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Dragonia: Rise of the Wyverns – Chapter 29

Devarius shifted, uncomfortable on the large ship. During the long journey to Saefron, he’d grown accustomed to being in charge. Now, he had to sit back and take orders. He didn’t like it. It wasn’t the leader—Tynaer was a good captain—but he felt useless.

Devarius had been surprised when the Resistance led a small army to a large ship south of the mountains in the bay. Hundreds of men and women joined them on the ship, but Devarius felt so alone. Aquila and Paedyn were with him, as was Jaonos from his original party, but he still felt uneasy. Even though he no longer led them, he was expected to unite the wyverns and humans into some sort of alliance. He didn’t know how he was supposed to do that. The empire seemed to control the dragons like pet dogs as far as he could tell. He didn’t know if he liked that idea either. Sighing, he propped his feet up on the desk in front of him. The wyvern sat next to his feet, licking its scales. Its head twisted around to look at him. The creature leapt onto his shoes and sat, studying him curiously.

“What do you want?” he asked the creature.

He had tried to leave his private cabin earlier, but Captain Tynaer ordered him back to his room, to “socialize” with the wyvern. He was supposed to learn about the creature, anything that would be helpful for contacting and forming an alliance with the other wyverns.

The wyvern climbed across his leg until it rested in his lap. Even though the creature was cute, like a small lizard, he knew it would grow up to be a terrifying beast. Devarius wondered why the creature was growing attached to him. Could it be as simple as it hatched while in his hands and he was the first person it saw? Devarius knew animals bonded with their parents because they were nearby when they were born, but he thought reptiles were different. Since they were in eggs and didn’t experience a live birth, and the creature didn’t seem to require milk, Devarius imagined it would be self-sufficient. However, it seemed to bond with him. It wasn’t cruel or mean to anyone, but it followed Devarius wherever he went, most of the time perched on his shoulder like a parrot. The creature had hatched a few weeks prior and had grown a few inches in size, but it wasn’t growing at an incredible speed. Devarius wondered how long the creature’s maturation would be. More than that, he wondered why it had hatched when he held the egg. Did he just have bad timing—or good, as far as the Resistance was concerned? Or had it been more than that? He felt a connection with the creature, a bond that he couldn’t explain. It was like a tingling sensation that began the moment the creature was born. A spark of connection, if that even made sense. Somehow, Devarius knew what the creature was feeling: the fear, the hunger, and the curiosity.

Captain Tynaer had complained about the rat population on the ship when they headed out from the bay, but besides the first few days, Devarius hadn’t noticed any rats … until he saw the little wyvern swallowing one whole.

“Better than a bloody cat.” He laughed.

The creature tilted its head.

Devarius smiled, reaching his hand to stroke along the hard scales behind the wyvern’s head. He remembered catching lizards and snakes as a child, playing with them even, though his mother didn’t care for the habit. He’d always wanted a snake as a pet, but his mother would never allow it. Instead, he had a lizard or two, or as he called them, a snake with legs. They didn’t bother his mother. He remembered petting the creatures, and the smooth, yet rough texture of their scales. The wyvern’s texture was similar, though each scale was larger than the small lizards’.

“What am I supposed to call you anyway?” Devarius asked. “Tynaer insists I give you a name. I don’t think he’d like Rat Eater.”

The wyvern growled.

“Well, apparently you don’t like the name either.” Devarius laughed. “What are you? I never thought to look; though, can you even tell with a wyvern if you’re a male or female?”

The wyvern tilted its head the other way.

Devarius laughed. “Do you have scaly balls?”

The wyvern growled lightly.

Devarius furrowed his brow. “Can you understand me?”

The wyvern nodded its head.

Devarius’s eyes bulged. “You can? Can … can you understand everyone?”

The creature shook its head.

“Only me?”

It nodded.

“Is it because of this bond we share? I have this feeling inside of me, a spark, some kind of external energy that seemed to connect us when you hatched,” Devarius said, to himself more than the wyvern.

It nodded.

Devarius gulped. “Are you a boy?”

It shook its head.

“You’re a girl?”

She nodded.

“Do you have a name?”

She shook her head.

“Do you want one?” Devarius asked.

She nodded.

Devarius leaned back. He scratched his chin, where black whiskers were starting to poke through. “Rat Eater?”

She shook her head and growled.

He laughed. “Well, you’re beautiful, like a sapphire. Do you like the name Sapphire?”

The wyvern considered him for several long seconds before shaking its head.

“Hmm. Well, this is going to sound silly, but—” Devarius paused, closed his eyes, and took a deep breath. “My sister. Well, I have two sisters. Had,” he corrected himself. “One was taken away … she may still be alive somewhere. I don’t know. But my other sister … she died when she was young. Just a baby, not even a year old. She got sick, and … and …” Devarius clenched his eyes shut. “I remember holding her. She was such a small thing, so beautiful. I remember holding her in my arms. I was only ten at the time when she died, but I remember the last time I held her. She was coughing, and my mother did everything she could, but little Ayla didn’t make it.”

The wyvern crawled up Devarius’s stomach to his chest. She leaned close and licked the tear running down Devarius’s cheek.

“I know it’s not original, but I don’t have much for a creative mind. Do you like the name Ayla?”

The wyvern nodded.

“Ayla it is.” He smiled. “I’m Devarius.”

Ayla licked him again.

Devarius laughed. He rubbed his eyes. “It’s nice to meet you, Ayla. We have a long journey ahead of us, and we need your help.”


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