16. I Don’t Care, So Let Me Go Home!
It was the third and final day of the Dragon Dance Festival. There was a play being performed on the founding of our Lemaire Kingdom. An actor who wore a dragon-shaped helmet had just ‘landed’ onto a model of our island.
‘The festival is almost over. I’m starting to give up on the idea of enjoying myself,’ I thought. I was ready to give up hope of seeing something of interest. Just then, an immense shadow passed over the stage.
“Dragons! Dragons!” The crowd shouted.
“They’re finally here! They came! This is it. Once we scatter the flower scales, our job will be done!” I mumbled to myself, though not particularly quietly.
“Ria! Let’s go!” Said the Knight of the Flower Scales.
“Don’t call me ‘Ria.’ Do you think we’re close or something? That we’re friends?” I retorted though I couldn’t understand why I felt this way. Perhaps it’s because that name was reserved only for those who are very close to me.
“Wow! I thought we were friends already. I’m sorry, I didn’t know whether to call you that.” He apologized almost immediately.
“It’s alright, just don’t call me that so soon. It’s not even noon yet. That means that when this is over, I can spend the rest of the festival with my best friend, Sara! We can go to every stall and eat as much delicious food as we want!!” I said to the knight, as we took our positions to begin the ceremony.
I created a multilayered Affixed-Magic Circle and started to fly off from the Nobles’ seating section. It was a little painful to admit, but I couldn’t have done this without the help of the knight. I guess I can forgive him for calling me Ria earlier. I reached into my cylindrical basket and pulled out a handful of flower scales.
“All I have to do is scatter these, and then I’ll be free to enjoy the festival!!!” I kept repeating. I took a deep breath and started to fling the flower scales with all my strength into the air. I heard shouts of excitement coming from the crowd below.
“Okay, this is a pretty good feeling.” The Knight shouted so I could hear him from where I stood.
I did my best to evenly distribute the flower scales all over. Seeing the dragons flying just above me was truly awesome.
If I hadn’t practiced so hard to learn how to fly, I wouldn’t have been able to see this! The light brown dragon was moving differently from the others. Come to think of it, when the dragons were in the middle of a somersault earlier, the light brown one was the only dragon that did a spinning maneuver. I wonder why? Maybe dragons have different personalities too.
The dragons flew high into the sky and then took a sharp nosedive.
When the sunlight reflected off their scales, it looked so pretty! It was a little faded, but they looked like gemstones! The light brown dragon added another spin during their nosedive. It seemed like the other dragons were annoyed with him. He bumped into a dragon that in return gave out a scolding breath.
“Being scolded by dragon’s breath must be harsh!! That was bad. I better hurry and scatter these “Flower Scales. Wait for me food stalls! I’m coming!” I said while still scattering the flowers.
“KYUUKYUUU-AAAAAHHH!!!!!” The crowd suddenly got frightened and made that terrifying sound.
“What was that shriek?” I said taken aback by the ruckus created during the confusion.
I quickly looked up and saw a dark shadow in the sky.
It was that light brown dragon. He was in a tailspin, falling right on me!!! Did he lose control because of all of his bold moves? What’s going on and why it’s coming in my direction? I thought. The light brown dragon was spinning uncontrollably as he plunged right towards me.
It was really hard to think straight in times of panic indeed. What should I do? I should try to evade the falling dragon. This question ran through my mind. I could only see the glinting scales of the light brown dragon coming at me.
I thought he was light brown, but in reality, the scales which I thought to be light brown were dull white. It was just the edges of his scales that were light brown.
I was completely enraptured, seeing all the fine details of the scales, as the dragon hurtled right at me. Though the dragon was right on top of me, and I was about to be smashed, I kept surprisingly calm.
But as I was thinking that, right before my eyes was a surge of pure blue.
“Are you alright, Rururia-jyou?” I heard a voice asking.
And before I even realized what had happened, I had been swept up and carried away. Without even thinking, I turned and looked down.
“Are you ready for an unplanned dragon ride?” The knight commander asked me.
“What?? Ah, thanks for the rescue, Knight Commander. I guess I owe you for saving my life, right? Oh, how did this happen?”. I managed to ask him those questions, although I was still confused about what had happened.
The Knight Commander was cradling and protecting me in his right arm and had the dragon’s neck in his left hand. We were riding on top of the dragon.
We were so high up!
“Woah! We were riding a dragon.” I mumbled in awe.
