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Shadow's Rising {Wing 3} Chapter 4

by dragonight9


Chapter 4

Jarid wanted to go see Vapor right away, but classes were not going to wait for him. It felt so strange waking up in the morning and going to class as if nothing had happened. Everyone had decided to wait until supper to discuss their plans and visit Vapor.

They all needed a bit of time to think about what had happened and focus on their classes. There were tests coming up in many classes over the next few days in preparation for the break. Still, it was hard to pay attention when all he could think about was the dragons they left in that place. He knew that Vapor was probably safe, but what about all the other dragons that refused to bend to humans? He knew the answer even if he wished he could deny it.

They would be broken.

That was probably why most of the dragons in the tunnel stalls were so distant and submissive. Their spirits had been crushed. There was no way he’d let that happen to Smolder or Vapor. And now he wasn’t alone in his striving toward that goal. Now he had Black Squad by his side.

When supper time came, they all grabbed their meals and sat down to discuss the events of the previous night. Steven was the first to speak up.

“Well guys, I guess we’ve all had enough time to think about everything that happened last night.”

Felicia shivered. “That was just horrible. I mean, I get how most people think dragons are just monsters, but even so…”

“Yeah, but for now we need to focus on how we are going to keep our end of the deal,” Ben agreed.

“Sorry for making that deal without asking you guys first by the way,” Jarid added.

Airel waved his comment aside. “If you’re confident we can pull if off I’m sure we can do it.”

The others all nodded in agreement which made Jarid smile slightly.

“Even so. We should decide who will be choosing her. It would have to be either Airel, Ben, or myself,” Ethen said thoughtfully.

“Well, I think it should be Airel,” Felicia suggested.

“I agree.” Bed nodded.

“Me too.” Steven grinned.

“Wait a moment, shouldn’t we discus this first?” Airel asked in a slightly panicked voice.

Jarid just gave her a big smile to let her know her fate was sealed.

“I guess it’s decided then. By popular vote, Airel will be the one to choose Vapor!”

Everyone clapped and gave a small cheer for Airel. Jarid smiled warmly as he watched Airel get swarmed by encouragement and slaps on the shoulder for good luck. It would be good for her if she was nervous about riding a dragon. Vapor would probably be easier to ride than any other dragon in those stalls.

Airel’s shoulders drooped for a moment, but then she sighed and stood up strait. “Fine, I’ll do it.”

Jarid nodded. “Good. Then I think it’s about time I properly introduced you all to my friend, Vapor.”

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

As they came up to Vapor’s stall she got up, wincing as the movement made her bruises ache, and came as close to the bars of her cell as she could. Jarid smiled softly and reached through the bars to pet her head.

“Hello Vapor,” he said in dragon. “Would you mind if we used human so my friends can understand? If you don’t understand something they say, I’ll do my best to translate it for you.”

She nodded and turned to the others. “Greeting. I am Vapor,” She said in her best human while gesturing to herself.

Most of them were stunned. Even though they knew she could speak human, it was still a shock to hear a dragon speak for the first time.

However, Ethen’s face was shining with giddy excitement. In his eyes this was the biggest ground-breaking discovery ever.

The others recovered from their initial shock and Airel was the first to speak. “Uh, hi. My name is Airel. I hope that, when the time comes, you will accept me as your rider.”

Vapor looked at Jarid in confusion. “I thought you would be me rider.”

Her growling accent made it sound a little more aggressive than intended but she got the message across by tilting her head in a very innocent and confused way.

Jarid shook his head. “I am not allowed to choose a dragon until next year. Besides, he needs my help a lot more than you do.” He jerked his thumb at Smolder who was asleep in his stall.

Vapor looked over at the Flame Wing and nodded sadly. Jarid smiled and patted her shoulder.

“I think you and Airel will be great for each other. The important thing is that you know you can trust her. So, in the two days we have before the choosing ceremony, I’m going to try and give you as much time to get to know each other as possible.”

Ben nodded. “We’ll all help. I’m Ben by the way. I’m delighted to make your acquaintance.” He said bowing. Steven was next.

“Hello, I’m Steven. It is good to make your acquaintance.” He said with a flourishing bow.

