Reign of magic an epic f.., p.1
Reign of Magic: An Epic Fantasy Adventure (Empire of Dragons Book 2), p.1K.N. Lee
Table of Contents
An Exclusive Look at Court of Shadows
A Look at Court of Shadows
A Look at Academia of the Beast
Reign of Magic Playlist
About the Author
Also by K.N. Lee
Reign of Magic
Book Two of the Empire of Dragons Chronicles
Captive Quill Pres
Copyright © 2018 by K.N. Lee
All rights reserved.
No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means, including information storage and retrieval systems, without written permission from the author, except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.
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An Exclusive Look at Court of Shadows
A Look at Court of Shadows
A Look at Academia of the Beast
Reign of Magic Playlist
About the Author
Also by K.N. Lee
The sun burned a bright red as the clouds broke way for its rays. Magic danced and swayed along the breeze like a beautiful woman.
Naked, pure, free.
Saskia’s heart thumped in her chest as the dragons descended, ridden by cloaked men, raining flames on her home.
Blood gushed from her mouth as Rikar took her by the hand and helped her to her feet.
She’d called for Muri and had leaped from her bedroom window. When he didn’t come to save her, it was by the grace of the gods and her Mage abilities that she didn’t die from her devastating fall.
Where was her dragon? Where was her soulmate?
“Hurry,” Rikar shouted at her, over the thumping of her heartbeat in her ears, over the screams of her family being slaughtered inside the palace.
“But, mother and father,” she cried.
The look on his face said all she needed to hear. She and her brother had to escape.
She climbed to her feet and together they ran, as far and as fast as their feet would take them. Into the woods they fled, with nothing but the clothes on their backs and the faint spark of hope in their blood.
Though bones were broken and heart followed suit, she needed to survive.
For the child.
It fluttered in her belly, as alive as the trees stretching to the skies. It lived, and so must she.
The future of Erani depended on it.
The roar of thunder and lightening did nothing to mute the pounding of Kylan’s heart in his chest. The creaking of the ship and sloshing of salt water beneath them went ignored.
Amalia, she’d said.
Such a name must have been bestowed upon her by the gods.
He had to be dreaming. Such captivating portals—that welcomed him like an old friend—stared back into his eyes, into the deepest depths of his soul.
Swallowing, he leaned closer, studying them. They were the shade of melted silver mixed with swirls of clouds, unlike anything he’d ever seen, and he’d come face-to-face with a goddess before.
This young woman was more beautiful than Enit, more enchanting than the sunrise and sunset.
Darkness smothered them. Amalia outstretched her arms before her and cast a faint glow that bathed their faces as they studied one another. His throat went dry and he blinked, entranced by not only her looks, but the magic he could smell, see, and feel radiating in the stale air around them.
Her scent of fresh rain and pine was one that he would never forget, or lose again.
She was the one. The Mage. His Mage.
He lifted a chunk of her hair, struck white at their touch. It was a stark contrast to her raven locks that fell in thick waves over her shoulders and to her waist.
“How did that happen?” Amalia asked, narrowing her eyes at the white streaks in her hair.
“Magic,” he said.
“Are you hurt?” Amalia asked, touching her lips with her fingertips as she tilted her head and searched his face. It was then that he knew that she felt it too. She traced the scar left by the firedrake on his cheek.
“A man without scars has not felt the hardships of life or the feeling of pain,” he said.
She gave him a questioning brow.
“Its just something my people like to say. We all carry our scars with pride.”
Kylan took her hands into his. Still baffled by her beauty and the gravity of what had just happened at their first touch, he traced the lines on her palm with his finger as she watched him in silence with those pensive silver eyes.
The ship rocked and swayed, and every creak of the wood was magnified by the silence that passed between them.
“Have we met?”
“Only in spirit,” he answered. “Mine has called out to yours from the day I was born. Did you not feel it?”
She shook her head, biting her bottom lip. “I don’t know what you mean? I’ve never seen or heard of you before this day.”
“But, we were made for each other,” he told her.
Heat stained her cheeks before a look of fear flashed in her eyes and she pulled away.
He would give anything to erase all fears from her mind. He reached for her and she coiled back in a defensive stance. She she truly not know what had just happened? Despite her hesitance, he touched her again, gently taking her hand and releasing her balled fists until his fingers were entwined between hers.
