Deven runs across Calex and Zeelo and a new Synthesis Summoner is born. Sort of. But while messing around with each other it turns out that the Dreadwyrm Sythesis form has a weakness they hadn’t discovered before.
The Dreadwyrm’s Weakness
Deven was walking through the market in Limsa Lominsa looking for a new weapon. The brown haired lalafell was dressed in a pair of red shorts and nothing else. Given the option, he would have chosen to ditch those too. But people tended to make a fuss. At least right now his current training let him dress a little lighter. He had trained as a dragoon, which often involved wearing heavy armor, and while he enjoyed being in sync with his inner dragoon the armor itself he found uncomfortable. So, he had decided to give it a go at being a monk. After securing a job crystal, he found he was able to wear a much more relaxed amount of attire in battle.
But he couldn’t quite punch as hard as his spear hit without a weapon. And though he had been given a free set of knuckles by the Pugilist Guild when he started training, they lacked well, punching power. Which was what brought Deven to his current situation. The normal markets were of course completely useless. They may have sold weapons, but none of them were really high quality. The market board, where items were being sold by other adventurers was his best bet for finding something reliable. Typically, most adventurers who invested in the time to learn a craft produced higher quality products than what you found on a store shelf. The item would likely be overpriced, because the adventurer also knew said item wouldn’t be found in a normal store. Deven had already resigned himself to paying ten times what the weapon was actually worth. He was ready to cough up the gil, get his weapon, and get back out to the fields to practice with them. There was no Pugilist Guild in Limsa Lominsa. But the seaside grasslands were a much more pleasant training location than the scorching desert.
Deven would never actually complete his purchase. He wound up losing his concentration while going over the board listing when a strange sight literally flew through the market. It was another lalafell… Or at least Deven thought it was, but still a child, probably no older than six. He had been a bright green-eyed boy with long hair tied in a ponytail. There were also two oddities to him that as Deven looked around the marketplace couldn’t understand why he was the only one having any reaction to the child that had just flown over everyone’s heads.
The first odd thing, was that the kid was naked. Considering how much trouble Deven would get in if he was ran around naked he of course focused in on this, and questioned why no one around seemed to be bothered by the fact.
The far more pressing strangeness though, was that the child appeared to be part dragon. He wasn’t an Au Ra. He has a tail that was thick and flexible like an actual dragon’s. Orange scales covered his hands and feet. There were claws where his nails should have been. Then he had a pair of horns sticking out from the top of his head and a pair of wings coming from his back. During dragoon training, Deven had learned to control and fight in sync with his inner dragon. He had been warned of it taking over but… He had never seen anything like this where someone partially transformed. And just as soon as the boy had appeared he was gone, disappearing into the distance past the crowds occupying the market. And still no one reacted.
Which made Deven question if he had really seen that.
“Um…” Deven looked to the retainer that worked for the adventurer whose listings he had been browsing. It was a miqo’te dressed in the robes of some kind of mage. “Did anyone else notice a naked dragon kid just suddenly fly by the market?” If Deven was hallucinating he realized the question probably made him sound crazy.
“Oh that kid?” The miqo’te sounded uninterested. “You must not be from around here. That was Calex. He’s always just zooming about the place. Honestly, most of us just try to get involved in whatever he’s doing.”
“Is that so?” So the boy had a name. And apparently he was a common enough sight that people didn’t react to him. This just made Deven more curious. “Uh… So… why was he um…”
“Naked or part dragon?” The miqo’te asked. This wasn’t the first time he had been asked about the strange boy. The dragon kid pretty much through anyone for a loop who was from out of town and not used to him.
“Both?” Deven tried.
“First one, he hates clothes or something.” The miqo’te replied with a shrug.
“But… Don’t you sort of have to wear them?” Deven asked.
“In theory, but sometimes enforcing the rules are more trouble than they’re wroth.” The miqo’te shook their head. “You’re free to try to get him to put some pants on, but if you do I recommend getting something to protect you against fire. And scratches. And biting. He’s… Very determined when it comes to his lack of attire.”
