Written for Yifantasy 2015
Title: Dragon Hunting Into My Heart
Length: 5808 words
Summary: Yifan's fascination with all things dragons bring him to Arcardia, an island where magic is prominent, where he meets a cute unicorn and simultaneously answers all the question he has had since childhood.
Sightings of dragons, a long thought to be extinct creature have been reported in the north of the Arcadian Islands. Foreigners to the country of Arcadia have been saying that great black-winged shadows often can be seen on the cliffs at the end of Arcadia. However, the claims have been proven false as the locals have said that nothing unusual has been seen in Arcadia over the past years. Of course, there is a myth that most Arcadian people are born with some sort of link to nature in their blood so their words may not be reliable as they could be defending one of their kind.
Yifan stares at the words, excitement growing within him. Dragon sightings! Since young, he has always felt this pull towards dragons but his tutor has, of course, dismissed his claims about the existence of dragons for a long time. But Yifan is sure that they are not extinct and have never been extinct. He flips through the rest of the pages, reading more about Arcadian history and the myths and rumours of the people who live in Arcadia. Arcadia is only a small country, with most of it being forests and cliffs and only a tiny town where the people go to trade for whatever they need.
Yifan knows he has to find out more. Until he has seen the proof that dragons have gone extinct, he will never believe the nonsense that his tutors have told him.
He reaches for a book that has Arcadian People written on its worn cover.
Arcadian people often contain more magic than the rest of us. The world has been segregated. People with little to no magic live normal lives and make do without magic. Most of the world are born with magic and a specific power inherited from their ancestors. Then we have the Arcadians. They are considered one of the most powerful magic users in the world but they too, are separated into rankings of power. Most Arcadians are descendants of elves, fairies but the more powerful Arcadians are descendants of shape shifters. Shifters come in a variety and are also segregated. The lesser beings are the common animals like foxes, rabbits and cats. Then the powerful creatures like lions and tigers. They are not just limited to land animals but may also be birds and creatures of the sea. The last ones are the rarest and most magical animals like the pegasi, unicorns, kitsunes, wyverns and dragons. Of course, they are not the only ones that make up the population of Arcadia. Arcadia’s forests are full of magical animals and spirits. Herds of unicorns run through the forests of Arcadia and dragons build their nests upon the great cliffs of Arcadia and beneath the sea.
Yifan is now more determined than ever to move to Arcadia. After all, how can dragons be extinct if they were people? After a few days of careful consideration, his bags are packed and he is on a ship bound for Arcadia. The shipmaster seems to have taken quite a shine to him and gives him a map when he hears of his expedition in order to aid him in finding his dragons. The lush green islands of Arcadia soon comes within their view and Yifan is astounded by the sheer size and beauty of the cliffs as they pass. “Here son. Throw this into the sea at the base of the cliffs.” The shipmaster presses a gold piece into Yifan’s hand and puzzled, Yifan does as he is told, flinging the coin into the surf. “It’s to appease the lords of the sea.” The ship master winks and pats him on the shoulder, leaving him even more confused than ever.
After they have arrived at the port of the tiny town, Yifan opens the map that he has been given and follows the path marked to an inn where he is cheerfully welcomed by the innkeeper Luhan. Luhan is a sight to behold, beautiful with fair skin and doe eyes. He smiles widely at Yifan when he arrives at the counter. “How can I help you Mr Handsome?” Yifan blushes and hands a few coins over the counter. “Just a room and dinner please.” Luhan winks at him and slides out from around the counter. “I’ll take you to your room.” At dinnertime, the inn is crowded with men eating and drinking, laughing loudly about their day. Yifan chooses a seat as far away from the crowd as possible and sets out his books.
He is halfway through his stew when the inn door opens and everyone’s eyes are drawn to the newcomer. Yifan suppresses a gasp at the sight of the man. If Luhan was beautiful before, this man is stunning. Dark soulful eyes peer out from under long lashes and his dark brown hair is swept to the side. He is dressed in a simple white tank paired with black pants. The men in the inn gawk as the man ducks his head and walks to the counter. “Hey, Yixing!!” Luhan yells across the room with a grin.
