Chapter 32: Lyzaria
I let out a growl as the wolf continues to yell at me. I leap off of the back of the warrior’s dragon. My dress flies around me as I fall through the air.
I land in a silent crouch, just inside the edge of the burning forest. With a wave of my hand the flames subside long enough for me to walk through the trees and into the clearing of wolves.
My Fire Snake hisses and spits beside me, swaying side to side. The wolves look at me with eyes full of fear, all except for one; the Werewolf King.
“Lyza!” he yells again and I growl angrily.
“How do you know my name?” I snarl. He takes a step forward and my finger twitches. The snakes hisses loudly and slithers closer. He leaps backwards in shock.
“You’re my mate Lyza! You saved my life, you saved my sister’s life!” he yells. I growl.
“I’ve never seen you before! The only thing I know about you is that you killed my father!” I spit, stalking closer. My eyes are flaming red and I can feel my dragon trying to surface.
“What are you talking about? I didn’t kill your father.” My fist smashes into his face and he falls onto his back a few feet away.
“Don’t lie to me!” I storm forward until I am standing over him. “I found the wolves you sent to kill the dragons and I made them confess! They told me that the Werewolf King ordered for the extinction of dragons.”
He pushes himself to his feet, holding his bleeding nose. “That wasn’t me! That was my father! That order was made decades ago!” he says.
I growl angrily and kick him hard in the ribs. I hear a harsh cracking noise followed by his gasp of pain. “My uncle warned me of the trickery you wolves like to use, it won’t work on me!” I roar, delivering a kick straight to his chest.
“I’m not tricking you Lyza, I know you!” He wheezes. “Your name is Lyzaria, your uncle is Adarath. Your dragon’s name is Mytalonis but in dragon form he is called Talon. When you were younger you were promised to a warrior named Kailo,” he says and I freeze.
“How do you know that?” I snarl. I swallow a hard lump in me throat in panic.
He slowly stands up. “I told you, I know you.”
“You’re trying to trick me again!” I lift my hand and my Snake slithers over. In my anger, my dragon successfully surfaces.
Lyzaria wait! Wolves cannot perform the kind of trickery you are thinking of! Mytalonis growls.
What are you talking about? Uncle said they can—
He lied to you Lyza! I’ve been trying to tell you that but you keep blocking me out! He growls angrily.
I glance back at the wolf and he is looking at me with pleading eyes. “I’ve never seen you before in my life, how did you learn all of this?” I ask again.
“You told me, I’m your mate!” He repeats and I growl.
“That’s impossible! Dragons choose their own mates and I already have one!” I spit.
“Lyza you killed Kailo when he tried to take your throne.”
I shake my head furiously. “I would never kill Kailo and he would never do such a thing.”
Lyza he is telling the truth, my dragon says. I feel a sharp pain in my chest.
“Why don’t I remember any of this?” I hiss through gritted teeth.
“Your uncle hurt you, and you went through an Awakening. He lied to you so you’d help him destroy the werewolves,” he explains.
I quickly glance back at my uncle who is standing on the back of a warrior dragon, burning the remaining forest. “I don’t remember anything,” I breathe, my chest heaving as I start to panic.
I look at the Werewolf King with wide eyes, my mind swimming in confusion. His eyes are glazed over and I can tell he is fighting internally over something.
He suddenly growls loudly and runs his hand through hair in frustration. His eyes are swirling black. “Fuck it!” He snarls and the next thing I know, his lips are smashed onto mine.
I hear a roar but the sound is distant and I barely even notice it. The kiss is familiar, and I immediately kiss him back, closing my eyes.
Images flash behind my eyes, emotions flicker in my mind, and I am thrown into dozens of flashbacks.
“Lyza! We need to go now!”
He is flying right in front of me, when an arrow hits his wing. He lets out a terrible, pain-filled roar and I watch the dark lines start to spread across his wing.
“You may stay in the pack.”
“I want you to change my mind about dragons.”
“Heal well, my little mate.”
“Kailo was going to kill you after the bonding ceremony, but this is better. I will get your title without worrying about covering it up.”
“I’m not going anywhere.”
I’m sorry Lyza.
My eyes fly open and I gasp. I look around in wild panic as everything comes flooding back. Daerius is kneeling in front of me, his hands on either side of my face.
A wide grin forms on my lips and I can feel tears rolling down my cheeks. “I remember,” I cry, throwing my arms around his neck.
His arms curl tightly around my waist, so tight it almost hurts. “I thought I lost you,” I hear him whisper.
“Never,” I breathe, shaking my head.
“No! Kill him Lyza! Kill him!” I hear my uncle roar. I turn around and see him suddenly storming towards me.
I stand up, my fury written across my face. “You tricked me!” I scream.
He stops just a few feet away, shocked and confused. “How did you-”
“I remember EVERYTHING you did! You wanted to kill the wolves and you were using ME to do it!” I can feel my dragon fighting to gain control.
“They killed your father! My brother!” He growls.
“And he killed my mate’s mother and sister! We’ve all done bad things but that’s no excuse to wipe out an entire race!” I yell.
“Lyza that wolf is going to die tonight, and if I have to kill you too then I will.”
My control snaps. Everything goes red and I can feel fire burning through my veins. I grit my teeth as my bones start cracking and rearranging.
My skin changes so that it looks just like my dress—now laying in shreds on the round. I cry out in pain as razor sharp spikes burst from my spine.
