Chapter 2: Winley's Lie
Scorchtail was a few yards away from Bluetongue looking for scales for a game that they called Color Hunt. Color Hunt was a fun game that Scorchtail had invented for Bluetongue to make it more fun to find scales for his collection. In Color Hunt, you would need to find scales, and you would get points for each that you find judging by its color; blue scales were worth five points, red scales were worth six, green scales were worth seven, yellow were worth eight, orange were worth nine, purple were worth ten, silver were worth eleven, and gold, the rarest scale to find, gave you and automatic win. However, if you found a black scale, you were disqualified and your opponent would win. So far, Scorchtail had sixteen points: two blue scales and one red scale, and Bluetongue had found one blue scale and one green scale, or 12 points.
Scorchtail knew where to find all of the scales that would give you a whopping score. He had once found three golden scales in one game. He approached a large, open area and grinned. Scales of different colors were all over the place and silver and purple scales were hiding under the shadows of a cliff where dying dragons would usually go to die. Scorchtail picked up two orange scales, three green scales, a red scale, and a blue scale. He approached the shadows of the cliff and gasped. Had he just found a black scale?
Scorchtail approached the cliff and looked into the shadows. No black scales. Had his eyes been playing tricks on him? He shook his head and picked up two silver scales and three purple scales. Who cares if he won? He would be giving all of the scales to Bluetongue at the end anyways.
Scorchtail turned around and went to go search for more scales in the clearing. If his eyes would have been keener, then he would have noticed a black-scaled tail disappear into the shadows and head towards Greyclaw's cave atop the tallest cliff in the valley.
Bluetongue wasn't very good at Color Hunt and had only won two times out of the several times they had played together. He had asked his brother how he had found so many scales in one game, but Scorchtail refused. He called it his 'little secret'. Bluetongue was busy looking through the trees and bushed near the entrance of the meadow.
Winley gagged as he realized how much slime and muck from Blackfang's 'magical memory' had stained his clothes. He would need to wash it off. Where was he anyways? Was this was a meadow?
The meadow was beautiful. A rushing, golden river was running through it. Several beautiful blossoms of different colors (He liked the dark blue ones the most) were blooming. The grass was green. Winley had never seen a meadow like this before. The meadows back home had always been horrible because of Blackfang's hobby to destroy innocent trees and his destruction of all things beautiful. This meadow was very beautiful to him.
Winley approached a small stream and wiped all the muck off of his clothing and turned to leave. He tripped and landed on the ground when he saw what was ahead of him. He saw what he was supposed to be searching for. He stood up off the ground that he had landed upon and looked at the magnificent dragons far away. There were two of them, one searching for something in a clearing, and another looking in the bushes, and they were both blue. Winley quietly hissed, "Yes!" His master would most certainly be pleased with him if he brought back two dragons with him.
Winley decided to go after the small one first. He had no experience with catching dragons, so he just thought it would be impossible to catch the bigger one on his first try. He crouched and snuck over to the dragon in the bushes. Foolishly, he didn't watch where he was going and snapped a twig in half.
The dragon turned his head towards him in alarm. Winley froze in terror. His cover was blown for sure. He held his breath and stared at the dragon.
"Hey!" it cried as it stood up and rushed towards him. Luckily, the larger dragon hadn't heard anything.
Winley wound around and rushed off down the path in panic. His cover was blown! If he didn't bring a dragon to Blackfang like he had been specifically commanded, then his master would surely eat him on the spot. Winley felt like screaming as the dragon's paws pounded after him. He gasped when he reached a dead end at a cliff.
Winley looked up. The cliff wasn't very big. Maybe he could climb up it and escape. Just when he was about to climb up it, the dragon reached him.
"Don't be frightened! I'm only here to help," said the dragon as it cornered him, "I haven't seen your kind around here. Are you lost?"
Winley was silent. He shivered, scared out of his wits. What should he say? Perhaps he shouldn't say anything.
"Can you at least tell me your name?" asked Bluetongue, "My name is Bluetongue."
"B-Bluetongue?" asked Winley. It wouldn't harm anybody if he said his name. "My name is Winley."
"Winley, huh? Cool name. What's your last name? Mine's Firetooth," asked Bluetongue questioningly.
Winley thought back for a moment. Maybe his family line had had a last name long ago? For every dwarf that served the Evil One, they were required by him to not have a last name and instead be given titles or, if Blackfang really liked you, a nickname. "I don't have one," he said.
"Oh, I'm sorry to hear that. Do you have a family?" asked Bluetongue.
Winley shook his head. He had a family long ago, but Blackfang had killed them.
