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TOPIC | Wandering Winds {DISCONTINUED}
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@Aetherstorm
You're so welcome! I'm just happy to have been around early enough to inspire you that much, if you take a look back at just how far you've come, you'd be amazed too.

You're going to be amazing at anything you do if you promise yourself to keep at it, and if you do, there's nothing else that can stop you from becoming the best you that you can be. Keep doing what you're doing, you'll get far, I just know it.
@Aetherstorm
You're so welcome! I'm just happy to have been around early enough to inspire you that much, if you take a look back at just how far you've come, you'd be amazed too.

You're going to be amazing at anything you do if you promise yourself to keep at it, and if you do, there's nothing else that can stop you from becoming the best you that you can be. Keep doing what you're doing, you'll get far, I just know it.
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@Faolyn
Thank you! I'm sure you've come very far yourself :)
@Faolyn
Thank you! I'm sure you've come very far yourself :)
[center][item=tales of terror] (Here is the long-awaited conclusion for The Wandering Winds. I'm sorry this ended so abruptly, but I hope you enjoy this final reunion of all our beloved characters. Thank you for having joined on this two-year-long journey :) [b]Final Day:[/b] Lucian, the young coatl whose feathers usually shone like the darkest galaxies, stumbled through the forest pale as moonlight. His cold, lifeless claws groped at the air as he struggled to fight down sobs, turning circles in the seemingly endless forest. Mother was nowhere to be found, as he tripped over tree roots and cut his legs on pointy thorns. Desperate for the warmth of another dragon, Luce kept on stumbling, tears streaking down his face as he quietly sobbed beneath the shadows of the looming trees. Right up until he stumbled into his mother's arms. [b]"Oh, Luce, my baby,"[/b] Aurora cooed, hugging her son tightly against her chest. She affectionately nosed the ghastly pale feathers cascading over his shoulders, her breath warm against Lucian's cold scales. [b]"You're safe now, don't worry. You're safe with your friends."[/b] [font=cursive]"Mama?"[/font] Luce squeaked softly, his hand drifting up to land on his mother's snout, as if he couldn't quite believe she was there. Aurora laughed her enchantingly musical laugh, stroking Luce's glimmering crest feathers as a motherly smile rose to her face. [font=cursive]"Yes,"[/font] she cooed in a soft, loving hum. [font=cursive]"Mama's here, Luce."[/font] The Young coatl, now finally realizing he was safely clutching in his mother's arms, let out a soft trill of relief. [B]"June? Charlie?"[/b] he croaked, blinking his large, green eyes around the clearing. Aurora chuckled and gently set him down, Luce excitedly ruffling his wings as he turned a loose, clumsy circle in place. [b]"Yes, they're here,"[/b] Aurora promised him with a beaming smile. [b]"Everyone else is, too."[/b] She paused thoughtfully. [B]"Well, mostly,"[/b] the coatl added with a flick of her tail. [B]"We should call them back. Now come on, Lucian,"[/b] she added, taking her hatchling's cold talons into her own. [B]"Let's go find your friends."[/b] ~*~ [B]"Ugh, about [I]time[/I] you got me out of there,"[/b] Hester muttered, disgruntled, as she elegantly stepped over a gnarled tree root, her metallic, muscular body shimmering in the sunlight that filtered through the trees. [B]"It was starting to get really creepy."[/b] [B]"Come on, it couldn't have been [I]that[/I] bad,"[/b] August insisted as Topaz and Charo batted playfully at his tail like a pair of playful kittens.  [B]"At least you weren't devoured by shadows!"[/b] Aiden snapped grumpily, hunched over as his claws tapped anxiously at the stone beneath his talons. [B]"It was…it was terrifying."[/b] [B]"I miss them,"[/b] Rachet added in his small voice. The tiny skydancer had his coruscating eyes trained on the grass between his claws, his antennae drooping low over his snout. [B]"I know I wanted to leave, but…but I thought they'd still be happy."[/b] [B]"Losing dragons that are close to you can be a traumatizing, heartbreaking experience,"[/b] Opal told the small dragonet, hopping up beside him and sliding her iridescent silver tail over his narrow shoulders. [B]"But it gives you a chance to see the world anew, through a fresh pair of eyes. You might see it differently if you realize just how cruel it can be."[/b] [B]"Those aren't exactly heart-lifting words for a young hatchling,"[/b] August said, wrinkling his nose as he affectionately cuffed Opal's shoulder. She cuffed him right back and stuck out her tongue, bringing the handsome skydancer right up to the brink of a fit of childish giggles. Rachet, on the other hand, seemed far from unsettled. He'd even perked up a little, wiping the dried tears from his cheeks and blinking around the clearing with his gorgeous, spiraling eyes as though, for the first time, his cloud of sadness had finally cleared away. The next instant, a bright bundle of scales tumbled out of the shadows, flashing an icy blue before they tumbled right into Rachet's side. The skydancer leaped up with a cry of surprise and a flurry of platinum feathers. [b]"Oh! Hey! You!"[/b] A pale pearlcatcher with shimmering wings cried excitedly, grinning goofily as he perked up with his iridescent mane tumbling into his eyes. [b]"Do you want to play with us? We're looking for Lupé's cat!"[/b] And, indeed, directly behind him slithered out a gorgeous spiral with wings like a butterfly, fidgeting anxiously with his talons as his wide, soft green eyes darted around the forest. After him emerged yet another spiral, this one purple and even more purple with pale blue eyes, looking far more frantic. [B]"Oh, Ryu's helping us too!"[/b] Kasper said, flicking his tail in the direction of the ethereal dragon. [B]"So, wanna help?"[/b] Rachet immediately brightened, a shy smile rising to his snout. [b]"O?o?okay!"[/b] [b]"[i]Epic[/i],"[/b] Kasper said with another brilliant smile. He reached out and grabbed Rachet's talons, lacing them through his own. Rachet only had a split second to have a faint blush creep into his cheeks before Kasper started dragging him off towards the trees. [b]"Come on!"[/b] He crooned, his tail lashing against the ground excitedly. [b]"We have to find Lux! That's what we named her, by the way. The cat. It's so nice to have a new friend! Do you like bananas? Have you ever tried the purple ones? They're so [i]weird[/i]!"[/b] [b]"I think he's rather excited about your new friend,"[/b] Lost said with a tired smile, the dark circles beneath her eyes deepened by the shadows cast by the trees. [b]"I'm glad he's found a way to occupy himself."[/b] The pearlcatcher glanced down at her talons, trembling and laced through with coils of darkness, and frowned. [b]"I'm rather worried about that cat, though…"[/b] Her mate, Arion, sitting right beside her, reached out and gently grasped her talons in his own. She glanced up at him with a sudden start, momentarily caught off guard by his warm touch. [b]"Don't worry about it, okay?"[/b] the glittering spiral told her softly. [b]"You deserve some rest. Relax,"[/b] he added, softly tapping her on the nose. [b]"Nobody's in danger here."