Shit. What on earth is happening?!
My feet started to ache as they chased each other desperately. They did not mind the twigs snapping and the lush greens being flattened underneath. My laboured breath persistently matched my hurried pace.
I figured that three days in this strange world was not enough to get used to this body; I found myself stumbling onto on the moist floor after only a few minutes of running. My skinny arms did their best to support my fall, but my knees clumsily crashed onto the floor. Ouch!
I looked back and panicked as I had a glimpse of humongous ocean-blue eyes with a cyan glow. A dark sapphire gem rested on the head of a big monster covered in sharp silver scales. It gritted its razor-like teeth and sucked up the surrounding air. I felt my face get warm as I watched its now-open mouth smoulder in blue.
Am I going to die? Again? I thought as I froze in terror. I didn’t even get to find out where the hell I am, why I woke up in this world, and if I really died back there or what.
Damn, everything is friggin’ unfair.
It always was, and it always will be.
A metallic hand forcefully grabbed my bare arm and yanked me up from the floor.
“Aaaahhh!” I screamed in pain as I felt the intense heat of the blue flames. They missed me by a mere few feet.
“Are you alright, my lady?!” A panicked voice asked. I briefly looked at his face framed by his helmet. He had curly chestnut brown hair and light grey eyes looked worried as they bore into mine.
“Yes, but I-I can’t move,” I nervously stuttered as I heard the loud flapping of wings. The dragon was probably maneuvering to get a better shot amidst the tall forest trees.
“Pardon me, but I will need to carry you to a safer place first.” He spoke so formally that I almost didn’t realise that he was asking for permission to carry me. I meekly nodded, although my inner fan-girl was running wild.
The red surcoat attached to his armour fluttered with the wind as he paced.
I am being princess-carried by a handsome knight!
Yes, I agree. I should have been more concerned for my safety than focusing on the chivalrous knight offering his services.
After the knight gallantly dashed through the forest with me in his arms, he found himself at the opening of a cave, close to the thicker part of the forest. He carefully let me down until I could stand on my own, but my knees were still too weak to even carry myself, so I sat on the cold floor instead.
“My lady, I beg of you to wait here and run once the beast is distracted.” He paused before yanking down the cover of his helmet. “I can keep it preoccupied for a while. Once its full attention is on me, I will send you a signal so you can run away.”
“Ser Knight, wouldn’t it be better for the both of us to run away while we still can?” I asked him with an obvious worry in my tone. I didn’t want to belittle him but the dragon seemed way out of his league.
I saw it earlier. The knight, albeit being strong and regal, seemed like a mere speck in front of this monstrous creature in this strange fantasy world.
“I would be happy to rescue even a single life, even if it is in exchange for mine. After all, everything is for the glory and honour of the Goddess.” He beamed at me briefly before firmly crossed his right arm across his chest and a clink was heard before he drew his steel sword adorned by a lion carving.
He nodded his head towards me and turned his back before walking away.
The chivalry is real with this guy.
I stared at his back as his figure became smaller.
It would be such a loss if he died. He is too modest, too kind. He probably has a family waiting for him. And he did save my life for the third time now. Not to mention that he is such a looker.
But should I go with what he said? Or should I run after him? I wasn’t sure which was safer.
Curiosity got the best of me so I stood up, intending to at least peek at what was happening or get a hold of the situation.
Before doing so, I looked down on my feet. I could have sworn they were bleeding a few minutes ago with all the little twigs and stones I stepped on as I ran; perhaps being on the brink of death made me hallucinate.
The forest became eerily quiet - as if no other living creature lived in it for a while now. The animals most likely already fled the area, with the uproar that the battle caused earlier. Only the soft rustling of the leaves was heard until a loud thud shook the earth. It was from where we ran from the dragon.
Will he be okay?
I didn’t know how long it was since the knight left, but my heart kept beating like crazy and something told me to check on him, despite the lack of the signal he was talking about.
Dammit. We're too far from any village to expect help from others!
Maybe I really was concerned about my saviour, but a part of me honestly thought that I didn’t want this to be a testament to how much of a bad luck I can be to others.
No one else can help him now but me.
I was still catching my breath when I spotted the gold armour glistening under the sun. Its owner was staggering as red liquid spilled out of the now-armour-less arm.
