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Shadow's Rising {Wing 1} Chapter 12 (part 2)

by dragonight9

Authors note:

After posting the previous chapters I changed the beginning and ending of a few chapters so that I could add this in and make the chapter lengths more consistent. In my new titling of chapters this would technically be part of chapter 13 (and the next would be chapter 14) but I'm not going to go back and change my past uploads to fit it in.

I hope you enjoy.

During the rest of the week Black Squad had done plenty of combat training, working out and studying. Jarid knew that his magic skill was slipping since they weren’t practicing it yet, but there just wasn’t time. They had also decided against sparing with each other after Felicia and Ethen argued adamantly against it. He knew that when classes started, he’d have to get in as much practice as he could. He thought of shadow often and wished his brother could be there with him.

Now it was the first day of classes. When everyone went down to the entrance of the Black Squad dorm they found Gunther waiting for them.

“Look sharp boys. There’s a welcoming ceremony after breakfast today so make sure you’ve eaten and cleaned yourselves up by then. Second years, you know what to do.”

Ben, Ethen, and Airel saluted. “Yes sir!”

Gunther nodded stiffly and went up to his office.

Everyone hurried to eat and freshen up, then Ben led them to the dragon dome. They found seats in the stands as all the other students filed in. After a while the gates closed. Suddenly a fireball shot into the sky and exploded near the top of the dome.

“Attention!” a voice rang out. Everyone stood at attention in unison with a thundering stomp.

“As you were. Academy Commander Damion Valdur will now be conducting the welcome ceremony.”

The commander stepped up to a small platform that had been set up in the center of the arena. He looked like he was in his late sixties but was built like an ox. His hair was short and had streaks of grey, but his movements were athletic as he hopped unto the platform.

“Welcome, students, both returning and new… to Dragon Rider Academy!”

His voice was deep and carried easily to the back of the stands. There were some cheers and claps in response to his welcome.

“Each of you are here because you have shown great talent and ability. This school is a forge for dragon riders. It will take everything you’ve got, and more, to make it through to graduation. We are not only part of an elite force, but a brotherhood. Every one of us is willing to sacrifice our lives for each other. The bonds forged from hardship here will carry you through many battles.

“Dragons are the most powerful monsters in this world, and you must be even stronger to conquer and ride them. That is why you are here. The training will seem like hell, and there will be times when you feel like you are about to break. But when it seems hopeless and you want to give up, remember this. You are a dragon rider! Our bonds are forged in the fires of such a hell as this. May your hearts burn brighter than dragon fire!”

Then he motioned to a pair of men beside the platform who held what looked like a bigger version of his magic music device that was hooked up to a pair of big black boxes. Everyone in the audience stood. Jarid stood and looked at Airel.

“They’re about to play the school anthem. A song written by its founder. The dragon born, Tarragon,” She whispered.

Suddenly the song started playing. Everyone began singing along as the air vibrated with the words of the song. (Lines taken from “Born for this” by: The Score)

“These words that I write are for someone like me to know you’re not alone.The moves that you make yeah they come with mistakes, don’t ever loose your hope.Just know, you were born for this. Just know, you were born for this.We are the warriors who learned to love the pain.We come from different places but have the same name.Cause we were, cause we were, cause we were born for this. We were born for this.We are the broken ones, who chose to spark a flame.Watch as our fire rages, our hearts are never tame.Cause we were, cause we were, cause we were born for this. We were born for this.”

Jarid felt his heart aching. It felt like the whoever wrote this song was talking directly to him. Giving hope and inspiration for the year ahead. Though, strangely, the last few lines seemed more directed towards the dragons than the students.

As the song ended Commander Valdur stood and saluted.

“Attention! We will now recite the dragon rider oath. For those who don’t know it yet repeat after me.” Everyone in the stands saluted as they took the dragon rider oath.

“Through storm, and peril and dark of night, no fear nor pain shall halt our flight.

Let those crushed under evil’s might, look to the sky for hope burns bright!”

Everyone cheered and the roar seemed to shake the mountain.

After that the commander began explaining how classes worked, as well as chores, care of dragons, breaks and team events. The classes were assigned individually and only a few had separate times for first and second-year levels. All students who owned dragons were supplied with the basic resources to care for them and were expected to do so. Anything more than that came out of their own pocket.

Flight leaders had to assign each member of their flight a specialty. Scout, tracker and medic being a few. There were many events where individuals or entire flights would compete to earn merit points for their flight. The flight with the most merit at the end of the year would receive the title of star flight of the academy, and would get a paid trip to the capital to show off their skills in the colosseum there.

The first years would get a month off to go see their families in the spring while second years choose their dragons and learn how to care for them. Then the first years would return for the last few months of training before the final team competitions.

Once the commander had finished explaining everything, it was time for lunch. He wished everyone good luck and dismissed them to their first classes. As they left the dragon dome, Jarid was given a sheet of paper that outlined his class schedule.

The first day would be a short introduction to each class before supper, then the on-duty riders would show the first years how to clean saddles. After that, the daily routine of classes would begin. Jarid was also given a page outlining the different rolls he had to assign to the members of his flight and a description of those rolls.

Ben, Ethen, and Airel already had rolls for the previous year. Ben was their front line, Ethen was navigator, and Airel was a scout.

Jarid already had the role of flight leader, Felicia was obviously suited for medic and that left two roles for Steven. Field control and messenger.

