SS The Dragon’s Quest for Hopper:: Chapter 35 : Ethan 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]

Ethan and Dominik

Kristen walks out looking exhausted.  Her eyes look to the two keys before looking at us.  “Thank you!”

“It wasn’t hard.”  Cyro stands up still holding the key.  “Do you have a place to stash at least the fire key?  We only need one.”

“Yes.”  She shuffles away for a little bit.  When she returns she has a glass coffin the perfect size for the key.  “This should be perfect.  If you can put it inside the coffin, I would be much obliged.”  She stares at me.

I couldn’t touch the thing before.  Now I still cannot touch the thing.  “How should I do that?”

“You didn’t put it on the cart?”  She blinks looking to Cyro.  “How did he bring it here?”

“This was how it sat in the cave.”  I frown looking at the coffin.  “But maybe I can push it off the tablet and into the coffin.  Can I see it?”  I reach for the coffin and gain a sigh when it is given to me.  Kristen crosses her arms as I figure out how to make the key slide into the coffin.  A few trial and errors, which includes me getting burned for the umpteenth time, I push the key into the coffin with Tait’s stick.  I took a chance with his stick since they are both from Terrick and it worked out.  Cyro seems amused by my attempts.  Kristen seems annoyed by me.  Neither helped.

“So now that’s done.”

“You need a burn salve.”  Kristen turns around.  “Jeremy, get my kit.”

“Not going to use a spell?”  Cyro looks at my marks.  There are a lot of them.

“No.  I’ll make him a bath later with healing magic, but it would be worse to try to hit everywhere without doing internal damage.”  She disappears again.

I place the coffin on the cart in the middle of the room.  The glass keeps the fire contained.  I hope she has something to keep the thunder stick contained.  Traveling with it active may cause trouble for us.  “So…?”

The noise of the door opening and a person sneaking into the room has me dead silent.  He turns spotting us and I realize who he is: the thief.

“Hey Ethan!”  Cyro leans forward pointing the thunder key away from him but a spark erupts.

Ethan is quick to send out a magical bolt dosing the lightning from hurting something.  “What are you doing here Dragon Cyro?”

“I’m headed for Terrick.”  He grins holding up the key.  “This is the key to leaving the Isle afterwards.”

“Are you stupid?  The gods hate it when people mess with the general order of things.”  Ethan shakes his head.

I speak up, “Is that why you stole it?”

“It’s better if you put it back.”

“It wasn’t always on Mount Nugget.”  I point out and get an impressive frown.  “Look, these keys like my stick belong on Isle Terrick.  Understand?  Now, we should bring them back not leave them for people to get interested in.”

“I’d rather we leave the fire key here.”  Cyro waves the stick my way getting another random lightning bolt.  Ethan glares collecting it again.  “Ethan, I know you want to solve things, but I am going and I am taking the key.”

“You have always been crazy.”  He picks up the fire key, but my wand stops him again.  The glare while stop is more impressive than his frown from before.

“I like Ethan.  We should bring him with us.”  Cyro nods for me to remove the key from his hands.  “How about it?”

“Before Kristen even returns?”  I look at the key on the tablet.  It cannot cast like that.  It is safe from hurting anyone.

Cyro shrugs glancing to the door where Kristen went.  “It’s either take him or watch him be tortured.  I’d rather my friends not be hurt.”

With little effort, I toss the elf over my shoulder.  Ethan will be another baggage I was not expecting.  “I guess we can heal up at the hot springs.  It was my plan anyway.”

“And we can talk him into coming with us.”  Cyro claps his hands.  “Let’s go.”

Outside we see the setting sun and my mind goes to Tait.  Will I see him tonight?  “I hope Cat visits soon.  She’ll have some idea how to control that thunder key.”

“Don’t ask for her to show.  I’m fine.”  He shoots the lightning into the sky by accident.  “I’ll figure out how to control it.

