Dragon's Blood

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Chapter 2

The Requiem Mountains are my home, yet I always had an urge to explore beyond these orange dull cave walls that bustled with slaves; perpetually busy. Hael worked them hard.

Now, walking my way up to the Royal Chambers, where the Royal Dragons reside and dinner will be served, I’m already itching to explore the forest. I preferred the outdoors.

I didn’t stay indoors very much, but I was often forbidden to go exploring at night. Lochness and Hael said it was too dangerous. Madeline, my mother, would tell me lurking men wandered those forests.

Perhaps if I knew how to transform into a Dragon, I would be safer. In fact, that’s what everyone told me. I was use to hearing it, especially from Lex, who was still trying to figure out how to transform into his own Dragon.

Half-bloods could only transform if their blood was a majority of Dragon genes and magic. So it was pot-luck if you could gain the ability.

The walk is getting steeper and I know I’m nearing the top of the mountain now.

I look down at what I’m wearing, black leather pants and a black midriff top. It helped me keep cool, as the mountain could get stuffy sometimes. It also made it easier to manoeuvre. I wasn’t the biggest fan of dresses.

I round the last bend, the cave corridors are wider up here. I stop before I enter the dining room. I flip my straight black hair over my shoulders and take a breath before I face my family and Althor.

I walk forward and enter the room gracefully.

A huge wooden table laid out shows a feast of food and wine. Around that table is my parents at the head, Althor on one end and Lex at the other.

“Greetings, darling,” Althor sees me and nods, smiling as I enter. I didn’t like the Dragon Lord of the Horde of Fortune. He often visited the Requiem Horde to keep our alliance strong. But... he had a darkness about him and a cold look in his eye.

There was something about him that I never trusted.

I nod, coming in to sit by Lex. He was the mini version of Hael. They shared emerald green hair and eyes. I also harboured the emerald green irises. Slaves and Dragons alike described them as so confronting they often pierced the confidence of those who dared meet our gazes.

Which I was fine with me, because I never wanted to look at people anyway.

Althor was different to any Dragon I had ever met. He had light blue eyes and long amber hair. He was rugged, stocky and built for battle. But he was not as tall as my two fathers.

“So you decided to actually sit and join us for once, Luvenia?” Madeline asks me, looking pleased I’m here but also upset at the same time.

I just ignore her and I hear Hael growl.

“Respect, Luvenia,” Hael scolds me while Nessy just stares in his threatening way. I can’t help but judge what Madeline was wearing. That damn collar and leash. Over her warriors outfit, similar to my own. Except her top was a bra with dangling feathers. I just couldn’t understand why you’d contrast a strong outfit with degrading accessories.

“The only word she understands is ‘brat’ because that’s what she is,” Lex mocks me and I pinch his wrist with my sharp nails.

“Ow!” he swats my hand away and I smile evily, focusing my gaze on Althor. I wanted to know what he wanted from me.

“When will blue and bluer arrive?” Lex asks Althor, “They’re keeping us from eating –”

Just upon my brother’s words, two shadows fall into the fire lit room, stretching from the entrance.

I glance up and blink slowly while looking irritated that Thaddeus and Sylvan have shown.

I scowl at their leather pants, a common choice for male dragons who transformed often between forms and needed something easy to carry around.

“Welcome,” Madeline instantly grins as the two young Dragons come into the room. They were older than me by about 7 months, but I still felt like I was older and wiser.

Thaddeus and Slyvan smirk with confidence and stalk their way over to sit by their uncle. They don’t dare to sit next to me. I avoid their gazes and presence and look to my father’s instead.

As expected, they both look annoyed.

I always thought they could see what I could, the shallow minds that belonged to Thad and Sylvan. Young Dragon minds, barely developed, while their confidence and arrogance was through the roof.

“We can all eat now,” Hael growls through his teeth, glaring at Althor, “Ask Luvenia what you want. If my daughter doesn’t want to help you, you’ll have to find someone else.”

“Oh... I understand perfectly,” Althor replies gracefully but with the same hint of cold as he was usually capable of. He meets my green eyes and as he does so, I feel the stares of his nephews on me as well.

