In today’s excerpt from The Reign of Dragons, it’s time to check up on the mages in their academy. Ameyron has recently returned from a research expedition (as seen in The Voyage of the Miscreation) with his apprentice, Aristia. But the head of the school, Omalia, hasn’t heard his report on his findings yet, so she goes to his office to demand answers. She won’t like what she finds.
Omalia knocked on the door of Ameyron’s house a third time, pounding hard enough to rattle the wooden frame. “Mage, you missed another meeting!” she called. “You can’t avoid me forever. Open this door!”
Colorful birds flew around the garden. When one of them darted past the door, she realized they weren’t birds at all. They were covered with feathers but they were long with narrow heads. Another one flicked a tongue at her, tasting the air, and she realized it was a snake. A strange sight, some kind of monster she’d never seen before—and Ameyron probably had the explanation. If only she could speak with him.
Suddenly the snakes swarmed together and attacked her head. Omalia brushed them off with a wave of her hand and cast a shield spell. The snakes bounced harmlessly off the ball of energy, hissing in frustration, but she didn’t have time to worry about pests.
Omalia pressed her ear to the door, listening for some sign of life inside, but there was still no response. “Final warning—I’m coming in!”
She pushed up the long sleeves of her mage robes and wove her hands through the air, uttering the words of a spell that shattered the lock on the door. She pushed it open and strode inside, stepping over a pile of fallen books.
Omalia found Ameyron in the cluttered office at the back of his house, slumped over his desk and snoring loudly. With a groan, she picked up the heaviest book she saw, then dropped it onto the desk directly in front of his head with a loud bang.
Ameyron rocked back in his chair and looked around wildly. “What is it? What’s attacking—oh.” His eyes focused on Omalia, who was standing there with her arms folded and glaring at him. “I’m sorry, I forgot where I was for a moment. When did you come in?”
She tapped her foot on the floor expectantly. “I broke in when you missed our third scheduled meeting this week. Duchess Korinna has requested an audience to hear your report on your research from the past eight months. I need you to tell me your findings first, so I can be ready to translate them into something Her Grace will understand.” She pointed to the mess of papers scattered across his desk. “Tell me that’s not your report.”
He looked down, eyes widening, and then he hastily scrambled to shuffle the papers together. “Oh, right, the report. I’ve been working on it day and night since I came back, but there’s just so much data and notes from my expedition. I need more time to get it all organized.”
She put her hands on the front of the desk and leaned forward. “You’ve been back almost a full month! You don’t need to tell her everything, I just need the highlights—a summary, if you will. Where’s your apprentice? Isn’t she supposed to be helping you with all of this?”