“How on earth…”Narika said.
“Yeah…” Venu said, “but the good news is magic is an amplifier to its figure… if we somehow stopped its magic, we could manage to perhaps do…”
His voice trailed off for a moment while he was lost in thought. Realizing his mistake- he “something…”
The way he trailed off at the end was a bit disheartening. No one else could think of anything beneficial to the plan.
Narika wasn’t sure how they were going to manage this. Perhaps it would be wise to have an escape plan in case things went badly.
“ok,” he spoke, “here’s the plan… we go up to the dragon… do our best to confront him- and if things go south, Elera will rush us out with her magic…”
Elera looked at him “okay…” she said.
Mika nodded too.
“What’s your magic?”
“Well,” Narika inserted for her… “What’s the best way of putting it… she can ‘freeze’ stuff.”
“Oh, ice…” Vienu responded.
“Vienu was shocked at the last insert, “prove it…”
Elera snapped her fingers and suddenly everything around them was frozen in place… the leaves included.
Vienu took in the surrounding atmosphere for a second, pondering the implication.
“Well…” Elera kind of shied away.
“How do you manage something so powerful?”
“It’s a long story…”
Narika hadn’t heard her story either. Since they’d met, all they’d been surrounded by was constant action.
“Actually…” she spoke. “I was adopted by the council… the short version. ‘We’ were given extreme training.”
Elera frowned a bit… “My sister… And brother… and a few more.”
Narika looked at her. This was the first he’d heard of a brother or sister.
“Well- my sister and brother exhibited strong powers when they were younger. The council offered our parents some money to ‘take’ us in the name of magical defense… because when one sibling exhibits powers, it’s likely that the others will have them too…”
The whole story flabbergasted Narika he hadn’t known that Elera went through something like that to get her ‘powers’ developed.
“Anyway… I was raised by the council leader, who treated the strongest, ‘me’ as his own child. The others however… were sold/given off…”
“What happened to your brother and sister?”
“My brother tried to help us escape… he was a bit older… but he was unable to…” she paused, “My sister was married off to the prince of the Inarian Kingdom.”
Narika paused, “wait… you don’t mean the eternal blizzard was…”
(In the conflict surrounding Inaria, rather than a simple fight, the sister is unable to control her magic. She is constantly out of control- thinking that everyone is an enemy- and the only instant that the blizzard stops is once she’s knocked out… rather than leaving… perhaps the dark influence that controls her is ‘captured’ or ‘killed’)
“Ah… yes. That was her.”
Someone so powerful and yet- given off… like she was worthless… Narika wondered why the council was callous.
The other two who had no idea what Narika and Elera were talking about just kept listening.
Narika was a little disheartened by the story about the ‘council’. What would have happened if he’d truly been ‘accepted’? His father spent his life in defense as a ‘guardian’ for the council. He was also crushed by Elera having to go through something like that.
“What did you think about it?” Narika responded- he didn’t want his preconceived notion to be the final say.
“We weren’t treated bad…” Elera responded, “Actually, it was pretty good for me… except for the constant tests… but eventually the tests stopped.”
“What was it that they looking for?”
“Uh… well, after Ka’atra’s awakening- they were in a rush to find a way to stop him…” she responded.
Ah… that made sense. Even if they had to ‘adopt’ children and give them extreme trails and training… they had to make sure they could stop him.
“So, did it work?”
“After enough tests- once they found me- the rest were given away…”
Being so engrossed in the story, Narika hadn’t noticed that it was already dawning. They’d reached the edge of the mountainside. Looking up- it seemed insane. Almost entirely vertical. It would be quite the climb just to reach the dragon’s den…
The group stopped. They arrived at the mouth of the dragon’s den.
“On the plus side,” Vienu said. “Besides the cliff itself… the ‘only’ threat here should be…”
“You’re really not any good at inspiring,” Elera spoke.
Narika noticed they weren’t properly equipped for a climb.
“Don’t worry…” Elera spoke as she lifted up her hand towards the mountain. Suddenly coming from the edge of the Cliffside was a complete staircase with rail going upwards. Elera wasn’t selected the head candidate for nothing. Both Mika and Vienu were highly impressed.
As they approached the top a haunting sound came from the above them, the rustle of the dragon could be heard along the edges.
“He’s going to sleep…” Vienu said. “If we want to reason with it we’d better do it now… awakening a dragon is a trial in itself.”
The group nodded. Narika took up the lead.
“Actually…” Vienna spoke, “can I take the lead? I feel I may have a better shot of reasoning with it since we already sort of met.”
