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Shadow's Rising {Wing 3} Chapter 6

by dragonight9


Chapter 6

The next day was saved for the written tests and, to ensure that he would be unhindered by possible wounds sustained during his fight, Jarid’s bought with the dragon was scheduled for the evening.

The written tests were stressful and boring, but Jarid was confident that he had at least earned a passing grade in his classes.

Every time he thought about the upcoming fight, he simply remembered his decision and tried not to worry about it until the time came. Which it did, all too soon.

As Jarid entered the floor of the dragon dome he noticed that the stands were filled with a lot fewer people than he had expected. There were no first years present even from Black Squad. Jarid was half expecting that to be the case since many of them were getting ready to leave the next day, but it was still strange.

However, many of the instructors and even the academy commander were present, along with a few second years.

Airel, Ethan, and Ben waved from the stands next to Gunther.

“Sorry the others couldn’t be here! They told us only second years were allowed to watch since they don’t want to spoil the fight for the other first years,” Ethan called out. Jarid nodded as he waved back.

When he reached the center of the arena, Lt. Keldor called for silence. Then he raised his arms and looked at the spectators.

“We have gathered here today to give the student who preformed best on the dragon training exam a great honor. He will fight a young dragon in single combat before our very own academy commander and everyone here. Should he succeed in besting the dragon, he shall receive its scales as a reward. He is allowed to use any method he chooses, including any and all magic spells at his disposal, and he will be given the same armor used during the exam to ensure his safety.

The dragon’s wings have been bound for the safety of the audience and any shots directed at the crowed will be dealt with by seasoned riders who have graciously given their aid.”

Lt. Keldor gestured around the arena as riders stepped forward to stand at the edge of the arena. Then he continued. “Now, Jarid Drakoulis. Don your armor and prepare yourself.”

A rack of armor was brought out and Jarid selected the one made from Flame Wing scales. He donned the armor and started stretching while circulating his magic by casting a few puffs of flame.

Many people started muttering in the crowd, but Lt. Keldor raised his hand and they quieted. Then he looked down at Jarid. “Stand you ready warrior?”

Jarid reached into his pocket and took out his music box. There was more muttering from the crowed as he settled the music box into a pouch, he and Ben had made specifically for it so he could fight while not worrying about his earpieces falling out. He could fight without it, but he was always felt at his best when he was listening to music. Once he was ready, he saluted Lt. Keldor.

“I stand ready sir.”

In spite of his strange choices the Lt. had remained unfazed. “Very well. Let the fight…Begin!”

Everything was removed from the arena floor and all the exits were shut. Then one of the gates lining the walls of the arena floor began to open. Jarid turned up his music. He thought the song was very appropriate. It was called Dragon Fight by F-777.

He could see the dragon through the bars. It was a Flame Wing with bright red scales and dark horns. It had streaks of black running down the wings folded at its side and its eyes burned with anger. Before the gate was halfway up the dragon was clawing underneath it and trying to squeeze through.

Finally, it got out and roared so loud it drowned out Jarid’s music. Then it breathed fire at the people in the stands, but it was blocked by the dragon riders as they erected a barrier of water around the arena. Then they froze the water into a clear block of ice so the spectators could view the action.

The dragon growled something about stupid cold water and focused his attention on Jarid. The dragon charged at him blasting fire in all directions. Jarid could feel the music and magic flowing through him as he began to move. His whole body felt almost fluid as he flowed around most of the dragon’s fire with minimal effort while deflecting the rest with water magic. As the dragon closed in, it dove at him with it’s claws out.

Jarid used a bit of wind magic to help him as he jumped over the dragon while giving it a light tap on the top of its head. Jarid knew that he probably could use his magic to trap the dragon in the ground or freeze it long enough to deal a winning blow, but he didn’t want to end this fight quickly. This was his chance to show off his skills to the academy commander as well as his friends. He hoped that if he did well enough, the commander might listen to his request to spare this dragon.

Jarid turned to face the dragon once more. This time it approached him much more cautiously. Circling at a distance and growling curses at him. When Jarid charged it, it leaped back out of reach while breathing a stream of flame before continuing to circle him. To truly show off everything he could do, Jarid had to force the dragon to fight him up close.

