A Different World Chapter 1

Ghaleon sat on a large thrown at the top of the long ivory staircase. He had been Lunar’s god for nearly a millennium and had become quite proficient at the job. To his surprise the job of managing millions upon millions of humans was much more difficult than he had imagined it to be. Occasionally, he wondered if that was why Althena had stopped being the goddess, but he’d always dismiss the notion as foolishness. She had believed in one thing, and him in another.

He reasoned the world was lucky he had won a millennium ago, for he sensed that Lunar would be in dire need of a god in the coming days. He felt something evil creeping up on them. He couldn’t tell from where. He just knew that it was approaching Lunar and didn’t have good intentions.

Ghaleon’s thoughts were suddenly interrupted as someone climbed over the last of the steps and knelt down before him. It was a large man. He stood well over six feet and was as solid as a brick. He wore odd tan colored armor over a black body suit. On his head was a red and white semi-pointed helmet which had red and white trimmed flaps of magically enforced cloth that hung from both sides and the back.

A smile crossed Ghaleon’s lips, “Rise Dragonmaster.”

“Thank you, my lord,” the Dragonmaster replied as he rose. It had not been long after the recreation of the world when Ghaleon recognized the need of a Dragonmaster. Wars had broken out across the land, and Ghaleon’s Armies were slowly losing ground. This was why the dragons were reborn sooner than he had anticipated. By using his godly power he had sped the process up, and the blue, black and red dragons were all reborn centuries earlier than normal.

Thus Dragonmaster Todd was born. Todd had served him well. With the new Dragonmaster leading the heavenly army peace had returned, but that was over five hundred years ago. Ages had passed since Todd held the place of Dragonmaster. This new Dragonmaster was named Michael.

Two things were different about Michael that Althena’s Dragonmasters would have noticed. First there was his sword. All of Althena’s Dragonmasters used the Sword of Althena. That ancient blade now resided in the hands of the white dragon, Nall. The weapon Michael wielded was the Sword of Ghaleon. A magical blade forged by the god himself, originally used by Todd and now by him.

But the biggest difference between Michael and Althena’s Dragonmasters was the eyes. He did not have the green eyes that had been the sign of the Dragonmaster. Instead Michael’s eyes were a dark brown, so dark that his pupils were not visible most of the time.

Dragonmaster Todd had the green eyes, but he was the last. Every time Ghaleon had looked into his eyes he was reminded of Dyne. The man who had been his best friend. This was a painful reminder of an obsolete past, so he had put and end to that little tradition and eliminated the green eye phenomena forever.

“My lord, the sudden monster outbreak in the Marius Zone has been put down,” the Dragonmaster reported.

“Very good,” Ghaleon replied with a smile. “But tell me, what do you think caused the upsurge of monsters?”

Michael frowned as he pondered the question, “I don’t really know, my lord. Over the past four years the monster population has steadily risen, but this outbreak was unprecedented. We haven’t found any evidence leading up to the cause, it is all very puzzling.”

“Yes, it is. Not even I can see the source of this…anomaly. But I do know that something is not right, Dragonmaster. I am just giving you a fair warning. I foresee a dark time approaching us. I hope you are prepared to do all things necessary to defend Lunar.”

“To the death, my lord.”

“Let us hope it does not come to that, but yes, to the death Dragonmaster.”

* * * *

Michael walked down the corridor away from Ghaleon’s chamber. This latest meeting with the god had disturbed him. If something could make Ghaleon nervous it was worthy of making a Dragonmaster nervous as well. He stopped when he made it into the large garden that resided in the center of the fortress. Green vines climbed up the trees draping the entire garden in a majestic hew. Brightly colored flowers were bursting out of the ground and small pixies danced among the tree limbs.

Michael sat at the base of a stone fountain located in the center of the garden. This was Ghaleon’s favorite place. He often walked the garden speaking to the pixies. Occasionally Michael would walk with him. It was kind of crazy he admitted to himself. Never had he imagined that he would spend his days chatting with the god in his own personal garden.

