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A chance encounter
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Writer Barbara
  • G: General Audiences
  • PG: Parental Guidance Suggested
  • PG-13: Parents Strongly Cautioned
  • R: Restricted
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A chance encounter
A - A - A
Part of the Límíng wù
Mar 12, 2018
46 Mins Read
No Plagiarism!GdJfToOeODSb8qzbff7Gposted on PENANA

One morning Bǎihé is busy collecting herbs in the forests near her home, which lies in the mountains that divide Qi and Zhao, known today as Changzhi. She kneels down behind a large bush to pick some Knotweed shoots, and after a while she becomes aware of the presence of another Dragon. This makes her look over the top to see nothing but the side of a stunning white wing as the Dragon it belongs to is bent over picking the herb that lies next to the bush.copyright protection17PENANAuDhLeAQOwA

Bǎihé decides to make the first move, she stands up and says, “Good morning.”copyright protection17PENANAZcOIsH6gVU

This makes the Dragon’s handsome face appear over the top of the bush, he smiles as he stands up straight and says in a soft voice, “Why good morning, my dear. Forgive me I did not know you were that close.”copyright protection17PENANAUO62eGetVl

Bǎihé sees he is a good few inches taller and bigger build, she giggles as she replies, “My fault, I was picking these.”copyright protection17PENANA9qYqbc110y

The handsome Dragon’s gold cat-like eyes with a slight sunset appearance at the edge focus on what she is holding and he says, “Ah I see. That is lovely when added to rice.”copyright protection17PENANACZKrHd8Ou3

   “I agree, nonetheless it also makes a nice soup.”copyright protection17PENANAJoRQr6wFzs

   “Mhm, I have to agree. Where are my manners? I am Xù Junjie.”copyright protection17PENANA0JTYa4bc6c

   “It’s all right, not to worry. I am Shao Xuě Bǎihé.”copyright protection17PENANAKJcvaUIiId

The moment Junjie hears the beautiful Dragon’s name his eyes open wide and he gasps, “No, you’re Longwei’s daughter.”copyright protection17PENANAmsBei2kOIU

Bǎihé giggles and replies, “That’s me.”copyright protection17PENANAhIDaHNfT0m

  “Oh my goodness,” he says, walking around to her and continues, “It is an honour to meet you my dear,” offering her his heavily ringed left hand.copyright protection17PENANA5K5hggcZzU

Bǎihé takes hold of it and asks, “You know my dad?”copyright protection17PENANAcWnOaFRvuz

   “No. Forgive me, I should have said I have heard a lot of mortals mention you both and the work you have done over the centuries. I live in a village on the other side of the mountains, where the mortals hold your father in high regard, because he saved them from an earthquake. There is even a lovely stone statue of him.”copyright protection17PENANApLh3WYRbSR

The feminine god gives him a smile and says, “I know of the village you speak of... My word that statue has been there for a very long time, long before I was born.”copyright protection17PENANAyXCDfSUrRt

   “Oh my goodness they never mentioned that.”copyright protection17PENANAm3pJRApI5T

  “That’s mortals for you. So what brings you here?”copyright protection17PENANAhvFzyBypNq

   “The herb. A lot of people have come down with pains in the stomach, vomiting and... Needing the bathroom a lot.”copyright protection17PENANAgloSZDLT5C

   “What a coincidence, a lot of my people too are suffering with the same symptoms... That can only mean one thing, there is something wrong with the water.”copyright protection17PENANAnsFNcxnBft

Junjie nods and replies, “I think so too. Care to find out what it is?”copyright protection17PENANAvxYa6wMFWz

Bǎihé gives him a nod and together they make their way out of the forest, unfold their wings and take to the air. They take their time to follow the river which flows from the west side of Bǎihé’s village, snaking its way over the mountains and they see where it meets with another one there is a large dark brown boulder. They come into land on a slightly muddy bank, they see the water around it is a reddish brown and there seems to be an odd odour.copyright protection17PENANA5cVt5U7QOc

   “Ah this is our cause,” says Junjie, pointing his hand towards it.copyright protection17PENANAscF8ZRFntV

Bǎihé nods in agreement, she is about to use her abilities to move it when the huge Dragon moves in front of her and says, “Allow me.”copyright protection17PENANAQYtO9AlVfh

The feminine god performs a slight bow and watches the boulder lift out of the water and get places far back on the bank. However Junjie is afraid it will start to crumble and bits will end up back in the water, so he decides to place it in a field which lies a good five miles away.copyright protection17PENANAvluqOAlWqa

  “There, hopefully it will not bother our people any more.”copyright protection17PENANA9TmO2mGIJ9

Bǎihé gives him a smile and replies,“I hope so too.”copyright protection17PENANAEA88phILdY

   “Well I’d better get this herb back to my people and I hope to see you again soon.”copyright protection17PENANA2Ijx987u4y

   “Hope everything goes well. Yes, see you again soon.”copyright protection17PENANAFes22uoId8

Junjie performs a slight bow before he unfolds his large wings and takes off.copyright protection17PENANASSJ008iITv

Bǎihé flies back to her village where she goes on to treat her people and in about a month most of them have recovered.copyright protection17PENANAHWd1tn9ARe

However it is much different story for Junjie, his people have taken a turn for the worse, they have begun to die. This makes him go and fetch one of the top Healers Xuě yuèliàng. When he sees that it is some kind of plague that has hit the village he sends up one green and one red flare. Within an hour Dragons and Healers begin to arrive and they all get to work to save as many people as they can.copyright protection17PENANA9xsBzv6Yej

Longwei is worried it could spread to his daughter’s village, he flies over to find all her people are recovering and he tells her what is happening to Junjie, she also offers to help.copyright protection17PENANA66bQ6cZpUT

The Father of the Gods smiles and says, “I thought you would. To be honest you might be able to persuade him to rest as it is clear the poor man is exhausted.”copyright protection17PENANAUCP8DjvNUn

   “I’ll do my best.”copyright protection17PENANA13UuEt0Lse

Bǎihé goes on to inform her eldest son Yúnlong who has been helping her over the past few weeks where she is going  before she takes off with her dad.copyright protection17PENANA5zkgprtoQn

Junjie’s village is nestled in a small valley surrounded on all sides by high hills covered in thick forests, huge plums of smoke are pouring out through holes in the thatched roof of a large building from which Healers are carrying tray upon tray of steaming hot pots.copyright protection17PENANAhL07TDqoqk

Ga-eul is just making his way back when he sees two Dragons come into land and he starts to call, “Mother, grandpa.”copyright protection17PENANALsnFX29XNB

They walk over to him and Bǎihé asks, “Where’s Junjie?”copyright protection17PENANAcSax9AZCYQ

   “Inside. Mother, he really needs to rest as he is going to be no use to any of us.”copyright protection17PENANA0gB0nuENS4

The feminine god gently pats the left side of the Healer’s face and says, “Take me to him.”copyright protection17PENANA8Exwkuyusm

Ga-eul nods and leads his mother inside the large building, the air is full with the smells of herbs being brewed to make healing teas and every bed is being used to treat the mortals.copyright protection17PENANA6FegcoRc1P

The Healer pulls back a curtain to reveal a large kitchen which is packed with gods stirring large pots of tea.copyright protection17PENANA226D2t7Hh0

Bǎihé sees Junjie is standing at the far end of the room wiping his hands on a cloth, she walks over to him and says, “I’m so sorry to hear what has happened to your village.”copyright protection17PENANALpFjVZOuug

The huge Dragon takes a deep breath and replies, “My poor people... Nothing seems to be helping them.”copyright protection17PENANAQAW5R9uIlv

   “And you’re not going to be able to help them in your current state, you need to rest.”copyright protection17PENANAynxE1A89hp

   “I can’t rest... I must help them.”copyright protection17PENANA93PPmLPafj

Bǎihé takes the cloth from his hands and says in a firm voice, “Now you listen to me, it is clear you’re in no fit state to treat anyone. You are not thinking clearly which could do more harm than good. So come on, let’s get you to bed as there is more than enough people to take care of things.”copyright protection17PENANAr6UocLxGtS

