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Shadow's Rising {Wing 1} Chapter 8

by dragonight9


Chapter 8

Jarid and the other students were lead through the gate and across a massive courtyard. The ground was made up of smooth rectangles of grey stone instead of packed dirt and rocks, and Jarid noticed many claw marks on the stone. This was probably where many dragons landed before proceeding further into the academy.

It was like stepping into a whole new world beyond the gate. Though he had seen similar architecture before in noble manors, but it still left him with a feeling of awe.

The fog kept Jarid from seeing most of the academy, but he could make out what looked like a large noble manor built into the cave wall on his left. He couldn’t make out the sign near the entrance, but he noticed something about ‘Staff Housing’ on it. Just beyond that he saw what appeared to be a bunch of small inns with pictures of every type of dragon, including one that looked a lot like Shadow.

The buildings on the right looked like simple offices with few windows. But they were still built of stone bricks rather than the shabby wood and hardened mud that Jarid was used to.

Lastly, in the center of the academy grounds was a massive building like nothing Jarid had ever seen before. Massive columns stood at the entrance and the double door looked as if at least four people could comfortably walk in side by side. As they drew closer Jarid noticed that the door was also intricately carved. Jarid couldn’t help but admire the craftsmanship. He wondered if his father could make such a piece.

Instead of heading into the main doors, the instructor led them to a door on the side of the building. As they entered Jarid noticed that although the building had seemed massive in width, it was at least four times that in length. Disappearing into the fog at the back of the cavern, the entire thing seemed to be made of the same reddish bricks.

The building they entered seemed to be a place where the academy received new guests. After going down a long flight of stairs they entered a massive hallway with many doors and seats along the side and a giant desk at the end. The instructor leading them went into one of the side rooms while everyone followed.

The inside of the room smelled of stone and damp wood. The unadorned walls were made of cement and had cracks in a few places. The floor was also made of cement but covered in dirt and there was no furniture in the room from what Jarid could see.

The students all lined up on the near side of the room and, once he was inside, Jarid noticed a line of men standing side by side on the far end of the room. The instructor went to stand beside them.

“Alright listen up!” He barked.

“We will be your instructors while you are here at the academy. You will address us as instructor, sir or by rank and last name. These two are your martial arts instructor Lt. Tigan Keldor, and your dragon training instructor Lt. Diamos Tekar.”

The two men beside him stepped forward as their names were called.

“Now, I take my leave. Gentlemen. I leave these students in your capable hands.”

He saluted by placing his middle three fingers over his heart while holding his pinky down with his thumb and left the room along with the rest of the instructors except Lt. Keldor and Lt. Tekar.

Lt. Keldor smiled. He wasn’t as massively built as Jarid expected, but his arms looked as solid as steel. He was about average height with short hair and no beard or mustache. Lt. Tekar on the other hand was a little overweight and had a long mustache, but Jarid could tell he was just as deadly. Lt. Tekar looked like he was sizing them up as one would cattle.

Both wore hardy brown academy uniforms, though Lt. Tekar’s sleeves looked like they had been roughly torn off. Turning his uniform into a T-shirt and exposing the massive muscles underneath.

“Alright potentials!” Lt. Keldor called happily.

“We will be taking you on a tour of the Academy. You had best familiarise yourselves with it quickly or not at all, because if you can’t find your classroom you are not going to be sticking around too long. I’ll explain more as we go.”

As he walked out the doorway he called out. “Stay in two files behind me and listen up because I won’t be repeating myself.”

Jarid joined the middle of the line as the students filed out of the room with Lt. Tekar bringing up the rear. The fog had mostly cleared up and the fresh air near the mountain top was clean and crisp. Lt. Keldor led the way back out into the main courtyard and pointed to the buildings Jarid had thought were inns.

“Those are the dorms and next to it is the residence for the live-in staff. Once you have been chosen by your squad you will live with them there.” Jarid wondered if he should already know what a squad was. Which squad would pick him? What happened if none of them did? But he didn’t have time to dwell on these questions. Lt. Keldor was already heading for the center of the square.

“Those are mostly office buildings for the logistics staff. You shouldn’t go in there unless your instructor takes you there for an applied lesson.” he continued, waving at the simple stone buildings on the right side of the academy grounds.

Then they entered the intricately carved main doors of the central building.

