Chapter 19 - Attacking Castle Shayde
The Dragon King had finally arrived at Castle Shayde, in the Kingdom of Ordanna and he was about to reign down upon King Rathman and his soldiers from high above.
Circling around one last time Draxus finally directed Drako downward, to make his first descent from his current altitude.
Soaring down at a tremendous speed through the air, Draxus focused on his first task; taking out the ballistas!
As Drako came swooping downwards from the camouflage of the dark sky, the soldiers below could not see the giant beast as it quickly approached them from above.
Their first sign that there was something unusual in the sky was the sudden green neon glow which illuminated brightly against the endless black above them as Drako sucked in, preparing to fire.
“Up there!” one soldier pointed toward the glow in an effort to alert the others, but it was too late.
“What is that?” another asked with squinted eyes.
Then all hell broke loose!
As the mighty beast swooped down over the castle, it breathed out neon green fire which spilled from it’s mouth and submerged everything below it in incredibly intense flames, burning the first ballista within a matter of seconds, along with ten or so soldiers standing around it.
Screams filled the air as terrified people ran in all directions from the fearsome beast while it swooped down and back up again into the darkness of the early morning sky.
“Run for your lives!” a voice cried out in terror.
“Stay at your posts you fools!” another shouted angrily.
And then it was silent again as the soldiers stood staring up at the sky, peering around for the green glow. The soldier aiming one of the remaining ballistas kept his narrow eyes peeled as he waited patiently to his chance to fire at their target.
But Draxus surprised them all by soaring in from the opposite direction and waiting until they were closer before Drako breathed in and began to glow.
By the time one of the soldiers turned around and realised, more of the bright green flames poured down across the castle wall, once again taking out a ballista with expert precision, as well as several more soldiers.
Terrified soldiers stood in shock watching their fellow men being burned alive; screams once again filled the air along with the scent of burned flesh and death.
At that very moment, King Rathman led his soldiers who were escorting Queen Lillian into a room next to the main courtyard.
Lillian locked eyes with the dark sorceress Rayvinn as soon as she entered and glared angrily at her.
“At last, took you long enough!” Rayvinn snapped, pointing with her outstretched finger toward a large oak wood table in the centre of the room. “Over there, lay her down on that. And hold her down!”
“What’s wrong, Rayvinn?” Lillian taunted her captor as the soldiers pulled her across to the table. “Is the all-powerful sorceress afraid of a single dragon?”
Rathman frowned and went to march across to Lillian, but Rayvinn stopped him with the simple gesture of her hand on his shoulder.
“No, my King. I’ll handle her.” she spoke with a small smile.
Rayvinn made her way across the room to where the soldiers were currently holding Lillian down as she struggled on the large wooden table. Stepping up beside her, the sorceress looked down at Lillian and raised a brow.
“You really think you’ve won, don’t you?” she taunted. “That your brave and handsome Dragon King has come to rescue his Queen from her evil captors? We I'm afraid that I have news for you, your majesty...”
Rayvinn leaned down so that her face was mere centimetres away from Lillian’s as she spoke down to her.
“I haven't even begun!”
Lifting her head suddenly, the sorceress held her hand directly over Lillian’s chest and activated the power transfusion instantaneously, causing the Queen to suddenly suck in a sharp breath of air as her eyes suddenly glowed a bright white colour and her body contorted upwards at her chest.
As the glowing power transferred from Lillian’s chest up into Rayvinn’s open palm, the helpless Queen’s mouth was wide open as she let out soft gasps of pain; the process was clearly more painful while she was awake.
Once she felt strong enough, Rayvinn closed her hand and severed the link, releasing her magical hold over Lillian and allowing her to fall back down onto the table with a painful groan.
Rathman watched as Rayvinn turned around with incredibly bright glowing eyes and a deviant smirk curving at the corner of her mouth.
As she spoke, her voice gave a haunting echo.
"I think it's time we fight fire with fire!" she announced.
By now the soldiers loyal to King Rathman were all panicked and running scared for their lives. There was no possible way they could face fighting against a dragon! Not with all four of their ballistas taken out!
But even with them running away and crying out for mercy, Draxus was hardly in the giving mood as he continued to command his massive dragon to burn parts of the castle as they approached them, killing hundreds in the process.
After having burned majority of the main wall of the castle, he now hovered over the main courtyard where hundreds of soldiers loyal to King Rathman stood cowering, their hands in the air and their eyes wide at the large beast hovering just above them, preparing to reign down a fiery hell upon them.
As Drako began to breathe in and the neon green glow started to form, the soldiers cowered in terror, preparing to be burned alive...
That was until King Rathman suddenly stepped out into the courtyard with a familiar figure in his arms.
"Lillian!" Draxus whispered to himself and Drako immediately stopped sucking in air in order to breathe out fire.
The green glow slowly faded from the dragon's jaw and back down the length of it's long neck. Then it was gone entirely as the magnificent beast continued to hover in place, with continuous flaps of its huge wings, over and over keeping it in position.
Draxus was beside himself, seeing his wife alive at long last!
But Rathman had been rather wise to hold her in front of him. He knew that Draxus would not dare command his dragon to breathe fire on his beautiful Queen!
Lillian struggled within his grasp as he held his left arm around her waist trapping both her arms within his tight embrace, and in his right hand he held the sharp end of his dagger's blade against the soft skin of her throat.
"Draxus do-" she shouted, attempting to warn him but Rathman's blade was warning enough as he pushed it hard against her skin and it began to slice open her flesh.
"Uh uh." Rathman warned her. "Don't spoil the surprise now!"
She let out a pained moan, choosing to instead remain silent as Rathman had preferred, fearing not only for her own life, but for the life of her unborn child as well!
"Release my wife and I will spare your men." Draxus bellowed with his deep and authoritative voice.
"Only my men?" Rathman asked sarcastically. "Sorry, I'm afraid you'll have to do much better than that!"
A deep, rumbling sound could be heard as Drako began to growl, the incredible winged creature's eyes fixed solely on the man holding onto the Queen.
"I'll tell you what, Dragon King..." Rathman suddenly announced loud enough for his enemy to hear. "You come down here, face me man to man, and I'll agree to release your Queen."
"No..." Lillian whispered but his blade gave her yet another painful warning as she grunted.
"So, what's it gonna be, Draxus?" King Rathman continued to taunt him. "Will you come down here and face me, or will I start cutting off pieces of your pretty little wife until you do?"
"NO!" Draxus shouted out. "Do not harm her!"
Draxus knew what he needed to do.
"Drako, land." he commanded solemnly.
Upon hearing the Dragon King's command, the large beast slowly descended to a remaining part of the castle wall still left standing.
It's massive clawed feet grasped across the entire width of the stone walkway to hold onto for support as it landed and lowered it's head for the King to climb down onto the nearby staircase leading further down to the courtyard where Rathman stood, waiting patiently with a grin.
Lillian shook her head, her brows knitted together in the middle of her face as she wished she could call out and warn him not to come down there! But she feared the mad King holding onto her would harm her or her child without a second thought!
And she was right!
"Here comes your savior now, my dear." Rathman whispered into her ear. "Too bad he won't be alive for much longer!"