So, I discovered my red knight employers are my family, family I didn’t even know existed, and you know what they did? Even with Earth at stake and all, they didn’t want me to hide in their home until the Crown dropped on my silly little head. They didn’t want to risk their precious little safe haven. I suppose now, years later, I can sort of understand it, but at that time I was furious for being kicked out after years of being lied to. My anger was building to an absolute point of no return, when Blackie reached out to me in my mind and *massive clatter of breaking stone wall*
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This is Nadec, my adventure. Written down in a better way than I can tell it.
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Episode 27: emotional connection
‘So, correct me if I’m wrong, but I suppose I’m the most rightful heir at this moment? So all I have to do is stay hidden until my birthday, make sure I stay here with you in The Other Realm, and in twelve days the Crown will be mine. It would just appear on my head?’
The concept sounded strange to Nadec, and the solution to the threat of the end of the Earth too easy. A sinking feeling settled inside of her, and she almost faltered mentioning the Crown being hers. She definitely hadn’t had enough time to come to terms with all of this. Only yesterday she confirmed to herself she was a princess, and in 12 days she would be something like a queen? And inherit a bunch of all powerful magic.
Despite her internal turmoil—and the other smouldering emotion in the background—she didn’t miss the look between her aunt and uncle.
Kridec nodded towards her husband. Stetem still shot awkward glances at Patat, his eyes blinking, swallowing roughly whenever he did. Patat was aware of it but ignored it. For once he didn’t utter any rude words, but pretended to be absorbed in petting Kitty. Nadec had seen his shock at hearing of her uncle’s death, so she knew he followed the conversation closely.
‘We’re very happy to see you alive, Nadec, and you are welcome to take a bath and stay the night.’
He paused, looking over at Patat again before glancing towards Kridec. His wide eyes eventually rested on the table. ‘But it wouldn’t be a good idea to stay here longer. This is not a good shelter. They—we don’t know how—obviously have figured out something about you and the Red Knight rouse. They might know of us, and, you see, this is our house. You understand? We’ve been living here in relative peace for a long time. We’ve always promised your parents to take care of you and followed their instructions meticulously. But we can’t put more at stake. We’ll give you the box they left us for you, and much of what you need to know is in there.’
‘Surely you understand, Nady?’
Oh, that nickname. It slapped her right in the face. Her mom used to call her that. How dared her aunt use it? How dared they do this to her? They’d just abandon her? After all this, after lying to her for three years, they wouldn’t even let her stay in their home? No support at all. This is supposed to be family.
‘Coming, Nadec. You helping will I.’
Blackie’s voice boomed in her head. Before she knew what it meant, a thunderous sound came from above and outside. The grumble and clatter of bricks on the ground overwhelmed every other sound. People screamed. A whoosh of wind preceded the head of Blackie barging through the open window, splintering the frame and breaking the glass. A few bricks came loose, tumbling along a side table to the floor in slow motion. Dust pelted the air. Pots clanked in the kitchen next door.
Stetem fell back and smashed to the ground, chair included. Kridec ducked down, taking shelter beneath the table before Blackie’s head came through the window. Kitty dug in his claws, making Patat yelp. Nadec blinked. She waved her hand in front of her, dispelling the dust.
She quirked an eyebrow at Blackie, who looked sheepish now that she saw Nadec wasn’t in any trouble. Nadec didn’t know how she always managed to convey a world of emotion in her reptilian face. Blackie plonked her head down on the table. It creaked in distress, but held on. Stetem knelt behind his toppled chair, peeking out from behind.
‘What happened, Blackie?’
Nadec asked it out loud, making it clear to the others that she could talk to the dragon, and —despite destroying part of their house—she was friendly.
‘Heat felt I. From you. Pulsed did it. Never felt before, you in trouble. I thought.’ The sending hesitated. ‘Not real heat, it was?’ She slightly cocked her head—still on the table. Kitty detached herself from Patat’s lap, gave Blackie’s snout a couple of head buts, climbed on top and formed into a fluffy cat ball between the horns. It won Nadec some time to think.
