Dragon Champion – Part Two
There was a saying about being in the wrong place at the wrong time. What about being in the wrong place at the right time? One thing young Adelaide did know is that life was full of mystery and one rarely had all the answers. She would not fool herself into thinking life was anything different.
Adelaide, Dela as she liked to be called, had set about her journey three weeks earlier without a final destination in mind. Leaving everything behind the woman had honestly expected to be stopped before she could sneak aboard the ship that was setting sail for parts unknown.
When she had thought up her foolhardy plan, she had hoped that she would sneak aboard a merchant trading vessel and make it at least two or three destinations away before anyone found her. Her small bag held about a weeks worth of clothing, two water canteens that she had filled before leaving and some small snacks that she could eat when she had too. Beef Jerky being her favorite it wasn’t that hard to sneak that into her bag either. With a few other small necessities packed, Adelaide stole out of the tiny little shack she was staying in and through the murky darkness to the port.
Sneaking aboard the ship had been relatively easy, and that made her uncomfortable. It should not have been this easy, but now that she was tucked away she was not going to make waves. At least not yet. Eventually, the woman had known she would be found out and more than likely forced from her task.
That is not what happened. Not exactly. The ship had left port without any problems. Having never been on a boat before the woman had no way of knowing how long this journey would be from port to port, only that the next stop was supposed to be a very long way from where she used to be. It was the least she could hope for before the journey got interesting.
Two hours into the trip a storm had brewed on the horizon, but the captain had assured everyone that they would be fine. He’d navigated in worse, and they were on course. With that assurance, Dela had allowed herself to fall asleep. Big. Mistake. At least, she thought it was when she woke up somewhere entirely else. Waking up shaking and shivering and soaking wet had not been on her agenda, but at least she still had her bag with her.
She was alive, so that was the first sign of things to come. Slowly, she rose to her feet and looked around. There was sand under her feet and sections of the ship scattered across the water and the land. The first thing that came to mind was that there was a shipwreck due to the storm, but then she wondered why she didn’t wake up. Storms frequently woke her up, and she was unable to go back to sleep. Something about this one had been different.
That was why when she had been ‘rescued’ by a group of women who were out storm scavenging she hadn’t questioned things too much. They had welcomed her to their little place and asked her name. Adelaide had been forthcoming with answers, and her curiosity had gotten the better of her. The entire walk back to the town she had asked about them and where she was. Maybe Dela was not expecting answers, but they had given them. Telling her where she was and advising her of the rules. One of the women had spoken to her of how lucky Adelaide was. How they were getting ready to prepare for the Awakening Ceremony and as a new human on the island she would participate.
That had been three days ago. Since that time Adelaide had been staying with one of the women who found her, preparing. Not knowing anything other than that she would line up with the other human women and would walk down the line of potential dragon shifters, and hope that she triggered a change in one of them by a simple touch. It was terrifying really, knowing that she held such incredible power in a single gesture.
Her mind was still trying to process everything as she stood there half listening to the king speak. The idea of being on an island, one that was ruled by a king and guarded by knights and dragons was something out of a fantasy.
“I must be crazy to believe this.” She had told herself, but it was impossible to deny when she saw the first dragon shifting. Their colors were so beautiful, and something inside of her clicked. She wanted to run her fingers over their scales and pet them like one would a cat. Though she doubted that dragons wished to be petted.
As the newest arrival of the humans, she was the last one. There were still a handful of men standing on the platform. Fighting the nerves, Adelaide made her way down the remaining path until she came in contact with the last one standing. His warm amber eyes and rich coppery skin took her breath away for a moment. Still, she did as she was instructed and reached out her hand.
The reaction was instantaneous. Having watched the other responses, Adelaide had expected to see a dragon of one of the primary colors as that seemed to be the most common. Yet there standing before her, blinking at her from dark eyes set in a beautiful coat of scales was the first and only golden dragon she had ever seen. A dragon that she had heard should not be possible. Fear crept up her spine a moment before she felt herself being scooped up and whisked away into the air.
Were they in danger?