The Shattered Plateau

[ “Tales Of  The Mountain child”  Story 5]

 

 A crash of thunder mixed with the crash of Vjera’s talons slamming into the surface of the stone plateau. Kordan leapt out of the way and then found himself ducking under a swinging tail. The queen leapt to the floor as the great scaly object swung in a full circle and smashed through every standing pillar, sending them crashing to the streets below.

  As it turned, Kordan leapt up and drove his sword into its chest, it recoiled slightly. The warrior leapt back as a flurry of claws tried to tear him apart. The dragon did not seem bothered by the hole in its chest.

  Rain began to fall as the lightning became more intense; Kordan felt the grips of his swords become slippery as the water ran over them and the blade. He dodged another tail as the beast took its attentions to the Queen cowering at the edge of the plateau.

  Vjera toyed with her; it poked a talon at her and dragged her slightly across the floor. She remained silent with fear, anticipating the piercing of her flesh. Before it could finish its play, two blades severed its talon. Kordan stood strong, and Vjera turned back to human form, his human face reflecting pain. 

“So you do feel pain,” Kordan jeered.

“Not a scratch on the slow and painful death you will endure my friend.”

  Kordan stabbed forward but Vjera turned into a mouse to duck the blow. The mountain child tried to stamp on the creature but failed. Before he knew it, a tiger was upon him; it tore his chain mail shirt open and then stamped on him as an elephant. He felt his ribs splinter and shatter, his breath was stolen and his vision blurred into a fuzzy array of moving colours.

  The weight was released and he squirmed in pain, his vision returned to see Vjera standing over him, smiling. The dragon wasted no time in driving his sword through Kordan’s chest.

“Legend?” he said, almost offended “you are nothing more than a child”

  A surge of adrenaline burst into the warrior’s veins as he rose up through the sword until its hilt rested against his bloody chest.  He stabbed his own sword into the dragon, sending it shooting out the other side. Both men stood still and silent, impaled on their opponent’s blade.

  Kordan raised his second blade and slammed it through Vjera’s throat. The man beast gurgled and his eyes glazed over. When the Dragon’s breathing stopped, Kordan pulled himself free of the tangle of blades and slumped against a crumbled pillar.

  The rain washed a river of blood from his chest and off of the edge of the plateau. His breath became laboured and his eyesight began to fail. The queen shuffled over to his resting place and placed a cold hand on his cheek.

“Dear Kordan, you have suffered worse…you cannot die.” She began to sob. “You are a dragon slayer, you have saved my kingdom, please, please live.”

“I have earned a warrior’s rest” Kordan croaked with blood trickling from his mouth.

“I could kill you now” Said a newly arrived voice “but I don’t think you would appreciate being killed by a woman”

  The bandit’s daughter stood by what was once a stairwell. Her dark hair lay wet and strewn over her pale face; she was grimacing at the sight before her. She stepped slowly over to Kordan and stood at his feet.

  The dying man’s wavering eyes met hers and he smiled slightly. The girl knelt on his other side and stared into his eyes with her icy blue gaze. Her eyes watered slightly with feelings of anger and hate, but also admiration and envy.

“My Queen” she said quietly “every monster and beast in the land has turned on us, under the promises of a man named Fryst”

“The Dragon fought under the same cause,” she said, casting a gesture to Vjera’s corpse.

“It is a dark day for humanity, we are what they wish to eradicate, we are outnumbered and entering a battle that is already lost. I know of many dragons still dwelling in the mountains that will rise up to Vjera’s call. That is dangerous alone, without the aid of Leviathans and Giants. Even your common domestic hound will turn on its master.

“What is to be done” The Queen sighed “My kingdom is in disarray, I could never muster an army during these affairs.

“Fryst must be killed,” she said simply.

  The Queen cast a tearful eye at Kordan, but the man was already dead. The legend lie cold and lifeless between the two women.

“A legend and an era as ended here…and with it, ends our hope of killing Fryst.”

  The girl stood up and looked down at her superior “If we are all doomed to die, what is there to be lost in killing Fryst ourselves”

  The Queen stared on in silence.

  The thunder rumbled.

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