The Start of a Life.
A bridge, the starting point of our story, was bathed in the fading rays of sunset, whilst the sky was a deep crimson in the fading hours of the day.
A lone soul was sitting on the rails of the bridge, staring out into the coming darkness of night.
A sound alerted him, so he spun around on the rails. But nothing was there on either side of the bridge.
As he did another spin to watch the remaining sunset, the scales on his arm shimmered slightly in the remaining light.
"Another silent night..." His voice echoed slightly, only small and feeble.
Once the sun had completed its transition from day to night, the young being hopped off the rails; he stood just below the railing on the bridge.
"I should head back to the orphanage..."
He turned and started heading down the old, cracked, and damaged stone pathway.
Down the path, through the cold of the settling darkness, the Metalsmith was visible. It was an old wood and stone structure with smoggy windows that had always held this child's curiosity.
"I want to go inside one day..." He said as he stopped at the picket fence, looking past it and at the large door.
The path he continued down led down to a small area that used to be the town square, but was now used as the marketplace. The empty stalls and the colorful banners, rugs and chairs filled the area of the market.
He stopped at an old stall and smiled. Whoever the owner was had left something during his or her rush to pack up for the night. Taking it, the child continued the long and tiring walk towards the orphanage.
The voice of the caretaker could be heard from down the street.
"Hello? Little one?!" The caretaker yelled from the window. She was looking for him.
"I-I'm out here..." He tried to yell back. But the cold... It was getting to him. The air hurt his throat.
A shiver ran through his spine as he was finally noticed by the caretaker "Miss Ariea."
She ran outside, as carefully as she could.
"S-Stay awake... I'm here, Okay?"
"Miss Airea.... The sunset was really pretty today..." The child's voice was strained.
"You're going to get sick... Come on, Gawain... Lets get you inside." Miss Airea took Gawain's hand, very carefully, and took him back towards the old building.
"Miss... I... I got something..."
"Hmm? And what would that be...?" She looked down to see Gawain holding up a small gem.
"T-That... Where did you get that?! It looks like it's worth a fortune!"
"I found.... It..." Gawain said with a little smile.
"You just found that? Well, that`s very lucky of you, little one." Miss Airea said, her voice gentle.
Little Gawain smiled as he looked over his little prize, the gem giving off a small shimmer from the moonlight.
"It reminds me of the sunset, Miss."
"Thats because it`s a ruby. They're worth a fortune around this part of the world, you know." Airea said, before lifting the little scaled child into the air above her.
Gawain let out a delighted laugh despite the stinging cold air, and smiled brightly. He loved being lifted up into the air, for the fact he felt like he was flying.
"We're nearly home." Miss Airea said.
Gawain felt his bare scaled feet on the cold stone before long, and smiled as he picked up his speed and walked a few steps ahead of his care taker.
"... Do you want a surprise when you wake up in the morning? It is your birthday tomorrow, isn't it?"
"... I forgot it was...."
Miss airea couldn't believe what she had just heard.
"You forgot it was your birthday?"
Gawain simply gave a nod before he looked at the gate to what he considered home.
"... Want me to make that ruby into something extra special for you?" Miss Airea said with a gentle, somewhat insisting tone.
Gawain looked up at Miss Airea with a surprised look, but with a smile, held up the ruby.
"Can you please make it into something really nice, Miss Airea?" Gawain sounded so excited, like he was going to burst if he didn't get an answer soon.
"Yes, Gawain, I will." Miss Airea crouched down and hugged Gawain gently, and took the ruby. He jumped up and down in pure excitement, before smiling and rushing to the gate.
"I can't wait for tommorow! I can't wait for tommorow!!"
"Gawain, calm down, please. Everyone else is almost asleep, I'd say... Okay?"
"Yes, Miss Airea..." Gawain said, still jumping on the spot.
Miss Airea reached behind the bars and grabbed the latch keeping the gate shut, and pulled on it. She stepped through the gate after she pushed it open, and smiled, holding it open for Gawain, who rushed through and up to the door.
"Little excited Gawain...."
Miss Airea smiled, Gawain was jumping and trying to reach the doorknob to get inside.
"Need a hand?" Miss Airea asked, before lifting Gawain up to reach the handle.
He huffed and looked all cutely surprised.
"I thought you meant open the door...." Gawain said quietly.
Miss Airea laughed and let Gawain turn the handle, then the two walked inside and shut the door behind themselves. The air inside the old building was warm, a more than welcome feeling to Gawain, who started to get sleepy.
"Yeah, it is. You look ready to sleep, Gawain."
Gawain promptly went to a little corner and sat down, before he yawned. He usually didn't get a bed to sleep in, so he was used to it.
Gawain suddenly felt a pair of arms around him, and realized after a short moment that he had been picked up.
He looked sleepily up at Miss Airea, who took him downstairs.
"We have a downstairs...?" Gawain thought in silence.
Miss Airea had gently lowered him into a bed, Or a crib. He couldn't tell, he was pretty much asleep as it was.
"Gawain? You're in my room. I have a crib here for little ones who are... Usually alone."
Gawain had his eyes closed, the warmth in the air had lulled him into a deep sleep.
Miss Airea simply smiled and went to her desk, and retrieved a large box from one of her drawers. She opened it and got some cutting and shaping tools, specifically for gems.
She spent a few hours working the gem into a bronze amulet; as well as shaping it to look like a Dragon scale.
Once Miss Airea had managed to make the gem into its right shape and size, as well as put it into place in the bronze amulet, she set it in place by attaching cut bronze "wire" over it to make it look as though it was a rippling surface.
With the ruby set in place, shaped, and the amulet complete, she polished it with a clear metal coating, then retrieved a small and plain wooden box.
"Gawain should love this..."
Miss Airea carefully stored the amulet, then tied it shut with some string, and sat it on her desk.
She looked at a clock and smiled before heading to bed.
".... Happy birthday to little Gawain...."
The night went on quietly as the two slept.