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  2. Today is going to be AMAZING, going to go play with some baby goats and then to my nephews graduation party.... :2thumbs:

    1. Reader1810

      Reader1810

      Playing with baby goats sounds like lots of fun. 

      Have a great day with the goats and at the party.  

    2. Mikiesboy

      Mikiesboy

      enjoy the goats and the party!!  :) 

  3. Sweet, clueless Ira didn’t realize he met his father? As absentminded and silly as our dear Ira is, he is meant for greatness, so great and pure it can’t be hidden. He is guided by love and wants so much love, he doesn’t recognize anger can hide fear and desire, he only focuses on being unwanted because he’s different. Control, domination and destruction are the methods used against what is feared and not understood; He’s been told he’s broken all his life but he is the whole one. Rejected and despised, he still became an Alpha’s mate, he is the key in this war to come.
  4. aditus

    Stargazer

    I still balk at calling myself a poet. Thank you, AC, for your kind words.
  5. dughlas

    Chapter 33

    Wonderful chapter.
  6. aditus

    Foray

    LOL I couldn't resist mentioning the 'pearly juices' only the love of Zeus and Ganymede is given an eternally happy ending. That is an interesting understanding of their story.
  7. Happy Birthday!

  8. CassieQ

    Flashpoint

    Thank you. I don't think that Grant didn't value his partner's safety, but I don't think he realized how dangerous Jim was, and not only to Sarah. I'm sure he feels guilty after what Elliot endured and has to continue to deal with and I don't think he'll underestimate anyone anymore. Thank you for reading and commenting.
  9. Today
  10. Katya Dee

