Kari of Light sat on the fountain dangling her feet in the water. Yet again the Coming of Age ceremony was taking place. The birds in the gardens of Dea were chattering as the dragons ran around making last minute preparations. Istas and Gideon were all ready to take the speech, but she had noticed they were the only ones ready. Lee and Hjördis were no where to be seen, but that never did worry the demon before. They had pulled through last time, even if Kari was bitten by one of the bonded Clarus. This time she would just watch the ceremony instead of taking orders from Hjördis.

Kippling nudged her from behind, she turned around wordlessly to see a teary eyed glass dragon. *Hjördis is missing! So is Lee!*

"You're joking?"

*Why would I joke at a time like this?* Kippling said sternly, but he quickly lost the hard edge in his voice as he continued. *We need you to fill in for Hjördis.*

Kari snorted. "No." 

*B-but one of the bondmates is already here with their dragon!* He pointed with his tail to a young graceful girl and a bright orange dragon. *We can't send them home.*

Kari glared at the glass dragon, "I'll get you for this later you know?"

The glass dragon bobbed his head happily and ran off to speak to the elder dragons. With a labored sigh the young demon took her feet out of the fountain and slipped them into her wooden sandals. It was going to be a wonderful day.

The two other sets of bondmates arrived in no time at all. A uncontrollable young boy with a strange shade of skin arrived with a bright yellow Clarus as well as a strangely familiar blue dragon as a chaperone. Another young lady was the last to make an appearance. Her party was consisted of her silvery bondmate, as well as a dashing young man who was bonded to a glass Clarus. (Kippling squealed when he saw her, and Rauha rolled her eyes at her mate.)

The bondmates socialized (as best as they could, you understand ) until the first elder dragon appeared from behind the gazebo. "Would dragons and bondmates make a line so we can proceed with the ceremony?"

Hastily they did what they were told. The elder thanked the stars above that there were only three dragons this time. He had very little faith in their substitute.

Kari cracked her knuckles as she strode out from the gazebo with the three gifts. She was dressed in the same attire as the regular representative, which made her quite uncomfortable. She down at the elder dragon, who nodded his head in approval. "Would Nexia and Kilara come forth?"

The orange dragon and the young dignified woman stepped forward and a tiny fox like creature followed them both. They automatically stopped in front of the speaker and waited. "Nexia, you have vowed to protect your bondmate, have you not?"

The dragon nodded, and would have said something if she were not trying to hide how nervous she really was.

"You have chosen a path worthy of any orange dragon, and you have chosen an equally difficult magic to master. The Kouryuu council has given you the Plenus Ardens. This will give you the power to summon a person or thing to meet you, and it will also allow you to control time for short periods. Use this wisely, otherwise you may disrupt the flow of time in your dimension." She handed an unusual blue looking device to Kilara. The fox creature looked between the dragon and the girl expectantly. "It's a tail pendant," Kari supplied, "but remember Kilara, your bondmate may be wearing it but it still connects you even closer than before." The three returned to the line as Kari held back a sigh. Just two more sets to go and Kari would be done with her human (er... close enough) for the whole month.

 The elder dragon poked the speaker in the leg, "Now! Would Calico Jaq Rackham and Sage come forth?" Kari thought as long as she could on what she had just said. A pirate dragon?

Sure enough a bright yellow dragon with a eye patch stepped forward along with a small purple skinned boy. "It's been said that you two are quite a handful together." Kari's eyes flickered to the blue dragon in the background who happened to face wing at the time she said that, "To you, Calico Jaq Rackham, the council awards the Zona Gladius, a very useful device that will allow you to summon gusts of wind when there are none, but please be careful while summoning you can cause a great deal of damage if you horseplay." She handed a wooden sword to Sage. "Now, you both can fight for good as... pirates."

The two skittered back to the line as Kari called, "Mercury and Cammie, please, step forward?"

The gray dragon and a brown haired girl came to stand in front of Kari. "Mercury, your color was thought to be a myth as well as your special mutation, so you have a great deal of power hidden with you. Despite the rocky start with your bondmate, you two have a deeper and stronger bond than either of you realize, so the council gives you the Fabula Finis. When this locket opens you will not only have a mastery over wind currents you will have a mastery over another element as well." She placed a small locket on a marble laden string into Cammie's hands. "I would also wish you the best of luck with your two interesting friends. I'm sure they're a handful." Kari winked as Cammie blushed a bit before hurriedly returning to the line.

"The third ceremony has come to a quick end. I wish you all the greatest of luck on the paths you take, because your journeys are truly never ending. You may stay to speak with council members, to look at potential mates, or to catch up on lost time. Tsuyamono will send you home when you wish." The demon gave a sweeping bow as the tiny crowd scattered.

A smile crossed over an elder's face. Hjördis would never be out of a job, but when she decided to put away her robes and finally settle down with Gideon, he knew they could relay on Kari to be there.

With each generation of Clarus dragon they grew stronger. Soon they might be able to stand on their own.



Back to the Coming of Age stories