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The next week went flying by as Crave and Costrad kept their usual routine. Costrad kept on trying to get Tariel to join him but with mostly no luck, Crave on the other hand got more used to the idea of Tariel being around him, although not fully enjoying the sudden change.

Pain was the only thing he felt, but his only thought in mind was to get home. Blood was the only thing he could taste and all smell was gone. Every move would cause dried blood to crust allowing more fresh blood to surround his body, and his legs felt like bricks every time he tried to move.

At home, his daughter was waiting at home, crying her eyes out as her worry only grew. Sleep was not an option as every time she tried to fall asleep the last words of her farther would ring in her ears, sleep deprivation was the last thing she wanted to worry about this late night.

“Don’t worry darling, I’ll come home safe and we’ll go critter hunting when I do, alright honey?” Was the words her farther told her before he left for a mission that his fellow guards gave him in secrecy.

Normally she would be fine with her farther leaving her, giving her time to be herself, but the tone of her father’s last words were worryingly serious, as this was one of the few times she had heard this tone but she quickly figured something was wrong.

She always had a hard time socially, ever since her mother died of an incurable sickness with no currently known name which caused her body to collapse instantaneous on the ground, and this was her last moment in life. Ever since then it was a struggle to converse with others, they all seemed different and found it hard to agree on any topic.

Her childhood was spent mostly outside the wall, her mother and father would often fly at the base of the mountains and hunt for fish while she would fly by and learn the different techniques, mostly about aerodynamics and flying techniques. It was always amazing, fishing at day time. Dragons would fill the empty space between the mountains and the continues splashing would overkill the sound of running water.

For a young dragon, learning to fly would be the most exciting compared to other basic knowledge. Being surrounded by other dragons learning to fly or already professional flyers, would ease young dragons into jumping of the cliff and spread their wings while parents would stand by and cheer them on but still prepared to catch their falling child. She was always a fast learner and learning to fly was almost a breeze for her and she could remember the time she got it right, her parents were so proud of her.

But ever since her mother passed away, and now that her father was gone longer than usual she missed the cheer her parents would provide more than ever now. As she sat there hopeless and miserable, she began crying once again, this time it felt more as a burning cry as she was sure her body soon could not produce enough tears to support her night long fit.

She had earlier contemplated walking outside, to find a possible guard whom could clear the situation with her and tell her that her father was just fine and was forced by a greater force to leave her for a time.

But walking outside into the pure darkness the night frightened her to the bones and it did not help that the crickets were going wild with their usual night song, although this night it seemed more as a mockery to the female dragon.

“Please, dad, come home soon.” She sat in her own room while sobbing into her rock bed covered in moss.

Her dad was halfway up the mountain, he struggled as every muscle inside him body told him to drop down the mountain, but the idea of leaving his daughter alone in the world kept him going as far as he could.

The lights from the watchtowers by the wall were supposed to be a welcoming and warm sight for dragons, but for him, the light seemed taunting yet gave him a goal to reach in his dire situation.

Teeth had sunken into his shoulder and every move would cause more fresh blood to flow out of his open wound. He had been in this state for a few hours and was sure infection would be a major problem if he ever got to the town alive. A moment ago his claws had begun falling off as the missing blood had begun its toll on his body, as they fell off he had to stare at his paws as he was overruled by disgust. His missing claws made it considerably harder to climb the mountain, he had to grab onto the grass that existed in few patches, halting his speed significantly.

This continuous suffering lasted another hour, which felt like an eternity for the injured father. At last, he was outside the wall gate, the wooden gate had taken its toll of old age and missing maintenance, moss and roots were growing into the gate and the wall surrounding it, the growth was causing cracks to form all around the gate frame. The gate was at this point blocked and the mechanism to open the gate was broken beyond repair. The outside ban made the entire idea of a gate useless but the citizens weren’t bothered by its missing use and left it to rot and deteriorate slowly.

The father dragon walked slowly and painfully towards the gate, the pain was almost subsided but his entire body was covered in dry dark red blood, the dry blood stopped any further bleeding from his open wound in his shoulder, but he had still lost a big amount of blood and began feeling the consequences of the missing blood.

Despite his ill condition, he still walked the last few meters and stood in front of the gate and laid his head up against the rotten gate. At this point he was well past exhaustion and his body completely collapsed onto the ground with his head stuck between the gate and his own body. Despite the uncomfortableness, his body was sure that this was the place where he would fall asleep, and might not wake again, but he kept his consciousness awake and with the last energy he had in himself he looked around and saw a pair of shadows appearing behind him, but his body was too tired to react at this point and closed his eyes and did not care if it were hostile creatures or friendly.

As he was slowly falling into unconsciousness he opened his eyes only just enough to look at around once more, the two shadows had moved and he panickily looked upwards only to see a dragon face staring him down, their reinforced scales determined that it was a guard who had found him.

The look on the guard showed panic. When the dying dragon in front of the guard opened his eyes he instantly panicked and began calling for help from nearby guards, the father knew this guard well, it was one of the oldest and well known guard in their ranks, often because he always seemed to know the correct answer.

“Iris…” He stammered out trying to call the dragon closer to him but with no prevail as his voice was too weak.

For all, but the injured dragon, the sky soon filled with the sound of dragons taking heavy flight and the astonished gasp they all gave out as they saw the condition of their fellow kin.

“Get him inside, quickly!” Iris gave command to the others, the others at this point were forced out of their disgusted state and had try to get the dragon inside the walls and into a home.

“The gate does not work!” Another dragon responded and every dragon only got more confused look on face as their unusual complicated situation only seemed to get worse.

