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A note from HonourRae

Appreciate all the comments and messages! I'm so happy people have enjoyed my story so far. This is the last chapter for book 1. (It's short, but that's an epilogue for you.)

Book 2 will post as usual Wednesday. Thanks for reading along!

~ Honour

Four Weeks Later...

“Leader Whittaker says he’s seen cracks in the Rare’s shell,” Kenzie reported, in between puffs of breath. She and Arthur were hiking the more remote northern slopes, exploring the dips and valleys. “Says it’ll be hatching any day now.”

“It took its time.” Arthur stopped at the edge of a rocky spur and looked out. It was a clear, cold day. The land seemed to stretch out forever, broken by winding rivers edged with early frost.

Kenzie stopped as well to take in the view. “Rares hatch out in their own time. I’ll just be glad when the little guy either picks or rejects the snooty nobles face-to-face so they can go home.”

Arthur nodded, though he was no longer as annoyed as Kenzie.

Duke Rowantree and his son had quietly packed up and left three days ago.

Losing the cards had been a scandal, though a minor one. The investigation was kept discreet, as they weren’t supposed to be selling cards in the first place.

Subtle Seekers were brought into several noble gatherings over the last few weeks. None had physically touched Arthur, but he had felt odd brushes against his heart.

Likely, these Seekers had been searching for specific cards from a list the Duke had provided. And none had pierced the veil of his Personal Storage.

No one had brought up the fact that “Earnest Kane” had a Legendary in his heart. Arthur doubted he was the only one.

He’d given it a few more days to make sure. However, it seemed if Lional and Penn were still searching for their cards, they were no longer focusing on the hive nobles.

Arthur was finally free to add the Master of Body Enhancement to his heart deck.

And what better place to start his enhancement training than with an invigorating hike?

Kenzie had come along because he needed a lift to the northern slopes. Marteen had flown off to flirt with the male dragons, but Kenzie, it seemed, wanted an update.

“When do you think it’ll be safe to bring those kids out?” she asked, staring flatly at his chest.

“I’ll start once the Rare’s linked up, but I don’t want to do it all at once. Most will be taken in by the orphanages. I dropped a hint to Freyja and made sure they’ll have good places.” He looked at her and added for what felt like the twentieth time. “I’m not going to promise they’ll all be dragon riders.”

Kenzie smiled wickedly. “I just want to have a chat with a few who had those good cards you told me about. Speaking of cards…”

“Yeah.” Arthur was almost vibrating with excitement. He had waited long enough. He took out his Master of Body Enhancement card, pulled down his collar, and pushed it in.

 

Master of Body Enhancement (Legendary) has been added to your heart deck.

 

Master of Body Enhancement is a body-utility card, it has automatically been slotted into your body slot.

 

 

Card synergy found. You have added a second card from the same set (Master of Skills + Master of Body Enhancement) to create a pairing. Due to this pairing, you are able to create new classes which require both utility and body-based skills. These new classes may add to your attributes.

 

 

You have unlocked your personal base-point attributes. Card effects and classes may add or subtract from your base attribute score on a temporary basis. See additional card and class description for more information. See Heart Deck for additional display options.

Base Attribute Points:

(20 = average)

 

Strength: 18

Stamina: 16

Dexterity: 16

Perception: 14

Charisma: 17

Intelligence: 22

Wisdom: 25

Luck: 20

 

Heart Deck

Total cards: 6


Total completed sets: 0


Paired cards: 2


Linked cards: 0


Mind: 3


Body: 1


Spirit: 2

 

“Good card?” Kenzie didn’t know all the details, of course. But she had already been let in on most of the story and was sharp enough to guess the rest.

Arthur let out a shaky breath. “I want to run. I want to climb. I want to do everything.”

With a chuckle, she extended an arm out to the rocky slope. “Go for it.”

There was a crack on the opposite wall. Arthur grabbed it and pulled himself up. He grunted with the effort.

 

New skill gained: Rock Climbing (Mountaineering Class)

Due to your card’s bonus traits, you automatically start this skill at level 3.

 

Twenty feet up or so was a ledge. He pulled himself up to it, gulping air and grinning.

Then he turned, seeing a small cave beyond.

“How are you going to get down from there, smart guy?” Kenzie called.

“Don’t know. Hey, did you know there was a cave here?”

“It’s a hive. There are caves everywhere.”

He couldn’t say why, but this felt different. Still breathing hard, he peered within the gloomy cave and let his eyes adjust.

 

New skill gained: Night Vision (General Body Class)

Due to your card’s bonus traits, you automatically start this skill at level 3.

 

He grinned, already loving this card.

His grin faded as what he thought was a dark rock resolved into a wall of scales.

“Kenzie! There’s a dragon up here! I… I think it’s dead.”

“What?”

Say something for Kenzie. She didn’t have a skill to help her out, but she immediately started climbing the wall too. Arthur leaned over the lip and grabbed her hand to help her up the last few feet.

Nodding her thanks, the dragon rider brushed off her dirty clothing and walked past him, straight to the corpse.

It was a purple dragon, positioned so that her hind end nearly blocked the narrow portion of the cave. The front half lay in the light where the rocky ceiling broke above to reveal the sky. It was an oddly peaceful scene.

“What happened to it?” Arthur asked.

Kenzie shook her head, looking upset. Inching past the corpse, she stopped.

Arthur looked over her shoulder and froze as well.

The dragon was lovingly curled around a single black egg.

The egg was tiny for a dragon’s egg—perhaps as big as two fists pushed together, with such a dark shell that it seemed to suck in everything around it. Arthur found himself leaning forward as if drawn in.

Kenzie took in a sharp breath. “Back up! Back up! Get away!” She pushed him viciously back, nails digging into his shirt when he didn’t immediately give way.

Shocked, Arthur did. Kenzie didn’t stop shoving until they reached the edge of the cave lip.

“What’s wrong?” he demanded. “Why did you do that?”

She stared around, eyes wild. “I’ve never felt magic like that before. I think it came from that egg… Oh no…” she groaned, hands coming to her cheeks.

“What’s wrong?”

“I’ve heard Legendary eggs can be like that. The magic in them is completely wild. It’s dangerous.”

“A… Legendary?” Arthur started forward again but Kenzie gripped his arm.

“Don’t go in there. Didn’t you feel that pull? What do you think happened to that purple? Oh wow.” She blinked. “A Legendary laid by a common purple. I wonder what that’ll be like.”

Arthur barely thought about his answer. He was still looking back towards the egg. “The most extraordinary things can come from the simplest magics.”

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HonourRae

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