Dragon’s Cradle Chapter I

The Last Day of Summer

“BEEP, BEEP, BEEP, BEEP,” The sound of the alarm woke Joshua from his sleep. Raising his hand and turning to his alarm clock he turned it off “click” resting his hand on the stop button.

“Sigh… my last day of summer break. Sigh and the first day of school. So technically today should only be the last day of summer break. But today my parents decided to drive me to school so we can spend my last day home together. While it is a great sentiment I had planned the entire day out, with an awesome barbecue on the beach at the end, but spending time with the family is just as fun… I guess.” Joshua thought to himself as he got out of bed, walking to his dresser he picked out one of his favourite dress shirts in white and a vest in light blue, he also grabbed a black pair of fitted jeans with black dress shoes and some new navy blue laces he brought the day before.

“Joshua hurry up, Spencer’s down here waiting!” Alex shouted from down stairs.

“Yeah I’m Coming!” Joshua shouted back. “Good thing I showered already,” he thought to himself. Joshua’ well built body showed all his hard work from training that summer, being 5 feet 6 inches only help in that. His dark skin resembled the rust coloured sand at his favourite beach. And his long jet black hair extended down his back just above his waist, his sun disk eyes captivated all who saw him. Throwing on his clothes and pulling his hair back in a ponytail, he sprinted down the stairs for the kitchen. Staring at the countertop he quickly began to look for something to eat, “who ate my last muffin?” He snarled. Seeing his container of double chocolate chip muffins empty on the countertop.

“Oh… I gave it to Spencer, he skipped breakfast to get here on time.” His mother replied, With a long sigh he looked over to the living room he saw Spencer. His casual appearance was to common for his own good. Grey sleeveless hoodie and blue fitted jeans. It was just like him. His dirty blond hair was spiked forward like always, and his eyes were pure crystal blue like the purest lakes.  He was was slightly taller than Joshua at Five feet eleven, and had a slightly bigger build. His skin was tanned but was pale in comparison to theirs, and was now eating his last muffin. “Sigh, this is gonna be a long day.” He said softly to himself.

“Dude I said I was sorry.” Spencer argued as they both sat next to each other in the back seats of Joshua’s parents hover car, with Dante and Max, Joshua’s younger siblings

“Don’t worry about it. “He replied still slightly upset, his gaze fixed out the window on some mountains in the distance. Both Spencer’s and Joshua’s parents decided that since they were best friends, and going to the same school that it was best that they rode there together. “By the way which house are you aiming for at Draco?” Joshua asked Spencer.

“Don’t, know,hmm blue or black maybe. You?” Spencer returned.

“Me? White or silver, they work best with my snow leopard’s minor ice ability.” He answered.

“Josh let’s hear the the ten dragons again, pleeease.” His little brother Max asked from the seat behind them, pleading to hear his favourite fairy tale again.

“No, we already heard that one a million times. And besides mom and dad can tell you it later.” Dante protested from the seat next to him. Secretly wanting to hear as well.

“Yeah but, Joshua tells it the best… and this might be the last time he can.” Max replied still wanting him to tell the story.

“Ok, ok I’ll tell it.” Joshua said with a chuckle. “So this story starts in the beginning, before any the three races knew one another. The human race was a race of great crafters and blacksmiths. They made great cities, miraculous inventions and they explored constantly. Soon they found the Florian, beings of magic who were able to tap into the great power of the universe. We know this power as mana. They lived very close to nature and were key to the development of the sky fortresses. They were the first race to be discovered by the humans and a great friendship developed between two races. The Bellum Deos a warrior race who had mastered the arts of combat, were discovered next. They lived high in the mountains and deep within the earth, they helped develop the legendary weapons of the Dragon warriors. They were the strongest fighters and the only one able to develop a partnership with the might dragons, but that’s for  a little later on.

These three races began to live together for a few hundred years, the union of the three races caused each race to grow exponentially. But it wasn’t long before they discovered the hydras. Fierces multi-headed reptilians had an insatiable hunger, and with it devoured any and everything they came across. That laid waste to almost every explorer who journeyed out every in their direction leaving nothing of them behind. Those who would somehow manage to escape would tell of the gargantuan creatures and a healing ability that made them seem immortal. Fearing for their safety, if these creature ever ventured in their land they waged war on the hydras. Countless battles were fought against these monsters but the three races were beaten back every time. So they were left with only one choice, to end the explorations from then on. They were to fearful of finding more creature like the hydras. After a decade or so past they formed their first joint government to cultivate lasting peace the 10 Great Families ruled over all as this joint government.” Joshua paused then turned to max. “Max can you name each family?” he asked.

