Book 3 Chapter 30

Brunswik perched on the edge of the Island, making all the trees around him look tiny in comparison. His vast bulk carried the supplies shipping to and from Wyndor and the friendly Spiral tribes. Despite this, the huge crimson Dragon seemed completely unhindered. In fact, as AsaHi walked up to him, he was very much asleep.

“Brunswik?” she called softly. It was always a good idea to give a sleeping dragon a warning before approaching. Brunswik had a habit of rolling over in his sleep, sometimes with people standing there.

A deep rumble shook the ground around her feet. For a moment, she looked at the island with alarm. Then she realized the Dragon was just snoring.

AsaHi sighed and hopped up on his huge claw. Walking over, she placed her hands on the giant snout and pushed. “Brunswik? Wake up?”

“Uhhh, AsaHi,” a quiet voice came from behind.

The girl turned around to see SoYa’s concerned face peering up at her.

Inevitably, her gaze strayed past that when she noted he was coming from a sparring session. There was a towel still wrapped around his neck, and he was dressed down in a warrior’s sparing garb, which accented the finer points of his physique.

It’s hard to believe he was ever such a bookworm!

AsaHi giggled her approval, despite herself.

SoYa’s face flushed a little as he tugged on the towel, “What are you laughing at?”

“Noooothing?” she grinned, hopping down from her perch on the Dragon’s claw. With a gentle sound, she came over and wrapped her arms around her Promised and gave him a soft kiss on the cheek. “You’ve been practicing?”

“Yeah, with Father,” he told her, tilting his head down slightly and putting one arm around her slender shoulders. “What about you?”

“I just got done talking to Zemi,” AsaHi said. Then, she suddenly wished that she hadn’t.

SoYa didn’t pull away. It was almost as if he was seeking her closeness. “Oh, what did he say?”

“He was upset about things,” AsaHi answered with a frown. “I don’t think he told me everything. He seems to be keeping a lot to himself.”

“Yeah,” SoYa murmured, laying his cheek on the top of her head. “Same with Father.”

“Why? Is something wrong with Zento?” she peered up at him, then wrapped one of his longer curls around her finger. She adored how his hair looked now that he was growing it out.

“He was upset, too. About Tsu and just all sorts of stuff,” her Promised told her. “Kudako came and told him some more bad news. So I guess Father’s gone to duke it out with Zemi.”

AsaHi sighed. “They’ve really been at odds lately, haven’t they?”

“Father and Zemi?”


“Now that you mention it, yes,” SoYa frowned and pulled back from her a little. “I think it’s really hard on them both. Father’s always been Zemi’s biggest support. And in the middle of this war, too.”

“That’s really not good,” AsaHi said quietly.

“Well, hopefully they’ll work it out between themselves.”

“You think there’s a chance?” she arched an eyebrow.

“I don’t know.”

AsaHi caught her hands in his and began to swing them back and forth. It was something that she used to do a lot when they were younger, and she could see by the hint of a smile on SoYa’s face that he remembered with fondness.

“So what are you up to?” he asked, squeezing her hands gently.

“I was going to give this letter to Brunswik,” the girl turned quickly, dropping his hands. “Thanks for reminding me.”

SoYa looked a tad disappointed.

Hopping back up on the Dragon’s claw, she proceeded to push on his snout again. “Brunswik! You big lazy! Wake up!”

The ground shook again as the Dragon rumbled. One golden eye fluttered open and SoYa startled back as the pupil dilated then shrank to a slit, focusing on the two of them.

“AsaHi… is it really smart to… wake up… a sleeping Dragon?” the Athrylith choked.

“I was having such nice dreams, too,” Brunswik’s huge voice vibrated up through her hands, a pleasant feeling quivered through AsaHi’s body. “Ahh, smoked perth. How I miss it.”

The girl just laughed, a soft, silvery sound. “Are you dreaming of food again?”

“What else is worth dreaming of, Morh-AsaHi?” the Dragon lifted his head and shook out his mane.

AsaHi just laughed again. Despite his initial alarm, SoYa was also grinning. Brunswik’s laid-back nature just had that effect on people.

“Are you going to be our mail Dragon for this week, Brunswik?” the girl asked.

“That’s right. I am,” the crimson sighed deeply.

“Something happen?”

“I just messed up the flight formation again,” Brunswik told her. “I don’t get the point in all of the formal stuff that KaiShi wants us to do. I mean, when I’m out fighting things, the last thing I’m going to think about is staying one wing’s width away from the Dragon on my right.”

SoYa laughed again, “That sounds like me. I can’t ever get all this war talk right.”

