Book 10 - The Shattered Axe - Chapter 2: Pushing the Limits

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httyyd
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Joined: 10/12/2013

The version of racing I am portraying is trying to combine the best elements of the Dragon Racing from Httyd 2 and the Dragon Racing from School of Dragons.  Speed, skill, and sheep all combined into one race.

 

This won't be the only race in this book, but may be the most in depth I go in a race, as I want to keep the pace of the mystery going without getting bogged down in the details of a single Dragon Race.  But we'll see.

 

Hope you enjoy the chapter!

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Book 10 - The Shattered Axe

Chapter 17 - Back on Track

 

The Jarl Mollerson Mystery Series

All Chapter Links
 

 

Destiny in the Dark

Chapter 3 - Friends and Enemies

 

Proud Leader and fellow member of:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are links to the chapters of my fan-fic series.  The books go in chronological order.

 

The Clue of the Missing Socks.

Chapters 1 and 2                         Chapter 3                                       Chapter 4

Chapter 5                                      Chapter 6                                        Chapter 7

Chapters 8 and 9                        Chapter 10                                     Chapter 11

Chapters 12 and 13                     Chapters 14, 15, and 16             Chapter 17

Chapter 18                                    Chapter 19                                      Chapter 20

Chapter 21 and 22                      Chapter 23                                     Chapter 24 and 25

Chapter 26 - There is a hidden surprise.  Can you find it?

Chapter 27                                   Chapter 28, Part 1                         Chapter 28, Part 2

Chapter 29                                   Chapter 30                                       Chapter 31

Chapter 32                                   Chapter 33                                       Chapter 34

Chapter 35                                   Chapter 36                                       Chapter 37

Chapter 38                                   Chapter 39                                       Chapter 40

Chapter 41                                   Chapter 42                                       Chapter 43

Chapter 44                                   Chapter 45, Parts 1 and 2

 

The Mysterious Frozen Fire

Chapter 1         Chapter 2         Chapter 3         Chapter 4         Chapter 5         Chapter 6

Chapter 7         Chapter 8         Chapter 9         Chapter 10       Chapter 11       Chapter 12

Chapter 13       Chapter 14       Chapter 15        Chapter 16       Chapter 17       Chapter 18  

Chapter 19       Chapter 20      Chapter 21        Chapter 22, Part 1       Chapter 22, Part 2 

Chapter 22, Part 3

Epilogue/Preview for my Third Story!

 

Thoughts of Guilt

Chapters 1 and 2          Chapters 3 and 4          Chapter 5          Chapter 6          Chapter 7

Chapter 8          Chapter 9          Chapter 10          Chapter 11          Chapter 12, Part 1

Chapter 12, Part 2          Chapter 13         Chapter 14         Chapter 15         Chapter 16

Chapter 17 and 18         Chapter 19         Chapter 20         Chapter 21         Chapter 22

Chapter 23         Chapter 24         Chapter 25         Chapter 26         Chapter 27

Chapter 28         Chapter 29         Chapter 30         Chapter 31         Chapter 32

Chapter 33         Chapter 34         Chapter 35         Chapter 36 and 37

Chapter 38, Part 1         Chapter 39, Part 2         Chapter 40, Part 3         Chapter 41

Chapter 42, Parts 1 and 2         Chapter 43         Chapter 44

Chapter 45, Part 1         Chapter 45, Part 2

 

On the Edge of Mystery

Chapter 1          Chapter 2         Chapter 3        Chapters 4 & 5    Chapter 6, Parts 1 and 2   

Chapter 7          Chapter 8         Chapter 9            Chapter 10       Chapter 11        Chapter 12

Chapter 13        Chapter 14       Chapter 15          Chapter 16        Chapter 17       Chapter 18

Chapter 19        Chapter 20       Chapter 21          Chapter 22       Chapter 23      Chapter 24

Chapter 25        Chapter 26       Chapter 27         Chapter 28        Chapter 29 Parts 1 and 2 

Chapter 30       Chapter 31       Chapter 32 and 33                         Chapter 34 Parts 1 and 2 

Chapter 35 Part 1         Chapter 35 Part 2        Chapter 35 Part 3        Chapter 36

 

