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Old February 2nd, 2013, 01:21 PM
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A Dragon's Design Chapter 6: Revelation

Author's Note: (if you're looking for the story feel free to skip this section.)

First, if you're new to this series, welcome! I would recommend that you read the previous chapters, such as chapter 4 and chapter 5 - but keep in mind that the writing quality is continually improving and if you don't like 5 too much, give 6 a try anyway

Anyway, wow... It certainly has been a long time since the last part hasn't it? Almost a year, if I'm not mistaken. Life is a strange thing. And it loves to get in the way of your projects and goals...

As for the story this time around, it's a little sad I know. But, I promise it gets better soon and that everything is explained later in the plot.

As always, comments and criticism are always appreciated, as are spelling and grammar corrections.

[COLOR="SeaGreen"]Magician?s Almanac, volume 14:[/COLOR]
Excerpt from ?Professions Assigned by the Council?

Seekers - An elite group of practicing Magicians whose excellence in espionage and tracking is unparalleled. Seekers spend many years perfecting the art of disguise and aura tracing and blocking, becoming experts in their fields. Their abilities are rumored to be completely undetectable to any but the most skilled of Magicians.

Anything else on the subject would necessarily have to be complete speculation, as no other information has ever been made public.

[COLOR="RoyalBlue"] ----Chapter 6----[/COLOR]

?Absolutely not. I said I wanted to stay, so I'm staying.? Jake sat across the fire from me, looking stern.

?I don't even know why they're after me. We don't really know anything. There's no telling how dangerous this really is,? I countered. I was giving Jake an equally hard glare and doing my best to look stern, but with all the stress and recent trouble I've been through I probably didn't look very intimidating at all.

?And that?s exactly why I?m staying. I... I don?t want anything to happen to you. Besides, when that Seeker we left in the middle of nowhere reports back, he?ll tell the Council that I?m with you. I?ll be aiding a known fugitive... Then I?ll be in the same place as you. I think it?s best if we stick together.?

It hadn?t been long since fire at Emmet?s warehouse burned the place to the ground. We had left the area as soon as we were able, hastily packing our things and getting as far away as we could while it was still light enough to see. After that, we made a quick camp along the edge of a clearing. The air was crisp and chilly now, very different from the hot, smoky and musty atmosphere of that fire. Frost was even starting to settle on the grass by now, it was so cold. I stared into the campfire, watching the sparks spiral up into the air, trying not to think about the cold or the workshop. Or fire. I really didn't want to think about that fire right now.

It was Jake who finally broke the long silence. ?Can I ask you something?? Jake asked suddenly, looking me over with an air of sympathy and concern.

I mumbled ascent, but I didn't really feel up to talking. I turned in his direction just a little, keeping my head down. I just wasn't up for anything.

?Well, how did you know that... the Emmet person was really a Seeker?? he asked me.

"I'm not sure, really... I just felt like something was wrong... There was a smell or something. Like, sometimes you can feel magic in the air? Like a trip spell or something like that... I went to hug him and he felt... Not like himself. Something was just off about it. So I took a guess. Besides... If it really was him he would have berated me about being so eager to rush down the stairs. 'A magister is always careful' or something like that." I mumbled quietly, hoping he wouldn't notice my expression or the tears I was trying to hold back.

There was silence from Jake. We both stayed silent again for some time.

"You miss him, don't you?" He said softly, letting the question hang in the air. It took me a while before I could come up with an answer.

"Well, yeah... A little. I told you already, he was like a father to me. I was orphaned at birth and the Mage Tower took me in. They didn't really know where I was from, though someone once told me that Magister Emmet had found me beside the road on one of his trips. The point is that most people in Capital City didn't really have a place for a three year old. As much as the Mage Tower is heralded for its generosity and scholarly nature, there are only so many beds and places in the dining hall. They were going to turn me out onto the street because they just couldn't keep me. Emmet decided to take me as his apprentice when he found out, even though he was technically retired and wasn't obligated have to. He didn't just give me a place to stay when he did that. He also gave me a future... Kids off the street like me usually become cheap labor for the various industry towers if they're not wanted." I began to mumble incoherently, trailing off eventually.

I took a deep breath and sighed. "I guess what I'm trying to say is that Emmet means the world to me."

"I'm sorry, I didn't know." Jake said, standing up and stretching. He walked over to me and sat beside me, putting one huge arm across my shoulders, pulling me close in a light embrace.

Despite my bad mood and my misgivings, I suddenly found myself hugging him back. I still felt weird about being with this guy. He was really, really attractive and all... And he seemed nice enough, but haven't I only been with him for at most week and a half? My feelings were confusing at the best of times, let alone just now. At least Jake seems to know what he wants though, holding me close to his big, wide chest with his enormous, bulging sexy arms tha--- you know what? I think I know what I want too. I snuggled closer into the embrace, face pressed against his slab-like pecs.

