It was getting difficult for Prax to wander around the halls at Ryslen without having a bit of a crowd follow her. When Leevi and her dragon headed off to Vella Crean for their own flight, it meant that the slender pronghorn-woman was that much more on her own when dealing with the groupies.
I would not mind if more males would follow me around, Univoqueruseth bespoke with a dragon-giggle. Though she was a dragon, and ready to rise and mate, she was not exhibiting the typical old-world habits of being aggressive or angry toward other dragons. Quite the contrary, Uni was apt to watch all her suitors as they gazed at her. They rested along several of the tall ledges surrounding Ryslen's lake, while Uni gave herself one last bath before deciding to fly. They were all quite handsome, Uni thought. Slowly the only thought in her mind was which of these will be good enough to catch me?, and she'd forgotten all about her rider's preferences.
Prax noticed how Uni's emotions had gone from clever-quippy to extremely and overridingly passionate. Every time the dragon swung her eyes over the males, even those who were not signed up for her flight, she got hot under the collar and made Prax kind of wobbly-kneed.
"Do you mind?" Someone said, as Prax was walking through the hall. She'd almost crashed into one of the catering staff, as they carried a big platter of meat and breads into a private party.
"Sorry, sorry," Prax said. "I've got to get back to the lake, now, anyway..." She turned, dazed, and the caterer rolled his eyes and went on his way.
Uni on the other hand was blissfully dousing herself with water. She was quite warm, and her skin was glowing like a rainbow on a brilliant summer-showery day. The sun hitting her spectral hide dazzled everyone who saw her - human and dragon alike. In fact, a crowd was forming by the edge of the lake, and someone wisely thought to seek out Prax as she wandered with difficulty down the halls.
"So, she's about to rise?" Someone asked, as they took Prax by her furry arm and led her away to an area that the other male riders would be escorted to as well. There was a tent, for privacy, once the winner of the flight was decided. Everything was ready. Except Prax.
She so wished that one of her friends was there. Anyone. Even ... even maybe their silly otter of a manager Bhargol. But, he wasn't attractive like the males around here. Human though most of them were, they were all pretty hot looking. Prax shook her head and grasped at a glass of water that someone had thoughtfully provided in the tent area. "Uni, we're supposed to do something... You're so bloody overwhelming. You've got to let me concentrate, Uni..." Prax held her hoof-fingered hand to her furry forehead, and that was how the male riders saw her as they arrived.
What the female rider Korim 'saw' (or more accurately 'distinguished', as she was blind without her dragon), was a group of oggling guys throwing themselves at an exotic girl, as if they had nothing else on their minds. Korim smirked. She didn't much have to even be here, but... What the heck? Even though she'd been in mating flights - very successful ones, at that - Korim didn't much think that she'd need to worry about the outcome. Maybe, she might even attract the attention of one of the males?
Well, you're thinking positive, Korim's red and white marked Califath bespoke to his calm rider. She could sense his excitement, but she was used to it - he was the most experienced dragon at this flight, wasn't he! That little bit of confidence made Califath bloat up a bit with easy pride. The red and brown flame-patterned male near him, with a single horn - they were related a couple generations back it seemed - snorted and tossed his head.
You are not going to beat me to her, Liekki told Califath.
The other males were starting to flutter their great wings, and to snarl at the other males around. Those who weren't directly signed on for this flight were shortly rounded up by their riders and shooed away.
Jeyann snuck a peek at the lake and the participants from her office's ledge: and she knew why her mother wanted this office built right here.
A glimmering white Flurry dragon with deep blue paws and markings swooped down, Levaritoth attracted enough attention on his own. He was shortly followed by several other Flurry dragons.
I like them, Univoqueruseth bespoke of the group of males.
"Well you can't pair all of them," Prax muttered and she heard some of the riders nearby chuckling at her. "Well she can't!" Prax turned at them, her horns carving through the air and making the onlookers back away a bit. "Sorry - sorry, she's got me all messed up."
"Don't apologize," Icewind said. "She'll decide."
Prax watched the Cult of Winter riders as their dragons were just as fascinating to her own bond. Prax could barely distinguish rider from dragon at this point.
When Uni decided she'd had enough, her hide wasn't cooling quickly even with the water on it, she thought perhaps I should take to the sky, it's colder up there anyway.
She spread her pastel colored wings, sails glimmering transparent gems against the cloud-dappled sky.
