Dragon Riders

Chapter 7

The sounds of waves could be heard in Hiccup's ears. The ground began to rock as if he were on a boat. Cracking his eyes open, Hiccup met with a painful light and the smell of the ocean air. Hiccup tried to rub at his head to where the pain hurt but felt he was unable to. Hiccup saw that he had chains on both his wrist that held him up.

Becoming fully awake with fear, Hiccup looked at the chains and began to pull them. He felt that there was a weight on them and only stopped when he heard a cry from behind him. Turning his head to look behind him, Hiccup saw that Astrid was too held up by chains on her wrist. Hiccup tried to turn around to look at her but saw that his ankles had chains on them as well.

Getting a better look at his surroundings, Hiccup saw that they were on the front deck of the large ship. The boy could see over the top of the tall wooden bow. Hiccup could not see the water but definitely could tell they were moving by the rocking of the boat. Hiccup then looked at the chain to see that his ankle chain was a short link to Astrid's ankles. Hiccup then looked up to see that the chains that are on his wrists went up and through a small iron circle that led to Astrid's wrist chains. It was made so that if either Astrid or Hiccup were to pull on them their arms would come out of their sockets.

Hiccup and Astrid looked at each other worriedly before hearing some footsteps coming towards them.

"Interesting invention, isn't it?"

Astrid and Hiccup looked to see that it was the same dark man that had kidnapped them. Both refused to say a word as the man stalk towards them.

"It was made to test the relationship of the captors. To see if they truly trust each other" Drago held Astrid by the chin who in returned tried to bite his finger. Drago got his hand away just in time but loved the spirit he saw. He saw one of his generals begin to take out his blade but Drago put his hand up to tell the general it was alright. "I do love that fighting spirit." Drago walk to the other side where Hiccup was and he stood in front of the young dragon rider to get a good look at him. Seeing the boy growl at him, in a way to ward him off, Drago chuckled. "It would be put to very good use with the plans I have for you"

"Plans?" Astrid gritted her teeth as she tried to look over her shoulder. Inside, she was terrified, but the last thing Astrid wanted to do was to show it to any of these men. "What plans?"

"You don't have to worry about any of that." Drago smirked when he replied to the captive girl. Drago watched the boy hold his tongue and just continue to growl at him. Drago found it quite amusing that the boy refused to speak. But Drago was not worried. The boy would speak; they had all the time in the world to get the boy to talk, one way or another. "All that you two need to do…is just stay there and wait till we arrive at your new home"

After that, Drago and his men walked away. Astrid watched him go and then felt the chains began to pull a little as she looked back at Hiccup. She looked at him worriedly as she saw him let out a sigh.

They both stood there for awhile, until Astrid decided to speak quietly. "I see two men on the deck in front of me and one steering the ship." Astrid tried to look at Hiccup and saw that he had his eyes close like he was thinking. "Why would they have so little guards guarding us?"

"Because they know we won't leave the ship without our dragons, plus he knows I won't escape without risk hurting you" Hiccup let out another frustrated sigh as he leaned back into the post. "Plus this ship seems very large, large enough to have more than one layer to it. So I suppose in one of those areas, they are keeping Toothless and Stormfly, along with the rest of the dragons, there."

Astrid thought about what Hiccup said, but after a while only one thing came to her, "How are we going to get out of here?" Astrid began to ask.

"Some how, some way" Hiccup felt his arms begin to hurt a little as he tried to stretch them without hurting Astrid. "And we better do it soon…before the situation gets any worse"

Astrid knew what Hiccup meant; they were alone on a large ship with a mad man. Astrid knew that they had to find a way out of this or things could get worse….just like Hiccups said.

Xxxxxx

It had been hours for the lovers and both Astrid and Hiccup were still chained up. They could not find a way out of their bonds and were growing restless. Astrid was on guard duty just in case any guards had come by to check up on them while Hiccup tried to figure out the mechanics of the medieval trap.

Hiccup only stopped when he heard Astrid whispered to him that someone was coming. Hiccup heard that sound of foot steps that were light. They definitely did not belong to the dreadlock man. Hiccup cranked his neck to look over his shoulder to see from the corner of his eye. It was the man who started it all. Hiccup began to growl at the man as he came closer.

"Well, well, well. Isn't this a lovely picture." The man was Eret, the hunter himself who had come to take a look at the new trophies. "My, my. What a beauty you are" When Eret went to touch Astrid on the cheek, the dragon rider ripped his head around and almost bit Eret's hand. Sadly, Eret moved his hand in time, but still rubbed his hand as the riders growled deeply. "You little…."

"Careful Eret"

Eret averted his eyes to the left, even though he knew who the man was.

"Drago wants them in one piece and not touched by you" Scurvy was leaning on the railing as he watched the hunter turn to glare at him.

"I'm sure he won't mind if I just have a word" Eret turned to look back at the lovers, who in return, glared at him hatefully.

"No" Scurvy got off the railing and stalked towards the hunter. "Drago left me in charge of them so men like you don't do something stupid."

