Chapters logo

The Reluctant Rider - Part 2

The Realms of Darkness - Short Story

By KA Stefana Published 3 months ago 3 min read

Part 2 - The Dragon Mark

Staring into the eyes of the dragon, Sofia was transfixed. For a moment, it was as if the rest of the world didn’t exist, for she was drawn into his world. His red scales shimmered in the noonday sun, but it was his golden eyes that tethered her soul to his. 

Tentatively, Sofia stepped forward, keeping herself from racing toward the fire-breathing beast. As she stood there, she could feel his soul intertwine with hers. In her mind, she heard his voice say, ‘Sofia, Dragon Princess, I, Haldor, claim you as my dragon rider. Do you accept?’

Nodding her head, Sofia was too overwhelmed to speak for fear that she would utter nonsensical phrases and ruin her ceremony. 

Etienne whispered, “You must say it out loud.”

Turning to Etienne, she answered, “I… I don’t know… What if I can’t ride?”

Nudging her shoulder, he replied, “Haldor knows your strengths and weaknesses and chose you. Now, go to him.”

Reluctantly, Sofia walked toward Haldor and stopped several feet from his snout. Speaking loudly for the crowd to hear, she yelled, “I, Sofia, Dragon Princess, accept your claim, and from this day forth, I shall proudly ride with you across these lands.”

In the distance, she heard the crowd roar approvingly. 

Closing her eyes to calm her racing mind, she raised her hand and placed it underneath his eyes. As they touched, a bolt of electricity shot through her, and she fell backward onto the ground. Searing pain radiated from the tips of her fingers and raced up her right arm.

When she looked at her hand, she watched as the dragon mark engraved itself upon her pale skin. Transfixed, she watched as the black ink wove its way up her arm. As the pain eased, she noticed the beauty of the interwoven lines forming the union of their souls, and their initials were hidden within the design, written in the ancient language of her people. 

She felt Etienne’s presence behind her, turned to him, and exclaimed, “Isn’t it beautiful?”

“That it is,” he whispered before he helped her up. “Best if you and Haldor speak for a moment or two before you ride off into the sunset.”

Etienne walked back over to where the king and queen were standing, leaving Sofia to face her dragon alone. 

Without thinking, she raced to Haldor, threw her arms around his neck, and proclaimed, “I was so afraid I’d never be chosen. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.”

In her head, she heard, ‘Child, there is strength in you that you cannot yet see. When the time comes to battle, we’ll fight bravely together.’

“But, I’m not a warrior. I don’t like it. Not even a little.” 

‘I understand, but you’ll rise to the occasion when called upon, just like your father.’

Sofia stepped back and looked from her dragon to her father. He looked so pensive. She knew he wasn’t a fighter, but he loved his kingdom and ruled fairly alongside her mother. If he could fight, then she could when called upon.

“Very well,” she replied. Facing the crowd, she proclaimed, “Let the celebrations begin. It’s time to ride!”

The crowd roared again, knowing the party was waiting for them. There would be plenty of ale to celebrate the Dragon Princess’ rise.

Projecting to Etienne, ‘Can you help me don the leather before I climb on?’

‘Absolutely,’ he cast back. Grabbing the leather gear for her legs and hands, he walked over to her and whispered, “I’d rather be taking these off of you later.” Winking at her, he smiled sweetly at her. 

“Etienne…” Her voice faded as she blushed at his suggestion.

Finishing with the last buckle, he stood up and asked, “Now that the Choosing Ceremony is almost over, will you choose a mate this evening?”

Leaning toward him, she whispered, “I already have.”

Author Notes:

Hi Readers,

After I finished The Forgotten, The Realms of Darkness, I felt that there were several character's stories that I wanted to expland upon. So, I have been working on short stories to compliment some of my favorite characters, whose ARCS were not fully explored in the Forgotten. Here in The Reluctant Rider, I am exploring Olivia, Luther and Amelia's daughter and Etienne, one of the heros in The Forgotten.

To start at the beginning, here is the link for The Reluctant Rider - Part 1.

If you love my little stories, please subscribe to my page, so you won't miss my new stories, have fun reading through the old ones, and feel free to leave comments. I really want to hear from you!

Here's a link to all of my stories: KA Stefana's Stories.

Young AdultRomanceFictionFantasyCliffhangerAdventure

About the Creator

KA Stefana

I started writing as a hobby during quarantine. From a hobby, a passion bloomed. Author of Dark Fantasy with a twist of romance. Available on KU - The Origins of Darkness, The Daughters of Darkness and The Forgotten.

Reader insights

Be the first to share your insights about this piece.

How does it work?

Add your insights


There are no comments for this story

Be the first to respond and start the conversation.

Sign in to comment

    Find us on social media

    Miscellaneous links

    • Explore
    • Contact
    • Privacy Policy
    • Terms of Use
    • Support

    © 2024 Creatd, Inc. All Rights Reserved.