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Yè fēng and the cursed forest
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Writer Barbara
  • G: General Audiences
  • PG: Parental Guidance Suggested
  • PG-13: Parents Strongly Cautioned
  • R: Restricted
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Yè fēng and the cursed forest
A - A - A
Mar 12, 2018
31 Mins Read
No Plagiarism!713fDUgG2kyvRfbRu0spposted 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 protection51PENANAOWUl9zvcTg

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 protection51PENANAm1iqgVlxCo

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 protection51PENANASaTJq5AU63

Yè fēng’s scaled eyebrows rise and he asks, “What do you mean by missing? You mean they are yet to return?”copyright protection51PENANAjU0egaNMmH

   “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 protection51PENANA3JIl9ZhuxU

   “The same goes for my daughter,” says another lady close to tears.copyright protection51PENANATp4M9vSKpY

   “I see. I will come and take a look,” replies the Dragon.copyright protection51PENANANJTOX9YLVl

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 protection51PENANAtZ4bldbCII

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 protection51PENANAwC8Boh6h1w

   “What the?” he mutters, running his hand along it.copyright protection51PENANAfPf9DdiCZe

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 protection51PENANAXsd1EyfPbY

   “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 protection51PENANAyIAGjZYqgZ

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 protection51PENANAWwPcFsqX5p

The group of villagers fall silent and perform deep bows.copyright protection51PENANAc2Sq4wZkma

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 protection51PENANAiVSSCcRAD8

All the mortals nod and watch the god take off to disappear into the low grey clouds.55Please respect copyright.PENANAwTVq9WnO6S
copyright protection51PENANAAAEqNjTdhY

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 protection51PENANADt1vU52Tqp

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 protection51PENANA3IkWBX9txM

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 protection51PENANAB8nfyayroQ

The couple nod and the lady replies, “Yes.”copyright protection51PENANAq2krxexA7X

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 protection51PENANAZbGk7hhhKP

   “My word, Yè fēng, it is good to see you too. Please come in.”copyright protection51PENANA4lYrBxCaZ0

   “Thanks. I’m in need of your help.”copyright protection51PENANA0p2kRAyobF

   “Oh? Please tell me everything.”copyright protection51PENANAmbQ2vYkNg4

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 protection51PENANADkqBM19ob8

   “Yes. I saw no shimmer. No distortion of any kind.”copyright protection51PENANApbxrwp24Od

   “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 protection51PENANAKaoBdUAxIQ

   “I agree Kibō.”copyright protection51PENANACla2XW47lf

   “I will just go and pack a few things,” says the Dreamer as he walks out of the room.copyright protection51PENANAfKrNbXce10

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 protection51PENANArMbQnpLXXt

   “Sorry to hear what has happened. But do not worry my son will soon have it all sorted.”copyright protection51PENANANzPYCNVGUg

   “I know he will old friend. It is good to see you.”copyright protection51PENANAW91nXdl9rm

   “You too. I like the colour of your eyepatch, it suits you that shade of blue.”copyright protection51PENANAaT9lJwKuuI

   “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 protection51PENANAYihNgUBcAv

   “Is it?” Zhǐdǎo asks and he too gives it a feel. “I see what you mean, it is really soft.”copyright protection51PENANAtxFuUCHfL8

   “She is kindly going to make me some more in the same cloth.”copyright protection51PENANACW2LhLi2gM

   “That’s sweet of her.”copyright protection51PENANAKf523lWEyx

The Dragon nods in agreement.copyright protection51PENANA914OvZrdfd

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 protection51PENANAmR9oDraWuq

   “Right,” replies the Dragon, going on to drink the last of his tea, setting the cup down on the table.copyright protection51PENANAJfFOhJ9enI

Zhǐdǎo gives his son a hug and tells them both to be careful.copyright protection51PENANAMxJRmfQNs6

Both Yè fēng and Kibō nod, they each give him another hug before they leave the house.copyright protection51PENANA0OYacBBmy6

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 protection51PENANANhlt5DcfSz

Kibō puts out his hands towards the trees, narrows his eyes and says, “I am feeling anger and perhaps remorse.”copyright protection51PENANAXE6GvsWmgo

   “Remorse? Why would a guardian be feeling that?”copyright protection51PENANAsgdqrq22MA

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 protection51PENANA8ASu3X7gcZ

   “I could ask my people?”copyright protection51PENANAQaDWR9pNwG

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 protection51PENANAcZXppoPsqC

