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Shadow's Rising {Wing 3} Chapter 12

by dragonight9


Chapter 12

As they hovered, gazing in the direction of Smolder’s homeland, Jarid could feel Smolder’s homesickness welling up before he quashed it with a slight growl of annoyance. Then Lt. Tekar came up beside them and signaled for them to land.

Jarid tried to help lift Smolder’s spirits with a few more aerial maneuvers on the way down, but it did little to help.

After they landed and Jarid dismounted, Rilliam came up to Jarid with a disapproving look on his face. Jarid had no idea what they had done wrong, but he hoped it wasn’t something terrible.

“Jarid Drakoulis. You…” He said pointing a finger at him. “…are the greatest dragon rider I have ever seen!” He finished breaking into a huge grin.

Jarid breathed a massive sigh of relief. Rilliam laughed.

“You did amazing. You truly looked like a bird playing around in the sky. I’m almost jealous.”

Lt. Keldor came up behind him.

“I always knew the boy had talent,” He bragged to Rilliam before looking at Jarid. “But don’t let this go to your head boy. You still have a long way to go. Now return that dragon to his stables. I’m sure he needs to rest after doing all those moves when he hasn’t flown it years.”

That thought sobered Jarid up quickly. He scratched Smolder behind his horns and apologized as he led him back to his stall.

Smolder just huffed and dismissed his concern.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

The next day, when everyone arrived at the dragon dome, Rilliam greeted them with an announcement.

“From now on, those of you who have proven yourselves will practice flying and aerial maneuvers. Those who haven’t will work towards that goal. Regardless, we will be resuming a few other classes as well, including physical combat, tactics, and your specialized classes.

“Since he is an exception, Jarid will be joining as well so it is up to Black Squad’s second years to bring him up to speed. Remember, as dragon riders we are a brotherhood and if you see a student struggling you should help them regardless of squad.” He gave some meaningful glances at a few students before telling all those who flew the day before to meet him in the training field.

Once everyone who was cleared for flying arrived at the training field with their dragons, Rilliam explained.

“Today we will be doing basic turns and practicing communicating while in the air. We do this both as a reminder and application of what you have been learning up until now. Now ready yourselves and mount up!” he ordered, while turning to mount his own dragon.”

The students and other instructors followed suit and soon they were once again soaring through the sky. As they flew Rilliam began dishing out instructions one after another. He sometimes used the mind gems to communicate directly but most of the time he used hand signs. Never slowing down or staying in one direction for long, while the students were left trying to keep in tight formation.

It felt very restricting being forced to fly in formation, but it was still kind of cool to imagine how it looked having that many dragons flying in sync. Not that they were very in sync on their first day.

Jarid cringed at the thought of how their gaggle of dragons would look from the ground.

After the exercises were over it was time to do more physical training. Unfortunately, Lt. Tekkar wouldn’t be the one teaching them. Rather, they would be taught by an active-duty rider who had recently started subbing in for the second year combat training officer after they sustained a severe injury.

This new substitute instructor was named Lt. Hadon Briar.

Jarid was able to pick him out as soon as he entered the training grounds. Lt. Briar was a giant, brute of a man with bulging muscles showing through his massive tank top. He had many scars all over his body which may have looked intimidating, but to Jarid it was just a sign of having sloppy defenses. His face had a look that made Jarid think he saw death on the regular and it didn’t faze him. His voice was gruff, deep, and menacing.

“Well, how are you boys? Ready to get back into combat training? Don’t worry I’m sure even if your minds have forgotten what I taught you, your bodies haven’t. Or at least, not for long.”

Lt. Briar smirked as he rubbed his hands in anticipation. “All right everyone, pair up. Let’s see how much you remember after your little break.”

Airel rolled her eyes. “As if his class is the only difficult thing we do,” she muttered under her breath.

Jarid paired up with Ethen. Ben paired up with Airel. Lt. Briar came around to inspect the different pairs to make sure they were evenly matched.

When he came up to Jarid his face flickered to one of disgust before settling on disapproval, but he quickly moved on without comment.

“Alright let’s see what you can do. Begin!”

“Don’t go easy on me.” Ethen whispered. “It’ll only end up worse for both of us.”

Jarid nodded and readied himself. He started with a few rapid punches which Ethen easily blocked. Then Ethen went on the offensive with a combo of punches and kicks which Jarid deflected or dodged. They went back and forth a few times until Jarid caught one of Ethen’s kicks and tripped him. Ethen landed on his back and groaned.

Jarid went to help him to his feet, but Lt. Briar stopped him.

“You don’t let up on your enemy after you knock him down. I realize a commoner wouldn’t understand, but right now he is your enemy, and you don’t stop until they can’t fight back.”