Much had happened to him that he never would have imagined. He had joined the Meribian Army when he turned eighteen and became incredibly successful. Meribia was one of the cities that Ghaleon had recreated from the old Lunar. It was the home of Ghaleon’s military force, and the home of Michael.

He had racked up an impressive record and quickly gained rank. Soon he had achieved the rank of Captain. This was when Ghaleon took notice of him. Before he knew it he was on a quest to become the next Dragonmaster. This was when his life had got interesting. First he spent a year in the floating city of Vane, the other city that Ghaleon had restored.

It was here that he met Kevin, the prodigy magician of Vane. Who had already achieved the rank of Vice-Premier at the age of nineteen. Ghaleon ordered the young magician to teach him the art of magic. Over the course of the year they had become best friends, and Michael had learned the basics of magic. The next year of his life had proved to be one of the hardest. He and Kevin traveled Lunar in search of the four dragons. By the years end he had become a Dragonmaster. The highest rank in Ghaleon’s Army.

Michael looked over at the garden entrance and watched what appeared to be a young woman walk in. She wore an elegant ruby incrusted dress. Save for a streak of brown that flowed down the middle of her long mane, her hair was primarily the same flame red color of her dress. Michael smiled as she approached him. Standing, he took her into his embrace and kissed her.

This was yet another thing that Michael never imagined would happen. He knew that he would likely fall in love someday, but it was the person that he had fallen in love with that was the surprise.

“Good evening, Ruby,” he greeted as he stared into her unnaturally red eyes. He held in his arms the Red Dragon in her human form. To his knowledge nothing like this had ever happened. A human falling in love with a dragon? It was an absurd idea, even if the human happened to be the Dragonmaster. Absurd or not, it had come to pass.

She was the first of the four dragons whose trial he had taken, and if not for her he never would have passed Nall’s trial. That damned White Dragon made life difficult for everyone. He was the only survivor from the Pre-Ghaleon age. Before the death of Althena. As far as Michael could tell Nall blamed Ghaleon for the incident. He would even go so far as to say that Nall hated Ghaleon for it.

Being the defender of a god was not an easy job, and Michael had no use for people who stood against Ghaleon. Be them human, monster, or even dragon. It made no difference. This was why he and Nall didn’t get along very well, and that was an understatement. It was all they could do to even tolerate each other’s presence.

What an odd Dragonmaster I am? He would sometimes think to himself. He was the only Dragonmaster in history who hated one of the four dragons and was in love with another.

“What’s the matter?” Ruby asked, “you look upset.”

“Its Ghaleon. He seems nervous about something. He tries not to show it, but I can see that the current events are starting to worry him,” Michael answered.

Ruby frowned for a second then her smile reappeared as fast as it had vanished, “You know what you need?”

“I need to find out what’s causing the increase in the monster popul-”

“No,” Ruby cut him off, “that’s why you seem so worn down. Not even a Dragonmaster can solve all of the world’s problems. You just need to relax for a day or two,” she said pulling him closer.

“Ruby…I can’t take any vacations. Ghaleon needs me right now, and it’s my duty as the Dragonmaster to serve him,” he replied.

Ruby stepped away placing her hands on her hips and scowled angrily at him, “Don’t be ridiculous Michael! I’m sure Ghaleon is perfectly capable of running his planet for a few days without you holding his hand the whole time.”

“Ruby, don’t be like that,” Michael retorted, “I really don’t think that I should just ignore the problems at hand.”

“The only problem at hand is you working yourself to death, Michael,” Ruby growled as she became increasingly irritated, “Your only human, Michael, your not going to live forever…”

Michael opened his mouth readying his next argument, but then closed it. They were both aware that he would die literally millenniums sooner than she would. For him their love would last an entire lifetime, but for her it would be only a fleeting moment. Then she would be alone. The thought bothered them both, but it especially frightened Ruby.

“Okay,” he whispered as he gave in, “I’ll take a few days off. Ghaleon’s Army will just have to do without their Dragonmaster for a few days.

Chapter 2

All That Glitters Is Cold 2 Fanfic Competition

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