I dreamed from home this night. My parents were standing in front of our house and were waving towards me as they had as I entered the airport three days ago. I myself was back as I was before turning into a dragon and walked forwards to them. But the distance between me and them increased with every step that I made. Even faster as I started to run. They vanished behind a wall of thick fog which I jumped into and emerged as dragon on the other side. There was no trace of my home left as I looked around only a weak spark at the horizon.
I woke up by a loud curse, before I could walk towards it. It revealed to be Stefan who nag about nothing in particular and was searching for his walker, which somehow was lying on the other side of the room.
"You should stop throwing things through the room while you sleep Stefan." I yawned and stretched my legs and wings, which felt a bit numb.
"Good morning by the way."
"Good! Ha. Easy for you to say . My whole body feels, as if it's on fire." Stefan replied as I went towards the walker
"Stupid test. I bet there is no muscle that is not sore."
"Look at the bright side. No physical test or challenges for you today." I said as I returned to him with it in the right fore paw.
"I hope so. At least I have a personal dragon who fetches things for me." Stefan said and took the walker.
"Need help to get up?" I asked
"No I don't think so." He replied as he tried to stand up.
He managed it to lean on the walker, but fell forward the moment he tried to walk. I caught him more or less by swiftly putting my head beneath him.
"Or not. Seems that I might need a little help for the moment. Thanks." He said and searched for a hold on my neck. Holding my head down for that was a bit uncomfortable, but he needed the help and I'm not the person who leaves one for himself.
"Where do you want to go?" I asked
"The bath if possible." Stefan replied
"Ok. Bath it is. Watch my for my horns though. Would be a shame to pierce you with them." I said
"I'll. Now lets go, I want to be ready when the other two arrive."
We made the short way towards the bath, on which Stefan stumbled a few times. I guided him to the small room in it and he made the rest of the way in it by leaning on the wall.
While he was occupied in there I readied myself, this time by taking a few sips out of the pool and simply spitting it in there again. The few remaining pieces of meat that were stuck in there, disintegrated as they touched the pool water and I watched fascinated. The water had acid properties, but didn't harm me at all. I tried differed legs, my wings, my tail and even my tongue to test it. But neither were harmed by it. My thoughts and test were interrupted as Stefan stepped out of the small compartment. I returned to him and helped him to walk back into the main room.
"Hope this is gone later. I can barely move without help." Stefan said
"A good meal and a day without stress should work. Bet you aren't the only one with this problem." I replied as he sat down on a chair
"Yeah. Will be fun to get to our floor, without help." He asked
"Nick and Tanja could help you. They have almost the same way." I remembered
"If they come it means. Shouldn't they be here already?" Stefan asked to which I looked at the small clock
"Yeah they should be by now. At least they were yesterday. Well surely they'll come in a minute or two." I replied
We waited for almost twenty minutes, but neither of them knocked on the door and a short glimpse in the hallway didn't showed them either. Stefan suggested that we should go, after we waited and look for them. So we got out of our room and headed to theirs. Which proofed as in vain, because nobody was in or at least did answer to our calls.
The next idea was to look for them in the canteen, which was pretty empty as we arrived. The left one was almost empty, except for a few teacher, the half dragons and a few hippogryph students, while the right one had a bunch of griffins in it. Again silent as yesterday. The half dragons sat at the same table as yesterday and bombarded Frank with questions by the look of it. The teachers, including Marko, Jim and Simon, were in a tight discussion and a few of them had a troubled looks. The remaining students all looked as they had similar problems as Stefan, though a few still could walk by themselves. What got my attention was that, besides the small number of hippogryphs, not a single werwolf student was here by now.
"Maybe they have early lessons today?" I asked more to myself
"Would explain why non is here." Stefan replied
"Strange neither Nick nor Tanja said anything about that."
"Perhaps a last minute decision by their teachers?" I said to which Stefan only shrugged
"Might as well eat then. They'll explain it when we see them next time." Stefan said
Martin arrived with out meal shortly after, which this time contained out of a whole cow for me and an light meal for Stefan, which was easier to eat. The whole cow surprised me though.
"Excuse me Martin, but why the whole cow today?" I asked
"Order from Marko. He said you would need that today." Martin replied and vanished into the kitchen afterwards.
"I have a bad feeling about that." I said, much to the amusement of Stefan
"Maybe now we'll find out how exhausted you can get." He snickered
"We'll at least I don't have to worry about sore muscles for long." I replied
"Why that?" Stefan asked
"Fast healer remember?" I laughed
"Pft. We'll see later." He replied
It naturally took longer to finish the whole cow and I had slightly problems to finish it, but did it in the end. Stefan in the meantime was telling some stories he had while he was working for his company and while on holiday. He finished his tales with a short rant about the impossibility to know how late it is, as the tower seemingly had no clocks. Which reminded me about Markos explanation.
