery of it, am I right?" the teal dragon asked.

"Well, yes, but how do you expect me to stay in control when I turn into that monster?"

"You can after a lot of practice here where you can't harm anyone. Just let me know when you want me to bring you here."

"First came shadow training, then darkness, and now training in your sleep? Sucks to be you." Jet grinned.

"I have something to show you Spyro." Ignitus looked to another shelf and another purple book brought itself to Spyro, this one with black trimmed edges. "This book belonged to the purple dragon before Malefor. He had full control over convexity and could transform like you, but he can do it at will and stay sane. One part in that book shows how he mastered it and what he was thinking before, during, and after. I want you to study this. While you go into the city as your dark form, Cynder will have to use shadows to cover her markings. They are birthmarks that every member of the royal family has. The dragons in Kaylis will be sure to recognize them right away."

Cynder nodded. "What about the others? Isn't the city full of just shadow dragons?"

"No, it is just known as the shadow dragon city because of the royal family, but most of the dragons are of the other four elements you control. Besides, I already told them that a large group of dragons was coming from Warfang. It's time for you to go now. Terrador told me he is sending a present your way."

The dragons started disappearing one by one until only Jet was left with the Chronicler.

"Jet, there is something you should see." The teal dragon said.

"Alright." Jet replied as Ignitus showed him another book, one with a bright blue cover.

"Do you recognize this dragoness?" he asked, showing the first picture in the book to the black dragon who nodded.

"It's Amanda…"

"Correct. There is something that has troubled me for some time now. Her name is recorded in the book of the dead, but she has several blank pages that are beyond the one detailing her death."

"…So one book says she's dead, and another says she isn't?" Jet asked. Ignitus nodded.

"I have no idea what it means, but she was your friend. I want you to keep an eye out for anything suspicious."

"I will. The others are waiting so would you mind sending me back?"

"Of course I will but there is one more thing. You know you will have to tell them your lineage at some point…"

"I know… I just hope they don't think I'll be anything like the ones in my book."

The first to wake up in the clearing was Flame with the rest not long afterwards. Around the same time, Jet and Casille were coming out of their little spot in the woods.

"How long were we out?" Flame asked to nobody in particular.

"You all just passed out for a few seconds. Are you guys sick?" a deep voice asked. The group looked over to the earth dragon that had been with them earlier.

"Only a few seconds… How did our old man do that?"

"The Chronicler watches and records time, but I didn't know he could control it too. The last Chronicler told me only purple dragons could do it." Spyro said.

"So you can too? You're full of it." To prove his crimson scaled brother wrong, Spyro activated the ability he called "dragon time" and was on the other side of the clearing in the blink of an eye.

"Told you!" Spyro yelled from where he scorched the tree. He used his time ability again and was right back to where he was before.

"Show off…" Flame mumbled which got a good laugh out of everyone.

"Not to ruin the fun or anything, but shouldn't we be going?" Celestia asked to the other's approval.

The first half of the time was spent in silence before Spyro spoke up.

"So Cynder, if you're royalty now, does that mean I am too?"

"Hmm… I think it does." The black dragoness answered. "Just don't start treating me any different."

"Then I guess I am too!" said Flame.

"You can be the family's royal pain."

"Oh so you're so different brother?"

"Well I can actually USE the shadow element; I think they'll like that."

"Too bad they won't like the fact that you're nailin' their princess, you guys need to soundproof your room better." Spyro and Cynder both stopped where they were red faced while thinking the same thing. 'We didn't even do anything in Warfang!' Ember slapped Flame on the back of his head with her tail, Celestia was trying and failing to suppress a laugh, Jet wasn't even trying to hide his, and Casille suddenly found the grass very interesting.

"Good job Spyro," Flame smirked, "but Ember is still a bit louder."

"FLAME!" Ember roared.

"…and here's where I run. See ya guys!" the crimson dragon said as he bolted off with Ember spouting fire behind him.

"Are those two always like that?" Jet asked.

