It was quite an uplifting feeling for Finn, to see a little girl once on the edge of death walking around, healthy. It gave him a jolt of appreciation of the abilities that came with his new life. There were others in the crowd that he recognized, people who had been inside that pavilion.
The looks of appreciation and wonder felt welcome, as he grew tired of being stared at with hostility and fear.
Of course, he also found it cute how the little girl hid behind her father, clearly confused about why her father was bowing to a magical beast.
I guess she doesn't remember... Finn would never forget her awful screams. That's probably for the best... It was probably a small mercy she forgot what happened. No child should live with the knowledge of such pain.
Finn walked up close to her, examining her body. She stiffened in nervousness as Finn got close, clenching her fists in apprehension.
The little girl's father looked like he wanted to say something, but instead moved aside. Finn looked over the girl, confirming that she indeed was perfectly healthy. There weren't any visible signs of any remaining damage.
Nodding, he stepped back and sat there, patiently waiting for someone specific. He couldn't communicate with these people, but he hoped his sudden appearance would would draw her here.
Ah, there she is... With his height came the advantage of being able to see over crowds, and he could see the girl he had saved from the fire drake running over.
Unlike with the small man, the crowd instantly parted like the red sea when the girl came through, cementing Finn's belief that she was indeed someone of high status.
Anya, having used her wind energy to rush over, patted down her hair, blown back by the wind from traveling at high speeds. She was honestly shocked that the drake had returned at all, let alone so soon.
Did the godesses influence this creature to stay? For what purpose? Shelving her theories, Anya proceeded to bow in thanks, having not forgotten the miracle this beast performed for her village.
"Thank you for helping my people!" She spoke frankly. Several of her tribesman cheered at this, mostly those who either were healed themselves or had seen it firsthand creating a small uproar.
Finn acknowledged that the girl was likely thanking him again with a huff and a nod, lacking any ability to speak himself, an anatomical function he lamented not having.
Ignoring the rising sounds of the crowd, and the growing apprehension that came with it, Finn got right to the point. Reaching out his claw, he very deliberately drew out a sentence in the dirt, to the great surprise of the crowd.
Anya, however, already knew of the drake's capacity to write, and waited until the drake finished before moving to inspect.
Ahh, I still don't know what it is saying... Anya frowned in concentration as she tried to remember if she had ever seen a language like this before.
Anya's head snapped to Selmor, who had been watching quietly from the side. "Uncle Mor, do you recognize the language?"
Selmor, ignoring the question, moved to examine the words closer. After looking at them from every angle, he finally addressed Anya directly.
"Lady Anya, I cannot read this, but if memory serves, these characters resemble some of characters on the documents and books brought back by Maorn from his travels." Selmor gave Anya a deep look.
"I may be wrong, but I think... this is a language used in the traitors in the lands to the east."
Anya, as well as several others in the crowd were shocked at this news. How could a beast sent by the godesses write in language used by the traitors?
Considering for a moment, Anya gave Selmor an order. "Uncle Selmor, go get Maorn please."
Interesting... A tall and skinny young looking man ran from bookshelf to bookshelf pulling down certain books. Each time he would open them, he would quickly scan them hoping to find certain passages. When he was done, he would toss the books back into a pile on his desk, where a small mountain of books were starting to form.
Interesting! The man was so absorbed in his scholarly findings that he failed to notice another person enter his... study.
Selmor took a good look around, sighing at the mess. Books were all over the place. On the table, on the floor, under the chairs. Selmor even saw a pitiful book lost under a cupboard, with just the corner sticking out.
Maorn's tent was larger than most, mostly because he would sell trinkets from his travels to his fellow villagers at premium prices, allowing him to buy more room to store more of his... junk.
To Selmor, that was what decorated Maorn's tent. A strange painting in the corner, a wooden pole with holes carved into it, a human shaped doll lying on top of a cabinet filled with maps. There was even a suit of plate armor, which happened to be the only thing here that Selmor found mildly interesting.
Supposedly, all of these things were found in the lands to the east, otherwise known as the traitor's lands, but these strange objects were not why Selmor was here.
Walking up to the man who was leaning over a map he had placed on the table, he regarded him for a moment. Selmor couldn't quite figure out why Maorn was so fascinated by the history of a land he didn't live in, let alone one that was filled with the descendants of those who betrayed the great masters of old.
