(~o.0.o~)

Sophie led Alice and me into an enormous room, decorated in fine silk and cushy velvet pillows. Alice scoffed, motioning that she had better. But I sat in total amazement. My cavern had barely any décor, since no one but Earth Riders would see it.

With a wave of her hand, the Air Rider formed a table in the center of the room, and moved pillows into seats for the Shadow Rider and I. We all sat, and Sophie's dreamy faraway look was replaced with a stone seriousness. I had only seen that face when she quite upset with a teacher for denying her the wisdom she'd been blessed with.

It was a day of agitation. We didn't know that we were going to get taken by the Dragon Riders' League, all we knew that something was in the air. Our fifth grade teacher was introducing a new student, Sophia Van, a refugee from one of our enemies. "She's a bit different," Ms. Potts said slowly, "So be nice." Sophie walked in, with her signature dazed look on her face. She sat down next to Alice and I, so we talked for a little bit. Ms. Potts wrote a math problem on the board. "Can anyone answer this?" She pointed to the equation of the board. We were advanced little fifth graders, so this was an algebraic equation. Something along the lines of: 4x * 9 / 6x = 36. Yeah, we were that class. When no one raised their hand, Sophie did.

"X is equal to 6." She stared off into space, but that disproved our theory that she was blind. Ms. Potts shook her head, laughing. The happy look of Sophie's face dissolved into a very cold glare. "But it is." Of course, our teacher was proven wrong, but that look burned an image into my mind.

Alice sat up straight. "So what's going on, Sophie?" She asked, shadows draping her face like a veil.

"We need to end the pain going through us because of our people." Sophie's response was blunt and frigid.

I half rose out of my seat. "What are you suggesting, my friend?" I calmed myself, sitting back down.

Alice had her half-crazed look in her eye. "Yes, what are you proposing?"

Sophie's gaze became dark, punishing. "We need to get rid of those who won't let us live in peace." I stood up, and the stone in the floor rose with me. The marble wrapped around me, creating a protective covering for me to strike in.

"We cannot hurt people down there!" I bellowed, excepting Alice to rise up with me.

But she did not. She stayed seated. "Why shouldn't we rip Halia to shreds?" The Shadow Rider snarled.

I calmed myself, placing the marble back. "We can't prove them right." I answered walking to the door.

Sophia stood up, reaching for me. "Aura-Lee, where are you going?" She inquired with a thin sound of pleading. I didn't answer, I just walked past Thidin and out onto the eternal snow.

Thidin rushed out after me. What's wrong? He interrogated. I told him what was said while I climbed onto my dragon-steed. He took off quickly, sensing my anxiety. We plunged to the earth, directly into an opening for the Earth Dragon's Maze.

I sat in silence as we reached our caverns at the center, and just when I was no longer touching Thidin, he raced off down a tunnel to the right. I turned left and walked through there, looking for something interesting. Although no other creatures then Earth Dragons could see in the darkness of the Maze, I got his ability of sight. I stopped, hearing a crumbling noise. I looked up to see the dirt ceiling cracking. I backed up when I heard a little girl calling for help. I focused on creating a hole above me, and once the opening was ready I boosted myself up.

Sitting over the breaking earth was a little girl, maybe four years old, crying for her mother. I jumped out and lifted her into my arms. The ground gave way then, so she and I both fell into the Maze again. She landed on top of my stomach, but I landed on my back. The world was covered in strange black dots. "Lady?" The little girl shook my shoulder a bit before I responded. "Yes?" "Where did you come from?" I blinked, trying to make the dots vanish when I heard more voices.

"Kadie! Kadria, are you ok!" A man called out, followed by a woman yelling, "Oh my goodness, there's someone else down there!" I closed my eyes, when I heard something drop down onto the barren dirt. I lost my consciousness right about then.

(~o.0.o~)

I could sense something was wrong. I couldn't connect with Aura-Lee. I turned to check it out when Sivid came out to see me. "Good morrow Thidin," He was definitely one of the Elder Dragons, with snow white scales and clear eyes, "what aileth thee, son of the Earth?"

I turned to face the Father of Knowledge. "Oh Father kindest, I come seeking knowledge of myself past." I plead in the strange way he spoke. He led me into a different room.

"Methinks ye are feeling a might rushed, child." Sivid chuckled in a deep voice. He turned to look at me with his dead eyes. "Pray tell, what causes thee such anxiety?"

I shook my head, silently complaining about having to use such strange dialect. "Woes to my Rider, for it is she that causeth me worry and now that we hath lost a connection, I worry greatly for her safety, nay for her life." The old dragon nodded slowly. "Pray tell, do the dragons becometh discouraged and worry for their Riders as I do, Father?"

The Father of Knowledge didn't answer. "Is this the question in which thou hast left thy Rider to ask of an old man whose sight faileth him?" He asked very seriously. "Yes." I answered. "Nay," he answered, "it is of a strangeness that thou carest for thy Rider as thou dost." He walked me out of his den. "The day causeth me to be weary. Go findeth thy Rider, or thou couldst see Oanad, for thy training in magics." He turned and walked into the solitude of his well dug home, and I raced to Aura-Lee's den. At least I don't have to speak like that for a while. I tried to put a positive spin on the race to see her. When I arrived, I could see a cave-in a ways up the opposing way of where I was running. I ducked into her chamber, but she wasn't in there. I could hear human voices, and swiftly curled up into my cave, and I sealed it off with a granite wall.

So I've decided that both Aura-Lee and Thidin will talk during each chapter, First Al, then Thidin. Umm, so I need two names, for the little girl's parents. If anyone's got an idea, you can send it to me in a review or in a private message.