I Have a Question... by adorety ()
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It has been almost a year since Kalashim crossed the Al Zalad. He was heading from the Dolmenian Protectorate to the Exador Pass in the Barrier Mountains, so stopping off at Shand Ji's was a must whether he liked it or not. He was not traveling with much, but he was pretty sure he had a bauble to offer Shand Ji that the dragon would surely accept as a fair trade.
After the previous crossing, he dropped off his “special” cargo at Central City then went to Far Port to trade and sell. Eventually he heard of Gotodonia opening it's docks and borders and decided to pack things up and head back east. The shortest route would take him back through Shand Ji's oasis.
As Kalashim got close Shand Ji greeted him. “Hail my good man Kalashim. It's been awhile since we last met. You are well?”
Kalashim approached the normal distance and bowed to the brassy colored dragon. Shand Ji's scales sparkled in the bright desert sunlight and his green eyes shone like emeralds. “Greetings, brightest of all dragons, it is good to see you as well. I am afraid I come with a light load, but I do believe I have something that will be to your liking for trade for a nights rest and supplies. I think it will cover your water tax too.” And Kalashim ended with head bowed.
“Thank you Kalashim, but that wont be necessary.” Shand Ji replied.
Kalashim with a look that crossed between wonder, surprise, suspicion and fear, slowly raised his head to look directly at the dragon. Something most just never do. “Ahhh. I don't understand.” Kalashim stood still with arms behind his back and hands clasped.
“Actually what I'm or rather we are looking for is just some information.” As he said we, Shand Ji gestured between himself and the stranger.
Kalashim relaxed a bit. “Well, if I know anything I will definitely offer as much as I can.” He then turned to the stranger and gave a wave of his hand and a head bow saying, “Good day sir, I am Kalashim and I'm pleased to make the acquaintance with....”
Kalashim was left hanging. The man stared expressionlessly then turned to Shand Ji with something of a slightly annoyed look, then turned back to Kalashim. He then raised his hand and made some symbol or gesture with his left hand. Kalashim was clueless to what it meant.
Shand Ji interjected. “Never mind the greetings. It is actually a simple question we need an answer to and you are the best person I can think of with the answer.”
“Hmph. Very well, ask away.” Replied Kalashim. As they spoke the caravan trekked past them along the red stone road right towards the town gates.
“Ah! Very good. So, tell me, what was that special cargo you were carrying the last time you came through heading to Neuwaullen?”
Kalashim was not expecting this and dread crawled all over him. He made an oath to the one who requested the transport and if he broke that oath he would be a dead man walking. And the person would know because an oath spell had been cast. If he broke it the caster would know. Outwardly Kalashim kept his cool and tried to deflect. “Hmm. I don't remember anything special that I had the last time through.”
“Hmm.” Shand Ji imitated. “I'm sure I saw an isolated cargo barox that was surrounded by an abnormal amount of guards”
Kalashim shrugged. “I'm not sure what you mean. I mean I usually have something of high value, you know me Shand Ji. You see all I bring through.” Kalashim was all smiles and matter of fact.
“Actually Kalashim, you well know that I grant you more leeway and less intrusion than any other Drogher. I would say you were taking advantage of my trust and hospitality to smuggle something dangerous through my homeland.” Shand Ji leaned forward and was gesturing with his own hands.
Shand Ji looked very dangerous and Kalashim began to see the bigger picture. His caravan was entering the town and he watched as the last barox and wagoners passed through the great gate. Then he watched as the gate shut. “Shand Ji? What are you doing?”
Shand Ji just glared. “Answers can unlock many things, even secure gates.”
A preview of the next book in the continuing saga of Urath.
It's been a while. Still working on a music project that is still on schedule. Hope to wrap it up in the late spring for release. In the meantime I'm going through all my writings and starting to collect chapters together for Book 5 of the Urath saga. Additionally, today I finally had a session with a fabulous person that is helping me to edit and assemble a real book for publishing. It is an historical fantasy tale that takes place in ancient China and as this woman is Chinese American and well versed in Chinese myth she is a fountain of knowledge, great ideas and also seems to be a good editor at pointing out grammar and continuity and clarity in a story. As usual, many things going on at once and in between more prehistoric images too. I'll also be trying to catch up with many of you one at a time. I'm starting in December and trying to go through as many friends artwork as possible, so don't be surprise if a bunch of bots show up in your activity list, it just might be me catching up on your work. I hope all of you are well and thanks for stopping by.
Image Comments (5)
Digital_Dames () 8:49PM | Mon, 17 February 2020
wonderful image and great to hear from you again bro! oh... this is crunch01 a.k.a. Jim... new profile under my art gallery name.
iborg64 () Online Now! 5:40AM | Tue, 18 February 2020
Fabulous creation splendid scene and interesting read too
RodS () Online Now! 2:13PM | Tue, 18 February 2020
Ah, dragons.... They always have an agenda, don't they? At least this one has a calmer and less in-your-face demeanor than, say, Smaug.. Although Kalashim seems to be caught between a rock and a (very) hard place.... Don't envy him at all!
Excellent work as always, Art! Good to be back in Exador once more. I can relate to having more than enough irons in the fire, bro. And here I thought retirement would be calm with lots of time to spare. Silly me! 😂