Even for a Knight with the valor of Peres the Worthy, entering the lair required all his courage. He had never faced such a formidable foe as this fiend. She had captured the fair one, presumably for a meal or two, and Peres knew her kind grew hungry at sunset.
The sun was all too near the western horizon as he descended into the cavern.
Armored boots are not much for stealth, so the evil Drusella heard him coming long before he entered the treasure chamber. Unlike the other caverns in the lair, this one was brightly illuminated, and torch-light reflected off of a myriad of gold and silver coins, as well as a plethora of precious gems.
His lovely one Katin was restrained in the very center of the cave, an iron collar around her neck with a chain extending from it to a sturdy pillar of wood. She saw him and gave him an expression most pathetic. It was clear that Drusella had lashed her as she was bleeding from a dozen wounds.
“Show yourself evil one! Peres the Worthy commands it!” His sword was unsheathed and upraised in his right hand.
“I am here, O’Knight.” The sound of her voice coming from the far end of the cave sent shivers up Peres’s spine. Katin cowered at the base of the pillar in terror.
The evil creature stopped by his fair one’s side as she gently stroked her victim’s forehead. Katin cringed.
“Touch not any portion of my loved one, Drusella. Prepare for battle.” He stepped forward hoping he looked more confident than he really was. For long ages, no knight had successfully combatted the evil thing. It was said that the bones of a thousand sturdy warriors littered the floor of her bed chamber.
“Then have at thee!” Drusella suddenly leapt forward, fangs and claws bared and seeking the Knight’s throat.
Katin sheltered behind the pillar as best she could as she prayed to Peres’s God that he be victorious. True, no one had ever defeated Drusella, but no Knight was as fierce or as bold as Peres the Worthy.
Metal scraped against claw, armor was rent, sinew was sliced, and both combatants suffered injury. However, Drusella’s love of treasure finally became her undoing. Peres thrust forward with the tip of his blade and his opponent stepped back to avoid further injury. She tripped backward over a small chest overflowing with emeralds and fell into a pile of doubloons.
Peres seized this brief opportunity and with a mighty swing of his blade, beheaded the horrible Drusella, her blood decorating her precious trove of valuables.
The Knight’s chest was heaving under his heavy armor as he stared down at the deceased foe. “At last. At last she’s dead.” He wiped the blood of his enemy off of his sword with her hair and then sheathed it.
“Beloved!” Katin longed to go to Peres, to embrace him but she was sorely restrained.
Peres saw the key on the body of Drusella and liberated it. Running awkwardly, as his armor weighed him down and he had to avoid mounds of treasure, he went to his loved one’s side and unlocked her collar.
The two had a tender embrace.
“Come Katin, let us take leave of this evil place.”
“And the treasure?” She swept one of her wings around the room to indicate the vast wealth that surrounded them.
“I now possess the only treasure I shall ever value.” He put his arm around as much of her as he could. “Let us go home.”
So Peres the Worthy, Knight of the Realm, Hero of the Empire, escorted his most prized one, his beloved, Katin the Dragon, back to their home at the edge of the forest of the King. Unlike most Knights, he had slain the girl, and got the dragon.
I saw a brief commentary about a fantasy book on twitter telling the classic tale of a knight killing the dragon and getting the girl, I thought it would be fun to switch things up.