From The Darkness
Burdened with what felt like a ton, Argos painstakingly climbed his way to the top of Mount Mogden. He was accompanied by his best friend Trey, leading about twenty-five of the other students to the peak. They had been warned that the School of Dragons was not for the faint of heart and they were reminded of that fact daily. Despite Argos' medium build and athletic physique, the climb was pushing his physical limits. He wondered how his thick friend Amos was handling the journey, and he smiled when he turned around and saw Amos sitting down about one hundred yards behind the group.
"Eh, come on ol' boy!" Argos shouted to Amos. "We haven't even made it half-way!"
Amos flipped him off in reply and struggled slowly to his feet. It was critical that everyone made it to the top of Mogden before sunset, and the sun was quickly fading behind them. The Path of Taren that led them to the summit could not even be considered a path. It had ruts and divots, yards wide, and the group was scaling boulders every three-hundred feet. Argos' concern grew as he realized how long this trip was going to take them.
Trey could sense the worry in his best friend. "We're going to be ok…" Trey told him uncertainty.
Argos and Trey's friendship was an unlikely one. They were the opposite in almost every way, including physically. Argos had thick, dark hair, which he always kept neatly trimmed. His eyes were a golden hazel but when the sun hit them just right, people swore they saw them glowing. Trey, on the other hand, had icy, blue eyes and shoulder length hair that was the color of wheat. His looks had always been a priority to him, so he was well aware of his long hair sticking to his forehead, dampened by sweat. He tried taming his hair down but to no avail. The humidity was merciless so he would always give up.
"Remember when we kicked Krin's ass?"
Trey asked Argos, trying to change the subject.
"We?" Argos responded.
"Ok, well, you did more of the kicking, but I was there for moral support, and I doubt you could have taken him without me." Trey replied.
"Trey, if you had not been hitting on his girlfriend, we would have never been in that situation to begin with, dumbshit. And if I remember correctly, which I do, you weren't even going to thank me for saving your pathetic life."
"That's not true!" Trey argued. "Look, I don't like other people fighting my battles for me. That's all."
"Yeah, well just remember that the next time I save your life," Argos retorted.
Trey let out a long breath and looked at Argos. "We've really been through some shit haven't we, brother?"
"Hell yeah we have," Argos agreed. "But I wouldn't change that for anything," he grinned. "I'm going to go check on those that have fallen behind. Stay up with the rest of the group, and make sure everyone is drinking enough water. If it's not the Togels that will kill us, dehydration will."
Argos turned and started walking back to where the stragglers had fallen behind. Before he could reach them, the beast of a man known as Krin rudely and abruptly interrupted him.
"Getting tired are we Argos?" Krin yelled at Argos.
"Nope! Just checking on the whole group, as a leader should" As Argos smirked and kept on walking to the back of the group. As he expected, Amos was in the very back of the group barely keeping up.
"Come on buddy! We need to make it there before nightfall or we will be in the shit load of trouble" Argos shouted.
"Argos, I feel like my heart is going to explode, I can hardly breath, this pack is killing me" Argos reached over and grabbed his pack and pulled it off of him.
"What are you doing?" asked Amos.
"Saving your sorry ass from dying back here" Argos explained. Without argument, Amos shrugged his shoulders and continued to trot up the hill.
"I don't think so!" yelled Argos. "I'm carrying your pack so you better get your fat ass up with Trey or I will throw your pack down this hill"
"Fuck you" Amos said as he began to pick up his pace and make his way up to the front.
Argos was a well built man and even though one pack alone felt heavier than a ton, he knew he had to help out his friend in order for the whole group to make it to the top. Right behind Amos was Argos, encouraging him to keep on going.
By the time they had caught up with Trey, he had already made it to the top where a small cave could be used as shelter.
"Damn, what took you two so long, I've been…"
"Oh shut up, I carried this fatass' pack as well as mine almost half way up" as Argos interrupted Trey and pointed at Amos.
Most of the group had already made it in the cave and was starting to make fires and cook the food they were given. They were still in the beginning phase of training, and even though they knew how to use their powers; they were forbidden to. Caught using powers would result in being sent to day one of training.
Each student in that school was gifted by God, a special power, most did not even know of the gift until they were between the ages of ten and eleven. Each power was different, some even had the same power; but all the powers meant one thing: They were born to be a dragon rider.
Being a dragon rider was one of the highest honors a single person could have. It meant you were supposed to be a part of a lifestyle sworn to protect the world and all this in it from the evils there in. Your parents did not necessarily pass that honor to you in their genes, it was understood that you were chosen by God to ride dragons. Not all dragon riders were good either, some would rather use their God-given gift as a tool to get what they wanted and become powerful adversaries to the ones sworn to do good. It has been said that each dragon rider will have a point in their life where they will be given a choice, a choice to decide to protect the world, or rather to shape it to your own selfish desires.
Argos stood up and addressed the whole group.
"Ok now that we are all in here, let's find the next set of instructions" Argos announced to the group. Everyone began to search around the cave using what light had. A Small, very easily looked over little man held up his hand and yelled;
"I found it" as he held up a tiny piece of paper he had found wedged between two rocks.
"Give it here" said Argos. The little man by the name of Brin began to walk over to Argos, when Krin pushed him over and grabbed the paper.
"Who put you in charge? Who said you are the only that gets to lead this" Krin glared at Argos.
"Because he is the only one who is acting like a true leader, Krin." a Beautiful dark haired woman named Kya stood up and asserted. She had a dark tone to her skin, with her brown hair, eyes as green as the grass on a bright sunny day. Her body was that of a woman who had been active her whole life and always took great pride in her appearance. Just her presence alone would make most men stare in utter silence of her beauty.
"I didn't see you going back to help Amos when he was in need. You act all tough when it's easy to be a leader, but when it gets hard, you sit back and let Argos struggle, sit down before I make you"
After hearing the attacking words of Kya, Krin was humbled and sat down in utter defeat. Kya grabbed the piece of paper, but Krin wouldn't let go. Without a second thought, she grabbed his empty hand and manipulated it in such a manner that it would break. Krin's face went from anger to sheer pain in a blink of an eye.
"Let it go!" Kya Whispered to Krin. Krin glared at Kya and yet again, was humbled and defeated, he let go.
Kya walked over to Argos, you could hear a pebble drop as every man in that cave watched Kya as she walked through everyone with her chest out and chin up. She had just put down the biggest man there, twice!
"Here you go, leader" Kya stated as she placed the paper in Argos' hand.
Argos unfolded the paper and read it out loud:
"To the top you have made it, as hard as it was, tomorrow will be that much harder. When you wake, not by your choice, you will have choice. Fight to keep your life, or die."
After Argos read those words, it was silent again. The whole group had heard stories of the mountain animals who prey on the unsuspecting, but they never thought they would be in that position. Togels are the mountain beasts that they were all worried about now. They were small creatures, no bigger than a full-grown house cat; alone it was a harmless creature. In packs, however, they were more feared than lions or bears. They were the piranhas of the land. They had sharp claws with lighting speed, and could pounce you before you even knew it was there. Any man could fight off one or even two. This situation, however, was different.
"We need to set up a night watch, two at a time, for one hour," Argos announced.
"Trey and I will take first watch, then Amos and Ben, then Kya and Beth" Argos went on naming the whole group, two by two.
