Cai shivered from his seat in the far corner of the room. He had never thought that working as the Royal Scribe would be a dangerous job and for the most part, it wasn’t. Today though, nobody in the room was safe.
One of the divine dragons was in audience with the emperor. His rage had ravaged the countryside for over a week now. Thunderstorms unlike anything that had ever been seen before drowned the land and the dragon had ripped apart villages in his path. It was by sheer luck that the messengers that the Emperor had sent had not been killed as well.
The golden scales of the dragon sparkled but his rage rolled off of it like the ocean waves hit the shore. He had agreed to meet with the emperor to try and fix what had upset the beast but so far, nothing had appeased the dragon.
Cai was writing down all that was occurring and had been since the dragon had entered the throne room. Though he could not hear what the dragon had said, the Emperor had been relaying all that was said for the others in the room.
The dragon’s mate had been mistakenly killed by hunters looking for peacocks and instead of leaving the fenghuang and offering up tribute to try and apologize; they had mutilated her body for what they could sell. The fenghuang was the yin to the dragon’s yang and his rage was understandable.
But that did not make it any easier for the humans in the room. None of them could kill such a creature and the death of the Fenghuang had upset the Empress to the point that she was in a fit of tears. Though it was not her place, she had offered what sympathies she could and had pushed for her husband to do what he could to make it right.
No one had any sympathies for the hunters that the dragon had eaten for punishment but that alone did not appease him, not when his mate had been torn apart and now pieces of her lay scattered across all of China in markets.
With a shaking hand, Cai forced himself not to think about what had happened to the people in the country and focused on writing down all that was offered. Jewels from the Royal coffers had been turned aside, as had a funeral of the highest regard and a shrine built in the honor of the two creatures.
The Emperor was beginning to run out of ideas; everyone in the room knew it from the tone of his voice. The Empress was silently crying but there was a spark of fear in her eyes. If they did not find out how to fix things, it was possible that everyone in the room would be the next to witness the wrath of the thunder dragon.
“We shall immortalize your love then,” The Emperor’s new idea stilled everyone in the room, even the dragon seemed to pause in his agitated shifting to listen. Cai couldn’t fathom how the Emperor planned on doing such a thing but it was not his place to question it, only to record everything. The silence that followed was his only clue that now the dragon was speaking to the Emperor.
“You shall become the Royal symbol for the Emperor; we shall emblaze your likeness onto everything and erect great monuments.” Cai’s hand scribbled down the words as quickly as possible while trying to watch was happening.
As the explanation continued, the Emperor reached out and took the hand of his Empress. They seemed to share a moment before he looked back up at the dragon.
“The Fenghuang shall be the symbol of the Empress, as no Emperor is complete without her. You will describe your mate to our artists and we will give her just as much honor as we shall you.” If he didn’t keep reminding himself to write, Cai would have lost his place more than once. The Emperor was not just appeasing the dragon, he was changing the symbol of the Royal family forever. It was brilliant. Not only would no one ever forget what would happen if the dragon was crossed, but it would give more power to the Emperor.
The people would begin to think that the Emperor himself was in the graces of the great Thunder Dragon. When the next Emperor was born, many would try and match their daughters to him; hoping their daughter was the next Fenghuang to complete the Dragon.
“You have already taken the lives of those who killed your mate and more, your anger and pain will not be forgotten but neither will your love. Is this acceptable?”
Cai stopped breathing during the silence that followed. This was the last attempt to appease the dragon and it sounded good, but no man could truly understand the mind of a divine beast such as the Dragon.
Tearing his eyes away from the expressionless dragon, Cai focused on the Emperor. It was the only way that he was going to know what the final decision was and he didn’t want to miss a single moment. This was history in the making and these moments would carry on until the end of time.
When a brilliant smile blossomed across the Emperor’s face, Cai couldn’t stop his own smile. The Dragon had agreed and soon the Palace would erupt into a frenzy of work to do just as the Emperor promised. But that wasn’t what kept Cai’s smile planted firmly on his face while he recorded the discussion over it and the descriptions.
He had the chance to record such a great event and even though he was not a noble, it was his name that would go down alongside the Emperor, his wife, and the golden Thunder Dragon.
So it was fun learning about the whole Chinese Dragon and Fenghuang match up and that the Emperors/Empresses of China used them as their Royal Symbols. So here’s a raw draft of my take on it.
Next Creature: Unicorn