Dragon Guardians of Magic Book 3
‘Dragon Knight punches you in the face with thrilling action and even higher stakes… Loved it!’
Peri and Wild have saved their kingdom, but at what price?
The last thing Peri intended to do was to save Kalin only to hand it over to the elves. But when Prince Elsinor invades her kingdom and whisks her baby dragon to Thelanore, Peri is powerless to stop him. She can’t do magic without her dragon, after all… or can she?
Meanwhile, Roy’s left to pick up the pieces after Peri and Wild’s disappearance. All signs point to peace and prosperity between the elven and human kingdoms, but his gut tells him otherwise.
When his heart leads him to Thelanore in search of Peri, he awakens a magical heritage he never knew he had, and ends up walking a path that will mold him into becoming one of the elven nation’s greatest fighters—a dragonknight.
Peri and Roy are getting closer to the truth behind the dragons’ disappearance, and discovering powers they never expected to have.
But the price of knowledge and power is high, and what they reveal could jeopardize more than their lives—the fate of the entire magical world may be at stake.
Keep scrolling to read the sample chapters.
Release Date: 23 Feb 2022
Author: Juliana Ariffin
Publisher: Juliana Ariffin
Genre: Epic Fantasy, Sword & Sorcery, Action Adventure, Fantasy Romance, Coming of Age Fantasy, Dark Fantasy, Fantasy YA, Dragons & Mythical Creatures, Folk Tales & Myths
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Peri stared at the singed black glove lying limply amid the rubble that had collapsed from the explosion on the balcony above. It was all that was left of Jorran. The glove, and the bittersweet scent of ashes and magic that lingered in the air.
“We’ve got to go!” Roy tugged at her arm. She staggered, still trying to look back. But Roy forced her to turn around, then maneuvered her across the balcony and into the room beyond. It was a small sitting room that lay directly below the ballroom. Benbrek and Rimdall were dragging Koslov across the floor, one of his arms around each of their shoulders, and his long legs trailing behind him as the short dwarves struggled under his weight.
Peri automatically moved to take over, propping him up while Roy strode ahead to Aldric, who was sprawled in the middle of the room, still unconscious. He grabbed the King’s Guard’s arms and hauled him onto his back. Meanwhile, Thimmin the dwarf crept towards the door to the hallway and cracked it open.
“Make sure no one’s out there before you go out,” Rimdall growled. Cold sweat dotted his brow, and his face was pale as he rubbed his lower back. Benbrek hovered at his side, his hands fluttering uselessly and his expression worried as he looked from Thimmin to Aldric and then Koslov.
“I’m not an idgit! This isn’t the first time I’ve had to sneak away undetected,” Thimmin grumbled, still a little drunk from the wine he had swilled earlier. “And it better not be the last time. I’m too young to die, for Harim’s sake.” He burped, then covered his mouth and gestured for them to follow him out into the hallway with his other hand.
Peri struggled to keep up with Roy as they trailed behind the dwarves. They peeped around corners and down hallways to check that the coast was clear, using their shorter height and smaller size to their advantage. She moved forward and stopped at their signals, unable to process much beyond the flash of images that kept flitting through her mind.
The bronze dragon dragging Wild by the scruff of his neck through the portal.
King Thadeus falling unconscious and disappearing into the forest in the arms of an elven warrior.
The rope she’d just climbed down falling to the ground. Then Jorran’s grim but determined gray eyes gazing down at them for a split second before a purple blast consumed him and obscured her vision.
He’d planned to do it. Planned to buy them time and the opportunity to get away.
Her head throbbed from the impact she’d received when she and Roy had been thrown back by the explosion. But it was nothing compared to the hollowness in her chest from losing so many people so quickly.
She had no idea whether Jorran had survived the blast. And there was no telling whether the elves would keep King Thadeus alive, despite what Prince Elsinor had said.
The only surety she had was that Wild had to be alive. It took a lot to kill a dragon. So he was probably still alive, somewhere in Thelanore. Fighting hard and getting hurt, for all she knew.
Peri blinked tears from her eyes. She couldn’t feel their bond anymore, and the part that relied on that connection to him was slowly unraveling within her. She kept trying to reach for him, to feel his emotions and lean on his warm little presence to anchor herself in reality. But he was too far away for her to feel anything from him. And each time she came up short, that part of her just wanted to curl up on the ground and die.
