Chapter 3:



Aurelia was deep in thought as she landed alongside the red drake, whose name she still had yet to know, and the flight of dragons accompanying him. They quickly went on their way to deliver their load of fruit, carefully trotting away with it to their destination. 

Was his invitation a jest? No, surely it wasn’t. He exuded confidence and charisma, and she found it hard to believe such a dragon would be teasing her. He was serious, but how should she respond? Her wing-jerk reaction would have been to snort at him and refuse, but that was incredibly rude. Aurelia knew she wasn’t exactly the nicest of dragons, but she was by no means the most impolite, either. But she had no interest in this drake she had just met, so accepting his invitation to fly with him at the celebration of the Queen’s eggs being laid, would also be unforgivable. Aurelia’s brain spun in circles, and she wasn’t sure what to say yet. 


Awkward silence. 

The red drake swiveled his ears forwards, respectfully waiting for her response. Finally, she found the right words she was looking for. 

“I appreciate the thought, but, er, no thank you... We’ve only just met.” She stepped away, dipping her head politely. “I don’t even know your name... I’m sorry.” 

His wings wilted slightly in response to her rejection. But surprisingly, he didn’t seem bothered. At least not nearly as much as she anticipated. He quickly regained his energy, flashing a toothy grin and spreading his wings. A mango dropped from the grip-full of fruit he carried in his talons, rolling away and instantly disappearing into the bustling crowd of dragons moving around them. He took no notice. 

“You’re right! I haven’t even introduced myself.”he mantled his wings and head, a polite social bow. “My name is Carnite, son of Thelassioris, and gatherer of the finest fruits in Azmanthus.” He stood up straight again, claws clicking on the smooth marble, amber eyes bright and honest. Aurelia was once again reminded of how cloying and suffocating it felt to be within such a busy crowd, as she herself mantled. 

“Aurelia, daughter of Veskar.” She flicked her tail, before formally finishing. “I thank you for your greetings, kin.” 

They both straightened, and he warbled in delight. “Well met, Aurelia. Wh—“


The two of them were interrupted by an angry roar. The pale yellow dragoness from his group had returned, glowering and spitting sparks of fire from her jaws. Aurelia tensed, flexing her bone-white talons, preparing for a fight. But Carnite just smiled, waving her over. 

“Solara! What do you need?”

She snarled, spitting a small ball of fire into his face. He wrinkled his muzzle, sneezed, and reeled back in surprise. 

“Ack— what was that for?” 

“You know very well what that was for! The fruit, you fool. We’re supposed to be delivering the fruit. RIGHT NOW.” She slammed her paw to the ground. Aurelia shrank back, seeing her chance to slip away now that she had responded acceptably to Carnite. 

No need to involve myself with their quarrel... Especially not a quarrel between an angry dragoness and drake, right at an entrance of the Spires. In broad daylight.

She quickly took off into the air, shooting above the hundreds of dragons buzzing around the pathways. She could still hear Carnite and the pale yellow dragoness— Solara, she think he’d called her? For only a mere moment before the other voices drowned them out. Sighing, Aurelia yawned as her large wings caught a thermal of air and carried her lazily, higher and higher, towards a quieter portion of the Spires, where her own den was. With the preparations for the Laying Celebration, it was virtually barren of dragons. 

I probably shouldn’t have came along with Carnite. She thought grouchily, breeze tickling her nostrils ever so slightly. She thought she could catch the scent of rain in the atmosphere as it rolled over her tongue, cold and sharp. In the end, it was more trouble than it was worth... But I did meet someone new. And I would have needed to be on my way back anyways, with this rain coming. I guess it wasn’t  that bad. 

She detested being wet. The water made her scales feel slippery, and cold, too. And besides— from the feel of things, it wasn’t just a light shower on the way. A storm was coming, she was sure.