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Shadow's Rising {Wing 3} Chapter 8

by dragonight9


Chapter 8

After breakfast, the remaining Black Squad members quickly got dressed in uniform and joined the rest of the second years in the dragon dome.

All the second year instructors and a few of the first year instructors were present. Jarid was surprised to see that Brom and Commander Valdur were there as well.

Jarid and his friends joined the group of students waiting in the arena. Then Commander Valdur stepped forward.

“Greetings second year students. Today marks the beginning of the Dragon Selection Ceremony. In a few moments you will be divided into smaller groups and instructed in how the ceremony is going to work. Pay attention because this explanation will only be given once and you will be expected to understand what to do during the ceremony, but before we begin I have a small announcement.

“Some of you may have already noticed that we have a first year among us. Jarid Drakoulis of Black Squad. He has shown promise and seems to have a connection with a dragon that we believed to be untamable. If he is able to tame this dragon, he will take all classes regarding the riding of dragons alongside the rest of you. The instructors and I have considered that he will not have the same knowledge and experience as the rest of you and measures have been taken to ensure he won’t slow your classes.”

Everyone was staring at Jarid, and it was making him wished he was anywhere but the center of attention. Then to his surprise Ben, Ethen and Airel stood in front of him like a shield and waved off the glares directed at him. The commander continued speaking, and everyone turned to focus on him again.

Jarid put his hand on Airel’s shoulder. “Thanks guys.”

All three of them smiled. “That’s what being a squad is all about.”

Jarid nodded and focused on the commander once more.

“You will now be split into groups and given instruction on everything you need to know for the dragon choosing ceremony.” The commander began listing off the names of the groups and where they would meet to receive their instructions.

Of course, Jarid and Airel were the only ones assigned to their group. They met in the magic training room with one of the second-year teachers. Jarid had seen him around the academy but never talked to him.

“His name is Einstern, and he is the medical instructor for the second years,” Airel whispered.

Einstern’s face was deadpan and when he spoke it was the most monotone voice Jarid had ever heard. He sounded so boring Jarid wondered how anyone stayed awake in his class.

Regardless, Jarid did his best to pay attention. He wasn’t going to miss a word.

“Good morning students, I am so glad to see everyone showed up. Today I have been given the task of informing you about how our prestigious dragon selection ceremony works. During the two weeks while the other students are off lounging about, you will be learning how to control your dragons and taking your first flights with them. Good for you.

“Later today, you will be given a practice set of riding gear and must choose a dragon from the assortment provided. Then, after proving that you can control it, you will take your dragon to the dragon den and clean them up. The dragon den is the stables for dragons with riders in case you forgot. And from that point forward you will be responsible for taking care of your dragons. Keeping them fed, watered, cleaned and so forth.

“Here is an example of the kind of riding gear you will be using for the next two weeks.”

He pulled an armor rack from one side of the room. The riding gear displayed on it was far more intricate and sophisticated than any armor Jarid had seen before. It looked like some kind of leather suit with bright red Flame Wing scales covering the chest, back, arms and legs. Then Einstern took out a riding helmet and tucked it under one arm.

“This is the kind of riding suit you will be wearing when on the backs of your dragons. For those who are lucky enough, the scales used to craft it will be those shed by young dragons. They are less durable but far easier to move in than those of adult dragons. They also have the added bonus of conforming to their rider before hardening with age. They will help to reduce wind resistance and keep you warm at high altitudes. They can also help you blend into your dragon’s back.”

Then he held up the helmet. It looked like the visor was made of a special kind of solid glass that was so dark it almost looked black, and Jarid could easily see his reflection in it. The base of the helmet was made of metal then covered in slightly darker red dragon scales. There was also a green gem set into the forehead of the helmet.

Jarid had seen those gems so many times now, they had to have some kind of significance beyond simple ornamentation. He raised his hand.

“Sir, what is that green gem for?”

Einstern sighed. “Right. I forgot you were first year. I’ll explain in a moment.