Then he quickly flipped Ethen onto his back and put him into a hold. Ehen grunted in pain as Lt. Briar increased the pressure.

“Once they are immobile you must force them to concede or keep them from moving for five seconds,” he finished, before standing and releasing Ethen from the hold. Then he whispered in Ethen’s ear loud enough for those close by to hear.

“You don’t have to go easy on him just because he’s a peasant, and if you need more training to beat a weakling like him then I’ll be sure to give you some after class.”

He patted Ethen on the shoulder as he walked back to the front of the class. Ethen took a shaky breath but waved off Jarid’s concern. The rest of the class was mostly exercises and although it was brutal, Lt. Briar made no more comments to Jarid or his friends.

The next day went much the same way with advanced maneuvering classes in the morning and physical training in the afternoon. Lt. Briar paired them up this time and again Jarid was paired with Ethen with the same result. When class ended Lt. Briar asked Ethen to stay after class. When he arrived at the dorm later that evening he was battered and bruised.

Apparently, Lt. Briar’s favorite form of training was, quote: “Learn by example.” Which basically meant having you attempt to block his attacks and having him put you into holds until he felt you had learned something. Still, Ethen didn’t complain and continued asking Jarid not to go easy on him.

Jarid hoped his friend knew what he was doing.

As the week progressed Lt. Briar kept throwing scathing comments at Jarid, but Jarid was used to that sort of thing by now and didn’t react at all. He also continued ‘helping’ Ethen improve and although he said it was to help Ethen, Jarid knew it was the Lt.’s way of getting at him.

Despite that, Ethen steadily improved and after only a few days he was fighting on even footing with Jarid. Even though he wanted to follow Ethen’s wishes, Jarid only fought him at about 85% of his normal strength and kept trying moves he was either bad at or had never tried before to make it a bit easier. Now he was being forced to use his full human strength if he wanted to win although he did let himself lose a few times to satisfy Lt. Briar.

Throughout this time Jarid had grown closer to Smolder and was slowly regaining the trust he had lost. Now they were able to keep in formation easily, even throughout the tougher maneuvers.

As their connection strengthened Smolder noticed that something was bothering Jarid, and in a rare show of compassion, asked him about it.

“So. What is making you so anxious? I feel it every time we are flying. You can’t hide it from me.”

Jarid sighed. “I don’t really know Smolder. I want to help my friends but one of them is finding it hard to trust dragons…”

“Ha! I can understand that.” Smolder interrupted, nodding his head sagely.

“…and the other is getting hurt for my sake” Jarid finished.

“Well, I think you should just stop whoever is hurting your friend.”

“It’s not that simple. The one who is hurting them is my teacher. I can’t just fight him.”

Smolder shrugged. “Then make him stop. I always told my mother if one of my teachers was being mean to me, or I just beat them up.”

Jarid smirked. “I guess being the prince of the Flame Wings has its perks.” Then he sighed. “Don’t worry about it. It will be over in a week anyway, so it doesn’t matter.”

Unfortunately, those few days did matter.

The abuse, both verbal and sometimes physical, only grew worse. The next day, after once again getting no reaction to his insults, Lt. Briar decided to give the class an example of a particularly painful hold and asked for Jarid’s help in demonstrating the move. Jarid let himself be thrown around like a pancake and endured the pain for as long as he could before his eyes started tearing up and he cried out in agony.

Lt. Briar stood with a huff of triumph leaving Jarid on the ground groaning in pain.

“And that is the hold. Unfortunately, this commoner doesn’t have the strength to endure any more...” He trailed off. Glancing over his shoulder as his unspoken challenge hung in the air. Jarid gritted his teeth and was about to get up when Airel stepped forward and glared at Lt. Briar.

“How dare you say that about him. He is one of the bravest men I know, and I can’t stand you insulting him anymore.” She declared angrily.

No… Airel, don’t… Jarid thought as he struggled to his knees.

“I suppose he would seem strong to a woman…” Lt. Briar began. Airel’s face went red with fury and Jarid could feel his own outrage at the comment. She was stronger than most men and was just as skilled as he was. But Lt. Briar continued unfazed.

“…but you must understand how weak commoners are. The fact he made it this far is just because our audacious commander favored him.”

Airel took a step towards him.

“Regardless. I still need someone to help me finish the exercise,” Lt. Briar said with a warning tone. Airel hesitated for a half a second but continued until she was standing right in front of him.

“Well look who just volunteered.” Lt. Briar gloated with a sinister smile. Then he took up a casual fighting stance.

“For this exercise you will attack me. Up until now I have shown you how to use techniques to even the playing field against larger opponents but that won’t always be the case. So here I will show you how to counter those techniques and crush a smaller opponent.”

