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
Renee and Dominik
The wait takes forever. During that time, I might’ve slept. I don’t really know. But I wasn’t fully aware. After some time I realize Cyro did not sit alone. And I do not mean Tait hatched without my notice. The silent little gnome managed to sneak to his side. Renee must think highly of the baby dragon.
Another unknown length of time has me stand up. “Fine, I’ll attack it with ice. How do I do that without hurting him or myself?”
Cyro purses his lips looking at me and the egg. “Ice ball?”
I had conquered some level of control of my fireball. I attempted a similar spell for ice and get nothing. “Well that’s odd. Normally it follows my desires.”
“Dragons have time, space, and fire magic. What other spells have you done?”
“A basic healing spell. And defense.” I frown staring at the wand. “Why doesn’t this work like the others?”
“You aren’t white. And your healing makes me think you’re not green.” Cyro looks over at the egg. “What spell could an elf do? A very basic easy cold spell…”
“Jay or Cat would be perfect to ask that question to. Not me. I have no magical training to speak of. What doesn’t work leaves me blank and confused.” I toss the wand down, but end up with it in my hand.
“I really wonder what type of dragon you are.” Cyro leans back. “The color options are limited, you know.”
“What part of I have no magical training did you not grasp?” I wave my hands at him. “Not even bonus dragon knowledge course. Once I could stop learning, I did. Ask me about beer. I can tell you everything you would like to know about beer. Don’t ask me about magic.” I drop to the ground staring down the egg. Cyro’s right, though, I must have a cold spell I can use.
“Tsk.” Cyro turns to Renee. “Don’t you think whining is so not cute.” The gnome giggles.
“You’re hitting on a little gnome girl. Are you sure you should be doing that?”
Cyro shrugs. “We’re both kids. Just because I’m older than both of you does not mean I feel older than either of you. I cannot even manage a fireball spell. You did. Fire Breathe. With control. You make me look like a fool.”
“You’re not a fool. Just inexperienced.” I inhale sharply. Inexperienced. That’s why I don’t know the spell I need here. “I really do not want to wait here forever, Cyro.”
“Well, then, think of the way we can get Tait out of here. If we bring out the egg, then we do not need to stay here.” Cyro holds a hand out for the egg, but refrains from touching the ice cold surface. “I’m not touching it for long. It can damage my fragile form.”
“It freezes you.”
Frowning, I shift back to my spot by the wall. “Hitting it with something hard wouldn’t work.”
“Dragon eggs do not break until the dragon says so. The shell is broken using both our magical prowess and our sharp teeth.” Cyro taps his teeth, even if the teeth in his mouth look weak. “Parents and other dragons can help. We cannot manage to help if we cannot manage a spell that will help him open.”
I close my eyes wanting to come up with an answer. I had no skill with magic as a child. Even though Cat explained I was always a Dragon Blood it did nothing for my training. My family did nothing to push me that way. It never clicked. And my spells are based with the magic of Hartliebe now. “So, what do I do?”
“Nothing unless it’s cold magic.” Cyro looks at Renee. “Or a foot layer to protect me from his cold while flying out of here. Still not sure how we can get out with the egg without me shifting and that would cause a cave in.”
“Okay, that’s out of the question, then.”
“Yeah. Kinda.” Cyro scratches his chin. “Renee, do you have no ideas?” She shakes her head pulling her knees up to her chin. “Yeah, didn’t think so.”
Sitting in silence does not help any of us. My mind flips through words associated to ice. Snow. Blizzard. Freeze. Icicle. Frozen. Cold. Winter. Frost. I stop blinking. “Frost.” The wand blinks off its light and forms a puff of cold ice crystals for frost. I stand up moving to the egg. The others watch me as I throw the newfound spell at the white egg. I take turns trying the others, but Frost looks to be the only one that works.
“What spell?” Cyro holds Renee trapped between his knees. The cold seeps in otherwise. Even I feel it. The spell makes the egg vibrate out more ice magic.
“Frost. I remember Jay telling me it was the first spell an elf learns. It helps protect life from the cold.”
“And helps death continue.” Cyro nods. “So you attempted and it worked.”
“Yeah.” A few more spells have the egg glowing white. I step back shivering in the cold. “How much longer?”
“Few minutes I hope. Tait’s the last birth and you did push it forward.” Cyro stands picking up Renee. “When you see the shell break fly out of the hole.” Cyro takes the initiative to leave before the egg begins the final breaking. I keep up my spells.
Glow has me turn away. As I keep my wand held out and my head turned aside, the shell cracks. I hear it and back off pulling in. My ability to fly has been improved by Cyro. Keeping up with the baby dragon isn’t easy. I can leave elves in the dust and I have. But still I am not fast enough to escape the birth of Tait. Before I can get airborne, a massive piece of shell hits me dropping me to the ground unsure which direction is up.
