by Phoenix Flight

The five dragon tribes - the Stormrunners, Firestarters, Galefliers, Nightflashes, and Icewalkers - have lived in peace for as long as they could remember. But when a new Nightflash royal shows up at the Stormrunners' territory and threatens the Leader and the rest of the Stormrunners, Tsure realizes that there's more to life than peace.

Chapter One

"Hey!" someone shouts.

I turn to see a Galeflier dragon, a sneer plastered to his long, narrow face. His greenish-blue scales gleam as if they'd just been splashed with water, and his thin-skinned wings are spread, allowing the sun to shine through the skin and turn the sand under them a faint blue color. I know this dragon. He's a season-circle younger than I am, but he's one of the most obnoxious dragons I've ever met. I think his name is Ocenai, but I'm not too sure.

Before I have the chance to reply, he jeers, "Half-tribe scum!" He flares his wings, a show of dominance, and he grins, showing off his sharp, pointed white teeth.

I step forward, my own wings flaring - literally. While Ocenai's correct, the way he said it felt insulting to me. He said it like I was merely a dragonkit waiting to hatch out of its egg. He's correct because I'm half-Stormrunner and half-Firestarter. Apparently though, he didn't know I was a Firestarter, because he steps back in surprise when my wings turn to flames.

I feel a light-yet-muscled tail drape over my shoulders, just above where my wings rise. I whip my head around, tensing up. Usually, when someone's tail is laid over your shoulders, it means someone wants to fight. But I relax. It's only my sister, a royal named Kano. If the same gesture was used by family members, it meant that they were trying to calm each other.

Kano mumbles, "Don't start this, Tsure." She slides her tail away and strongly, determinedly stalks up to Ocenai.

Normally the Galeflier would've taunted her with a jeer of "Half-blood!" Apparently her position frightened him. Kano was a royal, and he was a mere messenger-in-training, so she had a lot more power over him.

"Leave." my sister growls. "You've sent your message to our leader. Now go away." Her white teeth flash, and her dark red eyes narrow to the point where they look like little beads of blood from a wound. Her wings are completely stretched toward the sky, showing dominance over him, and a hidden threat was concealed behind her posture.

Ocenai nods vigorously. "C-can do!" He quickly springs up, flaps his wings, and I watch as his blue-green-scaled body disappears into the fog that I hadn't noticed before.

Kano then turns to me, and the flames that still kindled on my wings flickered and died instantly. "Tsure." she growls calmly, sweeping her tail over the ground. "You were threatening a messenger. In-training." Her voice is quiet. I would've felt less afraid if she'd yelled at me, but she never yells.

"Y-yeah, but... didn't you here the insult?" I protest, folding my wings to my flanks.

"Yes. I heard it. And saw his self-established dominance over you. But that does not give you a reason to threaten him."

"You threatened him!" I exclaim, but she goes on as if she didn't even hear me.

"He's arrogant. It seems that you've decided to stoop to his level." Kano turns, her dark eyes gazing at the dark clouds covering the sky, then she looks back to me. Instead of chastising me like earlier, she only says, "Don't do it again." She looked away, then stood and returned to where she had been sitting with our father, Umbris.

I sigh, shaking my head, and look back to the fog in which Ocenai had disappeared into. It was clearing out, but I still couldn't see past it to the Galefliers' territory.


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