Sorry that this took so long to you guys who wanted me to update this but school and exams have me under a lot of pressure right now with no a lot of time to work on this but I hop you enjoy it. Rate and comment below please.
It had been three days since Dan had woken up at the Dragon Claws guild, three days since the master had come to see him and in that time the uneasy feeling that Dan had that he would be a complete embarrassment to the guild had only grew, he couldn't help but bring up images of a room full of dragons laughing at him and being throw out a huge set of doors. The fact that Dan had almost been locked in this room for three days didn't help either, the window in his room showed that the guild was built by a lake because that was all he could see out of it and his occasional trip across the hall to use the bathroom had revealed nothing about where he was either.
Nathan came by everyday to talk and keep him company but in the end he hadn't been much help, by some unspoken consent they both avoided talking about their past although Nathan did share some of the funnier moments from his time in the guild. Samantha dropped by every few hours to force another helping of possible the foulest tasting liquid Dan had ever come across down his throat, she seemed quite pleased by his rapid recovery, after the first potion his fever had broken almost straight away, and his leg was now well enough to walk on, which was the reason why he now stood before the door leading to the main section of the guild, Samantha had come by his room earlier and after declaring him fit enough to be up and about brought some fresh clothes for him, Dan now wore a comfortable pair of leather breaches and a black shirt. Trying to keep Nathan's optimism in mind along with the Master's own encouragement he'd been able to walk up to the door leading to the rest of the guild but he couldn't stop his nerves from tying a knot in his stomach whenever he tried opening the door.
"You've been standing there for five minutes." Snapped out of his trance Dan whirled on a dragon leaning against the wall, he had light blue fur in place of scales and his feathery wings were blood red drawing attention away from his shining suit of heavy copper armour, the plates covering most of his body with the Dragon claws symbol etched into the breastplate, a long heavy looking claymore almost the size of Dan hung from his back, the hilt and guard layered in the same copper as his armour. "You know that you have to actually go through the doors at some point right?"
"I know." Dan said biting back a sharp retort, suddenly aware that this was one of the people that he was trying to impress enough to not throw him out on the street. "It's just that..."
"Just what?" The dragon sighed as Dan lowered his gaze, moving to hold Dan's shoulders. "Look Dan we are not monsters, the master told us about your worries, we are not going to just throw you away for the vultures."
"You might as well. I'm useless." Dan shrugged, surprised by the sudden growl coming from the dragon, he was glad that his shoulders were being held or he might have just collapsed there and then, the growl felt like it had echoed through him.
"No one is useless, you may not have anything to offer now but there is so much that you can learn here even without magic, you already met Samantha look at what she was able to do with just some basic knowledge about herbs and potions, Mardock could teach you how to forge even the grandest of blades or you could learn to fight, even a mage can succumb to a skilled warrior, you could take jobs just like the rest of us. Don't count yourself out just because you're not experienced. Now come on, time to meet the guild." The dragon said cheerily as he strode past leaving Dan in a world of his own. "You're a member of the Dragon claws now, welcome to our family." He said throwing open the doors to the guild, Dan was greeted by the sound of booming laughter, the smells of different meats wafted through the open doors and the sight of dozens of dragons, a handful of wolves and even a mouse along with a few species of digimon sat dotted around long banquet tables that lined the massive hall. The whole guild seemed to explode as the copper armoured dragon walked through the doors; they started shouting compliments asking if he had any trouble with his latest job, and Dan swore that he heard someone ask for his hand in marriage, but the copper dragon took it all in stride as he smiled back at Dan, filling him with confidence, he wished that Nathan were here.
The roar from the guild died down just as suddenly as it had erupted as Dan walked into the room after the apparently famous dragon, even with his new found confidence he still shuffled his hands nervously at the stares he got from almost everyone in the hall, he spotted the Master leaning against a bar just to the left of the door, the white dragon was chuckling quietly to himself. The silence seemed to stretch on forever as Dan stood there looking out over the guild, the knot moved from his stomach to encase his chest as well when his cheeks burned with embarrassment, almost everyone in the hall seemed to be sizing him up.
