It is a feeling that is impossible to explain, a melding of exhilaration and peace, that can’t be fathomed without truly experiencing it. Winds catching in your wings, blowing past in a fervor, sensation acutely spreading across every scale. The knowledge that slight bends of wings or twists of a tail is all you need to ride the skies and the mighty power coursing across his entire being. His dark crimson wings took him higher with every beat as they drummed against the night air. Clouds became dew, sticking to his skins and obsidian horns as he cut through their hearts. With a quick jerk he spiraled into a sharp dive snapping out his wing once more to catch himself in a glide a few hundred wing-lengths below sending terror through a group of wild venison, snatching one of the largest in powerful claw, careful to break its neck with a loud snap without tearing skin, and racing into the heavens once more. The land below passed in bursts, looking insignificant at such a distance. Flight was absolute freedom from everything else in the world.

 To returns to the ground after throwing away its constraint always felt blasphemous, but the rising sun marked an end to his hours of freedom. His wings bent up as his tail swung wide veering him down back toward the secluded clearing where he made his ascent.  Dropping the fresh carcass, he landed, beginning the change once more. The sky surround the capital we reserved only for the nobility. He stared on high at the summit of the great mountain, eyes full of contempt. Memories of searing pain caused him by whips eating through the skin of his back only a handful of years ago rose fresh as the day it occurred.  The reward for the crime of tainting their precious skies.

Arkserius’ great wings folded in contracting to sink beneath his flesh into his shoulder blades as hos great body shrank. The long majestic tail spikes and all receding to nothing more than a tail bone. Last he watched his arms as scales vanish and claws turn to finger nails leaving him in feeble human form once more. After feeling the might of true dragon form this little body felt useless, He could still feel the raw power that had just radiated from his body but it was distant, to tenuous to catch hold of, at least with a harnessing crystal, something he’d never be able to acquire. The thought fueled more of his anger as he gathered his clothes and dressed in thread bare shirt, old trousers, worn grey boots.  With a long sigh he threw the catch over his back and began the long walk back.

“This is the last one, Rugon” Arkserius announced as he tossed the creatures body onto the Porch of an old trade shop, not bothering to give greetings to the aged swindler sitting on the bench beside the door.

 His yellowing eyes assessed the fresh kill as he sucked in a cloud of smoke from a curved pipe as battered and old as he was. “Fair size.” He commented after exhaling the dark cloud of mixed herb.

Arkserius scoffed at the comment. “Better than fair, it’ heavier than the last two and kept whole” Arkserius Lifted the creatures to prove his point.

“Our Deal was already made, Take it or leave it, whelp.” Rugon stated without concern.

Arkserius gestured for him to take the Elk, he had already given the trader 2 others, breaking their agreement now would only benefit the old drake, and he was fairer them most when dealing with a Tainted.

Rugon stood slowly grabbing the corpse from a leg and dragging it inside.  He  walked through the towers of shelves and hooks holding everything from dries good to sets of brilliant gems, Harnessing crystals from poor to pure in quality. Rugon left Arkserius waiting in front taking the carcass to a back room.  Arkserius knew the old man would waist a single piece of the creature, everything could be used for a profit. A few minutes he appeared again handing over a large sack.

Arkserius sifted through the belonging unable to hold back a grin, set of fine clothes, a guard’s uniform along with an extra couple pairs of plain shirts he hadn’t expected.

He looked up to thank the Trader when the front door opened once more to let in a group of customers. Rowdy young nobles exploring the lower city.

“Just half a Moon cycle, brothers. Twelve days and out Ascendance with arrive.” One of them told the others excitedly nearly knocking over a rack of weapons.

 His friend a larger one nearly as big as Ark with a simpleton look to him nodded. “I’ll be apprenticing to my father learning to manage the great mines.” He added.

The last caught sight of Arkserius watching them and let out and instinctive hiss,


The other too turned at the remark growling their hatred at seeing the crimson red of His Left Eyes and Forest great of his right that marked Asterius as a savages of mixed blood.

The first boy was the first to calm, giving Arkserius a look of disgust. “Some people just don’t have honor. He remarked to his friends” “Most Dragons had the decency to kill those foul-born and spare them the disgrace of living”

Arkserius felt his blood boil taking a step toward them imagines shredding them to pieces before they could call themselves full dragons. A hand gripped his shoulder and spun him around.

“I told you I want no business with your kind, now take you miserable good and Crawl off before I throw you out.” Rugon shouted   pushing him toward the door.

“I won’t have trouble in my shop, boy” He whispered as they reached the door.

Arkserius wanted to run back in passed Rugon, grab the nearest weapon and bash away at those arrogant nobles until they were unrecognizable, he felt his body begin to smolder the heat of flames building in his chest eager to escape his longs. The tradesman’s grip held firm

“I said no Boy, Watch that temper or this time it be more trouble than you can handle” He pushed him out, closing the door behind him.

Normally He would have fell to his rage, ignored the warning and fight until he or they stopped moving but this time he focused of the sack in his hands, remembering the guard uniform. He let out a deep breath chuckling low. He will find them on the day of ascension.








The End

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