Chapter 16

"Ryuu, what do you suggest we do?" Ryuu glanced at the dragons. They all waited for his answer.

"We are going to get him back. I know the town where they have him."

"Are you sure you are not rushing into this blindly? I know you, Ryuu. Hurting humans is something hou never wanted to do. I want him back to but shouldn't we find out a different way to do that?"

"Like what? There is no other way to find out what is going on."

Tanith gave him a pointed look, "go as a human. She doesn't know what you look like. See if he is alright. See if they know." Ryuu took a deep breath and closed his eyes. He knew she was right but the thirst for revenge called to him.

"Very well." He raised his voice, "I will go to the village and find out what is going on. I will check in with Tanith at least once a day." The dragons around him murmured their thoughts. He ignored them all and turned to Tanith. With silent communication, they decided he would leave now. With a quick goodbye to Tanith, he flew towards the village hidden between the mountains. Near the edge of the village, he landed and turned into a human. A group of people from another village were walking that way as well. He slid into the back and joined them on their walk.

~ ~ ~

I shoved Ladon up the stairs faster when I heard the door open. My mother and Father called down to me.

“Be right there,” I yelled. I lowered my voice and turned to Ladon, “The farthest room is mine. My parents don't go in there. Stay in there until I get back, OK?” He nodded and crept silently to my room.

“What were you doing up there,” Mother asked as I walked down.

“I found a pretty green frog earlier, I wanted to put it up before it scared you.” My mother had a natural fear of any bug or slimy thing. I decided that would be a perfect way to hide Ladon. Mom would never go in there now. Besides, it was true, I had three frogs hopping around my room.

“Now that you are both here, I will tell you what is going on.” My father pulled us closer. Women were not supposed to know what the men did. Father thought that rule was stupid though, and he told us nearly everything. Unless he thought it would scare us. “We could not find the dragon, but guards will watch the village. They will do it secretly because we are having the gypsies come soon.” I smiled and he sent me a stern look. “No one will be allowed into the forest. Got it Amani?”

“Of course, Father. We will still eb able to play though?”

“As long as you don't bother anyone.” I promised and went to wash my hands. We were having soup today, a rare treat. I sat down in my chair. As my mom was scooping up the soup I spoke up.

“Could I eat upstairs today?”

“You are not supposed to eat upstairs. You know that Amani.”

“I know but I am worried about my frogs.” She sighed but agreed anyway. She gave me two bowls since I normally ate that much anyway and I hurried upstairs. I could hear a faint rustle. Opening the door, I almost ran into Ladon. He was chasing one of my frogs around, amusement in his eyes.

When I came in, he lifted his head up. I smiled and sat down on my bed. Handing him the bowl and a spoon I started on my own food. I looked around the room with confusion.

“Where did the other two frogs go?”

“I put them in that box over there.”

“I can't ever do that. Whenever I go to put one in, another escapes.” He shrugged and started to eat the soup. I ate mine as well and faced the window. The sun was finally starting to set. This day had seemed to drag on forever. Hopefully, the gypsies would be here tomorrow. Maybe Ladon could hide in with one of them while they were here. They normally stayed a few weeks. That should be enough time to figure out my next plan. Somehow getting Ladon back to the dragons without him flying, or getting noticed by the guards. And hopefully before the dragons came to find him.

“What was that song you were singing earlier?” I creased my forehead in thought.

“Oh, that one!” It was a lullaby my mom used to sing to me whenever I got nightmares, or when I was depressed about something.”

“You depressed? Is that even possible?”

“Well, let's see. One of my rabbits died when I was little. A squirrel I had been trying to heal after a cat attacked it died. One of my friends tried to break all of my colors I was using. Actually, I was more mad at him. Mom said I threw something.”

Ladon laughed. “I could see that. Remind me not to mess with your colors.” We fell back into silence after that. Even though I was terrified that someone would find Ladon, in this moment I felt peaceful. I was sitting on my bed eating food with one of my friends talking about random things. Sometimes the world is a confusing place.

“That frog is going to die. It keeps eyeballing my food.” I glanced at Ladon. He had pulled his bowl closer to his chest and was glaring at the frog resting on my floor.

“Frogs only eat bugs, I doubt he wants any.”

“Oh he does, I can see it in his frog eyes. They tell all.”

The End

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