Only Hope 1: How it started

The people of Yaragsdor have only one hope left. That a dragon rider will rise to protect them from the armies of Zarthox... But will even the mightiest of riders be able to ward off the growing evil that will soon overcome Yaragsodor?

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9. Slaves

There was a huge battle ring. Inside it were two vicious hounds, against a clearly outmatched little boy about the age of eight.

"They have to stop this!" I yelled, my eyes blazing in fury. They were making people fight hounds? People who looked like they were unarmed and clearly too weak to battle them. A few people looked my way like I was mad, but I didn't give a damn. The boy in the ring had bite marks down his legs, and was cowering in the corner. He had grubby light brown hair, and eyes that were clamped shut in fear.

"Yes, they do. But you can't just storm in there and-" Alvyss started, but I cut him off.

"The boy will die! If we don't do anything, then even more people will follow the same fate as him!" I snarled. "Can't you s-" Now it was his turn to cut me off.

"Shadow, find somewhere nobody can see us, and Arigen, shut UP if you dont want to get yourself into prison!" he hissed in my ear. His voice was so commanding that I obeyed him, and shut my mouth. Shadow leaped away from the town center, and took us down a small side alley. "Here's the plan..." he said.

 

I hated the plan. The boy wouldn't make it - instead, we had to leave him, and the other people they made fight for them. We had to leave them to die. I shuddered to think of the people that would be killed while we were getting my dragon egg. And then, when it had hatched, we would return to this town, and I would, as the dragon rider, make them free the slaves who they were going to put in the ring. I had named this town 'Slave Town.' Well, I didn't know the real name, and I might as well call it Slave Town, right? So instead of helping the boy, we were going to buy provisions, and weapons, like Alvyss had said, go and find my dragon egg, go to the cave, and then return here to tell the townspeople to free all the slaves. I had protested about it, saying it was cowardly, saying that aren't dragon riders and rangers supposed to help people, saying, well, any excuse I could think of. He replied with comments like,

"It's not cowardly. It's brave of us to come back." And,

"Yes, but dragon riders and rangers are also supposed to be clever." Then the most annoying,

"If we tried to help them, we'd get caught, and then who would save Yaragsdor?" At that point in time, I gave up. He was, annoyingly, right. But I still thought it was cowardly, and I hated what we were doing.

"Fine." I spat.

 

A few minutes later, we were walking around, looking for the weapon store. We had pretty much gone around most of the town . It hadn't been hard to navigate - the houses and shops were all in neat little rows, each row leading to the town centre. We had avoided that. If I had seen that kid slowly dying at the fangs of the hounds, I might have ran into the ring, and tried to help him. Then I would be a wanted criminal throughout this town. So every time we neared the town centre, we had to turn around and go back down that row of houses.

"Can't we find someone and ask them?" I groaned, getting bored of walking up and down streets. "We saw a man in the last row we went down. Can we go back and ask them where the weaponary store is?" I turned around in the saddle to give Alvyss my pleading eyes. He sighed.

"Fine. But you can ask." he said. "Come on Shadow, back to the last street." I expected Shadow to just walk around to the last row we went down, but instead, he crouched down like he was about to jump.

"Hold on tight!" Alvyss warned. I had only just curled my fingers carefully into his fur when he leaped. Yelping, I tried not to let go of his fur as he sprung up onto a building. Shadow's back paws just managed to reach the rooftop, his tail twitching with excitement. I gasped for air, my eyes wide in shock. Shadow tossed his head like he was saying, How clever am I? Well, that had been scary. Scary yet... exciting. Alvyss laughed as I shakily uncurled my fingers.

"See? Told you to hold on tight. Down, Shadow!" he said. Down? We were going down already? Idesperately flung myself over Shadows back, hugging his neck so tight that I'm surprised I didn't strangle him. I saw Shadow's shadow cross the roof, and then we were flying through the air again. His jump happened so fast that I didn't even realise when he landed softly. One second, the air was running in my face, the next, everything was still.

"Wow." I muttered quietly, then noticed that the guy we had been looking for was staring at us with wide eyes.

"Um..." I started. "Do you know where the provision store or the weapons store is?"

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