Cedrik rubbed his eyes and looked around. The room was dark, that didn’t tell anything about the time of day.
“Cedrik, you must get up! Our scouts have reported that Sucron is bringing a large army to this cave. Your dragon is already ready for the evacuation.” Ben said hurriedly.
Cedrik sat up and stretched. His eyes wildly looked for his sword. He found it and put his belt on, then attached the scabbard to his belt.
“No, put it on your shoulder, it’s going to be a rough ride.” Grere said as Cedrik stopped and attached it to his shoulder.
“Where are we evacuating to?” Cedrik asked as he pulled his boots on.
“To the island of Troywen, the capital city and fortress of Tire. It’s the safest place you could ever be in these times. Besides, it’s the closest fortress.”
Cedrik picked up his bag of belongings and followed Ben out of the hut. The cavern was dimly lit, and the dragon riders were running about gathering their maps with their secret bases on them and putting them on the dragons.
The dragons were in a circle, silently talking about the attack. Cedirk made his way over to Grere, his dragon gave him a toothy grin and a silent hello. Cedrik turned his gaze to the other dragons and observed the colors, as he didn’t have much time to look at them before. The white one must be an ice dragon, he thought.
He saw and found out the dragon classifications from Grere; white was ice, blue was electricity, yellow was heat, brown was rock, and too many others to name here.
Ben mindspoke to all of them that it was time to go, then Cedrik climbed up and sat on Grere. The other riders did last-minute preparations and did the same. Then one-by-one each of them went through the hole in the cavern. The dragon rider’s faces were ashen, knowing they would die sooner or later now that their cave was found.
When it was Cedrik and Grere’s turn, his dragon walked through and emerged in the dark wood.
When the last of the dragons walked solemnly out, they all flapped their scaly wings and emerged above the forest. The wind slapped Cedrik in the face and he fully woke up. They flew over miles and miles of green trees, and Cedrik wished he could enjoy the view. He could see a dark blur on the horizon, and guessed correctly that it was Sucron’s army. An hour that seemed like forever passed, and Cedrik could finally see that his guess was indeed correct. He gulped.
“There are at least ten thousand grogs surrounding the forest down there! All for thirty-something dragons?”
“There are more than thirty dragons here, Cedrik. Look around.”
Cedrik took a glance at the other thirty or so dragons in front of him. His eyes bulged and he gulped, then grinned. There were at least one hundred other dragons here!
“I believe Sucron likes to be prepared. The other three-quarters of the dragons were patrolling, hunting and scouting.”
Cedrik glanced down at the army, and hoped they were out of arrow reach. Apparently they weren’t. A volley of arrows struck one of their dragons, and he fell fast to land on top of dozens of grogs. Another fell, then another.
“Try to fly higher.”Cedrik suggested.
Grere nodded, gave Cedrik a grin, and flew higher than the rest of the dragons. Fortunately, they were out of arrow reach now. Unfortunately, there was a cloud separating them from the rest.
Ten minutes later, they descended from the clouds.
To find the army marching north. Towards Troywen.
“This is not good Cedrik.”
“You can say that again. Where is the rest of our camp?”
Grere curved his neck upward, stared at Cedrik, and said: “This is not good?”
Cedrik looked at him strangely, then understood. “It’s a figure of speech, Grere.”
Grere uncurved his neck. “I will never understand “human figures of speech.” Nor do I want to.” He sighed. “I can see the rest of the fleet about a mile ahead. I don’t think they know that Sucron has not given up.”
An hour later, they stumbled onto Troywen’s dragon landing platform. Cedrik couldn’t admire the great white city, as he was trying to deliver his message. Fast. He wildly looked around, then was relieved to see his father running towards him.
“Cedrik! You made it! I thought we had lost you in the arrows.” Gunter said as he ran up, panting.
“We flew above the clouds.” Cedrik jumped lightly off Grere and landed with his legs like springs supporting him, as Ben had instructed.
“I should have thought of that long before we went through the arrows!” Gunter said mournfully.
“Sucron’s army is going to be here by tomorrow night.”
