Cedrik was dimly aware of being locked in a prison cell as he laid on the floor. Ben nodded.
"It was about time you woke up. I have a plan to get out, but I hope that the sword is nearby."
"Why do you care about a rusty old sword that just happened to belong to my father?" Cedrik said groggily. “And how come you already had a plan? I just got in here.”
Ben leaned closer. "Because it was your fathers. And he was once a king of Dagor.” He leaned back against the stone wall. “To the second question, you were being analyzed by the head scientist here to figure out what line of dragon keeper you came from.”
“My father was the king of Dagor? What used to be the most powerful country in all of Tire?
“Yes.” He sighed, “You are. I am getting very tired. You slept through everything, so I had to do three hours worth of thinking, knocking, and looking at the wall." Ben said while shaking his head.
"I still don't see why we absolutely need the sword.”
“You may not understand now, Cedrik Penning, but you will understand later. Your father will be able to tell the tale better than I ever could.”
Cedrik looked confused. "My father is dead. I saw him die."
"He isn't. He will explain everything when you meet him."
"You, and I and my father, and the rest of the remnant," He pointed to Ben and then himself, "are the only ones left, right?"
"Correct. My dragon died in the war between the continents." Ben said sadly.
"Now, mister know-it-all, what are we supposed to cut the wall with?" Cedrik remarked playfully. “It is, kind of,” He knocked the wall, “solid rock.”
“You shall see. I believe that I remember the ‘fetch’ spell. Hmmm…” He muttered seemingly unintelligible words, than Cedrik gasped as he saw his sword and scabbard float towards the edge of the cell. He grabbed it out of mid-air, slipped it through the bars, and returned it to his belt.
“Are you expecting to cut a rock wall with a—"
“Wait…" Ben held up his hand. "Three-one-thousand. Two-one-. "
Suddenly, a red glow emanated from one of the walls, in one spot, then it slowly moved around and made a circle. Then a dragon burst through, with gravel and stone chips on his back. Shaking them off, he turned quickly.
“Quicker than usual, aren’t you, Grere?” Ben said.
"I'd rather both of you get on before those newly-equipped lasers on the wall shoot us all down." Grere insisted impatiently.
Cedrik and Ben jumped over the remains of the wall, climbed onto Grere, ready for the sudden burst of speed that would take them far away from this fortress. Grere crouched, then released a mighty flap of his wings and was in the air. Shouts of, “They’re getting away!” and “After them!” sounded behind them, but had no meaning, for they were already far away.
The lasers Grere had talked about fired on them. Green, blue, orange, red flashed next to them. Grere dodged three, but couldn't avoid the fourth. It splashed onto his wings, creating a red glow. Grere grunted, but pressed on. They went on for another hour or so, then Grere landed awkwardly in a large clearing, with some types of catapult contraptions.
What Cedrik felt from Grere kept him quiet for a while. Fifteen dragons were in the forest, with another fifteen dragon riders.
Ben jumped off Grere then walked into the very middle of the circle. He waited thirty seconds, and then he spoke.
"Mephelosheth fanuhel!" He shouted.
He means, "We come in peace, and the dragon is a friend." They aren't afraid of you, Cedrik, because you are a youngling.” Grere mindspoke.
“Boy, sometimes you should at least show me a little respect.” Cedrik said back jokingly.
First, there was hesitation in the dragons' advance. Then they slowly came forward. All fifteen were different colors. Yellow, blue, orange, green, and purple just to name a few. He noticed that there were no fire dragons, probably because they were all evil. The dragon rider that appeared to be the leader was a man, appearing to be the age of in the forties. The man wore black clothes, and Cedrik almost thought he disappeared when he went into the shadows. He was on a black dragon, one of the famed speed dragon class.
The man greeted Ben from his dragon.
"What brought you here? I thought the UC executed you. How did you escape? Who are they?" The man asked.
"An important errand, and this youngster rescued me, well, sort of. He and his dragon were rescuing me, when we got caught, his dragon melted a hole in the wall, and here we are. Oh, his name? His name is Cedrik, and his dragon is Grere." Ben stated.
"Did you say Cedrik?" The man said mysteriously.
"Yup. Meet your long-lost son, Gunter." Ben said.
Gunter jumped off his dragon, running toward Cedrik with his arms outstretched. He engulfed Cedrik in a huge bear hug. “Dad?” Cedrik asked mischievously.
“Yes, son?” Gunter replied.
“Oh yeah. Sorry. Thought you were five again.” Cedrik’s father whispered as he walked backwards away.
“No, I meant that I can understand why you left me now.”
“Excuse me gentlemen, but if my sources are correct, we need to move right now, because there’s bound to be a search party coming to find us.” Ben said.
“Bring ‘em on!” Cedrik’s dragon shouted.
“That would be illogical, nephew.” The speed dragon thought quietly.
