Elita sets out to find lost treasure but finds something entirely unexpected
A large mottled blue and green egg lay within a cave on a mountainside. The entrance to the cave partially concealed by trees and undergrowth. Alone for many years, the creature inside the egg is already fully developed and aware, with senses attuned to its immediate surroundings. Instincts and intelligence passed down from its own kind for thousands of years imprinted into every fibre of its being. Once, its kind ruled the skies and most of the land. However, the last memories imprinted on it were of its kind being hunted to near extinction. Now was the time to free itself from the shell, which had sustained its life for so long. Sensing a possible threat nearby, it began to claw its way out.
Elita was orphaned at a young age and raised on the streets of Belistona. Free-spirited, adventurous and daring with a cheerful outlook on life, Elita was never one to shirk from a challenge. When she heard stories of lost treasure hidden in a cave on a nearby mountain. She decided to find the cave and claim the riches within for herself. So with enough supplies to last a week and wearing warm clothes though it was still the height of summer. She knew it would be colder the higher she went on the mountain. As she guided her horse ever onward and up, she reflected on what her peers said before she left. Some scoffed at the idea, saying they were just stories. Others said even if there was a cave, it would be just filled with rats or a bear and wasn’t worth the risk. None of this, however, deterred Elita. She dreamt of having a big house with servants catering to her slightest whim. No one would look down on her anymore. If she managed to find the cave and the treasure within.
Even if there wasn’t a lot of treasure, Elita at least hoped there would be enough to see her live comfortably for a while. She never once considered that she wouldn’t find the cave or that there may be no treasure. Leaving her horse tied to a tree near a stream. She continued up the mountain on foot more than once; she slipped on the rocky terrain sending stones and soil downhill. Overhead the sun blazed down despite the air feeling chill. Elita was soaked in sweat. She gritted her teeth, determined to carry on turning back now would be admitting defeat. She grabbed a branch of an overhanging scrub bush and, with a grunt, hauled herself up. Looking ahead, she could make out what looked like a ledge.
Taking a deep breath and wiping sweat from her brow, she scrambled up towards the ridge, banging her knee on a jutting rock. She cried out in pain and cursed as more loose stones went from underfoot. Finally, she reached the ledge sitting down to catch her breath as the chill air cooled the sweat on her body. Looking down the mountain, the view was breathtaking. Elita brushed a strand of her fair hair from her face; getting to her feet, she grimaced, rubbing her banged knee. She looked around. The ledge was more extensive than she first thought, more like a plateau that curved around the mountainside. The table was grassy and broad in the middle. Trees and scrub bushes dotted about here and there. Elita suddenly stood stock, still hearing a noise she couldn’t quite make out coming from one particular area dense with trees and undergrowth. She stared intensely at the direction of the sound, thinking she may have disturbed a bear. Every muscle in her body tense, she prepared to run. Several moments passed as she stood rooted to the spot. Hearing no more sound, she began to wonder if she imagined it. Taking a deep breath, Elita began to relax a little. A dark patch just beyond some trees caught her attention cautiously; she moved towards it. She had to bend low and stamp the undergrowth down to fight her way through.
Elita stood at a cave mouth, excitement growing in her. “At last, I found it.” She breathed aloud. Elita stepped tentatively into the cave, feeling her way in the gloom. She wished she had brought a torch as she could barely see in front of her. As she moved further in, she grew accustomed to the darkness enough to make out shapes and see her way forward. A roar of rage sounded! A large creature stood before her. She couldn’t see it clearly except for its eyes and a jaw with terrible fangs. Elita’s instinct was to turn and run, but something made her stop and face the creature. The creature also hesitated for some reason. Light briefly illuminated the darkness, and Elita beheld a beast of wonder. Mesmerised by the magnificence of what Elita could hardly believe to be a dragon. She felt drawn to the beast.
Then something strange happened. Elita was engulfed in light and lifted off her feet to float mid-air. Light also surrounded the dragon. Elita could tell the dragon was also confused by what was happening. “What is this? What are you doing?” The dragon said in her head.“It’s not me. Elita said I thought it was you. Oh, wait. We can understand and hear each other’s thoughts.”
The dragon was quiet for a moment, “Interesting, it is some kind of merging of minds, a bonding.”
“How is it possible? Is it a temporary thing? ” Elita asked, still bemused by what was happening. The light faded, and Elita was on the ground once more.
“You are a human, my enemy, so why do I feel strong emotions and empathy towards you. I’m sure this is some kind of trick of yours, human.” The dragon said more to itself than Elita.
Elita stared at the dragon, “What do you mean, enemy? I’m not your enemy. I only came here looking for treasure. I didn’t expect to find a dragon. I’m sure you can read my thoughts as I can read yours. So you should be able to tell if I mean you any harm or not.”
The dragon nodded his head, “Your words speak truth, and you know as little about what has happened to us as I do. Your name is El...El.. ita.”
“It’s Elita, and I can’t pronounce your name, So I will call you... hmm, let’s see. How about Darky as I found you in a dark cave?”
“As you wish, Elita..., Hmm, I can feel your pain. Your leg hurts. It seems what one feels, so does the other.”
Elita grimaced, rubbing her injured knee. “That is not good.”
Darky rolled his eyes, “Maybe or perhaps not so bad either.”
Elita felt a sudden warmth in her leg, and the pain vanished. “Wow, did you just make my knee better?”
Darky bobbed his head, “you Are female, Elita.”
Elita frowned, “Yes, of course, I am... Hey, wait, what are you doing? Stop that!” Elita was lifted into the air once more and pulled towards Darky. Suspended in mid-air, Elita felt sensations akin to being aroused sexually. She flushed, feeling a wetness between her legs. “Stop that, Darky. You can’t do that without my permission.”
Darky lowered Elita to the ground. “I’m sorry, Elita. I did know sexual partnering was only through neutral consent with humans.”
Elita diverted her eyes, looking down with embarrassment. “Well, now you know. I can’t say I didn’t like it, though. Many strange things have happened since we met. It seems we are learning a lot from each other as well.”
Darky rolled his eyes, So it is Elita when I hatched from the egg; I thought I would be facing my enemy. Instead, we have somehow strangely bonded, and you have become my friend. This is very strange indeed.
Elita’s eyes widened. “Wait, you just hatched from an egg? But you seem full grown.
“Not yet, I will grow more, but I am fully developed and aware and more intelligent than most humans, speaking of which I hunger we need to leave this cave so I can feed.”
Elita gave Darky a quizzical glance. “Are you boasting right now? Never mind, let’s get out of here. By the way, what do you eat, not humans, I hope!” The dragon shook his head.