Book 2 Chapter 14

AsaHi’s mind unfolded for Zemi like a map. A map to vastly extraordinary things.

AsaHi spent with the Dragons in Wyndor, here abilities unlocked easily. All it took was a small nudge. It was for that reason that Zemi sent his Servants to bring the girl there to begin with. Enough exposure to the Dragons would eventually trigger something — it was obvious to them all that she was right on the edge of finding it for herself.

Now that Drei’distau was finally revealed, the Arweinydd sat expectantly next to AsaHi by the flower-shrouded pool. AsaHi’s excitement of the discovery seemed to have faded upon their landing. Strangely enough, a mixture of quiet apprehension and anxiety had replaced it.

AsaHi’s expression was deeply troubled when Zemi finally return to his Earthian form. Her replies to his prompts were shaky and she almost refused to meet his gaze. This brought a wave trepidation washing over the confused Dreigiau.

Zemi couldn’t understand this strange reaction. After all, AsaHi seemed to take the news of Drei’distau so well. He figured the cause of her apprehension couldn’t solely come from the revealing of her innate abilities.

Still, it was obvious that something was bothering her… something more going on behind the light of her eyes.After floundering together in an uncharacteristic puddle of awkward silence, Zemi decided it was time to unravel the source of the unfathomable feminine mystery.

“What’s wrong? Did you think my landing was off?” Zemi gave an easy, fangy grin. Tilting his head forward, he peered at the girl’s down-turned face, trying to snag some of her attention.

“What?” AsaHi seemed a little surprised at the abruptness of his question.

“I’ll have you know it was a perfect 10 point 0! Never less than the best from this Dragon, yes-no?” he thumbed back at his chest, turning up the charm now that he finally managed to get her to look at him.

“Ah… sure…”

“You don’t sound so certain,” he prodded playfully. All his efforts to lighten the mood seemed to be about as futile as the flight of a dust mote upon a beam of sunlight. So he changed his approach. “I bet I surprised you real good, eh?”

Perhaps that was the trouble, Zemi mused. Perhaps she was recovering from surprise. After all, it seemed that sometimes Earthians didn’t always emotionally react to a situation until the aftermath.

“Surprised?” she blinked over at him. Again, rewarding him with eye contact.

“About Drei’distau?” he grinned encouragingly. If there was anything that captured AsaHi’s interest, it was the search for knowledge.

She gave a watery laugh. It was weak, but it was a start. “I don’t think ‘surprise’ quite covers the whole of it, Zemi.”

“Is it such a bad thing?” the Dreigiau inquired, baiting up the topic.

“N-no. Not at all. It’s just… I thought I didn’t have any magic,” AsaHi told him, hands bunching up the front of her tunic.

“It’s not exactly what I’d call magic,” Zemi replied, picking his words carefully. “Not in the sense of the word as you know it. Drei’distau is something deeply innate.”

“What do you mean?” the girl’s hands dropped from her tunic as she peered at him. Her usual steadfast curiosity was trickling down to overcome the troubled expression.

“Well, for starters, it’s not like tossing around a fireball or turning something invisible,” the Dreigiau scratched at his chin. “It’s more like… part of what you are. Part of your nature. Part of your existence.”

“Isn’t magic part of a person’s nature, too?” AsaHi asked.

“Somewhat, but in a different way. Magical is a talent, a special sensitivity to the world’s forces,” Zemi spread one hand, grasping for a way to bring his point home. “But the Drei’distau is something that is inherently a part of your being. Something you were born to become. You could no more avoid being Drei’distau than you could change the color of your eyes.”

“So you’re saying this would have happened no matter what? Even if I never met the Dragons?” she asked, slowly becoming more and more engrossed in the conversation. Loosening up as the words began to flow between them.

“You would have met the Dragons,” he told her resolutely. “You would have sought them out eventually. You may not have understood why, but you would have been called to do so. Why do you think you were drawn to the Host Gate?”

“Because I thought that the whole Zemi Dreigiau thing was just a big pack of silly stories,” AsaHi answered. Then with a sense of someone taking the first steps into the vast unknown, she gave a nervous grin.

Zemi was taken off guard for a moment. Then he grinned in return, fangs showing at the corners of his mouth. “I sure fooled you.”

“If that’s what you want to believe.” Slowly, the final strands of tension seemed to be draining from her limbs, leaving behind something else. When AsaHi leaned back, there was a mysterious look on her face.

“Heh… well…” Something about the look was intriguing and strangely delightful. Zemi couldn’t figure out why such thoughts crossed his mind when there were other, more pressing issues to be thinking about.

He knew that Drei’distau had done more than just brought AsaHi a new understanding. It created a new-found balance between the Arweinydd and Earthian realms of their world, a sense of equality that he now offered to share with the girl. For Zemi had suspicions that AsaHi’s compassion could save him from the grips of Chaos.

Chaos was something he decided not to tell AsaHi about. Not just yet. Some things were far too complicated for him to explain this early into the game. Besides, the girl always found the hard questions to ask even without his encouragement.

Eventually he knew he would have to tell her about the forces that fought for control of his spirit, and how by the solace of her presence his heart had been soothed. How he was fortunate to have been bound to the physical laws that drove the Dragon-kin when he had chosen to take on a Dragon form… for otherwise, even the Drei’distau may not have worked.

Zemi Dreigiau would have been lost. Devoured by the Chaos.

But none of this she needed to know. Not right now. The only thing that mattered was that she remained nearby. That she belonged to him as Drei’distau.

“Brunswik told me that the Dragons were once people,” she spoke suddenly. It wasn’t a question, but it held the hints of one. One of those hard questions — AsaHi never gave up seeking for the highest truth.

“That’s right,” Zemi nodded, giving a half-answer, trying to skirt the issue.

