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Dragonia: Rise of the Wyverns – Chapter 41

Ayla crossed the Drakeos Sea faster than she ever had before. A trip that normally took an hour, took only half the time. When they landed on the island, the urgency was plain on their faces. People surrounded them. Worried expressions filled everyone’s face.

Paedyn strode over to Devarius. “What has happened?”

“The dragonriders have found us.”

Paedyn’s eyes bulged. “How many?”

Devarius glanced around. “I’m not sure …” He cleared his throat. “When I left there was only one, but it was enormous. At least five times the size of a full-grown wyvern. However, it called the others to it. I heard shrieks in the east responding to its call. I don’t know how many are coming.”

Aquila rushed over to them. “Are they coming here?”

“No. I believe I escaped unnoticed. Tynaer ordered me to leave. He ordered me to survive … but I can’t just sit back and let him be sacrificed.”

“Do you really think we can defeat the dragonriders? We’re not ready.”

“Whoever these dragonriders are … I doubt they’re the full force. They’re probably the ones who’ve been searching for us. A small party. We may not have much right now, but I believe we’ve learned enough to defeat them.”

“If we should fail …” Paedyn whispered.

“We shall not fail. We may not be as strong, but we are cunning.”

“Even if we defeat them, if a single dragonrider survives to return to the empire …”

“They will know our abilities.” Devarius nodded.

“Our element of surprise will be gone,” Paedyn agreed.

“Then, we’ll just have to train harder.” He turned to face the crowd. “Look, I know it’s a risk. I know we’re not ready. But we’ve been practicing. I believe we can defeat them. However, I’m not going to order you to come. In fact, I don’t suggest we all do. If we lose this battle, all of you will have to continue on, and it’s best we don’t risk the entire balance of the Resistance on this one battle.”

Devarius surveyed the crowd. “If you’d like to fly into battle with me, step forward.”

Paedyn and Aquila immediately stepped forward.

Devarius nodded to Paedyn, but he frowned at Aquila. “You need to stay.”

“No. I will not let you fly out to battle without me. I can help. I’m a good archer. Maybe I can hit some of the dragonriders off their dragons.”

Devarius grabbed her arm and glared into her eyes. “You will not be going.”

“Why?” she asked.

“I will not be able to focus on what I need to do if you’re there.”

Aquila opened her mouth to argue.

Devarius pushed his finger against her lips. “I could not bear to lose you.”

Her lip trembled. She gulped, then opened her mouth again. “I—”

He kissed her. When their lips met, it was like everything else disappeared, spinning into a vortex of colors until it was a black room with only Devarius and Aquila, arms wrapped around each other and lips eagerly feasting on their greatest desire. His hand reached up to her hair and ran through it until it was clutched to the back of her head. He dug his nails into the back of her skull. Neither one of them breathed. A sense of electricity passed through them. Silence filled the air all around them. Desire consumed them.

When their lips finally parted, both took a deep breath. The kiss had left them both weak. Devarius’s hand fell from her scalp to rest on her cheek. They stared into each other’s eyes for a life time.

“Don’t you die on me,” she whispered.

He brushed her lips with his thumb and smiled. “I wouldn’t dream of it.”

“It’s about time,” Paedyn whispered.

Devarius raised an eyebrow at him.

“What? You two have been dancing around that kiss for years now.”

Devarius cleared his throat and looked to the men and women around him. “As I was saying, step forward if you’re with me. I only want those who have passed the aerial flying test and those who have a full-sized wyvern. This will leave some of you out, but if you haven’t trained with your wyvern enough, you’re not ready. Even if you have … you’re still not ready. But we’ll have to make do.”

Twelve men, including Paedyn, volunteered, and eight women. Twenty-one riders. Twenty full-sized wyverns. And Devarius and Ayla.

Devarius nodded. “Let’s go.”

“Wait,” Paedyn said.

“We don’t have time,” Devarius pleaded. “They’re not going to make it if we delay.”

“Neither will we if we don’t have any ideas. Like you said, they are stronger than us. We have to use our intelligence to survive.”

“What did you have in mind?” Devarius asked.

“Remember those large jars of wyvern oils you’ve collected?”

“Yes,” Devarius responded hesitantly.

“How many small vials do you have for us to fill with some of that liquid?”

Devarius bit his lip. “What are you suggesting?”

“Glass breaks when it hits something hard … say dragon scales?”

Devarius raised an eyebrow.

Paedyn grinned. “Let’s equip each wyvernrider with several vials of different oils. If any of them get close enough, perhaps they could drop the vial on the dragon or the rider.”

Devarius’s lips pressed together, his chin wrinkling. “I believe we have just over a hundred vials. That would be around five vials per rider.”

“What do you think?”

“I think it’s a fantastic idea … and it may just be the tipping point we need to survive.”


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