15. Enemies on the Approach
Gathering everyone, I devised a plan. We had King Gabriel’s son heading our way. The guards said he was on the south side of the mountains, and they were heading this way. But I order for them to monitor and let me know if they are heading this way.
It was strange for them to come over without reason. And this was the first time they dared set afoot here since the last war. So, if my guess is correct, they were coming for something.
While the guards investigate, I have Leo moving with the others to ambush them if King Gabriel’s son plans on attacking.
Damian would stay in the palace with Prince Cian and Michael protecting Valkyrie and everyone else. I will head down to stop them. I needed to know why they came. This was strange.
Looking down, I mind linking Leo.
“You guys ready?” I asked him through the link.
“Yes, we are right up ahead. We scatter four groups of four around, ready to ambush them.” Leo explained.
Using my dragon sight, I get a glimpse of them. This was strange. They were heading this way but calmly. The pace at which they were moving was like a traveler.
“Damian, anything from the guards?” I asked him, intrigued.
“No, not still, but we will have to be patient, Dimitri,” Damian said as he grabbed a shirt.
Sighing, I told Damian I would be back. But, first, I needed to make sure Valkyrie was safe.
Heading to her chambers, I open the door, finding Mia cleaning the room.
“Where is Valkyrie?” I asked her as I looked around.
“She went for a walk. Why?” Mia asked as she stopped cleaning.
“What? Where to?” I asked, worried.
“The garden near the cliff,” Mia said.
Rushing out, I head to the garden. It was dangerous for her to be there. What if those men spotted her? No one knew about Valkyrie, and I didn’t wish to risk it.
Dashing, I turn and look for her around the garden. Valkyrie was nowhere in sight. Worried, I ask some guards if they have seen her.
“Where are you?” I utter as my heart beats fast.
I kept running around. The garden was big enough that someone could hide in it. Now I cursed, hating that they planted trees here. This was bothersome and dangerous.
Taking a turn, I notice a figure on the ground. Eyes wide and scared, I dash towards them. It was Valkyrie.
Calling her name, she groans and sits up.
“Valkyrie!” I said, almost yelling. Hugging her, I feel my heart about to burst.
“What are you doing?” Valkyrie said as she tried to push me away.
“You had me worried,” I honestly said.
Valkyrie frowned and then sighed in defeat.
“I came for a walk and dozed off. Is everything ok?” Valkyrie asked as she stood up.
I was reaching for her hand to help her. But, instead, I explained to her what was happening. Valkyrie stares at me and then nods. Then, obediently, she follows me back inside. My grip on her hand is getting tighter.
“Dimitri, we need you,” Damian’s mind links me.
Reaching the queen’s chambers, I ask Valkyrie to please stay inside.
“Is everything ok?” Valkyrie asked as I pushed her.
“Yes, just stay inside, ok and wait for me,” I said as I grabbed her hand and kissed her knuckles.
Turning around, I leave her stunned in the doorway.
“Tell me, how’s everything?” I asked Damian.
“Leo is with them. He told me to tell you to go down. You will need to be there,” Damian said.
Not waiting any longer, I undress and jump butt naked from a window.
“Leo?” I called over, “Directions.”
“South near the lake,” Leo said as I heard his voice kind of stressed out.
Heading that way, I hover over the small group of men. From the corner of my eye, I could see my other guards ready to back up. Growling loudly, I land with a thud. Surprising everyone.
“You are crossing our territory, prince,” I said, mind linking everyone.
We dragons could speak to anyone as long as we provide permission to them. So, communicating with this group was straightforward. There was no need to turn to our human forms just to show who ruled this land.
“Speak, why are you here?” I said with a growl. I was warning him to be careful.
King Gabriel’s son just stared at me. He was not fazed, at the least.
“We’ve come because we would like to talk about a trade,” the prince said. “I’m Prince Zar, son of King Gabriel.”
Frowning, I glare at the group. Prince Zar? He was one of King Gabriel’s illegitimate sons. Not only was he illegitimate, but also recognized by his father at the same time. Even so, it amazed me to see him here. King Gabriel barely even used him for his plans.
“Tell me, why have you come? You know you are in dangerous and prohibited territories,” I retorted.
“Yes,” Prince Zar nodded, “I’m well aware of that, but I’m here in peace. I don’t wish to cause problems.”