“This is the Center of Academic Learning or CAL for short. It is where all classes besides physical and dragon training will be held. You will learn geography, tactics, survival, magic, and many other things here.”

As he led them through the building he called attention to how classrooms were labelled and where the lunchroom was among many other small facts about the building. They came out of the CAL building into a large open field.

It was a massive plain of grass much bigger then the arena. It stretched from one side of the cavern to the other and had all kinds of equipment set up across its length. There was a massive obstacle course, archery range, climbing wall, sparring area and even a small workout area with weights and rope.

“These are the training grounds,” Lt. Keldor announced as they jogged across it.

“This is where I’ll be whipping you boys into shape! If you ever want to come down here train on your own time you are free to do so, but keep in mind that if you break your leg, there my not always be someone here to help you.”

Jarid shuddered at the thought. He’d never had an injury worse than a few bruises or a concussion. Then he glanced at the far side of the arena. There was a large dome set into the back of the cavern.

A thick stone wall made up the bottom half, reaching almost as high as the dorm roofs. The top half was a massive steel cage attached by chains to the roof of the cave. The cage and chains were covered in massive spikes and made of a strange green steel.

Jarid realised what the dome was for a moment before the instructor pointed to the structure.

“That is the Dragon Dome. All training with dragons happens there. Inside is the most dangerous place in the academy. Dragons are wild creatures, and you never know when they might turn on you so you must always have your wits about you while inside.”

Jarid had accepted that most people would hate and fear dragons, but he had hoped that it might be different here. Now he realised that even those who dealt with dragons on a daily basis only saw them as slightly smart beasts at best.

The door to the Dragon Dome was closed and would normally be barred with a portcullis but it was raised at the moment. It was very clear nothing could get in or out without permission. Lt. Keldor knocked loudly on the door.

“Enter!” Someone called from the other side.

The door was opened. The procession of students walked down a short, sloped tunnel and out through a raised gate on the other side. The inside of the dragon dome looked similar to the arena from home, but a lot bigger.

The wall went straight up to the cage and the spikes attached to them seemed sharp. It looked like an effective deterrent, though Jarid noticed blood on some of them. Evidence that some dragons had tried regardless.

There were multiple tunnels leading into the arena from under the mountain and many more cages set into the walls. Every entrance and exit had a gate made of thick steel bars either set in place or hovering over it. Lt. Keldor led them to the side of the arena.

“We have a special treat for you today. Most people can go their entire lives without seeing a wild dragon, but we have a newly caught dragon coming in today. You will stay back and watch as our dragon hunters bring it in. Then we will continue the tour.”

Jarid felt his blood run cold. He knew it was ridiculous, but he couldn’t stop himself from wondering if Shadow had been caught and they were about to bring him in. The students heard the rumbling sound of a cart rolling down the ramp and everyone strained to see it.

Jarid let out a sigh of relief. The dragon was a light blue color and lay on a flat cart. She looked a little bigger than Shadow but wasn’t fully grown yet. She was tangled in a net and held down by two men on each side with ropes thrown across. Three more men with spears walked alongside the cart which was pulled by another two men.

The dragon had already given up and wasn’t even trying to fight back. She looked so dejected and sad that Jarid wanted to go over and comfort her, but he didn't want to risk getting in trouble. He had already decided not to try freeing any of the dragons held captive here while he was a student. It was far to dangerous and would certainly ruin any chances he had of becoming a dragon rider.

So, he watched in silence as they dragged the sad female dragon across the floor of the dome.

They were halfway across when one of the students, who had snuck away from the group, suddenly grabbed a spear from one of the weapon racks along the sides of the arena and charged the dragon. He was almost halfway there when Lt. Tekar spotted him.

“Get back in line now!” he roared.

The dragon looked up, startled, and saw him charging with his spear. She tried to jump up to defend herself, yanking the four men holding her down off their feet. She shrieked in terror, but the net tangled around her kept her from defending herself as she desperately tried to get away from the incoming spear. 

The boy kept charging until one of the guards leapt at him, tackling him to the ground and causing him to drop his spear. The two remaining guards leveled their spears and yelled at the dragon, but she was far too frightened to calm down.

“Great,” Jarid heard Lt. Tekar mutter. “Now she’ll have to be put down before she kills someone.”

Jarid’s heart stopped. They wouldn’t do that surely. She was just scared. Anyone could see that. He hatted the thought of this dragon being held captive but the thought of having to watch them kill her right in front of him was too much to bear.

