Risi grinned complacently at Miyaki who growled back at him. Segaardu looked back and forth between the two with an air of suspicion but said nothing.

"Seriously, Miyaki," said Risi in his pleasantly deep voice, "if you're that eager to leave again you might as well."

"I'm not /that/ eager to leave," growled Miyaki, her tail flicking back and forth in irritation. "I just don't like being told what to do."

"No one told you what to do, they told you what /not/ to do," replied Risi in a matter-of-fact tone.

"Exactly. They told me I needn't go to Star City anymore because they had plenty of people taking care of things there. And now all I want to do is go to Star City, and just to spite them!"

"So go to Star City," said Segaardu, finally deciding he'd had enough of listening to them banter back and forth. "They can hardly stop you. You've made it perfectly clear that while you're willing to be on friendly terms with The Lodge, you aren't in Mykha's employ."

"Of course I'm not," snapped Miyaki, her tail lashing harder, "I just don't like the way they assume that I'll go where they want and do what they want." Risi grinned at her again and she swatted at him with a paw, growling low and soft. "I know I'm repeating myself, so don't you say anything!"

Risi pretended to duck back from the swat even though it hadn't come anywhere near him. He didn't say anything, but he did flash his grin in Segaardu's direction and received a frown and an almost-snarl for his trouble.

The Mardusionian Earth dragon had taken an instant dislike to Risi and neither he nor Miyaki knew why. Miyaki didn't even really believe Risi when he told her that Segaardu disliked him, so he didn't generally press the matter, but still, a likable creature like Risi was rather disturbed to be living in close company with someone who actually didn't like him.

Miyaki stood up, stretching as she did so, and shook herself to settle her fur. It was winter in this area of Kilandaia, so her normally thick coat of fur was even thicker than usual. Risi knew she spent a great deal of time grooming this time of year to keep herself from looking like a gigantic red and yellow ball of fluff. He also knew that Miyaki resented the time it took her and was looking to go somewhere more temperate so she could shed out a layer of fur and return when winter was over. Star City was perfectly suited for this as the space-station-turned-city didn't suffer from changes in season. Miyaki had gone to Mykha to inform her of her plans, a courtesy she was quick to point out, and was informed that Mykha already had so many people visiting Star City she really couldn't warrant sending anyone else there. Miyaki of course had the ability to go without Lodge approval and usually did when she headed off-world to explore or just get away, but it still rankled that Mykha thought she could tell Miyaki where to go.

Miyaki looked as if she were preparing to leave the large house they shared in the vicinity of the Lodge and Risi jumped to his feet, wavering a moment in indecision as he realized Miyaki might want to be left alone. As usual, he looked to Segaardu, if the Earth dragon got up to follow then Risi would follow as well. Before Segaardu had the chance to get up, if indeed he was going to, Ipari padded in, giving them all a guarded look as if they'd gotten up to greet him and he didn't appreciate the attention. Risi's nephew was a private fellow and most of the time he and Risi didn't get on at all.

"Nice of you to join us," said Segaardu with a bit of a sneer, to which Ipari merely paused and blinked a couple times before continuing toward the back of the house.

"We're planning an expedition to Star City soon," quipped Risi, earning himself an over-the-shoulder mischievous smile from Miyaki. Ipari snorted and shook his fluffy tail without responding. "What, you're not going to join us?"

"I didn't say that," replied Ipari, pausing for a moment. "I merely didn't think your jesting tone should be taken serious enough to warrant a reply."

"Lighten up, Ipari," said Miyaki as she let herself out the front door, "or we won't give you a choice as to whether you get to go or not. Risi, come on, I feel like a walk. Sega, if you're just going to mope like you've been doing all the time recently then you can stay here."

"I didn't want to go anyways," replied the offended Earth dragon. "I've already gotten plenty of exercise today."

Ipari snorted again and disappeared into the back of the house and Risi gladly headed out with his sponsor.