Dragon Debt

Glorious, regal and powerful, I take to the warm and summery air. It looked as though the people of River Town were in dire need for from my hearth high and clouded in the mountains, my keen eyes looked down and perceived not the usual lush green hills and valleys but a sea of shining grey. Tilting forward, I descended in a glide beneath the clouds to see a great host of men, armoured in plated steel and determined – no doubt confident in their vast numbers and the pitiful defences the small town had.

But they knew not I was there and if they did, they would not think to attack the town so; the people of old had found me when I was but a small hatchling and although it is doubtless that they thought I was greatly unpredictable and therefore dangerous for them, they fed and nursed me, allowing me to take leave when I was big enough to overcome any beast there might be in the nearby lands.

Centuries later and my debt still stands unfulfilled – until now. A small volley of arrows were released from the river town and if not for the keenness of my senses I would not have seen them, thin and frail stone-headed sticks as they were. Pity found itself in my heart as I saw the weak attempt at retaliation and defense – but pity was a weaker beast’s game and in me, it soon welled into anger.

Roaring a loud, screeching roar, I pulled my wings in and dove head-first towards the sea of the two-legged.

“Dragon!” a fearful voice cried out and a single figure began to run back. Others took notice and took up the cry. Within moments, they were running in many directions for their tiny lives but I would show no mercy – how could I, while my blood yet runs hot and my claws are still sharp? Slowing to a halt many hundreds of feet above the ground, I opened my maw as wide as it would and bathed the lands below in a tide of fire, careful to avoid coming too close to River Town.

“Archers, fire!”

A great many arrows flew straight and true towards me but with a single bat of the wing, the wind sent them back on their way, piercing many of the foes below.

“Hold your ground! Second volley!”

There was that voice again. Following the direction of the sound, I saw a taller and larger man than any other with a more magnificent set of armor, seated on one of their four-legged beasts; undoubtedly, this proud figure was their leader. Diving once more, I allowed whatever arrows were on their way to shatter on my scales – undoubtedly the finest armor any could ask for – and shook the earth as I landed in front of the two-legged and his mount. Alarmed cries were all about as men ran from me but before he could move, a quick strike of my claws put an end to him…

…and the battle, it seemed. As the once great man and his mount went sailed through the air, the men behind him broke confidence and turned tail to run. The people of River Town seemed awe-struck – as well they should be – and streamed out of their gates towards me but I had already taken flight; I’ve fulfilled a debt and nothing more though doubtless, stories of this battle will keep River Town safe for many a century.

Returning to my hearth atop the snowy mountain peaks, I curl up into myself, content with the passing events of the day. The cold winter air of the mountain peaks took on a subtle breeze and within moments, I faded into the heavy darkness of sleep, the soft sounds of wind lulling me as they always did.

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