“Welcome to the Little Dragon Inn, ma'am. What can I get ya?”
“A meal. A room. And draw me a bath.”
“Certainly, ma'am. Name?”
“Mira. Mira the Tempest.”
The inn-keep's jaw went slack.
“Mira the Tempest? The famous pitfighter?”
The woman who stood before him flicked back her long black hair, revealing a crescent scar across her cheek. Her features were fine, rosy cheeks, long eyelashes, piercing eyes, but she did nothing to enhance them – there was no carmine on her lips, no kohl around her eyes. She was tall, and modestly dressed in a ragged brown tunic and a pair of trousers. The inn-keep peered across his table, and saw the trademark twin swords hanging from her belt.
“That one, yeah. Recently paid off my debt. Looking for work elsewhere. Know 'bout anything?”
“Well, the locals have been plagued by kobolds, ma'am. Nasty little critters. Thieves, the lot of them, skulking in the night, setting their traps. Mostly harmless, but very irritating.”
“What'll you pay me?”
“Pay? I'm afraid we can't offer much, ma'am.”
“Then I'm not interested. Draw me a bath. This should cover it.”
The woman slammed down a few silver coins on the table, and leaned forwards, looming over the shorter man. Her eyes seemed to bore into his skull, and he flinched backwards as he collected the coins.
“V- very well.”
A half-hour later, she stepped into the best room the inn had to offer, a large chamber on the top floor. The walls were timber and the floor was covered in pelts – the only furnishings were a bed and a bath-tub which stood in the centre of the room, filled with steamy water. She closed the door behind her, and discovered to her dismay that there was no lock – these people were probably too poor to afford it. The door opened outwards, so she couldn't block it either. The whole arrangement made her suspicious.
She took off her backpack, produced her towel, and placed it on the bed. Then, facing the door, she slowly began to undress. She took off her weapon-belt, drew out her swords, and placed them readily available next to the tub. Then followed her boots, her socks, trousers, and her under-pants. She undid the strings of her tunic next, and as quickly as she could, pulled it over her head. The door was still closed. Maybe she was just being paranoid. She just didn't like the idea that someone might sneak up on her.
Finally untying the bands that kept her breasts in place, she slipped down into the bath, totally naked and weary from her journey. The water felt good, she couldn't deny that – little by little it softened her muscles, made the stress melt away like so much candle-wax. She began to relax, quite in spite of herself, as she scrubbed the dirt from her skin and ran her fingers through her long, black hair. Little by little she sank down in the comfortable tub, until she was lulled half to sleep...
She awoke with a start. Commotion. Screams. Instinct kicked in and she jumped out of the tub, soaking wet and stark naked. She looked around in panic. The screaming came from downstairs, but the door was open – someone had been in the room!
The swords were still there. Good. She swept them up, scanned the room for a thief, but there was nobody present. She mentally kicked herself for falling asleep – she could only thank her lucky stars that she hadn't been disarmed. She had been robbed, though: Her belt was nowhere in sight. Neither was her tunic, or her trousers, or any of her other possessions – the swords were literally all she had left!
No – that wasn't quite true. The thief had missed something. Her towel still lay folded across the bed. She might still have a chance to catch the culprit, if she hurried. She would have to; everything she owned was in that backpack.
Mira the Tempest swept up the towel and wrapped it around herself. It wasn't much, but it was better than being naked. Barely. The towel was the same ragged-brown colour as her clothes, and now constituted a strapless dress running from her armpits to her mid-thighs. Her athletic build meant she wasn't terribly curvy, but the towel certainly revealed more of her forms than her usual clothes did. She'd like to keep a hand on it, to keep it from slipping – but she'd need both swords to fight at full capacity.
Securing the towel as best she could, she bolted downstairs. A frightening sight met her.
The inn was overrun by scaly little creatures, no taller than a small child. They were reptilian, their scales shifting in green and red, black little lizard-eyes peering out over bony snouts filled with needle-like teeth. Their hands and feet were clawed, and small gouts of blue flame came from their nostrils. They looked vaguely like dragons, in the sense that guinea pigs look vaguely like bears.