Gunter pulled out his sword halfway, looked at it, and put it back. “I know. It is very unfortunate. We all will be ready. As soon as I reclaim the throne of Tire.”
A screech filled the air. Then another. Father and son looked up in wonder, than the father’s eyes widened. He started running for the citadel, dragging Cedrik behind him. “What is it?” Cedrik asked his dragon.
“Some form of flying creature. Evil, by the sound of it.” Cedrik turned around and started running. He felt a gust of wind on his neck, so he knew his dragon took off.
Gunter entered the conversation. “Scrells. We must be careful, they have unbelievably good hearing. They are smaller than a bird, yet bigger than a dragonfly. They can sting like a wasp, have poison like a snake, and they make good spies. Sucron probably sent them ahead to spy on us.” Cedrik did not ask any more questions, for he did not like fearing things for what they really were.
They came to one of the five gates, and ran through just before it closed. The city was in an uproar. He looked up, and saw that the sky was black. A few soldiers fired arrows, but they only killed one or two, if any. “There are thousands of them!” Cedrik exclaimed mentally. Half an hour later, through many gates and up hundreds of stairs, they made it to the citadel. A black shadow flew towards Gunter, and stung him in the chest.
“Aurrghhh!” He stumbled, fell to his knees, and lay on the ground, while breathing heavily. “Cedrik. Remember what you have learned. Act on it. The Screll has a sting that poisons the body, and kills the person instantly. Get inside the citadel, and reclaim the throne, for I cannot.”
Cedrik stood there, unbelieving. Shocked. In one swift stroke, the only family he had had was lost in an instant.
“Go! Now!” Gunter suddenly stopped breathing, and closed his eyes. Gunter’s body gave out a convulsion, as the poison took his toll. Cedrik just stood there. He faintly heard someone calling him, telling him to go on.
“Cedrik! Cedrik! Cedrik move now!!!”
He stumbled. He regained his senses and made a deliberate effort to go on. He had to go on. He had no choice. He ran up the stone steps, and made it to the large grey tower on top of the hill. Black blurs whizzed everywhere. He sprinted inside and closed the door as soon as he was in. He heard a thump on the door.
“Do not open the door! It’s the scrells!”
Cedrik realized something. He had been fighting for friends, family, and the other hundred dragons. Now he was finding that he wanted revenge. Revenge for what had been done to him, to his friends, what had been done to his family.
“Revenge may be the quick way to victory, but it is not the right way.” Ben said. “You must find that the greatest enemy is always yourself. You could become like Sucron. Do you want that? To be his servant? Succeed him? Do not be so hasty to deal out revenge, or you will become like him.”
Cedrik looked around, and walked further into the corridor. He found himself in the throne room, empty. He glanced at the magnificent throne, grimaced that he would be the next person to sit on it, and looked around. Statues of dead kings lined the room, and paintings of their great deeds were on the walls.
He looked at the statues, that were completely white. The same crown was on every head, but what they were holding was different. One had a gear in one hand, and a book in the other. Symbols for technology and wisdom. Others had other things, such as olive leaves for peace, and a staff for traveler, or a scepter for someone who ruled his people well. He stood there, in awestruck wonder, when his eyes came across his father’s statue. It looked younger, nobler somehow, and he stood with a dragon egg in one hand and a sword in the other. A symbol for dragon rider, and warrior.
Ben ran into the room, panting. “Cedrik. There you are. You are the last hope for Tire. You must be crowned king! If you don’t accept the throne, he will take advantage of that and pick off Tire’s cities, one by one.” His face straightened in sympathy. “I know your father was just killed today, he was a good friend to me too. But you cannot allow yourself to be self-centered in this way.” He backed off a bit. “It’s your decision. I’ll let you have some time to think it over. I’ll be in the Hall of Records if you need me.”
He turned around, and started walking away.
“Cedrik, what are you doing? This is your only chance. The whole world could be destroyed because of your decision. You knew your father for only a little of your life. I have not known my family at all.
Cedrik looked up, a glint of determination in his eyes. “Ben?”
He stopped. “Yes?”
“I’ll do it.”
Chapter 5 is not finished yet as I am writing this, so please be patient. I will post it ASAP.