The Rise of The Dragon Queen- Chapter 7

Vixia and I rushed out of our room just in time to see the whole guildhall begin to panic. The lights that hung from the ceiling were swaying as the walls trembled. Some of the guild members were hiding under tables, others were rushing for the exit. Yelling and screaming filled the air. Vixia and I dashed for the stairs and I slid down the banister, trying to get to the ground floor as quickly as possible. As soon as I made it there, I realized that the dragon wasn’t inside the building.

The rumbling intensified as dirt and dust fell down from the ceiling in small trails. It seemed to follow a specific line, ending directly over my head.

“It’s on the roof,” I said to Vixia as she ran over to me.

“So, we have to go outside.”

I looked toward the front doors but found that it was crowded. Nesryn was standing in front of them, blocking the exit.

“If you run out there now, you’ll get yourselves killed!” she screamed at the crowd. “Grab your weapons before you do anything stupid!”

Vixia and I had already grabbed our weapons on the way out, but I knew that there was no way that we were getting through that door. I then noticed that Vixia was looking at one of the large windows nearby.

“Are you thinking what I am?”

“Mhmm,” Vixia responded, grabbing her staff and holding it out in front of her.

Oh, great Goddess, we are in a dire strait

I fear we have no time left to wait

Please help me disperse this glass

So that through it, we may pass

The glass of the window shattered as if on command, catching the attention of a few people, including Nesryn.

“Wait, you two—”

We didn’t wait to listen to what she had to say. I jumped out of the window and Vixia followed quickly behind me. Once we were outside, I realized that there wasn’t a flame in sight.

“Must be fireless,” I concluded. “Vixia, is there any way for you to get me on top of the roof?”

She was staring at the top of the building. From the ground, we could only see the dragon’s wings.

“I have an idea, but it’s too risky.”

“Well, we don’t have time to think of a better one. It’ll cave the roof in if we don’t handle this now.”

“I know, I know!” Vixia snapped at me. “Just give me a second! I don’t want to put you up there because it’s curved. One wrong step and you’ll fall off.”

“And you can’t incinerate it like the last one because—”

“Everyone inside will burn up with it,” Vixia finished, gripping her staff. Puff, who was still on her shoulder, nuzzled her.

“Maybe if we had something to catch us,” a voice from behind us suggested, “it wouldn’t be so risky.” We looked back to see Darius approaching us, having also jumped through the window. There was a large battle axe strapped to his back this time.

“Darius, what are you doing out here?” I asked.

“What, you think I was going to leave all of this to you two? I am a member of the Ironscale Hunters, after all.”

“Right, but now we need to focus,” Vixia interrupted. “How can we set up something to make this safe?”

That was when Puff jumped off of her shoulder. He scampered across the grass, heading toward the building.

“Puff, where are you going?”

He stopped and looked back at us. For a moment, I could have sworn that he had smiled. He flexed his muscles in a weird way and his whole body began to grow. The three of us stared in awe as he expanded to about the size of a carriage. He then flapped his wings and began to lift off the ground a little.

So he can change his size at will? I didn’t know dragons could do that!

“Well, there’s our catcher,” Darius said. “Vixia, send us up.”


It only took a few minutes for us to begin our plan. Vixia used a spell to float both of us up to the top of the building and Puff flew around behind us in case we fell. Vixia came up herself using the same spell and we stood together on one of the stone support beams. I clutched my shirt as I got an intense pain in my chest when I stared at the dragon.

As I had noticed before, it was fireless. Its body was covered in dark blue scales and its eyes were pitch-black like the others before Puff. Its wings were outstretched to maintain its balance on the top of the dome with its claws digging into it for extra support. It waved its tail menacingly as it turned toward us, almost as if it were giving us some sort of warning. It let out an ear-piercing cry and our plan was set into action.

My pulse thudded against my temples as I rushed forward with my sword ready and Darius did the same with his axe. We made sure to attack from either side of the dome in hopes that it couldn’t block both of us and maintain its balance at the same time. Vixia covered the front-and-center area and slammed the bottom of her staff down into the material that made up the dome. She shouted a quick incantation and a trail of ice shards rushed ahead of her, jutting upward from the roof. The ice hit the dragon first, stabbing at its underbelly and chest as Darius and I went in for its legs.

“Now!”

I jabbed my blade into the dragon’s foot, which caused it to scream as Darius hacked at its shin. It kicked him off of the side of the building in one swift motion. Puff caught him just as quickly and returned him to where Vixia was standing as I removed my blade from the monster’s foot. I slashed at its leg and realized that ice was working its way upward from the roof, capturing the dragon’s feet and tail. Vixia had now frozen it to the dome.

I ducked down as it flapped its wings furiously and screamed.

“Now’s our chance!” Vixia and Darius both rushed toward the dragon, weapons ready. Puff flew overhead, his throat puffing outward as wisps of flames emerged from his mouth. He let them go as soon as Vixia finished her ice incantation again.

I jumped back just in time for both attacks to hit the dragon. It screamed out in pain and I made brief eye contact with Darius. There was a look of determination on his face and sweat was running down from his brow.

He must be thinking the same thing as me. We nodded to each other and turned our attention back to the aftermath of the devastating attack that Vixia and Puff had landed. Smoke—or was it steam?—clouded the area and made it hard to see anything other than the tips of the flames and cinders floating through the air. After the flames ceased, the dragon became more visible. At this point, it was writhing in pain, but it was also free from the hold that the first ice attack had on it. Darius and I both rushed in, screaming in both fear and anger.

Darius chopped its neck while I stabbed into its belly. The dragon’s cries finally stopped as its head dropped, detached from the rest of its body. It rolled off the edge of the roof, plummeting to the ground near the guildhall’s front door as its former body slumped and collapsed . . . right on top of me.

