It was a sunny noon.
- Well?.. – the dragon asked.
- Well, you know… this is nasty in a way, - the knight replied frankly, - They will hardly be caught with the same bait. See, it’s specified pretty clear in tourney’s rules: “In the name of the King the usage of dragons as a ride is strictly prohibited!”
- Well it says only “as a ride”, - the pangolin chuckled and gave a hinted wink to his partner.
- But… This is not really fair, -the knight threw his last argument.
- Listen, we are talking about an official competition, - the dragon was surprised, - Does it have anything to do with fairness?!..
- I hope, sir, that the last four generations of your ancestors were free people, weren’t they? – gnawing an apple herald at the stadium entrance examined with a doubt the worn out gown of the newcomer.
- Haw-haw, and sir must be having his own coat of arms? – a squire in gorgeous dandified cotte asked insidiously.
- And what about your train? I mean pages, armour bearers, fools, cooks, healers?
Someone chuckled behind knight’s back.
- A horse?
- I don’t have it. I shall fight unmounted.
Someone chuckled behind knight’s back louder.
- Have you prepared good armour, sir? I don’t mean Maximilian’s, but something that looks more decent than the rusted suit you are wearing?
- No, - the knight repeated and blushed embarrassedly.
People standing behind his back were not chuckling, they were laughing out loud.
- But you have saved a good spear for the tourney indeed, haven’t you? – the herald ceased deliberately from paying attention to the knight standing in front of him and concentrated completely on apple pulp.
- Well… No.
- Ehhhhhhhh! Vagabond! Noob! – the spectators roared in a chorus behind him.
- Well then, let me inquire, sir, where is the cold weapon you are intending to fight with? In no other place but the pawnshop?..
The people behind the knight weren’t screaming, they were hooting and splitting their sides in laughter.
- Well, no. It’s somewhere here… Dozing in the shadow, - the knight confessed after a gulp.
And he whistled.
The dragon’s hulk tumbled out of the adjacent bush with a crunch.
The herald choked on the core. Cheerful hysterics behind knight’s back was immediately replaced by panic.
- Well, partner? Is it time now? – the pangolin inquired after a deafening yawn. After it the dragon looked around and crushed in pieces a timber of two girths with his tail. Just to warm up.
- This is no weapon, –the squire said with at once hoarsened voice moving backwards behind the next tent.
- Wanna argue? – the dragon asked with a saber-toothed smile.
The squire oohed and tailed off.
But the herald seemed bolder:
- But sir, if this… This one… This thing is your weapon. It’s not cold and not tame!
- That’s where you are wrong, - the knight hemmed, - First, the dragon just like any reptile is cold-blooded. As for the second… Dragon, at the trail! Sit! Down! Track!.. Here you are, and you say – not tame.
- Still don’t believe? Alright. The last argument. Dragon, attack!..
- …But anyway there’s something wrong about that, - the knight complained an hour after by loading the dragon with the sixth coffer with prizes.
- Come on, don’t be like this, - the dragon shook his scaled shoulders, - What? What is wrong?
- It wasn’t as per the rules…
- Wasn’t as per the rules? «In the name of the King in case of absence of one of the Parties at the stadium the other Party shall be considered as an complete and absolute winner!», - the pangolin cited by heart, - So, partner, shut up and drag the seventh coffer.
- Put it that you are right, - the knight agreed unwillingly, - But I have one more question.
- Why did they not shout out “champions”, but “cheaters”?
- First of all, they are jealous, - the dragon said reasonably, - Second, these people have no bloody idea of preparations for an official competition!..
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