Yixing was a showstopper.
The women and the men stared wherever he went. Yifan watches quietly from his corner and has just gone back to his food and planning out his next day when a shadow falls across his table. Or rather, two shadows. Luhan is standing in front of him and the stunning man, Yixing, is with him. Yifan tries not to stare when Luhan slides into the seat in front of his while Yixing remains standing, a tiny smile visible on his lips. “Since you’re new to Arcadia, I figured you would need help if you are looking for dragons.” “How?” Yifan’s mouth is half open in shock. “The shipmaster told me that a handsome guy would be dropping by. Said you were looking for dragons.” Luhan waved off Yifan’s surprise and grabs a chair, gesturing for Yixing to sit. “Yixing here has been living in Arcadia the whole of his life like most people here and he may be able to help.” Yifan blinks and turns to Yixing pleadingly. Yixing does this adorably cute slow blink at him that has his heart beating fast. “I can help.” Yixing smiles, a little dimple showing itself on his left cheek. Yifan nods dumbly, resisting the urge to poke his cheek. Luhan rolls his eyes and climbs out of the chair. “Glad that it’s all settled then.”
The next day, Yixing arrives bright and early in the morning while Yifan is still having his breakfast. He has a small satchel hanging from his shoulders and is holding a water-skin in his hand. Yifan packs his bag as quickly as he can and walks out the door, Yixing at his side after a hurried goodbye to Luhan. The morning sun is bright and hurts his eyes as he walks. Yixing glances up at him, a little shocked. “I didn’t know you were so tall. Are you half giant?” He asks, staring up the blonde haired man. Yifan grins down at him. “Nope. My mother doesn’t really know what I am. I’ve never known my father. So I could be anything.” Yixing nods and grabs his arm, pulling him towards the forest. “We’re going this way.” The forest is beautiful with sunlight filtering through the leaves overhead making pretty patterns on the ground as they walk. Yifan listens, absently flipping through his old notebook where he has drawn countless of dragons on, to Yixing humming a melody as they walk. Curious animals come out to peek at them and he swears he saw a golden horned deer staring at them through a thicket of bushes.
The animals seem to like Yixing and often, a rabbit or chipmunk would creep out of the bushes and approach Yixing shyly for a pet or a rub. “Animals like me.” Yixing smiles at him, dimple flashing the first time he had stared in shock that an animal would be so bold. Soon, they are surrounded by small animals. Little bluebirds flutter around in the air, twittering in harmony with Yixing’s humming. A baby squirrel is perched on one of Yixing’s shoulder chattering excitedly and a sparrow on the other. A baby rabbit snuggles in Yixing’s arms as he strokes it gently and coos softly to it. Yifan wants to squeal at the sight. It’s so adorable. But he is a manly man and will not squeal or do anything of the sort. “You’re like Snow White or something.” He says instead, reaching over to pet the baby rabbit gently. Yixing blinks up at him with wide eyes and he almost loses his cool at the display of cuteness. They arrive at the darker part of the forest by midday and settle at the edge of a bright clearing to have lunch. Yifan likes that Yixing has not asked why he is so eager to find dragons because then he would have to show him a part of him that he dislikes very much.
Yixing pulls some dried venison strips from his satchel and hands them to Yifan. He busies himself cutting up the cheese that he has brought as well. Yifan digs out the crackers that he has brought and hands them to Yixing. They eat in comfortable silence and Yifan watches as Yixing occasionally feeds the birds crumbs from his hand. A curious little rabbit bounds closer to him and twitches its nose at the lettuce in his sandwich. Yifan coos at the cuteness and pulls the lettuce from his sandwich. Yixing looks at him with amusement. “You know, you’re very different from my idea of you.” Yifan looks up from the rabbit that is now making itself comfortable on his lap to look at Yixing with a smile. “How so?” “I expected you to be all cold and cool. Very distant, very scholarly. But you turn out to be a soft-hearted, marshmallow for a heart giant who likes baby animals.” Yixing grins, poking at Yifan’s arm. “Hey! That’s not fair!” Yifan reaches over and retaliates by poking Yixing in his side. Yixing yelps and bats away at his giant hands. Yifan grins and files that bit of information away for future reference. The rabbit on his lap awakes from its nap and yawns, stretching its body upwards, paws pressing on his chest lightly. Yifan leans down and kisses the rabbit’s nose which made it bat its little paws at him. Yixing giggles at the sight. A warm feeling spreads through Yifan at the sound of Yixing’s laughter and he pushes it away. Surely a man like Yixing already has a partner. “Come on. We should get going.” He carefully sets the rabbit on the ground and scoops up his things. Yixing follows his lead and helps to pack up. A large racoon hops in front of them as they are about to enter into the darker part of the forest and chatters anxiously at them. Yifan watches in amazement when Yixing murmurs something back to it and nods his head. The racoon still looks anxious but steps out of their way to allow them to enter.
