Thank you Adi!
This one is special. It is very close to my heart and I felt like writing about it for a while.
Laughter. It is contagious, spontaneous and very much precious. Ever heard a baby laugh? In no time almost everyone looking at the baby starts laughing, the joy spreads across like water.
If you know me and have heard my laugh, you will agree with this, I laugh like a maniac. Total and absolute maniac. I laugh with my feet bouncing off the floor, my arms making some unintelligible symbols in the air before clenching my stomach because its paining from laughter.
I am one of the few people who can laugh at anything and everything till tears swell out of my eyes. And I’m extremely proud of that.
How many people do you know who could look at something and make an insane joke and start howling in laugh? The answer is none. Well some can, but none like me. I have damaged my bed when I’m literally ROFL, I have broken my chair and made my dog more scared of my laughter than something really scary, like bathing. Yeah!
I laugh like crazy when we watch a show on weekends, and my parents proudly claim that any comic show is not funny without me. And I’m pretty sure that most jokes get funny because of maniacs like me. Well you are welcome!
Then I look around people. People who grew up from being children themselves. Who somewhere in their lives stopped laughing. They now laugh properly, decently(ugh) even. People with their constant attempts to be cool. And I pity them.
I dare you, next time you hear a joke that starts a giggle in your throat, just laugh. Laugh like me, leave your limbs free and let the magic(yeah!) take you over. By the time you are done laughing, your stomach will be aching, you will feel hungry and your bladder will be bursting. And tears will be shed, proving that your eyes still work.
And you will be revitalized.
My laugh is probably the only thing that has not changed. It is there from my childhood and I intend to keep it alive this way. Unadulterated and unbiased.
But, alas not all good things last forever. Now my laughter is becoming strained. When confronted with questions without any seemingly correct answer, question like what do I want to do with my life? How do I make people believe in my when I have doubts? Then there are two options. Cry like a baby, or laugh like a baby.
And I laugh, because crying makes me look weaker. I laugh and I notice hysteria slowly creeping in. I realize what had happened to others and why they have difficulty laughing like I do. Reality came crashing in. And confrontation scattered will. Madness and sadness were only discernible.
And I’m staggered by the question: Will I end up like those who have forgotten how to laugh?
My answer is maniacal laughter. Because the alternative is too terrifying.
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Continued, check part 9
When Forster was born, realm was prospering. The combined efforts of humans and draconian strength had made economy boom.
Trade routes were established with Maximus existing captured regions. The burned lands were largely fertile and used for agriculture.
Reaves turned out to be a great King. The hostilities between humans and dragons still exist but is subdued.
His father Garge and mother Tamara were famous and examples of perfect Harmony between humans and dragons.
Dragons grew to be stronger than before. Reaves grew proud to have brought the dragons back to their esteemed glory.
And as this glory spread, people from all over the world looked to have an army of dragons at their disposal.
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Continued, check part 8
Every other dragon saw that. The King momentary burst of anger had betrayed him. Reaves called Garge back.
‘You got him to declare his position to us. Now you need to make him expose himself to his men.’ Deacon provided.
Wise man had not asked about just disclosed terms of this bout. Reaves looked at Garge and nodded. They knew their future and their race depended on Garge. Just like his father, Reaves knew the best person to have Icebreaker was Garge. Now is the time to use it best.
Garge unscathed his sword. In front of him, King did the same. The humans were making a circle and one man read out rules of this engagement.
‘Rules? Do we need them? Its simple: I just have to kill you.’ Garge poked. ‘And I believe I still don’t know your name’
‘My name is Maximus. And you think this is my first championship? I have killed bigger and better men with less efforts than taking a piss. You will also be easy.’
This time loudly Garge said ‘You could kill other humans. But I’m a dragon. I could kill bigger and stronger men with ease because I’m faster and stronger.’
Maximus realised the strategy now. Garge wanted to expose him. After he did that the army would loose its mantle and it would easy to watch the cards topple.
Both warriors looked at each other for two seconds. This is it. Their swords in their hands and their supporters at their backs. Garge smiled. Maximus growled. And they attacked.
