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Yè fēng and the cursed forest
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Writer Barbara
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  • G: General Audiences
  • PG: Parental Guidance Suggested
  • PG-13: Parents Strongly Cautioned
  • R: Restricted
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Yè fēng and the cursed forest
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Barbara
Mar 12, 2018
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No Plagiarism!1wqtNjP271hc6Drvn0eRposted on PENANA

One morning a small group of people start to gather outside the home of a Grey Dragon who is known as Xù Yè fēng, fifth son of the Head Alchemist Junjie. One of them nervously knocks on the door and they all wait for the god to answer.copyright protection63PENANAxuJaRq44fY

A few minutes later the door slides open and the stunning Dragon asks in a soft voice, “My dear people, whatever is the matter?”copyright protection63PENANAihuJKi3Alb

One of the men performs a shallow bow and replies, “We are sorry to disturb you at this early hour. But we need your help, for people have been going missing in the North forest.”copyright protection63PENANABCnHfPcCPr

Yè fēng’s scaled eyebrows rise and he asks, “What do you mean by missing? You mean they are yet to return?”copyright protection63PENANAunVdyNECRU

   “That’s precisely it,” replies one of the women. “My son went in to get some firewood. That was two hours ago and he is yet to return.”copyright protection63PENANAAab5UWoXwJ

   “The same goes for my daughter,” says another lady close to tears.copyright protection63PENANA88lwQBm3ec

   “I see. I will come and take a look,” replies the Dragon.copyright protection63PENANAuIApW8cAL3

The people walk with him to the other side of the village where the boundary of a huge forest lies, the god gets his frightened villagers to remain where they are whilst he heads inside.copyright protection63PENANAuleGr8DQ5a

Yè fēng follows the warn path that snakes its way around the large trees and soon begins to feel something strange? This makes him take a few more cautious steps to suddenly hit an invisible barrier. copyright protection63PENANAzeiVL8x8bL

   “What the?” he mutters, running his hand along it.copyright protection63PENANAlFuV5q4h1P

Then something hits the left side of his head, making him turn to see nothing is there, but as his right eye starts to adjust to the gloom he spots a little white shape sitting on the branch of a tree.copyright protection63PENANAlwbAcCIPsO

   “Could it be a Forest Spirit?” Yè fēng mutters, watching it walk off towards the trunk to disappear. “Why are you not allowing me to go any further?”copyright protection63PENANAZ23iYPqvXC

The Dragon decides to head back to the waiting people who start to bombard him with questions, to which he cannot answer, until he says in a bold voice, “My people please, please calm yourselves.”copyright protection63PENANAhiiLenciFd

The group of villagers fall silent and perform deep bows.copyright protection63PENANA71JiBWUjMn

Yè fēng takes a deep breath and says, “Do not worry, I am going to fetch an expert who I am sure has dealt with things like this before. Whilst I am gone, no one is to enter this forest.”copyright protection63PENANA8Lqb3o0uTX

All the mortals nod and watch the god take off to disappear into the low grey clouds.67Please respect copyright.PENANAFG43nYkqJL
copyright protection63PENANA6bgpWuM9Ms

Yè fēng flies far to the north of China where he knows he can find a family of Dreamers who are living for the time being in a small village, he just hopes they have not moved on and is relieved to see smoke rising from the chimney of their home.copyright protection63PENANAmUt6c527oO

A couple watch the huge light Grey Dragon come into land, they wait for him to fold his stunning black wings away before they walk over and the man asks, “How may we help you my lord?”copyright protection63PENANAvxAVIEjI9d

When the god turns around to face them they see his left eye is covered with a light blue eyepatch, his right eye looks at them and his lips form into a small smile as he replies, “Bless you, I’m all right. I’ve just come to see the Dreamers. That’s if they are still here?”copyright protection63PENANAGgoXFkrsue

The couple nod and the lady replies, “Yes.”copyright protection63PENANAUQ8oXlt0sS

The Dragon slightly bows to them before he continues over to the house to knock on the door, as it slides open he drops down on one knee and says, “Kibō, it is good to see you.”copyright protection63PENANAPXppS74cQd

   “My word, Yè fēng, it is good to see you too. Please come in.”copyright protection63PENANApxtNu98WBC

   “Thanks. I’m in need of your help.”copyright protection63PENANAbwtkUqFor8

   “Oh? Please tell me everything.”copyright protection63PENANAhg5GGYOKbF

Yè fēng goes on to tell all about the forest and watches his friend frown as he asks, “The barrier was completely see-through?”copyright protection63PENANAYAcsoHBxEd

   “Yes. I saw no shimmer. No distortion of any kind.”copyright protection63PENANA9PJD9E4P2v

   “How interesting. It was almost like the Forest Spirits were warning you of something... What that is? We need to find out, before more people are lost.”copyright protection63PENANAXjL30s1Odc

   “I agree Kibō.”copyright protection63PENANAtbNGEcofJ2

   “I will just go and pack a few things,” says the Dreamer as he walks out of the room.copyright protection63PENANAsTSbw2PBRS

Yè fēng pours himself another cup of tea and his sharp hearing soon homes in on Zhǐdǎo, Kibō’s mothers voice, asking him who had arrived? Then he comes trotting into the room to give the Dragon a hug.copyright protection63PENANA6ObSRblT0y

   “Sorry to hear what has happened. But do not worry my son will soon have it all sorted.”copyright protection63PENANA6uKTbo5zDP

   “I know he will old friend. It is good to see you.”copyright protection63PENANAC6Iuhfw7Qo