Pacing around the group, I sniff the air. They had weapons but no taming weapons for dragons.
“I’m all ears now speak,” I ordered him.
His eyes never left mine. He was pacing carefully.
“I’ve come to make a trade. I need scales,” Prince Zar said with a serious face, “Just two bags.”
“May I ask for what?” I asked him as I stopped near him. I growled lightly, showing him my teeth. Then, for a moment, I saw him flinch.
“We need them for medicine,” Prince Zar said as he cleared his throat. “That’s all for medicine. We discover that your scales have a specific mineral that’s beneficial for healing. It can heal wounds caused by fire, cuts, and swords.”
Not answering back, he continues.
“I need them. But this is for my use. My father doesn’t know about it,” Prince Zar explained.
“And how do I know you’re not lying?” I hissed.
“Because what I’m going to offer you may make you change your perspective,” Prince Zar said confidently.
Curious to know, I mind link, Damian.
“Have some scales ready,” I told Damian. Then, hearing a quick response, I turned back to him.
“What is the trade you wished to offer?” I asked curiously.
“Dragon’s hearts,” Prince Zar said, getting me off guard.
“Excuse me?” I questioned him. Was he serious right now?
“You heard correctly, King Dimitri. Dragon’s hearts, I have eight of them,” Prince Zar said as he ordered one of his men to pull out a bag and show them.
I frowned, noticing the different colors of hearts glowing inside a bag that had a spell.
“Why offer that?” I asked, intrigued by his offer, “You know that has more value than scales.”
“Indeed, but I don’t dare use this. The scales though I need them. They are of a better use for us humans. So for the poor people,” Prince Zar explained as he sighed, “This is my humble offer.”
It surprised me; I would not lie. But, offering this to us, whom we protect dearly just for mere scales. It had me wondering what the catch was.
“Why do I have to trust your words?” I said with a growl.
I started pacing around the group again. The horses feeling my anger started becoming restless.
“Because I’m not my father,” Prince Zar spat, making me stop.
Thinking about what he just said, I sternly looked at him. His eyes didn’t waver, and I could see he was telling the truth. Scratching the ground with my long nails, I give them a warning.
“Let this be the first and last time. No more trading and no more stepping on my territory, are we clear?” I spat with a warning, “You know what might happen next time. So, don’t test my patience.”
“Thank you, King Dimitri,” Prince Zar said, bowing his head in respect.
Linking Damian, I ask him to prepare four bags. So, he would never come back.
“My men will deliver them. So hand me the dragon’s heart and wait for it to be delivered,” I said.
Raising his hand, two of his men walked over to me with the big bag. Putting it down right in front of me, I growl at them. Both men flinched and ran back to their horses.
“Wait here, and I hope you keep your word,” I said, grabbing the bag with my snout and flying away.
Landing back in the cave, I set the dragon’s heart on the ground and transformed.
“Take that to my chambers. I will deal with it later. Damian delivers the scales,” I order.
“On it,” Damian said as he undressed.
“How’s everything here?” I asked Michael.
“Good. It surprised me that Prince Zar came,” Michael said as he looked out the cave, “Where is his intention real?”
“Well, he gave me the bag,” I mumble, “Is Valkyrie in her chambers?”
“Yes, Mia is still there with her,” Michael said.
Excusing myself, I head back to her chambers. I needed to be sure she was safe. Hurriedly I head up. Knocking on the double doors, I hear Mia yell, wait, please.
I patiently wait outside the door.
“Mia?” I called back again.
She was taking longer than I expected. Deciding to open the door, I barge into the room. Mia and Valkyrie were not around. Calling for Mia, I hear her say my name.
She was in the bathroom. Asking for permission, I walk in, careful not to scare or make Valkyrie uncomfortable.
“Sorry, your majesty,” Mia said as she walked over with some clothes. “I was checking on Valkyrie.”
“Where is she?” I asked, moving my eyes around the vast bathroom.
“She’s near the small waterfall. She is resting, that’s why I didn’t come and open the door for you. Valkyrie dozes off,” Mia explained.
“Ok, you may leave,” I ordered her. Mia nodded and left with a smirk on her face.
Walking towards the waterfall, I see Valkyrie with her back to me. Her arms were on top of a rock and her head over pillows. I bet Mia got for her to rest.
