Rahar scrunched his face up, as he scratched at the fabric now covering his chest. It was a bit scratchy, and not entirely comfortable- but he wasn’t one to refuse a gift. It was itchy and didn’t quite fit, but Theo had given it to Rahar in his time of need. It was nothing like the scales and silks of his home, and it would most definitely be consumed by his dragon fire. It was quite flammable. But Theo had shared it with him, and Rahar meant it when he said he would treasure the clothing forever. Gifts were sacred to dragons, and not given lightly.
And besides, there was really no danger of him setting anything on fire. Probably. His magic reservoir was still close to empty and he couldn’t summon his magic- even on accident. Apparently travelling through whatever rift the Demonic necklace had opened had some other adverse effects on him. Along with his dragon form being smaller, his magic seemed to be returning very slowly. It was trickling in bit by bit, though, and with some rest, Rahar figured it would be okay.
At the moment, though, Theo was sitting in front of Rahar. They were still in the den of Theo’s home. Everything was so strange here. Shiny, but not like a gem. It was all… Rahar tried searching for the word, as his eyes wandered upon the shimmering surfaces before him. Inorganic. It smelled of metals and wood here, but somehow not. It was puzzling, but Theo seemed to think it was all normal. So, it must have been how things simply were, on this Earth.
“Okay, Rahar, so….” Theo cleared his throat, drawing Rahar’s attention back to the other. He gave the human a brief smile, trying to ease the nerves that flowed freely from the human’s soul. Their bond allowed Rahar to get a sense what Theo was feeling- at least when he wasn’t closing in on himself. Right now he was nervous, but more than that, curious. “What exactly happened to you? I saw something in the sky, and I thought it was a meteorite…”
“A what?” He cocked his head to the side, seeing Theo’s expression dim for a moment. Rahar searched through his memory, trying to see if he could figure the word in his own tongue.
“Like, a rock from space…?” Theo answered, biting his lip. Rahar could feel uncertainty in his words. “It gave off so many colors. But, uh, it turns out that was you, and not a rock. I’m just…really confused right now…”
Rahar huffed softly, sensing distress coming from the human. Rahar reached out, and gave the other a firm pat on his arm. “It’s all right, Theo. I can tell this Earth has no magic, like where I come from. This must all be so new to you. Like that Michael Wave is to me.” Rahar gestured towards the black, shiny rectangular object he had seen from before. It was weird, but Rahar was curious about it. It gleamed with an almost magical light, but wasn’t magical at all. It also smelled vaguely like food, and spices he didn’t recognize.
“Microwave…” Theo responded almost automatically. Rahar cocked his head to the side when Theo gave a harsh sigh, and rubbed his forehead. He looked like he was in pain, which concerned Rahar immensely. Theo was a part of his hoard now. As his kingdom would one day be a part of it, Theo was his to protect. Theo gave a sharp sigh, and then shook his head before Rahar could ask once again if the human was all right. “That’s…you said magic? Rahar, where are exactly are you from…?”
Rahar smiled briefly, and closed his eyes, giving a soft sigh. “A realm called Ghralna…” With tall mountains, rolling hills, and as many races as one could imagine. The dragons welcomed all into their borders and their cities. The other kingdoms respected their power, and things had been peaceful. “My kingdom was prosperous…” he frowned, feeling an ache in his heart. “Not, it is prosperous, still. I hope it shall remain that way….” He sighed, and then lifted his eyes, seeing confusion fluttering through Theo’s mismatched hues. He was only confusing the human, but Rahar didn’t even know where to begin. He took in a deep breath, and then decided to try.
“All of the kingdoms lived in peace together. There were occasional scuffles between the races and along the borders, but the rulers of each kingdom always strove to settle things peacefully. Our world was nearly destroyed the last time nations fought in a war.” It was in every history lesson that had been pounded into him since he was a little hatchling. Even while in the egg, his parents had sung stories of the past to him. Stories steeped in magic, and loss. He could recall them even now….but he was no singer, and would only embarrass himself in front of Theo if he tried; something he didn’t want to do. As Theo was the only member of his hoard on this planet- wherever it may be- Rahar wanted to do his best to seem reliable.
