Chapter Twenty

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          Much to both her satisfaction and disappointment, Wren hadn't followed her. For once the moron was smart and listened to her, leaving her alone in the darkness. Siobhan hoped he made it out safe, but she couldn't turn back to help him if he didn't. Her legs propelled her forward through the lightless tunnel winding deeper into underground and far away from the magic sealing shelter of the spires. Stone turned to dirt, held up by nothing. At least nothing she could see that might explain a tunnel deep in the ground. Worms and roots dug through the wet soil. Wind howled through the winding hole, brushing her hair and braids off her shoulders.

The tunnel flattened out and Siobhan stopped when it fed into a wider room. She pressed her back to the wall, a worm dropped on her shoulder and wiggled against her body, one hand brushed it away. Voices came from the next room. Her heart fluttered with the tightening of her muscles. She closed her eyes and tried to fight off the nausea still boiling through her.

"Why did you allow them to escape?"

Siobhan peered around the corner to see a man pacing in front of a row of massive floor to ceiling bars. Light filtered in through a doorway opening to a set of stone stairs leading upward, but the light ended immediately at the bars. A golden crown on his head glinted in the light. She frowned when the crimson velvet cape flipped off his shoulders to reveal the golden tunic underneath with the black emblem of the eagle on his chest.

"What is the king of the lowlands doing down here?" she whispered.

The king adjusted his elbow length leather gloves and continued to pace. "The boy should never have been allowed to leave. I can send my generals now and wake those damn mages. He'll be back here before the sun rises." He grunted and crossed his arms. "I am still the king! Do not speak to me with such disrespect. Remember who freed you."

Siobhan glanced to the bars. Nobody stirred within the shadows, but she knew the king wasn't talking to himself. While she never pictured him to be a sane man, what sane man would attempt to enslave any species with magic, she also didn't see him as crazy.

"What something else?" he asked. "Who? I thought that was taken care of. You told me that was taken care of during my father's final reign!"

The king stomped his feet. Siobhan covered her mouth to keep from laughing when he hopped in place and screamed. Though she'd never met the king, she'd heard stories of his child-like behavior when he didn't get his way. Born into luxury without a single war to his name the king was as spoiled as they came even as he neared his thirtieth year of life. He crossed his arms and lowered his head until his chin almost touched his chest.

"Are there any other surprises I should be aware of? Good." He raised and examined his nails. She could almost guess they were groomed regularly and as clean as his hands. Sometimes she thought royalty could scratch their ass and come up with roses. "You have twenty-four hours and then the free pass the boy has been given will be over. He will not leave the city. Understand? Don't you dare threaten me! I am your king and you shall obey! There is no point in prolonging this. The longer he remains at large, the longer I have to wait to take the highlands. You promised me the highlands in exchange for your freedom! I always get what I want."

He sighed and tucked his hands behind his back. Though the ground looked as moist as the walls with worms crawling through the soil, his boots didn't sink as he walked. The cape flapped behind him, stirred by both his walking and the wind spilling down from the stairs.

"For years my family has dreamed of this time. A time when we can wipe uncontrolled magic from this land. We will become the controllers of all magic! It is coming together quite nicely, and I grow bored of waiting. First, we waited for you to re-charge. Three generations and it is me you choose to lead you. Me. Now we wait for your stupid pet to wake up and let him walk free as if we don't know his every move."

Draygon Frost | Book 1  | ✔️Where stories live. Discover now