Cyro’s Middling Adventure is a children’s story written for Cyro.
The little white dragon Cyro has his goal of becoming a Middling dragon. It’s a title dragons can earn between 100 and 500 years old. He’s only 110, but when his little sister gets her Middling title on her birthday, he gained the fire necessary to earn for it. You will meet several strange characters along the way and learn how even though he’s a dragon, he’s still a child who needs his parent’s help.
[About Cat Hartliebe] [About Cyro Hartliebe] [WIP: Cyro’s Middling Adventure]
The morning seems so much like a normal morning, I shiver. It’s like all the previous night’s plans have been postponed. That won’t work. I skip my morning rocks and head for my bag. Just a small little thing. I’ll probably leave it somewhere. I typically do. Why even bring something then? I shake it off taking the bag off to sit in my room. It’ll be safer here.
Then I move to the living room. “I’m leaving. Bye!” I wanted to call out. I needed to remind everyone that’s it’s over. Our childhood is over. We’re working on marks to be considered real dragons. That requires freedom. Not that I’m seeking true freedom. I’m headed for Grandma.
Alex stops me from leaving out Mom’s door. “Wait for me! I didn’t think it would be first thing.”
“Then when?” I step out into the cold air. The tundra is beautiful with the early morning haze. “Grandma cooks with ice. Maybe she can give me a few lessons with cooking. It annoys me I still cannot do much more than put rocks into a bowl.”
“At least the bowl doesn’t shatter.” Alex comments closing the door to the cave. I just glower at him. “Sorry for laughing at you for the bowl shattering.”
I sigh. It helped push me to not have my freezing power include bowls of rocks. “That’s okay. It is funny. Just…” I need to press the freezing to only work on threats. Then I’ll be closer to control. If I don’t switch it from threats to only when I desire it, it’s doubtful anyone would mind. Although constant use of these powers are wasteful. I can get stronger only after I gain control. “That’s probably my elder test.”
“Strongest ability under full control. Sounds about right.” Alex lifts into the air flitting around. “Right now we need to figure out how to keep something safe for a time.” He moves closer to Grandma’s cave. “So…? Grandma?”
I nod lifting off. Once I’m ahead of Alex he catches up. Flying helps calm. Knowing the act of leaving is essential for our parents is… “I can’t believe Dad is…”
Did you say something? Alex glances to me.
Sorry. I’m still surprised Dad is letting me continue being his child. My real father… I shake it off focusing on Grandma. Grandma has always been there for me. But after a few years, she told Mom to just find someone else.
Grandma is a strong Elder.
I glance to my brother. Do you think Mom is foolish? She’s so focused on having more kids. That’s probably what pushed my real father away. He was gone before I was born.
You were in the egg for over a year. Alex huffs inside my head. It has me chuckling. Mom said you were born the day after he left as if you were waiting for him to leave. It was super weird. Alex flies around me. It’s playful and watching. During a trip about, you crashed into Dad. He said if you weren’t there clinging to him for a full week, he never would have given Mom time of day.
I blink. I never asked the story. It just… We were a family. I didn’t think I was the real reason for it. I wonder what thought had me do that. I try to recall the event that lead to attaching myself to Dad. Mother probably stepped in before the Elder dragon killed me.
Dad suggested it had something to do with your freezing aura. He can counter it. Always could. You jumped him to stop the flowers from freezing I think. Alex bumps me in the air. I lose a few meters of height at the memory. I could stare at the flowers that surrounded us. But only if I was trapped in the gold dragon’s arms. I would think if you struggle getting your aura in control, Dad can help.
I nod looking out at Grandma’s cave in the distance. We’re making ground, skipping tundra we don’t need. Grandma hated the fact I had an aura of cold. She has like sixty cats. Shifters, actually. But they mostly stay as cats making her space more lived in she said. I killed far too many. When I visit, they know to keep distance. That may be an idea for later. Or sooner if I cannot handle this Middling test until after I figure out my aura. Mom suggested I visit the white prince. It’s a good direction. He had to handle this aura too.
That sounds like a plan if Grandma doesn’t want us around.
I reach out for Mom’s Mom. She’s awake, but cranky. She knows we’re coming. She has no idea why and doesn’t seem to care. We woke her from her nap. I don’t think Grandma is going to like us this time.
Alex nods landing outside the cave entrance. He waits for me to land before knocking. “Grandma! You missed my birthday party!”
I visited last week and gave you your gift. Grandma did offer Alex this beautiful ice sculpture that Mom placed in Alex’s room with cold keep spells around it. I should’ve given the icicle to Alex early too. Then he could’ve added it to Grandma’s work of art. Erin was excited to get her crystallized sand sculpture. Grandma used fire for that one, though. I didn’t really get it. Although they both now have sculptures in their rooms. I want to nap.
“Grandma.” Alex huffs walking in. We’ve done this before. We duck the ice wind that she sends our way. It doesn’t bother us anyway. Grandma isn’t trying to hurt us, just send us away if we have no reason to bother her. “You were supposed to go.”
