AOH – Chapter 99

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CHAPTER 99: DRAGON HEART

The dragon tells them the story. Arial look at the dragon, his hand is still holding the sword near the gash around the dragon neck.

And the dragon began to speak telepathically to all the people on the cavern.

‘This story begins a long time ago in the Age of the Gods, for this is where we Old and Ancient things roam the world, unhindered.’

He said and Arial is paying attention.

‘Where the Sun Emperor is still young, when dragons and Giants were feared and revered, where magic is in abundance, where Gods and mortals intertwine with each other, Lich and Ancient creature forgotten by time still exist, I was young at the time, merely 30 years at that time. We reign supreme.’

He said a little hint of pride in his voice.

‘Mortals are our playthings for Gods are a fickle thing. I still remember it. Lady of the Lake quarrel with the Water Princess, the Night Mother disagreement with the Dawn father, stories of old Gods, ancient gods that roam the world. Then came a light from above, a light of such merciless fury that no magic in our knowledge even resembles such light, and came from that Light, humans. But they are different. All mortals have their fate decided for them. They could not disobey our words or our whispers. But these mortals that came from the Light….they are different. They are not bound by our words nor do they fear us. If we kill one of them, they kill a thousand of us. They are scourge of Gods and demons alike. The Demon Lords and Xenosian Empire learn that the hard way. They kill one of their families. We know their power so we advise the Demon Lords not to provoke them but even we do not truly fathom their protectiveness of their own kind. For the first time, our eyes were opened. They were furious with us. Anger unseen before in human history. We are accustomed to human subservient attitude and their fear for us. And so a tragedy is borne from that preconception. We believe ourselves to be of superior race of human. We were wrong. We were terribly wrong.’

There is a hint of regret in his voice, and a trembling fear.

‘Their King unleash a weapon that destroys an Empire of such great power, in one day of red blaze, melting everything, a burst of fire so high that it even consumes dragons, destroying hundreds of race making them extinct. An Empire swallowed by a rain of fire, buildings toppled, lives lost, consuming everything, burning everything’

He said and his red eyes look at Arial.

‘I was there. I was young at the time. I look it from the skies of Davarus and the light, the fire that burst from the spear could be seen from such distance, that it made me tremble with fear. Some young dragons try to look closer and they were blinded. I have known then, that Age of Man is dawning. But they are not, the original inhabitants of this world. That much we dragons know. They are not Gods but they might have as well been. We play with human life, this is true but even we could not or will send down such punishment. We couldn’t understand their logic. They would burn the world if their families are even hurt. The Fay tried to enslave them and instead they hunt the Fay until their extinction. Their love and affection towards each other were so strong that if we threaten it, instead of cowering they will fight back. Their King once said to the demon lords “Hurt one of my people, I hurt a thousand of yours. Kill one of my people; I would kill ten thousand of yours. Kill ten thousand of my people, I will kill a hundred thousand of yours. Such is our vengeance. We will always pay back with more. So bring your worst, call your allies for we will fight them with everything we had” he said and that opens the eyes of the demon lords. They were used to the human slavery. Humans are weak. And for the first time, they saw a bunch of humans defying all expectation, overcoming all odds, to stand equal with Gods. The demon lords were cowering in fear, praying, despairing. The human King is ruthless on his enemies. If he wanted to destroy something, he will not destroy it halfheartedly. He will root out the thorns and destroy them all, never again to rise.’

Arial then said

‘This is fascinating and all, but I want to know about the cure.’

‘Do not worry. I will tell you.’

The group still holds the mithril chain even though there is nothing that the dragon could do now.

‘One day, the King of the First Generation venture to the Land of the Dragons after the Treaty. He brought his companion. ‘I still remember. Deus, a godly warrior and a human named Kyle who is as cunning as the King himself.’ The dragon said his eye wander to the distance.

