..."Ah, Gabriel," said the wraith Pteri as she turned toward the third voice.
"Stop! Get away from my brother!" Quinden shouted as he darted at her.
She easily manoeuvred out of his way in a sideways somersault.
"Wha?" said Quinden dumbly. That... that was a move that not even Gabriel could pull off!
"Little bro, stop," Gabriel shouted up at him.
Quinden frowned and looked back and forth between Gabriel and the apparent Zara. His face furrowed. "You two know each other?"
"Obviously," said Zara, rolling her eyes. "I have been training Gabriel for months, now. And I don't like it when little kids like you waste my time and get in my way."
"Zara, be nice, he's my brother!" Gabriel had by now took to the skies and joined the others. "But yes, Quin! Zara watched me race and win for three years, and after last year's Championships she decided to take me on as a student in her elite flight academy."
The red Pteri tilted his head, curious. "That sounds... super amazing. Why didn't you tell me?"
"It's highly secretive," continued his brother, his voice hardly above a whisper, "and only the absolute best are recruited."
Zara scoffed at her pupil. "You know I made you promise not to tell anyone. Well, I suppose your brother knowing isn't a bad thing... if he's half the flyer you are, Gabe, he's worthy."
Gabriel almost blushed at that. "Anyway, Quin, Zara is a very busy instructor -- I had to wait half a year until she was ready to teach me. And I knew that accepting study at her year-long training academy would mean I probably wouldn't get to enter the Championships this year -- and that's why I can't enter." He sighed. "I just... didn't think it'd hit me as hard as it did."
Quinden frowned and gave his brother a quick air hug. "What if... I enter the Championship today?" He'd thought back at what Zara had said. "I might not win, but that'd still give us something to celebrate and be happy about today." He grinned at his brother.
Gabriel smiled warmly back. "I think that would be an excellent idea, little bro."
Zara smiled too, albeit somewhat half-heartedly. "Now, Gabriel, let's go. We have Mystery Island Eights to practice today." She turned toward Quinden and winked at him. "And good luck today."
Gabriel and Zara soared away from Quinden. The red Pteri watched them and smiled before flying to the Pteri Flying Championships registration hut.