"Marty am i dead?" Jake nervously asked as he continued to stare at his own body.
"to a point kid, yes, but not completely...as Grimm reaper i am the ambassador of life and the afterlife the guardian of the natural law. Your death, while you may think is small actually upsets the balance. with you dead the Dark Dragon will eliminate all other dragons, magical creatures and humans, nature doesn't like being one sided kid. So i'm bending natural law, you're going back but i can't reap the soul of the Dark Dragon. Again balance, for all the light in the world there needs to be darkness. Hence you kid, i need you to take in even a fraction of his dark essence..."
"you want me to become the next dark dragon?! Are you nuts!" Jake shouted. He was shocked to say the least, Marty suggesting Jake willingly become the most evil creature in the known to the world.
"Not exactly kid i said to take it in, as long as the shadow can still exist in this world i can take the Dark dragon from this one once he's gone i'll extract it from you and let the natural balance resume its course you won't be made into the next Dragon, you might be a little more rebelious but that is it" Marty replied.
Jake sat in silence as Marty poured some bright blue elixir down his throat and his body began taking on color again. He thought of what the Dark dragon had said about corrupting Hailey and wondered how he intended to do that. "Marty how does someone apply dark essence?"
"the simplest way is by having dark intentions, you know world domination, genocide, the next is to well... Say i took blood from you with a few simple extraction spells i could make a potent potion that could apply some of your traits to whomever drinks it"
"so if the Dark Dragon wanted to corrupt Hailey..."
"your sister? He'd have to use a potion, Hailey is way to good hearted to have Dark intent. unlike you, rebellious, challenging authority, a tad bit heavy with the arrogance you're a more viable candidate for corruption" Marty explained.
"gee thanks" Jake grumbled. It was of no comfort to learn he had the makings of being another dark dragon but it did put his position in perspective, if it came down to self preservation or protecting Hailey it wasn't a question, he was never going let someone hurt Hailey. "how much longer Marty, until my bodies back in fighting shape?"
"3 hours kid, even then you won't be at peak he'll rip you apart if you're not careful" Marty replied.
Jake sat on the chair staring at his own lifeless face 3 hours shouldn't take long, he hopped.
The Dragon masters arrived in New York and began their search for the Dark Dragon. There was no real plan no course of action just a simple search and destroy mindset.
The port was the best ideal starting point, empty, spacious and lots of hiding places. Jagged metal, scrapped hulls and mounds of metal a small army of Dragons was easily concealed here. Councilor Andam along with kulde were first to land alongside lao Shi while Omina and the water dragons swam along the water front. This was an attempt at an ambush.
They stayed silent as they crept around the scrap yard their keen eyes constantly searching for enemy movement. Finally it was Sun who saw the first shadow demon, it leapt out from a discarded smoke stack assaulting the former Brazilian dragon.
"Ambush!" Sun shouted as more demons emerged from the shadows. The shipyard blew up in a marvelous display of fire lighting up the waters refection, Dragons and demons clashed, metal burned and concrete broke the masters were proving their tittles as the demons were disbursed by the fires. But the more demons that were disbursed more and more just appeared in their place,
"Chinese Dragon..." his cold desolate voice echoed from every corner and pocket of the yard "we have a score to settle old man stop playing with the help and come face me! Or is it perhaps, you're too afraid to fight me?"
Lao Shi flew into the air seeking out the dark dragons location without being baited into his trap.
"I killed your boy just last night. Would you like to know how he died?"
Lao Shi quickly shook his words off he knew what he was doing, he was trying to provoke him into messing up and become vulnerable. Yes, his words were hitting an open wound but Lao Shi had to hold out.
"you would have been proud of your student Luong he fought like a real dragon you trained him well, except you didn't teach him how to die like a real dragon, he screamed and suffered like a worthless human. I can only imagine what hurt more than me breaking his body...starring out into the night sky hopeful that his grandfather was going to swoop in and save him only to realise his master, his own grandfather had abandoned him to die"
The Dragons maniacal laugh filled the air before a powerful fire-blast erupted from under water narrowly missing Lao Shi. The Dark Dragon rushed from the water quickly snaring gramps by his body and slamming him into a ship. The mountain of metal toppled dragging the Chinese dragon into the river. Seconds later the Chinese Dragon burst from the water and circled the Dark Dragon before clawing his left wing leaving 3 long claw marks.
"haha, very good old man a downed Dragon is a dead dragon pity you never taught him that he might have stood a chance" the Dark Dragon laughed.
The battle down below was starting to turn and the shadow demons began to cheat. They started using snares and nets made from Sphynx hair to capture the dragon masters.
