Chapter Seven: A Friendship Born From Bruising
You were carelessly tossed around, getting smacked, punched, kicked, and shoved. This would leave you undeniably bruised and broken, but you didn't scream or cry. You couldn't let them know they had won. The men torturing you were mostly the ones who had captured you, but Adon was allowing regular people to punch you in the face for a small fee. You were often spat upon, and told how worthless you were.
"Stupid dragon! You were the one who ate my bull two years ago, weren't ye? Well, now yer gonna pay!" Screamed a grungy farmer, who punched you in your jaw. You coughed up blood, and it was a miracle you didn't lose any teeth. "I hate you! My home was burnt down because of you! My furs were charred past repair! Do you know how much they cost? Probably not, you fatheaded lizard!" Screeched a noble lady, you kicked you in the stomach and slapped you in the face. It stung horribly, and it took all your might to keep yourself from vomiting up from the blow to the abdomen.
What really hurt you was a girl, not much younger than yourself, approached you with tears in her eyes. "You...you were the dragon who killed my father...!" She started barraging you with punches, albeit they were weak ones. She kept choking on her tears, her green eyes red from crying and sniveling. You closed your eyes, not able to bear seeing her frail form attacking you with feeble despair. She went on for five minutes, shouting curses at you with a choked voice. Obviously she was experiencing a traumatic flashback, and no one cared that she went well over her slotted time limit. They let her keep hitting you until she finally fell to her knees, her body wracked with sobs. Two guards escorted her out, telling her she did the right thing, coming to the fort to beat her fathers 'murderer'. As she left your limited range of sight, you whispered, "I'm sorry." Even though you hadn't killed him, you felt an overbearing feeling of pity for her. After that, your mind blocked out the pain, numbing every inch of you until the only thing you felt was the pressure of the blows on your body.
This sort of beating went on for at least an hour, and by the end of it you were panting and bruised so badly that you couldn't walk. You stumbled onto your knees and bit your tongue to prevent yourself from crying out. Adon stood in front of you, holding the last thing you wanted to see; a whip. He raised his arm, and motioned for Gothar and Darius to remove your shirt. You winced as you felt them tear it off, and barely managed to growl at them with as much vigor you could muster. Without warning, you felt the sharp pain of the whip on your (almost) bare back. Now you couldn't help it; you cried out. It was a sharp, half suppressed cry, but it was enough to fuel the mans' lashing. He whipped you ten times, kicking you in the side to make sure you didn't get up. You noticed that this was no private lashing either; everyone who had been there to hit you was watching. They cheered each time the whip made contact with your back, yelling encouragements to Adon to continue; which he did. He lashed you ten MORE times just to satisfy the crowd. It was all you could do to glare at him and bare your blood stained teeth. He just chuckled and walked away, disappearing in a large group of new fans. They all filed out into the streets, leaving you alone in the main courtroom with nothing but the few garments you had on, a small pool of blood around you, the reek of blood, sweat, and body odor, and a broken body.
You lay there for a long time before the door opened and a small person slipped into the room, closing the door quietly. They were carrying bandages and cloth and water, along with some other things you didn't recognize. As they approached you, you hissed, "Go away, h- haven't you caused me enough pain already?" They kneeled down and started treating your wounds, making you flinch. They were gentle and kind, and you welcomed their actions full heartedly. "I came here to help you." They whispered in reply. You blinked. Fyn? Why was he here? He continued cleaning your wounds and bandaged a few of them up, using his supplies all up until he had nothing left. He sighed, "I-I'm sorry, I don't have any more." He apologized. You gave him a weak smile, "No...this is fine...thank you." You said instinctively, abandoning your act for a little bit. He gasped and turned away, and you forgot he thought you were a dragon. Receiving a thank you was probably a big honor.
You felt something smooth touch your hand, and you looked to see the pendant in your palm. "F-Fyn...?"
"G-go. Turn into a dragon and f-flee this place. You don't deserve to be treated like this." He said, closing your hand with his and looking into your eyes, his own blue ones filled with worry and concern. You turned away, "I..." You tightly clutched the pendant in your hand. "P-please...just...come...help me...soon." You whispered into the gem, pretending as if they would hear you. You closed you eyes and felt sleep overpowering you. You were so exhausted and sore...you just needed to rest.
"D-don't fall asleep! Turn into a dragon and leave!" Fyn pleaded. You wearily shook your head, "I can't...Fyn. It's not triggered by pain." You felt something wet fall onto your skin, something wet and salty. Was he crying? "Don't cry, boy. I just need to heal...I'll...I'll be fine." You grumbled. Fyn took a shaky breath. "I can't...I mean... This is all my fault... If I hadn't told him..."
"Then YOU would be beaten. Don't worry...I can handle it." You comforted, taking his hand. Fyn looked so...so...regretful. As if you were actually important to him. You felt something warm in your palm, and you looked down at your hand to see the stone, glowing dimly. Some of your blood had managed to drip down onto it, and it seemed to have...activated something. But what did it activate? Was it going to do something...magic...? Looking deeper, you saw a bright orange flame flicker and flare in the center of the (color) stone. As you stared, the flame transformed into a small dragon, the wings sprouting from its fiery back. The stone glowed even brighter, and caught Fyns attention. He quivered as he watched the dragon swirl and twist. Suddenly, as quickly as it began, it disappeared, leaving you and the boy in the cold, dark room.