"It's usually worse." Celestia answered.

"I'm so sorry for your burden."

"You'll get used to it."

It didn't take long for the group to get back to their little village. When they did, each went to their own house for the night, but having just slept thanks to the Chronicler and the bomb that just got dropped on their heads about Kaylis, none of them could go to sleep. In the two hero's house, Cynder was frantically pacing around the room while Spyro watched with an amused expression.

"What do you think they will be like? Do you think they'll like me? Would they know about Malefor's control over me? Do they know about you being alive?" Spyro laughed at the black dragoness' questions.

"Calm down Cyn, you're their daughter. I'm sure they'll love you even though you were controlled. I was too, remember? Everyone in Warfang has forgiven you so I know everyone Kaylis will be overjoyed to see their princess is alive and well."

"Even if they don't know my name yet?"

"Of course."

"You know… sometimes I still can't believe I have you after everything I did. I nearly killed you so many times but look at us now!" Cynder smiled. "I really can't thank you enough."

"You can and already have. You saved me more than attacked me. Remember those guys when we first got back?"

"You're talking about the huge group that adored you but hated my guts. You knew people might hate you for standing up for me but you did it anyway." Cynder said, looking to the floor.

"Some idiot thought it would be fun to attack me for helping you so then you knocked him out with a single fear blast! It was awesome! At least nobody ever questioned your loyalty again right?"

"You… have a point."

"Yeah, I do. Now quit blaming yourself for everything and quit worrying. The entire city will love you to death, weather I have to step in or not."

"Why are you always right?" Cynder smiled as she sat beside the purple dragon.

"I don't know. I think it is just luck." Spyro laughed before putting a crimson wing over the shadow dragoness.

"Come on Ember, I said I was sorry."

"I don't care, that wasn't even true!"

"I was just trying to make the guys laugh. I didn't mean to embarrass you too."

"Well you did, I think I'm still a few shades brighter than normal…" the pink scaled dragoness said. "Can you think about what you're saying next time?"

"Maybe, but no promises yet." Flame smirked.

"That mouth of yours is going to kill you one day, you know that right?"

"As long as I can outrun you it won't!" Flame said with a huge grin.

"I wonder if Spyro is normally as cocky as you. How does Cynder put up with that?"

"Probably because she likes that side of him. You enjoy mine don't you?"

"Until you go overboard with it…"

Celestia had been listening to her sister's conversation through the thin walls of the wooden house. After getting bored of the constant scolding Flame was getting, she decided to go visit a friend instead.

"So you really don't care about your family tree?" Jet asked Casille.

"Not really. None of them know me and I don't know any of them. I told you, I already have a family that cares for me. Aeris and Chasm treat me as if I were their own daughter regardless of how I look. They are my real family."

"I hadn't thought of that…" Jet thought. "Alright, but I would still be a little curious about mine. I may not have liked a certain someone I saw in there but at least I looked."

"Well maybe I am a little curious, but I don't want to end up having to choose between my real or blood families."

"Why not choose both? You could stay with one family some of the time and some with the other family."

"That might work. I'll think about it." The mist dragoness replied. "So who was in your book that you didn't like? I thought you didn't know anyone from your blood family."

"There was one whose name I knew, but I don't know the guy personally. I found out I have an ancestor that was an infamous traitor to Warfang and a lot of people see him a mass murderer."

"How do you know that?" Casille asked.

"Everyone who knows anything about dragon history knows his name. I just don't want people to compare me to him."

"So did the book have your brood's name?"

Jet thought back to his book before answering. "Well at the top of my page it said Sylis in big runes so I think that's it."

"Okay. Well I guess the next time Ignitus calls us back we can see my heritage."

"Sounds like a good idea." Not long after their conversation stopped, someone knocked on their door.

"Casille, are you still up?" a familiar voice asked.

"Yes Celestia, come on in."

The ice dragoness came in and walked over to Casille.

"Would you two mind if I stayed here for the night?" she asked.