One of them was the best of their land, other had years of experience. And both were inhumanly fast.
In two seconds, almost thirty clashes were heard. Their swords were no longer visible, their arms showing bulging tendons and muscles. And they not walked but floated on the sand. Both of them used their toes to move quickly and effortlessly. One misstep and their heads would be rolling and a war would end.
Reaves knew Garge was fast. Just how fast he knows now. And Maximus, if it wasn’t for him trying to kill everyone he would be marvelous indeed. At least thirty years older than Garge he still was on the offense, even making Garge sweat.
This would be close!
They both retracted after three minutes. Their hands were chaffed and breaths louder than wind. Both looked in ecstasy. Wesley shouted encouragement. This was like a dream come true for him. A clash of swords on which the entire future resided on.
‘You are way better than I anticipated.’Maximus admitted.
‘You are not bad for an old man.’ Garge retorted ‘It is a shame that your daughter can see you know. She said you are so slow that you couldn’t even catch as she escaped when she walked past you!’
Maximus growled louder this time. His human strength had depleted and now he was tapping on draconian strength. But Garge had practiced all his life, his endurance was still not crossed.
Garge thrust the sword in the sand and started to remove his armor. And when all he wore was his trousers he picked up his sword again. Armor would slow him down. And this would be long fight.
Maximus didn’t do the same. All he saw was an opening. Garge was bare chested and exposed in front. Just a few cuts would slow him down.
And Garge would let him have a few cuts.
When they both moved again, Garge was way faster. He got inside Maximus’s guard and delivered some big cuts and retreated quickly. The armor protected him but a long gash was bleeding from the left.
Maximus looked angry now, angry enough to start tearing him limb from limb. Just a bit more and then he would have to turn. Garge had to make sure he doesn’t turn before Maximus.
They engaged again. This time they locked swords and Maximus’ breath full blasted on Garge face. He was smiling ‘You intend to make me turn so my army goes against me. That won’t happen cause you don’t know what I can do.’ And with a new fire he added ‘And my hatred for my kin!’
As sudden as a snake bit, Garge sword lodged inside his opponent’s neck. Maximus looked happy.
The dead body dropped to the ground. Wind seemed to be howling.
And then the enemy retreated. And from the armies horns blared. Horns for march and war.
‘He made sure that if he doesn’t win the armies still attack. And with half of their strengths they could still kill all of us.’ Wesley said. He looked ready for a turn.
Deacon meanwhile was telling a messenger to turn and bring reinforcements. Reaves and Garge met eyes, they knew the army was already reeling and almost broken. If they witness the same massacre of the sea then they will break. And war would be over.
The army was coming on horse backs, cavalry quickly closing the gap. But dragons were faster and in a minute the entire legion arrived of 100 turned dragons. All ready for war.
And they melted the earth. None of the dragons took flight. They just opened fire. Horse, men, metal all burned and then their bones melted. Such concentrated firestorm soon boiled the water and land turned brown. Dragons in tens made sure that no land was solid enough to walk.
And for miles heat scorched all metal to the skins of armies. Blisters were born on army’s skins, their sweats evaporated the second they came out.
Enemy fled, screaming in agony to remove their armor and metal. Scorpions were useless as their arrows were catching flames and burning to ashes.
That heat would keep the land impassable for at least a day. And with broken army the chance of them attacking again wasn’t possible.
The war was over.
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Continued, check part 7
‘What now Reaves?’
‘You tell me. I have an army sitting on my arose ready to go for my throat. And my hundred warriors are ready to kill your would be wife if they get the chance. This has to be resolved as quickly as possible. Otherwise we are dead.’
This was the real Reaves. Humble and straight. Not a prince or a King.
‘I never thought this…’
‘I know Garge. There is more than one court member who would ask for your head after this. But I have your back. I just need to know whether you are ready for the onslaught or not.’
‘I want the father’s head. That bastard comes to my land to kill my people. I would skin him and burn him. He is a monster. And he wants to kill my… Child too!’
Sudden fury blazed in his eyes. He wanted to turn now and smoke everything around him. But he knew better than that. He got his anger under control and awaited the turn to kill.
