Inferno

The first thing I saw when I opened my eyes was Seim, who was hovering over me with the tips of her hair tickling me nose. I sneezed, and sat up quickly. "What are you doing?" I grumbled, rubbing sleep from my eyes.

"You sleep a lot, ya know that?" Seim teased, while offering a bowl of hot porridge. "It's almost noon. Hurry up, we have to get on a Loch to get to where Inferno is."

I did as she told, burning my tongue a little from the heat of my breakfast, and quickly got dressed and washed. Seim and I were greeted by Zane outside the inn. "Hey, sleepy-head," he grinned, pushing my shoulder lightly. I merely grunted and gave a weak, sleepy shove back. He just chuckled.

We lingered for a few minutes at merchant tents; Zane bought us both swords. "You never know," he said, shrugging. "We know how to use them, anyway." When he offered to buy a weapon for Seim, she just shook her head, saying she had no use for any.

When we were finally finished looking around, we headed on over to the docks. All the Lochs were either full of passengers or gone, so we had to wait an hour or so before one finally came back. We loaded onto the Loch, and I stretched out, having a bit of space on this ride.

"This should take about two hours," I murmured to no one in particular. If Seim or Zane heard me, they didn't say anything. No one was talking, so I decided to catch up on the sleep that Seim had woken me from.

---

Once again I was woken up by Zane, shaking me gently. "We're here," he said, helping me to my feet. I stepped off the Loch, and noticed the area was pretty crowded. I couldn't see the giant fire dragon, no matter where I looked.

Probably seeing me searching, a man nearby leaned over slightly. "The dragon's probably on his way back now," he told me, and I nodded in thanks. It took about thirty minutes before Inferno arrived.

I saw a large shape in the sky, and stepped back in wonder. Zane shifted his weight from one foot to another, while Seim just stood there actually looking bored. Inferno dived towards the ground, and just when he was about to hit the ground he snapped his wings back and landed on the ground a large thud.

Most of the crowd gasped in amazement at his size, and I joined in. He was huge; could probably seat fifty passengers at least. His scales were a blood-red, and four horns, two on each side, adorned his head which was connected to a large sinewy neck. Two huge teeth overlapped his bottom lip, and two spikes also adorned the end of his whip-like tail.

Zane was looking at him warily, and said, "How about I just wait for you to come back. You can tell me what you found and then we'll-" I cut him off by tugging on his arm.

"There's nothing to be scared," I laughed a little. Seim laughed along as well, not looking scared of the giant dragon one bit.

We moved through the large crowd rather quickly. Quite a few people only came to look at him, while others were changing their minds and murmuring to their travel companions, "C'mon, we're going home..."

Soon enough, we were perched on his back. A giant saddle was made for him, so that we had handles to hold on to and could also strap ourselves on. I was in between Zane and Seim, and Zane kept chewing his bottom lip and looking around.

When everyone was settled and strapped in, a man standing in front of and off to the side of Inferno jerked his arm up. Immediately the dragon pushed off into the sky with his powerful leg, and at the sudden movement and new feeling called flying, I squeaked and hugged Zane's arm.

He laughed and patted my shoulder comfortingly, but it was still obvious that Zane though Inferno would go crazy and kill everyone on him at any moment. Inferno finally stopped ascending and flew towards Rhine.

The view from the sky was beautiful; the clouds, trees, Lochs far off in the distant ocean returning to Pers. Without warning, Inferno roared and folded his wings tight against his body, his body and us plummeting to the ground below, spinning like a top. All the passengers, including me screamed.

Just as suddenly he snapped his wings back up and we stopped plummeting, and it took a few minutes to catch my breath. Zane was poking me, and he hissed, "I told you this thing was mad!" I couldn't disagree, so I turned to Seim to see if she was alright.

Oddly enough, she was already looking at me with an odd look in her eye. Not at me exactly, but at the necklace that must have falling out of my shirt during the fall. I quickly tucked it back in and asked her, "Weren't you scared?"

She slowly looked up at me, and showed no hint of a smile. She didn't look scared or shaken at all. "No. I flew before," she said, in an odd, monotone voice. I was kind of unnerved by her change, so I looked away and at the view once more.

We were flying over mountains now. They were a huge wall surrounding a desert. In the middle of the desert was the great capitol of Rhine. After about thirty minutes, Inferno descended and landed with a jolt outside Rhine, by a large waiting crowd who once again gasped. I wonder if the dragon ever got annoyed by all the gasping.

We untied the straps and stumbled off Inferno's broad back, heading towards Rhine's gates. Four guards surrounded it, each holding long, dangerous-looking spears. They merely gave us a warning glance as we walked through, and said, "Welcome to Rhine."

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Yes..I know. I'm the sloooowweeessst updater ever. I just didn't feel like writing, sorry. Anyway, I'm back in the writing book. And it's Christmas break, so hopefully I'll have quite a few updates for the next two weeks.

lindersly- Yup..a trilogy. A short synopsis for the Prequel and Sequel of Militia is on my site. (Which is awful, lol) And..a map! Whee!