Onyx Dreams Ch. 26bykitazkitten©
Kaie was pleased with her rider. He had done her bidding and a blow had been dealt to Hayden and his human allies. Without the main leaders, the humans would fragment making it easier for her to take control. And it was all possible thanks to her rider. She chuckled then, letting him feel the rumble of it dance through her body.
His hand slid across her scales, patting them with malicious satisfaction. ~You did well my pet, the dragon rider lines are smashed and they are disorganized.~
He leaned back a little letting the rush of the winds roars by his face, his shoulder length hair streaming in the slipstream. ~Perhaps I shall force Katherine to watch as I take a new plaything to my chambers tonight? That should reinforce the feeling of expendability in her.~
Kaie snorted. ~I do not like her. She is hiding something be careful of her my rider~
~I will Kaie, do not worry. I want you to keep an eye on Julien too. If he starts acting strange do not hesitate in eating him.~ He looked down to the right below Kaie, where Katherine and her dragon were gliding. ~There must be something deeper going on, it cannot be a coincidence that she looks almost exactly the same as that deceiving whore Kennice.~
Good her rider was thinking. He would need to do that. She could only control so much and had to rely on his abilities for the rest. But when it was over...well he was a fragile creature. ~Always be vigilant. Any of this group would love to take your place as leader.~
A laugh rumbled up from his belly, shaking his very core, sounding out loud and long. ~Take my place? You know as well as I that they would be hard pressed to do so and would need to catch me off guard which is difficult in itself, especially when I have you watching my back constantly.~ His hand reached down and softly stroked her scales, subconsciously tickling them like he would with Brenna.
~Don't~ the word was growled in warning. She did not like him touching her like that.
He frowned down at Kaie, feeling slightly insulted. ~Remember Kaie that without me your plans are worthless, so I will do with you as I please. Just as I do with all my subjects.~ Suddenly she folded her wings and plummeted them toward the ground without warning. His grip tightened on her back, bracing against the rushing air. Fear was gripping him now as the plummet seemed uncontrolled. ~Is this how it is going to be when your master scolds you? You suicide dive towards the ground? You wanted a King I am giving you one. Now obey me Kaie. Level out immediately!~
Only silence echoed in their mental link as the treetops became visible.
His legs shifted slightly as the ground hurtled towards them, ready to launch off her back if need be. ~I can jump off at the last second Kaie, you will die form the impact and I will live happily ever after. Is that what you want? If its an apology you are looking for I hardly think a dragon born of darkness knows the meaning of the word.~
She jerked then, an impossible feat but done with a malevolent grace that caused her spine to stiffen as she bucked him off her body. As his grip was wrenched from her scales, he felt himself freefalling, terror now gripping him as he knew there was no way of slowing his own descent. He would have to do something no king should ever have to do to anyone below him. ~All right fine, I apologize. But if you ever do anything like this again I swear I will just let myself drop and your plans will be gone in a heartbeat.~
She snagged him with her claws, rolled so that he was cradled against her chest and beating her wings heading for the sky. She flew to a hilltop and landed, setting him down gently.
He sank to one knee for a moment, shaken to his very core from the freefall. Once he was sure his hands stopped trembling he rose, his anger rising. ~You realize Kaie that Brenna did exactly the same thing when I did something she didn't like, do you want to be known as just her replica as Katherine is?~
The response was immediate. With a hard sweep of her wing she knocked him on his butt, lowered her muzzle toward his face and let a small hint of flame come out as her cold gaze regarded him. ~I am no one's replica~
In a split second the air was alive with the harsh buzzing of sonic vibrations as his bass sword materialized in front of him. He knew she would not kill him for then all her centuries of work and planning would be wasted and everything would be over. ~Perhaps not...but if you ever do that again you will follow Katherine's path of disfavor with myself, and neither of us wants that now do we?~
The battle of wills was tense but then with a snort, she extinguished her flame and backed up a step. She swung her leg out so that he could climb up.