Narika was happy that Vienu wasn’t a complete wimp or anything and let Vienna take the front. “Go ahead… me and Elera will back you up if something happens.”
Vienu looked behind him, “me and Arrowan are on good terms…”
“Is everyone ready?” Narika spoke to the group. Elera nodded that she was prepared for their escape. Mika had his fists clenched hard around his bow and magically infused arrows. Vienu as the mediator was unarmed. Narika was equipped with the same sword, gem and bit of armor from the shop as before.
The top of the mountain seemed to shape itself specifically around the giant beast that took up residence. Somehow the top seemed to fit snugly around the dragon in a giant crater a half mile wide.
Vienna walked up to the edge of the crater slowly. In the inside it seemed the dragon had just found a comfortable resting position. The dragon circled itself inside of the crater perfectly and its tail nearly reached the tip of its nose. Its eyes were carefully closed- but its perked ears alerted him to the approaching presence.
“It’s nice to meet you again,” Vienna bowed before Arrowan.
Arrowan’s eye opened. That itself was intimidating. Its eye alone was the size of any of them.
VIENNA: the dragon belted into their minds: It seemed that their form of conversation was another form of magic.
“You have really keen ears…” Mika spoke.
I SENSED YOU IN THE FOREST: Arrowan glanced towards Mika and redirected his attention to Vienu. IT SEEMS YOU BROUGHT SOME MORE FRIENDS.
From the shadows Narika and Elera stepped forward.
HMM…. I SENSE A SIMILAR PRESENCE TO YOU VIENU.
Vienna looked up at the Arrowan questioningly.
WHAT’S YOUR NAME- YOUNG AQAYAN: the dragon spoke to Narica.
Narika stepped up boldly- sword by his side: “Narika.” And gave a slight bow of respect.
Arrowan nodded and then turned back to Vienu, I WILL LISTEN TO YOUR REQUEST.
“Uh… what’s the best way to put this…?”
“Can you not eat my friend here’s sister for the sacrifice?”
HM… VIENU, I’VE MADE AN ARRANGEMENT WITH THE CANJUN… DO NOT PUT YOUR HANDS IN THE SAME POT WITH THOSE YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND.
Narika tried to interject.
I HAVE JUST COME FROM FIGHTING THE ORCS AND WIZARDS THAT THREATEN YOUR LIVES. I HAVE BEEN BUSY PROTECTING YOUR PEOPLE AND NOW YOU ASK FOR ME NOT TO ACCEPT YOUR SACRIFICE. IT IS NOT FOR MY BENEFIT THAT I ASK A SACRIFICE- IT IS FOR YOUR OWN UNDERSTANDING OF THE RESPONSIBILITIES. NOTHING LESS OR MORE THAN A LIFE IS ENOUGH TO KEEP YOUR PEOPLE HUMBLE BEFORE ME. DO NOT TAKE MY KINDNESS LIGHTLY.
The dragon seemed to get a little restless. Upon closer inspection- It seemed that the dragon did have burn marks and scratches across his hardened scales.
Mika stepped forward – “Great dragon!”
YOUNG CANJUN. The Dragon acknowledged with a snort of indignation.
Mika bowed down to the ground- “dragon… I understand your great effort to protect my people… it is not their request to halt the sacrifice, it is my own. I have run from my people to save my sister.
HM. A CANJUN WITHOUT FEAR? The dragon looked at Mika. VERY WELL. IF YOU WISH TO PROVE YOURSELF TO ME, I WILL TEST YOU. IF YOU CAN DEFEAT MY TEST, I WILL AGREE TO ADJUST THE ARRANGEMENT.
A hopeful Mika looked at the dragon, “what is the test?!”
YOU CANNOT BEST MY POWERS. NOTHING LESS THAN TO DEFEAT MY POWERFUL MAGIC WITH YOUR OWN… BUT IF YOU FAIL, I WILL REQUIRE ALL OF YOUR LIVES AS SACRIFICE AS FAILURE. BUT SINCE I CANNOT BE DEFEATED BY THE LIKES OF THREE AQAYANS AND A CANJUN, I RECOMMEND THAT YOU GIVE UP YOUR FUTILE QUEST.
The consequence was literally the cost of their own lives…
Narika looked at the group… They looked tired, but a determination burned inside the eyes of the Canjun and resolve in Vienna; Elera boasted confidence in her own skills, and he was too unruly to be stopped by the speech of a dragon, regardless of what the circumstance seemed.
