Dragon Wars: Land of Myth Chapter Two VI

February 12th, 2010  |  Published in Dragon Wars  |  6 Comments

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Chapter Two


“But what if they get there first?” The Rider was staring off into the distance as he picked at his food.

“Then they get it first,” Ebona said. “It’s not a disaster. You can take it later if necessary.”

“If no one else takes it first.” He sounded bitter. “Don’t they know they’re being used?”

“I’m sure they do, but they don’t know by whom,” Ebona said, “I remember someone else who was pretty naive about that a few months ago. Two someones, actually.”

“Don’t remind me.” He gave a cynical smile. “He’ll pay for it soon enough.”

“Who’s going to pay for what?” Mela asked.

The Rider favoured her with a thoughtful look. Mela flinched.

“Sorry, I’m poking my nose where it doesn’t belong, master.”

“Don’t call me that!” he said irritably. “I don’t own you, and this is your world last I checked. You have a right to be interested in what I’m doing. Especially given the position you’re in.” But from his tone, she knew he wasn’t going to answer her.

“You should tell her,” Ebona said. “What she doesn’t know could hurt her.”

“Yes, it could,” he said. “But knowing could be worse. He doesn’t know about her yet. Telling her might alert him and you know where that would end.” He knelt down by the waterside. “I’m sorry, I can’t tell you yet. I will once I’ve tipped my hand. For now it’s safer if you don’t know.” He tilted his head at her. “I can’t really ask you to trust me. God knows I’ve given you no reason. So you’ll just have to put up with it. Have you had enough to eat yet?”

“I…” She decided not to press the issue and answered his question instead. “I’ve had plenty… but I think Ebona wants another. And would you like me to catch some for later? I know a few tricks to keep them fresh.”

“So that’s why merfolk are the world’s premier fishmongers.” He laughed warmly. “And that’s a very good idea.”

Mela caught a couple more trout for Ebona. Then she grabbed some of a special weed merfolk use to keep fish fresh during migrations and wrapped a few more in it. She swam to the shore, reformed her legs, and hauled her catch onto the bank after her.

The Rider laid his hand against her forehead again. “Ah, good, your fever’s gone down.” He took the blanket he’d wrapped her in earlier and soaked it in the lake, then fetched another blanket and did the same with it. He wrapped her in the sodden blankets. “Hopefully those will stop you dehydrating so quickly, but when you start feeling ill again, tell me.”

“Yes, sir.”

“Better than master, I guess.” He lifted her back up on to Ebona’s back. As he climbed up behind her, she pulled the soaking blankets around her and wondered again why he was being so kind. She pulled out the pendant and asked it once again to find the Ice Heart Bracelet. It wavered in the air for a moment as if it was trying to point in two directions at once. Mela scowled at it and concentrated harder. After a moment, it swung towards the northwest and stayed there.

“What happened?” the Rider asked.

“I’m not sure.” She frowned at the pendant and pointed to the north. “Something in that direction was confusing it.”

“Are you sure it’s right now?” he said.

She nodded. “Yes. This is where it was pointing before.”

“Okay.” They set off in that direction again. “You should try to sleep. We’ve got a long ride ahead of us.”

“And when are you going to sleep?” Ebona asked.

“When you’re too tired to go on, and we have to stop,” he replied.

“Don’t be facetious. You know unicorns are tireless, and I know humans aren’t. If you doze off on my back, you’ll fall off.”

“You aren’t my mother, Eb,” he said blandly.

She gave a whinnying little chuckle. “I know I’m not. Any foal of mine would have more sense. And they wouldn’t need to sleep.”

“Then stop treating me like a child.”

“When you stop acting like one. Promise you’ll nap when we next stop. You know I won’t let you sleep too long.”

“But…” he said.

“Promise. You’ll be good for nothing if you don’t sleep.”

He muttered something about her behaving like a mother hen. “If you insist, I’ll take a nap in a couple of hours. It’ll have to be in the afternoon, though. I can’t sleep at night here.”

“Of course not. I’m surprised you can on Gaia,” Ebona replied.


Valeria walked across the courtyard of her palace towards the old oak tree. It was the home of the dryads, who acted as her kingdom’s chief healers. Rai was perched among the branches, still in his resting form, and a young beech dryad was sitting next to him stroking his feathers. Valeria held out her hand and he flew down to her.

