Good idea, Luv, Amadahy flies with me while Minx sits on her back, freshly bathed in the lake as we head home to the Requiem Horde. Thaddeus and Sylvan hover over us from above to shadow our flight. It irks me the whole way.
What’s a good idea? Telling my parents that there are two Dragon Slayers in the mountain? That a war is coming? I ask, I have no choice.
No, I was going to say it’s a good idea you cut your hair short. It makes combat easier, Amadahy comments with enthusiasm, and I choose not to willingly explain what really happened, if you desire to stay in the mountain, perhaps I can brush you up on some skills?
I think about that offer and decide it is worth following through on.
My brother and I are happy to help with training, Thaddeus adds in, and I almost stop arching my wings.
Did he... just... offer to help us train for war?
That wasn’t something I expected to hear.
No, Amadahy answers for him, a lesson I learnt long ago was that training with your own gender is far more empowering than having bickering sneering males about always complaining how they could throw a bit further, swing a bit faster, fly a bit longer, so... um... no... you aren’t needed.
Princess or not, don’t forget who you’re speaking too, Sylvan interjects.
Minx laughs in response to this as Amadahy bares her teeth in a smirk.
You have no title other than my cousin and being born a Twin Leading Breed. Other than that, enlighten me... who am I speaking too? Amadahy chooses to be a smart ass as we ascend higher to my bedchamber where I have requested the presence of my parents, Oh mighty Dragon Lord of the... what Horde?
Nice point, Amadahy, I encourage her and the princes both growl from behind us as Amadahy and I are the first to land on my ledge. I decide to mist my way into my bedchamber and go straight to my closet for my black leather pants and bra. Ahead of the others.
As soon as I’m dressed, I sit on the edge of my bed and wait for the four to join.
Minx runs in first, bounding up and sitting next to me on my bed, crossing her legs under her. She hasn’t brought any clothes and I roll my eyes. I lean back and grab a blanket, chucking it at her.
“You must be cold, little Fire-Spitter,” as I pass her the blanket she smiles wickedly and wraps herself in the woollen blanket that I actually weaved together myself two years back. It was a hobby of mine I gained only while the war was on. If I ever lost control of my extreme mind-powers, a repetitive hobby like weaving was actually quite relaxing.
Amadahy waltzes in with her cousins behind her. Her face paint now gone from all her transformations.
“What Horde do you rule again?” I ask, referring back to our conversation before and trying to spite both Thaddeus and Sylvan.
“The Tempest Horde,” Sylvan answers, blinking slowly at me as the twins come to stand opposite my bed with Amadahy leaning on the corner bedpost near Minx.
“Who are the members?” I ask, further taunting them.
“Thad, me,” Sylvan shrugs, “We don’t exactly have time to build numbers right now. But we will begin... tomorrow, actually.”
“And who will be the prospective members of your Horde?” I ask, smirking because I couldn’t think of anyway that they’d find enough members to truly make a formidably terrifying Dragon Horde to be known across the common realm.
“You,” Sylvan smiles, “Your friends, whoever is willing to join.”
I purse my lips, no longer smiling.
Of course, all my friends would be slobbering their way to be under Sylvan and Thaddeus’ rule as subordinates if they asked. Just more lovely drama to deal with, especially since the twins already fucked most of my friends anyway.
That thought was something I didn’t like to dwell on, but I couldn’t hold a grudge. They didn’t know I was their mate before and all my friends needed a warm hand to hold them years ago in their most horny stages... argh... ok... nope... I frown in disgust.
Blergh. I admit, I loved my mate’s arms around me.
Even though it was in the past, I feel uncomfortable about my girl friends fawning over them.
“Why the frown?” Amadahy asks, curiously.
“She wants to eat someone,” Minx guesses, “Someone she doesn’t like.”
“No, Minx,” I look at her and try not to laugh, “That’s what you want to do.”
“Who doesn’t want to eat the people they don’t like?” Minx questions, totally confused.
“I hope you like me, Minx,” Thaddeus adds in, smiling. Amadahy has to grab her arm before Minx goes tumbling out of the blanket to go bite him. She snaps her teeth and Thad takes a step back.
“My Dragon Gods,” Thaddeus laughs nervously as Minx writhes and wriggles to try and get out of Amadahy’s hold.
“If only I had a Fire-Spitter to protect me,” I add, dryly.
“They’re here,” Amadahy hisses, ”Sit.” Minx quickly contains herself and sits upright, putting on a terrifyingly fake smile as Hael, Lochness and Madeline come into the room after knocking twice.
“You said this was urgent?” Madeline asks, worried as she hurries in, her hair an outright mess and her red dress rushed into place. Whatever Lochness was doing to her before must have been rough... I cringe... and try to quickly erase any images from my mind.
