Previously on Nadec: After talking to the zlurp, Nadec finds herself in an urgency to leave the cave. Wyny decides to go with her to help, so they, and Kitty, exit the cave Blackie’s back.
Looking down from an airplane is beautiful enough, but that high up, it doesn’t really show much. Only when the plane ascends and descends, the real beauty of what is below, shows. Close enough to see details, far enough to see a lot. Except that Nadec had never flown over an area of pure nature, stretching as far as she could see.
The opening they’d exited the cave from let out a stream of water, dropping down into a flowing waterfall cascading over multiple rocks. When Blackie turned around—perhaps circling was an easier way to descend with humans on one’s back—Nadec could see many more waterfalls next to the one, all coming from another tunnel in what appeared to be the side of a small mountain. The sight was mesmerising.
Sun rays hitting the falling water shattered into a million different colours. The main colour was a shining golden, but hidden in between were thousands small rainbows, caused by all the different levels, depths, strengths, speeds, and widths of the waterfalls. Then Blackie’s circling turned them back around. Once again, Nadec’s breath hitched before letting it out in a woaaaah.
Definitely nothing she’d ever seen before from an airplane. Perhaps people who did all the base jumping and things like that had an idea of how pretty things could be. But surely even they had never seen anything like it?
‘It is quite extraordinary, is it not?’
Wyny almost had to shout to be heard over the wind rushing past them, but he still managed to find the perfect volume. At least she didn’t have to cringe in the way it sometimes goes when someone at a loud party tries to speak and nearly breaks the other’s ear drum.
She merely nodded her head—she knew how embarrassing her voice sounded when she had to yell. There were no words to express the magnificence of the view. The magnificence of The Other Realm; this area of it anyway. She thought of perhaps a combination of New Zealand, with its lakes and large hills, a bit of Australia, with brilliant beaches along side cliff sides. She saw vast jungles, green and moist and colourful. There was such a variety of diverse landscapes, she wondered how that worked with the climate.
Best of all, she could see no sign of people anywhere. No human settlements, no human interference. Her heart warmed even more at the sight of it. She loved what technology could do, but she resented what it had done to Earth. And how much suffering and death it had brought, to both people, animals and nature. She didn’t allow her mind to wander of in that direction just yet. Enjoy the bliss for now.
Kitty didn’t care about anything around him. He appeared soundly asleep in front of Nadec, head towards her, tail fluttering besides him. Somehow he managed to look comfortable while on top of the ridges caused by the dragon’s spine. This was one of those times she wished she could take photos. Although most of Earth’s technologie somehow still worked here, taking photos never worked. Not with a mobile, not with an expensive camera, not even with a Polaroid nor old-fashioned throw-away camera.
Their flight soon came to an end. Blackie’s feet hit the ground, not landing softly at all. It was close, but neither of them fell off during the bumpy landing. Nadec slid off as soon as she could, almost before Blackie stood still. No matter how much she’d enjoyed the view, having solid ground under her feet did feel good.
Blackie had dropped them off next to a lake, formed by some of the waterfalls. The reason why became obvious immediately, as she stepped toward the lake and started drinking it with big swallows, dropping down on her belly as she did so. The flight must have exhausted her. So much for flying on a dragon to make the journey quicker, she thought, with a relief she would never admit to anyone.
‘So, do you know where we are, was there anything at all you recognised from the air?’
She turned to Wyny while asking the question. Her mouth dropped open as he stood there with his bare upper body, in the middle of removing his pants. That was not what she expected.
‘I am not certain, but… what is the matter?’ He frowned at her. She realised she’d been staring and shook out of it, making a shooing motion with her hands. She was sure she saw a small smile before he ducked his head. While removing his underpants. He was naked once again.
‘Honestly, I would think you would be used to seeing me nude by now, you have seen me more nude than dressed. I am taking a dip in the lake, it might make for an acceptable bath. As for where we are, I am not certain, like I said,’ he jumped in the water, ducked down, and appeared again with a puff, ‘but I believe I did see the spiralling spinal spine pines. If that is so, we should go that direction. Not because I know where to go from there, but because there is a small city nearby and we could possibly find a map there. And perhaps hear more about events.’
