Chapter 2. Punishments

By: Dardarax

Disclaimer: I do not own Spyro, Cynder, the Guardians, the Temple or any other characters or places that belong to the Spyro franchise. However a number of characters I created will be featured in this chapter. Those characters will be listed at the bottom of this chapter.

The sun set on the Dragon Temple, casting long shadows across the forest of enormous mushroom trees. The wind blew through the towering spires of the Temple causing the trees in the gardens below to sway. A small town, built at the foot of the Temple plateau began to light up, the villagers setting out lamps and lighting fires for late workers. Huge dragon statues stood like sentinels around the temple, proud and majestic, gazing down over the swamp to the west, and the plains to the east.

High up on one of the spires a fully grown dragon surveyed the surroundings from a balcony. The setting sun caused the dragon's purple scales to shine like jewels; scars from many battles lined his muscular frame. Two golden horns spiraled back from his head and his golden underbelly shone in the sunlight.

It had been twenty three years since Spyro and Cynder had first defeated Malefor. At first they had been lost unable to recognize their surroundings as they had emerged from the broken world. However, fortune favoured the pair, as they came across Spyro's adoptive parents, who guided them back to Warfang. Once all was settled, the two dragons and the three remaining Guardians returned to the ruins of the Temple and had begun rebuilding. They soon found the effort to be too great for just five dragons alone and requested assistance. Expecting only a few helpers they were shocked when an army of Moles, Cheetahs, Canines and Dragons arrived to help. The Temple was built in less than three years.

Spyro stood up, and stretched, it had been a long day, a meeting with an ambassador from the Ferans, a race of deep crimson dragons from the southern jungle. Teaching a group of rowdy dragons how to properly use the fire element, and sorting out the mess from yesterday's festival in town. Turning away from the sunset view Spyro walked through an opening in the wall behind him and into his rooms. Spyro and Cynder's quarters took up three levels, though no floors separated them. Instead half a dozen platforms hung from the walls.

Each platform served its own purpose. One was a dining area where the two heroes could eat and enjoy each other's company. Another platform led directly to one of the many kitchens found in the Temple, while yet another led to a personal bath. Spyro smiled as he entered his home and sighed. Even after all these years living here it still felt odd to live in such luxury. His every need available in just one room. He had been told many times he deserved it, but he never really believed it. Below at the very base of the room sprawled a small library, Spyro's and Cynder's personal study. There books of nearly every topic imaginable were crammed into shelves and scattered across small tables.

Spyro frowned as he heard shouting from the study and looked down. Taking a step off the platform he glided down to the study floor, and was meet half way down by Sparx. Sparx, Spyro's Dragonfly step brother had grown old; his bright glow had faded, but his energy and sharp tongue had not.

"Hey Sparx," Spyro spoke as the Dragonfly met him, "what's going on down there?"

"Savron was caught sneaking around the Females quarters, again." Sparks chuckled, and Spyro's frown deepened. "The tyke is really growing up, but if he wants to get anywhere he has to try…"Sparx caught Spyro's baleful glare and backed down. "I'll shut up now."

"Good." Spyro grunted as they landed amidst the piles of books and scrolls. The two followed the shouting through a maze of bookshelves and stacks of paper; they rounded a corner and found Cynder standing over a young purple dragon and a slightly older red.

"Oh ancestors." Spyro groaned as he came to a stop, a paw raising to rub at his head. "Not another one of these arguments. I already feel another headache coming on."

Savron the purple stood confidently, pulling off a look of injured innocence and indignation and making it look all too believable. Savron was an amethyst purple; he better resembled his father than mother. Four golden horns adorned his head, the upper pair being the larger, a silvery frill crested his head and a line of spikes ran down his back. His tail ended in a golden scythe blade. His eyes were an emerald green.

The red dragon, Igneous stood back from the two, his head hanging in shame. Igneous was a little older than the young purple and considerably larger, he sported two dark red horns that curled back like ram horns. A large orange frill cut down from his forehead to his tail, which ended in a yellow spike. he and Savron were close friends, having known each other for their entire lives and frequently accompanied Savron during his adventures.

Savron and Cynder were arguing heatedly, oblivious to Spyro as he approached them.

"It isn't proper for you to go sneaking off into the females chambers, late at night uninvited. You should know better!" Cynder growled, her face inches from Savron's. He met her gaze unflinching.

"I wasn't sneaking into their chambers Mom. I just wanted to check out the corridor, there are some really neat paintings there." Savron smiled brightly. "Just ask Igneous, right buddy?" Both Spyro and Cynder fixed their gazes upon the red. Igneous looked up and blushed turning his crimson scales an even deeper shade of red.

"We, uh… yeah we were only looking at the paintings, like that one with all those sheep… being herded…" Cynder's green eyes stared at him unwavering, and Igneous swallowed. Finally unable to take the dragoness's gaze any longer he broke.

