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  • That was ten, no eleven years ago. The old king lived another six months and died in his sleep. Very little changed, as Torr had been king in all but name since his return. Torr was a king with a following of loyal dragons and warriors like no other before him. The exiled group came back upon his father’s death, but could see they were outnumbered and outgunned. They left within a fortnight and hadn’t been seen since. Torr barely took notice of them; although one of his dragon/warrior team followed them discretely to make sure they actually left the kingdom.

    He and Angel had built their home in that fertile valley out of the natural stone on the land. He styled it like a Mexican hacienda from his world; lots of outdoor spaces and patio areas inside a high walled exterior. This gave room for many visits from their dragon friends, usually accompanied by one or more of his warriors. There were many springs flowing into a brook in the valley and he captured one inside the courtyard providing fresh water to his home.

    And within the next ten months Shia had a brother to rule over; Rahl. Rahl looked just like him; black hair and green eyes with a smoldering dark complexion. Shia looked just like her mother except her hair was a fiery red. Like day and night it was startling to see the two of them together.

    The valley quickly filled up with similar homes as many of his Falian warriors settled down with the Human soldiers. He and Angel officiated at the simple ceremonies joining them together. And, as each of his warriors was considered family, their subsequent spouse was added to the family tree. The most peculiar feature of all the homes in the valley was the large room on the end of each house. Since the warriors had each paired up with a dragon from their first flight, they were also welcomed as family into the homes.

    Even the small group of rhino men and women built homes at the far end of the valley. It was there that the valley flattened out and looked more like the open plains they were used to back home. All were under the protection of the dragon king.

    Lately Kia and Shia were giving lessons to Barr and Rahl on how to fly like warriors. Of course, they were accompanied by the usual flying wing of protectors. The princess and prince were never without a layer of protection from anyone or anything that might wish them harm. And Shia and Rahl were considered as part of the package. Together the four were allowed to roam as far as they wanted as long as they followed two rules: be home by nightfall; never lose their bodyguards.

    When the sun’s finally set and the moons were just rising, he heard a faint noise from the back of the house. The kids were in bed, so he quietly rolled out of his own bed and, slipping into his scabbard, slowly eased into the hallway. Out in the courtyard he could see Rahl standing alone. He watched him for a moment as he lifted one of the stone benches into the air. Not with his arms, but with his mind. He waited until he had set the bench down again before opening the door and joining him.

    “Sorry father, I didn’t mean to wake you.” Rahl thought at him. “How long have you been able to lift things with your mind?” he asked Rahl. “Oh, Shia and I have both been able to do this since before I can remember. We have been very careful not to let anyone know of this ability. I was just awake and needed the exercise.” he thought matter of factly.

    He patted his son on the head and told him to get some rest. After Rahl went back to bed he sat there on that same bench and considered the ramifications of their hidden skills. Since he was unable to move objects and Angel was unable to move objects, it had to be the combination of the two species that opened up this path in their children. And with the bonding of the species in all the warrior/soldier homes they would, quite possibly, produce more children with the same abilities. He was imagining a whole generation with enhanced abilities.

    He climbed back into his bed and lay there for a long time before finally falling back to sleep. In the morning he told Angel of his night time discovery. She openly wondered if they had any other abilities. They decided to call a family meeting and find out. Shia was already aware that Rahl had let the cat out of the bag about their moving objects skill, but her face was embarrassed when they asked if there was more. Instead of answering, she disappeared from the table and reappeared across the room. “This is one of the skills Rahl and I have. The other is to become virtually invisible” and with that she began to fade from view. She waited a few moments before reappearing in the same spot.

    His first question: are there limitations on the distance she could teleport herself. And then: how long could she maintain the disappearing act. Shia was a little embarrassed that she didn’t know the answer to either question. “Rahl and I have never been left alone long enough to try going any further than the length of our rooms. We were afraid to tell anyone or to let them see us. And when we disappear, we only reappear when we want to.”

    He thought of all the other children that had been born in their valley and realized they needed to find out if all were that way. “Shia, I would like for you and Rahl to gather your friends together and find out if any of them have these same abilities. If they do, we need to start training them to increase those abilities. Just like you and Rahl had to train in warrior skills, it is important to be at your peak in these teleporting and cloaking skills.” He hugged each of them as they went out to find their friends. Angel looked at him and they shared the same thought,
    “I feel old…”
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