• Published 3rd Oct 2016
  • 2,644 Views, 148 Comments

Flames - Olakaan Peliik

Coming to the ponylands: Not Planned. Being an ambassador for dragon kind: Not Planned. Finding a better place to live where my sister would be safe: Planned.

  • ...

XI - Preparations

I could see the first peaks of the Dragonlands over the horizon. Viing was next to me, standing on the deck of the Malevolence. “Best you and I fly ahead and and speak to Lord Torch before the prisoners arrive,” I said as I stepped up to the edge of the ship.

“I'll follow your lead,” Viing said, following.

Viing and I leapt off the bow of the Malevolence. The voyage was long and I had spoken with many of Viing’s siblings asking them how they would react if I nominated Viing to be the Enforcer. The brothers’ answers were all along the line of “I’d follow my brother anywhere,” while the sisters’ were, “Duh, he’s the obvious choice.”

I watched Viing from the corner of my eye. I could see him fiddling with his claws. Nervousness. That just won't do. “Nervous?” I inquired.

“Mabe a little. I’ve actually never met Lord Torch. I’ve met Ember one of the last times she came to Crater,” he said, flying up beside me. “He’s also literally the strongest dragon alive.”

“He’s been alive longer than every other dragon that currently lives,” I started. “His strength and age are what make him our leader we have today. He’s seen the good and the bad. That’s how you get wisdom.”

“I suppose.” Viing pondered my words.

I looked at the beach we were approaching. “Come on, he’s just down there.”

We lighted down on the beachfront and started walking up to the cave. I could see Lord Torch sitting up in his cave, being the colossal dragon he was. Princess Ember and Uthiik were both on a ledge overlooking where Viing and I were standing.

I bowed my head and swept my wings down and back in submission. Viing followed my movements exactly.

“Who is this you have brought before me, Speaker Krein?” Torch’s voice boomed over the beach.

“His name is Viing. My nomination for your Enforcer.”

Viing looked up at me, his mouth opening and closing wordlessly.

“Rise, both of you. Krein, come up here.”

Viing and I rose from our bow. “Stay here,” I instructed Viing. I lifted off the ground and landed on the same ledge as Ember and Uthiik.

“I see you took it upon yourself to find me an Enforcer?” Torch asked.

I looked at him with confidence. “I am not the best warrior, your Lordship. I felt that I could at least provide a candidate for you.”

“Your foresight is welcome. Fortunately for you, your candidate was also recommended by my daughter and Uthiik here. All I need now is a first claw account of how he did on this mission of yours.”

“Of course, My Lord,” I told him everything that happened in Saddle Arabia, especially how Viing handled the situation while I attended to the diplomatic part of it.

By the time my story was done the Malevolence had arrived and they were offloading the prisoners onto the beach.

Viing hadn't moved from his spot on the beach since I flew up here. Torch pondered the account of what happened. He turned to Viing. “Viing!” his voice boomed. “Come here.”

Viing jumped and flew up fast, landing beside me in a bow. “Yes, My Lord,” he stammered.

Torch produced the Bloodstone scepter from the back of his cave. “Do you swear to uphold the laws of the Dragon Lord? Do you swear to protect dragonkind both from itself and from any threat to the best of your ability, even if that means your life?”

Viing bowed his head. “I swear.”

“Very well,” Lord Torch pressed the Bloodstone scepter to his shoulder in the same way he did to me. But the burn was much more intricate. From the mark, it looked like black flames going down his foreleg covering his right claw, halfway up his neck, and around his shoulder. The contrast of blackened scales against the white looked intimidating.

Once it was done Viing’s siblings let out a mighty roar of approval that shook the ground. “Alright, settle down!” Torch roared, immediately silencing them. Torch gestured to the three captured traitors. “Viing, these first three will be the perfect for training on how to use the abilities that come with your new mark.”

“What is it you wish me to do?” Viing asked, now without a trace of nervousness. The official branding seemed to have boosted his confidence.

“These traitors must be marked,” Torch reiterated. “Place your right claw over their left eye and apply pressure. Your mark will do the rest. Simple magic really.”

Viing turned to the Ice dragoness, whom we assumed was the ring leader. “Hold her still,” he commanded his siblings.

Viing’s two largest siblings, both Stone dragon hybrids, held the dragoness’ head still. As Viing grew closer, the dragoness struggled harder. More of Viing’s siblings had to help keep her still. Once close enough Viing raised his claw up to the dragoness’ eye and applied the pressure. All of Viing’s mark began to heat up and glow like hot metal, but it didn’t burn him. For her, it was different: her screaming roar was earsplitting for anydragon, not a Shadow Dragon. I had to look away, but her screams went on and on, seemingly endlessly.