    Chapter 12

    - XII - She walked rather slowly, enjoying slight breeze on her face. “Just keep walking,” she thought lazily. “Everything is fine; just keep on walking...” She blinked and tried to figure out why she would think something like this right now. She glanced around, making sure she didn't move her head. Everything seemed fine. She didn’t sense anything; there were quite a few people around, but they seemed to be minding their own business and neither one of them as much as glanced at Katrena. “Everything is safe,” she thought and bit her lip. “There is absolutely nothing to worry about... Everything is perfectly fine.” No, it’s not, and she knew that now. Those were not her thoughts, she realized. If those are not her thoughts, that could only mean one thing... “Just relax and enjoy your walk,” she thought in spite of herself and gritted her teeth. It’s a mind controller and for some reason, he or she is after her right now. Katrena was not an easy manipulation subject, she knew that, but this person, whoever it was, seemed to know what they were doing. “Oh, I completely forgot about the shortcut,” she thought and gritted her teeth again. “I am getting rather tired; I better take this shortcut... It’s right here, on my right...” She looked to the right. There was a dark alley with the streetlights that burned out eons ago. Son of a bitch, she fumed darkly. There was no shortcut. This alley was nothing but a dead-end. She headed towards the alley nevertheless. No need to tip this son of a bitch off; no need to let him or her know that she is aware of what’s going on. She walked into the alley. “Oh, there is something wrong with my shoe,” she thought when she was far enough from the main street and was alone in that alley. “It’s going to bother me. I have to take a look at it right now. It’s probably a small rock, that’s what it is...” She gritted her teeth once again when she actually stopped in spite of herself and looked down at her shoe, which was perfectly fine. Son of a bitch, this mind controller was good; hell, he (she?) was better than good. To force someone like Katrena to do something she didn’t intend – that was bloody brilliant! She looked at her shoe, knowing that the minute she bent down, someone was going to jump her. Fine, let’s play then. She bent down just a little, this time out of her own will, her posture relaxed, even though she felt she was one live wire. Then, right after she bent down, she felt free again. That meant that whoever was trying to jump her right now, was convinced enough that she was completely unaware of what’s going on. “Beautiful,” she thought her own thought finally. She had no idea what else that son of a bitch could do, so she decided against waiting any longer. She threw herself forward, making sure that her body made a perfect twist and roll, and two seconds later, she was facing her attacker (she knew that the person was behind her) while calling upon Fire. The flames roared immediately, and Katrena almost let herself to relax (nobody would be able to survive this) when to her astonishment, the fire died off with a small whimper. Well, crap. She immediately pulled up a barrier, thought for a second, and threw a Reflector in as well. Extra caution never hurt anyone. Right when she did it, she felt an impossibly overwhelming desire to take both – the barrier and Reflector – off and just relax finally. She bit her lip hard enough to draw blood. Pain immediately brought everything into sharper focus, and the desire swayed considerably. Katrena closed her eyes and reached for the closest magic stream. It turned out to be an Illusion. That was just fine. She slightly frowned, trying to imagine herself in the mirror perfectly. Several seconds later, she opened her eyes and stared into nothing. Then she blinked, and suddenly, another layer of herself detached from her physical form and dashed forward. Just as she expected, her attacker swallowed the bait and her mind was free once again. This time, she didn’t think much, and the second she saw a shadow of a figure in the darkness of the alley, she called upon the Earth and thin roots emerged from underneath the asphalt. She knew that those roots could hold an elephant in one place for as long as she desired. To her greatest astonishment and even greater frustration, that son of a bitch managed to notice her trap right before those roots engulfed that shadowy figure. The person slid aside without as much as a scream, and Katrena sank her teeth into her lip once again when she felt a huge wave of desire to give up. She desperately threw another barrier onto herself, trying to shake her mind free. It worked, but only partially. She knew that it was not going to last forever. She was not going to last forever. Without lowering her barriers and Reflector, she yelled: “Okay! It’s a draw! What the hell do you want and who in the bloody hell are you?!” The shadowy figure froze in its place. Then, several seconds later, Katrena felt the alien desire leaving her mind, and she took a quick breath, wincing from the taste of her own blood in her mouth. “What do you want?” she called loudly. “Show yourself, goddammit!” The shadows shifted ever so slightly, and a few seconds later, Katrena’s attacker stepped into her view. So it’s a he, she thought. The man seemed to be in his early thirties, but she knew that it meant nothing. He could be a hundred years old for all she knew. “What do you want?” she asked again, and he