Volume 1 Chapter 8

“Hruuum, I am Arumarra, the first and strongest of Dragon kind. I have lived for many turns little one. I sensed you have questions for me?”

I have to admit it was a bit embarrassing but the majority of our conversation at the beginning was about the world. I asked her if she was the one who named the Resonance Crystals and other ores and minerals.

To my surprise they were named when the world was created.

Things like Limestone and Iron Ore were named as well. It would seem that as long as it was the world’s basic lifeless and inanimate materials that were created at the birth of the world they had a name.

Living creatures however seemed different. Like they were born from a different force, or perhaps were not as important? Maybe the god of this world was just lazy? If gods were even involved of course.

Which brings to light another big question. Who created this world and the creatures that roam it? She simply laughed (which sounded like a low hum) and told me she did not know for certain, there were theories of course, but they all went into the realm of spiritual beings or perhaps the world itself was sentient.

“In the end, it all falls to the individual to decide what the right answer is.”

I was hoping for something a little more concrete but I guess that answer was expected. Who creates the world? Some god or transient spiritual being perhaps… I guess even though she’s a mythical World Dragon she wouldn’t know everything.

I told her about my birth and my encounters thus far, which weren’t many unfortunately. We spoke of the quest and she mentioned something similar happened for herself.

However unlike me and my notices and windows, she was told through a method Dragons can understand, that she was the first of her kind and needed to reproduce. When I asked her the method, she stated it was a feeling, and an understanding.

Dragons are really deep creatures.

When I spoke about Eve she made a concerned face, (I think… hard to tell) and told me she had not seen another of my kind.

“I… as a World Dragon, can breed without a mate, others of my kind can do so as well… however not to the extent I can. They may lay a single egg every one hundred years, however I can lay an entire clutch!” 

She went on to talk about how it takes two years to lay her eggs, and another ten for them to hatch! She can also only get pregnant once every one hundred years!

Wow, talk about a long dry season.

On top of that…  she doesn’t need a mate? …What’s the fun in that!?

She described the many different creatures she had come across in her long life. Despite its length however, she has only recently started to lay eggs. And she was sleeping most of the time.

Dragons certainly like to take their time huh…

“I have traveled far and wide, however I have not seen it all as of yet. There is simply too much, this land is vast and mostly barren, but there is a beauty in it nonetheless.”

Too vast or too lazy… I kept this question deep within my heart lest she step on me.

“Have you seen any forests? Grasslands perhaps?” I couldn’t mask my curiosity; I had become a bit homesick for greener pastures I suppose.

“Hruummm… to the north of here… a large area is covered in green life. I do not know if it is what you seek… however… from your words, forest is associated with green life no?”

Ah, I forgot, if it isn’t a mineral of the world it doesn’t have a name, she wouldn’t know what grass is, save for the feeling that I associate with it. Life for example, it’s green and alive.

However, this does make me hopeful… I just gained Nature Magic and I kind of want to see what I can do with it after all. As I was thinking this something she said before finally hit me.

“So… you said you recently started laying eggs… does that mean we are close to your nest?”

She was silent for a while, almost as though she had forgotten what she had said from before… or was regretting it? Did I say something wrong?

“Indeed, my clutch is close by… however, I cannot allow you to go near them.” She seemed rather defensive, almost desperate when she stated this.

I was a little disappointed, but something in her tone… it was a little frightening… and almost… sad? I won’t claim to be an expert, but I can almost feel an echo from our connection before… something she hid, but was not capable of concealing perfectly.

“What’s wrong? Did I say something rude? I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to intrude or anything, It was really just curiosity.” And a fair amount of apprehension, after all, if she was laying eggs, things were going to get lively when they hatched.

She visibly calmed after what I said, and she seems to feel awkward about her behavior.

“I apologize as well, I do not distrust you Adam… however I have already met with… tragedy, once before.” 

She went on to tell me about how not so long ago, she had laid her first clutch. As a mother, they were special, the first of her children. Even if they were a clutch of Lesser Dragons they were her first… and she loved them all.

