Monday, February 25, 2008

Chapter 7: The General

        Rilyn sat in grass and watched the clouds drift by. Starlight grazed. Caden recounted the tale of the Dragon Queen to the general. The general listened and nodded. His brow was tight, and he kept a tight frown on his face.
        When Caden finished, the general said, "That's quite the story.゛
        "It's true,"Caden said.
        "I believe you."
        "So you'll rescue Keilee?"
        "I'll send my best dragon trackers out immediately. Without fail, I promise they will find this dragon and kill it by the next new moon."

        "But this isn't any ordinary dragon," Caden said. "It's the Dragon Queen."
        "The great sages have left us everything we need to deal with that old lizard." The general put his hand on Caden's shoulder. "And if your friend is still alive, we'll bring her back to your village."
        "I want to go with." Caden looked up at the general.
        "Oh?" The general looked down into Caden's eyes.
        "Please, reconsider, let me join," Caden said. "I'm stronger then I look, let me go with the dragon trackers so that I may help rescue Keilee."
        The general's brow relaxed, and he smiled. "If it means that much to you."
        Caden smiled.
        "I'm not supposed to do this." The general leaned down and whispered to Caden. "But I will make you a deal."
        Rilyn looked and watched closely as the general whispered into Caden's ear.

        Caden and Rilyn walked back to where they left Su. Rilyn looked at Caden. He hadn't stopped smiling since they departed ways from the general.
        "Are you going to tell me what he said, or is this another secret?"
        "No, I'll tell you," said Caden. "He agreed to let me join the Dragon Knights."
        "Okay, so why are you leaving?"
        "I need to talk with Sir Eric. I can only join them if I prove my strength and bring them the heads of five dragons. I figure Sir Eric should know how to track down some small ones."
        Rilyn shook his head and followed behind Caden. "Then we should double your training so you can defeat them with the stone sword."
        Caden looked back and smiled. He raised his left hand over his shoulder and gave Rilyn a thumbs up. "Sounds like a plan."
        They reached the top of the hill where they left Su. But she was no longer on the outcropping of rock. Caden dropped his knapsack and looked around, but couldn't find her anywhere. 
        Rilyn smiled, glad to be rid of the troublesome girl. "Well, guess she left. Let's hurry back to Tinate."
        "It's late, we should camp here and continue on in the morning," Caden said. "She might come back yet tonight."
        "Fine. I'll build a fire."
        Caden walked over to his knapsack and saw a small furry creature trying to untie the knot. "Hey, get away from there!" Caden ran at it. It jumped away and ran away. It stopped and stood up on it's hind legs. Caden never saw anything like it before. It looked like a rodent, but had a long, slim sinewy body. 
        It looked at Caden like it was begging for food. Caden sighed. He opened his knapsack and took out a loaf of stew bread. He tore off a fourth of it and threw it onto the ground. The rodent thing picked it up and started to eat. 
        "No more," Caden said. "I need to make the rest of this last till we return home."