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Thunderlight, p.28
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       Thunderlight, p.28

           Adrienne Woods
 

  I followed his gaze but found nothing.

  “I got to go, speak to you soon.” He hugged me one more time and then just vanished. He’d felt so real and I started to chuckle as I thought about his little trick. What sort of a spell allows one to travel like that through space and how long had Lucian been practicing?

  The minute I thought about him being in the forest, the fear of never seeing him washed over me. What was the stuff they wanted him to do? Flashes of scenarios of Lucian doing impossible tasks jumped into my mind. Stop it, Elena.

  As I stood there thinking, the door flew open and Sammy and Becky’s laughter filled the room first before their figures. Both stopped laughing the minute they saw me.

  “What’s wrong? Is it Lucian?”

  I nodded and they both hugged me.

  “Did he phone you?” Becky was the first to speak.

  “Sort off,” I said and sniffed.

  “Well, that’s a good sign though.”

  They still didn’t know that he’d gone to the Acker Woods and I couldn’t stop thinking about him not being able to come back.

  “Elena, he’s okay.”

  “He’s in the Acker Woods, Becky.”

  Both gasped at my words.

  “What the hell is he doing in there?” Becky sounded shocked.

  “One of his leads guided him in there.” I couldn’t tell them about Tanya since the Council had forbidden it and I didn’t want to get Lucian or King Helmut into trouble because of my bigmouth.

  “So what did he say?” Sammy asked.

  “He found a village inside the forest, and now they want him to pass some crazy tests before they will help him.” Tears welled up in my eyes. “What if he doesn’t come back?”

  Both girls stared at me and both looked exactly like me, worried.

  “Nobody gets out once they enter,” Sammy whispered.

  “Guys,” Becky said in a disbelieving tone. “This is Lucian we are talking about, he will find a way.” She turned her gaze to me. “You should’ve told us that he was going to the Acker Woods, Elena.”

  “I know, but they wouldn’t have let him go if they knew.”

  “At least we know he’s fine,” she finished and the conversation died out.

  The next week many changes were happening at Dragonia.

  Lucian hadn’t visited me again since that night and my fears had grown exponentially. Paul tried everything in his power to lift up my spirits but thoughts about fate and destiny stayed with me constantly as I worried about Lucian. What if this is fate trying to keep Lucian and me apart because I really have to be with Paul?

  Nevertheless, life at Dragonia still carried on.

  The last Warbel tryout was going to conclude on Monday night.

  Becky and George had tried out for almost every team but hadn’t gotten placed yet. Their last hope lay with Blake’s team who were called the Maggots. George was sure that Blake would choose Becky and him as team members. What really surprised all of us was that Sammy and Dean got placed on the first night they tried out. She was going to be on the Dorrent team. A Dorrent sounded much better than a Maggot, but George and Becky would do anything to be on a Warbel team.

  On Tuesday, I spent the afternoon with Cheng. I hadn’t seen him much since school started as he was in his final year. He was also really busy because he had been elected as one of the schools Council pupils this year. It was something only the last years could become, and they helped Master Longwei with guiding first years for the first three months until they got the hang of it. They also participated in school functions and the Testrial Ball, which was similar to prom. He didn’t need to tutor me in the history of Paegeia anymore. We just liked spending time together, and I loved to talk theories with him.

  “He’s your what?” Cheng asked shocked.

  “It’s what he said. You told me yourself that a dragon always knows who their rider is.”

  “Elena, he is a Wyvern. I’ve never heard of Wyverns having a bond with Dragonians.”

  “You also never heard of a dragon offspring being born with the mark of the Dragonians and here I am.”

  He looked to the ground as we walked toward the Colosseum. “I don’t know, just be careful.”

  “Cheng, remember what you said about horses?”

  He squinted, thinking really hard.

  “That they only respond to Metallic dragons. Well, Paul rode one and he was fine. Do you really think that the horse would be okay with an evil dragon riding it?”

