Chapter 2: Little Fish in a Big Pond Part I
Back on Drakos, Squad S had their roles and started to divide up the dorm room. Since other than orientation—which was that entire ceremony—they had the rest of the day off. Of course, because they chose to stay within Delakai’s Domain longer than expected, they returned as the sun was setting.
“Dibs on top bunk,” Alexis said, throwing one bag on the top right bed and another underneath it.
Baron stared at his bag, which was mercilessly tossed. “I guess that means I’m the bottom?”
“Yup.” Alexis nodded with a toothy grin. “Unless you wanna fight for it.”
Alexis’s mouth made a popping sound as sparks gathered, and Baron knew she was just looking for an excuse to let loose. So he simply walked towards his bag and began to unpack.
“Aww, you’re no fun….” Alexis grumbled, then flipped onto her bed.
It was quite comfy, so she didn’t have any complaints, but man, she was raring for some action after that fight. She hadn’t expected Ash to be anywhere near that strong. No one did. Though he was accepted into the same school as her so she should’ve had some faith. But faith was something Alexis couldn’t care less about, so she said the one thing on her mind.
“Hey Ash, wanna fight me—”
“Listen up Halfbreed. I already told you the queen-sized bed is made for the Leader. I am the Leader. So I get it.”
“And I already told you, Princesss. That even if you’re the so-called 'Leader,' you don’t need that much space. Give it to someone who needs it.”
“Guys, can’t we just settle this with a game like Scales-Claws-Fire?”
The moment Ash and Lissandra got back, they wasted no time going at each other’s throats, and the only one who tried his best to keep the peace was Scott. Alexis just slumped her head on her hand as Ash ignored her request.
“You know what, let’s do it your way,” Lissandra said, walking away from Ash.
Scott let out a sigh of relief. “Thank you, princess—I mean Lissandra.”
“I guess we can settle it with Scales-Claws-Fire—wait, what are you doing?” Ash asked, confused as to why Lissandra tapped on Baron’s shoulder.
“Well, you said give it someone who needs it so.” Lissandra looked at her childhood friend Baron and smiled. “Baron, do you want the queen-sized bed? I know you’re tall and all, so you might need the extra space.”
“That’s not fair. You can’t just ask him?” Ash said, clearly seeing through her tricks.
“Huh, why not? You said someone who needs it. Obviously, the tallest person in the room will need it. Or—”
The room began to heat up, and Ash loosened the collar of his uniform as Lissandra’s eyes sharpened, fitting the glare on her face.
“Were you just saying that, and what you meant to say is that you’re a filthy selfish Human who only thinks of himself?”
The coldness in Lissandra’s voice did not match the heated room she created, and Ash didn’t like how she used the word selfish. He wasn’t selfish, like sure, he was an only child, but that didn’t make him selfish. He thought about other people—sometimes—if anything, he was selfless, not selfish.
“I wouldn’t say that I’m selfish,” Ash concluded, standing his ground.
“Then you’ll have no problem if Baron wants the bed.”
“Nope, none at all. I don’t mind sleeping on the bottom bunk with Scott.”
“Actually, you’d be on the top bunk,” Scott said, shocking Ash with his quick response that pretty much laid out what he wanted.
Scott placed his bags on the bottom left bed. “I have a fear of heights.”
“Oh… well, we still haven’t heard Baron’s—”
“You can have the bed Lissandra,” Baron said, already done unpacking his things as he didn’t really have that much to unpack, just the necessities.
“Thank you Baron. I knew I could count on you.” Lissandra said, running her hand through his short black hair, to which Baron’s face may not have shown it, but Lissandra could hear his heartbeat quicken. Actually, everyone’s heartbeat kicked up a notch.
“What’s wrong?” Lissandra asked.
“Nothing.” Alexis, Ash, and Scott all said unintentionally.
Lissandra relaxed, and the room cooled off, yet it was still heated for some even after she took her hand off Baron. Then she opened up her four bags—practically equivalent to everyone else’s things—that were already sitting on the queen-sized bed.
Lissandra had won as Ash only grumbled about how it was wyvernshit that she practically asked her friend to do her a favor. It seemed that Ash didn’t understand that all was fair in a battle, even one without blades.
After that came the bathroom talk. Luckily the two sinks were separated from the actual bathroom, so there was no need to fight over that. However, with one shower and one toilet, there came the issue of taking turns.
