Mythos stood perfectly still as I gripped her thick mane and boosted myself up using her thick scaly hind leg. Her scales bit into my inner thighs but with a little bit of adjusting, I managed to find a comfortable sitting position. She flicked her wings nervously like a cat sitting in a window does it's tail when it sees a bird outside. I patted her neck and gave her a light kick in her side. Her wings swooped up over my head, strong and fibery throughout except the portion that had been burned in the last battle. It was shrunk in on itself, a sickening shade of black that only denoted death and made me swallow heavily. I knew Mythos would be fine but I worried about her flight pattern, especially with a human flying with her. The sudden drop of her wings and lift off caught me off guard and I griped her mane harder. Three hard pumps and we were above the trees. I looked out above her head and the brilliant blue of the ocean shown brightly on the horizon. The beach would be a good halfway point for today's initial workout. As Mythos climbed, I began to put her through her paces. My eyes began to tear up as she raced upward, my arms straining when she reached near-vertical alignment in her climb. I tucked my head, hair in my face tickling in a maddening fashion as I dared not let go knowing I was not strong enough to hold on at this speed. We reached our peak and I lifted my head to take in the beauty. For several moments we hung above the clouds, floating with the early morning light reflecting off the ocean far below. Turning behind me, I could see the city and the castle. I couldn't make out anyone on the walls, but I knew Ally and Braden were watching our trip.
I grinned and decided to give them something to watch. "Cero!" I whispered and Mythos immediately tucked her wings and began to tunnel toward the beach at a frightening speed. She was easily matching her regular pace and I beamed to myself silently, once again head tucked and body stretched along the length of hers, holding on with all of my strength. As we began to reach our destination, something happened. Mythos' head jerked suddenly and I felt a spasm run through her body. Her wings snapped out as if against her will. The frightening crunch of her injured wing made me gag. Her wing wasn't able to withstand the sudden stop at the speed we had achieved and we fell like a rock. A very large rock with a very breakable pebble on its back. There were no trees to break our fall as we had come very close to the beach. Just large boulders and sand would welcome us. Mythos groaned and cried clawing at the air, flapping her good wing, trying desperately to keep us in the air. Real tears filled my eyes this time as I realized what was about to happen. The wind whistled as we got closer to the ground. I climbed to my feet on her back and prepared to jump as far as possible from the boulders as I could. There was no way I could stop Mythos from hitting the boulders. However, at second glance, I could see that there was a chance of her surviving if she managed to not smash her head into the rocks when she landed. "Rabo! Rabo!" I shouted. Mythos' ears perked up and she immediately pulled her wings in and raised the upper half of her body. Her tail and lower legs would take the brunt of the impact and would be much easier to heal than her head or wings. I leaned into her. "May we survive this Mythos and live long and see the future." She sighed. I jumped out toward the sand as far as I could as Mythos' crashed into boulders. They split and cracked under the weight of the two-ton dragon. I had jumped far but not as far as I had hoped and landed on a rock large enough to break the fall of only my leg. My leg burned from ripped flesh and a bone sticking out of it. Breath gone, pain in my leg and chest, I raised my eyes even as they grew dim. Mythos lay crumpled upon the boulders, wings ripped and bleeding, broken limbs in horrible places. My heart seized. Then I heard a low whistle. Mythos calling to me. I sighed and the world went dark.