Nyctophilia

It’s about a guy who moved out to another world, to start dragon-farming, away from his earlier tribe. You get to watch him overcome some big problems (Dragons, dragons, dragons), and team up with another farmer, to get the crystal for the ancient portal, that can lead to new dragon species they have never encountered. To get it, they have to steal it from a race called daemonium.

Estimated length(Goal): 32 Chapters
Chapter length: 4000-5000 words
Publish day: Friday (Again a goal)

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2. Chapter 2

The afternoon sun was high out in the horizon behind the house, when Meraki finally woke up. The sight that met him out in his front garden, made him freeze. In the mean while Philly was baring his teeth and hitting his tail from side to side like a whip, positioning himself underneath Meraki, between his legs. 
There was a weird mixture of dragons fighting each other and tearing down the giant cage they had been in; Baring their teeth, letting fire and other Gira cut through the air. It was a small battlefield.
The nearest three dragons turned their gaze at Philly and 
him, and began walking slowly closer. They were teethy dragons.
They were as big as Meraki in height, and wouldn't grow much more, for the rest of their life. Their scales were
grey, and in some parts darker and harder than the rest. Their shoulders were specially made for bumping into larger creatures to tip them over, and overpower them. The colour was to easier hide in a greyed rocked terrain, and their legs were more powerful than their front arms. Their claws were no laughing matter either, but Meraki hoped it wouldn't be a problem that would meet his face. 
Philly started growling, and jumped in front of Meraki in a threatening bounce, while the little green 
cubbi jumped out on Meraki's shoulder. 
"Calm down" Meraki tried, ignoring the feeling of being prey "I freed you last night, We don't want anyone to get hurt". 
We're hungry. Meraki could see it in their eyes, and let his gaze that had been fixed to theirs glide over their out starved bodies. All three of them were much to
beaten up, and probably wouldn't survive out in the wilderness for more than a few weeks; Unless some epidemic would unleash itself and make a lot of dragons easy prey for them. One of them flashed the one tooth he had left, and Meraki sighed. Teethy dragons without their teeth. 
Philly jumped forward once more, baring his teeth, while the fire between his horns grew bigger. 
"Philly calm down, they're just hungry", Philly's tail whipped a little harder than before, You need to see the damn threat. Meraki grabbed the green little
cubbi rubbing its neck at his cheek, and threw it carefully inside, on top of the pink one. Without looking away from the teethy dragons, he also closed the door behind him, so that they wouldn't get hurt.
Of the two, Philly was most often right about these sort of things, where Meraki had always been called naive and gullible. 
"Look, for the last time, we're not interested in fighting, I don't want to harm any of you" 
The left one lounged out after him, but the force from Philly's blast send it flying to the opposite side. Blood flushed out from the new hole in its side, and it whimpered loudly. It didn't get up again. "PHILLY!" 
He held his fire, while movings his shoulders and his tail from side to side, stretching out before he would need to actually bite them. It had been years since the last time he was in a real-life fight, and he didn't feel like holding back. 
He glanced up at Meraki, but quickly fixed his gaze on the two other dragons in front of him again. Meraki as he was now, would still be able to do some extensive damage, but the damage he could receive would be troublesome. A broken leg, the loss of an arm. Tch. He couldn't let that happen. The two were bouncing in place, giddy from the excitement of their first hunt in years.
Give the meaty one up, and we'll leave you alone. Philly raised his tail higher, and let it whip out even faster than before, to let them know he was irritated. 
Meraki glanced down at him, irritated as well. "Could you for just one second not fight them? You are so quick
to-" 
The right one jumped first, but the second was jumping as well a second after. Phil took the first 
one, but got kicked back and out of the way by the second one. 
In one leap it had taken out 
Philly, and landed on top of Meraki's chest. Meraki fell backward with a loud THUD, but held the whimpering in that Philly often nagged him about. 
So meaty. So lumpy. Meraki weren't fighting it - since it wasn't actually a threat. Its claw was slightly lowered into his chest, but it only had one tooth. You can't do a lot of damage with one tooth. Spit from its mouth glided from its chin down onto his forehead.
