Dawnies, it has been a minute since I have added an excerpt, so here you go!
Maliki invited me and my fellowship to rest before continuing to the Port Cye. I accepted his favor as the guards and meres were weary.
Genna walks upon us as we stand with his head lowered into my hands. My eyes closed as his blue light surrounds me.
“Excuse me, Your Grace. Your council is meeting now.” She said.
Entering the tent, I see them studying two maps. Hiddard explains that both have different routes to Mason if that’s where we are still going. With all my heart, it is where I believe we should. Men, women, and children fight to the death as slaves. They serve their masters making massive coins for their lives.
“I mean no disrespect your grace, but we can’t just disembark at the harbor. And what of your dragon? We can’t just hide him. He is not exactly small.” Ton says.
“Nor shall he be hidden. The people need to see that dragons not just were real, but are.” I say.
“Everyone here has heard the stories of old. The realm has heard the stories. You are his weakness. If something happens to you Xavgon will be useless. Ager knows this. The minute you go flying over the harbor, arrows will be aimed at your head.” Ton says.
But I know the only way to show power is to be seen with my dragon. I will need to walk through fire and free the people in order for them to believe in me. No longer am I a story on ancient scrolls in ancient books. I am as real as my dragon who is the blood of my blood. I am the Revellies of old. But I must be more than that. I must be their strength.
Hiddard has a goal, though it is short term, for his loyalty his goal is mine, for I will kill two birds with one stone. Looking in Hiddard’s eyes I can see he is perplexed.
“Are you confused about what you want?” I ask Hiddard.
“Your Grace, I want you to help me find Sundo, Celest, and perhaps Molly. But there is a greater goal here. That goal is to what is best for the realm. Right now what is best for the realm is have its true queen on the glass throne.” He replies.
Staring at the ground, I know Hiddard is right. Ager is powerful. He has gold, magic, guardians of the keys, and his forcers are the most powerful army in the realm. If I am going to best Ager, I will need at least an army. Though I am the true heir to the throne by decedent right, this is a game of men. It has been since the last Dawn fell.
Maliki pulls from a chest another map. This map looks like the others save one difference. The land of Taree. “What is this place?” I ask.
“It is a scared land owned my no ruler in this realm nor the next. The land of trials.” He says.
“The land of trials is a myth, Maliki.” Ton interrupts.
“No, I have been there. It is very real.” He responds.
With Xavgon you can mine the gold there then you will enough to buy any army.” He responds.
“Our queen is to take your word that this place is real. Why haven’t you and your kind taken the land and mind the gold? Ton yells.
“We do not have a flame hot enough to do so.” He responds.
“Men. I will ponder your words and take it under advisement. For now, make final preparations as I go to speak with Shelleeann. Ton you should come with me. Your sisters would love to see you after the last moon I am sure.”
Ton follows without a word. Xavgon had already reached them. Both girls were playing with him. It was strange to see him so engaged with children as Shelleeanna looks on.
“Your Grace, your dragon is kind.” Shelleeanna speaks.
“He is.” I reply.
Seeing the joy in their eyes fills me with grace. Even if it is only for a short time. I beckon for Ton to walk over as I turn to Shelleeanna.
“I have not had this discussion with Ton as of yet, but as dangerous as this forest is, the unknown is more threatening. You have had a great loss that we can’t comprehend. And strong as you are, you are still a mother. Malaki will allow you and the children to remain here under the protection of his clan.” I informed her.
Ton turns to her.
“I know we don’t see eye to eye, but you are the mother of my little sisters whom I love very much. Protecting them is my first priority. And I am so sorry for the loss of Praya. I do not know what I could have done differently, but hope one day you can forgive me. Remain here with the Kale for your daughters.” He said.
She moves closer to Ton, closer than she has ever been. Raising her hand to his head, she runs her fingers between his hairs.
“You look like your father. The son I could never give him. Most of my anger was at myself. You have been valuable to this family in more ways than you know.” She speaks.
Turning to me, she speaks. “I have no protest. We shall remain here. I will speak to the girls at once.” She says.
“Good. No outside communication. We cannot risk an interception by those loyal to Ager.” I said.
“As you wish, my Queen.” She replies.
“Mother!” Xavgon alarms.
“I feel it to.” I reply.
The branches of trees are set ablaze.
Xavgon turns towards the sky sending out a force of frost air as a shield.
“Mother I am not 100%. I do not know how long I can hold.” He alarms.
“Hold as long as you can.” I announce.
“My Queen, you must leave.” Ton commands.
“I will not abandon you.” I reply.
Malaki and Kooloan make their way over.
They assure me Taree is real and I should take the eggs and go. As we speak, Xavgon begins to lose strength. I can feel him falling back.
