The Last of the Dragons


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5. Chapter 5

The Earl's full name was Kristoph Mcarthy, the one who ruled after the Ice clan's take down. He was the typical Earl, always wanting power and kissing up to the King who ruled over all the areas. Aidan and Nadia covered themselves with furs and entered the area with ease. Aidan held Nadia's hand protectively as he lead her through the city towards the Earl's palace. As they walked, Nadia couldn't help but notice the civilians. They all looked so unhappy and malnourished. Their houses looked as if they would never survive a storm, yet keep anyone warm. Nadia didn't understand how an Earl could simply watch his people suffer.

"How do they survive?" she asked herself.

Aidan stopped and eyed her questioningly.

"Surely these people will die within months. They're hardly wearing any clothes to keep them warm and I guarantee that some haven't had a morsel to eat in weeks! How could someone just let them starve!"

Aidan immediately hushed her while looking around for soldiers that could've heard.

"Watch what you say." he said in a low tone.

"People lose their heads for speaking badly of an Earl. You should know this."

"Yes, I am aware, but that doesn't make me any less angry."

"Bare with it for now." he said as they kept walking.

Upon reaching the palace entrance, they were stopped by the Earl's guards.

"Please," Aidan began dramatically, "My sister is starving, we would be more than happy to give ourselves over to the Earl in exchange for food."

The guards looked them over and stared at them perversely. One reached out to stroke Nadia's cheek and rub a hand up her leg. She wouldn't flinched away hadn't Aidan given her a look that said 'stick to the plan'. She was very familiar with these touches. It brought her back to when she was chained and how she was violated. Now, it was going to happen once more, with a different Earl, but the same attitude. They looked over Aidan as well, grabbing his head and cocking it to the side. Nadia didn't know how he could look so calm with someone touching him in that way.

"You two are pretty enough," the guard smirked. "There have been too many ugly ones lately so you should fit right in."

The gates slowly opened and the guard lead them toward the entrance. It was a great contrast from what was outside. Everything was so lavish and either covered in silver or gold. Fireplaces were active as people moved about in the main entrance. Officials were whispering to each other and looking around suspiciously. Servants went about with their duties, some cleaning and some moving around furniture.

What caught Nadia's eyes were a couple of servants dragging a heavy figure covered in sheets. The sheets themselves wee stained red. No one knew if it was either wine or blood and no one dared asked what was in those sheets. One of the officials exchanged lingering eye contact with one of the servants holding the sheets. The official simply nodded and the servant returned to his duties. What was wrapped in those sheets, couldn't be good.

They entered what looked like the servant's area. It looked a little less nicer, but it still looked better than what was outside. Some were sleeping in their beds while others were having conversations. Others analyzed the newcomers either with curiosity or disgust, possibly due to more competition. The Earl probably had ones he would always choose and some he would choose occasionally. His regular ones possibly got special privileges over the others.

"These will be your sleeping quarters. It is nearly sundown so the Earl will be here to pick one of you lot soon."

With that, both shifters found open bed next to each other. Their looks towards each other exchanged their worries, anxieties, and confidence.

"Now we wait."

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