Paragon Of Destruction 177 To Fight A Dragon 4
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Rather than being relieved, he merely sighed in exhaustion.
Over a week had pa.s.sed since the cliff collapsed on top of the beast, and after the initial attack, they had launched a constant stream of spells and arrows at it, determined to never give it more than a few minutes of respite.
They had some success in the first few days, with the dragon's wounds growing larger under their constant attacks. Yet even as they grew exhausted from the constant effort, the results of their labor grew smaller with each day.
By now, they struggled just to keep their foe from healing even as they attacked it.
The dragon, for its part, had all but stopped responding to the attacks. It merely lay on the ground, resting even while they desperately tried to harm it.
The situation made Arran feel as if he was an ant trying to kill a sleeping tiger.
He had grown more confident in his strength over the past year, but now, he began to understand just how insignificant the small bit of power he held truly was.
Still, he did not allow himself to succ.u.mb to gloom. After all, his plan wasn't for them to defeat the dragon outright, but to weaken it through hunger and exhaustion.
Just as Arran readied himself to launch another spell at the dragon with the small sliver of Essence he had gathered since his last attack, Snowcloud walked over to him. She looked as tired as Arran felt, with dark rings around her eyes and her skin even paler than usual.
"I can take over for a while," she said. "You should get some rest."
Seeing her exhaustion, Arran briefly wanted to protest, but then he thought better of it. He was every bit as drained as she was, and without rest, he would be useless.
"All right," he said. He was about to turn away, but then, a thought came to him. "How long did it take you to get here from Relgard?"
"Just over two weeks," she replied, looking slightly puzzled at the question. "Why?"
"Nothing," Arran replied with a shake of his head. "Just a thought I had."
Snowcloud gave him a nonplussed look, but she did not ask any further questions. Instead, she wearily turned toward the dragon, already gathering Essence to attack it once more.
As Snowcloud began to cast a spell, Arran headed back to their makes.h.i.+ft camp. Yet eager though he was to get a few hours of sleep, he could not help but cast a pondering look at Cra.s.sus.
By now, he was certain that Cra.s.sus wasn't nearly as simple as he appeared to be, and Arran was beginning to have some thoughts on the man's true nature and ident.i.ty.
Still, this was not the time to deal with the issue. For the moment, all he could do was remain focused on their current foe, and for that, he desperately needed rest.
When he lay down on a musty gray blanket a moment later, he fell asleep in an instant.
In the days that followed, they kept up their constant struggle to keep the dragon from recovering, exhausting themselves with constant spells and attacks. By Arran's reckoning, the magic they'd already thrown at the dragon should be enough to bring down a small mountain.
Yet rather than succ.u.mbing to the attacks, it was obvious that the dragon was actually recovering. Each day, its wounds grew slightly smaller, and each day, there was more vigor in its breath.
A feeling of gloom fell over Arran as he observed the dragon. It was clear that at this rate, it wouldn't be long before the creature regained its old strength — and when it did, they would have no way to seriously harm it, much less defeat it.
By the end of the second week, Snowcloud approached Arran with a serious look in her eyes.
"The poison has worn off by now," she said. "And no matter what we do, the dragon grows stronger by the day."
Arran nodded silently.
"Your plan…" Snowcloud hesitated briefly before continuing. "It's not going to work. The dragon is healing faster than we can injure it."
"You're right," Arran replied, a wry smile on his face. "It will be fully healed long before we can starve it."
There was no point in denying the obvious. The giant creature was healing more rapidly by the day, and they would be lucky if it remained immobile for another few days, much less the weeks or months they would need to starve it.
Had they been stronger or the dragon weaker, perhaps the plan might have worked. But as it was, they simply lacked the power to keep the beast from recovering its power.
"But we don't actually have to kill it." A small smile appeared on Snowcloud's face as she spoke. "Now that the poison has worn off, all we need is its blood — and for that, we don't have to defeat it."
Arran's eyes went wide with understanding. "So all we need is to make it bleed, then gather the blood?"
Snowcloud nodded. "If we focus all our attacks on one of the wounds, we can easily make it bleed. And with the dragon still blinded, gathering the blood shouldn't be all that difficult."
The sudden realization almost caused Arran to burst into laughter as he realized that the dragon hadn't been the only one who had been blinded. In his focus on killing the dragon, he had forgotten about their actual goal, which was to find a cure for the Patriarch. And now that the dragon had defeated the poison, all they needed was its blood.
Yet just as Arran was about to agree to Snowcloud's plan, he looked at the dragon, and a feeling of unease came over him.
While getting the dragon's blood would achieve their goal, to Arran, the creature's entire body represented a priceless treasure. Just the Natural Essence in its flesh would allow him to increase his strength many times over, and he knew that its skin and bones would be equally valuable.
To walk away from such a fortune was something he knew he would regret for years to come, and he doubted a chance like this would come again. Moreover,
Of course, by now he knew he had no way to kill the beast himself. But if his suspicions were correct…
"Cra.s.sus!" he called out.
The fat man was sitting on the ground a few dozen paces away, and on hearing Arran's voice, he looked up with a questioning expression. "What is it?"
"Come over," Arran said. "I have an offer for you."
Cra.s.sus stood up and quickly approached them. "An offer?" he asked, interest appearing in his eyes.
Arran took a deep breath and forced the doubts he still had from his mind. "If you kill the dragon," he said, "I will help you open your Realm."
"You want me to kill the dragon?" The man looked both puzzled and amused as he glanced at Arran. "What makes you think I can do that?"
Paragon Of Destruction 177 To Fight A Dragon 4
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Paragon Of Destruction 177 To Fight A Dragon 4 summary
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