   “You too. I like the colour of your eyepatch, it suits you that shade of blue.”copyright protection63PENANA0XcbQ3nbWo

   “Thanks. A lady in my village made it for me from some leftover cloth,” replies Yè fēng, as he touches it with the finger tips of his left hand and continues, “It is very soft.”copyright protection63PENANAJ3TtW4R2Ev

   “Is it?” Zhǐdǎo asks and he too gives it a feel. “I see what you mean, it is really soft.”copyright protection63PENANARhBzLTOi0F

   “She is kindly going to make me some more in the same cloth.”copyright protection63PENANAG0CTcsWADT

   “That’s sweet of her.”copyright protection63PENANAZnWSQTXIWB

The Dragon nods in agreement.copyright protection63PENANAdNTOnFHcXI

Kibō comes back into the room attaching a small cloth bag to his belt and says, “All right, Yè fēng, I’m ready to go.”copyright protection63PENANAREJtyWVvxz

   “Right,” replies the Dragon, going on to drink the last of his tea, setting the cup down on the table.copyright protection63PENANAowWlpNfmvb

Zhǐdǎo gives his son a hug and tells them both to be careful.copyright protection63PENANAYIYRxmwfyu

Both Yè fēng and Kibō nod, they each give him another hug before they leave the house.copyright protection63PENANAYq9ITHEPcb

It is late afternoon when the villagers see the god returning, to land just outside the Northern forest, and they grow concerned when he kneels down, they are about to rush to his aide when a child appears by his right side.copyright protection63PENANApBIlW78cuE

Kibō puts out his hands towards the trees, narrows his eyes and says, “I am feeling anger and perhaps remorse.”copyright protection63PENANAnsnmkUIRah

   “Remorse? Why would a guardian be feeling that?”copyright protection63PENANAl9HvRBcvqp

The Dreamer shrugs his shoulders and replies, “No idea. Unless it regrets it was unable to save... whatever has been taken. Makes me wonder what was taken to make a guardian angry... It must have been something sacred.”copyright protection63PENANAHP0qbXxk92

   “I could ask my people?”copyright protection63PENANAYxulTPgCGq

Kibō nods and replies, “It may help... Then again it may not, because mortals may not know or even understand that there are some things in this world which they shouldn’t take. Ask them.”copyright protection63PENANAT2zBxrcKWD

The Dragon turns around to see the same group of people are on their way over to them so he goes on to ask them, if they have taken something from the forest they shouldn’t have?copyright protection63PENANA9Esa4E8CYh

They all just give him blank stares and his friend says in his own language, “See I told you. They have no idea what you’re on about.”copyright protection63PENANAEWO9hIYykF

Yè fēng nods in agreement and says, “Please, try and think, have you seen anything unusual? Something you have not see before?”copyright protection63PENANAYdHyOeZ1YW

The group of people all take a moment to think and a man replies, “Yes, before my daughter went missing, she showed me a stunning yellow flower, of which neither of us have seen before.”copyright protection63PENANAE8B7iFLqiJ

   “Show us,” demands the other god.copyright protection63PENANAIXFx6Xg5vA

   “Sorry, I should introduce you all to my dear friend, Kibō, he is a Dreamer, also known as a Dream  Deity. He is the best person for solving this matter.”copyright protection63PENANAKuOr3DG3EF

   “Ooh,” giggles Kibō and continues, “Well let’s see first, as I may not be able to do anything.”copyright protection63PENANAZiNBp6hbxz

A woman places her hands together and says, “Please, you must help us.”copyright protection63PENANAUfwANDx3I2

They all notice the Dragon is shaking his head and the other god snaps, “Must?! Now let’s get one thing straight, I am not obligated to clean up your mess, if you have taken something belonging to a guardian... I mean, I don’t know what you expect a pair of partly sighted gods to do?”copyright protection63PENANAEsxsUA6ADK

Yè fēng gently pats his friend’s shoulder and says, “Minta gila su.”copyright protection63PENANAgD33etavEH

Kibō takes a deep breath and says, “Let’s see this flower.”copyright protection63PENANA5zXB9LeGOX

The man nods and leads the gods over to his home where he shows them what his daughter brought back one morning.copyright protection63PENANAJspgVkQ1Vu

The Dreamer smiles and says, “It’s just an orchid.”copyright protection63PENANAMb7PfljpRY

The Dragon notices his friend is also frowning, prompting him to ask, “What’s wrong? Is it poisonous or something?”copyright protection63PENANA7Wx5yGQMnF

   “No, no nothing that deadly. I am just surprised you have not seen it before as it grows all around here. It loves dark damp forests.”copyright protection63PENANAJ679n3ue4p

The people are relieved to hear it is just as it appears a harmless flower. The man performs a shallow bow and is very careful of his chooses of words, “So finding out what was taken will calm the guardian?”copyright protection63PENANAIQAPGQb0g2

The Dreamer seems to pull a face, his eyes narrow and his mouth goes up on one side as he replies, “Well, it might help me to understand better why the guardian is angry and preventing people from leaving the forest, but not stopping you from entering... Well unless you’re a god.”copyright protection63PENANAYnZvsxcjkz

   “What, it stopped you?”copyright protection63PENANAY4G6e39Ihe

   “It did Cho, when I had gone around ten feet, I came to a barrier where I saw a forest spirit. After it had thrown something at me to get my attention because it was in a tree to my left.”copyright protection63PENANA7Z5IPLy0MO

   “I see. How interesting.”copyright protection63PENANA3Kc2gFAtYU

Kibō slaps his hands together and says, “Searching each house is just going to take too long. I have an idea.”copyright protection63PENANA2WYJ2cNcU4

