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A Pardon for a Dragon By DrakentheBlack -- Report

Emerald once again found herself in the possession of a young woman. The woman had blond hair, and brown eyes which matched her brown travel outfit consisting of a shirt, pants, and boots. There was a hood at one point, but that was lost during the process of the dragon-girl nabbing her.

The two of them had just been involved with a rather chaotic engagement with bandits. One thing led to the next, but after devouring several unhappy highwaymen, Emerald got her hands on this lovely girl, who if nothing else would make for a very tasty desert.

Once home, the girl was willingly rubbing Emerald’s belly to help the process of digestion along, leaving the dragon to consider whether or not she would be rubbing it from the inside any time soon.

“Aren’t you afraid of me?” Emerald decided to ask.

The girl answered, “A bit. You’re Emerald right? Or am I addressing a different demi-dragon?”

“I’m the only half-dragon I know of.” Emerald answered with a sigh.

“They say you travel the roads in search of princesses to devour. That’s why you captured me isn’t it?”

“You’re a princess!?”

“Well, yes. I am Princess Elion. My apparel is meant to make me inconspicuous, but I figure a dragon can tell the difference regardless.”

“Don’t flatter yourself. Princess meat doesn’t taste any different from that of their handmaidens. You’re just a bit cleaner is all. Oh, and forgive me if I’m not in a bowing mood, I’ve yet to meet a princess who’s worth the respect they think they are.”

“So you do eat princesses?”

“Yes, I do. But don’t think that means I’m about to eat you.”

The news did not discourage Elion, who resumed rubbing the soft, smooth, scaly belly beneath her. She could feel the lumps beneath the layers of flesh becoming softer, and even felt a sudden shift as somebody’s bones snapped from stomach pressure. The pained but weakening screams made her grateful to not be joining their fate, and she asked, “If you weren’t planning to eat me, then why did you abduct me?”

“It’s nice to spend time with someone who isn’t screaming in my face. With how violent things were getting, I had no reason to stick around, and I have to imagine you did not appreciate your circumstances either.”

“I see. Of course, my guards most likely think you kidnapped me to eat me. They’ll come searching for me, so I’d be glad to clear things up when they arrive and no one has to get hurt.”

Emerald still had to wonder if this princess was being genuine, or simply trying to delay her fate. She had been fooled by nobles claiming to have good intentions before. If things were to repeat themselves, a part of her wondered if the guards may be demoralized, or enraged by seeing their princess swallowed in front of them.

She may as well enjoy the company while it was still pretending to be pleasant, and knowing this girl was high on the human totem pole, she decided to ask about current events and any political troubles in the world.

Elion talked about stuff that was apparently good news. The people were content enough that there were no riots or rebellions. And foreign kingdoms were not trying to take over her father’s kingdom by force. Even so, that did not mean that there was a shortage of suiters coming from foreign lands to take her hand in marriage. She knew she’d have to pick one of them sooner rather than later, but she also wanted her choice to be the right one.

As nice as it was to get some news, the dragon-girl sadly found herself becoming bored with the topic within ten minutes. So eventually decided to ask about what sorts of dresses the princess likes to wear and how they were made.

After conversing for a while, Emerald heard – and smelled – horses approaching, and she informed Elion, “It looks like your guards have finally arrived. We might as well go out to greet them.” She and the princess walked out of the cave together, where there were five men on horseback. The dragon-girl studied the group, seeing two archers among them, meaning she’d have to quickly conceal herself and hope they would shoot at the same time. The horses did not appear afraid of her, meaning she wouldn’t be able to make these men become victims of their own panicking steeds. Clustered up as they were though, she could easily breath fire on them and end the fight in an instant.

The man at the front of the group bore no helm, exposing his shaved head and dark skin. This man ordered, “Dragon, release the princess and you shall be granted a quick death.”

“You people are truly terrible at negotiations.” Emerald replied with a roll of her eyes. The princess stepped forward then, and the dragon almost snatched her on reflex. She held back though, as the princess announced, “Stand down captain! Emerald came to my aid to get me out of harm’s way. Good deeds should not be punished with cold steel.”

“But princess, it’s a dragon…” The captain began, but Elion interrupted sternly, “Captain, I’m ordering you and your men to leave her unharmed.”

“Yes princess.” He obeyed with a somewhat reluctant tone, as if he were dealing with a child who’d been given too much power.

“Now take me back to my father.” She ordered, receiving a hand up onto one of the horses, and once she was secured, she again regarded the half-dragon and said, “Farewell Emerald.”

All of the soldiers galloped away from the dragon’s lair, quite to Emerald’s stunned surprise. Once they were clearly gone without a fight, the dragon-girl relaxed from her aggressive posture and wound up collapsing as a result. She was glad she didn’t have to fight, but still couldn’t believe what had actually happened.

A couple of weeks after her encounter with the princess, Emerald was lounging on the rocks that formed the roof of her cave, getting herself a good dose of sunlight, which caused her skin to tan and her scales to shine. She was enjoying some time of relaxation, but as she heard the sound of a trotting horse, she knew her time of peace had come to an end.