“Not if your father would be there.” Grandma huffs greeting us as a silver elf. Her long grey hair and shimmering skin is her normal decision for shifter size looks. She accepts our hugs. “Or did I miss his escape?”
“Of course Dad would be at our birthday party.” Alex nuzzles in. “Although… Contract’s over.” Alex shivers getting a tighter hug from Grandma.
I nod giving them more time together. “Dad is still Dad though. I wasn’t expecting it. I thought he’d become no one once the contract ended.” Grandma reaches out and grabs me into the hug. Alex moves closer to me calming with my cold.
“He’s a foolish dragon, but he listens well enough. I told your mother he was too young to offer such a privilege.” Grandma sighs bringing us deeper into her cave. The shifters stay to the outskirts. “Don’t mate with dragons more than a thousand years younger.”
“Unless you are already talking tens of thousands, then it’s no one more than ten thousand younger.” Alex grins with a nod. “Dad thinks that’s a silly viewpoint.”
“Your father is foolish.” Grandma huffs lifting me on to her lap. Alex nuzzles in next to us. “Was it a good birthday?”
“Amazing.” Alex whispers. “Erin gave me pe…” He stops terrified again.
“Petunias.” I nod. “I couldn’t get close to her flowers though. When I was accidentally within range, it froze. Mother was there at the time, so she fixed it.”
“She’s something else. I know she hacks dragon magic of all the different types for a reason, but she terrifies me.” Grandma squeezes me. “She’s a good Mother right now. But those traits make her very scary. Be wary.” Grandma is older than Mother. She knew Mother before Mother was Mother.
“I like Mother.” Alex frowns. Mother is dangerous. We all see it. Grandma makes sure we do. “Father, too.”
“You won’t be before him often until after you reach Elder. How has Middling testing gone so far?” She looks at us. She has to know we’re not Middling yet.
“Erin succeeded.” Alex sinks. “Because of her garden.”
“Are you really surprised? I’d be more surprised she didn’t earn Middling with that garden of hers. She’s keeping flowers actively growing in the Silver Tundra. Tell me, does that match the requirement of the title?” Grandma looks between us. She has a point. “What have the two of you done?”
“I’ve failed.” I hide in Grandma’s arms. “I found this really awesome icicle. I was going to give it to Alex for his birthday. I couldn’t keep it two days.”
“You’ll come up with another idea for a present.” Grandma has such hope in me. I don’t have such hope in me. “Alex?”
He looks away. “We’re going on an adventure to figure out Middling title.” He looks about his person and sighs. “I took a bag with me for the trip. I must have lost it on the trip here.” That’s why I decided to leave it home. How often have I tried bringing something to Grandma only to lose it on the trip? “I really need help.”
“Certain skills are hard.” Grandma pets his head. “Would you like one of my shifters to walk you out of the Tundra? This is pretty much a wasteland. Life struggles to live in below zero temps.”
“The only city here is underground.” Alex nods. “But with Cyro, I don’t think bringing a shifter would help. You’ll only lose a shifter.” He sighs. “Nothing living can counter Cyro’s abilities.”
“How about the White Plateau, then?” Grandma shifts me to sit beside her. “I can offer you a quick path.” She moves to a shelf pulling a book down. “Let’s see.”
“We can just fly.” Alex holds up his hands. Teleportation hasn’t come easy for him. Skipping land isn’t that difficult. “I like seeing the land move about me.”
Grandma chuckles putting her book away. “Alright. You may visit your mother’s aunt and uncle. They would love to see you again.”
“Even without Mom?” Alex seems excited. “Aunt Dot was… Fun.”
That has Grandma laughing. “You call being caught in a volcano fun? My goodness, your viewpoint in life is very different.” Alex frowns lowering his eyes to the floor. “No, child. It’s okay. Dragons can withstand a volcano. It doesn’t mean being trapped is fun. And for a silver, I’m surprised you like the heat.”
“I like the cold too. Being surrounded like that reminded me of being in the egg with Erin. She’s warm. And being in the cold reminds me of Cyro; he’s always cold.”
“You are the only one who likes his lack of control.” Grandma lifts Alex into her arms. He shifts in size to fit better. We can do that at least. We’d struggle if we couldn’t control our size and shape. “Before you go into a settlement, I would suggest getting an idea of who lives there. Becoming a native will help you learn more.”
Alex nods trapped in her arms. He likes the spot. I wasn’t as happy about Aunt Dot’s play. I blasted a hole in her volcano and was told to never return. Mom made her rescind the comment, but I don’t think I’ll be properly received. “Uncle Tern…”
“You just can’t swim.” I tell him. “Don’t worry about it. Uncle Tern will play on land if I just freeze his lake again.” I grin tapping my chest. “I’ll deny him forcing you in the water. I have enough control to turn the lake into ice.”
“You’ll make all your family members hate you.” Grandma sighs placing Alex down. Alex seems concerned by the release. “Dot and Tern deserve respect and acceptance. I understand you wish to protect your brother, but there is more. They were trying to teach you things. All dragons need control of fire. Erin didn’t like it and you just freaked out breaking the three of you free. And swimming is another skill all dragons must master.” Grandma waves her hand. “Allow them to teach you when you visit. You struggle right now because of your lack of desire to learn.”
