The Dragon King
Copyright© 2015 by Allan Kindred
"Even though it was in the dead of winter, the world shone bright for us that day. With every stretch that we got further away from the bloody battlefield, our hearts grew lighter. Our spirits were high for people who have had their bodies and minds enveloped by horror.
"We laughed and joked our way back to sanity and health."
Still not knowing just how many enemy soldiers are still in-country, Christopher reforms his personal guard back up to forty-two members and brings them with him. Thirty of them are women, seven of them are men, and three of them are unicorns. Ember is actually a member also, but he is currently running operations along the enemy's border and helping clear out Venloring.
And of course Caitlin is still the captain of the guard. She is a black haired blue-eyed sixteen-year-old combat veteran sweetheart. Once she makes the decision to live she never looks back. Christopher knows that whatever is to come of him, she will succeed. Sara so loves her, as does the Dragon King. Amazing.
"I want to go home. I want Gabby and I want to go home."
"But in truth I was afraid to go home. I was afraid to try and rejoin society to have a life to be proud of. Had I done enough to balance the scales of Karma? Does the fact that I have done so much good since my darkness absolve me enough so I will be allowed to live a life of peace?"
King or common man, Christopher's dilemma is the same. Can he be forgiven?
"Dare I say it, but can I ever forgive myself."
When Christopher met Gabby he was in the middle of a run of rage and hatred, revenge and annihilation, and yet she saw enough goodness in him to love him.
"When she looks at me now will she see the same person?"
The trail has been long and bloody. Will his darkness taint her in anyway? The one thing Christopher does know is that her light will definitely lift him to heights never before imagined. And Christopher has flown on the wings of dragons.
"Could you, Gabby? Can you forgive me if I told you everything I did? Will you love me today, tomorrow and forever?"
Sharing a special moment
It must be a dream
Caring for someone so wonderful
That your savage senses are appeased
So grateful to her
For showing you
That you can be loved
That life can be your dream
In it she is your queen
Thank you babygirl
For loving me
"I feel just like a stupid little schoolboy. I have just fought creatures of legend and yet the thought of going and telling Gabby that I love her makes me nervous." It makes him smile. "It makes me feel alive."
"You know what I hope they call you?"
"Late for dinner so you can eat more."
She laughs and says, "No." and then she says, "I hope they call you the Dragon King."
"Why, you trying to tell me I have bad breath like a dragon?"
"No, I..." she trails off and glares at him through slatted eyes.
"Daddy." It still feels a little weird to Christopher when the pretty red haired green-eyed eight-year-old Sara calls him that.
"Can I be known as Kind Princess Sara?"
"On what." she says, frustrated.
"It depends on whether or not you are kind."
"Oh." She giggles as she nods her flaming red and orange hair, making it seem like flying fire.
Even though Christopher wants to be with Gabby yesterday, he makes their pace easy and leisurely. Taking all the laughter and sleep he can get before they get there. He hopes it might wash away some of the obvious torment still to be found on his face.
One night when Christopher dreamt three different dreams in one night, Sarah showed up in each one, but she never said anything to him.
"When I strayed from the enjoyment I usually take from dreams, I saw Sarah staring at me, but I couldn't tell if she was happy or sad."
Christopher figures and hopes she is celebrating their victory as well. The smile she gave him before leaving his last dream was one of love.
"With every good night's sleep I got my strength, both physical and mental, grew. I was feeling pretty good. I had been a part of something amazing, and I was now heading towards something amazing. I couldn't lose. My god, all I had to do was look all around me, as I was surrounded by all things amazing."
So do you think Christopher should become king? Yes, he has committed atrocities against the very people he would rule over. I think that a few citizens definitely deserved the punishment he doled out, but unfortunately none of the ones that really deserved it ended up with it.
If Christopher is to become king, maybe he will search out those people who turned their backs on Sarah and him and kill them anyway. Although, after enduring these last many months his desire for bloodshed is waning.
"As I ride through the countryside, everywhere I look I can see the same scars on the land that exist within me. All I want is to take Gabby home with me and live a simple life. The only horror left to embrace will be the knowledge that living with my torment will have to be fair punishment. For once I make my decision to have a life and to bring Gabby, Sara, and Caitlin into it, and if anybody is to bring trouble to my door and endanger once again the people I love, the reaction will be stellar.