“The girls get the bathroom first, back-to-back, then the guys get to go next. We each clean up after ourselves and make sure the area is respectable. Oh, and if anyone is caught peeping. Lexi.”
Alexis blew out a small ball of fire that she immediately crushed with her hand. All the guys knew what that meant as they shuffled around uncomfortably.
They all looked to Ash, who was clearly going to be the one to have a fit.
“None from me,” Ash said, not making eye contact with any of them. “I’m sure sharing a room with us is hard enough as it is for girls.”
“Wow, a Human with some common decency. Who knew.” Lissandra said, shrugging her shoulders.
“Honestly, at this point, I’d rather you call me a Halfbreed.” Ash said, heading for the exit.
“And where do you think you’re going?”
“Out,” Ash said, opening the door. “Or do I need your permission, Princesss?”
Ash closed the door behind him before she could finish.
“—You do.” Lissandra sighed. “I don’t know what I expected.”
“You know princess, you don’t have to be so hard on him,” Scott said, looking up to Lissandra, who only grumbled.
“Scott… what did I say.”
“Sorry Lissandra,” Scott said, correcting himself. “But don’t you guys see this is a bad start for our team? Your words are clearly hurting him.”
“Ha, yeah right. You should have seen his face as we fought. If words could hurt that, the match would’ve been over faster.” Lissandra said, walking towards the closet. She still had things to unpack and shower, so worrying about the Halfbreed was not even a priority.
“Baron, Alexis, what do you think?”
“Um…” Alexis scratched her cheek as heavy things weren’t really her forte. Luckily Baron placed his hand on Scott’s shoulder and leveled his gaze.
“This is a change for all of us. We’re just lucky that we at least knew each other before coming here. Ash probably didn’t even expect to have the chance to become a Dragon Guard.”
“Listen, Scott. If the Halfbreed’s not back by the time I’m finished unpacking, I’ll go and get him.” Lissandra then muttered. “Since I know you have a hard time seeing at night. If that will make you feel better—”
Scott jumped into Lissandra, hugging her, making Lissandra’s face heat up. Scott was indeed the shortest and the youngest out of all of them, as Dragoon Academy didn’t necessarily have an age requirement. But being accepted before his official coming of age ceremony—at 15—Scott was the first 14-year-old to be accepted into the school. And the biggest thing that came from his youthfulness is the fact that Lissandra saw him as a little brother, who surprised her with how he seemed to take a liking to Ash.
Damnit Ash, you better come back soon. Lissandra thought as she ran her hand through Scott’s golden hair.
Ash walked out of the dorm room into the outdoor hallway. It was night, and the crickets’ chirps could be heard as he strolled away from the apartment complex. Ash couldn’t see the stars thanks to him being on the second floor, and that’s what he really needed to see. Ash partly wished he had his board or book of fairytales with him, but it was fine since he found an open park nearby.
Sadly there wasn’t a playground set with a watchtower, just water fountains and soda machines near the basketball/tennis courts. However, Ash noted there was a public restroom building, so that was good to have in case Lissandra took too long in the shower, and he knew she’d take her sweet time if he had to go.
“Lissandra…” Ash sighed as he pulled out some bronze Dragon coins from his pocket and bought a can of DD (Dragon Drink), root beer flavored since he liked things sugary sweet, even caffeinated drinks.
With the pop of the can, Ash wolfed half of it down, noting that he hadn’t even had dinner or lunch, for that matter. Yet he surprisingly wasn’t hungry, probably because being in a Dragon’s Domain for the first time took away his appetite.
Ash stared up at the stars above. There were so many bright lights that filled the sky it was hard to believe he knew which ones were his parents.
When Ash was younger, his mom used to take him outside to stargaze. There, she pointed out which ones were his real mother and father. It was hard to understand at first, but eventually, Ash learned that when you died, Dragons turned you into stars. Ash chuckled. It was a little fairytale really, to get children to behave. Yet after visiting one of those Stars, maybe Ash was wrong about the whole fairytale thing. Maybe he could meet his mother and father someday.
Also, what was up with that vision? Ash thought as he finished off the last of the DD can and threw it away before sitting back down at a nearby bench.
After putting in some thought, Ash realized that in the vision, it had to have been a younger Lissandra he saw, but the people with her were obviously human. Yet together, they ran until they could no longer, and at that moment, the way their eyes turned cold as Lissandra was handed off to a man with snake eyes sent shivers down his spine. Or maybe it was the chill from the wayward breeze.
Ash took out his PDA and noticed how late it was. He should probably head back. I shouldn’t make the Princesss worry.
