Love in the Land of Dragons

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 2 (v.1)

Submitted: May 30, 2014

Reads: 417

Comments: 20

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Submitted: May 30, 2014

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Chapter Two

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With the wagon carrying Elizabeth Ander and Carlton Chambers in tow, the two white horses trotted down the dust laden trail which would eventually lead to the sanctuary mission house. Elizabeth kept hitting the top of her head on the cabin ceiling whenever the wagon wheels rolled over the multitude of ingrained ruts that zigzagged across the coarse path.

“Try to hang on to the door strap,” advised Chambers, as he took a hold of her left arm to help keep her in the seat.

“Are these roads always this rough?” Elizabeth asked, before once again finding herself inadvertently lifted out of her seat as the wagon traversed along.

“Actually, yes,” Chambers calmly smiled, “this entire province has been in a drought for awhile, but these ruts were formed when all the wagons traveled across these trails during the rainy season.”

Elizabeth nodded in understanding and held on for dear life onto the door strap with her right hand, while Chambers held onto her left arm. Elizabeth noted his grip was firm yet gentle.

“Rainy season should begin in a few weeks,” Chambers explained, “then all we’ll have to worry about is getting stuck in the mud.”

“Marvelous,” Elizabeth smiled, as Chambers returned her smile ever so sweetly.

Just as she was becoming even more comfortable in his presence and was about to ask him what his connection was to the mission house, Elizabeth heard the driver topside call out to the horses. She then abruptly felt the wagon veer slightly to the right before coming to a complete stop by the side of the road.

The dust that the horses had been kicking up engulfed the wagon for a few seconds before slowly settling, as Chambers poked his head out the side window to address the driver.

“What is it Lee?”

“Dragons approaching,” came the driver’s nervous reply.

Dragons? Elizabeth wondered, and was just about to ask Chambers what the driver meant, when all of a sudden she heard what sounded like the thundering hoof beats of at least a dozen stampeding horses. She hastily glanced out the window to see that they were now encircled by Chinese soldiers on horseback. Elizabeth also nervously noted that all the soldiers' rifles (minus one) had been drawn and aimed unswervingly at the wagon.

The lone soldier who did not draw his rifle, instead held a long staff.

A black flag connected to the staff gently waved in the hot breeze, as Elizabeth noted some type of symbol embroidered on both of its sides.

On closer examination, Elizabeth could see the symbol was that of a yellow dragon. The dragon’s speared tail was wickedly curved over a scaled head with eyes that glowed a fiery red and a face that snarled evilly revealing sharp, crooked fangs.

“Mr. Chambers?” Elizabeth started to apprehensively say, but Chambers quickly cut her off.

“It’s okay,” he calmly stated, “I’ll handle this.”

Just then, on Chambers side of the wagon, a soldier approached. Elizabeth saw that he was short but stocky. His weathered face seemed to easily absorb the light and heat from the blazing summer sun and his dark eyes had a harsh look that subtly telegraphed to Elizabeth this was not a person to be trifled with.

As the soldier got closer to the wagon, he yelled something at them in Chinese, but as he started to glance inside his harsh look unexpectedly turned into a knowing smile.

“Ah, Mr. Chambers,” the soldier suddenly stated in accented, yet otherwise perfect English, “so good to see you again, sir.”

“Good to see you too, Sergeant Kiang,” Chambers obligingly replied.

The Sergeant then turned his attention to Elizabeth, while still maintaining a smile. However, Elizabeth noticed that his eyes did not smile along with his mouth and that made her considerably more nervous.

“And who may this be?” the Sergeant pleasantly asked.

“This is the new missionary for the sanctuary house,” Chambers answered.

Elizabeth forced an anxious smile towards the Sergeant.

“Miss Elizabeth Ander,” Chambers began the introductions, “may I present to you, Sergeant Kwan Kiang. Sergeant Kiang. Miss Elizabeth Ander.”

Sergeant Kiang immediately kicked his boot heels together, which made a loud click, then slightly bowed.

“So pleased to meet you, Miss Ander,” the Sergeant greeted, “and welcome to Pooh-Chang province.”

