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"Have they arrived?”

Cain respectfully watched the man who posed the question. He was far too familiar with Word Paynn’s cold facial expressions to feel the fear that any other would. Moordryd, on the other hand, watched his father with interest, thinking to himself that his father was certainly planning something, if he would allow the two more powerful Diamath Corp CEOs to enter Paynn Citadel.

Diamath Corp had become the most powerful rival of Paynn Incorporated in recent years, all thanks to the emergent leadership of Sehanmus Diamath, a young and enterprising seventeen-year-old financial genius. It was said that his cruel and cold father, Adaberth Diamath, thought to be one of the shrewdest and calculating man that Draconia City had met, had personally taught him everything that he knew about business and profit.

Paynn frowned and raised his eyebrows as old memories wandered through his thoughts. He and Diamath had shared a hidden personal and corporate rivalry during last few decades. The power balance had been slowly shifting towards Diamath Corp until an aggressive corporate maneuver by Paynn forced Diamath to leave Dragon City seven years ago. It was in Draconia City, which was almost as old as Dragon City and it was located around 400 miles to west of it, where Adaberth Diamath passed away some years later.

"Have they arrived?" asked Paynn coldly.

"They are being escorted..." responded Cain curtly.

"Moordryd..." said Paynn coolly.

"Yes, Father?"

"Don’t forget what we spoke of..."

Moordryd, with an air of an annoyance, was about to respond with a quick retort when the back doors of the room opened and a group of three young people, including the Diamath siblings, entered.

Sehanmus Diamath entered first. He appeared both arrogant and attractive; at first sight his long black hair framed a face that had the expression of a daydreaming and serene boy, but challenging blue eyes that shone as live coals on either side of an aquiline nose denied this.  The determination reflected in his broad chin was confirmation that it was dangerous to cross him. His thin and strong body was elegantly dressed in white, silver, purple and a clear tone of blue-gray; appropriate for informal meetings.

Word Paynn watched Sehanmus with interest and unconsciously made a fast calculation of the possibilities of success in his projects of having him as an ally. The idea was rejected almost immediately; although Sehanmus lacked the experience that the years give and had double Moordryd’s determination, still he was a deadly rival; after those brief reflections, Word Paynn fixed his attention to Sehanmus’s sister, Silvanna.

Silvanna was Sehanmus’ twin sister. She had pale skin, and that gave her a spiritual air to her appearance. Her blue-grayish eyes were very expressive; they could have a benevolent sparkle, and then a second later, show her fury with their glance. The smoothness of her features was framed by her silver long hair.

Her body was thin and well formed; she simultaneously radiated grace in her walk and security in herself. At those moments she was wearing a gray simple suit with blue. Word Paynn stopped himself from a sardonic smile; if her brother was dangerous, she was very inoffensive, almost undeserving of his attention and he turned aside his glance to the third visitor: Elsie Drakhe.

Paynn watched, interested. Elsie Drakhe’s sun-tanned face was expressive as a stone statue; no emotion or expression was reflected by her intense green eyes, which were shielded behind her glasses, or by her thin lips. At the same time, she was efficiently personified; Diamath's siblings could always count on her to logically reason and make cold calculations in any circumstance.

Elsie was as tall as Silvanna and she had a similar physical constitution. She wore a dark gray suit and an elaborate ponytail cascaded from the crown of her head down to her shoulders.

She had in her left arm her DNB (Digital Note Book), that was a compact computer that allowed its owner take quick notes with the D-Pencil and kept the info in a mini compact disk. She also carried her personal communicator with a hand-free device and microphone, which were the weapons that she most frequently used in the corporative wars of Diamath Corp.

"I welcome you." said Word Paynn while he walked towards the young people with a big smile and a benevolent attitude that didn’t manage to deceive those who knew him well. “You don’t know the deep sorrow that I felt when I knew that my old friend, Adaberth had passed away, I am so sorry not to be able to settle down the old differences that were between us. I am very pleased that you two accepted my invitation and came to visit me. "

"It was the least we could do for a businesses-mate of my father's" talked back Sehanmus while he thought It’s always good to know who your adversary is. Isn't it, Paynn?

“How you have grown, little Silvanna. Still, I remember how you liked to ride your dragon cub when you were a little girl, you were a great rider," said Word Paynn while he turned aside his glance to the girl and Moordryd approached his father "I think that you still remember Moordryd, don’t you?

Both teenagers watched each other for a second then they forced a smile. Silvanna said, "How could I forget such a great little Pain?"

It took Moordryd great effort to contain himself while a badly disguised mocking smile appeared on Silvanna’s fine lips; Word seemed to ignore that and to Sehanmus, said "I believe that your father has not mentioned this to you, but we worked together on several projects, that thanks to our terrible misunderstanding, never reached their conclusion."

"Then" Sehanmus said, "It's time to bring those unfinished projects to an end."

"Moordryd, stay here with Silvanna and Miss Drakhe" said Word in a more benevolent tone, while he watched his son. "We have some pending work to take care of.” He added, as though it had been a sudden idea that had struck him, looking at the girl, "I guess, little Silvanna, that you will want to visit part of Dragon City in order to remember old times and to get what you need for your University course, Moordryd can go with you."

“Oh! Thanks Mr. Paynn, you and Moordryd are very kind," replied Silvanna with apparent courtesy.

"It’s a pleasure… Indeed, I only ask you to try to return before the dinner. “He added “I’m extremely pleased that you two accepted to dine with us tonight.”

While Paynn and Diamath retired to the offices to discuss their projects, Elsie began to answer one incoming call to her communicator. Moordryd took advantage of the occasion to speak with Silvanna.

"Then, do you plan to study at Dragon City University?" said Moordryd with a pretending courtesy

"Yes," confirmed Silvanna” the best thing of all is that you won’t be there to pull my braids like when we were kids."

“How charming” muttered the teen while he thought that she was more than irritating.

Moordryd was considering how he could maintain conversation in courteous terms when Elsie, who already had already finished her call, spoke "It was the committee in charge of organizing next week's race "she said while watching Silvanna. “They have allowed Jhanus to participate."

"Who is Jhanus?” Moordryd asked.

"Jhanus Ghemins is Diamath Corp.’s sponsored racer." replied Elsie, sounding a little bored

"Good," interrupted Moordryd. "I hope that your sponsored racer doesn’t feel so bad when I leave him in the last place."

"With a little help, I suppose?" said Silvanna in a blatantly mocking tone

“WHAT ARE YOU TRYING TO SAY!?" Moordryd yelled while Cain held one of his shoulders, trying to contain him.

“Come on. Moordryd!" Silvanna answered sarcastically “The whole planet knows that the only way you can win a race is with tricks, but the only problem is that we can't prove anything.”

"Ahem, ahem" All people there turned to Elsie "Excuse me, Silvanna, are we going to the mall in the Sun City section?”

“Oh! Yes,” said Silvanna with a wide smile

"And, do you wish some company, ladies?? " said Cain with in his most educated tone. He knew about the Paynns’ objectives and thought that it was the best strategy to help to obtain them "I’ve heard that once in a while, those wraith dragons appear around there and we wouldn't want something bad to happen to you, would we?”

"That’s true." said Moordryd, trying to keep his keep his composure.

“Oh! I’m not worried about that," said Silvanna. "If one of those wraith dragons appears, I am sure that The Dragon Booster will stop it. Elsie, I believe that we will have to take our DNB with us, if Dragon Booster appears, we can get his autograph, what do you think?”

"I’ve prepared yours, in case that happens."

"Good, then we’re leaving. Good bye, Moordryd, I’ll see you at dinner."

After those sarcastic words and followed closely by Elsie, Silvanna left the room laughing.

"I don’t envy your work.” said Cain after the door had been closed

“AHHHHGGGGGGH!!!!!" Moordryd shouted with rage. It was lucky that nobody outside of that room could hear him "I JUST CAN’T STAND HER!!! FIRST, I’LL DEFEAT THAT JHANUS IN THE RACE, AND LATER I'll MAKE HER REGRET IT ONCE AND FOR ALL"

---------- o0o ----------

"But... who’s Jhanus?”

It was the question that all Dragon City asked, and that was raised in that precise moment in the forgotten temple where Mortis resided.

"I said, who’s Jhanus?” asked Artha.

"Wait, wait... I am configuring the interphase of scanner... "

"Stop the class, professor," said bored Kitt. "Just told us, who’s Jhanus?"

"Just a second," said Parm. "It is almost ready"

In a screen appeared the racer image with all the information available about Jhanus, so everybody there could watch it; Mortis couldn’t avoid making a gesture with his chin, and it was the only signal that something in that racer had surprised to him and was something that he hadn’t anticipated to see.

The only available image of Jhanus showed a racer dressed with a baggy uniform, that prevented anyone from seeing the rider’s physical constitution, and combined the colors gray, turquoise and purple. Thanks to the gloves, boots and to the uniform’s high neck, nobody knew the tone of the racer’s skin. The hair and face characteristics were covered with a helmet which showed the aggressive logo of Diamath Corp.: a three-headed dragon that seemed ready to jump and attack.

The rider's bio also appeared alongside of the picture:

Full name: Jhanus Ghemins
General Information: 5’8’’, 139 lbs, Ambidextrous
Age: Unknown
Primary Draconium Influence:  Unknown
Secondary Draconium Influence: Unknown
Skills: Acrobatics, martial art, agility, team work, races
Comments: Winner of Draconia City's street circuit. Racer sponsored by Diamath Corp.


Seconds later a thin black dragon image, with a light blue blurred markings, appeared; her light-green eyes had a malignant brightness and her four powerful paws were adorned with threatened claws. Eclypse’s triangular mouth was full of razor-sharp fangs. The corresponding information appeared to a side of the threatening image.

Name: Eclypse
Attributes: Intelligence, balance, speed, team work, loyalty.
Bone Color: Black
Skils: Races


"Wow," said Kilt almost laughing “Jhanus’s very timid, or so extremely ugly that he has to hide his face... "

Almost immediately the glances of Kitt and Mortis met. The girl smiled, as if ashamed about her commentary.

"That is from the database of Draconia City, but it still has not yet been confirmed which other events he’s going to participate besides the ‘Annual Mid City Race” Parm observed while he keyed more buttons. "Rumor says that he will participate in Dagon City’s Foundation Anniversary Race”

"It doesn’t matter!" Artha exclaimed, "We’re going to beat him!"

" Drac! Go team!" confirmed Lance and laughed

Beau also confirmed this with a wide smile and nodded his head.  In the middle of all that joy and optimism, there was one person who had a vague sensation that he had heard the Diamath surname before. 





"I’m very sorry that you have to go back to Draconia City," said Silvanna. "I’ll miss you very much."

"Business calls, little sis," replied Sehanmus "Still I can’t understand why you have to study here in Dragon City. Draconia City University is excellent. And why did you have to choose that career?"

Silvanna watched her brother who was seated on a sofa in the living room of her luxurious apartment. It wasn’t a secret that the Diamath siblings were very close, in spite of their different nature. Several painful events in their childhood had only helped to unite them still more. But even so, it was a little difficult to be agreeable with Sehanmus. He didn’t understand much outside the business world, nor did he wish to.

Rain stroked the window of Silvanna's apartment. She had done a magnificent job with the decoration: simply styled furniture, excellent illumination, which together with the terrace and her flowerpots and plants, created harmony for the senses.

The apartment building was located in one of the more exclusive zones of the city, and consisted of several floors where the well-off inhabitants could enjoy the best views of Sun City. Only the most powerful of them had terraces and ample hanging gardens that delighted their sight. When viewed from a distance, the gardens appeared to form a helix with inclined vanes.

Silvanna Diamath was one of those privileged people. Her apartment consisted of two quite ample levels. The second floor was the apartment itself, and the dragon stables as well as a hanging garden were on the first floor. As the building was near the edge of the residential zone, Silvanna could see the main highway that connected Sun City with Mid City from the second level balcony.

But it wasn’t only due to the location that the place had been chosen. Several years ago the building had been the powerful Diamath family’s official residence in Dragon City. The Diamath siblings and their closest and faithful collaborators knew the building’s layout, secret passages and the hidden rooms. The renovations it had undergone when it became the home of several other prominent families after Adabert Diamath had left had not altered much of its underlying structure.

"You know, I’m not happy when I think that I’ll be leaving you alone in this city with that hypocrite Paynn," said Sehanmus at last.

"I am sure that to him I'm not worthy of his attention,” replied Silvanna remembering the invitation to dinner they had accepted from Word Paynn several days ago. "After all, I don't represent the majority of Diamath Corp.”

"Then already you have gotten the attention of somebody in less than two weeks here, little sis," said Sehanmus with an amused smile as he watched the efficient Elsie, with her usual hair style and her usual gray clothes, enter the room with an enormous bouquet of roses.

"Aren’t they beautiful!” said a delighted Silvanna as she walked towards Elsie and took the bouquet to smell the roses. "Who sent them, Elsie? Wulph? Khatah?”

"In fact," answered Elsie whose tone showed that the reply was difficult to say, "Moordryd Paynn sent them."


A pile of roses fell on the elegant blue carpet with an orange old style dragon design. Sehanmus couldn’t avoid an outburst of laughter while Silvanna watched him reproachfully.

"What's the matter, little sis? Do you reject another peace offering from Moordryd?" said the boy still laughing, while Elsie gathered the roses without showing emotion. “He will feel very offended."