“As you can see the helmet is made of adult dragon scales and is very tough in addition to reducing drag. The visor protects the wearer from the glare of the sun as well as any other rain or debris that might come flying at your face in battle. Finally, the most important part of the helmet. The mind gem.”

He held the helmet out so Jarid and Airel could see the gem clearly. Its surface looked almost like glass and the green within had such depth to it.

Jarid felt like he could see deeper into the gem the longer he looked. The shifting green patterns within were so beautiful he felt more and more mesmerized the longer he looked. All he wanted was to dive into those shimmering depths. Lost in the shifting colors.

Suddenly, Einstern pulled the helmet back and tucked it under his arm, breaking the moment. Jarid shook his head, feeling a little fuzzy.

“Yes, I know it’s pretty but that is quite enough. This green gem was discovered by the king’s advisor a few years after the destruction of the magic city. He gave it to the dragon born who founded this academy. He was the first to use them to command dragons and now, so do we.

“The gems form a connection between you and anyone else wearing a gem. Through that connection you can talk to your fellow dragon riders while in the air and dominate the minds of your dragons. But beware. If you show any weakness the dragons may resist. That is why the dragon trainers here at this academy do their best to break the dragon’s will beforehand and condition them to obey your commands.”

Einstern adjusted his glasses and coughed to emphasize what he had just mentioned.

“When the ceremony begins, you will be sent into the arena to choose your dragon among those provided. You will most likely find that your mind is more compatible with some dragons than others. Based on that you will choose which dragon is right for you. In your case, your dragons have already been chosen for you. Simply concentrate on the gem set into the headpiece of your dragon to open the connection. Once you have formed the link you must force them to bow to you. That will be the sign that you have command over them. Then all other dragons will be removed, and you will be given a list of commands that you must force your dragon to do.

“Once you have completed the list, you will be assigned ownership of the dragon and must guide them to the pen in the dragon den we assign you and make them comfortable. Unfortunately, due to the nature of the tests they must be done individually so it may take a while for you to get your turn. We should finish before the end of the day though.

“You two will be the last group to take the test, so if you want to watch some of the other groups try, be my gest. Your group will be starting fifteen minutes after supper so don’t be late.”

Einstern heaved a sigh of relief. Jarid chuckled to himself.

All that lecturing must have worn him out.

Then Einstern took on a more serious countenance.

“That is all for the normal announcements. However, I was told to remind you that, due to the special circumstances around your selection choices, if you cannot pass your tests you must accept the consequences. Do you understand?”

Jarid and Airel nodded. “We understand.”

“Good.” Einstern nodded. “Just so you know. Airel, if you fail, you may be given a second chance to select a dragon. But Jarid, if you fail, you will not get a second chance.”

Jarid nodded with determined in his eyes. “I will not fail.”

Einstern raised an eyebrow. “I guess we’ll see then won’t we?”

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

It was almost time for lunch when Jarid and Airel finally left the classroom. Ben and Ethen were set to choose their dragons just before supper, but until then they helped Airel educate Jarid on what the second years had been working on to prepare them for the choosing ceremony.

When it was time for Ben and Ethan’s selection ceremony, Jarid and Airel walked with them to the dragon dome and watched from the stands as they choose their dragons.

Ben was the first one to come out. His flight suit was covered in dark brown scales and most of the dragons in the arena were Sand Wings with a few Flame Wings mixed in. Jarid recognised most of them from the dragon stables.

All the dragons were muzzled, had their wings chained to their sides, and were tied to the ground by a chain leash. Ben had his visor up but rather than looking at the dragons he just stood in the center of the arena with his eyes closed. Then he opened them and walked straight up to a large Sand Wing.

The dragon seemed be trying to ignore him, but it couldn’t for long. After a few seconds of resistance, it bowed to him. As it did, the other dragons were removed from the arena. Then Brom entered the arena and stood slightly behind Ben.

“Well done. Now get him to raise his right claw.”

Ben closed his eyes once more and the dragon raised its right talon.

“Good. Lower its right and raise its left,” Brom continued.

