by TK Hoshikuzu (TK 星屑)
“Your highness has powerful lungs,” Dragon Huo remarked, laughing boisterously. His lengthy body twirled in spirals, away from the Earth and toward the Moon. All throughout, Princess Shaoyao had not stopped screaming and crying in terror, even as the air thinned. The dragon’s clutches were too tight around her, and her head hung helplessly to the side. When her wailing had diminished out of exhaustion, Dragon Huo juggled her between his talons – her precious jewelry tinkling against each other – and threatened to drop her. To his tireless delight, this elicited fresh shrieks and he laughed some more.
The pale face of the Moon came into sight, and the beast glided toward stairs that were hewn downwards into the surface. At the bottom of the steps stood a mighty stone door, engraved with intricate sigils. He pushed his way into a vast indoor garden with a floor of tiny pebbles, from which jutted massive boulders and black, spiny weeds. There was a paved, winding walkway for guests to admire the scenery, but Huo crawled straight through, his tail throwing debris this way and that. Pale columns with streaks of gray lined the garden boundaries and led to an arch, as big and grand as the main entrance.
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