Junjie is shocked by her motherly tone, he knows she is right and he is not about to argue with the daughter of the Father of the Gods, especially when he is standing on the other side of the room.copyright protection17PENANAc2gKGhlOqC

   “You’re right, my dear,” he says with a nod.copyright protection17PENANAeAG3p3Ofd4

Bǎihé links arms with him and asks, “Where’s your home?”copyright protection17PENANAyFbs3neA4I

Junjie emits a soft laugh and replies, “You’re standing in it.”copyright protection17PENANAthKK1r1mgs

  “Oh in that case where’s your bed?”copyright protection17PENANAZu2GysJnHX

   “This way.”copyright protection17PENANAsgCDIG1Xg5

Together they walk over to another curtain which Junjie pulls back to reveal a decent size room, with a stone table in front of a window which is covered in bamboo scrolls and a single bed lies next to the left hand wall.copyright protection17PENANAFKmpuoQwL7

Bǎihé gets him to lie down, she removes his cloth slippers and places a blanket over him.copyright protection17PENANAYLB1rataxb

Junjie rolls onto his right side and drops straight to sleep.copyright protection17PENANA70rKDaqE7H

The feminine god strokes the side of his handsome face as she turns to leave and notices a group of small crystals on the desk. She takes a closer look to see they are the ones Dreamers use to detect demons and the scroll next to them is written in their language. This makes her touch her dad’s mind which brings him into the room.copyright protection17PENANAKMr7cWw3sh

Longwei takes a look at the other open scrolls and informs his daughter they are written in the language of the Grey Dragons.copyright protection17PENANAaq3MsuWVFu

   “He must be one? Or was raised by one?”copyright protection17PENANA7Nuyx8JXNQ

   “I think he is a rare White Dragon, who are born from a Grey Dragon parent, they just don’t have any colour to their scales and he certainly adds up to that. Pure white wings, white reflecting scales, very gold eyes and hair.”copyright protection17PENANAEyD6FQ2bTv

   “I think you’re right dad. Come, let’s leave him to rest.”copyright protection17PENANAt4VwQo0NkG

Longwei nods and they both head back in to the kitchen where Ga-eul asks them in a soft voice, “Did you see the Dreamer crystals?”copyright protection17PENANAirtN00WJYJ

   “We did, my boy,” replies the Father of the Gods. “Tell me has he said anything about this being the work of a demon?”copyright protection17PENANAAChdJX3L8X

The Healer shakes his head and replies, “No, nothing. But... Oh what’s his name? The Grey Dragon with the half light face?”copyright protection17PENANAgB1c8SB9FV

  “Kage?”copyright protection17PENANAPYmiLmiI5g

  “Yes, thank you mother. He has gone to get a Dreamer who is a direct decedent of Lèguān?”copyright protection17PENANArGTJUCGYoP

Longwei’s eyes open wide, he places his left hand to his chest and says, “Oh my goodness that’s the Dreamer my uncle knew long before I was born.”copyright protection17PENANAVFrWSzOtIu

   “Kage said you may have been told about him?”copyright protection17PENANAoxtKQe78Xd

  “Yes, my uncle admired him. So Kage is also thinking a demon is at work here?”copyright protection17PENANApoTj8NWOLl

  “Yes, grandfather, because people are dropping like fly’s, we only have a narrow window to treat them before they are dead. And nothing seems to be able to stop it.”copyright protection17PENANAEH05ETFtmn

Both Dragons shake their heads and hope the Dreamer arrives soon. They both roll up their sleeves and help out taking pots of tea to the sick.copyright protection17PENANAXLVqwLFDUC

Bǎihé is taking a break in the back garden behind the infirmary, she glances up to see the sun is now at its highest point in the clear blue sky, she is about to head back inside when she sees a huge Grey Dragon come into land who appears to be holding a child.copyright protection17PENANARk1KD9yAYk

As she runs over to them she sees half of the Grey Dragon’s face is white and the child is rather a young adult as it appears to have a full round chest.copyright protection17PENANAVC1WIFPn8c

   “Bǎihé, it is good to see you.”copyright protection17PENANAL6YGxusd8m

  “Kage, I thought it was you. My son informed me you had gone to get someone?”copyright protection17PENANAPZGRKk1iUZ

  “Yes, this young man,” replies the Grey Dragon, pointing his hand downwards.copyright protection17PENANADQCEMkkCIs

The moment the young one looks up Bǎihé sees he has a line of pupils going across his eyes and she whispers, “Dreamer.”copyright protection17PENANAPtzN96hCjp

The young man laughs and replies, “Well spotted. I am Rúyì míngxīng(1). Please call me Rúyì.” (1 Wishful star)copyright protection17PENANAY9pF0902sV

  “Rúyì(2)? Interesting. You probably all ready know who I am?” (2 wishful)copyright protection17PENANA16LELyZ5aH

The Dreamer nods and replies, “Bǎihé, daughter of Longwei. It is an honour to meet you.”copyright protection17PENANAy0a7Nkd5Wx

   “You too, for you’re the second Dreamer I have met.”copyright protection17PENANAvVGUAH4BJx

   “Not surprising, when we are so secretive,” replies Rúyì in a soft voice and winks his right eye.copyright protection17PENANAwLDhpoPpt0

They all laugh.copyright protection17PENANA610g9OAnTx

Then the Dreamer pulls a cloudy white crystal from the left pocket of his half coat and starts to move his hand slowly around as he says, “I am not sensing anything. Nonetheless, I will conduct a thorough search.”copyright protection17PENANAUosBj3inE2

The Grey Dragon drops down on to one knee in front of him and says, “Do what you think is best and as promised I will remain by your side.”copyright protection17PENANAUaOxseWhDp

   “Mala,” replies Rúyì with a nod.copyright protection17PENANAiJrjZA7AY1

   “I will leave you to it and inform the others you have arrived.”copyright protection17PENANA7SqAuJDM7i

The Dreamer smiles and replies, “Ah thank you Bǎihé.”copyright protection17PENANAP1sDzURvcv

   “No problem. See you both later.”copyright protection17PENANAVvemOeXWOV

Kage rises and replies, “Later.”copyright protection17PENANAYWOowi7a5f

Bǎihé gives him a pat on the arm before she turns away and heads back over to the infirmary where she goes on to take two bowls filled to the brim with lovely sticky rice which her son Xuě has prepared in a large pot and heads into the back room to see Junjie is starting to stir.copyright protection17PENANAsVgVyQPqm2

   “Afternoon,” she says, pouring him a cup of tea.copyright protection17PENANAVhxaEmoCjd

Junjie has a stretch and replies, “Afternoon.”copyright protection17PENANAyh9nFGGNQL

The feminine god helps him to sit up and says, “You’re not leaving this room until you have eaten this nice bowl of rice which my son has prepared.”copyright protection17PENANA2jHjeg94Gw

Junjie sees it has been topped with spring onions and mushrooms. “That looks lovely.”copyright protection17PENANA6CNEMs1b5k

Bǎihé places the bowl in his hand along with a spoon and says in a firm voice, “Eat.”copyright protection17PENANAoDBy0geG45

   “Yes, mother.”copyright protection17PENANAs6o9pCpzG6

They both laugh and the feminine god, gently strokes the side of the White Dragon’s handsome face and says, “I will be mother to you, if you carry on like before.”copyright protection17PENANA5NJTswmtHr

   “I promise you I won’t.”copyright protection17PENANAN65pE5GSMK

   “There’s a good lad.”copyright protection17PENANAXfQmpgYPQF

They both smile at each other then they start to eat and Bǎihé goes on to inform him about the Dreamer.copyright protection17PENANAWWtFQVccoU

Junjie takes a deep breath and replies a moment later, “I would like him to find something... Then on the other hand I hope he doesn’t.”copyright protection17PENANAEc0JBFPhyC

   “I completely understand. After lunch how’s about we go and see how he is getting on?”copyright protection17PENANA2vSTSh9R70

   “I would like that.”copyright protection17PENANAw3X0JNVW0k

They carry on eating their meals and once they have had a third cup of tea they head outside to spot the Grey Dragon is standing near one of the homes smoking a long decretive pipe and there is no sign of the Dreamer.copyright protection17PENANAQFxRo8weq4

   “Kage, how’s it going?” Bǎihé asks as she walks over to him.copyright protection17PENANARsAJls0vj8

