The Madec Legacy

by

Renan Basso

The Dragon-Slayer [Reworked]

Advertisement
Remove
Settings

A note from Renan Basso

Guys, I took my time today to reread Chapter 18 - The Dragon-Slayer and felt embarrassed, I screwed up hard on so many things! Everything was so confusing that I spent over 3 hours working on improving it.

 

I am opting to republish this chapter now and push the next one to later today (about 8 p.m. UTC).

 

The word count went from ~2500 to 3287. Please tell me if it was better or worse than the last one. Thank you very much!

Lilacoris was wearing her fully-enchanted spellsword armor, slashes and torn pieces were a testament to the might power yielded by her enemy, her left hand was raised and glowing white as she was casting the strongest light spell she knew. On her right hand, a sword so beautiful that put most treasures from the royal treasury to shame was in flames.

Behind her, two of her companions were severely injured, a trail of dirt and blood made it clear that they managed to drag their bodies from afar to reach each other's hand, their expressions as they locked eyes sent a clear message: not even death will take us apart.

In front of Lilacoris, one of the strongest dragons to have ever made a nest on the Yelling Mountain Range, Benir, The Black Death. A 30-meter tall black dragon, his wings spread wide open, absorbing all the light and color from the place. Benir had his mouth wide open, charging his most potent attack to face Lilacoris' head-on, it never thought that a measly human would ever be able to contend with him. His whole demeanor gave the impression he was enjoying it, maybe even laughing. Pride goes before the fall after all.

Silent tears rolled down her face, but she was still smiling. Her hand moved on its own accord and gently touched her companion's drawing. As the memories surfaced, the smile receded. The tears were no longer full of nostalgy and love, but hate.

On that fateful day fifteen years ago, she lost those she loved the most.

 



15 years ago:

They did not travel to hunt a dragon. It was supposed to be just another job about reducing the number of monsters close to the roads. How would they know that the Dragon Benir would show himself there?

The first of theirs group to die was her partner in combat and life, Lukas. He and Lilacoris had just married.

He died while trying to tie Benir down for long enough for his companions to run. The Black Death, as people called Benir, ate him whole in one bite and laughed loud enough for the three others to hear him.

The woman was her sister. She cast hasting spells on Lila and the man, followed by a potent wind spell that sent them flying away from the monster. She tried casting the same spell on herself to push herself away, but the Black Death was faster and did not let her take another step; he impaled Lila's sister with his claw and threw her body in their direction. He laughed loudly once more.

The last man alive was her childhood friend and brother in law. He snapped after his wife was hurt and rushed to attack Benir head-on with his combat daggers. With a swing of his claws, Benir cut off both of his legs; the attack was just too fast for him to dodge. The more the men screamed, the louder Benir laughed.

Lila felt despair and anger fighting for the control of her body. The latter won.

She burned her mana and pushed her core to the limit; the enchantments on her armor glowed from being overcharged while her sword resonated with her feelings, enveloping itself in flames.

She rushed to Banir so fast that sound explosions woke the whole forest. Each time her feet touched the ground, it would push against it with so much strength that made the entire area shake, speeding her even more.

Her sword touched Benir’s chest faster than he could react, spilling blood all over her. It was not the end though; cuts were appearing all over the dragon's body as he did all he could to distance himself from her and take to the skies.

Benir eventually landed a lucky hit with the back of his paw, sending her tumbling for a hundred meters, only for her to jump back to her feet and resume the suicidal rush.

Meanwhile, the couple were still breathing and painfully dragged themselves toward each other to share one last smile, to say one final goodbye.

The Black Death noticed the survivors and saw the perfect chance for forcing his opponent to sacrifice herself. He jumped back with all his mighty while spreading his wings. Lila too had noticed her companions and saw how Benir looked at them.

