The Dragon Lord Chronicles: Awakening

Chapter XXXIV

The Rainbow Road

For a moment, nothing happened. Greg stared violently at Exilion, as he seemed to smile menacingly.

"Well done, Dragon Lord…" he coughed "But you will not be rid of me so easily!"

He laughed a deep and hollow laugh that sent chills down Greg's spine. All of a sudden, Exilion screamed and his body turned into a black form of his original self. He exploded with such force that Greg was blown up into the air and slammed against one of the pillars. He fell limp to the ground, as Exilion's remains dissipated. Immediately the Malgors vanished and the barriers holding the boys in Ludicer's Warren fell.

Cameron, Craig, Aaron and Matt rushed towards the hill and the circle of pillars. As they reached the top, a ring of light surrounded each pillar. All eight lit up with different colors and they rushed into the sky. There was an explosion of light as the fog that was draped over the land lifted. They saw Madelyn, lying against one of the columns and they ran to her. She was slightly stunned, but she pointed over to Greg's body.

Aaron put his arm around her and helped her up. Cameron, Craig and Matt ran over to Greg and sat him up. Matt put his head against Greg's chest for a minute, breathless, with eyes full of fear. After a moment, he sighed and closed his eyes.

"He's breathing," he said, sounding relieved. For the next few minutes, they waited. Waiting for signs that Greg would awaken.

Greg cracked his eyes open and saw his friends standing over him. At first he had no idea what was going on, then he lurched forward as it all came back to him. He got up so fast that he nearly toppled over, but four sets of hands kept him standing. Exhaustion crept into every point in his body and he was sat back down with his back against one of the six circular pillars.

His vision remained slightly blurry, but within a few quiet moments, it all came back into a smooth focus. He first noted the people around him. Madelyne sat next to him in a protective embrace while Matthew sat next to him. Cameron sat at his feet and both Aaron and Craig were on either side, watching with concern.

"Well…" Greg began with a horse tone. "It's over."

Cameron smiled and nodded.

"You gave us a hell of a fright." Craig said.

Greg looked at them again and realized how crappy they looked.

He forced a smile. "You all look like hell."

In turn they smiled, but Greg felt Madelyne whimper beside him.

"Hey…" He said softly. "What's the matter?"

She looked at him with red eyes.

"I…I though I lost you…" she spoke weakly.

Greg hugged her close and whispered in her ear, "You don't have to be afraid anymore…I'm here to stay."

She sobbed gently for a few minutes and in that time, Greg looked around at the Hollow Kingdom. They sat on a hill in the middle of a massive green field. In the distance to the north, there was a glittering city that was carved out of the rock. A wall of rock that lead up to a strange looking sky surrounded the entire field. As Greg looked at it, he realized with subtle wonder that he was looking through the bottom of the lake. It was crystal clear and a full moon seemed to light the entire area.

He then turned back to Madelyne and helped her up. They edged towards the path off the hill when three strangers came into view. Craig, Matt, Cameron and Aaron grabbed their weapons and jumped in front of Greg and Madelyn, ready for a fight. Cameron ignited his hands and the light from them revealed Saion, Sarena and Dionis. The boys sighed in relief and Saion clapped them on the shoulders.

"You did it boys!" Saion said with a huge smile. "You broke the curse!"

"You have restored hope to all who live here." Sarena added. "They can live without fear. The sun will once again shine in this realm."

She passed the others and came to a beaten Greg and an exhausted looking Madelyn. Her smile vanished and was replaced with sadness and sympathy.

"We know that this has to be hard," Greg looked at his feet. "Everything has been taken from you…you're family…any normality in your lives…"

Madelyn looked at her and then to Greg.

"Not everything." She said softly.

Greg looked at her and smiled weakly.

"Come," Dionis said. "You must all use a good sleep and it looks like your wounds need to be attended to."

He and the others began to move, but Saion put up his hand and they stayed rooted to where they were standing.

"I know you have all been through so much tonight…but there is one last thing…"

Greg nodded.

"I know…three hundred and thirty days have passed."

It was Saion's turn to nod.

"Yes. It's almost midnight. If you wish to make everything the way it was, it's up to you. The time is now."

Greg began to walk away from his sister and he staggered slightly. Madelyn reached for him, but he raised his hand. She stopped and he stood tall. He took a deep breath and passed everyone to look upon the field and the sky above.

"This power…this gift…it has changed us." He turned to the others. "All of us."

They nodded in agreement.

"It has brought us so much and taken nearly everything I held close. James. Mom. Dad. All of them have been punished for something that they did not do. Judging just by what it has done, I would banish it from this world and never let anyone else bear what we have been through."

"Greg…" Matthew whispered.

For a moment, Greg said nothing. Saion raised his hand, but Greg snapped his head over in his direction.

"Wait!" He said quickly.

Saion froze.

"Apart from everything that has been lost, I look at what I have now; a family…a brotherhood…a fellowship that can never be broken. We've been through and done so much together. Not only that, it has given us a power that allows us to change things. There's a lot of evil in the world…and we have the power to vanquish it. So…" he stopped.

Cameron, Craig, Aaron and Matthew looked at him with hopeful smiles. Greg smiled along with them. He rolled up his sleeve and showed his Dragon mark. It now had every detail on it; horns, scales and eyes that seemed to stare at all of them.

"I say now, I would be honored to bare it until the end."

