When Grieve woke up in the morning, he was surprised to find that Slair was flipping through the “Book of Dragons.”
「Good morning, Grieve. Did you not sleep well last night? You used to wake up before I did.」 He said, 「Does my parents’ relationship confuse you? They are not like the dragons in this book, right?」
「No, I am not confused!」 Recalling those shameful thoughts made Grieve want to dig a hole and bury himself in it. However, in Slair’s eyes, his response was overexerted.
「Grieve,」 Slair said earnestly, 「A warrior should not lie.」
Grieve could not talk back but lower his head.
Slair put down the “Book of Dragons” and held Grieve’s hand: 「If you feel depressed, let’s go have a talk at the top of the carriage. Yesterday, I could notice you were troubled by something, especially when you met my dad and my daddy. Let’s go. I know the dragons better than you.」
Choco was eating grass. The carriage stopped at the edge of the forest. Since it was spring, the grass was full of tiny flowers. The birds had awakened and whispered to each other with crisp singing. Such an environment is indeed refreshing.
Slair pulled Grieve outside and sat down. He sang along with the birds. A few lovely sparrows stopped by his hand, tilting their heads and looking at him suspiciously.
「Beautiful.」 Grieve sighs softly. Soon, he lowered his head again.
「Could you tell me about your troubles? Grieve, my friend!」 Slair looked at him, 「Let me guess what makes you so uncomfortable. Hmm, it all begins with your witnessing the kiss my parents shared. My dad and daddy, both male dragons, are each other’s companions. Does that make you feel uneasy?」
「I did have a moment of confusion,」 said Grieve, 「But I have it all sorted out! They are like a real family to you. After all, they are dragons. I shouldn’t doubt them with humans’ logic… I… I am ashamed of my doubts and vacillation. Slair, I had some despicable thoughts, but I swear I have figured it out. My faith remains strong as ever. The priests once said that men are like fire and women are like water. When the fire burns too strong, it needs water to cool it down. When the water is over-flooded, it requires the fire to restrict it. Generations after generations, man and women union and have offspring; that’s the humans’ living principle. However, dragons have their own ways. Alex is water, and Rhett is fire. Their union is as natural as it could be. There was nothing strange about it. I would never consider one man could have sex with another man. Thus, Slair, you don’t have to worry about me.」
Slair felt upset about Grieve’s last words, and he could not explain his feelings but realized how much he cared about Grieve. Both of them fell silent for a while.
A gray shadow passed by. Slair felt someone hug his waist, then he was taken to the back of a giant bird. Grieve reacted quickly. He had already set up an arrow, but soon he saw the kidnapper’s face, and it was a beautiful woman with a forest tattoo on her face.
The kidnapper was from the forest city. A peculiar city where the residents befriended the monsters and had little communication with the outside world. Sometimes, their men come out of the settlement to marry an underprivileged woman home. On the other hand, their women only came out when they wanted offspring. They would snatch a man they liked, mate with him, and then toss him out when his duty was fulfilled. Those residents were non-believers– It was not that they didn’t respect the dragons but considered the dragons as powerful monsters. In their legends, the dragons usually appear as the companions of the city lord than as gods.
Some disdained to communicate with people from forest city, but Slair won’t mind. The situation should be regarded as an affair than kidnapping. If he shot the arrow now, it would spoil everything. Not to mention Slair had the ability to come back as he wished. With that thought, Grieve put away his bow. He felt a bit lonely sitting by himself on the top of the carriage.
The giant bird’s speed was incredible. The beauty quickly lifted off after snatching Slair, and her destination soon came into view.
There was a giant tree in the center of the forest. Its sturdy trunk bulges to form a sphere, and the residents of the forest city built their houses on it, making it look like a giant comb. Exquisite tree houses were scattered on the tree branches. Some houses stuck cleverly between two branches, some hanging in the air like fruits under the leaves.
Some stuck cleverly between two branches, some hanging like fruits under the leaves. People with forest tattoos on their faces were jumping lightly from branches to branches along with their monster companion.
This is the forest city! Slair was excited. This is REAL! When Slair was eleven years old, he read the book My Tail Shining like the Sun, It mentioned a forest city as beautiful as a dream. He totally forgot that he could run away, and he didn’t want to run.
The giant bird stopped on a branch. The beauty proudly walked down with Slair under her arms. She shorted: 「Hey girls, look, I bring home a handsome dude! Top-notch! 」
The girls looked at her but did not greet her.
The beauty looked down suspiciously: 「DAMN! Wrong one! I was wondering about the weight! I thought my strength had grown!」