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Shadow's Rising {Wing 3} Chapter 1

by dragonight9


Chapter 1

It was late and most of the other members of his squad were already in bed, but Jarid was just finishing his chores. He walked through the caves feeding the dragons.

It was starting to get chilly as winter was approaching, especially this high on the mountain. Though it was not cold enough for snow yet and the inside of the tunnels was still warm. All Jarid needed was his shirt and the rough, dirty overalls used exclusively for cleaning the dragon cages.

As he finished feeding the last dragon in the tunnel, he thought over everything that had happened over the year so far. It had been a hard 5 months of school, but he had learned a lot. Classes were going well, and he’d been able to mostly avoid people wondering how he knew so much about dragons. 

After the first day of magic, he knew he couldn’t hide his powerful magic, but he still kept his physical strength mostly the same as everyone else. Only training with heavy weights in the dorm when he knew no one else was watching.

He was given magic lessons in a separate classroom due to his abilities, but it was also to keep him away from the other students who might ‘accidentally’ hit him with magic. Even though Mr. Glitzer wasn’t concerned about his origins, the other students still disliked the idea of a commoner doing better than them at magic.

There were, of course, students in other classes who didn’t like the idea of a commoner sitting beside them. Not all the nobles were like that but few, if any, stepped in to stop the bullying. Even so, he was still enjoying some classes. The class he enjoyed the most was surprisingly dragon training.

Lt. Tekar loved surprising them with new drills and although his teaching methods were harsh, Jarid was able to learn a lot more about dragons. Both how to harm and heal them. Which he was grateful for.

He could also ask as many questions as he wanted without raising much suspicion. The Lt was very knowledgeable and so long as you were respectful, he would give you a strait answer to the best of his abilities.

Everyone in black squad was so helpful and he’d even made a friend, Reuben, from Red squad. There were a lot of things only nobles were taught that were different to what Jarid had learned from Shadow’s mother, and they helped him learn those things quickly.

Black Squad had gone through many trials together and managed to come out on top almost every time. In the team competition they were currently ranked fourth to the surprise of many squad leaders. Though Jarid suspected that their close victories were more due to their opponents underestimating their abilities rather than Black Squad’s teamwork or strength.

For now, everyone in black squad pretty much did their own thing and even though they never gave up, they only loosely followed the plan if there even was one. And although they had made Jarid their flight leader, they rarely listened to his instructions during combat, or each others for that matter.

Jarid didn’t want to hurt their feelings by bringing this up with them and even if he did, Gunther told him that they probably wouldn’t really do what he asked until what they were currently doing stopped working. Jarid wasn’t sure how long this would take though.

Even if strength was only one aspect of what they needed to win, everyone in Black Squad was training hard and growing stronger much faster than most other squads. Though this might work against them in the long run since their teamwork was lacking.

Gunther was hard on them. He pushed them to their limits every day and if they needed help, he was a deep reservoir of knowledge and experience. Most other squads felt that getting through the academy’s training was enough on its own, but Gunther encouraged them to go beyond by training their bodies in the mornings and their minds at night.

As they worked together Jarid had come to trust each member of his squad completely and they trusted him as well. Though he still kept most of his past a secret. He only ever talked in dragon when he was cleaning the stables where nobody would hear him. He had taken to doing it as late in the evening as possible to make sure no one accidently came across him talking to them.

It was nice to be able to take his time getting to know the dragons at the academy. The blue dragon he had met on his first day turned out to be a Storm Wing by the name of Vapor. She had asked him to teach her the human language and was a fast learner. She already understood enough to make basic conversation and kept improving.

As for Firebrand, he had stopped trying to scare Jarid away when he fed him and even allowed Jarid to clean his stall without much of a fuss. Probably because he was only torturing himself with the stench otherwise. And just yesterday, Jarid had finally been able to get him to talk. It had only been an introduction, but it was progress, and now he finally knew the angry dragon’s name.

Smolder.

The dragon choosing ceremony was less than a week away. The first year students were allowed a short vacation in the two weeks while the second years got used to their new dragons and got them outfitted. Jarid couldn’t wait to see Shadow again. They had so much to talk about. Even though it was only a few days, he knew it was going to feel like forever waiting for the selection to begin.

He also felt bad about leaving Shadow alone for all this time.

I’m sure he’ll be so surprised to see me after only half a year has passed. I hope he’s not fraternising with other dragons while I was away. Ha, ha!

