“What are you talking about?”
“No…” Lukas said softly at first. Then, his voice grew louder until you could clearly hear his voice escalating into a roar. “No, no, no! This wasn’t supposed to happen! Of all the people this could have happened to!”
“L-Lukas, what’s wrong?” you stammered trembling in place. Perhaps Emil was wrong about his brother not killing you after his soul parted from your heart.
Mathias looked down and made a strange grimace. It was an expression you had never expected to see on his face.
“Uh, look, I don’t know how to tell you this,” he began, “but you might be a rare form of Dragonheart.”
It took a while for your brain to process the dragon’s words before making a reaction.
“How could this happen?!” Lukas growled. “My brother doesn’t even have any powers, and on top of that, it means he’s bound to you, and that means I’ll have to watch over you two for the rest of your miserable life—”
“So....that thing Mathias said about me not being able to understand you…That was true?”
Emil blinked unsure of what to make of this situation. “The thing is, __________, you weren’t supposed to be able to understand us as dragons after I left your heart, yet here you are able to understand us as clearly as before. My power of speech was the only thing you inherited when I was in your heart, and since you have kept that ability after I parted, that would make you a Dragonheart—though it means you’re a Dragonheart without powers beyond speech.”
“This is all so confusing,” you mumbled.
“Great. Just great,” Lukas hissed.
“Hey, this is fantastic,” Mathias laughed despite the furious state of his friend. “___________, you’re the first Dragonheart I’ve ever seen. Consider yourself lucky.”
You frowned. “What about the whole marking my heart thing? Does that still apply?”
“It does,” Emil answered in place of his brother who was too angry to say anything intelligent.
“Oh. So your secret is still safe,” you said.
Your head was spinning. Only a few moments ago, Emil’s soul had left your heart, yet your ability to understand the dragons didn’t. If what the dragons said was true, then that meant you were an official Dragonheart—alas, one without any of the amazing abilities that you had heard of. Talking to dragons wasn’t too bad, nonetheless.
“How could you, a mere girl and clumsy weakling, become a Dragonheart?” Lukas snapped through his sharp teeth. “What amazing feats could you possibly accomplish with such a meek build and below average intelligence?”
You frowned. “Well, that’s not a very nice thing to say to a Dragonheart or anyone at that.”
“Don’t get cocky just because of your privileges, human,” Lukas barked.
“Brother, calm down,” Emil said in a placid voice. “___________ is not a bad person. She has a worthy heart. I just didn’t think there would be any chance of her becoming a Dragonheart considering what little I have to offer her.”
“I knew you made a poor choice when you picked her as your vessel,” the Divine Keeper of the Sapphire Flames growled.
“I don’t regret my decision,” Emil countered.
“She’s made you soft.”
“Oh, you two…” you sighed.
“Hey, __________, are you hungry?” Mathias suddenly asked and held up a strange spiky and striped fruit covered with yellow polka-dots and pink skin.
You wrinkled your nose. “What’s this?” you asked. Then you watched as Mathias casually bit into one of the fruits and smacked his lips together as he answered your question with fruit still in his mouth.
“Ithf Hragohnurian,” he said with juice spraying out of his mouth. You had to back up to avoid being hit with the sticky-looking stuff.
“Finish chewing before you speak, you pig,” Lukas snapped at his friend.
“Mrmph. Forry,” Mathias apologized and swallowed. “Mm, it’s Dragonarian,” he said in a clear voice. “It tastes like a cross between a pear and an orange if you know what those fruits are.”
You shook your head. “I’ve heard of those fruits, but I’ve never had any.”
“Dragonfall must’ve gotten to those trees,” Mathias said and handed you one of the Dragonarians. “Don’t worry, they’re not poisonous to humans. I know because I’ve seen vessels eat them before.”
“Oh…Thanks,” you said and bit into the fruit. You had never tasted something so sweet in your life. The tangy and tart flavors danced on your tongue and filled your stomach with a new kind of fruit—not that you had very many fruits in your life thanks to Dragonfall. It was delicious to say the least.
“How is it?” Mathias asked.
“It’s good, Mathias,” you smiled and took another bite. “Thank you.”
Emil sighed and looked around the crater. “There’s not much else to do here except rest up and see if we can find any other dragons around here.” He turned to Lukas. “Come on, Lukas, let’s get going.”
“You even call me by my human name thanks to her,” Lukas snarled.
“__________ has a point. Your title is too long.”
“You only think that because you’ve been corrupted by her heart.”
“That may be so,” Emil admitted, “but it’s not influenced in a bad way. Don’t say she corrupted me.”
With that, Emil followed behind you and Mathias with Lukas reluctantly lagging behind for once.
“It’s strange being able to think without you hearing me,” you chuckled still trying to get used to having your body all to yourself again. “I always felt like I had someone to talk to.”
“I’m glad you enjoyed my company,” Emil replied.
Mathias smirked. “I don’t see why Lukas is so upset. You seem fine to me, Emil.”
“That’s where you’re wrong, Mathias. I know I’ve changed yet that’s something I can’t control. I would like to think that these changes have made me a more tolerable dragon.”
“Hey, in that case, are you going to call Lukas that?” Mathias asked with a grin on his face. “You know, you can say it to me, too.”
“What are you talking about?” you asked being unfamiliar with the context of the dragons’ conversation.
“Lukas has always wanted Emil, here, to call him Big Brother since anyone can remember,” Mathias explained. “Emil’s always had a problem saying that to anyone, but I don’t know why.”