"What...what was that...?" Fyn whispered, looking at you. Unbeknownst to you, the firelight from the dragon was still aglow in your (E/C) eyes. He gasped, backing away from you a few steps. You raised an eyebrow, "What?" You asked flatly. Fyn pointed at your eyes, "Your eyes...they're glowing." You blinked, but couldn't react fast enough before a weird sensation overtook you. Your vision seemed to blur, and suddenly you were outside, back in the Valley. Something was different, though. Fyn was still beside you, but he looked different, as if he was only half there. Same went with you.
You turned your head to where the voice was coming from, but did not see the Chinese dragon. "Wang?" You called again. "(Name), where are you?" Wang replied. "I-I'm right here!" You waved your hands in the air to try to get his attention. "No, where are you, really?"
"...I'm...in a fort. A really large fort where the king lives. I'm in a court right now, and there's a boy...Fyn...with me."
"A boy?! Did he hurt you?"
"No! He's helping me right now." Speaking of Fyn, what was he doing? He was currently about to faint. "Where are we?" He asked, his voice laced with fear. "Not important," you cut him off, "What is the name of the castle we were just in?"
"Huh...? O-oh... The Fort of Blacksea...I think is it's real name. Most people just call it the Kings Fort though."
"Thank you," You turned and called out to Wang, "The fort is called The Fort of Blacksea, but if you ask anyone where it is, they'll call it The Kings Fort."
"Ok, I'll relay that to the rest of them as soon as possible. Just hang in there (Name), we'll find you soon." Wangs' voice seemed to fade and after a few moments you realized you were fading as well, returning to the large empty court. Fyn was not responding as the Valley disappeared and you were back on the hard tile of the courtroom, in the same spot you had "left".
"Hello...? Earth to Fyn." You waved your hand in front of his face, sitting in front of him with a slightly concerned look. Fyns blue eyes were wide and glazed, as if he was still away. He opened his mouth just wide enough to mumble, "Your name...is (Name)?" That's right! I never told him my name! You thought with a gasp. You nodded, "Yes, it is. Why do you ask?" The blondes eyes were brimming with tears again, "It's just that...well...there was a story of a woman that my mother told me when I was little...her name was (Name)." You raised an eyebrow, "Really?"
"Y-yes. Now that I think about it, you look like her too...(H/L)(H/C) hair, (E/C) eyes, and a pretty face..." His last comment, although whispered, made your face heat up. In a sort of shocked response, you half hissed, "T-that is no way to speak to a d-dragon...!" You stuttered it out so nervously that Fyn looked up and noticed the deep red blush on your face, "I-I'm sorry! P-please don't hurt me!" He begged, cringing. "I can't hurt you. I'm too badly hurt, remember?" In truth, you were just taken off-guard by his comment. No one had ever called you pretty before. And while you couldn't really say you liked him in a romantic way, you still took his comment to heart, burying it in the deepest part so you would never forget it. To be brutally honest, Fyn wasn't that bad looking himself. He was probably the cleanest and most presentable person you'd met in a long time.
"What was the story even about, anyway?" You asked, changing the subject. Fyn thought a few seconds, "Well, the woman was a powerful empress of a distant kingdom, who was known for her mysterious magic and her connection with dragons. Legend has it that she could call them to her aid wherever she was, and there was a rumor that under the correct circumstances, she could become one herself. The 'mortals' feared her very much, and they tried to destroy her. They captured her and beat her until she was on the brink of death." You nodded, "Yes...? What happened after that?" Fyn shrugged, "No one knows. Most assume she died from her wounds, but some say that she just...vanished. No trace of her or her capturers were left. It all just..."
"...Vanished." You finished, meeting his gaze. He nodded slowly, "Yes."
You sighed, a small yawn escaping unintentionally, "Well, I suppose you should leave. They won't enjoy seeing you here, or seeing me patched up." You struggled to stand up, but you were still quite badly injured. You had half-forgotten about the beating for the short time. You stumbled onto your knees and let out a sharp gasp. "(N-Name)! Are you ok?" Fyn asked, snaking his arm under yours, trying to support you. You hissed loudly, (with all this hissing practice, you were starting to sound quite reptilian) but you didn't object when he helped you to your feet. "I-I suppose you should get back to your cell, yeah?" He suggested. You nodded, letting out a small grunt. "Yeah, but...don't make any noise. If we get caught...we'll be in trouble...to say the least." Together, with Fyns' help, you made your way back to your cell.
He opened the cell door and led you in, setting you down on your bed. You let out a small moan of pain as Fyn started to head back to his quarters. He turned around to see you rolled onto your least hurting side, your back facing him. He sighed quietly as he shut and locked your door. "G-goodnight, (Name). Sleep well...A-and recover soon." He whispered to you. You let out a small hum of acknowledgment, "Goodnight, Fyn."