Luka and Jagged - Picking A Dragon
Viking Life was a mixture of many things. Expand, learn, fight, trade, dragon training, etc, the list goes on. Though, when it came to the Anarky tribe, chaos and fun was one important motto when it came to being a viking.
For the Stone-Couffaine clan, they believed chaos and fun allowed a viking to reach their full and true potential. At least, that's what Jagged and Anarka, the chief and chieftess, believe. It's what allowed the Anarky tribe to rule over areas of Sratha Cluade in Scotland and Ulaid in Ireland for so long. They were fair and just, but tended to focus more on kindness and fun, with a bit of chaos of course.
And though they were a bit chaotic, they had good allies. One of those allies they were closest with is the Cruthachadh tribe; ruled by the humble and kind Tom and Sabine of the Dupain-Cheng clan. Together, they helped each other strive with trade and goods which only strengthened their alliance.
Which eventually led to the day that house Dupain-Cheng and house Stone-Couffaine decided to sign a contract of union with a marriage between their eldest children, believing they'd be a good match for one another and lead both tribes, once united, to years of prosperous reign. Now, at the age of twelve, Luka, heir of the Anarky tribe, was betrothed to the heir of Cruthachadh's heir, Marinette.
With the weight of the betrothal and upcoming visit from Marinette approaching, Luka was growing nervous and anxious. He never gets the chance to meet Marinette as often as most betrothed or even friends would, and that made it difficult when your betrothed lived a couple day's trip by boat away or a day's flight by dragon on a separate island.
Would they be considered friends when they hardly see each other? Does Marinette even consider themselves friends?
Luka sighed from the whirlwind of questions and worries. Sitting at the dining table, he dropped his head on the heavy wooden tabletop and let out a grown.
"What's got you all mopey?" he heard his sister quietly ask as she entered the dining and kitchen space.
"Just thinking about Marinette and our betrothal."
"Oh, that again. Then I'm gonna leave and go hang out with Alix and Kim. Have fun sulking."
"Love you too, Jules," he called out as Juleka left the house.
Luka let out another sigh. He really wanted to make this relationship work. But now that Juleka ditched him, he had no one else home to talk about gift ideas. And that was the nervous part of figuring out a gift, what kinds of things does Marinette like? Does she like jewelry? Weapons? Crafts?
Where was someone when he needed it?
The front door to their home burst open with force as he heard someone enter the domain.
'I take that back.'
"Eh, my boy!"
Pushing his head up, Luka greeted his father with a small smile.
Seeing his son's dull expression, Jagged walked over and sat across from his son, his winged crimson pit drake hybrid, Fang, followed close behind. Luka gave a small chuckle seeing the large dragon stopping beside his father, lay down, and curl up. Fang might look like a terrifying beast, but that dragon was nothing but an oversized puppy with how his father spoiled him. Well, until someone threatening came along, then that puppy side was gone.
"What's got ya so blue, son?" Jagged's brows furrowed, "Is...is dis 'bout the betrothal?"
Luka huffed, "Yea. I'm...I'm worried about screwing this up and ruining my chances making Marinette happy."
A smile stretched across Jagged's face, feeling guilty for his son's turmoil.
"I'm sorry, lad. Yer mother 'nd I didn't mean fer dis betrothal ta get ya worked up. We all just thought da two o've ya would be great fer each other."
"It's alright, dad. I really like Marinette, don't worry. I just don't want her to regret being stuck with me."
"Ah, come on, don't think like that, son. Yer a good man," -he pushed himself up to tap his finger against Luka's forehead- "don't forget that."
Sitting back in his seat, he rested his arms on the table. Jagged looked at his son, "So, tell me what ideas ya got fer Marinette. I know you've been thinkin'."
"I was hoping to get Marinette a gift when she came to visit. I just don't know what she likes or would like."
Jagged gave his son a wide grin, "Well lucky fer you, I know exactly what ta get fer yer future wife!"
"Really?" Luka perked in relief.
Leaning forward to Luka, he gave his son a nod and whispered the answer like it was a secret.
"The perfect way ta a girl's heart is a dragon o've their own."
Luka looked at his dad with skepticism, "Really?"
He watched Jagged lean back with wide arms and bright smile, "Absolutely! That's how I won da heart o've yer mother."
