I woke up on the floor of a dark room. The darkness only allowed me a few meters of sight, after my eyes adapted to it. The floor had the same tiles as the room were I fought the dragon just moments ago. Yet I seemed to be alone, surrounded by said darkness. I stepped forward a few steps and stopped immediately, listening to what I thought was the sound of claws on the tiles. But there wasn't any.
While closely listening, I took another step and was greeted by another 'Click' sound behind me. The noise claws make when they touch solid stone ground. I turned over and spied into the darkness, hoping to see something. The complete silence and the seemingly endless room were unpleasant enough, but to know that something else is here with me gave me the creeps. Then I spotted it. Something was standing at a distance, far enough to be shrouded who or what it was, but near enough to allow me to see its vague shape, which was similar to the dragon I fought. I took another step backwards and it made a step forwards, keeping the distance between us both.
Neither it nor I moved for what seemed to be hours, until all of a sudden it began to charge towards me. It was closer than I thought it would be and only left me a second to dodge it. I rolled to the side, barely escaping its charge. The whole thing went almost to fast for me but I caught a glimpse of the thing, which revealed to be a dragon, as it charged past me. The dragon completely vanished into the darkness and even the clicking noises stopped. Back on my feet, I looked around, searching for if it returns. Which it did, this time from behind. I noticed it to late and it slammed its claws into my back...
I awoke with a gasp and jumped up, eying my surroundings. The room I was the one I awoke after the plane was hit by the strange light. I sighed in relief and relaxed a bit, while putting my glasses on. The room was, once again, brightly illuminated and not a single trace of the dragon that had haunted me in what appeared to be my dream.
The reminiscence of the fight against the dragon came back and I looked after the wounds on my right arm. The arm was bandaged, hiding any trace of the cuts the claws made. My shirt was missing, probably to tattered to be used further. Looking at the place, where the dragon rammed its claw into, I saw a deep black bruise. I was surprised, that being impaled by a claw only left a bruise and not a big hole in the shoulder. Even my body didn't hurt as much as I thought he should, considering that I fought a dragon.
While thinking about it, I stepped towards the window and looked out of it. I saw the same sky as last time. Blue and filled with northern lights, causing me to calm down a bit more, only to jump around as the doors to the bath opened and Stefan stepped out of it. His clothes were still gray, but he had an emblem of a hippogryph on his left shoulder. He had a surprised look on his face as he saw me standing at the window.
"Good morning, Rob. Feeling better?" Stefan greeted
"Good morning, Stefan. Apart from being shaken by a bad dream? Better than I thought I should, considering what happened at the test. How long was I unconsciousness?" I replied
"No Idea, you were back before me, so I can't tell. Seeing your bruised and the bandage, I guessed your test had to do with fighting. Am I right?" He asked
"Yeah. They left us in a lobby with three exits. We could choose between two normal test and one difficult one. I took the difficult one, mostly out of curiosity. Had to fight a dragon and could have died. Still managed to pass the test and only have minor injuries." I said
"You had to fight a dragon? How did you manage that?" He asked shocked
"A silver one. Was around two meters high and ten long. As for the fight. Heavy improvising and sheer luck. I used a broken chair as weapon and made a few good hits, until he pinned me under his forepaw." I explained, leaving the details of being impaled for me
"Did any other dragon students made it back?"
"As far as I heard, only three made it back yesterday. Do you mean the others died?" He replied
"No I don't think so, only mine was deadly, as far as I know. Must be still trying to pass the test." I said
"But now for you. What did you do yesterday, after we split up?" I asked
"Well we were guided through the towers, which looked identically except for the colors and a few other things. We were joined by the werwolf group later on, in which I met a pair with whom I agreed to meet for breakfast today. After finishing the tour, we made a few fitness and knowledge tests. That would be it, mostly." He replied
"Beats fighting a dragon. When do you wanted to go to breakfast?" I asked
"We agreed, that I wait for you and pick them up on the way to the canteen." He said
"Good. Can I use the bath before we go? I really need a shower and new clothes, if I find any." I said
"Go on, clothes are stored in the bath, for whatever reasons. I'll wait here." Stefan answered
I then went into the bath and went into the corner with the shower. The shower was good and refreshing, while carefully holding the bandaged arm out of the shower so it wouldn't get to wet.
After stepping out of the shower, I looked for clothes. Which I found in a small wardrobe, holding my name. I noticed that the color of my clothing had changed from gray to black and that the emblem was surrounded by a scales-like pattern. I went outside of the bath, after I had put them on.
"New clothes eh? Looks good, now come the other two are waiting." Stefan said and opened the front door.
We went out of our room and to the left, following the hallway around a corner. Stefan then stopped at the third door and knocked. The smaller door was opened by a man and a woman, who both wore the same clothes as Stefan, except that their emblems showed a werewolf. Both looked like they were around their thirties.
"Ah Stefan, you finally made it." The woman greeted "We were worrying that you forgot, that we wanted to meet."
