The Dragon Slayer's Dilemma Ch. 01byGeminiKnight©
Looking over the fields below, the morning sun lighting the carnage from last night's battle with the dragon armies of the Madarian Empire, Khelvan heaved a tired sigh. The wars had been going on longer than anyone could remember, the reasons for the war long since forgotten but the boiling hate between the two powerful nations enduring. The humans had sent emissaries for peace talks before many times hoping to end this eternal conflict with the dragons. But dragons had long memories and held grudges for centuries or more. He had slain so many of the wyrms that his hands would forever be tainted with the blood of dragons. He began his slow descent into the plain below, rivulets of sweat running down his back as he trudged along in his dragon scale armor. His enchanted swords bouncing lightly against his thighs as the soft ground crunched under his boots. He was a warrior but he had great skill in different types of magic. He laughed inwardly at the memory of how astounded people usually were to learn that of him. While it was true that he was human he did possess the blood of the celestials coursing thru his veins.
Across the barren plain littered with so many dead she stood on a high bluff her keen dragon eyes looking over the same field as the human from the realm of Arborea. Her wings flapped lazily in the morning breeze keeping her cool despite the already enormous heat. But she was a dragon and this heat was only a nuisance to her. Autha narrowed her eyes seeing the carrion creatures already picking at the corpses from the previous night's battle with the humans. They were such a fickle race, humans, and yet she always found them intriguing. Of all the mortal races humans had one of the shortest lifespans but they were one of the most prolific. Shaking her head, Autha spread her wings and leaped off of the bluff with her powerful legs, catching an updraft to lift her body. Gliding on the warm air currents she began a lazy circle of the battlefield looking for any wounded of her kind. She was a healer, an oddity since her particular specie of dragonkind was usually more apt toward spells and hexes to defeat enemies.
This last battle with the reptilian beasts had taken a great toll on the human kingdoms. Corpses littered the field, human and dragon alike, but for every dragon there were ten humans. Scanning the field his sight was drawn to a form moving above thru the sky, quickly he drew his blades, using the large oak nearby for cover. He knew what the beast was, a dragon, and it seemed that it had survived the battle unlike most of its companions. Khelvan sat in the shade of that oak tree watching the dragon carefully. From this distance it was hard to pick out details save that he could see it possessed black scales. His eyes narrowed dangerously, black dragons were the worst, most foul of dragonkind, and ones not to be trifled with if it was possible to avoid them. Being in the open field as he was he would be easy prey for the dragon should he leave the concealment given to him by the tree. Sighing, he sat and waited knowing that was his only option unless he wished to confront the beast.
The stench of the decaying bodies assailed her keen sense of smell as Autha glided over the field, occasionally beating her wings to maintain altitude well out of bow shot for any human archers. She feared little from them anyway as her obsidian scales were as hard as plate armor but it was still wise to be prudent. Most likely at least one dragon slayer would be among the humans and if he had survived it could spell her doom. Seeing nothing but a field of dead the female dragon decided to depart the area finally after she swept across the field once more. Turning to the east she began her journey toward a large lake she had seen previously, desperately in need to bathe and perhaps catch a small deer drinking from the water to feast on. She looked one last time as she sailed noiselessly over a large oak tree something alerting her senses. Quickly she scanned the area her keen eyes able to pick out the detail of each blade of grass below. Sniffing softly it had hit her then just as she circled the tree once more, the smell of human sweat. It was fresh and pungent, leaving no doubt that at least one human below still lived and was hiding in the shadow cast by the tree. Quickly she banked away and began to descend, carefully observing the tree for any signs of movement until she settled on the patched earth. Her talons digging into the soft loam as she squatted down on her haunches tucking her wings tightly to her back to avoid them giving her away or if she had to fight, to avoid them being damaged as much as possible.