"You know we have clocks here. Pretty obvious ones too." I said to that
"You the that bar up there?"
"The Thermometer?" Stefan asked
"That's the clock. The bar gets shorter over the day, which has twenty seven hours. Marko told me yesterday." I replied
"I remember. You wanted to tell it, but Marko called you before you had the chance." Stefan said
"Good to know."
We chatted a bit until another member of Stefans group, who had no problems with walking, approached us and told Stefan that they were expected in the classroom. The people which hadn't that much problems should help the ones who had. So he supported Stefan and went away as we had agreed to meet in the evening again. I myself got up and went to the dragon floor once again, evading various groups of griffins on my way out of the canteen.
While ambling up the hallway, I thought about the dream I had. I realized that I never thought about home the last days, only about more pressing things. The consequences of this change of this change were grave and I asked myself what my parents will say about this, when they find out that their son changed into a black dragon. Not to speak about the possibility to be hunted by the Others.
I was so deep in thoughts that the sudden touch of a hand on my shoulder startled me. Luckily the hand belonged to Monica, who was accompanied by the other half dragons.
"You look like something is bothering you Rob." She said
"A bit of home sickness. And thoughts about my parents." I replied in short
"Thinking that they wont accepted the change?" Monica asked with a conforming voice
"It's one point yes and I'm sure there are others who think similar about it." I said
"Yeah, but don't worry to much about it now, we'll return in eight days and then you can. Besides it's bad for your health and you look better if you smile a bit." Monica replied which caused my mood to increase a bit, knowing that someone cared about me
"We all are dragons. Well you more than we, but we stick together. Isn't that right?" She asked into the round and everyone agreed to this
"You guys are alright." I laughed as we went past Nick and Tanjas door. This time though I could hear that something was moving inside
"Could you wait a moment?"
"Sure. Want to visit some friends?" Jessica asked, leaning on her own walker with her damagedleg covered in bandages
"Only look if they are ok." I replied and knocked on the door, which sent the room into complete silence
"Are you ok in there?"
"Yeah yeah we're fine." Came from a deep voice from the inside, which I couldn't recognize
"Could you stop that please?" Another voice said and rumble was heard afterwards
"You sure?" I asked
"Yeah sure!" Various voices replied out of it
"What the heck are they doing in there?" Frank asked as I stepped away from the door
"No idea." I replied
"We'll find out eventually." Linh said as we continued our way
"Can't hide in there forever."
"Did you hear what the teachers were talking about?" Jessica asked
"Only that they were talking about the Others and that they plan something." Frank replied
"Jim sounded a bit concerned, while Marko was relative relaxed. Probably because we are in the safety of the tower." Linh said
"You lost me there. Who talked about what?" I asked
"We sat next to the teachers this morning and followed there discussion a bit. They talked about a looming action of the Others. But no one knows anything specific." Linh replied
"That sounds serious." I said
"You bet and I'm glad that we are here in the tower. Would be grim if they would train us on Earth." Monica replied
"That makes two of us." Jessica added
The further way was filled with chatter about minor things and an short encounter with a crowd of griffins, who raced past us towards the upper floors. Frank and Monica were caught off guard and fell over each other as the first griffins ran into them, while the rest hugged the wall to prevent that. I acted as shield as I stepped over them, guarding them from being hurt, but blocked them to stand up. The teachers of the griffins seemed to have trouble containing the excitement of them and one apologized as they ran past us.
"Look at that nice couple we have here." Linh laughed as the crowed of feathers and bodies were gone
"Yeah, her red matches to his bronze quite nicely." Jessica added, causing us to grin widely, as both got up after I stepped back
"Ha ha. Very funny." Monica said glaring at Jessica
"I'll remember that for the next time something happens to you."
"Why were they that hasty to get up?" Frank ask
"Well I would say that they got told, that it's their turn for flight training." I guessed
"And I bet one of them had the grandiose idea to race for it." Linh added
"Good thing Rob shielded us from them. Would be bad to lay under that stampede." Frank replied to which Monica nodded
"Thanks by the way."
The remaining way had no surprises for us and we arrived on our floor just minutes after. Marko and Jim arrived minutes later, while discussing what they should do about the griffins.
"As last year. One starts to run and everyone follows." Jim said
"Good thing the floor is high enough for me to fly over them."
"Good thing I'm to big for them to tackle me." Marko laughed as he looked to us
"Had any problems with the griffins on the way up here?"
"They ran over Frank and Monica, but Rob was fast enough to shield them from the remaining crowd." Linh answered
"Did you get hurt?" Jim asked
"A few bruises but nothing broken." Frank answered
"Same with me." Monica added
"That's good. Would be sad to hold back in training." Jim replied
"Excuse me?" Jessica asked
"First lesson today. Combat training. You can walk and act normally by now, well except of Jessica for obvious reasons, but don't know how to fight. That will change now." Jim answered while smiling, causing everyone to moan
"We all against you?" Frank asked
"If you wish." Jim laughed
"No. We start with the basic training together, including fire breathing, and after that I'll spare with you. One after another. The rest can train in the other trainings room in the meantime and I advice you to do that. Jessica you'll join the training for your breath, but are free to do what you want afterwards."
