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]
“Cyro!” Alex calls ahead of me. We’re flying finally into the White Plateau. It feels far closer to home although I wouldn’t say it’s the same as Silver. It’s like White doesn’t have Silver’s shine. His silver scales shimmer in the sunlight. He could so easily hide within the snow of Silver. He couldn’t hide here unless he was fully covered. I can hide in either as a white dragon. I belong in White Plateau. So why do I not feel comfortable being here?
I know why. “This way, Alex.” I turn to the left and start heading for him. The guy who left before I was born. That Mom believed I waited to be born until he left. I wouldn’t know.
I thought we were going to go straight to Prince William. Alex catches up to me. All this travel has only made him a better flyer. “You’ll regret it, Cyro.”
Probably. I’ll probably regret going. But I feel as if I’d regret not going. Not being told I cannot enter. That I’m not his child. I exhale centering in on the cave my mother brought me to a few times growing up. I’ve never been inside.
The cave entrance is unassuming. I can tell little has come by, but I can also say beyond this door is an actual used cave. I wouldn’t be able to say if this is the dragon who gave me life. Dad is the one who acts like my father. The one who made me though would offer knowledge about my color. I’m white like him.
“Can you even knock?” Alex watches me stand before the door.
The white dragon inside must know we’re here. We can always tell when someone waits at the entrance. I just stand here staring at the door. The unassuming door. “No. Every visit I ever made had him refuse us entrance. This is as far as I ever got.” I pull inward denying the desire to cry. Just being here is too much. I can’t be told again how I have no relation or how I’m unwanted. “Let’s go to Prince William. Mother said he’s expecting us.” I nod to the sky. Alex flies off first. I give the door another moment. Maybe in some weird parallel universe my father is opening this door and greeting me. I would gain warm welcome. Or cold welcome. I wouldn’t mind either.
Gulping down the urge to cry, I take to wing. Prince William will allow us inside. I can ask him all the questions my color gives me. Mom could only do so much. Whites and Silvers are similar and different. Alex gives me the chance to catch up which allows me to have lead as we head for Prince William’s castle on the cliff.
The structure is massive. William has large windows looking out in all directions. It seems more like a real castle not a cave which is considered typical in snowy environments. The thing isn’t made of stone, though. This is ice. Pure solid ice. The windows probably use ice as well, although clear ice. This is all frosted. Captured air caught in his spells for confinement.
“Will you pick cave or castle?” Alex asks me looking at the massive thing. “You love watching the sunset.”
“Is that why he has windows?”
“I would.” Alex looks at the things overlooking the direction of the sun. “And imagine snow fall during the night from the safe side of the glass?” Alex sighs lost in his own thoughts.
“I’d rather stare at the twinkling stars during the night. I wonder if he has skylights.”
Alex grins knocking my arm. “See, a castle on the cliff sounds more like you than cave.”
“I didn’t say that.” I huff turning to the door. It’s a real door not just a covered entranceway found with caves. I knock loudly.
Challenge. Enter yourself. Repair any damage you create. He offers a smirk along the words.
I shiver looking to Alex. He heard the requirement too. “To prove we deserve his attention.”
“Well it is ice.” Alex looks to me nervously. “How can we defeat ice?”
“Fire.” I nod. We can repair the damage too, although probably not to his level and skill. “I cannot freeze ice.”
Alex pauses pondering over the castle. “The clear stuff is pure ice, but the white walls and door is because of air trapped inside. If you freeze that air, wouldn’t it cause problems?”
“Doubtful.” I shrug not completely certain. “Fire is more likely to solve the problem.”
“You have a point.” Alex pushes me aside. “Me first!” He does have the better fire breathe. My cold aura has slowed that growth. “I can’t believe I’m being told to destroy another dragon’s property. No one will believe me.” He laughs waving his hands out. He wants to make sure he has room. This may just be a test fire.
I watch as the fire shoots out at the door. It does nothing. Alex pouts and tries again. The flame is bigger and brighter this time. Still does nothing. “What’s wrong?”
“It’s not working.” Alex whines slamming fists on the door.
