Age of Heroes side-story: Birth of Zealous
SYNOPSIS: It has been five years since Spyro, Cynder, Sparx and the other guardians defeated Malefor and his wretched servant Liun. Since then, all the dragons and other allying races have been gradually rebuilding Warfang and the Dragon Temple from the cataclysmic damage caused by that climatic battle. By this point, construction and restorations of both the city and temple are halfway complete. In addition, all the draconic protagonists have considerably grown to their full adult sizes, thus properly maturing to an age where they now capable of laying eggs.
Within the suburbs of Warfang, Sparx is impatiently hovering outside the entrance of a large pavilion with Flash (his dad), Hunter, Exile, Vera, and Wraith, the dragon elder of darkness, waiting alongside him. For it had only been some thirty-five minutes before when they along with Spyro, Cynder, Singe and Plax arrived. Previously, Cynder was heavily breathing as she hobbled alongside her life mate, who was doing his best to support her as they followed Singe and Plax into the pavilion.
At some point, Sparx began anxiously pacing, panting with his hands over his head. Exile observed the dragonfly's nervous behavior.
"Calm down, Sparx," calmly stated the elderly anthro-wolf. "There's no need to be nervous over this. This is a joyous moment for both Spyro and Cynder."
"I know! I know!" snapped Sparx. "It's just that I can't seem to wait any longer. I mean they've been in for such a long time!"
"Son," consoled Flash, as he hovered over and placed a hand on his son's shoulder. "Listen to me. These things take time. Don't try to rush them. After all, it took some time before you hatched out of your egg. So please, let them alone for little while until they are ready." Sparx gazed into his father's composed and patient visage with tears in the former's eyes.
"Okay, pops" sobbed Sparx. "I think I can do that." They both embraced each other for a few moments. Immediately afterwards, Flash brought his son over next to Hunter, who looked to Exile standing patiently to his left. Because of the wolves' rivalry with the cheetahs, it took some time before they could learn to gain Exile's trust, even though Hunter and Chief Prowlus (through some persuasion by Spyro and Cynder) were the first ones to befriend him. By now, almost everyone has great respect for the elderly, yet wise wolf.
"It would seem, Exile," Hunter commented to Exile. "That this day was bound to come soon for Spyro and Cynder."
"Yes," replied Exile. "Those two have been through so many trials, struggles, and hardships together. Yet, even when it seemed hopeless and grim for each of them, it was there deep love and trust for each other that eventually helped them get even this far. Now all the perseverance and dedication deeply sown by their love shall now blossom into something that will bring even greater joy in their lives." As the octogenarian wolf stated these words, he began shedding tears of joy down his lupine facial features, as Hunter observed.
"I hear you, friend. For even before I found them at the Mountain of Malefor many years ago, I always had great faith that they were always destined for each other."
"Indeed." Across from where Hunter and Exile stood were Vera and the elder dragoness Wraith, lying prostrate with their heads fully erect. Vera's size has increased significantly over the past five years since Tremor's resurrection. During those same years, Vera has grown very close to Tremor, Spyro, Cynder, and the remaining guardians as friends, whom she dearly admires. Vera has also considerably improved in using her element powers, and has considerably made many new friends since Tremor's return. Sitting at Vera's right was Wraith, dragon elder of darkness. Throughout the years since Spyro's resurrection, he and Cynder have greatly befriended Wraith. Wraith, as a black dragoness herself, completely understood the intense trauma Cynder endured during her enslavement by Malefor and devastation she unintentionally brought upon. She considerably helped Spyro, Cynder, and the other guardians reestablish peace between the black dragons and other races within their realm.
Suddenly, everyone turned to the opposite direction of the pavilion as the sound of flapping wings was heard from nearby. Then Flame and Ember arrived, both of whom maintained expressions of joy on their visages.
"Flame! Ember!" shouted Vera joyfully as she bolted toward them. She sequentially nuzzled them along the legs. Both fire dragons chuckled delightfully as they gazed upon Vera momentarily before looking forward.