Jarid had almost forgotten that his friends were nobles. Except for military formality they were quite casual when talking with him and each other. After everyone had finished introducing themselves Jarid pushed his head between the bars and whispered into Vapor’s ear.

“Are you ok?” He asked in dragon.

“Yes. After you left, they put me back in my cage and left me alone. This morning one of them even gave me extra food and cleaned my cuts.”

Jarid nodded. “Ok then. I’ll let you speak with the others for now but don’t hesitate if you need me to translate something for you.”

Vapor smiled. “Of course.” Then she turned her attention to the others, switching back to human.

“Well, I think I start by telling you about me. You know me name is Vapor, and I am Storm Wing. I past live in one small village on shores of sea.”

“Is that the main city where the Storm Wing’s live?” Ethen interrupted. Vapor shook her head.

“No, great city of Storm Wing on hidden small land on sea almost one day fly from shore. Me only be there once but it very beautiful. More even during night.”

Jarid wondered what she meant by it being more beautiful at night but didn’t have time to ask as she continued.

“My mother past move away from city because someone stealing eggs for prophecy. I didn’t care much though and didn’t care about her warnings. Me thought she just scared too easy.”

She gave a small sad laugh. “Me should have past listen. Me run away from her to go find strange little human creatures live nearby while on food gathering trip. They like when we fly over them but this ones seemed scared of me, so I picked one up to try and tell them it was ok and I didn’t want to hurt them.”

Airel and a few of the others winced. Imagining how terrifying a dragon flying down and snatching up a person would look.

“Then some others brought big nets, tangled me up and brought me here.”

“That must have been scary.” Felicia said comfortingly. “I was scared when I got here too…”

As they talked, both humans and dragon shared a few of their own struggles. It was almost time for lights out by the time they finished. Jarid had to translate a few things, but he was proud of how far Vapor had come in speaking human. They all promised to talk again the next day.

As Jarid fell asleep he thought over everything that had happened over the past few days. It seemed so strange that less than two days ago he’d thought it would take forever for the dragon selection ceremony to arrive, and now he was wishing for more time.

He knew friendships and trust didn’t just form overnight but spending time with each other and going through hardship together would help. He only hoped that the hardships they would have to endure wouldn’t be too much for them.

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

The next day Jarid realised that in all the time he had known him, he had never asked Smolder where he came from. So, he decided to use some of his studying time to go see Smolder.

He was confident in his math class so he could afford to miss a study session. Even if Ethan was going to patronise him later.

“Hey Smolder! How are you today?” Jarid asked as he reached Smolder’s stall.

“About as well as any dragon held captive by horrid little humans can be, I suppose,” he huffed.

“I just thought I’d come see you since we won’t have much more time together before the dragon choosing ceremony.”

“You say that like I might actually let some other slimy human ride me.”

Jarid chuckled shaking his head. “No, no. I just mean that I’ll be away for a few weeks while the second year students get used to their dragons.”

Smolder jumped up. “You’re leaving!? Why?” Then he quickly settled down. “Not that I care at all. I just want to make sure you keep your end of the deal,” he said indignantly.

Jarid smiled. “Don’t worry. I am not leaving you here all alone. I’m just going home for a few weeks while my friends get used to riding their dragons.”

Smolder laid down with his head on his front claws with a sigh. “So? What did you want to talk about?”

“I was actually curious about where you came from and how you got here. You don’t have to answer of course, but I would love to know if you’re willing to share.”

Smolder considered it for a moment. “Alright, I don’t think it really matters anyway.”

Jarid sat down in front of the cage while Smolder got into a more comfortable position.

“Deep in the volcanic mountains lies the great Mt. Pyre, and in the molten crater at its peak stands the capital city of the Flame Wings. I was born in the Temple of Flame which resides in the center of the city. In our tribe the queen rules and passes the throne on to her daughter when she is ready. But the current queen has only one heir.

“Me.

“I was always destined to have the throne. The first male ruler in many centuries. It would be a great responsibility, but I could do it. I was so special that I was told I could never leave the capital because there was a group of dragons trying to steal me away.”

Smolder smiled proudly as he shared his noble heritage.

“I had a few friends among the nobles, or at least I thought I did. They knew that I wished to someday explore the lands far from the palace. A few years ago, one of them named Scorch, offered to take me on a trip to those lands so I could see them for myself. He told me that we had to be secret and that I couldn’t tell anybody so they wouldn’t stop us. Of course I believed him.”

