The harsh sound of steel clashing against steel rang out on the battlefield. Soldiers from different races and kingdoms fought in a hectic battle, people dropped like flies and their armour was soaked so heavily in blood that it was difficult to tell who was from which army.
Dwarven shield men charged forward, the long spikes that adorned the front of their massive shields penetrating through armour like a bale of hay. Soldiers were skewered like kebabs, red paste flying everywhere. The line of shield men ran at a constant speed, not slowing down for anything. When one soldier died, another took his place and the charge continued.
Beast men dived straight into the enemy ranks, wearing nothing but leather armour and holding stone axes. They cast enhancement spells and fought in a barbaric manner. Even though they were under equipped, they fought just as well as any other soldier on the field.
Dwarven cavalry flanked from the right, each man riding a boar and holding a large war hammer. Each swing knocked several grown men from their feet. People fell like wheat, tens of lives were extinguished every second.
Suddenly, the Dwarven army which seemed to be gaining the upper hand over the human army began to slow down. The deeper they got into their enemy's ranks, the more men they had to fight. The shield men had slowed to a walk and the boars had began to trot.
The momentum that the army had built up disappeared and now they were surrounded by enemy soldiers. Both sides were exhausted, they had been fighting for days, but they still continued. Dwarves and humans had an irreconcilable grudge that would only end with the destruction of one of the races.
Suddenly, large fireballs came down in an arc, looming over the Dwarven army like mini suns.
"Mage bombardment, men." Someone cried.
The soldiers which had pierced so far into enemy lines immediately began to withdraw like a receding tide. Explosions blew holes in the army's ranks and men were sent flying, but the Dwarves hadn't brought enough firepower to deal with the kingdom's war mages and could only retreat whilst being showered with fire.
Massive orcs stood behind, each shouldering a flail or mace and a giant wooden shield. They were hit by the fireballs but stood steadfast. Every time they swung out with their gargantuan weapons, tens of men would die in a shower of minced meat and broken bone.
"Now, lads, whilst the Orcs buy us time!" A Dwarf shouted.
"FULL SPEED, RETREAT!"
The giant Orcs began to fall one by one. The number of fireballs was just too much for them. The only remains were charred corpses.
The human army, upon seeing the mixed non-human army retreating cheered in triumph.
"Now boys, it's payback time!" The general yelled.
"Kill!" Someone shouted.
"KILL!" An earth shaking roar replied.
The men poured forward like a grey metal avalanche. There were no formations, no tactics, only primal bloodlust. If one man died, then they'd take ten of the enemy. If ten men fell, they'd cut down a hundred. So was the mindset of the empire's army.
However, reinforcements from the non-human army had arrived, once more throwing the battle ground into bloody chaos. The human army, which had been chasing their enemy like mad dogs, quickly gathered into formation to resist, yet these exhausted and battered soldiers couldn't compared to fresh warriors yearning for battle.
Slowly, the empire's army was pushed back, bit by bit. Flaming arrows, lightning bolts and other magical attacks were slung around wildly, men burned alive and others lay on the ground with weapons sticking out of their chests.
Soldiers were trampled by comrades, it had truly become a free for all.
Just when the empire's army was on the brink of collapsing, a massive shadow appeared on the horizon.
"Dragon Summoner!" The humans cheered in delight.
The non-humans moaned in frustration once again. They were just about to win but then the empire pulled out their ace.
A large black dragon shot through the clouds, spurting out blue jets of flame. A single man stood on it's head, hefting an oversized great sword. The man jumped off, from a height of a hundred metres and the black dragon fell into a nose dive, aiming right at the centre of the non-human army.
Thousands of men were hit by the dragon, which had flung itself carelessly into the enemy ranks. It's hard scales shattered swords and spears like brittle toothpicks, whilst also swinging it's spiked tail around like a flail.
The man who had been riding the dragon also smashed into the enemy ranks, in the middle of their army. A single swing of his weapon sent out shockwaves which cleaved men in half like carrots on a chopping board.
Upon seeing the dragon arrive, the non-human army was already on the breaking point, but the last few attacks finally did it. They screamed and wailed as they fled, shedding their weapons and armour like a lizard would it's tail when escaping from a predator.
This time, the empire's army did not pursue recklessly like before, but instead stood to attention. No matter how tired they were, it was proper to greet their saviour like this. The man stood with one leg propped up on a corpse. He placed the great sword on his shoulder, looking epic as the sunset illuminated his bronze armour.
An officer walked over and saluted, his back ramrod straight. However, instead of congratulating the man in front of him as he should, he produced a purple dagger from behind his back and lunged forward. The Dragon Summoner had already noticed the officer's hostility had already dodged, but the knife managed to lightly cut his skin.
He then lifted the great sword one handed and removed the officer's head from his body. Blood spattered on his face, but he stared straight at the human army with an unflinching gaze.
"I save your asses, and I get assassinated in return?" He mocked.
A few high ranked officers rushed over with apologetic looks on their faces.
"Ah, sorry, m'lord. We don't know why he did that but we'll make sure to investigate it!"
"Yes, yes, yes, definitely, rest assured m'lord."
However, the Dragon Summoner who seemed to be in perfect vitality collapsed like a rag doll. The officers stood frozen on the spot, unsure of what just happened. One of them quickly turned and barked out an order.
