Dragon Fire: Episode 26

Aric stood between Degan and Elisabeth as she came charging towards him.

“Aric move aside! I will kill him!” Elisabeth insisted.

“I cannot permit it,” Aric responded.

“You will! He is trouble, and I will end it!” Elisabeth demanded.

“No! I owe him my life,” Aric said.

“That is nothing to me,” Elisabeth said.

“If I may interject,” Degan spoke up.

“Quiet!” Elisabeth snapped.

“Killing me would prove most unfortunate,” Degan said.

“Why?” Elisabeth asked.

“Within me dwells a great power that I struggle to restrain. In caves beneath this place, lie many dead. If I were killed, this power would be unleashed, and the dead beneath us would awaken and be set free,” Degan said.

Elisabeth looked from Degan to her men.

She hesitated.

“There are no bodies in caves beneath this place,” she scoffed.

“I speak the truth. I can sense their presence,” Degan assured her.

“Let me learn what I came for then I will take him away,” Aric offered.

“What do you want to know?” Elisabeth asked.

“First I must tell you that Rassiun is dead,” Aric said.

“What?” Elisabeth said in disbelief.

“He was shot in the back,” Aric said.

“Who did this?” Elisabeth asked.

“I do not know. But moments before he was killed, I caught him stealing from the market,” Aric said.

“You are mistaken. Why would he steal when he has a good farm?” Elisabeth questioned. “We buy regularly from him. ”

“No more. His farm was burned down,” Aric responded.

“And his family? Are they well?” Elisabeth asked.

“Arissa’s dead, and the boy Isaac is missing.”

Elisabeth let her sword drop as she walked away, stunned into silence.

“I am sorry,” Aric said.

“I will find who is responsible for this, and I will cut them open and hang them by their intestines,” Elisabeth swore through clinched jaw.

“The men who attacked the farm had black arrows. I have seen these arrows in the city. Rassiun was in trouble, perhaps with one of the guilds,” Aric suggested. “I questioned a man in town about what happened and he directed me here.”

“I know nothing of this,” Elisabeth insisted.

Aric hesitated then said,

“Very well. I am taking Degan to a friend who can help him and then I will be return to search for Isaac.”

“I will begin searching for him this very day,” Elisabeth said.

Aric turned to Degan, “We must leave.”

As Degan walked back to the cart, Elisabeth said boldly,

“Aric, you would not have succeeded in protecting him from me.”

“Perhaps, but you would not have survived had you struck me down,” Aric said.

“How can you know this?” she asked.

Aric clicked his tongue and turned to leave. As he did, Tolora burst out from behind a crate not three feet from where Elisabeth had been standing.

Elisabeth smiled slightly as she watched Tolora hurry to catch up with Aric.



*              *                *

When they were leaving the grove, Degan said,

“I am sorry about your friend back there.”

“Do not worry,” Aric responded.

“I hope I did not ruin your friendship,” Degan said.

“No. All is well,” Aric assured him.

After a long stretch of silence, Aric said, “When Elisabeth and I were sparring, I saw her archery equipment.”

He paused then added,

“She had black arrows.”

Published in: on March 13, 2012 at 1:58 am  Leave a Comment  

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