‘The Human King then persuades the King of Dragons to tell him how to cure his wife. So the Dragon King Garawelian, tell the human King. He needs to share his heart with the human King wife. And so, his companion brought the human King wife and share their hearts. And she is cured. For that kindness, the human King never attacks the dragons and the dragons did not attack the humans.’

Finally it dawn in Arial. A look of realization struck him.

‘You must have thought that by killing me you would get my heart. You are mistaken. You must have read the account of the First Generation. You must have made a mistake in translating. It is not taking. It is sharing. Sharing a heart, beat as one. Kill me and the heart means nothing to you’

And with that Arial lowered his sword. Could it be?

‘How will I know if you are speaking the truth?’

‘You don’t. Have faith. That is all that I could ask you.’

‘What if you just take the opportunity to kill me?’ Arial said, his eyes narrowing.One look of betrayal and Arial will swing the Enochian sword.

‘I could. But I won’t. You have defeated me.’

‘You could lie.’

‘I could. But I’m not.’

‘So your suggestion to me is to have faith? To trust you without basis? Isn’t that too big of a risk?’ Arial asked suspiciously

“I know you want to question everything, but sometimes it pays to just have a little faith. Because to one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible.” 

‘Hmph’ Arial grin.

‘Fine. But you will stay chain until I’m sure.’

Then it is decided. Arial quickly send one of the elves to fetch for Mikael.

‘Are you sure about this Arial?’ Velamina said as Arial removes his armour and clothes.

Velamina could see the toned physique of Arial, his muscly arms and all the scars and the black veins around his heart.

It almost looks like the vein is strangling him Velamina thought to herself.

The dragon wings seem to recover slightly trying to stitch itself but because of Arial powerful strike before it takes time for the dragon.

‘Wha…’the sound of gasping can be heard. Arial look and see Mikael amazed look.

‘A dragon!’ he exclaimed almost jumping of joy.

‘Oh God. A dragon. Who would have thought? You really did it then?’ he said jumping around hugging Arial. His eyes look at the dragon curiously

‘You defeated it?’ Mikael ask. Arial nodded.

‘This is-‘ Arial is about to introduce the dragon to Mikael.

‘Who is this demon?’

The dragon speaks and Mikael is startled

‘It talk?’

‘He’ Arial corrected.

Then Arial relay to Mikael and Mikael nodded.

‘So, it is a mistake in translation.’ Still his eyes didn’t leave the dragon.

‘Yes’ Arial nodded.

‘But can you trust him?’ Mikael said glancing at the subdued dragon.

‘Faith’ replied Arial shortly.

‘Yes, well….here’s to faith’ Mikael said chuckling in excitement

Then after all the preparation is completed Mikael came in front of the dragon and said

‘We can begin.’

‘Release me from the chain in my claws.’

‘What!’

‘No!’ some of the group protested.

‘Please Commander, he is trying to trick you.’ Arial ignored them.

‘Release the chain.’ Arial ordered

Reluctantly they release the chain and all were ready to flee. But the dragon did not make any suspicious movement.

There is still the chain in his feet and just for precaution the Kobold even chains him around the tail.

‘Then we will begin.’ Mikael said

The dragon then took one of his fingers and pointed at his heart and then pierces it. Golden blood fell down, and from that, the earth around the fell liquid turns to pure gold.

Then he took something out, a light in golden glow, resembling an orb. The dragon then explain.

‘Transplant it to the human child and it will take his heart form.’

Mikael nodded and he knows that the light is something powerful because Mikael know the feeling of magic rushing on his body when the light passes by his hand.

This is something magical. Is it really alright to put it in a human body? He asked himself.

And it dawn on him that in probably since a very long time, he would be the one using this procedure once used by the First Generation.

With one hand he put it down onto a cloth and the light glowed brighter shining the cavern like a personal sun.

The dragon then collapsed.

Golden blood flow from his wound. When Arial attacked him earlier, his blood is red, but the blood that flowed from the wound on hi heart is golden.

