Side Story: Not Such A Bad Dragon?
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Author: GIMME DEM RATES AND REVIEWS YO!

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I remember the fear. That cold, heart-pounding fright. The cloaked figures, tall and imposing. Faces cast in shadow, making you wonder whether what lay beneath those hoods were actual human figures or merely an endless void.

 

Do you know what it's like? To be dragged away and thrown in a cage? 

 

When they first came I couldn't even scream. Couldn't call out, couldn't shout for help. The second time was the same. I wasn't gagged, but it felt like it. That's what I hated most. That I could, but didn't. Tried, but failed. 

 

I was too scared to cry. To yell. It was pathetic. I...was pathetic. 

 

Even when that dagger was raised and pointed towards my heart my struggles were useless. 

 

I never felt more helpless. More terrified. 

 

And then he appeared. 

 

Showing up out of nowhere, kicking down those doors I thought so suffocating and inescapable. I didn't know when he made his way over, or how.

 

I only realized someone new had entered, had come to my side.

 

Someone who easily tore apart bindings I believed unbreakable.

 

"Are you okay?" 

 

Those were the first words out of his mouth. And I could see the concern in his eyes. Could feel the care in how he held me in his arms. Firm yet gentle, as if I were a piece of precious glass.

 

Of course, it was Damien. 

 

I didn't know how he came to this place, or why. But the sheer relief his presence brought when I realized it was him nearly made me cry. 

 

And in the same instant, ashamed. Because he was the last person I wanted to see me like this. I couldn't stand it. 

 

I tried pushing him away, but couldn't. Then he held my palm in his own and squeezed. His hand was warm and steady. 

 

It was like I was the only thing his eyes could see. And something in what he saw triggered a rage I didn't fully understand. 

 

Next thing I knew he was bathed in divine golden light. He ran towards the armed men as unstoppable and inevitable as an oncoming storm. Effortlessly dodging every attack, using only his legs to send them flying. He was brilliant and dashing in those etheral golden rays, like a young deity come down from the heavens. 

 

I felt even worse when I saw him like that. 

 

I wasn't sure when but he'd long since become a goal. I wanted to be like him. I mean he was obviously a despicable rogue, daring to do anything he wanted. He terrorized an entire Kingdom worth of Noble children and actively sought out eligible young women to without any regard for whether they were already wed or not. 

 

Yet for all that he was still everything I wanted to be. Strong, vibrant, independant. He may be a rogue, but that just made him the perfect rival. A person worthy of surpassing, of beating.

 

From the first day we met he lit a fierce desire in me I didn't, until then, realize I had: To be powerful, to be talked about. Not in the same way he was, no. But the opposite. I wanted to be praised. And not only that, I wanted to travel the world and see many things, do many things. I didn't want to be stuck in this weak body, in this one Kingdom, only meant to be married off and birth children. To sit and gossip until old age. 

 

There were just so many things I wanted to experience in life!

 

And that's why I didn't want him to look at me. Because I knew he'd never do what I did. Would never cower, never sit back and let things he didn't like be done to him. 

 

He was dauntless. When things became serious there was nothing he was scared of, nothing that could shake him. 

 

Having him here looking so glorious and resplendent while I couldn't even summon the strength to scream when they held me down...it was a terrible feeling. 

 

It made me resentful, even. I put on a tough front despite the trembling in my knees. Put up a wall when he only asked how I was doing even though the blood in my hair nearly drove me mad.

 

What was even worse was the way I lost control of myself. Kicking the dead corpses of my captors again and again. And he didn't stop me either. Maybe he felt I needed it. Maybe I did. That didn't mean I felt any less sick at my own actions after the fact. 

 

It was a shameful display I couldn't hide. Made my previous tough words a lie. 

 

And other thing. Who was that strange blue-haired girl he brought with him? They seemed to have a complicated relationship. Whoever she was though, she was certainly a bit mysterious. The power she had over water was extraordinary. 

 

Several things happened after my rescue. Not the least of which was that Mary woman suddenly appearing with an exploding note. 

 

"Everyone get down!" Damien shouted. 

 

And then hugged me. It was a really weird feeling. And at the same time, a pleasant one. I hated to admit it but having someone who seemed to care for you so unconditionally was always a heart-warming thing. 

 

Maybe he isn't such a bad Dragon after all?

 

"What about me?!" The woman had screamed.

 

"My baby girl comes first!" He'd shouted back. 

 

And just like that I wanted to hit him. Seriously, I thought, did he really consider me a daughter!? We were the same age! 

