A Matter of Who I Am: Cp 1

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A Matter of Who I Am
Chapter One

(Jelnaya)

I heard the roar and only smiled. Soldiers looked at me with most having the expressions of no longer facing death. It was possible, but I did not want them to think that it was anything except my kindness that would allow them to return to their families. I quickly stepped up inside the reach of one soldier who appeared particularly cocky, and sent my dagger into his throat. As he dropped, I smiled to the other soldiers before letting them know my philosophy by making my own roar.

“FOR IT ALL!”

I am told that the red and yellow locks of my hair appear to blaze during the course of a battle. After being bestowed with unnatural bright colors, I was shown a camera shot of how I appeared facing a divine creature. Red and yellow beams did radiate from my head, but there were also bright lights in the stadium in which the combat occurred. I now had the strange locks long enough to know that they did not make their own light, as I saw no radiance when I made attacks at night. With the sun shining high in the sky I did not doubt the soldiers saw something special as I raced to face the beast coming to their aid, but my focus was on proving the reason for a god to have my locks show bright colors.

I had a grandfather that fought dragons. He had one in the cavern where he deposited his gold. In coming to learn the skills to live this life, I spoke to that dragon and learned some of the ways of the monsters. In traveling with my grandfather, I learned to fight them.

The great beast before me had the problem of the troops around me. Releasing its foul breath would hurt others who were on its side. I had the problem of simply being one lady against such a grand monster. To assure that I did more than get the attention of the great beast, I killed a couple of soldiers who thought my mind was distracted by the dragon.

I cut the straps holding breastplates onto corpses, and yanked them before me just in time for the blaze of fire from the dragon. I felt its lack of concern for the surrounding soldiers to prove its, and those that had enticed it to be present, evil purposes. I really had no loyalty to those that hired me, but they gave me no reason to think bad of them. It was not just the money for me. My grandfather had a good reputation, and I wanted that as well. I wanted it all. I thus did focus on attitude. Those that hired me traded jokes, fed me well, and did not get bossy with rules concerning how I did my duty. I thus liked them. Seeing the dragon breathe its fire upon those who were on its side caused me to not like the monster at all.

The ornate piece of metal on my head acted like a pretty piece of jewelry to help organize my colorful locks, but it had been enchanted in a manner that protected me from elemental attacks, such as fire. The breastplates were just to make the dragon think that I survived for another reason. If a dragon thought you were just lucky and clever, they would attack you in a manner of displaying their strength. Those that realized you were coming at them with an unfair advantage would simply seek to squash you like a bug. I looked around at the burnt bodies of my opponents, then threw the breastplates away accepting that I could put my focus on the dragon without having to worry about it having nearby allies to protect it.

One lesson that my grandfather made very empathically was that you did not avoid a dragon. Those who thought that they could dodge a blow or jump away from an attack would die. With my hair being groups of bright red and bright yellow locks, I completely removed thoughts of escaping. As the back legs of the dragon came down to secure its body as it sought to send forward a clawed hand toward me, I prepared myself to make use of the lessons I had learned.

This was a bigger dragon than the one I had been bragging about, which only made my desire to drop this one as a corpse even greater. I did control my anxiousness enough to assure that the dragon was not doing anything to spoil my plans. Seeing it attempt to gain altitude after coming in low to make a direct attack after breathing, I knew that I had to make a move. I rushed to the tail, jumped, and had a dagger sink into the long rear appendage. My grandfather had taught me how to climb using enchanted daggers. They could pierce stone, and if positioned properly could provide handholds to support one’s weight. Of course the monster felt my presence, and it tried to throw me off, but I used my legs to help secure my body to jagged scales while causing the dragon even more damage by working the daggers to move me to a vital area.

Surviving the whipping action of being near the end of the tail, I knew that I had control of the situation. On the ground the beast probably could have dealt with me. In the air it would however have to get into a completely non-aerial position to deal with the threat I represented. Once again I did not give the dragon a chance to consider its options, as I took action on an option of my own.

My sword now had the benefit of a special enchantment to make it a serious threat to most creatures. I had gained the weapon and some knowledge in how to magically enhance it before I accepted the authority of the god Fergush. With the guidance of a priest to the deity I worked my spell and found my blade to flow a little better into materials. Even in a bad position on the butt of the dragon, I felt good seeing my enchanted sword slice into the rear right thigh.