Smolder snorted and shook his head.

“He showed me quite a few places and we slowly got further and further from our territory. Then he led me to a human village. We had a few snacks in this big square made of sticks and he told me to get some sleep. The next thing I knew I was being tied up. Scorch was flying nearby, just out of reach of the humans. I called out to him for help, but he just laughed and wished me a painless death as he flew back to the palace,” Smolder growled.

Jarid put a comforting hand on his shoulder through the bars of his stall. “Sorry. I don’t really know what to say other than what he did was terrible. You are an amazing dragon and one of the few people I can call my friend.”

“Yeah of course. I knew that” Smolder snorted. Then he turned his head away. “Thanks anyways I guess.”

Jarid smiled. “I’m glad to.”

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

When Jarid finally made it out of the tunnel he took a deep breath in and out.

Whew. That was a lot heavier than I was expecting. Got to get my head back in the game for the next test.

There was one last major test before the break in pretty much every class. Today’s test was in his favorite class. Dragon training.

Even so, as he approached the dragon dome, he began feeling the nervousness only a student about to do an important midterm knows. The dragon dome had become a familiar place, but sometimes, like today, it still felt like a cage.

There were four instructors waiting on the arena floor when Jarid arrived. Whatever test they were about to go through, it was going to be very dangerous.

“All students line up!” Lt. Tekar called.

After they had all lined up the other three instructors brought out a big rack of armor. It looked like the entire thing was made of dragon scales from head to toe, and it had the Dragon Rider Academy crest emblazoned on the chest.

It was exactly the kind of armor Jarid had always dreamed of making himself. It looked light and easy to move in while also being tougher than steel. Jarid felt almost giddy with excitement just looking at it.

“This test will be divided into an applied portion and a written portion. We will be testing your knowledge of everything we’ve been learning in class up until now in a real situation. And as a bonus, the student who does best will earn the right to fight a young dragon in one on one combat. If you are victorious, you will earn the right to have your very own suit of armor crafted from that dragon’s scales!”

The students all looked at the armor excitedly and began chatting about what features they would add to their own personal set. Meanwhile Jarid was feeling like he was going to throw up.

Up until now he hadn’t really thought much about how the armor was crafted, and the thought of killing an innocent young dragon for what basically amounted to a fancy piece of clothing made him sick.

“For your first test you will each choose a set of armor from the rack and put it on. If you need help, ask one of the instructors.”

Everyone selected a set of armor and put it on. Jarid took a few moments to steady himself and asked for help to put it on. He didn’t think he could do it himself without vomiting.

After a few minutes they were all strapped in and Lt. Tekar continued.

“This armor was made in the great magic city and has been enchanted to protect the user from one lethal blow. After receiving enough damage a wind spell will automatically carry the wearer into the stands where we will be waiting to treat your wounds. Of course, when this happens your test will be over. We will be releasing dragons into the dome and your job is simply to survive as long as you can.

“Any questions?”

One student raised their hand. “Do we get extra points for taking down one of the dragons?”

“And what if we manage to win?” Asked another.

“If we deem you were responsible for taking down a dragon, we will award you a few bonus points on the test in addition to the merit points we normally assign to your squad. But killing a dragon is a loss of merit for your squad as always.” Then he gave them all a sinister smile that gave Jarid goosebumps.

“And don’t worry about winning. Adult Dragons are monsters that can tear kids like you to pieces. You should count yourselves lucky if you survive a battle where you outnumber one of them 10 to one. Up till now, all you’ve had to face are the young and weak dragons that weren’t suited for riding. But you won’t be fighting one or two weak dragons this time.”

With that he gave a signal and used earth magic to jump into the stands where the other instructors were waiting. The gates set into the arena walls began to raise and Lt. Tekar laughed maniacally.

“This time, you’ll be facing ten adult dragons!” He boomed as ten fully grown dragons of almost every type Jarid had seen at the academy charged into the arena.


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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 looks like a bit of a mixed chapter this, starting with a beautiful moment for both Vapor and Smolder but then that ending has the blood running a little bit cold there with how horrifying it must be for the poor dragons.