Before he knew what was happening, he was already halfway to the dragon’s side. His legs propelling him across the dome floor. He vaguely heard people shouting at him, but he was too focused on the dragon for their words to matter. Soon he was within reach of her tail. She was roaring and snarling so loudly that Jarid hoped no one would hear what he was about to do.

“Hɪɖssd͡ʒ! Hɪɖoʊ ɪɖɛɛʧ!” He shouted in the dragon language.

The dragon’s eyes widened, and she froze for a moment. Jarid leaped onto the cart and wrapped his arms around the dragon’s head so she couldn’t move. Then he whispered in her ear so no one else could hear.

“Hwɹɹ lssŋŋ. Hŋs ŋɹɹd ɖæ iɹɹʧ ɪlɹɹɹɒʁd ŋɬjHɛ jɛɛʧ ŋɬɖ ʧɹɹɹɖ nnɹɹɹŋŋ tɹɹɹɖ ɔæ. Hɔæ jɛɛʧ wɹɹ sssʧʁɛɖ.”

He slowly pet her neck. Stroking her smooth scales and whispering calming words until she slowly relaxed and laid back down on the cart. He knew it wouldn’t be long before they pulled him off the cart, so he whispered a quick goodbye.

“Hɛ ʌŋŋ ɪɬɯɹɹ ɔæ jɤ iəəɯɪɖ ɖæ ləəəŋŋ tɛɛɯ, Hwəəəɖ ɛ jsssŋɖ ɔæ ɖæ ŋs ɪəəəŋŋ huənk ɬɯ ɔɔəəd. Hɖɯɛ ŋɬɖ ɖæ ɯɒɪɪɛɛɪɖ sssɯ nnoʊ jɛɛʧ tɤɖ ɔæ ŋŋəəɯ”

He apologised one last time as the ropes tightened around her once more and one of the guards pulled him off the cart. Throwing him to the ground.

“That was a stupid, reckless thing to do boy! I’m surprised she didn’t bite your head clean off! Not that there seems to be much inside it anyway.”

Then he picked Jarid off the floor and shoved him in the direction of the rest of the students.

“You got lucky boy. Don’t try this again or you will surely end up dead. You have no idea what these monsters are like.”

You're the one who knows nothing about them! You aren't even trying to understand how they feel! Jarid thought bitterly, but he held his tongue.

Hanging his head apologetically, he rejoined the group. Lt. Keldor gave him a light slap upside the head and had him stand right at the front so he could keep an eye on him. Jarid saw no sign of the other boy and when he asked about it he was told that, apparently, his best friend had been killed when he tried to stop a dragon from taking the sheep he was tending.

The boy only came to the academy to get revenge and had been expelled immediately for endangering his fellow students and almost forcing them to kill the dragon. Even if the academy only saw them as beasts, dragons were expensive, and they weren’t about to let anyone kill one for something as trivial as revenge. He warned Jarid that if he stepped out of line again he would also be expelled.

After that Lt. Tekar explained how the dragon dome worked. There were three tunnels leading under the mountain and each had a specific purpose. The first was called the dragon pen and it contained the dragon’s stalls. All dragons who awaited riders were kept there. Some were already tamed, and others were in the process of being tamed. Those dragons who refused to be tamed were kept in the cages along the walls of the arena for fighting practice or were sold off to the highest bidder after having their wings cut.

Jarid was disgusted by the idea but at the same time he understood that they didn’t want the dragons they sold escaping. The next tunnel was called the dragon roost and housed all the nests of dragons who had riders. They also stored the weapons of on-duty dragon riders as well as the tools for any maintenance they needed to do on either weapon or dragon.

The last was the supply tunnel containing everything the dragon dome and dragon stalls needed. Feed, armor, cleaning supplies, and other miscellaneous items.

Lt. Keldor explained that they would be trained in how to defeat a dragon should one ever turn on them. Then, halfway through the year, they would get to select a dragon from the rider-less dragons that had been tamed. At which point they would be given a full set of equipment, including a saddle, riding gem, helmet, and riding outfit. All of which they would maintain themselves from then on.

Jarid wondered what a ‘riding gem’ was, but he didn’t want to speak up since he was already in trouble. Besides, he knew they would probably explain it when the time came.

