Chapter 34: Bonus Prequel Series Part 2
The walls of the caves were streaked with different colors of rock. Black. Gray. Red. All three running across the walls in waves that made it look like it was moving.
Kellan’s scratched on drawings contrasted sharply to the dark stone. Most of them were faded white but some looked like they might have actually been painted on.
My gaze snapped toward the figure laying on the ground on the other side of the cave. He looked to be sleeping but his gleaming yellow eyes told me otherwise.
“I’m thinking,” I said.
I sighed. “My father said it would be safer to leave. But the more I go through everything that happened, the more I wonder if it was to keep us safe or to keep the other dragons safe.”
He frowned and propped himself up on his elbow. “What do you mean?”
I bit my cheek hard. “We left and the hunters did nothing but chase us. We spoke to a few travelers on their way towards witch territory and they said the dragons were still there. No one had seen any sign of the hunters near the Circle.
“I think my father may have been leading them away. Every day we moved deeper into the mountains and farther away from the dragons. The wolves believe that everyone falls when the leader does, so they were only ever concerned with killing the King and I think he knew that.”
“Would he really risk your life to protect the other dragons?”
I nodded with a small smile. “It’s what made him a great king. He would do anything to protect his dragons, even sacrifice his own daughter’s life. Because in the end what’s one life against thousands?” I murmured.
“There had to have been another way,” he mumbled.
“He tried to get everyone to leave, he thought we could escape to the mountains and attack the hunters when they came to the Circle. But no one wanted to leave,” I explained, “so I suppose he thought it would be better to simply lead the hunters away in the hopes that they would all survive.”
“And now that he’s gone?” Kellan asked gently.
I took a deep breath, digging my nails into my palm. “Now they’ll go after every dragon until they’re all gone. Then they’ll probably move on to the felines and then to the witches until only the wolves are left.”
His eyes widened. “Do you really think they’ll kill everyone?”
“I do. The wolves are the weakest creatures but we are nothing against their weapons,” I muttered. I closed my eyes tightly for a moment. “I just want to see them one last time before the wolves kill everyone.”
All the light seemed to vanish from his eyes. “Them?” he asked.
“My uncle, my littermates,” I sighed. “And Kailo.”
The corners of my lips curled upward as his face came to mind. His bright green eyes and soft smile filled me with a comforting warmth. A quivering breath escaped my mouth as tears fell onto my cheeks. “He was going to be my mate.”
“Did he fight for you? That’s the dragon custom right?”
“Yeah. As the princess I am expected to mate with the strongest of the warriors. When I was young Kailo told me he wanted to fight and I laughed. I told him he was far too weak to be my mate.”
He chuckled. “He took that as a challenge didn’t he?”
I smiled. “I would have loved to have Kailo as my mate, he was kind and beautiful and we had grown up together. But he was weak and I wanted a strong mate. When the day came for the warriors to fight, he stepped forward and I thought he was going to die but he won. He told me he trained with my father so that he would be strong enough to be my mate when the time came.”
“He sounds like he loved you.”
I dried the tears on my face, clenching my jaw. “Yeah but it doesn’t matter anymore,” I said quickly.
“Did you love him?′
I looked over at Kellan with a small frown. I didn’t want to answer but I felt like I had to. “More than anything,” I told him.
He nodded a little, smiling to himself as he laid down.
“Why do I keep answering your questions?” I asked with a small growl.
His smile disappeared. “Accidental hypnosis.”
I blinked. “What?”
“One of the things a dæmon does is increase a witch's power, that's why we have them. I can make people do what I want, but with Janessa I do it on accident sometimes," he sighed.
"So you can make me answer your questions?"
"I'm sorry I didn't mean to. I don't like to do it but sometimes I can't control it."
I made a small noise but said nothing as I turned my attention towards the wall again.
"Do you want to sleep?" he asked slowly.
I paused. Can he make me sleep?
Tell him yes, Mitalonys growled.
He stood up and carefully picked his way around the fire before kneeling beside me. "Look at me," he murmured.
I inhaled sharply when my gaze met his. His yellow eyes glowed in the darkness, flickering in time with the flames. I heard a low hum in my ears and my eyelids grew heavy.
I opened my eyes with a sharp inhale. My shoulder was burning badly and it felt like it was spreading along every nerve in my body.
“Oh my gods,” I gasped, my mouth twisting into a grimace.
“Wait don’t move I still need to—”
His words were cut off by my scream. Blinding white pain shot through my shoulder and I couldn’t hold back my sobs.
My fisted hands were shaking and I couldn’t see anything through the tears. Each beat of my heart sent a painful throbbing straight to my shoulder.
Just breathe Zari, my dragon said.
I closed my eyes and did as he said. I sucked in a shuddering breath that shook my chest. I let it out slowly and the pain started to fade.
“Are you okay?”
I opened my eyes. “What did you do?” I growled.
“I’m sorry you were supposed to stay asleep!” He muttered in frustration.
“What are you talking about?”
He sighed. “Your wound is starting to get infected and the poison isn’t going away. I needed to cut away the damaged flesh otherwise you will lose your whole arm,” he explained.
“How the fuck would I have stayed asleep while you out a knife to my shoulder!” I shouted angrily.
“Because I told you to sleep! You should have remained unconscious until I told you to wake. I don’t understand why it didn’t work,” he mumbles under his breath.
“Does it normally work on dragons?”
“Yes it works on dragons—it works on everybody,” he huffs. “I’ve never tried it on dragon royalty—you’re not all that different from the other dragons though, are you?”
My eyes widened. “Uh well, the royal family sometimes ends up with dragons that are reincarnated spirits, it makes us more powerful—could that be why?”
He stared at me. “I suppose,” he murmured. “It would make sense. Except I still made you fall asleep.”
“I was already exhausted, you just enforced a desire that was already there.”
“Fine whatever, I tried to do it the nice way but apparently your dragon is more powerful than me so you get to deal with the pain,” he said with a scowl.
Damn it Mita! I growled.
Do not get angry with me. Without me you would be dead right now, he retorted.
“Okay well I think I got most of the damaged flesh off so we should be fine for now. I may have to do this again tomorrow,” Kellan sighed.
“Can’t you just let me die?” I groaned.
He chuckled lightly. “Oh come on the dragon queen has to survive to rule over what’s left of the world once the wolves die out.”
“Don’t call me that.”