98

The feathery grasses swirled over the child’s feet, ribbonweed creating breaks in the soft shrubbery to show the life underneath.  The older boy’s legs were folded underneath him, balanced on their partially submerged log.

On this occasion when the Imperial family left the capital for an idyll with other families, Draig’s was one of them.  He and the young Princess sat in a familiar place, talking about their growing lives.

“I met with several Councillors,” said Soleil, “and the Dragon Councillor Arkuda says he’ll teach me.”  She looked from one horizon to another.  “But he gave me a course of study first.”  She shrugged towards her friend.  “I’ll have to drop a couple interests, but that is my interest.  Call it a focus shift.”

“Really?” Draig asked, leaning away from her.  “Dragons are scary… awesome.  Scary awesome.”

She turned on him, dragon-claws 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 do I.”  Soleil vigorously shook her head and nodded an affirmative.  “Besides, Councillor Arkuda is sunny.  That’s what he is, isn’t he?  A sunny dragon.”

“That makes him seem friendlier to you?”

“Well, to me, yeah.”  The girl took a breath and then paused, wanting him to talk instead.

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 make you a page of encouraging slogans to tape onto your things.”

“Wow Princess Soleil.  I can’t wait to see them.”

“They’ll be group-safe.”  Soleil’s feet surfaced, causing a fleet of ripples.  “None of the swears you taught me.”

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