Droplets of water splashed down to the lake surface, and the males wondered to varying degrees whether the female was going to take any nurishment before her flight, or if they ought to start now.
When Uni let off a trilling trumpet rocketing directly into the sky, they realized that it would be now or never. She had possibly taken blood from an animal before bathing? Or, not. Didn't seem to matter to this Danachian born rainbow.
Ryan watched his Special white and blue leap into the air first, he was quick. But he was followed by the other blue-faded Flurry dragon Schneeth, whose rider Snowflake cheered him on.
The big flame-marked Liekki ran first and then threw himself into the air with gusto. His relative Califath waited: he knew better than to just rush off. He drank at the lake, and then decided to fly.
Schneeth snapped at the paler white-blue Levaritoth, you won't make it! You'll have to get past me!
But Levaritoth swooped under the other Flurry blue and trumpeted. I only have to out fly the rainbow queen, not you!
Metallic/Flurry blue Snaidroth spun into the sky between both other blues, quicker and almost fast enough to catch up with the still-rising Uni. You both talk too much!
Young Frostbite laughed a little, but his mirth subsided when he realized that the other dragons pretty much meant business now. The last in the air was large Glacieth, shimmering bronze-ice skin almost reflecting the light around him.
Califath attempted to predict where the rainbow queen was about to arc, she had to start coming down sometime. After a minute, he realized that he was far far below the group and Univoquereuseth wasn't turning away from "up". He dutifully began to climb, but perhaps the effort of that much spiraling into the air and constantly looking up to check his progress had got him dizzy. I am sorry Korim, I think this flight is not for me.
"It's all right, my friend. We'll fly again." Korim said, and waited for her loving bond to return to the lake.
Up far in the clouds, where the dragons could only be seen as colorful fan shaped dots by the people on the ground, Uni was having the time of her life. Prax below was able to distinguish the males visually - but that was only because of her tight mental bond. I see you behind me! Uni called out to Liekki. You are fast - I like your markings.
Then you should enjoy the-
But I think you're going to miss me! She laughed, suddenly switching her wings into a wedge that let her plummet. Sharply, for almost half a mile, the rainbow queen dropped from the group of males. Darkest among them, Liekki hesitated and realized that he had waited too long - she was receding quickly and there were four others between now. Meanwhile, lithe Snaidroth had mistaken his own friend Schneeth as his enemy and almost bit his tail!
Hey! Schneeth bellowed, turning his attention to the other blue, watch your mouth!
Snowflake looked at Frostbite, "I thought they would try and cooperate in the air, for her."
"Well it doesn't much look that way," Frostbite sighed.
The two blues fought verbally more than anything else, until they both got rocked by a rousing rush of wind that was provided courtesy of Glacieth. He swung by them, large wings catching a lot more air than either of them. They weren't all that much smaller than the coppery-hided dragon, but they knew that he would have an endurance advantage - especially with both of them bickering at each other. The pair left the flight, grumbling the whole way.
That left the brilliantly white Levaritoth, and coppery-ice Clacieth to compete for Uni's attentions. She didn't seem to notice them, while she wandered through the sky.
At last, though, she looked as though her body had caught up with her mind. She spied the males, and dove directly toward them. You aren't impressing me! Do something amazing! Uni called to them, Prax below mouthing the words as well.
She spun on her wing tip, tail snapping in front of the males. First left, then right, then a spiral downward again which ended in a gigantic unfurling of her wings. She almost stalled in the air, while the pair of males tumbled about trying to stop from hitting her directly.
That is more like it, Uni cooed. She backwinged, hovering. Both males knew that this would be an ideal opportunity to catch her, if only one of them was anywhere close to her.
She would not have enough time to do any movement, she'd have to start falling sooner or later, as hovering took a lot of energy. Leraritoth took a low route, hoping that perhaps she would tire and all he'd have to do would be to reach out and nab her. However, his opportunity didn't last long. For Glacieth swung wide around Uni's side, stalling right above her, and timing his wing beats just so that he'd be able to pick her up into the air again, instead of pushing them both down to the ground.
Vaguely happy that his dragon had 'come in second', Ryan sighed and moved out of Icewind's way.
The curious rider wondered just how Prax's fur was going to feel under his hands... While his coppery-ice Flurry dragon wrapped his tail about his colorful mate's at last.