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Character Nim

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Sara - Age of the Dragon

(Originally written on January 16, 2018)

Sara took the long way home from Malbrin University, walking along the edge of town, where she could see the flower blossoms on the trees. She loved spring. The temperature was perfect, the trees and shrubs were beautiful, and the irritating insects were not out in full force yet. Eventually, she arrived at the doorstep of her second adopted father's manor and knocked on the door.

After a few moments, the door opened, revealing her adopted father's aging footman, Gerald. "Good afternoon, Gerald," Sara said cheerfully, feeling rejuvenated by the fresh air and pretty sights she saw on her way home.

"Well hello Miss Sara, welcome home," Gerald replied, ushering her in. "Can I get you a snack?"

"Yes please," she smiled in response to Gerald's inquiry.

"The usual?"

Sara nodded, still smiling.

"Tea and scones it is!" Gerald started to retreat toward the kitchen when Sara asked, "Where is father at?"

A frown came over the footman's face as he replied, "Last I checked, Master James was in his office. I hear he is in quite the foul mood. Now probably is not a good time to bother him."

"Thanks for the heads up, Gerald! I'll see you in the kitchen soon!" With that, Sara went up the stairs to her room, removed her shoes, plopped her school things on the ground, and flopped onto her bed. She closed her eyes and relaxed, letting go of the stresses of the day while she thought on what Gerald had said. It wasn't everyday that the servants warned her of her father's mood. Her father was usually quite collected, so for him to display any kind of a temper, something bad must have happened.

Curious about what was going on, Sara rose from the the bed and made her way over to her father's office. Unsurprisingly, the door to his office was shut. Professor Wreathwood always kept his office door closed. She was about to knock when she heard voices behind the door. The polite thing to do would have been to leave and come back later, but Sara's curiosity got the better of her. She decide instead to put her ear against the door and eavesdrop on the conversation.

"...sure the egg will still be there by the time we get there?" Sara recognized the speaker's voice as that of her father's steward, Brian.

"I certainly cannot guarantee that," she heard her father growl in response. Wow, he really is angry. I wonder what has him in such a tizzy?

Her father continued, "However, if there is even a chance of me being able to find that egg, then the expedition will be worth it."

"Is this really wise? Those lands are dangerous. Do you yourself need to go?" Brian asked. Sara could hear the anxiety in his voice. Her interest was certainly piqued at this point.

"I have ever bit of faith in the Valneas Drakos' ability to protect me."

"If you in..." the steward began before curiously falling silent. Sara leaned harder into the door in an attempt to try to hear a potentially whispered continuation of the conversation, when the door unexpectedly sprang open inward, causing her to fall into the office.

"Sara, what did I tell you about intruding on private conversations?" she heard her father say disapprovingly.

Sara picked herself off the floor and brushed her vibrant red hair aside, her face beat red from embarrassment. "Sorry dad, I just..." She took a deep breath to compose herself, then continued, "I heard that you were in a bad mood, so I wanted to know what was wrong, since, well, you're never in a bad mood."

This brought a small smile to Professor Wreathwood's lips. "I am just as prone to mood swings as anyone else dear one." His voice and expression hardened a bit as he continued, "But that does not excuse you from spying on our conversation. Such behavior is disrespectful to Brian and I." The professor took a deep breath, then said, "Normally, I would not reward you for behaving in such a way, but because you are the closest thing to a daughter that I will ever have, and because this does affect you, I will tell you what happened and where I'm going."

Sara tried not to look too eager as the professor continued, "About a week ago, I learned that a dragon egg was going to be sold at an auction in the town of Durhurst. Needless to say, I very much intended to purchase that egg, as my research would very much benefit from such an artifact. Unfortunately, the idiots that owned the egg let some slave run off with it. They chased the slave to a place called Mount Daxxius, named after the territorial wyvern that has called the place his home for almost a century now. The blighter managed to lose the slavers after he jumped into a river and was reportedly rescued by said wyvern. The few slavers that survived being chased off seem to be content to let the slave and his egg be. But I am not."

"Which is why your father plans on climbing Mount Daxxius, finding the slave, and taking the egg for himself," Brian stated.

"I'll be perfectly safe," James Wreathwood interjected. "Once we are done here, Brian will arrange to have the Valneas Drakos meet me at Durhurst."

"The Valneas Drakos is a mercenary company from the Haldar Archipelago that is renown for frightening off and slaying dragons," the professor explained. "I will be in good hands. Even so, I expect that I will be gone for well over a week. Brian will see to your needs until I get back. Do you have any questions?"

Without hesitation, Sara replied, "Yeah, can I come?"

Both the professor and his steward's eyes widened, neither apparently expecting this response. "Umm..." Brian began.

"No," Professor Wreathwood finished. "It's too dangerous."

"You just said that you were going to be fine!"

"I can handle myself, with the Valneas Drakos protection..."

"So can I! I lived in a forest for ten years!" Sara interrupted. "Come on, I haven't been more than ten miles from Malbrin since the day you adopted me! I want to see the world! I want to go somewhere!" Sara smiled manipulatively as she continued, "Besides, I can help you. I used to be a really good tracker. If that slave has moved on, you're going to need some help finding his trail..."

"Well, I suppose..." the professor thought outloud.

"You aren't seriously considering taking Sara with you on this expedition are you?!" Brian exclaimed.

"Her skillset might actually be helpful for this excursion," her father said. Turning to Sara, he stated, "Alright darling, if you really want to come along, have your bag packed and be downstairs in two hours. And bring some warm clothes. It gets cold in the mountains."

Nearly jumping with excitement, Sara replied, "Thanks dad! I'll have my stuff packed in no time!"

"Good, good, now go. I have some business I need to discuss with Brian before we go."

Sara skipped out of the office as the professor shooed her out.

"Miss Sara! Your tea is getting cold!" Gerald called from downstairs.

"Coming!" she replied, running down the stairs. Two hours was plenty of time to get packed...

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