“Okay, so magic, dragons. Uhm. Elves and stuff are real on your planet?”
“You have elves here?” Rahar asked, a spark of hope lighting in him. If there was an elf, surely they might be able to help him figure this out?
“Uh, no.” The spark of hope flickered and died within Rahar, and his shoulders slumped. So much for an easy solution to his problems. He couldn’t return home yet- but he had to find a way to keep the pendant safe. Surely the demons wouldn’t simply let him have it without sending someone after him. They might not have had their all-powerful source- but that didn’t mean they were without any magic. “I-I’m sorry, It’s just. Well, we have stories and stuff of that sort of thing, but like you said. Magic isn’t real. None of that stuff is. Here, anyways. This is just plain old Montana…”
Rahar watched Theo bite his lip nervously, feeling he tension rolling off of him. He tried to give Theo a calming smile, in order to soothe the others’ nerves. Theo seemed rather perceptive to smiles so far. “Well, it’s all very real where I come from. And the reason I’m here is…well, a bit complicated. As crowned prince, it’s my duty to-”
“Ohh my god. A dragon Prince. Of course,” Theo gasped softly, his eyes doubling their size in awe. “I swear to God, am I in a Netflix special or something?” Theo seemed to wheeze out. Rahar stared quietly, waiting for Theo to fall silent again. A pretty flush crept over Theo’s features, and he cast his eyes down, obviously embarrassed at the accidental outburst. “I said that out loud, didn’t I? I’m s-sorry. Keep going.”
Rahar smiled briefly, head tilting to the side. He wasn’t sure what Theo was talking about at all- but he knew it was a lot for the human to take in. “Well, like I was saying. It is my duty as Crown Prince to protect my kingdom, and keep the safety of all other kingdoms in mind as well.” He frowned, remembering the day that the Demons betrayed the delicate balance between them. The day he himself had been betrayed. His heart ached at the memory, but he pushed it away. Now wasn’t the time to think of Cyril. “And then the demons decided that this balance wasn’t enough for them, and attacked the Druid Kingdom. The pendant you have upstairs is their greatest source of power, fueled by the souls of all the people they’ve killed in their attempt to take over all of the realms. Something they were dangerously close to doing…” Rahar remembered all of the burning cities, knowing so many had died at the hands of demons.
Once again, he felt the pure shock filter through their bond. Theo’s eyes looked up above him, to the ceiling- most likely thinking of the pendant he had upstairs. Their eyes met again, Theo seeming to drop a shade or two in color, somehow seeming even paler than before. “Okay. Demons. Magic. Dragons….” Theo gave a soft scoff, and lifted a hand to his forehead. “I feel like this is some sort of weird D&D campaign. Only it’s real…” Theo face scrunched up for a moment, went slack, and then took in another deep breath. “Okay, so, you’re a dragon prince, and the Demons- these demons have started a war to take over everything? With an extremely powerful magic amulet. Which is now here, in this realm.”
Rahar smiled brightly, and nodded. “Yes, exactly! I stole the pendant to cripple their power, and it broke during the struggle. I think whatever magic inside of it must have torn a hole to your Earth. But….I don’t think they’ll simply let me walk away with it. It might take them some time, but they will try to retrieve the pendant, no doubt. Even while it’s losing its magic with every second, they will come after it…”
He felt a spike of fear from Theo, and quickly reached out, grabbing his hands. His protective urges surged forth, wanting to wipe the fear from his mind completely. “Listen to me, Theo, everything will be okay. I’ll keep you safe, no matter what. You can trust me…” No matter what happened from here on out, Theo was his to protect, and nothing was going to happen to him, while Rahar still lived.
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