“Ketsuna!” I could barely hear Vixia’s muffled voice as I tried my best to scooch out from under tremendous weight over me. I could barely move at all and my chest and lungs began to ache. I reached out my arm as far as I could. I couldn’t see anything from under the dragon’s body, but I felt someone grab onto my wrist. Then another set of hands did the same, just a little further up my arm, and then they pulled. I was slowly dragged out from under the monster’s corpse and coughed as soon as I was able to breathe in again. Darius and Vixia let go of my arm and Puff let go of the back of Dariu’s shirt. They all dropped down on the roof to sit, breathing heavily. Vixia reached out to touch my face.

“Are you okay?” she asked.

“I think so,” I managed to say between heavy breaths. Vixia pulled her hand away as I rolled onto my back. That was when we both noticed that her entire palm was covered in dragon blood. Her face wrinkled in disgust.

“Ew.” She wiped her hand on her shirt and we both laughed.


Puff helped us down from the top of the building and shrunk back down to his usual size before anyone had a chance to see him. The front doors burst open and most of the guild rushed out, finding us standing there. They all froze, dumbfounded. I noticed that Nesryn, who was at the front of the crowd, was staring at me in horror.

“Are you okay?’ she asked.

“Oh, yeah,” I replied with a smile. “This blood isn’t mine.” I looked over to see where the dragon’s head had landed on the ground. Everyone watched as I walked over to it and picked it up, then wandered back over to Darius and Vixia. “It’s his,” I said, holding the head up. The crowd began to cheer and most of them headed back inside as Nesryn stepped closer to us.

“You three managed to slay it yourselves?”

“Four,” Darius insisted. “You forgot Puff.”

Puff, who was now on Vixia’s shoulder, beamed. The guild master looked at him and nodded.

“Right . . .”

“Um, Nesryn, I have a request,” Vixia spoke up.

“What is it?”

“Well, as you can see, Ketsuna and I are highly capable of handling ourselves.”

“Yes, her majesty the queen made that very clear.”

“Basically,” I interrupted, “what Vixia is trying to say is, can we please be put on something other than chore duty? Can we take on actual quests inside of being stuck at the guildhall? It’s a waste of our skills.”

“I wasn’t going to go that far,” Vixia mumbled under her breath. Nesryn seemed to consider my words for a moment, crossing her arms and holding the end of her chin as she thought.

“Fine, I will allow it. Let me speak to Queen Evelyn and see what can be done.”

“Really?” She nodded.

“But parties in this guild travel in groups of three. I’m sorry, but Puff doesn’t count. You’ll need another member to come along with you.”

Vixia and I both turned to look at Darius.

“Wait, what?” Darius wondered aloud.

“Darius, come with us!” Vixia cheered, hugging his arm. “We can go on so many adventures and it’ll give you a chance to get away from the kitchen.” Darius shifted his weight away from her, but she kept her hold on his arm. He scratched the back of his head with his free hand.

“I guess you’re right. I do kinda miss getting out there like I used to . . .”

“Then it’s decided,” Nesryn said at last. “You three are your own party and you’ll begin with your regular quests tomorrow. Now I have to go through the members and assign chore duty to someone else.” She turned and went to go back inside, but once she made it to the door she stopped for a moment and looked at us from over her shoulder. “Don’t let me down.”

Vixia and I nodded and she left.


That night, Vixia and I began getting our stuff together to leave the guildhall. We had already made a plan to meet up with Darius in the morning since we would be assigned to a quest together. I had most of my stuff packed already and Vixia was collecting the last pieces of her mini altar when she asked a question.

“Should we stop by the house before we leave? There’s a couple of things that I forgot there that might be handy.”

“Sure.” There was a knock at the door. “I’ll get that.”

“Okay.” I headed for the door and opened it. At first, I didn’t see anyone, but as soon as I stepped out into the hall, I saw Sparrow waiting for me. I sighed and closed the door behind me.

“What do you want?”

“I am not going to lose to you.”

“Huh?”

“I am not going to lose to you,” he repeated. “You may have the others fooled, but you’re not invincible. There’s something odd about you, and I swear that I will figure it out. And then I’ll make you regret ever coming around this guild.”

“Do you seriously still think that I actually wanted to join this guild? I came here for my own reasons and none of it has to do with you.” I turned to head back into my room. I opened the door as he began to speak again.

“I swear that I’ll beat you! Wait, I’m not done—” I slammed the door in his face.

The Rise of The Dragon Queen- Chapter 6

Later that night, the rest of the girls at the orphanage and I clambered into the bunk beds that filled the large room that we all shared. I climbed on top of my bunk, which was at the back of the room by the windows, and was about to get under the covers when Ms. Emery walked into the room. We all stopped what we were doing and stared, everyone noticing that the new girl was following her. They headed all the way to the end of the room and stopped at my bunk bed.

“Ketsuna, this is Vixia,” Ms. Emery explained. “She’ll be taking the bottom bunk of your bed for the time being.”

“Okay,” I replied quietly.

“Why don’t you come down and say hello?” I hesitated for a moment, but then I climbed back down and held out my hand to the girl. This was the first time that I noticed her yellow eyes. “Hi, my name is Ketsuna.”

She took my hand and shook it. “I’m Vixia,” she chimed. “Glad to meet—”

“Good,” Ms. Emery interjected. “Ketsuna, be on your best behavior. Everyone, it’s time for lights-out! I don’t want to hear so much as a peep from any of you.”

“Yes ma’am!”

Vixia crawled into the covers of the lower bunk as I climbed back up onto the top one. Ms. Emery left the room, flicking the light off on the way out and closing the door behind her. I peered over the edge of the railing as soon as she was gone, and Vixia must have had the same idea as me because I was met with the sight of her glowing eyes.

“I thought she said that this place was at max capacity.”

“She did but that doesn’t make it true. She just doesn’t want any more kids here.” Vixia nodded in understanding and smiled.

