The Best Food On Hove (so far) (Day 48)
Churry City turned out not to be Churry City. The zeppelin floated down to a stout metal and wood tower some miles away from the actual city, in a zeppelin-field in the middle of a town of brutal barracks and hangers. Trestean soldiers walked this way and that, practicing looking menacing, preparing for going to Ghemelia. The officers rushed off the zeppelin, glad to be less cramped, glad to have survived, glad to meet their waiting wives and husbands or whoever.
Nobody was waiting for me. Which was good — I was half expecting Ythac to tag me as I came off the zeppelin. He didn’t, though.
«How’s the game going? Caught anyone yet?» I asked him.
«I found Osoth in the Prevalian Catacombs, some hoven religious archaeological site, but that’s so easy a victory it barely counts,» he wrote back. «I haven’t been rushing. Solitude is so nice now and then.»
«Solitude with the necromancer of your dreams, even better?»
«Jyothky, please don’t start on that. Everybody else nips me all the time, and I wish you wouldn’t.»
«Sorry, sorry! I like Osoth fairly well, even if he does talk very oddly.»
«I forgive you. But I am going to go stuff Osoth back in his catacombs and enjoy more solitude. Then I’ll hunt a deer down and not share it with any dragonesses.»
Having unaccountably offended my best friend, I decided that I, too, should hunt something down and not share it. Ythac was being sneaky suggesting deer though. I’d have to be very careful not to be seen from above — well, from the side. Ythac was over there in the middle sky, or on the ground past the middle sky. A few minutes later I could see him, or some dragon anyways, flying across a forest and breathing fire. I suspect that a hoven with a telescope could see him too.
So, I turned into a crow and tried to find a large animal that couldn’t be seen from above. By looking for one, from above. As I am an extraordinarily mighty huntress and supremely skilled in the ways of the taking of prey, it took me rather a long time.
The beast I found wasn’t quite a cow, but I’ll call it that anyways because the real name is “vask” in Trestean, which means “no” in Ghemelian and I’m more used to Ghemelian today. It had a single big teat for an udder, and it was a bit on the small side and a bit on the male side as cows go. It was in a barn at least, a big hot wooden barn with a sheet-metal roof and space for thirty cows its size. Or one dead cow and one dragon. I grilled it a bit with fire breath, and seasoned it poorly with a handful of dry clover from a haystack, and it was the best thing I had eaten in two days.
Halfway through my meal, a farmer peeked into the barn. He inspected me. I waved a forepaw at him. He tiptoed out.
A few minutes later, he was back with five other farmers. Most of them were armed with tiny little rifles. Some guns roar their danger, and some growl it, but these rather whimpered it, as if they were begging me to be a rabbit or squirrel or something they could actually conquer. The other farmer had a heavy wood box with several glass lenses, set on a tripod. It didn’t say that it was dangerous at all.
“Thanks for the cow! The vask, I guess you call it,” I told them.
“It talks! It talks!” yabbled the farmers.
“It talks, it cooks, it writes, and it breathes fire!” I said.
The farmers discussed this in some confusion. The one with the box pointed some of the lenses at me. I peered at it. It seemed safe, and then safe, and suddenly it whispered that it could inconvenience me slightly if I was extraordinarily careless with my eyes. (Dangersense doesn’t really make things make sound, or even talk. That’s just an easy way to describe it.) So I stared at it. The farmer pushed a knob; the device flashed brilliantly, and clicked a bit. I had brightness dots floating in front of my eyes! The Great Titan Sanitarium fixed them though.
“What was that?” I asked.
“Just a picture in case anyone doesn’t believe us. What are you, and what are you doing with my cow?” said the farmer.
“I’m Jyothky. I’m a dragon, obviously, and I’m eating it mostly raw, obviously.” Maybe the dragon part would have been more obvious to them if, oh, there had ever been more than one dragon in their world before, and a rather secretive explorer of a Quel Quen at that.
“Joffee, as in short for Joffinet? My daughter is Joffinet too,” said the farmer. The brave, brave farmer.
“Well, then, hello there, JOTH-kee. I don’t know what to make of you, showing up in my barn and speaking all polite-like and stealing my cow.”