The Outlawed Hero- Chapter 8

  • Chapter 8

    The stench of charred corpses filled my nose as I got closer and closer to the Western Outpost. The walls to the small fort had crumbled in places, and the area around its perimeter was scorched barren by flames. The closer I got, the more damage revealed itself, putting a small flicker of doubt in my heart. The small tower that had risen on one end of the outpost had collpased halfway up, its parapet smashed in the courtyard below among the smoking bodies of dead guards and rangers. Quietly, despite my armour, I slipped through a toppled wall into the outpost, listening for anything out of the ordinary. Hearing and seeing nothing threatening, I turned and peered out of the gap in the wall to see the small forms of Irileth and her party of guards approaching. Making a gesture with my hands to show that the coast was clear, I disappeared back behind the wall and drew my sword, starting to investigate the ruined outpost more closely. A charred man groaned in pain as I walked by him, before I quickly put him out of his misery with a blade through his heart. After this, the only audible sounds were the flames licking at the air and the quiet murmur of Irileth and her guards talking to each other in hushed voices, their chainmail clinking as they moved. As they entered the ruins, I called out to them, however my voice remained almost respectively hushed.

    "The dragon's gone, for now. Your outpost, on the other hand, is gone for good." Irileth looked around, her red eyes betraying nothing as she took in the scene around her. Just as she opened her mouth to speak, however, an ear-splitting roar pierced the air, resounding over the nearby mountains and seeming to shake the very earth. We all stopped, looking to a gap in the mountains where the sound seemed to of come from, to see a small shape, hardly distinguishable, but approaching faster every second. Another roar made a few men stumble, and all of a sudden the broken door to the tower smashed open and a guard, burnt on one side of his body, collapsed out of it, screaming with his remaining breath.


    The realisation suddenly came to the guards in Irileth's group, and they took up the cry, pointing with their weapons at the great beast approaching from the sky. I looked up to where the dragon was, seeing its appearance in more detail as it got closer. The beast was covered from head to tail in armour-like, bronze coloured scales that glinted in the sunlight. Two curved horns protruded from the back of its massive head, and similar spikes followed its spine down its back and ended in a long arrow-headed piece of horn at the end of its tail, giving the great dragon an even more imposing figure. What drew the whole party's eyes, however, was it's gaping maw, revealing rows of teeth the length of my sword, all illuminated by a fiery glow coming from the dragon's throat and continuing down to light up its chest. As we all saw this, a flame spat out of the beast's mouth, turning into a fireball the size of the outpost's tower before it smashed with devastating force into a wall, sending debris flying and toppling one of Irileth's soldiers almost instantly as a great chunk of stone collided with him. Just before it passed over us, the dragon roared again, turning its horrible head to take in all of us on the ground, before letting out what sounded chillingly like a laugh and circling back around, swooping down and preparing to land.

    The beast's claws latched onto one of the ruined walls and it stopped, leaning forward with the force before sitting back almost proudly, taunting us with his awful brilliance. Its emerald green eyes inspected each of us quickly, an ugly grin-like expression appearing on its face as it bared its teeth. My heart pounding at the sight of the great beast ahead, I showed my teeth back to it, determined not to show fear, despite my comrades doing just that. Foolishly, one of the guards let out a battle cry and rushed at the dragon, waving a mace in the air as he charged. Irileth screamed at him.

    "Fool! Don't risk yourself!" It was too late, however. With one more almighty roar, the winged beast let loose a torrent of flame that scorched the ground bare metres away from where we stood, while the charging guard was not so lucky. The fire engulfed him, silencing his cry before it could begin as he was almost instantly incinerated, the gleaming mace that he had held being melted in mere seconds. I took a step back, disturbed, before quickly shaking my head and letting out a growl, brandishing my sword at the dragon. Surprisingly, it stopped what it was doing and turned its head to me, then started to speak in its language, its words booming off of the ruins of the fort and making my heart beat faster.

    "Dovahkiin. Hin Thu'um los sahlo. Ofan vok." I frowned, not understanding a single word of what he said, but his first utterance, "Dovahkiin", resounded in me, making me pause. Suddenly, another chilling laugh rose from the dragon's throat and it launched itself forward, opening it's mouth and hissing as it threw itself towards me.


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