Closing his eyes, he focused on the arena floor, feeling where the dragon was and the earth beneath it. Then he raised his fist and slammed it into the ground. A stone pillar rose out of the ground, slamming into the dragon’s stomach. The dragon’s eyes widened, and it clutched at its stomach gasping for breath.

Keeping his eyes closed Jarid let himself go in the flow of the music and everything else faded away. It was just him, the dragon, and his music. He took in a slow deep breath as he sank into his fighting stance.

The dragon recovered quickly and charged Jarid again, but this time it didn’t leap at him. Instead, it swiped at him with its claws, lashed with its tail and even tried to bite him.

But Jarid opened his eyes with a wide grin and started dancing around it’s attacks, deflecting them with wind magic and using earth magic to mess with the dragon’s footing.

The longer this went on the more it reminded him of his play fights with Shadow. He was having so much fun! Jarid couldn’t help but laugh in exhilaration as the fight raged on.

Infuriated, the dragon kept pressing its attack and hurling insults at him. Its attacks became wilder and less accurate as it grew more and more tired until finally, it tripped and was too exhausted to get back up immediately.

Jarid quickly used earth magic to pin the dragon’s forearms to the ground, then he threw out some seeds from his pocket and caused vines to grow and wrap around the dragon’s hind legs and tail. Then he walked forward calmly as the dragon struggled against its bonds. Then, noticing Jarid was within range of his jaws, the dragon lunged forward to snap at Jarid.

Jarid quickly stepped to the side and clamped the dragon’s snout shut with more vines. The dragon struggled briefly before giving up and laying down. Jarid stepped back and bowed to the dragon respectfully before turning off his music.

He looked up at the academy commander and saluted. Then he turned to Lt. Keldor and saluted again.

“Sir, I have bested this dragon.”

The stands were quiet for a moment and Jarid wondered if he had done something wrong. Then the academy commander stood.

“Indeed, you have. That was most certainly a battle that will be remembered for years to come. Congratulations, Jarid Drakoulis!”

Now the entire arena erupted in cheers. Jarid was stunned. He was suddenly surrounded by grinning faces and genuine praise. He hadn’t believed it was possible, but these nobles were cheering for him. Not just what he’d done. In this moment they didn’t see him as a commoner. No. In this moment, he was a dragon rider!

Still, even amid all that praise, he doubted he would ever truly fit in with them. They praised him for defeating a monster, but even now he wished he could set this dragon free. As the roar of the crowed died away, but before anyone could speak, Jarid called out to the academy commander.

“Sir, permission to speak sir?”

“Permission granted. You may speak freely.”

Jarid saluted. “Sir. I would like to spare this dragon if at all possible. I am willing to forfeit its scales if…” Jarid trailed off as the commander started laughing.

“Do not worry about the dragon or your reward. Dragons may be monsters, but they are far to valuable to kill for a small event such as this. The scales you will receive are ones it has already shed. I believe Lt. Tekar has made it clear that we do not kill dragons here at the academy. This fight is also a test to determine how well you understood and remembered the orders of your superiors.

“In previous years the fight was stopped if it looked like the dragon or student were in danger of being killed. But from the way you were toying with it, I doubt you were in any danger from the start. Though in all my years I have never seen a student beg for a dragon’s life. How amusing,” he chuckled. The crowd also laughed, though it was a bit awkward.

Jarid felt his face start burning with embarrassment.

You didn’t have to call me out like that! Then Jarid smiled to himself as he breathed a sigh of relief.

At least the dragon was spared and nothing bad happened. I guess I just assumed they wanted me to kill it since they see dragons as monsters. I need to be more careful to pay attention and ascertain what my instructors want from me in the future.

Then the commander continued. “Regardless, you have won. We will have your reward prepared by tomorrow morning. For now, rest. You deserve it.”

The sun had just gone down by the time Jarid got back to the dorm and he was exhausted. Even so, it was time to clean the dragon stalls. The others congratulated him on his victory and offered to clean all the stalls for him, but he wanted to see Smolder and Vapor one last time before he left anyway so he politely declined.

After saying goodnight to the other members of Black Squad he left his music box in his room and made his way to the dragon stables. After refreshing all the stalls in the tunnel, he refreshed the stalls in the cave at the tunnel’s end. Vapor was sleeping so he left her alone, but Smolder was awake, and he was the one Jarid really needed to say goodbye to anyways.