I felt safe and secure for the first time in the whole week and a half I had been gone. And of course the hug was wonderful; it made me feel so much better.

We just sat there for a time, holding each other gently, our bodies pressed together in a silent snuggle of warmth and coziness. Jake reached up to ruffle my hair and caress my cheek with his thumb.... And then he leaned down, pulling me closer, and gave me a kiss. I was surprised first, caught off guard by such a sudden display of affection... Then confused, because I didn't know what to do about it. And yet the kiss didn't feel wrong, either. I closed my eyes and tried kissing him back, hugging a little tighter.

It wasn't a long kiss, and when Jake pulled back I couldn't help thinking that I wanted more. For just those few moments I had felt almost normal and safe and protected. As soon as that ended, the emptiness came rushing right back. I looked down and away, pulling back from the embrace, though I didn't move away. Instead, I took his hand in mine, wrapping my arm with his. We both sat together beside the fire.

We didn't say much to each other for the rest of that night, though I ended up mumbling to myself a little under my breath. I couldn't get up the willpower to talk at all, and Jake didn't seem to have anything to say either.

"Hey, Jake?" I eventually said a long while later, well after the moon had risen for the night. "It's gotten to be pretty late. We should both get some rest."

"Alright, Max." he said quietly, gently turning and putting his arm around my shoulder again. I thought he was going to hug me, but to my surprise he kept turning, getting his other arm under my knees and picking me up quickly as he stood.

He smiled at me, kissing my cheek and carrying me over to the spot where we had laid out our blankets on the ground. He set me down on my bedding and whispered, "You get comfortable, I'll be right back after I put out the fire." I opened my mouth to protest, but he caressed my cheek and slid a finger delicately across my lip, cutting me off as he stood back up.

I almost managed a smile as he quietly walked away, going to clean up camp. He was.... really nice. That's all there was to it. I liked him. But still, there was just too much to think about right now even without thinking about him. And I needed sleep, that's for sure. I was tired.

I reached up to take off my medallion before bed... And froze, sitting bolt upright, searching my neck with my fingers. I checked down the neck of my robe and rustled through the sheets and patted across the ground nearby to be certain...

I must have made a distressed sound then, or Jake must have heard my patting around, because Jake was back by me in an instant, looking worried. "What's wrong?"

I tried my best to keep my voice steady but it was no use. This was just too much, especially on top of everything else that had happened this past week. "My medallion... It's gone!"


I fought the tiredness of my body and struggled to stay awake. I just had to find it. I couldn't have dropped it too long ago, right?

Apparently not. We searched the campsite thoroughly and there was nothing there. We searched along the path we walked to get to camp, again nothing. Jake suggested, just once, that perhaps we should give up the search because we weren't finding anything and were wasting valuable time looking for it. The angry look I shot him for that comment probably could have melted lead, and he didn't ask again.

We searched the ruins of Emmet's workshop for some time. My medallion wasn't anywhere to be found. I even got so desperate as to try using a Find*. It didn't turn up anything though, and I ended up so tired I almost collapsed. There are only two reasons a Find would fail like that, both of which I really didn't want to think about at the moment. The first possibility was that it was under a powerful cloaking, so powerful it was undetectable by even magical means. Which was silly, why would someone try to cloak or steal my medallion...?

(* A Find is an incredibly powerful, and also very high level spell. It enables the user to locate anything that they have seen before by tracing the object's history in space, yet it is prohibitively expensive in terms of energy required to cast. Unless one is very careful with the spell, it is possible to die from casting it by spending too much energy on it.)

The second and much more probable and believable answer was that it was gone, or destroyed. Somehow I managed to lose it in the fire, probably during the fight. The heat and the intensity of the magical flames must have melted it. Or something like that... It was gone, and that's all that really matters right now. I didn't want to think about it. It was... My medallion was.... Gone...

That medallion was my most prized possession. I had been found with it, and so it was the only thing I had from my past other than the tattoo across my back. Secretly, I had hoped that someday I would find out what it all meant, and be able to find out where I came from. And that the medallion would somehow help me piece everything together. But now, all of those hopes are gone. Whether missing or destroyed it wasn't with me anymore.

Jake returned me to the camp, carrying me in his arms and setting me down on my bed again. It wasn't good. I just wasn't doing well. My mind was occupied with trying to cope with everything that had been happening so far, my body was exhausted, and I just felt sick and hopeless from it all.

I fell into a restless, fitful sleep.


The next day, I awoke groaning and tangled up in my sheets. I hadn't slept well and I looked rather ill.

I turned over and puked on the ground. Nope, I didn't just look ill, I was definitely ill. I had a bad sickness, and couldn't eat anything at all. I felt gross inside, and weak. Needless to say, we didn't move around a lot today because of my condition.