The only weapons they had were what they could create. In the cave was an abundance of sticks and rocks. They all began to make spears and daggers. After each student had some form of protection, they all began to fall asleep. Argos and Trey were just as tired as anyone else there, so they knew they had to talk to stay awake.
"We never finished our talk about your parents" Trey whispered to Argos.
"That's because I can't remember anything about them"
"I just don't understand how your last memory was of waking up in a cave all beat up and bandaged with no recollection of how it happened" Trey said in a puzzling manner.
"I don't know either," Argos replied.
"I'm beginning to have these visions of a disaster, I can't tell what is happening or anything, all I see is destruction, death and fire, lots of fire."
"Well you know, it's said that sometimes God gives us visions of the future so that we can change something for the better," said Trey.
Argos and Trey continued to talk until their time was about up, Trey went over and woke Amos and Ben.
"You're up Buddy" Trey hit Amos on the shoulder.
"Alright" Amos replied as he slowly opened his eyes after having barely any sleep.
After Amos and Ben were up and ready, Argos and Trey fell right asleep. Argos woke to a blood-curdling scream, he grabbed his spear and shot up, like everyone else did in the cave. They all could do nothing but watch in shock as eight Togels were tearing apart Brin, the small man who had found the paper. They all watched except Argos, he jumped in and began to kick and stab the creatures, trying to stop them. They had already torn off one of his legs, one had realized Argos was attacking them and leaped towards Argos. Trey was right there with his spear and had caught the creature flying towards Argos' head. Trey had pierced the Togel's body clean through. Blood had splattered all over the ground from Brin's body as well as the Togels Argos and Trey were killing. Their bravery motivated the others in the group to help. They all began to fight off and kill all the Togels. After a short bloody battle with the mountain creatures, the students had won. But with a casualty, Brin was clinging onto life. Both of his legs had been torn off, you could not tell who he was. His face had been bit and scratched so much. His eyeballs were both hanging from tendons, and his nose was completely bitten off. His torso was ripped open, you could see his intestines, and blood was everywhere. Argos knew he had no chance of living; he knelt down next to Brin.
"We won" Argos whispered to Brin
"We killed all of them!" Trey proclaimed.
Brin was coughing up and blood and whimpering. He was clinging onto Argos' body, hoping he could save him. Brin grabbed his hand as he coughed blood up and began to speak;
"Tell...tell my sister to" Brin let out one last breath, the blood began to spill out of his mouth and run on to the ground. Brin's eyes were still open and staring right into Argos' eyes. Argos reached up and closed his eyes, and sat there for a second then stood up abruptly and asked;
"Who was supposed to be on watch?" as he looked around the room, awaiting an answer.
"Beth and I woke Krin and Chris" said Kya
"Who did you wake up Chris?" asked Argos.
Chris just hung his head in shame, knowing he had fallen asleep, causing the death of Brin. Argos began to storm over to Chris when Kya stood up and put her hand on his chest.
"Enough blood has been spilt, he will answer for this" Kya said softly to Argos.
"Everyone get your packs together; we are heading out." Stated Argos as he glared at Krin and Chris. Krin was silent; he knew he had fucked up.
Everyone began to pack and get ready to move on. Their next destination was a giant river, which was famous for its legendary monster. A two-headed beast with razor sharp teeth. It lived deep in an underwater cave. It used the water the same way the spider uses a web. If you put your toe in the water, this monster will come. He was known as The Sether. It was an easy walk to the river, for the task when they arrive will be challenging. In the middle of this river was a tiny island, no bigger than a small sailboat. On this island, however, was a stone, a stone needed to get back home to the school.
As they marched down the path to the river, suddenly Argos fell to the ground with his eyes tightly closed, yelling in terror and screaming.
"Everyone back!" yelled Trey. "I think he's having enough vision," he muttered to himself.
Two dragons and their riders in a fierce battle, one rider makes the daring move to jump from his dragon to his opponent's dragon in hopes to pierce the heart of the rider, because if you kill the rider, the attached dragon dies as well. But if the other dragon sees him, he can catch him in his mouth and crush him, killing him, as well as his dragon.
Argos vision continues.
The rider who jumped to another dragon is now rocketing through the air, sword drawn, and pointing right at the other rider in black. The rider in black sees the flying rider rocketing towards him. He draws his sword just as the other rider's sword pierces his heart killing him and his dragon instantly. As they plummet to the earth, Argos can see in his vision that both riders are falling, as well as both dragons. He finally gets a glimpse of the two riders with the sun acting as a backboard, he notices that the black rider had pulled his sword as well and pierced the other rider's heart.
"No!" Argos screamed.
Waking him out of the vision. Everyone was now standing around him.
"Are you okay?" Asked Kya
Argos stood up as fast as he could.
"I'm fine!" he declared. "Keep on moving! We're killing daylight!" he ordered.
Trey just stared at Argos. "What the hell was that?"
"Another vision from the future I think, but this time it was a battle between two riders and I felt really emotional when one was killed" Argos Answered.
"Do you think it was you?" again Trey asked.
"No, I could see both of their faces, they looked very familiar but I could not tell you their names." Said Argos.
"You and your crazy ass visions, maybe you'll see a beautiful woman, instead of these whales we got here" said Trey as he laughed and looked back. The first girl he saw was Kya, who was just staring at him for what he just said.
"Oh baby, you know I didn't mean you" he explained.
Beth, who was very large for a woman, not in a fat manner of speaking but very muscular, she had broad shoulders and huge arms, with a deep voice for a woman. She had long hair but it was in a ponytail, and had been ever since anyone can remember.
"You better not be talking about me!" Beth demanded.
"Save me." Trey whispered to Argos.
"You're on your own on this one brother" he said.
Beth gave Trey a death stare.
"If you ever call me a whale again, Togels will be the last of your worries" she said.
"Not a problem!" he quickly replied.
They soon made it to the river, Cantoney River.
"You know they say nobody has ever seen this river and lived to tell." Argos heard someone say from the group.
"Ha! Then how does anyone know where it's at?" Argos laughed as he said, shortly joined by everyone else's laughter.
Unknowing of the consequences of his actions, Chris while in laughter picked up a rock and began to draw his arm back as if to throw it.
"No!" As he dove to tackle Chris to prevent him from throwing a rock into the river; as they both fell to the ground, Chris dropped the rock. Everyone watched in frozen terror as the rock bounced its way down the bank. Finally hitting its mark, breaking the mirror-like reflection of the perfectly still water. The ripples sent a message through the water, as well as a wave of fear consuming all those who stood next to the river.
"What have you done?!" Trey barked as they both stood from the ground.
"Now we are all going to..."
Before he could finish, the water broke, as if a giant bomb had gone off beneath the surface of the water. The Sether had broken through the water and landed no more than one hundred feet away from the group. The Sether cannot be out of the water for more than a few seconds. A few seconds was all it needed to strike fear and hopelessness in the heart of all who beheld it. Standing almost ten feet tall, each leg the size of a full-grown man, four arms just as big as its legs, each with sword-like claws hanging from the fingers. One head was that of a man, dark blue skin with black as night eyes, teeth whiter than pearls and sharper than arrows. The other head was that of something you could only imagine in your darkest of dreams, eyes that were glowing red, teeth also very white and seemed to be even sharper than the man head's teeth. Its whole body was covered in muscles, muscles that helped it move like lightning under the water. Just as quickly as it came, it left, diving back into the water, waiting for the first poor soul to enter.
