Chapter 4: The Dragon

The Dragon crawled through the forest after the Unicorn, being careful not to ruin any more of the place. The Unicorn obviously held it dear - and he owed her a debt for the healing -  so it was the least he could do. Still, he had never met a Unicorn before. His parents had told him of them before, but not much. 

Oh, how he missed them. But, he tried not to think too much on his family, lest he become overrun with anger once more. He would see the men pay for their treachery. But later.

"How far to our destination?" The Dragon asked the smaller creature after some time. They had not been walking long, but he did not wish to be walking for so long after that last raid. Though short, his assault and subsequent fall into the forest had tired the muscles in his back and limbs quite a lot. 

"Not long at all," the Unicorn replied, her voice soft.

He had heard of Unicorns, of course. They were rare, but his family had met some many many years before the Dragon had hatched. He had never expected to see one, though he was grateful for help from such a creature. 

They continued walking through the forest, the Dragon nearly crawling to avoid some branches lest he break even more of the place. He was more curious of the creatures they encountered. Like most creatures the Dragon met, they knew instantly if he was hunting or not and acted accordingly - by fleeing or being cautious -  but the ones they saw acted differently. Instead of reacting to the Dragon, they were watching the Unicorn with a sort of awe. They still gave her space, of course, but for an obviously different reason.

"The mortal creatures hold you in quite the high esteem, it seems," the Dragon softly growled, his voice a deep rumble. "Do they revere you, perhaps?"

A touch of sadness entered the Unicorn's features. "I am the guardian of this forest," she said, "So they see me with glamoured vision and give me space as if I something only to gaze upon."

The Dragon had touched a sore place, but he was much too young to understand why it was that way. He decided to change the subject. "How does one use transformation magic?" he asked. "I remember seeing it time and time again, but never had the process explained." He did not add that he had tried before and failed. The thought brought anger. 

"You simply will yourself to change," the Unicorn answered politely, "but we may practice that at a later time. I assume you are tired, correct?"

The Dragon gave a low growl in reply, a customary acceptance for Dragons.

They came into a clearing with a pond of water so clear the Dragon was not sure if it was just empty air or actual water. Around it, the moss that coated the forest floor was a lot more... fresh. As if nothing had disturbed this space in a very long time.

No, that wasn't true. Small tracks were scattered around, matching the ones he saw the Unicorn make. But he also noticed something else about the place. It was a feeling inside of the Dragon, something telling him not to disturb this sacred place.

"What's the matter?" the Unicorn asked. 

"I cannot enter," the Dragon replied, settling on the edge of the place. "I shall rest here instead."

The Unicorn seemed a little confused, but nodded when the Dragon had become comfortable on the mossy floor of the forest. "Sleep well, great Dragon."

The End

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