Fayal explained where he would like to bury Fargus and then started preparing his body. Kreytzen flew to the spot Fayal described. He found the markers that Fayal described for his mother and father and Krey started to dig. Kreytzen had always been told, unless you gig the grave deep enough, the dead's spirit will climb out and haunt those they loved, so Krey dug deep.
Once the grave was deep enough, Krey flew back to Fayal. "I've just finished preparing his body," Fayal stated.
"Would you like for me to take dragon form and fly you and Fargus to the grave site?"
Fayal shook his head, "No, the walk will give me time to say goodbye to him, properly."
"Can I walk with you, or would you rather have the privacy?"
"I would love for you to walk with me," Fayal beamed. "I want to tell you all about Fargus."
Kreytzen didn't hesitate, "I'd like that."
After completing their private burial ceremony, Fayal reminded Kreytzen that they planned to complete this year of school before heading out. "I know, but Father gave me permission to go now, and you have nothing other than school holding you here."
"I don't want to quit school, Krey," Fayal averred. "We only have ten moons until I turn fourteen revolutions and then fourteen moons after that. You said that you would give me time to mourn, can I have this time to finish school?"
"Fay, I love you and will wait as long as you like," Kreytzen stated. "Would you mind if I stayed with you until you are ready? We can stay at Fargus' farm."
"I was hoping you would," Fayal replied, "especially right now. I don't want to be alone."
That night as the sun set, Kreytzen held Fayal tightly. The younger boy wept as his love told him, "Fargus would want you to be happy and remember the best times you had shared together." As Fayal started to fall asleep, Kreytzen moved him to the small bed in one of the rooms. He kissed him passionately, and started pulling the lad's shirt up. Fayal didn't resist.
Kreytzen then gave Fayal a chaste kiss and started to leave the room. Fayal put his hand on Kreytzen's arm, "Don't leave me, at least not yet," he requested.
"I wasn't leaving, just going to the other bed so I can sleep as well," Krey explained.
"Please," Fayal pleaded, "make yourself comfortable and stay in here, at least until I fall asleep."
"For me, comfortable means no clothes," Kreytzen warned.
Fayal gave a slight smile, "I won't mind."
"Fine," Krey chuckled, "but if I am going to be bare, so are you." He removed Fay's breeches without any fight, then stripped down himself. "Io ("Io is the chief deity worshipped by dragons"), Fay, I always thought you were beautiful, but I never imagined you this beautiful under your clothing."
Fayal smiled, "Have you seen your reflection in the pond? You are every bit as beautiful, if not more."
Kreytzen started kissing Fayal as his hands roamed the now naked body of his friend. Fayal did resist anything so Kreytzen made his way down the lithe body. It wasn't long until he had found Fayal's member and started sucking on it. Fayal moaned long and deep, "Oh Krey, that feels sooooo goooooood. Oh, my Io, that feels good." It wasn't long after Kreytzen had started that Fayal released his pent-up juices. After Fayal had been depleted, he fell asleep. Kreytzen kissed his forehead and went to the other bed.
Over the next nine moons, Kreytzen had proven more and more his love for Fayal, and that love was returned just as much. On that tenth moon, Fayal couldn't find Kreytzen anywhere. When he woke up that morning, Kreytzen was already gone. He didn't show up at school, and he wasn't anywhere that Fayal thought to look. It was getting dark, so Fayal headed back to the farm.
As he approached, it looked dark, darker than usual. Fayal thought 'Today is my birthday, and the one person I wanted to spend it with has been gone all day. I hope he's alright.' A single tear rolled down his cheek.
He entered the hut and lit a lantern, that was when he noticed a steaming meal on the table. On the other side of the table was Kreytzen with a big smile. "I was looking for you everywhere," Fayal cried.
"I was wanting to surprise you, for your birthday," Kreytzen explained. "I'm sorry if I caused you any worry or pain."
