Blades of Destiny

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She stood at the edge of the cliff looking down. She knew she wouldn't be able to climb down that far. Sighing she looked around for another way. Sad gray rocks were all she could see. She had no where to go unless she climbed down. The looming mountain behind her and the sudden hills to all sides of her made it impossible to go any other way. She sighed again and looked around. She shouldn't have picked on that wizard. Yet his stupid yellow robes and hair sticking out everywhere with burnt ends, made it just too easy.
Laughing at her own stupidity she looked down the fifty foot drop, then straight to the sunset. The golden sun was as a painting in the king's castle, worthy for a king. Well at least she got to see something that beautiful. A rumble from behind warned her of the oncoming danger of a storm. She shook her head; the mountain staring down at her reminded her of the danger yet to come. It was, after all, the season for snow storms.
Through the thunder she hadn't heard or noticed the buzzing coming up behind her. Satine felt a chilling presence and knew something evil stood close behind. She spun around drawing her sword at the same moment. Too late, the bug like demon hit her across the face and upper body with its two arms on one side. She fell the fifty feet to the bottom.
When she hit the ground she didn't dare move. Satine could feel that her leg twisted the wrong way. She knew it wouldn't heel for at least a few moments. She blacked out with the hope that the demon wouldn't come down and finish her off.




*
She woke up shivering. The snow storm blew at her from all sides, forcing snow and ice in her hair and eyes. She sat up with every inch of her aching. With difficulty she stood up, she knew that if she stayed there she would freeze to death. She covered up as best she could with her flimsy cloak against the whipping cold. She shook her head at the stupidity of her outfit. She just had to wear her tattered old clothes. She couldn't feel her middle, her legs, or her toes. The half leather shirt that tied up the middle and the leather skirt that came halfway down her thigh did not help at all. Even her boots that were knee high did not help. She shifted her bag on her shoulder and walked away.
She walked for what seemed days. Trudging through the blizzard she came to an opening of a cave. She decided not to go in; after all she was close or across the boundary. She sighed and curled up with her knees to her chest. She wrapped herself in her flimsy cloak and fell asleep.




*
She jerked awake to find herself warm and laying on her back under warm covers. She shifted and started to fall back to sleep. Before she could really fall asleep she realized that a large fire burned next to her. She opened her eyes and sat up. She looked around for who was responsible but couldn't find anyone. Three skeletons sat off to the side of the cave, her only company. She didn't want to get up to look but she could tell from here that they were burnt alive. The smell of smoke lingered in the air. She didn't leave, the storm outside would kill her and what's the difference in freezing to death or being eaten? Plus she felt no danger from the hole in the back of the cave, conveniently across from the skeletons. She felt her stomach rumble so she grabbed her bag from above her pillow and pulled some dried meat out. She ate it while watching the opening of the dark hole on the other side of the cave. After she finished the meat she wanted something to drink, so she got up and grabbed a small pan, then walked to the front of the cave and picked out the best looking snow. She filled up the pan and went back to the bed. She put the pan over the fire to let it melt a bit. Laying down she used the other hand to inspect to see if she had any bruise from the day before. Finding none she grabbed the pan from the fire being carful not to burn her. After letting the pan cool she drank the melted snow. The storm blew in the cave enough to send a chill down her spine. So, being satisfied with finding no bruise and the drink, she laid back down in the warm blankets. Soon she fell into a deep dreamless sleep.




*
Satine opened her eyes. She blinked a couple of times to make the light in the cave not sting as bad. She shifted and noticed the fire still burned just as bright. She sat up and looked past the fire to see two huge green eyes staring back at her. She sat as still as she could, forgetting to breath.
'I trust you are warm.' His deep voice captivated her. She couldn't understand how a monster like this could have a voice like that. 'What is your name elf?'
She sat trembling, she couldn't figure out what to do so she replied as best she could even though her voice threatened to betray her. 'Satine.' She chided herself; she shouldn't have given her real name.
He nodded his large nicely shaped head. 'My name is Deritike, a dragon from the royal family. I tried as best I could to make you comfortable.' He shifted down onto his belly and crossed his legs.
Satine watched the firelight dance across his features. The light caught on his blue tipped spikes running down his back and tail. She noticed the perfect spot to ride on the dragon. He told her the truth of him being part of the royal line. Every one of them rode their dragons, even if they didn't deserve to. Satine relaxed a bit. Tame dragons didn't eat people. She didn't know much about them but she knew that and the fact that he was one of the fiercest types of dragons, black dragons.
'You trust me elf? That's not a smart idea on your end.' Satine lost her breath. She watched him turn his head and look out the entrance. Emotion showed on his face but Satine had no idea what the emotion was. 'What were you doing outside in this weather?' Deritike looked back at her. Satine lost her breath wondering what he would do if she lied to him.
'I'm traveling, that's all.'`
'During the most dangerous season and in such flimsy clothes?' The dragon gave Satine a knowing look. Satine glared back at him, with the edges of her vision becoming blurred in anger.
'Look dragon, that's my business not yours. So stay out of it.' Satine glared at the fire, fearing to make eye contact with him. She pulled her legs up to her chest and put her chin on her knees.
'Hmm, well seeing that I just saved your life I deserve an explanation. Or I could just eat you.'
She could feel his eyes on her. Shivering Satine glanced up to the skeletons. The wind howled and blew snow into the cave making the fire flicker. Satine looked into the dragons eyes, 'I was sent out to find the prince of dragon riders.' She sighed and looked back at the fire.
'And what business do you have with the prince?'
'What do you care? You're out here without a rider so obviously you're not part of the kingdom so''
'I am part of the kingdom!' He rose to his feet. The cave stood well to 100 feet and yet he could just barley stand his height. Satine trembled beneath his height.
'How dare you say I don't care!' His voice vibrated off the walls as he yelled. He took a deep breath making the fire flicker. Satine saw his lower neck begin to glow with fire. Satine closed her eyes and forced herself to stop trembling; she was not going to die as a coward. She opened her eyes and looked up at him.
Deritike's eyes widened, his head lowered and the glow disappeared. He released his breath, making the fire flicker the other way and Satine flinch. 'You are lucky this day girl!' With that he turned and disappeared in the black hole in the back of the cave.
Satine sat stunned. She couldn't believe she let herself loose her temper. Satine watched the haunting darkness, afraid that fire would suddenly come from it. She slowly fell into the hands of sleep. ~to be continued





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