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

Jarid wanted to go see Vapor right away, but classes were not going to wait for him. It felt so strange waking up in the morning and going to class as if nothing had happened. Everyone had decided to wait until supper to discuss their plans and visit Vapor.

They all needed a bit of time to think about what had happened and focus on their classes. There were tests coming up in many classes over the next few days in preparation for the break. Still, it was hard to pay attention when all he could think about was the dragons they left in that place. He knew that Vapor was probably safe, but what about all the other dragons that refused to bend to humans? He knew the answer even if he wished he could deny it.

They would be broken.


Well I'm glad that Jarid is both being patient and not breaking any more rules and also realizing that he's only affecting a tiny change for the moment and the rest is all now riding on what he's gotta do at this point.

That was probably why most of the dragons in the tunnel stalls were so distant and submissive. Their spirits had been crushed. There was no way he’d let that happen to Smolder or Vapor. And now he wasn’t alone in his striving toward that goal. Now he had Black Squad by his side.

When supper time came, they all grabbed their meals and sat down to discuss the events of the previous night. Steven was the first to speak up.

“Well guys, I guess we’ve all had enough time to think about everything that happened last night.”

Felicia shivered. “That was just horrible. I mean, I get how most people think dragons are just monsters, but even so…”


I'm glad everyone is ready to discuss this all so quickly and that it seems everyone is understanding that this isn't just humans being ignorant but humans being properly evil to animals even if they weren't intelligent. Boulder's thoughts on humans are making far more sense now. I know a certain Brom who'd make a tasty snack.

“Yeah, but for now we need to focus on how we are going to keep our end of the deal,” Ben agreed.

“Sorry for making that deal without asking you guys first by the way,” Jarid added.

Airel waved his comment aside. “If you’re confident we can pull if off I’m sure we can do it.”

The others all nodded in agreement which made Jarid smile slightly.

“Even so. We should decide who will be choosing her. It would have to be either Airel, Ben, or myself,” Ethen said thoughtfully.


Well this is good, Jarid apologizing for throwing everyone under the bus on short notice and then also them acknowledging it and now planning beginning in earnest for things to actually move forward here.

“Well, I think it should be Airel,” Felicia suggested.

“I agree.” Bed nodded.

“Me too.” Steven grinned.

“Wait a moment, shouldn’t we discus this first?” Airel asked in a slightly panicked voice.

Jarid just gave her a big smile to let her know her fate was sealed.

“I guess it’s decided then. By popular vote, Airel will be the one to choose Vapor!”


Well it looks like Airel is a little scared of it, although for the most part this looks to be more friendly ribbing rather than them forcing Airel to do something horrible. At least I hope it is.

Everyone clapped and gave a small cheer for Airel. Jarid smiled warmly as he watched Airel get swarmed by encouragement and slaps on the shoulder for good luck. It would be good for her if she was nervous about riding a dragon. Vapor would probably be easier to ride than any other dragon in those stalls.

Airel’s shoulders drooped for a moment, but then she sighed and stood up strait. “Fine, I’ll do it.”

Jarid nodded. “Good. Then I think it’s about time I properly introduced you all to my friend, Vapor.”


Well this chapter should hopefully be a slightly happier one then if they manage to get a good conversation going with Vapor. We can also see just how much of the human tongue Vapor speaks.

As they came up to Vapor’s stall she got up, wincing as the movement made her bruises ache, and came as close to the bars of her cell as she could. Jarid smiled softly and reached through the bars to pet her head.

“Hello Vapor,” he said in dragon. “Would you mind if we used human so my friends can understand? If you don’t understand something they say, I’ll do my best to translate it for you.”

She nodded and turned to the others. “Greeting. I am Vapor,” She said in her best human while gesturing to herself.

Most of them were stunned. Even though they knew she could speak human, it was still a shock to hear a dragon speak for the first time.


Oooh well this is a nice start here. Vapor looks to be able to know a decent few things here from the looks of it. And it seems everyone is also suitably impressed and starting to believe more now.

However, Ethen’s face was shining with giddy excitement. In his eyes this was the biggest ground-breaking discovery ever.

The others recovered from their initial shock and Airel was the first to speak. “Uh, hi. My name is Airel. I hope that, when the time comes, you will accept me as your rider.”