She described Lesser Dragons as being less intelligent, though still Dragons they were incapable of speech like she used with me. Even so… they were all such pure things… with so much potential.

By the way, Lesser Dragons encompassed Wyverns, Drákal and Pygmy Dragons. Whereas Greater Dragons are High Dragons, Wyrms and Tri-Horned Wyverns.

Her words broke my heart… through the telepathy I could feel the great sense of loss she suffered. When I asked what happened however… her eyes became fire, and her words burned within my mind.

“Those FILTH! Egg smashers! Savages! I could not protect them! I had another clutch on the way… there was nothing I could do, fighting would have damaged the still growing ones within!”

The Lesser Dragons were born first, and what she referred to as Greater Dragons took longer in the womb. In reality they were a part of the first clutch but had yet to be lain.

In her pregnant state, fighting off what she described as Filthy Blue Savages, or the Nulphor, was impossible. The reason why it takes two years for her to lay her eggs is due to having two sets of eggs within her.

The Lesser Dragons were the first set and the Greater the second.

She swore that she would return when her children were hatched and strong enough to fly. She would burn the filthy savages from the world, leaving not but ashes.

I was intrigued about the Nulphor, however I knew she didn’t want to talk about them anymore. And who am I to irritate a mother Dragon further?

“I understand, I wont press you further on the subject, I can see how it hurts you.” I could only calm her with my words but she seemed to settle after a while.

Soon she let out a soft hum, reminiscent to a sigh, and asked.

“So then little one, what will you do now, will you search for your female?”

Glad that the cave survived her sudden anger… it was starting to shake a little for a bit there… or maybe that was my shaking. I thought about her question in earnest.

I didn’t know where Eve was, but I couldn’t just sit down here waiting for her to find me. At the same time I needed a place to designate as the center of my search area. A base.

“I need to find Eve, but I can’t just run out there without a plan. I also would prefer it if I hade a place to return to, a base of operations so to speak. What do you think?”

Her giant head tilted a bit in thought and a low hum could be heard. I didn’t have any ideas, but she had been around for a while… I could only hope.

“Why not stay here? Though it is close to my clutch and if I see you enter it, friend or no I will eat you.” 

(GULP)

The relaxed way in which she said that made no room for doubt… I couldn’t help but shudder a bit from the thought.

“Aah… well… as nice as being neighbors would be… I don’t want to be accidentally ea- I mean lost down here… tunnels are confusing and such. You know how it is.”

I was always a bad liar, and of course she saw right through me, but she simply nodded in understanding. She thought some more about it…

“Hruumm, I have an idea, follow me little one.”

With that she moved to an adjacent tunnel and walked down it, her steps… more like stomps, shook the cavern ever so slightly. These tunnels… I thought so before but they seem unnatural. Did she perhaps dig them? Their surfaces were so smooth though.

After about ten minutes we surfaced from the caverns, that was actually really easy… wait… that other tunnel I was going to walk down before… where she came from.

I involuntarily shiver.

I seriously dodged a bullet there; I was almost Dragon chow!

Anyway, now that we are out of the cave I can see that it is nighttime now. Yesterday I went to sleep before it became very dark. But now… wow… in the morning the sky is a pale yellow. However at night… so many stars.

In one direction I can see an entire galaxy! And two moons! One orbits the other… so… so alien! And awesome! The vibrant cosmic dust from the nearby galaxy lights up the night sky, but somehow doesn’t dwarf the light of nearby stars.

I’m no astrophysicist… but if I were, I’d be drooling.

Pulling my eyes from the night sky I focus on my surroundings. It’s all pretty much the same, however now I’m right at the foot of those small mountains I saw in the distance on my first day. Just how far did I fall down that sloped tunnel?

Before I could catch my bearings any longer Arumarra’s large clawed hands grabbed me. Being careful not to make me into mincemeat. Nevertheless it was rather terrifying.

She inhaled and her body seemed to expand slightly, then with a strong flap of her wings we were flying!