The Secret Symbol

Chapter 1    Chapter 2    Chapter 3    Chapter 4    Chapter 5

Chapter 6    Chapter 7     Chapter 8    Chapter 9    Chapter 10

Chapter 11    Chapter 12    Chapter 13    Chapter 14    Chapter 15

Chapter 16    Chapter 17    Chapter 18    Chapter 19    Chapter 20

Chapter 21   Chapter 22   Chapter 23   Chapter 24 and 25

Chapter 26    Chapter 27    Chapter 28    Chapter 29 and 30

Chapter 31    Chapter 32    Chapter 33    Chapter 34    Chapter 35

Chapter 36    Chapter 37    Chapter 38    Chapter 39

Chapter 40 and 41    Chapter 42    Chapter 43, 44, 45, and 46

 

The Legend of Shadow Mountain

Chapter 1    Chapter 2    Chapter 3    Chapter 4    Chapter 5

Chapter 6    Chapter 7    Chapter 8    Chapter 9    Chapter 10

Chapter 11    Chapter 12    Chapter 13    Chapter 14    Chapter 15

Chapter 16   Chapter 17    Chapter 18    Chapter 19    Chapter 20

Chapter 21    Chapter 22    Chapter 23    Chapter 24    Chapter 25

Chapter 26    Chapter 27    Chapter 28    Chapter 29    Chapter 30

Chapter 31    Chapter 32    Chapter 33    Chapter 34    Chapter 35

Chapter 36    Chapter 37    Chapter 38    Chapter 39    Chapter 40

Chapter 41    Chapter 42    Chapter 43    Chapter 44    Chapter 45 & 46

Chapter 47    Chapter 48    Chapter 49    Chapter 50    Chapter 51

 

Teaser "Trailer" for Book 8 - Conquest of the Truth

 

The Crimson Storm

Chapters 1 and 2     Chapter 3    Chapter 4    Chapter 5    Chapter 6

Chapter 7    Chapter 8    Chapter 9    Chapters 10 and 11    Chapter 12

Chapter 13    Chapter 14    Chapter 15    Chapter 16    Chapter 17    Chapter 18

Chapter 19    Chapter 20    Chapter 21    Chapter 22    Chapter 23

Chapter 24    Chapter 25 and 26    Chapter 27    Chapter 28    Chapter 29

Chapter 30    Chapter 31    Chapter 32    Chapter 33    Chapter 34

Chapter 35 and Epilogue

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httyyd
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Drums R Round. Pi R Squared.

Here is the ambient sound mix for the rain:

Heavy Rain and Wind Sounds For Sleeping / Relaxation - 10 Hours

 

Here is the epic music mix for the chapter:

Best of @Eternal Eclipse ~ Epic Music Mix | Most Powerful Orchestral music #Orchestralmusic

While writing, I played the heavy rain at half sound while the music was on full.  You can customize the sound by having both mixes in two seperate tabs and changing the volume in the player.

 

The Shattered Axe

 

Chapter 2

Pushing the Limits

 

Jarl's Point of View

 

         By the halfway mark of the strait-away, the Top Five are still single file with the rest of the field still jumbled up.  Though I am second, I am content with following in the draft.  Flying behind a Nadder is perfect.  Taking the Three-Turn-loop, I stay behind the Nadder even though they do not take my preferred racing line.  You step out now to race the way you want to, you will drop like a rock.  Already, I am carrying more speed than Anora would normally on a first lap.  Being in the draft, she does not have to work as hard and can fly faster than she would if she had clean air.  Because of this, I will be content simply staying in contention, keeping my track position.

         Going through the Sea Stacks, we each hug the corners of the turn so close to the Sea Stacks we have to hunch down in our saddles to duck from getting hit by the stone.  This kind of racing causes everyone to fly as close as you can to the edge without crashing so you can put up fast laps.

         The chicane of the final few turns flies by so fast, the small short chutes of straightaways are mere extensions of the previous turn.

         For an ever-brief moment zooming past the crowd, I hear them.  They are why I do this.  But for one not being here, they inspire me to try more, fly faster, and get home sooner.

         Now after the first lap completed, just quite literally in this rain, rinse and repeat for Lap Two.

         Some vikings may think racing is repetitive.  That is kind of the point.  The focus needed to do the same thing every lap is more than you might think.  Sure, anyone might be able to do this for a few laps, but how about five?  Ten?

         Tracks have their own pattern, routine you become familiar with over the course of a race.  Once you know your routine to fly fast laps, you can focus on other things.  If this routine and focus is interfered with, this is where the excitement comes.  Someone may then be shuffled out of line and lose positions, someone is slower, faster, or someone takes a turn too wide without setting up for whatever is next…  The margin of error is where the opportunities lie.

         On tracks like this, there are plenty of places to make up for lost time.  On simpler tracks like the oval series for pure speed, you make one mistakes, even if it is just not taking a turn quite right, it will take you twenty to thirty laps to get back to where you were before the mistake.  Ovals may be repetitive, but maintaining the focus is what makes them uniquely challenging.

