Hidden Truths, Hidden Hearts

The first in the Hidden Truths trilogy.
Maria always knew she was different. From when she was a child she could do things she couldn't explain and had a power she couldn't understand. Then she meets Zac who changes her life forever. Together they embark on a journey that presents dangers, reveals long forgotten truths and brings them together in ways they could never imagine.

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10. The Four Dragons

Maria and Zac bowed low as a sign of respect. Maria heard Zac announce apprehensively, "Greetings mighty rulers. May the sun always light your way."
The four dragons bowed in return.
"We've been expecting you. You seem younger than we thought you would be." said the yellow dragon.
Zac drew himself up to his full height, Maria stood but still felt slightly nervous.
"We know of your nightmares." said the black dragon.
"Can you explain them?" Maria asked nervously.
The pearl dragon raised his head and eyed them intently.
"Before we can go any further you must find your bond with one of us." he announced blowing a cloud of smoke.
Maria was confused and decided to pluck up the courage to say, "I don't understand. You want us to bond with one of you?"
The black dragon lowered her slender head looking Maria directly in the eye. Her eyes showed fierceness but still shone with gentleness and compassion.
"I'll explain, each person has a different kind of magic in them. As we do. You will naturally be drawn to one of us because you like us are creatures of magic. One of us is your ancestor whom you each have a spiritual connection with. Just close your eyes and relax. Your instincts will tell you to draw near will feel a need to draw near." she said gently.
The red dragon also lowered her head, "Don't force it. Just close your eyes. It will come."
Then both dragons raised their heads again. As they did so Maria felt something awaken within her. She closed her eyes and journeyed inside herself. A vision began to form in her mind and a voice began to whisper softly. It blurred then gradually began to clear. Then the feeling came. Opening her eyes, she cautiously walked towards the black dragon who bowed her head to Maria's level and gently blew a warm air of greeting.
"You are gentle, graceful and peaceful. Also intelligent." the black dragon purred.
Maria gingerly stroked the black dragon's face who seemed to smile. She looked around for Zac and saw him standing stroking the red dragon. The black dragon followed her gaze.
"If he is bonded to the red dragon then he is generous and kind. Above all he is selfless." she explained.
Maria watched as the red dragon purred like a cat as Zac gave her a rub between the eyes. Then both dragons raised their heads again.
"We can explain your nightmares." said the black dragon.
Maria looked up and waited patiently for the answer.
"Your dream was of a wolf demon. His name is Kilkaro. But he is no more than a slave. It is who he serves that is the real threat to you."
"Your time here grows short. Soon you will return home." said the yellow dragon dismissing the converation.
"Please, majestic beasts, at least tell us why you summoned us." Zac protested.
The red dragon closed her eyes as if remembering. Then her story began.
"Long ago, the worlds lived in harmony with each other. But time was young then. There was one girl, human like you, called Lilura. She possessed magic more powerful than any of us have ever known. But it corrupted her, poisoned her. She desired more. She wanted to rule over all creation. She began to raise an demon army destroying everything in their path. Including every creature with magic. Those that survived came here. They used to be seen on Earth but no longer. This is the only world where we can rule over. But there was a prophecy that one day two young humans, a boy and a girl, would be born with magic. The girl in particular would have power that could match Lilura, possibly even more powerful. They would come together and defeat Lilura once and for all so that peace may rule the worlds once again."
Maria knew what was coming next.
"The prohecy is coming true." added the pearl dragon, "It is you. You will defeat Lilura and restore peace to these lands."
Maria looked at Zac who looked equally surprised.
"You will need to work together. There is something even stronger than love between you. This will help you against the Dark Witch.  But in the end,"  warned the yellow dragon, "only one of you will survive."
This was the final bombshell. One of them would not live to see peace restored.
"You must return home now and think about what we said." said the black dragon.
Maria and Zac turned to go.
"Wait!" called the red dragon suddenly.
They wheeled round.
"Only sleep will send you home." she continued.
"You mean this is a dream?" Maria asked.
"Yes and no." said the black dragon. She lowered her head until she was eye-level with them. She opened her large mouth and blew a warm wind over them. The wind seemed to sparkle with flecks of gold. Maria felt her eyelids becoming heavy.
"It was an honour to have met you both. Go home and find your dragons. Then you can begin your journey."
Maria wanted to respond but the words seemed too weak to leave her throat. Her limbs felt heavy. She lay down on the smooth wooden floor. As her vision began to blur and fade she closed her eyes letting herself drift away.

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