So, if you haven’t guessed already, today’s post is the Part 2 of the How To Steal From A Dragon short story. If you haven’t read Part 1 yet, I highly recommend it, otherwise this part won’t make sense.
How To Steal From A Dragon – Part 1
Alright, since you guys are now familiar with the story, let’s get to it shall we?
Time To Steal A Dragon’s Treasures
Breathing hard, Astrid had to stop running. Her lungs were about to give out and she couldn’t feel her legs. Pausing in the tunnel she’d found herself in, she clutched her side as she gulped in air like her life depended on it. After what seemed like her hundredth breath she finally looked up, glancing over her shoulder, hoping Bailor hadn’t followed her. She highly doubted it, since she knew her punch had knocked him out, but she could never tell, especially with those military types.
When she couldn’t hear any approaching footsteps, she sagged against the rough wall, praying to the stars she had enough time to just catch her breath. Closing her eyes, she sank to the floor her emotions now starting to get the better of her, as she recalled the reason Bailor had given her, the first time they’d met. He’d told her they were after a valuable piece of treasure. She was stupid to think it could be anything but a dragon’s egg. Of course, it was the most valuable thing in the land. Its insides was a great source of magical energy, especially for those pompous louts that called themselves wizards and priests. No doubt they’d use the unborn child for their experiments and potions, uncaring whether it lived or died in the process.
Of course, if the king wanted the egg, then it would be for the shell. It was the most valuable part of the egg, at least for the jewellers and sculptors that used it. Made from unusual obsidian crystal, it could be shaped and moulded into talismans, protection charms and jewellery. Any aristocrat or noble would be lucky to have a piece of the dragon’s egg as part of their jewellery collection, and it made sense they’d be greedy for it.
Punching the ground in her ire, Astrid growled at her own stupidity. She was leading an arrogant and ignorant fool towards a beast that could, for all intents and purposes be the last of its kind. For a moment, she thought she’d cry, but memories of Nightrunner’s last days stirred the boiling pot of anger she kept deep inside, and she vowed she’d save this dragon and its child, before anything else happened to it.
Taking one last deep breath, she rose and determinedly strode down the tunnel she was in. Even though she ran blindly, she could tell where she was, now that she could focus. Luckily, the tunnel she stood in was the same one that she’d taken thousands of times, and she knew it like the back of her hand. Speeding up into a jog, she hoped she could make it in time, before Bailor woke up and found his way towards the cavern.
After a few minutes, and a turn here and there, Astrid came upon the opening that stood high above the dragon’s cavern, filled with piles of glittering jewels and gold. The cavern itself was a long-abandoned cathedral, its granite pillars were the only thing supporting the mountain above, protecting the vast space below. If the cavern had still been in use, an entire market could easily fit inside its walls, with room to spare.
Focused on her personal mission now, Astrid scanned the room for any sign of movement, and for the egg she was now desperate to save. She didn’t have to look for long, as she spied it on top of a nest of gold near the centre of the room. It was higher than any other pile and if she had a long enough rope, she could swing from her perch, to the nest in a matter of seconds, but she had none and she wasn’t about to take the egg without letting the dragon know about it. Instead, she looked to the walls beside her and through years of experience, she scaled it, using the old carvings and gargoyles as footholds. With her agile and experienced hands, she climbed down, towards one of the balconies of a locked room. Landing quietly on the stone floor, she scanned her surroundings again, listening through the deathly stillness.
She wasn’t sure what she was going to do, if she came across the dragon, nor how she was going to let it know she wanted to help, but even if she died trying, at least it knew that something was coming, and hopefully it would escape, with its child. Taking a steadying breath, Astrid stood once again, still on the lookout for any movement, even if it was from Bailor. She guessed he’d be up by now and, granted the tunnels inside the mountain can be confusing, she couldn’t be too careful, in case he was lucky enough to find the right ones that led him to the cavern.
