As the sun rose up over the crest of wooded hill, a lone figure walked down the foot warn path his back to the crimson light that works its way into to the great the clouds that dotted the skies. Everything the man owned was in a wicker pack tied to his shoulders, jingling as he made his brisk paste down the path. As the sun cast his shadow on the ground in front of him, the man turned and looked back at the glowing ruby-like sun, lost in its beauty.
“Beautiful isn’t it, the sun striking the sky so that it looks washed with the blood of those slain before their time?” A gravel-like voice spoke from behind the young man. Turning he took in the features of the old man who had spoken the words. His patched clothes were threadbare and travel worn on the old man’s back was a small basket that had roots and tubers of all kind sticking out of the top. At his waste hung two identical blades about a palm’s width wide and as long as a man’s forearm.
The young man bowed politely as he had seen other’s do in the region, “Hello sir, I am Uther, I am sorry to seem rude but I must get moving, you see the sun is my guide and I must follow its path for another day.” Uther said with a grim determination as he moved towards the side of the path to make his way around the old man.
The elderly man with deft agility moved to stop him from passing, “I am very sorry Uther, but I am afraid that I can’t allow you to pass through my home.” He rested his hands on one of the hilts of the blade on his right side. “You see I have dealt with your kind before exile, you always come chasing the sun and end up destroying the lives of those you intend to help. So I give you this warning once more ’leave before I have the blood of a dragon on my blades once more.’”
Uther felt his claws start to sharpen as he faced the man, but before he could even raise his arm to slash through the old man’s aged flesh silver flashed across his vision and pain burn across his face. Letting loose a grow Uther wiped his hand across his face. Looking at his hand he realized it was stained red, blood? How could this old human move that fast and precise to cut between my scales? Uther ran his hand across his face once more, only to realize the man hadn’t cut between his scales he had cut clean through them. Reaching to check his pack Uther realized the old man had cut if free of his back as well. He shouldn’t be that fast. Fear clouded Uther’s mind for the first time since he was a hatchling fighting his brother over control of the egg shelf.
“That was a warning dragon I have no desire to kill such a noble beast but if you don’t leave I will show you no mercy.” The old man held the blades in each hand as the rested lightly at his side. One blade was pointed toward the sky while the other faced the ground with blood dripping from its tip.
“Just let me pass and I won’t do harm to any of your home, you have my word, if I were to turn back it would take me two weeks to walk around the mountain that this path cuts around.” Uther held his ground, he would not be ordered by an elderly human, no matter how old he lived to be.
“So be it.” The old man looked remorseful for only a second as he lunged forward his blades aimed at Uther’s chest.
Uther just barely managed to dodge to the right before he was impaled, there is more to this old man than appears to be. Uther raised his palm to strike the man only to feel the bite of the blade once more as his sliced him across the arm before he could even retaliate. Sweeping his leg he tried to trip the old man but he simply stomped his leg and held him pinned with one blade positioned at his chest.
Feeling the flame building in his throat Uther was preparing to roast he human alive when the second blade pressed into the right side of his chest. “If you even attempt to burn me I will make sure you never feel the fire within ever again.” Stepping off his legs the old man kept the blades in place as he walked around so that he could kneel beside him, “Now tell me, why you were exiled.”
“I preached the good of the many over the good of the one, I killed the one who was slowly killing our king, but in pursuit to protect my king I failed to realize the repercussions of killing the head of the council of advisors. The advisor wanted to be king so that he could start a civil war that would kill off many of my brothers and sisters so that he could claim their hoard after they were dead.” Uther spoke with an edged voice, what in the world does this man want knowing the tale of an exile. “When all was said and done the king was healthier, and I had killed his favored advisor in cold blood, but instead of death my father sent me away into exile to walk and live among the humans, till he or one of our line calls me back.”
The old man lifted his blades from their lethal positions and slid them into their sheathes, before he offered Uther a hand up. “Come on then, Uther. I can allow you passage into my village, for you were wrongly exiled. I do not believe you would needlessly harm the innocent.”
“How do you know I wasn’t lying?”Uther asked then he asked the one question that had burned in his mind since the old man had first cut him, “Who are you?”
old man chuckled, “Not many a creature will still lie when they have my blades to their throat and heart.” The old man walked a little ways and picked up Uther’s pack with ease and looked back at him, “I am called Naf, but people around here refer to me as the ‘Butterfly Master’ because of my blades.”
“Those are pretty impressive the way you handle them, you rival a true dragon in ferocity with those. I hate to seem rude but, would you consider taking a pupil Naf? I might not can pay for your services, but I have other skills that you might find interesting.”
Naf was silent for a while as they walked down the path, “I would feel horrible if I turned you down Uther seeing how quickly you went down to an old man.”