Dragon Riders

Chapter 6

It had been many days since Eret had reported to his master. He had nothing to give the dark Persian man. Afraid for his life, all the hunter could do was stand there and let Drago talk to him in a disappointing voice.

"Time and time again you have failed me" Drago passed in front of the poor hunter. The dark man looked like a cat stalking its prey. Eret could only gulp and pray Drago would not kill him for showing up empty handed. "You have showed me courage, rage, fierce, hatred. You remind me….well, of me"

Eret tried to stay calm. Even though Drago acted calm in front of the hunter, a calm Drago was a dangerous Drago.

"One of my generals, that you so often argue with, has come to me with a solution to our ongoing problem." Drago turned to Scurvy, who looked at Eret with a mocking smug on his face.

"I have been keeping an eye on our enemy and have discovered an unusual trait" Scurvy walked over to the table and took out a stick with graphite on it to draw on the map that was on the table. "Our little dragon rider seems to leave everyday to a little island….alone. No companions at all with him" Tracing the spot on the map of the island that Astrid and Hiccup would meet at, Scurvy looked at his work before being pushed aside by Eret.

Eret quickly looked at the map and saw that it was far away from the Dragon Sanctuary's territory. "But why….?" Eret looked at Drago with confusion. "I have been fighting these dragon riders for a long time and know that they would never do this. They don't even leave there territory…."

"Not unless…" Drago rubbed his beard before trapping his chin in his fingers to raise an eyebrow, like he had come up with an idea, as he looked towards his men in mocking. "He found a friend"

"True" Scurvy gave a creepy smile as he rested his hands on his side. "Like a boar in heat"

Eret smiled and made his way past Drago and straight to the door. "Then I'll go….

"No"

Eret's path was blocked by a spear and axe from the armed guards. Halted in his path, Eret looked behind him to see Drago creeping towards him.

"I'll go" Drago looked down at the frighten hunter. "You have failed to bring him to me when I gave you the opportunity…It is time he faced real terror"

Drago let out a dark chuckle as the hunter looked at the man terrified. For he, like any of the men here, know that Drago was not just going to bring just the rider back.

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In the Dragon Sanctuary, Hiccup and Toothless were sleeping peacefully. Like many mornings, the two were sleeping in a little late from the tiredness, but a tap on Hiccup legs made the boy stir. Hiccup cracked open one of his eyes to look up and see his mother, with her gear, on looking down at her son. Hiccup let out a groan as he turned over to sleep into the NightFury's body to hide himself. But, unfortunately, Hiccup felt a large kick into his leg which meant 'up or I sick the baby dragons on you'.

Not wanting to awaken his mother's wrath, Hiccup sat up and gave a yawn before poking Toothless. The Night Fury let out a groan as he too was to tired to wake up. When Toothless kept feeling Hiccup poke him did the dragon pick up his head to sleepily look at his tormentor. They both looked at each other tired and agitated before the yawned at each other.

Hiccup rubbed the back of his head before he felt something drop on his lap. Looking down he saw that it was Kaffe root, which was great for an easy pick me up. Hiccup began to take a bite on the root before giving some to the sleepy dragon. Both feeling the effect of the root, they got off the ground before following after Valka towards the tunnel.

As he walked by he saw Camicazi get in with Kiri. Camy watched them head past her and leave to patrol. Camicazi's eyes trailed behind them as she looked at Hiccup worriedly. Thus Hiccup started to realize what Camy meant from the night before. There was a problem he had to face, and it was telling his mother about Astrid.

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Outside the Sanctuary, Valka had planned for them to take a morning patrol around the Sanctuary so she could finally have a talk with her son. Hiccup was obviously nervous, and he knew that he could never keep much from his mother. She was sharp and knew when Hiccup lied or told the truth. That's why for many years whenever he told a lie his mother would not say a word until Hiccup told her himself. Only when his life was in danger did she pry.

Hiccup looked over at his mother who was giving him a warm smile. Valka wanted to counteract her son's nervousness, and decided that Cloudjumper and her would do the only thing they knew that would calm the boys' nervousness. Fly.

The two shot towards the sky as they broke through the clouds. With Cloudjumper's large body and double wings he came out like a magnificent beast that fit in with the colors of the morning sky. Hiccup and Toothless came after as the two shot fast as the sound of screeching could be heard. Hiccup went flat on his stomach to give Toothless the extra speed he needed to shoot across the sky.

