Bodies lay strewn along the edge of the road as the buildings burned and sent great black plumes of smoke high into the air. I looked down each alley checking for survivors on my way through, but I couldn’t hear or see anyone that had survived the attack.
“You came to the wrong town,” a man called from behind me.
I turned to see a person wearing black leather armor with a silver skull emblem embossed on his left shoulder. His armor was a stark contrast from his pale skin, though his smile looked as though it matched the skull emblem. The glint of the longsword in his right hand brought my attention down.
“This is Dobrigh, right?” I replied, lowering my head.
“Death is inevitable,” the man cried as he ran toward me.
I raised a hand, twisting my fingers like I was screwing in a peg. The man lifted from the ground and began turning as he screamed in pain. I walked forward to meet him, a smile spreading across my face.
“You’re right about one thing,” I said, snapping my fingers and breaking his neck, “death is inevitable.”
Dropping the once man to the ground, I walked forward, looking for more of his kind. A sudden scream from the other side of the building on my right made me pause and turn. Through the flames in the building, I could see to the backside of the once tavern where three more of the black-clad men held two people. In front of them stood a hooded figure that looked different than the others. I stepped forward, muttering a word of power, and arrived behind the figure in a single step.
“You’re not supposed to be here,” I said, grabbing the hooded figure’s shoulder.
The person spun slowly to look at me. I could feel their pulse through the cloak, and there wasn’t a trace of panic at my sudden arrival. When they finished turning, they pulled down a scarf from over their face revealing a pleasant smile and blue eyes with a burning hatred set in a woman’s face.
“Ah, Jydis. There you are,” she said. “I was beginning to think that we were going to run out of people to kill and have to wait in perpetual boredom for you.”
“Release the woman and her husband,” I said, looking at the three men. Each of them, upon hearing my name, had shifted their stance and looked like they wanted to run.
“Do as he says,” the woman said when she didn’t hear them obey.
I watched the men release them and step out of their way as they ran down the alley and around a corner. I nodded approvingly and brought my attention back to the woman that stood before me.
“I feel at a disadvantage,” I said, smiling back at the woman. “You know my name, but I don’t know yours.”
“Cirlydi,” she replied.
“Ah, The Insane One,” I replied, recognizing the name instantly. “I was wondering if you were going to be coming around. I had heard from some little birds that you were in the area.”
“You knew I was around, and yet didn’t stop me from destroying this town,” she said, tilting her head slightly, “Why?”
“This isn’t my town, and these aren’t my people. Who am I to stop anything?” I replied, shrugging.
“You just killed one of my men over there,” Cirlydi said, pointing to the where I had come from, “and you had my men release those two people. I think you’re not honest. It bothers you at least a little that I’m here.”
“I just don’t like unannounced company,” I replied, taking a small step forward, practically pressing myself against her. “I would appreciate it if you left, and write before you come back next time.”
As sudden as an explosion, the woman’s form expanded. I saw the white wings unfurl and tail slam into the three men that had been behind her. Her face extended into the snarling maw of the dragon she was, snapping at me and forcing me to roll to one side.
“You can’t make me do anything,” the dragon snarled, a cold fog washing over me as I stepped back to the center of the alley.
“You don’t know what you’re doing, do you?” I replied, leaning against a building.
“I’m taking this as part of my lands now, you will surrender it or die,” Cirlydi growled.
I extended my arm and stepped forward. “I’ll make you a deal. If you can bite my hand, I’ll surrender my territory.”
Cirlydi pushed toward me, snapping as I moved my hand to the left. When she opened her mouth again, I moved it to the right, and she missed it again. Making a show of it, I yawned in response. While I yawned, her teeth slammed down against my arm.
“That’s a mistake,” I smiled. A gout of fire bigger than a barn came out of either side of the dragon’s mouth, wrapping around her as she screamed in pain. In the same instant, I let my body shift back to its natural form. The town looked smaller suddenly, and I stared down at the scorched white dragon beneath me. “You would dare attack me? I should have put you down the last time I saw you.”
“Please!” she screamed as I brought my front foot up and pinned her to the ground.
“I am the eldest and most powerful of us. You dare to come into my lands and attack the citizens that I’ve allowed to exist here? You dare to stand against me?” I bellowed.
“You won’t get another chance to offend me in this manner again,” I said as I brought my maw down, clasping her throat. I felt the skin give way to my teeth as she struggled to free herself from my grip. I bit down harder and flapped my wings, pulling her into the air with me. She continued to struggle as I flew toward my lair. She kicked and clawed at my stomach until I bit down harder, feeling the bones beginning to give out. She kicked off of me, attempting to free herself once more, but she had miscalculated, and I felt her neck break and her body go limp.
I released her and watched her fall. She slammed into the ground with enough force to send earth scattering in every direction.
“You’ve gotten what you deserved,” I said as I left her there and returned to my lair.