“You disobeyed a direct order!” Shouted a middle-aged man sitting together with a mass of decorated Order officers in a stand to the right.
“They were toddlers of barely three years!” The young man yelled back.
“They were heathens corrupted by the Demon Lord and traitors to the chief god himself!”
“They could have been brought back here and taught the truth!”
“All heathens are known to be tainted and deserve only death!” The man spat. “The fact that you did not end their lives if proof that you are just as corrupt as your father!” Saying the word “father” with disgust.
“I am nothing like my father you worthless sack of-”
“ENOUGH!” Screamed the man on the podium across from the young man, as he slammed his gavel several times against his stand silencing everyone in the room.
“Commander Ddraig of the fifth regiment, you have openly admitted to allowing zealots to escape the judgment of the One Chief God.” Said the judge staring down the youth with a scowl on his face.
“However, in light of your service to The Order and the many successful campaigns you have led in the Chief Gods name, the council has decided to waive the death penalty. You are to be stripped of your rank and title, as well as your estate.”
In that quiet courtroom the sound of Ddraig’s teeth grinding and straining against each other was audible as he clench his jaw.
“This court is adjourn.” proclaimed the judge. The judge and jury then proceeded to rise and leave the room. A guardsman came up to Ddraig and unlocked his manacles freeing his hands.
As Ddraig was led out of the courtroom, shoved by the guard through the doors, he was met by a group of 4 of his most trusted men from his regiment, waiting outside of the doors.
His First Lieutenant rushed over to him, a grim look on his face.
“Thomas? What are you doin-” Ddraig’s greeting cut off as Thomas socked him in the cheek with his fist.
As Ddraig stumbled back, Thomas grabbed the collar of his tunic yanking Ddraig back up towards his face, glaring at his former commander. “You idiot! Why didn’t you tell one us! Anyone of us would have gladly testified in your defense!” A murmur of agreement passed between the rest of the men.
Ddraig stared back into Thomas’s eyes, still slightly dazed by the solid punch to his face, but voice firm. “You know as well as I do that doing so would give them the perfect excuses to purge Dragon Regiment on suspicion of heresy.”
Thomas scowled as he released Ddraig. “Even so commander…”
Ddraig look up at his taller Lieutenant and placed a hand on his shoulder. “I am no longer your commander Thomas. You are the one in charge now.”
Thomas shook his head. “I am not ready for such a position. I am not as qualified as you.”
“Your right, you can be better.” Ddraig told him as he walked past him. His men parting to let him through.
Ddraig stopped in the middle of the group for a brief moment and looked around at his men. What started as a small platoon of outcasts and rejects grew into the strongest and most unruly regiment in the Order army. He gazed at his most trusted comrades, his friends, his family, and addressed them. “Soldiers! Who are you!”
“WE ARE DRAGON REGIMENT! SIR!” They answered as they stood tall and placed their fists over their hearts as they saluted their former commander.
“And what is dragon company men!”
“THE TOUGHEST RAGTAG REGIMENT ON EDEN! SIR!” Tears starting to brim in the eyes of some of his men.
“First Lieutenant Thomas is now your commander! You would do well to follow his orders! I am going on a journey! I want you all to promise me you will keep the dragon alive! Long live the dragon!
“LONG LIVE THE DRAGON!”
Ddraig nodded, walking past his men. They watched on, some with tear filled eyes, with pride and sadness in their hearts as the man they respected most in the world walk away down that cobblestone hallway.
The sound of axe hitting wood echoed throughout the woods, disturbing the birdsong that constantly played in the trees. The birds continued their song however, as though they were used to it.
The young man enjoyed days like this. Nature always relaxed him the most. He had just finished chopping wood for the week. Taking a moment to wipe the sweat off his brow, he took a deep breath of air. Feeling the smells of nature rush into his nose and fill his lungs. He exhaled as he looked at his surroundings.
His small cabin sat at the edge of the woods. If he looked south from his cabin, the young man could see the northern walls of town. To the north of the cabin was the woods, thick and ominous, he rarely went into them for fear of what may be lurking among the trees. To the east were rich green plains that stretched for what seemed like miles. To the west were more plains with a long dirt road that merchants often traveled on.
Looking back at the pile of chopped wood the young man smirks.
“This should keep me warm for a week at least.” He says to himself as he starts to gather the wood in a small pile in his arms. After gathering all of the wood, the young man began to head back into his cabin.
“Adin!” The young man turned his attention to the voice calling him. Running up hill towards him was a middle-aged man a chain mail shirt, leather pants and a leather cap. The outfit identified him as a guardsmen of the town.
Adin placed the stack of wood back down at his feet as he turned to greet the man calling him.
“Adin! Adin we need help!” Gasped the man.
