Almonihah took off, flying low over the mountain path, looking closely for any sign of anyone straying from it. He didn’t think it very likely with how steep the sides of the path were, but they couldn’t afford to take chances. Not with this.
He didn’t see any sign of anyone leaving the path, though, so they made fairly good time. Zakhin’Dakh circled as much as flew, Garkhen dozing on his back as the big griffon stayed slow enough for Almonihah to do his work.
Hours passed with little change save in the scenery. The view here was truly beautiful—dramatic mountainsides, with snow-capped tops and wooded canyons feeding down into small valleys.
Zakhin’Dakh was getting rather bored with it, though, since Almonihah had to go in and out of the canyons, following the mountain path, while he could just fly across them.
I fly ahead! He finally declared.
Almonihah looked up at him sharply. He should say no, but he kind of doubted the energetic griffon would listen. “Just be careful—fly back ‘s soon as you see someone.”
Okay! Zakhin’Dakh screeched cheerfully, then zoomed ahead.
By now Garkhen was feeling somewhat less fatigued, and so he opened his eyes as the big griffon flew. “I will keep watch as well, Zakhin’Dakh,” he stated.
The griffon screeched happily and nodded, and Garkhen smiled. “Perhaps someday I shall have to learn your language,” he murmured, to be met by another enthusiastic agreement.
They flew further from Almonihah than he would have liked, but it was too late for him to say anything—there was no way his voice would carry that far. If something happened, there’d be no way for him to catch up in time… Uneasy, he flew higher and faster, shoving the persistent whisper that always seemed to accompany the wind when he flew to the back of his mind.
And soon enough his fears were realized. A bolt of lightning lanced out from the mountainside, and the small shape in the distance that was Zakhin’Dakh dropped…
Zakhin’Dakh shrieked in pain as the bolt of lightning struck him, his muscles spasming as the electricity coursed through them. Quickly Garkhen called upon Bahamut to heal his friend, and soon enough the griffon pulled out of his dive. Turning his head, Garkhen saw a pair of figures on the mountain, too distant to make out in any detail. He swiftly started forming a ward around them, bringing it up just as another bolt of lightning struck.
Almonihah bared his teeth as he saw his friend stop falling. He had to get there faster… he pumped his wings as hard as he could, trying to close the distance between them.
Look, more fighting! I did not know, when planning this, that I would get so tired of writing all this combat…