The Persistent Tithe
They took all the younglings back to their clans sometime in the middle of the night. As it turns out grandma has been trying to mentor one of the little dragons that got taken. She tried keeping it a secret, but everyone noticed her scent on the dragon. I guess that’s a good thing anyways. If she hadn’t been I may not have found them at all.
I decided to fly to that first city, I should thank them for the help. When I arrived the guard at the gate didn’t try talking to me he just ran to get his captain.
It was the same captain as before and he was surprised to see me. “Y-your back? Did you find the little dragons?”
Yes. “I did. I just came by to thank you. They weren’t at that city you told me about but they were close enough to that city for me to smell them.”
A little smile formed on his face. “That’s good to hear. Well good luck with the little ones. It would be nice if we could have conversations like this with all dragons.”
I didn’t understand why dragons seemed to hate humans so much, but what I saw yesterday made a sense. “Yea… It was humans that took them. They also had a dragon chained down in a barn. I think that’s why most dragons don’t want anything to do with humans.”
He nodded. “A few bad apples spoil the bunch then? I guess humans feel the same way towards dragons then. There are a few bloodthirsty ones that like to burn cities down as a past time. Maybe that’ll change in the future. At least for now I hope we can continue to get along.”
There was a loud thud behind me. It caught me off guard and I spun around to see it. I saw a pair of red wings, and long red hair crouched on the ground. They stood up and brandished a golden sword at me. Tithe…
She had a twisted smile on her face. “I knew it, when I heard about a black wyrm burning a city down I had to check it out.”
She’s come to attack me then. “You won’t leave me, alone will you?”
She stood a few steps towards me. “You have my soul, so I’ll be taking it back!”
I looked at the captain. “Get everyone inside… I don’t want to involve you, but this nut job has been trying to kill me my entire life.” He just nodded and shout at the other guards.
I looked back at her and she was lunging at me. I didn’t have time to change in my dragon form and just grabbed the blade before it could hit my neck! It slid across my hand I pushed her away from me! The force launched her back into the tree line and I heard a hefty thud, followed by a tree falling to the ground.
There was a large gash in my hand. It hurt, but it’s something I can deal with. I don’t think fighting her in my dragon form would be helpful here. I don’t want to destroy the city. I brought my armor up, it was much better than any time before. I felt my cloak cling to my skin and start changing into my armor around me. As it climbed up to my face, I felt my tail and wings sprout out. In a way this is like a hybrid, only my armor covers everywhere. She needs to wear more armor where her natural armor doesn’t cover.
She staggered out of the tree line, blood was pouring from her head. “Dammit! HOW DID YOU GET SO STRONG!”
I’m not a child anymore. “I beat you even when I was little. I’m almost fifty now, and I imagine you a good bit older, aren’t you? You don’t look too old, I guess hybrids don’t age as fast humans do?”
She chuckled to herself, probably delirious from that head injury. “Hybrid dragons can live a few hundred years, but I’m half elf which they usually live to be a several thousand as is.”
Humph. “So, what your saying is that I need to kill you now or you’ll be a thorn in my side for a long time?”
She snarled at me, then took off into the air and rushed me. I tightened the grip of my injured had the sword appeared. I raised it to meet her blade and I watched her sword peel down where they made contact. Her face went from anger to shock as I grabbed her foot and slammed her into the ground!
She spat blood in my face as she hit the ground, nasty. “This isn’t fair for you. I’m surprised you still insist on fighting me alone. For someone screwed up enough to try and kill children you seem hell bent on trying to fight me with some form of honor.”
I let go of her foot and let her crawl out of the hole she was buried in. she used the what remained of her sword to try and stand up. She struggled to her feet and just smiled at me. “Yea, that sounds about right. The stronger you dragons get the more arrogant you become. I’m not alone. I just got here first.”
I heard the crackled of static behind and jumped into the air! A bolt of lighting destroyed the ground where I was just standing, and I looked to see where it came from! It was a that angel guy with gold eyes. There was another hybrid next to him, he had blue wings and a large axe. They didn’t have golden weapons though, but theirs had a strange blue glow to it.
I guess she’s getting desperate then? “If you all want to fight me at least take it away from this city.”
The two guys nodded at each other and Tithe flew up to meet them. They bickered amongst themselves, I saw the one blue wings gesture to her injury’s multiple times.
I started flying away from the city and they followed a good distance behind me. I found a clearing a good bit outside of where we all sleep, but still within eye shot. I landed there and they planted themselves about ten feet away.
Dragons started gathering around us, I saw grandmother stand above the crowd of the others. She was staring at me intently, it didn’t seem to be out of anger. More curiosity than anything else.
The blue one started putting bandages on Tithe’s injuries. I shouted towards them. “You can leave now and stop this! You’ve had multiple opportunities to do this! How do you think this will end!? Your surrounded by dragons! Dragons that probably don’t like you I should say!”
The blue one scoffed at me, while the angel one just stared at me. He gave me a quick snarled before rushing me with his sword. It crackled with lighting as he moved. I met his blade with mine and felt a shock rip up my arm! It cracked the armor on my arm! I reached over and the grabbed his sword! It started cracking the armor on my left arm as well, but I ripped it from his grasp! His eyes went wide as I stabbed him with his own sword and kicked him back towards the other two! He pulled the sword out of his gut and started casting some spell on himself.
Tithe and the blue one both rushed at me well. Her sword snapped as it contacted my armor, and the blue one’s axe cracked as well.
I kicked Tithe away and grabbed the blue one! He screamed at me and punched me several times. The only thing it did was break his hand… I twisted his arm around until I heard a loud crack and threw him back towards Tithe.
I glanced over at grandma and she had a crooked smile on her face. She must be enjoying this then. I’ll give Tithe one last chance to leave me alone, if she attacks me again after this fight, I’m going to kill her. As for that angel, he killed a friend of mine. He dies here.
I walked over the one with feathers and stepped on his chest. Tithe and the blue screamed as my foot buried in and crushed his heart. His eyes were wide, and I saw that golden glow they had fade out. “He cut down a dragon, so a dragon cuts him down in return… Come after me again and this will be you next time”
She stared at me in a moment of shock and horror. If she had just left me alone this wouldn’t have happened. I pulled my foot out of his chest and saw his soul whip its way towards her.
It flew into her chest and she seem to bend backwards in pain. The blue one tried grabbing her, but she smacked him away, far away actually. I saw him vanish into the tree line, that had to be at least a hundred feet away.
She roiled on the ground and screamed in pain, she screamed and screamed. As the screams got quitter they also got deeper, as deep as my voice gets in my dragon form.
As the screaming finally stopped, there was an explosion of fire that launched backwards! I changed into my dragon form to stop myself from hitting the trees and then waited for the fire to die down.
As the flame fizzled out, I saw a red dragon staring me down from where she just was. This wasn’t a typical dragon though. They were on their back legs. I climbed onto me to match them. I think Tithe just became a wyrm?