It felt like forever since he had last spoken with him. After the incident with the bullies Smolder had really opened up to him. He didn’t resist talking and rarely snapped at him anymore. Jarid loved just talking about his day and hearing Smolder’s off hand comments about how life would be so much simpler if you could just burn everything that annoys you.

Jarid entered Smolder’s stall and started cleaning the little stone cell. “Hi, Smolder. I just came down to say goodbye while I clean your stall. We will be leaving tomorrow morning and I wanted to make sure I didn’t miss this chance.”

As he finished cleaning the stall, he noticed Smolder shifting around. He seemed uncomfortable about something. Jarid frowned.

“What’s wrong?”

There was a long pause before Smolder turned to face Jarid.

“Would you … stay here with me tonight? I mean…um, you seem tired so I thought I would allow you to…” He stammered awkwardly. Jarid could have sworn he heard a hint of nervousness in Smolder’s voice.

“Of course,” he replied gently. Smolder, who was laying curled up, now uncurled slightly to give Jarid room to lay against his side.

“It… it’s just that… the choosing is tomorrow and that means they’re going to…” He trailed off.

This was so different than the anger and arrogance he normally had. Whatever happened during the choosing ceremony must have been far more terrible than even the torture he’d seen Vapor go through, if it was enough to make someone like Smolder seek comfort. Especially considering the one he was seeking it from was human. Jarid hoped that meant Smolder was finally beginning to trust him.

Jarid laid down against his side. He could feel Smolder’s anxiety in his breathing and rapid heart rate. Jarid rubbed the dragon’s scales until Smolder’s heart steadied to a slow rhythm. Jarid could barely keep his eyes open as he felt Smolder throw a wing over him. Then Jarid felt Smolder relax as he fell asleep.

The dragon’s body heat and wing kept him warm, while his slow breathing was relaxing. Jarid’s day had been exhausting and he was so glad to end it here. Comforting his friend.


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Sat Jun 08, 2024 12:14 am
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 quite something. Love the little twist there, that definitely makes things a lot better and no horrible things ended up going down although the fight is certainly far from being over.

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

The next day was saved for the written tests and, to ensure that he would be unhindered by possible wounds sustained during his fight, Jarid’s bought with the dragon was scheduled for the evening.

The written tests were stressful and boring, but Jarid was confident that he had at least earned a passing grade in his classes.

Every time he thought about the upcoming fight, he simply remembered his decision and tried not to worry about it until the time came. Which it did, all too soon.


Well looks like they have enough brains to schedule that with some sort of thought and care. I'm honestly surprised cause they'd proven themselves to be generally horrible all around.

As Jarid entered the floor of the dragon dome he noticed that the stands were filled with a lot fewer people than he had expected. There were no first years present even from Black Squad. Jarid was half expecting that to be the case since many of them were getting ready to leave the next day, but it was still strange.

However, many of the instructors and even the academy commander were present, along with a few second years.

Airel, Ethan, and Ben waved from the stands next to Gunther.


Well looks like there's a little rule in place for first years not being allowed to see this fight and maybe a few others judging by the reduced size of the stands but it certainly is an important moment judging by the rank of some of the people that are present.

“Sorry the others couldn’t be here! They told us only second years were allowed to watch since they don’t want to spoil the fight for the other first years,” Ethan called out. Jarid nodded as he waved back.

When he reached the center of the arena, Lt. Keldor called for silence. Then he raised his arms and looked at the spectators.

“We have gathered here today to give the student who preformed best on the dragon training exam a great honor. He will fight a young dragon in single combat before our very own academy commander and everyone here. Should he succeed in besting the dragon, he shall receive its scales as a reward. He is allowed to use any method he chooses, including any and all magic spells at his disposal, and he will be given the same armor used during the exam to ensure his safety.


Well it seems like safety at least somewhat of a concern so that's a good thing although clearly the poor dragon is not going to get anywhere near the same courtesy.

The dragon’s wings have been bound for the safety of the audience and any shots directed at the crowed will be dealt with by seasoned riders who have graciously given their aid.”

Lt. Keldor gestured around the arena as riders stepped forward to stand at the edge of the arena. Then he continued. “Now, Jarid Drakoulis. Don your armor and prepare yourself.”

