The Trial of the Dungeon Mistress: Part VI

An Espresso Tale


Accipiter G. Goshawk

Here is Part VI!



The battle had been long and they were spent.

Fiasha had burned through the last of her spells long ago, and was cowering in a corner, whimpering. Jorn and Kol were still fighting, swinging wildly against the armoured bulk of Rijax the Scarred, countless wounds lining their tired bodies.

On the edge of the battle, Hala did her best to aid her comrades. All her initial attempts at twisting the dragon’s mind against it had failed miserably, so she had changed tactics and was now enhancing the two fighters, pouring as much magic into their blows as she could manage. Her lute lay broken on the ground beside her, its strings blackened and twisted, a courtesy of the monster’s destructive breath.

“Come on! We’ve almost got him!” roared Jorn, as he brought his longsword down in a desperate attempt at severing Rijax’s impressive hind leg. The dragon didn’t even flinch. Instead, it twisted with impossible speed and sent the paladin smashing against a far wall, where he crumpled to the ground, unconscious.

The burly half-giant paled, as the two evil reptilian eyes fixed themselves upon him and the titanic jaws opened wide.

“Oh shi-”

Hala turned away and cowered behind a pile of coins, her fingers stuffed in her ears, desperately trying to block out the awful crunching sounds.

An awful silence followed, broken only by the soft whimpers of the sorceress slowly descending into madness.

“Well, it seems there is only one viable member left. My, my…how disappointing. Come forth, assassin, so that I may see your face.”

The voice was feline, terrible and very hypnotic. Hala resisted, shaking her head and ridding herself of its magic-infused tones.

“How…how do I know you won’t kill me?” she asked, projecting her voice to the other side of the room.

She was rewarded by the sound of something large moving farther away.

“If your security is so important to you, then maybe you shouldn’t have broken into my home!”

She cringed as heat burst explosively somewhere behind her. Flames curled around the walls of the cavern and she did her best not to move, as Rijax let loose his wrath.

The flames died down and the voice came again, softer this time, but no less hypnotic.

“Fine. If a promise of safety is what you desire, you have it. I, Rijax the Scarred, do solemnly swear not to harm you, or any of your remaining companions, until the conclusion of our little chat. Satisfied?”

She took a deep breath, and stepped out from behind the pile of coins.

“I accept your terms, dra-”

She stumbled over her words, as confusion threatened to send her dashing for cover once more.

The black-scaled dragon had disappeared. In its place stood a tall man, bare-chested and black of hair.

As his eyes caught hers she noticed the vertical slit splitting the emerald-green iris, and she shivered.

“There you are assassin. So, now that you have been defeated, what do you intend to do? Escape? Fight on? Try to trick me into a deal? Enlighten me: I’m very curious…”-

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