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Shadow's Rising {Wing 3} Chapter 14

by dragonight9


Chapter 14

A few days after the fight, Jarid was alone eating supper when Reuben sat down beside him.

“Hey man. It’s been a while. I’ve been so nervous lately I haven’t been able to eat. Want some extra?”

All that training sure built up an appetite, so Jarid agreed.

“What’s wrong Reuben?”

“Don’t worry about it. Just enjoy the food.”

After they both finished eating Reuben leaned over to him. “Hey, could you meet me just outside the gate as soon as you’re finished. I want to talk to you about something.”

Jarid nodded. “Sure. Just let me clean my plate.”

Soon after he met Reuben outside the gate just as the sun was setting.

“What’s up?”

Reuben stood wringing his hands. “Well, you know how my family is struggling money wise right? Well, it just got a lot worse. I was desperate and suddenly these men approached me with a deal.

“They asked me to do them a favor and in return they would give me the money my family needs.”

“What do you mean? What kind of favor?” Jarid asked nervously, but he already had a guess.

“Oh, I think you know.” A voice said from behind them. Jarid spun around.

“Who are you?” He growled as he prepared to fight.

The man smiled as a few dozen of his companions surrounded them.

“Just a businessman. I’m here because there are quite a few people willing to buy a slave that can use magic, especially your kind of magic,” he said with a cruel smile.

Jarid was about to blast this guy with magic when a wave of drowsiness washed over him. “Whoa… What? What’s happening?” Jarid muttered swaying a bit.

“Oh, just a little sleeping drug from your friend here to make the trip easier,” the man chuckled.

“Don’t worry. We’re going to take really good care of you. Ha, ha, ha, ha!”

Then Reuben stepped forward. “Where’s the money you promised?”

The man gave him a sly smile. “Oh, don’t worry. We just figured it would be better to MAKE money selling you than pay you what we had agreed.” He laughed, snapping his fingers. The men around them took a step forward. Reuben’s eyes widened in fear.

“You can’t take him.” Jarid wheezed stepping in front of Reuben.

The man laughed. “You would stand up for the fool who betrayed you? Besides, who are you to stop us?” he asked, glancing at his compatriots with a superior gin. By this time the drug was beginning to take effect and it was making Jarid delirious.

“Buddy. I am the dragon warrior.” He said drunkenly.

All the slavers began to laugh. Jarid knew he didn’t have much choice. He was about to fall asleep.

He had let himself get lost in his music in the past. He knew that the more he did, the less pain and drowsiness affected him. However, if he went too far, he would lose control of himself and end up blacking out, but there was no time and no choice now.

He played the first song he saw. “Monster” by Skillet. And cranked up the volume.

As he began to sway to the beat, he felt a faintly familiar power and arrogance begin to rise up inside of him. He started to whisper the words to the song, but he could barley control what he was saying.

“There’s a secret side of me that I never let you see. I keep it caged but I can’t control it.” He raised his voice and the slavers stopped laughing.

“So, stay away from me, for he is coming.” he said motioning for Reuben to back up. “I feel the flaming rage and I just can’t hold it.”

Reuben stepped back looking nervous, but Jarid couldn’t afford to think about that now.

“It’s scratching on the walls, dragon claws in my halls. It comes awake and I can’t control it.”

Jarid knew he must be delirious because he felt something emerging from deep within him.

A dragon inside of him.

“Hidden is your greatest dread, it’s in my body, in my head. I hope somebody comes to save you from me, make it end!”

Jarid felt the last vestiges of his control slip away as he closed his eyes and began to laugh, but this laugh was one of arrogance and pride as the power within him began to take over.

“How unfortunate.” He chuckled as his eyes opened, ablaze with magic, and looked down on the slavers. “That you would go through all the trouble of capturing me only to forfeit your pathetic lives.”

Then he began to sing again. “It’s hiding in the dark. Its teeth are razor sharp. There’s no escape for you. It wants your soul it wants your heart. No one will hear you scream, maybe it’s just a dream. This thing inside of me. I am this dragon.”

Jarid felt one final growl building deep inside his chest. “I feel it deep within, it’s just beneath my skin. I must confess that I …” He took a deep breath in as the song reached its height. “feel like a dragon!” He roared.

His mouth kept moving but his mind could no longer comprehend the words coming out of it.

Hiæʧɹɹn huans, iəəʧ əəəii ɔɔɯɹɹd. Hɯɛɛɔɔɯɹɹɹɖ ŋɬəə ɔəəɯ ɖɹɹɹɯɛɛwɒʧ dɹɹd.

Hjɹɹ jɛɛʧ ɔɔɯʌŋɖ ɔæ ŋs ɛɛŋŋd͡ʒɔæŋɛɛɖɹɹ. Hnnəəəɪ dɛɛlʧɹɹɹɯɪ nnɒ Dɹəcn ɔæŋɛɛɖɹɹ!

