"Hey, are you hungry? Caspersen?" Matthias hammered on the door with a small plate of food from the mess hall. The door opened slightly, a hand coming out to grab the plate before Matthias stuck his foot in the door and jammed it open, forcing Caspersen to poke her head around the door to glare at him.

"What do you want?" Her eyes were reddened and her hair was tangled where it had dried and a couple of twigs from the lake were still stuck in it. He removed one quickly and offered her the food as he stepped away.

"Thank you….that's very kind." Her voice had gone quiet and he wondered whether she was alright, his face showing his concern. The door slammed shut and a scraping sound made him certain it was shut.

Well, at least he could make sure she ate.

It wasn't fair how everyone picked on Caspersen, it truly wasn't. Jones, despite his sharp attitude, seemed to treat her a little more kindly than the rest, but aside from that everyone else would glare and talk about her behind her back. He knew why this was, even if Caspersen didn't.

A good battle dragon was what every captain craved, truly; you could help your country if you had a good battle dragon. One of the best breeds was the Sølv Vinger, a good dragon all round that could fight with the best reflexes that careful breeding was able to produce.

The problem? The Sølv Vinger only chose a female as its captain. Now that Caspersen was here, they could afford one, and afford to train it, but the hatred that was growing for her meant that an egg was going to hatch soon, most probably being brought here.

Caspersen was not yet to be told, apparently. She only qualified because of her luck of being female, according to the more bitter captains (which honestly meant the majority of them).

It wasn't fair.

Alette was shocked, to say the least, when Matthias had brought her the food. He had chosen good foods that were strengthening, about half of which she would actively seek out because she liked them, and she didn't mind eating them in the least. It was a very nice supper all in all, and she felt herself cheered slightly.

Strangely enough, her spirits began to return, and she moved the chest away from the door. Unsurpisingly, Matthias was no longer there, and she sighed, before going to fix her hair as to be neater, her plate clean. She could return that later! A small smile which had recently been absent from her face returned, fleetingly. Perhaps…perhaps she could still catch Matthias if she ran.

Jones sat with Linnhe who was worrying over Caspersen again. Before he had simply rolled his eyes at the dragon's fussing, calling him a mother hen, but now he sat silent. Everything Linnhe said rang true or played upon his fears.

Such as 'they will always pick on her' (a truth, of course, they always did, pushing her around and giving her grief) or 'It isn't right to bully a girl barely out of the schoolroom' (Of course it wasn't, it obviously upset her a great deal)…. All of these made his conscience pang. If a large group of men had treated his daughter like that he would have gone practically feral in his rage. With Caspersen, he had somehow justified joining in with the harassment, and turned a blind eye to potentially dangerous stunts.

Matthias, at least, worried over her….Her face came into his mind's eye again, furious and upset, tears running salty tracks down cheeks that could still be seen as childish, angry with herself for showing weakness, angry with them for making her out to be weak, upset that they hated her. Emotions had showed clearly in the instant he had seen her tears, shocking him and stabbing at his conscience. It wasn't fair how they treated her.

Eklund called him, and he looked up at him.

"What?" His eyes showed that he was in no mood to be civil and Eklund shot him a darkened look before sighing.

"The egg is here."