After the events of the cursed Youth Chamber, an investigation was launched by order of the king to locate who had cast the spell to trap Priestess Lady Nira, Captain Molech, and the slave Charnak in the cursed chamber, but so far there weren’t any leads.
As this investigation continued with a week already passing, Yanira was ordered to remain in the priestess temple for her protection, but to her delight, she wasn’t alone this time. She was allowed to keep the baby gold dragon with her. The baby gold dragon, as she suspected, was the one that was in the dragon egg she received from the dragons to protect. From what she read in books, baby dragons in legends were known to be cautious around humans, especially when they are newborns, but from personal experience, she knew that baby dragons were as curious as cats and this young dragon was no different as he circled the temple and jumped on the furnishings.
“Fashan, get down from there,” stated Yanira with a small giggle. She had named the baby dragon Fashan because of the gold luster of his scales and the small dragon seemed to love his name judging by how he practically chirped when his name was called.
Fashan jumped down from the shelf with books and then began to totter behind Yanira as she swept the temple. Yanira smiled as the small dragon followed her, but then noticed a small pair of eyes belonging to a toddler watching her from a window. Yanira giggled as she placed her broom to the side and approached the window saying, “I see you came again, Minzhe.”
The toddler boy, Minzhe, flinched before ducking down.
“Shnot Shere.” (Not here.)
Yanira giggled, finding his articulation adorable.
Minzhe was the boy she had rescued from the Youth Chamber, but unlike the others that were trapped, he was the only one who didn’t appear as a teenager, but as a toddler. He had a hard time pronouncing his words and claimed that he didn’t remember when he was sent into the Youth Chamber, but he at least knew that his name was Minzhe. Even Morpheus and Keahi claimed not to know of his past, before they were assigned into the royal court as advisors by Damario’s ruling because of their knowledge of things unknown to the kingdom.
Yanira was only allowed to have Fashan in the temple with her, so Minzhe was sent to live with the others who had also escaped the Youth Chamber in a housing that Yanira had asked Damario to make for them, but Minzhe had found ways to sneak out and would visit Yanira just like that day.
“Minzhe, you know his majesty doesn’t like it when you visit.”
“He shnot the shoss of mesh.” (He’s not the boss of me)
“Minzhe…how about a snack before you go back?” Yanira asked as she opened the window.
Minzhe nodded and climbed through the open window. Yanira locked the window after Minzhe and then led him to her dining area with Fashan following close behind.
“Ello, Fasha,” (Hello, Fashan.) squeaked out Minzhe as he tried to pick up Fashan, but Fashan avoided his hold and scurried up Yanira’s shoulder. Yanira giggled as Fashan rubbed against her cheek, but then noticed that Minzhe was reaching out toward her with both arms.
Yanira smiled as she lifted up the toddler and carried him to the dining area with Minzhe petting Fashan’s extended head.
Yanira placed Minzhe on an empty chair along with Fashan and then went to her cupboard to grab a jar of sweets she obtained as a gift from Damario. She placed some of the crystal-like sweets in Minzhe’s hand allowing him to munch on it before taking a few for herself and Fashan.
Minzhe swallowed the sweet and then looked at Yanira asking, “Shwen will you sleeve?” (When will you leave?)
“I guess when his majesty discovers who cast the curse that placed Molech, Charnak, and I in the Youth Chamber.”
“Ish the ferson bash?” (Is the person bad?)
“I can’t really say, since I don’t know who the person is, but at least going in there I was able to help all that were trapped in there like you.”
“Shlike mesh?” (Like me?)
Yanira nodded and then glanced at Fashan, who was licking the sweet in his tiny paws.
“I wouldn’t have escaped if it weren’t for Fashan,” stated Yanira as she remembered the golden light that helped her escape the Youth Chamber.
“Fasha good.” (Fashan good.)
“That’s right,” stated Yanira and patted Minzhe’s head making him chuckle before he placed another sweet into his small mouth.