  A smile broke out on his face. “Should I be worried that you pay too close attention to me?”

  I laughed. “No, I just listen to whatever comes out your mouth. It’s interesting and makes sense.”

  “Phew!” He wiped his forehead playfully and I laughed. “For a second I thought something else.”

  I slapped him playfully as I remembered about the Queen’s dragon. “Why didn’t you tell me that nobody knows about Tanya Le Frey?”

  He stopped in his tracks. “Please tell me you didn’t say anything?”

  “I didn’t know, Cheng.”

  “Elena! What did you say and to whom?”

  “It slipped out. Lucian spoke to me about his mission and how he got a date that was linked to Blake.”

  His eyes grew and through the glasses they looked extra-large. “What do you mean a date that’s linked to Blake?”

  “They think it’s when he will turn. That is why Lucian went on a self-discovery quest to find something that will help him to claim Blake.”

  “Like a weapon?” He asked the same thing I had asked Lucian.

  I nodded.

  A huge frown pulled both his brows together. “I don’t think that there is something out there that will be able to claim, Blake.”

  “Why are you always so negative?”

  “I’m not negative I’m just weighing everything up. None of this makes any sense to me.”

  “So Lucian went on a quest for nothing, that’s what you’re saying?”

  “I didn’t say that.”

  “Just leave it, Cheng.” I was furious with him and started walking back to the Academy alone.

  “Elena!”

  I just kept walking. I was sick of his theories, even though I loved them. He was wrong about this. Lucian would find a way to claim, Blake. I knew it. He would come back. He’d promised.

  When I entered our room, Becky literally jumped on me. “We made Blake’s team!”

  I couldn’t help but feel her excitement as I laughed and congratulated her.

  It died out soon over the next two days as Sammy and I had to listen to Becky complaining about how Blake drilled her and George. He already expected them to do all the shielding spells that the professional players did.

  Even in all the excitement, I couldn’t stop thinking about what Cheng had said.

  A part of me always felt that Cheng’s theories were right. What if there was no weapon out there that would be able to claim Blake? What if he would become evil and find a way to free Goran? What if Lucian went on this quest and never came back?

  To be honest, I could deal with Blake turning evil, but I wouldn’t be able to deal with Lucian not being here at all.

  RIDAY NIGHT AT dinner I couldn’t help but wonder about what Blake and Paul were discussing. By the way Paul shook his head and his hand kept touching his nose, I could tell it was a serious conversation. Blake was starting to lose it with him.

  “Just do what I tell you, Paul,” he yelled and got up. The entire cafeteria fell silent and couldn’t help but stare at Paul who remained in his seat. He had a worried expression on his face.

  “What was that about?” I asked George and Sammy.

  “I don’t know. I didn’t pay attention. I only got Blake saying he doesn’t trust someone.”

  “Is it Paul?” I asked.

  He shook his head. “No he wants Paul to look into it. See what their intentions are with his mind reader ability.”

  It could explain w
hy Paul looked so worried. He hated reading other people’s minds. Tabitha got up after a couple of minutes after Blake left the cafeteria.

  “Is it just me or is Tabitha wearing a serious amount of make-up?” Becky asked and George tapped her softly as his eyes fell on Sammy.

  “It’s fine George,” Sammy said. “It’s bound to come out anyway?”

  “What is,” Becky looked at both of them and I sighed as I remembered what Sammy had said in the Infirmary.

  “He did it again, didn’t he?” I asked.

  She nodded. “The Warbel games keep him busy but his temper is really short. I found them yesterday fighting behind the Coliseum. When I interfered, she told me to butt out and mind my own business.”

  “Wait, he’s beating Tabitha?”

  “It’s his dark side, Becky.”

  “Is anybody thinking of telling one of the teachers about this?”

  “I think Master Longwei knows. It could be the reason he was called to the office this morning.”