"Greetings, Flame and Ember." Wraith whispered aloud.
"Greetings, Wraith," smiled Ember.
"We came as fast as we could," said Flame, and then turning to Hunter. "Thank you for sending the falcon, Hunter."
"Of course, Flame," delightfully replied the cheetah warrior. "We wouldn't want you or Ember to miss this for the world." Vera then enthusiastically spoke after releasing Flame and Ember,
"So what color do you think it will be?" But just as Wraith opened her mouth to speak, everyone jumped as sharply loud and agonizing wailing and screaming was heard from inside the pavilion.
Inside the pavilion, Cynder, laying prostrate on an elevated stone platform (which rose at least a foot from floor level), had her head and neck held slightly upward as she screamed and wailed painfully. Cynder is in the final phase of painfully extruding the egg she and Spyro had procreated one month ago. Just as Cynder began screaming uncontrollably, her life mate and Plax, under Singe's instructions, placed themselves on top of black dragoness's svelte body to prevent her from writhing out of control. Spyro was positioned near his dragoness' anterior, griping his right forearm firmly under and around her pectoral area, while his chest laid flat across her upper back. While in this position, Spyro was gazing forward at Cynder's graceful head and neck. Plax had himself positioned on Cynder's lower back and hips (his feet were placed next to the black dragoness' right side) as he pressed on it with his frontal section to ensure that she wouldn't rear upward in the process of laying the egg. Singe was currently approaching Cynder's posterior where below the base of the latter's sinuous tail was a medium-sized, bowl-shaped cushion, properly positioned to safely catch the egg.
"Cynder," the white dragoness kindly instructed as she approached closer to the latter's posterior. "If you would be so kind as to please motion your tail sideways while I prepare to receive the egg. I'll instruct you further from there."
"Here, Cynder," Spyro exclaimed to his dragoness, extending his tail. "Grab hold of my tail with yours." As Cynder paused to respire, she swiveled head sideways to look back. Cynder's visage displayed intense agony and distress. The black dragoness then motioned her long, sinuous tail sideways until it managed to firmly enwrap the end of her mate's tail lovingly.
"Okay, Cynder," Singe gently instructed the adult black dragoness. Singe was currently positioned right in front of Cynder's birth canal, prepared to receive the latter and Spyro's egg. "Just take a deep breath and push. Push!" As Cynder follows through with Singes instructions, she grunts and then quickly unleashes a painful scream. Through a duration of a few minutes, Cynder grunts and screams as she continually exerts pressure, gradually pushing the egg containing her future offspring, while following Singe's instructions. In between those painful moments, Cynder relaxes for a few seconds, breathing before she resumed the process. Also throughout this period, Plax watches anxiously as he feels the movement of the egg progressing through Cynder's body.
Then, after one last push, Cynder pants exhaustively and looks back to her mate, with tears flowing down her eyes (from joy, not sadness).
"Spyro," she painfully whispers to her life mate. "Please
me." As he looked upon Cynder's graceful visage, Spyro then places his left forepaw on his mate's left forepaw.
"Come on, Cynder," states Spyro encouragingly. "We can do this
together." Instinctively, while continually gasping and panting, Cynder rotates her forepaw, thus grasping the palm her life mate's firmly.
"Oh, Spyro," sobbed Cynder passionately, as she continued gasping. "I love you so much."
"I love you, too, Cynder," Spyro softly spoke, as his were eyes also watering with tears of joy. Then, courageously taking a deep breath, Cynder resumes flexing the muscles within her birth canal, pushing the egg further in order to expel it from her body. From this moment onward, her screams of agony also intensified in magnitude. Suddenly Singe gasped excitedly as she saw the single egg containing Spyro and Cynder's future offspring, beginning to emerge from the opening of the black dragoness's birth canal.
"Come on, Cynder," encouraged the white dragoness, with a joyous squeak in her voice. "Keep pushing! You're almost there!"