I already said you can enter. You don’t have to knock. Prince William is watching then. Will you give up? Or succeed? It’s amusing to watch. He even laughs through the link we have going.
“I can’t believe he’s watching us fail and just laughing.” Alex huffs. He stands closer to the ice door. Then he throws more fire at it. It still doesn’t work. “Are you going to help me?”
I step in front of the door and send my own fire at it. Unsurprisingly it does nothing. I move in closer running fingers over the ice. No… Our fire isn’t eating away enough of it. “Try your fire again.”
“It doesn’t work,” Alex whines.
I huff at him. Soon he is trying again letting his fire eat away at the door. It doesn’t do much. I run my fingers over the ice where the fire is hitting. The fire isn’t that hot, not compared to a volcano. “It’s melting the outer layer. But we’re not getting very far very fast.”
Alex stops inhaling sharply. “I cannot keep it up forever.”
“Forever wouldn’t be good enough. Not at our level. Either we need hotter fire or we need another option.” I run my hands over the door looking for anything. It is an actual door. It can swing open. It’s locked, though. I claw at the ice block. Without a proper grip, I have no chance at opening it. “Deep freezing it won’t help either.”
Alex frowns at the thing. “I don’t want to just give up after coming this far.”
Yeah. Me neither. I think back to our wonderful trip through Black Swamps. Not that I’d pick Gold Meadows instead. I’ll do the same thing, even if the results are the same. Although the result the second time around shouldn’t be the same.
Exhaling, I stare up at the thing. “Well… We could…” I have no idea what we could do.
“We breathe fire, ice, and teleport. And transform.” Alex pauses staring at me. “How small can you transform?”
I shake my head. He’s pulled off a lesser fairy only a few centimeters tall. I haven’t managed anything less than a meter. “But if you can, maybe you can open it from inside.”
Alex nods. He shimmers shrinking in the process of shifting. He transforms into the micro silver fairy. Then he pushes for smaller. I hiss watching as he goes to a size that fits inside a flower. Then he shrinks further. I think I’m small enough now. He cannot talk out loud this way.
I nod and wait. I can barely see him move about. More like a buzzing insect slipping between cracks. Prince William is not blocking us out. We’re allowed inside. So he should be able to squeeze his way in.
After a bit of time, I hear, I’m in. So that should mean the door will be opened soon.
It’s not. Are you going to let me in?
I can’t. The door won’t budge from this side either. Alex sounds scared.
It’s a good thing he cannot cause any damage there. Transforming wouldn’t work for me. It’s out of my skill to reach small enough to be useful. That’s Alex’s skill. I’m far better at teleport. And I should be able to teleport to my brother. Especially with his fear. I have an easier time if he desires me. I slip the magic out and move through space.
Alex is still trying to open the door when I reach him.
“Hi.” I smirk at him and get a quick hug. “This place is weird.” I glance around while holding my little brother. The walls, floor, and ceiling are all ice. Even the sconces on the wall are ice. The light flickering there seems almost unsettling as if it doesn’t belong. The chairs set about randomly are ice mostly clear ice. I think I’ll prefer rock items, although the clear glass idea definitely seems like something I want.
“It’s gold.” Alex comments releasing me to reach the light. “Gold can conjure light that looks exactly like this. Erin has some in her room and garden.”
“It’s pretty.” Probably what allows her garden to bloom trapped in a cave within the Silver Tundra. “Also not surprising. Prince William has a sibling of every color.” I nod looking about. There is only one direction. We can stay here standing. Or we can sit on one of the ice chairs. Or we can walk forward. William will control our path. Will he create new trials? This should be a test. I’m expecting one given the level of requirement to get inside the place. “I’ll guess the place has touches that scream other colors.”
“Probably.” Alex holds my hand walking forward. I follow easily enough. I scan for something special. “He hasn’t greeted us yet.”
“Except by mind. He watches.”
Alex turns to me terror again. He finally caught on to us being under trial. “I hope he doesn’t hurt us.”
“Mother watches. He wouldn’t tempt that. It may just take a while.” I shrug. “He can offer us knowledge and practice we cannot get at home.”
Alex nods staying close to me. “Erin and Dad made learning ice more difficult.”