“Ofcourse I can!!” he answered we great confidence and excitement. The human families were, Sancturus, Valian, Heart, and Autumn. The Florian Families were Waiz, Xilocent and Nileo and the Bellum Delos were Fang, Terran and ummm.”

The tribe of Snow.” Dante whispered to Max.

“And the Tribe Of Snow.” Max continued.

“Good job kid.” Spencer praised.

“Ok let’s continue. It wasn’t long however before conflict sparked among themselves. Members of that ten great houses began a civil for complete control over the people. These spoiled nobles waged war for a couple decades which divided the nation in two. Genesis the first government who had the support of two thirds of their nation and White Owl who had taking a third of the nation by way of trickery and persuasion. Their battles were fierce with neither side giving in, but then…” Joshua paused again, this time he just remained silent.

“Wait, what happen? You can just leave us hanging bro.” Spencer protested at Joshua’s sudden and lengthy pause in the story.

“Yeah Josh go on.” Dante said urging him to continue.”

“Well someone’s into this story now aren’t we.” Joshua said to Spencer who seemed disinterested at the beginning, but was now anxious for him to continue.

“Just keep tell the story man.”

“Ok now where was I… Oh yes. But then the appearance of the 10 individuals who should save them from the white owl. These individuals demonstrated tremendous power, each of them had the power to kill over a hundred men and together their power was awe inspiring. They descended on the battlefield like angels or demons depending on which side of their blades you were on. Fortunately, they came to aid Genesis, with the combined strength of the warriors and Genesis’s forces the managed to push back White Owl and drive them into Hydra’s Land. They had hoped that those monstrous creatures would be able to destroy their traitorous brothers, but they were wrong. Five years later the member of White Owl returned to continue their war for complete control. However, this time they returned with a new ally the Hydras. Their combined forces took Genesis by surprise and even their Ten Great Warriors Found it hard to combat them, even with their enormous power. Genesis was being pushed back on every front and countless lives were lost in those battle, mankind was even driven close to the brink of extinction. White Owl was proving to be too much for them to handle, so they ran. They got everyone, the sick and the able, old and the young, warriors and civilians, and left for the lands to the east. Their hope was to find a new home and a place grow and maybe someday retake their lost city. Now in the east lived the Dragons, they were a race of wise, covetous beings that became enraged by the sudden intrusion of Genesis in their fight for survival. They were colossal reptilian creatures with enormous wings and a great majestic presence. There were ten different types of dragons each living in a different area. Each dragon ruled over its own domain but there was some the lived in small and large communities, where the oldest wisest and powerful dragons were their leaders. These new creatures saw the people of Genesis as invaders and were quick to confront them. Some was enraged while orders sought for understanding. And they…”

“Hey boys, the schools coming into view.” Joshua’s mom alerted them to the school as it came into view cutting off the story. Max and Dante oohed, and ahhed as they saw the huge school in the distance. The school was set on the edge of a massive cliff, it was like a fortress overlooking the ocean and protecting the city below. It had eleven High towers with its one central tower being the tallest and largest. The other ten towers were all the same height and surrounded the largest central tower in an infinity symbol. Each tower had a different colour and design to represent each of the ten dragon themed houses. A floating crystal like object was above each tower giving the school magical feel. And the sides of the towers held great stain glass windows of each dragon’s picture like the Great Cathedrals to the gods. It was beautiful.  Below the school was the city of Slumbering Hollow, the world’s largest coastal city. Caves networks connected the school to the city almost like an escape route for its residents.

“That’s the school you’re going to… Lucky.” Dante said to both Joshua and Spencer.

“Don’t worry kid, you’ll be there with us in two years” Spencer said to Dante while ruffling his hair.

“He’s right, so work hard and come join us at Draco after you graduate.” Joshua said to him rest his hand on his shoulder.

“Yea.” Dante returned excited. Looking forward to when he got the chance to be at Draco with them. Both Spencer and Joshua were his idols. They were the strongest kids in their hometown and the had the best grades in school. Well Joshua did, Spencer struggle with school work but made up for it in fighting. They were also the perfect team and, everyone in their hometown started calling them the Twins of Destruction. So leaving for Draco was expected of them, but what happen while they were there shocked everyone.

When they arrived at Slumbering Hollow they all decided to take a look around. Walking through the city they noticed it how advanced it was,compare their small hometown of Historia. Historia is the history capital of the world and houses the greatest collection of books in the largest library ever seen. It was a small town outside of the city of Celestia, its population was quite small compared to Slumbering Hollow. It felt more of a village than with everyone knew one another and little shops and businesses in people’s small homes or property. Slumbering Hollow was enormous in comparison, tall buildings elegant homes and every couple of block had some kind of store for them to browse. Still walking around and taking in the site they all stopped at a couple of stores to buy a few trinkets. There were almost too many shops for them to choose from.