“Th..Thank you,” Elizabeth anxiously replied, still obviously disturbed by all the weapons still being aimed in their general direction from the surrounding soldiers.

“I am so sorry,” Kiang continued, “but I must ask for your passport, if I may.”

Elizabeth nodded and shakily answered, “It’s…uh… in my suitcase up on top of the wagon.”

Kiang then turned and shouted an order in Chinese.

Immediately, one of the soldiers dismounted his horse and swiftly scrambled up on top of the wagon. Elizabeth could hear some scuffling, then witnessed her suitcase being tossed to the ground where it landed in the dust with a noisy thump.

“Please be careful with that,” she softly stated, but felt Chambers take a hold of her arm and whisper in her ear, “It’s okay, Miss Ander. They’re just doing their job.”

The look in Chambers eyes told her she had better just remain quiet for now, but she was still mildly upset when another soldier ran up and opened her suitcase and roughly rummaged through her clothes until discovering the passport within.

Kiang came around to her side of the wagon, as the soldier ran up and handed him Elizabeth‘s passport. Kiang continued to keep a faux smile frozen upon his face, as he thumbed through the tiny booklet.

“Ah, you are from America, I see,” Kiang stated, without glancing up.

“Y..yes,” Elizabeth meekly answered.

“Where in America, if I may ask?” Kiang continued.

“Nebraska,” Elizabeth matter of fact replied.

Kiang looked up and his smile grew ever wider. This time Elizabeth noted his eyes smiled along.

“Oh yes,” Kiang began, “Nebraska. In middle of your country, no? City of Omaha. Lots of corn, yes?”

Elizabeth amusingly returned his smile, “Yes. Lots of corn.”

Kiang kept his eyes locked on Elizabeth and still managed to maintain his wide smile. She tried with all her might to remain calm but this Sergeant Kiang just made her feel understandably unsettled.

Finally, for what seemed like an eternity, Kiang glanced back down to her passport, closed it then handed it back to the soldier still standing nearby.

“Everything seems to be in order, Miss Ander,” Kiang continued, “again welcome. Next time my squad comes by the mission house, it would please me if you found the time so we could talk further about your homeland. I study all the states and have many questions about your country. A place I hope to visit someday.”

“Well, I don’t know,” Elizabeth reluctantly replied, “I’ll probably be pretty busy and besides…”

“….That would be great,” Carlton quickly interrupted, “I’m sure Miss Ander would be more than happy to answer any of your questions sometime. Wouldn’t you, Miss Ander?”

Elizabeth glanced over at Carlton to see him slightly nod in affirmation. She quickly understood the not so subtle hint.

“Yes, Sergeant Kiang. I would be happy to answer any questions, anytime you’d like.”

Kiang contentedly replied, “Jolly well!”

Then Sergeant Kiang glanced back to Chambers, “Again so good to see you, Mr. Chambers.”

Chambers slightly bowed himself, “Please give Colonel Liu my regards when you see him.”

“I shall,” Kiang replied, as he turned back to the soldier standing nearby and sternly addressed him in Chinese. Whereupon, the soldier immediately turned and went back to Elizabeth’s suitcase still on the ground, placed the passport back inside the case, slammed the lid shut then carelessly threw it up to the driver topside.

Kiang walked back towards the other side of wagon, out of Elizabeth’s line of sight, but she could still hear him bark out more orders. Immediately, the soldiers surrounding them lowered their weapons then hurriedly rode off down the trail, directly behind the soldier with the Dragon flag, leaving multitudes of arid road dust in their wake.

Soon the driver called out to the horses and Elizabeth could feel the wagon begin to veer back onto the middle of the trail and pick up speed.

“And what was that all about, Mr. Chambers?” Elizabeth finally asked, in a tone bordering on relief that the soldiers had left and that she was still alive.

“I’ll explain everything to you when we get to the mission house,” Chambers reassured her.

Elizabeth, however, wasn’t certain that even Carlton Chambers could reassure her right now. For at this point, she was very concerned, in more ways than one, as to what she may have gotten herself into.


© Copyright 2019 Nikki Evans. All rights reserved.

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