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Wings of Fire: Timeless

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" Wh - what do you mean?” Sunny asked taking a fearful step back moving out of  Darkstalker’s  looming shadow.  

D on’t try to hide it, I never told you or your friends where the  N ight kingdom  was,”  Darkstalker  growled taking a step closer to Sunny.  

I can’t, I can’t  Sunny  thought closing her eyes and shaking her head lightly.  

“I can read your mind,”  Darkstalker  growled pushing into her mind.  "Y ou can't hide the truth from me.”  

Darkstalker !”  Foeslayer  shouted projecting her mind into her son’s.  "Y ou said you’ll show me that you're a great ruler. What you’re doing now isn’t what a fair ruler would do.”  Show me you can live up to my expectations.  

Darkstalker  gave a light growl and stepped back, still glaring at Sunny who looked like a terrified dragonet.  Enchant Sunny of the Sand and  Nightwings  to tell me willingly ,  how she found out the location of the  N ight kingdom ,   Darkstalker  thought.  

Sunny looked at  F oeslayer  then back at  D arkstalker , but stayed silent.  Why isn't it working?   Darkstalker  thought.  Foeslayer  gave  S unny a small friendly nod and  S unny smiled back unsurely. The faintest movement of her face caused her ear to shift into the light of the library’s windows causing her amber earring to shimmer.  Agh ! She has one of those earrings too Darkstalker  thought angerly.  Of course, she has one! She was probably one of the first dragons to get one. That  Qibli  is making things hard for me.  

" Sunny,”  Darkstalker  said, this time in a friendlier tone.  " You are half  Nightwing  yourself. I need to know where you got the information of the  N ight kingdom's location. For the sake of our tribe,”  Darkstalker  said  us ing his  kindest tone .  

“I- I… I can't,”  S unny said shaking her head and taking a step back. “I'm sorry  D arkstalker  but if I told you things could become bad,” Sunny said then she hit herself mentally.  Why did I say that?  Sunny thought scolding herself.  

Darkstalker  gave a slight inner smile and pictured  Sunny’s  thoughts and wrapped her thoughts into a large ball.  " Sunny, why can’t you tell me who told you the location of the  N ight kingdom ?”  Darkstalker  asked hoping to stir the surface of the water of her mind. But to  Darkstalker’s  annoyance Sunny managed to keep a still mind with a glass barrier around it.  

“I can’t. I won’t,” Sunny said bravely glaring at  Darkstalker  a blazing spark of determination lit in her green and gray eyes.  

“Enchant all the books in this library to form a dome around Sunny of the  S and and  Nightwings  and me,”  Darkstalker  growled ignoring the stern shout coming from his  M other .  

 All the books from the shelves of the library flew off the shelves in a stunning speed forming a large dome around the two  N ightwing  hybrids. The books formed a dark dome that let in almost no light.   

“I don’t want to resort to violence, but if you are working against me to help an opposer to the  N ight kingdom  I will have to deal with you myself. Is that clear?”  Darkstalker  growled lowering his large head to  Sunny’s  height. He opened his mouth summoning a warm storm in his chest. A warm glow from his mouth lit up the dark space caused by the enchanted books.  

Darkstalker Clearsight  thought forcefully thrusting her mind into his.  Darkstalker  stumbled back and the flame he held in his chest flickered out.  Drop the spell,  she ordered with a savage anger behind her th o ughts.  Clearsight  thrust  her mind into  Darkstalker’s  again like someone would thrust a dagger at a dragon.  Darkstalker  stumbled back again after the second attack on his mind.  

Darkstalker  dropped the spell and pushed a talon to his throbbing head. A painful reminder of what pain felt like. The books from the library fell to the floor almost  burying   Darkstalker  and Sunny.   Darkstalker  shut his eyes and dragged a large talon over his head in a vain attempt for the pain to go away.  