Mikael notices this.

Maybe someday I will research a bit about dragons. They are still a lot of things that people don’t understand about dragon.

The ground shakes.

‘Give the heart to the human fast.’ He said.

This is a risky procedure. First, Mikael remove any clothing from Arial bodies and Arial is half naked.

‘Lie down’ Mikael ordered as white cloth is prepared on the ground.

The group is looking scared. The dragon has collapsed but they know if somehow Arial is dead and the dragon once again rises they will be dead.

They could not understand why their commander believes the dragon story.

Then Mikael give Arial a Faeries medicine, Sanasainic herb, to help dull the pain and to induce sleep and another herb to keep the patient breathing.

Mikael has spent a lot of time studying the properties of plants and flowers.

That is what he was doing when Velamina and Arial kept fighting the monsters and hunting for game.

Then Arial fall asleep and the group heart is beating faster. Mikael noticed this.

‘Don’t worry, he is just asleep.’ Mikael then cleansed the area around the heart with Eternal Spring water.

Then he took a small knife from his bag. I hope Arial internal energy will protect him he prays.

Then he makes a small incision down the center of the chest from just below Arial throat to just above the navel.

‘What are you doing?’ Velamina flipped in disbelief.

‘Oh Gods.’

‘What in Gods name-‘ the Kobold exclaimed

The Elves has already aim their arrows at Mikael.

‘He killed the Commander.’ The Orc said preparing to bludgeon Mikael to death.

‘Stop younglings’ the dragon said.

‘That demon is trying to save your leader life. It seems you have learned the Lost Art of First Generation’ the dragon said, an impressed tone.

But Mikael doesn’t have time to revel in such praises. He didn’t even look back at the dragon.

He need to make sure nothing is wrong.

Then he took something of an Enochian made steel, and divided the chest in half and spread them apart and another gasp echoed in the cave.

They can look at Arial heart. A black heart with the veins pumping black poisons.

‘What the-‘ Velamina exclaimed.

Velamina could still see that Arial is breathing

The Orc on the back said

‘Our commander has a talented healer by his side.’

‘That man opens a human heart and he is still alive.’

‘Is it possible that a man who is cut apart can still live?’

Some said marveling at the mastery of what they believe a master healer. Mikael rubbed Arial heart with some Eternal Spring water, and then Mikael cut the problematic vines and let the blood let out.

Then he stitches another artery on the heart and then he began with great difficulties to remove the heart.

After a grueling time, he managed to do it and suddenly Arial goes into a convulsion.

‘HOLD HIM!’ Mikael yelled and Velamina quickly hold Arial down.

‘Quick’ the dragon said.

Mikael took the dragon heart and put it around the excised area and suddenly the light spread and Mikael accidentally dropped the orb into the hole which used to be Arial heart.

‘Oh, God’ he said but then something miraculous happen.

The Orb began resembling a human heart but it glowed with such light and then suddenly it attaches itself to the cut veins and it was like Arial is having a golden heart.

Remove the Enochian steel.’ The dragon said and Mikael remove it.

Then slowly but surely, the wounds stich itself, more like burning itself, healing Arial, and quickly healing Arial body, that no scar even existed around the cut area.

No bandage would be needed thought Mikael. For a moment all the people in the cavern stood frozen.

Arial has stopped convulsing and then suddenly the dragon wings are healed again, his wound began healing and his scale is reformed.

He moves his claws and uses his tail to whip the dwarves around his feet, and the mithril chain easily snapped.

A chain is only as strong as it weakest ring he said

‘YOU!’ Velamina said holding her sword against the dragon.

He floats majestically looking at the people that is just is his enemies a few moments ago but instead of breathing fire or attacking the group he waits with anticipation looking at Arial.

‘You? Don’t you want to attack us?’ The Orc said.