“Now that part hasn’t changed,” Emil snorted. “I don’t see any reason to address you two as anyone but your true names.”
“Then what about Lukas?” you reminded him.
“If my brother is going to be following us for a while longer, then he might as well get used to being called Lukas. He won’t mind too much if I call him by his human name so he should get used to you calling him that in time as he has with Mathias.”
“How thoughtful,” you smiled.
“I will not tolerate my own brother calling me by my human name,” Lukas shouted from behind.
“Come on, Lukas,” Mathias said.
“If my brother calls me Big Brother, then the human is free to call me by my human name.”
“How about you call me by my actual name while you’re at it?” you added.
“Not a chance,” Lukas huffed.
“Then I won’t call you ‘Big Brother,’” Emil replied.
“Fine with me,” his brother said. “Then, you can’t call me ‘Lukas.’”
“None of you guys have changed,” a new voice said.
You stopped in your tracks and began to look around.
“Who said that?” you asked trying to see if there was another person around. Instead, a large golden dragon came into view from a cliff sticking out of the crater.
Mathias’ face fell. “Oh, it’s you.”
“Wings of the Opal Skies, why is the human still here?” the golden dragon asked.
You made a face. “Emil, that’s your title?”
Emil nodded. “It’s a mouthful, isn’t it?”
Lukas spoke up. “The reason she isn’t leaving is because she’s a Dragonheart,” he explained.
Suddenly, the golden dragon was right in front of your face before you could even blink. You were surprised something so large could move so fast. Even Lukas couldn’t run that fast as far as you knew.
“This little human is really a Dragonheart?” the golden dragon asked moving its eyes so close to yours that you had to step backwards to prevent yourself from falling over.
“Hey, Four-Eyes, you’re scaring her,” Mathias frowned and stepped in your way and pushed the dragon back.
The golden dragon narrowed its icy blue eyes and growled. “So you’ve finally come back, Mathias. How does it feel to bring yourself to the humans’ level?”
“This is embarrassing…” Emil groaned. “Lukas, do something.”
“Only if you call me Big Brother,” the Divine Keeper of the Sapphire Flames said.
“Oh, dear,” you sighed.
Emil rolled his eyes. “Big Brother, please stop them before the Golden Sentinel becomes a cannibal.”
“Right away,” Lukas obeyed and picked up Mathias in his teeth and pulled him back.
“Hey! Put me down, Lukas! I can take care of him!” Mathias shouted flailing his arms in midair. Meanwhile, Emil wrapped his tail around you to make a small shield.
“You’re so hopeless,” the Divine Keeper of the Sapphire Flames grumbled and dropped Mathias onto his back.
After staring at you for a few more seconds, the golden dragon drew its neck back and focused its attention onto Emil.
“So she’s really a Dragonheart,” he said. “What’s her name?”
Why don’t you just ask me that? you wondered to yourself.
“______________,” Emil answered. “Her name is ______________.”
“Well then, _______________,” the golden dragon said looking down at you. “I’m honored to be able to meet a Dragonheart. I’m sorry if the same can’t be said about the others.”
“What are you talking about? I’m thrilled ___________’s a Dragonheart!” Mathias shouted at the dragon. It was almost comical to see how heated he could get given his comparably small size.
“I feel just as privileged to meet her as you are,” Emil replied. “Though I can’t say the same for my brother.”
“It’s because she wasn’t my vessel; she was my brother’s,” Lukas added.
The golden dragon blinked. “I see. That does bring up some problems.”
You frowned. “Exactly who are you?” you dared to ask.
“I’m the Golden Sentinel,” the dragon replied. You expected him to say more, but he stopped speaking. At least his name wasn’t as long as Lukas’.
“That’s a stupid name for a stupid dragon!” Mathias barked from Lukas’ tail.
“Idiot,” Lukas groaned.
The Golden Sentinel did not move. “And what about you? You don’t look like a dragon at all.”
“Th-That’s because I’m comfortable with being a human,” Mathias threw back.
“You’ve forgotten how to change back, haven’t you?”
“Aha ha ha!” Mathias laughed. “That’s ridiculous! Where’d you get an idea like that?!”
You could only stand there and watch in pure amazement at how prideful Mathias could be. It must have been a dragon thing.
“If you’re so bent on claiming you can change back, then change back,” the Golden Sentinel said.
Mathias crossed his arms. “I don’t feel like it.”
“Then I’ll continue to believe you can’t change back.”
“I can, too!” Mathias screeched. He sounded like an upset child being proven wrong by an adult. It made you wonder whether or not the Golden Sentinel was older than him or not.
“I can’t believe you’re acting so childish,” Lukas sighed shaking his head at his friend. “You’re older than him, for Eliatha’s sake.”
Well, that assumption was proven wrong.
“By the way, Berwald, where’s Tino?” Mathias asked all of a sudden completely changing his behavior from cranky to just plain curious.
Only Mathias could do something like that… you thought.
You leaned over to Emil. “Who’s Berwald and Tino?” you asked in a hushed voice.
“Berwald is the Golden Sentinel’s human name,” Emil answered. “Tino is the Eye of the Topaz Blizzard.”
“The Eye of the Topaz Blizzard is out hunting,” Berwald—“Berwald” was shorter to say than “Golden Sentinel”—answered.
“Never mind Mathias,” Lukas jumped in and turned his head left and right. “Where are the others? There was always at least seven dragons every time I came here.”
The Golden Dragon looked down with as sad an expression a dragon could express. “I’m sorry, Divine Keeper of the Sapphire Flames, but we’re the only ones left. There are no other dragons living in the world.”