Dragon Knights Fan Fiction ❯ The Facts of Life ❯ The Facts of Life ( Chapter 1 )

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Disclaimer: I do not own Dragon Knights, Mineko Ohkami does.
Summary: In which the Dragon Tribe attempt to give young Rath the Talk. In which a young Rath is very much confused. Because every genre needs one of these fics.
The Facts of Life
Lykuleon supposed it must have started when Cernozurna's cousin had come to visit her and had taken her newborn baby to proudly show off. There had been quite a commotion with the maids gushing over how adorable the infant was and tickling its feet and arms and singing nursery rhymes in falsetto voices. Rath, upon hearing that another child besides himself was in the castle, had excitedly rushed over to the kitchens to ask if the baby could play “demon-hunting” with him.
The baby's mother had gasped in horror and Cernozurna had laughed, saying that the baby needed to grow some more before he was old enough to play with Rath.
“Will he be old enough tomorrow?” Rath persisted unfazed.
“No, Rath,” Cernozurna said, smiling as she fondly ruffled his unruly black hair, “Five or six years at the least.”
“That long?!” Rath had howled miserably, his hopes of having a companion to act as bait-er…an aid to helping ensnare and trounce demons ruined, “Can't his mother have an older baby next time?”
This question threw the maids, Cernozurna, and the infant's mother into a fit of hysterical laughter which lasted for several minutes. After finally getting herself under control, Cernozurna had wiped tears of mirth from her eyes to declare, “No, Rath. It doesn't work like that, haha!”
“Why?” Rath inquired, feeling both frustrated and confused every waking second, “Where do babies come from anyway?”
That question had thrown everyone into another hysterical fit, however this time, there was no laughter, only wide eyes, nervous, tense voices, and frantic whispering.
Poor Cernozurna had grown quite red in the face and opened her mouth as if to reply, but only had managed to utter strange squeaking noises. At last, the head maid summoned enough will power to croak out, “Rath, um…p-please…go ask the Dragon Lord. He'll tell you.”
Rath had sulked and scowled, not wanting to go to the Dragon Lord for anything ever, and decided to just forget the whole weird situation altogether, and had gone back outside to play “demon-hunting” on his own.
Unfortunately, however, the incident was not forgotten by Cernozurna, who rather flustered, had presented the problem before Lord Lykuleon who reluctantly admitted it was time Rath learned about the Birds and the Bees.
You have to give the Dragon Lord credit.
He did try.
Lord Lykuleon gazed across the length of his desk to the chair where Rath was seated, practically disappearing into the depths of its soft cushioning, and nervously mopped the small strain of sweat that was breaking out upon his brow.
The young boy blinked his huge golden eyes as he stared solemnly back, and Lykuleon coughed and cleared his throat, deciding to get the uncomfortable matter over with as soon as possible.
“Ahem, yes,” the Dragon Lord stated, “Rath, you asked Cernozurna a certain question when her cousin and nephew were visiting us, and she has asked me to explain it to you. So, here it goes: the facts of life.”
Lykuleon stared at Rath.
Rath stared at Lykuleon.
It went on like this for about five minutes before Lykuleon burst out desperately, “JELLY BEANS!”
Rath jumped a little at the silence suddenly shattered and gazed at Dusis' king quite baffled.
“Yes! Yes! Jelly beans!” Lykuleon shouted elatedly, tipping over his confectionary bowel and spreading its contents across the desk's surface.
Then picking up one blue jelly bean he held it up so Rath could see it and stated emphatically, “This is a boy jelly bean.”
Rath stared.
Picking up a pink jelly bean, Lykuleon continued, “This is a girl jelly bean.”
Then putting the two jelly beans together on the desk, the Dragon Lord fished out a small purple jelly bean and laid it next to pink and blue one, “And voila! This is a baby jelly bean! See?”
Rath gaped.
“You understand, right?” Lord Lykuleon was asking, nodding his head as if to show the boy what his answer should be.
“Babies…come when there are jelly beans around?” Rath tried, the wheels in his small head working frantically.
Lykuleon looked as if he was about to cry.
In the end, the Dragon Lord sent him to Raseleane.
Rath probably had better luck with the jelly beans.
“Ooh! Babies!” Lady Raseleane swooned, clasping her hands under her chin and sighing happily, “Babies are love's eternal blessing! Life's revered gift! Of course, I never had any children of my own, but I wouldn't trade you for anything in the world, Rath! Because you are my sweet little angel, aren't you?”
Then the Dragon Queen proceeded to share with Rath every romantic fairy tale she knew, as well as the ancient legends of the goddess Venus and her son Cupid and how love's fate was determined by an invisible red string tied to each soul mate's finger.
All in all, poor Rath was even more confused than ever. At long length, he got up enough nerve to ask, “Yes, but, where, where do babies come from?”
“Mommy Rasie already told you,” the Dragon Queen stated dreamily, “From love, Rath! True, unbinding, everlasting love!”
When Lykuleon had found out how that Talk had went, he sent him to Tetheus.
