Arthur's hand brushed along the side of his dragon, feeling the smooth texture of dragon scales. He frowned at the gathered line of dust in his hand. Memories of hurtling through the clouds, free and weightless ran through his head.
Arthur walked over to a large slab of polished silver that could have been mistaken for a large mirror. He didn't understand how it worked, only that it allowed him to speak with the single individual responsible for his capture and imprisonment, his prison warden, a god.
In a minute, the surface formed a foggy image of a man with a sharply trimmed beard of pepper gray.
"I found the DC," Arthur said with a tone aiming to please. "I'll lure it here, destroy it, and have the remains for-"
"Mhm, It's no longer in the dungeon. The dungeon's gone inert. It's hitching a ride with-"
"Have you been drinking?" the man on the other side said sharply, laced with disappointment.
"N-Not recently. It's on a shield, carried by the two-headed ogre."
"The princess?" The man tilted his head forward, looking over his spectacles with disbelief.
"Mhm, her. It's attached to their shield."
The man took of his spectacles and massaged his eyes.
Arthur continued, "The DC seems to know about me, knows that I've been after it for years."
"Is that right?"
"That's what it said."
The man blinked, took in a long breath then exhaled slowly. "You're telling me that it left the dungeon, hitched a ride on a shield and it's talking to you?"
Arthur had never seen him lose his serene demeanor.
"Yeah, it did. Is that unusual?"
The long moment of silence confirmed it.
"What did it say, exactly," the man asked in a calm voice.
"Uhm." Arthur blew out air out of his puffed cheeks, scratching the back of his head. "It called me by name-"
"Yeah ... called me 'Arthur the moocher.' Which I must say, is a bit-"
"Spare me. What else did it say?"
"Said I been trying to destroy it for years. That's all."
The man on the other side stared out through the foggy silver for a long moment before speaking, "Listen carefully. I want you to keep a close eye on it. Get friendly, go where it goes, learn everything about it."
"And then destroy it?"
"No, absolutely not. In fact, you must protect it."
"I don't understand, why?" Arthur regretted the question as soon as it left his lips. The man loathed to explain his orders. "I can't. I can barely protect myself."
The man glared. "Fair point." He brushed his beard with his hand. "I'll allow you to use whatever means necessary for this one mission."
"Yes. I want you to report to me daily, do you understand?"
"Yes, sir." Arthur hesitated but then asked meekly, "And my remaining years?"
"Will be forgiven."