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Shadow's Rising {Wing 1} Chapter 6

by dragonight9

Chapter 6

Over the next week Jarid eagerly anticipated the arrival of the letter. He was sure that he had performed well, but the anxiety of the suspense was wearing on him. He kept expecting a messenger to show up at their door, but after days of waiting he was beginning to worry the academy had rejected him.

He was on his way home after meeting with Shadow the sixth night after the trail to find his father waiting for him on the front porch. Simon only ever did that when Jarid was late or in serious trouble.

And Jarid knew for certain he wasn’t late.

Jarid cringed as he walked up to the door but, instead of the tongue lashing he was expecting, Simon simply walked inside. Jarid followed him cautiously into the small sitting room at the back of the house where he indicated to one of the two chairs facing the fireplace. Jarid sat down while his father lit the fire before sinking into his own seat with a heavy sigh.

For a minute Simon simply stared at Jarid as if he were a plow blade that kept coming out twisted no matter how many times he hammered it straight. Then Simon took out a letter sealed with the king’s symbol and set it on his lap. The seal had been broken and Simon obviously knew what was inside.

Jarid said nothing. He knew that going to Dragon rider academy was not what his father wanted him to do. The few times he brought it up Simon had dismissed the idea or angrily refused to allow it. But he had to go. It was the only way anyone would accept Shadow.

“Father, I….” Jarid began, but Simon raised his hand.

“You have gone behind my back. You disrespect me boy, and more than that, you have disobeyed me. Spending all your time on… this. Is likely the reason for your lack luster performance in the forge,” he sternly spoke in his deep, gruff voice.

“This is not the path I want for you boy,” he said with a disappointed sigh. “But I know that you won’t listen to me anymore. You’re too honest for your own good. If this was important enough that you would lie and go behind my back to do it, then it doesn’t matter what I say. Besides, you are old enough now to start making your own decisions, so I won’t try to stop you.”

Jarid’s eyes widened in shock as Simon held out the letter. But Simon narrowed his eyes holding the letter tightly.

“Even so, I am still your father and I want you to take over for me one day. So, I need you to give me your word. If you fail at the academy, there are no second chances. You will abide by my wishes and be a blacksmith until the day you die.”

Jarid could hardly believe what he was hearing. He had already accepted that there would be no second chances if he failed, so there was no downside as far as he could see. He looked Simon in the eye as he took the letter.

“You have my word father. I will abide by your wishes, but I don’t plan on failing,” he spoke with determination.

“Hmph. Good.”

Simon let go of the letter and sank back into his seat. Jarid opened the letter with reverence and trembled with excitement as he unfolded the paper inside.

This was it! He was now officially a student at Dragon Rider Academy!

Jarid’s spirit soared. He was going to do the best he could no matter what. He looked over at Simon, trying to keep his determined look, but he couldn’t keep himself from smiling as his eyes watered with tears of joy. He looked down at the letter and tucked it back in the envelope before it got wet as he began to cry.

Simon got up with a nod and went to bed. Jarid couldn’t even think about sleep. After recovering from his overwhelming emotions, he excitedly began packing even though it didn’t take long.

Six days had already passed since the evaluation. He’d have to move quick if he wanted to say goodbye to Shadow tomorrow. At least they would have enough time to spend a few hours together before he had to leave. He finally fell asleep with packed bags at the foot of his bed and the letter folded neatly on top.

The sun was just beginning to rise as Jarid entered dragon valley. He saw Shadow sleeping peacefully in the soft grass. This might be the last time he saw his brother like this for a whole eight months. Jarid smiled and sat down next to him, watching his sides slowly rise and fall. Then he started scratching a certain spot under the dragon’s chin where he knew Shadow was ticklish.

Shadow flinched and groaned as he tried to swat Jarid’s hand away. Jarid easily dodged the half-asleep swing and hopped on Shadow’s back. He continued tickling until Shadow was flailing hopelessly in the soft grass of the valley giggling uncontrollably.

“Stop it! Haha. Stop! Hahaha! Please! Hahahaha! Jarid!”