This dragon was certainly an intelligent beast, but all dragons were to some degree highly intelligent. But this black one was more so then any dragon he had met before. As it descended he could make out more details of it, realizing that it was in fact a female of the species. Though her body was covered from the top of her triangular head down to the very tips of her taloned feet, he could tell she did not have the bulky form of a male dragon but instead possessed the sweeping curves of a female. He edged around the tree watching her descend knowing that she had likely sensed his presence even if she did not know where he was. But since the only cover in the entire field was right where he was there was little doubt where he would be hiding. He watched her land gracefully, her leathery wings tucking tightly against her back, a wise move for her to make. A dragon's wings were its most vulnerable spot and slayers are trained to go for the wings first and disable the dragon's ability to fly, the old saying being, "A downed dragon is a dead dragon."
This human certainly was skilled at concealing himself from sight, she thought to herself as she crept along low to the ground. Her tail swayed behind her with every movement an extension of the gentle swell of her posterior, something she was quite proud of. Licking her muzzle she sighed softly, feeling the cool breeze caressing her scales, Autha scanned around the oak for the human she could smell there. He must be trained as a slayer she thought with a sense of trepidation, and there could be more of them hiding nearby. Of all humans, dragon slayers were the ones she feared and despised the most, centuries of conflict caused by the action of one human slayer who launched a campaign of revenge against her kind. It was long before her time, before even that of her parents, their parents still barely out of the hatchling stage. Looking back at the oak tree, Autha roared in surprise when she saw the human leap out at her from behind a pile of corpses, bearing twin blades etched with Elvin runes.
He moved quickly, noticing the dragon's attention waiver from his hiding spot, he had to get out of here quickly but he could not leave the dragon alive to pursue him either. Moving low across the field he flanked the female beast using the corpses of some of her brethren for cover until he was close enough to strike. Seeing her attention focused on the tree again and away from him he readied his blades, leaping over the pile to strike at her quickly and injure her wings so she could not escape by the air. But the dragon was even faster despite her surprise, she quickly turned toward him, roaring in alarm and protest as she rolled to her back. Using her powerful tail to support her weight, she thrust her feet out at him, grabbing his wrists in her tight grip she wrenched the blades from him, sending them spinning off out of reach. His momentum carried him over the female as she rolled back and pushed him off with her strong legs sending him bouncing across the ground until he settled back under the oak tree.
Autha let out a sigh of relief, having blunted the human's surprise attack on her she had regained the initiative from him. But she did not expect it to end just with that. Regaining her feet she turned to face him again her tail lashing against the ground taking in his appearance now that she had him in her sight. He was a tall, robust specimen of humans, even under the scale armor covering his frame she could tell that he was healthy and strong. Curling her fingers to extend her claws she slowly approached him, speaking to him in the vulgar tongue of his kind, "I do not intend you harm, human. Leave now peacefully or I will have to do so." He barked with laughter, a vicious smile creasing his weathered face, "Do you think I fear you, dragon? I would not have attacked you if I did." Stopping, Autha stared at the human in stunned silence, he had replied to her in perfect Draconic, each syllable and tone spoken as fluently as if he were a dragon. Shaking her head, she halted her approach, "Perhaps you do not bet I have bested you and spared your life. Go now from this place of death or become a part of it."
Khelvan knew he had taken her by surprise when he replied to her in her own language, having studied dragons in depth his whole life, he find it wise to learn the language of the beasts he vowed to destroy one by one. Seeing her halt, he waited cautiously bringing the words of summoning to his lips but waiting to speak them aloud. She was fast and if he gave away what he was doing she would most likely leap upon him before he could act. Though he had battled many dragons he always had the advantage until now. She was right that she had bested him and she could have easily killed him if she wanted to. But she spared his life for whatever reason she had. Seeing her pause he quickly said the word of power, his twin Elvin crafted blades reappearing in his hands as if they were always there. Immediately he tucked into a forward roll angling his body to try to get around the dragon. Again she was faster than he was, performing a quick pirouette to her left, bringing her thick tail low and fast. Catching him in the chest, he sailed back against the tree again dropping his blades as he crashed into the trunk.