“Shh!” Koslov lifted his head. His pale face appeared from under his dark, blood-soaked hair, his eyes glazed with pain as he glared blearily at her. “Someone’s coming.”
Peri clamped her jaw shut. She hadn’t even realized she’d started quietly sobbing.
The elven warriors were still pursuing the guests who’d fled from the ballroom. They’d been hearing the screams and struggles of those who’d been caught echoing through the halls above them for some time now. Thanks to their escape down the balcony, their own group had managed to evade the elves so far. But it looked like their luck was beginning to dry up.
Rimdall gestured frantically at them, and Peri and Roy sped up their steps, then turned. The dwarf held up a small mirror as they waited, using it to peer around the corner and down the long corridor they’d just come from.
An elven warrior appeared on the tiny surface of the mirror, passing through the hall at the end of the corridor. He was looking from left to right with his sword raised. More elvish voices rose from behind him.
They didn’t stay to see where the elf would go. Instead, they hurried on towards the stairs descending to the ground floor. Since Koslov had regained consciousness, he and Peri took over Aldric from Roy so that he could scout ahead with the dwarves, Aldric’s sword in his hand.
They were halfway down the stairs when the dwarves warned them, alerted by their superior hearing.
Peri and Koslov ducked behind a huge statue on the landing. It depicted one of Kalin’s bygone kings sitting down with his sword across his knees, and was wide enough for them to hide Aldric’s body as well as themselves. The dwarves and Roy had already reached the bottom of the stairs, where they could melt into the shadows beneath it.
Once Aldric was hidden, Koslov shifted, passing more of the brawny King’s Guard’s weight onto Peri as he hefted his sword and prepared to step out. Peri shook her head at him frantically. He was hurt. There was no way he could win in a fight, let alone against an elven warrior.
But Koslov merely slanted his eyes at Roy. They two seemed to reach a silent agreement, and Roy emerged from the shadows he’d been hiding in and began to creep stealthily up the stairs towards them.
Thimmin shrank further into the shadows, but Benbrek tiptoed after Roy while Rimdall mimed smacking his forehead with a frustrated expression and followed on his heels.
A warrior elf prowled down the staircase like a cat, every movement measured and graceful. He turned towards Koslov before the King’s Guard had even fully emerged from behind the statue, as if he’d sensed the currents of air shifting from his movements.
Koslov swung his sword up, aiming for his belly. The elf whirled away, his own sword slicing up and forward to take the guard’s head off. Roy shot up the stairs behind the elf just in time and knocked the elf’s feet out from under him with a sweep of his leg. The warrior tumbled to the ground with a dull thump, then choked as Koslov pressed a knee onto his neck. He struggled for several moments, then stilled.
“Drag him behind the statue—” Koslov whispered. But they could already hear more elves hurrying towards them.
Three warriors appeared at the end of the hallway. The tallest sprinted to the top of the stairs and vaulted down onto the landing behind Roy, lighting in a crouch. Another elf hurled his spear at Koslov. The King’s Guard threw himself into a roll to evade it, coming up straight into the path of the third warrior who’d run down to engage him.
It didn’t seem as if any of the elves had realized Peri was hiding behind the statue yet. Nor had they spotted Rimdall and Benbrek, who’d darted to hide behind the statue beside her and Aldric.
Roy was barely managing to hold off the elf that had come at him. He’d slashed at the elf before he even landed, and forced the warrior onto the steps below him. But there was no telling how long he could continue to press his advantage.
Meanwhile, Koslov was sandwiched between the other two elves. It was impossible for him to fight them both with one of his arms broken, so Peri reached out with her magic just as the spear-throwing elf lunged at him.
She’d meant to yank the King’s Guard off his feet and pull him sideways towards her. But instead of smoothly moving Koslov, her magic jerked him sideways, then fizzled out.
Luckily, the King’s Guard stumbled anyway, and the spear that had been aiming squarely for his back plunged deep into the belly of the other elf with a soft, wet sound. The warrior shuddered, his sword that had been arcing towards Koslov’s neck sinking deep into his companion’s shoulder instead.
The elf who’d taken the spear to his belly slumped and fell motionless to the floor. The elf he’d wounded grabbed his shoulder and leaped back, his eyes darting around until they landed on Peri, hidden in the shadows behind the statue.
“Asura!” he exclaimed, his eyes wide and accusing. He’d recognized her from the ballroom.
He moved to run back up the stairs, but Koslov darted forward and sliced his sword across his hamstrings. The elf howled and struck blindly with his spear, then fell head-over-heels down the stairs.