Shadow finally succeeded in rolling over and kicking Jarid off him. Then he sat up and regarded Jarid with a hurt expression.

“You know I hate it when you do that!”

Jarid stood with a sad smile. “I know. I just wanted to tease you one last time before I leave. That way you can’t get back at me.”

Shadow immediately realized what that meant. “When do you have to go?” He asked sadly, but he could already see it in Jarid’s mind.

Jarid could see the tears forming in Shadow’s eyes and immediately rushed forward to hug him.

“Don’t worry bro. I’m coming back. And when I do, you’d better be ready to take me across the whole world. We’re going to be the best dragon and rider in history.”

Shadow nodded with a sniffle and hugged Jarid tightly in return. “Ok.”

After a while they both released their hug. Jarid stepped back and looked Shadow up and down. Memorizing every little detail. Then he smiled.

“Want to go on one last flight? I’ve still got a few hours before I have to leave.”

Shadow’s face brightened immediately. They hadn’t been able to fly together for some time since Jarid was busy with work.

Ever since Shadow became strong enough to carry Jarid on his back he had always wanted to fly with him. At first the idea terrified Jarid. Mostly because he had seen all the times that Shadow crashed. All it took was a slight mistake midflight for him to go careening into a tree or flopping onto a thorny bush. It was almost 2 years ago that Jarid finally accepted Shadow’s offer of a ride.

The first few times were just as terrifying as Jarid had imagined. But Shadow was extra careful and went slow. Over time Shadow got more comfortable and went faster, while Jarid got over his vertigo and fear of falling. At this point he could comfortably fall asleep on Shadow’s back mid flight if he wanted to.

Shadow leaned down and folded his wing so Jarid could easily hop onto his shoulders, just below his neck. There wasn’t much to hold onto, so he tucked his legs under Shadow’s shoulders and squeezed Shadow’s neck between his knees. Shadow barely even felt it.

Shadow grabbed Jarid’s ankles, one in each of his front talons, as he took off. Shadow used to do this for the entire flight but now they only needed it for take-offs and landings.

Shadow pumped his wings to gain altitude, struggling against gravity but steadily gaining air. Once they were safely above the treetops Shadow let go of Jarid’s legs and launched forward.

Jarid leaned against the warm scales of Shadow’s neck as the crisp morning air blew past. He felt the tug of gravity on his legs, the last thing tying him to the earth, disappear in the rush of flight. The reverberation of each flap of Shadow’s powerful wings felt like the sound of freedom.

Shadow sighed contentedly.

Jarid looked up to see Shadow’s eyes closed with a smile of bliss on his face. Jarid grinned at the adorable expression. He knew exactly what Shadow was feeling. All his worries about the academy, his father, and even the nobility simply faded away up here.

Jarid and Shadow both sat in content silence for a while as Shadow slowly gained altitude and brought them deeper into the forest so no one would accidentally spot them.

“Are you ready?” Shadow asked once they had reached their usual altitude.

Jarid looked down. The entire forest of Denbark spread out beneath them. Jarid could even make out the tiny speck of the village in the distance. It was always freezing up this high, even in the summer and Jarid rubbed his hands together a bit before replying.

“Alright, let’s go!” Jarid called, leaning in as Shadow folded his wings, taking them into a dive.

Jarid felt his stomach begin to rise to his throat but then everything was lost in the rush of freefall. The wind made Jarid’s eyes tear up and he was once again grateful that Shadow’s eyes stayed clear during this part. Then all his thoughts were washed away by the wild mix of excitement and fear pumping through him.

“Woooohooooo!” Jarid yelled.

“Hahaha, yeah!” Shadow whooped in response.

Then Jarid felt Shadow tense beneath him and held on tight as Shadow spread his wings to swoop out of the dive. Shadow continued to pull up until they were going vertical. He pumped his wings a few times for extra speed then leaned back, doing a full backflip.