Field control was all about using magic to control the enemy’s movements as much as possible and was usually covered by those with a fire affinity. This meant cutting off attack routs and laying down cover fire for allies.

Steven’s magic affinity was better suited for messenger since he could deflect incoming projectiles and increase the speed of his dragon in the air. So Jarid decided to take on the role of field control himself, whenever possible, and let Steven practice in the role of messenger.

He handed out their roles during lunch before they all headed off to class.

Airel walked with Jarid to the training grounds for combat training since their class was in the same block. As they approached the field Jarid could barely contain his excitement.

This is going to be so much fun! I can’t wait to see what kind of cool stuff we’ll learn. Maybe they’ll show me the proper stance for my style of fighting and some high level moves I’ve never seen before. Oh! Maybe we’ll learn that Viper’s blow Dominic used during the tournament.

Jarid grinned at the thought.

When they got to the field there were already a large group of students training there. Nearby was one of the instructors that had shown Jarid and his group around the academy when he first arrived. He was surrounded by students and held up a sign with the words ‘First year combat training students meet here. Second years, do some warmup and drills,’ painted on it.

As they arrived, the instructor checked them off his list.

“Alright it looks like everyone’s here. We’ll start with some introductions. My name is Lt. Tigan Keldor and I’m going to be your combat instructor for this year. We will be practicing both magically armed and unarmed combat. For those who don’t know what magically armed means, it’s just a fancy word for how to incorporate magic into your martial arts.

“We will also be building up your strength, stamina, speed and all that good stuff. For today I’m giving all of you a tour of the training grounds if you’ll just follow me.”

Lt. Keldor quickly gave them all an in depth tour and showed them how to use all the workout equipment before the horn sounded for them to switch classes.

Jarid sat beside Steven in penmanship and asked questions about everything he didn’t understand. Steven was delighted to show how much he knew on the subject and gave Jarid many useful tips. After class Steven promised to help Jarid with his grammar and spelling. The actual writing was fine since he practiced at least a little bit with Shadow, but everything else would be a pain to catch up on.

Math and geography were not too difficult since he had the memories of Shadow’s mother who had learned such things as part of dragon nobility. However, the next class was the one Jarid was the most nervous about.

Dragon training.

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266 Reviews

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Reviews: 266

Sun Apr 07, 2024 3:02 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...

How exciting! This chapter was great for explaining more about classes and student roles outside of their squad, giving us more of an understanding of the academy and what the specific characters will be doing -beyond chores, haha. Let's get into the details though.

Where The Dagger Points...

No recommendations for content! Everything is explained well and easy to understand, and your dialogue -especially from Valdur's welcoming speech- is so lively!

If I were to really stretch it, I would say that the warnings about the dangers of the academy, and the goal to form bonds with teammates, may come off as a tiny bit repetitive since Gunther and the other lieutenants mentioned it during orientation. However, I also thought it worked because let's be honest: when it comes to danger and staying out of trouble, repetition be damned -teachers are relentless about beating the idea into you, haha.

And as far as errors, I didn't catch any, myself. Nice writing job ~

Why The Grin Widened...

As always, you gave us lots of great moments to sift through! As I mentioned, you did a great job summarizing the broader roles around the academy; everything was well-paced without feeling like a sudden info-dump.

Right off the bat, while explaining what Jarid's been up to, I like how this little detail was incorporated:

Jarid knew that his magic skill was slipping since they weren’t practicing it yet, but there just wasn’t time.

The fact that Jarid is actually falling behind because of the level of training, or lack thereof, really bolstered the idea that he is ahead of his class in a lot of ways. In magic and understanding dragons obviously, but likely combat too, and I can't help wondering if he'll be pushed to use his full potential in the challenges ahead. Rather than repressing a lot of his strength to blend in (it's a really cool character trait for him, but how long will it last?).

Moving on to the welcoming speech, Valdur already seems like a cool character that has some powerful tricks up his sleeve, and he really stood out among the growing cast of mentors -as a Headmaster should, especially in a magic/dragon riding academy, so great job with that.

Also, the oath...

“Through storm, and peril and dark of night, no fear nor pain shall halt our flight.
Let those crushed under evil’s might, look to the sky for hope burns bright!”

Is freaking awesome, love it! Great line and the spirit behind it unexpectedly carried through. Also, when describing what the students will be doing in combat, this caught my eye:

For those who don’t know what magically armed means, it’s just a fancy word for how to incorporate magic into your martial arts.

Blending magic and weapons, albeit tricky (at least in my experience) is super fun and a really exciting part of fantasy stories! I can't wait to see the result of this training ~

Finally, the cliffhanger promises an interesting first experience:

However, the next class was the one Jarid was the most nervous about.

Dragon training.

So then, we will get a taste of the fabled dragon classes at last! Very interesting indeed...Honestly, I don't know what to anticipate from it at this point, but having read about the conditions dragons are kept in, my guess is that it's going to be rough on dragon-lovers, including Jarid.

Our Mad Thoughts...

Overall, great chapter, and I am hoping to review the next chapter today as well, so stay tuned. In the meantime, nicely done! :)


dragonight9 says...

Wow! You found this quick haha. So glad you enjoyed.

I continue to be impressed by your insight. I totally agree that blending the magic into the fighting has been difficult since I don't want magic to become the only method of fighting.

RavenAkuma says...

(Just found this after leaving another review on the next one, I've had more time for reviews if you couldn't tell XD)

"There is nothing to fear from someone who shouts."
— Chinua Achebe, Things Fall Apart