Lucia shuddered as the dragon's breath enveloped her.
It wasn't as bad as she had thought it would be, but it was still bad. She would probably smell horrible until she found somewhere to bathe. But it was over in a few seconds. She opened her eyes and tried not to look too confused.
"Is that it?" Nixon asked, bored.
Immediately, Lucia felt a pain in her shoulder so strong that it brought her to her knees. She cried out.
"Lucy! Are y-" Nixon made a strangled sound from far away.
"You must not interfere." Inhar's voice sounded like a low growl a dog made before it pounced. "Let my work be finished. Luciana, what do you see?" the dragon demanded.
Lucia squeezed her eyes shut. All she wanted was for the pain to go away! Who cared what she could see? The blasted dragon could go clean its wings or something.
"What do you see?" Inhar's low growl turned into a terrifying rumble.
Lucia tried not to hyperventilate. Slowly, a picture was making its way into her mind.
"I see. . ." she wheezed. "I see. . . .two men. Shadowy, like silouhettes. They're both tall. They're saying. . . ." she paused, trying to will the pain in her shoulder to go down.
"Bring her back to me before it's too late. Just this once, I might need you to become a guardian again for me. Roland can't find her by himself, not if what I suspect will happen comes into play. She can't know she's being tracked by anyone else besides the enemy."
"I don't know. I haven't run a two-man search party in almost twenty years."
"Do this for me, and for her. It's for her own safety."
"I can't make out what they're saying." Lucia finished. The vision faded, and she was left kneeling on the ground, holding her shoulder. For some reason, she decided, she had better keep the words to herself. "It was just mumbling to me." she looked up to see Nixon fighting against one of Inhar's legs, trying not to touch the dragon's talons. After staring at her for a moment, the dragon released Nixon, who dashed towards her.
"Lucia! Where's the brand? Let me see it!"
"Why should I-"
"Move your hand!" the dragon's voice boomed.
Lucia slowly moved her hand away, pulling the chainmail as far off her shoulder as she could manage, tight as it was. It dug into the right side of her neck.
"It's. . ." Nixon paused. "It looks delicate, but I can't tell what it means with that chainmail in the way. We might have to have it examined by a professional. Vastrom isn't that far from here, if you don't mind, Lucy."
"Anything to get this off." she replied. "Inhar, maybe to save time, you could. . .take us there?"
The dragon shook his head solemnly. "I can take you as far as the entrance." the dragon replied. "Yggdrasil alone is dragon territory."
"Now? But we just got here!" Nixon exclaimed.
"So come back another time to go exploring." Lucia said, standing up. "This place is starting to bother me."
"But, Lucy you don't realize that we're in one of the most famous places in hist-"
"Now, Nixon." she replied in a low voice, cutting him off. "We're going."
Nixon's face fell. "Fine then, Princess Lucia." he snapped. "Whatever you desire." he, too, stood up, and proceeded to climb on Inhar's back.
"Excuse me?" Lucia exclaimed, running after him. "What do you mean, Princess? Is that supposed to be some kind of insult?"
"It's not anything." Nixon held out his hand and helped her up onto Inhar's back. "You were just acting like a-"