Featuring Rory (diary), Cloud (salvaging), Maristela, and Astra.
2605 words. Collab with Tomboy-kei.
Corli looked beautiful in the daytime. The light rippled off windows and reflected onto the streets below. People were busy hustling and bustling under the skyscraper’s stoic guard, with a few dragons zipping between them on business matters. Or, at least, they were supposed to be on business matters. Rory and Cloud were taking a bit of a ‘detour’ during a standard flight. His brother had a birthday soon, and he wanted to get him something special. The man still had no dragon to speak of, so something magical might help distract him from the thought. Cloud sent a giggle and suggested, Something beautiful and pink, just like him.
He is neither beautiful nor pink, Rory retorted. He was pretty effeminate, though. And he took very good care of his appearance. But that was neither here nor there. Cloud swooped through the city, taking wide turns and zooming through the city haze. They had a particular spot in mind. Rumor had it a small tailor shop sold enchanted items, clothing, jewelry, and so on. His brother had even dropped the title a few times–Seven Sisters something something–as if to give him a hint. Rory had enough money on him to buy something nice from the store and then he could confidently say that he did not forget his brother’s birthday this year.
Cloud saw the feathered logo sign and made his trademark crash landing. Disappointingly, the cement did not form a crater. At least the people walking around on the sidewalk skittered away from the wyvern. Rory peered in to see what the shop looked like.
“Darling, could you please be careful.” The long haired female asked, looking tired but still rather pretty. Her usually loose haired was tied back, and even her longer dress was clear of anything that could catch on the machinery.
She paused what she was doing, arm hovering with the long wooden shape while she stared at the cool colored dragon who was staring at her with his big eyes as he carefully untabled himself from the strings. She had been at work for hours already on this roll of fabric, and many hours even before that to even make the threads that were tied and threaded through the machine. Her foot looked about ready to push one of the many fabrics, but waited until Astra was clear before she did, the arm moving down and then up again as she set things down with a sigh.
“Did you want to take a break….?” Astra offered, knowing his rider was tired and she stared at him for a moment but nodded, getting up to stretch out her stiff limbs.
“Yeah, let’s get something to drink and see if we have any guests.” It was a rather idle day, many people only peering into the shop to watch the tailor at work while the dragon laid in the window sill being the pretty boy he was.
Usually Stela worked on a smaller loom, but this was a time where she pulled out the big boy to work on. 75 pounds of unprocess obsidian wool had been her current project. After long hours of washing and brushing, processing the black wool from the wild creatures that many times could only be sheared once, spinning it until string and threads were produced, the painstaking process all led up to the end of threads into fabric. Very soft fabric, but Marstela was surprised she could still feel her fingers after all of this.
Rory saw the sparkling rainbow of a fox sitting at the sill. It certainly looked as charming as the store was supposed to be. Was it an enchanted creature from the Chronoscape? A rare, carefully bred dragon? Both he and Cloud were eager to see what was inside the store. He swung open the glass door and hit the chimes on the way in. The scent of fresh linens and dyes flooded his senses. The fabrics around him shimmered as if the stars themselves were woven within. Cloud stuck his head through the door, interrupting the bells as he lifted them with his snout. He pushed Rory forward as he wiggled into the shop. Cloud, stop it. This isn’t a store for dragons.
But that dragon is there, he whined, indicating the fox-like creature sitting nearby.
That dragon is much smaller than you. Cloud was undeterred, managing to fit his whole body through the door. Nothing fragile appeared to be close to the front door, at least. Stay there, don’t move, don’t touch anything. Understood?
Cloud nodded swiftly. Of course. No mischief tonight.
He looked through the store for the owner and caught sight of the lady in her glittering dress. He approached the counter, unsure if he should directly approach her, and asked her sheepishly from the side, “Do you have anything enchanted, or a shiny trinket to wear at an event, or something like that? I’m buying a gift for someone.”
