Dragon Riders

Chapter 3

Hiccup woke up to his side killing him along with his body feeling heavy. He felt like he had boulders tied to his body. Letting out a groan he tried to open his eyes. Shutting them quickly as he opened them, the light felt blinding as he tried to raise his hand to cover them. Sadly, he couldn't even move a finger to his delight. Only make small, quiet groaning noises as he tried to turn his head.

"I think he's waking up"

Hiccup heard the sound of a nerdy voice along with footsteps coming closer to him. The bed began to shift along with feeling something being put on the top of his forehead.

"Hiccup"

That voice. It sounded so familiar to Hiccup. Like a distant memory that Hiccup had hidden in his mind. Cracking his eyes open ever so gently, Hiccup tried to look up at the owner of the voice. "Astrid…"

Hiccup could not believe his eyes. The Viking girl that he had survived in the storm with was the very girl in front of him. Well….woman. She was older. She still wore her hair in a braid that was now tossed of her shoulder and her face was fuller, but still as beautiful as ever. Her outfit now had more fur around her shoulders that formed a hood, along with a red shirt. She still wears her shoulder pads but now has arm bands that are larger and with fur.

Hiccup felt like he was still dreaming, it was only until he pushed himself up to get a closer look at Astrid did he feel the pain of the real world. "Oooowww. Pain" Hiccup clutched his side in agony as he looked to see that he was half naked with bandages wrapped around his top, sealing the his wounded side.

"You have to lie down. You have a fever and you could open your stitches." Astrid pushed Hiccup back on the bed.

"You make it sound like you were the one who sewed him up."

Hiccup turned his head to see past Astrid at the party behind her. There were three other people in what looked to be a cabin like house. "Where…."

"We're in a secluded house that is in the middle of the woods that we found you in. It's been abandoned for years." The man had blonde dreadlock hair and wore a grayish blue color fur vest that he had over his grey shirt. He wore brown paints with spiked knee caps and bands wrapped around his shoes.

"So you don't have to worry about a thing." Next to the dreadlock man was a woman who looked very similar to the man next to her. They must have been twin because the hair color and farcical feature looked very similar. Her hair was braided in two strains that went on each side of her. On each end were two balls that looked like pompoms. She too wore a brown fur vest that went over her grey shirt. Underneath was her tan color skirt that went over her grey leggings. She wore regular Viking boots that had grey fur on the top of them. They were both sitting on a chair staring at Hiccup.

Hiccup raised an eyebrow at the weird Vikings. He then remembered that Toothless was in danger as well. "Toothless"

"He's fine" The nerdy voice that Hiccup heard before came from the husky man that was next to Toothless. The man was wearing a brown furry outfit that had brown furry armbands, a belt with pockets and a helmet with something that resembles little Gronckle wings. Along with his short blonde hair, it looked like he was growing a beard for it was thin like it was just beginning to grow. "I made sure to give him a strong dose of anti-venerious to counter act the poison. He should be better before you know it"

Hiccup looked to see Toothless was sleeping peacefully as he let out a sigh of relief. "Thank you" Hiccup leaned back into the bed as he closed his eyes for a minute before opening again to look at the Vikings. "I see, you have definitely changed. Let's hope the punching thing is gone"

"Not even close" The dreadlock man whispered which earned him a glare from Astrid.

Letting out a sigh, Astrid turned back to Hiccup. "Let me introduce you to your rescuers." Astrid then pointed to the Husky man first. "That is Fishlegs. He has been taking very good care of Toothless and wants to ask you lots of question about Night Furys"

"Please to meet you." Fishlegs nodded his head before he barreled out a bunch of question about Toothless. "How did you come by a Night Fury? Was it hard to train? I hear Night Furys are known for their intelligence, top speed, and fire power"

"The twins, Ruffnut and Tuffnut" Astrid gestured to the two sitting in the chairs.

"What's sup" Ruffnut waved her hand.