“We are dragons for god’s sake, fly him over the wall you…” Iris shouted back clearly losing his temper at the poor decision making his team mates were making.

“Yes sir!” A pair of dragons responded, and called another pair of dragons over to the injured dragon.

The four dragons each took a grabbable limb, but not without having to over win their disgust of all the blood. They had never carried a dragon over the wall, there never were a reason to do so, and this might have been the worst-case scenario since the guard was established.

“We are not trained for this,” One of the four chosen dragons muttered before grabbing onto the bloody dragons tail and clamping his jaw around it. This caused a reaction in the almost dead dragon, the movements gave hope to the guards around him.

“Shut up and do your part!” Another guard who had kept his mouth shut and stood beside passively looking at the situation unfold.

“Listen here you little…” The working guard answered but got interrupted by the sudden pain in his shoulder, he looked around to see he had crashed into the weak wall shoulder first in his short temper.

Everyone went silent at once, and suddenly a crack sound would ring in their ears and panic once again overtook their senses.

“Get out, quickly!” Iris quickly ushered and nearly on command, the group of four dragons rushed out into the open once again, safe from the possible crash.

“Wait! We still need to get him out…” And just then an immediate sound of rocks falling apart overkilled his voice and the gate was caving in right in front of the guards.

Rocks loosened themselves and some bigger rocks got loose and crashed down towards the ground, but then everything stood still.

The wind stopped moving and the rocks that a second ago were crashing down stood still in mid-air. All sounds were nullified and all movement stood still, expect for the injured dragon scratching the grass around his numb paw.

He slowly opened his eyes and groaning as if he had just woken up from a week’s slumber, he looked around and felt a strange strain as he tried to look back and forward. Soon after he noticed the pain and numbness were gone and it almost felt as if he was in perfect health, but as he looked back and forward at his body he could still see all the blood that had been shed dry on to his scales.

Everywhere he looked, everything stood in a standstill, as if time had stopped and he was the only one not effected by the spell. Every move he tried to do seemed to be constricted by an invisible force that forced him into his original position, no matter how hard he tried to escape. Every time he lifted his arm he would be able to lift it a few centimetres before the pressure would force it back into the original position. Even gravity did not seem to work, as every time he tried to move his head away from its position it would fly back into the same uncomfortable position.

For the next hour or so nothing seemed to happen, this phenomenon seemed to last as the father laid there desperately trying to move but with no success.

After a while he had to give up trying to escape, every move he did seemed to be meaningless and everything reversed his movements every single time.

He sighed as he was on the verge of shedding tears, the mist from his breath seemed to stop mid-air. He let go of his body and every limb went back to its original position even if logically they should be someplace else. As he laid there he began going through his memories. His early gone wife and how his parents seemed to vanish out of nowhere, they all told him that they had jumped off a cliff and drowned in the big river below, but he never believed them, it did not sound like something they would do. Whereas his wife died without warning and he was left to take care of his daughter whom had a hard time being with other dragons, he always told her everything was going to be fine, even though his life has always seemed to be falling apart right in front of him.

After his wife had died, life seemed to calm down and gave the middle aged male a break from trouble and his daughter was finally beginning to find friends and spend time with other dragons.

Tears were building around his eyes as he remembered the last time he saw her. He did not want to leave her for his given mission, but it was needed and if he ever survived this, he would surely come back with great result. But the results did not matter, the only thing he could think of was his daughter who probably was at home worrying her heart out and how he had betrayed her trust by not keeping his promises. At last, the tears came out and were pouring out, as soon as they were separated from his body they froze mid-air.

Finally, the father let go, his unconsciousness was quickly sweeping away.

“See you later, Tariel.” He sobbed out before passing away.

Time went back to normal and the gate went crashing once more, the surrounding guards looked at the event with sad faces as they saw their fellow guard kin crushed by large rocks.

This incident caused some of the surrounding wall to crash together, leaving the city fully exposed to danger. The sound caused by the destruction seemed as a thousand shouts at once and was surely to wake the citizens of the town, although the guards hoped to keep the calm and not have to take care of any panic, but to their demise the sky soon filled with wings and the streets were soon filled with feet.

The dragons were astonished at the sight, the wall had crashed right in front of them which scared them enough to keep them behind the before standing wall, the dragons landed and did not dare to go other the imaginary line.

The guards stood in panic as the group of dragons grew larger until almost all dragons were present, they had never had to act on this type of situation and never told what to do in said situation.

Every dragon stood still in a confused state, as they all saw outside the wall and saw how the outside looked close by. Some dragons got nostalgia from the earlier times where going outside was routine, the young were curious but decided to wait for a reaction from an adult.

Silence hang on the larger group of dragons, almost all dragons were trying to form an answer to their new problem. After their sightseeing and day dreaming they would look over to the rubble of stones and disgust would fill their faces as blood was to be found everywhere between the rubble.

After a few minutes Tariel tried to squeeze through the group to see what was going on. The guards seeing the young girl and remembering the incident that happened a few moments ago turned their frown into a sad one.

Tariel picked on their sudden change of mood and appearance and her heart dropped as heavy rocks into her stomach. She began to put her disappearing father and the sudden wall crash together and began fearing the worst.

Costrad, who had been looking at the scene from afar saw the sudden change of mood and tried pushing by the large group of dragons to get to her, but without any luck.

Iris who had taken leadership earlier finally got courage to approach the panicking girl outside the wall. As he got closer he could see her trembling and for a moment lost the will to tell her what had happened.

Tariel who saw the guard close in, tried to keep a good amount of distance to him as a sign of panic, but the guard got desperate and jumped over to her causing her to lose balance and fall on her hind legs.

