Sunday, April 13, 2008

Chapter 11-2: Sir Eric

        Caden finished every delivery except Sir Eric's. He carried the basket, empty sacks and two loaves of oat bread. He felt better, and regretted spending two weeks in bed. Even now he wondered how close the Dragon Knights were to rescuing Keilee.

        Sir Eric's homestead looked the same as it always did. Caden knocked on the door. Sir Eric opened the door. He wore a simple white shirt, brown pants and leather brace over his missing shoulder. Caden stared at the wound.
        "Caden?" Sir Eric said. "So you're not dead after all."
        "No, Sir."
        Sir Eric took his bread from the basket. "So how did your quest go?"
        "I made it to the Dragon Knight training camp, and now I need your help."
        "I can join the Dragon Knights to save Keilee, if I'm not to late already," Caden said. "But first I need to slay five dragons. Can you help me?"
        Sir Eric sighed. He stepped aside and held the door open. "You better come in."
        Caden smiled and stepped into the house. Sir Eric closed the door, and motioned for Caden to sit at a table. He walked into the kitchen. Caden sat in the small room. He had never been inside Sir Eric's home before. He looked at the bearskins on the floor, and the deer antlers on the wall over the fireplace. Caden smiled when he saw through an open door. Sir Eric's Dragon Knight armor was displayed in a small shrine in the next room, exactly how it should be. 
        Caden stood up and walked into the next room. In the center of the far wall, was Sir Eric's armor. Spread out on shelves were weapons, broken bits of war machines, statues, and other trinkets collected from the battle field. Everything Sir Eric ever did, and was ever honored for was on display in this room. A museum to his service for the dragon knights.
        Caden walked around the room. He wondered what part of a dragon would he find. What part is considered a trophy. The heads would be too big to be put on display. Looked for a fang, or a talon, or even a scale. While he looked for the dragon trophies, he stopped on a weapon. A sword, that looked exactly like Rilyn's. Caden picked it off of the shelf and looked at the half sun engravings.
        Caden heard a shatter come from the kitchen. He returned the curved sword to it's place on the shelf and went to the kitchen. He found Sir Eric picking up a broken tea cup. Caden helped him clean up. He took the tray of tea out to the main room and set it down.
        Sir Eric came out with a new tea cup. "Caden, I'm going to make this as clear as I can." He set the tea cup down on the table. Caden served the tea. "Before the Dragon Queen attacked Erdon, I didn't believe dragons existed."
        "What do you mean?" Caden placed a cup in front of Sir Eric. "You've been trained to fight dragons, how could you not believe in them?"
        Eric shook his head. "I was never trained to fight dragons," he said. "I was trained to fight people."
        "You mean trolls and gremlins."
        "No, though they are closer to people then you might think. I was trained to fight people, like you, me or the mayor. We're never taught anything about dragons."
        "So you were part of a special squad? Others specialized in dragons."
        "No. None of us were."
        "But the general, he said his best dragon trackers wou..."
        Sir Eric slammed his fist into the table. His tea cup tipped over. "You're not listening to me. There are no dragon trackers, no dragon slayers." Caden watched the tea run across the rough wood table and drip onto the floor. "We got hundreds of 'dragon sightings' every moon. Yet not a single one ever turned out to be anything more then a rumor. The dragon knights don't investigate most of them anymore. The general probably thought that you made to story up to join even after he turned you down."
        "But he said..."
        "He lied, Caden. He told you what you wanted to hear so you would leave. No one is looking for the Queen, no one is going after Keilee."
        "The Queen, it's attacked other temples. When more reports about her come in, then..."
        "No, they'll go to the closest Dragon Knight camp. And they will be ignored. No one will pass on the story, so no one will ever see any patterns."
        Caden stood up. He grabbed his basket and sacks. "You're lying. You just don't want me to join them." Caden walked to the door.
        "Believe what you will, Caden. But the only people in the world who will believe your story are right here in Erdon."
        Caden left and slammed the door. Sir Eric left the tea on the table. He went into the kitchen and fetched a bottle of shine.

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