"I just wanted to be with you to enjoy this day. We are together, now; that's all that matters," Fayal averred as Kreytzen moved closer and embraced him. Once Fayal was feeling better, they sat down and ate the meal that Kreytzen had prepared.
Once school had completed for this revolution, Fayal and Kreytzen started packing whatever was going with them. Fayal stated, "Whatever we don't take, we can just burn. I'm not leaving Fargus' hard work for someone else to enjoy. Can you turn into a dragon and burn the hut down with your fire breath?"
"Ummm, Fay," Kreytzen responded, "I'm a blue dragon, we don't breathe fire, but I may be able to ignite the hut with my lightning breath. Or…"
"Or what?" Fayal pondered.
"You are half dragon. Do you know what color?"
Fayal shook his head, "Fargus knew that my father was a full dragon, but never saw him in dragon form, and they never discussed it."
"Would you change into your dragon form? Being half-dragon, you probably won't have a dragon body, but I should be able to tell what kind of dragon your father was."
"I… I… I don't know how," Fayal whined.
"Close your eyes," Kreytzen suggested. Trusting Kreytzen completely, Fayal closed his eyes. "Good, now relax your mind and think about nothing but being a dragon. Take a few deep breaths, if it helps."
Fayal took a deep breath, breathing in through his nose, then he held it for a second and exhaled out of his mouth. He took an even deeper breath and Kreytzen noticed a glow about his body. "You're doing it Fay, this is truly amazing to watch. I love you so much, even this is beautiful."
As Fayal let out his breath, a charge of electricity escaped, hitting the hut. "Oh, Fay, your father was a blue dragon, I can already tell. And I'm glad that you wanted to burn the hut; you set it afire by accident."
Fayal opened his eyes to see the hut and at that moment transformed into his dragon form. "Fayal, you may be half-dragon, but your dragon lineage is definitely dominant. You are the most beautiful dragon I've had the pleasure of seeing. And if I didn't know better, I would think you were full-blooded. I've never seen a half-dragon take on a full dragon appearance before."
"I feel different, not so afraid," Fayal averred.
Kreytzen stated, "You need never fear, ever again. If your father had been in his dragon form, they would never have killed him. Come fly with me."
"Where to?" Fayal asked, as Kreytzen transformed to his dragon form and took to the air.
Kreytzen let out a dragon laugh, "I want to present you to Father. I think if he sees you, he will worry less about us."
Fayal was a little apprehensive, but knew that he needn't worry. The King had already given his word that they could mate, if they still wanted to... in three years. He soared, enjoying his first flight and what made it more enjoyable, he was sharing it with Kreytzen. He was truly happy. Then he whispered, "I wish Fargus could have seen me like this. He would have been happy for me."
Suddenly, Fayal heard in hi head, 'I am, little one,' in Fargus' voice. Fayal heard more, 'My body may be gone, but I will always be with you.'
Reaching the lair of the Dragon King, Kreytzen called out, "Father, I've come to say goodbye before we begin our adventure."
"And you've chosen a differ…" Kerthylon started, before really seeing Fayal. "You are Delmirez's son. You look just like him."
"You knew my father?" Fayal asked.
"He was my best friend growing up," Kerthylon stated. "I heard that he was killed by Orcs and I was shocked. He was the most powerful dragon I have ever known. It was his armor that Kreytzen now wears."
"This is Fayal, Father," Kreytzen declared. "He is the half-dragon I care so deeply for."
"Now, I understand why. I cared much for Delmirez as you do Fayal, but I also loved your mother and Delmirez was interested in a half-elf/half-dragon maiden. My father refused to accept their relationship and kicked them out of the Dragon Kingdom. Kreytzen, I want you to know that I do accept you loving Fayal, and once you join, he will be welcome."
"That explains why Fayal has more of a dragon appearance than half-dragons usually do," Kreytzen beamed. "He's three-quarters dragon."
"As long as you love him, that's all that matters," Kerthylon declared. Looking at Fayal, he added, "Had I known that my friend had a son, I would have taken you in when he died. If you wish, you may think of me as a second father and I will be proud."
