She hadn't known how long she was in the stone encasement for, the light of outside couldn't be seen unless Eden pressed her face to the floor and squinted under the door for any sign of sun.
Her side still ached and she couldn't seem to bring herself to pulling the knife out. Each time she tried, the hilt wedged in the bone would open the cut further and cause massive bleeding of which she hated the feeling of.
Blood dried around the wound, making pulling the knife out even more painful as it tore against the newly healed skin.
Every few hours or so, a morsel of fish or some other meat was tossed from underneath the door which was opened the slightest bit as if she would chomp off the entire arm off (which, although she didn't have the strength to do so, she longed to.)
To keep her mind active, Eden would count silently to herself or just plain talk in a hushed whisper about something random. She found a way of entertainment by throwing stones at the wooden door and seeing if she could hit the same spot each time, which she judged on the sound it made at each toss.
Lying on her stomach one day, as she threw stones at the door, making a soft 'plink' sound, Eden heard the sound of voices outside her cage. The tossing subsided and she turned her ears to hear more of what they were saying through the thick wood.
"I'm hoping for some mauling, like in the shoulders." One said.
Most of what Eden could hear was muffled, but a few voices stood out from others as they drew closer. "Yeah, it's only fun if you get a scar out of it."
Although, she didn't have a clue what they were talking about, she could guess from the fact that each gate in the arena held a dragon behind it that they were discussing fighting the beasts. She began to tune out the bluffs when a familiar voice sounded from the outside world.
"Yeah, pain, love it." It was the same boy she had tried to save the boy the night she came to the village. His sarcastic voice told Eden that he wasn't truly excited to be in the arena.
Will he recognize me? Eden thought, her heart was beginning to beat faster and panic filled her thoughts. What if they already know! Will they kill me?
During her state of panic, Eden realized that another voice was walking by each cage and telling the names of each. "The Deadly Nadder." He said. Another voice mumbled something in the back.
A few more names of things Eden couldn't understand and the man reached her door. "This one we captured the other night during the dragon raid, don't know what it is but," a cranking sound filled the chamber and the doors flew open. "I think it's about time we figure that out."
Sun burst in and Eden closed her eyes from the shock of it. "Aren't we supposed to fight the Gronkle first?" One boy said. "Since, I don't know, we know how to fight them!" He shouted.
Eden turned to him to see a short and pudgy boy with long brown hair that reached his shoulders yelling at the man who must have let her out.
"It- this is…" The dragon turned her head to face what she knew was the scrawny boy. He did recognize her! He held up a shield in front of his face as if, since she had saved his life a few nights before, she would certainly attack him.
Ignoring the boy, the others charged at the dragon with shields and weapons. Eden began to panic again and unfurled her wings when she remembered she still had the rope contraption wrapped around them.
She leapt over the children and landed against the opposite wall. Grunting, Eden clambered her way up to the chain ceiling of the arena and poked her head through the holes but was unable to fit her shoulders through.
A whizzing sound filled her ears and, without turning to see what it was, the dragon dodged to the left and held on with her claws to the chain as a double-headed axe flew by her.
She looked down to see a blonde haired girl with a truly uncomfortable looking belt throwing her shield to the ground in anger as she realized she had just lost her only weapon. Eden leapt down, opening her wings as far as they would go to create a cushion for her fall.
As she looked down, she screeched in panic as she found herself falling directly at the scrawny child, who stood frozen, eyes widened and shield raised in front of his chin. "Hiccup!" A man with a blonde braided mustache yelled from the spectator area.
Eden quickly angled her body so that she was falling sideways and her tail sat underneath her. As she hit the boy, she wrapped her tail around his shoulders and twisted him so that he flew out from under her and into the wall.
Eden, unfortunately, did not receive the same mercy of the fall as she crashed face first into the dirt floor. Relieved by her success of not killing the boy, she hadn't noticed the blonde mustached man running down from the seating of the arena until a long chain was wrapped hastily around her neck.
Eden turned her head so that she could see how much damage the boy had accumulated to see that he suffered only from a small scratch of the wall hitting his left cheek and most likely bruised shoulders.
He looked at her with frightened eyes with hidden confusion as if to say Why did you save me? Eden looked away quickly as the man lifted the boy called 'Hiccup' to his feet and brushed him off. "Good, well now that went well." He said in a sarcastic voice which was hard to tell under his thick Scottish accent.
Eden chuckled to herself thinking What purpose did that serve exactly?
"Well now that the beast is contained, we can discuss and determine what exactly it is. What do we know so far?"
"That it isn't good at killing wimps." A girl with a nasally voice said, laughing at herself afterwards.
