This is the first of Elly's mini episodes, which consist of adventures Elly has alone, for the most part. This one takes place just after the events of Unrest in Sakoku, and she is banished from her home for reasons that will be explained in that roleplay. Back to her wild roots, Elly is fending for herself, when she stumbles upon something..
Elly the Dragon
Chaa the Chao
Elly the Dragon, thrust back into her old life of hunting and foraging in the wild, almost seemed a bit out of her element at first. For so long, the idea of a “home” was ingrained in her head, a place where everything could be taken care of as long as she were complacent. She whined a little to herself, the short recall of the circumstances not really helping her nerves. But she felt, as well, that she had to put that notion of community behind if she were to survive in nature.
At this point, Elly had, at the very least, found a working pattern for herself. The lands north of Sakoku had familiar plants, animals, and most importantly, places to salvage treasures and increase her “worth”. Overlooking the surrounding flora atop a large pear tree, she munched on one of her seat’s fruits, chomping it down to the core. For whatever reason, she had the feeling that good things would happen in that particular area. Alongside that was a sense of need; a great worry stemming from the loss of her previous treasure horde’s location plagued her mind. She knew that she needed to find someplace new, and she needed to find it soon.
She surveyed the area further, flying low and under cover as to not be spotted by nosy, potentially harmful people who might have inhabited the strange lands. Her previous “feeling” seemed to be more than a hunch, and she found her body reacting to something, which influenced the direction of her flight slightly. Elly trusted this personal barometer to guide her to something good. Maybe she’d find some sort of wreckage to rubble through, or a cave in which to make a temporary abode. "I don’t know what this is.." she thought to herself in the midst of her flight, "but at this point anything will do!"
After a while, Elly started to notice the trees get closer together, and soon she found it hard to fly, as her wings were starting to graze against bark. In the corner of her eye, she spotted an opening within the forest, seemingly with precious fresh water. "This is as good a place as any to land", the dragon figured. A place shrouded in woods came across to the dragon as a potential rest point, if not the short-term habitat she was hoping to herself for. Upon landing, she got a clearer view of her surroundings. There seemed to be water flowing out of some outcropping rocks near the edge of this forest sanctuary, and trees adorned with various fruits and nuts dotted the fertile parts of the grove. The spring seemed to flow into a small pond, which in turn streamed into a small creek, running down the untamed wild to the ocean beyond. The sight of this hidden treasure of an area filled Elly with hope, and she smiled for what might have been the first time since her departure from "home".
And yet, it seemed there was something more to this area that her body still wanted her to find. She elected to search the area all over, both to find the cause of her impulses and to make sure the place wasn’t inhabited by inhospitable competitors. A quick sweep on foot seemed to yield no surprising results. The dragon sighed in relief, pleased that there was nothing scary or foreign to deal with. To make sure, she started to talk aloud to herself, if only try and coax out anything with her voice. “Mmm.. Hellooooo?” was met with no response from the forest. "A bit too good to be true.. but I’ll take it!"
Now sufficiently sure that she was in the clear, Elly decided it was time to make herself at home. Putting her effects down, she decided to have a soak in the pond and wash her clothes, like she always would back at "home". Constantly thinking about that past ate at Elly’s thoughts still, but the calm of the waters and the shelter of the area eased her mind for a short time. She hummed to herself, gently wandering deeper into lagoon. The waters of the pond only reached Elly’s neck, and while the water was a tad cold, it seemed clean enough for washing her clothes and drinking.
The dragon was about to exit the pond, when her foot happened to brush against something.. It was big, but what was most alarming to Elly was the way it made her entire body tingle in delight. "W-what?.." was all she could think to herself, caught by surprise. Whatever this thing was, it was valuable, and likely the thing her body was directing her to this entire time. Elly nudged the object some with her feet, gently pushing it towards the shore. Eventually, the dragon was able to reach down and wrest her prize from the frigid depths.
And out from the waters came her quarry, a golden egg, with full carats and no noticeable blemishes. Her immediate thoughts were about how protective she was already of her find. She couldn’t stop herself from just snuggling with this object for a bit, cradling it in her arms.. But even with no-one around to see her, she stopped after a few seconds, embarrassed. Quickly getting out of the pond with her new-found treasure, Elly knew she needed to find some place to keep the egg.. It was a rather large egg, the dragon’s arms unable to reach around it fully, which meant that carrying it while flying was out of the question. However, she hadn’t established a horde at that time, and while the area was pleasant, she knew it wouldn’t ultimately be a suitable location for her to settle down.
In the midst of her thoughts, the sun started to set. Elly sighed, thinking to herself about the event. There was no question that she stumbled upon something with extreme value, yet to her, it’d be for naught if she had no place to keep it.. As she thought, her eyes began to give way, and yawns escaped her mouth in tandem. "I guess I should think about it in the morning.." Sufficiently convinced by her body’s cry for rest, Elly found a nice spot to curl up and sleep next to one of the sanctuary’s fruit trees. She nestled the golden egg in her chest as she lay down to rest, cradling it around lovingly. Within the treasures she owned, she found hope, solace, and respite from their “worth”. Elly nodded off, and in her rest, she decided she was intent on making this valuable egg the start of a new horde, and a new chapter in her life.