The Grey Dragon performs a slight bow and replies, “All right so far. Rúyì has not detected anything.”copyright protection17PENANAwQbtQUhMQi

Junjie looks around and asks, “Where is he?”copyright protection17PENANA6HXDymM5Ad

   “Over there,” replies Kage, pointing his hand out in front of him. “I stepped out of his way as I could interfere with his readings.”copyright protection17PENANA9rGKb2ccxw

Bǎihé and Junjie turn around to see the Dreamer is standing in the middle of someone’s garden holding a round wooden disc in his heavily ringed hands.copyright protection17PENANAk4nvydqPZh

   “My goodness a Spirit Compass,” whispers Junjie.copyright protection17PENANA76Z4KxqwC1

The Grey Dragon nods and replies, “Now you understand why I am over here?”copyright protection17PENANAJMtqwEsJRZ

The White Dragon nods and Bǎihé asks, “What exactly is a Sprit Compass?”copyright protection17PENANAfb4CGCQ7rQ

Kage and Junjie both look to each other then back to the beautiful god and the Grey Dragon replies, “I’m afraid he would not be too pleased if we just told you.”copyright protection17PENANAozWnDGV4dy

Bǎihé puts up her hands in front of her chest and says, “Ah forget I asked.”copyright protection17PENANA6XlAnRfPA6

   “Kage, my good friend, it’s all right as the name is kind of a clue,” says Rúyì, without lifting his head.copyright protection17PENANAPQhTtYwk5X

   “Good point. So Bǎihé I’m guessing you sort of understand what it’s used for?”copyright protection17PENANAauw6SaNOf0

The feminine god nods and replies, “For dedicating things from the other realm?”copyright protection17PENANAmmYHWlzbba

   “Correct,” says the Dreamer, walking over to them and continues, “I am pleased to inform you Junjie, your village is demon free. Nonetheless, I have seen this before, when I was a young man. The fortune teller feared it was a Desire Demon gripping the village. My mother was sort of pleased as it was a perfect opportunity to teach me how to use a Spirit Compass, and just like here we found nothing. So I am going to conduct the same experiment he did. As I fear it is the soil which is contaminated, that’s why everything is dying.”copyright protection17PENANAh01zUuxqOC

Junjie’s eyes open wide and he gasps, “What?!”copyright protection17PENANAoY7V5Z6SNl

Rúyì sighs and says, “Sorry, I sometimes wish I could give you something which shows you how I see. My unusual eyes can pick up on things like the plants around us, they appear nice and green on the surface, but I assure you by tomorrow they will be showing sings of decay.”copyright protection17PENANATaIRREdrQo

   “I believe you. I just never realised it was effecting everything. So it is something in the soil?”copyright protection17PENANAB7pCHj6eKV

   “That is what I am hoping to confirm, if that is all right with you?”copyright protection17PENANAR9UY4ZYbSL

   “Please go ahead as I too would like to know what it is that is harming my people.”copyright protection17PENANAwMWeENTSeJ

The Dreamer removes a white with a slight pink coloured stone from the compass before placing them inside a cloth bag to bring out a small wooden scoop and heads back over to the garden.copyright protection17PENANAgQRGsy0zNK

The Dragons watch him use it to take some of the top soil placing it in a small bamboo container, then he drives the scoop deep into the soil to pull out a column, which he starts to inspect and appears to only place the bottom section into another bamboo container.copyright protection17PENANAuETpDYpB9h

   “Junjie, may I borrow your infirmary?”copyright protection17PENANAnG4jVJ7OBm

   “By all means. This way.”copyright protection17PENANAyScpyEXydL

Rúyì nods and follows him over to the large building where all of them head inside to the kitchen. All the Healer’s give the Dreamer space to work. For some of them this is a rare treat to not only meet him but also to interact with him.copyright protection17PENANAjIpd72bxEk

   “Could someone pass me a bowl, please?”copyright protection17PENANAP11TkWCsLe

Ga-eul hands one to him and asks, “Do you need anything else?”copyright protection17PENANAOj60JFEHdS

Rúyì uses his fingers to break up the soil and replies, “Yes, a cup of water, please young one.”copyright protection17PENANAsxBRKJUVgy

Xuě pours some fresh water into a nice clay cup and sets it down on the table in front of him as he asks, “Is that enough?”copyright protection17PENANAg5AhZVeBn0

  “Plenty, thank you.”copyright protection17PENANAQbkWb3BQLP

   “You’re welcome.”copyright protection17PENANAIdmk56302k

The Dreamer drops a little bit of water in to the bowl uses his finger to mix it with a pinch of soil until he gets mud, then he adds a pinch of off white powder which causes a reaction.copyright protection17PENANAziq9Ap4P1s

Everyone within the room hear a strange crackling sound then a puff of white smoke comes out of the bowl which causes Rúyì to sneeze.copyright protection17PENANAPRDaOOeqFZ

Kage hands him a cloth and asks, “Are you all right?”copyright protection17PENANAfodCIjJMjL

   “Yes, fine. It’s just the powder, getting to my nose,” replies Rúyì, using the cloth to wipe his little nose. “Just as I thought, it is in the soil. I’m afraid this village is lost as there is no cure for this as us Dreamers have tried everything to counteract it for centuries, with no success.”copyright protection17PENANA6S4w2EV7uX

   “In that case, we need to carry on moving my people to the next village,” replies Junjie.copyright protection17PENANAzkOduC2J2H

All the other gods nod in agreement and the Dreamer goes on to say, “I might be able to treat the sick with a tea, that is not very pleasant, but it works. The only problem is it takes time to prepare.”copyright protection17PENANAIi5WUNfEAy

Junjie places his hands together and replies, “Please do all you can.”copyright protection17PENANApGrtdu89CD

Rúyì gives him a nod and replies, “I’ll get started.”copyright protection17PENANA6bXUpsxrbA

Ga-eul pats him on the arm and says, “Tell us what you need.”copyright protection17PENANA9USeQN25rC

The Dreamer nods, he pulls a beautiful book from his bag, sets it down on the table and flicks through it until he finds the right page and says with a hint of a laugh, “There you go. If you can read it?”copyright protection17PENANAERj6kxAtGc

The Healer also emits a soft laugh and replies, “Yes, I can sort of read it.”copyright protection17PENANA6No4INwffH

Rúyì gives him a pat on the arm and says, “I’m impressed you can read it at all, as you well know, this is a very old language. So if you get stuck? Please do not ask me to translate, ask him instead,” pointing his right hand over his shoulder to the Grey Dragon.copyright protection17PENANAQoCIDswFyX

Kage gives him a soft shove and says, “Him? I have a name.”copyright protection17PENANAicPCia9TDQ

This makes the Dreamer turn around to face him, he performs a deep bow and says in his own language, “I’m sorry dear friend.”copyright protection17PENANA6KDuOlilBx

The Grey Dragon laughs, then picks him up and replies, “Apology accepted,” going on to give him a kiss on the cheek.copyright protection17PENANA3rWFaz7GfF

Rúyì starts to laugh and says, “Stop that.”copyright protection17PENANAExSt9bEi4h

   “What? I’m not doing anything.”copyright protection17PENANA9a2MFR8YcJ

The Dreamer sighs and asks, “Put me down?”copyright protection17PENANAwgbsVl232h

Kage nods and does as he requests.copyright protection17PENANAJHPBbYMPhQ

Rúyì pats him on the arm, then slaps his hands and says, “Right, I’ll get started.”copyright protection17PENANA7q1adH1lFe

All the Healers nod and start to take it in turns to read the ingredients.copyright protection17PENANA5bugDqCFtE

The other gods go to check on the sick and do everything they can to make them comfortable.copyright protection17PENANAXcmMOxKAn2

It is just getting light when the first batch of tea is ready to be served out to the mortals in the infirmary. By breakfast the second lot is ready. Junjie enters the kitchen to find the Dreamer lying on the floor, he quickly goes to him and the moment he places the back of his hand to Rúyì’s forehead, he finds it to be clammy, this makes him call for the Grey Dragon.copyright protection17PENANAruttFGaG2P

