Silver City

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Sanna Briar was balanced on a thick branch in an abandoned orchard. His pale blue, lion-like body tensed and alert, his yellow cat eyes scanning the area for prey. Sanna could smell a few rabbits, some squirrels, and a cougar nearby.

That's odd, he thought to himself. Cougars weren't common on this side of the mountains, but even so, Sanna wouldn't ever consider going for it.

He shook the memories of the past from his mind as a rabbit hopped into view a few yards away. Sanna stayed perfectly still, waiting for the perfect moment to pounce.

Sanna! A voice called in his head, a familiar, obnoxious voice.

Sanna twitched and lost his balance, falling off the branch and landing on his paws with a thud. The rabbit fled at the noise and Sanna let out an irritated snarl, Why can't anyone understand that I just want to hunt alone!

Sanna glared up at the two dragons flying down to him. The first was a golden phoenix, she swooped in and landed gracefully on a sturdy tree branch. The other was a bronze wyrm, she landed with a cat-like jump on the grassy floor, her sharp teeth bared in a grin.

Sanna narrowed his yellow eyes, What do you want?

The bronze wyrm's ears perked up, Suruli and I were bored, so we thought we would join your hunt.

Suruli, the phoenix, rolled her brown eyes and gave her friend a disapproving look, Śarat Stone, you liar! She looked back at Sanna apologetically, Nisvārtha told us to come get you.

Sanna's tail lashed in irritation, Why in Kallu's name would he do that? He sunk his claws into the soil of the orchard they stood in,  He knows I can handle myself.

Suruli sighed, shifting her talons on the branch, He thinks you spend too much time alone, especially for a wyvern.

Sanna growled, You mean he does not trust me.

That is a lie and you know it! Śarat snapped, her green eyes hard. Out of all of us, he trusts you the most. You are his best friend!

Sanna sighed, Fine, you can hunt with me, but—

A high pitched ringing struck the sensitive ears of the three dragons. They all looked up toward the abandoned capital and saw a beam of golden light fading from the top of the Silver Tower.

What was that? Sanna asked, the fur on the back of his neck prickling.

I have no idea, Śarat replied. We should check it out.

Suruli's feathers ruffled, Why not leave it alone? she suggested nervously. Nisvārtha wanted us to come back, and it could be dangerous...

Or it could be fun! Śarat cheered, her wings twitching with anticipation. She glanced at Sanna, How about a race? Runner against flyer?

Sanna considered a moment before giving a feline grin, You are on, wyrm. Then was off like a streak of blue lightning, relishing the feel of the wind in his mane.

The trio of dragons left the abandoned orchards and made their way over the river and into the old city. No one had lived there since the war ended, but the stone and brick buildings had held firm through the centuries. One step on those quiet roads though, was all it took for a dragon to know why the city had remained empty. A ghostly chill hung in the air, and Sanna, even in the excitement and thrill of the race, couldn't ignore the feeling of death and suffering that lingered in the earth and stone of the roads.

The race ended in a tie at the gates of the castle. A stone wall had once surrounded the Silver Tower, but events from the past had broken down sections of the barrier, making the rest of the wall obsolete.

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