Old Man Dragon
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22 Run
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Old Man Dragon
Author :Redwinter
© Webnovel

22 Run

"Finn, let's continue on already..." Bryn's impatient whine grated on Finn's nerves. He had been relaxing, enjoying the soothing sensation of gathering and circulating the sun's energy through his body.

Is he not at all concerned with the fact that we literally almost died earlier... Finn lamented at how little Bryn seemed to care for his own safety.

Or maybe since he is young, he just thinks he is invincible...

Finn remembered also being that way, a long long time ago.

Finn glanced at the prosthetic that the boy was sporting, feeling a pang of sadness. Back in his old life, Finn didn't think he would have been able to cope with losing a leg.

Maybe... maybe he stopped seeing value in his own life... The unwelcome, harrowing thought cut Finn's relaxed attitude like a blade of ice. He seriously considered it.

However, after thinking about all his interactions with the boy previously, Finn dismissed this notion quickly. He snorted.

The boy just didn't understand his own mortality. The young often don't...

Life is precious! He should consider the risk to his own a bit more!

This fight shouldn't have been that dangerous, though. When he thought of the earth wolf and bandit he had killed, he found that he only succeeded because he struck quickly and without warning.

In the case of the earth wolf, he managed to trap it before killing it slowly. With the bandit, he took him by surprise where he couldn't defend himself in time.

Finn felt a revelation come to mind. This was the key!

As long as he struck first in a decisive manner with full power, he could end any fight prematurely with less effort. There was no need to amplify the risk by drawing fights out.

A blitzkrieg style of fighting. Now that he knew how strong his sunbeams were, he wouldn't hold back anymore.

Sunbeams... Finn smiled internally at his own cleverness, quite liking how the name sounded. It was quite fitting actually, since the energy he used to create them came from sunlight.

From experience and rough estimation, it took about two hours to recharge enough power to fire his most powerful sunbeam once.

Healing his own body took different amounts of energy, varying on both the degree of injury and the speed of the healing process.

Right now, he was still slightly drained from their earlier encounter and he wanted to be fully rested before fighting again. That being said, Bryn seemed to have other plans.

"Fiiiiiiiiinnnnn... Let's go already!" Bryn grumbled as he chewed on a piece of jerky. Currently, he was leaning against a tree with his arms crossed.

It's only been an hour, this brat has no patience... Finn felt the urge to smack him. Electing to be the bigger man-er... lizard, he elected to simply ignore the boy.

Thud! A pebble bounced off Finn's scales harmlessly.

Finn's jaw dropped open in shock. Bryn had thrown a stone at him!


The audacity!

Another stone came flying. Nope, Finn was not going to accept such abuse. Energy rapidly gathered and condensed in his throat. Opening his mouth, he fired. A bright blob of light hit the pebble, incinerating it to dust.

"Whoa..." Bryn sighed, impressed with the shot.

Hmm... that was like a bullet of light. Or maybe a spearhead? How about sunspike? Finn came up with a name on the spot. It wasn't continuous like a sunbeam, just a quick spurt of condensed light energy.

It was the same attack he used in the fight earlier to counter each windblade, only now deciding to give this particular technique a name.

Why didn't I think of that before... Only now did Finn think it was odd to categorize his attacks after the fact.

Oh well... live and learn I suppose. Finn definitely vowed to see what other types of

methods he could come up with to use his powers.

Thud!

While he was distracted by his own thoughts, Bryn had managed to sneak another pebble past his defenses.

"Ha!" He laughed at his success, until his grin turned into a look of horror. A massive white scaled lizard was coming his way.

"Ahhhhhh! I'm sorry! I was just kidding!" Bryn screamed apologies as he waved his arms frantically, hoping to not be crushed once again. But it was no use, Finn was on the warpath.

Acting in self preservation, Bryn began climbing the tree he had been leaning against and came to rest on a branch about ten feet in the air.

Finn was stumped. Only now, after looking up and down the tree, did he realize that there was no way he could climb without hands.

Seeing this as his victory, Bryn scoffed at the lizard below. In response, Finn opened his mouth and started gathering energy...

