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Dragonia: Rise of the Wyverns – Chapter 4


Keiran ambled through the room. All eyes followed him as he came to rest at the head of the table. Everyone but the emperor was in attendance. He dared not concern the emperor with the small matter of the Resistance. Keiran planned to squash the threat before it grew. He called the meeting. Ideas were needed.

“Thank you for coming, everyone,” Keiran began. “As all of you know, we have a problem brewing in the land of Kaeldroga.”

“The Resistance?” the earl of Dragonia, Ceydyn, asked.

“Yes … the Resistance. They are a burr in our butt. We need to exterminate them.”

“They can do little to the likes of us. I do not see why you worry. It is not like they have dragons of their own,” Duke Edonous said.

“Because …” Keiran growled through clenched teeth. “One thorn in our side may barely hurt, but when it grows …. It doesn’t matter that they cannot fight us now. I’m looking toward the future. This Resistance is like a bunch of gnats. One or two can be swatted away, but thousands become a swarm. You can’t swat away a thousand gnats. We’ve kept them from swarming into an overwhelming cloud of gnats for now … but for how long?” He paused. “We have people joining them in staggering numbers. People are leaving the empire to be with them … and that is what should concern us.”

“What would you have us do? We’ve been searching from the skies for them for decades,” Ceydyn said.

“If we’ve been searching for them for decades, why are we all of a sudden concerned about them now?” Edonous asked.

Keiran sighed. “In the past two years, we believe their number has increased tenfold. For the last few decades, they’ve only been a few hundred strong. We’ve searched for them, but what would a mere few hundred do against our thousand dragonriders? Now … we believe they have numbers in the thousands. While I can foresee no weapon that can harm our dragons, they’ve done nothing for decades but try to find a way to defeat us. That’s a lot of planning. We need to tread carefully.”

“What do you suggest?” Ceydyn asked.

“A small party of refugees survived a village we razed. We need to find them before they find the Resistance.”

“You plan to capture them?” Edonous asked.

“We have failed to find the Resistance with our spies. However, people who actually despise the empire, who want to join the Resistance, may have an easier time.”

“You plan to follow them?”

Keiran grinned. “Yes, I plan to have them followed.”

“How exactly will you have them followed without their knowledge?” Ceydyn asked.

“That will be the hard part. We will use our best dragonriders to herd them toward an ambush.”

“It seems risky.”

“Do you have any better ideas?” Keiran asked.

“I do. We need a single dragonrider who is good at tracking. It will be easy for that man to maneuver and follow from a distance,” Edonous said.

“We have soldiers as dragonriders. I do not know if we have anyone with all the necessary skills except me, and I can’t be spending my time tracking a small party. I have to coordinate our men.”

“There is one,” Edonous said.

“Who?”

“Derkas.”

“The mercenary?”

Edonous nodded.

“He is not loyal to the empire.”

“He is loyal to coin. Offer him enough to pique his interest. In my opinion, it is well worth the resources, and cheaper than sending as many men as you’re suggesting. Besides, he has a dragon—he’ll be able to keep up.”

“Don’t remind me …” Keiran said through clenched teeth.

Derkas had conned the general out of a dragon egg over a decade ago as payment instead of gold. The quest had been impossible, and Keiran had been sure at the time that they’d find the traitor without the help of mercenaries … especially since the mercenaries were slow and without dragons. However, Derkas had proved resourceful, and since then, he’d secured many jobs, including more for the empire, with his fully grown dragon, earning him the reputation of the best mercenary in Kaeldroga. Keiran despised him, but he had to admit, Derkas was good.

“You know I’m right,” Edonous said. “If anyone can find the Resistance, he can.”

“Yes. These are desperate times. Perhaps it is time to bring in the mercenary.”

“It is settled then. We’ll continue to fill the skies with scouts, and we’ll relay all findings back to you. You can then decide whether to send it to your mercenary.”

“I have tasked the captain with finding the party of refugees, but I have little faith he will succeed. I’ll send the mercenary to him to learn what he knows.”

“I doubt Captain Vesryn will appreciate that. He hates mercenaries more than you do, General,” Ceydyn said.

Keiran dismissed the notion with a wave of his hand. “I am not worried about the captain. He will not be around much longer. The emperor wishes to see him, if he should fail to bring in these traitors.”

Edonous’s eyes widened. “Who will replace him?”

“I have a little time before I have to decide that.”

“Have you told the emperor of your plans to follow the traitors rather than capture them?”

“You let me worry about the emperor,” Keiran said with a glint in his eye.

“Yes, General.”

“Dismissed.”


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