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Comet Prophecy: Part Two
Zai Danbia stood from her bed and stretched, taking in the flowers surrounding her room. They hadn’t been there when she had fallen asleep, and now there they were, taking up every available space except for the floor.
Dan Filwer, Zai thought, and picked up a rose. Its petals were blue and the stem was free of thorns. He had never let her near anything sharp, not even a knife to cut her dinner. He’s such a worrier.
There was a knock on her door. Zai quickly straightened herself out and quickly raked through her hair. “Come in.”
The door opened and Dan Filwer stood, his skinny frame hardly filling the doorway. “Can you guess what today’s lesson is?”
Zai looked at his ever-changing eyes. They were grey right now. Mischievous “Controlling plants? Growing plants? Making bouquets?”
Dan laughed his good, hearty laugh as his eyes lit up and shifted to green. Pleasure. “We’ll be talking to them. Plants have their own thoughts and feelings, and they need to tell someone, so we sit around and listen to them.”
“How does a flower talk?” Zai asked, looking at the rose in her hands.
“You’ll see,” Dan replied, and snapped his fingers, instantly making the flowers disappear, even the rose in Zai’s hand. “Now come on, we have to get to the market before the flowers sell out.”
“Why couldn’t you just use the ones that you brought in my room?” Zai questioned.
Dan smiled. “They were killed flowers. Just as a dead man cannot talk, dead flowers can’t talk.” He turned and walked out of the door.
With a sigh, Zai followed him out the door.
His eyes wandered up and down her nightgown. “Change before we leave.”
Zai closed her eyes and focused. “Xeila lochoren,” she whispered. Clothes change. Almost instantly, her nightgown became a shirt and pants. Most of the time, people would have questioned her fashion choice, but being a gobben had its advantages, like being able to wear pants.
“Alright, let’s go,” Zai said, bouncing on the balls of her feet. It was Market Day today, and she sometimes saw other gobbens there. She had met Gra Tersue a few times, since Dan Filwer knew her really well. There was also Vah Jowqui, Gru Hongil, and Tri Grurei. She had heard Dan mention a man who was either Heu Hue, and a boy with a Q name. Sometimes, he said the name Kia Monsak around Gra Tersue, but never intending for Zai to hear it, that she was sure of.
They took off quickly after grabbing a bite of breakfast. Dan lead her down the street towards a vender who had a stand full of flowers. It seemed odd to Zai that anyone would sell flowers for a living, but if that made him happy and gave Dan flowers to talk to, then she wouldn’t judge.
“Two carnations,” Dan requested.
The vendor nodded to him, and turned to the many pots. From somewhere in the mess, there were two carnations. He picked them up and handed them to Dan.
“Five ril each,” the vendor said.
Dan produced a leather pouch and took out a five ril piece. He handed it to the vendor, and picked up one of the pots. Zai took the other one and gave a polite nod. She scurried off after Dan.
There was a large crowd in the market from what Zai had seen before. A lot of them seemed to be out for things other than food. Some of them stopped and talked to Dan, then continued onwards.
“We should leave soon,” Dan told her. “I don’t want to run into—”
“Is that you, Dan Filwer?” a man’s voice boomed. Dan stopped and turned to face a man that loomed a head above of him.
“Heu Frecai,” Dan said through clenched teeth. “How’s Yel and Qui?”
“Fine, just fine,” Heu Frecai replied. He looked down and noticed Zai. “You’re Zai Danbia, aren’t you? It’s a pleasure to meet the sister—”
“She doesn’t know,” Dan interrupted. “I didn’t want her to know. After all, she might or he might if things go according to the pro. Understand?”
Heu nodded. “I haven’t told Qui either.”
Zai frowned. “Heu or Hue and Q name…Gra has mentioned you before!”
“When did you hear that?” Dan asked. “I’ve never talked about Heu Frecai around you. It’s only been with Gra a few times.”
“You should really be more careful about talking about Qui Heuyel,” Heu said. “She could find out on her own. It wouldn’t take that much.”
“Wouldn’t take a lot for you to change Qui for the worst,” Dan countered. “Even Primallen says that you shouldn’t have gotten him. Kia Monsak would’ve done better with him.”
“You don’t know my teaching well enough for you to say that,” spat Heu. “You would say Kia is better, anyways, since Fil, the former apprentice to Kia, taught you. If Zai knew anything about Kia, or even Fil, she wouldn’t be so grateful to be in your hands.”
“He’s a great teacher,” Zai said, trying to defend her master. “I don’t think he’s as bad as this Kia woman you talk about.”
“Maybe he’s not,” said a new female voice. “Having a little discussion, are we?”
Zai turned around and saw a woman with gray hair standing in the middle of the street. She had a smile on her face and seemed almost to enjoy the joke. There was a pink circle around her neck, marking her as a gobben.
“Kia Monsak,” Heu breathed. “I—”
“Go back to your rotting hole in the shadows, Heu Frecai, before I force you there,” said Kia Monsak casually, almost as if she was discussing a new flower. “Dan Filwer, and this must be Zai Danbia. It’s a shame she couldn’t have met Bia Welfer, she was a good woman and you were fortunate to have her.”
“I know, Kia Monsak,” Dan said. There was obviously something about Bia that troubled him. “I’m about to teach Zai how to talk to flowers. Would you like to see how well I do, since my master was your apprentice?”
“That’d be wonderful,” Kia responded. “At least you know manners unlike Heu, isn’t that right, rat-hole-shadow-man?”
With an angry sigh, he left.
“Let’s get back to the house,” Dan said to Zai. “Time to learn how to talk to flowers.”