That fucking idiot of an Argonian!
I am a damned vampire- a Volkihar for fuck’s sake!- not some maiden to be told what is best! I finally had a life to live after being cooped up in a cave for Bal knows how long and there is no way I’m going to run in fear of a dragon because of its flames. Still, Xian is a fucking idiot if he honestly believed I’d listen to him on letting him handle the fighting alone.
The both of us sprinted to the canal wall dodging fleeing citizens and those pleading for help. As much as the untainted little girl inside me wished to five aid doing so would not solve the problem. Xian knew this as well as his heavy boots pounded past everyone. The difference between the two of us was that he didn’t appear to be moved to help them. Blocking out the noises of injured folk to finish the task laid before him.
“That Shout won’t affect the dragon for long!” Xian hissed. “Only around five minutes. Either kill it fast or obliterate the membrane of the wings!”
“And let me guess, you have a plan for that?” I questioned continuing to speed down the street. How damn far was the wall from the main gate?!
“A simple, effective one that requires precision! The durability of a wings varies from dragon to dragon. However an immensely sharp blade does the trick.” He smiled showing his many pointed reptilian teeth. “And my daggers fit the criteria.”
“Any that’s sharp enough would!” I snapped back. “Besides didn’t you damage the one you tried to kill Lights with?”
“It punctured the marble without damaging the blade.” He help up the daggers showing me the truth. I couldn’t even see a nick on it when compared to the other. “This one takes care of the things needed for work,” he added with a cocky grin.
Finally we skidded to a stop, coming face-to-face with the wyvern. Charred black scaled tainted with natural red gave me the image of a blood moon nearly hidden by clouds leaving only a sliver for the world to see. Crimson that was not his own caked the maw and topaz under scales creating the impression of a blood thirsty animal.
Oh wait it was.
“Viidost Vith!” the leviathan bellowed. “What have you done to me?!” He began to grip the supports holding himself aloft. His eyes, furrowed and full of thunder and rage, burned holes iinto us as his body shimmered in a blue arcane hue.
“What did I do? I attacked your mortality! The only thing that separates you and your kind from us land walkers!” Xian arrogantly brandished his weapons and gave the dragon a smug grin. “Two minutes before you feel normal again. Should be more than enough time to take your soul!”
Take his soul? I thought quickly staring at the hunter. What are you talking…? “Mind explaining that t-”
With the reaction of lightning Xian yanked me towards him as the head of the dragon smashed into the side of a building. The wood and support beams, stained and weathered with years of wear-and-tear, buckled and splintered like an egg. The cries of someone foolish enough rang from inside, altering everyone in the vicinity.
The winged beast looked to the Wood Elf with a death filled smile. “Ahh, another snack before I devour the rest of this city!”
Xian began to pepper him but he simply ignored the pain and descended on the weeping elf. Even if there was anything he could do Xian was not able to rescue the man. He couldn’t.
But I could.
In a flash of magic my body morphed into that of black and red lighting, traveling to the Bosmer’s side as fast as the real, and magical, occurrence. “Shh,” I ordered to the elf as my body reconstituted. He stared dumbfounded and a touch awestruck, his red-rimmed eyes looking into my own. “Save first, explain later!”
I glanced to the ebony lizard who shared the Mer’s expression: a deer caught in torchlight. Unable to move or comprehend what just happened, this short pause in the fight didn’t go unnoticed. The dragon took the free hit with everything he could.
The drake swung his head towards the bounty hunter, the snout just catching the man’s armored chest. I could hear something creak as Xian was sent flying backwards, daggers nearly sent sprawling form his grip. He rolled to a halt only to have his head hit a rock.
Dazed and disoriented Xian tried to push the sensations away only to fail and fall down over and over. The monster climbed over the rest of the wall and crawled up to his opponent. His prey.
“For Alduin thu’uri!!!” the dragon cried.
The deadly jaws descended towards Xian, intent on making his death slow and painful. He tried to move out of the way but the dizziness held its iron grip causing the Argonian to fumble and fall once more.
I dashed forward my body taking the shape of lightning with a sudden rush; a sudden hunger. My fangs were bared as I solidified beside the head. With all the strength I had my fist connected with the dragon’s large jaw. The krack! could be heard from blocks away.
The beast, oblivious to me let along the sudden and extreme force, toppled over destroying the railing. A roar escaped his lips spitting up fire into the water just below creating a geyser. The steam didn’t faze the creature but I didn’t give a damn!
“He’s isn’t dying today!” I panted heavily. “Your ‘Alduin’ will have to be avenged another day!”
“FIRE!!!” Unmid called out.
A volley of arrows suddenly rained down upon the drake. The twisted burned scaled offered great protection but a great many of the projectiles were able to weasel their way into the soft flesh. Not willing to not be part of the kill I joined in sending as many bolts of lightning into him. He roared and thrashed as pain rocketed from every point in his body. The tail and wings crashed and slammed against anything and everything nearby, either damaging them or destroying places entirely.
