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Chapter 39 Dragon Slayer!
Andu had been in a bad mood recently. He’d asked for a marital connection with the Uranus Empire, and King Uranus the 8th had affirmed this.
At only 32 years of age, Andu was proud to be a dragon knight. Within the Soladin Kingdom this was greatly celebrated, and he had many followers. In his vision for the future, a few more years and the Soladin throne would be his.
So he wasn’t surprised that Uranus was moved. But the reason he was displeased was that the one whose hand he asked for, Lucy Uranus, was staunchly opposed to the whole ordeal. Whatever, if she didn’t want to marry them there was nothing he could do about it. Andu had his own pride and wouldn’t get angry just over a woman rejecting him.
Rather than simply reject him, this woman humiliated him. This damn woman said he was nothing but a cute face who relied on dragons for a living. She also said she would only love a dragon slayer, not an idiot who rode a dragon just as stupid as its owner, gallavanting around to scam people. How could Andu, in all his pride, accept this? The red dragon he rode now brought him a lot of help. He could admit that he relied on it for his living.
But this wicked woman had no reason to say he was stupid. Only his dragon was stupid. It was a home-reared red dragon, only 480 years old this year. His great great grandfather had taken it in. Because it had been under their care for so long, its body was mature but its brain wasn’t quite developed. Somehow it had convinced itself that it was a mare, and it ran around the farmlands, making eyes at the male horses all day long.
Dragons don’t look like horses, but time was an odd thing. Those horses saw this red dragon since the day they were born, to the point they believed that they were actually big dragons. One day, the king at the time arrived at Andu’s home as a guest. It was his grandfather’s grandfather hosting him. The king wanted to see what the dragon looked like. So a group of civil servants and nobles showed up at the dragon farm of his family, next to the horse stable.
It was a sunny, beautiful noon. The king and his men, drunk, walked to the dragon’s dwelling and saw a shocking scene. The moment the king saw the red dragon, he immediately announced that their nation prohibited massive dragons from entering and exiting. Since then, the Soladin Kingdom no longer respected dragon knights, but dragon slayers.
As time flew by, both of them became legends. The dragon knight Andu received respect, and what happened then became history. Andu himself had tried to cure the dragon’s brains. He heard about what they did. His father told me about what his grandfather’s father described. Because it was many years later, the memories were unclear. All Andu’s father remembered was a red female dragon, paired with a dozen strong stallions…
So the red dragon’s idiocy was always a tender spot for Andu. Although that’s the only reason he could ride on her back and become a dragon knight in the first place, he didn’t like being called stupid just like his dragon. So he rode his dragon all over the place, throughout the Soladin kingdom, from the southernmost point to the northernmost desert. The red dragon was stupid, but its speed was still impressive.
“Whoa.” Andu cried out. He saw a dragon, with his own eyes. A black dragon, dyed red by blood, trailing through the sky.
Before Andu could react, the dragon beneath his legs flapped its wings hard, flying toward the black dragon. “Red…dragon…like…Po Po. Po Po love him.” It mumbled, rocking up through the sky.
“Po Po stop, it’s not a red dragon but a black dragon, the traitor among the dragon colors. He’ll kill us!” Andu was scared out of his wits. He was just a half-baked dragon knight riding on an adolescent dragon. If they really went over there they’d just be looking for disaster. According to legend, black dragons feasted on other dragons.
“Lie. Po Po, red, same type.” The red dragon didn’t care about Andu’s explanation and shot over like an arrow. In that moment, Andu felt incredible resentment for Po Po’s sheer stupidity.
Suddenly, a big flying bed appeared behind the black dragon. A woman sat on top, holding a magical staff. Where she pointed, a thick stream of ice erupted from her staff, blowing up his back in a spray of blood.
“You beat Po Po love, Po Po beat you.” The red dragon wasn’t happy with this. She’d finally found a male dragon just like her! In anger, she opened her mouth to chant. Dragons were born with knowledge of chants in their language. A huge fireball flew toward the woman.
“Looking for trouble?” The woman shouted, raising her hand to raise an ice shield. In that moment, the red dragon was right near the woman. Andu, who had been sitting on top of her and sweating, couldn’t help but stare dumbfounded.