Yè fēng pats him on the shoulder and asks, “What do you have in mind?”copyright protection63PENANAq24vKThjU3

The Dreamer just winks his right eye and heads out of the house.copyright protection63PENANA7YOk05ZByY

The man looks up at the tall Grey Dragon and asks, “What’s he going to do?”copyright protection63PENANAvBUukXH79C

   “You’ll see,” replies Yè fēng and heads outside to find his friend is busy rummaging inside his cloth bag and muttering.copyright protection63PENANAczEh4pbmI5

   “What’s wrong? Did you forget something?”copyright protection63PENANApQ3da4i9FR

   “No... I’m sure I packed it,” replies Kibō, as he starts to feel inside the pockets of his robe to pull out a smokey grey stone that reflects blue to gold in the light.copyright protection63PENANA8bs2FN0nV9

Yè fēng watches his friend place it on the palm of his left hand and says, “That’s pretty.”copyright protection63PENANAZ7JDoO3zaL

   “It sure is. And it is the best thing for detecting things from the other realm. Hun sala, minta kusa inla.”copyright protection63PENANAFzBJNLO6Vu

The Dragon quickly gets the group of people to stand still and watches his friend tilt his head to one side making him ask, “Found something?”copyright protection63PENANAY3Fq6le6I9

Kibō shakes his head, he continues walking down the path and repeats the same incantation, which sends out a pulse only he can see. When it hits the end house it reflects back and the inner ring has turned to a pale shade of blue.copyright protection63PENANAgIgZmFNpfX

   “Ha, found it,” he says, pointing his hand out in font of him.copyright protection63PENANAaUxLElxsst

Yè fēng looks and says, “That’s Mo Chou’s house.”copyright protection63PENANAWqwCRDX5KG

The late middle aged lady walks over to them and asks, “What is it?”copyright protection63PENANAe0ovZLaNaq

The Dreamer looks to her and says in his own language, “She has no idea.”copyright protection63PENANALklj6ZEEs7

Yè fēng gives him a tap on the arm and says, “Naughty scanning people without their permission.”copyright protection63PENANA7pxE1ohZt1

Kibō laughs and replies, “You know full well all I have to do is look at someone to know their feelings.”copyright protection63PENANAGI24d1QoP0

   “I know. Even so, shame on you.”copyright protection63PENANAOAlaTr9x5C

They both start to laugh and give each other soft nudges.copyright protection63PENANAEd1cR2B915

The Dreamer can sense the people are wondering why they are laughing, he clears his throat and says, “Anyway. My dear tell me have you by chance seen anything within your house which was not there before?”copyright protection63PENANAaHNcM1eCp3

The woman has a think and replies, “No, I cannot recall seeing anything new.”copyright protection63PENANADeDYoxqy5w

   “May I go and check?”copyright protection63PENANAaKJbWAdxJf

   “Yes, by all means,” replies the lady, performing a shallow bow.copyright protection63PENANACUXq7KrlnR

Kibō gives her a nod and quickly walks over to enter the house, where he goes on to switch the stone for a white with a hint of very light pink and says, “Insa lin ta cusa min.”copyright protection63PENANAp053YuAp2F

Yè fēng and the mortals watch him start to move his hand slowly around and notice the clear section of the stone which is facing the Dreamer starts to glow a faint light blue.copyright protection63PENANAVcpEomfBTY

   “Found it,” says Kibō and continues to walk through the house, all the time watching the crystal. “It’s in here,” pointing his hand towards a door.copyright protection63PENANARwTOX0zolW

Mo Chou places a hand to her chest and says in a soft voice, “This is my son’s room. You’re telling me all this time my son had it?”copyright protection63PENANAgLWlOVPokS

The Dreamer nods, he pushes open the door and starts to look around the room as he replies, “It could be anything, from a flower to a stone or even a leaf that belongs to a guardian.”copyright protection63PENANA4f5tUtQ95J

   “I see... I wonder what it could be?”copyright protection63PENANA7Wg1Le1kCn

Kibō takes his time to pinpoint exactly where the object is, to find it lying on a desk by the window and says, “Now that is different.”copyright protection63PENANAgS8deW84ls

The Dragon and the lady both take a look to see that he is holding an odd shaped mushroom as white as snow.copyright protection63PENANAWpI1TCvJLA

   “It really is. As I too never thought it would be anything like that,” says Yè fēng, pointing his hand towards it.copyright protection63PENANAtTxKUiYWDA

   “Let’s get it back to the guardian.”copyright protection63PENANAjUtr7IogNJ

The Dragon gives his friend a sharp nod and together they head back to the forest.copyright protection63PENANAIJ8rL24hLQ

Yè fēng sticks close to Kibō’s side and just like before they soon come to the barrier.copyright protection63PENANAReKoYEHWBk

The Dreamer places his hands on it and says, “Please lower this, for I am returning what was taken.”copyright protection63PENANAxUf1mmKKCx

The forest grows strangely dark, all the trees around them start to creak and moan as though a strong wind is blowing them, but the air is still.copyright protection63PENANAtlhCN3ERkq

The Dragon watches his friend as he holds the mushroom out towards the invisible barrier and says, “See we are returning it to you.”copyright protection63PENANAHbErAD6izH

The darkness begins to lift and Kibō continues, “We would not harm anything which belongs to a guardian.”copyright protection63PENANAC7CS8YeSIR

The Dreamer slowly watches a huge slender hand decorated with rings inlaid with beautiful stones; reach out to take the mushroom. This makes him look up to see it belongs to a stunning woman with long golden hair, eyes as blue as the sky, wearing a crown upon her head. She gives him a soft smile as she bends down to show him what lies within.copyright protection63PENANApcdHP0KuS4