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 protection51PENANA3zcV3gSbw5

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 protection51PENANAamfOj6YJTu

Yè fēng nods in agreement and says, “Please, try and think, have you seen anything unusual? Something you have not see before?”copyright protection51PENANAp5tmvTLklb

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 protection51PENANAXpL9kPqd0W

   “Show us,” demands the other god.copyright protection51PENANAibjx0DEYnx

   “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 protection51PENANAsNDWa8PVtb

   “Ooh,” giggles Kibō and continues, “Well let’s see first, as I may not be able to do anything.”copyright protection51PENANA7qASAVI08J

A woman places her hands together and says, “Please, you must help us.”copyright protection51PENANAXrUhYUUDSi

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 protection51PENANAbl5OifX8ar

Yè fēng gently pats his friend’s shoulder and says, “Minta gila su.”copyright protection51PENANAjhSUasQSsY

Kibō takes a deep breath and says, “Let’s see this flower.”copyright protection51PENANACqqwHorC2k

The man nods and leads the gods over to his home where he shows them what his daughter brought back one morning.copyright protection51PENANAUdG02Yf06q

The Dreamer smiles and says, “It’s just an orchid.”copyright protection51PENANArqIjlSMbLe

The Dragon notices his friend is also frowning, prompting him to ask, “What’s wrong? Is it poisonous or something?”copyright protection51PENANAanFAUmZmZ1

   “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 protection51PENANAGUfnUhlahs

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 protection51PENANAAJSj3ecPpX

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 protection51PENANA4AlJag6aC5

   “What, it stopped you?”copyright protection51PENANAcjZrGUI240

   “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 protection51PENANAuFKnZNBbD1

   “I see. How interesting.”copyright protection51PENANA9HBuqMLxXo

Kibō slaps his hands together and says, “Searching each house is just going to take too long. I have an idea.”copyright protection51PENANAD9HCAoxjrC

Yè fēng pats him on the shoulder and asks, “What do you have in mind?”copyright protection51PENANAkVi4jhSUsv

The Dreamer just winks his right eye and heads out of the house.copyright protection51PENANAWBcy6DkRbh

The man looks up at the tall Grey Dragon and asks, “What’s he going to do?”copyright protection51PENANAgOrYr2mYlN

   “You’ll see,” replies Yè fēng and heads outside to find his friend is busy rummaging inside his cloth bag and muttering.copyright protection51PENANABGJTL2aDXC

   “What’s wrong? Did you forget something?”copyright protection51PENANA9Uemsk0Ncb

   “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 protection51PENANA5sZwrryNqU

Yè fēng watches his friend place it on the palm of his left hand and says, “That’s pretty.”copyright protection51PENANAB1AlUlo4Zm

   “It sure is. And it is the best thing for detecting things from the other realm. Hun sala, minta kusa inla.”copyright protection51PENANAH8gWvJgvwt

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 protection51PENANAGBWG8n7Gby

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 protection51PENANABNzb9txxyx

   “Ha, found it,” he says, pointing his hand out in font of him.copyright protection51PENANAUgGbcbUtGr

Yè fēng looks and says, “That’s Mo Chou’s house.”copyright protection51PENANAWn3T4bgbSs

The late middle aged lady walks over to them and asks, “What is it?”copyright protection51PENANAKtfjEoNcWl

The Dreamer looks to her and says in his own language, “She has no idea.”copyright protection51PENANAJRCp2OAXih

Yè fēng gives him a tap on the arm and says, “Naughty scanning people without their permission.”copyright protection51PENANAoeEr8IDpUv

Kibō laughs and replies, “You know full well all I have to do is look at someone to know their feelings.”copyright protection51PENANAREY7YDwLPt

   “I know. Even so, shame on you.”copyright protection51PENANA7zkJYnyzkQ

They both start to laugh and give each other soft nudges.copyright protection51PENANARJ5wbdfOC9

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 protection51PENANAjuOhBNU7yK

The woman has a think and replies, “No, I cannot recall seeing anything new.”copyright protection51PENANAAFjVpiiXSD

   “May I go and check?”copyright protection51PENANANJmSgx5vlI

   “Yes, by all means,” replies the lady, performing a shallow bow.copyright protection51PENANAFFcuWOhRVQ

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 protection51PENANACwvVsVeKS6

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 protection51PENANAoFQKx6hDCD