When the screaming was replaced with quiet whimpering, I dared to look. Viing had removed his claw from her face, blood dripped from the still smoking wound. The wound was, for the most part, already cauterized; her eye was still intact, and she could still blink. But now there was a permanent burn of Viing’s claw on this dragoness’ face, forever marking her as a traitor to dragonkind.

“Very good, Enforcer. That mark also allows you immediate contact with either me or Speaker Krein,” Torch instructed.

Uthiik approached me. “Krein, I believe you and I have a matter to attend to back at Crater.” He then turned to Lord Torch. “My Lord, may the Speaker and I be permitted to leave on account of some duties back at Crater City?”

“You may return to your duties,” Torch said, waving us away with a claw as the next captive was dragged over to Viing.

I bowed to Lord Torch and Princess Ember as I left. Uthiik did the same. Leaping off the ledge, we started to fly back to the city.

“So you named the city Crater?” I asked, looking over at Uthiik.

Uthiik shrugged his shoulders as we flew. “It started as a joke. Then it stuck.”

I laughed and continued on. We rounded a cliff just as another bloodcurdling roar of pain came from behind us. Uthiik and I exchanged glances, and we both shuddered before continuing on and putting what we knew was going on behind us out of our thoughts.

Uthiik and I were walking through Crater. I told him I wanted to have a look as we headed toward the docks. Truth is, I was looking for a present for Kii. I was running out of time to make her hatchday as special as I was planning it to be. According to the weather and the position of the sun, it was exactly seven days from now, and I hadn’t planned for it at all.

We had stopped by an aqueduct for a quick drink, but I was looking up the street. Olakaan’s library, or whatever, was at the end. Kii had taken an interest in her studies, and books.

“...mostly they just want you to look at some old maps to help them chart a course across the ocean.” Uthiik paused in his little monolog and stomped a claw, startling me to attention. “Are you even listening?” he scowled.

“Not entirely. Something about old maps,” I replied. “I'll meet you at the docks. I need to do something before I leave.”

I started down the carved stone street. I could hear Uthiik muttering behind me. “Young dragons and their lack of respect—” he growled as he walked off as well.

As I made my way to the library—still can't remember what Olakaan calls it—I passed dragons on the streets. They slightly but politely bowed their heads in respect. I bowed in response. No words needed saying, but mutual respect for each other was a good thing to see happening here.

I moved through the large doors of the library—this was gonna bug me—and I could hear the chattering of younglings from up ahead. It seemed that Olakaan already had a class going.

Rounding the corner to the center of the library, I saw a group of about seven younglings sitting around Olakaan, who was standing in front of a stone slab with letters and words painted on it.

Olakaan pointed to a word with his tail and the younglings recited the word verbally. “Fire, Ice, Stone, Water, Night, Day,” they all said seemingly effortlessly as he pointed to each word.

Hearing my approach, Olakaan quickly looked up at me and back down to his pupils. “Very good, young ones. You've done great for the day. Why don't you all go home to your parents and tell them what you learned?”

“Yay!” they cheered and hurried out of the library.

I watched as the little ones exited the library. “They seem eager.”

“Oh, I try. You came on a good day. It's hard to get them to stay in one place for that long.”

“I know,” I smiled, remembering a few times with Kii. “Speaking of the young ones. I had a question to ask you.”

“Ask away,” Olakaan said, picking up some books and putting them on a shelf.

“Kii’s hatchday is coming up, and it's her first time not living in fear of getting attacked,” I started. “I was hoping maybe you could help me think of something I could give her as a present. You know, something special.”

Olakaan said nothing and didn't move for a moment. “Maybe. Wait here,” he said walking down a stone path that lead farther into the ground.

I waited as instructed. I even picked up one of the translated tomes off the shelves and started to read. Something about the legend of first dragons that arrived on this earth.

Supposedly we came from a dying world that was uninhabitable. The ancients supposedly conjured a portal in the sky and we flew to this world. If it were true then how did the Stone and Sea Dragons get here? Hybrids are a thing that has only happened in the last thousand years. This legend is just a bunch of imagination from dragons looking for attention.

“These here,” I heard Olakaan’s voice as he climbed back from the catacombs of the library.

He held six books in his front talons, five in perfect condition, and one that looked new but fairly used. Using his wings as his front legs, since his normal ones were occupied by books, he made his way over to a table that I followed him over to.

“What are these?” I asked opening one up.

“Lustavdey,” Olakaan said with a straight face.