Jarid knew what was about to happen but was powerless to stop it. Airel was still too angry to completely control herself. She tried to punch and kick her much larger opponent. Lt. Briar took his time crushing her using his superior size and weight to render her attacks and attempted throws useless.

Jarid stood. His anger now was different than that time in the dragon stalls. Before it was a raging blaze barely controlled, but now it felt more like molten magma. Slow and hidden but much more destructive. All of it focused on one goal. To stop the man hurting his friend.

His face was a mask of deadly calm as he walked towards Lt. Briar who held Airel pinned beneath him. As Jarid got close Lt. Briar saw him out of the corner of his eye and threw a backhand punch to send him flying.

“Do not interfere boy!” He snapped. But to his surprise Jarid caught his backhand in a grip of iron and wrenched him off Airel.

“That is enough.” Jarid growled in a low whisper. A few of the other students noticed his look of steely determination and backed up, however Lt. Briar was too enraged to notice.

“Foolish pheasant. You should know your place!” Lt. Briar roared as he stood. Then he tried to push Jarid to the ground. Jarid caught Lt. Briar’s hand with his left and no matter what Lt. Briar tried he couldn’t move Jarid at all.

Jarid had never used his full strength before. Limiting himself to a human level of strength, but now he couldn’t hold back. He pulled back his right arm and stepped forward to deliver a punch. He didn’t want to kill the instructor despite everything in him screaming to do it. So, he held back just enough that he didn’t break any bones. However, the blow was still enough to send the Lt. flying onto his back, winded. Jarid stood and walked over to Airel while everyone else sat stunned.

“Sorry about that.” Jarid said as he helped Airel to her feet.

“Lucky shot pheasant. Using magic to enhance your punch when your kind shouldn’t even have such a privilege,” Lt. Briar muttered rising to his feet. “But you just caught me off guard. It won’t happen again.” He paused for a moment as if considering something. Then he smiled.

“You know what boy? I think I need to teach you a lesson about respecting your betters. So how about we will have a little duel in the arena? You and me. No weapons. No magic. Just our strength and skill.

“Attacking your teacher has its consequences, but I’m sure you were ready for them. So, how about this. Accept my challenge and I will drop all accusations against you. Beating your inferiority into your stupid scull will be more than enough punishment for this little incident.

“But refuse, and I will make sure you receive the maximum punishment for your actions. I think you know what that entails. So… Do you accept?” he asked, while looking down his nose into Jarid’s steely gaze.

Jarid knew he was baiting him. He knew that Commander Valdur and many other high ranked instructors would likely take his side in this conflict. But he also knew that if he didn’t do something now, the abuse would continue. However, what finally caused him to make up his mind was the look in Lt. Briar’s eyes.

He saw pride, cruelty, and a sadistic enjoyment of the suffering he was inflicting. Smolder had once told him that he could always see good in everyone, but Jarid saw no trace of anything redeemable in this man’s eyes.

“I accept.” Jarid growled. It was about time someone knocked this cruel instructor down a few pegs.

Lt. Briar smiled and rubbed his hands together in anticipation.

“Good. I’ll make all the arrangements. You just meet me in the dragon dome tomorrow evening an hour before sunset. If you still have the nerve to challenge me by then, know that I will take great pleasure in breaking your foolish pride in front of everyone.

“However, if you come to your senses and regret your foolishness, don’t worry. All you have to do is admit how weak you are in front of everyone. Then I’ll go easy on you.”

Jarid looked him dead in the eyes with a murderous glare.

“I hope you don’t go easy on me, otherwise this fight will be over all too quickly.”

A slight flicker of doubt crossed Lt. Briar’s face before it returned to a confident smirk.

“Class dismissed for today. Get some rest students. You’re going to need it.”

Ben and Ethen rushed over to Jarid and Airel.

“What are you thinking?” Ethen asked incredulously. “You can’t just fight an instructor like that.”

“I know that you were defending Airel, but you need to back down before he seriously hurts you. He is a full-fledged dragon rider with years of experience, not to mention muscle, on you.” Ben agreed. Jarid shook his head.

“I know that, but I can’t just let him keep pushing us around like that anymore. I thought I could just keep quiet and wait this out like I always have but I just can’t anymore. Besides…” Jarid said with a small smile. “…I’m a lot tougher than I look.”

Airel looked him up and down doubtfully.

“We know you are very strong but that doesn’t change the fact that you could still get hurt or even killed if you make him mad enough. We are just worried about our friend.”

Then she sighed. “But I can see that you aren’t going let us talk you out of it so we might as well support you. Luckily, we know a lot more about his fighting style than he knows about yours.” She said giving a meaningful look at Ben and Ethen. Ethen nodded.

“We’ll figure out how to counter his moves and do some training tonight to prepare some countermeasures.”