"Well don't all get up to say hello at once!" A black wolf shouted as he stood up, his voice echoing around the room. "I'm Kiba, nice to meet ya." He beamed happily when he was close enough to hold out a paw, which Dan shook with a smile. After that the other members of the guild started coming up introducing themselves one by one, one of the younger Dragons even tried introducing himself twice but was quickly shot down by an older dragon much to everyone's amusement. Dan was surprised that there was a mouse in a dragon orientated guild but even more surprised when it turned out that it was a she. He quickly bit back any comment though, something about the way she held herself told Dan that she was willing and able to kick his ass without a problem. He made a note to remember her name, Sasha, to avoid any unpleasant beatings that could occur from him forgetting it later on, but try as he might he just couldn't remember all the names that had been thrust upon him by the time everyone had introduced themselves, he had expect a flood of questions to follow their introductions but Nathan was the only one to ask him anything after he turned up.
"Starving." Dan admitted blushed brightly as his stomach growled loudly at the thought of food. Nathan waved it off and ushered him to an empty part of one of the tables, looking around Dan was slightly in shock, the guild had just gone back to doing what is was before and everyone seemed to just accept that he was there, a couple of members glanced at him occasionally and offered a small smile but aside from that everyone just seemed to have accepted him as a new member of the guild. Dan couldn't help but stare as a mound of muscle dropped down in the seat over from him, the dragon was easily 3 times Dan's size his arms and chest were huge, stocked with muscle. The sword he placed leaning against the table was as wide and tall as he was, with a three hand hilt Dan couldn't help but wonder if it was big enough as he saw the dragon's huge hands, his glistening black scales were mostly uncovered as the dragon was only wearing a pair of baggy breeches, Dan noticed that the dragon didn't have any wings.
"I am Furvus human, well met." He said in a deep voice as he held out a hand. Dan had to force himself not to flinch as his hand was enveloped by the dragons and he returned the greeting in kind. He smiled as his hand was released and gestured at the sword by the dragon's side.
"That seems a bit excessive doesn't it?" Furvus let out a deep chuckle as he stroked his blade.
"A weapon can be used for more than just slaying people Daniel. Tell me would you reconsider fighting if a warrior such as myself were to wield such a blade against you?"
"Well maybe." Dan had to admit that it made sense; flinching at the thought of seeing a huge blade like that being swung towards him with the intent of ending his life. "Isn't it hard to use in an actual fight though?" Dan asked.
"Not for me, I am not weak so such a blade is no problem for me to wield in combat except against the most agile of opponents." Furvus stopped admiring his blade and fixed his eyes fully on Dan, his gaze freezing Dan in place. "I am here to offer you tutorage in the art of the blade...if you wish it of course."
"I think a blind beggar would be a better student." Dan admitted looking down at the table as a steaming bowl of stew was placed in front of him.
"And there you go with that negative attitude again." Nathan sighed, sitting down next to Dan after greeting Furvus with a quick nod. "The guild pretty much just accepted you with open arms, hasn't that encouraged you at all?"
"Yeah it's encouraged me to realise that they are going to all the more disappointed when I turn out to be useless." Dan grumbled thanking Nathan as the digimon gave him a spoon.
"Well then we'll just have to make sure that you don't turn out useless then won't we." Nathan said giving Dan a wicked grin that made him gulp. The digimon smirked as he looked to Furvus; the black dragon watched their exchange silently. "So in order to do that he needs someone to teach him."
"I believe that I can arrange for someone to teach him." Furvus said nodding to himself as he thought. "Yes, I have the perfect person in mind, but when will he begin?" Nathan grinned slapping Dan's shoulder.
"Right now." He announced happily ignoring Dan's yelp as he was starting to dig into his stew. "No complaints you are going to do everything I say until you stop being useless."
"You keep telling me that I'm not." Dan protested watching as the digimon stood up.
"Changed my mind, meet us outside?" Nathan asked grabbing Dan and a chunk of the bread before pulling him towards the back of the guild. "Come on Dan at least give it a try, you never know you might be good at it." Nathan pleaded guiding Dan through the halls of the guild.
