• We reached the capital city's gates by midmorning, after a night's travel. I awoke to hear Nyx talking to a couple of soldiers who seemed dubious about the kind of people we were. They were told the truth, naturally - that we were dragons, only in human form, and we've come to settle in the city.

    "Dragons? Settle here? This is the first time I've heard of that, right, Mender?" the taller one said to his partner. He squinted at Nyx. "For all I know, you could be travelling entertainers, they have a penchant for making up stories like yours. You don't look like a dragon."

    He craned his neck to our wagon, and signalled his partner to look at it. I slowly backed away and settled next to Rue, who was still sleeping, and sat with my knees pulled up so that my chin rested on them. He seemed indifferent about the clutter here, but then he saw me.

    "Riah!" he waved at the other guard. "Come here!"

    They stood there frowning at me. The one called Mender barked at me,"You! Boy! Come down here. Now!"

    I did as I was told and stood staring at them in the eye. They were taller than me, but I wasn't worrying about that. Riah had me turn around and they whispered to each other. Mender finally pulled out of their conversation and gave Nyx a pointed look. "You boy here. He's a White Drake?"

    "He is," Nyx told him serenely.

    "We cannot allow him into the city."

    It was my turn to frown. It was Lapis who spoke then. "Pardon me, I know the White Drakes you know are Tainted. Our young man here isn't. He's Pure, and he has never been touched by any of the other White Drakes. Our Azuriel won't do any harm."

    I nodded at them. "I know I look like this. My face, my hair, my eyes... I don't wish anyone trouble. Please let me stay with my family. They're all I have."

    They looked hestiant and helpless. Finally, Riah gave in, and turned back to Nyx.

    We passed through the gates, Nyx holding a piece of paper that allowed the city guards to drop by our place (wherever we might chose to settle) from time to time. Ein scoffed, "You'd think we'd jump on them anytime. Tch."

    "Well, they still think we're a bunch of entertainers..." Alex mused lazily from the back.

    "Nyx," Lapis called. "Where is our lot?"

    "Here." The carriage stopped just right next to a noisy tavern. A barren patch of land stood there, some good deal of garbage scattered all over it. Emeraude clucked her tongue and whistled softly, making those blow to one corner.

    We started to unload everything from the carriage, tied our mounts safely, and set to work.

    We dragons never tire so quickly as humans do, plus, we have our own abilities to turn to for easier work. We all had superhuman strength, even Emeraude, although she took care of paperwork and food mostly.

    The small building was finished by dusk. All that was left are furnishings, but we'd have to leave that for tomorrow. Damion brought in the mats for us to sleep on. I turned to Emeraude. "Hey, Em.. you're going shopping at the markets tomorrow?"

    "Of course," she smiled back at me. "Would you like to come with me?"

    I grinned and nodded my head. "I can't wait!"

    Rue flomped beside me. "I'll come along. With just the two of you, you'll cause a riot. Em's as pretty as sin. You're like a walking bomb to everyone you meet, Azuriel. I'm coming."

    Exasperated, I punched him on the shoulder. "Fine. Whatever."