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Elisia was the last of her line. Her people, dragon shifters, were a strong people, but needed a ruler. After her, the legacy of the Dragon Queens would be gone. It was her duty to marry well and produce an heir. Elisia understood this, however, she felt that she wasn't up to it.
She had always been shy and bookish, unlike her brothers. Too bad Drakes couldn't take the throne. They were free to be carefree and could choose their mates.
Her mother had been an amazing queen. She had also been the best mother a young dragonling princess could ask for. Elisia was afraid that she could never live up to her mother's legacy.
The week before the Draconic Promenade, Elisia sought out her mother's best advisor to ask for help.
“Great advisor, I know that I cannot be a queen like my mother. I lack the grace, the beauty, the courage to be as great as she.”
“Dearest Elisia, you possess all of that and more. You are young, as your mother was when she ascended the throne. She felt the same as you.”
“How can that be? My mother was never afraid, never one to shy away from anything.”
“Fear is not a bad thing, Elisia. Fear of failure can be used to keep you from failing. The bad thing about fear is letting it control you. Letting it stop you from reaching your destination, from living your legacy.”
With that new knowledge, Elisia went in her way, to think. She walked the gardens in her human form, her hand wrapped around her mother's locket. She knew she had to step up. She had to choose a mate and take the throne, but she didn't know if she could stop being afraid. How would she know which Drake would be the best mate?
The day of the Promenade arrived. Elisia was to present herself in both forms that day and she felt that her dragon half was not beautiful enough to attract a strong Drake. Her friend, her mother's advisor, reminded her of their conversation and added, “If he cannot love both halves of you, he isn't the right one. Courage, my dear, us being afraid, yet carrying on. You have more courage than you can even imagine. You've never once given up on your duty, though you were afraid.”
Elisia didn't know what to say, so she remained silent.
The first half of the Promenade consisted of Elisia meeting with the eligible Drakes of her kingdom and others while in human form. Their magic was diminished considerably in this form, which is why to meet their soulmate, dragon form was required.
Only one Drake drew her eye. He wasn't pushy, he wasn't trying to fight his way to her. She could tell he was shy and possibly even frightened from all of the boisterous music and voices. She couldn't blame him, she was too. She didn't get a chance to talk to him before she had to leave for the Great Hall and the second part of the night.
She went behind the partition and began removing her clothes, she took a deep breath and transformed. Her scales were a dull grey, she always thought this form was quite ugly compared to her mother's magnificent golden scales. Tradition was tradition, though, and she chose to be brave.
The moment the Drake arrived, she knew it to be the one from the ballroom. His dragon form was magnificent, as compared to his human form. He had beautiful green scales and golden eyes. Elisia could feel her scales heating up as she locked eyes with him. She began to transform, from her tail to her wings, her scales were turning a brilliant gold. Like her mother's. Elisia gasped and turned to the advisor. She gave Elisia a knowing smile. It seemed that she had found her soulmate and her courage and had transformed into the queen she was meant to be.
The rest of the night she spent with Tregor, her Drake. She learned that he was afraid of being rejected by her and didn't think she'd notice him. He had almost left after the first half. But he had built up his courage and came anyway just to see her.
They were married the next week.
Elisia and Tregor were the finest, most courageous of rulers of the Dragon Shifters that ever lived. They taught their children that courage isn't about being big or strong or beautiful, it's not even about not being afraid, but overcoming fear to be the best that you can be. Their story is told still to the young Queens who feel they aren't good enough to rule.

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