Koslov reared back to avoid being stabbed and crashed straight into Roy, knocking him to the ground before he too collapsed on the stairs. The third elf seized the opportunity and slashed his sword down at Roy’s neck. Peri flung out a shield.
But again, the magic failed her.
Roy cried out as the sword descended at him.
Panicked, Peri tried again, forcing her magic out with all her might. She couldn’t let him die. Couldn’t lose yet another person. Pain shot through her core as a frisson of magic slipped out of her and clanged against the sword. The metal fractured into silver slivers that showered onto the floor.
The elf took a step back, his expression one of disbelief, as Peri slumped, boneless, to the floor.
“Peri!” Roy gasped.
Blood poured out from her nose and her vision swam. Wild wasn’t around to save her this time. His magic wasn’t there to shore up the cracks in her being and make the pain go away. It flooded over her in devastating waves, so painful that Peri wished she could pass out.
And yet she remained conscious, unable to do more than reach out helplessly as the elf’s expression changed from shocked to determined. Taking advantage of Roy’s distraction, he disarmed him swiftly, then struck his temple hard.
Roy collapsed to the ground with a heavy thump and immediately passed out. Another group of warriors joined them on the stairs. Several elves grabbed Roy, Koslov, and Aldric and hauled them away. The rest stood around Peri, discussing amongst themselves as they stared at her.
She got the impression that none of them wanted to touch her. But in the end, one of them who looked like their leader reached out and slung her over his shoulder.
Peri looked up as they climbed the stairs, anxiously scanning the darkness behind the statue for some sign of the dwarves.
But they seemed to have disappeared into thin air. They alone had gotten away, while Peri and the others were dragged back to the ballroom and flung onto the floor in front of Prince Elsinor.
* * *
Peri pushed herself up with her arms into a sitting position the moment the elves released her. She couldn’t hold herself steady and wavered from side to side, her vision and hearing coming and going as her body struggled to cope with what she’d done to it.
But she refused to cower down in defeat.
She looked defiantly up at Prince Elsinor and the people around her. But no one paid any attention to her. The only exception was Lady Violet, who sent a glance her way. Prince Elsinor didn’t even twitch a limb at the hate she aimed his way.
It wasn’t surprising, considering many other guests who’d tried to escape were also being hauled in like stray cattle.
Her eyes began to ache from glaring. Peri gave up on it and instead took the time to center herself and look around. The ballroom was a wreck, with no sign of the grandeur and joy that had permeated it just a few hours ago.
The balcony they’d escaped from was no longer obscured by the heavy table they’d hidden behind. And now that she had the time to look properly at it, Peri realized from its location in the ballroom that it was also the same balcony where she’d kissed Roy. But it was almost completely unrecognizable now, with no sign of Jorran or his remains. All that could be seen was rubble, dust, and blood-stained rags that may or may not have been the mage robes he’d stubbornly worn to the feast.
Peri buried her sorrow deep within her and focused on the details, trying to anchor herself so she wouldn’t descend into hysteria.
The air was thick with countless scents. The smell of sweat, wine, and perfume still lingered in the air, but it was almost overpowered by the scent of dust, ashes, and gore. The latter was especially strong, and it wasn’t just because her nose hadn’t stopped bleeding.
Peri lifted a hand and wiped the back of it across her mouth and nose. The blood that smeared across her skin was thick and dark, but it was nothing compared to the sticky pool of blood that had mixed with ashes and was slowly hardening under their feet.
She stared at the swirl of muddy color. Her hearing was getting better, and she was finally picking up on the conversation the prince was having with Kalin’s nobles. It seemed they were busy bargaining over the kingdom’s future. If one could call the human nobles’ fearful surrender bargaining.
Lady Violet’s voice was the easiest to catch. It was familiar to Peri and especially noticeable whenever the lady lowered her tone seductively or pitched it higher while injecting a smile into her words. Her eagerness to please and pledge her loyalty to the prince was sickening.
Peri didn’t know why she even bothered to try. She didn’t even need to pay much attention to catch the amused nonchalance in the prince’s voice.
Kalin was a mere plaything to him, and they were all just pieces on a chessboard he wasn’t even interested in conquering.