“What’s wrong, baby girl?” Lochness asks, coming over to my side. I’m surprised Thad and Sylvan are relaxed by his presence.
“Did you know Sylvan has a prophet’s eye?” I question and Lochness smirks.
“Oh I know, he’s very talented,” Lochness turns and I sit back in shock as he smiles and walks over to Sylvan, grabbing his fist as they do a weird Dragon-man-hug that has me cringing, “Have you branded my baby yet?” I think I stop breathing as Lochness asks this, completely at ease, tilting his head.
“No,” Sylvan also responds hesitantly, taking a step back from Lochness as my black-haired father turns to Thaddeus, to welcome him next.
“Put it somewhere so everyone can see,” Lochness suggests, “It’s a mark you should be proud of,” he turns to me as he says this, his eyes sparkling with... respect? For my mates? “These boys ended the war. They’re magnificent fighters and army coordinators. For a while there, Sylvan and Thaddeus were informally known as the War-Lords of the Requiem Army. You can’t possibly get better mates, sweety,” Lochness is deadly serious as he turns to stand by my side while Madeline continues to stand by Hael.
I am simply staring up at my dad with wide eyes, wondering if this is truly the first time I sort of hate him.
Was this his idea of embarrassing me?
“Dad, what the hell?” I ask, confused.
“That scale I gifted to you, Luv,” Lochness adds, ignoring my shock, “Was off a Dragon War-Lord they helped me defeat. It’s a marker of our victory.”
It was somewhere in the forest. After I misted to get away from my mates. However, I choose not to tell anyone I’ve lost it just yet.
“Um, the war... we have some news about that. It isn’t –” I try to explain, quietly, but Sylvan raises a hand.
“Let me, sweetheart,” Sylvan interrupts and I watch Hael at least raise a skeptical brow towards Sylvan for endearing me with that term while interrupting his daughter, “I have foreseen a few... obstacles to our peace. Luvenia is correct. As I told her, I will inform you. A second war is coming to us. When? I can’t know for sure... until much closer to when it will happen.”
No one dwells in shock too long. Hael is right onto it.
“How many obstacles?” Hael asks, “Do you have any idea how many Tempest Dragons we’ll be facing?”
“From my vision, I would suggest four-hundred Tempest Breeds, Three Mages, one-hundred Fire-Spitter pets, no mortals. This is a stealth, surprise attack... at least it is intended to be,” Sylvan trails off as he thinks and then he adds, hesitantly, “I have one major doubt. Because I know it is intended to be a surprise does not mean we will work around it. I see it as sudden, because it is. It is what is fated to happen by the Sprites. This means you cannot prevent it, nor slow it, nor stop it. All you can do is prepare to fight at a moment’s notice.”
“Fucking Tempest Mages,” Lochness smirks, “Coming into the West, now that’s a silly idea.”
“Why?” I ask.
“Their magic is not centred as well in these lands,” Lochness explains, “They’re not made to survive here.”
“Which is to our advantage,” Hael agrees, “Wars never end so smoothly, this isn’t much of a surprise,” Hael holds Madeline around the waist while she leans into him, looking terrified of this news, “Thank you for informing us, I will make arrangements to prepare. You are welcome to help.”
“We will be setting foundations outside the mountains, within the forest. Permission granted... we would like you to ‘cast out’ your fledglings, like you did five years ago. We want to start a new Horde, within the forest,” Sylvan explains, “Luvenia is under our protection, Thaddeus and I will allow her to stay in the forest or in her bedchamber here. Whatever your daughter prefers.”
"I prefer to have the choice,” I explain, snarling.
“I just gave you one,” Sylvan rolls his eyes, glaring at me, “Don’t be an ungrateful brat,” at Sylvan’s words I kick my father’s leg.
“See who you’re supporting?” I hiss at Lochness, “Assholes.”
“He gave you a choice, baby cakes,” Lochness pats my head in return, smirking, “That’s very kind and generous of him.”
“That fact you are so calm,” Hael growls at Lochness, “Is the only reason blood is not spilling.”
“They are hardened from war, a few insults are not intended to truly harm anyone,” Amadahy chooses to add, to help calm Hael’s sudden air of violence, “Calling her a brat is like a compliment compared to the new insults they no doubt have learned over their five-year absence.”
“I’m a brat,” Minx pokes my arm, “Now we can be brats together!”
I bite my tongue before I yell at everyone in fury to leave me alone. I am so close to walking out on everyone. The only two people who haven’t said anything are my mother, who is anxious about the news of war.
Who is staring at my mother with narrowed, curious eyes. Was he... judging her? But, why?
“We have another piece of information,” Sylvan explains, glancing at his brother, “Thaddeus is a Slayer of Dragon Slayers and he has detected two hiding within the Requiem Horde, for at least five years. Thaddeus?”