Slowly, the dragon lowered its right talon and raised its left. Brom nodded and waved his hand at a few men standing at the edge of the arena. Then he told Ben the dragon could lower its arm.

Jarid recognised one of the men Brom had called. He was from the torture chamber, so the others were probably dragon trainers.

The dragon trainers removed the dragon’s collar but left its muzzle and the chains binding its wings. Then Brom continued giving Ben commands for the dragon to follow. Many of them seemed silly to Jarid but Ben didn’t question them, and the dragon did as it was told.

Finally, Brom had Ben force the dragon to do one last lap around the arena. Once that was completed, Brom congratulated him on passing the trial. Then he gave Ben a small plaque with a number on it and escorted him as he walked his dragon to the dragon den.

As soon as they left, the floor was prepared for the next student. A few minutes later Ben joined Jarid and Airel in the stands letting out a sigh of relief as he sat down.

“Whew. That was something different.”

“What was it like?” Airel asked curiously.

“It was like I could feel a bunch of other minds around me. I don’t know how to describe it. Kind of like being in a crowed where you feel like you should know what they’re saying but it’s all jumbled together and makes no sense. I just tried to find one that felt right.

“After a few seconds, I felt one of the dragons’ desire to protect others and latched onto it. I could tell which dragon was him as soon as I opened my eyes. Then, when I tried to connect to him, it was like all the other minds faded away and it was just me and him. He seemed so sad and defeated. He didn’t want to do what I told him, but he didn’t put up much of a fight either.

“Brom told me that I have the rest of the day to come up with a name for him.”

“Do you have any ideas?” Airel asked. Ben shook his head.

“No. Actually, I was hoping you could ask him what his name is Jarid.”

Jarid raised his eyebrows at first but after he thought about it, it seemed like a good idea.

“I suppose so. Calling all our dragons by their true names is probably a good idea. It might help strengthen our bonds with them even if they don’t understand us.”

“Couldn’t you just teach them how to speak human?” Airel asked, but Jarid shook his head.

“They may not want to and besides, I don’t think I’d have the time. However, if you can get your dragon the pen right next to Vapor’s then she may be able to teach them a few words.”

“That’s assuming I get accepted as her rider in the first place,” Airel sighed.

“Don’t worry You’ll do fine.” Ben comforted her.

Jarid nodded. “I’ve never met a more calm, kind, and friendly dragon than her.”

Airel forced a nervous smile. “Yeah. I guess I’ve got nothing to worry about.”

Then a trumpet sounded. It was Ethen’s turn to select a dragon. When he entered the arena, he was shaking a bit and looked nervous. After a few moments of looking around he walked up to a rather large Flame Wing.

Jarid was surprised. That dragon, while not being talkative, wasn’t very docile either. Jarid had thought that Ethen would go for the most unassertive dragon possible, but he had chosen (not including Smolder) the most obstinate dragon Jarid knew.

The Flame Wing snorted as Ethen drew near and growled at him, though Jarid couldn’t make out what he said. As Ethen got close, the dragon even swiped at him with a talon. Ethen flinched back and the Flame Wing growled something again.

There was a long pause while the two stared each other down. Jarid wished he could hear what was going on in their minds. After what felt like ages, the dragon slowly bowed. After that, the ceremony proceeded in the same manner as Ben’s.

As Ethen left the arena with his new dragon Ben got up.

“I’m going to go see how Ethen is doing. You two had better have some supper before your trials.”

Jarid took a deep breath as he realised how little time was left before his and Airel’s choosing ceremony. His hands were trembling slightly, but he quickly clenched them into fists.

He couldn’t let himself give in to the fear of what could be. He was a dragon rider!

At least, if he told himself that enough…

Maybe he could trick himself into believing he was as brave as one.


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Sat Jun 08, 2024 1:33 am
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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 there we go, all things going okay for the moment in this ceremony. As mired as it is by all the horrors that the poor dragons are being subjected to at the very least its going smoothly for all our humans.

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

After breakfast, the remaining Black Squad members quickly got dressed in uniform and joined the rest of the second years in the dragon dome.

