Chapter 5 : Another Duel

Shalom flew through the darkened sky towards the blue eyed wolves. Their bat wings cut through the air fast and noisily. Shalom's giant white wings took slow, paced beats; their length tripling the tinier black ones.

The wolves growled and waited for him to come to them. Every instinct they had was telling them to flee; but they had orders to carry out.

Shalom took his time to get to them. They weren't hard to fight when there were only a few of them; they were no stronger than average wolves.

As he neared, they started to inch backwards with the wind. Shalom smiled; he had sensed their fear awhile ago. Now that Saffron was safe, he had none left in himself either.

Wolves howled below them in the woods. They were hiding in the trees and were untraceable by sound, since the singing echoed throughout the sky.

The air pressed against his ears and his forehead warmed.

"They're warning you. They know when death is walking." Nakari's voice pressed around him and it made his thoughts seem to squeeze together. He closed his eyes and wished her gone. The wrapping left him and she seemed to disappear with the wind.

His dark eyes flashed open and locked on the bat wolves. His blood rushed and he opened his mouth, letting out a startling roar. The animals started smelling more and more dragon, and less and less human. They whimpered and retreated at a quick pace back to their brothers in the town; they didn't have a chance.

The white dragon completed his alteration, and stretched far and wide in the night sky. His pure white skin glowed in the night, just as bright as the moon and stars above him.

Shalom sniffed the air. He was catching another scent; it smelled like smoky, dirty skin and it was followed by fire. It was another dragon.

Another voice wrapped around his mind; a low, whispering and very familiar voice. Shalom opened his jaws and roared in the sky. His dark brown eyes searched the trees and sky for his idle foe.

"Shalom…" He could hear the humor in Iagan's thoughts. Shalom growled and smoke leaked from his jaws and nostrils. He pressed his thoughts through the wind and towards any mind looking for it.

"Iagan, I don't want to deal with you right now. Queen Tachet trying to get rid of Pale Bay again." Shalom stressed as he looked at Pale Bay again. The distant cries of it's people echoed towards him.

"Pheh… so?"

An inferno of flames circled straight through him from beneath the trees. The ripping beat of two giant wings sliced through the air and out from hiding. Shalom clenched his jaws and flew quickly out of the tornado and back into the still air. He had no open wounds, so he was left unharmed by the flames.

He circled as the dark sparkling red dragon charged towards him. Iagan whipped around just as fast as Shalom moved, charging towards him again.

Shalom wasn't attempting to fight back. He dodged all of Iagan's small efforts to bring out his feisty dragon temper. Iagan growled low in his stomach as he continued to pester him.

Circling again and dodging Iagan's bulk, Shalom blew smoke out his small nostrils. His brown eyes started to flash and spark their natural dragon blue. He had to save the town, but Iagan was starting to succeed in starting a fight.

"I wish someone would help me… man, how did this happen? I can't…" Shalom listened as he picked up on the person's fear. The thought was sad and very frightened. The soft and warm feelings he felt inside told him it was female, since he compared it to how Nakari's thoughts felt.

Iagan's nostrils flared and he dropped altitude, gliding just above the trees. He searched through the air and let his light brown eyes scan the forest.

"Who is it?" Iagan's voice echoed through Shalom's head. It was apparent that Iagan had no care who heard his message.

Shalom dropped down lower too. Iagan didn't try to attack him and seemed to have forgotten about the fight. "I don't know." Shalom squinted and scanned the dark trees with Iagan.

Nakari's voice ripped through Shalom's head and he jerked when he sensed her. "You better find her before he does, Shalom!" It was like hearing her scream through the mountains. Shalom winced and blocked her from his mind, leaving her with one last message.

"I know more about him than you do! Why don't you just stay focused on Pale Bay and let me handle it, okay?"

He sent his irritation with it and didn't allow anything else to enter his mind from her. Instead, he refocused back on the frightened girl.

He sensed Iagan opening his mind out more, and he did the same. They could find the girl faster if they tried to read her mind and gather what information they could from it.