“But they don’t all have a person form like Kudako?”

“No,” he buckled a little, “Only Kudako and KaiShi have an Earthian form. The rest are pure Dragons.”

“How can they be pure Dragons if they were once people? What did you do to them, Zemi?” her eyes focused on him with new intensity.

He winced, thinking that perhaps his efforts to get AsaHi to loosen up had worked a little too well. There was no getting out of answering this one. So he went for the charm.

The Dreigiau stretched his hands out in front of the girl, cupping palms together as a soft blue-white light began to grow between them. In a gentle sweep of rainbow colors, tiny glowing images of Dragon-illusions took flight towards the sky.

The distracted expression of delight on AsaHi’s face was just what he was hoping for. Transfixed, she watched the tiny illusions wing away and vanish into the blue. She was one of the few people that loved Dragons as much as he did. That in itself was enough to connect them from the beginning.

“The real Dragons of your world actually disappeared a very long time ago,” Zemi’s voice was heavy-hearted.

AsaHi’s head jerked up with a look of surprise, “They did? I didn’t know that!”

“Yes. I’m not sure what caused the passing of the Dragon-kin. There were only a few left even when I first came to visit your world,” the Arweinydd peered at her with a somber face. “I did have the time to study and learn from them before they vanished. They were the first creatures that I had any real contact with here. I was stricken by their magnificence…”

“So you decided to make yourself like them?” she asked. She reached down and idly plucked a small red flower, pinching the stem and pulling it away.

“Yes,” Zemi answered slowly. The illusion of rainbow Dragons began to fade away. “It was before the rise of the Earthian peoples. I thought it was a terrible shame that the Dragons should vanish from this world, so I decided to construct my first form in replication of the creatures. Thereafter, I also chose to make my Servants in the forms of Dragons as well.”

“But they were people first?” she went back to her original question. Not detoured for long.

“That’s right,” he sought to find the easiest way to explain it. “But they decided to become my Servants. So I gave them the form of a Dragon.”

“They decided?” AsaHi tilted her head, picking a second flower, a white one. She began to weave the stems of the two flowers together between her fingers as she listened.

“Yes. I can’t make such a vast, permanent transformation without their permission. They had to be willing to make the change.”

AsaHi mulled over that for a little while, plucking more flowers and adding them to the chain. White and red, alternating. The silence was unnerving. He knew the longer she remained silent the more questions would come.

“They just decide to leave their life behind and become Dragon Servants? I think that would be rather… awkward…”

“Not if that person was at their final moment of life,” Zemi’s sharp eyes turned towards the girl. Now they were getting into rocky territory.

“What do you mean?” she asked, holding one white flower in her hand as she paused to look at him.

“Each Servant was once a person who lived a full life and then passed from this world for one reason or another. In that last moment, I came and offered them a chance to carry on,” the Dreigiau spoke slowly. “In life, each had some special spark in them… something that I knew could bring light to this world if nurtured in the right way. I offered them a choice, a new form and a new life. So far, I’ve never been turned down.”

“But they knew they’d become…”

“A Dragon?”


“I don’t hide it from them,” Zemi shrugged. “The Dragons here don’t seem all that unhappy after making that choice, do they?”

“No,” she was thinking again. “No, I guess not.”

There was silence for a moment. Unease.

Zemi surprised himself when he asked, voice full of uncharacteristic meekness, “You think it is wrong of me to do these things… even with their permission?”

“I don’t know,” AsaHi answered, truthfully. “I suppose it depends. You don’t make people Dragons simply because you want more Servants, do you?”

“No. Otherwise, what would stop me from having many hundreds of Servants around here?” he chuckled at the thought. Then his face grew strangely compassionate. “I choose certain people for special reasons. Often, there are things left unsettled in their former lives… that I wish to offer them a chance to complete.”

“Like Kudako?” She wove a red flower into the chain.

“Exactly!” Zemi smiled, cheered at her keen observation. “In his previous life, Kudako died as a miserable, defeated creature that had never been given a chance to live a life with feeling or emotion. He was used for terrible things by the Spiral, transformed into an Annihilator…”

“Though what is the difference between him being used by the Spiral and being your Servant?”

His eyes lowered as he gave a great sigh, “AsaHi… I care about Kudako. He may carry out my orders, but I don’t use him like they did. I try to give him missions that will help break the chains of his past.”


Zemi chuckled lightly. “Oh, you should have seen him when he was first assigned to be Zento’s teacher.”

“Did Kudako not like Zento?” the girl finally connected the two ends of the flower chain, making a loop.

“Well, it’s not that. Kudako thought he was going to train this great, talented young warrior,” the Dreigiau smirked at the memory of it. “Young was right. Zento was merely a child when he and Kudako met. And I’ll have to say that raising Zento and Sara from a young age did a lot to soften old ‘Dako up. It really was a good experience for him, even if he didn’t appreciate it at first.”

“Really? Kudako raised them from children? That’s hard to imagine,” AsaHi was now grinning, too. It was quite the sight to see. “There was actually a time when Kudako was more stern than he is now?”

“You have no idea,” Zemi smirked even more. “So, you think you can trust me to run these Dragon affairs? I might just have an idea of what I’m doing every now and then, yes-no?”

She looked up into his face, then down at the finished ring of flowers in her hands. Seeming not to know what else to do with it, she placed the ring of flowers on his brow., a crown of red and white upon the wild mane of hair. Her words were slightly teasing, “Do we really have much of a choice, Lord Zemi Dreigiau?”

“That just depends,” Zemi laughed warmly in return, lifting his head with the delight of his newly acquired adornment.

That was when he caught the distant form of KaiShi standing in one of the doorways, watching them. There was a stern look of disapproval on her face as she turned and walked back the other way.