Tainted Victory – Chapter 4, Part 3 (Page-a-Day)

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“Then he can move the bloody dragon himself!” Claudia said. 

“You know what? I’m with the girl on this one” Raisor said. He exited from behind the dragon. He walked passed the corpse and up to the divided piles of treasure. “I did my job. I slew the damn thing. Why should I have to count the stupid money.” He raised his leg up.

“Don’t kick it!” Evelyn said. 

Raisor lowered his foot. “You got a nice little ledger book of his reports and expenses so we don’t need the piles.” He gave the money horde the heel. They slid cacophonously into a pile at the bottom of the steps. “I’ve got other stuff to do.” He turned the corner, headed away from the kitchen and disappeared. 

“What’s been eating his food?” Claudia asked. 

“Who knows with him?” Evelyn said. She knelt over, and started scooping the piles back to their original location on the steps. The coins were the largest. They reached from the base of the step to the top, and far across. The jewelry ran across two steps and was a mix of gems, ornamental pieces, smooth and rare rocks, and other assorted shiny round objects it had spied. 

Siguard and Goblet emerged from the far side of the dragon. “I can tell you that,” Siguard said.

“Ah huh,” Evelyn said. 

“So how are we doing this?” Goblet asked.

“You pry it up with your axe. I’ll scrap them out with my sword. Seems easy enough.” 

“Are you going to tell me?” Evelyn said. 

Goblet approached the carcass. He scooped his hand under the scales and grabbed tight. He pulled it up. The beast itself did not move. Its flesh rose an inch. Goblet could feel how little ground the scales and tissue wanted to give. It relinquished enough. Goblet dug his axe blade under, dropped the flesh, then pressed down on the handle with both hands.  He grunted roughly. The reinforced wood of the handle began to creak and bend. The scaley tissue remained reluctant. 

“I am going to tell you in a moment.”

“You’re just watching him work.”

“Fine,” Siguard turned his attention away from Goblet. “He is like all soldiers. He has his mission. He accomplished it, and wants to go. Being a servant to anyway is hard on the heart of a fighter.”

Evelyn looked out the window. The only signifiers of rain were the splatters and streaks crossing the windows. “It would be a hard time to leave now with the rain and occupying force outside.”

Siguard rolled his eyes and returned to the dragon. Goblet gave a final press of the handle. The flesh gave up its hold and lifted enough. Siguard squatted, extended his sword to scrape away all the coins he could find. The noise was worse than the dragon’s lone claws against the stone. The noise was the last howl of life the dragon could give. It did howl. The scratching and scraping shook the windows. The occupance covered their ears for the limited protection it gave them. Siguard did a final check before counting. “We’ve got another fifteen gold here,” he said.

“Got it.” Evelyn wrote the number down. “You don’t seem to be bothered by these extra tasks placed on you.” 

Siguard slid his sword into its sheath. “I must just be used to it I suppose.” 

Colt, Hugh, and Hounder ran down the stairs from the bedroom. “What was that noise?” Hugh asked. 

“Quite. It sent some giant shivers and such down both my spine, and the spine of Hounder here.” Hounder looked up at him.

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