Inard thought he was a goner. Anybody would consider themselves done for if they saw the huge creature before them. The ancient and majestic creature should only exist on worn out leather parchments and in exaggerated stories of poets… until then. A large creature of legends had appeared before him. It transformed from a boulder!
The volume of sand inhibited the elves’ keen senses. The sand and dust covered their vision, while the winds inhibited their vigilant ears. As a result, they didn’t realise what was next to them wasn’t a boulder until they were right next to it!
The dragon raised her long neck and roared as if she was venting the fact that she was buried in the sand. She stared at the elves below with her golden eyes. She leapt off the boulder with her blue claws. The elves thought the sky was raining boulders. The sand on the ground reacted as if it was fleeing for dear life. The ground quaked and strong gales blew toward them, almost blowing Inard off his horse.
“Your Highness, go on ahead!! We shall stay behind to back you up!” cried a guard.
Though they were suddenly attacked and startled, the elite imperial guards immediately composed themselves. They didn’t know how to defeat the dragon, so they chose to sacrifice their lives for their King’s safety. Inard recovered from his fear that had him quaking in his boots. He desperately kicked his horse to try and turn around to flee.
“It’s an impossible endeavour. It’s impossible for me to defeat this monster. Dragon slaying warriors only exist in stories, after all! Who could look this creature in the eye in reality?!! Forget fighting it with a sword, you’d still be a warrior even if you passed out from shock due it! I should let my sister deal with this monstrosity. They’re both monsters anyway. I’m just an ordinary elf. I was too foolish and overestimated myself. I must run now for my family and my nation!” Inard told himself.
However, Inard didn’t move. He didn’t change his mind, no. His steed was already on its knees quaking due to fear. Panicked, he jumped off his horse to run. As soon as his feet reached the ground, he heard a crunching sound.
White bones underneath the yellow sand were exposed. There were bones littered all over as if they were grains of sand. Horrified, Inard shrieked. He thought he encountered the dragon by coincidence. He never thought he was the one who walked right into its den! He realised, “The littered bones here belong to fools just like me!”
The dragon wasn’t interested in the group of elves. It was agonising to bear with, but she couldn’t be satisfied with just some random. Otherwise, she would’ve made do with a rock. Her eyes were locked onto the elf who dismounted and tried to flee. The elf she targeted possessed superior mana to his guards.
She completely disregarded the long swords in the elves’ hands. Would a human care about how a strong an ant is? In saying that, she would be annoyed if they were standing around, so she slammed her claws in between the group. They shrieked as they fled. The massive attack left them wobbling. Some of the horses were so frightened that they foamed at the mouth and passed out. She was actually reluctant to kill her prey via crushing them, since she couldn’t arouse her appetite when they were such cowards.
She didn’t plan to eat the things in front of her. The large lizards in the desert were more delicious than them. Their flesh was fresh, and she could drink the water they collected in their bellies. The elves and horses were too small for her, so small that they couldn’t even whet her appetite.
A few elves used their swords to knock on her claw on the ground. She couldn’t help but laugh at them. She couldn’t even feel their attacks. Their long swords were incapable of harming her scales. They couldn’t even scratch her. Annoyed, she swept them flying. As for where they flew off to… that was none of her business.
She retracted her claw. She looked at the fleeing elf with a mocking gaze. Everything they did before to her was futile. From her standpoint, it was akin to watching panic-stricken ants randomly running about in front of her. They were doomed to never leave the desert the moment they entered.
She finally got what she wanted; hence, she was elated. She knew the elf definitely couldn’t escape, but the fact he was trying so hard was hilarious to her. She was in a good mood, so she decided to watch him run… for a second. She quickly decided, “Actually, forget it.”
The young girl’s mood was always changing. Inard would know that feeling very well. He was confident he could win the heart of female elves and leave them so besotted with him that they couldn’t bear to part with him. The source of his confidence came from the fact that he could understand how the mind of young girls worked. This time, unfortunately, he had no way of understanding the thoughts of the young girl before him. This girl wasn’t different to the other girls in any aspect. She, too, didn’t want to let him leave her, except she was menacing.
