Mouse moved swiftly up the spine of the Fire Dragon towards its rider. He didn’t realize she was there at first and when he did, it was too late. Her daggers had found their marks before he’d seen the flash of the blades – one in his side, the other in his neck. She withdrew the daggers from his flesh and neatly dumped him from the saddle. Only then did the Beast turn around, snapping its full skull of teeth at the stowaway. The frenzied Dragon ignored the fast-approaching earth, blinded by the scent of its rider’s blood. Mouse sidestepped a snap. And another. She dodged the jaws just long enough to tuck and roll off the Dragon, crashing half-heartedly into a boulder. Scrambling for her dislodged rapier, she dove behind the boulder as the Fire Dragon bucked, turned, and spewed a wall of flames in her direction.
The Beast landed with a thud and sprayed the boulder again.
Mouse pressed her head and back into the boulder, the heat beginning to sear her skin through the disintegrating rock. She shut her eyes, blacking out the licks of orange flame around her. A deep breath. Two. Three. Her eyes snapped open, dark with determination.
The Dragon bellowed a deafening cry of challenge and spewed a blast of fire again, before drawing back to begin a charge. Once the flames subsided, she spun from the boulder’s shelter and sprinted towards the charging Beast. A few lengths from the acid-kissed mouth, she slipped into a feet-first slide. Back against raw stone, Mouse freed her daggers into the Dragon’s eyes before rolling onto her stomach as she passed under the length of the flailing Beast’s body. Her slide ended out beneath the Beast’s tail. Grappling for any uneven ground, she clutched onto a root, pulled herself up and dove behind a rock outcropping.
The Dragon staggered. His scream deafened. In a final, mourning chortle, the bloodied orange-red Beast took to the sky.
The 10-man Council Dragonics patrol stopped and stared at the Beast’s whirling, scream-filled demise. One Water Rider passed low over the crumpled Rider and retrieved his pin and sword. At the rallying cries of the Rogue Dragons, the Water Rider ordered the retreat.
Mouse laid low until the Council Dragonics had gained enough altitude to be harmless. Standing, she dusted off her pants and checked for any significant cuts or gashes. Satisfied with only a few long scrapes from the scuffle, Mouse strolled over to the lifeless Fire Dragon and pried out her daggers. With a swipe across her pants, she returned them to her belt and looked up at Callon and Vylain, hand on her hip for their impertinent stares. Casually, she waved them down.
“You good?” Callon asked as Syralli landed.
Mouse shrugged and nodded.
“Is she good? You ask if she’s good? Are you both mental? It’s obvious she is bretzing mental, Callon, but you, too? Woman. You could have been killed!”
Another silent shrug.
“Ease up, Brydellan. She saved our skins.”
Mouse smiled a gratefully and then cocked an eyebrow at Vylain.
His green eyes remained still. His jaw clenched as he flexed and closed his hands until he could muster a solid, controlled breath. “She could’ve gotten us killed since, and I’m just guessing here, but from that display – they were actually after her!”
Callon shrugged. “Eh… technically both of us,” he said, crossing his arms.
“Like I said, it’s a long—”
“Story. Yeah, I know.”
“Don’t pout, Lady Vylain, it’s very unbecoming. I’ll explain it to you later.”
“Oh,” Vylain scoffed. “Don’t bother with me. Explain it all to Alaister when he demands to know why one of his officers was almost killed.”
“You’re exaggerating just a smidge, don’t you think?
Immune to the bickering, Mouse slowly approached Syralli. Her snout twitched. Her mouth seeped black tufts of smoke, but she did not make a move. Mouse stared into amber eyes that were nearly as large as she was wide.
“Why is she even—”
“She did accost me at blade point.”
“You’ve got to be joking.”
“Wish I was…”
“I find that a bit… hard to believe, Callon.” Vylain gestured to all of Callon and then his twin blades. “Really, really hard to believe.”
Callon pointed to the slain Rider’s crumpled corpse and shrugged. “Do you? Really?”
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Genre - Fantasy
Rating – PG-13