Fire dragons (dragon adv.., p.1
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       Fire Dragons (Dragon Adventure Series 2: Book 1), p.1

           Ben L. Hughes
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Fire Dragons (Dragon Adventure Series 2: Book 1)
Fire Dragons

  Ben L. Hughes

  Dragon Adventure Series, Jr.

  The Dragon Egg That Rolled Away

  Dragon Adventure Series 1

  A Dragon Named Splinter

  The Blue Dragon

  The Dragon Wizard

  Dragon Adventure Series 2

  Fire Dragons

  The Cave of Secrets

  The Lost Dragons of Fire Island

  Copyright 2014 Ben L. Hughes

  Edited By: Jen Hughes and LJ Cummings

  Revision Date: February 28th, 2017

  Thank you for downloading this ebook. This book remains the copyrighted property of the author, and may not be redistributed to others for commercial or non-commercial purposes. If you enjoyed this book, please encourage your friends to download their own copy from their favorite authorized retailer. Thank you for your support.

  Table of Contents:

  Series Synopsis

  Prologue

  Chapter 1

  Chapter 2

  Chapter 3

  Chapter 4

  Chapter 5

  Chapter 6

  Chapter 7

  Chapter 8

  Chapter 9

  About the Series

 

  Series Synopsis

  In the first Dragon Adventure Series, Kevin and his friends discovered that there had been an epic war between humans and Fire Dragons in a part of medieval Europe known as the Celtic realm. This series goes back in time to capture those events.

  Prologue

  In the early days, Fire Dragons ruled over a collection of islands off the coast of mainland Europe, known as the Celtic realm. The two largest islands, Ireland and Britain made up the bulk of their domain. Britain was the larger of the two and its rugged mountains on the western half of the island was home to the majority of the Fire Dragons living in the realm. Since Fire Dragons preferred the remote mountaintops, their cousins the Pigmy Dragons, and a small number of humans, lived in the lowlands below. The Pigmy Dragons kept to themselves and used their camouflage to avoid people, so no one knew of their existence. The Fire Dragons on the other claw, made no effort to conceal themselves and the humans avoided them out of a mixture of fear and respect. Since the majority of the humans were shepherds who spent their days looking after their sheep, the Fire Dragons accepted their presence and their was peace throughout the realm.

  Across the channel it was a different story. The humans living on the mainland had divided up their realm into kingdoms, and then spent all of their time fighting each other over the rights to that land. Since the Celtic Realm could only be reached by boat, the mainlanders rarely ventured over to the islands, and the Fire Dragons realm was left unspoiled for countless generations.

  All that changed one day when a prospector from the mainland discovered an forgotten gold mine on the Isle of Britain. It was a rich deposit that the Romans abandoned in haste when the heart of the empire fell under attack in 400 A.D. After they left, the mine fell into ruin and the Romans never returned due to the endless turmoil in their homeland.

  As with any discovery of gold or precious gems, hoards of fortune seekers flooded the Celtic Realm hoping to strike it rich. Unlike the peaceful sheepherders that had come before them, these men were power-hungry warlords that were used to taking what they wanted by force. When innocent blood was shed both sides claimed it was the other’s fault, it wasn’t long before the dragons and the humans were both calling for war…

  Chapter 1

  Draig paced back and forth atop mount Snowdon waiting impatiently for his brother Ironclaw to show up. It was his turn to keep watch, and like most nights, he was late.

  “Where have you been?” Draig demanded when a shadowy figure emerged out of the darkness.

  “Sorry, I was out searching for food in the lowlands,” Ironclaw replied.

  “By yourself?” Draig asked in a suspicious tone.

  “No. Razorwing and Talon were with me,” Ironclaw snorted in discontent. He hated it when Draig questioned him, and played the part of bossy older brother.

  “You expect me to believe that the three of you were just off hunting?” Draig remarked.

  “Well, we did run across a village on our way back, and Talon might have accidently set it on fire as we passed over it,” Ironclaw admitted.

  “If you keep provoking the humans, it will only lead to more attacks on us,” Draig said in an angry tone.

  “Why are you so fond of the warm-bloods? They are spreading across our island like a disease, gobbling up our resources, and claiming the land as if it was theirs to claim!” Ironclaw replied sharply.