‘No, I did not want to do such thing. I want to make sure he is alright’ Then slowly Arial open his eyes.

*************************************************************

It is a success.

Arial is given a calming tea while the dragon flies around the caverns no longer sick or wounded.

His recovery alarms the group but it doesn’t seem like the dragon pose any threat anymore.

Arial will calm himself before the dragon will tell him the consequences of sharing dragon heart.

Then after a few hours rest Arial summon the dragon feeling more powerful by the minute. Arial also notices he felt his body lighter and like something has been unleashed within him.

His sense is more acute and his internal energy flowed smoothly.

The sound of his heart beating and the energy coursing through his body with untapped potential is a new feeling for Arial.

The dragon then fly around Arial and landed itself a few feet from Arial, the winds resulted from his abrupt landing, make some of the groups had to shield themselves from the wind. The troops is outside guarding while only Arial is listening

‘HAHAHA’ the dragon laugh.

‘You seem fine human.’

‘Yes I am Gaveror. Now tell me what you said before.’

‘Ah, yes. Consequences.’

Gaveror tell Mikael that when Arial is sharing his heart there are some consequences. This is during Arial in a state of unconsciousness.

‘First, it is this. We have shared the same heart. So I will tell you this story about me. I think it is only fair that I tell you a little bit about my story, now that we are sharing the same heart. I am sick myself. Though I think you already know. Oh, and when we share heart, your abilities become my abilities mine become yours’

And this shocked Arial

‘You mean?’

‘Your body heals itself up after battle thanks to your internal energy. Dragon by magical energy. And since magical energy is low every year, I am dying little by little.’

‘YOU TRICKED ME!’ Arial roar and people who hears him roar shrinked a bit because it sounds eerily similar to a dragon roar.

‘HAHAHA….Even now, you seem to adapt to your new heart. Though I did not lie to you about the heart swapping. It is the same way that the King of Dragon uses. The First Queen of the First Generation has an ability of a dragon.’

‘I will kill you’ Arial said sheathing his sword.

‘I wouldn’t advise it.’

‘And why would I listen to you?’

‘One more thing I might forget to tell you, is this. If I die, you die. If you die, I die.’ And that’s shocked Arial.

‘What?’

‘If anyone pierces my heart, I die and my heart in your body will also die. Why do you think there is a treaty between human and dragons? That is because the King of the First Generation could hardly hunted dragons when his wife could be killed if the King of Dragons dies. And consequently the dragons are forbidden to hunt humans for the same reason.’

Arial slumped his head.

So that’s the reason.

‘But isn’t this good news for you?’ The dragon said

‘What!’

‘I can’t kill you. You can’t kill me.’ Then one question penetrated Arial mind

‘Do you mean to say that the First Queen live for many millennium?’

‘No’ the dragon answer.

‘When his husband dies, the brave queen ask the dragon King to took her heart. By that time, the dragon heart has reached a maturity so it could be removed from the Queen heart. She died a natural human death, seven years after his husband death.’

‘When will I reach maturity?’

‘59 years.’ And Arial could swear he could see a little grin on the dragon mouth.

‘Then if you want to die a normal human death, come to me and I will take the heart.’  Arial nodded satisfied.

Thinking about it, he didn’t need to trouble himself with the dragon.

‘Fine’ Arial said.

Now he has accomplished what he came for so he is about to leave. The dragon then said in whispers

One day you will see the benefit of having a dragon heart. Arial and the dragon made a deal that day.

If one or the other has a problem regarding their life, they would call each other and help each other.

Then he goes outside rejoin his troops and declare that everything is settled.

They lost many troops that day, some valuable companion but his troops knows that without Arial charging the dragon for revenge is a folly mistake.

So, they have to accept Arial decision to let the dragon go.

The Kobold retreated because Arial promises them that the dragon will not disturb them if the Kobold does not hunt around the vicinity of the Land of dragons.

From that day on, Arial and the dragon are bonded.

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