“So we must use this environment to better ourselves. We came to the prince for training. Whatever he decides is training, we have to accept.” I stop feeling a watch again.
“What is it?”
I scan the area trying to pick out where. Nope. That’s not something I can do. “Stay back. I deep freeze all living things.” If it’s in William’s house, it must have allowance of some kind. I cannot kill William’s horde pieces.
“If only there were more who liked it like I do.” Alex whispers.
“You’re just weird.” I poke him scanning again. “I can feel something nearby watching. I hope I don’t injure it. It’s a straight and narrow path. It leaves few options.” I start the walk forward again.
“I guess your test will be on a non living thing since you freeze all living ones.” Alex comments lightly. He has me tightly trapped as we move. He’s nervous and terrified of what task William will create. Ice probably wouldn’t help. Fire was pointless against the door. The tests are only to prove our strength and weakness, though.
“Living things are easier.” The voice is from someone else. Sweet and smooth like candy. I scan again seeking the placement of the voice.
“Over there.” Alex points out the place where the wall meets the ceiling about a meter in front of us. “Tiny fairy.”
“Color?” I cannot see anything besides there is something there. My skill with sight is poor.
“Gold?” Alex looks to me and shrugs. “William has every color. She may be here to help light the sconces.” He motions to the lights.
The fairy flies against the ceiling drawing my eyes. “Those lights will not go out. I will deny that from happening.”
So she did make them. Alex adds leaning on me more. “Cyro really does have no control of his ice surround. All living things get a deep freeze.”
“I can handle it.” The fairy huffs. “What do you think I am?”
I stare at her for a moment. “You’re a fairy. Why would a gold fairy be living in White Plateau? How? I guess you have the protection of Prince William. I have no idea if that makes you safe enough. I have frozen everything minus dragons.”
“Well, technically…. You freeze dragons too, but we have our fire to counter it.” Alex pokes me. I slouch forward. How often did I injure my sister and parents? Mom wouldn’t mind. She likes it cold. Not the other two. “William is a stronger dragon than us, so maybe he has the skill to protect his horde.”
I don’t. Don’t kill Elise. William answers filling in gaps of knowledge. Gaps I wish I didn’t know for certain.
“Prince William called you Elise.” I state pointing at her. “And that you do not have his protection.”
“I don’t need his protection.” The fairy flies lower then shivers. She’s reaching my zone. I step back knowing it’s too late. Still she flies closer yet. “William had struggles with this too.” She reaches out and taps her hand on my cheek.
“You’re Princess Elise.” Alex seems surprised and shocked.
“Not anymore.” She moves over to pet Alex. “Lost my title shortly after my brother gained his.” She spins looking at a sconce. “I decided on visiting William. He’s a baby yet.”
“He’s technically an Elder.” I point out.
“He is the youngest of us.” Elise smiles then sits down on Alex’s shoulder. My brother seems confused. “He’ll hold the title of Prince longest. My parents are happy with who took over. Father is a strong person. I respect him. I couldn’t even call myself second best.” She pats Alex’s shoulder. “Let’s move forward.”
“I’m not a horse.” Alex mutters. Still he walks forward and I stay at his side. I keep glancing to the gold dragon on Alex’s shoulder. What do we think of her? And how could William fear in for a second that we could defeat this Elder?
I exhale trying my best not to just freak out over the current events. “Mother sent me here to practice my white magic. A lot of things are the same between silver and white, but my ice aura is all white. And I have no control.” I sigh feeling the trouble that causes. How many things have I killed?
“It’s why you picked your dad.” Elise is too calm. “Golds fix cold outbreaks. Icarus has a very strong skill with it.”
“Dad would be happy to hear that. Sometimes he’s treated as a Middling not an Elder.” Alex frowns looking to me. Or is he focused on the fairy. No he catches my eyes with the vague help me look I’ve learnt to know. Normally it was because Erin did something. “Grandma outright hates him for his age and lack of bonus titles.”
“Cat doesn’t have much in the way of bonus titles either.” Elise huffs flying off Alex’s shoulder. Alex exhales relaxing with her gone. “Gaining Silver Lining is almost expected for a silver dragon.” She looks Alex. “As if you wouldn’t get it shortly after getting elder status.”
