The Legend
By: Dawn DeBraal

Lupin fingered the dragon's tooth that hung around his neck on a leather string. A reminder of the creature who killed his father. A beast he wanted to eradicate, avenging his father's death. With Karon's dying breath, his father named his killer; the tooth Lupin extracted from his father's arm, ten years ago. Lupin had been searching for the she-devil serpent since that time.

Asta the dragon's days were numbered. Lupin's journey had taken years and many detours along the way. Asta had been very busy taking on other villages. She would be gone by the time Lupin got there.

Today, Lupin reached the end of his trek. His horse turned up lame and since yesterday, he, had been on foot. Lupin was out of money, and out of patience. His family and his friends had all abandoned him long ago. They told him to move on, live his life. But Lupin couldn't until Asta was dead. His heart was full of hatred. Asta had taken the most loved person from him, when he was still a boy.

###

At fifteen years of age, Lupin was allowed to hunt with the men in the village after an attack. His father Karon was the leader of the dragon hunters. This was Lupin's first hunt, though he had spent his life in preparation. Lessons growing up had been in sword handling, cliff climbing, dragonology, defense strategy, and lessons which would teach him to become a defender of the village. The training was so that Lupin, could follow in his father's footsteps. The dragons attacking the village were not the dragons in their part of the world, for they had made peace with them. The dragons that had killed his father were from across the Great Water, into the Misty Mountains, where legend said that no human who had visited there had ever lived to tell what they saw. Karon told Lupin he identified the dragon clan from of the color of their scales, an iridescent teal. They were beautiful beasts.

The dragons came out of the sky from the west, attacking their village. Karon roused Lupin from his mat and told him to put on his leathers. He was going to help fight the creatures. Lupin jumped from his bed following his father to where the dragons and the villagers fought.

It looked hopeless. The town slayers came from all parts of the village with their shields and swords, ready to kill the beasts. Lupin watched as his father attacked a small dragon. A large dominant female swooped down upon Karon and picked him up in her mouth and shook him like a rag. Karon was thrown to the ground while the female picked up her offspring and carried it on her back across the Great Water. The other dragons followed the female. The villagers sent up a cheer, not knowing that Karon lay dying. Lupin held his father, trying to be brave, but he was barely a man. Lupin's first battle fighting dragons with his father would be his last.

"My son, Asta, has gotten the best of me. Avenge my death." Karon's eyes lifted to the sky. She comes from the Misty Mountains, over the Great Water.

"Father!" Lupin called, but the light of life left Karon's eyes. Lupin's tears fell as he rubbed his father's arm. He felt a protrusion, and pulled out a dragon's tooth, vowing he would kill Asta one day.

###

For ten years Lupin searched for Asta, finally making it to the cave in the Misty Mountains. Lupin knew this was a suicide mission, for no one had ever lived after visiting the Misty Mountains across the Great Water to tell what was there. Lupin climbed the cliff and stood at the mouth of the cave. His shield, sword and magic amulet, were his only protection. Asta would be sleeping. Lupin knew, he needed to take her while she was unaware. He crept into the cave. The darkness enveloped him like a cloak. The magic amulet glowed softly giving him guidance to where Asta slept. If he took a wrong turn, the light would extinguish but reignite when he was on the right track. Lupin could hear her snores. He could feel his heart pounding in his chest. He could not fail; there was no second chance.

There she lay, iridescent in the glow of the amulet. Lupin silently thanked the wizard who had befriended him. The Wiseman wanted to see Asta's death as well. Lupin raised his sword to strike at her heart when she snorted and her eyes open. Asta hissed.

"I avenge my father!" Lupin shouted, stabbing her. Asta was fast, Lupin missed her heart. She stood to her full height looking at Lupin when she saw her missing tooth hanging around Lupin's neck.

"The boy has become a man. You have something that belongs to me. Give me my tooth, and I will make your death quick and painless." Lupin could tell he had wounded Asta enough to cause her to bleed. He held out the necklace along with the magic amulet. Asta reached to grab his offering and was burned by its power. Asta roared. Lupin struck her again. This time he made contact with her heart.

"You shall pay for this." Asta hissed as she slowly swayed back and forth, she fell to the earth. Lupin raced through the cave, running past the other dragons waking from the noise raised by Asta's death. Lupin made it to the bottom of the cliff hiding in the rocks as the dragons flew out of the cave one by one. The amulet, cloaking him from them. When all the dragons emptied into the skies, Lupin traveled back to the Great Water. Feeling victorious. He would be the first to come back from Misty Mountains to tell its secrets. He would be a legend. The boatman waited for him, taking Lupin back to the other side of the Great Water.

The villagers were in awe of Lupin, but also angered. It had been ten years since the dragon's had pillaged their homes. Lupin had put them all at risk. The tribunal counsel gathered to hear Lupin's word.

"I have come from the Misty Mountains, over the Great Water. I am here to tell you I climbed the cliff and sleigh the dragon Asta. I avenged my father, Karon. The counsel whispered among themselves. And then they passed sentence.

"No one has ever made it back from the Misty Mountains. It is our legend. And it will not die today, Lupin. You are to be burned at stake before the sun sets."

A fire was built around the young man. Lupin was burned at stake. The legend was upheld.

No one had ever come back from the Misty Mountains across the Great Water and lived to tell about it.

THE END

-

Rate Dawn DeBraal's The Legend

Let The Contributor Know What You Think!

HTML Comment Box is loading comments...