  “I know you don’t like the humans, but attacking them will not solve the problem,” Draig replied.

  “Then what will? Razorwing told me that he saw several new castles being built near the coast, and when he flew over them, the humans shot arrows at him. Fortunately, he wasn’t injured, but clearly the time has come for us to take a stand and fight for what is ours,” Ironclaw insisted.

  “So you think a war is the best option?” Draig questioned.

  “Yes, and if you and Sapphire weren’t still opposing it, the dragon council would have the votes it needs to declare war,” Ironclaw snorted.

  “Terra is also against it,” Draig replied.

  “Not any more. When she was out on patrol yesterday, several humans attacked her when she landed near a stream to get a quick drink of water. She escaped unharmed, but it made her realize just how dangerous these invaders from the mainland really are. I have even heard that they are bringing soldiers up from the south so they can drive us out of the mountains,” Ironclaw revealed.

  “We have never had any issues with the sheepherders living in the lowlands,” Draig remarked.

  “I know, but these fortune seekers from the mainland do not respect or fear us. They want to drive us from our homeland so they can rule over the realm. You had better open your eyes brother, war is coming whether you like it or not. If you don’t believe me, go out and see for yourself. The invaders are moving up the Cothi River and building new settlements as they go,” Ironclaw said as he spat in disgust of them.

  “Alright, you have made your point. I will go south in the morning and see what they are up to. If what you say is true, then perhaps it’s time for us to relocate to the Emerald Isle,” Draig suggested.

  “You would rather tuck your tail and run, than vote for war?” Ironclaw fumed.

  “Centuries ago, when the Romans were the first to invade our land, we moved to Ireland and waited until they left. Once they were gone, we moved back, and not a single life was lost. Humans are fickle creatures brother, they come and go like the wind.”

  “You are wrong about these invaders. They are building their castles out of stone, and I am telling you that they will not leave unless we force them to,” Ironclaw insisted.

  “War is not the answer,” Draig replied.

  “Your weakness will get us all killed,” Ironclaw snapped.

  “It’s getting late and I am too tired to argue with you after being on watch for most of the night,” Draig remarked as he turned to go over to his den.

  Once Draig was gone, Ironclaw left the overlook and went down to Glaslyn Lake where Razorwing and Talon were getting a midnight snack.

  “What did Draig say when you told him about the attack on Terra?” Razorwing asked after gulping down a small fish.

  “He is still talking about relocating the clan rather than fighting for what is ours,” Ironclaw replied.

  “He is very stubborn, even for a dragon,” Razorwing remarked.

  “I know, but I did talk him int
o going south when it gets light, so he won’t be able to ignore the problem for much longer.”

  “Do you think he will change his mind once he sees how fast the humans are spreading?” Razorwing asked.

  “I’m pretty sure he won’t unless he is attacked while he is down there,” Ironclaw hinted.

  “It’s too bad you’re not the older brother, then you would be the head of the dragon council instead of him,” Razorwing snorted.

  “I know, he’s too soft and there is no time to waste. I think he needs a little push in the right direction to change his mind about relocating,” Ironclaw remarked.

  “It sounds like you have something in mind?” Talon said as he snapped his teeth in anticipation.

  “In fact I do,” Ironclaw grinned.

  “Tell us!” Talon insisted as he tore a small fish in half with his claws before eating it.

  “Our attacks on the villages are stirring things up, but what we need is something more personal, something that is sure to make my brother realize just how dangerous these humans really are,” Ironclaw smirked.

  “Stop teasing us Ironclaw and tell us your plan!” Talon snorted as he stomped around at the edge of the lake impatiently.

  “Alright, here is what we are going to do. When my brother heads south to investigate the new settlements being built near the Cothi River, we’ll attack him and make it look like the humans did it,” Ironclaw revealed.

  “Oh, you’re so evil, I love it,” Talon replied with a bloodthirsty look that cut through the darkness.

  “We can’t get away with something like that in broad daylight, he’ll have our heads,” Razorwing objected.

  “Don’t worry, my plan is fool-proof. We’re going to steal one of the human’s fishing nets, and when my brother is busy looking at the village, we’ll drop it on him from overhead. He will think the humans used a catapult to launch the net over him as he’s flying low. After he breaks free, I’m willing to bet that he will vote for war,” Ironclaw said with a menacing laugh.

