Chapter 1: Welcome to the World of Dragonoids Part I
“Now, who wants the role of Leader?”
Ash’s ears perked up. He may have been a Human, but if he could lead the squad, he’d be able to show off what a person without the blessing of Dragons could do. That Humans were more than they appeared. And most of all, he was definitely not going to let that loud-mouthed Princess be in charge. That would be the worst outcome. This may end up in a fight, but I’d only regret it later if I let her lead.
And almost like it was planned, Lissandra and Ash both kneeled, declaring their desire for the daunting task of leading a team as they said:
“Ash… Sweetie… It’s time to get up! You don’t want to be late for your first day!”
Ash Spitfire woke up to the sound of his adopted mother’s voice. Yes adopted. He had learned the truth the day his adopted mother: Mrs. Spitfire showed him which stars were his parents. Ash always knew something was off as both of his parents had the blessings of Dragons, or rather, they were Dragonoids while he was a Human.
Yet the Spitfires weren’t bad people and even treated him like their real son. Not to mention Ash’s real parents only left him a notebook filled with fairytales that he took the time read. Though it was kind of lame for a 16-year-old to still be reading that stuff.
Ash let out a long sigh as he stared at the ceiling, ignoring the rotating fan as if he could somehow will an image of his long-gone parents. Even as he heard the thumping from downstairs, he didn’t move, not until his mother burst through the door.
“Sweetie! Your father is already eating your breakfast.” Mrs. Spitfire said, brushing aside the strands of red hair that got in the way of her eyes.
“Yes dear, what is it?”
“The door…” Ash pointed at his room’s door, which was no longer attached to the wall. “You broke another one.”
“Oh my, not again!”
“Let me get dressed, and I’ll help you fix it,” Ash said, reassuring his mother. Sheesh, imagine being an adult and still not being able to control your powers properly. That’s probably why they want me to go to that school.
Ash let out another sigh as he stared at the doorway. Taking note that she only tore out the hinges that time. “Alright, hold it down and let me just screw these back in place… and voila. Good as new.”
Ash wiped the sweat off his brow, wishing that his mother didn’t stand over him while she was nervous since it torched the air around them. Though when he looked at his mother, her emerald eyes gleamed with tears… and steam—Oh, Dragons. “Mom wait!”
Ignoring his protest, Mrs. Spitfire grabbed hold of her son and squeezed him tight. “You’re such a lifesaver! What did I ever do to deserve a young man like you!”
“Ouch! Mom! It burns! Please!”
Meanwhile downstairs, Mr. Spitfire at the kitchen table was drinking his morning coffee before work. Conveniently ignoring the screams that came from his son. “Didn’t I tell her not to do this today? The boy’s going to be late.”
Mr. Spitfire eyed the nearly empty plate next to him, then took another bite of toast from the second plate. “Guess it’s my job to make sure he’s on time.”
When the two finally came downstairs, they weren’t that surprised to see that the feast prepared for Ash’s great sendoff was gone. Not even a crumb was left behind as Mr. Spitfire let out a gratified burp. “You snooze. You lose, kid.”
“Honey, why do you have to eat his food on his last day home.”
“It’s fine mom. The old man just wants me gone.”
“Bingo.” Mr. Spitfire said, wiping his face with a napkin.
Ash grabbed his things, which weren’t much, just his longboard for campus traveling with a shoulder bag filled with school supplies and his treasured notebook of fairytales. Then, his mom handed him a duffel bag filled to the brim.
Ash chuckled to himself as he should’ve known he wouldn’t be leaving with just one bag. What an overbearing woman.
“Does he really have to go?” Mrs. Spitfire pleaded.
“Do I really have to go?” Ash pleaded.
“You’re going, and that’s final.” Mr. Spitfire said, joining them by the door. “Imagine getting accepted to one of the most prestigious academies in the Kingdom. You should be grateful they even let a Human in.”
Yes, I’m so grateful to be going to a school filled with teens who could cook me alive. So much fun. Ash really wanted to let his old man know what was on his mind, but dealing with both of them before school wouldn’t end well.
“Just be careful sweetie, and try not to get into too many fights.”
“Tell that to them,” Ash said only to see the slight shift in his father’s face, his silver hair brushed to the side as his intent screamed loud and clear. With a step back, Ash avoided his father’s backhand for his quick mouth.
“Looks like all that extra weight from my breakfast is slowing you down, old man. I could see you coming from miles—”
Ash was promptly shut up with a tail slap from his father, who had entered his Draconic state for a brief moment just to discipline him.
“No fair... using your powers….” Ash grumbled, holding onto his swollen cheek.
“Well, I won’t be able to hear from you for an entire year. Can’t have you remembering me as an old man.” Mr. Spitfire said with a hmph!
All while Mrs. Spitfire just shook her head, watching the two knuckleheads have their last bit of father-son bonding. One of the rules of Dragoon Academy is that first years were confined to the school until the end of the year, where they’ll get to go outside of the Kingdom’s walls. That way, they could forge everlasting bonds within their squad.
“I guess I’ll be going,” Ash said, not really knowing what to say to his parents as he opened the door and walked outside.
The morning sun shined bright and forced Ash to shield his eyes. It was a Monday in the beginning month of Spring and the start of the new school year. Having lived in the suburbs or rather the outskirts of the city his whole life, Ash found himself already feeling homesick. Knowing that his familiar little quiet neighborhood would be replaced by whatever those Dragonoids did. Well, I better get going before Mom gets any crazy ideas—
“Ash! One more thing!”