Iris then sat and settled comfortably besides her while contemplating his next choice of words. He found it harder than usual, he had beforehand reported many deaths to a family’s but he had never had to revisit the same girl to tell her the death of both her parents. The first visit was not special in comparison to others, but this one almost chocked him to unconsciousness, but he had to report it and he kept true to his current duty.

“I am truly sorry, Tariel,” He took a break to get his breath back. “Your father ended in a lethal accident.”

At this very moment Tariel’s life shattered and time stopped for her while her thoughts screamed at themselves. Everything hurt and her heart seemed to stop for a minute before catching up with her body, time went back to normal and she began blinking uncontrollably blink as painful tears were building up.

She began sobbing, and as if on que a group of dragons walked up to her, and began coaching her back into her town for some peace and rest.

Costrad could only look by with a wanting to comfort her, but decided now was not the time. As he sat there struggling with seeing his friend’s loss, a sudden push came from behind and Costrad gave space for the pusher.

But when no dragon seemed to cross his head, he looked down only to see Crave trying to squeeze through the group.

“What… are you doing Crave?” he asked only to get ignored by the drake as Crave continued through the crowd until he reached the edge.

He ran out onto a stone platform to see the view the mountain provided.

The dragons looked at him with bewilderment but simultaneously held a grudge at the drake breaking one of their fundamental laws, they all wanted to do the same but were also scared of getting persecuted by law if they did.

As Crave sat there his eyes began tearing up because the harsh wind that took place and quickly felt nostalgia from when he was younger and could experience this whenever. The humid air, grassy smell and the long-distanced environment all reminded him of his earlier home with the drakes. He could clearly remember waking up in a cave, going outside to hunt for smaller prey with his pack, dangers were few and the only true killer back then was sickness, but with a few guidelines, getting sick was rare and even more rarely lethal.

The guards were not happy about the whole situation, firstly their gate fell, secondly a dragon died and lastly Crave was exciting dragons too join him outside the wall.

“Everybody! Go home while we figure out what to do next.”

In a last-ditch effort to keep chaos at its lowest they issued everybody to go back to their homes and rest, all but Crave did not followed that order and as Costrad was walking back to his home, had to look back only to see his friend being as stubborn as always.

“When will you ever learn, Crave?” He sighed as he turned his head towards the city again and walked away.

Crave knew fine well that he was disobeying orders but was not willing to let go of this sight that meant so much to him, he had been sitting atop of his hill looking outside the wall and finally had a chance to be there.

The guards grew tired and took one look at Crave as the crowd dissipated and tried their luck once more to get Crave inside the walls again.

“Come on Crave, last chance.” They all called out as a quire, only to get ignored by the drake again. They then decided to give up and go find an answer to their new problem, for them this was a horrible day with the tragic loss of a fellow dragon and the countless number of hours it would take to rebuild the wall again, while hoping no danger would appear in the meantime. A disobedient drake was the least of their worries, so they went on with their sudden complicated day.

As they left, Crave continued to sit there for hours, he would sit there remembering the time he was in present of his own pack and family, he always wanted to go out and see if the pack were to be found, but the complicated system of drake packs made it hard and extremely risky as a stray drake walking onto other packs territory would surely mean death.

Being with the dragons seemed to be the safest choice in his current situation, even if he desperately wanted to get back to his earlier life.

“Maybe when I am older.” He sighed to himself after hours of silence.

He looked back into the city and saw nothing, everyone was sleeping and the guards were nowhere to be found, at last he casted a glance over to the rubble of stone a few meters from him and he felt a twist on his heart as he hanged his head, it had seemed as if he did not even notice the casualty of the older dragon and father to the girl he had just gotten to know.

“Poor Tariel.” He exclaimed with anger and sadness in his voice.

Not wanting to go home he laid down onto the stone he was laying upon and fell into a slumber that would last all night surrounded by the fresh wind and the wild grass.

 

 

The way dragons would walk would always be recognisable and more than often Crave would hear their clumsy feet a few streets away, but there was always one dragon who managed to break that rhythm.

Turning his head, he turned his head and saw a dragon sitting while looking directly onto the drake. His brown scales mixed with a swampy green colour would be recognisable from a long distance, he had four horns sticking out of his head that would point backwards in a fashionable way. Horns were another thing drakes did not possess but instead they had sharper scales.

A disgruntled noise came from Craves throat before deciding whether to answer the known dragon.

“Sorry Costrad, I was thinking aloud,” He decided to answer.

Costrad waited for the continuation of the drake’s thoughts, but after a few seconds he realized no continuation was to be added.

“Not sure what I was expecting, to be honest.” Costrad whispered, keeping it quiet enough so the drake wouldn’t hear.

Crave was never a spirit to open up his mind, few simple words were the most someone would get out of him. Ideally, he should speak up, most of the times he had an interesting view of ideals and how something should work. Ideal was always a daunting subject for Crave, and especially for Costrad, but most other dragons would prioritise ideals. 

After a minute Crave decided to move closer to his friend. Laying down in front of him.

He did consider him his friend, he was the first one to open a conversation between him and Crave since he arrived to the city at young age, and the one dragon to try and keep the friendship continuing, even if Crave made it extremely hard and exhausting.

Costrad quickly realized that nothing was happening between him and Crave and decided to coach Crave down to the city. At least there he would be able to find something to discuss.

As he began standing up, while simultaneously turning toward the city. Crave knew perfectly what the next few words out of his friend’s mouth would be.

“Come on buddy, let’s go waste time down in the street?”

Even though he knew beforehand that the question was coming, the question still bound a tie around his stomach, and he sat there reluctantly hoping to be able to spend more time on ‘his’ hill.