A rack of armor was brought out and Jarid selected the one made from Flame Wing scales. He donned the armor and started stretching while circulating his magic by casting a few puffs of flame.


Well looks like its going to be a bit of an all out war and he's okay with wearing that armor for the moment despite knowing its origin. He must be safe at least of course and naturally Flame Wing is a great choice I'd say given all the descriptions from the previous chapter.

Many people started muttering in the crowd, but Lt. Keldor raised his hand and they quieted. Then he looked down at Jarid. “Stand you ready warrior?”

Jarid reached into his pocket and took out his music box. There was more muttering from the crowed as he settled the music box into a pouch, he and Ben had made specifically for it so he could fight while not worrying about his earpieces falling out. He could fight without it, but he was always felt at his best when he was listening to music. Once he was ready, he saluted Lt. Keldor.

“I stand ready sir.”

In spite of his strange choices the Lt. had remained unfazed. “Very well. Let the fight…Begin!”


Well at least he seems to have come somewhat prepared there, which is a good thing. Let's see if we're going to be able to figure something out about this dragon now as the fight starts. With the wings also being intact if horrifying bound together hope is there for this one being possible to reason with to some degree.

Everything was removed from the arena floor and all the exits were shut. Then one of the gates lining the walls of the arena floor began to open. Jarid turned up his music. He thought the song was very appropriate. It was called Dragon Fight by F-777.

He could see the dragon through the bars. It was a Flame Wing with bright red scales and dark horns. It had streaks of black running down the wings folded at its side and its eyes burned with anger. Before the gate was halfway up the dragon was clawing underneath it and trying to squeeze through.

Finally, it got out and roared so loud it drowned out Jarid’s music. Then it breathed fire at the people in the stands, but it was blocked by the dragon riders as they erected a barrier of water around the arena. Then they froze the water into a clear block of ice so the spectators could view the action.


Okay well good little demonstration of both the dragon and its mental state and also of the state of the stadium and its safety. I suppose the puny horrifying humans will be safe for the moment, regrettably in the case of some of them.

The dragon growled something about stupid cold water and focused his attention on Jarid. The dragon charged at him blasting fire in all directions. Jarid could feel the music and magic flowing through him as he began to move. His whole body felt almost fluid as he flowed around most of the dragon’s fire with minimal effort while deflecting the rest with water magic. As the dragon closed in, it dove at him with it’s claws out.

Jarid used a bit of wind magic to help him as he jumped over the dragon while giving it a light tap on the top of its head. Jarid knew that he probably could use his magic to trap the dragon in the ground or freeze it long enough to deal a winning blow, but he didn’t want to end this fight quickly. This was his chance to show off his skills to the academy commander as well as his friends. He hoped that if he did well enough, the commander might listen to his request to spare this dragon.


Hmm an interesting choice to go with the show off route, it could be cool to impress and it looks like maybe in the interest of keeping his secrets secret, he's not actually thinking about trying to reason with the dragon at all.

Jarid turned to face the dragon once more. This time it approached him much more cautiously. Circling at a distance and growling curses at him. When Jarid charged it, it leaped back out of reach while breathing a stream of flame before continuing to circle him. To truly show off everything he could do, Jarid had to force the dragon to fight him up close.

Closing his eyes, he focused on the arena floor, feeling where the dragon was and the earth beneath it. Then he raised his fist and slammed it into the ground. A stone pillar rose out of the ground, slamming into the dragon’s stomach. The dragon’s eyes widened, and it clutched at its stomach gasping for breath.

Keeping his eyes closed Jarid let himself go in the flow of the music and everything else faded away. It was just him, the dragon, and his music. He took in a slow deep breath as he sank into his fighting stance.


Ouch that's a big attack on the poor dragon. Yes I am rooting for the dragon. Anyway, this show off method look like its only going to hurt and infuriate the poor dragon at the moment. I don't approve but then maybe it is the only way to actually convince the commander to let the dragon live so I'll have to grudgingly support Jarid for a bit.

The dragon recovered quickly and charged Jarid again, but this time it didn’t leap at him. Instead, it swiped at him with its claws, lashed with its tail and even tried to bite him.

But Jarid opened his eyes with a wide grin and started dancing around it’s attacks, deflecting them with wind magic and using earth magic to mess with the dragon’s footing.

