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Thunderlight, p.19
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       Thunderlight, p.19

           Adrienne Woods
 

  Even though we fought as hard as we could, I couldn’t help thinking we were going to lose. There were too many.

  Still, I got up and fought my way through a couple of men with cloaks.

  A strong wind blew into my face and I covered my eyes. Everyone stopped as a flapping sound vibrated in my ear.

  Fire came barreling down from the distance. It had a pink glow to it and I watched in horror as men in cloaks started to disintegrate. No matter what they did, it was like a disease spreading that turned the men into ashes. Tiny grey specks flew into the night making it look like a thousand fireflies fleeing the scene.

  The smell of death lingered in the air and as I looked at the figure I saw him, the Rubicon.

  He’d finally come back.

  One of the figures yelled something in another language and they began vanishing into thin air. A couple of them stayed but they were no match against us. I lifted up my ax at the figure looming in front of me.

  “Elena, stop!” Becky yelled and I dropped my ax. I grabbed her around the neck, blood covered her face.

  “Is everyone okay?” My body started to tremble.

  “George took a bad hit, but they are sorting him.” She said with worried lacing her tone as we started to run in the direction of the dome. “Where is Lucian?”

  “I don’t know. I lost him. Was that Blake?” I had to know.

  “Dickhead came back just in time,” she said.

  We entered the Parthenon dome and plenty of student and teachers, some in robes, and other in normal clothes sat on the bleachers. All of them were covered in blood.

  The ones who were badly injured lay on the floor and a couple of them were covered in blankets. My body froze and my eyes grew in horror as I imagined Lucian’s body lying beneath one of those blankets.

  A pair of arms grabbed me from behind and I looked at Lucian who had blood and guts covering him. I made sure that he was okay by inspecting his head and it led to kissing him vigorously. I didn’t care if he tasted like blood.

  A naked girl carrying a wounded boy entered the dome and Lucian went to help. Becky gave her a robe and she pulled it over her head.

  We started to help as more wounded humans and dragons were dragged in and I felt bad for Constance, Julia and the couple of Swallow Annexes at the school who had to try and patch all of them up.

  Master Longwei passed around a couple of bottles and those who weren’t badly injured began to drink from it. As I watched, their scrapes and wounds started to close up and heal before my eyes.

  A couple of adults entered the dome to my right. The guy was big and had silver blond, short hair. The woman had light, golden brown hair. Constance looked relieved as she saw both of them and when their hands started to glow, I knew they were Swallow Annexes.

  Tears glistened in my eyes as Julia covered a blanket over Finn, a boy from one of my classes. Becky just held me as tears rolled down her face too. “They are going to close Dragonia for sure, after this.”

  “It’s not Dragonia’s fault Becky. It’s ours.”

  She looked at me with a question in her eyes.

  “Goran is not going to back off until we are dead.”

  “Shhh, Elena. Don’t think like that.”

  “It’s the truth. Have you seen Sammy?”

  “She’s safe with Dean. Damn that boy is good. They make one hell of a team. Sammy tore plenty of guys into pieces not to mention frying their asses. I’ve never seen her so vicious.”

  “Becky, it was either us or them.”

  “I know. I’m just glad you are all right.”

  We all looked at the entrance as Blake walked in with Paul right behind him. I forgot how magical Blake’s presence was. They fled because of him. Who knows what would’ve happened if he hadn’t show up today. I wished that I could’ve kissed him right then and there but I shook my head and the thought disappeared.

  “They were Wyverns,” a guy yelled as he stormed in their direction. When he reached Paul, I knew he was going to hit him with a fist but Blake grabbed the front of his shirt, said something to the guy, and threw him away from him.

  “Zaxaria means Rubicon in Wyvic, Blake,” one of the professors I hadn’t had class with shouted at him.

  “You brought this on us,” shouted the guy Blake had just thrown off from his new position on the floor.

  Sammy found us and I grabbed her. “Thank God, you are safe!”

  “This is wrong,” she said in a panic as the group of teachers and students huddled around Paul and Blake. Both Becky and I just stared at her.

