I can feel the tightness in my chest as I force my legs to move. I don’t even notice that I am still pulling the cart, with its god-knows-where contents, nor that my fingers had dug into the hard wood leaving behind deep gouges.
“Uaaah!” a startled gasp escapes my lips as I get my first glimpse of what has befallen the village.
“Ogre,” the word comes out of my mouth as my feet come to a halt in front of the brutish creature.
Ogres were man-like creatures that stood on average of eight feet tall. With light brown or dark green skin as tough as a hardened leather they were a brutish race that lived and hunted in families with one male and many females. Skyler had heard of them but it had been more than twenty years since they had been spotted this far south.
As I look in the large dark eyes of the monster it lets off a devious grin showing a row of pointed teeth as it raises a large club above its head. My knees shake as I jump away from the creature and landing hard on my side. The club hits the ground hard less than a foot away the impact sending small tremors into the ground. Scrambling to my feet, I rush between near by houses and run as fast as I can toward my home.
On my way home, I notice more than a dozen ogres along with numerous goblins fighting against the struggling townsfolk. My thought does not sway into thinking about helping because I was too busy fixated on getting to the small house near the center of the village. As I draw close, I see a small lifeless body with long blonde hair lying just outside the door the house and my blood runs cold.
Approaching slowly, large tears can’t help but run down my cheeks as I walk. I know that it’s a woman. I know that she has the same hair as my mother. I also see that she is wearing the same dress my mother had on this morning. However, parts of me still refuse to accept the truth. Shaking like a twig in a windstorm, I reach out my hand and touch the shoulder of the woman and turn her over onto her back.
“M-mother…” the words escape my lips as my hand lightly touches her face. My tears land on my mother’s face as I look toward the clear sky. Pulling mother to my chest, my body trembles as I hug her lifeless body. My thoughts were already in disarray.
“I…I promise I wont let father cut my hair again…I’ll run away if I have to… I’ll keep it long just like you like it…I’ll even cross dress if you want…I’ll be the nicest daughter ever…just please, please, wake up!” I beg, while brushing my hand against her cold cheek, and wipe away the tears.
As he looked at his mothers lifeless face, he remembered that every night she had brushed his hair. During those hours, he had always talked lovingly with his mother. As he thought that he would never again hear her soft voice, a coldness swept through his body.
The sound of footsteps approaching slowly behind me as I cry with my mother cradled in my arms. Turning my eyes ,I see an ogre coming toward me with a vicious grin on its face as if it’s enjoying my struggle against the truth. Looking into the creature’s face, my chest suddenly feels as if it’s on fire.
“Why?” I ask tearfully as my heart screams out for an answer.
Suddenly, I start to rise off the ground with tendrils of silver and blue lighting-like energy pours out from my body. Surprised, I tighten my grips and holding on to mother more tightly afraid that I would drop her. I don’t care what is happening, all I can feel is hate towards the creature in front of me. I notice hesitation in the ogre’s eyes as it raise its head looking at me. The joyful expression on its face is gone, replaced by confusion and a hint of fear.
Sky didn’t care about the Ogre at that single moment he wanted everything to disappear. He just wanted for his mother to open her eyes.
Closing my eyes and holding my mother tightly, I forget about the world.
Lex saw the signs of trouble coming from the village when he topped the last hill. Urging his earth dragon, he only hoped that he could reach them in time to help, but he was still nearly half an hour away.
A fifteen minutes after the first signs of smoke had risen into the sky, a large blue and silver form appeared, looming over the town. Even at a distance, Lex could make out the beast clearly. After nearly twenty years serving as a Dragon Knight, Lex was convinced nothing could surprise him but what he saw and the power he felt nearly made him release his bladder.
Towering over the village, a large dragon he had never heard of before let out a roar of pure energy. At first, he had thought that this would be an easy assignment even when taking on alone. Now, Lex wasn’t sure if even the Royal Dragon Corps could win if there were to confront the dragon. However, he pushed aside his fear and carry on to his duty, urged his dragon go faster.
He lost track of how much time passed but suddenly, the blue and silver dragon started to flicker and disappear as if it were made of smoke. He was close now, and could see two small forms floating down from where the beast had been.
“What in the hell…”
Lex said as he looked upon what had once been a village. Most the houses had been reduced to piles ashes and those that did not were now rubble lit on flame. The presence of powerful magic still hung heavy in the air as he entered the village.
“Ughhh,” Lex had to cover his nose and mouth as the smell of burning flesh assaulted him. The charred bodies of humans, ogres, and goblins littered the ground.
Within the mass of destruction, only two bodies were left untouched. Checking the two, I find a child, surprisingly a boy, holding on to the lifeless form of a woman, possibly his mother. From the boy’s body, small sparks of blue and silver energy cracking out at random, eventually stopping after sometime. I have seen a lot of magic in my life and knew instinctively knew that the dragon before had been made by this child. Cold sweat pour from my body just looking at the aftermath. Gripping the hilt of my sword, only one thought crosses my mind.
“This child–is a threat.”
Before I have a chance to pull my sword free from its scabbard, I am knocked to the ground and surprise to find my dragon standing between me and the child when I get up.
“Gorith get out of the way.”
I order the dragon but for the first time in my life, Gorith refuses to obey. The dragon was bonded to me and should he or I die, the other would follow. But looking at Gorith, I knew that should I advance, my life would be forfeited.
“Fine.” I say after a tense moment and let go of the hilt.
I proceed to give the supposed mother a proper send of to the afterlife by burning her remain. After that, I decide do a search for survivors, but reconsider when remembering that all the corpses I saw since I enter the village’s vicinity were all sizzling with smoke. The chances of anyone surviving is practically zero. Feeling that there is nothing else to do here, I lift the boy up and I place him on top of my saddle on Gorith’s back.
As we left the town I wonder how I would report this incident to the lieutenant. Regarding about the boy, he has natural skills as a tamer. Gorith’s action confirmed this, but if the others know of his true strength, it will cause a massive uproar. As if reading my mind, Gorith stops and lets out a low growl.
“Ok. Let’s bring him home for now.” I reply after a heavy sigh.
I have two other children but both of them are away at school and my wife has been hoping for another. It might not be perfect but I will just have to find a way to explain what happened without mentioning the boy’s power.
Besides the unconscious Sky, there was one lucky person that survived, the lone figure sat on the edge of the village, her eyes had long ran out of tears. She had watched as her father ran into the village leaving her behind. She was unable to move while witnessing all that happen from the moment the huge dragon appeared until it disappeared. Until finally spotting her childhood friend emerged in the dragon’s place. When everything was over, she timidly crawled toward the village looking for her father. After a long search, on the edge of the village, his body lay lifelessly on the ground with a large hole in the center of his chest. Now, unable to utter a sound nor shed anymore tear, she emptied the contents of her stomach onto the ground beside her motionless father and collapsed onto his chest as her consciousness darken.
Author: Aoiki Strass