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The Lost Dragon 7.2

by soundofmind


"Oh my gosh you just shot them!" Clandestine shouted.

"They were trying to kill us!" Matt shouted back.

"But you blew off that guy's hand!"

"I have slightly below average eyesight as is and it was dark okay? I was doin' my best!" he yelled, looking back at her briefly.

Clandestine huffed in frustration and distress. "Why are you yelling at me?!"

"You started yelling at me first!" he retorted.

"Oh." She looked down, falling into an awkward silence. He was right about that, and if they kept yelling it would only be more noise for the goblins to follow, and she didn't want that.

She looked back at the fading light of their campfire as is grew more and more distant, obscured by the cloud of dust that followed them in the darkness. With the dim moonlight as their only guidance, Clandestine knew Matt and her were likely to get lost. She was pretty sure they were following the path that led to town, but in the nighttime, there was little distinction between what was the road and what was just the rest of the desert. That, and she was feeling more than a little bit panicked at the fact that two goblins had come out of nowhere to kill them! She gripped her reins tightly and looked over at Matt. He was beginning to slow down a bit, since they'd made some distance between themselves and the goblins, so she led Billy to do the same.

"So... where are we now?" she asked, trying to get her eyes to adjust faster to the darkness.

Matt answered stiffly. "Away from the goblins."

"No, I meant like-"

"I know about as much as you do, Clandestine. It's dark. I'm tryna follow the stars, and not lead us back to the goblins, even if they are hurtin'."

Clandestine sighed, looking back again into the darkness behind them. She couldn't see the fire anymore. "Something just doesn't sit right with me about this... were those goblins from the farm, you think? Were there more we just didn't run into? You think they're mad about us beating them up? Like, if they just wanted the land, why would they come out here to come after us? I just-" She cut herself off with a frustrated grunt. "What if they go back for Laura and Kaleb? We should head back! We need to make sure they're okay!"

She looked to Matt expectantly, but when he didn't reply right away she frowned and pulled Billy up closer so she could get a look at him.

"Well?" she asked. "Let's turn around!"

There was another pause as she stared him down, and he kept riding in the same direction.

"I don't think they'll go back to Kaleb and Laura," he finally said.

"Why not?"

"Because the goblins we fought were reluctant to use violence under the chief's leadership until pushed to do so by... whatever their reasons were. The ones back there sought us out to kill us when we were least prepared. I have - I have a gut feeling they came from their main clan or something."

"You mean we made the goblins mad and now they're sending goblins after us?" Clandestine asked, her voice rising again.

"I think so," he said much quieter than herself. "I don't know how determined they'll be at following us. I don't think they'd follow us into town but-"

"We're lost," Clandestine interjected. "I can't even tell where the town is."

"When the sun comes up I hope we'll be able to turn ourselves around but... yes. If we keep going like we are since we don't want them to catch up with us, yeah. But uh," he turned around and reached into his saddlebag as he started digging around. He pulled out something, but she couldn't make it out.

"Compass," was all he said.

"Ah." She looked down at her hands, chastising herself for not thinking of that. She grumbled, reaching down into her own bag as she pulled out her map. They might've been confused for the moment as to where they were, but together they could figure it out.


Or not.

At some point, the desert dirt and sand had begun to turn into grass. Clandestine wasn't sure at what point it happened, but both of them were exhausted, and Billy and Elliot were exhausted, and everything was just terrible. The horses started to slow to a stop without any instruction, and she hopped off Billy, taking that as their cue to sleep. Wordlessly, Matt followed suit and they lazily reached to pull their blankets off the back of their saddles, only to realize they weren't there. Their blankets were on the ground, still at the campsite with the goblins. Matt sighed, and they both looked at each other with mutual disappointment and weariness.

"I think your compass is broken," Clandestine joked wearily.

Matt scoffed, but looked away. Clandestine frowned and held her hands together at her chest for a moment as Matt was checking on Elliot. She turned around to Billy, who was slick with sweat. She brushed a hand on his face as a way of apology for the sudden rushing in the middle of the night.