Putting aside my terror and confusion after a few seconds of unrestrained screaming… I mean yelling… a manly bellow. It was rather enjoyable, and the view was perfect! It was only for a few moments though.

I could see that the world was extremely vast… I couldn’t see any sign of oceans or large lakes. Of course that didn’t mean they weren’t there, just extremely far away.

When we landed I noticed we were on the smallest hill. Though it was the smallest you could still call it a mountain. However hiking up and down wouldn’t be impossible to do in one day.

There’s still higher to climb, however scaling it would be impossible without tools or flying. It almost resembles a large bowl that can’t quite cover the top of the hill. And there are slopes leading down from my position, eroded by water most likely. That solves the question of whether or not it rains around here.

It also makes it easier to climb up and down.

I was about to ask her what was going on, but when I looked at her I was so surprised I nearly fell on my ass!

Arumarra had bright blue flames leaking out of her mouth and her eyes were fiercely focused. With a loud noise similar to the howling of an intense storm she let loose a blazing inferno so hot and so condensed that it literally vaporized the rock face of the nearby bowl top I noticed before.

She slowly burnt away layer upon layer of stone, melting and vaporizing it with her hellish breath. After a while she was half way within a hole of her own making. She began hollowing it from the inside out.

Those tunnels from before… they were obviously dug in the same fashion. I now know why the walls seemed so unnaturally smooth.

After only ten minutes Arumarra exited the newly dug cave. She seemed quite pleased with herself, as a soft hum escaped her throat.

I thought all was done but she suddenly inhaled again, making me scramble for cover to escape the heat. This time however was just normal air, even if it was excessively powerful!

Hot air escaped the newly dug cave until the inside was cooled to a bearable temperature once more.

Pleased, she looked at me, who was hiding behind a rock and stated.

“We Dragons can use this method to make caves and nests in remote areas. My first nest was atop a mountain… I prefer my deep nest now however. Will this suffice? Of course you may still use the deep caves for hunting and water needs.” 

My eyes at this point were like saucers and even though I now had scales they seemed paler than before. Epic Monster… that notice before wasn’t joking around!

“Eh… Thank you Arumarra, though you didn’t have to go through so much trouble, I really do appreciate it.”

Saying this I tentatively walked away from the safety of my precious hiding place and moved to check out the new living arrangements.

The opening was a bit large… but I think I might be able to fix that. The inside however… was wonderful! The walls look like fine obsidian… actually I think that is obsidian!

Actually I’m not that surprised to be honest. Her fiery breath was like a focused attack from the sun. Well I may be exaggerating a bit.

The floor wasn’t perfectly flat but had a slight oval shape, however this was barely noticeable. Therefore I ignored it.

It was unexpectedly spacious; the domed ceiling gave it a sort of… depth. I kind of like it, I mean it’s no hotel suite but for me?

Home sweet home.

I doubt I could find a more comfortable location, and safe too. High ground is perfect for me; it will also help when I decide which way I want to go. The way I see it, Eve is in the North, South, East or West… four decisions.

Really that’s all I have right now so I might as well look around here for a few days then head in a new direction. I only hope I can find some kind of clue… and I definitely need to strengthen myself and prepare. That’s another reason for sticking around here for a while longer.

I should at least be able to kill a Hedge Raptor right? That is my goal before I leave this area.

“I like it, it’s very homey… thank you Arumarra, you have helped me in so many ways, if you ever need anything…”

“Hruumm, no need to thank me little one. It is late, you must be tired.”

AH! I forgot my pack of shro- I mean supplies… well I suppose I can get them tomorrow.

We both said our goodbyes and promised to speak more in the morning. This really is a nice little hole in the ground. Real cozy.

I think I’ll even give it a name… I dub thee…

The Man Cave!

It didn’t take long for me to sleep; I was pretty tired… been tired a lot lately… perhaps I’m just growing? Well, in the morning I’ll start to prepare myself for the search.

I just hope Eve can wait a little bit longer.