The Gods of Dragons (Vol 1)

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic


Hello, Goodbye - The Beatles, 1967

Chapter 18 (v.1) - Hello, Goodbye

Submitted: May 17, 2018

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Submitted: May 17, 2018

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Shon returned to the inn with Tuth long before the others. The two men took what was quickly becoming their regular table, faced the door and chose to wait for the others rather than venture out to the trade district to try and find them. Shon had asked Tuth, once he had realized they had beaten them back, if he wanted to try and find them but the mage had declined fervently, “you’ve never been shopping with Lily have you?” he asked to which Shon could only shake his head.

It did get him thinking though, there were a lot of things that Shon didn’t know about Lily, “what is she like shopping?” he finally asked Tuth who blinked confused for a moment before he realized what Shon must be referring too, it had been a while since he had mentioned it.

“She’s a nightmare. She has to get the best of everything or not at all.” Tuth shook his head crossing his arms and leaning back in his chair, looking for all the world like an annoyed brother, “she’s nice enough to the shopkeepers, but she examines everything to a fault and will barter for hours if she feels she's being overcharged. But then pay more for somethings ‘because it’s worth it’ she says. I never know which she's going to do.”

Shon humphed and waved the bartender down. The man brought them two meads before either had time to order, which Shon was grateful for. Tuth took a swig of his then continued to rant, “It’s not like it really matters what travel pants she has, they're going to get ripped and dirty regardless the way she wears them, but NOOOO she has to get the best quality she can find. And the jewelry! She has a bag of holding just for her jewelry, I think she's trying to collect a piece from every town in every province. The moment she saves up enough to buy a new one she does.”

Shon looked down at the mage with his characteristic arched eyebrow, more interested in the boy's rant than the fact that Lily liked jewelry. “Why does it bother you so much?” he finally asked when Tuth stopped ranting to take another drink.

The mage looked up at him flabbergasted, “Its… I… it doesn’t make sense!” he finally spat. Making Shon chuckle while he took a drink of his own mead.

Tuth watched him for a moment eyes wide. Shon couldn’t tell if the young man was shocked that he didn’t agree with the rant or that he had chuckled, it was hard to tell with new people, “it’s her money, if she’s having fun it doesn't really matter does it?” Shon asked the mage who just humphed and took another drink so he wouldn't have to answer.

They passed more time in silence before Tuth put his drink down with a solemn ‘thunk’ and turned fully in his chair to face Shon. “How did you stop Lily?”

Shon took his time to finish his drink, setting it down and waving the bartender over. He covered the glass with his hand and asked, “What’s for dinner?”

“Stew” the man barked from across the room, not bothering to come all the way to the table. Shon held up two fingers to which the man nodded then leaned back in his chair and regarded Tuth.

He supposed it was going to come out sooner or later if they were going to travel together. So Shon sighed, unsheathing his sword and laying the blade across his arm, presenting the pommel towards the mage. The stone was a shade of dark blue with some turquoise swirling around the base. “I'm a sorcerer with ice magic. I didn’t have my sword on me, so I was able to cool the air between us to get close enough to the fire.”

Tuth examined the sword pommel with the eye of an expert, or at least an expert student, “it pulls your magic to it instead? So you don’t have to get the tattoo?” Shon nodded, returning the sword to its sheath, “I suppose the temple is the one vouching for you…” he sounded more like he was talking to himself but Shon nodded confirmation anyway. “But why not just get your clearance?” and that was the question Shon didn’t want to answer.

Luckily the tavern keeper brought their stew then, still steaming from the pot along with new drinks. Shon held the side of his bowl for a moment trying to find the right words for his answer. “I didn’t want the magic.” he finally said when Tuth tried to take a bite only to drop his spoon and fan his burned tongue. “I have worked tirelessly to perfect my martial combat, and I don’t want to split my efforts or spend time in the guild for training.” he reached over, resting the back of his hand on the outside of Tuths bowl until the steam stopped rising.

Tuth watched his hand, trying the stew again and chewing slowly while he thought, “but I would think as a monk, or at least a monks student, you would want to master the magic as well as your combat.”

Shon sighed, “That's what Lily says,” he took another bite, but Tuth didn’t say anything more, just continued to watch him. Shon hadn't received so much of his own medicine in such a short period of time since Hamerfoss, “I have been working with it some since leaving the paladins, but I don’t want to depend on it, and I don’t want it to define me more than it already does.”

“How does it define you now? I mean if it's blocked by that sword you shouldn’t have any uncontrolled episodes…” Shon didn’t give Tuth the same courtesy he had offered Yua the night before, just reaching over and lightly touching the back of the boy's neck with his fingers.

