CHAPTER 22 - Of Zephyr against Oyster

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Note: Place your bets here - who'd win this duel - Zephyr or Oyster? (a rough image up above)

P.S. I used to pronounce it as Zee-fire...but it is Zeh-fuh! Kinda weird but okay. 

Also, a flashback chapter after a long time, so, good luck. Let's hear your theories. 

*** 

The rest of the Round Two was passing in a blur. All the eight dragons of the eight remaining Defensors, were fighting toe-to-toe in every duel. I looked at the parchment, with the new list that I had prepared in my calligraphed hand, clipped to my wooden board. By this time, I knew the ranking of every Defensor by heart, but carrying this parchment had become a habit.

 By this time, I knew the ranking of every Defensor by heart, but carrying this parchment had become a habit

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I stared a little too hard at a certain name in the list, hating him with all the life in me. If it were not for his arrogance, Doran would have been in the Conquest, fighting like a warrior that he is. King Orlon was on a winning streak and it was alarmingly worrisome.

Only four Defensors, one from each of the Four Realms, were to qualify for the finale. And for Summer Realm, I was kind of rooting for Lord Ralph, First Son of House of Aries. I huffed to myself as I prayed to the Throne, to turn the voting results of Summer Realm in Lord Ralph's favor, rather than their current King's. That'd show him.

"Eleni, look there he is, our Prince Charming and his amazing dragon," Serena said from my side, with unhealthy amount of excitement.

I looked up from the parchment, at the zooming dragon, whose wings were whiter than the clear skies, fairer than the gleam of pearls. I distinctly remembered, my first sighting of this dragon in Liberan, when Prince Nova had paraded all through the Spring Realm, turning the voting in his favor. And very soon, the results would be out, too. Undoubtedly, Prince Nova would be the next King of the Spring Realm.

But this prince had a secret - he was being mistreated. Recalling the image of a tired and woebegone Prince Nova, made me clench my fists with trepidation. Never in a million years, could anyone imagine what the mighty Prince was going through – I felt my heart breaking for him.

But reminding myself, that it was not my concern, I shook my head.

I watched, unfazed as the dragon's white scales glowed in the sunshine, the curved horns over its head, one shorter than the other, looked befitting as a crown of its own. Air Dragons were usually smaller and of a lean-built, that rendered them the ability to fly the highest and fastest. But this beautiful creature, whom Prince Nova had named Zephyr, looked sturdier than most Air Dragons.

Prince Nova, perched on its back, looked majestic. His golden-brown hair, curling with the wind, his entire demeanor shining gloriously, matching that of his dragon's.

But the sight wasn't making sense to me. How could he be acting so well, when he was in literal custody of someone?

My heart ached as I stared at him, unblinking. The image of a tortured Prince Nova from the library, flanked by menacing guards, flashed in my mind yet again. How was he masking it all so well, while enduring all the pain he clearly was in? Who could be more powerful than the Gemini Prince?

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