Myka felt trapped as he sat on the cot, completely exhausted. He was worried like the others, but he was unable to do anything more than remain sitting there.
‘I feel so helpless,’ he thought bitterly.
‘You’re far from helpless, Myka,’ Bylanth told him pointedly. ‘Even in your weakened state, you could fight everyone in this room without even moving a muscle. That’s what this Rider is here to teach you. I think we should consider going with him.’
‘What about my family?’ Myka asked. ‘I can’t leave them behind. Plus, I’ve just made up with Nikolai-‘
‘Why are you worrying about details when you don’t even know what the Rider wants to suggest?’
The boy frowned.
‘Think about it, Myka.’ Bylanth stated. ‘If they wanted to force you back to Dragonsholme, they would have sent more than one dragon.’
“Hello, Rider,” Lady Tamera greeted the newcomer out of sight of Myka.
“Good afternoon, Healer Tamera,” the Rider returned the greeting in a pleasant tone. He even chuckled slightly as he continued. “I see that I’m in the right place, at least. May I meet the Rider and his dragon?”
“He’s still recovering from injuries he sustained nine days ago,” Tamera explained quietly. “Please, go easy with him.”
“Lady Tamera, in all of my years as a Rider, I have never bitten a child.” The man said reassuringly. Myka trembled slightly at the sound of the older Rider’s deep-bass voice. “My dragon has never bitten a child, either.”
The man suddenly fell silent.
“Rider Mogan?” Tamera asked softly.
“Sorry, my Lady.” The Rider replied a moment later. “Jefyk was relaying some information to me. May I please see Myka, now?”
Myka froze the moment he heard the deep voice say his name.
‘How does he know who I am?’
Bylanth leaned forward and bumped Myka with his snout.
“Oh,” Myka said aloud. “I didn’t even consider that he would talk to you, Bylanth.”
‘His name is Jefyk, and his Rider is Mogan Rysher of Dragonsholme,’ Bylanth relayed just before the brown-haired man stepped around the body of the green dragon into Myka’s view.
“Hello, Rider Myka.” The man said softly as he stood near the end of the boy’s cot. The Rider smiled before he turned his attention to the dragon that hovered over the boy. “Greetings, Bylanth. It’s a pleasure to finally meet you.”
Bylanth bowed his head slightly towards the man, and the man turned his smile back towards the small, brown-haired boy that was sitting with his hands in his lap. The boy’s hazel eyes were filled with curiosity and a hint of fear as the boy stared back at him. The older Rider then turned towards the boy’s aunt and uncle.
“Lord Myron, Lady Hannah,” the man began with a smile. “I am Mogan Rysher; Rider of Jefyk. I know that you have been worried about your nephew, but might I have a few moments of his time? There are a few things that I need to discuss with the young Rider.”
“Of course, Rider Mogan,” Myron replied quickly as he took his wife’s hand and bowed slightly to the older man. “Take as much time as you need. My wife and I need to check on the farm, anyways.”
Hannah looked appalled at the idea of leaving her nephew alone after finally finding him.
“We’ll be back in a few hours, Hannah,” Myron reassured his wife softly. “I just want to make sure that you have what you want to stay the night here with Myka.”
“Oh,” Hannah said as her eyebrows shot up in surprise. The woman’s brown eyes focused on the exhausted-looking boy. She didn’t hesitate to walk over so she could give Myka a quick hug, making the boy blush deeply. “I’ll see you soon, Myka.”
Myka nodded and watched as his uncle led his aunt away, the woman giving him a soft smile before the couple walked out of sight.
“Jefyk has informed me of what you went through with your cousins, Myka,” Bylanth said softly once the two Riders were alone. “I promise that the King and Queen will personally see to it that your cousins never see the light of day, again.”
Myka felt a strange wave of relief wash over him at the other Rider’s words. Something told him that this Rider would never lie to him. The boy nodded hesitantly towards the man.
“Thank you, Rider Mogan,” Myka said quietly.
“May I join you, young Myka?” The Rider motioned towards the edge of the cot.
“Yes, sir.” The boy replied.
The older man made himself comfortable on the edge of the cot with a weary sigh.
“The cots back at Dragonsholme are better than this,” Mogan said with a chuckle. “I’m sure you would enjoy sleeping on one of them after your ordeal.”
