Chapter 5

AZ 1455 - Late Summer
The Lake of Fire, The Darklands

Corona spent two days tracking the King of Dragons. It would not be long before the survivors of his flight found him, but the longer he fled, the longer it would take. He was wounded and because he did not take the time to rest, he was moving slower and slower. Corona did not move at full speed herself to suppress her power and avoid alerting him until she was already upon him.
At last he came into view. Though she could not hope to fell him in a single blow, she quickly summoned whatever power she could to strike him with a beam of light. The beam struck its mark and Xorgoth went hurtling to the ground. With a screech, she loosed another blast as she flew over him, but this time he had raised a barrier to defend himself.
Though it would have been wiser to simply assail him from the air without ceasing until his defense were worn down, Corona wanted the pleasure of a direct confrontation. She wanted him to know that she was the author of his doom.
When she touched down on the ground a short distance from the Xorgoth, the King of Dragon could only look on her in disbelief.
"You! Impossible..."
Mocking, Corona asked him, "Is it now, O false King?"
"How did you break the seal?"
"Seals, O King. There were more than one."
"You could not possibly possess such power!"
Corona chuckled as she began to gather power to her. Her anger and her hatred for the King of Dragons made the dark energies of the land easier to manipulate than usual. Yes, such negative emotions worked against the nature of her powers, but she would bend light and dark to her will if it meant striking down her foe.
"I am stronger now than I was when we last met," Corona boasted, "and now you do not have your thralls to protect you."
Though his body language betrayed his uncertainty, his voice was as bold as ever.
"Whatever power you may claim, you are still nothing more than a weak female and I am King of Dragons! I do not need any help to kill the likes of you!"
Corona flared her wings in a display of challenge and told him, "Then prove your might, O King, or I will spill out your usurper's blood across this blasted land!"
Xorgoth too stretched out his wings to meet her display, but his wounds made him unsteady on his feet.
"Fool!" he seethed. "You should not have come back!"
Xorgoth roared and the two Dragons' more bestial nature came out. It was rare for a male and female Dragon to fight. The female perhaps in defense of her young and the male seeking to claim a mate by force when regular courtship failed, but this was neither. This was a challenge of dominance.
If Xorgoth were not wounded, it would be no challenge at all. Males had the advantage in size and strength in general and Black Dragons had even further advantage over a White Dragon like Corona. And with the land's dark energies in harmony with Xorgoth's own, Corona's disadvantage was all the greater. Only his wounds and his cowardice helped level the playing field.
They began by taking to the skies. Winged Dragons always did their fighting in the air until one was brought down. First they clashed with their fire breath. The fact that Xorgoth's flames burned green instead of the usual purple-black showed how weakened he was. He was not in full command of his powers and perhaps that would be enough for Corona to overcome him.
Weakened though his flames were, Xorgoth was able to fend off Corona until she was forced to break off her attack. She tried to strike him with a beam of light again, but his barrier deflected it as before. This time, however, she did something he was not expecting.
While he was busy blocking the beam of light, she charged at him, throwing herself bodily into him. She was too small to knock him out of the sky, though, and he recovered quickly enough to take hold of her in his claws.
Corona noticed a black barb sticking out of his side. She knew it well, it was the same kind of bolt the cave maggots used against her at Kalonis. She jabbed at the barb, pushing it deeper into Xorgoth's flesh. The Dragon King roared in pain and then bit into Corona's neck. He held her fast as she struggled to break free.
Xorgoth did not let her go. He twisted his head, his fangs working their way past Corona's scales. If she did not get free of him soon, his jaws would make short work of her. She tried digging at the wound in his side. He writhed and grunted from the pain, but still he did not release her.
It was a wonder she could pay attention to anything else at all, but screeches in the distance warned her of the other Dragons finally catching up to their King. She was outmatched as it was, even with Xorgoth wounded and alone. There was nothing she could do but admit defeat and attempt to escape with her life.
Channeling all her hatred into her claws, she drove them under the scales of Xorgoth's breastplate. The Dragon King howled, releasing her neck from his jaws. Corona then broke away from him. Though the curse in the attack would not kill him, it would ensure he did not follow as she unsteadily flew away.
She hastened to the mountains to the north and, spying a small cavern, alighted on the cliff and reverted back to her human form. If any of Xorgoth's servants meant to follow her, they would not have an easy time getting inside. It give her the chance to heal before venturing out again.
She had already lost a lot of blood. The wound the Knight of Chaos gave her several months ago had not healed as fully as she thought. Xorgoth's power and the curse of the land all worked in concert. It was foolish of her to give in to the dark powers. It only served to make her weaker.
She clutched her stomach as a sudden pain seized her. Dizzy and weak, she collapsed onto the cavern floor. And so ended her rebellion.