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  “You’re missing something,” Gungnir chimed in.

  “What?”

  “Well, think about it. Your armor is pretty damn good, and I am an epic generator of raw power with incredible mountain destroying magic with a tiny piece of your soul, but you have no weapons.”

  “I already know that,” I replied, “That’s what I’m doing right now.”

  “Yeah, but your thoughts were unfocused,” Gungnir clarified, “You basically wanted something awesome with these materials, but didn’t have an end goal. And you can’t lie to me, we’re connected.”

  “He’s right ya know.”

  I know that voice. Surprise removed all of the questions that my interrupted conversation generated. Whirling around brought me face to face with Rath, big Rath. Uhm, not happy Rath? His voice was much deeper, but I could swear there was a tone of anger threading through his words.

“You are missing something,” he rumbled, “Humility.” A small exhalation of flame washed over me, my shield easily blocking the small puff.

  I was still kneeling over the crafting plate with my materials and Gungnir in knife form in my right hand. Somehow, Rath had gotten into my river-bottom hideout and was ten feet away from me, and now he wasn’t so small. This little dragon-lizard was now big, as big as Kong, and he did not look happy with smoke curling out of his nostrils.

  I slowly stood up, Gungnir in my hand, “Whatcha talking about there Rath?”

  “I shoulda ate you when I had the chance,” he growled, straightening up, each syllable punctuated with bits of sulfur tinged flame, “You’ve threatened me with Chaos when I was small and then brought a goddess to annihilate your home, WITH ME IN IT?!”

  Spot woke up as Rath was roaring and jumped next to as Gungnir morphed into spear form.

  “Think your fat pet is going to deter me sorcerer? That’s just another snack,” he laughed, his wings flapping out, no longer out of proportion with his body. “I didn’t tell you this before, but another reason sorcerers are rare is because they’re a delicacy for dragons!”

  I took another step back, mentally reached into Gungnir, and took the limits off the generator and turned the flow as high as I could handle. Spot started growling, putting his big head in front of mine. I sent a thought to my faithful companion and he began creating bone armor to cover himself.

  “Your sorcery will add to my own power, help me to recover from that cursed child god that ruined me and that lovely source of mana you created,” Rath said, taking a step forward and started to inhale. That last step of his had a bit of a limp to it.

  “WAIT, wait,” I said, “How in the world did you get down here?” Grasping at straws was the only thing I could think of, anything to distract him and give me just a few seconds to think of something, anything to shift this seesaw in my direction. This hideout was directly below a river, and I put an escape hatch from the river to here when crafting my hideout, and my paranoia forced me to place an emergency valve conditional enchantment within my wards. Perfect. “And how the hell did you find me?” I kept on, “And why eat me now when I could be so delicious later?”

  “I’m a dragon. Dragons can shapeshift,” he said, derision dripping from his voice as he took another step forward as we took one back, “It’s almost a pity. An ignorant sorcerer with so much potential, but I can’t let you mature and be a threat to me. The ones with grimoires are such a pain that they’re not really worth it. And finding you, that was easy, the remnants of your magic are purer than ley lines. I could smell that through a gateway.”

  Filing those tidbits, survival comes first unfortunately. I reached out and twanged the mental link to Kong, telling him to get to the area near the river ASAP, my magic forcing him to pick up the pace. I send a series of thoughts and images to Spot, my haphazard plan that may give us a chance for survival, and Gungnir listened in on that as well. I called on my sorcery and conjured a ten foot thick wall that was eight feet high and twenty feet wide, turned and sprinted my ass to the other side of the cavern, drawing on as the ridiculous power supply from Gungnir. Spot leapt over the wall with a snarl and tackled Rath just before unleashed his flame breath. The collision knocked Rath’s head upwards where the flame spewed onto the ceiling, scorching the stone. Gungnir flew up and began condensing a bright chaotic bolt of energy pointed at the escape chute, which I activated the opening enchantment with my mind. River water began spewing down and Gungnir widened the opening by blowing the whole thing open. Even more water gushed out and Spot disengaged from from where he was getting knocked around by Rath.

  “Come back snack!” Rath screamed, one of his wings bleeding profusely. Spot retreated to me as the cavern began filling up with water, burn marks covered his armor and a huge chunk of missing flesh from his shoulder was beginning to regenerate. Rath vomited a huge fireball in our direction.

  “My territory now bitch!” I screamed back, calling on my water sorcery and taking control of the environment that was rapidly shifting in my favor. The water, now several feet deep, sprang up from the floor and extinguished the fireball. “Water beats fire, paper, and rock!” I yelled, gesturing in front of me with my hand shoving a tidal wave at the dragon, blasting it into the wall behind it. “Boss, you’re way more badass in the water,” Gungnir said.

  “I know,” I said, “And I plan on taking full advantage of it.” As the kept pouring down, I checked with my water sorcery instincts, yup, I could breathe underwater. Hell yes. The water was about ten feet deep and I grabbed Spot who was starting to doggy paddle as it was just deep enough for him not to walk and I extended my water breathing influence to him as well. Looking back at Rath, I kept up the current against him, pinning him to the wall for the moment. His yellow eyes were full of rage, and every time he opened his mouth I blasted water at it. He managed to get his legs on the wall and dove into the water, a dragon missile intent on me being a snack. The cavern was fully underwater now and I shoved Spot up hole and mentally told him to get to shore, but stay near the new opening in the bottom of the river. I used water sorcery to move faster in the water than Rath, using eddies and swirling water with conjured pebbles to foul his movements and irritate his eyes. I also started turning chunks of water into ice around me and Rath until I finally felt that Kong was near. The river was about fifteen feet deep from where the surface of the river was to where the hole to my cavern opened up. Pulling deeply on Gungnir’s reserves, I pulsed out an omni-directional wave from myself while holding Gungnir and shot towards the surface, turning as much water around me in the cavern to ice, and when I cleared the tunnel, I began plugging it up with ice, making it thicker by the second.

  I needed to put self-serving lizard in his place, and I had just the wicked idea. Total humiliation would be possible, just had to get him in a horrible position, which is where Kong would come in. I mentally made that Ape stomp out into the river, he was large enough that his head was barely over it. I checked that Spot was paddling around me and still able to breathe water. I extended that ability to Kong temporarily as well and sent my plan in a burst of mental images. Rath’s head slammed into the plug of ice down below. He can’t breathe underwater, and trying to break through on limited oxygen will weaken him if he manages to break through or if I’m lucky, he’ll just pass out. Another slam made a huge crack in the ice and I couldn’t keep up as Rath started tearing at it with his huge claws.

  As his head broke through, I propelled myself backwards, conjuring ice all around him and his head, anything to slow him down. I tried to keep the ice around his mouth solid, but it was no match for a dragon’s jaws, so I did the next best thing. I manipulated the water to stay around his head, like a cat stuck in a fishbowl. Rath crested the water like a magnificent salmon, just in time for Kong to rear up and sucker punch him right in the belly knocking him back down into the river. I’m going to drown this lizard till I get I want. Spot swam down and latched on to Rath’s tail and began paddling to keep Rath under and Kong dove under to bearhug Rath’s neck from behind. It was awesome, my very own B-movie playing out right in front of me. A mini King Kong choking out an ancient dragon that wanted to eat me with my own tank sized dog playing tug-of-war with its tail, and me twenty feet away, using water sorcery to rain on the dragon’s parade. Magnificent.

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