   “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 protection51PENANAmhiyLfm27i

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 protection51PENANATJPoFhjT2c

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 protection51PENANA0qRRbpYs3A

   “I see... I wonder what it could be?”copyright protection51PENANA6pRoYDElGL

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 protection51PENANADzutYaKi4N

The Dragon and the lady both take a look to see that he is holding an odd shaped mushroom as white as snow.copyright protection51PENANAu4emWpMUSQ

   “It really is. As I too never thought it would be anything like that,” says Yè fēng, pointing his hand towards it.copyright protection51PENANAvYgnne02zH

   “Let’s get it back to the guardian.”copyright protection51PENANANdgiGfsrxx

The Dragon gives his friend a sharp nod and together they head back to the forest.copyright protection51PENANAe2CtpySbtK

Yè fēng sticks close to Kibō’s side and just like before they soon come to the barrier.copyright protection51PENANA2YJim7wm96

The Dreamer places his hands on it and says, “Please lower this, for I am returning what was taken.”copyright protection51PENANA4XjkfZAIq7

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 protection51PENANAfFaS8zq0LU

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 protection51PENANALNSv5eCCBM

The darkness begins to lift and Kibō continues, “We would not harm anything which belongs to a guardian.”copyright protection51PENANAJFJ20Z2BIt

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 protection51PENANAIY8TQhshie

   “How beautiful, is the baby yours?”copyright protection51PENANAb414z7jcKU

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 protection51PENANAZtAIwBIycq

   “Vanished?”copyright protection51PENANA1VoaOfrhwK

The guardian nods and beckons to the Dreamer to follow her.copyright protection51PENANAvHOxLnE4Ap

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 protection51PENANAZzSziob1Wn

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 protection51PENANArYiQ975BpB

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 protection51PENANAlUj9s4x798

   “I’ll help you, as I’m sure they would not have wandered far.”copyright protection51PENANAw8HoI0NT1K

   “Thank you,” replies the guardian, performing a shallow bow.copyright protection51PENANAhtIAjSHpt7

   “No problem. Let’s see? I’ll check this way.”copyright protection51PENANA1O1kXuovBx

The beautiful guardian nods and then disappears through the forest.copyright protection51PENANAD7Glwoljhn

Yè fēng follows his friend and asks, “Could they be hiding in another ash tree?”copyright protection51PENANA3zQM9aEQA7

Kibō looks up at him and replies, “Anything is possible.”copyright protection51PENANAXBWZVUukp5

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 protection51PENANAS2dynJWJ3e

   “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 protection51PENANA67NXTW8yNI

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 protection51PENANAGLjCLfwfzW

   “It looks like some of them have gone off to the other tree... hopefully to fetch the parents.”copyright protection51PENANAlrYyZmhW5l

   “We can only hope, my good friend,” replies Yé fēng, watching him walk over to a low branch.copyright protection51PENANAbcsYalViUJ

The little spirits bow to the gods and the lady one asks, “You have found our son?”copyright protection51PENANA1AvldgAKwa

   “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 protection51PENANAGRBFpB1Hy7

The little spirits nod and jump from their branch to land in the god’s soft warm hands.copyright protection51PENANA2JkvIuQENL

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 protection51PENANAnOlS9z9JjF

Yè fēng shakes his head and replies, “To be honest I am glad  I cannot see like you.”copyright protection51PENANAT0xvFX7GFF

   “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 protection51PENANAOIp8d7C4Lp

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 protection51PENANAP9eb2nKb74

Kibō slightly raises his left hand and replies, “Good point, my good friend.”copyright protection51PENANAR14owJlDq1

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 protection51PENANAjfJInWQ00B

The guardian listens to him, she nods and replies, “I release them.”copyright protection51PENANApPLE1N1LY8

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 protection51PENANAQP9UeGEAk5

   “What is it?” he asks, crouching down in front of him.copyright protection51PENANABDkklIhcIh

   “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 protection51PENANAO87zM8mNUl

    “No problem at all,” replies the Dreamer, with a shallow nod.copyright protection51PENANAWKb6FpMj06

The guardian also thanks him before she goes on to return the spirit family to their new home.copyright protection51PENANApBKKW6sdia

Kibō pats his friend on the shoulder and asks, “Everyone all right?”copyright protection51PENANAu6jCF5K2TF

   “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 protection51PENANAnQpzX5ZJoZ