Costrad looked him and recognized that look on Crave’s face, before sighing at the very fact that he had to try to convince his own friend to follow him.

“You know, most people would be delighted to be with me,” He laughed at his own obnoxious joke.

“and yet I choose to walk up this hill every day hoping to get a few quality minutes with my favourite drake.”

As he finished his sentence a more serious look came onto his face as he looked down on his friend in the grass, curiously waiting for a response.

Crave, while still being reluctant, also had an extreme anxious feeling that this was more important to his friend than his own boring, everyday hill hiding.

“Fine, I’ll go along.”

He forced those words out of his mouth while trying to sound convinced and excited at the same time. But Costrad caught his act quickly, but decided it was best just to ignore it and get going before Crave rethought his decision.

“Good” Costrad chirped and began walking down towards the city centre.

“Just a second and I will be right…” Crave just then saw that his friend already was already walking down the hill at a hasten movement.

“Behind you…” He whispered to himself, followed with a sigh, and began running down to his friend who had already reached the base of the hill.

For most of his life he had been told to not care about what others think about him, especially since he is a drake, but the town street was always a place where many dragons would pass by, giving them more than plenty of chances to strike him down. This did not happen all too often, luckily only the dragons whom had a real problem were the victims of a drake attack and they were few.

The families who had lost members of kin to drakes or drakes, were almost always cautious walking close to Crave. Always justifying it by calling him ‘different’ or ‘not welcome’.

As Costrad walked besides Crave, he looked over to see the same blank expression he had to get used to, as it seemed to be the only facial expression Crave could ever show anyone, the few times where he would catch the drake smiling were few.

It wasn’t always easy for Crave, being a drake among dragons always seemed to be a challenge unfairly set upon the drake. The dragons and Crave would never seem to speak the same language, even if they understood each other perfectly, both sides thought the other side was dumb, even if Crave always seemed to be somewhat lacking the intelligent side compared to dragons, or so Costrad thought.

It did not help that Crave was strictly carnivorous, complicating furthermore the dragons and their already parked workers and since he craved more proteins than dragons, the dragons therefore got less.

Still, the dragons got by, although the start was a very rough one. The increase of drakes’ mockery and attacks often made it hard to believe a sudden drake whom they had to treat as citizen and friend. Crave also seemed to accept the dragons, but kept on denying the help of dragons who offered help to the young drake.

It was ages since Crave joined the town, it all happened the time an expedition went down to the water and found a weak drake in the waterside. The vote to keep the drake was extremely close, the vote stood between to adopt a drake or leave him to die. Luckily for his friend drake, they decided to adopt him into their home.

Otherwise the very adaptation of a young drake, that day was also a critical day for the dragons. After few seconds of deciding upon the fate of Crave, a pack of drakes began attacking the group of dragons, casualties were horrifying, 12 dragons fell to the drakes while trying fleeing with the rest of the group. 25 dragons left their home and only 13 dragons and an extra drake came home once again, one of them even turned blind from the assault from drakes. The families were traumatized at the sudden loss of farther or mother, while some even lost their child.

This was the day that dragons took a collective vote whether they should apply a legal action towards overstepping the walls at the fear of another loss to the drakes.

The transaction that took place after the rule was voted for was a tough phase, children would not understand the restriction of their own freedom. A group of dragons who hunted outside the walls would complain and deny working in another profession. It was a confusing time for all, many would still go over the wall, either by flying over undetected by onlookers or sneaking out the night. This led to the sudden need of guards and therefore caused more jobs for the number of jobless dragons caused by the new rule.

Dragons would frantically blame Crave for the incident that happened at his adoption day, luckily time healed those wounds and few remember Crave even being a part of the incident.

Crave, not remembering much of the incident, kept continuing trying to try to immigrate into the new society while dragons tried to scare him away. A few years later, and most problems were mostly over and Crave had mostly immigrated into dragon society, but he stubbornly kept a few off his own drakeish ideals, refusing to let them go.

Costrad always believed that Crave would get far, or as far as drakes’ lifespan went. Ever since Crave washed up on the shore, dragons suddenly realised they did not know much about drakes’ behaviour or everyday life, there had been sightings of drakes in their natural habitat, but no one had taken the time to research their behaviour and lives.

As Crave grew up in dragon society, a group of dedicated scroll writers followed his life and kept writing down things that might give them a clue about the outside world without having to leave the safety of their wall. Although they got bored of Crave as he began his boring habit of sitting atop of a hill.
Most dragons saw therefore Crave as an experiment more than a dragon hoping to optimise their defence if an attack happened.

As they walked towards the centre of town, they got a glimpse of the main road. This is what everybody called the road that went directly through the whole town, with every home linked to this exact road, almost all dragons used this road daily as it gave everyone time to catch onto the newest town gossip or rumours. The road was used to be used a lot more used up, as it also was the only way out of town without taking flight. But nowadays, less dragons used the main road was used less often. Guards would often patrol the main road and thereafter follow the wall around before joining the main road again, at least six guards would be doing this routine at all times.

As they began walking down the main road, Costrad look to his side to see Crave keeping up with the larger dragon while hanging his head while walking.

“What’s hanging bud?” He worryingly asked his friend.

The sudden conversation made caused Crave to snap out of his thoughts and face reality again.

“I don’t know…” and his mouth continued but with no sound which caused Costrad having to interrupt his silent conversation.

“I am truly sorry, but you are  not making a single sound right now,” Barely containing his laughter at his friend’s situation.

“Oh, I am sorry, but it doesn’t really matter, it was just nonsense.” He assured his friend with a fake smile. Crave knew very well that Costrad could see past his fake smile.

Luckily for Crave, Costrad didn’t notice and decided not to question it further.