"And we will take third room Rob. We need a bit of room for ours." Marko said
"Oh and for the rest. If you happen to be in the lounge in the next hour. Stay away from the door."
"Why that?" Linh asked
"Our breath is a bit stronger than yours and the doors aren't strong enough to withstand it for long." Marko replied with a grin and went into the training room
"Well good luck you all." I said as I followed, shivering of the though of using our breath against each other
I closed both doors and went to Marko afterwards. He was stretching his limbs at the moment, preparing himself for the training, which I started to do so too.
"Good. That should be enough." He said after a while
"Now. I know that you have no problem to improvise in combat, so I first want to see how you handle combat in this form and train your weaknesses afterwards."
"So you can pin me instantly again?" I replied, remembering yesterday on the tower
"You were in rage and already weakened from the many falls. Besides it wouldn't be practical if the round would be over in an instant, so I wont try to pin you." He said and laughed
"But I'll do everything else, including my teeth."
"Nice." I sighed
"We'll start this slowly. Get ready." Marko said and lowered his head
He used the same tactic again, which he had used on my test. Charging me until he would hit. I jumped sidewards and immediately turned around. This time though Marko used his wings to redirect his charge and was already in a new one as I turned around. He hit me in my side with full force and send me against the opposing wall, which pressed the air out of my lungs. Marko again used this and again tackled me in my side. I hissed in pain as he continued to do so.
He hit me three more times, until I managed to find an opening and used it by hitting him with my tail across the head. This distracted him for a second, which I used to get a bit distance between us. But only for a short moment as he tried to ram into me again, which I evaded by jumping sidewards and letting me fall on my belly. This made him miss my flank and send him over my back, tripping and fall onto his side. I too had almost laid on mine, hadn't I used my tail to counter the remaining force. Seeing my chance I jumped up and tackled him as he tried to get up, reversing our roles. Now he had to take a beating while I delivered it.
Marko did a similar action as I did, only that he used his tail to make me trip and was out of range immediately. After that we circled each other and waited for an opening. He suddenly breathed in heavily and used his fire breath. It hit me point black into the side, which got pretty warm and hurt as it had as he tackled me. I tried to get back to him and every time I was greeted by a new wave of flames.
Remembering what I did last time, I began to race towards the long side of the room and made a sharp turn as he breathed into the direction I was running. This took him off guard and gave me an opportunity to use my breath. I waited for the last moment and send a wave of fire across his neck and side, but was cut off as he rammed his head into mine, sending the fire across the room. It left big scorch marks over the wall and roof, distracting me for a moment.
He used it for his attack and rammed his teeth into my right side, causing me a tremendous amount of pain and left a bloody mess on my flank. I stopped a new bit by hitting him with my wing and used a new breath to stop him from charging. He himself jumped over the flame and again hit my head, this time sending the flame right into the door. The door itself was set aflame immediately and the breath left a hole in it. With the wall behind being pitch black. This time though I didn't let this distract me, turned around and jumped into Marko, piercing him with my front paws repeatedly. Which ended as I suddenly was pushed backwards by some force I couldn't identify.
"That's enough." Marko said and he licked his teeth clean of my blood
"Not bad for the first time. Attack and speed are ok for now. But your defense is wide open and don't let me start about your focus."
"I thought we start this slowly?" I asked
"It was. Didn't use half of my tricks" Marko replied laughing
"Lets roll this down quickly. You try to get around the defense of your enemy by waiting for them to open it. This is a nice tactic, but it requires that yours is up all the time. Next. You use your speed to evade attacks and I bet you hoped to compensate for your lacking defense with it. That is good for the beginning, but wont help that much against faster opponents."
"You're always talking about my defense, but I don't really get what you mean with it." I replied
"Remember I pushed your head to the side twice, while you started to breath fire on me. I got hit by it but evaded the rest. Take it this way. We can't evade all attacks but we can shorten the duration or the force by redirecting them. This requires you to keep your focus on your opponent all the time and guides us to the last point. Yours. You get distracted by minor things in combat. I know that this is all new for you, but such distractions are deadly in real combat." He explained
"Your improvising is good though. It makes you unpredictable and may give you an edge."
"So you are telling me that we should take a beating, but minimizing it at best as possible." I replied to which he nodded
"I'll show you a few tricks and then we'll work on your concentration, which is your biggest weakness." Marko said
He started the it by standing head to head with me and attacked very slowly, so I could test how I had to hit him. The trick was hit him with the least amount of power, while achieving the most possible deflection. Marko explained me that the right moment to attack was after such an deflection, because the opponent cant immediately stop his attack and the second he need opens a window of opportunity for the defender. In which he can deal the most amount of damage.