Valka watched as Hiccup and Toothless caught up with them. She saw the boys twirled around them before shooting into the clouds and back up to do it again. Toothless then stopped by Cloudjumper's side as Hiccup came back into a seated position.

He then saw his mother perform a trick of her own. She stood up on the large beast and as the Stormcutter began to twirl, Valka walked along its body. Then Valka jumped off Cloudjumper and jumped onto Toothless wing to walk over, she did a somersault over where Hiccup was sitting, as she went over she ruffled her boy's hair, and then onto the other side to walk on the wing to get back onto Cloudjumper.

Toothless eyes widen, before looking at the large dragon in confusion at how he got over to the other side of them without Toothless himself not notice or feeling Cloudjumper move. All he got was a smug of a look from the owl dragon before Toothless gave him an unhappy look.

Hiccup tried to ease his friend suffering by giving him a pat on the side. Looking at each other, Toothless raised an eye brow at his friend as he felt Hiccup dangled his feet. Hiccup looked at his mom before he fell off on the other side. Valka gasped as she looked over the side as she watched Toothless go after Hiccup

Valka watched her son fall and then saw him open some kind of leather contraction to fly in sky. She stared at it in amazement.

The boy was flying through the sky with the feeling and freedom that both Hiccup and Toothless felt that day they tried out the flight suit on the endless ocean. Hiccup was about to climb back onto Toothless when he saw a mountain coming at them. Toothless tried to grab the boy as they both went through one of the openings and down the snowy slope.

The boys were covered in soft powdery snow as Toothless steadily got up to look for his friend. When the dragon did not see him in his paws or next to him, Toothless began to panic. His fear were settled when he saw the energetic boy pop out of the snow like a spring daisy.

"Woooww! Did you see that! Man, we definitely need to work on tight corners." Hiccup looked at his dragon buddy who only gave him a questionable look that said 'what do you mean by we?'

Hiccup looked up when he heard the sound of chuckling to see his mother coming over to them to see if they were alright. When she came close enough, she took a look at the invention that Hiccup had used to fly. She stared at it in amazement as she tugged on each the makeshift wings.

"Incredible" Valka then went from checking out the leather wings to checking Hiccup for injury.

"Not bad yourself" Looking at his mother, he saw her also turn to look at him. She looked so small compared to him. He could see over her, which made him wonder when had he ever really looked at his mother for the last year.

Cupping her son's face, she looked at her son like she discovered something. "You do really take after me."

Hiccup looked at his mother as a million questions shot through his mind. "What was dad like?"

Valka took her hand off Hiccup's cheek before looking downwards.

Hiccup grabbed her hand to reassure her that it was okay. "I know you always told me that my father was a great man and he was very stubborn. Annndd that stubbornness led you to leaving our home, an island called Berk. But still" Bring his mother's face up so they can see eye to eye. "I want to know"

Valka let out a sigh before Hiccup let his hand fall as Valka tried to start. "You father was a great man and can be stubborn. You definitely take after that, but he would do anything to protect his family. He was proud and a great leader." She brought up her hands to hold the sides of her arms. "But he was a loving man, that I fell deeply in love with" Valka looked back up at her son. "Your father is… Stoick the Vast, Hiccup"

Hiccup let out a chuckle at the thought of what Astrid told him. "That's funny because someone told me that their chief was named Stoick as well" When Hiccup saw that his mother was not laughing only confirming his already answer. Hiccup let it all take in before plopping himself in the snow. Holding his head with one hand after he became awestruck by the new information he had received.

"Yes, that island, in which we saved you from the hunter, is the island where we come from" Valka sat next to her son as she tried to ease him.

"So that means, Astrid and I came from…."

"Astrid, huh" Valka raised an eye brow at the new information she got. "Was she the one who stitched you up and helped Toothless"

"No that was…..WAIT A MINUTE" Hiccup shot up onto his feet as he looked at his mother in shock "How did you…."

"You really think we can't tell between and wound and a ripped opened stitch wound." Valka looked at Toothless who turned is head way like he didn't want to be caught. "We all knew, but we didn't want to pester you about it until you came clean." Valka then scooted closer as she turned her full attention to Hiccup. "Soooo, who's Astrid?"

Hiccup scratched his chin as he tried to look away from his mother in embarrassment. "She's just this amazing girl that I like."

"Amazing huh" Valka looked at Cloudjumper as they both looked interested. "So when did you meet her?"