  “What if he doesn’t escape the net?” Razorwing asked.

  “Then I take his place on the council, and vote for war in his stead.”

  “Where are we going to get a fishing net from?” Talon asked.

  “The Water Dragons have been complaining that the humans are fishing with nets in their waters off Aberdovey. All we have to do is get over there and borrow one before daybreak. Then we’ll continue south and intercept lizard-breath near Cothi,” Ironclaw chuckled.

  “For your plan to work we would need to leave right now, aren’t you worried that you’ll get in trouble for leaving your post?” Razorwing asked.

  “Who’s going to know? My brother and the rest of the clan are sleeping in their dens and he is the only one who gets up early. I bet we can ambush him and be back before he realizes we were gone,” Ironclaw chuckled as he took to the air.

  “Do you think we will get in trouble for helping you?” Razorwing asked as he looked over at Talon who way flying alongside him.

  “If your scales are that thin go back and take my place at the overlook while Talon and I have some fun,” Ironclaw suggested.

  “I want to come, I just don’t want to get caught,” Razorwing admitted.

  “When is the last time we have been in trouble?” Ironclaw snickered as he glided over the lowlands heading towards Aberdovey. Razorwing didn’t reply because Ironclaw always manipulated the truth so they seemed innocent whenever they were accused of some misdeed.

  When they reached Aberdovey, it was still dark out, but there were a couple of fishermen preparing their boat to go out at dawn.

  “Watch this,” Ironclaw said as he swooped down towards their vessel. A moment later a wall of fire lit up the night sky sending the men running back to the shore. Once they were gone, Ironclaw and Talon landed on the boat.

  “Where is Razorwing?” Ironclaw asked as he started yanking a single net out from a pile of them.

  “He’s circling the beach to make sure the fishermen don’t come back,” Talon replied.

  “Oh good, at least he’s making himself useful,” Ironclaw remarked sarcastically.

  “Hey, what are you Fire Dragons doing?” a large Water Dragon asked after surfacing by the shore where the boat was anchored.

  “We’re going to use this net to capture some humans,” Ironclaw replied.

  “What for?” the Water Dragon asked.

  “For food of course,” Ironclaw replied as he licked his lips in the moonlight.

  “Yuck, you Fire Dragons will eat anything,” she replied in disgust.

  “You should be thanking us for taking their nets instead of harassing us,” Ironclaw snorted.

  “If you weren’t so rude, maybe I would have,” the Water Dragon said before swimming off into the darkness.

  “Whew, that was close,” Talon remarked once he was sure she was gone.

  “Yeah, those stupid Water Dragons are so nosey. Let’s get out of here before any more of them come snooping around,” Ironclaw suggested as he carefully picked up the net so his claws wouldn’t get tangled in it.

  Once they were airborne, Talon bumped Ironclaw with the tip of his wing to get his attention.

  “What is it?” Ironclaw asked.

  “Can I go back and torch the boat?” he asked.

  “Only if you hate the humans as much as I do,” Ironclaw laughed.

  “Where is he going?” Razorwing asked after flying over to Ironclaw.

  “You’ll see,” Ironclaw replied as he circled back just in time to see Talon light the vessel on fire from bow to stern. Within minutes the entire boat was engulfed in flames and starting to sink.

  “Talon is a pyromaniac,” Razorwing said as he and Ironclaw circled overhead.

  “What was that?” Talon asked as he rejoined them.

  “I said you’re a pyromaniac,” Razorwing admitted.

  “Hey, I’m a Fire Dragon. It’s in my blood,” Talon replied as he looked back one last time to admire his handy work. The boat was almost completely underwater and what little remained was charred beyond repair.

  When the eastern horizon started to glow, Ironclaw increased his pace to ensure they reached Cothi before his brother. He knew it would take Draig most of the morning to fly from Snowdon to Cothi, but what he didn’t know was how early his brother might have left. Draig was not a lazy dragon, and Ironclaw knew that when something was bothering Draig, he would not rest until he resolved it. Whether Draig would admit it to him or not, Ironclaw could tell that his brother was worried about the humans spreading north of Cothi. If they continued up the river, it would take them into the Cambrian Mountains where dozens of Fire Dragons lived on the higher peaks. Ironclaw knew that Draig would react to any news about Cothi because of its proximity to the mountains, and it was the bait he needed to lure Draig away from Snowdon.

