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Feron blinked, the bright light burning his eyes. He tried to sit up, but he felt something holding his head back.
“He’s awake,” said a low growling voice.
Feron tried to glance over toward the voice, but he couldn’t move his head far enough. About to give up, a dark shape moved above Feron’s head. It had sharp, glistening teeth, and what he could now make out as the snout of a…
“DRAGON!” Feron screamed, twisting and writhing in chains around his wrists and ankles. “SOMEONE HELP! HELP!”
A claw reached toward his forehead, slowly and menacingly. He closed his eyes, ready for the worst… then, he heard a click and his head was free. He sat up as fast as he could, whipping his head around.
Three dragons were sitting around him, peering at him quizzically. Why, he did not know. Feron had assumed they had seen and eaten plenty of humans before. But what really caught his eye was where he was sitting.
Great stone arches reached across a giant nest of rocks and twigs, intricately carved with what looked like scenes of war. Several pictured dragons with claws piercing through humans and elves’ chests. Feron shuddered, trying to find some that weren’t so bloody. One had a mother protecting her child from a giant, raging dragon, his wings stretching off the outline.
A horn blasted from next to him, bringing him back to reality. The dragons around him turned to look toward a stone throne on a podium in the center of the nest, occupied by a grand-looking dragon, frailer than all the others.
“The Ancient Queen speaks,” said one of the several guard dragons around the throne, gesturing to the one on it.
“Hello, fellow dragons,” said the Ancient Queen, looking around. Her throne rotated with her head, allowing her to see everyone in the nest. “Today, we have failed yet another raid.” Feron silently whooped. His father was okay, then. There was no reason to worry about him.
“But, even though we aren’t winning the war, we’ve got something they don’t have.” The dragons looked at her, confused. “We have a hostage.”
There were gasps from multiple dragons. A few turned to look at each other, muttering.
She must mean me, Feron thought. They captured me… in order to kill them. My family.
“We got him from the small village of Holina, a town with both elves and humans. This will give us even greater leverage, as he is a half-elf.” She gestured toward Feron.
Slowly, heads turned, and as eyes locked on him, cheers erupted. More horns were blown, although this time they were more celebratory than ceremonial. Glasses of some kind of drink clanged together, and laughter sprang in the air.
“Silence!” commanded the Ancient Queen. Immediately, all of the noise died down to nothing. “You know he cannot understand us. The reason I called this is because we need to figure out what to do with him.”
One arm and claw raised from the crowd in front of the podium. The old queen nodded.
“Well,” said the dragon in what was a meek, shy voice, “Most people won’t know he’s missing. We’ll have to send a messenger over the town to drop a letter to the mayor. Just, you know, to make sure they get that we have one of their kind.”
“The kid has a father,” spat the dragon to the speaker’s right. “And I should know. He would’ve told he mayor. They’re alerted.”
“You have a point, Ikarus,” said the Ancient Queen kindly. “But so does Sokudo. They know we have the boy, but they don’t know we’re taking him hostage. They’ll most likely think we’ve already eaten him, or something savage like that.” This earned a chuckle from the dragon to Feron’s left.
Ikarus glared at Sokudo, hatred in his eyes. Apparently Ikarus did not like getting beaten by Sokudo.
“So, that will be our plan. We will send a messenger and drop a letter to Holina. They will see this, and they will give us what we want.” She closed her eyes, and the guards took that as the end of her speech. They then helped her out of her throne, holding her claws very gently, as if they were precious jewels. She walked down stairs next
to the podium.
Ikarus sighed and turned back to Feron. His eyes were weirdly full of malice. “You,” he growled. “You miss your father don’t you? Well, it’s good for you. You’re going to be going back to your family, while I’m stuck here with adopted parents. Consider yourself lucky,” he added.
Feron was getting used to the fact that he was stuck here, and it was almost impossible to escape, so he responded:
“Well, I’ve just gotten kidnapped, put in chains, made ransom, and now I’m being targeted by you. Consider yourself lucky.”
He didn’t expect Ikarus to understand him, but the dragon just stared at him, his mouth agape. “How… how….” He leaped up and flew toward the throne, where a guard was sitting. Feron couldn’t hear their conversation, but both kept glancing over to him. The guard then nodded his head and went down the stairs that the Ancient Queen had went down.
Only a minute later, the Ancient Queen came up the stairway with the guards at her side. Ikarus had stayed near the throne. But this time, the queen turned the other way; this time, she turned toward Feron.
By the time she had gotten to him, Feron had thought nearly everything that could’ve just happened. He might have just spoken Draconic, though that was impossible. His hair might have turned yellow, and since he didn’t have a mirror, he couldn’t be sure.
The Ancient Queen looking down on Feron was a scary sight. Although she wasn’t as angry as Ikarus, there was some sort of dark curiosity in her eyes.
“Hello,” she said softly. “Do you understand me?”
Feron nodded. He was starting to think that something was up, something that might either help his chance of living, or decrease it.
“Talk to me. Say your name,” she said.
“F-F-Feron,” he stammered.
The Ancient Queen looked back at Ikarus and the guards. “It’s true. I cannot believe it.”
She looked down at Feron. “You, boy, listen here. You might not know what I am talking about, but if you do, you will know how important this is.” She sighed, than said, “You can speak to dragons. You are the half-elf related to The Great One.”
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