Darkstalker  heard the shuffle of wings and he suspected Sunny had taken her advantage and left. When the pain had reduced to a dull ache  Darkstalker  lifted his head and glared at  Clearsight " W hy did you do that?”  Darkstalker  roared.  

"Why did  you  do what you did?”  Claersight  returned, a blazing flame in her deep purple eyes.  Darkstalker  opened his mouth to defend himself but  Clearsight  held up an elegant wing stopping  Darkstalker . “No, it’s my turn. Since I’ve gotten here, I've been watching you. Asking dragons what they think about you. I can tell you want to do the right thing, but you’re doing the wrong thing,” She lectured.  

Clearsight , there’s not always a peaceful way. If I try to do things the way you want, the  Nightwing s won’t get the life the deserve,”  Darkstalker  said doing his best to keep his tone even.  

“I can think of ways to do things peacefully! I can see every path!”  Clearsight  shouted.  " Y ou said I could get a say in every choice you make. So far you insist that what you’ve done was what needed to be done!” her wings flared.  

“I can see the paths that you see, I know that even if I-”  

“Exactly! Its only you, all you say is I, not us!”  Clearsight  shouted crouching down and taking off. She paused as she was about to exit the library she said,  " T hink about it,” then she darted out of the library without giving  Darkstalker  another glance.  

Darkstalker  started to go after her a  Foeslayer  stopped him.  " S he need time alone. Let her be, right now you have  Icewings  to attend to,” her tone, as  Darkstalker  noticed, was unhappy.  

" Am I really thinking about myself?”  Darkstalker  asked his  M other  quietly.  

“If I know you, then you don’t mean to think only about yourself. You're trying to do the right thing but for you, you need to take the path that works best for you. Son, you need to give  C learsight  a voice, if I follow up on what’s happening then you promised her leader ship as well from the looks of it, you haven't given it to her.”  

“I- I’ll give her authority after this crisis is resolved,”  Darkstalker  said.  

“I think there’s some  Icewings  you need to attend to,” His  M other  said spreading her wings and leaving the large library.  

Darkstalker  sat down and sighted dramatically. The large library seemed empty, and the dust that had stirred when  Darkstalker Clearsight  and his  M other  had been in library started to settle. Flakes of dust landed on  Darkstalker’s  closed eyes.  What did I do wrong?   Darkstalker  said straining to hear even the barest sound . “Exactly! Its only you, all you say is I, not us!”  Clearsigt’s  voice shouted in  Darkstalker’s  head.  Darkstalker  opened his eyes and looked around the empty library, faint orange and gold light from the broken roof lit up the grand building.  

“I think there’s some  Icewings  you need to attend to,”  his  M other 's voice rung through his head.  Darkstalker  lifted himself up and shook off the dust off his night black scales. A spark lit a blazing idea in  Darkstalker’s  mind. A plan ran through his mind,  maybe I can make things right, I can do what  Clearsight  asked me to do.  

Darkstalker  excitedly left the library in a hurry sending up a cloud of once settled dust. When he was at the entrance of the library, he took off creating a large storm of wind.  

Darkstalker  quickly made his way to the large court yard where the  I cewing s  were waiting. His shadow swept across the court yard causing sharp spikes of fear to emanate from the  Icewing s below.  Darkstalker  landed at the fount of the  I cewing s  where they could all see him.  

That monster! I'll rip his throat out myself!  A furious thought from the crowd broke above the rest.  Please don’t kill us, please don’t kill me  another thought from the crowd;  If my sister didn’t survive the battle what will happen to our dragonets?  

" S ir, what should we do with the  Icewings ?” a  Nightwing  who was watching the  Icewings  with a furious glint in his eye said.  

" W e let them go of course,”  Darkstalker  said to the  Nightwing  evenly.  

He stared at  D arkstalker , mouth open.  Does he understand? What they’ve done to the  N ightwings ?  “I don’t mean to offend you, but do you  know  what the  I cewing s have-”  

“I’m well aware of what the  Icewings  have done, it’s  you  who doesn’t understand what the  Icewings  have done to the Nightwings ! ”  Darkstalker  snapped at him.  

