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Shard River

The square shaped hull of the river barge quaked slightly under her feet as she stood with her hands on her hips while staring up at the circling dragon with deep blue eyes. The ballistas on the midships tossed out another bolt into the skies and the deck quivered again.

She glanced back at another river barge which had a dragon tied down with rune chains and wondered if the rampaging dragon in the air was its mate as it desperately and futilely tried to come closer over to her ships since yesterday.

The mages had informed her that the red dragon's mana was of the purest quality! No wonder they needed five times the rune chains and even a magic locking formation to pin the red dragon down, they were lucky that they managed to stun the dragon with several lightning spells before it destroyed the whole fleet!

Normally a typical heavy weight dragon would not even be able to survive getting hit by several high leveled lightning spells unless they have a magical barrier. Even so, the dragon would come out heavily damaged. This red dragon did not even have any signs of injuries other than being knocked out for a short while!

They used over ten high tier magic crystals to power the formation to hold the dragon down and it was just barely enough! A high tier magic crystal is worth a massive fortune and only certain high level monsters produce them! One high tier magic crystal is equivalent to ten thousand low tier magic crystals and the market price is worth hundreds of thousands of gold crowns!

*Magic crystals are Mana stones*

"Lady Titannia, that dragon keeps bothering us, but it keeps dodging our spells and ballista!" A soldier with a red cloak half kneeled behind her reported. "Our stores of ballistas are being wasted upon that creature!"

"And our dragons?" Titannia swept her braided blonde hair over her shoulder as she turned her attention to her aide. "What are they doing?"

"Eh... that dragon is too crafty!" The soldier replied, "Each time we tried to ambush it, it seemed to know where they are coming from! As if it has eyes on its back!"

"Hmmm..." She frowned as she looked up to the circling dragon again. "Do you see any riders?"

"We... cannot be sure," the soldier replied embarrassedly. "It is smart, it keeps to the sun, blinding the dragons, making it hard for them to attack it."

"But the red dragon has some sort of harness over its body..." the solder reported. "We can't approach it to see what is it, but the red dragon most likely is a part of a force!"

"Hmmm, does it have any flags or trappings to show its allegiance to?" She asked. "Or a rider?"

"No, my lady... the harness appears to only carry some goods..."

"A high leveled red dragon used as a porter?" Titannia shook her blonde head. "What a waste! "

"Well, tell the ballistas and the mages to not waste any more energy on it," Titannia ordered. "But keep an eye on it, if it tries to rescue its mate, feel free to kill it."

"Yes, my lady!" The soldier saluted.

Titannia eyed the red dragon which was trying to wiggle its way out of its restraints. It screamed and yelled at the mages and pikemen surrounding it as it glared with hatred at its captives.

She admired the sleek lines and the crimson glow of the red dragon scales and licked her lips. "Be patient, O fiery one... I shall make you my mount and you will no longer be used as a lowly porter!"

Tilting her head back as she laughed at the thought of taming such a magnificent beast and once she tamed it, she will show that upstart bitch, who will be the top graduate of the Bluewood Royal School of Magic!

She was always known as the second best compared to that little girl they called the Magic Genius, but this time, with a tamed red dragon, her fame will grow stronger than that bitch!

-----

Blue Thunder roared with anger as he circled above the flotilla of ships below him, powerless to get close enough to free Rastraz from her magical bonds. Stamford laid low on his back as he observed and recorded the number of ships paddling down the wide river.

"Blue!" Stamford snapped at the fuming dragon. "Calm down!"

"Calm down?" Blue Thunder growled. "They got Rastraz! She's chained up down there! She must be so frightened! She... She... I... I must save her!"

"Calm down you damn fool!" Stamford kicked hard against the thick scales. "We can't just go swooping down without a plan! They have thirty ships all heavily armed with ballistas and mages!"

"Not to mention another twenty mid weight dragons as support somewhere hiding in those trees!" He continued to berate the agitated dragon. "We have called for backup, but we need them to come closer before the Cobras have enough range to hit them!"

"Stop your nonsense and act like a soldier!" Stamford yelled. "If not you're gonna get all of us killed without saving Rastraz!"

"I... I..." Blue Thunder hung his head low, "I understand, I will follow your commands..."

"Good!" Stamford sighed in relief. "Now, find a safe place to land, you need to replenish your burnt calories, if not you will not have any strength to keep those Imperial dragons at bay!"

Blue Thunder gave a last forlorn look at the weakly thrashing form of Rastraz on the deck of one of the river barges and gritted his teeth before banking away and went off in search for a safe landing zone.

-----

Orwell's Point, Airbase

A dozen F/A - 1 Cobras sat on the side of the runway tarmac had their engines slowly spooling up with a small army of ground crew swarming over the little bi planes.

The pilots sat in the snug little cockpits and ran their pre flight checks as the ground crew finished up on fueling the planes and checking the weapons load outs before the Wing Commander waved the planes onto the runway.

Two by two, the planes took off from the simple concrete runway and once their wheels were off the ground, they looped towards the river, heading upstream where one of their own had been lost.

