The creature peered into the mirror.
I was handsome once; some even considered me handsome. Those days are gone. The orb demands all. It takes everything.
Trae reached down, ceased the candle stick upon the table and threw it at the mirror. The mirror smashed into pieces and it fell to the floor.
Enough, it does not fare well to dwell on the past.
Trae went to the arm chair at the corner of the room and sat down.
The door opened, and two guards entered followed by another, “Your Majesty,” bowed Nahald slightly, “is everything okay?”
“Fine, an accident,” Trae gestured, “the mirror fell and broke.”
Nahald eyed the shards of glass on the floor. The mirror looked as if it was recently smashed he spotted the candle to the right of the mess. He remained silent.
Nahald ordered the two guards to exit; he ordered the shorter of the two to go find a servant to clean up the mess. The guards bowed and exited the room.
Nahald was the Doyen of DE brane, formerly Pandora. Once pristine, and radiant city, Debrane was tattered, dull and grimy. As Doyen of Debrane, he inherited the responsibility of the whole of the Aukland state as well. He was short, pudgy man. He had a small, snub-nose, wrinkled face with long, oily, tangled, grey hair.
Nahald dreaded these encounters. He eyed the creature in the arm chair. The hooded figure sat in the corner obscured by the shadows dancing about the room. He noted the greyish hands protruding from the long-sleeved robe with its bony fingers and its claw-like talons. Any curiosity he might have had, was immediately mollified from the sight of this horror. Nahald dared not attempt to discover what was under the hood. He feared that revelation would cause his death.
Tautly, he replied, “Your Highness, you called for me? I was on route when I heard the crash. I came as soon as I was paged.”
Trae ignored Nahald, “Where are we in our plans?”
“Hum, well, our forces have secured all of Aukland, and we have ousted, or dispatch most, if not all, of the Duric within the realm.”
“Excellent,” delighted the figure, “And the other affair?”
“Um… that has proven to be more um… difficult.” Nahald stuttered, “The Ciadans, the Denlar Confederacy, and the Uglandans all resist our efforts. They refuse to align themselves with our forces.”
Trae sprung forward grasping Nahald shirt. Nahald cowered to the floor, and he whimpered, “Please don’t hurt me.”
Trae released him, and hissed, “It is my mistake for me to believe you were capable of doing this one simple task.”
“But it is Davin”, whined Nahald, “He will not listen. He says, ‘Ciada is protected,’”
“He says, ‘Aukland cannot oppose him.’ He believes himself to be superior, he does not fear me, and he laughs at my warnings.”
Trae returned to the chair and sat down again, Trae’s fingers drummed the leather arm of the chair,
“The fool, he does not understand who it is that opposes him. I should have known he would be stubborn idiot. I should have dealt with him myself.”
Trae waved his arm nonchalantly.
“It is no longer of any concern. Everything else is in place. The time has come.”
At these last four words. Everything changed.
In the southern regions of the Denlar Confederacy and Ugland, the winds began to blow, charcoal and grey nimbostratus clouds rolled in from west, the bright mid-afternoon sun quickly became obscured from below, and the torrential rains began to fall upon their cities and towns accompanied by roaring thunder and power flash lightning.
From Geyaudan through to Ciada, down through Aukland, and their surrounding territories a great deep rumble was heard. Suddenly, the lands began to tremble, and next the earth began to shake.
Meanwhile, in Undirjord: the ancient fortress of the dragons, Kur and Ena, the rulers of the dragons, shrieked in agony. The clasping their chest each felt a piercing pain. The other dragons too were suffering. They gave out a yelp and then they collapsed onto the rock base. The dragons each began to molt upon the rocks hoping to shed the scales of their skin in the hopes of reliving the shooting pain they were experiencing.
In Erenhil, Jenna snapped from her rest and screamed, “Kur.”
Cáel rose from his sleep, “What the Helroh?”
Jenna heard the thumping of her heart beating rapidly in her chest; she wiped the cold perspiration from her brow, with her right arm; her chest heaved inward and outward as she tried to catch her breath; it was a while before she felt the vibration beneath her, and another few seconds before she realized this was not a dream.
Jenna embraced Cáel, teary eyed, and exclaimed, “The dragons… they are dying.”
Trae beamed with delight, “It has begun. You may leave,” brushing off Nahald dismissively.
Nahald bowed slightly, he turned, he exited the room, he shut the door behind him, and he leaned against door, he sighed, he pushed himself forward, and he marched quickly down the hall.
Trae sat staring into the void and smiled.
—Robert Confiant 23 April 2017 (updated)