"I guess Ember is yelling at Flame for that comment earlier?" the white dragoness grinned.

"You have no idea…" Celestia smirked.

"Of course you can stay."

"We have a while until it gets dark so how about I go find us some food?" The shadow dragon suggested. "What would you like?"

"Could you find a deer or a sheep for me please?" Celestia asked politely.

"Sure, and what would you like?" Jet asked the mist dragoness.

"Think you could find some apples?"

"Of course I can. I won't be long." The black dragon said before walking outside. One beat from his strong wings and he was off.

"I could have sworn I saw an apple tree on the way back." He thought. After a few minutes of searching he found the tree with several of the red fruits. "Now where to put these" Jet realized he couldn't carry Casille's fruit and still carry back a full grown deer for his guest so he quickly flew back to the house. He purposely landed hard so the girls would hear. "I can't carry it all at once so I'll be right back with your food." He said as he walked in, looking to the ice dragoness for the last part. He turned to leave before Casille stopped him.

"One more thing Jet." He heard her say. Jet turned and was instantly met Casille's maw with his own. After a few seconds she stopped.

"Okay, now you can go." The mist dragoness smirked.

Jet gave a cocky smile before leaving to get the rest of their food.

"You've change a lot lately haven't you?" Celestia asked her friend. "Ember and I used to be the only people your age you would talk to other than Flame occasionally, and now you can do that in front of the ancestors and everybody."

"It is all because of him. I don't know why but I feel confident around him. When he got hurt in that fight yesterday-"

"That's alright, as long as he stays alive to keep you happy I won't have to kill him myself."

Jet was flying at top speed under the canopy in his immaterial shadow cloak to phase through branches. "There's got to be a deer around here somewhere." He thought. Between a few trees, he saw a few sheep in a clearing. "That works too." He dropped into the ground and came up under the sheep and caught the animal by the neck with his claws before quickly dragging the body into the shadows with him.

Night had fallen when Jet dropped his shadow cloak and used his tail to drag the sheep behind him. He began thinking about everything that had happened that day but all of his thoughts led to others and always ended in him thinking about the white dragoness waiting for him. He was too absorbed in his thoughts that he did not notice the sound of something running up behind him. Sadly, he didn't notice until after he was stabbed in his right hind leg.

Jet roared and collapsed where he was as his attacker tried to take the sheep he had killed. The shadow dragon turned to see an enormous wild boar. The beast's right tusk was coated with blood, presumably Jet's. The animal charged at Jet again, aiming to gore his heart this time. Jet's leg left him unable to defend himself against this massive beast physically, but it did not hinder his magical strength at all. He opened his maw and covered the boar in shadowfire. However, his attack didn't even slow the boar down. Jet jumped out of the way and the boar ran past him, stopping when it hit a thick tree. The animal turned around to face the black dragon which showed that the huge beast was actually blinded by the shadowfire.

Jet tried to stand back up, but his injured leg gave out. The boar was trying its best to find the shadow dragon with its nose. Instead of catching Jet's scent however, it caught a second wave of the black, fog-like shadowfire which started to suffocate the animal. While it was gasping for breath, Jet was trying to get some distance between him and the boar. When Jet got to where he wanted, he summoned the translucent black chain, a move he decided to call "shadow bind" when he first learned it years ago, and made it coil around the boar's tusks.

The wild boar shook its head violently, trying to get free of the chains, but Jet held tight from where he was. The shadowfire soon wore off and the animal could see and breathe again. Instead of trying to get loose again, the boar charged straight at Jet with renewed strength. Casille's face flashed through the dragon's mind again. "I said I would protect you… and I intend to." Jet quickly opened his jaws for another shadowfire wave, but instead the wild boar was met by a shadow attack that had turned into pure darkfire.

The wild boar was sent flying through the air covered in the black and purple flames and Jet pulled on the now midnight purple chains. The dark bind had burned through the boar's tusks and snatched at its head, twisting it with enough strength and speed to break its neck.

