I’ve misted right above the tree-tops, transforming into my lithe small black Dragon. I take some comfort in my long piercing fangs, hoping they will come in handy if Thaddeus or Sylvan try to intercept.
I fly low to the trees, knowing flying high will not help with out manoeuvring two Twin Leading Breeds set on branding me.
I get the fright of my life, however, as I continue to swoop low, and air is pushed under my wing. A good-sized familiar, brilliant white Dragon has joined me from above.
It’s a good night, isn’t it, fair princess, Amadahy starts the conversation rolling, thank you for taking my advice on that white dress. Although I assume it’s somewhere in the dirt of the forest now, as it’s not in your claws.
I’m about to answer but in the next moment I feel a soft mortal figure form on my back and I raise my head a bit so Minx doesn’t fall off. She liked to ride on the back of the bigger Dragons, rather than always fly herself. I feel her cross her legs and pat my neck.
Luvenia, where are the big Dragons? Minx asks.
I came looking for my cousins, I hope I’m not interrupting anything, Amadahy adds in a growl, I saw them chase after you.
Well... I start off trying to keep my anxiety under control. Then, as I try to respond, I see a few trees in the near distance, not ruffled by any wind but swaying with the movement of something much bigger, oh gosh, swing right, Amadahy! Now! Hold on, Minx.
I swing to the left and Amadahy follows my instructions to fly to the right – as two huge midnight and cobalt Dragons crush the trees beneath them as they fly up right in front of us, intending to cut off my flight path.
So much for safety in sticking low to the tree tops.
They are hesitant at the new arrivals.
I keep flying around them and meet Amadahy on the other side of Sylvan and Thaddeus.
The princes fly up higher, surprisingly graceful and lithe in their movements as they gain height to watch over us from above.
Oh my gosh, Luvenia has a friend, Sylvan drawls through all our minds, isn’t that a sight to see.
The Tempest she-bat, Thaddeus adds while chuckling.
“How dare you use such an insult! Ugly princes!” Minx screams out, “I will eat you both for dinner!”
Minx, please don’t, Amadahy mentally rolls her eyes, I got this handled. Princes, Thaddeus and Sylvan... my mother was Zwenka, Zayda’s sister. Your mother’s sister.
This gives the princes room to pause, and Thad almost forgets to beat his wings and knocks Sylvan to the side ungracefully.
The failed co-ordination has Minx laughing her head off manically and my inner human form smirks.
Perhaps you’d like to talk further by the lake, I add in, dryly as I lazily turn and head towards the open Requiem Lake many of the Horde liked to fish in as it was big enough for Dragon’s to fully submerge themselves beneath the water.
Then you must be originally from the Tempest lands, Thaddeus tries to sound extremely smooth as he follows, as if we’d just forget his blunder in the sky.
I didn’t think they’d be such assholes, Amadahy connects with me privately, Why are they so horrible? They called me a she-bat and that is extremely derogatory in the Tempest Lands.
Only because you interrupted their attempt to seduce me, I explain, You’ve saved them from a good beating by yours-truly. But honestly, Amadahy, thank you for saving me.
The lake it is then, we will foreshadow you there, Sylvan adds in a growl and I wonder if he overheard our private conversation.
If Sylvan really had a prophet’s eye, I could only imagine how that could potentially advance his mind-reading skills.
The fish are dead now, Minx jumps up on my back and I feel the small weight lift from my scales as she mists back into her purple Dragon.
As we close the final distance to the lake she flies high and dives forward like an eagle, straight for the water.
Her small Fire-Spitter Dragon form disappears under the water of the lake with hardly a splash.
Well, I doubt we’ll be seeing her for a while, Amadahy sounds relieved, she loves fishing.
Amadahy swoops down next and transforms to her human form by the edge of the lake first. I follow and do so as well next to her. I watch as she has brought her warrior gear and she gets changed.
I simply stand naked and cross my arms over my chest as the princes mist down, this time, gracefully, a few feet from us.
They have also brought their leather pants.
And I am now the only one left completely naked.
For once in my life I feel exposed while without clothes. I try hard not to show it.
“Where is your dress?” Amadahy asks, “Actually... forget I asked. So... these are my cousins,” she glances over Thaddeus and Sylvan as they step into their leather pants and eye her off wearily.
“I wasn’t aware my mother had a sister,” Sylvan speaks first, still eyeing Amadahy wearily.
“Probably because she died in childbirth and had no time to tell you?” Amadahy doesn’t mean to sound so offensive, she is usually just blunt. But I can tell this irks both of them and she also notices, so she quickly adds, “My name is Amadahy... the Fire-Spitter is my pet, Minx is her name. Don’t cross her or me, and she’ll save you the pain of her notorious venom fangs.”
“Why are you this far west?” Thaddeus asks, also bluntly and ignoring the introduction of her pet.
“A princess does what she has to do, to survive,” Amadahy shrugs, “It is nice to finally meet some family this far West.”
“You just referred to yourself as a princess? A princess from the Tempest lands?” Sylvan’s eyes light up with recognition, ”The White Temple of Gale. Is that where you come from?”
“The war never progressed that far east, it couldn’t have,” Amadahy’s eyes go wide, “How do you know it’s name?”
