He dons the armor polished to a mirror shine.
He sharpens the sword he draws without prompt.
He mounts his charger and takes off to battle.

He does not think of relying upon others.
He does not allow contemplations of defeat.
He never hesitates, never questions, never retreats.

His thoughts are on one thing, and one thing only:

The Maiden.

She did not anticipate his arrival.
She barely hears his declarations of fealty.
She is not necessarily interested in his courtship.

Her citadel is strong in and of itself.
She is a nation of her own making,
Neither needing nor wanting a suitor who pines.

Yet the knight persists.

He draws his sword, shining in the sun.
He holds it aloft, his voice raised.
“My sword and heart are yours!” is his cry.

He does not wait for her response.
He knows his actions will win her.
He turns the steed towards the mountains.

He rides, undeterred, towards his intended foe:

The Dragon.

It shifts slightly in its sleep.
It sits atop a hoard, a clutch of eggs.
It protects its home as it slumbers.

It is awakened by a shouted challenge.
It opens an eye to see the figure at the mouth.
It blinks in confusion at the accusations.

The knights lays into the dragon with fury.

He hears the cries of pain as roars.
He sees blood from scales and presses on.
He feels righteous in his searing anger.

He plunges the blade home over and over.
He ignores his arms turning to lead with fatigue.
He does not stop when the dragon wheezes a final breath.

He spits upon the corpse of the parent and protector.

His chest swells with pride.
His body returns to its steed.
His spurs catch flesh and prompt the return.

He goes, now, to claim his prize.
The maiden to whom he is entitled.
The heart of the bepedestaled woman he adores.

He has no idea of what he has truly left behind.
He’s ignorant of the cost of his actions.
He cannot and will not see how toxic he has become.

He does not care.

That dragon was his to slay.
That maiden is his to bed and wed.
These things are his to take for himself.

He is entitled.
He is righteous.
He is The White Knight.

And he is everything the world tells him a man should be.