Chapter 3: Half Home
It was around noon when Ragnarok and I arrived at Vulcan. I remember seeing the place when we were flying. The sheer amount of lava that surrounded the village is what amazed me. There were at least a dozen lava flows that ran down the side of the mesa. On the flat of the mountain, pools of molten rock littered the area. There was even a lake of lava that seemed to have an island in the center of it.
When the massive dragon and I landed, many other dragons were about to great their king, until they noticed me.
"What is that, doing here?" said a male dragon, pointing a claw at me.
All the other dragons were definately taller than me. But not as tall as Ragnarok. Maybe about three quarters of his size. Male and female alike, the dragons all came in different colors. Some younger dragons began approaching, they were about my size.
"She," the king dragon said, "Is my daughter, and is the princess of this land."
I winced at the introduction. Never have I ever not wanted attention, until now. All of the dragons turned to look at me. I gave an embarrassed grin as my ears flopped to the sides of my head.
"But Ragnarok! That must mean-" said a female dragon with yellow scales
He interrupted her thought with a nod. I was curious about what she was going to say.
"Please, everybody," it seemed so foreign when he said everybody, "return to whatever you were doing."
They slowly returned to wherever they'd came from as Ragnarok leaned over towards me.
"It is time to give you the tour." he said with masked cheerfulness.
I remembered my hatred towards him and then turned away from him with a "Hmph!". He shook his head at my stubbornness and walked of, causing the ground to mildly rumble with every step. With nothing else to do, and no knowledge of where anything was, I hurried after him.
We both walked for a while until we came past a large cave.
"This is the Rest Cave. It's basically where everyone sleeps. We'll have to pick out an alcove for you later."
I simply stared at the cave. It looked more like a giant pod or bubble. How the entire population of Vulcan could sleep in there, I hadn't a clue. Unless there were underground tunnels, there was no possible way.
Ragnarok continued moving. I followed as we stopped near a sort of bonfire circle. There was a strange hut a few feet away from the central fire pit.
"This here is the king's room. Most of my work as king is done here. And in front of it is the Dancing Circle. We hold our evening gatherings here."
"What kind of gatherings?" I asked, my curiosity becoming to immense to be held back by my foalish silence.
"You'll see tonight." he said.
He seemed happier since I'd just spoken after my long spell of silence. That only made me angrier.
"King Ragnarok! Our scouts returned with some important news!" exclaimed a dragon that came out from the King's Room.
"I'll be right back, Wisp." he said as he hurried over to the hut.
It felt rather awkward, just standing there. I looked around, hoping to find something to occupy my time.
"So your name is Wisp, huh?" said a female voice behind me.
I turned and saw three dragons standing behind me. The one that was closest to me was the one speaking. She had purple scales with red spines and eyes to match. They seemed younger than the other dragons, possibly adolescent.
"But, of course, that isn't the real topic here. The real topic is "Why is a PONY in a dragon village." she said with much distaste.
"Um... Well considering that I'm Ragnarok's daughter, and a half dragon, I should be at least half at home here." I struggled to say daughter.
It seemed like the meanness that she had in her voice had melted away.
"Oh my goodness! I had no idea how high ranking you were! Please excuse my rudeness, Princess Wisp."
"Just Wisp is fine." I didn't really like the title.
"Y-yes, of course. I'm Ophiucha, by the way."
"Its nice to meet you." I said extending my hoof.
"Likewise." She took my hoof in her claw and shook it.
After we shook...appendiges, a strange look of puzzlement came over Ophiucha's face.
"Hmm... I sense that we will have a deep, meaningful friendship."
"Huh? How can you sense something like that?"
She smiled, "Dragon sense. You'll begin to develop it soon."
Ragnarok emerged from the hut. He looked kind of stressed. But he still motioned for me to follow him and continue the tour. I quickly followed behind, saying goodbye to my new dragon acquaintance.
"Maybe we can hang out sometime?" she called after me.
"Maybe." I said turning and giving her a small smile.
She smiled back. But then the smile turned into shock as I continued walking.
"Wisp! Watch where you're go-!"
I didn't hear the rest of her warning. As I continued walking, I placed my hoof down, only to find empty air below it. I lost my balance and toppled over into the hole that I stepped into. I turned to look at what I was falling towards. I barely had time to open my wings before I plunged into the pool of molten lava.