“Okay…” Deven didn’t think he needed further elaboration. Not that he was about to say it to the miqo’te but he was mildly impressed. Deven wondered if he could get away with it… But he didn’t have claws and couldn’t breathe fire. “And for the dragon thing.”
“Something to do with summoning.” The miqo’te sounded less sure on this one. “He lives in a dorm at the Arcanist Guild. Him and his friend apparently do all kinds of stuff like this. Apparently, there was a big uproar when it first happened, something about it being dangerous. I’m not a member of that guild myself so I don’t know the full details. But after awhile, everyone just got used to it.”
“Arcanist? As in the mages that create carbuncle familiars?” Deven looked thoughtful. “I know some have the potential to become summoners and siphon the powers of primals and-“ He paused. There was no possible way. There was a summoner technique that drew on the power of a very dangerous primal. Deven had seen it in action while adventuring when he had to team up with other people. Dreadwyrm Trance. But, it had never caused a physical transformation in anyone. “Is… He’s not… That’s not the Elder Primal’s power is it?”
“You mean Bahamut?” The miqo’te shrugged. “It appears to be, hints why there was the uproar about it being dangerous. But after a few months of it everyone kind of got used to it.’
“Uh huh…” Deven looked in the direction the child had gone again. If he remembered the layout of the city right, that area led to the arcanist guild. He hadn’t really considered becoming an arcanist before. He preferred a more hands on approach to combat than spellcasting… But if they were creating spells that let you turn into a dragon now… And it couldn’t be that difficult if a kid had mastered it. He had just taken up monk… Was he really ready to start another job?
If it meant growing dragon wings and being able to fly, then absolutely.
Deven forgot his quest for a weapon and instead pushed his way through the crowd until he was out of the market. From there it was a short walk to the arcanist guild. Inside it was busy as most guilds were. Between students practicing, hopefuls applying, and those looking to hire the help of members of the guild. Deven didn’t see any sign of the kid. He supposed the best bet was to ask the person running the front desk.
“Excuse me… Is there an arcanist named Calex here?” Deven asked when he got to the front of the line.
“Oh no, what did he do this time?” The receptionist had an exasperated voice.
“What? Nothing? I think…” Deven asked. “Just… Saw the dragon thing… I wanted to ask about if that was a type of course I could sign up-”
“They call it Synthesis Summoning.” The receptionist gave an irritated reply. “And we neither teach nor encourage it. Not sure how those two managed to even pull it off let alone without going berserk.”’
“Two?” Deven asked.
“Look, you don’t want to be involved with those two. They’ve suffered a number of ill effects since creating this synthesis summoning technique. They spend just as many months living in a terrarium as they do their dorm.”
“What does that even-“ Deven tried to ask, but it was clear that the receptionist would not entertain anymore questions. Apparently, the dragon child was not something they were proud of. And before too long Deven found himself shoved out the front door. “Well that was rude…” He wasn’t about to give up that easily though. If the kid was a common sight around here and lived at the guild, he’d have to come or go at some point. Then Deven could try to ask the kid himself about it. He leaned against the wall as he waited.
“Whatcha doin’?” Deven didn’t have to listen long. A child’s voice came from above him. As Deven looked up he saw the orange haired boy. This time getting a good look at him he could also see the boy had a fang.
“What am I doing? Looking for you.” Deven muttered took a few steps away from the wall.
“You are?” The boy sounded hesitant. He leaped off the roof of the building them flapped his wings lightly to float in the air so that he was roughly eye level with Deven. “Did I do something… Um…” He paused. “I don’t know you.”
“You’re not in trouble.” Deven felt the need to say it. And as soon as he did he noticed the dragon kid became more relaxed. “I wanted to ask you… About the part dragon thing. How do you do that?”
“Pretty simple.” Calex explained. “Just gather aether like preparing to summon but then channel it into yourself. I mean it took me a few years to come up with the idea and get it down but most people who can manage to summon a carbuncle can pick it up pretty fast.”
“Years?” Deven looked over the kid. He couldn’t be older than six. “What age did you start studying magic?”
“I don’t know.” Calex answered honestly.