"Don't worry I was the one who stitched you up" Tuffnut then gave a thumbs up. "And it's going to leave an awesome scar."

Astrid rolled her eyes before the door slammed open and in came another man. He had short dark hair and looked to be trying to grow a mustache. Sadly it looked like a caterpillar had crawled on his upper lip. He was wearing a black furry vest over his green scaled like shirt. He had a large metal belt buckle and brown striped pants.

"Snotlout! Your suppose to be guarding" Astrid yelled at the dark hair man. Placing her hands on her hips she glared at him.

"What?! Its cold out there, plus Hookfang is guarding so its fine" Snotlout placed his hand on the table as he leaned onto it, putting one leg behind the other.

"Hookfang?" Hiccup looked at the Vikings in confusion.

"His Monstrous Nightmare." Astrid shrugged her shoulder as she said it with dull obvious voice.

"Monstrous Nightmare." Hiccup whispered more to himself before he looked at Astrid.

Astrid poked her two finger to each other before looking up like she was thinking. "Wellllll…."

"And that is are cue to leave" Ruffnut got up from her chair as she grabbed her brother and started pulling him to the door.

"WHAT! I just came in here to escape the cold!" Snotlout crossed his arms in stubbornness at being forced to leave.

"What I thought we could all go out and enjoy the quiet, secluded air" She watched as both Snotlout and Fishlegs run out the door as fast as they could. She shut the door behind her, but not before she gave Astrid a wink.

Astrid blushed hard as the door closed and she turned to look at Hiccup.

Hiccup closed his eyes and before opening them. He gave a mighty cough which caused sides to hurt at the pain he felt.

Astrid quickly went to get some water from the jug that was sitting on a nightstand next to Hiccup's bed. Pouring the water into the cup, once filled, she handed it off to Hiccup who gladly consumed it.

"How long have I been out?" Hiccup leaned back into the pillow as he shut his eyes to calm down.

"Just a few hours." Astrid put the cup back on the table before she took a seat next to him on the bed. "You were in really bad shape. When I saw all that blood I thought the worst. I called the others to help me out. Luckily, we were able to seal your wound and give you and Toothless medicine before it was too late"

"I can't believe you remember me" Hiccup breathed in as he opened is eyes tiredly to look at Astrid.

"How could I forget you" Astrid smile lit up Hiccup's world. "Did you forget me" She crossed her arms in a playful huff, but knew that when she looked at Hiccup she could see a warm smile that allowed to confirm her answer.

"So you ride dragons?" Hiccup raised an eye-brow at Astrid. "I thought Vikings killed dragons?"

"Ya well…." Astrid began to explain all that happened after she left the island. "At first I just came back home on Stormfly. It wasn't easy. I had to find a place where we could land without being seen. Then I left Stormfly in the forest and went back to the village. Everyone could not believe that I was still alive. They asked question of how was I still alive? How did I get back? You know the generic stuff. Well, after a few days, I went back into the forest to see Stormfly. We continued flying around like we have been doing it forever. Then one day, I was followed into the woods when I went to go meet Stormfly. Then bam, I was caught by Snotlout, Fishlegs, and the twins. To tell you the truth I thought Loki had come down played a harsh joke on me. I was scared. And scared for Stormfly the most. Thinking they were going to turn me into Stoick, our chief. I was frozen with fear. Instead….they all oohhed and ahhed at Stormfly. They were even more amazed that I was able to train it as well. They scrambled around me as they said they wanted to ride their own dragons."

"Really?" Hiccup was surprised by this. The first time he met Astrid, he saw how terrified of dragons she was that he thought that other Vikings were like that.