“Sorry if my eyes are creepy,” she whispered. “They make it to where I can see really well in the dark.”

I beamed back at her.

“That’s so cool.”

That was the exact moment where our friendship began.


About a month passed and so did the pouring rain and winter weather that kept us confined to the inside of the orphanage. When nicer weather came, we were allowed to play outside in the courtyard. Some of the kids would garden with the other caretakers or run around playing tag, but not Vixia and me. On that day, we were sitting under a tree at the far end of the courtyard, taking in the spring sunlight as we skimmed through my dragon book.

“Isn’t that the book that Ms. Emery took away?” she asked. I nodded, flipping to the next page.

“Yeah, she usually does that. I sneak it back when she’s not looking, though.” I continued to flip through the pages as Vixia looked down at her lap, silent. After a moment, she spoke again.

“Did you have a family?” she asked. I stopped skimming and stared at one of my favorite illustrations in the whole book, which depicted an enormous red dragon.

“Did you?”

“Yeah. They left me in the forest.”

“I’ve never had a family.”

“Really? Then, have you been here your whole life?”

“No.”

“Then what happened before—”

“Look at this!” I interrupted, holding up my book. “Isn’t this picture cool?” I showed her the picture I was staring at, the one with the red dragon. However, my moment of excitement was short-lived.

“Ketsuna, what do you have there?” Ms. Emery shouted. I jumped, startled, and we both looked up to see her storming toward us.

“Crap!” I got up to run but Ms. Emery had already made it to us. She snatched the book out of my hands again and she was practically fuming.

“This again? You’re such a bad influence! Both of you, inside, now!”

Vixia and I looked down at the ground for the walk back to the house, but when Ms. Emery wasn’t looking, Vixia grabbed my hand and held it.


I laid in bed that night, staring at the ceiling above me as I contemplated everything. I wondered about why I was still there at the orphanage, when I would be adopted, if I would ever be adopted. But most of all, I wondered what it would be like to leave.

I wouldn’t have to deal with her anymore. I could explore and do my own thing. No one could stop me.

I sat up and looked out the window. The moon was high in the sky, its light shining on the trees. The shadows of their leaves and branches were cast on the window’s glass and stretched across the floor. Everything else was dyed in an iridescent blue. I was admiring the color when I made up my mind. I climbed out of bed and began to get dressed as quietly as I possibly could. I had picked up my boots when Vixia sat up and looked at me, her eyes glowing against the shadows of the room.

“What are you doing?” she whispered.

“Leaving.”

“Where are you going?”

She tilted her head while she continued to stare at me. I shrugged and began to head for the door, careful not to wake up any of the others.

“Wait.” I stopped and turned around to look at Vixia. She had her arm and hand outstretched toward me, but she hadn’t gotten out of bed. “Let me get dressed. Take me with you.”

“Are you sure?” I asked. She nodded.

“Okay.” I walked back over to her and she got dressed as quickly as she could. “Don’t put on your shoes,” I instructed. “They’ll be too loud inside the house.” She nodded again and picked them up, carrying them like I did with mine. We left the room and headed for the kitchen. I grabbed a sack that was sitting in the corner of the room and started to fill it with food.

“Wait, isn’t that stealing?”

“What else are we supposed to eat? Twigs?” Vixia shrugged and I continued to fill the bag. We then headed into the common room, where Ms. Emery put my book. I handed Vixia the sack and went to grab a chair. I carried it over to the bookcase and climbed on top of it.

“Please be careful.” I didn’t say anything back. I stood almost on the tips of my toes to peer over the top of the book case. I could barely spot the spine of my book against the darkness of the room but I could tell that Ms. Emery had made an effort to push it back further than usual. I stretched a little further and the chair shifted under me.

“Ketsuna, look out!” Vixia rushed over and grabbed the chair just before it could tip over. She steadied it while I regained my footing. I looked at her from over my shoulder.

“Hold it still. I’ve almost got it.” She nodded and did as I told her. I reached again and just barely touched the book’s cover with my fingertips. I managed to drag it close enough to grab and held it to my chest. I got off the chair and added the book to the sack that Vixia left on the floor.

“Should we put the chair back?”

“No,” I replied. “Let’s just go.”

“Okay.”

We headed for the front door and I carefully turned the knob. There was no sound until we opened it. The hinges let out a high-pitched creak as I slowly pulled the door open. Vixia and I both listened for a moment to see if anyone had woken up, but after a moment of silence, we crept outside. I closed the door behind us as quietly as I could. Now we were walking across the courtyard, heading toward the forest.

“Are you sure you wanna come?” I asked. “As soon as we cross the gate, there’s no turning back.”

Vixia stared at me for a moment, her hair shining in the moonlight. She nodded firmly as she took my hand and squeezed it tightly. We finished walking across the courtyard and exited through the front gate. Then, we slipped off into the forest, veiled by the darkness of the night.


. . . Ketsuna. Hey, Ketsuna.

I could feel someone shaking me and I opened my eyes, the world around me coming into focus. I was still in my room at the guildhall, laying on my back in bed. Vixia was looking down at me with Puff perched on her shoulder as I groggily rubbed my eyes. I sat up and yawned.

“Did I fall asleep?”

“I think so.”

“What time is it?”

“About 6 o’clock. Most of the guild is back now and Darius and I just finished making dinner.”

“All right. Let’s go eat.”

I stood up from bed and we were about to walk out into the hallway when I heard a low rumbling sound. Then everything began to shake. My chest tightened.

“It’s a dragon!”

The Rise of The Dragon Queen- Chapter 5

“Three, two, one, go!”

I immediately spun around and rushed for Sparrow just as he began to turn to face me. I clenched my teeth as I went to slash at him, but he managed to jump out of the way in the nick of time. He barely managed to maintain his balance after that. When he had stable footing again, he swiped at me and my heart skipped a beat. I blocked it with my own weapon and his blade glanced off of mine before I took a step back. He went to launch another attack, this time jabbing at my chest, but I turned sideways and easily avoided it.

