WHERE THE HELL is my son?” I felt a ball of angry bile rise up in my throat. If he betrayed me, I would kill him myself.
No he wouldn’t. He wanted this responsibility. To avenge his brother’s death; to avenge his biological father’s broken heart that led him to his grave. He wouldn’t betray his new father, unless that Chong Longwei got through to him. I should’ve killed that dragon when I had the chance.
If he was going to keep those Elementals from me, everything we had planned for the past ten years would be for nothing.
I picked up the plate of grapes next to me and watched them smash against the wall.
“Me Lord, take a deep breath.” I could feel Tansee’s hands on my shoulders. She pressed real hard and I could feel the knots disappear under her touch. “Your son will never betray you, that thought hasn’t even crossed his mind.”
“You’re sure about that?”
“Yes, I would’ve seen it through her.”
“She’s still not buying that your dead.”
“No, Irene will never give up the search for me. She knows I didn’t die, but she’s not in a very good place at the moment. She has many quarrels with herself. She doubts her gifts. The night I blocked her vision, did the trick.”
“Tansee, you are one hell of a woman.”
“I know. So relax, Paul will come with your prize soon.” She lowered her head and our lips touched. If it wasn’t for her connection to the dragon she used to share a bond with, none of this would’ve been a success. They would’ve known that Paul was pretending from the first day. Without Irene’s sight, she had nothing else to rely on but her gut. And her gut was weak. She was lost without her sight. My beautiful chocolate Princess took care of that.
Suddenly, the door sprang open and our kiss was interrupted. “Sorry for the intrusion, my Lord.” Micha bowed as low as he could. “The hippogriff is on her way. She is carrying the bag.”
I pushed Tansee out of the way and with huge strides followed Micha to see for myself.
My heart stopped and a smile spread across my face as I saw her flying in the horizon. She looked tired but she had the bag of mongrels around her torso just as Micha had said. I searched the skies again. There was no Paul. “Where’s my son?”
“There is no sign of him, me Lord.”
“She’d better hope and pray nothing happened to him.” My fists turns into balls as rage, hate and fury filled my chest.
The hippogriff listed to the left then to the right, as if she’d consumed too much alcohol. She came crashing, beak first, into the ground. I crouched down and could hear the mongrels clucking noises. “Take them and put them inside their cages.” I give the bag to Avika, one of my slaves. I looked at another.
“Give her water, quick!” I ordered and three women ran in with buckets of water. She drank all of it in a matter of seconds and breathed heavily as if she was in labor.
She changed back and the strain on her face told me my biggest fear. I took my sword out of my sheath.
“Wait, my Lord. He’s inside of me. He needs another body.”
“You gave him the Calupso potion?”
“I had no choice,” she breathed heavily. “The Rubicon, as dark as he is, smelled the hippogriff on me. I didn’t have enough human blood to hide my scent. He got suspicious but trusted Paul with this secret of finding out what I wanted. So I conjured a potion just in case. But it wasn’t Blake that killed him, it was the Prince. He found a way to multiply himself and tricked Paul.” She screamed and clawed at her stomach. “I gave him the potion with his last dying breath. He drank it, and my body soaked up his soul.”
In a flash I changed the course of my sword and struck Micha hard in the gut. “Keep him alive, and prepare the two potions.” |
At six the potion was ready. I watched Alfred prepare it myself. Trust wasn’t my friend and I never knew who to trust in the colony.
Micha and Nora lay right next to one another. She was barely holding on with another entity writhing inside of her.
I gave her the first part of the potion and she drank it slowly. We had to force it down Micha, who would become Paul’s host, to drink the other. He’d died about twenty minutes ago and when Alfred was sure it was inside of him, Paul started to arch Nora’s back.
A milky grey mass poured out her nose, eyes, mouth and ears. It came together in a cloud and slipped through Micha’s parted lips.
When he gasped and his eyes flew open, I knew it was Paul. I went to him with a healing potion and watched how the hole in his stomach closed. He looked at me and whispered “father” before he fell into a deep and peaceful sleep.
I went back to Nora who was still awake, but fatigue hung around her like a dark cloud. I crouched beside her bed, pushing the hair out of her face. “I can see why my son has favored you all these years. You’ve done well.”
She gave me a smile and wanted to speak.
“Shhh. Do they know that you are shifter?”
She nodded. “I stung the Prince and the girl saw me.”
Anger consumed me once again. “You didn’t kill her?” I roared.
“There was no time, my Lord. She’s not who the Master said she was. She’s a dragon.”
The thought of killing her vanished and it was filled with a roaring laugh. “We’re going to have the Rubicon soon.” I smiled at her wickedly.