Kage comes running into the room, he just scoops up the Dreamer and takes him outside.copyright protection17PENANAV70qnEQ0kk

Junjie follows him to see he is carefully opening the top of the Dreamer’s robes and he asks, “I need some water and a wet cloth.”copyright protection17PENANAFhx13lzOWW

The White Dragon gives him a nod and heads back into the kitchen to return a moment later with the items the Grey Dragon requested.copyright protection17PENANARorlR611N4

Kage uses his telekinetic abilities to raise the cloth out of the bowl of water, wrings it out a little bit before placing it on the Dreamer’s chest. He then gets him to have a sip of water and whispers, “Rúyì.”copyright protection17PENANARIbR9zw0zQ

Junjie places his hand on the Grey Dragon’s shoulder and asks, “Is there anything else I can do to help?”copyright protection17PENANAkf8ShceQ1a

Kage shakes his head and replies, “No, I’m afraid we have just got to wait for him to come out of it.”copyright protection17PENANANSyfdplfr9

The White Dragon frowns and asks, “Out of what?”copyright protection17PENANAjiSva14G1E

   “Sorry, I should explain, he has had a blackout. It can be caused by tiredness, hot enclosed places, stress and late heat.”copyright protection17PENANAxmUFebRs1S

   “Well he has definitely had three things on the list to deal with.”copyright protection17PENANADPLc4ZCqf3

   “True and I think it was the heat of the room which got to him. He’s cooling down.”copyright protection17PENANAzyms4wt9dv

   “That’s good to hear.”copyright protection17PENANAOKRIq6TizV

Rúyì’s eyes start to open, he has a stretch and says, “Sata mela taka se?”copyright protection17PENANAbdKXpOW2fb

   “Ila sue,” replies Kage, offering him the cup of water.copyright protection17PENANA5PKshPZLYc

The Dreamer holds the wet cloth to his chest as he sits up and asks, “Junjie, how are your people reacting to the tea?”copyright protection17PENANAgMX8uofoGO

The White Dragon places his hands together and replies, “I have to confess, I had to add an ingredient.”copyright protection17PENANAjS13PrSMt7

   “Oh and what was that?”copyright protection17PENANAXzXI1ex1Zw

   “Honey, I hope you don’t mind?”copyright protection17PENANAegicpNAEbh

Rúyì laughs and says, “No need to sound so worried. I’m not angry with you. In fact dear boy, I am pleased you found a way to get people to drink that bitter, correction, very bitter tea. I will add it to the recipe.”copyright protection17PENANAtu9vyZWrLq

   “My word Junjie, you are privileged to have something added to a Dreamer’s handbook. You should be very proud as this does not happen very often,” says Kage, patting him on the arm.copyright protection17PENANAyJZvr1KZ3K

The White Dragon bows his head in respect and replies, “I am extremely honoured, Rúyì.”copyright protection17PENANAvh1OtqB44N

The Dreamer smiles and says, “I am happy to make little changes to my mother, grandmother and great, great grandmother’s recipes when only something like this benefits the people. So thank you.”copyright protection17PENANAlyhv3QuZhf

   “No problem. I just could not watch my people spit it out when this could be the last thing to save them.”copyright protection17PENANAqQYpmqr7qu

   “I know what you mean dear boy. Please try not to worry as there is still hope for them yet.”copyright protection17PENANARVLSJfiljn

Junjie nods and replies, “Yes, you’re right.”copyright protection17PENANA8EVqaYgEYy

Rúyì stands up, he turns his back on them before removing the wet cloth from his chest and pulls the top of his robes closed.copyright protection17PENANAUooTOLjfSJ

   “Here I’ll take that,” offers Kage, still keeping his head turned away.copyright protection17PENANAKKFwCpLVK5

The Dreamer turns around and says, “Bless you both I’m decent and thank you dear friend. Right, I’d better go and check on the tea.”copyright protection17PENANAjSJeiTdzyc

This makes the Grey Dragon drop the cloth in to the bowl, he takes hold of Rúyì by the shoulders and says, “You will do no such thing. You need to have a bite to eat and some rest. I will attend to the tea.”copyright protection17PENANA7sBwlphFFa

   “My word you sounded so serious, didn’t he?”copyright protection17PENANApqU4WwtIse

Even though Junjie heard no change in Kage’s deep emotionless voice, he plays along and nods as he replies, “Yes, I heard it.”copyright protection17PENANANL6w0pqdYY

Rúyì points his hand at his friend and says, “You know you could get into serious trouble ordering around a Dreamer.”copyright protection17PENANAq6r1CMrUs6

   “Forgive me, I was not ordering you, I am merely concerned. After all you have just had a blackout.”copyright protection17PENANA4RwYWtvqbX

The Dreamer pats the side of his face and says, “I know. All right, I leave my mother’s tea in your hands.”copyright protection17PENANAEYJLvJaWX9

The Grey Dragon bows his head and replies, “I am honoured.”copyright protection17PENANAUnfmpS9QMB

Rúyì gives him a pat on the shoulder and makes his way over to the makeshift kitchen the Healers have built to serve large quantities of food they have brought in from their homes and the surrounding villages, which has prevented more people from getting sick.copyright protection17PENANAXQtuPpYlP9

Junjie and Kage head back into the infirmary to check on the tea to find it is almost ready.copyright protection17PENANAju82fDLqzJ

   “Can I just say I am so pleased you brought Rúyì to my village.”copyright protection17PENANAAu7PQwHZnt

   “No problem at all. To be honest I am relieved we did not have to deal with a Desire Demon. They can be very tricky.”copyright protection17PENANABlk4Q9uOvk

   “So I have heard. Sorry I should say my grandfather dealt with one... A long time ago.”copyright protection17PENANAXOO5Q4JCui

Kage is surprised to hear him mention this and he too starts to think Bǎihé is right about Junjie being a Grey Dragon.copyright protection17PENANAl4MtUDZCDn

   “Is something wrong?”copyright protection17PENANA6fJqkzAOn5

   “No, no sorry I was just amazed to hear your family have encountered one when they are as rare as a Black Dragon.”copyright protection17PENANA8lTXrK1amv

Junjie nods and replies, “My grandfather said to me he hopes I never have to deal with one. As the task of finding a Dreamer is much harder.”copyright protection17PENANAtIAgbuTb7x

   “I have to agree,” replies Kage with a nod.copyright protection17PENANAzdMiE6ReVf

They take another look at the tea to find it is ready and the Grey Dragon serves it out into pots.copyright protection17PENANAk4Be12Y2dl

Junjie places two on a tray, gives him a bow as he walks out of the infirmary.copyright protection17PENANAyG38XeDQqL

By nightfall the sick people are showing signs of recovering, the Dreamer makes sure there is another batch of tea brewing away in the kitchen to give them all the next morning another cup and makes sure to add the honey to each pot.copyright protection17PENANAoZYbhCi9Rd

Junjie is helping move the last of the people who are not effected to the next village which lies around a days journey away, he is telling them to only take what they need and grows concerned when he sees the Head Healer Xuě yuèliàng joining the party.copyright protection17PENANApch0qj3plg

   “Is there someone ill?” he asks, walking over to him.copyright protection17PENANAKUXN2U2GLs

   “No, everyone is fine, dear boy. However the path you take is not going to be an easy one.”copyright protection17PENANAr9rqlJ3DSU

   “I see... So you have been to this village?”copyright protection17PENANAQi68ixrlWN

The Healer nods and replies, “Yes, however it was a long time ago.”copyright protection17PENANACGHzuKtxrf

   “Xuě yuèliàng, you’re getting the mortals worried,” sings Rúyì as he comes walking over to them holding a bamboo container.copyright protection17PENANA0TpsjKbnn4

   “Oh dear we can’t have that. Then allow me to explain, a Dragon came to me as he needed help to bring a baby into the world. The poor mother had already lost one child, because it came into the world feet first. He feared it might happen again. Thankfully I was able to get him to turn the right way before he decided to come.”copyright protection17PENANAhemonFWP0S

The Dreamer can feel the anxiety in the people is being replaced with relief and happiness, he goes on to inform the Healer.copyright protection17PENANACCzkc44GBw

The beautiful Xuě yuèliàng smiles, he gives him a pat on the shoulder and says, “Let’s get going.”copyright protection17PENANAVCpk4J4f6s