“O… Kay…” Deven looked him over. The explanation made a little bit of sense. But Deven had no idea how to gather aether for the purpose of summoning. That meant he’d have to join the arcanist guild and learn how to do that first. Hopefully, it wouldn’t take too long. And hopefully the receptionist wouldn’t turn him away once they knew what he was trying to achieve. “So… If someone was to become an arcanist today how long would it take before they got to that point.” He gestured at the kid.
“Um well…” Calex thought. “I dunno. Maybe if we worked together a few hours? I mean it’s not that-“ Calex froze. As right about this point a butterfly that had been flying through the air landed on his nose. He stared at it for a moment, and then let out a mighty sneeze as the butterfly flew away.
In the same process he let out a blast of green fire that completely engulfed Deven. Deven was miraculously unharmed, except for his clothing which was burnt off his body. He was suddenly very disoriented though as the entire town seemed to change. He wasn’t eye level with Calex anymore, being much lower to the ground. His tail twitched in confusion as he noticed that and… He had a tail! And he looked over himself. Wings, horns, green scales over his hands and feet claws.
“I… I did not know I could do that” Calex sounded shock as he looked at Deven.
“I… huh…” Deven looked down over his entire body. He hadn’t just become part dragon, he had gotten younger. Much like Calex, he was only six years old. As he processed that fact, the earlier mention of Calex saying he had been at this for years suddenly made sense under another theory. “How?”
“Uh… I really don’t know.” Calex landed on the ground so they were eye level again and rubbed the back of his head. “Never had this happen before. Guess magic must mutate with form.”
“Not sure what that means but… I got what I wanted…” Deven couldn’t help but feel slightly gleeful at being part dragon. He hadn’t even had to train. He tested his wings flapping into the air. “And… I’m younger?” He wasn’t actually upset by it. He actually saw it as a benefit. “And naked… Am I gonna get in trouble?”
“I never do.” Calex shrugged. “I don’t really get the whole clothes thing… But people eventually left us alone about it.”
“Us?” Deven landed and looked to Calex. “There’s more than one of you?”
“Yeah… I have a study buddy! He’s actually from the conjurer’s guild, but he stays over here most days because he’s been trying to master Synthesis Summoning. He’s down in my room. You wanna meet him?”
“Uh… Sure!” Deven was adjusting fast to his new body. His goal was to learn how to transform partially into a dragon. That goal was accomplished. The youth was just a cherry on top. If Calex and his study buddy were practicing this kind of magic who knew what else, they might be capable of that was relevant to Deven’s interest?
“Okay follow me!” Calex ran into the arcanist guild, full speed.
“H-HEY! Wait up!” Deven shouted as he chased after him. As he ran inside the guild there were murmurs among the other people there. And at least one ‘Not another one’ was heard from someone. Deven paid no mind as he chased Calex down the stairs, past several arcanist using the training grounds and finally to the dorms.
Calex’s dorm was modest sized. There was only one bed, but it was large enough for an elezen adult. Meaning that the two lalafell children that shared the room could easily take opposite sides of the bed and have plenty of room. As for the other lalafell, he had brown hair like Deven, but it was a darker brown. But, unlike Deven and Calex he wans’t part dragon. Instead, he was sporting the ears, tails and paws of a carbuncle. Like Calex and Deven, he was only six years old though.
“This is Zeelo! He’s been helping me research Synthesis Summoning.” Calex gestured at him. “He hasn’t quite got a Dreadwyrm Form yet, but he’s close. Working on it. He might be a bit too talented. First time he tried a carbuncle synthesis he turned all the way into a carbuncle instead of just partially.”
“Hey, I just followed the steps you showed me in your book.” Zeelo stuck his tongue out. “And you didn’t exactly get out unscathed.”
“Eh, I was like what… Two inches tall? Far from the worse I’ve dealt with.” Calex grinned.
“I have no idea what you two are talking about.” Deven shook his head.
“So… Where’d you find him?” Zeelo gave Deven a quizzical look as he walked in a circle around him, his fluffy tails twitching with curiosity. “You found someone who mastered the transformation in one day?”
“Welllllll…” Calex looked sheepish. “The thing about that is he didn’t master anything. I maybe sort of… Accidentally transformed him.”
“I didn’t know you could do that.” Zeelo gave Calex a look that was almost accusing. Mostly because he wanted to know why Calex hadn’t transformed him yet.
