....Continued from Pt. IV
Upon arriving in Metropolis, the boy was astounded at the sights and sounds he encountered there. He saw so many buildings, more in that one city than he had seen in his entire life before, filled with thousands upon thousands of people. The townspeople were full of panic, though, as a horrible dragon had been tormenting them, coming at night to destroy, steal, and kill. The most horrible fate the dragon inflicted upon his victims in Metropolis, surely, was that he ate their still-beating hearts straight from their chests.
The boy learned from a shadowy figure in a dark alley that his brothers had last been seen heading up to defeat the dragon. When the boy tried to ask the mysterious man more question about his brothers, the man evaporated, becoming part of the mist that rolled in from the ocean and blotted out the moonlight when the sun went down, allowing for the dragon to wreak his havoc.
After having decided to head up the towering mountain at the edge of town where the dragon lived, to try and find out what had happened to his brothers, he stopped for supplies at an outfitters. The owner of the outfitters warned the boy that he should not go up the mountain, that he would surely die, but the boy defied him and said he would go, whether the outfitter equipped him or not. At the boy's reluctance, the outfitter metamorphosed into the old hag that had waylaid the boy outside the house of games, before his sea-journey to Metropolis. The hag ran from the boy in fear, telling him to take whatever he wanted, so long as he didn't hurt her. The boy got a good pair of hiking boots, a good-sized knife, and some power cubelettes, sustenance for his long journey ahead.
Venturing up to the top of the barren monstrosity of a mountain where the boy hoped to find his brothers, he was nearly lured to sleep by an entrancing tune sung to him by a small creature, sitting just outside the dragon's cave. Another boy, who looked almost identical to the newcomer, was just leaving the dragon's cave. He warned the boy that when the creature stopped singing, the dragon would awaken. When the boy tried to ask his strange doppelganger about the fate of his brothers, the boy turned into a flock of crows and disappeared into the valley below.
To keep the dragon from waking, the boy composed a great ballad, instructing the few scraggly trees at the top of the mountain on how to play it. Their huge limbs shivered and shook and put out a strange vibration, a sound that the creature at the mouth of the cave could not stand to hear. The creature went mad and threw itself off the side of the mountain, only to be born up by the flock of crows, who materialized to catch and bear him away. Under the safety and protection of the trees' music, the boy was able to escape from the mountaintop, to tell the people below the secret to defying the horrible dragon.
When a horrible storm knocked the few scraggly trees from their place on the mountainside, their music was silenced and the dragon was reawakened. It rose with a great fury, both at losing its cave guardian and being tricked. It swooped down on the town, casting a deathly shadow over the trembling villagers. With his great tail he smashed buildings flat, and with his breath of fire he set the town ablaze. The dragon was not to eat any hearts that evening, however: the boy had taught his ballad to the people of the town. All the townspeople raised their voices simultaneously in a terrible song that put the dragon back to sleep in midair. The huge form of the sleeping beast fell and destroyed a number of the town's buildings, but thankfully no one was hurt. The people came in droves to take pieces of the dragon for food back to their houses. The iridescent flesh tasted strange yet familiar, and sustained the people of Metropolis longer than the rice they had become accustomed to under the monster's reign of terror. Thanks to the boy from across the sea, the people of Metropolis never went hungry again.
The boy was happy to have helped, but felt lonely and homesick. He had to try and find his brothers, and if he couldn't, he had to go back and face his mother, the spider queen, to reclaim his home and happiness.
....TO BE CONTINUED....