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Shadow's Rising {Wing 1} Chapter 11

by dragonight9


Chapter 11

After deciding Jarid would be flight leader the group quickly finished their tour of the training hall.

The other rooms included a small library with reading chairs and many lamps. A map room with many globes, terrain indicators and geography books. And a strange room Jarid had never seen before with glass tubes, plant pots, bottles, vines, small flames and containers with all manner of strange things on the shelves.

Ethan called it a herbology lab.

Lastly there was a meeting room with a large table and many chairs. On the table there were figurines representing military units, a croupier stick, pens, and more paper than Jarid had seen in his whole life.

After leaving the training hall, Jarid and Airel went straight to Gunther’s office to report the new development. When Gunther heard the news, he didn’t look nearly as surprised as Jarid thought he would be.

“Are you all in agreement?”

Airel nodded.

“Very well. I’ll mark Jarid down as having the position. As far as responsibilities go you will lead your fellow flight members in certain drills and speak up for them when I call on your flight. Normally the flights have separate names but since we only have one flight you will simply be referred to as Black Squad.

Tomorrow we will start assigning chores to everyone and you will decide who gets what. For now, move your things to the door closest to the entrance and make sure you have everything you need.”

Jarid nodded and bowed before backing towards the door.

“Just a moment boy,” Gunther growled. “Do you know how to act around a superior officer?”

Jarid shook his head.

Gunther leaned to one side to look at Airel. “Make sure he does by the end of the day.”

“Yes sir!”

Gunther gave a dismissive wave as he went back to his paperwork and Airel pulled Jarid into the hall.

“After you get moved into your new room, grab your uniform and meet me in the spell range training room.”

Jarid nodded and quickly went to move his things. His new room had a bigger bed, a slightly larger window over the desk and a small hearth with an armchair facing it. There was also a small bowl of snacks sitting on the desk and a new uniform laying on the bed. The uniform looked the same as the one in his old room, black with grey trim, except this one had a pair of wings attached just above the single bar on the shoulder.

Once he finished moving all his things, he tried putting on the uniform. It was not as easy as he thought. There were many buttons and belts which he had never seen on clothes before let alone tried putting on. After making his best attempt, he went down into the training hall.

As Jarid walked down the hall he noticed the rest of the squad doing various things, from sparring to reading. He reached the spell range and found Airel waiting for him in the middle of the room. She tidied up his uniform and showed him how to tie his boots and belt. It made him a little uncomfortable having a girl show him how to dress but he tried not to think about it.

Once she got his uniform looking proper, she jumped right into teaching him proper military etiquette. He spent almost two hours learning how to salute, stand at attention, tell someone’s rank, how to act when talking to a superior or inferior officer, and all the commands he was expected to know.

To be honest Jarid thought it was all a little excessive, but he learned it as best he could.

As they did this, Airel explained how the dragon riders were a part of the king’s army. They were an elite force, sent to aid the ground troops and deal with monsters no one else could. Jarid began to realize that if he wanted to go adventuring with Shadow, he would have to wait until he was released from the army. It seemed like every time he thought they would be free, some new obstacle was revealed that barred the way.

When Jarid was finally able to remember everything, Airel took him to the cafeteria for lunch.

They sat down next to the rest of their squad and Jarid began looking around. There were many other students chatting and eating lunch as well as the rest of their squad. He now understood what the marks on their shoulders meant.

First year students had a single bar, second year students had two bars, and the second years that had failed the final test once had two bars crossed like an x.

Airel, Ben and Ethan had two bars. Steven and Felicia had a single bar. The wings over the single bar on his own shoulder marked him as flight leader.

Ben leaned into the center of the group.

“Hey guys. We should get some early training in before school starts. Last year my Squad leader had us do drills, physical training, practice treating wounds, memorize maps, and lots of other prep work.

“Airel, Frank and I know what to practice so we can get a head start while most other squads are relaxing and talking about year-end parties. We’ll train hard now while everyone else is taking it easy. Then when we start doing drills in school, we’ll be way ahead of everyone else.”

That sounded great to Jarid. He loved a challenge and getting a head start would let him figure out how to get out of joining the military while keeping his dragon riding license.

“What kind of training will we be doing?” Steven queried cautiously.

“We all get up when the horn blares for roll call. We do laps and strength training in the morning before breakfast, then we’ll do some sparing with and without weapons. We can do some class related stuff like science, history, math and writing after that. We’ll do our chores till dusk. Then memorize maps until we fall asleep.”

Then Ben took on a thoughtful expression. “Maybe we can see if Gunther can arrange for us to ride with an instructor or squad leader on their dragon, so we get a feel for flying.”