"I know what I have done. I know what I can do. The king of old let our nation fall into darkness. I will have to study just how that was allowed to happen, to make sure it never happens again. If I am to become king, there will be a lifetime of work to do. Will it take away from my ability to show Gabby that I love her more every day, or will she be the best queen to grace this sometimes undeserving land?"
Even now that the main force of darkness has been defeated, there will always be evil to keep in check. Predators amongst your own kind, as it were. People who want what they want when they want it, and don't care whom they have to hurt to get it. If Christopher is to be king, the Dragon King, he will stand at the front of the line and lead the charge to bring real change to society. Not to just combat those who bring harm upon gentles, but to those who stand by and do nothing, and then complain about the manner in which the real patriots go about giving them a better, fairer life.
"I might just be one of the most dangerous kings to ever exist, the most dangerous king to rule his own people. If I am to be a king and punish people for doing wrong, it would make me the biggest hypocrite since the formation of the worlds."
There is no doubt that it is going to take a person of exceptional strength and mental ability to bring this nation back to life. Not just a life of existence, but a life of majesty and wonder. Of knowledge and understanding. Not an understanding of accepting people for who they are, but an understanding that standing by and doing nothing makes you an ally of those perpetrating actions of cruelty upon the gentle and innocent.
Stories have begun to be told of the young warrior king who freed the magical ones from enslavement, and who then went north and brought the forces that truly made victory possible. Yes, the very same warrior king who went all the way to the enemy's doorstep and left a calling card of death and vengeance. Of course, the truth is being given literary discretion.
History always has a convenient way of leaving out the atrocities that the victors committed, because the victors write that very same history. Would they crown Christopher king if they knew when he was killing the enemy he knew there would be repercussions to the innocent, and that was alright with him at the time, because eventually he was going to get around to hurting them himself and didn't really consider many of them innocent?
"To know that much of what I did was out of hatred and vengeance, not patriotism and the thought of freedom. To drink the blood of my enemy, as I made my own kin wallow in the muck of entrails and brains.
"Would I be the legend of the Dragon King if they knew I had very little respect for them?"
Things changed and points of view grew as Christopher had a whole army of his kin fighting at his side. Yes, his pride was resurrected.
"I was blessed, even amongst my own darkness, to be surrounded by magical creatures of all wondrous kinds."
If trouble is to come to Christopher's kingdom again, the dragons, fairies, unicorns, centaurs and the very formidable minotaurs will be there fighting at his side once more. In fact he realizes, or more to the point is told, that his land was once the home of the minotaurs. They have the offer to return. Whether Christopher becomes king or not they have earned that honor.
The Magical Ones will no longer be looked upon as mere entertainment for children, though they do that out of the goodness of their hearts, but they will be raised to a level of respect that their actions of courage and unselfishness has earned them. To ride on the backs of unicorns, pegasuses and dragons into battles where the outcome looked grim.
The Pegasus will fly high and proud on the banner of Christopher's kingdom, and they will be the symbol of self-sacrifice and greatness. The unicorns will be their leaders of knowledge, and they will grace their colleges that Christopher will start for all if he is to become king,
"Does my country need me? Maybe it does."
By now Shadow is well healed, but left with scars just as much as Christopher. Christopher wonders if he shouldn't return Shadow to the mountain village where he stole him from while killing most of the men. Should he honor the lifestyle of Hisperia's mountain men, in repayment for killing that kind old miner and taking his boots, as Christopher remembers it? They crossed his path at the worse times possible. Or should he let it be?
If they want vengeance for his actions, would not a good and fair king give it to them? Even at the cost of his very own life. But once again the problem will be that once he decides to make a life with Gabby and to once again surround himself with people that he loves, he will never accept retribution.
Can that in its own rationalized way bring rifts amongst his kin again, making it easier for another force to slide in?
Christopher has never heard or read of a king or kingdom that didn't have both good and bad things to them. Will they stop calling him the Dragon King, or will it just take on a different meaning. It's true that it was easier to go about his life and suffering when he no longer cared and only had hatred in his heart.
"It is good to have love and hope back into my life, but having a life to be proud of just makes my less than kind actions harder to accept. Again, is it my punishment to live with my torment? Are my future battles destined to be against myself, to show that I have earned a right to a second chance?"