The longer this went on the more it reminded him of his play fights with Shadow. He was having so much fun! Jarid couldn’t help but laugh in exhilaration as the fight raged on.


Well he's having fun at least I suppose. This is just such a conflicting fight cause it can never really be any sort of good vs evil thing and honestly as it goes on it doesn't even seem evenly matched, Jarid is clearly a little more powerful than this young dragon in such a wild state of frustration and rage barely able to fly.

Infuriated, the dragon kept pressing its attack and hurling insults at him. Its attacks became wilder and less accurate as it grew more and more tired until finally, it tripped and was too exhausted to get back up immediately.

Jarid quickly used earth magic to pin the dragon’s forearms to the ground, then he threw out some seeds from his pocket and caused vines to grow and wrap around the dragon’s hind legs and tail. Then he walked forward calmly as the dragon struggled against its bonds. Then, noticing Jarid was within range of his jaws, the dragon lunged forward to snap at Jarid.

Jarid quickly stepped to the side and clamped the dragon’s snout shut with more vines. The dragon struggled briefly before giving up and laying down. Jarid stepped back and bowed to the dragon respectfully before turning off his music.


Well that was certainly a pretty effective little display and the dragon has definitely been incapacitated, I really hope it doesn't go further than that because the dragon itself has to be in quite some pain at this point.

He looked up at the academy commander and saluted. Then he turned to Lt. Keldor and saluted again.

“Sir, I have bested this dragon.”

The stands were quiet for a moment and Jarid wondered if he had done something wrong. Then the academy commander stood.

“Indeed, you have. That was most certainly a battle that will be remembered for years to come. Congratulations, Jarid Drakoulis!”

Now the entire arena erupted in cheers. Jarid was stunned. He was suddenly surrounded by grinning faces and genuine praise. He hadn’t believed it was possible, but these nobles were cheering for him. Not just what he’d done. In this moment they didn’t see him as a commoner. No. In this moment, he was a dragon rider!


Well looks like Jarid gets a little moment out of this even if it had to be earned through a little bit of horror for the poor dragon. Now to see if the dragon being killed is going to be possible to negotiate. Surely there's something. The fact that adult dragons were meant to not be killed makes there be a bit of hope that the commander will agree.

Still, even amid all that praise, he doubted he would ever truly fit in with them. They praised him for defeating a monster, but even now he wished he could set this dragon free. As the roar of the crowed died away, but before anyone could speak, Jarid called out to the academy commander.

“Sir, permission to speak sir?”

“Permission granted. You may speak freely.”

Jarid saluted. “Sir. I would like to spare this dragon if at all possible. I am willing to forfeit its scales if…” Jarid trailed off as the commander started laughing.


Okay well that was a bit disrespectful, not going too terribly well to start with here. Oh dear. I really hope this moment of triumph isn't going to immediately turn horribly ugly.

“Do not worry about the dragon or your reward. Dragons may be monsters, but they are far to valuable to kill for a small event such as this. The scales you will receive are ones it has already shed. I believe Lt. Tekar has made it clear that we do not kill dragons here at the academy. This fight is also a test to determine how well you understood and remembered the orders of your superiors.

“In previous years the fight was stopped if it looked like the dragon or student were in danger of being killed. But from the way you were toying with it, I doubt you were in any danger from the start. Though in all my years I have never seen a student beg for a dragon’s life. How amusing,” he chuckled. The crowd also laughed, though it was a bit awkward.


Hmm well that's an interesting twist, not surprising but now we have to wonder if Jarid was actually paying attention in class or anyone else was because they all seemed to believe the killing thing. Well at least we can walk away with only a bit of embarrassment here.

Jarid felt his face start burning with embarrassment.

You didn’t have to call me out like that! Then Jarid smiled to himself as he breathed a sigh of relief.

At least the dragon was spared and nothing bad happened. I guess I just assumed they wanted me to kill it since they see dragons as monsters. I need to be more careful to pay attention and ascertain what my instructors want from me in the future.

Then the commander continued. “Regardless, you have won. We will have your reward prepared by tomorrow morning. For now, rest. You deserve it.”


Well Jarid rationalizing that well I think and that's a very good resolution there to try and listen a little bit better to his instructors, that could've saved him quite a lot of anguish.