Crave went back to his thoughts realising Costrad was letting the silence overcloud the two again.

Crave remembered when he woke up in the town, his name completely forgotten and no idea where or how he ended up surrounded by the very things the drakes taught him to fear and kill. Being young, he did not attempt to attack and barely sat there confusingly stunned while the dragons talked, or sometimes even shouted around him. At the time, dragon tongue was not known to Crave and could not understand whatever the dragons were talking or shouting about.

A few weeks went by, dragons were still as harsh and mean around Crave, at this point he had learned a small amount of dragon tongue, he mostly learned the negative sayings, as it seemed to be the only things he would hear on his way down the streets.

He was only given his name two years after he was introduced to the city. The name giving was the only thing he somehow managed to forget in those two years of pure hell.

“But does my name really matter anyway?” He thought to himself.

“Yes, it does” Costrad quickly answered in a serious tone that not many had heard from him before.

“More than you know” he continued.

“Huh? Oh shit, sorry, I didn’t mean too… say… that,” Crave tried to explain himself, realising he had spoken aloud while thinking.

Costrad eyed him from the corner of his eye and saw that Crave did not really want to press the issue further and rather be freed from the serious talk.

“You know,” Costrad exclaimed and Crave’s instantly began hanging his head.

“Your name was not just chosen because you needed one, if needed the rest of the town would have ignored the issue.” He took a quick faint look at Crave and realised that the drake was more interested in what he was about to say than anticipated.

“When you entered town, many were mad at the act of taking in a drake while losing a big chunk of family, you automatically took the blame without even doing anything wrong.”

“Well that’s not for certain, I mean, I might have had something to do with it” For some reason Crave deemed it necessary to defend the dragons in this situation, even though he had no clue about the attack on the dragon pack.

“No!” Costrad exclaimed with an almost frightening tone. After a few seconds of silence, he cooled down and continued his conversation, making sure that any by coming dragons weren’t trying to listen in on their chat.

“Listen that’s not the point, the point is, we, and when I say ‘we’ I mean a few handpicked guards and myself and an old dragon, decided that you needed a name. The very problem being that we did not want you to have an original dragon name, as the chance of that causing distress was a possibility.

This spiked Crave’s curiosity sky high.

“Guards?” He asked doubtfully.

“You know… the guards, um that’s an extreme long story and not important right now,”

Crave not being satisfied with that answer, but decided to let that slip by and let his friend continue his explanation.

“We wanted a name that described you, and well, as young and despite your circumstance, was extremely craving for a child being carnivorous and all. And that’s really it, that’s how you got your name and identity.”

After he stopped his explanation, Costrad quickly whirled around to face Crave and stared directly into his eyes.

“So please, your name is important and trust me,” He stopped his intense glare. “It’s important to me, do you understand?”

“I guess” Crave mumbled back, surprised at his friend’s serious tone and the way he handled it.

“Good.” Costrad chirped while turning around. “Come along, we are soon at the centre of the main road.”

As Crave walked up to him, he saw a faint of a smile on Costrad’s face. The sight of this made Crave faint a small crackle before turning lifeless once again as they were approaching the centre.

The centre was conveniently named as it was the centre of the town. This place was the most decorated place in town, also this was the place to get fresh water while picking their daily fruits and insects.

If taken into consideration that the town at least had 100 dragons as residence, almost all dragons would stay around this place their whole day or most of it. This was the result of not having enough space between the wall, and not giving the dragons enough freedom to roam about, or so Crave especially thought. The dragons on the other hand could not see the any problem in this unusual habit and kept on upholding this habit.

Still this would mean the centre was a centre for dragon activities, which would often be either loud or space taking.

Ever since the fight with the orange scaled dragon, Crave has desperately tried to avoid the younger dragons out of fear that they might hold a grudge for hurting their friend and the fear of meeting the orange dragon again.

So, as they entered the centre, his first goal was to check if the orange scaled even was here. Sadly, for Crave, he was there standing at the front of the well, seemingly distracted by the group of dragons he was surrounded by.

Seeing the opportunity, Crave began picking up his pace and walking faster past his friend who glanced at him once and afterwards looked around and spotted the problem. He let out an exaggerated sigh before picking up his own pace.

“You know you don’t have to hide from him, right?” He exclaimed while trying to slow down Crave. “They won’t mess with you, not after last time and definitely not with me around.” He did not care if it was true what he was telling Crave, he only did it because he could not be bothered walking faster than usual.

Crave mumbled before answering. “Better safe than sorry”. Continuing his fast-paced walk.

“Come on, let’s just slow down a little bit, ‘kay?” Costrad tried to argue.

“Ugh, fi…” Was all Costrad heard as an answer before hearing thud and a groan from Crave. Looking behind him he could see Crave covering his head as if in pain and standing in-front of Crave was a recognisable female dragon.

“Oh, hey Tariel, Crave probably did not see you” Costrad walked over to the female dragon.

“This is what happens if you walk too fast you know Crave?” He bickered before laughing at the situation that just unfolded.

“Shut up!” Crave exclaimed still holding his head while trying to get control of his senses again.

“Oh, don’t worry, Crave, I might have been in the way,” Tariel explained before also laughing herself.

“Have you two met outside bumping into each other?” Costrad asked Tariel as if trying to mock Crave at the same time. “I don’t think you have.”

“Well not formally, but I have heard of you Crave.” Tariel answered back. “Although I’m sure most of the town knows you Crave.”

“Well in that case, Crave,” He went over to Crave and pointed his paw towards the female dragon. “This is Tariel, a girl a year younger than myself, and a friend of my family.”

“Nice to meet… you” Crave weakly answered seemingly having more control over his senses.