Still very much alone, Astrid was torn between running out into the open, or trying to make her way to the egg as silently as she could. With one more scan around the room, she decided to risk it and jumped noisily onto a pile of gold that acted like a slide, to the bottom of the cavern. The tinkling of gold and crystals resounded throughout the room, and as she crashed through the pile, she kept her eyes open for any sign of the dragon.
When she landed, she knew she’d awoken the sleeping beast, as a great shadow shifted on the opposite side of the room, and more tinkling jewels began to crash towards the floor. Holding her ground, she waited for the dragon to show itself, and stood firmly as its great scaly head poked around the piles of gold towards her.
Giant milky eyes gazed upon her blindly, as the loud rushing sound of its breathing filled the room. As soon as her scent hit its nose, the great beast growled menacingly, and Astrid took a deep breath herself. She lifted her arms away from her weapons and began to walk slowly towards it, “Please listen to me. I know you can, and I know you hate my kind, but just listen to me. I come to warn you. Your child is in danger. Someone wants to take it away, and I don’t think they’ll let it live.”
Again, the dragon growled, baring its teeth this time as it slowly approached her. Despite the lack of emotion she could see on its face, Astrid could tell that the dragon was thinking and she continued to speak, “I’m not one of them. Trust me. I used to be friends with one of your kind. I called him Nightrunner, but my people didn’t want to listen to me. They killed him. I haven’t forgiven them either.”
For a moment the dragon simply continued to growl at her, approaching her slowly until its head was only a few feet away. Astrid held her breath, hoping beyond hope this dragon would listen, and when it didn’t do anything more than simply stare at her she hesitantly took a step forward, her eyes glued to it, watching its every reaction, “I can help you, but you must flee with your child. Get as far away as you can from this land, and never come back.”
When she was close enough to touch the dragon’s snout, Astrid stopped, her arms still up as she waited for it to do something. Suddenly it huffed and great tendrils of smoke surrounded her like a blanket.
You assume I will not listen to you, Silence. Astrid’s eyes widened as she realised that the dragon was talking to her. Its deep feminine voice echoed in her mind and all around the cavern.
“You know my name?” she asked, hope finally swelling in her breast. Perhaps they had a chance.
I do. You are the one who saved my son from those poachers who saw fit to kill him. The dragon finally moved its great head, turning towards the giant egg at the centre of the room. It was his duty and honour to protect you. I too cannot forgive your people for his death.
Astrid gasped, tears shining in her eyes as she recalled her dragon, “Nightrunner was your son?”
He was foolish, but loyal. You would have made a great companion for him. It is a shame he could not live to grant you that honour. The dragon turned its milky eyes towards her as it towered above her, guarding its egg as all mothers do. But I will not run as you ask.
Fear gripped Astrid’s heart as she took a step towards the mighty beast, “Why not? There’s a soldier here now. He’ll take your baby from you if you don’t. He’s just as skilled as I am, maybe more. He’ll find a way to take it away.”
The dragon looked away, towards a grand hallway that led out into the mountain and let out another breath of smoke. Astrid could see its scales begin to rise and its muscles tensing as it began to weave its way around the many piles of gold. Let him come. I have not had a good battle in millennia. It turned its head back to her, flicked out its tail and waited for Astrid to notice. I suggest you climb onto my back if you don’t want to die.
Turning to the tail, Astrid gave the dragon one last glance before doing as she was told, scrambling up great scaly tail towards the dragon’s broad back, “Are you sure about this?”
The dragon growled again, baring its teeth as if it were smiling. What can one tiny human do compared to my power? It reared back and gave an ear-splitting roar as Astrid spied Bailor striding down the hallway beyond, his sword unsheathed and a murderous expression on his face.
Well, that’s it from me today, I’ll see you guys next time. For now, don’t forget to like, subscribe and follow for more updates and the latest posts here on Feather’s Charm and on my social media accounts. Oh, and share these posts with family and friends, those who you’d think might enjoy these topics and tips! I’ll see you later!