The Legend of Spyro: Devil's Shadow

Chapter One- Down in the Valley

Spyro woke in his and his Cynder's cave home. He looked around for Cynder, but the black dragoness was nowhere in sight.

He went outside the cave and looked down in the valley below him. Cynder was there, at the river, trying to catch a fish for her and Spyro's breakfast. So far, she had caught no fish.

"Hey, Cynder," greeted Spyro as he flew down to the riverside.

"Morning," she grumbled back, her emerald eyes watching the river as if they were a hawk.

"Have you caught any fish at all, Cynder?" Spyro asked his girlfriend, eyeing her beadily.

"I did catch one," she said.

"Let me guess, you ate it, Cynder?"

She turned around to look at him. "I'm sorry, Spyro. It's just, well, I'm not in a good mood, and I also didn't get much sleep last night."

"Why not?" Spyro asked.

"I kept having nightmares," she admitted.

"What were they about?" Spyro questioned.

"I'd rather not say, Spyro," Cynder told Spyro. "Let's just say, they were vivid and I was in them, and so were you, Spyro. I was injured and you were close to me, crying."

Spyro moved towards Cynder and put his head on her chest. "Cynder," he said, "nothing like that will ever happen, I'll make sure of it."

Cynder nodded and nuzzled into Spyro's chest with her snout. "I love you," Cynder whispered.

"I love you too," Spyro whispered back to her.

Then Cynder decided to jump into the air and taunted Spyro by saying: "Come and catch me if you can, Spyro!" She laughed. It was nice and felt warm to Spyro when he was near her.

"Not fair!" Spyro said. "You know that you're a much better flyer than me, Cynder!"

"Never thought I'd see the day when Spyro the Purple Dragon couldn't keep up with Cynder the Black Dragoness!" Cynder said to Spyro, still laughing.

"Guess that it would come one of these days," Spyro told her, now laughing. Then he flew into the air and caught her by surprise by dashing right past her.

"Hey!" Cynder exclaimed. She too tried to dash past her mate, but it was no use whatsoever. Spyro was a better flier than her.

They played around all morning, chasing each other in and out of the Valley of Avalar.

It was midafternoon when Spyro saw a startling sight: an old hermit was coming towards the two playful dragons. Spyro recognized him as the hermit who had used his words to get under Cynder's skin, saying that he still believed Cynder would go back to Malefor's side.

"What do you want?" asked Spyro.

The hermit said, "I knew I'd see you two again." He spotted Cynder. "Well, then, Cynder, it seems the so-called 'Terror of the Skies' was able to stay on the side of the heroes and not go back to Malefor. How amazing."

Spyro started to say something, but Cynder cut him off.

"He corrupted me again, you know," she told the hermit that she so much hated.

"Cynder, what are you doing?" interrupted Spyro.

Cynder said nothing, remembering when Malefor had once again corrupted her in his lair and ordered her to attack Spyro, whom she loved:

"Fight back!" she yelled when she noticed he wouldn't fight or look at her. "Why won't you fight back!"

He answered:

"Because you've left me nothing to fight for."

That had changed Cynder back to normal and caused Malefor to chain them back together with a green snake chain.

After that, they had fought him until they reached the world's core and the Ancients defeated Malefor by taking him into the deepest part of the world itself.

"I knew he would," acknowledged the hermit.

"How'd you know that?" Spyro could no longer contain himself.

"The prophecies foretold such," he explained.

"That's impossible," said Cynder. "No such prophecy could have something like that written."

"How would you know that?" asked Spyro.

"Because it's part of the old age. All prophecies of the old age were wiped off when Malefor was defeated and the world was repaired by you," Cynder explained to him.

The hermit, defeated, looked down at the ravine below the valley and spotted something.

"There's someone down there," he told the dragons. "I think they're looking for you." Then he skulked away.

Cynder turned to Spyro. "I can't believe he'd still go through so much trouble, and just to get under my skin!"

"It's okay, Cynder," comforted Spyro, nuzzling her.

"Excuse me," said a voice. "Are you Spyro and Cynder?" It belonged to a red cheetah.

"Yes, we are." It was Cynder who answered.

"I have a note for you," said the red cheetah, who was unmistakably a male's.

Spyro took the note and walked away to read it.

"Hope you too have a good day," wished the cheetah.

"You too," Cynder said back to him, forcing a smile.

The red cheetah left, and Cynder went over to Spyro, who was reading the letter.

"What does it say?" she asked.

"It says that Chief Prowlus is in the middle of a battle with some of the Dark Master's remaining followers. He wants us to come as fast as we can. It's amazing that any of Malefor's army is still alive, especially after us and when Malefor almost destroyed the world."

"Should we go?"

"I don't know," admitted Spyro. "There's something strange about this battle, I can't explain it."

Cynder flashed a true, warm smile at him. "I think that maybe we should go," she told her mate. "Just in case, you know?"

"Cynder, don't you realize that there is something strange in this letter? I really don't think we should go!"

Before Cynder could even answer, there was a splitting pain in her head and she fell to the ground.

Cynder was on the floor, bleeding. Spyro was trying to help her, but it was no use. She was too badly injured.

"Cynder, I'm going to get you out of here, just hold on!" he gasped. "I'm going to use my Earth Breath to get you out of here."

"Just leave me," she rasped.

"Not in a million years, Cynder!" he yelled at her "I'd rather die than watch you die here, helpless and weak, you know that, Cynder!"

Spyro breathed a blast of Earth that knocked her out of the castle. She could only watch in horror as the castle fell, her mate inside.