“What did it say to you?” Yifan asks curiously. “He was just worried as to why we were heading into the Dark forest. The Dark forest is much more dangerous than the forest that we had just been through. It is where the darker animals like to inhabit. Trolls and goblins are very common and most of the villagers don’t venture past this point.” Intrigued by the thought of having a differentiation of dark and light animals, Yifan asks Yixing to tell him more. “The dark spirits like trolls and goblins inhabit the parts of the forest closer to the Light but the deeper you go, the more dangerous the animals and spirits you will see. Some of them may leave you alone while others may wish you harm. The ones I intend to avoid are the black wolves, ogres, dark unicorns and there are some of the Unseelie folk around that you do not want to mess with.” Yixing moves closer to Yifan as he speaks until his bare arm is brushing against Yifan’s and Yifan feels a trickle of unease run down his spine. Yixing continues talking. “The dragons live on the other side of this forest but there is quite a climb to reach their dwelling. The unicorns travel and do not usually stay in a place but they tend to avoid this part of the forest.” “You mentioned dark unicorns?” “They are unicorns that have turned and their desire for more power consumes them. They hunt the white unicorns to drain their power. But they can be fought and that’s why you will see many unicorns wearing stones. Their stones help to keep the dark unicorns away but the more powerful dark ones can overcome the charms.” Here, Yixing shivers and presses against Yifan. “Are you one? A unicorn I mean.” Yifan murmurs softly, arm reaching around to pull Yixing close to him. He can smell Yixing’s fear. The forest that they are passing through is turning uncharacteristically darker and Yifan can hear rustling in the nearby bushes. “Yeah.” Yixing clutches at the opal he wears on his neck and murmurs something under his breath. The opal starts to glow and lights their way. “We must hurry. I sense a creature nearby.” They hurry through the forest, unaware of the footsteps echoing behind them.
The unicorn that follows them is jet black and as dark as night so he blends perfectly into the darkness around them. The pair hurry through the trees, tripping over fallen logs and branches. Yixing keeps one hand on his pendant and another hand to the dagger strapped to his side. He can smell another animal close by but cannot tell what it is with his limited senses. The dark unicorn’s horn glints wickedly sharp and a black smoke pours from it, floating into the pair in front of him. The poisonous gas reaches Yixing first and he coughs and chokes, reaching up a hand to cover his nose and mouth. He turns, having recognised where the smoke had come from but his knees buckle, the poison working its way through him. His vision blurs and pain explodes in his chest. “Yixing!!” The gas seems to have no effect on Yifan who reaches out to catch Yixing as he falls. Yixing falls limply into his arms and he hears wicked laughter come from behind him. He holds Yixing close to him as he turns to see a man standing behind him, a black-edged dagger in his hands. The man smirks at him, palm out. “Hand over the boy and I’ll let you pass through the forest without a hair harmed.” Clutching Yixing his chest, Yifan reaches for his sword. “You must be insane.”