"Darkfire… and again it wasn't intentional… What the hell is happening to me?" Jet thought. "I'd better get back, but first…" The shadow dragon limped over to the boars burning carcass and used his waning control of the darkness to extinguish the fire. "So, how am I supposed to drag your fat ass back?"

Jet put a paw on the boar and he faded into his shadow cloak with both of his kills. Being immaterial would stop him from losing anymore blood and it was much faster than limping while dragging two bodies, but it was also a strain on his power because of the sheer amount of power the darkness attacks burn up.

He managed to make it back to his and Casille's home and quickly called for help. The two dragonesses inside came rushing out with horrified expressions after seeing Jet's blood-soaked leg. The white dragoness immediately started breathing a heavy stream of mist on the wound. Jet was feeling incredibly light-headed from the amount of blood he lost and would have lost consciousness if Celestia hadn't put her sub-zero tail blade onto his leg. The freezing temperature nearly made Jet jump out of his scales but he simply didn't have the energy.

Slowly, he started feeling better. It was as if Casille's mist was regenerating his blood as well as his flesh. When the dragonesses were finished, Jet tried to stand up. He thanked the two of them and then dragged his kills inside with a heavy limp with both of the worried dragonesses close behind him.

As he planned on doing from the start, Jet gave Celestia the sheep. He hadn't expected to have an entire boar to himself though which was far too massive for him to eat by himself, so with some help, he hefted the huge piece of meat up on his back and decided to give the rest to Spyro and Cynder. Other than Jet's "Thank you" none of them had said a word until the black dragon left.

"Do you think he'll be alright?" Casille asked her friend.

"What's his problem? Why can't he just walk away from a fight? I understand the time when he was surrounded by wyverns but he could have just flown away from the pig!" Celestia's comment made Casille think back to the conversation between her and Jet about darkness in her room back in Warfang.

"So you really could turn someday?" Casille asked.

"Not if I can stay in total control. I can usually use it when I want to and hold it back when I don't but yesterday I accidentally hit Cynder with it."

"Is she alright?"

"She might be hurting for a little while, but she'll be fine. As long as she's alive she can recover."

"Does Spyro know?"

"He saw it happen but I'm not sure he knows what it was. He might think it was just a strong shadow attack." Jet said. "I wish I could live my life to the fullest without it sometimes."

"You mean you have to use it?"

"If I have to use it to win a fight then I will. I may not know my real family but I have their power now. Losing because I didn't want to use it would be like spitting on their graves. I'm proud to be a shadow dragon and I won't let my race's name be dragged through the mud. Ask Torch, he's seen what I can do to someone who looks down on my race. He's got the scars to prove it too."

"Hello? Are you there Casille?" Celestia called while waving a wing in front of her friend's face.

"He's too proud to run away…" Casille said, barely loud enough for her friend to hear.

"What? What good is his pride if it gets him killed?"

"He claims to be fighting for all shadow dragons, not just himself. I can't really blame him though. If there were more like me, I'd probably do the same thing."

The next morning, Spyro and Cynder were up early to get everyone ready for their move to Kaylis a few hours later. Flying high above the houses, Cynder amplified her voice with her fear element. Spyro, not wanting to lose his hearing from being so close to the loud sound, stayed on the ground where her voice would carry without shattering bones.

After her announcement, Cynder landed beside Spyro and the two decided to go see if their friends needed help getting ready. They went to see Jet and Casille first. When they got there, they were surprised to see a few adult dragons outside of the house.

"Spyro, we didn't bring them with us did we?" Cynder whispered.

"No, but I do recognize them. Hey, Voltara!" Spyro called. The yellow and black dragoness turned around to face him.

"Hi guys. Terrador sent us to make sure you get to the city in one piece."

"He thinks we can't do it ourselves?" he asked. Voltara bent her long neck to whisper something to Spyro.

"He told me to keep you and Cynder together at all times. Ignitus wants you to bring her with you when you're ready to practice. If you lose control again, you might need her to bring you back if you can't do it yourself." She told him.