‘No one knows what happened at the island. But now if you approach to talk, then the entire army will know. The army would prefer going back to their lives. They want an end to this pointless regime. My father would not allow that.’ Tamara said.
‘Champion!’ Both Reaves and Garge said together.
That meant Garge doing what he does best. Swinging his sword.
Reaves spoke a bit more while Tamara came near to Garge. Eventually they were left alone.
‘Reaves has a temper. And you insulted him in his court by instating your law and..’
‘I know. I forgot my place. I’m a prisoner here. It is a mercy that I’m still alive, for which I should be grateful to your King.’ She stopped and added ‘and to you.’
Garge looked in askance at her. She continued
‘My father had dispatched those wolves. Before you I hated my life. I ran and he sent wolves after me. You gave me a reason to live. After he coerced out of me your existence, I found out I was pregnant. Another reason to live. As soon as we landed I escaped and arrived here.’
‘I had to attack those ships. Otherwise we would be facing a siege now instead of a reeling army. If I had hurt you in those ships then..’ He couldn’t say more.
He knew after they survived he would gladly marry her. Not because it was a law for her, but because he could feel a stirring for her. And he wanted to survive the war.
For one fleeting second he thought of taking her and fleeing the land. No one would know or could follow. But he dismissed it. He had to save his kin.
‘So who is your father’s champion?’
‘He fights himself.’
Next morning a messenger was dispatched with a white flag. To have a champion fight instead of the armies. The enemy agreed on the condition that after dragons lose, all dragons would have to come to their own deaths.
Other than Reaves and Garge no one knew those terms.
A party of twenty arrived midway from enemy. Ten dragons including Reaves and Garge reached midway too.
Garge had spent the night with Tamara. And now he intended to make sure he gets to do it again. Enemy’s champion was not hard to find. He stood 7 feet tall and strong enough to kill men with his bare hands. And the sword he carried was another broadsword on his back, at least four feet in length.
‘We have Tamara and if we are cheated then she won’t make past the hour.’ King Reaves declared. This was the King alright. The same arrogant, conceited king.
‘Huh’ the tall men spoke. ‘If you know my daughter then you know I would not mind her death. By my hands or yours. Its you dragons who I want dead.’
Tamara’s father got down from his horse and came forward. He stood two feet in front of Garge and spoke again ‘You who laid with my daughter, by the hour is done I will taste your blood. Then your entire race would be plunged off.’
He snorted loudly. And there was smoke in his breath. His eyes changed color and his skin briefly changed to purple.
Garge gasped. This cannot be! His opponent, King of human armies ready to kill all dragons was…
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Continued, check part 6
It was a crowd gathered in the great hall. Each and every dragon had assembled to have the humans blood. And the humans smelled of fear. Everyone except Tamara, who should be scared considering she was pregnant.
Oh man, Garge thought. If that child is mine,..
The entire court thought so. And whatever respect he had once possessed was gone. Everyone had come to know why the humans had invaded. Even that small piece of knowledge which was exclusive among his friends spread like fire. Like fire, that’s ironic Garge thought hysterically.
Tamara looked better. She was fraught with life one could say. Lips pink, face flush with rich blood and hair that when opened reached her hips. Beautiful hair.
With an effort he looked away from her and tried to think like he was meant to. The daughter of the King was here, she was their hostage. With her as leverage the incoming war could be put in stalemate.
But, why was she here? Was she here on behalf of her father? Or she had some other ulterior motive.
Eventually, the crowd got bored. They were anxious to know the same answers and when she spoke, the crowd were dumbed into silence.
‘Garge is the father of the child I carry.’
No one could speak, even if they found their voices they would not know what to say. And Garge was in the worst possible position ever. Not only his actions had caused a war, he had also coupled and fathered a half human half dragon.
‘My family’s customs are simple. He will have to marry me and father this indomitable child. It is law’ Tamara continued.
Reaves finally found his voice ‘Don’t preach me law you whore! You who laid your legs bare to the first male you could find, only he was not even your species. I would not be surprised to find you giving birth to a horse son one day!’
