WELCOME TO A NEW STORY BY YOURS TRULY~ Hehe! This was an idea that randomly hit me while I was chatting with icywarm. The following chapter is a collaboration between the two of us~ *waves to icywarm* You can thank her for the summery too, (since I suck at that) and Seliphra for the title~! Thank you~!
Somewhere, off in the dense forest of the mountains, a raven settled down in the thick foliage of branches, settling down for the night. Far from mankind and blending easily in the cloud darkened night, it was content to lower its guard for a few hours.
The bird was a clever animal, easily snatching its prey from above and always teasing those higher in the food chain, hovering just above their reach. It looked down on everything and everyone, literally. Years of such a life had made him proud, perhaps a bit egotistical. But it also made him complacent.
So when there was a rustling in the leaves below his tree, but not quite as far below as was normal, he ignored it. Probably just the wind, it told itself, tucking its wings closer to its body to keep away the biting mountain air.
The smell of smoke was what finally caused some alarm in the animal. It couldn't be humans… The nearest ones lived miles from these mountains, fearing the fierce animals there, like wolves and bears. Of course, the raven didn't need to worry about them. He could outfly them any day, if they noticed him at all. The only possible threat to the raven would have to be a Drag-
There was the rustling again, but it certainly wasn't the wind, and then there was a thudding, and then growling-the raven shifted his feathers, uncomfortable. It opened it wings, preparing to fly off as soon as it seemed safe. If it was a Dragon, the bird decided it didn't want to stick around and find out.
There was a moment of silence, and the raven took off. But as soon as it did, there was the sound of branching cracking, thick boughs snapping easily, and-
The raven shrieked as its entire left side was slammed with a rolling wave of heat. As it flailed, trying to get away, the feathers of its wings caught flame. Cawing madly in pain and panic, it had no time for a clever trick or getaway before a loud snap of jaws sounded, resounding through the once silent landscape.
Ravens were clever creatures, but up against a Dragon, it was only a matter of time before they became snacks.
"Psst, hey, Izaya!"
"Go away Mairu, I'm trying to sleep here…."
"Izaya, it's me, Shinra!"
"Don't care, go away…"
"Izaya, its Dragons!"
Izaya sat up instantly, throwing off his thick pelt blankets and scurrying to the window where Shinra stood. "You better not be messing with me! Especially when I'm trying to get my beauty sleep!"
Shinra snorted, but the anxious look on his face ruined the gesture. "Yes I'm serious! The men are preparing for a raid right now!"
The raven haired teen, much too old to be called a boy but still too slight to be considered a man nodded seriously. After years of self conducted study, he could smell a lie like a cat could a rat. Besides, the young village healer's assistant had been friends with him long enough to know lying to Izaya never ended well.
"Give me a minute, I'll be right out!"
Izaya dashed to throw on some clothes for the occasion, throwing his furry jacket on and searching for his goat hide boots, all the while struggling not to wake his sisters.
As Izaya was fumbling with the strappings on his leather armor, the door to his room creaked open. "Iza-nii?"
Izaya sighed. So much for being quiet. "Go back to bed Mairu."
"What's happening?" She asked softly, stepping into the room and eyeing her brother's armor. Her nearly mute twin Kururi hovered at the door, her wide questioning eyes mirroring her sisters.
The raven haired teen sighed, kneeling down to Mairu's level and lightly gripping her shoulders. "This is adult business, you just need to go back to bed, okay?" Mairu cast her eyes to the floor and didn't answer.
Kururi, the usually silent one, took the opportunity to speak for her sister for once. "Dragons...?"
Izaya's eyes flashed before cooling, but the twins' sharp eyes caught it. And he knew they did.
"...Yes, Kururi, it's dragons. And that's why I need you two," he said, pushing them gently out the door and towards their shared room, "to go back to bed. You of all people know the dangers of dragons."
The twins did know, and so did Izaya. After all... there was a certain incident with dragons that occurred. This incident did nothing to Izaya's feelings of 'not love' for the dragons, but made his sister's hate them.