The only people that knew of his dark form were the few that had seen it firsthand and he would rather it stay that way.

"Did he say what kind of training it was?" the purple dragon asked. He already knew of course but he didn't want just anyone knowing the strongest portion of his power was uncontrollable.

"He just said it was some kind of mental conditioning, the only ones that need to know about it already do know, and that you and Cynder would need to be carried through most of the trip… lucky you. I wish I had that kind of luxury." The yellow dragoness smiled.

"Trust me, no you don't."

"Whatever you say… Anyway, is this where Jet is staying?" Voltara asked motioning to the house. Spyro nodded and turned his head to where Cynder had been, only to see she had left to talk to two of the other adults. After a short conversation, the three of them headed to Spyro.

"Spyro, meet Chasm and Aeris." Cynder said, motioning to each when she said their name.

"It is nice to meet you." The purple dragon said.

"You too." Aeris said giving a gentle smile. Chasm was looking over to the house Jet and Casille were in while mumbling to himself.

"Casille told us that our heroes were her friends now but I thought she was messing with us. Would you happen to know where she is?" the wind dragoness asked.

Spyro nodded. "She's in there with two more of our friends. You two are from the same village as Celestia, aren't you?"

"Celestia is with her then?" she asked, getting another nod from the purple dragon. "Thank you for the help." Aeris said before walking off toward the house in question.

"What should we do now?" Cynder asked. "We have a few hours before we leave."

"I would say we could spar with the others but they need all their energy for the trip."

"Sounds fun. The shore isn't far from here and that's where we leave from, how about we go there?"

"Well that depends." Spyro said.


"Can you keep up?" the purple dragon said before shooting himself into the air with a surprised Cynder not far behind.

"You cheated!" said the black dragoness.

"Your point being?" Spyro called back. "Anything goes here!" As soon as he said those words, the black dragoness bolted past him thanks to a controlled tailwind. After a few minutes, Cynder seemed to have used up her power and the wind died down. She had a huge lead and the shoreline was visible now. Spyro smiled to himself as an idea formed in his head. He closed his eyes and tried focusing on one of his favorite abilities. He snapped his eyes open again and the world around him was slowed to a crawl with a blue tinted light over everything.

"What's wrong Spyro? Am I too fast for you now?" Cynder teased. When she looked back to find him, he was gone.

"Spyro?" she called. "Where are you?" The black dragoness nearly fell out of the sky when a purple blur shot under her fast enough to create a sonic boom. She immediately recognized it as Spyro and followed his path to the shore.

"What kept you?" Spyro smirked as Cynder came closer to land.

"Just a purple blur that nearly made me crash. Thanks for that by the way."

The purple dragon gave a nervous chuckle. "Sorry about that. I just couldn't help myself."

"Sure…" Cynder said sarcastically. "Just remember that this little sparring match gives me plenty of chances to get some payback!"

Spyro practically froze. He knew what Cynder was like in the rare cases she was angry and it wasn't pretty. He would pick fighting Malefor over an incredibly angered Cynder. The older purple dragon made that mistake and suffered for it thanks to a blast of black convexity that dwarfed the younger purple's own. Spyro knew Cynder was much more adept than him when it came to magic, and trying to even get a good physical hit in took forever with as agile as the black dragoness was.

The match started with Cynder breathing an enormous whirlwind at the distracted purple dragon. The wind threw Spyro several feet in the air before it dissipated. He managed to catch himself with his wings but almost as soon as he did, a volley of fear waves paralyzed him long enough for him to fall back to the ground. If they hadn't been sparring on a sandy beach, he would have most likely broken a limb or two. He quickly regained his senses and shot a fireball at the black dragoness. She easily dodged it and watched as the heat from the fireball's explosion turned the area she was just on into glass. Smoke from the blast had been blown toward her and left her virtually blind. Seeing an opportunity, she phased into her shadow and made her way over to Spyro who was also surrounded by smoke from his own attack. Now hiding in the purple dragon's shadow, she waited for the smokescreen to vanish. She didn't have to wait long for Spyro to get irritated at the lack of vision and blow the smoke away with a small blizzard.