He stood up for a moment, shrugging the dust from his clothes, his sword evaporating in a crack of deep sound. He stared at Kaie for a moment, considering her in his mind before slowly climbing aboard once again. He patted her scales and nudged her with his knees. ~Good girl, now, let us return and celebrate with our army.~
A rippling of muscles and a down sweep of her wings launched them into the air to continue on their journey home. His thoughts became dark as they rose once again, closing his mind off to Kaie for the time being he considered what her actions towards him would be once her plan had been completed? He would have to find an insurance policy of some kind to counteract any ideas she might get before the end.
Soon the outline of the mountain they temporarily called home came into view. Kaie bugled their return and they were greeted by the cries of the others who had already begun feasting. ~Idiots. They celebrate too soon. We have only just begun.~ Contempt colored her tone as she banked sharply and began her descent.
Shaking his head a little at her apparent lack of tolerance towards anyone, Cyrus gave her a nudge with his knees for her to listen. ~This is their first victory in a long time Kaie, the first attack decimated the Dragon Rider forces, leaving them crippled and licking their wounds. Let them feast for now; it shall be good for their morale. A proud army is a strong army.~
~Perhaps~ She didn't think so but then again she had been alive longer than he. And she had decided to give him the illusion of control. That would keep him by her side at least for now. She landed and lowered herself to the ground so that he could get off. The sounds of celebration slowly died down as the riders became aware of Cyrus's presence.
Slowly walking towards the head table, he cleared his throat and let his voice be amplified by his powers. "My brothers and Sisters! Tonight we have shown the Dragon Riders of the Light that we are no longer a force to be underestimated and ignored. Tonight we have shown them that we are the Riders who will survive into the future. And tonight, we celebrate this great victory with a feast to honor our brave brothers and sisters of the dark! Eat well and drink till you consume no more my soldiers for after this night, there will be no more kindness, no more sparing of their lives, no more mercy!" The roar of agreement thundered the air and ground as riders and dragons alike voiced their pleasure at his words. Too long had they suffered. A new era was beginning and he would be their salvation.
"No my brothers! Let this feast get into full swing! Enjoy yourselves! Satisfy your dark needs and for those who have proved themselves worthy on the field of battle...I have a special award for you. A night in the bed of our own local whore." His hand swept across the hall and pointed directly at Katherine, a malicious grin forming on his face. "I'm sure she will be more than happy to comply with whatever requests you have."
Julien hissed and moved closer to his rider but froze when she touched his muzzle. Instead she bowed to Cyrus. "Whatever my lord wishes."
"Excellent, now who shall be your replacement in my bed chambers for tonight hmmm?"
His eyes watched with glee as the few other female riders in the room perked up at his words, but avoided glancing at Katherine. "I do believe I'm in the mood for someone that doesn't look like the enemy tonight." He stared at Katherine, poking her pride once again by comparing her to Kennice, his finger pointing out a girl with ginger locks and pale skin. "You my dear, let us retire together while the men feast and indulge themselves."
Squealing in delight she rushed over, throwing a pitying glance at Katherine before sidling up to Cyrus's side, batting her eyelashes at him. He slid his arm around her waist for a moment, his strong hand gripping her buttocks, testing the flesh that stood before him. His train of thought however was quickly derailed as a commotion appeared in the crowd before him, jeers and taunts, but not directed towards him. The source of the noise became apparent, his lips curling into a malicious sneering when he saw who was approaching the main table. Trussed up in shackles and bloodied from the battle was a Dragon Rider of the Light. This was a pleasant surprise.
"My King. We have brought one of the traitors to you." Roughly the young man was shoved forward and forced to his knees before Cyrus.
Slowly he approached the trembling young rider before him, his hand extending towards him, gently gripping his chin and pulling his face up so he could look in his captive's eyes. "What is your name young one? Tell me so I know what to write on the message I shall send to your masters."
"Talus." Fear clung to him but yet he managed to say his name with a hint of defiance.
Cyrus grinned when he heard the false bravado. The boy reminded him much of himself during his early years at the monastery. "Tell me Talus...which would you rather do? Play a game of twenty questions with me, or be left here for the pleasures of my female riders who are so very eager to toy with your young flesh?"
Talus glared at the females and then looked at Cyrus. "How about neither."
