Tao riding on the back of his familiar, Simone, in her transfiguration as a dragon and with them the dragon transfiguration of Upashna are flying high above the small hamlet of wizards, Samadhi.
“I love you my philosopher Tao. I am pleased you chose to share this life and eternity with me. There is no moment of happiness in my life to compare with this moment here flying with you and Simone,” speaks Upashna telepathically.
“How is it my princess, my love, I can hear your voice but I am not riding you as when we rode the other wind?”
“You are a Dragon Lord my philosopher. You can communicate with and hear all dragons,” answers Upashna. “Simone will obey your every command. Your thoughts become her thoughts. You are one when you are flying. You are not only connected telepathically, you are also one energy. Her energy protects you and allows you to breathe and your energy protects her. You are her wizard. She is your familiar. I am you devoted princess, Upashna.”
Tao addresses Simone, his familiar. “Simone. Thank you for choosing me as your wizard. I will do my best to honor your choice. Tell me. Are there others like you?”
“I know of only one before me. Her name was Morujiana who was also cloned over a hundred years ago from Miranda and not born as the other familiars of the Sorceress Sophia. She was also capable of transfiguring into a dragon. She was the familiar to your father, Ged.”
“There is so much I have to learn. How do you know what you know Simone?” Tao asks telepathically.
“Because I am a clone sire of Miranda. I know all she knows. And because Miranda is the familiar of the Sorceress Sophia, Miranda knows all that Sophia knows. The familiar and the sorceress share a common knowledge. Their shared knowledge has been passed on to me so I might serve you with full knowledge of who you are sire.”
“How can you know all about me when I do not know who I was before I entered the realm of magic,” asks Tao?
“It may take some time sire for you to regain your memories but because you are a wizard, all the sacrifices you made for passage through the three gates are returned to you. Although your true name is the one you shall be known by from this day forward, Mingus has returned your name. Free has returned your desire, although he will keep the text you gave him and Extor has returned your memory. That is how you were able to remember your grandmother and to name me after her. As you need them your memories will be recalled.”
Tao asks, “Why did Sophia ask is she could address me as her son? Before today we had never met?”
“The Sorceress Sophia was the first woman to graduate from the famed Wizard Academy on Roke in the same class as your father. They were close friends in college and continued their friendship when they came to The Other Realm to advance their wizardry. Unfortunately at that time even though Sophia had wizard’s blood, women were not permitted to be wizards. Sophia was the love child of an unnamed wizard and the witch Hazel of Obb. Initially she was not permitted to be a part of the Wizard’s Council but as her skills and abilities increased she was asked to remain on The Other Realm and was later invited to be a member of the Wizard’s Council. Sophia accepted their invitation but rejected the title of wizard and took the title of Sorceress in honor of her mother. She also preferred to live alone on the far side of the astroid and shunned the Council sessions until Elza arrived and she found a like sister.”
“Sophia loved your father but never told him for she knew love, marriage and even sex were not permitted between wizards. Each was the confidant and friend of the other until Ged left The Other Realm on his own and found Anna, your mother. Your father in his youth was a rebel. He thought the Council of Wizards was old in their thinking and ideology. It took his leaving for the council to realize he was right. You sire are the son Sophia always wished to share with Ged.”
“So the Sorceress Sophia has know my father longer than anyone else on The Other Realm. I would like to spend some time with her at a later date.”
“The Sorceress Sophia told me sire that her home is always open to us.”
“I have another question of you my familiar,” says Tao.
“It is my purpose to serve you sire,” responds Simone.
“The Sorceress Sophia said I have wizard’s blood, but does that make me a wizard. I have not had any training or education in the craft. I do not know the language of wizardry or spells. How can I be a wizard?”
“You received a wizard’s staff on your twelfth birthday carved by your father, Ged. In it he placed all his knowledge of wizardry. So each time you picked up your staff over the last sixty years, your father’s knowledge was passed to you. When you need it, all his knowledge will be available to you. As he was the greatest wizard of his time so you are the greatest of your time.” Simone turns her head and looks directly into Tao’s eyes. “It is my honor and pleasure to serve you sire.”
“And mine to travel this existence with you,” adds Upashna. “My father told me through a visitation before we entered the labyrinths how he believed you to be much more than you seem. And you are my love. My Dragon Lord. You have proven yourself this day. Please follow me.”
Upashna dips her right wing and glides down to a flat spot of grass next to a roaring high waterfall. Simone and Tao follow. Upashna immediately transforms upon landing and awaits her companions. Simone gently glides into her landing and drops her left wing for Tao to disembark. The two lovers embrace passionately and kiss. Simone remains in her dragon configuration and stands to the side.
Upashna tells Tao this is the spot she came to with her parents when she made her first journey to The Other Realm at the age of five and invites him to use it whenever he needs to get away from the other wizards and the politics of Samadhi. The sounds of the falling water helps to clear the mind and to free the spirit for clear thinking. It reminds her of the farm where she and The Philosopher first met. A quiet place in nature where the rest of the world does not matter. She reaches into a bag hidden behind some rocks and pulls out a kettle and two cups and fills the kettle with water from the falls. She then gathers a few near by herbs for tea.
“Unfortunately,” says Tao. “I do not have the makings for a fire with me.”
“No need to worry, my love. If I may have permission to address your familiar, Simone.”
“Why of course.” Tao replies. Upashna closes her eyes and speaks with Simone telepathically and asks Simone to heat the kettle of water. Simone lowers her head and blows a small stream of fire from her nostrils. In a few seconds the water is boiling and the tea is ready. “Simone can breathe fire!”
Tao asks in amazement.
“Yes,” replies Upashna. “Dragons are the only creatures who can produce a fire hot enough to reignite the sun. That is why we are here.” Upashna pours the hot tea into the cups and sits down next to Tao. The two of them in their own thoughts together, on a patch of grass next to a waterfall on The Other Realm floating as an astroid on the far side of the sun watching the clouds change colors.