“Thanks guys. Let’s make Lt. Briar regret messing with Black Squad!” Jarid declared.

“Yeah!” The others cheered.


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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!!


First Impression

Well this has been a lovely little chapter honestly. Coming down, quite literally from our happy moment and into the introduction of Lt.Prick. This stakes are nice and high once again.

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

As they hovered, gazing in the direction of Smolder’s homeland, Jarid could feel Smolder’s homesickness welling up before he quashed it with a slight growl of annoyance. Then Lt. Tekar came up beside them and signaled for them to land.

Jarid tried to help lift Smolder’s spirits with a few more aerial maneuvers on the way down, but it did little to help.

After they landed and Jarid dismounted, Rilliam came up to Jarid with a disapproving look on his face. Jarid had no idea what they had done wrong, but he hoped it wasn’t something terrible.

“Jarid Drakoulis. You…” He said pointing a finger at him. “…are the greatest dragon rider I have ever seen!” He finished breaking into a huge grin.


Oooh looks like one of those classic fakeout disapproving looks but wow that does provide some free heart attacks there to all of us because of the sheer amount of things at stake here.

Jarid breathed a massive sigh of relief. Rilliam laughed.

“You did amazing. You truly looked like a bird playing around in the sky. I’m almost jealous.”

Lt. Keldor came up behind him.

“I always knew the boy had talent,” He bragged to Rilliam before looking at Jarid. “But don’t let this go to your head boy. You still have a long way to go. Now return that dragon to his stables. I’m sure he needs to rest after doing all those moves when he hasn’t flown it years.”

That thought sobered Jarid up quickly. He scratched Smolder behind his horns and apologized as he led him back to his stall.

Smolder just huffed and dismissed his concern.


Well looks like Smolder is a little dejected after that as you would rightfully expect him to be after having to be grounded after such an amazing little display. Honestly with the years comment I'm surprised Smolder was able to even do all of that without any complaints.

The next day, when everyone arrived at the dragon dome, Rilliam greeted them with an announcement.

“From now on, those of you who have proven yourselves will practice flying and aerial maneuvers. Those who haven’t will work towards that goal. Regardless, we will be resuming a few other classes as well, including physical combat, tactics, and your specialized classes.

“Since he is an exception, Jarid will be joining as well so it is up to Black Squad’s second years to bring him up to speed. Remember, as dragon riders we are a brotherhood and if you see a student struggling you should help them regardless of squad.” He gave some meaningful glances at a few students before telling all those who flew the day before to meet him in the training field.


Looks like we've figured out the bullies in the squad a little but oooh this is proving quite intriguing especially on the front of how Jarid is now going to have to learn a year's worth of stuff in days through just his classmates in a few areas. I can't imagine that'll be easy.

Once everyone who was cleared for flying arrived at the training field with their dragons, Rilliam explained.

“Today we will be doing basic turns and practicing communicating while in the air. We do this both as a reminder and application of what you have been learning up until now. Now ready yourselves and mount up!” he ordered, while turning to mount his own dragon.”

The students and other instructors followed suit and soon they were once again soaring through the sky. As they flew Rilliam began dishing out instructions one after another. He sometimes used the mind gems to communicate directly but most of the time he used hand signs. Never slowing down or staying in one direction for long, while the students were left trying to keep in tight formation.


Well okay this is an interesting little class for the moment I think, seeing some cooler formations happening, and going into the more militarized aspects of this school since it does appear to be a military academy from all I've seen. Yes I know Kate is realizing this at chapter 12.

It felt very restricting being forced to fly in formation, but it was still kind of cool to imagine how it looked having that many dragons flying in sync. Not that they were very in sync on their first day.

Jarid cringed at the thought of how their gaggle of dragons would look from the ground.

After the exercises were over it was time to do more physical training. Unfortunately, Lt. Tekkar wouldn’t be the one teaching them. Rather, they would be taught by an active-duty rider who had recently started subbing in for the second year combat training officer after they sustained a severe injury.


Well let's see how this is going to go. I have a feeling this one's going to either be a wonderful person that we all love and helps the squad out greatly or perhaps the Crowning Moron.

This new substitute instructor was named Lt. Hadon Briar.

Jarid was able to pick him out as soon as he entered the training grounds. Lt. Briar was a giant, brute of a man with bulging muscles showing through his massive tank top. He had many scars all over his body which may have looked intimidating, but to Jarid it was just a sign of having sloppy defenses. His face had a look that made Jarid think he saw death on the regular and it didn’t faze him. His voice was gruff, deep, and menacing.

“Well, how are you boys? Ready to get back into combat training? Don’t worry I’m sure even if your minds have forgotten what I taught you, your bodies haven’t. Or at least, not for long.”


