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Shadow's Rising Chapter 12 (part 1)

by dragonight9

Chapter 12


The dragonets fell back, wings flapping in surprise. For a moment they simply sat there stunned but Hailstorm quickly launched into a flurry of questions.

“How can a human raise a dragon?! I thought they were tiny squishy creatures that use their numbers and sharp metal sticks to kill dragons who get too close to their nests. Did the human ever try to eat you? Did he ever peel off your scales and wear them? Did he-”

“Wait, wait, wait! Jarid is nothing like that. Just give me a second and I’ll explain.”

Shadow winced, raising one talon to stem the flow of questions while the other clutched his head as the dragonet’s minds raced with questions. Their thoughts were so loud and numerous he could barely think strait.

Slowly their thoughts calmed down as they waited for his explanation. Shadow took a breath and steadied himself.

“Jarid is a human from a town just outside the forest. Ever since he was young he loved exploring the forest. It was on one such exploration that he met my mother. He heard her cry of pain after she crashed in the forest and went to help her. After everything that happened he raised me and kept me hidden is a secret place.”

Shadow paused for a moment. If he really wanted to give the dragonets a way to relate to Jarid he knew just the thing.

“It was a hidden valley he had found during his exploration of the forest. He had named it dragon valley even before he brought be there. He named it after the dragons that burned his previous village to the ground. The same dragons that killed his mother,” Shadow spoke solemnly.

The dragonets’ wings drooped, and their faces were downcast at the mention of how Jarid had lost one of his parents. Shadow knew that if anyone could understand how it felt to loose their parents, it would be these dragonets.

“Despite that, Jarid still felt that dragons might simply be misunderstood and wondered if there was a reason they had to destroy his village. That’s why he named the valley he found after dragons. Then, when he saw a different side of dragons in my mother, he didn’t deny what he saw. Instead, he accepted the possibility that there were good dragons and promised to raise me in secret. Don’t misunderstand me though. Most humans would kill a dragon if they met one, but there are a few like Jarid that would give us a chance.”

Shadow hoped he didn’t give the wrong impression. He didn’t want the dragonets thinking they could just walk into a human village and expect a warm welcome.

“Wow. He sounds really nice,” Aurora said with a smile. Shadow felt a great swell of pride and excitement at her praise.

“He is! Not only did he keep his promise to raise and car for me, but he is also working hard to ensure that I can be safe in the human country. In fact, just this year he fought other humans in a test to get into a very prestigious human school. In that school grown humans teach young humans to ride captured dragons and give them something that allows them and their dragon to go anywhere they want in the human country.”

“Humans riding captured dragons? How disgusting.” Tempest spat.

“But Jarid isn’t like other humans. He would never force a dragon to obey him or climb on their back without their permission. He just wants to help me be able to go explore the world with him. Besides, I love flying with him on my back. It’s not so bad. Really.”

“I’m sure he wouldn’t,” Aurora agreed, placing a talon on Shadow’s shoulder assuringly.

Shadow smiled back sheepishly but the other dragons were all still thinking about how sickening it was, how humans would forcibly ride dragons as if they were dumb beasts. Gale and Hailstorm also felt a little disgusted that Shadow enjoyed letting Jarid fly on his back.

Shadow felt awkward and wanted to change the subject, but he didn’t really know how. Thankfully Hailstorm asked him another question.

“Ok, I guess I understand. But I’m curious, how did this human teach you dragon? I mean, how could a human even know dragon? Much less speak it. I’ve never read about any humans smart enough to speak dragon.”

“There are smart humans, but Jarid is the only one that can speak dragon as far as I know. My mother taught Jarid dragon and all she could remember about dragon history, and math, and all that stuff. Then Jarid taught me. Now I can read and write and do math. And best of all I can speak both dragon and human.”

“Woah.” Hailstorm breathed in awe. His curiosity piqued. “Humans have their own language?”

Shadow nodded.

“And you can speak it?!” Hailstorm asked in slight disbelief. Shadow nodded again proudly.

“Can you speak a few human words for us?”

“Humans are just as good as dragons,” Shadow said, in human. The other dragons looked stunned.

“Huuans arust asss g-oood ass drrrgns,” Hailstorm repeated. Shadow chuckled at his imitation switching back to dragon.

“Not too bad. I basically said that dragons and humans are not so different. We both eat the same kinds of things, we both have families that we love, and both of us have good and bad people in our races.”

“Hmph! Sounds to me like there are more bad humans than good ones.” Tempest huffed.

“Why would you say that?”

“I mean, didn’t you say that most humans would kill a dragon on sight? How is that fair? We didn’t do anything to them.”

“Wouldn’t most dragons kill a human on sight?” Shadow retorted. “If you guys were hungry and happened to see a human child would you not just eat them for a snack? And what if their mother tried to fight you off?” Shadow questioned.

“We’ll that’s because…” Tempest’s wings drooped as she recognised his point.

“Because humans are just prey. The same as a cow or deer, right?” Shadow shook his head with a shrug.

“If that’s what you thought humans were, or even worse, if you thought they were monsters who attack dragons, then of course you would kill them. That doesn’t make you a bad dragon. It just means we don’t understand each other.”

“Whatever.” Tempest said rolling her eyes and folding her wings. It’s all just more complicated grey areas and reasons why you are not allowed to get mad at things. Now I can’t even attack prey without someone getting all sad and mopey about it.

“Anyways I have a question for you,” Gale interjected trying to change the topic. Shadow could feel the uncomfortable feelings that were swirling inside all of them and didn’t want to make things more awkward by pushing further.

“Ok, what is it Gale?”

End of part 1

Part 2: 

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