"this diversion is over old man, Chang has the apprentice dragons including your granddaughter. Portal spells and a former councilor an a bunch of unprotected impressionable young dragons to remold as i see fit"
With a power back handed strike the Dark Dragon knocked Lao Shi to the ground with enough force to crack the concrete. The shadow demons quickly trapped him and began dragging the dragons to an under ground opening. Where they saw the young dragons chained in front of an alter. Fu, Rose and Violet along with the Longs were chained to the far wall for a front row seat where Hailey was chained in her dragon form by a bottle of black ooze. She was terrified and kept looking toward her mom and dad. She knew what was coming.
Martys soul compass suddenly sprang to life whirling every which direction "crap! Are you kidding me?" he yelled
"Marty whats going on?" Jake shouted.
"my compass is off the rails" he quickly brought up a small visual portal "awe hell, that is alot of dragons kid if he excutes or turns these dragons then all life, magical and human is pooched"
Jakes eyes fell on Hailey chained up and the bottle of black ooze, his hands balled into fists, his anger was begining to spike. "Marty i need my body-" Jake was interupted when the compass spun again, this time it was Rose's house. Bananas B was dragging the 2 tied parents down the street. "Marty that black ooze we saw by Hailey is that the dark essence stuff?"
"yeah, it is kid"
"if i drink that if i take in his darkness will get stronger?"
"yes and no, you will adapt some of his powers, traits and characteristcs hes not more powerful kid just rutheless which yes can and you will take on"
Jake nodded in aknowledgment he didn't like this plan and it was his plan. "Marty my body, we're out of time"
Marty sighed, his fingers wrapped around his scythe Jake still needed another 2 hours even then he wouldn't be at half his power "kid, you'll be in pain like you can't imagine. Transforming might relapse your injuries, your best hope at even having a chance is to down that potion first chance you can otherwise...you could die"
"well that's comforting Marty, it really is"
"you're going to feel a slight pinch" Marty swung around slicing through Jake turning him into a small ball of blue light before guiding the light into Jakes mouth. Jake sprang to life in seconds gasping for air "good luck kid"
With the snap of his fingers Marty sent Jake into a crowded room crouching behind a pillar by the alter where Hailey was chained. He couldn't call out or else the shadow demons would catch him. Hailey looked so frightened and with good reason she was only 8 after all Chang, Dark dragon but no Bananas, he was out getting Rose's family. Jake thought back to his early training Gramps told him about a Dragons natural shape shifting ability, when Jake botched a deal with the huntsclan when he posed as a troll.
Jake focused on the form he wanted to impersonate. A searing pain shot through him, like Marty said transforming brought about pain but it worked, he was Bananas B.
He walked up to the alter facing Hailey, he wanted to comfort her, to be a big brother and help her but he couldn't "awe whats a matter baby dragon to small to be a threat" he taunted.
Hailey however looked at him with angry eyes and snorted fire at him.
"thats my girl Hailey" Fu cheered.
"your brother would be proud of that" Jake told her.
He left Hailey as his tail tucked inside his pocket, he saw his parents, the dragons, Fu, Violet and Rose his anger was spiking again but he had to wait. The Prices were thrown across the floor "mom! Dad!" Violet screamed.
"shut up" the Dark Dragon snarled "filthy human your lucky enough to be here alive as it is, if not for the fact your sister the slayer was in love with the American dragon"
Jake snuck off into the shadows as Bananas approached the alter leaving a small bottle of brown liquid on the table. He pulled the lid from the bottle in his hand and sniffed it, a foul bitter smell invaded his nose.
"forgive me for this guys" he whispered before downing the potion.
"monkey bring me the American dragon"
Jake looked over to see Bananas push Hailey towards the alter. He had to act quickly.
"brothers and sisters pay close attention to this i killed Jake Long last night i broke his body for refusing my offer. Now i will corrupt the new American dragon any who still choose to stand against me will be slaughtered" he pushed the bottle to Hailey "should you refuse me like your idiot brother did i"ll destroy your entire family and the Slayers family on the spot"
Hailey now looked at family with her big round eyes then back to the Dark Dragon and spoke with a voice of a confident Dragon "don't talk about my brother like that, my brother was the greatest dragon ever and you were afraid of him. Don't deny it thats why you tried recruiting Jake because you could never beat him, thats why you never faced him alone because he'd kick your ass"
"good girl Hailey" Susan whispered.
The room fell silent as Hailey swung back the bottle, almost instantly she grabbed her throat and scrunched her eyes before gagging "aack, uh, ick, what kind of sick jerk makes somebody drink soya sauce!" she screeched.
The Dragon glared at Bananas with muderus intent. "no i didnt its right there"
The blue fire began glow inside the dark dragons mouth when a glass bottle whizzed by his head and shattered beside his head.
All eyes turned to where the bottle came from and shock filled the room as everyone looked at a tall standing Jake Long, only he was different. His eyes had taken on a red glow and his scales were slowly darkening from his bright red coloring to a threatening blood red "for the record i am the one and only American Dragon and your fight is with me!"