Durnair heard a long, deep sigh escape Konna and turned to watch him. Though she knew she did not have the talent, she heard his thoughts, Fool. You have woken Asyra. She will not be happy with you.
Siir? Asyra? Could it be? Durnair shuddered as the hill behind the magician and his flames began to open, and the ground trembled as though it was come the end of the world.
An almost reptilian head, three, four, more meters in length, emerged from the crevice. The color of phosphorescent jade shedding brown soil as it rose; its emerald eyes ran with veins of gold. Needle-sharp teeth in what might have been the hint of a smile were of shiny pearl the length of a large man’s arm.
The head was followed by a sinuous neck, another ten or twenty meters in length. The dragon stretched, yawned and growled, roared and sent a brilliant green flame another hundred meters into the sky.
“Siir, you have come in answer to my summons. These are blasphemers. Kill them all. Obey my words and kill them all. Burn them to ashes and send them to hell,” commanded the magician.
“Blasphemers all, kill them, kill them,” screeched the priest.
The dragon continued to emerge from the hillside and her true size quickly became apparent. The body was easily more than twenty meters in length and the tail another thirty. Her wings unfurled, thirty meters to a side.
“Obey? Summons?” she questioned and laughed, deep and long. It was a laugh from the depths of the earth, a laugh both feminine and terrifying. “You disturbed my well-earned sleep magician. You disrupted my rest to do murder and satisfy your greed.
“I see your crimes and sentence you to death. I shall feed my hunger and cleanse your stain from the world.” Before the magician could run, she impaled him in her teeth. A short scream and squirt of blood, and he was gone.
The priest ran and Durnair shouted, “He’ll leave a bad taste in your mouth.”
The dragon laughed at the woman, roared and sent a searing lance of verdant flame that enveloped the would-be fugitive. The blaze quickly consumed him, but not rapidly enough to consume the stench of his passing.
She turned back to face the leading wagon and settled her green eyes upon Durnair. “Greetings, granddaughter of Aphasa. You bear the mark of the steppes and your family well. Good fortune to you, to your husband and your children.”
“Thank you, Mistress of Sky and Mountain,” returned Durnair. “Thank you for your help in our hour of need. We shall work to prove ourselves worthy of that aid and your good wishes.”
The dragon dipped her head and seemed to smile as she turned to gaze on Konna who smiled at her.
“It has been a long time husband. How fare you and our children?” asked the dragon softly as Fysal, Durnair and the others stared open-mouthed.
“I am well, Asyra. Our daughter has happily re-married after the accidental death of her first husband. She now has a son in addition to the daughter who has been adopted by her husband. Our son has a trade wagon of his own, a loving wife and strong son. He is happy.”
“Is it time, Konna?” she asked.
“Yes, my love. I believe it is,” he answered.
“Come then. I have rested enough, and I think there may still be some adventure to be found in this old world. Let us find it before it disappears.”
“At your word, my love,” Konna said. He dismounted from the horse and turned to his friends. “Fysal, Durnair, my horses, wagons and their contents are our gift to your children. Thank you and be well.”
“Be well, Konna,” they replied as he walked to Asyra.
Konna used her lowered right wing as a step up to her neck. Seeing that he was well seated, Asyra extended both of her wings and launched herself into the sky. Circling the caravan as she slowly gained altitude, Asyra gave them a tale to tell their grandchildren.
A minute later Konna rolled off, drawing gasps from those watching below. But as he spread his legs and arms, his body lengthened and his wings unfurled. They continued to circle as he grew in size. Those on the ground could not distinguish which was larger, nor tell green from black.
Eventually, Asyra and Konna reached a comfortable altitude and flew north, into the clouds and over the mountains. Into history, into legend and into myth–until the next time.
to be continued?