He looked stunned and took a moment to gather his thoughts.  " S orry your Majesty, do what you need to do.” he bowed deeply and hurried away.  

He's even cruel to his own subjects,  a thought from the  I cewing s  caught  Darkstalker’s  attention. Calmly  Darkstalker  took a deep breath.  Who’s thought was that?    

Suddenly  Darkstalker’s  world became grey despite one brightly colored glowing dragon in the crowed of  Icewings Bring  him  here.  The dragon was lifted from the mass of  Icewings  once  Darkstalker’s  vision returned to normal. The  Icewing  opened his mouth in a silent scream, he withered in the spells grasp.  

" Y ou aren’t getting out of this spell,”  Darkstalker  said with an ominous hint of humor.  " Y ou're going be the first.”  

The first? I'm going to die! I’m going to die,  the  I cewing  thought frantically, his breathing became faster and panicked. He threw his whole body’s weight around, the spell kept him s t ill.  

"O h no, quite the opposite,”  Darkstalker  said looking into the dark eyes of the panicked  Icewing . “Release this  Icewing  from any spell I've put on him,”  Darkstatlker  enjoyed the look of shock and the confused thoughts raging around in the  Icewing’s  mind.   

" W h...  why  did you do that!” the  Icewing  shouted as the spell holing him up let him down. His tone was one of fear, anger, confusion, relief and so much more.  

"O h, I almost forgot,”  Darkstalker  paused for a moment  returning the glare the  Icewing  gave  Darkstalker . “ E nchant this  Icewing  to pass through the barrier of the  N ight kingdom  unscathed, but after that  Icewing  passed through it can’t go through the barrier again.”  

“I...” the  Icewing  said his voice  sof t ening . Suddenly he glared at  Darkstalker  and growled. Almost instantly he leaped at  Darkstalker , claws pointed at his eyes. Shocked  Darkstalker  raised his wings to protect the only vulnerable part of him. The  Icewing  slammed into  Darkstalker’s  midnight black wings. When  Darkstalker  lowered his wings the  Icewing  lunged for  Darkstalker  again.   

  Have to  kill him, this is every  Icewing ’s goal in life; to kill this monster!  The  I cewing  thought as  Darkstalker  batted him to the ground again. The  I cewing  quickly scrambled to his feet and gave a undragonlike hiss.  

Why do the  I cewing s hate me so much!  Darkstalker  thought angerly. “Enough!” he roared, his large voice  audible  throughout the castle. The  I cewing  startled for a moment, in that moment  Darkstalker  pinned him with his large talon.   

“I let you live, I let you free of my spells, I also got rid of the plague destroying to  Icewings ,”  Darkstalker  growled.  " A nd how do you thank me? You attack me! I'm trying to help; I’m trying to make peace.”  

" We don’t need your peace! We don’t need your help! All you do is try to kill us!” the  Icewing  stopped to catch his breath before one final shout.  " Y OU KILLED OUR QUEEN!”  

Darkstalker  closed his eyes and took a deep breath.  I know it isn’t the right thing to do, but sometimes I wish I could kill all the ungrateful  Icewings .   "Y ou think you know me, but when your enemies are the ones to tell your story, then they paint you as the bad guys. What if I told you that the  Icewings  of the past weren’t the way you thought of them? What if I told you that the war between the  Icewings  and  Nightwings  from two thousand years ago was started by the  Icewings ?”  

"W e started it to get our prince back after you  Nightwings  stole him!”  

" WE DIDN’T STEEL HIM!”  Darkstalker  roared at the  Icewings  beneath his talon who shrunk and cowered away from him. “ M y  father,”   Darskalker  growled. “ L oved my  M other , they left together willingly.”  Darkstalker  looked at the  Icewing  again. “I’m as much  Icewing  as I am  Nightwing .”  

