The Fall of Dragons by Miles Cameron

The Fall of Dragons by Miles Cameron

Author:Miles Cameron
Language: eng
Format: epub
Tags: Fiction / Fantasy / Epic, Fiction / Action & Adventure, Fiction / Fantasy / Military, Fiction / Fantasy / Historical, Fiction / Fantasy / Action & Adventure, Fiction / Fantasy / Dragons & Mythical Creatures
Publisher: Orbit
Published: 2017-10-31T04:00:00+00:00

The Inner Sea—Aneas Muriens

Aneas and Master Smythe were the last awake. The dead were buried; the wounded tended as best as could be managed.

“When will Orley come?” Aneas asked. “I do not want to wait.”

Master Smythe was smoking. “He must come immediately, or not at all,” he said. “But either he comes in the next day, or Ash comes in person, and takes back the well; in which case, no power of ours can stop him.”

Aneas nodded, and took the proffered pipe.

“Or he does not come. Once I have attuned the well to me, Ash cannot take it back without coming in person. Orley must strike soon. And thanks to the wyverns, we can watch his approach.”

“He could come tonight,” Aneas said. “We have not scouted him today.”

“You grant him superhuman powers,” Master Smythe said. “Our enemy could come tonight, in which case, I would stand here, half attuned, and probably die facing him in single combat. But in a day or so, I will have a limitless source of power, deeper and greater than my power in the circle of the Wyrm in the Green Hills, and even there, you will notice, our great enemy has never chosen to challenge me.”

“There is a well?” Aneas asked, daring, in his fatigue, to question the dragon.

“Something like one. It is more a coincidence of aesthetics and other forces, but you may think of it as a well, if you wish.” Master Smythe reached for the pipe. “Cover me for another day.”

“I would stay longer than that for the chance of crossing swords with Kevin Orley.” Aneas narrowed his eyes and they glittered in the near darkness.

Master Smythe smiled darkly. “Your people need rest. They have taken casualties; humans spend time mourning, in my experience. And are better for it.”

“Dragons do not mourn?” Aneas asked.

“Dragons, in my experience, seldom have the fellow feeling that would create the necessary condition for mourning. Rejoicing is more usual.” Master Smythe blew an excellent smoke ring at the moon.

“But you will not remain here?” Aneas said.

“I may,” Master Smythe said after a long exhale. “I am still weak, and badly injured. This animation you are looking at is made of catch and clay; I cannot take the form of a dragon, I could no more fly than … than you. Indeed, I came within the changeling’s whim of being unmade. If I did nothing but hold this place, I would still serve your need.”

Irene stepped onto the moonlit beach. “Our need?” she asked. “Are we not your tools, Master Dragon?”

Master Smythe took the pipe and inhaled deeply. And then passed it to her. “I have tried my very best to treat you as allies,” he said. “I fear you, but I do not hate you. Indeed, I rather fancy you.”

“Me, in particular?” she asked.

Aneas looked back and forth between them. He felt a curious jealousy; he knew Irene well enough to know that this, from her, was flirtation.

The dragon laughed softly. “Perhaps from time to time,” he admitted.


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