  “I hope Lucian finds something.” Becky said exactly what I’d been thinking

  I left them around seven-thirty again and went to my room to do some homework. I really struggled with working out the answer of an Arithmetic question when all of a sudden Lucian was standing right next to my bed.

  I grabbed him and just held on tight. For some reason I didn’t want to let him go. “Please tell me you found something?”

  “Not yet, but I’m really starting to gain their trust. It’s a matter of days and I’ll have something.”

  “Who are they?” I wanted to know.

  “It’s good that you don’t know, Elena.”

  “I hope your right about finding something soon. It sucks not having you here.” I told him about Blake and how the darkness in him was getting worse. He had a sad and frustrated expression on his face. “He’s holding on, Elena. The 23rd of August is the day he will turn.” The white and grey body in front of me was still something I needed to get used to.

  “I’ve got to go. See you soon.”

  I gave him a kiss. It was a cold one and didn’t feel like Lucian at all.

  When we broke apart and I opened my eyes he was gone.

  I spent Saturday with George, Becky and Paul. It was hot and we went for a swim in the lake. It was fun and for a couple of hours I didn’t worry about Lucian so much. We stayed until one and went to the cafeteria for lunch.

  After lunch, Paul was desperate to show me the thing he’d wanted to show me the Saturday before.

  It was a secret place and he really sounded excited about it. We bumped into Cheng at the main entrance and I hated how Cheng treated Paul.

  “Be back at four.”

  “We’re not leaving the grounds. I just want to show Elena something.” Paul’s jaw clenched.

  “At four, Paul.” Cheng gave me a look, one that was a direct warning.

  “Let’s just go,” I said and touch Paul slightly on his arm. I was still upset with him for the Lucian and Blake theory and he really didn’t have to treat Paul like that.

  Paul smiled and shook his head. We started to walk further down the path to the lake’s direction and I kicked a small pebble on the path.

  “What is his problem?” I sounded pissed off.

  “Don’t. They just worry that I might eat you or something,” he joked and I laughed. “Give them time, it’s what I do.”

  I nodded. How much time was the question? Even after he’d saved plenty of their butts that night, there were still a handful of people that didn’t trust Paul. Some even said he was behind the attack to gain our trust. How stupid was that.

  “Remember when I asked you if you knew about the Elemental dragons?” Paul changed the subject.

  “Yes, what about them?”

  “What I didn’t mention is that Wyverns are linked to them.”

  My head shot up to meet his eyes. “How?”

  He laughed. “Only a Wyvern can track the eggs.”

  “Are you serious?”

  “Yep, and I really want to show you something.” His eyes glistened and he started to run up the rocky path. I followed him as he led me way past the lake and down a steep hill. It was a far walk and I knew immediately why Paul had wanted to take me on a horse that day.

  Water flowed in tiny steams down the rocks and we found a small river up ahead. I turned around as Cheng’s warning popped into my head and fear crept into my gut when I couldn’t see the Academy anymore.

  Paul’s hand appeared right next to me and I took it. He led me over slippery rocks and up another hill toward something that looked like an opening to a cave.

  We had to turn sideways to make it inside of the cave and it became so dark that I could only rely on my sense of touch. The path felt as if it was never going to end, when a small light suddenly appeared. Paul put on a flashlight and I laughed as he made funny ghost sounds while holding the light underneath his chin.

  When he was done playing around trying to scare me he walked to the far side of the cave. A ball of green fire appeared inside the palm of his hands and he put it over a manmade torch. It started to glow orange with green around the edges. It was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen. He brought it closer to his face and blew softly on it; a burst of flame set it on fire. The cave lit up slightly as he took a second hand-made torch.

  A familiar feeling filled my heart as I thought back to four months ago when we all had to work together to try and retrieve the King of Lions sword.

  The second one lit up more of the cave and I found myself standing beside an enormous flat boulder that made me think of a big table. The third and fourth torch made everything came to life. Water dripped close by and that rain damp smell mixed with earth lingered strongly in the air.