Jarid smiled as he began filling the dragon stalls with straw. Then he came to Vapor’s stall. She hadn’t been there for a few days and when he’d asked about it, Gunther said they were “breaking her in” as they called it.

Jarid was a little worried. He didn’t know what that meant but he knew they’d bring her back once they were done whatever they were doing, so he hoped he could comfort her then. Besides, he had other things to worry about.

Today he had brought something special for Smolder. A large piece of steak and his music box.

He knew that expressing how he felt wasn’t his strong suit. So, he found a song that would express it for him. He knew that the lyrics were in human, but he could sing them in dragon. He just had to convince Smolder to listen first.

“Hi Smolder!” Jarid greeted cheerily as he came up to Smolder’s stall.

Smolder huffed and turned his head away.

“Come on. I’ve brought you a special treat today,” Jarid said as he pulled out the steak. Smolder’s nose twitched and he looked at Jarid suspiciously.

“What do you want?”

“Not much. I just want you to listen to a song I brought with me. Don’t worry, I’ll sing the lyrics so you can understand.”

Smolder narrowed his eyes but shuffled forward a bit. Jarid held out the steak and Smolder snatched it quickly. Then he took a small bite and his eyes widened in surprise. The steak disappeared faster than Jarid could blink.

“Ok then. Please listen quietly until the song is done. You can simply forget this song if you want or take these words to heart. That is for you to decide.”

Jarid pulled out his music box and began to play “Not Alone” by: Manafest. As he sang the words of the song, tears began flowing down his face. He could feel his longing to help this dragon who had been hurt and raged against the world and let it flow out as he sang.

"I know what you’re fighting for,you’re in the middle of a war.Even down on your broken road,There’s still hope.You are not alone!Tell me what you’re waiting forJust let me open up the door,To give you hopeYou are not alone!"

As the final notes faded away. Jarid wiped his eyes and spoke softly to Smolder.

“I’m not good at telling others how I feel. So, this is the best way I knew to get across to you how much I want to help. I don’t care if you hate me. Just, please, let me help you.”

Jarid placed his hands on the cage and looked at Smolder. The dragon was sitting hunched over with his back to him. His tail was sitting against the bars of the stall. Jarid knew he shouldn’t, but he wanted to know if he had reached Smolder in any way.

Before, whenever he had touched Smolder the dragon had tried to bite his hand off or slash him through the bars. Jarid reached down and laid his hand on Smolder’s tail. Smolder pulled his tail away and growled but this time his growl sounded more annoyed than angry, and maybe a little sad too.

Then Smolder growled again in annoyance and flopped down on his side facing away from Jarid. Curling into a ball he started muttering to himself.

“No, no, no. He is a human. A human! Terrible, horrible creatures. Why? Those were just words. Lies! He’s no different. He’s just trying to trick you. Why do they make me feel like this? No! He muh hurh hoo…” Smolder’s voice muffled as he stuffed his face into his forearm.

So, this was what Smolder was really like under all that anger and pride. He hadn’t been able to trust anyone after being captured. But deep down he must want to trust someone. This only made Jarid even more determined to help.

Just then he heard voices coming down the tunnel and quickly hid the music box in his pile of tools. It was Dominic and three of the members of his flight. Just yesterday Black Squad had beaten them in a team competition. It looked like they were here to get some payback.

Dominic smiled smugly. “Hello peasant. I knew we’d find you in a dirty, smelly place like this. You must feel right at home,” he said with a sneer.

Jarid chuckled softly. Oddly enough it did feel like home being around all these dragons. And since he had been cleaning it, the smell was a far cry from the first time he entered.

Dominic frowned.

“What’s so funny?” He asked angrily. Jarid shook his head.

“Nothing. I was just finishing up in here anyway, so I’ll be out of your way.” He said as he tried to walk around them, but one of the boys shoved him back.

“Not so fast. We know you cheated during the team event yesterday. Did you really think we would just let it slide?”

Jarid knew this situation well. It was best to just take the beating and be done with it. The ground was littered with rocks and other small debris from the cave roof. One of the boys picked up a rock and threw it at him. Soon a hail of fist sized rocks and other objects on the cave floor rained down on Jarid’s head.

Jarid covered his head and face as best he could to protect them and was grateful magic was forbidden outside of training or they might have taken this too far and forced him to defend himself. As it was, the stones were painful but not lethal.

As the hail of stones increased, so did the boy’s taunts.

“A mere commoner should never have been allowed into the academy,” they spat. “You can never be a dragon rider. You can just slink back to whatever filthy hole you crawled out of.” Jarid curled up into a ball to protect himself from the hail of stones.

