Priscilla’s chest burned with pain above her heart, but her eyes were locked on the goblin that had stabbed her. Its dilated pupils locked on hers. Its carrot-like nose and comically long ears… And its wicked smile. Time seemed to halt as the goblin pressed the dagger into her heart. The world silent. Her only thought was that in her final moments, she would die with the goblins pungent scent filling her nose. Its child-like body nearly half her height, scrawny, yet filled with wicked intent and death…
She felt… confused.
Is this how I die? In some backwater keep by a goblin…? At that moment, tens of thoughts flowed through her. Like how goblins were known to rape the girls they captured, wounded, and or killed in massive orgies. If you were alive while they raped you, you would wish they had killed you in the beginning.
Death before dishonor… Death before dis- She tried to think the mantra.
The mantra any noble girl was though, to fight before being defiled. Yet, she couldn’t move. Only watch this moment stuck in time – until the goblin’s head disappeared; replaced by a few squirts of blood. She felt the blood splatter across her face, but the only reaction she gave was a flinch with each new squirt.
She felt the world swing back into motion as she was heaved up forcefully by her left arm.
“Get up!” Cyril’s voice was the first sound in her world. ” You hurt?”
Cyril ran her hand across her chest, over her breasts, and down her stomach. She found nothing and nodded.
Then the roar of clashing steel, roar of men and monsters, and the shrill screams of the dying rushed her. The smell of goblin was quickly replaced by the stifling air of the audience hall, which was neither better nor worse than the smell of goblin. Priscilla only gaped at Cyril as she smiled at her. Her sun drop eyes glowed in the dim hall, and she could see the mirth in those eyes.
Was she… Having fun…? She thought in horror.
Yet, regardless of how the immortal felt, she looked like a titan in that moment. They both were the same height – Five and a half feet tall – but she felt small compared to her. She saw the speckles of blood that spotted her face. One drop was just a hair on the left corner of her lip. Priscilla thought that the Angel was about to like it too.
But she didn’t.
Cyril only turned and Priscilla saw the thin line of defense made up of the battered human soldiers. They were only a two-man deep line that was being inched back as more kobolds filled in the twenty-foot wide by thirty-foot long hall. Goblins climbed up the lizardmen and flung themselves over the defense line or at the line itself. Priscilla had been unlucky and she was attacked by a goblin just as the men were establishing their line.
Dead goblins littered the floor and a few of the keep’s servants had picked up spears; they assisted the soldiers in their dire time of need. It was not enough, though. They had just survived two dragon attacks and now they were being overrun by the forest inhabitants.
Cyril pulled Priscilla behind her as another wave of goblins tried to pull the same trick again and this time, a few fireballs joined the fray from Desmond. Still, the line had been pushed back to the last ten feet.
“It’s open!” Mai called out.
Priscilla looked to the left and saw the iron braced wooden door that had sealed them in the hall. Cyril was the first to react and went through the door, pulling the young teen behind her. They entered a stairwell and found there was another person at the top. A soldier.
“This way!” His voice echoed between the stonewalls. “The damn noble has another entrance on the wall!”
He disappeared through the door at the top of the dark stairs. Cyril chased after him, followed by Desmond and Mai. Then the servants came, quickly followed by a few soldiers and a mass of murder hungry monsters.
“They got a troll!” One of the soldiers cried out just as the stairwell exploded just as Mai reached the top. Dust billowed out of the doorway as a few coughing soldiers and servants made it through.
“They’ve destroyed the stairs!” A large older lady cried out.
She wore a simple faded green dress with a green bloodied apron over it. She had a spear that had broken just below where the head would have been, but it still dripped with blood. A testament to the lethality of the weapon. Just as soon as she called out though, the sound of shuffling bricks pained their ears and the laughter of a troll reached them.
One of the soldiers looked into the staircase but then tried to quickly shut the door. Only, a large fist the size of the man’s head punched the door off its hinges. The door flew, splintered and split in half along with the man, across the room. The debris took out a few servants and killed the unlucky lady that had called out.
Whatever shock that had gripped Priscilla had finally broken and she screamed.
« ◊ »
Rynnaid had been pleased with the first half-hour of the monster army’s assault on the keep. They had followed his superb orders to focus on the gates. Within fifteen minutes or so, they had ripped it open with the help of ten trolls. Most died in the process, along with the lesser monsters, but Rynnaid had expected to lose a few grunts to take the gate.
What he had not expected, was the slow process of claiming the rest of the castle. He snarled at their incompetence. None of the monsters were had even thought to go over the wall! He glared down at them, aura pressed down over them, and the monsters were almost killing each other to get within the keep. It would have been comical to the dragon had he not felt his honor trampled upon by their stupidity.
“This is why they’re beneath me.” He growled to himself. “They cannot even think for themselves.”
What the dragon had failed to understand, he never told them what they were attacking. The lesser monsters only knew once they had charged down the slope to see the keep. The only order was to “Attack their gates and kill all the humans. Claim their walls.”
