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Wings of Fire: Freedom

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The sandstone seats were turning red and orange as they Skywings filled in the sandstone seats.  

I wonder what fight the queen organized this time? Is it another fight between her champion and another dragon destined for death? Hurricane thought remembering seeing her tribe mate die in flames at the talons of the queen's champion. No, the last fight was against the champion, Hurricane thought as she recalled the memory of the blue dragon burning, trapped in the talons of death. 

Hurricane watched as more and more Skywings filled the stadium. After a couple minutes the seats were full and the stunning looking queen who was studded in gems, stepped on to her balcony that over looked the sands where countless dragons from almost every tribe had died. 

The guards in the air spoke to each other in hushed voices so Hurricane had to strained to hear. 

"Who do you think will win? I'll bet you the Sandwing will win. He has two wins so far, not to mention that barb thing." 

"I think the Seawing will win. She does have three wins after all." 

Hurricane's heart sank. The Seawing? She has three wins? No, not me! Hurricane thought desperately, but she knew there wasn't any female Seawings who have won three battles. My wounds still haven't healed! Yesterday I pulled something in my leg trying to wiggle out of these blasted restraints. 

"Skywings! Today we will have a fight between a Sandwing with two wins and a Seawing with three," the Skywings announcer, Vermilion, the queen's son said. 

"With two wins I give you Tarantula of the Sandwings!" He nodded at some of the guards who were hovering near by a spire with a pale and icterine colored Sandwing. "And with three wins I give you Hurricane of the Seawings!"  

The guards who had been talking by Hurricane's spire moved closer to her spire. They flew over and unclasped the gauntlets around Hurricane's talons and legs. Hurrican knew it was pointless to fight against the guards, it would only lead to wounds that Hurricane couldn’t afford. The moment she was free, one guard grabbed her still bound wings, while the other grabbed her back talons but stayed weary of her large muscular tail. The guards flew down to the Sandy arena floor. The moment Hurricane's talons touched the sand she recoiled in her guard's grip causing them to drop her. 

The sand was scorching hot. The moment Hurricane touched the sand it sent a large jolt up her talons to her wings and down to her tail. Hurricane pushed herself up and stood and looked at her opponent dispute the burning sand beneath her talons. The Sandwing seemed unfazed by the scorching sand. Probably because he's a Sandwing, Hurricane thought longing to be a Sandwing at that moment. The Sandwing seemed to be in mild condition, he had many small not deep cuts all over his pale scales. The Sandwing seemed to be doing the same thing as her; analyzing his opponent. The two dragons studied each other in silence without any signs of hostility. 

"Claws up! Teeth ready! Fight!" The announcer toward as he leaped into the air away from the commuting battle. 

The Sandwing did nothing but wait, but Hurricane reacted too fast to think much about anything. Hurricane knew she had to strike first against a Sandwing, if you don't immobilize their tail, you go down due to their position. Hurricane thought recalling the training she went through at the sea kingdom. Hurricane leaped into the air aiming for where her opponents head will be if he chose to flee instead of fight. The Sandwing was slower than Hurricane thought, he hardly moved. But since he hardly moved, she landed right next the pale Sandwing. The Sandwing wasted no time and tried to strike her with his venomous barb. Hurricane dodged quickly but just barely because of her injured leg, prepared for what would happen if she missed. This time Hurricane jumped in the air and attacked Tarantula's tail. She leaped in the air, but Tarantula struck out with his front talons raking them down Hurricane's sky-blue scales sending fire into Hurricane’s veins. Hurricane was redirected slightly but just enough for her opponent. Hurricane latched on to the pale scales below her and sunk her blood-stained teeth into the warm flesh. Tarantula howled and thrashed his tail around blindly. Hurricane had missed the sweet spot that would allow her to grab his tail without letting him stab her. She was knocked too far away from his barb due to him striking her. Tarantula thrashed his tail around, scratching Hurricane in the side. MOONS! The venom hurt! A searing pain spread throughout her sky-blue body causing her to loosen her grip on Tarantula's tail just enough that he could pull it free. 