   “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 protection51PENANAQOAAywG1KY

   “Why? What are you feeling?”copyright protection51PENANAce4vRKBCMv

   “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 protection51PENANAhalHJiMI2b

   “You’re right making this place forbidden is not enough.”copyright protection51PENANAHTZiuyPazz

Kibō’s head tilts slightly to the left and he asks, “Do you have a book on guardian’s?”copyright protection51PENANA9MOehFZThL

   “I do. Ah yes, there might be something in there which may help us.”copyright protection51PENANAozWKgF22o5

   “Hopefully.”copyright protection51PENANAe5YdosMdDm

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 protection51PENANANN8B2qh1jz

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 protection51PENANANI8KsopvrN

   “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 protection51PENANAAFTzTh2GvG

   “I know what you mean. And if there is? I’m sure you will be the one to find it, my good friend.”copyright protection51PENANA2itbUwBbyV

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 protection51PENANAKmDS66hwBJ

   “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 protection51PENANAjcpdLjvO01

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 protection51PENANAu2jXeeuPp2

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 protection51PENANALaop2uvk06

   “What about this one?” he asks, pointing his hand towards it.copyright protection51PENANA4kjuy5N4TN

Kibō has a read and replies, “Yes, let’s do that one, after lunch?”copyright protection51PENANA5nQpl4DPU3

   “Definitely. What can I get you?”copyright protection51PENANASGdg5gLAAL

   “You know I will be happy with anything you cook.”copyright protection51PENANAHF609F5XJZ

The Dragon gives him a nod, he then rises up and heads back into the house.copyright protection51PENANALOmCeIHRyC

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 protection51PENANAUqi7HoosYY

It is not long before Yè fēng returns with bowls filled with fried rice, topped with vegetables and slices of spring onions.copyright protection51PENANAeGEkHOZMLJ

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 protection51PENANAMxx89LRQDp

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 protection51PENANAsyPLGw94Z8

Yè fēng sees his friend is smiling, making him ask, “I take it she is pleased with what we have done?”copyright protection51PENANA3dOHyvvyih

   “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 protection51PENANAh4OPdYB4Oe

The Dragon performs a slight bow and replies, “You’re welcome, my dear.”copyright protection51PENANAuhNj2tQcyP

The guardian kneels down in front of the Dreamer, she takes hold of his hand and places something upon his palm.copyright protection51PENANAkB28jBEP9W

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 protection51PENANA7q1VgeTRjI

   “Please young one, take it as a token of my thanks.”copyright protection51PENANA6NZT72nXeV

The Dreamer gives her nod and replies, “But you know you do not need to thank me with gifts.”copyright protection51PENANANyxPHRrlGA

   “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 protection51PENANAiO1jJhyD9R

   “You’re welcome as we are always happy to help our fellow guardians,” says Kibō, with a slight bow.copyright protection51PENANAmfFm9MowKD

The guardian rises, she walks over to the Dragon and waits for the Dreamer to inform him what she is doing.copyright protection51PENANAsxc0nUROfy

    “She is wanting to give you a gift.”copyright protection51PENANAoymqR6IqKR

   “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 protection51PENANAi66XtgKSNu

   “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 protection51PENANAvf1IgoC8dS

   “Bless her. She did not need to give us these.”copyright protection51PENANAGCq32haKIU

   “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 protection51PENANAC01JXuZHmM

   “Yes, they go nicely together. I don’t know where to place mine?”copyright protection51PENANAbS2dAiCdqP

   “How’s about on your bracelet?”copyright protection51PENANA57svauNlfv

   “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 protection51PENANAfSvhBsMA98

   “I agree as it goes nicely with the crystals.”copyright protection51PENANAnl1pzCHbP8

The Dragon nods in agreement and says, “I’ll attach it between them. What do you think?”copyright protection51PENANA1UftpqYcLd

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 protection51PENANAH15ciHE4hO

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 protection51PENANAdEae3JQLVG

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 protection51PENANATWA9pZznck

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 protection51PENANABTlH5EoKIG

   “I was just coming to check on you. How are you feeling?” Yè fēng asks, crouching down.copyright protection51PENANAzWlKapu1ap

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 protection51PENANAI4midMhN9u

   “It is, there is a lot of cloud cover and it is going to rain soon.”copyright protection51PENANA7Lnttt7ReP

   “That explains it. I really don’t know how you cope with the heat?”copyright protection51PENANAyNMTyXj2Zu

