“We could get arrested for this…” the young man complained with a roll of his eyes. This was just crazy, he and his good friend were trying to sneak into the huge stone castle of their kingdom, to just try get a quick look at one little thing.
She swore that she saw their princess with a dragon.
This was huge! If it was true, who knows what it meant for the kingdom?
“Ah, you’re just sceptical like everyone else!” the young woman grinned eagerly. She was a pretty well known rogue, a bounty hunter of sorts. Her outfit was a dark tunic with a hood atop of it, hiding her dark hair under it. But her eyes were a very luminous green.
Her good friend simply wore his own tunic, it was brown in colour to match his boots. He groaned loudly as his friend climbed off his shoulders to crawl into a window just above her.
The night was dark, but there was a lovely guide of light cast from the moon in the starry skies above.
The young man stared up at the window his rogue had vanished into for a little while, until a rope dropped down for him to grab onto. He was reluctant as he had been for this whole trip, but took hold of the rope to climb himself up the wall and through the window she’d gone into.
He stumbled onto his feet, his hands at least getting a small touch of that lovely red rug on the wooden floor as he stood up.
This room was unoccupied, but just full of fancy wooden dressers and a big mirror for one’s whole body.
His friend stood ahead of him, her hands set on her hips as she looked ahead keenly at the wooden door ahead of herself.
“And just how are we going to get through the inside of the castle without getting spotted?” he asked impatiently. “This is all from something you only caught a glimpse of! If we get arrested here, it’s all on you!”
Despite the real weight of their situation, the light threat never seemed to bother her that much. She just laughed the words off, even waving a dismissive hand at her friend. “I know what I’m doing.” she remarked. “There aren’t patrols at this level at this time of night, because the royal family are all trying to sleep.”
It was concerning how she knew that so well…
But knowing her, she’d probably studied the patrol routes and curfews for weeks in advance from now. Who really knows how long she’d been plotting this? How long ago she supposedly spotted their princess with a dragon?
It was all ridiculous, but the young man was too deep into this to try and back out now. The two of them used the wooden door to enter deeper into the castle, their surroundings became very dark. The stone staircase was right on the wall and spiralled up onto higher floors of the castle.
The both crept up the steps, while being sure no guards were here it was always safe to stop and check.
They were so close, but stopped themselves to the sound of soft talking. Whispering, only to be heard by the door it was coming from being opened up. It just sounded like distant mumbles from here, but there was no doubt that was the princess’ room.
There was also a gentle light eminating from the room, there was certainly someone else in there with her.
But perhaps that was already obvious by the lower voice chattering back and forth.
The young rogue gestured her friend to follow after her, the two of them crept carefully and against the wall, remaining in the shadows of the dark castle as they approached this one, open door.
From here they could only really see one of the wonderful rugs in the princess’ room, not much else just yet.
“Is there any way we can help him?” a male voice asked unsurely. Not a very young voice, however. Not too old, but certainly not young.
“I’m not sure.” a more delicate, female voice answered with a sigh. “He’s injured and sick… And if we show him to the people, they’ll only kill him. This is terrible, this poor thing…”
The young man listening into their current conversation could barely believe it. From how secretive they were sounding, there was absolutely no doubt that they were talking about something… Strange.
They were hiding something injured and sick, that other people would want to kill…
He was so reluctant to look to his side, to see that huge grin on his friend’s face. She was buzzing, she was right! Not many people really tended to believe her far-fetched stories, but perhaps this was a sign that she wasn’t quite the liar everyone thought she was.
“Told you!” she chimed eagerly. She peered her head around the door very slightly, to try and get a look inside. They were both too distracted to notice her, but now she’d seen it again with her own two eyes, in a clearer sight than she had before.
Resting on the big skirt of the princess’ dress was a small green dragon, though its wing looked terribly torn and it weakly lay on her lap. Its eye was twitching a lot, maybe it was struggling to sleep, too.
Despite all the trouble to get here…
It was a little sad, really.
She frowned to herself, as she glanced to her friend at her side. “…You wouldn’t know how to help a sick dragon, would you?”
He shook his head, now growing very reluctant again. “Don’t even think about it!” he hissed. “We’re probably in enough trouble just being here! I don’t want to get tangled up with that bloody reptile!”
She pouted at his response, but at least expected that sort of reaction. She turned away as she stood, leaning her back on the wall. “Well, stuff you, then.” she muttered. “I wanted to tell everybody about this, but I see I was wrong. I want to help that poor thing to make up for being… Pretty selfish.”
He wanted to stop her, he reached out and was about to scold her name, but the young woman stepped into the soft light escaping the small room.
“Perhaps it would get healthier if it was returned to its home.” she suggested rather casually, also not phased by her friend rushing to her side and standing carefully behind her.
The room they looked into was pretty big, the bed tucked against the wall was huge and there was a big window that overlooked the whole kingdom. Next to that window was a big bookshelf, and next to that a big wooden dresser.
Despite her calm tone, the older man stood from his crouch ahead of the princess and even drew out a sword to stare at the two of them, with eyes of warning. His hair was pretty short and blonde, he wore the same heavy armour as a lot of the other guards did.
“Who are you?” he asked commandingly. “You don’t look like you belong in the castle…”
“This was her idea…” the young man complained.