The man snarls and shifts so quickly that Yifan could hardly realise what he is before he charges, horn aimed at Yifan’s chest. Yifan dodges the unicorn’s first attack and swings his sword towards him. It is a difficult task, trying not to get skewered by the unicorn while carrying an unconscious man in one arm. The unicorn manages to strike Yifan with a sharp hoof to his leg, sending him staggering to the ground. White hot pain flashes through him and he cries out, sword falling from his hand. “Ah!” He lies on the ground, Yixing crumpled next to him. Crimson red blood pour from the wound in his leg. Frantically, he presses a hand to the wound. A viper crawls out of nowhere and winds around his ankle, rearing its ugly head over him. The unicorn’s body elongates upwards and turns into a man again. The man leans over and before Yifan can stop him, scoops Yixing’s unconscious body into his arms. “Better say good bye.” The man smirks, before changing into a unicorn, Yixing draped over his back like a ragdoll and cantering away.
The viper leers at Yifan and he reaches out a hand for his fallen sword. The viper hisses at the movement and snaps its jaw at Yifan. Yifan snarls back at it and grabbing his sword, he swings at the viper and severs its head from the rest of its body. He rises carefully, mindful of his injured leg. Glancing around him, he knows he is done for. He has no guide, no way to tell what time it is and how to get out to the other side.
Yixing stirs awake slowly, blinking to get used to the light. Looking around him, he sees twisting vines with sharp thorns climbing all around him. He shifts his body slowly and yelps. His arms have been bound behind a tall stalk, secured with thorny vines. The vines cage him in, wrapping around his waist, ankles and knees, making it almost impossible to move without pricking himself. “You’re awake.” The voice makes him turn his head, nearly stabbing himself with a thorn beside his cheek. His mortal enemy stands before him, a cruel smirk on his face. Yixing snarls and jerks against his bonds in fury. “You bastard…Ah!!” His words are abruptly cut off when the vines tighten, thorns pricking against his skin. “What have you done with Yifan?!” Yixing’s body tenses when the man approaches him. “That’s not a very nice thing to say to your old friend Kyungsoo is it?” The man smirks and rests a hand on Yixing’s cheek, caressing him softly. Yixing snaps at him, trying to bite him then groans in pain when the vines tighten. A little tendril slides into his pant leg, making him gasp. It snakes its way higher up his leg and strokes at his inner thigh. He squirms and cries out when the tendril brushes against his crotch and curls between his legs, climbing higher. Kyungsoo grins at Yixing’s discomfort and runs a hand along Yixing’s sensitive neck. Yixing twists and squirms, trying to escape his touch but he has nowhere to go. Kyungsoo curls his fingers around Yixing’s pathetic little charm and yanks hard. Yixing cries out in pain when his necklace is tugged from his neck and his source of power taken from him and into the hands of his mortal enemy. He sags against the thick stem of the plant that he has been bound to, energy completely drained. Kyungsoo smirks at him and then turns his attention to the opal shining softly in his hand. “So pretty. Like you.” He smirks and slides the opal into his pocket. He waves his hand and Yixing cries out again when he feels another tendril feel its way up his thigh, deliberately brushing against his crotch this time. He squirms and writhes but he can only watch helplessly as Kyungsoo turns and walks away, vanishing into the gloom.
Yifan curses his bad luck and pulls out the lucky charm that his mother had given him. It is a topaz, a shining yellow gem that only lies lifelessly in his hand now. He has to find Yixing, wherever the bastard has taken him and rescue him. Yixing has gotten captured because of him. Swearing under his breath, he tugs off his shirt and folds it away neatly into his pack before taking a deep breath and closing his eyes. Warmth shoots through his back, travelling up to his shoulder blades. His skin turns red and stretches out tight before splitting open, a pair of leathery wings unfolding from his back, connecting to his shoulder blades. Yifan looks at his wings in disgust and unfolds them to their full length. He hates his wings. They remind him that he is not normal and can never be normal like his mother and his friends. Maybe that is what really pulled him to Arcadia, instead of the promise of dragons. He scoops up their packs and flaps his wings once and he is in the air. He rises higher towards the treetops and fans his wings twice. The thick branches swing apart wide enough for him to fly through. Yifan flies higher into the sky, scanning the horizons for any sign of the town. It is dark now, and the town is lit up, making it easy to spot from the sky. He calculates that he would possibly take about twenty minutes to get to town and swoops through the air, flying as fast as he can. He has no idea where Yixing is and what the man will do to him so he has to work fast.