“Sorry.” Tait mutters above me. In the half glow from his egg still in the room, he is nothing more than a shadowy figure. “Are you okay, Dominik?”
I rub my eyes waiting for the glow to dissipate. When it does, I yip. Above me about the same size as me, but in full dragon form, is Tait. His hand held out for me has clawed tips. The coloration, which I know differs for every dragon, ranges between a grey to a pure white. I crawl back shocked by the vision.
“Dominik? It’s just me. I’m no different.” Tait chuckles tapping his chest. “Besides corporal.”
“Yeah.” I shake it off. Of course he looks like a dragon. He is a dragon. “Cyro and Renee are out the hole.” I point up at the hole in the ceiling. The dust settles and it may be bigger than it was. “Let’s go.”
Tait nods helping me to stand. “Alright. I still haven’t flown as a being yet. I may be a little poor.”
Chuckling I escape out the hole and into the bright daylight. “Is the ship still here?” I look around and find Cyro and Renee playing in the grass some distance away. “Hey, guys! Tait’s born.” I thumb to the hole as the dragon flies into the sky.
Unlike me, who landed upon escape, Tait kept going. He looks to not have a grasp as to how to fly in different directions or even how to land. “Well that may be a problem.”
Cyro smiles at Renee before flying into action. The older dragon helps Tait reach the ground, although they end up rolling to land instead of a normal landing. “Tait. How’s it feel?”
“Living?” Tait looks at his body while he stands up. “I… I wish I had clothes like you.” He coughs looking at Renee then away.
“You look like a dragon. You can walk on all four if you want.” Cyro shrugs. “Look, you can turn into like an elf or human. Just see an image in your head of something other than your dragon and fall into the image.”
“What?” Tait blinks.
“That’s how I feel about it.” Cyro chuckles holding his hands out to Renee. “Let’s go see if the boat is still in harbor.”
“It could be.” I look at the sky. Keeping busy with the spell made me lose track of time. Could they be gone already? Maybe. “Let’s go.” I take to wing flying ahead. Until I notice Tait not flying in the right direction. Since Cyro had Renee trapped in his arms, I figured the new dragon would be my problem. Tait does not slow us down too much. Not enough for us to not see the ship bobbing in the water still attached to the shore.
We fly down to see the rigging unhooking. I grin. “Just in time.”
Derrick looks us over and then at the bonus people we have. “Welcome back and welcome aboard. We will be using dragon time to get back. Cyro I will need your help.”
“Have Dominik help too.”
“He’s a kid. You’re a dragon. Several decades old.” Derrick points to the cabin. “I will use him only if I deem it required.”
“What about me?” Tait points to himself.
“Nope.” Derrick looks up and spots something coming back. “But Kevin will stay on deck. He doesn’t fit inside without shifting. I hope he lives.”
Tait shrinks back. “I will happily wait below deck.”
I step forward looking at Derrick. “I can take the abuse. I just don’t think I can help quell anything. I’m defensive not offensive.”
Derrick hisses looking around. The Mad Hatters are putting everything inside where it can be safe. “You tempt me, kid. But no elf can handle what I request. The demon gets drained to near death.”
Cyro pats my back. “It’s better you watch those below. Protect from within.”
“Yeah. Probably.” I move to the cabins to hide along with the crew. I spot a gnome I don’t know almost immediately. I say nothing about it slipping inside. If I can be useful it would be keeping the kids safely below deck. Tait has no trouble hiding among the elves and gnomes. I notice him chat calmly with a gnome he met. Tait is safe here. I can let him alone for the trip out to sea.
The dragon offspring, which I feel kin to after everything I’ve dealt with, are playing in the kitchen. I shake my head at the thought. Not kitchen, galley. “Hey guys.”
“You made it!” Alena runs over to me crushing me in a hug. That was unexpected.
“Stop flirting with my sister.” Rich glares at me. Talk about reverse treatment. The kid should be complaining about not being upstairs. What happened during my travel around the isle? “Alena leave him alone.” Alena releases me sticking her tongue out at her brother.
Melanie sighs from her spot staring at the empty counter. “Dad will be back soon. Mom said so.”
“No concern with death.” Katelyn adds. “Now what will we do while we wait.”
Exhausted and finally without a task, I slide down the wall for a nice comfortable sitting position. “I could go for a nap.”
Alena slips to my side cuddling against my warmth. I do nothing to her while settling in for a short rest. The howling winds beyond the ship gives me enough noise to fall deep asleep.