Jim Melvin

The Death Wizard Chronicles

Book 2

The sorcerer Invictus has captured the great dragon named Bhayatupa and put him on display with the intent of killing him. But a strange and unexpected event occurs, suddenly weakening the sorcerer and allowing the dragon to free himself from his restraints. The scene below from Chained by Fear describes the battle that follows.

 

Bhayatupa looked toward the sky. The bottom left portion of the sun had begun to darken. He had witnessed this phenomenon many times in his long life, but had paid it little heed. Now, apparently, it really meant something.

As if in response to the sorcerer’s strange behavior, the chains binding Bhayatupa began to weaken. The will that engorged them faded. Now they were mere metal, no longer imbued with the supernatural might of a Sun God.

Chained By FearWhen Bhayatupa pressed upward, the metal began to stretch, making a strange whirring sound before finally beginning to crack. Bhayatupa’s anger made him strong even by his standards. Snap. Snap! SNAP! The chains fell away.

Bhayatupa rose to his full height on his hind legs, his wings spread wide. Golden spheres—their magic also removed—blasted from his nostrils and punched holes in Uccheda’s side with the force of boulders cast by trebuchets.

Adho Satta! Who will protect you now? You dare to chain me? To drag me through the streets like a dog? I am Bhayatupa, you fools. Prepare to die!”

The valley and all its contents were stunned into silence, watching Bhayatupa’s movements as if hypnotized by a gigantic snake. Bhayatupa knew he had to strike fast, before the fools regained their senses. So he scanned the throngs for the most disgusting fool of all. Then he saw him.

As the shadow of the moon consumed the sun, Bhayatupa pounced on Mala with amazing speed, lifting the Chain Man in his jaws and casting him through the air. Mala fell upon a horde of screaming civilians, crushing them. Then he lay still, crumpled in a heap. Bhayatupa roared with delight. But his mirth was brief.

The dracools, mortal enemies of the dragon for countless millennia, swept down from the sky. Some snapped at Bhayatupa’s eyes while others attempted to land on his back, where they could pry open a crimson scale and claw at the soft flesh beneath. These tactics had worked before against other dragons, but never against him. He had devoured hundreds of dracools in his lifetime. These were no match for him. Red fire poured from his mouth, consuming half a dozen, and his huge tail whipped back and forth, snapping dracools out of the air and sending them tumbling to their deaths. Within a moment, ten had perished and the others were forced to flee.

But not all of Invictus’ army was afraid. The three-headed giant stomped forward, wielding an axe the size of a small tree. Several Kojins pounded their chests. The cave trolls, too stupid to be fearful, tore up chunks of the stone causeway and hurled them at their foe. Even the witches, wolves, druids and Stone-Eaters joined in the attack.

However, except for the dracools, none of his enemies could fly. With one great sweep of his wings, Bhayatupa rose high into the sky and then swooped down and landed on the shoulders of the giant, which he dwarfed like an eagle perched on a toddler. Bhayatupa chewed off the middle head. Black blood spurted like a geyser. The two remaining heads howled in agony.

A boulder the size of a wagon smote Bhayatupa in the ribs, causing him to lurch sideways and tumble off the giant’s back onto the ground. Instantly the witches, druids and Stone-Eaters swarmed upon him. Red flames spurted from the witches’ eyes and corrosive acid from the druids’ mouths, but his crimson scales were barely harmed. The Stone-Eaters vomited a scorching liquid similar to Bhayatupa’s own fire, but this also did little damage. Bhayatupa raised his head and spat again. Several monsters were incinerated.

Bhayatupa sprang into the sky again, and when he faced the sun he saw that the shadow had now halfway obscured it. He had seen this event occur many times before in his long life, but had never given it much credence until now. Still, he had no time to ponder such things.

Mala had regained consciousness and was now coordinating a counterattack.  A thousand of the bravest golden soldiers loosed arrows at Bhayatupa’s eyes, and the trolls continued to hurl rocks and other debris. Whenever Bhayatupa landed, the wolves snapped at his talons. The numbers massed against him were formidable. None among the creatures—Mala included—dared to stand against him alone, but not even Mahaasupanna could defeat an army of this caliber himself. The assaults weakened him and diminished his rage. For the first time in his life, he was forced to retreat.

As the peculiar darkness deepened, Bhayatupa soared westward as fast as the wind. Dracools pursued him, but this time an army on the ground did not back them up. Bhayatupa was not yet so weak that he couldn’t deal with baby dragons, no matter how many dared accost him. After he had flown safely away from Avici, he suddenly turned and attacked. He was faster, stronger and far more deadly. The dracools fought bravely, but when the thirtieth fell, the others recognized the futility of their efforts and gave up the chase. Bhayatupa  snarled one last time and then sped away, a crimson comet in the blue-again sky.

 

About The Author

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Jim Melvin was an award-winning journalist at the St. Petersburg Times for twenty-five years. As a reporter, he specialized in science, nature, health and fitness, and he wrote about everything from childhood drowning to erupting volcanoes. Jim is a student of Eastern philosophy and mindfulness meditation, both of which he weaves extensively into his work. Jim is the author of The Death Wizard Chronicles, a six-book epic fantasy for mature audiences. But he and his agent are now actively marketing book 1 of an epic fantasy trilogy for ages 12 and up titled Dark Circles.

About my Publisher

The Death Wizard Chronicles is being published by Bell Bridge Books, an imprint of BelleBooks, Inc. Bell Bridge Books is known for nurturing emerging fiction voices as well as being the “second home” for many established authors, who continue to publish with major publishing conglomerates.