[[ From The Enfolding Abyss: Prologue ]]
The grasses swirled their feathery tops over the child’s legs and feet, the ribbonweed creating breaks to see through the soft shrubbery to the life underneath. The older boy kept his legs out of the water, crossed underneath him, balanced on their partly-submerged log.
On this occasion when the Imperial family left the capitol for an idyll with other families, his was one of them. Now the young Princess and that older boy she knew sat in a familiar place, speaking of additions to their growing lives.
“I met with several Councillors,” said Soleil, “and the Dragon Councillor, Arkuda, says he’ll teach me.” She looked up at the sky and from one horizon to the other. “But not yet. First he gave me a course of study.” She shrugged at her friend. “I’ll have to drop a couple interests for it – but that is my interest.”
“Really?” Draig asked, leaning away from her. “Is that scary? Dragons are scary… scary awesome.”
She turned on him, claw-hands in the air. “Maybe I’ll learn how to be scary. Like Rianoire, she was dragon-taught.”
“Not like Rianoire, I think. Maybe like Arianne. At least, we hope so.”
“Include me in that group.” She vigorously shook her head and nodded an affirmative. “Besides, Councillor Arkuda is sunny. That’s what he is, isn’t he? He’s a sunny Dragon.”
“That makes him seem friendlier to you?”
“Well to me, yeah.” The girl took a breath and paused pointedly at him.
Draig launched into more of his news. “I’m about to start a full course in achievement training. There’s a physical core with a lot of coursework build-ins. I expect it to be brawny and competitive.”
“I’ll write you a whole page of encouraging slogans to tape onto your things.”
“Wow. Wow, Princess Soleil. I can’t wait to see them.”
“They’ll be group-safe.” Soleil’s feet surfaced momentarily to cause a fleet of ripples. “With none of the words you taught me.”