Well that introduction isn't raising any green flags but at least also not too many read flags for the moment. Let's see where this will be taking us here. For now, its too early to tell.

Lt. Briar smirked as he rubbed his hands in anticipation. “All right everyone, pair up. Let’s see how much you remember after your little break.”

Airel rolled her eyes. “As if his class is the only difficult thing we do,” she muttered under her breath.

Jarid paired up with Ethen. Ben paired up with Airel. Lt. Briar came around to inspect the different pairs to make sure they were evenly matched.

When he came up to Jarid his face flickered to one of disgust before settling on disapproval, but he quickly moved on without comment.

“Alright let’s see what you can do. Begin!”


Okay Crown Moron detected. I mean we were in need of a fully antagonistic human big bad, so I'm not surprised. You do have one idiot who's an idiot just because he's mean.

“Don’t go easy on me.” Ethen whispered. “It’ll only end up worse for both of us.”

Jarid nodded and readied himself. He started with a few rapid punches which Ethen easily blocked. Then Ethen went on the offensive with a combo of punches and kicks which Jarid deflected or dodged. They went back and forth a few times until Jarid caught one of Ethen’s kicks and tripped him. Ethen landed on his back and groaned.

Jarid went to help him to his feet, but Lt. Briar stopped him.

“You don’t let up on your enemy after you knock him down. I realize a commoner wouldn’t understand, but right now he is your enemy, and you don’t stop until they can’t fight back.”


Well this guys is just a right prick there. Oh my goodness. Brom the Dumb and Valdur the Moron were a bit insufferable at time but someone better kill this moron before the end of this book or I'm taking my money back xD.

Then he quickly flipped Ethen onto his back and put him into a hold. Ehen grunted in pain as Lt. Briar increased the pressure.

“Once they are immobile you must force them to concede or keep them from moving for five seconds,” he finished, before standing and releasing Ethen from the hold. Then he whispered in Ethen’s ear loud enough for those close by to hear.

“You don’t have to go easy on him just because he’s a peasant, and if you need more training to beat a weakling like him then I’ll be sure to give you some after class.”

He patted Ethen on the shoulder as he walked back to the front of the class. Ethen took a shaky breath but waved off Jarid’s concern. The rest of the class was mostly exercises and although it was brutal, Lt. Briar made no more comments to Jarid or his friends.


Well that's going wonderfully. Surely the other instructors don't like this clown either. That can't be good amongst people like Rilliam or Gunther who seem to be much more excited about teaching people that stroking their own over inflated ego.

The next day went much the same way with advanced maneuvering classes in the morning and physical training in the afternoon. Lt. Briar paired them up this time and again Jarid was paired with Ethen with the same result. When class ended Lt. Briar asked Ethen to stay after class. When he arrived at the dorm later that evening he was battered and bruised.

Apparently, Lt. Briar’s favorite form of training was, quote: “Learn by example.” Which basically meant having you attempt to block his attacks and having him put you into holds until he felt you had learned something. Still, Ethen didn’t complain and continued asking Jarid not to go easy on him.

Jarid hoped his friend knew what he was doing.


Oh dear I am not liking the way this is going at all, surely there's some sort of complaining system that could happen here. Ethen must have enough influence being a noble himself to do something. Jarid would be ignored naturally, but surely not Ethen.

As the week progressed Lt. Briar kept throwing scathing comments at Jarid, but Jarid was used to that sort of thing by now and didn’t react at all. He also continued ‘helping’ Ethen improve and although he said it was to help Ethen, Jarid knew it was the Lt.’s way of getting at him.

Despite that, Ethen steadily improved and after only a few days he was fighting on even footing with Jarid. Even though he wanted to follow Ethen’s wishes, Jarid only fought him at about 85% of his normal strength and kept trying moves he was either bad at or had never tried before to make it a bit easier. Now he was being forced to use his full human strength if he wanted to win although he did let himself lose a few times to satisfy Lt. Briar.

Throughout this time Jarid had grown closer to Smolder and was slowly regaining the trust he had lost. Now they were able to keep in formation easily, even throughout the tougher maneuvers.


Well good to see that relationship is an ongoing process and that Ethen is able to not get beaten up so much. Jarid putting in a few good moments to loose is a smart move too if they're not actually going to be able to report this to some authority.

As their connection strengthened Smolder noticed that something was bothering Jarid, and in a rare show of compassion, asked him about it.

“So. What is making you so anxious? I feel it every time we are flying. You can’t hide it from me.”

Jarid sighed. “I don’t really know Smolder. I want to help my friends but one of them is finding it hard to trust dragons…”

“Ha! I can understand that.” Smolder interrupted, nodding his head sagely.

“…and the other is getting hurt for my sake” Jarid finished.