“What’s the matter? Aren’t you supposed to be a great dragon rider? Because I don’t see anything but a filthy runt,” Dominic sneered as he ran up and kicked Jarid in his side. Jarid cried out in pain as the blow sent him sprawling. The boys started laughing but their laughter was drowned out by a deafening roar.

Smolder slammed his tail into the bars of his stall, making the boys jump back in fear. They cowered for a moment before realizing the dragon was still chained up in its stall. Dominic turned to Jarid and laughed.

“Ha! Even the dragons feel the need to stick up for you peasant.” Then he picked up a rock and aimed it at Smolder with a cruel smile. “And we’re going to teach this one a lesson.”

All four boys begin picking up rocks and throwing them at Smolder.

“No! Don’t! He didn’t do anything wrong!” Jarid pleaded, but that only served to encourage them.Chained up as he was, all Smolder could do was curl into a ball to protect his face and growl at them. Jarid hopelessly pleaded with them to stop but they simply increased their torture.

Jarid could endure any attacks on himself without complaint, but he couldn’t stand to see them hurting his friend. Especially after seeing just how hurt, he already was.

Jarid stood, trembling with anger.

“I said stop.” He whispered barely controlling the rage building up inside him.

Rage at the sight of his friend Smolder being hurt by these bullies. Rage at their cruelty. Rage at the injustice before him. His vision was beginning to get blurry and his whole body ached, but it didn’t matter anymore.

Jarid closed his eyes. Hearing each thud of the rocks as they struck. Feeling the anger blazing deep within him as it grew hotter with each strike. In that moment all he could think was.

This dragon has already been hurt so much and now he’s suffering more for me. He doesn’t deserve any more pain. No. He can't suffer anymore.

I won’t allow it!

Jarid felt something inside him snap and a fire that had been buried deep inside him roared to the surface. He could feel magic power surging through every fiber of his body.

He slammed his foot into the ground creating a shockwave that shook the tunnel. Then he growled. Deep and menacing. He opened his eyes and glared at the bullies.

The bullies looked around, startled, for what had caused the tremor. Then they turned back to Jarid, wondering what was making the growling sound. Their cruel smirks melted away as they stared in horror at the change that had come over him.

His eyes had become reptilian and instead of his normal dark brown near black. They were glowing red. The scars on his arms and face became more pronounced, looking more and more like dragon scales.

The bullies could feel heat radiating off him. They took a few steps back as the color drained from their faces.

“This is your last chance.” Jarid growled at them. “Get out. Now.” He whispered, deadly serious as he glowered at the bullies, but they seemed rooted to the spot.

“Find then,” Jarid hissed as he began advancing on them holding a growing fireball in each hand and growling deep in his chest.

“You’re dead!”

His roar galvanized them into action. Thoroughly terrified by now, Dominic fled, closely followed by the other three. They sprinted from the dragon stalls, not turning, or even slowing down until they were far out of sight.

Jarid stood there and watched them go. He really had no intention of harming them, but he wanted to scare them. Both as revenge and so that they would never even think of doing anything cruel like that again.

The anger slowly drained away and the powerful magic with it. His body returned to normal, but his magic was depleted.

Jarid stumbled over to Smolder’s stall. Feeling completely drained and aching from more than a dozen bruises he leaned against the bars and accidentally fell through. Collapsing to the floor.

Smolder looked down at him with an unreadable expression.

“Sorry, I’ll leave.” Jarid groaned as he tried to get up, but Smolder looked out of the stall for a moment and sighed, looking away from Jarid.

“Those humans might come back. I’ll let you rest here if you want,” he muttered uncomfortably. He folded his wings and laid down half curled up. Jarid smiled with relief and joy that Smolder had finally accepted him. He crawled over and laid down with his head on Smolder’s side. Smolder tensed but didn’t try to push Jarid away.

“Thank you for helping me,” Jarid sighed as he relaxed against Smolder’s scales.

He snorted and laid his head down on his arm. His wing slowly unfolded and covered Jarid like a blanket. Jarid felt safe and snug laying there. Smolder was warm and his slow, rhythmic breathing was relaxing. It reminded him of the few times he had been able to sleep in dragon valley with Shadow.

Jarid fell asleep almost instantly.


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Fri Jun 07, 2024 9:26 pm
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KateHardy wrote a review...



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Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening/Night(whichever one it is in your part of the world),

Hi! I'm Kate and I'm here to leave a quick review!! I'm saw that book three was still in the green room and figured why not lemme review that before I continue reviewing book 4!