Laughing, I go into the air.  Cyro seems to have no trouble getting air borne.  With his key, I keep a bit more distance.  And for good reason.  It seems as we leave Mount Nugget, the thunder key brings with it thunder storms.  Soaking wet we end up at the hot springs.  They look very confused as we walk in with the storm.  Now I beg Cat is taking a break here.  But as is my normal level of luck, she is gone and not expected to return any time soon.

Ethan seems less than pleased we have him captured, but he is also not trying to flee when the spell dissipates.  His only chance is when we are distracted, which we tend not to be.  Plus Cyro really seems to like Ethan.

“I won’t run.  Sheesh, you took my life away from me again.”  He shows off his arm to me and the dragonfly mark.  “I am under her mark after all.  That’s how I have some level of control of magic.”

Nodding, I ask Sass behind the counter for a spring to heal in.  She suggests Grade A, which I accept.  “Would you like a companion?”

“No.  We’re good.”  I tell her as she walks us into the springs.

“How about a servant to keep your stock…?”

I cut her off.  “What will they do?”

Ethan taps my arm looking to Sass.  “Ask Marcello, if he isn’t busy, to serve us a meal in about a half hour.”  Sass nods patiently while showing us the room.  “Thanks, Sass.”

“Does every Hartliebe horded elf know about these springs?”  I ask him changing easily into their comfortable swim trunks.  Cyro and Ethan seem focused during the transition to the warm water.

“As far as I know.  Not to mention if another horded member shows up, they will be told about us here.”  Ethan slides into the water with little doubt in his mind.  “I managed to get some free time after being on that last stupid quest.”

“Were you with Cyro?”

“No.  Hartliebe wanted a red ring of iron perfect enough to give to another dragon.  Did you know a normal ring size for a dragon is about as big as me?”  He waves his arms wildly before him.  “It was a pain in the neck.  I should be free for another two months and wanted to solve the crisis of Mount Nugget.  Thanks to you, it’ll be solved in a very different manner.  I hope it will be safe.”  He glances to the thunder stick Cyro still has in his hand.  Cyro only has his feet in the water to keep the stick from touching the bubbling spring.

“I haven’t left the cave without Mother until recently.  Well, George did take me to…”

“I don’t want to here about him.”  Ethan glares at Cyro.  “You ended up letting my best friend of sixty years die because of your stupidity.  I’m surprised this one is handling you.”

“Cat threatened him.”  I tell Ethan.

“Good.  She should.  Your damn nurse needs to keep you in check.”

I hold up a finger.  “Nurse?”

Ethan purses his lips looking me over.  “You mean you didn’t know?  Cat was taken in to be Cyro’s nurse.  She has a decade on the baby.”  He thumbs at Cyro.  “Or did you not know the elf’s age?”

“I’ve learnt never to ask an elf’s age.”

“True.”  Ethan chuckles at my innocence.  “So are you surprised?”

“No.”  Glancing at the door in, I think of Cat and her circumstances.  She is called Dragon Cat here.  “She seems almost ready to be called Dragon.”

“Some already do.  Like here.”  Ethan points back out.  “She does not even have a noticeable mark anymore.”

“I know.”  I’ve seen her entire body.

“Feeling better?”  Ethan grins at me.

“Yeah.  The hot spring really helps take out the fire damage.”

“That key is nasty.”  He holds up his hands.  I can see the burn marks, even though they are mostly healed over.  “But why did you let it near your face?”

“I didn’t.”  Coughing I glance at Cyro.  The dragon is distracted by the stick deciding whether to put it down to enter the water fully.

“Oh.”  Ethan chuckles amused at my discomfort.  “Sucks to be his babysitter.”

“We’re using friend as our titles.  It’s better people don’t think I have real control over the baby dragon.  Or even know he is just a baby unless they are smart enough to understand that.”

“I get ya.”  Ethan slides further into the water.  “I hope Marcello comes with the food soon.  I’m hungry.  I haven’t eaten in days.  Even with the dragon power I still need to eat occasionally.”

“Me too.”  I glance to Cyro moving further into the water.  His stick is just in his reach, but also not in his hands.  So far it seems calm.


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

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