“That explains the deer.” I wouldn’t say I was surprised that Utori had planned my removal. Though I wasn’t fond of the thought of her forgetting I was on her back and crush me when she laid down. She may have been mad at me, but we both knew she could never stay mad at me for very long. We were a team after all, and closely bonded through our ordeals. If she never forgave me, I doubt we’d be as effective as we were.
I placed my palm against the short grass, the morning dew making the blades damp. As I started to push myself to sit up, something hard and heavy hit my side, sending me back down onto my back with a huff. Ok, that hurt a little. I always prided myself on fast reflexes and I rolled to my hands and knees with the momentum of the fall, head swiveling for the attacker. What did I see? A happy little dragon prancing away. My face held shock at first, but soon softened into a smile and a laugh escaped me.
“Little devil!” I mused, plopping back down on my behind. I should’ve seen the little guy coming. Perhaps I wasn’t as observant as I thought? Maybe it was just the sleep. I took the wrapped food when it was handed to me, my stomach growling at just a glance at it. I wasted no time to dig in. Alright, it wasn’t as bad as I thought. She was half decent at preparing food, had to admit. I nodded my thanks to the woman, and when she sat down next to me, I had a bad feeling I was about to get scolded or something. What else was new? It was not what I expected.
I threw a glare at my dragon immediately at the mention of wards. You told her?
Her amber eyes met mine as she sat down, tail wrapping neatly around her feet. You take no caution. I thought she would talk sense into you.
With a groan, I turned my attention back to Diria, pulling a knee up to lean my forearm against as I ate. “You are not ready to control a ward, let alone cast one,” I took another bite of the leathery meat. “It’s meant to protect your mind from those who wish to find you or invade it. My energy wasn’t taken from warding you, but it was from warding myself.” I swallowed the meat and took another bite. “The king knows I’m gone. He’s looking for me. Each time he tries it hits my defenses. I can handle it.”
“The bond is more complicated to explain,” I paused to think of where to begin. This was an easier topic to talk about. I held up my right hand to show off the spiral mark left on the palm. “This mark is the Gedwëy ignasia, and it’s the physical symbol of the bond upon being chosen. It’s where you channel your magic, like the healing spells I casted. Your minds connected when he hatched, and bonded you for life. So long as he lives...you’re immortal.“ It was a crazy thought, to be immortal. To live forever and see what the world has to offer while staying young. Yet being a Forsworn...that was a different story.
“You get faster and stronger, not as much as the elves of course, and access to magic. The dragons were always magical creatures, but they could never use it.” I finished up my breakfast before I got to the unpleasant parts. “But it has downfalls. The king used to use pain to train me, but he didn’t hurt me. He hurt Utori, and I obeyed. This was only if I wouldn’t listen, but it hurt...you can feel their pain, and their death. I’ve never heard of a dragon living after the Rider dies...but a Rider has a chance to live if the dragon dies. Galbatorix lost his dragon when he was young and was driven mad. Most Riders lose their minds and their morals if they aren’t strong enough.”