“We will do what we can here. You need a Kale. I cannot leave my clan to fight and die alone. Take Kooloan for the camp has been breached.” He commands.
“Father.” Kooloan says.
“Do what you must my son.” He says.
Malaki turns to me.
“Look inside.” He says.
“Your children. Our legacy. Maybe one day I can write of the one who saves us all.” He says.
“I cannot leave the children.” I say.
Xavgon lowers his wing.
“Mother, we must go!”
Shelleeanna runs to Ton.
“They need you, your queen needs you. Go! Take care of my girls.” She commands.
Ton, Kooloan, and the children board Xavgon’s wing with me behind them. Kooloan grabs a space between Xavgon’s horns. Ton wraps the girls in his pelt. Xavgon turns his head and takes the case with the eggs into his mouth.
He whispers and begins to run. Gravity tries to hold him as he has never carried more than me. But there he gets. As he soars, I look down at the camp to see Enforcers running through. There were dead wild dogs and Kales. As I focused. I saw him. It was Jessup. Just then one of his men turns a large bolt thrower towards us. I cry out to Xavgon, but he has already seen it.
The bastard releases it. With a swift maneuver to his side, the arrow misses us barely. One of the girls slips as Kooloan holds on with his hooves and grabs her as Ton tries preventing the other from falling. They balanced as Ton had hold of the children again. After a series of ups downs lefts and rights Xavgon disappears into the clouds.
He is high as possible before beginning to descend. After much cloud cover, we can see the ground again. As I bring my eyes into focus, I can see clearly the man and a white dog.
“Mother, it is Rome.” Xavgon alarms.
“We must land. They have not reached the edge of the forest.” I say.
“You don’t know that. It could be a trap.” Ton responds.
“I’m not leaving my dog.” I respond.
Before long we are closer to the ground. Xavgon hovers over to scan the area. He senses nothing so he lands.
I quickly disembark, running towards the man. I reach him and the dog begins to growl. I lock eyes with his as he moves in closer. He sniffs me and I am perfectly still. Then, without warning, he licks me. He knows me.
“Yes boy,” I whisper.
Ton runs over to us.
The man was wounded so I turn him over to see it is Hiddard.
“He has lost a lot of blood but he is breathing,” Ton says.
Ton lifts him and we move as fast as we can to Xavgon.
“Xavgon can you hold the weight?” I ask.
He lowers his head down then up as Ton boards him. Rome looks at me and tilts his head to one side then the next. After all, he was at least 100 pounds larger, but still a big baby. I coach him unto Xavgon. The funny thing is he has his wits about him. He grabs on with teeth as we ascend to the beyond.
“Taree, Kooloan. Which direction?”
“It as north as the edge of the world.” He responds.
“Will that not put us in danger of Boilos.” I ask.
“It is a risk.” He responds.
I knew it was more than a risk. Boilos would sense us and for what? Gold. Maybe, but it was a need. We do things at times for reasons unseen, but I can see it. Ager is powerful and he has powerful friends so I can’t fear what I can’t control.
So we soar north to the uppermost northern lands. Lands untamed and unclaimed until we see two massive falls. Stunning is the only word I can muster. Truly there must be magic here as the temperatures were frigid.
“The closer to water the better.”
“I agree with Xavgon. We land near the falls.” I announce.
Once his feet grip the white ground beneath him, we slowly disembark down his wing.
I carry the girls and Kooloan and Ton carefully lowers Hiddard as Rome runs towards the falls. I scream for him, but he continues.
Hiddard breaths are beginning to labor. The altitude is making it harder for him to breathe so he must have a punctured lung. Xavgon has already taken my thoughts so he moves towards a pile of pipes of some kind.
Removing the chest from his jaws he brings up a red flame heating the pipes just right. Bringing two over to me, he nods his head in approval. I knew what I had to do or Hiddard would die. I ask Ton for his knife that Xavgon then heats. After, I ask Ton to take his sisters. I whisper in Hiddard’s ear. Then…
I insert one pipe into his chest releasing the pressure. Liquid flows and his breathing normalizes a bit more. Rome runs back to use and stares into Xavgon’s eyes.
“Mother, he has found drinkable water and shelters some clicks below.”
“How do you know this?” I ponder.
“I don’t know how, but I can understand him, as clearly as I do you.” He answers.
I beckon for Ton to retrieve the eggs. After he moves in we carefully lift Hiddard onto Kooloan’s back. I take the hands of the girls and we follow Rome. Xavgon takes to the sky without a thought.
“Is he leaving us?” Ton ask.
“Where ever he is going or whatever he is doing, it is necessary. Don’t worry. Just follow my wild dog.” I assure.
Dawnies, don’t forget to comment and reblog. Your feedback is essential to edits and final publication. Share, share, share!