Besides Enit’s surprising kiss, he’d never touched a woman so intimately before, and it stirred an itch within his chest that he wished he could scratch.
Her lips parted as he bowed his head and kissed her knuckles.
“What is happening?” Amalia asked in a whisper as her hair glowed and their skin began to share the same golden ray of iridescent light. Gold dusk sparkles around them. Such magic was unheard of back in Wregard. But, not in Kjos.
“I am the keeper of the Erani Empire, and you—you are my master.”
She sucked in a breath, but didn’t pull away again. Instead, she moved closer, as if desperate for
“Yes,” he said, softly, touching his nose to hers as they bowed their heads to one another. Magic ran along their flesh in a dance that neither thought was possible. “You are the last heir to the Erani Throne.”
Recognition dawned on her face and an audible breath of awe escaped her parted lips.
He gave a half-smile. “It’s true. You are an Empress.”
Despite everything he’d been through and being imprisoned, he had what he’d been searching for. Such a twist of fate couldn’t have been coincidence, but that’s exactly what he believed it to be.
“My clan has been waiting for your return for as long as we can remember,” he said, leaning in to kiss her plump, pink lips.
She jerked back, breaking their bond, leaving him as cold as if he’d been shoved into a winter storm after having been basking in the warmth of a fire. The chill in his bones ached, and he needed to touch her again, to fulfill the call of his body for hers.
Shame filled his heart and he regretted what he had just tried to do. Contrary to what he’d told Vidar about the many women he’d been with, Kylan was a novice when it came to the fairer sex.
“I’m sorry,” he said as she hugged herself, and huddled in the corner. “I don’t know what came over me. It’s just that I’ve waited my entire life to find you, and now that you’re here I seem to have gotten a little excited. I hope you can forgive me, Amalia. I would never hurt you.”
“Its not you,” she said. “I just need a moment to my thoughts.”
She buried her face in her hands and turned away from him.
“Very well,” he said, wishing he could console her. To see a woman cry was something that stirred compassion within him.
He sat back down and wrapped his arms around his legs as he watched her. He wanted to ask her about her life and how she came to be a prisoner on the Brotherhood’s ship, but space was what she needed. So, he gave it to her.
They had time to discuss what must happen—all of the time in the world.
Unless, the monks planned to kill them.
A storm raged above, yet Marduk did not seek shelter. He embraced the cool rain, his hood down, and head tilted back as the droplets of water washed over his face.
He had exactly who he had come for. Descendants were the target, but he found someone far more valuable. For once, the future looked bright. There was hope for his survival after all.
A smile came to his face as he shut his eyes and opened his mouth to the rain. He could have wept with joy. The world was changing, and he would ride Tiki, his firedrake from the sky and watch it bend to his will.
The rocking of the ship broke him from his thoughts. A cracking of lightning cut through the twilight and stretched into the horizon.
“Do you think its a good idea to keep her caged with that savage?”
“How is it that you have acquired such stealth, Brother Dagan?”
Dagan shrugged his shoulders, folding his hands into the long purple sleeves of his robes. “It is one of the seven steps of Brotherhood, is it not, Father?”
“Indeed, and you seem to spend your days faithfully practicing the art of sneaking up on others. I’d rather you practice the art of silence,” Marduk said.
Dagan began to stutter a reply. Marduk rubbed his temples, sighing.
“Go on about the girl, Dagan,” he murmured, his patience running thin.
“Yes. I simply do not trust the look of him, nor his gall. He’s rugged, unruly, practically vile, and unwholesome. Certainly not fit to be in the same room as her, let alone the same cage. I was against a cage from the beginning. Isn’t she far more valuable than some common Mage? If he puts one finger on her, I might kill him myself.”
Marduk chuckled to himself, lifting a brow. “Why Dagan, you’re at least twenty years senior any monk on this blasted ship, yet you speak of killing someone. That’s not your calling.”
“This is true, Father. Still, I have the skill and agility afforded by more than half a century of training.”
Marduk nodded, eyeing Dagan in a new light. He did not doubt the words he’d just heard, but they surprised him nonetheless.
Dagan was lucky to have been included on the mission, and had exhibited a new sense of pride at having been triumphant in pointing Marduk in the right direction. Now, it seemed he also had a measure of protectiveness over their female prisoner.
That was of great interest to him.
Marduk turned to Brother Dagan. “Fine. Separate them. Lock her in the supply room.”
