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**Please note due tio the nature of NaNoWriMo this is an unedited draft so may contain spelling mistakes but please let me know if you liked or disliked characters etc

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The beast loomed above them.

Nostrils flared and creating small puffs of smoke with every exhalation. It’s thick claws grappling with the cobblestones, as it steadied itself in the unfamiliar surroundings. The stone dragon had received a rude awakening that afternoon and now all that stood between it and them was a flimsy metal shield and a broken mace.

“Stay behind me, if we move together then we can make it to door over there”

“The storage door? Are you mad?… I knew this was a bad idea, if only we had just done as we had been asked then..

“SHUT UP! .. RUN!”

The half mace flew through the air and landed with a thud on the stone dragon’s right claw. The impact was just enough to unsettle it for a few seconds as Tiffin and Estella made their way towards the small wooden door. The beast followed seconds after and was upon the door before it swung shut.
Once inside the beast froze, it stood in the darkness listening, tilting its head in the direction of the soft murmurings. It took a step forward towards a low muffled squeak, and inhaled deeply, filling it’s lungs with the damp air. Then it sat up on hind legs, lifting it’s nostrils high in the air, again it inhaled deeply, in preparation of securing its target.

*THWACK*

A large metal skillet flying through the air hit the stone dragon right on the bridge of his snout, and two small shadowy figures crept towards the hessian sacks in the corner of the room. The beast let out an almighty howl as it whipped around, eyes trying to focus on the moving blurs.
It’s hesitance now replaced with rage as it bared his jagged teeth for all to see. Clambering over the large sacks, the beast’s claws tore through the hessian with ease. Vegetables spilled out onto the floor as the beast made its way to the top of a large mound of potatoes. There it stood hissing and spitting whilst Tiffin and Estella crouched nearby, arms clenched around one another.
The smell of earth from the vegetables crept into their nostrils, tickling their noses and causing Tiffin to sneeze. Estella tried to muffle the sound but it was too late, the beast charged towards them, Tiffin let out a yelp, Estella held her breath…

And suddenly light flooded the room.
The net landed upon the dragon swiftly and without warning, as did the cold water which appeared to shock the beast into complacency.

“Estella! …..Where are you? are you hurt?”

The gruff voice echoed through the storeroom followed by a large figure brandishing a sword in his left hand. Behind him trailed four men who set about the captured and now silent beast. As they began to tie the ends of the net around a long wooden pole, Estella stood up and shook the dust from her tunic.

“I’m fine father”

Her tone a little more indignant than one would have expected after being saved from such an ordeal.

“Fine you may be, but what if we had not been here to save you? What if Cook had not enquired how we had got rid of this beast so fast, and what if I had not been there to realise that only you would be so foolish as to approach the creature rather than pass the message on to one of the lizard catchers!”

Estella scowled a little at that remark then revealed a jagged wooden stick she still had clenched behind her back.

“I would have been fine, I still had this”

She shook what was left of the mace in the air whilst her father let out a sigh, his eyes looking past her and fixing on Tiffin.

“And what of him?”

Estella turned to see Tiffin still crouching behind a sack of potatoes, head in his hands and eyes locked on the netted stone dragon.

“You need to consider your actions Estella” His tone had calmed as he laid a gloved hand upon her shoulder “you cannot keep dragging poor Tiffin into your wild schemes, these dangerous excursions need to stop, I will not always be here to save you’

Estella thought about this a moment and nodded silently, then she turned to help Tiffin get up and led him past the placated beast. Her father watched them pass then turned to follow, his foot catching on something as he moved. Reaching down to pick up the dented skillet he smiled to himself as he noticed the leather straps crudely riveted to the inner side, and the outer side of the pan displayed a lightly etched oak tree. Without thinking he drew his hand to his chest, emblazoned with his own oak tree crest and even with all his frustration Lord Oakenhart could not help but be mildly impressed with his daughters ingenuity. In that moment his annoyance subsided and he tenderly called after Estella.

“Don’t forget your shield, little one”

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