let out a small laughter. “I want to kill you, of course,” he said, and she blinked. “Why?” she demanded. “I have no idea who you are!” That wasn’t a good reason and she knew that. Considering the amount of people she wasted, there could be an army of bloodthirsty relatives and beloved ones after her head. “Apparently,” the man said almost calmly. “You mean something to him. That’s a good enough reason.” “I mean something to whom?” Katrena asked in bewilderment. So he wasn’t after her because she killed someone he knew or loved. He was after her because... Well, apparently, she meant something to someone. “Salamander,” was the reply she got, and her eyes grew huge. “Julian Salamander,” the man continued. “I had no idea that someone like him could actually develop something that would resemble human feelings... After watching you two tonight, however, I realized that you mean something to him...” “Julian?!” she said incredulously. “Oh my God... Whoever you are... Julian couldn't care less about what happens to me... We have been dancing the same dance for the past four years! It will never happen! I am just someone who keeps saying ‘no’... Also, I am someone who will send him to hell if he tries anything, and he knows that! I don’t mean jack to him! I like him; I have to admit it, in spite of the fact that I am perfectly aware of what he is capable of and what he’s done... However, I would never succumb to him! Whoever you are, you are humping up the wrong tree right now!” She was greeted by complete silence. “You are lying,” the man said finally. There was no attack, however. “I am not lying,” she said tiredly. “Listen, I don’t know what Julian did... Wait,” she sighed. “Let me rephrase that... I don’t know whom he killed that got your panties up in a bunch, and I couldn't care less, to be honest... Julian and I...” She took a breath. “To be honest, I don’t know what we are,” she admitted. “But what I do know, is the fact that he couldn't care less about what happens to me...” She had no idea if it was true or not. She didn’t care. “Go ahead,” she purred (“Julian would be proud,” someone whispered in her head). “Go ahead and try taking another swing at me... It won’t be easy, just a word of advice... I don’t know about Julian, but I would feel a hell of a lot better if I wasted you myself... By the way,” she added in a somewhat normal voice. “Who is it that you are itching to avenge? Your mate?” “No,” he said. “I never had a mate. My nephew... Well...” he shrugged. “My sister as well, I suppose. She killed herself after Damien died...” “I see,” she nodded. “Well, you are not going to get your...” she remembered the word Julian used a bit ago. “...closure by killing me. You might want to find another object of his affection... Good luck with that though,” she added doubtfully. “I don’t think he has any. Why wouldn’t you just kill him?” She was genuinely curious. “You seem like someone who wouldn’t have troubles with that...” “I don’t want to kill him,” the man said simply. “I want to make him suffer. Not physically,” he said with a small smile in his voice. “That would be doing him a favor... Emotionally; that kind of pain he doesn’t enjoy.” “I see,” she nodded again. “Well, if we are done here, I am going to go home now... And I am not taking shortcuts,” she added. The man stood there without moving or saying anything. “By the way,” Katrena said in a low voice when she brushed past him. “Get into my head one more time and I’ll kill you.” She didn’t wait for his response and walked away. **** She woke up because of the furious door slam. Katrena blinked several times, trying to figure out where in the world she was. Then she remembered, and a small moan escaped her mouth. It was a dream, she realized and buried her head under the pillow. She dreamt about that night when she met Jett for the first time; the night when he made her call for a draw. The damn dream was so vivid that she expected to see Jett’s head on the pillow next to hers the second she opened her eyes... She cursed under her breath and got up, her fingertips tingling with illusion of dreamt game with Fire. God, she missed that... She brushed her teeth, changed her pajamas, and went downstairs. The minute she left her bedroom, she heard rather loud voices from the kitchen. By the time Katrena made it to the bottom of the spiral staircase, one of the voices was almost screaming. It belonged to Mandy. Katrena glanced at Rusty the Dog who was wisely hiding under the stairs, as if afraid that if he got in Mandy’s way right now, he’d be sucked into the vortex of fury as well. Judging by the rapidly increasing volume of Mandy’s voice, the vortex was in full bloom and growing. Katrena sighed and went into the kitchen. “What’s all the hubbub about?” she asked and made her way towards the espresso maker. Mandy whirled towards her. “He...” she said in a trembling voice and poked her finger at Danny, whose expression was miserable but defiant. “He...” Mandy repeated. “...got suspended from school!” she finished. “Oh yeah?” Katrena raised her eyebrows. “For what?” “Fighting,” Mandy fumed. “He almost hospitalized Timmy Barker!” Katrena gave Danny a ‘Good-For-You’ look and he grinned. Mandy closed her eyes as if trying to stop herself from doing him bodily harm. “For the last time,” she said slowly, her eyes still closed. “Where did you learn that move?” “I saw it on TV,” Danny said stubbornly. “No, you did not,” Mandy said in the same slow drawl. “According to your principal, that move of yours could easily break Timmy’s windpipe if you applied more pressure...” Katrena blinked and glanced at Danny whose expression was very gloomy. “That is not a kind of move you would learn by merely watching television,” now Mandy sounded dangerous. “This means, someone taught you. Now, I want to know what kind of people you are hanging out with, because apparently, they could teach you a hell of lot worse things...” Mandy was so pissed off right now that she didn’t even notice she said ‘hell.’ “I don’t want you to hang out with some kids who apparently have a very clear criminal incline... I don’t want you to get under bad influence. Now for the very last time... Who taught you? And if you say ‘TV’ again, you will be grounded until you graduate from high school,” she promised. “Nobody taught me,” Danny said as stubbornly as before. “I saw it on...” “Oh, for the love of God,” Katrena sighed and pushed the ‘On’ button on the espresso maker. “I did, okay? I taught him.” Mandy stared at her as if Katrena suddenly sprouted a couple of horns in the middle of her forehead. Katrena shrugged. “After his fiasco yesterday...” she shrugged again. “What fiasco?” Mandy frowned, and Danny immediately made huge, desperate eyes at Katrena, which she ignored. “Did you see his bruise?” she asked instead, her eyes locked on Mandy’s face. “You told me you fell!” Mandy said incredulously, shifting her gaze towards Danny who closed his eyes. “Fell?” Katrena snorted. “Oh, Mandy... How would someone fall to get such a bruise on the eye? That’s not the marking of the stairs or the floor... That’s the marking of a fist!” “Yeah,” Mandy muttered and shot her a dark look. “You would know about the markings...” “I would,” Katrena nodded simply. “I also figured that Timmy kid didn’t sound like the type who’d back off; and call me crazy, but I thought you’d like your son to have his both eyes intact by the end of the school year...” she shrugged again. “So yeah, I taught him a couple of moves.” “A couple?” Mandy blinked. “Oh, Jesus... What else did you teach him?” “Well,” Katrena glanced at the espresso maker and noted that her mug was almost full, to her satisfaction. “How to make a fist properly, and I showed him a few weak spots on the body that could knock out a horse if used correctly...” “Oh my Lord Jesus Christ on the bloody treadmill...” Mandy closed her eyes for a second. “You are grounded until Monday,” she said after she opened them and looked at Danny. “Jeff’s birthday party is on Saturday,” Danny said in a small voice. “He is my best friend...” “Tough,” Mandy hissed. “Now go to your room!” “Mandy,” Katrena sighed and took her mug. She hesitated for a second, sighed again, and handed it to Mandy. “What are you grounding him for? For standing up for himself or for not turning me in?” Mandy took the mug and narrowed her eyes at Katrena who started to work the espresso maker again. She sipped her coffee and looked at Danny. “What time is Jeff’s party on Saturday?” she asked finally. “Two,” Danny almost whispered, unborn tears reflecting in his eyes. “You are grounded until then,” Mandy said in somewhat calmer voice, and Danny stared at her with disbelief. “Get out of my sight,” she finished. “Now,” she added when he just stood there, his eyes darting back and forth between Katrena and his mother. “Kid,” Katrena said in a low voice. “If I were you, I wouldn’t push my luck and I would get the hell out of here.” Danny blinked and darted out of the kitchen. Mandy sipped more coffee. “Why didn’t you tell me that he got into a fight yesterday?” she asked finally. “What would you do?” Katrena leaned on the counter. “I would go to the principal!” Mandy nodded energetically. “I would take measures! I would make sure that...” “...Timmy Barker beats all shit out of Danny when he comes back from his suspension,” Katrena finished with a slight nod. “Mandy, I’ve met people like Timmy. It doesn’t matter how old they are; they are wired the same way. People like Timmy Barker do not respond to reasoning or common sense. They respond to brutality, that’s it. If Danny said anything to you or the teacher, he’d be cornered in that boys’ room until he ended up in ICU... If he kept his mouth shut and did nothing, he’d have to go through the exact same thing, and you know why?” “Why?” Mandy asked very tiredly. “Because,” Katrena glanced at her mug under the dripping nozzle of the espresso maker. “Once they find an easy prey, they don’t stop until something changes. Talking to him would be futile. Danny needed to react. I showed him how.” “Why wouldn’t he just tell me?” Mandy finished her coffee and slammed the mug on the counter. “Because I asked him not to,” Katrena said seriously. “I wasn’t sure about your reaction... Now,” she grabbed the full by now mug and turned off the machine. “He would rather miss Jeff’s party than turn me in...” she sipped her coffee and half-closed her eyes. “It should make you proud, really...” “Proud...” Mandy hemmed. “The kid is not a traitor,” Katrena nodded seriously. “I’d be proud...” “Yeah, well,” Mandy snorted and pointedly looked at Katrena’s stomach. “Just wait a little... Your pride-bringer is on the way. Are you gonna teach your kid the same things you taught Danny?” “Oh, hell, no,” Katrena said seriously, and Mandy’s eyes became wide. “I’ll teach that monkey a hell of a lot more,” she finished, and this time, Mandy laughed.
  11. "If to love and hate are both self-inflicted pains, 