-----

Goldan stood at the roof of the airport and watched the planes take off into the skies. "Damn, why can't we go with them?"

"Well, we are reassigned back to being cargo haulers..." His co pilot leaned against the parapet and watched the planes fly off. "No supplies, can't win the war!"

"Damn!" Goldan cursed again and he turned to look at his FB - 1 Mariner being serviced at one of the hangars. They had just completed a round trip from Orwell's Point to Haven and back with a load of supplies. The Mariners were in a serious need of some downtime and servicing. "Oh, well, hope that Angel Flight all makes it back safely."

"I think that is the least of our problems here," His friend reminded him. "That damn snake is still running loose out there and we dropped enough explosives and firebombs to burn down two cities, yet it still lives!"

"Yeah..." Goldan nodded. "That damn snake... I wonder how are we gonna kill it..."

"I am sure those hoomans will come up with something," His partner replied. "If one thing I am sure of, its those hoomans ingenuity at waging war, so I am not surprised if they come out with some god slaying weapon."

Goldan nodded again, finding the comments of his friend to be quite true. "Well, at least the Cobras will slow down the advance of the Imperials, giving us time to deal with the God Snake."

"I really wish we are out there bombing those damn Imperials!"

-----

Orwell's Point, Marine Command

Joseph, Dr. Sharon, Magister Thorn, and the other senior staff officers all watched in silence at the playback video of the one sided massacre of the Orcs by the God Snake.

"Alright, what is everyone thoughts?" Joseph asked as the playback reached the end, showing pockets of Orcs retreating away from the God Snake.

"Ground troops are useless to fight that thing," One of the company commanders commented. "It will be suicidal and a waste of lives just to send troops against it."

"Attack it with long range weapons," Another company commander added. "Stay as far as possible and keep hitting it."

"Napalm seemed to be its bane," Dr. Sharon said. "And it doesn't like the day either..."

"Fire and light magic are its weakness?" Magister Thorn also gave his insights. "That thing seemed to recover as it feeds on the... Orcs..."

"Okay..." Joseph summarized everyone's feedback. "So fire and light, stay as far back as possible and bomb it while not committing any troops to fed it?"

Seeing everyone nodding in agreement, Joseph continued, "Okay, so we gonna need a lot more napalm for the Airforce..."

"Captain," Dr. Sharon raised her hand up. "Why don't we contact the Orcs?"

"Eh?" Joseph gave a questioning look to Dr. Sharon's question. "Why?"

"If we can get the Orcs to work with us, it will be easier to kill that thing, yes?" Dr. Sharon answered. "Also, if we can get the Orcs to get as far away as possible while we bomb it, it will not have any food source around it to recover."

"And if we keep hitting it till it dies?" Joseph rubbed his chin as he finished Dr. Sharon's sentence. "That might work..."

"Since we have half tracks now, we can hook up the 3" guns and tow them out," Dr. Sharon added. "The Airforce can bomb it at night, while the 3" guns can bombard it from afar. If it starts to come close to the 3" guns, we tow them away and run off somewhere before we hit it again."

"And hopefully, if we can get the Orcs to cooperate with us, we can starve that thing off," Dr. Sharon gestured to the video. "The Orcs are just feeding it and making it stronger, we need to stop feeding it if we want to kill it!"

Joseph nodded, "That is a good idea, but we are gonna need a lot of supplies for this to work and also the Empire is just less than a five day week away from us."

-----

Shard River

Rastraz hissed angrily as she tried to blow flames and superheat the air around her but the runes on the thick chains that were holding her down to the wooden decks of the ship glowed bluish white and her power ebbed away.

She woke up wet and chained to the deck with her whole body tingling and numb before she remembered that she was hit by several lightning spells which surprised her while she was trying to attack the ships. She did not expect these mortals to develop such spells capable of stunning her!

"Release me at once! You low lives!" Rastraz growled and struggled desperately against the chains, rattling them loudly against the deck while her claws gouged deeply into the thick timbers of the deck.

Dozens of soldiers and mages surrounded her and ignored her yells as they lassoed her arms, legs, and wings, pinning her down as tight as possible as she thrashed about. The mages hit her periodically with lightning spells to shock and stun her and also they supplied mana to the sealing formation underneath Rastraz.

She noted the hastily drawn runes on the deck of the ship and she tried to claw the runes away, but the soldiers supported by strengthing spells made the task almost impossible for her. They pulled in all directions, forcing her to be eagle spread across the decks helplessly.

A massive roar came from the skies and Rastraz looked up with hope, remembering Blue Thunder and those hoomans were still out there. She watched as the ships launched ballista bolts, arrows, and even spells at Blue Thunder but he managed to keep one step ahead of the deadly weapons and spells.

"BLUE! BLUE!" She cried helplessly and tears formed in her golden eyes. "HELP MEEEE!"

To her despair, she realized that Blue Thunder could not get close to her and with a final angry roar, she watched Blue Thunder gave her a last look before he turned tail and disappeared from sight.

"NOoooo! Bluee! Blue!! Come back! Don't leave me behind!"

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Too much cheese fries is no no for dragons... 


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