Junjie nods and gets the party of people moving.copyright protection17PENANAkoGHN3mJSm

By the end of the week the village is pretty much deserted, all that is left is a handful of people who seem to be taking a little longer to recover from the effects of the toxin within their bodies.copyright protection17PENANABvZbPbgURS

One night a woman starts to cry out in pin, Ga-eul hovers his hands over her and says, “Stomach cramps. I will get her a tea which should help calm it.”copyright protection17PENANArNuQ8yAcOG

Junjie nods as he comforts the lady in his arms. Then he hears the door of the infirmary open and close. Suddenly out of the shadows comes a child size heavily ringed hand and two fingers are placed upon the lady’s forehead, in a matter of minutes her cries stop and she starts to calm down.copyright protection17PENANAF95lQSpcBi

This makes Junjie concerned and he asks, “Rúyì, what have you done?”copyright protection17PENANAzdNypDKFyC

   “I have merely taken away her fear of dying,” comes his soft slightly feminine voice, then his face appears, he seems to be looking directly at the woman’s eyes and he says, “That’s a better thought, being happy she is back with her family.”copyright protection17PENANAxZp1QxAqKp

   “So it was also a bad dream?” comes the Healer’s voice out of the gloom.copyright protection17PENANA7pycLo5bBG

   “Kind of as it was a mixture of pain and fear. Hello young one, it’s all right.”copyright protection17PENANAtaUhJjVtYt

The woman looks at each of the gods who are half being lit up by the lamp by her bed and she asks, “What happened?”copyright protection17PENANA6wsvyi38JO

   “Just a little bad dream my dear, because of the pain in your tummy. Ga-eul has brought you a special tea which will take that pain away,” replies the Dreamer in a soft voice.copyright protection17PENANAxQd53Zu8a5

Junjie helps her to sit up and the Healer places the cup in her hand.copyright protection17PENANAPDfJVZ3Qs2

Once she has drunk the tea, they get her to lie down and she slowly falls back to sleep.copyright protection17PENANAjyyM4758gO

The gods take a moment to check on the others before they too head back to bed.copyright protection17PENANAWNF9TJ9oRj

It is another week before the people are well enough to be taken to the other village.copyright protection17PENANAtHXJrSIvJb

Bǎihé sees Junjie is standing in his dying herb garden, she can tell he is upset at loosing his village and his home. She walks over to him and says, “I have a proposal for you, there is a young Dragon who is in need of a herbalist to run his infirmary at the Chinese Dragon Order.”copyright protection17PENANAx2K6PPdUXt

The White Dragon’s eyes open wide and he replies, “I thought that place no longer existed.”copyright protection17PENANAJThp3b8cz0

   “You’re right for a long time it didn’t. However the young Dragon I spoke of, reopened the place five years ago at the age of fifteen. In that time he and his brother have taken it upon themselves to return the place to its original glory. At just twenty he has invented a new code of order and has appointed Kazè Yūchi’s second son Ryṹ as his Second-in-command and my third son Yuan as Third-in-command. However, he has allowed my eldest sons to take over at anytime as Yuan can be at times a little difficult to deal with.”copyright protection17PENANAw3HuM9mvE6

   “I see and I’m impressed for someone so young to take on such an immense task... Then again that would explain why it has been so peaceful.”copyright protection17PENANAHb8riYgvSe

Bǎihé nods and replies, “Yes, he is very much like his father Kwon-Yul.”copyright protection17PENANAZC7g1as9n1

Junjie puts up his hands in front of his chest and says, “Wait? Back up, I could have sworn you said he was a young Dragon, not a Healer.”copyright protection17PENANA9T4RnR1KnF

  “You heard me right. Allow me to explain, Kwon found a baby Dragon left abounded at a camp in the mountains near his home and when no one came to claim him, he made him his son and gave him the name Límíng wù. I feel I should warn you, he is nothing like what you would expect, one he sounds much older than he is and two he partly hides his face behind a mask.”copyright protection17PENANAQ4RZw9XNFQ

   “Partly?”copyright protection17PENANA1Fs8WtjoDG

   “Yes, his mouth and chin are visible.copyright protection17PENANApNAuEXmGIJ

   “Ah I see. The poor child, I take it, it was the urge?”copyright protection17PENANAlzOdylnw82

Bǎihé nods and replies, “He has hid his face from the age of three.”copyright protection17PENANAmaHOiDiC1V

   “Oh my goodness so young. He sounds an intriguing young man who I cannot wait to meet.”copyright protection17PENANAirITWnQi3z

   “Shall we?”copyright protection17PENANA2p8QCHcZdk

   “Yes, I’ll just pack a few things,” replies Junjie as he heads back inside the infirmary.copyright protection17PENANA2zuKoNnHpp

Bǎihé is about to light her pipe when she sees the Dreamer is on his way over to her, they hug and Rúyì asks, “Where’s Junjie?”copyright protection17PENANADIRlBNJs6N

The beautiful Dragon points her hand to the open rear door of the infirmary and replies, “He’s gone to get a few things. What about you? Still got your lift?”copyright protection17PENANA18caZPRbP4

   “I have, He’s just gone to the bathroom,” whispers the Dreamer.copyright protection17PENANAwRE1B3OZKe

Junjie comes out carrying a large cloth bag and says, “Rúyì, it’s good to see you before I left... thank you for all your help.”copyright protection17PENANApnXhJz5t1b

The Dreamer waves his hands from side to side and replies, “There is no need to thank me, for I am always happy to help anyway I can and I hope to see you again sometime.”copyright protection17PENANAg3ktekj5v9

   “You’re welcome to visit me anytime at the Order.”copyright protection17PENANAa20P3CSSCD

Rúyì nods and replies, “Yes, I’ll come and see you, once you’re all settled.”copyright protection17PENANA7214jLDoeF

   “I would like that,” says Junjie as he drops down on to one knee with his arms held out in front of him.copyright protection17PENANAAvJUZXej3K

They hug and the Dreamer pats him on the shoulder.copyright protection17PENANAseNt3Q6WJJ

Kage comes trotting over to them he carefully picks Rúyì up and says, “Hope to see you again soon Junjie and I wish you all the best.”copyright protection17PENANAAQLCU5nyuC

   “Thank you. I was just saying to Rúyì you’re both welcome to come and visit me at the Order.”copyright protection17PENANAe48YZ8VdrZ

   “Will do,” replies the Grey Dragon with a nod.copyright protection17PENANAYUdLnhCuel

Bǎihé pats Junjie on the arm and asks, “Got everything you need?”copyright protection17PENANAdObYq64OFy

   “Yes. I was thinking if not, I can always come back.”copyright protection17PENANAqTCyRBGNP8

   “Exactly,” replies the feminine god with a wink of her left eye.copyright protection17PENANANN20zqibUw

They all take off, the Grey Dragon heads east whilst the others head north to the Chinese Dragon Order which lies in the mountains of Yan present day Fuxin.copyright protection17PENANAw7lI6MOaAt

They come into land in the courtyard, Junjie is amazed to see it has been cleared as the last time he visited it was all overgrown with trees and plants. The huge gates have been left opened and there is a nice path leading to each of the buildings.copyright protection17PENANAJ1nlzfXg3N

Bǎihé points her right hand to a large round building and says, “Let’s try the courtroom.”copyright protection17PENANApQBsRaS9mN

Junjie nods and follows her down the path, he sees there are no doors on the building, on one side of the room he sees there are stone tables stacked up and he can hear voices coming from around the left seating area. He glances up at the ceiling to see it has been beautifully decorated with a blue sky, fluffy white clouds and birds flying across it. copyright protection17PENANAFSV1B1Npcn

   “Dad,” calls Bǎihé as she heads down the centre of the room.copyright protection17PENANATVohhYwffz

Longwei’s head appears over the top of the fifth row of seats and replies, “My dear daughter.”copyright protection17PENANA2EpE7gOZqb

They hug and Bǎihé asks, “Have you seen Límíng wù?”copyright protection17PENANAN64I7FJU4W

   “You will find him in the infirmary treating our first patient. A young lady with a sprained ankle.”copyright protection17PENANAiYRHf9FMoV

