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Daughters of Laketown

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There was smoke in the air, and a dragon's roar, and Sigrid thought that, really, being brave might help you keep a clear head and enable you to just stand around quietly instead of running around like a headless chicken, but in the end, it wouldn't actually keep you from dying in exactly the same way.

"Do you think they let Da out?" Tilda asked, voice trembling only a little bit.

Sigrid squeezed her hand and said, "No," because 'they' hadn't particularly struck her as the sort of people who'd see a dragon and think of anyone else but themselves.

On the other hand, Da was Da. He'd have thought of other folks, have known exactly where to go, who to help, how to get people to start using their heads again, and their hands.

He might also, she thought, have known who not to help, because they were capable of helping themselves. Because he trusted them to be capable of helping themselves.

The dwarven windlance still stood, tall and proud and (it was impossible not to think) rather small. It didn't look like the kind of thing you could use to bring down a huge, fire-breathing monster.

"Come on," she said, one hand still holding Tilda's while with the other, she reached for the object her brother had hid well enough that nobody else would have been able to find it - except for Da, of course, but Da wasn't here right now.

She'd thrown their best dinner plates at orcs; doing this would hardly be any more difficult - except that she'd have only one plate, this time around.

Then again, the orcs had been actively trying to kill her. The dragon up there probably wasn't even aware she existed, or that she held a Black Arrow. It would kill her, yes, but it would kill her as one of many. It would kill her because killing people was what dragons did.

Killing dragons was not, Sigrid knew, something girls did. Not in any of the stories she'd heard, at least.

"What are we going to do?" Tilda asked.

All the stories were about things that had happened long ago - and far away, as often as not.

"We're going to kill a dragon," Sigrid said.