  “So what are we doing here?”

  “Follow me.” He raised his eyes once, and a beautiful grin revealing perfect teeth with slightly pointed canines formed on his face.

  His smile made my heart flip which was soon followed by guilt again. I followed him toward the wall of the cave on the opposite side. We had to climb over a couple of boulders and when Paul crouch down and picked something up, I stopped right at his side.

  He picked up a big rock and handed it to me.

  I looked at it not knowing what he wanted me to do with it so I decided to chuck it over my shoulder.

  With a leap and a dive, Paul grabbed it right before the rock hit the ground. “Elena,” he chuckled nervously.

  “What?”

  “Don’t ever do that again, it can break.”

  “It’s just a piece of rock.”

  “No, it isn’t. It’s an egg. An Elemental egg.”

  OR THE LOVE of blueberries! Are you shitting me?”

  “For the love of what?” He laughed.

  “Nothing, it’s just a saying. It’s an egg?”

  “Yes, be careful with it.”

  “How do you know?”

  “I told you only Wyverns can locate them. I found all four.”

  “All four?” I sounded like an idiot repeating everything he said.

  “Yes.” He nodded and gave me back the rock. He raised his eyebrows “Don’t drop it.”

  “Okay,” I said as I took it gently from him. It felt like a rock, and with all the sharp edges it definitely looked like a rock, but when I put it to my nose it had a funny smell of rotten moss to it. I jerked my face back. “Are you sure this one isn’t rotten?”

  “No, that one has to smell like that. It’s one of the scents Wyverns follow to track them.” He turned around, carrying three similar rocks in his hand, but they looked slightly different.

  They didn’t even resemble eggs.

  He placed the three rocks gently on the big boulder and held out his hand for the one I carried. I placed it softly into his palm and he put it with the other ones.

  “This one,” he said as he took the one I’d had, “is the water dragon. He is almost ready to be born, and it needs ice cold water to hatch. If not
, they turn into what they are meant to look like, rocks.”

  “This one,” the next one looked slightly bigger, “needs the element of earth. You bury it in soil, but it’s still got a couple of weeks to go.”

  He lifted up the third one. “Fire,” it was the biggest of all of them, and when he handed it to me, I noticed it was the heaviest too. His hands were close by and ready in case I dropped it.

  “He’s big.”

  Paul laughed. “This little sucker needs to be put in flames. His time is close, so I thought maybe we could camp out here tonight, if you want, and see it hatch.”

  “Tonight? Is it that close?”

  He nodded.

  “Count me in.”

  “The last one is more or less like the earth one. He has a couple of weeks to go. But when it’s ready it should be put into wind.”

  “Where are we going to get wind?”

  “A spell, or if you don’t know one yet, we could use a fan.”

  I giggled. “So you basically need me to help with getting this one into the world.”

  “Pretty much,” he grinned and lifted up his finger. “But I also wanted to share this with you.”

  “Nice comeback, buster.”

  He laughed. “So you think you can sneak out tonight and come watch the first one hatch?”

  “I’ll find a way. Where do we meet?”

  “Say about twelve, next to the Viden’s tower.”

  “The Viden’s tower?” I swallowed hard, thinking she wouldn’t like it if she caught us in the act of sneaking out at night.

  “She’s not here.”

  “She’s not?”

  “I do my homework Elena,” he joked. I helped him put the eggs gently with the other boulders around us before we left.

  On the walk back he couldn’t stop talking about the Elemental dragons. “Wyvern history says that it’s the only time all the dragons work together. Whenever danger so grave descends upon Paegeia that we need the help of the Elementals, we somehow find a truce. Those eggs can’t be located without a Wyvern, and can’t be born without the Chromatics and Metallics. I wish that we could need the help of them on a regular basis, then maybe they would see that not all the Wyverns are as bad as they seem.”

 
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