I'm in the writing mood today, apparently...
Yuuri had no idea what was going on anymore.
"Wait! Stop!" He cried out leaping from the rock and into the stream, trying to wade over as quickly as possible. He ignored the sharp pain in his right ankle and continued forward while waving his arms wildly. "Stop! Stop!"
Ryuu huffed loudly and turned to him with a soft trill that reminded Yuuri so much of a kitten he had cuddled in the pet store once. Wide golden eyes blinked slowly at him and the dragon ducked his head to sniff and nudge at Yuuri when he finally made it to shore, all the while making soft meows. He frowned at the dragon.
"Being cute is not going to make me forgive you for attacking people randomly."
He only received a soft coo in response. He shook his head.
Speaking of people.
Yuuri glanced over at the two men. They both had swords out and were wearing strange clothes. He didn't quite know what they were saying earlier, because he couldn't hear them very well over the waterfall, but now that he was close he hoped they could tell him where he was. The swords were kind-of making him nervous, but they hadn't moved since he managed to stop Ryuu from eating them. So, that was a good thing, right? Maybe they could help him get home?
(They were wearing some sort of uniform, so maybe they were the police in this weird place?)
"Um, sorry about that." He put a hand on Ryuu's head, patting the dragon softly. "I think we were all startled. Um, I'm Yuuri."
He bowed politely in greeting like his mom taught him and waited for an answer. The two men glanced at one another, looking a little lost. He bit his lip. They didn't look Japanese.
"U-um, sorry. Do you, um, speak English?" His mom made sure that he kept up with his English, but he was never very confident in it, especially when he had to talk to strangers.
The orange haired man turned suddenly on the brunette man and spoke in swiftly in a slightly hysterical tone. It was then that all Yuuri's hopes plummeted. He didn't understand a word he said. He watched them for a moment, trying his hardest to pick out any word that seemed familiar, but it was complete gibberish to him. The two men seemed to be arguing back and forth, but about what, he had no idea.
(He had a sinking feeling when he was standing on the rock and the brown-haired man shouted something, but he wanted to hold out hope, so he blamed the loud waterfall. But, now…)
Despite his best efforts, he felt his eyes fill with tears.
(He didn't know what was going on. He fell in the water and then found himself in a different place where people chased him into a dark and scary forest. Ryuu was nice, but he was cold and hungry and really just wanted to be home in his mother's arms.)
Ryuu nudged him softly, making soft rumbles in his chest. He hugged the dragons head and tried to stifle his sobs. Hotaru told him that he was a crybaby and a mama's boy whenever he cried at school, but he was just a bully and Yuuri couldn't stop the tears even if he tried right now.
"I just wanna go home."
He felt Ryuu shift and growl lowly. He sniffed and looked up into warm blue eyes. The orange haired man was closer than before, crouching on the ground and smiling gently at him. The stern brown-haired man was nowhere in sight. The man shuffled forward a little bit and Ryuu's growls grew louder.
Yuuri sniffed again and patted the dragon on the head.
"It's ok. He's ok."
(The man had a kind look about him. Yuuri could tell he was a good guy.)
The dragon huffed and settled down, lowering his head to the ground and taking Yuuri with him. Yuuri gave a watery giggle at finding himself on his knees and glanced shyly at the orange haired man, still crouched a good distance away.
The man said something with a smile, then point at himself. "Josak."
He blinked. "Kosak?"
What was the man trying to say to him?
The man shook his head, pointed at himself again and said more firmly. "Josak."
Yuuri didn't understand for a long moment before it finally clicked. "Oh! That's your name!"
He smiled at the man and pointed at himself. "Yuuri."
The man blinked. "Yuuri?"
He nodded. "Yuuri."
Yuuri pointed at the man. "Yozak?"
He wasn't sure if he said it correctly. It was a weird name and the man's accent was difficult to copy, but the man smiled and nodded. He said something and Yuuri tilted his head to the side in confusion. Yozak sighed and took off his uniform jacket and offered it to Yuuri. He blinked in surprise then smiled gratefully at the man. Ryuu did a good job of keeping him warm since he's been here, but his yukata was still all ripped and wet.
He let go of Ryuu's head and stood up to limp over to the man. His ankle hurt worse now because of his reckless charge to try and stop Ryuu. It made him want to cry again, but he held back the tears stubbornly.
Yozaks eyes darted down to his swollen ankle with a brief frown before he smiled again and helped him into his jacket. It was way too large on him, but it was very warm. Yuuri smiled and hugged it to himself.
Yozak was saying something again. He blinked. The man rubbed his stomach and then pointed to Yuuri's.
"Are you asking if I'm hungry?" He muttered uselessly to himself, before nodding uncertainly.
The man smiled encouragingly and offered his hand, wincing slightly at the rumbled growl Ryuu let out. Yozak laughed and held up his hands as a sign of surrender and Ryuu huffed. The dragon crept forward and sniffed around him for a moment before huffing again sending some sparks out of his nose. Yozak flinched and Yuuri giggled.
He was scared of Ryuu at first too.
In the darkness, all he saw was a hulking shape, glowing golden eyes, and razor-sharp teeth. He thought he was going to die, but the dragon had merely blink curiously at him and sniffed him for a moment before deciding he liked Yuuri and had curled around him right then and there, keeping him warm with his body heat and holding his wing over Yuuri as a makeshift umbrella.
(He cried for a while after that. It was all just too overwhelming to him. He fell asleep with tears still wet on his face.)