Autha leaped quickly her wings spreading to assist in her glide toward the human, pinning him to the ground with her weight. The dragon panted softly her chest heaving as she felt him stiffen under her, his eyes a deep rich blue like sapphires catching her in his intense gaze. "Go on, beast, finish me," he growled in defiance awaiting the fate which he believed she would give him. Leaning down toward him, her muzzle mere inches from his face, "Do not call me Beast, human, I have a name." Looking at her, his defiance still staring out at her, he cracked a wry smile, "Fine then what is it? I have a name too so why do we not share that delight so you know who you are eating." She growled at him deeply, "You could not pronounce it in your vulgar tongue and I will not let you sully my race's noble language any further." He barked in laughter, raising the female dragon's ire even more, "Then what should I call you since you do not wish to be called beast or dragon?" Autha stopped for a moment, he had caught her off guard with his question, but it was valid, grudgingly she accepted his logic. "So be it, you may call me, Onyx."
Khelvan watched the dragon pondering his question, he knew it had made her think and show that he was not just a dumb primate as most dragons seemed to perceive humans. Seeing that she did not intend to kill him, at least not yet, he began to relax slightly. There was no point in resisting further at that moment since the dragon who called herself Onyx had the upper hand on him. He would wait and bide his time before he made so foolish a move again. Reflecting at the short fight he realized that he had underestimated her. Even though by all signs she was still a young dragon, he could tell she was a very skilled warrior. Swallowing slightly he coughed looking up at her, "Then my name is Khelvan Ergothson." Onyx's eyes widened at the declaration of his name, he had killed many of her kind. She looked away for a moment emerald green eyes flitting over him quickly, "I have heard of you before, Khelvan Ergothson. You have killed many of my kind." She looked away for a moment, deep in thought as she receded to some distant place in her memory, "Yes I know of you very well. You are the slayer that killed my father."
Autha looked down at him again, her eyes showing a mixture of emotions that Khelvan never thought possible for a dragon to possess. He watched as her mouth opened her teeth extending into very sharp, deadly fangs. He had witnessed many times the power of a dragon's bite, it could easily take a man's arm off. Swallowing he kept his gaze locked on her, not showing an ounce of fear as he waited for his fate. She leaned down closer to him, her breath hot against his face, "By all rights I should kill you now, Khelvan the Wyrmslayer. But I hesitate, I do not desire to end your pitiful life." Sitting back, she lifted from his chest rolling back to her feet as she backed away from the prostrate human.
Gasping from feeling her weight lift off of him,
Khelvan sat up eyeing her warily before getting to his feet, "You say my life is pitiful when dragons have rained terror and death upon humans for centuries? Yet you lack the will to kill me, one of the greatest enemies of dragons. Why?" He was utterly confounded by her action, she had him at her mercy and could have ended his life easily but she chose not to. She looked him over again, "I have seen enough death this day, both of humans and dragons. Killing you now would serve no greater purpose." Now he watched her in stunned silence for a long moment, he had never expected a dragon to show mercy, especially to one such as him. Nodding his acceptance of her decision, he picked up his swords, tucking them back into their sheaths, "Very well, Onyx. Since you spared my life this day I will not pursue you further and attempt to slay you."
Autha laughed at his remark, a soft dulcet sound that was unexpected from her, "You certainly are bold, Khelvan Ergothson. I bested you and spared your life and you talk as if you will still defeat me." She adjusted her shift, the silken material feeling smooth against her scales, the only clothing she wore to cover her female form, one that many male dragons found pleasing to the eye. Many had competed to be her mate but so far none had she found worthy. Reflecting inwardly, she sighed, most males were the same, wanting to destroy humans and establish dragons as the superior race. She had studied the ancient texts though and knew that once long ago dragons and humans had lived harmoniously together, each helping the other in a mutually beneficial society.
Khelvan watched her silently, his eyes grazing over her form. Gnawing on his lip, he felt a stirring inside of him, something unexpected and a little frightening to him. She was right, she had bested him but she chose not to kill him. Seeing her sigh, he wondered what she could have been thinking about then, "What is disturbing you, Onyx?" Looking up at him, Autha felt a curious sensation in her chest, "I don't think you would understand, Khelvan Ergothson. It is a very ancient history passed down thru generations of dragons. And one that I have trouble believing was possible." Raising an eyebrow, he stepped closer to Autha, "Try me at least. What would it hurt? And please, call me Khelvan." Thinking for a moment, she shrugged her shoulders, "I suppose but it is a long tale. Do you have a beast of burden that you humans seem to prefer using over your own feet?"
