Edited by Bird Dog
Everyone said dragons did not exist, but my family had a story of a dragon. It told of how two dragons had fought and one had died. Of course, everyone laughed at us when we told the story. I guess we could have told them where the cave the dragon died was, but that was our family secret.
I was fourteen and wanted to be a soldier or knight. Besides our farm, we had no money to pay for armor or weapons. I thought of the dragon story, and considered selling scales or a claw. It was dark when I took a hand cart and went all the way to the far side of the land. There was a steep ridge with a cliff, and in the center was a huge pile of boulders blocking the cave.
I knew my family had done that to seal the dead dragon inside. I looked at the rocks before I started to pry at one and then another. It took a couple of hours to create a hole into the cave. I used a candle and crawled in and lit it. I looked around as I moved deeper into the cave and frowned when I did not find the dragon.
The only thing I saw was a huge round pile of shale. I slapped it and jerked my hand back when it moved. I lifted the candle as I stepped back and realized the shale was the side of the dragon. I almost turned and ran, but swallowed as I moved to the right and found the tail. I saw rips where the other dragon had torn at it.
I moved around and between the dragon scales and the wall. I found more huge rips in the side and finally I reached the head. The dragon was huge, six or seven paces tall, and it was lying down! From tail to nose it had to be at least thirty or more paces long. I looked at one huge tooth and pulled my knife.
The blade did not even scratch the tooth and it was at least as tall as me. I looked at it and then put my arms around it and struggled and jerked. I used my knife and tried to cut the gums and, slowly, I began to work it free. When the candle burned out, I was left in the dark, but after a while, light from the hole and glowing moss on the walls helped me see.
Time slowed as I struggled to work the tooth free; finally, I succeeded. Of course, by then it was dark out again and I could only see by the glowing moss. I pulled the tooth after me to the hole; then it took another hour to work it out. It was not that it was heavy; it was very light, but awkward.
By the time I got home it was almost morning and my day of rest was over. I spent my day working and thinking of that tooth. I might get someone to buy it or a noble could just take it. Each time I looked at the tooth, I remembered my knife not even scratching it. That was when I had the idea and began to plan.
Over the next two years I went through a lot of tools as I slowly carved into the tooth. First I made tools from the tooth to work on the tooth. After that I carefully carved out a chain with tiny links, and then scales for a shirt and pants, followed by daggers and a long knife. The long sword was last and I followed the core of the tooth to keep it strong.
It gradually curved along the spine like one of the eastern one-handed swords, but a little longer. It was long and the blade was over two fingers wide. It was meant to be used with either one or two hands. I was strong from all the hard work and I was more than ready to leave. I packed up and headed for the king's Keep.
He was calling for men to protect the border and I wanted to be one of them. Any farmer knew how to use a bow, but I had been practicing swinging and jabbing with heavy iron for a sword. I kept everything rolled up in my pack while I was walking. On the morning of the last day I slipped the dragon scale armor on.
I buckled the belt for the long knife and daggers; the long sword went over my right shoulder. I wore my best clothes outside the scale and swung the pack over my shoulder. When I stepped up to the table outside the Keep, four men were on the other side. They were leaning back and grinning and an older one shook his head, "What are you wearing farmer?"
I looked at him and then the others, "Chain and scale made from the tooth of a dragon."
They laughed and he shook his head, "And the fancy white sword?"
I reached up and back and pulled it; they sat up. I felt the spine, "Made from the core of the tooth."
A man cleared his throat behind me and I turned. He wore a green shirt with a gold dragon emblem on the left shoulder, "May I see it?"
I hesitated before I shifted it and held it out hilt first, "Be careful the blade is very sharp."
He smiled and accepted it and weighed it in his hand before turning to do a few practice swings, "Not a normal sword for lunging."
I shook my head, "Like the eastern swords. I would cut and slice and deflect rather that block."
He nodded and spun the sword before turning to offer it to me hilt first, "How many teeth did you use?"
I shrugged, "Only one. The dragon was very large."
He chuckled and looked at the other men, "Sign him up and send him to me."
He walked away and I watched him before turning to look at the men, "Who was he?"
The older man chuckled as he leaned forward and reached for a quill, "That was Duke Clarence and he is the head of the Dragon knights."
I pulled a small splinter of the tooth I had made into a tiny knife and pushed it across the table, "Thank you."
He looked at me and then at the knife before smiling, "Be safe and good hunting farmer."
One of the others pointed, "See the green tents? Go there and see a man named Dexter. Tell him the duke said to send you to him."
I nodded and shifted the pack as I twirled the sword up and over my shoulder and into the scabbard. I started walking as I looked at the green tents and when I reached them I started asking for Dexter. He turned out to be a short grizzled man with a thick grey beard. He listened and I saw his eyes take in everything.
He gestured toward the end of the last row of tents, "Take the last one and then return."
As I walked down to the tent I saw a lot of women or girls; many were barely dressed. One stopped me as I reached the tent, "Sir?"
She looked like she was in her early teens, which was old enough to marry or have children. I looked at her, "Yes?"
She bit her lip, "You are new, and I do not see a woman with you."
I nodded as she blushed and she looked up and into my eyes, "I could be your woman."
My face reddened more as I stammered and she looked down and started to turn away. I cleared my throat, "Okay."
She turned and looked at me and then grinned and reached for my hand, "You will not be sorry."
She pulled me into the tent as I set my pack down and looked around, "We need..."
She kissed me while pressing against me, "I will get everything we need. What is your name?"
I blushed even more, "Alex Kensy."
She nodded and looked around, "I will see the supply officer and get what we need."
I hesitated, "I was told to return to Dexter."
She pushed me towards the tent door, "I will take care of the tent."
All I could think about while walking back to Dexter was the girl; I had not even asked her name. Dexter was Sergeant Dexter and he wanted to see me practice with my weapon. Like the others he took one look at the sword and snorted before gesturing to another man, "Practice with him."
I looked at the man who was a few years older than me, "Where are the practice weapons?"
Sergeant Dexter snorted again as the other man shook his head, "Use your toy."
I frowned, "My sword could harm him or damage his weapon."
They laughed and the duke stopped beside us. I still held the sword in my hand and he glanced at the sergeant, "Bring me a suit of chain and straw to stuff the arm."
He shook his head, "Sir that..."
The duke looked at him and the sergeant nodded and turned to yell. A few minutes later, a chainmail shirt was on the stand with one arm stuffed with straw. He gestured to me, "Show us."
I looked at the chain but shrugged and shifted before striking. I was only using one hand as I brought the sword up and around and then down and onto the arm. There was the impact when it hit and then the blade was through the chainmail and I pulled it back. They gasped and stared as I turned the blade to check it.
Of course like the few times I had used it on metal there were no chips or even nicks. The duke held out his hand, "May I check it?"
I turned it and held it out hilt first and he accepted it. He lifted it and touched the edge and looked at it carefully, "Not even a scratch."
I shook my head, "It took over a year to make the tools to make everything else. Mostly because they wore out the metal tools or broke them."
He shook his head and handed the sword back, "Use a practice sword."
I did and started working with another man who gave me tips and hints. I tried to use the eastern style or what I thought was the eastern style. Mostly I deflected the other sword away and used cuts and slashes. I also practiced with a new long bow which was a lot better than anything I had ever used before.
It was hours before we were dismissed and I returned to my tent. I blinked when I entered, there was a wide bedroll and a long chest and two strange folding chairs. There was a carpet that covered the whole tent floor and a stand for armor. The girl came in behind me and hugged an arm, "A bath?"
I hesitated before nodding and she started to undress me, "I am Sarah."
.... There is more of this story ...