At the same time, I noticed that beneath the dragon was an Affixed-Magic Circle. It seemed we had stopped falling and were now floating in the air. Well, at least we weren’t falling anymore. That was a relief, right? Hell No!! Being on top of a dragon wasn’t a relief at all.
What was that? Was that what a dragon youngling sounds like?
“KYUUUUUUUUUU!!!?!?!?!” That sound came again, and I don’t know where from.
The light brown dragon began thrashing around uncontrollably.
“If you keep that up, we’ll all fall, don’t you understand? It is probably painful and maybe a little scary to have your neck being held by a stranger… but come on, please!” I tried to explain to the knight commander the implications of holding the dragon the way he did.
“Oh, do you need more unexpected fun, eh?” The Knight Commander asked, and was gallant, like a ship floating on calm waters.
“How can you be so calm while the dragon is flipping around? My eyes are spinning!! This is not fun! This is not fun at all!!! We’re going to fall!! Oh no! the flower scales are spilling out of the basket! Good thing I already scattered most of them. Wait, Commander!! Your arm!! Stop, shaking me!!” I said though it was hard to get the words out, I somehow managed.
“Ah, is that what you were trying to say? Sorry!” The commander replied.
I don’t know how, but it seemed like the Commander had safely loosened up his grip. But the dragon still hadn’t calmed down at all! He didn’t understand that if he just calms down, he’ll stop hurting.
“KyuKyuuuuu!!!!!” The sound came again, and I confirmed it was from the hurting dragon.
The light brown dragon continued to thrash about.
“This thing is so unreasonable and troublesome. Ugh!! My eyes are spinning again!! Cut it out!!! Dragon!!! Come now!!! Stop being reckless and just calm down!!! ” I shouted at the Dragon, although ignorant of the fact that it couldn’t hear me.
And then, in a fit of rage, I hurled the “Flower-Scale” basket right at the dragon’s eye. I didn’t intend to hit him; I was just mad. But unfortunately, I managed to hit him square on the head. Right then, the rest of the flower scales spilled out of the basket. As they scattered throughout the air, you could see them glittering in the sunlight. At that moment, the dragon finally seemed to calm down. He stopped thrashing about and instead just looked around nervously at the flittering “Flower Scales.”
“Wow! That’s surprising. He is calm”. The knight commander said in amazement.
With that, the ground was calm again, and I let out a sigh of relief. It was risky to let go with both of my hands when I threw the basket, but I felt safe so long as the Knight Commander was holding me.
“Commander, you sure are strong, look at those muscles… It’s hard to believe how secure It feels to be in just one of your arms, but do you think you could let go of his neck?”. I asked the commander, who appeared unperturbed about the whole situation.
As he looked at me reclined in his arm, the Knight Commander let out a loud triumphant yell. I didn’t mind though.
A thunderous roar could be heard from the crowd below.
“What’s with that crazy cheering?” I asked although I got no reply.
Below us were a lot of energetic people jostling around. I was still being held in the Knight Commander’s right arm. How humiliating.
We landed finally and peacefully.
“Rururia!!!! Are you okay?” Solan yelled as he came running up to us with a flushed expression on his face. He seemed quite worried. I felt a little grateful that he cared.
“I’m ok… What’s with all this commotion?” I asked him.
“Isn’t it kind of obvious, huh?” He replied with a question.
He turned his head in confusion, or maybe bewilderment. No, definitely bewilderment.
Somehow, when I was about to be hit by the dragon and the Knight Commander rescued me, the people misunderstood. They thought that the Knight Commander was wrangling the dragon and called me “The Bride of the Dragon Knight.” They thought they had witnessed a miracle. That was why they erupted in cheers and applause.
” N-O W-A-Y!!!!!!!! NO WAY!!!!!! The Commander already had an embarrassing nickname, “Ice Knight,” but not me!!! This is terrible!!! NO WAY!!! I HATE IT!!! I DON’T WANT TO BE “THE BRIDE OF THE DRAGON KNIGHT!” PLEASE, NO ONE CALL ME THAT!!!”. I shouted at the crowd, although it was a foolish shout because the cheers were too much for my tiny voice to be heard.
With the scattered flower scales fluttering behind us, we probably did look (reluctantly) as a scene out of a fairy-tale.
“GUH!! Enough of this! I want to GO HOME!!!!!!” I said angrily.
But because of all the commotion, I was wrapped up in a bunch of special speeches and events. And even to the very end, I didn’t get to enjoy the festival at all.
With all that, I wasn’t able to enjoy the festival to the end.