68. The Dragon
I watch in awe at the beast before me. His eyes never leave mine.
“Valkyrie?” Damian called but stopped as he looked at the beast and cringed.
“Why are you making that face?” I asked, walking up. The red dragon behind me growls as a warning. I quickly glanced back and shook my head.
“That’s why,” Damian pointed out.
“You’re a dragon Damian,” I said, smiling. Handing me some water, I drink it. After the minor ruckus from an hour ago, I realized I had a minor injury to my left arm. Damian insisted on healing it, but my wound started healing alone. Even Calandra was amazed.
“Yes, I know I’m a beast, but that,” Damian pointed out, “That’s quite different from us.”
“What do you mean?” I asked, confused.
“Well, he particularly looks attached to you. It’s like he’s protective. And at the same time, he looks like he would even attack us. But, remember, he doesn’t have a human side. So he’s a complete monster Valkyrie. So you should be careful,” Damian said with a sigh, ″I don’t want you to get hurt.”
“I won’t,” I said, patting his shoulder, “How is everything?” I asked, changing the topic. We had some time before we left. Preparations for a battle were being held, and according to Leo, Dimitri was safe, but I felt something was missing.
“We are getting everything ready. We shall be ready by dawn,” Damian said, “You sure you want to go?”
“Yes, I can’t leave Dimitri all alone,” I said with thin lips, “this is my battle, Damian. I’m the chosen, the one who will slay Gabriel down to his doom.”
Damian didn’t utter a word. Seeing Leo heading our way. He stops and smirks up to the beast behind me.
“Amazingly, he is so still,” Leo said, “That dragon is enormous. Did you give him a name?”
“Name?” I mumble back.
“Yes, give him a name. He’s yours after all,” Leo said smiling, “Feel proud, queen. So now you have your dragon.”
I looked back at the beast whose eyes were on me. Walking up to it, I approach him carefully. He lowered his head as he sniffed me. It felt strange looking at something like this. The difference in height, color, and attitude were ones I had not seen before. He indeed was a monster and one I had to be careful with.
Reaching for it, he lowers his head. I was tiny next to it. Staring into his eyes, I feel a warm feeling spreading over my hand up to my chest. I frown slightly at the strange yet comfortable feeling. Then, staring intently into his eyes, I notice the hazel one glowing. Crooking my head curiously, I feel a sudden pain. Crouching, I hold my head. It was the same pain I had before.
“Valkyrie?” Damian called.
Hearing a buzzing sound, I let out a small yell. What was happening? Worried, Damian and Leo try to reach me, but the dragon covers me with one of its long wings. Then, painting tiredly, I open my eyes and find myself in complete darkness.
“Valkyrie, are you all right?” I heard Damian yell worriedly. Trying to calm down, I move but stop when I notice the shiny eye glaring back at me.
“What is happening?” I mumble. The dragon moved his head and started pushing me.
I felt confused about his behavior.
Finally reaching for my head, the dragon stops. I froze in place as I felt his snout over my head. Was he going to attack me?
Gulping nervously, I close my eyes. I felt the same warmth from before. Breathing out, I opened my eyes and found the beast with its eyes closed. Staring at him, I decide to do the same. Indescribable energy started flowing through my body. It felt like I was being engulfed in fire, but it didn’t burn. Concentrating, I suddenly start seeing visions. Images from a woman and Gabriel. The scenes were sad; it made my eyes sting with tears as I finally knew who the person was.
“Mother?” I whispered with my eyes closed. Not understanding, I frown, following the quick flashes that passed by my mind. It felt suffocating as I revived her life. From the moment she left her mate to the moment she died. Feeling nauseous, I scream and back away. Then, holding my stomach, I start to throw up. Shocking, it was blood.
The dragon growled and started to back away as I felt my mark on my chest sting. Hurriedly, I pulled my dress down.
“VALKYRIE!” Damian yelled and moved next to me. The dragon just stared at us. “What’s happening?” I heard him ask worriedly.
Trembling, I reach for my mark. It was glowing in black.
“Your mating mark,” Damian whispered as I noticed the changes. The mark has spread from my breast to my neck. It looked like armor. I tried to look at the details, but then another nauseous feeling took over. “Valkyrie, let me take you to Calandra.”
“No,” I said, stopping him, “I will be fine.”
Panting, I raise my head. Then, recalling what I saw, I scowled. I still couldn’t believe I was that monster’s daughter. My mother suffered with him.
“I need you to tell the men to prepare things quickly,” I ordered Damian. He frowned, confused.
“Why?” Damian asked.