“Gerald, what’s going on?” Adin asked concerned.
“T-there is a lizard-man in the plaza trying to find a mate!”
Adin stares at Gerald with a slack-jawed expression before bringing his hand up to his face, covering it with his palm.
“Gerald, are you trying to tell me that of all the fully trained guards in town, including yourself, you can’t handle a single lizard-man looking to get hitched?”
“T-this one’s different, s-she’s tougher than any lizard-man I’ve ever seen. She’s beaten all of us and is just standing in the plaza yelling for us to bring her our strongest champion. We need yo-”
“My help, got it. Give me a second to gather my things and we’ll go into town.” Adin turns and walks into his cabin. Inside the sparsely decorated cabin was a small bedroom and kitchen. In the bedroom, propped against the wall, was an old chipped and dull sword and a set of leather armor.
Grabbing the aged sword and leather vest, Adin turned the opposite wall which held a mirror and a chest directly below it. Reflected in the mirror was a hazel eyed young man. He had disheveled brown hair that ended in bangs almost covering his eyes. His body had an athletic build that showed slight scarring here and there.
He runs his hand through his hair, observing the reflections reaction. Snapping out of his daydreaming he hurriedly dons the leather vest and attached the sheathed sword to his belt. Looking at his reflection to adjust the vest and scabbard into a better position. Seeing everything in order Adin begins to walk back to the door.
“Okay Gerald, let’s go.” Adin replies as he closes the cabin door behind him.
“Let’s hurry then, who knows what trouble she my be causing right now.” Gerald says as he turns and begins to trek back down hill towards the northern side of town. Adin followed Gerald while contemplating how he will attempt to resolve the lizard-man issue.
‘Normal lizard-men tend to leave their clan as soon as they are of age. That is the reason most of them are usually easily beaten by those with sufficient training in fighting. That doesn’t mean lizard-men are weak, far from it, as their inhuman speed and strength allow them to defeat any average man even without training.’
‘However a large portion of lizard-men leave their clan with minimal training and attempt to train by challenging those they meet on their travels. A lizard-man that can defeat all the guards in town, especially Gerald, is rare. Perhaps she stayed with her clan for longer than most, or perhaps more worrying is that she was a veteran of battle. If that is the case then this will be difficult..’
“Mark open the gate! I’ve got Adin!” Adin’s thoughts were interrupted by Gerald’s shouting. On top of the stone wall were two guard towers. The man called Mark, identified by a ponytail of dirty blond hair that fell from under his helmet on to his back, nodded and shouted behind him. “Open the gate!”
On his command the sound of chains being pulled and wooden cranks began as the gate opened inward. Looking back in his direction Mark shouted, “Sorry about this Adin, but we need help with this one.”
“Don’t worry about it Mark. Oh, but can you tell Betsy to bring me some more milk, I ran out yesterday.”
“I don’t know Adin, she’s my wife but you seem to drink more of her milk than I do.” Mark replied with a smirk.
“Stow it Mark, she’s told me the kinds of things you two do at night.”
“S-shut up! T-that’s none of your business asshole! Just go and take care of that crazy lizard-man!”
“Ha ha, fine, see you later man.” Adin yelled as he entered town.
As Adin and Gerald walked through town passing mamono and their husbands, (as wells some human couples), some of which waved at them, Gerald look at Adin and asked, “So how are you gonna deal with her?”
“Well I’m not going to fight her if that’s what you’re asking, I am going to try to talk to her and get her to either stop causing trouble or leave town.”
“Do you think that will work?”
“Well lizard-men tend to be quite reasonable folk if you talk to them.”
“I don’t know Adin this one seems different.”
“Well, we will just have to see won’t we.”
They both continued on in silence as they got closer and closer to the town plaza.
After a few more minutes of walking they both rounded the corner into the plaza.
The first thing Adin notice was the crowed of people who formed a ring around the plaza center. The second was the prone forms of some guards propped up against some buildings.
“No, no, they’re just unconscious.” Gerald answered.
As they both walked towards the ring of people Gerald began to shout “Make way, make way please!”
Recognizing the captain of the guard the people blocking the way parted, revealing what they were so interested in.
Sitting in the plaza center was the lizard-man.
Adin furrowed his brow as he examined the mamono in front of him.
She had dusky skin that resembled caramel in coloring. Where the hands and feet of a normal human woman would be, were instead red scaled lizard-like claws. Crimson red scales covered her lower legs and forearms. She wore a skimpy string bikini bottom that just protected her modesty. Her belly was bare so you could see the outline of well-developed abs.