“What if I don’t want to leave the farm, though?” Myka asked nervously.
Mogan smiled and patted Myka’s knee.
“I would never make you do anything that you don’t want to do, Myka,” Mogan reassured the boy. “Jefyk would never let me do something like that.”
Myka giggled nervously.
“Besides,” the man continued. “I want the other Riders in the kingdom to meet you and Bylanth so there are no issues in the future if you’re spotted by one of the Royal Guard. They might try something stupid-”
“What do you mean?”
“Some of the men in the Royal Guard are known as hotheads, Myka.” The man explained. “They’re the type to shoot first and ask questions later.”
“Oh,” Myka said softly.
“I think you would also enjoy being around some of the other weyrlings, too.”
“Weyrlings are what we call the younger Riders that are still learning what it means to be a Dragon Rider,” Mogan replied.
“Do I have to do that?” Myka asked the man nervously. The boy was still terrified that the Rider was going to tell him to start packing right away.
“No, you don’t have to go to the training, Myka,” Mogan began. “But there are many things that you do need to know, and I only want you to be able to succeed in the future.”
Myka nodded grimly.
‘He makes sense,’ Bylanth said. ‘We need the training, Myka.’
‘I know,’ Myka replied with a frown.
“Don’t you hate it when your dragon tells you what you should do?” Mogan asked with a knowing chuckle.
Myka grinned slightly.
“I didn’t even know I was a Rider until I woke up today,” the boy told the older man with his own giggle. “How did you know I was here?”
Mogan grinned and patted Myka’s knee.
“Bylanth appeared in this world roaring angrily, Myka!” Mogan said with awe in his voice. “Every dragon in existence heard his cry of revenge!”
Myka started slightly at the man’s words.
“Relax, Myka.” Mogan said when he saw the boy’s expression twisting anxiously. “The King of Erewhon sent me out immediately, and I’ve been looking for you for the past nine days. He’s going to be pleased that I finally found you. Hell, I might even get a commendation. Whenever a dragon enters our world likes Bylanth did, it’s only natural for everyone to find out what happened.”
“I didn’t do-” Myka began but Mogan waved him silent.
“Of course, you didn’t do anything, Myka,” Mogan stated calmly before his voice took on an edge to it. “The two boys who put you in this position are another matter entirely, though.”
“They deserve what’s coming to them, Myka,” Mogan stated. “The laws of our kingdom are in place to keep peace and order, and those two boys deserve to be held accountable for breaking those laws. They will be taken before the king and queen in a few days, where they will be interviewed and put on trial for attempted murder.” Myka couldn’t stop the gasp from leaving his lips. “That’s what they were doing when they pushed you over the cliff, Myka. They were trying to kill you, and according to Jefyk, they were going to go after your friend the next chance that they got.”
“Nikolai!” Myka practically shouted and the boy was soon standing at the end of the cot with a worried look on his face.
“What is it, Myka?” Nikolai asked in concern. “Do you need more water? Are you in pain?”
“No,” Myka said quickly. “I just-”
It was Mogan who came to the young Rider’s rescue.
“Myka was simply responding to something I had told him, young Nikolai,” Mogan reassured the blue-eyed boy.
“Oh,” Nikolai said dejectedly before he started to turn and leave the two Riders alone again. “Sorry, sir.”
“Actually, Nikolai,” Mogan continued to keep the boy from leaving. “Myka and I were discussing the possibility of going to Dragonsholme in the next few days to continue his training. Would you like to go with us to make sure that young Myka listens to your grandmother’s orders when it comes to his health?”
Nikolai’s face lit up as he smiled in disbelief.
“Of course, Nikolai, but it would obviously be contingent on your grandmother’s needs.”
Nikolai nodded in agreement, still smiling like he had stolen the last piece of red-fruit pie. Mogan chuckled lightly and smiled as he turned his attention back to Myka.
“Between the Royal Healers and Nikolai watching over you, Myka, you will be well taken care of.” The Rider told the twelve-year-old. “You have nothing to worry about.”
“I don’t think Bylanth would ever let another soul hurt you either,” Mogan chuckled.
‘Together forever,’ Bylanth said, making Myka look up and smile at the dragon’s head looming over him.
“Forever,” Myka whispered dreamily.
