www.whyville.net Sep 4, 2011 Weekly Issue

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The Last Dragon

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A light-footed hunter appeared at the mouth of the lonely cave where the dragons slept. No one knew what it was, but it was a far from a hunter. It was a trapmaster. The most dangerous kind of trappers, known for their mastery in the art. Not only that. Their will, their strength, and their perseverance . . . was what made them strong. Invincible.

The dragons didn't notice the figure, and if they had, they didn't care. It was just merely a mortal. A delicious mortal, judging from the scent emanating from the body.

But there was one dragon who saw. It was Rune. He was a regular sized dragon. Just average. Soon he'd be more than that though. Soon.

The trapmaster didn't speak, just unsheathed a gleaming, black sword. This time it wouldn't trap. It would kill. Behind the veil which hid the trapmaster's face, it smirked. This was too easy.

Then it ran along the side of the cave, where all the dragons could see it. Some snapped at the trapmaster, but it slyly avoided all the threats.

The trapmaster spotted its first target: the biggest dragon; shiny copper scales streaming across its body, fierce looking crimson eyes. It could easily tell this stunning creature was the leader. Once the beast was slain, every one of those pesky critters would cower in fear. And then they would all be gone. Just for a thousand gold pieces.

The assailant went up to the dragon, looking as innocent as a small child, and struck. The blade drove itself into the soft underbelly of the majestic being, until it grazed the heart. It was enough to obliterate the dragon. Enough to become the most feared across the whole hollow.

The trapmaster worked and toiled until all of those abominations were gone: all except for one.

It was Rune. He'd seen it all. He'd seen all his fellow comrades fall and die in battle. And just against a mortal; a mortal who looked no older than twenty years.

Using the gift of tongues all dragons are granted, Rune spoke. His voice was deep and rumbly, enough to shake the earth.

"Who are you? Who dares to come and slay my fellow comrades?"

Rune could sense the mortal's heart, beating faster and faster. This mortal had obviously never heard of the gift of tongues.

But the mortal's voice was soft and firm. Not enough to make out what it was though. "I am who people call Lor."

"Lor . . . what a fine name. So sad your life has to come to an end," growled Rune. He'd never had a taste for human flesh, but that day, it was essential.

The trapmaster knew that he would never escape this. A dragon? Speaking the human language? This beast must have been the leader.

"How about this? You don't kill me, and I will never hunt dragons again," mumbled Lor.

An escape, thought Rune. Finally, he wouldn't have to kill.

"Fine," Rune snorted. "Promise to never take a life again, or I shall hunt you down till your last breath."

The human nodded, and slowly ambled out of the cave. Out of sight, never to be seen again. To Rune, at least.

After the mortal had left, Rune slumped and heaved a heavy sigh which could've been mistaken for a storm.

Was he really the last dragon?

And though the humans didn't know it at they time (they thought Lor had slain all the dragons), he was. Rune was the last dragon on Earth.


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