Maorn's long blonde hair that fell past his shoulders was slightly greasy, likely from a lack of sleep, and he was constantly rubbing the space between his eyes where his so called "spectacles" sat.
Selmor couldn't help but ask abruptly, "Why do you wear those if they bother you so much?"
Maorn jumped at the sudden question and shook the table, only now realizing someone had entered his tent.
"Oh! Selmor, it's just you. I believe I mentioned it before, but they help me see better when reading." Maorn's face suddenly lit up.
"I bought these in a land called the Deserts of Samsara! It's a fascinating place with nothing but scorching sands as far as the eye can see! There, they have learned how to create and mold a substance called glass, which is what these are made of! They focus the light-"
Selmor internally groaned. Maorn had gone off on another tangent once again. The man loved nothing more than to describe in excruciating detail everything about his experiences traveling to those willing to listen.
Unfortunately for him, Selmor was not here for idle chat. He cut him off. "Stop! Lady Anya has requested your presence. She needs help deciphering a language from the lands to the east.
Ohhhhhhh! Maorn grew excited. Having traveled through those lands, he was quite familiar with several of their languages. If Lady Anya also requested his presence, then it had to be something important!
Regret. Terrible all encompassing regret. Maorn felt his legs shaking as he was led up to a monstrous creature, a drake! Having spent the last few days nose deep in his own personal research, he had clearly missed something of great significance if this creature was allowed to simply sit inside the village.
He remembered that the village had been attacked by a fire drake, but Lady Anya had saved them by leading the beast away. After the village packed up and moved to a new location further away from the mountain, they had resettled themselves down once again.
To Maorn, the incident was nothing but a major inconvenience, for he had to hire help to move all his belongings, unwilling to just leave all his possessions. It had cost him quite a bit.
But now, he was faced to face with a dangerous magical beast and he didn't have any of the preventative measures he used to avoid them when traveling such as his personally mixed scent erasing solution.
"Mi-Milady! Why have you summoned me?" Maorn stammered as he stared up at the large drake surrounded by a crowd of people.
"Maorn, please look down at the drake's feet," Anya replied calmly.
Feeling somewhat doubtful, Maorn took his eyes off the massive creature in front of him and glanced downward while adjusting his spectacles.
What in the... There were words, words that appeared to have been... clawed into the ground!
Don't tell me... Maorn looked up at the drake in disbelief before turning to Anya. "Lady Anya, did this drake carve these words?"
Seeing her nod, Maorn felt a rush of excitement. He had heard tales of intelligent magical beasts, but never one smart enough to read and write in any human language. This was incredible!
Focusing his enthusiasm, Maorn looked down at the words written by this beast.
Indeed, this is the language used by those in the Border States as well as the two kingdoms. How could this amazing beast have learned this language?
It's well known that magical beasts are hunted and harvested for their cores or stones. Although I've heard stories that those in the kingdoms use magical beasts as weapons of war, I have never seen such things personally...
Before Maorn got too lost in his observations and theories, Anya coughed loudly. Despite her calm appearance, she was also dying to know what this amazing creature could tell her. If possible, she was hoping Maorn could be her translator.
Maorn immediately corrected himself. "Oh! Right! Of course! Milady, the words written, if I am correct, say "Can you please help me?"
"Really?" Although she was already aware of its intelligence, to have it confirmed so blatantly left her breathless. A sentient magical beast that could write!
Seeing this as an opportunity, Maorn cleared his throat.
Finn had been watching with patience as the small man had left and brought a much taller and skinnier man who appeared dressed in strange attire. After a quick discussion between them, he heard this strange tall man clear his throat and speak
"Hello, my name is Maorn!"
Finn understood what he was saying! He can speak in Bryn's language! This is amazing! Finn grew so excited that he started shaking and lightly jumping up and down without even realizing. His reaction startled the crowd who backed away several meters from the excited magical beast.
"What did you say to it?" Anya demanded to know. This kind of reaction was unprecedented.
Maorn had also backed off, terrified that he had somehow insulted the drake. "A-All I said was hello my name is Maorn!"
The excitement of finally finding someone who could understand him was held back by the tall man's terrified reaction. Calming himself down, Finn erased what he had wrote previously and wrote a new line in the dirt.
Maorn stepped forward, his curiosity overwhelming his fear as the drake wrote something new.
Speaking in his native language for the sake of Anya and the crowd, he translated the sentence.
"Hello, my name is Finngradus. You can call me Finn."