“Moordryd is so hypocritical, just like his father! And you know it!” replied Silvanna. "He’s a worm!"

"Excuse me, Silvanna," interrupted Elsie, "Where do you wish me to place the flowers?”

"Where I always put the things that Moordryd sends, Elsie," answered a calmer Silvanna. "In the garbage can."

"By the way," added Elsie before she left the room with the flowers, "Ghemins has reported in.”

"Thanks Elsie. Could you ask Jhanus to be ready for the race coming up in three days?”

"I will," answered the girl as she left the room.

"Remember Silvanna, come back and visit me often in Draconia City," said Sehanmus, who would begin his return journey in a few hours. "I will be back in to Dragon City from time to time in order to supervise my projects. You already know that my objective is to get rid the senior Worm as quickly as possible."

“And will your plans also include getting rid of Worm junior as well?”

"Obviously. Although, on second thought, he could be useful at the start. You know what I mean. Just use the feminine touch: You convince him to help us and when the time comes he will also be destroyed."

"Don't even dream it. I consider that too down and dirty."

"As you wish… But, I think it would be a good idea to get aid, don’t you?”

"It's not a problem, Word Paynn has many powerful enemies. And we have a list of them, thanks to the smart and precise Rhamius.”

"That pleases me, particularly his intelligence. I can’t stand idiots” answered Sehanmus. "What does Rhamius have for us?”

Silvanna took a mini compact disc and inserted it in a spherical device that was on a small table in front of her. After she pushed a button a feminine voice said "Projector, activated". The lights turned off and a series of images, some of them in motion and others still, appeared on a nearby screen as Silvanna pressed another button.

"Word Paynn’s list of enemies, according to Rhamius’s observations,” said Silvanna. "At the top of the list is The Dragon Booster. Everyone in Dragon City knows that he has prevented several potential catastrophes. And it’s rumored that Paynn was behind them."

"He can be useful.” Sehanmus smiled scornfully. “I guess that he won’t be very difficult to convince. Guys with delusions of heroics will do anything, no matter how stupid, if you just convince them.”

"Next one: Kawake," added Silvanna. "Gossip says that Daddy Paynn irritated the Will of the Dragon Crew in general and particularly Kawake."

"Bad to the bone, Paynn easily makes enemies. It will be effortless to find allies, the problem is that we have a lot of people to choose from."

"And it’s getting better. Do you remember the Down City Council leader, Phistus the powerful?”

"He may be powerful, but not very smart, what’s up with him?"

"The junior Worm challenged him to a joust for the Down City council’s control, and he won with a little aid of the Wraith Dragons. The good news was that he was discovered cheating and the bet was nullified. Most suspicious of all is that those wraith dragons don’t bother the Dragon Eye Crew.”

"Which is led by Worm junior, right?”


"Good," exclaimed a pleased Sehanmus "That’s a lot of raw material for us to work with. Anything more?”

"Well... Apparently, there is a racer who has clear resentment against Moordryd," Silvanna said, hesitating a little before she pressed the gadget again to display a picture of Artha Penn riding Beau. "And it’s personal, if you like…”

"We don’t have time for childish things, Silvanna," replied Sehanmus, a little annoyed as he watched Artha’s picture. "This is a very important project and it’s time to act seriously. More over, how could this looser help us?”

"Sehanmus, I..." said Silvanna vacillating while she turned off the projector and the lights came on. "I’m not sure if it’s a good idea. The situation is very tense, if something goes wrong many innocents will suffer. Another war could start. It could be more terrible than the one three thousand years ago."

“Ah! My sweet, tender and ingenious little sis!" said amused Sehanmus while he burst out laughing. "We are in a business war! Paynn Inc. versus Diamath Corp. And you should remember that the big dragon eats the smaller one. But don’t be afraid, I will not unleash another war; only Paynn and his son will be the ones that will suffer." Sehanmus fixed his gaze on his sister and added in his most charming and persuasive tones, "I promise you, little sis, that nobody beside them will be hurt."

Silvanna wasn’t very convinced.

------------------------- o0o -------------------------

Cain left the exclusive residential zone where Silvanna lived, his mission was fulfilled and now he had to meet with Moordryd, who waited in the highway that lead to the Word Paynn’s citadel. Both of them began to ride towards Paynn’s citadel.

"So?" said the young Paynn.

"They received the little gift," answered Cain "What are you trying to do, Moordryd? Have a date with Miss Congeniality?"

“Not exactly," the boy responded. "You could say that I want to manipulate Miss Congeniality and the present situation to my favor."

"Remember that your father told you to leave the Diamaths alone... For now, at least."

Moordryd laughed in a sinister way, and when he could control himself said, "Oh! Just think! She knows many secrets of the company and with a little manipulation and kindness; it’ll be as if I had those secrets in my hands. And my father would be proud of me."

"But, what if things go wrong..."

"What can go wrong? Silly-vanna isn’t smart."

“Every time that you say 'What can go wrong' it’s a guarantee that it will go wrong.”



"Why do you look at me that way?”

"I once met a boy that always liked to play pranks and make me angry," responded the girl. "And I don’t know if you’re going to do the same.”

"No, I won’t do that," replied the boy with a sincere smile that erased the distrust that was in her . "He must be a very bad boy."

"He really is,” answered the girl softly.

"What’s your name?" asked the boy. "My name is Artha Tannis Penn, of Penn Stables. What’s yours?”

------- o0o -------

"Ready for the race, Stable Boy?”

Artha smiled, as always he did when Kitt called him like that; for him, it was music to his ears.

"What happened to you, Stable Boy? The Muhorta ate your tongue?" said Kitt smiling.

"Yes… I mean, no...” said Artha doubtfully. Kitt definitively had a charm that was difficult too describe in words. The girl burst out laughing.


"Not really," Artha answered. "It’s only a race".

“JUST A RACE? JUST A RACE!!?” screamed a loud a screeching voice. Apparently someone considered the event more than a simple competition.

Surprised, Artha and Kitt looked towards where the yell came from and saw a new team in a nearby stable block and close to that, a dragon-trailer near. The stable block and the dragon-trailer had the color and the well know emblem of the Diamath Corporation.


Marvin watched Elsie without knowing if he should feel amused or intimidated. Certainly Miss Drakhe could be fearsome when the occasion arose, and unfortunately, he wasn’t a match for her, physically speaking. Unconsciously he made a mental picture of himself: A seventeen year old boy with an angular face, blue eyes, skinny body, and shining orange hair and bound to a wheelchair thanks to an accident.

However, in spite of that, Marvin never felt bitter about his fate. Yes! His body was limited, but his mind had grown; his life had changed, but he was alive! The only boundaries to fear were the ones created by his own mind. Even with a limited body he felt that he could still do great things. His mind offered all the freedom he needed to create things and his hands collaborated in that task. Often he had thought of what could have been if he hadn’t suffered the accident. Perhaps he wouldn’t have become oriented towards invention and experimentation. As always on these occasions, Marvin rejected those ideas. "What would happen if…?” was a situation that didn’t exist, and thinking about it was a waste of time and energy.

Eclypse’s impatient bellow brought Marvin back to reality. He had to fit the new alloy pieces of draconium for the race. The armor covered only the parts of the dragon that were more exposed to the aggressions of the other competitors. It included a small helmet that only covered part of the dragon’s skull, giving her a more imposing appearance than she already had.


"Could you let me work, Elsie," said the impatient boy while he checked the dragon closely. "I need to concentrate."

Elsie made an impatient gesture and she shouted orders to four assistants, who seemed to already be accustomed to the perfectionist woman. Seated in a corner of the stable block was the well-known figure of the mysterious Jhanus, who watched the scene with an air of boredom as indicated by the gestures of racer's hands and body. Through the visor that completely hid the face, the racer looked about as if searching for something to capture the racer’s interest.


The racer looked at Elsie Drakhe and made a gesture of the hand that seemed to say *Are you speaking to me?*

“Yes, Ghemins! I am speaking to you!" Elsie exclaimed with her more authoritarian tone. "I think that it’s my duty to remind you of a rule that you must follow: you are strictly prohibited from performing dangerous acrobatics while your labor contract is in effect. Understood?”

A gesture from Jhanus indicated that the racer deliberately hadn’t paid attention.

 “WHY DOES NOBODY LISTEN ME!!!" shouted Elsie.

"With that loud voice, it’s difficult for anybody not to hear her," said Kitt in low voice so that only Artha could hear it.

------ o0o ------


All the dragons and their riders moved towards the starting gate. Artha Penn and Kitt did the same. In gate number one was Kitt, followed by Artha, Jhanus, Moordryd, a member dragon flames crew, Dorsull and other riders who were members of the Dragon Eye Crew.

"Artha, remember to mind Beau’s draconium energy."

"Parm," answered the impatient teen viewing his best friend and his little brother through the vidscreen, "don’t worry. You're speaking to a professional."

"This time you’ll be a professional looser, Stable-Brat," Moordryd taunted as he watched Artha from his position. Turning his attention to Jhanus, “So, are you the idiot Silvanna contracted? Very interesting." Jhanus watched him but the racer didn’t say anything. In mocking tone Moordryd added, "What happened to you? Dragon ate your tongue?”

The only answer that Moordryd got was a threatening expression from Eclypse along with a snap in the air that said it all.

"You know something, Paynn? You're pitiful racer,” Artha responded.

“We will see who the pitiful racer will be when the race finishes, Stable-Brat!" snarled Moordryd.

“WELCOME TO THE MID CITY ANNUAL RACE!!!!” said Race Marshall Budge as the crowd shouted impatiently for the race to begin.

From the platform where the coaches watched the race, Parm continued giving instructions to Artha while Lance played Battle Dragon Online on his vidgame.

The door to the platform opened. Parm and Lance turned around to see who had entered and saw an older teenage boy in a wheelchair followed by a girl of a similar age.

The girl looking at boy said, "Marvin, could you get a com-link with Ghemins, please?”

The young man pressed some buttons and a virtual screen appeared in front of them.

“Ghemins!" said the girl. Jhanus, who was listening to Race Marshall Budge’s boring speech, shook with surprise by the sudden appearance of Elsie in the vidscreen installed on the control panel of the racer’s saddle. Elsie, who was watching Jhanus in an authoritarian way, continued speaking, "I hope, Ghenims, that you follow the plan and I'm warning you about that... "

Elsie’s Speech was cut off as Jhanus had turned off the sound, but it could be seen in the screen that the girl was still moving her lips.

"Are they putting you on a leash, Ghenims?" said Moordryd with a mocking tone.

Jhanus gave a deep sigh, and looking at the young Paynn, the racer gave an affirmative nod. A few moments later, Jhanus pushed a button and everyone could hear the voice of Miss Drakhe.

"... And I expect you haven't set your com link to mute as you usually do when I am giving you instructions. Or have you done it already?” 

Jhanus made a thoughtful gesture for few seconds then gave an affirmative nod.

“Don’t you feel ashamed!???" exclaimed an annoyed Elsie, and she was more irritated when Jhanus made a negative gesture. Eclypse expressed her opinion with a mocking giggle. 

Irritated, Elsie added, “You and your dragon!”

“LADIES AND GLENTEMEN!! LET THE RACE BEGIN!!" shouted Race Marshall Budge as the crowd screamed with joy. The countdown began.

The dragons pawed the ground impatiently as the racers prepared for the start.

The gates opened and the dragons took off at full speed down the illuminated track. The dragon-traps began to work and the racers began to evade them, to attack each other and to try to advance at the same time.

Dorsull, Kitt, Moordryd, Artha and Jhanus competed for first place. Kitt was ahead but Dorsull, using his light-blue tentacle gear, started to extract Kitt‘s draconium energy while she fought to free herself.

Artha saw that and moved Beau in that direction; with his staff, he cut the tentacle. At the last moment, Kitt and Artha moved to the side as Dorsull, with a terrified look on his face, watched as an enormous sign that said "WARNING, remodeling"approach him at full speed. He had just enough time to eject himself, and seconds later, a light-blue parachute with Dragon Fish Crew’s logo was seen in the sky.

“Thanks, Stable-boy!" said Kitt with a wide smile. “Meet you at the finish line.”

Artha smiled back with his mind on catching up to Moordryd and Jhanus. Moordryd, seeing his rival approaching, pressed some buttons and more dragon-traps flew towards Artha and Beau.

Moordryd laughed in a sinister way and looked ahead as Jhanus was taking the advantage. Moordryd smiled with sarcasm; it was time to finish that clown.

“Ghemins!" said Elsie to Jhanus by vidscreen. "WATCH OUT!!!! You-know-who is behind you! And you know that he is able to do you-know-what!” Elsie looked to Marvin and said, "Are you sure that your toy will work?”

"If it doesn’t work I will put it between two pieces of bread and eat it,” responded the boy to her, and pressing some buttons, Jhanus appeared in the virtual screen. "Jhanus,” said Marvin to the racer. "You should prepare yourself, we may implement the operation counterattack.”

Jhanus made an affirmative hand gesture and concentrated on reaching the finish line. Moordryd waited until Jhanus was ahead a little more and then used his whip and began to steal Eclypse’s draconium energy.

"It seems that Moordryd is scraping their scales," said Lance to Marvin and Elsie after watching the progress of the race on the vidscreen.

"It's not over yet,” replied Marvin and using the comlink once again he shouted, “NOW, JHANUS! NOW!”

