14:: Discerning, Death and Determination

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When Jimmy opened his eyes (which he had shut at some point apparently) again and blinked, he realised that Sausage had practically dragged him halfway down the hallway. Both of them had a few shards of rock wedged between some of their scales, although Sausage appeared to have gotten the worst of it, having a piece of the stone roof sticking out of his shoulder. That must have been a very like- violent cave collapse, wow.

Clearly the cave collapse was very loud, as was proven when two other dragons ran past the pair- one was xB, and the other was an unfamiliar dragon who appeared to be a RainWing hybrid of some variety (Jimmy was pretty sure his name was Keralis... something like that, anyway-) who the tribrid knew was the assistant headteacher.

Soon enough, most of the dragons residing in Jade Mountain Academy were attempting to make their way down the very crowded hallway as multiple of them attempted to dig through the remains of the cave roof that now blocked the entrance to the school- Keralis was the first to do this (Jimmy could only assume that he knew Xisuma was planning to have a talk with Joel there) and others followed.

Jimmy shrank away from the crowd as he and Sausage attempted to get out of the way of the dragons swarming the area. When they reached what could only be considered the end of the crowd, they found the rest of their winglet huddled there, talking amongst themselves with visible concern.

Gem and Pix both stared as Sausage and Jimmy approached the group, and Lizzie let out a very relieved noise. "Three moons- where the hell were you two?!" The SeaWing Princess hissed. "Everyone's saying the entrance cave collapsed- for all we knew, you guys were dead." Lizzie added with a frown. She then paused, looking behind them expectantly. "Where's Joel? Why is he not with you?"

"Uh. It's a... long story." Jimmy said quietly, glancing at Sausage, who had been pulled to the side by Gem and FWhip, the first of the pair questioning him rapidly.

Lizzie stared back at him with a mix of emotions he couldn't interpret. "Is he okay?" She asked quietly.

"I mean... probably?" The tribrid said slowly. He could only assume that the spell Joel had cast on himself before the cave roof collapsed was some sort of invulnerability spell.

That seemed like a Joel thing to do.

"Do you know what happened with the cave? Was anyone hurt? I heard Keralis muttering about Cleo and someone called Shashwammy, whoever that is. Do you know anything or were you just wandering?" His half sister demanded.

"There's- um- the cave... collapsed." Jimmy said uncertainly. He himself wasn't even sure exactly what had happened- he was still processing it.

Lizzie sighed. "I gathered that, Jimmy. Anything else?" She asked, less demanding this time.

"Uh... ask Sausage." He glanced at the NightWing-SkyWing in question, who appeared to have just finished awkwardly explaining the situation to Gem and FWhip.

Sausage glanced over at the sound of his name. "Hm?" He muttered an apology to FWhip and Gem before moving closer to Jimmy and Lizzie. "Oh, yeah, uh- definitely a bad timeline." He paused for a moment, his eyes becoming slightly glazed over again. "I do think Xisuma died though- not sure about Cleo." What? "I can't see any timelines where he's present, and there's only one or two where Cleo's there." Sausage muttered, glancing back at Lizzie. "What was it that you wanted to know again?" He queried.

Lizzie paused. "I mean I wanted to just- know what happened, but- why would Xisuma be dead? Was he- in the cave? I don't- where's Joel?" She added, shaking her head and dismissing her other questions.

Sausage shrugged. "He's alive. Looks like it was one of the timelines where he cast an invulnerability spell? There used to be a bunch of timelines where he just died in the cave collapse, however I can see him in all future timelines. But I don't know where he is." He finished quietly, his tail flicking back and forth.

Lizzie frowned. "Timelines? Invulnerability spells? What- are you talking about?" She asked, looking more confused and nervous by the second.

"I can see the future, Lizzie. I've told you this. Over and over. It's not my fault you didn't believe me." Sausage said smugly, his gaze returning back to normal.

"So Joel's okay?" She said hesitantly.

"Yes, but he's also not someone you want to associate yourself with." The hybrid said slowly. "Given the fact that I'm pretty sure he just killed a dragon, you probably shouldn't-" Sausage was cut off by a startled shriek from Lizzie.

"He WHAT?! But the only time that-" Lizzie paused with a confused expression, and Jimmy could see it on his half sister's face as what was happening finally clicked for her. "Oh. Did he- was the cave collapse...?" The SeaWing princess turned to look down the hallway, where the other dragons had just about managed to dig through part of the rubble and clear a path out of the cave. "Was that his fault?"

"I'm afraid so." Sausage said quietly, but he didn't look particularly upset- then again, Jimmy supposed, his friend had been seeing this coming for weeks. Of course he had been prepared for it to happen.

The tribrid spun around at a startled shriek from further down the long hallway (tunnel?). It was Keralis. Well, that can't mean anything good.

Jimmy couldn't say that he was surprised, he thought as he made his way through the crowd, Sausage had told him it had happened, but it was still incredibly jarring to see Xisuma's body being dragged out of the rubble.

No, he hadn't known Xisuma particularly well, but it was still odd to think that only a couple of minutes ago the headteacher had been talking and thinking and moving and- living.

And now he was gone.

Something clicked for him as well in that moment. He wasn't sure what it was, or why it caused him to ignore his friends' queries and barely flinch as his gaze flicked over Cleo's barely moving form, but as he waded through the rubble towards the cave exit that was somewhat visible, he knew one thing for sure.

He was going to find Joel, and he was going to stop him.

Admittedly, Jimmy wasn't sure what Joel was trying to do, but he knew it was something bad, and he wasn't going to let him get away with it. Besides, he was sure his friend was still in there somewhere.

Jimmy just had to find him.


Andddd that is the end of the book. I gtg work on a sequel (obviously this is gonna be a series, I'm not gonna leave it on a cliffhanger that would be cruel) but I'm not... sure who's POV it should be from?

I'm thinking FWhip, but like I said I'm not sure.

Anyways, I hope you enjoyed! <3 sorry for the relative shortness of the book in comparison to my usual book length (normally around 17-20 chapters) but I didn't exactly want to drag it on any longer than it needed to just for the sake of it

Comments and votes are appreciated <3 :]

Sorry for any errors!

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⏰ Last updated: Jun 29, 2023 ⏰

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