Tamara was shocked. Garge quickly got his wits under his control and murmured Reaves to control. Reaves, with a visible effort continued ‘I am sorry for that, it was not how I should talk to a woman. But if we do believed you and understand that the child is Garge’s then I could not gather what would you have us done? You want to coerce him into marriage, it is fair practice but futile as we are almost on the brink of extinction with your father’s armies on the coast ready to slaughter us. So what would you have us do?’
Tamara looked close to tears, and Garge suddenly recalled that night when he laid with her. It had something to do with watching her cry after the wolves have fled, after she was safe in Garge’s arms. She had cried for hours then and every tear she shed was a knife in Garge’s chest.
Apparently the entire hall felt the same way. More than one person looked ready to run to comfort her. Reaves felt the same way. She spoke again trembling ‘He would eventually kill me. And our child. Right after child was born he swore he would take the cord and use it to choke our child. And after the child has stopped breathing he would feed me his entrails and kill me. Those were his words. He doesn’t care for any of his children, neither me nor his elder son, the one who you killed on the island. He would kill us all of could just so he could exterminate all dragons.’
Now everyone was angry. Tamara had to be defended, everyone would agree on that. But what of Garge, that decision was pending. And he didn’t have a lot of hopes. So while they spoke on he quietly escaped the court and went to the terrace.
He loved the night sky. Thousands upon thousands of stars. So many that numbers would not suffice to count them. But doesn’t like them when he turned into dragon. Dragon eyes couldn’t appreciate that beauty. Only human eyes could.
Today the stars looked dimmer. He heard movement behind him and found Reaves with him. And a little behind Tamara. They were alone up on the terrace.
Reaves visage had none of the usual arrogance and looked somber. The guy next to him was his childhood friend, his only friend in a realm of nearly extinct race.
They needed to decide their next move. And about Tamara.
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Continued, check part 5
Aftermath of the fire match was worse than anticipated. Those soldiers who made into the shore in the first wave were gasping for air, smoke had lodged deep in their lungs. With some minor wounds and burns that were ignored in a desperate attempt to stay alive, they quickly began screaming in pain.
One of the ships carrying many doctors was burned in entirety. So now doctors were severely overburdened. Then came those who were had severe burns and injuries. They were found floating in the ocean, they pain had made them unconscious. Most of them were drifting out of consciousness. And the hospital camp was so full of them, their dreams consisting of fire and smoke. More than one of them woke up and quickly panicked seeing the candle flames. Controlling them was harder as where ever they had skin they had been burnt. One of the soldier was so badly burnt that he was unidentifiable. It was a surprise that he was alive.
Small rowboats were out in the ocean, trying to find more survivers. At least half of the King’s army was in the hospital screaming curses at those fire breathing reptiles.
King Prius had almost lost this war. All because of the stunt of his smaller brother on the island. Meeting the parley was a futile gesture, King knew but his brother along with two archers had went nonetheless. His headless corpse was found later.
But the King hadn’t lost all sense, at least the new General Turin hadn’t. As soon as they landed, trenches were dug in. Scorpions and crossbows were setup. Guard was put up, from those who could keep guard. Turin himself was a mess. His face was burned and though in agony he continued giving orders and leading the army.
Turin’s ships was one of the last one to be attacked. By that colossal black dragon, who flees because it suffered wounds in that ship. Someone named Davis had attacked. Davis now lay on a bed, his face marred up that he had difficulty eating or breathing. He wouldn’t last.
But the dragons had suffered too. Two carcasses were drifting in the ocean. A white dragon, and dark blue. Both had three or more shards of wood lodged in their bodies.
The dragons would pay soon King Prius knew.
Back in the dragon’s land, two men’s passing was mourned. Their widows were furious, ready to be the in the first wave of offense. Their children though never flew before were also greedy to have some human blood.
And Garge was recovering. Though his scales were impenetrable, if attacked then the wound surfaced after he turned back to human form. Along with the raw agony.
That’s why he fled. If his wounds surpassed normal human form he would die. Dragons aren’t invincible. And this was the main reason of death.
He was woke by noise of talking. He looked up to find all the powerful in his room. Reaves and Wesley and Deacon.