She sat up to face this new challenger, and was rather surprised to find the new arrival was not a heavily armored man on a giant horse. Instead what she saw was a scrawny man in fashionable attire, riding an equally scrawny horse that looked to be trying to flee from the area. The man did his best to get his horse under control with one hand while he fetched a scroll with his other, and announced in a shaky voice, “Hail dragon! I have a message from King Hammon!” He let the scroll roll open, and read the contents within, “I, King Hammon of High-Garden, make this official decree in recognition of services to the kingdom. For the rescue and protection of Princess Elion, I hereby pardon the dragon known as Emerald Half-Blood for any and all past crimes committed within my domain. Further, I invite her to High-Garden keep to join my family for a feast. If this offer is accepted, then please arrive by mid-day on the tenth day of June.”

The messenger finished his piece, and looked ready to flee, but Emerald asked, “What’s today?”

“T-Tuesday!” He stuttered.

“The date.” She corrected, looking at him like he was an idiot.

“The f-fifth of June…”

“Five days until the meeting? Very well.” She adjusted to talk with him more directly, “Then can you…” Her movement caused the horse to bolt, taking the messenger with it, “…give me directions to High-Garden… Shit…” She saw that he’d dropped the message, and picked it up to read through it again, though it sadly did not tell her the way.

“I’m going to meet a King?” Emerald thought, “I’ve been pardoned? And a king has invited me to his table!” In spite of having very little respect for nobility, there was something about this situation that made her feel special. She wondered if maybe this would be a chance for people not to see her as a monster, but as another person. The highest authority in the land wished to meet her, and with a wave of his hand, he could surely convince the people that she was someone who could be loved, not feared.

She checked herself, and realized that if she was going to see a king, she should probably not be naked. She’d need a much better dress than the tents and sails she’d been using, but where would she find something like that?

Soapy the dwarf ushered his horse to pull his carriage down a road, singing a merry song as he went. His travels were interrupted when a friendly female voice announced, “Hello!” In unison, the dwarf, his horse, and his lovely assistant all jumped in alarm, and that alarm was not settled when they found a dragon-girl sitting next to the road. Emerald said, “Don’t be alarmed Mister Dwarf. I’m here to do some shopping.”

“You… You are!?” Hearing this did calm Soapy’s nerves, and he ordered to his assistant, “Mary, we have a customer, look pleasant!”

Emerald waved that down, informing, “Oh no, I appreciate your offer, but I’m not hungry right now.” The news only got the woman to shake with fear, but the dragon-girl continued by standing up to present her full body, “I was hoping you would sell a dress that would fit a girl of my size. I’ve got a meeting with the king, and would like to be presentable.”

Soapy tugged his beard in thought, “Well I uh… I’m sure I may be able to get you appropriately attired. But it would cost quite a bit of money…”

Emerald dropped a chest onto the ground next to the wagon, causing it to open and reveal the gold and jewels housed within. Soapy’s eyes went wide, and he announced with a smile, “That should cover it! Now to cover you!”

The tenth of June arrived soon enough. The guards of High-Guarden Keep shivered in their boots, knowing that this was the day they would be visited by a dragon. Sure, knowing when an attack was coming is better than being taken by surprise, but the thought of an impending monster attack was not a comfort. Maybe she wouldn’t show up, they could always hope.

Hope was for desperate fools though, as a large form descended from above on mighty wings. Emerald had arrived.

“Open the gate!” A guard ordered, clutching his weapon tighter in fear of what would soon be within the castle walls. As was ordered, the gate opened to allow entry to their new guest.

Emerald entered the keep, finding it fortunate that the gate was tall enough for her to walk inside – even if she could have just flown over the wall. She looked at the various people who she guessed were the direct servants of the family, and in turn, the people looked at the dragoness that passed between them with fear and distain on their faces. Emerald could feel the hate radiating from so many places at once, and she wrapped her wings around herself for partial concealment.

She flinched at the sound of horns, and everyone turned toward the center of the keep as yet another set of large doors opened. A man announced, “Now presenting his royal highness: King Hammon! And his wife: Queen Evelin!” At the declaration, the people bowed to the pair who emerged from the castle holding hands.

The king was a short and round man, whose figure was made even more circular by the numerous layers of clothes he wore. The king had a rather jolly disposition about him, with large, dimpled cheeks, and a handlebar mustache.

By contrast, the queen was tall and thin, with a sharp and beautiful face decorated with makeup. Her dress emphasized her curves, and her body was further decorated with jewelry.

The servants bowed to their monarchy, and the dragon-girl decided she too should respect the custom. She spread her wings, showing her dress, which was a variety of sheets, curtains, and even dresses woven and sown together to form the shape of a true dress. She took a step forward, bent her knees, and bowed before the king and queen. “Good King Hammon, I have come at your request.”

The king chuckled jovially, and said, “Please stand Emerald! This feast is in your honor afterall.”

Feeling good from the kindness and honor, Emerald rose. However, she did not realize her dress had gotten caught on a spearhead. Poorly sewn as it was, the dress tore and bared her legs. The dragon exclaimed from distress, and the servants both gasped in shock and laughed from amusement. She blushed in embarrassment.