[/b] [b]"We do need to find Odyssey, though,"[/b] Jade said, anxiously rubbing her claws together as she paced back and forth. She kept on throwing worried glances into the forest as if a bloodthirsty howler monkey might pop out of the tree instead of a small, white wildclaw wielding a sword of unimaginable power. [b]"He…he could have gotten lost or hurt or maybe he lost Yuki or—"[/b] A loud crash startled her into the air, her words dying mid-sentence. This was soon followed by another crash, then another, like the sound of toppling trees, before a large, jaguar-spotted guardian tumbled out of the forest with, indeed, a small white wildclaw clinging to his massive shoulders. Myu tossed his head back and gurgled happily, a purr-like sound emanating from his throat as he crouched down and let Odyssey slide onto the grass, clutching a glowing sword to his chest. [b]"I would say that was the most terrifying thing I've ever done if I hadn't seen an undead emperor rise from the depths of a lake,"[/b] he admitted weakly, legs trembling so hard he collapsed before he made it several feet into the clearing. Myu made a smug [i]hrr[/i]-ing sound in his throat and slid into a sitting position, a cat-like smirk sliding over his face. [b]"Don't be such a baby,"[/b] Aiden muttered, lashing his tail against the ground. Even he wasn't able to hide the relief in his narrowed, orange eyes. [b]"You weren't [i]eaten[/i] by [i]shadows[/i] were you? Did [i]you[/i] have to get rescued by a possessed Shadowbinder idol? Did [i]you[/i] have to watch two perfectly friendly dragons plummet to their deaths?"[/b] He bared his teeth, agitated sparks flying from his tightly clenched talons. [b]"I lost Yuki!"[/b] Odyssey exclaimed, waving the sword in the air as if that'd make his point more arguable. [b]"Some runt stole it from me and I had to be in a [i]play[/i] to get her back!"[/b] [b]"Hold on, a [i]play[/i]?!"[/b] Hester cried out with a sudden grin. "[i]You[/i] were in a play? I'd have loved to see that,"[/b] she mused, flicking her tail across the grass as she smirked teasingly at Odyssey from a few paces away. [b]"I wasn't [i]that[/i] bad,"[/b] Odyssey said quickly, sounding slightly hurt. [b]"They even gave out free food afterward! Yuki was one of the props,"[/b] he added, anxiously turning the sword over in his talons. [b]"There were some really nice dragons there."[/b] Slowly, he ran a claw over it's shimmering, icy blade. [b]"But,"[/b] he continued after a deep breath, looking up with a smile on his face. [b]"I'm glad to be home."[/b] [b]"Oh, this is so incredible!"[/b] Jade sang happily, her wings beating at the air. [b]"Now we almost have the entire gang back together! Aurora,"[/b] she added, smiling brilliantly at the shimmering coatl next to her, who turned to face the spiral after watching her son and June play with a crab covered in sunflowers from afar. [b]"Thank you so much for going into town and helping us get them back! I was worried[i]sick[/i]."[/b] [b]"No worries!"[/b] Auror assured her, smiling even with her eyes. [b]"These guys are family,"[/b] the ghost of a frown flickered across her face as she spread her glittering wings, motioning towards all the dragons clustered around them. [b]"I would…I would do anything for them.[/b] [b]"At least you brought back some pudding cups!"[/b] Fletcher chirped happily, his snout already coated with the rich cream that he hastily licked away with his small pink tongue. [b]"Pudding is great! I'm glad we got pudding. It's been so long…"[/b] He added, looking longingly down at the pudding cup clenched in his talons. [b]"Yes,"[/b] West agreed with a dour expression, poking at his own with a rather perplexed look on his face. [b]"Peculiar, this pudding. It's…odd. And tastes like [i]evil[/i]."[/b] He growled, his predatory, electric blue eyes narrowing suspiciously. [b]"Your face tastes like evil!"[/b] June called out to him from across the clearing, balancing Charlie on top of her head as Luce hopped around her with a crown of flowers perched on his head. [B]"You may scoff now, but soon, this [I]pudding[/I] shall claim your soul!"[/b] West shouted, flaring his glittering wings at her from across the clearing. June giggled and ducked her head, from which Charlie promptly tumbled from in a flurry of bright yellow sunflower petals. [B]"Well, I'm glad to see everybody's getting along."[/b] Jade mused, smiling to herself. [B]"Now,"[/b] she added, sighing softly as her eyes drifted towards the sky. [B]"We're only missing two."[/b] ~*~ Nico spread his four leathery wings and took to the air, gliding smoothly in between the trees. His crimson feathers flashed in the darkness as he gracefully wove his way around the trunks and vines, gliding through the air like a swan before coming to a rest on a dark blue nocturne's shoulders with a wild flutter of his tufted feathers. Satira looked up at the scrawny alpha webwing and smiled, her glowing, runed talons clasped around Ajax's. [b]"See? Nico still cares,"[/b] she insisted, nudging Ajax's shoulder with her wing. He huffed and turned his head away, staring solemnly at the ground. [B]"Don't give up hope, Ajax,"[/b] Satira continued, her voice steadily growing firmer. A ragged puppet in the shape of a mirror with small plastic buttons for eyes waddled up to them, dragging itself clumsily over the ground with its disproportionate limbs. The soft brown nocturne smiled again. [B]"See, even Desdemona cares!"[/b] She added, lifting the plush puppet into the air and ignoring its protestant wiggling. [B]"We are your [I]friends[/I], Ajax."[/b] Nico clicked his beak in agreement. [B]"Aster may be gone, but her death wasn't your fault. She'd want you to be happy!"[/b] [B]"So much has changed,"[/b] the nocturne rasped in his gravelly, low husk of a voice. He looked down at his talons, flexing his short, sharp claws. [B]"I'm not what I used to be."[/b] [B]"Well, there are worse things than being cursed by lifelike shadows creatures, right?"[/b] Satira chirped, toying with another playful grin as she batted at Ajax's wing. He hesitated before allowing himself a small, weak chuckle. Satira reached out and grabbed his arm, Nico taking back off into the air in a blur of wings as she pulled him forward. [B]"Now, come on!"[/b] Satira insisted, Desdemona draped over her tail like a very sad curtain. [B]"We should meet up with everyone else."[/b] Immediately, a fluffy, feathered cat with the face of an owl leaped over their heads, cooing happily as it landed on the ground with a dull thump and began winding its way between the legs of a hulking guardian, an apple clutched in his jaws. Myu promptly began to purr as Oliver nudged insistently at his talons, flicking his lion-like tail as he pawed at the dragon's ankles. Myu promptly made a yowling sound back and lashed his tail, apple juice dribbling over his chin as he crunched the fruit between his large jaws Fable sat beside him, curled up on the forest floor like a scaled, spotted chinchilla. His snout was pressed against a scroll, his deep blue eyes squinting through his glasses as they trailed down the page, enamored by the scribbled words. He murmured something under his breath about plagues and ancient temples, absently gnawing on the head of a sugared grasshopper. Then the air beside his shoulder began to simmer, as if with heat, and in a flash a beautiful, silken bird that glowed and wavered like a fragile illusion of smoke was sitting beside him, blinking her many slanted, golden eyes in his direction. Fable glanced up, the grasshopper falling out of his mouth in surprise, and smiled. [B]"Hey, Morgana,"[/b] he murmured, reaching out a clawed hand to let the bird's delicate tendrils of smoke curl through his claws. The Slight Eyewing chirped back at him, again blinking her myriad of golden eyes. Myu, who still sat beside him, gave Fable a curious, sidelong glance. The Slight Eyewing didn't appear in his eyes, so the nocturne appeared only to be giggling to himself. A blur of fog then began to wind its way through the trees, hovering still in the air as soon as it saw Morgana pecking at Fable's claws. It swept towards the ground and again materialized into a beautiful, crystalline imperial, peering out from behind a tree with a pair of electric blue eyes. [B]"Pssst, Fog,"[/b] another voice hissed, coming from a small mirror behind her whose scales shone a mix of silver and pale green. Lunaria crept out of the shadows after her ethereal companion, her fins flattered against her skull. [B]"I think someone's coming."