(This takes place shortly after the opening scene. Except this is Alex’s side of dealing with his decision to save her. Everything comes forward during 6th Grade, so this won’t be new to you if you finished it already.)
Alex Under Pressure
^Verde!^ Alex works through the papers in the cottage. He glances to the door to be certain Natalie didn’t follow. She didn’t. A check against the wards has her still before Senior Tower.
^I swear I told you yelling makes no sense inside our heads. Stop acting the child.^
^Whether you look at my dragon age or human one, I’m still a child. If my uncle gave me title, I couldn’t wield it even until I turn sixteen in a few months.^
^Don’t care. Stop making stupid errors like yelling into the mind link. Sheez. Did you get through those papers I sent you? Some have to go back to Charles.^
Alex scans the papers. Some of this are royal documents? Which ones? Why? How did Verde…? Why would he hand them off all willy nilly? Alex growls at the papers. ^I have something you’ll be interested in.^
^Unlikely. Go ahead.^
^I found another Dragon Rider.^
Verde doesn’t answer. It sounds closer to ‘and?’ he always responded with. Such a pain.
^She is ten years old and has bright blue eyes that you keep telling me to search for.^
I glance out the window. ^She has no father noted on record. You can easily step in and-^
^You act like everything is easy. Nothing about that sounds easy. It sounds annoying.^
^Again, shouting in the link… Give me a moment.^ Verde huffs into Alex’s head and appears at his side arms crossed.
“Ah!” Alex jumps. He lands on a chair instead of the floor. He stares at the imposing figure of the lord in his cottage. No one should be able to get in. He’ll need to figure out blocking spells. Denying a dragon isn’t easy.
“Act like a proper dragon, Alex. You know teleportation. Don’t jump sky high when you see it.” Verde sighs waving a hand over the papers. “You made a mess of everything.”
“You hid my stuff with your stuff.”
“Take my offerings with value.” Verde stares at Alex.
Alex nods to the window. “She’s out there. A student here. Those bright blue eyes you have. Plus clear dragon blood.”
“Kill people level?”
“Destroyed a tower. Not sure if anyone died. Records aren’t perfect for slaves.”
Verde turns back to Alex. “Slave?”
Alex moves the book to the center to show off the information on Natalie Greene. “Her mother is as lacking too. It seems almost strange.” Alex taps his chin. “I don’t like it. She seems… She matches in a way to me. I could swear she’s a Dragon Rider just looking at her. But I didn’t realize I had to step forward so quickly.”
Verde stops reading to stare at the youth. “What do you mean?”
Alex rubs his head. “I put my job on the line to make sure she can pay. I can’t let her just disappear from this safety net.”
“You hand over Cynthia’s freedom for this girl.” Verde wags his fingers in the direction Natalie was in.
Alex grinds his teeth. “Cyn is… She’ll find her own freedom. She always has. Yes, this would make her life better and more fulfilling, but I will repay her in any way possible if this falls through. I can’t let that girl… She has no one.”
Verde leans forward to pat Alex’s hand. “You know that feeling, don’t you?”
“At home, I always was… I’m not royal. Dad should’ve been. I was supposed to be born a royal. And Uncle won’t even let me be known as close family?” Alex shakes his head ignoring the tears. “Then I thought, maybe I could prove something to the dragons only to be called False One.”
“Did warn you.” Verde nods leaning back in a chair. “My siblings aren’t out to hurt you though, so I’d consider them safe enough.”
“Ha!” Alex circles Natalie’s name in his book with his finger. “She has no one now. Can’t we do something? She’s a proper mage. Needs training, but every moment you see her, you’d know. That’s a Dragon Rider. Natalie Greene is a Dragon Rider.”
Verde sits up reviewing Alex carefully. “You are so certain of this. You sacrifice your job here as gardener as well as Cynthia’s safety net and freedom from court duties. She is worth that much to you.”
Alex closes his mouth wishing it was easy to answer that. To have a proper response.
“If she truly matters that much, I can agree. Under one very clear condition.” Verde stands up.
Alex looks up at the imposing figure. Verde isn’t one to play hard ball. Typically if he tries, he wins. This isn’t gonna be nice.
“You and her become engaged. So both of you can care for the castle together.”
“Engaged?” Alex chokes.
“You have never minded your cousins being engaged.” Verde taps the table. “I expect an answer soon. Perhaps there is another option that can be found before the school year ends. I cannot see the future. Perhaps you should chat with Glinda about it. Maybe she can put your mind at ease.” Verde disappears. ^Refrain from yelling in my head. I’ll expect an answer to my proposition soon.^
“Ugh.” Alex covers his head with his hands. A shiver runs across his body at the idea being put before him. He never thought that part of royalty would be thrusted before him. To be engaged before even claiming adulthood. “Is she worth it?” Alex gets up and finds the ground where she was is empty of people.
A quick check on her position has her with Cynthia in Senior Tower.
“Cyn…” Alex exhales. Cynthia and Charles were engaged when they were true children. “Natalie isn’t really a true child anymore. She’s already double digits.” To become engaged? Without knowing much about the person?
Alex just wants to curse off every single thing in existence. “I can’t believe I’m going to agree to this. Verde’s right when he calls me a fool. Or maybe we need a new word that’s worse than fool. Because that’s how I feel agreeing to be engaged to a random stranger.” Grunting, Alex lets the teleport take him to the castle deep in the mountains. Best tell Verde now before he chickens out.
I hope you enjoyed Alex’s struggles. I do find him adorable.
Any questions don’t be afraid to comment.
Dragon Rider 6th Grade
Family-less Natalie is being kicked out of school.
Alex puts his job on the line to stop it. “Anyone stated Dragon Rider by me will receive a second chance.”
I’m a Dragon Rider?
#Fantasy #ya #selfpublish #indieauthor