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Dragon Hide

“Go get a dragon hide they said. It will be an adventure they said. You will be rich and have all the women you ever wanted. Fuck, why the hell am I doing this?!”

“Shut up Theos! You have a few people helping you out. And it isn’t even fully grown yet!” Bruits yelled back to him.

Up front ahead of those two yelling back and forth to one another a younger woman rolled her eyes to the stupid pair. A bow was slung across her back as she still listened to the two bicker to one another. Atlena had a sharp eye, even for an elf, and she was quick with wit as well which is why she was here.

“Shut up both of you! We are almost there anyways!” Ezra scolded the two of them. She was the only one who knew where this dragon rested during the day and had to get the rest of the lot to follow her to it.

This rag-tag group had about six or seven of a lower town guard following them up this mountain with about three city guard after those, about fourteen in all. That should be enough to take out a young dragon because most of them claimed to be trained well enough to be on this trip. Just it probably would have been a good thing to bring along a cleric or a priest of sorts. Someone who was trained in the art of healing but no one thought to do that. They were already a day’s track up the mountain side too so there was no turning back to get one.

“Hey! Missy! How much longer until we get there?” Bruits yelled up to Ezra.

“My name is Ezra idiot! And probably another half mile or so! It will be quicker if you just shut up and follow me like a knight is supposed to do!”

Atlena snickered to that as they continued to climb the incline. Most of the rest of it was spent chatting between one another and some arguing between the guards and others. No one was killed though which is a good sign. They got to the entrance of the cave about fifteen minutes later when Ezra hushed them and stopped them from going in.

“Alright from here we have to be quite. There are many man killers in here besides that dragon so we must be careful here.” She told to everybody in a hushed tone.

Theos looked around at everybody and whispered something softly under his breath before he held up his hand. What came out of it was an orb about the size of a head that gave a soft, pale blue glow. It did not seem that bright at first but when they slowly started to head into the cave system it lit up everything around them in a twenty foot radius. That hopefully should be enough to see anything that might be coming at them. Plus the elf could see really well in the dark for some odd reason, but it was a trait they possessed none the less. One of the guards took a torch and went out to the edge of the light as they traveled in to give them a lighter path. Ezra thought it was stupid of him to do so but did not bother to stop him from being the one to be attacked first.

They went into the cave system all confident and ready to have some fun killing stuff before finally getting into a bigger room than before. It looked like a grand hall if it was not for everything being torn down and in shatters. Most of the group wondered who the hell lived here before the small dragon took it over. The light stretched out well and there was some natural sunlight coming in from some makeshift windows in the mountain walls.

“This place is something else that I must say. And this is only one room! Think that they carved out everything else in this entire mountain and made it into a city? If so hopefully we brought enough rations to be able to allow us to survive such a thing.” Theos admired.

The moment he finished everybody shushed him because if they were really quite, there was the sound of slithering all around them. Most of the guards already had their hands on their weapons, but now they were drawn to full extent getting ready for a fight. Atlena had her bow drawn looking around quickly because being able to see in the dark is good for this sort of thing. Yet either the thing was moving too fast or it was too far back for her to be able to see. Standing on the edge of the room surrounded in light did not help their situation being an obvious target. Bruits moved out to the outer ring with his great sword drawn, both hands gripping tightly around the leather hilt to make sure it wouldn’t just fling from his hands. Ezra kept close to the edge of the circle of guards but never out of it holding her cross bow ready to fire. Theos was right in the center, shaking of what was going on around them and not entirely too sure how to handle this situation.

Out from the shadows leaped a great snake, a basilisk, which lunged towards one of the town guards and caught him by the shoulder making him topple over and fall to the floor. There were punctures inside the chainmail that the snake’s fangs bore into for a split second before releasing. He was unable to get up after that.

“He is north, towards the windows!” Atlena exclaimed out to the rest. Next thing that happened was an arrow flew towards it from her bow and a loud hiss was heard. Not good, she just pissed off the big snake that can paralyze people.