‘What’s the enemies losses?’ He managed to croak.
Reaves looked at him sharply, his eyes like knives. Wesley spoke ‘The attack was hugely successful. Their dead are burned as we speak. The entire coast is full of burning pyres. As if your charge left any skin left to burn.’ He grinned, bastard was enjoying this.
But Garge detected fear underneath. He looked at Deacon and knew directly.
The enemy was wounded. But it was in no way enough to cripple them, not enough to make them turn around. And he was one who ordered the two brave soldiers to their grave.
He began thinking of the girl who he rescued in the jungle so long ago. Who thanked his help by spending the weekend with him. If only he knew that would the cause of this, he would never have helped her.
Who was he kidding? He knew he would helped her nonetheless. What was her name? Ah, Tamara.
He looked back his childhood friend Reaves and realised that he longed to ask about that instance. That how his rescue would cause their imminent annihilation.
A soldier walked in. Garge recognized the soldier. He was the white dragon, Quentin’s younger brother. He looked ragged but angry.
‘Majesty?’ He asked ‘There are some humans caught trying to sneak in. Their leader pleaded me to find you. She said her name was Tamara.’
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Continued, check part 4:
Sargent Davis hated sea voyage. He always got seasick. Only good thing he could see was there was the land right in front of him. A few minutes more and they will be ashore.
And then Davis could pacify his revolting guts. Who cares what they are hunting? Kings make wars then make soldiers like him march. This will be always the rule.
Now they are facing dragons. Tomorrow they may face Krakens or something worse right out of hell. The trick was to keep head low, be aware and listen to instincts. His instincts always protected him.
And now he sensed something was about go real bad. Really really bad.
Davis looked at the captain of the ship, Turin. Turin never liked him, but maybe he will listen to warning. The warship leading was almost ashore, ships soldiers already armored and ready to brawl.
But there was no resistance observed there on the shore. No dragons. No men.
Excellent. But it looked like a trap. And Turin’s face betrayed the same.
Something made a huge splashing sound behind them. And then a howl rang out, loud enough to blow eardrums. A strong hot wind blew, a sound of a gush right behind their shows.
Davis turned and what he saw petrified him. No one had predicted this. A huge black dragon was coming out of the water, water was flowing down from his body like waterfall. He was larger than any other dragon Davis ever saw. And then the dripping dragon breathed fire. He twisted his head from one side to the next, a whole 180 degrees all the while he spat fire.
Sails and hulls caught fire, the heat was enough to cause agonizing burns to those in proximity of fire. In less than a second, more than 7 ships were on fire. And then dragon went under water again.
Davis quickly ducked and tried to go under the ship as soon as he saw the dragon. That helped somewhat. When dragon was back underwater, he glanced around. So many of the ship’s crew which were on broadside were burnt to crisp. None were moving. The captain Turin was moving and Davis saw that Turin’s face was burnt. The moans and cries of the writhing crew was not audible as commotions had started from other ships too. More dragons were coming out of water to burn ships. And because they were quickly inside water no scorpion could be aimed at them.
The rowing crew were still inside, aware of the commotion and probable fighting but rowing forward nonetheless. That was their job. To row.
Davis could not feel any pain, but that might be because he was in adrenaline rush. The pain will come later. Dragons were coming up more quickly than anticipated, burning more and more ships down. He saw a ship to his right being burned to a crisp. The rowers were being burnt inside, like in a furnace. He could see them trying to escape the ship from orifices that held the rows, their bodies being burned while they tried to escape.
This was bad. Almost every ship was burning, many have started to sink. And the saltwater of the ocean will cause agony of another dimensions to the crew.
The land! Just a couple of minutes away. The black dragon appeared again, this time in front of the ship. And instead of spitting fire he flew into the ship. With his tails, he quickly broke the scorpion into pieces. And then he made inferno.
He thrust his head inside the ship, breaking the wooden floor. And he opened fire. Even with so many screams all around them in the different ships, the screams coming from within were distinctive and clear. Hell! What happened on that island?!
Before Davis knew what was happening, he was up his sword in his hand and running towards the dragon. His scream was hoarse with smoke but quickly got others’ attention. Those who could, they lifted their arms and joined him.