All the second year instructors and a few of the first year instructors were present. Jarid was surprised to see that Brom and Commander Valdur were there as well.

Jarid and his friends joined the group of students waiting in the arena. Then Commander Valdur stepped forward.

“Greetings second year students. Today marks the beginning of the Dragon Selection Ceremony. In a few moments you will be divided into smaller groups and instructed in how the ceremony is going to work. Pay attention because this explanation will only be given once and you will be expected to understand what to do during the ceremony, but before we begin I have a small announcement.


Well looks like we've got the goon duo present for this presumably to have to deal with the fact that Jarid being is definitely not standard and they've probably cooked up some sort of thing to deal with that.

“Some of you may have already noticed that we have a first year among us. Jarid Drakoulis of Black Squad. He has shown promise and seems to have a connection with a dragon that we believed to be untamable. If he is able to tame this dragon, he will take all classes regarding the riding of dragons alongside the rest of you. The instructors and I have considered that he will not have the same knowledge and experience as the rest of you and measures have been taken to ensure he won’t slow your classes.”

Everyone was staring at Jarid, and it was making him wished he was anywhere but the center of attention. Then to his surprise Ben, Ethen and Airel stood in front of him like a shield and waved off the glares directed at him. The commander continued speaking, and everyone turned to focus on him again.


Welll that's a cute moment there for them to stand together, although I am a little worried that its only going to turn the entire squad into a target by the other rich snobs in attendance.

Jarid put his hand on Airel’s shoulder. “Thanks guys.”

All three of them smiled. “That’s what being a squad is all about.”

Jarid nodded and focused on the commander once more.

“You will now be split into groups and given instruction on everything you need to know for the dragon choosing ceremony.” The commander began listing off the names of the groups and where they would meet to receive their instructions.

Of course, Jarid and Airel were the only ones assigned to their group. They met in the magic training room with one of the second-year teachers. Jarid had seen him around the academy but never talked to him.


Well either Brom the Dumb is doing that on purpose for some reason given the bet or they've got themselves a special stroke of luck here to make sure Vapor can get any reassurances once it comes time for the big moment.

“His name is Einstern, and he is the medical instructor for the second years,” Airel whispered.

Einstern’s face was deadpan and when he spoke it was the most monotone voice Jarid had ever heard. He sounded so boring Jarid wondered how anyone stayed awake in his class.

Regardless, Jarid did his best to pay attention. He wasn’t going to miss a word.

“Good morning students, I am so glad to see everyone showed up. Today I have been given the task of informing you about how our prestigious dragon selection ceremony works. During the two weeks while the other students are off lounging about, you will be learning how to control your dragons and taking your first flights with them. Good for you.


Well okay, this looks to be pretty good for the moment, and two weeks seems like a decent bit of time to start that process if maybe a little bit on the shorter side, I was expecting closer to a month.

“Later today, you will be given a practice set of riding gear and must choose a dragon from the assortment provided. Then, after proving that you can control it, you will take your dragon to the dragon den and clean them up. The dragon den is the stables for dragons with riders in case you forgot. And from that point forward you will be responsible for taking care of your dragons. Keeping them fed, watered, cleaned and so forth.

“Here is an example of the kind of riding gear you will be using for the next two weeks.”

He pulled an armor rack from one side of the room. The riding gear displayed on it was far more intricate and sophisticated than any armor Jarid had seen before. It looked like some kind of leather suit with bright red Flame Wing scales covering the chest, back, arms and legs. Then Einstern took out a riding helmet and tucked it under one arm.


Well looks like they're prepared fairly well, and for the most part the dragons are going to be taken care of by individual rather than in a more horrible although the process these dragons had to endure to become this friendly to kids is not something I want to think about.

“This is the kind of riding suit you will be wearing when on the backs of your dragons. For those who are lucky enough, the scales used to craft it will be those shed by young dragons. They are less durable but far easier to move in than those of adult dragons. They also have the added bonus of conforming to their rider before hardening with age. They will help to reduce wind resistance and keep you warm at high altitudes. They can also help you blend into your dragon’s back.”

