I was stunned, but not as stunned as Marlyra. "What do you think you're doing?" Gone was any sense of protocol; this was a mother protecting her offspring.
Young Rhaelgyr stared at the Galdonian, fists clenched. "Protecting the clan." He stepped forward without weapon.
~Were you really that stupid?~
Rhaelgyr chuckled. ~Brave. I was being brave.~
I snorted, watching the scene play out.
Young Rhaelgyr pressed forward. The Galdonian hunter was unperturbed by the youth. Honorable combat had no age restrictions, it seemed. But the dragon was unarmed. That should count for something.
Galdon moved aside, allowing young Rhaelgyr access to Faelgyr's body. Marlyra watched, arms crossed beneath her breasts, face a stoic mask. I feared the fight, illogic as that was. Rhaelgyr was cuddling with me; he couldn't have lost this fight.
But I couldn't help it.
Metal shrieked on obsidian as young Rhaelgyr retrieved Faelgyr's sword. Not nearly as muscular as he was now, the young dragon was nonetheless martially skilled. He held the sword easily, like it was an extension of himself. His grin was more a threat display, a baring of teeth at the enemy.
The Galdonian waited for the youth. His shoulders relaxed, as if young Rhaelgyr were no threat. Swinging his sword in lazy figure eights, he took his eyes off the dragon to stare at the rest of the clan. "Which of you is next?"
Galdon's words stung young Rhaelgyr. With a wild cry, the youth lunged, sword held straight before him. Galdon batted the attack aside, lazily tripping young Rhaelgyr.
Or, should have tripped.
The dragon nimbly dodged the hunter's foot, spinning as he landed, laying open the Galdonian's leg from his to knee. Blood sprayed, the hunter hissed, and the clan roaded.
~You tricked him!~
~Of course.~ Rhaelgyr chuckled again. ~I'm proud, not stupid.~
Galdon took young Rhaelgyr serious then. His guard came up, turning his body to protect his left leg. Eyes narrowed, his sword weaved with purpose as he watched young Rhaelgyr circle.
Marlyra watched with a sharp frown, all her weight on one leg. She watched her son intently, fingers twitching with each of his movements. It looked like she lunged when he lunged, pirouetted when he pirouetted, and dodged when he dodged.
~What is she doing?~ I asked quietly.
~She trained me. She's just doing what she would do.~
~But wasn't she angry that you challenged him?~ Rhaelgyr laughed at my question, and we finished watching the fight.
Young Rhaelgyr kept Galdon on the defensive. He looked like he was dancing in and out, slashing and stabbing, drawing blood a dozen times. The hunter lashed out, scoring the dragon only once.
The Galdonian became frustrated, and launched himself at young Rhaelgyr. Dark eyes widened in surprise as the dragon stumbled back, struggling to keep his guard up. Amazing how quick the fight had turned.
Young Rhaelgyr tripped over Faelgyr's body. Marlyra hissed in concern, stepping forward. Galdon yelled, reversing his grip on the sword, lifting his sword high. The dragon's watched helplessly as their prince's death came.
Galdon's blow connected. Young Rhaelgyr cried out, even as he squirmed. The blade punched through his chest, but missed his heart. The hunter tried to pull back, but the dragon was faster. The Galdonian froze, staring mutely as his prey returned the blow.
Blood sprayed, and the fight was over.