The sun had just gone down by the time Jarid got back to the dorm and he was exhausted. Even so, it was time to clean the dragon stalls. The others congratulated him on his victory and offered to clean all the stalls for him, but he wanted to see Smolder and Vapor one last time before he left anyway so he politely declined.

After saying goodnight to the other members of Black Squad he left his music box in his room and made his way to the dragon stables. After refreshing all the stalls in the tunnel, he refreshed the stalls in the cave at the tunnel’s end. Vapor was sleeping so he left her alone, but Smolder was awake, and he was the one Jarid really needed to say goodbye to anyways.


Hmm well looks like Jarid's going in for an interesting conversation with the dragon ceremony and all of that coming up. Its interesting given that maybe he should touch base with Vapor once more before the big deal with Brom the Dumb goes down.

It felt like forever since he had last spoken with him. After the incident with the bullies Smolder had really opened up to him. He didn’t resist talking and rarely snapped at him anymore. Jarid loved just talking about his day and hearing Smolder’s off hand comments about how life would be so much simpler if you could just burn everything that annoys you.

Jarid entered Smolder’s stall and started cleaning the little stone cell. “Hi, Smolder. I just came down to say goodbye while I clean your stall. We will be leaving tomorrow morning and I wanted to make sure I didn’t miss this chance.”

As he finished cleaning the stall, he noticed Smolder shifting around. He seemed uncomfortable about something. Jarid frowned.


Well looks like this is going to be a bit of a sad goodbye from the looks of things. They've really spent quite a bit of time together since the whole incident and gotten a lot closer from the looks of things.

“What’s wrong?”

There was a long pause before Smolder turned to face Jarid.

“Would you … stay here with me tonight? I mean…um, you seem tired so I thought I would allow you to…” He stammered awkwardly. Jarid could have sworn he heard a hint of nervousness in Smolder’s voice.

“Of course,” he replied gently. Smolder, who was laying curled up, now uncurled slightly to give Jarid room to lay against his side.

“It… it’s just that… the choosing is tomorrow and that means they’re going to…” He trailed off.


Oh dear, I mean I'm not surprised that the choosing ceremony isn't just people going ahead and choosing, I'm sure lots of horrible things get done to let the dragon be controlled and then probably they all get a few things attached to them for the riders to control them.

This was so different than the anger and arrogance he normally had. Whatever happened during the choosing ceremony must have been far more terrible than even the torture he’d seen Vapor go through, if it was enough to make someone like Smolder seek comfort. Especially considering the one he was seeking it from was human. Jarid hoped that meant Smolder was finally beginning to trust him.

Jarid laid down against his side. He could feel Smolder’s anxiety in his breathing and rapid heart rate. Jarid rubbed the dragon’s scales until Smolder’s heart steadied to a slow rhythm. Jarid could barely keep his eyes open as he felt Smolder throw a wing over him. Then Jarid felt Smolder relax as he fell asleep.

The dragon’s body heat and wing kept him warm, while his slow breathing was relaxing. Jarid’s day had been exhausting and he was so glad to end it here. Comforting his friend.


Well at least Smolder is going to get a little bit of comfort on this night, although the way its going Jarid doesn't really have any reassuring words to offer nor can he really do much to change Smolder's situation or even comfort Smolder after the choosing ceremony takes its toll.

Aaand that's it for this oneee!!!

Overall

Overall I think a wonderful job with that fight, you can see how little danger Jarid was one but it was a wonderful display of magic all the same and of course the cute little scene towards the end although it does mean this next chapter is going to be a sadder one.

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 love how you took the dragon's side during the fight.
Jarid is a self insert character of sorts and I was actually quite shocked that I would have put in that Jarid hit the dragon so hard without at least cringing at being forced to hurt it.
Thanks for that.



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Sat Apr 20, 2024 7:26 pm
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RavenAkuma wrote a review...



Hello Again, My Friend!

(Sorry if this review seems less "hype" than usual, that's just me not the chapter lol). Anyway, 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 chapter was brilliant! You gave us another incredible fight between Jarid and a dragon, with a bit of a new perspective this time, and the ending was much different than what we were expecting. Then, ending with Smolder, I found myself surprised by what he had to say about Jarid leaving and the upcoming choosing ceremony. Let's get into the details though.