The monster roared with pain. We were up in the air, but I was the one with the advantage. Falling from the sky would hurt, but the dragon was in the air just as I was. It risked losing control of whatever ability gave it flight should it bend around to get to me. To assure that it did not get ideas about using its rear legs, I held a scale while standing on a dagger in order to send my sword into the other thigh. As I regained a secure hold, there was satisfaction in hearing the monster roar again.

Without any other option, it set its wings to descend. I however was not going to allow the dragon any advantage. I lifted myself to again put a foot on a dagger, then propelled myself down along the backbone using the horny plates covering the spine to guide my way. The dragon was going down, but it was using its wings for control. I allowed gravity to fully propel my descent. Probably because it worried about landing with its hurt thighs, but also assuredly due to not believing someone would act as foolish, the monster did not bother to look back before my blade sunk into its skull behind a jaw. As I pulled on the blade to have it cut into the meat of the neck, I noticed a lack of control in our descent.

I had every right to brag, although now had to survive to gain the glory of killing a dragon and living to talk about it. After making a couple more cuts into the neck, I slid down to the shoulders. Attempting to determine how the corpse would come down, I chose a position where I could hope the body of the monster would absorb most of the shock of landing. Yes, being a holy warrior I was supposed to pray, but my words to Fergush never were humble.

“Oh, this was fun. I swear, Fergush, in this life or the next, I will do this again.”

Something in the muscles had the wings continue to be mostly out, so the dragon came to the ground at a shallow angle. The body of the beast slid for a good distance, but I felt little force. I thus came away from the corpse looking for further trouble.

Soldiers a far distance away cheered, then I heard the horns signal for them to advance. I looked toward them willing to allow them to finally earn their own pay. As I stepped out just to see if any of the enemy soldiers were nearby to give me some final moments of fun, I heard one horseman command his mount to quickly cover the distance to me.

The officer had the colors of those that had commissioned me. I thus did not prepare to attack. I did not relax, as deception was always a possibility. Some people hated giving up their money even for gaining what they wanted. I felt he could tell my body was tense, as he did not have his horse come too close. After bringing the animal to a stop, the officer had it walk just to a distance where he could toss a leather purse to me.

“Honored Jelnaya, your job is done. Thank you.”

Oh, yes, I was hired to kill the dragon. Forgot about that, but just enjoyed moving through the enemy troops. I considered the dragon to be extra, but the purse reminded me of the original contract. I cut into the dragon’s carcass to make an appropriate sacrifice to Fergush, then checked my money while moving to my own horse.

“Oh, Fergush, can I brag?”

“Can you brag, Jelnaya?”

I had not ever seen Fergush, although had felt his presence. All I usually did was hear his voice. It was a nice masculine speech that I actually enjoyed hearing. I spoke to it as I would any other friend.

“That dragon. If you say that you had something to do with it, I will stay quiet about it.”

“No, Jelnaya, as it was your contract to kill it. While you did so in my name, this was not a war in which I had any real concern. I thus did not make any action. It was fun watching you. Let me however say that it was not me that trained you in dragon slaying, so the one who might be able to claim some credit is someone other than me. Still, it was fun watching you.”

I smiled feeling that it had been fun doing it, and spoke of what more enjoyment could come my way. “Well, when I see Grandfather Terish again, I will brag of this kill to him. Hopefully it will stir his memory of other dragon slayings, and get him to teach me more.”

“That is a good thing to do, but I don’t believe he is there. Still, Jelnaya, go to Davelda.”

“What?”

I really did not argue with Fergush. Our relationship started as friends, and not as a divine devotee to a superior entity. I did not grow up on this world, or really initially liked the prospect of his teachings. I had a great-uncle that worshipped Fergush however, and my paternal grandfather did have reasons to speak well of the deity. Due to their associations with the god, I had some communication with Fergush. In the end, he was the one that offered me what I wanted, and with him agreeing to my terms I accepted him as my patron. I kept my bargain, and did not argue with him, but as a friend I sometimes did not watch my speech in speaking to him.

Worried that he might have taken my exclamation in the wrong manner, I quickly added, “I mean, of course, if that is your desire for me. It however is not a usual request for you. I am usually having to plead for time to spend with my family.”

“You really do not need to plead for that, Jelnaya. I have no issue with your family, although none other have declared themselves unto me. As you originally said, I am however a family friend. While I have things for you to do, time with your family is understood. At this time however, the two purposes could coincide should your family members actually be present on Davelda.”

Cannot allow a Jelnaya story to be simple, so the complication is presented in the next installment.