Jonathan’s Return (An Adventure Novel)
(Copyright 1984, Mark D. Jones, All Rights Reserved)
Book Two, Chapter Five, Part Four
Jonathan pondered the word safety, especially in terms of having a very angry dragon on the loose that was now hunting for him. Jonathan forced himself to smile when thinking about having an angry dragon chasing after him, because in acting spontaneously to wound the beast, he had done exactly what Gramps had recommended he do. It was one thing to make the beast angry by inflicting a little flesh wound, especially when lizards are meant to lose their tails from time to time, but how in the heck was he to fool and slay the creature?
How he got away with it was quite another story, because it was more than dumb luck. Miylla must have sent the thunder, lightning and wind storm at exactly the right time – which was only now letting up – because without it, he couldn’t have gotten away. Cloaking their scents on the raft with her enchantment was a great help as well, because he remembered being told that the dragon’s sense of smell was one of its most powerful senses.
There really wasn’t any safety to be found in Myllanthar now, at least not for the two of them. The enchantments worked earlier, but nothing could be counted on going forward, especially with the sunrise only a short time away. He still didn’t know what to do: race as fast as possible with the current to reach the Sea of Tollvar and the Fortress of Skulvarr Fell, or hide along the riverbank during the day and only travel at night? Jonathan was the leader of this expedition and the choice was his to make, but he couldn’t be sure of the right decision to make. Decisions once made can’t be unmade, and a perfect solution probably didn’t exist, but in the end he would have to choose.
Jonathan pondered the thought for some time, all the while floating the current with Sammy on the raft and waiting for the first hints of sunrise to appear. Finally he decided on reaching the sea as fast as possible, for if the dragon only hesitated or delayed long enough in the chase, they’d reach the relative safety of the fortress in time. He realized they may be jumping right out of the frying pan and into the fire of the underground world below Myllanthar, but the known danger of the beast outweighed the unknown danger of whatever creatures lingered underground. He had his Light Sword with him after all, and it was their only insurance against such things, but it was better than having nothing at all.
If he lost his bet against the creature and it followed the river sooner than expected, then he’d have to deal with that outcome once it happened. If that were the case, perhaps there’d still be time to hide along the riverbank, but there were few other positive options he could think of in that situation – every other possibility he foresaw meant the dragon would win. For now, all Jonathan could hope for was that the heavy overcast skies would dim and block the sunrise long enough to conceal them from sight a few minutes longer – for a few extra minutes, may make all the difference in the world…