Tuth's reaction was almost the same as the rangers. He stood so fast he knocked his chair down and rocked the table, “Baccob's wrinkly staff, what the hells?” Shon just humphed again and took another bite of stew while the boy watched him before picking up his chair again, “I don’t suppose you can make yourself less cold,” Shon shook his head, he could make it a little better, or a lot worse, but this was his resting temperature, and it was enough to cool the hot stew.

“No wonder you and Lily get along so well…” Tuth muttered under his breath. Shon looked at him while he ate, waiting for their eyes to meet again before arching his brow. “She’s too hot,” Tuth said, his mouth full of stew. Swallowing he continued, “there have been other men who have tried to get with her, they buy her drinks and ask her to dance all the usual stuff.” Shon blinked not sure if he was supposed to feel jealous or not, “but they can’t hold her hand for very long and the more she drinks, the more heat she gives off.” the mage shrugged going back to his stew.

The two finished their dinner in silence, pushing empty bowls away just as the rest of their party walked through the door. Veon-Zih held two large bundles, and Lily skipped in, running to the table and leaning over it to look at the two men on the other side. Shon couldn’t help but notice how low her blouse hung when she did that and glanced over at Tuth to see his face turning pink while he tried desperately to keep his eyes locked on Lily’s. “You two missed a good time, there were so many I can only hope we got ones you’ll like.”

She pulled up a chair next to Shon and leaned over to look into his empty bowl, “stew?” she asked to which he nodded.

“I’ll get us some, Yua went for the bar while Veon-Zih went up the stairs to drop off the tents.

“I don’t see how it matters,” Tuth muttered, “you would just get what you wanted no matter what we said anyway.” Shon couldn’t help but shake his head at the boy, it seemed this was the real root to his earlier rant, that he didn’t get enough of a say when Lily went shopping.

Lily ignored him, getting up to help Yua with the four bowls of stew. Veon-Zih came back down as the ranger returned to the table. “I’m sure they will like them well enough,” Yua told Lily as she sat down, “they are pretty big, so Tuth and I can share without getting in each other's way.” she blew the steam off of her bowl for a little while, lifting just her eyes to Shon before picking up her spoon and adding, “and you two won’t have to worry about knocking the walls down.”

Shon reached across the table and touched Yua’s bowl, not blinking until the ranger tried to remove her spoon again only to find she couldn’t. She groaned, but it ended in a laugh while Lily giggled leaning over and reheating the stew.

“I’m sure the tents are fine,” Shon said quietly. Waving down the tavern man and tapping his empty drink.

“What did the paladins want?” Lily asked, not bothering to blow on her own steaming stew and taking a mouth full without flinching.

Shon waited for the tavern keeper to leave after delivering fresh drinks before he answered, “I have a job. In Swailand.” he looked at Veon-Zih who frowned across the table at him.

“Oh I like Swailand, they have some amazing spicy seafood,” Lily said.

Velona rested her hand on Veon-Zih’s arm, and he looked at her and smiled softly, “I’m sure you will be fine Shon. It’s not the first time you’ve been sent into Hextor territory.”

Shon shrugged, but Yua looked puzzled, “why would the temple of Heironeous send a paladin into a Hextor province?”

Reading Shon’s expression Veon-Zih said quickly, “Shon isn’t a paladin, but he received paladin training so they trust him with most jobs that they would rather give a paladin but can’t.”

Yua looked puzzled from Shon to the monk but thankfully didn’t press the issue, it had been hard enough explaining it too Tuth. Even four years later the wound felt raw. “Apparently sorcerers are going missing in the capital, and they don’t trust the paladins of Hextor to take the safety of the victims into account in their investigation.”

“Fair assumption,” Velona said, digging through her stew to find something specific before taking a bite, “though I’m not sure about sending Lily into a situation where the victims are sorcerers.”

Lily rolled her eyes so hard her entire head moved, “Master Velona, I’ll be fine, I’m stronger than most sorcerers. Besides, maybe I can get on the inside…”

“No,” Shon and Tuth said in unison. Meeting each other's eyes for a moment before Shon continued, “I trust that Lily can handle anyone stupid enough to try and kidnap her, but allowing yourself to be taken is just foolish.”

“Fine,” she whispered into her bowl, “at least you know I can take care of myself…”

“Lily, you know I trust your strength, I just don’t like taking unnecessary risks.” Velona reached past Yua to brush her fingers on Lily’s arm. Lily pat the monk's hand and smiled at her but didn’t argue the issue any further. Really, it didn't matter anymore, the monks would be leaving the next morning through a mages gate, and the rest of them would head out the south gate towards Swailand.

To that effect, Yua said, “well we should head out bright, and early then. Without horses, Swailand is about a week away, then another week to the capital.”

***

Shon tried to let Lily sleep in at least a little bit the next morning. Carefully removing his arm from under her he slid down and off the foot of the bed to dress quietly. He knew Veon-Zih would already be up, and if Velona was anything like him she would be as well.

