Carpathia III: Episode 124: Dragon Wash
The Outlands, Yseri
By the next day, Ryuu's body was sorted to the enthusiastic satisfaction of both himself and Zet. Jacob scoured the village for unwanted attire in both Ryuu's and Blue's humanoid sizes so that they may dress themselves properly. Blue, however, did not wake up until the next morning. Ryuu explained that he was quite old and his journey had been long. Upon waking, Blue changed back into his dragon form, since it was more comfortable for him.
Though the arrival of Jaze and his friends to the village, bringing with them the two little androids and a host of new cosmic powers, caused quite a stir, all of this was overshadowed by Blue's arrival. Villagers flocked to see the newest inhabitant and found a beast that was frightening at first, but quickly became a subject of bemusement once they discovered that Blue was severely lacking in basic social ettiquete. In the end, it wasn't the pointy claws and sharp teeth that drove people away, but the years of smelly grime and liberal farting that did the deed.
Everyone's comfort necessitated an intensive bath for Blue. Kaoru and Quilyon's rapidly approaching wedding ensured that this needed to occur quickly. Jacob gathered his push brooms and soap and enlisted the assistance of other villagers, who brought brooms and soap of their own, and took Blue to the river. On the way down, Ryuu explained what was about to happen.
At the riverbank, everyone got to work. The soap was lathered and the brooms were dipped in the water and then the scrubbing commenced. Nearly 1500 years of dirt and grime needed to be washed away, and this was no easy task. Cleaning Blue required lots of hard scrubbing and, in some cases, chiseling at the petrified muck around his scales. Blue, at least, was a very compliant recipient of the cleansing, cooing contentedly throughout the process.
As laborious as the work was, there was some comfort to it for the scrubbers. Blue's body was quite cool to the touch. Even the air around him was far more comfortable and provided respite from the usual heat, so much so that hardly anyone broke a sweat while cleaning him.
The work, however, became more dangerous once it was time to clean Blue's belly.
It seemed like the job would remain the same, but that quickly changed when they started scrubbing. As soon as they did, Blue wriggled happily on the ground and shook his massive hind leg.
Ryuu: Blue, you have to stop that! You could knock someone out!
Blue's leg stuttered to a halt while the othrs waited, warily.
Blue: Sorry. It feels so good.
Ryuu put his hands on his hips and glared at Blue sternly.
Ryuu: Well, try to control yourself.
Blue wriggled on the ground a little more.
Blue: I shall try.
Warily, the others approached, soapy brooms in hand, and began to scrub again, only to be sent scurrying away at the slightest twitch of Blue's leg. It took several tries before Blue finally managed to control his leg completely. After that, the bath proceeded again as it had before.
Finally, everything that could be done was done.
Jaze: Okay, just jump in the river and rinse yourself off.
Blue rolled over onto his belly and slowly stood. Before entering the river, Blue shook like a wet dog, flinging soapy suds in every direction. While the others brushed the suds from their faces, Blue spread his gnarled wings wide and flapped once, sending him up into the air and then down into the river with a massive splash.
Jacob: With that done, I'll go get the town dentist to check his teeth.
Jacob turned and left while the others watched Blue frolic in the river. Everyone noticed right away that something was happening to the water, but it took some time before they realized what. As soon as Blue entered the river, the place where he splashed coughed up an avalanche of little pellets that landed all around.
Kaoru: Is this ice?
Blue's head popped up from the river, looking like the Loch Ness Monster of legend. Around his neck, the water started resembling an ice skating rink and the only thing preventing it from getting bigger was the fact that Blue kept shaking his head, breaking up the ice into tiny growlers that congregated all around him.
Blue seemed to enjoy this, playfully frolicking around, attacking the ice field with his front feet. The more he splashed around, the more new bits of ice floated up.
Jaze: Ryuu, I just realized I never found out what blue dragons do.
Ryuu: I suppose that's true.
Ryuu turned to the water where Blue seemed to be in his own little world, playing reverse Titanic with all the little icebergs.
Ryuu: Hey, Blue!
Ryuu's voice cracked right away as he shouted, sending him into a coughing fit. Blue didn't seem to notice as he ducked his head underwater, sending more ice blocks floating to the surface.
Jaze: Hey, are you okay?
Ryuu coughed a few more times and then cleared this throat.
Ryuu: I'm fine. Still getting used to all my new parts.
Ryuu took a deep breath and tried again.
Ryuu: Hey, Blue!
This time, Blue stopped pawing at the ice and turned his massive head toward Ryuu.
Ryuu: Show them what you can do!
Blue's ears perked on his head his tail popped out of the water as he looked around, seemingly trying to figure out where best to do what he does. Finally, he pointed himself downriver and inhaled deeply. Blue then shot out a blast, but instead of fire, like Ryuu's ancestor in the memories, a thick fog streamed out, freezing the surface of the river many hundreds of feet in front of him.
When he was done, Blue turned toward the shore and sat on the riverbed, wagging his tail, which sent water and ice nuggets splashing all around. He seemed very pleased with himself.
Toma: That could be useful.
As soon as Toma spoke, large bubbles surfaced on the river just above Blue's bum.
Artemis: I think we've just adopted a farting, house-sized, ice doggy.
Blue's eyes narrowed with this as he stood and galloped through the river to the shore toward Artemis. Backing away slowly, Artemis cast furtive glances at the others, though keeping most of his attention on Blue. Coming to a halt at the river's edge, Blue lowered his nose until it was inches from Artemis's face and snorted a cold blast at him. Artemis shivered and backed away even more.
Artemis: Heh heh. Sorry.
Ryuu: Blue dragons work best when they have water around. More water gives them more power. He can still freeze just about anything, though.
Adell: Still useful to have in case Wishmaster shows up. I wasn't sure if we would be enough to handle him.
To Artemis's relief, Blue shifted his attention away from him and to Ryuu.
Blue: I don't think Wishmaster will want to come around as long as Ryuu is here.
Ryuu's eyes widened.
Ryuu: Me? What can I do?
Blue sat in the river, sending more water and ice pellets scattering around him.
Blue: I guess you don't know. I was older than you when I was brought to this place and it was the last memory shared with me before that. I shall share it with you.
Ryuu didn't wait and immediately began to shrink down into his dragon form. The others watched as his clothes dropped from his body and he was, once again, the little fuzzy dragon they knew. With that finished, Ryuu touched his paw to Blue's head for a few moments. When he was finished, he just sat on the ground, looking shellshocked.
Ryuu: I guess since we thought all the evil demigods were gone, the dragons didn't think it was necessary to share that with me right away.
The others waited with eager attention, but Ryuu was not quick to divulge the information.
Jaze: Ryuu, what was that all about?
Ryuu turned with his head bowed and his paw at his chin, as though he was deeply contemplating something.
Ryuu: Well, the dragons can't share everything with me at once. A couple of years from one of you guys is nothing. Billions of years of dragon history has to be shared a little at a tim...
Adell: The information, Ryuu! The information! What did Blue tell you?
Ryuu raised his head and straightened his tail, as though emerging from a trance.
Ryuu: Oh! Um... It seems that white dragons like me can drain a demigod's power. Blue just showed me how to do that.
The others stared, agape, at Ryuu, just as stunned by the new information as he appeared to be.
Ryuu: Sorry, I didn't know. It seems that ability is one of those historical things that nobody thinks about anymore.
All city pictures from SimCity 4