The Weeping Dragon
It was Laugar the 6th Zamanis 772 AOM. I was recently appointed Lord of the Order. However, that did not stop me from going on missions with my old unit. We were tracking a dragon for over 2 weeks now and we believed we had finally gotten close. So close in fact that I believed I could smell its scent against the wind. That morning, I woke up feeling something in the air. And I knew. Today was the day. I stepped out of my tent into the warm golden morning light of Aditya accompanied by the somewhat dimmer red glow of Chaya. The clearing was already busy. Tran O Mar had already been hunting and the scent of roasted rabbit filled my lungs. Rani and Caleiden were already packing up tents and saddling the horses. I heard branches crack and a familiar voice sounded. » Arahu, … Your Honor. I have found it. It is in a town nearby. The villagers are fleeing in a panic. « Limara stood at the entrance of the Clearing. Panting. I jumped to my feet. » What are you still sitting around? Let’s finish what we came here to do! «
I rushed to my tent and hastily put on my set of armor. When I finally closed the chest-piece of the Caeruleum, I looked at my fully clad self in the small portable mirror I always carry with me. As a formal representative of the Order, I have to be presentable, even in Armor. And as I looked at myself, I felt whole. As if I was fulfilling my destiny. Stepping towards the small lead box, used to store the blue crystals, I imagined how it would feel to kill the dragon, to rid the world of its evil presence. I grabbed one of the blue glowing crystals. My hands tingling as the energy found its way through the tight mesh of my gloves. I picked up my longsword. Unsheathed it. And then carefully embedded the crystal inside the handle of the sword. As soon as the crystal touched the sword, the runes inscribed all over it lit up. I could feel the sword coming alive, feeling its thirst for blood. Its power at my disposal. Just waiting to be unleashed. It was like a storm. I just had to think, and the sword would go up in flames. I had to restrain myself from doing just that. But I knew that soon enough I could, and something would feel Storms wrath.
On my way out the tent, I sheathed Storm once more. The rest of the group already saddled and ready to go. I quickly vaulted into the saddle of my dear friend Shadow. A black mare who treated me very well. And she was one of the fastest, calmest horses I knew. The five of us made our way towards the town where Limara had spotted the dragon. The grass beneath us flying by. The fresh morning breeze grazing our noses. Stray branches annoyingly brushing our faces, as we made our way through the forest. We pushed the horses to their limits, knowing that every moment we waste could mean a citizen of Tarros lost. Soon enough we saw a column of smoke emanating from a town nearby. »This is it! Your Honor! The Town of Hilland. «, Limara exclaimed. From afar, villagers were visible running away from the town. Or hiding in the fields. The closer we got to the town, the more confused, yet hopeful looks we received from the villagers. One of the villagers knelt and called out upon seeing the emblem of Zaman on our armor » O Infinite Father we thank you! We are not worthy to be saved. And yet you still send your Avatars to protect us. « Without paying attention to the villager, we pressed onward. As the group reached the outskirts of the town, we all leapt out of our saddles. The horses, well trained as they were, seemed to freeze in place awaiting our return.
A swift motion ordered Limara and Tran to cover the right flank, while Rani and Caleiden covered the left. I myself decided to tackle the problem head on. As I made myself down the barren streets of Hilland, a feeling of excitement built inside of me. The closer the center of the town got, the more damaged the buildings grew. Roofs were torn off. Doors unhinged. Windows burst. Even whole houses razed to the ground. The town square approached, covered in a dust cloud. I almost tripped, as my foot got caught in a huge gash in the stone pavement. And there, in the gash, was something unmistakable. A dragon’s claw. Kneeling, I pried the claw loose and stored it in a satchel around my waist. Then a loud flap swept through the street. The dust whirled around, revealing the town square. I saw it. In the very center of the town square it was. A large green Dragon. But something was off… Somebody was cowering in front of the dragon. A humanoid figure. The figure slowly turned around. As our eyes locked, the figure placed its hand protectively on the dragon’s snout. A gust of wind swept through the square. The figure’s cloak flapped, and the hood slipped of its head. It took me a moment. Then the anger started seeping in, accompanying the realization of what my eyes showed me. I started walking. I drew Storm. I only had one goal. The Dragon and Akai had to go. Both!
Anger flowing through my veins, it felt as if Storm was pulling me onto the square. Towards the Akai. It is bleeding from several wounds. It looks at me and says with a broken voice: » Help. … c-can you help us? We d-didn’t want to harm anyone. The villagers started shooting at us with their b-ballista. « and he points at the dragon behind him. »You see, there, in Dulgumor’s shoulder? «, he asked pleadingly. I continued to close in on the Akai and its Dragon. From the corner of my eyes I saw the rest of the unit hidden in between buildings. Ready to strike at the smallest sign from me. Having not said a word until now, I came to a halt just a few feet in front of it. I motion to the Akai to come closer. Slowly he took a few steps towards me. I reached out with my free hand, placing it on its shoulder. I brought my face close to his and then whispered into his ear. »I will let you go. Trust me. Once this is all over you can let your soul run free. « With that, he realized what I was about to do. I felt a wave of energy build inside of him ready to unleash its devastating force onto me. But before he could do any of that I plunged Storm deep into his stomach. The sharpened Caeruleum bladed easily finding its way inside of him. In that moment, the soft slurp the blade made as it entered the Akai’s body was music to my ears. In that moment I had erased the wrongdoing of one of my own people. But that somehow was not enough. The anger just kept building. And Building. I had to release it somehow. I looked straight into the Akai’s eyes and ignited Storm while the sword was still embedded in it. Normally I had to focus on the rune of fire inscribed into Storm to set it ablaze. But now only the thought of a burning blade transformed Storm into a whirlwind of flames. The squealing noises the Akai made confirmed the intensity of the fire. Storm’s and my thirst were somehow still not quenched yet. And as our Rage resurged, so did the flame. The pathetic squeals grew louder, and louder. Filling my world. Until they abruptly ended. The following silence was so loud, that I believed I had gone deaf. A charred unrecognizable body limply slipped off my blade and crumbled to the floor.