Spyro looked in every direction for his opponent who seemed to have vanished. He eventually noticed his shadow seemed much darker than before and knew that was where she was hiding. He used a technique Jet had showed him during his shadow training by sending shadow energy to his forepaws and quickly slamming them on the ground, he also mixed it with earth energy for a nasty attack. Cynder was forcefully ejected from Spyro's shadow and a tall earth pillar quickly shot out of the sand, hitting the black dragoness in the stomach and sending her even higher. He then sprayed a blue stream of liquid onto one of Cynder's wings during the fall which encased her right wing in a thick sheet of ice. With her wing frozen, she couldn't slow her fall. In fact, the extra weight from the ice made her fall even faster. She was almost to the ground when she had an idea. She spit a small glob of poison on the ice around her wing. Her poison also worked as a powerful acid, quickly dissolving the ice and letting her slow her fall rather clumsily due to the now freed wing being completely numb.

When she landed, she used her wind to kick up a very strong sandstorm around the two, preventing any escape from an attack she had recently learned, but had never attempted it on a living target before. Cynder rose into the air with red energy surrounding her form. The sheer amount of built up energy already had Spyro worried to the point of trying to stop her. He gathered his remaining energy as quickly as he could; making a green ball of light in front of his open jaws, all while Cynder had continued to build up more power. Spyro had fired a huge earth missile at the black dragoness who just looked at him with a smirk on her face. She opened her mouth and an ear-shattering scream accompanied a huge, moving wall of blood red energy. When it made contact with Spyro's earth missile, the spearhead-shaped boulder was instantly disintegrated. The purple dragon closed his eyes and braced himself for the worst. The fast moving wall of fear magic vanished only inches away from the purple dragon's face. Instead of hearing a blood-curdling scream, he heard a hoarse whisper. Sadly his confidence disappeared when he opened his eyes. Standing only a few feet in front of Spyro was Cynder, 'The Terror of the Skies'.

The full grown dragoness casually walked over toward her target with a malicious look on her face. Even before Spyro had saved her, Cynder's emerald eyes always held a look of kindness and compassion. That no longer existed here. These sharp eyes only held a look filled with sadistic bloodlust. The dark dragoness got to Spyro and did the unthinkable, 'The Terror of the Skies' was bowing to him!

"Master, what should I do next?" she asked. The sandstorm had subsided and the destruction their sparring caused was evident. The glassed sand, ice covering areas, green rocks thrown about, and a puddle of steaming green liquid.

"Why are you calling me 'master'?" Spyro tried to say, but the words that came out of his mouth were completely different.

"I want you to go to Kaylis and annihilate the entire city, starting with the royal family."

"What!" Spyro thought. "No, Cynder don't do it!" his mental struggle was useless. Cynder looked back up with a gaze that gave off a sense of admiration before beating her huge wings and flying out over the ocean.

Spyro still couldn't control his body as it walked over the destroyed battlefield. He could only watch in horror as his body came to a stop over a patch of ice. His scales had reverted to a shadowy purple color, his once amethyst eyes now letting off an ethereal white glow, and both of his horns curved back and tinted a dark gold color.

"Welcome to Hell!" he roared, releasing the strongest burst of convexity he had ever seen. A deadly mix of purple, black, and white energy shot into the air before exploding, raining the highly destructive element over several miles at once. Millions of convexity shots fell in the forest near him, each individual shot making an explosion big enough to engulf a golem, maybe two. In just a minute of this chaos, he could see miles of flat stone on one side and a sea of red water on the other. The temporary dragon village was now barren rock with torched and fossilized bodies strewn everywhere, several of which he recognized.

"Sir, what about our orders?" a deep voice asked. Spyro turned to see several adult dragons land. In his mind, Spyro's eyes widened.

