Humans have taken a sacred unicorn from the forest. Shahly would do anything to rescue the stallion she loves. But she is young and inexperienced in matters outside of the protection of the herd. She will need help. She will need an ally. She will need the aid of her kind's greatest and deadliest enemy. But first she must survive her first encounter with one of the most powerful dragons in the world, unaware that he has an agenda of his own...
With another deep growl, the dragon turned fully, stomping toward her.
Shahly found herself cornered and facing her kindís deadliest enemy, and for the first time in her life she knew absolute terror! Her wide eyes darted to one side, then the other, and she realized that she could never get around this great beast. She tried to back away, stopped by the canyon wall. Staring up at him with fear filled eyes as his scaly lips drew away from his sword sized teeth, her heart thundered and she tried desperately to back away further as she pondered what to do, and could find no way out, but for one.
Though the elders had taught her seasons ago that her essence was deadly to dragons and that her horn could easily penetrate a dragonís armor-like hide where little else could, Shahly knew nothing of combat. Sparring with the other unicorns of the herd had always been something of play, something to be enjoyed with another. The dragon was so huge, so powerful.
The dragonís scaly lips parted again, baring those horrible teeth as he growled. The red glow of his eyes became brighter, even against the light of day.
Trembling, Shahly channeled her essence through her horn, which began to glow emerald, and she directed its tip at the dragonís chest.
With another growl, the dragon shook the ground with a single step wide and toward her. His wings opened and his jaws gaped. Long, sharp claws curled. Muscles tensed and bulged beneath his scales. Somehow, he seemed even bigger.
Shahly knew she had little chance against him, but something much more important was at stake: Vinton. She did not want to die, nor did she want to live without the stallion she loved, even if he was not to choose her. What horrors must he be facing? Somehow, she had to survive and save him.
Setting her fear aside, she glared up at the dragon and channeled as much of her essence as she could muster into her horn, arching her neck to bring her horn to bear on the dragonís heart, then she snorted and kicked at the ground.
The dragon responded with an ear shattering roar.
Shahly reared up and lunged at him.
He flinched away, then opened his jaws and slammed them shut half of Shahlyís length away from her.
Startled, she leaped aside, then whinnied, reared up again and jumped at him.
With a single step back, the dragon was out of range, yet was still close enough to strike at her.
Shahly ducked and watched the dragonís claws swipe closely over her in a quick blur, then she dodged away as he struck again and tried to circle around him.
He turned fully, crouching to strike at her again.
Shahly knew she would have to brave his claws and strike at his hand when he swung at her again. Then came a horrid thought. She would have to kill him. Projecting her essence at him would only stun him at best, if she was even strong enough to contend with his armor. She would have to plunge her horn into him, through his armor and loose her essence inside of him. The thought sickened her. Killing was something she could never do.
Though terrified, Shahly bravely raised her head and met the dragonís eyes with her own.
The dragon drew his head back, raising a scaly brow as a soft growl rolled from his throat. He just stared back at her for long seconds, then demanded in a booming voice, "Why did you lead humans here?" His words echoed through the canyon.
She cringed at the authority and volume of his voice and timidly answered, "I did not mean to disturb you! They chased me here from the forest and I just ran to get away from them!"
He nodded. "I see. So you led them here to get me to kill them for you."
"No!" Shahly gasped. "I wish death on no one!"
"Not even me?" the dragon bellowed.
"Why should I wish death on you?"
The dragon bent toward her and roared, "Because weíre enemies!"
Shahly retreated, shaking her head as she confessed, "But I donít want to be your enemy."
The dragon leaned his head. "Because you donít want me to kill you? Is that it?"
"Yes," Shahly admitted shakily.