TJ & Rita Webb

“I found the missing princeling, sire.”

Deceiving Dragons

Chapter 7, Part 1

Deceiving Dragons cover - beautiful woman with black hair wearing leather, sitting in a hoop, magic swirling behind her

They call her broken doll,
soulless monster …

…all she wants is to be a real girl.

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Chapter 7, Part 1

~ Emperor Nyzald ~

Emperor Nyzald watches Kage approach the throne and bow low before him. His hunger for power is palpable, a sickly green energy filling the room. It whips around him, pulsing, tasting the air. So easy to manipulate, to stroke the ego, to encourage the desperation. Even with the mental walls preventing telepathy. Foolish human. To think the mind is his only vulnerability.
Stoking the fires of the little bastard’s selfish ambitions, Nyzald manipulates his emotions. Trust may be a foreign concept for him, but a partnership of mutual benefit is the surest way to ensure cooperation. He could always count on Kage doing what is best for Kage.
<You have returned early, Kage. What news do you have from that wretched island? What do they call it again?> As if Nyzald could forget the wretched place after centuries of imprisonment with the primitive locals.
“Kodiak Island, sire. I have news. Tremendous news.” His hawk nose is red in his pale face, and his beady eyes burn with eager intensity. The raven staff in his left hand swivels to face me.
<Go on.>
“But first, my sources have informed me that the illustrious General destroyed your humble servant, one of the Faze, and ignored your summons that you sent him three days ago.”
<I have already promised him to you. Don’t make me revoke my word.>
“This news deserves a great reward, your Imperial Majesty.” The man rubs his hands together as he licks his lips. “I merely want assurances …”
<Which I’ve already given.> Nyzald yawns to show him his teeth. He could use his staff as a toothpick.
He glances around the room and lowers his voice. “I found the missing princeling, sire. He has his father’s face and his mother’s hazel eyes. It’s him.”
Nyzald steps back, ice-cold shock burning against his scales, before he recovers and hides his reaction, but the damage is done. Kage’s eyes narrow, studying the dragon, a satisfied smile on his face.
Irony of ironies. The witch hid her offspring on the same island the Archive left Nyzald as a teenage dragon.
<Faces and eyes can be altered with glamour.>
“It’s definitely him, living his pathetic little life acting as tour guide for visitors, and he’s every bit the insufferable hero his father was. But I know you want evidence.” Kage opens his hand, palm up, and an image of a young man appears, hazel eyes, dark hair, strong facial features, a chiseled jaw. And around his neck was the dragonstone amulet that should have been Nyzald’s.
His father wore that necklace before his mother murdered him. It should have been his centuries ago.
When Nyzald stole this body he now lives in, he discovered that dragon’s immunity to magic meant he could no longer use his own sorcery. The son of two half-dragons — a rune dragon and a faerie dragon — he somehow lost the genetic roulette and didn’t get a dragon form. Barely got telepathy or dragon fear. Instead, he was stuck with his mother’s weak empathic abilities.
To right those wrongs done to him, he body-hopped into the emperor’s brother, then murdered the emperor, all to take the power that should have been rightfully his in the first place.
With one more body hop into the last living rune dragon, he will have all the power he ever wanted.

<I will go to this island and find this boy for myself. If he turns out to be who you say he is, your reward will be great.>
Kage smiles lasciviously, and his raven staff bites at the air, its red eyes glowing.
Nyzald smiles back, showing all his dragon teeth. Oh, how he loves twisting Kage’s greed for power, building his desire to be a dragon, never realizing how much he will lose until it is too late. Once Kage body hops into Dare — something he can’t even do without Nyzald’s empathic abilities to help him — Kage will no longer be any threat to him.
The double doors to the throne room swing open, and Dare strides in, still wearing his dragon-hide armor.

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