Frozen Waves – Chapter 3

The next day, Hydro had a hard time focusing on her classes. She kept looking over to Copperhead and Ice Shard, her eyes narrowing at them both. When lunch came around, Copperhead tried to talk with her, but Hydro entirely ignored her. Ice Shard was acting strangely as well. Instead of the quiet, cool dragon he had been, he seemed frustrated and nervous. Hydro kept an extra close eye on him.
As the day was wrapping up, Hydro was headded back to her dorm when she suddenly heard a roar from down the hall. All the halls were empty, Hydro having stayed late at the infirmary to help with Bass, and the roar echoed off the walls with eerie intensity. Quickly spreading her wings, Hydro glided down the hall and in to a nearby classroom. She was horrified by what she saw.
An IceWing was lying on the ground, blood spilling from several deep wounds along his body. His face had blood covering half of it, while the other half looked to be scrunched in pain. “Oh moons!” Hydro gasped, scrambling towards the injured IceWing. “A-Are you okay?”

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By A Flame that is Amber on Art Enhancers Amino

The IceWing coughed and looked up at her, his eyes betraying his pain.
“Okay, okay no you’re not okay that was a stupid question. Um… Hold on, stay there, I’ll get Cactus!”
Rushing down the hall, Hydro roared out Cactus’s name. “Cactus! We have a HUGE emergency!” She called. The SandWing emerged from a nearby room, looking at Hydro quizzically. “What happened?!”
“An IceWing was attacked, he’s hurt, this way!” Hydro said breathlessly, turning around and leading the way back to the room. Cactus grabbed a few bandages and followed, the two of them quickly entering the classroom. Cactus instantly got to work, wrapping bandages around the IceWing’s wounds. “Help me get him back to the infirmary!” Cactus said. Nodding, Hydro helped balance the IceWing between them as they carefully carried him to the infirmary. They layed him out on one of the tables and began dressing his wounds. “More RainWing venom,” Hydro stated. “This was the same attacker, these wounds wont heal.” She looked down at the IceWing. “Who is this dragon anyways? Not a teacher, certainly. He’s too young.”
Cactus shook his head. “Frigid, from the Copper Winglet. He came in yesterday because he had a headache, so I recognise him.”
Hydro nodded. “Well, looks like we need to get more Grienfield for him too.” Hydro said. “Until then, we should give him something to help with the pain. Bass’s wounds were nowhere near as deep as Frigid’s here.”
Cactus nodded. “Alright, I can handle that on my own. For now, you need to go sleep. You and Avocet leave tomorrow morning.”
Hydro nodded and left the room, her mind whirling with thoughts of the attacker. of Frigid, and of Copperhead and Ice Shard.
When the day to leave had arrived, Hydro quickly gathered the last of her things and slowly walked towards the infirmary where Cactus and Avocet were waiting. She entered the room and sighed, seeing the serious looks on the SandWing and SkyWing’s faces. “Well… We’re off then?”
“Yup.” Cactus said, turning to look at Avocet. Hydro noticed, for the first time, the scars along Avocet’s body, and the several bags loaded with weapons. “You ready?” Cactus inturrupted her thoughts.
“Huh? O-Oh, yeah, I’m good.” Hydro said, giving a little nod. Avocet stood and approached Hydro, holding out a talon. “Avocet, glad to meet you.” He said. Hydro smiled, taking his talon and shaking it. “Hydro, glad to meet you too.” She said, shifting her bag and looking towards the exit. “You ready to go?”
“Whenever you are.” Avocet nodded. Hydro nodded back and stood, waving to Cactus ”
“Hurry back!” Cactus called. “Stay safe!”
Hydro sighed and spread her wings, taking flight out of the academy. “As safe as i can be, going back there…” Hydro thought, taking her place beside Avocet and riding the winds towards the RainWing kingdom… to her nightmares.
The duo flew in silence for a few hours before Hydro’s wings finally began to ache. “Avocet,” She grunted. “We need to rest, I’m getting tired.”
Avocet looked back at her from a few wingbeats ahead, nodding. “Alright,” He said. “We can land by the river there.” He gestured with his tail to the winding river they were coming up on. Angling her wings, Hydro dove down and landed on the riverbed, instantly diving in to the water. She smiled as the chill brought her some relief from her aching wings. Avocet landed on the bank of the river as Hydro surfaced again.
“We need to adjust our flight path a little bit,” He began, pulling out a map. “The wind patterns here indicate a headwind, it’ll slow our travel by two days. Two days that we dont have to waste.” He said. “We can veer of this way to the right and follow this gorge here,” He indicated towards the canyon on the map. “All the way to the end, and come out not far from the rainforest.”
“Sounds good to me,” Hydro nodded. She walked out of the water, flicking off the drops that clung to her scales. Looking up at the sky, she saw the sun was beginning to set over the distant horizion. “I think we should set up camp here. We can sleep tonight and head off for the gorge in the morning. Sound good?”
Avocet nodded, rolling up the map and stowing it away in his bag. “Alright, I’ll keep first watch. You get some sleep.”
Hydro returned to the water, curling up under the surface and closing her eyes. She was out in minutes.
Hydro and Avocet glided along the warm breeze towards the gorge ahead. With the current speed, they’d easily be to it within the hour. They stopped at a nearby town to rest and stock up on supplies; there were no more settlements ahead until they reached the rainforest. As they were picking up food, they discussed their route.
“So after we go over the gorge, we need to veer off here and head west to the rainf-”
“Thats a bad idea.” A new voice inturrupted. Looking over, they spotted a bright pink RainWing and a dark brown MudWing standing nearby. The MudWing looked at them seriously. “Nobody should fly over that gorge, its a horrible idea.”
The pink RainWing nodded in agreement. “A group of bandits lives out there, most dragons who fly over the canyons end up seriously injured. Those bandits are very territorial.”
“I think we can handle ourselves just fine, thanks.” Avocet said, gesturing to the weapons brandished on his sides. The RainWing and MudWing looked at each other for a moment before shrugging. “Alright, but be careful, okay?”
Hydro smiled and nodded to them both. “We will, thank you for the warning.”
The two left the duo alone, letting them discuss this new information. “Bandits…” Avocet sighed. “It HAD to be bandits…”
Gathering up their supplies, the two took flight out of the town and towards the canyon, Avocet brandishing a short dagger while Hydro had taken a sword. The two of them kept their eyes peeled for any sign of danger.
They flew for a little under an hour, the air around them eerily silent. “Its too quiet…” Avocet said, his voice tense.
Hydro nodded. “Yeah… Maybe the bandits are just some kind of rumor?”
Avocet shrugged. “Maybe. We should still keep our eyes open though.”
Hydro nodded, looking off to the left as she scanned for any sign of the bandits.
She didnt even see the attack coming until it hit her. Though she wouldnt have been able to see it anyways, as the RainWing attacking her was blended in with the terrain around them. Hydro felt a tail wrap around her snout, stopping her from making any kind of noise. Hydro flailed and tumbled as she felt herself being dragged down out of the sky towards the canyon floor below. She managed to let out a roar loud enough for Avocet to hear. The SkyWing whirled around and dove towards her, but couldnt catch her in time as she was thrown on to the rocky ground.

