You continue exploring the oddly colored grove. You walk quickly, and it doesn't take you long to find another resident. You come across a slight girl, with surprising, green hair. She has her eyes closed, and she seems to be doing some sort of meditative exercise, like tae chi.
"Hello," you say. The girl continues meditating. You wait a few minutes, watching her fluid movements. After a while, you think maybe she hasn't heard. You clear your throat. "Umm... sorry to bother you, but I'm looking for creatures here, and... uh... do you speak English?" The girl continues on, oblivious. Finally, you walk toward her, intending to tap her on the shoulder. It is then that you are knocked to the ground from behind. You land hard, face first into the soil. You feel claws digging into your back, and an angry roar fills the air. You try to cover your head and squeeze you eyes shut, praying for it to be over quickly.
"Seeth!" a sharp voice yells. "Release that visitor!" You feel the claws loosen slightly, but the crushing weight isn't removed from your back. "Release fully, Seeth..." the voice commands, sounding impatient. Finally, whatever attacked you backs off, growling in annoyance. You heave in a breath of air and cough a few times. Cautiously, you raise your head. In front of you, you see the girl with green hair. She has her hands on her hips, and she's directing a glare behind you. Still somewhat stunned, you push up on one elbow and turn to look behind you.
Behind you is a large dragon. He is fixing you with a glare of his own, and baring very large fangs. You duck your head down and look to the girl for guidance. She comes over to you, still giving the dragon a reproachful glower, and helps you up carefully.
"I'm sorry about that," she says. "I'm Iladia. I was in the middle of meditation, and it's hard to rouse me from that. The fellow who nearly beheaded you is Seeth, my carmor."
You turn to look at the dragon again. He has turned away from you, and is now watching the skies with a fixed gaze. His black skin shines in the light and seems to swirl with different colors.
"He's a bit protective of me and our territory," Iladia explains. "Seeth, stop that, and please apologize to this visitor."
He turns his head sharply around and snarls, baring his teeth at you. Glancing at Iladia, he says, "Gol!" You get the distinct impression that is not an apology. Iladia's look darkens.
"Xexo koo vai pgaemi eloios," Iladia snaps at him in a firm voice, slipping into what must be Faidian. Seeth remains silent, crossing his arms in front of him in a very human-like fashion. Iladia persists in a warning tone, "Xexo koo vai pgaemi, qwe gol tova`sa'em..."
That sounds like a threat, you think. Seeth obviously thinks so too, because he turns to look at Iladia for a long moment. Finally, he turns back around and moves over to where you are standing. You flinch as he approaches; he can move fast for such a large creature. He stops a few feet from you, and barely making eye contact, speaks.
"I am sorry," he says in perfect English. You look up and give him a quick surprised glance, then duck your head back down, hoping he didn't notice. He looks to Iladia for approval; she raises an eyebrow. He sighs and continues. "I should not have hunted you. I apol... apol..." He stops and frowns. You prepare to be eaten, but he simply turns to Iladia again, a confused look on his face.
"Apologize," she says.
"Yes, I apologize," Seeth says, raising his head and standing up straight. He's much taller than you, and you swallow nervously.
"Apology accepted," you say, your voice squeaking a little. You clear your throat. "Thank you."
Seeth nods to you, and then wheels with surprising speed trots away rapidly. Iladia nods her head and drops her "angry mother" stance.
"He's still learning," she explains to you, watching as he breaks into a gallop and begins circling what must be the edge of their territory. "He does speak very good English for a carmor. He has to learn not to immediately try to hunt or injure anything that invades our space though. It's a male hormonal thing... I doubt he would have killed you, but he might have broken something."
You give her a look and shudder. You're still a bit shaken from the entire experience. Nothing at the Refuge has ever tried to attack you until now. Iladia doesn't notice, watching Seeth move gracefully across the ground. You turn to watch also. Hmm, he doesn't look so bad from far away... maybe he'll stay there, you think. Iladia, as though reading your mind, speaks up.
"He's still young, you know. He's only been here for a short while. It is better he learn through experience now rather than when he's an adult and twice that size."
"TWICE that size?!" you exclaim, your jaw dropping. He could have killed you at his current size!
"Of course," Iladia says, looking confused. "Seeth is only a hatchling. He's still gaining experience, muscle, and skill. We're working on learning to fly together, but he can only carry me for a short while now. His wings aren't fully developed."
"Oh," you say, looking at the dragon in a new light. Now that you look more carefully, he does have the characteristics of a hatchling... his talons are slightly too large, his body a bit too stout. Of course, it isn't surprising you didn't notice that when he was trying to eat you. You look around.
"Umm, thank you for not letting Seeth eat me," you say to Iladia. She nods and gets an odd smirk on her face.
"Oh, believe me, the rules were made very clear to me when I moved to the Refuge. No eating or hunting the visitors. I've made the adjustment rather well, and I'm sure Seeth will too."
You give Iladia a quick suspicious glance... she's adjusted to not eating the visitors? Iladia doesn't notice, seemingly entranced with Seeth. You decide it's high time you got back to the safety of the main cabin.
Well, thank you just the same," you say. "I'd better get going. It's getting late... I think..." It's impossible to tell in this dusk anyways. Iladia nods.
"Windspeed, traveler," she says, "and be careful." You nod and quickly leave the Grove. You certainly won't be coming back here any time soon! Grasping the slip crystal Ramona gave you, you disappear in a flash of light.
Ilaida from Dragon Moon
Faidian creatures from Arborwin Adoptions
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Last Updated: June 18, 2004