"Oh. Sorry for asking. Is this where you live?" asked Bluetongue, "I haven't seen any elves down here before. Dragons say that they live in deserted forests, but I don't think this meadow is deserted."
Winley panicked. What should he say? He had to say something believable but what? If he told him why he was really here, then this dragon would surely turn him into the authorities and have him imprisoned or even worse. So he fibbed, "I was far from here wondering around a castle, where I had no idea where I was by the way, when a monstrous beast appeared in front of me. It nearly ate me when it decided to take me to its lair. However, it dropped me while above this meadow and left me for dead. And here I am now."
"Oh, that is so tragic. Did you see what the monster looked like?" asked Bluetongue, "I bet my brother Scorchtail can help. He knows a lot about mythical beasts all across the world. I bet he knows the one that attacked you."
"Uh…" thought Winley. He hadn't thought of that. He couldn't tell him that the beast was Blackfang. He looked down and replied, "No, it was dark out."
"Oh. Well, come with me. I'd like you to meet Scorchtail. He knows a whole lot about dwarves and where they live. Perhaps he can at least help you find where your kind lives," explained Bluetongue as he grabbed Winley's hand and walked with him.
Does he know that the only remaining elves in the world are under the clutches of Blackfang? And that they all want to escape his ruthless wrath? Thought Winley. He shuttered. Maybe it wasn't a very good idea to see this other dragon. Number one: it was big. And number two: He could get discovered and killed. He was thinking of saying something to Bluetongue, but they were already down the path towards Scorchtail.
Winley gasped at the sight of the so-called Scorchtail ahead. He backed away, "Oh my, Ragnar, he's big!"
"Oh, don't be afraid!" exclaimed Bluetongue sensing Winley's thoughts, "He only eats plants like me. So you know who Ragnar is?"
"Yes," Winley said, "The First Dragon, the Ruler of the Earth, the Seeker of Light, and the King of Dragons. I know all of his millions of titles, but I prefer to call him just plain Ragnar."
Bluetongue nodded, "Scorchtail tells me that it isn't very polite to use Ragnar's name in vain. He's strict whenever I say it. He makes me put mud in my mouth."
"Oh, I'm terribly sorry for saying that. That wasn't very polite to swear like that," said Winley ashamed. He looked over to Scorchtail to see if he was watching him. He wasn't.
"Oh, it's okay. I'm sure you didn't mean to say that," said Bluetongue, "Well, come on. Let's go see Scorchtail."
Winley nodded and walked off towards the large dragon ahead. As he began to get closer he said, "I don't know about this, Bluetongue."
"Oh, it's okay. He'll like you, I can tell," said Bluetongue as he nudged Winley on the shoulder.
Winley shook his head. He didn't believe that was the case. When they reached Scorchtail, he edged into a bush and hid.
"Hey, Scorchtail, look who I found," said Bluetongue, "It's someone you might like to meet."
Scorchtail looked around the place. He raised one eye, "Where is this person?"
Bluetongue, noticing that Winley wasn't aside him anymore, looked around. "Winley, come out, please!" he ordered.
Winley shook his head. Maybe he should go see this dragon, but maybe he shouldn't.
"Don't be afraid. It's just my brother," said Bluetongue.
"Yeah, I won't hurt you," said Scorchtail.
Winley sighed and decided that he should go out there. He slowly walked into the open in front of Scorchtail. He waved slightly.
"Winley, this is Scorchtail. Scorchtail, this is Winley," said Bluetongue.
Scorchtail glanced down at the puny Winley. His eyes widened in shock. He immediately pushed Bluetongue aside and put his paw in front of the frightened Winley in a defensive stance. "Stand back, Bluetongue! This is an elf!" ordered Scorchtail.
"Scorchtail, this is Winley!" cried Bluetongue.
"But he's is an elf!" growled Scorchtail angrily.
"What's wrong with that?" asked Bluetongue questioningly.
Winley gasped and began to pick himself up off the ground that he had fallen upon. He waited for Scorchtail to turn his eyes to Bluetongue. He slowly backed away. He looked for a place to hide and saw it. A large wood was nearby over the cliffs. Maybe he could make it there?
Scorchtail muted his voice. He didn't want to tell his brother the truth, so he instead said, "He can't be trusted!"
"And why not?" asked Bluetongue.
"Because… oh never mind that. You wouldn't understand even if I told you," replied Scorchtail. "Get away, dwarf."
Silence, not a sound was heard. "Elf, I'm telling you: Get away or else!" ordered Scorchtail. Still, nothing happened. "Elf!" he growled as he turned his head to look at the dwarf in front of him, but he gasped. Winley wasn't there; he had already made off for the woods...