"Who'd've thought we'd have to be ready to run at a moment's notice," she whispered, looking back at Matt again out of the corner of her eye. He didn't look back at her. He was busy feeding Elliot something.

"I still feel like we should check on the farm," she said again, keeping her voice quiet so only Billy could hear. She sent another glance at Matt, as if he could overhear. He hadn't said it outright, but she had a feeling he really didn't want to do that. He'd probably say it was a bad idea, because they could end up leading the goblins to Laura and Kaleb if they were following them. She didn't want to do that if it put them in danger.

Clandestine let out a long sigh as she rested her forehead against the side of Billy's face. Billy let out a breath that sounded like he was blowing raspberries, as if mimicking her. It made her smile, and chuff a laugh. She gave Billy a pat on his neck as he reached down to munch on the grass.

And it was at that moment she had something of a mid-life crisis. Except she wasn't really at a mid-point in her life, and age was complicated, and she didn't really know how old she was. She was at least 100 years old, but she knew physically, she still looked like she was twenty-something years old.

But her age wasn't what she spontaneously started to obsessively focus on. What was beginning to swirl around her head was the conversation her and Matt had two and a half weeks ago. They still hadn't talked about it since then, and she couldn't figure out for the life of her why Matt was so... fine with her having magic. She'd already run through all of the possible reasons as to why, but she had to ask him for herself.

She spun around and saw him leaning against a tree. It was hard to read his exact expression in the dark, but if he was feeling anything like her, he was exhausted but still too worried and stressed about being attacked to sleep just yet. It would've been his turn anyway, since she'd already gotten some sleep in.

She started to walk over and plopped down across from him. He didn't even look up.

"So... why are you so okay with me having magic?" she asked quietly, as if someone were nearby to overhear. She leaning in slightly to hear his answer and gauge his response.

He looked up at her with a blank expression. "Just 'cause they outlawed it doesn't make it wrong," he replied, matching her volume. "It was fine 100 years ago before the calamity, it's fine now. People just got afraid."

Clandestine's eyes fell to the ground at the mention of the calamity, and times before. 100 years ago... that was when she was alive, and living as a child. Sometimes she could forget just how much times had changed; when monster hunting guilds were a home for mages and hunters alike, and magic was normal and widely used. Back when Silva would bend the water and make it dance if she asked twenty times, and there were no guns, no mage hunters, no earth-shattering catastrophes that left the landscape forever changed. Back when she wandered the halls of the guild that was her home just to get into places she wasn't supposed to be, and got pulled out of rooms by the ear... when every guild member was like a parent, like a sibling. Like family.

But all of that was gone. When she woke up, she tried to find them again, but the building didn't even exist anymore, nor did the paths that led to it. Everything was just a shadow of the familiar, and all she was told was-

"It's just a remnant of the past. All things pass on, and new things come. The time of the guilds was over. It's just the cycle of things."

Clandestine looked up at the cowboy with tears in her eyes. She could feel her lower lip quivering as she tried to hold it back. She knew he didn't want to see her cry. He put his hand on her shoulder.

"Monster hunters are still 'round though. I'm sure you'll be a great one in time. Just stick to it," he said, ruffling her hair.

"But I miss them..." she croaked.

At that moment, she knew the cowboy would never understand. He gave her a look that she grew to know very well. The kind that adults gave to children when they didn't know what to say in response. The kind of look people gave you when they pitied you, but thought you were at least a little crazy. It was a kind of condescension masked by obligatory compassion that she hated, and it made her insides squirm. But at the time she had no words for it. She only knew that she had to keep her mouth shut, because in a world where magic was outlawed, and humans were estranged from it, no one would really believe that magic would've kept her alive and asleep for 100 years.

Even she didn't want to believe it, but it was true. It was her life.

Clandestine cleared her throat when she realized she'd been staring off into space for some time, rubbing her thumb over her kuckles. Matt was watching her with his token look she couldn't read. Nervously, she smiled, and laughed a little. It took her a moment to jump back in her memory to what he said.

People just got afraid.

"Ah, yeah, about that I guess uh, I mean," she stumbled over her words. "Why aren't you afraid then?"

