“Derek, do you know what to do with your future?” Valerio asked me.

“I do not really know. Travel with you and see if there are any more dragons that have survived?” I suggested.

“I would like that, but your people need you here. I can look alone.”

“What would happen if a hunter found you?”

“If he sees the saddle on my back he will know I am tamed.”

“You are not that tame. Even for a dragon.”

“Thank you, Derek.” he said, un-amused.

            The girl came back to my mind. No longer waiting for her to break, I went down to the dungeons. I dismissed the guards and took their place. I sat on one of the stools and the girl was hugging her knees, sitting on a dirty cot inside the cell. I stared at the girl for a long while, but she just gave me glances and turned back to the wall. I could tell she was frightened and wanted to escape.

“It's all right. You do not need to fear me.” I said, hoping she would respond back.

“What do you want?” she asked.

“I just want to ask a few questions. First you can tell me your name.”

“Annika.” she said. The way she said it was like it was a curse.

“Well Annika, you want to tell me why you were fighting?”

“I was just following my father's wishes. He wanted me to fight.”

“Well, he seems like a cruel person.”

“He isn't. I am. I was supposed to be a boy.”

“You cannot change who you are. Where did you get those bruises?”

“Whenever I did something wrong, my father beat me. He wanted me to learn swordplay. One little slip and I would receive ten lashes.”

“How bad are your wounds?”

“Not as bad, I was able to fight you in battle.”

“That you did. You can go home when you are healed.”

“I rather stay in the dungeons.” she said, bitterly.

“Why? Wouldn't you want to go home to your family?”

“What family? My mother died giving birth to me and my father beats me. That man took away my innocence when I was thirteen. I would rather die than go back!”

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