"Who are you?" he demanded.
"I should ask you the same thing," Dally growled, slowly rising to her feet. "This is my mentor's former home. You are obviously not living here, so this is my domain. Who are you?"
"I asked first," the Samurai replied, still not moving.
"You cannot see me, can you?" she asked slowly.
"What was your first clue?" the man replied sarcastically.
Dally sighed, exasperated. "Ok, let's start this again. I am Dallyah. Who are you?"
The man lowered his arm. "Dallyah? As in the King's daughter?"
Dally sighed again. "Yes, for the sake of speeding this conversation up." He cocked his head to the side in a questioning manner. "The King is dead, blah, blah, blah..." He smiled and relaxed his stance. "Now, who are you?"
"I am Saito. I was a student of Zafrek's, before and after you."
"Ok, so what happened to him? And why are you here now?"
Saito sighed. As he opened his mouth to speak, a dragon's roar was heard off in the distance. They turned in unison toward the mountains and listened. The roar came again, and Dally said, "Whoa, maybe we should go inside?" Saito nodded and walked effortlessly into the house. He sat in a chair by the fireplace while Dally hastily set to lighting one. Once the fire was lit, he continued.
"I do not know what happened to Zafrek. About six months after you left, I came to see him. I stayed for about a year, then set out on my own again for six months. When I came to see him, he was gone. I've come back once a month ever since to see if he has returned."
"So today just happens to be one of those visits?" Dally asked cautiously.
"No," Saito replied with a laugh. "Last night I had a dream where Zafrek told me to come here, that I would need to protect something. I assumed it was his home, but now I believe he meant you."
"Then he's alive. There is no way he could be annoying both of us if he's not." Dally told Saito of her dream.
Saito nodded as she spoke, then raised his hand as she finished. "I believe I know what he means by the keys. You must pass three trials, that he has set forth for 'the right student'. You will need to go to one of the Mystic Mountain Temples."
"Can you take me?" she asked hopefully.
"Yes, but first you must pass the first trial."
"And what might that be? He never spoke to me about any of this." Her frustration was showing in her voice.
Saito chuckled. "Calm yourself, little one," he said in an almost perfect imitation of Zafrek's voice. "If he didn't tell you it is because he meant for you to be the one."
"If it were anyone else we were talking about, I'd say that makes no sense. But Zaf was like that, old coot." She sighed. "So, Saito, what is the first test?"
"You must go to the first temple at the base of the mountains and face Haku."
"Haku? The dragon from the Temple Legends?"
"The same. Once you return successfully from the temple, I will take you to the second temple."
"How will I know if I was successful?"
Saito stood and smiled. "You will not. I will."