“Don’t get sloppy,” I warned. “You aren’t even paying attention to what you’re doing.”

I jumped back to gain some distance and then dashed forward again, gripping my hilt as tightly as I could with my right hand. I let out a roar as I rushed him and swiped at his side. I landed the hit, which caught him off guard. When he tried to get back at me, I planted my foot in his stomach and shoved him backward. He let go of his sword and hit the ground with a loud thud. I stood over him, the tip of my blade pointed at his face as I kept the sole of my boot pressed against the center of his chest.

“Ketsuna is the winner!” Nesryn declared, and Vixia and Darius began to cheer. The others clapped, but I could tell that a majority of the guild was still against me. I returned my blade to the sheath that rested on my back and stepped back to remove my foot from Sparrow’s chest. He glared at me as he coughed and propped himself up on his elbows. I bent over and held out my hand in an offering to help him up, but his glare just intensified and he began to get up by himself. I straightened out again and turned just in time for Vixia to collide with me.

She immediately pulled me into a hug. Puff, who was hiding in Vixia’s hair, trilled with excitement.

“You did great, Ketsuna!”

“Thanks.” But I looked away from her when I heard some of Sparrow’s party talking.

“I can’t believe you got your ass kicked by an elf,” one of them said with a laugh.

“Yeah, and so quickly too!” the other added.

“Shut up!” Sparrow snapped. He looked over his shoulder to glare at me and I shrugged. I looked back toward Vixia again, seeing that Darius had also wandered over to us.

“Why don’t you go get some rest?” he offered. “Vixia and I can handle making dinner and we’ll get you when it’s done.”

“Okay, I guess I will.” I stepped closer to Vixia and hugged her again. I smiled and looked at the tiny dragon, who was still hiding in her hair. “Puff, you wanna come with me?” I whispered.

The tiny dragon scrambled from Vixia’s shoulder to mine and I laughed as he crawled into my shirt. I let Vixia go after he was out of sight.

“All right, I’ll see you guys later then.” I went to head inside and I could feel Sparrow’s eyes on me the whole time.


When I went upstairs, the first thing that I did was grab one of the books that I had brought with me. The next thing that I did was flop onto the bed, right after Puff had chosen his own spot on Vixia’s pillow. While I did have an easy time beating Sparrow, I was still a little tired, especially because it had been the first time I was in combat for nearly a week. I was beginning to read my book when Vixia came in. She crept into the room and closed the door quietly behind her. I looked over to see her smiling at me.

“Hey, you did great out there.”

“Thanks, but it wasn’t much,” I replied. “Hopefully he won’t be giving us as much trouble anymore.”

Vixia walked up and leaned over me to kiss me. After she pulled away, she stared at me for a moment.

“We’ll get through this, okay?” I took a deep breath in and let out a sigh.

“Okay.”

“I’m going to chat with Zelora real quick. Is that all right?”

“You do whatever you need to. Tell her I said hi.” Vixia’s smile widened, showing her sharp canine teeth in a way that was surprisingly comforting. She walked over to her altar in the corner of the room and sat down on the floor, the lower part of her legs folded underneath her. I watched her for a moment as she closed her eyes, relaxed her shoulders, and bowed her head. I closed my book and set it aside. I began to remember the day that I first met Vixia.


When I saw Vixia for the first time, I lived in an orphanage at the edge of Zaledrid. I was in the common room, sitting by the fireplace with a book, when there was a knock at the door. Ms. Emery, the lady that ran the orphanage, went to answer it as the rest of the children and I watched in awe. We never got visitors, so a knock on the door usually meant that either someone was getting a new home or there was another child moving in.

The door creaked open and the sound of pouring rain filled the room. On the front steps were what appeared to be two royal guards. Between them was a small girl who had her gaze downcast while she gripped the hem of her dress. She had long, silver hair and this was before she had grown into her oversized ears and tail. She was wearing a cloak, but the rest of her clothes were not meant for the harsh weather outside.

“I’m sorry, but we do not have enough room,” Ms. Emery began. “We’ve been at max capacity for a while now and we’re really trying to focus on giving loving homes to the children that are already here.”

One of the guards opened their mouth to speak, but they were interrupted by Vixia.

“Is there anywhere else that I can go?” she asked. Silence followed as her words hung in the air. No one could give her an answer, and she knew it. “I promise I won’t be a problem,” she whimpered, lifting her head to look up at Ms. Emery. Tears were welling up in her eyes and a brief thought crossed my mind.

Why would anyone be so desperate to stay here?

That was when Ms. Emery took her hand and gently led her into the room. I recall thinking that Ms. Emery was never that gentle with me.

“Thank you,” she said to the guards. They nodded and she closed the door. When she turned around, she noticed all of our eyes on her and Vixia. She looked back down at the young girl.

“What is your name?”

“Vixia.”

“Vixia, go in there for a minute,” Ms. Emery instructed, pointing toward the kitchen. The silver-haired girl did as she was told and Ms. Emery looked back at the rest of us. Her dark hair was up in a messy bun and time had carved wrinkles into her face. They were even more apparent when she scowled at us.

“It’s chore time. Get up and clean somethin’!”

“Yes ma’am,” we all shouted in a panic, stumbling to our feet. I had closed my book and was trying to tuck it away under the nearest bookshelf when Ms. Emery spotted it.

“Ketsuna!” I jumped and my heart dropped into my stomach. I turned around to look at her.

“Yes, Ms. Emery?”

“What are you hiding there?”

I felt my hands begin to tremble as she stomped over to me. She snatched the book away from me and, as soon as she looked at the cover, I knew I was in trouble.