Darkstalker  could tell that his words had impact on  all  Icewing I'm not exactly one of you and I'd never want to be, but I'm as much of you as I am of your enemy.   " T hink about it, and maybe tomorrow I'll try to release you again,”  Darkstalker  said.  Enchant this  Icewing  to obey my every command,   Darkstalker  lifted his talon off the  Icewing . And predictably the  Icewing  leapt at  Darkstalker .  

" S top.” the  Icewing  froze suddenly and fell to the ground with a painful thud.  " S it with the rest of the  Icewings .” the  Icewing  walked over to the mass of  Icewings  and sat down, glaring at  Darkstalker  the whole time.  

Darkstalker  glared back at the  Icewing  for about a minute.  " That’s better,”  Darkstalker  said then turned to the  Nightwings "Y ou can go now, the  Icewings  won’t attempt to escape, they won’t even  think  about it.” the  Nightwings  bowed to  Darkstalkere  and took off in different directions.  "A ll  Icewings  in the  N ight kingdom  must stay in this court yard and not move until I tell them so. You will not escape, and you will not  think  about escaping.”  Darkstalker  surveyed the  Icewings , he walked up to the one who had attacked him minuets ago.  " What’s your name?”  

Muskox,” he growled obviously trying his hardest not to say anything.  

"W ell Muskox, we’ll see each other again and next time I hope you behave better than you just did,”  Darkstalker  said lowering his head to look straight Muskox’s eyes.  "T rust me you don’t want to fight with me.”  

~~~~  

For the next few hours  Darkstalker  looked around the castle for  Clearsight , he thought she might be in the library, but she wasn’t there.  Darkstalker  looked for her in her room, but after three hours  Darkstalker  considered using magic to find her, but he was sure  Clearsight  wouldn’t approve. Eventually he gave up .   I’m sure  Clearsight  will find me once she’s cooled down,   Darkstalker  thought as he made his way to the throne room.  

The throne room was dark, but that didn’t bother  Darkstalker  due to his night vision. The smooth marble floor was cool under  Darkstalker ’s  talons. Tired after the day’s battle  Darkstalker  laid down and closed his eyes.  I can rest ...  for a bit .  

~~~~  

When  Darkstalker  opened his eyes, the sun was just starting to peak out from the behind the mountains.  Good, I didn’t over sleep Darkstalker  thought as he slayed out his large wings and stretched his front talons out in front of him.   

“Hello son. I see you’ve woken up.” a familiar male dragon voice said.  Darkstalker  froze, he looked around the room franticly.  

" W here are you!”  Darkstalker  shouted.   

“I didn’t know you cared,” the voice said.  Darkstalker  noticed the voice came from the throne.  Sud den ly the air around the throne darkened and turned to a black mist which then faded to a light silver before revealing a dragon in the mist. It was Arctic of the  Icewings .  

  Darkstalker  stared at his father for a long moment, Arctic just returned a glare.  “Father, you're dead,”  Darkstalker  finally  spat  out This must be a dream or  the  product  of a  spell he cast in our time .  

"Says who?” Arctic took a step closer, then another until he was in front of  Darkstalker Darkstalker  realized that  A r c tic was two thirds of his side. "And who are you to say?” he growled barring his teeth in a way that made even  Darkstalker  stiffen. "You’re a monster, you kill to get your way.  you say it’s the only way and even the dragons you’re around tell you to stop; but do you?”  

Darkstalker  took a deep breath - which sounded like a scared hiss-  to gather his thoughts. “I-”  

“NO! You don’t and you never will!” Arctic hissed, the cold of his breath sending shivers down  Darkstalker ’s  spine.   

"You’re no different!”  Darkstalker  burst out shooting a blast of flames at his father  that Arctic dodged with astounding ease .  

“I admit that I would do what you did if I had no self-restraint, but at least I'm noble enough to admit it,” Arctic said, then he took a step back and took a deep breath.  "B ut I didn’t come here to scold you.”  

