Crossbreeds Part 2: Chapter 24 Out to Lunch by RedPhantom ()
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Joanne was just finishing a letter for Nim. Ann and Sapphire were coming the next day and she could give it to them to pass on to him.
It was hard to be apart. They could only talk a short time every few days. They tried to see each other once a month, but his schedule was erratic, and they couldn’t always get the same day off. So, they wrote letters to each other for when they saw each other or when she got together with Ann and Sapphire.
“Joanne?” Ann’s voice said. Joanne looked around. She found Ann’s image on the mirror of a compact she had on her desk. She tried to keep a mirror with her at all times in case Nim needed to get a hold of her at an unscheduled time for an emergency.
“Ann? How did your brother’s wedding go? That was today, right?”
“It was supposed to be. That’s why I’m scrying you. The woman he was supposed to marry turned out to be a fourteen-year-old girl,” she explained what happened and what she observed and what Remtani had told them.
“That’s terrible,” Jo said.
“She’s so confused too. She doesn’t understand why he won’t marry her after he said he would. We thought maybe she could join us for lunch.”
“That might help. Get her away from the palace. That place can be intimidating.” Joanne nodded. “But, I’m sure you’re not bringing her here, are you?”
“We thought the Dragon’s Wine in Thager.”
“I’ve never been to Thager,” Jo said.
“It’s a nice place. I used to live there. We can show the two of you around.”
“Sounds like a plan.” Jo nodded.
“Okay, see you in Paosij tomorrow.”
“See you then.”
“Father, we’re going to Thager today to meet with Joanne. Jaidu is joining us,” Ann told Emeton.
“In Thager?” Emeton raised an eyebrow.
“We didn’t think Jo’s town would be good,” Ann explained.
“Where’s Thager?” Kamlia asked.
“Two cities north,” Ann said.
“How many guards are you taking with?” He asked.
“Guards? None. I can barely carry two people. We’re flying.”
“Flying?” Kamlia’s eyes grew wide.
“It takes two days on horseback to get there.”
“You need guards, and Shay should go to keep an eye on Jaidu.”
“Sapphire and I know how to fight. Plus, I’m a dragon. People don’t mess with dragons. I can breathe fire and cast magic. We go there frequently. It’s a safe city. We’ll be back before dinner.”
“You’d better be,” Emeton said. “Your mother will be back today and she wants to meet Jaidu.”
“Yes, Sir. See you then.”
As she hurried off, she heard Kamlia ask why she wasn’t collared. She didn’t wait for her father’s answer. Drepal had heard it too. She was on the verge of waking.
Ann flew Sapphire and Jaidu to Thager. Jaidu had been a little frightened at first, both of Ann in dragon form and of the idea of flying. But, with encouragement from Sapphire, she climbed on Ann’s back. By the time they reached Thager, she was starting to enjoy the flight.
Ann dropped them off at the house that she owned there and then transported to the gate. She must’ve misjudged because she appeared right in front of the guard, startling him.
Joanne came shortly and she took her to Thager. This time, appearing where she planned. She introduced Jo to Jaidu.
“She talks like Prince Andrew,” Jaidu observed.
“They’re from the same kingdom,” Sapphire explained.
“Jo, Nim wanted to know why you’re here. I explained about our change in lunch plans. I know you said you wanted to see Thager. Would you like Nim to be your tour guide? I can ask if he’s available,” Ann told her as they headed towards the inn.
Jo’s eyes lit up. “If you guys don’t mind.”
Ann’s smile faded a moment later. “He says he won’t be available until tomorrow afternoon. They’re testing the new class of young ones today.”
Joanne’s face fell, but she nodded. “It’s the weekend. Maybe I can stay until then.”
“You’re always welcome,” Sapphire said.
“You know, Nim’s only a minor member of the court and is not even Menthanlan,” Ann said.
“What’s your point?” Joanne asked.
“It’s not his choice who gets to live here.”
“You think I should stay?”
“I think you not staying is silly.”
“What would I do? There are no counseling jobs here.”
“Do whatever you want.” Ann grinned. “We do need a new maid on the fourth floor.”
“Oh, Nim would have a fit,” Sapphire said.
“Why?” Jaidu asked.
“Because Nim lives on the fourth floor. She’d be cleaning his rooms,” Ann explained.
“Who is Nim anyhow?” The girl asked.
“Emissary Nimitinas. He’s her chosen,” Sapphire said.
“It’s like the dragon’s version of being pledged,” Ann explained.
“Nim is a dragon? Are you a dragon too?” She asked Jo.
“No, I’m human, like you. Wait, you are human, right?”
Jaidu smiled. “I am.”
“We don’t have dragons in my land so sometimes I have trouble telling,” Joanne explained.
“It’s okay. I do too sometimes. We don’t have dragons in Yarba either. Yesterday, when Sir Pt’this and Princess Annlonna turned into dragons in the throne room, I thought maybe I was surrounded by them. I didn’t know what to think. All my life I’ve been told dragons are awful creatures, but Shay says they’re nice. My father says Shay is an awful creature too though. I don’t see it. I don’t know what to think.”
“What did you see yesterday?” Jo asked.
“I saw one dragon who acted mean and one dragon who protected me.”
“And what about later?”
