Book 1 Chapter 7: A Long Journey Begins.
“It has been two days! Where could that stupid boy be?” Trisha rolls her eyes at Aldowin. He has been saying that for every hour that has gone past the entire day. “Relax Aldowin I am sure that he is fine. Did you not see what he did to the army, or was I the only one watching?” Aldowin turns on her moving from the spot where he has been pacing for the last hour. “One day when you have your own charge then we will talk. Until then your opinion carries the same worth as a fart on the wind.”
She rolls her eyes again. They had been working tirelessly to remove the armor from the Salamandraco. Despite their hardest efforts however two of them died already too sick and infected by the rusted spikes digging into their flesh.
“Do you know what Slyfer intends to do with these?” Trisha asks pointing toward the Salamandraco. Not because she cares but to change the subject. “I don’t know what that stupid boy is thinking I don’t know why he left I don’t know where he is. Where could he be?” She sighs. Clearly her plan backfired.
Aldowin was still going on about Slyfer when Trisha suddenly holds up her hand for silence. Squinting in the afternoon sun she thinks she sees something but can’t be sure and mentions that much to Aldowin. He immediately starts scanning the horizon. His mood suddenly lifts and then like a like a see-saw goes back to angry. It takes Elyna and Slyfer another hour to reach Aldowin and by the time they do Aldowin is bristling with anger.
Slyfer takes one look at the elf and sighs. He has seen that look before. “If He finds out I am hurt…..He may just finish what Browly started.” An awkward silence falls over the four gathered together. The first one to speak is Aldowin. “Where have you been?” Before Slyfer can say anything Aldowin continues. “What were you thinking running off like that? Do you know how far behind schedule you have put us.What a long journey we must still undertake?” That is the last thing Slyfer can make out as he topples over Elyna is there instantly to catch him.
Aldowin his mouth open to say something looks down and then at Elyna. A Warning of death swims in his eyes as he asks. “What happened?” Elyna ignoring the death stare starts to work immediately. Pulling off his shirt she inspects the wound it’s not infected but the bleeding never stopped. The Uma bandage is completely soaked in blood. “Browly shot him with some kind of weapon I have never seen before. I bandaged him but it seems the bleeding never stopped. I don’t understand why he didn’t tell me.”
Aldowin puts the anger aside to focus on the problem at hand “We must stop the bleeding immediately.” he says it more to himself than anyone else. Slyfer’s skin is ice cold and he is shaking. “Trisha fetch me some water and start a fire. If Uma does not work we will have to quarterise the wound.” Aldowin runs to fetch a part of the Salamandraco armor. They make Slyfer drink a few cups of water while the piece of armor is put in the fire to heat up. Aldowin looks at Trisha. “Tell me when the steel in the fire has turned white because of the heat.” A few minutes later she returns to say that it is.
Aldowin only nods dreading what comes next. He looks at the two women. “What I ask you may result in you losing your lives. I don’t know what will happen if we put the steel to his flesh.”
Elyna looks at Aldowin questioningly. “He may….. change and if he does we could be crushed since I will need you to hold him down.” Slyfers hand suddenly takes hold of his master’s arm. His eyes are open but the life in them are fading with the loss of blood. He swallows hard and with a voice soft and week says; “Do not worry.” Aldowin smiles with pride and with finality tells Trisha to bring the scorching hot piece of steel. “Hold him down!” “Won’t be necessary.” Is Slyfers week reply. They look at each other and then at him.
Elyna and Trisha each take a position next to an arm ready to grab onto and hold them down at a moment’s notice.
Aldowin takes the piece of armor with a cloth dipped in water to keep his hand from burning and with a quick movement presses it on the wound. Slyfer grits his teeth and his whole body goes rigid but he does not move an inch. A soft moan escapes him as Aldowin removes the steel and puts it back into the fire. Slyfer breathes hard trying to control himself.