"But later Savron wanted to take a peek into one of the rooms." Igneous blurted. Savron groaned and covered his head with his paws. Igneous hurried to defend his friend.

"But he only wanted to take a peek, and we never intended anything more than that. Honest" Cynder looked back at Savron who wouldn't meet her eyes.

"Fine I admit it," Savron spoke exasperated, "But it isn't like you think, I just wanted to see what the rooms looked like. I've never been allowed in and I was curious." Savron finally met her eyes and his gaze was full of innocence and sincerity. Cynder relented.

"Fine, but tomorrow you're grounded."

"Aw man…"

"Save it!" Cynder snapped. "I don't want any excuses. Tomorrow no more adventures, you're going to study." Savron turned away from Cynder grumbling, and took a short run before taking off. Cynder looked back at Igneous, who hadn't moved an inch knowing he wasn't yet dismissed.

"As for you Igneous," Cynder scolded, "why didn't you try and talk Savron out of this foolishness?" Igneous's heart fell, he had hoped to avoid being told off. Spyro watched Cynder take a deep breath, preparing for a long rant and decided to come to the young red's rescue. Spyro walked forward and silenced the black dragoness with a kiss.

"Come now Cynder, I'm sure he did everything he could to keep Savron out of this foolishness. Let's give him a break." Spyro casually walked over to one of the book shelves, he picked out a large dusty tome that read History of the Dragon Treatise part III. Taking the book in his jaws he brought it back to the waiting pair and dropped it in front of Igneous.

"I want you to read chapters three through six tomorrow while Savron is grounded. No excuses okay?" Igneous stared at the book his shoulders slumped when he read the title. Looking back up at Spyro he tried to smile.

"Yes sir, thank you. Please don't be too hard on Savron okay?"

"Alright, now go back to Flame and Ember. I'm sure they are worried about you."

"Okay, I'll tell them you said hi." Igneous sighed as he picked up the book in his mouth and left the room at a trot. The two watched him go.

"It was that book wasn't it." Cynder smirked when Igneous was out of earshot. "The one you replaced all the pages with your favourite romance novels." Spyro laughed and gave Cynder a gentle push.

"You know me like the back of your paw don't you?"

"Better." Cynder replied smugly. Turning the two took off, circling each other as they ascended. They landed on a small platform covered with pillows.

"He's going to enjoy that book." Spyro chuckled as they settled down, their tails coiled together.

"You boys are all the same aren't you?" Cynder smiled, nuzzling Spyro's neck.

"Not all of us." Spyro laughed returning the gesture. The two lay together for a few minutes looking out the nearby window at the brilliant sunset. Cynder sighed.

"I wish Savron would try and follow Igneous's example. He's thoughtful, considerate, he listens to his elders. Why can't Savron just be a little more like him?"

"Igneous is a good dragon, but not everyone can be perfect. Savron is very talented; he just lacks the motivation to try. You know this, so don't be selfish." Spyro chided. Cynder looked away and sighed again, before turning back to Spyro.

"I suppose your right… for once."

Her statement caused Spyro to laugh, a deep booming chuckle that echoed around the huge chamber. Cynder smiled as Spyro rolled over still laughing. When his laughter finally faded the great purple turned to look back at Cynder, who was smiling at him brightly.

"So how was class today?" Spyro asked drawing Cynder close to him.

"Uh, they were noisy inattentive brats today. They were barely listening to a word I said, and they wouldn't stop talking."

"So what did you do?" Spyro queried, curious.

"I told them if they didn't shut up I would give them a six page report on how elemental magic's affect everyday life."

"Bet that shut them up."

"Went as quiet as a graveyard. I could hear you rattling off to you students about basic combat maneuvers from where I was standing." Spyro raised an eye ridge; his class room was two floors down.

"Yeah I had to shout over them to get their attention. All hyped up from yesterday's carnival I suppose." The two fell silent once more remembering the hectic event. The town that lay at the foot of the Temple had held a carnival in honour of the day the Temple had been finished nearly twenty years ago. All of the students were given the day off and were set loose in town. Spyro, Cynder and a few other dragons patrolled the carnival, looking for any rowdy students that got out of hand. There were no incidences, but the students came back, drunk on happiness, though a more than a few came back actually drunk. Spyro broke the silence.

"When is Inferna returning? I'm getting tired of having to teach her classes as well as mine."

"I don't know Spyro. We haven't gotten word from her since she was in Avalar, nearly two months ago. I'm starting to get worried."

Spyro muttered, his mind turning to the irresponsible Guardian. Inferna was the new fire guardian, having been selected the same day as the Temple was finished. She was chosen from dozens of candidates, all of whom had mastered the element fire, and were well educated. Inferna was one of the youngest guardians ever chosen, her wisdom, and battle experience were greater than her years. At first, he didn't trust her, believing her to be a mere replacement for Ignitus. He changed his mind when Inferna saved him from a Grublin ambush. After that the two quickly came to an understanding, which eventually evolved into a firm, if sometimes frustrating friendship.

