Thirty Four||Reuiniting

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"This blasted thing," I harshly grumbled as I tried working around my dress. I had taken Alec's words into mind as to equip myself with a better weapon than a few daggers, but at what cost? My patience was wearing thin as I tried cinching up the belt around my waist. I hiked up the dress's fabric over my head, and I was blindly feeling around for the end of the belt so I could tie it up correctly. If someone were to walk into my room seeing me in this state, I wasn't sure how I'd explain myself.

I let the material fall around me in a whisking wind of a black tempest. It seemed like the dress went on forever as I watched it fall around me and finally settling at my feet. The dress's front barely skimmed the ground, while the back had a little extra fabric to follow behind me.

Testing out how the sword felt when I walked around my room, I determined the placement would do. As I walked around, I thought of how I would access the sword if I needed it. I couldn't lift my dress in front of people. That would look a little odd. My hand skimmed over the material where the hilt of the sword lay underneath, an idea forming quickly.

"Sorry," I muttered to nothing in particular. Maybe it was to the person who spent their time working on creating the dress, or maybe it was to the dress itself. Either way, I felt only slightly terrible when I cut a pocket through the fabric, allowing me direct access to the sword if need be. Considering what Alec had said about what could potentially happen tonight, this was the most convenient thing to do. Especially when taking my required attire into account.

I exited my room and made the long trek down the stairs, where I saw the group of riders still huddled around the couches resting in the corner. As if on cue, one of the housekeepers scurried in through the front doors of the Academy, hurrying us all to get ready for the arriving guests. They were here; my parents.

My heart rate unconsciously picked up on its own as I felt my stomach stir in anticipation. I could hear the wheels of the carriages against the soft ground as the horses attached to them pulled them closer. I didn't wait for them to stop. I made my way outside and watched as dozens upon dozens of carriages entered the wide-open space in front of the Academy.

My eyes widened slightly as I scoured the area. Instead of horses, grey-scaled dragons pulled the passengers to the Academy. There were two on each carriage, just like the ones I had previously seen at Wintercrest.

I learned these dragons were bred over the course of years upon years to get to the specific state. They were bred to be smaller than a regular dragon so they could pull the carriages comfortably side by side, but also large enough so they could take flight with the carriage if need be. Apparently, it took some time to finally perfect it, and this was only a few years ago when it happened. Even though this is the purpose of these dragons, and this is all they know, I was not fond of the idea. But then again, this was the same situation as horses being bred to pull carriages or to make difficult journeys with someone on their backs.

As the carriages came to a stop, the coachmen climbed to the ground, almost all in sync. The doors opened, numerous occupants spilled out into the open space. Unrecognizable eyes landed on me for a moment before they went off in search of another. I too was looking for the familiar faces of my family members.

I had the sudden worrying thought they didn't come. Maybe they hadn't been invited or made aware of what was going on tonight. Or did they receive the letter but didn't care? No. I wouldn't think like that. They had to be here.

Families around me gathered into groups, expressing their emotions through loving words and friendly gestures. I watched them with a slight tinge of downcast in my heart. I could feel the pinch of it as I once again looked out into the moving crowd. Where were they?

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