In her youth, Telyn heard many stories about the elusive Draconi. Few ever saw them, but they were rumored to be huge, monstrous reptiles capable of shearing a man to bits with their razor-like talons. They were said to have beastly tempers and foul dispositions, and...

 

Telyn raised a hand to halt her party, and cocked her head to one side, listening, as a sound distracted her from her thoughts.

 

"What is it?" Nacaris' murmur held the same tension that radiated through her. "Sounds like wind over glass."

 

Telyn's eyes widened as she recognized a melody in the high hum. It spoke directly to her Majik. "It's music."

 

"Where's it coming from? I don't see anyone out here, and it's impossible to figure out how far away they are in this canyon." The slight echo of his words bouncing back underscored Nacaris' observation. But the music already served them well, as far as Telyn was concerned. They might not be able to determine who -- or what, Telyn acknowledged guardedly -- was responsible for the ancient melody, but its existence confirmed Urasi's belief that another of the Chosen might be found here in Junfa Canyon.

 

"We have to be careful," Telyn cautioned her companions quietly. "Whoever this person is, he or she has tamed the Draconi enough to live here unmolested. We have no idea what kind of skills or Majik we may be up against."

 

"Draconi?" Nacaris' gaze sharpened on her. "I thought they were just myth."

 

A chuckle behind them brought both warriors' attention around, to find Urasi seated beside Maltai on the Caravan's wide bench.

 

"Until not too long ago," the Pyracanthrian woman chided in an amused voice, "you likely said the same of my people. The Draconi were created of the same pure Majik that birthed my own race -- the same Majik that gifts Telyn's kin. But where Telyn and her kin embraced the flames, and mine were born from the earth at our feet, the Draconi are believed to have come from the clouds, long before the Great War was even conceived."

 

"What should we do?" Nacaris turned to her, his eyes full of questions.

 

"We follow the music, of course," she answered him with a shrug, hoping she displayed more nonchalance and confidence than she felt. Inside, her heart raced with combined anticipation and dread. She had no idea what they'd do next, if the Chosen they sought here turned out to be a Draconis.

Contact Esther Mitchell at:

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