Chuckling, he softly patted the young rider's cheek, looking in to his eyes for a moment before speaking with a voice filled with a future of painful events for the victim. "Then young Talus, I guess I will simply have to treat you to both. Assuming you are still able once I am done with you." Standing and beginning to walk towards a secluded chamber with sufficient restraints, Cyrus called over his shoulder to those holding the prisoner. "Bring him, we shall see just how much he can tell us before I give him to our Vixens to finish off."
The lewd jeering and laughs filled Talus's ears as he was dragged unceremoniously to the other room and deposited in the middle of the floor. Bowing to Cyrus, the two guards went outside to wait. He walked over to the table lined with knives, clamps, tongs and other nefarious items of pain infliction. His fingers lightly slid over each item as he walked, talking softly, in a tender tone to Talus. "You have two choices here Talus, you can either tell me the information that I need to know...or..." He picked up a nasty looking carving blade. "I can extract it piece by piece."
Talus's paled. He valued his life but the oath he had taken to protect right and good was strong and binding. He tried to reach his dragon's mind but only emptiness greeted him.
Leaning down, the knife was lightly pressed underneath his chin as the question was repeated, "Well Talus? Which will it be? Easy, luxurious information or exquisite, agonizing torture till you beg me to let you say what I need to hear. Don't bother with your dragon, he is providing my troops with much needed sustenance this night. They say he tastes a lot like chicken."
An agonized wail of disbelief followed by a sob of pain echoed throughout the small room. Softly the strong hand of his captor patted his face in faux sympathy. "Now, now boy. No need for that, we have barely even started our fun little session. So we'll start with an easy question I'm sure you will be able to understand. Where did the Riders of the Light go?"
"Home." Sobs wracked his body. His friend was dead, killed because of him.
"Ahh the angle of being vague, let me tell you this once Talus. Being vague will only earn you more of this." Slowly the blade was drawn across his chest, slicing open the young man's flesh.
A groan and then silence as Talus struggled to not react. "Home," he repeated.
"Where is home Talus? Tell me its name and how to get there." Once more the blade was drawn across his chest, a large X sliced into his skin now.
"I don't know how to get there. We were brought there. We cannot go by ourselves." The dripping of his blood hitting the stone floor filled the silence following his words.
"I don't think you are telling me the whole truth Talus. You had access to your dragon's mind. All dragons know how to get there from here. I need to know how to get there Talus." The knife slowly slid down his chest once more, not cutting this time, however it's destination predicted worse things to come, stopping just millimeters from what lay between his legs.
Talus gulped, frantically shaking his head. "I don't know! Reugher never told me! And my trainer didn't either. Reugher always got the destination from our trainer's dragon!"
"And where might I find him Talus? And you had better know otherwise I'll have to introduce you to some of my other little friends shall I?" He moved from his subject, back to the long table, picking up pliers.
"He found us! We were in the swamps south of here and he just showed up!"
Tutting softly Cyrus turned towards him, shaking his head slowly as he grasped his jaw, looking him in the eyes. "That my little friend is not what I asked. Now I have to hurt you some more Talus. I hope this teaches you that your bond to good is far from worth your life." He reached in with the pliers and with a grunt of effort, ripped one of his canines out. "Now Talus, tell me, where is he!"
Talus yowled and writhed, the pain throbbing painful in his mouth. He spat at Cyrus then, bloody spittle landed on his tormentor's boot.
Shaking his head once more, he looked at his captive and sighed. "My, my. Such fiery defiance from someone in such a position. It seems I shall have to show you just how bad a decision that was." His hand moved in a blur, roughly backhanding him before slamming his fist deep into his gut. He wrenched his victim's head back, tearing another tooth, an incisor this time from his head.
Talus was close to fainting yet he wanted death. With the demise of his dragon, his purpose in life was over.
Cyrus picked up the bucket of water by the door and threw it over his subject. "Now, now Talus, no fainting on me, after all you still need to tell me the information I need to know. If you tell me right now, I promise I'll go easy on your friends and family by simply killing them. If you don't...I'll subject them to the same treatment you are having right now..." He let the promise hang in the air, his words solid and definite. He would torture every one of the Riders and their families if it meant he would gain access to their realm.