"Keep going," joined in Spyro, tightening his left forepaw around his life mate's, who did the same. "I'm right here for you, Cynder. Just hang on!" With that, Cynder inhaled deeply and then heaved with greater force, painfully wailing as she went on pushing egg out. Finally, with one final fervent effort, Cynder tightly contracted her interior muscles and gave a final push, while agonizingly wailing at highest extremity. Within that cry, Cynder unleashed all her melancholy, all her emotional pain, distress, grief, trauma, anger, and agony she endured throughout her life. Finally, after spending many long and agonizing minutes of grueling effort, the pain instantly subsided as the egg gently slipped out of Cynder's posterior opening, in which Singe immediately and tenderly caught with both her forepaws while laying prostrate behind the former. After Singe placed the egg onto the soft cushion, she gasped suddenly when she quickly inspected it.
"Well done, Cynder," Singe said delightfully with that same squeak in her voice, thus gently patting the black dragoness on the left thigh. "Well done!" The white dragoness cautiously moved the cushion to the side and then motioned one of her wings to a nearby mole, which the latter complied quickly, bringing a towel for Singe to clean the egg of any excess membrane mucous. By now, Cynder, still shedding tears of utter joy, was breathing in a more relaxed manner as she laid her head and graceful neck down on the floor with relief, also setting her long tail onto the floor beside her after Spyro released it. Spyro and Plax then removed themselves from atop of Cynder's body as she continued breathing gently with some fatigue. Spyro then positioned his body to where his head was laying near his mate's graceful head.
"Well," said Spyro, turning his head till he gazed at Cynder's, with tears still flowing joyously down his muzzle. "We did it Cynder." Cynder raised her elegant head slightly and then focused her gaze upon her life mate's.
"Oh, yes," sobbed Cynder softly and joyously, "We both did it, Spyro
together." At this moment their snouts were only inches away from each other. Then the two edged their heads together and lovingly pressed their lips in a joyously deep and passionate kiss. Although Cynder was previously exhausted and fatigued from strenuously laying her egg, the kiss she intimately shared with Spyro seemed to have energized her instantly.
"I will always love you, Cynder," whispered Spyro, after breaking at some seconds later.
"And I'll never stop loving you, Spyro," whispered back Cynder consummately, as they gazed into each other's eyes tenderly for a moment.
"Uh, excuse me, Spyro, Cynder," perked up Plax, looking down where the two dragons' heads were resting as he slowly walked up next to them. "The others are waiting outside, and I was just wondering if I could
"It's alright, Plax," softly interrupted Cynder, understanding what the green fire dragon was asking. "Let them in." She nodded while stating this.
"Thanks," exclaim Plax moderately. "They are going to be so psyched to hear this!" He then excitedly trotted toward the entry way as Singe along with a few moles carrying the cushion that held Spyro and Cynder's egg, approached a small pedestal nearby. When the moles placed the cushion on top of the pedestal, Spyro and Cynder gasped to discover that the egg was purple. Singe giggled delightfully as she positioned herself in front of Spyro and Cynder's egg.
"You should be grateful," she stated kindly. "For it is extremely rare to bear the egg of another purple dragon." Singe's smile broadened joyously as she marveled the very miracle of creation before her.
For a few short moments, Spyro and Cynder gazed lovingly at the wonder of procreation they have both contributed in. Then they quickly glanced forward and perked up their heads as they suddenly heard a young, excited shout ahead.
"Spyro! Cynder!" Vera came bursting through the front entrance as she dashed toward the dragon couple, smiling joyously. She then literally threw herself onto Spyro, giving him a big hug around his neck. Spyro then wrapped one forearm around Vera as Cynder joined in gently nuzzling the earth dragoness on the neck. Singe briefly glanced at their embrace joyously before returning her gaze at the purple egg. As they released their embrace, Sparx and Flash came zooming in toward the three, who were quickly followed by Exile, Flame, Ember, Plax and Wraith, as they proceeded further into the pavilion, all of whom shared facial features of exuberance.
"Oh, man, Spyro," sobbingly exclaimed Sparx, as he hugged his body close his brother's snout. "I'm just so psyched for you and Cynder! I can now be an uncle!"