A little over a year ago, their parents were killed by none other than a dragon. For the dragons had attacked. Neither parent had wanted their kid injured, and had gone out to fight. The result? Both of them being burnt by a dragon's fiery breath. After the battle, they were naught more than burnt crisps of people, barely recognizable.
Dragons had left the three Orihara children orphans.
Izaya thought that sad day and sighed. But then, that was just the fate of some of his humans. It happened.
Mairu growled and twisted out of Izaya's grasp, thinking of the same thing he was. "No! I won't just go to bed! You remember what those things did to our parents! I can't just sleep like nothing's wrong!" She spun to face her brother, brown eyes glowing fiercely in the dark as they met much calmer, russet eyes.
The raven just sighed. "Mairu, I know you're upset, and I understand. It's not easy, losing your parents-"
"No!" Mairu howled, shaking her head and holding back tears. "You don't understand! You never acted like they were our parents! To you they might as well have not been! You didn't care about them, and you don't care about us either!"
Kururi flinched, her eyes sad. "Mairu..."
The girl growled again, the noise being choked in a sob. Her brother reached down and tugged her and Kururi into a hug. "No, that's not true. I loved them, and I love you. I love all of you..."
Mairu sighed and hiccupped, pushing away from the only family she had left. "Yeah. You love us. All of us humans. Just... just go."
Izaya grinned widely, kissing her forehead quickly and heading for the door. "Glad you finally understand~!" He called before running out to meet Shinra.
Mairu growled, scrubbing the tears from her eyes with her little fists. "Geez, Iza-nii is such an ass, right Kururi?"
The quieter twin wrapped an arm around her sister and laid her head against her shoulder. "Safe..."
Mairu sighed and hiccupped again. "Yeah, I hope he'll come home safe too..."
Shinra panted as he struggled to keep pace with his friend. "I-Izaya!" He whined. "Why are you running?! The dragons aren't going anywhere!"
Izaya leered at his friend without slowing in the slightest. "Do you HEAR yourself right now Shinra?" He quipped, rolling his eyes. "Why are you even coming anyway? You're the healer's assistant. You HAVE to be alive at the end of this to take care of the idiots who get hurt. Not only do you not want to go, you have the perfect excuse not to! I don't get it," Izaya said, muttering the last part. He hated not understanding.
Out of the corner of his eye, Izaya saw his friend blush. "Well..."
Izaya snorted. "There's a girl, isn't there?"
Shinra jumped, freezing in place and gaping at the raven's back as he blew past him. The raven haired teen paused, waiting for his friend to catch up, which he did in a moment.
"How do you do that?!"
"That!" Shinra yelled. "How you always know everything!"
"Oh." Izaya shrugged before he started running again, a bit slower this time to make it easier on the healer's assistant. "People are just so easy to read. It's not that difficult."
"Huh," Shinra muttered, chewing that over.
There was a pause where the only sound was the crunch of browned grass beneath their feet and Shinra's pants of exertion. After a bit of silence Izaya grinned cheekily. "So, what's her name~?"
Shinra choked on air and blushed hotly. "Shut up!"
Izaya chuckled. "I'll find out soon enough. Now..." His eyes narrowed slightly. It was time for the dragons. Without waiting for Shinra, he started to walk. Not even a minute passed before he saw the men of the village together in a group, dispersing weapons.
Not a second glance was given before Izaya had possession of have a dozen daggers and a short sword. Shinra however...
"Boy! What the hell are you doing here? You'll surely be killed! Go back to the healer. We'll need you after!"
Shinra began to protest when the older man held up his finger. "I'll hear nothing of it. No one else is as good as you are. Except for the healer. It might be too much for him if you're gone, so return!" The elder man was strict, and Shinra bowed his head in apology before scurrying off.
"How many are there?" Izaya needed the information.
"Two. Maybe three, and if we're unlucky, four."
Izaya cursed. Great. Just great. That was the last thing he needed. Four dragons. "They could kill us all! Let's just hope that there's only two."
