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The Last Effort

Predator or Prey? The Choice Is Yours...

By Jerrell JohnPublished 7 months ago 10 min read

The glittering night sky displayed the dread written over my face.

Lauleux, my buddy, shared an equally bleak expression as we stared at the familiar man blocking our pathway.

"I must applaud your efforts, Kara. I wasn't aware you were adept at casting sleeping spells."

My feet instinctively gripped the soft soil as I pondered how my plan could've failed.

"Oh, don't look like that, Kara. I'm a Dragonborn, after all. Surely you didn't believe such a feeble spell would be sufficient in restraining me."

"Fine!" I said, as I attempted to spew my heart out into words, "I'm leaving for good, father! I've made up my mind. I want to see what the world can offer OUTSIDE of fighting."

As I opened my eyes, My dreamlike ambitions sunk into the pits of hell upon noticing the arrogant smirk he wore immediately vanish.

"This again!? You're remarkable enough to make this kingdom kneel before you with your hands tied, yet you wish to squander your gifts on aimless wandering. Tch, Foolish girl."

Lauleux, perhaps impressed by my resolve, backed me up. "M-Mr. Tyro, If I may, I understand your concerns, but Kara-"

Cutting him off, My father flicked the air and sent his body flying to the ground.

"Insolent vermin, who gave you permission to speak to me!"

"Father, STOP! He has nothing to do with this. Leaving secretly wasn't cool but let's just have a civil discussion for once."

He's so unbelievably hot-headed. I have to figure something out before he finds an excuse to rampage.

"Silence!" he said before emitting a stream of fire from his mouth, trying to intimidate us.

It burned down a tree behind us, near the forest we had just exited.

"Nothing to do with this, you say. From where I stand, I've finally found the bothersome RAT that's been rotting your brain with delusions."

Lauleux, by this point, was cowering back behind me like prey in the sights of a predator. Usually, I would burst into laughter, but we had more pressing matters.

"That's not true, and they're not delusions! This will be my future regardless of how you feel about it.

Putting my foot down, I locked eyes with my father. I didn't want this to escalate past words, but what could get through that thick skull of his? My father was silent for a moment, digesting my words.

In a soft voice, he said, "I see that you refuse to open your eyes, Kara. If you truly believe this boy is worth sacrificing your relationship with me, then so be it."

As I evaluated his words, I felt a sturdy bind tie my hands behind my back as it weighted me to the ground away from lauleux.

Realizing his decision, I cried out, "Father, Wait!"

Without warning, bloodlust tore through the air as my father lunged at Lauleux.

A massive clash tore through the surroundings, causing the dust to rise. When the dust cleared, my father's expression hardened as he bellowed his disappointment with my decision.

"He doesn't deserve your protection, Kara! I hope you can deal with the consequences of summoning a spirit to fight for you."

Towering above him was a beautiful woman-like figure with long white hair and blue eyes. It was wearing a flowing white dress with a little blue gem in the center of its forehead.

My father watched patiently as it freed me from his binds.

"I'm sorry, father, this has to end. You leave me with no choice."

And with that, Aria, the spirit I summoned, stood to fight by my side.

The spirit chuckled softly and said, "Tyro, the revered emperor. It's an honor to fight such a legendary warrior by your side, Ms. lady Kara. "

"HEY! I told you to stop calling me that. It's just Kara, and don't speak so highly of him. He's just a big ole bully!"

Ignoring Aria's antics, I turned to face my father, who was eying us menacingly.

Using thought communication, I told Aria the plan and leaped into action.

Rushing towards my father, he met me halfway with lightning speed. Our clash, sending sparks flying, reminded me how overwhelming an opponent he was; however, I quickly banished the thought from my mind.

With a fury of strikes, I attempted to preoccupy him while searching for an opening in his defense, but he stayed on the defensive. Parrying all of my attacks, he spoke, "Do you intend to continue coming at me with these half-baked attacks?

Ignoring his remark, I picked up the speed and added kicks in the mix while trying to minimize my movements. Just as planned, Aria was in the back chanting a spell.

I couldn't see lauleux or could've been too focused to see him. Nevertheless, I hoped he got a safe distance away even though my strikes weren't moving the fight much.

Thankfully, I received a heads-up that the spell was done and threw a closing kick before pulling back.

He quickly locked eyes with aria as it launched a tiger-shaped lightning spell. He evaded its initial charge, but the attack was locked onto his presence, so it kept chasing as he flash-stepped across the field.

After a few evasive maneuvers, he stopped to face the attack head-on. To his surprise, though, he landed on the trap Aria had prepared.

It engulfed his lower half in a slimy substance as the lightning attack wrapped around his chest and arms like shackles for his upper body.

"Nice going, Aria! Make sure he doesn't do anything problematic."

I rushed to Lauleux's side, relieved that he was still alive, and said, "See, there was nothing to worry about. Let's get outta here and see the world."

Lauleux's demeanor loosened as we shared a well-deserved smile.

Unfortunately, our moment of relief was proven too soon as Aria's shouting and the echo of blades singing stopped us in our tracks.

