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"He's Not the Only One" AU
Topic Started: 23 Jul 2020, 22:02 (9219 Views)
BooksAreLikeDragons
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Deadly Nadder

Magin stared at him, his blue eyes narrowed, and for a moment, Cadell didn't think he was going to say anything.
"When I was five years old, my mother and father were murdered by soldiers," he said eventually. "They sold me into slavery, and I met Lucretia. Corvus bought us." He turned around to show the black raven tattoo on the back of his neck, tracing his finger over the mark. "We were trained to fight as challengers for a decade, and this year, we were chosen to travel to the Great Arena to kill for the entertainment of the Emperor. But we escaped."
"Why?" Cadell asked again.
"I would rather die freely than live in chains."
Cadell turned away, ashamed. When he looked at Magin again, his eyes were burning with fury. "Coward," he spat.
Cadell felt his own anger rise, but it died when he realised that the boy was speaking the truth. "You're right," he said quietly. "I am."
He wasn't a slave, but he was beholden to Drago all the same, and he was too terrified to disobey him. Cadell considered what Magin had said, and he thought of Ottar, probably being led to his death at this very moment. The former Dragon Hunter had decided to die for what he believed in rather than live a life working for evil. Maybe that was true bravery.
For the first time, he felt a sense of respect towards the young man who was supposed to be his enemy, and he realised what he had to do. Taking a key from his pocket, he inserted it into the door of Magin's cell and unlocked it, entering the space.
The boy eyed him warily. "What are you doing?"
Cadell leaned down to unlock Magin's chains with the key, and when it was done, he stood up. "Come on," he said. "We're going to save him."
Books are like dragons... if we do not believe in them, and read them, they will cease to exist.
How then will we learn the language and understand the stories of the dear dead ghosts of the past?

โ€”Cressida Cowell, How to Fight a Dragon's Fury


๐–๐ž ๐œ๐š๐ง ๐๐จ ๐ญ๐ก๐ข๐ฌ. ๐˜๐จ๐ฎ ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ฆ๐ž. ๐€๐ฌ ๐จ๐ง๐ž.
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NightLightNadderWhip
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Night Fury, Light Fury, Deadly Nadder, Razorwhip hybrid

"Hold up, gang." Hiccup's voice was barely above a whisper as he held up his hand in a halting gesture. The island was now clearly visible. It was made of sheer black rock with distinct blue icicles jutting out randomly, the mark of a Bewilderbeast. "We should do some recon before we go in so that we know what we're getting ourselves into. Astrid and I will go in straight ahead. Fishlegs and Eira, you take the left side, Snotlout, Ruff, Tuff, you'll go right. And be stealthy, we don't want these guys to know we're here." He said that last part while glaring at the twins. "We'll meet back here in an hour." And with that, he urged Toothless up into the clouds where he would be hidden from view.
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BooksAreLikeDragons
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Deadly Nadder