Matt blinked idly. "I have no reason to be."

Clandestine blinked back at him. That wasn't much of an answer. "Unlike other people who are afraid because...?"

"They were taught that magic was the root of all suffering. That it was the cause of the calamity."

Clandestine's eyebrows drew together. "And you... weren't taught that?"

Matt shrugged. "I just know bullcrap when I smell it."

Clandestine laughed weakly, looking over at Billy and Elliot as if to have them join in on the nervous laughter. Naturally, they didn't reply.

"Look, Clandestine," Matt said, making her head swivel back around to look at him. "My parents were anti-magic like the majority of the population. I just didn't buy it. Alright?"

She found herself frowning again, but it was more a pout. She wanted a story, or a person; something or someone that had changed his mind. But all he was giving her was that he just figured it out somehow himself that not all mages were monsters like the authorities made them out to be. And, in some ways, she could understand that, but there was a part of her that was still afraid about it. About something - something she couldn't put her finger on. With a sigh, she bowed her head.

"I'm glad, really," she said. "I just-" she found herself fishing for something to follow the beginning of her sentence. She was about to say what she really felt, but knew that wouldn't be helpful, and found herself stumbling again on how to continue conversation. "-I-I just. Uh. You know the guilds, yeah?"

Matt nodded.

"Ah." And somehow she found herself at a loss. If she was going to talk about the guilds... well, maybe she could poke his brain a little, to see if he knew more than the few things she'd gathered in bits and pieces from other people over the years. He did after all, know her situation, and didn't seem too phased by it. Maybe - just maybe - he could fill in some of the gaps, since he already knew, because she kind of accidentally outed herself, and her mouth ran away without her (as it was prone to do). Taking in a deep breath, she leaned back a little, trying to prepare herself.

"Well, I guess I was wondering... if you know what happened to them?" she asked.

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238 Reviews

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Sun Dec 30, 2018 10:15 pm
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Kirkiln wrote a review...

Let’s jump right in! I wonder what’s going to happen oooo

LOL I LOVE THIS BEGINNING, how funny. This dialogue just seems so real and something I could truly see happening like right after a fight. I’m sure Clandestine never really thought that Matt would actually use the gun, especially to blow a freaking hand off! Lol I would have the same problem Matt, I’m sure they didn’t have amazing glasses back then cri

Wow, they sure figured out the goblins’ plans quickly. If I were doing a “sin” count of the series (like CinemaSins? If you know what that Youtube Channel is xD) I would definitely sin this here. Because, that’s awfully convenient that Matt figured it out that quickly, and Clandestine was able to put two and two together so quickly right after, when it’s kind of her thing to be extremely oblivious to what’s going on around there. (Remember my “inept” comments? They go hand in hand with that). Like, I’m usually pretty decent at connecting dots with things (I overthink A LOT) but I wouldn’t have thought that, just because these goblins were trying to kill me, that they were from the clan because we made them mad. As you’ve pointed out and I’m sure every human knows there’s a goblin-human war happening right now. Perhaps those goblins were just territorial? There’s a LOT of reasons here and I just think that jumping to the one we as the audience and writer know is the right one is a little hard to suspend disbelief. Y’know?

Oh wow, I just realized why Clandestine was so freaked out from the gun. She came from a time where there was no guns, so I’m sure she’s not entirely used to guns and just the power they use (it must be close to magic to her at times. Something so powerful it can remove a hand at will?) so that’s why she’s so freaked out. Poor Clandestine…

I love this! I think you’ve found your stride with these past few chapters, and I’m excited to see where it goes. I feel like the story got into a bit of a slump at the beginning of that farm situation, but boy has it picked up. I’m excited to see what they do next, especially as they’re kind of lost right now.

soundofmind says...

Wow, they sure figured out the goblins%u2019 plans quickly.

OKAY SO. HONESTLY. THIS IS JUST ME, BAD WRITING. Since the goblin side of things is kinda underdeveloped and I don't have a BUNCH of fun writing them I found out a cheap way to explain the plan to the mc's. I mean. I could just leave them in the dark. Add to the panic, confusion.