   “I have to say I don’t know how you can put up with the cold?”copyright protection51PENANAsHyOZMAhzK

They both laugh and Yè fēng goes on to ask, “Ready for some lunch, or would you like a very late breakfast?”copyright protection51PENANALHw8aZChRQ

   “Lunch please,” replies Kibō with a giggle.copyright protection51PENANA7pETjcQCfP

   “All right, lunch it is.”copyright protection51PENANA6HxFwwr7N1

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 protection51PENANARzInITnkae

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 protection51PENANAaiDOcX13zg

   “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 protection51PENANATGYqluXNCK

The bird seems to reply to the god with a few happy tweets, then flies to the railing and looks back.copyright protection51PENANAOukxR2qfmB

   “Ah you’re wanting me to follow? All right lead the way little one,” replies the Dreamer as he trots down the steps.copyright protection51PENANAtxU7l64maE

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 protection51PENANAD4kBuG6rtJ

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 protection51PENANAcidxP4zgkV

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 protection51PENANARNsMVOTZb3

A spirit appears by the god’s bare feet and holds up some honeysuckle.copyright protection51PENANAEP7ZrCFy49

The Dreamer crouches down, to take it and replies, “Thank you little one.”copyright protection51PENANAhhruOhznxT

The little spirit performs a deep bow before it disappear to reappear in the tree directly in front of the god.copyright protection51PENANAjpGMbCB5BM

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 protection51PENANA8gCgf3TUBY

   “Good morning, young one. Please come and see. Oh put your feet... may I carry you?”copyright protection51PENANA4Sfvm3MWrk

   “Of course,” replies the Dreamer with a smile. copyright protection51PENANAPLJwxV880K

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 protection51PENANAV90yqgBkad

The Dreamer sees all around the base poking up through the dead foliage are tiny purple and white flowers. “They are lovely.”copyright protection51PENANAif5xKsBxo2

The guardian nods as she gently puts him down and says, “They have appeared over night, for I did not make them come.”copyright protection51PENANAReNBKlxSux

   “I wonder who did? Was it the spirits?”copyright protection51PENANADqHDY7Tzs4

   “No, for they would have told me. It’s was not one of you gods?”copyright protection51PENANAMKjSh4lTBK

   “No, for we too would have told you. How strange? No, wait there is a strange glow around them.”copyright protection51PENANAVtYJ4I5BBz

The guardian looks at him all confused and mutters, “Strange glow?”copyright protection51PENANA9f0QSYYMyq

   “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 protection51PENANARlbbdsfzmR

The beautiful guardian shakes her head and replies, “Not that I am aware of. Could it have been yours?”copyright protection51PENANAjiki1p171C

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 protection51PENANAGaSG1LF0xd

   “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 protection51PENANArpyCAM5Qlr

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 protection51PENANAIFJ3XLsYSu

   “I see. Even so, please allow me to carry you back as I do not want you hurting them.”copyright protection51PENANABzFtgHfVHM

   “Bless you. Really I’m fine, my feet are quite hardy.”copyright protection51PENANA99cHMNuRDQ

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 protection51PENANAjmw3ptPSsI

Kibō performs a slight bow and says, “Thank you.”copyright protection51PENANAm4i1yyINuq

   “You’re welcome and see you again soon,” replies the guardian, gently patting the side of the god’s face.copyright protection51PENANAAEzMlmzQed

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 protection51PENANAGxzcBYGqQ9

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 protection51PENANA9dereMZXAu

   “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 protection51PENANAoa8XXujwky

The Dreamer gives him a nod and replies, “Let’s do that. And by rights I should make it.”copyright protection51PENANAJ15jeHhV88

   “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 protection51PENANA4hliIA5IyF

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 protection51PENANAdWQlUNQejb

   “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 protection51PENANAM3cSnrzFnI

   “Scent... I was not aware I even had one.”copyright protection51PENANANrZ9KIKQrj

   “You smell of oils, which by the way, is a very pleasant smell.”copyright protection51PENANAwEfm0a9Qpt

The Dreamer laughs and replies, “Well I’m glad to hear that. You had me worried I stank.”copyright protection51PENANA1bxe4UFEz2

   “Forgive me. No, not at all you always smell lovely.”copyright protection51PENANAmnumxf5i5w

Kibō places a hand to his full round chest and replies, “That’s good to know. You always smell nice too.”copyright protection51PENANABCbRYb271r