Hurricane dashed to the other side of the arena to re-form a plan. Shoot, I got scratched, Hurricane thought horrified. Hurricane remembered times when prisoners were scratched by a Sandwings venom and became weaker and weaker and eventually died. No, I- I can’t die! Hurricane thought as tears welled up in her eyes. She knew the truth, no prisoner ever survived once they were injected with Sandwing venom. No prisoner ever survives. Hurricane raised her gaze to look at her opponent who was a pale blob since Hurricane's vision was blurred with tears. Hurricane always knew she was going to die, since she saw the champion, she knew she was going to die in this arena, but now it all felt real. I will die here. I won’t know what happened to my tribe, my family... my dragonet, Hurricane thought as a warm salty tear dripped down into the burning sand. Hurricane’s glare hardened at her opponent, at least if I die, I won’t be the only one to die. 

Hurricane recklessly ran at Tarantula with a deep roar that caused the audience to lean forward. Hurricane ran forward and bashed into Tarantula which left him stubbing back grimacing as Hurricane ran forward once again. This time Hurricane slashed at Tarantula's face as the Sandwing howled and striked once aging with his barb striking her in her stomach. 

Hurricane doubled over as she clutched her burning stomach. This time the pain was stronger, it felt as if someone had put a burning fireball in her stomach. Before Hurricane knew what happened Tarantula had pinned here down. His tail hung over her head casting an ominous glow from the sun overhead. 

“I’d think you’d be faster and smarter if you’ve won three fights,” Tarantula mocked. 

"Well...” Hurricane gasped having trouble pulling air in. “Have you ever fought a Seawing before?” Hurricane asked with a smirk. The look on Tarantula's face was priceless to Hurricane as she flung him off her with her muscular tail. 

Tarantula was thrown a good way away as the crowd roared with pleasure. Hurricane ran at the Sandwing who was knocked prone. As soon as Hurricane reached her opponent, she started to scratch at her opponents exposed stomach. The blood that came from the wounds producing blood was gruesome. His red blood pooled onto the sand and stuck to Hurricane's already blood-stained claws. Hurricane was so absorbed in tearing up Tarantula's underbelly, she missed the barb coming at her. Tarantula's barb pierced her in the same place that was already previously punctured. Hurricane took a step back as a searing pain lit up her insides. Stay awake, stay awake! Hurricane thought as black spots appeared at the edges of Hurricane's sight. Hurricane coughed and blood shot out from her mouth dotting the hot sand with red speckles. More blood pooled up at the corners of her mouth. 

"You think I haven’t fought a  Seawing before? I've killed more Seawings than dragons you’ve killed,” Tarantula said stabbing Hurricane in the shoulder causing her to convulse and squeeze blood from the hole in her gut. “Are you ready to die?” Tarantula hissed as he raised his tail above Hurricane's head. Hurricane was too weak to move, but somehow, she managed to do just that. Hurricane leaped up and sunk her teeth into Tarantula's pale neck. Tarantula clawed at her pushing her to the scorching sand once more. The pain was immense, her whole body felt as if it were on fire. Her vision started to blur, and she turned her gaze over to her opponent who had a gash in his neck. I promised if I would go down, I'd take my enemy with me, Hurricane thought weakly. Hurricane’s surveyed her opponent, he had a large gash on his throat that was leaking blood. That will kill him. But not before he kills me Hurricane thought with a shudder. 

Tarantula slowly and weakly moved over to Hurricane. He stood over Hurricane and aimed his tail at the point of where her jaw met her neck. His hot blood dripped down onto Hurricane’s blood-soaked scales. 

“Time for you to die!” Tarantula said in a strained dry laugh as blood bubbled up at the corners of his sly smile. With one final sharp breath Hurricane felt a sharp pain vibrating in her skull for a moment then her world went black. 

Hurricane's eyes somehow fluttered open weakly. Standing in front of her was her husband. 

“Celeste! What- why are you here? It’s not safe! Why are you... oh...” Hurricane started but instantly realized what had happened. “Am I... dead?” Hurricane asked quietly even if she knew the truth. 

"Yes, I'm here to take you away from this place,” her husband said in a smooth voice. 

“If I'm dead... did you die?” Hurricane thought with a stab of grief though she was happy to be with him. 

"Yes. I died in a fight against Icewings.” 

"What about Sargo?” Hurricane asked worried that her dragonet had died. 

“She’s fine. She lives with your nieces. She's happy but she misses us,” Celeste said as he walked over to her and putting an elegant cyan wing around her. “Now come, there's much I'd like to show you.” 

“Okay,” Hurricane said closing her eyes as Celeste led her away. I am free, Hurricane thought without casting another look back at her blood covered body.