Just before he lost consciousness, he heard a chorus of voices echoed in his mind. “Fear not. We will not let injury befall you nor your friend.”

Jarid didn’t know what was going on, but they had promised Reuben wouldn’t get hurt. Relieved, Jarid relaxed and let the darkness swallow him.

Suddenly Jarid opened his eyes to find himself in a strange place. It looked like a big garden surrounded by high castle walls in the middle of the night. The Moon was bright though, and he could see everything as clear as day.

Then he noticed that he was standing on all fours. Confused he looked down to find talons instead of feet.

Franticly Jarid checked the rest of his body and sure enough he found soft horns, fragile looking wings and a small but lively tail!

The scales covering every inch of him were whiteish but shimmered like silver when the moonlight reflected off them. He also realised, from his closeness to the ground, that he must be a hatchling. Perhaps around 4 years old.

If felt kind of strange yet totally right to be in the body of a dragon. He could feel his wings and tail. How the slight breeze felt against his wings and how his tail swished through the tall grass of the garden. He was almost giddy with excitement and felt full of energy.

Then he noticed another dragon about the same age, maybe a little older, bounding towards him from across the garden. This dragon looked similar to shadow but a bit tougher. though he had the same red eyes his were full of mischief rather than Shadow’s kindness. He seemed excited and Jarid felt his own heart leap for joy.

“Crepuscule!”

The name leapt from Jarid’s mouth, and before he even realised what he had said, both he and the other dragon were wrestling on the soft grassy floor of the garden.

As they played Jarid began to realise he had no control over what he was doing or saying. He was in the body of some other dragon doing these things.

It felt similar to the memories Shadow’s mother had given him, yet it was so much more real. Like he was reliving a memory he had simply forgotten until now.

After almost an hour of wrestling and chasing each other around the garden, the young dragons heard a voice shout at them from the dark doorway leading into the castle.

“Dragonets! It’s time for your lessons now. Come on inside,” The slightly feminine voice hissed pleasantly.

“Yes mam!” The two young dragons answered in unison.

Jarid glanced over to Crepuscule and noticed him sticking out his tongue in the direction of the doorway before noticing Jarid was looking. He smiled and rolled his eyes while gesturing at the door.

Jarid laughed. That dragon was certainly going to get him into trouble some day.

They both bounded across the garden and into the dark opening leading into the castle. As they entered the doorway everything was swallowed by darkness.

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

The first thing Jarid knew as he awoke was pain.

It felt like his entire body was one big bruise. His muscles were sluggish, hot, and heavy as if they had been filled with molten metal, and his eyes burned like he had been staring strait at the sun for hours.

“Jarid? Jarid can you hear me?”

The voice sounded distant, but he still tried to respond. Unfortunately, all he could really do was groan.

“Oh, thank goodness! Don’t worry, your squad will be here soon,” The voice said.

Jarid thought he recognised it. He felt something hold his bloated hand and drops of something wet on his arm. He tried opening his eyes, but it seemed to take all he had to lift them an inch, and even when he did everything was blurry and hurt.

He tried again and was able to blink some of the blurriness away.

He recognised the white roof and soft bed he was lying on. It was a room in the medical ward of the academy. Then he noticed Reuben sitting in one corner looking down at the floor in shame.

“Reu…ben.” Jarid managed weakly.

“Reuben looked up, relief and sadness washed over his face as his quickly got up off the small chair he had been sitting on and knelt by Jarid’s bedside.

“What…happened?” Jarid asked. “I roared and then…” He trailed off. He couldn’t remember what happened after he sang that final line. He felt like there was something important he was missing but everything was fuzzy.

Reuben squeezed Jarid’s hand. “Then you began to attack. I’ve never seen anyone move so fast before. The drug must have been affecting you though since you seemed to be moving strangely and your fighting style was all over the place. I could feel magic radiating off you and you surrounded all of us in a wall of fire.

“The first three came at you one at a time, but after you stabbed the first in the gut with an icicle, slashed the second in the chest with a wind blade, and drowned the third by creating a sphere of water around his head, the others all tried to gang up on you while I sat back like a coward.

“But you didn’t care. You shouted. ‘Foolish humans! I’ll take you all on!’ And you did! There was so much magic flying around I could barely see you. Those criminals couldn’t even get close to you. You even took down the ones who tried to escape.

“It was only after all the slavers were dead or unconscious that you collapsed. I dragged you inside and called the guard to take care of the slavers’ bodies.”

Jarid barely heard the last half of what Reuben had said. He was still getting over his horror at what he’d done. He felt like he was going to be sick. He had killed people!

They probably had families, close friends, dreams, and he’d ended them all! Some of them might have even been forced to become slavers or could have reformed, but now their lives were over, and it was all his fault!

Right then he wanted to swear that he would never allow himself to let loose whatever was inside him again. But at the same time, he realised that if he hadn’t, not only himself but Reuben would have been killed or worse.