A few cross bow bolts flew after it and from what most could only hear most of them missed the thing. Two of the towns guard when forward and as did one of the city guards with their swords drawn. Over their heads came a sizzling sound, a soft thump on the ground, a little bit of a smooth stone rolling on the ground, then nothing. A second after no sound an explosion went off and there now was a bright white light emitting from the bomb like item. There was no harm but most of the people had to squint badly in order to see though the bright light. Some may go partially blind after the exposure. But that was the plan Ezra had. It exposed the basilisk and blinded it completely as it went off leaving it only to use its sense of smell and hearing to find the group.

“When I said there were men killers I meant there were men killers!” Ezra yelled as the three that stepped out got to the huge snake.

Swords flew at the massive beast trying to hack or stab it to bits. Crimson liquid poured everywhere on them and around them as one of the guards took to the heart and killed the beast.

“That wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. I must be great at doing this.” He boasted. It was too soon because the snake lunged forward and launched its teeth into him through the plate mail killing him instantly.

“That is what he gets for thinking he did that on his own.” Theos commented before walking over to the guard on the ground. He was not fantastic at healing people, hell he had no idea even how to splint an arm, but he did know about poisons. He checked for a pulse on the one that did not have any major organs hit before shaking his head slowly.

“He is dead too. The venom got into his system quickly and ended up getting into his nervous system. From there it was quick shutdowns of the brain, liver, and other things. It was not so much painful as it was numbing.”

“This guy is obviously dead over here.” Bruits stated matter-of-factly. Guess he was trying to compensate for what he lacked in compared to Theos. Or try and calm his nerves from the snake.

“I am taking what I can off of the town guard, hopefully he might have something useful.” Atlena claimed.

“And I the city guard!” Ezra yelled.

They ransacked the corpses as if they have done it thousands of times before. Death did not seem to bother them in the least, and it really did not. Only due to the fact that one of them was constantly hired out to murder others for a living and the other hunted and killed a lot so was used to death. Grabbing some chainmail from the town guard Atlena put it on and took his short sword too. Maybe useful in the future if she ever had to get close combat. Ezra got some more bolts from the guy and an extra dagger just in case she would have to use this one as a throwing weapon. Bruits put on the plate armor to better protect him even though it was a little big on him. Even with it punctured his rationale was that some protection besides leather was better than no protection at all. It might weigh him down but that is not the biggest of his problems. Theos went off to the side and puked. Poor guy.

“Alright to the next room!” Ezra yelled shoving Bruits out front.

“Hey watch it girly!” he hollered back. Yet the guy continued to move forward.

Eventually they found their way to stair case without too much trouble. Not many things besides adapted animals live up here and if they did it were something short of a miracle on their behalf to be able to live up here. At least this group was only going to be here for a week, maybe just slightly longer if they can find more food and not actually live up here.

They moved down the many, many miles of steps to reach what seemingly was the last level. Most were out of breath and had to stop for a few minutes while those that could defend themselves and see in the dark moved out to find a safe place to camp. They all took turns to watch for anything that would come out and get them or try and harm them. Not much came, a few other creatures that go bump in the night to scare little kids. Or grown men from what it seemed with Theos. The guy could hardly sleep at all at night, or day it was hard to tell as they got deeper into the mountain.

“We are almost out of food, out of water, and we are not even near the dragon yet. Honestly I say fuck it lets go home!” Bruits exclaimed as they were climbing down the last flight of stairs. There were muffled agreements with him from the guards that came with them.

“We are almost there I promise!” Ezra yelled back.

“You said that three days ago!”

“This time I mean it. There are no more stairs!”

“We are tired, thirsty, and hungry. If we even find this fucking dragon would we even be able fight it properly. Just pray it takes pity on us and lets us leave!”

There were more grumbled agreements with him as they made their way down the last few steps. What they saw before them was no baby dragon as Ezra and the rest believed it was. It was as big as the city was because the last flight of stairs took them hours upon hours to get down themselves. Its claws were as big as the hall they went into when they first got here, eyes red as the blood that flowed through them, and teeth covered in that as well.

“Yeah…let’s go back.” Ezra said. All agreed and fled.

Short Stories


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