Alex sighs moving to my side. “We should move on to somewhere, right? Do you suggest a direction first?”
“Not the city here. It’s too close knit. Perhaps a trip into White would do you well. Value the trip. Learn about the differences between Silver and White. You’ll have to pass through Black or Gold to reach there.”
“Which would you suggest?” Alex asks looking me over.
“Black. They prefer death. Perhaps not a frozen death, but death nonetheless.” Grandma looks to the far edge of the room. Her shifters are anxious. “I seem to have someone wandering my territory enough to cause unease of my shifters. You may stay or go. My cave is open to you.” She nods walking in the direction of the problem.
“Should we eat before going?” Alex asks watching me.
I flex out my hands seeing snow flecks forming at my gaze. I have more control than last time. But I’d do the same thing if given the option. I would not wish to stay trapped inside a volcano even if it does offer me skills with fire. Nor do I want to see my brother suffer because of his inability to swim. I look to Alex reviewing him now. “Which is your favorite form?”
“Besides dragon.” I roll my eyes. Obviously dragon form is the best. But we need control of our transformation. We left Babe far behind. We’re Centurions. We need control of our shift. I release the image in my head of my centaur. My body is brown fur and strong horse legs. My torso offers me full range of options.
Alex stares at me while switching to silver elf like Grandma was. “You just wanna eat centaur.”
“You stole my favorite meal and called it your own.” I huff shifting down to silver elf. I’ll copy him. I cross my arms letting a fur lined cloak to wrap around me now. I look warm. But it’s still just my dragon scales protecting me. Not that there is a stronger protection than dragon scales. “You like purple.”
Alex huffs back letting the shimmer of purple fabric cover him. He’s really fond of purple. “You like blue.”
I look aside. It’s not like I’m covering myself in blues. I’m going tans matching to the leather I copy. “So do you want to try the city?”
“No. Grandma’s right. You couldn’t keep control enough to handle it.” Alex frowns hugging me. “So, we can fly to White. Maybe that prince would be willing to offer a real lesson.”
“Prince William is the only royal marked to White.” I shiver thinking of the young dragon. “Little brother of Father.”
“A thousand five.” Alex nods nervous as well. I can see it. He hasn’t spoken to a prince or princess. We’ve met a few, but he refused to say anything. He just hid behind me mostly. Or Dad. “How long before he loses title?”
“How would I know?” I break free of my brother to start for the door out. We’ll fly there perhaps in the silver elf form. Bye, Grandma. Good luck with your trespasser.
Good luck, you two. Grandma offers such hope in us. We have time.
“One day we’ll walk into Grandma’s cave as Elders.” I tell Alex standing taller for the comment.
“In like five hundred years.” Alex smirks at me. I shove him into the snow. He only laughs not at all bothered by the snow now covering him. “Even if we get the title first day it’s nearly four hundred years, Cyro.”
It has me sigh. Titles have timelines for a reason. “Mother is watching us. I can feel it. She’ll guard us during this trip.”
“Better than one of Grandma’s shifters. They’d just die.” Alex gets up dusting himself off. “Shall we?”
I nod getting up into the air. We switch back to dragons letting our silver and white hide in the cloudy sky. Few would be able to see us up here. My mind drifts to the White Plateau already. Prince William will probably expect us since Mother watches. But first we have to manage to pass over Black Swamps. It would be unlikely we manage to do so without notice. Will Mother stop anyone from denying us? Or will she only watch as they detain us for a period of time?
Stop shivering. You’re just making me nervous. Alex bumps into me as the black line comes into view. We’ll fly really high.
We should’ve teleported. I have a feeling. With my ability as a white to track, it’s likely my feeling means we’re being watched. Already. We’re only on the edge. Black’s going to be dangerous. We don’t know anyone in Black. Mom and Dad aren’t coming with us either. I exhale pausing at the border. They’ll do nothing until we cross. I look at Alex. He’s struggling to hover moving about me without crossing. Teleport?
You know I can’t. Not unless I know the space and it’s considered truly safe for me. He could teleport back to his room at Mom’s cave no question. Beyond that, everywhere is up in the air. Even Grandma’s cave and she leaves it purposefully safe and open for him. Going to an unknown location with unknown dangers? There is no way, Alex will be able to teleport there.
I look at the zone. We’re only Centurions. We’re still dragons. That means we’re more likely to kill than to be killed. Mother watches so the most dangerous situations won’t happen. We’ll live. I just don’t know how long it’ll take to pass through. I exhale trying to pinpoint the watcher. Hold hands? I hold my hand out for him.
Alex chuckles and tackles me. Soon I have a rider. He’s riding as a silver elf. I nod and take the chance. Black Swamps are a better option than Gold Meadows. I’m too likely to make enemies in Gold Meadows. At least in Black, they won’t hate me for killing things. This is the area of death.