He wants to scream out in pain but he lets his mind wander to the valley. He is faintly aware that he is being turned on his side and then searing pain hits the back of his shoulder sizzling as it burns the skin and flesh where the projectile exited from his body. He breaks out in a sweat and passes out after the piece of armor is removed.
Slyfer’s consciousness seems to travel and he soon finds himself confronting a white dragon. Bigger than Serina and Ulric combined. The dragon isn’t just white. Life seems to flow from him making him shine with a brilliance that can’t be compared to anything. The darkness around them seems to flee from him. The dragons eyes are white as well like smoke gathered together in a glass it moves and swims with shapes that never really resemble anything yet there seems to be a pattern to it. Slyfer thinks the dragon is looking at him but can’t be sure since it does not have any Irises.
When it finally speaks. The voice sounds older than time itself. The mere sound of it however seems to fill Slyfer with new life.
“So you are the one.” Slyfer at a loss for words just stays quiet. “Why do you come here I have told the others I have no interest in war any longer. I want no part in it!” As the dragon says it his scales turn from the purest white to the blackest night. “I am not here willingly. I got hurt and I think….. I think I have passed out.” The dragon turns back to white.
“It is strange that your sub-conscious brings you here when you are hurt.” Slyfer swallows a bit afraid then looks around but he sees nothing but the dragon its like trying to look through stained glaas you can see rough shapes and colors but nothing difining. “Where is here?” The question is met with silence. Slyfer thinks the dragon may have fallen asleep or something but then it speaks making him jump.
“That young-ling is a good question but only you can answer it since it is you that created it.” The white dragon can almost see tha question makes dancing around in Slyfer’s brain. “Me but how that is not possible… is it?” The dragon huffs. “Yet here you are irritating me. Do you believe yourself crazy then?” Slyfer not knowing why chuckles. “To be completely honest with you old one, I don’t know anymore.”
“You need not call me that I have lost the right to be respected.” This somehow saddens Slyfer. “I disagree, old one. The mere sight of you commands respect.” The white dragon starts to chuckle. “Everything I set out to do everything I worked on my entire life has come to nothing! Destroyed in a mere three hundred years after my death in the living world. Does that make you respect me?”
Slyfer thinks on it for a while something the dragon seems to acknowledge since he waits patiently. “It makes no difference. It is how I perceive you personally. What you have done or what has been undone does not have any effect.” Now it is the dragons turn to think.
“You are not as stupid as you look young-ling. Do you know who I am?”
Slyfer shakes his head biting his lip. “Hopefully this doesn’t upset him otherwise I can kiss my sweet cheeks goodbye!”
“No I can’t say that I do old one.” “Then is not true that how you perceive me is just an illusion since you do not know me nor do you know what I did or what was undone?”
Slyfer once again thinks for a while. Smiling he says; “If you look at a flower that is beautiful everyday only to find that it has wilted and become ugly one day. Does the death of the flower make it less beautiful?” Pointing his finger into the sky as if he is a teacher explaining some profound thing he continues. “I think not, the days spent in appreciating it makes it worth a lot more.”
The dragon suddenly sits up. “What you have said has given me cause to think. For that I will reward you but now you must return to the living world this one may have been made by you but you do not belong here.” With that the white dragon starts to fade into nothingness. The dragons last words echo in his thoughts. “A long journey begins. Do not lose your way.”
Slyfer slowly opens his eyes to find himself rolled up in his bedroll. He gingerly moves his shoulder which should be hurting real bad but it feels normal, no pain, not even an ache to remind him there was a wound. “How long have I been asleep?” The voices inside him ring out more with anger than worry. “Where have you been? Your consciousness left your body we could not find you anywhere.” Slyfer is instantly irritated. “
Our relationship was too suffocating so I went on a brief vacation.”
The voices are quiet for a while but they return with more anger.
“You test us Slyfer something very few have survived.” “Feeling tired of their incessant moaning Slyfer just doesn’t care.”Kill me then!” The voices fade to Slyfer’s surprise.