Then he held up the helmet. It looked like the visor was made of a special kind of solid glass that was so dark it almost looked black, and Jarid could easily see his reflection in it. The base of the helmet was made of metal then covered in slightly darker red dragon scales. There was also a green gem set into the forehead of the helmet.


Loving these little descriptions here and that we're getting some good explanations as to why everything is the way it happens to be. I think it works well in making sure we have a good idea of how everything playing out without us being overwhelmed with too much information.

Jarid had seen those gems so many times now, they had to have some kind of significance beyond simple ornamentation. He raised his hand.

“Sir, what is that green gem for?”

Einstern sighed. “Right. I forgot you were first year. I’ll explain in a moment.

“As you can see the helmet is made of adult dragon scales and is very tough in addition to reducing drag. The visor protects the wearer from the glare of the sun as well as any other rain or debris that might come flying at your face in battle. Finally, the most important part of the helmet. The mind gem.”


Well looks like that helmet's got more properties than you'd think there, and this gem we've seen many times now is going to finally get a bit of an explanation, the name alone is telling you a few things there.

He held the helmet out so Jarid and Airel could see the gem clearly. Its surface looked almost like glass and the green within had such depth to it.

Jarid felt like he could see deeper into the gem the longer he looked. The shifting green patterns within were so beautiful he felt more and more mesmerized the longer he looked. All he wanted was to dive into those shimmering depths. Lost in the shifting colors.

Suddenly, Einstern pulled the helmet back and tucked it under his arm, breaking the moment. Jarid shook his head, feeling a little fuzzy.

“Yes, I know it’s pretty but that is quite enough. This green gem was discovered by the king’s advisor a few years after the destruction of the magic city. He gave it to the dragon born who founded this academy. He was the first to use them to command dragons and now, so do we.


Well looks like they're just fancy version of the same mind to mind connection most stories involving dragons have, which I think is a lovely little changeup from other stories with the concept. It creates an extra interesting dimension here.

“The gems form a connection between you and anyone else wearing a gem. Through that connection you can talk to your fellow dragon riders while in the air and dominate the minds of your dragons. But beware. If you show any weakness the dragons may resist. That is why the dragon trainers here at this academy do their best to break the dragon’s will beforehand and condition them to obey your commands.”

Einstern adjusted his glasses and coughed to emphasize what he had just mentioned.

“When the ceremony begins, you will be sent into the arena to choose your dragon among those provided. You will most likely find that your mind is more compatible with some dragons than others. Based on that you will choose which dragon is right for you. In your case, your dragons have already been chosen for you. Simply concentrate on the gem set into the headpiece of your dragon to open the connection. Once you have formed the link you must force them to bow to you. That will be the sign that you have command over them. Then all other dragons will be removed, and you will be given a list of commands that you must force your dragon to do.


I am not loving the vibes these instructions are giving of at all. The amount of forcing and horrible thoughts about breaking will is just very very icky at the moment. I've read some horrifying gory stories but this is potentially even worse cause its just so much more personal and powerful.

“Once you have completed the list, you will be assigned ownership of the dragon and must guide them to the pen in the dragon den we assign you and make them comfortable. Unfortunately, due to the nature of the tests they must be done individually so it may take a while for you to get your turn. We should finish before the end of the day though.

“You two will be the last group to take the test, so if you want to watch some of the other groups try, be my gest. Your group will be starting fifteen minutes after supper so don’t be late.”

Einstern heaved a sigh of relief. Jarid chuckled to himself.


Well looks like that horrifying lecture is over at least and now we're going to get to see what tortures the other poor dragon are going through, I mean see the other members pick their dragons.

All that lecturing must have worn him out.

Then Einstern took on a more serious countenance.

“That is all for the normal announcements. However, I was told to remind you that, due to the special circumstances around your selection choices, if you cannot pass your tests you must accept the consequences. Do you understand?”

Jarid and Airel nodded. “We understand.”