First Impression

This is a lovely little start. I feel I am missing a few things still but reading through this and seeing the world of the humans already gives me so much information on some of the fears the dragons have and all its an exciting start here.

Anyway let's get right to: Kate's Line by Line Reactions;

It was late and most of the other members of his squad were already in bed, but Jarid was just finishing his chores. He walked through the caves feeding the dragons.

It was starting to get chilly as winter was approaching, especially this high on the mountain. Though it was not cold enough for snow yet and the inside of the tunnels was still warm. All Jarid needed was his shirt and the rough, dirty overalls used exclusively for cleaning the dragon cages.

As he finished feeding the last dragon in the tunnel, he thought over everything that had happened over the year so far. It had been a hard 5 months of school, but he had learned a lot. Classes were going well, and he’d been able to mostly avoid people wondering how he knew so much about dragons.


Oooh well, this is the legendary Jarid then, quite excited to see more about him and find out what made him such a big influence although given the way this starts it almost makes me wonder if that part happened in book two but either way lovely start here.

After the first day of magic, he knew he couldn’t hide his powerful magic, but he still kept his physical strength mostly the same as everyone else. Only training with heavy weights in the dorm when he knew no one else was watching.

He was given magic lessons in a separate classroom due to his abilities, but it was also to keep him away from the other students who might ‘accidentally’ hit him with magic. Even though Mr. Glitzer wasn’t concerned about his origins, the other students still disliked the idea of a commoner doing better than them at magic.

There were, of course, students in other classes who didn’t like the idea of a commoner sitting beside them. Not all the nobles were like that but few, if any, stepped in to stop the bullying. Even so, he was still enjoying some classes. The class he enjoyed the most was surprisingly dragon training.


Ooooh well looks like Jarid is certainly quite powerful, and humans in general seem to be capable of more than most humans in this world which does explain the dragons later being more vary a lot better actually. I was wondering a bit why they'd be that terrified of humans.

Lt. Tekar loved surprising them with new drills and although his teaching methods were harsh, Jarid was able to learn a lot more about dragons. Both how to harm and heal them. Which he was grateful for.

He could also ask as many questions as he wanted without raising much suspicion. The Lt was very knowledgeable and so long as you were respectful, he would give you a strait answer to the best of his abilities.

Everyone in black squad was so helpful and he’d even made a friend, Reuben, from Red squad. There were a lot of things only nobles were taught that were different to what Jarid had learned from Shadow’s mother, and they helped him learn those things quickly.


Hmmmm well interesting we have ourselves these little squadrons of sorts that seem to be quite focused on different tasks perhaps, I'm not sure but so far I'm loving that style. We'll see where this takes us. Already Jarid caring much for dragons is coming across well.

Black Squad had gone through many trials together and managed to come out on top almost every time. In the team competition they were currently ranked fourth to the surprise of many squad leaders. Though Jarid suspected that their close victories were more due to their opponents underestimating their abilities rather than Black Squad’s teamwork or strength.

For now, everyone in black squad pretty much did their own thing and even though they never gave up, they only loosely followed the plan if there even was one. And although they had made Jarid their flight leader, they rarely listened to his instructions during combat, or each others for that matter.

Jarid didn’t want to hurt their feelings by bringing this up with them and even if he did, Gunther told him that they probably wouldn’t really do what he asked until what they were currently doing stopped working. Jarid wasn’t sure how long this would take though.


Oooh well that's an interesting one. Quite an important point there for sure how a team can't win simply off of having strong members but needs to showcase actual teamwork too.

Even if strength was only one aspect of what they needed to win, everyone in Black Squad was training hard and growing stronger much faster than most other squads. Though this might work against them in the long run since their teamwork was lacking.

Gunther was hard on them. He pushed them to their limits every day and if they needed help, he was a deep reservoir of knowledge and experience. Most other squads felt that getting through the academy’s training was enough on its own, but Gunther encouraged them to go beyond by training their bodies in the mornings and their minds at night.

As they worked together Jarid had come to trust each member of his squad completely and they trusted him as well. Though he still kept most of his past a secret. He only ever talked in dragon when he was cleaning the stables where nobody would hear him. He had taken to doing it as late in the evening as possible to make sure no one accidently came across him talking to them.


Ooooh interesting. I was wondering ever since dragon training was a subject but it looks like dragons are pets here, which is not something I was expecting, but it would explain a lot. And I'm going to assume Jarid being kind and talking in dragon is very much an outlier among humans.