"She's still looking for that wonder student I suppose. Honestly it's beginning to get on my nerves." Cynder sighed exasperated. "She already has some amazing students like Igneous and Torch, why does she need any more?"

"She always has been a little eccentric, plus she has to live under the shadow of Ignitus, she probably wants to be the one to train an even greater hero." Spyro chuckled at Cynder's tight frown, and finally she smiled.

"If you can't be it, find it, right my purple champion?"

"No kidding, but Inferna is taking this to a whole new level. She's been hunting for this student for half a year now; I hear she turned down nearly a dozen candidates we would have accepted barely a year ago. I don't think there is anyone out there that will satisfy her." As Spyro spoke an idea came to Cynder, and her smile widened.

"Let's make a bet."

Spyro turned to Cynder curious." A bet?" he asked puzzled.

"Yeah we'll get all the other teachers and Guardians and bet on the outcome of Inferna's search. The betting choices will be that she doesn't come back within three months, that she won't bring back any one at all or she will actually bring back a prodigy. Then we will split the loot evenly between the winners." Cynder gave Spyro a beaming smile, showing pearly white fangs. Spyro looked at her dubiously.

"And what would I get if I joined this little game of yours?" Cynder pause to consider for a moment.

"If you win I will let you buy that sculpture you wanted." Spyro's eyes narrowed and he spoke softly as if unsure of what she said.

"Do you mean the one that you said was too gaudy?"

"Yes but if I win you have to get me that choker for my hatchday present."

Spyro's heart fell; he knew she had something up her metaphorical sleeve. The choker she wanted was a thick, gold choker, crafted by master smiths. It was nearly indestructible, and embedded with an enormous emerald. It was also worth a fortune, and would leave Spyro broke for months.

"But," he thought, remembering the sculpture, "the risk might just be worth it." The sculpture in question was the bust of a dragon, only made of countless dragons of every shade imaginable, all flying to form the shape of the dragons head. Each one like a scale that gleamed an iridescent colour. Cynder had said it was far to gaudy for her tastes, and forbid Spyro from buying it. He had never forgotten about it and had begged Cynder to let him have it every time they passed it by. She had never relented. Spyro wavered for a moment before giving in.

"Deal. So what will you bet on?"

"I'm going with her not getting here for another three months."

"Typical, taking the most likely outcome." Spyro thought bitterly. "Then I think she will come back with a prodigy, she isn't the type to come back empty handed."

"We'll see." Cynder said slyly as she got up, and stretched. "Let's go to bed, I'm feeling a bit put out today because of my fight with Savron."

Spyro followed her as she beat her wings and took off from the platform. The two soared lazily up toward the top of the chamber where their bed hung like an enormous chandelier from the ceiling. The two landed on the large platform, causing it to sway slightly. The center of the platform was dominated by a huge pile of cushions, all a magnificent red colour, trimmed with gold. Long drapes hung around the platform like thick mist, blocking out everything beyond them. The platform itself was stable, attached to the ceiling by four giant chains, each link the size of a large mole.

Cynder strode briskly toward the pile of cushions, where she climbed on top of the heap and curled up. A small breeze blew through the drapes causing Cynder to shiver.

"Spyro come keep me warm, I'm cold." Cynder demanded imperiously, making Spyro smile.

"Yes your highness." Spyro bowed, striding towards the bed in a long lope. He climbed up the pile of pillows and curled up beside her, laying half of his body over her like a blanket. Cynder sighed.

"Mmm, much better, now stay there." Spyro nuzzled Cynder gently, which she returned gratefully. Then the two snuggled down for an early sleep. Outside the moon began to rise casting its pale light over the Temple. The night animals began to stir and cautiously left their shelters, while the day creatures retreated to their hideaways.

The small purple dragon Savron sulked in his room, still yearning to explore the Temple, and unwilling to sleep.

Igneous arrived back home and kissed his mom and dad good night before going to his room for and early rest. While far away in the city of Warfang, a snow white dragon launched himself from the top of a high building, for his night flight.

Characters created by Dardarax:

Savron

Igneous

Inferna

Torch

All right! Chapter two is done! I`m all pumped up and ready to start writing another one! Thank you for reading this chapter, I hope you enjoyed it, please review and tell me how I did and if you like it. It would mean a great deal to me.

Edit: March 1 2012

I think I realize one of the major problems with these first couple chapters: I didn't really follow the rule of 'show, don't tell' that well. So I changed a couple things to do less explaining, and more showing. Still, I left much of it as it was, since I don't think I should outright change everything. After all, even if this isn't by best work, these first couple chapters, they're still important in showing my development as a writer. :)