The Journey of the Slave Dragon – Chapter 4

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Chapter 4

Jith, the Dragon Hunter

I went to Eli to discuss the matter of Jith.

Jith lived in the rocky meadow. He dwelled in a home of rough hewn timber. Large boars shared his home and his roof. They were his pets and his life sustenance. Their presence brought him comfort. Their salty cooked flesh kept him strong. His knife was stained red with every meal, and he never hesitated before striking. Hunting was his life.

Jith would kill the dragon. Not to save anyone. Not to end a war. But to satisfy his appetite. There was no greater thing for him. There was no lesser end that he would accept as his fate. His bows were large and with every passing day his aim became more sure. Each arrow had boar nails decorating the arrowhead. These arrowheads desired flesh. He would conquer land to meet this end. He would watch mothers weep. He would laugh as father’s tried to defend their homes.

His boars loved him most. And he and his boars lived in parasitic harmony.  

I would cross miles and miles to have a simple meal with any of the ruling families. My wings would need rest and my body would be tired but I would press on and fly. Eli’s people invited me to the table even during the Wildstorm feast.

He welcomed me to the table and let me sample the best slices of meat from his flock, potatoes that had grown with a plentiful season of the Fishman’s rain, and the rare brown lettuce that tasted of pepper and earth. The village’s children ran to greet me. They were never afraid of my dragon scales, my dragon claws or my dragon wings. Each hug with the velvet of brittle human skin, against the hardened rock like surface of my dragon torso.

The young squires would run to me when I first arrived. They gathered around and asked about my age and what journeys I’d recently been on.

“When were you born dragon?”, they asked.

“One century ago.” I said, and laughed with smoggy breath.

“One century? Noooo.  But Eli knew you before you were born, and he’s not even an old man yet!”

Eli walked forth and greeted me.

“My friend of old. Let’s hear of your adventures.” The children thought these adventures were gallant stories of knights and finding treasures. But Eli knew the famines I had seen, and the lands I had flew across with ne’er a place to land or safe cave to call my home.

Eli asked what I had discovered about Jith and I told him all.

Jith’s dwelling looked like a castle from fire away. Not really majestic or fearful in its appearance, but certainly demonstrative strength. As one drew closer to his home, the castle-like towers and walls could be more clearly seen. The stronghold was really mounds of rock. Large formations with some alcoves here and there. Nothing that would actually suggest the trappings of human life.

It was a yellowish red rock formations that burst from the earth like the ground wanted to leap toward the sky. During certain hours with less sunlight and more clouds, the rock looked gray which added to the castle mirage. However, surrounding this clump of rocky terrain was a forest packed with trees. Jith lived on the side of the mountain when his collection of pet boars started to decline after weeks of boar meat meals, he would head deep into those woods to forage for more edible friends.

Eli told me Jith wanted to slay the dragon. He hated its existence. He hated that something would dare to defy the rules of humanity. It was like a being and a thing. An animal and a soul. It did not belong to this world.

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