Chapter 2:


Dragon Waltz

“Darn it” were the words that got out of her mouth with a little tsc.Bookmark here

“I must be in a weird nightmare of some sorts… and to top it off, I now have to get inside Oluran by meeting those weirdos.” By that she meant the guards. Ephira and the guards of Oluran had a long history since she got there when she was little.Bookmark here

Everywhere she went there were guards that, despite her lack of empathy, loved her. It was common to hear phrases like “Can you shake my hands, Ephira Ashbluff!” and so on. She was almost like a celebrity amongst them because just by her dragons being there, most guards and soldiers were put off of the danger that came with being a guard. Bookmark here

A thief? Well anyone with a dragon could take care of that. An attack of barbarians or anything really? Dragons. Watch the walls? Well guards still had to watch but if anything came, the guards would count on the dragons. In fact it was not only the guards, but everyone seemed to really love Ephira, it was just her situation that led many guards being able to approach her, way more than civilians, that led Ephira to think that only the guards were weird.Bookmark here

Were they weird to begin with? To just show their gratitude in the form of admiration? Ephira was sure they were hella weird, simply because she couldn’t understand why they would be like that.Bookmark here

Ephira and the dragons lived in a precarious situation before joining Oluran. They never feasted and barely could get food in time to live. They fought with each other for food, territory and life was never easy. Now that they joined Oluran, they had everything at their disposal.Bookmark here

On the humans’ side, it was an experience from another world. Dragons were mighty, helpful and their new “best friend”.Bookmark here

Or that is how it was supposed to be, but now, Ephira was in search of any dragon inside Oluran. She had to confirm that there were no dragons for real, and then she would try to figure things out.Bookmark here

Standing between her and the outer Oluran, a place that mostly farmers lived and had plenty of space for dragons to live full of themselves (not having to worry about bumping into buildings and people) there was a huge wall. Bookmark here

This wall was about 10 meters high and had some watchtowers within every hundred meters or so. They were the outer defense of Oluran and served to protect their food income from people that lived outside Oluran and wanted to steal them.Bookmark here

But for now that wall was a big concern for Ephira. More exactly, she had to go past the gate and deal with the guards.Bookmark here

“Identification and purpose please” said loudly one of the guards that was talking to a courier riding a wagon that was pushed by a horse; not a dragon.Bookmark here

Should I sneak past it? I can clearly just go behind that wagon and slip past the guards on the gate. The problem would be if any of the guards above the walls in the watchtowers sees me. Hmm… I might give it a try and make a fuss if any of them try to stop me. After all, I'm allowed to enter and leave the kingdom at any given moment. It is that I would usually do that by flying with lurgus. Bookmark here

I haven’t talked to a human in a while. How should I talk to them if I need to? “Can’t you see the horns? I’m Ephira! See?! Now let me go ‘cause I’m in a hurry” That sounds a bit rude but by being rude and in a hurry they won’t try to stop me right? Yeah that sound good.Bookmark here

Ephira came out of the bush that she was hiding and started walking forward, step by step, trying to make as little sound as possible. Bookmark here

“I’m Michael Deliger, I bring some wood from the forest, as well as sugar from the Lonesome Port. The sugar was sent me by a friend as a gift. I don’t intend to sell it, no.”Bookmark here

“Okay, you can proceed.”Bookmark here

“Thank you sir.”Bookmark here

Wait, is he over already? That means the wagon will start moving soon isn’t it? Darn it! I must rush a bit now, but I can just make a load of noise… Unless?Bookmark here

That was the moment she realized that it was actually a good thing.Bookmark here

Ephira did a mix of walking and running past the guards, which were just staring menacingly at the courier, and slipped underneath the wagon. There she held the wooden structure of the wagon’s bottom and went stealthy inside Oluran’s outer fields.Bookmark here

I must be a genius of some sort muahahah! This worked out just perfectly! I wish Lurgus was here just to see how smart and nimble I am! Compared to that clumsy piece of meat I’m as nimble as a feather! Now I must wait until I’m far enough from the gates and just get in the back of the wagon. That guy said there was only wood and sugar inside, so nobody will see me right? It is a free ride to Oluran inner gates if he keeps going! And if not, well I’m at least closer.Bookmark here

As nimble as she thought she was, she stretched her legs and arms in order to get to the side of the wagon and then to the back of it. She was now sitting calmly at the wagon, just beside the sugar and the wood.Bookmark here

Quite a nice view of the farm down here… I’d rather be soaring in the skies though...Bookmark here

The breeze was warm and the sun was high at noon. It was certain that she would reach the inner gates before the sun would set. Her heart started pounding slower as the sweat that dripped a little in her forehead felt refreshing. Bookmark here

Her inner peace would turn out to be quite short. Just a couple of dozen meters farther in her trip, she saw a farmer with a hoe in his hands, grinding at the earth. Her memory started to flow as she remembered a farmer that she would always see working during any time of the day. Him and his Humpback Dragon, working all day everyday in the farms.Bookmark here

His name was unknown to Ephira, who never bothered to stop her flight and have a small talk with him, but he was called Joshua. His dragon, however, Ephira knew the name by looking at his aura everyday: he was called Toogletuff. Bookmark here

Joshua and Toogletuff would everyday grind the earth, water the plants, put fertilizer on the dirt and take deep care of the land. Most of the job was done by the dragon and Joshua would stand there, petting the dragon on the side and giving him emotional support of some sort.Bookmark here

“Nice one Tuffy! Keep blowing that water huh!” would be daily words Joshua said to his beloved dragon as its mouth made an “O” and water soaked through it.Bookmark here

He was with “Tuffy” most of his time, not just at work. He knew every single detail the dragon had, from its very subtle color patterns, ranging from brown to dark, and every single bump on its back.Bookmark here

That type of dragons, the Humpbacks, were notorious for their sturdiness and strength, as well as being very soft hearted. Toogletuff shared all his feeling with Joshua and got a very well lived life with him. When one was sick, the other was there to take care. When one was having fun, the other shared those moments. And of course when one had to work, the other was there to help.Bookmark here

That is how it went not just with the farmer Joshua and his farmer dragon Toogletuff, it went that way with most of the farmers, each of them with a different dragon, Humpback or not, sharing all those moments together.Bookmark here

Ephira’s visage went down as she frowned her eyebrows and the sweat that was once refreshing was now a chill of the worst type. She wiped her forehead as fear started to taint her mind.Bookmark here

What happened to my people? What on earth is this? Where did Lurgus go?Bookmark here

She knew that they were not in the outer Oluran now that she was far off into the farms and was near the inner walls.Bookmark here

The wagon made a turn to the left and she knew it was time to move on and start walking and so she did. With little to no grace, she got out of the wagon at least standing with both feet on the floor. It was quite a brute landing but she was far from losing her balance.Bookmark here

“So here I go… off to the inner walls!”Bookmark here

Cover Image

Dragon Waltz

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