"Well fine but where are we going?" Dan asked as they passed through another door that led to an open grass area outside behind the guild. Looking back at the guild Dan could see the window to the room where he had been staying, the lake was just at the edge of the wide grassland.
"This is where most of the guild comes to practice their non magic skills, so this is where you'll train with whomever Furvus sends." Nathan said handing Dan the bread that he was still holding. "And I'll be here to watch." Groaning at the thought of being humiliated Dan happily took the bread breaking it in half and handing some back to Nathan.
"Don't think I didn't notice your stomach as well." Dan grinned as Nathan blushed and took the bread. Maybe it won't be so bad. Dan thought looking around the training area, noticing the straw dummies that Dan guessed were used for archery practice. Sitting against a nearby tree the pair ate their bread quietly and waited for whoever it was that Furvus decided to send. Thinking about all the Dragons in the guild and how they had accepted him seemed to help untie the knot that had formed in his stomach, they had taken him in for better or for worst, not one had asked him what they could do or expected some kind of life changing knowledge from him, they had just welcomed him with open arms, even if it was after a brief moment of hesitation. 'They were probably as nervous as I was.' Dan chuckled swallowing the last of his bread. As if on cue the door to the guild swung open followed quickly by Furvus and Kiba exiting the building, Nathan quickly waved them over as the pair walked out onto the training area. Dan noticed that they were carrying an assortment of weapons a set of shining steel long swords, a dark pair of wooden long swords, along with two wooden bucklers, a pair of wooden staffs and Dan saw a bow and quiver as well as a pair of short swords. Dropping the bundle on the grass Kiba gave a toothy grin that reminded Dan of a werewolf.
"Looks like I'm your weapons instructor Dan." Despite the quick and painful return of the knot in his stomach Dan couldn't help but grin, the wolf seemed to put him at ease, which seemed strange as he was holding a sword.
"So what's first?" Dan asked looking between the pile of weapons and Kiba.
"First off I'm going to run you through some weapon drills and then we can see if you have a knack for any of these." Kiba said pointing to the pile at his feet. 'Why do I have to do this again?' Dan thought as he got to his feet, catching the wooden long sword that Kiba threw him, it was lighter than he expected and easy to hold in one hand which surprised him. Moving into a ready stance, Dan swung the sword around in a couple of wide arcs to get a feel for it.
"I thought that you said you had never used a blade before?" Nathan asked suddenly.
"I never said that. I was part of the fencing team at school; I was quite good at it actually." Dan admitted, looking between the three of them. "That's not a problem is it?"
"Not at all. In fact, instead of beginning with the drills why don't we spar so I can see what kind of level you're at?" Kiba beamed picking up an identical wooden sword from the pile. Gesturing for Dan to follow him as he moved away from the pile by his feet. Before they could even begin a dozen members of the guild came streaming out of the main building, talking and laughing as they strode into their training area but fell silent upon seeing Dan and Kiba stood across from each other, swords at the ready, a crowd quickly began to form as they moved over to Nathan and Furvus talking in hushed voices.
Dan was the first to move lunging at Kiba with a thrust of his sword, the wolf easily dodged the blow and responded in kind, thrusting for Dan's shoulder, to everyone's surprise Dan was able to pull his sword up in time to block the attack, the tip of his blade pointing at the ground while he held the hilt above his head, his hand shaking slightly as he fought against Kiba's strength. Dan idly wondered how he had blocked the attack, before he realised how slowly Kiba's blade had been moving. 'A combination of beginners luck and Kiba going easy on me.' He reasoned resetting his stance back to his ready position.
Beginning with the attack again, Dan brought his sword around in an arc aiming for Kiba's hip but was blocked by the wolf before Kiba swung for Dan's neck a little faster than before with a mischievous grin, Dan was able to react fast enough to block it though he marvelled at the strength behind such a slow move, as his attention was pulled to the blade in his hand Dan missed the looks of shock and astonishment that passed not only through the crowd but Kiba as well. Pushing Kiba's blade away Dan attacked in a wide arc again but once again he was blocked, their swords caught in a lock as they pushed against each other. Using the brief pause as the Dan pushed his blade against Kiba Dan noticed the pain emanating from his hand. 'It was only a slow swipe but it hurts like I've actually been cut.' Dan thought.