"Well done, son," solemnly stated Flash, patting his foster son's cheek. "I'm very proud of what both you and Cynder have done."
"Thanks, dad," softly replied Spyro, "Thanks, Sparx." Then after the golden dragonfly released his embrace, Flame, Ember, Plax, Wraith, and Exile were already standing in front of Spyro and Cynder.
"Well, buddy," stated the Fire Guardian inquisitively, smiling as he looked down upon the dragon couple before him. "It looks like we are now both going to be proud fathers."
"Indeed," complied Spyro.
"And just think," pondered aloud Ember, nuzzling her head gently along her mate's neck. "Flame and I had Torch's egg laid only a few days ago."
"Indeed," replied Flame, as he licked Ember on the forehead. Both Spyro and Cynder glanced around sideways for a moment.
"Where's Hunter?" asked Cynder concernfully.
"Upon hearing of your egg's arrival," Wraith whispered. "He immediately left to inform the other guardians and others all across the planet."
"You should have seen him move," perked up Plax. "He left in such hurry!" Then Vera turned her gaze toward Spyro and Cynder's egg, gasping joyfully. Singe then gazed at the young dragoness as the latter swiftly trotted over to the egg with great enthusiasm.
"Look!" squeaked the young earth dragoness. "It's purple! The egg is colored purple!" She jumped up and down excitedly, careful not to bump into the egg in front of her. Then all the visitors readjusted their visual, astounded as they gazed at the purple egg, with Sparx's mouth stretching to the floor.
"Huh? What?!" exclaimed Sparx, who was utterly left speechless. Flash managed to lift his lower jaw and placed it on its original spot.
"But, I thought purple dragons were born over every ten generations," Flame pondered aloud.
"Yes," softly complied Wraith, who then looked at both Spyro and Cynder. "But it would seem the ancestors have made an exception for you two on this one."
"Indeed," concurred Exile, who then approached the purple egg. "I also believe that it is because of your exceptionally adamant and passionate love for each other that your egg would be as astronomical as this." The elderly wolf, of course, was speaking to Spyro and Cynder, which they in turn were grateful of their old mentor. When Exile finally stood in front the egg, with Vera gazing up at him to his left, he turned his lupine head in Spyro and Cynder's direction and asked,
"May I?" Both the purple dragon and black dragoness nodded. Exile bent over and softly placed his hand palm on the egg containing Spyro and Cynder's precious offspring. After a few moments remaining in that position, the old wolf gasped slightly and then smiled joyfully.
"Well, how splendid" exclaimed Exile, as he rose back into an upright position. "It seems that your offspring, Spyro
Cynder, is a female."
"Wait," interrupted Sparx, utterly astound with what the old wolf stated. "You mean I'm going to have a niece?!"
"That's what the old man said," laughed Plax. As Sparx was about to argue, he turned toward Spyro and Cynder, both of whom had looks of joy on their visages. Then after hanging his head in defeat, the little dragonfly spoke,
"Well, I guess I could flex with having a niece after all. I mean, hey, you two deserved this moment."
"Atta boy, Sparx," exclaimed Flash as he zoomed over to his son's side patting him on the back. Then Vera looked directed at Spyro again.
"So what's her name?" she asked. Spyro and Cynder quickly glanced at each other before returning their gaze back to Vera.
"Well," tenderly stated Cynder. "We have decided to call her Zealous, after the deep love Spyro and I have for each other, which we will continue to cherish for the rest of our days."
"Oh, that's a beautiful name," exclaimed Ember happily, stating this with a little squeak in her voice.
"I agree," humbly stated Exile, smiling with greater delight as he then looked back downward upon Zealous' egg. Then everyone except Flash diverted their gaze as Spyro and Cynder kissed passionately once more.
Outside amongst the suburbs in the half-reconstructed city of Warfang, shouts of joy and jubilee were heard everywhere in celebration of the Spyro and Cynder's new offspring, Zealous.