John and Glee head to the other farms over the next couple of days. John lets Glee do most of the talking. Many of the farmers are happy to hear of the deal, while others aren’t.
John and Glee are heading back to Glee’s farm after dealing with a farmer who didn’t like the idea of Harpies in their fields. Glee says to John “I know that Sharre is an old stubborn fool. But to treat us like he did is unacceptable.”
John says “He’ll come around once he sees the Harpies in action and hears about it. Our next biggest challenge is to get the people living in the town itself on board with the idea. That way the Harpies can fly over it to the other fields.”
Glee says “Leave that to us. I mean me and the other farmers. The townsfolk know that if we are happy, then they should be happy. Our farms are what supports them.”
John says “That’s good because hopefully, we will be leaving soon.”
Glee says “To where?”
John says “We are heading to a dragon that is said to live nearby.”
Glee stops dead in his tracks and just stares at John saying “You are truly a mad man to think you can go see the dragon.”
John says “You know of it?”
Glee says “only the stories that I have heard. It is said it sleeps in a cave in the Spine Mountains. It is a monster to be feared when it wakes. A creature of eminence power even when it sleeps. Guarded by its children. With untold treasures in its lair. I don’t know why you want to go to it. But you are welcome to stay here. I know that a farmer’s life is not the best life for someone who can speak freely with anyone and allow others to speak freely with any tongue. But it is a good life.”
John looks around saying “I have my reasons. But your offer is nice and I may take you up on it after I am done traveling.”
John and Glee find some of Harpies perched near Glee’s house. John says to the Harpies “Hello ladies.”
The Harpies look at John and one says to him “Good, we need your help telling the males here something.”
John is afraid to ask, thinking he knows what they want him to tell the men. But John asks “What do you want me to tell them?”
The Harpy says “We are interested in mating with them.”
John looks to Glee saying “I think you better talk to your men about this.”
Glee says “I have. A few have been wanting to ‘mate’ with them since hearing that all Harpies are female.”
John looks to the Harpies saying “You know I won’t be around here forever.”
The one Harpy says “I have been listening and watching to them to see if I can say something in their tongue.”
Glee says “Well is there something you can do now. Just so my men know until you can talk to us.”
The Harpy raises up and starts to dance. John looks at Glee and they say together “That will do.”
Glee goes over to his men and points out the dancing Harpy. One of the men comes over and extends his hand to the Harpy. There is a moment of confusion from the Harpy, but then she smiles and the man leads her away. Soon other Harpies start dancing.
John sees Papi dancing and says to a nearby Harpy “Is she of age to mate?”
The Harpy looks at Papi and says “No.”
John says “Then you might want to stop her!”
The Harpy snaps at the others “Stop the young ones!!!” The other Harpies start battering Papi with their wings to get her to stop dancing.
John and Glee find Kenta later and sees she is agitated. John says to her “are you okay?”
Kenta says “I could have used you earlier. Those young ones keep staring at me.” Motioning to Glee’s daughters.
Glee says “Sorry, My daughters have never been outside this valley. So they get excited when they see strangers. We don’t get many centaurs around here.”
Kenta says “That’s understandable.”
John says “Hey Kenta, would like to give them a story to tell their grandkids and get a chance to stretch your legs at the same time?” Glee and Kenta give John a puzzled look. John adds “Would you permit each one a chance to ride on your back once.” Glee looks at Kenta.
Kenta says “You at least ask me and like Glee said they don’t get to see many of my kind here.”
Soon John and Glee are sitting back watching as Kenta runs around with one of Glee’s daughters on her back.
John and Glee visit Stasto the next day to see how things are going. Stasto says “You were right Glee they hunt the critters that plague my fields.”
John watches as the Harpies land with kills and walks up to get meat for them to eat. John then has to do a double-take when one of the Harpies walking by with a kill is Papi. She gives it to the farmhand and waits for meat. The farmhand gives Papi a smaller portion than her kill and goes back to what he was doing. Papi jumps and flaps her wings to kick the table to get his attention again. Papi gives the farmhand a look that John has seen on Nasha all to offend when dealing with traders that try to cheat her.
John says to the farmhand “You better be careful with that one. She knows when you are trying to cheat her.” John is unsure how to react when Papi gets her new portion and goes to eat with the other Harpies. He is saddened a little to see she made a kill and didn’t come to him to show him.
John, Nasha, and Kenta decide to leave after a few more days. As they walk along the path leading away from the town and farms, Nasha says to John “Why didn’t you want us to say goodbye to Papi?”
John says without looking at her “I don’t think she would understand.” He takes a breath and says “So it’s better if we just leave.”
Nasha stops and doesn’t know what to say.
They then hear flapping and look to its source. Papi lands in the field and jumps up on the fence. She looks extremely tired and worried, like she has been searching for them for some time. John looks past her to see the rest of the flock landing in a tree and roof of a farmhouse that is nearby. John walks up to Papi and says to her “Papi you should stay. They are your family, your flock.” He motions to the flock. John can even see Grandma among the flock. Papi looks at the flock then looks back at John. John says to her while trying to hold back tears “I wish you could understand me. I don’t know how to tell you….”
Kenta says softly “John, maybe this will help.” Kenta pats her saddle. Papi happily jumps off the fence and runs over to Kenta and hops on her back. Nasha comes up to John and says “I guess we are Papi’s flock” as John watches Papi settle down.
John and the others look to the flock. Grandma raises one wing high in the air. The other Harpies follow her lead. They then start to slowly wave their wings at the group. John holds his hand up and so do the others. They start waving back to the flock. Grandma calls out to the flock and takes off. The flock follows her back to the crevice.
John turns to face the road ahead of them and says “Now let’s go see that dragon.”