I don't remember much of that day, since at some point I fell into unconsciousness. And then I broke out into a high fever that night, complete with sweats and shaking. Despite everything he tried, Jake couldn't seem to wake me. Or if I was already awake, I certainly didn't show it. I was rolling and tossing and turning fitfully, clearly unwell.

In my sleep (or delirium?) I was engrossed in the mother of all nightmares...


It was dark, in the long hallway. I couldn't remember how I had gotten here, or even where "here" was. All I knew was that somehow this was where I needed to be. There was a door at the end. Actually, upon closer inspection there were two. I walked over to the first.

The door was made of heavy oak, held together with thick iron plating. Across the panels in gray writing was an inscription in a language I couldn't read, and in the center of the door was... It was a symbol. In fact, I knew this symbol. It was the same one on my tattoo. A large, spiraling arc, at first meandering around the edges of the door, before quickly coming together at a point in an odd, spiky star pattern.

I tried the handle, and found it to be locked. There was no keyhole, no place for a lock even. But the door stayed firmly shut.

Giving up on this door, I checked the other, crossing the hall to get a good look at it. Another inscription, another symbol. The symbol was the same as my medallion this time, though it was blackened and scorched. In fact, the whole door seemed charred, from the inside out. When I tried it, the handle was hot, though not unbearably so. I turned the handle...

The hall fell away from me, and I was propelled into the doorway. Inside, a blazing inferno seemed to have been awaiting me, or not awaiting me so much as awaiting its release. It was so hot, it burned me to my core, the feeling so intense and powerful... A heat, an unending, blazing, scorching hot fire.

I wanted to scream, but found that I couldn't. I tried to move, to do anything, but I couldn't do anything. I could only watch, and wait, and feel the fire around me, engulfing me in its intensity. Eventually, the hurt and the burn began to fade.... Ever so slowly, the intense pain dulled, and went away.

The heat didn't, just the burning. I was left in the heat, hotter than anything on Earth, suspended in fire and heat.

There wasn't anything left of the dream but the hotness now. The feeling of a warmth so intense it baked me to my center.

I woke, screaming.


It took me a minute to register my surroundings. I was looking up at a very concerned looking Jake, and from what I could tell I was a mess. I was covered in sweat and tangled up in my blankets, and I was hot, really hot.

"Are you alright? What happened?" Asked Jake. I grunted, staring up at the sky.... It was midday already, I had to have been out for a long time.

"I... I'm not sure... Oh, I still feel sick." I rolled over onto my side and closed my eyes, which turned out to be a horrible idea, as the images of the flames came back, dancing across my eyelids. I groaned, feeling nauseous all over again.

Jake gently put a hand on my shoulder. "You gonna be okay..." He stopped and hesitated. "You're... You're burning up, you have a really high fever..."

I groaned and tried to kick off the blankets, but that didn't go so well as I was tangled up in them. "Don't... Don't know..." I managed to get out, before screaming again and clutching at my chest.

It hurt, it felt like my insides were on fire now too. It was so hot, the heat was unbearable. Jake at least had the sense to stand back a bit, which was good, because steam was starting to rise from my body as the sweat boiled off me. Then the blankets lit on fire.

I rolled up into a fetal position, I couldn't take the pain or the heat, it was too overwhelming. I wanted to pass out, almost, to not have to experience another second of it. But just as I was thinking that, in whatever befuddled mode of thinking happens when every fiber of your body is screaming out in agony at once, it started to get better. The pain was lessening, bit by bit. Though I was still blazing hot. And by blazing hot, I meant hot. Hot enough to have lit my own sweat soaked blankets on fire.

I started to feel better, and then, just as in the dream, the pain was gone, leaving only the heat all across my body. I groaned and collapsed to the ground, welcoming the reprieve from the pain. I was numb all over, and glad for it. I closed my eyes and tried to calm down after that episode.

It was probably a good thing I wasn't watching, and couldn't feel anything. Because it can't normally be a very pleasant sensation when your body starts rearranging itself. I started to... Change, I guess that would be a good word for it.

It began with my chest, which started to broaden and widen and thicken, my ribcage building outwards and my shoulders spreading out into a more powerful torso. My arms and legs lengthened and grew as well, along with my widening wrists, ankles, feet and palms... My whole body was lengthening and widening out, preparing my build for something entirely different. It was getting ready to have to support something a lot heavier than I was; my body was
giving itself a build made to support a lot of power.

That was when the muscle started filling in. Every muscle fiber in my body seeming to expand all at once, growing thicker, bigger, bulkier. My arms exploded with power as thick cables of sinewy and fiber snaked their way over their length, filling out impressive biceps and impossible tris, not to mention the enormous forearms. They bulged thick and heavy, straining and pulsing under the skin as they pressed outwards in every direction.