Narika stepped up.
“We accept your ‘test’.”
The dragon looked at them and roared. Around them a shifting of all the rocks. The entire mountainside transformed, they remained in place as the ground beneath them fell apart and an eerie aura surrounded them.
When things settled down- the entire area surrounding them had become a different realm entirely. It was definitely level three earth magic, gravity and space both were manipulated to the dragon.
It seemed to be both a maze and a prison. Surrounding the group was a wall of rocks. Narika pushed against one with all his force, but it wouldn’t budge. There must have been a mountainside placed beside it. He noticed Elera trying to cast magic on it, but freezing rock didn’t affect their position too much.
IF YOU DON’T REACH ME BY THE END OF MY SLUMBER I WILL ENJOY A FEAST ON YOUR FLESH: The dragon’s voice spoke.
But how long was that? Not only did the area they were in seem like a long corridor of pure rock. From what it seemed, the walls slowly closed in on them too. It would probably only be a couple hours before they were forced to a crawl.
What was the ‘challenge?’ how could being crushed by a million pounds of pure rock be considered a ‘test’?
They were in the middle of a sort of cave walkway it seemed.
Thankfully a little light made it easy enough to see in front and behind them. All there was, was a small pathway leading in front and behind them.
Narika looked at Elera and the others and started to move forward. All they could do was move ahead at the moment…
“It’s closing in on us!” Mika spoke up.
Vienu replied, “don’t worry Mika, we’ll find a way out…”
Narika looked at Elera, “How long can you freeze time?”
“A few hours at most…” she spoke.
“Let’s hold off on it as long as we can-….” Narika spoke. Elera thought and then nodded. She’d probably wanted to be helpful, but conserving her magic was more useful later.
He looked at Mika, who somehow did have a sort of magic from what the council spoke about, but upon looking at him, he wasn’t sure even Mika knew the extent of how to use it.
He looked at Vienu for a second- who seemed intent on looking at the structure of the walls.
He decided to let that go and focus on the task at hand. After what seemed fifteen minutes or so of walking, they ran into a four way intersection.
“Let’s stick together for now,” he spoke looking at the group.
One path seemed to veer right, one led straight and one led mostly behind them to the left.
They ended up going straight. It seemed to slightly curve to the right, another thirty minutes passed them before they ran into another intersection. It was somewhat similar in design, but looked completely new.
Narika wondered again whether they should continue together or if it were faster to split up.
“Wait,” Vienu spoke up, looking along the edges of one of the walls. Everyone stopped to watch what Vienu was trying to do as he walked up to a part of the wall, staring intently.
“Something’s not right here…” and pushed his hand up against the wall. The part he put his hand against vanished completely.
Narika wasn’t sure what Vienu did, but in front of him, an entirely new pathway opened up.
“No… it wasn’t magic…” Vienu spoke.
“Let’s keep going.”
They walked into a new passage, which seemed to not have the same closing in factor that the recent room had. A long corridor stretched ahead of them.
Vienu explained as they were walking, “I realized as we were walking that something was off. The room we were just in was a giant infinity symbol… we could have been walking forever. The changes caused by the slow closing would have made us thought our pathways were different- so I looked for something that looked like it wasn’t closing in…I don’t know, maybe I got lucky…”
Narika underestimated Vienu, it seemed. Despite not having magic, he had a very powerful observation skill.
Elera frowned, it seemed her opinion of Vienu was slowly changing, but didn’t want to let go of her slight hesitancy.
“How much time do we have?” Narika questioned anyone, looking at Vienu.
“Plenty still, we probably only spent an hour there,” Vienu replied, equally happy.
Mika too, seemed to joyously run ahead. Mika looked out tunnel ahead of them and stopped in his tracks.
The light at the end of the tunnel opened up a bit more- Narika wondered if that was all there was to the challenge?
Sadly it wasn’t. The opening revealed that they were in the middle of a giant cliff which dropped off into an abyss below. Large circular moving obstacles moved up and down, back and forth across a chasm. Near the top in the distance was a ladder which led into a small opening on the other side. So the only way across, it seemed was to use the moving obstacles.
“Elera,” Narika spoke and looked at her for help.
She nodded and asked them to connect hands. After they grabbed on she used her magic.
Suddenly everything was stopped. All the eerily moving objects around them had frozen in space. Regardless of the difficulty of obstacles- Elera’s own magic would allow them a longer duration with her ‘time freeze spell’.
“While I can freeze time for now – I can only hold for so long…” she replied.