Eventually Jarid decided not to think about it. For now, he needed to listen to the rest of what Reuben was saying. He could feel bad about killing the slavers later.

“The slavers that survived will answer for their crimes… and so should I. I am such a coward. I couldn’t even admit what I had done when the guards asked what had happened. Instead of facing you, I snuck that sleeping poison into your food last night and sold you out to those traitorous slavers.” Reuben revealed somberly with tears forming in his eyes.

“And yet… you still defended me. Why? How could I possibly deserve your protection? I tried to… to…” He buried his face in the edge of the bed crying in regret for what he had done.

Jarid looked over at him and smiled compassionately.

“You are my friend. Of course, I’d protect you.”

Reuben looked up at him tears still flowing down his face. “But how do I deserve…?” Reuben began, but Jarid stopped him.

“You were the first one outside of Black Squad to even try making friends with me. I will always be grateful to call you my friend.” He explained, squeezing Reuben’s hand weakly.

Just then the other members of Black Squad burst into the room.

“Jarid!” Airel cried when she saw him lying in the medical bed.

“What happened?” Ethen asked.

“I’m glad to see you’re ok.” Ben added.

Jarid smiled at all of them. He was feeling a bit better now and his thoughts were slowly coming untangled.

“Me and Reuben were attacked by some slavers outside the gate, and I had to save him. They got a few hits in, but I’ll be fine soon. That’s all,” he said dismissively, but Reuben shook his head.

“It’s fine. You don’t have to lie to your true friends for my sake.” Then he turned to the others.

“The truth is… my family is struggling to make ends meet, and the slavers offered me money to give Jarid a sleeping potion and bring him outside. I sold him out to them, and they betrayed me.

“Jarid saved both of us. He fought despite the drug and beat the slavers. I just brought him back here after he collapsed.”

Reuben hung his head. “I am so sorry for trying to hurt him. He is a far greater person than I’ll ever be.”

The three of them stood stunned for a moment. Airel looked like she wanted to punch him, and Ethen looked confused, but Ben put a hand on Reuben’s shoulder.

“Well, I can’t say I understand why you did it, but at least you’re heading in the right direction now. I can tell you regret what you did and want to do better. That is enough for me to forgive you.

“But what makes it so hard to understand is why you didn’t just ask for support from your squad?”

“I did.” Reuben replied sniffling a little. “They told me that if I was a true noble, I’d figure it out myself. Besides, it would dishonor my family if I went around begging for money.”

Airel relaxed and even looked concerned as she understood Reuben’s plight. “I could help.” She offered.

“Me too although I’m not sure specifically how much I could lend you.” Ethen agreed.

Jarid smiled. He had wonderful, compassionate friends.

Reuben burst into tears again as he fell to his knees before all of them and bowed with his head to the floor.

“I… I… Thank you! Thank you! I am so unworthy but… Thank you.” He cried between sobs.

After deciding on how they were going to solve Reuben’s financial problem Ethen had a curious thought.

“Why would a group of slavers want Jarid? I mean, it’s not like they could expect to get a good price for him. Even if he could do magic, their buyers would be sceptical since he’s a commoner. Besides, how would they have even heard of him to begin with? It’s not like the academy tells just anyone what goes on here.”

Everyone thought about it for a moment. Then Airel snapped her fingers. “I know how. The match against Lt. Briar. There were lots of people from the surrounding villages watching and they saw him using magic.”

Ben nodded. “True, but they must have known kidnaping a student of the dragon rider academy is risky. A commoner that can use magic wouldn’t be worth it. Even if they captured the most talented rider at this academy, it would hardly be worth the risk considering how heavily defended this place is and who defends it. So why?”

After thinking it over for almost ten minutes none of them could come up with a good answer. They eventually decided to let Jarid rest and get back to their classes for the day.

By the end of the day, it seemed like Jarid was fully restored and he was allowed to sleep in his room at Black Squad dorm. As he laid down for the night, he hoped the simple routine of classes would continue uninterrupted for the rest of the year. Even if that routine was difficult at least he knew what to expect each day.

Yet he couldn’t shake the feeling that this was only the beginning of all the strange things that were going to happen to him. He kept thinking back to what the leader of the slavers had said.

“I’m here because there are quite a few people willing to buy a slave that can use magic, especially your kind of magic.”

What was so special about him and his magic?


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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!!


First Impression

Well this is a horrible situation to go down but I am genuinely really happy about how it was handled there. Its truly nice to see remorse, genuine apologies and also a good payoff to the setup we had all the way back in chapter one there. Just wonderful things all around.

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

A few days after the fight, Jarid was alone eating supper when Reuben sat down beside him.

“Hey man. It’s been a while. I’ve been so nervous lately I haven’t been able to eat. Want some extra?”

All that training sure built up an appetite, so Jarid agreed.

“What’s wrong Reuben?”

“Don’t worry about it. Just enjoy the food.”

