There was always something beautiful about fire and ashes.
In the past, Azazel had always felt this way, not just because of its many, many practical uses, but the red, orange and golden colors dancing in each spark had always fascinated, it was almost as if it was alive.
Then the armies of Charioce had marched onto a forcibly open portal reflecting those beautiful colors on their black armors and for the first time Azazel had felt in its own flesh the true uncontrollable nature of a flame.
Now the sight of these colors were plagued by the stench of burnt flesh, ashes and the echo of dying screams.
And now, for the first time in five years he had felt the same awe at the sight of the flames around this monster, a massive body covered in scarlet scales and golden eyes blazing with unleashed fury, the power reverberating from its whole body.
It was beautiful, to the point he had been frozen on spot.
When the last of the pitiful white-garbed knights scrambled out of the dragon’s reach, and the aerial knights took flight unwillingly, because contracted or not, dragons recognized when they were outmatched by their own kin.
After the silence appeared to settle on the beast and all the fire racking turned into embers, he approached it.
At first it didn’t seem to notice his presence, from close up he got the distinct impression that the previous outburst had been out of confusion and fear rather than harmful intent.
That would need to change, he thought.
Those golden eyes fixated on him no sooner that he himself noticed the sound of his steps onto burned wood remains, and he tensed his whole body ready to flee if it looked like it would attack again.
Instead there was a widening of the sharp pupils and a soft roar, a decidedly human-like gesture.
He ventured to give small steps and the creature seemed less and less threatening, instead there was a familiar feeling coming from it directed at him: gratefulness, relief.
When he was finally close enough for him to touch, Azazel placed his hand on a spot in between the muzzle and the nose, one he knew communicated no ill intent.
The red dragon closed its eyes and leaned into his touch, it was warm… so incredibly warm that he almost wanted ot lean in too. Then the creature started to shimmer into a red and pink light and he found himself grasping thin air, a shudder replacing the previous warmth.
Was this all that it was? A small and short-lived beacon into his life? He almost cursed to the wind until a shade of pink caught his attention from the corner of his eyes.
He remembered this color.
“Who the hell are you?! Where’s Mugaro?!”
It couldn’t possibly be…
But it was, there in the middle of the rubble laid the now bare girl from before, the same hair, the same face shape, even the slight sigh coming from her sounded similar to her voice from before.
“Have you finally descended into full debauchery?” Was Rita’s only comment when he dumped the girl on the rickety bed next to the surgery table.
“I’m sure you heard and probably saw the ruckus from before.” He said without really asking. “It was her.”
Rita gave a once-over to the girl again, not appearing surprised at all, not that he expected it.
“…And you’re bringing her with me because… she’s hurt?” She asked.
“Heck if I know.” Azazel said, not an expert on dragons. “She would have been captured if i left her there.”
“That was… almost kind from you… since when do dragons count as allies to you?”
“Since today.” He said putting on his hood and preparing to leave again. “And it’s not kind, It’s called repaying a favor, the King would have her slayed if he knew of… this.”
“And you plan to use her now?” She said with a deadpan, looking at her sleeping forma again.
“…” He kept quiet, still undecided and looking at his hand, the one he had touched her with. Before his eyes the flames danced again, and this time he smiled again at the sight.