Drake rubbed his aching forehead; he felt confused and so very tired, a tiredness that was seeping into his bones. He just wanted to be alone, to go to sleep. ‘I don’t understand what you’re saying,’ he said.
The hooded figure stepped out from the shadows, his black cloak barely making a sound as it brushed against the cobbled floor. ‘You must do it, you must finish it,’ he said, pointing straight at Drake with his gloved hand, a finality in his voice that made Drake nervous.
‘Why me?’ asked Drake, wrapping his arms around his chest to protect himself from the cold, but the cold was already biting into his flesh, making his body tremble.
‘Because you are my son and you WILL avenge my death.’
‘How do I do that?’ asked Drake, the sense of foreboding seizing his heart in its icy grip making it feel like a lump of ice, cold and unmoving inside of him.
‘You know what you must do,’ said the figure coldly, as he pulled back his hood letting his shaggy black hair loose around his muscular shoulders. ’I cannot rest until my death is avenged, Drake, and you are the only one left who can do it.’
‘I can’t…I’m not strong enough-’
‘Don’t ever say that!’ said Erick Blackthorn, his green eyes blazing with fury, ’You are a Dragon Rider,‘ he said pointing at the tattoo around his right eye and then pointing at Drake’s.
Drake could feel the swirling black of his mark burning into his skin like a scalding hot brand, the Devil’s Mark, tainting him for life.
‘You must avenge my death or I will never rest. And neither will you: I promise you that!’
‘It was Fenrik Lasko who ordered my death, son. He stood there, smoking his putrid cigars, as his demons pulled my dragon apart, limb from limb. He was there as the dagger was plunged through my heart, as my last breath was taken. He is the one who took me away from you. He is the one with blood on his hands.’ Erick Blackthorn pulled the black hood over his head and stepped backwards, disappearing into the darkness. ’Of this, you can be sure!’
Anger ripped through Drake like a fiery tornado, shattering the ice that had crippled his heart. ’I will, I’ll do it!’ he roared after his father. ’I promise you I will finish it, even if it’s with my last breath!’
Drake could hear other voices emerging from the darkness, intruding whispers pulling him back from the shadows. He could make out Willow and Pyro’s voices clearly now as he was yanked from his dreams. He groaned silently inwards as everything came flooding back to him…Funestus, The Emerald Key, The Valley of Death…Willow…Pyro. The enormity of it all choked him, rendered him silent, so he kept his eyes clamped shut and listened instead, as he tried to push it away and make-believe, if only for a while, that none of it was happening.
But, as they travelled onwards, the anger, re-ignited in his dreams, burned brightly inside him. He only wanted to avenge his father’s death, how the hell had he managed to end up here?
Drake shifted in his seat; he’d got a pain in his bottom from the stiff, spring-less, seats and a throbbing head from the incessant prattling of Willow and Pyro. ‘When are you two going to shut up?’ he snapped, as Pyro asked Willow, for what seemed like the millionth time, to show him the spell to change her nail varnish colour. What he wouldn’t do for two minutes of quiet.
‘You awake?’ asked Willow, sarcastically.
‘Your attitudes stinks,’ said Pyro, ‘I think you should be encouraging your friend in her experiments with magick, it‘s not her fault she hasn‘t been trained.’
‘What?’ Oh, he couldn’t be bothered with them. He slumped back into his chair, the red leather squeaking beneath him as his bottom slipped down the seat. He huffed and stared out of the misted window.
Willow jumped around in her seat to face Drake. She held out her hands to show him her bright purple nails. ‘What do you think?’ she said, wiggling her fingers at him, ‘I think it’s the most delicious shade of purple I’ve ever seen. In fact, it’s so good that I’ve turned a whole bottle of my old stuff into it. I’ve called it Purple Passion.’
Drake shrugged, still gazing out of the window. ‘That’ll really help us find The Emerald Key, won’t it?’ he snapped, ‘You could do that before.’
‘You really don’t know how to play nicely do you?’ said Pyro.
‘What is it with you two? How come you’ve become best friends all of a sudden?’
‘I like to make the best out of a bad situation,’ said Pyro, ‘I mean, you dragged me here but-’
‘You’re a djinn, Pyro, you get dragged around all the time-’
‘Oh, it’s like that is it?’
‘Like what?’ asked Drake looking at Willow.
Willow shrugged, ‘Don’t get me involved, I happen to like him-’
She liked him? A djinn that was into setting fire to things? A djinn that worked for Fenrik? Drake opened his mouth to speak, then closed it again. He really couldn’t deal with them now; he was too tired, his whole body felt heavy, like it was shutting down. He slumped back into his seat and covered his eyes with his hand.