  “Paul saved our lives a couple of times tonight,” Dean said quickly. “He is one hell of a dragon, Elena.”

  “Wait, he fought in his dragon form too?”

  He nodded.

  “What do you mean, too?” Becky wanted to know and I told him how he saved my life with a couple of arrows.

  “Enough!!!” Lucian yelled from the opposite direction. The entire dome fell silent, and watched Lucian walk over to Paul. My heart beat inside my chest with every step Lucian took. I couldn’t watch and knew that Lucian and Blake were going to end up fighting because of Paul.

  Becky and Sammy gasped and I opened my eyes. Lucian’s hand reached out to Paul, but not in a fist. He was waiting for Paul to shake it. “He’s not one of them. He saved all of our lives, including mine a couple of times tonight. Anyone that can kill his own kind for the greater good deserves a chance.” Lucian’s face held no emotion. He was tired and probably relieved too.

  Paul finally shook his hand carefully. I watched as the two of them spoke softly and saw how Blake slapped Paul on the back.

  Paul gave him a lopsided smile.

  I was frozen. I couldn’t explain the feeling that Lucian giving Paul a chance created in my soul.

  When he reached me his arms wrapped around my body. “If you want him as your dragon, take him. His one amazing Wyvern, Elena, and I was wrong. I don’t admit that easily.”

  “I love you.”

  “I love you more.”

  ING HELMUT ARRIVED later that night with about twenty other people and dragons that I had never seen before. They had a meeting and more guards were stationed to protect Dragonia over the next couple of days.

  Paul kept me busy while Lucian practiced for his third attempt to claim Blake.

  To be honest, I wanted to know more about Paul Sutton, since we were going to spend our entire lives together. We met up underneath one of the huge oak trees while Lucian practiced in the Parthenon dome.

  We tried to figure out what else we had in common, and like me, he loved eighties music and didn’t have a lot of friends. It became our usual spot and the more time I spent with Paul, the more I liked him for what he was trying to become.

  “I wanted to show you something,” he said as we sat down on the blanket he brought with him every day.

  “What?”

  He took out a red cloth that covered something big. “I got this from my grandfather when I was about ten years-old.” He opened the cloth and revealed a medallion hanging from a silver chain. “He used to be like me, not really sure if he was a Wyvern.” He gave me a lopsided smile as he handed the medallion to me.

  “What is it?”

  “It’s the sign of the dents.”

  I gasped as I saw their mark for the first time. Now I know where China and Japan had gotten the idea for the yin-yang sign. The two looked very similar, but instead of white and black with the small opposite circles in each one, it had a teardrop shape of a dragon figure with a human head, and a teardrop human figure with a dragon head. I suppose the heads resembled the circles.

  “Where did your granddad get this?”

  “King Albert gave it to him about twenty years ago.”

  “You knew the King?”

  “If I did, I don’t remember him. He used to have a right hand that could speak Wyvic fluently.”

  “Wyvic is your language?”

  He nodded.

  “Will you
teach me?”

  “You don’t need to learn it, Elena. When you Ascend you would be able to understand it fluently.”

  “I will?” I gave him a skeptic look.

  He nodded. “I guess you can say it’s a dent thing. I still don’t know what it’s called between a Wyvern and Rider. We’re the first so I guess we can call it anything we want.”

  “I like the word dent. I still want to know a little Wyvic. What does it sound like?”

  “You’ve never heard me speak Wyvic in your head before.” He frowned.

  “I don’t think so, but then again I’ve got no idea what it sounds like.”

  “I call it the drunk-language.” He chuckled. “Almost every word has a z sound in it, and when you speak it fluently... well you get my point.”

  I laughed. “So what you’re saying is that we’re going to sound like a couple of drunks when we speak to one another.”

  “Something like that.”

  “Say something.” Curiosity washed over me like a tidal wave, and I just had to know what it sounded like.