Slyfer relaxes for a moment gathering his wits. He can see stars in the sky but for some reason he feels enclosed as if laying inside a cave. Spreading his arms out he feels something rough against his knuckles. It moves and he jerks his hand back in surprise, but nothing happens. He extends his arm again this time with his palm outwards. It touches the rough surface again and he can feel a heartbeat behind the course skin.
Spreading his consciousness he gets a bigger picture but is surprised at what he feels. Curled around him is a Salmandraco. The other three are circled around the one that has encircled him.
Slyfer extends his mind even further. Not far from where he is he can sense three people. “Its Aldowin,Elyna and the Kitty cat!” Aldowin is asleep but Elyna is on watch. Concentrating on her with his mind he focuses his thoughts.
Aldowin did tell him its rude to speak directly into someone’s mind but to be honest in Slyfer’s mood he didn’t really care. Elyna sitting cross legged suddenly feels a huge force close to her it gives her goose bumps she compares it to a giant about to step on an ant. But somehow its familiar. Slyfer’s voice rings through her head. “Hello Elyna.” It takes a moment for her to realize what is happening and she smiles. “
You are being rude Slyfer. This is only acceptable in extreme situations.” A Long silence follows then the reply comes.“Well I am surrounded by four Salamandraco so I would warrant that as extreme!” Slyfer can sense she is instantly annoyed. “It’s your own doing! I don’t know what you did to them but they have been protecting you ever since you fell unconscious. Aldowin has been going crazy with worry since you are sick and we can’t get near you. They seem to tolerate Trisha though we have sent her to check on you every few hours but Aldowin wants to call Serina to come take care of your pets!”
Another silence.”You know of Serina?” She sighs. “Only the name other than that Aldowin is a closed book.” Slyfer instantly changes the subject. “Have the Salamandraco eaten?” Elyna gets annoyed at Slyfer’s obvious ploy but keeps it to herself. “Yes to our surprise they hunt much like lions do only the female stays with you and the males go hunt. It really has been hard on Aldowin.” Slyfer is afraid to ask but he does anyway. “How long have I been unconscious?” “For three days.” Is the reply much to Slyfer’s surprise. How can he be completely healed in three days. Is it the gift the white dragon gave him?
Slyfer gets pulled out of his thoughts when Elyna talks again. “How do you feel?” Slyfer knows this is going to surprise her so he likes it all the more. “I am completely healed.” A long silence follows then. “Don’t lie to me boy that is impossible.” His only reply is. “I will show you.” Slyfer breaks the connection and goes into the minds of the Salamandraco rectifying the problem with his companions. He then gets up and walks towards the camp where Elyna and the others are.
Reaching them he sits down quietly in front of Elyna. She immediately has a look at his shoulder without a word. The female, Salamandraco bigger than the others by about three meters. Waltzes over and lays down behind him with a pmfff. Slyfer lays back against her .enjoying the feeling of her heartbeat.“I will have to think of a name for you.”
Looking up he sees Elyna has drawn her bow and is aiming at the Salamandraco. “There is no need for that put it down!” “That thing tried to kill me only two nights ago and now you bring it here! Are you crazy?” Slyfer jumps in-front of the bow. “Relax I fixed it she knows you are friendly. Besides you have your own one.” Smiling he points behind her. One of the males are now laying down behind her lazily scratching himself. Another is next to Aldowin and the last one by Trisha’s feet.
Aldowin and Trisha awake with the noise caused by Elyna and Slyfer’s shouting. Trisha goes for her daggers whilst jumping back and crouching low her catlike eyes flicker with intent to kill. Aldowin swears throwing his blanket over the head of the Salamandraco nearest him drawing his swort at the same time in a fluid movement. The salamandraco replies by flopping his head on the ground lazily.
“Will all of you relax!” All of them turn to him. Aldowin bolts to Slyfer.”You idiot why did you scare me like that! You should not just have run off after that coward.” While saying this, the elf inspects him from head to toe. While swearing and telling Slyfer how stupid he was and how worried he made his master after a while all Slyfer heard was “Blah blah, blah blah blah.”
