Chapter 24: Daerius
A hoarse yell fills my ears, and it takes me a moment before I realize it’s my own. All I could see were shadows and now all I can see is Lyza falling through the sky.
Her wing has a huge tear in it and she is covered in a glistening black liquid, blood. I feel my heart drop as I notice she is not moving, and her eyes are closed as she falls.
I am standing, but my legs give out underneath me as her body hits the earth. The ground shakes and a plume of dust floats over us.
Kailo soars down from the clouds, his wings beating away the cloud of dirt. I see he is missing an eye and half of his face is badly burned.
“Oh shit, I don’t think she’s getting up,” someone whispers behind me.
Then flames suddenly burst from within the dirt cloud. I jump back, narrowly avoiding getting my eyebrows burned off.
“What the hell?” Angel asks beside me, craning her head to see what’s going on.
Then a roar sounds, so loud it shakes the ground harder than Lyza’s crash. That’s when I see it.
The shining metal laying on the ground with a dark form above it.
“She lost her collar, Talon is in complete control now,” I say, making everyone around me gasp.
Talon bursts through the cloud of dirt and smoke, his wings larger than before and completely healed. His eyes are a devilish red, glowing brighter than the volcanoes.
He steps forward as Kailo lands in front of him, his clawed foot completely crushing the collar.
“Did he get even bigger?” Angel asks, echoing my thoughts. Compared to Talon, Kailo’s dragon suddenly looks minuscule.
He stands on his hind legs, spreading out his wings and letting out another ground shaking roar. Kailo’s dragon cringes back slightly. My eyes widen in realization.
“He’s trying to make him submit,” I say aloud. Everyone turns to me confused, except Angel.
“It’s like how an Alpha wolf makes a lower rank submit. Talon is trying to get Kailo’s dragon to submit to him,” I explain. Angel laughs.
“Hey if it works then I’m going to ask her to see if she can get you to submit to her,” Angel sneers. I growl at her and she purses her lips, but the amusement doesn’t leave her eyes.
Talon roars again, but then slams his front legs down onto the ground, making Kailo’s dragon collapse onto the dirt.
Talon stalks forward, his tail swishing back and forth. His teeth latch around the other dragon’s neck, but instead of killing him, he spreads his wings and carries him high into the sky.
“What the hell is he doing?” The guard mutters, leaning forward as Talon soars above the clouds.
A few moments later, a red-orange form is falling from the clouds, letting out a scream-like roar.
“He tore off his wing!” Angel yells, pointing to Kailo’s dragon. I look closer and see she is right. Kailo has only one wing.
I hear a whistling sound and Talon dives from the clouds. His claws lock into Kailo’s body and catch him before he hits the ground.
He carries him away again, this time toward the mountain of rock on the other side of the dirt ring. I wince as his body hits the jagged rock where Talon threw him.
This time Talon simply watches overhead as the dragon tumbles down the mountain, finally collapsing on the bottom.
Talon picks him up once again, carrying him back to the ring where he releases him. Kailo’s body hits the dirt with a loud thud.
“Is he dead?” Angel asks quietly.
“No, he is still breathing,” her guard replies. Talon’s mouth opens and some strange language comes out.
“What the hell? Is he talking?” I ask.
“Yes, dragons speak the ancient language, but very few of us shifters can actually understand it. Lyza is one of the few,” a young man beside me says.
“Does anyone know what they are saying?” He asks loudly when Kailo’s dragon speaks back.
“Venix is begging for mercy, for a quick death. Talon says he doesn’t deserve one because of his plan to take Lyza’s throne,” an elderly man tells us.
“He was going to take Lyza’s throne?” A guard growls. The old man nods.
“Then he deserves a slow, painful death!” The young man shouts to Talon. All of the others around me shout in agreement, even Angel.
“I thought you didn’t like Lyza?” I ask her.
“Eh, mob mentality,” she mutters before yelling again. I close my eyes, shaking my head in amazement.
I hear a screaming roar and my eyes open in a flash. Talon’s claws are buried deep into Venix’s stomach.
Talon removes his claws, the spits fire at the wound. Venix screams louder. Talon’s flash brighter red for a moment before he bites Venix’s neck.
Blood seeps onto the ground underneath Venix’s struggling body. His claws thrash, catching Talon’s shoulder but he ignores it.
He bites down harder and jerks his head, completely separating Venix’s head from his neck. Talon lets go and steps back, looking around as if admiring his work.
Then he stands up into two legs and spreads out his wings with a victory roar. I watch as Venix’s body shifts, until it is Kailo’s naked body laying in two pieces in the dirt.
“How is Lyza going to shift back?” I ask. The young man beside me shrugs.
“Without her collar the only way to get her to shift back is to knock her out, that would make her shift back automatically,” he says.
“Well that’s not so bad, you guys have darts or something to do that, don’t you?” Angel says.
“You say that like it’s easy. However a dragon’s skin can usually only be penetrated by another dragon’s claws or teeth, and there’s no way Talon will let us get close enough to stick a syringe in the soft part of his neck,” he says, sighing in defeat.
I think for a moment, watching as guards surround Talon, who is looking at them through narrowed eyes. His stance is defensive, he feels threatened.
Then an idea forms in my mind. I leap up from the bench and run towards where King Adarath is conversing with two guards.
The guards behind me shout and I can hear them chasing after me.
“King Adarath! I can help!” I yell, coming to a stop just in front of him. He looks over my face for a moment, then holds his hand up to stop the guards behind me.
“How could you possibly help?” He growls.
“Lyza is my mate, I can get close enough to sedate her so she will be able to shift,” I tell him. He raises an eyebrow, seemingly to consider it.
“Very well, but just now that if I catch you acting funny or if you try to run, you will suffer the same fate as Kailo,” he warns.
My eyes widen in fear and I swallow hard.
“Understood,” I mutter. The King nods to someone who hands me a small syringe. I stare at it for a moment.
“This thing is tiny,” I say. He chuckles a little.
“Tiny but powerful. The liquid in there is strong enough to kill 50 wolves so I suggest you be careful with it.”
I nod, slowly walking over to the edge of the dirt ring. I look down. My heart drops as I realize how far down the ground is, then I look over at Talon, and realize how massive he is.
“Uh maybe this isn’t such a good idea.”