Home > Ancient Warrior (Ancients Rising #8)

Ancient Warrior (Ancients Rising #8)
Author: Katie Reus





Something was happening.

For the first time in years, he felt a crack in the spell encasing him underneath this blasted fae dungeon.

Heat. Power. Not fae. Dragon fire.

Something was affecting the spell from outside. Somewhere…

Aodh shoved out with his own magic, felt a snap as the powerful spell that had been holding him hostage fractured. It was just a fissure, but that was all he needed. All he’d been waiting for.

He shoved out again like a battering ram with the brute strength of his dragon and his magic. Roaring out his rage as his own fire engulfed him, he pushed out harder and stronger now that the invisible chains binding him had finally weakened.

He might never get this chance again. Had to take advantage.

Had to get free.

Get revenge.

Now that the spell was weakened, he shoved up through the stone slab that had buried him alive in dragon form, ignoring everything as it crumbled away, fell beneath him into the pit he would never return to again.

He’d rather die than be imprisoned again.

As he flew upward into the fae’s castle dungeon—the one above his own secret one—he saw night sky for the first time in… He’d lost track of the time. Maybe fifteen years.

Nothing, for an ancient as old as him.

Except it had been stolen from him. Everything had been stolen.

As he emerged fully, he saw that fire and destruction bathed where the fae castle in the Domincary realm had once been. Hundreds of other dragon shifters were high in the air, their colors shimmering against the starlight. He didn’t recognize their clan colors or their scent.

A lone naked female in human form stood amongst the rubble, her bare feet coated in ash, her hands on her hips as she surveyed the destruction around her with…satisfaction.

That was when he felt her magic, as ancient as he was.

He had no idea who these dragons were, but they’d somehow set him free in their battle against the fae. And he’d be leaving now, thank you very much.

Ignoring them, he flew upward even higher, letting his dragon fire carry him as he called on magic he hadn’t been able to touch in far too long. Not since he’d been poisoned, then trapped.

His dragon fire consumed him as he moved through time and space in the rare way his line of dragons could transport until he disappeared from the fae realm and ended up…

In the middle of a Chicago street. But not the one he remembered. In human form now, he kept his camouflage in place as he surveyed his surroundings.

All around him were high-rises that looked as if they’d been bombed. Most of the glass windows had been blown out of the high-rises, the tops of some of them completely ripped away. And that was only the buildings still standing—most weren’t. Foliage had started to grow as it slowly overtook the once bustling human metropolis surrounding him.

He inhaled deeply. Scented life, but no humans.

A wolf howled in the distance, and when he saw a shadow move in the building nearest him he narrowed his gaze, then laughed lightly at himself.

A jaguar loped out of the bottom floor of a building, dragging a limp, dead deer. It paused and stared at him even though he was concealed.

Animals could always sense more. Unlike humans, they never questioned their sixth sense.

Aodh waited until the jaguar finally left, its meal leaving a bloody streak behind it, before he shifted to his dragon form. Still unsure of everything at this point, he kept his camouflage cloaked around him as he took to the skies and surveyed the destruction below.

This was not the city he remembered. Not the world he remembered.

And this destruction hadn’t been done by humans. The scent of dragons was faint on the air as well as the distinctive remnants of dragon fire charring various buildings. He knew what bombs smelled like, knew what kind of destruction large ones could inflict. But this…had been done by supernaturals.

In that moment, his plans were merely altered, not cancelled.

He would find Harlow, wherever she was in this new world. And he would get his answers, find out why his fierce, deadly tiger abandoned him to rot in that prison.

Then he was going after the witch who’d imprisoned him. And he was going to kill her.






From a treetop, Flavia watched the flames lick high into the air as the destruction from the wretched dragons spread—ruining everything.

The castle of the Domincary realm no longer stood, and that weak, pathetic king was dead. Not that she cared about that. But her captive was free.

She’d gotten lucky years ago, so damn lucky—more than she could have imagined. But she’d seen an opportunity and had taken it, had used trickery to gain the most delicious prisoner ever. One of pure power. One she’d slowly been feeding off for years. It was every energy witch’s dream.

Now, he was free.

And all because of bloody dragons. She loved and hated the powerful beasts. Their power was intoxicating, and now that she’d had years to drown in the taste of one, to siphon off energy whenever she desired, she could not settle for anything less again.

Human energy was too weak more often than not. Supernaturals in general had a slightly stronger energy, especially shifters. But dragons and other creatures of fire were like drinking raw power.

She wasn’t sure what it was, but something about their life force worked exceptionally well with her own powers. And now she’d lost her main source of it.

As the fae ran through the forest, looking for shelter far away from what had once been their home, she remained in the shadows high up in one of the trees. From this point of view she could see that the dragons were starting to leave, one by one, their female leader directing them.

The two violet moons of the Domincary realm shone bright, illuminating a pile of rubble, ash, and a large cavern underneath the castle and dungeon.

The gaping hole yawned wide, the edges of it jagged from where her prisoner had broken free.

Flavia was briefly tempted to confront the female dragon, who was now in human form, surveying her destruction with what Flavia assumed was pride.

Flavia was too far away, her position on the edge of the forest giving her a wide view of everything, and she was up too high. And unlike shifters, she did not have the same eyesight. When she was at full capacity, glutted on her prisoner’s energy, she had those same powers, but not now.

She’d been off in the human realm and had come back only to find this one invaded.

No, she could not face off with the dragon female with silvery hair. Her power pulsed in the air, the energy crackling like lightning. No one else would be able to see it, but Flavia could. She saw the little waves around the female, wanted to go to her, drive her athame through the female’s chest and take everything.

But she was too weak, having waited too long to feed on her prisoner. Stupid, stupid, she silently berated herself.

She’d gotten complacent in the knowledge that he would be waiting for her when she needed a hit. And this female was at full capacity, would burn her to a crisp if she even approached. The only reason Flavia had even gotten a dragon in the first place was because they’d been in an enclosed basement and she’d managed to use a confusion spell. It had been so quick, then he’d been hers.

Now she would have to make a new plan, regroup. And that meant she needed power. Turning away from the temptation of the naked female dragon shifter, because she did not wish to die tonight, she quickly descended the tree, using her reserves to slow her descent.

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