SS The Dragon’s Quest for Hopper:: Chapter 49 : Doug and Dominik

The Dragon’s Quest for Hopper starts off as any other low brow elf seeking a real place in life.  He didn’t think the real place would be babysitter to a dragon.  Part of him wishes the dragon mother decided on eating him instead of shoving him into this new role.  What was he thinking getting involved with Linda or Hartliebe or thinking he deserved more in life than running a beer company.  Beer is his life.  Or it was.  His life now seems a lot different.  And scary.
Genres: Adventure, fantasy

[WIP: The Dragon’s Quest for Hopper]

Doug and Dominik

Inside my head I curse off my horde piece ally.  Ethan can go screw himself next time something wrong happens.  I step forward ignoring the pair left behind.  Kevin must not be able to handle the larger dragon.  Yet still, Doug is smaller than Cyro by quite a bit.  My body should be quivering and it’s not.  I’m calm.  I’m fine with the scary looking dragon on his mound of bones before me.  I am different.

“Who comes upon me with misguided trust?”  Doug’s eyes blink open.  Their bright red stops me, but I do not show nerves.

Actually, I offer him a smile and a short head bob.  “Good day.  I am Dominik.”

“Go away before my stomach tells me dinner nears.”

“Ah, we may have a problem, then.”  Dominik twists his wand carefully.  How can this be phrased to draw the dragon into the game without attacking?  “I would like to claim the Isle’s food supply as my own.”

“Nonsense.”  Doug stands on all fours.  He does not seem that easily drawn into battle.  Or he sees no threat with me.  Which I’ll take as a good thing.  No reason to let him know I took down Kevin with a little help from Cyro.  “You are a dinner item.  So how can you take the Isle’s?”

“I am much more than I seem.”  I wave the wand letting the shield spell I copied from Amanda to shimmer around me.  Doug blinks unsure of what it is he sees.  “I am not just some worthless elf.  I couldn’t come here if I was.”

Intrigued now, Doug steps off his bones and walks over.  Now I can see his size up close.  He may match with the size of a carriage three horses are required to pull.  A bit of a heavy hitter, assuming here, but still not as big as Cyro.  Still a baby dragon.  Still dependant.  On who?  Who defends the babies here?  “Really?”

“Yes.”  I circle him as lightly as he circles me.  I can feel Cyro’s presence and yet none of the others.  Good, Cyro has them blocked.  Or someone else does.  Or they are still back at the cave.  Whatever.  I place myself with Cyro behind Doug.  The dragon still keeps his eyes on me.

“You offer no reason as to why I should not just destroy you.”  Doug closes the gap between us.  I do not even flinch.  Not that I close the gap further.  I have no way to defeat the hulking thing.  “And elf is tasty.”

“When’s the last time you ate such rare meat?”  I chuckle waving off that idea.  “I’m not much for eating meat personally.  However, it has been said creatures of our type require a carnivorous diet.”

“You…”  Doug stops a foot or so from me.  His eyes keep me engaged.  My wand is ready to hit him with something.  Stop worked on Cyro, even if for a few seconds.  I don’t think this one relies on defense as much as Kevin does.  He’s offensive.  Should be easier to handle, then.  “Are a dragon?”

“And if I was?”  I lean on one foot smirking at the baby.  “Dragons normally hide their appearance.  I look at you and see dragon.  You look at me confused more than anything.  I’m not quite an elf.  Even a blind deaf mute could tell that.”

“Hey.”  Doug stands up on his hunches.  Now he’s tall.  Now I know dragons can be bipedal.  A good thing to know.  And also really scary to think something the size of a castle could stand on his hind legs.  Internally I shiver over the idea of Cyro standing up.  “I am a dragon.  And I will eat you.”

“Go ahead and try.”  I hold open my hands.

A large burst of flame tries its best to swallow me.  I feel the tinge, but thank the stars I knew the fire protection spell level dragon breathe.  I would be smoking if I didn’t know that.  Cat needs my thanks.

“That… should’ve…”  Doug huffs staring me down now.

I am no longer a piece of food.  I could be called a threat.  He slams his front paws forward inches from my body.  One reach out and I slide closer feeling the heat of his skin.  Too close for a good claw attack, not unless he wants to hurt himself too.  “Well, you see, dragons normally hide their image.  The whole scary size of an elder makes it a requirement.  I have a friend who…”

“Shut up!”  Doug flails getting me knocked around and tossed from my hiding spot.  Still his front paw slamming on me pinning me to the ground does not make me lose my smirk.

“As I was saying, my friend…”

“Shut up!”  Doug tries his fire again.  Yet my spell makes mincemeat of it.  “Shut up, shut up, shut up!”

“I wasn’t talking.”  I squirm getting comfortable while he attempts to squeeze me.  “Although if you refuse to chat, I could try attacking.”  My smirk grows showing off white teeth to the dragon.  He hops back terrified.  I slowly stand.  The fear in Doug’s eyes has me glad for all my defensive.  But still I lose with offensive.  I have nothing to try against him.  Minus… “Stop.”

The spell works on the baby dragon.  The fear settles into his bones as I step forward hand out.  I reach his scaly skin petting him like a lizard.  “I did not think you would be so fearful just because you cannot hurt me.”

