Chapter 21: Lyzaria
The dress is beautiful. Black silk with red and orange crystals at the bottom, made to look like flames crawling up the dress. It’s paired with a tiara of black iron.
My hair is in an elaborate braid down my back and laced with small red stones. I smile at my reflection. The girl in the mirror is one I remember to be a fierce dragon warrior, one who would do anything to protect her family, but would do exactly as she was told. The perfect daughter.
A knock at my door makes me turn around quickly.
“Come in,” I say. The door opens to reveal my escort.
“Hello uncle,” I greet him with a nod. He shakes his head at me, a smile on his face.
“Just as beautiful as I remember,” he chuckles. I walk over to him, placing a chaste kiss on his cheek.
“Let’s go,” I say, feeling excited and nervous at the same time.
My uncle holds out his elbow for me which I take with a smile. There are four guards, two in front of us and two behind us. They lead us through the halls until we reach a massive ballroom.
The red crystals over black and gold stone seem to glow in the light of the volcano that comes from the massive window. There are nearly two dozen dragon shifters seated around the room. Along with another dozen females.
At the end of the carpeted path between the chairs is Kailo. He looks dashing in his black armor. There are red-orange engravings covering the metal, making it look like it’s still burning.
His brown hair is perfectly tousled and his green eyes gleam as they lock onto mine. His lips turn upwards into a grin, and I smile back.
The guards move to stand around the room while my uncle leads me down the carpet. I’m so glad my feet are bare because otherwise I might trip.
My whole body is tingling and my fingers are going numb. I keep walking though, until I am standing beside Kailo. He grasps my hands tightly, but it does nothing to stop the horrible feeling.
Lyza are you alright? My dragon asks me.
No, I don’t know what’s wrong, I reply. The dragon shifter in front of us clears his throat.
“We are here today to complete a binding ceremony between Princess Lyzaria, and Kailo of the Guard. Kailo, do you vow to care for, protect, and love Princess Lyza with everything you have until death and after?” He asks Kailo.
“I do,” he says, throwing me a sideways grin.
“And do you Princess Lyza, vow to care for, honor, and love Kailo of the Guard with everything you have until death and after?” My chest tightens and it is getting hard to breathe.
“I do,” I manage to choke out.
Lyza! What is wrong? Mytalonis growls worriedly.
“Please place your hands over one another to complete the bond,” the man says. Kailo lifts our intertwined hands, looking at me with a smile.
I swallow the lump in my throat, ignoring the cold creeping up my spine. The man wraps a thin metal chain over our hands, binding them together.
“To complete the ritual, the chain will be burned into your skin as a symbol of your eternal bond to one another,” the man says. The icy feeing touches my heart.
“NO!” The scream resonates through the entire room, and I yank my hand away, snapping the thin chain.
My chest rises and falls rapidly and my entire body is tingling with horror at what I just did. Gasps surround me, everyone frozen in shock.
“I can’t,” I mutter, backing away. Kailo stares at me before growling angrily.
“How could you do this to me Lyza? After everything I did for you!” He snarls. I flinch at the anger in his voice.
“Tomorrow you are going to regret what you just did!” He spits before stalking out, throwing the remnants of the chain onto the ground.
I collapse onto my knees, tears streaming down my face. I bury my face in my hands, hiding the tears from everyone.
“Lyza!” I hear someone shout and my head snaps up. I spot Daerius being restrained by guards at the end of the room.
I jump to my feet and storm over to him. My fist connects with his face, and the guards release him. He stumbles back into the wall, holding his bleeding nose.
“Do you know what happens when you interrupt a bonding ritual?” I ask angrily.
“No, but I do know that I can’t let my mate marry someone else!” He growls back.
“A bonding ritual is not supposed to be stopped, so now I will have to fight him,” I spit. He scoffs.
“So what? I’ve seen you fight, it shouldn’t be too difficult.” I growl.
“It’s a fight as dragons and it’s to the death.”