“Dragons? Again?” There was an exasperated tone in her voice. She glared at me. “You know these things are monsters, right? They kill people.” She walked across the room and put the book up on a high shelf, one that I couldn’t reach without standing on a chair. “Get to cleaning,” she demanded. When she walked away, my eyes passed by the doorway to the kitchen. Vixia was standing there, watching me.

I looked away from her and went to go find a broom.

The Rise of The Dragon Queen-Chapter 4

The next morning came and Vixia and I were shunned once again. We made our way over to our table and sat down with our breakfast, like usual. The tiny dragon was perched on my shoulder, hidden by my long hair. He quickly scrambled down my arm to sit on the tabletop instead. He stared at our food, unblinking.

“Do you think that maybe the little guy is hungry?” Vixia asked.

“Probably.” I was about to tear off a scrap of meat to give to him when Darius walked up to us.

“Here, I brought this for the tiny one.” It was almost as if he had read our minds. He put a small dish of meat down in front of the little dragon as he took his seat. The tiny creature immediately began to gobble down his breakfast, acting as though he was starving.

“How did you know that we had him?” I asked. Darius chuckled as he took his seat across from me.

“I saw his scales poking through your hair. Hide him better next time.”

“Oh, right.” I looked back at the tiny dragon. “I wonder if he came in last night because he could smell the food.” I watched him scarf down a scrap of meat and lick around his mouth with his long tongue. Darius nodded as he took a bite of his own breakfast.

“Probably.” We continued eating, but we didn’t have enough time to finish before Nesryn showed up, giving everyone their duties for the day.

Vixia and I listened carefully, and while our expectations were low, hearing “chore duty” after our names was not what we were hoping for. The rest of the guild got up and left to get ready for their quests, just like the day before, while Darius, Vixia, the little dragon, and I continued eating at our table. After she was done giving everyone their assignments, Nesryn walked up to us.

“You two are on chore duty again today, but I have a special request.”

“What is it?” Vixia asked.

The guild master pointed at the tiny dragon.

“Find out how he got in and seal it up. That’s all. If you need anything, I’ll be in my study.” And with that, she left. We finished our breakfasts and got to work.


I helped Darius with cleaning dishes and tending to the kitchen while Vixia looked everywhere for any sort of crevice that the tiny dragon could have squeezed through. I was taking a break when she finally left the kitchen, letting out a defeated sigh.

“How did you get in here, little guy?” she asked, crossing her arms and looking in my direction. The little dragon, who was sitting in front of me on the table, turned to look at her but did nothing else.

“When he first showed up last night, it looked like he may have gotten in through the window,” Darius began, stepping out of the kitchen behind Vixia, “but I closed it as soon as I was done cooking. There’s no way that he got in from over there.”

Vixia groaned and the tiny dragon tilted his head at her. Darius turned and walked back into the kitchen, letting out a sigh. My eyes wandered back to the dragon and an idea popped up in my mind.

“Maybe we should give him a name,” I suggested.

“Hmm . . .” Vixia rested her chin against her knuckles, leaning against the doorway. The tiny dragon blinked. “I have no clue. Do you have any ideas?”

I shook my head.

“Hey, Vixia, could you help me real—” Darius’ voice was interrupted by the loud clang of a metal pot hitting the floor. The dragon in front of me jumped and his throat puffed up. He stretched out his wings in what I assumed was an attempt to make himself look bigger. Vixia rushed into the kitchen to help Darius and the tiny creature slowly calmed down, huffing a little and transitioning back to what he looked like before he was startled.

“Puff,” I said quietly.

“What?” Vixia wondered aloud, poking her head out of the doorway.

“His name should be Puff.” My wife shrugged at my suggestion and returned to the kitchen. The tiny dragon, Puff, scuttled across the table and leaped off the edge. He quickly headed into the kitchen after her.

“Wait, where are you going?” I asked as I got up and followed.

When I entered the kitchen, Vixia and Darius were pulling out ingredients for that night’s dinner. Puff had already made it halfway across the room and quickly slipped out of my sight.

“Puff?” Vixia and Darius both watched me as I walked toward where I last saw the small creature. He was nowhere to be found since he had headed toward a dead-end.

“Did you lose him?” Vixia asked.

“I guess so.”

“Puff!” she called.

We heard a quiet chirp and I spotted him pulling himself out of a small crack in between the stones in the wall. He scampered over to Vixia and stared at her, blinking a few times.

“That’s how you got in!”

Darius chuckled from behind us as he pulled a full bag out of the trash can. “I’ll go ahead and seal that up for you guys,” he offered. “Ketsuna, can you take this out, please? The dumpster is outside at the western side of the building.”

“Yeah, I can do that.” I walked over and took the bag from him and left the kitchen.


I walked outside, trash bag in hand, and started heading toward the dumpster. The sky was a bright blue color since it was past noon on a clear day. I was almost to the dumpster when I heard a familiar voice. I stopped and crept around the side of the guildhall. When I peered around the corner, I saw Sparrow and his party mates standing around, chatting and laughing.

What the hell are they doing here? It’s not even lunch yet.

“Hey!” All three of them jumped as I headed over to them, eyes narrowed. “What are you doing? Aren’t you supposed to be helping keep watch for more dragons right now?”

“We’re just taking a break,” Sparrow groaned. “Besides, aren’t you supposed to be inside playing maid or something?”

I dropped the trash bag in my hand and started storming closer.

“Look, I’ve been doing the best that I can with the job that I’ve been given, but that’s something that you could hardly say. You guys are lazy at best and negligent at worst.”

“Who are you calling lazy?” Sparrow snarled, staring me down.

“That’s enough!” Sparrow and his buddies were suddenly looking past me and I turned around to see Nesryn walking over to us, her eyebrows furrowed. “Sparrow, what are you guys doing here? You’re supposed to be halfway across the city right now.”

“Um . . .” Sparrow struggled for an answer, but couldn’t find one. He looked over to his friends, who just shrugged. I could tell he was panicking. “I wanted to challenge Ketsuna to a duel!” I raised an eyebrow at him.