Jhanus pressed some buttons and Marvin’s block-gear started to work. Marvin was pleased and he smiled. He had studied all of Moordryd’s tricks and this was the final test of his gear. In theory, the armor that protected Eclypse not only blocked the whip from draining draconium energy, but in a few seconds, it would begin to steal the energy from Moordryd’s dragon. After a few minutes, there would be SUCCESS!!!

Moordryd watched but didn’t understand what was happening. His draconium energy level was decreasing quickly and thanks to that, he wasn’t able to communicate with Cain to tell him to use blinding gear or a flash-stick.

Jhanus decided that it was time to accelerate and pressing other buttons; four powerful rockets appeared on the armor that Eclypse had in both back legs, causing her to run more quickly and also forcefully threw the debilitated Decepshun.

Jhanus looked to Eclypse who winked at her rider as if she knew what her rider wished her to do. Eclypse then began to jump from side to side swinging Decepshun so as to block the other racers.

"I didn’t know that Moordryd was such an excellent dragon-trap," said Kitt to Artha while both teens tried to avoid Moordryd and pass at same time.

"Me neither," replied Artha.

"Jhanus, what you are doing? Can’t you see that Moordryd is stepping on your tail?” said Elsie through the vidscreen.

The crowd yelled excitedly. Many in Dragon City had heard about Jhanus’s bold racing style and the rider’s reckless tricks on Draconia City’s race circuit and now they were watching it themselves. The mysterious rider quickly approached the finish and it seemed that nobody could stop Jhanus Ghemins.

Descepshun tenaciously tried to resist, whereas Moordryd stubbornly didn’t want to release the whip. However, everything was useless. As Jhanus crossed the finish line, the rider turned abruptly and at the last second, Jhanus extended a staff and with a quick strike, hit Moordryd’s whip. Jhanus’s staff released a powerful electrical charge that burned the circuits of the whip, causing it to release Eclypse. And thanks to the sudden shock, Moordryd and Descepshun crashed into a group of trash cans.


The crowd cheered Jhanus as the mysterious rider greeted them. Everybody hoped that Jhanus would take off the helmet so they could meet the face of their new hero.

"SOME WORDS FOR YOUR FANS?" said Race Marshall Budge as Jhanus approached the platform riding Eclypse to receive the trophy.

The crowd fell silent along with Race Marshall Budge and Jhanus. Everyone who hoped to hear their idol speak was surprised by the mystery of the hermit-like rider.

"It seems, friends, that the dragon ate his tongue,” said Race Marshall Budge, a little surprised by the strange reserve of the rider. "BUT IT DOES NOT MATTER. WE WILL GIVE THE NEW CHAMPION A WARM ROUND OF APPLAUSE!!”

The multitude cheered for joy and applause filled the air as Jhanus raised the cup and Eclypse trotted near the grand stand, proudly showing her rider.

On the coach’s platform, Marvin and Elsie watched the scene with very different attitudes: Marvin deeply pleased and Elsie with cold professionalism.

"Congratulations, Marvin. Your toy has been a complete success. It is time to inform Miss Diamath," said Elsie with a more kind tone while she watched Marvin turn the comlink to Silvanna’s frequency.

"What’s going on, Elsie?” said Silvanna shortly after her image appeared in the screen of the comlink.

"The final test has be a success,” replied Elsie in a professional tone.

"Excellent. I think, Elsie, that we should give everyone a bonus,” said the young woman. "Don’t move, I’m coming there.”

After Silvanna spoke, she turned off her com link. Elsie and Marvin left as Parm and Lance watched them walk away.

------ o0o ------

“What a Race, Artha!”

"Are you saying that for me, Parm, or for Jhanus?" Artha replied.

"Well... in fact... Jhanus...”

"He was scale scraping you and Moordryd," said Lance. Artha looked at his little brother in a way that made Lance smile nervously.

"You don’t have to be upset,” added Parm. "Jhanus is one of the few of Draconia City’s racers that always plays fair, and using an opponent as a shield or dragon-trap doesn’t break any rule.”

"And you're on Jhanus’s side,” replied Artha sarcastically while he walked in the opposite direction of his friend. Artha stopped himself; walking by in that direction was Moordryd, accompanied by Cain and Rancydd.

“Whoa! If it isn't the Penn Brat," exclaimed Moordryd, who felt somehow happy that he could discharge his rage on another person he equally detested.

"What happened to you, Paynn? Are you hurt to be humiliated in that way?”

"Listen, Stable-Brat..." A childish giggle caused Moordryd to stop; the expression on his face looked as though an unexpected calamity had fallen over him. At last, speaking to the other members of his Crew without looking, "Don’t tell me. She's 5 and a half feet tall, grey eyes, sarcastic smile and she’s a particularly annoying woman. Am I right?”

"Didn’t you say that you don’t want us to tell you?" replied Cain.

Moordryd turn around and he saw Silvanna. On this occasion, she was wearing a casual suit with the colors of white, blue, lilac and purple that emphasized her well-formed figure. Her helmet, that covered all her head, had Diamaths’s symbol made of purple and white draconium.

Her saddle looked like those used by the Army of the Dragon, but it had the white, purple and deep blue colors.

The saddle was built with care and it harmonized with the exotic dragon that Silvanna rode. The dragon belonged to a very rare species that could only be found in Drakholiax Valley, which was located several miles southeast of Draconia City. They were associated with the most powerful families of that city.

Its color, totally white, reflected light in a way that gave it a look that could only be described as ghostly; which caused this species to be called "White Dragons” or “Phantom Dragons", among other names.

Its expressive blue eyes shined like blue jewels framed in the finest white draconium. Others details about this species were its short neck and its ears, which seemed like bat wings, and the four powerful legs which gave it excellent balance and speed.

Silvanna wasn’t alone. Close to her was Jhanus, and few feet behind, a twenty-year-old-looking young man. Much of his face couldn’t be much appraised due to the visor of his old and mistreated helmet, but his face was square and suntanned.

His strong shoulders and thin body, spoke of a physically active life, and he was little taller than Moordryd; which made him noticeable in a crowd. The boy rode a short neck dragon with four legs. Its color was of a mixture of red and dark red; as a decoration, the dragon displayed an earring made of brown and red draconium on one of its ears and he had a strange tattoo on one of his back legs.

The young man’s clothes and saddle announced that he was from neither Draconia City nor Dragon City. Over his dark red and orange clothes, he wore an old poncho and a red draconium armband on his left arm.

His saddle was, like his helmet, old and mistreated and unlike the usual saddles used in Dragon city and other places as this one was placed on the dragon’s back and was enough wide so that two riders could sit together comfortably.

The rider used reins to direct the dragon that were joined by a fine but resistant chain of draconium to plates of the same metal which the dragon magnetized to his jaws. Although the noble creature could have broken them easily, he obeyed the small pull by his rider.

The others were a little surprised as they watched the strange group, but the surprise did not last long.

"Can I know, Silvanna, why have I the honor of your visit?" said Moordryd sarcastically.

"Supervising my sponsored racer," replied Silvanna with badly disguised disdain.

"Can’t you do that in your stable block? Or doesn’t your ego leave enough space for you to come in?” replied Moordryd.

“As it happens, you’re in front of my sponsored rider's stable block,” replied the annoyed young woman.

"It’s always a pleasure to bother you,” answered back Moordryd.

“Listen, Paynn! Haven’t you caused enough annoyances for one day?“ yelled Artha irritated.


“Hey, Zhulan!" said the calm Silvanna to the young man who had the poncho, but with an exaggerated high tone so that all could hear her. "Isn’t that man near the Dragon Flares’ stable block with Security? Could you be so kind as to call him?”

“Let’s go!" said the annoyed Moordryd to Ranccyd and Cain. The boys began to move away. When they walked in front of Silvanna, her dragon, with all bad intentions, struck a trash can and its content fell straight on Moordryd.

Moordryd felt that he hated that girl more than the Dragon Booster himself. He murmured a series of words of which among them only just could be understood "... spoiled brat girl."

Then he left the place quickly together with Cain and Ranccyd.

"I have to say," said Ranccyd, "she’s a pretty, spoiled, brat girl."

“SHUT UP, RANCCYD!!!!!!" roared Moordryd.

Silvanna had a mocking smile, whereas Zhulan shook his head with worry.

"You should be more prudent, Silvanna," said Zhulan disapprovingly. "You know it isn’t good to play with fire.”

"Don’t be a party-pooper, Zhulan," said Silvanna without looking worried. "He can roar all he wants, but he knows very well that he cannot bite."

"Even so, you must be prudent," replied the young man. "Someday he might do it."

"I think your friend is right," said Artha while he approached Silvanna. "Moordryd Paynn is somebody that you don’t take lightly."

"I know that better than you, Tannis," replied Silvanna with a familiarity that later bothered Kitt. Artha and his companions were surprised. How could a perfect stranger have known that Artha's middle name was Tannis? Only Silvanna laughed aloud.

"If you tried to remember, you wouldn’t be so surprised," said Silvanna to Artha before turning her dragon away and leaving with her companions.

Eight years Ago...

Connor Penn saw that two visitors were arriving at his stables as they had announced. He generally didn’t judge before meeting the people who came in search of advice, to take dragon riding classes or who were simply looking for a coach for the street races; but they definitively weren’t of his complete affability.

He knew perfectly well the infamy that preceded to the Diamath family lately and here were two members of that frightful family who came, presumably, to ask for his services. But at the same time, he recognized that Mrs. Diamath’s family had several respectable members in Draconia City’s community.

It was a big surprise to all that she had gotten married to somebody with such a dubious reputation as Adaberth Diamath. Truly, Connor Penn didn’t know what to think.

An elegant carriage pull by two white dragons approached full speed towards the entrance of Penn Stables. They had arrived. When the vehicle stopped, Connor Penn could admire the magnificent dragons that pulled the carriage, they were known by people as "Silver Dragons" or "Phantomt Dragons".

Phoebe Diamath left the vehicle and she walked towards Mr. Penn. She was tall and she had long black hair, her almond-shaped eyes had a grayish tone; her rosy and delicate features had a melancholy expression that ironically made her rounded face more beautiful.

She was tall and thin, and was wearing a purple suit with turquoise edges along with a large purple armband that covered a little more than half of her arm. The thing that caught the most attention on her was the old gold draconium medal that was around her neck with the image of a long three-headed dragon’s profile on it.

The second lady who left the vehicle, possibly an assistant, was slightly taller than Phoebe Diamath, and her suntanned skin combined with her dark-red and orange clothes. Her angular face was surrounded by short black and red hair; she had a thin nose and reddish-brown eyes.

A third passenger left the vehicle and moved close to Phoebe Diamath, her little hands grasped her mother’s hand. The glance of Mr. Penn settled on the girl, who was around eight or nine years old and she was dressed in a white, lilac and pink suit. She had an oval face and blue-gray eyes which showed fear.

Connor Penn knew that something was wrong; that wasn’t a normal child's expression. She had the same look as dragons that were mistreated by their riders who considered them beasts without intelligence or feelings.

Suddenly, Connor Penn remembered a lesson the dragon priests had taught to him in his childhood: “Practice mercy whenever you can and never leave the weak ones when they implore your protection... Make compassion and mercy your best friends, they are seeds of great kindness that in the hour of pain blooms and bears fruit. He who sews those seeds of virtue, never was alone on the path of life... With the waters of pain and the soil of cruelty, it’s more probable to grow the root of all evils... ”

Why in name of Magna Draconis, was he thinking that?

"Greet Mr. Penn, little one,” animated Phoebe to the little girl while she touched her shoulders kindly. The girl made a gesture of greeting without saying a word and immediately she hide behind her mother.

Definitively something was wrong. Mr. Penn decided that it was better to talk in his office that was located on the second floor of a nearby building, a proposal that Mrs. Diamath approved.

"Syrhan, could you take care of the little one for a second?" said Mrs. Diamath kindly to her companion, and watching her daughter, added with a smile, "And you sweetheart, behave and obey Syrhan.”

Syrhan made an affirmative gesture and she waited next to the dragons while the girl grasped her hands to Syrhan’s in a pathetic way. Mrs. Diamath followed Mr. Penn to his office, where inside was a little boy with black hair and beautiful blue eyes.

“Daddy, daddy!” gladly said the kid while he ran towards the strong and affectionate arms of Mr. Penn, whom he embraced. "I finished everything you asked me to do. Can I go play a while? Can I? Please?”

"OK," said Mr. Penn with a warm smile. "Don’t leave the property and I want you to take care of your little brother when he wakes up from his nap.”

"YEAAAAAA!!!!" said the boy while he ran towards the door and closed it in a noisy way. Just before the little one went away, he could hear through the door words that he didn’t completely understand.

"Darkness and pain always have accompanied the Diamath family... " said a feminine voice. "I don’t want her to grow up thinking that all the human beings are Monsters. I don’t want her to see the world as Adaberth does. As I see it... I want her to be a happy girl with self-confidence...  She loves dragons, and I think that it’s the only way available to avoid that... "

How strange were adults, thought the boy. But it was a beautiful day and he ran down stairs to the garden. Once on the ground floor, the white dragons captured his attention. When he approached a little closer to see them better, he noticed that a little girl watched him with distrust.

"Hello," the boy said.

"Hello,” answered the girl softly .

"Why do you look at me that way?”

"I once met a boy that always liked to play pranks and make me angry," responded the girl. "And I don’t know if you’re going to do the same.”

