- Author: Raven Storm
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From The Lost Siren: Rise of the Drakens, Book 1
Benedict’s form materialized beside me, standing tall as he resolutely surveyed the Drakens scurrying around him. I wanted to punch him in the face almost as badly as I wanted to kiss him. The ground under my feet shook, a deep rumbling that sent alarm signals racing throughout my body. An hour had been right about on the mark.
“EVERYONE OUT!” Benedict bellowed, as the Drakens lined up in ordered formations, with the Elders out front leading after I had refused. I wanted to make sure everyone else got out first.
“Stay in the middle of the pack, they don’t know about you yet, and it’s vital we keep you a secret as long as we can.”
His hand lingered on my lower back, just below my wing joints. It was tempting to make a smart comment, but the look in his eyes was so genuine, so pleading.
“Please, Wren, get to Lyoness and don’t die.”
It was all I could do to nod dumbly. “And where will you be?”
His wings twitched. “The rear.
The mountain groaned in protest as rocks and dirt fell around our heads. I placed myself in the middle of a group of drakens, and then looked around wildly.
“Where is Georg?”
No one answered me as three drakens weaved spells on the elevator shaft, intending on blowing it open so we could make a quick escape through the sky. They made shallow cuts to their palms and cheeks, blood dripping down their noses. They would be carried by other drakens if their magick left them too weak to fly.
Part of the mountain exploded, as the magick blew the entire shaft into pieces, opening our eyes to the sky above. The drakens screamed in delight as their wings tasted the air, but all I felt was fear. Where was Georg?
I screeched in distress and fought my way to the back of the pack.
“What are you doing?” Benedict roared but withdrew when he saw the panic in my eyes. “Georg! Where is Georg?” His eyes narrowed in determination, and I think I fell in love with him all over again. He nudged me towards the fleeing drakens, and I leapt into the air. Just as the last of us cleared the mountain, it exploded in a shower of fire and shrapnel.
I screamed as Benedict disappeared underneath the mountain.
I screamed when the mountain exploded, shrapnel and debris thick in the air like a downpour. The force of the blast propelled me forward and away from the mountain, when all I wanted to do was turn around and go back, to find Benedict and Georg and make sure they weren’t dead because of me. I felt Kieran and Ronan’s answering screams and heard the roars of the other drakens around me. Terror was tangible in the air as we strained our wings and fled towards the island of Lyoness, due east.
The demons fell around us, claws scrabbling uselessly at the air when the blast threw them high. All around us they plummeted to their deaths, shrieking and wailing the entire way down. For a moment, the hordes backed off, confused and alarmed as the drakens took to the skies, leaving behind the mountain they’d been trapped under for centuries. An arrow whizzed by my ear and I turned, spotting a vampyre standing on the high cliffs with a bow, glaring at me.
Rage burned from red eyes, his veins protruding through his translucent skin. His hair was as white as his skin, and a large scar ran from his left eye to the right corner of his mouth. He raised his fingers to his lips, letting out a high-pitched whistle that cut through the chaos.
Horrific screeching followed his signal, and I had to pause in midair to clap my hands over my ears. Creatures with hulking, muscled bodies and wings descended amongst us, much larger than even Brogen had been. They swooped down from the sky, snarling as they collided with drakens. Their faces were ugly—twisted with bulbous features that were as out of place as the large tails they swung like battering rams. I watched one knock a draken out cold, flinging him against the rocks as his brother swooped in to catch him, flying away as fast as he could. Another creature wrapped his arms around a blue-scaled draken, crushing his wings as easily as if they were paper. Gelf slashed the creature across the face and he dropped the draken, as Pirth was waiting underneath to catch him. Gelf and Pirth each grabbed an arm on the wounded draken as they hauled ass away from the mountain. What were these creatures?
“DON’T FIGHT THEM! FLEE!” I screamed, praying they would all hear me, that they would ignore their instinct to fight. We couldn’t afford any more drakens dead. I felt Kieran and Ronan through the chaos, trying to get to me, trying to reach me, but there were too many bodies. Too much death. We quickly lost sight of each other.
I flew after my people, my wings already tired and strained with effort. The other drakens had centuries of strength and endurance built up, whereas I’d only been in a draken form for a few hours, adrenaline and fear spurring me onwards. I felt my strength waning but refused to quit. I ignored the pain in my chest as I gasped for air