Well looks like this is a bonding moment maybe, a second one for this second chance Jarid has got. Smolder must be quite smart too being a prince, so surely this is going to yield a bit of good advice like REPORT. Sorry anyway, moving on.

“Well, I think you should just stop whoever is hurting your friend.”

“It’s not that simple. The one who is hurting them is my teacher. I can’t just fight him.”

Smolder shrugged. “Then make him stop. I always told my mother if one of my teachers was being mean to me, or I just beat them up.”

Jarid smirked. “I guess being the prince of the Flame Wings has its perks.” Then he sighed. “Don’t worry about it. It will be over in a week anyway, so it doesn’t matter.”

Unfortunately, those few days did matter.


Well that's a rare moment of the narrator mode coming in and giving us a warning of the future but oh dear that means we're in for something on the horrible scale here, I do not love where this is headed. I was hoping Smolder would have more advice but then it seems Smolder was a bit of a noble and that does also have that side to it.

The abuse, both verbal and sometimes physical, only grew worse. The next day, after once again getting no reaction to his insults, Lt. Briar decided to give the class an example of a particularly painful hold and asked for Jarid’s help in demonstrating the move. Jarid let himself be thrown around like a pancake and endured the pain for as long as he could before his eyes started tearing up and he cried out in agony.

Lt. Briar stood with a huff of triumph leaving Jarid on the ground groaning in pain.

“And that is the hold. Unfortunately, this commoner doesn’t have the strength to endure any more...” He trailed off. Glancing over his shoulder as his unspoken challenge hung in the air. Jarid gritted his teeth and was about to get up when Airel stepped forward and glared at Lt. Briar.


Oh no Airel no. I mean I love this but I can see this from three miles away. Anyone who's that much of a prick about commoners is going to be a bigger prick about women and this is going to end with two of Jarid's friends getting beaten up.

“How dare you say that about him. He is one of the bravest men I know, and I can’t stand you insulting him anymore.” She declared angrily.

No… Airel, don’t… Jarid thought as he struggled to his knees.

“I suppose he would seem strong to a woman…” Lt. Briar began. Airel’s face went red with fury and Jarid could feel his own outrage at the comment. She was stronger than most men and was just as skilled as he was. But Lt. Briar continued unfazed.

“…but you must understand how weak commoners are. The fact he made it this far is just because our audacious commander favored him.


Well there we go. The urge to teleport into this room and then unleash one of the worst monsters from my tale to personally toy with Crown Moron here is just incredible which by the way is amazing. You've really sold how horrible this dude is.

Airel took a step towards him.

“Regardless. I still need someone to help me finish the exercise,” Lt. Briar said with a warning tone. Airel hesitated for a half a second but continued until she was standing right in front of him.

“Well look who just volunteered.” Lt. Briar gloated with a sinister smile. Then he took up a casual fighting stance.

“For this exercise you will attack me. Up until now I have shown you how to use techniques to even the playing field against larger opponents but that won’t always be the case. So here I will show you how to counter those techniques and crush a smaller opponent.”


No, no no. NO. NO. NO. This is a no. Please no. I hate how good I can predict these things sometimes. Arghhh Crown Moron is something else entirely here. Good lord.

Jarid knew what was about to happen but was powerless to stop it. Airel was still too angry to completely control herself. She tried to punch and kick her much larger opponent. Lt. Briar took his time crushing her using his superior size and weight to render her attacks and attempted throws useless.

Jarid stood. His anger now was different than that time in the dragon stalls. Before it was a raging blaze barely controlled, but now it felt more like molten magma. Slow and hidden but much more destructive. All of it focused on one goal. To stop the man hurting his friend.

His face was a mask of deadly calm as he walked towards Lt. Briar who held Airel pinned beneath him. As Jarid got close Lt. Briar saw him out of the corner of his eye and threw a backhand punch to send him flying.

“Do not interfere boy!” He snapped. But to his surprise Jarid caught his backhand in a grip of iron and wrenched him off Airel.


Oooh as much as I hate this scene for what is happening I adore this scene for the reality of things and I absolutely love the callback to that anger becoming a problem. Its the first time it could've reached this point again and its coming right back and I love it.

“That is enough.” Jarid growled in a low whisper. A few of the other students noticed his look of steely determination and backed up, however Lt. Briar was too enraged to notice.

“Foolish pheasant. You should know your place!” Lt. Briar roared as he stood. Then he tried to push Jarid to the ground. Jarid caught Lt. Briar’s hand with his left and no matter what Lt. Briar tried he couldn’t move Jarid at all.

