Chapter 1: We were...friends
From Brayden's POV
I watched the blondie cry her eyes out apologizing. She tried so hard to hold it back. I couldn't bear it.
Even though I don't know what she was saying, I couldn't help but feel pity for her. After all, she's just a kid. Kids screw up all the time.
I turn to the vampire. "Hey, why don't we just let her come with us and you teach her magic? She's clearly a mess and desperate to find her family."
The vampire looked at me for a long time before answering. "How about this: Help me pack up my bags and run to the RV before the mob kills us all? If we get out of this alive, I'll teach you ANYTHING you want: magic, martial arts, poetry, WHATEVER!"
I sighed. I knew I had to do it. I nodded and turned to Blondie. "YOU HEARD THE MAN, PACK HIS SHIT!"
Blondie and I scrambled to gather his belongings, stuffing them into a huge bag. We heard guards banging on through the main door. There is no doubt that the door will break soon.
"Is everything ready?" I yelled.
The vampire grabs his coffin and says, "Almost all I have to do is move my bed."
He quickly put it on his back and walked out the door.
"OH, MY GOD! HOW ARE YOU SO STRONG?" Blondie asks.
He smiles, "I'm just full of surprises."
He winks and then continues walking. Blondie stands there in awe, watching him go.
"DON'T JUST STAND THERE LOOKING STUPID! CAST YOUR SPELL!" I yelled while carrying most of the luggage.
"What?" she responded. She stood there, looking confused.
I rolled my eyes, grabbed the last bag, and said, "We don't have time for this. I know you don't know magic but at least read them!"
As I said, I threw a grimoire near the floor at her. She caught it with one hand and gave me a puzzled look.
I sighed, pointed the way, and said, "You left your grimoire in your RV. It's really irresponsible of you. Someone could steal it. Come on, let's go."
Terrified and puzzled, she turned through the pages of her grimoire. Suddenly the door broke and I heard angry mobs trembling around the cabin.
"COME ON! WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING? READ THE TEXT!" I yelled.
She just stood there looking at one page from her grimoire. She hadn't moved in minutes. She was too scared. I had to act fast before it was too late.
"OVER THERE!" One of the mobs yelled and everyone quickly walked up the stairs.
"WHY THE HELL ARE YOU NOT READING YOUR GRIMOIRE? DO YOU WANT TO DIE? YOU WANT TO BE A MAGE DON'T YOU?" I scream losing my mind.
"I...I can't." Blondie mumbled.
"UH? YOU CAN'T DO WHAT?"
Blondie shook her head, fearful eyes. "I can't do it," she whispered. "The text is in a different language. I can't read it."
"HUH? CAN'T YOU READ IT? WHAT THE HELL DO YOU MEAN-"
"She means she can't read Arkenan because she's an outsider."
I turn to the vampire. He looks at me with a blank expression. "It's a language spoken here in Arkena," he concludes. "She's obviously from another country."
I was speechless and confused until everything began to make sense now. She wore unusual clothing. She said she came from Canada. She didn't know what the guardians or the adventures guild were, she couldn't cast a spell and freaked out when she saw demi-humans.
Odette Miller is an outsider.
"THERE THEY ARE!" The Lizard-human hybrid yelled as everyone ran towards us with swords and battle hammers. "GET HER AND GET THE STAFF!"
I jumped in front of Odette. I knew what I had to do. "Blondie, stay behind me."
I raised my fist in the air. I had to protect her and the staff at all costs. I closed my eyes and prepared for the fight.
With all my might, I take a deep breath and inhale all the carbon dioxide and oxygen, and in a split second exhale all the fire. Hot flames shoot out of my open mouth toward the intruders. I hear a loud thud as everyone falls to the ground. I open my eyes and see the intruder lying motionless on the floor.
"A DRAGON SHIFTER!" another intruder shouts in terror as they scramble to their feet and run away.
"D-Dragon shifter?" Blondie said, her voice shaking. "So you're not human?"
She gulped nervously. "This is gonna be one of those days," she muttered under her breath.
"Come on Blondie! Not a time to panic. Move his bags and get out of here!"
She quickly grabbed his bag, and with a deep breath, she opened the door and stepped out. She went to the RV with the vampire following her. I stepped out of the window and widen my wings and flew I flew above the RV and saw her getting inside. I followed, keeping an eye on her and the vampire, ready to swoop down if needed. The RV started moving and I flew alongside, keeping a safe distance.
The guardians were on our tails as they chased after us in vehicles and horses. "GET THE GIRL AND THE VAMPIRE AND KILL THE DRAGON SHIFTER!"
I landed on the roof of the RV inhaling the air when suddenly I heard the vampire calling. "DON'T DO IT. DON'T BREATHE OUT FIRE. WE'RE IN THE FOREST!"
I held my breath and concealed my fire-breathing ability. "OKAY BUT WHAT THE HELL SHOULD WE DO? THEY'RE GAINING ON US!"
With the help of my hearing aid, I could hear the vampire talking to Blondie who was driving. "Odette, you have to use your staff and cast a spell on them. We're being ambushed!"
"What? But I don't know how to use magic yet!" She yelled facing the road.
The vampire grabbed the wheel and turned sharply to the left, avoiding a huge rock in the middle of the road. "I'll help you, I promise. Just trust me," he said.
Blondie nodded and grabbed the staff opening behind the RV window. "Okay, listen. First, you have to point at someone with staff and say these words: Tôrendan gærs!"