A few metres from the steel-clad knight was a proud three-storey-tall dragon that towered over him as it landed on the ground.
The surrounding trees got uprooted and flew away with the winds its wings created. The knight had to thrust his sword to the ground with all his might to keep himself from flying away. “Arghhhhhh!”
His weakened grip was not enough to keep him in place, his fingers slipped and the knight was blown away a few metres. His back hit a tree trunk and he spewed out blood. The knight was now far from his sword and it left him defenceless.
Something akin to a smile formed in the mouth of the beast as it watched its prey wriggle in despair like a worm cut in two. It went on fours and grimaced as it arrogantly clawed its way closer to the knight, boasting of its superiority.
Smoke now slowly filled the skies as the silver-scaled dragon exhaled from its nostrils. It has seen victory in its reach. The trees surrounding the knight have been cleared and there are no means for him to hide or even attempt to fight.
I need to do something. Anything!
I nimbly ran closer to them, despite not knowing I could do to help or if I can be of any help at all. It may very well waste the knight’s noble efforts.
I remembered that I didn’t have anything useful with me.
Dammit, think! How can I help him?
What can I use? What can I do?!
I looked at my surroundings again, and this time, I found a sharp object that reflected the sun’s rays. The knight’s sword struck into the earth was just a few feet away from me.
A familiar feeling came over me and all of a sudden I knew what to do. My feet hurriedly but silently carried me to where they were. It was as if I had no control over my body. My eyes saw pointed rocks and broken glasses on the floor but for some reason, my feet do not feel pain.
I was already a few feet from them when the dragon spotted me.
Not soon after, the knight looked like he started shouting in despair, but I could not hear anything.
Everything around me slowed. The dragon turned its vicious face and its eyes speared focus towards me, with a multitude of flames already forming in its mouth.
I was unfazed by the ominous picture painted in front of me. I quickly picked up the knight’s sword.
My legs pushed me up; I sprang towards the beast, avoiding the barrage of its deadly blue flames that hit the floor where I once stood.
With my great leap, I raised the sword towards the dragon’s neck and shouted instinctively, “This is your end!”
There was a quick swish of the sword, followed by a soft thud as the dragon’s head fell and rolled towards me. Its eyes gazed towards mine and seemed to convey a smile of relief before closing off for good.
I froze for a few seconds before I realised what happened. I panicked and dropped the sword, which burrowed itself partly into the ground. I quickly ran towards the knight who fell to his knees the second I did so.
“My lady you...” He seemed to be in a state of shock. It was probably why he didn’t seem to feel his injuries. "You defeated a blue-fire dragon."
"I don't know what happened, I just... My feet and arms moved on their own. I can't believe it as well! But let’s talk about that later... Oh, fuck!”
My arms quickly caught his weakened body that almost fell on the floor. The knight then rested his head on my left shoulder.
I thought that he only grazed his shoulder during the battle with the dragon, but it turns out that his stomach was also badly burnt.
His half-lidded and unfocused eyes, continuous ragged breaths, and deep burns seemed to indicate that he didn’t seem to have too long to live.
I wondered how he managed to keep himself up all that time. Was that solely because of his will to protect under the oath he had with this deity of his?
“You were a-amazing. I never thought I would see such... Such a beautiful sight. I’m glad I had the privilege to see that before I met my end.” He struggled to speak. A bittersweet smile played on his thin lips. “I apologise, my lady. It t-turns out that I was useless."
He coughed up blood before continuing, "A lady even had to take up arms and save me. I am a disgrace as a knight.”
“No, dummy!” My eyes started to water. Someone like you doesn’t deserve this.
“You were awesome yourself! I mean it was a little stupid of you to take on the beast yourself, but your dedication to your oath is second to none! You were so cool!”
He weakly smiled, right before he grunted in pain.
“You were even willing to give your life for me.” No one else would have done so in my world.
“How can you be so selfless?” I was already a mess. My eyes were heavy and breathing became more difficult as my tears continued to rush down. "I'm not even worth dying for."
His hand staggered up against my cheek and I felt the coldness of his armour wiping my tears away, “Please save those tears, my lady. Every life is precious, isn’t it? Each one is a gift, after all."