“We never saw it,” Sylvan tilts his head to the side, “But we heard of the missing princess. The Tempest War-lords were all convinced we stole Princess Amadahy... because you suddenly went mysteriously missing a year into the war. Why are you here now?”
“I respect my Tempest Gods but I hate the Tempest lands and the people,” she shrugs, “Dragons, Mages, mortals... all of them are traditionalist and brutal to those who do not comply.”
“We know what they’re like,” Sylvan growls.
“Don’t get too comfortable about hating them, though, you are half Tempest breeds yourselves,” Amadahy points out, “Like me. However, Twin Leading Breeds that have Tempest Mage blood has got to be the rarest kind of Dragon out there.”
“Our father was a Dragon from the West, our mother a mage from the East,” Thaddeus explained, “We may be half-bloods but we are not mortal in anyway.”
“Mage’s are not mortal, that is correct,” Amadahy explains, “Half-blood is an incorrect term. It is only truly relevant to half-mortal breeds... like Luv,” Amadahy turns to face me while her arms are crossed over her chest, “You certainly have the smaller body frame of a mortal. Like your mother.”
I glare at her for bringing the conversation back onto me.
“So?” I ask, quietly, hoping she doesn’t leave too quickly, so I keep the insults to myself.
“Just making a point about Tempest breeds,” Amadahy shrugs, “Don’t get so offended. I bet you’ve been wondering how Sylvan or Thaddeus could tower over your full-blooded Twin Leading Breed fathers.”
“I don’t particularly care,” I shrug, annoyed I sound so young, as if I’m clearly lying, I couldn’t sound anymore dishonest in that one simple statement.
“Well, let me enlighten you regardless,” Amadahy tries not to smirk at my discomfort, “Mages are Dragons who cannot transform. It’s not a defect. It’s an evolution. Mages are more dangerous than Dragons,” Amadahy then turns to the princes and adds, “I bet you both have gifts no Dragon has ever had before because you are both half-Mage.”
“Sylvan has a prophet’s eyes, he can see the future,” I point out, trying damn hard to ignore how the princes’ eyes happily devour me every time I choose to speak. I then add more quietly and more controlled with Amadahy around, “Thaddeus is a good tracker. Nothing impressive.”
“Um, no,” Thaddeus adds, “That’s not my special gift.”
“What is?” I ask.
“Guess,” Thad smirks, damn proud of his unknown gift that he will now choose not to delight us with.
“The ability to Curse,” Amadahy guesses... at least she is keen to join in.
“No,” Sylvan answers for Thad, “You will never guess, she-bat.”
“Don’t call me that. How about the ability to transcend to the Sprite world,” Amadahy nods, “I bet, that’s a rare Dragon ability –”
“Nope,” Thaddeus puts up a hand, “Something better even than that.”
“Let me guess,” I speak, catching his full attention along with his brother’s, “The ability to make a girl weep and crawl?” It had to be, something stupid like that. I bet this was all a joke, knowing them.
“I’m glad your mind hasn’t wandered far from our intentions,” Thaddeus cocks an eye-brow and Amadahy purses her lips, trying not to laugh.
“Tell us,” I say, rolling my eyes, “Can you resist Dragon poisons? Dragon Slayer magic?”
"Smart, Luv. That’s very close,” Thaddeus glances at his brother, “In fact, my ability is better than seeing the future.”
“I may agree with that,” Sylvan smirks, “Tell them; you are the first of your kind. The only one. In fact, only one Dragon of his kind can live in this realm. Two are not permitted to live at the same time in the common realm, it is the Sprites law.”
Amadahy’s eyes widen and her mouth gapes open.
She’s figured it out.
But I’m still confused.
“Sounds like a tale told in the East lands,” I add, hoping I don’t sound too stupid.
“It is a common tale but it is also truth. Usually the chosen one, only exists in the East lands,” Amadahy explains, “You will probably not believe it, Luvenia. But Thaddeus... well... I believe the princes are trying to say he is a Slayer of Dragon Slayers.”
“Um... what?” I ask, rolling my eyes, “That sounds so dumb, honestly.”
“It’s not dumb,” Sylvan snaps, annoyed at my disinterest in Thad’s ‘cool’ ability. I can secretly admit I was truly interested... I just hated to show them I cared, “He resists their magic, he can resist poison, he can track their movements, he can smell them out and he can slay them like they are nothing but weak defenceless mortals,” Sylvan explains.
“No Dragon will be able to do what he can do,” Amadahy adds in for dramatic measure.
“I don’t believe it. You’ll have to prove it,” I snap, now glaring at Thad, “How can you know this?”
“I found out what my ability was in the war. I can prove it now, as long as you choose to believe me when I say this,” Thad smirks, happily awaiting my reaction as he explains further, “There are two Dragon Slayers residing in the Requiem Mountains, right now, as we speak... now that I recognise my senses, I can be sure of it. I even had the same gut-feeling five years ago.”
“Two Dragon Slayers, in the Requiem Mountains... for the last five years? At least? Impossible,” I shake my head, my fathers would know of an intrusion like that.
Thad had to be lying... but the doubt in my mind is thriving from how damn certain he sounded of his rare knowledge.
“It’s ingenious, actually,” Sylvan raises a cocky brow as he mocks my disbelief, “Luv, what better place is there for Dragon Slayers to reside... than in the largest Dragon Horde in the entire realm?”