“Now I have a speed dragon that lives for logic as my only living relative. Can’t get any better.” Grere’s voice dripped sarcasm as he rolled his huge eyes.
“Grere?” His uncle thought.
Cedrik jumped as a black arrow came out of the forest and bounced off Cedrik’s scabbard, landing softly on the ground.
Sorry to interrupt, but let’s get out of here! Ben’s thoughts came into everyone’s brains. Cedrik jumped onto Grere, and found that everyone else was on their dragons. Ben was with Cedrik’s father, on his dragon.
“Logical.” Gunter said.
“Please be quiet, It takes a lot to stay on this dragon with the rider jabbering.” Ben thought.
“I’m not jabbering, I haven’t said a word.” Gunter cracked a smile as he replied.
The sixteen dragons leapt into the air. All sixteen looked down to see what they were going to fight. They saw a battalion of troops, all of them having swords and crossbows. All sixteen dragons also decided it was time to move instead of fight.
“Where are we going?” Cedrik asked.
“To the Cave of Shallows.” Someone said.
The journey continued for an hour or two, and after it they saw a large cliff.
They all headed south towards the cliff, next to the Cave of Shallows.
An hour later, they landed in a clearing, and beyond the clearing was a hole in the cliff, just big enough for a dragon to pass through.
“I’ll go through first, Cedrik will go last, and the rest of you in the middle.” Gunter announced. He and his dragon passed through without much trouble. Cedrik waited unceasingly for his turn. Finally, Cedrik went through with Grere easily. When they made it through, Cedrik’s mouth dropped open. This wasn’t just a small hole-in-the-wall cavern hideout, this was a huge fortress!
There were twenty more dragon riders, with dragons. They were in colors that Cedrik never knew about, like very dark brown, and whitish green.
The cavern itself was fifty feet high, and he could barely make out the ceiling from the little light.
“We must hurry; they have already started the negotiations. The ambassadors of Nahor and Tire have just arrived.” Said a dragon rider, apparently a leader.
Cedrik jumped off Grere and jogged, following the three leaders. They passed through an ancient-looking cave, with strange markings on the walls. An old wooden door stood in front of them, and inside, there were sounds of men talking.
When he walked through, he saw three men and two dragon riders. They turned their heads to the newcomers, and one of the men jumped from his seat and exclaimed, “Is that him? Is he the heir?” While pointing at Gunter. One of the dragon riders waved him away, and the man sat down.
“Yes.” Said Gunter.
“Anyway, did Tire agree to assault Sucron?” Ben interrupted.
The man that exclaimed Cedrik was the heir slowly stood up. “Tire pledges it’s troops to the King.” He then sat down again.
“And does Nahor agree as well?”
Another well dressed man stood up. “Nahor does not recognize the King, nor pledge it’s allegiance to the crown.”
Gunter’s eyes looked as if they were inflamed. “Then you shall stand alone!” He barked, and the room suddenly grew dark and cold.
The person from Nahor sat down quickly and avoided looking at Gunter again.
The room lit up again, and the ambassadors prepared to leave. Cedrik chanced a glance up at his father. His father was not in the greatest mood. He decided that maybe he should leave. He started toward the door as the ambassadors were walking through.
“Cedrik.” His father said.
Cedrik stopped in his tracks.
“Sit down, and you will learn why you are one of the heirs to the throne of Tire.”
Cedrik turned, walked over to one of the many chairs in the room, and sat down. The chairs weren’t very comfortable, but they were better than the stone floor.
“I was once the King of Tire, the only dragon rider King since before Tire and Nahor was even established. I did not know my father, but I was told that my father died in the war between the continents with Sucron.
Apparently the King was good friends with my father, for he adopted me as his son after he heard, as he was old, that his other sons died in other wars. In a battle against fifty thousand grogs, through his last breath, he told me and my dragon to take care of Tire, and let no evil person take control of it. Years later, I married your mother, and then you were born a few years after that.
Sucron was rising in power much faster than anyone had expected. We couldn’t do anything to stop it. I felt that the fate of Tire was in the hands of dragon riders. I gathered as many dragons and dragon riders as I could, and put them here. You had dragon rider blood in you, so I searched for a dragon egg for years.
“I found the egg, one of the hundred eggs in the dragon clutch that was supposedly destroyed by Sucron. I gave it to you, and it hatched immediately. Then I was attacked by Sucron himself, and got stabbed. I couldn’t heal the stab with my powers, and I was about to die when a friend came and put me back into fighting shape. I am only here because of that friend.” He looked at Ben.
“Well I wasn’t about to let you just lay there and die.” Ben said rhetorically.
Cedrik didn’t say anything. He had a lot to think about. He yawned.
“I guess It’s time for someone to eat and go to bed, huh?” Gunter said with a slight smile tugging on his face.
“Yeah.” Cedrik said and yawned again. It was the last thing he remembered until the next morning.
Stay tuned for chapter 4!