“Valkyrie?” I called out softly.
Approaching her from the side, I see she has her eyes closed. Smiling, I scatter my shirt off and sit at the edge of the rocky pool. Steam has Valkyrie hair sticking all over her back.
Careful not to wake her up, I slowly remove her hair. She was resting peacefully. Valkyrie slightly opened her lips, and her body slouched against the rock.
It had me wondering if she didn’t feel uncomfortable. Deciding it best to take her to bed, I get in and slowly pick her up. I covered half her body with a piece of cloth.
Mumbling in her sleep, I make sure her arms are around my neck and then pick her up thoroughly.
Humming, she hugs me tightly. I smiled softly. She looked so lovely asleep.
Carrying her back, I find some dried clothes near the bed. Deciding it was best not to intrude on her naked body, I laid her down on the bed and covered her with the fur.
I dried her hair carefully. And then, when I was sure she was dried. I discarded my pants. It seems Mia thought ahead and brought me some extra pants.
Putting them on, I don’t feel Valkyrie waking up.
“Mia?” Valkyrie called, half asleep.
Turning, I see her yawning.
“Sorry, did I wake you up?” I asked her as she focused on me.
“Why are you here?” Valkyrie asked, sitting up.
Lowering my gaze, I bit my lip. Valkyrie sat up in bed, and the fur covering her body slid down, revealing her pink breast.
She was unaware of what was happening. Clearing my throat, I turn away.
“She needed to take care of some things, so I stayed over and took you out. Don’t worry; I didn’t pry,” I explained hurriedly.
Valkyrie crooked her head in confusion. Clearing my throat again. I roll my shoulders. This was uncomfortable.
“Oh!” Valkyrie finally said as she noticed her bare chest.
Blushing, Valkyrie pulls the fur up to her neck. Then, averting her eyes, she waits for me to say something.
“Uh, you have seen me naked, right?” Valkyrie suddenly asks.
“What?” I said, surprised.
“I mean, I’m supposedly your queen, that means we are lovers?” Valkyrie asks. It is making me blush.
Why was that making me feel awkward?
“Uh, yes, I supposed,” I said like an idiot.
“I see…” Valkyrie mutters.
We both stayed quiet. The silence makes it more uncomfortable.
“I think I should get changed,” Valkyrie mutters as she scrambles hurriedly off the bed.
“Wait!” I said as I reached for her, but Valkyrie’s legs got tangled on the sheets and made her fall down. She was hitting her head again on the way to the floor.
“Fuck!” I cursed as I reached for her.
Valkyrie hissed in pain as she held her head with both her hands. A small trickle of blood slid down from her forehead.
“Damn Valkyrie,” I snarled, making her flinch, “Can’t you be careful? You’re a troublemaker sometimes!” I snapped, realizing I had just opened my mouth again.
I gripped her arms. But dare not to move. Valkyrie was panting. Knowing that maybe I fuck it up, I gulp.
“Sorry,” I mumbled, letting go and standing up.
“C-Could you please pass me the clothes,” Valkyrie stutters, making me look down at her? But, of course, I was being a jerk and didn’t even know if she was all right.
Without a word, I grab the clothes and give them to her. Shaky hands grabbed them. I frowned at that. Why was she nervous?
“Valkyrie?” I called with a serious tone. Her skinny body immediately tenses up.
Panting softly, I kneeled.
“Hey, look at me,” I order as I grab her chin and lift her head.
Eyes wide, I look at her. Valkyrie was crying. Her two eyes were glistering like glass as tears fell.
“P-Please don’t get mad,” Valkyrie suddenly whispered, making me snap out of my trance.
“Valkyrie?” I repeated.
Lowering her eyes again, she mumbles a soft yes.
“You know who I am?” I asked excitedly.
“Huh?” Valkyrie said with a questioning look. She was looking at me, confused.
“Do you know who I am?” I repeated as I grabbed her arm.
“Y-Yes, I know, please let go,” Valkyrie said.
A bright smile spread on my face. Then, calling her name once again, I hug her.
“You know who I am. It was bloody time,” I muttered as I hugged her tightly.
Valkyrie regained her memories, and my heart tugged with unknown feelings that made me wonder if I was falling for her.