Zhan clapped furiously, almost entirely forgetting decorum until Dai kicked him. Hard. After that he calmed down considerably.
"Alright," Dai sighed, smiling, "Ok, I concede that for all her... eccentricities she is bloody good at what she does."
Zhan just beamed. "She's wonderful. Isn't she wonderful?"
A bit rushed but not everyone is on and I want this moving.
The award ceremony was roughly an hour after the first match. Lin was beaming. Shun got 2,000 gold for coming in second. That Vanessa foreign lady came in third, and gave Lin dirty looks.
Shortly after the award ceremony Shun, and Myfanwy were each contacted, in turn, by a man who appeared to be in his early thirties. They could tell from his eyes he was a Dragon. "I am Xun, Shen Lung and servant of Lord Yao. His august personage has requested your presence. You will meet me here in an hour, and I shall take you to the estate of my lord." He explained, formally, adding a bit of an addendum for Shun, though; "and you will mind your manners."
While Xun was off extending Yao's invitations, Yao and Zhu had already retired to their palace, leaving Lin plenty of opportunity to drape herself about Zhan without having to worry about offending anything capable of swallowing her whole.
So that's what she did.
"So, tiger, doing anything tonight? I figured we could celebrate, hm?"
Shun tried sobering up for his meeting with his August Dragonage, but he lasted about 5 minutes.
Instead of buying a gift he sat in an inn drinking and putting himself down for being unworthy of a dragons presence.
Myfanwy was nervous to be meeting a one of the dragons face to face: especially since she might act a bit uncouth and wind up dinner. She certainly did not want to make any mistakes at the dragon's estate. The hour before the scheduled meet passed exceedingly slow for her as she waited.
Zhan smiled, "Well, I've got to go home for a while later. Dad's picked me to accompany some hirelings of his on some mission." He said it casually, but it was obvious he was very proud. "But other than that, no, I've no plans. Why," he teased, kissing her shoulder, "can you think of something to occupy my evening?" but before she could reply with a charmingly crass innuendo, he continued. "Actually um. I was wondering, if you wanted to, if maybe you would like to come back to the palace with me? I mean, you could uh meet some of my family and like, look around and stuff. It's pretty nice. The gardens are lovely. Um. Only if you're uh, free and stuff, I mean, now the tournament's over you might want to uh go home and that's fine too but I was… just… wondering…"
"Yes, Zhan, I'd rather go back to my dinky little house rather than spend time with you, and meet a Dragon, and poke around a Dragon's palace." Lin laughed, hugging Zhan close. "I'd love to, silly. What should I bring? Uh... I mean, my parents never figured I'd meet a Dragon - well, not on friendly terms anyway. I suppose they never quite ruled out the possibility their crass little girl might upset one and get herself eaten - and I'm not sure what sort of gift to give, but I know I'm supposed to give one."
At the appointed time the group met with Xun who proceeded to teleport them all to Yao's palace.
The palace was majestic beyond words. Nearly everything, including the palace itself, seemed to be wrought from pearls, jade, and opal. There were numerous waterways built into the floor or hanging overhead, some serving no purpose beyond aesthetics, and others being home to fish. A few times the group was observed by Yu Lung swimming within the waterways, presumably Yao's own children.
Having collected their gifts for Yao (if any) Xun silently led them to a grand throne room of sorts. Instead of an opulent throne, there was simply a raised platform upon which Yao rested, partly coiled. On each corner of the base of the platform was a heavily armored Lionfolk guard wielding a spear.
There were other people in the room as well, unfamiliar to the group. Also a crabperson in samurai armor.
Reactionposts are needed, in case anyone forgets to kowtow or is otherwise an uncultured barbarian who behaves improperly before his august personage.
Upon entering the palace, Myfanwy suddenly felt very inadequate. She viewed riches beyond her grasp used as mere decorations, ogled flowing waters above and below, and nearly fell over as she witnessed her first Yu Lung passing by in one of the indoor fjords. The palace's opulence very nearly had her dumbfounded, as they strode through the halls. She felt uncomfortable, uncouth, among its grandeur--and on top of everything, she'd not even thought to bring any gifts to the dragon royalty. She hoped this didn't raise her chances of being eaten, and had resolved long before coming she would say as little as possible, so as not to offend.
The long walk the throne room was deathly quiet, which unnerved her even more. Were a dragon not waiting at the end, she would have wished it over right then. But as it was, the procession moved on, until at last they arrived at the throne room. This chamber made her feel a little less boorish, though the sight of Yao himself was quite a view to behold. Her muscled tensed and she stared, rudely (yet in awe) at his glittering, golden scales. He was huge! She knew dragons were large, but had thankfully never had the chance to see one in person prior to this meeting. Granted, Yao was certainly no Therion, whom she had heard was colossal (she thanked the Gods for that,) but he was by no means any less intimidating. She hung back a little, wishing to draw as little attention as she could, not realizing that, being a red-headed, tall, foreigner, this was not very realistic.
For most of the walk to Yao, Shun was stumbling about, trying not to knock anything over. He was somehow successful.
When they got into the throne room Shun dropped down to his knees and began his over the top kowtowing.
The resounding, humbling, silent boom of a dragon, any dragon, is enough to shatter hearts of men. It is like Big Brother, but without the futility of resistance. Oh, oh, how naturally comes the kowtow. Megaera was brought to her knees and her face to the ground in the most feeble position.