“Lowe was running for her life. She clutched the magic orb and then soared into the sky. The clones were chasing her, beating their wings as fast as they could.”
Lowe was running for her life. She clutched the magic orb and then soared into the sky. The clones were chasing her, beating their wings as fast as they could. The rainforest must be close now. If not, I think Launta would accept me just as well as Mari…There! The humid temperature and the mist of the rainforest came into sight as well as a patrol of six dragons. But they didn’t see her. Lowe tried to shout, but heavy talons grasped her snout and her voice became a muffed shriek in surprise. You’re not getting this! She thought as the clones tried to snatch the glowing orb in Lowe’s claws. Finally, she twisted her way out – but one tough clone pounced on her and sent the orb sailing into a giant boulder.
“No!” Lowe screamed. “Help, somebody come!” Crack! The orb shattered on the boulder. Only cracked pieces and shards remained.
“Who’s there?” a voice yelled. It must be one of the serpents on the patrol! Immediately, the clones fell back and disappeared into the haze. But not all. The same tough clone took one look at the shattered pieces of the orb and quickly snatched a medium-sized piece before joining the other clones.
“No!” Lowe shouted, but he had already gone. She carefully cleaned up the broken pieces and stuffed them into her sack.
“Who are you, and why were those clones after you and that?” The same voice from before had come. He pointed to Lowe’s sack with one sharp wing tip.
“My name is Lowe. I come from the Sky Mountains, and I’m a secret agent working for Xunsu Feng. I’ll tell you everything that happened just now. But with Mari and everybody,” Lowe said quickly.
“Very well, but there’s one thing I would like to know. Why would they send a serpentet?” the serpent asked confusingly.
Lowe paused. “Because Xunsu Feng knows what he’s doing. He knows I’m skilled. He knows that I’m better at stealing things than most other professionals.”
The serpent stopped. Then nodded. “I understand. My name’s Vine. Come on, I’m taking you to Mari now.”
They walked and flew together in silence. Finally, Lowe could see a giant wooden platform with a wide palace on it. It was concealed from above because there were trees and vegetation growing above the platform. Smart, Lowe thought.
“Here,” Vine said. He guided Lowe into the wide palace made of wood. Inside were two dragons, one light blue with silver spots. The other, who was larger than most dragons, was dark blue with faint yellow stripes. Lowe realized that the bigger one had a sky blue crown, and had matching anklets that had light blue sapphires embedded in them. That’s Mari.
“Well, who’s our new visitor?” Mari said.
“This is Lowe, your majesty. She comes from the Sky Mountains. Lowe is going to tell you her story about stumbling into the rainforest with a bunch of clones chasing her and about that magic orb.”
Mari snorted, then walked over to a box on the ground and opened it with a key. She pulled out a crumpled piece of paper rolled up like a scroll.
“Hrm. This is what Feng meant?” Mari rolled open the paper. “All right. Silverspot, tell everyone that there’s a meeting at the Platform.” The light blue dragon nodded, then flew out the entrance. “Follow me,” Mari said.
They all flew to a wide area of wooden planks called “the platform.” The wood encircled a tree. Its height, from the looks of it, was about 300 feet tall. Eek! This tree is so tall that it makes me dizzy! Lowe thought. She saw dragons and serpents of all ages and sizes land either on nearby trees, the tree that the platform was encircling, or on the platform. Vine started to drift off towards a nearby tree when –
“Vine, where are you going?” Lowe asked.
“Well…You see, every dragon or serpent you see in this forest is ranked. The higher ranked ones, such as Mari’s commanders, are on or closer to the platform. The lower ranked ones are farther away from the platform. Why do we do this? It’s because we can’t fit every single being on the platform. Every reptile deserves to hear what Mari has to say. Even if they don’t have to do anything with what she says.”
Lowe tilted her head.
“Sigh. I know it’s a lot to process. But look for necklaces or wristbands with this pattern.” Vine showed a blue limestone wristband on him with five tiny wood carved sticks. “This shows my rank, Level five.”
“Anyways, I have to go now. You’re obviously important, go on the platform, look out for the wristbands and necklaces!” Vine shouted, and with that, he darted away.
Well, I guess I’ll just go on my way. Lowe flew and landed on the platform. Lots of confused looks were directed towards her.
Mari stepped besides Lowe. “Finally, our storyteller is here, ”she said.
“She looks like someone swallowed her only gecko!”
“Yeah, she could be an imposter!”
“Mari, with all respect, I’d like to ask: where does this serpent come from and why are they speaking?” a solid red dragon asked harshly.
Lowe spotted Vine. He pointed to the red dragon, as if it was a message saying, Look there! Ah-hah! His wrist! It showed one wood stick. But there was something different about the color of the bracelet. When Lowe saw Vine’s wrist, the band was blue. But the red dragon’s band was faint yellow. I shouldn’t focus on that right now, c’mon Lowe! Pay attention to the speech!
“This is Lowe, she will do all the explaining,” Mari went on. “The floor is yours.” A sharp hiss from Mari came.
Nervousness crawled onto Lowe, each scale on her prickled with fear.
“Well, it all started when uh, Ruler Feng told me to steal the glowing resistor, a special sphere that is purely magic energy, called light force. Light force is used to repel dark forces. That’s why we can use it to defeat Ophanar. But, uh, while I was getting chased uh, the orb broke. Here’s the thing, I got all the pieces but a clone stole one, we need to get it back.”
Where’s that red dragon again? Ah-hah! All the other dragons and serpents have blue bands. “Mari! I’ve found an imposter – he has a faint yellow band and all the others are blue!” Lowe whispered.
“Conceal? You’re right. Tell everyone, I’ll signal my guards to catch him, once you shout. And if Conceal escapes? He won’t. I’ve set traps all around here.”
All right, Lowe, time for a time to open my mouth. “Dragons and serpents! All around hear me!” Lowe cried. “There is an imposter among us!”