It was nice to be able to take his time getting to know the dragons at the academy. The blue dragon he had met on his first day turned out to be a Storm Wing by the name of Vapor. She had asked him to teach her the human language and was a fast learner. She already understood enough to make basic conversation and kept improving.

As for Firebrand, he had stopped trying to scare Jarid away when he fed him and even allowed Jarid to clean his stall without much of a fuss. Probably because he was only torturing himself with the stench otherwise. And just yesterday, Jarid had finally been able to get him to talk. It had only been an introduction, but it was progress, and now he finally knew the angry dragon’s name.

Smolder.


Well its clear the dragons have varying degrees of happiness upon finding out they're captives and at least for the most part it appears that Jarid is able to make them feel comfortable and welcome, and even the grumpier ones are warming up to him.

The dragon choosing ceremony was less than a week away. The first year students were allowed a short vacation in the two weeks while the second years got used to their new dragons and got them outfitted. Jarid couldn’t wait to see Shadow again. They had so much to talk about. Even though it was only a few days, he knew it was going to feel like forever waiting for the selection to begin.

He also felt bad about leaving Shadow alone for all this time.

I’m sure he’ll be so surprised to see me after only half a year has passed. I hope he’s not fraternising with other dragons while I was away. Ha, ha!


Well that's a hilarious little line there for Jarid to worried he could lose his friend although it does create a small question or two about what happens towards the end of this book.

Jarid smiled as he began filling the dragon stalls with straw. Then he came to Vapor’s stall. She hadn’t been there for a few days and when he’d asked about it, Gunther said they were “breaking her in” as they called it.

Jarid was a little worried. He didn’t know what that meant but he knew they’d bring her back once they were done whatever they were doing, so he hoped he could comfort her then. Besides, he had other things to worry about.

Today he had brought something special for Smolder. A large piece of steak and his music box.


Hmm I don't like the idea of breaking in anymore than Jarid does, that sounds like the kind of thing that hurts a dragon, especially when a human says it. But it seems Jarid is just going to try and do his best and spread some love to the dragon for now.

He knew that expressing how he felt wasn’t his strong suit. So, he found a song that would express it for him. He knew that the lyrics were in human, but he could sing them in dragon. He just had to convince Smolder to listen first.

“Hi Smolder!” Jarid greeted cheerily as he came up to Smolder’s stall.

Smolder huffed and turned his head away.

“Come on. I’ve brought you a special treat today,” Jarid said as he pulled out the steak. Smolder’s nose twitched and he looked at Jarid suspiciously.

“What do you want?”


Oooh looks like Smolder is in that classic phase of pretending to hate Jarid but you can certainly sense there's a little bit of affection there at the very least, at least the beginnings of trust.

“Not much. I just want you to listen to a song I brought with me. Don’t worry, I’ll sing the lyrics so you can understand.”

Smolder narrowed his eyes but shuffled forward a bit. Jarid held out the steak and Smolder snatched it quickly. Then he took a small bite and his eyes widened in surprise. The steak disappeared faster than Jarid could blink.

“Ok then. Please listen quietly until the song is done. You can simply forget this song if you want or take these words to heart. That is for you to decide.”

Jarid pulled out his music box and began to play “Not Alone” by: Manafest. As he sang the words of the song, tears began flowing down his face. He could feel his longing to help this dragon who had been hurt and raged against the world and let it flow out as he sang.


Well looks like Jarid is picking a pretty good song there I think, judging by the way the title alone is decided and guessing at how Smolder came to be in the position that Smolder is currently in.

"I know what you’re fighting for,you’re in the middle of a war.Even down on your broken road,There’s still hope.You are not alone!Tell me what you’re waiting forJust let me open up the door,To give you hopeYou are not alone!"

As the final notes faded away. Jarid wiped his eyes and spoke softly to Smolder.

“I’m not good at telling others how I feel. So, this is the best way I knew to get across to you how much I want to help. I don’t care if you hate me. Just, please, let me help you.”

Jarid placed his hands on the cage and looked at Smolder. The dragon was sitting hunched over with his back to him. His tail was sitting against the bars of the stall. Jarid knew he shouldn’t, but he wanted to know if he had reached Smolder in any way.


Well looks like that one definitely got through to Smolder there, at least that's the only logical conclusion I can come to based off of what we're seeing in this particular one.

Before, whenever he had touched Smolder the dragon had tried to bite his hand off or slash him through the bars. Jarid reached down and laid his hand on Smolder’s tail. Smolder pulled his tail away and growled but this time his growl sounded more annoyed than angry, and maybe a little sad too.