He had just pulled a tunic over his head when Lily hummed behind him. She was sitting up on the edge of the bed, the blankets covering her waist and her hair spilling over her shoulders covering her breasts. “Do you think they will be ready to leave already?” she asked, brushing her hair behind her back and twisting it into a bun she held in place with a stick.

This was their second morning waking up together, but Shon still felt awkward looking at her bare chest, so he turned a little to face the far corner while she got up, stretching alluringly before looking for her own clothes. “I don’t know if they will be leaving, but I’m sure they will be awake,” he said, stepping towards the door before changing his mind and taking a seat at the small desk to wait for Lily while she dressed.

She pulled on some pants first then took a large wooden box from a small bag. Sitting cross-legged on the floor she opened the box and pulled out multiple shelves each with different sets of matching jewelry. Tuth hadn’t been kidding, she had an extensive collection, and she took her time to pick out a particular hair stick with a green gem on the end before finding some bobbles to match. It was only after putting on earrings, a bracelet, a necklace, and a ring, all with the same type of green stone, that she went to her bag and pulled out a tunic to slip over her head.

Holding her new stick between her lips as she twisted up her hair again, she turned to Shon and mumbled with a full mouth, “I will mish them.”

Shon sighed, he was taking the monks leaving much harder than Lily, but he didn’t doubt that she would also miss them, “I know, but like Master Veon-Zih said, now we will have something to do when we don’t have anything else to do, visit them.”

“And they will be happy together,” Lily said, stabbing the bun with the hair stick and dropping her hands limply to her sides. She moved towards Shon who was still sitting in the chair, coming right up to him and running her fingers through his hair.

He closed his eyes as her nails ran over his scalp reaching up to hold her waist and leaning against her muscular abdomen, “I hope so.” he said looking up at her, “they deserve it.”

Lily slid one knee up on the small chair, bringing her body closer to him though she was still above him. Shon ran his hands up her sides and around to her back, making her shiver. She brought her hands around to lift his face further, looking down at him she asked, “do we deserve it?”

Shon didn’t know the answer to her question, but he kissed her anyway, wanting to hold on for as long as he could.

***

Lily couldn’t hold back her tears when the time actually came for Velona and Veon-Zih to leave. She was happy for them, honestly and truly, but she had spent the last six years with the woman, and she had trained her in everything she knew about staff fighting and life in the kingdom outside her tower. She held the monk tight, not wanting her to see the tears even though she couldn’t hide the snuffles.

“It’s ok my flower,” Velona said, stroking her back gently and laughing a little, “you will need to write everything down, and continue practicing your calligraphy.” Lily laughed but still didn’t let go, “I will miss you, Lily,” the monk whispered, turning her head to the young woman's ear, “but this is a new chapter for you, enjoy every moment.”

Lily finally pulled away, wiping her eyes on the back of her hand, “I will Master Velona, and you too!” she leaned in close again and whispered, “you’ve got him now, don’t let him get away, I bet you can tie a better knot than he can get out of.” Velona laughed loudly, and Veon-Zih and Shon glanced their way before looking at each other again and shrugging.

Breathing deep to calm her emotions Lily watched Shon and Veon-Zih while Velona exchanged hugs with Tuth and Yua. The ranger hadn’t known the monk for long, but they had gotten along well in the little time they were together. Lily couldn’t hear what Shon and Veon-Zih were saying, but she smiled when Shon attempted to shake the man's hand only to be pulled in for a hug. He stood shocked for a moment but closed his eyes and squeezed the monk at least as hard as he was being hugged.

They separated and bowed in the monk fashion before Veon-Zih reached out to hug Yua and shake Tuths hand. Lily came up next for her hug, and he whispered, “You take care of my boy.”

She squeezed him and answered with a whispered “always.” before they separated.

“This close to winter we will be heading to Halakon,” Veon-Zih told all of them, lifting his small bag and standing beside Velona.

“Smart choice,” Yua said, to which the monks both nodded.

“If you want to send any letters you can address them to Zanit and we will get them,” Velona said, and Lily rushed forward to hug her one more time.

Beside her Veon-Zih chuckled, and resting her head on Velonas shoulder Lily watched him look to Shon when he said, “if you need anything at all don’t hesitate to let us know. We don't want to get too rusty in this trial retirement.”

Lily let her master go, stepping back with the rest of the group. She smiled when she felt the cold of Shon’s hand on her lower back and leaned to the side to brush her shoulder on his chest, “yes sir Master.” Shon said nodding to the monks.

They all stood in silence for a while, no one wanting to be the one to make the first move to leave. Finally, Veon-Zih said, “well someone has to do it, so goodbye you all, until next time.” waving he placed his hand on Velonas back in a way similar to Shon on Lily’s and with that they turned and walked into the mages guild and their gate.


© Copyright 2019 Shawn Cameron. All rights reserved.

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