"I know" Astrid then continued. "So for a year it had just been us training dragons in the woods. We studied, trained, and tamed them. But all good things come to an end when one of these idiots lose their dragon." Astrid smacked her head in remembrance. "I thought they were going to kill him. But for while we changed some the minds of a few Vikings. Hel, even Stoick allowed us to conduct our dragon business. But with a few rules. As long as they were far away from the village, we can conduct our dragon business. Thus us staying in the woods for training and other dragon purposes. We found this house. Fixed it up and use it as a dragon training house and our second home." Astrid finished up her story as she looked back at Hiccup. "And then one day something comes flying from the sky and onto our island. That's when we found you. In a cave…bleeding to death"

Hiccup shut is eyes like he was in pain at the remembrance of what happen. The hunter. Saying they needed him alive. Someone shooting at them before they landed on Berk. "I don't…I don't know what happening. We were attacked by this hunter…"

"Hunter?" Astrid asked.

Hiccup rubbed his head trying to remember. "Yes…he said he wanted me alive. But why…" Hiccup's eyes widen at the dreaded thought. "Unless….."

Suddenly the door slammed open as Fishlegs ran in. "We have a problem." Fishlegs pointed out the doorway. "There have been ships spotted by the shore!"

Astrid stood up as Hiccup eyes widen as he realized what was happening. "Did you see anything else? What was on the ship?"

"umm" Fishlegs tried to think. "It was dark, like it came out of nightmares. The sails were dark grey with two weapons on them….."

That's all Hiccup needed to hear before pushing himself up. Astrid rushed to his side as she tried to get him to lay back down.

"We have to get away. Toothless and I need to get as far away from here as possible." Hiccup pulled is legs over the side of the bed as the rider held his side at the agonizing pain that came from it.

"You two are in no shape to go anywhere" Astrid put her arm under his armpit as she steadied him as he pulled himself off the bed.

"I have to" Hiccup, with Astrid help, made his way to Toothless. "If that hunter finds out I'm here. He's not going to just find me. He is going to rip apart this island and destroy everyone on it to find me." Making his way over, Hiccup put a hand on Toothless's head. The dragon cooed as he opened his eyes to look up at the boy. "Hey bud. I know you're tired but we really need to go."

Hearing the plea and desperation in his friend's voice, the dragon shakily got to his feet. Toothless tried to steady himself on his feet before he looked up at Hiccup. They both made their way to the door as slowly as an injured dragon and rider could be.

"What are we going to do?" Fishlegs asked as he walked behind them.

Hiccup and Astrid were out the door when Tuffnut and Ruffnut came running towards them.

"You're not going to believe this." Ruffnut crossed her arms.

"We just saw something awesome flying in the sky" Tuffnut looked at the four with excitement.

"Are you sure it wasn't just some dragon flying in the sky?" Fishlegs was a little annoyed that the twins thought that they discovered something cool.

"Well it was a dragon…." Ruffnut started.

"..But it had a rider with a creepy mask on its back" The Tuffnut slapped his sister hand at their discovery.

"It was so awesome" Ruffnut said excitedly.

Hiccup's eyes widen at the realization of what the twins actual saw. "Take me to where you last saw them, NOW!"

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Up along the coastal shore line's was the large ship that Fishlegs had seen. The ship was heading towards the beach and landed itself of the white sand. A boot slammed itself onto the railing as the Hunter, Eret, looked over the side at the island.

"Ah, the island of Berk. Known for its luscious green and annoying Vikings. Oh how wish I could just set you a blaze." Eret jumped of the side of the boat onto the sand and yelled at the men. "Saddle up boys. It's time to go hunting for our Dragon Rider."

They headed towards the woods. Slashing trees and cutting down anything that got in their way. They did not see Snotlout hiding behind some trees with Hookfang next to him. Snotlout let out a sigh of relief as he told Hookfang to head back to camp. The monstrous dragon was stubborn at first but complied. Once they dragon was gone, Snotlout ran as fast as he could in the other's direction. He had to get to them quick. For a madman was coming.

XXXXXXXXXXXXX

Down in the Berk village, Stoick was taking his last walk for night as part of the night patrol before heading home. It seemed to be another peaceful night in Berk. No dragon attacks since Astrid and her little friends had convinced them that dragons did not want to harm them.

