Scorching fire erupted from the towering beast’s jaws, Kallen’s shield instinctively shooting up, his body crouched tightly as he hid behind the thick iron. Flames licked around the edges, the metal glowing a hot white, and Kallen could feel his arm burning up where it rested in its hold. Gritting his teeth, he gripped the bindings tighter and stood his ground. No dragon could force him down.
As the flames stopped, Kallen stretched up to his full height and planted his feet firmly in the melted snow. With a roar of defiance, he pointed his axe at the beast, the engravings that lined the blade glinting in the bright sun.
“You have no power here, beast of darkness!” he shouted, “If you shall not submit, then you will feel the bite of my axe!”
The dragon stretched tall and spread its wings so that the golden sun was veiled by the dark webbing. From its throat, it gave a deep, grinding chuckle.
“Whelp! You have not the power to stand against me, you have not even the strength to scratch me.” It’s voice bristled the hairs on Kallen’s neck, the words like a thousand whispers joined into a booming sound deep as the roll of thunder.
“Then you have sealed your doom,” Kallen spoke with clear voice. He felt the burn of courage in his chest. Though the beast loomed far above him, he believed- no, he knew he could bring it to its knees. A fine trophy for a hardened warrior.
Raising his axe, he roared so that the entire mountainside may hear him. To his surprise, another cry joined his own. Charging in from the side, a young girl raced at the dragon, a short sword drawn in her hand and wild, braided hair trailing after her.
Without a thought, she began slashing at the dragon’s leg again and again, the blade harmlessly bouncing off the hardened scales each time.
“Lara,” Kal called, but over her screaming and slashing, she couldn’t hear him. “Lara!”
The slashing stopped. Lara turned to face her brother, cardboard tube in hand as she stood beside the towering oak tree with a questioning frown.
“Wha’?” she asked innocently.
“You’re not doing it right, ” he tried to explain with waving arms, “It needs to be cool! Dramatic!” He needn’t have bothered trying. With a tilted head, Lara turned back to the tree, screaming and smacking the cardboard into its hardened bark.
Kal gave a sigh. She was so brash, he wasn’t convinced she’d ever learn. But at least she was hitting the tree and not him this time. Who knows? Perhaps he could make a dragon slayer of her yet.