“Kobolds.” Mira breathed. She scanned the crowd – there was perhaps twelve of them. They were unarmed and didn't look very tough, but the inn-keep and the other patrons seemed frightened nonetheless; Mira could understand them. Those claws and fangs were probably pretty sharp. Fortunately, so were her swords.
The pitfighter charged down the stairs, aiming for the nearest one, and gave it a swift kick in the chest. It flew away like a child's toy – the creature weighed almost nothing. Everyone in the room stopped for a second and stared: There stood Mira the Tempest, dripping wet, covered only in a towel, broad-legged and with swords drawn.
The sight seemed to be enough for the kobolds, or perhaps the kick had done it – they whipped around as if on command, and scuttled for the door.
“Come back here, thieves!”
She ran after them, and easily caught up – their tiny little legs could only move so fast, and they were colliding in the door, virtually tripping over each other. She kicked into the crowd, and the creatures fell over like bowling pins. Looming over them, Mira pointed her swords at the creatures.
“Give me my clothes back, and you'll live.”
The kobolds, collectively, shivered. They looked genuinely afraid, and all of them started pleading for their lives at once. She didn't understand their language; all she heard was nonsensical chattering.
“Give. Back. What. You. Took.” she repeated, slowly.
The next thing she knew, one of them moved. The air exploded with white dust! She stumbled backwards, but too late – she already had it in her face, and her eyes began to water. She tried to speak, but it was impossible; the powder itched and stung far too much. She inhaled, sharply – and sneezed. Once, twice, thrice, blinking and sniffling in between. The kobolds swarmed up from the floor, surrounding her. She swung her swords wildly, but the nimble little creatures avoided them with ease.
The towel was loosening. She could feel the fabric slipping with every sharp sneeze, and in panic, she dropped one of her swords to grab it. The kobolds jumped back from the weapon, but otherwise ignored it – it didn't seem to interest them. Mira spun around, one hand wielding her sword, the other clutching the towel. The kobolds danced around her, chattering with excitement, completely ignoring the other people in the tavern – who were staring wide-eyed at the spectacle.
“Cheating- little- swivers-” Mira spat, sweeping downwards to slam her sword into the floorboards. In the process she exposed quite a lot of her bottom to the onlookers, trim, toned, athletic, peeking out from under the towel. The sword stuck, and the kobolds saw their chance. Their dance closed in, and their clawed little fingers grabbed for the towel. They weren't strong, but they were many.
“Let- go!” Mira cried as she swatted at the creatures with her bare hands, joining their dance this way and that. The towel came loose, and her hands shot to it – her entire backside was exposed, and she pulled the cloth back and forth in a tug-of-war with the little critters to cover her front. Despite being so many, they were still rather weak. Little by little she pulled backwards, dragging them further into the inn – until she tripped on a kobold who had hidden behind her.
Up into the air flew Mira's legs, and into the clutches of the kobolds flew the towel, and smack on the inn floor went Mira's naked rump. She landed at the feet of the inn-keep, completely ****, and the last of the kobolds scuttled away.
The inn-keep gasped as he looked down at the powerful woman in all her glory: Her small but shapely breasts, her slender waist, the gentle curve of her stomach, the hips that were her foremost proof of femininity – apart from the black triangle between her legs, of course. The hair was kept trimmed, and did little to hide the blushing flesh that lay beneath. Mira climbed to her feet, not bothering to cover herself though clearly affected by her state of dress – her cheeks were burning.
“What are you looking at, huh?”
“I- uh, I'm sorry!”
“Where's their lair?”
“Some- some distance north of here. In a cave.”
Wasting not another word, Mira the Tempest swept out the door, still naked as the day she was born. The inn-keep stared after her as she went, stalking like an angered lioness, muscles playing all over her body. The kobolds had finally met their doom – he was sure of it.
Up in Mira's room, however, something stirred. It was another kobold, clutching her backpack and her other possessions, crawling out from his hiding-place. He could only thank his lucky stars that Mira hadn't searched beneath the bed. Insofar as kobolds can smile, he smiled. The best the pitfighter could hope for was to get her towel back.