“Silver Lining?” I question. Mom doesn’t mention what it means.
“She can make it snow at will. She can give any sky a silver lining.” Elise waves her hand up. “The comparable gold comment is Lightbringer.” She nods to the spheres of light. “Icarus doesn’t have it good enough yet. Erin seems so much better. Perhaps because she fights against cold more than most golds.” Elise shrugs flying forward. “Hurry! The ice pops are ready! If we’re late, I’ll miss out on the chocolate ones.” Then she’s gone too fast for us.
Alex glances at me and shifts to flying. I copy. I’ll be left behind at this rate, but I don’t want the chocolate ice pops. I prefer the cherry ones. I wonder what types he made.
The nook Elise flew to is big. A kitchen. I stare at the massive cold zone. No refrigerator necessary when the place is about zero degrees. An area is specifically set aside for even colder. I just gulp noticing Elise move in to collect ice pops. She grins holding out three. Alex grabs one as I reach the room.
The prince isn’t around, though. I shake my head to the ice pop while scanning the area. This is something I have never seen before. Mom isn’t that interested in cooking. Dad doesn’t like the typical silver fashion of freezing things to perfection. Will he offer different options when we finally visit his cave in Gold? I thought I’d never want to wander the area called Gold Meadows. Now I’m thinking about it.
“Delicious, right?” Elise asks Alex. “Your brother is foolish to not have any.”
“He doesn’t prefer chocolate.” Alex answers nodding to me. “Dad said chocolate is a gold flavor. It’s actually weird I like it.”
“Your twin is a gold.” Elise relaxes on an ice chair. Then I watch as it switches to soft cloth. She’s changing things. Will it draw in the owner of the castle? “Having siblings of different colors is unique. Mother and Father are expected, so being born a princess it was assumed I’d have siblings of various colors.” She waves her hand around changing more of her area. She’s making it real and living. Or was once. The chair is wooden. The small table beside her is the same. The soft blanket on her lap is sheepskin. The rug on the floor at her feet is centaur. William may be used to it. “It was just me and Dan in the beginning. I reached Elder long before I had a second sibling.”
“Dan’s black.” Alex glances to me. He seems nervous. His chair has turned into wood now. He prefers icy environment. “He isn’t open to visitors.”
“Typically no. Has a tendency to cast off anyone visiting for more than five seconds.” The gold fairy sighs. She’s small yet, but not tiny. How’d I not notice her size has increased? Oh, right, the space is getting me confused. She’s gaining size as the items around her fit her more. There is now a potted plant hovering near her. I take a step back. “I don’t stay anywhere for long. Don’t try to visit me at my tree house. I hate staying still.” She grins looking our size now. And the room looks warm and comforting. Except for the area I stand in. The ice is still present where I am because of my aura. I can see my aura too. She’s not pushing against it. “I cycle around my siblings and friends.”
Alex shivers. “You have a lot of them.”
“Twelve siblings. One of every color, plus a double of red and green.” She touches her chest. “Father ignores us mostly. As we lose our titles, we have to submit our allegiance to him.”
“Will you quit it.” Prince William complains from the doorway out of the room. He’s pale almost white, but holds a form similar to a human. “You are ruining my room.”
“Fixing it. Not ruining it.” Elise grins at him holding out a chocolate pop. She ate half of it already. “Do you want some?”
“And you stole my ice pops.” William rubs his forehead stepping forward. I can feel his cold whip against me fixing the room back to mostly ice. Not in Elise’s direct area, but helps Alex feel comfortable. He’d pick an ice chair over a wooden one. “Sit, Cyro.” I am forced into an ice chair, although he allows me to stay where I am. I would kill Elise’s potted plant if I got closer. “I was training the children. You ruin my game and mess with my kitchen.” He waves at the zone and I watch as several more ice pops are made, mostly chocolate. “Is your sister like this?”
Alex points at himself. “You mean my sister?”
“Who else?” William throws his hands up collecting a chocolate ice pop and sits down next to me.
Alex shifts nervously while looking to Elise. “I guess Erin is the same.”