"Never. Rob simply took that long." Stefan laughed "Rob may I introduce. Tanja and Nick. Tanja and Nick. Rob."
"It's nice to meet you" I said, while shacking their hands
"Same here." Nick and Tanja answered
"Should we head on? I'm starving." Tanja suggested
"We are here for that." Stefan chuckled "Lets head on, the canteen isn't open all the day and our teachers surely want to continue."
So we went back around the corner and walked past our room to the hallway that descended towards the hall with both canteens. The right one still was empty, while the left one had a few visitors of different schools. As we came nearer, I saw a short queue in front of the counter. The counter itself was showing various menus, raging from small snacks to plates full of meat and different drinks.
We took our menus and went to an empty table in a corner of the canteen. The menus were of individual size per person, as we figured out after ordering it. For example: Tanja and Nick had chosen the same menu of a mix of meat and fruits, with Nicks being larger then Tanjas. Stefan took a full plate of vegetables, while I took a mix of meat and vegetables. As the cook saw my emblem, he grabbed the biggest plate that was there, filled it with food before I could stop him and handed it over to me. Much to the amusement of the others.
"Well, have fun with your plate Rob." Stefan joked as we took seat "I don't think I could eat half of it."
"Laugh it up. I have no idea why he did that." I replied, while looking for a good place to start
"That's gonna be fun."
"Any idea what your teacher wants to do with you both today?" Stefan asked Nick and Tanja
"No, not really. Mine said that she wanted to show us something today, while Nicks mentioned a small test." Tanja answered
"I didn't like the smile he had on, while saying that. I'm used to work hard on my farm all day long, but something tells me, that this test won't be a normal one." Nick said
"You have a farm?" I asked
"Yes a small one on Iceland. I inherited it from my parents and it worked just fine until now." Nick answered
"Reykjavik is a nice city. Was there last year, the old city is great and the rest of Island had really nice places too." I said "The blue lagoon was my personal favorite though."
"Yeah that is a very relaxing place. Nick and I go there regularly." Tanja said "Being an old friend of the owner helps a lot to get cheap tickets."
"I can imagine that. I hope my company will send me towards Island sometimes." Stefan replied
"What do you do?" Tanja asked
"I work for an English media company, which sends me across the world regularly. But I never had the luck to visit Island before." He replied
"A pity. But perhaps sometimes in the future." Tanja said and looked to me
"And you Rob, what do you do?"
"Nothing at the moment. I finished collage and now I'm waiting for the semester to start." I replied
"As for a job, I'm a draftsman for steel and metal works. Well and a dragon student as you can see."
"Is it true that you had your test already?" Nick asked
"Yes I had and it wasn't a test that I liked. Fighting a dragon wasn't funny." I replied
"You fought a dragon?" Both, Nick and Tanja, asked
"How do you do that?"
"With a good portion of luck and heavy improvising." I said smiling
"Didn't save me from falling unconsciousness though."
"Do you mean our test will be similar?" Stefan asked
"I don't know. I only know that one test and don't even know if the others differed in the task." I replied
With that the others began to discuss about what could be their test or how they should deal with it. I focused on my plate, which I had emptied to a good half by now without even noticing. My hunger wasn't gone either, which was strange. Considering that two slices of bread and a bit of cold meat are enough normally. The others noticed as I was about to eat the last pieces.
"Rob you didn't really finish it, did you?" Nick asked
"I seem to have and still feel a slight hunger." I replied while looking for remains of food
"Your are pulling my leg, aren't you? You are still hungry?" Tanja asked
"Rob could you look at me for a moment?" Stefan asked and gasped as I did
"What?" I asked
"Your eyes. They are silver and slit like the one of a snake!" He said with disbelieve in his voice
"Yeah right. As if." I replied
"He is right, Rob. They are." Tanja said, while Nick was nodding
"Ok only to be sure. You all say my eyes changed in color and are slit like a snake eye?" I asked, which all of them confirmed
"Well that is just great. That did he mean yesterday."
"Who meant what?" Stefan asked
"My teacher. We asked him why we had a room for two, while you werwolves are six in one. He answered it with an evading answer and now I understand what he meant." I replied
"That we'll change into the beings of our class. In our case werwolves?" Tanja asked
"Yeah, that's what we agreed to." I replied
"And I bet that every person, except for us passengers, are what they guide us into."
"That's stupid why should everyone be a werwolf, griffin or something else, except of us. It makes no sense at all" Nick said
"No, that makes sense in a very strange way. Considering that we were transported somewhere else and being ask to join different species, that are considered as myths. Rob is right about this, I mean look at his eyes. That alone is proof enough for me." Stefan said and Tanja nodded
"I see. A few already found out what all this is about." A voice said behind Stefan and me, which startled us both
"Ah Simon, don't sneak up on me like that." Stefan said
"And miss the opportunity? No, that wouldn't be right. Besides I'm here to take you, Nick and Tanja to training." Simon replied
"As for you Rob. Marko will join you in a few minutes and wants to talk about your future here."