Being only the second time they saw it, both Mika and Vienu were still astounded. Mika was more expressive about it. Everything that had been in motion was no longer. The dust surrounding them. The objects that moved in the strange realm. Everything was stopped.
They stepped up to the first rock that was stationed close to them. It was only enough for three however.
“How do we manage?” Vienu asked.
As it was Elera could only freeze time for those who touched.
“Uh…” Elera responded, “I’ll go back after each object, transport two and then one to the next obstacle.
Looking at Mika it was obvious he was skittish already about the great heights, moving obstacles would be tough for him too.
“Let someone stick with Mika,” Narika spoke looking at how worried he seemed- Mika seemed a little more relieved.
“I’ll stay behind,” Vienu replied.
They worked out a plan and started moving forward.
Elera was the first to step up onto the rock. It seemed to hold her well. The other two followed up behind her. As soon as they touched the platform, Elera let the time spell unfreeze – it dropped for a second.
“Whoa!” Mika spoke as he crouched down and covered his head.
After the initial drop however, it balanced out, and moved up to the next platform. It was an interesting magic. As soon as it reached the platform Elera used her magic again and froze the time of the surrounding area.
She went back to Vienu and picked him up. For a second it looked like they flashed from her touching him to suddenly being centered on the rock.
Eventually Vienu and Elera caught up with them…
“Uh, hey,” Vienu said to the group.
They looked ahead. It seemed that was just the beginning of the trial. Pathways split one way or another, going up or down. It would have taken a while perhaps but when Elera froze time, Vienu studied the pathway carefully and then told them the right direction to take. An otherwise difficult maze was made easier once again with Vienu’s (and Elera’s) help.
They kept going like this for a while without too much difficulty. Perhaps the dragon’s trial was meant to be harder- but the spinning windmills that would have knocked the group off if timed improperly were just frozen in place and easily passed by.
They continued onward until they reached the end near the top.
The only problem was that the rope was too high.
“Let me take care of this!” Mika volunteered, probably because he wanted to find a way to repay the group. He jumped up against the rocks and ran partway up the wall – and caught onto the rope.
For someone with a fear of heights it was pretty impressive.
From there he threw down the excess rope at the top and the others were able to climb upwards into the exit of the large cavern.
“So…” the group looked out of the cavern into the entrance of a large room. Large enough for the dragon. It seemed to be a chamber of sorts. He sat snoring- most likely not expecting to see them for a few more hours.
“Ahem…” Mika spoke.
The dragon awoke.
AH. YOU’RE HERE. He spoke and looked at the group.
He looked at Elera with a considerate look. YOU HAVE A POWERFUL MAGICIAN IN YOUR MIDST TO ESCAPE MY MAZE BEFORE SUNRISE. I MAY HAVE UNDERESTIMATED YOU, AQUAYAN OF ICE AND VIENU.
He paused for a moment, then continued.
BUT MY MAZE WAS ONLY THE FIRST TRIAL: MY WAYS ARE FAR BEYOND YOUR WAYS. THINK NOT THAT YOU’RE WORTHY OF MY RESPECT. ALL YOU CAN EVER DESERVE IS MERCY.
He blew out fire from his nostrils.
Suddenly the room become completely covered in lava. He used his magic to rearrange it, while they were held in place- the entire room became a platform above a pit of lava. Except this time: they were separated.
THE OBJECT IS SIMPLE. His voice echoed from the outside of the chamber they were now in. it seemed that despite not moving, everything else had shifted him away.
ESCAPE THE PIT BEFORE THE LAVA RISES TO YOUR PLATFORM.
From Narica’s perspective he was alone on a platform. The dragon must have been in the chamber above of this lava pit. A gap opened up in the ceiling of rock above him.
Narica wondered when the dragon had time to think of a puzzle like this.
Across the distance he could see that the other three each standing on a rock in midair like himself. Below him and the others –lava flowed.
Suddenly he felt his platform lower and watched the lava rise below him.
“There’s a lever!” he heard Mika yell happily as Mika raised his platform up.
“Wait!” Vienu yelled directly to Mika across the room, so much so that Mika abruptly stopped in shock.
Vienu looked around. Vienu’s, Elera’s, Narica’s platforms had all lowered- while Mika’s had raised.
“If you lift your own platform, the others will die!”
But… what kind of joke was that?
“Mika, let me ask you something…” Vienu responded. “try… lowering.. your platform!”
“But… that’d kill me…” Mika responded.