Magin followed Cadell as they left the prison, staying close to the shadows where the torches โ€” and the guards โ€” wouldn't reveal them.
"So, before we save Ottar, I don't suppose we could take a short detour to get Lucretia?" Magin asked.
Cadell furrowed his red eyebrows, remembering her name, but unable to recall who she was.
"Lucretia," he said, thinking. "One of the prisoners we โ€” I mean, the Dragon Hunters โ€” captured." A smirk began to spread across his face. "Your girlfriend?"
"No," Magin growled indignantly. "I'm just close to her. Like I told you, our master Corvus bought us both. I grew up with her."
"Well, alright," Cadell replied in a tone that clearly meant he didn't believe him, still with his infuriating smile.
"Does that mean yes?"
He sighed. "Fine. But it'll mean we'll have less time, so we need to hurry."
Cadell led the way, since he'd known this place for most of his life, and Magin walked behind, not wanting to go in front and have his back to him, just in case he had a change of heart and decided to use the dagger in his belt. If that happened, Magin could probably disarm him and kill the boy with the blade, as he'd been taught in his training, but Cadell was larger, older and stronger than him.
Magin heard the shouts of men, and both of the boys tensed, but the soldiers were thankfully far away. He felt the cold north wind stinging his face, in defiance of the fact that it was summer โ€” or at least what passed for it in the Archipelago โ€” and he smelt woodsmoke drifting from the furnace of one of the forges. He bit the inside of his cheek nervously, hoping that they would find Lucretia soon, and he tasted blood inside his mouth.
Eventually, he saw another prison in the distance, which was patrolled by guards. His stomach sank.
"It's fine," Cadell said, noticing his scared expression. "I've got this." He grabbed Magin roughly by the arms and went over to one of the soldiers with an arrogant swagger, a grin on his face.
"Cadell," the man observed, glaring at Magin in disgust. "What do you want?"
"Drago ordered me to bring the prisoners to him. He wants this boy here, and the blonde girl."
The guard smiled cruelly. "Very well. I'll get her." He opened the door and entered the prison, with Cadell following behind him.
"What about the boy?" the second soldier asked, glancing nervously at Magin's unbound hands. "Shouldn't you tie him up?"
"Oh, don't worry," Cadell said airily as he walked inside and disappeared. "I'm sure you'll be able to handle him."
Before the man could do anything, Magin charged, knocking him to the ground and placing his hands around his throat. He tried to shout for help, but Magin kept squeezing his neck, and eventually the guard went limp, unconscious.
Magin stood up and went into the prison, where he saw Cadell near one of the cells, next to the soldier, who he had knocked out.
"Lucretia," he called softly, his voice echoing.
The girl inside the cell lifted her head. Her hair was matted, and she was chained to the wall by her wrists. "Magin?" she whispered.
Cadell moved into view, and her green eyes narrowed. "You," she snarled.
"It's alright," Magin said. "This is Cadell. He's going to help us."
Cadell took the key hanging from the unconscious soldier's belt and used it to unlock the door of the cell, then removed Lucretia's chains. Magin walked over to her, and she hugged him. Cadell opened his mouth to say something, but he closed it again when Magin shot him a glare.
Books are like dragons... if we do not believe in them, and read them, they will cease to exist.
How then will we learn the language and understand the stories of the dear dead ghosts of the past?

โ€”Cressida Cowell, How to Fight a Dragon's Fury


๐–๐ž ๐œ๐š๐ง ๐๐จ ๐ญ๐ก๐ข๐ฌ. ๐˜๐จ๐ฎ ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ฆ๐ž. ๐€๐ฌ ๐จ๐ง๐ž.
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NightLightNadderWhip
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Night Fury, Light Fury, Deadly Nadder, Razorwhip hybrid

Ottar gritted his teeth as he tripped on a loose stone and sent the collar around his neck lurching forward, the needles slicing their way further into the back of his neck. By now all the venom in them had been pumped into his veins, but no one bothered to take it off.
The immediate effects were gradually wearing off, and he had regained some of his independent thinking. But he was still seeing things in a bit of a haze and drowsiness was starting to overtake him. More than once, his foot had been trod on, or he had been poked with a sword, or just shaken violently until he woke up.
He blinked several times as he felt his eyelids growing heavy once more. He was fighting a losing battle and he knew it. Soon he would be painfully jolted awake again, and there was nothing he could do about it.
In attempt to stave off sleep, he focused on his surroundings. A difficult endeavor when things just look like blurry lumps. Despite that, he could tell they were in some long winding tunnel and--was that light? Oh no. They were nearing their destination.
He made a desperate, clumsy attempt to break free of the Hunter's grasp, but the man held strong. Ottar thought he might be cutting off the circulation in his arms. But that was the least of his problems.
He was temporarily blinded as he was shoved into the light of day. Once his eyes adjusted, he realized that his bad vision had been due partly to the low light of the cave. He still couldn't make out much detail, but at least things weren't just blobs anymore.
What stood before him seemed to be some sort of wooden contraption with ropes holding dragons to it. Grimmel's airship, he realized, a little late. The Deathgripper venom apparently still had a strong hold on his mind.
He then became aware of a voice. "It was quite nice of you to bring your dragon. I've been a bit short on Deathgrippers since that run in with Hiccup." Grimmel's words started out in a pleasant enough tone, but by the time he had finished speaking he was spitting them out.
For a moment, the words meant nothing to him. Then their gravity started to sink in. "Venomjaw!" Ottar cried. He scanned the heads of Deathgrippers, but in his current state he couldn't tell which was his dragon.
"Venomjaw, eh? Well, we'll have to do away with that name. None of the Deathgrippers get special treatment." Grimmel had regained his casual manner. "Tie him up," he then barked to the Hunters.
One of them shoved Ottar towards the airship, and once he stumbled and fell to the ground, another yanked him back to his feet. Then he started securing him to the airship.
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NightLightNadderWhip
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Night Fury, Light Fury, Deadly Nadder, Razorwhip hybrid

