Chapter 57

Vur stood in a clear meadow with the sun shining directly above him. He shielded his eyes with his hand and squinted, looking around him. The meadow extended past his range of sight in every direction. Where am I? Vur thought as he frowned. He closed his eyes and his brow furrowed. Why can’t I remember anything?

“Vur?” A voice from behind him asked.

Vur’s eyes snapped open and he whipped his head around. Tafel stood behind him, her head tilted to one side. “Are you okay?” she asked. “You said you needed to pee, but it’s been over an hour so I came to find you.”

Vur stared at Tafel and furrowed his brow. She was standing with one hand holding her skirt, surrounded by foliage and trees. Her other hand held two white round objects. He looked behind him and saw more trees, the meadow he was standing had disappeared, replaced by a rainforest. He lowered his head and saw a body lying underneath his feet.

“What’s that?” Tafel asked, pointing at the corpse underneath Vur. Vur shook his head and squatted next to the body. He flipped it over and saw Lindyss’ face staring at him. Her eye sockets were empty and black blood flowed from the corner of her mouth. Vur’s chest tightened and he dropped to his knees.

“Auntie!” he shouted as he shook her body. He bit his lip and put both hands on her chest. Green orbs of light floated around his body and gathered onto his hands. His hands trembled as the light flowed around Lindyss’ body before dispersing, unable to enter her body. “Why won’t it work!?”

His body shuddered and black orbs of light flowed from the ground into his hands. They circled around Lindyss’ body before entering it. A low groan escaped her mouth and she sat up. Her empty eyes stared at Vur, her body unmoving. “Auntie,” Vur said as he grabbed her hands. He stared at her and waved his hand in front of her face. “Why aren’t you saying anything? Why?” Tears sprung to the corner of his eyes.

“Tafel,” Vur said as he raised his head, “help me. She’s not-.” Vur froze as his gaze locked onto the objects in Tafel’s hands.

“I know,” Tafel said as she smiled, rolling the objects around. A pair of purple pupils revealed themselves to Vur as the objects twirled in her hands. “Because I did it.”

Vur’s mind blanked and his jaw fell open. “But, why?” he asked in a whisper.

Tafel didn’t say anything as she grinned at him. “You can’t hurt me, remember? You promised,” Tafel said as her grin widened.

Kill. Vur’s body tensed and a black aura in the shape of a dragon crawled out of his back. What’s the matter? Kill her. The dragon whispered in his head.

Vur shook his head. “I can’t.”

Can’t? Or won’t? She disrespected you. She disrespected US. You’re just going to watch your things being taken from you? the voice hissed. If you won’t, then I will. The dragon’s body coiled around his head and slowly sank into his face.

“Stop!” Vur shouted. His body shuddered and a white-hot pain wracked his head. “Who are you?!”

I am you. You are me. We are one, the voice rang out in his head. Embrace me and we will be strong. A real dragon. Unstoppable. Vur’s vision went black.

Vur groaned and sat up. The ground was wet and a body lay at his feet. He looked down and saw blood everywhere. “Tafel?” Vur said with a trembling voice as he reached his hand forward. His hand was red and dripping. “Tafel. Please.” His hand touched her shoulder and her body started to disintegrate.

She deserved it. The black dragon crawled out of his stomach.

“No!” Vur shouted. “Why did you do this?”

Me? It was you. The dragon hissed and images of Tafel flashed through Vur’s head. She screamed and trembled as Vur tore her apart limb by limb. “You promised,” she wailed over and over.

Vur clutched his head and yelled. “Make it stop!”

A chuckle echoed through his head. What are you crying about? That was just the start, the voice said. Look around you.

Vur shuddered as his head rose against his will. His head rotated a full 360° around his head. Sera lay gasping with blood leaking out of her stomach. Grimmy’s decapitated head stared at him with accusing eyes. Snuffles lay on his back, unmoving.

Isn’t being a dragon great? Anyone who questions your authority will die. Anyone even thinks of hurting you will die. You are a king!

“Why?” Vur asked as his hands dropped to his sides.

You asked me to, the dragon said as it curled around Vur’s body.

“I didn’t.” Vur shook his head.

But you did. Every time you feel angry, you ask for my help. The dragon’s tongue flickered in front of Vur’s face. Don’t you understand? You need me.

“No,” Vur mumbled as he shook his head.

But you do.

“No!” Vur growled as he grabbed the dragon by the neck and flung it off his body. “No.”

Then prove it. Prove to me that you’re stronger than me, the dragon said and laughed. I’ll bring them all back to life if you win. If you fail, however… The dragon grinned.

Vur took in a deep breath. Mana surged through his body, but there was no golden glow in his eyes. “I’ll show you,” he said and lunged forwards.

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Sera rested her head on her paws as she stared at Vur who was lying on a mountain of crystals. Lindyss stood next to him, drawing a rune on his forehead with her left hand that had been restored earlier by Leila. Her right hand held a blue crystal which emitted a strand of light towards Vur.

“I never expected him to awaken so early,” Sera said as she sighed. “I should have been there.”

“You couldn’t have known,” Lindyss said while shaking her head. The crystal in her right hand stopped glowing and she picked up another one. “Awakening amongst elves can take hundreds of years; I’ve never even heard of a human awakening after being imprinted. It’s possible that his awakening is related to the large quantity of fruits he’s eaten from the elves’ tree.”

Sera sighed again and closed her eyes. “You’re right. Perhaps I’m the only one to blame since I imprinted him,” Sera said. The cave was silent, except for the low hum of the crystals as they emitted light. Sera opened her eyes and stared at Lindyss. “Guide him with your dreams. Now that he’s awakened, he can’t continue playing around without thinking of the consequences. Let him know that his actions affect everyone around him. Help him awaken.”

Lindyss clenched her jaw and shivered as goosebumps rose on her skin. “I will.”

 

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