Frozen Waves – Chapter 7

The duo set out again at nightfall, hoping the darkness would hide them should Marco and his army appear again. The air held tension and unease, and Hydro was hardly able to keep her wings straight in her flight. She kept glancing behind her, as if expecting an angry rainwing to leap out and attack at any moment.

“Hydro,” Avocet’s voice startled Hydro in the tense silence, and her wings faltered for a moment before she righted her course. “Y-Yeah?”

“First off, calm down.” Avocet said. “We’re fine, don’t worry.”

“Sorry… I’m just a little shaken.” Hydro sighed.

“Hey, it’s gonna be alright. But you need to tell me where the herb is, I can’t exactly lead us to something that i dont know the location of.”

“O-Oh, right.” Hydro said. “Its… This way.” She angled off to the left a little, getting a bearing on her surroundings. “I’ve never actually been to where they collect it. Nobody has recently as far as i know. Or at least… Nobody talks about it.”

“Why?” Avocet asked. “I mean, if this herb can miraculously heal RainWing venom wounds, why would nobody go collect it?”

Hydro shrugged. “Not sure. Only dragon I’ve ever talked to who’s gone to get some was kinda crazy. He kept whispering to himself, something about heads and fireballs. Nobody took him seriously.”

Avocet pondered the information for a moment, and Hydro took the silence as an opportunity to scan her surroundings. “If i remember correctly, the nurses said the herb grows in the more marshy areas of the forest, where its really warm.” She looked over and saw a place where the trees thinned out. Wet mud was splattered across the ground. “This is as good a place to start at any, come on.” She flew down and landed, her talons sinking into the mud a little bit. Avocet landed beside her a moment later, and the two looked around.

“What exactly does Grienfield look like?” Avocet asked.

“Its yellowish with a small purple flower on it.” Hydro described. “The flower is tall and narrow, and flares out at the top into a star shape.”

IMG_6755

Art by A Flame That Is Amber on Art Enhancers Amino

 

Avocet nodded, his sharp eyes scanning the clearing. “I dont see any.”

“Then we head in deeper and keep searching.” Hydro said, walking through the mud and into the forest. Avocet followed, looking down in disgust at the mud coating his talons. “I dont mind being dirty…” He said. “But this is just gross.”

“Oh quit complaining, it’ll be worth it in the end.” Hydro replied. Avocet rolled his eyes but didn’t respond, and the two continued the search in silence.

Eventually, they came upon another area where the trees thinned out. A massive cave entrance sat on the far end of the clearing, stones piled up around it. The cave looked like it could comfortably fit several dozen dragons with their wings fully spread.

“Thats… a big cave.” Avocet commented.

“No, really?” Hydro responded sarcastically. “Come on, let’s keep looking. It’s hot here.”

“And marshy.” Avocet agreed. “Meaning the herb might be here.”

“Exactly.”

Hydro went to step towards the cave and search around the entrance when Avocet suddenly grabbed her tail and pulled her back into the shadows of the woods. “Hey, what gives?” Hydro asked, giving Avocet a glare.

“In the cave.” Avocet said quietly. “Theres… something sleeping.”

Hydro turned and peered into the darkness, squinting her eyes. Sure enough, something was in the cave. Three somethings, to be exact. Hydro stepped a little closer, raising her neck to look deeper into the cave. She followed the three somethings, which connected to one even bigger something.

IMG_6754

Art by A Flame That Is Amber on Art Enhancers Amino

Realization hit Hydro like an icy wave.

“Avocet… we need to leave. Now.”

“What? What is it?”

“That thing in the cave… it’s…”

A single, loud snore echoed from out of the cave, its force nearly blasting Hydro off her feet.

“That thing… is a Hydra.”

The silence between the two spanned almost a full minute, with Avocet looking between Hydro and the cave, before he finally spoke up. “A… Hydra. You mean, the extinct species of reptile that died out hundreds of years ago. That hydra.”

“That’s exactly what I mean.” Hydro responded. “Those things can sleep for centuries, but we can not risk waking it up. We need to leave, now.”

“But… the herb. Look.” He pointed with a mud covered talon towards the right side of the cave. “There’s Grienfield growing there.”

Hydro’s face lit up in realization. “Of course… nobody collects Grienfield anymore because the Hydra is here! The one dragon that did saw its heads and fled!”

Avocet nodded. “Okay… I’ll grab the herb, you keep watch on the Hydra.”