Each test they were going to be given was going to have a theme, a lesson to teach. The first test was sheer endurance, making it up the never-ending mountain. The second was a test of discipline, staying awake to keep watch no matter how tired you were.
"What was this river beast going to teach us?" Argos thought to himself.
"How are we going to reach that stone with that monster in there?" Trey asked in terror.
"Distraction!" Kya responded.
Kya then began to explain her plan and how she thought it could get done.
"We will need a boat, something that can move swiftly across the water. Only big enough for two people to cross to the middle…"
Argos punched in.
"The others will be on the opposite side of the river making all the noise and as many distractions as they can.
Kya nodded in approval as Argos read her mind.
"Kya and I will cross in the boat" Stated Argos
Argos and Kya then ran around to the other side of the river and began to make a small boat just big enough for them. While the others stayed put and did what they could to fortify their position.
Once both sides were ready, Argos gave the signal to start making noise and again break the surface of the calm water.
The whole group began to scream and yell and throw rocks into the water, making as much noise as they could.
The beast emerged from the deep, this time only sticking out its head as if taunting the humans on the beach. The Sether knew he couldn't fight outside the water, but there was plenty he could do from the water. His head disappeared under the water, at the same time; the group drew silent, waiting to see what would happen next.
A rock shot from the water as if shot from a catapult, striking Chris directly in the forehead. It was too fast to try and block, Chris' body didn't even move. He just stood there, unable to move, unable to comprehend what had just happened. Beth looked over at Chris and could see the forest behind him, through his head. The rock had gone clean through Chris' head. Blood had splattered all over the tree Chris was standing in front of. Chris dropped to his knees, and then slowly leaned forward, hitting the ground, face down, dead.
"Take cover!" Screamed Trey, ordering everyone to get behind something solid. As they all scrambled to find cover, more rocks came bolting through the air from the water, none hitting their lethal marks, but still striking even more fear in all of them.
This was not going at all how they planned.
Argos and Kya could hear the commotion and thought it would be a good time to start their crossing.
They both began to paddle as fast as they could, in hopes to get to the middle quicker. The Sether was already there. It shot up from the water right under the boat, shattering the wood and tossing the two into the water, his territory. Argos opened his eyes under water and made eye contact with the beast. Both were still, both puzzled and trying to figure out what was so odd. The beast recognized Argos, and Argos the beast. Just then Argos had another vision, but this time it was from the view of someone's eyes. In this vision, he could see the beast floating in the water with multiple spears in its back. As his vision continued, Argos noticed the person he was envisioning had bite marks, still bleeding, fresh on his right shoulder from the beast. Argos was motionless, but the beast was not, it was out for revenge.
The Sether darted towards Argos with the intent of biting both sides of his neck and ripping his throat out. Just a few feet before it reached Argos, Kya had impaled the human head of the beast. Argos snapped out of the vision as both Kya and the beast swam into him. Both heads missing their target, one head impaled by a spear from Kya, Argos quickly drew his dagger and shoved it down the throat of the other nightmare of a head. The entire beast was lifeless. Blood flowing from its body, turning the crystal-clear water into a dark murky red color. Argos and Kya both shot to the surface gulping for air.
"Well, that was easier than I thought it was going to be," Kya said in relief.
Argos was still puzzled by his vision and did not hear or acknowledge Kya.
"Hey! You okay?" Kya splashed Argos.
"Oh, yeah yeah I'm fine" Argos said softly.
They both then swam to the center. The stone was just sitting on an altar in the middle of the island. It was a bright orange color and glistened as the sun beat down upon it. Kya reached out and grabbed it and put it in her bag. Their boat was destroyed so they just swam to the bank where the group was waiting. There was no more fear; the beast was still floating there with a weapon still penetrated in both of its heads.
"They got the stone!" proclaimed Beth as she ran in excitement to the water, the rest followed.
"Are you okay?" asked Trey, he could see something was bothering Argos.
The whole group went back to where they had put down their packs and sat down to take in their victorious battle.
Krin had always hated Argos since the beginning, and now he hated him more. Krin didn't have the courage or bravery to act as Argos did, but he still wanted the glory that came along with it. He just sat in hate as the whole group praised Kya and Argos for their victory.
They were near water, so they decided they should probably bath and wash their clothes.
"Ladies first" Argos said after telling everyone the plan of bathing and laundry.
All the guys sat down with their backs to the water, as the women stripped their bodies of their clothes and got in the water. Argos, being the leader, had to keep watch for trouble.
He couldn't help but notice when Kya took her blouse off, how appealing to his eyes, were her breast. Perfectly proportioned to her body, not too big and saggy, but not too small and nonexistent. Her nipples were bite size, making his mouth water with desire. Then she began to slip off her pants, uncovering her ass. She was obviously the kind of woman who cared about herself and took care of her body. Her ass looked so tight and grabbable, something he could grab and hold on to while she rode him. He could not see her front lower nude body, but everything he was seeing was making his blood pump through his torso into his lower body. He immediately tried to hide it, in this attempt he kicked over a rock, causing Kya to look over at him. He knew he had made a loud noise and he looked up. They made eye contact, this time she was facing him, completely nude. The sun was shining off her golden brown skin and making her eyes shine. His heart began to pump as he stared at her in amazement. She did not care one bit; in fact she was enjoying the wonder of his look. She bent down at the waist to pick up her clothes, never once taking her eyes off of him. Argos, however, was looking at her entire body as she bent over, the curves in her back made him want to bend her over a rock and ravish her from behind. Her hair would make a perfect handle to grab on to and pull as he thrust deep inside her. Before he could finish his thought, someone yelled at him.
"Hey! Mind your eyes" yelled Beth as she stood there naked as well.
Argos quickly turned his body to face away from the woman in the water. The women were soon done and put their one other set of clothes on and walked up to their packs.
"Go clean your nasty asses" Beth ordered as she picked up her bag.
Argos stood up and as he walked down to the water, he walked past Kya.
"Tonight" she whispered in his ear as she ran her hand below his waist.
Argos had to wait a minute to take off his clothes, thanks to Kya, so he acted as if he could not untie a knot on his blouse. After his blood settled down and his body returned to normal, he took off his shirt. He almost immediately noticed old barely visible scars on his shoulder, bite marks from a beast.
"Was the vision me?" he thought to himself. "Have I been here before? Who was I before the cave?"
Argos still sat in confusion, staring at the scars on his shoulder, running his hands over them as if to help him remember how he got them. Before he could think too much about it;
"Argos Buddy! Get your ass in the water now!" Screamed Trey.
Argos picked up a small rock, hurling it towards Trey, missing him by just a few inches.
"You little bastard" He said softly as he reached down in the water to grab a rock. Suddenly he could see splashing, like someone was running through the water. In fear that the beast had come back to life, he turned around quickly as if to take on the beast alone, naked and unarmed. To his surprise, there was nothing, but the splashing continued. This time it was behind him, he turned quickly, just in time to see Argos' diving towards him, tackling him into the water.
