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        Nehat wasn't the only one who did some planning for the race.  Enielda knew her brother had done lots of practicing. 

She figured that was what he was doing when he flew towards the woods and disappeared for hours at a time.  He did that pretty much every day. 

Enielda wanted to win the scarf race, but even more important to her was beating her older brother. 

However, she wasn't sure how to make it happen, so she decided to get wise counsel.  One night while Nehat was at the stable caring for the animals, Enielda talked to her parents. 

"Mom and Dad, I really want to win the race this year, and I really want to beat Nehat.  I know that I won't be able to do either without help. 

Will you help me to know my weaknesses and figure out how to overcome them?" 
Onima and Kelu smiled.  They were very pleased to be asked, and they had many ideas. 

Whenever Nehat was not around they would talk different strategies.  They would discuss Enielda's areas of weakness, but they would also discuss her strengths.  If Nehat had asked, they would have done the same for him, but Nehat didn't ask. 

Enielda's parents both agreed that she was not good at pacing herself.  However, Enielda worked hard to overcome that fault.  She spent a great deal of time in the saddle aboard her small black dragon Krandess. 

Black dragons were smaller than the big reds.  However, the small size would sometimes allow them to be faster at certain maneuvers. 

The more time Enielda spent in the saddle, the more she learned to trust Krandess's instincts.  Krandess knew how fast she could go and still have the energy to finish the race, so Enielda found that it was best to let Krandess choose their pace. 

Enielda had always loved dragons, which was probably partly due to the fact that like her father she was a dragon trainer.  Dragon trainers were those rare people who could communicate with every dragon. 

This ability allowed them to work with all dragons instead of just the one to which they were bonded.  Most dragons could only speak to their rider and dragon trainers.  Purple dragons were the exception. 

Every color of dragon had a special ability.  Red dragons could breathe fire.  Yellow dragons could spit an acid that could burn through pretty much anything, including human flesh.  Green dragons could heal.  Blue dragons could produce water in all three states.  Purple dragons could communicate with everyone. 

This special gift made them the perfect dragons to work with children.  All children started out riding on purple dragons because not only could the dragon talk to the children, but it could talk to whoever was leading the riding lesson. 

This meant that the dragon trainers could work with the other dragons and their riders.  These special abilities were not the only things that made each dragon color special.  The color also affected their size, their temperament, and more. 

Enielda loved spending time with the dragons, and from an early age, she had followed her father around as he cared for them and she listened carefully as he explained their differences. 

That knowledge had been one of her biggest strengths as she and her parents had carefully discussed plans for the race.  Most of those with winged mounts rode dragons. 

Isoje was the only young person with a Pegasus.  Of those with dragons, there were many reds, blues, greens, and yellows.  Those colors were very common.  However, Enielda was the only young person with a black dragon. 

They were one of the rarest colors.  So she and her parents made their plans so that they would maximize her dragon's strengths and minimize its weaknesses. 

For that reason, Enielda had chosen to head to the amethyst cave after the giant oak.  She and her parents both knew that it would give her the best chance to beat Nehat, for he had not paid much attention to the details about dragons until he had one of his own, and then he only listened to the information about red dragons. 

Their plan would only work for a black dragon, but since Nehat hadn't taken time to learn about black dragons, he would not realize that Enielda was a potential threat...

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