Fanfic- The Price of Freedom
The beginning is a sample I wrote for a roleplay and I decided to expand on it and turn it into a complete fic. JUST WRATHION STUFFS. Like 1750 words. Not very long. Please excuse my writing, I haven’t written fic in a long time, ahaha.
The air was thick with mist, again, and for another day, he opened his eyes in his bed. He didn’t sleep quite so well anymore, not that he ever really did. Though he knew he was safe enough with his bodyguards Right and Left about, he was still nervous. He yawned, reptilian eyes closing as he bared his fangs, a small puff of smoke escaping from his small jaws. He always slept in his “true” body- he never felt comfortable enough in his human skin to sleep.
His “bed”, then, was a large cushion on the floor, and he radiated enough heat from his body that he didn’t need to be covered (though, were he to admit it, he did enjoy having extra pillows to burrow under). He slept, wings folded, tail curled around his body, until the late hours of the morning. Adventurers rarely visited him before the afternoon- most were far too busy tending to business elsewhere to be bothered. Perhaps he would have time for tea before paying a visit to Madam Goya- he enjoyed the short walk to her auction house, and the curios and relics from times gone by fascinated him.
This was all routine by now, since arriving at the land in the mists. Perhaps he would fly somewhere today- his wings were growing strong enough that he might be able to make it without resting more than once or twice. Wrathion rolled onto his back, short legs kicking in the air, and then back onto this stomach. He would like to rest more, but the truth was that once he was even the slightest bit awake, there was no point in fighting it. He was far too curious to sleep the day away.
He beat his wings a few times, rising from the cushion and standing, in his human form, fully clothed.
“Tong?” His voice carried when he wanted it to, and he called downstairs. “I’ll be taking my tea outside this morning.” There was a small sound, if he focused on it, and then the minute noises of tea being prepared. He smiled, stepping to his window. Tong was a good servant, a better one than the rogues ever were. Not to say that he didn’t find the company of rogues to be agreeable- they simply didn’t care much for making tea and meals for him.
The stairs creaked slightly as he walked down them, and Tong was waiting with a tray- a small teapot and a single cup on the richly lacquered surface.
“Ah, thank you, Tong.” A well-practiced smile, though he did mean it this time, before he stepped outside. Tong followed, silently as a good servant should, and set the tray on the petite table.
It was quiet as he drank, save for the occasional bleat of a goat nearby, and he finished his tea in silence. Green, this morning- Tong liked to surprise him with whatever he could find, and had taken great joy in explaining the properties of different black teas to him. Wrathion could scarcely ask for oolong without the Pandaren smiling knowingly at him.
As if he had been waiting- and Wrathion was certain he had been- Tong swept by, collecting the tray. “She has a drake this morning,” were his only words as he gestured with his head toward the makeshift auction house that stood down the path nearby.
“Well, then, I suppose I must see this poor beast, hmm?” He took no real joy in it, but he had to look to sate his endless curiosity. He didn’t look back when he spoke, and smiled. “Left, Right, would you both care to accompany me?”
“Never thought you’d ask.” Left’s common was rough, pronounced more like her native Orcish, and Right simply nodded to agree. They stepped from their posts at the door, Left tapping her rifle against the ground once, with a wide smile.
“Thank you.” He nodded. “Let us be off, then.” He raised his voice again. “Tong, I will return shortly. Please tell any visitors to wait for me.”
“Yes, my Prince.” The Pandaren spoke only as loud as he needed to for Wrathion to hear him, and the dragon gestured to the two female rogues as he began to walk. “Have you seen the drake?”
“No, sir.” Right followed closely.
“Curious. I do wonder what manner of beast it is.” He brought a hand to his chin, musing over it as he walked. He had heard tale of Madam Goya’s trade stretching far and wide, and he sometimes visited when he had the time. The walk was short enough, but he always brought a guard with him- the black market was not known for being the most civilized location on Azeroth. He stepped into the small auction house, and bowed slightly. “Good morning, Madam Goya.”
“Ah, the Black Prince.” She bowed a little, not as low as she might have earlier in her life. “What brings you, today?”
“Curiosity, much like any day.” He smiled, and Right and Left stepped back, observing the small but empty building. “I heard you had something that might be of interest to me.”
