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A world sundering bellow issued out of the mountains that lay north of Belinda. The leaders of the city all looked towards the city’s northern wall in alarm wondering if their sacrifice had been insufficient. The bellows continued and they eventually realized that there were two beasts calling out from the north.

 

After that realization, it didn’t take too long for people to connect the presence of a second beast to the second headache that had been looming over the city. A grand procession of adventurers and soldiers of fortune left through the city’s northern gate to head to the mountain range that lay north of Belinda.

 

Most of the people within the procession knew that in all likelihood they’d be leaving the mountains empty handed. They went all the same because the massive bounties placed by both nations, and the chance of maybe being able to scavenge something valuable from the area, was too tempting.

 

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Though it would be erroneous to try and paint an entire species with a wide brush, countless millennia near the top of the food chain had inclined the dragon race to certain characteristics.

 

All dragons had four primary drives: pride, greed, lust, and hunger. Stepping afoul of these drives was a great way to trigger the famed draconic rage.

 

If one randomly asked any of the inhabitants of Azotou, they would say that Dragons were beings who mainly fought, and fucked, and ate, and slept.

 

Though there were draconic nations in other parts of the Alma , and legacies founded by dragons who rose above this stereotype to reach higher places and loftier goals, most dragons within Azotou still fell within this pattern.

 

The dragons of Azotou were of the independant and asocial variety. Only briefly tolerating the presence of other dragons, to mate, and quickly sending their hatchlings off to fend for themselves once they’d left the shell and were old enough to fly and use a breath attack.

 

Only tolerating the presence lesser creatures that shared their world because they were generally useful for serving as sources of treasure, food, and sex, according to the dragons’ needs.

 

It was hard to fault dragons for their colossal pride. Was it so unreasonable to think you were one of the mightiest beings in all creation, when for the most part you kind of were?

 

The average dragon was faster, stronger, longer lived, and smarter than most other species in Alma or any of the infinite worlds of the cosmos.

 

If they failed to meet this standard they were either a thin blooded half-breed, or worse, a mere flying reptile that happened to be called as such due to their resemblance to the genuine article.

 

Their trademark superiority was part of what made a dragon a dragon. All true dragons were tryanical bundles of boundless power, ferocity, and nearly endless vitality, given flesh. They were often used to put the numerous wannabe gods clamoring for acknowledgement from the cosmos in their place.

 

However, despite this being the case, most dragons were smart enough to know that being at the top of the food chain didn’t mean you couldn’t be eaten.

 

Thus it was that Ejder showed caution as he found himself facing the strange inteloper that had appeared within his sky. He didn’t just attack as his pride demanded.

 

Ejder could tell that the odd fur covered creature in front of him was something not to be trifled with. The creature didn’t feel like a dragon, but had it been scaled Ejder might have suspected he was facing one of his numerous bastards because the aura the creature gave off was almost superior to his own.

 

“Who are you?” bellowed Ejder. Speaking in the tongue of the dragons and a handful of other great beasts. The white drake’s voice was the boom of thunder and the howl of hundred miles per hour winds. As Ejder spoke, thin, wriggling worms, of blue-white lightning rippled through his breath.

 

The hound-like beast simply regarded him, tilting its head one way and then the other.

 

“What do you want?” said Ejder. Feeling a growing sense of unease as he felt all of the hound’s countless turn their gaze towards him.

 

The hound spoke a single word, speaking in the language of dragons and great beasts. Its voice was the rumble of a crumbling world, the thunderous hiss of a cooling star, and the hush of universe being drained of all its stories.

 

“Food…”

 

Ejder heard that word and felt something he hadn’t felt since he was a hatchling.

 

The white dragon’s ancient heart skipped a beat as it felt fear for the first time in ages, and seeing itself become momentarily frightened wounded its pride, triggering a bottomless rage. A rage that would only end when either Ejder, or the strange beast, were dead.

 

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To the witnesses that stood at the foot of the mountain, this short exchange sounded like roar. Meaningless sound, and fury, at a volume high enough to burst the eardrums of the weaker individuals amongst them.

 

A few insightful folk saw the people around them bleeding from their ears, and then looked down at the pit that had served as the dragon’s feed bowl to see that there was a strange glowing covering surrounding the pit.

