Yun ran across the endless plane, the perfect mirror of the water’s surface ringing out with the sound of splashing water until it became impossible to see through. She looked down at the hands breaking through the tranquil surface, trying desperately to grab her. Each step filled her body with lead, every step sinking deeper into the water.
She ran and ran, redoubling her efforts each time the hands brushed her ankles, until only her head was above the water. She took one more deep breath before her head went under.
When she opened her eyes, she was lying in a field, looking up at the stars. Yun sprang forward, looking at the field of flowers swaying in the gentle breeze. In her hands was a small bowl filled with water, reflecting the stars themselves. At her side, lying down asleep, was Nari.
Yun breathed a small sigh of relief, taking a drink of the water to ease her parched throat, but no relief came. The water slid down her throat, cool and refreshing, but still her throat burned and burned. The bowl seemed endless, filling her deeply, and yet doing nothing to fill her up, feeling as though it was flowing back out of her body, directly into the center of the earth.
She blinked, finding herself sitting in a coffee shop overlooking the water, the distant sound of seagulls filling her ears. The sky was wide and painfully, painfully blue, melting into the dancing waves stretching farther than her imagination could reach. Before her was Nari, a pair of sunglasses haphazardly hanging above her eyebrows. She was dressed casually, something she wasn’t quite used to. A flowing white top and pants that outlined her figure, but were clearly still practical should she need to move.
“Sorry,” Yun responded. “A little out of it.”
“Take your time,” she said, stretching with a satisfied exhale. “I love the sea breeze. Thanks for taking me here. You’ve always been good at keeping promises.”
She shifted gears.
“Say, do you know what they call a grouping of dragons?”