Shadowed Moon chapter 8

Fiction By Kay J Fields // 12/30/2009

 

Chapter 8
The dragon lord traced a claw lightly across the old map’s surface. “Here is our forest, and here is that little stream that runs past my cave. The stream drops over these cliffs-“ The same ones I climbed on the day I escaped. I thought. “-as a waterfall into this lake here.” He said, pointing out the route. “We will follow the stream down until it reaches the cliffs and then go down alongside the waterfall. If we need I can fly down and help you. Faylin though, I know will refuse any assistance.
“After the lake all we need to do is fly southwest down into the country of Chelise and then a to the Yalee mountain range where Grinl and Veilara have their cave.” He ended by placing his claw on a shadowed, craggy line near the edge of the small map.
“Do all dragons live in caves?” I asked.
“Mostly. We wouldn’t except for the fact that caves are the only things large enough to shelter a creature as big as a dragon.” Ditri replied. “Are you ready?”
“Now?” I asked hesitantly.
“Now. The sooner the better.”
“Ah.”
“You’ve gotten into a habit of saying that.” He observed.
“You’ve gotten into a habit of observing my strange habits.”
“And you have gotten into the very bad habit of not brushing your teeth.”
I groaned. “Please stop, I don’t exactly have any mints out here.”
“You could go and pick yourself some wild mint leaves and either chew on them or boil them in some water to drink.” Ditri suggested helpfully.
“I might just do that.” I replied.
“Pack some extra too.” He said with a toothy grin.
I walked out, fed up with his bantering for the moment. Who ever know that I would be arguing with a dragon who had a very irritating sense of humor? I thought to myself. Not nearly so irritating as Faylin though.
“Boo.”
I jumped.
“Good morning, ah… Lara!” Faylin and Catalee—who had been the latter speaker—stood before me.
“Hello.” I greeted, giving them both a weary smile. At least the rather excitable vixen remembered my name. “What are you doing here Catalee?” I asked.
“And Narris.” Faylin added in his signature growl. I looked over to see the red hawk watching me in silence.
“Hi.”
She clacked her beak in greeting and continued to stare at me with her bright eyes. “Catalee and I will be coming with you.” She announced.
I raised my eyebrows. “Does Ditri know?” I asked.
The bird shook her head and flapped her wings. “Lord Ditri will know in one moment. We were just going to go see him.” She replied, tilting her head to the left. “Is he back there?” She asked.
“Yes, I was just with him; he’s only just around the corner.”
“Is someone talking about me?” Ditri snaked his large, green and blue, horned head around the wall. “Ah. Narris, Catalee. What are you doing here?” He walked out into the light and held up a claw, closing his eyes. “Wait, I know.” He opened them. “You want to go with us. Well the answer is ‘no’. Faylin and Lara and I are merely going to talk to Grinl and my sister to gain some information, there will be no army raising or castle storming involved. Am I clear?” He asked.
Catalee sighed and looked down, her red and white bushy tail hanging low to the ground. Narris opened her beak. “Lord Ditri? We only thought that, well; maybe Lara would enjoy some female company along the way. You know us, and we know our forest. At anytime you could send us back and we would go. But it is only a suggestion sir.” She lowered her head in a sort of bow and Ditri heaved a great sigh.
“I suppose you’re right if that’s what Lara wants.” He relented.
“Oh Lara, can we?” Catalee asked, brightening. “It would be so, er, exiting and, ah, well you know, everything. Please?” She begged, her eyes holding mine. “Please?”
I smiled. “Of course it’s fine with me.”
Catalee made a little squeal and spinned around, her tail brushing across her pointed black nose as she twirled. I laughed and she stopped. “What is, er, funny?”
“Nothing.” Faylin growled before I could answer.
“Aw, lighten up wolfy.” Catalee quipped.  
Wolfy’? I asked myself. Faylin; wolfy?
Faylin shot the fox a glare but his yellow eyes held a rare spark. “Lighten up?” He asked. “I glimmer dimly, and only just.” I found that I understood the wolf less and less every time I met with him. Had he just made a joke? I wasn’t sure. Faylin turned to me and showed his gleaming teeth in a grin. “One more practice before we leave human.” He said.
I gulped.
 
We stood in the ‘practice ring’ clearing, in the dust where we had done it before. I with my new sword and Faylin with his naturally deadly weapons of teeth and claws. We circled for less than a minute before I leaped forward, swinging the small blade clumsily. Faylin didn’t bother to dodge; he darted in and nipped my boot, showing me my unprotected side. He chuckled, a sound that was very similar to his growl and went in again.
Again and again I swung defensively and again and again Faylin found an opening and tapped me hard. These opening appeared all over my body, my back and legs, chest, head, anywhere; even my sword arm.
Sweat trickled down my face beneath the summer sun and my limbs felt like jelly. Faylin began to shout as we fought. “Left arm up for balance; cut downward with your sword and step forward. Do not retreat! Do not lose your ground. Push forward and duck, sword up. Block!”
We clashed together and I grunted, trying to out maneuver him. Faylin seemed to read my thoughts. “Use your enemies speed and strength against them. If they are bigger than you then use your smaller size to duck where they cannot reach, or if they are smaller use your weight but do not throw it around haphazardly.” He shot in under my swing and back again, grinning and apparently not out of breath at all. “If they are faster, hold your ground and beware of their quick moves, spend more time blocking instead of swinging until they tire.”
After almost an hour of combat and instruction we paused for a rest and something startling occurred to me. “Faylin, why are you teaching me?”
He sighed and laid down beside me, his head in the shade and body warm in the sun. “Haven’t we gone over this before?”
“No, I know that I need to know. I meant why are you teaching me and not someone else? Especially with…” I hesitated. “Everything.”
His bright yellow eyes glittered in the shadow of the trees. “Why I teach you how to fight, to kill when my family was murdered by a human?” He looked away. “Because you are not Kellen. I know I have acted differently but I know that you are not at all like him. For one thing he was not trained by me.” Faylin smiled a little. “He did not know how to use a sword, the sword used him but that does not excuse his deed. He wanted to kill; you could see it in his eyes long before he found Macarann. With the training of how to use a weapon comes the training of how not to use it.”
“What do you mean?”
“A weapon is no toy; you need both instructions and skill to wield it. But you also need knowledge, the kind of knowledge that comes from learning manners and more importantly, the value of life.” He explained.
“I didn’t know you were a philosopher.” I said.
“We all are in a way.” He pushed himself up onto his feet and shook the thick mane of black hair around his neck. “Are ready to learn the correct way to war?”
“Um, sure.”
“Then come, “He looked up at the sun. “We do not have much time before we must leave.”
 
 

Comments

My favorite line: "I glimmer

My favorite line: "I glimmer dimly, and only just." :0) Good to know that Fayin has some sense of humor. Good chapter!

 

Heather | Tue, 01/05/2010

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
And now our hearts will beat in time/You say I am yours and you are mine...
Michelle Tumes, "There Goes My Love"

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