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Dragonia: Rise of the Wyverns – Chapter 46


Devarius sat, outstretched on the beach of Adeth Peak Isle, watching the waves crash into the side of the mountain. The red sun set on the horizon, casting a scarlet glow across the ocean. The orange sun was no longer visible, and it wouldn’t be until winter was over. Snow covered the ground, only an inch or two, but enough to make it chilly. The temperature dropped as the sun disappeared. Devarius clutched his blanket, wrapping it around him tighter.

“Dinner is ready,” Paedyn said from behind.

Devarius turned around and sighed. “It’s beautiful, isn’t it?”

“What’s that?”

“The red sunset; the white sheet of snow on the island. It’s terribly cold … but beautiful.”

Paedyn pressed his lips together, shifting them from side to side. “Sure. Come on, let’s eat and celebrate our victory.”

“Victory? What victory? One of the dragonriders escaped. Out of twenty-one wyvernriders who fought, only eight survive, and most are injured. What kind of victory is this?”

Paedyn held his hand out, which Devarius took to pull himself to his feet.

“A hard one,” Paedyn admitted. “But nonetheless, we defeated them.”

“I know we won the battle. I just feel we’re so far from victory, and the cost … it was too great. I keep rattling in my head what I could have done different to save just one more life.”

“We cannot change the past, Devarius.” Paedyn took a deep breath. “But we can learn from it.”

“I know … you’re right.” Devarius ran a hand over his head. “And we will.”

The two of them walked back to the city. It was mostly complete, though a lot of work still had to be done. A week had passed since the battle. They had spent many days cleaning all the damage from the forest, and laying to rest the fallen wyverns, dragons, and men and women from both sides. Devarius made sure the dragonriders had a proper burial as well. Even though they were on different sides, they were still human. It would be up to the Creator if they deserved the afterlife.

When they arrived at the feast, everyone was smiling, laughing, and talking, though Devarius could see in many of their eyes the sorrow from the battle and the loss of friends and loved ones. Their victory came at a price, but it was a price everyone was willing to pay. People who joined the Resistance were determined. Most of them who had joined had lost someone dear to them due to the tyranny of the Dragonia Empire. They would not give up, and that determination gave Devarius hope. The war may be far from over, but the first victory was won, and it was an important one for the morale of the entire Resistance.

After the feast, Devarius wandered off alone, smoking on a small wooden pipe. His thoughts stayed busy, thinking of all the different things they could do to strengthen the Resistance.

“Do you want to be left alone?” a soft feminine voice asked from behind him.

He turned and spotted Aquila. His heart began to beat irregularly when he saw her. They hadn’t talked much since his return … since he’d kissed her.

“You’re welcome to stay.” He smiled at her.

She reached out and grabbed his hand. He flinched at first and tried to pull away as a reflex, but she held firm.

“Can we talk … about us?”

“Aquila … I don’t—”

She pressed her fingers to his lips. “I know you’re going through a lot right now. Remember, Devarius, we’ve known each other a long while. I don’t know everything about you, but I know a lot.”

He closed his eyes and exhaled.

“I know you’re upset. I know you’re mourning the men and women who died; I know you’re mourning the loss of the wyverns. I even know that even though you hate the Dragonia Empire, and everything they stand for, you also mourn the loss of their men and dragons.” She paused and looked into his eyes. “I know you.”

“I know you do. This is hard on me right now.”

“I know.” She ran her fingers along the side of his head. “And I want to be here for you.”

“I’m scared.”

“What are you scared of?”

“Losing this war—not finding my sister …” He met her eyes. “Losing you.”

“Is that what holds you back? I worry about you as well.”

“That and … Zaviana.”

“Your sister?” she asked.

“I don’t want to stop searching,” he said.

“Nor would I ask it of you.”

“I’m afraid if we become … more … my priorities may change.”

Aquila squeezed his hand. “This I promise you. I will not let you stop searching for your sister.”

Devarius’s face formed into a closed-mouth smile. It wavered slightly as he brought his hand to his eyes to wipe the tears threatening to escape. He ran his hand through her long black hair. His heart felt like it was wedged inside of his throat, and he didn’t know what to say. He’d always had a bond with Aquila … but he’d always been too afraid to act on it.

“I love you, Devarius. I have for years. I’ve waited for you—for the right time, for you to act on the feelings I know you have as well.” She smiled at him. “But I’m done waiting now. I’m here to tell you I love you, and I always have. I am here to be whatever you need. Whatever trials we face in the upcoming conflict with the Dragonia Empire, I will be here for you.”

“Thank you.” He paused and took a deep breath. “And I love you, too. I’ve tried to push the feelings away for years. You’ve always been my best friend, but I knew we were more … I just never admitted it to myself.”

The two of them stared at each other for a long moment.

“They’re beautiful, aren’t they?” he asked.

“What?”

“The stars. They’re much brighter in the winter.”

They glanced up. The orange moon was full, and the other wasn’t to be seen. The blue moon wouldn’t appear for another two days in a sliver.

“Yes, they ar—”

And then he kissed her.


If you plan to continue with this series, there’s an epilogue … but I suggest you stop here if you don’t like cliffhangers and don’t plan to continue.

Thanks for reading!


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