All gazes turn to him.
He is still staring at my mother. Madeline narrows her eyes in return towards Thaddeus now.
“What do you propose we do?” Hael asks, instantly and calmly, raising his brow again at Sylvan.
“Ask them to fight with us, against the Tempest Dragons,” Sylvan admits, “Instead of taking their lives, use their power to help win the war.”
There is a long, awkward pause, as no one says anything.
I’m totally confused, until my father intercepts.
"Spit it out,” Lochness growls, this part deadly as he glares down Thaddeus, “But don’t you dare wish to lay a hand upon her or I will personally treat you to a life time of terror and pain.”
“That’s better,” I murmur and smile as he threatens my mate. Thaddeus turns his head to me as if in slow motion as his eyes sparkle with knowledge.
“You didn’t know,” Thaddeus speaks, now narrowing his eyes upon me, “Not even a hint?”
“What?” I ask, quizzically.
“What the hell is going on?” Amadahy asks, also confused.
"Dragon Slayer,” Minx growls while looking at Madeline and I –
“Oh my god... Lex breathes White Fire,” I murmur to myself in recognition. That rare quality of Dragon crossed with Dragon Slayer. I had never thought about it in much detail... I thought it was simply a rare genetic quality awarded to him by the Sprites.
“Who is the second Slayer?” Thaddeus asks my mother, authority within his tone. Hael protectively pushes Madeline behind him while glaring at my blue haired mate.
“Let me face him,” Madeline slaps Hael’s arm and goes around his other side, stalking her way forward to bravely position herself before Thaddeus, “Promise not to harm my brother, Mason or myself. Promise not to tell a soul of my power... if you are designed to take my life, the last thing I need is a mountain of Dragons and slaves cheering for my head to come off. If I die, Hael and Lochness die. Is Mason dies, Adara and Darren will be consumed with grief. The Requiem Horde will fall apart. We will all be dead as the war is soon coming. Neither my brother or I willingly seek out to slaughter Dragons. I love them, even though I was made to kill them,” Madeline says her speech while Lochness looks on in admiration and Hael looks ready to bring her back into line.
“Calm down, dad,” this time I direct this statement at Hael, “Relax.”
Amadahy slowly leans down to whisper in my ear, very quietly.
“He’s pissed because she just gave your mates every reason to become the new Dragon Lords of the Requiem Horde. She just explained how easy it could be,” as Amadahy explains this, Thaddeus and Sylvan do not hear, but Lochness does.
"Albino she-bat, that is not their intention,” Lochness tilts his head, amused.
“Albino?” Amadahy asks, humor completely void now within her, “Seriously?”
"What is our intention, she-bat? Speak louder,” Sylvan commands, encouraging her to repeat herself.
“Nothing,” Amadahy sighs and shrugs.
I stand up, wanting to focus back on my mother.
“Are you really a Dragon Slayer?” I ask Madeline; my subservient mother. It didn’t make sense.
“Yes,” Madeline turns to face me, a smile on her lips. Of relief. Perhaps this whole time, she really wanted me to know.
“May I ask,” Thaddeus questions, seriously, the same thing I am wondering, “How did you learn how to slay Dragons?”
“I taught myself. Mason helped refine my blood bound ability...” Madeline explains but Hael steps forward to grab her arm and pull her back to his side.
“That’s enough,” Hael growls.
“I swear to you I will not harm your mother,” Thaddeus growls this at me, and I can read the truth from his mind. He is not lying, “Nor your uncle. I promise you, Luvenia.”
I nod, still in shock by Madeline’s admission.
But I’m also a little more relaxed by Thaddeus’ reassurance.
“But... mother... how?” I ask her, now truly in awe, “I can’t... see you... really...”
“I sing,” Madeline cuts me off, raising a brow.
“And then?” I ask, eyes unblinking. I can’t wait for her answer.
“...and then Dragons fall before me, Luv,” she explains, “My words, my song, draws the power that keeps them standing, from their very bones.”
“Have you ever tried to kill my fathers?” I ask, smirking, hoping for a good answer.
She suddenly grins at this and winks my way.
“Many times –” Hael slaps his hand around her mouth, holding her close as he rolls his eyes.
"Enough,” he snarls, totally business now, “The rest of tonight is celebration. Tomorrow, I will inform every one of the impending war. No more talk of Dragon Slayers. Lest someone hears. Do you understand me, boys?” Hael emphasises their young age despite the fact they tower over everyone in the room.
“We do,” Sylvan explains, “Just do us one favour, Lord Hael,” he adds, glancing over at my mother in new appreciation, “Allow her to be trained,” he nods to Madeline with hopeful eyes, ”and her brother, in preparation for the war soon to come. As I said before, Dragon Slayers could be the very thing to help us win the next war.”