Shocking really. Stoick hated dragons ever since they took away his family. But it was time to let things go. It was time to forgive. Stoick still could remember those nights like it was some horrible dream. The night where Valka tried to tell Stoick that they could be friends with the dragons. That they were not their enemy. Once she and their son were gone, Stoick had thought a dragon had come and taken them away during the raid. But… what if…..

Stoick did not want to think of that but it had plagued his mind that Valka could have left him., taking their son with her.

Could he have really driven his wife away because he didn't listen? Well, he didn't want to make the same mistake again. Even when it was really hard at first to go near the dragons without popping a dragon's head clear of its shoulder or ripping out the dragon's guts.

It was a steady road, but Stoick and the whole village got through it. Most Vikings considered dragons as pets. Take Gothi for instance. She became a crazy old Terrible Terror lady. She had six of them inside her little house.

Goober, his blacksmith and warrior friend, used his dragon with his forgery. Stoick guessed that every dragon had some use to the village.

Speaking of Gobber. Stoick was walking along the wood walkway towards one of the large catapults that used for defensive against enemy ships. He saw Gobber sleeping in a chair right next to the catapult. Stoick felt anger when he saw his friend sleeping on the job. Thus he needed to give Gobber a wake up call.

"GOBBER!" Stoick shouted which caused Gobber to spring awake and pull the leaver that activated the catapult that launched a rock towards the water.

A big splash was heard before Gobber rubbed the back of his head to look at his dear friend and chief. "Hehe…sorry Stoick. Must have fell asleep again."

"Gobberrrr. You can't fall asleep like that. What if an enemy ship comes and attack us" Stoick rubbed his head as he felt a headache coming on.

"Come on Stoick. No one has attacked us since we made peace with the dragons." Gobber then looked up at the sky. "Besides, look at that glorious moon"

Stoick did not know whether to take Gobber's advice or whacked the one arm and one legged man on the back of the head. Stoick didn't have a chance to decide when along came Stakard, running toward them and he looked to be out of breath.

"Stoick"

"What is it, Stakard?" Stoick and Gobber turned their attention to the winded man.

"There has been a ship sighted along the shore lines on the east side of the island." Stakard told the two as he continued. "They were armored and were ripping the woods apart. Like they were searching for something"

"You were saying Gobber?" Stoick watched as his friend got off his chair and twisted his hammer on his arm.

"Well, we can talk about this now..or..we can kill some Vikings" Gobber fixed his hammer before walking towards the area where Stakard said the intruders would be.

"You right Gobber." Taking his axe from behind his back, Stoick slapped the handle on his other hand like he meant business. "Let's go welcome our guests."

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

In the Berkian woods on the north east side of the forest, the group of young adults were trying to find their way towards where the twins had said they last saw the dragon riders. The only problem was that, they were moving much slower than they anticipated due to Hiccup's and Toothless injuries. They knew that the enemy was on their tail. And the way Hiccup acted, they did not want to meet up with this kind of enemy.

"We have to move faster" Fishlegs was frightened by the thought of the enemy closing in on them. They didn't have their dragons with them. Sure they can fight, but they don't know anything idea about their enemy or even how to protect themselves.

"We've trying to move as fast as we can here!" Astrid yelled at the frightened man.

The twin were ahead of them telling them where to go, then came Fishlegs and last Astrid who was mostly carrying Hiccup and alongside them was Toothless.

"Well not fast enough!" Out ran Snotlout from the bushes. Adrenalin was pumping through his veins as he helped Astrid with Hiccup. Taking the other side of the injured dragon rider, he helped Astrid carry him. "I just saw them and they do not look happy."

"Did you get a good look at them?" Tuffnut asked with his sister looking at them from behind her brother. Both were curious and yet could feel the tension in the air and didn't want to take a chance with their stupid jokes.

"Let's just say, their crazy and with tear everything on Berk alive, to find this guy." Snotlout turned his head to look at Astrid. "So he better be worth it" He saw Astrid nod her head before he turned back to the twins to yell at them. "So hurry up before I turn you into mutton myself!"