After what seems forever the old elf stops.“I see you have healed.” Aldowin doesn’t sound surprised at all. Trisha is still crouching watching daggers drawn ready to kill at a moment’s notice. They all look at her….. then continue with the conversation. “I will try and explain another time master.” Aldowin only nods. Slyfer can see the old elf is still upset. “Did Elyna not tell you what we found?”
“Yes she did but that does not make up for anything.” Slyfer starting to get irritated asks for his bag. Trisha finally relaxes a bit and brings the bag walking backwards not removing her sight from the salamandraco with her daggers drawn . Reaching inside Slyfer pulls out everything he took from Browly. Looking at his master he starts to explain his plan.
They talk all through the night but something keeps nagging at Slyfer. “Where are the rest of the elves and where is Shcree?” Elyna and Aldowin look at each other but say nothing. Trisha is still too focused on the creatures around her to even pay attention to what is being said. “Well?” Aldowin looks at Slyfer and points to his bed roll. “Shcree is sleeping in there as for the other elves they have left without us. They could not wait any longer.” It looks like Elyna wants to say something but then falls quiet with a look from Aldowin.
Slyfer does not believe a word of it but he lets it go. He leans back against the female Salamandraco once again and stretches. “So what now master where do we go from here?”
“We go to another rendezvoused our…..other allies are there.” Elyna instantly looks up. “You have other allies?” Aldowin looks at her with a facial expression like he smells something funny. “Of course I learned never to put all my eggs in one basket.” Elyna looks at her lap. “Who is it?” Slyfer sits up intrigued and curious. “Yes master who is it?” The swordsman looks at Trisha and Elyna. “I can’t tell you now Slyfer but you will be surprised.”
Slyfer falls back again exasperated hating the idea of more secrets. “You know I hate it when you do that.” He gets no reply so he turns to his side. Using his mind he calls to Shcree she instantly wakes up and before he knows it she smells his nose. “Hello to you as well girl. Did you miss me?” Her reply is to cuddle up to his neck and soon they are both asleep again.
Trisha finally calms down finally satisfied that she won’t get attacked. She sits down next to Aldowin and Elyna but soon regrets it the atmosphere is not pleasant at all. Elyna speaks first. “You know Aldowin I think I proved myself by saving Slyfer.” Aldowin nods. “That may be but can you honestly tell me you won’t report everything to your princess if you are asked b her?” Silence follows the question as Elyna is torn between her loyalty to a friend and duty to her princess. “Exactly and the same goes for Trisha here. The truth is you can’t be trusted.”
The next morning is met with the ring of Slyfer’s sword as he practices the sword dance. As always the female Salamandraco is nearby. Much to the annoyance of Trisha one of the males keeps following her around. Aldowin doesn’t mind his new companion and Elyna is still not entirely comfortable with hers. Aldowin is still unsure with how Slyfer managed to tame the beasts since it takes years of studying the animal you wish to tame before you can attempt it. You have to understand the animal before even trying and even then it normally goes badly. There are people that go through their entire lives studying the art of beast taming.
They all eat breakfast and then decide to head out heading in a southern direction instead of east. Slyfer would have liked to fly again but with the other two accompanying them he cant. It annoys him without end. When Aldowin had asked Elyna what her plans were she could not answer except that she may tag along for a while. And so the four of them struck out towards the south. In front of them is nothing but rolling plains stretching as far as the eye could see a gentle breeze now and then moving across the grass turning it into a sea with waves of golden grass moving in step with each other. As the wind glides through them.
Slyfer finds it beautiful and almost overpowering not being used to this much openness. He wishes he can just lay in it and watch the sky for the rest of the day and an idea pops up in his head. Turning to the Salamandraco he walks over and with his mind asks for permission to ride on her. With the others watching he takes out his bed roll and throws it over her back the climbs on and lays down crossing his legs and stretching out very chuffed with himself. The others suddenly look at their Salamandraco with longing.