He sprang into the creature’s back, scales slippy with water and thrust his sword deep. Or tried to. The scales were so tough the the sword bent. And others also had similar results. But the dragon howled and with a swift flick of his tail catapulted Davis into the sky.
Davis landed somewhere in the rocky part of the shore, face bloody and mangled.
But he was found alive after the inferno was over.
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Continued, see previous post part 3
Foreigner knew blood will be drawn. But the damn archers behind him were amateurs, they should nor stand behind me. They should move and flank the opponents. From where they stand, their aim was obstructed by foreigner himself.
Garge gave the order to Wesley. He could only hope the archers weren’t smart enough to discover their faulty positions. And before they do, the blood from foreigner would be dry.
Foreigner knew who was the real threat here. The one with the broadsword on his back. He was motionless, staring intently to the three foes. The broadsword couldn’t be swung so fast. The short swords would be the absolute victors here. But by the time they disengaged, if they could survive the armada would be picking up full speed. The island meet was a ruse, captains had orders to wait for ten minutes and then row in full speed.
So he gave an opening.
Garge saw foreigner glancing at the archers. And behind the archers he saw the ships gently rowing. This was a distraction! Now!
He moved like a snake, left hand flashing and throwing a knife at the first archer. No one expects him to carry concealed throwing knives. The knife hit perfectly in the neck of the archer, the other flinching from the attack. His right hand shot up and Icebreaker was out of the scabbard in an eye blink and cutting the air towards the foreigner’s head.
Foreigner moved at the last second, rolling towards the right to avoid the sword. Behind Garge, Wesley threw his throwing axe towards the second archer.
Archer dodged but by the time he recovered, Wesley and Reaves was on him. He didn’t have a chance and was down in a second.
Foreigner saw he was outnumbered. And the one with broadsword was faster than lightening. He knew he would be dead soon.
‘How about that champion?’
Garge smiled and attacked. His broadsword was blocked twice before his feigned swing to the neck came down at the stomach. Icebreaker sliced through skin like butter.
All three were breathing fiercely. The island meet was turned up against them. Invaders weren’t scared and their intent was more dire than previously thought. And to think they are the last settlement of dragons…
That later. Garge picked up command easily and called them to turn. But the problem with the close ship was the scorpion. None of them could be allowed to be injured or worse.
‘We fly close low. And fast’
Garge ran towards the homeland, others close by, following on his heels. He muttered a small spell, and he began transforming.
Turning to dragon the first time was the worst. The skin starts boiling, and with each centimeter of soft skin changing into scales, the pain experienced is almost unbearable. And underneath their bones elongate and wings spring from the back.
After turning so many times, the one second pain was almost bearable. Almost. Three howled in the pains and turned. The running helped pick up speed and they cruised across the ocean.
Garge, huge and black. Reaves on his left, brown. And Wesley on the right, green. They could see their own reflections in the water. No matter how many times they saw that, seeing it again was breathtaking.
As they reached homeland the reverted back to human forms to talk. Garge immediately barked orders at a messenger to assemble ten strong and swift fliers.
‘Mind telling me why he named you?!’ Reaves shouted from behind him.
‘I did meet and rescue a girl’ Garge began ‘but never saw this coming. Would you have seen this outcome?’
‘How stupid are you?’ Wesley began, clearly happy with the mistake, ‘you know how those humans are. Always looking for new things to tame and kill. Now they are here for us.’
Deacon intervened before things got out of hand ‘Can we burn them over the sea?’
When no answer came forth he understood. But quickly realised Garge’s orders were to the very contrary.
‘What are you thinking of doing Garge?’
‘I am going to give you a window here. They have picked up speed. They will be here before the hour’s out. I am going to halt their progress for a while, trying to make sure I take as many of them I can.’
The bastards had protected themselves against the sky. But they forgot the waters.
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Continuation, check previous post, part 2
Hundreds. It seemed as if the next incoming wave was full of ships. They must been tens of thousands on board.
‘I told you a war was coming. Whoever they are, they must have heard the same tales and came here to tame dragons, to tame us.’ Wesley said. He was the only one who was smiling. Who was happy.