Her slumber brought little solace, her sleep plagued with a nightmare like no other. Elly was not completely familiar with the concept of dreams, as before her domestication she never experienced them. In her rest, she went through a terrible struggle, only able to watch what happened to her as if on a rail from which she couldn't escape. Imaginary thunder ran through her mind as she stood adjacent from her former master, the apparition slowly approaching her with its hand stretched out. The butterfly grasped her head, and seemed about to send nerve pain through her..!
"Chaaaaaaaa." Elly's savior appeared in the form of a small, blob like creature with tiny pink wings. Woken up from her dream, Elly jolted up, ready to face the new danger! Instead of danger, she found the little creature that had cut her nightmare short staring at her, just as confused as she was. "Oh, it's.. What is that?" she pondered, the two of them eyeing and assessing each other curiously. Most intriguing to Elly was how the tiny thing seemed to have golden.. Whatever it was made out of. "Gold.. Wait!" She quickly remembered that on the night before, she had found a golden object that would be the start of her new horde. Only now, it seemed like it wasn't there.. In its place, broken gold eggshell was strewn about on the floor, her precious nest egg broken. "Chaaa?" The blob seemed less concerned about its surroundings, bumbling about as it watched Elly go through her odd thought processes. Eventually, the small thing latched onto Elly's leg, climbing its way up her body. Before she could remove it, she felt an odd, happy warmth on her body. She hadn't realized it yet, but her assailant was in fact a golden chao, hatched from the egg she warmed up the night before!
Clinging to her belly, the happy chao thought of Elly as its parent, especially since this was the creature's first birth. While the mysterious chao are known for their ability to reincarnate, this golden one was clearly a newborn, evident by its lack of inherited traits. Furthermore, the area seemed to be some kind of secret chao garden, long abandoned. Elly had no idea what a chao or a chao garden was, but she somehow found one of the area's long lost secrets.
Of course, these facts eluded her grasp at that moment. The golden glob climbed up onto her bosom, where it sat looking up at its mother's face. "Chaaaaa.~" The only sound in its vocabulary seemed sufficient enough in disarming Elly's caution, her hand gently petting its auric head. "I.. This feels like that thing.. Was it an egg? If this thing hatched from it.. Oh! I must be its parent!" While the chao seemed content with sitting on her chest, Elly found herself lacking any semblance of maternal instincts. "Ahh, what do I do with a baby.. I guess.. Hold it?" Elly picked up the chao by its sides, gently but without any finesse. Tilting its head, the child gave her a puzzled look due to being removed from its comfy spot. To Elly's surprise, a question mark like glob appeared floating over its head. "A-ah, oh no.. I must be holding it wrong.. Maybe like this?" Mimicking people she had seen in her homeland, she cradled the child just as she had done so for the egg, rocking it back and forth in her arms. Fortunately, the chao seemed pleased with this turn of events, smiling happily as its emoting dot became a heart.
"Okay.. This isn't so bad, I can get the hang of this!" She kept rocking the baby in her arms for a while, relatively content with her success. "A name.. Uhh.." After a couple of minutes, she came up with a rather unoriginal moniker. "Hey, I'm going to call you Chaa, since that seems to be the sound you make a lot, okay?" The newly dubbed Chaa opened its eyes upon hearing its language, and responded "Chaaaa" in return. Elly smiled, growing more attached to her find with each minute they spent together.
After some time, Chaa's stomach gargled, signaling Elly's first childcare challenge. "Oh dear.. What do you eat?" There were fruits on the trees, but they seemed rather big for a little baby like Chaa.. On the other hand, she had no idea what else the creature would eat. Setting the child down against the tree they were resting under, Elly soared up to grab some suitable food. She picked out a fat blue fruit with a yellow stem-like protrusion, sniffing to assure its ripeness before landing and plunking it down next to Chaa.
Her heart was still for all of three seconds, but fortunately the hungry chao responded happily to Elly's choice. Even though the fruit was easily as big as Chaa was, it got steadily snarfed down by the ravenous kid. Elly sat down next to the mess of fruit being chomped down, and the child smiled at its mother when it finished its meal. While the day had just begun, little Chaa got tuckered out from eating so much in such a short amount of time, lying down on Elly's bosom once more to nap.
For Elly, taking care of the baby chao gave her a feeling of catharsis. She was certainly obligated to take care of the child, but more than that, she had a great sense of fulfillment in doing so. For once, Elly felt needed in a non-ulterior way, and while it was impossible, she felt for a while that she'd like to spend the rest of her days mothering Chaa. None of that drama and hate from the social world, but with all of its love.. She felt at home with "my little treasure", a nickname she coined for the gilded babe while rocking it to sleep.