Even Dragons Need a Vacation, Part 2
Every Day - February 2012
Location: Somewhere in the Wilderness
Timeline: The Year of the Apocalypse - 14 February 2012
“Syn,” he repeated. “A shaman must fill many roles in service to his tribe. May I ask what has brought you so far into these wild lands.” Dyami paused and looked around, continuing, “I do not mean to be rude but it is dangerous to travel alone.”
A bright laugh escaped the small woman, the action lighting up her dark eyes with mirth. “Had you not explained your presence, I could say the same thing to you,” she mentioned, a smile still on her lips. “Has no one taught you that it is unwise to trust everything that you see? There is nothing here that threatens me. Even the creatures of the night keep their distance, or have you not sensed that?”
The young, would-be, shaman smiled at the melodious sound of her laughter. “I had noticed, and I sensed your presence from many miles away. I know that you are not what you seem to be. May I ask...are you a Spirit manifest or a creature of this world?”
Another round of laughter cut into the quiet of the night, and Syn nibbled at her food, then sipped at her tea before answering, “I am what I appear to be, yet not. And I am not one of your Spirits. I am a creature of this world. I am impressed by you again. Very few are able to sense much from me, other than a sense of danger, perhaps.”
Dyami laughed and responded “I am like a cat, my curiosity outweighs my fear. I have been sent on a journey to learn all the things I can to help my people. I cannot return until the Great Spirit tells me I can.” He took another sip of his drink. “May I ask a few more questions to help in that goal?”
Again Syn studied the young native man curiously, her eyes roaming over his body, his long, dark hair. She briefly wondered if perhaps her people and his were not related somehow. After a moment more to eat her fish and rice, then rinse it down with more of the fragrant, natural tea that she had prepared, she set her plate aside and looked across the fire, her eyes lighting red for just a moment. “Very well. Ask your questions. It is rare for me to enjoy the company of one so inquisitive and brave.”
Noticing that the small woman was studying his body he smiled, and asked, “You are unlike any woman I have met. What land are you from, and tell me what you miss most of your homeland.”
“You have no idea how different that I truly am,” Syn said with a mischievous grin. “I am from a land called China. And if I had to choose something that I miss, I would have to say it is the blossoming of the cherry trees.” There was a touch of sadness in her eyes as she made her admission, and she sighed softly. “The scent of them, the beauty of the white blossoms as they drift in the wind.”
As the woman spoke Dyami could almost see the beauty that she spoke of, the sadness in her voice adding a touch of darkness to the image his mind formed. “I know the pain in your eyes. I have seen it in my own. My people were removed from our ancestral lands, I was part the last generation born there. May I ask why you left the land that you obviously love so much.”
A soft sigh escaped the small woman, and she shook her head. “The ambitions of greedy, power hungry men disrupt and destroy the lives of so many. There are many bad memories for me there,” Syn said, her voice only barely hiding a low, almost feral growl. Her gaze moved from the attractive young man to stare into the fire, again a flash of red passing over them. When she looked back to Dyami, that odd ire had passed, that mischievous grin returning. “Besides, even dragons need a vacation from time to time.”
Dyami looked confused for a moment before responding. “Dragon? Is that what your race is called? Or is it the name of your tribe? I am sorry I have not heard this word before.” The man listened intently obviously trying to learn from everything his companion said.
Another tinkling of laughter filled the air, and suddenly the fire between them shot up sparks into the night sky. As they drifted, they turned into soft white blossoms that dissipated before they could touch the ground. Syn’s eyes changed from the dark orbs that had been watching the young native man, into the black-slitted eyes of a great reptilian, alight with brilliant oranges, reds, and gold.
“You do not know the word dragon, do you? Perhaps I can show you,” a darker voice responded. The dancing flames suddenly transformed into a Loong dragon, long and snake-like, with an oddly whiskered face, that seemed to dance and swirl above a burning forest.
Dyami’s eyes grew wide with amazement, a smile crossed his lips and he laugh with happiness. “I knew it, you are a powerful being, one descended from the Sky Brothers I am sure of it!” he exclaimed, his enthusiasm bubbling over like a child. “Are there many of your kind in this China you mentioned? Are your people the rulers there?” His already beautiful blue eyes sparkled and reflected the fiery illusion as he spoke.
A deeper laughter came from the small woman, one simply not befitting of her small stature, and the voice that responded was one that belonged to a darker being. “Such a brave, eager young man. Legend holds that the first Emperor was one such as myself, and there are many that claim that such blood runs in their veins,” Syn responded, but she shook her head, that sadness returning.
The illusion faded back to the normal fire, burning merrily in its stone circle, and her voice returned to the softer tones of the woman that she was, as she continued, though her eyes still remained the burning, red-reptilian orbs, “But in the hundreds of years that I have walked this realm, I have met no others.”
The would be Shaman’s face fell somewhat when heard the sadness in the beautiful woman's words. “Then you are alone as well? I am sorry for asking such personal questions. Especially if they bring you pain. My people have a word for your kind: Unktena. It is believed to be good luck just to see one of you, much less to be able to speak to one of your kind.” Dyami lowered his head, “If there is any way I can make it up to you please do not hesitate to ask.”
“Unktena. I like that,” the ancient being said, a happy smile returning to her lips. “But be careful of the things that you offer, young one,” Syn warned, chuckling, her gaze steadily on the handsome wild-man. “You have not offended me, nor have you brought me sadness, therefore there is nothing to make up for. I have lived a great number of centuries, and while loneliness is common, it is never for long. For in my travels I get to encounter those such as yourself, those who are not ruled by their fears, those who will break bread with me and sit with me for a while.”
“I would ask you a favor since I gave you the word. Would you allow no one to call you by that name save myself? This way if we meet again in the future you will know it is me,” the young Indian man asked with a lowered head.
Syn raised a slender brow over one draconic eye. The small woman took in a deep breath, running a small hand through the flames as she thought. “Well, since I doubt that I will make the acquaintance of too many of your shamans, I can agree to that.” She gave the young man another mischievous grin, pulling her hand from the flames, unharmed. “And what favor will you do for me in return?”
“I am not sure that I could offer anything of value to one such as yourself. And given your warning moments ago, I am reluctant to offer. Perhaps you have something in mind?” Dyami’s face did not betray his attraction for the dangerous woman, but his eyes did not fully hide his desire.
The diminutive dragon lady laughed brightly again, and she smiled, showing just a hint of pointed teeth. “You may be surprised by what I would find to be of value. While not all that sparkles is gold, there are simpler things in life. Shared wisdom.” Syn paused, eyeing the young man openly before continuing, “Intimacy.”
The young would-be Shaman smiled and said, “Do your people show intimacy the way our people do? If so, there is a small river near here, would you accompany me?”
Syn chuckled, standing and dusting her colorful robes off. “In the interest of fair play, you should know that I am old enough to be your grandmother a thousand times over,” she teased, knowing that such knowledge normally made young men balk.
Dyami stood and dusted off his leather pants, laughing as he answered, “I have always had a thing for older women. I have found them to be informative teachers. I trust you will not lack in that discipline.” The long-haired young Indian extended his hand to guide her to the river.