King Hammon was one of the people laughing, but he reassured the dragon, “I believe you will have a much easier time sitting like this.” He looked her over, then continued, “You are quite a bit bigger than I anticipated, even from first-hand accounts. I suspect you will not be able to come indoors?”

It was regrettable that the dragon-girl knew she was no longer able to fit inside most buildings. Even with a door as large as the one that was provided, she doubted she would fit well enough for her own comfort, nor the comfort of her hosts. “No, King, I cannot.” She answered sadly.

The king was again unhindered, and said, “That is quite alright!” He turned his attention to his servants, “Bring the table and chairs outside. It is a fine day for a dinner in the garden.” The servants did as they were instructed, and brought out a long table along with four chairs. Princess Elion emerged from the palace among the coordinated chaos, wearing a frilly dress and having her hair tied up and out of the way of her tiara, making it very clear that she truly was a princess.

“Hello again Emerald.” Elion greeted with a smile. “Hello Princess.” The dragon replied.

The chairs were all set on one side of the table, and the royal family took their seats, with the king at the center, the queen sitting to his left, and the princess sitting to his right. The chair to the left of the queen remained empty, but Emerald could not believe it was intended for her.

The fourth member family member made himself known soon enough. “Are we really eating outside? I’ll get mud on my dress shoes!” A young teenage boy walked out to the table, wearing robes that were almost as extravagant as the king’s were. He was short for his age, and had a naturally upturned nose.

The moment he saw the giant woman standing outside, the prince went wide eyed, and then shot daggers at Elion, “I knew you were stupid, but I can’t believe you actually talked father into bringing that monster here!”

At that, the queen spoke sternly, “Tyrion, a prince does not show ill manners to his guests.”

“That’s not…” He stopped complaining when Evelin glared at him, and instead took his seat beside her.

Given that her long dress had effectively been reduced to a miniskirt, Emerald sat like a cat to avoid exposing herself as much as she could, positioning herself on the side of the table opposite the royal family. With everyone in their place, the food was brought to the table.

For appetizers there were bowls of watery soup, which were gingerly slurped from while the rest of the table was loaded with ham, turkey, and lobster for the main entrées. Then out came corn, potatoes, and peas for sides, and an assortment of seasoning and sauces to go atop the food. Emerald was unsure if a meal for a royal family was usually so large, or if she was being taken into account. Regardless, she waited for everyone to take a share before she took a little bit for herself. As delicious as the food was, it amounted to finger-food to the giant girl, and she treated the meal as such.

Emerald observed her hosts. Hammon was quite eager to fill his plate and stuff his face faster than the dragon herself could. Evelin was quite dignified in her eating, taking small bites and wiping her mouth at regular intervals. It didn’t escape Emerald’s notice that the queen was glaring at her like a vulture waiting for her to die. Those weren’t the only eyes upon her; Elion was also looking at her as if she was a piece of meat. The dragon kindof liked this look though. Tyrion appeared to have no interest in the unusual guest, or the dinner, as he was playing with his food and his silverware as if bored. He soon received another scolding from his mother.

Between his mouthfuls of food, the king struck up conversation. “Tell me Emerald, what do you know of the bandits that attacked my daughter?”

“Very little I’m afraid.” She admitted, “I usually remove any bandit clans that prove they are less than reasonable, but I’ve never seen that particular group before. They had brands on their foreheads.”

“I noticed those as well.” Elion stated, “We usually mark the prisoners who have a life sentence of labor with those. A rather barbaric practice if you ask me.” “But efficient.” Evelin added, “Regardless, we cannot have dangerous people escaping. We shall have to find the gap in our defenses and close it before it can be exploited again.”

“A trouble for another day, my love.” Hammon said, drinking deep from his goblet.

Emerald had to agree, “Indeed. I appreciate the meal you’ve provided for me king.”

“It’s ‘your majesty’ beast!” Tyrion finally snapped. For this, the queen pat the prince on the shoulder and told him, “Now, now, my son, she is unfamiliar with the proper way to address her lords. Living in a cave all her life, I say it’s a miracle she possesses any sense of civility.” Emerald couldn’t tell if she was being defended or insulted. Part of her assumed it might even be both.

The king finished the contents of his goblet, and said, “Where is the wine girl? More wine!”

“Coming your majesty.” A young maiden came forward, but Hammon surprisingly declined the refill, and gestured to Emerald ordering, “Guest first.” The girl made her way around the table, and the king asked the dragon, “Have you ever had wine?”

“I’ve not, your majesty.”

“Then you simply must indulge yourself.”

The wine girl poured the red fluid into a bowl, and then walked away to refill the flask for the rest of the family. Emerald slurped down the drink, which tasted sweet on her tongue, and yet left a sharp kick in her throat. She finally pulled the bowl away and exclaimed, “Wow! That’s good!” Her face was turning red, and she burped out fire harmlessly over all heads. She quickly covered her mouth and apologized to the king and queen, but as before, the king appeared as if she was only entertaining for him. The acceptance, or at least enjoyment of having the company of a half-dragon was very comforting to Emerald, and she found her tail wagging a bit.

She felt something impact her tail, and realized she’d accidently tripped the wine girl. The young woman let out a squeal as she fell forward, throwing her serving tray and all cups on it across the table, their contents splashing all over the queen.

