Previously: The prophecy has been set in motion. Nadec leaves Melia at a dressmaker, while she goes to Blackie to prepare for the coming
Read all the previous chapters here.
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The stock house’s small windows didn’t let all of the daylight through. The interior’s dim gloom revealed enough to show it was still empty, as expected of course. At least Nadec hadn’t Skipped into the pool this time, and Blackie didn’t look as if she was about to throw up.
‘So far so good,’ Nadec said out loud, relieved at the successful first part of the plan. She’d Skipped Blackie along without touching her. The next part will be more difficult, she thought. But they’d practiced it enough. A small sense of exhaustion settled in her entire body. She hoped the morning of practice hadn’t drained her too much for what’s to come.
‘Alright, let’s do this. Get ready to begin flying. And then descend as slowly as you can.’
Blackie appeared to smirk at her while saying in Nadec’s mind: ‘know I. Not worry. Be tense less.’
‘I’m not… well, maybe I’m a little bit nervous. But it has to go well so much is at stake. If we bodge this up, the rest of the prophecy won’t matter because people won’t believe in it anymore. If they even do now. Probably too early for that. That’s why this has to work.’
‘Will it.’ Blackie’s voice managed to be soothing in Nadec’s head.
Without another word, Nadec opened one of the double doors and stepped outside of the building. The street was empty. Good. She looked up, fixating on a point high in the sky. Her gaze returned to Blackie inside of the building. The dragon opened her wings as far as she could in the confines of the building, Nadec began the Skipping process; opening and closing her legs with her hands almost, but not quite, following. With her jaw tight, a line between her downwards brows, and lips pressed together, she kept the point in the sky firmly in mind as she didn’t break eye contact with Blackie. The build-up of Power inside of Nadec reached its peak. Blackie vanished.
Nadec looked up again, but couldn’t see anything. Blackie’s voice in her head reassured her that she hadn’t send Blackie too high—or somewhere else completely.
The street was still empty. Nadec went back into the building, closing the door behind her. She staggered as she bent through her knees again. She Skipped.
Nadec’s head banged the wooden door in front of her as she appeared. Through the heart-shaped opening, she could see the back of a woman facing several men and women.
‘Calm down, come now, my friend is in there. She shall be done soon.’
‘There isn’t anyone, I saw you shut it empty. And no feet were visible. What is your game, lady?’ The gruff male voice sounded as if this wasn’t the first time he’s said that and was about to lose his patience.
‘Then I think you might be going blind,’ Nadec said as she exited the privy. The chamber was nothing more than a plank with a round cutout above a hole in the ground. Gross as it was, Nadec still liked it much better than having merely a pit in the middle of a courtyard.
‘Hold on a minute,’ a man with grey hair overcombed to the other side of his head and tight pants tucked into overturned boots. He was obviously not from here. No hat. Pants too long. Boots different to local fashion.
‘No, I will not hold on. As if it’s not bad enough to get pestered by men while I’m doing all I can do hurry up. Do you have ANY idea what it takes for a woman, wearing a dress,’ she gestured towards her circle skirt, ‘like this, to do her business in a confined space like that? Do you have a clue of how many layers these clothes have, and how much effort it takes to avoid soiling them? Do you?’ She felt herself getting genuinely upset and decided to go with it. ‘You men have it easy, you don’t even have to take off your trousers. You only have to take your little sausage through the slit, aim, and go. And then you still often manage to misaim as well.’ She let her voice grow louder. ‘It is not right that women are expected to relieve themselves in the same tiny space that men do. We deserve more. We need more.’ She had gathered a crowd in the courtyard, people hearing the commotion in the inn and getting curious. Several women cheered.
‘Women need larger facilities. If I was a ruler, I would make this a requirement. Separate privies for women. With hooks and accessories to help us keep the garments out of the way. Women privies, women privies, …’ All the women in the courtyard chanted those two words along with her.
‘Come on, they’re distracted. We have the arrival of a myth to look for.’ She glanced towards Ayba, who looked out at the crowd with wide-open eyes.
Nadec made her way towards the inn’s open back door. Ayba followed. Right before entering, Nadec yelled out: ‘Don’t forget to look up, for a myth shall appear there soon. So the Prophecy of The Real Heir goes.’
She hurried through the inn, onto the Square, hoping that there had been enough people and confusion to avoid being followed by strangers with bad intentions. Ayba caught up and stepped in line next to her.
‘That was…’ Ayba began, but Nadec cut in.
‘Foolish, rash, idiotic? I should stay hidden and don’t draw attention to me, not go and start a female revolution for large shit houses.’
‘Extraordinary. When we talked, in the very inn I just saw you inspire many people, you said you were not a leader. You admitted you were scared for being a Queen, because you thought you are not. I can tell you now, you are. That was incredible.’
Feeling uncomfortable with the compliment, Nadec made a non-committal sound and looked up. Blackie should be visible soon. If Nadec hadn’t send her somewhere else completely.
‘All good?’ She sent mentally.
‘Coming down,’ Blackie replied cheerfully.
‘There!’ Ayba pointed up.
Other people saw it and their gazes swept upwards as well.
‘What is it?’ People whispered to each other, questioning their companions about what the myth might be. They were baffled by what the coloured void might possibly mean. A smile blossomed on Nadec’s face as she saw Blackie descending closer, her shape gradually growing from a speck, to a bird, to a bat, and finally, to the unmistakable dragon. Gasps filled the Square Market.
As Blackie came closer, the iridescent colours of her scales became more obvious. The dragon dazzled in the sunlight. Nadec felt a weird moment of pride.
‘It’s coming closer, run!’ Someone yelled. Nobody moved. Everyone was transfixed on the unbelievable appearance of a myth. Blackie circled above the Square for a while, making sure to keep some distance to avoid people getting scared. She then settled on the highest tower of the castle.
‘Such magnificence,’ Ayba shouted. ‘We are unworthy.’ And with elaborate gestures, she went down in an exaggerated bow, holding the posture in the lowest position.
‘Yes, this is true, perhaps the prophecies are real,’ Nadec yelled, also bowing.
People around them looked flabbergasted for a second, before also bowing. It didn’t take long before the whole Square was filled with bowed-down people.
‘Succes, all bow.’ Blackie sounded smug in Nadec’s head.
‘Now roar,’ Nadec sent to her.
An overwhelming roar sounded, startling everyone in upright positions. Blackie looked down upon them from the tower. She did an expert job at appearing to judge each and everyone of them.
A disturbance at the castle gates disturbed the awestruck people. Guards rushed out, urging everyone to get on with their business. The normal Square buzz picked up again, although many quick glances were shot towards Blackie. Entertainers started entertaining again, food vendors yelled out their specialties once more. The coronation festivities continued, now with an extra layer of expectation.
‘That was perfect,’ Ayba said.
Nadec grunted in agreement.
‘Oh, I see. That’s the queenly version of saying, yes, the plan went well, that was a great idea, the prophecies were a brilliant idea.’ She quirked an eyebrow. Nadec hardly saw.
What she did see were arrows striking up towards Blackie.