Breaking their lock he settled into another familiar stance. Blocking out everything except his opponent Dan started a simple series of moves aiming to push Kiba back, he had to improvise from the forms that he had been taught, after all he was holding a replica of a long sword not a fencing sword, but the movements were similar. Dan thrust again and again at the wolf but with no luck, Kiba was able to block every strike with practiced ease. Dan was slightly disappointed as he was forced on the defensive again, his hand going numb from blocking the incoming blows. This time however he did notice the look of surprise on Kiba face, which made Dan frown, why didn't Kiba just attack faster?
For what felt like hours the two went back and forth their audience only growing bigger in that time along with Dan's frustration, no matter what he did he just couldn't touch the wolf in front of him, he couldn't even get any satisfaction from knowing that he was blocking all of Kiba's attacks, he knew the wolf was going easy on him and it took away his sense of satisfaction every time he defended against the wooden blade, yet Kiba looked just as frustrated as Dan going as far as to swear when one of strikes met Dan's wooden blade. It confused Dan to no end why he was frustrating the wolf so much, 'Why doesn't he just attack faster, he must be able to, he's attacking casually at the moment, why is he getting frustrated. Maybe he's using me as practice for a new form or something.' Dan thought trying to find a reason behind the wolf's frustration.
He had lost the feeling in his hands a while ago and Dan could have sworn that his hands were bleeding but he didn't stop, he only fought back against Kiba harder when he noticed the wolf's breathing was becoming heavier and his strikes were slower than when they started, meaning Dan could block them easily, he knew the fact that he was blocking these attacks was starting to make Kiba angry but he didn't understand why, again he thought that Kiba was attempting a new form but couldn't understand why, if it was making him angry he didn't just switch to another one.
With a snarl and a quick flurry Kiba sent Dan's sword flying out of his hands before whipping the tip of his own to Dan's throat. He was expecting the gathered crowd to cheer at his defeat or at least clap or congratulate Kiba but to his surprise they stared in shock as Kiba sat down heavily on the floor, panting in a way that reminded Dan of a feral dog.
Dan was going to ask if he was alright before his world started spinning and he found himself lying on his back panting in much the same way Kiba was, a wave of fatigue and pain had just crashed through his body and he couldn't keep a long drawn out groan from escaping him, 'God my hands hurt!' He thought, realising that someone was helping him sit up.
"I thought you said that you were useless?" Nathan accused him his voice breaking through the fog of fatigue that was clouding Dan's mind, he was about to answer when a spike of pain from his hands made him cry out. Sam was kneeling in front of him slapping a hefty amount of evil green sludge onto his palms, which Dan realised were bleeding the skin being rubbed off from the hilt of the wooden long sword.
"Damn males, it's just in your blood to beat each other into little bits and pieces isn't it, never content to just stay the way you are, you have to go and find some way to hurt yourself." Sam huffed wiping off the excess sludge while she wrapped Dan's hands in a tight bandage. "I should tie your hands together so you can't hurt yourself you idiot. I thought you might add some sense to this lot but I guess I was wrong." She ranted tightening Dan's bandage.
"Sorry Sam, I didn't even realise." Dan admitted smiling at the theatrics of the healer. After she was finished she lightly tapped him on the forehead promising much worse if he got himself hurt again which only made him give her a smile that sent her away muttering to herself about damned males, Dan smiled even widened when the crowd surrounding him parted almost fearfully to make room for her to pass. "Are you alright Kiba?" Dan asked chuckling at the sight of the black wolf on his back his long tongue hanging out of his mouth slightly as he breathed.
"He's fine just a little worn out." Nathan interrupted before the wolf could reply. Nathan crouched so that he was in front of Dan. "I thought you said you had never used an actual sword before?" Nathan asked, and Dan realised that their audience was paying rapt attention as well, thirty or so dragons plus Sasha, the mouse from earlier, were looking at him intently, waiting for an answer.
"I haven't used one before, why are you making such a big deal out of this I lost remember." Dan said he hadn't been able to land a single hit of Kiba and the wolf had been going easy on him with the way he was moving his sword.
