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Dragonia: Rise of the Wyverns – Chapter 19

Devarius watched as the first sun rose from the east. He yawned. His body was tired. He had kept watch the past few hours while Paedyn slept. Devarius walked to the camp, where he saw half of his party awake, huddled together in blankets. Winter was approaching. They weren’t in the north anymore.

Paedyn strode over to him. “How is everything out there?”

“Calm. Quiet.”

“That’s good.”

“Is it?” Devarius asked. “It seems too calm … too quiet.”

“How so?”

“If we are stranded on an island without vegetation, without animals … what are we to eat?”

“Fish?” Paedyn shrugged.

“All right. You try and catch fish … without bait, while I have a look around.”

“What will you be looking for?”

“Anything we can use to survive.”

Paedyn shrugged.

“And, Paedyn?”


“Keep everyone …” Devarius inhaled deeply. “Keep everyone calm. I don’t imagine this to be a relaxing vacation for anyone.”

“Do you mean not everyone wants to be shipwrecked on a deserted island for a vacation?”

Devarius smiled. “Only you.”

Paedyn nodded and left to be with the others. Devarius attempted to slip away, but he didn’t get too far before Aquila discovered him. She clasped her hand around his bicep.

“Where are you going?”

“I’m going to explore the island.”

“For what?” she asked.

“Anything and everything. We have no food, and we don’t know what dangers we may face here.”

“And you want to explore this island alone? As you just said, we don’t know the dangers out there … but you want to find out for yourself, without any help?”

“I’ll be fine,” he assured her.

“The dragons you will be.” She paused. “I’m coming with you.”

He tensed. “No.”

“Yes. You are not going to leave me to worry about you.”

Devarius clenched his jaw. “You need to stay safe.”

“Why? Why do you always insist I cannot tag along?”

“Because you need to stay safe,” he repeated.

“There is nowhere safer than by your side.”

His jaw relaxed.

Aquila raised her hand to his face and cupped his cheek. “Please … let me come.”

Devarius sighed. “You have to be quiet. We don’t know what’s out there.”

“I know.”

“All right,” he agreed.

Devarius glanced one last time at the camp before taking a deep breath and stepping between the mountains. Aquila stayed close by his side, and the two of them stared ahead with wonder at the beautiful scenery. The terrain was rough and dry, but many trees were scattered across the mountainsides. He wondered if anything edible hid in the small forests. When they passed between the mountains to the other side, they stopped in their tracks. They saw a dozen more mountain peaks on each side.

“What is this place?” Aquila asked.

“I have no idea. This whole island seems to be nothing but mountains.”

A shadow passed over them.

Aquila grabbed onto his arm, her nails digging into his skin. “What was that?”

He faced her and noticed her peering skyward. His eyes slowly shifted upward, with a hand over his brows blocking the light. At first he saw nothing but blue sky, and the red and orange suns, which was welcoming after several days of gray skies. Then he saw an object high in the air. He tried to focus on it, but it was too far away and the glaring suns made it hard to see. Whatever it was had two wings.

“A bird?” Devarius said.

“Would a bird look that big if it’s that far away?”

Devarius froze. He tried to focus his eyes, but he couldn’t with the blinding suns. “It looks too small to be a dragon, if that’s what you’re worried about.”

“Are you sure?” Aquila asked. “Have you seen what a baby dragon looks like?”

Devarius opened his mouth, but had no words. He gulped. “No … I haven’t.”

Her nails dug further into his bicep.

“Ow!” he said.

Her arm thrust forward, shaking as it pointed.

He refocused and looked in the direction she pointed. More than a dozen creatures flew in the sky. They were a lot closer than the first Aquila had noticed. Chill bumps traveled across his skin. He could see them a lot clearer, and they were indeed dragons. Aquila had been right. They appeared to be baby dragons. Their size was significantly smaller than the few dragons they had seen. They also appeared a little different, but it was hard to tell.

“You were right … they are dragons.”

“I wish I had been wrong,” Aquila admitted.

Devarius dragged Aquila away from the opening and toward the forest. “They don’t look like the other dragons we’ve seen.”

“What do you mean?” Aquila asked.

“For one … they look wild. I don’t see a single rider on top of any of them.”

“Well … they’re smaller. They’re just babies. Perhaps they need to grow up for someone to ride them.”

“I don’t think the empire knows about this island. I don’t see any indication that any other humans are here.” He squeezed her palm.

“They could be on the other side of the island,” Aquila whispered.

“True … but then why wouldn’t they be riding these creatures? Surely they’d be training with them as soon as they’re able to fly. And while these creatures appear to be smaller, they still appear larger than a horse, and could easily have saddles made for them.”

“A wild dragon seems like it would be more dangerous than one they’ve trained.”

“Maybe. But these creatures also look different,” Devarius said.

“How so?” Aquila asked.

“If you look closely … they do not have four legs.”

“What?” Aquila asked.

“Do you remember the dragon from camp? When the dragonrider took us captive?”

“I tried not to look at the creature too closely.”

“Well I did. I studied it. I was fascinated by it. If we’re planning to join the Resistance, we need to know what we’re up against. The dragonriders are going to be the hardest obstacle for the Resistance. If they don’t have dragons to face dragons, what chance do they have?”

“None,” Aquila said. “So tell me, why are we seeking out the Resistance again, if there is no hope?”

“There is always hope.”

“So, what is different about these dragons?” she asked. “They don’t have the same legs?”

Devarius nodded. “These creatures have two legs and two wings. The dragons of the empire have four legs and two wings.”

“You think they’re a different type of dragon?”

