People swarmed into a large group that had already started to form on the beach. As Tayten approached, the scene looked remarkably similar to the one where she had first laid eyes on her friends' dragons. Only this time, Kaejht and little injured Saojra worked to keep Kijorn under control as the blue beast thrashed in the sand, hissing and changing size wildly. A few dragons stood off to the side, a few of them sporting fresh cuts.
As Tayten pushed herself through the crowd, she could see Saojra push Kijorn further into the sand with a hiss. Apparently what she said to him pressed deep into his mind for he calmed down and was allowed to stand tall. As soon as the rider came up to him though, he at once wrapped his body around her.
"They found him." He hissed. "They found him and they did not tell me immediately."
"Kijorn, if they had told you at once would you have reacted any differently?"
The dragon looked at his rider, the rides on his neck flattening in aggravation. "No. But he would have been dead sooner." His head tilted so he could look her straight in the eyes. "I cannot allow him to live."
An unspoken question hung in his voice. She could see the need in every shiver and shake of his body and she knew he simply could not survive with any sanity while the location of his quarrel was common knowledge. She also knew that he would never make her do something she could not or simply did not want to do. Leave her classes for example.
"Kijorn… I want to go with you."
Temper flared from him yet again. "I will not leave you behind." His eyes roved the onlookers. "There are still people here loyal to him."
The crowd shifted uncomfortably. Anyone loyal to the dragons themselves would gladly destroy the people who followed in Igor's belief that dragons should be enslaved.
For a moment Tayten thought about it. Clicking the stud in her tongue against her teeth she shrugged, as if her choice was nothing. "Then I guess I will have to come with you."
Glee washed over the young dragon. A glee that was violent and dangerous in nature.
"You can't leave."
Tayten turned to look into the face of one of her teachers. This one was a woman whose name was Bertha. She was an incredibly strict teacher that bent none of the rules that applied to any of the students. Clearly one of the rules was that trainees were not permitted to leave during their training.
"Whether Kijorn wants to leave or not. You both must stay here and complete your lessons before you are permitted to chase after a little grudge." She said in her normal 'I'm older and better than you so you need to do what I say' voice.
Before Kijorn could even lift his wings to attack the women, four different dragons jumped on him to hold him down.
"Actually, there have been cases where things like this have happened and the new rider was permitted to leave to complete a mission." A medium sized dragon made her presence known by nudging others away so she could be heard in the group. Of the creatures, she was among the older ones, but still gorgeous with pine tree green hide and sun kissed yellow spikes on her nose, forehead, and traveling at large intervals down her back. Tayten knew her rider to be in his 50's, and a well respected teacher. If she recalled correctly, his dragon had a talent for remembering facts. Thankfully, she had chosen a man destined to be a teacher.
Speaking of her rider, the man himself, dressed in his usual monk garb, though he was clearly of blue eyed blond decent.
"Go on KaShja." He encouraged with a smile.
With a nod to him, KaShja looked back to the other teacher and continued her correction. "There have been a number of occasions where a rider was, not exactly pulled, but tugged away from their classrooms on the islands. These times were often when there was a war, the dragon or even the student rider was required elsewhere."
"The rules are that a student is not to have their education stopped unless their life is threatened by them continuing." Bertha interrupted.
"You never let me finish." the dragon replied, a little annoyed. "And I would appreciate it if you did not interrupt me so rudely again. A student was never taken completely away from their lessons. Often teachers were assigned, required, or volunteered to accompany the student, or students in the cases of war, to wherever they were needed." She looked over at Tayten and Kijorn. "A case like this happened a hundred and thirty six years ago. And again seventy five years ago. It was documented in the New Zealand articles and in the Canadian reports. In both countries permission was granted as long as the teachers volunteered. From what I have heard about the program you are in, you would just need a history teacher and a martial arts master. Along with them, three warriors for protection against whatever backlashes occur from your actions." The dragoness looked uncertain for a moment, glancing at her rider. "Past experience leads me to the conclusion that Osbert and I would love to accompany you on your adventure.
Pride shined from the smile Osbert gave his dragon. "Indeed, we would."