Swimming in lava was definitely different than what I expected. While I thought I was going to burn up, the experience was rather fun. My immunity miraculously protected me from being burned up. In fact, the lava was actually pretty refreshing. It felt like I was in a jacuzzi rather than a hole with liquid rock in it.
I broke the surface of the lava and stared up at the faces above me. Ophiucha and her two friends stared down in surprise. Ragnarok looked down from above them.
"Holy crap! You're alive!" said Ophiucha.
I gave her a weary smile, "Can I get a little help?"
She reached a claw down and pulled me out of the pit. When I had my hooves on solid ground, I noticed little clumps of lava sticking to my fur. I shook it off as I thanked the purple dragon.
Ragnarok turned to leave and I hurried after him. We arrived at the lava lake with the island in it. When we actually got close to it, it looked more like an arena.
"This is the Arena. Most of our trainees practice fighting here."
There were a few teen dragons out on the island. Two of them, it looked like they were sparring. One was big with green scales and a yellow spine. While the other, more slender one, was light blue with a greenish spine. I focused on the blue one. Somehow, it noticed my look and turned to face me. It's eyes were half-lidded in a look of boredom. It returned its gaze to its opponent and then strode forward with monumental speed. It punched the other dragon in the jaw, causing it to collapse to the ground. The blue dragon bent down and whispered something in the defeated dragon's ear before turning away.
The king dragon and I headed towards a different area of the village after that.
Dinner was horrible. I couldn't eat a single bite. All that the dragons had was...meat. It seemed that all the dragons gathered around the Dance Circle to eat. When the cook dragons brought out the food, I nearly gagged. The ferocity of the dragons' eating made my appetite evaporate. I asked Ragnarok if there was a salad or something that I could eat. When he said there wasn't, I nearly burst out crying right there. Fortunately, dinner didn't last long, and it soon became time to...dance?
All the dragons gathered around the circle as Ragnarok stood in front of the King's Hut.
"We pray to the great lord, Aval, that he will bless our hearts with the ability to perform one of his many great dances." he said, raising his claws towards the starry sky.
Suddenly, the dragons began stomping their feet onto the ground in a rhythmic beat. There was a sound of a dragon whistling a high lead. Then the stomping ceased and replaced with snapping. Although, the sounds were amateur, the music somehow found its way into my brain, like someone was putting the sounds into my head so that I could sing and dance to it. My hips, involuntarily, began to swing to the beat. When I tried to tell them to stop, they only swung with more vigor.
The dragons burst forth in a chorus of "aahs" as a group of dragons went into the ring and began dancing. The stomping began again. I felt some unknown force pull me towards the center of the circle.
I was about to comply when I remembered that I hated this place and didn't want to be here.
I pulled my body away from the crowd of dancing and singing dragons. Every step I took away from the circle, the less the force tugged me back towards it. I walked away from the party. I didn't belong there. Ponies and dragons don't, or shouldn't, mix.
I thought of home as I lay in my stone alcove. How I missed it. How I wished to be back at home, with my sister, with my parents, and in my comfortable bed. This stone slab that I was attempting to sleep on was an honest price of hell. Any position that I laid in always caused discomfort, somehow. Sleep was a definite impossibility, so I simply lay awake, thinking of my home.
The sound of flapping wings broke me from my thoughts. There was a hole in the roof that allowed moonlight to pour in. A shadow eclipsed the light, and then it returned to normal.
"Somepony went through the hole." I thought.
I slid out of my alcove and flapped up to the hole. I peeked my head out and looked around for a sign of somepony. I spotted a dragon sitting on a rock. It was the blue dragon from the Arena. It was definitely male. He was maybe about four feet tall. He was sitting on the rock, gazing up at the moon and sighing. He had a bit of red under his eyes. I watched him for a while as he stared at the moon. Suddenly he went tense and his eyes went back to his bored half-lidded look.
"You know, I can tell you're watching me." he said
I almost panicked and dived back into the hole. But I didn't know if he was talking to me or some other dragon that I couldn't see. I looked around for another dragon.
"Yes, I'm talking to you." he said as he turned to look at me.
That's when I panicked and dived.
AN: So there it is. Short chapter, I know. But don't worry, epicness is destined to come. (that's what she said lol that failed) Next chapter will have some epic fight scenes. So stay tuned. Please comment and such!