Oh boy, you just screwed yourself over.

“A duel? Like practice sparring?” Sparrow nodded and Nesryn continued with, “Why didn’t you bring it up ahead of time?”

“I didn’t know how to submit the information to you,” Sparrow lied, glancing over at me. I kept my eyebrow raised while I stared at him. He took note and looked back at Nesryn.

“You know, I should reprimand you for this,” Nesryn growled. Sparrow appeared to cower for a moment. “But I’ll allow it,” the guild master finished. “A duel would be fun to watch and it would be great practice for you to spar against one of our best dragon-slayers anyway.” She then turned to me. “Ketsuna, would you be up for it?”

“Sure,” I answered with a smile.


I went and got my armor and weapon and the other remaining guild members came outside to watch, including Vixia and Darius. We relocated to a sparring area behind the guildhall, which was just a large patch of dirt with some white markings on the ground, and suited up in our gear. His armor appeared to be blunkier than mine and he was wielding a two-handed sword with a broader blade than mine.

I have the advantage here.

Nesryn stood before the crowd as Sparrow and I stood on opposite sides of the battlefield, facing away from each other. I wasn’t really listening to her until she began to list the rules.

“No brutal injuries, no attacking private areas of the body, no lethal force. When I say go, both opponents will turn around and the duel will begin immediately. May both opponents have the best of luck.”

This is way different from a dragon fight, I thought to myself as the guild master began counting down.

But I knew that I wouldn’t lose.

The Rise of The Dragon Queen- Chapter 3

The next morning, Vixia and I were woken up early to the sound of a ringing bell. I groaned as I rolled over, opening my eyes. Sunlight poured into the room from the window since the blinds were open and it made the white of the walls too intense to look at. I rolled back over and I could just barely see Vixia rubbing her eyes through my own blurry vision.

“Good morning,” she said groggily. Her ears shifted back as she yawned and stretched, flinging one of her legs over me. I smiled.

“Morning.” I gave her a quick kiss on the forehead and pulled her into a hug. She buried her face into my neck, her soft ears brushing against the sides of my face. We stayed like that for a few minutes, almost falling asleep again before there was a knock at the door.

“Time to get up! Breakfast is ready!” It was a masculine voice, one that I didn’t recognize. Vixia’s ears perked up at the mention of food and she lifted her head.

“You don’t have to tell me twice,” she mumbled, letting go of me and rolling away. I laughed at her and sat up. She quickly got out of bed and headed for the closet to choose her clothes for the day.

“I wonder what kind of quest they’ll send us on today,” she began. I stretched and climbed out of bed, following her.

“Me too,” I replied, reaching around her to retrieve my tank top. “Can you pass me my pants?”

Vixia handed them to me and picked out her own clothes as I got dressed. She laid them out on the bed as I pulled on my tank top.

“Have you seen my brush?”

“I put it in the chest yesterday. Here.”

“Thanks.”

It wasn’t all that different from how our mornings started at home, but at least when we were there we had some idea of what our day was going to look like. Now we were at the command of the guild, and Nesryn and Queen Evelyn would dictate our schedule for us.

I buttoned my pants and pulled the hem of my tank top down over my hips as Vixia did a quick twirl in her outfit.

“How do I look?” she asked. She was wearing a red skirt with a white, long-sleeved tunic and black socks that reached the middle of her thighs. She had tied her hair up and put on her combat boots as well. She was staring at me expectantly, waiting for what I said every morning.

“Adorable,” I answered with a smile. In comparison, I was wearing a navy-colored tank top with baggy, black pants and similar boots. I usually wore light clothes to keep my mobility even after I put on some armor.

“Should we put on our armor and grab our weapons?” Vixia asked. I shrugged.

“Last call!” the same voice from earlier shouted. Vixia and I looked at each other, then immediately rushed for the door.

As soon as we left our room, the sound of numerous voices met my ears. We rushed down the hall and toward the staircase to find that a majority of the guild was already seated at the tables downstairs, eating breakfast.

“Crap! I hope we didn’t miss the food!” Vixia whimpered. I laughed at her and we headed down the stairs. The smell of what was cooked led us to the bar as soon as we made it to the main floor. The counter was lined with different foods, from vegetables to porridge to thick slabs of meat. After we grabbed our plates and heaped them high with food, we began our search for a table.

“I can barely see,” I grumbled, my shortness thwarting my efforts at looking over the crowd. Vixia, on the other hand, was much taller than me and could see just fine.

“Over there! There’s a little table over by the wall.” I quickly followed her and we sat down. It was a relatively small, round table with three seats. It could probably seat four, but it was pushed up against the wall so that there was no room for another chair. It was a little far from the other tables, but that was fine with me. I clearly spotted some people glaring at us as they ate, but I didn’t see Sparrow, which was a plus. We only got a few minutes to eat before Nesryn’s voice called out over the crowd.

“Attention please!”

Conversations died away gradually and within a minute or so even the faintest of whispers had disappeared. Vixia and I watched silently as Nesryn, who was standing by the bar, began to speak again.

“Good morning, everyone. I hope that you have slept well. Today is going to be a busy day for many of you. So, here are today’s assignments.”

I wonder what we’re going to get.

She looked down at a list in her hands and began reading off the names of different party members and telling them what they would be working on for the day. As soon as they were told, many got up from their seats and began preparing to leave. Chair legs scraped against the floor and silverware clattered against tables and dishes. Unfortunately, due to the ruckus of everyone moving and how far away Vixia and I were from the guild master, we could hardly hear her.

“Ketsuna, can you hear what she’s saying?” Vixia asked, slumping in her seat. I tried my best to listen, but never heard our names get called. Eventually, the last group was summoned and most of the guild members had left, their dishes abandoned at the tables.