[/b] Fog's ears pricked up immediately, her head twitching in the direction of the deeper, darker forest. Luna flinched at the sudden stern look on the imperial's face, her dark green eyes darting towards the floor. Myu could sense it, too. He rose to his feet, agitatedly lashing the ground with his tail as he pulled his lips away from his teeth. Morgana disappeared with another soundless flash, and even Fable looked up from the scroll clutched in his claws. Then Jade was with them too, drawn by the rustling from the forest. Opal appeared at her side moments later, with a small, angry Charoite gripping her shoulder.  [B]"What is it?"[/b] Jade hissed nervously, narrowing her eyes. [B]"We can't tell from here,"[/b] August responded with Topaz and June and Luce leaping after his tufted tail as he drew near. [B]"It…it can't be anything [i]too[/i] big, right?"[/b] Opal shook her head soundlessly, lifting Charo off her back and letting him down gently on the ground so he could pout there instead. [B]"We're not close enough to—"[/b] [B]"[I]Wolf[/I]!"[/b] Luna screamed, erupting from the forest is a hazy blur of her mint green wings. The mirror careened through the air and came to a tumbling halt on the ground, her eyes wide and terrified, wings flung akimbo. [B]"Hide the hatchlings and dragonets!"[/b] Opal cried, grabbing Charo off the ground and thrusting him into August's arms. He took his hatchling, who was acutely aware of the situation and stepped away, fear flashing in his eyes. [B]"We can't let them get hurt."[/b] At that very moment, a thick furred, white wolf lunged from the thick shadows of the trees, it's teeth bared in a spitting snarl as its eyes like shards of ice swept the clearing with a predator's deadly gaze. But before someone could scream; before someone could think to fight or yell or run away, a vaguely familiar voice drifted through the trees. [B]"Stop it, Arcturus,"[/b] Juno's voice came as the fluffy blue tundra stepped out from between the trees, her mane knotted with weeds and brambling and yet still beautiful and well kept. A smile was on her snout as she glanced up at the crowd of gaping dragons, the gleam in her eyes playful. [B]"We don't want to scare them to death before we can get reunited."[/b] [B]"Juno!"[/b] Lost gasped, her head sudden popping up beside Opal's, who nearly had a heart attack. The pearlcatcher looked better now than she had in ages, a smile lighting up her entire face. She threw her wings around the tundra's neck as if they were the best of friends again. [B]"You're back!"[/b] [B]"We're back,"[/b] Juno agreed with her beaming grin. Romeo stumbled out of the forest after her, nearly stumbling over his own feet as he clumsily coiled his way through the trees. Juno's face was momentarily overcome with fear as she reached out to grab his shoulders, steadying the dark blue spiral before he could fall onto his nose. [B]"Careful,"[/b] the tundra said softly, placing a hand on his chest. Romeo nudged her back with his snout, a playful grin spreading over his face. [B]"I always am,"[/b] he replied, cradling a sewn bundle of leaves and fur in his arms. Jade slowly hopped up to them, her face battling for the right emotion as she approached her son, claws spread. Romeo turned his head and tilted it in Jade's direction. His eyes were suddenly glistening with unshed tears, and he clutched the bundle in his arms even tighter against his wiry frame. [B]"Hey, Mom."[/b] [B]"Romeo, you…"[/b] Jade trailed off, a smile slowly crawling into her face as her eyes landed on the bundle he carried, a small gasp escaping her snout. [B]"Are those—"[/b] [B]"Yup!"[/b] Romeo interjected proudly, puffing his chest out. He held out the bundle, three pale green eggs cradled safely within. [B]"I'm a [I]mature adult[/I], Mom!"[/b] he insisted, unable to squelch down the childish grin that spread over his face. [B]"I can handle some responsibility."[/b]  Jade giggled. Juno laughed and rolled her eyes, twining her tail around his. [B]"Oh, I'm so happy for you, Romeo!"[/b] Jade chirped, grinning as though she was a hatchling again. [B]"I think you'll be an [I]amazing[/I] father!"[/b]  [B]"One would hope so,"[/b] Juno teased, playfully cuffing his shoulder. [B]"Oh, and we also met Arcturus along the way!"[/b] Romeo added happily, nodding to the wolf pacing back and forth in front of them, nose twitching suspiciously as it's tail beat the air. [B]"He's helped us a lot."[/b] [B]"Well then, I suppose he's a member of the family now, too,"[/b] Jade admitted with a smile. The spiral let her eyes fall shut, letting her breath hiss back out through her teeth.  Her large, soft green eyes fluttering open, a sad smile playing at her lips. [B]"Now, all we have left to do is confront the truth."[/b] ~*~ [B]"I believe it is time for us to go our separate ways."[/b] This was met with several sharp gasps. [b]"What?"[/b] Opal shouted, flaring her faceted wings in agitation. [B]"But why would we suddenly—"[/b] [B]"Not in that way, Opal!"[/b] Jade shouted back, flaring her wings from her position on a large outcropping of rock. [B]"We aren't fighting or drifting apart or crumbling beneath tyrannical rule or anything like that, don't worry."[/b] Opal let her wings fall to her sides, tilting her head back thoughtfully. [B]"Oh,"[/b] she started, making a face. She settled back down, twining her tail around August's. [B]"Well that's alright then, I guess. Kind of."[/b] [B]"I just mean that…"[/b] Jade hesitated, her eyes sweeping over the gathered cluster of her classmates. [b]"I just mean that we've always been a clan of wanderlust and adventure. But…but now that our numbers have grown so large, and are growing still,"[/b] she added, her eyes hopping from Ratchet to the bundle of eggs tucked under Juno's wing. [B]"We can't afford to continue on like this; it's far too dangerous."[/b] [B]"It's been dangerous in the past,"[/b] Aurora stated softly, watching Luce chase after June with sadness in her eyes. [B]"But I suppose you're right. We can't keep traveling from place to place like this. Maybe under different circumstances…"[/b] [B]"Maybe we could just settle [I]here[/I],"[/b] August suggested, somewhat reluctantly. He and Opal shared a look that suggested neither of them were all too fond of the idea.  [B]"The forest isn't the best place for an entire clan of dragons,"[/b] Jade stated. [B]"It can be dangerous for hatchlings, and the shadow wolves might still be out there. And settling beside an already thriving town wouldn't be the best idea."[/b] [B]"I suppose so,"[/b] August admitted with a faint smile. [B]"But then…what do we do?"[/b] his words were met with a few long moments of silence, only disturbed by uneasy whispers. [B]"We should each go our separate ways."[/b] Jade admitted with a soft breath, a sad smile emerging on her face. This time, nobody spoke up. Looks were shared, some sad, some scared. A few even looked excited, brightened by the prospect of new adventures. Odyssey looked caught between all three, his talons resting on the hilt of his sword. Aiden, on his rock, smirked at the prospect. Hester was staring intently at her claws, lost in thought. [B]"Is it time for us to say goodbye?"[/b] Opal asked, her voice unusually small and timid. Jade paused. [B]"Not quite yet,"[/b] she admitted with a dip of her head and a small smile. [B]"But soon. We have to get ready first, after all."