"Medic, someone get a medic!"
Draylen slowly opened his eyes.
'What was that?' He thought wearily.
He was sure that he was just on a battle field, where there were several races of people that he couldn't recognise. He then looked around. Draylen lay in a soft bed made of earth, with a strange silky blanket that was wrapped around him. He seemed to be in a hut of some sorts, there were different plants everywhere, from colourful roses to other species that he had never seen before.
'Where am I?'
Slowly, he tried to sit up but found that he couldn't move his lower back, in fact, even his arms or legs refused to budge a single bit. Thus, he sighed and sank back into the earthen bed which seemed to mould around him comfortably.
Draylen frowned as he tried to remember the events that had transpired before he had woken up, but could only think about the strange war which he had dreamt about. His eyes wandered about, before slowly landing on a scroll which he happened to be clutching tightly.
Curiously, he tried to move his hands and to his surprise, he succeeded. He slowly moved his fingers, unravelling the scroll bit by bit.
An orange spell circle was engraved on the scroll, glistening slightly in the light. Suddenly, memories began to flood into Draylen's mind. He remembered how he had become involved in the Fallen's plot, how he had met Arboria, the earth dragon and also the Lioberus family.
He breathed in deeply as his mind processed the information. Different emotions wrestled with one another in his heart, a feeling of accomplishment upon defeating the Fallen, but also a sense of sorrow upon seeing the cubs being killed.
'At least I still have Charcoal and the black cub.'
Draylen slowly placed the summoning scroll onto his chest, over Charcoal's circle and began to imbue it with mana. Eventually, he finished tattooing the new summoning circle and sank back into the bed. Although it was only a little bit of mana, he was already exhausted.
'It must because I strained my heart too much by taking in so much earth mana during the fight.'
After resting for a moment, he sent mana into the summoning circles on his chest, causing a black and orange glow to permeate through his skin. A black dragon and a three headed Lioberus cub climbed out, one after the other. Upon seeing Draylen, they immediately began covering his face in sloppy licks, causing him to chuckle at the ticklish feeling.
"I missed you guys too." He said laboriously.
He ruffled the cub's mane and stroked Charcoal's black scales.
'Come to think of it, I haven't given black cub a name yet.'
As he thought of viable names to give the cub, the door at the front opened slowly. A tall mature looking lady with green leaf-like clothing stepped in and looked at him with a worried expression.
"You've woken up." She said, with a relieved sigh.
'Who is this?' Draylen wondered.
"Erm... Yes. By the way, who are you?"
"It's me, Arboria."
'So maybe adult dragons can transform. That's good to know, I guess."
"Anyway, how are you feeling?" She asked.
"Um, I'm pretty tired. I can't move properly and manipulating mana is extremely exhausting." He replied casually.
"Well, you're lucky that's all that happened. You did something called 'mana overloading', which causes immense strain on the heart. To be honest, you're lucky to be able to even use mana right now." She said sternly.
He nodded dumbly.
"Do you by any chance know how long it would take for me to recover? I kind of need to go back to my current home. Also, how long has passed since the battle with the Fallen?"
"Hmmn. For things like mana overloading, it could take anywhere from 1 day to a month, but you seem to possess more vitality than others, so I'm not really sure. If anything, you'll recover pretty quickly. As for your second question, it's been a week." Arboria said.
Draylen's jaw dropped.
"Oh no. The old man's gonna be angry that I left for so long." He complained quietly.
"You mean Horatio? It's fine, he comes by a couple times a month to purchase materials, he will probably come soon to pick you up too."
Draylen sighed in relief.
'Then I'll just need to focus on recovering.'
"If that's all, I'll be leaving now. I'll come by once in a while to give you some food and water, but other than that, nothing crazy like using mana. In fact, I forbid you to use any at all until you've made a full recovery." Arboria instructed.
"Fine, thanks." Draylen muttered.
'She's so fussy.'
After Arboria left, Draylen's mind began to drift towards the war that he'd dreamt about. There was a strange feeling which emerged at the thought of the battle, but he couldn't quite understand why the dream felt so significant.
After thinking for a while, he felt frustrated. He didn't know why or what the dream was, nor could he ask anyone. He couldn't use any mana and was now practically crippled, until his body recovered but who knew how long it would take?
Charcoal and black cub were running across the floor, seemingly playing some sort of game of tag. Both were essentially children and had carefree minds. Draylen, who was only 5, felt as if he had aged several years.
'But still, what's so important about that dream?'
'Wait, wasn't the man a Dragon Summoner?'
'And what was on that knife, poison?'
A myriad of questions filled Draylen's mind and soon, several days passed. Arboria would come in every day and feed him before leaving. Charcoal and black cub would mess around and break things whilst Draylen would contemplate the meaning of the dream.
'Could I have seen a vision?'
Not much happening here, but necessary for the plot and a bit of world building so yeah.
You can see that I'm calling the cub 'black cub', since I don't have a good name.
If you can think of one, please put it in the comments!
(Make sure it has something to do with lions, multiple heads or even something mythological.)
And above all that, have a good day!
P.S. Thanks for all the votes, I've applied for a novel feature and hopefully BDS will be on the front page soon!
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