Costrad laughed again before continuing. “You know, Crave has been a bore today, and we aren’t doing much anyway, so do you care to join in and replace Crave for a day?” He went Tariel again and looked back at Crave who at this point had a frown on his face over the proposal made by his friend without consulting him.

“Umm, sure I can do that” She answered doubtfully and added “I could use a break from gathering water from those damned mines.”

“Great, let’s go then,” He began walking with Tariel in a direction out of the centre.

“Come on Crave, what’s the wait up?”

Crave, who was disappointed in the turn of events and the very fact a girl had joined their group for the day, but saw no reason to complain about it.

“Fine, wait up a little.” As he scuttled up to the two dragons.

Crave found it weird that Costrad suddenly wanted to leave the centre after meeting Tariel, although he was not going to complain since he got out of sight from the orange drake, and avoiding danger.

Most of the walk was spent with Costrad and Tariel catching up from the last time they saw each other and Crave trying to keep up with. Costrad and Tariel had not seen each other in a week and it still astonished Crave that they could talk about so much while making it sound like an adventure.

The three of them ended at the edge of the wall and decided to settle down there, causing surrounding guards to worry they were trying to escape the town.

As they laid down onto the grass, finishing a conversation that Crave was not paying attention to, the guards seemed to calm their own nerves as they saw the dragons laying down and continued their usual routine.

“Interesting,” Crave thought to himself, while simultaneously taking note of the guards’ reaction, but then got instantly snapped out of his thoughts as Costrad tried getting his attention by prodding him.

“Huh? What” He asked confused.

“I wanted you to join in on our conversation.”

“Was I not already a part of the conversation?”

“Obviously not, you did not even hear my question.” Costrad explained while snickering.

“So, to repeat,” He began pointing towards Tariel, indicating he wanted Crave too look at his female friend. “Tell Tariel, who was it who beat the orange dragon a few weeks ago?”

“Wait what?!” Crave exclaimed loud so a few near vicinity guards could hear it.

“She just wants to know Crave,” Costrad snapped at his friend for startling them both with the sudden shouting.

“Sorry, I did not mean to raise my voice,” Crave tried to explain himself but realised that they both were uninterested in excuses and more interested in the story.

“I… did not really beat him, but you know I was in a fight and I don’t know, I might have hurt him a little…” The pressure of having to explain an experience he did not want to remember caused him to stammer and the girl dragon he barely knew sitting across from him did not help his situation.

Costrad sighed before looking over to Tariel before interrupting.

“You suck at telling stories Crave, but don’t worry I’ll take it from here,” Costrad explained while trying to sound as friendly as possible.

Crave would have taken offense if it wasn’t for the sight of a guard glooming around suspiciously, the guard seemingly trying to keep out of sight while simultaneously making sure there were no on-lookers.

As Costrad tried to explain the fight as best as he could, a sudden outburst of laughter came from the two dragons, the sudden noise caused the suspicious guard to startle and instantly looked over at the group of young dragons and drake.

Crave quickly averted his eyes to avoid any trouble with the guard but kept him in the corner of his eye, he was curious of the strange and out of place the guard was and needed to know if something was going on or it was just his senses playing up with him.

“Is that not true Crave?” Costrad suddenly asked catching Crave’s attention.

“Wait what, um yes it’s true.” Crave answered confused back and for a split second forgot the guard.

“As I said,” Costrad boasted out, obviously to impress Tariel.

As Crave looked back at the location of the guard, he saw that the guard had disappeared. Crave was instantly confused and began looking around furiously, behind him and above him, but the guard was not too be seen.

“Damn it!” Crave muttered out before going into thinking of what had just happened. The only logical answer was that he went over the wall but that was prohibited and was a punishable act if caught.

“So why would he do it with an audience?” He asked himself.

His thoughts were interrupted by the motion made by Costrad and Tariel. Looking over he saw they were on the move.

“Hey! Where are you going?” He called after them.

“Home, it is cold and late, Crave.” Costrad answered back, followed by an agreeing nod from Tariel.

Crave had not really noticed the cold, but the mention of it made him realise he was freezing to the bone. He accepted that it was a good idea to go before being exposed to the cold too much.

He left soon after his friends and began walking towards his home, still confused by the disappearing act made by the guard, but decided to let go of it for now.

The sun was on its way down and the temperature was plummeting fast as expected in the autumn but lately it has been way colder than usual and Crave began shimmering as he began walking.

After a small walk, he got to the entrance to his own home. A fear years ago it belonged to Yoshi, but he passed away a few years ago. This old dragon was the one who willingly adopted Crave into his home and treated his new family member as his own kind, the old dragon was otherwise alone because of a genetic sickness that ran in his family. Crave remembered when the dragon passed away as if it was only a few days ago, that very dragon was the only reason Crave never tried to escape the city and find his own kin again, why Crave did not rethink it now that he was left to live alone, he did not know.

The house without the old dragon would always seem empty but Crave had gotten used to the empty house. Its entrance was elegant once but Crave had not taken care of that part of his home in a long time, Crave on the other hand took greater pride of his interior work in his own personal cave. One of the two rooms were his sleeping chamber and was used only too sleep, this was rare in dragon homes as the space did not support to have a room designed only to one thing. The other room was insulated with moss and had small water fountain that Crave had dug out a year ago, this meant he did not need to socialise with others to get water but instead had his own personal water source and the insulated room would always stay warm while the moss would add a fragrance to the room.

He had plans to insulate his own sleeping room with moss but could never be bothered to do it at this point of his life.

Crave went directly into his sleeping chamber and crashed into his sleeping spot which was a rock covered in wheat and grass to give extra comfort and fell asleep in mere seconds.