Once Magin let go of Lucretia's embrace, Cadell said, "Now if we can get going before these guys wake up," he gestured to the unconscious guards, "that'd be nice. Got any other detours you want to make?" He addressed that last part to Magin in particular.
The boy shook his head. "No. But don't you think we should tie them up?" He kicked one of the guards gently with his boot.
Cadell conceded the point. Taking some rope hanging from a peg, he bound their hands, then gagged them.
In a combined effort, the three of them shoved the two guards into the cell Lucretia had been held in.
Cadell slipped the key into its lock, trapping the hunters inside. Afterward, he put the keys in his own belt and, unnoticed by the others, looped the remaining rope around his belt as well.
"Alright, let's go. We need to make up the time we lost securing those guards," he said, setting off at a brisk pace. He had been tempted to say, "the time we lost coming here," but thought better of it. Best not to annoy Magin. He knew the foreign boy was a much better warrior than himself, and he was pretty sure the girl was too.
As they ran, concealed in the shadows, they all heard the sounds of men calling to each other. At first they were inarticulate, but then Cadell could've sworn he heard someone say, "Where's the prisoner?" His heart leapt into his throat. They must've noticed Magin's cell was empty.
"Come here," he hissed, grabbing Magin and Lucretia by the wrists and pushing them against the wall.
"What are you doing?" growled Magin, eyeing Cadell's dagger.
"Shut up!" He took the rope from around his waist.
"Oh no you don't!" Lucretia cried, about to attack the boy, but she stopped when she heard the voices again, closer this time.
"You have to trust me," Cadell insisted. "There's too many of them. This time, if they smell something fishy, it won't be so easy to dispose of them."
Reluctantly, the two allowed their hands to be loosely bound behind their backs, just tight enough to give the hunters a false sense of security, as long as they didn't look to closely.
Cadell then shoved them in front of him and put on his smug facade. And just as he did six burly hunters rounded the corner.
The head of the group stared down at Cadell. "What do you think you're doing with the prisoners?"
The boy seemed to take no notice of his gruff manner. "Drago wants to see them."
"Are you sure you can handle them, boy?" the hunter asked.
Cadell held back a scowl. The comment had obviously been a crack about his height and slight build. The other hunters were constantly getting on him about it. "I think I can handle two prisoners who can barely move thanks to a little bit of Deathgripper venom," he said icily. "Now if you'll excuse me? You know exactly how Drago gets when people don't execute his orders in a timely manner."
The hunter grunted, motioning for his companions to follow him, and they continued on their way.
Letting out a pent up breath, Cadell unwound Magin and Lucretia's binds once the hunters were out of earshot. Then the trio continued on their way.
Cadell easily picked up the trail Grimmel's hunters left on the dirt floor. They were a large party; plus it helped that he knew Ottar's tracks would be shuffled and close together because of the Deathgripper venom.
The three of them soon found themselves traversing through a long, winding tunnel. All the way, Cadell was hoping they wouldn't run into any more hunters. It would be ten times more difficult to fight in that confined space.
To his massive relief a light started edging its way towards them. They ran, light-footed, across the last stretch, stopping at the opening and flattening themselves against the wall. Another weight was lifted from Cadell's shoulders when he saw that Grimmel's airship was still parked there on the ground. "Okay," he whispered. "I'm going to free one of those dragons, get the hunters distracted. Then, Magin, you go in and free Ottar. Lucretia, you stay here as backup, just in case something goes wrong."