As the tour came to a close the new students went back into the same hall where they started, but this time they took a right down a long spiral staircase. At the bottom was a door with torches on either side and when everyone had gathered both instructors went to stand in front of the door.

“You have all shown the strength and intelligence needed to be a dragon rider during the evaluation, but there is one more quality necessary to become a dragon rider. Courage.” Lt. Keldor announced.

“We are the elite warriors of this country,” Lt. Tekar continued, “Our task is to defend against all manner of horrors and evils any normal warrior would flee from. To make sure you can withstand such things we have devised a series of tests to see if you have the guts to become one of us.” He opened the door and stepped aside.

“Know that at any point you can refuse to participate in any of the upcoming tests, but that will be taken as a sign that you are not ready to be a dragon rider and you will be expelled,” Lt Keldor finished as he also stepped aside.

Jarid’s heart sank. He had come all this way and there were yet more obstacles to overcome? He was beginning to realise that his place at Dragon Rider Academy would never be guaranteed until the day he graduated.

Jarid took a deep breath and readied himself. If this was what it took to become a dragon rider, he would prove he was worthy every day if he had to!

Bring on your tests then. I’ll crush every single one until the day I can return to Shadow as a fully fledged Dragon Rider!

Author's note:

The dragon language used in my book is a phonetic-based language I created myself using English as a base. 

I have a translator but I'm not sure if I will post it here since I'll provide most of the necessary translations at the end of the appropriate chapter. If you would like me to post the translator I will gladly do so. Just let me know in the comments.

Here are the translations for this chapter, I hope you enjoyed :}

1st

Dragon: Hɪɖssd͡ʒ! Hɪɖoʊ ɪɖɛɛʧ!

Direct/phonetic translation: Stɒp! ste͡ɪ stɪl!

English: Stop! Stay still!

2nd

Dragon: Hwɹɹ llssŋŋ. Hŋs ŋɹɹd ɖæ iɹɹʧ ɪllɹɹɹ

ɒɯd ŋɬj. Hɛ jɛɛʧ ŋɬɖ ʧɹɹɹɖ nnɹɹɹŋŋ tɤɖ ɔæ. Hɔæ jɛɛʧ wɹɹ sssʧɯɛɖ.

Direct/phonetic translation: bi kɒm. no͡ʊ nid tuː fˈil skɛərd naw. aɪ wɪl nɑt lɛt θɛm hɜːt jˈu. ju wɪl bi ɔːlɹˈa͡ɪ t

English: Be calm. No need to feel scared now. I will not let them hurt you. You will be alright.

3rd

Dragon: Hɛ ʌŋŋ ɪɬɯɹɹ ɔæ jɤ iəəɯɪɖ ɖæ lləəəŋŋ tɛɛɯ, Hwəəəɖ ɛ jsssŋɖ ɔæ ɖæ ŋs ɪəəəŋŋ huənk ɬɯ ɔɔəəd. Hɖɯɛ ŋɬɖ ɖæ ɯɒɪɪɛɛɪɖ sssɯ nnoʊ jɛɛʧ tɤɖ ɔæ ŋŋəəɯ.

Direct/phonetic translation: a͡ɪ ˈæm sˈɑːɹi jˈuː wˈɜː fˈoː͡ɹst tˈuː kˈʌm hˈɪ͡ɹ, bˈʌt ˈa͡ɪ wˈɔnt jˈuː tˈuː nˈo͡ʊ sˈʌm hjˈuːmənz ɑː͡ɹ ɡˈʊd. tɹˈa͡ɪ nˈɑːt tˈuː ɹəzˈɪst ˈɔː͡ɹ θˈe͡ɪ wˈɪl hˈɜːt jˈuː mˈoː͡ɹ

English: I am sorry you were forced to come here, but I want you to know some humans are good. Try not to resist or they will hurt you more.


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Thu Feb 29, 2024 5:01 pm
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...

Great introductory chapter to the academy and some of its teachers, and it even gave us a moment of action to rile things up! Consistently reading about the layout, I already have a solid idea of this new environment and what these students may be doing on an average day. It also gave some hints about how the academy may handle its dragons in the future, and how Jarid may in his own way. Let's get into the details though.

Where The Dagger Points...

No recommendations for content! Like I said, it did a great job introducing the essentials of the academy, and the glimpse into the lifestyle of humans and dragons really piqued my interest. There were just two tiny errors that I noticed along the way:

Jarid and the other students were lead through the gate and across a massive courtyard.


