“Are they ready for me?”
The dragon’s voice woke her from her deep slumber, but it no longer scared the sorceress as it would have before they struck their arrangement. Rolling from her side to her back, and pulling the covers tighter around her to keep out the cold of the evening, she responded without opening her eyes, “As ready as anyone can be. They have gathered two trunks full of jeweled items and rare coins, and they have been cooking non-stop for days to have enough food for the ceremony they hope to hold in your honor. They have even knocked down one of the walls of their grand hall so you can easily enter and take a prominent position for the festivities. Though, they seem to have greatly underestimated your size because I do not think you will fit.”
She could hear the laughter in its voice as it responded, “Nor do I think I’d like being crowded into such a place while surrounded by so many mortals. “ The laughter quickly faded into anger as the dragon continued, “And I am not there to be a spectacle for them all to gawk at. I am there for their respect and I will have it when my shadow darkens their castle walls and my roar rings in their ears.”
“Once they see you and witness your strength, power, and majesty, I can’t imagine any of them will be brave enough to dine with you in the grand hall, anyway. The King might, simply from a sense of obligation to his position, but he will tremble before you and stumble over his words.”
“You don’t need to flatter me anymore, witch, you have proved your worth. You have shown me your kindred spirit. I have seen the fire burning your soul.”
“It wasn’t an attempt at flattery, dragon. I met with the King and he was cowering before me. Standing before you, if he can manage it, will be the greatest feat of his life.”
“We will see tomorrow when I make my appearance…” the beast paused and the sorceress opened her eyes as she sensed the request before it entered her mind. “I would like you to join me this time. Future kingdoms I will likely fly to and receive my homage on my own, but, for this first one, to finalize our alliance, I would like you at my side.”
“Of course,” she immediately answered, though the words were followed by the curiosity of the request and the pondering that perhaps the dragon had a weakness after all.