Saturday, 19 May 2012

Chapter Fifty Seven

When Mira got back from China she found her parents had expanded the barn and added a full extra storey and a covered area for the horse stalls.

She didn't have long to see what they'd done as it was nearly time for Nia to grow up. 
Once Nia had grown up, Mira spent some time cuddling her 
And playing some tickling games. 

Once she'd put Nia to bed, the adults sat down to a family meal and Mira told her parents all about her adventures in Shang Simla.
Mira was keen to keep up her Sim Fu now she was back from China and was delighted to discover that the workout dummy and board breaker she'd ordered had already arrived.
Meanwhile, Tamara had brought Nia outdoors to teach her how to walk.  Nia seemed to really love being outdoors with all the different sights and sounds.
When Mira started feeling sick partway through the afternoon, she thought that the cake she'd eaten must have been a bit rich. 
So she went back outside and continued practising. 
It wasn't until a little while later that she realised that her sickness was actually a sign that she was pregnant. 
She immediately phoned Liang to tell him the news and he was absolutely delighted and promised to do his absolute best to make it over to Dragon Falls in time for the birth.  There were special wards they could put up around the Dragon Cave to keep things safe for short periods.
Not long after Mira discovered she was pregnant, Joshua's birthday came around.  He still didn't like strangers much so  it was just Tamara and Mira there to celebrate with him. 
Once the birthday celebrations were over, Mira told her parents about her news.  They were delighted but a little concerned when she told them the father of her unborn child was unable to come and live with her. 
Joshua in particular was concerned, remembering his childhood with only his mother around, but he put that to one side to feel his daughter's tummy and soon found himself excited at the prospect of another grandchild. 
As they all sat down to dinner, Tamara finally got round to explaining the new extension on the barn to Mira.

"We thought that since you're a grown adult now you should have your own space so we've extended the barn and added a nice little granny flat above it.  We were going to wait until Nia got a little older before moving over there but in the circumstances we'll move over there now and take Nia with us."

"Oh Mum, you don't have to do that!  The two of you shouldn't be up all hours of the night with a toddler at your age..."

"Oh don't be silly, it's not like we have jobs to go to, the horse races aren't until the evening and Joshua can garden any time of the day or night.  Besides, you shouldn't be up looking after your sister's child when you're pregnant with your own".
Despite her pregnancy, Mira found time to take Nia over to the public library and read lots of toddler books to her.  She was determined that Nia should suffer as little as possible from the lack of her parents in her life.
Meanwhile, with Mira having taken Nia out of the house, Tamara invited Menolly over to  see how she was getting on.  When she arrived it was clear that she also was pregnant.  

"Yes, it's Tyson Marlin's, but we've parted ways already.  He needn't think that me having his baby means he has any claim over me"

"Well, I'm delighted to have another grandchild, especially since Mira is having a baby too, but don't think you can leave this child with us too.  We were happy to take Nia under the circumstances but this was all your choice and you're going to have to live with the consequences."
Menolly rolled her eyes at that, "Yes, Mum, I know and I had no intention of asking you to bring this child up for me.  I don't suppose though that you'd let me have one of the kittens?  Smudge is getting awfully old now and I'd love a kitten..."

"Of course you can dear, didn't we promise you that?" 
Mira's pregnancy continued very normally and she spent a lot of time reading about what to expect through the pregnancy and once her child was born.  She couldn't exercise the way she wanted to while she was pregnant and reading helped take her mind off the fact that Liang hadn't made it over yet.
Joshua and Tamara meanwhile had moved into their new set of rooms over the barn and had taken Nia along with them where they continued to teach her important skills like using the potty properly
And Tamara spent ages teaching her how to talk and reading out loud to her. 
Liang eventually made it over to Dragon Falls and was greeted outside the house by Joshua who overcame his fear of strangers in order to make sure that Liang was going to treat his daughter properly!It turned out Liang hadn't arrived a moment too soon as Mira went into labour shortly after.  She refused to go to hospital saying that she was fine and they only needed to go if there were any problems with the delivery. As it turned out there were no problems, but there was a significant surprise as Mira gave birth not to one child but to triplets!  She, Liang and Joshua took the babies up to the nursery she'd prepared earlier (after Joshua quickly got two old cots out of storage)

In all the excitement, the family almost missed Tamara ageing up to an elder but Joshua made it over there just in time.

