Chapter 21: DunBroch
*Just wanted to let you know that Merida is not Hiccup's love interest*
'Dragons' - Dragonese
"Answer my question," The girl demanded while aiming her arrow at the two boys, "Who are you and what are you doing here?"
"We're travelers." Hiccup answered with his hands up.
"We were just taking a break." Carlos added, copying Hiccup's gesture.
The three dragons growled at the girl. The girl stepped back in shock of the creatures who jumped in front of their riders.
"Are those...dragons?" The girl asked with wide eyes, lowering her bow.
"Yeah-Yeah, they are." Hiccup stuttered.
"I thought they were just fairy tales." The girl said.
"Well, they aren't." Carlos commented.
"By the way, who are you?" Hiccup asked.
The girl was clearly decided on whether she should tell them her name or not.
"Merida." 'Merida' answered.
"I'm Hiccup." Hiccup greeted.
"Carlos." Carlos greeted.
"This is Toothless and Sharpshot." Hiccup introduced his Night Fury and Terrible Terror.
"Cielo." Carlos introduced his Stormcutter.
"Hi." The three dragons crooned at the mention of their names.
But the three were still suspicious of Merida since she was still armed with her bow and arrow. Hiccup easily noticed that the three were weary of the girl and that she was suspected the same thing as well. He quickly thought of an idea. It was the same idea he used with Rapunzel. He just hoped that Merida will listen to him and hopefully trust him on it.
"There is a way to help gain our dragons' trust, Merida." Hiccup stated.
"How?" Merida asked.
"You're not really going to like it." Hiccup pointed out.
"So what do I have to do?" Merida asked.
"Toss your weapon aside." Hiccup answered.
"WHAT?!" Merida shrieked with wide eyes.
"They think of you as a threat with your bow and arrow. If you toss it aside, they'll no longer see you as such. In return, they won't attack." Hiccup explained.
Merida was staring at the two boys with suspicion. It's true that with her bow and arrow that she would look like a threat. But with the three dragons in front of her, she didn't want them to attack her. Taking a chance, she withdrew her arrow and threw it to the side along with her bow. The three dragons stared at her and glanced at the weapon she tossed aside. They sat down and their eyes dilated. To Merida's point of view, they looked… kinda cute.
"Thank you." Hiccup thanked Merida.
The five relaxed once Merida tossed her weapon aside.
"Can you slowly walk over to us, Merida?" Hiccup requested.
"Why?" Merida asked, brow arched.
"I want to help you receive our dragons' trust. Will you let us?" Hiccup asked.
Merida glanced at the five once more. Even though this was her first time encountering dragons, she wanted to gain their trust. But she considered what they might do once she gained their trust as well as hers. Taking another chance on the group, she slowly walked up to them as Hiccup walked around Toothless and met her half way. He held his right hand out to her and she looked up at his hand and then at him. Hiccup smiled at her and she placed her left hand in his and led her over to Toothless. She stiffened as Toothless stared at her with his big acidic green eyes as they dilated. Somehow, he reminded her how a dog would act if he wanted attention from his owner. Hiccup gently took her right hand and placed it right above Toothless's snout.
"Now close your eyes and turn your head away," Hiccup instructed. Merida arched her right eyebrow at this, "Let him take the first step."
Hiccup took a step away from her side. Merida stared at Toothless and then she closed her eyes and turned away as she held her open palm out. Then she felt something warm and scaly underneath her hand. She opened her eyes and turned to Toothless to see him pressing his snout against her hand. She gently rubbed his head which caused him to purr. Merida couldn't help but smile at his purring.
"He's not so bad, huh?" Hiccup asked.
"Ie, he's quite a cutie." Merida complimented.
"I like her." Toothless commented, enjoying Merida's touch.
Sharpshot flew over to Merida's shoulder and nuzzled against her cheek while Cielo nuzzled her shoulder. Merida chuckled at their need of attention from her. She never knew that dragons would act so adorable. They were very different from the tales she had learned about when she was a little girl.