Just like boys, all the men had forgotten all their worries and life troubles and began to have fun. Splashing each other and acting like total fools. One of the men turned to the women sitting on the beach,
"Hey baby! I know you want this!" he yelled.
Without even looking, Beth responded with;
"I wouldn't touch you if you were the last man on earth!"
All the men laughed at the humbled and embarrassed guy. They all eventually settled down and finished washing their clothes and got dressed.
"What do we do next?" asked Kya to Argos.
"Well I think we will just take the night, and stay here" Argos continued; "In the morning we will press on to the next challenge awaiting us"
Argos also had other intentions apart from spending the night there, with close forest coverage. He had a date with Kya and he didn't want to miss it.
Everyone made camp and built a nice fire to keep away the bitter night cold. They all slept in a circle surrounding the fire. The shadows of the bodies created from the fire made them look like a giant group of beasts. This was known to many to scare off any unwanted visitors.
Trey and Argos were sleeping next to each other.
"Trey, the vision I had when I was with Kya on the other side of the river, I think it was me"
"What do you mean?" asked Trey
"I mean in my vision I could see the beast floating face down with five or six spears in its back" Argos continued;
"I was in pain, I could feel the pain, my shoulder was bit from the beast and I was bleeding profusely" said Argos as he uncovered the scars in his shoulder.
Trey just stared at his shoulder in confusion.
"So, you've been here before? Trey asked.
"You think you would remember something like this." he continued.
"I can look at the school records and find out, but I'm sure if I ever went to this school, I would know. Plus the instructors would've said something when I signed up." Explained Argos
"True true, well I'm going to get some sleep man, long day, good job again!" said Trey.
Argos got up to go to the pee out of the light of the fire. On his return, he noticed Kya was not where she was laying when he got up. When he returned back to his sleeping spot, he noticed a note;
"Follow the woods pointing from my pack" it read.
"Easy enough" he thought to himself.
He let out a fast exhale and mumbled to himself;
"Let's do this"
Argos walked into the forest and after a few minutes came to a natural canopy made of hanging trees and leaves. He parted the branches and walked in.
The moonlight shining through the million different gaps on the roof of the canopy, created a moonlight maze. The ground was covered in a thick, soft to the feet moss. The canopy itself created a sort of shelter, trapping the heat built up through the day from the sun; creating a thin cloud of mist. He could see the fire flies buzzing around creating a moving candle-light show, which he thought would be romantic, adding to the date. He could see her on the opposite side of the canopy sitting up against a tree. The moonlight was reflecting off her golden brown skin, which turned it into a dark blue shade, adding a little dark mystery to her. His heart was speeding, all he could think about is what he will be doing in a few moments. Their two bodies entangled, rolling around, pleasuring each other in every way imaginable.
The closer he got, the more excitement built up, until he got about two feet away, his heart stopped, his body froze. He wanted to scream, he wanted to cry out in anger. The feeling he had no more than ten seconds ago felt non-existent.
The Kya he knew was not the Kya sitting down in front of him. Her eyes were wide open, her mouth was hanging, and the marks around her neck sent a death-like chill through his frozen body. He could see the finger imprints on her neck where someone had squeezed the life out of her.
As Argos stood there in shock, his eyes glazed over, staring at this dead beauty, a figure stood in the darkness, just beyond the sight of Argos. A smile slowly formed on this dark mysterious face, heart cold as ice, and hands still tense from drowning the life away from the poor undeserving woman. Claw marks fresh on his shoulders from her hopeless fight. She was no match for his physical strength.
No more than two minutes ago, she was full of life, full of fight, as he came upon her. Thinking it was Argos, her guard was down, he grabbed her around then neck and threw her down, slamming her into the softness of the moss, making it a silent kill. He was squeezing so tight; she could not make a sound.
The longer Argos stood there; the more fury and anger ran through his veins. His fists began to clinch; he knew there was only one man in the group capable of doing something so evil to someone so beautiful and innocent.
He took off his shirt and covered what he could of her; he reached up and gently ran his fingers down her eyes, closing her eyelids. He began to cry, not only because she was about to give him a night to remember, but also because earlier than day, she had saved his life from the beast.
He scooped one hand under the back of her shoulders and the other under both her knees, when he stood up, her head hung lifeless and cold. He began to walk back to the camp, what was only a five-minute walk, felt like an eternity.
"She was going to be a great rider," he said out loud.
He began to cry harder and harder as he walked on.
As soon as he got back to camp, he glanced around and everyone, including his suspect, were all lying down, asleep. He gently put her down on her spot next to the fire.
"Wake up!" Argos screamed out in anger.
Some woke up quickly, some a little slower, some not at all.
"I said get the fuck up!" he ordered in a louder more threatening voice.
Beth had already noticed Kya's lifeless body lying at Argos' feet, she gasped and embraced her, immediately followed by tears.
Everyone's faces were in shock and disbelief, all but two; Argos and Krin. Argos was staring at Krin dead in the eyes, Krin was staring right back. Not a verbal word was said between them. Trey looked up at Argos, saw his eyes, then looked over at Krin. Trey put two and two together, and stood up just in time to grab Argos as he started his single purpose walk to Krin.
"He will answer for this" Trey said in Argos' ear
"You do this now and you will be charged with murder, not him" Trey continued, "there are too many witnesses here".
Without moving his head, Argos looked at Trey, then back at Krin and let out a long sigh;
"I will strangle the fucking life out of you with my bear hands" Argos promised as he slowly looked back into Krin's eyes.
Argos said it loud enough that everyone there heard him, including Beth, who stood up.
"You?" she said in anger as she pointed at Krin.
She drew her dagger and very intently sped walk over to where Krin was standing. She held the knife to his throat and grit her teeth.
"I should fucking cut your throat right now" she told him.
Krin was stone cold, his eyes showed no weakness, his mouth was flat, no smile no grin, he looked as if he had no emotion. His heart was at a steady beat, if he had killed her, it would not have been his first; he was a cold-blooded killer.
He knew he was the only murderer there, he was counting on that; he knew Argos and his all-knowing leadership wouldn't let anyone kill him.
Despite the anger and rage Argos was feeling towards Krin, he knew Trey was right; Krin will get his, just not yet.
Beth was still standing there with her dagger to his throat.
"Beth, Trey is right, everyone needs to calm down" Said Argos.
"Are we just going to ignore the fact that this fuck just murdered one of us in cold blood? How do we know he won't kill any more of us while we sleep?" Beth said, demanding an answer.
"You're right, tie him up" ordered Argos.
Krin didn't resist one bit.
Beth grabbed some rope and tied his arms and legs together.
"I hope that's not too tight" she said sarcastically as she synched a knot on his wrists. All he did was smile back at her, which made her blood boil more than it already was.
Everyone eventually fell back asleep, except for Argos. He was wide-awake hoping that Krin would try something so he could be in the right by strangling the life out of that heartless being.
Argos eventually fell asleep.
Argos woke in the morning when a foul had dropped a note on him. He opened it and read it to himself;
"One more test. Take the path you are on to the castle at the end, inside you will find the end of your journey"
"Seems simple enough" he thought to himself.
After everything they have already done, this last task seemed too easy.
Argos dreadingly looked over and saw Kya's body, lifeless and her killer happily breathing and alive, he felt all the anger come back to him again.