The look of death draws me for a second, but I shrug it off.  “The spell will not last long.”  I turn facing away.  Where is my ally in battle?  Someone who can fight offensively?  I’m support.  I heal and defend.  He cannot hurt me.  But I cannot win.

While I am turned away a massive pillar of fire descends on the baby dragon.  I glance back.  His fear grows, but his body cannot move.  My spell made him a perfect target.  And Amanda took the chance.  I assume it’s her spell.  She loves fire.  And that looks demonic.

Doug roasts for a while.  When my spell times out, Doug looks burnt to a crisp.  Is that enough to kill him?  I step forward, but before I can do anything Kevin runs in and attacks.  The littler dragon pounces and bites.  His claws pierce the bigger dragon leaving blood pooling everywhere.  The rest of us keep back.  I even move to the edge of the tree line.  All we can do is watch as the dragon Kevin faces down against Doug.  Doug half taken down by Amanda and my spells leaves no chance at loss.  I turn away unable to watch after a while.

Whether I want it to be or not, Doug will never see another sunrise.  I walk off back into the trees and toward Nothing Hill.  Tait has something he needs to do.  I’m not sure what, but it will take place at the Sapphire Room on Nothing Hill.  With the limited time and another unknown dragon about, I want this quest truly over and done with.

Tait catches up with me after a short while.  “Where are you going?”

“We need to get you to Nothing Hill.”

“You’re going the wrong way.”  Tait points behind us.  “And we should see about this Tom fellow.  And why Kevin attacked the bigger dragon so viciously.”

“Aren’t they your friends?”  I ask him turning around.  The clearing looks worse than before.  Amanda is the only one going over the new corpse.  The rest of the group surrounds Kevin keeping him from dismantling the other dragon even more.

“I thought they were my friends.”  Tait rubs his face area.  Come to think of it, I see him even better now than I ever did before.  This island is making a difference to him.  “But I also had no idea they were dragons.”

Bypassing the group, I start on the path to Nothing Hill with Tait.  What will we find up there?  Tait jumps in front of me.  “Wait, the others aren’t…”

“Why wait?  You need to reach…”  I motion to the hill.

“Not yet.  Not until we figure out the next step.  We have time.”

I look up at his words.  We’ve had a day pass us during this nonsense.  A battle with two separate dragons.  Baby dragons. With Hartliebe’s protections, I managed to survive them.  My eyes scan the forest area around us.  Another dragon is out there somewhere.  Will we see Tom?  Will he be easier to handle or harder to handle?

“Kevin!”  Tait passes by me floating back to the group.  I follow him.  If Tait does not go with me, then what purpose is there to finding the hill?  “Kevin, what happened?”

The baby dragon cries within the group.  His mutters do not seem to make any sense.  Cyro nods anyway.  I toss out another translate, but still gain no understanding of the infant.

“Calm down.”  Tait reaches out for the dragon.  Kevin watches the ghost thing hover before him.  “What happened?”

Kevin sinks into the ground muttering a little more coherently, “Doug killed…”

“Your pet?  Your…”

“Don’t be stupid, Tait.”  Kevin shifts pulling his wings up and over his body.  “Doug killed her.”

Tait stands there unable to mouth the words Kevin is speaking.  “You…  mean…”

“Alex.”  Kevin cries out swinging both hands and wings around.  One of the Mad Hatters was hit, but I didn’t notice who.  “Doug killed Alex.”

The silence thickens.  No one says anything.  Tait has probably told everyone his feelings for the other ghost thing.  Alex was one of the first I really heard about with him.  Alex was Tait’s favorite.  He wanted her to be more than just a friend, but to Kevin she was more than just a friend.

“Doug killed Alex,” Kevin repeats.  “And I stayed to make sure he died.  By my hand or another’s.  I didn’t care.  I just needed him to die.”

“So…”  Tait tries, but does not have a sentence.

Kevin puffs up.  “When Alex was killed, most of the others flew away.  Not me.  I stayed.”

“And Tom?”  I question.

Kevin pauses watching me.  “Tom can’t fly.”

Tait finally responds to the comment, “Is Tom a dragon?”

“Yeah.  A tiny blue one.  But his wings are different.”  Kevin nods to the other side of the isle.  “Still he had skill attacking with water.  Doug left him alone.  Tom didn’t like me either because I can leave and didn’t.”

“So, Tom…”  I glance at Cyro.  “Could you explain?”

“He’s a blue dragon.  He deals with water.  I’m pretty sure that’s obvious.  And we may want to visit him to see if we can help.”  Cyro looks out in the direction Kevin pointed.

“I’m coming too.”  Kevin stands on his four legs and shakes off his grief.  “Tom knows me, even if he knows to attack me.”

Dragons accounted for and headed for Tom.  I need to go with them, but the Mad Hatters have seen better days.  Ethan turns to me sitting next to Amanda.  The wound is visible and sickly.  “Go.  I got this.”  By wing I have no trouble catching up with the dragon pair.

(Yes, Kevin kills Doug. So there. As if I wouldn’t kill him.)

[About Cat Hartliebe] [Cat Hartliebe’s Books] [WIP: The Dragon’s Quest for Hopper]

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