Civilian Dragon Lord
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Andrew has been on the battlefield for eight years defending the kingdom from an empire that refused to leave them alone. Finally, a ceasefire was reached. Returning to a land he has not seen in many years, can he make it a home again? Will those he fought for accept him in their communities? or will Andrew turn the land he fought for into a battlefield of its own? Part 1 is now complete. Part two depends on readership, so please help share this novel, leave gems, and review if you would like more. Be sure to check out the "Download all available chapters" for the best current pricing options on my novels! Its the little cart with an arrow next to the read now button on your app! Also, be sure to check out my other series "Rejected Billionaire", and "The Huntress - Luna Eileen" available now!!
Prologue: Seat of the high king of Dragard
The throne room was quiet. Normally at this hour, courtiers and administrators would be bustling up and down the halls. Instead, the King sat pensively on his throne with eight of the kingdom’s most elite warriors before him. Over the past fifteen year’s these warriors had entered service and risen through the ranks of the army, defending the kingdom against the Jerean Empire. However, in the last 7 years, they had formed the Dragon Squad and proven themselves to be the top fighters around. Each was dressed today in full formal regalia, complete with impressive gold knotwork on their shoulders for rank, having just come in from the public promotion ceremony.
“My gods of war, come forward.” Said the king, gesturing to eight.
“With your new rank as of gods of war, you will serve under the supreme commander, and while your terms of required service are up, your rank is beyond your active service. I request you each take charge of a province. You are not responsible for the day-to-day operation, that is still the lord governors. However, in what capacity you see fit, you are in charge of the military forces of your given province. Jackson, as first among the gods of war, I am assigning you to Golan. Being in the west, you will have easy access to the capital here but also be able to support Asrana who will be assigned to Warrenton in the Northwest.”
“Yes, My lord,” said Jackson, bowing and accepting a sealed tube of orders.
“Anika, as second, I am placing you in charge of Placida to the east of the capital. Port Manai and its garrison will be under your purview, but I am sure you will spend much time in Tirana dealing with Lord Reva.”
Anika stepped forward and accepted her tube, a look of distaste crossing her face at the mention of Lord Reva.
“Gad, Malachi, and Carter, you three are assigned to the southern provinces of Andorra, Hyperion, and Karth respectively. Hopefully, you can encourage the farmers there to send more food supplies north and avoid too much of the fighting.”
“Thank you, my lord,” said the three, accepting their orders and stepping back.
“Zev, I give you the unenviable task of dealing with Coutre. It is beautiful coast there, but you are Cutoff from Placida to the south by the Drahgfir mountains. Coordinate with Nash who I am assigning to Ashai.”
“Yes my lord.” Said Zev.
“Nash, Asrana, step forward.” Said the king. “you two will bear the brunt of any hostilities to come. The Empire agreed to six months of ceasefire, but that is already half gone. If things start back up, it will be up to you to defend the walls, and garrisons. Call in aid as you see fit. Asrana, take charge of Warrington, and Nash, you will have Ashai.”
“Yes my lord.” They each replied.
“Any questions before I release you to a much deserved time away from the front lines?” asked the king.
It was Anika who stepped forward. “My lord…. Andrew? He was not at the promotion ceremony and was not mentioned…”
The king sighed. “O he was there, don’t worry. He saw you each raised to gods of war. However as for the rest… at his request, he was left out. As for where he is now, he is already on his way to the train depot I imagine, where there are private trains ready for each of you.”
Jackson and Anika glanced uncertainly at each other before bowing formally to the king.
“We serve the kingdom, and we will listen for the command of the supreme commander.” The eight gods of war said as they bowed formally, and retreated to pack, and head to the airfield.
After the gods of war departed, a hook-nosed advisor stepped out of the shadows and sneered, “they serve the kingdom and the supreme commander, but how about their king?”
“It is the pledge of the elite dragon brigade and has been since its inception, even when there were no gods of war yet, nor a supreme commander in place,” said the king in a tired tone, setting his heavy crown aside.
“Then why have you not ordered it changed?” queried the advisor, brow raised.
“It is tradition, Freemont, and they have served their terms faithfully. There is no need for you to pick a fight with them,” replied the king.
“And DeVos? Will you hold their conscription term upheld?” Freemont pressed.
“They sent us Andrew. He may not have been DeVos family blood, but with everything, he and the Dragon squad have accomplished, why should we make a fuss about it? If they had not sought him out, the kingdom may not be standing.”
Freemont frowned and held up a document. “The man was likely just a street orphan from what my sources say. How is that upholding the conscription decree for 8 years of service of a member of each high family? Not only that but to raise a commoner to such a rank as a god of war? Such power. Is that really wise?”
