I really do keep meaning to post earlier, but it is still Monday and Monday means fiction!
Picking up from
here
where I last left you,the tale continues.
For those of you who are new to this story or who just want to refresh your memories, just follow the “dragon story” category.
And now. . .

The rider was a curious sight sitting astride his horse. He was short for a man, and thin too as he dismounted. Kaylin straightened up and took a firmer grip on the sledgehammer she had brought out with her.
“Papa isn’t here,” she said as the rider came toward her.
He had, in fact, been called away on special errand to the castle. They had come late for him; two of the kings soldiers as for a prisoner. Kaylin had said as much to the men, but Papa had told her to hush and not to worry. He hadn’t done anything against the law, or that might displease the king and queen. Kaylin worried though. And now here was this mysterious rider.
Had they come for her now? Had her papa been a prisoner after all? But why only one man? And he did not look like a soldier.
The horse was quality though; Kaylin had seen enough of horses to know a rich man’s horse from a poor man’s horse, and this one was certainly not a commoner’s mount. He was a gleaming chestnut who nosed insistently at his rider. He was fat and well groomed.
“Why do you not bow to me?” the rider replied in a high strange voice.
Kaylin felt herself bristle.
“And why should I bow to you? Because I’m small? Because I’m a girl? Who are you and what right have you to demand my respect?”
To Kaylin’s surprise, the rider seemed actually to be considering the question. Then the dark hood came down and the pretty face of a young girl shown in the light from Kaylin’s candle. She might have suspected it had she not gotten so angry, but now she stood blinking at the other; having forgotten herself.
She was several years older than Kaylin; with long hair the color of wheat that she had tucked beneath her cloak. Sapphire blue eyes stared out from the pale oval of her face and looked nearly black in the light. Her expression was troubled.
“I’m princess Alish,” the girl said. “I need your help.”

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