“She does have a garden growing in the cave.” I point out. William smirks at me. His half smile calms me for saying it. “Erin’s cool in a hot sort of way.” That causes the two elders to laugh. I grin feeling more comfortable with them.
William leans back finished with his ice pop. He stretches looking between everyone in the room. “My trial will have to be changed. I figured the path would have obstacles the boys had to counter and figure out.”
“They seemed dull.” Elise says waving off the trial.
“They’re a hundred. Not a thousand. The obstacles should seem dull.” William frowns at his older sister. “Although they did manage to get inside without an issue. What exactly do you wish to practice?”
“My ice aura.” I state sitting up straighter. “I cannot just kill things by existing near them.”
“That would be called a problem.” William stands up looking to Alex and Elise. “Can you not change my cave, Elise?” Elise taps her lips not giving an answer. “Would you like to come with us, Alex? Or do you wish to find out how close Elise is to your sister?”
Alex looks at the gold dragon still in fairy form. She is about our size which shouldn’t be anywhere near her normal dragon size. “I’ll come with. I like working on ice.” He hops up bowing to Elise. She grins waving as the three of us disappear outside. Alex shivers not because of the cold but because the teleport was so specific. It wasn’t me. It couldn’t be Alex. So it must have been William.
Prince William shifts to allow his white scales up, although he keeps to our size. Having him look closer to the dragon is surprisingly unsettling. He doesn’t have anything that makes him special as far as I can tell. My silver streaks or Alex’s purple show our mixed blood. “Now, I want you to extend the aura as far as you can.”
William motions before him as a line of evergreens pop up. It seems to go on forever. “Kill as many as you can.”
“But…” I stare at them thinking of Erin’s cries. It didn’t matter what I killed only that I did it. She hated the fact I would do such to any living thing. I whimper as William just motions for me to try.
As far as I can. I exhale and press my ice aura out. I can feel the trees as they succumb to my ice shattering in my magic. I flinch listening to the shatter as tree after tree dies a horrible death.
“You do realize nothing feels pain from this type of death.” William comments. “Especially trees that have little in the way of feeling.”
“I can hear my sister’s screams.”
“That’s because the living things were typically hers.” William adds looking to Alex. “Am I right?” Alex nods. “You should be able to reach further, though.” He motions to the tree line. I have five meters out dead. Five meters is a far distance and he thinks I can do further? “Go ahead. Push harder.”
I stare at the far tree and press my magic outwards. I watch as the deep freeze hits it shattering it so easily with a light gust. So I try the next. And the next. I’m succeeding. I’m seven meters out surprised I’m still managing. My ice aura hasn’t found an end.
“The ones who have a stronger aura have options. Keeping the ice to yourself would be difficult, but you can change the shape conforming it to the environment. Or if you spread it out super far, then it will do little to nothing. Go ahead, push as far as you can.”
I force my magic out to the outskirts. Now I can touch the trees with magic, but they do not deep freeze. “Can I have the trees back up?”
William nods. Soon the trees are back up on the line. I can see frost forming on them and press my aura out further. Even frost doesn’t happen after a while. I’m spread too thin. It works. “As you get bigger as a dragon, holding in your ice will become easier. This is how I handled it as a child. Or you can control the form of the aura dancing the edges of dangerous things.”
I exhale. “Mom said to switch it to only threat. But I couldn’t figure that out.”
“That’s another option. It never worked for me though. I have too much power.” William rubs my head. “Don’t worry, kid. There is a reason Elder is the control test. Trying to contain our magic at such a small size is…” He pauses thinking it over. “Difficult.”
That calms me. I keep my aura extended out. Then I think it over. Alex likes my aura. Can I cause him damage by solely hitting him? “Can I try something?”
“Go ahead.” William motions me to the whiteness around us.
I turn to Alex gulping. “Can I try something on you, Alex?” He questions a moment then nods. I gulp pulling my aura back pulling off the trees. Still the closest ones shatter. I have to let it go. I turn to Alex and focus my aura around him and strictly him.
“That’s cold.” Alex stares at me eyes wide. “It’s like I’m sitting on you.”
