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I Am Dragon

Fear the talon that carves your doom!

Dragon Fires Rising: Book 2

By Marc Secchia

Copyright © 2021 onward Marc Secchia

All rights reserved. This book or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the publisher and author except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.



Map © 2020 onward Marc Secchia

Interior images designed by www.freepix.com

Table of Contents

I Am Dragon

Table of Contents

Map of Solixambria

Chapter 1: White Flame

Chapter 2: Princess Power

Chapter 3: Aloft

Chapter 4: Ocean Always Rises

Chapter 5: Terror Clan

Chapter 6: Water Fire

Chapter 7: Fly High

Chapter 8: Blergh

Chapter 9: For Shame

Chapter 10: Fires Burn Bright

Chapter 11: Rushing On

Chapter 12: Rains in Amboraine

Chapter 13: Royal Visit

Chapter 14: Dragon Fires Rising

Chapter 15: Honourable Pillaging

Chapter 16: Beginning of the End

Chapter 17: Orphan Smiths

Chapter 18: Ocean Bright

Chapter 19: Ocean’s Calling

Chapter 20: Until Mornine

Chapter 21: Sea Serpent

Chapter 22: Fate’s Talon

Chapter 23: Wave Dragonhome

Chapter 24: Trouble’s Odour

Chapter 25: Fiery Nuptials

Chapter 26: What Aria Sang

Chapter 27: New Dragon

Chapter 28: Riders Aloft!

Chapter 29: The Gift of Fire

Chapter 30: Dark Fortress

Chapter 31: Talon Magic

Chapter 32: A King to Save

Chapter 33: Sunshine

Chapter 34: The Little Prince

Chapter 35: Old Friends

Chapter 36: Calling Afar

Chapter 37: To the Point

Chapter 38: New Beginnings

Chapter 39: Ocean, Arise!

About the Author

Map of Solixambria

Chapter 1: White Flame

DRAGON AND PRINCESS SKIMMED over the Obsidian Desert, tracking the retreat of a defeated, broken Skartunese army. Weapons, armour and bodies littered the footprints and occasional paw print that wound southward between the dunes. Not all of the bodies had stopped moving, but the dense flocks of black crows and bald-headed vultures acted unfussy about the general twitchiness of their meals. The macabre feast had reached a deafening pitch of jollity, if one was a carrion bird.

The meat course was not so cheerful.

Thin shrieks drifted up to the mismatched pair as they arrowed across a dawn painted crimson by the giant red sun, Ignis. As the sun peeked over the horizon, mighty crimson flares burst from its corona, visible to the draconic eye.

Dragon adjusted his spectacles self-consciously. “I do wish I could show you the sun’s flaming, Princess.”

“Trust you to be taking in the glories of the suns rather than the goriness of the scenery, Dragon,” said she, touching his head fondly with her slim, dark hand.

He said, “When an artist stands accused of not knowing the difference between black sand and even more black sand, the situation is dire indeed.”

“I shudder in horror.”

What an incongruous moment. Dragon shook his muzzle, considering the peculiarity of a mighty Dragon, formerly of the Devastator Dragon Clan of the Tamarine Mountains, actually carrying a Human upon his neck. Worse, by his sire’s egg, he called her his Dragon Rider. The histories might not look fondly upon this ebullient excess of chutzpah. Neither the Dragon nor the Human histories.

His Dragon Rider, by full title, Her Royal Highness the Princess Azania N’gala of T’nagru, the Black Rose of the Desert, was not the sort of character to lose sleep over such niceties. Leaning forward against his neck, the tiny royal pointed ahead.

“A Dragon.”

“Aye. Doesn’t look good.”

He slowed so that they could examine the fallen Dragon from the air. All too clearly, it was too late for this creature. His flanks no longer rose and fell; the fires of life had fled his eyes.

The Dragon still wore the slave cage upon his head.

Dragon shuddered despite himself. “Let’s fly on. We have to save the others.”

“Go, Dragon.”

A soul’s heaviness shivered in her voice.

They were both exhausted following the conclusion of a long battle the previous day. With the siege on N’ginta Citadel broken and the Kingdom of T’nagru saved from being ravaged by the merciless Skartun, they had barely had a chance to rest before setting out to rescue the five Dragon thralls taken back into the desert by the retreating army.

Why was their course veering more and more to the East?

Pumping his wings, he accelerated into the chase, ignoring a plethora of aches and pains that accompanied his every attempt to move or breathe. It even hurt to think. Fire check? Aye. His breath rasped in a throat as dry as the tall, sweeping dunes below and his newly opened stomach blazed with pain, despite his having drunk well before they set out.

Every self-respecting Dragon ought to obey his Princess, especially when she was right.

Four-foot-eight paragon of distilled vexation!

Diminutive she might be in comparison to her peers, but his courageous pet – wicked chortle, bwa-haa-harr –was an exceptional Dragon Rider. He would be forever grateful he had chosen to redeem her honour and pillage the Kingdom of Vanrace that day. Twenty years of his life a fireless Dragon, a laughingstock, a pariah. Now look at him!

Still a pariah, mind.

“Dragon, not here. Save the fires for when we need them,” she cautioned, alert to the eager rumblings of his innards.

Did she not know how his very soul yearned to breathe fire once more?

“You’ll get your chance in a minute. Look beyond that next dune.”

“They camped for the night?”

“Stopped for the day. The accepted method of making a desert crossing is to halt during the daytime and try to keep as cool as possible, digging a hole to try to reach cooler sands beneath. Then, one travels from evening until a little after dawn.”

“Isn’t this season impossible?”

“Meant to be,” the Princess agreed. “I wonder if they aren’t trying to surprise one of the more easterly

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