He changed the directions a few times and showed me how I could use my wings to deal with attacks from the side. While it wasn't that easy to time and not as effective as using my head, it had the effect to cause opponents to stagger after receiving a hit. The only thing I had to watch was that no attack could harm the membrane of them. He ignored my back the whole time and answered on the question with a simple sentence.
"Anyone who tries to attack a dragon from behind is food, if the dragon knows he is there."
It was quite self explaining. My tail was as long as my body and no vital parts were in it. So the opponent had to overcome nearly five meters of tail before he could do anything and it took me only one swing to stop them, remembering the power the broken tiles after Markos tail had hit them in my trial.
Next he showed me a few tricks I could use to overcome the distance to my opponent or evade better. Marko showed me by standing on one side of the room while I was waiting next of him. He jumped forwards and flapped his wings once but as strong as he could. Sending him forwards like a bullet. He did the same by jumping to the sides or backwards, effectively doubling his range he could use to escape.
I myself crashed into the walls a few times until I got the hang of it and it was clear. Should the opponent remain were he was, he would be in trouble. Being that big and hitting with that velocity would be pretty bad for every one who wasn't in a tank or similar. The evading part gave me whole new idea of our capabilities and our agility. Though Marko claimed that most hippogryphs and griffin could outmaneuver us in the air, while we had good chances against most earth myths. Water, being our weakest area, stood out of question.
Marko let me test the new things until he decided it would be enough for now and switched to the next part. My focus on things, which he trained in a quite simple way. I had to look onto a single spot on the wall, while he walked around me and randomly did something. Be it laughter, jumping or what ever he did.
That training took the most time as it was exhausting and boring to look at the same spot over a long time, while the noises around me were inviting to look for. I had to start over several times and even as we stopped eventually I had problems to concentrate longer than a few minutes.
We were interrupted as Rachel and Samuel stepped into the room, closely followed by Jason. Their faces told me all I needed to know and their bodies showed several marks were they had taken a beating. Jason looked unharmed as far as I could see.
"Good morning. Marko." He said
"Good morning Jason, how can I help you?" Marko replied
"You can help me train both this stubborn half dragons. They need the training, if they want it or not and it might be a good thing for him too. To fight against two smaller opponents." Jason answered, to which the two half dragons protested
"You can't force us to do this." Rachel yelled
"You can't expect us to fight something this big." Samuel added
"First the 'something' has a name and second the size didn't stop him in his trial." Marko stepped in
"It's pretty simple you two. They'll fight with you. If you defend yourself and fight back is up to you. But you won't leave this room before you either fought or lie on the floor unconscious." Jason said as he left the room, locking the door to the lounge behind him
"You heard the man. I give you five minutes to prepare yourself and we'll start after that." Marko said as he stepped into the hallway and blocked it for anyone
"Go one ready yourself. Rob go easy on them. No breath this time."
"Anything else?" I asked
"Try not to break their bones." Marko said smiling, which caused the two to have a very scared look on their faces
"Four minutes thirty seconds."
Seemingly intimidated both began to warm up as good as they though they should, while still complaining about the unfairness of the situation and how they could have any chance against me.
I stretched myself a few times too, making sure to show my teeth in the middle.
"You may start. Rob remember slow and easy." Marko started the fight
Surprisingly both, Rachel and Samuel, tried to close the distance to me as fast as possible. I charged towards them myself and could not resist to roar at them as loud as I could. In reminiscence I have to admit, that it was pretty unfair for them, because they tried to evade my charge and slammed into each other. Sending them both in different directions as I ran through them. I ended my charge at the opposite side of the room and waited for them to stood up again.
"Screw this I'm out of here!" Rachel yelled and ran towards Marko
She didn't even reached him as Marko snarled at her and his growl was enough to show her that there were only the two outcomes available which Jason mentioned earlier.
Samuel in the meantime used the distraction to close on me again and was almost next to me as I noticed him. It didn't help him much that he approached from the side, as I still had my wings. Which met with him seconds later, sending him back on the ground and several meters away. Rachel helped him up and growled the whole time. Both of them were in rage by now. Understandable by how they felt about the whole situation. Marko noticed it too.
"Ah here we go. Rob caution, they're in rage." He said
This time both split and ran towards me, making it impossible to hit both at once. Rachel seemed to aim for my left side, while Samuel made a charge directly towards my head. I darted towards the other side of the room and took the time they needed to decide what I had to do.
My luck this time was, that Rachel ran a bit faster than Samuel and arrived a second earlier, showing me my target. I used my head as flail and hit her in the stomach, which caused her to fly backwards. She stayed down as Samuel came into range and joined Rachel afterwards. Both were down and didn't move anymore, but were still breathing by what I could tell.