"During the storm, back when I was fourteen" Hiccup tried to look farther away from his mother.

"Ooh, so it's a long relationship" Valka smiled at her son's embarrassment.

"Nooo, she didn't even like me back then. She was petrified of dragons and when I taught her how to trust them…Mom, she was amazing. She took it naturally." Hiccup reminisced in the memory for a while "But then the stormed cleared and we both had to leave."

When Valka saw the little blush that formed on Hiccup's face, she knew there was more. She didn't say anything. "And when you saw each other again it must have stirred up some feeling again." Seeing the boy's reaction only confirmed it. Valka stood up and walked over to the distressed boy as she tried to reassure him. "Don't worry, I might not look it but I was in love once too. You father and I would always go on romantic dates and he would try to woe me"

Hiccup smiled up at his mother before letting a sigh. "So now you know"

"It's more like I've always knew" Valka patted her son's shoulder before her smile faulted. "Hiccup…..you need to decide what you want to do" She saw her son give her a questionable look before she explained. "You can't keep doing this. You two live in two separate worlds and need to decide how you are going to continue your relationship." Seeing her son's face fall, she picked it up to look at her. "I know that you love this girl very much, but you just can't keep living like this"

Once his mother let go of his face, Hiccup began to think. Giving his mother one last look as she gave a nod of understanding. Hiccup ran over to Toothless and climbed onto the dragons back before they took off.

XXXXXXXX

On Berk, Astrid had helped out Stoick with his new idea of helping him train his very own dragon. After the attack from the unknown Hunter, he wanted to make sure he could protect his village better. A dragon, which Gobber pointed out, would be just the thing he needed. It had been a long and very hard progress. Stoick wanted to be in charge and had trouble of letting go of his stubbornness.

After a few days, with the help of Fishlegs, Stoick was able to ride his dragon, Skullcrusher. It was the final days that they were helping Stoick train when Snotlout came in with a Terrible Terror. Astrid saw that the dragon looked familiar. It wasn't until Snotlout came close enough for her to see that it was Sharpshot.

Fear and anxiety took over as she grabbed the critter from Snotlout's hand. She took the note off the Terror's leg and began to read it vigorously.

The next thing the group saw was Astrid racing out of the Arena with fear stricken on her face.

"What was that all about?" Stoick asked confused by Astrid's sudden action.

Fishlegs and Snotlout didn't know how to answer. They just knew that the only reason Astrid would do something like that is if it had something to do with Hiccup. They both grew in worry as they didn't know what they should do.

XXXXXXXXXXXX

Astrid and Stormfly flew as fast as they could to the island. In the note that Astrid had, it said that Hiccup needed to see her right away. Fear he was hurt or far worse crept its way into Astrid.

Once they reached the island, Astrid jumped off after the Nadder landed. She ran towards the cliff where she knew Hiccup would be and saw him.

Hiccup was replaying some words in his mind when he felt someone plow into him. He felt the arms wrap around him as Hiccup tried to stay on his feet. The rider looked behind him to see that it was Astrid.

"I thought something bad happen to you" Astrid squeezed the rider a little before letting go to let Hiccup guild her to in front of him.

"I know. I was a little vague but I need to talk to you" Hiccup looked at Astrid and saw that she was looking at him worriedly. "You know how we live so far apart and we only meet at night…"

"Isn't that because we don't want to get in trouble" Astrid then thought about what happened a few nights ago. "Is this because we were caught by the others? Because I know that they will keep their mouth shuts, even if I have to…."

Hiccup put his hand on the girl's lips to stop her. He only let go when Astrid stop. "It's not that" That boy chuckled at Astrid's solution. "We just live in two separate worlds"

Astrid watched as Hiccup sit down and followed suit. She was now more worried than ever. "Hiccup…"

"Astrid.." Hiccup turned his head to look at Astrid. "What do you want to do with your life? We can't keep doing this every night. And you have your Vikings and I have the dragon riders. I mean…what do you want..to do?"