A few moments everything stood still. Then an invisible maelstrom of energy erupted. Swirling around. Trying to stand upright I gripped at the remaining energy of the now shrunken crystal in Storms handle. I had used way too much energy on incinerating the Akai. I drained almost all of the rest in the energy and focused on the runes of unyielding all over my armor. The Armor now glowing in a bright blue light I felt heavy. Heavy enough to stand my ground. My unit however did not seem that lucky. From the corner of my eye I saw Caleiden and Rani tumble off the roof, on which they were previously standing. Limara and Tran seemed to have similar problems, as I could clearly hear her voice echo over the square. » Tran, in Zaman’s name hold on! « A few moment later her panicked voice sounded » I can’t hold on! Help! Arahu! Help us! « I focused my gaze in front of me meeting the deep, dark brown eyes of the green dragon trying to push itself onto its feet. Out of the corner of its eyes something that can only be described as a large tear started to roll down its scaly, dusty cheek. Then from the deepest part of my mind, I heard the Dragon speak. It could only have been the dragon. A deep voice rumbled: » What have you done? How could you! « The Maelstrom grew to immeasurable strength, ripping open the stone pavement, tearing off roofs and breaking apart trees. Soon enough the dragon and I were encompassed by a tornado of stone and wood. There were only me and it. And I knew there was only one option. I had to end this. To save myself. To save my unit. To save the town.
I took a step, and another. Forcing myself forward. It felt like moving mountains, but I had no choice. » What? How are you able to move? Who are you? «, I once again heard the dragons voice. I couldn’t distinguish exactly, but it sounded somewhat scared, but curious simultaneously. Knowing that I could scare it, I pushed myself even further. All while staring into the Dragons eyes, showing it that I in fact was not scared in the slightest and had only one goal in mind. There was a very hurt and aggressive look in its eyes. Suddenly that changed. It looked Understanding. And Empathetic? It didn’t matter. It was only trying to make me insecure. Question myself. Poison my thoughts. I would not let that happen. I pushed forward even more, now standing face to face with the Dragon. Before I could do anything, the Dragon lowered its head. Something hot dropped onto my helmet and my heart froze. But then I saw a big drop of shimmering liquid drop to the floor in front of me. Was the dragon still crying? But why? » I understand you. «, the Dragons voice rumbled in my head. » You were different. Misunderstood. But I can change that. I can show you who you really are. « I looked up at it. Deep into its teary eyes. » I know exactly who I am! «, I snapped. A glimmer of realization sparked in the dragon’s eyes. But it didn’t move. It just looked at me with a deeply understanding, melancholic look. That did not change, even as I plunged Storm right through its lower jaw. I held it there. Looking into its eyes as they grew dull. It looked back. Slowly the Maelstrom around us calmed down. Pieces of Stone and wood hit the floor. Tumbling around. Why did it take so long for the Dragon to die? I used the last of the energy in Storms grip to activate a frost rune on its blade. I drained all the energy out of the crystal. I could feel it breaking apart. It was not enough. The dragon was still standing over me. I needed more energy. I focused even harder on the rune of frost. Biting my lip, I closed my eyes. Every bit of mental energy I had left I poured into the sword. I heard myself letting loose a bloodcurdling scream. Then there was a cracking sound. Opening my eyes, I saw cracks forming on the dragon’s. Its eyes still fixated on me. And a frozen tear tumbling down its now dull and lifeless scales. As the frozen tear hit the floor and shattered the dragon collapsed onto the floor. Storm got pulled from my grip. For a moment I stood there. Proud of what I had done. I had saved everyone. I took a step to pick up Storm. Everything just went numb and I collapsed onto the floor. Once I hit the floor everything went dark.
The next thing I remember is feeling a hand on my shoulder. Shaking me. Slowly and carefully I opened my eyes. Everything was sore. I felt like the world was crushing me. My vision was blurred. Light blinded me. A humanoid figure was crouching in front of me. It said something. I heard the sounds but couldn’t make out the words. I tried to sit up. Very quickly I realized that was not going to happen as I almost immediately lost consciousness. I couldn’t tell how much time had passed. I opened my eyes. And I was very relieved. I could see again. It was dark. Chaya solely hanging in the sky. Spreading a dim red light. I had been unconscious the whole day. Or even longer? I looked around. Moving my head proved to be very painful. » Slowly. Don’t move to much your Honor. «, a familiar voice said. Tran O mar stepped into my vision. » Here drink this. «, he said lifting a small pot to my lips. After a few painful sips. I managed to speak. » Where are the others? Limara? Caleiden? Rani? « He looked at me. A steely look I had never seen from him until now. »They are gone. I couldn’t do anything. If that dragon wasn’t dead, I would kill it right then and there! « Tan’s eyes darted around, fixating on something in the distance. »Tran? What is it? What do you see? « Without saying anything he picked me up. I winced. Needles of pain stabbed me as he turned me around. »What is it? I don’t see anything. « Tran pointed at the sky. And there in the night sky bright as day, the weeping dragon constellation. But something was wrong. It took me a good while to figure out what was wrong. But as I did, my body just shut down. And once again there was darkness. The Constellation normally had one single tear running down the dragon’s jaw. But now. Now there were two tears. Two!