Larien stormed out of her Uncle Gabriel’s home and headed straight to where her Dragon was waiting for her. There were two Dragons standing there, where there had only been one earlier, but she didn’t give the second one a thought. She figured it probably belonged to Alyssa, which could mean anything as her sister often visited their parents. She didn’t look around to see if her sister was with her Dragon, didn’t stop to tell anyone where she was going, or anything else she would have normally done. She walked up to her Dragon, jumped up into the saddle, and ordered it to fly her to the Demon Mountains.
“Not a good idea,” Larien’s Dragon commented, as it took to the air with a single bound.
“I didn’t ask your opinion,” Larien snapped back.
“Touchy, touchy,” the Dragon chided.
“You better not blab where we are going to everyone you meet. If you do, I will hear about it and, I will make you sorry that you did,” Larien warned.
“So what could you do about it if I did, give me to another rider? Be still my beating hearts, I am wounded to the core,” The Dragon retorted.
“You will be if I hear you ratted me out,” Larien threatened.
“I won’t have to, there are others who will do it for me,” The Dragon replied, as it stuck its tongue out at Larien.
Larien frowned, as she realized her Dragon was right. She wouldn’t reach the entrance to the caves before the whole Elven Empire knew where she was going. Well, it didn’t matter, because she was here and no one was going to stop her. She would be long gone before anyone could do anything about her plans. She raised her arms into the air and gave a silent call to her Dragonets. It was time they had their first taste of battle and they were still small enough to fit through the entrance of the cave system. By the time they were finished with the Demons, there would be none left.
Larien’s landing and the gathering of her Dragonets were witnessed by two Elves. Her sister, Alyssa, who had landed her Dragon close enough to make it simple for her to follow Larien on foot, and King Lothrariel. He had seen her in a vision and was quick to react, although he wasn’t about to go after her in person. He turned to Rothliel and subtly suggested that his brother follow her.
“I just had a vision, one I am sure you will be interested in,” King Lothrariel began.
“Another infestation of snakes heading for the Great Guardian?” Rothliel joked, as he grinned at his brother. He knew that wasn’t the case, but he couldn’t think of anything that he would be interested in at this moment, especially when Lothrariel was headed for a meeting with his Life Mate, S’Larea.
“Nothing like that,” King Lothrariel assured Rothliel. “We both know that the new Great Guardian is safe where it is, barring the complete annihilation of the Elven Empire. Do you remember the first meeting of the new counsel that we were involved in?”
“Yes, I remember. I also recall thinking that the table we were using was way too big for the number of Elves in attendance,” Rothliel pointed out.
“You remember how I saw my Life Mate in the sphere at that time?” King Lothrariel asked.
“I remember,” Rothliel replied.
“I seem to recall that you saw yours at the same time. I was able to see her as well. She was a brunette with silver blue eyes and she rode a red Dragon,” King Lothrariel described Rothliel’s Life Mate.
“I remember, vaguely, but that was five hundred years ago or so, things change and, to be honest, I never gave it another thought after a while,” Rothliel admitted.
“I know who your Life Mate is and, I know you are not going to be happy about what she is doing at the moment,” King Lothrariel informed Rothliel.
“You are itching to tell me all about it, so why don’t you, instead of playing games?” Rothliel suggested.
“Very well, your Life Mate is Torrent and Serenity’s eldest daughter, Larien,” King Lothrariel replied.
Rothliel couldn’t say he had heard much about the girl, other than that she looked like her mother and was best friends with Eärwen. He remembered meeting Serenity several times over the centuries and had to admit that she was a beauty. She was also a very high-ranking Elf. Did it run in the family? It was possible. A look at Lothrariel’s expression told him it did. Was she reckless about how she used it? He was afraid to ask, but he had to know.
“What is my Elven beauty up to?”
“She is entering the Demon Mountains with her band of Dragonets. She plans to follow in her mother’s footsteps, but instead of going after the Demon Hordes when they gather outside of the lairs, she is headed into the mountains, to try to wipe them out there.” King Lothrariel informed Rothliel.
“Does she have any idea what she is getting herself into?” Rothliel asked. He couldn’t believe that any Elf would knowingly walk into a situation that dangerous.
“She knows there is danger, but she is also very sure that her Dragonets are capable of getting the tasks she wants them to do, done,” King Lothrariel explained.
“There are millions of Demons in those mountains, more than she can begin to imagine. Surely she has been told about that. Look at the thousands they sacrificed without a second thought when they tried to keep us from rescuing Eöl.” Rothliel exclaimed.
“No one knows how many Demons are living in those mountains. We could be over estimating their numbers.” King Lothrariel pointed out.
“We both know better,” Rothliel replied.
“I want you to go after Larien, Rothliel. It is time that you did something for you. It is time that you met and claimed your Life Mate. Don’t miss this opportunity and, by doing so, allow her to do something foolish, something that will get her killed and rob you of the one chance you have to complete a Life Mate bond. Opportunities like this only come once in a lifetime, if we are lucky. Don’t miss yours!” King Lothrariel ordered his brother.
“I have to wonder if the fates will ever give me something simple to do in this lifetime. It seems to always be the same thing, Rothliel, go into the Demon Mountains and save someone from a certain death. I hate those mountains and I hate being underground. I am an Elf, not a mole,” Rothliel complained.
“Stand around complaining for much longer and you won’t need to concern yourself about going into the mountains after her, because she will be on the Demons menu for their evening meal.” King Lothrariel warned Rothliel.
Rothliel frowned at his brother, then threw his hands into the air in a form of helpless surrender, as he turned to head for the Demon Mountains. He wasn’t as reluctant to go after Larien as he sounded, although he would have been a lot happier if it didn’t have anything to do with Demons. He was thoroughly sick of those mountains. He could have groaned in frustration when he arrived at the base of them, just in time to see her smallest Dragonet disappear through the entrance to the cave system. That meant she was already inside.
“The least Lothrariel could have done was open a portal close to the area where the tunnels start. He hasn’t been able to think of anything but S’Larea ever since she sent him that message saying that their time had come,” Rothliel complained, as he talked to himself. He had a feeling something momentous was about to happen, and he couldn’t put his finger on the reason. It, however, had to do with Larien and whatever was about to happen inside those mountains. That meant it was up to him to make sure everyone got out in one piece. He wondered whom he had to thank for this honour.
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