He walked over to Krin's body and kicked him in the stomach;
"Everyone up!" he yelled.
Krin let out a breath of air as Argos' foot struck him, he tried to rise to his feet, but the rope hindered him so he just laid there, helpless.
"I got this" Beth said as she walked over to him and grabbed his neck with one arm.
She sprang him up and bent over and cut the rope binding his feet.
Once they were all ready, Argos used what clothes he could spare as well as others in the group and tried his best to wrap up Kya. He found the stone they had won from the river and put it in his pack. After they had wrapped her, they gave her a funeral fit for a king, fire. They burned her body and as the smoke billowed, Argos, without led on down the path.
They walked about two miles, not one word was said. Everyone was still trying to comprehend what had just happened the night prior.
They reached the top of a small hill that the path went over, at the top; they could see the castle just a short distance away.
"Is that where we need to go?" asked Trey.
"Yup" replied Argos.
The castle was a very old castle, it had broken down towers all around it, and the roof of the main keep had holes in it. The main gate had been closed but was bashed open by something much bigger than a human, letting anyone free rein throughout the castle. There was a mote that went around the entire castle but was completely dried up and looked like it hadn't had a drop of water in years.
"What do you think we will find in there?" asked Beth.
"A way home I hope." answered Trey.
They were not just on a journey miles from home, they were sent to another world by the leader of the school, Lord Manek.
Manek was a tall older man; he still had all of his dark brown hair. He walked very upright and with a proud look. None of the students knew much about him besides that he was one of the great riders of old. He was known to have stopped The Great Leader of Darkness, known as Lord Bate. It has been said that they were in a fierce battle, high above the land, fighting over who would rule the land.
Lord Manek was fighting for the people, and his opponent, Lord Bate was fighting out of pure selfishness. He wanted to kill the only man and dragon standing between him and the throne. Without Manek to protect the throne, Bate would have taken it and spread his evil rule through the land. Both Manek and Bate had the power of telekinesis. This is considered the greatest of all powers. It was unknown to anyone living besides Manek himself what exactly happened in the battle, all that is known is both riders went high into the heavens and only one rider came flying back down. The other rider and his dragon rocketed into the ground, and as it hit, Manek had gotten back on his dragon and flew over to the corpse and burnt the remains.
At the start of every class, Lord Manek uses the green stone, the same stone recovered from the island, to send that class to a new world to begin their training. In this new world, they will go through many trials testing them in all ways.
The group searched all over the castle looking for a clue. They searched from the tallest point to the dungeons deep underneath. Eventually they got to the chambers where the king of the castle would stay.
Argos was the one who discovered this room; he went straight to this room, as if he knew where he had to go. Something about this castle felt all too familiar to him.
He remembered back to his vision at the river, where he had the fresh wounds. Then later when he found those same scars in the same spot. He couldn't help but question if he had been there before; but he knew there was no reason for anyone ever to go through the school twice.
"Find anything interesting?" asked Trey as he walked into the room scanning everywhere.
"Not really, no." Argos paused.
"But I feel like this is the room we should be looking for the answer in" he stated.
"Go round up the others and tell them all to meet in here" Argos told Trey.
Trey slowly turned around as his eyes continued to look around the room. Argos continued to search the room, looking for any clues to help him figure out that room.
He was sitting at the king's desk, which was pretty much empty, except for one little statue in the middle. It was a statue of a dragon laying down, looking asleep. He was running his hands all over the peaceful looking dragon, searching for a button, or anything.
As he ran his fingers along the spine, where there were a bunch of spikes, one of the spikes seemed to be loose, so he wiggled it, something happened.
Just then all the others came running in, but as soon as they entered, they were stopped in their tracks at the amazement of what their eyes were beholding.
The dragon Argos was investigating had come to life; it was standing on its legs walking around on the desk. Everyone just stood there staring at it, but it didn't seem to care. It was walking around in search of something.
"What is it looking for?" asked Beth, the one still holding Krin in restraints.
The dragon started to breath a little fire onto the desk, and immediately Argos jumped back and prepared himself to fight. He thought the dragon was a test waiting to be put down.
As the dragon blew fire onto the desk, writing began to appear on it, but it was in a language that nobody there could possibly know. As the writing continued to appear, an image of a rock came into view. The dragon stood back and let everyone observe the writing; nobody knew what they were looking at. As Argos stared at it, the only thing he could think of was the stone they got from the river. He reached in his pocket and pulled it out.
As soon as the stone was in the dragon's line of sight, he locked eyes on it and moved as it moved. Argos noticed that and began to slowly move the rock from side to side, the dragon's head and eyes followed.
Argos slowly moved the stone closer and closer to the little dragon. The dragon stood up and its back feet and snatched it quickly out of Argos' hands once he got close enough. As the dragon held on to the stone, he began to shine brighter and brighter, then all of a sudden sent a flash of bright light through the whole room as if the sun had just been created. Everyone looked away and shielded their eyes.
Argos was the first to open his eyes and look back at the dragon and stone; this time there was no dragon, just a mirror in a well-crafted frame standing seven feet tall next to the desk.
Trey walked forward out of curiosity and gently touched the mirror; it began to ripple like he had just tapped his finger in a pond. The ripples went through the mirror and then quickly went back to normal.
Argos very confidently stated;
"This is the way back to our world"
"Are you sure?" Trey asked with a worried looked on his face.
"There's only one way to find out," Argos said as he began to walk into the mirror.
Trey stuck out his hand,
"No let me do it, you've put your life at risk enough these last few days. "
Argos nodded his head and backed up.
Trey reached out and poked the mirror again just to see the ripples move. Once the ripples settled, he put his hand barely touching the mirror, looked over at Argos;
"Here goes nothing" He stated.
He looked back at the glass and put his whole hand through the glass, followed by his arm and soon his whole body. As his body went though, even bigger ripples appeared, but as soon as he went through, the ripples disappeared.
"Let's go, one at a time" Argos ordered.
One by one, everyone went through, and almost everyone did the same thing Trey did. Then it was Beth and Krin's turn.
Beth walked Krin up to the mirror, all of a sudden; he lifted his foot back, kicking her in the stomach. Beth bent over and gasped for air. Argos quickly darted towards Krin, but Krin was expecting that and head butted Argos, causing him to fall back. Krin ran around behind Beth, grabbing her dagger and kicking her through the mirror headfirst.
He then turned to Argos who was standing up and drawing his dagger.
"Now's your chance leader," Krin instigated.
"Lets see who would've won" he continued.
Krin raised his armed hand and swung at Argos in a horizontal line towards his neck, Argos quickly dodged by leaning back.
As he leaned back he slid the sharp side of his dagger across Krin forearm, splitting the skin and instantly spraying blood on the wall next to them.
It didn't seem to stun Krin because he returned his other hand with a hook across Argos' face, knocking him onto the ground. Krin stood back up and looked down at Argos and a small smile arose. The same smile as he watched Argos earlier discover the dead body of Kya.
He placed one hand on Argos' head and raised the other with the knife and in one fast movement brought it down like a hammer. Just an arm hair's length away from penetrating Argos' skull, he pulled back his head and reached up with his hand and caught the knife. Krin just froze in shock; he thought this was the end. Before he could gain back his senses, Argos jammed a knife in Krin's thigh, then let go of the knife and delivered an uppercut to Krin's jaw.