"My future?" I asked
"You must ask Marko. He tested you and therefore is your teacher." Simon said
"For the others, lets go. You are the last missing people and the teachers get impatient if they have to wait."
With that the others left after saying their farewells, leaving me waiting for Marko. The canteen was emptying quickly and I was the only one left by the time he showed up. Once again he wore his silver robe, which matched the color of his dragon form. I felt a little uneasy in his presence, remembering what he did yesterday.
"Hello Rob, how are you?" Marko asked
"Fine, considering the things you did to me yesterday." I replied coldly
"Or the things that happened to my eyes."
"You agreed to it, so deal with it." Marko said
"There was a reason why we asked. And I apologize for what I had to do. I had to take it myself back when I chose that path and I know exactly how you feel."
"You could have told us that earlier. Those changes are something, you should mention before" I replied
"Yeah we should have. We said the same thing back then. It's understandable that such things are scary and that you are upset about that. Being turned is never easy and it takes time to adjust to the concept." Marko said with a slim smile on his face "I was scared too, but came over it as I turned. It even took a while to learn how to walk again, let alone the new abilities this change unlocks."
"We dragons have a few abilities. Call it magic if you want. Few races have those and they use them to bypass a few difficulties. Take us for example, while the half dragons can use complex machines, we can't. Even reading a book is extremely difficult for us. Let alone the size of the normal books. What we lack in other branches, we make up in magical abilities."
"Half dragons?" I asked
"I thought that there was only one dragon species."
"Explaining that would take to long, so lets stay with two species for now. Half dragons and dragons. Half dragons walk on two legs and are basically an anthomorphos form of dragons. They have the same fine motor skills as humans, a stronger body and the ability to fly for a limited time. We dragons walk on four legs, possess new abilities and can stay in the air for a very long time. But operating anything complexer than a door handle is a problem for us, because of the lack of a thumb." Marko explained
"You mean we trade these basic abilities for magical ones and that we have to walk like animals." I replied sarcastically
"Yes we walk like animals." He laughed "I understand now, how my teacher felt. I came to the same conclusion as he told it to me."
"And I think I know your next question. How long will it take to change completely? Am I correct?"
"Yes you are" I replied
"It should be done through this day. The change never takes that long and comes rather abruptly." Marko explained
"Are strange dreams included into the change?" I asked
"Yeah, the downside of the change. I presume you got chased by a dragon, which got you in the end before you woke up?" Marko asked
"Yep that sounds like my dream. The dragon slammed his claws into my back eventually." I replied
"I got bitten in the leg by mine. You can imagine how I felt, as I woke up." Marko said
"Pretty much, yeah. I jumped up after waking up." I said, which left us silent for a few minutes
"Simon said you wanted to talk about my future here?"
"Yes. To be more exactly, about your training. You'll attend most of the theoretical parts with the half dragons once all are ready, but you'll have additional lessons for your special abilities. I'll be your teacher in them and your physical training." Marko said
"And there I thought not have to learn anything for a few month, figures. When will we start?" I replied
"The physical training will start after you completed your change. For today you'll read a few things about the history of the tower and our past. It's important to know what happened in the last centuries, to understand our trouble better." Marko explained
"Is it on a film at least? Reading a history book gets boring really fast." I joked
"It's a book. Sadly there is no way around boring literature." Marko chuckled
"Now if you would follow me please."
We got up and started walking towards the library of the dragons, passing several groups of students on our way. Most of them were listening to their teachers, while a few were only chatting with other people. Marko shook his head as he saw it, but didn't say anything. We arrived at the dragon floor shortly after and entered the library.
The library was the biggest room I had seen in this tower so far. It took a good third of the floor and had a height of at least five. The shelves containing the books were all placed at the walls and on top of each other, leaving the middle of the room empty. The books themselves had two sizes. While the books in the lowest shelves had the normal size, the others in the upper shelves were big tomes. Strangely enough, there weren't any ladders around to reach anything that was higher than the lowest shelves.
"Welcome to our library Rob." Marko said
"The layout may seem strange at the moment, but you'll understand it later."
"It sure is strange. You can't reach anything, let alone read the titles of the books." I replied
"How can the shelves carry such much weight? It must weight tons."
"The shelves are of the same material the tower is and therefore is capable to carry it easily, we even changed it to look like wood. The books are sorted after their use. Look at the shelf right above the door for example." Marko explained and pointed on it.
The shelf was filled with tomes which all looked identically and had no titles on it. The shelf itself didn't differ from those on its sides. All of them looked identically, same number of rows and a tag on the bottom of it.
"Do you see the tag?" Marko asked, to which I nodded
"It tells you which area the books are of. The upper right book of each shelf contains the place and an overview about the content of the other books in that shelf. The books and shelves are coded on the front so you can sort them easily, in case someone puts them back in the wrong place."