         This is why the Sheep Laps can make or break a race.  When something intentional is added to a race to break up the routine, those who are quicker to react and faster to get back in their lap routine can make up so much time.  The lap before the first Sheep Lap, the Top Ten or so signal their crews to prepare.  My crew is going to go with the leaders and do what they do:  Launch the sheep up in the air and chase it down.  This has hindered me as my sheep almost always gets bumped or someone flies between me and my sheep, making me have to work for mine.  I lose spots and have to make up the difference on the track.  This is why my crew have something special planned.

         Sure enough, my sheep gets knocked around and I have to work for it.  Multiple racers passed me.  Once all the racers cycle through these laps, I find myself in ninth…  Scratch that tenth.

         Jason Ketell of the Outcast Tribe, he passes me for ninth on the inside of Turn One.  Jason is the one guy the whole season who should not be as good as he is.  No one likes him.  Not sure how his crew can put up with him.  His dragon type suits him:  A Monstrous Nightmare.  The dragon’s color matches his “golden” personality, though he makes other racers want to add some black and blue the way he treats them.

         He is my main competition to get into the Championship.  We both could possibly make it, but it would take someone ahead of us both to have several below average or bad races.  It is simpler if I just beat him in points.

         After all the sheep are scored, Astrid and Stormfly are now right behind me.  They had a poorer qualifying position to over come from the back of the pack.  We team up and help each other through the middle of the race.  Everyone else settles in too.  Everyone in a single file line with occasional passing.  No one wants to press the issue.  It is quiet.  Even the rain lessens to a light pour.  The middle of the race is uneventful.  The next set of fifteen laps and the second sheep lap go about as well as the first set, also including the third set of fifteen laps.  The second Sheep lap did about the same as the first.  I work my way up to third, but then fall back to twelfth.  Maybe it is just this track.  It just does not like me.

         Now both me and my crew know that the only hope I have at winning this is our secret plan for the final Sheep Lap.  The margin for error is so much smaller when you consider the fact the final Sheep Lap is also the Final Lap of the race.

         With each passing lap, the rain picks up in its intensity, the pace of the race quickens.  That or also Anora knows it too and flies faster.  I am on my own for this part, as Astrid was able to stay in the Top Five.  With the field stretched out now, it makes it difficult to get a pass each lap, which means if I cannot average a pass a lap, I may not be in the position to vie for the lead.

         Reaching sixth place by the final few laps before the Sheep Laps, I see there is indeed a breakaway pack.  Those behind are not laying down fast enough lap times to help me in the draft.  Anora and I are going to have to make this up on our own, possibly even wait until the final Sheep Lap to score our sheep.  The time we make up there could set us up well for our secret plan.

         Bending down, I pat Anora’s neck, saying, “It’s go time!”

         We both fly in sync with each other, both anticipating where the other wants to go.  Seeing areas where we can shave a few seconds off a corner, getting closer than ever before even Anora has to duck her wings a bit, and finding the racing line we need for the final push.

         Because the leaders broke away from the rest of the pack, they may feel safe from the rest of the field.  Someone never letting up and pressing the issue each lap will be a threat to that.

         As Anora and I come up on the first Sheep Lap, we catch the tail of the lead pack.  Astrid looks to be in third.  No one takes their sheep, so they plan on building a big enough lead on the rest of the field to secure their Top Five placing, which gives bonus Championship points for placing in the Top Five.  Leading the most laps gives the same amount of bonus points for winning the race besides the total number of points for your position: Twenty-fifth equals one point and first equals twenty-five points.

         On the second Sheep Lap, fifth and fourth take their sheep.  Astrid still not taking hers and I did not see Jason take his.  Now fourth, it is now or never to win this thing.  Halfway through the lap, I catch the draft off of Stormfly.  While also in the draft, your dragon’s turn rate has less drag and therefore can turn easier and more rapidly.  No longer content, I set up a pass on Stormfly.  Most if not all the racers have a pattern of slowing down through the final few turns and short chutes then coast up to the start finish line to prepare for their sheep.

         As Astrid starts to slow ever so slightly, I fly directly in their shadow.  While they peel off to fly up into the air, I do not follow.  We have something else in mind.  At the same time I cross the finish line, my crew fires the sheep directly out over the waterfall.  Diving down the waterfall into a gradual leveling out just off the face of the water, I see the sheep above me.  As if the sheep is being gently dropped into my lap, I simply grab the sheep.