Okay looks like the deal isn't exactly concluded yet, and Brom the Dumb has mad more of a show of it that normal, so this selection of them into a team was in fact fully on purpose.

“Good.” Einstern nodded. “Just so you know. Airel, if you fail, you may be given a second chance to select a dragon. But Jarid, if you fail, you will not get a second chance.”

Jarid nodded with determined in his eyes. “I will not fail.”

Einstern raised an eyebrow. “I guess we’ll see then won’t we?”


Well that seems like slightly forced tension there, cause let's be honest Jarid already is having struck a deal with Smolder, we know that he's not really going to fail, but then I suppose also Discount Einstein doesn't know that.

It was almost time for lunch when Jarid and Airel finally left the classroom. Ben and Ethen were set to choose their dragons just before supper, but until then they helped Airel educate Jarid on what the second years had been working on to prepare them for the choosing ceremony.

When it was time for Ben and Ethan’s selection ceremony, Jarid and Airel walked with them to the dragon dome and watched from the stands as they choose their dragons.

Ben was the first one to come out. His flight suit was covered in dark brown scales and most of the dragons in the arena were Sand Wings with a few Flame Wings mixed in. Jarid recognised most of them from the dragon stables.


Well looks like the lot of them are finishing up without them bothering to watch which is probably a good idea they do have some things to brush up on but hopefully we can see Ben and Ethan's trials here.

All the dragons were muzzled, had their wings chained to their sides, and were tied to the ground by a chain leash. Ben had his visor up but rather than looking at the dragons he just stood in the center of the arena with his eyes closed. Then he opened them and walked straight up to a large Sand Wing.

The dragon seemed be trying to ignore him, but it couldn’t for long. After a few seconds of resistance, it bowed to him. As it did, the other dragons were removed from the arena. Then Brom entered the arena and stood slightly behind Ben.

“Well done. Now get him to raise his right claw.”

Ben closed his eyes once more and the dragon raised its right talon.


Well this is horrible for the dragon. No wonder Smolder was shuddering so much , people forcing them to do things and trying to dominate and then on top of all of that being chained up so tightly barely able to move and then leashed on top of all of that too.

“Good. Lower its right and raise its left,” Brom continued.

Slowly, the dragon lowered its right talon and raised its left. Brom nodded and waved his hand at a few men standing at the edge of the arena. Then he told Ben the dragon could lower its arm.

Jarid recognised one of the men Brom had called. He was from the torture chamber, so the others were probably dragon trainers.

The dragon trainers removed the dragon’s collar but left its muzzle and the chains binding its wings. Then Brom continued giving Ben commands for the dragon to follow. Many of them seemed silly to Jarid but Ben didn’t question them, and the dragon did as it was told.


Well looks like at least the dragons are slowly getting released here once they assent to the riders but urgh this is still so painful to watch. You've just managed to make a permanent fog of despair float over these scenes and that's a good thing by the way. I am so deeply invested in all of these people and this world.

Finally, Brom had Ben force the dragon to do one last lap around the arena. Once that was completed, Brom congratulated him on passing the trial. Then he gave Ben a small plaque with a number on it and escorted him as he walked his dragon to the dragon den.

As soon as they left, the floor was prepared for the next student. A few minutes later Ben joined Jarid and Airel in the stands letting out a sigh of relief as he sat down.

“Whew. That was something different.”

“What was it like?” Airel asked curiously.


Oooh well we're going to get some first hand recounting as well from the look of it, I love that, I'm sure we'll see Jarid's moment but seeing what its like for the others who aren't so special will be an interesting touch to be certain.

“It was like I could feel a bunch of other minds around me. I don’t know how to describe it. Kind of like being in a crowed where you feel like you should know what they’re saying but it’s all jumbled together and makes no sense. I just tried to find one that felt right.

“After a few seconds, I felt one of the dragons’ desire to protect others and latched onto it. I could tell which dragon was him as soon as I opened my eyes. Then, when I tried to connect to him, it was like all the other minds faded away and it was just me and him. He seemed so sad and defeated. He didn’t want to do what I told him, but he didn’t put up much of a fight either.