The Dragon started charging his strongest attack, drawing so much mana from the area that the colors around him became somewhat dull. Lila did not even hesitate to take a final stand and protect her family; she forcefully pushed every spec left of her mana to power a beam of light, her strongest spell, finally breaking her already damaged mana core.

The couple knew Lila would not make it; they exchanged a knowing and affectionate last look.

Lila raised her left palm to release her spell at the exact same time Banir released his breath of death.

A fraction of a second before the two powerful spells met each other; two new mana cores entered Lila’s body. Her sister and childhood friend had used a spell called |A Will of Love| to gift their mana cores to her. There was no guarantee that it would not damage her body in the future, but at that moment, the burst of mana coursing through her body was enough to make her spell rival a dragon’s one.

Two beams, one as black as the deepest abyss, the other as white as fresh snow, collided. The resulting explosion was so loud and so big that villages many kilometers away saw it a full minute before being hit by the following blast wave.

Lila opened her eyes and saw the dragon with a massive hole in his chest. By her right, a vast crater, the beam missed her by just a couple of meters.

(We won!) Lila thought.

She turned to look at her family, and they were smiling at her, but their souls had already left this world. They succumbed from their injuries and the sudden loss of their own mana cores.

Benir laughed weakly. He had but few seconds before passing away.

"In the end." He said. "I won."

The lifeless body of the dragon collapsed to the ground at the same moment that Lila felt her will to live shatter. She embraced unconsciousness while wishing to never wake up from it again.


————————————————————————————


Riwall opened his eyes at the same time Lila did. Both had fallen into a trance and relieved her memories of that day.

He felt something on his cheek and touched it. Tears, he was crying. He felt Lila's pain throughout the event, and his chest was hurting too much because of it. It was the first time in this life that he was grieving; the death of Lila's family felt too real to him and he did not know how to deal with these feelings.

Confused, he looked at his master.

She was sitting on the ground, hugging her knees and crying her heart out. The pain in his chest spiked, he instinctively moved closer to her and gave her a strong and tender hug.

The mighty warrior who faced The Black Death and won, died that day. The woman in front of Riwall was just an empty husk of the mighty warrior he just saw.

They stayed in the same position for almost one hour. Lila eventually stopped sobbing, and both of them silently went to sit on chairs facing each other.

None of them wanted to break the silence, but when it was about to get awkward, Riwall did it.

"I'm sorry, so, so sorry.” He felt apologetic and tried his best to put his feelings into words.

“I did not mean for this to happen. I just wanted to draw the warrior of the story Master Edward told me. And then I decided to try putting some mana into it and I just..." He was already crying again.

"Stop! Just stop for a second!" She snapped at him. She was having a hard time making sense of things.

Lila reached for one of her pockets, took a small gemstone from it and poured some mana. The stone briefly shone, before becoming dull again.

After no more than two minutes someone bashed on the door with so much strength that almost broke the lock and the hinges. Lila calmly opened it, revealing the haggard figures of Edward and Hector.

Both of them entered the room in high alert, Edward had his daggers drawn, and Hector's hands were glowing dangerously.

"Hey! Put away those daggers! You almost stabbed me!” Edward rushed inside so fast that he almost hit her with one of his daggers. At first she got angry, but soon realized how she had just activated a distress signal.

“We just need to talk, it's kind of urgent." She was very apologetic about the whole incident.

“Shit, Lila! You sent a distress call over a talk?! Do you know how..." Edward snapped at her, but when he saw her face full of dried tears, he knew something serious had happened.

Hector had already let go of the readied spells and made sure to lock the door and protect the room from eavesdroppers.

They settled in the room with the picture Riwall draw and Lila showed it to them. Both Hector and Edward gasped at his work. It was too beautiful for something drawn using a few quill pens and half a dozen inks of different colors.

Lila pointed to it and said.

"Touch and pour your mana into it." Hector furrowed his brows at that, but did not object.

They did as she commanded. Just like Riwall and Lila before, both fell down to the floor. Their expressions reflected the rollercoaster of emotions of her battle.