Astrid stared at Hiccup what seemed like forever before him gave her answer. "I have been in love with this boy since I was a young girl. He taught me that dragons were not mindless beast and showed me how to fly on the back of a dragon. I gave him my first kiss before I left him." Astrid closed her eyes as she remembers the days when she was a young girl. "I could never feel that way with anyone. All the memories that I kept of him were when I was with Stormfly. Then, one day…. he came back. Those feeling that I had came rushing back inside of me. Thus, I knew that I could never be with anyone else." Astrid then cupped Hiccup's face to look at him. "Where ever you go Hiccup…I go"

Hiccup felt like his heart was going to burst out of his chest. Hiccup then turned his whole body to look at the girl. "Astrid…." He then turned to dig into the small back that he had on him. Turning back to Astrid, he held up the iron bracelet. "I feel the same way"

Astrid burst into tears as she hugged Hiccup. They both hugged each other as they then pulled apart to allow Astrid to put on the bracelet. The shiny iron glistened on Astrid wrist as she held it up to the sun.

The two lovers were so happy. They both began to kiss for a long period of time before Hiccup pulled away. Astrid was about to ask why when Hiccup put a finger on her lips to be quiet. Listening very hard, he heard something being slung. Eyes widen as he quickly got on his feet and pulled Astrid up as well.

"RUN!" In their spot, where they just sat, was a large net. More came flying at them as they ran into the woods. Astrid, right behind Hiccup, ran as fast as she could. They both called for their dragons but neither saw them. The two became worried and headed in the direction they last saw Toothless and Stormfly, which was on the beach.

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Reaching the beach, they were shocked at what they saw. On the shore line was a large iron, wooden, ship that littered with skulls of dragons. It had iron spikes on it along with rope that held the skulls on. Tall and many white sails it had, a sword going through a logo was their symbol. A long chain extended in the front, it did not look like it was made for an anchor but for something else to be used for.

Small boats were around the mightily ship, mostly used to allow the soldiers to go ashore. The armed soldiers climbed down from the boats as the others were on land. Figuring that there were more in the forest that were used to drive the two lovers out, Astrid and Hiccup heard one of the soldiers point at them and shout 'there they are!'

Hiccup looked back and forth between the coast line and forest as he tried to think of a plan. It wasn't till the sound of dragons were heard, did Hiccup and Astrid look closer at the beach. They saw Toothless trying to get out of a thick net and Stormfly trying to get out of a noose.

Hiccup, with Astrid following behind him, rushed towards their dragons. Astrid went towards her Nadder as she fought the men who had Stormfly trapped. One of the men let go of the rope as swung his axe at her. Astrid dodged the blade as she gave the soldier a kick in the chest. The man felt a little back as Astrid held the man's axe to give the soldier another kick. The soldier lost his grip on his axe and was flung backwards into the dirt.

Astrid held onto the axe as she stalked towards the man who had a grip on the rope that held her Nadder. The frighten soldier paid too much attention Astrid that he did not see the Nadder swing her tail at the man which caused him to fly backwards. Astrid came up to Stormfly as she tried to figure a way to get the noose of the dragon.

Hiccup was running towards his Night Fury. He took out his dragon blade and lit it. He slashed at the soldiers who backed up from the rider. Frighten by the flame that came from the blade, they stepped away from the Night Fury. When Hiccup got to Toothless he tried to cut the net to allow the dragon to be free. But only to find that it was made out of iron and was not melting by the heat of the firey blade. Hiccup tried to think of how he could get his dragon out but heard Toothless yell at him.

Hiccup saw that Toothless was looking at him worriedly and began to point his head towards Astrid. Hiccup looked at where the Viking girl was and saw a catapult device being aimed at her. Hiccup ran towards Astrid as he yelled out her name. Astrid looked at Hiccup and then at the device that was aimed at her. She yelled at Stormfly to fly away thinking it was her dragon they were after. The Nadder was reluctant to go but the pleas of her owner gave Stormfly no choice.

Hiccup got closer to Astrid as he tried to push her out of the way. He was only able to grab her by the time the catapult had launched.

Unfortunately, they both became caught in the large iron net. They both began to struggle as they tried to get out of the net. Hiccup was on top of Astrid when he heard someone walk over to them. They both looked up at the tall dark man who looked down at them with his dark cruel eyes. He wore black scale like armor that was bulky. He had a lot of circular buckles on his waist. His dreadlock hair and beard were as dark as his armor. Astrid swears that the man looked nothing like a Viking but more like a creature that came from another world.

The man was calm but Hiccup could sense something about the man that made him hold Astrid close as he hiss at the dark man. The dark dread lock man smirked and looked a little happy to see Hiccup protest. The man then raised his foot to slam it on Hiccup's head, who clunk his head on Astrid's, as they both fell into darkness and fear.


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