Of Dragon Blood (10)

Alora, Contributor

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“Give her the exact life we talked over earlier, Guard Rhambon.”

The dragon’s voice rang out with such dignity and power that my feet trembled and fear coursed through my veins. A hint of what looked like a smirk painted itself on the queen’s face. Whatever this new life was, I don’t think I will enjoy it.

I expect to be lead down stone stairs. Maybe some mold; some iron bars possibly. But the entourage never leads toward a dark or remote corner. Instead, there seems to be more and more intricately carved windows down the curved hallway. The view from two stories up was of a breathtaking courtyard. The leaves were gold with Autumn. The colors reminded me how much time has passed. Only a few months but it felt like an eternity away from my family. And I came home, but only to see them be thrown into prison because of what I was. Now, they are probably sitting in a cold dark cell while I’m taking in the glorious views of a palace a human was never supposed to see.

It makes me jump into a field of misery. They did nothing, yet they’re the ones who get stuck behind bars. My mind then goes back to the charred meadow. The last thing I remember of what used to be my safe home was the fiery walls and burning grass. Everything else was a blur of rage, and I feel the guilt for that too. Guilt that I wasn’t there to control a gone-wrong training. I don’t know exactly what happened, or how many people suffered, but everytime it crosses my mind, I remember that I could’ve done something. The thought of the children I had seen earlier that morning makes my steps slower. What happened to them? Did they escape before I got there?

The guard at my back shoved me forward and I trip over a lump in the rug. Luckily my agility doesn’t fail me and I catch myself before I hit the ground. The guard huffs out something under his breath but it wasn’t quite audible. I give my signature stare, one known to intimidate vendors into giving me a good deal on produce. It doesn’t work and he shoves me forward again.

After what seems like an eternity of walking with my hands behind my back, our merry little group stops in front of a human-sized door. Why they have human-sized anything in a palace made for dragons beets me. Inside the gold-inlaid door was the most elaborate and comfortable suite I have ever seen. Which really isn’t saying anything, I’m not “suitable” to stay at inns or anything comfortable. White and gold accented everything from curtains to bed sheets. Even the windows had swirls of gold in the panes.

My wonder quickly turned to confusion. Why was I not lead to a private cell under the palace itself? Better yet, why was I in a room fit for a princess? I turned around to ask the guards, but all three were gone and down the hallway, leaving my questions unanswered. Instead of questioning my existence in a royal castle, I explore the room. An over-the-top folded card stood on the nightstand with Airainne Corros written in fancy cursive. It takes me a while to decipher my own name, given I never learned cursive. The inside is just as hard to read, but I forced myself through the difficult text to see if any of the words contained even an ounce of explanation.

Dear Ms. Airainne Corros, 

It has come to my attention you have lived your life in the shadows when you should be under the care of constant servants. Your special abilities have been hidden for too long, but do not fright. I have finally taken you under my wing and away from your so-called family. 

I almost rip the card in half, but my curiosity gets the best of me.

From now on, you will assume the name and title of the royal family. This will be your room, feel free to make yourself comfortable. 

Until we see each other again,

Queen Melenia Vermonte

The cursed signiture of the queen herself was drawn in overly dramatic and perfect hadwriting across the bottom. Whatever game she’s playing, I will learn. But for now, I sleep on the floor. Using the perfectly good bed is exactly what she wants me to do.

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