Hydro nodded cautiously, passing over a small pouch to Avocet from her bag. “Be careful.”

Avocet nodded grimly, taking the pouch and carefully making his way to the cave entrance. Hydro kept one eye on the sleeping Hydra while also watching Avocet as he carefully picked the herb and placed it in the pouch. Once he had grabbed enough, he slowly began to turn and make his way back.

That’s when his talon slipped on a loose stone. Said stone tumbled into the cave, clacking loudly until it finally bounced onto the Hydra’s snout. Avocet picked himself up off the ground, now covered in mud, and looked fearfully into the cave.

The Hydra’s eyes opened. Each head’s two eyes glowed with yellow light, and each mouth was lined with hundreds of sharp teeth. The necks were taller than the tallest tree in the rainforest as the Hydra slowly raised each head, yawning and snapping its jaws. It finally turned and glared down at Avocet, each head trained on its prey. Avocet stepped back, his heart beating rapidly and his chest heaving with fear.

“Avocet, lets go!” Hydro called, hoping to snap him to attention so they could flee. All it did, however, was get the attention of the Hydra. One of the heads turned and looked towards her, and blasted off a fireball the size of three dragons. Hydro shrieked and ducked to the ground, and the fireball passed over her head, exploding on a nearby tree. Said tree was sent flying, landing almost a mile away and tearing a gash in the ground as it slid to a stop.

Hydro, however, didnt focus on the tree. The hydra in front of them was a much more pressing issue. As it finally rose to its full height, Hydro saw its three heads all converged to one massive body. The body only had two legs, and a massive tail, which whipped back and forth.

“AVOCET!” Hydro screeched. Finally, the SkyWing snapped out of his trance and looked to Hydro. “Come on, lets get out of here!”

Avocet quickly snapped into action, spreading his wings and taking off while the hydra was focused on Hydro. The hydra saw Avocet take off and turned, its teeth bared as it blasted another fireball at the SkyWing. Avocet barely managed to dodge it, going into a barrel roll before straightening out and flying around the back of the hydra.

“Go, Hydro!” Avocet screamed. Hydro didnt hesitate, taking flight while the hydra was distracted. She met up with Avocet as he came around the hydra’s left head, barely avoiding its snapping jaws. “Lets go!”

The two of them took flight away from the three headed beast, their wings flapping as hard as they could. A sudden heat lit up their backs, and they dove just in time as a fireball went flying over their heads and crashed into the rainforest below. Two more fireballs quickly followed, causing Hydro and Avocet to slow down as they had to focus on dodging. A stream of fire erupted from one of the heads, and Hydro and Avocet were forced to separate to dodge.

Hydro gasped as a stray flame licked at her leg, scorching it black. She clutched it in pain, her wings faltering for just a moment before she managed to right herself. She quickly tried to continue flying away, but more fireballs slowed her progress. She looked down at her burned leg again, and something caught her eye.

The pearl on her bracelet.

Hydro pressed a talon on to the pearl and took a deep breath. “Nightwalker, if you can hear me, please help!” She said under her breath. The pearl almost seemed to glow for a moment before dimming again. Hydro looked around, but when she saw no sign of the NightWing, she sighed. “Of course…”

She was snapped from her thoughts by a blast of heat as another fireball closed in on her. She flipped backwards and dodged, diving down and skimming the tops of the trees. Avocet came up by her side, looking slightly burned and very exhausted. “We… cant keep this up… for much longer!” He said through gritted teeth as he fought the pain. Hydro saw a large part of his stomach was charred black. She winced as she saw the wound, knowing it must have been painful.

“Hydro, this way!” A voice called out. Hydro looked off to the left and saw the familiar shape of Nightwalker. “Night!” She said happily. Avocet turned and glared at the Nightwing. “What in moons name is he doing here?!”

“No time to explain, we have to trust him. Lets go!” Hydro banked towards him, avoiding fireballs as she closed the distance. Avocet hesitantly followed, keeping pace beside Hydro. Night’s talons glowed with yellow magic as he reached out to them. “Prepare to teleport!” He said. Hydro and Avocet felt an extreme heat on their backs and turned, seeing a massive fireball hurtling towards them. They flapped harder, reaching toward Night, but the fireball was faster. It was closing the distance. It-

Their talons touched Night, and in an instant, the trio vanished, leaving behind one very angry hydra to return to his cave.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: