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Winter's Dragons. Draconic Affairs

Harem of Seasons 2.5



Once upon a time, a firedrake, a ryu and a wyvern melted a snow queen's heart and learned to love and be loved in the process. But before they were her soulmates, they were bitter rivals. What secrets does their past hold?


There's always a battle to fight in Terra Dracones. We've fought all kinds of opponents, from dwarves turned into humongous wyrms to demons who think dragon-hunting is an appropriate extreme sport. But more often than not, because battle is in our blood, we fight one another, dragon going against dragon to defend the honor of our clans.

Once, Emmerich, Kerryn and I were no different. We were at each other's throats since hatchling-hood. When the moment came for us to face off as males vying for the attention of the females of our homeland, we would have done almost anything to defeat one another. Today, things are different. We have found our soulmate, our treasure and our queen. But for the sake of the future, we cannot forget the lessons of the past. Because thinking back, it's almost a miracle we lived long enough to meet our female to begin with.

This is our tale, the story of three dragons who almost got each other killed more than once and ended up building a new life together, regardless. The story of the soulmates of Queen Cheimon, Lady of Winter, ruler of The Realm of Eternal Ice.


Draconic Affairs is a reverse harem fantasy romance that contains explicit 18+ sexual content, no infidelity and a happy ending with no cliffhangers. Part of the Harem of Seasons series, acting as a prologue/interlude for the Winter's Dragons arc. Releases for the series will come all throughout 2019.




© 2019 Eva Brandt



This book is a work of fiction. All characters are products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons is purely coincidental. Cover art is for illustration purposes only.



All rights are reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, by any means, digital or otherwise, without the copyright holder’s express, written permission (except in the case of brief quotes marked as such and embodied in reviews).









Table of Contents


Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Epilogue

Index

About the Author

Now Available

Coming Soon



Winter's Dragons. Draconic Affairs

Harem of Seasons 2.5


Eva Brandt

Copyright 2019











Chapter One

Hatchlings


Raijin


"Make sure not to wander around too much, dear. Your father and I need to speak with Elder Thurlacht, but we won't be far. Cry out if one of the wyverns attempts anything."

My mother patted my small crest as she spoke, nuzzling me with her snout in obvious anxiety. Behind her, my father tapped his claw against the ground. "He is only a hatchling, Kasumi," he pointed out, "and the Thurlachts are a respectable clan. Nobody will dare harm him."

My mother ignored him. The way her magic flared and the sway of her serpentine form suggested she was already having regrets about agreeing to bring me here. "I will be careful," I promised before she could change her mind and decide to hide me behind her all throughout the trip. "Father is right. No one will try to hurt me."

I had no way of knowing that, but I needed to persuade my mother that it was true. Today was the first time I actually left the lake that held my family's lair. We were visiting Talamh na Dragain, due to a summons my family had received from Elder Thurlacht. The details weren't clear to me—hatchlings were never told these things—but I didn't care about it anyway. What mattered was that my parents had not only decided to bring me along, but they were also allowing me to investigate the realm of the wyverns unhindered. Sort of.

My mother had almost ripped my father's crest off when he'd first suggested that I join them, but she had, in the end, agreed that I needed to get out of the lair more. Since my magic lessons had been going so well, both she and my father now believed a visit to Talamh na Dragain wouldn't pose too many dangers. Honestly, if an incident did occur, the wyverns were more likely to harm my father than me. No self-respecting dragon would hurt a hatchling. If any member of the Thurlacht clan tried, the rest of his family would turn on him in an instant.

It was not that surprising that her protectiveness was making a resurgence now that we had actually reached our destination. I was a little nervous as well since I'd never left her side much. I had the sudden urge to curl into her scales and ask if I could go with them to their meeting. At the same time, though, I knew that was an unacceptable option. It was so exciting to be here, and I would not waste the opportunity by cowering behind my mother. I would be a dragonet soon, and the more I learned about my fellow dragons, the faster I would be able to find a female of my own.

I was unsure what the process of finding a female actually involved, but my parents claimed it was important, and the end result appeared to be sharing a lair like my family and I did, which appealed to me. But if I wanted to accomplish all that, I couldn't afford to cling to my mother's scales. I needed to learn how to be a worthy male, and I would start now.

Fortunately, my mother grasped the necessity of this as she let out a reluctant sigh but pulled away. "Very well. I do not like it, but I will trust you to be cautious."

I nodded eagerly, impatience and nervousness swirling through every inch of my body. As my mother and father flew away and disappeared into the recesses of the mountain, I prepared myself for my incipient adventure.

The Thurlachts lived in a misty forest located west of Ryū no Kuni, having made their lairs in the aptly named Sliabh Nimhiúil, or Poisonous Mountain. Some people said it was shaped like a wyvern, but I thought it looked more like a wyrm, and I was pretty sure I was right since my father had laughed when I'd pointed it out. The humidity in the air reminded me a little of home, but at the same time, it was very different. The air smelled strange, and in some areas I'd noticed during our flight here—especially in the mysterious marshlands no one really talked about—the ground glowed as brightly as the water of our own lakes.

Here at the basis of the mountain, there weren't a lot of wyverns around, but I could still catch a glimpse of a few older dragons soaring in the clouds above me. I didn't think it would be a good idea to engage an adult wyvern in conversation, and they would probably be headed into the same meeting my parents had come here for. As such, I paid them no heed.

Instead, I tentatively willed my body upwards, my magic carrying me over the treetops and rocky terrain, through the mists of Talamh na Dragain. I had promised my family to not go very far, but even so, I wanted to see as much of the mountain as possible. So far, I liked it, but I was sure I could discover even more interesting things if I just looked.

My guess was confirmed mere minutes into my quest when I spotted something unexpected beneath me. A small black wyvern sat alone on a rocky outcropping, staring out into the distance. I couldn't discern the young dragon's gender, but he or she seemed to be studying the clouds, or perhaps contemplating the height we were at.

Did the dragon want to engage in a flying session? That was certainly something I would enjoy watching from up close. I had never admitted it, but I was a little fascinated by dragons who used wings to fly. Many times, I had wondered what it would have been like to have wings. My uncles and cousins all used magic to fly just like I did, so they were no help. Also, was it very awful to be without magic? How did it feel like to not have frontal paws? I desperately wanted to ask.

For a few seconds, I waited to see what the wyvern would do. When he or she didn't move from the rock, I decided to approach. As I flew closer, I realized the other hatchling was either a male of my age or a female who was a little older. Nervousness stirred in my gut. If the dragon was female, would it be improper for me to start up a conversation with her? Maybe she wouldn't mind it if I pointed out I had been unable to distinguish her gender? Wait, would that work, or would it make her madder?

Perhaps this hadn't been such a good idea, after all.

As it turned out, I needn't have worried about improper interactions with females. Before I could change my mind and turn back, the wyvern noticed me as well, and as soon as I was within earshot, called out to me. "Hello. Who are you?"

Relief and apprehension surged inside me at the clearly male voice. Due to the wyvern's gender, we could interact without it being a big deal... in theory. However, I was a little worried that this approach might be interpreted as invading another male's territory. My father claimed I needed to be very careful in such situations, as the only thing more serious than intruding in the lair of another male—other than, of course, harming his hatchling—was attempting to steal his female.

For the moment, the wyvern did not seem overly hostile, so I started to descend and landed on the ground in front of his rock. "My name is Raijin no Kurapati," I replied. "I am visiting Talamh na Dragain with my family."

"Oh. This must be about the Fafnir chase." He eyed me with some suspicion but seemed to decide I had passed muster because he offered me a reluctant nod. "I'm Kerryn Thurlacht. Welcome to Talamh na Dragain."

"Thank you." His tense posture wasn't very welcoming, but he hadn't pushed me away, so I wriggled my way to his side, interested in the information he could provide about the reason for my parents' meeting with the other dragons. "So... This is about Fafnir?"

How exciting. If Fafnir was at it again, maybe I would soon be allowed to prove myself in battle against him. My parents had told me numerous stories about the great wyrm, mostly out of frustration that we were stuck with a dragon who wasn't actually a dragon. Apparently, he came out of his own lair once a century or so, tried to cause chaos, was unsuccessful because of whoever was in charge of watching the area, then retreated back to his cave. I would obviously not be allowed to go on this chase, but perhaps on the next one, I'd have more luck.

"Is Fafnir awake again?" I insisted when the wyvern said nothing. "Do you suppose we'll get to see him?"

Kerryn jerked back as if he'd had a sudden realization. A gust of poisonous breath escaped his nostrils. "Not so loudly!" he hissed at me. "We're not supposed to know about it, because we're only hatchlings."

"Well, then, why did you tell me about it if it is such a big secret?" I asked him.

In my opinion, it was a perfectly reasonable question. If I'd had a secret, I wouldn't have shared it with a random wyvern who came flying my way. Kerryn seemed to see things differently. "I must've had a minor lapse in sanity," he replied, slapping my flank with his tail.

I couldn't suppress a pained yelp as the whip-like appendage struck my still-growing scales. The undignified sound that escaped my throat outraged me, and I glowered at the cause of my predicament. "Hey! What was that for?"

Kerryn glared back, his tail swaying back and forth so quickly he seemed seconds away from smacking me again. "For... For being indiscreet and not appreciating my hospitality."

I tried very hard to remember that this was still his homeland and his lair, but it was a little difficult when I hadn't done anything to warrant such hostility. "There's no one here, so I don't think indiscretion is the best word." I dug my claws into the ground and forced myself to utter the words my mother would have likely wanted me to say. "Even so, I apologize for offending you."

The tension drained from Kerryn's stance and the motions of his tail significantly slowed down. "No, it's all right. I might have... overreacted a little. And I didn't mean to..."

He trailed off and looked away, and I wondered what in the world he was thinking now. Wyverns were strange. Perhaps I shouldn't have stopped to talk to him, after all.

Oh! Maybe it was one of those side-effects my mother had been talking about the other day. Of course. That explained everything. No wonder he was so sulky and ill-humored. I'd be that way too if I didn't have access to my magic.

Under the circumstances, I could hardly hold his behavior against him. It was not his fault that wyverns weren't as perceptive, talented and intelligent as ryūs, and had not been given the gift of mystical magic from the gods.

"I understand," I said magnanimously. "You don't need to say anything more. And don't worry about your situation too much. A lot of species of dragons are like you. It must be pretty horrible to not have mystical magic, but you are dealing with it fine, and I'm sure you'll grow into a great male."

Not as great as me, of course, but he wasn't a ryū, so that was to be expected.

Kerryn turned toward me so quickly he almost hit me with his tail again. "Excuse me?" he hissed, his eyes shining a bright, poisonous green. "Are you saying you're somehow better than me?"

"Well... Yes. I'm a ryū and you're a wyvern," I explained slowly.

Maybe he was a little dumber than I had expected. Everybody knew that ryūs were better than wyverns. In fact, if this whole meeting was about Fafnir, I suspected the sole reason why the Thurlachts were hosting it was because they were distantly related to wyrms. Fafnir might not be a real dragon, but he was close enough to a wyrm that it still counted. Wyverns tended to have a lot of connections with strange things and dubious species.

Kerryn didn't take my words well. He snarled at me, wisps of green smoke escaping his nostrils once again, far thicker than before. "I don't want to hear that from a creature who was born incomplete."

The latter word struck me harder than the poison in his breath. Incomplete? Incomplete? How dare he?

This wasn't an insult addressed to me alone, but one directed at my whole clan. I couldn't let it stand.

My magic erupted out of me, rushing toward the wyvern. Kerryn shielded his head with his wing, and as he moved, his tail snapped toward me, just like before. This time, though, I was ready for it and I ducked. The barbs on his tail still raked my side, but it wasn't a significant injury, and I didn't let it deter me. Following my instincts, I lunged at him, planning to take advantage of my serpentine form to immobilize him and keep him from escaping me. My father had mentioned that this was a good strategy for dragons like us since our body shapes provided us with an advantage most of our opponents didn't have.

Unfortunately, my plan didn't work out as well as I'd hoped. It appeared my muscles weren't strong enough to curl around Kerryn properly and achieve the desired effect. To make matters worse, toxic fumes filled the air as Kerryn retaliated, making my eyes sting and my scales itch.

We ended up falling to the ground, flailing against one another. I tried to make a grab for my magic again and use it against my opponent, but I couldn't focus. Kerryn's clawed legs scratched my underbelly, but I refused to let go. I would not be defeated by someone who had called me incomplete.

Despite my determination, I didn't know how the battle would've actually ended had we not been interrupted by a group of adults. A gust of wind cleared the green fumes surrounding us, and I looked up, only to see three amphipteres, a female and two males, looming above us.

"What is going on here?" one of the males asked. "What is this foolishness?"

"He said that we ryūs were incomplete," I explained quickly. Amphipteres were more closely connected to wyverns than they were to ryūs, but perhaps they would understand my situation, regardless.

"You're the one who insulted me first, going on and on about how ryūs are better than wyverns," Kerryn shot back.

"Oh, for gods' sake," the female of the group mumbled. She landed on the ground and slithered to our side, forcing us apart with her beak-like snout. "We don't have time for this. What clan do you belong to?"

The question was obviously directed at me, and I suppressed a flinch as I realized I might have embarrassed my family on my first outing. "The Kurapati clan," I mumbled. "My name is Raijin."

"I see. Well, come along now, little Raijin. We should probably get your parents and discuss this matter with them. You as well, young Kerryn."

He mumbled something in agreement and reluctantly followed. As we started flying behind the amphipteres, I made an oath to myself that I would never forgive Kerryn for this dreadful humiliation.

****

Well, this was utterly horrid. More than horrid, it was humiliating, and I wished the ground would open up and swallow me whole, thus sparing my family the trouble of having such a disgrace for a hatchling.

Everything was a mess. That stupid argument with the stupid wyvern had escalated way beyond what I had expected. It wasn't fair. I hadn't said anything more serious than Kerryn had. If anything, the opposite was the case. Even so, my parents had decreed that I was not allowed to explore my new surroundings further, which of course, left me wallowing here on my own, while they went to fulfill their duties.

I huffed angrily and took refuge behind a tree, clawing at the ground as I wondered how I should get back at the wyvern for this. Alas, it seemed to be my unlucky day, because, despite my decision to obey my parents, I ran into yet another young dragon.

Actually, it would have been more accurate to say that he ran into me. The dark red blur came barreling toward me from above, swirled in the air for a couple of seconds, and then crashed right on top of me. I didn't have enough time to use my magic to protect myself from the impact. For the second time that day, I ended up in an undignified pile of scales and limbs, this time with a firedrake on top of me.

Already irritated after the earlier episode with the wyvern, I freed myself from under the other hatchling and glowered at him. "What are you doing?" I asked him. "Don't just fly into people like that. It's rude."

He got up on his haunches and huffed at me. "You were the one standing in my way. I was merely practicing my flying, which is a normal thing to do for any dragon. It's not my fault that you're so unaware of your environment that you didn't see me coming."

I twitched in irritation at the comment. Firedrakes had better senses than most species of dragons, and they never stopped pointing it out. It appeared that this hatchling was no different.

"Well, I suppose I can forgive your mistake since you do need all the practice you can get," I replied dismissively. "You drakes are all terrible fliers."

I probably shouldn't have said that since baiting another hatchling was the last thing my parents would've wanted me to do right now. Alas, the wyvern had sabotaged my usually sedate temper, and in my state, I could not handle the firedrake's arrogance.


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