After they both finished eating Reuben leaned over to him. “Hey, could you meet me just outside the gate as soon as you’re finished. I want to talk to you about something.”


Well that was the most suspicious interaction I have ever witnessed in my life. If Briar or someone else isn't waiting there to do something terrible and there wasn't a sleeping drug in that food I would be very surprised.

Jarid nodded. “Sure. Just let me clean my plate.”

Soon after he met Reuben outside the gate just as the sun was setting.

“What’s up?”

Reuben stood wringing his hands. “Well, you know how my family is struggling money wise right? Well, it just got a lot worse. I was desperate and suddenly these men approached me with a deal.

“They asked me to do them a favor and in return they would give me the money my family needs.”


Oh well there we go. Reuben and I though you were kind of cool. I mean I understand the circumstances but really, we're coming to this, betraying a friend for money from people who probably hate you too.

“What do you mean? What kind of favor?” Jarid asked nervously, but he already had a guess.

“Oh, I think you know.” A voice said from behind them. Jarid spun around.

“Who are you?” He growled as he prepared to fight.

The man smiled as a few dozen of his companions surrounded them.

“Just a businessman. I’m here because there are quite a few people willing to buy a slave that can use magic, especially your kind of magic,” he said with a cruel smile.


Yup. Welp I guess this is going to be our setup for book five, although its a little strange this would go down in Chapter 14 and not the last one so maybe I shouldn't completely write Jarid's fighting ability off. He seem fine for now.

Jarid was about to blast this guy with magic when a wave of drowsiness washed over him. “Whoa… What? What’s happening?” Jarid muttered swaying a bit.

“Oh, just a little sleeping drug from your friend here to make the trip easier,” the man chuckled.

“Don’t worry. We’re going to take really good care of you. Ha, ha, ha, ha!”

Then Reuben stepped forward. “Where’s the money you promised?”

The man gave him a sly smile. “Oh, don’t worry. We just figured it would be better to MAKE money selling you than pay you what we had agreed.” He laughed, snapping his fingers. The men around them took a step forward. Reuben’s eyes widened in fear.


Welp. That went too close to the plan there. Well this doesn't look good at all for Jarid. I can't really imagine there's a way out of this unless someone steps up somehow from elsewhere or Jarid ends up finding a way to get a dragon here but they both seem terribly unlikely.

“You can’t take him.” Jarid wheezed stepping in front of Reuben.

The man laughed. “You would stand up for the fool who betrayed you? Besides, who are you to stop us?” he asked, glancing at his compatriots with a superior gin. By this time the drug was beginning to take effect and it was making Jarid delirious.

“Buddy. I am the dragon warrior.” He said drunkenly.

All the slavers began to laugh. Jarid knew he didn’t have much choice. He was about to fall asleep.


Well that is hilarious if it wasn't in this context and just ahh I really don't know we're going to find our way out of this one. You really dropped us hard into the deep end here. Also wow, I just noticed this human society sucks. Tremendously.

He had let himself get lost in his music in the past. He knew that the more he did, the less pain and drowsiness affected him. However, if he went too far, he would lose control of himself and end up blacking out, but there was no time and no choice now.

He played the first song he saw. “Monster” by Skillet. And cranked up the volume.

As he began to sway to the beat, he felt a faintly familiar power and arrogance begin to rise up inside of him. He started to whisper the words to the song, but he could barley control what he was saying.

“There’s a secret side of me that I never let you see. I keep it caged but I can’t control it.” He raised his voice and the slavers stopped laughing.


Oh that's an interesting move, I did not know his magic could do that but it seems my very first suspicions on how it is almost someone else in control is coming in here, and Jarid's about bust out some crazy moves.

“So, stay away from me, for he is coming.” he said motioning for Reuben to back up. “I feel the flaming rage and I just can’t hold it.”

Reuben stepped back looking nervous, but Jarid couldn’t afford to think about that now.

“It’s scratching on the walls, dragon claws in my halls. It comes awake and I can’t control it.”

Jarid knew he must be delirious because he felt something emerging from deep within him.

A dragon inside of him.


Oh well I mean if we didn't already know Jarid is the dragon born I suppose this one is definitely all we need as confirmation. I have a feeling this fight will be won but at the cost of that last post having his secret as a dragon born be discovered.

“Hidden is your greatest dread, it’s in my body, in my head. I hope somebody comes to save you from me, make it end!”

Jarid felt the last vestiges of his control slip away as he closed his eyes and began to laugh, but this laugh was one of arrogance and pride as the power within him began to take over.

“How unfortunate.” He chuckled as his eyes opened, ablaze with magic, and looked down on the slavers. “That you would go through all the trouble of capturing me only to forfeit your pathetic lives.”

Then he began to sing again. “It’s hiding in the dark. Its teeth are razor sharp. There’s no escape for you. It wants your soul it wants your heart. No one will hear you scream, maybe it’s just a dream. This thing inside of me. I am this dragon.”


