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It took three days camping out in the hills, but it finally happened.

At noon, Aomine lay down to take a nap under a willow.  He was awakened by the sound of thrashing nearby.  Aomine sat up frowning in confusion.  The meadow had been very quiet each time he had slept here before.  There was a hiss and snap followed by a yip and thumping.

Carefully he peaked through the trailing limbs.  Two yellow creatures were wrestling with each other.  Lean bodies, small leather wings, glittering scales, serpentine necks, and a mouth full of sharp teeth.

Dragons.

He’d finally found fucking dragons.  Silently, Aomine freed his sword from his scabbard.  Leaving his pack, but strapping on his shield, he moved a quietly as possible toward the creatures.

Aomine was a little disappointed, the stories he had heard had been greatly exaggerated.  Dragons were supposed to be big, these were no bigger than young cows.  Looking at the size of the wings, there was no way they could fly.  He should have known the other knights completely lied to make themselves look good.

One dragon was slightly larger and darker than the other.  They were chasing each other around the clearing.  The smaller one ran, but the larger stepped on its tale.  It spun around and hissed, then pounced on the larger dragon nipping at its neck.

He was about fifteen feet away when they noticed him.

With an angry hiss the larger one came to stand between Aomine and the smaller.  It spread its wings, arched its neck, and opened its mouth revealing the double rows of teeth.  Brown eyes glared at him.  It roared, but Aomine can feel the bluff in it. He’d faced wild boars more frightening than this over grown lizard.

Aomine lifted his sword, slightly bent his knees, preparing to charge.  One swift strike and he would take the dragon’s head.

Just as he released the tension in his muscles and sprang forward, a cloud blotted out the sun.  The dragons fell into deep shadow.  The ground shook beneath his feet, causing him to stumble.  Aomine stabbed his sword into the ground to keep from falling.

When he looked back up, he was staring into the mouth of a dragon not two feet away, but the teeth were as long as himself.  He could have walked down the corridor of its throat without ducking his head.

This time when the roar came, it was deafening.  Aomine was blown back, losing his sword, and landing awkwardly on his back.  He looked up and up, as the head reared back.  An enormous red dragon stood before him.  Red eyes burned with fury, it would kill him.  Aomine knew this without doubt, his death was in those eyes.

Aomine had no intention of dying like a turtle on his back.  Climbing back to his feet he charged froward, snatched up his sword and braced to fight.  Fear coiled in his gut.  He had a weapon that would damage it, but how would he deliver a killing blow to something the size of a small mountain?  It might kill him, but he was going to cause it pain first.  He glared up at the beast.  He might be scared, but damned if he would show it.

The dragon’s lips pulled back in a snarl, glistening fangs on full display.  It lunged forward, snapping at him.

Only the distance separating them gave him time to react.  It was fast, but you could only cover 100 feet so fast.  Aomine swung, but the dragon pulled back and the sword whistled harmlessly inches from its snout.

He was so focused on the teeth, he didn’t notice the tail until it crashed into him, sending him flying.

Aomine sat up, his world spinning.  Sword and shield gone, he couldn’t see them nearby.  He felt the ground shiver and heard the booming sound of steps as the dragon approached.  Desperately, he looked around for any kind of weapon.  Nothing, just short green grass.  Absently he noted that the little yellow dragons were gone.

He attempted to get to his feet, but fell back to his knees.  He could feel blood running down his temple.  Still dazed, but refusing to die a coward.  He stared up, staring into those burning eyes defiantly.

Fire licked around the dragon’s lips.  Nostrils flared wide as is sucked in a mighty breath.

Then the sky fell.

A piece of the sky landed in front of Aomine.  Confused, he stared at the light blue expanse blocking his view of the red dragon.

A tail slithered through the grass at his knees.

Another dragon.  It stood on its hind legs, wings stretched wide, sheilding Aomine from the dragon’s fiery breath.

What was going on?

The new dragon was only half the size of the red, but still much larger than Aomine.  The red roared, but the blue did not waver.

Aomine had been ready to die and faced it head on, but what happened next took the strength from him.  He sat down hard on his heels, jaw agape in surprise.

The dragon spoke.

He didn’t understand the words, but the sound was gentle and firm.  The red’s response was angry and filled with the snapping of jaws.

They conversed for a minute, till finally the red let out another roar, this one of frustration.  The ground shuddered as it launched into the air.  Red eyes glared at him furiously before speeding off into the sky.

Aomine attention went back to the blue.  It turned its long neck to look down at him from over its shoulder.  Carefully, it settled back on four feet, watching Aomine.  Sky blue eyes looked him over.  Once it was satisfied with whatever it saw, it gave Aomine a polite nod, than it too took to the air.

He tried to follow it, but once it was free from the ground, it disappeared.  The red was only a distant speck in the sky.

Shaking from the experience, Aomine climbed to his feet, and began searching the field for his things.

Dragons spoke.  They could communicate.  Why hadn’t anyone told him?  They were supposed to be these great slathering beasts.  Monsters that killed without remorse.

Once he had gathered all his things, he dropped to the ground beneath the willow again.  Leaning exhausted against the trunk.

Aomine may not have gone to school, the only thing he had ever been taught was to fight and drink, but he wasn’t stupid.

He had tried to kill a couple of children and an adult had come to their rescue.  It made perfect sense.  What he didn’t understand is why he had been saved?  He had come to murder dragons.

Murder.

Aomine said the word to himself, accepting that that is what he had been planning to do.  When you deliberately destroy intelligent life, it is murder.

Exhausted, mentally and physically, Aomine let himself slip into unconsciousness, guarded by the branches of the willow.

 

Chapter 5

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