Whatever the thing, maybe a club, was didn't hurt, because it shattered into many wooden chips. I then thrust my dagger into the belly of the man who held it. Valerio must have sensed danger, because he came from the sky and let out a stream of fire from his mouth, killing the men. When they were dead, I took the girl out and unchained her. I released her gag and she bowed to me. All the other sacks had people in them. What I had stumbled across was a slave trade to James's kingdom. We then walked to the main gate and the guards let us through. I returned to the castle and went to my bedroom. There were some splinters in my shirt. What puzzled me was why it broke. I ran that moment in my head over and over. It should have killed me or knocked me unconscious, but I was unhurt. Something was happening to me and I didn't know what it was. Maybe all I needed was a good night's sleep.

“Derek, are you alright? I heard about the slavers.” my father said, entering my bedroom.

“Yes, I'm fine.”

“Then why are there wood splinters in the back of your shirt?”

“One of them hit me with a club and shattered.”

“It shattered? It was probably made of rotten wood. Try to get some sleep. James may attack tomorrow.”

            I did what he told me and got in my bed. I wondered about the club, but then I remembered that I saw through the water. Special vision and being impervious to pain. Those were the first signs that I was changing, but no human had ever had those. I planned to confront my father in the morning that the club was not rotten. I eventually fell asleep and dreamed about the battle this morning. It was just the same, except this time Annika was a hostage tied to a post. I then heard James call. Only he called to me, not to my father.

“Derek, come out and fight for her! Leave your demon dragon behind and fight like a man!”

            I then met him in battle and he charged at me. That was when I woke up. There was no battle waiting for me. I went to my balcony and looked over the villagers. They were going about with their daily routine. I then heard a cracking sound below me. I looked down and saw that the marble rail I was holding was beginning to crack. I slowly retreated to the bed, looking down at my hands. I quickly got dressed and went to the Dining Hall. Father was happily eating his breakfast with Mother.

“Father, I need to talk to you.”

“What is it?” he asked.

“Something's wrong with me.”

“Why do you say that?” My mother asked.

“Last night, when the club hit me, it wasn't rotten wood that shattered on my back.”

“That is preposterous, Derek. There is no way...”

            He didn't finish. He didn't finish because I threw the ten foot wooden table in the air and into the wall. The oak wood broke in two on impact. My mother gasped and the others just looked in surprise. Servants came in to see what had just happened. Annika was breathing rapidly as she looked at me.

“The club wasn't rotten, Father. It was made of pine wood. It broke on me as if it just hit a stone wall.”

“What else has happened?” Damon asked.

“I could see through water, I cannot feel pain, and now this.” I said, gesturing toward the broken table. I started to become worried. “What's happening to me?”

“It is our bond.” Valerio said as he landed outside the hall. “You're receiving some of my abilities.”

“Will he be able to breathe fire?” Mother asked, sounding worried.

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