   “How beautiful, is the baby yours?”copyright protection63PENANAUzgy1Qc88L

The guardian shakes her head and replies, “No, no. For it is a baby spirit. I have just been taking care of him, since his parents vanished.”copyright protection63PENANAQLTsD1rSUa

   “Vanished?”copyright protection63PENANAKkmX1cYLGQ

The guardian nods and beckons to the Dreamer to follow her.copyright protection63PENANAQAq69rXlA6

Kibō nods and walks with her through the forest until they reach a large tree stump and the beautiful guardian tells him, “A lovely ash tree once stood here. Then one day a mortal cut it down. Why do they have to destroy beauty?”copyright protection63PENANA7qR0Sv2koW

The Dreamer shakes his head and replies, “I don’t know. It just seems to be in there nature to destroy it, rather than living along side it.”copyright protection63PENANAu8hQ6i244J

The guardian sets the little mushroom down by the stump and says, “There home little one. I hope to reunite him with his parents.”copyright protection63PENANAVUjl1tNYOn

   “I’ll help you, as I’m sure they would not have wandered far.”copyright protection63PENANA4VNWVGsX0Q

   “Thank you,” replies the guardian, performing a shallow bow.copyright protection63PENANAUuZbl6uobz

   “No problem. Let’s see? I’ll check this way.”copyright protection63PENANA76ursvUfuJ

The beautiful guardian nods and then disappears through the forest.copyright protection63PENANADyFrvB7Xz8

Yè fēng follows his friend and asks, “Could they be hiding in another ash tree?”copyright protection63PENANAOtDOFZUao6

Kibō looks up at him and replies, “Anything is possible.”copyright protection63PENANAKvceXFKSVe

They soon reach a group of tall very old ash trees, the Dreamer sees the branches are full with little spirits, just like the one inside the mushroom, for they are white, with little wings, and mist crowns hovering above their little heads.copyright protection63PENANAByNhZiS7fr

   “Have any of you fled from a fallen tree leaving behind their child?” Kibō asks, watching them all start to whisper to one another.copyright protection63PENANAf4UTSATMLh

The Dragon just wishes he had his friend’s eyes, that way he would know better what was going on and he would not feel the need to ask him all the time. However, he knows the Dreamer will soon tell him as he never likes to leave him in the dark.copyright protection63PENANASvN5JKKuDF

   “It looks like some of them have gone off to the other tree... hopefully to fetch the parents.”copyright protection63PENANAIfewwdOok4

   “We can only hope, my good friend,” replies Yé fēng, watching him walk over to a low branch.copyright protection63PENANAPA8Ku0knN5

The little spirits bow to the gods and the lady one asks, “You have found our son?”copyright protection63PENANAEFBrLlcwPP

   “Yes, the guardian has been watching over him, she has placed him on the stump where your home once stood. I’m happy to take you both to him,” says the Dreamer, holding out his hands towards them.copyright protection63PENANAcy4q4AESYY

The little spirits nod and jump from their branch to land in the god’s soft warm hands.copyright protection63PENANAWOz5y45TrS

Kibō carries them carefully through the forest to the tree stump and sets them down by the mushroom. He then looks up at his friend and says, “Sorry, I wish you could see them as I bet that looked really strange?”copyright protection63PENANAZ6yAxkVKQK

Yè fēng shakes his head and replies, “To be honest I am glad  I cannot see like you.”copyright protection63PENANAz3jEtne8fd

   “Fair point,” says the Dreamer with a few nods. “Ah here comes the guardian. She is pleased I was able to find the parents and reunited them with their son... Ah I see, it is not long now before he is born.”copyright protection63PENANA7c1GhAKntc

The Dragon crouches down in front of his friend and says, “How sweet. I have a question though, is the guardian willing to release the mortals she has trapped?”copyright protection63PENANAgsiP3Q9YA0

Kibō slightly raises his left hand and replies, “Good point, my good friend.”copyright protection63PENANAJa32Oxq3FF

The Dreamer then goes on to ask the stunning guardian that very question and adds, “I promise you, we will make this forest restricted. That way none of this will happen again.”copyright protection63PENANAgMSitaSexm

The guardian listens to him, she nods and replies, “I release them.”copyright protection63PENANAqNOJCSzMQa

A few minutes later confused looking mortals begin to emerge from the shadows and Yè fēng gets them to follow him out of the forest to be reunited with their awaiting families. When he returns to his friend he sees the Dreamer appears to be holding something within his hands and smiling.copyright protection63PENANAMAkQD8o3c4

   “What is it?” he asks, crouching down in front of him.copyright protection63PENANAJsRBLkMEzj

   “The baby has just hatched. I helped him to get the top of the mushroom off his back. Bless, here,” replies Kibō as he hands the tiny Forest Spirit to his parents, who both give him slight bows to thank him.copyright protection63PENANA007PKKHjwy

    “No problem at all,” replies the Dreamer, with a shallow nod.copyright protection63PENANAuj8OaMXyP9

The guardian also thanks him before she goes on to return the spirit family to their new home.copyright protection63PENANADzCuboPX2p

Kibō pats his friend on the shoulder and asks, “Everyone all right?”copyright protection63PENANAh3poS98ztF

   “Yes, fine. They were glad to be going home. However none of them knew how long they had been away... Which is a good thing, I think.”copyright protection63PENANA8XZhM93KIT

   “I think so too,” replies the Dreamer as he turns his attention to the stump and mutters, “Something is still not right about this place.”copyright protection63PENANAUmswRDVGAX