For a moment the crowd barely stirred until a dragon flew over to land beside KaShja. He was rather large with tan scales that had a few hints of red in them, which were accented by blood red spikes that decorated the back of his head and on his shoulder blades. He looked violent, as did the man who slid off him. Though the guy was short, he had a strong build and often showed it off by not wearing a shirt. Everything about him made it clear that the man was a warrior, or in this case a trainer for warriors. His long light brown hair was pulled back into a ponytail and tattoos of weapons and dragons raced down his arms and torso.
"If a second teacher is required, I volunteer." The man smiled and bowed slightly to Tayten. "And I would fill your martial arts necessity as well."
The dragon bent down to look at the young woman, kindness shining in his oddly amber eyes. "Both Cato and I are sympathetic to Kijorn's drive to destroy the traitor." He explained. "As I would assume, or at least hope that most people on this island are. Though, I know that is not true."
Tayten blinked in amazement at what the dragon was telling her. She knew her name was getting around the island, as was Kijorn's, but she never thought she would have people 'sympathetic' to it. It stunned her even more when more people started to step forward, vowing themselves and their dragons to this 'cause'. Before her eyes, Tayten discovered that she had followers. Before her eyes, Taiyls realized that her lover was becoming something greater than even she had seen.
Out of the sky, another dragon came plummeting down, forcing herself to the front of the large group that had pledged itself to going with Tayten. The dragon was Najin and Shae jumped off, stepped forward and wrapped her arms tightly around Tayten, snuggling her head into her shoulder and looking a little annoyed.
"I am coming with you and there is nothing anyone can say to make me think otherwise." Her tone was hard and her grip on her friend even harder.
James stepped forward and gently touched Shae's shoulder, looking a little upset. "But Shae, I have work that I need to do here."
The woman looked at him, her face confused. Behind her, Tayten cringed. She knew that face all too well, it came up when anyone tried to argue with something she had made her mind up for. Tayten watched as a smile was forced onto Shae's face and she grabbed James' hand.
"If you will excuse us for a second." She pointed at her best friend. "Don't leave without me."
Tayten merely waved her hand and looked back at the group that had come to the conclusion that they were going to follow her. Including Shae, Adia, and Taiyls, twenty one people had stepped forward to accompany her on a mission that would take her to unknown destinations. Of those people, she knew very few of them. On the edge of the group, she could see Bertha having a heated discussion with Osbert. When at last the man's dragon entered the conversation again, the woman seemed thoroughly defeated. With a huge smile, Osbert strode over to Tayten and bowed in a traditional monk fashion.
"After a little bit of discussion Bertha has come to the realization there is nothing now that can keep you here and everything in the world that would make you and your loyal partner move forward on this journey."
Just after this sentence, Tayten come to the conclusion that she was going to love having this man be the one responsible for teaching her the ways of the dragon world.
"However, since all this has started a bit of a commotion, the Rulers request that we leave as soon as possible so those of us who are not following you can get back to work without distractions. Everyone who needs anything has already gone back to their stashes to get what they need. As soon as all of us are in the air, we should head out. KaShja knows the way to nice mountain plateau. It does not have an actual checkpoint, but it would be an excellent place for us to group up and figure out where we are going."
Tayten merely blinked at him. It was clear that he was excited for this adventure and she could feel his excitement start to set her blood pumping. "Sounds excellent."
He smiled at her and patted her shoulder. "You are a very brave young woman. If history truly repeats itself, great things will come from you." He said nothing else as he turned on his heel, mounted his dragon, and took off into the air to join the slowly growing group of ready riders.
Moments passed and Shae returned to Tayten's side just as Taiyls approached to wrap an arm around Tayten's waist.
"Well, what happened?" Tayten asked pleasantly ignoring Shae's rather pissed off looking face.
"I broke up with him. He wanted me to stay and just sit around his apartment all day while he did paper work for a few weeks and then he wanted me to take care of his plants while he went on a new mission."
"The bastard." Taiyls drawled. Though she was friends with James, she knew he did not really know what to do with women once he had them. "Are we ready?"
"I believe so." Tayten sighed, looking into the air. The only people missing were herself, Taiyls, Adia, and Shae. "See you all in the air?"
They all said their words of 'later', climbed on their beasts and took off. In the air, Tayten found herself next to Osbert again.
"Hey Osbert!" She called to get his attention. "Where are we going?"
Knowing his voice would not travel, he sent his answer through Saojra, Japan.