“Huff, huff,” Cobalt pants as he runs nowhere. It’s black everywhere and he can’t see where he’s going. He can’t see what he’s stepping on. He turns around and sees a dragon standing. Not just any dragon, a white dragon with cobalt blue eyes. He’s paralyzed in fear. Sweat covers his face and neck. He breathes heavily but does nothing to get away. The dragon inhales and instead of breathing out fire, a strong gust of ice and cold air comes out. Cobalt shields his face but the strong wind pushes him to the ground. Instead of landing he keeps falling. As he falls, the world around him lights up. He sees that he’s about to fall on ice. He screams and crosses his arms over his face as he falls head first. His body cracks over the ice and he submerges in the ice-cold water. He wakes up.
He never felt so awake. His body is wet but he realizes it’s not from sweat. His bed is wet too. And he feels cold. “It’s time for training, my King,” Kristoff says holding a bucket. Cobalt groans.
Beside the barracks is the training grounds for the knights and squires. Kristoff is in his captain uniform while Cobalt is in his training garb. Kristoff has been teaching Cobalt sword fighting ever since he was old enough to hold a sword. Every other day, they spar in the early morning to keep Cobalt’s skills in check. Cobalt’s father wanted him to be a warrior-king and Cobalt had no problem with that. What he has problems with is his dream and makes him distracted.
Kristoff easily twirls Cobalt’s sword off his hands and points his sword at his neck. “You seem distracted, my king,” Kristoff notices.
Cobalt sighs. “I had a weird dream, Kristoff,” he starts.
Kristoff stays quiet, prepared to listen. He was the king’s right-hand man and he’s prepared to do the same for the new king.
“I saw a white dragon with eyes like mine. And it breathes ice instead of fire. Then I fell into ice-water.”
“Do you remember the Realm of Dragons?”
“Of course. It was part of my studies but it’s nothing more than folklore.”
“Yes, but your father was quite invested in that folklore. He tried to find a way to go there.”
“What did he plan to do?”
“I’m not sure, my king. But definitely not harm them. As you know, he was the most gentle person.”
Cobalt strokes his chin in thought. Then he picks up his sword and hands it to Kristoff. “Apologies, Kristoff but I must look into the Realm of Dragons,” Cobalt says.
“If it will ease you, my King,” Kristoff bows.
Cobalt takes his leave and goes to the castle library. He finds a book he’s never read about the Realm of Dragons. It states that before, dragons and humans were at war and to save their species, the dragons built a portal to another world where they can live peacefully. When there were no more dragons, the humans took this as a sign of victory. To make sure the dragons never return they sealed the portal with magic. Only the people who sealed the portal know how to open it. Apparently, they never passed on the knowledge to make sure no one opens it.
“I don’t get it,” Cobalt closes the book. “Why is my father obsessed with these dragons, Siobhan?”
Siobhan appears herself to Cobalt with her arms crossed. “What good of a spy am I if you can detect if I’m near you?”
“Oh, you’re very good at being a spy. Just not on me. But think of it that I find comfort in your presence.” Cobalt smiles.
“You were asking me something?” Siobhan changes the subject.
Cobalt changes his expression and looks at the book. He recalls his father would tell him bedtime stories about dragons and how gentle they were. He took it all as fiction, different from the legend that might have been history. His father was fond of dragons but he never asked why.
“Do you know anything about my father’s fondness of dragons?” Cobalt asks.
“He used to tell me not to get scared of them when I see one.” Siobhan says. “You know, he draws pictures of different dragons and labels what kind they are.”
“I’ve seen those pictures. It only made me want to try art. I should’ve asked about his fixation on dragons.”
Cobalt returns the book to the shelf where he got it. He runs a hand through his hair. He crosses his arms to think. Siobhan remains by his side.
“Maybe I should do what he did,” Cobalt says.
“What do you mean?” Siobhan asks.
“There’s a mountain with a cave at the summit. Rumor has it, dragons used to live there but it’s probably a thieves’ den by now.”
“Sounds dangerous,” Siobhan protests.
“You’ll be with me, won’t you?” Cobalt gives her a small smile.
Siobhan sighs. Of course, she will be.