By the time he’d finished speaking, Nadec had also undressed and gone into the water. It was cold at first, but quite good after a while. With her period in full swing, being in this much water was a treat. If only she could stay there until it was over. No time for that. She thought about what he’d said but didn’t have to ruminate too long. There weren’t many options.
‘Good. We’ll go there. If you remember which direction they were?’
He gave her a look which said I am not an idiot, but nodded anyway.
‘It was where the sun sits now.’
Nadec tipped her hair back. She liked the crawling sensation on her scalp from the chill water. On the river side, Blackie had already snuggled up with Kitty. Nadec snorted at that. Those two slept whenever and wherever they could.
‘I never heard that dragons are so odd.’
Wyny sounded amused and pondering. He came to float closer to her.
‘There, I do not have to talk as loudly now. Dragons are elusive and not much is known about them. We know them most of all from stories. Their numbers appear to be dwindling.’
‘Of course they are. It’s a classic trope, the dragons-are-rare-and-almost-extinct-trope. I should call this world Troponia instead of The Other Realm.’ She chuckled at her own joke.
‘Don’t look at me like that. You don’t even know what a trope is, but believe me, this planet of yours is full of them.’
His face contorted even more in confusion. ‘What is a planet?’
She rolled her eyes at him. Almost, she swiped her hands forward to splash him, but that was one trope she didn’t want to fall in, no matter how much fun it might be.
‘If I tell you that, I’d have to tell you many other things and it would blow your mind. We have more urgent issues now beside mind-blowing. Let’s just say it has to do with the stars. I know you know what stars are, I’ve seen them here plenty of times. They might be one of my most favourite things here.’ She trailed off, stopping herself right in time from mentioning pollution and the effect it had. That would’ve also taken her down many roads if mind blows.
‘Maybe I can explain some things while we’re on the road.’ An idea struck her and she cooed. ‘Ooh, and perhaps you can teach me how to use that magic of yours. My employers have granted me with a little bit of magicness. Enough to be able to skip anyway.’
Wyny had been coming closer to her, but she’d been steadily moving away from him. No matter what his intentions were, she didn’t want to take any chance. He’s hot and a ruler, but that didn’t mean she was going to throw away her rule of not sleeping with the guys she rescued. Even if they tend to invade her dreams.
‘I apologise, I would be more than happy to teach you.’ His face scrunched up, reinforcing his apology. ‘Only descendants of the water crown are able to use the power of the Squares, so I am afraid you can not. I can of course show you how it is done and how it works, but you will not be able to practice it.’
‘I should’ve expected it. Another trope, only royalty can use magic.’ She barked a laugh. ‘Classic.’
She got back out of the water and whispered something to Blackie. The dragon winked at her in understanding. She knew she probably could’ve thought what she’d said and she would’ve understood, but that felt too uncomfortable.
About ten minutes later they set out on a walk, off towards the spiralling spinal spine pines. Not for the first time since talking to the zlurp did she wonder what her parents had been up to. Ensnaring her in her own tropes. And now, Earth might even be in danger. The biggest trope of them all.
Three days too late for this story, it’s Wednesday Instead of Sunday, but I’ve got a perfect reason for that! I’ve beenworking hard on getting the podcast up and running. The first episode is nearly done and will be out on Saturday evening (Sydney time). It is available on most podcast apps, including iTunes and Spotify. Just search for Nadec. Let me know if you can’t find it!
With that said, I can also say that I’ve changed my approach towards seeing it as a write-one-chapter-a-week thing. Instead, I’ll be focusing all my writing time now on this story, writing it like it is a novel. Yeh, things just got a but more serious hey 😉 that should mean no more missed deadlines. If you want to know more about the podcast and everything about Nadec, check this page out.