The sun shone brightly against Eisen’s dark brown hair, making it feel as if it was on fire. His hand then reached back and rubbed the back of his head, feeling every strand of hair on it, as sweat formed on his brow. Even so, his workplace would make even this morning sun feel cool in comparison, he noted as the then lowered his arm and shrugged. Of course, that was always the risk of working as an apprentice blacksmith within this age of computers and vehicles.
Although the dark brown-haired man enjoyed the modern conveniences technology brought him and countless other people around the world, he felt more at home at a blacksmith shop, The Dragon’s Flame. It was the closest he could go back to the medieval era with knights fighting against evil where they came and rescue as many people as they can. Eisen always enjoyed reading such books about that time, but he still wanted to live like a knight as described back in those days.
His yellow eyes then looked down at his wrist, where a digital watch wrapped itself around it and saw digital numbers on its surface. The numbers read out as 8:43 AM. Only seventeen minutes until work starts, Eisen thought, plenty of time to get there in this walk, but it wouldn’t hurt to go there early.
Eisen’s gaze then looked up and saw a robed figure standing before him, with his arms and hands hidden under the long sleeves. The robes, crimson in the bright sunlight, showed stains of worn and with the rims of the robes gray with dust. The hood was up and forward in front so that nothing could be seen of his face. Eisen wondered if the robed man could see underneath the hood and, if so, how, when the man before him spoke.
“Hello, denizen of this fallen world,” the robed man said as Eisen tilted his head. “Your eyes. Are they natural?”
“What?” Eisen asked as he blinked. “Of course they are. What is wrong with my yellow eyes?”
“Nothing is wrong. In fact, they are perfect for my organization,” the robed man answered, and he gave out a chuckle. “We wanted someone with yellow eyes, and he heard rumors of one such man around this town.”
“So?” Eisen remarked as his eyes half squinted. “Who are you? What do you want?”
The man gave out a high pitch laugh, one that contrasted from the guttural voice he spoke with. “I am a mere servant of Belegurth, the lord. His own yellow eyes looked all over the world, despite being sealed off beyond the rim. We seek one with yellow eyes so that we can bring him back into this world. Will you grant him that offering?”
“Eh?” Eisen said as he felt a cold shiver down his spine. “What are you talking about? That doesn’t make any sense. In any case, I don’t wish to give you or your ‘lord’ any of my money or stuff. Now please, go off and scam someone else with that made-up religion. Perhaps con someone with blue eyes instead.”
The area became colder, despite the hot sun, as the robe’s sleeves rolled themselves up.
“I am afraid that there’s no backing off from lord Belegurth.”
“What-” Eisen said before his head felt heavy as if it just absorbed a hundred of sleeping pills, and he fell onto the ground.
Eisen groaned as he wiggled, feeling his arms and legs tied up and something tight against his chest. His yellow eyes opened to blurry vision as his head felt sore, with a swollen bruise on his forehead and a stiff neck. His dark brown hair covered up his eyes, not helping with clearing up his vision, though he managed to see ropes tied up against him, with arms tied up behind his back.
His vision regained focus as he looked around the room, dark aside from a lit candle flame and worn-down stone walls. Other than a wooden bed beside him and a wax candle on top of a small table, there wasn’t anything else there. The glassless window, with steel bars on it, showed the half-moon as Eisen blinked, wondering how he could sleep that long. His eyes then looked over to the passageway, with dark shadows with little light ahead. If it weren’t for the electronic watch still wrapped up against his wrist, he would’ve thought that he got transported into his favorite era.
The dark brown-haired man somewhat grinned at that thought before he shook his head. No time to feel joy, even when being reminded of the age of knights, when you got kidnapped, Eisen thought as he wiggled against the rope. His fist curled up as he remembered that meeting with that robed man, the one who taken him and made him missed out a day of metalworking.
His eyes saw a flicked at the passageway, and he looked at it, seeing a mix of yellow and red lights glowing outside. His yellow eyes looked at the opening, his brow furrowed, and his teeth gritted as a robed figure walked into the room, holding onto a flaming torch. A few other robed figured walked in from behind, also wearing crimson, as they stood in front of Eisen in a semicircle.
“Hello again,” the one carrying the torch said in a guttural voice, and Eisen let out a growl. “Are you now ready to offer yourself to Belegurth?”
“I don’t even know who that jerk is,” Eisen answered, his tone even and yet filled with rage.
One of the robed figures flinched and stepped forward to Eisen, but the torch-carrying one raised his hand, and that robed figure stepped back. The yellow eye man looked at the now exposed hand, thin with little else other than bones and ash, and grunted.
“You will know soon enough,” the torch-carrying one said with a mocking sense of pity. “You see, your soul will be forever bound to our lord and together you’ll end this perverted world.”
Eisen’s eye twitched at that comment. “So, a doomsday cult? That’s your end goal? I thought that you were just strange, but after kidnapping me and hearing that, now I see that you’re just a bunch of insane murderers.”
The torch-carrying one gave the nod to another before gazing the head back at Eisen. The one he nodded to extended one of his hands, showing its blackened surfaces as if grilled and with yellow nails and the ropes around Eisen’s chest and legs loosened. The dark brown-haired man blinked before he winced at the sudden pain, with dark red blood flowing down from his left leg.
“I apologize, your eminence,” the cultist said to the torch-carrying one. “I seemed to mix up the spells between cutting and loosening.”
“A regrettable mistake, but not a costly one,” the head cultist said before he extended his hand at the charging Eisen, despite the ropes around his wrists, and the kidnapped man froze, his face becoming white. “He is still alive, and that cut was not deep. As long as he has yellow eyes and lives, he will still due as our sacrifice.”