He laughed softly, "Aye but I left her at the top of the hill I was on." He turned his head looking up to where he had tethered his steed, a fine chestnut colored Lercian mare. Nodding, Autha turned and began walking toward the hill, her wings flapping slightly to fan herself, "Then I suppose we should retrieve your mount. I would prefer to fly as much as possible but I would quickly leave you behind if you were on foot." Following along beside her, Khelvan looked at Autha in incredulous wonder, "And where are we going while you tell me this tale of yours." The dragoness shrugged her shoulders lightly, "There is a lake not too far from her, a half-day's flight for me. So we should reach it by nightfall with your horse."
The pair ascended the hill together reaching the top quickly where Khelvan had set up his camp. Having broken camp already that morning, he quickly gathered his belongings and mounted Jasmina, his horse and companion for many years now. Feeling her trepidation at the presence of the dragoness he patted the mare's neck gently, "It's okay, girl, she is with me." Autha snorted in laughter, spreading her wings she kicked off the ground to gain altitude circling around the clearing slowly, "Let us go now, Khelvan. I wish to reach the lake before nightfall and bathe. You should do so too, you smell of stale sweat and blood."
They traveled throughout the rest of the day, man and dragon together, a very odd and unlikely pairing to any that may see them on the road. But the road remained clear and quiet during their journey while Autha recounted the ancient histories to him, telling him of a time when dragons and humans lived in harmony. For his part, Khelvan impressed her with his insightful questions and logical reasoning of events far into the past for his kind, so far that they were likely gone from memory for almost all humans but still fresh in the long memories of dragons.
As the twin suns began to wane casting the land in deep shades of scarlet and gold they reached the lake that Autha had mentioned. Looking over the smooth, shimmering water, Khelvan realized he knew this place from a long ago memory. This was where he had called home as a child, his village on the distant shore, marking the last settlement in the Kingdom of Arborea before the land turned into the endless frontier where only the dragons had explored. The pair descended to a clearing on the edge of the lake settling down for the night as shadows fell over the forest. Tying up Jasmina, Khelvan set about preparing camp and began making a meager dinner, looking up at Autha, "I imagine you will hunt for your own food." She laughed at his statement, "Of course. Though there are no deer around for me to feast on. A pity but I suppose I shall find some fish in the lake."
Grasping the bottom of her shift, Autha pulled it over her head, casting it aside as she caught Khelvan's eyes on her. Standing before him fully nude, she could see his eyes scanning her body, going over the swell of her pert breasts capped by pink nipples the rest being the silvery grey scales of her chest and belly. She smiled at herself as his eyes dipped down the juncture of her legs. Unlike female humans her sex was devoid of hair, instead being surrounded again by smooth scales the same color of those covering her chest. Turning from him she splashed out into the water and quickly dived under feeling the coolness cleansing her body and quelling some of the heat burning inside of her. As she swam beneath the crystal surface of the lake she could not deny that she had felt a strange flutter in her stomach and a moistness forming in the crevice of her femininity when she saw Khelvan's eyes upon her.
Khelvan gulped when Autha removed her shift his eyes drinking in her nude form. He couldn't believe what he was seeing before him, he couldn't believe he what he was feeling as he looked at the dragoness. Her body was perfectly shaped as she stood upright before him, the gentle curve of her ripe breasts and hips making his loins stir the soft pink folds of her sex glistening with dampness. Watching her turn he felt his cock lunge growing hard in his loose trousers. "How could I have such thoughts about a dragon?" he wondered to himself, trying to shake the image of her nudity from his mind. Trying to reason he decided that his body was just reacting to the site of a nude female before him since he had not shared a bed with one for some time. Finally, after working on his dinner and focusing on preparing for his bath, he was able to lose his hardness.