"Thank you, Sire," Fayal replied. "I love your son so much, I am glad that you accept me. I never really knew my father, only what Fargus told me about him."
"After your adventure, when you and Kreytzen return, I will be happy to tell you about him. He was a great dragon and a great friend. I truly miss him," tears flowed down the Dragon King's face as he spoke.
Fayal gave the king a hug and whispered, "I would be honored to hear you telling me about my father. I can feel your love for him."
Kreytzen hugged his father, then he and Fayal departed for their adventure.
In their human forms, Kreytzen and Fayal approached Bulbuldahr, a seaport towards the top of the continent. As they entered, a tall elf boy approached them. He was rather young, but Kreytzen figured, a little older than them. He had black hair and hazel eyes. "Excuse me," the elf boy requested, "but are you looking for an adventure?"
"We are," Kreytzen responded, "are you?"
"Allow me to introduce myself and explain," the boy pleaded. "I am Daesel Hlaeanea, an apprentice to Aiden Ilphelkiir, the most powerful warlock in the land. I have been his apprentice for four years and, while nowhere near as good as my master, I believe that I have learned a lot from him.
"After failing my last attempt at a very potent spell, my master has sent me to find a rare artifact, said to give those who possess it great power. He has provided me with gold so that I may hire some adventurers to help. Are you interested?"
Kreytzen looked at Fayal. Fayal looked at Daesel and said, "We would love to join you, but we don't want you to hire us. The artifact will be yours, but any other treasure we may find will be split among us."
"I can accept that," Daesel agreed.
Kreytzen was curious, "Mind if I ask how old you are?"
Proudly, Daesel exclaimed, "I turned eighteen on the fourteenth sun of Faeinn!"
"Faeinn?" Fayal inquired.
"It is an Elfin month," Kreytzen explained.
"Oh!" Fayal responded, "I grew up with a dwarf taking care of me after Orcs killed my parents."
Daesel nodded, "I understand, by the Dwarven calendar, I was born the third moon of Malachite."
"That must be a sign, Krey," Fayal got excited, "Fargus was born the third moon of Malachite!" Kreytzen just smiled.
"Since you don't want to be hired, would you mind if we went to the tavern and I bought drinks? We can chat and get to know one another."
"I've never drank before," Fayal admitted.
"You grew up with a dwarf and never drank? Well, there's a first for everything," Daesel declared. "Around here, you usually have your first mead once you've been weaned from your mother's teat."
"He never knew his mother. She was killed by Orcs while he was just a baby."
Daesel looked down, "Oh right, I'm sorry. You did just say that a dwarf raised you, didn't you?"
They walked into the tavern; Kreytzen and Fayal took seats while Daesel grabbed some drinks. Fayal tasted his mead, then slid it over to Kreytzen. He stated, "I appreciate the offer, but this tastes like fermented honey. No mean to offend, but it's not for me."
Daesel laughed, "That's what mead basically is, it's a type of honey wine. Not everyone likes it; would you like to try an ale instead?"
'Thank you," Fayal accepted, "I've never tried it before, either."
"It is another drink that not everyone likes," Daesel stated. "So, if you don't like it, just give it to me."
Daesel was about to order that ale when the barkeeper announced, "I just got a new item in from Rokugari. Would your friend like to try some? It's called Saké."
"How much?" Daesel asked.
The barkeeper smiled, "With this being a new item to see if it's worth carrying, I will give the first glass as a sample. After that, it will cost you a silver per."
"First glass for my friend, or can we each get a glass?" Daesel was no stranger to bargaining.
The barkeeper nodded his head, "Yes, I will give each of you a sample. The more people who try it, the better I will know its worth."
"Excellent, then we will try it."
Daesel returned to his new friends with the three glasses of warmed liquid. He slid one glass to each of them and explained that it was a new drink from the Orient. Fayal took the first sip, and before speaking, he took a second. Kreytzen took a sip, and commented, "That is really good. I think being warmed helps bring out the flavor. It's stronger than anything I've ever had before."