“What about magic and dragon training other than flying?” Felicia asked.

“Those kinds of training aren’t open yet. We’ll do that once classes officially start.” Airel explained.

“What kind of chores are we going to be doing?” Jarid wondered.

“Mostly stuff to maintain the squad dorms, or the classrooms,” Ethen answered. “Cleaning the dragon dome, feeding the dragons, organizing the training grounds or cleaning the toilets.”

Jarid began thinking about who would be best for each chore. Cleaning the toilets was probably the worst job so he’d give that to anyone who wasn’t helping enough or caused the rest of the flight trouble.

As he was thinking about who would get toilet duty most often, Steven interrupted his thoughts.

“So,” he said, clearing his plate. “What are we gonna do for the rest of our first day as a full squad?”

Jarid wondered if the others might want to explore the stables so he could visit the dragons.

“We could go to the training grounds to spar for a bit.” Airel suggested.

Ethen and Steven groaned, while Felicia stared down at her food with a pained look. Jarid could tell she was thinking about how bad she was going to do if they sparred. Perhaps she had an idea about what they could do instead.

“Hey Felicia. I was wondering if you had any ideas for what we should do?”

She looked surprised someone would ask her.

“Oh, um…We could, uh.” She stammered for a moment before finding an answer.

“We could go to the perch.”

Ethen sighed but Ben and Airel were nodding.

“What’s the perch?” Steven asked. Jarid had been wondering as well, so Ben explained.

“The perch is a lookout point near the summit of the mountain that can be accessed via a path along the outside of the wall that meanders up the mountain. Normally the watch there is flown up by dragon, but we can still make it there and back by sunset.”

Jarid smiled. “A refreshing hike with a great view? Sounds good to me.”

Ben and Airel agreed and, after a few mild complaints from Ethan about getting all sweaty on the first day, the decision was made.

After packing leftovers from lunch as a picnic supper, they began the trek up the mountain. The path was steep and wandered slowly upward. They made good time with only a few stops to rest along the way. The hike took many hours and by the time they reached the perch, most of them were breathing hard and the whole group was hungry again.

The perch was a small wooden shack with a viewing platform built on the edge of a cliff overlooking the academy. They ate in silence as they each took in the view. They could see down the whole length of the valley below and the surrounding peaks spread to the horizon in almost every direction.

The sun was starting to get lower, and the golden light made the peaks shine like diamonds. The cool wind blowing in their faces reminded Jarid of riding Shadow and sent a pang of longing through his chest.

For a few minutes the peaceful moment went on uninterrupted. Then…

“Hey guys!” Steven exclaimed. “I just had a great idea! Why don’t we all promise to meet back here when we become dragon riders. It’ll be so cool to look back on everything that’s happened and all the good times together. Each of us will use this knife to carve something into that tree over there.” He gestured to a small tree on the edge of the cliff as he took out a small hunting knife.

“That will serve as a permanent reminder of our promise.”

Steven walked up to the tree and carved a big S in the trunk.

After a few sidelong looks at Steven for interrupting the moment, each of them glanced at on another before they all smiled and got up to join him. He may not have had the best timing, but it actually was a great idea.

Everyone else took turns carving something into the bark. Jarid carved a scale, Airel, her initials, Ethen, an X, and Felicia, a leaf. Ben carved his name in the center and what looked like dragon wings encircling all the other carvings.

Jarid smiled. This was the first time he really felt at home with humans his own age. Still, he couldn’t shake the nagging doubt in the back of his mind.

Would they still be my friends if they found out that I see dragons as our equals? That I’m on the dragons’ side? Would they really stick by me? Or would they turn their backs on me like everyone else?

These thoughts persisted all through the descent and even until he laid his head down that night.



Jarid breathed in the cool morning air and glanced around at the rest of his squad. They were all running around the outer wall of the academy.

Earlier that morning they had all lined up for roll call and Gunther told them once again that they were free to use the time until classes started as they pleased. He would be in his office for the duration of the day and was available to answer any questions they had.

They had all decided that it was a good idea to start training early so here they were. Despite a few complaints from Steven and Ethan.

Ben led the group at a steady jog for two laps of the academy around the outside of the wall. Almost a full two miles. By the end of it, Ethen was wheezing, Steven had his hands on his knees and was breathing hard.

Jarid had expected that he, Ben and Airel would be fine, but Felicia was barely breathing hard. It seemed she was stronger than he gave her credit for. After finishing their laps, they went to the training grounds. The others were all using the different training machines, but Jarid didn’t want to risk it. There were some weights and pull up bars which he was familiar with, so he mostly used them to start.