Well, Luka couldn't really argue with that in all honesty. Based on the bond between his parents, their relationship was one of strength and many other traits. If his dad believed a dragon would help the start of his and Marinette's relationship, it couldn't hurt to try, right?
"Alright," Luka breathed with new confidence and gave his father an excited smile, "Mind joining me to the nesting grounds to find a dragon for Marinette as a pre-wedding gift?"
Jagged gave Luka a starry-eyed look and jumped up excitingly in place.
"Of course! We'll get ta 'ave a father-son bondin' moment." Jagged ran around the table and picked up his son, missing the sound of a yelp from Luka. Throwing his son over his shoulder as he ran for the front, calling his dragon companion to follow, "Come along, Fang!"
It didn't take them long to navigate through the Scottish woods along the shore cliff sides that housed one of the larger gatherings and nesting grounds for dragons. Nesting grounds were always a serendipitous place for vikings to come and bond with the majestic creatures. To build lifelong companions and friends.
For Luka, he hadn't been to the nesting grounds in two years when he came to find a dragon companion of his own at age ten. Which turned out as a great experience if he had to say so himself.
He remembers when he stumbled across the Icelandic hatchling with the golden eyes two years ago.
The white-colored dragon gazed at him with curiosity and hope. Luka reached into his side pouch and pulled out a strip of dried fish to give the hatchling; reaching the piece of meat forward. Perking and giving the item a sniff, the dragon took and ate the treat before moving closer to the young boy.
Dropping to his knees, Luka waited patiently for the hatchling to approach on his own will. His parents told him that you'll know the right dragon when you both bond and connect in mind. So, as he waited, the hatchling stepped with his front paws on Luka's knees and stretched up until the boy stroked his head.
Seeing the dragon wanting attention, Luka ran his hand along the smokey grey muzzle and snow-white head. He felt a rumble like purr and within a few moments he heard a faint, new voice say "friend" enter his head. Hoping it was a sign of the bond, Luka thought of the word friend in return and watched as the Icelandic hatchling opened his eyes from the nuzzling and looked at him in awe and excitement within those golden eyes.
'Bonded?' he heard from the dragon.
Luka gave the hatchling a nod and smile, "Bonded."
The small dragon gave a chirp in happiness and nuzzled fully against Luka.
"You're quite the majestic dragon, aren't you? Really cool and handsome looking," he stated while taking in all the dragon's detail.
The Icelandic hatchling heard the boy's praise and sat back, standing boldly with a little cockiness and pride.
Luka chuckled, "Oh? A little sassiness I see."
The hatchling perked at the term of sassy.
"You like that? Sassy?" He heard the dragon bark in agreement. "Alright then. How do you feel about Sass for a name?"
'I like it.'
"Then, it looks like you and I are bonded companions for life," chuckling when Sass jumped into Luka's arms.
Finding Sass was one of the best things to happen in his life. To have a companion and friend to talk to, who also came to enjoy some of his interests. And in two winters, he would be able to add Marinette and her own dragon to add to his list of good things to happen to him.
When Luka and Jagged crossed the skirt of dangling tree branches, both men gasped at the utopia that was the nesting grounds. The area was filled with hoards of dragons of all shapes, sizes, and color. It might have been only two years since he had been there, but he knew for a fact that there weren't as many dragons last time.
"There are so many new dragons," Luka mumbled in awe. "I didn't know there were so many types."
He felt his father bump his shoulder, not removing his gaze from the joyous sight, "Maybe the dragons talk to each other and tell how awesome our land is."
They both chuckled which built to laughter. Together, once they calmed down, began walking again, slowly approaching further into the nesting grounds. Taking in all the activity surrounding them, they saw dragons roaming, flying, lounging under the bright sun, and herds of hatchlings playing about among the green fields, small hills, and low mountains. The scenery looked like a kingdom all its own, but he wouldn't let the variety of dragons deter him from finding a hatchling for Marinette.
"Where to start?" Luka mumbled to himself, gazing at the nearby nests.
However, he wasn't aware of Jagged moving towards another direction until the sound of grass rustling came beside him. Looking to his left, Luka watched his father take off like a kid during the holidays, jumping from nest to nest or dragon to dragon; Fang following close behind in the same enthusiasm.
"Dad! What are you doing?! This isn't like being at one of the trading posts."
Jagged looked back at his son and waved off his worries, "Oi, no need ta worry, son! Fang will keep me safe."