Evelin stood in alarm, and with a voice that could scare ghosts, she shouted, “Useless imbecile! Look at what you’ve done!” A pair of guards came forward and apprehended the servant, and other servants came to tend to the queen herself, doing what they could to clean her up and try to save her dress. Evelin ignored their work, and instead ordered to the captain of the guard, “Percy, take that urchin to the dungeon at once.”

“Yes your highness.” The dark-skinned soldier replied, having the servant put into manacles and pulling her away. The queen shooed her servants away, proclaiming that the meal was ruined. The king stood, and in sad protest stated, “Such a shame, I’ve barely had time to talk to Emerald.” The prince on the other hand quite eagerly stood and left the congregation.

“I guess it can’t be helped.” The princess sighed as she stood from the table as well, “Emerald, how would you like to spend the night in the palace. We have a very large stable, surly you may be able to find comfort with a proper roof over your head.”

Emerald was surprised to hear that she was still welcome, even after the problem that she caused – she felt bad for the servant, and wondered if there was anything that could be done for her. The queen managed to collect herself, and agreed with her daughter, “Indeed, it would not be appropriate to let you go unrewarded. You may stay the night, and in the morning we can discuss how you can be of even greater help to the kingdom.”

Emerald was shown the way to the stables. It stank of horse and leather, and she doubted she’d be able to sleep with the animals calling with fear and aggression. At the very least she was able to make a very soft bed out of a pile of hay, and she curled up to do her best to fall asleep.

Not long into the night, Emerald was disturbed by a pair of guards bringing a woman before her. It was the wine girl from before. The girl was in rags, and her wrists and ankles were bound by metal manacles. “A gift from the queen.” A guard said, pushing the maiden before the dragon, “This one is to be executed, and what better way than to be our guest’s meal.”

The dragoness really didn’t want to do this. To be the one to decide this girl’s fate after she had put her in this position in the first place was very unfair. Regardless, she requested, “Please remove her bindings. I do not like the taste of metal.” The guards did so, and the girl immediately tried to run. A heavy tail came down in her path, trapping her with the dragon, and she screamed as a wet tongue plastered against her back.

Emerald used her tongue to draw the servant into her mouth, wiggling it beneath her to taste the girl’s flesh and escort her to the back of her throat. Once in the proper position, Emerald swallowed, feeling her prey squirm all the way to her stomach. Sadly, the girl settled immediately, apparently curling up and sobbing rather than actually attempting to escape.

The dragon returned her attention to the guards, “Thank you. Now, if I may offer some advice, never disturb a sleeping dragon.” She growled a bit, and the soldiers quickly got the message, leaving the stable and promising not to bother her again for the rest of the night.

Emerald waited in the glorified barn for a while, occasionally poking her belly to agitate the girl inside to move a bit, just to make sure she was still alive. She eventually decided she’d waited long enough, and was sure no one would care if she stepped out for a bit to stretch her wings. She left the stable, and took to the sky to fly over the castle walls and across a nearby lake. Once on the far side of the lake from the castle, she landed, sat close to the water, and began to hack.

Her efforts to clench her stomach worked as she’d hoped, and she vomited up its contents, including the servant girl. Emerald poked the girl, and asked, “Are you alright?” The human did not respond, but she was breathing slowly. Encouraged by this, the dragon-girl took time to wash her bodily fluids off the girl, though there was sadly no way to save what was left of the rags she was clad in. At the end of the cleaning process, the girl finally woke up.

Waking up in the talons of the dragon-girl was enough to get her to struggle and plead for mercy, but Emerald assured the girl, “It’s okay! I’m not going to hurt you.”

“You ate me!” The girl replied with obvious skepticism.

“I can assure you I did not want to do that. The queen wanted your execution, not me. I’m so sorry for the trouble I caused you.”

“The queen. She’s punishing me because I failed.” The girl sobbed, causing Emerald to tilt her head in curiosity, “What do you mean, you failed? You accidently spilled the wine on the queen.”

“The wine was poisoned! Queen Evelin wanted me to give it to Princess Elion!”

“Poison!? Why would the queen want to kill her own daughter?”

“I don’t know. But if I had refused… And if I had succeeded…” The girl realized this was a no-win situation for her, and she openly sobbed, “Just eat me; I’m dead anyway!”

“I didn’t bring you out here to kill you. I want to save you.” The girl didn’t understand. Emerald knew she was the one to decide the girl’s fate though, and she decided it. Reluctantly, she damaged her dress further, removing one of the most intact dresses from it and causing it to hang from a single shoulder. She gave the dress to the girl, and said, “Put this on. Run away, find a new home, start a new life. It will be hard at first, but trust me when I say you will get used to it eventually.”

The former servant wiped her eyes, but was clearly still crying as she took the dress, and then ran away as fast as she could, clearly not wanting to wait for the dragon to change her mind.

With the news that the princess’s life had been threatened once again, Emerald worried of assassins in Elion’s chamber, and she returned to the palace to check on her. She felt it was safe to assume the princess slept in one of the towers of the palace itself, and with only the briefest of peeping and sniffing, she managed to locate Elion’s bedroom. “Princess Elion?” Emerald whispered through the balcony window loud enough to grab attention, but no so loud that she would wake the entire castle.