After a while he noticed Felicia go up to a machine that Ethen had been using and lower the weight before using it. Strangely, as she took off the heavier weights, she handled them like they were nothing.

Hmm. Well, I suppose I’m in no place to judge her for pretending to be weaker than she actually is. I’m also hiding my true brawn from training with Shadow after all. But if she’s pretending to have less strength, I need to show her that we’ll accept her regardless or she might hesitate to use her when we need it.

He caught himself. It had only been a day and yet he was already thinking about his future with Black Squad. He wondered if this would make it hard to leave them and go back to Shadow if he needed to, but he quickly dismissed the notion.

It wouldn’t be so bad to stay with this group. I’ll just have to make sure they accept Shadow as my dragon when the time comes. Besides, it’s always better to have adventures with friends. Perhaps I can convince them to view dragons like I do.

After breakfast they began desk work in the training room. Ethen was by far the best at this kind of stuff so Jarid asked if he could lead everyone in a quick overview of what they would be studying in the coming year.

For Ben and Airel, it was review, but it was still helpful to go over the basics. After lunch Felicia suggested that they learn some basic field medicine. It was usually omitted unless you wanted to be a field medic for your squad, but she felt they should all learn some in case they ever got hurt. Everyone agreed so she began teaching them how to make splints, wrap wounds and some of the best herbs for medicine.

Then came the time to ask Gunther for riding lessons. The entire squad stood outside his office as Jarid made their request. Gunther considered it for a moment.

“If you want to get some real experience flying you should ask Rilliam Silvan. He’s the leader of Grey Squad. I’m sure he’d be open to taking you for a quick ride.”

Jarid saluted just like Airel taught him. Gunther nodded and dismissed him. He didn’t show it, but Jarid could tell he had been waiting to see if he had learned anything since yesterday.

Jarid relayed the news, and everyone excitedly walked over to the Grey Squad dormitory. Jarid knocked on the door and heard footsteps coming. Jarid’s eyes widened as the door opened to reveal Dominic. He was in his school uniform and had a pair of wings over the bar on his shoulder.

“What do you want? We’re busy in here,” he began in a snarky tone. Then he recognized Jarid.

“Well, if it isn’t the little nobody who cheated against me to get a spot in the academy. Better enjoy it while it lasts peasant. Your cheap tricks won’t last long here,” he sneered.

Jarid sighed. “We’re not here to cause any trouble. We need to speak to Rilliam Silvan.”

“What does someone like you want with my squad leader?” Dominic huffed. Airel pushed forward impatiently.

“Just take us to him now or we’ll have our squad leader inform yours that you refused us entry without reason and insulted members of our squad.”

Dominic scowled but let them in. It looked like the rest of Grey Squad were lying around or making idle conversation. Dominic took them to a room similar to Gunther’s office except this one had a much more relaxed atmosphere.

There were paintings on the walls of clear skies and a bowl of snacks sitting on the corner of the grey-blue desk. The man behind the desk was of average build but his muscles were hard and although his face was youthful, there were marks of discipline and real combat experience. He dismissed Dominic and smiled at the newcomers.

“What can I help you with?”

Jarid stepped forward.

“Thank you for meeting with us sir. Gunther advised us that you were the best person to ask if we wanted to get some experience riding a dragon.” Rilliam looked thoughtful.

“So, you were wondering if I’d take you up on Windshear? That would be good first-hand experience I suppose.” He paused for a moment. “You know what? He’s due for a quick flight to stretch his wings. If you meet me in front of the dragon dome an hour after breakfast tomorrow, I think we can give you each quick ride.”

Jarid could barely contain his excitement. Riding a dragon was something he never got tired of, and the freedom and speed of flight was the most exhilarating thing in the world. He saluted smartly and gave a quick nod of understanding.

“Thank you, sir! We are grateful for this opportunity and will be waiting outside the dragon dome one hour after breakfast.” Rilliam returned the salute.

“Very well you are dismissed.”

Jarid nodded and Black Squad left the room. Outside Grey Squad’s dorm they all began talking excitedly about what they thought dragon flight might be like. Jarid was surprised to learn that even the second-year students hadn’t ridden dragons yet.

“The first year is all about getting ready to ride a dragon and learning all the things you’ll need to know both on the ground and in the air. Basically, everything about fighting, communication and tactics that doesn’t require a dragon,” Airel commented sarcastically.

“We’re supposed to choose our dragons early this year and train with them for the rest of our lives. The dragon choosing ceremony is a big event for second year students. You must choose your dragon and force them to submit to you. Then you walk them around the arena and have them do several stunts and exercises so the instructors know that you can control them. Then it’s all flight training and aerial maneuvering until you’re ready for the big test at the end of the year.”