'Yea, but there's a difference from looking fearsome and acting like one.'
Rolling his eyes, Luka followed his father and Fang towards the open meadow, heading to the opposite side. Coming upon one of the nearest nests, he came across a familiar breed of dragon. Seeing a mixture of gold, blue, and red eyes, the snow-white scales was no mistake.
Falling to his knees, the hatchlings scurried towards Luka seeking attention like most hatchlings sought. Chuckling, Luka tried dividing his attention to all three hatchlings as they chirped and licked his hands. He could feel the smoothness in the younglings skin and bumps where future spikes and horns would develop.
Though, like all hatchlings, the attention span didn't last long as the Icelandic younglings ran off to play with the other hatchling breeds.
At the sound of a chuckle like gurgle, the young heir looked up at the mother of the nest, her gaze distant to where her offspring ran off. After a few more seconds, the mother's gaze shifted to Luka. Wise blue eyes looked into young ocean filled ones.
"Hey, girl. It's been a while." Opening his travel pouch, he pulled out a piece of dried fish jerky meat, holding it up to the dragon.
The female lowered her head and took the piece of meat and ate it. She lightly nudged her dull upward beak muzzle against Luka's head in gratitude. Raising his hands, he returned the gesture by petting along her jaw and snout, earning a purring rumble.
"You're a good girl, aren't you?" He heard the dragon give another rumble. Leaning back, he looked into her eyes with a smile filled with his own sense of gratitude, "I want to thank you for letting me have Sass. We've both been very happy."
He received a lick across his cheek when they heard the hatchlings return and huddle back into the nest, all three curling up to one another before falling asleep. Feeling it was time for him to move on to allow the hatchlings sleep, he gave the mother a wave goodbye before walking off. The Icelandic breed was a gorgeous dragon, but he felt it didn't suit Marinette.
Continuing on to another random nest, Luka came upon a family of Wyverns. Strong but stubborn creatures, they were majestic in their own way. Slightly smaller than the Icelandic dragon, they were more of, what Luka felt, bird-like in appearance. Large and powerful wingspans and two strong powerful legs. Forest green and browns in color, they would act like good camouflage dragons in the woods or forests.
Giving attention to some of the hatchlings, he took in some more of the details around the body. Spikes traveling along the back and parts of the head, at the end of the tail it formed into a spike club shape. Luka was sure the Wyvern would make a good fierce and loyal companion, but again, he didn't feel confident it was the dragon for his betrothed.
"Oi! Luka, come here, son."
Looking over towards the location his father was, he saw Jagged and Fang hunched over a smaller nest compared to the larger ones laying about. Standing up, Luka headed over and knelt down beside his father.
"What do ya think o've these little guys?"
Jagged picked up one of the little dragons with butterfly-like wings. The coloring reminded him of one of those butterflies with orange and black markings. A Monarch he thinks it was after learning from a gentleman at a trading post when he was with his father.
The little dragon looked up at the two of them with curiosity in those bluish buggish eyes and chirped.
"I don't know, dad. They look like one of those Feydragons. They're very small and I wanted to get Marinette a dragon she could eventually ride."
"Well, maybe dis guy can be an inside home dragon companion, like a dog or cat. There's nothin' wrong wit' havin' more than one dragon."
Looking closer at the small dragon, it's fins fanning out and wings fluttering from the light breeze passing, chirped.
"The little guy is cute," spoke Luka, "It probably wouldn't hurt to have two dragons for Marinette."
Smiling at his dad, Jagged returned one when the sight of the Feydragon's body began to glow. The father and son perked in attention at the sight and gazed on in their own curiosity, leaning closer to the little creature.
"Oh? What's this?" Mumbled Jagged.
Suddenly, the Feydragon sneezed, the body giving a spark as a small explosion burst out. The smoke from the blast hit Jagged and Luka with a small light force, becoming coated in patches of ash and scorch marks across their upper body. Blinking, Luka broke his gaze from the dragon and glanced up at his father with a puzzled gaze, taking in all the scorch marks and strands of his hair and beard sticking out of place. A few strands sizzling or giving off smoke.
If Luka hadn't been a part of the explosion, he'd find the sight of this whole event hilarious. He was sure he sported a similar appearance and knew the moment they returned home, Juleka would probably laugh. As for his mother, he wasn't sure.