"It has horrible aim." The axe-wielder corrected in an annoyed tone.
"Not that you did much better, you didn't even get close to it." A boy with the same nasally voice said, and Eden determined them to be related to each other.
"That's because it moved Smart one." The girl returned, threatening him with a raised fist.
"Astrid's right." The man said, breaking up the argument. "This dragon relies mainly on hearing, which may be due to the fact that it can't see well with that scar 'cross its face."
Eden was surprised at this remark. How did he know her sight was shot due to her injury? She raised a clawed foot to her face and swept it across her right eye, feeling the indented scar that ran from her upper brow to the bottom of the eye socket.
"Another way we can learn more about its species is by lookin' at the chamber of the dragon itself." He added, continuing on with his lesson.
"What good does that do?" A tall and wide boy asked in a nervous tone.
"Glad ya asked Fishlegs." The man answered. "Inspectin' the chamber allows us ta see how the dragon reacts in living quarters. For instance, the Zibbleback's chambers are usually exploding with the flammable gas and smoke as it tries to free itself while the Nightmare sets the inside on fire, trying to burn the door down."
The students followed their counselor over to the open doors of Eden's cage and began discussing the random stones on the floor and how she might breathe stones rather than fire which sent Eden into a silent laughing fit which she tried desperately to control.
She looked over and saw that Hiccup was staring at her curiously. She stopped laughing suddenly and tried to look as innocent as possible. Hiccup finally turned away, and Eden sighed in relief as she realized she wasn't under inspection anymore when a clanging sound filled her ears with interest.
She looked down and realized that the hastily wrapped chain had become loose around her neck. Looking behind her again, Eden saw that no one was looking in her direction and she quickly began unwrapping the chain from her throat.
It fell to her feet in a heap of metal. Eden looked up again and was startled to see that Hiccup had turned again and had seen her escape. She froze, thinking that if she stayed that way, she might go unnoticed.
"Uh, guys." Hiccup turned to the others. Oh no! Eden's hopes were diminished with those words. Fortunately, no one seemed to take notice of the boy as they kept going about their business, inspecting the chamber.
Eden had to think quickly, she looked around, trying to find an escape when her eyes fell upon the double-headed axe which the one called 'Astrid' had thrown at her lying not ten feet from a gate which slid open upwards by the looks of it.
"Guys!" Hiccup said, a little louder this time when he noticed what she was doing. Eden ran for the gate and grabbed the axe in her mouth as she ran by and approached the sliding door. It took a few tries, but eventually Eden was able to fit the lip of the axe underneath the door and slide it up.
Although it only lifted a matter of inches off the ground, Eden slipped her front paws into the gap and, planting her back legs against the ground, she lifted the door with as much effort as she could use.
Her side pained at the motion but the heavy door slid up quickly allowing the dragon to slip out. Unfortunately, she had misjudged the ability for the door to stay open for when she ducked under, the gate fell back down on top of her, knocking the air out of her for a moment.
"Gobber!" Hiccup yelled this time and ponded on the man's arm. He turned with an annoyed expression on his face. "What?" Hiccup pointed at the emerald dragon halfway between the arena and the outside world with the heavy gate laid atop her in a position which Eden thought made her look pretty stupid.
"Gah!" He shouted in surprise and his face changed expressions in a matter of seconds to wide eyed and gawking. "Get that dragon!" He managed.
The children charged at her with weapons and swords in hand. Everyone with the exception of Hiccup who seemed to be as shocked as Eden was at the moment. Shaking herself from her stupa, the dragon wriggled and squirmed from her trap and was able to make it out alive.
Astrid, with the help of the twins, twisted another wheel which opened the gate. Eden kept running, leaping over startled citizens as they went about their business.
She could hear the warriors behind her and her recent injury was making running a complicated process. As Eden approached the forest which she had intended on ducking into, she was stopped to see a shade peek its head out of the brush with a bow and arrow in hand.
How long had they been waiting for her? Eden took a sharp turn only to realize that she had hit a dead end.
A large wooden house stood directly in her way and she wasn't able to fly above. She was panting and began to panic as the warriors came closer upon her. She looked back, contemplating her choices only to realize that she had all but one.
Cringing, the dragon drew a breath and closed her eyes, the winds picked up and a bright flash seemed to surround her. Her body began to ache as her bones became frail and the skin thinned. Her transformation had drained the last of her energy and she dropped into a vat of unconsciousness.
When the children came up to the corner they had seen the dragon duck around, they stopped in their tracks, directly in front of them, lying on the ground in a heap was a girl.