A Champion's Soul

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The Minotaur

The minotaur lowered his axe again. “Are you ready?”

I don’t have any experience fighting, well I guess I do but she was smaller than me. “I guess?”

He squinted his eyes at me now. “You don’t have much experience in battle, do you? I can see it in how you stand… No matter, it is an honor to be fighting a dragon. Normally my kind would be picked off like the animals they act like. I will savor this treatment as an equal.”

Demmyrth yelled from behind. “You two don’t have much time! This should get going!”

The minotaur nodded. “Alright then. I guess it’s time. Don’t hold back. I do not expect to survive this, but that doesn’t mean I’ll go down without putting everything I have left into it.”

He rushed forward throwing dirt behind him as his hooves tore the dirt apart. He was much faster than I was expecting, and just barely managed to avoid his axe swinging down on me. He ripped the axe from the ground. It had a rock stuck to it, but he removed it with a kick; shattering the rock.

This, this is far more dangerous than that girl… She had a sword that could through my armor, but I don’t think he needs such a weapon… I’ve seen arrows and swords bounce off of dragon’s armor, but this axe is much bigger than any human weapon. Its size alone would probably hurt, maybe even kill me.

He ran at me again. I blew fire at him, but he pushed through and slammed me backwards. I got back up to see him putting the flames in his fur out… I don’t think that’ll work on him, he’s too big. I’ve also heard the pain humans go through when they get burned, maybe I shouldn’t do that to him anyways. He doesn’t seem to deserve that kind of pain.

I didn’t let him finishing putting out the flames though. If I have to kill him I’ve got attack, not keeping backing away. He wasn’t ready for it, but charge at him and bashed my head into his stomach. I heard the air get knocked out of him and launched him up into the sky!

I watched him come back, righting himself and preparing his axe. Grandma mentioned me not using my tail enough. As he got closer I swung my tail at him, but only hit his arms! It threw him off balance enough to miss me with the axe and land on back instead! I bucked him off like I’ve seen the horses do the soldier!

He used his axe to help him stand back up. “On this day I discovered I’m terrified of heights. That was interesting, please don’t do it again.”

I heard chuckling coming from the other dragons. “Is she toying with it? Surely that isn’t them fighting seriously?”

Another one said what was actually going on. “She clearly has no idea how to fight. I’m not sure on the validity of this test with her lack of knowledge. I think she should be tested again once she learns how to properly battle.” I don’t like the sound of that last part.

I wasn’t paying attention and got brought back by the axe slamming into my face! I jumped away from him but everything was spinning!

I could hear him shout though. “I understand dragons have near impenetrable armor, but I supposed my axe is big enough for that to not matter. That’s good for me, but not so much for you. I wouldn’t suggest testing your armor against it again.”

My head is pounding now! That really hurt! I heard his hooves slamming into the ground, but I couldn’t see him properly! He was just a grey and brown blob of blur! I have to do something, jump away or try and charge him?

I waited until he got a bit closer, and my vision cleared up just enough to tell him and his axe apart! He was going to swing it sideways! I ducked my head below it as he swung and bashed into his stomach again! I tried to launch him up again, but this time I followed it by biting down his leg and slamming him back into the ground!

I jumped away to let him get back up, and my vision cleared as he unsteadily stood up.

He was pressing on his back. “That hurt, a lot actually! You are inexperienced, but I still feel outmatched. I believe that is in my old age though. Once I could take blows like this all day, but now that is different.” There was blooding running out of where I bit him. “But still, I will put everything I have into this fight!”

I guess he’s right though. I’ve hit him twice now and he already seems to be in pain, then again he’s only hit me once and that really hurt to!

He raised his axe again, but his breathing was heavier than before. I wonder how old he is? “How old are you?”

He answered quickly “I’m sixty-three in human years!” Then he rushed at me again. Humans don’t live much longer than that… I could see he’s going for another sideways swing. I should let him hit me…

As he got closer he seemed unsure about what was going on, but he kept going! As he swung the axe, halfway through the swing he realized what I was doing. I felt the steel slam into my side as I bit down on his shoulder and rip a chunk away! The swing was hard enough to push me to the side, which result in my claw slashing across his chest as well!

I couldn’t breathe, but I watched him fall backwards. He knocked the air out of me, but I needed to get up. I shouldn’t leave him in pain, if he’s alive I should end it.

I got over to him, finally able to suck in air and he was smiling. “Normally I would wear armor, but it was simply too heavy for me. Though I didn’t come here to win.” He coughed some blood out. There was exposed meat running part way up his neck, and his shoulder was nearly disconnected. There was so much blood. “I’m glad this wasn’t a fight built from malice, but I can feel myself slipping. Funny, it doesn’t feel any different from drifting off to sleep. There’s no cold, no warmth, merely comfort.”

The other dragons walked over, but Demmyrth was the only one to say anything. “You fought well, perhaps if you’d come a few years sooner you we could have had a good time sparing.”

He laughed, but coughed some more blood out. “You don’t need to flatter me… So that is what a dragon’s soul looks like.” What’s he talking about?

Father answered the thought, though I’m not sure how he knew my question? “When a creature dies they can see the souls of those around them in their final moments.”

The minotaur looked right at me. “So, she was right… The speaker was right after all. I would meet the one I’m searching for in my final moments.” What does he mean? “Young dragon, I would like you to take my soul. Use it to fuel your own strength… I was willing to risk damnation to speak with them, but it seems I don’t need to.”

Why? “Why do you want me to take it?” He didn’t answer, but it seemed like the life left his eyes. Demmyrth reached down and shut down, but something glowing came out of his chest. It was a golden brown sphere…

Demmyrth smiled. “Go ahead Tesyrir, take it.”

Wait? What? I don’t understand!? What’s going on?! Am I the one he was looking for?! If, if he had more time maybe I could have asked…

One of the older dragons pushed me towards the sphere. I reached over and touched the soul. It seemed to wrap around my claws, before rushing to my chest.

I felt something, I don’t know how to describe it but I needed to scream! I let out a roar, and the birds took off from the trees.

The dragon that pushed me laughed. “First time? Don’t worry we all did our first time as well.”

Demmyrth talked to me again. “Tesyrir I think you should head back with the others. His family will be here to collected the body, so I think it would be best they not see you.” I nodded…

I followed everyone back as well, but I’m still confused. “Father, what happened?”

He answered… “The minotaur gave you his soul, its entirety. He’s become one with yours and will strengthen it.”

But why? “Why did he do that though?”

He waited a moment before answering. “He mentioned risking damnation. Perhaps what’s he done in life meant he would be damned for eternity in the afterlife. There would be no rebirth, only torture. In this way he does not suffer. Though he also doesn’t feel anything, as he is gone. In a way his existence is erased, but only if you forget him. I think you should spend some time thinking about this. It would seem you may have done some things in a past life, that are now rolling over to this one. Odd as that may be.”

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