“I didn’t know I could!” Calex exclaimed. “There was a butterfly! And then I sneezed! And then bam! Dreadwyrm kid just like me!”
“I see…” Something about that sounded familiar to Zeelo. Some far-off forgotten memory. Something from years ago, more years than should have been possible for a six-year-old. But whatever it was, might as well have been a past life as Zeelo paid so little attention to whatever had come before the time he had become Calex’s partner in studying magic. “It really is surprising. Calex is actually hopeless at magic. He can only do it by turning into something that can already use magic… Which is why he created the Carbuncle and Dreadwyrm Synthesis forms.”
“Wait does that mean I can use magic without any training?” Deven’s voice was hopeful.
“If you got the same powers as me then yup.” Calex nodded. “You should have super strength, durability, a bunch of magic, like so many different Flare spells, flight, agility… All kinds of stuff.”
“Huh…” Deven studied his claws. “How do I use all of that?”
“Well… I’d say we could use the practice room… But when they see a third Synthesis Summoner I just know the headmaster is going to lecture me for an entire day again.” Calex grinned. “But we don’t need target practices. After all, you know what’s tough enough to take a hit from a dreadwyrm? Another dreadwyrm.”
“Here we go.” Zeelo giggled and jumped up onto the bed as if preparing to watch a show.
“What do you mean?” Deven asked.
“ROOOOAWR!” Calex leaped across the room, tackling Deven to the floor and began to playfully bite and scratch at him.
“It means you’re going to wrestle.” Zeelo giggled as he watched. He had been the recipient of lessons like this on a number of occasions. And, having started to get the hang of this decided to give Calex a few surprise lessons to make sure he didn’t sip up. “He has a very hands on approach to learning.
“Uh huh…” Deven huffed as he rolled around on the floor with Calex. He used his own claws to swipe at him. Despite each of them striking bare skin, there was only a minimum amount of damage done. The injury was barely enough to count as a scratch. Apparently, even the body parts not covered in scales were super tough.
“ROOOAAAWR!” Calex inhaled.
“HEY!” Zeelo interrupted. “No fire breath! If you catch the room on fire again we’ll have cleaning duty for a month.”
“Awww…” Calex pouted. Deven used this opportunity to roll Calex onto his back and pin him.
“HA! Gotcha!” Deven grinned.
“Ohhhhh! Beaten by the newbie. You’re slipping Calex.” Zeelo teased.
“Hey we’re just getting started in the lesson.” Calex held up a hand and released a blast of magic into Deven’s chest that threw him into the air. Deven caught himself in the air, using his wings to take flight. Once more, he noticed despite the point-blank range of the shot he was barely hurt.
“Huh so how does…” He held out his hand, and a massive explosion of light rained down on Calex.
“GAHHH!” Calex held up his arms to block it. He had a few minor bruises but was okay. “Hey! Be careful! I can take anything you can throw but the room is a lot more fragile! You heard Zeelo’s warning right!”
“I didn’t know I was going to call down an explosion.” Deven paused. He had seen that spell before Death Flare. He had seen summoners use it. Apparently, it took a lot of skill to master and he had just fired one off on accident. He calmed himself a bit and tried firing off magic again, this time managing a few small blasts.
“Fast learner.” Calex leaped into the air and took flight. “But you’re going up against the champ.” He weaved through the air before doing a flying tackle into Deven. Even though he had access to magic, Calex still preferred to get up close and personal as he bit down on Deven’s tail.
“Hey!” Deven swiped a set of claws at Calex’s cheek. Harder than he meant to, but Calex was unharmed.
The wrestling match continued until both were tired out. They had both take several magical blasts and scratches, but had nothing more than minor bruises and scrapes that would be barely visible before the hour was up.
“I think he’s got the idea.” Calex panted. “We should take a break and get snacks.”
“Snacks sound good.” Deven huffed. “Also I won.”
“Keep telling yourself that.” Calex shook his head.
“Um if we’re going to get snacks might want to get rid of the scratches. I know neither one of you feels any pain from them but going to give away you’ve been roughhousing.” Zeelo shot Calex a glance. “And we’re already gonna be in trouble for adding a third to our group. If they find out you two went at it in the dorms.”
