In all the realities of the multiverse that had been revealed to scholars and philosophers by the vortex tunnels since that phenomenon was discovered by the Lords of Ereon, there might be places were two objects could occupy the same space at the same time — but Aeldreth was not one of them.
As a result, when two very accomplished marksmen both aimed for the same part of the young dragon rampaging in their midst, fate ordained only one would hit his mark. It happened as follows:
For a long, terrifying moment, the dragon was all Jeneyeru Nightwise could see. The elongated, toothsome jaws with their rows of dagger-like, serrated teeth dripping poison and blasting out a pestilential stench of acid and death. The eyes, red as coals and big as saucers, glowing with the heat within it, and among the slickly gleaming green-black scales, the glittering carbuncles so prized by wizards.
The enraged beast gaped its mouth wide. Jeneyeru turned, throwing his hand across his eyes against the acidic vapor, to dive for the ground — and was up-ended from behind by Lotye barreling into his legs in rescue. The wizard and the thief went down in a tangle under the dragon’s head.
At that same moment, Ionas threw his dagger and Beau shot his crossbow. Both missiles flew perfectly at their mark and both would have reached it, too, except they hit each other first. It all happened too fast for any eye to see, except perhaps Ionas’. The dagger and the bolt struck each other in flight, knocking the crossbow bolt up a bit and into the dragon’s head close enough to its eye to send it into a new fit of thrashing and hissing and spitting to dislodge the weapon stuck in its cheek and get away from these not quite weak enough prey. The dagger of Ionas Farseer, meanwhile, was knocked downwards by the collision, and found a target somewhere else.
To Jeneyeru, any number of things could have been hitting him as he struggled with Lotye to avoid being among those crushed by the dragon’s panic. It wasn’t until the dragon had twisted away from them, and he tried to get to his feet to follow Ionas’ call, that he realized he had a problem.
“Oh, dear,” he gasped, seeing the dagger handle protruding from his side as he knelt on the ground, “oh, dear me, this is not a good thing. I believe I require some assistance, please, someone.”