"Tags shows the area, upper right book tells you what you want. Got it. But how can I reach them?" I replied
"Well we got wings you know. That is the reason why all books are on the walls and why the room is so big. We simply fly up to were the books we want are and pull them out." Marko laughed
"The half dragons have the advantage to hold themselves on the shelves, but we are to big for that. So we hover in front of them, take the index and after that look for the book we need."
"Isn't it exhausting to fly the whole time only to look for a book?" I asked
"Not for us. Like I said we dragons can stay in air for a long time, even while hovering. It takes a bit of training through, flying in a room is naturally restricted by the walls and the space. But I think you should be able to do that by the end of the two weeks." Marko said
"That is another point I didn't get. Why two weeks? Wouldn't it be better to train us, until we know everything?" I asked
"It's difficult to explain. You see every dimension has it's own energy signature. We are fixated on the one in our dimension, while this one has a much stronger one. This difference affects our brain in a harmful way. After a while it starts to manifest in several symptoms. The first is a light dizziness and grows worse over the third week, in which it forces you into madness. The elder found it out the hard way. Therefore we keep it by this two weeks to be safe." Marko explained
"And a dimension with a weaker one? Could we live there for a longer time?" I replied
"Not if the difference is as big as this one. The closer the dimensional energy is to our own the better." Marko said
"Why didn't we take one that is closer to our own?" I asked
"Because in every one of them was an other civilization and had at least one organization that hunted us, be it myths or humans. We even had one in which the world itself rejected us. This one was one of three in which we could stay without big problems." Marko replied
"But enough of that for the moment, we came here so I could show you a bit of our history. And why not connect it with a practical lesson. I told you how you could find a specific book. Now search for the one which has the first entry of the tower. It's in one of the lower shelves, so you shouldn't have any problems to reach it. Return to me after you found it and bring the Index book too."
I began to walk past the shelves until I got to one that had a history tag on it. The upper right book was rather thin, compared to the others next to it. I noticed a small symbol on the board under the book, which also was on the book.
"Ah that you meant by coded." I said, while opening the book
The book itself was only an index, showed every recorded historical event and in which book it was. I was half through the book, around the year 1200, as I found the first entry about the tower.
The book was marked with yet another symbol, which I found in the second of four rows. I took the book and went back to Marko.
"That should be it. The first entry of the tower." I said and handed the books to him
"On which side did you find the entry?" Marko asked
"Side fifteen, halfway down the side. The year was around 1200." I replied, while he began to search in the book.
"Ah yes, here it is and the symbol matches. Good work." Marko said, while handing me the book which contained the information of the tower.
"I want you to read it and return after you have finished it."
"That will take a while. Can I go back on my room to read it?" I asked
"Yes you can and have fun with it." Marko replied with a laugh
"Well, see you later then." I replied
So I left the library and went back to our room. The people that were standing in the hallways earlier, were gone by now and I didn't meet anyone on my way. It was still strange to walk in such big and empty hallways, in which cars could have be driven without greater problems.
I arrived several minutes later and laid the book on the table, after I closed the door. The bandage had began to itch by now and it got rather unpleasant. After a few minutes of thinking I concluded that putting the bandage of for a few minutes wouldn't hurt that much. Besides it were only cuts that were under it.
It took a while to get it off and the sight of my arm caught me off guard. There was absolutely no trace of any injuries or bruises. Even the bruise where the dragons claw had hit me was gone. Every wound or bruise I had was simply gone. After only half a day. That was amazing and left me in a good mood, even while looking at the history book on the table.
"Lets do this." I said to my self and grabbed the book
The history of the tower was more interesting than I thought it would be at first. Well... Building would be a better name for it. The base of the tower was the only thing that had never changed over the years. A small village was all it contained at first, which changed to a fully grown city over two hundred years. The tower itself was only a bit over one hundred years old, with the reason to give shelter to myths in the time of the two world wars. So they could escape the combat and return later, or even reemerge somewhere else.
The main reason for the building, back then, was a coordinated attack by the enemy faction. This was marked as the official founding of that faction. Their attack was focused on the colony of the third water species and they destroyed it with all its occupants. It was never confirmed if all died, but they were never been seen again since then. The Others forced most of the myths in Europe into exile and killed many more, by the time the town was finished.
Yet it was never used for the reason it was built for, because of the sickness. It took almost three hundred years before they began to use it as a school and another hundred until everything worked like they wanted it. Even the circle of three years was introduced back then. The book didn't explain anything about in particular, but pointed to yet another book that focused on some details including the circle.
The time flew past as I continued to read the book, but the history got really boring after the middle. In which only minor events were described, such as a fight between naga and griffin or an illness that only affected a few werewolves. The excitement soon was replaced by boredom, which was supported by growing tiredness. In short I fell asleep after a while and returned to the dream I had last night.