Jarid didn’t relax his grip though because he knew they weren’t done yet. The slightest twitch in Shadow’s shoulder muscles indicated he was about to do a barrel roll. Jarid leaned in as they spun through the sky. Shadow banked into a hard turn after the second roll and pumped his wings to gain altitude. Then he dived once more and pulled up into a larger, slower barrel roll.

Jarid loved the feeling of oneness he felt with Shadow as they flew. It almost felt like HE was the one flying. Whenever he thought of a turn or flight pattern Shadow would see it in his mind and instantly match it. While at the same time Jarid felt like he knew exactly what Shadow was about to do through the movement of his muscles.

Together they rolled, dived, and raced around until the sun’s rays breaking over the clouds of the Dread Mountains indicated their time was nearly up.

Breathing hard, Shadow glided at a high altitude as they slowly made their way back to Dragon Valley. Jarid also felt wonderfully exhausted, but he never knew why since Shadow was doing all the work.

As Shadow descended into Dragon Valley Jarid also felt himself coming down from the high of flying. The exhilaration giving way to the more depressing reality of their inevitable separation.

He truly was going to miss this.

Jarid hopped down and the two brothers looked at each other, not knowing what to say. Then Jarid walked over to his workshop in one corner of dragon valley and picked up one of Shadow’s baby scales, leftover from when he attempted to make armor out of it. (He was the son of a blacksmith, of course he tried making some armor out of dragon scales)

Jarid bored a small hole in the thicker end using a tool from the workshop desk. Then he looped a strip of hide through it and tied the ends together so they wouldn’t come loose. He hung the new necklace over his neck and tucked the scale under his clothes.

“Now you will be with me no matter what. I will be thinking of you the whole time.”

Shadow took a shaky breath and nodded.

Jarid had decided not to take the armor as it would certainly draw too much attention. Still, it was a shame he wouldn’t get to use such an incredible piece.

I’m sure we’ll get quite a bit of use out of it once we begin our adventure.

“You’d better get back here quick, or it might get too full of cobwebs to put on.” Shadow responded to Jarid’s thought with a smile. Then his face became stern.

“You had better keep yourself safe while you’re there, and don’t let them hurt you just because you’re different. You are worth at least nine of any other humans combined.”

Jarid smiled slightly and gave an affirming nod.

“Goodbye brother,” Jarid said solemnly as they each grabbed each other’s forearm.

“Walk a path of honor.” Shadow stated.

“Fly on winds of valor.” Jarid replied as they shook, hand and talon.

Is this a review?



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13 Reviews

Points: 780
Reviews: 13

Thu Mar 21, 2024 4:07 pm
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Lucian wrote a review...

Delightful chapter, it was a very emotional one at that. The thought of losing a brother is hard to portray in writing, but you seemed to have done a good job of it. I continue to be impressed with this work and its depth.

For suggestions, there could have been a bit more emotion in it. For example, during the flight, they could have shared thoughts or memories of past flights and adventures. It would have showed the deep connection that they have, or if what you were going for was a somber silence they could have eased up on the flying and just glided for a moment. Other than that I don't see any problems with it, these works are phenomenal. Keep writing these chapters, take your time on it because the best writing comes from those who are patient (along with 3 am writing sprees)

So overall, very good piece it showed a good bit of emotion, and could have shown a little more during the flight but I understand the need to just forget what was about to happen (them leaving each other for a long time). In the end Good job. Good luck and may writer's block be taken hostage by your creativity.

dragonight9 says...

Thanks for the advice. I might add a short moment of silence near the end of the flight as the reality sinks in. Give it some extra time there and describe a few of the emotions they were feeling.

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310 Reviews

Points: 60594
Reviews: 310

Wed Feb 28, 2024 4:03 pm
RavenAkuma wrote a review...

Hello! Finally, I'm here to check back in with Jarid and Shadow!

~ I'd like to get to the next chapter, so I'll keep this review a little quick if you don't mind ~

In response to your author's note, I like to formatting of the letter at the end, and I think the image would look better in its place in the story. It'd be really cool and immersive to see it there!

I couldn't find any errors, nor could I make any recommendations!