“Let’s go check out that weapon shop.” Spencer said pointing to a shop just up the street that he found.

“Sure, let’s go. Hey mom me and Spencer are gonna go check out that weapon store just up ahead.” Joshua said to his mother.

“Sure thing, just be back soon.” She replied. Leaving for the weapon shop they walked just a couple of blocks from where they were with Joshua’s family to the entrance of the shop. Upon entering the shop, they saw a variety of weapons all of which looked well-made and sturdy.

“Welcome to The Battle Maiden. How can I help you today?” The young shopkeeper asked as they walked in. She was captivating and was about their age. She was the daughter of the owner. Her long sunset red hair and flawless fair skin were breath taking, her eyes were a soft crystal blue like Spencers, but her voice was sweet and caring.

“We’re just looking for now.” Joshua said as they walked around the store and made their way to different displays. Joshua went over to where the rapiers were displayed, while Spencer went to the quarterstaffs and nunchucks display. They spent about fifteen minutes in the store browsing and testing different weapons for a good fit. It was wasn’t by chance Spencer picked a weapon shop, he knew he forgot his weapons back at home. So they were looking for new weapons that had a good feel. After another five minutes some really shady characters dressed in what looked like the red dragon uniform from Draco Cradle entered the store, they all seem really pretentious and they were definitely looking for trouble.

“We’re here for those weapons we told you to prepare sweet heart.” One of them said as they stopped at the counter. They were your typical trio of hoodlums, tallest was in the middle with the others slightly shorter on both sides. The one to the left was the muscles with a well built body and a stupid look on his face. While the one on the right was the brains of the operation scany and more intelligent than the others but not buy much. The tallest on look like he was intimidating one deep voice and menacing demeanour classic hoodlum trio. Spencer overhearing them picked up an ash-wood staff nunchakus combined weapon and walked to meet them at the counter. Grabbing one of the ice like rapiers as he saw Spencer move into what looked like a potential fight. Joshua slowly began to walk towards the door avoiding as much attention as possible.

“I would like to buy this please.” Spencer said walking passed the three hoodlums and up to the young lady at the counter.

“Hey! Don’t you see us talking here buddy?” the taller one snapped at spencer.

“Huh? Oh sorry i didn’t know trash spoke to people.” Spencer remarked.

“WHAT!!!” he snorted at him as the store clerk giggled at Spencer’s comment. “You want some of me kid!?” He snarled, challenging Spencer.

“Sorry, but it’s the janitor’s job to deal with trash, not mine.” Spencer remarked again.

“Please, don’t rile them up anymore you’ll only get hurt.” The shopkeeper said trying to keep Spencer out of harm’s way.

“Yeah listen to girly here, before you get hurt kid.” The same guy said pushing Spencer with his hand. Taking a slight step back Spencer only smiled and said.

“Gosh!, now I’m gonna smell like trash.” Spencer said pretending to brush something off his hoodie were he was touched.

“THAT’S IT!” he snapped unsheathing his long sword erupting it with fire as he swung at Spencer. Stepping back Spencer raised his staff barely managing to block the attack. Next the other two did the unsheathed their weapons, Mr. Muscles had a large war hammer while Brainy had a staff. They all attacked Spencer simultaneously trying to gain the upper hand. With a smile Spencer effortlessly disarm them, handling the stores ash wood staff with ease. Then with a quick flurry of staff jabs and kicks he pushed them back. He then sent them flying to the door one by one with impressive heavy attacks.

“Now where’s a trash bin?” Spencer asked himself aloud. At this point no one noticed that Joshua had already been standing by the exit. As each of the students flew toward him trying to regain their footing. A lightning fast barrage of thrust and slashes from Joshua caught them off guard causing them losing what little footing they had acquired. Their uniforms was shredded by him left in pieces hanging from their bodies and a few slash wounds as a memento. Stabbing his rapier into the floor of the store he froze the ground beneath them, utilizing his ice abilities. The students then slide out of the store and into the street. Still not done they stood back up, pointing their hands at the store. Within a few seconds their weapons reappeared in their hands in a burst of flames.

