"Duty... Hallowed words reverently dictate what you ought to be, what you can be, what you will be."
"And what do I get in return?"
The claws clasped tightly around his body ease its grip and once again he can breathe.
"Your life should be enough."
He scoffs at the words as they rumble through the air and blue eyes narrow at the hulking dragon that holds his life in its clawed hands, literally.
"You are here because you died to protect something, did you not?"
There is blackness around them and they are floating in nothingness. He's been here for so long that sometimes he forgets that once upon a time, there was more.
"Would you agree to this if I promised you that that which you sought to protect will be yours once you have completed my task?"
"... I would agree to that."
"Then complete my task and I promise that it will lead you to what you seek to keep protected. Do we have an accord?"
He doesn't hesitate when he accepts the task; not even when he can feel his magic swell around them to seal the contract with their very souls.
The dragon is twice as large as a Hungarian Horntail and three times as dangerous; no sane man would accept a pact with it, but he is a man on a mission and he has never been called 'sane' in his life. He remembers that before the blackness, the nothingness, there had been a boy that he had given his life to save. Despite his circumstances he knows, feels it in his very soul, that he needs to be where that boy is, protecting him as his duty dictated.
"This better be a promise that you can keep, Igneel."