Regardless, the dragon looked over the siege from the luxurious view of the eastern mountain summit. His large body was the length of a Boeing 767, and large – girth wise.
He contemplated intervening since it was taking too long. With thousands of monsters down there, the keep should have fallen.
“I should just smash it.” He growled and a small puff of smoke leaked out.
Just as the words left his maw, part of the wall above the outer bailey exploded; as a troll arm punched through it. Its fist clenched with a human in its bloodied grasp. The dragon smiled at that, but the smile quickly cramped up as the arm slid out the hole, severed. It was a cleanly cut as blood a large trail of blood was left in its wake.
“Hmm…” He contemplated. “Maybe… One of the piglets might be able to entertain me.”
The troll who had lost its arm bellowed in pain that managed to momentarily stop the flow of monsters. All the monsters below froze at the sound, unsure of what to do. Rynnaid let out a mighty roar, ordering them to continue or die. Thus, the monsters quickly continued their scramble to take the keep and its walls.
The dragon kept his eyes on the battlements for someone who looked powerful, only to see a gaggle of girls burst out of the door near the hole. The first one was a beast girl, then a black hair child followed by a white hair –
His heart skipped a beat for a moment.
The sight of the girl sent a chill through him, a deep-seated primal fear at the sight of the girl. He had the intense urge to fly and never be seen again, but he couldn’t. His pride fought back.
Just mere mortals! He raged inside his heart, attempting to calm himself.
Yet he couldn’t. His heart raced and he felt slightly weak. Rage overpowered the fear, and he leaped from his perch to kill the human that made him feel that way.
« ◊ »
The man who was supposed to show them the other entrance had been killed in the grip of the troll. Cyril didn’t mind it though. She didn’t know why, but she was over the moon in joy. The feeling of her sword as it cut down the first goblin… She felt… Alive. She felt powerful. It took a lot not to burst out in laughter. In the stories, the main characters usually had a moment of moral conflict at their first kill. Maybe a few chapters of shock or so.
Cyril didn’t feel that. She had already accepted that this was her new reality. Maybe it was a dream, maybe she was in hell. Maybe… Maybe… She didn’t care. She finally had the power to fight against death, dream or not.
She watched the troll slide down the broken staircase, his blood pooled on the floor between the bricks and quickly tainted with dust. None of the soldiers from below had survived, and the few servants that had made it up were terribly wounded. She was about to go back down the stairs when Priscilla stopped her and pulled her away.
She turned to the back just in time to see Mai spartan kick a door open.
“We have to go!” The young teen cried out as she tugged the goddess with her.
The sight of the terrified girl was enough to make Cyril abandon the idea of rejoining the fray below. She followed after her and the group stalled at the base of a broken tower.
“Which way!?” Desmond asked Mai
“I don’t know!” She yelled at him in duress. “The man who was leading us was just killed by that fucking Troll!”
The two argued, but Cyril was quick to turn her attention to the sudden dragon’s roar. It was loud, but only if you weren’t in the thick of battle. The battlements were filled with screaming men, soldiers, and monsters that poured through other openings on the wall around the inner bailey. A lot of goblins were actually climbing the catwalk that lined the other bailey, much to the defender’s fear.
The child-sized monsters smelled horrid and their looks fared little better. Their little goat eyes made Cyril cringe when she first saw them, but they were designed that way. She contemplated the fact that there were cute goblins in the world, just unhappy these weren’t those goblins. Her mind was ripped away as a goblin spear cut the air by her hair. To her, it was slow and she sidestepped it with a scowl. She was about to return the favor with a fireball, but Priscilla pulled her away.
“It’s dangerous!” She cried out.
Cyril turned to let the teen pull her away to return to the group as they followed the wall towards the cliff face in hopes that the other entrance would be there, and unenchanted like the one below.
But the dragon did not want them to escape.
Another roar, much, much louder one; broke the fierce battle. When Cyril turned, she saw the dragon gliding down – towards them.
« ◊ »
Rynnaid soared over the long wall that the humans thought would separate the forest from their pitiful lands; ready to bring retribution upon the filth for their transgression. The transgression to disturb his heart, the insult to his honor and pride. Even now, he felt his heart scream to pull off. When the girl looked to him, her eyes locked with his – he did just that.
Because a ball of golden flames rocketed at him and every instinct screamed that it was dangerous. His pride had made him hesitant and he pained for it as the flames crashed into his left side, just beneath his left front leg.
He felt the area scream with pain. His scales failed to protect him and he felt a few had even gone missing from the impact, which sent him soaring out of control. He was too low and flying too fast to stop. The inevitable result was that he crashed into the monster field land in front of the walls. He barely felt the tens of bodies beneath him and he slowly rose along with the fear in his heart.
No! He screamed in his heart if only to keep whatever dignity remained. I am a dragon!
His ego quickly beat down the fear as his mind raced to catch up. He took in his surroundings and found himself facing away from the keep. He turned around and was quickly found the target of his ire.
“You!” He bellowed. “White-haired wench! Come and face me, die for your transgressions!”
