Caluns wings were starting to hurt from the long flight. Him and Zuldryn were on their way to the neighbouring Realm, the Woodland Realm. It was a long way there in the sky, but it was also the safest, avoiding unwanted attention.

”Are we going to have a break soon? ” he asked Zuldryn.

”Just a few more wingbeats, My King, ” he said from the front. Calun was following the older dragon, trying to keep up with him. But he was younger and smaller, which also meant that he needed more energy to keep up the pace that was an adult dragons speed.

Zuldryns dark green scales disappeared and reappeared as they were flying in the clouds. Some bird flocks even went by them and started to panic as they saw the great dragons among the clouds in their territory.

Dragons were not only the kings of Draonia on the ground but also in the skies. Their huge wings let them travel distance very fast, reaching new territories for prey in a small amount of time.

Calun was only seven years old, a young adult dragon. Not the ideal ruler of any Realm, but after the death of his parents, he had to do what is his destiny.

Only he had no idea it would come so soon.

His father often told him that in the future, he would rule the Fire Realm. Him, a young dragonet! He could not even imagine doing it. His father was always sure about making the right decisions for the dragons in the kingdom. He would trade with other realms, gather with other leaders and talk about business. The Fire Realm was one of the smallest Realms in the continent, and it often needed help from its neighbours. With King Chezarth, they were thriving.

The life of King Chezarth and Queen Tiepheth was always about doing whats right for the Realm, but never for themselves. They never had free time to do hunting or swimming for fun.

Calun was brought up by the Kings advisor, Zuldryn.

He was, after Queen Tiepheth, the closest dragon to the King. And Caluns father always trusted him to teach his son about the politics of Draonia. It was not always interesting for Calun. To be precise, almost never.

At the same time, Calun knew how important the role of a king was. Dragons lives depended on decisions of war or peace.

After the volcanos eruption, Calun had to learn about a kings duties in a matter of days. He had to stare at scrolls, books and other artifacts that were always about older dragons telling the readers what to do and not to do if one wants to manage a Realm. Before he realized, Calun started to become an expert in these topics. He was also better at them than in physical fighting, something that he never excelled at.

Zuldryn sometimes taught him about combat, but the lessons were never too successful.

”Do not worry, young King. Learning is a long route to becoming a royal warrior. ” he would always say.

But Calun would just suggest they had instead learned more about Draonian history and politics. Zuldryn was proud that he was good at it, but also often worried that Calun might not defend himself when the time comes.

”You and my dragons will be here to defend me, ” Calun would say to Zuldryn.

”There will come a time, when your strength will be needed, and I won be there to sell you, My King, ” he would answer. He had the habit of instead of talking normally, citing and speaking like a line on a poetic scroll would sound. Sometimes Zuldryns words were so artistic that it made Calun laugh.

And he would just smile, like his real father did. In a way, Zuldryn was also a father to him — someone who was always there since he hatched, leading him on the path to adulthood.

Even after all the tragedies, Calun was not sure if he was anywhere near reaching the end of that path. He was not even sure he was a good King. He inherited a land that was barely alive, and he himself had very little experience as a tough leader.

Zuldryn never doubted him, nor the other dragons from the Fire Realm. But what about the other leaders, from all over the continent? To them, he will be just a dragonet on the throne of a dead land. A nobody, an inexperienced hatchling.

He had to prove the opposite at the Woodland Realm.

He was determined to show that he indeed had the capabilities that his parents did. His Realm and his leadership will not be laughed at so easily.

The energy to keep flying was slowly leaving his wings. They had to stop for a short break.

The land below them was already green, untouched by the Fire Mountains destruction. This mustve been around the borders of the Woodland Realms, as the trees he saw were also changing from a warmer to more continental species. They had huge leaves with lots of songbirds singing loudly on them.

It was nothing like the home he now knew. The plants and prey back there were very few and often ill. The non-smoky air was also a lot more refreshing.

They stopped at the edge of a grassland, where a river was flowing. They both drank and stretched their wing muscles.

”We are already more than halfway through. You have done a great job flying this far, my King, ” Zuldryn commented.

”Too bad the other leaders won respect me for that, ” Calun said as he thought about them. He does not even know what they looked like. They might arrive with weapons, ready for a battle to break out. ”Are they going to start a war in front of everyone? Is that their plan? ”

”This will be a peaceful meeting, I can ensure that. Even if it came to violence, you can count on me, My King. ”

Calun nodded. The older dragons eyes communicated calmness.

”Thank you, Advisor Zuldryn. ”

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