 

In that moment his words were frustrating to the extreme.

 

As handsome as he is and as protectively he held onto me, even I'd feel my heart stir a little. Had he just stayed quiet it would've been like a page out of  storybook. 

 

I could only say he really couldn't read a mood. 

 

Then, when we fell into the broken floor, he did something I wouldn't have thought possible even for him. He called a Grand Slime! Father had once told me those things were beings unable to be wounded by phyical attacks and could bring ruin to a nation. 

 

As expected of a Dragon...I guess? He brought out a disaster-class monster with a wave of his hand, truly befitting of a yound Demon Lord!

 

So...did he seem like such an Angel, with wings of silver and gold at his back?! 

 

They were mesmerizing! 

 

They glowed with an inner radiance that was simply awe-inspiring! 

 

And Damien himself looked even more divine that he did when he was beating up those cultists. 

 

When seeing that guy, the first thing you noticed were his eyes. A deep, haunting violet pair that you'd think of long after he was gone. And at that time they shone like two perfectly polished amethysts. 

 

His long, breath-taking wings were a pure, unblemished white lined with the most gorgeous gold. Had he held the sword Millenianna in his hand he truly would be mistaken for an Angel then. 

 

Wasn't he a Demon Lord reincarnated? Why, then, did he look so holy and divine?! And before that, wasn't he a Dragon? What's with those ridiculously magnificent feathered wings?! Where're the scales?!

 

A Demon Lord Dragon isn't supposed to look like a young male God! 

 

I'd seen masterwork scultures of several Divines. Wasn't he more perfect than any of them? This wasn't funny, okay?

 

Knowing this kind of guy was the nightmare of almost all the Young Masters in the Kingdom, simply bullying them to death...

 

Something was seriously wrong here. I couldn't even picture it. 

 

I plucked a feather and admired it closely. It was simply wonderous, something that couldn't belong to the mortal world!

 

I was instantly suspicious.

 

Oi. Was he really a Dragon? 

 

He wasn't REALLY a young Deity, was he? He hadn't been kicked out of Heaven for beating up other Gods and trying to seduce their Goddess wives, right? 

 

Now that I could picture. No, it was actually disturbing how well that setting fit!

 

As I was seriously wondering whether this guy was a fallen Divine thrown out for bad behaviour, someone else showed themselves.

 

From what I could gather, his uncle? 

 

He treated us roughly at first but quickly eased up. They talked a bit, those two, as I and Chelsea clung to Damien for dear life--well, okay, not me. I was held safely between two steel-like arms. Chelsea was the one having to cling.

 

Again I felt they had something weird going on between them because she had no hesitation in wiggling her way up his body, burying his head between two perfectly rounded hills and wrapping a set of long, slender legs around his waist.

 

I forgot to mention, they had a talk to. One that left me stunned at the sheer scope of it, something about draining life from the land and breaking apart barriers and making the desert lush again. 

 

Speaking of, the place we fell into was lush too. Almost jungle like, with a single tall waterfall that split into various smaller rivers which flowed through every corner of the land and kept it lively.

 

Damien's uncle(?) led us down after their conversation. The guy was young-looking and nearly as pretty as Damien, but more easy-going. And by that I mean he showed a lot more expression than Damien did, whose default face was either expressionless or contemptuous for some reason. 

 

No, this uncle was a more more bookish-looking. Ah. He reminded me of that useless brother of mine somehow. 

 

The area we landed on was surrounded by fields. 

 

I was highly suspicious of that, too. Merchant of herbs and spices, was it? I couldn't be sure, but weren't some of these things drugs? And not the medicinal kind. At least not all of them.

 

While the discussion devolved into the young man dragging Damien away, yet another person showed herself. 

 

"Mosshead!" I recognized her instantly. How did SHE get here? That strange chick who threatened Alex. 

 

Sad thing is, I was starting to not even mind all these kind of odd things that happened. I was taking them in stride by now, I think. 

 

All I knew is she was here.

 

How, that wasn't on my mind back then. 

 

The three, her, Damien and this "Lord Llyr" erupted into another conversation. 

 

The things they talked about were just as amazing the other things I'd heard up to then. I knew this girl wasn't normal, but she talked about making this entire place wither up? And something about passing down memories...

 

Was she a Dryad? Father used to read me stories involving those kind of beings, the beautiful vixens who tempted men and women alike. The spirits of trees who'd been saturated in mystical energies.

 

My head was starting to hurt with all these topics that popped up left and right! Not to mention the part he said about that Reproduction Plan and "fix the root of the problem?!"

