Ninombir couldn’t read the king. At times he seemed gentle and at other times very commanding and even harsh to his subjects. Nin liked his style. The king had offered the mechanic a job anywhere in the land. Ninombir had chosen Noir City. To the man’s surprise, his request was granted.
He tried to meet Yewna many times on their journey to Noir City but Talbi always happened to be there, conveniently in the way. This was another man he couldn’t read. One night after one of the dinners Nin waited by the balcony where he usually saw her appear at this time. Maybe he could get an audience with her wouldn’t that be nice? Instead Talbi came out. Nin felt a chill in his bones as the formidable guard walked over to him. Even with a grin Nin felt that this was not going to go very well.
Talbi leaned over the railing. “Nice night now isn’t it, mechanic?”
Nin let out a sigh, “Why can’t I talk to her?”
Talbi nodded his head once and got into it, “Do you really think the 58th king would allow you to court a princess, his princess?”
Nin shrugged, “Stranger things have happened.”
The guard gripped him on the shoulder, “Take my advice. Forget about the girl. She’s already forgotten about you.” Talbi walked away whistling in the night.
Ninombir could read Talbi either. A few days ago he seemed eager to encourage him, now he was calling it impossible. He glanced at the moon. It would be a crescent in a few days.
A bright blue and green ribbon fluttered on the railing where Talbi had leaned against. Ninombir reached out and untied it. It was Yewna’s, something she had worn in her hair the other day. He put it in his pocket very confused, and yet he couldn’t help but grin.
Yewna dropped the teira on the counter and plopped on her bed of pillows. Her father had insisted she go into her room for the night after dinner. He also insisted on an escort all the way to her college in Noir City. Didn’t she deserve it though? I mean, running away in a dirigible because of some lofty idea of Xis? If it hadn’t been for Ninombir… Nin. She thought of their long conversation longing for another. He was also going to Noir City. But the city was large and her father had no doubt placed him on the other side of it, far from the college.
She opened her window and gazed at the stars outside. The moon would be a perfect crescent in a few days. If only there was a way to reach out to him, to tell Nin about the strange connection they had.
Some small, bright thing suddenly leapt into her window. She let out a “meep!” And drew back. The thing was metallic, only painted to be white. It stood on the window sill, motionless. Then it cocked its head. That was when she noticed the shape and form of it. It was a little dragon. A compulsion of some sort caused her to pick it up and place it on her shoulder.
Flashes of images shot through her mind: a little white dragon (real) resting on her shoulder; a large white dragon lunging towards a dark one amidst the shimmer of stars; and another white dragon (maybe the same) appearing before her dirigible and shooting a small fireball, not to destroy her, just to nick it just right so that she would fall onto Snowcrest Mountain.
If not for that dragon, she would have fully escaped and been halfway across the Endless Jungle, far on her way to Nix. If not for the dragon, she never would have even met, or been saved by Nin.
The dragon’s little mouth opened up. A little scroll was in it. She unraveled it and read three words.
She squealed at the surprise of it. A knock on her door had her shove the metallic oddity under her pillow.
Talbi opened the door, “Everything all right Princess Yewna?”
“Everything’s fine thank you.”
Her personal bodyguard went to the window and closed it, “You should really keep this window closed my lady. There’s no telling what strange things will fly in here.”
“Oh, Talbi, before you go, do you have any idea where my blue and green ribbon went to?”
Talbi bowed low, “We are still searching high and low for it, miss. Have a good night’s sleep now.”
Yewna did not have a good night’s sleep. She spent most of it puzzling over the metallic white dragon. Nin and her had a connection. He gave her a mechanical white dragon. Her ribbon was missing. What did that have to do with anything?