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Lindyss lay on a bed inside of a dark cave, a book placed over her face, covering her eyes and nose. Her hands were crossed over her chest, and her stomach rose up and down in time with her steady breaths. By her ear, there was a snoring fairy, wrapped up in her hair as if it were a blanket. Light poured in from the cave’s entrance, but none of that entered Lindyss’ eyes due to the book. Because of that, she didn’t notice when a shadow blocked out the light.

A purple dragon poked her head inside the cave and looked around. Her eyes lit up upon seeing Lindyss, and she slinked inside. The entrance to the cave was a bit tight around her waist, but she managed to fit after breaking the entrance, widening it a little as rocks crumbled down. Alora crawled next to Lindyss and raised her front paw. “Hey,” she said in a small voice. “Are you asleep?”

There was no response.

Alora brought her front claw down and poked Lindyss’ side, causing the cursed elf to twitch and groan. “Wakey, wakey,” Alora said, poking Lindyss continuously. “The sun’s already up. It’s a beautiful day, and it’s a shame to be sleeping at this time.”

Lindyss lifted her left hand off of her chest and pointed her palm at Alora’s face. Her eyes were still covered by the book, and it didn’t seem like she had any intentions of moving other than that one motion. Mana flooded towards her hand, and her palm glowed with a white light.

Alora tilted her head. “Is that—”

Boom!

Lightning surged out of Lindyss’ palm and struck Alora’s snout, blasting the dragon clear out of the cave without even giving her a chance to scream. Erin shot up and looked around, blinking away the blurriness from her vision. She wrapped Lindyss’ hair tighter around her body and frowned. Seeing that Lindyss’ face was still covered by a book, Erin’s expression relaxed, and she lay back down. “Must’ve been a rat or something.”

Moments later, the ground shook, and rocks fell from the cave’s ceiling as Alora lumbered back into the cave. “What the heck!? That hurt!”

Erin sat up again and blinked at the glaring dragon in front of her. She rubbed her eyes with her hands and blinked again, but the dragon was still there. Her head tilted to the side. “Hello?”

“Hello? Hello!? Is that all you have to say?” Alora asked, smoke puffing out of her blackened snout. “I was shot in the face by a top-tier lightning spear and all you have to say is hello?”

Erin swallowed. “I don’t shoot lightning spears. You must have the wrong person.”

“Her!” Alora said and jabbed Lindyss’ side with her claw. “She shot me!”

Lindyss ripped the book off of her face and tossed it to the ground as she sat up. She glanced down at her side, which was bleeding, before glaring at the dragon in front of her. “Who the turnips are you?”

Erin blinked. “Did you just use a fairy swear?”

Lindyss glowered at Erin before climbing out of bed, mana radiating from her palms. She clenched and unclenched her hands before pointing both her palms at Alora. “You have three seconds to respond.”

“You don’t remember me?” Alora asked. “I’m Alora. I used to be blue, but I dyed my scales purple.”

Lindyss furrowed her brow and lowered her palms, the mana in them receding. “And what do you want?”

“You’re certainly grumpy,” Alora said and snorted. “You shot me in the face with a lightning spear. I should be the peeved one here.”

Lindyss snorted. “When did I do that? And if I did, it’s clearly because you had bad intentions.” She placed her hand against her bleeding side, and green light flowed out of the gaps in her fingers. “So, what do you want? Don’t tell me you woke me up just for fun.”

Alora narrowed her eyes at Lindyss. “I don’t like the attitude you’re talking to me with. I’m a dragon. Don’t you know you should respect us?”

Lindyss smeared away the blood on her no-longer-open wound and wiped her hand on her pants. “With all due respect, tell me what you want or get out of my sight.”

Alora sighed. “Alright, alright. Since I’m the one asking for a favor, I’ll play nice.”

“A favor from me after so rudely awakening me and not apologizing?” Lindyss asked, raising an eyebrow.

“Sorry, okay? Jeez, no need to be so grumpy,” Alora said and rolled her eyes. “Okay, so Vur told me you picked up an orb after killing the red giant. I need that orb.”

“Vur told you that?” Lindyss asked. “Where is he?”

“He went to find Tafel to report his safe return,” Alora said. She held out her front paw. “About that orb?”

Lindyss crossed her arms over her chest. “What do you need it for?”

“Important dragon stuff,” Alora said and nodded. “Top-secret and totally classified information.”

“If you don’t tell me what you need it for, its location is about to be a classified bit of information as well,” Lindyss said. “As far as I’ve been able to figure out, it’s only useful for blood magic. And you don’t seem like the type of dragon to dabble in blood magic.”

“I don’t?” Alora asked and tilted her head. “Then what type of dragon do you think I am?”

“You were blue before, so an ice dragon,” Lindyss said.

“But I’m purple now.”

“A purple-ice dragon.”

Alora scratched her snout. “How about you just give me the orb—no questions asked—as one friend to another?”

“You’re not my friend,” Lindyss said.

“Ouch,” Alora said. She furrowed her brow. “As one acquaintance to another?”

“I respectfully decline.”

“I’ll … give you a cookie?”

Lindyss glared at Alora. “Do I look like I’d be swayed by a cookie?”

Alora shrugged. “Everyone likes cookies; it was worth a shot. Alright, so if I tell you what I need the orb for, you’re going to give it to me?”

“No,” Lindyss said. “I’ll consider giving it to you depending on how good your reason is.”

Alora lowered her head and sighed, her eyes brimming with tears. “You see, my grandma was tricked and captured by Zyocuh, and the only way to free her is through that orb.”

Lindyss’ expression didn’t change. “Really.”

“Uh-huh, really.” Alora bobbed her head up and down. She sniffled. “And I care about my grandma a lot, and I want to free her.”

Before Lindyss could further express her doubt, a voice boomed from outside the cave, “Grandma’s back! Where are my favorite little grandchildren hiding at? Alora? Vur? Eldest, Youngest, Bonnie?”

Alora cleared her throat, her watering eyes clearing instantly. “Uh…, so can I have the orb?”

Lindyss pointed towards the entrance of the cave. “Out.”

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