A Blinding Hope

The Deadly Nadder


Chapter 5: The Deadly Nadder

Yusei was at the arena first. The main reason being that the cliff next to the arena had a great view of the sunrise. He sat down on the cliff's edge and waited for the others. He soon heard a heavy foot slide to a stop next to him, but Yusei didn't bother to check who it was.

"Didn't expect to see you of all people here so early?" Trudge's voice stated.

"I just came to watch the sunrise," Yusei replied not turning to the mentor.

"Why are you even in training, Yusei?" Trudge asked. "You obviously don't want to be here."

"Martha forced me into it," he answered.

Trudge scoffed. "Why don't you want to fight dragons?" he asked.

"It only increases the flames in this senseless war," Yusei replied.

"Senseless?!" came Akiza's voice as she and the others ran up. "We fight and kill dragons because they kill us."

"Who said they truly want to hurt us?" Yusei responded calmly. They all paused for a moment.

"How would you know what they want? They probably just think like any other barbaric beast," Crow asked.

Yusei shook his head, still not taking his eyes off the sun. "Dragons are as just as intelligent as each of us. They are living, conscious beings who are only taking our food to survive their own possible death," he explained. "According to a friend, they're forced to attack us and take our food. They don't want to fight this war and increase the senseless violence that is only growing as the war moves on."

"And who's this 'friend'?" Jack asked.

"None of your business," Yusei retorted sternly. "All you should know is that dragons are intelligent creatures that want this war to end just as much as humans truly do."

"How do you know that we want this war to end? We could want life to continue as it is," Luna asked.

"Do you truly feel alright with this war? Watching friends and families die? Taking another life after another life? You truly want a life of death and suffering to continue?" Yusei replied.

"How have you never gone to revenge after that Monstrous Nightmare killed your parents?" Trudge asked.

"Because revenge only feeds to more revenge. And there's no reason to get revenge and push forth a war that doesn't need to live on," Yusei responded. He gave a soft sigh. "Let's just get this training session over with."

Trudge nodded and led them into the arena where it had a wall maze around the inside. Trudge shut the gate behind the recruits and moved to the top. He opened the gate to the Nadder and it hopped out of its cage. Everyone immediately scrambled through the maze.

"Today's lesson is all about attack!" Trudge called. The Nadder jumped onto the top of the walls. "Nadders are quick and light on their feet. Your job is to be quicker and lighter."

Yusei heard Jack and Crow argue and gasp in slight fear before fast moving footsteps pierced the air. He silently walked around a corner when Akiza called his name quietly. He looked at her. Right behind her were the twins.

"Get down," she ordered in the tiniest of whispers.

Yusei followed the others as they rolled passed the Nadder. But Leo fell on his back and the dragon heard the noise from their rolls went for Leo. Yusei quickly helped Leo up and brought him back to his sister. Leo looked at him, slightly shocked at his quick assistance despite being made fun of for most of his life.

The Nadder began to chase Yusei, and the man could tell it was more curious rather than attacking. The walls of the maze were knocked down and Yusei looked at the Nadder as it approached him slowly.

"Yusei!" Trudge called again.

"Don't worry about me," Yusei told him. "It won't hurt me."

"Yeah, ri-" Crow responded. But it was then that the Deadly Nadder stopped its advance and sat on its knees in peace. "What the…?"

"Dragons act so different around you, Yusei," Luna commented. "Why?"

"To a friend and to a dragon, as they had said, I have the heart of a human and the soul of a dragon," Yusei responded.

"Whoa, whoa," Crow cut in. "You said, 'they'. As in, both dragon and your friend. How can you know what a dragon thinks of you?" Yusei stayed silent.

Jack rushed to grab Yusei for answers but the Nadder stepped in front of Yusei protectively. Jack stepped back.

"It's… protecting him," Akiza muttered.

"Easy, girl," Yusei whispered and the dragon calmed down. He turned to the stunned group. "Like I told you, dragons are intelligent living creatures with a heart and mind like us." He turned to the Monstrous Nightmare's cage. "And one dragon's been locked up so long, he's beginning to go mad."

"And you know this how?" Trudge asked.

"I can tell," Yusei informed. He looked at the Nadder. "Can you go back into the cage for now? I promise, I'll free you as soon as I can," he told it mentally. It gave a small nod and squawk before returning to its cage and closing the door.

"How did that dragon know what to do?" Leo asked.

"Or better yet, why did it go back in the cage?" Jack added.

"She went back in because I asked her to," Yusei replied shocking them. "Now that you've seen what dragons really are to some extent, think about if dragons truly are our enemy."

"If dragons aren't the enemy, then who is?" Luna asked.

"The type of people humans are now," Yusei replied before walking out.

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