This accident happened three years ago. When his family realised he was missing, the town decided to give him two days to show or they would declare him dead. After not showing, his family had to bury a memory of him out beside the wall together with the few others who fell to the drakes. Until, like all the others, he was forgotten even by his family. This small graveyard of drake victims was slowly growing.

It was a heavy morning; the sun was bright and the town was waking up. The early workers were preparing for their day and the late-night guards were hurrying home to sneak into their daily slumber and the streets would slowly turn silent again, only the few mumbles of workers complaining about their unstable waking times and their missing appreciation from the community.

Only soon after the silence, the children would begin waking, be it by themselves or waking due to their mother rustling them from their sleep.

Soon after the streets would once again be filled by noise, be it by the chatter of the nearby neighbours catching up from the last time they saw each other, even if it most likely only been a single night since they last spoke. This was soon followed by the young who had at that point woken up and prepared for the day, meanwhile their mother would stand outside their home shouting for their kids to come outside and follow their mother till the evening. For the young, this was their definition of living hell, they would often describe it as torture.

At the same time the younger adults would lay late in bed and hope their daily problems would stop bothering to get them out of bed. Often to no prevail.

But one of few of the citizens would awake long before the town even saw the sun. Often sneaking out in the middle of the night and laying by himself on a small hill surrounded by bush, giving him peace while escaping the harsh winds from bothering him too much.

With a few branches prickling his scales and a raised head. He had been sitting perfectly still for the last few hours, seeing the sun rise and the guards’ reaction towards their ever boredom finally being over and most importantly; being able to see over the wall and into the forest that laid behind the wall.

His onyx grey scales would characteristically give off a matte look when the sun hit him and his slit eyes would stare down the town below him. Being a drake, he would be smaller than dragons his age, while giving him an extra number of teeth that the dragons did not possess.

Finally giving in to the strain he was placing on his neck by laying with his head raised, his tiredness caused his head to fall like a rock onto his claws, as the head crashed, a stinging pain came from his frontal paws, after cursing silently over the pain he slowly looked down upon his right paw, glaring down the scar that was placed vertically between his index finger and thumb, realising it was giving off a small amount of blood. Seeing this caused him to roll his eyes before giving off a disapproved grunt over the unnecessary painful situation. Laying his head carefully onto his left paw and went into a trance.

The scar was the result of a fight with a dragon, a few weeks ago, he had decided to go down to the south part of town, to see if there were any smaller critters to hunt, hoping to waste some time. Unluckily there were also a few other younger males. Not caring, he continued to check for smaller prey. But even though he didn’t care all too much, he still made sure to keep his distance and try to slip by undetected, it quickly failed as one of the younger members of the dragon group saw him trying to slip by, instantly the group got sight of the older drake minding his own business. The sight of the drake instantly caused a big spark of desire to engage the drake within the group of dragons. Fighting was the only fun that dragons could possibly have in this town, so for a drake whom was smaller and physically weaker than dragons his own age, this made him a fun target to bother, while giving the same satisfaction.

As the group of dragons began walking towards him, he began realising what was about to happen. As they made it closer to the drake, the group seemed be smuggling a few grins before deciding to take it seriously as they neared in front of him.

“Hey, Crave, isn’t it, Crave the drake?” the leading dragon said before standing directly in front of the drake, while puffing his chest out filled with a dull orange colour, indicating he was the challenger. Luckily for Crave this was a fight he could win, as the opposing dragon standing in front of him was a young dragon and therefore the same size of Crave. Even though this was the case, Crave decided not to try his luck and decided instead to try and walk past them.

Seeing his attempt to ignore the dragon group caused a quire of laughter between, before running up to him, surrounding him with no way of escaping.

“Where are you going drake?” the same orange dragon asked while placing himself in front of Crave, his orange scales directing the sun light into the drake’s eyes and caused him to blink quickly before looking upwards to avoid being blinded. Seeing as he was surrounded an overwhelming amount of panic came over his body and he could not stop looking dumbfounded at the group of dragons around him.

Seeing this caused the dragons once again to laugh, while still maintaining the captured drake inside the circle.

“Someone caught your tongue, drake?” The orange scaled dragon yelled aloud in between laughing fits.

“Please don’t,” Crave finally muttered out, realising his situation and the severity of it.

“Or what?” The orange scaled shouted making sure to get the attention of his fellow dragons.

Once again Crave found himself dumbfounded seeing that the dragons weren’t planning to let the drake go unscathed. His heartbeat began racing and his senses began taking over.

After a few silent seconds the orange scaled dragon took initiative and bumped hard into the drake causing Crave to lose his balance shortly. Once again, the other dragons joined in a quire of laughter.

The orange scaled was, on the other hand beginning to get impatient and worked up at the defensive drake, and went in closer to Crave hereafter giving him a painful headbutt hitting at the base of Craves air way.

Crave grunted as the hit landed directly onto his throat and began coughing violently. Realising this was getting violent quickly, and the need to get away from this, Crave decided to force himself backwards. As he crashed into the two dragons keeping him from leaving, Crave felt a quick frustration and quickly whirled around hissing and clawing out after the two dragons.

The two dragons quickly moved aside to avoid the oncoming claws and Crave found a window to slip by and outside the circle. Crave then began running as fast as his legs could support to try an escape the dragons who were shocked by the sudden aggression.

Realising the drake was running away, the orange scaled hissed before taking heavy flight towards the fleeing drake. The dragon’s flying quickly caught up to the drakes running and the dragon decided to let go of his momentum and crash directly onto Crave with his full weight, and Crave and the dragon quickly turned into a ball of claws and teeth.

