Putting on the Mask of Destiny

After he stepped back from the summoning stone, Seranil paused. Should he tell Kina everything? Should he tell her anything at all? He thought about the eggs in the nest. They would hatch any day. His actions had put his family in harm’s way. That decided him, there was no way he could conceal this from his mate.

He turned and walked up the pathway toward his family’s den. He didn’t seem to have the energy to fly, though it would have been quicker. He sighed softly as he approached their den. This wouldn’t be easy. Kina would be asleep, snuggled close to their eggs. He closed his eyes as he reached the threshold of their den. She would probably hate him now. He’d basically sanctioned the murder of her father.

He could argue that he wanted Zarentil to scare Yanosan. He could say that he was shocked and revolted by the other dragen’s actions; by the way he’d taken the older dragen’s life. However, the fact remained. Kina’s father was dead and Seranil was, at least in part, to blame for that fact. Now their young were endangered because of his actions. Kina had every right to hate him. She had every right to take another mate if she so desired.

This Weakness and Brokenness

“Can we all stop bickering and get to business?” Myro said, standing and slamming the table with the flats of his hands. His tail coiled around the chair he’d been sitting on, knocking it sideways. “We have Denair waiting in the corridor to talk to us about the spell that we still have to perform to fix the seal on the gate to the demon world. What is the big deal about naming Zarentil’s half brother as his heir. He didn’t have any children – not that we’d want anyone who’s part demon as an elder – again.”

“That’s probably right, but traditionally the elder chooses his or her own heir. This is outside the norm by a great degree,” Elder Bricen said.

“But – But Elder Bricen, we don’t want Zarentil’s chose heir, regardless of the fact that he didn’t get a chance to choose one,” Myro retorted.

Elder Jesin bit back a laugh and shook his head. “What objections do you have to naming Toram as Zarentil’s heir?”

“He’s not – not…” Bricen paused and started over. “He’s only Zarentil’s half-brother. He’s not even the son of the previous elder.”

“You realize that he’s not related to Zarentil at all,” Elder Taurin said. “Zarentil’s mother was a demon. The person his father put out as his mother hardly had anything to do with him. Toram, however, was raised by the former elder. It could be argued that he is the actual chosen heir of Zarentil’s father because – as we now suspect – Zarentil forced his father to name him heir and then Zarentil killed him.”

“I just wish we had proof – more than Toram’s word. He… obviously would have a perfectly good reason to defame his brother,” Elder Bricen said.

“We don’t need a reason to dislike Zarentil,” Myro snapped. “He gave all the reasons we’d need all by himself. Besides that whole – family thing – any reason why we can’t just have him as the new elder?”

“Perhaps,” Eldest said in agreement. “Toram, does your clan approve of you being elder?”

“They do, Eldest,” Toram said in a voice that hardly carried even in the quiet council chamber.

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