Adventures of Zeleon
After failing to defeat Maeva yesterday, Leon was awoken from Serena barging into his room with yet another idea up her sleeve. While Leon got used to her schemes, he couldn't help but feel a bit more worried each time she did so.
"What is it? Are you pitting me against insects or a dragon now? Knowing you, it's something over the top than what you've done previously." Leon stated as he hadn't even attempted to leave his bed yet.
Serena sat on the bottom edge of his bed with a soft smile. "Goodness, are you sure you're not acquiring telepathy? Because that's exactly what I was thinking to do; I want to send you to the Komodrons for a week. They'll work you plenty against their own with their intense training regimens."
Leon let out a soft huff. "Immediately, I take it?" Serena gasped as his responses were that of a clairvoyant. "Yes, you read my mind again….maybe you're…"
Leon cuts her off. "You know I'm not. I just know you all too well."
Serena softly chuckled to herself. "Get yourself ready then Leon, be sure to pack necessities and meet me on the watch tower roof."
"The watch tower roof? That's certainly a new one, eh...I need to get packing."
After Leon finished getting himself ready he headed to the tower roof, placed way on the other side of the castle, opposite of living quarters. Once on the roof he was taken by surprise, Serena was talking to a large and very familiar dragon. "Wha..y-you're the dragon that chased me!!"
The large dark brown dragon stared at him closely with her amber eyes. "Hmmm….I do remember you. You scared my child when he hatched."
Serena stood by and made Leon have to handle the delicate situation on his own. His speech was wracked with nerves, feeling the dragon's breath on himself. "And I sincerely apologize for that, I had no idea dragons existed. I was only down there because a pitfall spat me out into that cavern…."
The dragon's muzzle moved inches away from his face, letting out a huff that made Leon cringe from nerves. But, in a twist, she pushed her head gently onto his, before taking a couple steps back. "I wish I'd known, you must've been as surprised as my youngling. I apologize for scaring you, and giving a general bad impression of dragons."
Leon thought back to a time when there were several people ridiculing him after he punched out a bully and sent him to the hospital. Other parents were screaming outside, holding up signs saying 'Robinsons are aggros'. His mother stepped out there with a bat, while he sat watching from his bedroom on the second floor.
"Leon is not a Robinson! He is MY family, he's an Atkins! We as Atkins never take shit from anyone who is misguided or wrong! You want to say things about me, fine, do it, I'm right fucking here! My son has had too much happen, he's off limits from you absent-minded morons who don't know anything, the media that just want to slander or take advantage, and the rest of you who think we're the evil ones! I mean hell, look at yourselves, you're all so bored that you come to a kid's house to bully him after beating up a bully? We should be proud that a little shit like that got his ass beat, and yet you ridicule him because of WHO and not WHAT he is? GET A FUCKING LIFE AND GET OUT OF OURS!" She stomped away from them with a smirk, knowing full well, she single handedly won an argument with a mob. Even though they all screamed incoherently over each other for another hour, she won. That's the kind of person Celeste Atkins is, she'll face anyone for her son's sake, which was only heightened after her son nearly died, something she always takes blame for.
Leon boldly placed his hand on the dragon's nose with a gentle smile, all of the fear he had disappeared on a moment's notice. "Impossible. You did what any single mother would've done, which tells me you'll be a damn good one going forward. Just...please remember my face and know it's only Leon next time."
The dragon had what appeared to have a toothy smile after he'd broken the brief silence. "I know your name now, Guardian candidate, so it's only fit if you have mine. I am Hapys, and I'll be your guide to the Komodrons territory today, as well as an ally from here forward." Her tone was so formal, she even gave a slight curtsy while doing so.
Leon was unsure of what to do at such a display, thankfully Serena pushed things on as she hopped on her back. "I'm glad we got that out of the way, but we must get a move on. Hop on and hang tight Leon."
Leon did just that with all of his things packed with him. Hapys stood on all fours again, before her wings opened up as she hopped off the tower.
"I forgot to ask, do you get motion sick Leon?"
"I've never been motion sick before...wait, you had me hop on a dragon's...without asking?!
That's a special kind of evil."
"Evil? Me? You must've had a mix up. I just like certain reactions."
Hapys flew several hundred feet up before taking off in a straight line, quickly passing over Zelenia's outer wall. To Serena's surprise, Leon was actually enjoying the ride.
His face contained a plastered smile, as he let out a 'WOOOOOOOOO!' out loud.
Hapys cracked a smile at his childlike reaction, looking back briefly to see his smile. "Leon, shall we go faster?"
Serena did not approve, turning to look at Leon with a dirty look. "Jokes on you Serena, I also like seeing certain reactions."
Hapys caught the wind in her wings and accelerated, after that it was like listening to the person who wanted the thrill of a roller coaster, and the reluctant friend they dragged with them. Leon yelled out in pure bliss, while Serena was screaming in horror.