   “Why? What are you feeling?”copyright protection63PENANA5R0vgTFpt8

   “I don’t know. I guess the only way I can describe it is, the guardian is still not at ease. That leaves me questioning how are we going to help her, other than making sure no mortal enters this forest again.”copyright protection63PENANA5B64STeVEX

   “You’re right making this place forbidden is not enough.”copyright protection63PENANAOyjh5aU0Rv

Kibō’s head tilts slightly to the left and he asks, “Do you have a book on guardian’s?”copyright protection63PENANAYXmZsDS72m

   “I do. Ah yes, there might be something in there which may help us.”copyright protection63PENANAg7XnbQhqMV

   “Hopefully.”copyright protection63PENANAnBuGSzQNAI

They both head back home, where Yè fēng goes on to fetch the book from his room whilst his friend makes a pot of tea and they take a seat in the garden.copyright protection63PENANAiyFFx7iqfk

When the Dragon starts to tell the Dreamer all the different things they can do to calm a forest guardian, Kibō starts to get a little frustrated as none of them are easy or quick.copyright protection63PENANAMwrKTDBb3n

   “Why is nothing straight forward? There has got to be an easier way to calm her?” the Dreamer asks, flopping down onto his side.copyright protection63PENANA6qYA7RaYEK

   “I know what you mean. And if there is? I’m sure you will be the one to find it, my good friend.”copyright protection63PENANAGWjlBQtThI

Kibō sits up, he laughs and replies, “Well I have not found it yet. Neither, has my family as they would have shared that knowledge.”copyright protection63PENANAe4eFP8jqjn

   “True, true. Nonetheless, just think, this maybe that one we need to make these complex and long winded ways a thing of the past.”copyright protection63PENANAOpOM0VEaTi

The Dreamer pats the side of his friend’s face and says, “You could be right. However, for now let’s stick with what we are used to, and find the easiest one to go with.”copyright protection63PENANAVAfeVQ5oKm

Yè fēng nods and flicks through the book until he finds one which involves them placing picked flowers along with small boulders around the tree stump.copyright protection63PENANA7YrlEgtYHN

   “What about this one?” he asks, pointing his hand towards it.copyright protection63PENANAlvd9id5WoY

Kibō has a read and replies, “Yes, let’s do that one, after lunch?”copyright protection63PENANAfjzuxulCT6

   “Definitely. What can I get you?”copyright protection63PENANAZ05qmKHQIo

   “You know I will be happy with anything you cook.”copyright protection63PENANAD4UQdc4i9t

The Dragon gives him a nod, he then rises up and heads back into the house.copyright protection63PENANAhoMRTklfWf

The Dreamer lies down on his back looking up at the clear blue sky to see a flock of birds fly over towards the north forest, it just makes him hope the offering they have planned will calm the guardian.copyright protection63PENANAlWgqnCb4sT

It is not long before Yè fēng returns with bowls filled with fried rice, topped with vegetables and slices of spring onions.copyright protection63PENANAt6YnXbz1uI

Once they have eaten and cleared up, they head out into a nearby field to pick some lovely yellow and white flowers, which they place around the tree stump. Then they head down to the river to collect small boulders to form a ring.copyright protection63PENANAuM7hD0BZfy

Kibō notices the guardian is watching them, when they are completely finished she walks over to them, holing her left hand out towards the stump and a young green shoot comes sprouting out of the centre.copyright protection63PENANAfBuv2R7dWA

Yè fēng sees his friend is smiling, making him ask, “I take it she is pleased with what we have done?”copyright protection63PENANA7pG5NDhnFL

   “Sorry. Yes, very pleased. She hopes the new tree will grow to be big and strong as its predecessor. She is also thanking you for your help.”copyright protection63PENANA69ydrcd2ct

The Dragon performs a slight bow and replies, “You’re welcome, my dear.”copyright protection63PENANAAr45W6X4jT

The guardian kneels down in front of the Dreamer, she takes hold of his hand and places something upon his palm.copyright protection63PENANAEqjkw7YNuD

Kibō is shocked to see it is a tiny see-through acorn with some golden dust within, he looks back up at her and asks, “Why are you giving this to me?”copyright protection63PENANAzAN7Oek2gw

   “Please young one, take it as a token of my thanks.”copyright protection63PENANAvRYAXVGUZ0

The Dreamer gives her nod and replies, “But you know you do not need to thank me with gifts.”copyright protection63PENANAODr7YXfXKJ

   “I know, young one. I’m just so happy with what you and your friend have done. I really appreciate all of your help.”copyright protection63PENANAAjknr8CMaT

   “You’re welcome as we are always happy to help our fellow guardians,” says Kibō, with a slight bow.copyright protection63PENANAjFKhgHcXCc

The guardian rises, she walks over to the Dragon and waits for the Dreamer to inform him what she is doing.copyright protection63PENANAXqPpyOmNL7

    “She is wanting to give you a gift.”copyright protection63PENANAxmrRKTZmF9

   “I see,” replies Yè fēng, holding out his hands and sees the guardian also gives him a crystal acorn. He smiles and says, “Thank you. It is very beautiful.”copyright protection63PENANAfYP0g6Is3k

   “She is pleased you like it,” says Kibō, watching the stunning guardian as she performs another bow before she walks away. “She has gone to inform the spirits.”copyright protection63PENANAE0LupjjM75

   “Bless her. She did not need to give us these.”copyright protection63PENANAUEslvceuyU

