A Dragon Impulse
The sun felt good on my face; slowly I crawled out of my sleeping bag. Morning dew on the ground moistened my dried hands. I quietly slipped on my shoes; suddenly something fell from my hoodie. It fluttered to the ground; I reached down and picked up the object.
I was holding a letter in my hand. It contained no name; the only thing on the envelope was a dark sword. Without even thinking I already knew who wrote the letter. The most secretive group to walk the face of the earth; The Hunters.
My hands shook as I ripped the letter open. Carefully I slipped the message out of the envelope. It read "Announcing your opinion like that can get you killed. What you did was stupid and reckless; still it took guts. We could use someone like you; if you think you can take the heat."
My first reaction was shock; the world's greatest dragon slayers wanted me. Of all the people left after the change they wanted me. Only if I could take the heat though; they literally meant it too. After all dragons have fire breath, fire never scared me; to me fire was just a gas.
Excitement ran through me; what was I going to tell Arky? Not the truth, telling a dragon that you were going to become a dragon slayer is not a smart idea. He was my friend though… no he was a dragon he is my enemy.
Arky proved that yesterday; I was sick of those lizards taking everything over. I wanted the world to go back to normal; the way it was supposed to be.
I put the note into my pocket; quickly I got dressed and headed to the Hunters headquarters. It was a bad idea to walk through town to get to the Hunters; so I took the forest route.
The trip was boring; all I could do to keep myself occupied was think about what I was going to say. Something snapped behind me, quickly I span around to see nothing in the area.
I turned around and came face to face with a knife. The owner of the knife was buff and tall. A scar ran down his right eye, he was sneering at me. "What business do you have here?" he asked in a gruff voice.
"Uh… I have a letter… in my right pocket." I replied shaking. He pulled the crisp letter from my pocket and read it. With an amused expression on his face he looked me up and down. Finally he said "Come with me," I did as I was told and followed him.
We traveled deeper into the woods; moving very quietly for some reason. There was a clearing ahead, but in the clearing was a… a dragon. From the looks of the dragon it was an ancient one. Suddenly the buff guy threw the knife to me and pushed me into the clearing.
Fear coursed through my veins; the dragon was massive and had silver scales. Bearing its fangs the dragon stood to full height; it had to be at least twenty feet tall. My knee's started shaking, sweat rolled down my face.
The giant beast snorted at me like I wasn't worth the effort. Anger rushed through me like hot fire; I threw myself to the left. The gap between the dragon and me was quickly closed as I rolled towards it.
I had caught the dragon off guard and took my chance. As fast as I could I ran to the wing of the dragon; leaping I barley caught the wing. The dragon panicked and reared up; I almost fell from its back.
The knife in my hand was slipping; I jumped to the neck and held on. I held onto the neck with one arm and brought the knife up with the other. The knife came down with tremendous force.
Blood sprayed everywhere and the dragon collapsed onto the ground. I jumped off then realized that something was wrong; the dragon's blood was black not ichor green. No it wasn't blood it was oil; the dragon was a machine.
"Ha ha ha ha good work there lad I am impressed." The guy said to me, "What did I just kill," I asked. The man replied "A machine designed to act and fight like an ancient dragon."
What he just said made my head reel, "The ancient ones are the hardest dragons to slay though." I said, "Yes and you just got one, that robot has been slain by one other person." He told me.
He turned and headed back to the forest, I followed him. "My name is Travis by the way," he said to me; I looked at him and replied "I'm Cullen, so… who was it that killed the robot?" Travis turned with a smile on his face.
"Me… ha ha ha we test new recruits and see how they react in the face of danger." Travis explained, we walked until we reached a cave. "Well I deem you good enough to be a Hunter but we will have to talk to Thogar first." Travis said.
The cave was warm and dark; Travis knew where he was going though. We reached a solid wall at the back of the cave; Travis put his hand on the wall and said "Dragons are the bane now I have slain them; gain me entrance through their pain."
With that the wall split in two and slid open to gain us passage. The corridor was lined with bricks; torches lit the way to a throne. On the throne sat a huge guy that made Travis look tiny.
We reached the throne, "Thogar I have a recruit… he just took down the automaton!" Travis exclaimed, the man known as Thogar looked down at me and said "Have we met… I think I recognize you."
I shook my head and replied "I would remember seeing you," Travis and Thogar started laughing. I could not picture Thogar grocery shopping. "I approve of this kid… Travis you shall be his mentor and fellow dragon slayer." Thogar announced.
Travis nodded and motioned for me to follow; we walked through a door into an underground courtyard. Travis led me to a pit that was filled with white hot fire. Slowly Travis pulled a branding iron out of the flames.
"Hold out your arm," Travis commanded me. I did as he asked and closed my eyes waiting for excruciating pain. The iron touched my skin but it felt… cold; "What in the hell… how are you not branded?" Travis asked.
Amazement hit me when I opened my eyes and seen that there was no sign of being touched with white hot metal. I smiled and said "I don't know but that is too cool," my excitement quickly vanished as fire erupted from my arm.
"Ahhhh," I screamed "What's happening to me!!!" Travis stepped back and watched me become engulfed in red flames. The flames felt good and warm on my body; as soon as they came they were gone.
I stood up from the floor and dusted myself off; "Hmmm… you are fireproof interesting." Travis said in a calculating tone. "Um… so what does this mean then Travis?" I asked; he shrugged and said "Tonight we are taking back the northwest part of the forest." I smiled and replied "Do I get to fight with the Hunters?"
"Are you kidding with your fireproof abilities you are going to help me lead them into battle!" he said excited; there was no way to express my joy so I stood and listened. Travis walked over to a weapon rack; he threw me a sword and a knife.
"You seem to know how to fight at close range so you will be an asset to our group." Travis told me; I strapped the sword and knife to my belt. We waited for night to fall upon the forest; the rest of the Hunters gathered around Travis and me. "Listen up today I have met a very interesting kid." Travis started his speech.
Everyone turned and looked at me like I was a circus attraction. Travis cleared his throat and continued "This young man is called Cullen and I can see that you noticed he doesn't have a brand on him. That is because he has the ability of our greatest dragon slayer."
Suddenly the crowd gasped and started talking all at once. "Calm down… yes he is a great fighter and is fireproof. He will be leading us into battle." Travis reassured everyone. Travis grabbed my arm and led me to the front of the group. I started walking to the war zone.
It wasn't long before I seen dragons flying overhead and seen some already on the ground staring right at me with pure hatred in their eyes. I had my work cut out for me because my teacher Mr. Brong was waiting for me.