“Point taken. Can you heal us up?” Calex asked.
“Oh… Right you did say he was from the Conjurer’s Guild.” Deven remembered.
“Yup give me a sec.” Zeelo stood up and grabbed a staff sized for him standing in a corner. Then he gestured at the two as a glowing blue dome of energy appeared over them. The wounds healed in a second. But that wasn’t all that happened.
Suddenly, both Calex and Deven were shrinking. Or more accurately, getting younger.
“Wait what?” Deven had not been expecting this.
“Heeeey, I thought you were trying to keep us out of trouble.” Calex stuck his tongue out at Zeelo. This was hardly the first time Zeelo had rejuvenated him to a younger age. He understood what was happening.
“I mean you’ll probably get in less trouble if you can’t talk.” Zeelo giggled. “Sorry, I couldn’t resist. Just, so much showing off how the dreadwyrm is unbeatable, I had to show off this little weakness. After all, he should know too right?”
“Rawr.” Was all Calex managed before he fell down onto all fours. Now an infant, he was unable to walk upright or talk.
“Raaaaawr!” Deven, going through this for the first time was a bit more alarmed. He didn’t understand what had happened. He looked to the now baby Calex who just shrugged. Apparently, they weren’t in danger. At least. But suddenly he found himself feeling very sleepy.
And suddenly, something happened that no one had expected.
The two baby dragon lalafells fell asleep and then disappeared. Where they had been were a pair of eggs, roughly the size of footballs. One solid orange and one green.
“Wait what?” Zeelo immediately aborted his healing spell and ran over to check the eggs. They were both quite warm. They were close to hatching. He could probably have made them hatch later by keeping the spell going up. But he was still surprised by the fact they had turned into eggs to begin with! He knew with the right application of healing magic he could make people younger. But this had never happened before! It had to be a side effect of them being part dragon. Powerful enough youth magic could send them right past hatchling and back into the egg.
Zeelo’s eyes shined with mischief as he realized possibilities with this. Calex spent a lot of time in dragon form. This would provide ample opportunities to mess with his friend in a fun way.
“Guess the Dreadwyrm has a bigger weakness than you thought.” Zeelo giggled. “But you two are probably asleep right now and can’t hear a word I’m saying huh?” He picked up the eggs, holding one in each arm. “I’m gonna get an earful over this when the headmaster sees you two, huh?” Zeelo looked thoughtful. “You two better hatch in time to help me with whatever cleaning duty or detention I have to go through! If you wait to hatch till after just to skip out, I’m gonna be super mad!”
The eggs of course did not respond. They were eggs. Deven and Calex were in a deep sleep inside of them. For Calex, when he hatched this would essentially be business as usual. This wasn’t the only form he could take. For Deven, things were going to be a bit different. Once he hatched, not only would he find himself a baby, but after hatching from an egg this would be his natural born form. It meant that he would be immune to all attempts to dispel or reverse it. Something he would have been quite happy about if he knew. But as it would turn out. Both eggs were a week out from hatching, and then it was going to be a few more years before Deven could talk and ask questions and learn about his fate.
“Ugggh, they’re going to go soft on you two when you’re just hatchlings.” Zeelo muttered. Then he got a bright idea. As a carbuncle he wouldn’t become an egg, but he threw up the same spell, making himself younger. He let the spell fade only once he had become a newborn. He’d only be a week older than the dragons when they hatched… But since he was an infant too right now the headmaster would have to go easy on him yoo when he found them. Granted, he wasn’t carrying either egg with him now… But if Calex had brought Deven through the halls looking like that. It wouldn’t be long before a professor checked in to see what was going on and found the infant carbuncle boy and the two eggs. They’d get stern looks, but how were they going to punish a baby? Honestly, Zeelo couldn’t believe he hadn’t thought of it before. He’d have to remember this next time they got in trouble.
And he would have to remember to tease the two dragons about their vulnerability once he was old enough to talk. For now he waited for a professor to come check in. Sure, he’d get a talking to, but they’d also have to feed him. And he would suffer a lecture for some food right now.