I didn't hesitate. The second I entered my room, I threw everything I could into an old duffle bag I used to use for deliveries. My mother's words, the only hurtful thing she'd ever told me, haunted me as I blinked tears from my eyes and stormed out of my room, pushing past my brothers as I stomped toward the front door. I didn't stop until my father slid in front of me, planting himself in front of the door.
"What are you doing, Cloud?" He demanded, cheeks damp. "You're overreacting."
I gritted my teeth, wishing I could breathe fire. "I'm going to find Terrance."
He shook his head. "You have no way to do that," he countered, staying strong as I began glaring at him, refusing to let him change my mind. We remained chest to chest, staring each other down, until another surprise waltzed into my life.
Something large hit the ground of our farm, the sound deafening. Everyone was distracted, so I took the chance to push past my father and out the door. He tried to grab at me, causing me to burst into a run. Taking the chance once again, I sprinted in the direction of the farm. There, I spotted a large, moving form, and my eyes widened.
A large reptile was crushing the soy plants. It shook its neck and body, and my eyes popped over to the wing sprouting from it's back. While the thing should've had two, it appeared that one had been ripped off.
A dragon was crushing our farm.
"What the hell?!" I shrieked, out of my mind as I ran toward the dragon. It glanced at me, studying me for a second before turning to look at the house, tail curling around its legs.
You're in trouble, tiny one, a deep voice said in my mind. I flinched, nearly face planting. I swore, the dragon was smiling. Dragons were considered to be Darkbloods who could be trained to obey Lightbloods, and therefore kept as pets by the rich. Considering how close we were to the castle, I wouldn't have been surprised if the dragon I was staring at was the property of the Queen.
"Cloud! Get away from that thing!" My mother screamed. Looking over my shoulder, I saw that she was gathered with the rest of the Rose family in front of our house, staring at the one-winged dragon.
I looked back at the dragon. It was more than twice my height on all fours, and I was over five foot five. The dragon's scales were a navy blue, and looked like thick armour for the reptilian thing. Its eyes were calculating, and a cold purple colour. Despite having one wing, the beast was well balanced and looked deadly.
Yet it hadn't attacked me. It looked rather hostile toward my family, but not me.
Ignoring my mother, I squared my shoulders toward the beast and took a tentative step toward it. Those cold purple eyes met mine, and I froze under its stare.
Don't be afraid, Gray One.
I convinced myself that the voice was non-existent, and took another careful step. My mother's voice shrieked once again as I neared the dragon.
"Cloud! You touch that Darkblood pet, you confirm you're a Darkblood traitor!"
I looked back at my family, huddled together. My brothers looked skeptical, and my father stared back at me in sadness. They didn't share her extremist views, which I was thankful for. The way they acted after losing Terrance was completely opposite from their usual selves.
"I'm not a Darkblood, Mom. But I need to find Terrance."
With that, I faced the dragon and walked toward it, hesitating once I was within a foot of its leg. Glancing up, I met its gaze, and placed a hand on his tough scales. The dragon instantly shifted, dropping his shoulder to expose a slightly flat space at the base of his neck, large enough for a human to sit on. Taking the hint, I pulled myself onto his back, unaware of what I was getting myself into.
"Darkblood!" My mother screamed, repeating it over and over, even as she began to lose her voice. It drew the attention of guards and fellow citizens, and I tensed up. The dragon underneath me sensed my fear, and roared, flaring its singular wing. I gasped as it began running, using the wing to push itself forward or turn quicker. Guards and other Lightbloods shrieked as we barreled through the streets, the dragon holding a clear path in its mind. Terrified about what I was doing, my arm burning, I buried my face in the reptile's neck, clinging onto him for dear life.
Call me Kai, the deep voice said, ringing through my ears. I ignored it, but couldn't help thinking of the dragon as Kai.
Said dragon's path became clearer as we rode on, guards on horseback following us as we tore through the streets. The dragon looked as if it was enjoying the chase, its eyes locked on something above us. My throat closed in fear as I realized where he was heading.
Castle Mythic, home to Queen Amara of Mythira and Prince Elijah of Mythira. Seventeen years ago, I'd been saved by the Queen's men from Darkbloods.
And now, I'd be meeting her again. Years later, when both of them have grown into strong rulers. The Prince would've been around five at the time they found me in the clutches of a Darkblood, and now, he would be twenty-two. I shivered, pressing myself into the smooth scales of the dragon. Let him deal with the royals, since he was probably their pet.
At least, I thought Kai would be a good being to deal with the royals.
Until everything became personal.