Prelude:15 Years Ago
It was silent that night. Not one bird sang, not one frog croaked, not even one cricket chirped. Palace guards, golden armor shining in the pale moonlight, lined the edge of the courtyard. If not for the breath they took, and the twitch of some hands,(ready to draw their swords in a seconds’ notice.) they could have been mistaken for statues. They stood as solemn and silent as the willow trees lining the garden, only to bow as their Emperor and Empress passed. The Emperor was a stern, handsome young man who took his role with honor and dignity not unlike his father before him.
He ruled with a firm, and unyielding hand, but couldn’t be counted as a tyrant. More, stubborn than anything else. His wife, the young Empress, was different. Fair skinned, with loveliness in the heart and appearance so very rare and treasures. She was a kind, giving woman, with a big heart dipped in gold. And as she clutched her son to her chest, she thought the event that was about to occur, was a terrible, awful idea. The Empress shuddered, clutching her son closer as he slept, blissfully unaware. Staring down at her son, her child (who was nearing his first birthday), she was driven to sudden desperation.
“My King.” She muttered lowly, bowing her head to show respect. Her husband sent her a fleeting glance, signifying that he was indeed listening. The Empress licked her lips before continuing. “Surely there is another way? This can’t be the solution?” The Emperor sighed sorrowfully, shaking his head. “I am sorry my wife, but this is the most efficient, and bloodless way to make peace. This surely will do more good than harm Shiori.” The empress bit her lip, knowing it would do her no good than harm my flower.” The Empress bit her lip, knowing it would do her no good to argue, this would happen with or without her consent.
She gingerly stroked her sons’ bright red hair, shining like the blood that had been spilled for so many years because of this war. The war between humans and dragons. Dragons, she shuddered, terrible and horrific beasts. In all sizes and colors, perhaps they would be beautiful and admired, like exotic birds. If not for their diets. Some preferred cow, some sheep, others pork or chicken. But some once had a taste for flesh, human flesh. There, there was their strange powers, most, common soldiers, controlled fire. Others Ice, Smoke, Water, Earth, Shadow. Things it took a millennia for her kind to control.
Dragons were undoubtably beautiful, but also strange and deadly creatures. It was silent for a short while, before the unmistakeable sound of large wings flapping reached their ears. The soldiers right arms twitched, so used to drawing their swords when they heard that sound. A figure landed before the Emperor and Empress, large, angelic wings of gold covering their face and body. It was a woman, wearing tight pants, and a beautiful white chemise that flowed around her knees. But it was not her clothes, nor her majestic and powerful wings, it was her sheer breath-taking, natural beauty.
Her hair was untamed, golden waves that shone in the moonlight, and put all of the Emperor’s gold to shame for not being as beautiful. Her skin was a tan cream that had not one blemish or flaw. Her face was carved by the Gods themselves. Her horns curled up elegantly like a deers, with their golden color and the jewels hanging from them, they looked like an ornate crown. This woman had only one visible flaw. Her left eye was hideous, dull, grey color, like that of a spiders’ web. Her right eye however was a beautiful gold that shined like a new coin. She held a quiet bundle in her arms with caution and caring, not wanting to disturb the baby inside.
The Emperor and Empress were stunned. This was the feared Queen of the Dragons? This wild albeit stunning woman? Had it not been for her wings and crown like horns, they would never have believed it. The woman smiled coyly, stepping forward. “Hello young Emperor, young Empress. I hope I am not late?” Her voice was like silk and honey, smooth, soft, and sweet. The Emperor shook out of his daze, stepping forward and bowing lowly. The residents of the courtyard all rushed to do the same. The Queen lowered her head and horns, a sign of great respect. “No, you are just in time.”
The Dragon Queen nodded, pleased. “Good, I despise not being punctual.” She looked up to the sky, seeing the stars and the full moon shine delicately over everything. “It is a good night to do this ritual, but not yet. The moon has not yet reached her zenith. The Empress frowned slightly and fidgeted, a move that did not go unnoticed by the Queen. “Something troubles you young Empress? What is it?” The Emperor shot her a quick look with a clear meaning. ‘Be careful of what you say.’ The Empress licked her lips, and choose her word careful. “This ritual, will it harm my son?”
The Dragon Queen shook her head, understanding as she gave the Empress a kind smile. “Do not worry. This ritual has been done by my kind for centuries, it will not hurt either of our children. Your son will be blessed with the opportunity to live and age like a dragon. At 21 years old the aging process will slow rapidly until it is practically nonexistent. He will also be respected by my kin and will find acceptance more easily if he goes through this ritual.” At that moment, the moon reached its’ zenith and shined upon them with ethereal light. “Come, it is time.” The Emperor nodded and moved to take his son. “Not you.” He paused, turning to the Dragon Queen, who had talked to him as though she was scolding a child.
“It must be the mother.” The Empress relaxed and hurried to stand by her fellow Queen, relieved that she could be close to her son instead of watching helpless from the side. She laid him down on the stone slab, with intricate lines, and details of flowers and swords etched into the surface. The young prince awoke, red eyes shining up at his mother while he yawned, his red hair scratching with the blanket. The Dragon Queen laid her daughter down with gentleness not usually associated with dragons, stoking her (h/c) (curls/waves/tresses) lovingly. “Her name is (Y/n), my little snowflake. What is his name?”
“Seijuro.” The Dragon Queen nodded, approving. “A strong name, it serves him well. Now, repeat after me, mimic my movements.” The Dragon Queen raised her arms to the moon, palms up. The Empress quickly did the same, almost with the same grace. The Dragon Queen walked slowly to stand behind her future son-in-law, the Empress moving to the same nonexistent beat stood behind her future daughter-in-law, who cooed up happily at her. If not for her mothers presence and known origin, the child could have been mistaken for human. “YB EHT NOOM DNA NUS, SWODAHS DNA THGIL, SRATS DNA SDUOLC, DNIB ESEHT NERDLIHC!” The two children paused all movement, mouths opened and eyes wide. Two mists emerged from their mouths, Seijuro’s red and silver, (Y/n)’s gold and blue. The mists tangled together, forming a knot, as the children’s eyes changed. Seijuro’s left eye became gold, while (Y/n’s) left eye turned red, both becoming catlike and slitted.”
The children broke free of their trances and began to cry from the cold. The Empress all but snatched her child from the altar and the Dragon Queen gently picked up her daughter who seemed to almost immediately grow silent. “What did you do?” “Do not worry young Empress, it is the Dragon symbol of marriage. The right eye will remain the previous color, while the left will change to match their mate’s right eye. A bit more significant than flimsy rings made of gold and jewels that can be so easily removed.” She explained, moving a golden strand of hair away from her left eye. “Was your mate, blind?”
The Dragon Queen grew ridged for only a second, as though she’d been slapped in the face, before shadows covered her lovely visage. “My mate is dead, he met my sweet (Y/n) only once, when she was born. A few hours later, he and the human Emperor of the time killed each other in battle.” She turned her steely gaze to the new Emperor who flinched, the loss of his own father still fresh even after a few months. The Dragon Queen sighed, no longer upset, but rather tired. She looked older too, before she turned. “Farewell.” Then in the blink of an eye she was gone, flying into the sky. The Emperor walked over to put an arm around his wife to find her shaking, before they departed, leaving nothing but silence in their wake.