The whole thing took almost two hours; they relieved the unabridged version of the battle after all.

When it ended, both of them cried silently. Hector was someone who had lived for over one hundred years, but he had never felt as much pain as he just did while reliving her memories.

Edward had an empty look, tears rolled down his face, and he made no effort to stop them. Riwall felt that something was not right with Edward’s reaction, his reflection about it was cut short by Hector.

"So, it's like that…" Hector mysteriously commented.

"What do you mean 'like that'?" Riwall had to ask.

"Huh? Oh, I forgot that you don’t know the whole story.” Hector looked at Lila, as if asking her if it was ok for him to tell Riwall what happened. He only continued after she gave an affirmative nod.

“Lady Lila had lost her memories from that day. A few hours after she passed out, adventurers from the closest village arrived at the scene, it took her a few months to wake up, and when she did, she could not remember anything about that day." Hector’s dropped shoulders were a testament to how he felt about the whole ordeal.

Lila noticed it and told her own accounting of what happened after she was rescued.

"I have been trying to know how my family died for the last fifteen years. Do you know what's like to wake up one day and learn that everyone you loved has died? And that for some reason you are a hero?" Her eyes got red as if she was going to start crying again, she bit her lower lip before continuing.

"I always knew that there was something wrong about me having two mana cores when I used to have only one, but the others insisted that it was a blessing from the gods, that I got it from a higher force to stand up and face the Black Death alone.” A tender look began forming on her face.

“These two cores always made me feel so comfortable, now I know why." She looked fondly at her abdomen where the two cores were and basked in the feeling of love spreading through her body.

"Riwall, you gave the one thing I desired the most since that day. You gave me closure." She bowed deeply to him, and when she got up, she had a broad smile on her face.

Lila jumped forward and hugged her student before he could think of something to say.

The tactless elf coughed and broke the sweet atmosphere, he kept replaying the battle in his mind while Lila was thanking Riwall and finally noticed an anomaly that. When he saw her hugging his student, he felt they were getting sidetracked and intervened.

"You called us here for another reason, right Lila?" The anomaly he noticed made his sadness turn into anger, and he could barely keep it from showing on his face.

Edward still had the same empty look on his face, as if he was oblivious to what was happening around him.

"Riwall, about Lila's lover… His name was Lukas Farsteel, he was Edward's and Eleanor's older brother.” Riwall eyes widened and he was about to say his condolences to his master when Hector raised a hand to stop him.

“But Edward is not reacting this way because he saw his brother's death. Try replaying his death in your head." Hector was trying but failing to hide his shaking hands at this point.

Friday felt Riwall’s confusion and spoke.

[I was waiting for this emotional stuff to blow over before showing it to you. Close your eyes.]

He did as commanded and found himself watching the events unfold through Lila's eyes again.

 


 

Lila’s group was walking around the area, killing some mutant plants and a few other weak monsters. There was a lot of banter and they were very relaxed, they knew that nothing in this area was strong enough to hurt them.

 

 



{So far nothing suspicious Friday, care to fast forward a little?}

[Just pay attention to Lukas' body language.]

The first time he was in the memory, he had no control over his emotions. During the whole thing, he felt as if he and Lila were one and the same; her feelings and thoughts made him unable to objectively watch the transpired events. Now, he was not affected by her perspective.

After Friday's observation, Riwall noticed how Lukas was somewhat tense; he barely interacted with anyone or reacted when Lila tried kissed him.

Riwall knew that Lila found Lukas’ behavior strange too, but as he was the oldest of them, being 32-year-old while Lila was the youngest, a 20-year-old at the time, she thought he was just keeping his guard up to compensate for the others’ negligence with their safety.

As the group chatted while walking on the road, Lukas increased his pace and widened his distance.

The dragon showed up right when he was too far to get any kind of help from the others. Lukas shouted for them to run and Lila hesitated long enough to watch the scene of Benir's mouth snapping shut after enveloping Lukas' body.