Yixing writhes helplessly against his bonds. There are now little tendrils curled around his torso under his shirt, holding him tightly to the stem. They tickle and are now pulling too tightly against his body. If he pulls too hard, the tendrils along his thighs would creep up to touch him where he is most vulnerable, causing him to writhe even harder. “Ah...ah…” He gasps when the vines around his torso tighten again, restricting his movements. He lies still against the vines, panting. Slowly, they begin to move again, creeping up his body, entwining him even more tightly in their web.
Yifan lands just on the outskirts of the town and folds his wings together back under his skin. He has no time to put his shirt on as he rushes into town and towards the inn. He bursts through the door, nearly barrelling into a man coming out and attracting the attention of everyone in the inn. Luhan looks up from behind the counter. “Yifan?” He frowns and walks around the counter. “Where’s…” “Yixing’s in trouble.” Yifan pants, bent double as he struggles to catch his breath. Luhan curses and yells back towards the counter. “Krystal!! Cover for me!!” The two of them sprint out of the inn, towards the forest, Luhan spewing questions as they ran. “Where did you last see him?” “In the Dark Forest.” “Can you remember what the man looked like?” “Short. I…Dark hair. Pale skin. Wild eyes. He had a black dagger.” “Shit.” Luhan cursed. “That’s Kyungsoo. Yixing’ mortal enemy. He can control the earth. Yixing managed to drain him enough that his powers only extend to the borders of the Dark Forest or all of this town, would have been destroyed when he went on a rampage two years ago. He hates Yixing for that.” They have arrived at the edge of the forest now and Luhan shifts so quickly that Yifan can barely process it. There is a handsome buck with golden horns standing in front of him where Luhan used to be. Yifan can hardly believe his eyes. The buck paws the ground impatiently and sprints into the forest. Yifan can hardly keep him in sight. Very quickly, he soon realises that it would be quicker to fly. Grimacing, he unfolds his wings and takes into the air, following the golden shimmer of Luhan’s horns. He lands at the boundary of the Dark Forest just as Luhan arrives and shifts form, panting from his run. Luhan looks at his wings in shock. “You’re part dragon?!” Yifan shakes his head and gestures into the Forest. “You’ve got dragon wings!” Luhan gapes at him, seeming to have forgotten why they have come to the forest in the first place. “I’ll search from the air. You can get help, can’t you? We can’t take on that guy on our own.” Luhan nods, recovering from his shock. The ground beneath them shakes violently and Luhan takes a step back. Yifan flexes his wings and spreads them out. “Let’s go. We don’t have much time.”
Yixing strains against the vines binding him. They are wrapped so tightly around his body that he can hardly breathe. “Ah. “ He gasps when a vine snakes around his chest, thickening in width. A thorn grows from the stem, wickedly sharp. “Having fun?” Through the thick mesh of thorns and brambles growing around him, Yixing can just about make out Kyungsoo’s figure standing in front of his living cage. “Stop this.” He gasps, jerking his head back when another vine bearing sharp thorns swings too close to him. Kyungsoo waves his hand and the sharp thorns move out of his path. Up close, Yixing can see that he is glowing eerily. His powers! He’s regaining them!! Yixing thinks to himself, dread coiling in the pit of his stomach. His body goes rigid beneath the vines at the mere thought of this evil being released into his world. “Kyungsoo. Stop. Please. You will destroy us all.” He pleads, straining against his bonds. Kyungsoo surveys him with a mildly amused expression. He shrugs and curls his hand into a fist. A thick vine grows at his feet, wickedly sharp thorns pointing threateningly at Yixing. Yixing squirms against his bonds but there is no give. The vine moves closer to Yixing and he watches it with a terrified expression. Kyungsoo watches the vine climb like a snake towards Yixing’s slender throat, Adam’s apple bobbing in as Yixing swallows. The thorn presses against Yixing’s throat like the edge of a dagger. “Kyungsoo, please.” Yixing’s eyes are full of fear, eyes darting from the thorn to Kyungsoo desperately. He is immobilised with no way of defending himself. Kyungsoo snarls and pulls back his fist, the deadly thorn pointing at Yixing’s throat. Time seems to stand still.