The dragon heard a soft moan inside, and then the very sleepy princess appeared in a very thin night dress, barely concealing her hourglass figure, and her long blond hair rolled around her shoulders and down her back. Elion had to rub her eyes, looking to be trying to confirm that she was not dreaming, and as she was not, recognizing that this monster at her window was not a threat. “Emerald? What do you need?”

The dragon-girl was relieved to see the princess was unharmed, and she said, “I was having trouble sleeping. Do you mind if I join you?”

“You want to… I guess if… do you think you can fit.”

“Probably…” Emerald was able to get her head and shoulders through the entryway, but could already feel her dress getting hooked on the way in. “One moment.” She slipped off the last remaining shoulder dress, and shook her body so that her tattered apparel could fall to the ground below. Once comfortably naked, she advised the princess to stand back. Elion did as she was told, getting onto her bed as Emerald worked her way into the room one limb at a time. The dragon was careful to squeeze her wings in, and slid her back fin beneath the curtain, but even so she heard something fall and break within the chamber. A few more items broke as she pulled in her legs, and as such she decided to leave her tail hanging outside the window for the time being.

Elion sighed from having a dragon curled up inside her room, and was noticeably disappointed by the smashed pottery and furniture. Even so, she pet her guest’s scaly hand and asked, “Comfortable?”

“A bit.”

“You don’t look it. I imagine you have a better excuse for invading my chambers than simply being unable to sleep, so why are you really here?”

Emerald didn’t want to openly admit that she wanted to protect the princess from her own mother, so in a somewhat sadistic tone, she hissed, “To eat you.”

“You can’t be serious… am I still asleep?” the princess yawned.

The dragon continued her tease, “Take off the dress and find out. You already know I’m a devourer of humans!”

Elion raised an eyebrow. She got back off her bed, untied the lace on her nightgown, and let the article of clothing drop to the ground, leaving her just as naked as the dragon who shared her chamber. “So, are you going to tell me what you really want, or shall I call for the guards to rescue me?”

Emerald was actually drooling with a craving for Elion’s lovely flesh, but given that she didn’t actually want to eat the girl, her bluff was very clearly being called out.

“Okay, I just… I wanted to know about your family.”

“That couldn’t wait until morning?”

“I did say I couldn’t sleep.”

“Alright…” The girl walked to Emerald’s belly, sat on the floor and laid against her soft skin. It was very clear that if she actually had been eaten, she would not leave a dent on this predator’s body. “What do you want to know?”

“Could you tell me about your… Father? Why is he so… friendly?”

“He’s never had reason not to be. He treats others he meets with kindness, from noble to commoner, because he believes people should treat others as they would want to be treated. It’s a belief I too try to follow.”

“The golden rule…” Emerald said, “I’m afraid it’s not something that works for… someone like me.”

“The queen may agree. She believes people will only remain good as long as they are given reason too, even if it is a deterrent from crime.”

“And what about your mother? Do you have any problems with her?” Emerald hoped she wasn’t hitting the nail too hard, but the answer to her question actually surprised her, “Well, the queen is not really my mother.”

“She’s not!?”

“No, my mother died years ago, so my father remarried. Evelin became his queen, and Tyrion became his adopted son. But just because we’re not related by blood, doesn’t mean the queen hasn’t been like a mother to me. Firm, but kind, and so caring. I’m so happy to share love with her.”

There was no conflict between Evelin and Elion? Emerald felt like a fool. She let an assassin go free, and worse, she had assumed the worst of family. She should know better than anyone how much a mother could love their daughter.

“I’m very happy for you.” Emerald informed, taking the princess in her talons and holding her close to her bosom. The dragon rested her head on Elion’s bed, and pet the girl in her arms. Perhaps it was because things were much quieter in the tower. Maybe it was because of dragon instincts finding comfort in cuddling with a maiden. Or it was simply because Emerald was really tired, but she soon fell asleep within Elion’s chamber.

Emerald roused when a door swung open and struck her back, followed immediately by another crash and a scream of terror. The actions caused the dragon to wake with a start. It took a moment for her to remember that she had fallen asleep with the princess, and she found the girl clutched firmly in her talon. She set Elion on the bed, and then worked to get out of the room as guards came to see what the commotion was. Slipping her legs back out through the passage to the balcony was easy enough, but rushed as she was, the rest of her did not come out so easily. It was quite a sight for the people below to see a feminine rear protruding from the castle tower, scaly tail flailing, and legs pushing against stone to pry the rest of the giant free.

Emerald saw servants rush to their mistress to comfort her and see if she was alright. The princess was a little disheveled, but assured them that she was unharmed. After that, the dragon-girl was successful in her actions to get free, falling as soon as she escaped the room, but being a dragon, the decent was no trouble for her.

The dragon-girl eventually found her dress, concealing herself as best she could again. The palace was coming to life with movement and commotion, but as she soon discovered, it was not out of any desire to hunt her down and kill her. As it seemed that she still had free range to wander the castle grounds, she took some time to explore. The palace looked a bit like a church thanks to its massive main hall, but three towers rose from the back of it, each peaked by a cone roof, and with bridges leading between the towers. The central tower was the tallest of the three, and thanks to her checks during the night, Emerald knew that was where the king and queen slept.