“You made an excellent choice in Rider, Bylanth,” Mogan said as he moved to stand next to Nikolai. The brown-haired man put his arm across the blonde-headed boy’s shoulders, making Nikolai look at him in surprise. “Myka shows plenty of potential, and I believe that he is meant for great things.”
“Really?” Myka asked with a blush.
“I don’t lie, Myka,” Mogan reassured the boy that looked like he was on the verge of falling asleep. “I promise that I will never lie to you. I believe it to be disrespectful and insulting. If I do, you had better believe that your life is in danger. Okay?”
“Yes, sir.” Myka replied quickly.
“Do you have any questions for me before I let you get your rest?” Mogan asked softly.
Myka frowned as he realized how tired he felt.
“How long do I have to decide about Dragonsholme, Rider Mogan?” The boy asked sadly. He had already made up his mind as to what needed to be done, but he wasn’t quite ready to say goodbye to his home, yet.
Mogan smiled and went to sit on the edge of the cot again next to Myka.
“I know this is difficult, Myka.” The man said as he reached behind the boy and fluffed up his pillow. “No matter what you decide, you have to remember that you will always be able to visit either place whenever you want. You’re a Dragon Rider, now! You can fly anywhere that Bylanth is willing to carry you!” Mogan placed the palm of his hand against the boy’s cheek. “Whatever you decide, you need to consider the welfare of your dragon, now. He’s still young, and he will probably eat the farms of the valley dry within a year or two. Bylanth needs space, which is why I think he brought you to this cave. It’s a nice size, and there’s still plenty of room for a growing dragon in here. If you decide to come to Dragonsholme with me, Bylanth will have a perfect spot waiting for him whenever you both decide to visit Greyson Valley, again.”
Mogan patted the boy’s cheek before he pushed him down onto the pillow.
“Sleep now, Myka,” the Rider said as he pulled the sleeping furs up to Myka’s chest. “Jefyk says that the worst part of your ordeal is over, but you might be sick from being out in the cold for as long as you were. Now, I’ll be back in three days, young one. When I come back, I want you feeling well enough to at least meet my dragon. Okay?”
“Yes, sir.” Myka said before he yawned deeply, barely able to keep his eyes open any longer.
Mogan chuckled and stood from the cot.
“Take good care of him, Bylanth.” The Rider said as he bowed slightly to the green dragon. “Make sure that he gets plenty of rest.”
Then, Mogan walked over to Nikolai and whispered something in his ear that Myka couldn’t hear. Nikolai smiled and nodded as Mogan left. Myka looked at his friend sleepily.
“Sleep, Myka,” Nikolai said with a smile. “I’m never running away from you, again.”
Myka blushed deeply as Nikolai walked out of his sight.
‘He loves you,’ Bylanth said as he draped his membrane-lined wing over his Rider protectively. Myka smiled as he felt the feeling of love wash over him from his dragon. ‘I love you, as well.’
‘I love you, too, Bylanth.’ Myka thought happily. Bylanth huffed and laid his head next to the edge of the cot, neatly tucked under the edge of his wing. Myka reached out and scratched Bylanth’s left eye ridge. ‘Thank you for saving my life.’
‘I would do anything to save your life, Myka,’ Bylanth stated as if it should have been obvious. Myka giggled softly. ‘I just wish I had gotten there sooner.’
Myka frowned and rolled to his side so he could look into the green eye staring back at him.
“I don’t,” the boy said aloud. Bylanth snorted in surprise. “I wouldn’t have had any reason to forgive Nikolai if you had rescued me sooner, Bylanth. Also, Mytch and Myra would have turned their attention to Nikolai, and they would have made his life a living Hell. I mean, he could have been the one tied to the tree and pushed off of the cliff.”
‘Do you always think about others, first?’ Bylanth asked.
‘Aren’t you a part of me?’ Myka asked with his mind as he yawned at the same time. ‘Shouldn’t you know the answer to that?’
‘I just wanted to hear you say it, Myka.’ Bylanth said with an amused huff. ‘Go to sleep.’
‘It’s not even nighttime, though.’ Myka whined with a slight grin.
Bylanth huffed and nuzzled into the hand that was still scratching his eye ridge lazily.
‘Pleasant dreams,’ the dragon said softly.
Myka grinned as love and reassurance flooded through his body.
‘You, too, Bylanth.’ Myka replied before he finally gave in to his exhaustion and fell asleep.