“Let’s go ask her what our assignment is for the day,” I suggested. “I’m sure she’ll understand.” I stood up from my spot, bringing my plate with me as Vixia did the same. We headed toward Nesryn and I was the first to speak.

“Hey, guild master.”

“You can call me Nesryn.”

“Oh, um, okay. Nesryn, we couldn’t hear you call our names from where we were sitting.”

“That’s because I didn’t call your names,” she responded. “You aren’t being sent out today. You guys have cleaning duty.”

Vixia and I both stood there, stunned. I blinked.

“What?”

“Why?” Vixia inquired.

“The queen has requested that you two stay close in case of an emergency. Sometimes our guild members are gone for days on their quests since we send them all over Zaledrid. We can’t afford to do that with you.”

“But, ma’am—”

“I trust that you will make this guildhall spotless by this evening,” Nesryn said, interrupting me. “You can start with your own dishes, if you’d like.” And with that, she turned around and walked away. I looked back at Vixia, whose ears were folded back. It was clear that she was just as disappointed as I was. That was when I heard laughter from the doors of the guildhall.

I looked back to see Sparrow and his team mocking us on their way out. They slipped outside before I got a chance to say anything and I turned back to look at the tables, which were cluttered with dozens of dirty dishes.

You’ve got to be kidding me.


Vixia and I stayed behind for the day and our first task was to clean up the dishes that everyone had left behind. We split up the effort and Vixia started washing the dishes while I cleared the tables and wiped them down. After I was done, I helped her with the remaining dishes and we got started on cleaning the floor. By the time we were done, it was already an hour or two past noon and we decided to take a break before continuing with our chores.

“Man, this is a pain,” Vixia sighed, taking a seat at one of the tables near the kitchen. She leaned back against the chair, her ears shifting toward the sides of her head rather than staying forward. I sat down across from her and realized that she had also closed her eyes and was resting her head against the wall behind her.

“Yeah. They could have literally given us anything but this.”

“Excuse me.” Vixia and I both jumped at the sound of a voice calling out to us. We both looked toward the kitchen to see a large, muscular man standing in the doorway. He had short, ashy brown hair and looked as though he would be fit for combat if he wasn’t wearing an apron over his short-sleeved shirt and pants. Despite appearing to work in the kitchen, he was wearing boots.

“Would one of you be willing to help me cook dinner?” he asked. “I can do the main parts, I just need someone to chop up the vegetables.”

“I can help,” Vixia volunteered. She stood up from her seat and followed him into the kitchen. I did the same, finding a new seat by the door.

Even the kitchen was bigger than I expected and it had everything that you would expect. The walls were made of stone like the ones in the main room, but here they were lined with shelves, each displaying dozens of bottles of seasonings and sauces. There was a large sink right below a large bay window, a few different stoves and ovens lined up side-by-side, and plenty of counter space. There was also a sizable pantry annexed to the side of the kitchen and it was almost big enough to be its own room. The man emerged from it when I sat down, carrying a large bowl of vegetables and some hunks of meat.

“Were you put on chore duty, too?” I asked.

“Nah, I basically picked this job,” he answered, putting a large pot over one of the burners on the stove. He lit it with the ease and swiftness of a seasoned chef, dumped the meat into the pot, and then turned to hand Vixia the large bowl full of vegetables. “The guild members love my cooking and I prefer to hold down the fort when everyone is gone. It’s much more peaceful during the day.”

“Yeah, I guess you’re right.” I finally realized that it had been mostly quiet since everyone had left.

“What’s your name?” Vixia asked. She had already started slicing what she had been given.

“Darius,” the man replied with a smile. “It’s nice to meet you two. I’ve heard a lot about you.”

“I bet,” I said with a sarcastic tone. Vixia giggled and they both went back to cooking.


The guildhall was flooded with people again by the time evening began and Vixia and I decided to sit in the same spot that we did in the morning to eat. Darius and Vixia made a stew and just the smell of it made most of the guild members drool. Because we were on chore duty, Vixia and I were able to get our food first. We were sitting together when I started to get an odd feeling in my chest. I grabbed my shirt and heaved a sigh. Vixia took notice.

“Are you okay?”

“Yeah, just have a bad feeling,” I replied.

“Like when we saw that dragon the other day?” I nodded.

“Yeah. Keep it down, though.” Just as I said that, Darius walked up, holding his own bowl of food.

“Mind if I sit with you guys?” he asked.

“Go ahead,” Vixia chimed, pushing out a chair for him as I nodded. Another guild member noticed Darius sitting down with us and stood up.

“Darius, what are you doing with the likes of them?” He was staring directly at me and Vixia, and for a moment I could swear that his eyes had narrowed in specifically on my ears.

“What business is it to you?” Darius snapped, his brow furrowed. The shift in his tone made me jump and I looked to Vixia, who was equally shocked. We turned our attention back to Darius.

“Nothing, man. I just wanted to know—”

He was interrupted by a scream that came from the kitchen and I felt the inside of my chest clench. Everyone looked toward the kitchen doorway just in time to see flames shoot out of the opening. More screams followed and Darius was the first to get to his feet and run toward the fire. Vixia and I quickly followed.

When we made it to the kitchen, a crowd gathered behind us. One of the guild members was on the ground, staring toward the large window that I had noticed before.

“Dragon!” he shrieked, scooching backward across the floor. Vixia and I dashed into the room while Darius picked up the guy, dragging him to safety.

“Ketsuna, where is it?” Vixia asked. I looked around the room and my chest tightened again when I looked toward the shelves.

“There!” I pointed toward it just in time for a stream of flames to shoot toward me. I snatched up a pot from the stove and deflected the fire as best as I could. It stopped just as quickly as it started and I dropped my makeshift shield. I rushed for the shelf, knocking a couple of bottles over to find a tiny dragon crouched there. It leaped off the shelf, trying to get past me.

