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Her Elemental Dragons: Kiss the Sky: Chapter 27


We gathered outside the palace, where two carriages were waiting for us with our supplies already loaded onto them. The plan was to take the carriages out of the city and to Windholm, a town on the edge of Sandstorm Valley. There we would switch to camels for the rest of the journey into the barren desert where the Air Temple resided.

Brin and I had been overseeing preparations over the last two days, and I was grateful for her assistance since I hadn’t been in the desert in many years and had never planned an excursion on my own. It was a shame she wouldn’t be going with us, but it would be hard to hide what we were if she did come, so perhaps it was for the best.

My former fiancé stood with Kira by the carriages, while stroking the neck of a dappled gray horse. Kira laughed at something Brin said, and my heart warmed at the sight. Against all odds they’d managed to become friends, just as I’d hoped.

Kira wore her new riding clothes with a dark green cloak that brought out the color in her eyes and made her red hair pop. She had new boots too, and I was pleased to see that her shopping excursion with Brin had gone well and that she’d been able to obtain some suitable clothes, which she’d desperately needed.

Her mates had been more stubborn and wouldn’t accept my offer to get them new clothing, although they’d allowed me to loan them things to wear while we were at the palace. I’d ceded defeat, but had made up for it by providing all of the supplies we’d need on this journey. It was the least I could do for the trouble I’d put us in by coming here, and for their understanding of my situation with Brin.

While Kira’s other mates checked our supplies, I turned to the ladies and asked, “Are we all ready to go?”

“Just about,” Brin said. “We just need to say goodbye to your parents.”

I arched an eyebrow at her. “We?”

“I’ve decided to come with you after all.” Brin flashed a dazzling smile at us. “You’re going to need a guide. And thanks to Kira here, I’m a free woman.”

“What do you mean?” I asked.

“Kira convinced me to stand up to my parents and tell them I wouldn’t go through with an arranged marriage to a man. They weren’t thrilled about it, but they said they understood.”

“I’m so proud of you,” Kira said.

I wrapped Brin in a quick hug. “That’s wonderful. And they’re allowing you to go on this journey?”

She tossed back her long black hair with a grin. “The King convinced them it would be good for you to have an escort, though I’m pretty sure they think we’re just going to offer tribute at the Air Temple. Not that I know what we’ll actually be doing, but I have a feeling it’s more than that.”

“Are you sure about this?” Kira asked. “It’s going to be dangerous. The Dragons are searching for us, and we’ve also been attacked by bandits, elementals, and the Onyx Army.”

“Sounds like you need someone to help watch your backs,” Brin said with a wink. “Believe me, I’m ready to get out of this boring city and see some adventure. My blades haven’t been put to good use in ages.”

“All right, but if it gets too dangerous we’re leaving you at the Air Temple,” I said.

Brin waved her hand breezily. “I’ll be fine. Besides, we all know you’ll need my help so you don’t end up wandering in circles out in the sand dunes.”

“We appreciate you coming with us,” Kira said. “I’ve never been to the desert before.”

“It’s beautiful in its own way, but deadly. Although with proper preparations we should be fine.”

Our conversation died off when my parents walked out of the palace, their guards trailing behind them. The King loomed over everyone as he made his way down the steps while holding my mother’s arm. Both of them wore royal purple and gold along with their crowns as they came to say goodbye to us.

I approached my parents with a hesitant smile, while Brin and Kira trailed behind me. “Mother, father.”

The King stared at me for some time, then clasped me on the shoulder. “We’re proud of you, son.”

I’d never heard those words from my father before and my throat choked with emotion. “Thank you,” I managed to get out.

“Please be safe,” my mother said, as she squeezed me in a tight hug. “And come back whenever you can.”

“I will, and I’ll send updates if it’s safe to do so.”

She nodded and turned to Kira, then surprised me by embracing her too. “I’m sorry we didn’t have more time to get to know you better, but I hope we can do so someday.”

“I’d like that,” Kira said. “Thank you for your hospitality.”

The Queen turned to Brin next and gave her a warm smile. “Brin, please take care of these two.”

“I will, your majesty,” Brin said, as she dipped into a graceful curtsy.

My father nodded at the two ladies, and then focused his stormy gaze on me once more. “Before you go, there’s something we’d like you to have.” He gestured at a servant, who walked up holding a purple tasseled pillow. On top of it were two long, slightly curved daggers with golden sheaths and hilts inlaid with topaz.

The King lifted the daggers in his palms. “These are the blades of the first King of the Air Realm, who was said to be the brother of the Golden Dragon. I’d once thought that meant Isen, but now I’m not so sure. Either way, they’ve been passed down through generations to our family’s greatest warrior. And now, Auric, we want you to have them.”

I accepted the blades with awe in my voice. “I’m honored. Thank you. I’ll do my best to restore honor to the position of Golden Dragon.”

“We know you will,” my mother said, as she patted my cheek.

I strapped the daggers around my waist, noticing how light they were despite their size and their golden sheaths. I’d seen the daggers hanging in the royal armory before and was shocked my parents were giving them to me and not to my brother Garet, who was the warrior in the family. All my life I’d been the odd one out and I’d believed I was a disappointment to my parents. This was finally my chance to make them proud and do my duty to protect the Air Realm—and the entire world.

I said one final goodbye to my parents, before turning away with my heart pounding loudly. Kira gave me a warm smile, while Brin’s eyes shined bright. Together we approached the carriages, where the other men were waiting.

I nodded at them. “Let’s get going.”


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