By this time dozens of Sradites were listening to the two disguised dragons with considerable interest. Nayzim, whose booth was in earshot and who had some residual attention for her distinctive and high-paying customer, pushed her way through and asked them directly, “You say you have discovered the truth of eye-worms? What are you, Darsite? A wizard, a scholar, a priest?”
The dragons glanced at each other. Psajathrion said, in Grand Draconic, “With even what we have learned so far, we could make grand upon grand of girgs far less miserable. This might be a time for an Awesome Revelation, in which we present dragonkind as benevolent and wise to the girgs.”
“By the lizard’s gizzards, I agree, Psajathrion! Future world-conquerers shall not object to such preparation of the way! Indeed, perhaps they will choose conquer in one of the gentler styles, as on Hove or I suppose Kyspert, rather than an assault with flames and fangs!”
“And that would be all for the best as well,” said Psajathrion.
Itharieth addressed the growing crowd of onlookers. “We are travellers, we are wizards, we are scholars.” He levitated above the crowd, with Psajathrion somewhat behind him. “We are healers! But we are not Darsites, nor even girgs. We are dragons!” The last word was in Petty Draconic, as the tongues of Girgar have no good translation. Itharieth provided evidence of his words by assuming a horse-sized version of his natural shape, with his gaudy red-and-orange scales glittering in the sunlight.
The crowd gasped in amazement and fear, as generally happens under the circumstances. Itharieth roared, “We travel from world to world! We bring understanding and blessings where we can! And to Girgar we present a useful truth: the cause of the eye-worms! And that is simply this: a curse is upon your whole world, so that anyone who speaks the Sraddic words ‘we will’ has eye-worm eggs sprinkled into their eyes!”
Nayzim, with that boldness peculiar to one who has just pleasured a being of great power, shouted back, “So what shall we do? Just use different words, and the eyeworms will go away?”
Psajathrion surreptitiously used a pest-removal spell on her. “Yes, exactly. That should suffice to largely eliminate the vile things, or at least reduce them to the low level that they appear in other countries. That may not be the whole of the cause.”
Nayzim raised her arms and shouted, “We shall!” Sraddic, like most languages, has several ways to express the future tense. “We shall use alternate phrasing! We shall be free of eyeworms!” The crowd shouted with her.
The dragons flew in a ceremonial arc over the market, breathing their fire and lightning into the sky, and roared benedictions and innocuous platitudes to the cityful of wondering small people. And then they vanished, thanks to the Esrret Sky-Painted or possibly shapeshifting.Support this project! Show that you’re reading it by exchanging notes with the characters, other readers, the writer, and occasional other entities at sythyry.livejournal.com. And/or buy Bard Bloom’s books on Amazon, especially Mating Flight and World in My Claws, the prequel to this story. Also: Glossary and Dramatis Personae.