And it continued at the point the last ended. With dragon claws on my back. The force sent me stumbling forwards and eventually on the ground. I began to crawl away from the dragon, but only for a few seconds. The dragon grabbed my legs and pulled them towards him. As my left foot touched his belly it got kind of warm. So did my other moments later and while holding onto the ground as good as I could I took a glimpse of what happened. My eyes went wide as I saw my feet disappear into the belly, followed by my shins. I was still losing ground until my whole legs were absorbed. The dragon suddenly stumbled, as he absorbed them and slammed onto my back. The impact made my head hit the floor in return and all went white once again.
I sat up rather quickly and my face was covered in sweat. It took me a couple of seconds to calm down enough and remember that it was only a dream again. The problem with that was that I still could hear 'Click' noises, felt unfamiliar weights on my back and that the chair began to get uncomfortable.
Weighting my problems I decided to start with the weights on my back. The back of my shirt was ripped open. Through the rip I could see that my back was covered in black scales and a set of wings which came out of it. At first I thought someone had pulled a prank on me with these, until I tried to move them. Which I could. It was only a really small flap, but it was there. The second proof was that I could feel my finger as I touched the wings. While I was occupied with 'my' left wing, the right got caught by something. As I examined the cause of this, I found that it had been blocked by what looked like a tail. Again it took me a few seconds after which I jumped out of the chair and stumbled backwards. Somehow my legs didn't manage to hold the weight, nor did they bend the way I was used to. The stumble ended with a rather unpleasant drop onto the ground, followed by several 'click' noises as my feet hit the ground. A closer examination told me what I already feared. I had legs and feet like a dragon. Complete in digigrade stance, with gray claws at the feet and black scales all over it. The trousers surprisingly survived the change, but not the shoes. They were completely destroyed by my new feet.
"That is not good. That is not good at all." I panicked as I tried to push myself off the ground
I took me a few tries to get up and stumble towards the wall to get something to hold on. The door was the next big obstacle. It was difficult to get the wings and the tail through, which seemed to have a will of their own. I left the door open, not wanting to stay in public for to long and made my way to the dragon library. It felt like hours, in which I fell several times, until I reached the floor with the library and luckily wasn't seen the whole time. I quickly pulled the door open and slipped in.
"Marko!" I shouted and spotted him standing in his dragon form with a large tome hovering in front of him, which I didn't really realize
"Already finished the book?" He asked and looked towards me
"If you are ready you can tell m...... How did this happen?"
"You tell me. You are the dragon." I replied
"No, I mean why are you not a full dragon? Did you fight against the merge with the dragon?" He asked with a rather frightened look
"Sure I did. Half way through I was knocked out of the dream, though. I woke up like this just minutes ago." I explained
"What should I do now?"
"There isn't much you can do. But I know what I must do and I'm terrible sorry about it." Marko replied and came closer towards me.
I didn't know what he had to do until I saw his tail approaching which I tried to evade. My legs, to which I still was completely unused, didn't respond in time and the tail hit me with full force, throwing me back into the land of dreams.
And back under the body of the dragon, which immediately continued to merge with mine. It left me only with my arms and head in the end and I still struggled against being fully absorbed. I wanted to control the moment when I cease to be a human and that I wouldn't let anyone take away from me, so I held the ground as good as I could. I tried a few pulls but it was useless, every part that had merged, was now dragon and not human anymore. The force of the pull was constant and I could hold my ground, but that was it. Finally I thought about it, found it a bit funny how things went in the last two days and what my parents would say when I'll tell them. With that I let go and merged with the dragon.
I don't know how long I was unconscious, but it surely felt like an eternity. My whole body felt strange, let alone the headache from the hit and that was only the beginning. As I opened my eyes I couldn't look clearly, until I crossed them. Something black was attached to the front of my face and irritated me for a short moment. The thought that that could be my snout only came to me, as I tried to open my mouth and then the realization hit me like a truck. I must have been turned completely into a dragon, the moment I was fully absorbed. And it explained why I had to cross my eyes. They were laying on both sides of my head and not right next to each other as they had as I was human.
After a few tries to move my neck, I was able to examine the rest of my body. First of all I was completely covered in black scales, like the dragon in my dreams. Next was a crest that went from my tail up to my neck and presumably ended at my head. My wings hung limply to the sides of my body and by the size of them I would guess that their wingspan was at least twice my size. They would be enormous if that was true. Next was my tail which too laid limply on the ground. From tip to tip and taking Marko's size in account, I would say that I was at least ten meters in length. My hands, or should I say front paws were down to three digits with fitting claws, which now matched the number on digits of my back paws. The fine motor skills I was used to with my arms were gone for good. It was still manageable to lift my right leg and to examine my head a bit closer. My head too resembled a dragons in every detail, it even had two sets of horns and three small ones on its sides. Another thing I noticed was, that while I was laying on the ground and had my head up, that I was still larger than an average person.
I was about to try to stand up, as I heard the door opening. To my relief it was Marko, this time in human form, who stepped through it. He headed to me as he noticed that I was awake.
"Rob, finally. You were out for hours." He said relieved
"I had worried that I hit you to hard."
"Hard enough to knock me out for a long time apparently." I said, with surprisingly little problems and a deeper voice
"Was that really necessary?"