Eret gritted his teeth as he began to reach for his dagger. Eret wanted more than anything to gut and toss this man over board for getting in his way of tormenting his long time enemy.

"Be careful Hunter. I wouldn't want you to get hurt" The general began to put his hand on the hilt of his sword. A smirk grew on the man's face as he waited for the hunter to make his move.

The two prisoners, however, were quite curious to what was going on between the men. Hiccup didn't care if they killed each other but if that hunter ever tried to touch Astrid again he would definitely not just bite off the man's hand next time.

Astrid watched the two but began to feel the chains begin to move as her ankles and arms began to be pulled. Astrid knew Hiccup wanted to protect her but he was causing more harm than good. Astrid began to whisper to Hiccup and the boy finally realized what he was doing to stop and revert back to his side of the pole.

Eret heard the girl say something but couldn't hear what the words she said clearly. Eret decided to let it go and took his hand off his dagger. He walked past the general as the hunter went up the stair and far away from the prisoners.

When the Eret left, Astrid looked back at the general who decided to take a seat on one of the barrel. She sent a glare at the man as she knew that the man would not leave them anytime soon. She began to whisper to Hiccup on what they should do now.

"We'll wait until dark" Hiccup whispered quietly enough so the general could not hear him. "Hopefully he'll fall asleep and we'll be able to find some way out of these chains"

"Okay" Astrid let out a sigh as she tried not to look at the general.

"Are you okay?" Hiccup asked softly.

Astrid reverted her eyes to look at the guilty boy. She let out another breath of air before she looked at her wrists which were red. "Ya… It hurts a little bit"

Hiccup eyes downcast for he knew that Astrid was lying to him. He just couldn't help but snap at the hunter for trying to touch Astrid. That slimy eel of a man should never even go near Astrid as far as Hiccup was concerned.

"Thank you"

Hiccup heart began to flutter at the happiness of Astrid praising him for defending her. He then heard a mocker laugh that could only come from the general who was guarding them.

"Cute" The general got a bottle/vase and began to drink. He only stopped to let out another chuckle. "Looks like you got yourself a fine mate"

Astrid began to blush as Hiccup glared darkly at the man. It was true that that they were lovers but this man referred to them as animals that were going to just breed together and that was it. Hiccup growled deeply from his throat at more than just a warning.

"Don't worry beast" The man wiped his mouth with his hand. "No one with hurt your lover as long as you be very good"

Astrid hated that the man referred to her as a valkyrie who would serve hot drink at the great hall. Astrid decided to be cocky and get under the man's skin. "Drinking on the job. Hmmmm. I'm sure your master will be very please that you're taking this 'job' seriously."

Hiccup watched in silence. Curious as what Astrid was trying to do.

The general, however, knew what Astrid was trying to do and decided not to fall for it. "Don't worry. Unlike your little friend, the hunter, I take my job very, very, seriously." Scurvy held up his drink as he looked like he was making a toast. "That's why it's only water"

Astrid watched as the man took a big gulp of the drink. Anger raged inside her as she continued. "Taking your job seriously, huh. It must be pretty hard to watch your prisoners…after drinking so much" Astrid began to smile mockingly as she knew that the man would have to relieve himself which would give Hiccup and her the perfect time to escape.

"True" Scurvy then began to stand up as he walked over to the side of the boat that had a small hole that showed the water. "But it's thanks to the gods that I am a man and that we are on a boat." The general dropped his pants as he began to pee into the waited water.

Astrid was past pissed, she felt repulsed and was disgusted by the man action. "You are vulgar, DISGUSTING!"

Hiccup growled again at the man for how dare he pee in front of a lady. In front of anyone! Even some dragons knew some decency.

Astrid then whispered to Hiccup that if they do escape, that she would take great pleasure in killing this man. Hiccup nodded but knew that he would definitely help in making that task possible.

The general just chuckled darkly as he finished and pulled his pants up. Wiping his hands on his pants he walked back over to his seat. "Don't get your breast plate twisted. Your just like those frilly white folks in their shiny armor"

Astrid and Hiccup looked at the man, puzzled by his words for they had no idea what 'folks' he was talking about.

"Ah, you live to far east to know what goes on in the west" The man took another gulp of his drink.

Astrid was still baffled by the man's words. Hiccup on the other hand knew a little something about what the man was talking about. Tortel would say that the people who took him from his home wore shiny metal on their body. They covered their body head to toe in the shiny iron substance. The light from the sun made them shine in their wake.

If this man had traveled west to that world, then what else did they know?

Xxxxxx

It had been another hour or two before the sun had sank into the water. The coldness of the vanished warm came in and the two began to shiver a little. Hiccup was fine under his leather gear but Astrid arms were exposed to the cold. She didn't let it bother her, but still wondered what was going to happen to them for the night.

They wouldn't just leave them outside in the middle of the night exposed to the cold. But then again, this was an enemy ship and a lot bigger than the boats they had. Plus, that dark man would love to see them tortured and leave them hanging until the two lovers broke. Too bad Hiccup and Astrid would never allow that to happen.

