The balance distinguishes not between gold and lead.
Chise is taken to a dragon nesting ground by the youthful mage Lindel, the dragon’s caretaker. Chise meets an elderly dragon called Uncle Nevin, who will die soon, and transform his body into a tree to keep the forest alive. Chise is saddened by this until Nevin explains dragons are not afraid of death when they live longer without regrets. Chise remembers being so alone she considered suicide but Nevin is glad she chose to live or Elias never would have found her...