The twins try to ease the tension by pointing them in the direction they needed to go. "It's not that far…" Tuffnut pointed. "Just behind those trees and then were there"

Hiccup's mind felt dull as the pain was unbearable. The rider tried to think. Think of a plan they could get out of this situation where Hiccup leaves with the dragons riders without the hunter killing all of Berk to find him. An idea struck his mind as he looked at Snotlout. "How far are they away from us?"

"Not far, they could be here any minutes" Snotlout explained.

Astrid looked at Hiccup and saw his eyes move in different direction as he tried to come up with a plan.

"I have an idea…but we have to move fast"

Xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Eret could smell it. Blood. Fear. His prey was not that far from them. He was going to get this dragon rider for Drago. If it was the last thing he did.

Through the forest they went. Making lots of racket with the swinging of their swords and axes, the armored men took down trees and any other plant life, to find this dragon rider. One of the men found traces of blood and broken branches heading in a certain direction. Eret yelled at his men to move fast. Even though he knew that the dragon had to be sick and the rider was injured, that didn't mean that they couldn't escape from them.

Once they made it to the clearing they came face to face with the dragon rider and his dragon. The rider had the face of a boy with brown scraggly hair. Judging by his clothes and the dragon heavily breathing, along with it bearing its teeth at them behind him, this was most definitely the dragon rider they had been searching for.

Eret and his men took out their swords, axes, and spears and pointed them at the boy. Eret watched as the boy growled like a wild beast at them. "Now, now. No need for that. If you come with us, we can get you fixed up." Eret sounded calm and mockingly soothing, like he was talking to a three year old. But his voice soon turned dark as he drew his sword in front of him and at the rider. "Or we can cause you more pain and bring you back bloody and screaming"

Toothless hated the way the man talked to them. He roared at the man before launching a plasma blast at the enemy. It was weak but still caused a few of the men to fly backwards. Hiccup took out his make shift sword and it lit up in a burning flame. He swung the firey sword in front of the men, trying to make them stay away.

Eret saw that the boy was in worse shape than he realized. In Eret's eyes, the boy would drop any minutes. All needed to do was get the last of the adrenalin out of him and the rider would be his. "Get them"

The men ran towards the two as Toothless launched more plasma blasts at the men, but was soon began to run out of blasts. He could hardly move his body without feeling queasy. He tried to use his tail as a battering ram but his body began to feel heavy. Toothless knew at any moment any moment that both Hiccup and him would go down. The Night Fury tried to use all of his remaining strength to keep the warriors at bay.

Hiccup watched as his friend become tired. He, like Toothless, could see the adrenaline disappear. He watched in horror as Toothless six shot limit came and it made Toothless unable to fire any more shots.

The dragon tried to fire but saw nothing came out. Toothless tried to pick up his tail but it felt heavy. Toothless, just like his tail, flopped to the ground in defeat.

Hiccup too felt the last of his energy drain from his body as he too fell to his knees. His flame sword distinguished as the metal plate dug into the dirt to keep Hiccup up. The boy huffed as he looked up to see the men pointing their spears at them as they came closer.

"Is that it" Eret came up close to the boy. His blade under Hiccup's chin as Eret pushed Hiccup's head up to look at the Hunter. "Drago said he wanted you alive. He said nothing about unscathed."

Hiccup felt the blade leave from under his chin as dizziness and blurriness began to eclipse his vision.

The hunter lifted his sword as he was about to slam it down on Hiccup. The next thing Eret saw was a blast of light hitting him and tossing in back. Eret skidded on his back until he came to a halt. Eret sat up and look at who had shot him. In front of him were four of the other dragon riders. Eyes widen in horror when saw them.

Cloudjumper roared at them and allowed Valka to climb off him. Valka ran to her son as fast as she could. She knelt down in front of the wounded boy before grabbing his face to look at her. Valka could see that Hiccup was trying to stay conscious, but was slowly losing the battle. Valka pressed the forehead of her mask into her son's forehead in a sigh of relief. With her strength, Valka picked up her son and carried him to Cloudjumper who helped her climb on to his back with young Hiccup.