Ash heard his mother’s voice and clicked his tongue as he jumped to the side, dodging the first attempt of her flame charge. Then another, then a third, ending her hug attempts with a chop to her head.
“You’re so mean!” Mrs. Spitfire cried, holding onto her forehead.
“I’m mean??? A hug from you will cook me alive!”
“No, it won’t….” Mrs. Spitfire looked away from her son for a quick moment before responding with: “I’m controlling my powers right now, see.”
Ash stared at his mother’s pouty face studying it for any signs of her Draconic state. She didn’t have any horns growing from her head, and her pupils were still round. Yet, while things seemed fine considering he wasn’t boiling, a sixth sense told Ash that was temporary at best.
“You’re just lucky the house is fireproof,” Ash concluded with a half-smile. “If not, I wouldn’t have a home to come back to.”
Mrs. Spitfire’s eyes once again had steam coming through, and her feet sank into the pavement in the front yard.
D-Did I say something wrong? Ash thought as he slowly backed away from his mother. It was a joke! For her to burn through something that was fireproof—as most things were in the Fire Kingdom—it had to have been flames of at least 4000 degrees!
Then his mother blinked forward faster than Ash could see. And even though Ash was a “Human,” he was still part Dragon. Which gave him the durable physique that typically allowed him to survive coming into contact with his mother without sustaining 6th-degree burns. However, even he knew his body couldn’t handle something on that scale. Not even normal Dragonoids could leave that temperature without going to the hospital.
Yup, I’m going to die from a hug. Ash flinched, waiting for the sweet embrace but was met with a warm glow like a flame inches away from his face.
“Love, if you touch the boy now, you’ll kill him.” Mr. Spitfire said, stopping the flame charge with his bare hands.
Mrs. Spitfire was covered in a cloak of fire with large ruby-colored wings sprouting from her back, still rocketing forward as she was practically holding hands with her husband. Soon enough, the sleaves on Mr. Spitfire’s uniform were turned to ashes revealing the hardened ruby scales that started to proliferate his skin.
“Son, tell your mom you love her, and….” Mr. Spitfire slid back against the force and roared. “Go!”
Ash shuddered, and for the first time, he felt chills watching his parents. They’ve used their powers around the house, but it was never that intense. I-Is that what they really are? Then he noticed the crowd that gathered along their picket fence line. What are you all staring at?
The other Humans in the neighborhood watched the display that seemed out of a fantasy. The neighbors didn't think they had actual Dragonoids living with them. Who would have guessed it? Especially the Spitfires—albeit annoying at times with all the racket they made—they were harmless. Until today, which made everyone wonder: why were they here?
Ash knew the answer to that question. It was for him. So that he could live a normal life even though they had to hide who they were. A life he had sadly grown accustomed to but seeing the crowd watch, some in awe—most in horror—it pissed Ash off.
“This isn’t a movie. Go mind your own damn business!” Ash didn’t have the ferocity his father had, but they listened to the child of Dragons and slowly dispersed. Which made him realize he should also go before he caused any more trouble for them.
“Mom, Dad, I love you guys! And I promise to write!”
With a bag on his back and the other in his hand, Ash rode on his longboard to school, leaving behind his semi-normal lifestyle for something new.
Once out of sight, the two Dragonoids calmed down, reverting to their Human state.
“You didn’t have to do that.” Mr. Spitfire shook his hands side to side as he stared at his raw skin. He was getting too old for brawls with Dragonoids.
“Well, you weren’t going to.” Mrs. Spitfire shot back.
“No, you weren’t. That playful little slap from earlier probably encouraged him if anything.”
Her husband could only scratch his head in response. Admittedly Mrs. Spitfire didn’t have to go that far, but he had to see it. The fury of a Dragon. The fear of the world. Within that school, they wouldn’t be able to protect him. And outside of the Kingdom’s walls, he would definitely need some sense of caution to keep him alive.
“We sheltered him.” Mrs. Spitfire concluded.
“No we didn’t. I mean, look. He may have pissed himself, but our son still held his ground like a true Dragonoid.”
“Oh no, did my baby really wet himself?” Mrs. Spitfire sniffed the air searching for urine traces to no avail.
“That’s just a figure of speech love.” Mr. Spitfire laughed. “Our boy will be fine.”
“Are you sure we did the right thing?”
“There’s no point in worrying about that now. What’s done is done.”
“Did we do the right thing?”
Mr. Spitfire shrugged his shoulders, trying to catch a glimpse of his son, but he was already long gone. “We make the best decisions we can at the time they’re given. There’s no point in worrying about what if.”
Mrs. Spitfire smiled at her husband, subconsciously rubbing her tiny diamond ring that withstood even her fire. “When did you get so wise?”
“Raising a kid does that to you—”
Mrs. Spitfire bent down to kiss her man on the lips. Short but sweet, just like him. I did my part, Celestia. Your son is out into the world. Now the rest is up to him. I pray your seal never wavers.
“Now we have some cleaning up to do. Don’t we?” Mrs. Spitfire said, ignoring her dazed husband, who was acting like it was the first time they’d kissed.
The entire yard was a mess. Some of the grass was charred, the pavement melted, and the paint on the fence chipped away. To use the words “some cleaning” was an understatement. It would probably be cheaper to move. But then, where would Ash come back to if he failed?
Mr. Spitfire sighed. “I’ll call the groundskeepers… Again.”
“Couldn’t Ash help paint the—Oh yeah.” This is going to be harder than I thought. Don’t laugh Celestia, but I think I need your son more than he needs me.