[/b] The next few days seemed to pass in an instant. It was all dragons crying over and hugging one another, pouring over maps and cramming what little belongings they had into pouches knit from sturdy leaves and shed fur. Juno and Romeo fussed endlessly over their eggs, which were always kept under the watchful eye of Arcturus. The wolf snapped even at bugs that got too close. Everyone somewhat knew what they wanted. A few wanted to stay in the Windswept Plateau, while others looked forward to roaming the territories of other Flights. Some had even discovered signs of clans that'd piqued their interests. Sierra wouldn't even let Seraph struggle to his feet without dropping out of the sky like a thunderbolt and forcing some weird, medicinal herbs into his snout. [b]"I promise you, Sierra, I'm fine,"[/b] the fae insisted with a smile, gently steering her claws away. [b]"I even found a nice wind clan nearby I could settle into."[/b] [b]"Are you sure?"[/b] Sierra asked worriedly, shredding the mint leaves between her claws. Seraph chuckled, patting the back of her massive hand. [b]"Yes, I'm sure."[/b] He assured her with another smile. [b]"Now go help the others; I'm sure they need it more than me."[/b] Across the clearing, Odyssey couldn't stop himself from fidgeting with the hilt of his sword. [B]"Do you know where you guys are going to go?"[/b] Odyssey asked, eyes darting over the ground. [b]"I heard of a clan in the Cloudscape Crags that sounds pretty interesting,"[/b] Aiden admitted with a flick of his wings, scraping his claws against the stone. [b]"I think I might head over there. It'd be pretty interesting to find out how someone with fire in their blood could manage to survive in the Southern Icefield,"[/b] he added with a smirk. [b]"Oh, okay,"[/b] Odyssey's eyes trailed over to Hester, who was still picking at the grass. [b]"What about you, Het?"[/b] Hester gave a start at the sound of her nickname, spinning her head around to lock eyes with Odyssey. The wildclaw flinched, but she didn't look mad. Instead, in her four green eyes, there was a clear trace of sadness. [b]"I'm going to stay here. Maybe check out the Sea of a Thousand Currents,"[/b] Hester admitted, forcing a smile onto her face. [b]"I want to learn more about my Mom. And my Dad. See who they were working for before they…before they died."[/b] She admitted a bit tersely. [b]"What about you?"[/b] [b]"Me? Oh, I…"[/b] Odyssey trailed off, his claws tightening around the hilt of his sword. [b]"I heard of this clan of really nice dragons, settled not too far from here. They seem awesome. I'd like to hang out there."[/b] He explained, more than a little wistful. Hester rolled her eyes and nudged his wing. [b]"So why do you seem so [i]sad[/i], you goof?"[/b] She asked accusingly, poking his shoulder. Odyssey laughed weakly, his eyes drifting towards the ground. But now Aiden was staring at him too, both mirrors pinning him beneath intense, sharp glares. [b]"I…I'm just going to miss you guys so much!"[/b] Odyssey burst out, gathering all his willpower to [i]not[/i] start crying and have the two of them mercilessly tease him until they said goodbye. [b]"Ever since we sort of became friends on accident, I never really thought about what living without dragons I've known for a while would be like."[/b] The wildclaw hesitated, shifting uneasily. [b]"And now everyone's leaving and I don't know what to do! What if I mess up? What if they don't like me?"[/b] Hester snorted, batting at his wing. [b]"They'll like you,"[/b] she promised him with a grin. [b]"They [i]better[/i] like you, or else I'm coming back and dragging your tail over to Fishspine Reef myself."[/b] Odyssey laughed weakly, meeting her eyes with a smile of his own. Then, unable to restrain himself, he flung his wings around her neck, pulling the startled mirror into a tight embrace. [b]"Woah,"[/b] Hester blurted, his voice beside her ear. [b]"No. I don't like this."[/b] A few seconds passed and she reluctantly patted him on the back. [b]"Okay, okay, you big baby, but let me go."[/b] She pulled away, a smile splitting over her face. [b]"Geez, I never knew how sappy you could be."[/b] Odyssey chuckled and turned to face Aiden, his eyes meeting the pale, iridescent mirror's. [b]"Sorry,"[/b] Aiden said, spreading his talons as smoke gently began wafting from between his claws. [b]"No hugs for me."[/b] Odyssey frowned, pouting almost comically.  After a few moments, he rose back to his feet, spreading his wings. [b]"Air hug?"[/b] he said hopefully, risking a small smile. Aiden made a face, his fins pressing themselves flat against his scales. Then he gave in with a sigh. [B]"Air hug."[/b] He agreed dully, spreading with wings. For the next five minutes, Hester couldn't stop laughing. Then came the time where everyone had to converge, one last time, before taking off in search of new homes. Opal stepped up beside Jade, her bag of things slung over her shoulders. [b]"We've come so far,"[/b] she said quietly, turning to look Jade in the eye. It seemed like only yesterday she was squealing in fear, believing this kind, harmless spiral might want to eat her alive. [b]"It'll feel weird to be apart, won't it?"[/b] [b]"Yes,"[/b] Jade admitted quietly, brushing her tail past Opal's. It felt like not long ago at all that the nocturne was half her size, squealing about bright green noodles and scarfing down butterfly wings and playing chase with Zaffer. [i]Zaffer,[/i] Jade realized, blinking away the tears that had suddenly sprung into her eyes. [i]Poor Zaffer.[/i] [b]"We'll always remember him."[/b] Opal said quietly as if she could read the spiral's thoughts. Jade locked eyes with the silver nocturne, both smiling, both on the brink of tears. [b]"We'll remember him forever. Others will too. He had a nice life. I…I owe so much to him. To my brother."[/b] Opal tilted her head back to look at the sky. [b]"I just wish he was here with us, too."[/b] Jade reached out to and placed her talons over Opal's. She was practically like her daughter at this point, this one. [b]"I'm sure he remembers us too."[/b] She said softly, eyes drifting up towards the sky.  There, among the deepest of blues, danced flashes of purple and pink and indigo, waving like butterfly wings through the smudges of clouds. Like an aurora borealis, except an illusion of their lost friend, as if he was still watching, from some other place, and beaming about how far his friends and family had come. And so they spread their wings and took to the skies, each dragon, their mind filled with memories, both happy and sad, heading off towards their next adventure. Bright hopes and happy futures await~[/center] ------ @AmberHive @mayanaz @Spottedleaf125 @Skyeset @Moon314 @WildRose42 @CleverDual @Firedawn @Dragondreamer @Shadow104 @ScaledBookworm @LuminusPrime @Dragonfruiteen @DragonMist @Shadowhunter43 @Digimon11 @Avu42 @MythicalMemeLord @Vyxen @VioletEevee @Verdant @Sanddollar @Faolyn @Bluebirdi3 @ThornOfStorm130 @ObsidianMage @Petall @TropicalDiamonds @fenshae @Birdleap18 @SpiceCookie @Catkidemma @WOF2012 @L1llysage @FallenEclipse @shirotsubaki6564 @TruthandLies @NovaBorn @Sugarkit @Millapede85 @russmond Hello, gang! Thanks again for sticking through all of this with me, you have absolutely [i]no idea[/i] how much it has meant to be over all the months that I've been writing this. In all honesty, when I started this back when I was twelve, I had no idea how much I (or for that matter, anybody else) would grow attached to these dragons! Your interest alone has kept me motivated all this time, and I hope all these dragons will continue on to grand adventures! I'm sorry if this seems a little rushed (and a little long), but I hope you still find it to be a decent conclusion to this Pinkerlocke~ Now, [b]I will be doing a Q&A![/b] As there is no way to fit every last bit of planned lore into this conclusion (no matter how much I tried or hoped there would be ^^') I know that there is much still left unsolved. So, if any of you have any questions regarding the mysterious figures or a character's backstory that I never got around to, please ask and I will gladly tell you everything!! I hope you all have a nice life; thanks for reading! [color=transparent][size=1]uhrkuhjb[/size][/color] [url=https://www.instagram.com/p/B0o20wAHlZW/][img]https://i.ibb.co/LtpYb1H/pinkerlocke-FR.png[/img][/url]

