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An Excerpt from Battle of the Heirs

It all started with a dream—a vision—and it seemed so long ago. 

Now, Liam knew that what he’d witnessed—the moment Lilae had come to him in his subconscious, was not his imagination at all. They were linked somehow, and her visitations in his dreams were all part of a grand scheme.

It was fate.

Their connection went beyond space and time. And, now, that was threatened.

Liam shot a glance at Lilae, and back to King Ayaden. There was an immediate shift in the energy—one that alluded to impending violence. The soldiers and guards were ready with their weapons, awaiting a command from their king.

The tension in the room was so thick that it pressed against his skin. This wasn’t what any of them expected. They knew it would be a challenge to deal with the reigning king of Auroria. But, no one could have fathomed that he’d curse and kill his mother in front of the entire Aurorian court.

Upon entrance, they’d had their weapons taken away. But, something odd happened as he thought of a plan to get Lilae and the others out of there.

The soldiers didn’t push forward. King Ayaden didn’t shout orders for Lilae’s capture.

His heart beat so loudly that he could hear it in his ears. No—they retreated, staring at the majestic dragon with wide, reverent eyes. 

Runa towered over them all. She glowed, and commanded the room with her sheer size, and presence. From the looks of the crowd, they’d never seen a real dragon before. Their wonder was apparent, as everyone’s jaw hung and eyes remained widened and fixed on the golden creature of legends.

Liam could relate. 

Dragons were supposed to be extinct in Ellowen.

Now, one of the ancient creatures towered above the entire court.

Lilae stood at her side, eyes ablaze, skin bright with red flames that illuminated her entire frame.

Then, she lifted from the ground, hovering like a frightening entity from one’s nightmare.

Liam surveyed the room, and met Rowe’s gaze. Rowe shrugged, but stood ready for a fight if the need arose.

They didn’t need their weapons, but it would have been nice to have them against an entire royal squad of soldiers.

Stiffening, Liam watched as the soldiers lowered their swords, and bowed. To whom they bowed, he was unsure. It could have been Lilae or Runa. But, it didn’t matter. The entire court was transfixed and the tension left the room, fleeting like the smell of lavender on a breeze.

Lilae met his gaze, and nodded, a triumphant smile on her face.

“King Ayaden—brother—I ask for peace,” Lilae said, though her voice boomed throughout the room. 

It gave him chills.

“I have gone to the tower,” she said, meeting the eyes of everyone in attendance, resting on Ayaden. “I have passed the test. And, I have been entrusted with our great protector. I command the dragon. Therefore, I am the chosen one to lead us into victory against the Imperial forces, Wexcyn, and the dark entity that ravages our world.”

King Ayaden’s brows rose at the mention of Wexcyn and the dark entity.

The king stiffened as Lilae lowered herself down to stand before him. He held his ground, but listened to her without the same disdain he’d just held within his gaze moments ago.

“Please hear me out,” she said. The flames faded, and she took his hands into hers. 

He flinched at her touch, but didn’t resist.

“Keep your crown,” she said, her voice softening. “Keep your title. I do not want to take your kingdom. I only want to save it—I want to save all of humanity—all of Ellowen. We can join forces and make a stand that will shift the tides of this war. We can take our power back. We can take all of Eura back.”

Liam watched as Ayaden’s throat bobbed as he swallowed and stared deep into Lilae’s eyes.

“Why would I need your help? Auroria is well fortified. We haven’t been invaded since the Second Age, and those fools were crushed. Their bones still lie in the dirt.”

“Kavien is no fool, and he wields the power of a forgotten god. We are unmatched. The Ancients are following the rules while Wexcyn breaks them. But…they haven’t forsaken us.” She motioned toward Liam and Nani. “They have chosen us to be their champions in this war.”

Liam scanned the room and saw that all of the court and every soldier within the room had bowed before her. 

King Ayaden noticed as well, but Lilae moved closer, holding his gaze. 

“We can do this together, Brother. Please.”

For a moment, there was silence as the king searched Lilae’s eyes. A multitude of emotions crossed the king’s expression, each one more vexing than the last. And, for a moment, Liam expected they’d have to fight their way out.

He knew Rowe was ready.

He was always ready.

Finally, King Ayaden gave Lilae’s hand a squeeze, lowered his head, and nodded.

“And so it shall be,” he said, and held one of her hands up into the air within his own in a triumphant cheer. “Brother and sister united. Together, we will protect this kingdom.”

A collective cheer erupted all around them, and Liam released a sigh.

He and Rowe exchanged another look. 

“That was close,” Risa said, relaxing her shoulders, but still alert as she scanned the room for any potential threats.

“It was,” Rowe said, then nodded to the group of guards watching them. He barred his teeth and spoke loudly enough for them to hear. “I was seconds away from crushing some skulls.”

“Easy now,” Liam said, shaking his head but laughing with relief. “We’re good.”

The guards backed away, but that didn’t quell Rowe.

“Are we?” He asked, holding their collective gaze. He was nearly a foot taller than them, and built like an oak. Only when they turned away did he relax his stance.

“Lilae did it,” Jaiza said, eyes wide with disbelief.

“She did,” Liam said.  

“She summoned one dragon and tamed another,” Nani added with childlike wonder in her eyes.

“That’s almost poetic, Nani,” Rowe said, hooking his thumbs in his belt. 

“She’s right,” Liam said, with a slow exhale as he stared at King Ayaden, who now spoke in whispers to his main advisor—a wiry older man with a long ash-colored beard and narrow eyes that didn’t hide his disdain for what had just occurred.

“After all of those years of being too afraid to speak to strangers, she’s a natural,” Jaiza said, watching Lilae with pride. 

“I just hope this fragile alliance will last long enough to face the real enemy,” Liam said under his breath.

Coming soon!

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