Writer's Note: An uncensored version of this story can be found at my profile on AO3.
RWBY is the property of Roosterteeth and the creation of Monty Oum. The cover art was commissioned from the incredibly talented Skiretehfox. If you haven't, you should really check out their tumblr.
The Princess and the Dragon, a Remnant Fairytale
Aarne-Thompson folktale type 300: the Dragon-Slayer (sort-of)
The dragon drifted lazily through the summer sky, eyes shut as the sun beat down on outstretched wings and the tough scales of her back. Everything was bright and warm, only the odd bird call breaking the peaceful quiet. The creature heaved a great sigh, smoke spiraling up from her mouth, before rolling over and exposing the darker lines of its stomach. There was nothing quite like sunbathing above the clouds, feeling the pure heat of the sun on one's hide, the light shining through the membranes of her wings and dying the clouds beneath a brilliant gold.
The majestic serpent drifted in the air for a long while. Scales couldn't technically tan, but a good dose of sunlight always brought out their luster. Plus, sunshine was critical to preventing all kinds of scale-related conditions, and the heat just felt so good.
She was about to consider pulling up for another pass, catching a few more rays before she started her search for food, when a great pounding came from beneath the cloud layer. The steady rhythm carried softly through the air, beating drums sounding again and again.
Letting the wind carry her lower, the dragon poked her head through the clouds and stared down at the ground below. A crowd had gathered on the bluffs that bordered the nearby city, the snack-sized ones at the back pounding on their hide-wrapped drums as a robed man gestured wildly, pontificating in the most theatrical way possible to the assembled crowd. A single solitary figure stood behind him, arms spread wide, clasped in chains that bound them to one of the jagged rocks.
As the dragon watched, bemused at the strange antics of the little pink figures, the priest drew a dagger from his robes and raised it above his head as he approached the bound figure.
Her mind made up, the dragon tucked her wings against her sides, and dived.
Weiss shivered against the rock, freezing cold air whipping off the ocean to bite through skin and chill her to the bone.
It was the perfect setting for a sacrifice. A good portion of the city had turned out to watch her death, old men with greying beards, mothers and fathers with babes on their hips or children under their watchful eyes. She recognized some, the cook's son from the palace, the maid who brushed her hair every morning. 'Used' to brush, she corrected herself silently. In about ten minutes, she's going to find herself out of a job.
The only people she didn't see were her family.
Right. Because it would be awkward watching your own daughter be sacrificed on your orders.
Weiss shivered again as the ocean spray splashed up the cliffside, frigid droplets falling on any skin her dress didn't cover. She stood as tall as she could, ram-rod straight even as the manacles clenched around her wrists. She would show no shame at her treatment, for there was no disgrace in what she was about to do. Stupidity, on the other hand … Well, there was plenty of that.
Anyway, it was less shame than anger that she felt, her fury fed by a growing desire to take her chains and wrap them around the scrawny little bastard's neck.
Weiss continued to fume while the priest resumed his ranting, watching as he worked the crowd into a frenzy. He played on their superstition, preaching and calling, until every normal, peace-loving, and law-abiding citizen was perfectly ready to drain an innocent girl of blood and leave her on a rock for a ravenous animal. The idea that these were the people she'd wanted to lead, to govern, to protect … Weiss could scarcely stomach the sight of them.
The knife in the bastard priest's hand was as dramatic as the rest of his little farce, nearly a foot of well-decorated steel, flashing as he flailed about on his makeshift stage. Midway through some new admonishment, some proclamation of how this one sacrifice could end all their suffering, he moved closer, and Weiss braced for what she knew was coming. He brought the tip to her legs, her arms, brushing against her skin and leaving thin streaks of crimson wherever it touched.
It was still a surprise when the blade sank into her side, a sharp pain followed by … nothing. Shock, she realized, some part of her recognizing her body's refusal to accept the most-likely fatal wound. The knife raised again, now covered in blood, the priest's arm straining as he pulled back to strike.
A great scream came from the back of the crowd, joined by another, then another, blurring into one long shriek of abject fear as her murderers turned and ran. They stumbled over each other, howling and rushing, desperate to find their way back to the relative safety of the city gates. Weiss allowed herself a small smile at the sight of the city priest, scampering his way to the front of the crowd, pompousness and pride forgotten in his haste.
Her amusement didn't last. Her head was already spinning, blood loss leaving her dizzy as she hung against her restraints. Not that it mattered much. The only thing that it could be, the only thing that could send them screaming, was the very monster they were sacrificing her to appease.
At least I got to watch them run before I died.
A great golden body swooped down from the sky, skimming past the tail of the fleeing crowd, jaws snapping at their heels as the townsfolk bolted for the safety of the gates. The creature's second pass brought it slamming into the heavy oaken barrier, a stream of flame shooting from its mouth as it screamed its animal rage. The last thing she saw as her vision blurred and her eyes drifted shut, was that angled, reptilian head turning to face her, fire licking from its mouth and tongue, purple eyes narrowed with predatory intent as it charged.
Writer's Note: Hello everyone. This is me trying something new. This particular story has *mostly* been written. So, what I will be doing is updating this every Thursday afternoon (US time) for the next few weeks, until it's completed. You can expect Chapter 2 around this time next week. And yes, this chapter is short, but it's the prologue, so it's to be expected.
The first thing Weiss noticed when she woke was the warmth. Blinking as her eyes adjusted to the darkness, she found herself staring up at a rocky ceiling. Short, cracked stalactites hung above her, sheared off at the tips where something had broken past them. The roof curved above her, arcing down into the rough-hewn walls of bare stone.
A thick … something lay across her. She pushed herself up on one arm, feeling at her covering. Bearskin? Fur of some sort. Whatever it was, it was warm.