The Riders

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Minette couldn't help herself, she was bouncing a little as the line of students stood solemnly in place. Looming ahead of the neat row of children about to be proclaimed as adult members of the village was a door. The door stood easily eight feet tall, but it was dwarfed by the mountain is clung to with desperate vigor. The metal hinges creaked loudly in the breeze, and the door shuddered violently, but it had withstood for hundreds of years now. There was only one other entrance to the cave that the door concealed, and it was even more inaccessible than this little door perched high on the mountain. It was this entrance that provided the cave with its wonder within.

Minette felt very small compared to the howling wind that tugged at her entire body and the massive mountain that looked as though it could swallow her if she just closed her eyes. She restrained herself from glancing back at the rows behind them. The students directly behind, clad in maroon, looked bitter. They had missed, some by only months, being in the class that would be Paired. Minette could feel their envious eyes but this was not a time for anger. She would ignore them because her heart was racing with glee. In front of them, the papery looking Master Listmen began to check off names with students, as though it were an option for one of the hundred students to miss this single most important day of their entire life.

Coming to the end of the roster, he gave her a glare than warned her to behave a he croaked in a reedy voice "Younge?" and Minette bowed to him. There were two more students, and then, the moment that each and every one had been dreaming off since they were informed that their year was the gifted one in ten. The large door was heaved open by the aged Master and the wonder within took away Minette's breath. The room was all dark stone with scattered nests, littered with skeletons of unfortunate prey. Gems in the walls shone bright with the feeble sunlight. Minette glimpsed a rudy the size of her fist near the entry, embedded in stone that might as well have been sacred.

Strangely, it was not the gems that held the captive audience but the eggs that glowed faintly of their own accord, even without light. Many students trembled with nerves and anticipation and slowly, the first of them began to file in and place a palm on the very first egg, a beautiful specimen that held faint undertones of purple. She envied the students that were up there already, touching the eggs hopefully.
Gilliad silently stood their anxiously awaiting his turn. He was itching to touch one of the eggs, he almost jumped forward to get to them when they announced that they could go. As he stood there looking around at all the eggs, then one caught his eye. It was a bit lighter than the others and looked like it had crystalline lines on it, was this his Ice dragon he always dreamed of? He slowly walked up to it and with his left hand he just barely touched it. As he did so the egg began to shake violently and was cracking right down the lines on it. It was the first egg to hatch and as he watched it the dragon broke free and stared right at him. He then noticed the markings on his left hand. As he thought of a name for the dragon he watched everyone else slowly find their dragons. He looked at his dragon who still looked at him "Einganam." It was but a whisper as he said it realizing the name of his dragon. He was a tad pink but Gilliad paid no mind to that he loved his dragon.
Sarrin was nervous, he walked slowly into the chamber. Looking around the thought came to him, it had been coming to him a lot lately "no dragon will hatch for you" it sunk deep into his consciousness. he felt that he should just walk out, believing the thought, and not Even wanting to try. He fought the urge to leave, but eventually he gave in and turned to begin to exit, But then he glimpsed something out the corner of his eye, he turned to face it. In front of him was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen, the egg was a swirl of blue and green. Sarrin was almost hypnotized by the egg. he walked slowly towards it, oblivious to all else. He picked the egg up gently, he felt a stirring inside, the egg began to crack, and open, slowly the dragon pushed out of the shell, and it sarrin let the old pieces of shell fall to the ground. The dragon was an amazing sight to see, at one moment it would appear to be a deep cobalt blue then the next it would appear forest green. Sarrin realized that it's scales changed color according to how the light struck them, the brighter light made the scales green and less light made them blue. A thought hit sarrin, "your a forest dragon" he said to the little creature in his hands looked lovingly at him, recalling some of the instruction he had recieved on dragons. "from the ground you are hard to see in the trees and from the ground you are hard to see while in flight." A large smile came to Sarrins face, a dragon had actually hatched for him, this was the best day of his life.
Minette's eyes were wide s she watched in excitement the two students scoop their newborn dragons into their arms. One was softly bronze dappled in blue and the other a vivid pink color. The sight was inspiring, these young creatures now only roughly the size of the prominent servals that roamed through the lower area of the mountain, they would one day be the size of a hut if not larger. These tiny creatures would one day easily bear the weight of their rider and supplies. Minette could hardly wait, but as she progressed into the caves, gently touching each egg, a desperate feeling of disappointment began to rise in her stomach.

With a sigh, Minette placed her palm on one of the final eggs and a small burning sensation shot up her arm as it was branded a brilliant red. Turning in shock, Minette glanced down at the dragon hatchling cradled in the remains of a ruby shell. Minette cradled it into her arms and she could feel his emotions reverberating inside her, his confusion, fear, and undertones of fiery pride. Minette smiled lovingly down at the dragon, his dark eyes fixed on hers.

"I will name you Ranvir" she decided, touching her nose to the dragon's small snout. To her surprise, she could hear words barely formed in her mind. "Ran-veeeeeer?" they repeated back to her, sounding uncertain. She nearly dropped the dragon in shock, the movement jostling it. A small growl was emitted from the little frame. "Sorry" Minette said, looking down at the small dragon. He was unsettling, the color of a wash of blood, but she loved him instantly.

A reedy voice from the shadowy doorway called in "To those of you who have received dragons, please meet Instructor Nevura at the shadow stones. Everyone else, please make your way to the feast in the hall once you've touched all of the eggs". Envious eyes slid over Minette as she padded toward the door, Ranvir clutched protectively in her arms. His ruby tail flicked back and forth, keeping pace with her footsteps. She waited by the entrance for the other two, intent on walking with them.

Sarrin cradled the small creature in his arms, he struggled to think of a name for hi newborn dragon, but none came. The tiny dragon slowly climbed it's way up Sarrens tunic and rubbed it's head against his cheek, a shock of emotions ran through him. "Marysk" He said and he felt the tiny dragons approval on the name. he was soon walking alongside minette, his dragon now sitting on his shoulders.
Layla stared in awe at all the eggs around her, she grinned in excitement just being here was exhilarating. As she moved deeper into the cave she began to panic none of the eggs were responding and everyone was leaving, she was about to admit defeat and leave with the others when an egg caught her eye. She approached it slowly admiring its beauty it was a tan brown with dark brown swirls and spirals, she closed her eyes and held her breath as she gently laid her right hand on its side. She gasped as the mark of the rider burned its way up her arm, but then she felt a nudge on her leg and a small cry. She looked down at the small brown earth dragon and cradled him in her arms "i think i'll call you Dakur" she smiled and hugged him as he snuggled into her, she noticed Sarrin and Minette and caught up with them. "Hi guys" she said grinning.