Eret eye's grew in horror for he was about to lose the boy. He did not want to go back to Drago again as a failure to capture his prey and did the only thing he could. Order his men to attack.

Spears, swords, axes, hammers, bows, and crossbows were aimed at the riders. The riders fought back as they two attacked. Their dragons fire blast of fire and lava at the soldiers.

More chaos ensured, when out of the woods came the Berkian Vikings. Stoick led his men into the clearing as he was shocked and in horror at the sight. Men, that Stoick could recognize from a long time enemy, fighting with dragon that were ridden by strange creatures. Stoick looked at Gobber, who shrugged his shoulder at know clue what was going on before he ran towards the fight.

Stoick watched for a second before he yelled to his men to "ATTACK!"

As Stoick and his men ran towards the fight, along the woods came the young Vikings. They too, had their weapons drawn and attacked the intruders. Their weapons clashed as they attacked each other.

Eret watched as the female rider, on the large owl dragon, placed herself and the boy on the dragon and patted the beast to take them up. The dragon wrapped its feet and claws around the Night Fury as the Stormcutter spread its wings. Eret's voice rose as he repeated the words "No" as he watched in horror as they began their escape. Trying to get past the men, he tried to reach them. But by the time he got to the spot the dragon was, it had already left.

Eret let out a loud yell "NOOOO!" when he watched them go. He flinched when a dragon shot past him as he saw it was skeleton like one. The rest of the rider followed suit as all of what was left are the Berkians and Eret's men.

Eret turned around in a huff. But as he turned, he saw that a sword was pointed at him. In front of him was the Great Stoick the Vast. He recognized that built body and hairy overgrown beard anywhere.

"What are you doing on my island?" Stoick's voice was deep and dark as he calmly and deadly asked the Hunter.

Eret just raised an eyebrow before he put away his sword. His prize had left and if he had killed the Berkians without Drago's approval he would be in for it. "We're going" Pushing Stoick's sword to the side he walked back to his ship.

His men followed suit along with some Berkian soldiers to make sure they actually left.

xxx

"You okay with that Stoick?" Asked Gobber.

Stoick let out a sigh as he put the blade into the dirt. "Ya Gobber. I want them gone. But if they show their faces here again they'll not be leaving here alive"

Gobber nodded his head before looking at the young Vikings. "And what were you doing out here?"

"Training" Astrid replied like it was obvious.

"We heard sounds coming from the woods" Fishlegs explained.

"So we came to check it out" Snotlout swung his sword around as he tossed it into the air and caught it easily.

"Without your dragons?" Gobber knew that the group didn't go anywhere without their dragons. So it seemed suspicious for them to not have them here now.

"What if it was an ally and they found out we had dragons." Astrid rebutled. "They would see it as a threat and probable attack Berk like they did with those dragon riders."

"That's true. They seemed to not fancy them" Gobber scratched his head as he looked to where the dragon riders had gone. He then looked at Stoick, who was still standing there looking out in the same direction. Gobber turned back to the young Vikings and told them to head home, they would handle it here.

Gobber watched them leave before he made his way to Stoick. "You okay Stoick?"

xxx

"Gobber….that rider" Holding his breath, Stoick tried to find a way to describe it. "She looked…."

On the ocean, the riders were heading back to the Sanctuary. Fast as the wings of the dragons they ride could carry them. Valka had her mask off as she looked down at her son who was asleep but his breath was shallow. She feared for him. Thus she yelped at Cloudjumper, who in response, flew faster.

Valka looked down at her boy and placed her hand on his cheek…..

xxxxx

"I know Stoick…" Gobber patted his friend's shoulder. "I know"

Gobber gave his friend some time. He sat down by a tree as he took out his pipes to play a tune to hopefully calm the mood.


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