A square wall surrounded the palace and its yard, with turrets set at each corner. The grounds themselves were beautifully decorated with a wide range of flowers, bringing justification to why this place was called High-Garden. She jumped onto one of the parapets, startling a couple of patrolling guards, and balanced herself with spread wings and a dragging tail. From there she looked out over the town, hearing the haggling of merchants, and smelling baking bread. It was very peaceful and homely.

The moment was taken from her when she heard the clanging of metal. Her tail twitched, and she went to investigate the source. Within the garden she discovered the prince practicing swordplay with a tutor. The boy was obviously inexperienced, as he had very wild and well-advertised swings. She was still amused, and she relaxed to watch the training, occasionally chuckling with amusement.

At the end of the session, the tutor stepped away to get a drink of water, while the prince continued to swing his sword around. The dragon-girl smiled with amusement, and Tyrion had clearly had enough of her watching him. “As if it’s not bad enough you’re here when nobody wants you, you feel the need to intrude upon my lessons?”

“I’m sorry, I help my friend practice fighting in this way.”

“You wield a sword?”

“Not really. It’s more so…”

“Of course you don’t.” The prince interrupted, “Not only are you a monster, but you’re a woman. You shy away from the very thought of combat.”

Emerald huffed through her nose, and continued, “It’s so he can protect himself from people like me, and I can protect myself from people like you.” She was rather spiteful in her tone, and the prince smugly retorted, “Is that so?” He tossed his training blade between his hands, and said, “Then let’s see what you can do!” He charged her with the sword raised overhead.

Emerald did not actually want to hurt the boy, but with how obvious his attacks were, she was confident she could at least defend herself. She swung her tail to intercept his path, and swatted the sword in his hands, causing him to stumble back. “That’s your first lesson. A dragon has a tail and knows how to use it.”

The prince looked angry, and he brought up his sword and charged again. Once again, emerald swatted the sword with her tail, this time hard enough to knock the boy on his ass. “Lesson two: If it didn’t work the first time, it won’t work the second.”

The tutor rushed over, exclaiming, “You dare to attack the prince!”

Emerald defended herself, “I wasn’t attacking the prince, I was teaching him about ‘monsters’.”

The tutor helped Tyrion up, and the moment he was on his feet, the boy pushed his mentor away while pouting, “Don’t touch me!” He ran away, shouting over his shoulder, “Mother will hear about this!”

If the queen did hear about the tussle with the prince, guards did not come to bother the demi-dragon about it. She did come across Evelin though, and quite to her surprise, she was at the gate speaking with a man on horseback. Emerald did not hear the full conversation, but she did catch it ending with the queen saying, “Yes, my humblest apologies for your dreadful journey, but I’m afraid you are not suitable to marry the princess. You will have to go home.”

The queen turned away from the gate, and her path crossed with the demi-dragon’s. Emerald bowed courteously, “Your majesty.”

“Emerald, I thought to send for you, but I had to first attend to the safety of my daughter.”

“I’m sorry about this morning.”

“It’s not that. I dare say your behavior has been encouraging.” The queen waved her hand and ordered, “Walk with me.”

Emerald joined the queen on a walk through the garden, electing to walk on all fours. It may have been an animalistic posture, but she appeared shorter and therefor less imposing this way. Plus it kept her in earshot for a more private conversation if needed.

Emerald began, “Queen Evelin, I truly appreciate the hospitality and generosity shown to me by your family. I’m truly the one in debt to your daughter, which I am eager to repay. You mentioned that I could be of more use to the kingdom?”

“Of course. What do you think of the princess?”

“Well, she’s kind, and very lovely. Far better than any other princess I’ve met. I can understand you being so selective about her suiters; she deserves the love of an equally great man.”

“So you like her? You speak as if she would be the crowning treasure of your hoard. Perhaps that would be her place now if Captain Percy hadn’t arrived to take her home?”

“Is it that obvious?” Emerald felt herself blushing.

“In politics I learned to be a very good judge of character. Highborns always smile to your face, even when they’re planning to stab you in the back. I imagine that given the chance you would steal the princess from the tower and not give her back again.”

“I do not mean to give that impression. I want her to be happy, and I fear my own happiness would be in jeopardy if that were to change.”

“Enough, the façade ends here.” The queen’s tone suddenly became much sterner and less friendly, “You may appear only half dragon, but your reputation proves you are nothing else. Why do you think I allowed my husband to stupidly invite you into our home? Because I knew what this kingdom needed, and I was desperate enough to let a dragon get it done.”

Emerald was feeling very uncomfortable in Evelin’s presence, and she asked, “What does the kingdom need?”

“It needs you to do what your kind are known for; kidnap the princess! Keep her in your cave, lock her in a cage, turn her into your slave, devour her if nothing else! Just take her and ensure she never returns to High-Garden!”

Some of those options might have been appealing, but Emerald was finding herself too frightened to consider any of them. “But… why?”