“Perhaps. They look smaller as well, or at least, we haven’t seen one much larger than a horse yet. If they only have two legs, perhaps they’re supposed to be smaller creatures.”

“Why does this matter?” Aquila asked.

“The Resistance may be interested to know there are a bunch of wild dragons out here. Perhaps they can find a way to make them help.”

“I hope you’re not going to try to reason with the creatures.”

Devarius smiled. “Definitely not. Come on, let’s get back to camp. We shouldn’t stay here long, especially with these creatures out here.”

“I agree.”

Before they could take two steps backward, a creature from the sky titled its head down to face them. The dragon veered from the others and dipped its nose to dive toward the ground. Devarius and Aquila stood frozen in place, desperate to not make any sudden movements. Aquila’s hand clasped Devarius’s tightly. He squeezed back.

The creature landed in front of them. It was larger than a horse, but not nearly as large as the dragon their dragonrider captor had. The dragon from the camp was the size of a barn, while the creature in front of him was twice as large as a horse. Devarius focused on all the small details of the creature, noticing its two legs and two large wings. They were much different than the other dragon as well. The wings weren’t as large, and instead of being oversized and meant for gliding like a pelican, they were thinner and meant for better aerial maneuverability, like a robin. Its jaw also appeared different than the dragon’s. Instead of large and wide with a long snout, it seemed thinner and longer for its size, but not nearly as wide.

Devarius dared not flinch. Aquila snuggled herself close to Devarius, her entire body shivering. The creature took two steps toward them, paused, tilted its head, then extended its neck. Devarius clenched Aquila’s hand tighter. The silver-scaled creature moved its snout inches from the two of them, sniffed, then leapt into the air and flew backward into the sky.

Aquila let go of the breath she’d been holding.

“Did you see that?” Devarius asked.

“See what? My life flash before my eyes?”

“No … it’s flying backward. Most creatures that can fly, can’t fly backward … or at least they don’t.”

“Is that so?” Aquila asked, appearing uninterested.

“Yes. In fact, I believe the only one that does is the humming—”


“What?” he asked.

“I don’t care. I am scared half to death. A dragon has literally landed in front of us, approached within inches of us, sniffed us, and you want to talk about the aerial maneuverability of the creature?”

Devarius shrugged. “It’s interesting.”

“Let’s get back to camp. Then, let’s get the blazes off this island.”

Devarius shook his head. “I agree.”

The two of them rushed back to camp, traveling as fast as they could, staying quiet so they wouldn’t draw the creatures’ attention. Aquila clutched tightly to Devarius the whole way. Her touch comforted him. He held her close as they walked.

Devarius’s foot caught on something and he went sprawling. Aquila went crashing down with him, landing on top of him. He laughed, as did she. Her eyes, like swirls of chocolate, shimmered as he gazed into them. She stopped laughing as she watched him. Devarius’s mouth parted. Aquila’s face sunk closer to him as she bit her bottom lip. Devarius’s heart raced as her lips came closer. His blood boiled, his desire almost overtaking him. He’d held himself back for so long, for his own sake as much as for her protection. Their lips lingered inches from each other’s when he shifted her off of him. He couldn’t lose control.

“I’m sorry. My foot must have caught on something.”

“That is all right,” Aquila said as she brushed her hair from her face.

He tried not to look at her, disgusted with himself. She deserved so much better than him, and he didn’t want to bring her down with him. He needed to be more careful. Instead of looking at her, and feeling the emptiness in his own heart from not having her, he stepped over to where he had tripped. He glanced down and noticed something sparkle in the grass.

“What’s that?” he wondered.

He knelt down and picked it up. It was a stone the size of his hand. Devarius brought it closer to his face to inspect it. It glittered midnight blue in the sunlight. His jaw dropped.

“Is that a sapphire?” Aquila asked, her mouth open wide.

“It appears so. It’s translucent … but I can’t see all the way through it. I wonder how long it’s been in the grass. It’s dirty.”

“A sapphire that large is worth—”

“A fortune,” Devarius replied.

He shoved the stone into his pack.

“Don’t tell anyone about it.”


“Greed can do many things to people. I’d rather take it to the Resistance, and let them use it. Perhaps the fortune can help them with whatever they need to defeat the empire.”

Aquila nodded.

They continued the rest of the way to the camp. Paedyn stood by a fire, roasting several fish. When Devarius approached him, he grinned.

“I told you there were fish to be had.”

“You were right.” Devarius glanced to the ground, his lips shifting from side to side.

“What’s wrong? What did you see?”

“A moment alone?” Devarius asked.

“Of course.”

Paedyn found someone else to watch the fish while he stepped away with Devarius. They made sure to stand out of earshot.

“What is it?” Paedyn asked.

“We need to leave.”


“Immediately,” Devarius said.

“What? Why?”

“For one, this isn’t our home.”

“Well, I know that, but I spent hours catching those fish. I don’t want to see them go to waste.”

“For two, we saw dragons west of here through the mountains.”

“Dragons? Plural?”

“More than a dozen.”

“Dozen? You saw over a dozen dragonriders?”

“No … no riders … just dragons.”

Paedyn’s eyes widened. “Wild?”


“We can’t leave yet.”

“Why not?” Devarius asked.

“The ship needs repairs. There’s enough driftwood on the beach to do it, but it will take some time.”

“How much?”

“A day … maybe two.”

“We better make it only one.”

“We’ll try.” Paedyn clasped his hand on Devarius’s shoulder. “For now … come back to camp. Eat. We’re all going to need our strength.”

“More than you know,” Devarius muttered.


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