“You have to be honest with yourself, Myka.” Lady Tamera said as she helped Myka walk around the cave the next afternoon. “Why would you be staying at Carter Farm? What does it offer you, now?”
“What about my mom and dad?” Myka asked sadly. “Plus, with Myra and Mytch being taken away, Uncle Myron is going to need the extra help around the farm.”
“Your uncle already hired three men that work harder than ten people put together,” Tamera said with a snort. “There’s always someone that needs work in the valley, Myka. People came from all over Greyson Valley to work for your family where they know that they will be taken care of.”
“Is that why there are always so many people at the farm at the beginning of spring?” Myka asked curiously.
Myka flinched slightly as he heard the Healer address him by his new title.
“Now,” the Lady Tamera continued. “Your mother and father are traveling traders, Myka, so you’ll be able to find them whenever you want. All you have to do is ask Bylanth to take you there.”
Myka glanced back at his dragon with a grin on his face. Bylanth was watching him closely, ready to hurry forward and help if the boy stumbled.
‘Pay attention, Myka.’ Bylanth said with a huff. ‘You’ve already fallen twice.’
“Sorry,” Myka mumbled as he turned away from the dragon.
The reprimand stung as it only reminded him how he had fallen when he tried to leave his bed on his own that morning. It had humiliated him to be found by Nikolai when Bylanth started growling to get the boy’s attention. The second fall happened when Nikolai was helping back from using his chamber pot. Myka’s legs had just given out, causing Myka to fall into Nikolai’s arms. Neither boy said anything for a moment as they gazed into each other’s eyes, longing for the moment when they could be together again. Instead, Nikolai and Myka both blushed deeply as Nikolai picked the younger boy up into his arms and carried him back to his cot.
‘Focus, Myka.’ Bylanth said in a gentler tone.
Myka nodded absently as he focused on putting one foot in front of the other. The boy could feel his legs trembling as he felt his energy beginning to wane.
“I think you’ve had enough for today, Rider Myka.” Lady Tamera said as she slowly led the boy back towards his cot. “If you’re feeling better this evening, then you and Nikolai can go for a walk while I run down to get more supplies.”
“Okay,” Myka said softly. He felt elated at the idea of spending some time with Nikolai, but he was too tired to let it affect his outward demeanor any. Lady Tamera patted the boy’s hand gently.
“Take good care of each other, Myka.” She said with a warm smile. “I can see the love that you guys have for each other, and I only wish the best for both of you.”
“Thank you, Lady Tamera,” Myka said as the elderly woman helped him to sit on the cot.
“It’s my pleasure to see you getting healthy again, Myka.” The woman replied with a smile. “Besides, I don’t think Nikolai would have let me refuse to treat you.”
Bylanth huffed like he was laughing, making Myka smile at his dragon. Tamera laughed pleasantly before she helped Myka get comfortable.
“Now, rest up until Nikolai returns,” the woman instructed. “I’m positive he’s going to be returning with enough food to feed an army.”
Myka giggled softly and fluffed his pillow. Tamera sat on the edge of the cot.
“Have you decided what you want to do yet?”
“Not completely,” Myka replied with a frown. “I’m just worried that I’m going to disappoint everyone if I make the wrong choice.”
“Just follow your heart, Myka.” Lady Tamera said with a smile as she patted the boy’s chest. “Nobody else can tell you what’s right for you, except you and maybe Bylanth, now.”
Bylanth huffed in amusement.
‘The Healer is a wise woman,’ the dragon told Myka smugly.
The boy rolled his eyes and giggled.
“Bylanth said that you’re a wise woman, Lady Tamera.” He relayed to the Healer before he sighed discontentedly. Myka knew what needed to happen. He needed to go to Dragonsholme. It would be the only way that he would learn how to raise a dragon. There was really only one loose end that he needed to tie up. “It won’t bother you if Nikolai goes with me, Lady Tamera?”
The woman smiled and patted his hand.
“That boy knows everything that I can teach him, Myka,” Tamera reassured him. “The only way he is going to progress in the healing arts is to move to the capital where there are tutors proficient enough to carry on with his education.”
‘All that’s left is to say goodbye to the people I love,’ he thought grimly.
‘Why would you have to say goodbye, Myka?’ Bylanth asked. ‘Did you forget that we’re only a day’s flight from the capital?’
