Deceiver's story

25 December 2019

"Look at that fop! Idling around the forest, hah. Horned and bedecked with gold... Come on!"

It's hard to judge ordinary folk — your Lordship depends on them. Yet sometimes they do things that for some reason make you feel ashamed.

The group of lumbermen who earned their living by robbery look at the odd creature in the forest solely as at their potential victim. What can one half-blood possibly do to seven strong and sturdy men? Moreover, the stranger in motley clothes was obviously seeing this part of Praya for the first time: locals cautiously avoided Fire Drake's den.

"Gentlemen, how about we settle it peacefully?" said the stranger calmly. He wasn't thinking of escape — of course, if he wanted, he would run off... but at the moment there was only one thing he desired — to teach these boors a lesson.

The horned stranger's voice was confident. The louts heard a note of a sneer in it and decided to beat him up. While one of them was reaching out for an ax and another was putting up a fistfight, the first boor already fell to the ground, landing stupidly on his butt. The half-blood gave a ringing laugh, waiting for their reaction. While the trouble-makers were attacking him one by one — foolishly and clumsily, — the stranger was easily dodging their hits. This behavior drove the robbers out of their wits so they decided to beat the impudent stranger to death, attacking him from different sides.

The horned man made a queer gesture. One of the robbers only managed to cry out, "He is a mage!" "If only it was that simple," grinned the stranger in response. A cluster of magic reached his opponent, bounced off, and again, and again... Now all the attackers were on the ground, and the half-blood was about to move on again. He had no interest in mocking such blunderers.

But suddenly Fire Drake came up with a different plan for the stranger. The indignant drake decided to make ashes out of the man who interfered with his sweet third dream. Even those special tricks the half-man knew were of no use: the creature's flame spread too far.

The horned stranger saw its snout and miraculously dodged the first strike. After that he made a quick forceful decision — one of the men had a potion attached to his belt, so the stranger unbuckled the flask. The potion looked like that of speed so he drank it at one draught and ran as fast as he could.

He didn't care about the disgusting smell and taste at the moment. All he felt was the heat from the dragon's flame and proximity of his too untimely death. When the stranger's silhouette was completely consumed by the flame, Fire Drake felt joy: he finally got rid of the tiresome midge. But something was wrong. There was a glow of Prime coming from the tongues of fire.

The mysterious flask was filled with something completely different. The half-demon felt an adrenaline buzz and retaliated against Fire Drake: clots of magic were bouncing off the den walls, wounding the Touched badly. The dragon had to retreat and the half-blood rushed into the dark forest, vainly trying to come to his senses. As a Hero, he is yet to find his place in this world, and you will certainly play your part in it!