The Chronicles of the Raider 3

The Dragon Emperor Bahamut

The little dragon, barely one year old, was flying around the desert on his recently outgrowed wings. Going faster and faster, he managed to cool himself down thanks to the wind. All the time he was thinking on survival. If bigger dragons saw him, they would not hecitate to have a snack. All dragons was in strong competition out here in the Charoon Desert where life could barely survive. And if he encountered adult travellers of other species, they would most definetly try to kill him, seeing as they always thought, "get rid of it before it gets big!".
The little dragon kept flying. It knew that mostly all dragons who survived the first year, would likely become one of the Great Dragons. The ones famous for golden heaps, virgin-abduction, hero-slaying and unlimited food suply. And then the fire breath. All dragons above three months could use it, but only those over two centuries of age could dry out a gigantic lake in a few minutes. Unfortenly, most dragons got slayed after about five centuries because they got too reckless and selfcentric.
He landed in front of its cave. Not very big, but better than average, at least. He knew he had already eaten a sheep last week, so he didn't bother much about eating until he got hungry. Luckily that would be three weeks into the future. He thought about the funnity of it. A dragon only eats once a month to keep the hunger at bay. Only a real few dragons could last longer than two months without food before they turned mad. And once mad, they would attack anything in their way, something wich caused the death of most young dragons.
Looking out into the desert, he suddenly noticed a stranger. A humanoid person, but with no smell at all. Like if he wasn't really there. It could be a mirage, but they didn't make sounds of a person that seemed to talk to himself.
He took a good look at him. He could not see any weapons, although they could be hidden. Taking a great risk, he got out of the cave and flew towards the stranger, a male human with so much dust on him that his clothes became grey. The eyepatch on the left eye seemed out of place, cause nothing seemed to have scarred anything else on this being. And the clothes themselves was not quite what would be recommended for a desert trip at all.
As the little dragon got closer, the strangers stoped, turned around, and faced towards him. There was no sign of fear or violence on this man, so he kept on flying. As he got closer and closer, he also noticed that the stranger was smiling.
Slowing a little down in order to show that he himself was not hostile, he stoped right in front of the man. He tried to sniff on him, but there still was no smell. He tried to talk to him, but he didn't know wich language to use. He basicly knew just three languages himself: Dragon Voice, The Ancient Language, and a language he had learned from travellers abondoned to the desert wich he had no name for. He asked if he knew the language in all thre voices, although he seriously doubted that anyone but dragons knew Dragon Voice.
The stranger responded in the Ancient Language, "I speak them all, and more, little dragon."
He got excited by the surprise. He was talking to a human. Not running from one. Not eating one. But talking to one.
"I am known as the Raider. Have you ever heard about me?", said the stranger.
Answering truthfully back, "Never.", and then asking with curiousity, "Have you been abondoned by the humans?".
The Raider did not change his face as he said, "I am just passing through. I have nothing to do with the human race. At least, not anymore. Say, what is your name, little dragon?".
"Name? I'm too young to have a name. Only the Great Ones has names", he answered back.
"Then I will call you Bahamut. I have no idea what it means, but I feel it fits you", the Raider said.
"There is hardly no point in giving me a name", he said with sadness.
"Oh, but I think there is. I was thinking about getting me sort of a pet, but cats and dogs are just not what I really symbolise. Now adragon, on the other hand...", the Raider said with amusement in his voice.
"A pet? Me? A dragon can't allow himself to become a pet!", he said in rage.
"Not that kind of pet. It's more of a project. I can see that if you survive your first years, you will becaome a Great One. And I can help you with just that. I can make you the Greatest. Sort of a Dragon Emperor", the Raider said.
"You're just kidding with me, aren't you? Not even a fool would be stupid enough for something like that. We dragons have no place among the Civilized", the little dragon said with great anger.
"You're right. Not even a fool would train a dragon into becomming a true World Threat. However, I am not a fool. I know this offer I give you seem suspicous and unreal, but I can assure you that once you get to know me, you will understand my reasons", said the Raider.
The little dragon thought about this for a while, then asked, "Who are you to believe you can even attempt such a project? You would have to be a serious villain for something like that!"
"I actually am a villain", the raider answered, "but the purpose of the project is not evil itself. You dragons are a specie only a thousand years old, and already at the bridge to destruction. I intend to change that, and for that I need a volunteer. That is why you will become the Greatest. You will become the Saviour of the Dragon Specie!"
The little dragon, alias Bahamut, thought about this once again. The idea to learn the Way of the Sivilized truly was the survival key. But one question still remained, "What is in it for you, Raider?"
The Raider, suddenly changing his face from a nice smile into a rather serious and threatening manner, said, "Two things. Something to do while I'm waiting for my true purpose, plus a chance to increase the power of my name. I will never expect you to understand what I'm saying here, but that doesn't really matter."
Bahamut, now feeling himself odd, looks over at the nonhuman humanoid being, the Raider, again. Then, having thought hard through the offer, asks, "Won't others try to kill me when they see me?"
With a most disturbing smile, the Raider says in an icy voice revealing a horrifig nature, "Not if you're the pet of the Raider!"
Bahamut tried to hide his horror. This creature already owned him. Refusing the offer now would be his doom. This man, or whatever he was, was not really asking him anything. He was demanding. And with those last words he revelaed his true nature.
Desperate, bahamut attacks him with full force. Not even an adult human warrior could dodge the attack wich ripped out the heart of this man... Or what should have ripped it out. With a surprising speed, the Raider grips his front arm and liftes him up.
All this was impossible in every way. Bahamut knew his weight was over a tonn, and he knew that no creature was faster than a dragon. Thinking this, he realized how little he truly knew.
"You do not have to worry too much, Bahamut. The training will only last for ten years. After that you will be free again. And then, if you wish, you can revenge yourself over the world. Do we have a deal?", the Raider asked with the original nice tone of voice.
Only one word was responded, but it did not only save Bahamut's life. It saved the specie of the dragons. "Yes."

Ten years passed, and the Raiders words came true. Bahamut, Emperor of the Dragons truly became the Greatest One. The Dragon Saviour. The Messiah from the Charoon Desert. Bahamut knew he would meet the Raider again, and he knew that not even he could ever truly defeat this... THIS MONSTER!

Two thousand years after the first encounter with the Raider, Bahamut had forgotten all but the terror in that name. He had sometimes seen the Raider in the desert, but always kept far away from him. But today, as he circled in the air, enjoying life, he noticed a Lizard Man and a Black Mage Human appearing down in his domain. Although not really hungry, he follows the possible snack. It turned out to become a mistake...

Agnar Idsøe
29. August 2003

End

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