Ash chuckled at the idea of her worrying about him as he stood up to leave. Though he knew for sure, Scott was probably pacing around the room in tears. They had just met, yet Ash felt like Scott could have been his little brother at this point. Someone to take under his wing and show him the world. “Sheesh, how is he ever going to become a Dragon Guard.”
“You know, we were just wondering the same thing.”
Ash finally noticed the four guys standing in front of him. They wore the same black-cloaked uniform as him and had dragon tattoos under their eyes, so they were first years from another squad. But judging how they glared at him, they were probably Squad R or Squad T. When you made as much noise as Ash and Lissandra did, there were obviously going to be people who heard. Which meant they knew he was a Human in a school filled with Dragonoids.
“So is this the welcome party?” Ash said, noting how they began to spread out around him. “I’m sorry to tell you, but it’s already past midnight, so you missed your chance.”
They all snickered as the teen in front with slick blond hair pushed his hair back, showing off his brilliant sapphire eyes. “I’m glad that your bark hasn’t softened. But then again, I doubt a halfbreed such as yourself could tell how much danger he’s in.”
“Four on one,” Ash said, counting them off. “It seems Humans get some respect after all.”
“Bwahahaha!” The lengthy kid to Ash’s left began to laugh. “As if Tekka needs help to beat you.”
“We’re just here to make sure you don’t run.” The big guy said, hovering behind Ash.
“We’re Dragonoidssss sssso we have honor, unlike you Halfbreedssss.” The hooded teen said to Ash’s right.
“So it’s a one-on-one?”
“It’s just as Taniss says. Just you and me, Halfbreed—” Tekka took a right hook to the face sending him skidding across the ground.
“Good,” Ash said, cracking his knuckles. “I need to see if that wasn’t just a fluke.”
“Ch-cheap shot.” Tekka spat out blood on the ground.
Ash only shrugged his shoulders as a wide smile spread across his face. “All’s fair in a battle.”
“Tekka!” His friends called out and immediately got into a fighting stance, but before they could swing, Tekka held his hand up.
“Stop. We don’t need to stoop to his level.” Tekka stood up, but his presence changed as his sapphire eyes gleamed now with sharpened pupils. “Let’s try that again Halfbreed—”
Ash threw a left hook this time, shutting Tekka up. “Every time you call me Halfbreed, that’s another punch to the face—Ah!”
Tekka had caught the blow with his fist, and out of his knuckles came sharp dragon bones: His claws. Which forced Ash to scream as they dug into his skin.
“What was that?” Tekka leaned close to Ash, who kneeled to the ground, unable to escape the Dragonoid’s claws. “I couldn’t quite hear you. Halfbreed!”
Tekka kicked Ash off his hand, where he tumbled against the concrete and towards the big guy, who stopped Ash by grabbing hold of his cloak.
“Didn’t I tell you? We weren’t going to let you run!” The big guy said as he tossed Ash back towards Tekka.
Fumbling forward, Ash got knocked right back down. Tekka didn’t even give Ash the chance to stand up as he lifted him by his hair. With blood dripping from his face and hand, Ash couldn’t even force himself to smile. There was no surge of energy, no sudden power boost, Ash just didn’t have his second wind like he did with Lissandra, and he had no idea why.
“Look at you, what a mess." Tekka shook his head. "With all that arguing with Lissandra, I thought you’d be able to put up at least somewhat of a fight. I’m actually quite disappointed.”
Tekka punched Ash in the face.
“I mean seriously, who gave you the right to even think of being on the same level as Lissandra.”
Ash took another blow to the face.
“Honestly, I wasn’t even going to stoop as low as to kill you, but I really can’t stand the sight of you getting any closer to Lissandra.”
Tekka pulled his hand back, extending his claws further to the point that he was sure he’d slice Ash into ribbons. Probably tell the school he was attacked by harpies or something. Tekka didn’t really care. He just didn’t want to waste any more time.
“Wait…” Ash said, his voice but a whisper, yet thanks to Tekka’s Draconic state, he heard the whimper.
“Oh right, even a Halfbreed like you deserves their last words. Go on speak—”
Tekka froze as he saw the devilish smile on Ash’s face and the shadowy glow coming from his amethyst eyes.
“Did she give you permission to use her name?”
“As if I’d give scum like him the right to call me anything but princess,” Lissandra called out as it suddenly became hotter. “Ash, when I get through with you, you’re going to wish you were never born!”
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