"Well, it looks like you gained their trust, Merida." Hiccup pointed out, crossing his arms in front of his chest while smiling.
"I guess so," Merida agreed, "So what are you doing in Scotland?"
"We just left the kingdom of Corona. We're really here to find Cielo's mother." Carlos said.
Cielo warbled sadly at the mention of his mother as he stared at the ground.
"His mother?" Merida asked when she saw Cielo's head hung down in sadness.
"Cielo got separated from his mother during a storm and ended up in Avalor where I took care of him." Carlos explained.
"Yeah, we hope to find some sort of clue that she might be here." Hiccup stated.
"What if she isn't?" Merida asked.
"We go and search for her further onto the next land." Carlos confirmed.
Merida could clearly see that Carlos was very worried about Cielo's mother and was determined to find her. She couldn't help but feel sorry for Cielo. Losing a mother and trying to find her in such a long search. She remembered how she almost lost her own mother nearly a year ago.
"Well, I hope you find her." Merida said with a soft smile.
"Thank you." Carlos said with a soft smile.
"But where are you going to stay while you search?" Merida questioned.
"We'll camp for now." Hiccup declared.
"Are you really going to stay out here?" Merida asked with her arms spread out indicating the woods all around them.
"Well, we kinda have to since it's possible that the people here would run in panic if they saw our dragons." Carlos reasoned with a shrug.
"Good point." Merida understood, tapping her chin.
She knew that the boys could stay at a tavern in the village, but their dragons would get worried or it would be possible that someone might spot the three dragons and notify her parents. She didn't want to do that to them. Then someone's stomach growled. Everyone turned Toothless who was giving off a look of innocence.
"Sorry." Toothless apologized.
"It's okay, Toothless. I guess we should get something to eat," Hiccup suggested, "Merida, do you know any rivers that have a lot of fish?"
"Why yes I do." Merida said as she walked over to pick up her bow and put her arrow back in its quiver, "Follow me."
Merida lead the group to a nearby river where they were able to catch enough fish for themselves and the dragons. Merida collected the wood when the boys were fishing and so she set up the fire for them when they chose a campsite near the river. The three humans placed their fish on a stick while they gave the rest to their dragons.
"By the way, where are you two from?" Merida asked.
She was curious about the two. It made her wonder where they were from.
"I'm from Avalor." Carlos replied.
"I'm from the island of Berk." Hiccup answered.
"Berk? Isn't that Viking territory?" Merida questioned.
The mention of "Berk" reminded her of all the geography lessons with her mom. She remembered being told that it was Viking territory and her people had been at war with them before. So the Vikings moved somewhere away from Scotland.
"Yeah… it is." Hiccup admitted.
"So you're a Viking?!" Merida exclaimed in shock.
"To others, yes. To me, no." Hiccup stated.
"What do you mean by that?" Merida questioned.
"According to Viking standards, I'm just a runt of the litter and too scrawny to be a Viking." Hiccup explained, "I know that I'm not a Viking since I don't kill dragons like the others."
"You kill dragons? Why?" Merida asked.
"Where I come from, they steal livestock and destroy our houses." Hiccup replied.
"Luckily Hiccup found out why they were stealing food." Carlos commented.
"What do you mean?" Merida asked.
"They were stealing food in order to feed their queen, Red Death." Hiccup answered.
Hiccup explained who Red Death was and why the dragons had to obey. Merida glanced at Toothless, Cielo, and Sharpshot. She felt sympathy towards the creatures. They were forced to steal in order to survive and protect their young ones.
"Fish done." Carlos said, interrupting her thoughts.
The three humans ate their fish in quiet. The three all had different thoughts at the moment. For Merida, she was surprised that these two were able to ride dragons and journeying a long way from home. Carlos, he was extremely worried on finding Cielo's mother. He hoped that she wasn't captured or possibly dead. If she was, Carlos wouldn't be able to live with himself for failing to find her. Hiccup, he wondered what they'll find here in Scotland.