Jarid stroked his chin thoughtfully.

I guess I’ll just have to pretend I don’t know anything and choose a dragon nobody else wants. Then I can just let them go, say they escaped, and register Shadow as my new dragon. Hopefully they’ll accept that.

Then we can finally begin our adventure. Together.


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Mon Mar 25, 2024 7:49 pm
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RavenAkuma wrote a review...



Hello Again, My Friend!

It's me, Raven, and I'd like to review the next chapter in this great story using my Familiar method! Let's dive in, shall we? Heh heh heh...

What The Black Eyes See...

Alright, there was a lot of great content in this chapter! The experiences that Jarid is already having with his squad show that they are already on course to becoming close friends, yet as the subject of dragons and Shadow comes up for him, things seem to -understandably- get a little bit more complicated. Let's get into the details though.

Where The Dagger Points...

No recommendations for content! Jarid's interactions with the squad members were all well-written and felt authentic, and his speculation on their potential future -and his future with Shadow- was handled very well. I do have two minor things to recommend, free to take or leave, for grammar and formatting.

“I just had a great idea! Why don’t we all promise to meet back here when we become dragon riders.


I think you're just missing a question mark here. Then one more, here:

These thoughts persisted all through the descent and even until he laid his head down that night.

Jarid breathed in the cool morning air and glanced around at the rest of his squad. They were all running around the outer wall of the academy.


I understand this section is a summary, intended to move things along to the next day, but I felt like there could have been a little separation between the first day and the second. Not even changing the words here, just perhaps putting a double-space between them and a line of asterisks (***).

Of course, I am not a professional, so please always take my advice with a grain of salt. I do not mean to be negative, and the chapter is great as it is of course ~

Why The Grin Widened...

Ah, there was so much I wanted to point to! First, props for descriptions!

The sun was starting to get lower, and the golden light made the peaks shine like diamonds. The cool wind blowing in their faces reminded Jarid of riding Shadow and sent a pang of longing through his chest.


Brilliant analogy that creates a gorgeous visual, and the sensory note really draws the reader into Jarid's position. Great attention to detail. That last bit in the quote leads into the main thing I enjoyed here.

Jarid's character! With each new bit of information he gets about how this academy works, and how becoming a free dragon rider with Shadow may be harder than he thought, he shows a great sense of determination that also reflects on how much he cares about his dragon brother. The same applies to that last sentence, reflecting how much he misses him.

And not only is Jarid trying to work around rules pertaining to the military and dragon selection, but he even has this exciting idea:

I’ll just have to make sure they accept Shadow as my dragon when the time comes. Besides, it’s always better to have adventures with friends. Perhaps I can convince them to view dragons like I do.


I like that Jarid is showing affection for his squad members, but is sticking to his beliefs. Optimistic and caring, as is typical for his character, but also bringing back that strong and independent will that we recognize from earlier chapters.

And finally, as far as information on how things work with the dragons, I enjoyed learning more about the process and how it may become a complication.

I guess I’ll just have to pretend I don’t know anything and choose a dragon nobody else wants. Then I can just let them go, say they escaped, and register Shadow as my new dragon.


The idea of choosing a dragon nobody wants is a bit bittersweet. Great that Jarid would be the one to choose and set him/her free, but also a little sad that one of the dragons goes unwanted in the first place. My theory brain also imagines things going rough if this dragon develops a bond with him only to be replaced by Shadow...but I digress.

You must choose your dragon and force them to submit to you. Then you walk them around the arena and have them do several stunts and exercises so the instructors know that you can control them.


This idea of 'forcing submission' and control deepens the idea that dragons won't always be treated well here, which also makes me think Jarid may just snap at somebody before the year is up. That in itself builds more anticipation, and adds to the hope that Jarid can start changing minds around here.

“So, you were wondering if I’d take you up on Windshear?


New dragon name drop? How exciting ~

Our Mad Thoughts...

Overall, great chapter that showed us growth between the characters and used new information to progress this arc of the story a bit. Nicely done! :)

Image




dragonight9 says...


Thanks for your corrections. I actually did put an extra space between the days but I guess it was lost when I copied it over from Word.

Your theories and thoughts about what is coming up make me so excited to share more of the story. I won't spoil anything but you might see a few of your speculations come to fruition in Wing 3.

Also, side note. How do you do the colored section headers for your review? Is there a certain code for it?



RavenAkuma says...


Ah, how exciting!

