Chapter 1: Decisions, Decisions

We swear by the Flames of Honor to stay our blades from the innocent.
We swear by the Waterfall of Longevity to never betray the Order.
No creature is left behind. No soul is forgotten.
We work in the night to serve the light.
We soar above the lands to protect the lives below.
We are man. We are beast.
We are Dragon Riders.

He wonders what exactly he did wrong to deserve this. Yes his old dream was to take down a dragon and hopefully gain the pride of his father and the respect of his village. But everything changed that one day.

Not only did he finally take down a dragon – a Night Fury, no less – but he also realized he did not have the heart to kill it. Since he was a mere babe, he had been taught to believe that dragons were mindless vicious creatures that killed at first sight because that is what they do; that that was what they have always done. He was told that they were emotionless, felt no guilt or shame, and showed no mercy.

He was told wrong.

He let that dragon free, and that very same dragon spared him. With a roar of warning, the dragon let him live...and left. Hiccup, being the curious young teen he was, could not help but visit the dragon again, and again...and again. In that dragon, he found a loyal and caring friend. In that dragon, he found more than his own village had ever given him. At some point, he concluded that his mother took pity on him from the afterlife, and sent him a friend. The one thing he knew he would always need, would probably ever need.

But he still had to go to dragon training. A class he was starting to hate a little more each day. Because he could not find it in himself to hurt dragons after his time with Toothless – the name he gave his dragon friend – he started to use tricks he learned in his time with Toothless to survive in the ring. He just did not account for the rest of the village to see his tricks as him defeating the dragons. Now he was getting the attention he had always wanted as a child...and he did not like it one bit.

He would have stopped and just let the others fight the dragons while he stayed out of harm's way, but that would mean leaving the dragons to be injured by his classmates. In correspondence with his sudden attention, Astrid had become more vicious in the ring, outraged that he was besting her and as a last resort to gain the pride of the village. She was number one; she was supposed to be the best, so why was the village fool becoming the prodigy.

However, unlike Astrid, Hiccup did not care for the attention. That attention was superficial, based on false pride for what they believed to be their new best warrior. No, he did not want that. He wanted someone to care for him for who he was, and that someone happened to be his friendly Night Fury companion.

But Toothless was more than just a friend, he was Hiccup's best friend. Moreover, because of Hiccup's past desire for attention, he was Hiccup's handicapped best friend. The hit of the launched bola combined with the harsh landing from the sky resulted in Toothless losing his left tail fin. To atone for his mistake, Hiccup constructed a new tail fin for Toothless. In the months that passed, he perfected the prosthetic fin and learned how to work it. Seeing as the only way to have the fin open and direct Toothless' flight was to have Hiccup manually control it, he created a harness and system of wires that he operated from a saddle he placed on Toothless' back. Together, Hiccup and Toothless learned to fly – fly again in Toothless' case – and rediscovered the beauty of the open sky and the freedom it instilled in the two friends.

In their short trips to neighboring islands, Hiccup learned of the dragons' innocence. How they were nothing like how his village and ancestors perceived them to be. Nevertheless, he had learned of this too late, decided to relent in his sudden 'skill' in the ring at the worst of times. His father was back from the recent nest hunt, and the finals of dragon training were near. Tomorrow he would compete with Astrid to see who would get the 'honor' of killing the dragon.

He was very tempted to let Astrid win against the dragon so that she would get selected to kill the dragon. Then again, that would mean leaving the Gronckle to be beaten and the Nightmare to be killed. Besides, who knew what would happen to the other dragons if he left them to the village.

What did he do to deserve such conflicting events and such troubling choices?

Oh yeah…he decided to be different!

Nothing is true, everything is permitted.

"… It is merely an observation of the nature of reality. To say that nothing is true, is to realize that the foundations of society are fragile, and that we must be the shepherds of our civilization. To say that everything is permitted, is to understand that we are the architects of our actions, and that we must live with their consequences, whether glorious or tragic…" – Ezio Auditore da Firenze

Creed Language: English

Originally Posted: January 30, 2013

Recently Revised: January 17, 2015