"That or walk down six floors to the hospital and be seen by everyone in that state." Marko replied
"I see. A little warning would have been better through. I thought you would kill me." I said
"No way. The only place I could have would be the test and you passed it. For the knock out. That won't be the last time. Take that as your warning." He chuckled
"How are you feeling? Must have been a shock to wake up in a completely different body?"
"Better. At first I was afraid, but that is gone now. And yes it was quite a shock. Through it is funny that, despite me laying here, I'm still larger than you." I replied with a laugh
"Yeah it has it's advantages, being that big. Now we can't leave you laying there all day, can we?" He said and stepped back a bit, as silver scales spread over him. His whole body kind of burst in every direction and seconds later a fully fledged silver dragon was standing besides me. My guess was right. I was bigger than Marko, but only a bit.
"You remember that I told you I had to relearn walking? Well, welcome to the club Rob."
Over the next hours, he showed me how I had to move my body to get moving and it took me a few tries to even stand up. The difficult was, that I was used to walk with two legs and not with four, so I kissed the ground quite often at the beginning. It took us the whole afternoon until late evening, until I could walk and after we switched to the training room with a few minor problems, sprint without greater problems.
"Your body knows how he has to move. The problem is your brain. It still is used to command a human body. So you have to bring it in sync with your new one." Marko explained
"Is this why I could talk without problems earlier?" I asked
"Yes, though you had the tendency to use your tongue, which you don't need to anymore. But that has already stopped it seems." He replied
"Now for your wings. You let them hang down on your sides all the time. That is a good way to trip over them eventually and you have problems to go through doors like earlier. Look how I'm holding them and try to mimic it."
"Like that?" I answered, while I folded my wings in a similar way he had his.
"Almost, but good enough for now. Fold and unfold them a few times, so you get the hang of it. There is a point were they kind of lock in place, so you don't have to worry about them the whole time. Though we still have to press them onto our body, when going through doors. May not look that good but else we wouldn't fit through." He explained
"And the tail? Any lessons for it?" I asked, while doing what he told me
"Don't get it stuck in doors. It hurts a lot trust me. Move it like you want, but we tend to drag it with us, if we don't use it in combat. And it stabilizes us while flying, but that has to wait until tomorrow." He explained
"I still have one little question. If I may?" I asked
"Go on." Marko said
"You said we dragons have a difficulty with mechanical things. Couldn't we just switch to human form for that and back to dragon after wards?" I asked
"We could yes. But the problem is that we only can change that many times a day, as our limit allows. Take me for example. I only can switch from dragon to human two times a day. That was my last time for today and now I have to wait until tomorrow for using it again.." He explained
"So I have to think carefully if I wanted to change. Well the thought was good." I replied
"Yeah would be nice, but that is one of our many drawbacks." Marko said
"So, that would be all for today, if you haven't any questions left. It's late and your friends should be waiting for you by now. I told them that you would need a bit longer and that they should wait in your room. The canteen is still open and I bet you have a lot of questions to answer."
"Ah, I didn't even think about the others. That will be one hell of an interrogation." I sighed
"You'll get through it as you did with the change. Relax a bit and have fun. Tomorrow will be full of exercises and I don't want to teach a stressed dragon. Now go, the others are waiting." He said
"Thanks. I'm looking forward to it." I said, while I was busy with the door handle
"Claws versus door, round one and the winner is the door." I muttered sarcastically, which caused Marko to laugh until I managed to open it, pushed my wings onto my body and slipped through.
Closing it was much simpler, but I almost forgot to completely pull my tail out as Marko had mentioned earlier. I made my way towards our room and immediately was the center of attraction as I stepped into the hallway that lead to it. Being a two meter high black dragon and the 'click'- noises my claws made on the floor wasn't very helpful to keep a low profile. Most of the people that were watching in awe, while a few had rather shocked faces. They apparently hadn't fully realized by now, to what they had agreed yesterday.
The looks stayed on me for the rest of the way with a few nods in between, by what appeared to be teachers. I paused for a moment as I reached for the door to our room, getting myself ready for what was about to happen.
"Here we go." I muttered to myself, as I reached for the handle and opened the door.
This time I made it on the first try and heard talking in the inside as the door was only partially opened, still concealing me for people in the inside. The conversation abruptly stopped as I stepped in and was replaced by an awkward silence, while Stefan, Nick and Tanja were staring at me.
"Are you looking for Rob?" Asked Stefan after a while, in an unsure voice
"He is still on your floor, as far as I know."
"Not exactly." I chuckled, being caught off guard by his question
"I'm here because you waited for me."
"Rob?" All of them asked at once
"That would be me." I replied and threw a joke to ease the situation
"What's the problem? Never seen a dragon before?"
"Not in real, no. How did that happen and when did you change?" Stefan asked puzzled
"You remember about the dream I mentioned after you got up?" I asked, to which he nodded
"It had to do with it and for the when. About five hours I think. Could be more or less. It's difficult to guess the time without a watch."