“Forgive me. But, Father, I’m not sure—”
Marduk spun around on the older monk whose eyes were a pale cornflower blue and wavering with fear. “Very well. Put her in my cabin. Its not as though I sleep anyway.”
“As you wish, Father,” he said, bowing and backing away, his eyes downcast, long white hair falling forward. “I will see that it is done, and that she is well looked after.”
“Not too well,” Marduk said, cracking a devious grin that crinkled the corners of his eyes. “Keep your wrinkled fingers off of her.”
Dagan paused, face reddening to the shade and shape of an apple, but kept his thin lips pursed.
Once he was gone, Marduk summoned his spirit runes. The powerful spirits were thoroughly recharged and the balance of energy had transferred from his body to the orbs.
They materialized above his palm and floated into the air until they were right above his head.
Weary, he needed the surge of vitality his magic afforded him. With a deep breath, he absorbed the power they radiated, and pulled it into his lungs and every vein of his body. It was a constant pendulum of cause and effect. He gave the spirits power, and they returned it to him when called.
Now, that he had the savage’s rune as well, he would put it to good use.
He curled his fist around the hilt of his dagger, licking his lips as he stared into the vast horizon before him. Waves rose like walls and crashed all around, sending frigid water onto the deck.
It was time to finish what he started when he first came to this realm.
Time to awaken the beast.
What is happening?
Those words continued to spin and dash around Amalia’s mind as she silently wept. She grieved for her parents, for her freedom…for the man she’d grown to love.
Despite his betrayal, she missed him. Pain gripped her chest and wouldn’t let go.
Snarling, she wiped her tears away and punched the bars of the cage.
Don’t be so stupid, she told herself. She was no longer a little girl. Tears were for babies. She was a warrior.
Aros would not reduce her to a weak human ever again. She would never be that same girl who ran from the fight.
She took in a sharp breath and turned to the light as the door to the room was opened.
She and Kylan shared a look as one of the monks came down the stairs, a torchlight hanging from his fist. He didn’t say a word, simply approaching the cage and unlocking it.
Amalia froze, her brows snapping together. “Am I free to go?”
He shook his head. “No. You’re free to sleep in the main cabin. Come.”
She swallowed, her throat dry, but suddenly felt unsure about leaving her new companion. She glanced at him, his eyes as sharp and enchanting as when she’d last found herself drowning in them.
“Is he coming too?”
“No, please come with me now,” the monk said, and Amalia lifted a brow, surprised by his polite request.
She crawled across the sticky, wet floor and out of the cage. She gasped as Kylan shot toward the monk, prepared to tackle him.
The monk casually stepped to the side, and during the course of his recitation of two quick words, he shot a blast of air into Kylan’s chest. It materialized out of nowhere, and was faster than she could blink.
At closer observation, it resembled two gho
Kylan grunted, just as stunned as Amalia, as it sent him flying to the back of the cage with a loud crash. Then, he slammed the door shut and turned the lock. He took two small, golden, coin-sized discs from his pocket. Amalia watched as he threw one to Kylan. She gasped as it flew through the darkness and tripled in size as it wrapped around Kylan’s neck like a collar.
When he threw one to her, she wasn’t quick enough to stop it from doing the same and locking itself around her neck.
“They should have collared the both of you long ago. We will not have anymore disobedience,” he said. “There will be no shifting or usage of magic from her on out.”
Those words shouldn’t have frightened her, for she was less skilled in her magical abilities than that of her warrior training. Still, she was left exposed without it.
Amalia swallowed, fretfully searching the collar for a way to take it from her neck.
“This way,” he said, as calm as if nothing out of the ordinary had occurred.
Amalia found herself cold, wishing she was back in the cage with Kylan. She couldn’t explain it, but every muscle and hair on her body seemed to pull toward him by an unseen force. She wished she knew more about magic—about the prophecies and tales Aros and Kylan had assured her were true.
The monk took her by the arm and didn’t ask for her compliance a third time. She was marched up the stairs and onto another floor where three other monks stood outside, watching them with dark, unyielding eyes.
They all wore the same maroon cloak and black, leather boots, but one of them had blue eyes that reminded her of one of the townsfolk in Skal, so pale that they were almost white. It meant that the man was going blind. Such a shame, for his eyes were kind in the midst of those who looked at her with suspicion.
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