“Is that a good thing?” I ask him and get a nod. “Can you pull the trees back?” I look to William. It’s probably Elise inside doing it. I should thank her later. The trees come back slowly starting at the furthest ones. I shiver watching as the ones right next to me stay standing. How controlled is this? I’m just shoving my entire aura at Alex. He can take it. He wants it.
Alex grins dancing a little. “I may actually accept visiting Gold Meadows now.” It has me laughing. He was basically sick while there last time.
More trees start sprouting around me trapping me in place. I gasp when I lose sight of Alex, but I’m holding a tight reign which surprises me. I’m specifically ‘attacking’ someone, so the aura isn’t spreading elsewhere.
“Now burn down the trees.” William comments out of my sight.
I exhale and release my fire. It burns high no longer fighting my aura. I stare at it surprised it works as well as Alex’s normally does. Still not enough to burn down a living forest. I watch a few of the needles drop dead. The bark in a few places turns black, but to does no real damage. It has to be hotter or longer. With mouth closed, my breathe stops. I’m not a complete failure. “I did it.”
“I’d say so.” William is grinning when I can finally see him. “There isn’t always one straight answer. Having a silver around to constantly attack can work for visiting cities or walking through forests. It will not work for sleep. What’s your sleep radius?”
“About two meters.” I frown focusing on William while keeping my constant attack going. “I may be able to pull off spreading too thin for sleep, although…” I hiss. It was hard to do much of anything if I need sleep. It’s not common. “I’ll need a proper cave space to sleep.” I look away rubbing my neck.
Alex tackles me with a hug. “I love it!”
I stare up at him. “You love being attack continuously?” I blink. It’s Alex, though. He would crawl into my room and curl close because of my aura.
Alex snuggles against me. “You are the best brother ever. I love being frozen every second.”
“Ah, the silver weirdness is strong in this one.” William turns away stepping forward. We all end up before his cave entrance. He creates a handle to pull the door open with. “I make a doorknob with ice to enter. It wasn’t locked after all.” He smirks disappearing outside. But we already solved this problem. Repeating our successes have me more comfortable walking the ice palace. I finally have a way around killing everything. Do you have any plans?
I exhale looking to my brother. Alex looks happier with the constant attack. He always loved my cold. If I can control it like this I can walk Gold Meadows. I would love seeing a real garden. I would love to see Erin’s garden. “Alex… Do you think Erin started her trip?”
Alex blinks looking at me. “How about we stay a bit longer here? I wouldn’t mind another chocolate pop.” He grins excited. Chocolate, Elise said, was a gold treat.
It’s soothing to be given the option. I have a level of control. Not complete control. It wouldn’t give me a pass for Elder title, but now I can walk around without killing things. I would like to see my sister’s garden now. I never could.
Stay the night. I offer a meal and a bed. I hope you don’t mind a sheet of ice. If you need wood and cloth ask Elise. She’s still ruining my kitchen. William has a sister like I do. A gold who has such strong magic about her.
An ice sheet is fine. I’d prefer it. Half the cave was frozen and half the cave was tropics. Guess which side I slept on. I take up Alex’s hand. “A meal and a bed. Then we’ll go on a hunt for Erin. I want to walk her garden.”
Alex stares at me a moment. Then he nods. “Of course. Her garden was special. I hope she finds a comfortable place to nest. I want to see the rainbow under the sunlight.”
It reminds me of the Lightbringer title golds get. Dad doesn’t have it. Erin will get it shortly after Elder. I can see it now. I look to Alex flying down the path because he can. Silver Lining. He’ll have that in about the same time. I exhale feeling more comfortable as a white dragon. My aura can be useful. It can give my brother comfort in areas that would hurt him for existing.
“There you are.” Elise grins holding up chocolate pops again. “Eat with me.” I accept the offering this time moving in close enough to hurt her plant. But I don’t. It’s amazing. I reach out and touch the leaves of the potted plant. They don’t auto-freeze. I rub my cheek to the leaf as the gold chuckles. Alex likes my cold. The plant would not.
“Thanks.” I step back to the ice chair and sit down. Chocolate is a flavor I don’t think I would end up minding.