“Brom told me that I have the rest of the day to come up with a name for him.”


Well that is heartbreaking to say the least. The poor things really are subjected to absolutely the worst conditions and it seem when they're wills are broken they're just slowly starting the process of becoming empty shells here.

“Do you have any ideas?” Airel asked. Ben shook his head.

“No. Actually, I was hoping you could ask him what his name is Jarid.”

Jarid raised his eyebrows at first but after he thought about it, it seemed like a good idea.

“I suppose so. Calling all our dragons by their true names is probably a good idea. It might help strengthen our bonds with them even if they don’t understand us.”

“Couldn’t you just teach them how to speak human?” Airel asked, but Jarid shook his head.


Well its interesting to see the real challenges being brough to bear on the skills that Jarid and at the moment only Jarid have but it looks like they're going to be making good decisions based on it at the moment.

“They may not want to and besides, I don’t think I’d have the time. However, if you can get your dragon the pen right next to Vapor’s then she may be able to teach them a few words.”

“That’s assuming I get accepted as her rider in the first place,” Airel sighed.

“Don’t worry You’ll do fine.” Ben comforted her.

Jarid nodded. “I’ve never met a more calm, kind, and friendly dragon than her.”

Airel forced a nervous smile. “Yeah. I guess I’ve got nothing to worry about.”


Well Airel is rightfully nervous there to be honest given that she herself can't talk too much to the dragon but I do believe Jared's optimism isn't unfounded at all really.

Then a trumpet sounded. It was Ethen’s turn to select a dragon. When he entered the arena, he was shaking a bit and looked nervous. After a few moments of looking around he walked up to a rather large Flame Wing.

Jarid was surprised. That dragon, while not being talkative, wasn’t very docile either. Jarid had thought that Ethen would go for the most unassertive dragon possible, but he had chosen (not including Smolder) the most obstinate dragon Jarid knew.

The Flame Wing snorted as Ethen drew near and growled at him, though Jarid couldn’t make out what he said. As Ethen got close, the dragon even swiped at him with a talon. Ethen flinched back and the Flame Wing growled something again.


Well looks like Ethen isn't the type to just bow down and take it there, or rather just wants to make a statement although I can only imagine this is painful for the poor dragon unless Ethen at this point is smart enough to use that power of communicating with thought to reason with the dragon instead of trying to jut dominate it.

There was a long pause while the two stared each other down. Jarid wished he could hear what was going on in their minds. After what felt like ages, the dragon slowly bowed. After that, the ceremony proceeded in the same manner as Ben’s.

As Ethen left the arena with his new dragon Ben got up.

“I’m going to go see how Ethen is doing. You two had better have some supper before your trials.”

Jarid took a deep breath as he realised how little time was left before his and Airel’s choosing ceremony. His hands were trembling slightly, but he quickly clenched them into fists.

He couldn’t let himself give in to the fear of what could be. He was a dragon rider!

At least, if he told himself that enough…

Maybe he could trick himself into believing he was as brave as one.


Well looks like that went well for the most part, now comes the tough part of actually taking that big test although I have a feeling Jarid is going dead last here and Airel's little ceremony which honesty promises to be far more intriguing is coming up first.

Aaand that's it for this oneee!!!

Overall

Overall I think this lived up very much to all that tension that was brought up leading to it and I am very much looking forward to seeing how this will play out fully now with Airel and Jarid going next.

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 like how you picked up on how horrifying mind control can be. (If you want to see it used by a truly evil being on the other side, read the Chapter 2-3 interlude)

A big part of this book, and what I personally think of as the most terrifying of villain powers, is that of manipulation and control. So of course the main villain has it in spades.



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Thu Apr 25, 2024 3:12 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...

I was so excited to read this chapter, and it didn't disappoint! Learning about the dragon-choosing process was wild, and watching it happen with Ben and Ethen -gleaning details about either dragon and their riders- was awesome!! Let's get into the details though.

Where The Dagger Points...

