The 29th Story in the Adventures of the Ambrosial Dragon: A Children’s Fantasy Series
“How far do we have to walk, Gerlilanum?”
To eight-year-old Landon, it seemed like he, the dragon, and the donkey had been walking for days, but it couldn’t have been more than a few hours…or could it?
The old dragon was still leading the way through the forest, but instead of the uneven but basically level ground the boy had been used to, they were now starting to go up a long hill.
Gerlilanum turned his head back toward the child but kept walking. “We are heading for the center of the multi-verse, you know. It’s not like it’s around the corner or anything.”
“But isn’t that like light-years away or something? We’d either need a spaceship or magic to get there. Can’t you fly?”
“Let’s take a break. I’m getting tired myself.”
It had stopped raining and they managed to find a fairly dry log to sit on. Landon tied the donkey up to a tree where the beast discovered a puddle to drink from and some damp grass to munch.
Gerlilanum went to the donkey. He opened the pack on the creature’s back and pulled out a smaller sack. Returning to the log where Landon was now sitting, he took a place next to him and then handed the boy a sandwich. “I think we earned a snack.”
Landon, who was a bit of a picky eater, looked askance at the unanticipated meal.
“Just peanut butter and strawberry jam, lad,” the dragon uttered between taking tiny bites of his own sandwich.
He’d much rather have had a breakfast burrito or some mac and cheese, but he was hungry and ate what he was given.
“To answer your question, my flying days are over, alas. However, this being a metaphorical and not a literal journey, we will be able to arrive at our destination on foot quite handily. It’s what happens after we get there that has me worried.”
“The evil essence of the Emperor Dragon?”
“Exactly, Landon. I’m quite old and you are but a child, so I’m not sure what we can do to stop his evil.”
“I know some magic, Gerlilanum.”
“Do you think it will be enough to prevent my other self from destroying the primordial egg?”
Landon remembered when the Emperor’s spirit escaped the sword Demonslayer and how even his dragon friend Buddy and the sorceress Yao Jin couldn’t stop it. If the boy hadn’t had the Soul Coin, he’d have been a goner.
“Uh…I don’t know. What about you? Can’t you do something?”
“I guess we’ll find out, won’t we boy?” The dragon chuckled and gently nudged the child in the ribs with his elbow.
“It would have been nice to have some tea, but I don’t want us to stop long enough to make a fire. Besides, with the rain just ending and all, dry firewood is probably in short supply.”
They ate the rest of their meal in silence. Landon was getting more and more worried. Without Buddy to help, he wondered if they’d be able to protect the egg. If they couldn’t, then Landon wouldn’t even be born. In fact, there would be no life anywhere, except for Gerlilanum and the Emperor Dragon…and the great creative being the dragon kept talking about.
The sun was high overhead and they were still walking uphill. The trees were thinning out a bit and the path became more rocky. Landon couldn’t imagine how they were going to get to the center of the multi-verse from here. Maybe there was a magic portal at the top of whatever they were climbing that would take them there.
“Hi, Gerlilanum. Long time no see.”
It took Landon a few seconds to tell where the tiny voice was coming from. Then he saw the butterflies, except they weren’t really butterflies. They were little fairies with butterfly wings. There were three of them, all girls.
“Oh, hello there, Esmeralda. And to you as well, Gina, Salma.”
“Hello,” said Gina.
“Who’s this?” queried Salma.
“Oh just my old donkey, Patsy.”
“No, no,” protested Esmeralda. “The child. Who’s the human child?”
“Oh, forgive me, ladies. This is Landon.”
The three of them buzzed around the boy’s head making him dizzy for a second.
“Pleased to meet you.”
It was hard to tell which one was saying what.
“Hi.” Landon felt suddenly shy.
“We heard about the egg,” blurted out Gina.
“What egg? What are you talking about. No one’s supposed to know, girls.” The dragon seemed more confused than upset.
“Oh that?” questioned Salma.
“Everybody knows that you-know-who is out to break it,” Esmeralda said. “You know you can’t keep a secret in the magic forest.”
“I suppose not, Gina.”
“I’m Esmeralda, you old goat.” She seemed very indignant.