  “Okay.” He looked deep into my eyes and I could feel my stomach started to twist and turn. “ Re fzirza zul Paul, Buzik zul Ezezun?”

  “Ref…what?”

  He laughed. “I told you it sounds like someone who is drunk.”

  “What did you ask me?”

  “I said, ‘My name is Paul, what is yours?’”

  “Say that again, but slowly.”

  “Re… fzirza… zul… Paul,… Buzik… zul… Ezezun?”

  I tried to repeat it but it sounded ten times worse coming from me and we both started laughing.

  “It’s not the easiest language there is, but it’s one. The P usually comes out as an F sound, especially if it’s next to a Z, which is most of the time. We have vocals just like in English, but where your vocals are solid sounds, Wyvic vocals are zi, za, zo, zu and ze. That’s why our language sounds like someone who has had way too much booze.”

  I smiled at him, wondering how on earth I could be so lucky to have him as my dragon. I didn’t care if he was a Wyvern anymore. He was my dragon to keep and he didn’t have a scary hair on his body.

  “Can I ask you a question?”

  “Shoot.”

  “What can Wyverns do? I mean how many abilities do you have?”

  He grinned from ear to ear, which brought out the vertical lines in his cheeks. It reminded me of Dad again and a hollow space filled my heart. I was still hanging on to the idea that when I Ascended I would see him again.

  “The Wyverns are much smaller than the other dragons. So we do have extra abilities. All of us are fire breathers and you know that Raven-Snouts,” he rolled his eyes at the name, “like me can read minds. The Hammer-Head is a trickster. Their human form can appear and reappear in different spots. They say the older they get, the more copies they can generate. I don’t think there were that many Wyverns that night they attacked us. I think it was about ten to fifteen Hammer-Heads.”

  I remembered the guy he saved me from. I tried everything to kill him, but he didn’t want to budge. “You mean the other body’s they generate are flesh and bone.”

  He nodded.

  “The Brown-Horn’s scales are like flying stars. They can release them and new ones will grow in their place, the same with some of the horns on their back. Their horn is dangerous and carries a poison that ages you extremely fast until you die.

  The Spike-Tail and Spear-Tail are so much alike. One has the ability to see through animal’s eyes and the other one, well, can suck out souls. The more they have the longer they live. With each soul, they have a life, so they can die ten times over. I think there was at least one Spear-Tail there that night. He gained a lot of lives through all the people and dragons that were killed.”

  A shiver ran up my spine as Paul told me in detail what their abilities were. They were indeed very dangerous creatures. No wonder he wanted to escape from his colony.

  “Raven-Snouts are just as dangerous. As you know we have the gift to change people’s minds. Make them see things that aren’t there. Blinding an enemy, making him believe that he’s safe when he’s not is one of the Raven-Snout’s best abilities.” He shuddered. “It’s sick if you think about it.”

  “I don’t think it’s sick. It’s an awesome ability and one we will desperately need if we get attacked again.”

  “They won’t attack again. They are scared of the Rubicon. While he still holds on, he’s a danger to the Wyverns. His pink fire incinerates everything on the spot and there is no cure once you’re burned. It spreads like a disease and only takes you more slowly.”

  Blake jump into my mind.

  “He sure is one powerful dragon. It would be a pity if he turns.”

  “Lucian works pretty hard on that one,” I said.

  “You really think he will be able to claim him?”

  “He’d better,” I said and he gave me a lopsided smile. It was quiet for a minute. “Wait, how will I get a saddle on you?”

  He started to laugh again, this time it came from his belly. “My dragon form has quite a huge neck line. My grandfather told me that King Albert rode him once, a long time ago. They hoisted the saddle onto his neck and they flew around like that for a couple of hours. The stories my Pappy used to tell me.” He sighed. “It’s why I wanted to be part of this.” He gestured towards the area around him. “I don’t know what it is with the other Wyverns, but I promise you, Elena, I’m not like them.”

  “You proved that to us, Paul.”

  “You don’t know how long I’ve been praying for an opportunity just to prove my loyalty. This wasn’t the opportunity I wanted, but ...”

