But thou MUST! by Archone

The dragon died hard.

Nester plunged his sword into the scaled hide yet again, thrusting through the mass of flesh to reach the vitals within. The green dragon, dying, yet still fighting for life, squirmed feebly, it’s wings shredded, it’s limbs broken. Nester withdrew his blade, then stabbed again.

And again…

And again…

Finally, the great terror lay still. Nester focused his steely gaze upon the corpse, checking to ensure that the thing was truly dead.

Then he kicked the thing in its’ bloody head.

“Jerk,” he muttered.

After a minute spent healing and cleaning his blade, he moved on down the passage, in search of Gwaelin. Towards the end, he found a sealed door. Hesitating a moment, he lowered his weapon and withdrew a magic key. The key sank into the keyhole and twisted, it’s enchantments overcoming the spell lock.

The door opened. Nester walked in.

And received a pillow to the face.

“Begone, foul daemon!” cried the girl. “Pester me not with further of thine demands!”

Nester wiped the pillow from his face, and spat out a mouthful of feathers. “I height be no daemon, lady!” he swore. “I doth be here to rescue thee, prithee!”

Gwaelin paused, stared at him uncertainly. “Who… who art thou?” she asked.

The hero sheathed his blade, coming to stand more erect. “I height Nester, Dragon Warrior” he informed her proudly, “and I art the descendant of Erdrick, heir to his noble legacy.”

Gwaelin gasped, her hands clasped before her bosom in maidenly delight. “Thou art brave indeed to rescue me, Nester. I am Gwaelin, daughter of Lorik.” She stepped forward. “Wilt thou take me to the castle?”

Nester nodded his head. “Yes,” he said simply.

Gwaelin squealed with delight, and leapt into his arms.

Nester staggered under his sudden load. Managing to keep his footing, he gasped, “Hast thee no legs of thine own?”

Gwaelin kissed his ear, murmured into it. “But this doth be the way of it. A Hero carries his Princess home from her captivity, to the safety of her home.”


“All the ballads doth say so.”

“Ugh…” moaned Nester, as he began walking.


Once they’d reached the surface, Nester paused. “I care not what the ballads doth say,” he proclaimed. “The Wings of the Wyvern doth lay in my pack. Um, my hands doth be occupied. Be of service…” Gwaelin hesitated a moment, then reached into his backpack, pulling forth the item in question.

Soon, they were safely outside Tantagel Castle. With a quiet sigh, Nester carried Gwaelin through the halls of the construct, to the stairs. With a quiet sigh that was not quite a whimper, he began to churn his way up the stone steps, all the while carrying an a double armload of Princess.

“Thy Majesty,” Nester gasped, as he reached the courtroom itself. “I bring thee… thy daughter…” He collapsed to one knee, as Gwaelin gracefully took to her feet.

The King shone with joy. “Forever shall I be grateful for the gift of my daughter returned to her home, Nester. Accept my thanks.”

The King raised his hand towards his daughter. “Now, Gwaelin, come to my side.”

Gwaelin paused, then bent to stage whisper into her father’s ear. “Wait a moment, please. I would give a present to Nester.”

The Princess bent down towards the kneeling hero, his head bowed, his chest heaving with gasps. Reaching forth tenderly, she cupped his chin and raised his head. “Huh?” Nester responded intelligently.

“Please accept my love, Nester,” the Princess entreated him, removing her locket from her throat. “Even when we two are parted by great distances, I shall be with thee.”

Before Nester could respond, Gwaelin placed the locket around his neck, leaving him with the feeling of having been caught in a hunter’s snare.

Then she kissed him.

Sometime after she’d released him and returned to her seat next to her father, Nester came back to reality. Standing on shaky legs, he slowly began to back away. Gwaelin called after him.

“Farewell, Nester.”


Radiance streamed forth from the Ball of Light as his hands held the object and held it aloft. Nester grinned with joy, even as the brilliance spread across the land, until all shadows were destroyed and peace restored.

“Finally,” he breathed. With a casting of a quick spell, he exited the castle. A second such casting brought him back to Tantegal castle. As far as the eye could see, people stood and cheered. An honor guard lined up to salute the Dragon Warrior, even as the king himself stepped forward, his arms stretched forth in heartfelt greetings.

“The legends have proven true,” the King enthused. “Thou art indeed of the line of Erdrick.”

Removing his crown, the King offered it up to Nester. “It is thy right to rule over this land. Wilt thou take thy place?”

Nester though carefully upon the ramifications before answering. He thought of living in the castle. He thought of sitting upon the throne, passing edicts and judgements for the goodwill of the populace. He thought of being married to the Princess.

“I cannot,” replied Nester almost immediately. “If ever I rule a country, it must be a land that I myself find.” Far away from that girl, he added silently.

“Please, wait,” called Gwaelin, as she gracefully made her way to them. “I wish to go with thee on thy journey. May I travel as thy companion?”

Nester warily shook his head. “I thank thee for thy offer, but I cannot accept.”

Gwaelin’s eyes became very round, and very misty. “But thou must!”

Nester barely noticed the almost imperceptible sensations emanating from the locket about his throat. “Nay, milady.”

“But thou must!” The locket began to grow warmer.


“But thou must!” The locket grew warmer still.


“But thou must!” The locket began to feel uncomfortably warm.


“But thou must!” The locket grew HOT!

“YES!!” Nester half shrieked as he felt his flesh sizzle.

“I’m so happy!” Gwaelin threw herself into his arms, even as the locket cooled. Nester grated his teeth and hugged her back.


Nester sat on the edge of the bed, mourning the loss of his freedom. Stuck with an annoying young girl for the rest of his life, he rued. Even the sizeable number of adventurers who’d volunteered to join him in searching for their new land, the provisions for the journey, the fine ships, were for naught, in terms of lifting his spirits.

“I’m so happy to be traveling with thee,” Gwaelin’s voice echoed from the bathing chamber.

“Yes.” Nester’s voice was dull. Empty.

“I cannot wait to start our journey. I’ll do whatever thou want me to, my Love.”


“But that doth be for tomorrow,” Gwaelin said dismissively. “I just hope I can do the same tonight.” She stepped into view. “How do I look?”

Nester looked up. And down. And up again. And down again, and up, unable to stop caressing her form with his gaze. “What… is that?”

“It’s called lingerie,” Gwaelin told him. “Thou dost take it on… to take it off.” She advanced closer.

Nester wrapped one arm around her and pulled her down to the bed. “Anything I doth wish?” He inquired casually.

Gwaelin smiled lazily, letting herself fall limp and submissive. “I’m so happy…”

“As am I.”

Much later, Gwaelin gazed up at him, from where she lay in the crook of his arm. “Art thou still happy to have me with thee?”

“I be not sure. Come here and I’ll ponder it some more.”

“I’m so happy!”

The End.