 

This alone was enough to serve as confirmation that the evil-eating beast was indeed present on the mountain. The protection of the dragon’s would-be victims also served as a confirmation that evil-eating beast indeed was a beast that ate evil and protected the innocent.

 

The revelation caused many a hunter, adventurers, or mercenary, to feel a sense of disquietude and conflict. After all, no one liked to think of themselves as the bad guy and killing a creature that punished only the wicked was a very non-good guy thing to do.

 

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Up on the mountain, unaware and uncaring, of the inner-turmoil he’d inspired in the mortals below, Andrew faced down his prey. He needed only slay this dragon and take the mountain territory for his own and he'd be able to return to his home univere. Returning to the Blackrose galaxy.

 

The dragon asked who he was and what he wanted, Andrew ignored the first question and answered the second plainly and honestly. The white beast took a breath and then answer with a bellow of primordial range and hurricane force winds, complete with an entire hurricane’s worth of lightning.

 

Andrew weathered that storm that had spat in his direction. Manipulating his personal gravity and anchoring himself in space. Letting the dragon’s breath roll over him like water down a duck’s back.

 

He responded in kind, blasting the white dragon with a mouthful of blood red light. The dragon was sent flying back. It was knocked off the peak of the mountain and into the distance.

 

Then the creature came flying back, with its great white wings outstretched. It bellowed its outrage and then began to bombard Andrew with bolts of lightning and boulder-sized hail.

 

Andrew responded by taking to the air as well. The two arms beneath his main arms morphed into a pair of massive tendril covered wings.

 

The two great beasts circled around one another. Entering a dogfit where they spiralled up and down through the sky, sending breath attacks at each other.

 

The dragon caught Andrew with a blast of roiling, ice cold, vapor, and electrical energy. Andrew was momentarily stunned falling towards the ground before catching himself in mid-air and righting his path.

 

Andrew decided it was time to put an end to the battle. He reached towards his chest and drove his hand into his abdomen. Boiling hot blood poured out raining over the witnesses below and melting through a few extremely unlucky souls.

 

Andrew drew a blade from his core. This was something he’d prepared beforehand. It was a subspace, a sliver of the time-space continuum within his core that he’d condensed and shaped into the form of a sword. By feeding it with his power he could control its length, width, and weight.

 

Andrew swung the sword, extending it till it reached the massive white reptile flying above him. The dragon cried out as one of its wings fell away from its body. Andrew swung his sword a second time and the dragon cried no more. Its head tumbling off its shoulders.

 

Andrew opened his mouth and a great tangle of tendrils shout out catching the wing and head. He swallowed the wing and head into his core and then he caught and consumed the rest of the now falling corpse. Catching the large scaled body before it hit the ground.

 

Andrew then turned his attention to the town. He breathed out and then began to breathe in. He used the data manipulation to target and curse and consume every evil entity in a hundred mile radius.

 

The people below panicked as they watched their peers collapse, rapidly, deteriorate, and then get sucked into the great otherworldly wind that was travelling towards the massive hound’s maw.

 

Even a few of the people within the pit were consumed.

 

Once Andrew had fed on all that he would allow himself to feed upon, within the city of Belinda and its surroundings, Andrew put that power to work. Using his new profound connection to the power, data, and laws of the world to create a master root. The first of many he’d lay down within Alma.

 

Planting this first root with mountains of Belinda led to several hundred subordinate roots being automatically activated elsewhere within the continent. Andrew’s eyes glowed as he felt his core swell with power. He realized that he was finally, finally...finally full. With a sigh of satisfaction, he leapt down from the mountain top and healed and freed the victims within the pit.

 

Restoring the drugged captives senses, healing those who’d been injured but not killed during the dragon’s feeds, and nullifying the spells that held the slave collars in place and gave them their power.

 

Andrew then returned to his core to prepare for the trip back home. Intuitively knowing that it’d be easier to make the journey back if he started the trip while in a space that wasn’t properly a part of any universe.







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A note from IndigoSharpe

Welp, that's it for the first Alma arc! Thanks for reading you guys! Thanks for rating, commenting, and reviewing! You guys are the best! See you next week!


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IndigoSharpe

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