Chapter 33:

33

Balancing the Scales: The Sage Hero's Story


Kaz shuts the book on water based transformation magic and glares at the squirrel that lay caged in front of him, he summons forth all of his concentration and raises his right index and middle finger at the captive squirrel and chants the incantation while envisioning a rabbit in his mind. A bright yellow jet of liquid shoots straight at the squirrel, drenching it. The squirrel glows brightly and before long the light subsides revealing a very confused snow white rabbit. Kaz cheers for joy and takes a seat on a stump behind him to recover from using the spell. It had been roughly a year since Kaz let Telos run off to work at the clothing store. He occasionally had letters blow in through the windows from Telos, he had apparently learned a way to send them via some sort of wind magic, Kaz wasn't sure. Bookmark here

Telos was doing exceptionally well, he gained quite a following with the customers that frequented the store. He was often given tips, compliments and other sorts of flattery. He had become somewhat of a local celebrity, especially with the children. However there were still some who shunned his presence. Shouting at him and calling him "filthy cur" or worse, striking him when he offered assistance. Malcolm barred the ones who struck him from the store, and he had the problematic or rude customers swiftly ejected until they could treat Telos with more respect.Bookmark here

The upper class citizens changed their attitudes towards him quickly, as Malcolm's was the highest-end clothing store in the Capital of Vance and they refused to shop at any other store, else they hurt their ‘rich self-image’. Some returned with a heartfelt apology for him and the occasional gift, others grinned angrily and spat out insincere, mumbled apologies just to get in. Some had offered insane amounts of gold in attempt to purchase Telos from Malcolm, but were turned down eacha dm every time. Kaz and the girls were overjoyed with the progress Telos had made, he spoke near-perfect English now, even in his letters. Bookmark here

In the year or so that had passed, both Erza and Zavi had grown quite considerably. Kaz had an especially difficult time keeping up with Ezra, kobold cubs are hard to handle for several reasons. They have infinite wells of energy, and they grow relatively fast compared to other species. Zavi on the other hand had a calm and collected demeanor, studying her English, learning to cook with her auntie Lucia, and even helping Roarke with his chores. While nagas do grow fast as well, being fully matured at about five, they have more tendency to stay inside most of the Fall and Winter, being ectothermic like common snakes. They don't leave the house in the cold at all, on cold days she would become clingy and coil around whoever was around to stay warm.Bookmark here

Kaz was practicing swordplay with Ezra using wooden swords out in the yard, spectated by a crowd of dragons and Salamat himself had come this afternoon as well. He roared and cheered on his grandson as he tried jabbing, slashing, and hacking at Kaz to no avail. After they finished Kaz picked up Ezra and put him on his shoulders and invited Salamat inside for lunch. Kaz sets Ezra down and he scampers off to bug his sister, Zavi. Lucia and Tasi were in the kitchen. Lucia had been trying to teach Tasi some basic recipes so she wouldn't be embarrassingly outshone by her daughter. Bookmark here

They both heard the floor creak under Salamat's feet and turned around, they bowed upon seeing him and both greeted him. Salamat explained to them there was no need to bow, as he considered them all his daughters after they were wed to Kaz along with Saphana. "Speaking of Saphana, where has she gotten to?" He inquires. Lucia tells Tasi what to do next for the recipe, she then exits the kitchen and points up to the conveniently placed window in the wall of Kaz's bedroom, it was the perfect size for a dragon to poke its head through. Salamat nods and walks over and does just that, he spies Saphana dozing on a large clump of blankets coddling a large shiny teal-colored egg against her belly in the corner of Kaz's room.Bookmark here

 Zavi suddenly runs out of the library, shrieking at Ezra to stop chasing her, she slithers up Salamat's foreleg in an attempt to escape her younger brother's playful torment. Salamat lowers his head to face Ezra, stopping him clean in his tracks, "Be kind to your sister little one." He speaks in English softly, as not to frighten little Ezra. Ezra ceases his behavior and climbs onto Salamat's back as well and hugs his older sister, then apologizes. Bookmark here

Kaz and Ishvara had taken it upon themselves to try to teach the human's language to other citizens of Rath whenever they had the opportunity. They had begun with teaching Salamat, and worked their way around Rath. Kaz hoped it would come in handy down the road when his plan came to fruition. Kaz comes back down from his bedroom after bringing Saphana her lunch and helps Lucia serve up the rest. Even though lunch was sub-par compared to Lucia's cooking, everyone still thoroughly enjoyed it and praised Tasi. It was far better than her attempts from when she began learning a few months ago. Everyone shuddered at the memories of her cooking then. Nagas have less taste buds than kobolds, humans, or dragons, making it rather difficult to cook things and make them taste good. Nevertheless, under Lucia's tutelage Tasi was improving steadily. As Ezra hops down into Kaz's arms a loud tearing sound echoed throughout the hall. Ezra looked back to see his shirt strewn across Salamat's rigid scales. It had gotten caught on a loose scale as Ezra jumped down. He begins to tear up, Kaz yanks the torn cloth off of the drake's foreleg and tosses it aside. Salamat apologizes and makes up an excuse to leave as quickly as he could. Bookmark here

After Salamat left and the kitchen was cleaned, Kaz decided to take the girls and Ezra out on a trip to Vance. He tells the girls to load up into the car, Kaz runs upstairs and grabs one of his shirts and pops it over Ezra's head. It went to his knees like a gown, but it worked. Kaz yelled up to Roarke that he was in charge until he got back. He then picked up his son and made his way out to the vehicle and found everyone else already settled in. He sets Ezra in Lucia's lap and cranks the engine; they were on their way back to Vance. On the way Kaz explained the rules to Ezra and Zavi, they were not to run off and stay in either Lucia, Tasi, or Kaz's sight at all times. When they arrived Kaz passed out a small satchel of coins to everyone. Both children were ecstatic, as they approached the gate the guard halted them. Ezra and Zavi both hid behind Kaz's legs at the sight of the large man. The guard laughed and bent down on one knee, Kaz gave both of them a shove. "He's just a guard, he keeps all the bad people out of the city." Kaz explained to them. The guard pulled something out of a pouch on his belt and held his hand out. In his palm there were two brightly colored candies, he offered one to both Zavi and Ezra who happily snatched them up. Lucia introduced them to the guards and they were waved through the gate, both kids stood in awe at the sight of how big the city was compared to the small handful of buildings that dotted Rath.Bookmark here

Kaz led them all down the road to their first stop at the clothing store. They were all greeted by a familiar and dapper looking wolfman in a suit out front of the store. He broke his composure when he saw the group approaching, he ran up and welcomed Kaz and the others with open arms. He picked up both Ezra and Zavi and spun around with them, "You've both gotten so big!" He shouts as he sets them back down. Telos bows and grabs ahold of Lucia's hand and leans down to kiss it, followed by Tasi's. He then pulls the door open and shows them inside, Kaz was shocked. He saw not only the normal rich customers there, but various beastmen of all kinds as well shopping. This made Kaz feel warm inside, the feeling is short lived however.Bookmark here

 Shouting from across the store, Malcolm comes running towards Kaz. He greets the group and shakes Kaz's hand, "Welcome back Mister Kaz, Miss Lucia, Miss Tasi! Oh my, what is little Ezra wearing? I can only guess why you came in today!" He exclaims as he shows Kaz to the new section where child sized clothes for other species were on the shelves. Kaz sees Ferron outside the window looking flustered, "Lucia, Tasi. Would you watch them for a bit? I want to go talk with Ferron. I'll be at his shed when you're done." He tells them, and kisses them both on the cheek before he starts to run after Ferron. Bookmark here

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