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Dragonia: Rise of the Wyverns – Chapter 2


Keiran strolled through the flower garden, admiring the honey bees as they buzzed from flower to flower. However, what interested him more than the honey bees were the baby dragons just learning to fly as they chased the honey bees. Keiran grinned. He loved his walks through the dragon hatchery. Something about seeing hundreds of baby dragons soothed his spirits. He needed as much soothing as he could get with the recent news of the Resistance growing stronger. Keiran imagined most of the news was hogwash, but still, the Resistance needed to be dealt with before they grew too strong.

Footsteps pattered against the ground behind him. Keiran crossed his arms behind his back, locking his hands together. The footsteps stopped.

“General?” the voice asked.

Keiran turned around. Captain Vesryn stood at attention. His silver platemail glistened in the sunlight.

“Yes, Captain?”

“Our dragonrider has lost sight of the traitors.”

Keiran clenched his fist. “This is unacceptable.”

“Sir, there are only a few of them. Surely they won’t pose a problem.”

“Only a few of them?” Keiran’s eyes bulged.

He stepped closer to the captain, his face inches from him. “That is how the Resistance started. There were only a few of them. One, in fact. One man opposed our master’s view. He began the Resistance. Now, they are hundreds strong. What happens if these few traitors join them? And then a few more? And then a few more after that? No, this is unacceptable. Every time we hear about a traitor, even a whisper of a traitor, we need to show force and squash them all. We cannot allow the Resistance to grow any stronger. Right now, there is little they can do against our dragonriders. However, if enough of them band together, they might become a real nuisance.”

Vesryn extended his chest. “Yes, General.”

“We need to protect the people of Dragonia. These money hungry vermin need to be dealt with. All they want is to hide from us and not pay taxes. They want to destroy us because we tax them. Imagine just a few don’t want to pay taxes. That’s money our government cannot use. If they’re not paying into the government … what good are they? We’re doing the empire a favor by exterminating the people who don’t contribute. If too many don’t pay their taxes, this whole world will spiral into anarchy, and the government won’t have the funds to fight it.”

“Yes, General.”

“Redouble your efforts. These traitors must be found. We destroyed their village because we received multiple reports that many of them were allied to the Resistance. There were supposed to be no survivors. I put that failure completely on you.” Keiran paused. “Do you know what their survival means?”

“No, General.”

“Word will spread that we massacred their village.”

Captain Vesryn tilted his head. “Isn’t that what we want, General? We want the people to know we do not accept traitors.”

Keiran nodded. “Yes, we do want the people to know we do not accept traitors. But what if some of the survivors have nothing to do with the Resistance? Word will spread that we’re destroying villages we suspect of having members of the Resistance.”

“And we don’t want that?” Vesryn asked.

“What village or city do you think has no Resistance sympathizers at all?”

“Umm …”

“None. People are too diverse, too unpredictable, too stupid. If you’re in a city and think there may be someone from the Resistance there, and you know we’re destroying every village that has members of the Resistance … what are you going to do?”

“Hide?”

Keiran smiled. “Hide, or, if you had any doubts about the Dragonia Empire, or sympathy toward the Resistance, you may leave the city, scared you may die there anyways, and search for the Resistance to take refuge.”

Vesryn’s eyes widened.

“Ah … you see now. If word gets out about these survivors, the Resistance may grow stronger. We may be pushing people toward the Resistance.”

“How does exterminating them solve the problem?”

“If you hadn’t failed, if the entire village had been destroyed, we could have spread word that we had evidence that every person in the village was in league with the Resistance. It’d be hard for anyone to question the dead. Then people would have feared our wrath. People who are with the Resistance would be scared to make any moves, isolating themselves. People who had sympathy for the Resistance would shrug their shoulders, realizing joining the Resistance was a sure way to lose their lives. Instead, we’re in danger of them thinking we’ll wipe them out whether they’re part of the Resistance or not.”

“I see,” Vesryn said.

Keiran shook his finger at the captain. “If they’re not dealt with … it will be your head. Do you understand?”

Vesryn gulped. “Yes, General.”

“Dismissed.”

Vesryn saluted before scurrying away.

Keiran gazed back at the baby dragons. Many of them could only fly a few feet at a time before tumbling back to the ground. They would grow fast. In a year, they could be placed with a rider. Eventually, there would be too many dragonriders for the Resistance to battle. But they were still building their army. The Dragonia Empire needed more strength. Keiran scratched his beard. Something had to be done about the traitors. He didn’t trust that Captain Vesryn had the matter in hand. Keiran would have to take extra steps. He turned around to head back to Melonia. It was time for a council meeting.


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