We returned at sundown, Magister and Mr. Smith were there to welcome us. They seemed proud at first, the happiness in their eyes faded quickly. Ryder asked Magister if there was something wrong, Mr. Smith called the team together so they could tell us all.

"Riona didn't make it. She passed away the night you left, the illness was too much. Livia, would you like to take her place permanently?" The others looked at me, I was unsure how to answer so I simply nodded my head. All the girls pulled me into a group hug, some of them had tears in their eyes from the lose of their friend.

"You may all go rest. See you in a week." Mr. Smith said as he and Magister left us.

"Riona will be missed, but you are a great addition Liv." Jaycee said. "You've earned your spot on this team. Let's have a fire in the back woods tonight." The others agreed.

After we got settled in and the dragons were locked up again we all headed back to the woods. Jaycee had already started the fire and the smoke was peering out of the trees.

I followed the smell of smoke and the sound of burning wood until I reached a clearing. There was Jaycee, Ryder and Jaycee's sister Kamila standing around the large fire. Scattered on the ground was pillows and blankets to sleep on. Luke and his boyfriend Alex showed up with food to eat and Luke had a sword hanging from his hip. Callum, the cook and Ava our Medicus wandered into sight with more blankets. We all heard Riley, who was the youngest member before me, yelling for help. Luke offered to go get him and got up mumbling something to himself. The two showed up moments later, Riley had leaves and dirt all over him.

"He got stuck in a hole, again." Luke scoffed before sitting down next to Alex.

"I tripped." Riley mumbled shyly.

"Now that we are all here, shall we?" Jaycee asked, not to anyone directly.

Luke nodded and set the tip of his sword in the fire. Everyone else stood in a circle around the fire. Ryder grabbed my left hand and held it over the centre of the fire. The others held their hands out resting their left hand on top of the next persons right. They all hummed an ancient hymn.

"If you choose to accept the mark of the team you will become one of us until the day you are taken from us by the God Mors. Do you accept?" Ryder said in a monotone voice. I nodded, noticing that the others have a burn mark on their left palms. It's a circle with ten dots lining the inside and a cross in the centre.

Luke brought the glowing red sword up to my palm and traced a circle, next he gently poked the skin along the inside of the circle to make the ten dots and finally made the cross in the centre..

"You're tough, Ryder cried when I did his." Luke said when he finished with mine.

Ryder grumbled and fell backwards. He grabbed my waist and pulled me down with him. Everyone followed our lead and sat back down. Ryder wrapped his arms around me and hugged me tightly before falling asleep faster than I knew possible. I nuzzled into his chest and slowly dozed off to the sound of the fire.

The next morning I woke up with stiff muscles and a sore neck from sleeping on the ground. Ryder was snoring loudly next to me with a stream of drool on his cheek. I giggled and wiped it off before getting up. The fire was out and the others were still asleep.

There was life back at the arena, everyone was heading to their classes and getting work done. I spotted Beau and ran to catch up with him. He gave me a hug and I told him everything that happened. He did the same, recapping what I missed while I was away.

"Robur is now ready to ride, I managed to get a saddle and bridle on him. He should be able to carry you." Beau explained.

"Have you tried riding him?" I asked.

"No, I thought you should be the first. I didn't what him getting used to me." I nodded.

When we got to the arena I made my way over to Robur for a test flight before I leave again. He was easy enough to tack up, not too much fighting. I headed into the arena and climbed on. Beau was on the far side of the arena with his Noctis watching me. I smiled at him and sat down in the saddle. Robur has grown quickly putting on a lot of weight and nearly doubling in size since I last worked with him.

I gently tapped his sides with my feet and he slowly walked forward. I squeezed tighter and pushed him forward, reluctantly he sped up. I sat back and tried to get him to fly, he huffed and took off, not wanting to work today. He learns quickly and knows a lot already.

We slowly ascended into the sky, a gust of wind came and gave Robur a push from behind. Realizing his potential Robur started to move faster. I pushed him to see how fast he can truly go.

Ryder was waiting on the ground for me with two bags. Beau spotted him and joined Ryder.

"Not bad Liv." Beau complimented me as I landed.

"Thanks, you did a good job training him." I said.

"He likes Shadow, they were easy enough to train together." I motioned his head over to his Noctis that was pressed against his leg.

"Did you want to bring him Liv?" Ryder asked, pointing to Robur. "Now that he's rideable Fiona's won't be yours much longer. May as well get so air time with him early." I nodded.

"Where are you going now?" Beau asked.

"I'm going to go get Jessamine, see you in a bit." Ryder said, tossing me a bag before heading to the stables. Beau gave me a curious look.

"He invited me to go meet his family, we're leaving for the week." I explained. He nodded and grinned idiotically.

"I know what's going on! You two are to-" I cut him off by putting my hand over his mouth and hushed him.

"It's kind of a secret. We want to keep it quiet." I explained.

"Who cares, Alex and Luke are together, no one cares about this stuff. It's fine." He said.

"I know, but promise me you won't blab to anyone."

"I promise." I hugged him before saying goodbye again.

I headed to the stables where Ryder was just finishing tacking up Jessamine. I went to say me last goodbye to Fiona and wished her good luck in finding a new rider. There was a sadness in her eyes, she knew what I was saying. I had to leave before I started crying.

"So where does your family live?" I asked Ryder as we left the stadium again.

"North." He said.

"How big is your family?"

"My parents, sister and I." I nodded and he smiled at me. "Any more questions?" He giggled.

"Let me think... Are we there yet?" I asked.

"Nope." He laughed. "We will get there before sundown if we fly."

"We then. Let's go." I said, taking off. Ryder quickly joined me in the sky laughing at my eagerness.

"We will be there before you know it."

A Quest For PowerRead this story for FREE!