“Why do you think I have all these foreign suiters turned away? The kingdom cannot be trusted to just any prince who thinks he deserves the throne. Were it not for me, that bumbling idiot Hammon would have let his kingdom fall to ruin years ago. The people cannot prosper under such incompetence for a second generation!”

“But why does Elion have to die? Surely prince Ty…” In that instant, it hit her. Evelin was not Elion’s mother, and Tyrion was not Hammon’s son. As he was not of true royal blood, Elion would be the one to inherit the kingdom, and whoever she married would become the next king! “Elion loves you, and you’ll have her killed for a chair!? I won’t be a part of this!”

Emerald flew away from the palace, and Evelin shouted, “Come back! How dare you defy your queen!?”

Emerald once again flew to the far side of the lake. There, she stopped to pace and think through her situation. She had been pardoned of her crimes; she could make a proper home for herself, rejoin society, live around humans without the threat of being hunted. But then again, how long would that pardon remain official now that she had offended the queen of this country. If she were to return and kidnap the princess though, wouldn’t that just put her back to square one anyway? She was in the same boat as the wine girl had been, she was going to be punished no matter what she did. She might as well abduct Elion, at least that way she could ensure the princess would be safe from a queen who would stop at nothing to see her life end. The queen, Evelin was the source of all these problems, and she had to be known for what she truly was. Emerald doubted that the king would believe his wife would try to murder his daughter, but if he at the very least was given the warning, that may be enough for action to be taken to counter the problem. Emerald made up her mind, and returned to the palace.

Getting close, she noticed an alarming sight: flames emerging from the tallest tower! She landed on the tower, peering through the window and calling inside to see if anyone was alive. She saw one being inside, burned to a crisp, yet bulky and with a golden circlet melting around its head. The king was dead.

Alarm bells rang out, and a guard announced, “Emerald has killed the king!” “No!” Emerald realized what was happening, and she was too late to stop it. She couldn’t panic! She had to look out for Elion now more than ever! She looked to the princess’s tower, and saw none other than the queen herself walking across the bridge toward it. The dragon’s blood boiled; she was going to put a stop to this woman no matter what!

Emerald jumped from the central tower to the smaller one, intercepting Evelin’s path. The dragon-girl crawled across the bridge toward the startled woman, showing fang and growling at her.

“What are you doing?” The queen asked, and Emerald answered, “You wanted me to be a dragon? I’m being a dragon.” The woman turned and tried to run, but Emerald snatched her up in her talon so she couldn’t escape, “Now you’re going to experience the fate you wanted for the princess, the fate you wanted for your loyal servant.”

With that said, she brought queen to her mouth, sticking her inside butt-first, forcing her to fold uncomfortably as she entered. Emerald’s tongue licked the meat in her mouth, her saliva soaked through the dress, and her teeth pressed down on the woman as the dragoness nibbled on her.

When Evelin was only head and feet outside of the mouth, a shrill voice exclaimed, “Stop!” Elion emerged from her tower, looking frightened and sad at the same time, “Emerald please stop! Let my mother go.”

This woman was not her mother, and Emerald wanted to tell the princess the foul intent the queen had for her. But the dragon could see the pain in this girl’s eyes, the pain of losing someone they loved very much. No matter how little the love was reciprocated, Emerald could only think of her own mother, and how she wished she could have saved her, even to have her for one more day. The dragon couldn’t take that from the princess.

Emerald loosened her jaw, and let the slime-coated form of the queen drop back onto the bridge. She looked away with shame, and Elion rushed to embrace Evelin, comforting the woman.

“Thank you, daughter. I’m alright now. Everything will be alright…” The queen pulled a dagger from her dress, raised it overhead, and plunged it down into the princess.

The dagger never sank into flesh, as it had been intercepted by a green scaled tail. Elion was confused at first, but then she too saw the dagger in the queen’s hand. Emerald raised her tail to toss Evelin away from the princess, and the action caused the queen to stumble backwards, tripping over the balcony. Princess and dragon were too late to catch her, so she caught herself on the one thing that was available, Emerald’s dress. Flimsy as it was, the sudden hard yank caused the last shoulder strap to snap, and the queen screamed as she fell to the ground below, her impact concealed by the giant dress she desperately clung to.

“What have I done…” Emerald whimpered.

Percy arrived with a squad of guards at his side, and he said, “There she is! Kill the dragon!” guards fired their crossbows at Emerald, and she flinched from the impact before leaping from the tower and flying away, feeling even more pricks against her skin as archers on the parapets opened fire into her as well.

Percy rushed to the princess, taking her in his arms as she appeared in shock. Once in his embrace though, she openly sobbed, and there was no wonder why. The king and queen were dead, murdered by the half-dragon Emerald. This menace would be hunted and killed in the name of justice.

Emerald returned to her cave home, but she knew she couldn’t linger for long. The soldiers of High-Garden knew this was where she lived, and they would undoubtably come soon. She took some time to pluck the needle-like arrows from her body, and looked at the fresh holes in her wing membranes with irritation. The wasn’t the worst of it though.

She had protected Princess Elion, but at what cost? She was a monster again; the brief hope she’d had of having a normal life with other people was lost. But, at the very least, her friend was safe. As much she didn’t like it, she was always the monster, and she could take it if it meant the people she cared about would live a better life because of it. “I’m sorry Elion.” Emerald cried.