“And I’m a dragon, not a goat, little Miss.” Now it was Gerlilanum’s turn to act insulted.
“Fine. See if we’ll help you when you go up against you-know-who.” With that, all three of them flew off so fast, Landon wasn’t even sure which direction they went.
The old dragon sighed. “Fairies. So lovely but so temperamental.”
“Could they really have helped us, Gerlilanum? They’re so small.”
“Magic doesn’t require size, Landon. You should know that after all since you’re not very big yet yourself.”
The boy had to think about that a minute. Buddy was still smaller than he was, at least when he wasn’t in his perfected form, and yet he was very powerful. Maybe the fairies could have helped.
“If they could help, maybe you shouldn’t have made them mad.”
“Oh, they’ll do the right thing when it comes down to it, Landon. You’ll see. Now let us continue. We still have to make it to the top.”
The trio, dragon, boy, and donkey walked for a while longer, then Landon heard a voice from above him.
“Fancy seeing you in these parts, old-timer.”
Landon and Gerlilanum looked up to see an Eagle sitting on a tree branch above them. “Oh, Aaron. I hadn’t noticed you. How are you this morning?” the dragon asked.
“It’s afternoon Gerlilanum and I’m quite well, thank you. Just enjoying the view from up here.”
Landon followed the Eagle’s gaze and was astonished. He’d been looking at the hill they were on all this time and didn’t realized that they’d climbed so high that there was nothing but space, outer space below them. He would see stars and planets and whole galaxies all around. Yet there was daylight to see, blue skies clinging to the hill, and certainly there was plenty of air to breathe.
“Wow indeed, right boy? I heard you had a human companion, Gerlilanum. Do you think he’ll be enough?”
“I hope so, Aaron. I hope so.”
“Well, I must be off. The Convocation is having their monthly meeting and I’m the Chaireagle this time around. I wish you both all the luck. You’ll need it.”
With that, the eagle majestically took wing and soared skyward.
“Good-bye, Aaron. Have a good meeting. Say hello to everyone for me.” The dragon was still waving as Aaron the Eagle vanished in the distance.
“How much longer, Gerlilanum?”
“I don’t think too much more, Landon. If we’re in Aaron’s territory, we must be higher than I thought. Come. Let’s continue.”
Along the way, they stopped a moment here, a few moments there to greet other creatures, magical and otherwise. There were field mice and gophers, leprechauns (not much bigger than the field mice) and ladybugs (not all of them were ladies), and each one had something to say to the dragon, usually along the lines of how they hadn’t seen him out and about for a long while.
Finally they seemed to be coming to the top but it was covered with clouds.
“Stay close, Landon. We’re almost there. Anything can happen now.”
When the sun started getting higher, it started to get warmer, but now that they were walking into a fog, it got chilly again. Landon tightened his cloak closer around him and pulled up his hood to keep his ears warm.
It was getting harder to see the dragon because of the fog, even though he wasn’t more than a few feet ahead of the boy.
Then he couldn’t see him at all.
“Gerlilanum? Gerlilanum? Are you there?”
A sudden strong wind nearly knocked the child over. He huddled against the donkey and closed his eyes for a moment. When he opened them again, he saw something horrifying.
It was night and space all around except for where he was standing with the animal. Directly ahead of him was a nest, but it wasn’t made out of sticks and mud, but out of light and glitter. It was a big nest because it held a big egg. Sitting on top of the egg was what really was scaring Landon.
“Hello, Landon. Remember me?”
It was the Emperor Dragon, the huge, black, evil-looking Emperor Dragon and Gerlilanum was nowhere to be seen.
This is a direct sequel to the previous tale The Very Old Dragon and continues the journey of Gerlilanum and Landon (and Patsy) to find and protect the primordial egg, but where is the old dragon and are they too late? You’ll have to read the next part of this story to find those answers.
Welcome to the latest entry in the series of adventures I’ve been writing for my grandson for over a year now. To read the series from the beginning, go to The Day a Dragon Came to Live with Us. At the bottom of that story is a link to the next. Each subsequent story has a link to the next chapter, so all you have to do is keep reading and clicking and you’ll eventually get back here.
This story arc concludes with Landon to the Rescue.