SS The Dragon’s Quest for Hopper:: Chapter 42 : Alena 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]

Alena and Dominik

The poking wakes me up.  Blinking at the bright sun, I find a small child glaring down at me.  She would not normally be able to look down at me, if I wasn’t sleeping on the deck.  “Hi?”

She pops up frightened and runs off.  Coming to the situation, I realize who the girl was: Alena.  Derrick and Aimee’s youngest daughter.  I don’t think I ever heard her talk.  Maybe Melanie would know more about the odd small child.

Dusting off, not that it’s needed, I make my way to Derrick.  He has his sight set on making a meal.  Not wanting to get coerced into helping him, I gulp.  “Hey, Dragon Derrick.”

“Derrick is fine.”  He glances at me.  “Cyro went about telling the dragon kids about your ability to deny a siren.  They were clueless as to what that entails.”  He stops to focus on me and my cringe.  “So, exhausted after that level of magic?”

“It was magic?”

“Auto defense is still magic.  That’s probably the only stuff you’ll do easily.”  He chortles back to his cooking.  “Grab a knife and chop.  We can chat while you do so.”

“I…”  Frowning, I give in to his command.  More like a demand.  Whatever, fishing is probably not my desired occupation right now.  “Did Cyro really tell everyone?”

“Not everyone.  Just the dragons.”  He shrugs.  “There’s no point in telling the elves.  They don’t understand it.  At least the kids will realize at some point what it means.  Especially Rich, who may be old enough to feel the siren’s effects.”

“You aren’t taken.”

“Was Cyro?”

“No.”

“Compared to me, he’s…”

“Childish.  And weak.  And inexperienced.”  I nod working effortlessly to chop up the food before me.  I take no issue as to what it is, but it’s fresh and edible.  “So, my ability to deny her… means I’m turning?”

“Bingo.”  Derrick chuckles tapping the butt of his knife on my head.  “You may earn that Dragon title faster than people meet you.”

“But…”

“You’re twenty years in.  A hundred is a normal turn.  You could be earlier or later depending on your training.”

“I feel lost and confused.”

“Most do when they are the equivalent to an egg.”  Derrick pushes a bowl of mush my way.  “Hungry?”

As I stare at the mush, my stomach growls.  “Yes.”

“Well?”

Chowing down leaves me unable to ask the elder dragon about his kids.  When I finish I find Alena staring at me again.  I glance to Derrick, but her father is ignoring the situation.  “Hello.”

She purses her lips glancing at her father.  When Derrick does nothing, Alena moves closer to him.  “Hi…”  The soft squeak may have come from elsewhere not the child.  Soon, she hides behind her father.  I could only watch her disappear.  When I walk around to find her, she is long gone.

Derrick hands me the knife again.  “Little Alena seems interested in you.  Be wary of hurting my daughter.”

“I have my own trouble before adding little kids.”  Back to cooking allows me to relax at least a little.

“I heard you’re claimed.  She’s pretty?”

“I’m claimed?”  I slam the knife into my finger.  Watching my finger bounce away has a delayed pain reaction.  Cursing while holding the hand does little to mitigate the damage.

Derrick stops me from flailing around.  “Hold still.  I don’t want to clean blood up.”  A few choice words and the finger returns to its position.  “Better?”

I stare at the lack of injury.  His healing puts Cat’s too shame.  “That’s…”

“Dragon magic.  You may be stronger than your average elf, but you have a lot to learn.”  He turns back to cooking as if nothing odd happened.  “Even Cyro’s nurse is just an elf.  She could never match a real dragon.”  He puffs out his chest.  “My goal is to see how quickly I can turn my children into real dragons.  Rich is about twice as far as a normal turn.  Katelyn nearly so.”

“Um…”  I still hold my hand confused by the absent of anything that shows I just cut a finger off.

“Good luck, kid.”  Derrick holds out a knife, but I refuse him this time.  “I can understand why.  Go get some fresh air.  You can help when you calm down.”

Ignored by the elder dragon gives me the chance to leave and find the deck.  The crew has lots of actions going on, but I see none of them.  My mind whirls on my not injured finger.  And then my mind clicks back to why I cut it off.  “I’m claimed?”

“It’s the elf dragon!”  Rich calls out and soon I am covered in flames.  He lands before me dousing the flames as I hold my fire protection spell up.  “Sorry… I can’t control it…. You weren’t hurt?”

“Yeah.  After I got hit by Cyro’s blast, I got a spell to protect me.”  Huffing, I stare down at the boy.  He is just barely reaching the point of siren’s desires.  Will he be tested by them here?  “Why call you call me dragon elf anyway?  I’m Dominik.”

“Sorry.”  Rich kicks the ground.  “I knew you were strong.  I wanna learn from you.”

“You have more spells and skills than me.”  I back off.  “I’m barely aware of my blood.”

“But you’re twenty years in.”  Rich whimpers.  “I figured…”

“I was turned at birth, like you.  But I didn’t have a father train me.”  I wave my hands about.  “You can use fire breathe.  I can only get burnt.”

“Not true!”  Rich catches my arm up.  “Come fly with me.”

“Fly?  Here?  We’ll waste energy.”  The ship will take us to the isle.  Flying in will be too difficult and a waste of energy.

“Pleeeeeeeeaaaaaaseeeee.”  Rich tugs me down to his level.  “I promise to stay close.”

“That makes me want to fly with you less.”  I free myself thinking the gallery would be a better spot than here.  Fresh air would be better if there wasn’t little boys entertained by you.  Rich stomps the boat and I can feel the tremble.  I pick him up glaring.  The crew turns to the pair of us.  “You cannot attack the ship just because life isn’t going your way.”

“I can beat you up and force you to come.”  He holds up his fists.  His punch hurts more than a friendly tap, but my defensives make it offer no real pain.  “Put me down.”

“Let’s go see your father.”  I carry him back to Derrick.  Alena has a lollipop in one hand while sitting near her father.  It distracts me, but not Rich.

“Dad, tell him to let me go.”

“I doubt he did that to be mean.  Were you the one who hit the ship?  It’ll be a problem if the ship goes down.  I am the only one who can teleport and most cannot breathe underwater.”

“But…”  Rich whines.  I plop him before his father.  “I want to fly with Dominik.”

“Stop being a baby.  I said I’d fly with you later.  I know you want to get a little training in.”  Derrick glances at me.  “Could you take Alena out, Dominik?  I don’t want her to see what I have to do to Rich.”

“Ah…”  I nod the child to the door.  She easily moves.  When the door closes behind us, I turn to Alena.  However the small child has disappeared.  Her silent staring and fear will be something to watch her.  “It’s not as if she’s creepy, but I kinda don’t like it.”


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

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