Thumping of large leather wings shook the trees around the young men as their horses stood in the raging river. Leaves were shaken free from trees as the red dragon circled above them. No one dared to breathe, not even the horses. Seconds felt like minutes.
The dragon gave up on circling and continued to follow Gaston’s scent across the river. Once the dragon was out of sight the group made their way up the river. They needed to put distance between them and the flying menace.
By noon Jarik was the first brave enough to speak, “That sucker sure was big up close like that. Good thing he didn’t find us.”
Miirik nodded. “I didn’t think we could have gotten away fast enough.”
Jarik shook his head. “No, I meant it was good for that dragon. He was big enough that it would have been a fair fight. The dragon might have had a chance against my steel.”
“Does he even listen to what he says?” Gaston said.
A look of confusion washed across Jarik’s face. Firae said, “No.”
“How much further is it to this country villa?” Thothen said.
Arlin led his horse to the dryer sections of the river bank. “We detoured quite a distance by coming up the river. I figure we could get there by late afternoon if we start cutting across country now.”
“Have we put enough distance between us and the dragon to risk traveling away from the river?” Miirik followed the prince from the river.
We have to eventually,” Arlin said. “Might as well do it before the river curves further away from the villa. I don’t want to be arriving after night fall. If the dragon does find us we can race it to the villa and seek safety with the soldiers.”
The rest of the party followed the two from the river. Gaston watched the sky. “Yes my lord. We should travel with haste and put as much distance between us and the dragon as we can.”