Footsteps were heard coming down the steps as they looked to see two other soldiers.

"Were here for the night shift" one of the soldiers said.

"Finally" Scurvy got up from his seat as he began to stretch a little. "Make sure you do everything I told you to do"

"Yes sir" The other soldier saluted as they took the general place on the seat. The other got another barrel as he sat down and watched.

In another hour the guards began to indulge in their own conversation and that allowed Hiccup and Astrid to be left to their own devices. Astrid felt her eyes droop as she tried to stay awake.

"Sleep Astrid"

Astrid averted her eyes to see behind her as she looked at Hiccup tiredly. "I'm fine"

"It's no use trying to stay awake the whole night. We need our strength" Hiccup saw that Astrid was looking at him worriedly as he tried to reassure her. "Don't worry" Hiccup wrapped his hands around the chains. "I'll hold you up"

"What about you?" Astrid didn't mind some sleep but she didn't want Hiccup to go without some.

"Its fine" Hiccup watched as Astrid grew more worried. "If you want we'll take turns" Watching as she nodded her head, Hiccup felt the chains begins to feel heavy as Hiccup tried to pull himself up so Astrid could feel comfortable.

The two soldiers on the other hand, stopped what they were doing to turn and see Astrid fall asleep. One of the soldiers began to make gestures before the other soldier got off from his seat to grab a bucket that was next to them. The soldier walked over to the two and chucked the water that was in the bucket at the two prisoners.

The two were startled and became fully awake by the cold water. Shouting curses and other vulgar language the two glared at the soldier.

"What in Fera's name was that for!" Astrid began to cough because some of the water had gone down her throat.

"No sleeping" The soldier said simple. He put the bucket back by his side as he went to join his fellow soldier again in there heated conversation.

The two lovers could not believe what just happen. Before they were not cold but now were freezing. The chilly air and cold water on their cloths will surely make them sick.

"And what happens when we get sick?" Astrid tried not to let her teeth chatter.

"We have medicine, just in case" The soldiers didn't even glance at them. They just continued with their conversation.

Astrid and Hiccup began to shiver as they tried to get closer to each other to share their body heat. They looked at each other worriedly for they knew it was going to be a long night.

Xxxxxxxxx

Ten hours and five buckets of water later, the two guards were finally switched out with the general. Hiccup and Astrid were tired, cold, and luckily not sick from all that had happen during the night. Astrid groaned as she watched the man come sit down and began to eat a chicken leg that he had in his hand. Astrid had not eaten anything since breakfast yesterday, same with Hiccup who could smell the man's food.

The general could not help but chuckle at the two's situation. "Don't worry. You'll have plenty to eat when we get home. And that…will be soon" Scurvy stood up as he looked over the side of the ship to toss the bone overboard. "This ship is fast." Looking at the two as their eyes began to widen. "We should be there by nightfall."

Both Viking and Rider began to look around frantically as they exchange looks. They needed to get out now. Or else they would be locked in Drago's clutches.

Xxxxx

Tired, hungry, and depressed, Hiccup and Astrid tried to think. Even though it had not been long since they've been captured, they still felt defeated. Their arms were in pain along with their legs as their bodies began to beg for relief. The pain hurt so much that Astrid would cry out whenever Hiccup made the slightest pull. The same went for Hiccup as he tried not to move as much but his body ached for sleep and his legs wanted to give in.

The sun was setting into the water and Hiccup knew that it became more of a countdown to their doom. Hiccup wished he knew where the dragons were. Afraid the hunter or the dreadlock man would hurt his best friend, he feared the worst.

Hiccup and Astrid were startled awake when they heard a deep voice shout from above did Astrid see Drago.

"There it is boys! Home at last!"

Screams and shouts from the men were heard as iron and wooden doors were opened to allowed the ship to enter the dark, gigantic fortress. Fear, adrenaline took over Hiccup and Astrid as they began to struggle more than ever in their bonds.

The horror Hiccup saw when the two gates revealed themselves before him. He watched as they opened up to the cruel, stone, wood, and iron fortress that would be their prison. It was the place where tortured dragons would go and never come back. Hiccups eyes widen as he saw them enter and along its walls be more soldiers, along with carcass of animal, and what looked to be dragon. He also saw lots of forges that had fire shooting out of stack. Armor and weapons littered the walls as if they were preparing for war.

Hiccup heard sounds of screams and screeches as he looked to see men pulling at a dragon. They were pointing their spears and blades at the beast. It was as if they were trying to corral it somewhere that the dragon did not want to go. There were cages lined on the docks. Inside were different species of dragons. They all looked cramped and scared. Hiccup heart broke at the site.

The fortress drew fear into the young rider's eyes, as dread filled him. Hiccup heard heavy footsteps as he saw Drago come closer. Standing next to the frighten boy, Drago smiled down at him in a mocking and cruel way.

"Welcome home, my dragon rider"

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