When John enters, he finds he is in a smaller room that leads to a room with a large pool in it. The pool looks like it would come up to his knees. It has a waterfall feeding into it and a lip near an opening at the other end. John tests the water and finds it is warm. He strips down and gets in. He walks over to the waterfall and tests the temperature. He dunks his head under and lets the water run down his back. He looks back at the pool and finds the Ooze has come out of the horn. It is trying to drink from the pool, but it pulls back before it falls in. It then tries again. John watches it for a moment then dunks his head back under the waterfall. He then walks over to the Ooze and picks it up as he sits down. He puts the Ooze on top of his head saying “Don’t eat my hair.” He then relaxes and closes his eyes as he feels the Ooze cleaning his head.
John opens his eyes when he feels the water move and finds Nasha in the middle of the pool with her back to him. John yells “Nasha!” as he jerks forward to cover himself, the sudden movement sends the Ooze flying into the water. The Ooze almost instantly balloons up to more than twice its size and bobs in the water. John says to Nasha “What are you doing here?” as the Ooze develops little flippers to move towards the edge.
Nasha turns to face John saying “We all need baths.”
John says “I thought I would be taking mine, then you ladies would come in afterward.”
Nasha says “I see no problem with us bathing together.”
John says “That’s not the point!”
Nasha looks at John then shoves the tip of her tail between John’s hands as they cover his groin. Nasha looks away from John saying “Typical”
John says “Hey now! Wait a….” he suddenly gets a jet of water sprayed in his face. John looks to the source of the water and finds the Ooze on the edge of the pool with a puddle of water around it. The Ooze then heads back to the horn.
Kenta says “Come now Nasha. That’s a good sign among my kind.” She and Papi start to enter the pool. They each take turns under the waterfall with Kenta also wetting her hindquarters. Papi runs over to John. John quickly holds a hand up to stop Papi in fear of her jumping on him. Suddenly Nasha’s tail comes up out of the water catching Papi before she gets to him. Nasha coils her tail to bring Papi to her. She says to Papi “You stay here” as they sit a little bit away from John.
Kenta lays her lower body down at the other end of the pool. She lets out a sound of relief when her legs are completely submerged in the hot water. She says “This feels good on my legs.”
John is starting to relax a little when they hear Draleen call out “Others are waiting to take a bath.” They all look at each other and quickly finish up. John leaves last while still trying to cover himself.
Draleen gives them clean clothes. John notices that the clothes are low-backed or tied around their necks. He then realizes it’s to make room for the Dragonewt’s wings.
They hear a bell in the distance echo through the cave as they exit the bath. Draleen says “I guess I will find you a place to sleep.”
John says “what was that bell.”
Draleen says “it tells us that the sun has set outside so that the night hunters can go get food. But I have a feeling you are all tired from your journey here.”
John does feel it hit him that they have been traveling all day and could use some rest.
Draleen does find them an empty place to stay then leaves them alone. The place is roughly carved from the cave with at least two rooms and has no real furniture in it. It has a room large enough for Kenta to sleep in and for Nasha to lay out her blanket. They have a quick meal in the main room then they all try to get some sleep.
The group is awakened by a bell ringing through the cave. John mutters to the others “It must be sunrise” and gets up.
Draleen enters with a cloth-covered basket and puts it down after seeing they are up and moving saying “Good you’re up. We can go to the horde after you eat” and starts to leave.
John says “You can join us if you like.”
Draleen says “I have already eaten and have been up for a few hours now.” John blinks when he hears the word hours. Draleen says “I have other things to do other than to hatchling sit you” and leaves.
John lifts the cover of the basket to find cooked food in it. They all have a quick bite and wait for Draleen to return.
Draleen takes them to an area deep within the cave system to a cloth-covered opening. John is amazed when steps into the area. It is a well-lit room with rows of bookcases with a second floor with more bookcases. John looks around as they walk through the room and sees Dragonewts reading and studying. Many are also writing things on paper. John hears some shuffling of the bookcase as if someone bumps them. John says to Kenta “Be careful Kenta. I don’t want you to accidentally knock over a bookcase here.”
Kenta snaps back at him “I will let you know I take pride in my nimbleness in tight areas. I can’t be a great warrior if I recklessly bump into things!” John looks at Kenta who has stopped moving. He then hears the shuffling again as Nasha moves. He quickly looks at Nasha’s tail to see she is undulating her tail and is using the bookcases to push off of.
John looks at Nasha and says “Same goes for you.”
Draleen leads them to an area on the first floor and starts looking through the book muttering to herself. She finally pulls a book, blows the dust off the cover, and says “Here it is. The tales of old, volume ten.” She finds a nearby table and chairs to start flipping through the book. John grabs a book and opens it. He was right, he can’t read the writing, and puts it back.
Kenta says “What good is having all these old dusty tombs.”
Draleen says with her back to Kenta “I bet you can’t read, you illiterate simpleton.”
Kenta takes a step toward Draleen, but John stops her by stepping between them. John says to Nasha “can you read?”
Nasha says “I am a hunter, what good does it for me to know how to read scrolls. My mom could though and she would read to me anything that I need to know about.”
Draleen says “At least there is hope for that one. At least someone in her family knows how to read. If still a simpleton.” Nasha reflexively reaches for her dangers. John quickly gives Nasha a look to stop her.
John says to Kenta loud enough for Draleen to hear “Kenta, you can study a fighter at first sight and know how to fight them. You can ‘Read’ a fighter.” John then says to Nasha “Nasha, I’ve seen you look at a trail and know what animals have traveled on it and how long ago. You can ‘read’ the trails.” John turns to Draleen and says “Not everything can be learned in a book.” Draleen looks at John for a moment then goes back to reading.
John says to Draleen “Just curious, what’s in all these books” as he looks around.
Draleen says without looking away “Knowledge. What else can books hold?” John wonders if this is what the Library of Alexandria was like in its day. John then sees some Dragonewts nearby looking at Kenta and Nasha with some interest, some have paper and quill in hand.
John says to Draleen “What are the others doing in here.”
Draleen says “Studying. Many are trying to earn a right to be a part of our Lord’s caretakers. But they first must share a piece of knowledge that our Lord doesn’t know.”
John says to Draleen “Would it be cheating if they learned it from someone else?”
Draleen says “How else do you learn. The writers of these books wanted someone else to learn from them.”
John says to Nasha and Kenta “Would you mind if the others talk to you. Nasha, you know about the woods, maybe you can help them with any of the nature studies. And Kenta, you may not be able to share your knowledge of fighting. But I bet they would love to hear something about your culture.”
Nasha and Kenta look at each other, then Kenta says “it’s better than just standing around and waiting.” The other Dragonewts almost jump for joy at hearing that.
John says to the Dragonewts “Just don’t move too far away from me. The Amulet’s ability to translate goes only so far.”