"Yeah, it seems that the teachers know which time we have. We should ask them how they do it, when we meet them the next time. I mean we have a thermometer in every room but no clocks" Tanja said
"How does it feel to be a dragon?"
"A bit different. Look, lets talk about this in the canteen. Ok? I'm a bit hungry and I bet I'm not the only one." I replied
"Good point, I'm starving. Besides I don't want to be eaten by a black dragon." Nick joked and we all laughed
We made our way towards the canteens, after I had closed the door. It was a bit weird to walk next to them, being that large, and talk while looking downwards. Again we passed several people which pointed towards me.
"Looks like you are the center of attraction Rob." Nick laughed
"Yeah, a bit. Don't know why. Must be my eyes." I chuckled
"Do your claws have to make that noise? Its rather irritating." Tanja asked
"Sadly. I could lift my claws, but that looks ridiculous. Wait a bit and you won't notice it anymore." I replied
"I hope." She said, as we entered the big room that let to the canteens
We immediately were greeted by a man with a griffin emblem on his shoulder. The cloth he was wearing gave him away as staff member of the canteen. The clothes were white and full of food remains, while the chef's hat was another confirmation of my suspicion. He even smelled like he had worked with a lot of meat in the last time, which startled me a bit after noticing that I had sniffled him out, without realizing. The look of him told me that he had noticed that.
"Ha, I love that look. I smell like food, don't I?" He said, with an smile on his face, while looking at me
"You do what? Rob what does he mean?" Tanja asked surprised
"That he smells like food. Which he does." I replied
"You mean you sniffled him out? She asked curiously
"I didn't know that I was doing it, until I realized it." I defended myself. My face would be bright red now, if it still could.
"I'm still new to this."
"Don't worry, it happens to everyone and I love it. It's one of the reasons I like this job. But where are my manners. I'm Martin and the chef of the canteens in this tower." Martin replied
"Nice to meet you Martin. I'm Rob, that is Stefan, Nick and Tanja." I said and pointed on the others.
"It's nice to be greeted by the chef himself, but may I ask why?"
"Mostly because of the lack of work at the moment. The main rush is over and only few are coming for a meal at this time. So I thought it would be a good idea to wait for the new myths, after hearing the news from a few teachers." He explained
"There are other new ones, besides me?" I asked
"Two griffin as far as I heard. But they didn't show up by now." He replied
"Well you look like you could need something to eat. Follow me then."
He guided us to the right canteen and pointed on a wooden panel, next to the entrance.
"Here take a seat big guy and the others follow me. We have to get a table and chairs for you." He said and pointed to a small room which only could be accessed through the canteen
The panel was big enough to lay on it and felt surprisingly comfortable. The panels themselves where spread across the room in pairs and left enough room between so others could walk by without disturbing anyone. The question was how I would get my meal, having no way to carry a plate while walking on all four. The thought kept me until the others returned with a table and four chairs, which they set up next to me so I could talk with all of them.
"Make yourself comfortable, while I get the meals." Martin said and walked to the kitchen
"Nice guy. I hope his meals are as good as he is friendly." Tanja said
"I'm a bit afraid what I'll get. That plate that I got in the morning surely isn't enough for me." I said
"Well, we'll see it in a few minutes." Stefan replied
"You didn't tell us how it feels, being a dragon."
"It's difficult to tell. It was scary at first. Waking up and being a completely different species." I said
"After a few hours it was kind of normal for me. It was a bit annoying to relearn how to walk though."
"You had to relearn how to walk?" Nick asked
"Going from two legs to four is more difficult as you would guess." I replied
"Did you use your wings already?" Tanja asked
"Only to know how I can bend them." I replied and moved them a bit, which caused Tanja to giggle a bit
"Though I'm looking forward to use them."
"I bet you are. We all were." Said Martin as he returned with a trolly, which contained what looked to be half a cow on the top and normal meals in the lower shelf.
"You are kidding right? A cow?" I asked in disbelieve, while the other laughed
"Half a cow actually." Martin smiled as he sat the plate down in front of me with ease, which left the others speechless
"How did you do that?" Stefan asked
"What? Ah you mean putting half a cow down without problems." Martin asked, while handing the other meals around
"Mostly training and the advantage of being a griffin. We keep most of our strength in human form"
"Do all keep them or only griffin?" Nick asked
"Everyone keeps that. It depends on the species how much you keep, but even the weakest is stronger than the majority of humans. A few have additions to that but that was it." Martin explained
"For example?" I asked
"Leviathans keep their ability to breath under water while dragons and werewolves heal very quickly. Species with the special trait keep that too." Martin replied
"Special trait?" asked Stefan
"Manticors and Dragons mainly have those, but I leave that to your teachers to explain." Martin replied
"Rob seems to have scored big with his election. But do dragons have downsides too?" Nick asked
"They are big targets, can't use any complex machinery and are short in numbers. To name a few." Martin said
"You see, he is the only dragon of this circle. The last had two. And only Marko survived this long."
