Contiued from the last post.
The dragirk lowered its head, dug its hind legs into the snow covered ice and pushed off. Behind the beast, water burst up through holes gouged into the ice.
Biorn held the ax over his head, ready to bring it down in a deadly arc. He continued to scream in defiance. The sound of his life’s blood thundered in his ears. The young warrior stared into the green eyes of the creature and readied himself to severe its head.
Just yards away, the dragirk launched itself into a pounce. Its arms were spread wide, claws prepared to rip through the boys simple leather armor.
Biorn dug his heels into the ice in an attempt to change directions. His furred boots slid out from under him and he came down hard on his elbows. The ax flew from his hands and chopped into the ice.
The weakened ice, covered in holes and cracks, groaned. From the impact of the ax, the last crack split and splintered across the lake. Heavy, black claws slammed into the ice around Biorn and the world fell away.
The boy and the beast slid into the icy black depths of the water.
Frigid water sliced through Biorn’s furs. Within a heartbeat he could no longer feel his extremities. He tumbled through the water, unsure of which direction was up. In the water he could feel the dragirk thrashing. With no moon above, it was hopeless for the boy to know which way to swim. His feet landed on the crazed beast and panic struck his heart. Without thinking, he pushed off the dragirk and swam forward.
Biorn swam head first into the ice. His helm took the brunt of the blow and was pushed down over his face. The impact bent the helm, trapping it around his face. He fought to pull the stuck helm from his head — lungs burning from exertion. Time was running out. Biorn spun around, braced his feet against the ice and pushed down on the helm with his hands. What felt like hours, the helm stayed stuck, before popping off the boys head.
It sunk down in the black water. Behind it, the dragirk was swimming upward at full speed toward Biorn. Before he could move, the beast’s bulk slammed into the ice next to the little warrior. The splintered surface gave way under the immense force, carrying blocks of ice and Biorn out of water.
Both boy and beast landed and slid across the surface.
The two laid upon the icy ground. Both gasping for air, their bodies shaking against the night air.
Life was draining from the boy. Each breath felt like daggers being pulled through his chest. His large furs clung to his skinny chest and weighed him down with water and ice. Biorn reached up under his thick mantle and pulled it off. The soggy mass of hair flopped to the ground. Biorn’s stone amulet of Tyr, the god of single combat and glory pounded on his chest as it fell away from the mantel. Biorn gripped it in his fist.
A warmth fell over him. The frost beginning to form over his boots and hair melted. In the center of his chest, where the amulet rested, he could feel power running over him. His small muscles flexed against his drying undershirt. Biorn turned on a heel to face the dragirk.
The giant lizard was slipping on the ice, trying to recover from the wracking cold. Its breathing was labored and its cries feeble like a hurt goat. Biorn stalked over to the creature. The wrath of the warrior god filling him with courage.
He had no weapon upon him but his bare hands. But the thought of how he would manage to kill the monster did not cross his mind. Only the singular desire to end its life filled him.
Walking past a chunk of ice. Biorn stooped and picked it up. Its weight did not slow him. Reaching the dragirk, he hoisted the block of ice above his head, ready to smash the creature’s head in and leave a ruined mess upon the white ground.
The dragirk lashed out with one last bit of effort. Its neck, thick as a ship’s mast, whipped Biorn and knocked him to the ground. It climbed atop the boy before he could react, pinning him down with a two clawed arm. Biorn’s fight washed out of him. The beast had won. The little warrior picked up his amulet of Tyr and held it in his hands.
“I am not worthy.” He said.
The dragirk reared back its head and struck, mouth wide.
A wild thought surged into Biorn in that instant. He stuck out his arm, still gripping the amulet, and jammed it straight into the creature’s mouth. The dragirk choked and tried to pull back from Biorn. But the boy held onto the monster with his other hand, not willing to let it go. Inside, he could feel the dragirk’s tongue and throat work to expel his hand. The wet, slimy insides spasmed as the dragirk tried to scream.
It wrenched and bit down on Biorn’s arm, tearing it off from the shoulder down. It spun and knocked the boy back and onto the shore. The creature kept spinning and choaking. Thrice, it slammed its head upon the ground in an attempt to dislodge the boys arm. Once more it spun and thrashed before slipping and falling back down into the deadly water.
Biorn held is severed stump, a wild grin on his face. Tyr had smiled down upon the boy. The boy who faced death without backing down. A true warrior.
The battle had only lasted a few minutes before the men of the watch arrived. They discovered the boy unconscious through loss of blood. Back in the village, the elders were able to save him. When he awoke, he regaled them with his tale. Of how he defeated the last of the dragirk. From that day, he was honored among the greatest warriors of their village.
Biorn One-Arm. Slayer.
Since I went so long with the second half, I’m going to count this as day 11.