She did what he said. As Blondie pointed the staff at the other person, she said those words.
Immediately, a bright light shone from the staff and a magical force surrounded them. As the mob stops at the light, each man's body parts suddenly turn into wood. The men desperately try to escape but find themselves rooted in place. They are now petrified statues, unable to move or speak. The light fades and the magical force dissipates, leaving the men in their frozen state.
Astonished by what I saw, I leaped into the sky and flew. "Ooohhhh we did it! We managed to escape!"
I looked back and saw the men still standing in their petrified state. I felt relieved that the plan had worked. Usually, a normal wand can be cast on a single person but the staff trigger everyone which is amazing.
When the RV stops and Odette steps out, I swoop down and punch her on the shoulder. "You did it, Squirt! You cast your first spell. I don't want to admit it, it's not that bad."
But when she looked at me, I was completely blown away by her reaction. She was petrified and stunned at the same time. I quickly realized how powerful her spell was and took a step back.
"It...turns...people...into...trees," Odette trembles to her feet.
I stared at her for a moment, trying to process what she had just said. She then began to walk away slowly, still looking at me with fear in her eyes. It was then that I remembered: this was her first time witnessing magic.
"It's a fresh start. This is known as incantation magic." I heard the vampire leave the RV.
"VICTOR! WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO NOW? THEIR TREE STATES!" Odette yelled. "IS THERE A WAY TO RETURN THEM BACK?"
Victor stayed quiet and solemn. He knew the answer to Odette's question, but he didn't want to admit it. He knew there was no way to retrieve them.
Victor looked at Odette, his eyes filled with sorrow and regret. He slowly lowered his head and sighed. "I'm sorry, Odette. There's nothing we can do now."
Odette looked away, trying to hold back her tears. "It's ok," she said softly. "It was bound to happen eventually."
Victor nodded silently, his heart heavy with guilt and sadness. "Okay, let's get out of the village. Does anyone have a map?"
"Wait, wait, wait, and hold on. We're just gonna LEAVE these people as trees forever?" I asked stunned.
Victor looked away, his shoulders slumping. He sighed, "Yes, we have to leave. We can't help them."
I grabbed his arm. "We have to at least try!"
He looked at me, his expression resigned. "There's nothing we can do."
When the ass pulled his hand away from me, he and Odette walked into the RV together.
"Then...then why the dick did you ask her to cast the spell? You know the spell will not break so you bring us into danger!" I yelled. "Someone will find out those trees were people and the whole kingdom will chase after us!"
He looked away, unable to meet my gaze. "I had no choice," he said, his voice barely audible. "It was the only way to get us out of this mess."
I look at him and at the trees that once were people then sigh. "We're gonna be surrounded by a lot of people."
Odette's eyes were filled with a mixture of sadness and determination. It was obvious to me that she was going through a difficult time, and I feel bad for her. But there is nothing we can do.
I walked to the kitchen and opened the fridge. I grabbed a beer and downed it in one gulp. "So, what's the plan vampire?"
"I have a name: Victor Inez and since I'm your trainer and teacher I'll referred to me as"Mr. Inez."
Victor replied with a smirk. He then pulled out a chair and motioned for me to sit. "Now, give me the map. I want to see."
"Uh, excuse me. Mr. Inez. Can we travel to where my family are?" Odette asked. "They all got separated in different regions and I thought I could find them. But during the travel, I'll learn magic with you, if that's okay."
Mr. Inez smiled and nodded. "Of course, I will help you in any way I can."
He turn to me. "And you?"
I pushed and then spoke. "I don't really care where we travel. I just want to train to be the most efficient faster."
Mr Inez frowned then sat on the driver's seat. "I just realized something: you never introduced yourself to me. Just who are you? And why do you want me to train you?"
I took a deep breath before answering. "My name is Blayden Ax. I'm here because I want vengeance."
The room turned silent as everyone stared at me. I could feel the tension in the air. I knew they were all waiting for me to explain.
"I want revenge against the person responsible for my family's kind. As you can see I'm a dragon shifter but in this country dragon shifters are not permitted to live. Dragon shifters are decriminalized as dangerous creatures, so I must take matters into my own hands. I will find the person responsible and make them pay for what they did. No matter the cost."
He nodded and smiled. "Then we'll work on that. Nevertheless, it is nighttime and you should both take the same amount of sleep. I'll drive out of this village and find a place and ask someone to help Odette find her family. By tomorrow, you'll begin training, and Odette will start learning magic. You'll reach your goals soon, I'm sure."
Both me and Odette nodded in agreement. Mr. Inez started the car and drove off into the night, with a newfound determination.
I saw Odette walking to her room and following her. "Hey, um, Odette? Can you tell me where I can sleep? This is a motorhome so."
She stepped forward and pointed me to the motorhome's back. "There's a bed back there, it's all yours." I thanked her and headed to bed, but stop when she grab my hand.
"I want to ask you something: What's a dragon shifter? What are you?"
I stared at her for a moment, unsure of what to say. I finally took a deep breath and replied, "I'm a dragon shifter. I can shift into dragon at my free will."
"That explains a lot," she murmured. "And another thing. That girl you were within the sunflower fields? What's her name again? And is she a dragon shifter too?"
"Annalise," I said. "And yes, she is." I paused, avoiding her gaze. "We were...friends."