Small pools of blood popped up from the claws in his chest, but Meraki bit his tongue to keep quiet.
Philly was shaking his body from side to side, to get over the shock, while the other dragon got up and charged towards Meraki as well. 
"Better get going then" Meraki sighed, and pushed the claw of his chest with almost no effort. The dragon toppled over, and the other jumped over it in its eagerness to attack, while biting out towards Meraki. He ducked, and ran towards Philly, who was charging 
up, but hadn't seen the dragons from the rest of the farm jump towards them. Meraki swooped Philly up into his arms, only to duck, jump and roll away from the aggressive dragons until he was out of the farm and in the forest. Few were still after them, but few would be enough. He hid in some bushes, while Phil irritated whipped his tail from side to side until Meraki grabbed it, to keep it quite. 
After waiting for some time, and the forest had become slightly darker, Meraki rested on his back, with Philly sat still as a statue and listened attentively 
around them. The moon blue leaves on the bush were covered in some kind of slime, Meraki had never seen before. Amazing, he touched it with his thumb, and started rubbing it together, to a suddenly minty scent spread from it. 
Disgusting, Philly commented, with a get-that-stuff-of-right-now-you-forever-a-
cubbi-look. Meraki offered a lazy smile, and wiped his hands in the grass. "Do you think the leaves produce it? It has a nice scent"
Philly jumped onto his chest, and out on his right arm, pinning it down. "No Philly! 
Bladr!" Meraki struggled with Philly's power, while Philly was licking his fingers clean. 
"Seriously" Merakimumbled, and gave up. Philly moved back on his 
chest, and started licking the spit from the teethy dragon that had hit his forehead. 
"You are too neat" Meraki mumbled, while Philly licked his wounds on his chest. Meraki looked up on the leaves 
again, and considered throwing Philly into it, just to make him clean himself from top to bottom. Instead he opened his mouth and bit a leaf off the bush, chewing carefully. 
Philly sat still on his stomach, waiting for a reaction. Was it alright? Could it be eaten? 
Meraki was doing his best holding back a cough in his throat. It was opening up his nose like never before, and it felt like his throat was free from something he didn't know had been there. Just breathing made his eyes water, but in the dim light from Philly's horns, neither Meraki nor Philly would be able to see it. 
"Its good" Meraki 
said, and held his breath while lowering his chest normally, to get Philly to take a leaf. 
Philly leaned over 
him, and took one that, to his dismay, was covered in slime that fell onto Meraki's chest, onto the wound. Out of Philly's line of sight, Meraki was gripping the ground and the grass in pain. He breathed hard through his grinding teeth, and closed his eyes. 
He couldn't even enjoy Philly jumping of his chest while coughing up that plant, that had felt like a punch to his face. 
"It hurts!" Meraki started rubbing the slime of his chest, not minding the dirt and grass that got into the wound. Stop it. You are rubbing it deeper in! Philly held him down once again, and despite his mix feelings for tasting the minty slime, he licked the dirt, grass
and slime off. It took time, and made Meraki exhausted from the pain, leaving him heaving for air, sweat on his forehead and a dim red colour on his chest and on his face. 
"That hurt" Meraki mumbled, and wanted to scratch the wound, but his hand was hit away by Philly's tail. I just cleaned it. Don't touch it. 
Meraki moved his mind towards the problem. There were about twenty dragons on the farm right now, that were all being hostile, killing each other and wanting to kill them as well. That would be troublesome, especially if they chose to burn down the house, or the tool shed. 
"We need to make sure they don't burn the buildings down but..." Even if the wound smelled like mint, the scent of blood was still hanging in the 
air, and would alert the dragons at once. Even now, if it weren't for the minty bush, they would have been discovered. 
I'll go keep an eye on our nest. You'll find food, and explore until I send up a signal when it's free to come home. 
"What? But how do you know they're going to leave?" 
Leave it to me
"What? no."