(Here is the long-awaited conclusion for The Wandering Winds. I'm sorry this ended so abruptly, but I hope you enjoy this final reunion of all our beloved characters. Thank you for having joined on this two-year-long journey :)

Final Day:
Lucian, the young coatl whose feathers usually shone like the darkest galaxies, stumbled through the forest pale as moonlight. His cold, lifeless claws groped at the air as he struggled to fight down sobs, turning circles in the seemingly endless forest.

Mother was nowhere to be found, as he tripped over tree roots and cut his legs on pointy thorns. Desperate for the warmth of another dragon, Luce kept on stumbling, tears streaking down his face as he quietly sobbed beneath the shadows of the looming trees.

Right up until he stumbled into his mother's arms.

"Oh, Luce, my baby," Aurora cooed, hugging her son tightly against her chest. She affectionately nosed the ghastly pale feathers cascading over his shoulders, her breath warm against Lucian's cold scales. "You're safe now, don't worry. You're safe with your friends."

"Mama?" Luce squeaked softly, his hand drifting up to land on his mother's snout, as if he couldn't quite believe she was there. Aurora laughed her enchantingly musical laugh, stroking Luce's glimmering crest feathers as a motherly smile rose to her face.

"Yes," she cooed in a soft, loving hum. "Mama's here, Luce." The Young coatl, now finally realizing he was safely clutching in his mother's arms, let out a soft trill of relief.

"June? Charlie?" he croaked, blinking his large, green eyes around the clearing. Aurora chuckled and gently set him down, Luce excitedly ruffling his wings as he turned a loose, clumsy circle in place.

"Yes, they're here," Aurora promised him with a beaming smile. "Everyone else is, too." She paused thoughtfully. "Well, mostly," the coatl added with a flick of her tail. "We should call them back. Now come on, Lucian," she added, taking her hatchling's cold talons into her own. "Let's go find your friends."

~*~

"Ugh, about time you got me out of there," Hester muttered, disgruntled, as she elegantly stepped over a gnarled tree root, her metallic, muscular body shimmering in the sunlight that filtered through the trees. "It was starting to get really creepy."

"Come on, it couldn't have been that bad," August insisted as Topaz and Charo batted playfully at his tail like a pair of playful kittens. 

"At least you weren't devoured by shadows!" Aiden snapped grumpily, hunched over as his claws tapped anxiously at the stone beneath his talons. "It was…it was terrifying."

"I miss them," Rachet added in his small voice. The tiny skydancer had his coruscating eyes trained on the grass between his claws, his antennae drooping low over his snout. "I know I wanted to leave, but…but I thought they'd still be happy."

"Losing dragons that are close to you can be a traumatizing, heartbreaking experience," Opal told the small dragonet, hopping up beside him and sliding her iridescent silver tail over his narrow shoulders. "But it gives you a chance to see the world anew, through a fresh pair of eyes. You might see it differently if you realize just how cruel it can be."

"Those aren't exactly heart-lifting words for a young hatchling," August said, wrinkling his nose as he affectionately cuffed Opal's shoulder. She cuffed him right back and stuck out her tongue, bringing the handsome skydancer right up to the brink of a fit of childish giggles.

Rachet, on the other hand, seemed far from unsettled. He'd even perked up a little, wiping the dried tears from his cheeks and blinking around the clearing with his gorgeous, spiraling eyes as though, for the first time, his cloud of sadness had finally cleared away.

The next instant, a bright bundle of scales tumbled out of the shadows, flashing an icy blue before they tumbled right into Rachet's side. The skydancer leaped up with a cry of surprise and a flurry of platinum feathers. "Oh! Hey! You!" A pale pearlcatcher with shimmering wings cried excitedly, grinning goofily as he perked up with his iridescent mane tumbling into his eyes. "Do you want to play with us? We're looking for Lupé's cat!"

And, indeed, directly behind him slithered out a gorgeous spiral with wings like a butterfly, fidgeting anxiously with his talons as his wide, soft green eyes darted around the forest. After him emerged yet another spiral, this one purple and even more purple with pale blue eyes, looking far more frantic.

"Oh, Ryu's helping us too!" Kasper said, flicking his tail in the direction of the ethereal dragon. "So, wanna help?" Rachet immediately brightened, a shy smile rising to his snout. "O?o?okay!"

"Epic," Kasper said with another brilliant smile. He reached out and grabbed Rachet's talons, lacing them through his own. Rachet only had a split second to have a faint blush creep into his cheeks before Kasper started dragging him off towards the trees. "Come on!" He crooned, his tail lashing against the ground excitedly. "We have to find Lux! That's what we named her, by the way. The cat. It's so nice to have a new friend! Do you like bananas? Have you ever tried the purple ones? They're so weird!"

"I think he's rather excited about your new friend," Lost said with a tired smile, the dark circles beneath her eyes deepened by the shadows cast by the trees. "I'm glad he's found a way to occupy himself." The pearlcatcher glanced down at her talons, trembling and laced through with coils of darkness, and frowned. "I'm rather worried about that cat, though…"

Her mate, Arion, sitting right beside her, reached out and gently grasped her talons in his own. She glanced up at him with a sudden start, momentarily caught off guard by his warm touch. "Don't worry about it, okay?" the glittering spiral told her softly. "You deserve some rest. Relax," he added, softly tapping her on the nose. "Nobody's in danger here."

"We do need to find Odyssey, though," Jade said, anxiously rubbing her claws together as she paced back and forth. She kept on throwing worried glances into the forest as if a bloodthirsty howler monkey might pop out of the tree instead of a small, white wildclaw wielding a sword of unimaginable power. "He…he could have gotten lost or hurt or maybe he lost Yuki or—"

A loud crash startled her into the air, her words dying mid-sentence. This was soon followed by another crash, then another, like the sound of toppling trees, before a large, jaguar-spotted guardian tumbled out of the forest with, indeed, a small white wildclaw clinging to his massive shoulders. Myu tossed his head back and gurgled happily, a purr-like sound emanating from his throat as he crouched down and let Odyssey slide onto the grass, clutching a glowing sword to his chest.

"I would say that was the most terrifying thing I've ever done if I hadn't seen an undead emperor rise from the depths of a lake," he admitted weakly, legs trembling so hard he collapsed before he made it several feet into the clearing. Myu made a smug hrr-ing sound in his throat and slid into a sitting position, a cat-like smirk sliding over his face.

"Don't be such a baby," Aiden muttered, lashing his tail against the ground. Even he wasn't able to hide the relief in his narrowed, orange eyes. "You weren't eaten by shadows were you? Did you have to get rescued by a possessed Shadowbinder idol? Did you have to watch two perfectly friendly dragons plummet to their deaths?" He bared his teeth, agitated sparks flying from his tightly clenched talons.

"I lost Yuki!" Odyssey exclaimed, waving the sword in the air as if that'd make his point more arguable. "Some runt stole it from me and I had to be in a play to get her back!"

"Hold on, a play?!" Hester cried out with a sudden grin. "You were in a play? I'd have loved to see that,"[/b] she mused, flicking her tail across the grass as she smirked teasingly at Odyssey from a few paces away.

"I wasn't that bad," Odyssey said quickly, sounding slightly hurt. "They even gave out free food afterward! Yuki was one of the props," he added, anxiously turning the sword over in his talons. "There were some really nice dragons there." Slowly, he ran a claw over it's shimmering, icy blade. "But," he continued after a deep breath, looking up with a smile on his face. "I'm glad to be home."

