A long time ago, when Bebo and her cousin Gleamdrene were but maids, a time which only she, the Prince, the dragon and his sister can remember, the dragon was searching for the perfect man or woman to be his firstborn.
He found a man, a captain of the watch named Orman to fit the role he had planned. Orman was perfect in the dragon’s opinion and so he went off to his sister’s realm.
“I would have this man as my firstborn” he told his sister.
“Then let us play our game,” she replied. They played their game and the dragon smiled, “So he is mine now” he said. His sister shrugged.
The dragon left for his own realm and began to plan a way to get Orman into his clutches.
Gleamdrene did greatly admire Orman and he was of great repute and therefore she wished to marry him. One night she was invited to meet his parents and together they would ask for marriage.
So that evening her cousin, Bebo helped her with her clothing.
“I can’t wait” exclaimed Gleamdrene.
“I can...” said Bebo quietly, for she didn’t like Orman.
That night Bebo waited long for the return of her cousin, but she did not come. Eventually Bebo decided to go and fetch her cousin. She walked all the way to the house where Gleamdrene had been expected earlier that night.
When Bebo arrived she knocked on the door. It was opened by Orman himself.
“Is my cousin still here?” she asked,
“No,” replied the man, “when she left the dragon himself swooped down and took her away.”
“I see” Bebo said flatly, “at this time of night I do not want to hear jokes; I only want my cousin to come home as it is very late.”
“I was not lying!” Orman retorted sharply “She is gone now so you’d better be off home before the dragon nabs you as well.”
“Will you not go after her?” Pleaded Bebo, “She is your love after all”
“No, my parents say she isn’t rich enough so that’s the end of that!” Orman refused,
Bebo gaped “You don’t love her at all!” she scolded. “Well if you won’t do anything I shall rescue her myself!” And with that she stalked off.
Bebo walked a long way. She didn’t stop to eat or drink. She just kept going day after day looking for an entrance to Death’s realm.
When she found one at last she entered. She soon had to stop though, because she feared to walk alone through the darkness.
“Lumil Elisul will you please help me?” she cried out “I cannot go on like this in the dark”
“Follow my path and trust in me” said a wood thrush which flew out of the darkness. “Your hair will light the way”, it trilled, and Bebo’s hair began to shine like melted gold. “Thank you” she whispered and kept going.
When she reached the dark waters her resolve faltered, what would she do?
The dragon sensed someone in his realm, sent a boat across the dark waters and was satisfied as he saw the boat sailing across the waters with someone in it. He smiled.
But the dragon was not pleased for long. When the boat landed he saw the Path this person followed, and also the person was not who he had been expecting! He frowned. This was a woman! A woman did not rescue another woman!
Bebo continued walking. She hadn’t gone far when she found herself at the foot of the dragon’s throne. Gleamdrene was there too, but she was sleeping.
“What are you doing here?” Asked the dragon;
“I have come for my cousin!” Bebo answered.
“But you cannot do that”, said the dragon, “She must be rescued by her true love.”
“Her true love has refused to come,” she replied simply.
“WHAT!” the dragon cried. “He will not come! Well that does change something…You may take your cousin IF you amuse me” he decided.
“I can do that,” Bebo exulted; she was relieved; surely it would not be too hard to amuse someone?
She tried juggling. The dragon snorted. She tried riddles. The dragon looked bored. She tried dancing. The dragon ignored her. Bebo sighed. Nothing she thought of worked! And then she had an idea.
“I shall now take my cousin and go” Bebo announced “Gleamdrene wake up, we will leave now.” Gleamdrene stirred and got to her feet.
“What!” The dragon sneered, “Surely you do not think that you can leave with her? You have to keep your end of the deal before you may rescue your songbird cousin! I am amused that you should try and take her before you have!”
“Have I not?” Bebo queried.
“What!” Cried the dragon, realising he had been tricked, “Well I did not say you could leave my realm did I? I did not say I would not try and stop you?” The dragon smiled, “Anyhow, you cannot cross the Dark Water”
But the Lumil Elisul was with Bebo and the dragon could not touch her or Gleamdrene as they walked down to the shore. Finding the boat still there they left his realm safely. He was enraged but there was not a thing he could do.
The next night the dragon visited Orman. “Do you wish to be great and powerful?” He asked
“Of course I do!” exclaimed Orman, “Who wouldn’t?”
“Than accept my kiss”
“No way! I know what you’re up to now! You’re some lass with a glamor on!”
Unfortunately for him Orman probably did not survive the following few minutes.
A long time after this when Bebo during the siege of Rudiobus, she looked back on this and smiled at her younger self.
As for Gleamdrene, she had found being rescued by her cousin, who was a lady like herself, was very embarrassing and eventually she made herself forget. After the siege of Rudiobuss she only felt a surge of annoyance and did not think of it at all.
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