Chapter Fifteen: Truths Among the Darkness

She awoke to movement, opening her eyes and looking around. "Propheci?" she called, getting up and folding up the blanket. "Where are you?"

"I'm over here." Came the reply.

Lyuna walked over, Propheci staring at the wall as she packed the blanket. "What is it?" she asked.

"There are carvings on this wall," he said. "I'm not...wait-can you channel your draconium through this?"

She touched the wall, her power coming at her command and making the carvings light up, words appearing. "It's Dragon, isn't it?"

"Yes..." the orange dragon replied, "'Woe to all who enter here, save the Crystal One-only she and her rider are worthy of leading us; the Forgotten Ones-the Hydrags.'"

There was a growl as he finished speaking and they turned, a grey and blue hydrag coming into view. Propheci moved forward, shielding his friend.

Propheci... the hydrag growled, staring at them. Why are you here?

There was a flash, the girl going over to her bag and lifting out the map before coming over. We seek the Samurox. She said in Dragon.

And who are you to seek such a thing young one?

She is Lyuna Moonlily, also known as Xenyth. The orange dragon said.

The hydrag stared. You are the rider of Cerabus? He asked.

She is my partner. Lyuna snarled, eyes blazing. We are equals. It is the same with Propheci here-he is my friend. What is your name?

I am Gryphon. Was the reply. Follow me-I will take you where you wish to go.

The orange dragon magged his friend and they followed Gryphon, going down a long corridor and seeing many hydrags watching from corners who began to trail them after a moment. The girl touched the map she had magged onto the saddle, her eyes lighting up as she saw things in a different way. It's up ahead. She said in Dragon. I can hear it-he is waiting for me.

The group entered a huge chamber, the bonemark hovering above a rock pedestal. Lyuna lifted her hand from the map and pulled up a diagram of Dragon City, looking up through the hole in the roof and trying to approximate where they were in regards to where the Samurox had fallen after it had been forcibly demagged from Cyrano, inputting a bit of data for wind speed and other possible factors, nodding once. "If the conditions were just right, it really could have reached here..." she murmured, closing what she was doing and slipping out of the saddle, moving toward the floating bonemark. It flashed, a ghostly blue dragon materializing in front of her and she realized it was the Samurox himself.

I see you've returned. He said. I thought you had died.

'You thought I had died'? She repeated in Dragon. I'm confused.

You...are not her, are you? The resemblance is long has it been?

You are speaking of the Crystal Booster-it's been 3000 years since that time.

It was my fault she died. The spirit replied, looking into her eyes. I absorbed part of her dragon's bonemark and she was weakened.

Listen, the girl said. Armeggaddon has returned-his dragon's bonemark has found a new body. The Crystox is needed again and I require your help.

The spirit broke eye contact, spotting the wrapping on her arm. Might I see that? He asked, watching her slip her arm out of her jacket sleeve and undo the cloth, eyes narrowing at the wound. The Vysox hurt you. He growled, his glow brightening slightly.

Yes, was the reply. It refuses to heal-even after several weeks and is causing me pain.

That is no ordinary wound, came the explanation, the spirit coming over to her. There really is nothing from this time that can properly treat it, but the Ancient Ways can-I can...if you will let me.

Lyuna thought for a moment, Propheci touching her shoulder briefly and nodding. We must learn trust for this to work. He intoned, watching her reach out and lift up the bonemark, watching Blue Draconium snake from it and up her arm before concentrating. The wounds mended themselves at the Samurox's direction, leaving bluish-colored scars in their place, the dragon spirit looking at her and nodding, knowing she was taking the first step on the path of trust before disappearing back into the bonemark. The hydrags stared as she turned, bowing their heads to her. I thank you. She said in Dragon. All of you. My foster mother, Raven Moonlily spoke highly of you. She took out a padded case and gently set the bonemark into it, locking it and slipping it into her back. Farewell for now-we will meet again.

She climbed into the saddle and rode off, staring at the marks on her arm.

"Are you all right?" Propheci asked through his translator. "You seem preoccupied-not that I blame you in this case."

