I looked in awe at the supposedly hostile Elder Dragon. In my history with them, they were mean creatures who hated intrusions. They would attack any and all intruders with much power, crushing entire Sand-ships in single moves. The massive creature was now trying to help, righting my craft with his horns, which beared large decorations.

In fact, the entire creature was decorated. It had many large panels on its back, sitting bolted on its back. The creature also bore large cables on it, and a flag bolted to its back. The beast was their transportation, that was clear.

"Are you fixated on our Jhen?" The man said.

"Um...Yes....Also, I don't believe you told us your name." I said with curiosity.

"I am Sunabutora. I am chief of this clan, known as the Mohran clan. We are a proud tribe of desert people. We live in the Fortress to the east of here, called Yosai by us and others. Please come with us to the fortress, and we shall care for you until you can continue the journey. Although, you may have to go by boat..." Sunabatora said.

"That is all well and good, but enough of the talk. Does it not fuckin' occer to you that we got a kid here with a face drippin' with fucking BLOOD!?" Jonathan said annoyedly.

"You would do well to be kind, Jonathan." Sunabatora said with a glaring eye.

"Oh, fine. But please help us!!" He replied quickly.

Sunabatora ordered us all atop the Jhen Mohran. As soon as everyone had boarded it, he headed to the south, where a small sandstorm looked as if it was developing.

The creature we rode was amazing. Even for Jhen Mohran, it amazed my eyes as they stared upon it; I had never seen something this truly loyal and devoted before. I was in awe the entire trip, when I wasn't comfortably walking around the deck.

That was when I noted something; this thing was extremely stable, and felt almost as if we were drifting on a small bed of air. This creature's entire life was engineered, almost! It was like walking on a city that floated, was my opinion. I have never and will never forget it.

When we got to the fortress, I began to look with dismay at it. Heavily armed and guarded, by people unidentifiable as male or female, and patrolled by creatures bearing strange armor on boars. There were guns lined up on the upper reaches.

But the actual place's architecture truly amazed me. It was built entirely out of large arches and squares, all composed of the stone found near the building, and seemingly carved into the cliffside where it was made.

We got off the large Jhen Mohran and walked inside the lowest door, Sunabatora guiding us. He led us into a large room with a table inside, with a hall to the left. As we walked down the hall, we began to notice something; the light got darker, and torches became common. Our presence grew to be deeper and deeper inside the fortress walls.

We eventually got to the a part in the hallway in which the hall became narrow, and led off with doorways to bedrooms, four for the whole of us. We were given the keys and special badges that showed we were not intruders, and allowed to rest.

I took a room far in the back left, Tayler following short behind me. We fell fast asleep as soon as our heads hit our pillows, almost.

Before we would sleep, however, our guides awakened us to dine with them in the Deeping Hall. We were lead deeper through the hall, through massive doors that showed no sign of existence save the event of their opening. Inside the doors was a great room, with a large table set up upon it; Sunabutora sat upon the far end on a great chair, and watched us with kind eyes. All around, his servants bustled about, readying our meal.

When finally all was readied and we were made to sit in the chairs near Sunabutora, all was fair and was good to smell. Many a thing had been lain upon the table, including samples of Rhenoplos steak, Bullfango bacon, Duramboros steak, and many other rare and beautiful and fair meats. There were a many great breads and wines as well, all laid with such precision that you could see the very desert's beauty within them.

The next day, we woke up to a bright day with little sandstorms. We were told that we now had materials to build our boats, and that we were to start immediately. Which we did.

Our materials were many; we had a bounty of wood, with clay, tar, and metals at our hands (With a blacksmith to boot). Our boat was going to be large, and propelled by steam this go-around, as we still had the old airplane engines.

As I began to bolt together the armature for the engine and the actual engine, Tayler walked up and pointedly alarmed me that our hosts had been sitting in a conference for the last half hour, talking hurriedly about a massive beast, called, from what they heard, a Guran Mirousu. We looked in fear at each other, knowing the meeting of one of those foul beasts would be our demise. I went back to my job after a few moments of hushed whispers, angry that we were faced with such news at such a time.

After about 5 hours of building, our craft was done.

It had eight propellers and engines, each mounted with the engine parts above the water with a crankshaft turning the propellers underwater. The pistons were mounted horizontally, with another gear mechanism made to transfer their energy to the propeller mounts. The boiler was on the lower deck, if it could be called that, and contained not only the boiler but a fuel tank as well. The front of the ship had a large row of seats, big and comfy for our enjoyment. We had also built wheels on the underside, so we could roll it out into the sea.

We set out after giving our goodbyes and being given some food and water-along with some sort of bread. "This bread shan't falter in neither heat nor cold, but water does not do it good nor does fire or stone. Set naught upon it and leave it unbroken and unblemished and it shall remain good for many months, if need arises. Further, if I may compliment my own folk, the taste is unarguably better than that bread of the City of the Fortress, the likes of which you have tasted and are unlikely to be pleased with after dining in our house." Our guide told us before setting us out of the fort doors. Now, we were hopefully on our way to the Blazing Mountain.

TO BE CONTINUED IN............Moga Liberty Chronicles 19: A Sea of Blood

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