Aldowin tries to climb on his but it simply moves out of the way. He swears and tries again but with no effect. “Slyfer speak to this one as well.” Slyfer rolls on his side and looks at his master amusement clearly showing in his face. “I simply asked her if she would allow it and she did. You must do the same with yours. I can’t do it for you.” A complete lie of course but how would they know?
Slyfer lays on his back again clearly not interested in any more conversation. Aldowin tries looks at the Salamandraco shakes his head and starts walking again swearing at the lazy Slyfer. They go through most of the day without a word. The clouds above Slyfer almost hypnotizes him and he starts to drift off into his own little world of thoughts and dreams. His mind mostly dwells on the white dragon and what it had said. “What did it mean by gift and that I had made that place?” Annoyed he turns on his side. “My life consist of questions that cannot be answered.”
The voices inside him rise up and fill his mind. “Perhaps we can help you with the answers you seek?” Slyfer thinks for a while. “What is the cost of the answers you wish to give?” The voices feel amused. “It has no worth to us so we will ask you nothing in return however it may yet cost you something far more precious than any jewel or piece of gold.”
Slyfer huffs and turns to his other side. “Always with the riddles what is it with old beings and riddles?” “What we speak of is trust. Can you trust us? You must ask yourself that question before we can answer because some of the answers may be upsetting to you.”
“I see what you mean old ones I will think on it.” The voices fade again. Slyfer needs to control himself in order not to call on them again and badger them with questions. However his experience in this new world as brief as it may be has taught him that; “Nothing is ever easy.” Aldowin walking next to Slyfer’s mount hears his student’s exasperated words and starts to chuckle.
“I am glad that you have realized that so early in your life my Estund.” Slyfer looks at his master walking next to him. “Master I want to fly I miss it so much its driving me crazy and Serina gave me instructions to practice much like the sword dance only I guess it can be called the sky dance.”
Aldowin falls silent for a moment. “You can fly when there is no moon and it is dark otherwise the risk will be too great and for sky mothers sake don’t roar.”
It is mid-afternoon and Aldowin calls for a halt so that they can take a break and eat something. All they have are a few nuts, old crusty bread and some wild potatoes foraged from the plains. Slyfer once again gets a craving for meat and his mouth waters at the thought. They eat their meager supply of food but Slyfer’s mind is far from the meal. He can’t wait to fly again. They break camp and start heading out again just before sunset Elyna finds a place to camp.
Elyna has taken it upon herself to be the scout for the group of four so every now and again she heads out. Trisha sometimes accompanies her. Aldowin can’t help but think they are plotting something.
Slyfer keeps a close eye on the clouds and as the sun sets and the moons rise, the two moons are half. The clouds are thick to the east but the moons wont reach them before the early morning hours. Slyfer gets in bed early with the female Salamandraco sleeping nearby. A few hours later with one eye open like a naughty child he surveys the camp around him.
Slyfer thanks his luck to find Aldowin on watch. He rises slowly to make as little noise as possible. Walking over to Aldowin he simply touches him on his shoulder and disappears into the darkness. A whisper follows. “You have one hour.”
Slyfer creeps away from camp until he is about a hundred meters away and then sprints another nine hundred meters before changing into a dragon and its like ecstasy when he does. Happiness fills him to the brim and he wants to roar but he remembers Aldowin’s words. Focusing his mind he starts with the maneuvers Serina showed him and soon he goes into a trance twirling and flipping as he practices every movement as best he can until his wings feel as though they are about to get torn off. He climbs higher and higher for one last time into the clouds and still higher he suddenly comes out above the clouds and is met with a dazzling view.
The two moons are shining brilliantly in the night sky turning the clouds into a sea of light blue and white. Slyfer feels like he can almost land on them but knows better. Dipping his one wing he goes into a sharp turn skirting the cloud with his wing as he does light droplets form on it. He feels content and full of life. Excited he furls in his wings and goes into a dive. The wind rushes past him and he knows he may be making a lot of sound so he levels out and starts to go into a slow spiral to land softly. Looking around for the camp he soon spots them a long way off and something else!
