Chapter Ninety-Six: In which an adventure comes to an end

When I got back to the airfield, dragons were flying away from the facility in small groups and there was a large black vehicle parked on the old runway. As I landed, three people came running out of the building and I was soon wrapped in the arms of my human family.

“We came to take you back to Wales,” Lady M said, smiling up into my face. “Your job is done and it is time for you to get back to your life.”

“No more worrying about Meister, or Arwel, or whatever his name is,” Mistress Lili said, wagging her finger at me. I am always amused when she tries to tell me what to do, her usually cheerful face set with a very serious expression.

“I cannot believe that he was Arwel all along,” Lady M said.

“Lord Eagen told us that Arwel was using dragon blood to make some kind of life-extending serum. What is going to happen to him now that he won’t have access to dragon blood?” Lord B asked.

“We cannot be sure exactly what will happen, but I think it is safe to assume that he will start aging, perhaps rather quickly,” I replied.

“Serve him right,” said Mistress Lili fiercely. “He deserves to be punished for what he did to you dragons.”

“Goodness, she is a feisty creature,” Lord Eagen said with a laugh as he joined us. Lady Eithrig then came up and greeted me.

“Where are the young ones going, Lord Eagen?” I asked as I watched five young dragons leave with an adult escort.

“We are sending them to the nearest Clan Halls. From there they will make their way home in stages and at night. It is risky to have so many dragons flying around, though, and none of us are happy with this plan, and yet somehow we have to reunite them with their families.”

“It might be an idea to have only a few in the air each night, to minimize the risk,” Lord B suggested.

“That has been suggested, but I think we have a better option. Just a short time ago Lord Hibiki called and told us that a lot of progress has been made on our cloaking device. If we can work on it night and day, perhaps we will have working models to use in just a few weeks. Then the young dragons can fly home without having to worry about being seen by human eyes or machines,” Lady Eithrig said.

“This sounds like an excellent idea. The young ones can stay in the local Clan Halls until the devices are ready. I am sure the local dragons would not mind caring for them for a while. They will be able to communicate with their families using the DracoNet while they wait,” I said.

“My dear Lord Gryf, the time has come for you to stop worrying about this problem. You have done enough. We will find a solution, I am sure,” Lady Eithrig said, patting me on the shoulder and smiling at me. “It is time for you to go with your family. I know that your sister is Wales has been worrying about you a great deal. Indeed, I got four calls from her in the last hour. She was eager to know where you were and when you would be returning to Wales.”

Quickly I took my leave of the dragons who had come to my aid. Then the young dragon I had spoken to soon after I got out of my prison came up to me. He was subdued but I could sense the feeling of peace that filled him. He was free of Arwel’s hypnotic suggestion and was once again master of his thoughts and feelings. “I am thankful that you came here, Lord Gryf,” he said.

“All I did was to get myself captured!” I said, with a laugh, trying to swallow a bitter feeling that rose in my throat.

“But you did your best to help, and thanks to you the other dragons came and rescued all of us,” he insisted. “Also, if you had not escaped from your prison, the adult dragons would have come under Meister’s spell too.Moon at Dawn edited You did make a difference,” he said, earnestly looking up into my face and taking one of my paws in his.

“I am so glad that all of you young ones are going to be reunited with your families soon,” I said and I gave him a hug, wishing him well.

I was so weary that I did not bother to shift into another form. Instead, I lay down in the back of the vehicle Lady M and Lord B had rented. With the back seats folded down, there was enough space for me and I rested my head on some blankets that my family had brought with them from my Clan Hall. From my resting place I could look through the window and saw the moon glowing in the dawn sky. As we left the fence around the airfield behind us, driving through the forest and back to Wales, my eyes closed.