I already feel uncomfortable.

This was the closest they had ever been to me while in the same room.

“I need a favour, dearest,” Althor speaks as politely as possible, “You can crack the greatest minds, can you not?”

“Yes,” I answer, although the one mind I could not crack was Althor’s. Not because he had a strong mental block. But because of something else. His mind was fuzzy and unreadable. Magic leaked from his head like poison.

“I have a prisoner I’ve brought along with me. I need you to tell me what he is thinking. I can’t crack his mind, neither can your father, Lochness,” at Althor’s words I look directly to my father, shocked.

“You weren’t able to read someone’s mind?” I ask Lochness, who has a knowing glint in his eye but he shakes his head anyway.

“I couldn’t,” Lochness shrugs, but he does so suspiciously... “Perhaps you can, sweety.”

He was up to something. He always was.

“What do I have to gain?” I ask Althor, trying to ignore the two popular Dragons either side of him who were both tilting their heads, clearly communicating to each other about me.

I didn’t bother reading their minds, however. I didn’t want to know what they were thinking.

“I just need a favour, I’m sure in return perhaps Thad and Sylvan can take you out on a flight. Half-bloods who can’t transform are always eager to fly,” Althor couldn’t sound anymore condescending.

“I’m not interested,” I reply cooly, now glaring at Thad who is looking utterly offended as he sits back in his chair, eyes wide in disbelief at my refusal. Sylvan just narrows his amber eyes and keeps his chin resting on his folded hands, “And I’m not hungry, either.”

I get to my feet quickly and the tension in the room rises.

“Luvenia,” Madeline narrows her eyes at me, “You need to eat something! You hardly eat.”

“No, mother, I eat in the company of people I like,” I’m glaring at her now and she looks hurt, and I feel like crying but I don’t.

“Likewise,” the sarcastic comment comes from Sylvan, who is now pouring attitude. I just give him my best glare and then look at his equally annoying twin.

“What are you staring at?” I direct this to Thaddeus, he’s eyes have darkened and he looks angry now.

“I’m looking at a horse that needs breaking,” he says this boldly, far too boldly.

I glare at Hael to do something.

“Don’t talk to my sister like she is an animal,” Lex sticks up for me, but only because I know he feels that Thad and Sylvan are his rivals in age.

“Manners, boys,” unexpectantly, Lochness is the one to speak. He gets in before Hael can. He blinks slowly with humour towards Thaddeus and Sylvan, “Don’t you know? Disrespect is for the bedroom.”

"Dad,” I gape in disbelief at his choice of words. Madeline is even looking furious with Lochness’ choice of words.

“Of course you had to humour yourself and say something like that,” Madeline hisses at her Nessy. He growls back at her before continuing to glare at me.

“Seriously. Now you stick up for yourself?” I snap at Madeline, hardly believing she actually just had a go at Lochness.

She never spoke out of line.

Go to your room, Luv, I’m sick of how much you back chat your mother. She does nothing but love you, Lochness snarls at me and now I do feel tears well in the back of my eyes.

I couldn’t let anyone see me cry.

I turn from the room and walk away, sick of Dragons and the way they treated women.

It was something I chose not to think about too much. But all I could feel was hate in my gut for how submissive my mother was... and how happy she was to be led around on a leash.

I will never be like mother, I whisper to both my fathers through our mental connection.

I then bring up a fiery wall of mental power, that no one can break through.

I run to my room, swearing under my breath the whole way as I think of Thad and Sylvan’s words.

My room was at the very top of the mountain. It use to be Hael’s old bedchamber before I was born but they redecorated it for me. My parents also knew it could keep me from going into the forest without their knowledge.

After all, to them and everyone else, I couldn’t fly and I couldn’t transform.

But it had always been my secret.

I reach my room in under a minute.

I slam my bedroom door and I strip out of my clothes and chuck them on my bed.

I run to the ledge and even as I go, I feel my blood and body loosening, dissipating into purity.

I become my magic.

It flows back together until black scales, sharp claws, lethal fangs and a lithe body reappear.

I become my Dragon.

And I take off into the night air.

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