A herd of animals to the south. Excitement rushes through him like a river rapid. It flushes away any thoughts of returning to camp and he heads in their direction. Drawing on the memories of Malgrobin he goes into hunting mode mimicking the flight of an owl he gets closer and closer without them noticing. The creatures are huge with six legs and antlers the size of trees they resemble deer. A big white one is obviously the leader but he is too big and it would be a waste since he cant eat that much.
Slyfer starts scanning for the weaker older ones. He spots it! Not far off is one laying down instead of standing like the others they seem to be sleeping. He circles them one more time not letting his gaze wonder from the one he wants as his mouth waters. He dives! For the weaker one stretching out his claws aiming to break its back with the colossal force of his dive!
The sky seems to rip as he tares through it and the other deer jump up and sprint away at the sound. The deer he aims for also tries to do the same but its useless. Baang!!! He hits it with such force the deer doesn’t even make sound as the bones in its back breaks splintering only to be forced down into its organs lacerating and cutting them into mince causing instant death. But like Malgrobin was taught he sinks his teeth into its neck and breaks it as a precaution. A thought runs through his head from long ago. “An injured animal is a dangerous animal if not handled correctly.”
The force of the blow had sent the other giant deer bolting in all kinds of directions. All accept one. The big white deer had stopped not far away looking closer Slyfer found that it was bigger than he himself! The leader takes one more look at the blue dragon that has taken one of his own and disappears silenty into the darkness. Slyfer tastes blood in his mouth and it sends him into a frenzy. Tearing with tooth and claw he starts to feed. Every bite he takes is filled with bliss a feeling of euphoria envelopes him taking him to the brink of madness. He eats and eats not waiting to swallow before taking another bite.
He suddenly hears something behind him. Turning around and arching his back like a cat with his wings spread out to make himself look bigger he gets ready to lunge while he surveys the area around him. It’s the three Salamandraco males. Tongues, flicking in and out, tasting the air for the scent of the large, strange creature in front of them. Slyfer still in his frenzy does not recognize allies only more prey interrupting his meal. He is just about to lunge when he hears a familiar voice inside his head. “What are you doing hatch-ling?”
His frenzied mind does not recognize the words or the person speaking to him. Slyfer looks at the Salamandraco in turn assessing their battle strength. But something is off they are just watching not moving a muscle, only standing there as if cemented in place.
The blue dragon advances a tentative step and nothing happens so he takes another. Nothing…. Slyfer moves forward more boldly now, sensing no danger from the creatures. As he nears they prostate themselves to the ground lying flat to the ground with their entire bodies. “Slyfer.What are you doing?” The voice is more demanding now, more…… irritating. His mind is in turmoil.
“Who is Slyfer? Where is this voice coming from?” The Salamandraco still on the ground rings a tiny bell in the far recesses of Slyfer’s mind. A thread of his sanity creeps back. Then it all comes rushing back and he is hit with the enormity of it. What he has done involuntarily he turns into human form again but the Salamandraco stay on the ground. “Hatch-ling if you don’t answer me now I swear I will bite your tail off when next we meet!”
“Alric? Alric is that you?” “Yes it is me. Why did you take so long to….Ah I see. You have had your first hunt. No wonder I sensed something strange going on. What did you hunt?” Alric is like a child in his excitement. “Well boy? Speak up!” Slyfer too disgusted with himself to explain sends mental images to the red dragon. “A giant deer!” The surprise in Alric is evident in his voice. “You hunted one of the eleven great beasts with you first try well this is interesting! Ho ho ho I am so going to brag about this.”
Slyfer stays quiet he can still taste the blood in his mouth and it sickens him he tries to spit it out but it’s useless. His hands are covered in gore as well. Alric senses the feelings running rampant in Slyfer’s heart. “Why do you feel this way you are a dragon are you not?” “Yes I am.”