“What?” I asked, looking up from the talon script writing in the book in front of me.

“Loosely translated it means ‘Magic spell books,’” he shrugged.

“Spellbooks?” I looked at them closer and could see what he meant. Various diagrams indicating the effect of each spell on the dragon body.

“Yeah. What? You didn't think Kii was the first Magic Dragon, did you?” Olakaan asked me with an amused smile.

“Well, no,” I admitted. “But I thought there was no one to teach Kii.”

“There's not. The last Magic Dragon to exist lived over six millennia ago. She was a Shadow Dragon, the author of this one here,” Olakaan pointed out the one he was talking about.

“How long have you had these?” I asked.

“I don’t really know. I found them on my latest trip to go recover books from my father's sanctuary in the glaciers. But as far as I can tell these five are enchanted. That is why they don't show their age.” He looked at them with genuine intrigue.

I looked at the sixth book. “What's the sixth one?”

“Translation Guide,” he explained. “My ancestors have been tenders to this knowledge a long time. “We've had to translate many books to other languages many times. That is the current result.”

“Then why does it look like that?”

“Because it’s old. I just made another copy. You can have that one.” He waved a dismissing talon at the Translation Guide. He started to walk away.

“Wait a minute. You're usually really possessive over any books in your collection. Why are you letting Kii having these?” I asked suspiciously.

He started organizing books again. “Because I'm not worried about them, those books are indestructible. One of my helpers dropped them in a fire. Not a scratch as you can see.” He paused. “Also, I just feel as if she should have them. I’m not sure why. If she decides to write another one, I'd gladly give the whole collection to the next Magic Dragon that appears...if another appears.” He shrugged his wings. He threw a satchel my way for the books.

Can't say I'm a fan of that kind of thinking. Very interesting point of view though. “Olakaan, one more thing if you could come back over here.” I picked up the satchel and put the books inside.

“What’s up?” he asked pushing his glasses back toward his eyes.

“You should make a trip to Equestria sometime soon. I'm sure Princess Celestia and Princess Luna would love to talk to a keeper of knowledge such as yourself,” I said slipping the satchel strap around my wings and letting the books hang from my side.

“Perhaps. I'll think about it. Farewell, my friend.” Olakaan bowed.

I returned it. I collected Kii’s hatchday present and started to leave the… “Olakaan what was it you called this library again?” I asked turning back real quick.

“Athenaeum,” he yelled from his spot in the library.

Athenaeum, right. I need to remember that.

Instructing the Leviathan, while on my return, to Baltimare was easy enough. Now I was trying to secure a place for them to dock and the dockmaster was giving me a hard time. The Leviathan was out in the middle of Horseshoe Bay waiting. It was getting late, and from the way, this was going, I’d likely not arrive home until the following morning.

“I understand you have your ship waiting out there but in order to dock you have to be on the schedule,” the Dockmaster was saying. He was a blue earth pony with a bushy purple beard.

“There has to be some way to allow them to dock?” I asked. The Leviathan was gonna dock here whether he liked it or not.

He looked down at his clipboard on a crate. “Perhaps you could provide generous compensation?” he tried.

I hate bribery, and I was losing patience. “How about I don't leave you burnt to a crisp and call it even?” I growled as heat wafted off my scales.

The color drained from his face. He gulped and looked at his clipboard on the crate again, quickly picking up a pen and scribbled something down. “Your ship can dock over at the end of pier twenty-three,” he squeaked.

“Glad we could come to an agreement,” I smiled in a kind tone, being sure to bare my pointy teeth at him. Without waiting for a response, I flew over to Pier twenty-three.

Once I saw where it was, I guided the Leviathan in. I had one more thing to do before I could head home. We needed a place to store the cargo. I flew over a few lots and found a large warehouse that had more than enough space, and had a loft area to post a few dragons to guard the shipments.

I rented the warehouse from the terrified owner and got a set of keys. I gave one key to the captain of the Leviathan, one to each of the trio of Ice dragons chosen to stay in the warehouse, and I kept one of the keys as well as a spare. When the crew of the Leviathan were good and set up, I bid them farewell and flew toward Canterlot.

Canterlot was in sight and it was morning, which meant that Kii would likely be at school. I was having trouble thinking about what to do for her hatchday. I could cook. But I’m not the best at that: my skills at cooking amount to “roast everything.” I was currently flying over a rocky area that looked like something had been digging there.

I looked over and saw Ponyville over in the distance. An idea struck me. I hadn't seen Spike in close to over five months. I was also willing to bet he knew or knew somepony, who could help me with Kii’s hatchday. I banked and flew down to Ponyville.