When the sun rose the next morning, he got to get a good look at the beast. His shining red scales and wide golden eyes. Ryuu was a western dragon with four legs and large wings. He was terrifying and huge to Yuuri, but instead of eating him he had meowed like a cat and took care of Yuuri as well as an animal could.
Ryuu ambled over to him once done with Yozak and Yuuri hugged him.
The dragon purred deep in his chest and nudged Yuuri to get on his back. Ryo had been carrying Yuuri around since that night because of Yuuri's ankle. Once he got settled both Yuuri and Ryo looked over at the bemused Yozak. The man shrugged and muttered something he seemed to find amusing before he gestured for them to follow.
Yuuri's stomach rumbled.
He really hoped he was right and Yozak was asking if he was hunger. The berries and fruits Ryuu led him to were very good, but he wanted some warm food that filled his belly completely.
"I asked you to get me a dragon." The man folded his arms over his chest in irritation. "We found a dragon and yet you refused to trap it. If you were so worried about the witnesses I'm sure I could have taken out a soldier and a small child."
Miska pulled his hood down a little further and rolled his eyes.
"My Lord, was it not your plan to use the dragon to amplify your own power?"
"…Yes, and now we've lost the first dragon we managed to come across in this horrid bug invested-"
Miska cut him off before he could go on another long tangent about dirt and other small nuisances. "Lord Milan, my point is I believe we have found something of greater value, that would enhance your power even more so than a dragon's heart."
The man blinked in surprise. Miska refrained from rolling his eyes once more. Obviously, he had been only focused on the dragon rather than the small figure astride it.
"My Lord, the boy with the dragon was a double-black. I can assure you that they are worth more than a mere dragon."
"A double-black." He murmured in awe. "I had only heard stories about them…if I were to obtain the power of a double-black…then…"
Miska smiled. "Exactly, my Lord. This country would be in the palm of your hand."
He turned away as the man continued to mutter to himself about the possibilities and whistled. A small figure dress in all black landed lightly in the tree branch above his head.
"Doria, follow them."
"Of course, sir." The woman murmured, muffled through the porcelain mask on her face, but still discernable to him.
For the first time since he had been contacted by Lord Milan, Miska felt himself smile.
This should be interesting.
This was simply ridiculous.
He glanced back at the duo ambling behind him.
The boy was peering around the forest with interest while the dragon seemed to be attempting to glare a hole in his back. He winced and turned back around. They were almost to the edge of the forest where his men should have already set up camp by now. And where Conrart should have gone back to debrief them about what they found.
He tried not to wince again at the thought of his best friend.
The look he gave him before heading back to camp nearly rivaled the dragons.
Josak glanced back again.
(It's not like he could just let him try and arrest the poor kid, though. Anyone with eyes could see that would have ended badly for everyone involved. He didn't care if Conrart was the best swordsmen in the country…it was a Dragon! A protective dragon no less. That would have been a disaster.)
He felt a smiled tug at his lips as the boy, Yuuri, pointed excitedly at a vibrant blue, bird singing in the trees above them. He didn't understand a word that kid said, but it was obvious he was just as lost and confused as they were stumbling on a double-black in the middle of nowhere. Josak hoped his reasoning had gotten to his friend, but he was fairly certain the kids sobbing was what really made him go back to camp.
Conrart did not do well with crying people.
(He wasn't completely cold-hearted, just bad at expressing himself. He had been getting better with Lady Julia, but…)
Josak sighed softly as they approached the edge of the tree line.
"Well, let's get this over with."
He glanced at the awed and fearful faces of his comrades and sighed.
"Maybe I'm the one with bad luck."
Fortunately, Conrart had debriefed the group about what happened, so they didn't go for their weapons. Unfortunately, the dragon didn't seem very willing to share its new friend and it took the better part of half an hour to actually get the kids cuts, bruises, and foot looked at and treated properly.
He leaned against a tree and watched as Jeoffry talked excitedly with a confused, but also excited looking Yuuri as they sat by the fire with bowls of stew in their laps.
"Judging by his size and the shine to his scales it looks like your dragon is actually very young! I'd say maybe about twenty or so years! For dragons that can live for hundreds of years, that's very young! Which is good, because their population has been declining in recent years due to poaching..."
It would be a heartwarming scene, but...
He rubbed the back of his head, feeling both the burn from the dragon's glare and Conrarts.
"Yeah, I'm definitely the unlucky one."
Ok. I said 3 chapters before, but I think it might end up being five. Mostly because I'm not in the mood for writing longer chapters right now. I'd probably never finish this if I did three long chapters instead of five shorter ones. Anyway, to answer some potential questions:
Names~ I vaguely remember one offhanded comment where Yuuri was saying their names (or at least Conrads) name wrong and it sort-of stuck with me. I haven't read/seen the show in a long time so I could be completely wrong, but I dunno even if it's not canon I kind of like it. It's a convenient way to handwave the different name spellings. And its kind of cute to think about little Yuuri saying their names wrong, but no one wants to correct him because they don't want to make him sad. (And, yes, btw Yuuri did name the dragon dragon in Japanese. Cut the kid some slack he's not the best namer. lol)
Timeline~ This takes place right after Julia dies, but before Conrart gets his mission from the Great One to give her soul to the Shibuya family. The war is over, but tensions are still really high. And Conrart especially is still mourning and cursing the world over Julia's death.
Also, I'd want to thank YoseiOfTheWest for that awesome, really long review! Thanks, really made me happy. Thanks to MayaHikari as well! I'm glad you guys liked it and I hope you like this chapter as well!