"I like this little guy!" Shouted Jagged, "Marinette would love this!"
"No," vetoed Luka. "I'm not giving her a dragon that has explosive sneezes."
"Oh, I'm sure they grow out of it."
"Still no. I'm not risking my future wife with an explosive dragon."
"You're no fun, but I guess you have a point. I bet Juleka would love him!"
"Oh, gods," mumbled Luka.
He didn't want to begin imagining the idea of Juleka owning a dragon such as this one.
His eyes widen at the sudden thought of Alix and Kim learning about this dragon breed. The explosions would only add up on a daily basis.
He felt a weight land on his back and little chirps and clicks. Turning his head to his left, he tried to catch a glimpse of what landed on his back, when a small reddish-gold hatchling crawled up and rested on top of his shoulder. Raising his right hand up, he waited patiently until the hatchling crawled in his palms, the dragon's eyes never once leaving their focus from his.
"A Chinese Gold dragon?" he gazed at the structure and appearance, taking in certain details of the bat-like wings and size, along with the crests to signal it was a female. He gave the little dragon a welcoming smile, "Well, aren't you a beautiful girl. It's not very often we get to see your species around these parts."
The red hatchling chirped and looked knowingly with her blue eyes and seemed to gleam at being called beautiful. Reaching into his small pouch, Luka pulled another piece of fish jerky, ripping off a smaller strip and placed it in front of the hatchling.
Watching as she sniffed the food, gurgled in excitement, and snatched the piece of meat, eating it whole. Licking her muzzle, the red hatchling pushed up with her hind legs and rubbed her head against Luka's chin, causing the boy to giggle.
"You're a lovable little thing aren't you?"
The golden hatchling gave another chirp. Luka looked over the dragon coated in gradients of reddish-gold with some smokey black markings on her back. It really was a gorgeous dragon and seeing the blue eyes, it reminded him of Marinette's when he saw her a couple of years ago when they were younger. He felt confident that this was the dragon for Marinette.
"Would you like to come home with me? I have someone special who would love you and make a great bonded companion."
Wanting to let the dragon make the decision, it didn't take long for the small hatchling to crawl up on his shoulder and give a little lick to Luka's cheek.
"Well, it looks like ya found yerself a dragon, son."
"Ya. Ready to head home?" Luka asked as he turned to his father.
"Yep! I can't wait ta show Juleka her new companion!"
Luka shook his head as he followed behind his father and Fang towards home. He was sure their house was going to get slightly busier with all the new residents.
It didn't take them long to reach their village, taking the pathway leading to the Couffaine home. Compared to the other houses, it wasn't hard to find the large two leveled home. Then again, it was said that the chief and chieftess homes were built to be a bit larger.
Walking up the front steps, the father and son entered the family home to find Juleka at the dining table, eating lunch.
Looking over to her father and brother, Juleka perked at the sight of them, taking in the messing appearance.
"What the heck happened to you two?"
"My little darlin' daughter," Jagged ran over to Juleka in pure excitement, "I got you a little companion."
He held out the small Feydragon so Juleka could take a look.
"This little guy gives off explosions when it sneezes. It's so cute!"
Juleka's eyes grew in awe and wonder, mumbling, "Awesome."
As Jagged and Juleka continued to wonder over the small Fey hatchling, Luka jolted when he heard his mother's voice to the side of him.
"What on earth happened ta ya, lad?" He turned towards her to find her glancing at all his messed up appearance. "What the Hel did you 'nd yer father get up too?"
Luka motioned for the gold dragon to hop into his palms as he held her out to his mother.
"I wanted to get Marinette a special pre-wedding gift when she comes over to visit in two weeks. Dad said that the best way to a girl's heart was a dragon. What do you think?"
Ankara looked at the Chinese Gold dragon hatchling and gave a warming smile. As quick as lighting, his mother pulled him into a crushing hug. He was thankful that the hatchling was quick as well as she jumped out his hands before being crushed.
"Oh, my boy is growin' up," Ankara softly spoke, "I'm so proud o've ya. Yer gonna make a fine husband ta Marinette."
Luka sighed at his mother's words, feeling thankful for having such a supportive, but feeling a weight lift off knowing he was giving his all and that his family believed in him. They might be chaotic, him having his own moments, but he wouldn't have it any other way. Hopefully, Marinette doesn't mind a bit of chaos.