Myka grinned then.
‘I guess it won’t be so bad, then.’ He told his dragon before he smiled at Lady Tamera. “Do you know if Nikolai even wants to go?”
“Try to make him stay behind, and he’ll walk to Dragonsholme,” Tamera stated with a grin. “It’s time to rest, Myka. I’d rather not take any chances with your health.”
That evening, Myka finally developed a rasping cough that took the boy’s breath away and left him confined to his makeshift bed again. Tamera monitored the young Rider often to make sure that he wasn’t developing a fever, while Bylanth kept his mental link open at all times as he poured his own energy into the boy’s small frame. Both dragon and Healer were worried about the young Rider, and it was so bad that Mogan had sent another Dragon Rider to come to keep watch on Myka until he was able to return.
Myka slipped in and out of consciousness that evening as his illness slowly grew worse over the passing hours. One moment, the boy would be shivering from being cold, and the next he was sweating like someone had laid him in the summer sun. Tamera was fretting over the boy every time he woke up, constantly putting cool cloths on his forehead, and making sure the boy was staying hydrated by forcing him to drink water regularly. The Rider that had come to assist Lady Tamera was named Cadyn Stinz, and he had originally come from a kingdom outside of Erewhon that Myka had never heard of before. While Cadyn was only sixteen, the young Rider showed plenty of promise in the healing arts and was able to provide assistance whenever Lady Tamera or Nikolai were unavailable to help Myka. Cadyn’s blue dragon Jamys was also involved in the boy’s healing process as he helped Bylanth keep the steady flow of energy going into the small body buried beneath the pile of sleeping furs.
“His fever is finally breaking,” Myka heard Tamera say as he slipped in and out of consciousness. “We’ll keep him comfortable and hydrated for now. The worst of it is over. I have a feeling that he’ll be back on his feet by nightfall. Come with me to get some more supplies, grandson. Myka has been using up quite a bit of my herbs. If I ever get my hands on those two boys-”
“Mogan told me what they did, Lady Tamera.” Myka heard the light baritone voice of the Rider that was helping the older woman tend to his illness. “I’m surprised that Bylanth hasn’t gone hunting for them, yet. Jamys has been threatening them since we were told by Mogan what happened.”
“Myka didn’t deserve to be treated like this, Cadyn,” Tamera said sadly. “Nobody does. I’m going to River Village in a few days, and I plan on requesting an audience of Lord Claymon Fresno. I have several things that need to be discussed with that waste of space.”
“I’m sure that the king and queen would be willing to go with you,” Cadyn added smugly. “Mogan told them when he told me. I haven’t heard her Royal Majesty speak like that in two years, Lady Tamera.”
“I’ll have to ask her for a repeat performance the next time I get to visit Dragonsholme,” the Healer said with a slight laugh. Myka heard the underlying tone in her voice. “Let’s go over here and let the boy rest, Rider Cadyn.”
“Of course,” the Rider replied in a softer tone.
“I am sure that you would always be welcome at Dragonsholme,’ Cadyn quietly stated to put Lady Tamera at ease.
Myka sighed as he nuzzled into his pillow and wished the pain in his head would finally go away.
‘I hope I’m better before Mogan returns,’ the boy thought sadly. ‘I doubt the King and Queen of Erewhon want to meet an invalid.’
‘They wouldn’t be meeting an invalid, Myka.’ Bylanth stated fiercely. ‘They’d be meeting a Rider and his dragon!’
‘Thanks, Bylanth,’ the boy said sleepily as he yawned. Bylanth remained silent as he placed his own head next to the boy’s cot, just close enough so the twelve-year-old could reach out and scratch his eye ridges as he fell back to sleep. ‘I love you.’
‘I love you, Myka.’ The whispered voice said in the back of the boy’s mind.
‘Mogan and Jefyk are coming, Myka.’ The rich-baritone voice stated, pulling Myka from his dream about riding on the green dragon. ‘They have company, too.’
“Come along, Myka.” The boy heard the light voice of Cadyn say. “Your guests will be here, shortly.”
‘Mogan brought others?’ Myka asked Bylanth curiously. ‘Who are they?’
‘I was told not to ruin the surprise, Myka.’
“Come on, Myka,” Cadyn said as he pushed on the sleeping furs covering the boy. “We’re running out of time.”