"Cynder!" said a worried voice. "Cynder, wake up!"

Cynder stirred. She felt the grass rustle on her scales.

"Spyro?" she grumbled. "Is that you, Spyro?"

"It is," said Spyro. "Come on, Cynder, you're worrying me!"

Cynder felt the blood rush back into her limbs and got up. She noticed that she was groggy.

"Cynder, what happened?" asked Spyro fiercely. "Did you have another dream? Blast it, Cynder, answer me!"

Cynder recoiled; she had never heard so much venom in Spyro's voice all at once.

"Spyro, are you okay?" Cynder squeaked fearfully.

"No, I won't be until you tell me, Cynder, what your dream was about!" Spyro told her.

Cynder sighed and began:

"Well, I was on the floor, injured, and also terribly bleeding. You were there, crying. You were telling me that you were going to get me out of the castle- that's what we were in- and let me live my life, also saying that you were done for. The final part had you blasting me out of the castle with an Earth blast, then the castle completely fell apart, you inside."

It was a moment of uncomftorable silence between the two of them. Then Spyro broke it:

"Cynder, you know that I would never allow that to happen," he comforted her. "I love you too much to let that happen to either you or me."

Cynder felt tears in her eyes. "Thank you, Spyro." She opened her wings and flew off to their cave.

Spyro did not follow her immediately. He instead took off in the opposite direction, towards the Cheetah village.

"Hunter!" he called once he had gotten to his destination.

A golden Cheetah looked up from making a fire. Spyro looked up at the sky; it was indeed soon to be night.

"Spyro," Hunter greeted, waving. "How are you and Cynder?"

"Well, for me, okay, I guess," said Spyro, "but for Cynder, not so much. And why didn't you go with Chief Prowlus?"

"I didn't go because he wanted me to stay to watch over the village. And what's happened with Cynder?" said Hunter.

"Well, we were down in the valley near our cave when she felt a bad pain in her head and fell to the ground. When she woke, she told me that the dream was about her dying, me right next to her, crying, a castle crumbling, and finally me blasting her out of the castle with my Earth Breath. Do you know anything about this?"

Hunter was silent for a moment, then answered:

"Cynder came to me a few days ago, telling me about a similar dream, though she said it was in her old fortress," explained Hunter, "and you were there, Spyro, but you were the one attacking her. The final part of the dream had you slashing her chest, and you were laughing. Then she died in the dream, with you still laughing."

Spyro felt a burning desire to be left alone, but stayed where he was. One question burned in his mind: Why didn't Cynder tell him of the first dream?

When he asked Hunter this question, he said, "She probably didn't want to worry you."

Spyro still felt mad at Cynder.

"Don't be mad at her, Spyro, she just didn't want to worry you," said Hunter. "Wasn't there a time when you had dreams like this?"

"Yes, there was, but-"

"And during that time, didn't Cynder comfort you at all?"

"Yes, she did, but-" he stopped. Spyro felt ashamed. One night, after one of his dreams, Cynder had been next to him and she had checked on him. Was he really this tackless?

"Hunter, I've got to go," he said suddenly, then, without waiting for Hunter to say something, he flew off to his and Cynder's cave. Night had already fallen over the valley.

When he came in the cave entrance, Cynder gave a gasp of relief. She had obviously been worried about where he had gone.

"Hey, Cynder," Spyro said quietly, his face burning.

"Hey, Spyro," said Cynder. "What's wrong, Spyro?"

"Look, Cynder, I was very tackless with confronting you about the dream," Spyro explained. "I went to go see Hunter and he reminded me of that time you comforted me after one of my dreams, beore you left the Temple and after I had defeated you when you were evil. What I'm trying to say is, I'm sorry, Cynder, and I hope you'll for- give me."

Cynder came up to him and looked him in the eye.

"Spyro, I already forgave you, only because you never meant to be like this," she told him.

"How do you know that, Cynder?" asked Spyro. "I'm sorry, but you don't know everything."

"I know because I see it in your eyes, Spyro. When you look in somebody's eyes, you can see everything. Of course, some people don't have such a gift, such as the Hermit and Malefor himself. If Malefor had this gift, then he could've seen that I had never wanted to serve him in the first place. If the Hermit had it, then he wouldn't be trying to get under my skin all the time."

Spyro knew that what Cynder was saying was true.

"Cynder, about this dream at your old abandoned fortress," Spyro went on. "What was it of, again?"

Cynder sighed. "Hunter told you of this, didn't he?" Spyro nodded. "It was in my old abandoned fortress, yes, and we were both there, except I was fighting you. You were shrouded by darkness, and you kept slashing me. According to the dream version of myself, it hurt so much. I could see blood. The final part had you slashing my chest more brutally than before, and I was dying, you were laughing. I died in the dream, and you were still laughing, like Malefor did when he corrupted me that second time and I was attacking you."

Cynder began to cry. Spyro dashed forward and hugged her. All through the night, Cynder cried, the memory of the dream forever burned in her memory.

When it finally subsided, Cynder looked up at Spyro, then fell asleep, her emerald eyes still watery.

Spyro walked over to the entrance of the cave, looking at the beautiful night, which was stamped with twinkling white stars.

"Ancestors, please watch over me and Cynder," he pleaded. He looked back at the beautiful dragoness curled up on the cave floor. "Keep us safe on the journey tomorrow. Most of all, keep Cynder happy no matter what happens, whether it have something to do with me or her."

He made his way back over to Cynder, curled up on the floor next to her, and whispered to her, "I love you."