I decided on the same approach as last time. I was still unsure if flying into the middle of a small town like this was a good idea, but better to air on the side of caution. Landing on the outside of the borders, I caught a whiff of pine and apple in the air. Some leaves whisked past me caught in the breeze.

I had to admit I liked the feel of Ponyville. Nice and quiet, homely feel. As I walked toward the Ponyville library, I watched the ponies of this town from afar. They all stared as I passed, but to my quiet relief, none ran from me in fear.

Finding the library wasn't hard. It was a large hollowed out tree in the middle of town. A bit hard to miss. Knocking on the door, I waited patiently.

“Coming!” came a mare's voice.

The mare in question answered the door. She was a violet coated unicorn of average size, with a purple mane with purple colored highlights. She had a kind of intellectual look about her.

“Speaker Krein. Can I help you?” she asked looking at me not with fear, but curiosity.

“Um, perhaps. Is Spike around?” I asked.

“Yes, he's upstairs. I'll go get him. You can come inside if you like, Speaker.”

I entered and closed the door behind me. “Thank you. But how do you know who I am?” I inquired as she started up the stairs.

“Spike told me about you, and your mark gives you away,” she explained before disappearing upstairs.

I looked down at my mark. I never thought that it would be a defining feature for me. To be recognized purely because I wear the mark. Well, I suppose that it happens regularly in the Dragonlands. I just never realized that it was so prominent until now.

“Krein, what brings you back to Ponyville?” Spike asked as he walked down the stairs and around to me.

I bowed politely before saying anything and Spike returned the gesture. “Well, first of all, it's good to see you, my friend,” I said.

“Same to you, Krein. But I'm guessing that there is more to your visit than that,” he said, sitting down on the floor.

I sat as well. “I am in need of assistance. Kii’s hatchday is coming up and I want to make it special for her. You think you could help?”

Spike grinned. “I sure can! There is a pony here in Ponyville who would love to throw a party for a young dragon.”

“Really? Who?”

“Her name is Pinkie Pie. Come on, I'll take you to her.” Spike stood again and started toward the door.

“See you when you get back, Spike!” the purple pony shouted kindly at Spike.

“Bye, mom,” Spike called back and then blushed underneath his scales when he realized what he said. I looked at him expectantly for an explanation. “Twilight raised me. I call her ‘Mom’ sometimes. Usually when it's just us,” Spike mumbled.

I shrugged. “Okay. I'm not here to judge you.” In actuality, I thought it was nice. I thought Spike was lucky enough to have somepony to call “mom,” even if they weren't a dragon.

Spike lead me away from the library in which he lived. Across the town square, and down a street which lead us to a sweetly colored building which Spike said was called Sugarcube Corner.

“Sugarcube Corner?” I raised an eyebrow. I could smell freshly baked bread from inside.

“The Cakes own it. Pinkie Pie lives in the loft, and works for them,” Spike explained, stepping up to the door and walking inside.

I followed him in. The place looked like something out of Kii’s fantasy books. Inside was no different. Cakes and cupcakes on display around the room. The walls were colored with browns and pinks with white trim. I waited by the door. A plump, candy blue earth pony mare with a pink mane stood behind the counter.

Spike walked right up to the candy blue mare. “Hello, Mrs. Cake. Is Pinkie Pie here?”

Mrs. Cake looked up from her logbook in front of her, she glanced my way before speaking to Spike. “Oh, hello Spike. Unfortunately no. She had the day off today and she went to spend it with Rarity at her shop. Something about ‘a new idea for a dress’ is what she said.”

“Oh, well, thank you. Have a good day.” Spike smiled warmly at her and turned back to me.

“More walking around the town?” I asked.

Spike nodded. “Just a little bit more. Rarity told me she was working on an order so I doubt they'd be going far from her shop.”

I followed him out. We walked back across the town square, past the library, through a mildly cramped street, and around a corner up to Carousel Boutique. It looked the same as it did last time I was here.

“So you ask Rarity out yet?” I asked Spike with a grin.

“Shut up,” Spike snapped without looking up.

I chuckled lightly. “That’s a no.”

“Seriously. Please,” he said as he opened the door to the shop. The bells attached the door jingled to announce our entrance.

Once we were through the door, Rarity came out from the back of the store, followed by the pinkest earth pony that I have ever seen. She had a frizzy mane that bounced up and down with every hop that she made. I could only assume that this was Pinkie Pie.

“Welcome to Carousel—oh, Spike what brings you by?” Rarity asked in her accent.

“Krein and I are looking for Pinkie. He needs her help,” Spike said.

“What—” is all I got out.

