The Emperor and the Demon

Time to make a stand

The following morning the princess is the last to rise, once she has eaten her breakfast she is keen to get going.

They all follow the path up the mountains where the General takes a moment to study the map.

   “The entrance should be around here,” he mutters, turning the map one way then the other.

Yūichi takes a look, he points to the two small peaks and says, “If you line it up with the ones in front of you, you’ll see the entrance.”

This just makes the man look at him all confused and replies, “I’m sorry, I don’t see where you mean.”

The Dragon laughs, he then moves behind him, places his hands on either side of the man’s head and turns it to look directly in front of him and slightly up.

   “Now do you see it?”

General Tanaka looks back at the map then at the landscape in front of him and releases a moment of realisation, “Oh,” when he sees the drawing does indeed match to the two peaks in front of him. He releases an embarrassed laugh and his cheeks turn ever so slightly pink.

Yūichi gives him a pat on the back and says, “Don’t worry about it, us Dragons have sharper eyes.”

   “You’re right, you’re right,” replies Saburo, emitting another  shameful laugh.

They all continue up the steep path to the cave entrance, the mortals all take a moment to light their lamps before they continue inside.

Huī yè notices the Dreamers are tilting their heads from side to side like they are sensing something and he asks, “Tā shì shénme?”

Lèguān holds out his left hand and replies, “Bù quèdìng.”

Yè yuàn tilts his head slightly to the right and says, “Zhège dìfāng yǒudiǎn qíguài.”

The Black Dragon raises his scaled eyebrows and asks, “Qíguài? Nǐ zhè shì shénme yìsi ne?” 

The ancient god giggles and says, “Hin ta sela ka un na ka sin. Mela untin seka la.”

   “Oh, cama te.”

Yuki is beginning to wonder what they are talking about, she comes to a stop making everyone behind her stop and ask, from What’s the matter? to What’s wrong?

The princess makes her way through and asks, “Please tell me is there something wrong?”

Yè yuàn smiles and replies, “That’s the thing we are sensing something. What it is, we do not know. My mother told Huī yè we are treading as blindly as he is. Patiences dear friend.”

The young lady is some what confused by this answer, she looks up at the Black Dragon and asks, “Oh it is something you’re not sensing?”

   “No, I’m afraid not my dear. Nonetheless, the Dreamers have always had better senses than us Dragons.”

   “It’s true, they can always pick on things we can’t,” says Yoru-kōri, crouching down beside her.

Then Yuki’s face lights up with curiosity and she says with a voice to match, “I wonder if it’s the fish you’re sensing?”

When Lèguān hears what the young lady has said, he points his left hand towards her and asks, “Yú? Nǐ zài zhèlǐ kànguò yītiáo yú? Zài zhè yīn'àn cháoshī de shāndòng.”

   “Mother is asking, fish? You have seen a fish here? In this dark and damp place?”

   “Yes, it was in a pool. It was as white as snow, was it not, Saburo?”

The General steps forward and replies, “Yes, it was stunning. It had long whiskers, it looked half carp and half cat fish.”

The Dreamers are both surprised and Yè yuàn asks, “Tā zhēn de kěyǐ chéngwéi yīzhǒng jīngshén ma?”

Lèguān pats him on the arm and says, “Wǒmen zhǐyǒu zhǎodào yīgè bànfǎ. Néng bùnéng qǐng nín dài wǒmen qù yóuyǒngchí, wǒ qīn'ài de.”

Huī yè translates, “Can it really be a Spirit? There is only one way to find out, can you please take us to the pool, my dear.”

Yuki gives a nervous giggle and replies, “That’s if I can remember where it was. They might remember better than me.”

Genreal Tanaka and his sons all laugh.

   “You’re hoping for a lot my dear,” replies Gin with a giggle.

   “We will do our best,” replies Saburo, with a nod.

They all carry on up the tunnel where it starts to come back to the mortals where they took a rest and to the right is the path which leads to the pool.

   “It’s in there,” says the princess, pointing her hand at the dark water.

They all wait and sure enough the fish come to the surface.

The ancient Dreamer gives it a stroke and starts to answer its questions, “Yes, we are just passing through... What’s that? Oh? Yes, we hope to send him back... I see that is why you’re down here. I promise you I will and tell you when it is safe.”

   “Wait, won’t you be able to feel the life returning to the forest?”

The Spirit fish swims around and replies, “Maybe... Yes, I think so. Oh I have waited so long for the day that terrible thing would be gone. I know you Dreamers will do a great job.”

   “That is very kind of you to say. We hope to get rid of it with as little trouble as possible. Now, little one, is there anything we can do for you. Are you hungry?”

   “Yes I am very hungry the food here is almost gone.”

The Dreamers both open their bags, they each rummage around to pull out a small bag which is filled with all kinds of plants to vegetables and they start to show the Spirit what they have until it goes, “Ooh!”

   “Jasmine?”

   “Yes, please. When I was living in the pond in the palace the petals would drop into the water, they were so nice. I have missed it so much.”

They both pick off all the flowers and feed them to the fish.

Yuki places her hands together and asks, “Please could I feed it one?”

Yè yuàn nods and hands one to her.

The princess watches Hopefulness, place his hand into the water so the Spirit can take it straight from his palm, so she does the same and finds the long whiskers tickle her skin.

   “You are so beautiful,” she says, giving it a gentle stroke.

When the Spirit begins to speak she has no idea what it is saying, until the Ancient Dreamer begins to translate, “She hopes to return to the palace pool once the Demon is gone.”



Babs

#1665 in Fantasy
#340 in Dark fantasy
#626 in Mystery
#320 in Supernaturals

Story about: fantasy, shortstory

Edited: 29.01.2019

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