Krin was stunned and limping backwards, Argos stood tall and walked towards Krin, then lifted his strong side leg and sprung it forward into Krin's gut, kicking him through the mirror portal.
Argos popped his neck to both sides, and took one step into the mirror, as his face went through the mirror, it was like walking through a doorway. Once his whole body got through;
"Argos!" screamed Trey.
Krin had come through just second before, but was waiting for Argos, he was behind the mirror and when Argos came through, he grabbed Argos around the neck with one arm and jabbed a dagger into Argos' stomach and twisted it.
Argos' eyes opened wide as the cold jagged metal entered his body and grabbed the dagger with both hands. Krin let go of Argos and stepped back as two guards rushed into the room and grabbed him. Krin again, had that same smile as he watched Argos fall to his knees.
Argos looked down and started to fall forward. Hitting the ground would cause the dagger to go deep into his body, lessening the chances of him living through this. Right before he hit the ground, Trey came sliding over and caught him just inches before the ground.
"I got you man!" he said.
Argos didn't say one word; he just kept his hands around the dagger handle, and then ripped it out. More blood began to run. Beth quickly ripped off a part of her pants and stuffed it into the wound and pressed hard against it. Argos let out a painful moan and looked up at Trey, his eyes slowly began to shut.
"Stay with me Argos!" Trey said gently to him.
Argos' eyes slowly shut and into the darkness he fell.
Three days have gone by since Krin had made an attempt on Argos' life. He was still in critical condition, clinging onto life.
Argos had a life threatening fever that was making him delirious and made him yell things in his sleep.
"No!" He screamed, followed by, "Kya!"
Trey has been by his side since day one, helping change his bandage and doing his best to keep him healthy. Trey wasn't there when Kya was murdered but he knew how much Argos favored her. Argos and Kya's friendship had gone back before they were sent to the new world. They had always been sweet on each other and anyone could see their infatuation between them.
As Trey reminisced about his friend's love life, Beth walked in, other students had come in to visit Argos, but among all of them, Beth seemed to visit the most.
"Do you even train anymore?" asked Beth.
"Manek has given me a little leniency to come visit him" answered Trey.
"Gotcha. How is he? Anything new?" continued Beth.
"Not really no, his fever is still pretty high but he seems to refuse to die so hopefully he comes out soon to testify against Krin."
"Well Manek told me to come get you and do a little training, so get your ass up and let's go" ordered Beth.
Trey and Beth both left the room and headed towards the training arena. Dragon riders need to be efficient in many different kinds of fighting. After all, they can not always depend on their dragon. They have been at this school for months and not even seen a dragon yet, besides the one on that king's desk.
The world they lived in was that of humans, and nightmares. Endless amounts of many different types of creatures that could kill any man at any time. If you weren't constantly on guard outside of a castle or fort, your life could easily be smothered out. To be a successful dragon rider, you had to have all the skills to survive on your own.
At the school they were at, you were constantly in training, bettering yourself to be prepared, not only for the dangers in the wild, but for the other people who lived only for themselves.
Trey and Beth made their way into chamber to begin their sword training
"So, how good are you with this?" Trey asked as he picked up a sword.
Laughing, Beth responded;
"I could beat you down with one strike"
Both Trey and Beth armed themselves with a sword and shield and headed into the arena. Trey, as a man, was much smaller than Beth who towered above the average man. Trey began the duel by swinging at Beth, she quickly raised her shield and blocked the sword, causing Trey's sword to vibrate off, causing him to stumble. Beth took advantage of that and drove forward, slamming her shield into Trey's chest, throwing him into the ground. Trey closed his eyes and almost lost his breath as he hit the ground. When he opened his eyes, all he could see was the tip of Beth's sword two inches from his face. Beth had a huge smile on her face and jokingly said;
"I didn't even have to swing at you"
Just then, the movement and sound of guards caught both of their eyes as they glanced over and saw Krin, through a window, in shackles being escorted to where they assumed jail. Beth held out her hand and helped Trey up.
"Can you believe what the judges are saying?" asked Beth.
"Yeah they are saying that without witnesses, they can not prove Krin attacked Argos."
Without hard evidence of the event, the judges say nothing can be proven. With Argos still in the life threatening state, all they can assume is that Krin acted in self-defense.
After discussing for a moment, Trey and Beth continued sparing with each other. A blind person could tell Beth was the better swordsman, because of the mere fact that the whole arena echoed with swear words and grunts from Trey. They trained until dusk and thought that was good for the day. They left and put their shields and swords back and went to go check on Argos. When they arrived in the room he was in, they were shocked at what they saw. Argos was sitting up with a doctor attending him.
"Holy shit! You're alive!?" yelled Trey as he tilted his head with a big grin.
"Glad to hear you had confidence in me" grunted Argos as he held up his arms in pain while the doctor wrapped a bandage around his stomach.
"Okay, nothing physical for a while, you need time to heal. Your bandage needs to be changed twice a day, and sometimes more if you bleed a lot. I'm sure your friends here would love to help you out with that" the doctor said as he glanced over and Trey and Beth.
Both of them quickly responded with;
"Oh we aren't his friends"
"What was your name? Agnis?" joked Trey.
"Very funny guys" Argos painfully said.
"Any update on that bastard Krin?" asked Argos.
"We saw him earlier being taken by guards somewhere" answered Trey. "They are saying without eye witnesses, neither of you can prove what happened.
"But you saw Krin stab me! That makes you a witness!" Argos snapped back.
"Calm down, calm down" the doctor said as he put his hand on Argos' shoulder. "We will figure this out, but Argos is right, if you saw him stab Argos, then that's enough to put him away"
Walking down the halls with shackles around his wrists, all Krin could think about was that he hoped Argos dies. Krin hated Argos so much, he always wanted to be the leader and do things his way but Argos was always there to oppose him and everyone seemed to like him more.
The guards had taken him to a cell where he was to stay in confinement until Argos was healthy enough and both of them would stand trial to what had happened. He knew what happened and that he was guilty and the only way for him to get out of this alive was to lie. He planned on saying Argos attacked him when they were alone before the mirror, and he only stabbed Argos when they got back because he was fearful for his life. He was sure Argos would slit his throat in the night. As Krin layed there, devising the fool proof plan, he heard the faint slash of a knife against the flesh, once he focused on it, he could hear blood hitting the ground, but no loud thuds of a body, He quickly stood up, ready to fight, maybe he was right about Argos coming back to finish him off in his bed. Just then, he saw a hooded figure walk out of the shadows and into the light that his cell lamp produced.
"Who the hell are you?" Argos fearfully asked.
The unknown person did not say a word, he just reached up with his hand and unlocked the cell and opened it, waiting for Krin to exit. Krin slowly walked forward until he was out of the cell.
"Are you here to kill me?" asked Krin.
Again, no answer, but all of a sudden, a giant arm came around Krin's neck, he could feel by the arm that he was being choked by a much larger person behind him. Krin still fought with all his might, but to no avail. All Krin could see was the mysterious hooded person standing in front of him as someone behind him had him in a headlock, choking the life out of him. Everything started to fade out, what little light shown from the lamp started to dim until all went dark. Krin's arms then fell, hanging around his body. The two men who were there picked up Krin's unconscious body and carried him back into the shadows from hence the came.
