Only Hope 1: How it started

The people of Yaragsdor have only one hope left. That a dragon rider will rise to protect them from the armies of Zarthox... But will even the mightiest of riders be able to ward off the growing evil that will soon overcome Yaragsodor?

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11. Leaving

Just as we were leaving the town centre, I heard the loud voice again.

"Join us soon at the festival, where we will see the biggest tournament so far! Contestants in the ring will include rare and mythical beasts, and warriors with such skill that you'll be hooked to the ring! Some of these are a man and his black panther, who tried, and failed to stop the fights in the ring - a liar who called himself a ranger! And a dragon! You hear that, people? A dragon! So if you want to see this, then join us at the ninteenth hour in seven days from now! Until then, have a nice day!" it boomed. I turned around to look at Alvyss. His eyes were wide.

"A dragon... A ranger... We have to come back!" I hissed almost silently. He nodded.

"We will. Believe me, we will... We need to discuss this later, okay?" he whispered. I noticed that he was shaking. My calm, brave friend was shaking.

"Yeah." I muttered. They had a dragon...

 

I followed Alvyss into the weaponary store, looking around at the masses of weapon racks.

"Go find whatever you want." Alvyss said. By now, he had stopped shaking, but his voice wavered slightly. We had payed Julian a few coins for his kindness, and he had scampered off, holding the golden coins like he would hold his life force if he could draw it from his body. I was glad to see the back of him. I walked up to the racks of axes, selecting a light, evenly balanced poleaxe. I looked at the others, but I didn't find any that were as good as this one. My sister had taught me about selecting weapons, and I used all her advice to rule out the other axes I found. After that, I went through the bows, taking ages to find a decent longbow. Well, it wasn't me who found it. It was Alvyss, who just picked it up and said,

"Can you pull the bowstring back?" I took the bow off of him, and pulled the bowstring back to my face. Alvyss nodded, satisfied, and handed me a quiver of arrows. I took them as well, and placed them on the floor with my axe and my longbow.

"Get a few knives as well." he advised, and I went to find some. My sister had used a crossbow and knives. But she could use bows, swords, axes and darts as well. And so she had taught me all about how to use them. And so I could. I looked at the knives, scanning each one and picking them up to test them. Finally, I found a decent enough knife, and put that with my other things.

"That should be enough." I said, picking everything up and taking it to the desk. I carefully placed it down, and the woman selling it all smiled warmly at me.

"Will you be needing scabbards for that knife, or a strap for your poleaxe?" she asked me, and I forced a smile to her.

"Yes please." She was gone for a short while, before coming back with leather scabbards. I counted out my golden coins that I had 'borrowed' from my parents, tipping them all onto the desk.

"Thankyou," the woman said, pushing my weapons towards me. I slung the bow and quiver over my back, put the straps for my poleaxe on my back, sheathed my knife, and laughed a,

"Thanks!" With that, I walked right out of the door, Alvyss striding after me. He seemed calmer than before, which was lucky, because when he got nervous, it made me pretty panicky as well. Alvyss pulled some flexible goatskin water flasks from Shadow's saddlebags.

"We need to fill these up at the well. Then we can leave." he said. I nodded. The sooner we left this place, the better. Because the sooner we could come back to stop the fights in the ring.

 

Walking out of the town gates, Alvyss breathed a slight sigh of relief. Shadow tossed his head, and I patted his neck.

"Good boy, Shadow." I murmured, and the panther snorted in acknowledgement.

"You find them provisions then, ranger?" a guard asked.

"Yes, thanks." Alvyss replied. And then, Shadow passed the last of the guards, and we were free of the Slave Town.

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