"By the way, Carlos, what's Avalor like?" Merida asked, changing the subject.
"Well I have a lot to tell you." Carlos replied.
Carlos told the amazing culture of the city he grew up in and how he met Cielo along with Hiccup and his dragon companions. He also told the story of Shuriki, Princess Elena being trapped in a magical amulet, Alacazar the royal wizard, Princess Sophia and her mission, helping the young princess free Elena, defeating Shuriki, going against Noblins, and Elena becoming Crowned Princess.
"Wow, that's quite an adventure." Merida commented.
"You have no idea." Carlos stated.
"What about you, Hiccup?" Merida asked.
"You won't like it." Hiccup objected.
"Too late, I'm already interested in wanting to know." Merida persisted.
Hiccup had a feeling that she won't give up until she gets to hear. He always wondered why girls would be so persist on hearing his story. That's one question that won't be answered. He rolled his eyes as he sighed heavily at this.
"Fine." Hiccup reluctantly agreed.
He told her of his old life on Berk; how the villagers hated him, his father ignoring him, the other teens bullying him, Gobber treating him like a son, dragon training, and how he befriended Toothless; he sugar coated about his lost left tail fin. Then he went on why he decided to leave Berk, who was behind the war between the dragons and the Vikings, defeating Red Death, reuniting with his mother, and going off to explore. The only thing he left out was that he lost his left leg in the battle. He knew that if he told her that he lost it and a certain princess used her magic hair to restore his leg and Toothless's left tail fin, she might think he's crazy.
"I'm sorry, Hiccup." Merida apologized.
"It's fine. I got used to it." Hiccup assured.
Merida felt pity towards Hiccup. He was treated horribly ever since he was born. She now had to think of a different subject right now.
"What will you do once you find Cielo's mother?" Merida questioned.
"Not sure. We might still go exploring. See what else is out there." Hiccup explained.
"It'll be interesting. That's for sure." Carlos commented.
"I couldn't agree with you more, Carlos." Hiccup added.
Once they finished their fish, Merida noticed how late it was getting and told the boys that she had to leave. The boys were curious to why she had to. Merida simply said that her parents had told her when she should be home. They understood and she promised that she would come by tomorrow.
The next day, the three humans and the dragons were sunbathing out in a clearing. The boys told Merida their adventure back in Corona. She laughed at the parts when they told her when Rapunzel kept having second thoughts on going to see the floating lanterns. She was very intrigued when Hiccup mentioned how Rapunzel's hair had restored his missing limb and Toothless's missing tail fin.
"Why didn't you mention that earlier?" Merida asked.
"It was another story. So I decided to tell you the next time we saw you." Hiccup said, "I also thought that you wouldn't believe me."
"Good point." Merida agreed, tapping her chin.
Suddenly, a group of armed men appeared in the clearing and surrounded the group. Hiccup and Carlos told their dragons to fly away. But they wouldn't abandon their riders. Unexpectedly, Merida pushed through the armed men and stood in front of them.
"Milady, get away from those strangers and their beasts." One of the men ordered, pointing his sword at the group behind Merida.
"These boys and their dragons will not be harmed!" Merida shouted with her arms spread out.
"They are dangerous! They have dragons!" Another man yelled.
"They shouldn't be trusted!" Another man shouted.
"It would be better if we kill them!" Another suggested.
The two dragons growled at what the armed men had suggested.
"As the princess of DunBroch, I demand that you release your weapons!" Merida ordered.
The boys and their dragons froze at Merida's words. They slowly turned towards her.
"YOU'RE THE PRINCESS?!/YOU'RE THE PRINCESS?!" The boys and dragons exclaimed in shock with wide eyes.
They didn't expect Merida to be the princess of DunBroch! Oh Thor, what have they gotten themselves into?
Sometimes we let life guide us, and other times we take life by the horns. But one thing is for sure: no matter how organized we are, or how well we plan, we can always expect the unexpected. - Brandon Jenner