"It is stronger. Fayal, you may want to nurse it, being you've never drank before," Daesel warned, but Fayal had already finished his glass.
"(hic) That was really good. Can I get (hic) another?"
Looking at Fayal, Kreytzen just shook his head and chuckled. After Daesel and Kreytzen finished their glasses, they helped Fayal to the room that Daesel had already acquired. Kreytzen stripped Fayal down to his breeches and put him in the bed.
"This is his first time having alcohol, I have no idea what he may do. I should stay with him," Kreytzen suggested.
"That does seem wise. I will return shortly; I'd like to get one or two more adventurers to join us," Daesel acknowledged before leaving.
It wasn't long before Daesel returned with a human boy close to their age. The elf introduced him, "This is Liam Ashton."
"But my friends just call me Liam. Do not let my dark clothing frighten you. I am a rogue by profession, but I only use my skills against those who have harmed others."
"I was not frightened," Kreytzen assured.
"I see your armor, and I understand. You are a dragon warrior," Liam smiled. "I have encountered many dragons in my short life, a few wore the armor of a warrior and those I've met, I have great respect for."
"And I hope you will discover that I am just as honorable." Kreytzen determined that Liam was maybe sixteen years of age, a little older than he and Fayal, but not quite as old as Daesel.
"Is your friend a dragon as well?"
"He is three quarters dragon," Kreytzen replied. "He was raised by a dwarf and being trained to be a rogue as well."
"He was trained by a dwarf rogue? That's not very common, but I have heard stories. Legend has it that the greatest rogue ever was a dwarf named Fargus. I hope to meet him some day."
Kreytzen lowered his head, "I'm sorry, but that won't be possible. Fargus passed several moons back. He was Fay's adoptive father."
"I'm sorry to hear about his loss. And if Fargus was training him, then perhaps I can learn something from him."
Kreytzen smiled at the respect that Liam was giving to Fargus... and Fayal. He knew that Fayal had gotten good enough that Fargus thought he was ready to adventure, but he didn't know if he could train anyone. Still, this older boy was paying homage to him in honor of Fargus. That made him happy. He started chatting, trying to get to know this rogue more. Liam was of like mind.
While he was chatting with Liam, Kreytzen noticed Daesel left again. Daesel was back out looking for one more person to join their quest. As he was sitting in the bar taking a brief break, a gnome walked over to him, "The name is Benes Cerma, and I am a druid. I hear tell that you are looking for adventurers. Do you have a healer yet?"
Daesel shook his head, "Not yet. You are a gnome druid? I never knew that gnomes could be a druid."
"To my knowledge, I am the only one, and since you don't have a healer yet, I would like to join you. Don't let my appearance fool you; I am much older than I look."
"How much older? You look to be ten."
Benes smiles, “Would you believe that I am fifteen?"
"Not really, but then you're the first gnome I've met, so I'll take your word for it. Many of us are just starting out as adventurers, so you may have your work cut out for you."
"We all started with our first adventure at some point, and I love a challenge. I will do my best to keep the positive energies flowing towards all of you, healing you."
"In that case, welcome to our group, Benes. Allow me to take you to the rest of our party. We can start out at first light."
Fayal was the first to wake up. He looked over at Kreytzen, sitting peacefully. When Kreytzen opened his eyes, he looked at Fayal, "How are you feeling?"
"Nauseous, my head is pounding, and my mouth feels like I swallowed a cat."
"That's called a hangover; you drank too fast."
"But it tasted good. Aside from how I am feeling now, I really liked it."
"I can cure that," Benes put his hand on Fayal's head. A glow emitted from the connection and then disappeared. "Feel better?"
"Much, thank you."
Now that a group was formed, Daesel told them what they were looking for and what they should expect to come up against. Like Fayal and Kreytzen, the rest of the group agreed to dividing whatever they find except the artifact. That would be Daesel’s alone.