"No, I won’t do that," replied the boy with a sincere smile that erased the distrust that was in her . "He must be a very bad boy."

"He really is,” answered the girl softly.

"What’s your name?" asked the boy. "My name is Artha Tannis Penn, of Penn Stables. What’s yours?”

"Silvanna Diamath," said the girl with a smile. "Your dad is the owner these stables, Tannis?”

"That’s ob-ob-obnious," said Artha, trying but failing to pronounce obvious. "But call me Artha if you like. Are you the girl who came with her mom to arrange a schedule to take riding classes with my dad?”

"If your dad wants to teach me," said the girl sadly. "I believe that he wasn’t pleased when he saw us. Nobody is pleased... Everyone hates us. Everyone thinks we’re bad."

"I don't believe that you're a bad person. You don’t seem like it."

"Do you think so? Do you want to be my friend?" said Silvanna with a wide smile. The boy smiled and made an affirmative gesture with his head.

"Do you want to play with me?" asked Artha.

Silvanna nodded her head and looking at Syrhan, spoke submissively,

"Can I play a while with Artha, Syrhan? I will be careful, I won’t get dirty, and I promise to behave. Can I? Tell me that I can. My mom won’t mind, she’s good and she doesn’t mind.”

Syrhan looked at the little one. Certainly, she couldn’t see anything bad to allow that innocent request and granted her permission to the little girl.

"Remain where I can watch you," said the lady to the girl. “Remember that I have instructions from your mother to take care of you while she discusses important things with Mr. Penn.”

Silvanna and Artha gave a shout of joy and both children ran towards the garden that was a short distance from the vehicle.

It was the way that he had met her. Artha Penn now remembered where he had heard Diamath’s last name before.




Dragonarian Intern: A student of dragon health care who hasn't yet graduated. Interns attend to some minor health troubles.

Zhamirah: Ancient word that means sister. It's applied to siblings of same parents, half-siblings, adoptive siblings, feminine members of same clan, very close friends or relations between two or more persons who are under the care of same tutor.



Moordryd was in a very bad mood that day. In the past week, nothing had come out well for him. Jhanus had won in the last race, the Dragon Boo-boo frustrated all his attempts to steal dragons and his father had consequentially given him the usually scolding. Normally, he would go to Penn Stables to annoy the Stable-brat, but he wasn't in the mood for that either.

An animated chorus of male voices arrived at Moordryd’s ears. He was curious but somewhat annoyed by this and left to see what was happening. How could he plan to teach a good lesson to that idiot named Jhanus and the Stable-Brat with that racket?

The members of the Dragon Eye Crew shut up as soon as Moordryd appeared. They knew that when their leader was in a bad mood that it was best to avoid doing anything that could cause further rage.

"WHAT'S GOING ON HERE, CAIN?" shouted Moordryd to his second in command.

"We’re only commenting that the Down City Crew Council has started a Dragon Health Campaign."

“AND YOU’RE SO HAPPY ABOUT THAT???!!!!” yelled Moordryd as his ire overflowed. “THAT A BUNCH OF DRAGONS WILL GET A VACCINATION???!!!”

"In fact, this will be a check-up,” replied Cain unworried. "The guys are more than inclined to go; they heard that among the dragonarian interns are many pretty gals.”

That was a powerful motivator. Moordryd thought that it would be good idea if Decepshun went to the Dragon Health Campaign as well.

------- o0o -------

The sun was rising as a compact group left the Dragon Medicine Faculty. The group was made up of young dragonarian interns, who went to fulfill their social service in the poorest communities. They were escorted by several members of the prestigious, honorable and respectable crews of the Inner Order and the Will of the Dragon.

Among the dragonarian interns were a number of girls. Silvanna Diamath stood out among them without trying to do so.

Silvanna was thinking about what had happened these last days and that morning, and she only smiled with indifference at the group of dragonarian medical interns.

"I'm sorry, Miss Diamath,” said the director of her faculty. "But we cannot change the place of your social service based only on a personal wish."

Silvanna sighed with annoyance. Why indeed did it have to be there? She wished to go to the other side, particularly to a certain special place where she could contact an old friend of her childhood.

"Why do you sigh so much? You're thinking about your fiancé, aren't you.”
Silvanna looked at the girl with irritation as the group of girls started to laugh.

"Which fiancé, Sayannah?” she finally replied.

"The owner of that dragon," answered the girl as she gazed upon Zhulan’s red and dark red dragon, which it was being ridden by Silvanna.

"He isn’t my fiancé,” said Silvanna coldly.

“Oh, come on!” said another girl. "You two are a wonderful pair."

"Yeah," added the other girl. "'The Princess and the Pauper’, it sounds like the title for a romantic novel.”

Silvanna spoke an order to Hamush in a foreign language. The dragon obeyed in the same way that he had obeyed Zhulan and advanced, leaving the other girls behind, but he took the precaution to remain within the escort.
The noble dragon still remembered the words that his beloved rider had told him before departing that morning.

"Hamush, my friend," the young man had told to him. "Take care of Silvanna in the same way that you’d care for me. You know that I love her. She’s more than a sister for me."

The dragon had made a vow without words. Even if Zhulan hadn’t requested it, he’d have given his last scale to protect Silvanna since he also appreciated her.
Hamush glimpsed Silvanna with his brilliant amber eyes. The girl seemed to be lost in her own thoughts.

"Zhulan, you really don’t have to do it," said the girl. "I see no reason to..."

"Your dragons are very exotic, Silvanna," replied Zhulan. "And Eclypse..."

"I don’t think that Jhanus will get annoyed if I ride her," said Silvanna with a smile.

"The zone that you’ll go to is very dangerous," said Zhulan and he seriously added "Zhamirah, your security worries me and I believe that it’s better that you ride Hamush. I know that he will care for you well."

“How kind!” said the girl with a smile.

"You look very thoughtful, Miss Diamath."

The well-controlled voice shook of Silvanna from hers meditations. When she turned her head, she saw the serene and inscrutable face of Khatah. The girl smiled with courtesy and answered, "Are you always so formal with the girls?”

"I’m always formal with the ladies," answered Khatah with a smile.
Silvanna laughed willingly and she talked with Khatah.

------- o0o -------

"So where are you going, Moordryd? To a party?”

Cain watched his boss as Moordryd put an extra amount of gel on. It wasn’t common to find Moordryd in his room at the Dragon Eye Crew Compound being more interested in giving a good impression than to plot a plan or to intimidate.
Normally, Moordryd wouldn’t have deigned to answer, but that day he was in an unusually good mood.

"I was thinking about taking Decepshun to the Dragon Health Campaign in the Down City Council Compound.”

"Don’t tell me that is where the party is?“ asked Cain with a badly disguised sarcastic smile.

"Or course it isn’t," replied Moordryd, a bit annoyed while he carefully looked at his image in the mirror, as if he was meticulously criticizing every detail of his appearance.

Finally, Moordryd was satisfied and riding Decepshun, he went to the Down City Council’s Compound.

The Dragon Health Campaign promoted by the crews had caught the attention of all the Down City Council members.

Interns and Graduated Dragonarians enjoyed a certain level of protection among the low-income people that needed dragons for their work.

It was known to all that the members of the Human-Dragon Medicine Faculty (HDMF), performing their social service or volunteer work, went to the poor sectors of Dragon City without receiving any payment for their services. For that reason, they were welcome and well respected in those sectors where Dragon City Security Forces didn’t dare to enter.

It was said that it was bad luck to hurt or bother a Doctor or Dragonarian, but those that were more practical knew that it wasn’t good idea because someday they might need their services.

Moordryd never thought much about the Dragonarians. In fact, he didn’t understand why somebody would dedicate their life to curing dragons. It was easy enough to obtain one, especially by stealing one. Almost unconsciously, he admitted that a dragon like Decepshun wasn’t easy to find. She was ferociously loyal to him and they had shared so many things that, at last, he had to admit that if something bad happened to her, he would lament it.

Moordryd waited impatiently for his turn, while he thought how to ask one of HDMF’s girls for a date; and he bet that more than one would be interested.

"Moordryd Paynn, your assigned Dragonarian is waiting for you in quarter four," announced an intern.

Moordryd advanced followed by Decepshun. He heard a feminine voice coming from that quarter and surely it would be easy to convince her to have a date with him, especially once she heard the long list of abilities that he had.

"Hello, Moordryd!" said a clearly mocking voice. Moordryd was so surprised that he didn’t hear the quarter’s door close. Decepshun cast a threatening glance towards Silvanna, who acted as if Moordryd didn’t matter her, and she walked with a smile towards the boy. "What’s happened, Moordryd? Has the dragon eaten your tongue?"

Moordryd couldn’t believe it and looked at the girl with shock, but the gray-blue dragonarian’s uniform that Silvanna wore, along with the long white boots made of synthetic material and her silver-plated gathered hair, confirmed that she was the intern who would take care of Decepshun.
The only thing which seemed out of place on her clothes was a strange purple draconium armband that the girl wore on her left arm. Certainly, his bad luck couldn't get worse, thought Moordryd.

Silvanna picked up some medical instruments while she smiled in a way that was impossible to interpret whether it was sarcasm or displeasure.

"What-what are you doing here?" stammered the boy who still hadn’t recovered from his astonishment.

"Surprise," answered Silvanna sarcastically. "I am the Dragonarian assigned to examine your dragon for the next six months."

"WHAT?????? "

"You heard me," answered back Silvanna as she approached Decepshun. "Now, if you don’t mind, I must examine Decepshun. I want to finish early since I have a date with Khatah. Come on, baby," she said to Decepshun. "I want to see you make a wide smile."

Decepshun showed her fangs in a way that would terrify most people, but Silvanna seemed not to feel fear.

"So, have you been assigned to the Down City Council stables?”

“Yes," the girl answered while she inspected Decepshun’s fangs. "And believe me, I didn’t jump with joy when I knew that we were going to see each other."

"I can imagine that," murmured Moordryd and both teenagers remained silent.

"I must admit, Moordryd," said Silvanna at last as she examined Decepshun’s paws. "You take very good care of Decepshun." Moordryd straightened up very proud of the compliment. "You only must cut her claws a little more and that’s everything."

"I never thought that you had such strange ideas, Silvanna," said Moordryd with a slightly mordacious tone. "First, to study to become a Dragonarian and second to have a date with Khatah. Is he your boyfriend?"

"Not really. We’re going out just like friends. All boys have their chance," replied Silvanna without being disquieted while Decepshum listened without missing a word.

"You have never given me a chance!"

"You have never asked for it."

"If I asked you for a date, would you do it?"

"I would do it for a month, if you won a race honestly," responded Silvanna while she fixedly watched Moordryd. Decepshun watched both adolescents in a way that clearly said ‘What nonsense.’ "But, you couldn’t do that even if your life depended on it."

"You think so?” said Moordryd as he watched the girl in a challenging way. "What do you bet that I can win a race without anybody's aid and without using my gear?"

"If you win, I’ll date you for a month with the bonus that Jhanus will be out of the competitions during that period," said Silvanna looking Moordryd straight in his eyes. "If you loose, well, you will be retired for thirty days and I think that would cause you a lot troubles."

"It’s a deal," said Moordryd with no intention of keeping his word if he lost the bet.

"OK, it’s a bet," said the girl as she smiled in a mysterious way. Moordryd left the quarter smiling in an ironic way, which was imitated by Decepshun.

"What an idiot," said the boy in low voice, as soon as the door of the quarter had closed, while Decepshun watched him with approval.

------- o0o -------

Silvanna saw Moordryd leave the quarter while she smiled with disdain and looked at her bracelet. With her right hand, she pressed it and a secret compartment appeared. Hidden there was a small recorder and she manipulated some buttons. Moordryd’s voice could be heard which said: "It is a deal."
With a sarcastic smile, the girl murmured in low voice, "Ingenuous.”

------- o0o -------


The bored voice of Elsie made Silvanna stop her reflections. She was seated in a comfortable armchair in her apartment.

Watching her friend, Silvanna said, "Has Rhamius arrived?”

Elsie made an affirmative gesture with her head.

“Let him come in," Silvanna said coldly.

Silvanna drank a fruit juice with mineral water while she waited for Rhamius. A gesture of repulsion drew in her beautiful lips. Rhamius could be very efficient when getting information or spying was needed, though personally Silvanna couldn’t tolerate his presence and tried to avoid him as much as possible.

Unfortunately, this was one of those occasions where she had to see him. The door to the apartment opened; Silvanna didn’t bother to stand up when Rhamius came in.

Rhamius was a young man who inspired fear; his shining yellow eyes had a cold and malevolent shine. His angular face was decorated with a perpetual sarcastic smile and a scar crossing his face, which only served to worsen the malevolence portrayed in his features.

His shining red hair contrasted with his pale, slightly yellowish skin. He was dressed in a black, red and purple combination that made him seem thinner than he really was.

Silvanna stood up and turning her back on him with disdain, she walked towards the window, not looking at him.

"Do you know why I have called you?" she said with a sharp tone.

"To do my specialty," he replied without hiding his malevolent smile.

"Then, I want that you follow and watch Moordryd Drakkus Paynn twenty four hours a day."

Rhamius whistled and said with sarcasm, "It seems that this rivalry is serious, or do you have other interests in that loser?”

"That isn’t your business," responded Silvanna with a cold tone.