   “I know it is so sweet of her, I think I’m going to place it along side my guardian’s leaf,” says the Dreamer, pulling out a long chain from inside his robe, unfastens it and slips the acorn on.copyright protection63PENANAEOSuO9AwCD

   “Yes, they go nicely together. I don’t know where to place mine?”copyright protection63PENANARgECL4W5Q3

   “How’s about on your bracelet?”copyright protection63PENANAbKHD6cPkHo

   “That’s a good idea,” replies Yè fēng, pushing the left sleeve back to reveal a stunning white gold chain bracelet and continues, “Yes, it will look great on there.”copyright protection63PENANAemd7R1gryS

   “I agree as it goes nicely with the crystals.”copyright protection63PENANA5q9J3VNZ1E

The Dragon nods in agreement and says, “I’ll attach it between them. What do you think?”copyright protection63PENANA2cpKPvXFPF

Kibō sees his friend has placed it between a Phantom quartz and a aqua aura beads, he nods and replies, “Yes, it looks great there.”copyright protection63PENANA341gcSitkR

They make their way back to the house where Yè fēng goes on to his workshop and fashions a lovely hoop to attach the acorn to his stunning bracelet. His friend even helps him to place it back on and agrees it looks perfect. Kibō also decides to stay for the night so he can check on the forest guardian in the morning before returning home.copyright protection63PENANAlphv9lrXks

However, with it being a warm night the Dreamer barely sleeps, Yè fēng does him a cold compress which helps him to drift finally off to sleep in the early hours. In the morning the Dragon leaves his friend to rest and gets to work on having a barrier built to stop the mortals in his village from entering the north forest.copyright protection63PENANABnE07uv49l

It is lunch time by the time Kibō awakens, he sits up has a stretch, he closes the top of his night robe over the upper part of his chest, as he stands up and walks out of the room to meet his friend in the corridor.copyright protection63PENANAJdpLuCEM5Y

   “I was just coming to check on you. How are you feeling?” Yè fēng asks, crouching down.copyright protection63PENANAEroWWxhovB

The Dreamer places the back of his left hand to his forehead and replies, “Not so hot now. I take it, it is a cooler day?”copyright protection63PENANAR6Yw760Daa

   “It is, there is a lot of cloud cover and it is going to rain soon.”copyright protection63PENANAYUnoFR0jE6

   “That explains it. I really don’t know how you cope with the heat?”copyright protection63PENANAiixGftewSJ

   “I have to say I don’t know how you can put up with the cold?”copyright protection63PENANA8JQ7fYdfBn

They both laugh and Yè fēng goes on to ask, “Ready for some lunch, or would you like a very late breakfast?”copyright protection63PENANApAhNZXE0gi

   “Lunch please,” replies Kibō with a giggle.copyright protection63PENANA6zBDfQ7unZ

   “All right, lunch it is.”copyright protection63PENANAevI4CX3QdE

Together they head down to the kitchen, where the Dreamer continues on to the bathroom and on the way back a beautiful bird lands on the hand rail of the covered walkway which appears to have something within its beak.copyright protection63PENANAdDevqet4eK

It flies to land on the god’s shoulder and when he reaches to stroke it, the bird drops something into his hand, he takes a look to see it is a beautiful white stone that shimmers blue in the sunlight.copyright protection63PENANAnkjZXyQ43d

   “Why have you given this to me little one?” Kibō asks as the bird lands upon his hand. “Did the Forest Spirits give this you, to give to me?”copyright protection63PENANA3hJMmmKpcX

The bird seems to reply to the god with a few happy tweets, then flies to the railing and looks back.copyright protection63PENANA3qBiW1wp6L

   “Ah you’re wanting me to follow? All right lead the way little one,” replies the Dreamer as he trots down the steps.copyright protection63PENANA9u5st21k74

Kibō continues to follow the little bird which flies very close to him, but when it gets a little ahead it lands and waits for him to catch up.copyright protection63PENANAxbmhXIDI7Q

Together they enter the Northern forest to the group of ash trees where the little bird starts to sing to let the spirits know the Dreamer has arrived.copyright protection63PENANAGbghucj0Bp

Kibō watches them start to appear on the branches of every tree, he gives them a happy smile and says in a soft voice, “Thank you for your gift. It is very beautiful.”copyright protection63PENANAMLURdoUfI2

A spirit appears by the god’s bare feet and holds up some honeysuckle.copyright protection63PENANAkgdGxbobTw

The Dreamer crouches down, to take it and replies, “Thank you little one.”copyright protection63PENANA1zHiRbuac6

The little spirit performs a deep bow before it disappear to reappear in the tree directly in front of the god.copyright protection63PENANAAYRuQ5TKlB

Kibō performs a slight bow to thank the spirits and turns to leave when he sees the guardian is making her way over to him, he smiles and says, “Good morning, my dear.”copyright protection63PENANAMFS0mqbLB5

   “Good morning, young one. Please come and see. Oh put your feet... may I carry you?”copyright protection63PENANAhDFZVwbqHo

   “Of course,” replies the Dreamer with a smile. copyright protection63PENANAximoMduGYP

The guardian gently picks him up the way a mother does with her child and carries him through the forest to the tree stump with its heathy shoot swaying in the breeze.copyright protection63PENANAiLvaLRAXCc

The Dreamer sees all around the base poking up through the dead foliage are tiny purple and white flowers. “They are lovely.”copyright protection63PENANA3TPITLf4cX

The guardian nods as she gently puts him down and says, “They have appeared over night, for I did not make them come.”copyright protection63PENANAsJfP822CI1

   “I wonder who did? Was it the spirits?”copyright protection63PENANAs0MXayOLwr

   “No, for they would have told me. It’s was not one of you gods?”copyright protection63PENANAXzkNidyxiK

