Home > Dragon Mage (Dragon Point #7)(6)

Dragon Mage (Dragon Point #7)(6)
Author: Eve Langlais

“You think the bottle was talking?” She snorted. “Let me guess, we woke it up when we removed it from the ruins.”

“You should have left it alone,” he grumbled.

“Oh, stop it,” she huffed. “It was a bottle. Bottles don’t talk.”

“Unless they’re a prison,” he snapped but said no more, as the door at the far end of the storage space opened and a man appeared.

He was rather sizeable, his belly hanging over the belt holding up his trousers. He spotted them and yelled, “Daphne! Are you okay? I saw the broken glass.”

“Hey, Frank. I’m fine. Just a little accident. I was going to grab some fresh air before I clean up.”

“Who is this guy?” The corpulent fellow pointed at him.

“None of your concern,” Azrael declared with a swirl of his fingers.

“I’ll decide that. You didn’t sign in with me.” Frank put a hand at his waist and took a step forward.

“Sir, I’m going to need you step away from Daphne and come with me.”

“No need for that, Frank. I’m the one who let him in. Azrael, is, um, one of the archeologists from the ruins. He wanted to make sure the artifacts got here all right.”

“I don’t care. He needs to have permission from the boss and sign in with me. Let’s go,” Frank ordered, actually expecting Azrael to obey.

“You are trying my patience.” Azrael drew from the magical residue in the room, whispered a word to give it shape, and threw it at the man, who slumped to the ground.

“What did you do to Frank?” she squeaked. She went to move past him, but he snared her arm.

“We are leaving.”

“Oh no, we’re not. Dream or not, Frank doesn’t deserve to be hurt.”

“He’s sleeping.”

“Wake him up. Right now.”

His brows drew together. “Be quiet or I’ll put you to sleep as well.”

Her mouth opened. “Don’t you dare! That’s ass—”

He drew more magic, muttered the word of power, and she began to fall. Azrael caught her before she could hit the ground. She didn’t weigh much despite her feisty nature.

Confronting a Shaitan, that took guts, or ignorance. He was betting on the latter.

Only as he brushed the hair from her face did he notice a tiny shard of glass embedded in her forehead. He brushed it loose, and a bead of blood welled. A tiny wound that would easily heal. By the time she woke up, it would already be dry.

And he’d be gone. On the lookout for the next seal to appear. With two of them broken, it wouldn’t be long.

Three thousand years he’d waited for this moment. He couldn’t give up now. If he did, then the sacrifice made would be in vain. The Shaitan and their master would win. And when they did, it wouldn’t be gentle or kind. He knew what they were capable of.

The woman in his arms didn’t move, and he thought about placing her on the floor and simply leaving. But he still needed a guide for this world. Not to mention, if the amphora were considered precious ancient artifacts, worthy of display in a repository, then perhaps, this Daphne could show him the location of other museums that might have a seal hidden away in a dusty corner or on display for anyone to break.

He rose with her in his arms then kicked the bar to swing open the door. It exited into an open space behind the building with a large expanse of asphalt painted with lines. Two metal chariots sat at rest. One was boxy with writing on it. The other, small and a bright blue. It didn’t take much guessing to know which belonged to the female.

Now he only had to decipher the magic that moved the chariots. Thus far, he’d allowed others to transport him, paying only slight attention.

How hard could it be?

Tossing her over his shoulder, he strode to her chariot and tugged on the handle. It didn’t open. He yanked again and, when it didn’t budge, pulled harder, wrenching the metal lever clear from the body. Shoddy workmanship.

Moving to the other side, he eyed the handle. It didn’t open the door either, indicating perhaps some kind of locking system. But he had no key. Palpating the female, he discovered a package of something with a minty scent, a stylus filled with ink, a phone covered in a slick material that glittered pink and gold, but no keys.

He glanced at the building. They might be inside. He didn’t have the patience to look.

Would a spell work?

Outside the building, the magic proved easy to grasp, and he muttered to focus the zap he aimed at the mechanism. Something whirred and clicked. He tugged the handle, and the door opened!

He smiled. Easy. Surely driving would be as simple.

A thought revised when, after magicking the car to life and eventually lurching forward when he pressed a pedal, he hit a pole that really could have been better located. A balloon exploded from the chariot and punched him in the face, and a horn blared his shame for everyone to hear.

This wouldn’t have happened if he’d left the female behind. She was proving to be bad luck, and the temptation to dump her increased. He could find someone else to help him. Yet something stayed him. Just like something forced him to act and save her from the Shaitan. Big mistake. He could have let the Shaitan kill her and, while it was distracted, stolen the bottle and stopped the coming apocalypse before it began.

But no. He just had to get involved and save the human. Now the second of seven seals was broken. Only five more to go, two enemies on the loose searching, and he was wasting time.

A zap silenced the horn. The bag in his face started to deflate but he slashed it to ribbons in case it decided to cause more trouble. He shouldered open the door and emerged to stretch before he scooped Daphne out of the back of the chariot. He quickly moved from the crash before it drew attention.

A few streets away, he found another chariot with the glowing light on top of it. A conveyance for hire.

The driver, wearing a fabric headdress, opened his window and said, “What’s wrong with your friend?”

“She is sleeping.”

“Sure, she is. Put the woman down and walk away.”

“No. She is mine.” He hugged her tighter to his chest.

“I highly doubt that. I won’t let you hurt her.”

A strange statement. “Why would I harm her? I require her help.”

“And does she want to give you her help?” The man in the vehicle pressed a button and turned away. “Dispatch, we have a situation that will require—”

Azrael tossed some colored paper through the window. “I wish to hire your services.”

The man in the fabric head covering eyed the offering then Azrael. “She your girlfriend or something? Had too much to drink?”

“Yes.”

It seemed as if agreeing was the correct response, as the driver grunted. “Get in. Where to?”

A location was required. He pursed his lips and eyed the female.

“What if I didn’t know for sure and had to find out?” he asked, handing over more of the paper to the driver. It never ceased to amaze him how fond people of this time were of the paper they called currency. In his day, jewels, precious metals, and actual tangible goods were the way to pay.

“She got a wallet? Driver’s license would have it.”

“A what?”

The man with the fabric hat sighed. “You really aren’t making this easy.”

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