“Kalin will remain as it always should have been—an oasis of nonmagical people under the benevolent guardianship of Thelanore,” Prince Elsinor drawled. “Life will go back to normal for most of you, with a few exceptions—the dragon and my cousin will not return. And all the Folk on your shores will be… invited back to their homelands where they belong. In return for harboring them for all these years, we will help Kalin rebuild after the pirate invasion. And in exchange for our continued protection, you will send tribute to us every year—no more than what you can afford to spare, of course.”
A chorus of voices rose in agreement as the nobles nodded.
“Magic doesn’t belong in Kalin anyway.”
“And that dragon would have created so much trouble.”
“I’m sure Duke Grayhawk would have agreed to these terms if he hadn’t been so hasty. Such a pity.”
“This is everything King Thelanore was working for, in essence.”
“You’re more than gracious, Your Highness.”
Peri closed her eyes, wishing she couldn’t hear the relief in some of their voices as they acquiesced to the prince’s terms.
All of King Thadeus’ hard work, and all the progress they’d made trying to integrate the mags and nonmags was going to be erased just like that.
As she listened to them continue to speak, the burning rage Peri had felt from the moment she’d felt Wild taken from her began to fade away into despair and hopelessness.
Roy, Koslov, and Aldric had been piled up close to her, together with the other guests who were hurt or unconscious. From listening to the discussion, Peri knew that they wouldn’t be harmed. The initial show of violence and force that had been inflicted on them had been purposely done to shock and subdue. There was no point to it anymore, now that the elves had won.
There would be no one coming to Peri, Wild, or King Thadeus’ rescue. They would fade away from Kalin’s memory, traded for a life of relative peace and harmony under Thelanore’s subjugation.
This was a good thing for most of her human countrymen and women. Perhaps even for the mags who felt they no longer fit in Kalin’s society, and the Bloodless who’d always longed to go home where they belonged.
Peri leaned forward and hung her head as hot tears dripped down her cheeks.
Wild was too far out of her reach now.
And with him gone, her magic would fade as if it had never been. If she survived this, she would return to being just another orphan girl who’d once had the adventure of a lifetime. If she so willed, she would probably be accepted back into the Circle and allowed to return to Mossy Gorge temple, where she could continue living as if nothing had changed.
Wild would probably forget her too, eventually. Especially if her magic faded to the point where their bond dissolved. Even if the elves had kidnapped him by force, he was too precious for them to harm. And once he got used to their rules, he would probably prosper in Thelanore—more than he ever could have in Kalin. It was where magic was most abundant after all, and where other dragons like him apparently still lived.
There was really nothing to hold them together… except for the fact that they were family.
And Peri’s own stubborn refusal to give him up.
She curled her fingers in the bloody ashes by her knees. There was precious little she could do on her own. But just because Peri’s own parents had never come for her didn’t mean it was all right for her to take the easy route and abandon Wild. She loved him, just as much as he loved her.
And real family didn’t allow silly things like distance, a lack of magic, or an army of horrible elven warriors to stop them from trying to return to each other, did they?
Peri bit down hard on her lower lip to curb a crazy impulse to jump to her feet and claw Prince Elsinor’s eyes out.
Instead, she closed her eyes and instinctively felt for Wild, just as she’d done countless times since he’d been taken through the portal. She expected to come up empty again, so she braced herself, preparing to use the desolation to firm her convictions to keep going until she found him.
But this time, to Peri’s great surprise, she felt a touch of warmth, like the slide of Wild’s hot scales against her cheek whenever he brushed against her. Magic slipped into her through her fingers, soothing the cracks in the depths of her being.
Peri opened her eyes in amazement, then slowly began to sift through the ashy mess beneath her until she uncovered several glittering red crystals that sparkled like rubies.
Surprise, relief, and dismay warred within Peri as she was suddenly struck with realization. The aurolite must have come from Wild… from the blood he’d shed when the bronze dragon had attacked him. There wasn’t much—he’d already been depleted of magic when he’d started bleeding. But it was plentiful compared to the empty hollowness inside her.
Peri shuddered and quickly began to gather up as many of the tiny crystals as possible. Her body devoured the magic greedily, soaking it up as soon as she touched the translucent droplets, but she kept the crystals anyway, along with any silvery blue scales she came across. She was desperate for anything that remained of Wild.
She was so engrossed in collecting her treasure that she didn’t notice that the discussion between Prince Elsinor and the Kalin nobles had changed focus until a sweet voice mentioned her name.
