There was a stillness that night in the bedroom.
King Ulyeus stared at his wife, eyes as cloudy as a fish, staining the sheets red with blood.
He smiled with wrath in his heart as he stood over her, cold as the Queen’s lifeless body.
The silent room erupted in screams as a small baby in the corner of the room stared at King Ulyeus’s horrendous crime.
He smiled and silenced it back into a quiet slumber.
As he gently wrapped his fingers around the baby, the words of the Oracle hauntingly replayed inside his mind:
The young princess is destined for a greater purpose but beware, young King. She has great power deep inside the depths of her heart. It will erupt with the fire she carries, overthrowing you and everything you’ve worked so hard to create.
He had to kill his only child, the only heir to his throne. Ulyeus knew his wife wouldn’t let that happen without a fight, so she was the first victim of his estranged plot. That night, when the full moon casted a glow on his wife’s peaceful sleeping body, he stabbed her in the back numerous times, slitting her throat for good measure.
To others, it was a massacre; A butchering.
An act of hatred.
The King saw it as his duty as a ruler, and to further fulfill his rule over the Kingdom of Hebia.
Now, there were larger problems to deal with.
He wrapped his cloak over his broad shoulders, opening the window using the moonlight as his lantern.
He wrapped his daughter in a makeshift blanket under the cloak and jumped onto the shackles of the castle.
He disappeared without a sound echoing from his boots as the baby continued to be silent while he walked down the cobblestone streets of the village.
The only people up at this time of night were the beggars, gripping his feet desperate for scraps from starvation.
He stared at the mountain ahead, poking the moon like a savage beast. At the peak, was a small plume smoke that tainted the kingdom for miles, reeking of dragon flesh.
The Oracle told him about this place; A place where no mortal being was allowed to pass...
It was a chunk of magma, still glowing with life; Never petrified. As long as the eternal smoke continued to flicker, only the dragon species were allowed to pass.
This was a place between two worlds, where crossing the rock was suicide.
The dragons were never merciful.
The King began his trek up the mountain, steadying his breathing and looking out for the dragons ahead.
When the child began to whimper, he simply shook the sorry being, and she would be silent once more.
He followed the rocky stretch of road for hours, making him severely fatigued.
Finally, he climbed up the solitary rock and spotted the smoke forming in his eyes, burning with tears forming on the edge of his eyelids.
He pulled the child out from the cloak and prepared for impact.
He wore a sinister smile as he threw his daughter across the rock.
The child whined, resulting in screeches from the blow of the fall.
Even if the dragons didn’t find her immediately, the sorry soul would surely be dead by morning.
King Ulyeus’s work was now finished.
He didn’t even take a second glance as he abandoned his only daughter to the gods’ mercy.
As the nighttime slowly faded away, and the gentle hue of dawn warmed the dying baby’s body, voices could be heard behind the Stone:
“What is it?”
A giant claw made a booming sound as it approached the tiny being.
“It’s a mortal, that I know for sure.”
“What should we do with it, Kayelinth?” A young fire dragon appeared beside the baby's side.
The older and wiser dragon known as Kayelinth smelled the baby through its strong and giant nostrils. “Normally, under any other circumstances, we would terminate it, of course. But this isn’t a normal mortal being, It’s a juvenile. I’ve known that they exist, but I've never seen one up close before.”
The Elder dragon frowned. “This being was not brought here by choice.”
“I can do it for you if you want me to. I’ll make it fast and painless.”
Kayelinth hissed at the young dragon. “No, Tobalth. This is an unusual case, and must be dealt as such.”
Tobalth glared at his mentor but obeyed his command.
Kayelinth was still for a moment, so Tobalth opened his mouth slightly to speak. Kayelinth held up a claw in front of Tobalth’s face and said “Be silent, Baliarth is speaking to me...”
Tobalth watched as his Elder went into a trance-like state.
“What is he saying to you?”
The wise dragon’s eyes shot open as Kayelinth quickly scooped up the child with his giant claw.
“Come, Tobalth. You're about to witness something never done by our kind before. This will come as a shock for all of us, I’m sure, so I’ll need your help in persuading the rest of the clan to agree.”
Tobalth listened to his Elder.
“Are you sure you want to do this, Kayelinth? You don’t know if the mortal could betray us.”
“It won’t. We will teach it our ways, and how to wield the elements such as us. It will be difficult, no doubt, but the dragon race has been misunderstood for far too long. It’s about time a mortal being can represent the clans and hopefully create peace with the mortals once again.”
Tobalth couldn’t completely agree with Kayelinth’s theory, but he had no choice but to follow his orders.
But as he stared at the tiny piece of life wrapped in Kayelinth’s giant claw, he couldn’t help but feel a strange connection with the mortal being.
He knew from that moment on he would be loyal to the child, as long as he was alive to protect it.
Little did either of the dragons know that the tiny weeping child they rescued that night would be the answer to their unanswered prayers,
And just how much they had twisted destiny in favor of the prophecy’s foretelling.