After the meal, Maiara gathered those who were interested around the fire.
"Now, my children, let me tell to you the tale of the Reef Guardian, Chelonoth.
The beautiful reefs that surround the Island Nations were borne from one of his scales. He protects the reef, healing them when necessary. Any coral found washed up on the shore is a gift from him, and before one picks it up they need to say a prayer of thanks to him for his generosity. You know when Chelonoth is near when you hear a haunting melody coming from the waves, caused by the sea wind blowing through the coral on his back. He is rarely seen, but tales of long ago say that he has coral growths on his back and wings, a long tail like a shark, tentacles for front legs and frog-like legs on his hindquarters. He is believed to be a plant eater, as there are no reports of attacks on fish or human prey. He blends into the coral so he is almost invisible."
"Is that why it is forbidden to harvest coral?" one of the young girls asked.
Maiara nodded. "To take coral from the sea is an insult to Chelonoth. It is said that once a long time ago a villager from the Fire Nation disobeyed the rule and Chelonoth wiped out the entire village."
"Oooooh," the girl replied.
"Now, the sun is setting. Time to return to your homes and finish your nightly chores. The sun rises early!"
The small crowd disbursed. Obsi and Leilani retired to Leilani's hut for the night. When the sun rose so did they. They went on patrol on the opposite side of the island. The day was a hot one, so they decided to cool off in the water. They swam gently for a few minutes. As Leilani returned to the beach, Obsi tried to follow but something grabbed her leg...
…and dragged her under.
She forced her eyes open and saw she was in the grip of Scorpa.
Do not be afraid, Scorpa said.
He took her into an underwater cave, gently placing her on the rocky shore. She caught her breath.
"Why have you brought me here?"
I need your help. I have an egg that I am unable to take care of. I would like to give it to you. You understand dragons. You will raise this egg as your own. I have never encountered such a human.
Scorpa emerged from the water and walked past Obsi. When he returned to her side, he had an egg in his mouth. He motioned for her to follow him back into the water. Once she was under the surface, he again took hold of her and swam quickly back to the beach. Scorpa released her and she broke through the water to hear Leilani calling for her.
"I'm here!" she called. She swam for the beach and watched Leilani's eyes widen as Scorpa followed her. He gently placed the egg in the sand and nodded to Obsi before diving back to the ocean's depths.
Leilani was speechless.
"He gave me this egg," Obsi said, a bit lost for words herself. She whistled for Poe, who almost immediately landed on her shoulder.
"Please go get Goda for me? I need him to take this egg home for me."
Poe cawed and took off. Obsi looked at Leilani and they both laughed.
"Well, I can say this, Obsidian Wraith, you are a constant source of surprises!" Lailani said with a smirk.
"Yeah," Obsi said with a sigh, "I get that a lot."