A week’s travel from town, Sharn ghosted through the trees following the young red Dragon back to its lair. The aged bear scat told her whose home this used to be. She crept closer, watching and waiting for another day before she made her move.
Sharn threw the small bag hard into the cave, an arch of fire from the dragon’s breath ignited and burned the oiled bag setting off the black powder inside in a small explosion. Sharn darted in after it and sliced upwards cleaving into the raised neck. She leaped back from the massive claw taking a couple of scrapes down one leg before she swung again, this time neatly beheading the dragon.
Sharn stepped back and quickly wrapped her leg before scouring the cave, gathering the gold, gems, and trinkets into the bottomless bag. She walked back and hefted the head with a slight smile and murmured to herself, “Now this and the parts will be a mighty fine gift.” She quickly dissected the dragon and collected the best parts in a separate bag along with the claws and tail spikes. She hummed quietly under her breath as she finished, then set fire to the rest of the carcass before hefting the head to one shoulder and starting the long trek back to town.
Another day of classes, followed another day of classes. The sudden monotony of it all seemed to weigh more heavily on Perianor with each passing day and he had no idea why. His life didn’t used to be like this, consumed as it was with educating the Master’s pupils. About a week and a half had passed and he finally noticed that it had been a long time since Sharn had stopped by for a chat with his Master and any time with him. Not used to the soft ache inside him, he realized finally… he missed his friend. Having not had one as such in his life, the sensation and realization was completely new to him.
On a rare free day that week, Perianor was down in the basement working on modifying a ritual sending that was common among wizards to include sensory data other than auditory. His master was in the basement as well, working on creating the stones that Sharn had suggested to create the circles they would use in their magic. The pair had been working for fully half the day when both were startled by a loud boom upstairs and heavy, booted feet coming down the stairs immediately thereafter.
Sharn shouldered open the door to the basement, then kicked it closed behind her, shutting out the nosy students as she stalked across the floor to stare down at Perianor for a long moment. Then she set the massive dragon’s head along with the claws and rare components down on the table before stepping back and taking a knee to stare at him patiently and intent.
Perianor looked back and forth from the head that had scattered all his notes and the rare parts of the dragon that he could use as both spell and potion components and back to Sharn. His look of confusion was evident. “You… took on a dragon? By yourself? What were you thinking, Sharn? You could have been seriously hurt. Or even killed!” he breathed, astounded.
Sharn grunted slightly and nodded but remained silent, still staring at him intently, apparently waiting for something as she watched him.
He noted her gaze but, still confused, turned to Herodius, “Tell her, Master. Risking her life like that for a dragon is senseless.”
Herodius shook his head, “I’ll do no such thing, Perianor Cyranthis. She knew full well what she was doing for her intended.” Once again, Sharn grunted slightly and nodded, but kept her gaze on Perianor.
“But Master! She…” he froze, his mind catching up with his Master’s words and his voice trailed off. “In… In…” he gulped, “Intended?” He looked back and forth between Sharn and Master Herodius, “You… mean…?”
Master Herodius smiled, “Of course, my Primus. The necklace. The rare spell ingredients. This dragon. They are courtship gifts. She wishes you to be her intended, her betrothed.”
The laboratory had never heard so loud a sound as the underweight Perianor sitting heavily down on the stool behind the desk. He stared at the dragon’s head for several long moments trying to wrap his mind around the information that had so suddenly and completely intruded upon his well-organized and methodical morning. Echoing in his mind then was the voice of his Master those many years ago. One of the first lessons he had been taught when he had been taken in at the tower as a ward and apprentice. “Trust the good intentions of your heart and let it lead you to your destiny.”
Herodius and Sharn continued to look at Perianor and as his head finally lifted. Master Herodius smiled at the look in his eye, which he knew well enough to know the meaning of. Above the silence that had settled like a weight in the tower’s basement could be heard a single whispered word of both acceptance and curiosity.
~~~ Fin ~~~