“We need to pay our janitors more if all trash is this hard to get rid of.” Joshua commented as they took fighting stances. They all seemed ready, yet unaware that they were on the losing end of the fight. Now taking them seriously Spencer chuckled, then ran towards the door, slamming his staff into the ground next to Joshua, winking as he passed, rolling his eyes in return Joshua only watched as he broke the layer of ice he made, then pole vaulted into closest guy’s face Mr. Muscles. Flipping backwards off of his face, Joshua then rushed passed in flash of black and white. As he fell to the ground Joshua to take this opportunity to attack. Returning to his feet they began their exchange. Spencer stood back up as he landed and was immediately attacked but the other two students. The taller one aimed high while Brainy aimed low one coming from his left and the other his right. Jumping between their weapons he easily dodged their attack, swinging his staff at the shorter one legs he knocked him flat on his back. While a sudden dash into a fly kick from Joshua toppled the taller guy. Spencer then ran over to Mr Muscles jumping over him he grabbed his shoulders with his staff in front of his neck and tossed him through the air. Still ready for more they started to stand up once again to continue the battle. “You guys just don’t give up do ya.” Spencer said as they got back to their feet, cloth tattered and beaten.

“Well… their persistent I’ll give them that, “ Joshua said and continued “but they’re not the sharpest tools in the shade.”

“What?” Spencer asked confused at his old saying.

“Nevermind.” Joshua returned. Taking their fighting stances, they got ready to put an end to this fight. Rushing forward Spencer disconnected his staff into nunchucks ready to put an end to this fight. Ready to back him up Joshua ran in behind him, just then a whistling sound, and the crackle of fire caught his attention, “HEY LOOK OUT!” hey shouted. Jumping forward he pulled Spencer back just in time to see that something sharp spun by, leaving a trail of flames in its wake. Separating them from the Draco students. “I’m guessing that would be their leaders, sigh.” Joshua thought to himself.

“Ok now… you’ve had your fun, let’s put an end to this pathetic display of brutish ignorance.” Someone said walking towards them. His hair was brown and slicked back, and his appearance resemble that of a noble. Dark suit and tie with expansive matching shoes and a well forged weapon. Reaching up he caught the spinning blade that flew by them earlier. “Now this is the saddest lack of educational application I’ve ever seen. I do hope they’re not teaching you to fight like that.” He said to them.

“Ok… he’s not their leader.” Joshua thought to himself again. “But who is he?” he continued to try and figure out if he was a friend or a foe. Looking absolutely confused the Draco students looked from one person to another trying to figure out what was just said to them. Sigh “if you had even the smallest amount of intelligence you would know that he just insulted you.” Joshua said after the comments made by the spinning blade user. Still lost they looked at Spencer who was also having a difficult time understanding them. With a roll of the eyes the spinning blade user said.

“Obviously my words are wasted on them. Now you two gentlemen common courtesy would require you to provide these infidels with a means of escape from their sflorian-imposed predicament.” Turning to the red dragon students he continued. “Run along you’re excused.” Still confused, Joshua turned to them and said.

“He’s telling you to run away and that you’re stupid.” Dumbing it down for them to understand. Enraged at the insult they rushed him trying to prove themselves. Sheathing the rapier Joshua walked back at to the shopkeeper completely ignoring them as they changed their target. “My god they’re stupid. Well not my problem anymore.” He thought to himself. As he walked off he heard the spinning blade wielder say.

“Oh yes because fighting worked so well for you beforehand.” Then the sound of their blades clashing. Making it to the shop keeper he extended the blade then said.

“Thank you for the loaner but I’ll return this to you now.”

“No no no it’s yours, think of it as a thank you for your help. Now the police can have them detained and the school will discipline them properly. Oh and tell your friend to keep the staff to I hope it helps with your entry exam for Draco Cradle.”

“Wait we never told you we were going to be students here.” Joshua stated.

“No, but I can tell by the way you fight and by the fact that the new arrivals are displayed in the town square. The entrance exam is a big deal here everyone watches it and now I can say my weapons will be in it so make sure you both do your best. Also do come back anytime for improvements or repairs.” She replied smiling as the police came to take the red dragon students away.

“Ok we will. And by the way my name is Joshua Santus, may I ask yours?” Joshua asked as they stood and the shop entrance.

“Yes you may, it’s Natalia, Natalia Rosemary.” She answered with a giggle.

“I am glad to have been of service Natalia, I’ll see you later, and have a nice day.” He said walking back to where Spencer was. As he stepped next to Spencer he felt him jab him in his side. Turing he saw Spencer wink and smile at him then said.

“I know what you did over there… Casanova.” Rolling his eyes Joshua returned with.

“You’re an idiot you know that. Oh and we can keep the weapons.”

“Well now that those rapscallions have been dealt with, I would like to introduce mysflorian. I am Nathan Tonare, it is a pleasure to make you acquaintance.” Nathan said as he walked over and stood in front of both Joshua and Spencer, extending his hand for a handshake. Reaching out Joshua grabbed his hand and returned the gesture saying.