“Because I want to kill that father of mine,” I grumble angrily.
“Dimitri will take care of that Valkyrie,” Damian whispered as he helped me up.
“No,” I shook my head, “he dies by my hand. Right, Alarik?”
“What?” Damian asked, stunned. “What did you just call him?”
“Alarik, noble ruler,” I said smiling, “Alarik will be the one to end all this.”
Standing at the entrance of the cave, I look outside the mountains. Even though it was snowing, the morning sun rose from the horizon. Dawn was here, and it was time.
“We are ready, your majesty,” Leo said with a bow.
“Good,” I said, turning around. The cave was full of fighters. “Today is the day for battle. Remember, we end this with no excuses. Our mission is to kill King Gabriel and his people and bring back our king. That’s all I’m asking for you.” I said sternly. Every dragon present smiled. “Everyone starts getting ready to leave.”
I waited for everyone to move, but instead, everyone smiled. I frown as I see Damian walking up to me. His tall figure looked down at me.
“Before we leave, there’s something we have to do,” Damian said.
“What is it?” I asked. Looking to the side, he calls Leo. Leo carried a black chest in his hands. Stopping, Damian unlocks it. I stared at it with confusion. What was inside?
“We all agreed on something last night,” Damian said smiling, “We all thought that if we are heading into battle with you. We had to do the right thing.”
“What are you talking about?” I asked, looking around.
“That is to make you queen,” a familiar voice said. I looked behind Damian and saw his grandfather and some of the other elders following him. Stopping some feet away, he looks at me.
“We can’t allow you to go to battle without being crowned,” Damian’s grandfather said, “So before you leave,” he said, approaching Damian, “We shall name you the queen of the horde,” he said as he pulled a black crown.
“This crown was made from Dimitri’s scales,” Damian explained smiling. I snap my head and look at him.
“His scales?” I said, surprised.
“Yes, we may drop some scales occasionally,” Damian winked.
Getting closer, Damian’s grandfather lifts the crown. Everyone present kneeled and bowed their heads.
“This shall be different, but once you and my grandson are back, we shall hold it the correct way,” Damian’s grandfather said, “Now, please kneel.”
Surprised by his attitude, I do as he says. Keeping my head down.
“In front of all the horde. Today we name a new queen, as my witnesses you shall see this grand day—the one our king has wished for. The elder of this horde, Jerium, named you Valkyrie, the new queen of Mount Errigal. Our new Onyx queen.” he said aloud as he puts the crown down my head. Backing away, I raise my head, and everyone starts cheering. I smiled wryly as I recalled my babies.
“You all right?” Damian asked, noticing my smile.
“Yes,” I said.
“I know this is not the correct way, but it’s something. So don’t worry, once we return, we shall hell a huge banquet for you,” Damian said, cheering me up, “Now before we go.” Damian said, whistling. I saw some of the other men bring something heavy on their arms. “Here, this is for you. You shall wear proper armor.”
“An Armor?” I said, eyes wide.
“Yes!” Leo said smiling, “Our queen should go to battle the right way.” Pulling the covers off. I find black armor and with it a silver sword.
“Your hair will look marvelous with that armor,” a familiar voice said. Surprised, I push Leo out of the way.
“Irene?” I whispered, stunned. Standing next to Michael was Irene. Running up, I hug her. She calmly patted my back.
“How did you turn back?” I asked as I looked at Michael.
“Cian’s heart,” Irene mumbled, “It was thanks to him.”
I could see the pain in her eyes as she mentioned Cian’s name. Smiling at her, I hug her back. No words needed to be said to understand the pain she was going through.
“I’m sorry for what happened,” Irene whispered in my ear. I smiled weakly as a sudden tug made me want to cry. Then, finally, I nodded and moved away.
“I shall get ready,″ I whispered and walked away with the armor.
After changing, I head back to the cave. I look up as I find everyone in complete silence. Frowning, I stop when I notice Alarik inside the cave.
“Is everyone ready?” I asked aloud.
I heard a lot of yes as everyone kept their eyes on the beast. Then, smiling, I walk up to it.
“You look good,” Damian said, approaching me.
“Thanks,” I smiled. The armor was kind of heavy against my body, but it felt good. Rolling my neck, I stand in front of Alarik. “Ready, my friend,” I whispered. Lowering his head, I walk up and get on the beast. Damian lent me a hand as it was a bit too high.
“You good?” Damian asked.
“Yes!” I said, smiling. Looking back at everyone, I smile. “It’s time to battle my people.” with that said, I took off with Alarik. “I shall be there soon, Dimitri.”