In today’s excerpt from The Reign of Dragons, Orivan and Tatiana cross paths when they’re both sent out with messages. The two friends haven’t seen each other in weeks, so they take time to catch up.
Friends Catching Up
Orivan and Moonshadow were almost back to Fort Ropytos when he saw a familiar marewing flying past him in the opposite direction. He waved to Tatiana, and she signaled for them to stop and talk.
Moonshadow and Lilywhite landed on the ground together. Orivan dismounted and ran to embrace his friend. She hugged him back eagerly.
“I wasn’t sure if we would cross paths!” Tatiana said with a small laugh. “Was it hard finding the duke on the road?”
Orivan shook his head. “He’s got flag bearers carrying his standard, so the traveling group was easy to spot. I caught up with them in a village inn several nights ago. But what are you doing out this way? You haven’t gone back to Bourassa yet?”
Tatiana quickly summarized the last few days that she had spent serving as a personal messenger for Duchess Korinna. “And now she wants me to take research materials from the mages to the Academy in Petropouli,” she said. “If Galenos isn’t there yet, I guess I’ll have to find him on the road to update him.”
Orivan shrugged. “It’s hard to tell. They were making good progress, so they might get there ahead of you, but they’ve already been attacked on the road.” Then he told her what he’d heard from the duke about the rocklions’ attack.
Tatiana made a sign to avert evil. “That’s foul luck. At least it wasn’t a dragon, though.”
Orivan coughed. “The duke doesn’t believe there are any dragons left. Be careful what you say to him.” He didn’t want Tatiana’s fragile feelings to be hurt by the duke’s harsh words.
“But I’m not the only one who has seen a dragon!” Tatiana opened the bag and shuffled around some papers until she found a sketch. She held it up with a defensive glare. “This is from the researcher, Ameyron. He encountered a dragon in Irakleio and they fought it off. And he thinks there could be more out there—hatching from eggs that have lain dormant for centuries.”
Orivan listened to her with wide eyes. “I never doubted what you said you saw, Tati,” he said, patting her arm. “But this should satisfy the duke. He trusts that mage, so he’ll have to listen to this report.”
She relaxed into a grin. “I know you’re on my side. You’re a good friend, Ori.”
They spent a few more minutes talking and catching up about everything that happened while they were apart. The friends used to spend every day together, so they wanted to share everything that happened.
Orivan admitted that things were more awkward than ever between him and Varranor, and Tatiana comforted him.
“You need to be patient,” she said gently. “It’s been a while since you’ve really had a chance to see him or speak with him, and a lot has changed since then. If you just try to be kind and get to know him again, it could get easier.”