Iagan stooped lower and lower. Shalom's nostrils flared as he smelled the scaly skin stench start to whither away. Iagan was slowly transforming back into a human.

He landed his giant body on an open hill where only a few trees grew. He puffed clouds of smoke at Shalom, who flew above him watching with curiosity.

Shalom flew high into the air and leaned to the side, turning around to keep an eye on Iagan. When he flew back to the open hill, Iagan was gone.

Shalom slowly landed his body onto the hill. He scanned the air and tried to locate Iagan's mind. He didn't find it; but he wasn't surprised. Iagan didn't want Shalom to see him as a human, so he wasn't going to let him into his head.

"I need to find help… I'm so scared…" Shalom listened to the frightened girl. He knew her presence was very close. Her shaking mind was making his own thoughts stir.

He calmed down and shrank back into his black hair and tan skin. He walked into the trees, in case Iagan might be wandering close by. He wasn't going to let Iagan see him unless he could see Iagan.

He focused on the girl, and listened more closely to her thinking. He felt her getting dizzy as she felt him intruding her space.

She blocked him and her whispering thoughts disappeared completely.

Shalom blinked and opened his dark eyes. Most humans didn't know how to use telepathy; usually it was easy to read their minds because they didn't know what was going on.

"I want to help you…" Shalom left his thought open to anyone, in hopes the girl would listen for it. Does she know what's going on?, Shalom thought alone to himself.

He heard a quiet scream bounce off the trees. He jerked, and let his ears continue to listen for it. He heard it again and followed the direction where it was coming from.

As he neared closer he heard a calm male voice and a crying girl. He came upon a garden of bushes and peered through them, seeing a dark headed girl laying on the ground in a pool of blood.

Only now did he start to smell the horrible stench of it. His eyes water at the strength of the scent and wondered why he didn't smell it before.

"Please stop… I don't want your help!" The girl clutched her bleeding leg as the taller man approached her.

A dark brown headed man with light brown eyes walked next to her and reached down. His clothing was all dark brown and he had a bony outline. Shalom narrowed his eyes and felt the man's closed mind.

The woman was pretty. She could only have been a little younger than Nakari, but she was shorter. Her hair was long and black.

Her eyes were unusual. They were a dark color, but Shalom noticed that they had a purple tint to them. Shalom's mouth hung open. She had purple eyes.

The man in brown grabbed her arm and she yelped in fear. Shalom stood and emerged from the bushes, confronting the man.

When he came out and stood parallel to the two of them, the man in brown stared into his eyes. He recognized the glare.

Shalom blinked and his mouth still hung open a little. "You're… Iagan?" The man's light brown eyes made him very intimidating. Shalom stood still and tall; his own figure a very intimidating one.

"Shalom…" He dropped the girl on the ground and she grunted in discomfort. He looked Shalom up and down, and he grunted while narrowing his thin eyebrows.

"Iagan… what are you doing?" Shalom looked at the purple eyed woman, who shivered and shook in the dirt. Iagan stood still and looked down at her.

"She's hurt. Hurt pretty badly. I want to help her." Iagan focused on the scared girl. She laid quietly in the dirt. Shalom swallowed the lump in his throat.

"She's not… she isn't her, Iagan…" Shalom stared at her purple eyes. The girl stared frightened and breathed heavily. Shalom's stomach was felt heavy.

Iagan sent an evil glare at Shalom. "That's not it." He arched his back and locked eyes with Shalom.

Shalom blinked but stood still. "Yes it is, Iagan. She has purple eyes." The girl stopped whimpering. Flames flashed in Iagan's eyes.

"Shut up! You don't know anything." Fire boiled in Iagan's stomach, and Shalom could feel his tension. Nakari's voice itched in Shalom's head.

"Pale Bay is under control. But it looks like Iagan's going to be an issue, Shalom." Shalom breathed heavily as Nakari continued to pester him.

"Like I said, Nakari. Leave it to me!" Shalom watched Iagan as his eyes flashed yellow.