She only looked like a woman in her upper half, but the lower half of her body was a spider. This odd combination he’d only heard about in legends. As the son of a famed family, Andu knew quite a bit of booklore, and he had heard of her before.
The spider queen, Azjol Nilob, ice master and insect queen, the never-fallen ruler. The risk for this encounter was higher than he thought!
“S-Spider Queen.” Andu was honestly prepared to die. What the hell was going on? But what happened next made him slightly more hopeful. His dragon seemed to match the spider queen in strength. Yes, it must be that the spider queen had expended too much energy chasing down the black dragon. Perhaps he could slay the spider queen right here, earning himself fame and fortune for the future!
Andu rubbed his palms together. As a dragon knight, he was trained to be a skilled swordsman. When his confidence returned, he and his dragon together had formidable power. A dragon knight wasn’t about just a dragon plus a knight, he thought. Raising his voice, he shouted, “Spider Queen, remember this: the one to slay you is me, Anduin Lothar Arathi!”
Now that they started fighting, the black dragon Prohelmes de Creux almost burst into tears of gratitude. His whole tragic path was too much to think about now. His body was reaching its limit. This awful woman and her bugs chased after him for three days! Her henchmen were no longer able to keep up and had all vanished, but she had found a second wind!
Prohelmes de Creux’s mind was already dizzy. He felt his own blood loss, the need to replenish nutrition. If he didn’t do that, he wouldn’t even be able to fly, and that would truly be the end.
“Salmon! Salmon larvae, so nutritious…” The black dragon turned his head, taking the chance to fly toward the magical caves.
Rafael appeared before him again. Those salmon weren’t far any more. But why were his wings so hard to flap, his eyelids heavy? He was sinking. Was he about to die?
He spent his last bit of strength to open his eye and adjust his body. All he saw was a skinny little silhouette and a sword raised high, flashing with piercing light.
Boom. The black dragon felt an icy cold rising through his lower jaw, entering his head and piercing through his brain.
The black dragon prince Prohelmes de Creux, with elegant, streamlined body and long horns, imagined thousands of ways to die, but never this.
Did this count as falling to death, or being stabbed to death?
McQueen was exasperated. Yes, exasperated. He was attacked, humiliated before so many of his subordinates. The attacker must have been a master of his craft. Yes, or he would never dare neglect McQueen’s followers.
Of course, McQueen realized he wasn’t dead. He could still pain, and the weight atop him. In the moment when he fell over, he heard the sound of bones splintering. Had his ribs been broken by the sneak attack?
Yes, dragon. Will just said dragon. Was it a dragon attacking him? Did that mean there was a huge dragon atop him? No wonder it wasn’t getting up. What a bold creature. McQueen only felt more humiliated.
He hadn’t even done anything for the dragon to attack him: never stole his treasure, killed his parents, ended his lineage, or slept with his wife!
Was it because of the egg, the double-headed chimera? Just get up and he would hand it over. Why the tantrum? They could sit down and discuss civilly over a cup of tea. If you want it you should just say it, if you don’t communicate how would I know you wanted something from me? That’s why there was a misunderstanding in the first place. Please get up, I can’t breathe, I’m going to suffocate!
Just when McQueen was floating through his fantasies, he felt the weight on his body lift, as if the dragon had finally decided to move. “Phew, hoo.” McQueen inhaled the fresh air desperately. Wait, his whole body was covered in the thick odor of blood. Opening his eyes, he saw a big puddle on the ground and a shock ran through his body. Man, how much did he bleed, he must be bleeding out!
“Sir, you…you…” Will’s voice was filled with disbelief.
“Sir, you, you, you…” Bruce’s voice now, even more shocked.
“Oh, ah, sir…” Bank and Percy’s voices now, the rhythm just right.
“Sir, you slayed a dragon!”
“Our castellan had killed a dragon!”
“He slayed it with just a sword!”
“Slayed with a sword, long live our castellan!”
“The black dragon couldn’t withstand even a single blow!”
“No one else can match up now to his dragon-slaying hand!”
Nothing else needed to be said. McQueen was famous now–the new dragon slayer, Castellan McQueen!