One building took a clean hit from the dragon’s tail, taking a large portion out with ease. A couple of Argonians, husband and wife by the looks of them, ran for the nearest, safest exit as their legs could carry them. For a brief moment I could see the woman holding a tan-scaled child to her chest.
The leviathan lifted his head as the three were making their way, forcing them to pause in fear. The little one shrieked in terror as the head loomed closer, burying their face into the mother’s chest.
A blast of concussive force cracked against the neck of the beast making him twist to an awkward position. Everyone close by looked to see Xian standing on the edge of the street. His face bore only rage, eyes nearly on fire with anger.
“Attacking Riften is one thing. Attacking those I care for?!?” he hissed angrily. The daggers were both trembling in his hands, the shining edges and wicked gutting hooks seemingly begging to be saturated in blood. “Alduin himself would not be able to protect you from me!!!”
The bounty hunter leapt and managed to sink his weapons into the lower neck of the beast, acting as makeshift climber picks. The beast took flight, or at least tried to with some effort with the position he was in.
The dragon screeched as the lizard drove the blades deeper into the flesh, blood pouring from the wounds. I could smell it on the wind and it made my mouth water. The sweet scent mixed with raw power and magic…!
No! I shook my head. Not now! “You three! Get to the Ratway or whatever it’s called. We’ll get you when it’s dead!” With a simple hurried nod they fled. Lightning blitzed to life again in a palm ready to strike the dragon. Where are you? Can hear but not- Locating and seeing Xian floating in the air was new. You’re fucking with me, that dragon can turn invisible?! Well with the blood and suspended lizard against him it wasn’t difficult shooting the bastard.
The wings were the best target to hit, keep him from flying and stay on the terrain. With the dragon invisible, however, pinpointing a specific spot was nigh impossible.
A flash of bright blue came into being as the hunter Shouted. An aura had covered the beast from snout to tail, revealing him to the world once more. “Crash you motherfucker!!” I heard Xian cry out. “CRASH!!!” His daggers were creating a frenzy of motions, stabbing wildly as blood showered him and the dragon in a red fog. The smell was so potent, so tantalizing. I think I drooled a little.
So thirsty… So red…!
The loud boom of a body against earth and vegetation rocked the city to its core. Buildings that were already burning down and falling apart had taken a turn for the worse; loose dirt and stone fell to the streets as they collapsed. But it also shook me awake once again from the urge to drink.
The commotion of people leaving their cover and running for the main gates made me follow out of social convention. Sounds of battle, roars of pain and yells of anger and rage rang in my ears. Perhaps only I could hear as no other soul paid heed to them.
We ran past the gate to, in my eyes, a ghastly sight: the dragon on his side, wing obviously broken and twisted in a grotesque fashion. The Argonian bounty hunter was covered in blood and paced close by with an arrow in hand. He was trembling in assumed contained anger bombarding the dragon with questions.
“Why Riften? Why now of all times?” He played with the head of the weapon, a claw circling the deadly tip. “It doesn’t make sense.”
“You will not get me to speak, false Dovahkiin! Viidost Vith! Mal! Vonizraad!”
“’False Dragonborn?’ I’ll make sure to take a note of that.” Xian gave his neck a pop causing some in the crowd to grimace. In the dragon I swear his eyes widened in delight, tongue licking death and gore from lips and teeth. “But Viidost Vith, Poison Snake… Is that why my title is to you rebellious Dovah now?”
“There are many names lingering through our ranks!” the beastie explained. “Viidost Vith is most prevalent.”
“Interesting. More information from a Child.”
“I am no Goraan Gein, Viidost Vith!”
“Ahh, now see Paarthurnax and Akatosh would argue otherwise.” Everyone watched in silence as the friction between Xian and the dragon swelled like an infected wound. The arrow gently scrapped against the coal scales. “Akatosh deffinetly but at least Paarthurnax answers me.”
“Bormah los nid Bormah do dii!” the creature sneered between ragged breaths. “Paarthurnax los nikriin, med hi joor!”
“Ahrk fos wahl zey nikriin?” Xian shot back in the same language. “Tol Zu’u krii Alduin? Tol Zu’u Dovah? Fah moor?”
Both lizards continued back and forth in that confusing tongue. Surprising even myself I understood a touch of what was being now spat. One word every now and then was clear and everything else may as well have been gibberish. That book of the dragon language at the Castle had its uses.
“No matter,” Xian finally stated. “Your Lord. Who is it?”
“You cannot force me to betray him!” The great eyes of the leviathan challenged the lizard, staring into his soul. Xian, however, was unfazed.
“Shame. Guess your Soul will.”
Before a cry of rejection could sound the arrow pierced through the soft eye, cutting onto the brain. A loud fumble washed over our feet as the fight to live left the body. My mind was pulled back into reality as the consequences of the fight raced along my arm. And ears. The reptilian couple’s child cried as a bright, flaming light resonated from the lifeless corpse.
