When he reached the town it was quiet and the wooden gates were closed.
“Hallo there, Lassian! Open your gates for an emissary from
A head appeared above the parapet over the gate, and
Athellon was scrutinised carefully.
“From Lavrum, eh? What’s your business?” “Killing dragons.”
“Oh. It’s a while since we had one of them. You’d better come in.”
The gates opened and Athellon entered the town. Lassian was a town for horses. All the streets were broad and all the people were on horseback, even small children. A crowd of riders gathered round Athellon as he rode through the gates and at first they ignored him and examined his mount. “That’s a king’s horse,” one said. “Are you the king?”
“No. My name is Athellon and I have been sent by the King to rid you of the dragon. Where can I find it?”
“Oh, don’t worry about that. You ride up into the hills and it’ll find you.”
Some of the people laughed sourly. Athellon wheeled his horse round and rode back out of the gate and towards the hills.