Crave had lost all sense with the dragon lying on top of him and decided to fight him back.

Even though the orange dragon had the element of surprise, Crave quickly kicked the dragon off himself, followed by Crave jumping onto the dragon’s back, giving Crave the opportunity to begin clawing at the dragon and biting his neck hoping to stun him to end the fight.

The orange dragon didn’t give in and kept consciousness if he could, making sure if he had to lose the fight he at least caused some form of damage. He stretched out his claws on all four paws and violently slashed randomly with them.

Crave having the upper hand, decided to climb onto the dragon’s stomach, hoping to stop the slashing, but while placing his right arm over the dragons flailing body a pair of claws caught the skin between his index finger and thumb. A sudden pain filled his right paw and spread to the whole arm, causing Crave too stop for a second, allowing the dragon to kick the drake off him.

After the drake was kicked off him, he reconsidered fighting on. Meanwhile Crave was trying to get onto his back again but found it hard as the pain from his arm was overwhelming.

While trying to move, blood splattered everywhere from the deep cut and Crave began filling nauseas.

As Crave clenched his bleeding paw he saw the orange dragon rise from the ground, he was prepared for the possible attack. Instead the orange dragon turned around and halted over to the by standing group dragons who soon the retreating dragon, the movements the orange dragon made indicated that Crave had also left a mark on his neck.

Fights would never end with any permanent marking, most decent dragons kept sure of keeping it that way. The result of this fight was rare. Luckily, dragons wouldn’t bother with trying to fight Crave, if it was because the fact he was a drake or the fact he was smaller, and therefore could not deliver a fulfilling fight, he did not know.

The following days from the fight was a pain, all the questions got to Crave and the thought of the aftermath made him even more nervous of going outside. Luckily, nothing happened after the fight. The orange dragon still roamed the town, but the mere fact of losing another fight, especially to a drake, caused him to mind his own business more than ever.

As Crave sat on the hill remembering the fight he failed to notice the sun that had appeared in the sky and the dragons whom were starting their busy day.

The town was small, surrounded by a wall that was raised to protect from any potential danger. The wall was old and half built up of dry earth and the roots of nearby trees. Only the top was built of bricks. The wall was thin and often made the citizens question its durability if an attack happened.

The town air was always fresh, except when it rained, and cold in the morning but would heat up moderately during the day. The mountain the town was placed on always made sure to keep the air as clean and pure. Tree growth was extreme in the town as the clean air would provide the tallest of trees the ability to reproduce at accelerated speeds, the colder, flowing air put together with the nutrient rich ground the mountain provided was most likely the cause of this. Once every fourth year the citizens would gather around to chop away the growing saplings before they became a possible threat to the pathways, houses or the wall. Although the few places where there was space, the town would allow the trees to grow to their glorious sizes.

Water was scarce on top of a mountain; the nearest water supply was an underground cave that would lie at the centre of the town surrounded by the few trees and memorials made by the dragon’s ancestors. The water here was kept clean by the nearby rocks isolating the water completely from the outside surface. A few handpicked dragons would be selected to go down the cave each day and collect water for the rest of the town to drink and clean themselves with. The handpicked dragons were usually those who couldn’t qualify as hunters or guards.

Food was either supplied by fruit from the surrounding trees or small critters who had foolishly set up their home inside the dragon wall.

The houses that pelted the town all around were often a small exterior room, inside an entrance to a small private cave where the main facilities would be, the most important element of each home was the bedrooms. The caves that were attached to each house were of different size, often because dragons would personally try to dig out a bigger space for them. This was classified as illegal in the community as it increased the chance for cave ins to happen.

In the community, there were no higher standing citizens and therefore everything was decided by democracy, this meant if a change is needed it would only happen if the majority agreed. Every criminal action would be punished by the either the victim or the lucky one to expose the crime. Most crimes would therefore mostly be few and the punishment would be minor, while sometimes a mental citizen would go way over the line regarding the punishment. The only few punishments that were not acceptable to give out were either death or exile, nothing else.

Therefore, no crime would be committed by any sane, out of fear that the neighbour will slander.

The town was beautiful, the citizens took care of it and for a simple community with no higher authority, the dragons treated each other with fully trustworthy respect. Change rarely happened since the need for change was scarce. Nothing ever out of extraordinary happened, and that was a good sign to the dragons.

But a perfect civilisation wasn’t true to be here, the code of not walking beyond the wall kept the dragons isolated from the nature around them, all out of the fear of drakes and their hunting nature. Their outside knowledge was therefore almost non-existent.

Crave laughed too himself thinking over the fought that the dragons worst enemy, the drakes, might be evolving and learning quicker than the all mighty dragons. For they lived out there every day in the harsh nature while dragons sat inside their cosy homes and got food handed to them from others who had done all the hard work for them.

“Pathetic, really” Crave snorted aloud still laying on the mountain while looking at the dragons below. But even if it was pathetic, it seemed to work more than fine for the dragons. The thought of this caused him to subconsciously roll his eyes at the very fact they might have gotten the good end of the stick.

“What’s pathetic, Crave?” A recognisable male voice asked. 

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Lochy
Artist | Student | Film & Animation
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I'm currently a student who wants to adopt literature as my own personal hobby. I might post some other works like 3D art or some other film stuff I love to work on.
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:iconarven92:
ARVEN92 Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2017  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks for the watch :)
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:iconmightyraptor:
MightyRaptor Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2017  Student Digital Artist
guten Nachmittag  Salandit mischief gif by MightyRaptor  
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:iconmoonkelpie:
Moonkelpie Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2017
:wave:Welcome to :icondeviantartplz:, GraveSign! I hope you find your stay fun and informative.moonflower 
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