Chapter 1

1748 Words
Note: This is a darker fantasy, not following the "typical" dragon plots. Be aware of described violence, k*dnapping, abuse, and death. -Ladon- It’s dark … all around me. So dark. I can hear voices, some small, some darker. I know who belongs to who, but I wish I didn’t. I just want to get out. I just want to get away, but I can’t. I’m tied … and I have nowhere to escape to. I’m trapped … No … Please … Not again … “Ladon!” I sat up fast, sweat covering my body. It took me a moment to realize I wasn’t there, but in The Red Desert, with Carter and Mefan. Carter was banging his hand on my door, telling me to get the f*ck up, which didn’t really help with my mood. Another horrible night. I wished I could sleep better. I wished the nightmares would disappear, but they never really did. I just learned to put it all in the back of my mind, and not bother others with it. When I was younger, I needed Carter to be around me to help me go back to sleep or even sleep at all, but I didn’t want it to continue to stay that way. I had hoped as I grew older, stronger, and a better fighter, I wouldn’t be haunted like this, but I never got better. “Come on, Ladon! Ashes is here, and if you have sneaked one of Mefan’s assassins in there with you, I don’t want to be the one explaining it to him.” I looked annoyed at the door. Carter always came up with something so st*pid. Just because he was f*cking the God of Darkness, didn’t mean I was f*cking his assassins. What the hell was wrong with that guy? “F*ck off, Carter,” I said and grabbed a pillow before throwing it at the door, but just as I did, Carter opened it, so it ended up hitting him on the chest. “Ouch,” he said with no emotions and a smile on his lips. It didn’t hurt, he loved to joke around. “Get dressed,” he said. “No, I’m sleeping,” I said and laid down again. “We both know you aren’t.” “I actually was,” I told him. “Fine, I will just tell your brother you won’t go flying with him. I’m sure he will leave without complaining and won’t come drag your sorry ass out of here himself.” I groaned annoyed and put my hands over my face, before dragging them down and finally sitting up. Carter looked so satisfied with himself, and I just wanted to punch that st*pid smile off his lips. “You are so f*cking annoying, you know that, right?” “A gift of mine.” “More like a curse.” “Just get dressed, prince,” he said. Mefan had always loved calling Carter that, and now they both enjoyed just calling me prince. I gave him the finger before throwing the blanket away and getting dressed. “You know Mefan can help, if those nightmares are coming back,” Carter said. I had not always been very honest about my nightmares and often let people believe that they had stopped for short or longer periods, but they never went away. “I’m fine. I told you that,” I said, and pulled a shirt over my head. “I’m just saying-“ “Carter! I’m fine.” He held up his hands and backed out of the room, before walking away. The thing about Carter and Mefan was that they knew when to push and when not to. It was different with my brother. I knew he wanted to know why I had changed so much, and so did Laelia. I knew they would push me too far, and I didn’t want to put any of us in that position, so I had decided to stay in The Red Desert, which suited me much better. Ashes often came by though, so we could go flying together, but lately we had also had some trouble with some humans. We had hoped to have dealt with them already, but it hadn’t been so easy, and every time it seemed like we had taken care of them, more appeared. Where the hell were all these people coming from? I knew we would have to figure it out soon, because things were getting a little out of hand, and I knew that annoyed my brother especially. He had said we could handle it, but so far, we hadn’t, and now Rathilion and his Queen Valindra, had just had a son, so the king of elves was on extra alert. I knew Ashes was trying to protect everyone, but who was protecting him? It was why I always insisted on going with him. Someone had to have his back. Ready? Ashes stood out on the open sandy square, as I came outside. He was already in his dragon form, and just waiting for me to change as well. Mefan and Carter came out watching as we took off into the sky. I owed a lot to those two, but it didn’t really look like they thought the same thing. They just let me stay and come and go as I wanted to, and I was grateful for that, but I kept them at an arm’s length. It was just how I wanted it. We go east today. You go east. I go west. Ladon! Ashes didn’t always like us splitting up, but we needed to cover more ground, and it was not like I couldn’t take care of myself. I had grown into my full size, and I was now just as big as Ashes. I could take care of myself, and he knew that, but I also knew that any chance he could get to be around me he took. Therefore, he didn’t like it when we split up. We will meet up later. I turned and then started to fly west, keeping my eyes on the roads where people were walking or riding, just going on about their daily lives. I loved it up here in the air. It was where all my worries truly took a step back, and I could focus on just flying. Just feeling the wind and the power of my wings. It was amazing, but sadly the feeling was short-lived, as I noticed something between the thick tree crowns. An attack. I let out a big roar, before I started to descend, flying down where the battle was. The humans quickly heard me, leaving their prey behind, which were just simply people travelling. They quickly left the whole scene though, as I started to take care of the human attackers. I landed on the ground, watching them flee like ants, but some of them did decide to take on the fight, trying to shoot me with their arrows and cut me with their swords, but they didn’t do much. And with a whip of my tale, they were all pushed back. I also knocked a tree down unintentionally, but it worked, and soon the rest started to scatter. I tried catching some of them before they escaped, but I missed and saw them flee among the trees. We still didn’t know why they were here or what they exactly were doing, except terrorizing people’s lives, but we would figure it out. That I was certain of. I was about to take off again, when I noticed not everyone had fled. I saw a woman struggling on the ground. The tree I had knocked over had sent her down on the ground and trapped her by landing on top of her leg. She was pushing and writhing to get free, but nothing worked. Half of her face was masked, and she wore dark leather clothes. Her jacket had a hood in it, but it had been pushed off, and now her dark red hair was let loose. She kept her dark forest green eyes on me, as she kept trying to get away. Whoever she was, she didn’t seem scared one bit. Just angry. I changed back, and it only made her more frantic to get loose. I walked over to where she was, and looked down at her, smiling a bit cruelly. “What do we have here?” I said. “F*ck!” she groaned, as she kept trying to get free. She certainly was a fighter. I could easily kill her, and she knew that, because there was no way she was getting the tree off her leg without help, but she wasn’t giving up. “Need some help?” I asked her. “Not from someone like you!” she snarled. I placed my hands on the tree trunk and leaned forward, hearing her scream in pain. Yeah, that leg was probably not going to survive. “Are you sure?” She tried her best to take deep breaths, and not focus on the pain. I stopped putting pressure on the tree and instead reached out. She tried pulling away from me, but there wasn’t really anywhere to go. I pulled her mask down, and was almost shocked not to find some scar or deformity, but no. Nothing but pale skin and pink lips and a small nose with a few freckles on it. “Well, well,” I said. “And I thought you would be ugly.” She narrowed her eyes and tried pulling her leg free again. “You know all you have to do is ask, and I will remove this tree from you.” “I would rather you just left me alone.” “And now why would I do that?” I asked. She amused me a bit, I had to admit. There was something interesting about her. Something raw and tough. “Because once I get free, I am going to kill you!” she shouted. “I would love to see you try, Red.” “Just kill me or leave me, I really don’t care which one,” she snarled. I smiled, as I leaned back and crossed my arms. There was no way I was letting her go. She held the answers Ashes and I were looking for. The question was just how would I get them from her?
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