  “Oh dear what happened?”copyright protection17PENANAlrAL5H2UHs

  “Junjie, dear boy. Good to see you. The young lady came up to deliver some cloth, on the way back down she slipped and took a tumble. Dong saw it happen, he picked her up and brought her back here to be treated.”copyright protection17PENANA5uy9cGPWBT

   “Good to see you too. I see and Dong is?”copyright protection17PENANASTSKA7UgTj

   “Sorry, Límíng wù’s older brother.”copyright protection17PENANAcfKM1Qu3Kb

Then they all hear a slightly feminine voice full of excitement, “I think I’ve remembered?”copyright protection17PENANAwQG50TMPQn

Longwei turns around and replies, “Go for it Xuě yuèliàng.”copyright protection17PENANAJJgCtRJo8D

The Healer giggles and says, “I like the way you said that with such confidence I’m going to get this thing to unlock. I hate to remind you it was a long time ago and I was wrangling my youngest boys at the time, whilst Dorjee was fetching me a pot of tea.”copyright protection17PENANAHkTr7ViBZ3

The Father of the Gods puts up his hands in front of his chest and says, “I’m sorry old friend.”copyright protection17PENANANvTtBUnnKd

Junjie gently touches Bǎihé’s left arm and asks, “What are they doing?”copyright protection17PENANAKuW16qTQO1

   “It’s all right you can take a look as that is easier than me trying to explain,” she replies, stepping to one side.copyright protection17PENANAtvmnXtif5h

Junjie takes a step forward to see a beautiful ornate door with a strange square panel in the centre, he then looks to Xuě yuèliàng and asks, “I thought you were going home?”copyright protection17PENANAjSNdmp7JMS

The Healer laughs and replies, “I was, until Ryṹ mentioned they had finally been able to get in here and were hoping I could remember how to open the door to the archives.”copyright protection17PENANAXxmTzsksi8

The White Dragon frowns and asks, “Archives?”copyright protection17PENANAuMER9ClsSq

  “Mhm. Dorjee, liked to keep records of major events that happened across our lands and placed them in a room which lies below us. It also holds ancient recipes from us Healers and documents on other gods.”copyright protection17PENANAKbjyoFXwpJ

   “I see and didn’t you mention you were dealing with your son’s?”copyright protection17PENANAomhKgQcAiv

  “Yes, my youngest twins, one was playing around the table with his ball and the other one was having some milk... So I used one hand to open it.”copyright protection17PENANAJNhoEr0ZUT

Everyone watches Xuě yuèliàng pretend to be holding a baby in his right arm and places his left hand on the panel. His long fingers move three strips of wood, one at the top, one on right side and one middle; then comes a loud ticking noise, like wooden cogs moving together and a click.copyright protection17PENANApE4Jcto9ZO

The Healer pushes on the door, but it remains shut, he folds his arms and mutters in his own language, “I know that was it.”copyright protection17PENANATnab8r1l2k

Longwei pats him on the arm and says, “My dear friend, it is very old, the mechanism and ropes are probably broken.”copyright protection17PENANAQL789MzaMu

  “You could be right, my good friend. I think we are going to have to get the carpenters in to remove it?”copyright protection17PENANA3c88VlBjvB

   “We will go and inform Límíng wù.”copyright protection17PENANA8pZjA7KBsM

   “Bless you my dear daughter,” replies the Father of the Gods, going on to give her a kiss on the forehead.copyright protection17PENANAWiy4qHQ0SC

Junjie gives the others a nod as he follows Bǎihé out of the courtroom across the yard to a long building where the doors have been carved with healing herbs. The feminine god pushes one open and they see the young lady is being attended to by two young gods.copyright protection17PENANAuWPD5KYH4u

Bǎihé is about to walk over to them when the Dragon turns around and says, “Aunty.”copyright protection17PENANAicThvtpf5R

  “Límíng wù, I have good news I have found you a herbalist,” she says, pointing her hand to a large Dragon standing by the open door way looking around.copyright protection17PENANA22aA6AiXBb

Dong also turns around and whispers in his own language, “White Dragon.”copyright protection17PENANAA57pJc9HTd

Bǎihé nods and whispers, “You should see his scales in the sunlight, they look like freshly fallen snow. Come, I’ll introduce you both to him.”copyright protection17PENANAccp5tVzTbF

The young gods nod and walk with her over to the large Dragon.copyright protection17PENANAKdHUNNv6L7

“Boys please allow me to introduce you both to Xù Junjie.”copyright protection17PENANAhlcoKVBUDv

They all bow to each other, the masked Dragon places his hand to his chest and says, “I am Shin Límíng wù and this is my brother Dong. Welcome to the Order.”copyright protection17PENANA7PHxVbsv4D

   “Thank you young one. It is an honour to meet you both. Bǎihé, has told me you’re in need of a herbalist?”copyright protection17PENANAaORRJFFfLq

Dong nods and asks, “When can you start?”copyright protection17PENANAm2Mzrxu3r8

Límíng wù nudges him with his elbow and says in their language, “That’s a bit bold. He might be wanting to go home to his family.”copyright protection17PENANAyzYf7TrApv

   “That’s true... But we do need an expert to run this place.”copyright protection17PENANAezk5r3K7iw

   “Yes, I know that, nonetheless brother we cannot just assume he can start straight away.”copyright protection17PENANAyFyke0SJ4j

This makes Junjie clear his throat and say in a bold voice, “Boys!”copyright protection17PENANARCTQS0KjA9

   “Yes,” they reply together.copyright protection17PENANAOOI8UacEhv

   “Look no further for I am your man. I am willing to take on the task. You’re right Límíng wù, I do indeed have family, nonetheless, if I did return home, I would have nothing like this, I would be working alongside my father. Do not misunderstand, I get on with him really well. It’s me, I prefer my own space where I am in charge.”copyright protection17PENANAaPaJapK28O

The masked Dragon smiles and replies, “I completely understand. I am going to appoint you Head Alchemist. And allow me to say, welcome to your new home.”copyright protection17PENANAmZrfPjgACR

Junjie performs a slight bow and replies, “Thank you young one. However shouldn’t the title go to your brother?”copyright protection17PENANAJrGsAACNfT

Dong laughs and replies, “No, you’re welcome to it, for I am no ancient. I am just a child, who is still learning, and willing to learn.”copyright protection17PENANAiqJtaUSUX0

Límíng wù gives his brother a nudge and whispers, “Ancient?”copyright protection17PENANAJj0azQuQq6

The young Healer nods and whispers, “He’s older than Longwei.”copyright protection17PENANAHaynC9XeWd

   “Ah I see.”copyright protection17PENANA8fDSJOMBJK

Junjie starts to laugh, he gently pats the side of Dong’s face and says, “My word it has been a long time since I have been in the presence of a Northern Necrosis Deity. I had forgotten with just one glance you insanely know how old a person is and probably know my species of Dragon?”copyright protection17PENANACs4DDDu7tV

   “I do, you’re a Grey Dragon. However, I did not have to scan you, I knew that the moment I saw you, because as far as we know your kind only come from the Grey ones. Now watch him say, no his parent is a Black Dragon.”copyright protection17PENANAea5MyHWwVS

They all watch Junjie clap his hands as he laughs and replies, “My word no, my father is not a Black Dragon, he is grey, dark grey.”copyright protection17PENANAJ48nWRbJtU

   “Interesting,” say the young gods together.copyright protection17PENANAt5nxJ0bd7E

The White Dragon clears his throat and asks, “Anyway, how’s our first patient?”copyright protection17PENANA8lPe8oV4UR

   “Fine, I was just about to bind her ankle with some healing herbs to keep down the swelling,” replies Dong.copyright protection17PENANAXEV52SXeBq

   “Good idea young one.”copyright protection17PENANA85wwCfxOtE

  “Come, let’s show you the office... Well that’s what we are calling it as you will see,” says Límíng wù, pointing his hand over to a curtained off section that lies on the right side of the room.copyright protection17PENANAtC0iQ9HMeC

Junjie nods and follows the young gods. Dong pulls the curtain to one side to reveal a decent size room equipped with two stone tables and a heater lies in the centre of the room.copyright protection17PENANADcgzhirfx2

