Zaraphina was frantically searching with the help of Tatsuo but it went slower than she would have wanted.
“If you are so stressed, I won’t be able to feel it’s presence Phina!“, she heard her dragon speak in her mind. It was true, since they bonded 19 years ago they always knew exactly how the other felt. It was not only knowing. They would actually feel it themselves if it was strong enough.
And Zaraphina was really stressed out right now, so it was no lie that this could cloud Tatsuos option of finding those eggs.
Not one of the villagers could help her, since the eggs were placed a few decades ago so they were on their own in finding and securing them.
She still couldn’t comprehend how all of it worked. All she knew, and all everyone knew, even the dragons, was that a mother-dragon would know if the egg was destined to be in a union one day. And she would somehow be able to feel where the other half of this union would grow up in. Not always the exact location, but in near distance.
So she would bring the egg to a safe place near it and it would take from 10 to 500 years to be hatched. It would entirely depend on the point where the hatchling would be able to feel the human. Inside the egg it would only be able to feel its partner at a short distance, so it was crucial that it would be near the human when he or she was born.
So that they would grow up together and the bond could be made as soon as possible.
If it was not near the human though, it would hatch as soon as the presence of the human grew with its age. So with the human being around 10 years old, the dragon could at least feel that his partner was alive. It wouldn’t be able to tell it’s location but it would be enough for it to hatch.
When the dragon gets older and hits maturity it will be able to feel the human around the whole continent, because at that time the humans presence would also be at it’s full strength.
But no one knew exactly how all of this worked. She had talked to Tatsuo about it and even the dragons didn’t know how it worked. This worked since the beginning of the time they knew, so no one questioned it.
Of course a few years ago no one had thought that some of the unions would turn out to be so evil. Unions were well thought of by all. They would help bring peace to wars, no matter if dragon- or man-made. They were soldiers of the highest status and no one in his right mind ever tried to do them harm.
And now she had to try and bring as many dragon eggs as possible to safety. Tatsuo could only barely feel them, so it was a hard task. But it was the only thing she was able to do now. Soon the last unions would fall and her main task was to make sure that one day there would be unions again that could make it all right.
By now the last remaining ‘good’ unions were cooperating with the free dragons that were on their side. A union was a sacred thing, so the leader of the free dragons wanted to help her secure them. If they could find them and bring the eggs to her, she would keep them safe on their island.
The eggs and their Dragonborn would be harder to find when they were separated until they both were of age. She was sure that then they would be able to find each other again. Of course they would not have the time to bond as a normal union would have, but it would be fair enough. Better like that, than no bond at all.
Zaraphina was sure that she was doing the right thing. The ‘bad’ unions had started to murder any Dragonborn they could find so they wouldn’t have anyone against them anytime soon.
“It’s right here.” Tatsuo said and nodded to a bush near a tree. They hadn’t wandered off that far from the village. The hatchling would have found his partner easily in this distance. But she couldn’t just let it here. As soon as the dragon would hatch and start to connect their presence would grow so that other Dragonborn could feel them from a short distance.
But this was not good if by then the last Dragonborn that remained would be the evil ones. So this was the only chance they got to keep them safe.
Zaraphina crawled under the bush and dug around the earth. “Either it was long ago that those eggs were left here, or their mother was paranoid. They must be really far down. Are you sure they are here?”
“Yes Phina, I can feel them quite clearly now. They have a strong presence. And their mother was maybe right to be so paranoid. I think those are soulmates.”
Zaraphina gasped in wonder. “Those are doppelgangers? I thought they were extremely rare and no one saw one for a very long time?“, she had never seen doppelgangers, and had only heard from them in stories.
“I have only heard about them, but it is said that when they are together one can feel their bond. You see, soulmates, or doppelgangers as the humans call them, are bonded to each other, as their riders will be. So it will not be like the normal bond in a union. But it will be a bond that will stretch to four beings, thus they will be a lot stronger than a normal union. We have to make sure that those riders will be on our side when the time comes! Otherwise it will be really hard to win this war.“, Tatsuo said in her mind with urgency.
She nodded at him, so he began digging at the ground with his big talons. It didn’t take very long, but if she would have needed to do this on her own it would have taken days! She carefully took the two white eggs and placed them in two bags she had on her. Two would not fit into one, since one egg was larger then her head.
Then she climbed her dragon and they flew off in the direction of the islands.
Avira was waiting for them. “You have the eggs!”, she shouted excitedly as they closed in to her position. She was sitting under her favorite tree. A cherry that was blossoming beautifully and was complimenting her white scales. She was one of the most beautiful dragons Zaraphina had ever seen. Avira had always been the leader of the free dragons, she was more than 500 years old. No one knew exactly how old she was, and everyone believed that she herself didn’t know it.