Vapor looked at Jarid in confusion. “I thought you would be me rider.”

Her growling accent made it sound a little more aggressive than intended but she got the message across by tilting her head in a very innocent and confused way.


Well this is going to be an interesting conversation now, I had a feeling that was going to come up too with Jarid already having struck his deal with Smolder there. I think it's a good plan in general to have another person anyway because Jarid clearly is a special one.

Jarid shook his head. “I am not allowed to choose a dragon until next year. Besides, he needs my help a lot more than you do.” He jerked his thumb at Smolder who was asleep in his stall.

Vapor looked over at the Flame Wing and nodded sadly. Jarid smiled and patted her shoulder.

“I think you and Airel will be great for each other. The important thing is that you know you can trust her. So, in the two days we have before the choosing ceremony, I’m going to try and give you as much time to get to know each other as possible.”


Well looks like Vapor at least agrees with the logic surrounding Smolder so that's a good sign there and it seems they'll be able to reach some sort of good conclusion here.

Ben nodded. “We’ll all help. I’m Ben by the way. I’m delighted to make your acquaintance.” He said bowing. Steven was next.

“Hello, I’m Steven. It is good to make your acquaintance.” He said with a flourishing bow.

Jarid had almost forgotten that his friends were nobles. Except for military formality they were quite casual when talking with him and each other. After everyone had finished introducing themselves Jarid pushed his head between the bars and whispered into Vapor’s ear.


Well looks like the rest of them are doing just fine on the introductions and I love the attention to detail on the fact that they have noble upbringing comes out in a moment like this meeting a new friend.

“Are you ok?” He asked in dragon.

“Yes. After you left, they put me back in my cage and left me alone. This morning one of them even gave me extra food and cleaned my cuts.”

Jarid nodded. “Ok then. I’ll let you speak with the others for now but don’t hesitate if you need me to translate something for you.”

Vapor smiled. “Of course.” Then she turned her attention to the others, switching back to human.


Well looks like they're getting on swimmingly for now and that it seems Brom the Dumb is honoring his word for the moment although methinks the covering up of the cuts is also to make sure most of the other suspect nothing more than it is out of kindness to heal Vapor.

“Well, I think I start by telling you about me. You know me name is Vapor, and I am Storm Wing. I past live in one small village on shores of sea.”

“Is that the main city where the Storm Wing’s live?” Ethen interrupted. Vapor shook her head.

“No, great city of Storm Wing on hidden small land on sea almost one day fly from shore. Me only be there once but it very beautiful. More even during night.”

Jarid wondered what she meant by it being more beautiful at night but didn’t have time to ask as she continued.


Well looks like Vapor is able to hold a decent conversation here which is great but you can also see clear gabs in her vocabulary and grammar which does accurately reflect someone who is still learning and not exactly fluent in it.

“My mother past move away from city because someone stealing eggs for prophecy. I didn’t care much though and didn’t care about her warnings. Me thought she just scared too easy.”

She gave a small sad laugh. “Me should have past listen. Me run away from her to go find strange little human creatures live nearby while on food gathering trip. They like when we fly over them but this ones seemed scared of me, so I picked one up to try and tell them it was ok and I didn’t want to hurt them.”

Airel and a few of the others winced. Imagining how terrifying a dragon flying down and snatching up a person would look.


Well yeah I mean that does go both ways of course, when it comes to them not understanding how things are exactly going to be interpreted. There really needs to be two educations programs going through this world at some point to teach both species if they are to co exist.

“Then some others brought big nets, tangled me up and brought me here.”

“That must have been scary.” Felicia said comfortingly. “I was scared when I got here too…”

As they talked, both humans and dragon shared a few of their own struggles. It was almost time for lights out by the time they finished. Jarid had to translate a few things, but he was proud of how far Vapor had come in speaking human. They all promised to talk again the next day.


Well looks like that is going really well there, and poor Vapor was only captured cause she made a small mistake and didn't obey her mother. That at least suggests that maybe humans aren't able to just on mass attack dragon tribes and steal them away in the dozens.

As Jarid fell asleep he thought over everything that had happened over the past few days. It seemed so strange that less than two days ago he’d thought it would take forever for the dragon selection ceremony to arrive, and now he was wishing for more time.