         Our plan we came up with was instead of shooting the sheep straight up in the air like everyone else, shoot it directly out over the start-finish line.  The time and speed lost while climbing into the air to catch a sheep amongst others is time consuming and all your momentum is lost.  While speed is important, if your momentum is still with you, you can coast through turns while still maintaining your speed.  Coming out of the turns or after grabbing the sheep, your dragon can work less to get back up to speed.

         Pulling an “Over the Shoulder Forward Pass” as Angie dubbed it, catapulted me into second place.  With such a lead on the rest of the field, it is just a race between me and first place.

         Spotting the golden glow of the dragon glimmering from the rain, I find out who is in first, “Of course it is him.”

         While he is also on his Sheep Lap, the momentum and speed I maintained allowed me to catch his draft by the end of the first strait-away, though I am still five dragon lengths behind him.  He hugged the inside line, while I took a completely different route.  I do not break my speed for the turn right, but intentionally take it a bit wide and bank Anora into it.  Taking Turn Two wide, I bank a bit more to crossover into the middle lane as we round Turn Three, so when we exit Turn Four of the Looping Turn, I am directly behind Jason and his Nightmare.  Because I had Anora stick to the outside and banked in, my acceleration out of the Looping Turn was more than Jason’s Nightmare.  However, my basket is further to the right than his, so I continued my bank to line up for the drop off.

         Still not slowing down, I anticipate the basket and toss the sheep a bit early.  A huge risk if I miss, but I have been practicing my tosses the moment I got to the island for practice.  Glancing behind me as I fly, I see it landing inside the basket.  I swiftly turn Anora back into Jason’s draft to stick with him.  He too looks back to check his sheep, but upon seeing me right on his tail, he gestures to his dragon to urge him on.  Jason thought he had this in the bag.

         Now that I am behind a Monstrous Nightmare, this dragon punches a wider profile in the air.  Anora can now fly in a normal sprint than trying to stay within the profile of the smaller dragons.

         The Sea Stack turn is a sharp enough turn I do need to break slightly.  This is the first time I truly had to break this lap.  A Nightmare’s turning rate is not as good as a Razorwhip’s, so I take the opportunity to challenge his inside.  Knowing he would try to block coming out of the turn, I fly under his block to challenge the outside now.

         His desperation tells me he is flying not to lose.  But I am flying to win.

         Coming to the final turn, he protects the inside.  Yet because I challenged twice already, he unintentionally slows himself down.  In straight line speed, the Razorwhip beats a Monstrous Nightmare.  Using this to my advantage, I start to raise up to the right to bait a pass on the outside.  As he flies up to the protect it, I barrel roll over top of him, angling Anora downward to pick a bit of speed, and fly upside down over the start finish line.

         It is so close, I cannot even guess who one, being so focused on making the pass.

         Oh, and not crash into the top of the waterfall.  Flying upside down means to fly up out of the way, you technically must point the nose of your dragon down relative to your perspective.

         Flying around the track one more time is to help rest your dragon but also to check and see if you scored all your ship.  Rounding the Loop, I see that we did.  My crew’s move paid off!

         Looking behind me, I see one Monstrous Nightmare giving me a glare as if he wants to bite my head off.

         Returning to the start-finish, I land Anora in front of the Racer’s Tent to prepare to see who won the race.  Being able to see and hear the crowd for more than two seconds, the crowd is going ballistic.

         My crew rushes over to me, yelling, “You won the race!”

         Pat and Cullan lift me up as the crowds start chanting my name.

         The chief arrives to welcome me, Jason, and Astrid to the podium.  Crew sets me down as the chief waves over the three podium finishers to receive their medals.  I raise my helmet’s visor so I can see better; Astrid does the same.  But no one wants to take off their helmet because of the rain.

         The chief quiets the crowd down and awards the one place for sure known, “Third place goes to Astrid Hofferson and Stormfly.”

         A bronze medal placed around her head, Astrid shakes the chief’s hand and waves to the crowd.

         “Now, to the final two finishers.  I am not sure I have ever seen a harder fought, competitive race in the races held at the Iron Conclave.  Jason Ketell with your consistency this season, showing more of the same here and then Jarl Everson with your innovative ideas of always pushing the limits of both viking and dragon for their desired outcome, you two I guarantee by the end of the season will be contending for the Championship Trophy.  But that is a few months down the road.  What we have right now, is this race and who won it.”

         He looks at Jason and then me, pausing for dramatic effect, “Watching the finish line personally, it is with my great honor to award the Conclave Clash first place medal to…  Jarl Everson and his Razorwhip, Anora, winning by length a dragon’s snout.  Therefore, second place is awarded to Jason Ketell and Jomar.”