He then grinned. "And now I am able to give it back to the Creator.”
“NO! Please, don’t die!” I shouted angrily.
I almost forgot what it felt like for someone to care about me, much less sacrifice their own safety for me. I never imagined for a stranger to be willing to give up his life for mine.
All he has done was show me kindness and made me feel that I wasn't trash. He doesn’t deserve to die. He shouldn’t die!
“You are not dying on me right now! Please!”
He never responded and his breathing became still, so my heart fell. My hands reached out for his to look for a pulse but found nothing.
There was silence for a while, at least apart from my constant sobbing. When I couldn’t cry any longer, I removed his helmet and gazed at his handsome features: his kind-looking eyes complimented his innocent smile.
He at least died in peace, knowing that I was safe.
He really was stupid, but he was probably one of the coolest people I’ve met.
“Thank you, gallant knight,” I spoke under my breath.
I seem to have stayed hugging his body longer than intended since the sun was now preparing to take its rest, bathing the forest with red-orange light. I carefully let his body down on the floor and stood up to find something to bury him with.
Before shovelling with a branch that I found, I took a final look at him. He looked serene. I moved in closer to begin digging and I was shocked to find that his wounds have closed and that the burns disappeared completely.
More importantly, he was actually breathing. I jumped back when I saw his grey eyes wander into mine.
What the actual fuck?
I was filled with a mix of relief and fear.
Didn’t he die just now? How is it that he's still alive?
It was a magical world full of the unknown. I don’t think it is normal for someone to come back from the dead. It normally is an abomination to the laws of the universe. However, it wouldn’t be far-fetched for him to turn into a zombie or something.
I held onto the branch like I would a sword. I instinctively chose to cling to fear rather than relief that he somehow came back from the dead.
The resurrected knight slowly sat up and looked at his hands. His eyes widened to find that there was no wound or burn on his skin. “Impossible. This… This is a miracle.”
His head turned towards me, “How am I still alive?”
“I don’t know! Are you a friggin’ zombie?! I’m not afraid of you!” My trembling hands said otherwise.
“The undead! Those that rise back from the dead and eat human flesh!” I took a step back. "You're not one of them... A-Are you?!"
“I don't know. But I feel no different from when I was alive. Actually, I feel even better than before.” He slowly stood up and walked towards me as he continuously marvelled at his resurrected self. “This is unheard of, as it takes exceptional mastery of the spirit arts and the Goddess’s divine guidance to restore health from grievous wounds… and to have it to this extent. Are you perhaps, a great emissary of the Goddess? A high priestess?”
What on earth is he talking about?
Before I could refute his thoughts, a bright light surrounded us and a figure emerged from out of nowhere.
The both of us tried to hide our eyes from the blinding illumination.
The knight took a peek and his eyes widened, observing the being’s features.
"How is this possible?" He quickly bent the knee. “Y-You are a Holy Saint. We are blessed to have you in our presence!” He curtly shouted.
The knight then gave a look that told me that I should also kneel, but I panicked and froze instead.
The light slowly disappeared and I finally made out the mysterious being to be a tall man with long black hair tied in a ponytail. He was wearing a black robe that fluttered as he walked towards us.
I couldn’t help but notice the circular thing floating above his head. It glowed in a divine shade of yellow.
What the – is that a halo?
The knight whispered, “My lady, you should bow your head as well. In front of us is a heavenly being!” I figured that was the case.
Before I could reply, the Holy Saint went down on both knees, saying, “We have longed for this blessed occasion. Oh, how wondrous Thy joyful return is!”
He raised his arms to the heavens.
“I beseech of Thee, O’ fair, O’ lovely, Morrigna la Seule Déesse! Return with this lowly servant to the Heavens.”
Who is this Morri-what’s-her-face?
I found his blue orbs fixated on me.
“Are you talking to me?” I was certain that I bore a dumb look as I pointed to myself. “Sorry but I’m no deity, mister. You’ve got it all wrong.”
“I cannot be mistaken.” I heard the conviction in the deep voice that resonated in my ears. His head lowered, while his arms were still stretched upwards. “You are the Queen of the Heavens, the Unrivalled One; the goddess of all creation.”
Shit. What on earth is happening?! Since when was I a Goddess?!