Upashna knew her heart was true but she did have one worry she did not share with The Philosopher nor Kara. The Philosopher was not a wizard. Wizards were not permitted to marry non-wizard humans. The marriage between her father the Wizard Baldwin of Swansea and the Princess of Morocco was only permitted because the Wizard Baldwin had already trained her in the wizard arts before presenting his request for marriage to the council. In most instances wizards were very solitary and had no family. As far as Upashna knew the wizards on the Council of Wizards were all wizards of true power and except for her father were all celibate.
It was in fact her mother Elza who convinced the council to permit her marriage to her father. She told the Council of Wizards they had two options to either lose another valued member of the council or to gain an additional member to serve the council. My father had already notified the council of his decision to leave if his request for marriage was denied. It was not intended as a threat. My father loves my mother more than anything else the world had to offer him and would be with her wherever she chose to be.
It was only a few years earlier the Council of Wizards lost one of their most valued archmages when the council denied Ged Sparrowhawk permission to marry a non-wizard. He left the council and no one has seen nor heard from him since. My father learned from this experience and trained my mother before presenting her to the council. There was no way the council could deny his request. Now my mother sits in the head chair of the council and my father sits on her right.
They lived a commoner’s life on the farm where they raised me for many years but the planet is in trouble and they were called back to lead the council. The planet needs our help once again. “Thank you Philosopher for joining me on this journey. Your companionship is very much appreciated. I am not sure I would have made it without you.”
“It is my pleasure princess. The sky is so full of stars that the darkness struggles to find space. This beauty is dulled only by the brightness of your eyes. I have not in my existence seen a creature more beautiful than you my princess. Even as a dragon,” says The Philosopher.
“Please Upashna, remember? Philosopher, your words still bring my cheeks to blush. Be careful, I will remind you of your words one day when youth no longer fill my body and my face reflects the leaves of Autumn as it is beginning to do now.” Upashna pauses. “Listen. Chofu!”
“Chofu,?” Asks The Philosopher.
“Yes,” replies Upashna, “Chofu is wizard speak. It means listen to the wind. The air is motionless here. We are creating the wind by moving through stillness. The sound is music to a dragon’s ears.”
“I can hear it now Upashna. It must be coming through you for I am not a dragon. It is beautiful. As beautiful as any sound I’ve ever heard. It sounds like a baby’s breathing.”
“I have only listened to the breathing of baby goats and chickens but the sound of Chofu as you say is similar to breathing. I love the way you see things Philosopher. You have a great way with seeing and with words. I was never formally educated but from my parents I learned to read and to write, Latin, Greek, Astronomy, herbology, math and science and of course wizardry. I can hold my own with those having more traditional schooling. My father would travel into town every few weeks to bring new books from the library. You met him on one of those trips if I recall correctly.”
“Yes. I did. He appeared to be strong but chose not to fight the men who were bullying him. I don’t know why. So I jumped in to help. Unfortunately he disappeared before I could ask him his name. Now I wished I had learned more about him knowing he is your father.”
“Wizards and people of magic are often bullied and challenged to use their wizardry to defend themselves but most have given a vowel to not use magic in defense against humans. Humans do not realize it but we are here to protect them and the planet.” Upashna sighs. “We are almost about to reach the back side of the sun. Because the earth rotates on an axis around the sun it always faces the same side of the star. No human has seen the far side of the sun until now my Philosopher. You will be the first.”
“I have experienced many firsts with you Upashna. Although, I must admit I am a little overwhelmed. I have never imagined my life to be where I am now, at this moment, flying around the sun on the back of a dragon who is also the woman I love.”
“Humans restrict their imagination and limit their dreams to what they think they know and what they fear. Fear is their biggest immobilizer. You overcame your fear of the unknown to be here with me. I am… No. No. No. This is why my parents summoned me. The far side of the sun is completely dark. The sun’s fire is going out. The Earth and The Other Realm are in danger.