He knew friendships and trust didn’t just form overnight but spending time with each other and going through hardship together would help. He only hoped that the hardships they would have to endure wouldn’t be too much for them.


Well Jarid being realistic about how far they can go is quite nice to see but I also think he would not be too badly off to be a little bit optimistic. The greetings were honestly quite solid.

The next day Jarid realised that in all the time he had known him, he had never asked Smolder where he came from. So, he decided to use some of his studying time to go see Smolder.

He was confident in his math class so he could afford to miss a study session. Even if Ethan was going to patronise him later.

“Hey Smolder! How are you today?” Jarid asked as he reached Smolder’s stall.

“About as well as any dragon held captive by horrid little humans can be, I suppose,” he huffed.


Well Smolder's attitude is not going to change anytime soon I see which to be fair is quite reasonable, that's just kind of his personality at this point and we love Smolder more for it.

“I just thought I’d come see you since we won’t have much more time together before the dragon choosing ceremony.”

“You say that like I might actually let some other slimy human ride me.”

Jarid chuckled shaking his head. “No, no. I just mean that I’ll be away for a few weeks while the second year students get used to their dragons.”

Smolder jumped up. “You’re leaving!? Why?” Then he quickly settled down. “Not that I care at all. I just want to make sure you keep your end of the deal,” he said indignantly.


Well looks like someone is going to miss Jarid there and its interesting to see how this whole leaving thing is going to go. I have no doubt there's many adventures in store during that.

Jarid smiled. “Don’t worry. I am not leaving you here all alone. I’m just going home for a few weeks while my friends get used to riding their dragons.”

Smolder laid down with his head on his front claws with a sigh. “So? What did you want to talk about?”

“I was actually curious about where you came from and how you got here. You don’t have to answer of course, but I would love to know if you’re willing to share.”

Smolder considered it for a moment. “Alright, I don’t think it really matters anyway.”


Well looks like we can see a bit of Shadow perhaps while this whole home thing goes down and hopefully the dragons that end up being picked by the people on Black Squad could actually get some help besides Vapor of course who wasn't broken.

Jarid sat down in front of the cage while Smolder got into a more comfortable position.

“Deep in the volcanic mountains lies the great Mt. Pyre, and in the molten crater at its peak stands the capital city of the Flame Wings. I was born in the Temple of Flame which resides in the center of the city. In our tribe the queen rules and passes the throne on to her daughter when she is ready. But the current queen has only one heir.


Well looks like that's going to be quite the little tale here, Smolder seems to have been quite a special dragonet for their people which I'm sure has now caused much horrible things to go down there.

“Me.

“I was always destined to have the throne. The first male ruler in many centuries. It would be a great responsibility, but I could do it. I was so special that I was told I could never leave the capital because there was a group of dragons trying to steal me away.”

Smolder smiled proudly as he shared his noble heritage.

“I had a few friends among the nobles, or at least I thought I did. They knew that I wished to someday explore the lands far from the palace. A few years ago, one of them named Scorch, offered to take me on a trip to those lands so I could see them for myself. He told me that we had to be secret and that I couldn’t tell anybody so they wouldn’t stop us. Of course I believed him.”


Well that looks like this time our dragon was just led astray by the dragon being a bit petty and horrible. Ahh, the one downside to a fully intelligent species is that some of them are going to turn out horrible and hurt the rest of the species.

Smolder snorted and shook his head.

“He showed me quite a few places and we slowly got further and further from our territory. Then he led me to a human village. We had a few snacks in this big square made of sticks and he told me to get some sleep. The next thing I knew I was being tied up. Scorch was flying nearby, just out of reach of the humans. I called out to him for help, but he just laughed and wished me a painless death as he flew back to the palace,” Smolder growled.

Jarid put a comforting hand on his shoulder through the bars of his stall. “Sorry. I don’t really know what to say other than what he did was terrible. You are an amazing dragon and one of the few people I can call my friend.”

“Yeah of course. I knew that” Smolder snorted. Then he turned his head away. “Thanks anyways I guess.”

Jarid smiled. “I’m glad to.”


Well you can see that these trust issue run a bit deeper even than the humans there cause clearly Smolder was betrayed long before the humans stuffed him into a cage poor thing. I'm glad Jarid will help him now maybe he can reclaim his former throne too someday.

