Mating Flight, Proper (Day 12)
We spent some time on the mating flight proper, hanging around in the desert and fighting and challenging each other, before things started to go a bit wrong, then very very wrong. I am going to show you my first diary entry from that time. The later ones are generally like it, except sketchier. By the end I was just writing down the drakes’ scores most days — or rather, intending to write them down and putting it off, then writing them down later and probably wrong, or not at all. I used a variety of strategems to avoid actually mating with anyone, which was quite irresponsible of me. Finally on day 26 I decided that I was going to write something so I would have something to do. — JyTNM, bb
I woke up with Arilash grinding my chin on the floor hard enough to smooth my sleeping-place out some, and shouting into my ears, “Wake up! Wake up!”
“Hey! That presumably hurts!” I said, and tried to bite her forepaw, but she was holding me too tightly. I breathed winter frost on her where I could reach, which was her underbelly and one hind leg and part of her tail.
Which might have been a bad move tactically, since it turned a rather brutal but polite wakeup into an actual dominance fight. Starting out a dominance fight with the other dragon actually holding your head is the sign of either supreme skill and confidence, or supreme confusion. I did not demonstrate any notable skill or confidence.
Afterwards, she healed her frostbite, and I healed a big bite on my left forewing, another big bite on my neck, a huge claw-wound on my flank, a small claw-wound on my neck, and some large claw-holes in my left hindwing. Oh, and some slight abrasions on my chin.
“First round to Arilash” said Osoth.
I didn’t have the pride to even glare at him for that.
Arilash strutted and I slunk out to the desert floor, the big brick-sandy spot in front of the two caves. Most of the drakes were there, in a loose semicircle. “OK, they’re both up!” said Greshthanu. “Now, we can fight.”
Nrararn leapt into the air, and started a bit of a sorcery to call clouds into the sky. Greshthanu looked up at him, and chuckled. “I think we can fight down here well enough!”
Nrararn snorted, and blue-white sparks danced around his nostrils. He waited until just before an astral heartbeat, and breathed a tight harsh lightning blast at Greshthanu. Greshthanu, of course, had tilted his Small Wall against lightning, and braced his vô behind it, and it spattered off and just fused bits of sand into tiny globs of ugly red glass. Greshthanu leapt at Nrararn, using some sort of grownup combat spell to give extra speed to his pounce.
Nrararn’s astral heart beat then, and refilled his whefô, so he did get to breathe at Greshthanu almost immediately. That’s good tactics, by the way, giving you the advantage of two full breaths in quick succession. Greshthanu was expecting it, I presume, but the second breath did scorch his face nicely, with his spell and his vô weakened by the fight.
But then Greshthanu was on him, clawing and biting fiercely. Nrararn’s sylphs whispered advice in his ears, but Greshthanu was the faster. He ripped up Nrararn’s ribs, and bit his face and got a fang into his left eye, and swatted him in the back with his tail and left big cuts from his tailspikes. Nrararn bit Greshthanu’s chin nicely, but Greshthanu clawed his right foreleg while he was doing that. Then Greshthanu flung his tail around Nrararn’s back and squeezed, hard. Nrararn’s woven mane-lightning scored and seared Greshthanu’s tail, but … that was five good hits on Nrararn, and only three on Greshthanu.
The two drakes split apart. Greshthanu circled over our heads — Arilash and mine. Nrararn landed, and put the Rose Rescaler into his eye in a hurry before the wound had time to set. “First round to Greshthanu,” said Arilash, and smiled at him and spread her wings.
“And I will treat this golden prince of Chiriact just the same, when it comes time for that!” said Greshthanu.
“Perhaps you will,” said Csirnis sweetly, sitting on his haunches on a big rock. “Or perhaps you will be more devastating. I have no mane, nor lightnings to braid in it, after all. Would you like to show off your prowess now?”
A big boast from Greshthanu, a shy little demurral from Csirnis. Greshthanu could hardly refuse. Which I think is a nice bit of strategy from Csirnis, since Greshthanu must have been a little bit shaken from the wounds Nrararn gave him. Of course Greshthanu had the advantage of position, being well above Csirnis’ head. So all of us thought that the situation was rather in Greshthanu’s favor.
“Now we will fight in the Caramelle, dainty princess lizard!” roared Greshthanu, and dived at Csirnis. With his battle spell and his advantage of height, I was expecting him to land quite hard on Csirnis and more or less win the fight right there.
But Csirnis slipped off the rock gracefully, and swatted at Greshthanu with his tail. Which fouled Greshthanu’s wings at just the wrong time. Which meant that Greshthanu slammed face-first into the rock at a full dive, and got both left wings badly wrenched. Csirnis casually raked Greshthanu’s flank with his wingclaws and his foreclaws while Greshthanu was picking himself up.
The rest of us were staring, so much! Csirnis had gotten all five hits on Greshthanu before Greshthanu had so much as touched him. And using wingclaws, yet. Nobody takes those seriously. They’re useless!
Csirnis just smiled sweetly at Greshthanu, and said, “Thank you. I should be glad to meet you in combat again, under more even circumstances, Greshthanu.”
After that, all the drakes had to challenge Csirnis immediately. Llredh went first, and that was a much more ordinary sort of fight. The two of them circled around in the air, and struck and breathed at each other. Csirnis did win, but only five to four. Ythac fought a very conservative fight, and lost five to three. Osoth, who really isn’t that much of a fighter, only got one hit, and that because Csirnis wasn’t expecting graveyard dust breath. Nrararn got into an intricate aerial duel with Csirnis, and his sylphs and the stormcloud he had prepared but not used for fighting Greshthanu worked very well for him; he beat Csirnis, five touches (four of them lightning) to four. Tultamaan went last, and the fight was over in less time than it will take me to write the next sentence. Poor Tultamaan. (Yes, that’s the sentence.)
Then it was time for lunch, or rather time for some drakes to get us some desert mammals to eat for lunch.
After lunch, there was more fighting, of course. Arilash copulated with some more drakes with such artistry that everyone applauded. I wanted to go home, or anywhere else.
Here are today’s scores. I wrote down the scores from last time (which didn’t make it into my diary, did they?), and how much I thought each fiancé should get, and what that made of their scores this time. My Household Economics and Finance teacher would be so proud of me, she might almost think I paid any attention to her.
|Fiancé||Last Time||Change||This Time|