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Her Elemental Dragons: Ride the Wave: Chapter 28

AURIC

“Today we’re going to work on combining the elements,” Doran said. It was time for yet another training session, and we all stood beside the river and faced him, with the afternoon sun bright in the sky. “I already know you can do lightning, thanks to Kira hitting me with a bolt when I was rescuing her.”

Kira shrugged. “I thought you were taking me to my death.”

Doran snorted. “How did you learn to do that one anyway?”

“Enva told us it was possible and then it was a lot of trial and error,” I said.

“And frustration,” Jasin added. “Mostly frustration.”

Doran scratched at his scraggly beard. “You’ve done well, considering you had no one to train you. What other combinations can you do?”

“That’s it so far,” Kira said. “The bond with Slade and Reven was too new to do any others yet.”

Doran nodded. “Hopefully it’s grown enough by now. The benefit of combining elements is that there’s no immunity to them. Both Sark and Isen can be hurt by lightning, for example.”

“What will we do about Nysa?” Reven asked. “She’s immune to every element.”

“You let me worry about her,” Doran said. “After the other dragons are defeated, she’ll be vulnerable to attack.”

I thought about asking whether that included him, but the troubled look on Kira’s face made me hold my tongue.

“The hardest elements to combine are the two opposite ones,” Doran continued. “Fire and water make steam, while earth and air create sandstorms. We’ll work our way up to those. You can already do lightning, so we’ll skip that.”

“We want to learn to make lava,” Slade said. “Or at least be able to stop it.”

“A good choice. Probably the most deadly and destructive of the combined elements. Fine, you two can work together today, while Auric and Reven will make fog.”

“Fog?” Jasin asked. “How will that be useful?”

Doran crossed his arms. “Not everything is about striking your enemies down. Sometimes there are better ways of handling things. Fog can conceal and confuse. It can hide a huge group of soldiers on the battlefield. It can make it easier to escape from a bad situation. And when you get good enough, you can make clouds and cover the sky with them too.”

“It sounds perfect,” I said, thinking of all the possibilities. With both Reven and Jasin’s magic flowing through me, I could create entire storms on my own.

Reven and I moved closer to the forest, while Jasin and Slade headed for the edge of the river in case they had problems. But as I faced Reven, I began to have doubts this would work. I didn’t know him all that well yet, and his bond with Kira was new. Jasin and I had become close, despite our differences, and Slade and I had an easy understanding and friendship. But Reven? He was hard for all of us to get to know. Kira had often commented on how Reven pushed her away or locked her out, but it wasn’t only her that he kept at a distance. Combining our magic took a connection, and the man was a wall of ice that was nearly impossible to cross. Luckily, I knew how to fly.

“Fog would have been useful in your previous profession, I imagine,” I said.

Reven let out a soft grunt in response. “Those days are over.”

“Yes. I wanted to thank you again for what you did for my father. You didn’t have to do that.” Reven had taken the contract on my father’s life to make sure no one else did, even though it ended his career with the Assassin’s Guild forever.

“I wasn’t going to kill him,” Reven said, sending me a sharp look.

“No, of course not.” Damn, I was really bungling this one up. “I simply meant that I appreciated how you handled it, and the sacrifice it required of you.”

“It was time to move on from that life anyway.”

“And yet you went back to them to ask for their help. Was it a problem, since you failed to complete your last mission?”

He smirked. “It was, until I turned into a dragon in front of them and made it rain in the middle of the room.”

I grinned back at him. “I would have loved to have seen their faces.”

“All right,” Doran called out, interrupting us. “Try to reach for your partner’s magic through the bond. It might be difficult to find at first, but it’s there. Once you’ve found it, grab tight and let it loose with your own magic.”

I stared into Reven’s cold blue eyes, searching for him within the bond. Jasin was easy to find, like a bright spark jumping behind my eyes that grew stronger with my attention on him. Slade was harder to find, but when I focused on him, his steady, strong presence filled my mind. Creating a storm of sand or dust with him wouldn’t be too difficult, I imagined. But when I searched for Reven, I felt nothing.

“This isn’t working,” Reven said.

“It will. It took a long time for me and Jasin to figure it out, but we did eventually.”

“The two of you are close,” Reven said, his lip curling as if the idea bothered him. “But you and me? We have nothing in common.”

“I don’t think that’s true.” I tilted my head, studying him. “Jasin and Slade both let their emotions dominate them. With Jasin it’s obvious, but Slade is just as guilty of it, he just doesn’t react as passionately or as hastily. His emotions build up under the surface, until they can’t be contained anymore. But you and I—we think things through. We take our time. We research different options before we come to a decision. We both value knowledge above most other things. Our lives have been completely different, but we’re more alike than you think.”

“I suppose,” Reven said. “Although you value knowledge for the sake of having it. I value what it can do for me. It’s a means to an end, not an end in and of itself.”

“True, but we still prefer to trust our minds more than our hearts, which can make it difficult for us to open up to people or can lead us to make bad decisions. I made mistakes with Kira that I now regret. I kept secrets from her about who I was, because my mind told me it was the best thing to do at the time. Maybe if I’d listened to my heart, things would have been easier.”

Reven was silent, staring at the river’s flowing water. Behind us, Jasin let out a shout as he and Slade made the ground rip apart and lava shoot from the cracks, while Kira and Doran applauded.

“Maybe you’re right,” Reven finally said. “I locked away my heart for so many years I’d convinced myself I didn’t have one anymore. Kira forced me to realize I was wrong about that.”

I chuckled softly. “She has a way of making us confront the things about ourselves we would like to ignore. Annoying, isn’t it?”

“Very.” Reven let out a long breath. He glanced over at Jasin and Slade, the star pupils of today’s training session, as they made lava spurt into the air. “We can’t let them show us up. How do we do this?”

“Jasin and I found it easier if we were holding hands and staring into each other’s eyes. Maybe that would help?” I stretched out my hands toward him, palms up.

Reven rolled his eyes and grabbed my hands. “Fine.”

His skin was cool against mine, and his eyes were the pale blue of the early morning sky. When I searched for him through the bond this time, I found a small, cold ripple. I grasped onto it, pulling it toward me, unwilling to let go, and the ripple became a wave, growing stronger the more I tugged at it. Now that I knew what he felt like in my mind, I was certain I could find him again, and it would be easier next time.

When Reven’s breathing suddenly changed and his eyes widened, I knew he’d found me through the bond too. His fingers tightened around mine and something passed between us. The air around us began to grow murky. Fog rolled off the water, creeping around the forest, becoming thicker with each passing second. Soon, I couldn’t see anything except Reven. The rest of the world had been cut off, hidden away by the magic we’d created. I saw the wonder in his eyes as he took it in, and then we grinned at each other. Somehow, I didn’t think we’d have a problem connecting anymore.


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