No complaints about content at all! You described the choosing process so well, and even answered some long-standing questions! As far as grammar and stuffs, there were just two potential errors that I spotted, both very minor:

“You two will be the last group to take the test, so if you want to watch some of the other groups try, be my gest.


"Guest" is just missing a "u" there, and then one more here:

“It was like I could feel a bunch of other minds around me. I don’t know how to describe it. Kind of like being in a crowed where you feel like you should know what they’re saying but it’s all jumbled together and makes no sense.


"Crowd" had an "e" throwing it off. That aside, I also like the perspective and thought this section was really cool to read.

That is all. Great writing job ~

Why The Grin Widened...

As they announce Jarid and give him that awkward spotlight for a moment, I enjoyed both his reaction and the squad's instinct to jump in and help:

Everyone was staring at Jarid, and it was making him wish he was anywhere but the center of attention. Then to his surprise Ben, Ethen and Airel stood in front of him like a shield and waved off the glares directed at him.


That was just a nice moment of teamwork ~ Honestly, it also made me curious if the dragons they choose will get along as well as they do (my guess is not, but I can hope lol). I also unexpectedly enjoyed the introduction of this character, and not just because I was intrigued by a medic professor:

Einstern’s face was deadpan and when he spoke it was the most monotone voice Jarid had ever heard. He sounded so boring Jarid wondered how anyone stayed awake in his class.


I know the line implies that he's the most boring teacher yet, but just imagining this "deadpan and monotone" demeanor describing an incredible mechanic of dragon-riding and magic gems was really funny for some reason (I don't know if it was intentional or not, I have a terrible sense of humor XD).

Speaking of the gems...

“The gems form a connection between you and anyone else wearing a gem. Through that connection you can talk to your fellow dragon riders while in the air and dominate the minds of your dragons. But beware. If you show any weakness the dragons may resist. That is why the dragon trainers here at this academy do their best to break the dragon’s will beforehand and condition them to obey your commands.”


^ THIS, THIS! Finally, an explanation for those creepy little stones!

Spoiler! :
Honestly, reading this, I feel like they may not be as much a relic of evil as they are a neutral relic used for evil. Like, if all they do is form a connection between the minds of the rider and the dragon, I can see why that would be useful. However, the academy exploits that by also torturing the dragons so they can become mind-control devices, and when we saw them used in Wing 2, the "dragon king" (sorry I forgot how to spell his name lol) was probably doing the same, exploiting the connection and his higher power to force control over the dragons like Ash and Scorch...

But that's just my theory, I wouldn't be surprised if I was way off. Either way, I had a lot of fun with this part!


*ahem, moving on, I was fascinated by Ben's and Ethen's dragon choices; what called to them, and why.

“After a few seconds, I felt one of the dragons’ desire to protect others and latched onto it.


Jarid had thought that Ethen would go for the most unassertive dragon possible, but he had chosen (not including Smolder) the most obstinate dragon Jarid knew.


I can understand Ben's; it speaks to a heroic trait of his, the desire to protect others, which is nice. But Ethen, that choice caught me off-guard! I wonder if he was drawn to a dragon with enough "fight" in him to balance his own calmer nature, or if he has an unexpected fierce side of his own. Strange, but I like it ~

And of course, speaking of the dragons...

He seemed so sad and defeated. He didn’t want to do what I told him, but he didn’t put up much of a fight either.


Knowing how the dragons got to this point in the first place, that was sad to read, and it makes me hope that at least those chosen will be treated better from here on out.

Our Mad Thoughts...

Overall, that chapter was soooo good, I had a lot of fun reading it! And there's no way I can't read the next after this ;) Lol, stay tuned for another review, and in the meantime, nicely done! :D

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dragonight9 says...


So glad to hear. I was worried this chapter might seem a bit info dumpy.

I was so excited to finally reveal the powers of the mind gems too!
Spoiler! :
I wonder what would happen if a dragon who already has mind reading powers used them...



RavenAkuma says...


(O_O) !!!

You just made my theory brain short-circuit XD




Writing is my soul made tangible on paper.
— bluewaterlily