It was time to leave. She collected what little belongings she had, and flew away to start again somewhere else.

Comment on A Pardon for a Dragon

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Posted by Nalzindar 1 month ago Report

This I presume, is the longest story about Emerald so far, and the plot and intrigue was the most elaborate so far.
The story started off on quite a positive note and I genuinely laughed upon seeing Soapy the Dwarf and his assistant again, who also got their job done. Thumbs up :D

Elion is also one of few sane princesses that has some kind of humanity in her, unlike her stepmother and stepbrother as it turned out. Too bad her father's good behavior didn't influence other people than her.This story resembles a crime story, but with the ending rather ambiguous. The princess have seen the dagger, and the only other person to know there has been a plot to kill her, is the servant maid that Emerald secretly released. And with a jerk like her stepbrother, as her only relative, one might wonder how things will develop in the kingdom from this point. Poor Emerald and Elion who both tried so hard to give off a good impression, maybe Rodrick will be the one to come to their rescue?

Fantastic story, highly engaging and thrilling, but I would hesitate to give vine to a giant dragon-girl in case she got drunk... she is rather big after all :3


Posted by DrakentheBlack 1 month ago Report

yes this is the longest Emerald story thusfar, the others are dancing around 20 pages in length while this one was over 30.

Yes, Elion saw the knife that was intended to end her life. As such she will have doubts of Emerald truly being evil.

Emerald getting drunk would be interesting. I wonder if she would be happy, angry, or sad drunk...
Though if stories about big, human-eating creatures have taught me anything, it's that getting them drunk puts them to sleep.


Posted by Aickavon12 1 month ago Report

I hope there's a part two where Emerald does get the princess in a wholesome way.


Posted by DrakentheBlack 1 month ago Report

I think the princess would be into it if that does happen.


Posted by TheMysteriousSadSack 1 month ago Report

Poor Emerald, im sure Elion knows she meant well. Once everything settles down and tensions are low she'll welcome Emerald back.


Posted by DrakentheBlack 1 month ago Report

We'll just have to see ;)


Posted by jackson22222 1 month ago Report

I like Emerald's playful nature, and the writing in general is great. And I do hope for a part two where she gets a happy ending. Man, now I wonder whether I want her to end up with Elion, or Rodrick!

But reading all the stories in one go, I can't help but feel like she did more than embrace what Rodrick said.

Like, the idea of being a monster to those who treat her like a monster, and be a human to people who treated her like a person was good. But then she seems perfectly fine eating people who had done nothing wrong to her, just because they happened to be nearby, or to indulge in a random desire. Like how in "Just a moment" she went from not want to be a monster and hurt anyone, to being perfectly fine with using and then eating a girl who had done nothing wrong and was really a victim of the village as well. Then she was fine eating people in the village who had not harmed her, just so she could help her friend.

I still really like the stories! I just feel that the the moral code she had was interesting, and the deviation from the moral code she was set up to have feels odd.

That said, your descriptions of scenes are great, espcially the vore sections, and I must say that I love them! You also do emotional stuff nicely to where, even with me being conflicted with over her, I still want to see more of her and hope she gets a happy ending.

The thing is, I love when preds are exceedingly sadistic, or very casual. I guess morally ambiguous preds make me more conflicted for a variety of reasons.

Sorry for the long post. Even if I have had citicism, it is because Emerald really hooked me, as did your writing in general and I wanted to share my thoughts on it.

Cheers mate, I look forward to more!


Posted by DrakentheBlack 1 month ago Report

There will be more Emerald stories in the future, and this was one that helps to progress her character, so it will have impact at a later point as well.

In One Moment Please, I can accept that there is not much justification for her cruel actions, but I'm going to try anyway >:)
For the first case of vore, she did try to talk to the girl and give her a chance, but when she was only met with screaming, that told her to just be a dragon to the girl. The second case with the girl she snatches from a house, that may be the least justifiable as it was more than collateral damage as a result of her self-staged rampage. But given that she was being a dragon to everybody in the town, scarfing down a maiden made for a sensible thing to do. Lastly, Sir Pricen, he bullseyed her tail vent and pissed her off, a pretty reasonable response I think. But is there anybody who thinks he didn't get exactly what he deserved?

It's very good to hear that in spite of her actions, there's still enough sympathy for you to want her to have a happy ending :)

I appreciate the comment and criticism. It lets me know what my readers think of my characters and what stories they want to see more of ^^


Posted by PrinnyDood 1 month ago Report

Great work on this! Emerald was a very sympathetic protagonist here, and all the intrigue was really quite enthralling. Lots of excellent funny moments too though, which the picture captures very well.

Sometimes it seems like poor Emerald can't catch a break. Just when it seems like she's found a bit of acceptance, she gets caught up in a deadly plot. If not for people like Rodrick & Elion, I wonder if she'd have given up trying to coexist with humans altogether.

Anyway, really great stuff!


Posted by DrakentheBlack 1 month ago Report

Thank you ^^

Sadly, dragons don't get the happy ending in fairytales. At least she has friends though, imagine what she would be like to humans if all of them had rejected her.