   “No, for we too would have told you. How strange? No, wait there is a strange glow around them.”copyright protection63PENANAvKtKACMDeu

The guardian looks at him all confused and mutters, “Strange glow?”copyright protection63PENANAEHvqEGZtrv

   “Sorry, you may not be able to see it, it’s my inner pupils, they are picking an odd aura around them, which can mean one thing, they were left my another guardian. Do you know of any near here?”copyright protection63PENANAUp4fcmtLUL

The beautiful guardian shakes her head and replies, “Not that I am aware of. Could it have been yours?”copyright protection63PENANAvpwZa6BWJQ

Kibō takes a moment to think and replies, “I do not think so, again she would have told me. It looks like we have a little mystery on our hands.”copyright protection63PENANAroxXPcDOG5

   “It looks that way and I’m sure in time we will find out who it is. Anyway, let’s get you home, as I bet your feet are getting cold?”copyright protection63PENANAjAuoQGLjsF

The Dreamer looks down at his little bare feet and replies, “I’m all right. Besides I’m use to far colder temperatures than this. This is actually too warm for me.”copyright protection63PENANA5Y5CXfJzct

   “I see. Even so, please allow me to carry you back as I do not want you hurting them.”copyright protection63PENANAqERYBGaevR

   “Bless you. Really I’m fine, my feet are quite hardy.”copyright protection63PENANAjOsOcivXCX

The guardian shakes her head, she gently picks up the god and carries him back to the Dragon’s house to leave him by the back door.copyright protection63PENANADIVJkTY4tb

Kibō performs a slight bow and says, “Thank you.”copyright protection63PENANAxTPpRr52GA

   “You’re welcome and see you again soon,” replies the guardian, gently patting the side of the god’s face.copyright protection63PENANAUZpmOCEjAh

The Dreamer watches her walk away, then he heads inside to meet his friend in the corridor who says, “There you are. I was about to go looking for you. Where have you been?”copyright protection63PENANAgeZbXk4Wox

Kibō goes on to tell him whilst they make their way to the kitchen and he feels his friend is a little surprised to hear about the odd flowers growing around the base of the stump.copyright protection63PENANA8VrXkjpqm5

   “You’re right, we do have a little mystery to solve,” says Yè fēng, folding his arms. “I agree with you. There must be another guardian close by. How’s about after lunch, we take a walk through the forest?”copyright protection63PENANA1g5qCT3hcE

The Dreamer gives him a nod and replies, “Let’s do that. And by rights I should make it.”copyright protection63PENANAysSyEQSJMg

   “I cannot allow you to do that as you’re my guest. I know why you’re wanting to do it, but the answer is still no. Because I would have figured out where you were,” says Yè fēng, patting his friend’s shoulder.copyright protection63PENANAhUbISv2hWo

Kibō nods and replies, “You always do. You often make me wonder how you always seem to find me as I know you cannot read my mind... That’s it isn’t it? You scan the world around you and when you pick up nothing you’ve found a Dreamer, right?”copyright protection63PENANAnXFsoilrzx

   “You’re sort of half right. Nonetheless, you forget one crucial thing when it comes to us Dragons, our keen since of smell. I follow your scent.”copyright protection63PENANA580YGEOzoB

   “Scent... I was not aware I even had one.”copyright protection63PENANAPFw0npwqHt

   “You smell of oils, which by the way, is a very pleasant smell.”copyright protection63PENANAO4quwOMRgm

The Dreamer laughs and replies, “Well I’m glad to hear that. You had me worried I stank.”copyright protection63PENANApluqkb48Kt

   “Forgive me. No, not at all you always smell lovely.”copyright protection63PENANAJA8gBwF8Wm

Kibō places a hand to his full round chest and replies, “That’s good to know. You always smell nice too.”copyright protection63PENANABLq1fXQ1O6

They both laugh and Yè fēng replies, “Well I am pleased to hear that too.”copyright protection63PENANAnesSEM4JUP

They go on to make lunch together and with it being such a nice afternoon they decide to eat outside in the back garden.copyright protection63PENANAcEpkU1QA9N

The gods are just about finished when a woman comes running over to them and babbles something about odd flowers have appeared around a shrine. Whilst Yè fēng keeps her calm Kibō goes and gets dressed.copyright protection63PENANAWKynMNkCP9

The Dragon pours her a cup of tea, he gets her to sit down and drink some of it.copyright protection63PENANAIdnb51XaLS

   “There now, relax my dear and tell me more about these odd flowers.”copyright protection63PENANA0Xxqisr92A

The woman takes a deep breath and replies, “They are unlike anything we have seen before, they are purple and white. They go right round the shrine.”copyright protection63PENANAWYlum7iGK7

   “The same as the ones in the forest,” mutters Yè fēng, folding his arms.copyright protection63PENANAPtkdEqfCB0

   “Sorry what did you say?”copyright protection63PENANAuBY11gtspv

This makes the Dragon’s right eye look straight at her, his mouth forms into a small smile and he replies, “Nothing, my dear I was just thinking aloud, sorry.”copyright protection63PENANA3lupQQw9xh

   “It’s all right. Even us mortals do that sometimes,” says the lady, giving him a smile.copyright protection63PENANAgnLBAp2P1D

Yè fēng gives her a nod then his right eye seems to look past her over her shoulder, this makes her turn around to see the Dreamer is on his way back dressed in a light blue robe, with all of his long fringe pinned back behind his right ear with a pin decorated with light grey to white top feathers.copyright protection63PENANAQwfOxg40Ju

