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Her Elemental Dragons: Ride the Wave: Chapter 37

KIRA

The black blood pooling on the ground beneath Nysa began to move. At first it was only a few drops darting across the floor, small enough to make me think it was a trick of the light. But then more blood joined it in a flowing line, before converging in the center of the temple. I backed away from Nysa’s body slowly as it was drained, and the puddle before me grew and grew. It lifted up and began to take form, becoming a massive dragon that filled the temple with inky darkness.

“Get ready,” I told my mates, who were all in their human forms now.

They spread out around the Spirit Goddess as her body dripped black blood. She raised her head and let out a terrifying roar that shook the world.

One by one the Gods appeared. The volcanic Fire God, made of lava and ash. The stormy Air God. The sparkling, crystalized Earth God. And finally, the fluid Water God.

The Spirit Goddess swung her head around, taking in the temple and her Gods. “After centuries of imprisonment I am finally free.”

Power seeped from her body with every bit of dark blood that dripped down her limbs. Revulsion, dread, and a sense of wrongness made me bend over and gag. It was like touching the bone cage, but a thousand times worse. My instincts screamed at me that this was unnatural, that I needed to get away from it as quickly as possible, but I couldn’t run from this. I had to face her.

“You must split the two halves of the Spirit Goddess,” I told the Gods, trying not to gag again. “Hurry!”

“No,” the Fire God said, with a finality in his voice that made me tremble.

“No?” Reven asked.

“We have no wish for her to be separated again,” the Fire God said. “Like this, she is whole.”

“She’s been corrupted,” Auric said. “There’s barely any life left in her, only death.”

“She is our mate,” the Earth God said, his voice a deep rumble.

“But you said you would help us separate the Life and Death sides of her,” Jasin said.

“We needed you to defeat the Dragons so that our Goddess would be freed,” the Water God said.

“You lied to us,” Slade said.

“We are the Gods, and you are meant to serve us,” the Air God said. “This is why we chose you.”

The Spirit Goddess loomed over us, making me feel small and insignificant. “It’s time for the Gods to return to power. We’ve been forgotten for too long, but we shall be worshipped again.” She snarled at us. “Now kneel.”

Nysa was right—the Gods had lied to us. We’d made a mistake by trusting them. They were just as corrupted as the Spirit Goddess was, just as Nysa’s mates had been corrupted too. But unlike Nysa and her Dragons, there was no way to kill a God. They’d created us and gave us a small fraction of their powers. We didn’t stand a chance against them.

There was only one thing for me to do.

“We will never kneel,” I said.

“Then you will die.” The Spirit Goddess wrapped one of her claws around me and lifted me into the air. “We no longer need the Dragons.”

At the Spirit Goddess’s touch, the revulsion became so strong I thought I might pass out, but I pushed through it. “Do it now!” I yelled at my Dragons.

My mates each formed a ring around the Gods using their elements. Doran had given them a quick lesson in how to imprison the Gods, and though it would be more effective in the temples, this would hold them temporarily. As the fire danced around Jasin, he yelled, “Water God, I bind you in fire!” Auric imprisoned the Earth God at the same moment, the wind whipping his hair around, while Slade and Reven did the same to the Air and Fire Gods.

With the Gods imprisoned, the Spirit Goddess was weakened. But instead of fighting her, I drew her into me. It was like the opposite of healing my mates. For them, I gave up some of my life magic and my energy. Now I grabbed hold of the life and death magic that surrounded me and sucked it in. I drained the Spirit Goddess, like the Black Dragon had drained the lives of my soldiers.

Her body broke apart into black blood, which streamed into my mouth, my eyes, my nose, my ears. Her essence blasted me so strong my arms flew to my sides, my body buffeted by the nonstop stream of magic that coursed through me. I hovered in the air as every last drop of that disgusting blood filled me.

In the distance I heard yelling and saw magic flying, but nothing could hurt me now. Anything that dared to injure me I healed instantly. Not even the other Gods could stand against me now.

“Stop, Kira!” Jasin yelled.

“Don’t do this!” Slade called out.

“This is the only way,” I told them, my voice booming around us. “She must be contained.”

They didn’t understand. They couldn’t feel her like I could. If she was allowed to remain free, she would destroy the world. The second she entered my body I’d known it. And if the Gods wouldn’t help us divide her, imprisonment was the only way.

When the last drop of black blood entered me, power unlike anything I’d ever known spread through my consciousness. All I knew was darkness, death, and a hunger that could never be satisfied. But deep inside that thick shroud was a small light, a spark of life, a fluttering of hope. I tried to reach for it, but was quickly overwhelmed by death again.

I gazed across my ruined temple, seeing beyond it, feeling the dead soldiers outside, the ones that were injured, and the ones still fighting and full of life. They were all mine. I was more powerful than any other being in this world. Stronger than the Dragons or the other Gods. I was the beginning and the end, life and death, darkness and light. I controlled shades and elementals, plants and animals, the living and the dead, and soon they would all bow to me. I would use this power to reshape the world. A dark queen, ruling all five Realms with my mates at my side.

I heard people yelling my name over and over, their voices frantic. I focused on them again, the four handsome men I’d taken as my lovers, and recognition slowly dawned. Something of myself fought for control again.