The first to land, and the one who called to him was a familiar crimson dragon, though now they were a darkened red. His eyes were an incredibly dark green, but the rest was still vaguely similar.

"Flame, I want you to follow Cynder. Remain unseen until their army crushes her before you jump in." Flame's eyes widened a little at this. "You are to take Cynder's place as general. Take Ember and the others with you. I want that city destroyed as soon as possible. Eclipse, Luna, Jet, and the guardians are all there so wipe them out first."

"I'm sorry sir, but isn't Cynder our strongest warrior? Why do you need her to die?" Flame asked.

"That's the point. She is far too strong but emotionally, she's ready to break down at any moment. Meeting her family could put my control over her in jeopardy and we can't have someone as powerful as her allied with our enemies. Now don't question me again! You are far more expendable than Cynder so I can do the same to you.?

"Yes sir." The dark red dragon replied before looking over to the dragoness nearby. Her shining pink scales were now much darker and razor sharp, as were her claws. Her crystal blue eyes were now a menacing red. The ruby heart necklace she always wore was cracked and now midnight blue in color.

"What did you do to them?" Spyro roared in his mind.

'What do you mean? I did nothing. You are the cause of all of this. What you did was nothing they didn't want you to do. They were corrupted because they wished to be, so you made it happen.' The dark dragon's mind echoed, clearly audible to Spyro. 'Jet managed to lure many of your friends away though. He made an alliance with Eclipse and started his own rebellion, quite a feat isn't it?'

"Impossible! I would never do anything like that! And what about Casille? What happened to her?"

'She tried, and failed, to run away with Jet. When you caught her, you tried to corrupt her by force like Malefor did to Cynder. It's too bad she didn't survive the change, she became so beautiful and had even more magical potential than Cynder…' the dark dragon gave an evil, echoing, psychotic laugh that rattled Spyro to his core. 'If you thought Cynder was tough, wait until you see the rest of your army!'

"No! How could this have happened? I'm even worse than him…"

'Spyro…' a voice called. Spyro gave no response.

'Spyro…' again, no response.

"Spyro!" Spyro's vision shifted as the last time his name was said, it was by Cynder who was back to normal. "Spyro, are you alright? I'm so sorry, I shouldn't have used that."

"W-what happened?" the purple dragon asked. He looked around to see everything was still the same as it had been. The ocean was still blue and the forest hadn't been leveled.

"It was a fear attack I read about in a book but I didn't mean for it to go so wrong…" Cynder explained. "It makes you live through your worst nightmares…"

"Well… it worked… nice job. By the way, does that have a name?" Spyro asked.

"The book called it 'Nightmare Blast'. So long as you don't hear it, you won't be affected. I'm so sorry for putting you through that…"

"I'm okay, really." He lied.

"Your eyes were watering and you're still shaking, you're far from okay… What did you see?"

"Nothing serious." He lied so Cynder wouldn't worry too much.

"In all of the years I've known you, you have never cried once. If it was enough to make you tear up then it's serious."

"Well it doesn't matter, it would never happen anyway so don't worry. I just need a minute to relax a little." Spyro said before lying down flat on his stomach and putting his forepaws crossed under his head. Unwilling to let Spyro try to handle everything by himself, Cynder jumped on his back with her front paws on his shoulders.

"I'll tell you what my nightmare is." She tried to coax him into sharing what had happened.

"Sounds fair, but you're going first." Spyro smirked. Cynder was caught completely off guard. She had expected him to still say no. "So what are you scared of?" The black dragoness quickly mumbled her fear under her breath.

"What was that?" Spyro asked without even turning his head to look. Again she mumbled her answer, slower this time so it was almost understandable. "Speak up Cyn."

"Lightning, okay!" Cynder practically yelled. "I'm scared of lightning…" Spyro had to put his snout between his paws to suppress a laugh. Maybe it seemed scary to her, but it felt like nothing to him. Being able to use electricity, he never had a reason to be scared of lightning.