“The mean one apologized and gave himself a punishment for his actions. He seemed very nice when I saw him later. He was carrying around an elf baby. Elves are very protective of their children. We trade with the elves so I see them sometimes. I know elves wouldn’t let an awful creature hold their baby.
“Princess Annlonna has been very nice the whole time. She lent me a dress yesterday so I wouldn’t be cold and this outfit today so I could come with you. She was also nice enough to invite me to join you.”
“So, based on that, what do you think of dragons?” Jo asked.
“Princess Annlonna and Sir Pt’this don’t seem like awful creatures. I don’t know about all dragons, though. There are nice humans and not so nice humans. Perhaps, it’s the same with dragons.”
“I’ve never met any, but I’m sure there are some not so nice dragons. Those I have met all seem very nice to me,” Jo said.
“So why does my father think they’re so bad?”
Jo shrugged. “I’ve never met your father, I couldn’t tell you.”
“Jaidu, a long time ago, when dragons and humans first met, both peoples were very different. Humans thought dragons were dangerous, wild beasts and sought to slay them. Dragons thought that humans were violent and immoral and thought nothing of retaliating when humans attacked. It took a long time for those misunderstandings to be corrected. Some people in both races still think that way. Perhaps, your father is one,” Ann explained.
Jaidu nodded. “When, if, Prince Remmy and I get married, will I meet more dragons?”
“You’ll meet more before that,” Ann said.
“Nim will be back in a few days with the High Council’s decision,” Sapphire said. “And Dae and Ti come to the palace frequently.”
“And if you and Remmy are married, the High Council will want to meet you, and some others probably will too,” Ann said.
“And are they all nice?” Jaidu looked a little apprehensive.
“Pretty nice. The Council is a bit intimidating,” Ann said.
“But, one thing to keep in mind,” Sapphire said. “Dragon ways are not the same as human ways. Dragons try to teach their young ones about humans and humans who go to Baj-tisk have to learn about dragons to help avoid any serious problems, but misunderstandings are easy, and they do still happen.”
Joanne snorted. “That’s an understatement. When I first met Nim, I didn’t know he was a dragon. That alone made for some misunderstandings, that and being from different kingdoms, with different customs. You and Remmy are at least are both human.”
“Only if he agrees to marry me,” Jaidu said.
“Why do you want to marry Remmy so badly?” Joanne asked.
“Because I’m supposed to,” Jaidu said.
“But what if he was mean? He has had problems in the past.”
“He told me, but I don’t know that I understand,” Jaidu admitted.
“That’s because of your different customs. Imagine what he told you was something terrible that you did understand. How would you feel then?” Jo suggested
“But he wouldn’t do those things.” Jaidu insisted.
“He wouldn’t?” Ann asked. She listed several things he’d done. “Is that what you want to get into?”
Even Joanne was surprised by the list of things Remtani had done. Nim had told her about some of it, but nowhere near all.
“But that’s just because of that spell,” Jaidu protested. “He’s got that bracelet now.”
“Yes, a spell that can’t be removed. Some of that was since I made him that charm,” Ann told her.
“You’re just trying to keep me from marrying him,” Jaidu accused.
“So you think it’s a bad idea to marry someone like that?” Joanne asked.
Jaidu hesitated. “Why would my father give me to someone like that?”
“He probably didn’t know. It’s not something we advertise. He only hurts me and my friends,” Ann assured her.
“But, maybe now you’ll see why getting married so fast is a bad idea?” Joanne asked.
“So you don’t think I should marry him?”
“We didn’t say that. You need to decide for yourself. You just need to get to know him first. See if he is a man you can live with,” Joanne said. Jaidu nodded.
“To be fair,” Ann added. “Those times he did stuff after I made him the charm, he wasn’t wearing it. And, we are still trying to find a way to remove the spell.”
“Do you think I should talk with Shay?” Jaidu asked.
“It never hurts to get advice from someone you trust,” Joanne agreed.
“What does she think about you getting married?” Ann asked.
“She hasn’t said anything, which usually means she’s not happy with it.”
“Sapphire, you’re awfully quiet. Is this making you uncomfortable?” Ann asked.
“Nope, I’m okay. I was just thinking of something,” Sapphire said. “But, if we’re going to show these two around, we need to get going. Pt’this said we need to be back before dinner.”
“That’s not a big deal. I can’t carry the three of you so I’ll have to transport us back.”
“Transport?” Jaidu looked scared.
“It’s okay,” Joanne said. “It doesn’t hurt.”
“She hardly ever ends up in the wrong spot either,” Sapphire said.
“I did on the way to Paosij today,” Ann admitted. “It was only a short ways. I scared the guard at the gate though.”
“Should you be transporting us back then?” Sapphire asked.
“I was okay on the way back. If you want, I can ask Pt’this to come get us,” she offered.
“He can’t today,” Sapphire shook her head. “He and Ti are doing repairs on the roof of the children’s home.”
“So, Dae needs to be there too in case of a problem. Nim is busy with the young ones.” Ann thought a moment.
“What about your grandfather?” Sapphire suggested.
Ann shook her head. “He’s helping Nim.”
Sapphire was surprised. “Really? They trust him?”
“Not willingly. The college sent him. Bria and Ghin are helping too. I can do this. But, later. Now, we show them the town.”