    I'll choose the more rewarding torment for myself." 

    Euenus (Greek Anthology, 12:172)

     

    1. Mikiesboy

      Mikiesboy

      That made me smile on this gloomy day.  xo

  12. aditus

    Stargazer

    You point out the very heart of the poem --and mine.
  13. aditus

    Constellation Leo

    Voli me Tangere" is a brilliant addition to the theme. I would have never thought of that! Brilliant! Thank you, Rigby!
  14. Good Morning Sir, coffee?

     

    72d00ef4d0bcf17e36c57d3b8882a096--cup-of-coffee-coffee-time.jpg

    1. MacGreg

      MacGreg

      Good timing. I'm ready to sit down and do some writing.

  15. aditus

    Voli Me Tangere

    I'm so glad you chose Voli Me Tangere to get to know my work, not many people read this story. I'm intrigued by your conclusion: (and that raises the possibility that current moves to treat both genders as equals might fall foul of the natural animosity between males and females and result in disaster for one group.) Thank you, Rigby.
  16. Timothy M.

    Chapter 33

    Great lead up to the wedding. Cassie is a wonderful planner.
  17. CassieQ

    Flashpoint

    It is certainly sad that Elliot and Grant were so much at odds with each other and that Elliot had to go through what he did. I think it speaks great volumes of Elliot's love towards Grant that he is willing to try and work through what happened, but I think the two of them still have a ways to go. Thank you so much reading and commenting!
  18. Thirdly