Hapys slowed down….eventually. She'd twisted and turned and even spun mid-air, it was as if the pair took a ride on Space Mountain. Serena was livid afterwards, she'd bitten her tongue from blurting out obscenities. Leon was still smiling even after they'd slow down, riding on a dragon was simply a pipe dream until it actually happened. The high speed fun did cover more miles sooner than anticipated, the lush green below slowly turned into more craggy land covered in mesas, before turning into a straight desert, with massive cacti abound.
Hapys landed after another hour and a half of flight. Serena calmly hopped down as Leon surveyed their surroundings. "Do they seriously live out here? I feel like I'm going to die of heat exhaustion." Leon hopped off of Hapys and sank into the sandy ground. "Ughhhhh, that's never coming out of my clothes."
Serena calmly walked away without a word in response, softly sinking into the sand herself. Leon plodded behind her with Hapys behind him, keeping lookout.
"Where the hell are they? I don't see a building or a sign of life, like..anywhere."
They continued on, Leon was scanning around trying to see something. Serena stopped suddenly, making Leon almost run into her.
There were 5 reptilian figures that surrounded them, with varying colors of green, yellow, brown and even black palettes, with a combination of natural armor and metal armor. Their eyes were dark, almost completely black, all armed with blades in hand. They had the look of a komodo dragon combined with the armor of an armadillo lizard.
"That's one way to welcome guests...shit this is a bit nerve-wracking…."
"Whatever you do, don't touch your blade, they'll take that as a threat. They're probably just nervous about a dragon in their territory."
The trio stayed as still as possible, as a massive figure walked from their left. It was a Komodron, but compared to the ones that were around Leon's size, this one in particular made Dwayne Johnson look small. His coloration was a dark green with yellow patches, with the top of the head defined in black. The natural armor was noticeably thicker, with the regular armor only covering the soft spots in the belly, throat and appendages. As the Komodron approached close, his shadow cast over Serena and Leon.
"Pleasure to see you again, Queen Serena. I assume you're here for the business we spoke of, yes?" The Komodron asked with an intimidating deep voice.
Serena smiled softly at the behemoth. "Yes I am, Varius. The young man beside me here is Leon Atkins in the flesh."
Varius looked over Leon closely with his definitive greenish yellow eyes. "This...is him? He's scrawny."
"He's only a teenager."
"Still, he looks like he's never exercised in his life."
"Is it really that obvious?"
"It is, in all honesty."
"Is that a deal breaker?"
"No no, not at all. But I'll need closer to a month than a week. He'll need some more retooling than I thought."
"I PACKED FOR A WEEK!"
"I'll have some transports here and there, but if he believes you need a month, you're staying for a month."
Leon held back a sigh, catching a glance with Hapys. She quietly smiled as if reassuring him. He smiled back nodding his head towards her.
"Fine with me. Just make sure he doesn't get hurt."
Varius nodded. "Of course. We can't have the Queen's candidate harmed. But...excuse my manners Leon, my name is Varius Astrova, second in command of the Komodrons, and commander of our military forces. I'll be overseeing your progress for the next month."
He held out his hand, Leon looked up making eye contact, and his much smaller hand cautiously shook the hand of the massive humanoid lizard, being careful of his sharp claws. As they released grip of each other, Serena took Leon about fifteen feet away, while Varius and Hapys chatted just within earshot.
"You need to be kind, courteous, and gracious. The Komodrons are still very skeptical of humans, and Varius and the Elder are being very risky taking you in. We want them as allies, not enemies."
Leon sighed as he was reminded of Courtney's talk with him about Charlotte and the vampires.
"You two...I swear. It's as if I were a problem child that started every fight. I'll be fine. They seem cautious, which is understandable, they probably went through hell to be recognized as an intelligent being. I'm more worried about how bad they'll kick my ass."
Leon's words always seemed to put a smile on Serena's face, this time was no different. "I seriously ponder how you're so despised by people. You have great composure until it's purposefully disrupted. I promise to let you breathe a bit after this, I apologize for pushing you so persistently."
"The wicked can't rest, even if that description is from others' perceptions." Leon stated calmly as he patted Serena on the shoulder. "You should get going, I imagine you have duties in place for yourself."
"You're not an adult yet."
"Even if I'm not, I've had to be one ever since someone stopped being one. And now more than ever...I feel like that'll help me."
Leon went back and picked up his bag, internally readying himself for the trying times he'll have for the next month. Serena followed after him, and climbed on Hapys' back. They all exchanged goodbyes before Hapys and Serena went back to the capital, leaving Leon with Varius.
"Are you nervous, young one?"
"Having a second temporary home on another planet, it's hard not to be."
Varius heard the hesitancy in Leon's voice, he admitted it in spite of not wanting to let his feelings be known.
"I appreciate your honesty, I'll try to make this as comfortable as possible."
"Why did you accept..to train me?"
"The Grand Elder ultimately made the arrangements. But….when he asked for my input, I agreed. I wanted to see what kind of person you were, if you're fit to be a Guardian, and really test your resolve. I'm going to push you until your body creaks. There's two ways someone handles a loss, either it motivates them, or they'll quit not feeling good enough."
Varius' words rang into Leon's ear, and Leon looked to him with confidence with but a single sentence.
"I'll surpass all of your expectations."