As they stood, some men arming themselves while most gathered around while the Village Leader, Kadota, planned out a battle strategy. Izaya stood off to the side on his own, sharp eyes scanning the skies. He always did his own thing in battle and pulled more than his own weight so why bother listening?
Mikado, a young village scout sauntered over to Izaya, carrying a bow and arrows. They regarded each other silently before Mikado pulled an arrow from his quiver and strung his bow and Izaya returned his gaze to the clouds.
"Can you really see while it's so dark out?" Mikado muttered, eyes shifting about warily as if the dragons might spring around the nearest corner. Izaya chuckled quietly. Mikado was usually such a bashful, jumpy boy, so it was amusing to see him so serious.
"I see fine at night~" Izaya purred without glancing over. Mikado snorted and lifted his bow. "Well when you see one, tell me where to aim."
"Were you the one who found out about the dragons coming here tonight?" Izaya asked. It was likely. Mikado was quickly becoming as skilled as himself, picking up information like a hawk spotted a cowering rodent.
Izaya scanned the skies until, finally, he pointed. "There. Brown one. It's heading to the flocks." He pointed at the sheep. "You can tell the direction because of how they're reacting. At this distance, I only see the beast, not where it's going."
Nodding, Mikado took aim. "Don't shoot until he's closer, Mikado. We don't want to waste arrows in a time like this." Mikado nodded as he kept the arrow pointed at the dragon. Brown. It blent into the night time sky, but also stood out.
The other fighting men were doing the same. Those with bows drew it taunt, ready to fire as soon as the creature was close enough to hit without worry of fire.
However, unknown to the villagers, and even Izaya, there /was/ a second dragon. It was further back in the village. For, this older and wiser dragon had flown ahead and around, to keep watch. It was law that they didn't attack unless attacked. So the midnight blue dragon was watching and waiting. When the other was attacked, he'd fire, literally.
As soon as the brown dragon was close, arrows went flying. The brown dragon roared as he twisted and turned in the air, doing his best to avoid most, if not all, of the arrows. At the same moment, the blue one roared and let out a breath of fiery air, lighting one of the empty storage houses on fire. Unless they had to, they did not want to injure the others, only grab food.
That, however, proved impossible, as men with swords ran towards the blue one, while others ran towards the brown. Izaya was one who went after the blue. It was harder to see, therefore, more of a threat.
Roaring again, the blue one landed and swished its tail, sending many men back and breaking the bones of a few of the men.
Izaya, rather than the other men who shied from that deadly tail, ducked beneath it as it swung again. Crouching low to the ground, he raced over to the body of the dragon while it was distracted by the men attempting to get a slash at its face. Snarling, the blue dragon loosed a stream of fire to scare them back a bit so he had room to take flight again.
As the dragon was unfurling its wings to take off, Izaya positioned his sword at a point on its back right haunch where the leathery skin peeked through, the scales ripped away by a healing injury, and rammed it home.
Screaming in startled agony, the older blue dragon was too shocked to react as Izaya ripped his sword free and dashed back to the safety of the other men. As soon as the dragon regained his senses he screamed again, this time in fury, swinging its huge head around to fix its dark eyes on Izaya.
Drunk on the adrenaline of battle, Izaya couldn't really be held responsible for his own actions at the moment. So when he grinned impishly and waved his sword, still dripping with blood... Well, it wasn't one of his cleverest ideas.
Snarling, the dragon swung its tail again, and when the other men jumped away and Izaya merely ducked again, he pounced.
The brown dragon let out a roar at the treatment of the other. Just stop fighting! Then they'd leave. Ignoring those who were attempting to shoot arrows at him, the brown dragon let out a breath of firey air, it burning up the wooden arrows and bows, leaving those near without a way to fight from a distance.
One of his elders was in trouble. The blue dragon needed help. Food was one thing, but to lose another of an already dying species was another. Many dragons were killed when all they tried to do was sustain themselves. All by humans. They ignore accidents, but when it was on purpose...