He challenged her. Neither monster nor human was stupid enough to not realize it, but the girl in question only laughed.
“Did… Did…” Her words were interrupted by another chuckle. “Did he just challenge me…? After I blew him out of the sky?!”
It was too…. Stupid!?
She knew she wrote that dragons were a prideful race, but to challenge her during a siege? Wasn’t the idea to just wholesale slaughter?
“You dare mock a challenge?!” He roared.
His earlier fear and the pain of his wound were forgotten as rage replaced them.
“No, no!” She chuckled sweetly, much to everyone’s dismay. “I accept.”
“Come and face your death! I’ll- ” His words were cut off.
The white-haired girl had stepped onto the parapets just as the monsters around the dragon cleared the field, happy to break away, but also annoyed they wouldn’t get to kill either. The girl’s actions were interesting to the dragon, almost childishly amusing. That was until two regal angelic wings sprouted from her back. Her fair and beautiful face stained with green and red from monster, and human blood, alike.
The aura he had felt earlier, ancient and commanding, overtook the area. The humans were oblivious to it, but to those verse in mana and those of the immortal races, felt it all too well.
Fear and trepidation crept back in as he felt his heart stutter from the sight. He was almost inclined to call her a fake angel until she leapt from the stone wall and charged him; sword in hand.
« ◊ »
Cyril dove at him, though it was easy enough to do, she still wanted to see what would happen if she fought the dragon head-on. Would she die? Would he die? The anticipation excited her and she was all too willing to find out.
The dragon seemed startled by her wings and hadn’t reacted in time to her attack, again. For that, he lost his right-wing as he tried to jump aside.
The dragon roared in pain as he tried to put distance between them. With the lack of practice with her new wings, she didn’t have the experience to stop in time and crashed into the grassy field below. Dirt and rocks shot forward from the impact. Cyril stood; her sword impaled in the ten-foot deep crater. Her tight grip on the sword had saved her from tumbling around.
She jumped out of the crater and into the air. She had enough time under her wings to figure out how to hover, albeit, it was quick annoying to do. However, the more she did it, the more she liked this ability to do so. It let her stare into the dragon eyes on the same plane.
“Well?” She smiled at the dragon.
Yes. It was fun.
The smile scared the dragon, but he had courted this himself. It only took him a moment to resign himself to this battle. He charged at the girl and snapped at her with his massive jaws, but she quickly dived away; leaving a long cut down the center of his lower jaw. Blood began to pour from the deep cut and Rynnaid scrambled back as he roared.
Cyril crashed into the ground. She quickly recovered after having put too much momentum into that drop. Lucky for her, the dragon seemed momentarily occupied with her sudden gift.
Rynnaid shook his head, rage slowly building. Enough was there to cloud his judgment and he only wanted to strike back.
His neck coiled back as he inhaled quickly, then, exhaled a firey inferno upon the goddess.
She disappeared in the storm
“No!” Priscilla and the others cried out from the battlements in unison.
It was in vain though.
The dragon’s fire died away after a few seconds and Cyril remained unchanged.
“That was a cool trick.” She said as she looked up at the dragon who stood no more than fifty feet away. “I think I’ll try it.”
There was a spell to cast fire like a dragon, one powerful AoE effect. The hard part was the inability to just cast via a skill bar. The need to know how to do something, mixed with the ability to do so – as Desmond had said – was important. Unfortunately for the Dragon, he had just shown Cyril how to do it. She inhaled a lungful of air, her chest puffed up. Then she released it.
« ◊ »
Rynnaid roared in agony as his lower half was engulfed in the fire. His pride, his honor, and even the fact he was a Great Fire Dragon had fled his thoughts. Only the unending pain of being burned alive filled his mind. The golden flames washed over his front legs and his back legs. He felt all four limps burn. The fires even kissed the lowest point of his stomach. And. It. Hurt.
The did the only thing he could do and jump away, albeit, clumsily. It was enough to get out of the funnel of fire though. He stared at the charred earth that glowed red from the girl’s fire. The rage that had been grappling with his fear had finally lost the battle. Not even dragon fire could do that within just those short few seconds. Even with mana behind it.
“Yup.” The angel said. ” Wicked cool”
She turned to him with a grin and started to walk towards him, sword in hand.
“C’mon.” She said playfully. “Let’s finish it. You said you’d kill me, right? Sorry dude, but I’ve already died once.”
Rynnaid could only scramble back as the angel walked towards her with that murderous smile.
“Stay back!” He pleaded; his voice weak. “Demon!”
“Nope.” She said.
She flung another ball of fire at him, but he was too close to doge. The ball crashed smashed into his chest and he was flung onto his back. His head smacked into the stone wall and he felt it shake from the impact. His chest burned and he couldn’t feel much there besides the burn.
“Just a girl.” The voice was closer now.
The dragon rose his head and came face to face with the white-haired demon. She stood on his chest and looked up as he arched his head to look. Her wings flicked out, flapped, and she lunged at his head.