He thrust his arm into the air and the Dragon let out a roar that nearly deafened them all. A brightly light shone from his arm and struck the boys where their Dragon marks were. They were raised into the air and Greg was lifted too. The bright light swirled around him and there was a blinding explosion that lit everything within sight. The light faded and the boys touched on the ground.

"What the hell just happened?" Craig asked.

Saion laughed.

"You have all embraced unity to one cause and uniting under one banner. You are all truly the Dragon Lords of Legend. Your time to rise has finally come."

The boys smiled.

"So what now?" Cameron asked.

Saion looked up at the moon with a smile on his face. He looked over at Sarena and wrapped his arms around her. She smiled.

"It's time to do things that have long since been postponed."

Greg laughed.

"So it's a happily ever after?" Aaron suggested.

"To a certain extent." Madelyn said.

Greg went to her and put his arm around her.

"It's what we make of it." He said calmly.

Matt walked towards him and slapped him on the shoulder.

"Well put."

Saion nodded and he led the way off of the hill and towards the great golden city in the distance.

For the next few days, Greg, Aaron, Matthew, Craig, Cameron and Madelyn stayed with Saion and Sarena in the Palace in the Golden City. They originally teleported there so, as Saion put it, they could have some peace and quiet. The boys stayed in a massive room with several small beds. They were brought food from the members of Proprius and they usually stayed in their room. After spending their days healing and settling down, it was time for them to leave as the month of June rolled in.

"Greg…"

He turned on the balcony. Aaron and Madelyn came forward.

"Are you ready to go home?" Aaron asked.

Greg took one last glance at the palace gardens and then back to them.

"Yeah…it's been nice…but I think I'd like to go back home…" His eyes suddenly darkened. "Or what's left of it."

Matt came around Aaron and clapped him on the back.

"You still got us, remember?"

Greg nodded.

"Home it is."

He began to walk towards the door and the boys followed, but he stopped a few feet away from the door.

"Madelyn?" Greg asked. "Aren't you coming?"

She went to the edge of the balcony.

"I'm not going home." She said softly.

Greg's jaw dropped. He turned to the others, but only Cameron spoke.

"Saion asked her is she would be an Ambassador. To contact all others who have fled in fear of Exilion."

"Saion said it would only be for a short time period." Madelyn said, coming over to them. "Besides, you've done all of the self-discovery over the past year. It's my turn now."

"I swear," Greg began. "If anything happens to you-"

Madelyn put her hand to his mouth.

"You don't have to be afraid anymore…I'm here to stay."

Greg was left stunned.

"C'mon Greg," Aaron said.

"Yeah," Craig continued. "Saion's got everything ready."

Greg hugged Madelyn.

"You showed me what courage really is." She whispered in his ear.

"You've shown us all." Matthew added.

Greg let go of Madelyn.

"Maybe, but you've all shown me the dept of loyalty."

Craig snorted.

"C'mon, do we really need to go through with this sappy good bye. To sum of, we learned this, you learned that, you'll never forget each other and I'm about to vomit with this rubbish."

Cameron hit him in the back of the head and Greg laughed. He looked to Madelyn and said, "Until next time."

He nodded to the others and they left the room.

Greg teleported them out of the city and they ended up just over a mile from the ancient hilltop. They reached the circle of pillars to find Saion and the others were already present.

"We were beginning to wonder what happened." Sarena said.

"You know," Greg began. "The usual goodbyes."

Saion smiled.

"It will only be for a short time, besides, you all have your lives to get back to."

Craig laughed.

"Oh, right. We still have summer vacation."

Cameron chuckled. "Like that has much meaning anymore."

Saion and the others had restored strange tiles in the ground that had been lost to the ages. When they were ready, the boys stood on separate tiles and Saion closed his eyes. For a moment, nothing happened, but then, each tile began to glow. Greg's glowed dark purple, Aaron's was white, Matt's was blue, Cameron's was red and Craig's was silver. The light shot up through the bottom of the lake and sped towards the sun.

Greg felt himself being lifted off of his feet and the others took a deep breath as their feet left the ground. They remained suspended, but then immediately shot up, they waited for the impact of the water, but it never came. Greg cracked open his eyes and found himself submerged in lights. They seemed to be traveling through space, but light surrounded each of them. Greg looked to the others who were smiling through the multicolored waves.

They soared through the endless space until there was a white ring of light approaching them. There was a blinding light and they were blasted through the surface of the lake and flew in the air before landing on the sandy shore of Lake Erie. They got up and smiled; they were back. For a minute, they looked at each other. Then Greg ripped off his shirt and ran into the lake for a swim.

The others laughed as they followed him into the cool, clear water. Maybe it was their newfound knowledge of what was below, but now they could see clearly through the lake, right to the Hollow Kingdom. For hours they splashed and rolled through the waves, as if nothing had changed.

Soon enough, however, the sun began to set. They got out of the lake and dried off. They took turns searching the shore for pieces of driftwood or sticks until they had a decent pile. Making sure no one was around, Cameron clapped his hands and the sticks lit up in a nice, crackling fire.

Greg sat down next to the fire and the others followed suit. They sat in silence as the sky slowly changed from blue to orange, to red and finally to purple. As the last streaks of sunlight fell, Greg closed his eyes. He would remember this for the rest of his life. They were a family…and nothing was ever going to change that.