  When Ironclaw saw that they were within a few miles of the town of Cothi, he and his friends ascended into a thin cloud layer so that the morning sun would not give them away.

  “Did we make it in time?” Talon asked as they circled the area above the town.

  “I think so. We’ll stay up here until we either see him, or it becomes obvious that we missed him,” Ironclaw suggested as he kept an eye out for him.

  “Do you think he changed his mind and decided not to come?” Talon asked after he had been circling for a while.

  “Let’s wait a little longer,” Ironclaw glared. He could tell that Razorwing and Talon were getting bored, but they had come so far he didn’t want to give up just yet. He knew his plan would work, they just needed to give it a chance.

  “It’s getting late,” Razorwing said as he flew past Ironclaw.

  “If he doesn’t come in the next few minutes, we’ll firebomb the town and then head home,” Ironclaw promised.

  “Is that him now?” Talon exclaimed when he spotted a dragon coming in from the north.

  “Yes! Now help me unravel the net before he gets here,” Ironcla
w ordered as he changed course to intercept Draig’s flight path. As predicted, Draig slowed down so he could see what the humans were up to and never noticed he was flying into a trap.

  “Drop the net on a count of three,” Ironclaw ordered. “One, two, three.” The net twisted and turned as it fell from the sky. For a brief moment it looked like it might fold in on itself, ruining the plan, but a gust of wind righted it just before it reached Draig. The net ensnared both of his wings and he plummeted towards the ground out of control as he struggled to break free. Using his razor sharp claws and teeth, he tore the net in half. Then he extended his wings to try and slow his fall, but he was too late. A loud thud echoed through the air as he slammed into the bank of the Cothi River creating a shallow depression in the soft soil.

  “Is he dead or unconscious?” Razorwing asked when Draig failed to get up after the impact.

  “Who cares, let’s get back to Snowdon before someone notices we’re gone,” Ironclaw said without a shred of remorse. Razorwing glanced over at Talon, but he didn’t seem to be any more concerned about Draig’s condition than Ironclaw was.

  “Are we just going to leave him?” Razorwing asked in a fleeting moment of guilt as he and his friends started to go.

  “I’m not going down there,” Talon remarked after seeing a group of humans heading towards Draig with their swords drawn.

  “What about you? He’s your brother,” Razorwing remarked as he looked over at Ironclaw.

  “You can go help him if you want to, but if he realizes you were involved in any way, he’ll make sure you’re bled out on the stone of punishment,” Ironclaw warned. Razorwing gulped, and then followed after them without further comment. Even though he didn’t tell them what he was feeling as they flew back home, he regretted ever letting Ironclaw and Talon talk him into the attack. It was a mistake, and he felt bad about being part of it.

  When the three of them arrived back in Snowdon, Sapphire was perched on the overlook waiting for them. They instantly knew by the angry look on her face, that she was angry with them.

  “Where have you troublemakers been?” she asked in an irritated tone.

  “We went to the coast to see if the Water Dragons were still having trouble with the humans,” Ironclaw replied.

  “Why are you always stirring things up?” Sapphire asked as she glared at him.

  “Why don’t you mind your own business your royal blueness,” Ironclaw replied in a snotty tone.

  “You have no right to talk to me like that! Wait until Draig gets back and finds out how rude you were to me,” Sapphire snorted.

  “Good luck telling him,” Ironclaw muttered under his breath.

  “What did you say?” Sapphire snapped.

  “Nothing, I just hope I don’t get into too much trouble when my brother returns,” Ironclaw replied as he turned his back on her and walked away.

  “Is he hiding something?” Sapphire asked as she looked over at Talon and Razorwing.

  “Nope,” Talon replied before running over to Ironclaw.

  “What about you, you’re looking guiltier than usual,” Sapphire said as she eyed Razorwing suspiciously, but before he could reply, Ironclaw looked back and stared at him intently.

  “I have to go,” Razorwing replied in a timid tone. Sapphire knew he wanted to tell her something, but Ironclaw’s threatening glare had silenced him.

 
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