The rustle sounded again. Looking down, the empress focused her eyes upon the long hems of her skirts. There! The smallest of wriggles!
And now, everything was gone.
"Is this your first ritual, lass?" asked a tall, bald man with arms the size of tree trunks, laced with tattoos.
What had the words her mother had always said? It was never too late to make amends. But she wondered if this time, she were indeed too late.
Every tree that surrounded the small glade had a story to tell, a whispered history only those with the skill to listen could hear.
It was becoming more than they could bear.
Rhaynah bowed low to the female dragon, remembering her studies of the proper etiquette to show a dragon. Especially one of which you hoped to care for their eggs. Dragons and humans lived in harmony, each provided a service to the other.
Click. Click click. Click click click click clickclickclickclickclickclickclickclick. "It's not working," Adam finally said.
She moved to the window, looking out upon the land her father had ruled over all her life. At first glance, it appeared all was quiet. But the longer she looked, the more bobbing orange lights Anya could pick out through the distant trees. A few moments later, a wall of people emerged from the forest that separated the castle from the village and they began to cross the long bridge that led to the castle.
The only member of Alessa's family that she seemed to not have disappeared for, was her baby brother, Tobias. Being the youngest two of seven children, with more years separating Alessa and Europa - her nearest in age elder sister - than Tobias had been alive, the pair had always been drawn more to one another's company than any of the other Barnliekki children.