"What happened to the other one?" I asked
"He was trapped in a hideout with several other myths as the Others attacked. We never heard from any of them again. We didn't even find bodies." Martin replied unhappily
"Whats up Rob, you didn't even touch your cow by now." Said Stefan, clearly wanting to change the topic
"I have no idea were and how I should start." I replied, glad, that he had changed the topic, and annoyed, because it was me, at the same time.
"Use you claws and you mouth. Hold the cow and rip off a piece of it. Don't think about the bones, they don't hurt you." Martin explained, and his mood seemed to rise again.
It was a bit awkward to be watched while eating. But the tip helped a lot. Though the first piece I ripped out was a bit large and caused me some trouble to eat. It brightened the mood of all others and they tried not to laugh by my attempts to eat this way.
"While he is occupied. Do you feel comfortable here? Any bad feelings about being kidnapped?" Martin asked
"I'm a bit unsure, after seeing what happened to Rob and knowing that it will happen to me too." Nick said
"I was upset at first, but the people are friendly and nobody forces you to something." Tanja replied
"I'm with Tanja. I too was upset, but now it's fine." Stefan finished
"No trouble that you'll be turned into something different?" Martin asked
"Rob got turned and stayed the same in the inside, so far as I can tell. Plus that we apparently can turn back to human form. I think that is not a bad trade. The only big downside I see at the moment is that organization that hunts us, but you got that covered with hideouts as far as I understand." Stefan replied to which Tanja nodded and Nick shrugged.
"How does that work anyway? Are we put into these after we return?" Tanja asked
"No. The hideouts are for the myth that got discovered and are mostly houses in the neighborhood of other myths. You wouldn't believe how often they missed the biggest cluster of myths compared to the small ones." Martin explained
"So we return from here and go one with our life?" Nick asked
"Yes and no one will bother you, if you play your role of your old life good enough." Martin replied
"What about the people that declined the offer?" I asked, taking a short break from the cow
"They are being held at the bottom of the third tower and are treated like guests." Martin said
"No worries that they tell what happened here?" Nick asked curiously
"They won't remember, after you return. Remember the light that brought you here? It serves as a marker and upon return will delete anything that happened from this point on. It doesn't affects Myths because we have a natural resistance against that." Martin explained
"I see you thought about everything." Nick said impressed
"Yeah, by the time you passed your trail you're immune to that. By the way how far are you, except for our dragon here?" Martin asked
"We will be tested tomorrow." Nick and Tanja said
"I don't know. My teacher only gives hints or doesn't say anything to that." Stefan replied
"Don't worry, it'll happen soon. Trust me." Martin replied
"May I ask how long are you a myth and chef?" Stefan asked
"You may. I'm a griffin for Twenty-seven years and chef for twelve. I reorganized a lot and took the layout of my canteen for these here." Martin said
"You are a cook in the real world? Where?" Tanja asked
"In Monterrey. Mexico. And yes I'm a cook in both. Why not? I like to cook and I see no reason to do something else here." Martin replied
The conversation went on for a long time and I joined after I had finished my meal. Still with an slight unease, that I had to eat that way. Though it was a tasty cow and well cooked at that. My claws still were covered with the juice of the cow and I got rid of it by licking it clear with my tongue, which was forked. Much to the amusement of the others and from there we all were chatting with each other until we all got tired. We said our goodbye for now and began moving back to our rooms.
We met a trio of griffins on our way back, which were heading towards the canteen. The sight was kind of strange to me and now I understood how the others were feeling, as they saw me the first time. The griffins had the bodies of lions, while having the head and wings of eagles. About one and a quarter meter in height I would guess. The leading griffin had an blue scarf around his neck and greeted me with a nod, which I replied. The other two were keeping their distance from me, seemingly a bit afraid of my look and height.
Nick and Tanja left us as we reached our door and wished us a good night. They would knock the next day, so we could go to breakfast together.
Stefan tried to open the bigger door, so I could come in, but had a hard time to get it open. I helped him a bit and closed it as we went in. I went into the bath, cleaning my snout from the remaining of the meal. Stefan went into the bath as I came out and went to my bed, which unsurprisingly was a bit to small now. I laid down with my head on the bed, completely stretched at first which wasn't very comfortable. Stefan watched me as I tried different positions and laughed as I curled myself together eventually, after finding a good one.
"Done?" He asked laughing
"Yeah I think so. Man is it weird to lay down this way, but oddly comfortable." I replied
"Now, how do we get the light out?"
"This way." Stefan said and clapped his hands together twice, which caused the light to go out
"Not bad." I said and knocked my right fore paw on the ground twice, as test, and the lights were on again
"Not bad at all."
"Finished?" Stefan asked and shut down the light again.
"Hope you don't snore. I could manage a human, but a dragon?"
"You'll know in a few minutes, but I can assure you. I never heard myself snoring" I chuckled
"Ha ha, very funny." Stefan replied
With that I closed my eyes and felt asleep rather quickly.