Eisen’s face became whiter as his eyes bulged out, trying to cough but couldn’t due to something tight around his neck. It then loosened up, and he gave out a massive gasp for air as he fell down onto his knees. He remained there for a second before he felt pulled upwards, and his legs moved as if by another’s will. His jaws couldn’t move even a centimeter, yet his eyes glared at each cultist in front of him.
Was this magic? Eisen thought as he tried to suppress the sense of joy. Though he always wanted magic to existed, as told in such tales set in the medieval era, it was clear even to him that this was more akin to demonic forces rather than anything useful. And, in any case, this magic that they were using on him was being used to control him against his will and with a goal to kill him.
The cultists dragged Eisen out of the room, with their boots clicking against the floor as his eyes looked around him at the stone walls with odd engravings on them. Two cultists walked beside Eisen, with both of their clawed hands on each of his shoulders, while the yellow-eyed man gritted. Soon, after what felt like hours of walking, the group and their captor entered a room, bright enough that Eisen winced at the light.
The room was sparse, with dark purple curtains that held a golden circular symbol with a dragon at the center hanging on the walls and a circle painted on the wooden floor in the middle of the room. Eisen blinked, noticing thin lines within the ring before he saw that it was a thirteen-point star. At each point was a series of runes that gave out a slight glow while the air smelled of ash.
Eisen’s nose furrowed as he got pulled into the center of the star and found himself pulled down onto the wooden floor. The ropes around his hands loosened, only for his arms and legs spread out against his will and pointing at the runes. He grunted, his face pressed so close against the floor that he could smell the dust, while his one yellow eye looked up and saw the cultist spreading out around him, arms spread out.
“Now, we give praise to our lord Belegurth, the one who will end this perverted world,” the head cultist said in what sounded like a prayer. “We humans have taken nature’s gift and warped them until they’re no longer their original, pure design. We have seen it happened over and over again throughout the ages since he was cast aside for objecting to us humans having free will. And this world that we see now is the climax of how the world has become warped from its original shape.
“The technology that humanity has created proved that we shouldn’t have the free will that was blessed to us. We have proven ourselves to be a prideful, selfish people, exactly as lord Belegurth predicted. So, lord Belegurth, we pray that you’ll end this world and start a new one.”
Eisen rolled his eyes from the obnoxious speech before he saw the head cultist raised his arms above him and spoke out in an unknown language. The voice became harsh as if it came from the coldest center of hell where the devil lies, and the runes around the kidnapped man glowed brightly. The lines of the star glowed underneath him while a piercing sound came from below, causing him to wince. Soon, sparks appeared above and within the circle before bursting into a bright light, an explosion sound echoed within.
His yellow eye saw nothing more than white light, no matter where it shifted. His nose smelled nothing while his body still felt the rough wooden floor. He then shivered when he felt a cold hand touching his back, through the clothes, and rubbing it. Eisen blinked when he felt the cold hand pierce through his back, with sweat forming around his face, and the chill then spread throughout his body. It went through the tip of his toes to the top of his head, as he felt something flowing into himself. Is this how possession happens?
Whatever was flowing into him stopped, and the bright light soon morphed into other colors. The room, with the wooden floor and the ritual drawing appearing first, returned before he saw the head cultist appeared through the bright light. Soon, the lighting returned to its usual bright light rather than the white light.
Eisen looked at the head cultist and noticed that he lowered his limbs, showing a sense of confusion and disappointment.
“Something has gone wrong,” the head cultist said, shifting his head to the side. “The ritual says that, before us, the yellow-eyed sacrifice should be replaced with lord Belegurth with his soul-infused with the lord. Why is he still here?”
“Perhaps this is lord Belegurth and had simply taken his skin,” one of the other cultists outside of Eisen’s sight said.
“That couldn’t be,” the head cultist said with a head shake. “The writings showed that he detests the human flesh. And besides, the sketches showed him in his original shape always, never in another form.”
Eisen grunted as he felt a tingle within his fingers as if falling asleep, and he tried to move his arms. But whatever spells they used to restrain him was still in effect. He gritted his teeth as he glared at the head cultist, who now kneeled beside his head.
“Even if lord Belegurth did use the human flesh as a form,” the head cultist continued as the hood pointed towards Eisen’s face, “the sacrifice is clearly still himself. This is not our lord.”
“Perhaps lord Belegurth is already within this world and doesn’t need to be summoned again,” another cultist said. “That would explain-” the voice paused for a few seconds. “Your eminence! Look at his hands!”
Eisen’s eye and the head cultist stared at the hand, and his yellow eye widened at the sight. His fingernails were growing longer and curved into a thicker form, which would be odd alone, but their hue was also changing into a red color. The claws grew longer, brushing against the wooden floor and slicing through it as if it was room temperature butter, while his hand blacked from the nails and traveled back. Eisen blinked at the sight of his blackening hand before he realized that it was, in truth, turning into a layer of black scales.
“His hands are undergoing a metamorphosis,” the head cultist said before his fingers pointed at the runes around Eisen. “This shouldn’t be possible, even with our lord’s distaste of the human flesh. It is written that even a changed human is still a human to him. Whatever is happening to our sacrifice, this is not lord Belegurth’s doing. You!” His hood pointed up at the cultist at the other side of the ring. “You drew up the circle, star, and runes. You engraved them with the spells for the ritual. Where did you get that info?”
“I got them from page 253,” the other cultist answered. “Just as you wrote.”
The head cultist emitted a growl. “I wrote down 352, not 253. What is the ritual, as written in 253?”
Eisen winced as his shoes felt tight to his feet. As a book flipped opened and pages were flipped through, the front of his shoes ripped opened, and some red claws pierced through. The shoes then cut apart, with the laces snapping off and the soles popping off, as his black scaly feet expanded in size. His feet lengthened up to a more digitigrade form while he winced, a massive claw forming from the back of his feet.
“Here it is, page 253,” a cultist said. “It is written that this ritual is a blessing from the western lord, lord Belegurth’s rival, and the one who cast him out. The one who stands within the circle will be infused with one of his dragon spirits and will become one of his dragon knights.”
A silence gripped throughout the room as it chilled, with Eisen gritting his teeth. His fingers curled into a ball before he blinked, feeling a rough and solid object with his them, and he turned his yellow eye at one of his hands. It saw a dark rope, wrapped around the wrist, and being held by one of the cultists. Was it always there and, if it was, why could he see it now? His fingers then wiggled against it and saw his claws slice through it.
He felt a sudden return of control as his ears heard a gasp from above. “Impossible. He couldn’t be able to cut through our bindings, nor should he see it.”
“Kill him,” the head cultist said in a cold voice that could freeze oxygen. “His powers grow from the western lord’s dragon, even as we speak. If this continues, he’ll do far more than cut our dark ropes.”
Eisen grinned as he reached out to his neck and sliced through the dark rope, freeing it as colors returned to his face. He then pushed himself up and reached out to his other hand, slicing through that rope before leaping back onto his feet. He heard a strange language from beside while he leaned down and sliced off the remaining lines from his legs, accidentally cutting through what remains of his socks.
He turned to the side and saw a cultist wielding a massive sword, far vaster than the cultist himself. Eisen blinked, wondering for a second how could someone, even if that cultist was muscular, could lift a sword that massive, before he moved to the side away from the blade. The sword broke through the wooden floor with the cracks spreading out to every point of the room, while the sword faded into mist. Eisen’s eyes widened, wondering how someone could shatter the floor to such a degree before dark purple light glowed from the cracks.
A second passed by before a wind swirled through the room, and the dark purple lights became flames. The flames then solidified into several dark beings with massive wings and bright glowing eyes. They all stared at the transforming Eisen as his yellow eyes widened even more, and his face tensed up. He then rubbed his forearms, with scales crawling up past his elbows before he growled.
The dark demons then lunged out at the dark brown-haired man while he held up his arms. One of the demons extended its own claws at Eisen and made contact with the arm before shattering against the black scales. Eisen blinked before grinning and, curling his hand into a fist and leaning back, he threw a punch at the clawless demon. The head broke off from the neck before the beast burst into dark purple flames and turned into ashes.
The demons paused, seeing the ash remains of their own, before charging at the transforming human. Eisen, in response, raised his hand up and grabbed one of the demon’s arms, gripping it tight. He then swung the fiend around at the rest of the monsters, which all cracked and snapped before they burst into flames and turned into ash, even the one Eisen held.
His yellow eyes then turned at the cultist who summoned them, only to felt an explosion against his chest and flung his back. His back made an impact against the stone wall, which shattered apart while he through on through. He gave out a pained scream as that cultist lowered his hand down, with a purple flame fading from his hand.
“I was skeptical about your plan to use the weakest demons our lord could offer us,” the head cultist said as he folded his arms behind his back. “But to use them as a distraction while your prep up a powerful fire spell was actually pretty clever.”
“I do hope that was enough,” the cultist said as he muttered some strange words and a dark ax formed before him, and he grabbed it. “But if it isn’t, that head will be nice on a wall.”
They stared at the opening for several seconds before they saw a black hand with red claws reached up from below and grabbed onto the stone brick that remained on the wall. The stone cracked upon impact as they soon saw yellow eyes, the pupils turning into long slits before their owners leaped back into the room. His shirt, shredded and blackened, strained to remain on as his pants’ button popped off. What remained of his sleeves ripped from his expanding arms as his abs thickened and expanded, with the scales reaching out to his chest and some of his hair shedding off.
“The western lord’s knights are strong,” the head cultist said as he lowered his arms to the side. “Any normal knight would be killed by that blast.”
“No matter,” the ax-wielding cultist said as he charged at the changing human. “His head is mine!”
The cultist swung his dark ax at Eisen’s neck, only for its blade to shatter upon impact. The shards spread out and faded into flames as the cultist stopped and took a step back. The black hand with red claws then reached out to the cultist’s own neck and lifted him up, his boots wiggling above the safety of the floor. The cultist gave out a panicked scream before Eisen threw him back at the head cultist, who stepped aside and watched his coworker smashed against the stone wall. The wall shattered into a hole, far more massive than the one Eisen went through, with the cultist falling through, his screaming stopped.
“Interesting,” the head cultist said while the other three cultists charged at the changing Eisen, each one carrying a dark chain.
Eisen grunted, the black scales changing into red when it entered his torso and his expanding muscles ripping through what remains of his shirt, while a chain smacked his face. He then grabbed onto that chain and pulled in one of the cultists, with that cultist giving out panicked screams. He suddenly felt chains wrapped up around his arms and felt them pulled back and spread out as Eisen blinked. His eyes looked at the other two cultists, both at opposite sides to him, while the central cultist let go of his own chain.
That cultist gave out a dark chuckle while he pulled out a long knife, its blade shining coldly in the light. The transforming human’s eyes widened, his arms reflexing against the tug of the two cultists, while the one with the knife lunged forward. The cold blade pierced through the remaining skin on Eisen’s chest as pain flooded in his head, bright red blood flowing out from the wound.
The cultist gave out a dark laugh. “Though you may be resistant to our magic, steel can still pierce you like any other being. Now die!”
Eisen’s eyes lowered at the cultist’s hood, his muscles expanding as his height grows another six inches, with the yellow eyes narrowed. The red scales consolidated down to what left of his skin, reaching out to the knife wound. He then flexed his chest muscles, and the knife pushed out from it, with the three cultists gasping in fear. The bleeding stopped, with the wound healing up without a scar before the scales spread over to what remained of his skin.
The changing human then grinned, with a pair of bulges forming on his back before his black hand-paws twisted and grabbed onto the dark chains wrapped around his arm. The cultists, seeing it, let go of one of their hands holding onto the chains each as they spoke an unknown language. Eisen grinned some more before he yanked on the chains, with both cultists screaming, and they both crashed at the knife-wielding one. Multiple cracking sounds emanated from their bodies as the dark chains faded away.
Eisen looked down at the groaning cultist as he leaned down and grabbed onto the one who stabbed him, lifting him up by the neck.
The cultist gave out a whimper. “Is it too late to beg for mercy? You can help us overthrow this world.”
“After everything you did, everything you tried to do,” Eisen replied, his muscles pumping up more as another six inches got added to his height, “I think mercy would be the last thing I’ll give you.”
The bulges on Eisen’s back stretched out some more, forming a wing-like shape, as Eisen threw that cultist at the floor several feet away. The wooden floor broke and created a crater as the cultist screamed for half a second. The black dragon, with his neck stretching upwards, a pair of red horns forming on his head, and his pants ripping from behind, looked around the room. His hand-paw then grabbed onto his pants, hanging onto him by the threads, while his chest broadened up. There was a fifth cultist, the leader of the bunch, but he disappeared. Where did he go?
That question formed within Eisen’s head when the room shook, and the sound of several explosions entered his ears. Eisen blinked as he looked around and saw massive racks forming all around the walls and breaking apart and debris falling down all around. One of the two still living cultists moaned before he gave out a panicked scream.
“What did you do?!” the cultist said as the room darkened.
Eisen took a step back, only for the ceiling to fell on top of him.
A cloaked figure stood outside, his boots standing on top of the grass, as a stone building, a few stories tall, collapsed. His hand, holding onto a dark purple flame, clenched close while he gave out a low laugh, mixed with relief and stress. The fire disappeared from his hand as the air before him contained a massive amount of dust, with the former building now a mound of stone and wood.
It was such a massive shame, the head cultist thought, that his plans failed because of such idiocy, and it had to end like this. Although he has done his part in making sure the ritual goes smooth, the others didn’t by using the wrong ceremony and not even bothering to make sure it was the right one. That one mistake cost him everything, the yellow-eyed sacrifice, the building for his meetings, and his minions, and there was little chance to start all over.
Still, the head cultist noted as he turned away from the dragon’s burial ground, start over is a must. This world wouldn’t get better without lord Belegurth’s help, and he is one of the few who knows about him. Of course, he would still need to find new minions, smarter than the ones he had, and a new yellow-eyed sacrifice for his lord. But he started with nothing before and he will-
A massive smashing sound emitted across the area, one that could be head for miles, as the last cultist paused mid-step. He spun around and saw a large shadow bursting into the air with massive stones flying all over, with one cracking into pieces a few yards away from himself. He took a step to the side as he looked up, the full moon shining bright and illuminating that shadowy figure flying in the air. Seconds passed before the shadow crashed down before him, with such force that soil spilled all around for several feet.
The cultist fell back, looking up at the massive creature with such huge muscles that the cultist wondered how it could move at all. Its back carried a pair of enormous wings that spread out so that its length was doubled its height at around twelve feet and three inches. Its horns, massive and giving out a reddish glint, were separated by its hairish mane on its head as its yellow eyes, somewhat glowing, looked down at the cultist, looked down at the cultist.
The cultist gave out a gasp as the dragon breathed it, with a yellow and orange glow coming out from its throat and jaw. “Wait!”
The dragon breathed out a massive stream of fire, blown forward as far as twenty feet, with a mix of red, orange, yellow, and blue. The cultist held his arms up but couldn’t utter a scream before he got consumed by the flames. The fire continued to come out from the dragon until twenty seconds passed, and the fire faded away, with the dragon sighing and the yellow eyes looking forward. The ground before the dragon broke part into a flaming crater with molted soil and glass, without even the cultist’s ash remains.
John groaned as the doorbell rang throughout the house, his green eyes opening halfway. They looked over at the clock near his bed, sitting on a bedside table and glowing out the numbers 1:24AM, and he shook his head. The doorbell rang again, several times in a few seconds, while he rubbed his blond hair and sat upon his bed.
John’s bones and muscles protested the sudden movement of his body, still tired from a hard day of working at the blacksmith, while he got up to his feet and reached out to his robes. Although he was used to working with metal, folding and refolding them, hammering them down, and sharpening them into sharp blades, it was still hard work. He often found himself working for weeks just on the same knife from iron dust down to carving out the wood.
It didn’t help that one of his workers, and one of his two apprentices, Eisen, didn’t show up at The Dragon’s Flame without a word. Though he tried to contact him through phone and landlord, he got little more than the fact that he disappeared when he left his apartment. John hoped that it was just a bail on work for some out of town thing and that it was just a one-time thing.
He slipped his arms into his robes’ sleeves as the doorbell continued to ring. “Alright already! I’m coming! You’ll bloody wake up the neighborhood at this rate!”
John walked out of his bedroom and traveled through the hallways, flicking on every light he could get to before he got to a locked desk near the front door. His sharp eye looked at the front door, with the bell stopped ringing, as he slipped through a key into the desk lock and turned it. He opened the drawer and pulled out the longer of the two knives, forged by himself and still in their sheaves. The dark-haired man then unsheathed it, its reflected light shining cold and the blade having Damascus patterning on its surface.
John’s hand grabbed onto the brass doorknob when he heard a voice, loud and deep, coming from the other side. “I would prefer it if you put away your knife. I don’t wish for any more trouble than I already got.”
“How did you- Doesn’t matter,” John said with a low voice before he spoke back with a loud voice. “This knife is purely for protection since I don’t get calls this late at night. Give me a good reason why I shouldn’t bring it.”
“Because I don’t think it’ll work, period,” the voice replied. “It’ll be a waste of time. Also, please don’t be startled when you look at me. I won’t hurt you.”
“Not really a good reason,” John said with a shrug. “And besides, why should I be frightened of you?” Still, he placed the knife back onto the desk and turned the doorknob. “I dealt with plenty of folks who thought that they could handle someone like me when they refuse to pay me from wannabe gangsters to cheap producers. They all learned otherwise. How can you be any-”
He froze at his green eyes looked at the massive, muscular figure before his door. This beast, at least doubled John’s own height, was sitting down with their heads still leveled to each other while the tail, long and tipped with red, lay down with it near the door. A large blue tarp curled up around the dragon’s waist, doing its best to cover it but did little to imagine how massive his legs are. The wings, though folded behind this dragon, were enormous while a pair of red horns gleamed in the moonlight and the room light shining from the house.
John, with nerves hardened from forging steel, looked over this strange newcomer with a peculiar sort of calmness. Though his expression doesn’t show any trace of fear or surprise, his hand went over and grabbed the smaller of the two knives on reflex. His eyes looked at the black and red dragon in the face, with his yellow eyes somewhat glowing and its hair-fuzz between the horns brown. Although this dragon looked fearsome based on how thick those muscles alone, it looked as though he could lift an entire train without issue, his expression shown more bashfulness rather than any form of intimidation.
“My mistake,” John said as he stepped forward to this dragon. “You could scare anyone looking like you do.”
“I know,” the black and red dragon replied as he rubbed the back of his head, feeling the strands of hair on it. “I don’t like how scary I look either.”
John tilted his head to the side as he rubbed his chin and the beard on it. “Wait a minute.” He stepped forward to the dragon, his hand extended and steady, and pressed it on the dragon’s face, at the jawline. He then looked at the yellow eyes close, as the dragon blinked and lowered his arms. “It’s you, isn’t it, Eisen?”
“How can you tell?” Eisen asked as he leaned back against the cold hand. “I doubt even my mother can tell who I am.”
“Even with those slits for pupils, I can still recognize them,” John answered with a brief chuckled. “Plus, I know you well enough to tell your body language, even as this beast you are now.” He sighed before he looked all over Eisen. “Still, I never heard of anyone who ever turned into a dragon before. What happened?”
“It’s a long story,” Eisen answered before he looked up at the moonlight and sighed.
Over the next half hour, Eisen explained that he was kidnapped on his way to the blacksmith by a bunch of nutty cultists who somehow knew magic. They cast several spells to keep him restrained while they prepared for their ritual to summon their ‘lord,’ Belegurth. He went on to explain that they needed him as their sacrifice to their ‘lord’ because of his yellow eyes, only for them to use the wrong ritual that changed him into what he is now. Eisen explained that they tried to erase their mistake, only to find that it was impossible at that point.
“. . . For some reason, any spells they threw at me just failed unless it was something like an explosion, and even then, the environment did more damage to me. Yet, it got to the point that even a stab to the chest did little other than annoy me, and that was when I got skin,” Eisen patted on where he was stabbed. “Heck, the last guy collapsed a building on me, and that just angered me. So, I repay it with interest. But now here’s the reason why I came here.” Eisen gave out a slight blush. “I have no idea what to do now. The most I could think of is something to cover myself since I lost my clothes, and I doubted that any would fit on me at this point.”
“At your size? You’ll need quite a few tailors to make you new clothes,” John said as he leaned over to looked at the massive wings on the anthro dragon’s back. “Especially ones that can allow you to wear a shirt with those wings. But, in any case, you thought that I might be able to help you decide what to do now?”
“Yeah. I mean,” Eisen’s arm swept over his waist, where his abs were huge and defined, enough to grind wood into splinters, “I’m huge now! There’s no way I can be able to hide anywhere for long. And I doubt that there’s a way to reverse any changes done to me. But how can I live openly without any fear that I won’t have to deal with at least a mob?”
“Hmm. I understand what you mean. Though, if you don’t mind,” John said as he gestured Eisen’s arm to come near him. He then held onto it as he unsheathed his small knife and pressed into it. The blade met scale but couldn’t pierce through it. He then rubbed the edge against the scales for a few seconds before he rubbed the side with his fingers. “At least as hard as diamond but without the brittleness of diamond. Whatever material your scales are made of, I’m guessing that it could withstand even shells and bullets meant to pierce through metal armor.”
“That does little to reassure me,” the black and red dragon said as he rubbed the back of his head. “I mean, it wouldn’t stop a mob or even a military from trying to find some way to kill me. The way it looks, I cannot live without someone wanting to kill me for being such a beast.”
John stood there, rubbing his chin and beard and deep in thought for a few minutes before speaking up. “You said that this ‘western lord’ made you through this ritual a dragon knight, yes?” Eisen nodded, and the man’s lips curled into a grin. “Then, perhaps what we need is a knight.”
“Eisen turned into a what now?!”
The black and red dragon blushed, standing in the morning sunlight, as he leaned back against The Dragon’s Flame workshop. John had called in the entire crew early to bring in the news as to what happened to Eisen. He still wasn’t sure about his plan at all and how it could help him. Nevertheless, this was the first step: sharing the news as to what happened.
“That is impossible.”
“You do know that magic doesn’t exist, right?”
“Must be some sort of joke Eisen pulled onto you.”
“Believe me, I couldn’t believe it myself when I saw him,” Eisen heard John said throughout the loud voices. “But he is just outside in the back if you wish to see him.”
“Jeez, I know that you aren’t a joking type, but even for a joke, this is pretty ba-” The door to the back swung opened as Eisen fought off the reflex to stand up straight and to continue leaning against the building, relaxed. A man, white hair and somewhat wrinkled, looked out and saw the vast, muscular dragon there, with Eisen’s yellow eye looking at the side. He gave off a small wave to him as the man stepped back inside, who had gone pale.
“Now, I’m wondering if John is actually telling the truth.”
“Come on. There’s no such thing as dragons.”
Then, one by one, each of the crew stepped outside, only to each froze at the sight of the dragon. Eisen looked at them, blushing in the face but continued to lean back as his tail gave a slight sway. Most of the others stood there, frozen and unsure whether to panic and attack or run away from the massive anthro dragon. John then stepped out and rubbed a couple of their shoulders, which unfroze the others.
“Now, do you believe me?” John asked as he gave out a slight grin.
“Not really,” the youngest of the group said, his long blond hair flowing in the wind as he gripped onto a sword. “It’s likely just some animatronic that Eisen dragged you into for some sort of joke.”
“Figures that you’ll be the one who’ll doubt it, Levi,” Eisen said, and the others aside from Levi stepped back.
“You see?” Levi said as he held up the sword. “Just some prank. In any case, let me end it here.”
He walked over to Eisen’s leg and swung the sword against the heel of it, his brown eyes glaring at it. The blade shattered into several pieces upon contact with Eisen, not even wincing at the sudden blow. Levi took a step back, looking at the sword hilt and what remained of the blade with wide eyes as John stepped forward.
“Don’t tell me you forgot to temper your sword again, Levi,” John said as he shook his head. “I thought you’ll know by now that, just because heat treating the sword makes it hard, doesn’t mean that it’s sturdy enough to withstand a blow.”
“I-I could’ve sworn I did,” Levi replied, looking down at the shards and back up at the vast, muscular dragon, who gave a small wave.
“In any case, I’m sure you all can see that this dragon is real, not some machine or stuffed toy,” John said as he turned back at the others. “And I can assure you that he is, in fact, Eisen. And given what he told me, it’s a good thing that he was only turned into a dragon.”
The others looked at the black and red dragon with an intense stare, with Eisen giving a slight blush in response. Although he may have wanted some sort of attention, now that he got it for reasons unintended by him, it was awkward with his nerves shaky. He then reached up and rubbed the back of his head, which was when the stares stopped.
“Yup. That’s Eisen alright,” the white-haired man said before he gave out a laugh. “Only he can be so awkward.”
The others laughed as well while Eisen blushed even more, with his hand-paw pressing against his face.
“Still, what do you wish us to do?” the white-haired man said as he crossed his arms. “Keep him in hiding and in secret here?”
“Who said anything about keeping him a secret?” John asked back, and the others turned at him with a surprised expression. “There’s no way we can keep him a secret for even a day. And keeping him a secret will only make things worse for us all. But what we can do is prepare him for a new life as an anthro dragon, especially one as big as him.”
“How do you propose we do that?” Levi asked, his head tilting to the side.
“First off, I’ll assign you four into a team,” John said as he pointed at four of them. “I want you to purchase as much fabric as you can get and create specialized clothing for Eisen. He’ll need them so he can stop wearing that tarp around his waist. Don’t bother trying to hide why you’re buying so much.
“You four there,” he continued as he pointed at them, “will gather as much metal as we can get. We’ll need a lot of it. Gavin and I,” he pointed at the white-haired man, who nodded back, “will make measurements and plans on how to do the fittings on Eisen. Given how he got a tail and wings, we’ll try to figure out how to best put them on him.”
“Wait. I get the clothes and the measurements part,” Levi said as he looked at John with one eye wider than the other. “But why the metal?”
“Because Eisen will be our unofficial mascot. Our dragon knight,” John replied as he grinned. “That reminds me. Levi, what I want you to do is pick up the sword shards and prep then for reforging. And don’t try to copy The Lord of the Rings method again.”
The blond-haired man blushed as he twisted his foot against the ground.
“Without further delay,” John said as he raised up a hand. “Let us begin.”
The others gave out a cheer before they, one by one, stepped back inside. Levi stayed behind for a bit longer, but he stood up straight at Eisen, who was doubled in height. He held up a closed fist and gestured it to the muscular dragon, who lowered his own hand-paw to the blond-haired man. With a closed fist, the two fists met in a bump, and they both laughed.
“Sorry about attacking you earlier,” Levi said as he gave a bow.
“It’s OK. Didn’t feel it at all in any case,” Eisen said as he grinned.
Levi leaned up straight before he turned to John. “Give me a moment to find gloves so I can pick up the shards.”
“I was going to suggest the same thing,” John said with a smile. Levi nodded and walked towards the door, entering back inside the shop. John’s eyes then turned up at Eisen’s yellow eyes while his hand rubbed his beard. “How did you think it went?”
“Could be better,” Eisen replied as he looked down at the sword pieces. “I was hoping that someone wouldn’t attack me, but-”
“On the contrary, this is what I was hoping would happen,” John said with a grin. The dragon blinked and tilted his head at the man. “You weren’t paying attention, but when they saw that, despite getting hit with a sword, you did not attack back and instead remained relaxed, that was when they were calming down. They saw that you were no threat to them, despite you being able to tear us apart without even trying. Because of this, they were more willing to assist than if you had done anything else.”
“Huh. Didn’t think of it like that,” Eisen said as he gave a small smile. “But is there anything I can do while you guys can assist me?”
John nodded. “There are a few things we can do with you. But we’ll need you with clothes on first before you can properly assist us.”
The weeks went by, which was full of hammering and swearing throughout The Dragon’s Flame. Although the shop was used to the occasional massive weapon build based on some video game, they had not done armor that could fit a giant like Eisen. John and the others measured Eisen’s chest, legs, head, and arms several times before they even began drawing up a design that could allow him to fit it on. As John mentioned to the dragon when rolling a measuring tape over his right shoulder and to his left hip, you measure seven times, but you only cut once.
The black and red dragon didn’t mind as much about the measurements since they managed to make clothes for him with the measurements’ help. Instead, he was more annoyed that, even though he wasn’t naked anymore, his ability to help them was limited to gathering wood for them and burning them into charcoals. Still, it was somewhat understandable since his bulk and size made it so that most buildings, if not all, could fit a twelve feet tall dragon with a muscular build that even the Hulk would feel small against. At least he could chop the wood instead of ripping them apart or slicing them with his own hands, even without John’s insistence.
“Glad to see that you wish to use an ax,” John said to Eisen. “I doubt you know your own strength anymore, so this is good practice to regain control over it. I’ll give you some more jobs that would help you in that aspect.”
Eisen nodded, somewhat hoping that those jobs would also allow him to escape some gazing eyes aimed towards him. The word spread quickly that Eisen turned into a huge, muscular dragon and was pretty much living in the blacksmith now. Since then, there have been loads of people coming in just to get a glimpse of this dragon, which had made Eisen blushed out of stress and embarrassment.
One such incident happened when, while burning some wood into charcoal with his fire breath, he felt something poking him against his leg. He stopped breathing out flames and turned to the source of the poking. His yellow eyes widened a bit when they saw a child, smaller than the lower half of his leg. The little girl giggled before both girl and dragon hear a loud cry. A man then appeared and scooped up the little girl before he stepped back, looking up at the dragon. A lady appeared just behind the man, with her chest shaking in fear as she pressed her hand on his shoulder.
Eisen smiled at them before turning back at the wood he gathered up and continued to burn them into charcoals.
The dragon hoped that it would be the last of that, but, if anything, it only attracted more people to come and visit him. He did complain about how stressed out he was getting regarding these visits, but John reassured him that it would pass and that he should continue the example that he gave to that family. After all, by showcasing normal activities and having both hands occupied, he emitted an aura of trust, and they would see him as a trusted member and friend soon.
The charcoals that Eisen created were brought in for the forge they had to custom-designed for the massive armor they’re making for him. The sheets of metal got heated up in the charcoal forge until it was glowing yellow and white, which was when they hammered in the armor shape. Of course, not every piece of armor could fit onto Eisen without adding in quite a few more months of forging and, since his scales are far superior than the armor he’ll be wearing, it wouldn’t make sense that they made a complete plated armor set. As such, John planned that Eisen wore the entirety of the torso armor while adding the gauntlets and greaves with a bit of sabaton. That should be enough for showing him as their dragon knight.
The blacksmiths managed to planished the whole armor while adding on some fluting designs on the breastplate, gauntlets, and greaves before they brought it outside for a rough assembly onto Eisen. It proved to be as perfect as it could be, even with the wings on his back, which forced the back part of the armor to be creative to fit it on. However, while the gauntlets, greaves, and some creative sabaton could be done in their regular quenching container, the entire torso part of the armor was too large for any of their containers.
“Not to worry,” John said to Levi when he pointed it out. “Both Gavin and I discussed it when we looked over our designs for it. He happened to have a large enough swimming pool container that can be constructed here in a quick matter.”
“Um, I hope that you mean a wooden made swimming pool rather than one of those large rubber pools,” Levi said as tilted his head. John nodded at him with a grin. “Are you serious? Aren’t you afraid that it won’t be deep enough for it? I mean, the whole torso part is as tall as you!”
“If stand upright, yes,” John said before patting Eisen’s leg. “However, if we heat it up to critical temperature on its side and dip it in like that, we can minimalize the risk of it burning through the bottom. And we have someone who can dip it in there.”
Eisen blushed and rubbed the back of his head as Levi said, “Still, it seems like an awfully huge risk. I mean, even if it doesn’t go through the bottom, the armor could be big enough that the water could heat right up to boiling temperatures, and it’ll burn through the sides anyways.”
“Not if it is big enough.” John looked at the massive torso part of the armor sitting there. “The one Gavin is bringing us is around 18 by 32 feet large and, at 4.5 feet high, it should contain about 21,900 gallons of water. That’s well above the threat of the water going up to boiling temperatures and thus burning the sides. We should be fine.”
Despite Levi’s skepticism, the large pool was brought there and constructed, though they did place in a thin sheet of metal in the middle to reassure him. Soon, under John’s careful guidance, Eisen breathed out flames onto the torso part of the armor until it glowed up red and yellow. Then, through a pair of long, metal poles with hooks and some chains through the armor, the dragon lifted it up and carried it over the pool.
Eisen then dipped it into the water, with sweat forming on his head as the water upon contact went into a sizzle and bubble. Soon, the entire armor was submerged, and he waited there, waiting for John to give out a signal. John waved his hand, and Eisen lifted the torso armor back up, with it emitting steam as he placed it onto a metal platform several feet away from the pool. John ran towards the armor and, with gloves on, he looked over the armor with sweat forming on his brow as well. After several tense seconds, he gave out a laugh.
“No cracks,” John said. “All that is needed for this is a heat treat and polishing, and it’ll be good to go.”
In the meantime, as they created the armor, they were also progressing on the sword for their dragon knight. Of course, merely increasing a sword’s size so that it could look right when a twelve feet tall anthro dragon wields it wouldn’t due. While Eisen could live as such, it was only because of some magical blessing from some entity. A sword at the size where Eisen could wield it without looking so tiny on him would need some modifications first.
John, along with a few of his crew, stacked several billets, each one having a repeating pattern of high carbon and low carbon steel sheets that are tack welded together. They then heated each billet up and consolidated them before cutting them at the center and folded them over each other ten times. They then drew them into a bar and, while the metal glowed yellowed, they pulled each one into a long bar and twisted them many times until they each resembled a screw.
The crew then wire wrapped the massive, twisted bars together and managed to heat them up in the charcoal forge so they could consolidate the bars together into one huge bar. Which, as a final twist and with Eisen’s help with his fire-proof hands-paws and his massive strength, they twisted the bar up into it screw form before they flattened it up, with it six feet in length half an inch thick. That alone could’ve been enough, but John then had high carbon steel folded over the sides of the hundreds of layers of steel and hot forged them together into one, huge piece.
The crew then began the long progress of hammering in the edges of the sword, forming it into shape while spreading the metal so that its length added another foot longer and one foot and a half wide. They then added in a large fuller at the center of the blade and two smaller fullers at the sides. The group then together grinded an edge to the blade, a straight edge, with the edge still thick. But before they brought in Eisen to help out with heating the blade up for a quench, John decided to add in one final touch and added his hand-made engravings at the huge fuller. One side detailed a human within a circle and the other side having a massive, muscular dragon at the other.
John rubbed the engravings with a soap bar before Eisen heated it up with his fire breath, and the dragon quenched the huge sword into a huger oil container, the flames engulfing his arms but doing no harm. He and John looked over the smoking sword for any cracks and deformities and, seeing none, clamped it upwards for it to cooled down.
The sword was heat-treated within the same oil container before they finished grinding in the edges, each side sharp. They then put it in a huge box full of acid for a final etch and, after some time passed, the pattern at the sword’s core showcased its beauty when it was removed. They then did a final polish on the sword with the sanding wheel in increasing grits before they added in a large, heavy sword guard with scales-like engravings, a wooden grip with leather wrapped around it, and a fist-sized pommel with flutings grinded in.
Eisen’s eyes watered up as he and the others looked over the results from three months full of work. The armor, vast and massive so that two people could fit inside of it with room to spare, shined in the sunlight. Right next to it lays an enormous sword, tall enough that it reached halfway up the dragon’s chest. Eisen picked up the torso armor and, with the helped of the others, strapped it on with the wings allowed to spread out. The gauntlets and greaves snapped onto Eisen’s hands and lower legs while the sabatons hung over his feet-claws. He then picked up the sword, which felt light to the dragon with a balance enough to stabilized it, and lifted it in the air.
Eisen then turned down at John and grinned his snout at him. “Thank you, boss. This is awesome.”
“Yes, it is,” John said with his arms crossed. “And I’m sure that the rest of town has accepted you not only as our mascot but also as their knight. Just like that ‘western lord,’ you mentioned.”
Eisen nodded as he pressed his fist against his chest, with the metal clanging against each other. “And I’ll do my best to live as a knight should. Helping out the weak and powerless while fighting evil when it comes.”
John nodded with a grin. “I’m sure you will. Why not go out for a spin?”
Eisen smiled as he kneeled before John. “Sure. Thank you very much.”
“Be back soon!”
Eisen’s eyes swelled up more as his wings spread out and, as John and the others stepped back, he leaped up into the air, with the ground shattering from his massive jump. His wings then flapped as he reached up higher and higher into the sky, faster than any bird around him, before he steadied up and flew over his town, sword drawn which gleamed as if it was on fire.
Thus began the tales of the dragon knight.
Commissioned by EisenManfred
Welp, I think it's finally time to share this story.
If any of you guys recall, when I did story commissions last year, there was one that I haven't posted due to money delay by the commissioner. This is, in fact, that very story. I did got payment for it eventually, but I thought that it'll make a decent example on what happens if I don't get my payment when requested. Or any information when I did the rough draft when requested. >.|.>;
In any case, as I mentioned before I figured it's time to finally post this story, especially since it's a bit of a dry season at the moment and will likely continue while I progress on writing The Pokémon Prometheus 2. That story is becoming my longest story ever written, I admit, and I think it's time to scrap the whole 'write it on a notebook before typing it into a computer' setup when it comes to writing. Hopefully, after that any future stories I write will come out faster.
I do hope you guys enjoy this story though.