“Ah, yes. She’s not very large, you understand, but I will show you.” Her eyes nearly glinted.
It was muddy where she led him behind the structure, where the animals were usually kept, and chained down but standing peacefully was a drake that he didn’t recognize. Its hide was icy blue, and lightning crackled over the surface.
“A wind drake? You never disappoint, Madam Goya.” He stepped closer to the drake, touching a hand to its hide. “Remarkable! I didn’t think I would see one, in the flesh, as it were.” He walked toward the head. “You don’t speak, do you?” The drake merely watched him impassively, and he nodded. “I didn’t think your kind did. Much like elementals, if the stories are to be believed. Still…” he looked back to Madam Goya. “This one ought to fetch you a handsome sum!”
He was content to leave it at that, both disappointed and relieved that it wasn’t of the intelligent dragonflights, when he turned. Atop a large box was a large crate, filled with straw, and through it, he could almost swore he saw…
“What might this be?”
Madam Goya was silent for a few long moments. “A dragon egg.”
He stepped closer to the crate. What he could see was a deep red. “Left, Right.” He gestured toward the crate, and Right used a blunt tool to pry the crate open. She reached inside, and pulled the object out.
“I see.” His stomach turned as she held it in the morning sun- oblong, but round, and dark red. The surface was riddled with bumps and shone slightly in the sun, almost as if coated with a fine sheen of oil. “Madam Goya, I would like to purchase this egg.”
She nodded, hesitantly. “That is…fair.”
He removed a small pouch of gold from his jacket, and passed it to her. “That should be more than enough. Left, Right, if you would.”
Right nodded, setting the egg down on the ground. Left stepped forward, and with a heavy strike from the butt of her rifle, cracked the egg open with a nearly sickening crunch. The orc smirked, stepping back with a hand on her hip.
Madam Goya winced, but said nothing, and Wrathion stepped forward, examining the small, nearly mature, dark black welp that was once inside the egg. He frowned and gestured to Right, who toed the creature with a boot and stepped on it, crushing the small bones in its body and assuring it a quick death. His expression, normally schooled into a polite smile, had gone from curiosity to…nothing. His face was impassive as the last bit of life was snuffed out of the small whelpling. He turned, leveling a cold gaze on the elder Pandaren.
“Madam Goya, in the future, I would advise against trading in black dragon eggs. I’ve no idea where this one came from, but it would be in everyone’s best interests if you did not sell them.” He turned away from the remnants of the egg, inky and oozing onto the muddy ground, one broken wing black and tan against the dirt and odd bits of grass. “If you locate any more, I would be interested in them, and I’m certain you will find I can be most generous.”
“Left, Right, I believe it’s time for us to return.” He folded his arms behind his back, stepping from the pen, his smile slipping back into place, easily as donning a mask. “Do have a good morning, won’t you, Madam Goya?”
She simply nodded, cautiously, and watched them leave.
It was grizzly business, and he tried to push it out of his mind- the small, lifeless body, bleeding black onto the ground, black blood mixing with almost clear, thick liquid from inside the shell. How close had he been to sharing that fate? Were it not for the tampering of the red dragonflight, the black dragons would have no doubt died out, and he would have been dead with them. Or, perhaps more curious- he would have never existed at all.
Was it for the best? He frowned as he walked back. There were too many questions, and he could hardly spend enough time pondering over them all.
What was more important, he supposed, was what he did now. How many mortals he could convince to aid him, how many he could charm into trusting him. It was true that he had Azeroth’s best intent in mind- driven by something deeper than instinct in that regard. He could not ignore his Titanic imperative, as it were, and everything he did was only to secure the future of Azeroth. Azeroth, his home.
He paused at the steps leading up to the tavern, and looked, for a moment, at the very earth beneath his feet. This was what they fought for. He afforded himself only a moment to dwell on it before taking the familiar steps into the tavern. There was a human waiting outside, and he glanced and offered her the most charming smile he could.
“Good morning, champion! I suppose it is never too early to start on our tasks. Come, join me, I believe we have much to speak of.” Stepping inside, he nodded to the Pandaren. “Ah, Tong, tea for my guest, if you would.”
And thus, his life went on. He was free, but at what cost?