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Her Elemental Dragons: Ride the Wave: Chapter 16

AURIC

The Water Realm was connected to the Earth Realm by a bit of land that jutted out in a peninsula, before splitting into hundreds of islands that made up of most of its territory. Doran was taking us on a long route to avoid running into the other Dragons, flying us over turquoise waters and islands with white sands and tall palm trees stretching into the sky.

We took a break at midday after hours of travel. Still in my dragon form, I stretched my wings and devoured some food to combat the aches and exhaustion of flying for days with people and supplies on my back, though I could tell I was getting stronger. Every day my endurance as a Dragon was building, as was my skill at flying. Now if only we could get Slade to fly too. He practiced every morning before we set off and could hover in the air for a few minutes, but anything more than that was still a problem. I wished I could help him in some way, but this was something he had to do on his own.

I spotted Kira standing by herself across the small island, gazing out at the clear blue water with troubled eyes. I trudged over to her and curled up around her with my large scaled body, giving us a hint of privacy from the others. “Are you all right?”

“I’m okay,” she said with a smile that looked forced. “Just thinking about what we learned last night.”

“It was a lot to take in. So much of what we thought we knew about the Gods was a lie.” I’d recorded everything Doran had told us in my journal, which was running out of pages at this point. Every time we spoke with him we learned something new, something which had been lost over time or removed from history purposefully. The other Dragons had kept people living in ignorance and fear, with knowledge restricted to the few. That would not be our legacy.

Kira sighed. “I’m not sure we can trust anything the Gods tell us, and I have no idea what to do about Nysa now. We have to defeat her, but I worry that doing so will only make things worse. And although I still hate her, I understand why she became the person she is now. She thought she was doing what was best for the world but made some bad choices that led her down a dark path. Who’s to say we won’t do the same?”

I wrapped a golden wing around her. “We’ll figure it out. I have faith in you, and we’ll be with you through all of it.”

She ran her hand along my scales slowly. “Thanks. I couldn’t do this without the four of you at my side.”

“Once we reach the Water Temple, I’ll talk to the priests and see if they have any old texts about the Gods. Perhaps we’ll find something useful.”

“Perhaps,” she replied, although she sounded doubtful. I didn’t have much hope either, but I had to try.

She leaned against my large side, gazing out at the water again. I wished I could shift back into my human form and hold her, but I still had all the supplies strapped to my back, and we would be leaving soon. Doran would grumble at us if we held the group up by even a minute.

“We’ll be at the Water Temple soon at this pace,” I said, trying to distract her from her dark thoughts. “Is Reven going to be ready?”

We’d all heard them arguing the night before we went to the Earth Temple, and Reven had never been very amenable to the idea of becoming a Dragon. But he’d also sacrificed himself to save Kira, so we knew he cared for her—even if he didn’t want to admit it to himself.

“I think so. Things with him have been…difficult.” Her eyes darted to Reven, who stood apart from everyone else, leaning against the palm trees with his arms crossed. As usual, his brooding face made him look like he would rather be anywhere else, unless you noticed that he was turned toward Kira. He always kept an eye on her, even though he tried to make it seem like he didn’t care.

I rubbed my head against her side. “I know he’ll come around when it’s time.”

“I wish I had your optimism.”

“It’s not optimism. I believe in you, and in your other mates.” I grinned, giving her a glimpse of my fangs. “And I don’t see how Reven could possibly resist you.”

She took my large, scaled head in her hands, then pressed a kiss to my forehead. “Thank you. I always feel better after we talk.”

Through our bond I did sense that her troubles had lifted slightly. They’d always be there, at least until all of this was over, but they no longer weighed her down quite so much. Good. If I could ease Kira’s burden or make her smile, I’d done my duty as her mate.

“Enough standing around,” Doran roared, as he flexed his wings. “Do you want to make it to the Water Temple before the Dragons find us? Then let’s get moving.”

The others grumbled at the shortness of our break while Kira rolled her eyes. I nudged her with my tail. “Come on, let’s join the others before your father yells at us again.”

“He can be quite annoying, can’t he?”

“Sometimes, but he’s just looking out for you.”

“Is he?” She cast a skeptical eye at him. “You’re the only one who seems to trust him.”

“I’m trying to give him the benefit of the doubt. I truly think he wants to help us.” I flexed my talons and bared my fangs. “But if he turns against us, I’ll be ready.”


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