Where The Dagger Points...

I found nothing to put here today! Nice writing job ~

Why The Grin Widened...

Going into the fight, I got a good read of the tense atmosphere, and Jarid's apprehension knowing what's at stake. And finally, it seems like he's diverted from his routine of avoiding detection and not showing off, and the reason is great:

This was his chance to show off his skills to the academy commander as well as his friends. He hoped that if he did well enough, the commander might listen to his request to spare this dragon.


First it was to defend his friends, of course that makes sense and it's great, now it's to gain respect and influence -not to flatter himself or prove anything, but to use as a force for good and spare these tortured creatures from more harm. Love that, very nice.

This time it approached him much more cautiously. Circling at a distance and growling curses at him.


This being a good example, I also like how there was more dialogue from the dragon this time. Having Jarid understand its curses and grumblings, unlike the broken and fury-charged dragons from the last fight, reminds the reader of what's really at stake. Likewise, it gave the impression that this dragon may be a candidate to kill because it's not "broken" yet. So there was a lot of gritty tension and anticipation for what would happen in the end, until this was shown...

Dragons may be monsters, but they are far [too] valuable to kill for a small event such as this. The scales you will receive are ones it has already shed. I believe Lt. Tekar has made it clear that we do not kill dragons here at the academy.


I was thinking that would be the case, but due to what I mentioned in the last quote, I wasn't completely sure. And hey, at least Jarid still gets scale armor, at the somewhat annoying -but much better- price of an embarrassing moment, lol.

“Would you … stay here with me tonight? I mean…um, you seem tired so I thought I would allow you to…” He stammered awkwardly. Jarid could have sworn he heard a hint of nervousness in Smolder’s voice.


Speaking of building tensions, this really stood out. I can't help but wonder if Smolder really is just nervous about his only companion in this place being gone, or if -as Jarid alluded to- there's something about the ceremony that we don't know yet...

Our Mad Thoughts...

Overall, another great chapter, nicely done! :D

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dragonight9 says...


I wanted to ask if you still felt that Jarid was threatened by the potential of him being expelled from the school.

I worried that I overused this threat since Jarid seems to face it in every situation that has some kind of tension. Whether this fight or the bet with Brom.

I'm ok if it's more a background thing that moves the plot forward but I don't want my readers thinking "oh here's the same thing again and we all know he isn't actually going to be expelled"

Thanks!



RavenAkuma says...


I think it still works, especially since the stakes keep shifting. Originally, it seems like he's desperate to do good just so he can ensure a future with Shadow, and now it's boiling down to the fate of innocent dragons avoiding a fate of torture, or even death.

Likewise, Jarid was originally desperate to "behave" because he felt responsible for Black Squad and not getting them expelled, but while thinking about what he should do in the last chapter, he seemed to draw a disconnect between them and the consequences of his actions/beliefs. So without that anchor, and him taking more personal accountability after his talk with Gunther, there's more uncertainty.

If you really wanted to play up the threat more, maybe you could add a little more to the moment between him and Brom. Like, I thought Brom being so calm and understanding in the situation made him a cool character, but maybe if he brought up possible punishments and teased the threat of expulsion, causing Jarid to make the deal more in desperation, that could add to it. Or to preserve Brom's current character, maybe even one of the other dragon trainers could do this. Another place this would work would be toward the beginning, and Jarid gets in trouble for the fight with Dominic, so right off the bad there's more pressure for him to "behave" around the dragons.

I don't know, both of those moments work just fine as they are, but Jarid getting in more trouble might make the threat of expulsion more prominent. One thing for sure, I don't think it's overused.

Spoiler! :
I mean, to give you an idea, the threat of expulsion worked great for at least 70% of Harry Potter. I think it works here too XD


Overall, I think it works, but if you feel like you want to add more, that works too ~



RavenAkuma says...


*jeez, that was a way longer response than I thought. And hopefully it's coherent enough to understand, because for some reason, I've been having some trouble with that lately XD



dragonight9 says...


Thanks, This was exactly what I was hoping for.
I may go back and add a scene where Jarid actually gets close to being expelled. Perhaps during the scene with Brom like you suggested. Just barely pulling it out of the fire with his deal.




"I think; therefore, I am."
— René Descartes