Paragon Of Destruction 176 To Fight A Dragon 3
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Nearly an hour had already pa.s.sed, and although the dragon had still not calmed down, it was finally beginning to show signs of weariness. While it was still violently thras.h.i.+ng around and leaving giant cracks in the rocky floor of the valley, its movements were growing sluggish, and it seemed that with every pa.s.sing minute its energy depleted further.
Arran waited patiently. The more energy the dragon expended in its rage, the better.
Finally, well over an hour after Arran had reached the top of the cliff, the giant creature appeared to have reached its limit. It let out a last vicious roar, then slowly lay down. Perhaps the beast had realized there was no chance of catching its enemies in its current blinded state.
As the dragon lay down, Arran stood up. Then, he sent a thin but bright stream of Fire Essence into the air — a signal for Snowcloud.
The brief spell of quiet in the valley came to an end almost immediately.
Just seconds after Arran sent the signal, dull thuds began to sound from below as Snowcloud launched a series of attacks at the bottom of the cliff.
The attacks weren't strong enough to shake the cliff, much less damage it, but they were loud enough to make the dragon raise its head instantly. A moment later, it raised itself up, then started toward the noise. By now, its movements were weary and lethargic, which Arran observed with some satisfaction — the weaker the beast was, the easier it would be to harm it.
When the dragon reached the foot of the cliff, Arran hurried a dozen paces back, then drew his starmetal sword.
In the three weeks he had waited for Snowcloud and Cra.s.sus, he had already hewn deep cracks and fissures into the edge of the cliff, stopping just short of causing the entire edge to collapse.
Now, when he struck the stone with all his might, cracks instantly shot out and rumbles could be heard deep within the rock. He struck several times more, and as he did the rumbling rapidly grew louder.
When he felt a slight movement beneath his feet, he immediately retreated a hundred paces, and not a moment too soon — in an instant, the entire cliff's edge seemed to come apart, and hundreds of tons of rock plummeted into the depths below.
Even if it was exactly what Arran planned and expected to happen, the sight of the collapse still filled him with awe. Had there been a town at the bottom of the cliff, he was certain it would be completely obliterated.
Yet his target was a dragon rather than a town, and awe-inspiring though the sight might be, he now found himself worrying whether the devastating collapse had done enough damage to the vast creature.
He quickly made his way back down the side of the cliff to see what harm the devastating attack had wrought, fervently hoping that the dragon had not somehow managed to dodge the many tons of stone that should have rained down on it.
As he reached the bottom of the cliff he saw that Snowcloud was already approaching him, and from her excited expression, he could immediately tell that the attack had struck true.
"We got it!" she said in a spirited voice. "Half the cliff came down right on top of it!"
"Let's go take a look," Arran responded, an eager smile on his face.
They wasted no time in heading to the vast field of rock and debris that lay at the bottom of the cliff, and even as they approached, Arran could see that the dragon was injured badly. Half its body was covered in giant pieces rubble, one of its wings looked to be shattered, and there were several gaping wounds on its neck and side.
Yet for all its injuries, it was clear that the beast still lived, and as they neared it, Arran could see it was already trying to free itself from the tons of rock that covered it.
At once, he grabbed his bow, then shot several arrows into each of its already ruined eyes. The dragon roared in pain, but the sound was far weaker than it had been before. Clearly, its injuries were grave.
Snowcloud turned to Arran with a shocked look. "We can't kill it yet!" she said, voice filled with worry. "It has to recover from the poison first!"
Arran shook his head. "There's no chance of killing it right now," he replied. "What we should do is worsen its injuries, so it takes longer to recover."
He was absolutely certain of this. He had figured out long ago that the effects of Natural Essence were similar to those of Blood magic, and with as much Natural Essence as the dragon's body held, he was confident that the creature could recover from any injury that didn't kill it outright.
What he was worried about wasn't that they might accidentally kill the dragon, but that they might fail to keep it crippled long enough to starve it. Once the poison's effects wore off, he expected it to recover at a terrifying rate, and the only way to defeat it would be to harm it while it was still vulnerable.
Yet Snowcloud didn't seem convinced. "Are you sure?" she asked, doubt in her eyes as she glanced at the wounded beast.
"I am," Arran replied. "Bad as this looks, we'll need to make it a whole lot worse just to have a chance of beating that thing."
"You mean…" Snowcloud's eyes went wide.
Arran nodded. "Attack it with all you have, right now."
He did not wait for Snowcloud's response. Instead, he immediately began to gather Essence, then launched the strongest Windblade he could create at one of the open wounds on the dragon's side.
Once more, the creature roared in pain and fury, but Arran did not hesitate before launching another attack, and even as that attack struck, he launched yet another. Right now, the creature was at its most vulnerable, and that was an opportunity they couldn't waste.
A moment after Arran attacked, Snowcloud joined in. While her attacks were reluctant at first, when she saw that the attacks barely had an effect on the wounded dragon, she soon stopped holding back.
For the better part of an hour, they attacked with all their might, bombarding the giant dragon with a barrage of magic, every attack aimed at the grievous wounds that already covered its body.
Even so, the creature still managed to somehow drag its vast body from underneath the rubble, moving away from the cliff while it roared and screeched in anguish. While its shattered body wasn't anywhere near fast enough to pose a threat to Arran and Snowcloud, they still found themselves steadily retreating, making sure to keep a good hundred paces between themselves and the dragon.
When it was around four hundred paces from the cliff, the dragon appeared to give up on the idea of chasing its attackers. Instead, it lay down, then covered its wounded body with its broken wings as best it could.
Yet despite the relentless attacks from Arran and Snowcloud, the creature's wounds were only barely getting worse. While its skin was all but impervious to magic, its flesh seemed to be nearly as strong, and despite their best efforts, their attacks did little to damage the dragon.
After an hour, both Arran and Snowcloud had all but run out of Essence. By now, their attacks had slowed down significantly, and they had to recover for several minutes after each attack they launched.
The dragon, meanwhile, had all but stopped reacting to the constant attacks. It would occasionally let out deep roars of pain, but other than that, it was almost like they were attacking a giant hill — except that the beast was far harder to damage than rock or steel.
"They're tough creatures," Cra.s.sus said. The man had quietly observed their a.s.sault, a thin smile on his lips as he watched.
"Seems that way," Arran responded with a short nod. Then, he turned to Snowcloud. "You take some rest, and I'll keep attacking it." He frowned briefly, then added, "And if you can, make some poison as well — as many types as you can."
She looked like she was about to say something, but then, she nodded at him. "I'll take over after I get a few hours of sleep," she said, exhaustion clear on her face.
As she headed toward the edge of the valley, Arran drew his bow once more. The fight was far from over, and if they were to prevail, they would have to spend the next several weeks taking turns attacking the dragon, not giving it the chance to rest for even a moment.
He took a deep breath, then shot an arrow deep into one of the colossal beast's open wounds. It would be a long night, he knew.
Paragon Of Destruction 176 To Fight A Dragon 3
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Paragon Of Destruction 176 To Fight A Dragon 3 summary
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