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Her Elemental Dragons: Ride the Wave: Chapter 32

JASIN

The sun breaching the horizon made the clouds above us look as red as blood. An ominous sign, if one believed in such things. I didn’t, of course, but it certainly set the mood as I gazed across the sea of troops lined up in front of me. Soon the field before the Spirit Temple would be covered in their blood, all so we would have a chance to defeat the Dragons.

The plan relied on the soldiers buying us time so we could get inside the Spirit Temple and defeat the Black Dragon as quickly as possible. None of us had any idea what would happen after that, especially once the Spirit Goddess was freed. The Water God had made it sound like the Gods would help us split the Goddess’s essences, but nothing was certain.

The Spirit Temple rose before us at the end of the plain on a hill, nestled up against the mountains beside a waterfall that fed into a clear lake. The temple shimmered where sunlight touched it, due to the walls made from a pale marble that looked like pearl or shell…or maybe bone. Great columns held it up on every corner with ivy and roses twining around them. Above the grand entrance a relief depicted animals, plants, elementals, and dragons, though it was hard to make out the details from a distance. A beautiful garden surrounded the temple, filled with fruit trees, vegetables, and flowers, while the waterfall splashed beside it into a stream that fed down into the valley.

The plains in front of the temple were flat and rich with good soil and thick vegetation. I’d been told that they’d been covered with herds of wild animals until the soldiers arrived. Now the animals had scattered, and the two armies faced each other across their former home.

The Black Dragon’s army stretched far and wide, blocking entrance to the Spirit Temple. Onyx Army soldiers in their gleaming black armor waited for the command to attack, lined up in columns that were all too familiar to me. Red, blue, and green markings flashed on their shoulders, along with a few sporting yellow. If the Fire God had chosen another as his Dragon, I’d probably be with them now, wishing I were anywhere else.

On either side of them, dark shadowy figures hovered off the ground, their eerily glowing eyes staring across the field. There were hundreds of shades, more than I’d ever seen before, and the sight of them sent a chill down my spine. Their deadly hunger was palpable even from a distance, and they wanted nothing more than to drain the life from every person who stood behind me.

Today I wore the Onyx Army armor again, except instead of the red markings for the Fire Realm, mine were bright silver—the color we were using to represent Kira. Across the field, dozens of black banners were raised with a silvery dragon in the center and red, blue, green, and yellow corners. The banner of the Silver Dragon and her mates.

Our army was made up of many different people from all over the four Realms. Men and women with armor and weapons stood side by side with people in regular clothes holding torches, buckets of water, or piles of rocks. Everyone had a task, a way they could help to fight the soldiers or the shades, but there was no question that we were outnumbered and outmatched. If the elementals were fighting beside us, we’d stand a better chance—but they were not. We’d have to do the best we could with what we had.

Garet signaled that they were ready, and I moved to stand in the middle of the field, facing our army. Once there, I shifted into my dragon form, while Kira’s other mates stretched out beside me and did the same. Kira walked over wearing her fighting gear with a flowing silver cloak, her glowing sword on her hip. When my red scales flashed under the sunlight she climbed onto my back. I spread my wings and took to the sky, hovering over our soldiers.

“The Black Dragon and her men have ruled over this world for too long,” I called out, my dragon voice louder than mine could ever be. “They were meant to protect us, and instead they oppressed us. They were meant to bring peace and order, and instead they brought death and chaos. They were meant to serve the Gods, and instead they imprisoned them. It’s time for new Dragons to rise.”

Auric, Reven, and Slade flew into the air beside me at those words and let out ear-splitting roars that echoed across the land. The soldiers below us raised their weapons and shouted and cheered, their energy growing with their fervor. Kira had asked me to give this speech, to become the leader the Fire God had told me to be, and though I’d been reluctant at first, I was ready to embrace my destiny as Kira’s General. Kira was their symbol, the thing they fought behind, but I would be the one leading them into battle.

“Today we fight for the Silver Dragon,” I roared. “We fight for freedom, justice, and equality. We fight for the four Realms. We fight for the Gods. And most of all, we fight for the future of our people.” I spread my wings wide. “Today the Black Dragon will be defeated, and the Silver Dragon will ascend!”

The cheers and shouts grew louder, and the army started forward across the field into the fog Auric and Reven had summoned, hiding their numbers. Ahead of them, pools of lava waited for the other army, courtesy of me and Slade. Below us, I spotted Calla and her priests, ready to fight the shades. Garet led the soldiers, directing them to march ahead. The Resistance, the bandits, and the assassins filled in the gaps, while Faya stood in the back with Brin and Leni at her side, all of them looking fierce. As I gazed down at them, I truly believed we could win this battle.

Until the Black Dragon emerged from the Spirit Temple.


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