Note: This is the eighteenth chapter of a small novel I wrote. If you would like to read it off-site, you may download a PDF. The PDF will be updated every week with the next chapter. This project is now also available on DBooks
Tides of Magic - Dragon Tears
Chapter 18 - Naverin
“Be a dear and get a blanket”, the woman called sternly. “Now!” She could hear some more steps going away again. She looked up and could see someone running away as well as an older woman standing next to her.
“Where …?” She felt a shiver down her spine, something twisted painfully, draining her strength once gain.
The woman came closer, helping her up once again. “Your Highness”, her voice but a mere whisper.
“Highness?” Her throat felt rough and dry. Why did the woman call her highness? “Where am I?”
“Close to Greifjard. You landed in one of our fields.”
“I …” Lia held her head. Why was she in that much pain? “How have I gotten here?” Why couldn’t she remember anything?
“I don’t know, your highness.”
“Why do you call me highness?” She looked into the face of the woman. She seemed old but also calm and friendly, making her feel all fuzzy inside.
“Are you not part of the royal family?”
“I don’t know …”
“You are a white half dragon; you have to be a Luxana.”
“I … I am …” There was something, some sort of memory. Her name. “Lia … Lia Luxana …” But there was something else, something missing, was it?
“See?” The woman smiled friendly. “You should come to us and rest a few days. After that we will bring you to Novis.”
“I …” Lia looked behind her. A deep several feet long furrow was behind her, and she was at one end of it. Somehow she knew, that at the end of that furrow, far, far away, something terrible had happened, making a cold shiver run down her spine.
“What can I do for you, your highness?”
Lia shook her head. “Nothing. It’s nothing.” She mustn’t burden that friendly old lady with her fears and feelings.
“Toss the blanket here and turn around!” The stern voice of the woman had surfaced once again, only to turn soft once more a moment later. “Here, your highness.” She put the blanket over her shoulders. The blanket was soft and warm, making her realize the cold she was objected to on the field. She didn’t wear any other clothing than said blanket now. What had happened? Her head started to hurt whenever she tried to remember.
As they got up and left the furrow she saw the man standing a bit away, his back turned towards them.
“Come”, the woman lead over the field. Lia tightened the blanket around her body. “My name is Emma Sheyan and that is my husband, Karl Sheyan.”
“Thank you”, Lia answered, stumbling more than walking.
“But of course, my dear. Where would we get if we wouldn’t help people in need, or half dragons for that matter, right, Karl?”
“What? Oh … sure, sure.” The man pulled his gaze from Lia.
“Don’t even go there with your thoughts, old man. You are my husband and she is a Luxana!”
He gulped. “Why do you …”
“We are married for a long time now. I know how you think!”
“I’ll go home first and prepare our guest room”, he bowed slightly before running off.
Lia had to smile. He was old but still very fit for his age … Why was she thinking like that? Did she know more people that were his age? She shook her head slightly. Try as she might, she just couldn’t remember. Maybe she would remember, after arriving at her home_…
Three days had passed since Lia had been found by the Sheyans on their field. She still didn’t know what had happened, but her body had recovered.
The signs that showed that she was half dragon got stronger day by day. Her right eye had changed color from a dark brown to a bright yellow-golden hue. Her other eye remained red. Her red hair was slowly turning white.
During all that time Emma told her she would find answers to her questions as soon as she arrived home. She could only hope that the older woman was right. Especially since she wasn’t sure that she was a Luxana at all. On the way to the next city she constantly wondered what would happen, if she wasn’t part of the royal family. Wondered where her home would be then and how she could recover her lost memories.
“Don’t worry”, Emma put an arm around her shoulders squeezing her slightly. “Everything will be fine. I am sure you will be with your parents shortly.”
As the city came into view, Lia started to feel a nervous tingling where her stomach would be. Greifjard was a pretty large city, even surrounded by city walls, which meant that there would be guards that were somehow connected to the royal family. She could find and explain her situation to them.
Coming close to the gate their cart slowed down, halting next to one of the guards. The man came to her, smiling friendly. He lifted his spear slightly in greeting. “Hello Karl, Emma. Is harvest season starting soon?”
“We are a bit earlier than usual, this time around.” Emma leaned back slightly, allowing the soldier to catch a glimpse of Lia.
“Who is that with you?”
“She landed about three days ago in one of our fields.”
“L… landed?” The soldier stared at her.
“She’s a bloody half dragon”, Karl helped him, “a white one!”
“A white half dragon?” The Soldier stumbled backwards, almost choking on his own tongue. Then he went all stiff, putting is heels together. “W.. welcome to Greifjard, your majesty.”
Lia blinked. Was that behavior normal? What was expected of her?
