Rhaelgyr creamed in surprise, leaping to the air. Wind from his massive wings pummeled me, knocking me over. I landed on my left side, but there was surprisingly little pain from my shoulder. The numbness could have been from the shock of Kurlog's attack, so I thought nothing of it.
The warrior was dwarfed by the dragon, barely half as long as Rhaelgyr's thigh. Yet he hung on tenaciously, fingers clutching the edge of a scale, feet dug in, his right arm repeatedly plunging a sword again and again into scaled flesh.
The dragon crashed into a building, hovering, roaring and growling as he tried to dislodge Kurlog. Flaming gobets landed all around, hissing and splattering. I dodged back into the alley, wincing as dragon venom splashed my hand and pants.
It didn't hurt at first, and I scrambled to get the clinging substance off my skin. It merely smeared, and then the flame started to burn. I gritted my teeth against the pain, and continued to rub my hand along the asphalt. Abrasions were preferable to becoming well done.
Kurlog and Rhaelgyr were still fighting. The dragon bashed himself against the building again, and Kurlog shouted something ridiculous. I finally got myself extinguished, and looked out into the street. It was pointless to head out there; debris tumbled around, flames crackled, and Rhaelgyr's tail lashed dangerously. I kept in the shadows, just watching, hating that events were keeping me so passive.
I'd spent this entire time just going along from encounter to encounter, winging it, letting other's decide what was going to happen. I'd spent my entire career with the Gray Lords behaving like that; they told me where to go, and I just went.
Kurlog had joked about killing people who didn't know to make a choice. It was a good thing he didn't actually do that, because I clearly didn't know how to make my own choices.
Gritting my teeth, I rose to my feet, and turned my back on the fight. I didn't care about either of the brutes battling over a meaningless stretch of Between. This little gap between dimesnaions might cease to exist at any time, depending on how the multiverse shifted, and Kurlog thought to claim dominion.
None of that mattered. I didn't know if finding Steven and getting out of here mattered. He was a Chaos Lord; he'd be better at traveling the dimensions than I.
I paused. Without Steven, and without Gray Lord intervention, I was stuck here. So maybe I should finish this mission before I have my life-changing epiphany.
So, find Steven, get out of Between, then re-evaluate my situation. It sounded so easy.
The alley lead me to another generic street. Dragon and warrior still battled, but the sounds were muted by distance. There were no signs of conflict here, but neither were there signs of Steven.
There was, however, a dirty face peering at me from an alley farther down the street.
I headed toward the young woman, hoping she'd give me a clue as to where Steven was. Her eyes widened in terror as I got closer, but she didn't move. "Hello there," I said, coming to a halt twenty yards from her. Let her spook and run now if she wanted.
"Hey yourself," she said, shyly. Grubby hands clutched at the corner of the building, wide eyes darting to the sky overhead. I'm sure she expected Rhaelgyr to come flying overhead at any moment.
"Were you with the group who attacked my friend? Young man, about my height."
She shook her head, and my heart fell. "But I know the gang who took him." Tears welled in her eyes.
"Can you show me where they took him?" I took a few steps closer, slowly, trying not to be threatening.
"You don't want to go there." I barely made out her whisper.
"Humans never come out of the troll market."