Rath's Talk with the Black Dragon Officer went something like this:
Rath stared.
Tetheus stared.
Rath stared.
Tetheus stared, as well as sprout one small bead of sweat on his head.
Rath stared.
Tetheus stared, looking a little flushed around the face and collar. Meanwhile, his lone bead of sweat had multiplied to three.
Rath stared.
Tetheus stared, strands of fair starting to stick out from his gelled hair-do, and the beads of sweat had formed into a sort of coronet around his head.
Rath stared.
Tetheus stared, his left eyebrow going off into spontaneous spasms of twitching and his right foot was tapping erratically upon the ground.
Rath stared.
Tetheus stared, shot out his arm, grabbed a passing Dragon Fighter, placed him before the young boy and said, “As your Captain and superior, I command you to explain the facts of life to young Rath and be as thorough as possible.”
The Dragon Fighter had gaped in horror at the back of the quickly retreating Black Dragon Officer and had called out, “B-b-but…what about you?”
“I must go and decapitate something,” was the reply given, before Tetheus had vanished out of sight.
Luckily for the Dragon Fighter, Ruwalk was merrily strolling the halls of the Dragon Castle and who swiftly found himself with his arms full of Rath and hasty instructions, before the Dragon Fighter fled the scene to contemplate handing in his resignation.
“Er, well…you see, Rath,” Ruwalk said, squirming in embarrassment as he attempted to find the right words, “When a man and a woman love each other very much…erm, sometimes a baby comes along.”
Rath wasn't quite sure he understood the whole equation, however Ruwalk's very brief summary seemed to have a lot in common with Lord Lykuleon's boy and girl jelly beans and the Dragon Queen's love theory.
“I like Cernozurna,” Rath said, testing the waters, “Does that mean we'll get a baby soon?”
“NO!” Ruwalk yelped, looking absolutely mortified. The man struggled to compose himself before continuing weakly, “Ahem, no. There are certain…activities both parties must do…in order to…ah…procreate.”
Rath decided going back to his staring act was the best option. What little knowledge he thought he had gained into the foresight of the origin of babies was dashed. He hadn't even understood half of what had just been said.
“These…ah, activities,” Ruwalk squeaked, wringing his hands helplessly, his face taking on an expression that read as if he wished the floor would swallow him whole, “Um…well, there's a lot of…cough…kissing…and stuff…”
“But I see the Dragon Lord and Queen kissing all time,” Rath said confused, “They should have lots of babies then!”
“Ah, yes, well,” Ruwalk said, the embarrassment momentarily leaving his face and looking quite sad, “Unfortunately, there is a certain circumstance that prevents them from having babies. Nontheless, if not for that, there'd be more children to play with.”
“Maybe there still is,” Rath said hopefully, “I saw the maids going over the Dragon Fighters' Guild on their day off, and I peered through the window, and believe me, there was a heck of a lot of kissing going on!”
“WHAT?” Ruwalk exclaimed in shock, his voice several octaves higher.
Which was the reason for the Yellow Dragon Officer rushing off to find Lykuleon and share with him this piece of news, and discuss what should be done about the social conduct inside the palace, therefore thrusting Rath into the hands of another unfortunate victim to have them add on the extremely long and more baffling explanation about the facts of life.
Alfeegi's turn with the Talk was perhaps the briefest and most confusing explanation of them all.
The White Dragon Officer simply stared at Rath seated in the chair opposite him for two seconds, before leaping out of his own and raging, “YOU JUST TELL ME IF ANYONE HAS TRIED ANYTHING ON YOU, YOU HEAR? YOU COME STRAIGHT TO ME AND I'LL SET THEM RIGHT, WHOEVER THEY ARE! WANTING TO KNOW WHERE BABIES COME FROM! SO YOUNG! WHAT IS THIS WORLD COMING TO? FOUL, LOATHSOME, EVIL…!”
Rath, far too used to Alfeegi's violent fits, decided the man was not going to share any information after his deranged ranting, got up and left the room.
Rath wandered to a small garden on the Dragon Castle's grounds. There were several gardens altogether, but this one especially was his. He chose it because it was hidden and a good place to rest or simply to get away from people when they all began acting crazy like today. The only ones who knew about it or where to find it were himself, Crewgar, Fire and Kai-stern.
Rath was expecting the garden to be empty, which was why when he entered it he was surprised to hear a quiet voice ask, “Why so glum, Rath?”
“Kai-stern!” the young boy had yelled happily, his spirits lifting as he flung himself into the older man's arms, “I didn't know you had come back! Why aren't you at the Dragon Castle?”
“There seems to be some huge commotion going on over there right now and after my long travel from Luwa, I'm too weary right now to deal with that,” Kai-stern stated, rubbing a hand over his face and yawning.
“I don't know what's going on either,” Rath said, throwing up his hands exasperated, “Ever since I asked where do babies come from, they've all been shoving me around to one another and talking funny!”
“Really?” Kai-stern inquired, his eyes sparkling with intrigue, “I've got to hear this.”
