“Ani?” I cried, clouds of smoke were quickly filling the air. Men and women coming out of their homes, most of them armed and ready to defend the only place we called home. I cursed myself for leaving behind my own weapons at home, which is all the way across the island.
“Ani!” I called again, more desperately, I somehow lost sight of her during the first waves of attack. “Somebody help!” A heavy hand clasped my shoulder.
“Son what do you need?” It was Burly Man Tom. His double ax was held at the ready, his face was both concerned and warrior-like.
“It’s Ani, I lost her during the attack,” I said, tripping over my words a bit.
“Don’t mind Ani, she is a fearsome warrior,” he said, squeezing my shoulder for reassurance. “You need to find your Mangon.”
As if on cue a dull, brown dragon landed clumsily beside us.
Akio hurry. Her voice rang in my head. I managed to hold back a scowl and jumped up to her back but her claws caught me before I landed.
“What the hell is your problem?” I yelled, my frustration from the fight earlier rising.
You can’t ride my back without a saddle, genius. She spat venomously. She huffed out loud, adding wisps of smoke to the thick air.
“Well we gotta go back to my house, I need my weapons.” I said, adjusting my weight in her claws. She didn’t comment on me leaving my weapons like I expected, instead she leaped up with such force it left my stomach back on the ground and the rest of me soared with her. She was just as worst taking off as she was landing.
As we neared my house she dropped me by the door and I rolled to my feet. We had company, three-foot soldiers, armed with broad swords, with iron masks. Kira swept a wall of fire between them and me. Go! She shouted, out loud she roared at them and swiped at them with her claws.
Inside my house everything was perfectly arranged as if the chaos outside wasn’t happening. I quickly hopped to my room and there I found the emergency pack, it holds a week’s set of clothes for both Kira and I. Next I grabbed my weapons off the walls, strapping them on as I proceeded to the hidden closet. There the brand new saddle lay. I hesitated for a second before sweeping it up into my arms.
What the hell took you so long?
I scowled at her before throwing over the saddle. Her body trembled as if shuddering. I locked the notches in place before climbing aboard. And before the butterflies and the nerves of flying kicked in Kira took off. This would take some getting used to.
I drew out my sword as Kira headed towards a possible target. I attempted to position myself to get the best angle advantage on him. I shifted slightly and nearly fell, Kira reflexively shifted along with me and caught me before I did.
Do you have any idea what you are doing?
“No, I don’t actually,” I said lamely. She veered away from the target but not before it spotted us. It was heading for us, ready to attack.
“I think we should stay on the defensive for this one,” I told Kira. Her reply was swerve sharply to the right and ducking below another enemy dragon. I glanced back and our pursuer collided with the other. I allowed myself a cry of victory.
Pay attention we got another one coming up!
From above a human leaped off his Mangon, diving straight towards me. It was the most frightening thing I had ever seen.
“Kira move!” I shouted pointing my sword towards him. She dove downwards into the island’s frenzy, landing slightly better than the first time. She proceeded to gallop—more like stomped—through the village. It was hard to make out where we were among the heavy smoke. All around us the smoke lay thick, I coughed and choked, it was barely breathable.
“I think we lost him,” I coughed. Kira glanced over with one huge eyeball and leaped back into the air again. But instead of going back into combat she flew away towards the Unknown Forest.
“Where are you going?” I asked, a rhetorical question. It was obvious what she was doing.
I looked back, our home up in flames.