Uh oh... Bryn was thinking Finn was actually about to attack him.

"Wait! Wait! No!" Bryn yelled as Finn released a sunspike. Bryn turned away in fear as he braced for impact. Only, the attack wasn't aimed at him...

Crack!

Bryn opened one eye to see the base of the branch he had been sitting on was mostly blown apart by Finn's strike. He stared at the remaining wood that was holding his weight.

Snap!

Eh... Bryn thought in confusion as he fell to the earth below, managing to soften the fall by rolling. Out of nowhere, he saw a bulky weight preparing to crush the life from his bones.

"Mercy!" The boy pleaded, but Finn had none to give. He sat on Bryn, who expelled two lungfulls of air.

To his credit, the boy did all he could to escape his captor, squirming and writhing and eventually cursing up a storm.

Finn was as steadfast as a mountain, not budging in the least. The boy would suffer for his insolence!

After throwing a fit, Bryn finally tired and submitted. "I'm sorry for throwing stones at you. It won't happen again..."

Finn considered the apology and ultimately decided he was above holding grudges. Stepping off of Bryn, he wrote a line in the dirt.

'I need to rest more. I used a lot of energy.'

Bryn read this and rubbed his chin. Deciding to actually take Finn seriously, he asked, "How long?"

'Two more hours' Finn wrote in response. He actually needed more, but he decided to spare the impatient boy.

Besides, I can always gather energy while moving. How likely would it be to run into another magical beast within two hours of each other?

Frowning internally, Finn wondered if thoughts like these could jinx him even if they weren't spoken.

Bryn read Finn's scribbles and sighed. Finn recognized it as the kind of sigh a child gives when they have to go to class in the morning.

"...Fine," Bryn grumbled as he went to fetch his poleaxe.

If I have to wait, might as well practice what the old man taught me... Bryn sat down, cradling the weapon with both hands and began concentrating.

A layer of thin, blue energy started forming on the surface of the poleaxe. Wherever the energy flowed, a small breeze would blow as if the weapon was attracting the wind.

Finn, curious as to what Bryn was doing, silently crept up next to him and watched as the boy trained with his eyes sealed shut.

Finn stared with fascination at the blue, glowing poleaxe. Having no experience on the matter, Finn wondered how the boy was accomplishing such a feat.

How does he circulate his energy outside the body? Finn tilted his head as he watched. He had tried before to send his energy outward, not like an attack, but to just let it leave his physical body.

Sadly, when he did that, the energy would dissipate. Either he wasn't strong enough yet or he was missing a piece to the puzzle. Finn took a closer look at the poleaxe.

When he put his snout right up to it, he could feel the slight breeze humming around it, an effect from his wind energy.

The poleaxe... Finn's eyes widened in realization.

It's a conduit! The reason I have never been able to bring my energy outside the body was because I lack a medium to channel it through.

Just like electricity needs a path, so did his own energy. No matter how much power is connected to a wire, if there is no outlet, nothing will flow.

Feeling inspired, Finn ran off to grab something he could use to channel his power.

Ah ha! Finn was quick in finding a large sized stick. Bringing it back, he again sat next to Bryn, who had been maintaining his concentration for a couple minutes now.

He is beginning to struggle... Finn could see the sweat forming on the boy's face.

Taking his attention off the diligent student, Finn focused on his own test. Because he found it easier to channel his energy from his mouth, Finn kept the stick there instead of his claws.

For science... Finn closed his eyes and tried to direct his energy in a path through the stick. He felt the energy surge up his throat, into his mouth and then...

Moment of truth... Finn pushed the energy into the branch.

Instead of dissipating like it normally did, the warm current he was controlling began to flow into the branch, but it wasn't perfect.

There is so much resistance! Finn finally understood why Bryn had to concentrate so hard to achieve this. In his own body, there was zero resistance to his own energy, which is why it flowed so easily.

Forcing energy through other means was like trying to force electricity through a resistor. He had to increase the output in order to get just a little bit through. If he kept this up, it could quickly get tiring.

Seeing as he didn't have much energy to spare and that he was currently recovering, Finn decided to shelve his tests for later. Recovery came first.

