It isn’t long before I see a few dragonfolk flying around. Most of them don’t pay us any mind. I wouldn’t expect them to care about two specs of dust passing by. Honestly, comparing a hume body to an older dragonfolk, it’s like comparing myself to a bug in size.
What use would engaging us do, except out of curiosity. Although, I’m surprised none of them have done just that. I keep waiting for it. A few have looked over but all of them continued on their way without a second glance.
I can also hear worried chirping from behind me. It seems Sunshine doesn’t particularly like these creatures.
I still haven’t sensed Melsy yet.
Not too far off, ahead of us and a bit to our south, I spot two dragonfolk wrestling. I’m not sure if they’re actually fighting or having fun. I know Melsy enjoyed wrestling with Lillia from time to time. Lillia also seemed to relish as well. They would both finish with wide smiles, especially if they were fighting near Dubhe. They seemed to intentionally continue until she couldn’t stand it any longer, and would snap. They were both gluttons for her tongue lashings.
Maybe it was just because they liked harassing Dubhe. Love and appreciation takes odd forms sometimes.
Shaking off my reminiscing, I notice the wrestling dragonfolk stop as we pass by their location. They look up towards us, and start talking before taking flight.
Ah, you know, on second thought, these two might have been fighting because they are trouble makers. As they make a beeline to intercept us, I get the sense that they don’t mean well.
I hover in the air, and pull around my backpack, while Sunshine circles me. I didn’t think about that, but yeah, she can’t really hover like me. Her wings aren’t made for flapping so much as gliding. Maybe she could stop for a few seconds, but that would probably be exhausting.
I fling the bag of nuts to Miss Sunshine. “Set these down somewhere below us, and come back up.” Then I pull out and assemble my Lillia spear before securing my backpack.
Sunshine dives quickly. I don’t think I can fly that fast without feeling a sense of terror. She really must be going faster than terminal velocity using runes for additional speed. We were almost a mile up? Maybe? She touches down on the highest tree in about ten seconds. That’s not natural. I could see a wave of compressed air forming beneath her. I thought I was fast. Melsy too. Although, I don’t think the speed of sound actually limits Melsy in any way. I think she does her whole auto-defense mechanism and diffuses air out of the way somehow without thinking about it.
Actually, both of them are cheating. Darnit.
“Yo.” I yell out as loud as I can to the approaching dragonfolk. It looks like they’re fighting to see who can get here faster?
The one in the lead starts opening its mouth. Okay, I guess this won’t end peacefully. The one in behind decides that he can’t have me, so he starts to dive for Sunshine. Nope. Don’t do that. She’s under my care! Bad dragon!
I had fought several times with Melsy for fun, but we didn’t make a habit of it. Mostly, she only wanted to fight when she needed to vent about something. Either way, she gave me a few pointers about dragonfolk.
First, when they have a large body, they don’t have the rune power nor control to have a defensive shield. Much of their power gets consumed by maintaining their large bodies. But, since it is effectively a giant layer of insulation, there isn’t much concern about it getting damaged. This often leads to rather unorthodox and frankly, rash behavior.
Second, although there isn’t really a brain in their head, their nose, mouth, ears, and eyes are all very sensitive.
So I “fish in a sock” as quickly as I can to dodge the dragonfolk coming after me, then I burst as much light in front of me as I can, and end with a stab to the top of its snout before diving down towards the one careering after Sunshine.
I hear furious and surprised roaring behind me, but I don’t glance back. I’ll barely make it in time to help Sunshine out as is. I don’t have time to worry about a blind, flailing monster behind me.
The second one slows a bit to look up at the commotion, but that is perfect for me. This time, instead of bursting light randomly, I focus it on the eye looking in my direction, like a laser.
It takes a moment, but reality finally catches up to the beast and it barrel rolls away in the sky, completely disoriented by the temporary partial blindness. Both dragonfolk go crashing into the trees below.
Sunshine comes careering into me, nearly knocking the wind out of me. You dunce, it is very hard to keep us both flying when you wrap your arms and wings around me. I pet her head to comfort her and ease us into the trees below. The dragonfolk I injured both recover, but they appear to be the type that run from an angry bee instead of pulling out insecticide for vengeance.
I notice a few younger, or, small-bodied dragonfolk below us. They seem to be keen on greeting us, as they have our food in hand, and are offering it up as we come down.
“Been a while since I last saw a hume sending some whelps packing.” One of them yells up.
Sunshine looks down, startled, then panics, and crawls up my body as we descend till she is crouching on my back, neck, and head. It’s like a cat avoiding water, finding the furthest place from it. Well, at the very least, she isn’t running off on her own. One less person to track down.
Anyway, what’s up with absolutely everyone trying to eat everyone? This keeps happening. Can’t you all just get along?
“Thanks for holding onto our food. We’re in a bit of a hurry though. Trying to find a dragonfolk named Melsy.” I thank them as we approach, and reach out for our food bag.
“Melsy?” They all look at each other and then back up to me as they hand over the back.
I touch down and sigh. It was a lot of work keeping both myself and Sunshine aloft by myself. “Yeah, uh, Melusine.”
“Oh,” one of them says. “Yeah. I can take you to him.”
Author’s Note: Thanks for reading and all the support!