Daniel took advantage of the brief pause while Savira was gloating to roll to his feet and unhook his spear from his back.
Savira lunged at him again, obviousy aiming to disarm him, but this time he was ready and threw himself over her sharp claws, aiming his spear for her throat. His aim was true but thanks to her thick hide, the blow barely scratched her.
She hissed angrily at him as he landed and tried to circle around him to strike at his back but he circled as well, making sure she could neither flank nor corner him. As he did, he extended his psychic senses and weighed up what he could feel of her strength. He was stronger than her! The realisation gave him a momentary surge of hope but he squashed it back. He had to be realistic here. Yes, he was stronger, but it was barely an edge at all given how much more experience she had with using her powers. Still, he’d fought other skilled and experienced dragons and prevailed and that was before he was mature. All he had to do was hold her until the bomb went off and then run for it once she was stunned. Assuming Alaryia had successfully excluded the team’s psychic signatures from the effect, anyway. She’d said she had and he believed her but things could always go wrong.
Even while he was thinking through this, he dodged another blow and stabbed at her again, this time at the foot which had struck at him. The scales there were thinner and the tip of his spear went through her foot. She tried to rear back, roaring with pain, but he used his psychokinesis to hold himself in place against her greater physical strength and fired a bolt of darkness infused with own essence through the spear into her foot. She shrieked again and brown blood splattered him as her foot exploded.
Nice, Dan! Matthias said in his head. Keep it up, we’re on our way.
Savira shrieked at Daniel in draconic. He hadn’t learned many words yet but he was pretty sure she was swearing at him. After a moment, she shifted back to a language he could understand.
â€œIf you’d just behaved, I was going to let you live once I’d used you to lure your wretched father in, idiot,â€ she snarled. â€œI’d no reason to kill you after all. But for that, I’ll tear you apart.â€
Daniel winced inwardly and wondered, not for the first time, why dragons’ voices were so painful when they were in dragon form. He didn’t let his discomfort show however. Instead he made himself smirk with a confidence he didn’t feel.
â€œIf you don’t want people to attack you, Savira-ida, perhaps you shouldn’t attack them first,â€ Daniel said.
To his amazement she jerked back at that, as if he’d surprised her somehow, then the air twisted around her as she shifted to her human form and he found himself facing a short, dark haired, dusky skinned woman in brown robes.
â€œI’d hardly say I started it when you are the ones invading my territory,â€ she said as two jagged blades appeared in her hands.
Daniel back up sharply to avoid the blades and narrowed his eyes at how quickly her hand had healed.
She moved some of her mass around to reform it when she shifted, Eritan said. It’s a useful trick that not many can manage. Not carrying an injury into another form requires a great deal of imagination.
I see. Daniel ducked another blow from Savira’s blades.
â€œThat girl is dangerous,â€ Savira said as she whirled towards him again. She didn’t elaborate on that comment as she leapt towards him and attempted to land a flurry of blows.
Daniel rolled under the blows and found himself kneeling beside where he’d hidden the psychic bomb. It must be due to go off at any moment, which gave him and idea. He grabbed it from its hiding place as she attacked again and instead of dodging, he lunged straight at her and pushed the bomb into her face â€“ just as it exploded.