Too late, Philly took off into the sky, giving off an echoing laugh. Meraki cursed him under his 
breath, but moved further into the forest. The little light Philly had between his horn was the only thing that had made it easy for them to see somewhat. Now it was gone, and he couldn't see an easy path to take. His hearing was sharp, so it was easy to avoid other dragons, something he wasn't used to be doing. 
He missed the company of others after all, why else would he have become a dragon farmer? The only dragon that hung around lately was his brother, and since he had some sort of obsession with being neat and clean, they barely played together. Meraki sighed out loud, resting up against a silvery tree trunk, and taking a little break. As he raised his head, another scent hit his nose unexpectedly. It was very faint, just barely something he could pick up. Almost sweet? 
He followed it into an area were the grass where less bluish, and greener. The trees around him that had been silvery in their trunk with blue leaves, got replaced with green trunks and leaves. Small balls of yellow were hiding badly in the green trees. As he got further in, more and more of the yellow young cubbies crawled around on the ground. Their scent was different than the 
teethy dragons, which he knew was partly because of the cage they had been in. The cubbies were sweet scented, like the scent he was following.
He continued, and ignored the young yellow cubbies around that area; They were no bigger than regular lizards. Their two tipped tongue and their small sizzles like 
snakes, didn't frighten him, as it should. Not even the rattle of the bigger ones could chase him away from that fruity scent. 
Out in a clearing were a weird yellow tree. The leaves were yellow on one side, orange on the other, and each leaf had the shape of a single snowflake. Or like someone had taken their claws and shredded every last leaf. The trunk of the tree was smooth and only had a few holes in the bark. Meraki let his fingers run over it. It had to be elder dragons, that had made sure the young ones had something they could use to climb up with. 
He looked at the fruit that was yellow like the leaves, but a pattern like the veins on his hands, in orange. It reminded him of the cherries they ate in his village, though the scent was different. Sweeter. The tree was bustling with movements from the dragons that were busy eating themselves 
full in the secure night light. 
Careful to avoid agitating them, he grabbed a single berry and took a bite. It had no stone, unlike the cherries, and he was right when he had assumed it would be sweeter, but it had a bitter aftertaste, making his eyes 
close and bite his own cheek. 
It would taste good on 
bread, if he knew how to make it into that weird gooey substance that many from his tribe ate for breakfast. 
The yellow dragons started snapping after him, while he carefully picked some of them, so he had something to gnaw 
on, while touring the forest. In the distance he could see more of the same type of trees, so he moved the opposite direction. If the trees were so close with the yellow type dragon, he could end up stumbling into their territories, and make more enemies than the ones on the farm. 
After a while, the trees opened more up, and they had more room between them. Up in a height, Meraki could only reach if he had wings, vines were 
laying out between the trees like someone had thrown a net out over them. The vines were as green as the trees were.
But there were no sounds, not from the trees. The bird and small dragons from earlier had gone quiet, and the sun was starting to get up. The sky was purple, but the ground still dark. 
A small hairy piglet was running around near the trunks, not being chased by anything. It wasn't the first he saw either. There were no dragons in the area, but plenty of pigs and piglets. Not even a scent of a dragon. Meraki became slightly worried. Dragons are smart creatures, so why avoid a good herd of pigs? He padded one on the back, that gave a surprised grunt when it sniffed him, and minutes later the pigs had run away leaving him alone. Oh, he smiled for himself, while casually walking further in. Sniffer pigs! It's been years since he has last seen them! It would be fun hunting them with Philly someday, though he actually can fly and have the advantage there. 
Above 
him a loud SNAP filled the air as the only thing making any noise, besides the wind itself. Meraki froze and tried hearing where it came from. SNAP. Above him a little further ahead a vine was settling in its place on the trees.
Careful not to touch it, he wandered further in between the trees, until he came to a clearing. The trees were surrounding it, but there were no vines above him, only the open and now orange sky. At his feet were a giant hole, more than 20 meters wide in every direction. A net of vines was laying over it as well, but the beginnings of the vines were on the wall of the hole. No trees? Meraki moved closer to the edge and looked down in between the vines that could someday be good ropes. There weren't much to see. A fog was hiding how deep it was, and if any dragons were already down there.
