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“That deceitful little leech,” Summer’s rumbling echoes of a voice growled, the three black clad advisers before His Greatness becoming frightened by the tone alone. “I’m going to rip that murderous frost-bitten assassin apart with my claws if I get a hold on him!”
A man looked up to the king over the top of his half-moon lensed glasses. “With the greatest respect, sir, how do you even know that it is Winter who made an attempt to end Autumn’s life-“
“She saw Winter herself!” The tall, looming figure of a humanoid form yelled, the fiery flames fed by rage rising in anger. “I WILL NOT STAND FOR THIS!”
At the end of the lavish hall sat the ruling monarch: cloaked in bronze-tinted armor with a blood-colored cape billowing behind him trimmed in gold stitching along the edges and a crop of thick rust shaded hair which rolled down to his shoulders. On his head, a crown of dark gray tipped in black. An air charged by a surging temper surrounded the king, who had rose to his feet and made his way towards his advisers.
“Eldrinn,” the man with the glasses stood at attention, awaiting his king. “Fetch me the Senses. I wish to consult-“
“We already are aware, my king,” From the shadows stepped some sort of avian creature, complete with a pale gray beak and swan-like wings. “You need not to waste your time by calling for us,”
Summer turned to look in the direction of the relaxed and soft male voice. “Siobahn, where is Aidrian?-“
The light of a nearby torch illuminated the fine features of the bird featured being, cloaked in a flowing parchment colored robe with the hood covering his head. Holes, cut into the covering, let a showy display of a feather crest show like a wild mane. His wardrobe was unlike the rich clothing nobility wore: a complex pattern of tribal markings in dark orange, black, red and silver formed a pair of staring eyes open, while Siobahn’s physical ones were closed and a smile of mockery was stretched over his face.
“Aidrian is consulting the Past, sir, but the past is not what you must fear but the soon-to-be future. Your fate is like the tide: ever shifting, ever changing and one whose definite course is near non-existent. Unpredictable, to say the least,”
“Enough with your cryptic riddles and answers,” Summer snarled, his teeth bared. “I have no time for your riddles when-“
“When what, o great hot-blooded ruler? When the thread of your existence and life becomes suddenly frayed?” Siobahn’s voice was now masked with a layer of the promise of a foreboding event to come. “The hourglass empties with every second, tic-tic go the seconds counting down to the judgment hour. And you sir, why, you fret for your love when you show none! To your mate perhaps but none to your subjects, who bow on their knees and kiss your feet should you let them close enough to do so! The carrion-eaters await the slain and his slayer, the fool and the demon dance in a brutal fashion which ends one life. Dash now, m’lord, to the battlefield you go! Your fate awaits, your future cast. Go quick, my king. The enemy is upon us with his mouth agape and tail a-lashing, and he calls for blood to be spilt!”
He was breathless, hunched over now with the hood casting a shadow over his face in a menacing manner. “Embrace it, your destiny. To flee from it is the mark of a coward. Meet it and greet it with meaning. You cannot run, cannot hide. Your fate sees you with all-knowing eyes,”
Silence overtook the hall, Summer turning his back to the winged oracle and made his way to the oak doors at its end, and the aura of a being heading for war coming from the king.
From behind him, a screeching voice. “YOUR ENDING IS NIGH, NEVERMORE! NEVERMORE!”
The terrain of the Golden Plains shifted immensely with the wing beats of Summer, a sudden sweltering heat wave which withered grass and scorched the earth as the body of a dark orange and gold creature soared overhead. In the setting sun’s light, Summer seemed to glow with a god-like radiance: his armor plate scales glistened and gleamed, the intention to extract his revenge apparent. Yellow eyes surveyed the surrounding environment: a scattered tree here and there, with not a leaf upon any branch and the sky in all directions were devoid of any flying figures. Like a great canvas, its surface was painted with vibrant shades of pinks, purples and oranges.
The wind formed currents under Summer’s wings, lifting him higher and higher into the air still. He was silent, making not a single sound…
A sudden rush of bone-chilling northern gales hit his left side, and he knew that his mate’s attacker was upon him. The grasp of claws could be felt on his neck, squeezing with the purpose of suffocation, as Summer barely escaped the talons of his foe.
“WINTER!” A blast of flame short forth from the dagger tooth lined jaws of Summer, white hot and red, narrowly missed his icy opponent's back. “What have you-”
“What have I done?” He made an upwards swoop, and slashed at the current king's face. The body of white and blue snarled, his lips curling back to reveal the two rows of swords which made up his mouth. “You were the one to send me the challenge-”
Summer's tail whipped Winter in the face, a roar of pain rumbling the ground. “You attacked my mate!” The white beast plummeted below, a deafening sound of impact heard as his body made contact with the earth.
Summer landed on his hind legs before raising a claw and striking Winter in the side. His move made not a single difference: his knife-like nails scratched the diamond hard scales of snow and ice with no visible marks. Every slash at him ended the same, Winter's scaled suit of armor deflecting every offensive advance made.
Winter stumbled up, recovering just before Summer reared up on his legs and came crashing down on the opponent with a bone breaking force. Still he did not bend to Summer's continuous barrage of fury, and swiftly rolled out of his way. The result of the falling beast's body was a massive crater-like indentation upon the plain's surface, the shaking of the earth felt for miles in all directions.
A pain emerged in the king's front right talon, the sensation to that of a thousand miniscule thorns piercing flesh: Winter's jaw snapped down on the claw, twisting it in an attempt to snap it. With force, the limb was pulled from his grip and from below the red ruler erupted a wave of burning cold. A wave of sky blue and white shot at Summer, a frigid onslaught of northern brutality in a fiery form. In retaliation, a burst of crimson flame was spewed forth and made contact with the other pyro breather.
The resulting explosion sent both of the two flying backwards, the ground shaking as they landed against the plains. Splatters of wine red stained the gentle waves of yellow, Summer and Winter's breath ragged and labored from their draconic duel.
Despite their gashes and wounds, the two lunged at one another with the force of a stampede, their claws interlocking in an attempt to overpower the other with brute strength alone.
“You're despicable,” Winter snarled, lavender eyes flashing with blood lust. “What kind of king would blindly accuse for a crime non-existent?”
“The kind who values life,” And the ruling red creature slammed down a front claw around Winter's neck. “And justice!” He lowered his head, the gaze he gave of predatory nature. “And if you dare show your face in any par of my court and kingdom again, you won't ever sit upon the throne again I'll personally see to your end,”
Above the landscape, a lone vulture circled on foreboding wings, awaiting its next meal.