We came to the top of a hill. The stream of refugees had trickled down to nothing, making me believe not a person remained in the west lands.
The horse riders stopped at the crest and allowed us to catch up.
I stood in disbelief. Although the entire horizon had glowed as if from a great conflagration, the actual fire was burning only around a lone castle on a hilltop. The flames were blindingly bright, yet seemed to not burn any of the land around.
We went down into the valley and headed towards the fire. Perhaps it would be much easier than we thought.
The ground shook and a dragon appeared before us.
“Give up you Queen or your kingdom is toast,” the dragon said in an earthquake voice.
“Champion!” the captain of the guard shouted. “Slay me this dragon.”
A man charged the dragon. The dragon didn’t move. The lance hit the dragon, splintering into a million shards and knocking the man to the ground. The dragon didn’t take notice. The man got up, took a minute to orient himself and then charged on foot. The dragon was stone still. The man hacked and hacked with his sword. The dragon yawned. The hacks came farther and farther apart as the man tired. The dragon pulled back a finger and then used it to flick the man away. The man landed a few hundred yards behind us. A few guards went to check on him. They returned, each carrying bits and pieces of the remains. They looked sick.
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