Oh this is not a good sign at all for the poor slavers, but I also feel for Reuben and Jarid at this point. This is going to be an unchecked massacre from the looks of things. Jarid has fully given up control to the dragon side of him that is also very delirious from the drug, only less affected.

Jarid felt one final growl building deep inside his chest. “I feel it deep within, it’s just beneath my skin. I must confess that I …” He took a deep breath in as the song reached its height. “feel like a dragon!” He roared.

His mouth kept moving but his mind could no longer comprehend the words coming out of it.

Hiæʧɹɹn huans, iəəʧ əəəii ɔɔɯɹɹd. Hɯɛɛɔɔɯɹɹɹɖ ŋɬəə ɔəəɯ ɖɹɹɹɯɛɛwɒʧ dɹɹd.

Hjɹɹ jɛɛʧ ɔɔɯʌŋɖ ɔæ ŋs ɛɛŋŋd͡ʒɔæŋɛɛɖɹɹ. Hnnəəəɪ dɛɛlʧɹɹɹɯɪ nnɒ Dɹəcn ɔæŋɛɛɖɹɹ!


Ooh love that dragon text there. In terms of the actual effect. I do not recognize the language you're using there and google translate said it was Latvian but had no clue what it meant so that's a lovely choice there xD. Well let's see how this fight pans out.

Just before he lost consciousness, he heard a chorus of voices echoed in his mind. “Fear not. We will not let injury befall you nor your friend.”

Jarid didn’t know what was going on, but they had promised Reuben wouldn’t get hurt. Relieved, Jarid relaxed and let the darkness swallow him.

Suddenly Jarid opened his eyes to find himself in a strange place. It looked like a big garden surrounded by high castle walls in the middle of the night. The Moon was bright though, and he could see everything as clear as day.
Then he noticed that he was standing on all fours. Confused he looked down to find talons instead of feet.

Franticly Jarid checked the rest of his body and sure enough he found soft horns, fragile looking wings and a small but lively tail!


Oh well that's a place and a half there to wake up. Given the text is also changed a little I wonder if you intend this to be more of a vision than were Jarid actually woke up but we'll see where it takes us.

The scales covering every inch of him were whiteish but shimmered like silver when the moonlight reflected off them. He also realised, from his closeness to the ground, that he must be a hatchling. Perhaps around 4 years old.

If felt kind of strange yet totally right to be in the body of a dragon. He could feel his wings and tail. How the slight breeze felt against his wings and how his tail swished through the tall grass of the garden. He was almost giddy with excitement and felt full of energy.

Then he noticed another dragon about the same age, maybe a little older, bounding towards him from across the garden. This dragon looked similar to shadow but a bit tougher. though he had the same red eyes his were full of mischief rather than Shadow’s kindness. He seemed excited and Jarid felt his own heart leap for joy.


Well that's an interesting little moment there, and it looks like we're witnessing a bit part of Jarid's life that even Jarid himself isn't totally aware of here at the moment.

“Crepuscule!”

The name leapt from Jarid’s mouth, and before he even realised what he had said, both he and the other dragon were wrestling on the soft grassy floor of the garden.

As they played Jarid began to realise he had no control over what he was doing or saying. He was in the body of some other dragon doing these things.
It felt similar to the memories Shadow’s mother had given him, yet it was so much more real. Like he was reliving a memory he had simply forgotten until now.

After almost an hour of wrestling and chasing each other around the garden, the young dragons heard a voice shout at them from the dark doorway leading into the castle.


Well this is interesting and there is that name again. I remember it now from shadow's thoughts. If I remembered that was a pretty nasty dragon who Shadow was afraid would kill him. Definitely a name I'm going to fully try and remember here.

“Dragonets! It’s time for your lessons now. Come on inside,” The slightly feminine voice hissed pleasantly.
“Yes mam!” The two young dragons answered in unison.
Jarid glanced over to Crepuscule and noticed him sticking out his tongue in the direction of the doorway before noticing Jarid was looking. He smiled and rolled his eyes while gesturing at the door.
Jarid laughed. That dragon was certainly going to get him into trouble some day.
They both bounded across the garden and into the dark opening leading into the castle. As they entered the doorway everything was swallowed by darkness.


Well up that definitely was a memory/vision and an important one at that. Looking forward to seeing in future books how that's going to actually affect us here.

The first thing Jarid knew as he awoke was pain.

It felt like his entire body was one big bruise. His muscles were sluggish, hot, and heavy as if they had been filled with molten metal, and his eyes burned like he had been staring strait at the sun for hours.

“Jarid? Jarid can you hear me?”

The voice sounded distant, but he still tried to respond. Unfortunately, all he could really do was groan.

“Oh, thank goodness! Don’t worry, your squad will be here soon,” The voice said.


Okay this is an interesting moment. I think this is definitely the actual waking up moment now judging by all the pain at the very least. Let's see how this is going to play out though.