“You too, Master SoYa?” the Dragon tilted his head. “Odd, I thought the eldest son of ZenToYa would have been–”

Watching SoYa’s face fall, AsaHi intercepted, “Brunswik, not everyone is interested in the same things their parents are. SoYa has a lot of talent in other areas, though.”

“Ah, yes. That’s right. The Athrylith. Dragons speak highly of your power,” Brunswik went on chatting, completely oblivious.

“Uhn, thanks?” her Promised rubbed the back of his head with a frown.

Don’t worry, SoYa… he often doesn’t think before he speaks.

AsaHi’s eyes slipped sideways to watch the Athrylith’s startled reaction. It wasn’t often that she attempted what they called “mindspeak.” In fact, she really couldn’t mindspeak at all… it was more the fact that if she tried to concentrate her thoughts towards SoYa, very often he could “hear” what she was thinking.

She knew that usually, SoYa refused to listen in on other people’s thoughts and emotions. At least, he rarely did on purpose. Every now and then, he told her, there was someone who thought or felt “loudly,” and he couldn’t help but pick up things that they so freely broadcasted.

TsuYa was one of the loud ones, SoYa had said. Which always seemed strange to AsaHi, considering TsuYa was externally so quiet.

The Athrylith glanced at her, obviously having received her broadcast. He never looked very certain about how he should respond when she surprised him like that. This time, he just gave a slow nod signifying that he understood.

It’s really not so bad having an Athrylith as a Promised…

She didn’t know if SoYa picked up that thought or not. Still, she gave him the biggest grin she could.

“So, is there something I can do for you, as official Mail Dragon, in flight to Wyndor this afternoon?” Brunswik finally turned the conversation back to the original topic. It only took five minutes before he realized the conversation went so far astray.

“Yes, actually, I have a letter to send,” the girl told him.

“It’s the yellow sack over there on the ground,” Brunswik pointed his nose towards it.

“Thanks!” AsaHi gave him a final pat before she hopped down to put the letter in the sack.

“Who are you writing to, AsaHi? Aunt SaRa?” SoYa watched her with a puzzled face.

“No, but you really should! How long has it been since you’ve written anyone there?” the girl chided him with a glance over her shoulder.

“Well… uh…”

“Don’t give me the excuse that your handwriting is bad, either. I’ve seen it. It’s lovely,” she waved a finger in his face.

SoYa coughed and turned the conversation back to his question, “So who are you writing?”


“Oooh?” the sound held a note of something unanticipated, but made sense once he considered it. “That’s nice of you.”

“Yes, Lucci wasn’t well enough to write to her. Now that he’s gone, I thought that I’d let her know why he hasn’t responded,” the girl’s face blanched a little.

“SoYa frowned slowly. “I bet that wasn’t easy…”

“It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever written,” AsaHi sighed with a nod. “She’s waiting and waiting for this war to be over so that she can see him again.”

When he spoke again, his voice was softer. “We’re doing everything we can to make that happen.”

The girl walked over and wrapped her hands around his arm. “I know, SoYa. It’s not easy. Everyone’s trying so hard, and it feels like all the answers are so far away. For us all… even Zemi.”

The rumbling through the ground told them that Brunswik was asleep again. So the two of them took their leave, arm in arm, walking across the Island. It was something they used to do often, back in Nefol. AsaHi loved to walk the market streets, with all the colors and smells and sounds. Living in a Gathering in her young years, she never became accustomed to the feeling of the city.

Now, they were there, on an Island in the sky. So far away from home, but still together. They found the same comfort within each other as they always did. Maybe even more now, for it wasn’t hard to see how much they both changed since the day they left Nefol.

AsaHi discovered so much about SoYa. What he really was, who he was meant to be, and the hidden strength that lay behind his gentle eyes. She also learned so much about herself, at first, seemingly magic-less, but in truth holding power over the Dragons of their world, and the power to help overcome the Chaos that threatened Zemi Dreigiau.

“It’s hard to believe how far we’ve come,” AsaHi whispered, peering out over the rise of the distant hills.

“I know,” SoYa replied, sensing the flow and depth of her thoughts. “A year ago, I would have never imagined myself here. Like this.”

“Me neither,” she laid her head against his shoulder.

“I guess that’s why we have to keep believing in things to come. There’s so much we can’t see yet. The best we can do is walk forward with hope, and help others do the same,” the Athrylith spoke vaguely.

AsaHi smiled. Something about the words were just like SoYa to say, but their depth still took her by surprise.

“SoYa,” she murmured, turning around to face him. “I love you.”

Her head tilted back as AsaHi stood up on her toes, and they shared a simple kiss.