My chest was a sight to see, heaving larger and thicker with each breath I took. Pecs growing outwards and heaving up and down as slabs of muscle popped up underneath them to form an 8 pack, even the tiny pebbles of my obliques showing through as I grew. And my legs, of course those too. My quads bulged thickly and powerfully with muscle, enormous cables of brawny flesh taking shape under the skin, pressing outwards and forcing my legs apart as they grew. My calves joined in the fun as well, swelling to full, diamond perfection, the two hemispheres of perfect muscle separating and sharpening into clear detail as they thickened and expanded.

I don't know how long I spent laying there, but it had to have been at least 10 minutes before I heard Jake speak. "Are...... Uh....... You're...." He mumbled, trying to form a sentence. "Um.... Are you alright?" He managed, his voice cracking slightly with the effort of remaining calm. Because, even in a world where magic was real and 'Magician' was an adjective describing citizenship to a certain country in the north, it's still rather surprising when your friends collapses on the ground, becomes so feverish that they light their surroundings on fire, and then proceeds to explode before your eyes.

I did mention that I couldn't feel any of this, right? Jake did his best to explain to me afterwards, which is how I know about it, but I spent all that time feeling numb and hot and sick, keeping my eyes squeezed shut and trying not to vomit.

"Yuck.... I.... I'm not sure. I still feel all numb and nauseous..." I moaned a little, opening my eyes again to the horrible daylight. I groaned and tried to roll over again, and found that it wasn't working right. In fact, my whole body wasn't working quite right. Things weren't moving the way they were supposed to, and my motions all felt awkward and wrong. I tried to look down at myself, but my vision was filled with two pale hills, which wasn't right at all... maybe I was still dreaming? Or delusional?

I tried to move again, and the hills rose and fell, bouncing when I tried to move my arms... It was weird, almost looking like...

I brought my hand up to my face to get a look. I stared. It was my hand, thicker and wider than I remembered it, but still my hand... What didn't make any sense to me was the ARM it was connected to. That certainly wasn't mine. It was huge! Enormous, even!

"What the hell just happened..."

[COLOR="Red"]To be continued...[/COLOR]

Last edited by maximum360; February 2nd, 2013 at 10:10 PM. Reason: corrected typo; added direct link to chapter 4 as well
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Old February 2nd, 2013, 01:46 PM
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....I just realized that I managed to put a typo in the title of the thread.... Well, isn't this embarrassing?

It's supposed to read "A Dragon's Design"
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Old February 2nd, 2013, 06:46 PM
Muscles go with anything~
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Silly goose, they sound the same anyway. You're write about your righting, it has gotten a lot better. Though it was pretty decent to start with, unlike a certain lazy writer I know. Great addition to the story the story, even if you did make me wait 500000 years. Worth the wait regardless~

How many parts are you thinking about making this?
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Old February 2nd, 2013, 10:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Rarity View Post
How many parts are you thinking about making this?
Honest answer: As many parts as it takes me to get through the plot I have in mind. The length also depends on the amount of backstory and detail that people would like to see. I'm hoping that right now I've got a good level of detail outside of the main plot points, and if I continue it like this.... Well, seeing as the first parts contained less detail than this part, and we're not even midway through the plot...

Well, think about it. There are so many questions still. In reverse chronological order, the questions that still need to be answered are,
What just happened to Max?
Where is the real Emmet?
Why was a seeker sent after Max?
Why is Jake helping Max, really?
Who is this Jake person anyway?
Why did the council order the arrest of Max?
Why would Emmet command Max to run?
What was it that the Mages found in the tower library at the very start of the story?

As you can see there are still a lot of questions that I have yet to answer. And I haven't even revealed the big plot twist yet, and there is much more to come!

So, bearing all that in mind I'd say that about 6 or 7 more parts are on the way bare minimum. I'm hoping to release much faster though. The reason this one took so long was because it got away from me and then I never got around to writing it until December, and then the editing didn't happen until this morning lol.

So, part 7 is already in the works, and that shouldn't take a year to do
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Old February 3rd, 2013, 06:29 PM
Muscles go with anything~
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Sounds about right for a full fledged short story. Usually stories here have a weird shelf-life so I try to churn out mine in smaller parts so a whole arc can finish within a week or so. Of course I apparently have writer's A.D.D. where I get bored of one muscle man and turn my attention to another one.
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Old February 5th, 2013, 01:16 AM
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This is pretty good. It even fits together pretty well when on re-reading, which is an issue for some stories that are stretched out too long.

Given the "lore" it seems that Max (most likely a dragon) was being kept from gaining the more obvious dragon-signs as he grew older, probably by dint of the medallion.
At first I thought it might've been absorbed by Jake. Your questions about who Jake is lead me to wonder if Emmet's able to change his shape magically, or if he's something else, but he's clearly important to Max's fate.
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Old February 5th, 2013, 02:27 PM
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Good addition it looks like things are heating up.!
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