Dropping the stick, he was alarmed when he realized that at some point it had caught on fire. Stamping it out quickly, he settled down in a patch of sunlight and laid down to rest.

Two hours past in the blink of an eye. Finn helped Bryn onto his back, and the duo set off to find more creatures to hunt.

Thinking about it, Finn decided that they would only need to hunt another before their mission would be complete.

If Bryn is accurate, then that rank two wind core nearly covers the loan by itself... Finn did some basic mental math. It made sense why so many commoners would team up to hunt very dangerous magical beasts.

Even if a team of ten worked together to kill one rank two magical beast, the divided payoff was already worth more then what some people make in a month.

It was the classic case of high risk, high reward.

As they walked, Finn continued to absorb the ambient sunlight, any fatigue from the earlier fight slowly fading away.

"Finn! Look over there!" Bryn tapped Finn on the shoulder excitedly and pointed to the right. There was a tree that was... shattered.

It looks like it was smashed by something huge... Walking over to inspect, a familiar scene gradually formed in Finn's eyes.

It's the clearing... Finn recognized the roots of the stump he hid under long ago in the distance, as well as the traces of catastrophic damage that were slowly mending.

This is where I was... born. Finn felt a very weird sense of nostalgia.

"Wow... what happened here?" Bryn could tell something big must have happened from all the fading signs of destruction lying around.

The craters were still there, but now slightly filled with water. All kinds of trees were destroyed or toppled around the clearing. However, there was one thing noticeably missing...

Where are the smashed eggs? Finn had walked over to the spot he remembered first seeing, but there were no traces of the eggshells.

Odd...

Thud!

Bryn hopped off of Finn. "I'm going to look around." He wanted to examine a particular crater that he had seen from Finn's back.

Finn, however, was still puzzled at the eggshells disappearance.

Can eggshells be eaten? Or do they decay very quickly? Finn didn't think so, but then again, he was born a white scaley lizard that could shoot lasers.

Perhaps there was something about these eggshells that was special that he didn't notice.

"Finn! Check this out!" Bryn called to Finn, stopping him from continuing to think too hard about the shells. Walking over to the boy, he nudged him and recieved a scratch on the neck.

"Look, what does this look like to you?" Bryn pointed at the crater on the ground.

Is this a trick question? Finn saw nothing but a large hole in the dirt. Not wanting to jump to any conclusions, he circled around the hole, took a couple sniffs, and even jumped into and out of it. Nothing stuck out to him.

Is this a prank? Finn looked over, but Bryn wasn't smiling. He only looked... thoughtful, maybe even a little nervous.

Hmm... what does he see that I don't? Finn had a thought and stood up on his two hind legs. Only when he viewed the hole from a higher angle did he finally understand what Bryn was talking about.

His eyes widened in shock. It wasn't just a simple crater.

It was a footprint!

From this new perspective, Finn could see the smaller holes in front of the bigger one that were either the claws or digits of the massive beast.

What kind of gargantuan creature could make such a footprint? Finn felt his mind spinning. His whole body was able to fit in it easily. From this, it wasn't hard to guess that the creature must have been unbelievably huge.

Finn remembered the moments before he was born. He had heard deep growls before an earthquake rocked his world.

It must have been this creature... Finn could only surmise. It had happened so long ago.

As Bryn continued to ponder over the large footprint, Finn looked around and found that the other craters were also footprints.

As he was scanning the ground, he paused. There was another footprint, one that was a more reasonable size, yet still larger than anything he had seen yet.

It looks like a bear's... Finn took a sniff, only to stiffen. Alarm bells started ringing in his mind. Just from the residual scent, Finn felt a sense of extreme danger. Whatever made this made it recently, and it was extremely powerful.

How he could tell, he didn't know. It was just what his instincts were telling him.

We need to leave, now! Finn ran over to Bryn, still lost in thought, but before he could scratch out any words on the ground, he heard Bryn gasp.

Bryn was looking the other side of the clearing. Following his line of sight, Finn's eyes landed on something that caused all his instincts to go haywire. They were all screaming one thing...

Run!

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