  “I know what you mean.” I leaned closer to him. “Don’t mess it up.”

  He laughed. “That I promise I will never do.”

  The bell at the Academy rang in the distance, announcing that it was time for dinner. We got up and I handed the medallion back to Paul. He lifted his hands up. “Keep it.”

  “Paul, I can’t…”

  “Keep it, Elena. I mean it.”

  I smiled and my stomach made another turn. I didn’t like this feeling at all. I promised Lucian no one would come between us, and I wasn’t the type of person who broke their promises.

  “Thank you, Paul.” I put the medallion around my neck and hid the huge round pendant inside my shirt.

  We parted ways by the main door leading to the cafeteria. I went to my room first so that I could put the medallion in a safe place.

  I found a spot in my drawer, right beneath my panties. I looked at it one last time. The silver needed a clean, but it looked ancient and beautiful. The human head had tiny red rubies for eyes, where the dragon head had tiny blue ones. The symbols engraved around them resembled all the signs of the dragons. It was really the most exquisite thing I’d ever seen, and I couldn’t believe that Paul had told me to keep it.

  The King had been right to try and find an alliance with them. I didn’t care who those men were, but if there were colonies with Wyverns like Paul, it could still become a reality. Once I claimed him and I’d Ascended, it would become our mission; to find an alliance with the Wyverns.

  N FRIDAY AN announcement came over the school system. Lucian was going to claim Blake in Monday. My heart skipped a few beats and my stomach twisted and turned a couple of times. Lucian received a lot of cheers but when Blake got up and walked out of the cafeteria, it died immediately.

  “He doesn’t like it when you try?”

  “I think he’s just scared that I might Ascend this time.” He joked and gave me a kiss on the tip of my nose. “Don’t look so worried. You might just be surprised.”

  I smiled. He had all the confidence in the world and I prayed that he would be able to succeed on Thursday.

  For the next two days, banners of Lucian and Blake hung everywhere on the school grounds. Reporters even came to have a couple of interviews with Lucian. It was all so overwhelming and Paul tried his best to ta
ke my mind away from it all.

  He didn’t succeed though.

  Thursday couldn’t come soon enough and before I knew it, it was time to go to the Coliseum. I stayed by Lucian’s side and went with him where the Dragonians were suited up to get ready for the claim. He came out of the bathroom and I couldn’t help but swoon.

  He was wearing a new Samurai Three Thousand vest over a shirt. His arms were bare and it went well with the leather pants and knee high black army boots that laced up his legs. He really looked like some sort of hunter. He had a thick robe around his shoulder and a shield in his other arm.

  “You are going to claim him with a rope?”

  He roared with laughter and my serious expression changed into a smile.

  “No weapons are allowed in a claim, Elena. Only shields, this,” he lift up a piece of the robe, “and abilities.” He shook his head while a huge grin stayed plastered on his face.

  He pulled me by my shirt and I smacked into his chest. The robe was pressing hard just above my hip, but I could also feel his heart thumping as I wrapped my arms around his waist. Whether it was excitement or fear, I didn’t know.

  Suddenly, the crowd went wild and we went to look out the gate that looked on the arena. Blake had just entered the Coliseum. He had wrapped some sort of a leather garment around his waist and also wore boots. He looked swoon-worthy and when the guilt of wanting him rose up again, I looked away.

  I didn’t know why I always ended up wanting him whenever he paraded around half naked, but then again, it had to do with a part of him wanting me whenever he was drunk. Flashes of cameras went off as he just stood there. He had no expression on his face and looked intimidating.

  “He doesn’t even look scared.”

  “He never does.”

  Lucian finished putting blunt gadgets around his belt. I couldn’t help but notice that it had so many sheaths.

  “So what’s your plan?”

  “To enjoy it as much as I can,” he said with a voice full of confidence.

  “Lucian….”

  “Shhh.” He put his finger to my lips. “No negative vibes are allowed in this room.”

  The doors opened and Mia walked in. “You ready?” she asked.

 
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