 

Making their men horny again? What weird stuff was this uncle into?! 

 

What was he trying to do, make Dragon aphrodisiacs?!

 

"I've a deal for you." Llyr had said after he let Damien go. He was talking about dissection just before, then said it was a joke, and Damien wasn't worried either, but I don't know. 

 

Anyway he offered Mosshead a reward for helping him. 

 

Which she refused. 

 

Anyway, that wasn't the only thing that was said. A bit before that something else came up that was way more interesting. Which was, Damien rejecting her. Before the girl even confessed. 

 

"Let's just be friends, eh?"

 

"I'm not into you, though?"

 

Was basically how it went. She calmly denied any such feelings for him, coldly denying even a friendship, and stating he was merely her Mistress' brother in her eyes and nothing more.

 

I, however, witnessed something that made those words a lie.

 

It was after Damien passed out. He got sprayed with a strong sleeping gas after getting too close to a flower.

 

"Your Grace!" Chelsea shouted as he fell back. She was the closest to him and moved quickly. 

 

But before she could even take two steps the one who arrived first was Mosshead. She was behind everyone else one second and at his in the next, catching him almost instantly.

 

"He'll wake up in a couple hours, just leave him there." Llyr had said off-handedly, like he didn't care at all, before disappearing deeper into the enormous glass building.

 

Not knowing what else to do and fearing whatever else these plants might be able to do, I stayed right where I was. As did Chelsea. 

 

Mosshead? She also stayed. But instead of just sitting down and leaving him on the cold, cobbled floor she just knelt down and laid his head on her lap. 

 

I admit, I dozed off for a while. The stress caught up to me, as did hunger, and I feel asleep in minutes. 

 

It's only when I woke up sometime later that I witnessed something I felt I shouldn't have.

 

Chelsea was gone, presumably off looking at the flowers. Everything was calm and tranquil. The sun had gone down and the moon up so I knew it had to have been at least two or three hours.

 

In spite of such a long time having past, there, not even ten feet away, was Mosshead. Having seemingly not moved an inch. 

 

It was there that she sat, so peaceful and calm, gently stroking Damien's hair. I don't even think she noticed me, noticed anything really.

 

She only continued to stare down at him, her mind unreadable. 

 

I stayed like that, pretending to sleep, for several minutes more until I heard footsteps coming closer and closer.

 

"I swear, you're so much like your mother it's almost a pain." Llyr said. "I wonder if you're going to follow in her foosteps, too?" 

 

"What do you want?" Mosshead quckly removed her hand from his head and looked up at the man, as if caught doing something she shouldn't.

 

Her tone was sharper than usual, almost seeming to  be tinged with the slightest of guilt. I couldn't understand why. 

 

He ignored it.  "Your mother was the same, you know. You should understand better than anyone. Do you want to walk the same path? To go through what she does every day? It doesn't have to be like that. I can offer another alternative, one my sister and her misguided plans can't give you."

 

"You can't do that." She shook her head.

 

"With you help, I could. In a matter of years."

 

The girl's mouth was set in a hard line. "I don't care. I'm not going to stoop that low. What does it matter if I don't get what I want? It's not about me. I won't accept that kind of help."

 

I heard a sigh. "I can't say I don't respect your loyalty. But your mother said the same and look how that turned out? It'll be worse for you, you know." He said. "Do you not desire happiness?"

 

"Not if the only reason I gain it is by making someone's decision for them."

 

"I don't understand. You're being stubborn. I ask again: Do you not want to be happy?"

 

She turned away from him. For a moment I thought she wouldn't answer. She ignored him completely and chose instead to continue stroking the sleeping boys head. 

 

Finally, she talked.

 

"What I want is to be chosen. " She replied. "Apart from everyone else, above everyone else." A pause. "Even though I know that won't happen. Even though I've known where I stood since a long time ago." The moon's rays shone especially bright bright then, showering them both in a magical silver light. 

 

Her long, grass-green hair fell and shielded her face as she looked down at him. They looked cut off from the rest of the world, as if it were only they two alone.

 

It was such an intimate scene that I felt like an intruder.

 

"But I already said, it's not about me. What I want doesn't matter."

 

She seemed lost for a moment and when she spoke next it was like she were only talking to herself, like no one else was there. 

 

"...It's enough if only one of us is happy."

 

*********

Author: Man I dunno if I said it before but Vera and Mary are my favorite characters. So loyal, so pitiful, and to be honest just shy maidens at heart. Especially Mary.

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