"O h?”  Darkstalker  raised an eyebrow.  "T hen what did you come here for? To send me to my  room?  To fight  me?  The  kill   me?  You know how well that worked out the last time someone tried to kill me.”  

"Oh yes it did. It resulted in you being imprisoned for two thousand years  by your lover , the person who tried to kill you escaped unscathed and the  Nightwings  lost their power and home and many of them died. Maybe if that’s the outcome I'd try to kill you more often.”  

“I can’t tell if that’s one of your evil jokes,”  Darkstalker  said sarcastically.  

“I don’t have evil jokes,” Arctic growled clearly getting  annoyed  with his son. “I came here to talk to you, talk to you about the  Icewings  you have imprisoned here but more importantly something else.”  

“I already know your loyalties lie with the  Icewings  and not the  Nightwings , not Whiteout, not Mother!”  Darkstalker  paused growling in a low growl.  " W hy would I ever trust you let alone do what you say? I know you’re going to ask me to let the  Icewings  go, I’ll ask why, and you won’t tell me anything!”  

“How dare you!” Arctic roared. “I loved  Foeslayer ! I loved your sister. But I won't lie so I say this: I hated you and I know from the moment you hatched you wanted to kill me.” Arctic glowed at  Darksalker  

“I get the impression you didn’t come here to tell me that you were a good parent. I think you came here to say something else.”  

“I d o , come with me.” Arctic spun around and headed down the hallway that connected the throne room to the rest of the tower.  I shouldn’t follow him, it’s obviously a trap.  But the inner curiosity of  Darkstalker  said something else.  What will he show me? Maybe I'll figure out how he’s using a projection of his past self. Besides, animus magic besides my own won’t work on me.  

Darkstalker  reluctantly followed his father down the mirrored hallway of the  N ightwing  caste.  I don’t remember why Vigilance had so many mirrors in the castle, it makes the castle feel crowded.  Arctic seemed unfazed by the bright colors of his scales reflecting off the mirrors. Arctic led  Darkstalker  down the hallways and down stair cases in seemingly random directions.  Darkstalker  wasn’t sure how Arctic knew the castle this well, even  Darkstalker  didn’t know the castle as well as Arctic seemed to.  

" W here are you taking me?”  Darkstalker  asked looking at Arctic as if he could stab Arctic with his gaze.  

" S omewhere.”  

Darkstalker  waited for something more but it seemed that was all Arctic wanted to say.  Darkstalker  would've looked around in Arctic’s mind, but there were no thoughts to be heard. This only further confirmed  Darkstalker ’s  suspicions that the Arctic that  Darkstalker  was seeing was an illusion or projection.  

Arctic finally stopped in front of an old looking door. The door was old and made  of  plain  wood instead of the lavish wooded doors or marble doors that the castle normally had. Old spider webs hung from the corners around the door.   

" W hy have you brought me here?”  Darkstalker  asked. “It’s just an old room, probably a storage closet. What a waste of my time!”  

"O pen the door.” Arctic said plainly.  

" W hy? Do you want me to see what’s in a storage closet?”  Darkstalker  shouted. Arctic just glared at  Darkstalker  in silence. “Fine,”  Darkstalker  growled. Arctic stepped to the side as  Darkstalker  reached out one of his large talons and opened the door.  

Darkstalker   recognized   M oon’s voice instantly  and her expression was filled with worry.  “I’m having visions of a young  N ightwing . A  N ightwing -R ainwing  hybrid who loves to pick strawberries. I don’t know who this is, but I think it’s who-”  

" W hy would this help us? We don’t have time to find a  Nightwing-Rainwing  hybrid when  Darkstalker  is around,” a voice from the  Icewing  growled, presumably to one named Winter.  

Darkstalker  waited for them to notice him but they didn’t.  Darkstalker  looked to Arctic expecting an answer.   

