A great clawed foot sliced through the smoke ahead, smashing onto the valley floor. The second gripped at the ledge and drove forward. Fiyorok’s horns shredded the mist, its leering muzzle thrusting forward, burning spittle falling from its mouth like sparks. Yui looked so small, the dragon so huge. Keiko felt Yui’s god-like power once in Tokyo and once in the White Spirit. But Fiyorok radiated the same, if not more. Keiko desperately wanted to believe this was a fair fight, but her senses said differently.
Undaunted, Yui attacked, leaping and catapulting from wall to boulder to ground, each summersault evading dragon-fire, closing the distance. At fifty yards, she opened her palm to release multiple white-hot bursts of power. Slithering to the side, Fiyorok brought streams of fire just as Yui aimed a volley at its rippling shield. In an aggressive feint to the left, she hurled her lance to the right, intentionally throwing it away from the line of tracers and through Fiyorok’s shield.
Stunned, the dragon clamped its jaws together and twisted its head away. Flame-tipped lance met flame-colored armor in a symphony of sparks and blood. Fiyorok’s head thrashed. Liquid fire sprayed from a wound below its horns, igniting whatever it touched. Yui grinned triumphantly and rushed forward.
Keiko could barely watch, but she couldn’t look away either.
Fiyorok pivoted on its haunches. Momentum whipped its tail about its body like a flail, and the great mace-like end hammered Yui’s shield with enough force to send her careening into the wall above the Keystone. The ground shook, and pulverized granite filled the air. Dust mixed with acrid smoke until it was nearly impossible to see.
Keiko took off at an awkward run.
Yui hit the ground a hundred yards away or so. She couldn’t be far. Rubble littered what had been barren space, making it harder to locate Yui than she’d expected. The smoke didn’t help either. At least it kept the dragon away. As far as she could tell, Fiyorok hadn’t moved. Maybe it thought it killed Yui. Keiko thrust the thought aside, swallowed the lump in her throat, and quickened her pace. After what seemed like hours, movement caught her eye. She swerved toward it, her pulse easing when Yui pushed herself from the earth with her hands.
Click Follow to receive emails when this author adds content on Bublish