They both laugh and Yè fēng replies, “Well I am pleased to hear that too.”copyright protection51PENANAB2C8gH3WlD

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 protection51PENANAZI0t5yJaQP

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 protection51PENANAHsrSjp3lx5

The Dragon pours her a cup of tea, he gets her to sit down and drink some of it.copyright protection51PENANAM87pho6lks

   “There now, relax my dear and tell me more about these odd flowers.”copyright protection51PENANAYjaZNfxwqo

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 protection51PENANAl7QMZ9c3vJ

   “The same as the ones in the forest,” mutters Yè fēng, folding his arms.copyright protection51PENANA8hSgHaEOvZ

   “Sorry what did you say?”copyright protection51PENANAhujst7H1D8

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 protection51PENANApZfgMfqYjV

   “It’s all right. Even us mortals do that sometimes,” says the lady, giving him a smile.copyright protection51PENANAIrdBHVLmJh

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 protection51PENANAm0LGsfNagr

   “Right let’s go and see these flowers,” he says, looking up at them.copyright protection51PENANAiGqyWcOmb7

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 protection51PENANAiTyvvgqgDa

   “What a coincidence, they are exactly the same as the ones in the forest,” says Kibō, pointing his hand at them.copyright protection51PENANAyZajFDytOP

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 protection51PENANAU7vlFsxuPJ

   “Thinking about it, neither have I. This is very interesting. Hello Mì táng, what do you make to all of this?”copyright protection51PENANAB7DaC8q3p4

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 protection51PENANAdX4ogK1PdP

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 protection51PENANAF7WbsCD06s

   “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 protection51PENANAKIznScwjfV

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 protection51PENANAnsSrQ9bSZp

Kibō goes on to explain, just as the leaf once again starts to glow and he says, “Welcome back.”copyright protection51PENANAIExFP0ht1o

Mì táng laughs and she replies, “Thank you. I have been able to find the one who has done this.”copyright protection51PENANAWL6w9ZIFiY

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 protection51PENANAAFrt7iCjbC

Kibō gives it a stroke and asks, “Why did you do this?”copyright protection51PENANAJThgy6gQAh

“   He wanted to thank you for calming the Forest Guardian and helping to make the tree regrow.”copyright protection51PENANAfw3l2ckLSD

   “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 protection51PENANAKsjbWquzKF

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 protection51PENANAbtysK7z0X9

   “Why did he want to leave the flowers?” Yè fēng asks, watching his friend, play with something only he can see.copyright protection51PENANAicGmyJyTvq

  “He wanted to thank us for our help with the guardian, didn’t you boy?”copyright protection51PENANAwfTPrQgWp1

The Fox God bounces around the Dreamer and barks.copyright protection51PENANABAv93fhCge

   “I think we can take that as a yes,” says Mì táng, giving the fox a pat.copyright protection51PENANAMyrtUZdtTI

   “I think so too. Bless him.”copyright protection51PENANAUpYOfqEwm3

The Dragon nods in agreement and says, “It is very sweet of him.”copyright protection51PENANAyXD37Giojy

However Kibō does not respond, he bows his head and says in his own language, “You’re right. Bye little one.”copyright protection51PENANAD574z14MvX

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 protection51PENANAupntdCTR9f

   “Sorry my good friend, Mì táng was telling me she was taking the young Fox God back to his family.”copyright protection51PENANAUHdyLlf3Jy

   “It’s all right. Bless her. I was just saying how sweet it was of him to lay flowers to thank us.”copyright protection51PENANACnEJrdLv0g

Kibō nods in agreement and says, “Well that’s, that mystery solved.”copyright protection51PENANAtuGQYTsSLC

   “It most certainly is,” says the lady who came to fetch them.copyright protection51PENANA7Gkle5Gt9q

The Dragon crouches down, he pats the side of his friend’s shoulder and asks, “What would you like to do?”copyright protection51PENANA2LNGvfUgLU

   “Please could we go to the waterfall?”copyright protection51PENANAxepe4o8xgT

   “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 protection51PENANA9oztJOzqiI

The mortals decide to leave the Fox God an offering of meat which an hour later is reported to have vanished.copyright protection51PENANAQktE1YTWfE

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 protection51PENANAQNTg1XE9uU

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 protection51PENANA3EjD82rHsJ

The end.copyright protection51PENANApj4SY5RR27

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