“Don't tell me! I wanna guess!” the pink one blurted.

She bounced around me in circles, making an odd “boing” sound every time she jumped. Finally, Pinkie stopped. “You wanna throw a party?!” she asked loudly.

“Uh, yeah. For my baby sister’s hatchday. She's turning five.”

“A hatchday party! One for a little dragon! Yay!” Pinkie bolted out the door.

I blinked. “Wait, doesn't she need details?”

Rarity waved a dismissing hoof. “Just leave her to it, she'll figure it out. She always does.”

“Okay…” I said slowly. “Well, I should be going. Kii will be missing me. Spike, you are invited to the party of course. You are one of Kii’s friends after all.”

“Sure!” Spike smiled. “When is it?”

“In five days.”

“I'll be there!”

I nodded to Spike as a goodbye, and I exited the shop. Lifting up into the sky once again, I headed home to Canterlot.

After hiding Kii’s present in one of the guest rooms, I had some time before having to go get Kii from the Princesses. I really needed to find somepony else to watch Kii when I go on several day trips back to the Dragonlands. The princesses have better things to do than to watch younglings.

I had decided to make a quick stop at Fancy Pants’ house. Just to kinda get a schedule of upcoming events that interested me enough to attend.

“Then after the Hearths Warming play, there is a Wonderbolt Derby being held at the stadium,” Fancy Pants finished.

“The Hearths Warming Play and the Derby are interesting enough,” I nodded. “As for the others, I'm on the fence."

“It would bode well for you to attend more events,” Fancy suggested.

“Well, the fashion show I'm definitely going to have to decline. My sister’s hatchday is that day.”

“Oh really? How old is she turning?” Fancy asked with genuine interest.

“She'll be five years of age.”

Fancy’s eyebrows raised in surprise. “Really? Most foals are not that articulate with their words until eleven or twelve.”

“Dragons grow quickly for the first five years of their life,” I explained. “After that, we start flying and are able to breathe fire. The first five years are a dangerous time for a hatchling, Normally at least.”

“And Kii is an exception to that statistic?” Fancy asked.

“She is; Kii was from our mother’s brood. If my siblings and I had not stepped in, our mother would have thrown Kii into a lava pit to die.”

“Lava pit? Does that mean you raised her from the moment she hatched?” Fancy Pants asked.

“I have,” I nodded. “I named her, found ways to feed her, carried her with me as we moved, protected her from violent dragons and various beasts. I was often viewed as weak, and a poor excuse for a dragon because I was taking care of her.” I smirked. “The few that picked fights with me quickly learned that this was not the case.”

“Ha, very good,” Fancy Pants chortled, taking a sip of his tea. “If you don’t mind I'd actually like to attend her hatchday party. Perhaps I can convince some acquaintances of mine who have foals of their own to come as well?”

“You and Fleur are welcome, but Kii only has the one friend of her age. If I start inviting random foals to her party, I think that will be the wrong thing to do,” I explained. “I should leave who gets invited to Kii. I'm only inviting the few adults she knows.”

“Yes, I suppose that would be the better course of action,” Fancy nodded, I nodded with him.

I was walking back home from the Canterlot Castle with Kii perched on my head.

“—Treasure and Amethyst Star are the meanest. They constantly pick on Hex and me,” Kii was growling adorably. I was having trouble taking her seriously.

“So?” I asked.

She slumped down on my head. “‘So’? What do I do? I want them to stop but I don't know what to do.”

“Tell an adult. If that doesn't work use your words. But never resort to violence unless they attack first,” I said firmly.

“Is that what you do?” Kii asked.

Only one way to answer that honestly. “I try.”

Kii paused and slid off my head, down my neck, and onto my back. “So. What's the plan for my hatchday this year?” she asked liltingly.

I had to downplay this a bit. “Plan? Oh, nothing big. I just figured you could invite some of your friends from class over and I could cook. How's that sound?”

“Simple, and easy, like normal,” she mumbled.

“Hey,” I bristled, a little offended.

“Sorry, that was wrong,” Kii apologized. “I meant that it's just not what I was hoping.”

“Not sure if that was better. But I'll see what else I can do. Okay?” I asked her.

She hugged my shoulders. “It's okay, big brother. Whatever you can do, and as long as you're there will make it great.”

I snorted. “Aw, you're sweet. How about we go home and build a fort out of pillows, eh?”

“Race you home!” Kii jumped off my back and hurried along the street.

I laughed as I chased after her. I really hope Spike and Pinkie Pie come through on this.

Author's Note:

I have no idea why this took me so long to finish. But it's here now, and that's what matters.


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