(The Wizard and The Dragon is the Second Story within the Book of Secrets)

And so it came to pass that I, Kori of Thyria, did lay siege to the dreaded dragon Smyicr.

His castle stood before me, reminding me of the fortress my father used to keep. It's outer wall was solid rock, with four turrets at the corners, and barely any windows. I ventured to the edge, where a stone bridge stood over a great moat. It looked even more frightening in the darkened sky; one did not need to be afraid of water to be scared by this moat. Since I was, only my resolve to face the dragon kept me going.

Smyicr's Home Castle

Just as I started to cross the stone bridge, the moat started to rise! Great volumes of water started to rise in columns, obviously in a supernatural fashion. I would have blasted it aside with relatively little difficulty, had the apparition not terrified me to my core. The columns began to crash down upon the bridge, causing it to crack and crumble. Gathering my wits about me at the last second, I ran for the portcullis at the end of the bridge.

I grabbed onto the grate just as the last column crashed on the bridge, breaking it in two. Hanging on for dear life, I magically commanded the portcullis to open, and it did. I swung down onto a stone-paved road, and continued towards the inner sanctum, where I would most certainly find the creature.

When I finally did reach the gates to the main building, I attempted to push the doors aside, but was thrown back by an invisible force. It was a simple matter to dispose of it, or so I thought. The spell I used to disperse the invisible guardian sapped my strength, no doubt as a trap set by my foe. It took me all of my might to push open the doors.

I started to collapse just short of the main chambers, and my mind wandered to my early childhood, and my father. I remembered how everyone cowered in fear whenever he or I walked through the castle. I remembered the beatings my father gave me when I refused to perform magic. Then, I remembered him saying "You cannot escape who you are, Kori. This, this power, this great magic, is your destiny. You shall continue what I have started when I am gone."

As I remembered that, I said to myself: "You were wrong, father. I have escaped. I never used my magic to cause suffering, but rather to prevent it! And that is exactly what I'm going to do right now!" As I spoke these words, they gave me the strength to pull myself off the floor and onto my feet. With no further hesitation, I hurled a bolt of white force at the doors before me, and they burst off of their holdings.

Smyicr stood before me, at the end of the great hall, crouched where the throne should be. There was black fire all around the hallway, adding an ominous glow to all the surroundings. There was also a sign of a brief struggle, evidenced by the bodies of guards that had either been incinerated or ripped to shreds.

His red eyes sighted me across the hall, and betrayed an expression of surprise. I easily understood; he never expected anyone to find him here. And just in case his eyes didn't carry the whole message, he calmly stated "Well, you actually made it. How did you…No matter. You came here to die. And that is what I shall now grant to you: a prolonged death."

With that, red energy poured out of his eyes, and into the floor below me. I leapt off of that particular section of floor just in time, as it erupted where I once stood. As I tumbled, my knapsack was thrown off. I did not care at the time, but rather was more focused on the task at hand. I gathered my energies about me, and shouted "Leventa eldspar mertis!"

Smyicr reacted faster than I had intended, using his wings to knock aside all of the pieces of ceiling I threw at him. The resulting dust didn't even get in his eyes. He roared, seemingly just to gloat his indestructibility before his enemy. But as he did, I readied another spell, and cast it with a cry of "Doni Lethranal!" My white energies wrapped themselves around the horns decorating his head, causing him to roar again, this time in pain.

Despite my success, then was not the time for celebrating, for the great creature quickly recovered. Luckily for me, he was too angry to focus his magics. On the other hand, dragons are all dangerous, even when they don't use magic. Smyicr proved this by breathing at me, angered feelings obvious in his eyes.

Smyicr, the Dragon

Mind you, it was a breath of fire, a dragon's most powerful natural weapon. If it were not for a hastily erected mystic shield, I would not be here to tell this tale. He breathed again, but this time I jumped out of the way, throwing an orb of mystic force as I did. It bounced off of him with relatively little damage dealt to him, but just as he was about to recover and attack me, I hurled a bolt of lightning at him. Still, it didn't do much.

I tried to attack him again, but he had snaked his long tail around me, and it crushed the broken pillar I was standing on at the time. I fell to the ground, feeling the bruises, but then I realized that as I fell, I touched his tail briefly. I gleaned a few of his memories from that simple touch, and they were horrid images of witches and wizards being burnt at the stake.

Using those memories as a source of power, and with full knowledge of the forces I was unleashing this time, immense bursts of energy coursed from my hands, absorbing themselves into the stone and wood surroundings we were within. In very little time at all, the entire room around us started to collapse.

The floor directly beneath Smyicr gave way first, due to him being a rather large creature. He fell down into the dungeon complex below the castle, screeching as he did. I, meanwhile, grabbed my knapsack and ran for the exit. I summoned numerous magical shields to protect me from falling stones, and eventually made it out. I glanced back at my handiwork, actually pleased with what I had accomplished.

I said to myself: "I hope I have proven my point well enough, father." And with that, I turned away, thinking of how I would now live, without the sin of magic haunting me, how the defeat of Smyicr was my last act of magic use…

But it did seem that the power of Smyicr was greater than my magics could defeat. For no sooner had I traveled two paces, when a column of fiery rage blasted up through the rubble. I turned back, but could not react in enough time to save myself from being wrapped up in his tail. Red eyes glowing, I heard him say "I will burn you alive, and you will suffer for eternity! There is nothing even God can do to prevent your fate! Only a curse from before my time can defeat me, and you haven't the strength to attempt it!"

He thrashed me around a couple of times, once again throwing my knapsack to the ground, and then I saw something within it that was interesting. An idea forming in my head, I focused on the object within my pack with all of my thoughts…

And as the foul beast struck, I summoned the forces of my enchanted book. The 'gift' from the Nazlar-God-worshipers had a use at last. I brought it in front of me with my mystic call, it's massive store of energy blocking Smyicr's fiery breath without me even saying anything. But that wasn't the intent, for I indeed knew what Smyicr spoke of.

I channeled the forces contained within the book, shouted "Auldurione Feni Cos Lo No Literi Nel!" and with a curse more ancient than dreaded Smyicr himself, I...




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