Talus let out a roar and in a burst of energy threw himself at Cyrus sending them both crashing into the table with the torture instruments. Grabbing one he stabbed at Cyrus's eyes.
In a heartbeat Cyrus blurred, gripping the wrist with the long dagger in his iron grip, time seeming to slow down for him as he moved at the speed of sound. He rolled out of the way, watching as his subject descended a little and narrowed his eyes. Such defiance was rare in a person and he knew from himself that he would be hard to break. However, he would eventually. He just had to find his weak spot. As time sped up again, he lashed out with his leg, slamming into Talus over and over again, sending him rolling across the floor, crashing into the opposite wall. "You really should research your enemy before attempting to attack him my boy. You see because, as long as I still breath, I can outpace you, out smart you and over power you. Since you are being so difficult I suppose I shall have to let my dragon investigate your mind. I would ask that she be gentle and not cause you pain, however you have ruined my best boots and hence voided that small luxury. If you move again, I will break your arms and legs many times so you cannot."
~Kaie...you may have your fun with this one. Leave him alive and sane however. I would prefer him to be aware to experience all the horrors that are yet to come.~
~If that is what you wish~ She reached into Talus's mind but before she could gather anything, a backlash of psionic energy slammed into the young man's mind and toward her. Hastily she withdrew. ~Cyrus look out!~
Talus's eyes widened and with a triumphant smile he convulsed just once and died.
Cyrus closed his eyes slamming down his mental barriers, however he was forced to his knees by the shock of the power that surged through his bond with Kaie. ~Kaie, are you all right? What the hell was that?~
~That was our enemies keeping us from gathering the information we need!~ A roar of rage reverberated through the cavern momentarily stopping the party.
~I see. So, our enemies are truly afraid of us, enough that they would kill one of their own. This is a good omen, we have shaken them harder than first thought.~ He walked to the door, motioning to the guards as he passed them. "See that his head is sent back to his Masters. Get rid of the rest." He strode along the corridors, thinking to himself, ~Have the soldiers who dealt with his dragon brought to me. I want to know what they were able to find out before it became dinner.~
Ten minutes later six riders stood before him, nervously shuffling about. Awe and fear were in their gazes as they watched their king. He paced back and forth in front of them for a few minutes, the walls of his room passing back and forth as he did so. Finally he stopped and looked at them. "I am proud of you riders. You have done well. However, the prisoner I was interrogating was assassinated by his own masters before I was able to extract the information I require from him. I trust your interrogation went better?"
They exchanged looks and then the shortest one stepped forward. "I am Danyen, sire. And we did manage to find out a few things. The dragon was fairly young."
"Then tell me Riders, what did you find out from his beast? I have lost much patience from my own lack of success. I do not like my fun being prematurely spoiled." He slid down into his throne as he glanced at his men.
"The dragons of the light have a hatchery with eggs near to opening. A total of fifty new dragons will be entering the world including the next Keeper of Knowledge."
Raising an eyebrow, his interest peaked Cyrus peered closer at the rider before him. He could tell something wasn't right. "And what is the catch? You would have come to me immediately if it were as simple as go in and take them."
Danyen fidgeted. "Sire, the hatchery is in the center of the home mountain for the Dragons of Light, in the Dragon Realm. We cannot get to the Realm unless the Keeper of Knowledge or one of the royal dragons opens a portal."
Cyrus's stare was icy cold, hinting at danger, his breathing slow and steady. "I trust you were able to find the location of one of these dragons, yes? Or do I have to do it myself?"
Danyen gave Cyrus a panicked look. "Sire, most of us have not been riders long enough to have met those of the royal house. I think, but would not dare stake my life on it that the only ones who would know for sure would be Katherine and Julien."
His eyes narrowed once more, a fiery glare being directed at the riders for a minute or so longer than necessary. Without warning he dropped it and sighed, rubbing his temples for a moment. "I suppose it cannot be helped, thank you for your information gentlemen, you may go now, but before you return to the celebrations see to it that Katherine is brought to me. It seems I shall need to speak with her also."