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Codar and the curse of the dragon's egg

Part Six

It seemed pointless to confront the guards when Codar knew he could get in and around the castle undetected. He snuck around the edge of the castle, staying low within the surrounding fields to avoid the gaze of a guard. They weren’t paying too much attention - no one had attempted to gain access to the castle without permission since the revolt before Codar was born. None of the rebels survived but one - left alive only to tell of the horrors of the battle. Even so, bored guards were just as dangerous, perhaps more so - they were desperate for a fight to break up the monotony. 

 

Sneaking into the castle was as easy as he expected. The secret escape tunnels were just as they were when he lived here so many years ago, albeit dustier and home to more vermin than they once were. Codar was almost disappointed - he was expecting a battle, a dramatic showdown with the man who ruined his life. But the castle was practically empty. Those that he encountered shuffled past without a glance. Even as he approached the throne room, no one stopped him.

 

Codar opened the giant, ornate doors. The creak just as loud and unsettling as it was when he was a boy. Despite the noise, the King - snoring loudly as he slouched in his throne - did not stir. Codar crept closer, pulling the bag off his back as he went. At the foot of the throne, he placed the bag on the ground and carefully removed the dragon’s egg one last time. He unwrapped it from its cloth cover and touched the top gently with his forefinger. Power burned through him at the touch. He hovered his hand over the knee of the sleeping King. Finally, his mission could end. 

 

“You would curse a dying man whilst he slumbers?”

 

The voice echoed through the great hall. He couldn’t tell where she was, but he knew who she was.

 

“You wished for the same thing once, Lancia.”

 

She emerged from the shadows, her beauty still unmatched by any other Codar had known. “I did. But what would be the point? He’s a bag of bones. His healers give him weeks, if not less.”

 

Codar looked at the King, shrivelled with age. “He is not yet met his two hundredth birthday, how is he so broken?”

 

Lancia smiled at him then, a wicked, knowing smile. “No one knows. It matters not. He is nearly gone, and you are back. Take the power for yourself, and we can do what we always dreamed. A new ruler, a new world.”

 

“We were children then with childish dreams. I could not take this power without consequences.”

 

“You can handle it. We can. You can siphon only what you need, I will share the burden if it becomes too much.”

 

“You would do that, for me?”

 

“I would do that for us, for our childish little dream to come true.”

 

Codar considered the offer. Lancia had only noticed him when his father’s betrayal was revealed. She’d visited him in his cell and spoke of the injustice of his imprisonment. It was she who discovered he could siphon power from others - who insisted he should keep his ability a secret. She was right about that - his own mother had ran from him when she learned the truth. It was she that spoke of vengeance, of a new world, a new rule. Now she could have it, with him. She approached him with grace and sat next to the egg, her hands hovering over the curve of it, but not touching it. 

 

“Come, Codar. Take what you are owed.”

 

Codar sat beside her and looked at the egg. This is not what he had planned, but it seemed just a good an ending. With a smile and a sigh, he placed his hands on the egg and let it’s power burn through him until he was nothing more than a hollow shell.

The End

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