You did a great job at capturing the conflict between Jarid and his father, and how he's willing to *somewhat* compromise despite clearly being unhappy about Jarid's actions. The deal he made heightened the stakes and added to the anticipation as Jarid opened the letter, really setting up a brilliant moment (and again, if you could put that image where the letter is, I feel like it would be even more elaborate). Likewise, Jarid's excitement carried through, all the way to the end of the chapter. Seeing him celebrate with one last fly (for now) on Shadow, and also taking one of his baby scales, was also cute and showed how much of a bond they have.

Awesome chapter! :)

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151 Reviews

Points: 39462
Reviews: 151

Thu Feb 22, 2024 10:44 pm
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PKMichelle wrote a review...

Hello yet again, friend!
I’m back to check out your work and leave a new fun-filled Cheshire-Cat-style review!


“The proper order of things is often a mystery to me.” - My Interpretation

This was awesome! I loved seeing the shear excitement of Shadow and Jarid, as well as how connected they are! This was a really great chapter!

Brief Summary: Jarid comes home one day after seeing Shadow and is met by his father, who seems to be upset. Upon getting inside and sitting down with him, however, Jarid realizes this is not necessarily the case. Simon expresses support for Jarid going to the academy, so long as if he fails, he takes over as a blacksmith. Jarid agrees and opens his letter, tears leaping from his eyes when he realizes he's been accepted. He goes to celebrate with Shadow, riding on his back, before he begins his trip to the academy.

This was a really fun chapter, and I love how it was written!

“Every adventure requires a first step.” - Some Advice

This was a wonderfully written chapter! And I say that not only because it is, but also because I found nothing wrong with it! Nothing too bad jumped out to me while reading this!

So, I'm going to use this section to respond to your author's note. You said,

The formatting on the letter didn't carry over, and it is too bad since I really liked the formatting. So I made it into an image and put it here. If I should have simply put the image in its place in the story, please let me know so I can avoid formatting issues in the future.

I think it would make more sense and be better overall to put the image in its place in the story! It would be more entrancing and feel more like we were actually reading the letter with Jarid, which would be really cool coming from a reader's perspective!

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.

“A rose is still a rose, even hidden under different petals.” - My Favorites

This was a really great chapter, and with that came a lot of great things! I mostly enjoyed the way you portrayed all of the characters and their reactions to Jarid going to the academy! It added a wonderful element to the work!

One thing that stood out to me related to the emotions of the characters was when Simon sat Jarid down and talked to him about his expectations. It showed how reasonable Simon actually was, even though he's been seen as somewhat unfair up to this point. He said,

“Even so, I am still your father, and I want you to take over for me one day. So, I need you to give me your word. If you fail at the academy, there are no second chances. You will abide by my wishes and be a blacksmith until the day you die.”

Simon finally gave in and let Jarid have what he's been fighting for, even though nothing that we've learned about him would make that expected. It showed how complex he is, not only as a character but also as a parent in this story, which was really cool! It makes him seem so much more interesting and was an amazing twist, so kudos to you for writing it this way!

Another thing that caught my eye came at the end! The relationship between Shadow and Jarid and how tethered they are to one another is just beautiful and wonderfully written! You said,

“Goodbye, brother,” Jarid said solemnly as they each grabbed each other’s forearm.

“Walk a path of honor.” Shadow stated.

“Fly on winds of valor.” Jarid replied as they shook, hand and talon.

This was an exquisite ending to the chapter! It captured their final words to one another in an outstanding way! You can feel the emotion and brotherhood eminating from these lines, and I love that, so good job there!

This chapter had a lot of great moments and interactions between characters!

“Collect what you can. Use it wisely.” - Overall Thoughts

I had so much fun reading this chapter! You did a great job writing it and adding the necessary emotion to all of the scenes! I'll check out the next chapter soon!

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...

Thank you so much for the review!

Your advice on whether I should add the image into the story was exactly what I was looking for.

“I am not worried, Harry," said Dumbledore, his voice a little stronger despite the freezing water. "I am with you.”
— Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince