He remembered the woman, who gave him his name.
His father, the legendary Tyrant, hadn't had the chance to give him one. His mother was sickly and died soon after his birth.
Tatsumi. Sleeping Dragon. Considering he had met her when he was sleeping, it seemed highly appropriate.
She was a sad woman with nothing left to live for. With that in mind, she wasn't afraid of him when he suddenly woke up and snapped his massive jaws at her. She merely called out," Tatsumi." He had quieted down, curious.
The Imperials, the humans who had killed his father, had shouted insults at him, or orders to allies, but no one had talked to him normally. They were all after his scales that gleaming alongside the snow. They wanted to rip out his claws that could tear them to pieces in one slash. Each shouted how they would decapitate him, and leave his horned head on a pike.
How they would use his body to make what they called a 'Teigu'. However, they weren't even close to as strong as the ones that killed his father, and that trait had been their demise.
The woman seeing his hesitation, smiled, if a bit sadly, and reached out. Her hand patted his scaled snout, and started rubbing it.
"Kill me if you wish, great dragon, for I have lost everything." A tear escaped her eye. "However, if you wish for some company, I will try to talk about things not irrelevant to a mighty dragon, such as yourself."
The newly named Tatsumi studied her. The long black hair that came from her head was unkept with twigs and dirt clumps sticking out. Her pure blue eyes looked like a frozen river. However he had no idea if this woman was considered beautiful by human standards, and quite frankly, he doesn't care.
Over and over again, this world had rejected him. However, one sad woman, would accept him.
Over years, as she aged and he grew, she had shared with him many stories. Each and every story he remembered, always, and could recite them word for word.
Yuuki, her name was. She was named after the pure white snow that always, continuously flew around, before landing, on yet more snow.
She had quickly grown to be friends with him. A friendship that lasted until she took her last breath.
It was only because of her that Tatsumi ever bothered to learned the human language. Otherwise, he had held no desire to learn the meanings of the Imperials' insults.
Finally, after seventy years of blessed friendship, she died.
A dragon ages several times slower than a human, so at that time, Tatumi was the equivalent of a child. A very smart and strong child.
She, however, was old. Her skin, once smooth and unblemished, was wrinkled and pale. Her body, once full of energy, was slow and weakened. Her previous strength had left her.
One day she collapsed. The next her breathing slowed, before it finally stopped.
Tatsumi's only friend, only companion, the only one who accepted him, went into an eternal sleep.
Because of her, the sad woman, his view of humanity had changed. Yuuki had taught him that there is no black and white. Every sentient being had darkness in their hearts. At the same time, none have completely dark hearts either.
With this in mind, as well as his hatred for the Imperials, he trained. He trained every ability he had, and every ability he gained. Without realizing it, he became an AAA rank threat. Then, when his powers reached their peak, he gained a new ability.
At first he was alarmed.
His body shrunk. His prided wings, sunk into his back. His white scales, brown before evolution took over, turned to smooth skin. His beautiful emerald eyes, got a change in pupil shape. Brown hair grew from his head. Claws disappeared, teeth flattened, snout sunk into his face... He was human.
It was only when he changed back, that he realized what had happened. He had a new ability to train.
Almost nine centuries had passed since the legendary Tyrant died. Almost eight since the only one who accepted him died. Almost a century since corruption started to weave into the mighty Empire to the south. Almost a decade since the Prime Minister took over and allowed corruption to fully take hold. Only a year since the North had waged war on the Empire.
The people of the North knew they could lose this war. They also knew of the dragon that lived in the mountains.
Seeking his help, they gathered up a small group of people. With plentiful supplies, they set out to brave the harshest mountains ever known.
Despite the preparations, they had underestimated these mountains. By the time they reached the peak of the highest one, where Tatsumi lived, there was only one left.
Her name was Mizu. She had collapsed at the entrance, and Tatsumi took her in and nursed her. He still remembered how Yuuki had taught him.
She awoke the next day. She looked at him weirdly. "Where is the dragon? Tatsumi. You know the legendary beast?"
"Since when did I become legendary?" Tatsumi muttered. Then he looked straight at her, and his body grew.
Her eyes widened as he grew suddenly. His makeshift cloak fell off his body, as he stood in his full glory. His massive form had to bend down so that he didn't touch the roof of the cave. Mizu gaped at him, before finally remembering the reason she came.
"Please. We need your help. We don't want to loose against them."
He stared at her. He switched back to his human form and, with the manners Yuuki said were necessary in the human world, he made sure to wrap himself with his cloak. It was ragged from age, but Yuuki used it, so he took care of it.
"Stay here, woman. Tell me your stories. Then I will help you with your foolish fights." He wanted, if only for a day or two, to go back to the days with Yuuki.
As he sat by the fire he had breathed, she seemed to realize that this was a requirement for his help, and started rambling on.
Three days past. Tatsumi let Mizu ride on his back, and he flew to the camp she guided him to on mighty wings.
Mizu met up with relieved parents and friends, and told them of her dead companions. As they comforted her, some stared at the dragon they used to think was just a myth.
Numa, the leader, walked up to him.
"Dragon! I apologize for our inconvenience, but please help us win this war!"
Tatsumi stared down at him. A man, he could, for some reason, see kneeling to a queen.
"I, myself, have a grudge against the Imperials. However, a war cannot be won with one dragon alone. You better hope your army is strong, human."
Numa smirked confidently. He had false hope in his army.
A month later, the battles began. The human fighting was normal. Blows exchanged, blood flew, lives lost. It irritated Tatsumi.
Out of nowhere, a woman came.
Icy beauty killed man after man from the North. She had a sadistic smile across her face, as she danced in the bloody waltz known as war.
Tatsumi saw her strength. He decided that she would be his opponent.
He flew up, worsening the surrounding blizzard. A brief minute later he landed. Bodies flew up as the force behind his fall caused earth to fly.
"Human! What is your name?"
"Esdeath." She said calmly, smiling at the battle sure to follow. "I wasn't aware the Northerners had a dragon. What's your name?"
"I belong to no one, Esdeath. I am known as Tatsumi."
"No one? Let's change that." She smirked confidently. Yet, unlike Numa, her strength was real.
She charged into battle, fighting more like a beast than that of her opponent.
Battles surrounding them stopped. After a few minutes, all battles had halted except for the dance of beasts in the middle. Both sides knew, the outcome of the war was dependent on that battle.
Claws smashed through earth, ice spread across the already frozen land.
Esdeath was landing blow after blow on her massive opponent. Tatsumi had only managed to make a single cut on her left cheek.
Everywhere was destruction.
Nothing could stop the two before one of them lost.
Wounds continuously were newly made on both sides.
The enemy soldiers were unintentionally killed constantly, causing most of the soldiers to make a temporary truce to retreat far away.
This battle between Tatsumi, a dragon of lore, and Esdeath, The Empire's Strongest, lasted for three days. Neither side had a chance of rest, but neither wanted it.
Finally, after a particularly strong blow, Tatsumi stumbled. Esdeath smirked. Every subordinate gaped.
The white dragon, fell to the ground with a deafening thud.
Esdeath walked up to her opponent. Tatsumi had managed to make a cut diagonally across her stomach, and it was bleeding profusely.
She ignored this, however, and knelt down beside the fallen dragon.
"Tatsumi. That battle was truly a magnificent one however, you were weaker than me, so you lost."
He painfully opened his emerald eyes, and looked at the winner. He got up, slowly. Esdeath looked on in amusement, seemingly thinking he was going to start fighting again, but he didn't.
He looked at her in battered, broken glory, and started to shrink.
Esdeath's face morphed into one of surprise.
She hadn't noticed that the cloth tied around his neck was a cloak. As he shrunk in covered him, and soon his head came out to speak.
"I have lost. I will accept the punishment for foolishly trying to help the tribe. I figured this form would make it easier to do whatever you wish." He got on his knees and bowed his head.
Esdeath was looking at him in curiosity, before deciding something.
"Since you lost, you'll accept anything I desire, right?" Her smirk came back to her face.
Tatsumi nodded in defeat.
Esdeath's smirk grew larger.
"Then work under me, as my pet."
Not literally a pet, you know how Esdeath views her subordinates.
Snow, Water, Ice. Anyone notice that?
I'm sorry! Don't kill me! I will update my other stories within the month. Except for We Will Prevail. It's gonna be rewritten.
I've been thinking of "Tatsumi is a dragon" scenario for quite some time now. Two sides to a tree, basically gave me encouragement to write this.
Hope you liked it.