"Oh, this is so incredible!" Jade sang happily, her wings beating at the air. "Now we almost have the entire gang back together! Aurora," she added, smiling brilliantly at the shimmering coatl next to her, who turned to face the spiral after watching her son and June play with a crab covered in sunflowers from afar. "Thank you so much for going into town and helping us get them back! I was worriedsick."

"No worries!" Auror assured her, smiling even with her eyes. "These guys are family," the ghost of a frown flickered across her face as she spread her glittering wings, motioning towards all the dragons clustered around them. "I would…I would do anything for them.

"At least you brought back some pudding cups!" Fletcher chirped happily, his snout already coated with the rich cream that he hastily licked away with his small pink tongue. "Pudding is great! I'm glad we got pudding. It's been so long…" He added, looking longingly down at the pudding cup clenched in his talons.

"Yes," West agreed with a dour expression, poking at his own with a rather perplexed look on his face. "Peculiar, this pudding. It's…odd. And tastes like evil." He growled, his predatory, electric blue eyes narrowing suspiciously.

"Your face tastes like evil!" June called out to him from across the clearing, balancing Charlie on top of her head as Luce hopped around her with a crown of flowers perched on his head.

"You may scoff now, but soon, this pudding shall claim your soul!" West shouted, flaring his glittering wings at her from across the clearing. June giggled and ducked her head, from which Charlie promptly tumbled from in a flurry of bright yellow sunflower petals.

"Well, I'm glad to see everybody's getting along." Jade mused, smiling to herself. "Now," she added, sighing softly as her eyes drifted towards the sky. "We're only missing two."

~*~

Nico spread his four leathery wings and took to the air, gliding smoothly in between the trees. His crimson feathers flashed in the darkness as he gracefully wove his way around the trunks and vines, gliding through the air like a swan before coming to a rest on a dark blue nocturne's shoulders with a wild flutter of his tufted feathers.

Satira looked up at the scrawny alpha webwing and smiled, her glowing, runed talons clasped around Ajax's. "See? Nico still cares," she insisted, nudging Ajax's shoulder with her wing. He huffed and turned his head away, staring solemnly at the ground.

"Don't give up hope, Ajax," Satira continued, her voice steadily growing firmer. A ragged puppet in the shape of a mirror with small plastic buttons for eyes waddled up to them, dragging itself clumsily over the ground with its disproportionate limbs.

The soft brown nocturne smiled again. "See, even Desdemona cares!" She added, lifting the plush puppet into the air and ignoring its protestant wiggling. "We are your friends, Ajax." Nico clicked his beak in agreement. "Aster may be gone, but her death wasn't your fault. She'd want you to be happy!"

"So much has changed," the nocturne rasped in his gravelly, low husk of a voice. He looked down at his talons, flexing his short, sharp claws. "I'm not what I used to be."

"Well, there are worse things than being cursed by lifelike shadows creatures, right?" Satira chirped, toying with another playful grin as she batted at Ajax's wing. He hesitated before allowing himself a small, weak chuckle.

Satira reached out and grabbed his arm, Nico taking back off into the air in a blur of wings as she pulled him forward. "Now, come on!" Satira insisted, Desdemona draped over her tail like a very sad curtain. "We should meet up with everyone else."

Immediately, a fluffy, feathered cat with the face of an owl leaped over their heads, cooing happily as it landed on the ground with a dull thump and began winding its way between the legs of a hulking guardian, an apple clutched in his jaws.

Myu promptly began to purr as Oliver nudged insistently at his talons, flicking his lion-like tail as he pawed at the dragon's ankles. Myu promptly made a yowling sound back and lashed his tail, apple juice dribbling over his chin as he crunched the fruit between his large jaws

Fable sat beside him, curled up on the forest floor like a scaled, spotted chinchilla. His snout was pressed against a scroll, his deep blue eyes squinting through his glasses as they trailed down the page, enamored by the scribbled words. He murmured something under his breath about plagues and ancient temples, absently gnawing on the head of a sugared grasshopper.

Then the air beside his shoulder began to simmer, as if with heat, and in a flash a beautiful, silken bird that glowed and wavered like a fragile illusion of smoke was sitting beside him, blinking her many slanted, golden eyes in his direction.

Fable glanced up, the grasshopper falling out of his mouth in surprise, and smiled. "Hey, Morgana," he murmured, reaching out a clawed hand to let the bird's delicate tendrils of smoke curl through his claws. The Slight Eyewing chirped back at him, again blinking her myriad of golden eyes.

Myu, who still sat beside him, gave Fable a curious, sidelong glance. The Slight Eyewing didn't appear in his eyes, so the nocturne appeared only to be giggling to himself.

A blur of fog then began to wind its way through the trees, hovering still in the air as soon as it saw Morgana pecking at Fable's claws. It swept towards the ground and again materialized into a beautiful, crystalline imperial, peering out from behind a tree with a pair of electric blue eyes.

"Pssst, Fog," another voice hissed, coming from a small mirror behind her whose scales shone a mix of silver and pale green. Lunaria crept out of the shadows after her ethereal companion, her fins flattered against her skull. "I think someone's coming."

Fog's ears pricked up immediately, her head twitching in the direction of the deeper, darker forest. Luna flinched at the sudden stern look on the imperial's face, her dark green eyes darting towards the floor. Myu could sense it, too. He rose to his feet, agitatedly lashing the ground with his tail as he pulled his lips away from his teeth. Morgana disappeared with another soundless flash, and even Fable looked up from the scroll clutched in his claws.

Then Jade was with them too, drawn by the rustling from the forest. Opal appeared at her side moments later, with a small, angry Charoite gripping her shoulder. 

"What is it?" Jade hissed nervously, narrowing her eyes. "We can't tell from here," August responded with Topaz and June and Luce leaping after his tufted tail as he drew near. "It…it can't be anything too big, right?"

Opal shook her head soundlessly, lifting Charo off her back and letting him down gently on the ground so he could pout there instead. "We're not close enough to—"

"Wolf!" Luna screamed, erupting from the forest is a hazy blur of her mint green wings. The mirror careened through the air and came to a tumbling halt on the ground, her eyes wide and terrified, wings flung akimbo.

"Hide the hatchlings and dragonets!" Opal cried, grabbing Charo off the ground and thrusting him into August's arms. He took his hatchling, who was acutely aware of the situation and stepped away, fear flashing in his eyes. "We can't let them get hurt."

At that very moment, a thick furred, white wolf lunged from the thick shadows of the trees, it's teeth bared in a spitting snarl as its eyes like shards of ice swept the clearing with a predator's deadly gaze.

But before someone could scream; before someone could think to fight or yell or run away, a vaguely familiar voice drifted through the trees.

"Stop it, Arcturus," Juno's voice came as the fluffy blue tundra stepped out from between the trees, her mane knotted with weeds and brambling and yet still beautiful and well kept. A smile was on her snout as she glanced up at the crowd of gaping dragons, the gleam in her eyes playful. "We don't want to scare them to death before we can get reunited."

"Juno!" Lost gasped, her head sudden popping up beside Opal's, who nearly had a heart attack. The pearlcatcher looked better now than she had in ages, a smile lighting up her entire face. She threw her wings around the tundra's neck as if they were the best of friends again. "You're back!"

"We're back," Juno agreed with her beaming grin. Romeo stumbled out of the forest after her, nearly stumbling over his own feet as he clumsily coiled his way through the trees. Juno's face was momentarily overcome with fear as she reached out to grab his shoulders, steadying the dark blue spiral before he could fall onto his nose. "Careful," the tundra said softly, placing a hand on his chest.