“Your Majesty.” He dipped in a bird bow. “How may I serve you?”

“That all depends. Are you well?” she replied.

“I’ve recovered my strength, Your Majesty,” he said a little too quickly.

“So eager.” Valeria smiled at him before turning her attention to the dryad who had jumped down behind him. “Has he?”

The young dryad ducked her head and blushed, her cheeks losing their grey tint and becoming as dark green as her hair, at being addressed directly by her queen. It was a few moments before she replied, but when she did, she had recovered her professionalism.

“Not completely, my Queen, but almost. His wounds have healed and his gem is whole again, but there’s still a slight flaw in it which could render it vulnerable to cracking again if he uses his power.”

“I see. When do you think he will be well enough to go on a mission for me?”

“Hmm…” The dryad cocked her head as she considered the question. “One more night in resting form, I think. Possibly two just to be sure.”

“Two it is.” Valeria scowled at Rai as he opened his beak to protest he was fine. “Two is fine, Rai. It means I can’t send you with Maran and Lextra to intercept the Dark Rider, but that’s okay. I was considering another task for you anyway. It’s something I wouldn’t trust to anyone else, and it can wait a day or so… I hope.” Worry made sparks of lightning briefly crackle through her hair.

“Your Majesty?” he asked.

Valeria turned to the dryad. “What’s your name, child?”

“Sylva, your Majesty.”

“Thank you for your service, Sylva. Please leave us for a moment. I need to talk to Rai privately.”

“Your Majesty.” Sylva bowed and withdrew back to the tree.

“What’s wrong, Val?” Rai asked once they were alone. “I haven’t seen you this stressed since that mess two years ago.”

“I called Huldre down from the mountains. He’s put some sort of plan in motion to get rid of the humans, but he said something which worries me. I need to you to intercept them before his plan comes to fruition, or at least before they’re dead and…” She paused and swallowed. “I need you to capture the brown haired girl – alive.”

“Ali–” Rai began and then turned to stare up at the tallest tower, the one which housed the royal apartments, with a startled caw. “You mean you think…”

Valeria nodded.

“It’s possible,” he conceded. “It never occurred to me to get a good look at her. What did Huldre say?”

“That they’d be coming for Alban and I should use him as bait.” She looked down. “And he has been behaving oddly. I was trying to ignore it, I think.”

“That’s not good.” Rai’s feathers puffed out in agitation and he flapped his wings slightly. “But what are you thinking?”

“The humans have a saying, Rai: What goes around, comes around. If they are so determined to enslave us, perhaps we should return the favour.”

“Valeria!” He sounded shocked.

“The dragons are coming again, Rai. I can feel them now.” She shuddered. “And we can’t fight them.”

“I… that’s true, but it’s…”

“I know. I do know. But I don’t know what else to do. Two years ago I trusted the Warriors, and look what happened.” She bent her head to try and hide her tears. “We can’t trust them, but someone has to fight the dragons and those knights of theirs.”

“Perhaps it was a fluke,” Rai said. “He was only one and it had never happened before.”

Valeria gave a bitter laugh. “You don’ t believe that anymore than I do, Rai. Not since the Dark Rider appeared. The Warriors are just like the rest of their kind. Besides, I have Salia to consider.”


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6 Responses to “Dragon Wars: Land of Myth Chapter Two VI”

  1. Social comments and analytics for this post…

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  2. mjkj says:

    It is nice how he cares for Mela – and I think it would be nice if he would work with our group – and not against them…

    Hmm … more scheming … I wonder why she only needs Karen and not the others…


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  4. Sylver says:

    With the “why she only needs karen” part i am almost certain she has some special powers that are in absolute rarity that the Dark Rider needs.

    Why do you have to be so *mysterious*!!!???

    (He muttered something about her behaving like a mother hen. “If you insist, I’ll take a nap in a couple of hours. It’ll have to be in the afternoon, though. I can’t sleep at night here.”
    “Of course not. I’m surprised you can on Gaia,” Ebona replied.)
    Umm i don’t really get “…I’m surprised you can on Gaia,”

  5. Janthro says:

    Just found your site today, and have been really enjoying things. This installment is really revealing to me. Very interesting stuff going on.

    Lots of things are making more sense to me now.

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