The rogue wasn’t going to let this turn sour, though. “We shouldn’t be here, you’re right.” she answered bluntly. “I spotted that little fellow on the princess’ lap a few weeks ago… But now I see why she has it, I wish to help you. My friend might, I dragged him this far.”
The young princess and her knight were quiet…
They exchanged glances between one another for a moment.
The knight turned himself again. “If we give you the location of this creature’s home… Will you take it there?” he asked sternly. “In fact… The princess and I will come with you. Then I can be sure you won’t be taking it just to kill it… And travelling as a group will be safer.”
“Very well.” the rogue agreed with a nod. “But… Do we get anything for this?” she asked with a sleazy grin. She couldn’t get through a good deed without making a bargain out of it, so it seemed.
“Yes.” the princess was the one to answer her. Her hair was curled beautifully, a lovely brown colour to it. “I’ll reward you with a good amount of gold once we return to the castle.”
“Noted.” the rogue nodded, she spun to her friend eagerly with a toothy grin. “Are you in?”
He stared at her, very unamused… But really, he didn’t seem to have a choice. He grumbled to himself for a bit until nodding. “Fine. Fine. Let’s hurry.” he grumbled.
With a little more sneaking through the castle, the group of four crept out into the stables to swipe a few horses and rush out of the castle’s town and into the wilderness of the night.
They started on a pathway, but drifted off onto the grass, the moon hanging wonderfully above them. The big fields of grass glowing under the moonlight soon led into a maze of trees.
And here, they had to dismount their horses to head into the forest on foot. “It shouldn’t be far now…” the princess mumbled softly. “There should be a house in the middle of the forest.”
“A… House?” the young man in the brown tunic repeated unsurely. “Since when were dragons intelligent enough, and small enough, to live in houses?” he looked unsurely at the small dragon in her arms, and glared away. “…Older ones, I mean.”
“This dragon does not belong to the creatures it was born to…” the princess answered him carefully, sorting the little reptile carefully in her arms. “A young wizard that lives in this forest on his own takes care of it. They must have been separated during some sort of attack… I found the little one a few weeks ago and just had to try and help.”
He took in her information with a small nod.
Trust a wizard to take in a dragon and do weird things like that, he thought to himself.
But regardless, this young dragon didn’t deserve to suffer and surely this wizard was very worried about his little friend.
They all set off into the forest, carefully traversing their way around the thick trees and the darkness of the night.
Not too far into the walk, they could hear deep growling from the forest around them. Not too long after, one at a time, wolves and huge, terrible insect creatures would swipe out at them.
Not only did their knight companion draw out his sword to fend them off, but even the rogue got her short sword out of her hooded tunic to try and lend him some support, while the young man and the princess made protecting the dragon their priority.
The attacks from the wildlife of the forest ended up having the groups split off, when a wolf dived between them while the others were distracted fighting off the others around them.
The young man put himself ahead of the princess, stepping off carefully.
“Run!” he insisted.
They both set off into a sprint, using the trees as well as they could to try and dodge their chaser. It was working somewhat, but eventually the wolf caught them up and dived at them viciously.
The young man put himself in the way, the way he raised up his arm to defend himself had it clamped down on ferociously by the sharp teeth of their chaser.
He yelped out at the pain, and struggled to get the thing off his arm until slamming it into a tree, stepping off and holding his burning, bleeding arm. He could hear it, more were wandering their way here, too…
But in a sudden burst of light aura, the creatures were chased off.
They all rushed back off into the darkness, and from where they were running to, a young man in a soft purple poncho and robes, with a distinctive pointed hat on his head with blue hair poking out of it appeared.
“Spike!” he blurted out almost instantly. “O-oh my goodness, your highness… Wh-what is happening? Why do you have Spike?”
“I found him a few weeks ago…” the young princess answered the wizard quietly. “He was injured. I snuck him home to tend to him, but he’s gotten sick, too…”
The wizard looked concerned, stepping forwards for a better look at his little scaly friend. He reached a hand forwards to softly pat the little green head…
And that at least seemed to make the little guy happy.
He smiled to himself, but was alerted into reality again to hear the other two screaming and running their way. With a whole herd of the wildlife chasing right after them.
“Oh dear…” he muttered. He clenched his hand to summon his magic from the ground to scare all the wildlife off again. “Come on!” he urged them all quickly.
The group all rushed off after the wizard, to reach a little opening in the forest. A river ran over a bridge close to a big, rounded house sitting on its own little island in the middle of the opening.
The inside of his house was very welcoming. The wooden floor was very clean and the red rug in the middle of the floor really made it look very homely. A lot of light came from the fire at the wall of the room.
There was a big comfortable chair next to the fireplace, the young wizard sat down at it and the little dragon rested on his lap comfortably.
“I’ll be able to help him get better.” he confirmed, namely to the princess staring his way with worry. “I’ve been working on a few potions that should speed up his recovery.”
The rogue and her good friend watched from the doorway, at least glad that all this went the right way. There was a number of things that could have gone horribly wrong. But at least the wizard helped wrap up the young man’s arm.
“Was it worth it?” he asked, complaining in his voice again.
“Yeah. A happy ending.” the rogue grinned. “And even happier when I get paid for it when we go home!”