Yanira glanced at Fashan again and began to remember the land of the dragons that was near the kingdom of Azseldo Kingdom. She still remembered that she must return to Azseldo Kingdom, but then she remembered the war that would happen if the resistance didn’t succeed. Just the thought made her heart ache.
“Nira, Nira, you OK?”
Yanira nodded smiling to reassure Minzhe, but she suddenly heard a knock on the temple door making her flinch.
“Go hide,” urged Yanira. Minzhe nodded and ran into a closet in the dining area. Fashan on the other hand climbed onto Yanira’s shoulder with a coo.
Yanira pushed strands of red hair out of her face and then left the room to open the temple door.
When she approached the temple door, she opened it a crack and saw Molech standing before the door making her sigh in relief when she realized that it wasn’t Damario. She opened the door fully saying, “Molech, what brings you here?”
Molech sighed saying, “I think you know, Lady Nira.”
“…I guess Minzhe’s destination was pretty obvious huh?”
“Of course, he practically sees you as a mother.”
Yanira giggled and let Molech into the temple making sure to close the door behind her. As they walked down the hall, Fashan began to coo while trying to pat Molech’s head. Molech waved Fashan’s paw away with an exasperated look saying, “I’m surprised his majesty allowed this dragon to stay here.”
“Why would you be surprised? It was kind of his majesty to allow Fashan to stay with me. It would be lonely here without him.”
“I guess,” stated Molech, well aware that Damario had been showing signs of jealousy when the opposite gender went into contact with Yanira for the past few days and he even knew that just Molech alone in Yanira’s presence was testing Damario’s patience. In Molech’s eyes, Yanira was being treated like a caged bird.
They soon reached the dining area where Yanira called to Minzhe saying, “You can come out now. Captain Molech is here to pick you up.”
“Shnot Shere.” (Not here.)
Minzhe peeked out of the closet before stepping out with a pout on his lips.
“Wanna shay shere.” (Want to stay here.)
“Come on now, Minzhe. Captain Molech came specially to bring you back to your friends.”
Minzhe shook his head still pouting. Molech rolled his eyes and lifted up Minzhe making Minzhe cry out in protest.
“Come on, Minzhe. You should be used to me by now.”
“NO! Wanna shay with Nira!” (NO! Want to stay with Nira!)
“Well you can’t,” stated Molech before nodding toward Yanira saying, “Sorry for bothering you and I promise to find the culprit of the curse, so you may enjoy the outdoors again.” Yanira nodded and then stated, “Please go easy on Minzhe. He just needs good friends.” Molech nodded and began to head toward the exit with Minzhe still screaming out protests.
The moment Molech and Minzhe were gone, Yanira sat down on an empty chair with a sigh. Fashan crawled onto her lap cooing. Yanira caressed his head as she looked around the quiet dining room.
“It truly is lonely in here,” stated Yanira and then cuddled Fashan saying, “I’m glad you’re here with me.” Fashan cooed rubbing his cheek against Yanira’s.
Meanwhile, in the housing for the youths that escaped the Youth Chamber, one of the male teenagers, who had long black hair with a silver streak and blue eyes, leaned against a cushioned chair near the opened window gazing out into the distance. It wasn’t clear what he was looking at, but his gaze was filled with longing.
Another of the male teenagers, who had short brown hair and green eyes, approached the youth with the silver streak and asked, “What are you looking at?”
“…Nothing I guess.”
“…OK,” stated the brown haired youth as he turned to leave, but stopped in his tracks when he heard the boy with the silver streak ask, “The priestess who saved us…is her name really Nira?”
“That’s what she said. Why?”
“…She looks like someone…someone I know from where I used to live.”
“Really? Wait a minute, isn’t the place you used to live in a country across the sea and that country is the one who cursed you.”
“I am from a country across the sea, but I never said the country cursed me…it was someone who lived in the country.”
“Do you think Lady Nira looks like the one who cursed you or something?”
“…She would never do that.”
“Then who does she look like?”
“… a girl who was supposed to become my family, but disappeared a year ago…sometime before I was cursed.”
“What was her name?”
“…Her name was Yanira Castleheart…the one who was supposed to marry my brother.”