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Nature Abhors a Vacuum

leaped to the front, bellowing out a challenge to the monsters that approached. He
brandished his massive greataxe that seemed to glow of its own accord, and his challenge
was met by the first of the lumbering behemoths.
Glancing over at Sayana, Aiden could see she was trying to pry her right hand off of
the glowing sphere he held, but it refused to budge. She looked around desperately for
something to help, but there was nothing. She resigned herself to watching the battle
before them, slumped against Aiden's side.
After long minutes of untold bloodshed, only the black warrior re mained to defend
the castle, and he faced off against the last of the armoured creatures alone. This one was
different to the others though – shorter by several feet and wielding a huge sword in one
hand, the edge of the blade rippling with light. They came together in a devastating dance
of savagery, sparks flying from their weapons and armour as each combatant sought an
advantage over the other.
A shadow grew over the battlefield as something immense obscured the sun. Aiden
squinted against the light to see what was happening, and was staggered by the
appearance of a creature straight from legend. An immense gold dragon was descending
onto the battlefield, its wingspan easily over a hundred feet.
Talons the size of a man dug into the ground as it crashed to the surface behind the
black warrior and its tail swept over the battlements of the fort. Its fine scales gleamed in
the cold light, the majestic creature both immensely beautiful and terrifying beyond
measure. Sayana gaped at the sight of the great creature and trembling like a leaf, she
moved behind Aiden as far as she could.
Then, unexpectedly, the dragon turned its great head to look directly at her, eyes
narrowed and steam issuing from its nostrils. Sayana's mouth opened wide in a silent
scream, her left hand held up before her to create a translucent shield that seemed familiar
to Aiden somehow. The dragon bellowed a mighty roar towards them and a flash of white
light engulfed the battlefield as a blast of wind sucked Aiden and Sayana off their feet.
Reflexively, he reached out his hands to stop the fall and dropped the glowing orb,
shattering it upon the ground of the cave.
* * *
Aiden sat bolt upright, throwing off his blanket and gasping for breath. The forest of
the Calespur ranges surrounded their camp, and the grey light of pre-dawn tinged the sky.
The others were sleeping around the camp site's smouldering fire, but Sayana was sitting
next to him, her right hand touching the shard hanging around his neck and a look of
horror stamped on her face. Snapping out of the trance she appeared to be in, she let go of
the shard as her body went limp and collapsed to the ground.
Aiden shook his head to try and clear out the dream from his mind as he tried futilely
to understand what had just happened. Sayana gestured weakly with her left hand for him
to lean closer. Still shaking from the dream, he complied, getting close enough to hear her
whisper something in his ear before she passed out.
“Aiden, that was no dream.”
Chapter Thirteen