"It is my business," Rhamius said while he approached the girl and almost touched her shoulders with his hands. "After all, I must worry about the well-being of Diamath’s."

Silvanna spun her body quickly and threw her mineral water to Rhamius’s face.


Rhamius walked slowly towards the door, without losing his caustic smile. Elsie had watched the scene without losing her characteristic stoicism. When Rhamius left the room, she approached Silvanna and began to call the cleaning service on the com link.

"Elsie," said Silvanna with a tone that still demonstrated the upsetting the impertinent Rhamius had caused her.

"How can I help, Silvanna?”

"The next time that Rhamius comes, have him enter through the employee’s door," she said. "And when the cleaning people arrive, ask them to disinfect this room."

After these words, Silvanna left the room.



“WELCOME TO THE DRAGON CITY FOUNDATION ANNIVERSARY RACE,” shouted Race Marshall Budge, as the people cheered happily while they waited impatiently for the appearance of their heroes.

On the dais where the principal figures of Dragon City took their seats, Silvanna Diamath finished a conversation with Rhamius that did not please her at all.

“I hope for your own good, Rhamius, that you have done your work thoroughly,” the girl said coldly.

“As always,” answered the boy with a malignant smile.

Silvanna cut communications without saying goodbye and coldly watched the track as Race Marshall Budge continued with his welcome speech.

--- o0o ---

“Moordryd, are you sure you want to do it that way?”

Cain looked at his leader without understanding at all what he had requested of him. Decepshun looked to her rider with astonishment. When she heard the bet, she had never thought that he was being serious.

“You heard it,” replied Moordryd sharply. “I’ll show that show-off gal the real Moordryd Paynn.”

It was difficult to understand humans, thought Decepshun, but she knew that Moordryd counted on her, so she couldn’t disappoint him.

--- o0o ---

“Do not go far, Lance,” said Parm while he tried to look after the little Penn and fix a last minute failure. “Remember that this place can be dangerous.”

“OK," replied a distracted Lance as he looked at Jhanus’s tent and the rider’s gear. Lance felt a lot of curiosity and he didn’t miss any single detail about what happened in that place, but he couldn’t see much; the tent was positioned in such a way that it didn’t allow anyone to see who was inside.

A dragon transport carriage stopped near the tent and a group of assistants opened its door and waited as Eclypse left the carriage. The she-dragon left the carriage and calmly walked towards a side of the tent and disappeared. Elsie and Marvin were speaking near where the entrance had to be.

“Has anyone seen Zhulan?” said one of the assistants.

“Zhulan had to leave,” replied Elsie dryly. “Everyone can retire. We will call you as soon as we need you.”

The assistants left and Elsie started to speak with Marvin. Lance didn’t miss any detail of what happened. It was very probably that Jhanus was within the tent. What if Jhanus wasn’t wearing his helmet? Would it be wrong if he went to catch glimpse of Jhanus? He could tell his older bro what Jhanus looked like. Nevertheless, would that be something bad?

Lance looked at Parm who was very busy. Parm wouldn’t notice anything, especially if Lance didn’t delay. Quickly, Lance slipped over to the tent. He raised the fabric and looked towards the entrance which was covered by a curtain. Smiling, the little one entered and looked around. Suddenly he was frozen with fear! Eclypse was inside and she looked at him with her shinning blue eyes!

Lance didn’t know what to do. He knew that not all the dragoons were friendly and amiable like Fraschun and Beau. He really didn’t know what that she-dragon would do.

Eclypse watched the little one. That human-puppy was too young to be considered a threat, and moreover, he was scared of her!

They watched each other, and after several minutes that seemed like hours, the she-dragon began to wag her tail slightly. She wished to make it clear that she wouldn’t hurt him. Bravely, Lance approached her slowly.

When Lance was close to her, Eclypse licked his face with her enormous tongue. Lance laughed from the tickles the she-dragon gave him, and gently began to stroke her neck and behind her ears, while Eclypse purred in a pleased manner.

Lance looked around. Jhanus wasn’t there and oddly, at the back of the tent there was a metallic wall, not the usual curtain that would cover it.

“Did you lose something?”

The authoritarian voice made Lance turn around scared. Elsie looked at the boy in a glacial way. Lance's spine froze.

“Did you lose something?” insisted Elsie whereas Eclypse looked at the girl, disapproving of her way of behaving with the little boy.

Lance shook his head no.

“Then, I suggest you go back to your family before they miss you,” replied Elsie with a cold and authoritarian tone.

Lance left the tent running. Elsie turned around and she saw that Eclypse had a disapproving look.

“I guess that if you could speak you would say that you do not agree, wouldn’t you?” said the girl.

Eclypse made a loud raspberry sound as her only answer. Elsie, who had grown accustomed to these theatrics, just frowned.

As soon as Lance left the tent, he hid behind a dragon transport carriage and looked towards the tent. It was a pity that Jhanus wasn’t there! If Eclypse was nice, then surely Jhanus would be also.

Lance continued watching the tent, not sure of what to do next. The curtains moved... Elsie and Eclypse left the tent, accompanied by Jhanus?

How could it be possible? Lance was perplexed. When he entered the tent Jhanus wasn’t there. And when he left, he was sure that nobody had entered. Nobody was around, and when he hid behind the carriage, nobody had walked by.

“SO, you are here?”

Lance looked where the voice came from. It was Parm, and he didn’t seem very happy.

“Do you realize that if something had happened to you we wouldn't have known where we could find you?”

“Parm, I...” Lance tried to explain what he had seen but Parm didn’t listen to him.

“Can't you understand that in these places anything can happen?”

“He wasn’t there!”

“See! You're not even listening to me and what do you mean by ‘He wasn’t there’?”

Lance told him what he had seen and not seen in Jhanus’s tent, and that he saw the rider leave, but not enter.

"It's not possible, Lance,” replied a perplex Parm. “It is physically impossible for somebody to appear out of nowhere.”

“But he wasn’t there” replied the little one.

Lance and Parmon looked at each other without understanding the mystery.

--- o0o ---

Silvanna watched the race with extreme interest. Since it had started, she didn’t take her eyes off Moordryd; after all, she wasn’t pleased by the prospect of having to date him, and for a month no less.

Come on, Moordryd Paynn, thought the girl while she scrutinized him with her binoculars. I know that you are plotting something. But what?

--- o0o ---

“I must WIN!”

Moordryd Paynn blocked a blow with his staff that came towards him and gave back the blow to the bold racer. Vizz attacked the racer with his equipment while Blarre pretended to do the same with Moordryd.

Moordryd "avoided" the attacks of Blarre and he moved closer to first place.



Moordryd smiled sarcastically; Blarre, Vizz, and the other less known members of his crew were clearing the way for him as he took the advantage.

With the pretend “attacks” of the members of his crew, he was safe from all suspicion as they helped him to win. Miss Congeniality could be watching the race, but her little intelligence would prevent her from discovering the truth.

Moordryd showed a malevolent smile; the Stable Brat and the idiot Jhanus were just in front of him. Almost without thinking, he moved his hand where his whip should have been, but he soon remembered that he had left it in his tent. Moordryd encouraged Decepshun to run more quickly on the left, whereas Swayy did the same on the right.

Artha was more than pleased. He was in front of all the racers, and that meant he could win the race if he continued in that way. He looked towards the sides. For some strange reason, Moordryd hadn’t used his gear. Without a doubt he was plotting something.

Swayy’s dragon began to shake its Tail Hammer close to Jhanus, who did everything possible to evade it. Moordryd started to fight with Artha. They blocked each other and tried to strike with their staffs.

The Tail Hammer that Swayy’s dragon used struck Jhanus’s saddle causing him to fall off. If Jhanus couldn’t hold on, he'd be squashed by the other dragons. Alarmed, Eclypse watched Jhanus and she deliberately slowed down while avoiding another blow and at the same time, allowing Jhanus to mount again.

The finish line was getting closer and closer. Artha and Moordryd fought more and more furiously, as Swayy approached more and more.

Suddenly, Artha realized that he was between two particularly aggressive riders, and a fast observation allowed him to see that Blarre was approaching more and more on the left side of Swayy. Something bad was going to happen.

It happened! Swayy’s dragon used its Tail Hammer, and struck Artha while he tried to block another of Moordryd’s blows. Connor Penn’s oldest son soon found himself flying and falling into a trash can.

When Artha recovered a little, he was completed covered by trash and he saw Beau’s big eyes watching him with sadness and worry.

“I’m fine, my friend,” said Artha painfully while Beau carefully took him by the jacket and removed him from that place. “I only have wounded my pride, it could be worse.”

Moordryd watched Swayy. If he was going to deceive everyone, he had to do it well. Without prior warning, Moordryd ‘attacked’ Swayy and now they were the ones that ‘fought’ for first place. In minutes, Swavy was forced to leave the race and it wasn’t possible to argue if that ‘fight’ was fixed or not. Swayy's equipment had suffered much damage.

Now Paynn’s son was alone at the front. Decepshun ran as faster than ever before. The finish line quickly approached along with the other racers. All the eyes were on Moordryd Drakkus Paynn.

Silvanna watched thanks to her binoculars. She was tense. She carefully watched everything that Moordryd had done. Only one thing maintained her hope: that he wouldn’t keep his word; that Moordryd would fall to the temptation to use his level 5 thruster gear.

Silvanna smiled triumphantly when she saw a slight movement in Moordryd’s foot.

“What’re you waiting for, Moordryd Paynn?” thought the girl. “Do it now!”

You cannot do it, you can’t.

The voice of Silvanna resonated inside Moordryd’s mind whereas it seemed to him that he was looking at the sarcastic smile of the girl.

You can’t win without the aid of your gear … Without your gear, you are nothing.

Moordryd tightened his mouth with fury.

You can’t …


Decepshun ran like never before in her life. Moordryd asked it and that was enough for her. The crowd started to cheer as the boy approached the finish line, it was getting closer and closer.


“WHAT?” exclaimed Artha Penn as Beau’s eyes went wide open.

“NO!” protested Silvanna from her seat. But the roar of the crowd covered the protests of the teens.

--- o0o ---

“Are you sure he didn’t cheat?”

Silvanna watched the two boys like Zhulan, their clothes old and mistreated. Hirzham, the tallest of the two, had black hair and eyes. He had a robust complexion and he was 20 years old.

Nhostar was the youngest because he was 18 years old. The meaning of his name, “Rascal,” was pretty accurate for him; Nhostar loved to make all types of jokes and mischief. Besides having the fame of being shameless, he was well-known for his ability to escape unpunished most of the time for the many misfortunes caused by his pranks.

Unlike Hirzham, Nhostar was thinner and had fine features. His shining brown eyes had a brightness of likeable mischievousness that was pleasing, and his long reddish brown hair gave him a certain infantile air that most people who met him found nice.

“Not once," answered Hirzham.

“And if he did it, we didn’t noticed it and we had our eyes wide open,” added Nhostar.

Silvanna sighed with annoyance and looked around her. There was an air of defeat about the place. Marvin watched the girl seriously; Jhanus was close to a pillar and the rider’s gestures exposed the unmistakable mood; Eclypse, had her ears low and a sad look. Hirzham and Nhostar were in a corner. Only the inscrutable face of Elsie seemed unchanged, but the brightness of her eyes had been extinguished; the discouragement was total. Even Nhostar lost the desire to joke.

Moordryd walked satisfied towards Jhanus’s tent. Cain and Decepshun followed him closely. The young Paynn was sure that Silvanna would refuse to keep her word and he was thinking of all the rebuttals to her possible arguments. For the young Paynn, things were going according to his plans.

As they approached Jhanus’s tent, Moordryd and his companions heard Silvanna’s voice. Moordryd smiled with sarcasm. Apparently, Silvanna was scolding her team.

The boys and Decepshun stopped and listened with attention

“Come on,” replied Silvanna while she looked at her team. “Are we at a wake? You have done your best effort and I feel proud.”

All those present looked at the girl with sadness, until Marvin spoke up.

“Silvanna, remember that this race was very important for you,” said the boy. “Your bet, remember?”

“No race is more important than you,” answered the girl. “And I repeat I am proud of your effort; we can’t win every day.” Silvanna approached the

she-dragon, and she touched her gently behind her ears. “Come on, Eclypse, it wasn’t your fault that you lost the race. The only thing you did was protect Jhanus, and that speaks very well of you.”

Eclypse moaned with sadness; although Silvanna was right, she couldn’t avoid feeling sad. Nor did she like the idea of being Moordryd's, the son of the Tyrant, laughingstock or that Silvanna would have to date him. Nothing good would come of all this.

“Still there is the question that you must date Moordryd for a month,” said Elsie.

An unexpected noise caused all to turn around to the tent’s entrance. Moordryd came in without requesting the consent of anybody, and Decepshun followed him closely whereas Cain stayed near the door. Eclypse raised her neck and started to roar with fury, whereas Decepshun laughed in a sarcastic way.

“I think, Silvanna, that if you were harder with this bunch of good-for-nothings, you would have had a chance to win the race,” said Moordryd with a mordacious smile.

“If I do that, I would have more enemies than is suitable for me,” replied the girl.

“And what do you say now? Are you ready to go out with me for a month and to keep Jhanus away from competitions in Dragon City for that time?”

“We will have the date as you said.”

Moordryd opened his mouth to respond, but he stopped astonished. He didn’t expect that answer! And he wasn’t the only one! Cain and Decepshun looked at the girl without believing what they heard.