Jarid thought he recognised it. He felt something hold his bloated hand and drops of something wet on his arm. He tried opening his eyes, but it seemed to take all he had to lift them an inch, and even when he did everything was blurry and hurt.

He tried again and was able to blink some of the blurriness away.

He recognised the white roof and soft bed he was lying on. It was a room in the medical ward of the academy. Then he noticed Reuben sitting in one corner looking down at the floor in shame.

“Reu…ben.” Jarid managed weakly.


Well looks like Reuben's doing good at least and mostly unhurt, which is a good sign. Jarid didn't completely lose control but its clear that something has gone a little bit wrong.

“Reuben looked up, relief and sadness washed over his face as his quickly got up off the small chair he had been sitting on and knelt by Jarid’s bedside.

“What…happened?” Jarid asked. “I roared and then…” He trailed off. He couldn’t remember what happened after he sang that final line. He felt like there was something important he was missing but everything was fuzzy.

Reuben squeezed Jarid’s hand. “Then you began to attack. I’ve never seen anyone move so fast before. The drug must have been affecting you though since you seemed to be moving strangely and your fighting style was all over the place. I could feel magic radiating off you and you surrounded all of us in a wall of fire.


Well that's comforting but also terrifying for poor Jarid. I can definitely conclude by now that we're seeing a lot of death in this one. Jarid fully lost control in that moment.

“The first three came at you one at a time, but after you stabbed the first in the gut with an icicle, slashed the second in the chest with a wind blade, and drowned the third by creating a sphere of water around his head, the others all tried to gang up on you while I sat back like a coward.

“But you didn’t care. You shouted. ‘Foolish humans! I’ll take you all on!’ And you did! There was so much magic flying around I could barely see you. Those criminals couldn’t even get close to you. You even took down the ones who tried to escape.

“It was only after all the slavers were dead or unconscious that you collapsed. I dragged you inside and called the guard to take care of the slavers’ bodies.”

Jarid barely heard the last half of what Reuben had said. He was still getting over his horror at what he’d done. He felt like he was going to be sick. He had killed people!


Welp there we go. I mean, absolutely justified there, no doubt about that but also this is going to reflect pretty interestingly on Jarid's record here and of course to say nothing of the guilt poor Jarid is probably going to feel.

They probably had families, close friends, dreams, and he’d ended them all! Some of them might have even been forced to become slavers or could have reformed, but now their lives were over, and it was all his fault!

Right then he wanted to swear that he would never allow himself to let loose whatever was inside him again. But at the same time, he realised that if he hadn’t, not only himself but Reuben would have been killed or worse.

Eventually Jarid decided not to think about it. For now, he needed to listen to the rest of what Reuben was saying. He could feel bad about killing the slavers later.

“The slavers that survived will answer for their crimes… and so should I. I am such a coward. I couldn’t even admit what I had done when the guards asked what had happened. Instead of facing you, I snuck that sleeping poison into your food last night and sold you out to those traitorous slavers.” Reuben revealed somberly with tears forming in his eyes.


Well looks like Reuben at least realizes the depth of what just went down there and is ready to apologize. Another friendship that's going to need a little bit of mending there from the looks of it.

“And yet… you still defended me. Why? How could I possibly deserve your protection? I tried to… to…” He buried his face in the edge of the bed crying in regret for what he had done.

Jarid looked over at him and smiled compassionately.

“You are my friend. Of course, I’d protect you.”

Reuben looked up at him tears still flowing down his face. “But how do I deserve…?” Reuben began, but Jarid stopped him.

“You were the first one outside of Black Squad to even try making friends with me. I will always be grateful to call you my friend.” He explained, squeezing Reuben’s hand weakly.


Well looks like Jarid understands what happened there and desperation that can lead someone to do some terrible things. ALthough I do hope Jarid is a little more vary of people going forward from here.

Just then the other members of Black Squad burst into the room.

“Jarid!” Airel cried when she saw him lying in the medical bed.

“What happened?” Ethen asked.

“I’m glad to see you’re ok.” Ben added.

Jarid smiled at all of them. He was feeling a bit better now and his thoughts were slowly coming untangled.

“Me and Reuben were attacked by some slavers outside the gate, and I had to save him. They got a few hits in, but I’ll be fine soon. That’s all,” he said dismissively, but Reuben shook his head.


Well Jarid went full noble moment there from the looks of things. Not surprised though. Jarid is the type although how Reuben reacts to this is going to be what makes me judge this man now.

“It’s fine. You don’t have to lie to your true friends for my sake.” Then he turned to the others.

“The truth is… my family is struggling to make ends meet, and the slavers offered me money to give Jarid a sleeping potion and bring him outside. I sold him out to them, and they betrayed me.

“Jarid saved both of us. He fought despite the drug and beat the slavers. I just brought him back here after he collapsed.”