Matt's used to being followed and the excuse her was basically "I know what a kill mission looks like" (to word it poorly?). He just couldn't exactly say that out loud b/c of course he'd have to explain why he knows what that looks and feels like to Clandestine, who still just thinks he's a regular cowboy dude at this point. BUt yeah. IT IS A BIT TOO CONVENIENT.


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Sun Dec 02, 2018 1:16 am
Carlito wrote a review...

Hey sound! Happy review day! Let's get this out of the green room!

I apologize I haven't read the previous installments, so I'll be looking at this as a part of a greater whole.

Goblins you say? Have you seen the movie Troll 2? If you haven't watch it. It's a very low budget horror movie about Goblins.

I liked the first scene more than the second scene. I'm sure in the scene before this we see the fight between these two and the goblins. I'm glad that there's some brief processing here but that they're immediately moving on to the next thing they have to do. If you're really on the run for your life, you don't have a lot of time to stop and analyze :)

"Who'd've thought we'd have to be ready to run at a moment's notice," she whispered

If they're really in danger, shouldn't they assume they may need to run at a moment's notice?

And it was at that moment she had something of a mid-life crisis. Except she wasn't really at a mid-point in her life, and age was complicated, and she didn't really know how old she was. She was at least 100 years old, but she knew physically, she still looked like she was twenty-something years old.

This was when I started to fall out. This felt like a really abrupt transition to me. This is a long transition with all of the info about age, but then when we get into the stuff about magic it's a complete 180 from what's been going on so far.

Now I'm sure the magic stuff is important to the plot and it needed to happen at some point so viola first draft :) I'm wondering if it would be cleaner if it happened on a different day. Like they rest like they are and maybe figure out a plan and way to keep safe tonight and then tomorrow they wake up rested and as they start on their journey she brings up all the magic stuff? Just so it's not so abrupt.

Overall though, I thought it was good writing and an interesting concept! I'll leave things there for now, but let me know if you have any questions or if you'd like feedback about something I didn't mention! :D

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Sun Oct 28, 2018 5:27 am
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mellifera wrote a review...

hey sound! finally back for more <3 yay let's go!

"I have slightly below average eyesight

not gonna lie, I don't know if this was intentional or not, but this made me chuckle. this argument feels a little light-hearted, but I suspect Clandestine is trying to cover up her shock? I mean, if Clanny's freaking out, and she just needs to talk, I feel like the silliness is really good! I just, thought I'd mention it haha. Still, I like it.

poor Clanny D: she needs comfort and blankets and hugs. She is distressed, she trying her best. I want to Protect her.

I think my one request for the scene where they're running away from camp and their goblin assassins is (and bear with me here, because I have to ask because I'm That Horse Person) that I would have liked to have seen some description of how the horses felt? Like, if they're riding them bareback, you can feel the horses muscles working under your legs. You have to wrap your leg around them so you won't fall off, and every horse is different. Some are bumpier to ride, and some are smooth. I think I would have? liked to have seen some of that? Just like, a lil bit. Not even that much. but you know me! I'm here to constantly dig for horse stuff, because it's what I do! (:

she asked, trying to get her eyes to adjust faster to the darkness. is she blinking really fast? recalibrating her eyes?? ???

"I know about as much as you do, Clandestine. It's dark. I'm tryna follow the stars, and not lead us back to the goblins, even if they are hurtin'."

LISTEN MATT SHE JUST NEEDS COMFORT!! she doesn't even need you to give her exact going ons!! she just needs reassurance!! she's anxious!! precious child needs help!!
also i love clanny with all my heart if that wasn't clear

"Something just doesn't sit right with me about this...

Goblins? attacking you from nowhere? it's more likely then you think! (get a free safety check for your camp before you sleep)

I'm,,, not gonna lie. Im suspicious of Matt. what's this gut feeling, boy? why do you have these hunches? I don't know how farfetched that is to assume though, or how goblin dynamic works in situations like this, so I can't be too suspicious. but STILL.

but both of them were exhausted, and Billy and Elliot were exhausted, and everything was just terrible.