Romeo nudged her back with his snout, a playful grin spreading over his face. "I always am," he replied, cradling a sewn bundle of leaves and fur in his arms. Jade slowly hopped up to them, her face battling for the right emotion as she approached her son, claws spread.

Romeo turned his head and tilted it in Jade's direction. His eyes were suddenly glistening with unshed tears, and he clutched the bundle in his arms even tighter against his wiry frame. "Hey, Mom."

"Romeo, you…" Jade trailed off, a smile slowly crawling into her face as her eyes landed on the bundle he carried, a small gasp escaping her snout. "Are those—"

"Yup!" Romeo interjected proudly, puffing his chest out. He held out the bundle, three pale green eggs cradled safely within. "I'm a mature adult, Mom!" he insisted, unable to squelch down the childish grin that spread over his face. "I can handle some responsibility." 

Jade giggled. Juno laughed and rolled her eyes, twining her tail around his. "Oh, I'm so happy for you, Romeo!" Jade chirped, grinning as though she was a hatchling again. "I think you'll be an amazing father!" 

"One would hope so," Juno teased, playfully cuffing his shoulder. "Oh, and we also met Arcturus along the way!" Romeo added happily, nodding to the wolf pacing back and forth in front of them, nose twitching suspiciously as it's tail beat the air. "He's helped us a lot."

"Well then, I suppose he's a member of the family now, too," Jade admitted with a smile. The spiral let her eyes fall shut, letting her breath hiss back out through her teeth. 

Her large, soft green eyes fluttering open, a sad smile playing at her lips. "Now, all we have left to do is confront the truth."

~*~

"I believe it is time for us to go our separate ways."

This was met with several sharp gasps. "What?" Opal shouted, flaring her faceted wings in agitation. "But why would we suddenly—"

"Not in that way, Opal!" Jade shouted back, flaring her wings from her position on a large outcropping of rock. "We aren't fighting or drifting apart or crumbling beneath tyrannical rule or anything like that, don't worry."

Opal let her wings fall to her sides, tilting her head back thoughtfully. "Oh," she started, making a face. She settled back down, twining her tail around August's. "Well that's alright then, I guess. Kind of."

"I just mean that…" Jade hesitated, her eyes sweeping over the gathered cluster of her classmates. "I just mean that we've always been a clan of wanderlust and adventure. But…but now that our numbers have grown so large, and are growing still," she added, her eyes hopping from Ratchet to the bundle of eggs tucked under Juno's wing. "We can't afford to continue on like this; it's far too dangerous."

"It's been dangerous in the past," Aurora stated softly, watching Luce chase after June with sadness in her eyes. "But I suppose you're right. We can't keep traveling from place to place like this. Maybe under different circumstances…"

"Maybe we could just settle here," August suggested, somewhat reluctantly. He and Opal shared a look that suggested neither of them were all too fond of the idea. 

"The forest isn't the best place for an entire clan of dragons," Jade stated. "It can be dangerous for hatchlings, and the shadow wolves might still be out there. And settling beside an already thriving town wouldn't be the best idea."

"I suppose so," August admitted with a faint smile. "But then…what do we do?" his words were met with a few long moments of silence, only disturbed by uneasy whispers. "We should each go our separate ways." Jade admitted with a soft breath, a sad smile emerging on her face. This time, nobody spoke up. Looks were shared, some sad, some scared. A few even looked excited, brightened by the prospect of new adventures.

Odyssey looked caught between all three, his talons resting on the hilt of his sword. Aiden, on his rock, smirked at the prospect. Hester was staring intently at her claws, lost in thought. "Is it time for us to say goodbye?" Opal asked, her voice unusually small and timid. Jade paused. "Not quite yet," she admitted with a dip of her head and a small smile. "But soon. We have to get ready first, after all."

The next few days seemed to pass in an instant.

It was all dragons crying over and hugging one another, pouring over maps and cramming what little belongings they had into pouches knit from sturdy leaves and shed fur. Juno and Romeo fussed endlessly over their eggs, which were always kept under the watchful eye of Arcturus. The wolf snapped even at bugs that got too close.

Everyone somewhat knew what they wanted. A few wanted to stay in the Windswept Plateau, while others looked forward to roaming the territories of other Flights. Some had even discovered signs of clans that'd piqued their interests.

Sierra wouldn't even let Seraph struggle to his feet without dropping out of the sky like a thunderbolt and forcing some weird, medicinal herbs into his snout. "I promise you, Sierra, I'm fine," the fae insisted with a smile, gently steering her claws away. "I even found a nice wind clan nearby I could settle into."

"Are you sure?" Sierra asked worriedly, shredding the mint leaves between her claws. Seraph chuckled, patting the back of her massive hand. "Yes, I'm sure." He assured her with another smile. "Now go help the others; I'm sure they need it more than me."

Across the clearing, Odyssey couldn't stop himself from fidgeting with the hilt of his sword. "Do you know where you guys are going to go?" Odyssey asked, eyes darting over the ground. "I heard of a clan in the Cloudscape Crags that sounds pretty interesting," Aiden admitted with a flick of his wings, scraping his claws against the stone. "I think I might head over there. It'd be pretty interesting to find out how someone with fire in their blood could manage to survive in the Southern Icefield," he added with a smirk.

"Oh, okay," Odyssey's eyes trailed over to Hester, who was still picking at the grass. "What about you, Het?" Hester gave a start at the sound of her nickname, spinning her head around to lock eyes with Odyssey. The wildclaw flinched, but she didn't look mad. Instead, in her four green eyes, there was a clear trace of sadness.

"I'm going to stay here. Maybe check out the Sea of a Thousand Currents," Hester admitted, forcing a smile onto her face. "I want to learn more about my Mom. And my Dad. See who they were working for before they…before they died." She admitted a bit tersely. "What about you?"

"Me? Oh, I…" Odyssey trailed off, his claws tightening around the hilt of his sword. "I heard of this clan of really nice dragons, settled not too far from here. They seem awesome. I'd like to hang out there." He explained, more than a little wistful. Hester rolled her eyes and nudged his wing.

"So why do you seem so sad, you goof?" She asked accusingly, poking his shoulder. Odyssey laughed weakly, his eyes drifting towards the ground. But now Aiden was staring at him too, both mirrors pinning him beneath intense, sharp glares.

"I…I'm just going to miss you guys so much!" Odyssey burst out, gathering all his willpower to not start crying and have the two of them mercilessly tease him until they said goodbye. "Ever since we sort of became friends on accident, I never really thought about what living without dragons I've known for a while would be like." The wildclaw hesitated, shifting uneasily. "And now everyone's leaving and I don't know what to do! What if I mess up? What if they don't like me?"

Hester snorted, batting at his wing. "They'll like you," she promised him with a grin. "They better like you, or else I'm coming back and dragging your tail over to Fishspine Reef myself." Odyssey laughed weakly, meeting her eyes with a smile of his own.

Then, unable to restrain himself, he flung his wings around her neck, pulling the startled mirror into a tight embrace. "Woah," Hester blurted, his voice beside her ear. "No. I don't like this." A few seconds passed and she reluctantly patted him on the back. "Okay, okay, you big baby, but let me go." She pulled away, a smile splitting over her face. "Geez, I never knew how sappy you could be."

Odyssey chuckled and turned to face Aiden, his eyes meeting the pale, iridescent mirror's. "Sorry," Aiden said, spreading his talons as smoke gently began wafting from between his claws. "No hugs for me." Odyssey frowned, pouting almost comically. 

After a few moments, he rose back to his feet, spreading his wings. "Air hug?" he said hopefully, risking a small smile. Aiden made a face, his fins pressing themselves flat against his scales. Then he gave in with a sigh. "Air hug." He agreed dully, spreading with wings. For the next five minutes, Hester couldn't stop laughing.