When Krin woke up, he was in a small room, no bigger than the cell he was in before, but this room was different, it had no bars. Krin sat up in the surprisingly comfortable bed he was lying in and looked around the room. There wasn't much in the room, just a bed, and a small desk which was topped with various types of food and drinks. Krin was starving, he quickly got up and went over to the desk and began to indulge himself as fast as he could, he hadn't had anything to eat since he went through the mirror. As he stood there eating, he heard the door open and a man entered.
"Sorry about your escape, we did not want you risking the chances of getting caught" apologised the man.
"Are you going to tell me who you are and where I am?" asked Krin in a frustrated manner.
"You are in a much better place than where you were, here you can do whatever you want" answered the man. "And I am Silard, I am what you would call, the leader of this free place" he continued.
"Silard? You're The Darkness leader! I should kill you!" said Krin as he grabbed a knife from the table and lunged towards the man.
Silard didn't flinch, he just stood there as Krin launched towards him. Krin's body suddenly froze in place and he could not move. Krin's eyes just got really wide as he realised he was being held by a power that he could not overcome.
"I understand you're feeling towards me, but I assure you, I am not your enemy, I am rather your ally" explained Silard.
"You are here because this is where you belong, this is where you are meant to be, this is where you were born" he continued.
Krin's eyes squinted a little bit in confusion, Silard, the leader of The Darkness had just told him he was born there. How can that be, he had always thought his parents were his real parents, he had no reason to think otherwise. The telekinetic powered leader slowly pulled the knife out of Krin's hand and placed it back on the table just by thinking it, then glided Krin through the air and sat him down on the bed.
"H...how do you know this?" asked Krin.
"Because I tried to stop the man who stole you as a baby from your father, your real father" answered SIlard.
"You know my real father? Where is he?" asked Krin with excitement.
"Yes I knew him, he was a great rider and very few had any chance going up against him, but eventually one day, he was killed." explained Silard.
Silard goes on to explain that Krin's father was killed by another dragon rider, the battle took place high above the ground, it was a fierce battle, both dragons had been bitten and sliced up by the other. Both riders were injured but kept on fighting. The rider who killed Krin's father controlled fire so he was able to block any fire breath from a dragon. Krin's father could control water so he was able to counter any amount of fire with water, leaving him unburnt. Both of the riders knew the best way to kill the other was to do the daring move of jumping from their own dragon and piercing the heart of their opponent.
"The rider that killed your father jumped from his dragon and stabbed your father in the heart, but your father was able to stab the other rider in the heart as well." Silard explained.
Krin sat there in confusion. This was a lot of new information given to him all at once, on top of being kidnapped by the Darkness leader.
"I had hoped one day I would get you back so that we can one day exact vengeance on the person that killed your father." said Silard.
"Vengeance?" Krin said in confusion, "I thought you said both riders were killed"
"They were, but the man who killed your father was resurrected somehow and brought back to life, in fact, you know him." said Silard.
"Who?" said Krin angrily.
"You know him as... Argos." stated Silard.
Argos, Trey, and Beth had just found out about Krin's Escape. They heard guards yelling and running around looking for Krin, thinking he had just escaped and was still in the castle grounds. Little did they all know, he was long gone, in a completely different land. It was the next morning, the multiple guard's bodies that had been slain were cold and started to smell, which in the end, is what alerted a nearby guard that something was wrong. They had found evidence that someone had helped him escape, he couldn't have done it by himself, because of that; everyone was on high alert and pointing fingers.
Argos and Trey were eating lunch together, taking a break from the day's training. Both of them making jokes about the vanishing of Krin.
"I bet it was you," said Trey laughingly. "You broke him out, killed him, and hid the body."
"Yeah, thoughts like that are exactly why I'm at the top of the suspect list." replied Argos.
"I just don't understand how he had help, nobody around here likes him" questioned Argos.
Just then, Beth walked in from training, asking what they were eating, and then in disappointment, going over to get food for herself.
"Whoever broke Krin out was not only saving him from the trial, but also saving him from this garbage we have to eat" said Beth in disgust.
Argos suddenly started shaking, fell to the ground, eyes white as snow, and foaming from the mouth.
It was the same vision he had been having; two dragons and their riders fighting high above the heavens, this time there were more details. One of the riders was constantly casting water from his hands, he could produce water from his hands, and in doing so he was blocking every attack of fire that was thrown at him by his opponent. The other rider's dragon was constantly bellowing hellish flames at the water-controlling rider but to no avail. The rider of that dragon was summoning fire from his hands, like fire balls, throwing them at the other. Much like the other visions he had, but in this one, it was like he was seeing the fight up close, but not from the eyes of the rider. He could see the fire-controlling rider's face.
All of a sudden, Argos snapped out of it and sat up really quick like nothing had happened. Eyes wide, confused, but certain, looked at Trey and said;
A few days had gone by since Argos had his last vision. He didn't understand why his face was on the rider, he's not even out of the school yet, and hasn't once tried to ride a dragon, let alone shoot fireballs out of his hands. He could control fire, but starting a little campfire was the extent of his abilities. He's heard of great riders who could control an element completely and summon unlimited amounts of it but he was nowhere near that level yet. But soon he will learn more about his powers and how to ride a dragon.
Argos was still laying in bed thinking about all of this, but he knew he had to focus on being the best he can be, after all, Beth and Trey were counting on him to be a leader, everyone who knew him, knew he was meant to be great. Argos got out of bed and put on his clothes, today was the day they got their dragon eggs. They were given eggs because the first person a dragon sees when it breaks out of the egg, is the person it stays with until it dies. A ceremony is done to mentally connect the dragon and its future rider, the connection is vital for the rider to successfully ride them.
Argos met with Trey on his way down to the pit where they would receive their dragon eggs, it was a special event that all students had to attend. They met Beth once they got there, all the students stood in a giant circle and waited for it to begin.
Lord Manek walked in from a side entrance, only the students on the opposite side of the circle could see him, but the students with their back to him could see them straighten up so they did the same.
"All of you have been waiting your whole lives for this moment, receiving your dragon egg. This is the most important event you will partake in while at this school. You and your dragon will be one, without your dragon, you will feel empty until the day you die. Without you, your dragon will die, it feeds off your life and as you grow stronger and more powerful, it too grows stronger and more deadly. Each of you will choose an egg"
A strong gust of wind overtook all the students, making most of them stumble to the ground, but all of the student's attention immediately went to the sky. A giant magnificent dragon was hovering above them, the sun reflected off of its scales, some missing from previous battles, but still shiny as gold in the sunlight. Each flap of the dragon's wings sent a staggering blow to everyone but Lord Manek himself, he held his ground. In the dragon's talons, he was holding a giant cart full of dragon eggs, each egg no bigger than a new born baby. Each egg had many rows of scales, protecting the baby inside, shiney like the adult dragon's scales but without blemish. As the dragon descended with the cart, the students all backed up, some taking cover, others just getting out of the way. Once the cart had touched down, the dragon released it from its grip and flew off. As the dragon ascended, he had to flap his wings even harder to go higher, this action sent everyone in the pit to their knees.
"Fuck damn that was intense" said Beth as she got back to her feet.
"For a future dragon rider, you looked pretty scared there for a second" Trey said jokingly.
