Chapter 30: Lyzaria
I can’t feel anything. My entire body is numb. My memories are distorted too, all I remember is my father telling me that we have to leave soon, and then the fire.
Something presses around my neck and I realize I am being dragged to the ground by a chain. A red dragon is leading me away from the black clouds of ash.
I try to fly towards my uncle but nothing moves. It’s like my body is paralyzed.
After several minutes we reach the ground. I collapse onto the black dirt, my eyes darting around in panic. A dozen unfamiliar faces surround me. One of them sticks a needle into the underside of my neck and I feel a cold liquid run through my veins. My eyelids start to fall, and I pass out moments later.
The ashes are so deep, they completely cover my feet. Back and white flecks drift in the wind down from the volcanoes.
The acrid scent of smoke and blood fills my nose and makes me cough. There isn’t a single person in sight. Or at least not a living one.
Body lay in the ashes, some on top, others completely buried under mounds of volcanic dust. I recognize every single one.
They were all dragons.
I wake in terror; my chest heaving and my body shaking. My eyes wildly dart around in panic, so fast that nothing comes into focus.
My gaze is drawn towards a bright red light and I find myself staring at the flaming mouth of Mors. I sigh, looking around at the room.
It’s not quite as I remember it, it seems bigger, and something else just feels off. I shrug it off and climb out of my bed, heading towards the closet.
It is filled with dresses and outfits that all seem to be made of fire. I slip into one of my favorites, a long black dress that looks like burning embers in the red light. It has intricate designs running along the fitted bodice and jeweled accents across the neckline.
I pick up my crown from where it rests on a small pillow on my dresser. The elaborate designs of the black metal make it match my dress perfectly. I place it on my head with a grin, smoothing down my fiery red hair.
I leave my bedroom and walk down the corridors, two guards following a few feet behind me. There aren’t many people in the castle, mostly guards, but those I pass give me a respectable bow.
My skirt sweeps the floor behind me, and I chuckle as the guards take great care not to step on the long train. I slowly make my way out of the palace, and smile at the familiar scene.
Dark silhouettes of dragons streak across the red sky, and men are sparring at the base of the volcanoes. I turn to one of the guards at my side.
“I would like to practice control over my fire,” I say. He nods deeply.
“Yes Princess Lyzaria. I believe I am skilled enough to be your instructor as your father and uncle are busy,” he offers.
“Very well,” I reply, allowing him to lead me to the Courtyard. It is a flat area in which the black rocks form a circular wall that stands roughly four feet tall.
The guard moves across from me and slowly raises his gaze to meet my own. “Princess Lyzaria, so I know where we should begin, what is the most advanced skill you have learned?” he asks.
“My father has been trying to teach me the Fire Snake but I do not have enough control,” I sigh.
I watch a small smile appear on his face. “Why don’t you try it again? I have a feeling you will have better control now.”
I sit on my bed, staring down at my hands. For years I have tried to learn the Fire Snake among dozens of other skills, and up until today I have failed.
I never could control my dragon’s power enough to successfully perform any advanced skills. I haven’t been able to figure out why I suddenly could today.
I sigh heavily and change out of my dress and into my night clothes. I crawl under the silk sheets of my bed and close my eyes.
I lay awake in bed for hours before I finally slip into darkness.
A knock at my door jars me from my sleep. I let out a deep breath and give myself a minute to fully wake up. “Come in,” I call.
A guard comes through the door. I sit up when I see the slight worry on his face. “Princess Lyzaria, your uncle would like you to see him in his study,” the guard says. I nod and get dressed before I follow him down the winding hallways.
My eyes search the vacant halls in confusion. Where is everyone? I wonder with furrowed brows. We pause in front of two massive double doors. The guards knocks, the sound echoing through the empty palace.
“Come in,” I hear my uncle call. I walk through the doors and the guards closes them behind me.
My uncle sits behind a large mahogany desk, in a plush red chair. His lips curl upwards when he sees me. He immediately stands and moves around his desk to pull me into a tight hug.
“Where is my father? And why is the castle so empty? Did they go out while I was asleep?” I ask. He sighs, looking at me with a somber face.
“Lyza, I’m sorry but, there was an attack,” he says and my face falls.
“What are you talking about?”
“Last night, while you were sleeping there was an attack. They didn’t get into the palace but they got really close.”
I sink into one of the chairs, my eyes wide in shock. “Is everyone okay? How many dragons got hurt?” I ask.
“Nearly everyone. A lot of dragons risked their lives to make sure yours was safe,” he says.
I start to panic when I realize he is avoiding eye contact with me. “Where is my father?” I ask, clenching my teeth. He visibly flinches.
“Is my father okay?!”
“No. He’s dead.” I look at my uncle with suspicion. He sounds like he is lying, but the pain in his eyes proves he’s telling the truth.
Tears start streaming down my face and I can feel my chest tighten painfully. I bury my face in my hands, taking deep breaths to stop my crying.
“Who-who did this?” I hiccup, wiping my eyes.
“It was the wolves,” my uncle tells me, his voice cracking slightly. My dragon growls and I feel his anger slowly become my own.
I clench my fists tightly and a low snarl escapes my lips. “I’m going to kill every last one of those bastards, starting with their Alpha.