Anger. Blackie had been feeling Nadec’s rising rage. Another new development in the dragon communication. She wondered if Blackie would be able to feel emotions from everyone if she wanted to, or if they had a special bond. Would that—
‘Burning grounds! What did she do that grounding for?’
Patat jumped in the air to fly and vibrated his whole body, ridding himself of the dust. Stetem still hid behind his toppled chair—much good that would do against a dragon—and Kridec slowly crawled from under the table. She appeared to have regained a modicum of control, although Nadec could see it was merely a facade.
‘You,’ she swallowed, purposely keeping her eyes on Nadec, ‘you can communicate with the dragon?’ Nadec nodded. ‘Unbelievable,’ the other woman whispered. ‘The Ichau blood must be very strong in you.’
Stetem’s voice came from behind the chair. ‘What does that mean? Surely this is nothing but a dream? None of this can be real. Truly. First a gorwak, then a dragon? Can you stop pretending to talk to that gorwak now, those harsh sounds can’t possibly mean anything.’ He sounded overwhelmed and on the brink of hysteria.
‘Not a dream,’ Nadec mumbled, at the same time Patat said: ‘Burning right they can understand me when I speak gorish.’ He rolled his liquid, black eyes. When he spoke next, Nadec could hear something had changed, but couldn’t say what exactly.
‘I forgot most humans don’t burning speak our dripping language. That’s what bloody happens when you get isolated for so grounding long. I should’ve burning realised that’s what’s burning different about you.’ He glanced at Nadec. ‘Perhaps that’s how I guessed you were from the same dripping blood as Jodec.’
Jodec. Her late uncle, she assumed.
‘So, languages are easy for us?’ She addressed Kridec again, who’d carefully righted her chair and sat down, a good distance from the table.
‘Yes. Yes, Ichaus naturally have the ability to understand and speak all, or many, of the languages. But that’s not important right now. Why is there a live dragon’s head on my table?’
With that, her calm mask broke a little. Her voice sounded almost more hysterical than Stetem’s. She uttered a nervous giggle. ‘Seeing Patat was a surprise, a big surprise, but I could still accept that. I knew he was real before. But this. Dragons aren’t supposed to be real! Certainly, it’s always been said that one of our family’s Lines was talking to dragons, just like you have the Skipping Line, and I have the Need Line.’ She was talking really fast now, as if that could make up for the situation she was in.
‘Everyone of us has one, two or three Lines, like a little trinket of the Squares, Triangles and Lines, all but the one who gets the Wooden Water Crown, they get it all. So I suppose you have the Skipping and the Dragon Line but that is not what it’s called. I don’t remember the actual name of the Line because they were supposed to be a myth. Not able to break my house!’ Her tone of voice gradually rose at the last sentences, with the last word sounding more like a shriek.
‘Dragons and gorwaks.’ Stetem stood up. He was no longer hysterical. Awe had replaced it. ‘It’s real, all real. Can I touch him?’ He reached out a shaking hand, but pulled it back when Blackie’s eyes focused on him.
‘She’s a her, not him. She says she’s never had this request before, and she’s amused, but she accepts. Don’t overdo it though.’
She couldn’t keep some venom out of her voice. These people were going to kick her out. Family she’d never known, the only family she still had, were abandoning her, just like that. Blackie sniffed, stirring up a cloud of dust, causing Stetem to cough.
‘Again feel it, heat. Why?’
‘I’m angry,’ Nadec said in her mind. She continued out loud.
‘They’re the ones who put me through everything I’ve been through these past years. They should’ve told me the truth. The people I saved, was that all a set-up? So much violence. Why make me—‘ She gasped as realisation for the core of her anger dawned on her. A guilt she’d been carrying, slumping her shoulders, like a weight pressing down. She whispered.
‘Why make me kill all those people and creatures for a false reason?’
You have been listening to Nadec, chapter 27: emotional connection
Narrated, adventured and lived through by myself, Nadec. Written in a better way than I can tell it, by Astrid Jef.
Don’t go just yet, we’ve got bloopers coming up. [music on background] Find us on Twitter @astridjef and @nadecandkitty.
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