Reuben hung his head. “I am so sorry for trying to hurt him. He is a far greater person than I’ll ever be.”

The three of them stood stunned for a moment. Airel looked like she wanted to punch him, and Ethen looked confused, but Ben put a hand on Reuben’s shoulder.


Ooh well okay that settles it I think. He is worthy of being forgiven. That's a big gesture there to come forward and not take the easy out and actually apologize and fully admit to his mistake. That definitely takes courage and strength of character.

“Well, I can’t say I understand why you did it, but at least you’re heading in the right direction now. I can tell you regret what you did and want to do better. That is enough for me to forgive you.

“But what makes it so hard to understand is why you didn’t just ask for support from your squad?”

“I did.” Reuben replied sniffling a little. “They told me that if I was a true noble, I’d figure it out myself. Besides, it would dishonor my family if I went around begging for money.”

Airel relaxed and even looked concerned as she understood Reuben’s plight. “I could help.” She offered.


Well that is about as I suspected. We've got a full year of snobby nobles from the looks of it although maybe Black Squad is going to prove to be difference once again. They seem to be fairly chill about the position Jarid happens to be given Jarid is also their leader being a first year.

“Me too although I’m not sure specifically how much I could lend you.” Ethen agreed.

Jarid smiled. He had wonderful, compassionate friends.

Reuben burst into tears again as he fell to his knees before all of them and bowed with his head to the floor.

“I… I… Thank you! Thank you! I am so unworthy but… Thank you.” He cried between sobs.

After deciding on how they were going to solve Reuben’s financial problem Ethen had a curious thought.


Well it looks like Reuben's finds himself the good friends there from the looks of things there. That's a beautiful little moment there. This is honestly going way better than I thought it would although with a whole chapter to go I'm sure its not going to be this easily resolved.

“Why would a group of slavers want Jarid? I mean, it’s not like they could expect to get a good price for him. Even if he could do magic, their buyers would be sceptical since he’s a commoner. Besides, how would they have even heard of him to begin with? It’s not like the academy tells just anyone what goes on here.”

Everyone thought about it for a moment. Then Airel snapped her fingers. “I know how. The match against Lt. Briar. There were lots of people from the surrounding villages watching and they saw him using magic.”

Ben nodded. “True, but they must have known kidnaping a student of the dragon rider academy is risky. A commoner that can use magic wouldn’t be worth it. Even if they captured the most talented rider at this academy, it would hardly be worth the risk considering how heavily defended this place is and who defends it. So why?”


Well now that they put it all that way, it is an interesting though to be sure. I'm sure we're going to come back to that one quite soon, and I have a feeling the reason will have much to do with that final chapter.

After thinking it over for almost ten minutes none of them could come up with a good answer. They eventually decided to let Jarid rest and get back to their classes for the day.

By the end of the day, it seemed like Jarid was fully restored and he was allowed to sleep in his room at Black Squad dorm. As he laid down for the night, he hoped the simple routine of classes would continue uninterrupted for the rest of the year. Even if that routine was difficult at least he knew what to expect each day.

Yet he couldn’t shake the feeling that this was only the beginning of all the strange things that were going to happen to him. He kept thinking back to what the leader of the slavers had said.

“I’m here because there are quite a few people willing to buy a slave that can use magic, especially your kind of magic.”

What was so special about him and his magic?


Well yup. That's about the line you ought to focus on there. I am starting to think even though we can conclude Jarid here is a dragon born, he doesn't know it himself and these people are on some sort of hunt for that, maybe tied to that prophecy in book four.

Aaand that's it for this oneee!!!

Overall

Overall I think you've done a wonderful job of this once again. I am so excited to read this last chapter. I should probably be in bed but I am not sleeping until I see how this ends.

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...


All I can say is that your comments are unique and give me a wonderful perspective through which I can view my own book.

Thanks so much for reviewing!



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Sun May 19, 2024 3:09 pm
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RavenAkuma wrote a review...



Hello Again, My Friend!

I'm finally back! 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...

Woah! Talk about an unexpected twist! I didn't know what the last chapter's cliffhanger would be alluding toward, but that wouldn't have been among my guesses! And the way Jarid took on the challenge, with those wild clues woven in, was great to read! Let's get into the details though.

Where The Dagger Points...

Not much to put here! I loved the suddenness of the ambush, the slow buildup to Jarid unleashing his power, the memory, and the overall tone of the character interactions here. Descriptions for what the characters are feeling, especially Jarid, were incredible and had a sense of realism to them. Although, I did personally feel like there could've been a little bit more to visual descriptions (like even though we've seen the cafeteria and the area around the academy before, even some visual cues like "the setting sun bringing color to the masses of gray stone" or "the unusually quiet cafeteria, with only a few other students and the lingering scent of roasted meat and potatoes" might help, just to keep the reader grounded in the world, but everything works fine as it is too so take that with a grain of salt please ~). There were just two other extremely minor things I noticed as I read, that I thought to highlight:

After they both finished eating Reuben leaned over to him. “Hey, could you meet me just outside the gate as soon as you’re finished. I want to talk to you about something.”