Myka giggled as Cadyn yanked the furs back with a flourish before he reached down and pulled the boy into his arms.
“Now that you’re finally out of bed,” Cadyn said with a grin. “I think it’s time for you to take a bath.”
“Aww, man!” Myka whined before he shot Bylanth a plaintive glance. “Save me, Bylanth!”
‘Not this time, Myka!’ Bylanth replied as he huffed in laughter. ‘You smell worse than a Kat after it rains!’
“Traitor!” Myka protested futilely.
Cadyn laughed but carried the boy over to the waiting tub anyway.
“Don’t worry,” Cadyn said when he noticed the boy glance around the cavern. “Tamera took Nikolai with her back to the farm. Your uncle has a mare that went into labor late last night, and Tamera felt that Jamys and I were capable enough to watch you until they were able to return.”
“So, it’s just us?” Myka asked nervously.
“Not if you don’t hurry, Myka.” Cadyn chuckled.
Myka quickly grabbed the end of the robes was wearing and yanked them over his head before he relieved himself in his chamber pot and climbed into the tub of warm water.
“You seem to be doing much better, Myka,” Cadyn said with an amused grin.
“I feel better,” Myka replied. He sniffed his armpits and grimaced. “Eww! Bylanth was right! I do smell worse than a wet Kat!”
“Jamys said the same thing,” Cadyn told the boy playfully before he poured water over him, matting the boy’s brown hair to his head.
“Do I get to meet Jamys, today?” Myka asked curiously.
“I’m certain that can be arranged, Myka,” Cadyn said with his trademark grin. “Jamys has a lot of time and energy invested in your well-being, Myka. I don’t think he would let me leave without meeting you while your eyes are actually open.”
Myka giggled at the teenager’s comment before he let himself get lost in his thoughts while Cadyn helped him get clean. The boy knew he had been through a rough ordeal, but he couldn’t figure out why he felt better than he had in a long time. Myka felt like his entire body was buzzing with energy after spending eleven days confined to the cot with only a few times of actually being able to walk around the cavern during that period.
‘Maybe, that’s why I feel so weird.’
The boy considered this idea for several moments until he decided that he was overthinking the situation and decided to find out everything he could about the Rider that was taking currently helping him.
“What color is Jamys?” Myka asked, hoping he wasn’t breaking any protocol that he didn’t know about.
“He’s as blue as the sea on a clear and sunny day,” the Rider replied with a dreamy look in his green eyes.
“How long have you been bonded?”
“Three years, now,” Cadyn said with the same smile as he turned his attention to the boy again. “Why are you so curious, today?”
“I’m just nervous about Mogan’s company, I guess,” Myka stated honestly.
“Don’t be,” Cadyn said reassuringly. “Your guests are very excited to meet you.”
“You won’t even give me a hint as to who they are, will you?”
“Nope,” Cadyn replied with a laugh. “Come on, you’re all clean, finally. Your aunt had an outfit brought up here for you to wear once you were recovered enough to actually do a few things.”
Myka nodded as Cadyn helped him from the tub and began patting him down with one of the fluffiest towels the boy had ever felt against his skin, eliciting a pleasant purr from the boy. The outfit was leather trousers that were stained dark brown, and a long-sleeved green tunic that was thicker than normal shirts the boy had worn in his short life. The boy spotted a pair of dark leather boots sitting under the edge of the bed and he quickly pulled them out so he could look at them.
“They have green in them,” he said as he noticed the hint of color as he twisted the boot around. “Who’s are these?”
“Yours of course,” Cadyn replied. “Do you know anybody else that rides a green dragon?”
Myka stared at the Rider in disbelief, a knot forming in his throat at the surprise.
“Where did they come from?”
“I’ve met a few people since I’ve been here, Myka,” Cadyn said smugly. “You’re not the sole focus of my time.”
“Sorry,” Myka said with a blush. “I didn’t mean to-”
“If I was upset with you over something, Myka, I would have told you,” Cadyn said with a chuckle. Then, the older Rider glanced over Myka’s outfit to make certain he was presentable before he finally deemed that the boy was ready to meet his guests. “You clean up nicely, Myka.”
Myka blushed and smiled over as Bylanth snorted at him.
“What?” The boy asked aloud.