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By A Flame that is Amber on Art Enhancers Amino

Hydro let out a grunt of pain as her paw twisted on the ground. Raising her head, she watched as a blue and green RainWing faded in to sight. Avocet landed down beside Hydro, slashing his sword at their attacker. The RainWing leapt back to avoid it, quickly turning invisable again and vanishing from sight. Avocet stood at the ready, waiting for an attack that never came. When neither of them were attacked for several minutes, Avocet finally let his guard down a bit and rushed to Hydro’s side, examining her injured paw.
“Sprained,” He said. “But not broken.” “You’ll be okay. Come on, we gotta get o-”
Avocet was cut off as a SandWing tackled him from behind, sending him sprawling backwards. Throwing off the attacker, Avocet stood and grabbed his dagger, facing his opponent. The SandWing leapt backwards, hissing and spreading her wings. “You’re in OUR territory.”
“Just passing through,” Avocet growled. “Until you attacked us.”
The SandWing growled and leapt at him, slashing her claws at his throat. Avocet dodged to the side and swiped his sword at the SandWing, cutting a gash in her flank. She hissed in pain and leapt away, clutching her side. Growling, she glared at Avocet with a look of pure hatred. “CRAWLERS! TO ME!” She screeched. Instantly, a small army of RainWings and NightWings appeared behind her. “RainWings, get the SkyWing! NightWings, get the hybrid!”
Hydro and Avocet didnt wait for any kind of invitation. They instantly took flight, moving as quickly as possible to get away from the bandits. They were suddenly cut off from the sky as three RainWings and a NightWing blocked their escape path. The two hesitated for a moment, which ultimatly led to their downfall as they were surrounded by the bandits.
“Hydro, be ready!” Avocet called. “We have to fight our way out of this!”
“You think I didn’t know that?” Hydro scoffed, shifting her weapon in her talons.
Avocet rolled his eyes, regaining his focus on the bandits as they began to close in. “Get ready…” He shouted. “Here they come!”
And the bandits charged.

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