Paul woke up around nine and we shared a bottle of the best wine in the cellar. At dinner we feasted on roasted pork, beef and lamb. It was a time to celebrate and my men sat around the table with Paul in the chair to my left. Nora still slept, she needed her strength as I had another mission for her.
“Why didn’t you call me?”
He leaned in closer “Blake got suspicious of Nora, he knew something was wrong and we had to stop meeting for a while. I’m sorry father, but we had to do what we had to do.”
I rested my head against his. “Lucian paid for what he did to you. Nothing can cure a hippogriff’s sting.”
We both started to laugh. “Oh, how I wish I could see Helmut’s face. To see the pain he inflicted on my brother such a long time ago when he killed Wyland. I wish your mother was here to see this. You did well. I’m so proud of you.”
Tears glistened in his eyes. “You don’t know how long I’ve waited to hear those words.”
We laughed again.
“I found something else. Something that I didn’t need the girl’s DNA for.”
He went into the bag and took out a necklace. “Remember this stone?”
My eyes grew wide as I took in the gem. “Where did you find it?”
“It was around some silly little Dragonian’s neck.”
I grabbed him around the shoulders and pulled him in close. “The gods are finally favoring us. Everything is as it should be.”
THE FULL MOON would shine brightly tonight. The potion for the Elementals was ready and the Master said he’d found the perfect host.
Tonight the Saadedine would rise and we would become invincible once Blake changed.
Her turning out to be a dragon was the best news I could have received. Once Blake turned evil, he would find a way to free the Master, Goran.
We put the Elementals in their cages fifteen minutes before midnight. Their clicking noises had been driving me insane over the past couple of days. I couldn’t wait for them to be gone. The moon shone brightly on the altar and I knew that nothing was standing in our way.
Everything we did was crucial, everything was worked out to a specific hour, minute and second. One false move and all of this would be for nothing. The Master would have all our heads if we botched it.
At eleven-fifty I took my dagger and cut the inside of my palm. Blood dropped down into the ceremonial bowl. I closed my eyes and cleared my mind.
“You’re right on time Cain. Do you have everything we need?” He’s words appeared inside my thoughts.
“I do, Sire.”
“There is one thing I have to tell you. The girl, she’s not who we thought she was.”
“What do you mean?” I could hear the edge in his voice.
“She’s a dragon.”
“No, that can’t be.”
“Sire, the young Lord has seen it with his own eyes, how she changed.”
Silence filled both our heads and then a laughter echoed through mine. The Master was happy. “You want to tell me Blake will be mine?”
“Just be patient, Sire. He’ll come to you.”
“Patience is all I have,” his tone was filled with joy. “You did good Cain, you deserve to meet our perfect host.”
I gasped. “I’m honored, Sire.”
He let me into his mind. He soaked my conscience up and when I opened my eyes, I no longer stood at the ceremonial altar.
I was inside the Master’s head. I was back in the castle of Etan. His power ran through my veins, it was seductive and I felt indestructible.
I followed him through his eyes and saw how he opened the door to the dungeons in the old castle in Etan. He walked past cells that held skeletons in their skin looking at me through empty eyes; men that used to be knights, barely hanging on. None of them said a word.
Cowards, the thought ran through both our minds. They could’ve had everything if only they’d choose his side.
He entered a larger basement to the right of the other cells. It was huge and had a long dentist chair with its back facing us.
Someone, the person who was worthy enough to be the host of the Saadedine, was strapped inside. He couldn’t move.
Excitement ran through my veins. This was epic; we would rule this world when the creepers disappeared.
The Master started to speak.
“It is time, my friend. Time to meet your destiny.”
“How can you do this?” The voice was tired. “You always said you’d be there.”
How dare he speak to the Master like that? With no honor, no respect!
“And I am,” the Master did a little triple toward the chair, mockery lacing every syllable. “Just not on the side you wanted me to be on.”
“This won’t go anywhere, the vines will never let you.”
“Then vines, the vines, the vines. Fuck the vines. Blake will find a way.”
The host laughed a tired laugh. “He will be claimed soon.” The Master and I both laughed.
“That little girl is not going to claim him. She’s a dragon.”
“No,” the man gasped. “She can’t be.”
The master grabbed his head and pulled his face closer. The man strapped on top was barely alive. He was a corpse of a man but he looked familiar. The Master and I jumped onto his lap and I gasped as I looked into his eyes. This cannot be!
“I have to say, you almost had me that first time I looked into her eyes. But it’s over, and because of that, you will pay for lying to me.” I was shocked as the Master toyed with him. I regretted now thrusting that iron blade into my father’s back. If he was still alive to see this, I could have spat in his face once more for all the things he’d brought on our Wyvern colony. No good came from his efforts.
“It’s so ironic, wouldn’t you say?” The Master carried on toying with him. “The greatest King that ever lived…. will become the greatest creature ever feared.