When Jarid finally made it out of the tunnel he took a deep breath in and out.

Whew. That was a lot heavier than I was expecting. Got to get my head back in the game for the next test.

There was one last major test before the break in pretty much every class. Today’s test was in his favorite class. Dragon training.

Even so, as he approached the dragon dome, he began feeling the nervousness only a student about to do an important midterm knows. The dragon dome had become a familiar place, but sometimes, like today, it still felt like a cage.


Well I'm sure that can be both his favorite subject and his least for multiple reaons there, it sure does look primed for many many things at any rate. We'll see exactly how this shall unfold.

There were four instructors waiting on the arena floor when Jarid arrived. Whatever test they were about to go through, it was going to be very dangerous.

“All students line up!” Lt. Tekar called.

After they had all lined up the other three instructors brought out a big rack of armor. It looked like the entire thing was made of dragon scales from head to toe, and it had the Dragon Rider Academy crest emblazoned on the chest.

It was exactly the kind of armor Jarid had always dreamed of making himself. It looked light and easy to move in while also being tougher than steel. Jarid felt almost giddy with excitement just looking at it.


Well looks like we're going to get some cool armor out of this maybe. It would be quite a fun moment to be sure, and maybe we get some links forward to the armr that Shadow has with him.

“This test will be divided into an applied portion and a written portion. We will be testing your knowledge of everything we’ve been learning in class up until now in a real situation. And as a bonus, the student who does best will earn the right to fight a young dragon in one on one combat. If you are victorious, you will earn the right to have your very own suit of armor crafted from that dragon’s scales!”

The students all looked at the armor excitedly and began chatting about what features they would add to their own personal set. Meanwhile Jarid was feeling like he was going to throw up.

Up until now he hadn’t really thought much about how the armor was crafted, and the thought of killing an innocent young dragon for what basically amounted to a fancy piece of clothing made him sick.


Well that's not good. Armor immediately much bad. I was thinking it was just something cool, but clearly this is just another horrible play by the humans this time doing literal child vs child combat where the dragon child, if they lose can get skinned pretty much and turned. That's way worse than anything else we've seen and the fact everyone cheers for it is just another level of horrible.

“For your first test you will each choose a set of armor from the rack and put it on. If you need help, ask one of the instructors.”

Everyone selected a set of armor and put it on. Jarid took a few moments to steady himself and asked for help to put it on. He didn’t think he could do it himself without vomiting.

After a few minutes they were all strapped in and Lt. Tekar continued.

“This armor was made in the great magic city and has been enchanted to protect the user from one lethal blow. After receiving enough damage a wind spell will automatically carry the wearer into the stands where we will be waiting to treat your wounds. Of course, when this happens your test will be over. We will be releasing dragons into the dome and your job is simply to survive as long as you can.


Well looks like there's a few cool little safety measures in place there, that's something. Ahh, i love the way this makes things so complex now. In any other academy story this would be a very cool scene that we can just have fun with but now knowing the position of the dragons its all very conflicting and this becomes a horrifying bloodbath between intelligent species.

“Any questions?”

One student raised their hand. “Do we get extra points for taking down one of the dragons?”

“And what if we manage to win?” Asked another.

“If we deem you were responsible for taking down a dragon, we will award you a few bonus points on the test in addition to the merit points we normally assign to your squad. But killing a dragon is a loss of merit for your squad as always.” Then he gave them all a sinister smile that gave Jarid goosebumps.


Well at least they're incentivized to not kill the poor dragons, that's something and them being all adult dragons bodes a little bit better for the dragons so that's also a bit of a relief.

“And don’t worry about winning. Adult Dragons are monsters that can tear kids like you to pieces. You should count yourselves lucky if you survive a battle where you outnumber one of them 10 to one. Up till now, all you’ve had to face are the young and weak dragons that weren’t suited for riding. But you won’t be fighting one or two weak dragons this time.”

With that he gave a signal and used earth magic to jump into the stands where the other instructors were waiting. The gates set into the arena walls began to raise and Lt. Tekar laughed maniacally.

“This time, you’ll be facing ten adult dragons!” He boomed as ten fully grown dragons of almost every type Jarid had seen at the academy charged into the arena.