Above him, high 
above, were colourful birds. Purple and blue feathered, some with long tails, some with yellow short ones. Some were smaller than other, but they were all very fast. 
One caught his eye, a blue bird with a short 
beak and a long tail feather where the tip was coloured bright pink. It broke from the pack circling above, and begun its descend towards the net. For a small bird, it wouldn't fall fast, so it was occasionally flapping its wing to gain a higher speed. 
Almost there. 
Near the net, it folded its wings inwards to its body, like a trained diver. It averted the vines with precision, like it was its life that was on the line, and out of the 
easy line of sight of Meraki. 
As other dived down, he sat down on the grass and watched. They were all very good at avoiding the vines, and in all his time browsing the diverse multi-planetary biology networks, he had never seen birds play a game like this. 
This planet was known for a lot of things, and one of them was definitely that it was weird and abnormal. The plant life, the dragon 
amagma (Amagma means races), and the peculiar diversity of the two. Most planets would have some plant life, and it would be divers to some extent. A lot of it was because of the spread from the flying dragons, so more dragons would mean more diversity. Since this was a level 15 planet, when ranked based on Dragons, which were the only ranking Meraki had cared to learn about, the different number of amagma had been above 60. 
Meraki had learned -after finding out planets were ranked like this - that the planet he was from had been given the level 9. And he had to agree with them. Despite the fact that all areas that weren't colonized by 
noids, all were covered in dragons, there wasn't a lot of diversity. The grass area was highly limited, since it had been a very barren area with a lot of volcano activity. Grass area had always been the least hostile environment, making room for a lot more different amagma, than the lava and magma that Philly and Meraki preferred. 
It was also a very hot place, that had no room for cold weather dragons, that Meraki didn't even know 
existed, until he saw a picture in a book Honeu had downloaded for him. Water dragons had also spiked his interest, but just being submerged for too long in the water, would make him blackout from the cold. 
Besides the level ranking, it also had a form of 
colour coding, that again, Meraki had found very exciting. Apparently, all races had a specific colour code, that told how rare the species would be. Philly and Meraki's kind were high on the list, with an 'endangered?' question mark, and this place had been marked as 'unknown' in a boring grey kind. 
The planet had peaked interest in many dragon farmers and enthusiastically dragon scientist, but because of the hostile environment created from all the diversity, the likeliness of survival was very slim, so they outsourced it to others, and had to rely on whatever information came through that way.

Honeu had told him he would probably end up being bombarded with questions at some point, and should feel free to say if it was too much. 
OH! 
A bird hit a vine, but it didn't fall to the ground as he expected. With a loud 
SNAP the vine that had touched the bird crawled through the air with the bird flapping wildly stuck to it. Curios Meraki moved closer to the edge, to the rocky side the vine end was in. A creature was sitting in a small dent in the rocky side, sharp beads on its claws ripping some sort of fluid from the vines as it rolled it together. Its stomach was guarded by a collection of rocks, as white as the wall it was sitting on, and its head was wrinkly like the magma turtles from back home. 
The bird flapped harder and more wildly, but couldn't get loose from the vine. The fluid the creature was ripping off was dripping down on the wall beneath it. 
Its beads touched the bird, and it's mouth extended outward, almost 30 centimeters, before it took a big bite, and let the vine go, while it gnawed on its prey. 
The creature looked up with black eyes on Meraki, but after doing nothing but blinking at it, it turned away once more. When the bird was gone, and the only remains left were feathers falling to the ground beneath, The creature curled the vine together into a ball again. With a loud snap, it extended out and grabbed a hold on the other side of the giant hole. When the creature turned it's head back, to hide inside the wall, Meraki noticed that the vine was coming out of its stomach, and a fluid was slowly being pushed out from the stomach towards the end.
Suddenly the birds made sense. If the only food source is under the net, they would have to get down there to feed. 