"I have a better question then." Kiba said getting everyone's attention as he sat back up staring at Dan. "An untrained human shouldn't have even been able to see that sword at the speed I was moving it, yet you not only followed it, you did it with such ease that you had more than enough time to react to it even though your speed with a blade is nowhere near mine." Dan couldn't keep the confused frown from his face.
"But you weren't even going that fast, you were just swinging it casually at me weren't you?" he asked, it didn't make any sense they seemed to think that Kiba was moving really fast but to Dan he wasn't, if he was honest he thought Kiba was attacking a little slowly for a real practice session.
"Dan out of everyone in this crowd, there were probably only a dozen at most who were able to follow the speed of Kiba's attacks and there are only two people in the guild who can attack faster Aercus and the master, you shouldn't have been able to even see what Kiba was doing until that wooden sword was at your throat." Nathan explained, getting a series of nods from the crowd.
"But... he was moving so slowly, how can that be?" Dan asked, Nathan and Kiba just shrugged neither of them could explain it. Dan had always been able to see things faster than other people but he never thought that it could make so much of a difference.
"It looks like we have some new competition doesn't it Kiba?" A voice Dan recognised said, as he turned to look Dan was amazed to see the Master and the copper armoured dragon from earlier step through the crowd.
"Master, Aercus." Nathan said nodding to each in turn; Dan took note of the blue dragons name and bowed his head slightly when he met the Masters emerald gaze. The white dragon simply chuckled at him before speaking.
"If you don't mind Dan perhaps one more test?" The master asked, looking to Aercus, the blue dragon nodded before tossing an actual steel blade from the pile at Dan, who hesitantly picked it up now that he was painfully aware of the wounds on his hands. "Don't worry this will only take a second."
"What do..." Dan never finished because he saw Aercus lunge at him with a frightening speed the moment he stood up with the blade in hand, what Nathan said a moment ago suddenly clicked in Dan's mind, there were only two people faster with a blade than Kiba, Aercus and the Master, and Aercus was lunging right towards him, his two handed claymore already drawn and ready. Dan's mind was in awe at the speed, he didn't even see the dragon reach for it before he lunged but that was when Dan noticed something else Aercus was only a few metres away when just a moment ago he was at least a dozen, which brought Dan back to his blade, the claymore was being swung at him and he had to defend himself of be cleaved in two.
Aercus was swinging his blade in an downwards arc that would bring it down on the sword in Dan's hand if he simply turned the blade and it was then that Dan realised that this was simply a test to see if he could see and respond to Aercus's speed, not a test to see if he was better than the dragon, with this in mind Dan tilted his sword so the blade was horizontal and lifted it above his head just in time to connect the Aercus's heavy claymore.
The load metallic clash was deafening to Dan as he saw half his sword's blade drop to the ground, Aercus's strike had shattered the blade where he his claymore had struck it, leaving it a short jagged stump of a blade in Dan's hands but what had Dan's complete and utter attention was the look of shock and awe on the blue dragons face and the single word he uttered as they stood there, almost in a pose with their sword arms still raised.
"Amazing." It was quiet, but Dan defiantly heard it from the dragon, if he could see past Aercus he would have noticed the Master had almost the exact same look and was whispering the same thing to himself. If Dan hadn't been so focused on Aercus he would have seen Nathan, Kiba, Sasha and all the members of their audience giving him an open mouthed stare of awe. No one had even noticed Aercus move until their blades clashed. The only person in the guild who could keep up with Aercus was the Master himself and some had spent years trying and Dan was able to follow even the fasted movements with a natural ease that made the all look at the human with awe.
"I think you will be a fine addition to the guild Daniel." The Master declared, breaking the awed silence and walking up to Dan with a big smile. "Welcome to the Dragon Claws." He said holding out a hand. Dan looked stunned for a moment as if just realising that he was there again before taking it and returning the smile. The crowd cheered and all came forward to pat Dan on the back and ask questions or congratulate him.
He blushed horribly the entire time but felt a lot more at ease then he did before, indulging more than just a sliver of hope that he wouldn't be a useless burden on the guild.