Jarid had never used his full strength before. Limiting himself to a human level of strength, but now he couldn’t hold back. He pulled back his right arm and stepped forward to deliver a punch. He didn’t want to kill the instructor despite everything in him screaming to do it. So, he held back just enough that he didn’t break any bones. However, the blow was still enough to send the Lt. flying onto his back, winded. Jarid stood and walked over to Airel while everyone else sat stunned.


Well he deserves that and fifteen more. Luckily I have a feeling Crown Moron here is dumb enough to go ahead and actually challenge Jarid to some kind of duel and will hopefully get soundly beaten up. Please? Please?

“Sorry about that.” Jarid said as he helped Airel to her feet.

“Lucky shot pheasant. Using magic to enhance your punch when your kind shouldn’t even have such a privilege,” Lt. Briar muttered rising to his feet. “But you just caught me off guard. It won’t happen again.” He paused for a moment as if considering something. Then he smiled.

“You know what boy? I think I need to teach you a lesson about respecting your betters. So how about we will have a little duel in the arena? You and me. No weapons. No magic. Just our strength and skill.

“Attacking your teacher has its consequences, but I’m sure you were ready for them. So, how about this. Accept my challenge and I will drop all accusations against you. Beating your inferiority into your stupid scull will be more than enough punishment for this little incident.


Well this is sadly all to true but then also the school has been good about caring for its students. A school paying that much attention to how dragons could harm students would surely not let an instructor beat up two students to prove a point against ANOTHER student. At least I hope so with what we've seen up to now and the fact you've been wonderful about consistent characterization.

“But refuse, and I will make sure you receive the maximum punishment for your actions. I think you know what that entails. So… Do you accept?” he asked, while looking down his nose into Jarid’s steely gaze.

Jarid knew he was baiting him. He knew that Commander Valdur and many other high ranked instructors would likely take his side in this conflict. But he also knew that if he didn’t do something now, the abuse would continue. However, what finally caused him to make up his mind was the look in Lt. Briar’s eyes.

He saw pride, cruelty, and a sadistic enjoyment of the suffering he was inflicting. Smolder had once told him that he could always see good in everyone, but Jarid saw no trace of anything redeemable in this man’s eyes.


Well okay good, good, good. Good to see that. People would be there to take Jarid's side. People should be there to take Jarid's side. This prick here isn't even an actual instructor, just some borrowed help.

“I accept.” Jarid growled. It was about time someone knocked this cruel instructor down a few pegs.

Lt. Briar smiled and rubbed his hands together in anticipation.

“Good. I’ll make all the arrangements. You just meet me in the dragon dome tomorrow evening an hour before sunset. If you still have the nerve to challenge me by then, know that I will take great pleasure in breaking your foolish pride in front of everyone.

“However, if you come to your senses and regret your foolishness, don’t worry. All you have to do is admit how weak you are in front of everyone. Then I’ll go easy on you.”


Well I hope Jarid is not going to fire back something at that but then also Jarid has proven a tiny bit impulsive, I wouldn't be super surprised to see Jarid be a little more careless with this given he does in this moment have the strength to reasonably back it up.

Jarid looked him dead in the eyes with a murderous glare.

“I hope you don’t go easy on me, otherwise this fight will be over all too quickly.”

A slight flicker of doubt crossed Lt. Briar’s face before it returned to a confident smirk.

“Class dismissed for today. Get some rest students. You’re going to need it.”

Ben and Ethen rushed over to Jarid and Airel.

“What are you thinking?” Ethen asked incredulously. “You can’t just fight an instructor like that.”


Well Ethen going in with the brain move there right after Jarid did in fact go for the taunt. This is going to be an interesting fight here and well as predicted these four chapters are very much going to go a little crazy.

“I know that you were defending Airel, but you need to back down before he seriously hurts you. He is a full-fledged dragon rider with years of experience, not to mention muscle, on you.” Ben agreed. Jarid shook his head.

“I know that, but I can’t just let him keep pushing us around like that anymore. I thought I could just keep quiet and wait this out like I always have but I just can’t anymore. Besides…” Jarid said with a small smile. “…I’m a lot tougher than I look.”

Airel looked him up and down doubtfully.

“We know you are very strong but that doesn’t change the fact that you could still get hurt or even killed if you make him mad enough. We are just worried about our friend.”


Well all good thoughts happening here, both on the side of how Jarid has to draw a line somewhere an on how the others are rightfully concerned also perhaps not fully knowing what Jarid. I mean not even I do, even though readers of book 1 and 2 probably do.

Then she sighed. “But I can see that you aren’t going let us talk you out of it so we might as well support you. Luckily, we know a lot more about his fighting style than he knows about yours.” She said giving a meaningful look at Ben and Ethen. Ethen nodded.

“We’ll figure out how to counter his moves and do some training tonight to prepare some countermeasures.”

“Thanks guys. Let’s make Lt. Briar regret messing with Black Squad!” Jarid declared.