"That's a bit disappointing." Marko said as he examined both
"Thought they would have had a bit more fight in them as they went into rage."
"At least they tried." I replied
"And failed." Jason, who entered the room, added
"Not that I expected much from them."
"Should we bring them in the hospital?" Marko asked
"I'll leave them in the lounge. They don't seem to have any broken bones and I won't interrupt his training, because of two stubborn half dragons." Jason replied while he examined both
"Need help carrying them?" I asked
"No need but thanks, young one." Jason said while he grab Rachel at her neck and pulled them out of the room one after another, leaving us alone after wards
"Well that was at least a nice opportunity to practice the tricks I taught you." Marko said
"Now lets practice them in a real fight."
"Ah come on." I replied smiling
The smile got slimmer over the next two hours and was replaced by pure exhaustion afterwards. I even started to pant in the end, which was kind of embarrassing, but Marko too was so it wasn't that bad. Both of us had several bruises and cuts around our bodies, though I had more and deeper ones.
"That was a fight." Marko said
"Not bad for a rookie, not bad."
"Still got beaten up by you." I replied
"Experience over youth." Marko answered laughing
"Lets go over and have a sip from the fountain, we both need the water."
We went back into the lobby were we encountered Monica and Frank, who both looked similar to us, covered with bruises and cuts all over their bodies and Jessica who sat next to Monica and red in some book. Monica was asleep, while Frank and Jessica only nodded towards us as we entered. Neither Rachel nor Samuel were here though.
The water was refreshing and needed. I even put my head under water and shook the water off afterwards. Which startled Monica who was woken up by the water that flew around. We laughed about it though and Monica was nagging about it the whole time.
We stayed in the lounge for a while, until we were fit enough to continue and left to go to the library. Jason stepped out of it as we left the lounge and he had this really annoyed look on his face.
Both, Marko and I, pretended to haven't noticed as we went past him and entered the library as fast as possible.
"I bet the two made a break for it again." I said
"Pretty sure they did." Marko replied
"I'm surprised that they woke up this soon."
"And were fit enough to get away." I added
"It'll bite them later when Jason finds them." Marko laughed
"Now should we go on with the next lesson?"
"As long as it doesn't involve fighting." I joked
"No. But it'll be as exhausting as the fight, only mentally this time." Marko replied
He looked around and flew upwards to a book shelf of which he took the index and after that picked three tomes, which somehow flew behind him as he descended. Two of the tomes were larger, while one revealed to be only a dummy of one. The dummy was entirely out of plastic and had several thick pages in it. Marko himself had begun to read in one of the larger tomes which again hovered in front of him.
"You and your books. You really should work in a library." I joked
"Oh I do and I love it." He replied in an amused tone and continued to read in the tome
"In a small one in a town about forty kilometer north of Madrid to be exactly. Ah here we have it."
"Have what?" I asked, glad for the change in topic
"The explanation of our powers." Marko replied and let the tome swing from side to side a few times
"The powers we got in exchange for our disadvantages."
"The 'magic' you told me about?" I asked
"Yeah. Through we have no specific name for it. Magic is the name most stick to, but that's misleading." Marko replied
"Why that? The tome is hovering on it's own, isn't that the definition of Magic?" I asked
"The tome isn't hovering at all and you'll understand why in just a few minutes." Marko said
"For the basics. Our powers can manipulate objects with a specific aggregate state, which specialization differs from myth to myth. Earth myths like unicorns or manticors can easily manipulate solid states, while we can deal with gaseous ones."
"Wait wait wait. You say that we can manipulate objects of different states and you said that the tome isn't hovering on it's own." I said
"Yes and yes." Marko replied
"So you tell me that the air beneath the book is holding it?" I asked with a confused look
"Exactly. It's only thin layer, not noticeable by eye, which holds the book. The same power pushed you back earlier, if you remember." Marko explained
"And that is what you want to teach me now?" I asked
"The basics yes. I'll teach you everything you need to know and then it's up to you. It's the great part of this. You can do everything with it, that lays in its possibilities." Marko replied
"Take the tome for example. It's the most basic use for our state. An advanced use would be to lift a very heavy objects as high as we want, or to use it for precise attacks. The only restriction we have is our willpower."
"The mental exhaustion you named earlier." I replied
"Yes. In our case it's not that bad and we can train until the evening before we must stop. This has to do with our brains. You remember the explanation I gave you about the mental illness we get after a while in other dimensions?" Marko asked
"That it has to do with the different signature of this dimension." I remembered
"You said it would attack our synapses or something like that."