    Epilogue

    Yes, they are all quite happy. Glad you enjoyed the story.
  19. Thirdly

    Epilogue

    Agreed. Kris could have done much worse, but he preferred "hands-on" to weapons and emotional torture to homicide.
  20. Broadswords Chapter Forty-Six The Battle, Part Two Von was dead. Kasaj and Orvit, the seventh- and eighth-ranked slayers, were dead. Their numbers were dwindling at a rapid pace. One battle had already cut the Jhirdyrian slayers down by a third. And it didn't seem like it was slowing down one bit. Daegon was uncharacteristically finding himself doubting their chances. He didn't often have such a grim outlook, but this was different. While Elan was battling alongside Tayrick and Feodoro, Daegon's group wasn't as well-rounded. Lana, the only non-slayer involved, was holding her own more than the other two. Caspin, the sixth-ranked, and Verne, the ninth, were practically useless. Whereas he and Lana had formed a smooth rhythm, the newcomers were not on the same page. If they didn't get their acts together, they might end up getting them all killed. Daegon hadn't seen other slayers in action in quite some time. If this was how they all performed during their more routine slays, it was no wonder they hadn't moved up in the rankings. There had already been two or three occasions in which Daegon's quick reaction time had prevented them from getting devoured as Orvit had. Neither of the men had the dexterity that Daegon would expect to see in any slayer, regardless of where they ranked. In truth, Lana should have been a slayer over either one of them. He was much more impressed with her skills. Regardless of everything else, though, both he and Elan had managed to take down a dragon. It was tough work, far more difficult than anything he'd come to face in the past. But there were two down. Ten to go. Elan had managed to slay his due to the ignorant actions Kasaj had taken. The foolish slayer had charged at the dragon. That was always an ill-advised move against beasts of this size. Daegon, like Elan, knew that one must always look for an opening. Distractions were of major importance in dragonslaying. One moment of a dragon letting its guard down was all that was needed to make a big move. Unfortunately for them, these dragons didn't seem to be easily distracted. In reality, the distractions that had so far befallen them were sheer dumb luck. It would take a whole lot more of that kind of luck for them to have the same outcome with those remaining. "Look out!" Lana called breathlessly. Daegon chanced a glance in her direction to witness as she swung her sword upward, crashing against the underside of the dragon's jaw. Verne had let his guard down, and if it weren't for Lana's quick actions, he'd have been the fourth slayer to go. It angered Daegon. Everyone had to look out for themselves, and if he and Lana were having to babysit these other two, it would prevent them from focusing on what they needed to. He almost bellowed for Caspin and Verne to back off, but he didn't have time. The dragon's head practically bounced off of Lana's sword, and it used the momentum to swing it rapidly in Daegon's direction. He wasn't provided the right angle to attack, so instead he ducked and rolled to the side. It wasn't an easy maneuver considering how many of them there were, but he managed to escape its reach with only a smattering of scrapes along the way. These idiots were now causing him to be in more danger than he rightfully should. If he made it out of this, he wouldn't be against having a long talk with the king about the slayer selection process. The two of them wouldn't even be well-equipped to be slayers in a less dragon-addled kingdom such as Lodus. But the fact that they were amongst the ranks in Jhirdyr, one of the biggest dragonslaying kingdoms? It was inane. He sprung back up and distanced himself a little further from the other slayers. He didn't like having so much distance between himself and the dragon, but he didn't have much other choice. If they continued to be so clustered together, it would be their downfall. He noticed Lana doing the same thing, and realized she had come to the same conclusion. Elan had done a damn good job in choosing his squire. Whether she was this capable when she first joined him, or whether Elan had busted his ass in training her to this level, she was a force. Daegon unfortunately could not say the same of Birten. It was no fault of Birten's, either. It was Daegon's own fault. Birten was a fine squire, and did exactly what he needed to do. He brought brains and logic to the team. Quick-witted and observant, he was perfectly suited for the job. But Daegon had never really honed Birten's fighting skills. He'd been too busy over the years tearing the squire down to consider the possibility of putting some of that effort into making him more well-rounded. If Birten had been there with them, he'd certainly be dead. There was no way he could hold his own against a dragon, let alone these ones. And that would have to change. Daegon knew that whatever happened, he'd have to shape Birten into a warrior. That's what a dragonslayer was supposed to do with their squires, and Lana was proof that Daegon wasn't quite as perfect as he once would have considered himself to be. He watched as she found an opening and swung at the beast. Her blade found its way in between a handful of scales and caused a thin line of crimson to bubble up between them. It was far from a death blow, but any injury could only help. Caspin tried to take the opportunity to do something, too. Granted, the dragon was slightly reacting to its new wound, but it wasn't distracted enough for a big move. Yet there Caspin went, thrusting his sword forward. He managed to put enough force behind the plunge that it did pierce the dragon's hide. It came as a surprise to all of them, most of all Caspin. However, it was immediately clear that a stab might not have been the best call. As the slayer tried to pull the sword back out, it appeared that it was stuck. It must have gotten lodged at just the right angle, because Daegon could tell that it wasn't budging even though Caspin was pulling at it with all his might. The dragon stared at Caspin for a moment, and briefly all of the sounds around them seemed to fall to a hush. The group stared at the situation as it slowly unfolded before Daegon finally came to his senses. "Move, you fool!" Caspin shook out of his own stupor and stumbled backward, leaving his sword protruding from the dragon's chest. He got out of the way just in time, too. The dragon snapped forth with such rapidness that Caspin would have been dead if he had moved one second later. Though Caspin wasn't too bright, or too capable, Daegon didn't want to see any more deaths. At least not from their side. He could sense that everyone around him was on their last legs. Even he was beginning to feel that he was almost out of steam. If something major didn't happen soon, they'd start getting picked off one by one. Their reaction time was starting to be impacted. Reaction time was one of their biggest defenses. If they didn't have that, they didn't have much at all. So Daegon knew that he had to make a bold move. It would be risky, sure. But he was a better planner than most of the other slayers, who so far had been making poor choices. Risky or not, he would make sure the timing was right. If he kept doing what he had been doing up to that point, chances of something happening in their favor were slim. But by putting himself in the situation he was planning, he might just be able to down another of the dragons. He knew Birten wouldn't approve. He knew none of the other slayers would approve, either. Least of all Elan. It wasn't a plan without faults, even he would admit that. But it was something he was willing to gamble. He had to cause a distraction. It was the only thing that had worked so far, and they couldn't continue to wait on chance to cause one for them. So he would make one happen. And the sword that Caspin had left in the dragon was exactly what he needed. While the dragon had its sights on Lana, Daegon barreled forward and leapt atop the hilt of Caspin's sword as if it were a peg utilized to climb the sheer face of a mountain. Considering the sword wasn't wedged in all that well, it wobbled quite a bit. Caspin hadn't been able to pull it out straight-forwardly, but that didn't prevent it from shaking from the weight Daegon added to it vertically. But he kept his footing. He shoved his own sword between another section of scales a few feet higher, and was able to pull himself upward. It didn't take long for the dragon to take notice. It began writhing in an attempt to shake Daegon loose, but the slayer held fast. It wasn't an easy task by any means, but he was able to cling to the creature's hide. It was his intention to distract the dragon long enough for Lana or one of the other slayers to make their move. But the dragon wasn't having it. While trying to rid Daegon from its body, the dragon stamped its feet, creating little to no opportunity for the others to get close. Daegon had to think on his feet. He'd thankfully shoved a dagger in each boot, which hadn't been the most comfortable, but it was paying off now. He used them to further ascend the dragon, and it was almost surreal. He was climbing this dragon as if it were a mountainside of the Ore Cliffs. He was now straddling the beast as if it were a common horse, holding on for dear life. The dragon clearly didn't like it, as it continued to thrash about in an attempt to shake him loose. But he held tight. He looped one arm around the base of its neck, using the other hand to pry one of the daggers from between the scales. With a little bit of effort, he was able to get it out without falling from the creature's back. What he'd initially intended as a distraction was proving to potentially be a way to slay the dragon outright. Continuing to steady himself, he brought the weapon to the dragon's throat. He forced it in with as much strength as he could muster, and he was able to pierce through the scales and skin. The dragon let out a roar, and it shook more furiously than it had thus far. Daegon continued to cling to it with every ounce of strength he had left. When the dragon would quell, Daegon would push or pull at the hilt of the dagger to lengthen the incision he'd made. He could see the reactions of the others, none of them hiding their shock at the display. Even Lana seemed to be slightly letting her guard down, her jaw slack at what she was witnessing. It was bizarre enough from his perspective, and he could only imagine what they must be experiencing. Though they shouldn't have lost their focus, he assumed it was hard not to given the situation. Finally, after several minutes, he was able to saw through the dragon's neck enough that it began to wobble. As it fell, slowly, he prepared himself for the impact of the body against the ground. He leapt off at just the right moment. There was no way, after all of that, in which he was going to allow himself to be catapulted into the air as a result of the chain reaction of the dying carcass slamming against the burnt earth. As he landed, he felt his ankle twist just slightly. It would hurt later, but he didn't care. He'd done it. He'd killed another dragon. The intensity of Elsior's feral yell could be heard above everything else, and Daegon didn't need to look at him to know that the mancer had fallen to his knees in a show of despair. The sound was enough to confirm that they had already done much more than Elsior had expected. And it was glorious.
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