The Boy and the Sea Dragon
The Dragon Lord
Xianjeng left the island, alone. He flew underwater looking for some food. He had not eaten since the day before. He went deeper than he ever did with Zuangeng. He knew that humans could withstand just so much pressure, unaided. It seemed like a long time before he ran into a school of fish. He snatched some fish, eating each one whole. He hardly chewed any. While he was eating one fish, he heard some grunts, whistles, groans and other noises. He knew that was a call for a meeting. He called back telling whoever made the call where to meet him. He was answered with an urgent call to meet.
He swallowed the last fish. He turned up. He flew up fast. Sea dragons never suffered the bends, no matter how deep they were and fast the ascent. He broke surface. He flew directly into the air. Water rose into the air around him. It fell back. Water drained off Xianjeng. Circles of waves emanated from the spot. He flew up high into the air before leveling off. He flew through the air with utmost speed, faster than he dared with Zuangeng.
Soon, he arrived at the meeting island. He landed in the bay. Water flew from his landing. A wake was left as he glided to a stop on the water. The red dragon was there alone. They came face to face. The red dragon spoke, “Kilethang, Ziolanzik, our lord, seeks a meeting with you, post haste.”
Only dragons knew each other’s true names. Xianjeng said, “You know for what?”
The red dragon said, “He will not say. He only told me that it is urgent and very important.”
“I will go then. I’ll leave tomorrow morning for it is late,” Xianjeng said. It was getting dark. The sun was on the western horizon. Both dragons spent the night in the bay.
They woke up as the sun was on the eastern horizon. They ate fish together. Xianjeng flew off into the air, alone. He headed toward the rising sun. The red dragon flew through the water. He flew in a different direction. He was on his own business.
Xianjeng flew for many days. He past many islands. He came to a particularly large island. Large tracts of forests and grassland were on the island. Numerous lakes and rivers were seen. He could not see all of the island even from his great height. Sandy beaches and cliffs lined the edge of the island. It was in pristine condition. Humans had yet to discover this island. The dragon lord had chosen this island for his abode for this reason.
Xianjeng headed for one particular dark grey cliff. He descended as he approached it. He came to the water’s surface.
He dove under water, seeking a cave’s entrance. He swam deep, deeper than unaided humans can go. His eyes glowed in the dimness. He found the entrance. The entrance was large. It was wide enough for his wings to fit fully extended without touching the walls. He entered the entrance into pitch black darkness.
His eyes glowed brighter. They lit up a tunnel going straight through rock. The tunnel was large as the entrance. He flew through the tunnel. Eventually, the tunnel slanted up. His flippers and bottom fins turned into legs. His front feet touched the rocky floor. He pulled himself up the slope until his hind feet touched the floor. He folded his wings. He walked up the slope.
He came to an air chamber. His head came out of the water. He heard a disembodied voice nearby to his right. He stopped moving. His body was still submerged in the water. Only his head and neck were in air. Water dripped from his head. The voice said, “Welcome, dragon.”
He turned his head to see who it was. His eyes dimmed. He faced the source of the voice. It was a cave elf. It had white skin and hair and pointed ears. The skin and hair glistened form moisture. It had large eyes. Cave elves are able to see well in the dimmest lights, even prefer it. They can, also, fond their way in pitch darkness. They used echo location. Their hearing was acute, able to tell directions from the echoes.
“I’m here to see my lord,” Xianjeng said.
“He is expecting you. Follow me,” the elf said. He turned around. Xianjeng climbed out of the tunnel and water into the chamber. Water flowed off his body. He followed the elf to another tunnel. They stopped at the entrance. The elf said, “Wait here.”
The elf disappeared into the new tunnel. Xianjeng waited. He turned his body. His eyes grew brighter. He looked around. Multicolored, glistening stalagmites, stalactites and columns decorated the chamber. He felt the thick moisture in the air. Water dripped from the stalactites into puddles of water. Little fountains rose from the contact. Ripples spread out. The floor and some of the stalagmites were coated with green bioluminescent algae.