Pet Spam
(Including Beauty ageing from a foal which I couldn't find space for in the story)

Town News
  • Nathaniel McKinley got a job in the military
  • Scarlett McKinley aged to Adult and got a job as an equestrian
  • Pacey Harris got a part-time job in the supermarket
  • Gary Fields-Vamp and Irish Marlin went steady for a while but then split up
  • Menolly Clemetis got pregnant by Tyson Marlin and then split up with him
  • Harper Harris adopted a pet cat called Bodica
  • Quyhn Sperie got a job as a professional sportswoman
  • Raindrop Ocean and Anastasia McKinley started dating
  • Fabio Sabo adopted a cat called Elwood, and started dating Adalyn Sperie (who had aged to YA and got a job in business), she got pregnant and they got married and changed their names to Sperie-Sabo
  • Adabella Sperie aged to YA and got a job as a professional writer
  • Adamina Sperie aged to YA and got a job as a cook
  • Dasia Harris-Crist got a job in the music industry
  • Blue Mitchell got a job in the military and adopted a kitten called Snowshoe
  • Ryan Crist aged to YA and got a job as a professional sportsman
  • Derrick and Dasia Harris-Crist had a baby boy called Rian
  • The McKinleys adopted two foals called Boogie and Clark
  • Danya Crist aged to Adult
  • Seirian Roman aged to Adult
  • Ellis Harris aged to YA and got a job in the fire service
  • Tylar Marlin aged to YA and got a job in business
  • Scarlett and Elijah McKinley are expecting another baby
  • Isadora Marlin and Nathaniel McKinley started dating
  • Tylar Marlin and Ryan Crist split up
  • Glimmer Sabo aged to YA (but hasn't got a job yet)

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Chapter Fifty Six

After their sparring, Liang asked Miralys if she'd like to go over to the Meditation Garden with him, which she eagerly agreed to.  She had been feeling more and more of a connection to Liang, despite how little she knew of him, and she wanted to spend some time with him that wasn't centred around learning Sim Fu.

Over in the garden Miralys found herself tongue-tied, there was so much she wanted to ask Liang about himself but she couldn't seem to find the courage.  Liang seemed just as nervous as she did but when he reached out and took her hand she felt a thrill run through her body.

After they had stood there for a while, holding hands and looking at each other, Miralys suggested they sit down and look at the stars.

"Somehow they seem so much brighter over here than back home, even though they are the same stars"

They sat in silence for a while, looking up at the stars, and then Liang cleared his throat "I like you very much Miralys, and I would dearly like to spend much more time with you, but your holiday is nearly over and there are things you must know before we think about taking this any further."

"What do you mean Liang?  You're not married are you?"

"Oh no, nothing like that, it is all to do with history, but history is bound up in the present day also.  Please, come to my house tomorrow and I will try to explain"

Miralys showed up at Liang's house the next day feeling incredibly nervous.  She really liked Liang but he had been very mysterious the previous night and she didn't know what to make of that.  

Sitting next to him on the sofa, Miralys asked what his mysterious comments the previous night had meant.
"You remember what I told you about the origins of Sim Fu?"  

"Of course" said Miralys, "You said that an order of monks taught it to the townsfolk in order to defeat an evil warlord".

"Indeed, and it is true, but there is much much more to the story.  Dong Hua was more than just an evil warlord, he was an enchanter of great power and when the Order defeated him he made a terrible bargain."
"A bargain with whom?" asked Miralys, "Not the monks surely?"

"Oh no, he made a bargain with a demon to escape the Order and the vengeance of the townsfolk, but demons are tricky and although he escaped the Order he could not escape what he had summoned."
"The demon possessed him?" gasped Miralys

"Oh yes, the Order were eventually able to imprison the demon but only after great loss of life and they were not able to kill either it or the body it possessed.  Indeed, they were only able to imprison it with the help of a great dragon.  The dragon gave up his form to release sufficient power to keep Dong Hua, and the demon possessing him, imprisoned until one should come who would be able to slay him.  Have you seen the great dragon's head cave which overlooks the town?"

"Yes, it gave my the chills"

"That is all that is left of the dragon, and that is also where Dong Hua is imprisoned." 
"Ok" said Miralys "so there's an evil undying warlord possessed by a demon locked up in a cave here.  What does this have to do with us getting into any sort of relationship?"

"Both the dragon and the Order knew that despite all gtheir sacrifices they could not keep Dong Hua imprisoned forever without the bindings on his cave being kept strong through the ages.  The Order of the Resolute Fist is still in existence today and Dong Hua is still a threat."

"Let me guess" interupted Miralys, "You're a member of this Order and so you can't leave.  Not only that, but you think it's too dangerous for me to stay here with you so this can only be a fling.  Have I got it right?"
"Almost" replied Liang, "I'm actually the grandmaster of the Order and my mother Abi is our strongest seer.  There's no-one else ready now to take on the leadership if I were to leave and my mother has foreseen that Dong Hua will try to rise again in my generation.  When he does this whole valley will be at risk and if we don't stop him so will the whole world."

"It's your decision to make if you want to stay but it is also tradition in the Order that our families are raised away from Shang Simla so that if the worst happens and those of us here are slain there will be those who will  be able take our places."

Miralys sat there for a few minutes in silence before putting her arm around Liang.  "If we've only got today before I go back, and regardless of the danger here I can't leave my parents to bring up my niece alone, then lets make the most of the time we have and leave the future to take care of itself"
Having said that, she leaned over and kissed Liang soundly. 

Getting up from the sofa, she whispered in Liang's ear... 
And the two of them adjourned to his bedroom where things took a fairly predictable course...