   “Right let’s go and see these flowers,” he says, looking up at them.copyright protection63PENANAwNQ1cGRJQp

The Dragon nods and he escorts the lady over to the shrine which lies in the heart of the village. When the small group of people see the gods are approaching they quickly part to allow them to pass.copyright protection63PENANA07MMImcLcd

   “What a coincidence, they are exactly the same as the ones in the forest,” says Kibō, pointing his hand at them.copyright protection63PENANAp2KEQhVViF

Yè fēng crouches down beside his friend and says, “This shrine is dedicated to the Fox God... Nonetheless, it is the first time I have ever seen one do this.”copyright protection63PENANApPsfQEWIoM

   “Thinking about it, neither have I. This is very interesting. Hello Mì táng, what do you make to all of this?”copyright protection63PENANA7pTUbChnnt

All the mortals start to look around, which prompts the Dragon to say, “It’s all right, my friend is talking to his Forest Guardian, see the leaf glowing on the chain? That tells me she is here.”copyright protection63PENANABNwlrnDniV

The group of mortals see the leaf is hovering slightly above the Dreamer’s full round chest and he starts to talk in another language, one which sounds very old.”copyright protection63PENANA2ILuYB9Ujy

   “Yes, they have been left by a Fox God... but why I cannot tell you. I’ll go and ask,” says Mì táng, and with a wave of her left hand she is gone into the other realm.copyright protection63PENANAHrXBl8dCwB

Yè fēng watches the leaf settle back down upon his friend’s chest and the once bright light starts to fade, making him ask, “What’s happening?”copyright protection63PENANA67oCtQZ6di

Kibō goes on to explain, just as the leaf once again starts to glow and he says, “Welcome back.”copyright protection63PENANA2f0NKYpUTI

Mì táng laughs and she replies, “Thank you. I have been able to find the one who has done this.”copyright protection63PENANAsB9qcuzp65

The Dreamer watches his twelve foot guardian step to one side to reveal a Fox God who is three centuries old, it walks over to him all proud to take a seat by the god’s feet and looks up at him. copyright protection63PENANA1cdqPGgPNu

Kibō gives it a stroke and asks, “Why did you do this?”copyright protection63PENANA7QJ8Du62p0

“   He wanted to thank you for calming the Forest Guardian and helping to make the tree regrow.”copyright protection63PENANALRBUiNpRdw

   “No problem, little one, it is what us gods do,” replies the Dreamer, giving the fox another stroke. The god knows full well the mortals are wondering what on earth he is doing talking to something they cannot see or hear, he just gives them a smile and says, “Sorry, I’m interacting with a three century old Fox God, who is responsible for the flowers. Aren’t you boy?”copyright protection63PENANAWfJaFyRWnE

The mortals watch him crouch down and it looks like he is giving a dogs belly a good rub, but there is nothing there.copyright protection63PENANAqvuaD8EKb3

   “Why did he want to leave the flowers?” Yè fēng asks, watching his friend, play with something only he can see.copyright protection63PENANAKXVmRdah5n

  “He wanted to thank us for our help with the guardian, didn’t you boy?”copyright protection63PENANAN2Dxci63et

The Fox God bounces around the Dreamer and barks.copyright protection63PENANAIEZcOCltmx

   “I think we can take that as a yes,” says Mì táng, giving the fox a pat.copyright protection63PENANAx7usumGEDL

   “I think so too. Bless him.”copyright protection63PENANA2rNFY0Y43c

The Dragon nods in agreement and says, “It is very sweet of him.”copyright protection63PENANAyLRxYGajax

However Kibō does not respond, he bows his head and says in his own language, “You’re right. Bye little one.”copyright protection63PENANARHEla9HQNk

The guardian waits for the Fox God to walk over to her, then she waves her hand to open a portal into the other realm.copyright protection63PENANACPLpvKptPt

   “Sorry my good friend, Mì táng was telling me she was taking the young Fox God back to his family.”copyright protection63PENANAGoeyWdf6xp

   “It’s all right. Bless her. I was just saying how sweet it was of him to lay flowers to thank us.”copyright protection63PENANADo6iJgrq7f

Kibō nods in agreement and says, “Well that’s, that mystery solved.”copyright protection63PENANALJ5x9Ahz47

   “It most certainly is,” says the lady who came to fetch them.copyright protection63PENANA3Lvijrvyy2

The Dragon crouches down, he pats the side of his friend’s shoulder and asks, “What would you like to do?”copyright protection63PENANAYbq5uamWAt

   “Please could we go to the waterfall?”copyright protection63PENANAbldhTnSaWW

   “Of course as I’m happy to take you anywhere you wish to go,” replies Yè fēng, as he goes on to gently pick his friend up, then unfolds his huge black wings and takes off.copyright protection63PENANAiZHNh1fNAN

The mortals decide to leave the Fox God an offering of meat which an hour later is reported to have vanished.copyright protection63PENANAQyZgDtrZq1

The gods spend the rest of the day at the waterfall to return sometime to grab a late dinner before Yè fēng takes his good friend back to his family; like always Zhǐdǎo persuades the Dragon to stay the night, he gives him a good hearty supper and the same comfy bed in the back of the house. The next morning Yè fēng is treated to a lovely breakfast of rice porridge and honey. He makes sure to spend some time with the family before he heads home.copyright protection63PENANAtCnGTg3Lr0

To this day the Northern forest is out of bounds and the tiny purple and white flowers can still be found growing around the shrine of the Fox God.copyright protection63PENANAIJ0qxirM51

The end.copyright protection63PENANAzVAycd2Dds

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