Beth just rasied her fist and Trey flinched and ducked for his life.
"That's what I thought" said Beth under her breath.
"Focus!" yelled Lord Manek.
Everyone quickly remade the circle they had before the dragon arrived.
"One at a time, each of you will pick an egg. You may think this is random but fate has proven time and time again that each rider always chooses the dragon they are destined to ride." Explained Lord Manek.
"You first" said Lord Manek as he pointed at the student nearest him.
The first student who was chosen was Boyt. Boyt was a quiet but strong student, he was smart and skilled in all aspects so far, not the best at anything but always put up a good competition. He towered over all the other students, at six-foot, nine inches, he had a great advantage over any student in hand to hand combat. He had super strength, making Beth one of the only students who could stand up to him in a fight. At that point, it came down to who was more skilled in whatever they were fighting with.
Boyt walked over to the cart and began to look around at the eggs, looking for the one that he wanted. He didn't know what he was looking for, but he knew he would know when he found it. A bright green egg with black edging stood out to him, afterall green was his favorite color. He picked it up, not knowing the weight of it, but once he picked it up;
"It's lighter than you think it would be." he said out loud as he walked back to the circle.
One by one, each student went forward, picking out their egg, there were fifteen students and fifteen eggs. Argos was standing on the right side of Boyt, opposite of where the circle began, making him the last student to pick out. Each egg that was chosen, Argos thought to himself that he wouldn't have chosen that one, or that one, it looked weak, it looked slow, nothing caught his eye. Once one of the students picked out an egg, the egg behind the one immediately stood out to Argos, it was a fiery red egg. The scales on the egg represented what the dragons scales would look like. This one had bright and dark red scales with little black ones scattered in what looked like a perfect pattern. His favorite color wasn't red but he knew he controlled fire, so this one was perfect. As the rest of the students took hold of their egg, Argos locked eyes on that egg, and nobody else chose it, so when it came to his turn, it was there waiting. After each student had fatefully chosen each egg, Lord Manek continued;
"Now that each of you have your dragon egg, you will all be sent back to your rooms, you will make a fire with the special wood that will be provided to you that will burn all night long. You will place the egg directly on the fire. When you wake in the morning, the dragon will be ready to come out. At that time, you each will break the egg open and you and your dragon will meet for the first time. We will meet back here at dawn tomorrow for the ceremony. Each student went back to their rooms and to the directions of Lord Manek, lit a fire with the wood provided and placed their egg on it.
After Argos had done this, he laid down in his bed and couldn't help but think about the last vision he had. He remembered back to the Sether, and how when he made eye contact with it, it was like they remembered each other. The scars on his body, the visions, the familiar actions of the dragon egg all seemed too much to be a coincidence. There must be something that someone isn't telling him. Argos began to question everything he was, trying to think back before dragon rider's school, he couldn't remember much. If that was him fighting in the sky, then how is he alive? How is he not an old man? So many questions rushed through his mind, with no answers.
Argos didn't sleep that much that night, morning came quicker than he realised. The time came for him to break open the egg. With the wood he was given, a small hammer came with it. He used that to gently tap on the egg, after a few taps, he heard something tapping back. The egg had not cracked from the hammer, so he hit it a little harder, making it crack like a spider web around where he hit. He hit it once more and the tip of the hammer went through, he pulled it out, and as he pulled it out, a tiny baby dragon head appeared. They locked eyes and just stared at each other for what felt like, an eternity. He reached up with both of his hands and started to break the rest of the egg apart, the baby dragon didn't break eye contact the whole time. Once the whole was big enough for the dragon to fit through, it came hurling at Argos, knocking him back. The small dragon landed on his chest and just glared into Argos' eyes. Argos stood up, setting the dragon on the ground, but it jumped up to his thigh and climbed up to his neck. His tiny little talons scratching and tearing everything he touched on the way up. Once he got up there, the dragon wrapped his head around Argos' neck and just laid there.
"You're just a little guy" said Argos as he petted the dragon's head.
The room's only light was from the fireplace, but from that, the dragon's scales were checker-patterned red and black. Each scale was perfect and shiney like a newly made piece of gold. He had two arms and two legs, each leg had three, very sharp talons, and each hand had five fingers like a human hand but had talons on the ends. The dragon body was no more than a foot long, his tail however was twice the length of his body, coming to a point at the end, looking just like the tip of an arrow head. The scales covering every part of his body, protecting him from almost anything. He had tiny little spikes on his back, which would grow to be a very intimidating part of him.
Argos set the dragon on his bed and turned around to get clothes on for the ceremony but that dragon has leaped over back to him. Argos knew this was going to be difficult, eventually with the dragon around his shoulders, he was able to get ready, and left his room for the pit.
Walking to the pit, he came across Beth, her dragon was a little bigger than his, his body features looked the same, just more muscular and a tad bit taller. Maybe that made sense, Beth was taller and more muscular so it only made sense her dragon reflected the same.
After seeing Argos with his dragon, Beth immediately commented on how much smaller his dragon was to hers. Noticing Trey walking up from the other side of Argos, Beth jokingly said;
"Maybe you should just feed Trey to your dragon"
"Oh ha ha very funny, mine dragon would eat your dragon" replied Trey.
Trey's dragon was a bright green color, its scales were as bright as the grass in the middle of a hot summer day. Again, the features of the dragon were the same as Argos' and Beth's dragon, but its overall size was about the same as Argos. Argos began to think that maybe the dragon they were each destined to be with simulated something about themselves.
When they made it down to the pit, a few students were already there but Lord Manek had been there waiting for everyone to show up so he could begin the ceremony. A few other students trickled in from different doorways to the pit, before long all fifteen students were there.
"I see all of you have been acquainted with your dragon, and all dragons look healthy and no deformities" Manek said as he walked around the circle observing each dragon"
In some rare cases, a dragon will be cursed with only one wing, no tail, or even just a shorter appendage, condemning it to the ground, unable to take flight. In these cases, that dragon and his rider were only a glorified cavalry. Manek had only seen that happen once in his lifetime, so he wasn't really worried about it, just something to look out for.
"Now, all of you have chosen a dragon, and in a few moments you will see that fate brought you two together." continued Manek.
Manek raised his hand and looked to the doorway to his right and in came fifteen servants, all carrying crystal clear gems, that had been blessed by the gods of old. Nobody living today had seen the beginning of these gems but the legend says that in the beginning of time, the gods blessed these gems for one purpose and one purpose only; to establish the connection between human and beast.
Each gem was wrapped in a very nice looking leather wrap, it was only meant to be touched by the man and beast it was connecting. Each student was given one and told to stand by for everyone to be ready. Once everyone had a gym in their hands. Manek told each of them to unwrap it and place it in the dragon's hand. Each student did so, and once contact was made between the rider, dragon, and gem, their eyes went white.
What felt like a few hours had only been a few seconds, each student and dragon snapped back into reality.
"A very simple, yet permanent connection that connects your thoughts to your dragon and vise versa" Manek stated once everyone was back to normal.
"Now each of you needs to think of your dragon flying above your head" Manek continued.
As each student thought about it, their dragon began to fly above their heads, sending light gusts of winds down upon them. Some dragons like Beth's dragon who were a little bigger sent more wind down but nothing compared to the adult dragon the day before.