"Why are you so scared of lightning? You used to live in concurrent skies! The never ending thunderstorm there should have broken you in ages ago!" Spyro laughed until he noticed Cynder wasn't laughing.

"…I'm scared because I was hit by it several times. Flying through concurrent skies all the time during a thunderstorm didn't help. I was hit by lightning almost three times every time I took off! It hurt even worse when a battle didn't turn out the way Malefor wanted and he hit me with his own lightning as a punishment." Spyro was about to apologize for laughing but was surprised to hear Cynder laughing instead. "I've put my past behind me but that's the one thing I could never outgrow. It's something that maybe a hatchling should be scared of really."

The pair began talking about ways to fix Cynder's fear of lightning. One idea was to fight multiple electric dragons at once. Another was to go head to head with Volteer himself. Both of these were thought up by Cynder who let out a low growl on Spyro's idea of flying into a storm cloud while covered in metal armor, not a whole lot of thought on Spyro's part.

It didn't take long for the others to show up. Several adults were up front including Voltara, Chasm, Aeris, Torch, and Granite. Spyro and Cynder didn't know many of the others. They didn't think Warfang could have spared so many talented fighters to be used for a simple escort.

The two could practically feel the ground shake when they landed; some younger ones ended up crashing like Spyro did on his first flight instead of the graceful landings Cynder and many of the adults had always been able to do.

"I guess that means we're ready to go." Spyro said. Having completely forgotten about asking Spyro about his fear, Cynder nodded.

"Hey guys," Jet called as he stepped out of the crowd with Casille not far behind. "when you see Ignitus, can you ask him to bring me and Casille too? She decided to look at her family tree after all." He said, motioning to the white dragoness beside him.

"I'll ask, but I can't promise anything." Spyro answered.

'Ignitus, me and Cynder are ready. Can you bring Jet and Casille too?' he thought.

'Of course. Just one moment.' The Chronicler answered. A few seconds later, the four of them collapsed where they stood and their minds were taken to the time dragon's dreamscape.

The four dragons had been split into two groups. Spyro and Cynder on a glass platform that the former recognized as the place he had fought the elemental dragon that had Cynder's evil form. Jet and Casille were back in the Chronicler's library. Ignitus was standing in an open doorway with a view of both groups. He was only a few feet from Jet and Casille, but the other side of the door didn't have anything to walk on. The floor, walls, and ceiling just vanished into the space that made the 'trial room' as he called it. He began to give the heroes their instructions while he made Casille's book levitate off of its shelf and land in front of the white dragoness behind him. At the same time, he was mentally sending directions to the adult dragons back in the real world to direct them to Kaylis.

"Spyro, you have to fight Cynder without holding back. Neither of you are in your real bodies right now so don't worry about harming one another." The two heroes reluctantly nodded and had taken their stances before Ignitus interrupted. "I wasn't done. All of your elements are restricted as are most physical blows. You must fight only with convexity, it doesn't matter if you use the energy itself or use it for physical attacks, just make sure the power of every attack is drawn from it."

After hesitating for what felt like years, their fight started. The force from their fight was enough to rattle the entire building the rest of them were in. Even so, Casille opened her silvery white book to the last few pages. Starting from the top, her and Jet could see it was practically split down the middle. The right side was covered with wind dragons while the left side was nothing but ice dragons, the most recent one, her father, had even left Ignitus shocked.

Sorry I've been gone for so long but that's what life does to you sometimes. Enough excuses though, Casille's creator has made another OC she wanted to be put in who will be revealed in the next chapter and I'm looking forward to this one. I know there's a lot of OCs but only a few are major, this is still focused on (almost) everyone's favorite dragon couple, Spyro and Cynder. Apparently people say this story is really good but I'm having trouble remembering what to do with punctuation when the sentence is in quotes. Oh well, the internet is here for a reason I guess. I think I've done enough babbling for this chapter though so let me stop before it gets worse.