“Say that again,” said Moordryd who was recovering from his astonishment.

“I said that we would have the date as you said.”

“You will keep your word?”

“I will,” emphasized Silvanna.

“Good. Then, I'll see you today… no, this weekend at eight o’clock, I’ll pick you up at your apartment.”

“I will be there,” sighed Silvanna. That appointment didn’t excite her at all.

Decepshun made a sarcastic giggle as she and the boys left. Eclypse made a raspberry sound while she watched them exit.

The group walked away from Jhanus’s tent, ready to leave and go to Squire’s End.

“It seems that things are going well for you today,” said Cain.

Moordryd added with a renewed enthusiasm, “And they are getting better. Look!”

Cain looked where Moordryd indicated: it was the Stable Brats. After that he observed Moordryd, and apparently he was understanding what the young Paynn would do next. Moordryd smiled in a malignant way. It was an opportunity too good to let pass by.

“Hello, Stable Brat,” he said making a mordacious smile. “I guess that you’ve been preoccupied visiting your natural environment: the garbage can.”

Artha tightened his fists with fury.


“Prove it, Penn!” replied back Moordryd with sarcasm. “Although I doubt that you can do it. Meanwhile: Officially I won the race fair and square.”

Moordryd and his companions moved away, laughing.

“Well, Stable Boy,” said Kitt. “This could have been worse.”


“Yes,” answered a cold and calm feminine voice. All those present turned around to see Elsie’s inexpressive and calm face. “having a date with him.”

All of Penn’s crew looked at each other while the cold girl walked towards the tent to supervise the assistants as they gathered all the gear.



A Less Than Ideal Date


Zhaarüh-nhatsa. Expression used by some nomadic tribes. Used to exhort a dragon to protect its rider when it’s unknown if a situation is dangerous or not. It’s translated as “Take care of your equal.”

--------- o0o ---------

Silvanna watched her image in the mirror of her boudoir. The shining mirror surface reflected back the image of the girl, with her long silver hair covering her back. She also looked at the clothes that she had chosen for the occasion: a purple, cyan and black one-piece suit that showed one of her arms and her shoulder; while covering the other arm with a long sleeve. That suit, along with a pair of black long boots agreed with the fashion of Draconia City.

Slowly and without much spirit, Silvanna checked the rest of her person: her carefully made nails, her meticulous make up, and an expensive perfume. Everything was set for a date, but Silvanna had the same enthusiasm as if she were going to a funeral.

Silvanna sighed again. Still she had the hope that Moodryd would cancel the date at the last second, although she was absolutely convinced that wouldn’t happen.

--------- o0o ---------

Moordryd approached the building where Silvanna lived; he didn’t bother to hide a malevolent smile as Decepshun ran at full speed. It was his opportunity to put his plan into execution and the innocent bunch of roses that he had bought would help him. Decepshun lessened the march. Soon she and Moordryd would arrive at a monitoring-house of the residential complex in which Silvanna lived.

After identifying himself and verifying that he was expected by one of the residents, the security guard allowed the young Paynn to pass, as well as giving him a magnetic card. Moodryd rode Decepshun to one of the many adapted elevators that allowed humans and dragons use them at the same time.

Moodryd knew that the building had formerly belonged to Silvanna’s father, so he wasn’t surprised that it was chosen by Silvanna as her home. In addition, he knew that this building was constructed according to Draconia City’s architecture, and like all its buildings, it followed the long tradition of not only being comfortable for the humans, but also for the dragons.

Moordryd rode down a long corridor before stopping in front of a metal door with a number recorded on the threshold. He slid the card along the groove, knowing that it would only allow him access once, although it really didn't matter to him.
The door slid open, allowing entry to the young Paynn. Soon he was in the gardens and he could see Silvanna’s apartment.

Decepshun walked slowly towards the apartment. She and Moordryd saw a boy wearing old clothes, carrying a luxurious saddle towards a completely white dragon. Moordryd recognized them immediately, that boy was Zhulan and the dragon was the same that Silvanna had ridden these past weeks. The dragon lay down in front of Zhulan, who carefully placed the saddle on it, after which the dragon slowly stood up.

“Zhaarüh-nhatsa, Silverwing,” said Zhulan to the dragon.

“Talking to the dragon, stable boy?” said Moordryd ironically. “Do you speak dragon, by any chance?”

“I remind Silverwing what it means to be Dragon and Rider, Young Paynn,” responded Zhulan calmly while he looked at Moordryd. “It’s the nomad's old tradition.”

“I see that you and your people still follow your old superstitions and silliness.”

“To know the traditions is to know your own identity.”

“And how has it served to you?” replied Moordryd. “The nomads with all their clans haven't stopped roaming in more than a millennium due to stubbornly following your absurd beliefs that don't even allow you a good lifestyle.”

“That’s subjective,” replied Zhulan calmly. “Somebody with less than you can be happier.”


“The return of the Dragon Booster together with the gold bone dragon has been an absurd legend for millennia and nevertheless they have returned. The others also will return.”

What did the Savage mean by `the others'? That didn’t make sense, thought Moordryd, who was getting mad. There was something about Zhulan that bothered him deeply. It wasn’t his simplicity or because he mentioned the Dragon Boo-Boo.

It was something that he couldn’t put his finger on. Moordryd vaguely remembered what his father had told him about The Nomads in some of his many boring History classes.

His father had told him that The Nomads had come from the many refugees who had founded the old Draconia City, in Drakholiax Valley. They had been the only ones in The War among Humans and Dragons that hadn't kept a certain promise. Afterwards, they either didn't want or were unable to integrate with the other groups who had later founded the present day Draconia City, located outside the original valley.

Moodryd Paynn looked with displeasure at Zhulan the Nomad, without being sure what to do next.

--------- o0o ---------

Silvanna sighed with resignation. Moordryd had arrived. She had heard his unmistakable voice shouting to someone that seemed not to reply.

She decided that the fastest way of getting everything finished was to begin at once. Silvanna stood up and left. Elsie, who was in a nearby corridor, followed her. Both girls walked towards the apartment’s entrance.

--------- o0o ---------

Moordryd was about to reply to Zhulan when he heard a nearby door open, and although frankly he detested Silvanna, he couldn’t avoid watching her as if it was the first time.

It wasn’t possible to stop looking at her! She was the best female of her species, with her long tail, her shining blue eyes, and her beautiful scales! There was not another one like her in all the females that he had known! That was Silverwing’s opinion of Decepshun; although Decepshun didn’t think the same about Silverwing, and she indicated this clearly with a warning growl. Silverwing seemed not to notice and moved his ears trying to get Decepshun’s attention, who disdainfully turned her head around so as not to look at him.

“You look wonderful, Silvanna,” said Moordryd with a smile while he gave her the delicate flowers that he had bought for her. “What do you think if we just go?”

“As you wish,” replied the girl with a forced smile while she gave Elsie, who had followed Silvanna closely, the delicate bunch of roses.

Elsie without saying a word returned to the apartment and threw the bunch into the garbage can. While that happened inside, Silvanna approached Silverwing and the dragon very courteously use its mag energy stream to place the girl on the saddle.

“Go and have some fun, Zhulan,” said the girl as the young nomad gave her a finely crafted helmet. “You’re free to do it tonight.”

After these words, Moordryd and Silvanna left as Zhulan watched them. Moments later, the young Nomad walked towards the stables and a pair of shining blue eyes watched him in an inquisitive way.

“Are you worried, girl?”

A moan was the only answer.

“What do you think of the Young Paynn?”

Only a raspberry sound was heard.

“She will be OK.”

Anguished moaning was the only answer.

“And what do you suggest? Follow them in order to see that nothing happens to her?”

--------- o0o ---------

The lights danced throughout the dance floor of The Golden Star, one of the most popular places among the teens of Sun City, where they could dance and spend a nice time.

The place had a circular design and the dance floor was in the area's center. Along the edges, tables were strategically placed so that all of them could see the band performing the most popular songs.

“So, what do you think of the place?” said Moordryd while he and Silvanna sat down near of the dance floor.

“Nice,” responded Silvanna distractedly as she looked towards the dance floor.

Things weren’t going as he had planned, thought Moordryd, and he had to find a way to change that. Silvanna also felt quite bored, and hearing Moordryd speak of all the qualities that he believed to have would be a torment.

Now I've had the time of my life
No, I never felt like this before
Yes, I swear it's the truth
And I owe it all to you

The musical group started the song when Silvanna had an idea to humiliate Moordryd and to make him regret not having lost that silly race.

“Shall we dance?” said Silvanna with what at first glance would seem an innocent smile.

“WHATTTTT???” said Moordryd without stopping to think what he had heard.

Now with passion in our eyes
There's no way we could disguise it secretly

“I said: shall we dance?”

“My Father…!”

“My Father says, blah, blah, blah,” replied Silvanna with a slightly mocking tone. “You have always presumed to be a bad boy, Moordryd, so why don’t you act as one and stop doing what daddy says? Or are you scared that your daddy will scold you?”

Without warning, Moordryd took Silvanna and pulled the girl, who found herself on the dance floor with Moordryd as her dance-mate.

So I'll tell you something
This could be love because

I've had the time of my life
No, I never felt this way before
Yes, I swear it's the truth
And I owe it all to you hey baby

Although he was out of rhythm, Silvanna had to admit that Moordryd was a chameleon to imitate what the others did and he knew how to apply it. Perhaps this night wouldn’t as boring as she had thought.

--------- o0o ---------

The time passed quickly; it was already the hour to return home. Two dragons, one black and the other white, with their respective riders, left The Golden Star and took the freeway in order to arrive at the building in which Silvanna lived.

Without them knowing it, a dragon and its rider observed them from a nearby building’s rooftop; they were Jhanus and Eclypse. Jhanus sighed with relief; nothing bad had happened. Without saying a word, Jhanus pulled Eclypse’s reins and both left.

--------- o0o ---------

Moordryd and Silvanna arrived at the door of the girl’s apartment and the difference couldn’t be greater: When they had left the apartment, Moordryd and Silvanna barely had spoken, and when they returned, they spoke with each other.

The dragons walked together down the corridor, which was hardly wide enough to allow both dragons to fit. Decepshun was more than eager for this date to be finished. After all, she had had to stand Silverwing’s silliness all night, and if she had to put up with an idiot, Coershun was more than enough.

Both riders stopped their dragons in front of the door that lead to Silvanna’s home. They sat on the sides of their saddles so that they were face to face. Silvanna smiled happily and said.“Do you know something, Moordryd? You surprised me. I didn’t know you danced so well.”

“Neither did I,” thought the boy who responded, “There are many things about me that everyone ignores.”

“Like what?”

“That I rode the Dragon of Legend,” said the boy. Silvanna laughed aloud, Moordryd looked serious and said, “It’s the truth.”

“Are you serious?” replied Silvanna without believing him. “Are you kidding me, Moordryd?”

“Let me tell you.”

Moordryd told Silvanna, how he was recognized as a “hero” in Dragon City; how he managed to convince the Dragon Booster to allow him to ride the Dragon of Legend and how the Dragon allowed him to ride it.

However, he neglected to mention many details of his incredible adventure: that everything was a perfectly planned farce, and all the stuff related to the bone mark of the Furox and how he tried to “improve” Beau a little by using it.
And without mentioning that he tried to overthrow his Father in order to get the power of Paynn Co. and what happened later, when the Dragon Boo-boo came into the citadel.

Silvanna wasn’t very sure if she believed him or not. The only way to verify it was to speak with the Dragon Booster in person, which was a little difficult. On the other hand, she had to recognize that in case the story was true, Moordryd had much potential.

“Moordryd, do you realize what this means? You could have been the Dragon Booster.”

Now it was Moordryd's turn to laugh. The idea was… Ironic.

“I’m serious,” replied the girl. “Do you know the legend of the Dragon Booster… the first Dragon Booster??? He’s the only rider who was chosen by his dragon.”

Both teens started to speculate about that possibility, while Decepshun watched with increasing annoyance all the attempts that Silverwing made to call her attention. Certainly, that male was very irritating, and no gesture nor growl were enough to make him understand that she hadn’t any interest in him.

However, the male seemed not to deduce the message for himself. Annoyed, Decepshun turned her head away to the opposite side… Although seconds later, the she-dragon realized that caused an embarrassing situation.

Due to Decepshun’s abrupt movement, Moordryd found himself thrown in the opposite direction so that he pushed Silvanna against the wall. Before Moordryd realized what was going on, he not only had his hands against wall … HE WAS ALSO KISSING SILVANNA!!!

As soon as the dragons realized situation, they used their mag-energy to place their respective Riders back in their saddles.

“Moordryd?” said Silvanna after several embarrassing minutes.


“That didn’t happen, did it?” said the girl softly.

“Er, hum… I… I think that it’s time that you go inside… you know, they must be waiting you.”

“Yes, I think so.”

The door which separated the gardens of the residential complex from the corridor opened and let Silvanna in as Moordryd rode off for the Squire’s End.





Ah julk: Nomadic expresion that is loosely translated as “It can’t be”

Zhamir: Ancient word that means brother. It's applied to siblings of the same parents, half-siblings, adoptive siblings, male members of the same clan, very close friends, or relations between two or more persons who are under the care of the same tutor.

Zhamirah: Ancient word that means sister. It's applied to siblings of the same parents, half-siblings, adoptive siblings, female members of the same clan, very close friends, or relations between two or more persons who are under the care of the same tutor.