“She lost her memory”, Emma supplied quieter. “You need to help her get back to Novis.”
The Soldier relaxed slightly. “She lost her …”
“Are ya that slow t’day lad? Ya’re repeatin’ everythin’ we say.”
Lia just nodded. “I don’t know how I got there nor who my family is.”
“Maybe it’s got ta do with those strange lights ta the north”, Karl took the horses reigns into one hand, gesturing wildly. “That furrow pointed in ta tha’ direction.”
“To the north?” The soldier looked puzzled. “Novis is to the south from here.” He put the spear down on the ground, rubbing over the stubbles on his face. “I guess the Captain has to decide on what to do.” He nodded and held his hand out to her. “Come with me, please.”
Lia felt insecure and looked towards Emma. After she nodded friendly, telling her that it’s okay, she got off the cart.
“If you want to know his decision, come back when you are done with what your business”, the soldier said to the elder couple.
“We will”, Emma smiled and waved, as they continued their way into the city.
Lia waved as well before following the guard through the gate. A short way behind the gate they entered a building and after stepping through a few more doors the guard stepped towards a desk.
The man behind the desk looked up, his body out of shape. It was evident that he had devoted more time to eating than to training. “What’s the problem? And why in Aerith’s name have you left your post?”
The guard didn’t answer but stepped aside, allowing the man behind the desk a good view on Lia.
“Who is that?” The man got even grumpier.
Silence ensued as the captains mouth opened and closed a few times, just staring at her. His eyes looked over her for several times, blinking. Finally, at lot more friendly, he got up and addressed her. “Who are your parents, child?”
“I don’t know.” She felt as if she was being judged, as if his eyes would peel of her clothing at any moment.
“Well, I see you are half dragon, but you are also more than that”, the Captain explained. “I have seen a few dragon priests in my time, but you are the first female one. How did you manage to become one?”
The title seemed familiar, but as she tried to remember, pain started to spike within her head.
“I’m sorry.” She shook her head.
“Apparently she has lost her memory”, the guard supplemented for her. “What should we do with her? She might be a danger.”
“We will bring her to Novis”, the Captain answered calmly. “Even if she might be a danger or just considered dangerous by the dragon priests …” He stopped midsentence as if remembering that she was there with them in the room.
“Why should I be dangerous?” She approached the captain slowly.
“Because … you might not know how to control the dragon sealed within you.”
“There is a dragon …?” Her head started to pound again.
“She is a unique case and, what is important for us, she is half dragon. This means that, even if she is not related to the royal family, she is still to be considered a princess, until our king judges her.”
“Judges me?” Lia looked up again, an uneasy feeling in her stomach.
“If you are not part of the royal family, then our king will look you over. If he likes what he sees he will make you part of the royal family. If not though …” He started to grin, leaving the rest of the sentence unspoken.
“I… I think I don’t want to go to Novis after all.” Lia made a step back.
“Suit yourself”, the captain replied, “but you will be reported to Novis either way.” He came a few steps closer to her. “This means that our king will search you and I can promise you that he will find you. He will follow you to the end of the world and maybe even declare war on other countries.”
“But … why?” She almost couldn’t believe what he said.
The captain raised his hand, ticking the points off of his fingers. “First of all, you are half dragon and either an ally to him or a liability. Second of all either your father or your mother is a white dragon, which makes you a rarity among the rare. Thirdly you are a woman.” He cleared his throat. “That makes you a wanted target by all the other ruling half dragons.”
The captain looked to the guard that was blinking himself now. “Go back to your bloody post.” He nodded and ran off, leaving her alone with the captain.
“It seems you have forgotten more than you should. I’ll gladly remind you. Do you remember Aerith at least?”
She almost wanted to shake her head, but she had heard the name before. And suddenly a memory crawled out of her pain-riddled brain. “The holy protector of the dragon priests.”
“Indeed, it seems you have not forgotten all your training. Now, Aerith was the one …”
“… that gave the first dragon priests the power to seal dragons that were rampaging against humans, those that are now called wild ones”, she finished his sentence.
“She was the one that restored peace between the dragon clans and the humans.”
“And that related to me how?”
The captain sighed. “You are like Aerith, a girl set into this world by a white dragon. Some will see you automatically as Aerith reborn. That means that you could go out, easily rally an army behind you and overthrow one or even all ruling half dragons. That is why they will do one of two things: Make them theirs … or kill you.”
“I don’t want to rule. I want to live in peace.”
“Maybe, maybe not. You are a risk if kept unchecked.” He came even closer, so she almost could feel his breath. “You know, going to Novis would work in your favor, while fleeing and resisting from the get go would do the opposite.”