The Blind Dragon

Dragons are known to be powerful, magical creatures that can destroy entire empires with a single breath of fire; however, they are also capable of transforming into any form they so please. This makes them even more dangerous, as they often masquerade as humans and walk through cities until a single sour glance incites them and they burn everything to the ground. Throughout the ages, several bloodlines have evolved the special skill to detect dragon-kind even when transformed, and because this is such a valuable skill, many of these family become royalty.

Such was the case of the Terra household, who I had the pleasure of meeting several years ago.

I was particularly fond of princess Talia Terra, the first-born child to King Terrence Terra who built his empire from a mere fishing village into the central mercantile nation in the world. As heir to the throne, she was taught what she needed to know to live in the world of royalty: everything from which fork goes where when dining to which people are most important to save in a crisis. Every day, she trained for hours to become the best ruler they had ever had. Her teachers were strict, her father was distant, and she was so, incredibly miserable.

This is where I concocted a bit of a plan.

See, I am a dragon, myself. A few centuries ago, back when I was in my rebellious teen-century phase, I found gold and gems to be beautiful and would raid local villages to steal everything they had. Looking back, I am somewhat ashamed of my actions, but what is done is done. One day, a rather haughty adventurer stopped by my cave and began swinging his sword and shouting the name of his attacks before performing them. I found the behavior peculiar, so I humored him a bit. After all, how likely was it that a human could do any damage at all to a dragon? As it turns out, it was very likely.

In a karmic twist of fate, the adventurer managed to stab both of my eyes, rendering me blind and unable to look upon the treasures I so loved. For the next century or two, I did a lot of reflecting. At first, I was furious that a human even dared to lay a finger on me, but after some time I realized that I was the aggressor, not him. More than that, the reason I would horde gold and treasure was because I was completely and totally alone and trying to fill the void in my heart.

I wanted to change that, soI spent time fumbling around my den until I learned to sense the world through magic, touch, sound, and smell. After some practicing, I found a technique to create a type of echo-location by sending waves of magic from my body and waiting for it to bounce off local object. It was not as good as my eyes were at finding things, but it would do.

One day, I took the form of a young teenage girl and began to meander about a local town. The world had changed drastically since the last time I was out and about, and even though I couldn't see anything, I was mesmerized by all the new and exotic scents humans had created. From bread baking in the oven to the sweet smell of roses lining their gateways, I couldn't help by follow my nose about. Before long, I found myself in a huge garden, filled with flowers of every kind.

"Hello?" A young woman called out to me from a few body-lengths away. "Who are you?"

"Ah." I was slightly startled, as I had never been properly addressed by a human before. "I'm just a traveler passing through."

The woman froze and said nothing, so I pressed further, "Am I not allowed to be here?"

Again, she said nothing, so I took a step forward, causing her to stumble while taking a step back and fall to the ground. She then began babbling a bit, "D-D-D-D..."

"Don't come closer?" I tried to complete her sentence. "Don't worry! I'm harmless!"

"Dragon!" She finished. She then turned around and started crawling away, clearly terrified.

"Ah, wait!" I called. "Yes. I am a dragon, but don't worry... I don't care about you or your village."

The woman grabbed onto a tree and rested her back on it. "Aren't you going to burn everything to the ground? Steal our gold? Don't you want... me?"

"Why would I want you?"

I could sense the woman's heart rate start to slow as she took a deep breath. "So you really don't want to... Do anything to me?"

"Like what?"

"I don't know, kidnap me..." She paused before continuing, "strip me of my clothes, hold me ransom?"

"Maybe a few years ago I would have, but now I am just enjoying this garden. Who tends to it?"

"I do." She said.

"Ah, so you are the caretaker?"

"No, I am princess Talia Terra."

Suddenly everything she said before made sense. She thought I, a dragon, would want to kidnap her because she was a princess and I could hold her for ransom. "No, no. I'm blind. I don't need gold or treasures. I would love a garden like this, though."

After a while, I found myself sitting next to her and the two of us began talking for what seemed like hours. I came to realize she was equally unhappy with her life and wanted to change. All she wanted to do was tend to her garden and make perfume in peace.

Suddenly, I had an idea. "I'll tell you what, Talia. I'm lonely in my cave, and you have a good head on your shoulders. What if I kidnap you after all?"

"What do you mean?"

"Well, you want to run away and grow a garden. I want a friend. We could both win if you just move in with me."

Suddenly, I felt her lean her head against my shoulder before she said, "I think I would like that."

So that's the story of how I kidnapped the princess because she smelled nice.

Prompt: As a blind dragon, you don't care for precious metals or stones. So your hoard of treasures are perfumes, scented candles, flowers, herbs, spices, shampoo, soaps, and anything that smells great to you. The princess was surprised that you just want her things and not her...

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