“Well I’m Joshua Santus and this is my best friend Spencer Kairos. So tell us, what brings you to Slumber Hollow?” Joshua asked.

“I’m here because I’m entering Dragon’s Cradle this year.” Nathan answered.

“Same here, sweet. I didn’t think we’d meet another new student today. Hey let exchange student numbers and meet up again after the exam!” Spencer said excited.

“Sure it’s always a good idea to have multiple friends when you start a new school.” Nathan returned. After exchanging numbers on a piece of paper they began to walk towards the town squares.

“Hmmm I feel like I’m forgetting something.” Joshua thought to himself but he quickly pushed the thought to the back of his mind.

“Hey mom where’s Joshua and Spencer?” Max asked as Joshua’s family continued to browse around the city.

“Not sure but they’ll be back soon.” She reassured him.

Spencer, Nathan and Joshua continued to walk together for about twenty minutes, chatting and exchanging info on different aspects of the city. As they approached the town square Nathan notice someone walking along the crowd “Joshua, Joshua,” he called out with Joshua next to him staring confused

Just great we pick up a crazy person” Joshua Taught to himself, but with his next call

“Joshua Barhaine you hobgoblin.” Instantly the person he was calling turned looking in all directions. He was a normal looking guy brown eyes, dirty blonde hair with a fair skin tone. He reassembles the locals with plain t-shirt, blue jeans and Light jacket with a build similar to Spencer. He also had some impressive blades strapped to his sides. Him and nathan looked like polar opposites but he recognized his voice and asked.

“Nathan?” Still staring he saw us and then walked over and to Nathan bumping fists and said. “Yo what’s up man? You made it.”

“Of course I did. What did you think I wouldn’t have arrived precisely on time to the opening ceremony is that what you’re insinuating?” Nathan said.

“Whoa whoa there, cool it with the big words, calm down man. and the ceremony is tomorrow; besides you’ve never being good with any of that stuff.” Joshua replied to Nathan.

“What when have I?” Nathan asked but was interrupted by Joshua.

“Well there’s the time you forgot your train pass at home when we went on that one trip. Then there were those times when you always forgot your bus pass, and…”

“Ok ok you’ve quite accurately made your point.” Nathan said. Then turning to Joshua and Spencer he’s introduced them to his long-time friend. “Allow me to introduce Joshua Barhaine we’ve been friends for a long time.”

“Hi” Joshua said.

“Hey” Spencer and Joshua returned.

“Also these fine gentlemen are Joshua Santus and this is Spencer Kairos.” Nathan said pointing to both of them.

“Ok there are too many Joshua’s around here now, and It’s going get confusing quick. So lets call you Barhaine and then him Santus any objections?” Spencer asked the two of them.

“Nope none from me.” Santus replied.”

“Sure dude.” Barhaine also returned.

“Ok problem one solved, that was getting old fast.” Spencer said as an announcement was played on an intercom.

“ATTENTION! Everyone this year’s opening ceremony is about to begin.”

“Huh, isn’t it tomorrow?” Spencer asked the other as the announcement was made.

“To start we would like to ask all first time students to assemble in the centre of this building.” He said referring to the building across from the huge water fountain behind them. Turing they noticed quite a few people had already began entering the building. Walking up to it Santus noticed someone he knew in the corner of his eye turning to try to figure out who it was. He recognised that it was his old friend Cody. They were both neighbours in Fallen Leaves, before he moved to Historia due a sequence of strange events in his life, and lost contact with him. Cody’s build put both Spencer’s and Santus to shame he was huge, and at 5 feet 11 inches you could tell he trained hard. His skin was the same rusty sand colour as Santus and his hair was dark brown. His eyes were amber with subtle hints of red and gold, it’s almost as if autumn was capture in his eyes. He couldn’t tell what he was wearing but Sanus assumed it was his usual revealing attire.

“I wonder what house he’s aiming for; it’s been awhile since I’ve last seen him. Wow he jacked! gosh, a freaking monster is what he is now!” He thought to himself, when they finally made it inside they began to be forced deeper into the building being pushed by the number of people and began to be separated. When all the students had made it inside the building the door slammed shut locking them inside. Panic spread throughout the building “Gee, great that’s just what we needed panic,” he thought. then the lights went out and a huge glyph combined with an equally as big circuit on the floor illuminated the room. “Ok now this, this is bad. we need to leave now!” Santus thought to himself. But before he could warn anyone a loud humming sound and intense light illuminated the room that got brighter and louder every second.

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