Yixing screams when the thorn erupts into a ball of fire, thrashing wildly in his cage, pricking himself in the process. Yifan swoops down from the sky, another ball of fire forming in his hands. His eyes glow red at the sight of Yixing being held against his will. “Yifan?” Yixing stares in wonder before the nearest vine explodes into flames. “Are you crazy?! You will burn down the entire forest!!!” Kyungsoo shrieks in fury, Yixing’s opal gleaming at his throat. Yifan spares him a glance and the sight of Yixing’s opal enrages him even more. Kyungsoo raises his left foot and stomps hard onto the ground. The very ground shakes and trembles violently before splitting apart, a large crack appearing in the ground. Yixing yells in terror when the stalk he is bound to lurches violently, tipping towards the gaping hole in the ground. There is a yell somewhere in the background and Yixing sees three men come into view. Kyungsoo spins around and surveys the newcomers. He points a hand in Yixing’s direction and the stalk sways dangerously. “Come any closer and he gets it.” He threatens, eyes narrowing into slits. The three men halt in their footsteps and eye Kyungsoo warily. Yixing quivers at the edge of the precipice, sharp thorns tearing at his clothes and skin, staring down at the gaping mouth in the earth. It sure looks like a long way down.
Yifan shoots into the air and a fireball explodes at Kyungsoo’s feet, distracting him. Kyungsoo snarls and with a flick of his hand, the vines holding Yixing recoil. With nothing to hold on to, Yixing screams when he falls. “Yixing!!” Luhan rushes forward but there is nothing he can do. Yifan dives down, wind whistling past his ears as he falls into a steep dive, his wings tucked close to his body. He wraps his arms around Yixing’s waist and holds him close as he extends his wings. Yixing clings to him tightly, eyes wide with fear. “You’re okay.” He murmurs, resting his chin on Yixing’s head tenderly. “You’ve got wings.” Yixing mumbles, gripping onto Yifan’s shirt tightly as he flies them out of the chasm. “Your priorities are all wrong.” Yifan shakes his head as he lands, Yixing still clinging to him.
The three men have managed to overpower Kyungsoo and are holding him down tightly. Kyungsoo snarls and struggles but the man holding him down simply sighs and sits on him harder. Luhan holds out the opal that he has taken from the man and Yixing takes it, looking very relieved. Yifan folds his wings and watches in awe as Yixing transforms. A sleek white unicorn with a silvery mane streaked with red stands in front of Yifan, cream coloured opal lying on its forehead, the little chain encircling the silver spiral horn that grows into a point so sharp that it is nearly invisible. Yixing lays his horn upon Kyungsoo’s chest and magic crackles through the air. His eyes glow blue and Kyungsoo slumps, eyes closed onto the ground. Yixing nods at Luhan and one of the men scoops Kyungsoo up into his arms and vanishes into the forest. Yixing turns to Yifan, who is still staring. He nuzzles at Yifan’s arm and Yifan closes his jaw, still staring. He slides a hand up to stroke Yixing’s velvety muzzle and Yixing snuffles cutely at him. Yifan’s heart melts and he rubs Yixing’s nose gently. Yixing sighs contentedly and closes his eyes.