Well looks like this will be something. The worst part is I'm sure these dragons are hurting badly and have barely any sense of anyone trying to help in so Jarid is probably in deeper than he might think.

Aaand that's it for this oneee!!!

Overall

Overall I think you're doing a wonderful job painting this side of the world here, and showcasing how humans think and feel and having read the side of the dragons a bit earlier, this is just maybe doubly horrifying to go through 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...


I'm so glad you are seeing the academy as a whole. It was amazing to see how you are seeing the world at large and at both a species and individual level.



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Thu Apr 18, 2024 3:59 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...

Dang, I noticed you already got Chapter Six up! That's awesome, you're a writing machine!

As for this chapter, I loved it! Jarid's respective conversations with Vapor and Smolder were great, and as the chapter moves onto training and the day's goal in the dragon dome, not only is there a huge amount of tension due to that eerie "prize" Tekar mentioned, but that's a rough challenge to beat in the first place! Let's get into the details though.

Where The Dagger Points...

Not much to put here today! As I said, I loved this chapter. All the character interactions were on point as always, and so was the mood for each scene. In that whole piece, I only spotted one potential error:

Airel’s shoulders drooped for a moment, but then she sighed and stood up strait.


I think "strait" here is meant to be "straight." Very minor thing of course. Great writing job ~

Why The Grin Widened...

For highlights, I wanted to jump right into the conversation with Vapor. I really enjoyed reading that part, it was so good! Her sweet demeanor and willingness to speak to the squad in their own language made her seem really innocent, and like -just as the humans are learning the other way around- she genuinely believes not all humans are wicked.

I also like how, in her dialogue, her English is somewhat broken:

“Well, I think I start by telling you about me. You know me name is Vapor, and I am Storm Wing. I past live in one small village on shores of sea.”


It definitely made it seem more realistic, so big props for that. I mean, it sounds minor, but I guess it's a pet peeve when, in fantasy stories, characters learn how to perfectly speak another language in a couple of weeks, or even a couple of days lol.

I also like how, for a moment, Felicia was able to go beyond just understanding and actually relate with her:

“That must have been scary.” Felicia said comfortingly. “I was scared when I got here too…”


Again, it shows us that in this world, dragons and humans are very similar -if not the same- in a lot of ways. And that point is clearly getting through to Black Squad.

Moving on to the conversation with Smolder, the first thing that stuck out was his reaction to Jarid telling him that he's leaving:

Smolder jumped up. “You’re leaving!? Why?” Then he quickly settled down. “Not that I care at all.


It was both funny and sweet that he clearly nervous about Jarid leaving for a while, but doesn't want it to seem that way. Sounds consistent with his character, haha. And of course, moving onto his backstory...

He is the prophecy Flame Wing!! And Scorch freaking sold him out to this place -that's what happened?!?! Dang, that dragon seems to get worse every time he gets mentioned in this story (although I did initially think Scorch killed him, so at least I was wrong in that sense). Oh, the dots are connecting here for sure >.>

And finally, the new challenge. I like how it finally dawned on Jarid that most dragon-scale armor is probably not made very...ethically:

Up until now he hadn’t really thought much about how the armor was crafted, and the thought of killing an innocent young dragon for what basically amounted to a fancy piece of clothing made him sick.


Yeah that does sound brutal, and I'm curious what will happen at the end of this fight, considering a new "set" is on the line. And of course, I don't know how the fight itself is going to go with 10 frickin' adult dragons!

Our Mad Thoughts...

Overall, this chapter was awesome! I want to read the next today (I mean how can I not with that cliffhanger lol?), so stay tuned for another review, and in the meantime, nicely done! :D

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dragonight9 says...


I am so glad you're enjoying!
I'm sure you can relate to how awesome it feels to see readers connecting the dots and getting invested in your characters.
Thanks so much for your continued amazing reviews!




For a short space of time I remained at the window watching the pallid lightnings that played above Mont Blanc and listening to the rushing of the Arve, which pursued its noise way beneath. The same lulling sounds acted as a lullaby to my too keen sensations; when I placed my head upon my pillow, sleep crept over me; I felt it as it came and blessed the giver of oblivion.
— Mary Shelley, Frankenstein