Friday noticed that her host failed to see what happened, so she replayed it in slow motion, highlighting a few key moments by further slowing down the scene.

Lukas shouts for them to run; Lila hesitates and keeps looking; Benir's mouth descends upon Lukas; he closes his mouth; Benir laughs and then looks at her.

Riwall finally noticed the anomaly.

{Wait, what the hell?}

[Took you long enough. What Lila saw at the time, but not notice, was that Lukas’ death was an illusion.] Friday began detailing the conclusion of her analysis, corroborating each of her observations by replaying the important scenes for Riwall to watch.

[First, observe Lukas' feet are not inside Benir's mouth when the dragon snapped it shut. In this case, there should be the two amputated foot lying on the ground, yet, they are not there. The feet mysteriously disappears.] She played it again and zoomed at that moment.

[Second, when Benir laughs, he slight opens his mouth. No blood, no armor scrap, nothing. Lukas was wearing an enchanted heavy armor, how can there be absolutely nothing left?] Again, she zoomed at the right time.

[Third, while he is laughing and Lila was completely shocked and focused on him, look at the far right corner of her view.] A shadow, barely noticeable, moves from one tree to the other.

[Fourth, Lila thought that her sister failed to cast a spell to distance herself before Benir impaled her, but that was not the case at all.] A zoomed view of her hand showed the spell leaving her palm, only for it to scatter in the air and Benir's claw to impale her. Riwall immediately recognized this phenomenon from his classes with Hector, it meant the spell’s physical manifestation was nullified. It was related to the Entropy/Negentropy concepts, so the elf did not elaborate much on this subject.

[Fifth, her childhood friend's failed to dodge a discernible and slow attack. He is a harasser, dodging is what he can do better, he should have no trouble dodging it. Look closely at his feet.] Benir attacked in a very wide arc, the man bent his legs to jump, but his feet did not leave the ground when he extended his legs. The claw amputated his limbs, but they took a second longer than they should before tilting to the side and falling as if the soles of his feet were glued to the ground.

[Sixth, during the frenetic fight at close range between Lila and Benir, his eyes keep darting in some random directions, as if searching for something or monitoring someone.] She replayed some key scenes, and it was all true.

[Seventh, his beam attack was not diverted because of a stroke of luck. He missed on purpose.] The scene repeated in slow motion, Benir slightly turned his head to the side, changing his attack's trajectory on purpose.

[Eighth, look at his eyes.]

 




"In the end."

His eyes were not looking at Lila anymore. He was looking at something or someone that was behind her and to her left side.

"I won."



[Nineth and last reason, before he said his last words, Lila rotates clockwise to look at the damage Benir's attack did] The scene repeats itself, and Riwall notices some drips of blood a few meters away from her, right at the edge of the crater created by Benir’s beam.

[Lukas, or an accomplice, knew that Benir would not kill Lila, someone needed to survive to tell the tale of his demise after all. Not only the safest spot was close to her, but he also knew Benir would have to redirect his attack or risk killing the only witness left. By hiding behind Lila, this person could move in to finish her sister and her friend in case they somehow survive. Benir noticed it and managed to injure this person, who then moved to Lila’s left side and probably escaped the scene by going in that direction.]

{But why would Benir betray them right at that time?}

[He had been betraying them since the start, all his actions exposed Lukas somehow. He could have killed Lila's sister and friend in one attack, but he chose not to. The other person even had to intervene to guarantee their deaths. Otherwise, both of them would have survived.]

[Think about it, what caused Lila's sister to be impaled? What made Lila's friend fail to dodge? He always positioned himself in ways that made some clue show up in Lila's field of vision.]

{But why did Benir let himself die in the end?}

[How else could he escape from the consequences of breaking a life oath?]

Advertisement

About the author

Renan Basso

  • Brazil

Bio:

Achievements
Comments(4)
Log in to comment
Log In