His father just stared at him with his scorn filled expres s ion.  “I didn’t come here to show you this for questions, just watch and listen.”  

Darkstalker  opened his mouth ready to give a sharp retort, but Arctic gave a warning hiss that silenced  Darkstalker . Growling  Darkstalker  looked around the room it had no windows and was lit by a small torch on the wall farthest from the door. Moon sat in front of the door the  Icewing  that was with them sat to the right of  M oon and Qibli a colorful  Rainwing  was in the room  Darkstalker  couldn’t see who was in the shadows of the room. Whoever it was, was a  Rainwing  with black scales or a  Nightwing ...  

“I- I think this is  Darkstalker ,” Moon’s voice.  

What?   Darkstalker  recoiled at that theory.  How could Moon think I could be a  R ainwing   N ightwing  hybrid? What does  M oon think I am? The first  R ainwing  with animus magic that chooses to pretend to be... well me!  

“I know what you’re trying to say, and I think you’re partly right I can see this future but it’s quite unlikely. It's hard for me to see  Darkstalker  as this dragon.”  Clearsight ’s voice.  

Clearsight ?”  Darkstalker  whispered. No response and no thoughts.  Darkstalker  finally understood who the black dragon in the room was . He broke into a quiet chuckle that escalated into a roar of laughter.  " T his is just a dream, you’re just a product of my imagination. And for myself to think that I was having a vision or that you were actually visiting me from the afterlife!” Darkstalker laughed as he glared at the dream version of his father.   

“If I said yes ,  would it matter?”  

" What do I care,”  Darkstalker  laughed as he raised his right talon.  " When you killed yourself, I thought I wouldn’t get the chance to kill you with my own talons,” old rage at his father boiled in  Darkstalker’s  veins.  " Y ou have no idea-”  

"B ut yes, I do believe we have to stop  Darkstalker  before he destroys something, before he destroys time itself.”  

Darkstalker  paused and Arctic gave him a smug grin. “Looks like you have bigger things to worry about than my annoying spirit haunting your dreams.”  

Darkstalker  froze in shock.  Why would Clearsight work against me? Why? WHY!   Darkstalker  thought.  "Why are you making me see this?”  Darkstalker  growled.   

“I'm not showing this to you for fun. This is a warning to stop what you’re doing and to put thing back to the way they were.” Arctic growled  back  

"A nd how do you expect me to do that? If I returned  Clearsight  to our time she would still remember all this,”  Darkstalker  waved a talon around the small hall.  " W hat would you want me to do? Besides everything is still the same after I brought  Clearsight  back so what does it matter?”  

“It may not affect much here but in a land far from here it's very different than what could have been if  C learsight  wasn’t taken from her time.” Arctic’s cold glare seemed to stare into  Darkstalker’s  soul. “If you continue the path that you are on it will only lead to destruction.”  

" W hy should I change my ways, for all I know all this is just a dream.”  I sure hope this is a dream if not and this is a vision of  Clearsight  conspiring against me than I don’t know what I'll do.  

"This is a warning and I hope you’ll take it...  S on,” Arctic said.   

The last word of Arctic's words startled  Darkstalker . As  Darkstalker  opened his mouth to say something, anything, the world around  Darkstalker  spun into a color less burl.   

Darkstalker  jolted awake- at least he thought he was awake- his heart pounding.  It was just a dream, it was just a dream,   Darkstalker  thought repeatedly to himself.  But what if it was a vision. What if  Clearsight  is working against you?  The more hidden part of  Darkstalker’s  mind thought.  

Darkstalker  got up quickly and grabbed a piece of paper from off his impeccably neat desk. “Enchant this piece of paper to tell me if  Clearsight  is working against me,”  Darkstalker  growled half of him dreading the answer and the other half eager to know where  Clearsight’s  loyalties lied. Slowly parts of the paper started to darken into the word that  Darkstalker  feared:  Yes .