Hearing the door chime go off, the female stopped sipping from her lavishing glass to look over the pair that… pressed forward into her store full of all sorts of luxurious and classy apparel and accessories that could put many other products to shame. The pride she put into crafting and making sure each one of her pieces sold were perfect for whomever wanted them would make some people wonder how she managed, but that was always her little secret for only her to keep to herself. Not that there was any secret aside from a lot of hard work and time on her hands.
“Welcome in, Darling. What does a pretty face like yours desire?” Her tone was quite flirty, a smile on her plump lips as she approached him at the counter while Astra trotted out to go see what the other rather pretty dragon was up to. Always the curious sort, Astra could help but investigate everyone that entered to see if they’d give him a good pet or at least tell him how lovely looking he was.
“Oh my, what sort of someone?” It seemed as if just small talk, as she leaned into her sore hand on the counter, her low cut top keeping everything contained but always left her more womanly shape for many to see and only desire as though she was flirty she was only interested in one time of gender. “A dear lover? A very close friend maybe?”
With Astra, he was sniffing at Cloud, head tilting as he stared up at the bigger dragon, tail swishing as he stared at them with his multiple eyes. He wasn’t discouraged by the size, finding the storm dragon quite cute in it’s own way but the way they looked around at all the dresses and left the mannequins feeling nervous and walking away from the dragon did leave him wondering.
“Hello there! Who are you?” Astra asked Cloud, sniffling as his wings now while still wagging his tail.
Rory was tone deaf to any sort of flirting and blind to any kind of body language leaning in that direction. Rather, he was quite happy to receive the compliment about his face out of the blue. “Thanks for the nice words.” Obviously, it was for someone else–she guessed as much, fast. But he stopped her short before things got out of hand and she thought there was something sensual going on. “My brother. He likes trinkets like these and has been dropping hints about it.” He inspected the dresses, trinkets, baubles, and everything else decorating the shop. Nothing looked particularly magical to his eyes, though lots of things looked like they were dipped in glitter. Hopefully this store wasn’t a scam.
As Astra walked up to Cloud, Cloud sniffed the fox-like creature. “My name is Cloud,” he cheerfully replied. With just half a moment of thinking, he decided that the best course of action was licking the top of its head, like a mother cat would its cub. This one is small and cute and colorful. I will keep him.
You can’t just steal someone’s animal. Leave it alone. Not without the depth of their wallet and family prestige more obvious, anyways. He didn’t want to give either of those away, lest the trinkets suddenly jump up in price. He turned back towards Maristella. “I don’t know what you sell here, but apparently nice things. Magical things, and…pretty things?”
Watching as the male looked at the walls of jewelry, potions, and dresses of all things for this brother that was just mentioned. She couldn’t help but chuckle as the oblivious male, but that was fine as she had no actual interest in seducing him. He was just a customer that deserved the nice words like everyone else. He seemed to be a sweetheart as well, so she started coming from behind the counter to show him around.
“Well your brother has a fine taste, I must say. Does he happen to like dresses? Or is he more of a jewelry man?” This wasn’t the strangest thing by far that she had encountered, but still amusing as she started leading Rory through the clothes and jewelry section. Some outfits displayed on the moving mannequins who were more than happy to pose as directed by Stela with a few words. It was always nice having someone shopping for someone else, as they always debated long and hard about it, but always went home with something.
“Can you keep an eye on the pretty dragon dear?” She eventually called to Astra who was way ahead of her, always quite a pleasant boy who listened so well and knew Stela liked all the guests in her shop to feel welcomed in their abode.
Staring at Cloud with his big pretty eyes, he closed the one on his forehead as he was given a lick. It felt odd, not really used to being licked by anyone as Maristela was who raised him and not his dragon parents of… whoever that was. He only knew of lavishing life with his rider, and not the more animal-like life even if he just looked like a pretty fox.
“It’s nice to meet you Cloud! I’m Astra, and my rider is Stela. You’re pretty big.” Looking over the dragon against, he circled the larger dragon to paw gently at his fur. So careful but giving nice pets with his soft paw pads like he would with the cat and peacock that also lived there but were currently hidden.