“Yeah!” The others cheered.


Woo love the solidarity in the end to settle in. Concerns were voiced, understandings were made and then the right move to make as a squad there. I might have said this a few times but this has been a wonderful journey so far and you've gracefully avoided so many frustrating pitfalls I've seen even in books that have been published.

Aaand that's it for this oneee!!!

Overall

Overall a good pace there I think to give us a nice breather before introducing the next big problem that I am sure is going to end up taking us to the end of the story here.

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...


What a wonderful name for this terrible character.
I actually based him off a character I read in another book who I genuinely despised (big props to the Author of that book, unfortunately I don't remember the name of it)

So glad I avoided a few of those pitfalls and thanks so much for pointing out the ones I didn't avoid



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Mon May 13, 2024 7:18 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...

This was a great chapter to ramp up tension and emotion -particularly the 'rage' emotion, lol. I enjoyed the swap in focus to another subject, since dragon riding class is going so well, but that new instructor...Oof, the audacity! This is one step from being the human version of Scorch! Let's get into the details though.

Where The Dagger Points...

No complaints for content! You described all the action very well, and you really captured the emotion of each moment. The pride and satisfaction after Jarid's great ride with Smolder, and the pure rage at seeing that teacher abuse his power. So vile, but also great for the story! There were just two things I noticed along the way, both extremely minor and even subjective.

Foolish pheasant.


Just double-checking this insult. I initially thought it was meant to be "peasant" but I also kinda like "pheasant" because it feels like an old-timey way of calling someone a chicken XD

If you still have the nerve to challenge me by then, know that I will take great pleasure in breaking your foolish pride in front of everyone.


The other thing here is that I thought the term "foolish" got used a lot. I wonder if switching it up, like here with something like "idiotic pride," would help the impact? But of course, that's especially subjective.

And of course, as always, I am not a professional so please always take my advice with a grain of salt ~

Why The Grin Widened...

So first of all, I like the successful flight in the beginning. I felt like the failed attempts to cheer Smolder up were a good way of showing how much he misses home, and how there's still a bit of a rift between him and Jaird. On the other hand. I also loved seeing how well Smolder and Jarid work together, especially with the praise they got in turn:

“Jarid Drakoulis. You…” He said pointing a finger at him. “…are the greatest dragon rider I have ever seen!” He finished breaking into a huge grin.


It definitely sets a good example, that dragon riding class is going well for the duo and they are *slowly* recovering their trust. Same for the bit where even Smolder feels enough empathy to ask Jarid about his troubles. Great way to swap attention from this class to another while keeping a nice pace Oh, and before I get into that...

Jarid cringed at the thought of how their gaggle of dragons would look from the ground.


This made me laugh. A touch of humor never hurt, especially considering the downward (in a good way) turn that happens next...

“You don’t let up on your enemy after you knock him down. I realize a commoner wouldn’t understand, but right now he is your enemy, and you don’t stop until they can’t fight back.”


Oh, man! This progression was written so well; the way this started small, snide remarks and rough training, and just continually escalated from there to straight-up abuse and discrimination was so shocking! Oh, when he had Jarid pinned and showed some level of enjoyment, not to mention the way he treated Airel for standing up for him? Vile! It was so satisfying to see Jarid push back, but with the threat of punishment and expulsion, especially with Smolder's fate now even more reliant on him, you can't help cringing at the same time.

“You know what boy? I think I need to teach you a lesson about respecting your betters. So how about we will have a little duel in the arena? You and me. No weapons. No magic. Just our strength and skill.


And this, again, I am both excited and anxious about. I do sense many ways this could go wrong, but man, does Briar deserve to be humbled...And the last thing I wanted to note...

Smolder had once told him that he could always see good in everyone, but Jarid saw no trace of anything redeemable in this man’s eyes.


I like this; the reiteration of Jarid's boundaries, how he'll brush off the insults and doubt in him and put aside some rough lessons, but draws the line when people are genuinely hurt. And I would think the professors would side with Briar by default, especially since it's combat class so everything can be brushed off as inadequate performance on the students' behalf, but I also have hope they'll side with Jarid, given that Briar is going directly against a lot of their teachings. Singling out students, dividing groups, and putting aside safety. Especially since many of those points were just reiterated in the opening dragon riding segment. That is great staging, there.

Our Mad Thoughts...

Overall, that chapter was awesome, nicely done! :D

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dragonight9 says...


Thanks again for pointing out those spelling errors. Also, I wasn't sure if I used foolish too much so the fact you mentioned it is great confirmation.

I wanted to show both extremes of Jarid's treatment here at the academy before... well, you'll see. Anyway, I'm glad Lt. Briar's message is getting across clearly.




I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved.
— Romans 9:25