The masked Dragon walks over to another curtain, he pulls it back and says, “Bedroom.”copyright protection17PENANAFG8bcKrJyU

The Head Healer takes a look to see it has a raised bed where a small fire can be placed underneath, and another stone desk lies next to the window.copyright protection17PENANAo1xpkny29N

   “Nice, plenty of room,” he says with a nod.copyright protection17PENANAENZUmhdNwK

  “I think so too. Come and see what lies next door,” says Límíng wù, pointing his hand to a partly open curtain.copyright protection17PENANAQcqYnDJPmi

Junjie pokes his head through and immediately says, “My goodness, that is one huge larder.”copyright protection17PENANAJLkhaFEJHO

Límíng wù nods and replies, “It runs the full length of the back of the building. We have made a start on restocking it. You’re welcome to place whatever you like in here.”copyright protection17PENANAwlBvgXMuLj

The Snow Dragon emits a soft laugh and says, “This is going to take years to fill... I mean even after the herbs I have collected is only going to fill round a quarter of it. What we could do is also include Healer recipes as well as Dragons.”copyright protection17PENANAfBvGzSjjIG

   “That’s not a bad idea. That way they will have what they need right here and not have to ask one of us to get something they need.”copyright protection17PENANABssVJCAnlh

   “Precisely youn-My eyes are not divesting me, there is a cat at the far end of the room,” says Junjie, pointing his hand to far left side.copyright protection17PENANAbRDNnTL9ow

Límíng wù smiles and says, “Huīchén, there you are. Have you been pigging out on mice?”copyright protection17PENANAsD7XjHQD0y

   “Mice?” Junjie ask, watching the smokey grey cat come happily running over to them.copyright protection17PENANAkC0MxKo77K

   “Yes, the place was over run with them, however ten of Longwei’s best mouse catchers have soon brought the numbers down. Come on boy,” says the young god, crouching down to pick it up.copyright protection17PENANApjC27ZWS9k

   “I see. Well this one is friendly,” says the Head Alchemist, giving the purring cat a stroke.copyright protection17PENANAoCXwAhdqVe

Bǎihé enters the storeroom and says, “You will find all of dad’s cats to be that way. None of them have ever been nasty.”copyright protection17PENANAZfQ01oKqwS

   “That’s good to know and how many does he have?”copyright protection17PENANAbVcNYjNUbW

The feminine god takes a moment to think and replies, “Last time we counted, over twenty. It could be getting close to thirty now as one of his females has had twelve kittens.”copyright protection17PENANAezyc68ujzp

   “That’s a lot. Can I ask why?”copyright protection17PENANAyzEpzGNk7j

Bǎihé emits a soft laugh and replies, “What can I say, he likes cats. Always has done long before he had me. I grew up surrounded by them. One thing I will say when it comes to cats my dad is very particular, they have to be from a good breeder and able to catch mice, only mice, he refuses to have them if they kill anything. Even though he knows it is in their nature to go after birds or anything which flies, he will try to train them to go after rodents and when they don’t he returns it to the breeder.”copyright protection17PENANAdjep7dIU7U

Junjie’s eyes open wide and he says, “Oh my goodness.”copyright protection17PENANARmuqzAz3U8

   “Come on little one I had better take you to your owner,” says Límíng wù, holding the cat close.copyright protection17PENANAssI7RiOFCW

Bǎihé strokes the cat’s head and asks, “Has he been missing again?”copyright protection17PENANAYQfdfmqYhx

   “All night. No matter how much we called he never turned up. Probably sleeping off the mice he’s consumed yesterday. Is that what you were doing?”copyright protection17PENANAS8UnztX8wR

Huīchén seems to answer him with a long meow, then snuggles in to the young god’s warm chest.copyright protection17PENANAhZkZ6bhVQU

   “Excuse me everyone,” says Dong with a slight bow.copyright protection17PENANARPK720tsYL

They all part and Límíng wù replies, “Sorry brother.”copyright protection17PENANA0RUVetocBV

   “It’s all right. Tell me, did we get any Red flower oil?”copyright protection17PENANA3SUnS1z9Wq

   “I don’t think so?”copyright protection17PENANA3OfOVhOpKM

Junjie opens his cloth bag reaches inside to pull out a small bamboo container and says, “Here you go, young one.”copyright protection17PENANAaLE5GSy55a

Dong takes hold of it and replies, “Thank you.”copyright protection17PENANA083UwVW65T

   “No problem young one,” replies the White Dragon, giving him a soft pat on the arm. “Got everything you need?”copyright protection17PENANAw9HLXC3L1O

The Healer nods and Junjie continues, “Would you like a hand to bind the young lady’s foot?”copyright protection17PENANAyczchg5Qla

   “Please as it will also give her time to get to know you.”copyright protection17PENANA0lj4gQZdW5

The White Dragon gives him a nod and follows him into the main part of the infirmary whilst Límíng wù goes to return the cat to his owner and to find a carpenter to open the archive door.copyright protection17PENANA6seNebqiWs

The moment the young lady sees the huge Dragon coming towards her, she pulls the cover up to her chin and her face fills with fear.copyright protection17PENANA6vEGIWWNMi

   “It’s all right. Do not allow my immense size scare you, for I am a gentle giant,” he says with a smile.copyright protection17PENANAYNDiRU8R74

The young lady sees the smile makes him look less terrifying, she smiles back and says, “It is nice to meet you. I’m Chūnrì.”copyright protection17PENANAWewa1Klr3i

   “Nice to meet you too, my dear. I am Xù Junjie, you’re new Head Alchemist,” he replies, with a wink of his left eye. “I’m going to help Dong bind your poorly ankle. Any pain tells us.”copyright protection17PENANAU9OyPwvMkh

The young lady nods and watches them place a cloth pad around her ankle, it was clear from the branches and the smell of Red flower it was filled with herbs. The Dragon holds it in place whilst the Healer wraps a strip of cloth around it, all the time being careful not to move her foot too much.copyright protection17PENANA4j5IBWDJOL

   “There, that will help reduce the swelling which will also help with the pain. But you must stay off it for a short period of time, otherwise it’s only going to take longer.”copyright protection17PENANANKZkV15hs8

   “I understand Dong. Thank you.”copyright protection17PENANAzmioV7UqUe

   “No problem my dear. Any discomfort?”copyright protection17PENANAIZyOI9KmSz

   “No, but I will alert you the moment there is.”copyright protection17PENANA7Gj61e76vA

   “Good girl. Right, I’ll get you some tea and something to eat.”copyright protection17PENANAe5XwuTEokz

The young lady performs a slight bow and replies, “Thank you.”copyright protection17PENANAD3zbRhlCEd

Dong gives her a pat on the arm and asks, “Junjie, have you seen the kitchen?”copyright protection17PENANAbLUvSVJ01f

   “No, please.”copyright protection17PENANABglzNPtseN

The Healer gives him a nod and together they walk out of the infirmary to see a middle aged couple are making their way up the path with another Necrosis Deitycopyright protection17PENANA2SRB4ITpkx

   “Dad, Mr and Mrs Song, you’re daughter is fine.”copyright protection17PENANADwjx1btLcu

The look of relief comes over the young lady’s parents, the Healer goes on to inform them of where she is and what he was about to do.copyright protection17PENANA0NLmmzcP2r

They both bow and thank him.copyright protection17PENANAD4juGodzNy

   “Oh please allow me to introduce you all to our new Head Alchemist, Xuè Junjie. My dad Kwon.”copyright protection17PENANA6q4qY5BrQN

They all perform bows to each other and the Leader of the Northern Necrosis Deities replies, “It is an honour to meet you.”copyright protection17PENANAWRBIeYhqNj

   “I could say the same for you. It is a real honour to meet you Kwon-Yul.”copyright protection17PENANASrobW4A9Dn

   “Please just call me Kwon,” says the Head Healer, patting him on the arm. “Please continue.”copyright protection17PENANAHKOLaMRMeH

Junjie smiles and carries on following Dong over to a large building. The young Healer pushes open the door and allows the Dragon to go first.copyright protection17PENANAAazbSN9aeX