“Silvanna, where were you? Your mother will arrive soon.”

The girl turned around to see Mr. Penn and said, “Its Moonracer. I can’t find her. She ran away and I lost her while I was playing with Artha.”

“Well, she must be within the stables. She’s a well-mannered dragon and I don’t believe she would have left the place,” said Connor Penn with a sigh. “Artha, go with Silvanna to my office and wait there.”

“Yes, dad,” said Artha.

“Yes, Mr. Penn,” said Silvanna at the same time.

Connor Penn set out looking for Silvanna’s dragon, as both children ran in the opposite direction towards Mr. Penn’s offices.

Silvanna followed Artha, but when they passed in front of a small room, something captured the girl’s attention. Silvanna believed she saw the figure of a quadruped dragon inside.

“So, you were here, you mischievous dragon,” thought the girl and she immediately entered the room.

“Moonracer, what are you doing here? Mom will come soon and we will go to spend the summer in our other house.”

The dragon didn’t advance, moreover, it moved away from the girl into the furthest corner... It was weird, usually Moonracer always ran to her. The she-dragon knew that she had candies too share and this time… But no, it wasn’t Moonracer! It was a dragon that she had never seen before!

“Come,” said the girl amiably. “Don’t be shy. I won’t hurt you… Would you like a candy?”

----------- o0o -----------


The young Paynn watched his father; in spite of his tone, cold and controlled, the boy knew from experience that his father wasn’t pleased. From experience, Moordryd knew that he would only be summoned to his Father’s citadel for two reasons: a) his father wanted to assign him a mission, or b) his father was going to scold him.

“Moordryd, do you have any idea how many wraith dragons I need for my war?”

“Enough to form an army,” responded the boy cautiously.

“May I know why I haven’t gotten my army??”

“Dragon City Security and the Dragon Boo-boo…”


The correct answer this time was (b), thought Moordryd. The young Paynn withstood the never-ending list of insults and harsh comments that his father was shouting as best he could. He had to make it better next time, if he wanted to please his father.

----------- o0o -----------

Moordryd rode along the freeway that lead to Dragon City’s lower levels. Cain followed him very closely and in silence; he knew that it wasn’t good idea to bother Moordryd after his father gave one of his habitual scoldings. Surprised, the second in command saw that Moordryd didn’t follow the usual way to go to the Squire’s End.

“Where are we going, Moordryd?”

“I have some business to take care of.”

“What? Will you be going to pay a visit your fiancée, Miss Congeniality?”


Moordryd arrived at the monitoring house of the Building where Silvanna lived. After waiting for some minutes, both teens rode towards the door in the complex where the girl lived.

The door was opened, allowing Moordryd and Cain to come in. Moordryd could see the complex‘s gardens, the same one that he wasn’t able to appreciate during his date night. If the Young Paynn was a gardening fan, he would have appreciated the garden arrangement. The diverse kinds of plants and flowers that could be found there were set in an artistic way.

The garden had a small artificial lake, and trees that gave pleasant shade in the summer’s sunny afternoons. Artificial rocks, artistically placed in the garden, were located in order to let the dragons go up and comfortably take in the sun on them.

Moordryd didn’t look at the garden; instead he looked at those who were in it. The Savage, leaving the stables, presumably doing his work; a shrew, also well-known with the name of Miss Drakhe, was watching him with a gesture that indicated without any doubt that his visit didn’t pleased her at all; and Silvanna, approaching them with clear signs that she was gardening. She had a bunch of strange flowers in one hand and garden scissors in the other.

Also, the stupid Silverwing was there, watching her with his silly expression, thought a displeased Decepshun until she was totally confused; that dragon wasn’t Silverwing. It was another female Phantom Class dragon. Decepshun felt puzzled. Where was Silverwing?

The she-dragon felt that “something” was very close to her. When she turned her head around, she growled with annoyance; she had already found the idiot, who moved his ears in a silly attempt to catch her attention. Decepshun growled at the male, but Silverwing seemed not to hear her.

“Silverwing, come here. Decepshun isn’t willing to play today,” said Silvanna as she approached the enormous male. With visible sorrow and lowered ears, he walked towards the girl who added while she caressed him, “Now, be a nice little dragon and go with Zhulan so he can brush you.”

‘Play together that IDIOT and I? Neither today, nor ever,’ would have answered Decepshun had she the gift of speech as she saw the male move away towards the stables. At the same time, the other female sniffed at the new comers with curiosity.

“WOW! I didn’t know that… Elsie was able to afford this kind of luxury,” said Moordryd as he watched the exotic dragon, while Elsie accentuated her bitter expression.

“Her name is Moonracer and she's mine,” answered Silvanna with naturalness while she caressed the she-dragon.

“I thought that your dragon was Silverwing,” said Moordryd while Decepshun used her mag-ray to lower him.

“In fact,” replied the girl, “Silverwing was my brother’s dragon, but he doesn’t love them so much and he gave him to me when we turned fourteen.”

“Don’t you think that it’s a little excessive to have two dragons?” said Moordryd.

“I could have up to four or eight if I wanted,” replied the girl between laughs.

“I don’t know why you want so many.”

“I know,” interrupted Cain while he observed Moordryd and Silvanna from his seat. “To create the Society for the Protection of Dragons.”

“SHUT UP CAIN!” shouted Moordryd, while Silvanna laughed willingly.

“Oh well, why I have the honor of your visit, Moordryd?” said he girl with a wide smile.

“Well, I just was passing by and I thought I'd come here and pay a visit.”

“How kind,” responded the girl.

“I didn’t know that you liked gardening, Silvanna.”

“They are medicinal plants for the dragons. I need some samples for the school’s homework.”

“I see,” replied Moordryd while he thought that in several aspects Silvanna was more than met the eyes.

The sound of steps made the three teens turn around towards the direction from which the noises came.

Moordryd made a sarcastic smile and said, “Wow! There is the The Savage again. I only hope that he hasn’t come to give me another rhetoric lesson.”

“Watch your language, Moordryd!” Silvanna said dryly as she looked at the Young Paynn with anger. “’Cause with or without the bet, I'll end my dates with you!”

Moordryd looked little surprised at the girl. Silvanna looked at him with a determination that he hadn’t seen very often in many rivals. The only occasion she had looked at him in a similar way was in their childhood, when she hit him because Moordryd had drawn a mustache on one of her dolls.

“How feisty!” said Cain in a mocking tone.

“SHUT UP, CAIN!” shouted Silvanna. Cain looked at her with surprise. He always had thought that Silvanna was a sweet idiot, but now she wasn’t sweet or an idiot.

“I'm warning you, Moordryd!” replied Silvanna. “While you are in my house…!”

“Zhamira, remember what Grandma taught us about promises.”

Silvanna looked around and saw Zhulan, who observed the scene with a calm face. Apparently the boy had the intention to solve everything in a peaceful way. The girl couldn’t believe what she had heard and she answered, “Zhamir, do you know who you’re defending?”

“Perfectly. But even so, a promise is a promise.”

“HE is insulting you!”

“The insult only has a value if you give it.”

“AH JULK!” Replied Silvanna upset, as Zhulan smiled in a calm way and retired. A surprised Moordryd and Cain watched the scene. They didn’t understand anything of which Silvanna and Zhulan were saying, but it was more than obvious that they understood each other, and it was logical to think that they were speaking a language only known to them.

“Can I know what’s happened to you Moordryd? Perhaps the dragon ate your tongue again?” said Silvanna in a clearly mocking tone.

“Well… I didn’t know that you spoke nomadic,” replied Moordryd as soon as he recovered from his amazement.

Silvanna laughed in a forced way and said, “There are many things that people don't know about me.”

After these words the girl retired and Moodryd and Cain did the same.

Definitively, Moordryd thought as he and Cain rode towards Squire End, Silvanna was more than meets the eyes.

----------- o0o -----------


Moordryd looked at the Dragon Boo Boo with fury. One more time he had managed to frustrate Moordryd’s plans, but this one would be the last. The members of the Dragon Eye Crew rushed towards the Dragon Booster. A mag-burst from the Dragon of Legend sent all of them through the air. Moordryd shook the head in frustration; this couldn’t be happening again.

The Dragon Booster has prevailed once again! Artha thought the only thing lacking was Moordryd leaving with his tail between his legs, as he always did when things didn’t happen as he had planned. Moordryd could easily escape; there were two streets on both sides of where they were, it was only necessary to see which way he would go.

“What you are going to do now, Moordryd? Run away?” said the Dragon Booster with a mocking smile.

“Not me… ” said Moordryd with an evil smile. “But you should…”

Without warning Moordryd showed a device that Artha knew very well: a wraith dragon controller. Moordryd pressed the buttons and from no where, six wraith dragons appeared. Four of them just behind Moordryd and the other two by both side streets.

“Let’s see how you handle this, Dragon Boo Boo,” said the young Paynn with an evil smile as he activated the controls. The wraith dragons began to pursue Artha and Beau.

Artha and Beau ran at high speed, but the wraith dragons pursued them in an implacable way and seemed not to tire.

“ARTHA NEEDS HELP!” shouted Parm who monitored the situation from a nearby roof.

“STAY HERE! I AM GOING TO HELP HIM!” replied Kitt. She only hoped she wouldn't arrive too late.

Artha and Beau turned down another street and to their horror, they found it was a dead end. When they turned back in order to leave, they saw the exit blocked by the wraith dragons and Moordryd smiling triumphantly several feet behind them.

Moordryd was sure of his triumph and raised the controller; the dragons began to move in a threatening manner against Artha and Beau. Artha knew that if he didn’t receive aid, they would be lost. Moordryd began to taste his triumph, after many bitter defeats, and he was prepared to activate the attack command.

“WHATT?” shouted a surprised Moodryd, when from out of nowhere, a gloved hand appeared, whose arm was covered by a jacket’s gray sleeve, and it snatched the wraith dragon controller from him.

“HEY! YOU!” Shouted Moordryd with rage as Jhanus ran away rapidly with the wraith dragons control. “GIVE ME THAT CONTROLLER BACK!”

Furious, Moordryd ran behind Jhanus, who suddenly turned and waited for Moordryd.

“GIVE ME THAT CONTROLLER BACK!” yelled Moodryd. Jhanus did a negative gesture and raised the hand that had the control.

“What… What are you going to do?” Moordryd asked, although he already knew the answer. Jhanus pushed a button, whereas Moordryd was terrified. Moments later, the young Paynn heard roars behind him. Turning his head around, Moodryd, saw with horror his wraith dragons roaring in a way that didn’t foretell anything good.


They were the last furious words that Moordryd said before disappearing into the darkness. Eclypse laughed aloud, it was pleasing for her to watch the Tyrant’s son be humiliated in that way. Jhanus pressed other buttons on the controller, then the dragons stopped and calmly returned to Jhanus’s side, stopping few feet away from the mysterious rider.

“Where's Moordryd?”

Jhanus and Eclypse looked towards where the voice came. It was Kitt Wonn, who was with the Dragon Booster.

“Where is Moordryd?” the girl repeated. Jhanus indicated in the direction where Moordryd had left.

“What will you do now?” asked the Dragon Booster. Jhanus looked at Eclypse who happily moved her tail and she seemed to wait for something. Jhanus threw the wraith controller in front of the she-dragon and Eclypse, with a mag-ray, threw it against a wall, breaking it.

The wraith dragons shook and roared as if they suffered pain. Moments later, the black draconium energy dissipated and the poor creatures took off the psi gear with a mag-ray.

The dragons looked around, as if they had woken up from a nightmare. They were biped Magma Dragons Class. The scared creatures looked around, waiting for a new misfortune. Beau “spoke” to them for some moments and the expressions of the Ex-Wraith Dragons changed to intense joy. After making a bow to the Legendary Dragon, they left the place.

“What shall we do now?” said the Dragon Booster to Kitt and Jhanus, who without previous warning and without saying “bye”, left the place.

“WAIT!” shouted Artha. “I WANT TO SPEAK WITH YOU!”

Artha ran behind Jhanus, followed by Kitt Wonn.

----------- o0o -----------

The moons of Abandonn and Drakkus shone in their full splendor as Jhanus reached the peripheries of the exclusive residential zone in Sun City, riding towards the building where Silvanna lived. The mysterious rider avoided the frequented highways and often, Jhanus made maneuvers to lose possible followers.

Jhanus, without previous warning, left the main street and took one from the smaller ones. After some time making rounds through the empty streets, the rider entered an alley; Eclypse knew what she had to do and walked slowly towards the end.

Deep in the alley, on the ground, was a circular black draconium plate with the Diamath family coat of arms. Eclypse sent a mag-ray to this plate, seconds later it shone with a purple color and the plate moved automatically, revealing a switch in the figure of a dragon’s paw. Eclypse placed her paw on it and a scanner identified the she-dragon. A few seconds later, the wall at the end of the alley opened, revealing a tunnel into which Jhanus and Eclypse entered.

Dragon and rider thought that nobody had seen how both disappeared in the secret passage, but they were mistaken.


----------- o0o -----------


“Artha, are you sure that this is a good idea?” said an unsure Parm.

Artha, still as the Dragon Booster, looked at Parm without responding. He and his friends had ridden to Sun City following Jhanus, in order to speak with.

The young Penn was more than eager to talk with the mysterious rider. Who knows? Perhaps Jhanus could be a valuable ally to avoid the War between Humans and Dragons.