“Yes we have”, Zaraphina said out loud, she got tired of not speaking with her tongue and since the dragons could understand her either way she only used her mind talk if it was necessary that no one could hear her.
“Oh! This is unusual, why is their presence so strong?”, the leader asked and stepped closer to Zaraphina who started to pull the eggs out of the bag. “Is it actually possible? I have only felt this once in my lifetime...” She muttered to herself, as if forgetting to think for herself. She stepped even closer after Phina had laid the eggs on the ground for her to inspect. “We really need to keep those eggs safe. Tatsuo! Do you know what this is?”, she looked over at the other dragon who sat a few feet away from them. “I was not really sure milady but from your reaction I guess I had the right thought. Are they soulmates?”, he asked cautiously. “Yes indeed they are! They are brother and sister, born from the same mother at the same time. This is extraordinary! If they turn out to be at our side... If the Riders don’t get killed before being able to get to us when time comes! This will give us the upper hand and safe the world from Zeniths followers!”, she was overly exited, nearly screaming in their heads.
He didn’t know why she still called them Zeniths followers, since it was said that he died a few years ago when the bad unions were brought down. But he was the one that started this godforsaken war. He was a human that wanted more power than he could have.
Avira was still blabbering about how great this all was and how it would turn everything around when they decided to leave. They were on guard duty tonight. As long as there still were good unions out there they always tried to have one of them in the team of watchers that circled the islands for any intruders.
A few hours later they were at their post, high up in the sky at the east point of the islands facing the big island where the danger of the bad dragons lay. The last attack was a few months back, so no one really thought that another would come anytime soon. They thought that the other group had given up in defeating theirs but they thought wrong.
An hour into their shift they saw a large group of dragons heading their way. One of them was a union, that she could see since one dragon had a human riding it. And of course she could feel it, as was normal.
The battle started rather quickly, Tatsuo called out to the other watchers and the nearest ones were with them in an instant since they were not spread out that far. There were 8 opponents to them and they were 9 at the time, so they didn’t think that this would be a problem.
But it turned out otherwise. Halfway into the fight Sara could feel that the other rider was much stronger then her. Probably in a union since centuries. They were so good together that she was nearly at a point of complimenting them.
It was almost impossible for her to hold against him since her union was not even twenty years old. But she couldn’t give up so she tried her best to stand strong until the reinforcement from the islands would come.
After painful few minutes - that felt like hours - of dodging and countering she and her dragon were at a loss of strength whereas their opponent was not even sweating.
“You think you can beat me? ME? I am Zenith! Leader of the rebels!“, she heard him scream as he was fluently dodging one of Tatsuos fire streams. She stared at him wide eyed. He was said to be nearly as old as Avira, so that meant that he was in a union far far longer than she was. No wonder that she was not match to him. At her expression she saw him laugh at her and scream again: “No I am not dead! As if you filthy scum could kill me!“, she knew that she had to try but she also knew that they didn’t have the strength to fight him.
“Tatsuo you have to retreat. This will not end well if you push yourself to far!“, she told him calmly, patting his neck. “No. We are not giving up as long as the reinforcement is not here, Phina! We have to keep him away from the islands!“, she heard him beg in her mind and gave in.
Soon after that they were both exhausted when the reinforcement came. There were two other Unions with them that would be able to take on Zenith and his dragon since they were older than her. So they started to retreat but he wouldn’t let them. She saw it too late, but she felt Tatsuos pain as the strong fireburst hit him. She saw the frightened expressions of the unions that were headed their way as they sped up their dragons as much they could.
She tried to scream out to her partner in her mind but got no respond. When she looked behind her Zaraphina noticed that the two unions were at Zeniths back as he chose to retreat now. And she couldn’t help herself but think that she saw him shake with laughter.
“Tatsuo!! Wake up! We are falling!!“, she screamed with all her might as she registered them coming closer to the ground. She pumped all the energy she had left into him as she tried to wake him up by healing him as much she could. The other way around this worked really well since a dragon had more energy than his human partner but it would have to do.
“Phina.. hol’ thight.”, she registered his voice. Barely a slurrish whisper in her mind. So she did. Holding on to the reigns and laying flat as good as possible.
She didn’t remember what happened next. She only knew that they hit the ground and Tatsuo positioned himself so she would not get hurt. The next thing she knew was that she was climbing down his limp body, getting to his face and screaming for him to wake up. He was alive, but barely. She could feel that he wouldn’t make it but was not ready to accept it.
She saw his eyelids flutter open and concentrating on her. Then she felt his power surging into her. Strengthening her from within. “I love you Phina.“, was all she heard as she felt his life coming to an end.
Thanks for reading!! <3