Chapter 22: Blue
They left the port city as soon as they could. Zakhin’Dakh was quite hungry for fresh meat after their long ocean voyage, and Almonihah thought it sounded good as well. Even though Ferdunan was more heavily settled than much of the Northern Continent, it didn’t take them too long at griffon speeds to fly over the cultivated fields into areas of wild woods and plains only interspersed with tamed farmlands. They had a dinner of deer before the sun reached the horizon, and had time to talk before they settled down for the night.
Where we going? Zakhin’Dakh screeched inquisitively as Almonihah was cleaning some of his gear.
Almonihah shrugged. Wherever seems good. The truth was… he wasn’t quite sure why he’d even come. Part of it was just to spite Jivenesh, to pull some kind of victory out of the retreat from the Madlands by getting to the Southern Continent anyway. The truth was, though… it just felt right. Just like east felt like the way to go. Not having any better ideas, he figured he might as well follow the feeling.
Okay! Zakhin’Dakh replied, not at all bother by the vague response. As long as he was with his friend seeing new things, he was happy.
He had no shortage of new things to see as they flew east. There were lots more people here than most of the places they’d been, and the funny things they lived in looked a bit different than the ones up north.
When he asked Almonihah about this, he just shrugged and said, “People build different in different places.”
Okay… Zakhin’Dakh screeched, not really satisfied by the answer, but not sure if there should be anything more to it.
They took their time, but even so they could soon see mountains to their east. There mountains lots of places! The griffon observed.
There are mountains in lots of places, Almonihah corrected.
Zakhin’Dakh screeched in agreement. His friend just grinned a bit at his misunderstanding.
They were just reaching the foothills when Almonihah saw something down below them. A short, broad figure in silvery armor, but whose head resembled a dragon. He had a broad tail, with blue scales…
Zakhin’Dakh, land on him, Almonihah said, his voice as much of a growl as the Great Eagle tongue could manage.
Why? The big griffon asked, confused.
Just do it, Almonihah growled, irrational anger leading him to pull out his bow and nock an arrow.
Still uncertain, Zakhin’Dakh obeyed, diving towards the being below. He looked up just before the big griffon landed, pinning him under one talon.
Almonihah’s nocked arrow was aimed at the creature’s snout right after they landed. A growl still in his voice, he said, “Give me one good reason I shouldn’t kill you.”
This is the end of Book I. I get to leave this little cliffhanger here for months and months…
In seriousness, I’m looking forward to Garkhen’s book next. I’ll hopefully be able to apply some of the things I’ve learned from Book I and make Book II better than it was. It has more of a definite plot, after the first few chapters, so that should help. There will be fairly significant stylistic changes, too.