I think you're missing a question mark for Reuben's question, and then...

This dragon looked similar to shadow but a bit tougher. though he had the same red eyes his were full of mischief rather than Shadow’s kindness.


I think "Shadow" and "though" need to be capitalized here, but while I have this quote highlighted, I love how you described that this particular dragon looks so similar to Shadow...

Spoiler! :
I feel like that's a great clue -or a great red herring- for readers in trying to guess the mystery behind Crepuscule. The thought that he may be linked to Shadow, directly or indirectly, and that he seems so innocent despite his mischief. Even those of us who have more clues [or maybe it's just me lol] can't help wondering if that's an eerie coincidence or if this could be significant later on...


That's all for here! Great writing job!

Why The Grin Widened...

Ah, where to begin?

First of all, as I mentioned, the ambush from Reuben was quite a twist and I was not expecting things to go down the way they did! I mean it makes perfect sense as far as why Jarid was a target and why Reuben was pushed to it, but it still came as a shock! That was great staging and execution there.

“Just a businessman. I’m here because there are quite a few people willing to buy a slave that can use magic, especially your kind of magic,” he said with a cruel smile.


Not only did the specific prospect of being a magic slave add to the impact of the threat, but I feel like it alludes to a much darker side of this world. We know dragons are imprisoned and treated like slaves, but the idea of humans also being exploited for magic in some regions is absolutely chilling.

“You can’t take him.” Jarid wheezed stepping in front of Reuben.


Jarid's character kind of caught me by surprise in this chapter. I thought this would be where he reaches his limit, and he would at least be angry with Reuben, but given the genuine (as far as I can tell) desperation and remorse that he consistently showed -before, during, and after the ordeal, and the honesty as he explains why he did it, it does make sense that Jarid would be open to understanding the situation. After all, it's clear that he has a good ability to "read" people by now, and he has a lot of empathy. So for as horrible as the threat was, it's not exactly unrealistic, per se, that Jarid is willing to forgive, and that came across well.

(hopefully this makes sense because I'm drawing a blank on how to express it better XD)

“There’s a secret side of me that I never let you see. I keep it caged but I can’t control it.” He raised his voice and the slavers stopped laughing.


These were perfect lyrics for the situation; talking about something inside of him, and Jarid swapping some of the lyrics to reflect dragons instead of monsters, was so cool! And the voice telling him that they won't hurt his friends before he blacks out, followed by the memory of Crepuscule, was so chilling! Another great clue to tell us more about his abilities and the "monster" inside of him, while not revealing too much.

Jarid laughed. That dragon was certainly going to get him into trouble some day.


.....Why do I feel like I'll be revisiting this line? XD

It felt like his entire body was one big bruise. His muscles were sluggish, hot, and heavy as if they had been filled with molten metal, and his eyes burned like he had been staring [straight] at the sun for hours.


[Minor thing I didn't notice before, "straight" was misspelled]. Great descriptions for magic fatigue -and fatigue in general understandably, lol.

Jarid barely heard the last half of what Reuben had said. He was still getting over his horror at what he’d done. He felt like he was going to be sick. He had killed people!


I also like this reaction to the full story and what happened after he blacked out. Again, knowing how Jarid's character usually functions, it makes perfect sense that he would be shocked and ashamed of killing people, even ones committing such a terrible crime. Likewise...

“And yet… you still defended me. Why? How could I possibly deserve your protection? I tried to… to…” He buried his face in the edge of the bed crying in regret for what he had done.


You did a great job capturing the complex mix of emotions, especially the guilt and shame, that Reuben is no doubt feeling. Again, it makes it easier to understand why Jarid would pity him, and even as the reader, it's hard to not have some empathy for him.

Black Squad's reactions were well in line with their characters, which I appreciated reading, and I liked seeing Airel's reasoning for how and why Jarid became a target. It explains the situation well, and considering the sheer number of people who witnessed the fight with Briar, it makes you wonder how far the word has spread and if more trouble will come from this.

Our Mad Thoughts...

Overall, that was a great chapter to catch your readers off-guard and put Jarid's repressed abilities on display once again. I do plan to read the next chapter, so stay tuned for a second review today. In the meantime, nicely done! :D

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dragonight9 says...


Thanks so much for your advice.
Honestly I was so focused on the big event of the chapter I may have rushed through the details in the first part.

Spoiler! :
Also, as for Crepuscule, I plan to reveal him much later but build him up as a mystery character in these flashbacks. Slowly hinting at who he becomes while also showing that he was a good dragon once. At least, from the dragon in Jarid's memories' perspective.




I am always saying "Glad to've met you" to somebody I'm not at all glad I met. If you want to stay alive, you have to say that stuff, though.
— Holden Caulfield