Inard sensed the despair of death when she slammed her huge claws down. He couldn’t escape. All he could do was watch her huge claw come down with his eyes wide. It was said that one’s life experiences will flash before their eyes when they’re face to face with death. Inard, however, only saw one person’s silhouette in his mind…
The silhouette belonged to the woman Inard loved most. Despite not being able to see her again, he could still remember everything that happened in the forest. He could never forget the scent of the ring he made from a strand of grass and their shy smiles…
Inard shut his eyes as the huge claw swung down. He felt the shadow looming overheard and heard the wild whistling wind that brought a collection of sand grains along, but he didn’t feel any pain sensations. He just felt pressure on both sides and breaths on both sides that were the same as powerful gusts of winds. The pressure suffocated him.
Inard desperately opened his eyes, wanting to see what precisely happened, only to cry out when he did. He discovered he wasn’t crushed but was held in between two fingers. He was then elevated into the air. The winds on both sides that he heard were the winds around him. He was suffocating, for he couldn’t breathe!
“Where are you taking me?!!” As he yelled, Inard smacked the dragon’s claw, but it wasn’t remotely enough to hurt her when not even blades could pierce her scales.
The dragon ignored his cries and continued flying off in a certain direction. Inard’s yelling only made it more of a struggle for him to breathe. Hopeless, he shut his eyes. There was no saving him, so why not see where he was going? That was how the star-crossed love of an elf and dragon began.
Inard never returned to the elven lands thereafter. He only left Vyvyan with the Elven King’s ring. Vyvyan, subsequently, inherited the throne as a descendant of the Galadriel Tribe and she, frankly, wasn’t too sad about her husband’s demise, because she cared more about her child in her arms than a dead man. Henceforth, the area northwest of the elven lands was out of bounds to all.
Vyvyan never saw Inard’s corpse. In fact, nobody went to confirm his death. Vyvyan didn’t care, so neither did anybody else. Thus, the incident was never mentioned. As for whether or not Vyvyan knew where Inard was, she never mentioned it. Therefore, nobody knew about that, either.
The dragon slowly opened her huge eyes and stared intently in the same direction as back then. The dragon thought, “It’s been many years. Over ten years I believe? My sense of time is a bit all over the place. After all, I don’t need to concern myself with it in this desert swarmed with sand. The last time I bothered with the time was when a group of elves brashly barged into my territory. I have them to thank, since I didn’t have to lie here waiting for someone after I caught him. Now, though, I need somebody to come help me by satisfying me.”
When she squinted, she noticed a person and a horse; wait, no. It didn’t seem to be a horse, but a deer.
The dragon could detect mana from the deer; she couldn’t detect any mana from its rider, though. She could also sense he was severely ill. She questioned. “Could he be an elf on the verge of death, coming here to seek a swift death?”
The dragon lowered her head back down feeling slightly frustrated. She wasn’t even willing to lift her head and look in their direction again. A soon-to-be-dead elf was meaningless to her. She only needed one, so having another one there was meaningless to her. She planned to pretend to be a boulder and ignore the elf.
Nothing good came out of killing an elf. She wasn’t a battle monger, and she didn’t need to feast on elves, either. The most important thing about living in the desert was to do as little as possible of that which wasn’t necessary. Wasting energy and water would be no different to the elf seeking death.
“Hmm?” The dragon opened her eyes and peered in their direction again.
Dragons were similar to sharks in that they swiftly react to the scent of blood. She detected a very faint scent of blood, but she smelt the scent of a powerful mana. Her body began to instinctively wriggle around. The sick elf drank something, as she could detect mana flowing through him again… She narrowed her golden eyes. She was amazed, but also puzzled. The surge of emotions had her trembling. She instinctively rubbed her body against the boulder below her. She virtually shattered the boulder she loved lying on most.
Dragons could sense mana. One’s mana characteristics are highly genetic. Fundamentally speaking, mana could have inheritance issues just as human blood might. The difference was mana was hard to detect, since it couldn’t be seen or touched. With that said, the mana flowing through this elf was identical to the mana of a particular elf she was familiar with…
The dragon spread her sky-shrouding wings. She stood up as if she couldn’t wait. She swept up a violent wind as she took flight…