This had the similar effect to earlier. It's a little more light-hearted, but I don't think it detracts at all from the scene either. I like it! I just wasn't sure if you were aware that it was almost like...not exactly exaggeration, but something like that, y'know? Because, I mean, they are in a pretty terrible situation. Goblins coming after them, leaving their supplies behind (and I'm gonna,,, just bring up the saddlebags again, although I know you mentioned Matt would have flung some supplies together before mounting up? I just, don't think it's very plausible for him to uh, saddle either/both horses? because the saddle/saddle blankets are one thing but then there's the girth and making sure it's tight and all, but I won't bore you with the details!).

He was busy feeding Elliot something.

(I know I KNOW but just a quick note- horses shouldn't eat right before or after working, especially if they've been working hard, cause it messes with their systems. otherwise!! ignore me lol)

Clandestine let out a long sigh as she rested her forehead against the side of Billy's face. Billy let out a breath that sounded like he was blowing raspberries, as if mimicking her. It made her smile, and chuff a laugh. She gave Billy a pat on his neck as he reached down to munch on the grass.

I KNOW MORE HORSE STUFF but !!! this is precious and I Love it I want to hug Clandestine and Billy?? children. protect them.

I know that Clandestine being Clandestine she's gotta know stuff, cause she doesn't like being kept in the dark or anything, but uh. Should she really be questioning somebody who had said they won't mention her magic to anyone? I mean, maybe that's just skepticism, but she's only known Matt for a little while, and granted, she's been through an ordeal with him and must trust him somewhat. But still, I dunno, I feel like it might be a bit more of a deal if she really wants to ask? She doesn't even seem wary about asking, which I guess is why I brought it up. so uh, yeah!

I find it also interesting that Matt doesn't seem very curious about the fact that she's over 100 years old. Like, I'd want to know what all the excitement going on back them was. What's different? What did she prefer from that time that she dislikes more now? I'd want to know these things, but Matt's kinda like...oh yeah, This Is Fine. Which, I mean, I guess he's laid back and kinda, lowkey about everything? But sTILL I wanted to mENTION.

Clandestine laughed weakly, looking over at Billy and Elliot as if to have them join in on the nervous laughter. Naturally, they didn't reply.

hAHa poor girl I feel for her though. the horses will laugh in sPIRIT for her.

Also, not gonna lie, I'm super curious about this whole calamity business. I don't remember exactly what's been mentioned about it, but !! I'm curious to know what happened.

something she couldn't put her finger on.


james wasn't like, an ex-mage hunter and then something went wrong and he found out it was bad, right? idk why i'm getting some tiny vibes that way but i'm PRETTY SURE that's not true

WOO I'm excited to know what happened to the guilds. SOON. Alas I cannot now but SOON I WILL.

Otherwise! I think that's all I have for you today!! I'm loving the story and I'm definitely going to get around to the next chapter as soon as I can <33 You know where you can find me if you have any questions ;)

I hope you're having a wonderful time!

soundofmind says...

MELLIFERa. OKAY YOU KEEP SAYING SORRY FOR THE HORSE STUFF BUT bLEASE??? DON'T!! IT IS ACTUALLY SUPER HELPFUL AND I NEED TO KNOW THIS SO I CAN MAKE IT ACCURATE!!! but for the moment I'm just... not gonna fix the saddled-when-escaping-or-not thing... idk what's going on w/that honestly ... idk how to fix *sweats*



soundofmind says...

ALSO yes. Matt is supposed to be suspiciousy. Especially at this point. Please do suspice ?? suspect... susp... yes

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Fri Oct 12, 2018 3:36 am
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Wait... how do they have their blankets when they ran off without them???

“Not did the paths that led to it” - I think you mean nor

“That is was the cause of the calamity." - um... this isn’t english man

Also you said obsessiely and forgot the v

soundofmind says...

bless %uD83D%uDC4F fixed the typos and will fix the blanket thing later

soundofmind says...

Me: finally fixes the blanket thing ayyyy

It is not enough to do your best; you must know what to do, and THEN do your best.
— W. Edwards Deming