Junjie cannot believe his eyes, there is a large raised stove in the centre of the room, a washing area by the windows, with long raised work surface running the length of two walls and what looks like a preparation area on the right.copyright protection17PENANAu6oSilXSuB

   “I do not have the words to express what I am seeing here... I guess amazing?”copyright protection17PENANAfcl4YwRPj5

Dong giggles and replies, “That’s what I said when I saw it. However, it makes me think there was a reason Dorjee built all of this, he was getting ready for something.... Something which is yet to come.”copyright protection17PENANAxTg659Uej8

The White Dragon is shocked to hear this coming from someone so young, he so wished he had the answers the young Healer seek, about why Dorjee built this place? What was he preparing for?copyright protection17PENANAbNeAGwVDoq

Dong sees Junjie seems to be staring off into space, he gently touches his arm which brings him back into reality, his eyes blink and his lips form into a small smile.copyright protection17PENANAeECAJA7Apq

   “Sorry I was just thinking, you’re right he was getting ready for something.”copyright protection17PENANAFXkW4p5YEo

   “Who was getting ready for what?” comes a feminine voice from behind.copyright protection17PENANA7QclrSSmwh

Junjie turns around to see it is Bǎihé, he smiles and goes on to tell her what Dong and him were discussing.copyright protection17PENANANKWpkF0sfq

   “I see and you’re both right, he did build this place so all of us gods could meet and prepare for the coming darkness... Then one day he disappears, even his home on the crescent moon island lies empty and been that way for centuries. Límíng wù has some big shoes to fill, nonetheless I know he will succeed.”copyright protection17PENANATVndRrDXqh

   “I think so too as I get the feeling he is related to you?”copyright protection17PENANAmx7yTzrLWX

Bǎihé nods and replies, “We believe he is Dorjee’s son.”copyright protection17PENANA3JIZ93F9vV

Junjie is about to say he agrees with her when he feels something go past him making him look around the room to see nothing is there and he thinks, he wishes he had a Dreamer with him.copyright protection17PENANAzoQXCIpfFP

The feminine god takes hold of his hand and asks in a soft voice, “You felt something?”copyright protection17PENANAx1mFAfe11a

   “I did like someone just walked through the room. Why do I get the feeling something bad happened here?”copyright protection17PENANAZ5TH42LKcg

Dong places a good scoop of sticky rice into a bowl and replies, “You’re not wrong there. To be honest I think that is why my brother was drawn to this place as he likes mysteries.”copyright protection17PENANAFMFvJhe8xT

Junjie’s scale eyebrows rise and he says, “Interesting... Does anyone know what happened here?”copyright protection17PENANAX4VkJvAXxC

Bǎihé and Dong shake their heads, which makes the White Dragon go on to say, “I guess we will find out one day.”copyright protection17PENANA8xH2fM40wh

   “We will,” replies the Healer with a nod.copyright protection17PENANAhb3WHMeVVL

Bǎihé places a hand to her chest and asks, “I hope none of this is putting you off staying here?”copyright protection17PENANAPTPLeyhPwO

   “Not at all. To be honest I am curious to find out what happened here for Dorjee to abandon this place.”copyright protection17PENANArEl9GBVLBs

   “I’m pleased to hear that. Please allow me to show you around some more.”copyright protection17PENANA3SE6PlT3hP

Junjie nods and follows her out of the kitchen. Together they walk over to the living quarters which is a huge four floor building which looks like it could house around a hundred Dragons. From there she shows him the bathroom that has been built on the sight of a natural hot spring. All the walls have been painted with water dragons and the two large pools are made from stone which retains the heat. They go on to take a walk around the grounds, all of the gardens lie empty, Junjie can imagine them all being full of healing herbs. However the last garden has in it a beautiful flowering tree with delicate white flowers all around its base and lush green grass.copyright protection17PENANAO6IDSWc9LJ

   “Now this is a real mystery, for this garden was found like this.”copyright protection17PENANAXdojm4ViQw

   “No way... Who has been taking care of it?”copyright protection17PENANAKTpp0eKUi1

   “Unfortunately, we are still yet to catch the Dragon responsible. It was three years ago when Límíng wù saw this when he was flying over, which did solve one mystery where the light pink petals were coming from.”copyright protection17PENANAJ68rK1oXaa

   “I see what you mean the high walls hide it from view.”copyright protection17PENANAG8n4sK9n30

  “Exactly. And get this, that tree is the only one of its kind, we have not found another like it.”copyright protection17PENANAUNUjcVyXPQ

Junjie’s eyes open wide and he mutters, “Now that’s a mystery, where did it come from?”copyright protection17PENANAZyX80I9pGk

   “No one knows.”copyright protection17PENANAAnsYsUIBiL

   “Well I hope I can also help to solve both mysteries.”copyright protection17PENANACczwvMr4Kh

   “Bless you,” says Bǎihé as she takes hold of his hand.copyright protection17PENANAVJQTSRB1gi

They head back to the infirmary to find the place now lies empty and Kwon informs them his sons have taken the young lady home which Junjie is pleased to hear. He heads into the office and starts to clear the tables. Bǎihé fetches him a bucket of warm water along with a pile of cloths from the kitchen and helps him to give it a good clean.copyright protection17PENANAlRFOP7JyJ1

By the time they are finished it is beginning to get dark and Límíing wù brings them some lit lanterns and inform them the evening meal is almost ready.copyright protection17PENANAjldTSJGkOq

They all head over to the kitchen to see Xuě yuèliàng and Longwei are serving out bowls of rice topped with vegetables to the others. They all sit down to eat and Junjie informs them tomorrow morning he will be going to see his family to let them know where he is.copyright protection17PENANABJ9rC2je3A

   “That’s fine. Take all the time you need,” replies Límíng wù.copyright protection17PENANAxprcegjXO3

   “Thank you young one,” says Junjie with a nod, then carries on eating his meal.copyright protection17PENANAY8oc1gWHBK

Once he has had enough to eat he heads outside for a smoke and is soon joined by Bǎihé who asks, “What would you like to do?”copyright protection17PENANA8cuiE7kXmn

   “I don’t know. What do you do in the evenings here?”copyright protection17PENANAxTNZ51fpZ4

The feminine god laughs and replies, “Go home.”copyright protection17PENANAsYcRae87WJ

   “What? You don’t stay here?”copyright protection17PENANAS4WmmAuGyQ

Bǎihé shakes her head and replies, “I just cannot stay here after dark. I do not want to frighten you, nonetheless there seems to be more strange activity happening here at night.”copyright protection17PENANA46JR5PTkeS

   “I see and that only makes me more curious to find out why this place is so unsettled.”copyright protection17PENANAoHQBy1PG9L

   “All I am going to say is be careful as I don’t want you getting hurt.”copyright protection17PENANAq1PmocXSSv

   “Do not worry I’ll be fine. See you in a few days.”copyright protection17PENANAIWCrOHgI2v

Bǎihé gives him a kiss on the cheek and whispers, “If it gets too much, you’re welcome to come to my place.”copyright protection17PENANAArcr2LtSsC

   “I’ll bare that in mind,” whispers Junjie. “I cannot thank you enough for brining me here.”copyright protection17PENANADSEte2FbVy

  “You don’t have to thank me. All I wanted was to make you happy.”copyright protection17PENANAGDui5j0m12

   “You most certainly have done that. I just do not know how I am going repay you.” copyright protection17PENANASCu53xQxpi

They kiss and as they part Bǎihé touches his mind, “My door is always open.”copyright protection17PENANAa3aPxoRcAN

The Head Alchemist heads back to the infirmary to find the bed has been made and a pile of blankets have been left on the desk with a note which reads, the nights can be cold here, Límíng wù.copyright protection17PENANALhqgAwzATA

   “Bless him,” he says, taking one from the top to place it over the foot of the bed.copyright protection17PENANADLc7QgEGO4

He then gets changed into his night robe, he uses a root to clean his teeth before he climbs into bed and soon drifts off to sleep.copyright protection17PENANAZY79NEyFR8

The next morning Junjie awakens early, he gets washed and dressed, helps himself to some left over rice and heads off for his family home that lies on the southern island of Japan.21Please respect copyright.PENANA5CjcL7RkNJ
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To be continued in the Límíng wù series.copyright protection17PENANA2e5flVw0Ck

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