“Not a lot, just enough to see what happens,”
Mika lowered it.
Narika’s raised up, but Vienu’s and Elera’s stayed in place.
Narika noticed on his own platform that held a dial, as soon as Vienu’s had lowered, the dial turned- the lava however- an initially further distance away seemed to raise a bit.
The dial it seemed, had eight different pieces, like a pie cut in 8 pieces. Four different colors with an assigned symbol to each.
“Vienu, do you know what these symbols mean?” Narika asked.
“I think I do, but I need your help… Narika lower your platform,” Narika lowered his platform. The lava rose below them, however Vienu’s rose by twice the amount that narika’s lowered.
“Elera,” Vienu spoke, “it’s written in an older language… dragontongue…”
She responded, “Yeah, these symbols are numbers, the squiggle with the line across the side is a 1, the right angle with the triangle in the corner is a 2, the open box shape is a 3. So basically…”
“It’s a math problem?!” Narika responded.
“Hm…” Vienu spoke, “I’d have to think about this…”
The lava continued to rise as Vienu spoke. It seemed the lava was the pressure of the game in the first place.
“Narika what’s your dial pointed to?”
“Uh…” he looked at it, a pointer looked at red with a sort of square, it would have been except a bit open in one of the corners. “red three?”
“That means, that if you lower your platform, red should rise by 3x your own.. mine only points to blue 1, so it’s probably best to work in turns… he spoke… we have to work together…”
Narika tried to follow through, lifting his platform. He noticed Mika’s raise by three steps as his dropped by one. It worked!
“How did you figure this out so fast, Vienu?”
“I don’t know…”
Once again, Narika underestimated Vienu, who was both smart and had a unique ability to see ‘the right path…’ it had manifested in the infinity maze first, secondly they’d been able to travel through the high riser, and now this puzzle…
Narika had hope.
“We’re not out of it yet…” Vienu responded to the rising lava. The time it had taken to reach this point, the lava had already reached to where the lowest platform had been prior.
Vienu lowered his own platform, raising Elera’s again.
Elera lowered hers raising Vienu’s, even though the group had finally reached the original height,
“What does the dial say on your Mika?” Vienu asked.
Mika frowned, “it says 2 over 3…”
It seemed it was Mika’s turn to lower himself asking for two to lower instead of one was more intimidating.
“hm… try lowering yours by two, then I think Narika’s will raise.”
“But, won’t that put me next to the lava?”
“It’ll be close, but it’s ok.”
“uh… I’m sorry… Vienu…”
“Mika, lower yours by two…”
Mika stood in front of the lever. Narica waited for his to raise, but it wouldn’t.
“uh…I’m sorry Vienu…” Mika replied.
“I can’t!” Mika spoke, cowering in fear. “If it lowers me again… I’ll die! I need to raise my platform… suddenly Narika felt his own start to lower… in fact, everyone’s seemed to lower. Mika wasn’t trying to kill off everyone, but he was trying to stall his own death which in essence was the same thing in the long run.
“We have to come up with something!”
“Mika! – Trust Vienu!”
“I’m sorry…” Mika yelled out again, “but I have someone to protect… she’ll die… it’s better if two get out than one right?”
It was true that if he was the only one of four to escape, he’d have his sister’s freedom- but the dragon probably wouldn’t let him free after that and also consider the pact void.
Suddenly Narika didn’t care about the maze. In an instant – he knew what he had to do, “Elera!”
Suddenly everything was eerily frozen in place.
Narika held on tightly to the fire gem willing its power to manifest.
Narica wished that he’d have had the platform that Mika had- it seemed this puzzle fell to the weakest link.
Instantly he rushed to Mika’s platform and pulled the young Canjun onto his back.
He flew over to Vienu, who once again surprised him, as he wasn’t frozen in time.
HOP ON. Vienu nodded and climbed onto the firebird’s neck.
He flew over to Elera whose magic seemed to waning thin already.
“I can’t stop the dragon’s magic forever…” she frowned, implying that it was more difficult for her to face the dragon’s own magic.
Elera was worn out freezing time, motion started up again around them. The group of three flew up the hole beyond the pit as the lava beneath them erupted. It pushed a force of fire upwards.
Had it not been a firebird, perhaps the heat would have killed them all, however, phoenix was able to protect them with repulsion.
The dragon looked at them questioningly as they fell along the floor of the dragon’s den. A large chamber of rock- the dragon had transformed into a smaller version of itself.
