Her plan was accepted without any resistance, much to Lotye’s surprise. She had expected sceptical looks, reasons why it shouldn’t work, even being laughed at for trying to fight a dragon without any experience. But the reality shocked her a lot more. Great, so now it’s on me. The fact that the responsibility for defending the ship was, at least partially, on her shoulders now, scared her nearly as much as the two dragons themselves. With shivering hands she held on to the railing in front of her.
The wind tousled her long hair. For a moment, she couldn’t see Peino climbing the bowsprit. She had to lean a bit over the rail to follow him with her eyes again. The cold wind was pulling at her and the dragons already came dangerously close. The upper one regulated its dive by spewing fire. maybe it was just her imagination, but Lotye thought to feel the heat of the flames. Her heart was beating fast. Two dragons were closing in like inevitable, scaly green and fiery pinchers. In the midst of it, Peino walked on a narrow, slippery piece of wood, miles above the ground, like one of the best wirewalkers she had ever seen. There were so many things that could go wrong. And even if everything else worked out as planned, it all still depended on her getting her part right.
The signal. Peino waved and readied his bow. Lotye took one short second to compose herself. She couldn’t fail now. She had to remember the words Jeneyeru had taught her. They were simple, only a short command in Atul, not very complicated in any way. But she still wanted to be absolutely sure she got them right. Peino took aim.
“Yar, yat, yere, yin …”, she said loudly, hoping the words would reach the magical lock. Rain, flame, wind and stone…
She stopped, ready to speak the second verse as soon as the arrow left the bow. The moment seemed to stretch into eternity. The bow raised high, aimed at the dragon diving down. Likewise, the words were on her tongue, ready to be shot. Then the it finally happened. The bowstring whirred, the arrow flew and Lotye released her words as well.
“Vox vetleme xin!” Let only the moon be the key! Lotye shouted the command against the wind. She shouted it from the top of her lungs, as if she had to make sure the arrow would still hear it.
And then she could only watch as the arrow flew in a high arc towards the dragon.