Chapter 17: Everything Seems To Be Going Fine for A Few Minutes

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Seventeen chapters later and the gang is finally getting their dragons! I'm posting the other chapter tonight because I fell bad for leaving everyone on a cliff hanger.

Anyways, enjoy the story.

With every muscle burning and begging to stop, I grabbed a hold of a jagged rock above me, pulling me further up the side of the mountain. Almost there. The words had grown empty almost an hour ago, yet I still repeated them like they would somehow bring back my lost strength.

Almost there. My bloodied fingers dug into another rock, no longer feeling the sharp pains as filaments of rock stabbed the skin under my nail. Early this morning the winds had barely been a breeze down near the ground, but now they yanked me side to side, threatening to throw me off the mountain if I gave into exhaustion. But my sheer determination wouldn't let it. I had waited over a month, studying, training, putting up with Easton's remarks, and helping Lydia and Cora become battle ready. And out of everything, since becoming Team Captain, Easton, as I predicted, made my life as hard as he possibly could. If I said go right, he went left, if I suggested something, he would do the opposite.

I don't pick the dragon, the dragon picks me. I reminded myself. Annoyance blossomed in my chest, clenching my teeth as I pulled myself further up the rocky ledge. A smooth and flat ledge rubbed against my calloused palms, bringing me nearly in tears. Finally!

Exhaustion morphed into joy as I threw my chest over the ledge, hulling my heavy body over the ledge and rolling onto my back. Air came in sharp gasps, my lungs filling with as much air as they could greedily suck up. I closed my eyes, hating the large sun that had risen from the horizon and painted the sky in beautiful pastels of purple's, pinks, and reds. Except with me being so tired, I cursed at it, telling the great sun to hide back into the night where it had been when Holland brought us to this mountain.

Grunts dragged me out of my daze, forcing me to turn back to the ledge. A boney hand grabbed the ledge out of nowhere, making me nearly jump out of my skin. Half a second later, Cora's sweat and dirt coated head rose from behind the rock and I scrambled onto my feet. Her other hand locked with mine, and I stuck my butt out, transferring weight backwards to use as little energy as possible as I hulled my teammate up.

With Cora helping up Lydia, who looked just as exhausted as everyone else, I extended a hand to Easton. As he climbed, I glanced behind him, down at the mile drop. My already racing heart thundered to life. The once enormous pointy pine trees were barely bushes from up here. The school and it's towering buildings disappeared somewhere in the horizon, leaving nothing but forest for as far as the eye could see.

Easton gave one look at my hand and swatted it away, pulling him onto the ledge. I straightened, glaring at him. Fine, help yourself up.

Stepping back near the others, I looked over my shoulder. My eyes followed the triangular pine trees towards the sky. A groan rumbled in my chest. We weren't even halfway up the mountain. But to my relief, there weren't any mountainsides to climb up, or at least that I could see. That meant that we were walking the rest of the way to the coves like we had hiked from the school and over here.

With everyone heaving in air, we all looked at each other, having a silent agreement. Collapsing, we laid on our backs waiting for Holland to show. I lay there thinking of the very first day I met my team. Cora and Lydia couldn't even throw a punch or swing a sword, and now, they could hold their own against Easton and I. Of course, we still won, the two of us had the far more experience than them. And Easton had treated me like spoiled milk, which still hadn't changed, and but now I saw him more like the brother I never wanted, always stealing my swords before I could grab them, shoving me into walls, but picked on others when they tried to do the same.

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