PHEONIX the dragon spoke, as he tensed up, readying himself for a confrontation. WHY ARE YOU SIDING WITH HUMANS?
PHOENIX- however, was NOT ready for a confrontation and instead transformed back into Narika as he let go of the others on the final room.
The dragon looked at them and the gem that Narika held pensively.
AS EXPECTED OF AQAYANS- I WOULD RESPECT YOUR REQUEST: HOWEVER – ONCE AGAIN, THE CANJUN HAVE SHOWED THEIR WEAKNESS. HAD YOU PASSED THE TRIAL FAIRLY, I WOULD HAVE LET YOU GO WITH A NEW TREATY, BUT THIS CANJUN HAS UPSET ME.
Mika looked down in shame.
“But we made it up here! You owe us our request…”
The dragon enraged bellowed at them with a roar: I AGREED TO ADJUST THE REQUEST IF YOU HAD PASSED THE TEST, HOWEVER THE CANJUN HAS FAILED IT. THE FIRST TEST WAS TO TEST INTELLIGENCE, THE SECOND WAS BRAVERY, AND THE THIRD WAS HONOR. THE CANJUN HAVE NO HONOR AND IT IS FOOLISH TO REQUEST ME TO CHANGE A TREATY FOR THEM.
Narika stood up in front of Mika with his arms spread outward.
“You’ll have to go through me first…”
DO NOT GET BETWEEN ME AND MY MEAL, YOUNG AQAYAN.
Vienu joined up with him, “Sorry, dragon – I’m with Narika on this one…”
Elera hadn’t spoken but had lined herself up in the middle, readying her magic already.
The dragon roared and suddenly the entire cavern of rock broke apart and became floating shards. Once again they were on the tip of the mountain.
The dragon lifted itself upwards and blew forward the force of rocks.
“Grab my hand…” Elera spoke to Narika. Narika nodded holding onto her.
“Vienu… you as well,” she said.
Elera yelled out and a powerful force emitted itself against the dragon’s force. The rocks aimed at them struggled to move forward any further. Instead an earthshattering force broke through the dragon’s magic and a chilling wind pushed the dragon back as all the rocks fell along the mountainside.
YOU MAY HAVE BEEN ABLE TO SHATTER MY MAGIC- POWERFUL AQAYANS: BUT YOU HAVE UPSET ME. The dragon then started to fly at them full force. An overpowering roar could be heard across the mountainside.
IT’S BEEN A WHILE SINCE I’VE HAD TO USE MY FULL STRENGTH. The dragon said as it charged at them. Despite them having broken the dragon’s magic attack, it seemed that the dragon’s own force was not the weaker.
It rushed towards them- the pure force of the wind was enough to blow them downward. The dragon took advantage of the lapse in their unity to push them all down with a gravitational force pinning them hard against the rocks. Mika, who’d they’d been trying hard to defend, hit his head against the rock and fell unconscious.
Narika looked back as the dragon eyed over the others. He’d have to do something to stop him. He felt a glow build up inside of him as he looked at Elera trapped underneath the dragon’s clutches. He would get out of this.
“Stop!” a young Canjun/elvish girl stood in front of the dragon.
“Please let them go,” she spoke with her eyes in tears- “my brother held me in a magic prison against my will… I am your sacrifice,” she spoke to the dragon. As she walked up straight to the dragon’s face. She calmly walked up to the dragon’s mouth and poked its nostril to tell it to open its mouth.
The dragon was as surprised as the others. Narika felt the force against him wane as his own shattered and burst a glow of light. It was too late to stop Arrowan, however- there was no way that he’d be able to stop the dragon from where he was.
He could only watch the little girl as she stood in front of the dragon bravely smiling. It was a horrific feeling.
“Sari! No!” Narika turned to see Mika with a look of desperation- and suddenly understood the reason why Mika had been so brave to leave home, leave his people, and face the dragon’s challenges: love.
The dragon opened its mouth then abruptly closed it.
Arrowan looked at the girl confused and then averted its eyes in what seemed to be shame.
Arrrowan turned around- perhaps to save face.
PUNY HUMANS. IF I’D KNOWN THIS WAS THE BEST SACRIFICE THE CANJUN WOULD COME UP WITH, I WOULDN’T HAVE BOTHERED WITH ALL THIS. YOU’RE DISTURBING MY SLEEP. LEAVE.
“So,” Vienu spoke, “You won’t eat Mika’s sister?”
TELL THE CANJUN TO COME UP WITH BETTER SACRIFICE NEXT YEAR.
For the group it was a win.