"Huh?" The girl asked, shaking her head as he grinned. "I apologize Propheci-it's just...not even the Dragon Priests could begin to heal this, yet the Samurox did it so easily."

"It's called a 'bonemark wound', and hasn't been seen since the Dragon-Human War. The Vysox used the power of her bonemark in the attack on your arm-you really need to stop goading your enemies like that."

She smirked, demagging the map from the saddle and slipping it into her bag. "So, only the power of another bonemark can heal one of these wounds...should have sought out the Samurox sooner then."

"Not in this case," came the reply, Propheci's voice taking on his 'teacher's tone' as he spoke. "You were not strong enough-the wound did a number on you. The Priests managed to stabilize it enough for this-there are stories of the healing of these going wrong. Keep in mind the Ancient Ways hold many secrets, some harmful and some helpful. One would have to live for a long time to know them all."

As they reached the stables, Lyuna had another vision-this time of Word Paynn and his dragon Abandonn fighting a strange armored man. The girl climbed out of the saddle, handing her bag to Connor. "Thank you Propheci," she said. "Not only for taking me but for the lesson."

"You are welcome." The orange dragon replied, leaving the stables, then she climbed on Cerabus. "I'll be back Connor-need to check something out."

The pair ran off, speeding through the streets and sliding down the tunnel to the wastelands, sprinting across the plains before stopping on a hill, watching Word fight eight black dragons. Lyuna shot down the slope, a dirt cloud appearing as she skidded to a stop, firing mag-blasts at the dragons. She stood tall as the cloud cleared, mag-clawing the dragons away, then turned to the man with narrowed eyes, seeing him gaping at her in shock and smirked slightly. "You all right Word?" she asked, not taking her eyes off their foe. "Just who is this guy anyways?"

"That would be Armeggaddon." Came the reply as she turned slightly, seeing the incoming energy that the warrior had fired and mag-jumped into its path, hearing the white-haired man screaming something as she hung in mid-air for a moment, her eyes wide as she saw visions from Raven's death in her mind before coming back to herself enough to reverse the attack, landing on the ground as a snarl tore itself from her throat, her power arcing over her body. "Word, I owe you an apology," the girl said calmly even though her face was a mask of anger and rage. "You were in the wrong place at the wrong time-it was someone on his orders that had her killed."

"What?!" he gasped, turning to Armeggaddon. "You had Raven Moonlily killed?!"

Word and his dragon began to glow, sending out a powerful mag-blast at the armored figure, who moved aside, only to get nailed by the girl.

"Word!" she called. "We need to hit him together!"

The white-haired man nodded as he and Abandonn fired at Armeggaddon, she and Cerabus doing the same. They seemed to be pushing him back when everything seemed to slow down, one of the black dragons firing at him and she rushed into the path it was taken, getting blasted out of the saddle and sent tumbling across the landscape for several feet and crashing into a rock, falling still. Word jumped down, landing badly before limping as fast as he could to her side, lifting her up and heading off with the two dragons following. Armeggaddon watched them flee. "So," he said aloud. "The daughter of Raven Moonlily yet lives and she is a capable warrior. I had not foreseen her coming here-but how did she know?" He paced a bit. "Raven...even in death you continue to vex me-you trained her in the Ancient Ways, didn't you?" A cruel smile appeared below the mask that covered his upper face. "We shall see just what your little girl is possible of-but her training is insufficient compared to mine!"

(A.N.: Another chapter done and another cliffie! While not in the original journal [I just had Word shooting a venomous glare at the warrior], I figured we should hear Armeggy's thoughts about what had just happened [plus I can just hear his voice actor saying that and getting shivers]. We'll get into how Lyuna saw what she did in the next chapter, but as to the Bonemark wound-that's something of my own invention. We've seen in the show how the Bonemarks are intelligent in their own way, so I don't think it too much of a stretch that the Bonemark could lend some of its energy to the dragon who holds it to make a wound that doesn't heal easily. Anyways, if I don't get another chapter up before the holidays [bloody unlikely seeing as the next one is about 11 pages in the journal I'm typing from], Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah, Happy Kwanza, Blessed Yule and Happy New Year to everyone who's been following along!)