Then Smolder growled again in annoyance and flopped down on his side facing away from Jarid. Curling into a ball he started muttering to himself.

“No, no, no. He is a human. A human! Terrible, horrible creatures. Why? Those were just words. Lies! He’s no different. He’s just trying to trick you. Why do they make me feel like this? No! He muh hurh hoo…” Smolder’s voice muffled as he stuffed his face into his forearm.


Well looks like poor Smolder is suffering terribly there, which is probably the root of all that anger anyway and while he just needs a hug he's trying to protect himself knowing this could all be just a trick because to be fair other humans probably would make this a trick.

So, this was what Smolder was really like under all that anger and pride. He hadn’t been able to trust anyone after being captured. But deep down he must want to trust someone. This only made Jarid even more determined to help.

Just then he heard voices coming down the tunnel and quickly hid the music box in his pile of tools. It was Dominic and three of the members of his flight. Just yesterday Black Squad had beaten them in a team competition. It looked like they were here to get some payback.

Dominic smiled smugly. “Hello peasant. I knew we’d find you in a dirty, smelly place like this. You must feel right at home,” he said with a sneer.


Well looks like we have some classic bullies coming into the picture. Given the kind of school sort of setting we're working with, I'm not surprised, you do need a few of those to be hanging about.

Jarid chuckled softly. Oddly enough it did feel like home being around all these dragons. And since he had been cleaning it, the smell was a far cry from the first time he entered.

Dominic frowned.

“What’s so funny?” He asked angrily. Jarid shook his head.

“Nothing. I was just finishing up in here anyway, so I’ll be out of your way.” He said as he tried to walk around them, but one of the boys shoved him back.


Oh dear well good on him for making this feel like home but I have a feeling these kids are about to do something a little bit dangerous here, I hope the dragons are clever enough not to get involved because only the dragons will be in danger then.

“Not so fast. We know you cheated during the team event yesterday. Did you really think we would just let it slide?”

Jarid knew this situation well. It was best to just take the beating and be done with it. The ground was littered with rocks and other small debris from the cave roof. One of the boys picked up a rock and threw it at him. Soon a hail of fist sized rocks and other objects on the cave floor rained down on Jarid’s head.

Jarid covered his head and face as best he could to protect them and was grateful magic was forbidden outside of training or they might have taken this too far and forced him to defend himself. As it was, the stones were painful but not lethal.

As the hail of stones increased, so did the boy’s taunts.


Well Jarid showcasing a brain here, not too often protagonists tend to possess one when it comes to the idea of dealing with idiots of this nature that can't really be reasoned with.

“A mere commoner should never have been allowed into the academy,” they spat. “You can never be a dragon rider. You can just slink back to whatever filthy hole you crawled out of.” Jarid curled up into a ball to protect himself from the hail of stones.

“What’s the matter? Aren’t you supposed to be a great dragon rider? Because I don’t see anything but a filthy runt,” Dominic sneered as he ran up and kicked Jarid in his side. Jarid cried out in pain as the blow sent him sprawling. The boys started laughing but their laughter was drowned out by a deafening roar.

Smolder slammed his tail into the bars of his stall, making the boys jump back in fear. They cowered for a moment before realizing the dragon was still chained up in its stall. Dominic turned to Jarid and laughed.


Well looks like they really do not like the thought of someone that's considered a commoner winning so much there, that seems to be the root of their whole problem at this point or they'd have gone after the whole team surely.

“Ha! Even the dragons feel the need to stick up for you peasant.” Then he picked up a rock and aimed it at Smolder with a cruel smile. “And we’re going to teach this one a lesson.”

All four boys begin picking up rocks and throwing them at Smolder.

“No! Don’t! He didn’t do anything wrong!” Jarid pleaded, but that only served to encourage them.Chained up as he was, all Smolder could do was curl into a ball to protect his face and growl at them. Jarid hopelessly pleaded with them to stop but they simply increased their torture.


Well looks like unfortunately Smolder was not smart enough to not get involved. I was worried exactly that outcome because the dragons aren't exactly going to be in a position to be able to defend themselves and even if they were the boys would probably just report the dragon as dangerous and needing to be punished or worse.

Jarid could endure any attacks on himself without complaint, but he couldn’t stand to see them hurting his friend. Especially after seeing just how hurt, he already was.

Jarid stood, trembling with anger.

“I said stop.” He whispered barely controlling the rage building up inside him.