“Your Highness,” Lady Violet said. “You mentioned you were interested in mags. But what about magic users? Most of our mages are incompetent at doing magic without buying magical equipment. But Peri is different—she has her own magic and is the strongest magic user in our entire kingdom. That’s why she could bond the dragon, Wild.”
Peri hurriedly dropped the last piece of aurolite she’d found into the bottom of her shoe and looked up just as Prince Elsinor turned to her.
Lady Violet stood slightly beyond him. Peri shot a glare in the beautiful woman’s direction, then lifted her chin up to meet Prince Elsinor’s eyes as he studied her.
“So, you were the one Laures was talking about,” Prince Elsinor said, a note of interest in his voice. “That’s why you were brazen enough to think you could get in my way.” He walked over, then reached out and struck her across the face in an offhand manner.
Peri collapsed to the ground and skidded several feet away, disturbing the dust and ashes beneath her. The pain from the blow was significant, but Peri ignored it. Instead, she surreptitiously picked out more aurolite pieces as she struggled upright, using her ragged skirts to hide the movements of her hands. Thank serpents the dress Daisy had put on her was voluminous. The amethyst-blue fabric did a fine job hiding what she was up to.
“It’s odd though. As far as I can tell, you don’t seem to be descended from the Folk,” Prince Elsinor continued as he stalked over to her. He bent over at the waist to scrutinize her, his dark eyes intent. “How is it that you have enough magic to bond a dragon?”
Peri stayed silent.
He lifted his hand to strike her again, then paused when Lady Violet spoke up once more.
“You are most astute, Your Highness. Her kind are rare, but not completely unheard of in our kingdom. We call such humans witches. They have long been feared in our society.”
One of the elven warriors who’d delivered Peri to the ballroom spoke up then, speaking rapidly to the Prince as he showed him the jagged remains of his blade that Peri had shattered with magic.
Prince Elsinor’s brows lifted, and he considered her as he stroked his chin. “Interesting. Very interesting. But even so, I can’t allow you to live. The day you bonded the dragon is the day you signed your death warrant.”
Then, moving faster than Peri could dodge, the prince snatched the sword from the warrior, and plunged its jagged edge into her chest, right over her heart.
“N-no…” Peri gasped. At first she felt nothing, just the impact from his strike. Then the prince pulled the narrow blade out, and fiery hot pain exploded in her chest. Blood poured down her front as Peri collapsed onto the floor, the pain slowly receding to be replaced by numbness… and a strange, faint awareness that something deep inside her had irrevocably shattered.
Quinn pressed his lips tightly together as he crouched down over Peri’s motionless and bloody body in a corner of the ballroom. He had known what would eventually happen to her. And yet, he couldn’t help feeling sad and regretful over her death. He was the one who’d led her to this fate after all.
But sacrifices had to be made for the greater good. She wasn’t the first, nor would she be the last innocent soul who had been forced to sacrifice for the sake of the Guardians. And besides… he had already warned her and that boy of her’s multiple times that a price had to be paid for their magic.
Quinn glanced over at Roy’s prone body. The boy lay a few feet away, with his hand outstretched towards his sweetheart. He had made sure to personally see to Roy himself when the guards first brought him in, and knew that he couldn’t possibly have seen what had happened to Peri. But Roy’s eyes still shifted beneath his eyelids, and his fingers twitched restlessly, as if he could sense that something terrible had happened to the woman he loved. Quinn sighed. There was a time when he too had been as naïve and devoted as these two children. But he hadn’t survived this long by sticking his neck out every single time an injustice occurred.
Slowly, he reached out a hand to touch Peri’s forehead. He was halfway through muttering a prayer when one of her eyelids fluttered beneath his fingers.
He’d seen Prince Elsinor kill her himself. And yet… Quinn hesitated, then swiftly checked the stab wound in her chest. It was still there. But the edges were slowly knitting together, and her chest was still rising and falling, albeit faintly.
She was actually healing.
Quinn’s breath stalled in his chest for a moment. Then he quickly schooled his face and looked up to survey the ballroom. The warriors and mages were combing through the bodies, bespelling all the live humans, making sure the mags were incapacitated, and separating out the dead.
He turned back to Peri. The wisest decision would be to finish what Prince Elsinor had failed to do and properly put an end to her. Yet somehow, Quinn found himself shifting his fingers from Peri’s eyes to her ears as he began to utter a spell instead of a prayer. Slowly, Peri’s features sharpened, and her ears grew, becoming long and tapered. Quinn quickly stopped the spell, then surreptitiously took out a dagger, heated it with magic, and sliced off the tips. Then he laid another spell on top of the wounds to prevent her ears from rejuvenating—just in case—and stood up, muffling the giggles that were trying to escape his lips with his sleeve as he pretended to cough and walked away.
