The Boy and the Sea Dragon
Chapter Twenty Five
Ciyonaung Versus the Storm
One day, they ran into some turbulence. Clouds were in the sky. They were increasing in number. They were getting darker as well.
Xianjeng landed in the rough water. Zuangeng sat up. He looked around. Rough water was all he saw besides the darkening sky. Xianjeng rocked in the water. Xianjeng said, “Looks like we are heading toward a storm. If we run into it, I’ll see what we can do about it. It’s getting almost too rough to fly.”
“If we can, I’d like to fly over the storm. I’ve only seen them from below. I’d like to see one from above!” Zuangeng said.
“I can’t take you over one. The tops of storms are usually over the limit of human endurance,” Xianjeng said.
“I’ll do it as a dragon if I must,” Zuangeng said.
“Alright. We’ll have to see the storm, first. Is the turbulence getting to be too much for you?” Xianjeng said.
“Not yet; but, I’ll let you know if it does,” Zuangeng said.
‘You ought to turn into Ciyonaung so you can experience it as a dragon,” Xianjeng suggested.
“Good idea,” Zuangeng said. He changed into Ciyonaung. He dove into the water.
They took off together. They flew up high. Ciyonaung found out what Xianjeng was talking about. The air was rough. It buffeted his fiercely. It threatened to toss him about. He struggled to maintain control. Xianjeng watched him struggle. He noticed his distress. Xianjeng climbed higher to get out of the turbulence. Ciyonaung followed suit. The turbulence interfered with his climbing. He had trouble gaining altitude. Xianjeng noticed this. He rose up under him.
He assisted Ciyonaung gain altitude. They climbed higher. They saw the storm approaching. They flew ever so much higher. The clouds were dark. They saw the rain and lightning. They climbed into the clouds. All they saw were swirling bands of condensed water. Soon, they were out of the clouds. They climbed above the clouds. They flew into smoother air before they reached the storm.
They flew over the storm. Ciyonaung; however, was tired from the struggle. He remained on Xianjeng’s back. He folded his wings. He laid down and rested.
After a while, he took off, much rested. He flew out over the clouds. He looked down. He saw the top of the cloud. It was flat and dark. He watched it light up with lightning. The cloud extended to the horizon. He looked up. No clouds existed above the storm. The sun shone down on them.
They flew until they were clear of the storm. Ciyonaung looked down again. He saw water below. It seemed smooth. They descended to the water. As they approached it, Ciyonaung saw glints of light in the water.
Xianjeng landed in the water. Ciyonaung landed on Xianjeng’s back. He turned back to Zuangeng. He looked at the water. There were gentle swells. There was no land to be seen. The sun shown. Light reflected off the swells. He laid down. He promptly fell asleep. Xianjeng floated. He laid his head on the water. He, also, fell asleep.
Later, they woke up. They looked for something to eat. After eating, Zuangeng said, “What a flight that was! I’m not sure I want to go through that again!”
“If you’re going to be a dragon and fly, you need to get used to it. You need to learn to handle it. We need to be going now.” Xianjeng said. Zuangeng got ready. Xianjeng took off.
They flew over water for days. There was no sight of land. One day, Zuangeng flew as Ciyonaung. The sky was clear. The air was smooth. Sunlight sparkled off the water. He looked at the ocean. He spotted a fleet of five sailing ships. They sailed in the same direction, the dragons were flying. There were two clippers. One clipper had three masts. It was fully rigged. The other had four masts. It was not fully rigged. There were two barks with five masts each. They, too, were not fully rigged. The fifth ship was a fully rigged three masted barquentine. Ciyonaung knew his ships. He could name the different types in use at the time. They overtook the ships. The ships disappeared behind them.