Rage at the sight of his friend Smolder being hurt by these bullies. Rage at their cruelty. Rage at the injustice before him. His vision was beginning to get blurry and his whole body ached, but it didn’t matter anymore.


Oh dear Jarid's about to have a main character moment, this is understandable though, given that he did his best to remain passive but now its more than just him and they're attacking a defenseless on top of it.

Jarid closed his eyes. Hearing each thud of the rocks as they struck. Feeling the anger blazing deep within him as it grew hotter with each strike. In that moment all he could think was.

This dragon has already been hurt so much and now he’s suffering more for me. He doesn’t deserve any more pain. No. He can't suffer anymore.

I won’t allow it!

Jarid felt something inside him snap and a fire that had been buried deep inside him roared to the surface. He could feel magic power surging through every fiber of his body.


Oh dear here we go. Loving the description by the way of the magic building bit by bit as the righteous anger builds and the boys don't even notice that things are going wrong before it just absolutely explodes and I love it.

He slammed his foot into the ground creating a shockwave that shook the tunnel. Then he growled. Deep and menacing. He opened his eyes and glared at the bullies.

The bullies looked around, startled, for what had caused the tremor. Then they turned back to Jarid, wondering what was making the growling sound. Their cruel smirks melted away as they stared in horror at the change that had come over him.

His eyes had become reptilian and instead of his normal dark brown near black. They were glowing red. The scars on his arms and face became more pronounced, looking more and more like dragon scales.


Well that's not a good sign for the poor bullies and wow Jarid has some intense magic with some very interesting properties there too, I can't imagine this whole thing is something that every body can get, especially given how the bullies are also reacting.

The bullies could feel heat radiating off him. They took a few steps back as the color drained from their faces.

“This is your last chance.” Jarid growled at them. “Get out. Now.” He whispered, deadly serious as he glowered at the bullies, but they seemed rooted to the spot.

“Find then,” Jarid hissed as he began advancing on them holding a growing fireball in each hand and growling deep in his chest.

“You’re dead!”


Well either Jarid's anger is that pronounced or he's not completely himself when his magic takes over because that is a terrifying threat there and he is clearly offering no one any kind of mercy there.

His roar galvanized them into action. Thoroughly terrified by now, Dominic fled, closely followed by the other three. They sprinted from the dragon stalls, not turning, or even slowing down until they were far out of sight.

Jarid stood there and watched them go. He really had no intention of harming them, but he wanted to scare them. Both as revenge and so that they would never even think of doing anything cruel like that again.

The anger slowly drained away and the powerful magic with it. His body returned to normal, but his magic was depleted.


Oooh well that explains that, looks like he was just trying to create a nice mental image that those clowns wouldn't forget. I doubt that's the last we see of them for this book but it definitely deals with the problem for now.

Jarid stumbled over to Smolder’s stall. Feeling completely drained and aching from more than a dozen bruises he leaned against the bars and accidentally fell through. Collapsing to the floor.

Smolder looked down at him with an unreadable expression.

“Sorry, I’ll leave.” Jarid groaned as he tried to get up, but Smolder looked out of the stall for a moment and sighed, looking away from Jarid.

“Those humans might come back. I’ll let you rest here if you want,” he muttered uncomfortably. He folded his wings and laid down half curled up. Jarid smiled with relief and joy that Smolder had finally accepted him. He crawled over and laid down with his head on Smolder’s side. Smolder tensed but didn’t try to push Jarid away.


Well looks like that little display thankfully managed to make Smolder think of trusting him at least cause when they were attacking you did have to wonder if maybe Smolder would think liking a human is a bad idea even if its a trustworthy human.

“Thank you for helping me,” Jarid sighed as he relaxed against Smolder’s scales.

He snorted and laid his head down on his arm. His wing slowly unfolded and covered Jarid like a blanket. Jarid felt safe and snug laying there. Smolder was warm and his slow, rhythmic breathing was relaxing. It reminded him of the few times he had been able to sleep in dragon valley with Shadow.

Jarid fell asleep almost instantly.


Well this is a cute little ending here for the two of them. Glad to see that Jarid is making friends in the right places. We'll see where this goes from here onwards now.

Aaand that's it for this oneee!!!

Overall

Overall I think this is a wonderful start to proceedings on this book and I look forward to seeing how this will unfold further. Onward to chapter two it is then. Let's see what Jarid is going to get upto.

As always remember to: Take what you think was helpful and forget the rest!

Stay Safe and Have a Nice Day!
Kate


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dragonight9 says...