“Kira, you have to let her go!” Jasin yelled.

I shook my head. “I can’t. She’ll destroy everyone if she’s free. She hungers for death and will never be sated until this world is in ruins.”

“Don’t make the same mistakes your mother made,” Auric said.

“I won’t. I can contain the Spirit Goddess without becoming corrupted, and then we can use her power to change the world.”

“You might be able to fight her for a few years,” Slade said. “But she’ll corrupt all of us eventually.”

“No!” I roared, both at them and at the Spirit Goddess inside me who fought for control. I couldn’t let her win. I wouldn’t!

“Kira, you have to fight her!” Reven yelled.

I screamed and covered my head with my hands, the power threatening to tear me apart. Clarity dawned and for an instant I was Kira again. “I can’t—she’s too strong!”

“Yes, you can,” Reven said, staring into my eyes. “Otherwise you’ll have to live countless lives with the Spirit Goddess inside you. Killing your own children to keep her contained. Are you willing to do that?”

“No—never!”

“Then fight!”

I reached again for that tiny flicker of life inside me, and this time I found it. I grabbed hold and yanked, dragging it through the darkness, fighting with every ounce of my being against the black death trying to consume me.

Enva’s voice suddenly drifted to me, like a whisper on the wind. “Don’t give up, Kira.”

“Enva!” I cried, begging for her to help me, though I knew she couldn’t.

She appeared before me, her form translucent and glowing with a faint silver light. “I’m here.”

Other people began to appear alongside her, with the same silvery bodies and pale glowing eyes, like the opposite of the shades outside. Nysa appeared first, looking young, bright, and brave. Doran stood at her side, his eyes proud as he smiled at me. Sark, Heldor, and Isen stood behind them, their features lacking the cruelty I’d seen before. This must have been how they’d looked before they were corrupted.

But then more luminous figures appeared beside me, standing close, forming a tight circle around me. Young women I felt a strong connection to, though I’d never seen them before. Sisters, a voice deep in my soul whispered in recognition. Nysa’s other daughters, stretching back centuries, freed now that she was dead. They gave me their strength and their unconditional love, and their silent encouragement and support gave me hope.

In front of them stood a woman with long red hair, hazel eyes, and features identical to my own. I faced a mirror image of myself.

Sora, my twin sister.

“Kira,” she said. “We’re here to help you.”

“How?”

“Together we can divide the Spirit Goddess into her two halves. I am death, while you are life.” She smiled at me as she took my hands. “From the beginning, it was always meant to be this way.”

I swallowed, my fingers tightening around hers. “I’m not strong enough.”

“You are. Focus on the life inside you, and I’ll draw out the death. We can do this together.”

“You’re not alone,” Enva called out.

“We’ll give you our power,” Nysa said.

“You can do this, Kira,” my father added.

Their magic suddenly filled me, until I was overflowing with life and light and love. They sent me so much power it began to balance out the darkness inside me and let the buried life magic grow. I sensed the two halves of the Spirit Goddess within me and held tight to the side of life. My twin tightened her grip on my hands and opened her mouth, drawing out the darkness from within me. It flowed out of me and filled her up, but where it had corrupted me, she was able to stay in control of herself. She’d been born with the power of death from the beginning, and now she fed upon it,

The Spirit Goddess fought inside me, trying to stay whole, while her Gods yelled and fought my mates keeping them prisoner. Sora and I managed to hold on, backed by the magic of our sisters and our parents, and I felt lighter and lighter with each second. When the last bit of death’s essence had left me, my sister released my hands. The connection was broken. The Spirit Goddess was split in two, each part of her trapped within my sister and me.

“Now it’s time to open the gates to the Realm of the Dead and send everyone home,” my sister said, her voice thick with dark power. “Including the Death Goddess.”

A blast of dark magic erupted from her, and one by one our sisters took on a look of relief before vanishing. Sora had opened the gates to the Realm of the Dead, allowing all the departed souls to finally pass through and find peace.

“I don’t want you to go,” I said. “I only just found you.”

“I am with you always, Kira. Life and death will eternally be joined together. But now I must take the Death Goddess back to where she belongs.”

I nodded, a tear slipping down my cheek. Sora gave me a warm smile, and then she disappeared.

Enva wrapped her arms around me next. “I knew you could save us all. Goodbye, granddaughter.”

Before I could reply she faded away, her face looking truly peaceful for the first time. Tears streamed down my face, my heart torn between happiness and sadness. I’d never see them again, but their suffering was finally at an end.

Sark, Isen, and Heldor bowed their heads low to me in a sign of respect, before they disappeared, leaving Doran behind.

My father placed a hand on my shoulder. “I’m proud of you, Kira.”

I turned to hug him, choking back a sob. “I couldn’t have done it without you.”

He patted my back once before drifting away. There was only one ghost left.

“You’re going to make a fine Dragon,” Nysa said, her translucent hand reaching toward me to curl around my cheek. I placed my hand over hers for just an instant, before she left me with the words, “Thank you for freeing me. I love you, Kira.”

After she vanished, the temple was empty except for my mates and the Gods they held prisoner. Inside me, all I felt was the Life Goddess, who was relieved to finally be herself again, untainted by corruption. I searched deep inside and found nothing left of the darkness.

I took a deep breath…and I released her.


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