"The effect is because of our powers. Everyone has them but only Wayless and myths can use them. Our brain acts as drain of the dimensional energy, which supplies our power. If we are in another dimensions, it must convert the energy and that stresses the brain over time, leading to madness in a certain time. We don't have that problem in ours, because we don't need to convert the energy there." Marko explained
"But if we can use the energy of the dimension, why do we need willpower too?" I asked interested
"Because the initial energy comes from us and it's height is fixed by what state we want to affect." Marko replied
"We dragons, griffins and hippogryphs are specialized on said gaseous state. We can use the others too and do the same things, but it costs us much more willpower to do so. Every step doubles the costs and reduces the time we can interact with it."
"So if I wanted to manipulate, say stone, it would be much more exhausting as if I used water?" I asked
"Yes you guessed right. Air would be easy, while water was twice as exhausting and stone would be the double to that. There is one exception though. Fire, in any form, has always the cost of the second step and is completely unusable by the water myths."
"Ok, makes sense I guess. How is it in human form? Does this work in it too?" I asked
"It does. But you lose the support of the dimensional energy, because it is used to maintain your form." Marko replied
"You must support your power solely from your willpower and that is exhausting, even while only using our state."
"And how do use it?" I said wondering
"That's the difficult part. Starting what you want is easy, but to maintain it you have to learn how to think on two lanes." Marko explained
"Pardon me?" I asked confused
"Like breathing you must learn to do it without thinking about it, so it doesn't distract you from anything else." Marko said
"Would be stupid to make a tome hover and than not be able to read out of it, because you have to concentrate on keeping it up all the time. Let's try it on the dummy. Concentrate on it and let it hover in front of your head. We'll continue if you manage that."
The dummy tome suddenly flung around and landed on the floor in front of me. Marko went to the other side of the room in the meantime and laid down, while continuing to read in the two tomes he had with him. I myself laid down in front of the dummy and had absolutely no clue how to begin.
Marko did tell me that concentrating and starting would be easy, but yet nothing happened as I starred on the dummy for a while. Every concentration on my part was only a exhausting and boring wast of time. The thought that Marko did it himself wasn't helping much, as I didn't know how to do it myself.
The only thing that changed over the time I laid there was my enthusiasms. Which was gone after few hours and replaced by pure frustration. I even started to growl at the dummy from time to time and sometimes threw it in the air for whatever reason. The number of dents of the dummy, which already had a lot, grew over the time and was only interrupted as Marko came closer.
"Made any progress so far?" He asked
"Not really. Watching someone who can do it and doing it yourself is a huge difference." I sighed
"At least I'm not the only one with this problem. There were already a number of dents on it, so I guess you, or your predecessor, had the same problem."
"A few from are from the last circle, a few were from the circle before. Who knows how old it is." Marko replied with a melancholy voice
"Bad topic?" I asked cautiously
"It's a reminder for me. Last circle had two dragons, Me and Arthur. He was a bronze dragon and a very cheerful personality, you would have liked him. Was a great flier too, but had his problems in combat training." Marko explained while looking at the dented dummy
"He would have been your teacher, hadn't it been for the Others. His hideout was one of the many that got attacked over the last years. He and every one in there didn't make it."
"I'm sorry." I said after short silence
"Shouldn't have talked about the dents."
"You didn't know, but I appreciate your sympathy." Marko replied and continued after a few seconds
"Lets return to your problem. Have you concentrated on the dummy?"
"Yeah, more or less. I mean I want to let it fly, don't I?" I replied
"Yes that's right, but it's not the dummy you want to focus on. Remember that we use air to lift it. Try to imagine a paper, out of air, that's lying under the dummy and then imagine that said paper lifts it." Marko suggested
"And that will work?" I asked
"Would I give you an advise, if it wouldn't?" Marko replied
"Go on try it."
Not really assured that it would work, I started to imagine what he told me. A paper, made of air, that laid under the dummy. Sounded strange enough to work, if it should work I mean. I was about to imagine that the paper should go upwards, as I felt a small, almost unnoticeable, sting in the back of my head. The distraction was strong enough to push the image away and left there thinking what it was.
"See, you can do it." Marko said, which confused me. But he was right the dummy had moved, only slightly to the right, but it had moved.
"Felt something, while doing it?"
"I would describe it a small sting at the back of my head. At least it felt so." I replied
"Great. That's good. Now try it again, but ignore the sting this time." Marko said
Yet again I imagined that paper and as before I felt the sting as I tried to lift it. This time though I stayed focused and lifted the paper as strong as is could. The outcome was, well, unexpected. The tome did hover for a moment, but then suddenly jumped upwards and landed several meters away.
"Ha. Congratulation, that's it. Now it's up to you to control the strength of your thoughts." Marko cheered
"Wasn't that difficult, was it?"
"The advise was great yes. But couldn't you just said it as I started?" I asked
"You sat there and concentrated on the dummy for hours. Concentrate this hard in combat and you'll be fine." Marko replied laughing
"So essentially we started the 'Magic' training just now?" I sighed
"Count it to the training too. Doesn't matter if it is combat or magic, both need concentration and therefore was necessary to train." Marko explained
"Now try to let the dummy hover before you and try to turn the pages if you think you can do that."