Rory shrugged. “I see him wearing all kinds of things. He just wears whatever people give him, and whatever catches his eye, and whatever sparkles, and…yes. Just about anything. Our father prefers the jewelry to dresses, though.” He could imagine the stern man getting upset that his son had yet another dress to strut around in, and this one provided by his other son. No, that wouldn’t be ideal. “So, jewelry might be good. Something with a noticeable magical effect–some kind of glow or glitter. A pretty-looking effect, like light magic.” His eyes still wandered to the posing mannequins. Maybe he could get a dress as well, and just…place it somewhere his brother would find it. Like a double birthday present, except like that, he would bear no responsibility for whatever fashion walk was put on in the estate after that.
Cloud nodded at Astra when he was called big. Unlike his Rider, he knew a flirtatious remark when he heard one! He puffed out his chest and spread his wings to show just how big of a wyvern he was. “Of course I’m big! I’m the perfect size for my Rory.” As he spread his wings, several stands of clothing and jewelry toppled over with jingles and chimes. The shelves fell like dominos, with the two Riders quickly getting out of the way. It ended at a beautiful loom, clearly a hand-crafted antique, with black silk threaded delicately among the pins and ropes. The strings pulled tight and then snapped with a twing, dyes and bleaches from around the area scattering on top of it and coating it with paint, glitter, and discoloration. The dust settled and Cloud shut his wings. “See? Very big.” He knew he had exaggerated a little bit, but the dramatic effect seemed to be in his best interest. Rory was dumbfounded and could only stare at the destruction.
Nodding she was told about this brother with interesting tastes, she was a big sad they chose to go with jewelry, but maybe by the time they were done he’d take home a dress as well for that extra gift even if the father would not appreciate it. The destruction that would soon happen was not even a thought in the tailor’s mind, only enjoying walking the male around the shop with her as she showed off all her fancy items for sale.
“Oh I may have just the perfect–” Hearing a loud yelp as Astra scattered from the dragon, the rider at first worried for her darling. Astra rushed right over to her though, climbing right into her arms to be held as the shop around them crashed on just the one side. As the dust of glitter and other supplies settled, Maristela was finally able to look at the mishap and only stand quietly as she walked around stroking her distressed dragon.
Many of the dresses were fine, the mannequins wanting nothing to do with the dragon and had scattered the moment he started puffing himself up. Jewelry could be salvaged, and with a little work and magic would be an easy enough fix. But, oh her months of hard work. Staring at her beautiful loom that was destroyed beyond recognition. Even the parts that could be saved were now covered in many dyes and supplies that ruined the fabric to unusable. Just staring at the mess, she was just quiet, rage bubbling up in her but she remained calm.
Taking a deep breath, exhaling, finding that center of peace that had fled from this situation and only lingered on the edge of her mind. Astra watched his rider with his big eyes as he whimpered. She also had to set a good example for her dragon, who else would be his role model if not her.
“I hope you have the funds to pay for this.” She said in the end, though not staring at Rory.
Funds. Of course he had the funds to pay for it. There was just a bit of a predicament…funds could be tracked. A few thousand silvence here and there would go unnoticed–it was well within his allowance–but replacing an entire magical trinket store…he gulped. If it was too expensive, he couldn’t dip into the family fund without being noticed. And, if his brother noticed, that would be the end of it. Every moment it became slightly relevant, his brother would bring it up. He could imagine it now–‘Remember that time your stupid dragon actually cost you more than you had in your wallet?’ Or maybe something like, ‘Wow, I never knew you liked crafts that much. Funding an entire store!’ He’d do anything to stop that from happening.
I’m sorry, Rory, Cloud murmured through their bond. The sorry was genuine, and Rory couldn’t help but sympathize with his dragon. He just wanted to show off a little. Albeit, in a way that completely destroyed someone’s livelihood, and worse, his Rider’s reputation.
Rory mustered up the courage to ask the shopkeeper. “How much will it be?”