The look on Slate’s face said it all as Nya stood there with the Heart of Magic tight in her fist. The soldiers’ faces told her that they recognized that it was too late, that they had let the magical gem fall into enemy hands. One of the soldiers held a sword to Slate’s throat, his hands trembling. Nya hadn’t even realized that he was under their control until the tip of the sword pierced his skin, and a tiny droplet of blood rolled down the edge.
“That belongs to me!” An angry voice growled from the crush of troops near the doorway. “Do you honestly think you can just waltz in here and take it from me?”
It was clear, despite his disheveled appearance that the angry man with bedhead shouting at her from across the room was the king of Beelzanborg. He was in the middle of an array of troops who were obviously mean
The two dragons glided along for a few hours before Slate began to descend over a field in the territory of a kingdom closer to his own lair and far enough away from Beelzanborg that the soldiers who were clearly rallying to come after the Heart of Magic couldn’t reach them--yet. He touched down in a field of golden wheat, catching the sunbeams and sparkling like each stalk was made of a precious metal.Nya climbed off, the dragon, her blood still pumping hard through her veins as she considered all that had just happened. The Heart of Magic was safe in her bag, which meant she controlled all of the magic in the universe. It was both a hefty burden to bear and a tantalizing bundle of possibilities. If Nya stopped to think about all that she could do with that sort of power, she would never be able to hand it over to Slate, and he’d certainly regret not having taken it the first time she o
The ride back to the lair took hours, but without having to stop and lay low as she had with Slate on the way to Beelzanborg, it wasn’t nearly as long as it had been going. As Nya flew on Gator’s back, she looked down at the ground and saw a slew of people pointing up at them, some waving, others gazing curiously. How long had it been since anyone had seen dragons flying in the daytime? How long had it been since a dragon, other than Slate, had flown over these villages? None of these people could’ve possibly been alive the last time the dragons were able to fly. To the people staring up at them, she imagined it was both terrifying and awe inspiring.She wondered what they had thought when the enormous thunder had flown over earlier, especially if they had seen the people on their backs. Did they begin to realize that the people who had been taken by the dragon during the festival w
“You can’t really be thinking of drawing that sword on me, can you?” Nya asked Gator as his hand hovered above the hilt of his sword.An awkward grin spread across his face. “Of course not,” he said. He pulled his hand away. “That’s just… reflex.”Her eyes went to the weapon and then back at him. His hands were away from the weapon now, but he was still standing uneasy. “I have all the magic in the universe at my disposal. It wouldn’t be smart for you to try and fight me. Besides, I already beat you when I had no magic.”Gator laughed. “You can’t actually think you beat me, can you? I mean, honestly, you know that I let you defeat me so that you would feel strong enough to go after the stone, so that Slate would be convinced that no
It was no surprise that Ruby was a bright red, shiny dragon with no black on her as Slate had, which seemed to make her scales even shinier and brighter the closer they flew to the sun. She was also smaller and more nimble. Nya kept her head down, near Ruby’s neck, as the dragon was going at full speed, in a rush to get Nya back to the battlefield, and it seemed evident Ruby had been wanting to fly for a while. Nya wondered how it had been determined who would stay behind before and who would go, but then, it appeared that Ruby was a maid, not warrior. She flew like someone who would be good to have in battle, though, and Nya was glad that she was in such a rush to get where they were going.Sounds of the battle unfolding met her ears before any of the dragons came into view. It was clear that Beelzanborg was still launching their massive fireballs at the dragons. As they neared the border of B
“Slate!” Nya shouted, helping lower the dragon king to the ground. She bent down next to him, not sure what to do. The arrow still protruded from his chest, near his heart, and the blood was spreading quickly. Staring into his eyes, she thought about the Heart of Magic. “Can’t the stone save you?” she asked. “Can’t you call upon the power from the Heart of Magic to heal you?”Slate looked at the arrow like it was a pesky insect only there to annoy him. He grabbed the shaft of the arrow and pulled it straight out with a grunt, letting it go as even more blood gushed from the wound. Shaking his head, he said, “I cannot do that, Nya.”Her eyes widened as the last chance she could think of to save him began to slip from her fingers. “What do you mean? It contains all of the power in the universe! Sur
The flight from Beelzanborg to Frinwood didn’t take nearly as long as it had taken to get back to the dragons’ lair, and this time, as Nya rode on Slate’s back, her thoughts were of seeing her family again. While she still harbored some ill feelings toward her father for not being completely honest with her about the Dragon Moon Festival, she did look forward to seeing her mother and her sister.More importantly than that, several of the young people who had been chosen as sacrifices over the years were flying back to Frindom with her, most notably Gavin and Alsys. Nya couldn’t help but smile at her friend as he sat atop the back of a blue and yellow dragon, a huge grin on his face. He was excited about seeing his parents again after more than a year. While Alsys hadn’t been gone nearly as long, she was crying tears of joy atop the purple and silver dragon that took her home.
A wedding ceremony was the official way to mark the coming together of Nya Gould and Slate, the Dragon King, the joining of the two kingdoms, and the uniting of two people who loved each other more than anything, but for Nya, all of that was declared long before she walked down the aisle to take Slate’s hand beneath an azure sky and a trellis full of roses.Transferring the power of the Heart of Magic to him hadn’t been something she’d had to think about, once they’d left Frindom the day that the dragons had defeated Beelzanborg once for all. As soon as the magic had gone back to its rightful owner, the entire mountain-bound kingdom had shifted. The mountain itself had split open from the top, the rock tumbling away from the town inside, and the dark black rock and red glow transformed as the city was exposed to the light and the sun. Velvety green trees and grass grew up all around