The hover part took the rest of the day, by which I was able to hold the dummy in the air for a while. I even managed to turn a few pages, but was eventually to exhausted to continue. The sting, as Marko explained, was a bit of my willpower that was used to initiate my power. It grew worse over the time and did hurt a lot as we finished the lesson shortly before dinner.
"You don't really have to worry about using to much willpower." Marko explained
"The worst thing that could happen would be, that you can't use your power until you rest and a massive headache the next day."
"Speaking out of experience?" I laughed
"Mostly." Marko chuckled
"Don't try to use it until you rest today, else you might know how I felt."
"The itching of my closing wounds is enough for today." I answered, while scratching a point were Marko had buried his claws into, while we were fighting
"I know how you fell. Well, that's all for today. Tomorrow we'll fly again, deepen the training in your power and if we should have time fight a little." Marko replied, sending all three tomes back to where they belonged
"See you tomorrow." I said and walked towards the door.
"Ah Rob before I forget it." Marko said
"Yes?" I asked as I opened the door
"Wait for me at the door for the roof tomorrow and bring the half dragons with you." He replied
"Ok." I answered and left the library afterwards
The half dragons were standing in the hall, much to my surprise as I stepped into it and my arrival didn't go unnoticed. I wasn't even three steps away from the library as they accompanied my.
"Hello Rob. Finished your private training?" Monica asked
"For today. And the same tomorrow." I faked a shudder
"And an additional flight lesson for us all."
"Really?" Jessica asked
"Does that mean we can watch Frank crash into the water?"
"What?" Frank asked shocked, to which we all laughed
"You'll see. Flying is a bit more difficult as it seems as bystander." Linh answered with a smile
"Through the reward is amazing if you make it."
"And what did you do the rest of the day? I mean after being beaten up by Jim." I asked
"Mostly relaxing and a few hours of history." Monica replied
"It was mostly the same, we did yesterday. Only deepened. And you?"
"Tried to let a tome fly." I replied, sending the others in surprise
"Let a tome fly?" Jessica asked
"Call it like you want, but yes. I let a tome fly in front of me in the end." I replied
"And no, I wont show it to you. Marko told me something about a headache if I overuse it and I would like to avoid it. Tomorrow perhaps."
"Is it so exhausting?" Frank asked
"Yes it is. And the fighting before that was also." I yawned, as we went past Stefan and my room and turned to the hallway that would lead us to the canteen
"Something to eat would be nice now."
"You aren't the only one with that wish." Monica said
"I could eat a cow."
"I ate one this morning. Was tasty." I smiled as we arrived at the canteen floor, which was pretty full by now
We stopped as we saw something new in the left one. The whole canteen was full, yet not one human was in sight. It was filled with werewolves, all with different fur colors. The classical description of them did fit perfectly in every detail. Wolf head, broad shoulders, digigrade stance, the typical tail and completely cover in fur. Though the half had a less bulkier and looked a lot more agile.
Frank and the dragonesses went for the left canteen, while I returned to my place in the right. Which once again was occupied by the griffins and strangely enough two werewolves, who sat on our regular place. Both looked like the agile type with minor differences in size and shape. The right one was larger as the left and had gray fur, while the left had a bit shorter snout, an slimmer build and brown fur. They waved as I came closer and I greeted as I arrived.
"Hallo you both." I said
"Tanja and Nick I presume?"
"Whats left of them." The right one joked with the voice I heard as I asked if they needed help earlier
"But yes. New and improved."
"And still absolutely no sense for humor." The left one giggled, revealing to be Tanja
"Hello Rob, don't mind Nick. He is a bit grumpy since the change."
"You tell me. That wasn't one of the best surprises to go to sleep the one day and awaken as werewolf the next. I had something different in mind." Nick growled, laid his ears back and slightly showed his teeth
"That's so cute when you do that." Tanja laughed
"That explains, why you didn't show up this morning." I said as Martin arrived with our food, this time only half a cow for me and two chicken for each of them
"Or the reply as I checked a second time."
"We were to embarrassed to show our self. Standing around in the buff only covered by fur." Tanja said
"Well at least you show yourselves now. Would be boring to eat alone. Besides, did anyone of you see Stefan?" I replied
"Not today. Poor guy, hope he can speak when he returns." Nick answered, while eating his first chicken
"By the way, what happened to your shoulder?"
"Training with Marko. Got a bit bloody in the middle, but I'm fine. Fast healing has its advantages." I replied while examining my shoulder
"And how was you first day as werewolves?" I asked and continued to eat my cow
"Not so different as before. Walking was a bit awkward at first, which you probably heard as you stood before or door." Tanja replied, thinking about it
"Well eating is as before, though I still have to get used to the snout."