Garge, Reaves and all the soldiers were grim. This was not going to be a war. This will be a massacre, their massacre.
‘Deacon, start readying troops. Accumulate stores and get ready for a siege. We could not hold the shore, but if we let them land we are doomed. What should be done here?’ Reaves mused out loud.
Rookie mistake, Garge knew, to muse out loud in front of soldiers. But he couldn’t take his eyes off the scene. The blue horizon marred by brown tiny ships.
This is bad. Deacon estimated that the ships will be here by evening.
‘They want dragons don’t they? Let’s make them meet’ Wesley said ‘at sea they are defenseless, once we start burning none will survive. No harm to us.’
‘It is genocide. Destruction of such a scale would bring more people here. After all, so many ships can’t just disappear at sea’ Reaves muttered.
Deacon offered ‘You remember the island of San Viet?’
Of course, San Viet was visible in front of them. So close that it would need five minutes of flight to reach.
Garge got it. So did Reaves.
Five minutes later, three dragons rose from the coast. All the soldiers from the ships can see tiny specks in the sky, looking like birds but weren’t birds. The on board soldiers began shouting and pointing at the enemies in the skies and saw three descend into an island a little ahead of the coastline.
Sometime later, the Armada stopped and only one ship, seemingly the biggest of them proceeded towards the island. A small row boat, having three passengers and a rower reached the shore.
They were huge. Each of them was six feet tall at least, wearing nothing but armor and weapons. The one on the forefront was clearly their leader, as it was he who spoke first ‘In a small island like this, where would the dragons hide?’
‘They are capable of hiding themselves’ Reaves answered.
‘They? Or you?’
Shock was registered at Reaves face which pleased the foreigner. He continued
‘We know of you dragons, we have fought with you a long time ago. But then we were weak and outnumbered. Now, we are enough to have your species decimated three times over. We are sailing from shore to shore, killing your kind for your past deeds. And if we know true, you are the remnants of the fiercest creatures. And after you, men like us will rule.’
Reaves couldn’t speak for a while. Wesley’s knuckles were cracking, and smoke puffed out if his nostrils.
‘And there is your mighty army? You know if wood catches fire it would be really impossible to save the ship?’ Garge cut in.
The foreigner turned his eyes on him. He had icy blue eyes that sends shivers down your spine.
‘Have you wondered by now how we came to know of your existence? I mean this is a far land and your kind here is peaceful. So how?’ Foreigner digressed.
‘One of my daughters failed to reach home by sunset one evening. She didn’t come home the next night too. But when she did, she said that she was chased by wolves. She couldn’t fend for herself because they were too many. She said a fire breathing bird saved her. A dragon by the name Garge.’
If this was supposed to unsettle Garge, foreigner was disappointed. Garge, didn’t so much as twinge when he spoke ‘We will burn your armies before they land on our shore.’
‘And even before you can come close to breath fire among us, you will be shot down from the skies. Look at our ships,they are armored and defensive against things in the skies.’ As he said that he pointed towards his ship, and even though it was far, it wasn’t difficult to spot the giant scorpion on the ship.
No one could say anything. They wanted war, but this was going to be their end. They knew it in their bones, because the enemy knew them, knew how to kill them.
‘So you want to waste so much life just so you can kill us. I have heard of a practice to use champions..’ Reaves began pathetically but foreigner cut him off ‘You think I’ll willingly send one champion against a dragon? And what makes you think I would let them happen when I have gotten you cornered so easily.’
He waited to see the reactions in each of his opponents and smiled when he saw fear. He knew half the war is over.
He got up and removed his short swords, one in each hand. Behind him, both the soldiers had their arrows notched. The situation changed so suddenly and Garge knew there was only one way out of this. To cut his opponents down.
Wesley looked in ecstasy. Reaves looked as if he would shit himself.
‘Wesley, I know you want to but make sure that Reaves got out of here alive. You will get your blood sooner than you think.’
Out of the corner of his eyes, Wesley nodded.
War, here we come.
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(Check out previous post, part 1)
King Reaves loved this hall. It smelled like fire and smoke, like ash. And its his home. But his father lost this. How could he!