Then came the time where everyone had to converge, one last time, before taking off in search of new homes. Opal stepped up beside Jade, her bag of things slung over her shoulders. "We've come so far," she said quietly, turning to look Jade in the eye. It seemed like only yesterday she was squealing in fear, believing this kind, harmless spiral might want to eat her alive. "It'll feel weird to be apart, won't it?"

"Yes," Jade admitted quietly, brushing her tail past Opal's. It felt like not long ago at all that the nocturne was half her size, squealing about bright green noodles and scarfing down butterfly wings and playing chase with Zaffer. Zaffer, Jade realized, blinking away the tears that had suddenly sprung into her eyes. Poor Zaffer.

"We'll always remember him." Opal said quietly as if she could read the spiral's thoughts. Jade locked eyes with the silver nocturne, both smiling, both on the brink of tears. "We'll remember him forever. Others will too. He had a nice life. I…I owe so much to him. To my brother." Opal tilted her head back to look at the sky. "I just wish he was here with us, too."

Jade reached out to and placed her talons over Opal's. She was practically like her daughter at this point, this one. "I'm sure he remembers us too." She said softly, eyes drifting up towards the sky. 

There, among the deepest of blues, danced flashes of purple and pink and indigo, waving like butterfly wings through the smudges of clouds. Like an aurora borealis, except an illusion of their lost friend, as if he was still watching, from some other place, and beaming about how far his friends and family had come.

And so they spread their wings and took to the skies, each dragon, their mind filled with memories, both happy and sad, heading off towards their next adventure.
Bright hopes and happy futures await~

@AmberHive @mayanaz @Spottedleaf125 @Skyeset @Moon314 @WildRose42 @CleverDual @Firedawn @Dragondreamer @Shadow104 @ScaledBookworm @LuminusPrime @Dragonfruiteen @DragonMist @Shadowhunter43 @Digimon11 @Avu42 @MythicalMemeLord @Vyxen @VioletEevee @Verdant @Sanddollar @Faolyn @Bluebirdi3 @ThornOfStorm130 @ObsidianMage @Petall @TropicalDiamonds @fenshae @Birdleap18 @SpiceCookie @Catkidemma @WOF2012 @L1llysage @FallenEclipse @shirotsubaki6564 @TruthandLies @NovaBorn @Sugarkit @Millapede85 @russmond
Hello, gang! Thanks again for sticking through all of this with me, you have absolutely no idea how much it has meant to be over all the months that I've been writing this. In all honesty, when I started this back when I was twelve, I had no idea how much I (or for that matter, anybody else) would grow attached to these dragons!

Your interest alone has kept me motivated all this time, and I hope all these dragons will continue on to grand adventures! I'm sorry if this seems a little rushed (and a little long), but I hope you still find it to be a decent conclusion to this Pinkerlocke~

Now, I will be doing a Q&A! As there is no way to fit every last bit of planned lore into this conclusion (no matter how much I tried or hoped there would be ^^') I know that there is much still left unsolved. So, if any of you have any questions regarding the mysterious figures or a character's backstory that I never got around to, please ask and I will gladly tell you everything!!


I hope you all have a nice life; thanks for reading!
uhrkuhjb
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@Aetherstorm I love the conclusion and the art! Thank you for writing all that for us. You’ve probably already realized, but it’s the 2 year anniversary of this Pinkerlocke! It’s been a long journey, and I’ve enjoyed it from the start [emoji=familiar heart size=1]
@Aetherstorm I love the conclusion and the art! Thank you for writing all that for us. You’ve probably already realized, but it’s the 2 year anniversary of this Pinkerlocke! It’s been a long journey, and I’ve enjoyed it from the start
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@Aetherstorm
What a great way to end a pinkerlocke! I'm glad to get a conclusion to almost everything in the story. I guess its time to write down Arion's new bio. The hurdle is how to explain why Lost and the rest of the kids is not with him lol:). Still curious about Seraph though...doesn't seem like he's in the clan?

p.s
I'm curious about what was the plan for Ajax if the pinkerlocke didn't end or if Seraph outlived the exalting chopping block longer than he should have.
@Aetherstorm
What a great way to end a pinkerlocke! I'm glad to get a conclusion to almost everything in the story. I guess its time to write down Arion's new bio. The hurdle is how to explain why Lost and the rest of the kids is not with him lol:). Still curious about Seraph though...doesn't seem like he's in the clan?

p.s
I'm curious about what was the plan for Ajax if the pinkerlocke didn't end or if Seraph outlived the exalting chopping block longer than he should have.
dct6cq2-114b1547-3fa8-4b5c-94f0-0fef4947daf3.png CEvzoxE.gifActive 6:00+
@mayanaz Yeah, I did! That's why I posted it today~ I'm so glad you like it [emoji=spiral star size=1][emoji=spiral star size=1] @shirotsubaki6564 Oh no, you're right, I forgot Seraph [emoji=spiral scared size=1] I am so terribly sorry!! I'll go back and add a little bit about him as soon as possible XP I'm sure Arion would have found a way to be apart from Lost, like maybe they were protecting each other or they entrusted Ryu to protect the hatchlings. The plan for Ajax was being cursed by a cult that served as servents for the Shade, and he'd end up speaking to an illusion of his sister before nearly being driven to the brink of insanity. Seraphim would have had to battle his sickness through a lot more dangers that threatened the clan, but if he died it would have been completely up to the RNG!
@mayanaz
Yeah, I did! That's why I posted it today~
I'm so glad you like it

@shirotsubaki6564
Oh no, you're right, I forgot Seraph
I am so terribly sorry!! I'll go back and add a little bit about him as soon as possible XP I'm sure Arion would have found a way to be apart from Lost, like maybe they were protecting each other or they entrusted Ryu to protect the hatchlings.

The plan for Ajax was being cursed by a cult that served as servents for the Shade, and he'd end up speaking to an illusion of his sister before nearly being driven to the brink of insanity. Seraphim would have had to battle his sickness through a lot more dangers that threatened the clan, but if he died it would have been completely up to the RNG!
@Aetherstorm
Thanks for clarifying about that. Really now, I have less time to be online now that it's an exam and project crunch where I study at.
@Aetherstorm
Thanks for clarifying about that. Really now, I have less time to be online now that it's an exam and project crunch where I study at.
dct6cq2-114b1547-3fa8-4b5c-94f0-0fef4947daf3.png CEvzoxE.gifActive 6:00+
@Aetherstorm

Gosh, I must have missed out the ping! I can't believe it's ending... Though it's understandable why you would want to clear out your lair. Are there any other dragons left to adopt?

Please add me to the nuzlocke pinglist! Good luck with it :)
@Aetherstorm

Gosh, I must have missed out the ping! I can't believe it's ending... Though it's understandable why you would want to clear out your lair. Are there any other dragons left to adopt?

Please add me to the nuzlocke pinglist! Good luck with it :)
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@Tirtouga678
Yeah! I'm planning on keeping Lupe, Lucian, and Lunaria, but any of the others are available for whatever their level is! Thanks again for sticking with me for so long~
@Tirtouga678
Yeah! I'm planning on keeping Lupe, Lucian, and Lunaria, but any of the others are available for whatever their level is! Thanks again for sticking with me for so long~
@Aetherstorm

Ah, who else isn't taken then? Sorry :P

(Edit: I just realised I pinged myself. What.)
@Aetherstorm

Ah, who else isn't taken then? Sorry :P

(Edit: I just realised I pinged myself. What.)
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