“Sorry to interrupt your moment but I believe Yifan has a quest he wants to complete,” Luhan says very sarcastically. Yixing wrinkles his muzzle and bares his teeth at Luhan. Luhan just laughs. “You’re not cute.” Both the man and Yifan stare at him in disbelief. “I do believe your eyes need to be checked.” Luhan’s friend chuckles, reaching out a hand to pet the unicorn but withdrawing his hand hastily. “May I?” Yixing nods and nuzzles into Yifan as the man strokes him. “Do you not want to see dragons anymore? You don’t want to know about you?” Luhan looks at Yifan curiously. Yifan freezes and tangles his hand into Yixing’s mane. “Can you tell me? Or show me?” Yixing glances at Yifan worriedly before turning back to his human self. “I can’t but he can help you.” Luhan gestures to the man beside him. The man grins at them and gestures for them to follow him. “Joonmyun is a water dragon. He is the guardian of our seas. The sailors throw coins into the water to pray for a good journey or Joonmyun here might stir up the waters and throw a party under water.” The man called Joonmyun scoffs and rolls his eyes. Ignoring Yifan’s wide-eyed stare, he reaches out and touches Yifan’s bare back. Yixing feels a trickle of something run through him at the sight of the somewhat intimate touch. “Your wings are special. I have only seen one other dragon with wings like yours.” “So I’m part dragon?!” Yifan stares at him in disbelief. All his life he has felt a strong attraction towards dragons that he could not explain but now this guy is telling him that he is part dragon? Joonmyun nods and runs his hand up Yifan’s spine to touch between his shoulder blades. Yixing suppresses the wave of curious rage that rushes through him at the gesture. They have arrived at the sea cliffs, where the dragons have been rumoured to make their nests in. The sun is rising and Joonmyun bids them goodbye. He tells them that there is a young dragon that lives at the highest cliff and that he has wings exactly like Yifan’s.
“I must be going. Yixing will accompany you up to the cliffs I’m sure.” Luhan says, having not been oblivious to the angry looks that Yixing has been sending Joonmyun their whole way out of the forest. The pair wave goodbye as they watch Luhan shift into his deer form and sprint as lightly as a gazelle back towards the town. Yixing takes Yifan’s hand in his as they walk, the gesture surprising Yifan. At the look on Yixing’s face, however, he does not ask questions. They climb up the cliffs in silence, Yixing’s hand never leaving Yifan’s. When they arrive in front of the dragon’s den, however, there is nobody there.
Yixing turns to Yifan, the glow of the setting sun setting his hair on fire and Yifan thinks he looks beautiful like this. Without thinking, Yixing rises onto his tip toes and presses his mouth against Yifan’s. Momentarily startled, Yifan kisses back with as much fervour. They are so involved in each other that they do not notice the sky darkening too quickly and the shadow falling over them. “Why are you guys making out in front of my home?” The deep baritone startles them apart. A young man stands in front of them, the exact replica of Yifan except that Yifan’s shoulders were just that little bit broader. “Whoa.” Yifan takes a step back to study the man. The man narrows his eyes at him then breaks into a hesitant smile. “Brother?” Yifan stares at him. He didn’t have a brother. Not to his knowledge. “Is your name Yifan?” The man seems to have sensed Yifan’s confusion. Yifan nods hesitantly, feeling Yixing’s fingers tighten around his hand reassuringly. The man grins and extends a hand. “I’m your brother!! I’ve heard so much about you!!” Yifan just stares, open-mouthed. “Come in and I will explain. Bring your friend in as well.” Yifan exchanges a glance with Yixing who follows him wordlessly as they walk into the cave. The cave is large and luxurious with an enormous treasure pile. “It’s big enough for the both of us.” Yifan’s newly found brother says, the implication behind his words is clear.
It turns out that Yifan’s mother had fallen in love with a dragon shifter and gave birth to twins. The dragon shifter wanted to return to his home in Arcadia and asked to be allowed to keep one son. So the twins grew up, both unaware of each other until the old dragon shifter was on his deathbed. All the time Yifan’s brother whose name they find out is Jia Heng is talking, Yixing keeps fidgeting at Yifan’s side. He is worried that Yifan would want to stay up here in the cliffs where it is too far from his home for them to see each other regularly. “You can stay. There’s room for the both of us.” Jia Heng looks at his brother eagerly, sure that he will say yes. The agreement is right on the tip of Yifan’s tongue when he thinks of Yixing. He glances at him, sitting quietly at his side, dark eyes full of worry. His hands are twisting around each other nervously. “We’ll come and visit. But I already have a place.” He smiles at his brother. Jia Heng is a little startled as they part ways, he agrees that it is for the best as he is too used to being alone.
“You didn’t have to, you know.” Yixing murmurs as they fly back towards the forest, courtesy of Yifan. Yifan smiles down at the man in his arms. “But I want to.” He presses a kiss onto Yixing’s forehead where his horn would be and they are on their way home.