         The chief puts the gold medal around my neck and the silver around Jason’s.  He, Astrid, and I step forward to wave to the crowd.

         After a few moments, Jason leans to only whisper to me, “This isn’t over between you and I after the stunt you pulled.  You better watch your back.”

         “I won’t have to watch my back.  You just did it for me.  That was so kind of you.  I’m sure you will be able to see more of my back in the coming weeks,” I glance at him as my sarcasm takes all the thunder out of his threat.

         Disgusted, he retreats to his dragon and flies back to the stables.  With the ceremony over and the crowd filing out of the stands, Astrid’s crew comes over to meet mine while Astrid turns to me.

         We clash the back side of our right bracers together, “Well, you finally got me.”  We then make a fist and slap down and up on the other before we go for a fist bump…  But Astrid explodes her hand into a “V” commenting, “Snail.”

         Sighing, for falling for it, Astrid adds, “Annabeth taught me that.  One of the reasons I wanted start our own handshake.”

         “Alright,” I fold my arms.  “Is that so?  Well, two can play at that game.”

         Tuffnut is the first to express his excitement over that last lap, “Somewhere in there, there has to be a relation to the nut family because you created the most chaos there ever was in a Dragon Race.  I’m just disappointed we didn’t think to launch the sheep out instead of up.”

         Snotlout slaps Tuff’s head, “Maybe because you have no brain to think with.”

         Ruffnut retorts, “That never stopped you.”

         Before those three could start a fight, Hiccup intentionally stepped through them to come over to me, “That was quite a finish and quite a move to pull at the end of the race.”

         “I could not have done it without my crew,” I point to my friends.  “Had they not been practicing at home our secret plan, it would not have been as effective.  Because I am sure now, you guys as well as other racing teams are going to start implementing similar strategies.”

         “Oh, you can bet on it,” Hiccup smiles.  “I’m already thinking of new ways to launch a sheep.”

         “If that makes for more competitive races, then I am all for it,” Astrid agrees.  “Just don’t over design the yaknog out of the launcher.”

         “You of all vikings should know who you are talking to, Astrid,” Snotlout questions.  “You are talking to Mister Over Designer himself.”

         “Says the viking with a throne for a dragon saddle,” she points to Hookfang.

         Snotlout raised finger to say something, but only could say, Shut up, Astrid.”

         “As great as this post race banter is,” Dawn remarks.  “Could we do this inside?  We are all soaked enough as it is.  Plus, can we also go over the plans for tonight.”

         Pat steps over to put his hands over Snotlout, “Should we talk about that in front of the children?”

         “I am not a child!” Snotlout demands.

         “You’re about the size of a child.”

         Snotlout gets angry stands on top of the podium to look down on Pat, “Might is not measured in stature but in the will a viking has.”

         “Wow,” Pat declares.  “That was actually profound.  Didn’t know you had that in you.”

         Tuffnut interrupts Snotlout’s comeback, “Especially when we have established, he has no brain.”

         “Alright, that’s it,” Snotlout then chases the Twins.

         The run around and go past Pat, who then sticks out his foot to trip Snotlout.

         “Hey!” Ruffnut protests.  “No one knocks over Snotlout but us.”

         “Yeah!” Snotlout begins to agree but then realizes.  “What?!”

         “Then why did they help us put peppers on your sandwich last night?”

         Snotlout looks around, slowly saying, “So it was you?”

         Snotlout goes into a spiel about what he had to suffer last night, I get Pat’s attention, he asks, “What?”

         I merely answer, “Run.”

         When Pat looks back at Snotlout, he his winding up a punch.  Pat retreats and as Snotlout turns to run, the Twins trip him.  Pat laughing at that did not help and then causes Snotlout to run after the three of them.

         Cullan then starts to run after them, “I uh- I will go after them to make sure they don’t get into trouble.”

         As both crews look on at the chase, I announce to the others, “They’re going to get into trouble.”

         Unanimously Hiccup, Astrid, and Fishlegs all agree.

         “May we please get out of this rain?” Dawn pleads.

         “Sure,” I decide.  “We have a lot to go over for tonight anyway, before the banquet anyway.”

         Hiccup remembers, “That’s another thing.  I wonder what is so special about the prize for first place they will be awarding.  Some say it is something priceless.”

         “We’ll see,” I state as both crews head back to the stables, pack up, and head to our houses we have been staying at.

         Even though the race is finished, the real work both crews are here for is only getting started.