"Not to speak of the tail. You wouldn't believe how often I sat on it accidentally." Nick added, still slightly grumpy
"And the new senses still are a bit overwhelming. I understand now how you felt as you changed."
"See it from the good side. You still have hands." I joked and ripped an demonstrative big junk from my meal with my snout out, which made Nick grin a bit
"Well at least someone has to have some manners here." He replied, while Tanja was busy to scarf down the second chicken
"I see. Very civilized." I laughed as Nick glared at Tanja, who only shrugged to this
The topic changed to a few times of the remaining dinner, including the differences the werewolves had. The bulkier type was more of a brawler while the slimmer type, to which Nick and Tanja belonged, was more for fast strikes and scouting. Though both were excellent for guard duties, as their boost senses were difficult to come by.
I learned that this were the traditional roles the werewolves had through the time, which had changed in the last decades as new technologies and situations were showing up. It was up to the person what he or she wanted to do and it went well so far. What hadn't changed was, that at least one was at every hideout to warn the inmates if something was wrong.
It was interesting to listen to and we sat there for a while until several new noises filled the room. The noises were silent at first, but got a lot louder after a while. Most of the werewolves noticed it at first, closely followed by the griffins and me. It was difficult to tell what it was exactly, as it was a mix of noises. The one I could make out was the clicking of claws on the floor, which sounded like the ones I made as I changed, but the other remained a mystery until the first figures arrived on the floor. It were the hippogryphs.
The first thing I could see was the head of an eagle. The eagle part continued downwards into the torso and back it's back where its wither was. From there on followed the body of a horse, leaving it with hoofs in the back half and claws in the front half. The wings were amazing to look at, in contrast to mine, being completely feathered. The whole body ended in a combination of a eagle and a horse tail, of which the eagle made the upper part. Both tails were about equal in length as it seemed. The coloration, the eagle part was golden and the horse part brown, of them was almost identically with a few differences in tone and intensity.
They were standing there for a short minute as the continued their way and headed towards our canteen, where they split up into smaller groups as they searched for free places to sit at. Most had their places, while one hippogryph made it's way into our direction and stopped in front of us. The eagle part of it was in a very deep tone of gold while the horse part went almost in the red spectrum. I couldn't tell how, but the way it looked told me that it had a question. Tanja was the first who made the conclusion as she asked.
"Stefan?" Which the hippogryph replied with a strong nod of it's head and immediately shrieked in surprise as Tanja jumped to him and gave him a big hug.
"I told you I would when you change. Nice feathers by the way" She smiled and let loose of Stefan, who sat on the free place opposite to me.
It gave me the opportunity to peak a bit over various details of him in his new form. While being larger than the griffins he was still way below mine. About one and a half I would say. The beak Stefan had mentioned yesterday indeed looked as if it could some serious damage if he would he someone with it, not to speak of the claws. The change from eagle to horse was interesting. Despite knowing where the eagle ended and the horse started, it was difficult to pinpoint were the change began or ended. It was one flowing line of feathers which went to fur without making any break.
Nick and Tanja too were both looking at Stefan, who by now had this annoyed look on his face.
"You doesn't really like being the center of attention, do you?" I asked Stefan, who once again nodded
"Man that must be so annoying to not being able to speak." Nick said to which Stefan first nodded and then shook his head
"Which one. Yes or no?" He asked confuse, to which Stefan repeated the motion
"I think he means both." Tanja guessed, to which Stefan nodded
"Ah I get it. He isn't able to speak with us, but he is able to speak with the others. Marko told me that, but I kinda forgot." I said
"With the griffins too?" Nick asked, to which Stefan once again nodded
"And the last one." Martin said as he approached with a big basked, which contained a mix out of grain and different chunks of meat. We tried not to laugh, but it was very difficult to conceal it, leaving us with a big grin on our faces. Stefan rolled his eyes to that and began to try eating it, which widened our grins a second time.
It was funny to look at as we continued to speak about different thinks, to which Stefan nodded from time to time. We tried our best to include him as best as possible, keeping in mind to ask questions which could be answered with yes or no. This went on for half an hour until Stefan was finished.
We left the canteen shortly after with Tanja and Nick between me and Stefan so we wouldn't block the view for anyone, though we took most of the hallway to do so. Eventually we walked in pairs Stefan and Tanja in front with me and Nick following. It was strange to think about this. Half a week ago I didn't know that Dragons or else exist and now I'm one and was accompanied by several other myths.
Tanja opened our door as we arrived and we said our farewells and wished a good night as I closed the door behind us. With Stefan being that big now, the room felt a lot smaller then before and I understood why we were only two per room. I went for the bath to wash the fat of my claws and teeth while Stefan simply went to his bed. He was already sleeping as I returned, laying upright while his head laid on his claws. Curling up on my bed I myself was asleep fast, exhausted from the day.