He never forgave his father. For being a loser. Dragons could not lose. We are invincible, even our names would ingrain fear in enemies’ bones.
And when we turn and soar up in the skies….
‘You summoned me, Majesty’ Garge said as he came into the hall. Garge was every bit as what a dragon should be. Huge, at least 6 feet tall, strong and muscular. Long black hair, always wearing his accustomed white coat with black trousers. Carrying a named broadsword at his back.
The Last King’s Broadsword, Icebreaker. Given to Garge as an honor for being far better at swordsmanship than any other in the realm. Or whatever is left of the realm.
‘Did you know my Father, the senile lizard made his last stand here twenty years ago?’ Reaves began ‘He turned here, and breathed fire at each and every soldier who came up that door. It is said that he nearly burned the King himself. The enemies waited till he tired and then they attacked all at once from all directions possible and killed him. Well most of them were burned their armor melted and stuck to their skins, only a handful survived. Not without burns. That was the bravest thing my Father did.’
Reaves knew Garge admired his Father. But he liked teasing nonetheless. Garge said nothing in reply, just stared like he always did.
It was said that he always stood that way, broadsword at his back in practice arena. Never moved and made his opponents sweat. By the time any movement happened, the opponent’s hands were so sweaty that they had difficulty holding the sword. And also because Garge was lightening fast.
‘Wesley says scouts spotted some ships across the sea. He is sure that the enemy, whoever they are, are coming.’ Reaves said.
‘Your permission, Majesty?’ Garge began, sounding all humble. Reaves nodded waiting to hear his best friends honest words. Words he was sure will be contrary to his own.
‘Wesley would pick a fight with his dead mother because he likes the adrenaline rush. And because he would be hard for a night’s whoring then. You seriously going to have’ his word on imminent battle?’
They both stated at each other for a second the burst out laughing. None of them had believed Wesley’s word. Yet they had to talk about this.
‘The two captives?’
‘They swear they are alone. Here to catch a dragon. Guess they are caught off guard’
They eventually went to the get their lunch. All the high members of the realm joined them on the table. There was Wesley, he was another hunter like Garge, and was always desperate for a fight. He was a captain in a small platoon. Deacon, an elderly general, one who rescued Reaves and Garge twenty years ago leads the armies, maintains peace and handles all judicial functions. Vagh handles the exchequer of the people, levies taxes. Most of them are Reaves childhood friends.
Pearl joined them, she was the beauty of the realm and Reaves betrothal. Every man who could like Reaves, was jealous because he would marry Pearl.
As ate, hands filthy with grease and half drunk on rum a soldier rushed into the room and urgently spoke to Deacon’s ears.
‘Where are your manners soldier?! You are here in front of your King and you dare ignore asking his permission’ Wesley roared.
Reaves and Garge share a tiny smile, knowing full well this was what Wesley does best. But Deacon had lost all the color from his face. Everyone soon noticed that and urged him to speak.
‘Majesty, on the sea.’ He took a deep breath and continued ‘There’s ships inbound. Apparently hundreds of them.’
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(Since I missed a couple of days in my routine, and I have 10 posts left, I’ll make a long fictional fantasy story. This can be seen as a continuation of a previously written fiction:
Let’s Catch A Dragon.)
Garge hated this hall. It was too big. Too stark a reminder of the dark days of the past. Of the days when they walked as their True Form.
They were proud. Egotistical. They thought of themselves as invincible. And when they lost, they were too few to even hold hostage. So they were left where they were. Discarded after conquer. Some women they took as hostages and slaves. After all, men liked to brag about their conquests. Garge’s sister was one those who taken. He was five at that time.
Now, twenty years later, fire lands were at peace. Subdued. But like always, pride returns. And so they returned to their own lands. To this colossal palace. Because of their King. Because of the son of the King who lost twenty years ago.
Because of the two lone warriors who had traveled far from their lands to capture dragons. They swore no one ordered them. They swore they were alone, no armies were marching behind them to battle. But their King saw this as an act of war.
So, after twenty years the Dragons were preparing for war.
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