By the time Quinn approached Prince Elsinor an hour later, both Peri and Roy had already been taken away.
The prince had seated himself on King Thadeus’ throne on the stage while he waited for the work to be done. Quinn watched him for a moment as he stared into the empty eye sockets of a blackened skull he’d collected from amongst the ashes, as if all the answers to the universe were hidden in its scorched depths.
What a fool.
He suppressed the urge to roll his eyes, then respectfully bent his back into a perfect bow and said in perfect Elvish, “Your Highness. It is done. Kalin is yours.”
Prince Elsinor glanced up, a hint of irritation in his eyes. Then he surveyed the elven warriors and mages who were gathering to await his next commands. “Where is Laures?”
“Dead, most likely.” Quinn gestured to the circle of blackened bones and ash that was all that remained of the mages and warriors who had fought against Wild. “Dragonfire, I presume. It will take a while to identify the bodies. But don’t worry, his dragonstone is safe with me.”
Prince Elsinor frowned. “You are familiar with the magic in it?”
Of course. Who knew better than he?
Quinn fought down a wretched giggle that threatened to burst out of his throat and bowed his head with reverence. “I have had some practice, Your Highness.”
“Then proceed.” Prince Elsinor waved his hand impatiently.
Quinn bowed his head once more and drew out the dragonstone he’d stolen from Laures as soon as the chaos broke out. The dragon magic it had collected from Wild was already almost depleted by half, thanks to the nitwit mage.
Voices immediately rose as he wielded the magic without bothering to shield himself first. Quinn inwardly scoffed and exerted his will to suppress the cacophony. The haunted wails rose for a split second longer before the voices realized just who they were trying to taunt and immediately withdrew.
The ensuing silence that followed prompted Quinn’s lips to curl in a satisfied smirk.
The portal was twice as wide as the one Laures had crafted. And instead of appearing one line at a time, it shimmered into being in half the time it had taken Laures to open his.
Magic immediately swept into the ballroom like a breath of fresh air, causing all the elves to sigh in relief. Quinn silently sucked in a breath as he fought an almost uncontrollable urge to throw himself through the portal and roll around in the grass on the other side. He hid his shaking hands in his robes—they’d turned momentarily green—then obediently turned to wait on Prince Elsinor.
“Not bad.” The prince’s expression was considering as he gave Quinn a second and longer look. “You weren’t among the mages who accompanied me. How long have you been in Kalin?”
“Longer than Laures, Your Highness.” He couldn’t help it, he just had to boast. The level of power the elven mages possessed these days was just too pathetic.
“Hmm.” Prince Elsinor’s lips twitched into an approving smile as he surveyed Quinn. “Well, perhaps that is long enough. Talent like yours is wasted in this backwater colony.”
You’re telling me?
Prince Elsinor flicked a dismissive finger at him. “Return to Thelanore to serve me. Your skill with dragonstones would be more useful there. The others can stay and keep an eye on this country. I want to be the first to know if more dragon eggs are found.”
Quinn bowed once more as Prince Elsinor strode through the portal back to Thelanore along with the highest-ranked warriors and mages. Once they were through, he turned to one of the new elven mages who had been selected to be left behind to serve in Kalin. The elf was eyeing him curiously, with thinly veiled jealousy.
“I don’t remember seeing you amongst Laures’ mages when they left,” the elf muttered.
“I don’t remember seeing you either,” Quinn sneered. He paused as a spark of indignation surfaced in the mage’s eyes, then added, “Is there something else you want to say?” he added, gathering the dragonstone’s magic to him in an unspoken warning. “Something urgent enough to delay my attending Prince Elsinor?”
“Of course not, honored mage,” the mage hurriedly bowed and gestured towards the portal. “Please.”
“Very good.” Quinn released the dragon magic before too much could leak out from the dragonstone. What a waste! Then, without waiting a second more, he hurried across the threshold of the portal and hastily closed it, almost slicing the mage’s nose when he didn’t jump back fast enough.
Quinn glanced around the forest, barely able to see anything through the tears that pooled in his eyes.
He’d finally made it.
All those years, all the scheming, suffering, and waiting…
It was all worth it now that he’d finally returned home.
Want to know what happens next?