The House of Jet

Book 2- The Book of Nyoke

Chapter 2- The Battered Book

Training was not at all what Nyoke expected it to be. He had been here for two weeks already and had spent a surprising amount of time in the library. Now that was not at all a problem for Nyoke, he loved books; he just hadn't had much of an opportunity to indulge in his secret passion. He looked to his left as they sat in their seats listening to the lore master impart his wisdom. The girl Narya was sitting there just to his left, the book that he had seen her reading on that first day sitting in front of her on the table. It was battered and torn, an old book that could only be described as well loved. He had been dyeing to ask her what it was, ever since he had seen her there engrossed in her book. The other recruits were growing restless with all of this book learning. Impatient to get out there and bond with a dragon, to learn by doing, to get to the physical training. But she seemed just as content as he was to learn all that he could about dragons in this room of knowledge.

That was when she caught him looking at her. She glanced to her right and then back at the lore master, then having registered the fact that he was looking at her, she looked back at him and their eyes met. Then something amazing happened, something wonderful, something incredible, she smiled at him, and he smiled back. Then she broke away and directed her attention to their teacher again and he did the same. But it had been enough to sustain him. There had been a connection, there had been a spark of something between them and he could continue listening to the lore master and the wisdom he imparted.

That night Nyoke thought back to that moment and it made him smile again. He couldn't help it, they were different from the other recruits and now they both knew it. He stared up at the ceiling, with the smile still on his face but he couldn't sleep. There was no way he was going to be able to sleep. He glanced around the room at the other recruits he shared a room with. There were three of them in each room, but he knew that as time went on that would change. Not everyone survived the recruitment process. Trying to bond with the wrong dragon would either cripple you mentally or destroy you completely. But he wasn't scared. Patience was one of his virtues, and so he wasn't afraid to wait for the right dragon.

Then he heard it, the noise of one of the other dorm room doors opening. His brow furrowed in confusion as he got up and pried his own door open, just a crack, and peered out. What he saw made him smile again. Narya was creeping down the corridor, he wasn't sure where she was going, but glancing back to check that the others were still asleep, he followed her through the dark corridors. She was quite a way ahead of him as they walked, but he had no problem following her through the darkness, he could make her out quite clearly. Her long dark hair was loose and flowing around her shoulders, it swayed from side to side as she walked, and she had the book clutched to her chest.

Eventually she stopped and he realised what she was up to. They had reached the kitchens; she was after a midnight snack. Following her to the door he stopped on the threshold and just watched her moving about. She seemed to know where everything was and he thought maybe this wasn't her first midnight visit to the kitchen. Surprisingly when he looked closer Nyoke realised that she was preparing two plates of food. Was she meeting someone? Who would she have agreed to meet? But still facing away from him with her head in the pantry, she answered his question. "Are you going to stand there all night Nyoke? Or are you going to join me?" she asked, and when she turned to face him, a bright smile on her face, he lost his breath. So much so in fact, when he moved towards her he stumbled a couple of steps, making her laugh.

Sitting where she indicated with her hand he continued to watch her collect them a feast. "How did you know it was me?" he asked when she finally sat down next to him, placing his plate in front of him and pulling her own towards her. She smiled brightly at him and he couldn't look away. "Who else would follow me to the kitchens, the rest of them wouldn't dare poke a head around the door after lights out" They laughed together and Nyoke started to eat. The battered book sat between them on the table and for the first time he could see the title and it made him smile even more. Dragons through the Ages: A Complete History