I want to acknowledge Adelaide Winterstep from AdelaideEventing on YouTube, since Anne's test was based on her Kingston Dressage video.
As I arrived to the show grounds in Québec, I thought about Valerie and Raven. They'd been gone for a few months, and I had only been able to contact them when they were in England and Australia. It seemed that their mission was going well, and I was happy for them, but also somewhat jealous. They had an incredible bond with their dragons, and on top of that got to travel the world.
I put those thoughts out of my head as Chloe parked the trailer, and I had to focus on what I had to do for the competition. I got out of the trailer and took Aquata to the stall I had assigned. Once she was comfortable, I went to get my number, and the rest of the information I would need. The show grounds were huge, so I got lost a couple of times, but I eventually managed to get to the information tent. I received my number, the schedule and a map with the places that I would compete in marked. My first class was Dressage, so I put on my Dressage jacket and top hat. Chloe had been nice enough to tack up Aquata for me, since we were a little tight on time, and it would be terrible if my show clothes got dirty before my class.
We headed to the warmup ring, and I practiced the hardest moves once again. I went over my test once again in my mind, to be one hundred percent sure I knew it. Then, they called me over the speakers. This was it. If I did well here, I would go to National competition, and hopefully International by the end of the year. If I did, I could have a chance for qualifying to the Olympics.
I put those thoughts out of my head. What was important now was my test. I squeezed Aquata forward, giving her instructions for a passage, and I entered the arena to the music of the Spring Allegro by Vivaldi. I halted at X, and saluted. I urged my mare into a collected trot, and directed her left to C, and kept the rhythm even until we hit the H marker. I turned to face X on a diagonal, and Aquata lengthened her stride, simultaneously moving into a passage. When we reached X, I signaled Aquata to shorten her stride again, and to move into a piaffe, but still moving forward towards F. When we reached F, Aquata went back to the trot, and went towards M. After that we preformed a half pass, and later on a shoulder in. When we finally halted at X again before saluting to finish the test, I signaled Aquata so that she would preform a levade. We had been practicing this move for ages, and were saving it specially for this competition. When her hooves hit the ground again, I saluted and exited the arena.
A few more people went after me, and they announced the Dressage results. I was super nervous, but overjoyed when they called my name for first place. Now, I needed to do well in cross country and jumping. One down, two to go. I went forward to accept the ribbon, which I pinned on Aquata's bridle.
"Good girl." I said, patting her.
Next up was cross country. I handed Aquata to Chloe, and went to change into my cross country clothes, while Chloe changed Aquata's tack. I switched my white breeches for some tan ones, my show jacket for a bright red polo shirt, which matched the saddle pad I'd brought for Aquata, and my top hat for a hard helmet that would protect me if I fell. I grabbed my air jacket, and went to walk the course. This was super important, because jumps were solid, and would be very dangerous if you didn't know what you were doing. We were almost finishing, when Chloe said that she needed to talk to another trainer for a second, and asked if I could wait for her. I looked around, and my eyes fell on an obsidian colored stone, about the size of my head. The weird was that nobody was paying attention to it, even if it was obvious that it was there. I walked up to it, picking it up. It was smooth and a little warm, because the midday sun had warmed it up.
When Chloe came back from talking to the other trainer, she didn't even bat an eye at the stone in my hands. I thought it was weird, but didn't ask. When we finished walking the course, I left what I now recognized was a dragon egg, in the trailer. When I first saw it, I hadn't realized that, but then I remembered Valerie's story about finding Isaldrí's egg, and this reminded me so much about it, that it was impossible that it wasn't the same thing. I couldn't believe that I would be a Dragon Rider. Only a few hours ago I had been thinking about the wonderful opportunity that Valerie and Raven had, and now I would be able to share that experience with them.
Even if I was super happy that I would be a Dragon Rider, what was important now was cross country. I mounted Aquata, and warmed her up in the arena, popping over the jump that was set up for practice a few times. I heard my name called, and rode over to the starting line. When the whistle blew, I squeezed my legs, and Aquata started cantering. Soon, we came to the first jump. It was a fallen tree trunk, that was somewhat big, but wouldn't be a problem. Aquata took off at just the right time, and we landed smoothly on the other side.
We kept on going, flying over diverse obstacles, from picnic tables to branches and hedges. We were almost finished, and were only missing the two last jumps, which happened to be the hardest. The creek and the coffin gave lots of horses trouble, but I thought we could make it if Aquata didn't spook, and kept a constant rhythm. My mare wasn't afraid of water, so I didn't have to worry about that. It was the coffin that I wasn't too sure about. We had jumped one only a few times in past competitions, because there wasn't a way of practicing at home. We popped over the creek, and I could see the coffin coming up ahead. I shortened my reins a little, and kept the pressure on. Thankfully, Aquata didn't flinch, and we cleared the obstacle with space to spare. We crossed the finish line, and I slowed Aquata down, and walked her for awhile.
"Good job." Chloe said.
Turns out, I had gotten second place, after a girl named Amber Fox. After that I had show jumping, and even though the course was pretty difficult for most people, I was able to get first place, which was funny because the positions were switched from cross country, because this time I got first and she got second. At the end, they awarded the general prizes. I was going to Nationals!
The next day, I woke up to a cracking noise coming from the egg. I jumped out of bed, and watched as a tiny black dragon emerged. It's scales were sparkling, like a precious gem.
"I'm going to call you Obsidian."
He thumped his tail in approval. I reached out to pat him, and the moment my hand made contact with him, I felt a rush of air. I had blacked out for a few seconds, and when I opened my eyes again, I stared at my palm. There was a black stinging star.
Hi guys, sorry for the small delay here. I hope you liked this chapter, and enjoyed the change of format in terms of events. I'm going to be leaving on the 20th to Canada, and I'm not sure how often updates will be then, but I'll do my best.
Ps: thoughts on the new username?
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Dragon Rider in the Modern World.Fantasy
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