Chapter 2

Is he stupid? He must be stupid, Leila thought. She turned her silver head towards Grimmy and asked, “Is he really feeding him meat?” The duo stared at Vernon as he waved a bloody bear flank in front of the sitting Vur.

“Doesn’t it smell delicious? Go on; try it,” Vernon said.

Vur stared at the piece of meat and started to cry. Vernon sighed. His eyes started to shine and Vur was plastered to the floor on his back. Vernon held the meat over Vur’s head and let the blood drip into his open mouth. Vur’s eyes opened wide and he spluttered, but Vernon wouldn’t relent and manipulated the blood back into his mouth with magic.

The dragons watched as Vur drank mouthful after mouthful of the beast’s blood before Prika, the red dragon, called out, “Stop, stop. He’s unconscious.”

Vernon looked down at the infant who had bloody foam trickling out of his mouth and nodded before eating the chunk of meat in his claws.

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“I’d like to thank you all for coming here today to celebrate my son’s coming of age ceremony,” the king said. Sounds of approval echoed throughout the ballroom. “As many of you know, he is a genius fighter with aptitude in holy magic, but today, he will not become a paladin.”

A few murmurs of confusion floated up and the king waved his hand to silence them.

“He will become a dragon knight,” the king said. “Elise, if you will.” The metal doors swung open and a woman holding a chain walked into the ballroom. She tugged on the chain and a carriage-sized, sky-blue dragon lumbered through the entrance.

“Four years ago, the Red Blade Adventurers risked their lives to obtain a dragon egg. The result is in front of you,” the king said. “With the addition of a dragon knight to our troops, we will be able to exterminate the demon menace at our borders and reclaim the lost city of Flusia.”

“Rudolph, go and claim your prize,” the king said to the youth standing next to him.

“Thank you, Father,” Rudolph said with a wide smile on his face. He trotted towards the dragon and held his hand out towards Elise.

A twelve-year-old brat wishes to bond with a dragon. Ridiculous, Elise thought as she smiled at the prince. She put her hand on the dragon’s snout and grabbed Rudolph’s outstretched arm. A pillar of white light emanating from Elise illuminated the room for fifteen seconds before disappearing.

“It has been done,” Elise said with her forehead covered in a sheen of sweat. Rudolph looked at his wrist and grinned at the green runes spiraling up his forearm.

“As expected of a master-class beast tamer, the bond was established on the first try,” the king said. Applause rang out and Elise took a bow.

“It was nothing,” she said. “Now, if you’ll excuse me.” The crowd watched as Elise passed the chains to Rudolph and walked out of the ballroom. Rudolph stared at the dragon with his mouth slightly open. It’s mine, I have a dragon, Rudolph thought while almost squealing.

“What are you going to name it?” a voice called out.

Rudolph looked at the dragon’s brown eyes. “Johann. I’ll name him Johann.”

 

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