SS The Dragon’s Quest for Hopper:: Chapter 31 : Jeremy and Dominik

The Dragon’s Quest for Hopper starts off as any other low brow elf seeking a real place in life.  He didn’t think the real place would be babysitter to a dragon.  Part of him wishes the dragon mother decided on eating him instead of shoving him into this new role.  What was he thinking getting involved with Linda or Hartliebe or thinking he deserved more in life than running a beer company.  Beer is his life.  Or it was.  His life now seems a lot different.  And scary.
Genres: Adventure, fantasy

[WIP: The Dragon’s Quest for Hopper]

Jeremy and Dominik

The walk goes through the night.  Why Jeremy decided to walk has to do with him not trusting us to fly straight.  All we have done lately is fly.  Then again, as I walk forward at his behest, I notice the sky is not normal.  The winds change direction at a moment’s notice.  Colors of the sky do not match the normal sky.  Occasionally I hear noises that draw my attention.  Jeremy taps us before we wander off.  And this on top of the invisible mountain has me glad to have bought the guide’s aide.

Tait walks, or hovers, with us until daylight.  Jeremy seems relieved when the sun makes the ghost disappear.  “He’s an odd fellow.  Not a ghost, but also I have no clue of his real nature.”

“Even he doesn’t know.”  I look at the weird sky.  Yellows, pinks, and oranges are common at sunrise.  Greens make no sense in the sky.  None at all.  “What is going on?”

“Mount Nugget has a friend.”  Jeremy taps Cyro before he flies off.  I am not sure what he saw or heard.  I am glad I didn’t see or hear it.  “Cave Tyger calls to any traveler in the area.  If you do not realize something is wrong with the call, like I’ve been trained to do, you just go to it.  It reminds me of the siren song on the ocean.  If you plan on going to the Isle, that will be a concern.”

Good to know.  I nod to him while we walk the path.  “This trail is not clearly marked.  Yet you know it well enough.”

“I have taken this route with my family for sixteen years.  Probably longer, but I only remember that long ago.”  His eyes scour the landscape.  “I can ignore everything.  I see the normal natural world, when I know you see green skies and hear howling wolves.”

“There are no wolves?”  I stare at him wide eyed.

“There is no life in these parts.  Just Cave Tyger and Mount Nugget.  Those who stay go crazy.  Even plants are limited.”  Jeremy taps Cyro again.  “Do we need to put you on a leash, dragon?”

“I’m good.”  He pulls back glancing out again.

I shake my head at his lack of control.  I have not gone after any sounds yet.  Although I have looked.  And thought about it.  As I think these words, I hear Cat calling from beyond the line of trees in a distance.  It sounds like she is looking for a repeat of last time.  I shudder refusing it.  She cannot be out there.  And if she wanted me, then she would teleport next to me.  She can do that.  I cannot.  And my job is to stalk Cyro to make sure he doesn’t act up.

“You seem skilled at this too.”  Jeremy glances my way.

“My job is to follow Cyro.  Not go after the noises of my past.  Not to mention no one of my past would stop me from my current job.  If I deny my job, I could be killed.  Should be killed, actually.  I doubt Dragon Hartliebe would consider it a good idea to forgot my job for some strange noises.”

“That’s true.”  Jeremy glances at Cyro again.  “Now to figure out how to make sure Dragon Cyro does not follow the noises.”

“Dragon Cyro.”  I tap his arm to get his eyes looking to me. “I heard Cat out there.  I assume she will be looking for you.”

Cyro drops with those words.  “You heard her?”

“Yeah.”  I nod.

Cyro grips my arm tightly.  If I was not strong, it would hurt a lot.  “I’ll hang on you, then.”

“At least you wouldn’t be alone if you get tricked.”  Glancing at Jeremy he stiffens.

I look forward where he has his eyes set and find a person standing there on our path.  It must be a legit person considering Jeremy sees him.  “Cyro, do you know him?”

The dragon turns to the person.  “I don’t see anyone.”  He spins a little, but does not see the person at all.

“You are trapped in the haze of magic.”  If only I could use a spell to cool off the effects near us.  I grip the wand.  I can stop that person, though.  One step at a time.  “Stop!”  The use of the wand has the person in shock.  Well, he cannot very well move given the spell.  Jeremy and I walk over to pick him up.

“He’s the thief.  His smell is the same.”  Jeremy tosses him to me.  “But he doesn’t have the key.”

“How do you know?”

“The key is as big as your arm.”  He holds up his right arm.  “Where would he have put it?”

“I doubt randomly.”  I toss him aside.  If he has Jeremy’s skills, then…

“No.  Keep him.  I’ll bring him back with me.”  Jeremy motions me to pick him up again.

Glaring, I grab the person.  He is a small elf, so it isn’t that much of a problem carrying him.  But I am concerned by my loss of arm use.  Cyro has my other arm in a death grip too.  I cannot fight like this.  “Now what?”

“Keep going.”  He points onward.  “The key causes the worst of the images and sounds.”

“The key?  What about the Cave and Mount?”  I gasp bouncing the person on my shoulder to be in a more comfortable position.

“Cave Tyger had the old key.  Mount Nugget has the missing one.  That’s how we know it’s still there.  Before the key ended up there, you could see Mount Nugget from Kristen’s house.”

“Who are you to Kristen?”

Jeremy stiffens again glancing at me with slight fear.  “Nothing.”

I laugh.  If that look means nothing, then he has no idea what the definition of nothing is.  He grumbles over my lack of empathy.  Well if he offered a real answer, I probably would not have laughed at him.

“She’s not available to me.  I am nothing but her servant.”

“So you wish for more than that.”

“I must call myself lucky to have that.”  He scoffs out kicking the ground.  “Now hurry up, I want to bring the thief back to Kristen.  She’ll get him to tell everything.”

“Right.  If I didn’t know better you want to be her…”

“She’s married.”  Jeremy yells.  I step back before continuing my walk.  “She has a husband.”

“Who?”  My face thins looking at him.

He sighs looking at the ground depressed.  The whispered word needs a repeat before I can hear him.  “Chris.”

“Sorry.  Are we almost there?”  I look at the field in the distance.  Another sound reaches me of my mother.  However, it does not sound like her.  She never wanted me home in time for dinner.  Dad would yell for me, but Mom rather I find a pretty fawn to flaunt.  I never had a female.  Well now maybe Cat might, possibly.  I snort.  Yeah right.

“Yeah.”  He stops, but I continue until my body slams into a rock face.  Once I hit it, I see it, even if it is slightly invisible still.  “Guess I should have told you to stop.”

“No, I’m the idiot who kept going.”  Rubbing my face, I look about.  A trail of some sort catches my eye.  That will be our direction.  “Good luck with your Kristen problem.”

“She’s nothing but an employer to me.  Good luck finding the key.”  Jeremy lifts the still stopped elf on his shoulder.  Soon the spell will disappear.  I hope he will be ready.


[About Cat Hartliebe] [Cat Hartliebe’s Books] [WIP: The Dragon’s Quest for Hopper]

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