We turned to see my father, now in his hybrid form, holding Aria up by the face with its feet dangling in the air motionless.

"KARA, HOW MUCH LONGER ARE YOU GOING TO MAKE ME PLAY THIS NAIVE GAME?!" He bellowed, his eyes now glowing fiercely.

His words felt like bombs erupting in my ears as his talons scorched the grass with every step he took.

"F-Father, please let her go!" I begged him. "There's no reason t-"

"SILENCE!" My father roared, crushing Aria's head as if there was nothing, to begin with.

I gulped and took a step back.

What am I supposed to do now!? He looked pissed, and my previous efforts hadn't swayed him. Why must he be so against my wishes!?

"Now then," he said, piercing my ears with his lethal words. "Banish those brazen fantasies at once and return home, or are you still going to pointlessly resist me?"

M-maybe he's right… If we ran, he'd simply give chase and catch us.

If we stayed and fought, there was no guarantee that we would come out victorious.

I looked at Lauleux while contemplating what to do next. "Hey… Lauleux," I said, tears streaming down my face now. Do you still trust me?" He nodded vigorously as if he was incapable of any other form of communication. Chuckling upon sight, I readied myself as I turned to face my father. My resolve was painted clearly on my face.

I raised my hand, releasing all the aura I had been suppressing, and transformed into my hybrid dragon form.

A bright light engulfed my body as my true power began manifesting itself.

"Very well," my father said, retracting his claws. "If that's what you wish, then so be it."

I felt lauleux's gaze glued to me as I rushed full sprint towards my father as he stood his ground."

I leaped into the air, summoning my blade, and brought it down with all my might.

My father effortlessly sidestepped the attack, but I kept persisting, attacking with all my strength and speed.

If he is this adamant about keeping me from leaving, then I'll reflect the same resolve... AND some! It would be foolish to display anything less when my future is on the line.

I unleashed a barrage of attacks aimed at his vitals, each one more powerful and precise than the last but he dodged or blocked them all. Ignoring the desire to flee, I pushed myself harder, attacking with any wasted movement.

But my efforts were all for naught.

"To think you'd unseal your powers just to lose against an opponent you never had a chance against," he said as he backhanded me mid-strike.

Sending me flying, I hit the ground hard and skidded to a stop. I groaned in pain but noticed he was holding back with that strike.

He slowly walked towards me with a displeased look and gently picked me up.

"So this is how I'm repaid for taking you in, huh? Maybe I should've left you in that treacherous forest..."

"Nevertheless, I'm taking you home now, child, it's almost morning, and I need time to devise a suitable punishment for your little rebellion."

I ignored him, gritting my teeth.

As I pushed myself off of him, I jammed my blade into his left thigh and kicked his liver as I took to the sky.

Touching the stars seemed more reasonable than laying a scratch on my father. However, the goal at this point was to slow him down enough for Lauleux to get away.

My unphased father drew his attention toward me as I took a deep breath.

"You're really going to make this more difficult than it need be, huh?" He asked rhetorically as he stayed on the ground.

Ignoring his comment, I focused what little energy I had into my center.

"DRAGON'S WRATH!" I shouted as a large dragon made of pure aura appeared above me.

The dragon opened its mouth and unleashed a powerful stream of electricity toward my father.

For a split second, I glanced over at Lauleux as we locked eyes. I always loved how versatile his expressions were. It was difficult not to find them amusing. He broke into a cold sweat hours ago, and dread was painted all over his face.

Nevertheless, even when I resorted to violence, he stayed with me in the face of this catastrophic anarchy. I genuinely cherish him for that.

Before I thought of telling him to run, I heard an unexpected voice behind me.

"You've surely grown stronger... but remember what I've told you countless times... the weak only have two choices: cling to the strong or prolong the inevitable."

I felt a sudden rush of pain in the back of my neck before everything went black…

"Lauleux!" I shouted as I questioned how I had fallen asleep. The pleasantly sweet, sharp scent of grass beneath me and the nostalgic pain surging through the back of my neck made me realize what had happened.

With my fist clenched tightly, I frantically looked around for a hint of where those two went.

Noticing two figures in the distance reacting to my cry. I looked to see what looked to be my father and another person enjoying a picnic.

I couldn't make out the food, but upon further examination, I identified the other person sitting with my father.

"Ah, Kara, I'm glad to see you awake. Come join us." The person said with a warm but stoic demeanor.

"LAULEUX…W-what happened to your arm!? I said as the words escaped my mouth.

Lauleux, responding with a benign smirk, said, "Nothing. Nothing happened

My heart and fist untightened as a tender smile sprouted upon my face.

FantasyShort Storyfamily

About the Creator

Jerrell John

A visionary constructing his life purpose as a writer with Storytelling, Business, & Philosophy at the core.

Reader insights

Nice work

Very well written. Keep up the good work!

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Comments (2)

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  • Stephen Kramer Avitabile7 months ago

    So detailed, you can really envision what is happening as you read. Loved it!

  • Novel Allen7 months ago

    Well witten story.

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