As for my headers, it's a mixture of codes, for size, bold type, and color. I set them up like this (just imagine removing the asterisks):

[*color=firebrick][*size=150][*b]Why The Grin Widened...[/b*][/size*][/color*]

The color is the only thing I'll swap out, and I use this post for reference

The Big Book of YWS Codes



dragonight9 says...


Thanks!



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Sun Mar 24, 2024 9:08 pm
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PKMichelle wrote a review...



Hello, friend!
I'm back!!!

Image

Per my interpretation, this was a wonderful way to continue the exploration of the Black Squad and the academy!! There was lots of wonderful information, and I'm very excited to dive into it!

Brief Summary

Spoiler! :
Jarid and the rest of the squad go to Gunther to tell him that Jarid is the flight leader before setting off and deciding to get some training in before school actually starts. But, first, they go up to the perch per Felicia's request. They have a good time and make a pact to come back once they're all proper dragon riders. The next day, they do some actual training before they ask Gunther if they could get some riding lessons in. He sends them to the Grey Squad to ask their squad leader to take them flying. He agrees to do it the next day, and the entire squad becomes ecstatic.

This was a phenomenal plot! I'm really excited to come back and see the riding lessons take place!!


If I could offer any sort of advice, it would be related to a consistency problem. When it comes to spelling a certain name, you seem to spell it differently every now and then.

That name is Ethen, or Ethan... I'm not too sure which one you prefer to use for him, but it seems you spell it "Ethen" more often. Whatever you intended, I think it would make more sense if his name was spelled the same every time.

But, obviously, this is just a suggestion, and it's always up to the writer, so please take this criticism lightly and know that I mean nothing negative by it—only trying to provide a somewhat useful critique.


If I had to pick my favorite part, there would be a few because this was a stellar chapter!! Many great things took place, and we got to explore more of Jarid's leadership capabilities, which was really nice! Let's get into some favorites!!

The first thing that I really enjoyed while I was reading was seeing how inclusive Jarid actually is with everyone in his squad! He wanted to make sure everyone was heard and felt important, and this is especially shown when you say,

“Hey Felicia. I was wondering if you had any ideas for what we should do?”

She looked surprised someone would ask her.


Felicia is shy and often not listened to when she has something she wants to say, but Jarid is trying to change that. He is using his power as the flight leader for good and getting everyone involved, which is so nice to see! Jarid cares about his squad and you can see it throughout everything! You did a great job portraying this!

Another thing that stood out to me while I was reading this chapter came when Jarid and the rest of the Black Squad were carving something into the tree! They did it as a trust to come back when they're all dragon riders, but Jarid couldn't shake the feeling that this is the first time he's connected with kids his own age and that it might go away when they find out more about him. You said,

Jarid smiled. This was the first time he really felt at home with humans his own age. Still, he couldn’t shake the nagging doubt in the back of his mind.

Would they still be my friends if they found out that I see dragons as our equals? That I’m on the dragons’ side? Would they really stick by me? Or would they turn their backs on me like everyone else?


I absolutely loved this quote!! Jarid's finally happy with other people, rather than just a dragon, which is something he really deserves! Not only that, but this quote also explores Jarid's internal workings in regards to love and loss. Those are scary things for him, but nonetheless, he's facing them head-on and embracing his new squad. I loved seeing this for Jarid and was really happy for him, so good job there!

The final thing that caught my eye while I was reading was the way Jarid couldn't stop obsessing about the next time he might be able to be with Shadow! He began planning everything even though he still has quite some time before anything can be done, which really shows how much he cares about Shadow. At the end of this chapter, you said,

Jarid stroked his chin thoughtfully.

I guess I’ll just have to pretend I don’t know anything and choose a dragon nobody else wants. Then I can just let them go, say they escaped, and register Shadow as my new dragon. Hopefully they’ll accept that.

Then we can finally begin our adventure. Together.


Jarid's so ready to be back home with Shadow; it's the only thing on his mind. He's already contemplating the extreme lengths he might go to to make sure Shadow is his dragon, which is really incredible considering everything he still has to do! Jarid loves Shadow, and I love the way it's shown throughout all of these chapters, so kudos to you for that!!


Overall, this was an excellent chapter, and I can't wait to come back and check out some more!! You've done great work so far, and I'm so excited to continue Jarid's journey!!

Thank you for taking the time to write and post this, and I hope this review is of some use to you!


Goodbye for now! I hope you have a magnificent day (or night) wherever you are!




dragonight9 says...


Thanks so much for the stellar review!

I didn't even realise I was spelling his name as Ethen. It was meant to be Ethan Ezrahite (referring to the a man in the bible known for his wisdom). Though I just changed the last name.




There's a Brazilian things you could write about. You just gotta pick Juan.
— Hattable