Meraki collected some small white pebbles lying around on the ground and started throwing it out onto the vines. SNAP SNAP, SNAP SNAP. More creepy vine wall turtles came out and started rolling their vine together to get the prey that wasn't there. 
"That is so freaky" Merakimumbled, and gathered some more rocks to throw in the death hole. 
He knew Philly would not only be against 
it, but be angry with him when he ignored him, so the best time to play with this would be now. 
He gathered as many rocks as he could and took one in his hand. SNAP. 1... 2... 3... Holding focus for so long was hard, but not impossible. 4 minutes, to roll and unroll the vines, 2 minutes to coax it in a sticky fluid. He did it again, SNAP. 4 ½ minutes, 1 minute. 
Again, SNAP. 3 ½ and 2 minutes. After repeating the same trick for over two hours, while keeping the count in the grass, Meraki could conclude that most would take 4 minutes and 15 seconds to roll it, and then 2 minutes to coax it. The fasted turtle would be rolling it and coaxing it in 3 minutes at most, and the slowest was on 8 minutes. 
Meraki ran around the hole gathering more rocks, ignoring the birds that had been feeling good by having more opportunities to get through, with a lower risk of getting killed. 
He moved the rocks near the slowest wall 
turtle, and started throwing it at every vine in sight. In 30 seconds the hole was open. The bird dived, and Meraki crawled passed the turtle giving him the stink eye, while making sure he never was directly under it. He didn't want to fight it. 
The trail of sticky fluid was beside him, as he descended into the hole that had to be a least a half kilometer deep, he wanted to lick it, but was afraid his tongue would stick to the roof of his mouth. 
A hundred meters from the bottom, The fog lifted a little and a large pond showed its face. Down in it, a little blue bird with a pink feather was swimming away while eating plants, not minding the outline of feathers in all 
colours, that was surrounding it. 
Meraki 
on the other hand was not entirely okay with his next choice. For a long time the hole had been guarded up again by the sentinels of turtles, and to get out that way he would have to take stones from the wall and throw from his position while holding on to the wall one-handed, only to hit maybe five or four, so he could climb up. His palms were sweaty, and bleeding from the pointy rocks. On the other hand, he had run out of wall on his way down- he would have to jump into the lake to make it somewhat safely, and what is saying there aren't any dragons down in it? 
And was the fog from the large lake? It was milky 
coloured on the edges, not to talk about the small droplets of blood that were refusing to mix with it. The birds seemed fine in it, but they were also bathing themselves in it. 
His sweaty hands made the choice for him. Before he knew it, he was falling through the air, back first into the weird water. His nose flooded up, a cold shiver went through his body, and in 
shock he opened his eyes to see what way to swim.
It was amazingly clear down under, and for a 
while he forgot he was submerged. There were large reins of green plants, with blue balls shining and glimmering on it under the leaves. Small creatures were fussing around them. They had a single tail like a tadpole, but the chest of a noid with two small arms. They wore the same colour as the shining balls covered by the leaves, but they were not lighting up themselves.
The plants surrounded 
him, and had to be more than 5 meters. Backing away from it, he felt his back hit another. The light changed. Pink. 
PLOP. Hewas pushed away with amazing force, feeling a stinging pain in his back. The last air he had, was pushed out as well. He swam towards the 
light, but felt his leg hit another plant. PINK. PLOP. He was pushed further away, his leg stinging as well. The milky fluid on top of the clear water, burned when he reached the surface, and the feathers stuck to him as he threw himself in on the shore. His leg was covered in blood, his back hurt and stung like he had been knifed by a poisoned blade. The wound on his chest was throbbing, he could hear his heart in his ears. 
"GAH! ARGH!" Meraki screamed out in the hole, the birds flapping around in distress as well. 
Merakirested, and didn't move for hours. The pain died down, while the wounds turned yellow. His stomach growled out, and he begged that Philly would come and find him. To save him from the pain, even if it meant he would lick it all clean again. 
But nobody showed up. 

 

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