Roaring in pure, unfiltered rage, the brown dragon let loose another jet of the fire breath, nearly scorching Izaya's back.
/Shit. They're both here. It'd be unwise to get trapped between them. I'll be killed./ There was no way that Izaya would leave his sisters alone in the world. Body filled with adrenaline or not, he knew what to do and what not to do. So, he quickly dashed to the left, making his way to more open fields. Crops had been harvested, so there was no need to worry about losing their food, unless the store houses were torched as well.
Both dragons were in the air now. The blue one fast approaching, while the brown one surveyed the area. There was a child out. A kid! Not even a half-adult, as the youngest that were fighting were. But why?!
Izaya jumped as he heard a shrill shriek pierce the air. "KURURI!" Izaya blinked hard as he ran, his body moving on autopilot. Kururi? No, he told them to go to bed, they were still at home.
Yeah, and when have those two EVER listened to you? a snide little voice whispered in his head.
"Kururi, come back! Where are you going?!" That shrill voice, which he now recognized as Mairu, yelled louder.
Without a single thought, Izaya veered towards his sister's voice, racing as fast as he could in a half-crouch, praying to whatever gods that might exist that he would not be seen, that he could get his sisters and they would all be okay.
The blue dragon growled, much too close to Izaya for comfort. He tuned out that thunderous grumbling as he lunged for a convenient small grouping of trees. As long as the dragons didn't torch them, he'd be safe... for the moment.
Peering out to village, he managed to get a glimpse of Kururi struggling to lift a sword. Where the hell did she get that?!
Though he couldn't see him, he heard the great blue dragon take a huge intake of breath just in time for Izaya to sprint from his temporary hideout just as it was engulfed in a roaring bonfire. That could have been me, Izaya thought with a shiver.
Shaking his head, he turned back to Kururi just in time to see her be snatched up by the brown dragon.
He did not want the child to get hurt. Sure, she had been struggling to pick up a sword, but what this girl-child had seen was them torching the buildings and fighting the villagers. He had to protect her! Else she would have been torched or killed.
Now, the brown dragon had her in one claw, for it was large enough to hold her securely and safely. After a quick glance around, he saw that it was obvious they would not be getting food tonight. It was fine. They still had reserves at their den.
The brown dragon flew up high. High enough that nothing could be thrown or shot and still hit him before turning his head to the blue dragon. A roar told him that they had failed. It was time to return.
Girl still clutched in his hand, he started to fly away, his wings flapping fast as he carried the girl to safety. For he could not land to let her go. He would be killed. Perhaps, later, he'd escort her back. At daylight time.
The blue dragon blue a puff of smoke, angered that they were unable to get any extra meat before flapping his own wings and returning home. He had noted the girl in the brown one's claws, and noted that they didn't eat humans unless they were already dead and forgotten. The brown replied with he knew. And that he had saved her from being killed, but it wasn't like he could land to return her without being killed himself.
Izaya stood, frozen as his sister was tucked beneath one claw that was nearly as large as she was. A cold feeling gripped him as the dragon turned and gained altitude. Dumbstruck, it took him several moments for him to finally hear the screams in his head: You idiot, move! Get her!
Izaya lurched forward, nearly falling on his face as he ran forward, his legs moving faster than they'd ever had before. He reached the spot his sister had been mere seconds later, but the dragon was above him. What was he supposed to do?! He couldn't just LET his sister be taken away, but what was he going to do?!
Then, too late, he remembered all the daggers he had equipped himself with. He grabbed one and threw it as hard as he could, but it fell way too short.
The cold feeling crept up his throat and settled there, hindering his breathing. Hiccupping, Izaya fell on his butt, putting his face in his hands.
He hadn't felt this helpless since his parents died.
I love this idea~
Izaya: I. Do not. Cry.
Me: Oh hush. Can anyone guess who the dragons are~? :D How many reviews should we get before we continue~?
Icywarm: Hmm. I'd say five. I think it fits.
Me: Five it is! Now review~!