‘You’re missing the belt,’ the dragon said.
“Oh, crap!” Cadyn said as he smacked his head. Then, he ran back to the cot and reached under it until Bylanth bumped it aside with his nose. “Thanks, Bylanth.”
Cadyn ran back to Myka with the belt in his hand, and quickly fastened the green leather around the boy’s waist.
“There,” Cadyn said as he studied his handiwork. Myka glanced down at the belt and noticed that the buckle had the image of a dragon with its wings extended in the center of it, making the boy smile. “That completes the look, I think.”
“I like it,” Myka said with a grin.
“Excellent!” Cadyn stated happily. “Let’s go wait for your guests.”
Myka finally had a chance to look around the cavern as Cadyn walked beside him, the Rider’s hand was near the boy’s back in case he fell. The cavern that Myka had been recovering in was larger than the boy expected, and it was seemingly split into three different parts. The part that Myka slept in was at the back of the system, with a smaller cavern between it and the main entrance that was barely large enough for a full-sized dragon to squeeze through. Myka saw three cots set up near a small fire pit that had been placed in the middle of the cavern, its flames meant to keep the people in the room warm. There was a small wooden table sitting off to one side with four chairs around it, and a small lantern was sitting in the middle of it. A leather pack was sitting on one of the chairs, but Myka didn’t recognize it so he assumed it must belong to Cadyn and his dragon. Another short rocky outcropping separated the middle room from the main entrance to the cave, and Myka had to shield his eyes against the bright sunlight streaming in through the cave entrance. He couldn’t help but smile once he was able to see the valley floor below covered in shimmering snow.
Then, Myka gasped when he saw nearly ten shadows on the horizon steadily getting larger as they got to the cave. The boy was almost able to see individual colors as several of the shadows dipped down and around three shapes hovering in the center of the strange formation.
“What’s going on, Cadyn?” Myka asked as they stopped just inside the cave entrance. “You said Mogan only brought a couple of visitors.”
Cadyn smiled at the boy and patted his shoulder gently.
“You’ll see, Myka.” The Rider said with a grin. “You’ll see very soon.”
The boy leaned out of the entrance to the cave and glanced around until he heard a slight huff from above him. Myka turned to look and nearly screamed when he saw the giant blue head looming over him. Cadyn’s sudden laughter made Myka blush in embarrassment.
“Now that you’ve met Jamys, I think we’re ready for your guests,” Cadyn told Myka with a grin.
Myka smiled back at the Rider before he returned his attention to the shadows approaching from the east. Myka’s stomach dropped when he noticed the figure in the center was bright red in color. Only one Rider in the kingdom had a red dragon.
“Oh crap,” Myka mumbled as his stomach dropped. “Why is King Asharyn here?”
“I thought we already discussed this, Myka?” Cadyn stated calmly. “Besides, you’re the most important person in the entire kingdom. Why wouldn’t the king and queen want to meet you in person?”
Myka felt his entire body beginning to tremble as he saw the King’s dragon getting closer.
“Don’t worry, Myka,” Cadyn said softly to reassure the boy.
“I don’t even know how to greet them, Cadyn.” Myka nearly sobbed.
‘Relax, Beloved!’ Bylanth said from directly behind Myka. The boy turned to see his friend standing over him. Bylanth leaned down slowly and nuzzled his head into Myka’s side, making the boy fall onto him. ‘I will not let you fail.’
‘Do you promise?’ Myka asked nervously.
‘I swear to it, Myka.’ Bylanth replied with a huff.
“I promise, as well, Myka.” Rider Cadyn said as he helped Myka steady himself. The man smiled as he watched Myka reach out with his right hand and rested it on the dragon’s cheek. The boy smiled up at the older Rider. “Jamys says that he promises to support you, also.”
Myka stepped forward and looked upwards to see Jamys’ blue head peeking back at him. The boy giggled when the dragon blinked its sapphire blue eyes at him before the creature turned its attention towards the horizon. Myka followed his stare to see that his future was getting closer faster than he truly wanted it to happen.
‘Are we sure about this, Bylanth?’ Myka asked his friend as he returned to his side.
‘No matter what,’ Bylanth reassured his Rider. ‘We will always be together. Remember to just bow and be polite, and everything will be fine, little one.’
‘Thanks, Bylanth.’ The boy replied. ‘I love you.’