So Rath shared with him Lykuleon's jelly bean examples, Raseleane's love theory, Tetheus who had been no help at all, Ruwalk's emphasis on kissing and Alfeegi's deranged ranting. By the time he was finished, Kai-stern was doubled over, roaring with laughter, tears streaming down his face.
In the meantime, Rath's frustration which had been building up during the course of the day, promptly was set loose.
Finally regaining the usage of his lungs, Kai-stern got his emotions under control and said, “If you really want to know, Rath, I'll answer your question. Just be warned, it's not as little as you think it is. There's a whole other world waiting to be discovered once you've heard the facts of life. You still want to know?”
Rath thought about it for a short while. He had gone through a lot; had suffered through all those other “explanations” and what answer had he received except wishing he had never asked the question in the first place. However, even now, the curiosity burned within him. A whole new world? That sounded excited. Besides, he was sure he was ready for a change. Playing “demon-hunting” in the backyard of the castle was fun, but what goal did he obtain by doing it?
“Yes,” Rath stated firmly, “I want to know. Tell me.”
And Kai-stern did.
Several Years Later…
An older Rath sat with Rune and Thatz on the soft grass on the castle's grounds.
Rune was holding a withered flower in his hand and was busy trying to focus his dormant elf healing powers into the plant to revitalize it. Thatz was stretched out on the ground, his head propped up against a tree stump as he lazily tossed grapes into his mouth.
“Hey, guys, I have a question,” Rath wondered out loud, “Who gave told you about the facts of life?”
Upon hearing this inquiry, Rune somehow managed to completely destroy the withered flower into a long black stem which soon crumbled into dust. Thatz gave a short gasp of shock which allowed one of the grapes tossed into his mouth to lodge itself down his throat with a forceful choking hold.
The ex-thief managed to hack and cough the now-mutilated fruit up and spit it out, before turning to Rath and asking hoarsely, “What made you ask that?”
Rath shrugged, “I was just remembering what happened when I asked that question and wondered if everyone's experience was as a bad as mine.”
Rune buried his face in his hands before speaking, “It was the Faerie Elder. It was horrible. He seemed really gleeful when explaining to me and Tintlett and kept emphasizing on the importance of the `purity of the delicate rosebud waiting to be plucked'”.
The elf lifted his face from his hands to view Rath and Thatz gazing at him in horror.
Rune nodded, “I still can't bear the sight of roses.”
Thatz cleared his throat, “It was Master at the bar where I used to hang out before I became a Dragon Knight. He gave a seminar class to all the local thieves hitting puberty and for us to be aware of certain wiles the enemy might throw at us. Not only did he explain the facts of life, since there were girl thieves at the meeting, he also made all of us sit through `Becoming A Women 101' complete with all the information about the unveiling of mysteries surrounding the female anatomy, certain times every month, child-bearing, etc.”
Thatz crossed his arms and nodded to his two fellow Knights gaping at him soundlessly, “Yep. That's why I steer clear of women and only go for treasure and food. There's no need for me to get caught up in that mess!”
“Well, at least you only had to get the Talk once,” Rath stated, “I got it from every single person in the Castle, and half the time it was with visual aids such as jelly beans and finger puppets. The only one who explained it clearly was Kai-stern.”
“Man, grown-ups really ought to just speak out the truth and not beat around the bush,” Thatz declared stoutly, scowling slightly, “I mean really, what are they afraid of? Ruining a child's innocent vision of life? Let's all agree that if any poor soul ever is in need of hearing about the facts of life, we give it them straight!”
The three Dragon Knights each stuck out their hand and placed it on top of the others, making a solemn pact. This newly found covenant was out to the test a short while later
when Zoma strolled up to them with a perturbed, half-occupied expression on his face.
“Hey, Zoma, what's up?” Rath asked, waving the Yokai boy over.
“I don't really know,” Zoma said, his face scrunching up in confusion, “I was helping the Dragon Fighters try out the bridle and bit on one of the Durna foals and all I said was that they were really cute, and I wondered where they came from. Then everyone starting screaming and running around, and finally they locked me out of the stables! Do you guys have any idea of what's going on?”
Rath, Thatz, and Rune gawked at the boy in a frozen state of panic for several seconds, before leaping out and making a mad dash towards the Dragon Castle, shouting at the top of their lungs, “KAI-STERN! KAI-STERN! KAI-STEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEERN!”
Zoma watched their swiftly receding forms then spoke out loud in amazement to the air above him, “Wow. You were right. They really are gutless!”
:That'll be five gold: Fire scribbled gleefully on his sign.
A/N: Haha, hope you enjoyed this small ficlet. I wrote it because my muse was banging away in my head desperate to be let out and I didn't fell like brain-storming over any of my chapter fics. I tried to make it short, but somehow I never can write anything shorter than five pages and this is eight in word. Also, I've enjoyed reading The Talk fics in other genres and I had just had to write one for Dragon Knights. How did I do? Was the story convincing? Did you enjoy reading it? What was your favorite part? Please review and tell me!