“Then why do this to yourself? Can you not feel the energy flowing inside you how the death of the deer is feeding your own life force.” Slyfer looks at himself the blood and gore on his hands reminding him of what he had just done. “Is this my new nature then? Will the same thing happen over and over again….. will I lose control one day and hurt those I love?”
Finding Alric within himself he says in a plaintive voice. “Will this, happen again old one? Is it always like…. that?” A long silence follows as Slyfer waits he starts to try and clean himself realizing that he must have been gone longer than an hour by now. Alrics’ voice returns like distant thunder. “Its easier to get clean in the clouds if there are no lakes nearby.” Slyfer does not understand but like most teachings done by dragons Alric sends him a memory as reference. Turning back into a dragon he heads for the thick clouds in the sky. He soon reaches them the air is crisp and cold under his wings. Finding the place within himself he draws out magic pulling and tugging at the clouds to surround him. They start to move as if being stirred in a cup and he is in the center soon the clouds condense and little droplets form on his dragon self.
Using magic once again he lets it move snake like around him washing and cleaning as it goes until he is satisfied. Feeling cleaner and a little drained Slyfer heads back to camp. “What of my other question old one?” The silence again.
“It is difficult to say young one some dragons go mad with the lust for blood others learn to control it but it is still always there. It is especially difficult for red dragons so I will give you advice that saved me from that fate. Try to eat meat everyday even if it is just a small portion staying away from it may cause it to grow beyond your control. You will rarely need as much as you had tonight while you are still so small but as you grow hunting the great beasts will be your only option to slate your hunger that or……. large amounts of two legs. “Alric chuckles at the thought and Slyfer can feel his blood-lust. Alric calms himself and continues. “However i know that’s not in your nature.”
”Slyfer lands softly where he took off and turns back to is humanoid form. “Still not used to that.”
“Alrics’ voice interrupts his thoughts. “Go rest now you probably won’t need to eat for a few days.”
On his way to camp Slyfer runs into Aldowin already pacing up and down with worry. Slyfer sighs knowing already what comes next. Aldowin spots him and comes to a halt so abruptly he almost falls over his own feet. To Slyfers’ surprise he only gestures toward camp and they start walking back together. When they reach camp the kitty cat is already awake.
Yawning she rubs at her golden eyes and Slyfer is struck by how cute he finds it. She catches him staring at her and they both look away in random directions making it all the more obvious and uncomfortable. “I wish we had water or that there was a river or lake of some kind nearby.” Aldowin hearing the exchange came closer and said. “Bathing will have to wait. It will be another few weeks before we reach a source of water big enough to accommodate it.” Letting out a small groan she slumps back.
She catches Slyfer looking at her with a puzzled expression and lashes out with irritation. “Do I amuse you? Have you never seen a girl before?” Slyfer smiles at her catching her off guard. “Did you not hear what my Master said the first time we…. Umm met? You are the first other person I have seen in my life except for him.”
“Well that just…. It can’t be true it’s not possible.” Aldowin laughs at her surprised expression. “It is true. Believe it or not it’s up to you. I tell you what i will be nice and see if I can find you guys some water, I need to practice my water magic anyway.”
If he knew how difficult this was going to be he would never have said it. Spending two hours like an idiot walking up and down looking at the ground he still couldn’t find anything.the clouds were also to high for his magic manipulation range so that was a bust as well.Giving up he shrugged at the hopeful looking kitty cat as he returned to camp empty handed.
They set off with Trisha groaning and a irritated Aldowin because of having a late start thanks to his student’s escapades.
They are on the road for an hour before they run into Elyna who looks like she has seen a ghost. “We must leave this place and quickly too.” Aldowin thoroughly alarmed asks. “Why what is wrong?” Urging them on not allowing them to slow down she replies. “There is a big predator somewhere around here not far from where we are now I found a fresh kill that it hunted last night.” Suddenly feeling the urge to whistle and look up Slyfer fiddles with his pack and starts looking around as if searching for the would be predator.