“Temporal halt!” Vixia yelled, throwing out her hand in its direction. The tiny dragon seemed to freeze in mid air and the other guild members stared in astonishment. I noticed an empty jar on the edge of the stove and captured the little beast. After the lid was sealed, Vixia lowered her arm and the dragon was free to move. I let out a little chuckle as it began scratching all over the inside of the jar.

It was covered in wine-red scales and had a cream-colored underbelly. Its eyes were a mesmerizing blue color, but the slitted irises that appeared at their centers were as black as obsidian. However, this dragon’s eyes weren’t empty like the last one’s. There was a glimmer of light that I had never seen in a monster’s eyes before, something different. When its eyes met mine, it stopped scratching and sat down. We stared at each other for a moment while the rest of the guild marveled at us.

“What are you doing?” one person cried, breaking the silence. “Kill that thing!” Vixia stepped closer, but she didn’t take the jar from me.

“I don’t know,” she began hesitantly, looking from the tiny dragon to me. “This isn’t one of the man-eaters that we normally get rid of.”

So she can tell something’s different, too.

“Vixia, Ketsuna.” We both looked over to see the crowd thinning and Nesryn walking toward us. She finally made it to the kitchen and time seemed to stand still.

“Please come see me. I would like to speak to you two privately.” She turned and left, everyone else watching as she went. Vixia and I looked at each other.

What do we do now? After a second of hesitation, we walked through the path that was created through the crowd and headed upstairs.


We came to the door of Nesryn’s chamber and found ourselves standing there for a while, wondering if we should even go in.

“Are we in trouble?” Vixia asked.

“I don’t know.” I looked at the tiny dragon, which was still captured in the jar in my hand. “I think she’s probably going to have us do something with him.”

The dragon tilted his head, still staring at me. I took in a deep breath and heaved a sigh.

“Let’s get this over with.”

I knocked on the door and slowly opened it. I peeked inside to see Nesryn sitting at a large desk and facing the door. She was looking through some papers, reading them intently through the lenses of her glasses. She glanced up at us before looking back down at the documents.

“Come in.” We did as she requested as she filed away the papers. We stood there for a moment, looking at the chairs across from her as she took off her glasses. She folded them and set them on the desk before she realized that we were just standing there.

“Come, sit.” Vixia and I did as we were instructed and took seats across the table from her. “How was your first full day with the guild?” she asked.

“I guess it was all right,” Vixia answered quietly. I shrugged, looking down at the jar. I heard the guild master shift in her seat.

“May I see the little thing?” I looked up to find that she had her hand outstretched toward me, waiting for me to hand her the jar. I felt my hands begin to tremble. She must have noticed, because she added, “I’m not going to hurt it. I just need to assess if it is a threat.”

“Okay.” I finally handed him over and Nesryn eyed him carefully through the glass. She then handed him back to me.

“It’s very small, so it shouldn’t be a problem. I will allow you to release it if you take it to the fields outside of the city.”

“Actually, ma’am, I’d like to keep it,” I admitted quietly. She and Vixia both gave me puzzled looks. “I-I mean, there’s just—”

“Fine, I’ll allow it,” Nesryn said, handing the tiny dragon back to me, “but only if you can keep it out of trouble and out of sight. Any damage caused by it will be on your wallet, though.”

“Thank you!” I replied, beaming.

“You are excused.” She put her glasses back on and began to resume reading through her paperwork. We got up and left.

That night, we let the tiny dragon out of the jar. He immediately curled up in between our pillows and fell asleep, his wings wrapped around him like a blanket. After he settled in, Vixia and I crawled into bed.

“Well, today was disappointing,” my wife began.

“Yeah.”

“I know that neither of us want to be here, but today was not what I expected.”

“Yeah.”

“Are you listening to me?” I rolled over to see Vixia looking at me.

“Yeah, I’m just really tired.”

“All right, I guess we can talk about it tomorrow. Love you, goodnight.”

“Love you too. Goodnight.”

Vixia rolled over and somehow managed to fall asleep long before I did. I wanted to sleep, but I was too busy thinking about the guild.

This has to be some sort of joke. Why would we be asked to join if we aren’t allowed to do anything?

I sighed, staring at the glimmer of moonlight coming off of the tiny dragon’s scales. I decided to let my frustration go and fell asleep.

Camp NaNoWriMo April 2021 Project Intro: The Rise of The Dragon Queen

Hello, everyone! As some of you may know, yesterday was the very first day of Camp NaNoWriMo and I am very happy to say that I am participating in it this year.

I decided that instead of coming up with a brand-new project, I would revive an old story idea that I had a while back and change it up. I am only focusing on writing the first seven chapters of it for this month and am planning on breaking it up into chunks since it will be a large project. Here’s some more information about the chunk that I am working on:

Short summary

Ketsuna and her wife Vixia are both highly efficient dragon slayers— which is exactly why the queen’s dragon defense guild hates them. But how will they manage when they are forced into joining the guild in exchange for Ketsuna’s ability to gain citizenship?

Main Characters

  • Ketsuna- A strong-willed elf from another land who knows her way around a sword. She may seem harsh and serious, but she does have a soft spot for cute things, including Vixia. When she is not protecting the kingdom from dragon attacks, she can often be found reading, exploring, or humming to herself while doing mundane tasks.
  • Vixia- A human-wolf hybrid that uses magic bestowed upon her by her deity. She is sweet and many underestimate her due to her kindness, but she is actually stronger than Ketsuna due to her prayers and offerings to her goddess. She enjoys nature walks, singing, and exploring during her free time.

I may add more details and characters as I work on this. When I am done writing and editing the chapters, I will be posting them for anyone to read on Wattpad and here on my site. If you would like to support this project, please consider checking out my Ko-Fi. It allows me to continue working on the things like this and will help me add new things to this story as I go, like illustrations and professional editing.

Anyway, thank you for reading. I hope you have a wonderful day!

またね~!