The elf walked through the tunnel. The floor and a small portion of the walls were coated with green bioluminescent algae as well. The elf, too, felt the heavy moisture of the air. As he progressed, the air started to dry out. He came to a pair of black curtains. He walked to the right wall. He pulled a cord in the wall. A bell tinkled on the curtain’s other side. An elf’s head popped between the curtains. This elf had color. Its skin was fleshy pinkish brown. Its hair was black and long. Its blue eyes were of normal sixe. The curtains framed its neck. The new elf said, “What do you need?”
The cave elf said, “A dragon is here to see the lord.”
The other elf said, “I will inform him. Wait here.”
The elf disappeared. The elf found the dragon lord in his sleeping chamber. The chamber was dimly lit. The dragon laid on the floor, dozing. The elf loudly cleared his throat. The dragon opened his eyes. He stirred. He raised his head. He said, “Who dares to disturb my nap?”
The elf said, “It was I.”
The dragon moved his head to look at the elf. He said, “Oh, it is you. What do you want?”
The elf said, “I was informed that you have a dragon seeking audience with you.”
The dragon said, “Very well. Show it in. I will see what it wants.”
The dragon stood on his legs. They exited the chamber. The elf walked to the curtains. He popped his head between the curtains. He held the curtains around his neck with both hands. He said to the cave elf, “The lord will have audience, now.”
The elf disappeared, again. The cave elf returned to Xianjeng. He said, “The lord will see you.”
The cave elf disappeared leaving Xianjeng to himself.
Xianjeng entered the tunnel. He came to the curtains. He pushed his way through them. He entered a well lit chamber. He looked up and around. Glowing crystalline stalactites hung from the ceiling. A large cylindrical, glowing crystal hung in the middle. Above the crystal was a hole admitting sunlight. A column of sunlight shone from the crystal. The air was drier than the previous chamber. Here, was no algae. Sitting in the beam was a gold colored dragon. This dragon was considered the mightiest and wisest of all the sea dragons.
Xianjeng walked to within a yard of the dragon. He bowed his head in reverence. He said, “My Lord Ziolanzik, what is your desire?”
Ziolanzik said, “Information, Kilethang! Rumor has reached me that you saved a human from drowning!”
Xianjeng said, “Sire, the rumor is true.”
“Why did you rescue this human instead of letting it drown,” Ziolanzik asked, interrupting Xianjeng.
“Sire, it was a human child, a boy, could not have been older than six. He had not even lived yet. I could not let him drown, sire. Surely, you would not have had me let a child drown,” Xianjeng defended himself.
“No, I would not. Where is this boy, now,” Ziolanzik asked.
“I left him on an island, among his own kind,” Xianjeng said.
“I need to see this boy. Get him! Bring him to me!” Ziolanzik commanded.
“Sire,” Xianjeng said bowing his head again. He kept it bowed.
“You are dismissed. You can go now,” Ziolanzik said.
Xianjeng turned around. He raised his head. He walked to the doorway. He pushed through the curtains into the dimly lit tunnel. He walked through it into the dimly lit chamber. His eyes glowed dimly.
He was greeted by the same elf. The elf said, “Finished with your business with the lord?”
Xianjeng said, “Yes, for now.”
The elf said, “Mind if I ask what it was about?”
Xianjeng said, “Yes, I do mind. That is on a need to know basis. You have no need to know.”
The elf said, admonished, “Sorry, just curious. Follow me.”
He led Xianjeng to the tunnel leading out to sea. Xianjeng walked into the tunnel and water. He walked down to where the tunnel leveled out. He spread his wings. He flew out into the sea.
He flew through the water. He headed for the surface. He broke the surface. He flew into the air. He turned right as he gained altitude. He headed for the island where he left Zuangeng.