Aldowin not believing is ears scoffs at Elyna. “You are a seasoned fighter I did not imagine that you would scare so easily.” Elyna now angry turns on the sword-master red faced eyes shooting daggers at the elf. “You would do well to be scared as well it is the carcass of a giant deer one of the eleven great beasts!” Aldowin immediately looks at Slyfer and regrets that he did due to how suspicious it must look. “Ummm…. Slyfer teach us how to charm the Salamandraco like you do so that we can get moving as soon as possible.”
Aldowin hopes this throws Elyna off of his earlier blunder. But looking over his Masters’ shoulder Slyfer can see the obvious expression of suspicion etched on her face.
Trisha having been quiet till then clears her throat. “Could it not have been the Salamandraco?” This is met with silence from Elyna as she just keeps staring at Slyfer and Aldowin the both of them facing her now. Trisha persists. “Could it not have been the Salamandraco, Elyna?” Saying it a bit louder finally catches the bow masters’ attention and she finally breaks her gaze.
“Maybe I saw the three males’ tracks leading there but the carcass was too big for them to be able to have done it. Besides I also found other tracks…” She turns her gaze back to the two males and especially concentrates on Slyfer as if looking for something out of place.
Aldowin having had enough of this turns to Slyfer again and says: “Teach us or ask the creatures for us we must move.”
Slyfer inclining is head goes over to the creatures and starts working. “Might as well they suffered enough.” Soon enough all of them are mounted and heading out fast it measurably lifts the mood of everyone but Slyfer knows Elyna is far too shrewd to let it go just like that. They will have to tread more carefully from now on. By mid-afternoon they have made it twice as far as they would have on foot but Aldowin does not give the order to break camp until its almost night time. He does this only because the moons are hidden behind dark cloud and the night is black as pitch.
Even with his dragon vision Slyfer can’t see a thing and he knows it’s the same for Trisha. Since he heard her swearing because she bumped her toe earlier. Slyfer is put on first watch and they don’t have a fire to give light simply because there is nothing to burn, all around them is only grass. Walking a small distance from camp Slyfer finds a good place to sit down and watch over the camp. Crossing his legs under him like he was taught in front of the waterfall he sends out his consciousness. The lights flicker on around him the brightest in the camp. One of the lights suddenly flares up and he knows someone in the camp detected him. It calms down as abruptly as it flared and goes back to the slow soft glow of someone sleeping after a while.
The night is quiet except for the chirp and buzz of various bugs. Slyfer could sense some rodents hunting in the night and also being hunted by a snakes. Thinking to himself it is the way of the world. Expanding as far as he can he senses noting of note and decides to seek the answers offered to him. Sending his consciousness inwards.
“Are you there?”
“We told you, we are always here.”
Slyfer sighs. “What else must I say to greet voices in my head?”
This is followed by some silence and then an amused. “Point well-made young one.”
“So you offered me answers in exchange for my trust. What does that mean?”
“It means that you have to trust us to tell you what you need to know at this time not to pester or get angry when we don’t answer you fully. Everything we do is for the greater good and one day when you can be trusted completely we will tell you everything.”
Slyfer knew there had to be some catch. Steeling him-self and listing the questions he wants answered. “Okay, I understand there is not much I can do anyway if you don’t want to tell me everything. Might as well take what I can get. But you must also make a promise.”
“And what promise is it you wish us to make?”
Slyfer knows he is going to sound naive a few days ago he really was naive but melding with Malgrobin had made him a little wiser even though apart of him knows he is starting to develop a bit of a sarcastic trait along with some other things.
“I want you to promise me that you will never lie. You may stay quiet about something if you wish but never tell me anything that is twisted in its truth.”
“It is a difficult oath to make but once made impossible for us to break if you keep your side of the bargain. iI your trust in us ever changes however we will once again be able to lie to you.”
Slyfer realizes the bargain is almost impossible but: “I agree to the terms.”
“What is it that you would like to know?” Came the many voiced reply once again with a hint of amusement.