Her chest was covered by what looked like a scale bra, which seemed to strain in order to contain her large assets. Her hair was a deep dark red, that tied into a ponytail by a black bow. Sticking out on both sides of her head were fin like protrusions, that seemed to act as ears. Curled around her side was a scaled tail, the same color as the rest of her scales. On closer inspection the tail was coated in flames that burned low-level, oddly enough the flames did not seem to bother the lizard-man.
Adin’s eyes opened wide as he made a sudden realization. “This is bad, real bad!” he groaned.
“What’s wrong Adin?” Gerald asked concerned.
“That’s no lizard-man, that’s a salamander.”
“A salamander!? But they should be in mountains, not here!”
“Tell that to her.” Adin said as he walked closer to the salamander.
“Excuse me. Ma’am?” Adin tried to get her attention but to no avail. “Hello, ma’am can I ask you some questions?” He tried again as he walk closer to her.
As soon as he was a foot away from her eyes shot open and a toothy grin grew on her face. “Well, well, what do we have here.” She asked.
“My name is Adin, I was told that there was a problem in the plaza. Are you perhaps the problem miss…”
“Names Jana, and you must be the champion I asked for.” She said as she stood up. At her full height she was able look into Adin’s eyes, matching his 6’2 height. As she stood in front of Adin she looked him up and down. She began to pace around him appraising him in the same way a farmer might appraise a newly acquired farm animal.
“My eyes are up here you know.”
“That they are champ.” She replies as she finishes her inspection. Looking back at his face, Jana let out a disappointed sigh. “I suppose you will have to do.”
“Come on then! Lets fight!” Jana shouted as she pulled a sword from behind her and took a stance. As she took her stance, the flames around her tail flared up. The weapon she brandished had a blade machete like in structure, Adin recognized it as a falchion. The guard and hilt look to be made out of scales the same as color the ones that adorned her arms and legs.
“Wait! Wait, I don’t want to fight!” Adin shouted as he began to back away and waved his hands in a surrender.
“Too bad!” She yelled as she leapt forward and brought her sword around in a horizontal slash.
“Shit!” Adin ducked, feeling the sword brush over his head.
“Are you trying to kill me!?” Adin shouted angrily.
“Oh, don’t be such a baby! The blade is dull!” Jana yelled back to Adin as she continued to sing her sword back around for a diagonal slash.
Adin barely dodged it as it sliced through his hair. “Taur-shit! That’s sharp as hell!”
The crowd shuffled backwards distancing themselves from the fighting. With a shout Adin leapt from a crouch into a charging tackle. As he collided with Jana he grappled her upper arms. They both fell to the ground with a thud. Adin pushed her arms above her head, but Jana’s hands still firmly grasped her falchion.
“Oh, you’re full of surprises, aren’t you handsome.” Jana whispers into Adin’s face. The flames of her tail burning even brighter.
“Thanks, now if you could drop your weapon then perhaps we could work this out in a civilized manner.”
“I don’t think so champ. This is just starting to become fun!” She shouts as she brought her knees up to her chest and kicks Adin with both feet, launching him off her. Adin landed a full three feet away from her.
Both of them launched themselves off the ground, landing on their feet. Adin drew his chipped sword and holds it in front of him with both hands. Seeing Adin’s Sword Jana snorts, “You call that a weapon! Ha! I’ve seen sticks more threatening than that!”
“It may not be the best sword, but it will be all I need to beat you.” Adin retorts.
Jana’s eye twitches, “Oh is that so? Okay then let’s see who’s better, me or you!” With that she charges at Adin with inhuman speed, her tail blazing with the intensity of a large bonfire, her sword poised for a downward slash.
Adin braces his feet and turns his blade 145 degrees to the left. As Jana got within range, she brought her sword down with tremendous force. Adin caught the blow with his sword, feeling the force behind it, causing his hands to go numb. Jana’s falchion slide down Adin’s sword, sparks flying from the blades friction.
Jana’s falchion slide into the ground with enough force to embed itself in the cobblestone. Taking his chance Adin raises his sword and strikes Jana in the temple with the pommel of his sword.
The sound of a solid thud echoed in the plaza as Jana’s eyes rolled back in her head. Her grip on her falchion lost, she falls on her back in a daze. Adin stood over her with a look of abject fear on his face.
Gerald ran up to Adin and notice his expression. “What’s wrong Adin? You beat her! Why do you look scared?”
Adin turned to Gerald his eyes open wide in horror. “I fucked up big time Gerald.”
“Oh, you’re gonna get fucked all right!”
Both Adin and Gerald turned towards Jana. “Marry me champ! I’ll give you the fuck of a lifetime!” She shouted without shame as her tail burned so bright it hurt the eyes to look at.
Gerald look back at Adin flabbergasted. Adin hung his head low with an annoyed look on his face.
He looked up right into Jana’s eyes and shouted, “I refuse!”31643 Views