I looked in awe as the flesh and scales evaporated, melting away from the bones mimicking water turning to steam. The fire had a life of its own bubbling and pawing at the air before setting its sights on Xian. He became enveloped by the light creating the picturesque look of an Aedra until it all disappeared into his body. The man took in whatever the fuck came off the dragon as only the skeleton and some blood remained.
“Now, now little Tol-Ki,” Xian softly murmured as he approached. “It is alright. It is all over now.”
The child looked up from his mother’s blouse with tears in his eyes and tail wrapped around her waist. “Uncie Xi!!” he wailed throwing those little arms around his neck.
“Shh, shh. Don’t worry Told, Uncie Xi is here.” A soft smile played across his features at my shock. “He’s my godson.”
“’Godson?’ You?” I asked exuberantly. “I never would have guessed.”
“Good.” He began to cradle the little boy with a tenderness that I only got a small glimpse of back at Solitude. “I never want this to spread. Do I make myself clear?” The crowd was silent only giving a nod. There was a woman among them, however, that had a twinkle in her eye. Black hair back in a braid and clothes that screamed nobility. Xian didn’t notice her. “Thank you. You know the bones and left over scales can be used, yeah Balimund?”
A Nord stepped forward covered in sweat, soot and shavings of iron. “Yea but-”
“Then have fun,” he interrupted. He knew the blacksmith wasn’t satisfied with the response. “I’ve meticulous notes from Eorlund and the Orcs from Markarth on how to use them. Now if you please,” Xian hissed shooing the man away.
The child in his arms had calmed down a little but continued to make his neck wet with tears. Having not been around children and not being one for far longer, I didn’t know how to help despite my wanting to. To my ever growing surprise the hunter had it all under control.
“It is alright Tol-Ki, Unci Xi is here to protect you.” He rubbed the boy’s back giving what comfort possible. “Do you want the song?”
Tol nodded, rubbing more salt water into his ‘uncie’s’ scales. “Y-yessss…”
“Okay, okay. Shh. Shh.” Xian sat on a nearby rock with the mother and father of the child and myself close by. Everyone else that was around had gone to examine the remains of the monster.
Tii’ ahseah qui’ a’ah
Ri’o shaa ka, nee sah core’ e nahtah
Vieh xiu’ eo mae edxahou
Grexu’s a mah, i’bo tah, hio xhah
Hias zi’bo laa ba y’u ooganya ha
Shaa u’xhu brah lii pa’oka tii’
Xo hatan a wai o veis
I retore bo woah, caa ‘waxh bo’sii
We stood silent and listened as he sang for the child, cradling him against his chest. It was the definition of fatherly which made me think back on better times. Harkon wasn’t the greatest man to look up to as a girl but there was no one else. The other men of the Court were, and still are, sniveling bitches with egos bigger than their balls. Blood it was suffocating! But looking at the two of them I felt peace.
Dammit, getting sentimental and jealous because he is doing what any parent would, should, do. “Xian.” He faced me. “Despite everything that’s happened here don’t you think it’s time to head out before it gets too dark for you to see?”
“Yeah,” he nodded after a moment. “It is. Sorry for the ‘excitement’ Talan, Keerava.” Xian passed the sleeping Tol to his mother before plucking an arrow from his quiver. “In case he doesn’t have enough already.”
“Indeed,” she wearily chuckled. “But with the wall out and the inn we-”
A fat sack of coin was tossed into the green Argonian’s chest. That is around one thousand gold. Don’t argue, you’ll lose.”
“Xian I… thank you,” Talen smiled.
“You’re welcome.” He turned to the west with a calculative stare. “Probably around four… we need to leave.”
“Right. But the horses ran off. Dammit!” He pointed to the crest of a hill where the animals in question arose. “Well speak of the Daedra.”
“You and I will need to discuss something at a later time. Now is not that.”
“What are you talking about?”
“This one said later,” he growled.
I rolled my eyes. “Whatever.”
When we finally got everything ready and loaded onto the horses I took one last look over my shoulder. The little Argonian was half awake playing with his new toy. Bloodshot eyes shined with excitement and happiness looking the thing up and down. He knew not to mess with the four pronged head and went for the feathers instead.
Unfortunately I did not linger on the happy family long as my eyes darted to the bloody skeleton. Once full of life, death and destruction the dragon now laid dead. I focused too much on the darker spots of still moist crimson. My hands squeezed the reins, the pain of my broken one not budging my hunger. Bal what I wouldn’t kill to sate my thirst right now!
The reminder of hunger lingered in my body long after the city- nay the skeleton!- was a spec in the distance.
Goraan Gein: Young One
Bormah los nid Bormah do dii! Paarthurnax los nikriin, med hi joor
Akatosh is no Father of mine! Paarthurnax is a coward, like you mortal!
Ahrk fos wahl zey nikriin? Tol Zu’u krii Alduin? Tol Zu’u Dovah? Fah moor?
And what makes me a coward?! That I killed Alduin? That I kill Dragons? For fun?