The king glared at his annoying advisor. “I know what the degree says, I signed it and enacted it! The spirit of the law was preserved and the kingdom is better off because of it. Drop it!” stemmed the king as he rubbed his temples he continued, “As for Andrew, and his title… the army had declared him as much even without my approval. To not do so would have caused rebellion within the ranks.”
“Yes my lord” Freemont said, stuffing the intelligence page back in his pocket.
Anika, the newly minted goddess of war, made her way onto the private train bound for Placida. She was still in her formal regalia as she was sure the lord governor would find out she was on her way and set up a greeting committee. She groaned at the thought of more public appearances.
As she boarded, she noticed a tall, lean man reclining in one of the few luxury seats aboard, reading a file. At first, all she could make out was a standard field uniform and standard short-cropped brown hair, but just as she was about to question who he was, the man lowered his file.
Anika snapped to attention. “Commander!”
“At ease, general, we know each other better than that. If you are ready, tell the conductor to take off then have a seat.”
“Yes, sir!” said Anika, snapping another salute, her tone full of respect and… admiration?
After Anika gave the conductor instructions she took her seat facing the man who she knew was only a few months older than her own twenty-four years. Five years together on the battlefield had hardened them both.
“Will you be joining me in Placida commander?” she asked tentatively.
“Anika, dear, we are alone. You can dispense with the titles. You know how much I despise them in the best of times.”
“Yes, of course. But what are you doing here? Are you coming to Tirana to help with Lord Reva or do you have other plans in Placida?” Anika asked, her eyes probing.
“I will depart when we land in Tirana. The capital is not for me. But never fear, I will still be within Placida. I think I will head to the coast and see what Durres is like these days.”
“Andrew,” Anika hedged, as the train speed up for the short trip to the Placidan capital city. “What do you plan to do in Durres? Didn’t you grow up there?”
“Many years ago, I was born there. But grew up? No, the Drahgfir mountains claim that honor, or horror, depending on how one thinks of the past.” Said Andrew, lost in thought.
“What are my orders then?” Asked Anika, a sense of professionalism masking her face.
“Protect the people. This war has dragged on for over fifteen years now. Use this time of peace to give them something to fight for here at home. They need a strong society that allows them to forget the battles we fight. Work on the military as you can, but focus on the Fire Dragon Corporation. That is my gift to you for your service. Use it to serve the people of Placida.” Andrew explained.
“gods of war and now business hu?” Anika chuckled. “I am not sure my flavor of negotiation will go over well in a boardroom.”
Andrew cracked a smile as he watched Anika twirl a small dagger between her fingers. “It may be just what is needed in some cases, but you are right, we should minimize the bloodshed at home.”
As the train slowed, nearing the Placidan capital, Anika asked, “will we see each other?”
“I am sure you will find an excuse to visit. It is your job after all to see all of Placida, and report,” said Andrew with a smile. “I am not confining you to Tirana. Port Manai and Durres will need your attention in due time. But make sure you have a firm foundation in Tirana first.”
“Give Raya my regards.” Said Anika as they pulled into a small station just outside Tirana, the Capital of Placida.
“Always. Gah it still amazes me that we can move between cities like this. If only trains could be used in the war it would be so much easier.” said Andrew, remembering some of the long supply groups it took to fend off the empire. Much of the nation's current rail system had come about out of necessity to get supplies to the border defenses, but rarely extended past those areas.
“you know as well as I that the empire’s air defense is almost as strong as ours. We are lucky to keep a balloon in the air outside the border without it getting taken out. A train track of any sort almost never has a chance to get established and the dirigibles get shot down.” Said Anika, standing to disembark.
Andrew glanced out the window and saw a small crowd forming.
“Dam, I was hoping to avoid being noticed.”
“Yet you came with me?” Anika chuckled.
“I will get my bike out of the cargo hold and leave from the back ramp. Don’t look for me. And Anika, be safe,” said Andrew.
“You as well, commander.” Anika smiled warmly and saluted out of habit.
The black hoverbike slipped around a corner and flew through intersections. Most people just thought a motorcycle was weaving through traffic. Few realized a high-end, powerful hoverbike was next to them. As the rider neared the port city of Durres, feelings of rightness began to settle on him. It had been 15 years since he first left Durres. Back then he was only a young starving boy of 12 who had just lost his parents. However, despite the pain of memory in this city, coming back now, this place just felt right to him.
‘thinking of making this home?’ said a telepathic voice in his head.
‘yes, Raya, I believe we will call this place home once more. It will take some work, but I think we are up for the challenge.’ Replied Andrew.
‘Andrew, this place… you may be feeling good about it, but it gives me the creeps. There is so much…. Wrong about this place.’ said Raya.
‘There are likely some bad people around. We will just have to clean up the town. It will be a
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