Tainted Victory – Chapter 6, Part 7 (Page-a-Day)

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“If more people die I will return personally to make sure the loss is even,” Colt said. Hounder gave an agreeable bark in return. 

Troforsect just stared Colt down before returning to berating the two failed soldiers. 

The three turned their backs and returned to the castle.

Goblet scraped the edge of his axe along the cobblestone floor of the throne room. No one had come in or out since the teams of three split up. He had counted every brick along the slanted wall across from the kitchen area. He had done some sparring against the rotting and greening flesh of the dragon. He had to stop that when his hand hit a little too hard and punctured the skin. He even got so bored he reorganized the slanting jewel and money piles. He finished his route by standing feet apart between the cracks of blood in front of Raisor’s corpse and faced the door to the castle. 

Goblet stood like that for what felt like minutes but was really only a single minute or two. He thought he felt the ground shake for a second but it passed. He turned and looked at Raisor’s splayed corpse. His face remained frozen in his shocked and amused expression. A few stray strands of sunlight broke the clouds and shown over the corpse like sun through bars. 

“Ohh good Raisor.” Goblet tapped his boot against Raisor’s sole. “This was not the way you were meant to go.” He leaned on the end of his axe and rested his head on his hand. “You were a fighter, a soldier. Getting stabbed in the gut with a tiny blade…” he clicked his tongue. “So not right. I mean you beheaded that dragon with such skill. Ha ha! It was brilliant!” A small refraction of light shone hit his face. “Dah, stupid sun.” He adjusted his axe.”Better. Ahh, now as I was saying. You came down and slayed that beast quite well. Oh! If we had a fight.” He frilled his muscle and flexed. “It would have been a great challenge to have fought against a foe like you. Alas,” he picked up his axe. The sparkling light hit his eyes again. He blocked it with his hand. “Ahh!” He looked and saw the light came from Raisor’s palms. 

Goblet raised an eyebrow. “That is quite strange.” He laid his axe down then knelt by the body. He touched Raisor’s wrist. It was cold and dull. It felt like finding a body that had been frozen in ice. He sighed and turned the wrist over. He expected to find just burnt skin. Instead the light hit him hard. He held a hand to block the sun. In that moment he saw the red, peeled flesh of a burn, but inside the burn were what appeared to be vibrant fish scales. “Scales…” He crosses over and looked at the other hand. It had the same scales along the inside of the palm. He shot to his feet. “Scales!”

“We have found something very interesting!” Claudia exclaimed from the kitchen. Her voice was peppy. Her accent almost overtook her.

“As did I!” Goblet said. 

Claudia bounded out of the doorway. Hugh and Olivier trailed behind her and let out an exasperated breath. “There is a whole secret catacomb in the walls of the service corridors! Those lead to a possible chamber where more treasure can be stored! That’s what Raisor was after!” She pointed to his corpse. 

“I know what he was after,” Goblet said. “Remember when we saw him cool his hands. How strange that was. Only, I looked at his hands.”

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