Just stumbling upon this story? want to know how we got here? Go check out the pervious 2 installments here and here.

Just as with everything on this blog, this story is copyright Emily Rush on the day of publication. All rights reserved… yada yada yada.
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He shakes his head like a child with a snow globe, attempting to shake those memories loose from his brain. It’s a moment that chilled him to his very core, the split-second where he failed to act.

But that was only for a split-second.

His fingers curled instinctively around the cold metal shaft of his lance. He pulled it out of its resting spot in the snow with the sound of crunching snow on metal. He’ll never let a moment like that happen again. He’ll never have such an unfortunate lase in judgment happen again. It’s those lapses in which people die, towns destroyed. It’s something he can no longer let happen again.

He ponders these thoughts as he hears the hard crunch of the snow beneath his feet. The rhythmic crunch, crunch, crunch of the snow beneath his feet starts to drown out the thoughts of the massacre and lulls him in to a kind of meditation. His mind calms. It is no longer racing through all the horrendous thoughts that it was earlier.

He stops and takes a deep breath. His nose is filled with the scent of various beasts. Most of the smells are common of the ones that tend to frequent this area, the various sprites and rodents, occasionally there might be a baby drake. Underneath the common smells of the area is a bloodier, muskier smell. The scent of the creature he seeks.

“Ha!”, he thinks, “I might get him yet.”

He lets out a chuckle as he takes a little jog until his muscles fatigue. The weight of his armor pushing him further in to the snow, leaving heavy foot prints behind. If one was to track him, he would be quite easy to find. Thankfully he is the hunter and not the hunt.

Once he tires, he takes a moment. His breath heavy, creating steam rising like smoke from a dragon. It almost seems proper given the title of what he does, dragoon.

Suddenly he realizes the thickness of the air. It sits heavy on him. He thinks he knows this feeling before. Can this really be the day? How long has it really been? Days? Weeks? Months? How long has it been? How much time has passed? When was the last time he noticed this air, heavy and thick?

Did I climb higher than I meant? He’s never seen the beast travel this high. While the area is largely mountainous, he’s never seen him start to hit the snowy peaks of this ice-cold wasteland where there isn’t a lot of natural life. The higher up you go, the less hospitable it is.

While the air felt heavy and oppressive, it also felt alive with a certain amount of electricity.

He stands up and looks around, trying to take in his surroundings; seeing if he could find his quarry. The more he looks, the more he only sees the vast fields of white before him. And while the pureness of the snow should be somewhat comforting, it also feels largely unnerving.

He shakes his head, trying to clear it of any negative thoughts. Something feels different about today. It feels as though something’s going to happen today.

He takes a deep breath of the bitter cold air. It feels crisp inside his nose.

“Today… Yes.”, he thinks, “Today will be the day.”

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