But it seemed that Jhanus didn’t have any interest in chatting because the mysterious rider left as soon as the confrontation with Moordryd finished. Artha and Beau tried to reach Jhanus without much success, thanks to the Rider’s maneuvers, they were always behind.

They were only able to see Jhanus come to a secret passage at the base of a building; finding out awhile later, that Silvanna Diamath lived in this building.

Artha and his friends observed the building from the roof of a nearby one. Thanks to the binoculars, they saw Eclypse; walking carefree by the garden before deciding that it was time to rest. They already knew where Jhanus lodged.

“The only way to speak with Jhanus is going, Parm,” replied Artha.

“But that would be forced entry!” Parmon replied.

“I don’t think that we'll have any problem,” responded Artha.

“I hope not, Hero boy,” said Kitt. “Otherwise, you’ll have to explain to Captain Faier and Mortis what you were doing on private property.”

“I haven’t anything to explain to Mortis,” said Artha a little annoyed. “He isn’t my Father.”

“I'm thinking this isn’t a good idea, Stable Boy.”

“I have to try it anyway,” said Artha, and looking at Beau, asked him, “Do you think that you can land there?”

Beau agreed with Artha, and without much more discussion, Beau moved to the other side of the roof.

“Ready, Boy?” Artha said. Beau winked an eye. “Then… GO!”

Beau ran at full speed, and as soon as he reached the edge of the roof, he gave a jump and his wings appeared; the Dragon of Legend and the Dragon Booster glided until landing on the other side. When landing on the other roof, Beau couldn’t stop and continued sliding while he tried to slow down with his claws; then he did an abrupt turn and Artha flew away.

“BEAU!!!” said an annoyed Artha as soon as he recovered from the fall. While on the opposite roof Kitt, Lance and Parm couldn’t contain their laughter. Thanks to their binoculars, they could see everything.

“Beau???” said an almost of familiar feminine voice. Beau turned his head around towards where the voice came and he saw her.

Seven years ago…

“Silvanna? Silvanna?”

Mr. Penn was looking for the little one. He found her together with his son, Artha. They were leaving one of the warehouses of the Penn Stables complex. Apparently they were looking for something.

“Silvanna, where were you? Your mother will arrive soon.”

The girl turned around to see Mr. Penn and said, “It’s Moonracer. I can’t find her. She ran away and I lost her while I was playing with Artha.”

“Well, she must be within the stables. She’s a well-mannered dragon and I don’t believe she would have left the place,” said Connor Penn with a sigh. “Artha, go with Silvanna to my office and wait there.”

“Yes, dad,” said Artha.

“Yes, Mr. Penn,” said Silvanna at the same time.

Connor Penn set out looking for Silvanna’s dragon, as both children ran in the opposite direction towards Mr. Penn’s offices.

Silvanna followed Artha, but when they passed in front of a small room, something captured the girl’s attention. Silvanna believed she saw the figure of a quadruped dragon inside.

“So, you were here, you mischievous dragon,” thought the girl and she immediately entered the room.

“Moonracer, what are you doing here? Mom will come soon and we will go to spend the summer in our other house.”

The dragon didn’t advance, moreover, it moved away from the girl into the furthest corner... It was weird, usually Moonracer always ran to her. The she-dragon knew that she had candies to share and this time… But no, it wasn’t Moonracer! It was a dragon that she had never seen before!

“Come,” said the girl amiably. “Don’t be shy. I won’t hurt you… Would you like a candy?”

The girl extended a hand with the promised candy. The dragon approached and Silvanna could see it better. It was a very pretty dragon, although with a little great snout; Silvanna never had seen a dragon like that. The colors of its scales, golden and black, were unique. It could be that…

A noise from behind caused Silvanna to turn around; she was a little surprised when she saw Mr. Penn.

“Is he Artha’s dragon, Mr. Penn? Why didn’t he show me?” said the girl as the dragon puppy happily ate the candy that the girl had offered him. “Black and golden…” said thoughtfully the girl while she turned around and watched carefully the little dragon. “Mr. Penn, have you met the Dragon Booster? Will another Dragon-Human war come?”

Connor Penn felt, at first, alarmed; his best kept secret had been discovered by a innocent little child. After hearing Silvanna’s last words, he felt astonished.

“How do you know about the Dragon Booster, Silvanna? Who has told you about him?” said Mr. Penn as he knelt down in front of Silvanna.

“Nana,” answered the little one. “She says that the Dragon Booster will return someday and will try to stop another war between dragons and humans…”

“Will try?” said Mr. Penn amiably.

“Nana says there will be war,” responded the girl, “and she also says that when the Dragon Booster returns, the nomads will be able to fulfill the oath.”

Connor Penn began to reflect, Nana must be a Nomad. The nomads hadn’t keep their word to help the Dragon Booster, the first Dragon Booster, a long time ago. He almost had forgotten the details, but he knew that the nomads had been waiting for the Dragon Booster’s Return for three thousand years in order to fulfill the oath and to integrate themselves completely to Draconia City.

“So, will the Dragon Booster appear soon?” asked Silvanna again.

“I don’t’ think so,” answered Connor Penn. “Probably he is still a boy.”

“Yeah, and he also is very young,” Silvanna said as she caressed the dragon’s snout. “What’s his name?”

“Beaucephalis,” responded Connor with a smile. “But we call him ‘Beau’ for short.”

“Ahh!” said the girl with a smile that seconds later vanished. The little one turned around to look at Connor Penn and worried, she told him, “You should take care of Beau until the Dragon Booster arrives for him, Mr. Penn. A lot of bad people will want to hurt him.”

“I know, little one. I know,” answered Mr. Penn with a sigh. “We must leave Beau, Silvanna. And your mother will arrive soon for you and still we must find Moonracer.”

“Yes, Mr. Penn… and I won’t tell anybody about Beau,” said the girl sincerely. She turned around to look at Beau, caressed his snout and said, “I’ll return soon, Beau. And when I do, I’ll bring more candies to you.”

Beau looked happy and licked the girl’s face as he moved his tail gladly, while Silvanna laughed. Connor Penn watched the scene thoughtfully. His heart told him that the little one was sincere and seldom had his feelings failed him. Who knows, perhaps she had a role to fulfill before everything was finished.

Connor Penn took the little one’s hand and they left together. Soon, Mr. Penn and Silvanna found Moonracer, and minutes after they had found the mischievous dragon, the sound of two carriages approached the stables.

Mr. Penn, together with Silvanna and Moonracer, waited on the stable’s patio while the vehicles entered and stopped. One of them was to transport dragons and the other was for the humans. Both were drawn by imposing Bull Class Dragons and had the emblem of the Diamath family.

The door of one of them opened, and Phoebe Diamath left the vehicle followed by her assistant, Syrhan.

“Mommy! Mommy!” shouted Silvanna with joy as she ran to embrace her mother, who knelt down to receive her daughter and to embrace her tightly.

“How was your class, my dear one?” asked Phoebe as she caressed her daughter’s hair.

“Very good, Mommy! Mr. Penn taught many things to me about how I should manub… manuber my dragon,” responded the little one. The mother couldn’t avoid a smile.

“It’s `maneuver', Silvanna,” said Phoebe with a smile and added, “Now, let Syrhan accommodate you for the trip. I must speak with Mr. Penn.”

“Yes, Mommy.”

Syrhan took Silvanna’s small hand and lead her to the carriage. Phoebe became gloomy as soon as her daughter turned her back. Mrs. Diamath glimpsed at the carriage in which Moonracer was going to be transported. The little dragon was going inside the vehicle, as the staff saw that everything was all right. After verifying that everything was all right, Phoebe walked towards Connor Penn.

Silvanna got in the vehicle, and almost immediately the girl knelt down on the back seat so that she could see her mother speaking with Mr. Penn.

After several minutes, Phoebe returned to the vehicle and commanded that they leave the place. Silvanna, who was still looking at Mr. Penn through the back window, started to wave her little hand in a clear gesture of goodbye.

As soon as she lost sight of Penn Stables, Silvanna seated together with her mother, had something very important to ask.

“Mommy,” said Silvanna.

“Yes, Silvanna?”

“Will we come back soon from our other house? Artha’s birthday is next month and he invited me to his party. Will we come back soon, Mommy? Can I go to Artha’s Party?”

Phoebe lowered her head with sadness and said, “No, Silvanna; we won’t return to Dragon City… We moved forever to Draconia City.”

“But mother… I promised… I said that I would come back…” Silvanna began to sob.

“I can’t do anything, Silvanna,” answered Phoebe as she felt her daughter’s pain break her heart.

“I never had a chance to say goodbye to Artha,” said Silvanna as she cried without consolation.

“Come here, my sweet one,” said Phoebe as she hugged her little daughter. The good lady tried to comfort her daughter, as Silvanna swore in silence that someday she would come back.

“Beau… Is it you, boy?” said Silvanna, whereas Beau walked towards her. Silvanna caressed his enormous snout while Beau purred happily. Finally he would be able to greet an old friend.

“I’m sorry Beau, I think that… I forgot the candies,” said Silvanna with a melancholic smile, but Beau seemed not to mind. Artha stood up and walked towards Beau and Silvanna, who continued to caress the Dragon of Legend.

“How you have grown!” said the girl with a smile as she looked at the dragon. She then directed her glance to Artha, “I see that you’re well cared for.”

“He’s my best friend,” replied Artha.

“I can understand that,” responded the girl as she moved close to Artha, too close for an upset Kitt Wonn. “Also, my dragons and I…”

A growl distracted the girl. Artha and Silvanna turned around to see who it was and they were a little surprised to see Eclypse with her neck raised and her ear frills unfolded wide. Her ears shook with each growl from the she-dragon, while her eyes shone with cold fury.

Silvanna was surprised that the she-dragon was behaving in such an aggressive form; she was usually calm… Insolent but calm. The girl looked in the same direction that the she-dragon was looking and guessed what was going on.

“Eclypse, what’s happened with your manners?” the girl said. “Ah! I know what’s going on with you… You are jealous!” The she-dragon moved her head in a disdainful way and the girl laughed adding, “I know you well enough to guess what’s going on… Come on, won’t you come here and say ‘Hello’?”

The she-dragon turned around in a deprecating way, and moved her tail in a way that was rude in dragon society. The she-dragon went towards a nearby elevator that would bring her to the first floor. There, the she-dragon went into a building, presumably to her stables.

Silvanna couldn’t stop laughing; when she could control herself, she looked at Artha and Beau and said, “Forgive Eclypse. She is very territorial and doesn’t tolerate strange dragons much. But, who knows? Perhaps she and you, Beau, could become good friends.”

“I see. Excuse me, where is Jhanus?” asked Artha.

“Jhanus must be resting in the staff’s quarters. You shouldn’t go there; as far as I’ve seen, Eclypse isn’t very happy with your visit and I can bet that she will be around, keeping an eye out,” responded Silvanna.

“But she together with Jhanus helped us to defeat Moordryd!”

“Any way, it's best that you don’t go there … So, Moordryd still likes to be naughty,” said the girl with irony, who after looking at the Dragon Booster added, “I’m not an idiot, Dragon Booster. I know perfectly what Moordryd and his Daddy are and what they do.”

“If you know that, why are you…?”

“Dating Moordryd?” interrupted the girl with a malicious smile. “I lost a bet and I’m paying it.”

Artha made a gesture to demonstrate his incredulity. Silvanna suddenly remembered something and asked, “Is it true that Moordryd rode Beau?”

“Yes, what happened is that… How do you know that...? Don’t tell me, Moordryd told you?”

“Moordryd told me,” said Silvanna with a clever smile. “But, I dare to assume that he `forgot' to tell me all the details.”

“I wouldn’t be surprised.”

“Sometimes, I think that Moordryd desperately wishes that somebody would respect him. It’s very well-known that he has a level eight self-esteem problem, and it isn’t strange, considering the Daddy he has…”

“It seems that you aren’t very fond of Word.”

“Not at all,” whispered the girl, and added with bitterness, “He’s cold and cruel… Just as my father was.”

Artha looked her with surprise. When he was a kid, he had noticed the pain existing in Silvanna’s heart and now, he knew the cause. He felt a deep compassion towards the girl. She, in spite of all she had, must be very unhappy with a father like hers.

He immediately remembered his own father and all the moments, good and bad, that they had had together. The pain of his own loss, dormant for months, woke up in an intense way.

Both teens looked at each other in silence, until Artha finally said, “It’s time to go home.”

“Take care of Beau and Penn’s kids,” said Silvanna.

Artha looked at the girl, a little surprised by the worry that she felt for them. Silvanna, thinking that the Dragon Booster didn’t understand her reasons said, “The Penn kids' father was very nice to me and Artha had been one of my best friends; I can’t approach them or they would be in danger, much more than they are now.”

“I will take care of them,” said Artha as he rode Beau and who turned around and to try to jump again to the building where their friends waited for them.

“Dragon Booster…”

Artha turned his head to see Silvanna, and the girl added in an enigmatic form, “Beware… of my brother.”

Silvanna walked towards the door that lead to the lower floors, and while she went down the stairs, the girl thought that something related to the Dragon Booster was familiar, but she couldn’t put her finger on it. Artha and Beau met with their friends and together they returned home. While they were riding towards Penn Stables, Artha meditated on Silvanna’s warning.

To be continued...


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