Chapter I: Captivity
The young wolf had passed out about halfway during the trip. She didn't even realize she was in the dragon city until she was suddenly dropped on a cold, hard floor, and was soon met by a wall. She groaned a little from the sudden pain and woke up. The wolf took a deep breath, but nearly gagged from the cold, dry taste of the air. She looked around to figure out where she was. There wasn't too much to see. Just a bed, a wooden table with a lit candle and a bag filled with what was probably gold. No windows could be seen. There was a stone carved chair near the center of the room, not far from where she laid uncomfortably. In it sat the dragon that carried her away. He gave a smirk, but said and did nothing.
She just sat there staring at him for a few hours. It was silent in the room, with the only sound being that of two knives being rubbed against each other. Her dragon captor was the one making the sound. One knife in each hand, both with handles made of bone, possibly from one of his past victims, and the blades themselves being stone, with three small teeth on the cutting side. She stared hard at the knives. Out of fear and curiosity, she began to speak.
"What are you going to do with me?" she said fearfully. The dragon gave a sinister chuckle, and pointed a knife at her as he answered.
"That all depends on whether or not you're bought. If so, your buyer will decide your fate. And in that case, you could be sent to a labor camp, become a personal slave, a main dish even, or even part of a harem. But if no one decides to buy you," he continued with an evil grin,"I'll have myself a little snack, and then I'm going to turn you into a coat." The wolf began to quiver in fear, not breaking her gaze at the blades, and felt herself about to cry. They reflected in her eyes. Her moment of torment was shortly interrupted by the sounds of approaching footsteps. Her captor looked towards the door, which was made of a thick cloth that made it look like a curtain. It was pulled to the side as someone entered.
The low light revealed the visitor as he entered unannounced. It was another dragon, with a body of a dark fuchsia and dark brown eyes. He had a pair of smaller horns growing from the sides of his face, which made them resemble sideburns. He was carrying what looked like a satchel in his hand, and a sword in it's holder around his shoulder.
"What are you doing here?" Her captor said irritably."Can't you see I'm busy?"
"I'm sorry for the intrusion. But you never came by for you equipment," the other spoke. He dropped the sack, which gave a thud. It sounded like rattling armor, which is what was likely in the bag.
"Well, thanks for that, then." The keeper's tone did not change."Your payment's at the table." He gestured towards the wooden table on the other side of the room, where the small sack of gold laid."Take it and get out."
"As you wish." The other dragon ignored his rude tone, and approached the table to grab the bag. As he was reaching for it, he began to hear sobs. His attention was focused on it's direction, and he finally noticed the wolf sitting alone, still tied and bloodstained. She just sat there crying, feeling that there was no hope. The dragon couldn't help but feel pity, sorrow, and somehow, anger. He began to think to himself for a moment. Something quickly came to mind."Actually, I don't think I can accept this." The captor, with his head not looking up, looked up with only his eyes, then followed with his head.
"What do you want, then?" He pointed towards the pup.
"Her." She knew he was gesturing to her, and looked at them as they continued their conversation. Her tears continued to roll down her cheeks.
"Are you serious?" He nodded. The other dragon gave a disapproving look."Sorry, but I'm not about to just hand her over to you."
"You won't be. You'll be paying me with her."
"Why would I do that?"
"Think about it. My services usually cost a small fortune. This way, you could save a lot of money." The keeper gave it serious thought, then finally let out a huge sigh.
"Alright. You've made your point. Take the little bitch," he said irritably,"But don't forget, all slaves have to be branded before they're taken."
"Don't remind me."
The wolf overheard that one peculiar word.'Brand?' she thought to herself, and began trembling in fear. She gasped when she felt a scaly hand grab her by the head. She was thrown down onto her knees. She nearly fell over face first, and grunted from the pain she felt all over her body. Her captor reached near a fire pit and grabbed the branding iron sitting inside, then handed it to who she believed would be her new owner. He thought to himself 'Let's just get this over with'. He kneeled down next to her and laid a hand on her side, trying to find a suitable place to lay the mark. He leaned over and whispered to her.
"I'm sorry." She could only close her eyes as she awaited, and dreaded, what was coming next. In a hurry to end it quickly, the dragon pressed the heated end of the iron on her thigh. She cried and screamed in agonizing pain as the iron burned into her flesh. He quickly pulled it away, revealing the mark: the same insignia that was on the other's bronze armor, but in dark, blood red. She whimpered as it sizzled and cooled off to make a permanent mark. He dropped the iron, and held his head in shame."Come on, pup. Let's go." She didn't answer. She only laid there and sobbed. The other dragon was becoming irritated by her, and kicked her hard in the stomach. She gasped and coughed up blood.
"Get up!" he demanded. When she wouldn't respond, he readied one of the knives to cut her. As his arm reached for her, he was grabbed and halted. He gave the new owner a dirty look.
"That's enough! She belongs to me, and by law, that means you have no right to touch her."
"Don't you dare recite the law to me! I'm the one who enforces it!"
"Whatever." He ignored the rude gesture, and pulled out a knife that was strapped to his leg, kneeling down close to the wolf's level. She looked hard at the blade, and began to cry out of fear that he was going to kill her, perhaps for the same reason as the other dragon. He noticed her reaction, and placed a single paw on her head. It wasn't with force like with her captor, but a more rather comforting touch. She looked up at him, and stared him in the eyes."Don't worry. I'm not going to hurt you." he comforted. She could see something in his eyes. Something that made her feel she could trust him. She calmed down. The dragon sat her up, and placed the sharp side of the knife under the rope that tied her hands together, pushing up and cutting it. Her arms came back to her front. She looked at them, clenching her fists and relieving the stiffness she felt. The dragon stood up behind her, and held a hand on her shoulder."Can you walk?
"No," she answered without looking at him,"I can barely feel my legs." He gave a comforting smile.
"It's okay. I'll carry you." He held her behind her head and under her legs, gently lifting her. As he left the room, he passed the other dragon with a little shove."Good-bye, Warden." The dragon referred to as 'warden' just watched him as he left the room, with a raised brow.