I squeeze my eyes shut tightly and keep them closed until I finish shifting. When I open them, my uncle’s red dragon, Zeryx, is pacing in front of me.
I stand up on my back legs, stretch my wings out to their full span and let out a roar that makes the ground shake. Zeryx growls, his tail swishing back and forth.
“How dare you challenge me Talon?” he snarls.
“Do you accept?” Talon spits back. I watch as Zeryx growls again, shaking his head angrily. Then he stands.
A chorus of roars echo behind him as he accepts Talon’s challenge. I hear howling behind me and chuckle a little.
My amusement is cut short as my uncle’s dragon barrels into me. I smash through dozens of charred trees before landing flat on my back, and my breath stops in my chest. I gasp for air that doesn’t come.
Before I can even start to get up, Zeryx’s jaws latch around my leg. He starts dragging me back into the clearing making me growl angrily at the pain. My tail slashes across his face and he releases me with a snarl.
I scramble to my feet, keeping weight off my back leg. Zeryx glares at me murderously. Blood flows from the cut that stretches over his face and it drips into his eyes.
I see his muscles bunch up and I lift off into the air just as he darts forward. His body goes right underneath me.
I turn around but not fast enough. Claws curl into my back and a heavy weight drags me to the ground. Panic forms in my mind as Zeryx pins me onto the ash-covered grass.
Mytalonis why did you challenge him? You can’t win! I yell at my dragon as I struggle to get out of his grip.
Yes I can Lyza! I know how Zeryx fights, you have to give me full control though! He snaps. The claws suddenly curl deeper.
I am screaming with pain inside but I grit my teeth against it. My head turns sharply and my teeth lock onto his wing, flipping his body over my head.
He lands with a massive thud onto the ground, dirt and ash raining down around him. I shoot forward, aiming for Zeryx’s underbelly.
I collapse onto the ground with a roaring cry as his claws rake across my side. I push myself off the ground, groaning in pain.
Blood flows thickly from the wounds on my body; the grass underneath me is slick with the black liquid. My vision is blurring, but I can still make out Zeryx’s red form creeping closer.
Lyza let me take over! Mytalonis growls.
No, I don’t trust you to give me back control! I yell.
A massive clawed foot suddenly slams into my head, jarring me badly. My skull feels as if its about to split open and an awful ringing echoes in my ears.
I shake my head violently, growling at the agony pulsing through my body. I’m sorry Lyza, Mytalonis says and then suddenly the pain is gone.
The pain is replaced by a burning sensation that reminds me of Mors. It feels like I am falling into the volcano all over again.
I have no more control over my body. Its like I am simply a spectator.
“I am going to kill you Zeryx!” Talon snarls. My wings stretch out and propel me directly into my uncle’s dragon. The horns on my head pierce his stomach making him roar in pain.
My claws curl into his flesh and I slam his body onto the ground. His tail swings around but I am faster. My barbed tail slashes his off completely, leaving Zeryx practically screaming.
I see a flash of orange and my foot slams across his face. His jaw breaks, the flames dying in his throat.
Blood sprays across my face. It makes me want to gag but it doesn’t even faze Talon. I want to close my eyes but Talon keeps them open; forcing me to stare at the mangled body of my uncle’s dragon.
Please end this Talon, I beg my dragon. He growls and I latch my teeth around Zeryx’s neck. I bite down and immediately he starts struggling. He spasms beneath me, his razor-sharp claws scraping against my body.
I jerk my head and the crack echoes in my ears. I drop his body then watch as he shifts back into his human form.
Mytalonis relinquishes control so I can tear my gaze away from my uncle’s dead body. As I shift all the pain comes flooding back.
I scream. I crumple to the grass as a human, coated in black and red blood. I squeeze my eyes shut and try to block out the pain but it does nothing.
“Lyza!” A familiar voice yells. I look up and see Daerius above me. He slides his arms beneath my back and my knees. I scream again as he lifts me up.
Tears stream down my face and agonizing sobs rack my body. His proximity is the only thing keeping me from howling in throbbing pain with each step.
“Lyza hold on, please hold on," I hear Daerius plead, then everything goes dark.
I feel a slight pressure on my forehead. “Lyza?” A voice asks.
I open my eyes with a groan. Every part of my body aches, and I feel completely exhausted. I am laying in an all-white room that stinks of bleach.
I turn towards Daerius, sitting on the bed beside me. When our eyes meet he visibly relaxes. He sighs in relief and his shoulders slump.
I glance at the needles and IV in my arm. There are bandages wrapped tightly around my leg, my stomach, my chest, and my head. I try to speak but there is a mask over my mouth releasing oxygen.
I grunt in pain as I lift my arm to remove the mask but even the small movement is too difficult. “Ow,” I murmur, clenching my jaw. Daerius chuckles a little, removing the mask for me.
“How are you feeling?” he asks gently.
“Like I fought the Dragon King,” I grit out. “And won.” I laugh a little, then wince at the sting in my chest.
“You remember what happened then?” He asks, sounding surprised. I nod and he tucks a strand of hair behind my ear, peering closer at me.
“You even remember me?” He asks. His voice is nervous, and his eyes are glassy.
My lip twitches upward as my eyes water. I nod, tears streaming down my face. “How could I forget my mate?”
He shakes his head, looking at me in confusion. “I thought dragons didn’t have mates.”
“Dragons choose their mates,” I say with a smile, “And I choose you.”
End of Book One