Wind blew Lindyss’ hair to the side as Grimmy landed next to her. Lindyss sat next to Vur in an open meadow surrounded by trees made of crystal. “How is he?” Grimmy asked as he lowered a basket of blue crystals next to Vur’s body. Vur had grown considerable taller and his hair reached down passed his waist.
“I sent back the last portion of aura nearly a year ago,” Lindyss said as she took crystals out of the basket and rearranged them around Vur. “He should be waking up soon.” She reached for another crystal.
A skeletal hand popped out of the basket, followed by a skull. The skeleton stood up and grinned as crystals rolled off its body. It saluted Lindyss before handing her a scroll. Lindyss sighed as she unrolled the scroll and read through its contents. Her eyebrows furrowed and the scroll burst into flames as she tossed it over her shoulder.
Grimmy studied Lindyss’ expression and asked, “Anything wrong?”
Lindyss shook her head. “People are disappearing a lot more frequently. The humans and demons are formally requesting our presence to guard their villages and cities. A whole village disappeared overnight,” Lindyss said and sighed. “That crazy fairy, I wish she would just show herself. She kidnapped nearly five thousand people over the past ten years.”
Grimmy nodded. “What do you think she’s doing?”
Lindyss shrugged. “I know she absorbs all the mana in an area and then moves on. My skeletons found multiple areas with traces of fairies having been there, but everything is dead or dying,” Lindyss said and frowned. “I hope Vur would wake up sooner so I can go out there myself.”
Grimmy arched his back and stuck out his front claws. He yawned and lowered himself onto the floor. “You’re finally healed?” he asked.
Lindyss smiled and nodded. “It only took what? Eight centuries?” Lindyss asked as she splayed her fingers in front of her.
The ground rumbled as Grimmy chuckled. “Give or take a hundred years,” he said. “Was it worth it? Do you ever regret it?”
“I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve regretted listening to you,” she said as she stuck out her tongue at him. She lowered her head. “But I think it was worth it.” She raised her head and stared Grimmy in the eyes. “Don’t think I’m letting you stick another soul inside me ever again, though. Seven times was enough.”
Grimmy’s teeth shone in the sun as he smiled. “You sure? I’ve acquired a lot more in the two hundred years you spent at the fountain.”
“But look,” Grimmy said as he stuck out his front claw. A white fireball sprung into existence and hovered in the air. A golden halo revolved inside of the fire. “It belonged to one of those blessed heroes of light that the humans are so proud of.”
Lindyss sucked in her breath. “Where did you get that?”
Grimmy laughed and the flame disappeared. “Get what?” he asked with twinkling eyes. “I’m not sure what you’re talking about.”
Lindyss snorted and turned back to watch Vur. A few moments passed as Grimmy hummed behind her. “Maybe just one more,” Lindyss mumbled.
Grimmy’s smile widened as he cupped his claw next to his face. “What was that?” Grimmy asked. “I couldn’t hear you over a fickle person talking.”
Lindyss pouted and whirled herself around to face Grimmy. She opened her mouth to speak, but a white flame smacked her in the face and entered her body before she could react. “You!” Lindyss said as she coughed and spluttered. “Couldn’t you have at least waited until after Vur woke up?” She clutched her chest and gritted her teeth as sweat broke out all over her body.
Grimmy chuckled. “Don’t worry,” he said. “I can control dreams too. See?” He lifted his claw and poked Vur in the forehead. Black lines appeared on Vur’s head and wriggled underneath Grimmy’s claw. He lifted his claw into the air and the lines spread throughout Vur. Vur’s body spasmed and floated above the ground. “Hmm…” Grimmy muttered as he scratched his chin. “Was that soul too strong?”
Lindyss exhaled through clenched teeth. “Sera’s going to kill both you and me if anything happens to Vur,” she said as Vur’s body trembled and twitched.
Smoke puffed out of Grimmy’s nostrils. “You worry too much,” he said. “You think I would intentionally harm him? Don’t forget that I helped raised him.”
Lindyss shuddered and closed her eyes. “That’s why I’m worried.”
Vur stood with his arms across his chest staring at the dragon sitting across from him. The dragon aura sat on its haunches with its head lowered. You did well, it said with its eyes downcast. I suppose I wouldn’t mind letting you take control.
Vur nodded. “I’ve seen everything you can do, learned all your movements,” he said. Just like Auntie taught me, he thought.
The dragon aura nodded and shrank its body down to half of Vur’s size. It shook its head and sighed as it trudged in front of Vur with its head lowered. As Vur reached down to lift its body up, a black bolt of lightning appeared from the clear sky and struck the dragon aura. It shrieked and shuddered as Vur leapt back and armed himself with Lust.
The dragon aura growled and solid black scales grew around its body. A pair of red pupils appeared in its once pitch black eyes and multiple rows of white teeth appeared inside of its mouth. Its body expanded and a second pair of wings sprouted out of its lower back, while the tip of its tail curled upwards and flattened itself into a blade.
It stopped trembling once its body grew to the same size as Vur. Vur gazed into the dragon’s red pupils and his eyes widened. The dragon disappeared and Vur whirled around while slashing with Lust at the same time. The bladed tail struck against Lust and Vur’s body was sent flying into a tree. He clenched his teeth and let out a hiss as he stood back up and circulated mana through his body. The dragon disappeared and reappeared in front of him, its claw slashing towards Vur’s body. Vur stomped on the ground and earthen spikes shot upwards, impaling the claw. Vur swung his arm outward and a line of black fire appeared in front of Vur before shooting towards the dragon.
The dragon’s tail flickered and smashed against the line of fire, dispersing it. It grinned and lunged at Vur with its free claw. Vur inhaled deeply and exhaled a grey cloud of dust as the claw was about to reach his face. The dragon’s grin vanished and it disappeared, before reappearing a few meters away. The grey cloud fell to the ground, and the grass petrified. Vur’s mind raced as he sifted through the multitude of blue magic skills he had. He stared at the dragon and smiled.
The dragon aura crept in a circle around Vur, its body tense. Vur let out a roar and a giant roulette wheel appeared above his head with an image of himself and the dragon aura on it. The dragon shivered and pounced towards Vur as the wheel started to spin. Vur crossed his arms in front of his body and a sheen of light encased him. The dragon let loose a barrage of attacks and multiple cuts appeared on Vur’s body, but he remained unmoving and smiled as the wheel started to slow. The wheel stopped, landing on the image of the dragon aura.
The dragon let out a howl as an image of a grim reaper appeared above its head. The dragon disappeared and reappeared repeatedly, getting further and further away with each teleport. The grim reaper watched the dragon aura and raised its bony arm. A suction force yanked the dragon towards it. The dragon whimpered as it struggled in the air, flapping its wings, trying to get away. The reaper waved its scythe and disappeared. The dragon fell to the ground. Its scales fell away and the pupils disappeared. Its body shrank as the wings on its lower back disappeared and it returned to how it looked before.
Vur walked up to it and grabbed it by its neck. He closed his eyes and he felt a burning sensation run through his arm, into his body as the dragon started to fade. A few moments passed in silence as the dragon’s body became more and more transparent.
Vur opened his eyes.
“I told you not to worry,” a familiar voice said.
Lindyss snorted. “Welcome back.”