I think the students would have been led through the gate. Then one more a little later:

He hatted the thought of this dragon being held captive


I think you meant "he hated the thought" here.

That was all!

Why The Grin Widened...

Once again, you've done very well with your descriptions, and not only that, but I like the choice of design for the academy. The elaborate stonework, and how much of it is built into the mountain. It really gives off a rough feeling of power in a way, perfect for an academy of this type and caliber. And of course, the details like the intricately carved gates still kept it refined and noble.

Your dragon language was fascinating to read, and I enjoyed reading the translations at the end! That's just so cool!

The moment with the wild dragon was the perfect addition to this chapter, and honestly, I think having read Wing 2 first and growing to care about so many dragon characters gave that much more of an impact and made it that harder to read (not literally, it was well-written, just emotionally lol). The reader is easily able to sympathize with Jarid and his bitterness about the way dragons here are treated, even though there's nothing he can really do about it. Jarid displaying his knowledge of the dragon language, and quite effectively given that the dragon did calm down, makes me think someone will take interest in that ability -for better or worse. Regardless, him saving that little dragon's life was a big relief in a tense and chaotic moment. The way he is reprimanded in such a patronizing way was so frustrating, but at least that bloodthirsty student was expelled, lol. So, a lot of mixed feelings in just a few paragraphs, lol ~

Talking about a trial of courage, and showing Jarid's determination to progress through this academy, was the perfect conclusion to this introduction and a good clue as to what Jarid's first step into academy life will look like.

Our Mad Thoughts...

Overall, awesome chapter and I can't wait to see more of this! Nicely done! :)

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Wed Feb 28, 2024 8:36 pm
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PKMichelle wrote a review...



Hello once more, friend!
I spy with my little eye an awesome new chapter to read and review!! This'll be on the shorter side of my reviews (unless I get carried away)!

Let's begin....
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Per my interpretation, this was an astonishing chapter with many wonderful things taking place!

Brief Summary: Jarid and his fellow potentials are getting a tour of the academy when they arrive at the dragon dome. They had brought a new dragon that one student tried to kill in an act of revenge, causing it to panic, leading Jarid to disobey orders and calm it. After that catastrophe, they are brought back inside, where a few more tests await to test their courage.

A wonderful plot for a wonderful chapter!


If I could offer any sort of advice, there would be nothing grammatically or plot-wise that I could criticize. But there was a rather weird thing that happened with the text when the instructor was introducing the lieutenants.

When it came to him saying Lt. Tigan Keldor's name, the text for his name was blue, and when I went over it, a line appeared under it almost as if it were a link, but it didn't actually do anything.

I was just wondering if that was intentional or just a weird glitch that's happening on my end... Either way, everything else was awesome!


If I had to pick my favorite part, there would be a couple!! You did some awesome things here that are definitely worth mentioning!

The first thing that stood out to me was a bit of a slant rhyme that occurs when Lt. Keldor is preparing the potentials for the tour. He said,

You had best familiarise yourselves with it quickly or not at all, because if you can’t find your classroom, you are not going to be sticking around too long.


This probably wasn't intentional, but if it was, I thought it was really cool! Whatever your intention was, I really liked it and read that same sentence over and over again because I thought it was just really well done, so good job there!

The next thing that caught my eye was the way you portrayed Jarid's sympathy towards the dragons! He's so caring and really tries to understand them unlike anyone else and that's really shown when you say,

You're the one who knows nothing about them! You aren't even trying to understand how they feel! Jarid thought bitterly, but he held his tongue.


The way he's on the same wavelength as them and genuinely feels bad for their misfortune is incredibly telling of his true character, and I also thought it was really well written, so kudos to you for that!


Overall, I loved everything that I saw, and I had a fantastic time! You did a great job, as always! And I'm really excited for more!!

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!




PKMichelle says...


Also, in response to the author's note at the end where you said,

I have a translator, but I'm not sure if I will post it here since I'll provide most of the necessary translations at the end of the appropriate chapter. If you would like me to post the translator, I will gladly do so. Just let me know in the comments.


I think it would be really cool if you did... I'd love to be able to decode it myself! I feel like it'd make the entire experience so much more immersive, and I'm all here for that!

Once again, great job!!




Life, although it may only be an accumulation of anguish, is dear to me, and I will defend it.
— Mary Shelley, Frankenstein