The others nodded. "Try to find his dragon," Magin put in. "It'll save us time. His name's Venomjaw and he's got a red stripe across his back."
"Good thinking." Cadell took a deep breath and started to edge forward. If he went through with this there would be no turning back. He'd be known as the traitor for life. Somehow though, it didn't phase him the way it used to. He was sick and tired of Drago, and even more fed up with the way he treated his soldiers.
He cast a quick glance at the hunters. Most of them surrounded Grimmel and watched as two others tethered Ottar to one of the airship's vertical poles.
Slowly, quietly, he inched away from the shelter of the tunnel on hands and knees. Then he dove for cover under the nearest Deathgripper's wings. Inclining his head to study the dragon, he saw the telltale markings Magin had told him about. He reached out and unfastened the cruel headpiece that kept venom flowing into the poor dragon's system.
A few moments later, Venomjaw's pupils dilated. The poison no longer had a hold on him. But when he saw Cadell he growled.
"No, boy, no," the ex-dragon hunter pleaded in a hushed whisper. He placed his hand on the dragon's head to calm him. Then, eyeing Venomjaw warily, he unsheathed his dagger and sliced the ropes attaching him to the airship. "Go get 'em," he pointed to the hunters, who were starting to board the airship.
The dragon let out a piercing roar and flapped into the air.
Cadell saw the hunters looking up and heard their startled exclamations. He could see movement from behind them, Magin, he realized. Soon the boy emerged, slinking towards Ottar.
But then disaster struck. Venomjaw spewed his flammable acid onto the deck of the airship, sending Grimmel and his men diving out of the way. One of those hunters slammed right into Magin, and the boy went sprawling on the ground. When the hunter recovered his footing, he grabbed Magin roughly by the arms. No matter how good a warrior he was, the boy was no match for the unfairly advantaged giant and his iron grip.
Too late, Cadell caught Lucretia's impulsive move forward to protect her friend. Three of the hunters rounded on her and quickly seized her.
Suddenly, Cadell felt a strong loathing of himself. Did he really used to act like these scum? With an effort, he pushed the self-hatred aside. He could deal with that later. The real question was, how was he supposed to free his friends?
There was a clicking noise behind him. His stomached lurched and he slowly turned around. Facing him was a loaded crossbow.
"Well, well," Grimmel gloated. "It seems Drago has a little traitor of his own."
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NightLightNadderWhip
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Night Fury, Light Fury, Deadly Nadder, Razorwhip hybrid

Hiccup and Astrid flew high above a system of tunnels. "That looks like an ideal spot to hold prisoners," Hiccup observed. "Wonder if they got Whispering Deaths to dig it?" He muttered the last part more or less to himself.
Suddenly he heard a dragon roaring. "That sounded like a Deathgripper!" Just as he said it, a black and red dragon rushed into the skies, spewing its acid back down on the ground.
Taking out his spyglass, Hiccup nodded once. "It's Venomjaw." He urged Toothless forward, with Stormfly at his heels.
When the two dragons cleared the tunnels they stopped, hovering in the air as their riders assessed the situation.
Hiccup, still peering through his spyglass, said, "Looks like the Hunters have Magin and Lucretia, and Ottar is tied to...something." Those burning wooden planks looked familiar, but he couldn't place where he had seen them before. Surveying the rest of the situation, he pursed his lips. "They have more Deathgrippers," he said, the surprise evident in his voice, "and quite a few men. I think we should get the gang back together for this one." Then he patted Toothless' head. "Do it, bud."
Toothless angled his head upward and shot a plasma blast into the air. It promptly exploded in the air like a firework.
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