I have so many of your reviews to get to so I may have to keep my replies short. (You have no idea how excited to see them all btw)

Love your comments about Jarid and his friends. So glad it was easy to see (or read I guess lol)



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Sat Apr 13, 2024 5:24 pm
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RavenAkuma wrote a review...



Hello, My Friend!

Woohoo, Wing 3!! I was so excited to read this, I wanted to do it sooner but then chaos erupted LOL! Beware, I have a lot to cram in here, so it may be a long review (another one) haha.

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

What The Black Eyes See...

Oh wow, what an incredible start to Wing 3! You did a great job summarizing how Jarid's first five months have been at the academy, and the position that he finds himself in. Then, despite the horrifying display from Dominic and his lackeys, his moment with Smolder was such a tender-hearted addition that I really enjoyed, and it was the perfect way to add some flare to this opening. Let's get into the details though.

Where The Dagger Points...

Not much to put here at all; no recommendations for content! Descriptions, dialogue, overall mood and pacing; everything was spot-on throughout. Also, very well written! There was just one tiny potential error I noticed toward the beginning:

Though it was not cold enough for snow yet and the inside of the tunnels it was still warm.


Looks like this sentence may have gotten a little bit botched (been there lol). Maybe just taking that "it" after "inside the tunnels" out would help it read a bit better. Either way, very minor thing.

That is all. Great writing job ~

Why The Grin Widened...

So as I mentioned, you did great showing us how Jarid's school life has been and where he finds himself now. It sounds like he is still close with his squad despite perhaps having some leadership issues, and of course, there's the obvious problem that the other students have...

There were, of course, students in other classes who didn’t like the idea of a commoner sitting beside them. Not all the nobles were like that but few, if any, stepped in to stop the bullying. Even so, he was still enjoying some classes.


Agh! What an annoying situation for Jarid, but at least it sounds like he is making *some* allies beyond his own squad. I'm already interested in what this "Reuben" character is like. And moving beyond just the individual characters, Black Squad is in an interesting position...

Though Jarid suspected that their close victories were more due to their opponents underestimating their abilities rather than Black Squad’s teamwork or strength.


So this is interesting not only because of how much others underestimate the squad, or how that can be used as an advantage, but because it sounds like there's some developing for the team to do. And of course, that's a great way to build anticipation and open a new installment. Likewise, we're teased with an exciting prospect:

The first year students were allowed a short vacation in the two weeks while the second years got used to their new dragons and got them outfitted. Jarid couldn’t wait to see Shadow again.


Yes, getting to see Shadow again sounds great! I'm also keen on that second note, and I'm curious which dragons Black Squad's second-years will choose. How exciting ~

Ah, and moving onto the dragon stalls, it was great to learn more about Vapor, like how she wants to learn human speech and generally seems like a nice dragon. And when Jarid brought the music box and steak to Smolder, it was so sweet and I really loved seeing the dynamic; Jarid struggling to explain himself, while Smolder is trying so hard not to trust humans -understandable, after all he's been through. Just the mood and the emotions between them were captured very well and really came through, big props for that whole moment.

Then there was the very angering ambush from Dominic, and the unsettling revelation that Jarid is more used to this than he should be. Man, it was brutal, but done well. Like, how do I say, "it was hard to read but also really good?" Haha. Anyway, once again, seeing Jarid show his true, full power for once instead of hiding it was great, and so was the motive:

This dragon has already been hurt so much and now he’s suffering more for me. He doesn’t deserve any more pain. No. He can't suffer anymore.

I won’t allow it!


Just like when he did it before, he snaps to defend a friend. Not only does that speak to the growing bond with Smolder, but it's a good and compassionate trait consistent with his character. And though I wonder about the repercussions (because Dominic absolutely strikes me as the type of character to harass somebody then snitch once they snap), I can very much enjoy this ending in the meantime:

“Those humans might come back. I’ll let you rest here if you want,” he muttered uncomfortably.


Again, great way to show off the dynamic between them, while building onto Smolder's complex nature and all its layers. Awesome!

Our Mad Thoughts...

Overall, this opening chapter was great, and I can't wait to catch up! Nicely done! :D

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dragonight9 says...


So glad to hear from you again Raven.

As always, a great review! I actually rewrote that line you mentioned at least four times trying to make it sound right, so thanks for the advice.

Chapter 3 will also be more of that, "hard to read but also good" though leaning more on the hard to read side. Maybe I should add a disclaimer actually...
Thanks :)




Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.
— Albert Einstein